Recent Posts

One Step at a Time; or, My Mad Fat Hillside Freakout

One Step at a Time; or, My Mad Fat Hillside Freakout

Last week, I headed off to Dorset to spend a week at The Body Retreat, having been very kindly invited down to review their Weight Loss Retreat here on the blog. I figured I’d go down for a bit of a holiday, coast along in some […]

Thanks for Your Concern, But I Will Eat Wherever the Hell I Want

Thanks for Your Concern, But I Will Eat Wherever the Hell I Want

So there I was, after a productive day at work, feeling like I’d kicked quite a lot of ass today – a little zen, a little satisfied, and all round at peace with the world. You know how this ends, right? Yes, as usual something […]

Let’s Nip This Bikini Body Bullsh*t in the Bud, Shall We?

Let’s Nip This Bikini Body Bullsh*t in the Bud, Shall We?

Urgh.

So, January came and went – and with it, the usual ‘New Year, New You’ tripe that tends to do the rounds in our annual carnival of self-loathing and despair. And I watched, shouting crazed anti-diet one-liners into the abyss (and running 30 Days of Good Stuff – the participants in which are still making me glow with awesomeness on a daily basis.)

And after three weeks of my various feeds being littered with ‘I’ve done seven exercise classes today and now I’m going to pass out,’ ‘PLEASE GOD SOMEONE GIVE ME SOME CHOCOLATE’, and so on, eventually life returned to normal. People tired of unsustainable diets, and carried on with the important stuff, like… Well, livin’.

Although let’s be clear: as I pointed out at the time, studies have shown that 35% of dieters progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% develop full-blown eating disorders. So, when I say livin’ – I’m willing to bet that at least one or two of the people who started out on a ‘New Year, New You’ bullshit diet are considerably worse for it, four months later.

And if pathological is defined as ‘behaviour that is habitual, maladaptive, and compulsive,’ the whole January-start-fail-binge-summer-start-fail-binge cycle seems to me like it’s built to encourage specifically pathological behaviour. It’s habitual, it’s maladaptive, and it’s compulsive.

But of course, in our crazy-ass society, spring has well and truly sprung, and summertime’s on its way – which can only mean one thing.

Yes, that’s right ladies: you should probably be worried about your bikini body.

Now, I could quite easily end this post with three little words (namely, “f*ck that sh*t”) – but I won’t. I’m going to go ahead and break it down a little bit.

Because to me, the issue with the ‘bikini body’ isn’t just the unattainable ideal, or the practicalities of achieving it – although y’all know it’s causing disordered eating and self-esteem issues for women everywhere. No – the bigger issue with the idea of the bikini body, it seems to me, is what it actually means. This is important on a number of fronts.

Firstly, Google it, and hit ‘News,’ – and it rapidly becomes painfully obvious that the language you find around it is charged with shaming in all directions. In the mainstream media, it’s almost always prefaced with ‘shows off,’ ‘displays’ or ‘flaunts.‘ Even those women who decide to rock a bikini outside of the norm are described using the same words – they ‘flaunt,’ and ‘show off’ their ‘voluptuous curves’ – but it’s not quite the same.

Somehow, despite the disingenuous nods to body positivity, you can almost feel the venom coming through your screen.

I’m big on the dictionary definitions today – so let’s read ‘flaunting’ for what it is: to “display (something) ostentatiously, especially in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance.”

In other words, ‘flaunts her bikini body’ is not the same as ‘wears a bikini.’ It’s more political than that.

It’s written with this aim: to imply that someone – specifically, you – should be comparing yo’self, or judging them in some way, be that with envy or derision. Or, alternatively, you should be judging them as a sexual object, presumably with a line of logic that makes fairly comfortable bedfellows with the depressingly pervasive notion that it’s possible to be ‘asking for it.’

This, right here, is misogynistic, and it’s bullsh*t.

And it’s also divisive. If you call someone a ‘skinny bitch,’ because they can wear a bikini without fiery drops of scorn raining from the sky, or you call someone a ‘fat cow,’ because they can’t, it’s shaming, pure and simple. In fact, Perez “Terminally Soulless Douche Canoe” Hilton has managed to take it to its logical extreme, by actually running a Bikini Body-Off on his ‘FitPerez’ page – a site which, I should add, is the single worst place to find any sensible fitness inspiration on the entire internet.

So don’t visit it.

Ahem.

The thing is, the idea that there is such a thing as a ‘bikini body’ – and the idea that it only comes in one form – is fundamentally flawed. It’s a media construction that exists only because it’s easier to make money exploiting insecurities than spreading body confidence (which is why I’ve got £4 to my name ’til payday.) They’re cashing in, and it’s at your expense.

Because the question is this: why do we allow ourselves to get stuck in patterns of pathological dieting, shaming and self-loathing, disordered eating habits, misogyny and social anxieties over what is, essentially, a couple of napkins held together with string? Why can’t we just enjoy inhabiting our bodies like we’re built to?

We’re so used to this idea of one body type, one narrow, failing point of what womanhood actually is, that we’ve stopped realising we’re actual people living actual lives. We spend three months starving ourselves and gazing longingly at ‘thinspiration,’ only to visit the beach and feel like crap, because that’s what real women do – and anything to the contrary is to ‘flaunt,’ and invite scorn, jealousy or shame from society at large.

Tell me that ain’t a waste of life, right there. Tell me that ain’t a waste of summertime, of holidays, of sand between your toes and fresh sea air. Tell me it’s not a crying shame for womanhood, and a backwards step for feminism.

And so, I propose to you, right now – don’t do it.

You don’t have to diet to have an amazing summer, and you don’t have to be thin to wear whatever the hell you like to the beach. You can style out whatever you want, and save yourself hours and hours of trauma worrying about the size of yo’ ass – hours which you could use living, instead.

Step back from the idea of the bikini body, and you’ll see it’s just a bullshit distraction, dangled over you by a media that wants you to buy more things you think will make you happy. Step back from shaming, and you’ll realise you’ll be happier, and more comfortable both in your own skin, and around other people’s. And read the endless articles that’ll appear over the next few months in their proper context – either as tools to shame you, or the people in ’em – and call it out.

Because seriously – you can be every bit as god damn gorgeous as the next person, wearing whatever you so desire.

Just love yourself, and freakin’ own it.

Tiny Miracles; or, I’m Not Sure Exactly What Just Happened

Tiny Miracles; or, I’m Not Sure Exactly What Just Happened

Be warned, right off the bat: if you’re not into slightly emotional, flashback-tastic posts, this one probably ain’t for you. But hell – I’m feeling a bit ‘mosh today, after running a 3-miler for Sport Relief – so you’ll have to excuse me, but it’s […]

Baby Steps; or, Holy Moly I’m Starting to Like Running

Baby Steps; or, Holy Moly I’m Starting to Like Running

As part of my year of trying new things, I’ve been making my first attempts at running. Like I said, I’m a girl who doesn’t run – and never has. Even before those four knee surgeries, I was the fat girl who’d go out of […]

Apparently, My Relationship Status is Super Interesting; or, Go Forth and Love Thyself

Apparently, My Relationship Status is Super Interesting; or, Go Forth and Love Thyself

I know some awesome women.

I really, really do.

I know women who fit and defy every definition. I know women who make their personal life choices from every which way. My phone book is a directory of awesomeness, and my Twitter feed is a spectrum of joy and wonder.

And I keep being asked whether I’m single.

Man.

Let me answer this simply, and for (hopefully) the last time for a while: yes.

Yes, I am single. And no, it’s not because I haven’t met the right person yet. It’s not because I’m not looking in the right places. It’s not because I work too hard, and I don’t plan for it to ‘happen when I least expect it,’ and frankly – it  just ain’t a thing.

Except, y’know – as soon as you say it’s not a thing, people think… it’s a thing. Apparently more so than ever, at the moment, when I’ve had a few (very kind, but maybe a tiny bit misguided) emails from people asking me to review their dating companies on here.

I know.

Now, there are two reasons I haven’t written about my relationship status around these parts previously. First up, I write here as the chronic oversharer – the girl who strips to her pants and gets a bit sweary to make a point about a douche canoe on the telly that she’s never met. So, y’know, there’s a point at which my business is mine – and I figured keeping my single-or-not-ness in the realms of the ol’ private life counteracts the naked-on-the-internet part.

But secondly – it just hasn’t really occurred to me that it’d be a question.

It’s not something I ask people, and I don’t tend to wonder about it until they bring it up – because I go about taking people as I find ’em. Just them.

So it’s been a bit of a surprise to me, as I’ve been doing more press, and getting a bit more ‘out there’ that it’s suddenly a thing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. A couple of people have asked just out of curiosity, mostly in response to me bitching about my rent – as a ‘maybe if you’re attached, that’s a potential solution’ kinda deal. That’s fine. That’s a practical thing.

But more and more frequently, I’m asked it as a Big Question. A personality profiling exercise that’s asked to ‘figure me out.’

And that’s got me wondering about two things.

First up – is the logical ending to the ‘weight loss transformation’ story the ‘happily ever after’?

The short answer, from where I see it, is no.

I’m good. Not just good, in fact, but awesome – and my own journey to this whole ‘healthy’ affair has been purely for me. Sure, the catalyst – or at least one of ’em – was the end of a bad relationship that made me realise I’d been leaning on someone else in search of my own personal happiness – but it was never the case that I wanted to get healthy to ‘find someone else.’

I got healthy, and – more importantly, learned to love myself – and the person I found was me. Me, happier, and more secure in my own ability to create my own lil’ patch of joy.

And I think that’s really, really important whenever you’re thinking about making any kind of change. If you’re aiming to lose weight, get fit, shave your head or get a nose job for anyone else – anyone at all – you’re not going to reap the happiness you ought to out of it. It just doesn’t work like that.

The only person you should ever be aiming to make happy with any kind of physical change… Is you.

And also – why would I be a better candidate for a relationship now I’m thinner?

…I’m just going to let that one hang there a rhetorical question. Because it’s bullshit.

So that’s the first question answered.

But the other one bothers me slightly more, and it’s this: do we ask the relationship question so we can get people figured out? And in that case… Why?

Now, I refer you once again to my awesome homegirls mentioned at the top o’the page.  Some of them are awesome single women. Some of them are equally awesome and married. Some are attached (and awesome), some are in kinda-casual-let’s-figure-out-a-definition-later kinda situations (awesome), and some of them I genuinely do not know, because I haven’t asked. You guessed it: they’re still awesome. And as for their sexual preferences: their business.

The thing about all these awesome women, though, is that there’s one thing that unites each and every one of them.

They’re all complete in themselves, just the way they are – with that whole relationship question being a lifestyle choice, not a definition. If they’re coupled up, it’s because they happen to know a person they’d like to hang out with some of the time, or all of the time, or just occasionally after a few beers. And if they’re single, it’s ’cause they’re just not all that fussed. That’s all.

It strikes me – more so, these days, when apparently the impending still-a-few-years-away-but-people-keep-bringing-it-up-Big Three-O means I’m the target of The Relationship Question – that it’s another box to check. Another set of rules to follow, and another set of conventions to be lumped in with – a trap that’s all too easy to fall into, if you’re so inclined.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Regardless of your relationship status, sexuality, gender or whatever – the most important thing in the world is still how you feel about you. It’s a matter of being complete in your own self, and knowing you’re capable of any form of happiness you choose to style out – in short, it’s about loving yourself, everything else be damned.

It seems to me, in fact that right there, in that zen place of ‘I got this’ – that’s the intersection at which positive body image, feminism, and a healthy attitude to the good life meet.

And it’s got precisely diddly squat to do with anyone else.

I have no doubt that this won’t be the last time I answer the question, and I can’t predict what the answer will be at different times in my life – because hell, sometimes I might want to hang out with someone. Sometimes I might not. But it doesn’t matter, and it won’t – because I got this. I’m me. I’m good.

And dammit, if you’re reading this – I’d bet’cha you’re pretty awesome too. So go out into the world, and represent – not for the singles, or the marrieds, or whatever else – but for you, as a person.

Go forth, and love thyself.

Trust No-One; or, That Time I Was Offered Money To Flog Diet Pills

Trust No-One; or, That Time I Was Offered Money To Flog Diet Pills

I hate diet pills. Hate ’em. And recently, I was approached by a certain diet pill manufacturer offering me a pretty hefty amount of money to plug them on here.  By hefty, I mean more than my salary. Considerably more. Enough to give this perpetually-poor […]

The Year of Trying New Things

The Year of Trying New Things

It’s been over a year since I made my big move to the big smoke – and what a year it’s been. I’ve been really lucky to have landed on my feet – ending up with a job I love, a house that I’m glad […]

Q&A: What Does ‘Processed Food’ Mean, Anyway?

Q&A: What Does ‘Processed Food’ Mean, Anyway?

I get asked this question all the time – and the ‘right answer’ depends on where you’re coming from, and how strictly you want to manage your nutrition. Personally, I’m lazy, and short on time, so a girl’s gotta hustle – and that means my definition of ‘processed food’ is a little wider in scope than a strictly ‘clean eater’ might suggest.

The strict answer, then, is pretty obvious – nothing that’s been processed, at all. You’re talking apples right off trees, potatoes straight outta the ground, and so on. And in some circumstances, that’s totally doable. I’m lucky to live where I do, because I’m pretty much surrounded by farmer’s markets, organic food shops, and so on – so when I can buy from these places, I do (although those organic food shops? Hella expensive. A girl’s gotta eat – and this girl definitely can’t afford to eat there).

But in most cases, these things are harder to come by. In most towns, farmer’s markets – if there at all – happen maybe once a week, at best. And if you’re following a strict definition of processed food, you’ve gotta live with the fact that even the contents of the vegetable aisle have been through some kind of process to get to the supermarket shelf looking pristine and uniform.

To my mind: ain’t nobody got time for that.

So my logic is less focused on the processed-ness of the foods, and more about the ingredients in ‘em. ‘Processed foods’ is a handy cover-all term, but what I’m talking about is the kind of product that’s got several ingredients – many of which you can’t spell or figure out – before they get to you for cookin’.

For instance, Greek yogurt is something I love – but lined up in pots, it’s pretty clear it’s been processed on a mass scale. However, the ingredients list is short, and quite clearly things it’d be made of on a one-by-one basis (milk, and yogurt cultures – that’s it). On the other hand, a can of diet coke is made of the following:

Carbonated water, colour (caramel E150d), sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame-K), natural flavourings including caffeine, phosphoric acid, citric acid. Contains a source of phenylalanine.

Another pretty good comparison is bread. Bread is basically flour, water, yeast and maybe a dash of salt or sugar, depending on what floats your boat. But, say with Kingsmill’s Soft White bread – and I’m choosing this as a totally random example, no shade to Kingsmill (I’m sure they’re nice people) – it’s more like this:

Wheat flour, Water, Yeast, Salt, Vinegar, Vegetable Oil, Soya Flour, Emulsifier: E472e; Preservative: Calcium Propionate (added to inhibit mould growth); Flour Treatment Agent: Asorbic Acid (Vitamin C.)

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything particularly wrong with any of those ingredients. I don’t believe in scaremongering, and I don’t believe in chucking out hard and fast rules about anything food related – because frankly, I know what it’s like to try to feed yourself on £6 a week, and I don’t think anyone should be shamed for their food choices, whether they’re a result of taste, or limited options.

But I do think the best rule of thumb to follow is this: when you can choose whole foods, do. My shopping list tends to be pretty simple – a selection of meats (chicken, beef and salmon, for instance), a variety of salad and veggies (onions, peppers, tomatoes, and so on), some eggs, sweet potatoes, and fruit, depending on whatever I fancy.

Along with some herbs and spices – a mixture of fresh and dried – and some staples like olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it’s possible to make some healthy, generally unprocessed meals across the board, without spending a fortune on it. You know you’re getting all the nutrition you need, and none of the added extras you’re not sure about – and in most cases, that’ll help your body to do all the things it needs to do to run right, and if you need to – lose weight.

There’s a lot to be said for logic in this kind of situation – because it’s very easy to look at a Big Important Diet Rule and think ‘well, I can’t do that – so I might as well order a pizza and be done with it.’ I have definitely done this.

But really, it’s all about making a compromise and doing as much as you can that’s positive and achievable in your own life. I still eat processed foods, because sometimes I need a stock cube, and other times I need a hangover cupcake – but 90% of the time, I’ll cook from scratch, and eat whole foods.

Figuring out what works for you takes time, and it won’t all come at once – which is what makes it unlike a ‘Cut Out All Carbs’ or ‘Never Eat Fat’ kind of diet rule. But by taking it slow, and working out your own version of healthy, clean eating, it’s possible to fit it into your life and stick to it, long-term.

And most importantly: enjoy it. Life’s for livin’, and food’s for eatin’ – so bon apetit!

Diet, or Disordered Eating?

Diet, or Disordered Eating?

First up – I’m really sorry. I’ve been a terrible blogger of late, thanks to a combination of long hours at work and a really gross winter bug. But I’m back, y’all – and while I’ve been lying around feeling sorry for myself, I’ve done […]

The Psychology of Extremes; or, Why Diet Language is Making Us Sick

The Psychology of Extremes; or, Why Diet Language is Making Us Sick

Get a cup of tea, guys. This is likely to be a long ‘un. You ready? Okay. It’s been a bad week for international bullshit connoisseurs and my long-standing nemesis, the diet industry. And if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a moment to […]

A Mini-Manifesto For Things That Should Be Totally Freakin’ Obvious

A Mini-Manifesto For Things That Should Be Totally Freakin’ Obvious

So this evening, I got really wound up, and exploded. As you do.

Because I’m getting ever more exasperated with this ridiculous god damn asshat-ridden world in which apparently ‘everyone being nice to themselves and each other’ is a foreign concept – and the idea that you can love your body for its imperfections is causing me to meet with actual side-eyes.

In real life.

So, to save me having to once again explain that it is okay to be happy, consider that Twitter rant recorded herein. See below for some fairly incoherent, angry words of what I would term What Should Be Freakin’ Obvious. Here goes:

Thin people are beautiful. Fat people are beautiful. Everyone in between is beautiful.

I don’t give a shiny damn if you have a thigh gap, or if your thighs are tasty-ass chicken drumsticks like mine. I don’t care if you’ve got a big stomach or washboard abs. I don’t care if you’ve got big boobs, a flat butt, a big stomach or washboard abs. You should think the same about me.

I just care that you’re a person. I expect the same in return.

But don’t ignore what makes you you.

Whatever you’ve got: own it. Whoever you are: own that.

Don’t be ashamed; don’t judge. Don’t throw negativity in your own direction, or anyone else’s. Just be nice.

Be confident. Be flawed. Be beautiful, not in the way swooshy hair ads and diet ‘after’ pictures say is beautiful, but in the way you, individually, are beautiful.

Be normal. Be weird. Be ugly – powerfully, confidently, I-don’t-give-a-crap ugly.

In fact, just don’t give a crap.

Don’t sit uncomfortably just ’cause you feel you’ve got to. Don’t fake-smile for photos you know you’re going to hate. Just smile, and be you.

Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve a voice. You do deserve a voice, and it deserves to be heard. Loud.

Don’t believe anyone that says they’re selling something that’ll make you happy. It’s probably just going to distract you from what you really need.

Don’t buy into the idea that foods are bad, that pain is good, that you should ever, ever have to change in any way, for anyone but you alone.

Don’t waste your life worrying. Every moment you lose to thinking you’re not perfect – that your life isn’t perfect – is one in which you could be living. Like, properly living.

Don’t forget to challenge ideas. Assume big ideas are wrong, and know they can be changed by small ones. Your ones.

Don’t read magazines. And if you do, don’t believe anything you see.

Being vulnerable enough to be kind, but strong enough to know yourself – that’s perfection.

In other words: be you. Be good. Be happy.

Over and out, guys. Over and bloody out.

A Beautiful Alternative to Shame Culture (In Which I Vandalise Magazines)

A Beautiful Alternative to Shame Culture (In Which I Vandalise Magazines)

I hate trashy magazines. And I particularly hated the recent Now magazine cover – as you’ll probably know, if you follow me on Twitter, because it caused me to fly into such a rage my poor ol’ Mum ended up having to bring me a […]

Recipe: Harissa Topped Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

Recipe: Harissa Topped Burger & Sweet Potato Fries

I made this tonight – and it was so damned delicious, I had to write it up straight away. It was pretty thrown together, because frankly, I was ravenous – so the fact it turned out so tasty was something of a miracle. It’s a […]

Quick and Easy High Protein Breakfasts (for People as Lazy as Me)

Quick and Easy High Protein Breakfasts (for People as Lazy as Me)

These days, I’m really into protein-filled breakfasts. The lovely Tom Dyer at Ultimate City Fitness introduced me to the idea – and I have to say, I’m a fan. I find they keep me full for hours, and they feel a bit more indulgent than a bowl o’cereal or a slice of toast. There’s also something really satisfying about having greens at breakfast time that somehow makes me more inclined to stay on track.

On weekends, I’m able to take my time rustling up something that takes a bit of cooking – but on a weekday? Screw ‘dat. I have to leave the house at 7:30 to get to work, so it’s just not going to happen. And that’s why it’s a good idea to have a few super-easy recipes on standby. I eat a variation on one of these pretty much every day, with a big cup of coffee – and they’re all gluten and (mostly) dairy-free.

If you’re not a coeliac like yours truly, you might want to have a nice slice of crusty bread with them to balance out your carbs – or, do as I do and have a bit of fruit, like an apple or a banana, for pudding.

Because yes, I do consider breakfast to be a meal that warrants dessert. Sue me.

For a vegetarian option, substitute with tofu, tempeh, or whatever your preferred protein source is – and maybe have a handful of nuts to give you an extra protein boost.

So: here are a few of my favourite super-quick, super-easy breakfast recipes – bon appétit!

BBQ Salmon Crunchy Brunch

BBQ Salmon Brunch

This, right here, is a tasty mixture of BBQ salmon fillets (I got mine from Sainsbury’s, but the Saucy Fish Co. do some gorgeous ones), a chopped sweet red pepper, and some spinach – and that’s it.

Seriously. I told you these things were easy.

Calories: 300
Protein: 26g
Carbohydrates: 12g
Fat: 16g

Ham, Sweet Red Peppers, & Sugar Snap Peas

Ham, Peppers & Sugar Snaps

No explanation required… Right? The nutrition info here is for a whole 5-slice pack of quality ham, but you could also have half a pack with a boiled egg, if you feel like mixin’ it up a bit.

Calories: 268
Protein: 39g
Carbohydrates: 11g
Fat: 2g

Tuna, Red Peppers, Avocado & Spinach

Tuna, Red Pepper & Spinach

This can be a little dry, if you’re not careful – I’d recommend mixing in a tablespoon of 0% fat Greek yogurt and dill if you’re feeling super snazzy. But it packs a powerful protein punch (and will keep you full for hours!) I use a whole tin of tuna and half an avocado – but if you’d rather switch these around, that’s all good in the hood.

Calories: 330
Protein: 42g
Carbohydrates: 17g
Fat: 11g

Mackerel, Avocado, Mixed Vegetables & Spinach

Mackerel, Avocado & Vegetables

I know frozen vegetables are a bit of a faux-pas, especially if you’re feeling cheffy – but I live and die by them. They’re super useful when you need some greens but you’re short on time. I boil ’em up for a couple of minutes, or even stick ’em in the microwave (follow the instructions on the bag) – they’re not glamorous, but they get the job done.

I’m also big on (ethically sourced) tinned mackerel towards the end of the month, when I’m feeling a bit on the poor side – ’cause for about £1 a tin, you can have a nutritious, tasty breakfast every day of the week. Boom.

Calories: 365
Protein: 20g
Carbohydrates: 17g
Fat: 26g

Mackerel, Boiled Egg, & Tenderstem Broccoli

Mackerel, Boiled Egg & Broccoli

You can get some amazing varieties of smoked mackerel these days, and it’s really very cheap for such a tasty, fresh fish. I’m a big fan of the black pepper variety, but there are loads – so follow your heart on this. I like to make boiled eggs in batches so there’s usually a couple in the fridge – and you can cook your broccoli perfectly by just popping them in a bowl of boiled water for 2-3 minutes.

Easy peasy.

Calories: 362
Protein: 26g
Carbohydrates: 5g
Fat: 27g

Smoked Salmon, Boiled Egg, Spinach & Chives

Smoked Salmon, Boiled Egg & Chives

Again – this does what it says on the tin. The fresh chives give it a nice bit of a kick – and you can see I’ve chucked in some pea shoots that needed using up for an extra bit of bite. You can have two boiled eggs and 60g of smoked salmon; or 90g of smoked salmon with one boiled egg – either way, it’s delicious.

Calories: 352
Protein: 33g
Carbohydrates: 17g
Fat: 17g

Lazy, Lazy Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs can be delicious, tasty, and – most importantly – ridiculously easy, especially when combined with those frozen veggies (told you I love ’em!) Heat up a small pan with a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil, and chuck in your frozen veg.

I know, I know, it doesn’t say you can do that. But you totally can, and I do. So there.

In a little bowl, beat two or three eggs, and throw in some spices. My favourites are those dried Cajun seasonings, or a combination of fresh parsley, basil, and black pepper to taste. Give it another beating, and then once your vegetables are soft, pour it in.

The most important thing is to keep it on the move – otherwise they’ll stick to the pan, which is probably the worst thing in the world. Probably. Keep stirring until they’re no longer runny, and serve on a bed of spinach… And then, Bob’s your proverbial. You’re done.

Calories: 342
Protein: 23g
Carbohydrates: 10g
Fat: 23g

So… That’s it! Enjoy – and let me know your high-protein breakfast ideas, too!

Things You Should Know Before You Start Your New Year Diet

Things You Should Know Before You Start Your New Year Diet

Ah, man. You know how I hate the diet industry, right? We’re clear on that? Well, this week, I’m filled with even more rage than ever. I am floored – floored, I tells ye – at how many people I’ve heard say they’re going on […]

Recipe: Spicy King Prawn Stir Fry

Recipe: Spicy King Prawn Stir Fry

Now, it’s probably a bit weird – but sometimes, on weekends, I’d happily eat prawns for breakfast. You know I’m a big seafood fan anyway – but seriously, I’d happily eat this meal any time of the day, any damn day of the week. I […]

Merry Christmas, You Lovely Bunch

Merry Christmas, You Lovely Bunch

Now, I’m not saying I’m like the Queen or anything.

Well, maybe I’m a bit like the Queen. I reckon I could do an equally good job of styling out a crown. I mean… Check me out in a Santa hat.

Palace or no, however, I do find Christmas gives me pause to reflect on things – not least because it’s one of the few times of the year I actually stop for a proper break. I love it. I love the food, the music, the iddy biddy twinkly lights… Christmas just nails it for me. It’s got everything.

Especially the food.

This Christmas, though, has seemed really important. It’s crazy how much life has changed in the last year – a year in which I’ve gained more new, amazing relationships than I can possibly count; I’ve moved to London, changed jobs, met my gorgeous agent and started writing a book; and I’ve learned a lot about myself, both good and bad.

And all these things are amazing. I’m incredibly, ridiculously privileged to have all this going on in my life.

Unfortunately, in being kept busy by these things, I’ve fallen face-first into the habit of living life too quickly. And that’s meant the pressure’s been on to have the Most Perfect Disney Christmas of All Time. I’ve been trying to drag Christmas spirit out of myself by any means necessary – whether that’s wandering around Hyde Park with a glass of mulled wine, listening to Christmas music on the tube, or decorating the house I’d be leaving for Christmas… Just to try to bring back that crazy, blissed-out feeling I remember from Christmasses past.

And I know for a fact that’s not just me. I see people freaking out in the run-up to Christmas, stressing about the food, the presents, the decorations and travel arrangements; I hear about the arguments and passive-aggressive awkward family moments; I get the emails about the Boxing Day Sales starting at 6am… In other words, I see the million little things that get in the way of what – it seems to me – is the whole point of Christmas.

It’s about taking the time to appreciate what’s important; to take stock, and savour the things you’ve got; and to love as much as you possibly can.

Turns out, I kinda forgot that this year. But it’s just arrived. I’m sitting here, writing to you guys, while my Mum, Dad and sister are dozing on the sofa, and it’s perfect. This lil’ moment might never happen again, and even if it does, we’ll all be different – because life changes. Fast.

I’m immensely privileged to be in this position, not only at home, but with this blog – where you guys have shared so much kindness,  joy and hope over the last 12 months that I could run on Christmas spirit all year round.

So: a serious, full-hearted Merry Christmas to you, team. I’m lucky to know those of you I do; and I hope the next year will give me time to get to know those of you I don’t. I hope today – and every day, for that matter – you get to appreciate and enjoy the important, sweet things that make life great.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I’m off to pour another glass of fizz.

Season’s greetings, y’all!

Herbs, Spices & Tasty Stuff 101

Herbs, Spices & Tasty Stuff 101

In the lead up to January’s 30 Days of Good Stuff, you’ll notice a whole bunch of new recipes around these parts. However, a celebrity chef I am not – and it won’t take long for you to notice that there’s a lot of overlap in my recipes. […]

Recipe: Mexican Chicken, Grilled Peppers & Asparagus

Recipe: Mexican Chicken, Grilled Peppers & Asparagus

I’m not quite sure this qualifies as a recipe, really – because there’s hardly any cooking involved. However, it’s a solid, tasty and satisfying lunch that can be pretty much thrown together with hardly any cooking equipment – which makes it absolutely perfect when you’re […]