Chicken, Kidney Bean and Spinach Soup

It’s actually beginning to feel like winter and that Christmas is nearly here. It’s getting cold, the cars are starting to freeze over and I don’t feel ridiculous going out with my coat, scarf and gloves on. It sounds daft to be so excited for the cold, but it really helps with getting into the Christmas spirit! You can’t buy decorations when it’s mild outside, it just feels wrong!

In the spirit of it getting colder, I’ve decided I need to change it up from my current daily lunch of the Split Pea and Sausage Soup and try something a little different. I stumbled upon this from ‘Julia’s Album’, so I thought I’d give it a go, as I used slightly less chicken I’ve tweaked the serving sizes from Julia’s recommendations.
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 Ingredients

1 Onion

2 Large Garlic Cloves

1 Large Carrot

1 Green Pepper

1 Can of Red Kidney Beans

Handful Cherry Tomatoes

425g Chicken

80g Spinach

1 Litre Chicken Stock (Gluten Free if necessary)

500ml Water

½ tsp Paprika

1 tsp Basil

1 tsp Mixed Italian Herbs

Oil for Frying

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, heat half of the oil on a medium heat, add the onion and fry for 1 minute. Add the pepper to the onion and fry for an additional couple of minutes until the onion before a bit soft. Remove from the saucepan and set to one side.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the saucepan, add the paprika and half of the basil and mixed Italian herbs. Add the chicken to the pan and coat in the oil/herb mixture on a medium/high heat. Ensure the chicken is browned on every side but it doesn’t need to be cooked through at this point.
  3. Add the garlic, kidney beans, tomatoes, carrot, onions and peppers. Then add the remaining seasoning and stir into the mixture so it’s evenly distributed.
  4. Add the water and stock, bringing the soup to the boil then leave to simmer for 15-20 (this will cook the chicken through)
  5. Around 5 minutes before you want to serve add the spinach and put the lid back on, I find adding it later stops it becoming too soggy.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, it’s ready to serve 🙂

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Nutritional Information

Serves 5

243 calories

25.9g protein

20.4g carbohydrates

4.7g fibre

6.3g sugar

4.4g fat (0.7g are saturated fats)

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Chocolate Brownie and Raspberry Porridge

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This is such an easy breakfast, if i’m not careful I end up eating it everyday for weeks months!

If you soak the oats overnight, then it only takes a couple of minutes in the mornin

Ingredients
1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten free is necessary)
1 cup hazelnut milk
1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder
Preferred sweeten to taste
Handful raspberries

Method
1. Soak the oats, cocoa powder, sweeten and milk overnight.
2. Add to bowl, heat in microwave for 2 – 3 minutes ensuring it doesn’t bubble over
3. Add raspberries and enjoy!

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Told you it was easy!

Dizziness and Demotivation

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The last few days haven’t been great. I keep struggling with stomach cramps and light-headiness. This is currently being looked into but at the moment, we have no idea what the issue is I’m just being put on medication to try and manage the symptoms. This isn’t working as well as hoped.

Since August I’ve been having issues with stomach cramps, it gradually got worse but eventually meant I was struggling to work out. After being on various medications, an on-going issue I had been having with light-headiness got A LOT worse. It meant I had around a month off the gym and spent it feeling horrific.

I started to feel better for a few days; I was able to get back in the gym, I was feeling like my old self and I almost forgot I was having these issues. Then on Monday, it all hit me. At work, with my gym bag in my car (ready to go straight there) BAM! Stomach cramps back. Then on Tuesday the light headiness started to come back as well. It’s already been difficult enough to stay motivated after getting back into the gym once I realised how much fitness and strength I’d lost (almost ignoring the stone in weight I’d put on in the meantime).

I’ve been trying to think about this in a new way to stop me feeling quite so demotivated. After spending all of last year working so hard to lose four and a half stone and getting into shape, I feel like I’m going backwards. I’ve been struggled to keep my focus and stay in the mind-set of eating well as the constant feeling crap. I’ve decided to view it as – Last year was the challenge to lose the weight, this year is the challenge to stay positive regardless as to what life throws at me.

Almost of if he knew, my old PT messaged me the other day to check in, see how I’m doing and how my training is going. I gave him a download of everything (he already knew about some of the light-headiness but not to its current extent). He was helping by reiterating the fact that I need to stay positive about the things I can control and just let everything else slide, there’s no point worrying about what I can’t change. If I just focus on what I can control then I know I’m still doing everything to the best of my ability.

Hopefully, the next few days will get better and some of the future posts will be in a more positive light.

Egg Muffins

Since I first stumbled upon a version of these on pinterest, egg muffins have become a part of my daily diet.

What I love about them is that when I’m in a rush for breakfast or just craving something post-gym these are so quick to grab and very satisfying.

They can be easily customised to suit your personal preference but mine don’t really change week in, week out.

What can I say I’m a creature of habit.

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Ingredients

6 eggs

12 tablespoons of water

1 small onion chopped

155g lean diced bacon

1/2 pepper

40g sweetcorn

A pinch of pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c. Fry the onion and diced bacon on a low heat. Once the bacon is cooked all the way through take it of the heat. I will normally transfer it into a plastic tub with some kitchen roll underneath to help absorb any additional oil/grease, but that’s just my own personal preference.
  2. In 12 muffin tins divide up the vegetables and bacon (I’ve tried a few different methods with this and have found that silicon muffin cups make the neatest muffins afterwards)20151102_173853
  3. Crack the eggs into a container and whisk together. Once all mixed add the water, this just adds some more bulk and helps the muffins set. Add a pinch of pepper and mix together.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the filling, it should come near the top of the tins.20151102_174024
  5. Place in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the muffins appear firm and have risen.
  6. I normally find that if you take them out of the oven and tins straight onto a wire rack you get weird dints in the bottom of them. I leave them in the tins for about 10 minutes to cool, they should shrink in size slightly making them easier to remove and looking nice and neat. You can eat whilst they’re still warm. I store them away for snacks during the week and just give them a quick 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave to reheat then enjoy!

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Nutritional Information

Per serving = 2 muffins

116 calories

11g protein

3g carbohydrates

1g fibre

1g sugar

6g fat (2g are saturated fats)

 

Split Pea and Sausage Soup

As winter is now upon us I currently love experimenting with different soups. I just think there’s something really comforting about settling down either at home or at work to a nice bowl of soup.

I am someone who loves a chunky soup, I just find it more satisfying to have something to eat rather than just slurp it down.

I have recently got slightly obsessed with this split pea and sausage recipe. It sounds simple but I think it’s so effective.

 

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Ingredients

6 sausages (I like lean turkey sausages from musclefood)

1 onion

2 sticks celery

1 leek

1.5 litre chicken stock

200g uncooked split peas (ensure you soak them for at least 10 hours before cooking)

2 bay leaf

Dash of pepper

Method

  1. Chop the onion, celery and leeks into chunks, in a large saucepan over a medium heat cook the vegetables or until the onion starts to brown.
  2. Add the soaked, rinsed and drained split peas. Mix into the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the bay leaf and stock, bring it to the boil then leave it to simmer with a lid on for around 1 hour or until the split peas are soft.
  4. Whilst the soup is cooking, grill the sausages to allow the fat to leave the sausages. Once cooked and chop into pieces and add to the soup whilst still on the hob.
  5. Once cooked, removed the bay leafs and serve.

Nutritional Information

Serves 6

Calories: 279

Protein: 19.8g

Carbohydrates: 32.9g

Fibre: 11.0g

Fat: 7.2g (2.2g saturated)

 

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