Sunday, 25 January 2015

Low Syn Sweet Treats

You've probably heard me mention before that I don't see the Slimming World plan as a 'diet', it's a change for life which I intend to continue for the foreseeable future because I think it's a realistic, sustainable way to eat. The most important part of the SW plan is that no food is forbidden and you're actually encouraged to enjoy your 5-15 Syns per day so that you never feel deprived of anything. Of course, there are some things which are 'better' choices to make if you're fancying something sweet (or savoury) but ultimately you can have anything as long as you count it in your Syns. 

I've put together a little list of my favourite sweet tweets which are all under 5 syns each so there's absolutely zero guilt and you could either just have one or even have a few to satisfy your sweet craving! Even if you're not on Slimming World you can basically say that these are all under 100 calories so they're there to be enjoyed without feeling like you've ruined a healthy eating regime!

- Mikado Sticks (milk, daim or white chocolate) 0.5 
- Oreos (original & chocolate cream) 2.5
- Pink n' Whites 2.5 (put them in the microwave for 30 secs - 1 min and they're even more amazing!)
- Flumps 2 (break one of these up and put them in a hot chocolate - lush!)
- Cadbury Treat Sized Dairy Milk, Caramel, Crunchy or Flake 4
- Cadbury Treat Sized Fudge or Chomp 3
- Cadbury Highlights Hot Chocolate
- Aero Mousse Orange & Chocolate

These are all really good if you've got a craving for chocolate because you can team them up together to make it feel like you're having a really big sweet feast without actually going over your Syns for that day. 

What are your favourite sweet treats?

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Friday, 23 January 2015

What to watch on Netflix #1

I subscribed to Netflix in November after I'd seen so many people raving about it on twitter, saying how good it was and how addicted they'd become. I love a good excuse to binge watch different programmes so I realised it was the perfect way for me to spend £6.99 a month. For those who don't know, Netflix is a monthly subscription service where you can watch TV programmes and films from a huge selection of different genres. They have mainstream TV favourites as well as Netflix Originals, some new films and some classics; well worth it in my opinion, I could spend hours just browsing and adding things to my to watch 'list'. I always struggle to decide what to watch so I'm hoping to start a little series on here of 'what to watch' to give you some inspiration if you share the same procrastination related struggles so here's 4 things to get you started...

Orange is the New Black
A Netflix original based on a true story about a woman called Piper who is put in a women's jail after being convicted of being involved in drug trafficking 10 years earlier. It follows her journey through serving her time, meeting some funny and somewhat unsavoury characters and trying to keep her nose clean through her year in the Connecticut prison. There are two series' so far and I'm eagerly awaiting the 3rd which is due to be released on Netflix in June.

Breaking Bad
I'd heard SO many people going on about this and to be honest it was one of the main reasons why I signed up to Netflix in the first place. You will have probably seen people going on about how brilliant it is and it is pretty good; it's basically about a teacher who formulates a new way of making Methamphetamine (crystal meth), he recruits one of his ex-students and they bungle their way through 'thug life'... some funny yet tense bits that keep you on your toes which makes it unable to stop when Netflix tempt you with the next episode.

Black Fish
I've just recently watched this but I so wish I'd watched it before I went to Seaworld in May last year because it's made me completely against any of these commercial money making places where animals are kept in captivity. It's obviously one sided (against places like Seaworld) but I wholeheartedly believe everything that was said because it just reaffirms my awful suspicions. The documentary style film basically tells the story of Tilikum, a killer whale which killed an animal trainer at Seaworld in 2010 and who is still kept there to this day. It made me cry and made me really quite angry but I do think it's essential watching material.

So there are my first 3 Netflix recommendations, if you're umm-ing and ahh-ing about getting subscribed then just do it... you get a month free and there's no cancellation charges so if you don't like it just cancel and you won't have to pay a penny. In all honesty, I had every intention of cancelling after the 30 day trial period but there was just so much stuff I've kept it on and I can't see myself cancelling anytime soon!

Do you have any Netflix Recommendations?

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

5 Healthy Food Swaps

It's no secret that I live a lot healthier lifestyle than I did a couple of years ago; don't get me wrong I love a good burger as much as the next person but my eating habits have changed for the better in general which I believe has contributed quite significantly to my 6 stone weight loss.

Sugar for sweetener
I used to be a 2 sugars in my tea/coffee kinda girl but now I always have sweeteners on hand both in tablet form and in a jar. I use it in place of sugar wherever possible because it's Syn free on the Slimming World plan.

Oil for Fry Light
Instead of using a glug of olive oil to stop stuff sticking to your pan, give it a couple of sprays of Fry Light which is just 1 calorie per spray and doesn't make any difference to the taste of the food (in fact I think it's great because there's no left over oil at all).

Whole milk for semi skimmed/skimmed or almond milk
I've just recently bought a carton of almond milk just to try it and I find it surprisingly nice! I think it would be great on cereal or used to make porridge with; I can't speak for what it's like in a cuppa but I'll be trying that one day too. If you're not keen on the almond milk idea then skimmed/semi skimmed contains a lot less fat than whole milk and to be honest I can't stand whole milk in tea and coffee so I never have it in the house.

White bread for wholemeal bread
A bit of a no brainer really, they say that white foods are very hard for the body to cope with and I'd say that 90% of people I speak to say that white bread especially leaves them feeling bloated. I'm a massive lover of crusty bread slathered in butter but having it too often wouldn't be overly good on the old waistline! I now very rarely buy any white bread unless it's a special occasion, for example I allowed myself a bacon sarnie on white bread on Christmas Day morning. I used to say I hated brown bread but now I actually think it's really tasty and after 18 months of not eating white bread very often I can't say I really miss it!

Sugary drinks to sugar free drinks
It makes sense to switch from regular Coke to Diet Coke; I made the switch 18 months ago after being an avid fan of the sugary fizzy stuff after insisting that I 'didn't like' Diet Coke (the reality was, I just preferred normal Coke) now I enjoy the taste of Diet Coke and wouldn't dream of buying the sugary version. The same applies to any other drinks you drink; check the cordial you pick up off the shelf and the flavoured water you think you're drinking to be good. Some of that Volvic flavoured stuff contains more sugar than you'd think!

These little changes can seem like quite a big change in terms of taste when you first make the switch but trust me, stick with it and after a while you won't dream of going back to the other stuff because it'll just feel 'wrong'. I feel much better in myself for making these changes and not just in terms of weight loss; my skin looks much better with fewer outbreaks and my stomach never really feels bloated at all. 

If you decide to make any of these changes I'd love to know if they make a difference to you!

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

5 tips on how to make a great first impression at an interview

Job interviews are some of the most nerve wracking times of our adult lives; so much can be riding on the impression you give a potential employer in the 20 minutes or so that you're sat in a room with them. As an employer myself I can tell you that first impressions are absolutely everything. Before you even open your mouth you will be judged by the panel so appearance plays a massive part in how they perceive you before they even really know anything concrete about you...

Try and inject some colour into your outfit

A plain black and white get up would be absolutely fine, but try and show your personality through colour a little bit. I'm not suggesting that you should go in with your brightest yellow tights on with a lime green skirt, I'm simply saying that a little bit of colour not only breaks up an outfit but I just think it looks a little more approachable than being totally conservative with black and white. Maybe a red shirt under your jacket or a navy blue dress with black tights instead of a suit.

Make sure your shoes are clean, tidy and appropriate

It might like an obvious one but if you're wearing black shoes you'd be surprised how they can start to look dirty and tired. Make sure they're properly polished and clean and if you're not good at walking in heels, don't wear them because you'll end up looking daft when you're walking like Bambi on ice!

Stand/sit up straight

No matter how nervous you are, don't slouch. It makes you look like you are totally unconfident and not ready for a challenge... how can you expect someone else to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself?

Make eye contact

This sort of goes hand in hand with standing up straight; don't look at the floor make sure you make eye contact with whoever is on the panel as soon as you walk in, smile and look at them otherwise you'll look unapproachable and uncomfortable.

Sit still and speak slowly but fluently

When I'm nervous I have an awful habit of bouncing my leg up and down (sounds very weird, and it looks even weirder, haha) and I stutter horribly if I don't get my breathing under control. Sit comfortably but with good posture, clear your mind and think about what you are being asked then answer clearly; open your mouth properly to talk  and don't try and get your words out too quickly because that's when you're likely to stutter.

That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interviews, obviously there's so much more to interviewing well as a whole but the first impression is absolutely key. Not every interview will be a successful one but don't worry too much, because although it's disappointing to be turned down, there's always another job you can apply for. A good place to start when applying for jobs would be an online UK job search* website like City Calling which makes applying for jobs so easy because you can upload a CV and apply for whatever job takes your fancy and they'll also let you know when new vacancies arise which might be of interest to you.

What are your top tips for a successful interview?

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