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    5 things to do in London this weekend – The April edition

    Afternoon peeps! I thought I would start something new on the blog. Tips on what to do in London! What do you think? Is that something you would be interested in? They say if you are tired of London, you’re tired of life. The thing is, in London there is always something to do, if you’re not careful you can get a serious case of FOMO (Fear of missing out). So I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things to do in London. Some of these are even free! If you’re new to London I recommend checking out my previous post on top tips on surviving in London here. Happy reading! Or shall I say, Happy exploring!

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    Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear at the Victoria and Albert Museum

    Ooo la la la and sacré bleu! The Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting this revealing exhibition about the changing roles and practicalities of underwear through the centuries. You can see more than 200 men and women’s garments and accessories, as well as photographs and films. You can even catch items worn by Queen Victoria’s mother and Kate Moss!

    Visit Europe’s first Thai Temple

    The Buddhapadipa temple, in Wimbledon was the first Thai temple ever built in Europe. How cool is that?! Actually it was setup in Richmond in 1965 but moved in 1976. The grounds and its training center is open to visitors as long as they observe the rules.

    Eat at London’s oldest indian restaurant

    Veeraswamy is the UK’s oldest surviving Indian restaurant. It was established in Regents Street in 1926 (and its still there!) Customers have included Charlie Chaplin, King Hussein of Jordan and Marlon Brando!

    Buy Swedish at Totally Swedish

    The Totally Swedish shop, in Crawford Street, combines the flavor of Sweden. A calling for all those swedes that call London home! Swedish food, children’s products and handicrafts. Its like IKEA in central London!

    Drink in a Victorian Gin Palace

    The Princess Louise, in Holborn built in 1872 is one the finest remaining examples of a Victorian Gin Palace, with a fantastic decor dating back to the 19th century, its also has victorian toilets! (ok a little ew)

    Fitness, Food, Tip

    Easy one pan curried chicken with roast veggies

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    I have such a weak spot for spicy food. Like just give it all to me, but I also have a weak spot for healthy food that is super quick to pull together. Enter curried chicken and roasted vegetables. This dish has so much flavor, and it’s so easy and quick to make.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 500 grams butternut squash in 1-inch cubes
    • 200 grams brussels sprouts, halved
    • 1 large red onions, cut into thin wedges
    • half a cup canola oil (reduce as you feel, because this is a lot!)
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • half a cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, plus more for serving
    • 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
    • 1 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 0.5 tablespoon Madras curry powder
    • 600 grams skinless, boneless chicken thighs ( for healthier version use chicken breast fillets)
    • Warm naan, for serving
     HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
    1. Preheat the oven to 450° and position racks in the upper and middle thirds. In a very large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the brussels sprouts, onion wedges and 1/2 cup of the canola oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables in a large baking tray
    2. In the same bowl, combine the cup of yogurt with the ginger, garlic, curry powder and the remaining 1/2 cup of oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss until thoroughly coated. (I usually do this the evening before and leave it to marinate!)
    3. Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables. Roast for about 40 minutes, rotating the veggies halfway through, until the vegetables are nearly tender and the chicken is nearly cooked through. Take out and pour off any liquid in the pan and roast for about 20 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is lightly browned. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter and serve with warm naan and yogurt. I add a little chutney to it if I have any laying around and some sriracha sauce for some added kick. Have I mentioned I like spicy food?

    This dish serves 4 by the way! Happy eating! 🙂 

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    Food

    No bake Raspberry cheesecake

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    I love desserts but one of the tings I hate about them is that they often (in my case anyway) follow a large heavy meal and quite often the desserts are equally as heavy.
    Another love of mine is cheese. You can imagine my delight when I came across the recipe of a light raspberry cheese cake. I have modified it slightly, just to reduce the amount of sugar and fat in it – you’re welcome. It’s my go to dessert because its cheap, easy to customize and simple to make.

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    Ingredients

    75 grams unsalted butter

    150 grams digestive biscuits

    135 gram pack of sugar free raspberry flavored jelly (or any flavored jelly you prefer)

    200ml reduced fat evaporated milk, chilled

    200 gram extra light soft cream cheese

    150 gram raspberries (save some for decoration!)

    Method

    1. Lin the base of a 20cm round loose-bottomed sandwich tin
      with baking paper
    2. Place the biscuits in a food bag and crush with a rolling pin
      (or you can do this in food processor)
    3. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the crushed biscuits.
      Press into the tin and chill.
    4. Break the jelly into pieces an in a heatproof jug, put the jelly in
      100ml of boiling water, stir until dissolved.
    5. In a large bowl, whisk the milk until light and fluffy and doubled
      in volume. Whisk in the cream cheese, until the mixture is smooth.
      Whisk in the jelly.
    6. Roughly chop the raspberries and stir into the mixture, pour over
      the biscuit base and leave to chill for 2 hours.
    7. Serve decorated with extra raspberries.

    Bon Appetite!

    Let me know how yours turns out 🙂

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    Fitness, Food, Tip

    No carb – high protein Meatza Pizza

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    MMM Pizza! Who doesn’t love a big cheesy pizza covered in your favourite toppings? My mouth starts to water just thinking about it. Sadly, pizza is not on my diet plan. Although some cheese is good to include in a well balanced diet, a pizza is not. I remember in high school an old friend of mine used to say that pizza is actually very nutritious (obviously an excuse for his 4 frozen pizza a day consumption). His theory was that for a well balanced diet you needed carbs, dairy, meat and veggies, something that the pizza’s he was consuming offered. Clever but bull crap. ( For my Norwegian readers, his pizza of choice was Grandiosa Original – I think we can all agree it is far from nutritious!)

    Im sure by now most of you have heard of  the cauliflower base pizza. Ive only attempted to make it once and it turned out very soggy (apparently I didn’t get all of the water out) and the amount of cheese that went in it was shocking. It left me feeling a bit disappointed and it took forever to make. Enter Meatza Pizza.

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    What is a Meatza pizza you might ask? Well its a pizza made with a mince turkey/chicken/pork crust. Perfect if you need to add more protein to your diet. As you can see from the pictures – this pizza is so tasty I couldn’t wait to have slice! I came across this recipe on DashingDish.com a couple of years ago and its become one of my favourite go to recipes when I need to cut back on the carbs.  You wanna know the best part? It only takes 30 minutes to make!

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    You need

    Crust 

    500 grams Lean ground turkey (or ground chicken/ lean ground beef or pork)

    1 tbs Italian seasoning

    1/2 tsp Garlic powder

    1/2 tsp Onion powder

    1/4 tsp Salt

    1/4 cupParmesan cheese, grated

    Egg white

    Topping

    3/4 cup Pizza or tomato / pasta sauce of choice

    3/4 cup Light cheddar cheese or Mozzarella cheese, shredded

    Optional Toppings: Turkey pepperonis, parmesan cheese, veggies of choice

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 190c. Line a baking sheet pan with baking paper. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the crust.

    2. Flatten crust out in a circle or a square shape on the prepared baking pan. Crust should be about 3-5 mm thick. Bake for 20 minutes, and remove from the oven. Turn oven temperature up to 230c.

    3. Spread pizza sauce over the crust and sprinkle cheese over top of sauce. Layer with additional toppings as desired. Place pizza back in the oven and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and toppings are cooked to your liking. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Cut meatza pizza into 8 slices and enjoy!

    Ps. the pizza is a lot easier to slice once its cooled a little!

     

     

     

    Fitness, Food, Tip

    Day 57 of 100 – sugar cravings

    You know what excites me most about this blog title? IM OVER HALFWAY THERE!

    Anybody who really knows me, knows what a massive sweet tooth I have which is probably why I am so surprised on how well this sugar free diet is coming along! Luckily when my craving are at their worst, I tuck into some of these great products I came across at Holland & Barrett and I have never been happier! The milk chocolate with stevia tastes devine and dont even get me started on the white chocolate!! They are a bit pricey but I’m justifying it with all the money I have saved by not constantly grazing on spontaneous buys from Sainsburys. The cookies are a great substitute for when you just want a little snack and you’re a bit over grazing on fruit and nuts. (I know I am!)

    I allowed myself to cheat over my birthday weekend (and maybe a few days before.. and after) which resulted in my having a massive headache. So lesson learned – sugar gives me headaches. I will not cheat again.

     

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    Fitness, Food, Tip

    Cinnamon & vanilla chia seed pudding

    HAPPY MONDAY!! I need to share this amazing new breakfast I have been stuffing my face with recently.

    As you know Im always looking for a quick breakfast that I can make the night before, and eat cold the next morning in the 10 minute space I have before I have to run for my train. Enter chia seed pudding.

    I have a new love in life. Its chia seed pudding. You know what I love most about it? I can eat is any time of day! Its like having dessert for breakfast. Its amazing! Chia seeds are one of those super foods that are hitting the fitness and health community like a storm. One serving of chia seeds (roughly a tablespoon) has 18 % of the recommended daily intake for calcium, its packed in Omega-3, protein, the good kind of fat AND Tryptophan (the amino acid found in turkey) which helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood. According to Live Strong it also helps stabilizing blood sugar and fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat.

    Its like eating a tiny little miracle pill! Any way, whats even cooler (if possible) about these suckers is that when you leave them in liquid they expand like craaaazy! So even though they are quite calorie dense, you need to consume very little to feel relatively full.  Anyway, I’m getting side tracked. Back to the pudding, there are like hundreds of different ways to prepare chia seed pudding, but I like to keep it simple.

    So here is the recipe that I prefer, you need:

    • 1 cup milk*, any kind you like (I like plain, unsweetened almond milk but you can totally use skimmed milk or whole milk. Go nuts)
    • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
    • Sweetener or honey (depending on your type of sweetener, around a tea spoon)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I like the kind with vanilla seeds in it)
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (I tend to add more… )

    Mix it all together, and pop it in the fridge overnight! I make two portions in one go so I dont have to make it every night. Its perfect on the go, and super quick to eat and did I mention tasty? If I have time I throw in some banana or blueberries. Yummo!

    *ps you can also use 0% fat greek yogurt! 

     

    Happy eating!

    Fitness, Food, Tip

    Best ever tomato soup

    Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. 🙂 Did you get up to anything fun? I spent Saturday in the sunshine walking through central London and Hyde park. Unfortunately today it’s pissing down with rain, so I started my Sunday with a gym session and tomato soup. Home made that is! It’s possibly the best tomato soup I have ever tried, and health wise it’s a lot better for you than the stuff you get in a can.

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    This recipe gives 5 servings at roughly 103 kcal per cup.

    Ingredients

    2 Cans crushed tomatoes

    1/2 box tomato passatta

    3/4 cups Celery, chopped

    3/4 cup Carrots, chopped

    1/2 cup White onion, chopped fine

    2 cups Chicken broth

    1 cup Almond milk, or skim milk (or milk of choice – I used unsweetened Almond Milk)

    2 tsp Dried oregano (you can reduce this amount if your crushed tomatoes are already seasoned)

    2 tsp Dried basil (you can reduce this amount if your crushed tomatoes are already seasoned)

    1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

    Method

    Place everything (except for the milk, dried spices, and parmesan cheese) in a large pot and cook on med high 30 min covered, then turn heat down to low and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender and soup is thickened up to your liking.

    Turn heat off, I like my soup on the less chunky side so I use a hand mixer to smooth it out and while soup is still hot, add milk, parmesan cheese, and dried spices. Stir to combine everything, and serve warm!

    Happy Eating 🙂 <3

    Fitness, Food, Misc

    Sugar free cinnamon rolls

    You know when you wake up one morning and you’re covered in bug bites? Which then turns into an allergic reaction, which then results into you looking like Quasimodo? No? Well I do. Im currently covered in anti itch cream, and popping antihistamines like its going out of fashion.  So in attempt to make me feel better (before my arms got so swollen I couldn’t move) I decided to whip up a batch of sugar free cinnamon rolls! If you have been reading my blog, you know that on January 1st I gave up refined sugar for 100 days. Cinnamon rolls is one of my biggest weaknesses. I love the combo of cinnamon and sugar. Makes me drool just thinking about! But alas, as they contain lots of sugar, they are off my menu for a while. I kept seeing recipes on Pinterest which are sugar free, gluten free, vegan friendly, paleo diet friendly etc ect but they just seem way too complicated. You can then image my delight when I came across this recipe that is so close to the original but contains NO sugar!! Hurray! Thank you Shundara!

    They didnt last very long as you can imagine – so here is a quick snap from my phone before they disappeared

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    Now dont panic – I know this recipe has sugar in it, but as Shundara mentions on her website in the original recipe, the yeast will actually eat the sugar, making the end result sugar free.

    Sugar Free Cinnamon Roll Dough Recipe:

    3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

    ¾ cup almond milk ( I used sweetened)

    ½ cup butter

    One packet yeast (25gr)

    3 tbsps. granulated sugar

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 egg

    ¼ cup water

    Sugar Free Cinnamon Roll Filling Recipe:

    1.5 cups sugar sub (I used a mixture of stevia and sucrose)

    ¾ cup butter, softened (I used whipped butter)

    1tbsps. ground cinnamon

    Sugar Free Cinnamon Roll Directions: Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, remove from heat. Add butter and stir until melted. Let cool until lukewarm. In a large bowl, combine 2 ¼ cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt and mix well. To the dry ingredients use a mixer and add water, egg and the milk mixture slowly and beat well. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough is pulled together, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 minutes to an hour (this will ensure that the yeast has ate all the sugar, and also allowing the dough to rise in the process). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together sugar sub, cinnamon, softened butter. Roll out dough into a rectangle (any size will do). Spread dough with sugar sub mixture. Roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place in a well-greased cut side up. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until browned. Let cool and serve!

    Happy eating! I know I am!

     

     

    Fitness, Food, Misc

    11 of 366

    Ok, time to face the music and be honest. I dont know if Im gonna make it 100 days without suger. I might turn into a date due to over consumption in an attempt to kick the craving. It doesn’t help that there is candy basically everywhere I turn… Help me. Im proud to say I haven’t touched anything in 11 days (though it feels 11 years). I mean 100 days is a really long time.. and I have 89 left…89 days of hell and its my birthday during those 89 days. I cant even have cake for birthday. I need to re think this. I think I went into it a bit hasty.

    So I apologize for the radio silence. I’ve been in hiding and trying to get my post christmas life back on track and by that I mean bing watch new shows on Netflix. Enter Nurse Jackie and Making a murderer. Unless you have been living under a rock you might have missed the documentary by Netflix called Making a murderer – The case of  Steven Avery. The boyfriend and I are only a few episodes in so no spoilers please but I highly recommend it. Its very interesting and gives you a view on what I personally think is one of the most corrupt legal and justice system in the world.

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    Fitness, Food

    4 of 366

    Good morning lovelies! Believe it or not Im writing this from Bergen Airport, while waiting for my flight back to London town. Have I mentioned how quick these past two weeks have gone? Im so sad to leave, but also rather excited about seeing the boyfriend again! I dont know if I have told you this, but for some ridiculous reason January has become my ‘can do’ month. Ive given up booze, no I’m not joking and I have given up white and refined sugar. I think the latter is probably worse. Im on day 4 now, and I have woken up with a headache. You know what the bad part is? Ive even cheated! I know what you’re thinking “Come on, pull yourself together – its only for a couple of weeks.” You know what I say to you? Have you ever tried chocolate and also, its for 100 days. Yup you read right, I am giving up sugar for 100 days. Im sorry boyfriend, and Im sorry housemates, unleash the Yasmkrakine! In all seriousness, I think it will be wonderful for my body. You can follow me, and all the other doody heads that have decided to join me on this ludicrous journey on instagram under the hashtag #100dagerschallenge (its a norwegian hashtag)

    Here is me enjoying my last sugary ice coffee… You cant see it but im crying on the inside. On a side note – look how long my hair is now!

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