Why am I Vegan??

Many people have asked me why I am Vegan.  Is it because of animal cruelty? Is it to save the environment?  Is it because I heard or read about the long term health benefits of a plant-based diet?  My answer to all these questions is No.  One of the reasons was due to my client pestering me for days to try having meals that were animal free.  At that time I was lactose intolerant so I wasn’t eating any dairy products, intolerant to gluten, wheat so no breads or pasta, intolerant to white potato and white rice and I was only eating turkey, chicken and fish oh and eggs of course.  So I thought why not…..why not try it for a day, one day turned into two, two turn into only eating meat at weekends, weekends turned into once a month and suddenly I didn’t feel the need to eat meat anymore.

I went on holiday and unfortunately the restaurants didn’t cater for vegans, especially with my fussy requirements.   So I reverted back to eating meat, only if I was unable to choose a meal that supported my current intolerances.  By the end of my holiday I was feeling so slugglish and heavy that I couldn’t wait to get back home and cook.  It felt like as soon as I stepped off the plane I was in the supermarket buying loads of vegetables and in my kitchen making plant-based meals again.  In the first few weeks I lost 10lbs and after a few months lost over a stone in weight.

Now most people would be really happy for this amount weight loss because this is why we go on or change our diet right???  Of course I was over the moon, who wouldn’t be,  I want down to a size 10-12…..yay.  However I also wanted to find out why my body kept reacting to certain foods in such embarrassing way such as stomach cramps, bloating, flatulence, nausea and diarrhea.  When I am at work or out with friends it gets really embarrassing having to go into the toilets every 5 mins or leaving the party early to go home and relieve myself.

The first 12 months going Vegan wasn’t easy, I did have meat now and again…..mainly on special occasions like my birthday, Christmas and Easter, but like I said before, the effects of eating meat weren’t pretty.  Making and eating plant-based meals is getting easier and easier, especially now that there are so many recipes online.  It has however highlighted other intolerances that I hadn’t considered.  But I won’t go into all that today but the journey never ends.  Whether it be losing weight, changing old habits, whatever it is, there is always a better way and the end result will always make it all worth it LOLOLOL

New Wednesday Morning Pilates class

We are launching a new morning Pilates Mat class at Parkside Community Centre, 176 Goodmayes Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG3 9PP.  This class will start on Wednesday 14th June 2017 at 10.30am.

To help with this launch we are hosting a free taster session on Wednesday 7th June at 1.30pm at Parkside Community Centre.  This is an opportunity to find out more information about Pilates and discuss any concerns or issues you may have about Pilates.

If you are new to Pilates, coming back to fitness after illness or injury or want to have a good stretch, this class is for you.  Pilates is a low impact workout that focuses on improving  your balance, posture, flexibility, strength and co-ordination.  Spaces are limited so contact me to book your space

If you are looking for a class at the weekend, we are also running a Pilates MAT class on Saturday morning class, 11am at St Chad’s Church Hall, Eric road, Chadwell Heath, RM6 6JB.

Find an activity YOU enjoy…….73kg

Finding an activity or exercise regime shouldn’t be a hard or strenuous task for us to complete. It should be something that you enjoy doing and look forward to doing. When I first started my weight loss journey I absolutely loved salsa dancing and I used to dance 4 nights a week.  Learning new steps, new routines and wearing those glamorous shoes was an addiction that all women should have lol.  Getting a man to spin you around on the dance floor to the latin vibes, got me in shape and I also formed a new circle of friends.  Now I am addicted to the sound of my feet hitting the road when I go jogging and I am now planning to do a half marrathon in 2017.

73-4kg

Ok, I know I am a fitness instructor and I teach most days, however, when you do the same activity everyday, every week, every month you need to do something different or up your activity level to continue to lose weight.  For me, going out for a jog one morning a week and increasing my distances has definitely helpd me reach 73.4kg (11stone 8lbs).

As the seasons are changing and the nights are getting darker I am starting to make some winter vegetable soups to keep me going at night.  This week I made a roasted parsnip soup, as parsnips are in season the made a great changed to my weekly meals.  I also love this time of year as my fravorite fruit is now in season, Sharon Fruit or Persimmon fruit.

sharon-fruitThis fruit has a high level of dietry fibre and magenisum.  It can be eaten like an apple in bite size slices with it skin on or off and the flesh has a sweet taste if ripe.  Another thing to add to your diet if you haven’t tried it already.

I hope you enjoyed this blog, let me know what you think?

 

I am really feeling the cold……76.5kg

I am feeling over the moon that I have reached 76.5kg but I am seriously feeling the cold weather which no one…..and  I mean no one prepares you for lol.  With less body fat around me I am having to wear a lot more layers of clothing to keep myself warm LOL.  Oh nevermind………losing just under 7kg (15lbs) in 5 weeks is definitely something to celebrate.

76-5kg

But I must be eating less food to lose weigh, right? I hear you say………Nope….I’m afriad not.  I am eating very large portions however I am on a Vegan based diet.  I cook all my meals at home and the rare times that I go out to a resturant, I eat what I want as long as my body doesn’t react to it (no gluten, no wheat etc).

Spelt has now made a home in my kitchen cupboards and I am enjoying it and getting great results.  Spelt is an ancient grain which should not be confused with common bread wheat, barley, rye or even Oats.  Spelt contains gluten but a lot less than the common wheat.  I am totally addicted to Spelt in the form of noodles, pasta and cereal flakes and I purchases these mainly from HealthySupplies.co.uk

This week meals I have made are Enchiladas, sometime I just make the filing and have it with pasta and I am also making these Mediterranean Sweet Potatoe which are to die for.  I have finally started jogging again, since my injury last year, and I am hoping to get strong enough to complete a 10k.

I’m sorry there was a delay in this blog post but I hope it has inspired you to try Spelt.  See you again in a few weeks.

Feeling lighter in 2 weeks……..lost 4kg (9lbs)

What a difference a few weeks can make.  Getting myself back into my kitchen, preparing my own meals has definitely paid off.   Losing 3kg in one week just shows that by feeding the body with food and drink that’s healthy and not loaded with sugar or drinking alcohol really can make a difference.

 

80-2kg

Losing 1kg in the second week has given me so much joy to still be a LOSER! but for some people it may seem like a failure of my weight loss has slowed down.  In reality it is not just about the numbers on the scales, it also about how you feel inside as well as body image.

79-3kg

People have asked me how am I losing the weight?

Well at the moment my meals are becoming more and more Vegan.   For at least 5 years I have not been able to eat dairy products and recently I have been eating less and less meat and more vegetable and pulses.  This change in my diet has given me more energy and my skin is looking better and healthier.  I am not saying that this is the way we should all be eating but for me it works.  Over the years I have listened to my body and I am now giving it the foods and drinks it enjoys instead of the foods and drinks that causes me pain and discomfort.

This week ‘Buglar Wheat’ is the new food that has joined my cupboards.  It reminds me of Couscous but it is more filling…..in my opinion.  It has more fibre and protein, lower GI and higher vitamins and minerals than your typical white rice…..plus it taste really lushous with roasted vegetables.  Why not try making ‘Buglar Wheat with Roasted Vegetables‘ and ‘Roasted Aubergine

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, I am now going to blog every fortnight, but my weight will still be recorded weekly.

Diet starts today……gained 4kg (9lbs)

Don’t you just love going on holiday?  The excitement of being somewhere hot and sunny, the last minute clothes shopping, the last workout to lose those precious final pounds and finally travelling to the airport and boarding your flight.   You have the best vacation ever, sunbathing, eating in resturants, drinking cocktails, partying untill all hours……..yep…that’s the life.

You return home, view your pics, jump on the scales and to see the damage all that excessive eating and drinking has done to your body………and you let out a deafing scream!!

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I gained 4kg which is just under 9lbs during my holiday and seeing it on the dashboard was such shock….I nearly had a heart attack.  Then I realised my eating habits over my 9 day holiday wasn’t my usual.  So I am now ready to take control, get myself back in the kitchen and work those extra pounds off.

With my love of food, today is batch cooking day.  Buying fresh ingredients with my prepared shopping list, I will batch cook my meals, portion them out for the week.  This will keep me focused and stop me from buying quick and easy preprepared meals from the shops.

With 16 weeks until Christmas, 13 weeks until feastive party season starts…..I am on a mission to get my body back into shape and into that party outfit.

To keep me focused and motivated I am going to share my plans and update you on my progress.  To start, here are two of the meals that I will be making this week  Eggplant (Aubergine) Bolognese Sauce  and Lentil, Sweet Potato & Coconut Curry.

So let the healthy eating, exercise regime, positive mental attitude start today and not tomorrow.  Who’s with me???

Tomorrow Starts Today

 

New Pilates Barre Class

Due to popular demand, we are launching a new Saturday morning Pilate Barre class at St Chad’s Church Hall, Chadwell Heath, Romford, RM6 4JB.  This class will start on Saturday 2 July at 10 am, spaces are limited so please contact me to book your place.

 

Barre on chair

For more information on the Pilate Barre class please click here

May is finally here…….

May is finally here which can only mean two bank holiday weekends and our Pilates classes are still open.

We are opening a new Pilates class on Wednesday 18 May.  With this new class we have decided to change the content of all of our classes, details of the new class and content can be found here

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Zumba classes are held at Goodmayes Baptist Church on Tuesday’s and Thursday at 7pm.  For more details can be found here

 

Spring is here!!

Clocks went forward this weekend which marks the start of Spring 2016!!! Yay!

If you are anything like me seeing more daylight gets you thinking about getting your body ready for Summer and all those events that come with it….holidays, bbq’s, parties.  Well never fear LouLou Fitness is here!

Our Spring classes are back on next week with….

Pilates at Chadwell Heath community centre on Monday 4th and Wednesday 6th April

Zumba at Goodmayes Baptist Church on Thursday 7th and Tuesday 12 April.

If you are interested in attending any of these classes please do not hesitate to contact me

Lamb Biryani…….yumm mmy

As promised, I got my recipe books out and made one of my favourite dishes…….Lamb Biryani.  Lamb is one of my favourite meats to eat and this recipe is still my favourite dishes from Slimming World.  My containers came out and meals portioned out for the coming week and I am also going to make a lentil soup to give a vegetarian dish.

Monday is the start of the week and as kids go back to school Pilates and Zumba classes start back this week!  Its a special week for Zumba as we are celebrating 4 years of teaching at Goodmayes Baptist Church! Let the birthday celebrations begin!

 

Lamb and vegetable Biryani – Ready in 30mins

Ingredients:

Low calorie cooking spray
500g lean lamb leg steaks cut into cubes
250g green beans, trimmed and cut
1 large carrot, peeled and cut
3 cardamom pods,
crushed 2 cloves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp mild curry powder (put in a hotter one if you want to)
250g dried basmati rice
500ml lamb stock
50g baby leaf spinach, chopped
fat free natural yogurt sprinkled with paprika, to serve

 

Cooking Method:

Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and stir-fry the lamb until brown on all sides.

Add the green beans, carrot, spices, and curry powder and stir-fry for 2-3 mins

Pour in the rice and the stock, and stir well. Bring to the boil, cover tightly with a lid, then cook for 15 mins on a medium-low heat or until the rice is tender.

Stir through the spinach, put the lid back on the pan and leave to steam, undisturbed, for 5 mins before serving with a little fat free natural yogurt.