Frozen Fruit + Yogurt = Frozen Yogurt.
As I’ve touched on it a couple of times and since quite a few people have been asking me about it, I decided to make a series, dedicated on the subject of healthy living and weight loss. All the recipes and food i prepare, always try to focus on healthy leaving, however these will be more specific to people who not only want to be healthy but who also wish to be fit. Nowadays, everyone claims to be an expert in weight loss, it seems that at every corner there is one more athlete/home cook/celebrity endorsing some kind of food/exercise/program that will revolutionise your life and make you thin in no time (YAY). But, nay. In truth there is no easy way to lose weight; I’m around 5’11 (ok 5’10) and now weigh 149 pounds (67.8kgs), rewind 4 years back i was 5’11 (fine fine 5’10) and weighed 240 pounds (109kgs). Don’t take out your calculators, yes, that’s 91 pounds. I know full grown women that weigh 91 pounds (well, full grown very thin women).
You can imagine what being that big does to a person, it makes you feel ugly, slow, hopeless and desperate, the more you try to hide it the more it comes gnawing at you. My turning point came after a bad break up way back then, after which I decided to go to a Greek island and work for 6 months. If you know Greeks, they are stubborn people, the friends I made helped me become comfortable with myself, making me work out in the gym shirtless, taking off my shirt in public places, just being ok with being fat. Once I achieved that, I realised I wasn’t just a fat boy anymore, but that I was a fat boy that could get fit if I wanted to. Step 1: Yes it is possible for you to lose the weight.
If you think that you’ll go from fat to thin in a day, my friend, you’re delusional. I lost 50 pounds in 6 months (2007-2008), then 20 pounds in the following year (2008-2009), then 10 pounds in the next year (2009-2010), then finally 10 more pounds from 2010 to today, and I think I still have about 5 more to go to reach my 8-9% body fat goal. Step 2: Set a Goal. When you set out to lose weight you have to set out a realistic, achievable but also crazy goal, you can’t say I’m going to lose 10 pounds, when in reality you need to lose 20. You’re goal should be a little less than the average, calculate what a person of your height should weigh and then lower that just a tad bit. Once achieved, decide whether or not you want to go lower. Body fat % is the best measure; Essential fat is 3%–5% in men, and 8–12% in women; But that’s extra lean already (body builders), where do you want to be?
Ok, now that we’ve covered the losing weight mentality, we step into the mechanics. To become lean, you have to : 1. Eat Well, 2. Exercise. (just a quick thought on exercise: 2-3 times a week is not enough, our ancestors used to walk everywhere, our bodies are made to move, you should be working out 4-7 times a week at different intensities, and don’t say there is not time, because you can always wake up earlier. Moreover, if after a work out your muscles aren’t tired, you haven’t done enough). Both steps go hand in hand, but today, we will focus on the eating part.
Any person who has taken and introduction to market research in college will know the theory of the 5 Ws and the H. We can apply this tool here as well. Before eating, ask yourself the following:
- Who: is preparing the food? Who is the producer? Can you trust that this person will not be adding any bad oils, sugar, additives? Are they making sure not to over salt or using processed ingredients? It will benefit you to cook your own food. Do it yourself.
- What: is on your plate? Can you identify and understand all the ingredients? Read the label, if the ingredient list is all gibberish, put it down. Read the nutrition fact sheet, first thing you should look at is portion size and not the calories. Next thing you should look at is carbohydrate content and sugar, followed by fat. For example: oatmeal seems to be a pretty healthy option, but in depends on which brands, if the pack says serving size:1/3 cup is 200 calories (that’s like a glorified tablespoon with 15 g of sugar), you are actually going to be eating 1 cup usually, making your oatmeal a 600 calorie meal already with 45 grams of sugar. Oatmeal makers tend to add sugar everywhere, yes it’s fibre, yes it’s high in protein, yes it’s low in fat, but written in the back in small font, instead of upfront and bold, is the devilish sugar content which will trump all your weight loss efforts. Be Aware.
- When: Time your meals. You should be eating 3 times a day with 2 snacks in between each. You should plan your food in a way that you won’t be looking for snacks, because you already have them in your desk drawer or in your bag. All meals should be balanced and your snacks as well. I make sure that my 3 meals a day have protein and vegetables (I don’t eat rice or bread, since i take all my carbs from high content veggies), and my snacks are when I eat my fruit. Also, when means, at what point are your eating? If you’re coming out of a heavy weight session at the gym you need to load up on protein and not munch on fruit, however if you’re about to hit the pool and do a long lap session, by all means eat some whole grain pasta. Eat Smart.
- Where: Where are you? Choose your restaurants/venues correctly. i.e: if you go to a bar to eat you’ll be tempted to drink and once you’re drinking you’ll be tempted to snack. 2nd example: if you are eating in a fast food place, or a chain restaurant (CPK for ex) don’t expect there to be healthy options, because even a salad in these places can be treacherous, most of the time that proteins are fried, and the amount of sugar and fat in their secret sauces are extremely bad for you. Eat Fresh, Eat Local.
- Why: are you about to put that in your mouth? This is the golden question, why are you eating? Are you hungry, does your body need it or are your just being a glutton? Many a times, people will eat because they are actually hungry; make sure to hydrate so that this confusion does not take place. Control yourself.
- How: is your food prepared? Is it fried, boiled, steamed? Most ingredients have both a healthy and unhealthy side; it all depends on how they are prepared. Did you know that pork loin, well trimmed of all fat, is actually just as lean as chicken breast? Get informed.
Those were the first points for this Fit Food Series that I wanted to raise. Lastly, many people talk about cheat days or reward days for a job well done. So they will eat healthy for 6 days a week and pig out on the 7th day. I think this is perfect but only on 2 conditions! You work out regularly in the week and You have to reach your goal first, if you haven’t achieved your weight loss goal, and it’s not complete, I’m sorry, you don’t deserve a reward yet. Makes sense right?
Summer Fruit Frozen Yogurt
Serves 2 yogurt lovers
- ½ banana
- ½ mango
- A couple of frozen blueberries and raspberries.
- A few sprigs of peppermint
- 1 tsp of light agave syrup (or other light sugar substitutes)
- Cocoa powder.
- 200 grams of plain unsweetened yogurt or greek yogurt.
- 1 tsp of lemon rind.
The fruit above is approximate, since no banana is the same size. Basically all your fruit together have to be the same weight and size of the yogurt you will be putting in. 1 is to 1.
- Put the following in the freezer until nice and frozen: your mixing bowl, your serving glass (or bowl) and all the fruit.
- In the cold mixing bowl or in a food processor, blast the yogurt, lemon rind, syrup and peppermint. Once well mixed, quickly take out the frozen fruit, add to the mix and bring to a “ice cream consistency”.
- Serve straight away and sprinkle with cocoa or cover and let rest in the freezer, until you’re ready to eat.