Healthier snacking

1I absolutely love food and not-surprisingly I treat myself to something sweet every single day. In the past I would reasearch diets for losing weight in all the wrong places and found them all to be incredibly restrictive and unrealistic in the long-term. It has taken me years to adapt my palate and get away from overly processed foods to what I eat today. My diet is made up of fresh, whole and nutritious foods that help me to perform my best in the gym and every day. However, I’m all about moderation. There is no point in starving yourself of the foods you love because it will leave you unhappy and unsatisfied pretty quickly. My solution is to eat an ’80/20′ diet. That means that I eat well 80% of the time while enjoying chocolate, popcorn, bacon (the list goes on..) about 20% of the time. This type of diet has worked for me so far but I am constantly adapting and changing as I go. By not depriving myself of the foods I love I have been able to make this a complete lifestyle change, and I have compiled a list below of how I did it and what my favourite snacks are.

 

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Fancy-pants French Toast

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I am 100% a breakfast person. There is a certain novelty to being able to have something savoury or sweet depending on how you feel. I have a massive sweet tooth and almost always crave the likes of pancakes and french toast, however I can be very short on time in the mornings so my recipes have got to be quick, simple and delicious.

But Ciara, you can’t be healthy and have french toast?? Of course you can! I definitely believe in moderation and not branding foods you love as “cheating” on your healthy lifestyle. If I want a donut, you better believe I’ll go out and buy a box. However, over the years  I have taught myself to cook and bake from scratch at home, which cuts out a lot of the nasty additives found in shop-bought alternatives. Yes, I am naturally one who will pick up a banana rather than a snickers bar, and who craves porridge rather than sugary cereal in the mornings. However, this has been a change that has happened gradually as I experimented with my diet and found the foods that fuel me for the day and noticeably make me feel better. So, when you have this moderation in your diet, there is always room for french toast.

But enough of that, here is the recipe..

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NUTTY GRANOLA

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One of my favourite snacks for a while now has been a big bowl of granola drowned in almond milk. I’ve tried countless different brands and flavours of granola, and I have concluded that my favourite are those that are jam-packed full of different nuts. However, the sad reality is that 99% of shop-bought granola is absolutely full of added sugar!

So, should you never eat granola again? of course you should! But it was only recently that I realised how simple it is to make at home. You can customise your own granola to suit your taste buds while significantly decreasing the sugar content, it’s a win-win really.

So, here’s my recipe..

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Coconut & Vanilla Protein Pancakes

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It’s taken me some time to figure out the perfect protein pancake recipe. There always seems to be inconsistencies and added hurdles when adding protein to a pancake mix and although it’s been a long path to get here, I have fiinally come up with the most delicious protein pancakes i’ve ever tried. Of course you don’t have to add protein if that’s not your thing, simply substitute the protein powder for extra flour.

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Chia Pudding

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This sweet dessert (or snack if you’re like me) is perfect for when you’re on the go or feeling far too lazy to bake. These little treats are high in fibre, protein and the great thing about them is that you can tailor them to your own personal taste for a fresh snack that is oozing with flavour. I’m sure you’ve seen these all over instagram and maybe even tried your hand at making one. However, speaking from experience, it is really hard to get the ratio of chia seed to liquid just right, and get the same results as those perfect puddings you’ve been dying to try. After a few too many tried and tested recipes, I think I have finally hit the nail on the head and here’s how I’ve done it..

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