February 29, 2012

Kim K's pop of pink style

I love an excuse to wear pink, especially a vibrant shade to pop some colour into your outfit. Take these style tips from Kim, by using the hot trend on a blazer or cardigan, stilettos or a casual scarf. 


My favourite Oscar looks

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford

Mila Jovovich in Elie Saab
I've posted some pictures of my favourite Oscar looks from 2012. What were your favourites?
Natalie Portman in vintage Dior

Jennifer Lope in Zuhair Murad

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

February 28, 2012

Cheryl Cole's pretty price for her X Factor

We all know it, but it is always good to be reminded that celebrities go to extremes to look the way we seem them. I've posted an extract from The Daily Telegraph on Cheryl Cole's beauty, fitness and diet regime, which she follows to give herself 'the X Factor'. It's not to ridicule what she does, she is a celebrity and it's the way she chooses to be, but it is more to act as a reminder that for us regular girls, it's pretty tricky to emulate celebrities' looks. Read this article to find out the maintenance schedule for Cheryl's image.

What Giuliana Rancic says she snacks on

There's no wonder why there is a bit of controversy swirling around Giuliana Rancic's obsessive approach to her diet and exercise. She looks undeniably gaunt and thin. Personally, I think she is very underweight and after reading an article she wrote that revealed her daily diet, it was clear that she maintains her low weight by not eating enough calories for her body's needs. Giuliana has defended herself numerous times for her skinny look and has blamed the superficial industry she works in.

Despite what I would call a unhealthy mindset to diet and exercise, Giuliana has launched a new website called Fab, Fit and Fun, where she helps readers with a facet of girly questions, like what to snack on. I don't think that girls should be trying to emulate her look and I am undecided as to how I feel about her promoting a healthy lifestyle when it's questionable whether she represents one. In saying that, I agreed with all the snack suggestions she recently posted on her website so I reposted her ideas and comments below. I'm keen to try the kale chips; has anyone done this at home? Let me know how you feel about Giuliana's new website.

Kale Chips
I am so obsessed with kale. It’s tasty and just really healthy. My fave snack secret is making kale chips at home. It’s super simple — just tear up a head of kale, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Pop it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 and voilà — you have crispy, crunchy perfection! If you don’t wanna make them you can always buy them at T.J.’s or Whole Foods.

Celery and Light Cream Cheese
This is a fun deviation from hummus that always brings me back to being a little kid. I love the crunch from the celery and the light cream cheese adds protein. Use light veggie or scallion cream cheese for extra flavor.

Lydia’s Bars
My new fave, must-have bars — I carry one with me everywhere! The super delish bars are made with all raw, organic, vegan ingredients so you can always feel good about what you are putting into your body. I love the lemon ginger and tropical flavors.

Berry Parfait
So simple but so good. Simply take low-fat yogurt (I am still all about the Greek Fage) and layer with a variety of berries — strawberries, blueberries, raspberries — anything you want. A perfect breakfast or late night sweet treat.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Just because Thanksgiving has passed does not mean you should pass on pumpkin seeds. Packed with antioxidants and fiber, put these babies in a Ziploc and take them on the road.

Hard-Boiled Egg
Protein is a great way to fight hunger and hard-boiled eggs are a perfect source. Many trainers I know recommend buying a carton of eggs at the beginning of the week, hard-boiling them up, and keeping them in the carton to use as a snack throughout the week. I do one whole egg and one egg white per snack.

February 27, 2012

Peanut butter cookie muffins

Freshly baked peanut butter cookie muffins
Peanut butter is one of my favourite flavours of all time; I just love it so much, so so much! I don't know why it is such a magical food to me but I can't get enough of it (until I read the back of the jar and remember one tablespoon is 150 calories, then I quickly shove the jar to the back of the pantry.) It's a bit of a love/hate relationship. This little creation I came up with is the combination of half cookie, half muffin in a bid to satisfy both cravings. Crunchy on the outside and soft and substantial in the middle, these muffins are robust enough to constitute a full meal, which means you can get away with having this for breakfast occasionally. Slightly over baked to get a full golden crust encasing the entire cake, they are best eaten when still warm. While these muffins are a bit of a cheat's meal, they are low GI, which means they will keep you fuller for a much longer time than your average muffin and it would be a pretty tricky feat to eat more than one.

Peanut Butter Cookie Muffins


  • 1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter
  • 100 grams of salted butter
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar + extra for topping and base
  • 3/4 cup of low-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • butter for tops and greasing pan
  1. Microwave the butter on low heat for 10 seconds until softened and very slightly melted. Add the 3/4 cup of sugar and peanut butter and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until creamy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Heat the milk in a small jug until warm and pour into the peanut butter mixture, mixing well. Allow this to cool before adding to flour.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder and add the oats.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the flour and oats mixture and add the peanut butter mixture.
  6. Gently mix ingredients all together until combined but not overworked as the flour can go tough and make the muffins like rocks in the centre.
  7. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  8. Fill each muffin hole with your muffin mixture and top with a small knob of butter and more brown sugar.
  9. Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for 25 - 30 minutes until very golden brown and crunchy.
  10. Immediately remove to a wire rack to cool, and after 5 minutes, cover with a tea towel.

Model Kate Upton's weight loss

The stunning new comer Kate Upton had to tone up fast to make sure her body was camera ready in preparation for her Sports Illustrated shoot. The rising star, described by her friends as very 'unaffected', has a relaxed approach to diet and fitness, which was starting to take a toll on the model's gorgeous figure.

Amping up her gym sessions helped Kate get back into shape, with the help of a personal trainer. Despite attempting to reshape her diet, Kate admits she has an undeniable sweet tooth and never deprives herself, eating any food that she likes. Being a curvy girl, Kate is happy to stay that way, and she think she looks much sexier than the typical waif-thin model. I think it's a great change.

Girls have a sweet tooth that I've found men quite often can't really fully appreciate! To satisfy your cravings, try sugar-free dark chocolate, greek yoghurt with natural honey or one of my skinny sweet recipes. This way you never have to feel deprived but can still stay healthy.

Ricki Lee's inspirational transformation 'I have the power in my life to be happy'

Ricki slimmed down

Looking fit and fabulous at the Races

Ricki Lee Coulter has transformed her size 14 shape to now a slim size 8 by losing 25 kg after a year-long health and fitness regimen. With her newly fit physique, Ricki feels stronger mentally and physically.

"I’m all about confidence and promoting that, and being fit has absolutely made me feel a million times better," Ricki-Lee recently told New Idea. "I love running. I love going to the gym and doing some weights – the next couple of days you feel the muscles you’ve been working," the singer says.

Ricki admitted to suffering from depression, which attributed to her former unhealthier lifestyle. She can recognise her troubles began during her turbulent relationship with her high-school sweetheart. Their one-year marriage ended in divorce in 2008, just as her career was hitting new highs.

"I was living my dream but behind closed doors my personal life was a mess," the 2004 Australian Idol contestant told the Sunday Herald Sun. "I felt alone, I bottled it all up and it made things worse. I wanted to give up everything. I wouldn't leave the house for days at a time. I'd sit in the house all day and do nothing. There was this big black cloud hanging over me all the time and I didn't know how to get away from it."

Completing her transformation, Ricki is in a new relationship with personal trainer Richard Harrison, and said she has no regrets, instead she has learned to come to terms with the person she is today. "I couldn't be happier. Things don't weigh me down any more. I confront things and I move on. I don't dwell on things, I don't let things simmer under the surface. I am where it starts and where it ends. I have the power in my life to be happy."

Making your cookies look professional with cookie moulds

Taken from Bakerella
Using a cookie mould produces biscuits that look straight from a decadent European biscuit tin but are made with your own efforts. In the picture above, taken from Bakerella, these cookies are made with plain heart-shaped biscuits topped with moulded pink fondant icing. The fondant is secured with some frosting.

Cookie moulds can also be used to produce biscuits with decorative imprints, like the picture below (this is what they were originally designed for.) These can be a little trickier to make because when the cookie dough rises, it can skew the imprint and distort the desired image.

Taken from House on the Hill
Some tips to baking cookies with moulded shapes is to:
  • let the cookies set adequately after removing them from the oven - leave them to cool completely.
  • roll the dough to the correct width; if it is too thick, it will rise too much and distort the image and if you roll the dough too thinly, the cookie can become too crisp and the image can also be affected.
You can buy cookie moulds at House on the Hill and there are some gorgeous prints just in time for Easter.

Super easy skinny Chambord cupcakes

I like to think of these as a cocktail in a cupcake; laced with the blackcurrant taste of Chambord liqueur, these cupcakes are filled with a berry jam centre, which is encased in a light chocolate sponge. If that hasn't enticed you enough, these gorgeous gems are low in fat and sugar, and gluten-free! To add a touch of glamour to the already sophisticated sweets, I topped them with glittery sprinkles.

To make them super easy to make, I've based them on a cake mix variation. I've been doing that a bit too often recently, but it's a short-cut way to experiment with new flavours before I create my original recipe. As I often do, I chose to make these gluten-free but you could easily buy cake mix of your choice or whip up a basic cupcake mix.

Skinny Chambord Cupcakes

  • 1 low-fat plain cake mix (I use an organic gluten-free vanilla mix)
  • 2 tablespoons of dutch cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons of Chambord liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons of melted organic butter
  • 160 ml of water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small jar of sugar-free forest-fruits jam
  • 100 grams of low-fat cream cheese, room temperate
  • 3 tablespoons of Chambord liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon of Natvia sweetener
  • 1 drop of red food colouring
  1. To make the cupcakes, firstly preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
  2. Using an electric mixer, add the cake mix, liqueur, butter, water, eggs and sift in the cocoa. Mix on low speed until incorporate and then turn up to medium speed to mix well for 4 minutes.
  3. Once mixed, spoon 1/3 of each muffin hole full of cake mix.
  4. Add a teaspoon of jam on top of each part-way filled muffin hole.
  5. Top up the muffin holes with the remaining cake mix.
  6. Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes, at which time they should be springy to touch and cooked through.
  7. Leave to cool in their tray for 5 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Take care as the jam may have escaped from the bottom of the cakes and will be very hot.
  8. To make the icing, put the cream cheese, liqueur, sweetener and food colouring in a bowl and mix vigorously until well combined.
  9. When cakes are completely cool, coat each one with the icing and decorate as you please.

Approximately 120 calories per cupcake.

February 25, 2012

Miss Phryne Fisher's tea cake and julienne soup

Miss Fisher from ABC's Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

To celebrate the release of ABC's Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, I am posting a couple of recipes from 'A Question of Death', one of the books from the series based on Phryne Fisher. The Honourable Phryne Fisher captivates with a Lulu bob, green eyes, Cupid's Bow lips and diamante garters. She is Melbourne's most elegant sleuth in the 1920s and the book, and now television series, follows Miss Fisher on her adventures in solving crimes. Taking place in a most glamourous era, Miss Fisher indulges in extravagant hats and shoes, freely sips sinfully strong cocktails and escapes the most persistent of suitors.

Her author, Kerry Greenwood, began writing mysteries on her quest to become a published writer. On some advice, she changed her tactic from historical writer to mystery writer. In forming her character for her new mystery novel, Kerry decided she wanted her heroine to be just like James Bond, with fewer gadgetry and a more lavish wardrobe. Kerry wanted to create somewhat of a role model, a woman who didn't doubt herself and worry about neglecting her diet, doing more exercise or the perils of growing fat.

The following recipes are taken from my copy of 'A Question of Death', which is a beautifully illustrated Phryne Fisher collector's item, with extracts from Miss Fisher's various titles, recipes, fashion tips and general Miss Fisher trivia.

The first recipe is for a elegant tea cake, which is actually very low in fat and can be made gluten-free, dairy-free or even vegan by making the relevant substitutes. The second is for another low-fat recipe and one that makes me feel instantly comforted just by reading the recipe. It's for soupe julienne, made with matchstick vegetables and warming chicken broth.

An illustration from 'A Question of Death'
Miss Fisher's Tea Cake
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • a pinch of salt
For the topping:
  • 1 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
  1. Cream the butter and sugar. 
  2. Gradually add the egg to the creamed mixture, then add the flour and milk alternately, half at a time, and beat well.
  3. Place mixture in a greased sandwich tin and bake for 25 minutes, until golden and spongey.
  4. Turn cake out onto a cake cooler and while warm, brush with topping.
Soupe Julienne
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of brandy
  • 1 litre of strong chicken stock
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  1. Chop the onion and cut all other vegetables into matchsticks.
  2. Cook onion in a little olive oil until soft then add vegetables, stirring.
  3. Add brandy to deglaze.
  4. Add chicken stock, herbs and pepper and simmer for one hour.
  5. Remove herbs before serving. 

February 24, 2012

Sugar-free banana, date and walnut muffins

Moist and fragrant, these muffins are sooo good and you would never know they are gluten, dairy and sugar-free! I took these over to a family gathering and they were all eaten, with no detection of their sugar absence. Always a good test. These muffins are great for a snack or for breakfast on-the-go.

Sugar-free Banana Date and Walnut Muffins


* 1 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour
* 3 teaspoons of baking powder
* sugar substitute that should equal 1/4 cup of sugar (all are different so read your packet)
* 1/2 cup of rice milk
* 2 organic eggs
* 3 tablespoons of low-fat margarine
* 1 over-ripe banana (I keep mine in the freezer for when I need them)
* 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon of coconut essence
* 2 handfuls of walnuts, roughly chopped
* 4 dates, chopped in small pieces


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and spray a 12-hole muffin tin with baking spray.
2. Sift flour and baking paper into a large bowl.
3. In a seperate bowl, melt the margarine and add the banana, vanilla, coconut essence, eggs and milk. Beat or whisk these ingredients together until creamy.
4. Fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture and add the walnuts and dates. Mix until just combined.
5. Fill each muffin hole evenly and bake for 25 minutes until golden and springy to touch.
6. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool slightly.
7. Serve warm with a little low-fat margarine.

*Also suitable to freeze for up to 3 months wrapped in two layers of clingfilm.

Bejewelled kitty kat

I love this idea I picked up from Love Maegan who comes up with gorgeous ways to make your old things fabulous again. I actually have a few of these cat masks at home because I came across some super cute ones at a toy store and thought I had to have them just in case the occasion arose where I would need a mask. You never know. While Halloween is certainly not around the corner just yet, if you are anything like me, I relish any excuse to play dress ups.

Vintage rhinestones + black mask...

To jazz up your cat mask, use a hot glue gun or tough craft glue to secure vintage rhinestone earrings to each side. You will certainly be the most glamourous kitty kat on the block.

A simple way to paint a heart on your nails

valentines day heart  nails manicure
Love Megan has a gorgeous and easy technique demonstrated above
Use these simple steps to paint a cutesy heart on your next manicure. All you need is some pink and red nailpolish and you are ready to go!

Photo from http://www.lovemaegan.com

Photos by Kristin Ess taken from http://thebeautydepartment.com/

Lauren Conrad shows how to cheek contour

Cheek contouring is a learned skill and not until recently, I realised I was doing it all wrong! You must must must take a look at Lauren's demo of how to contour. In essence, you don't bronze on your cheek but below the cheek bone. Genius!

This image has been taken from Lauren Conrad's blog http://thebeautydepartment.com/

Adele adorns Vogue

Fresh off the singer copping flack from fashion legend Karl Lagerfield who recently called her “a little too fat” Adele graces the cover of Vogue looking stunning. The 23-year-old, with a voice that is wise beyond its years, has a beauty that is as striking as her songs. Like any woman with a celebrity of her stature her appearance has come under fire. Adele says, 'I don’t want to be some skinny mini with my tits out. I really don’t want to do it and I don’t want people confusing what it is that I am about.'

Adele has seen the pain weight struggles cause young women and she doesn't want to go down that road herself. 'I don’t want that in my life,' she said. She admits to having no insecurities and doesn't listen to those who want to point out what they see as her flaws. She calls herself proud that she represents the majority of women.

Backtracking, Karl Lagerfield reminsed how 10 years ago he lost more than 60 pounds and has kept it off. Karl said, 'I know how it feels when the press is mean you to you in regards to your appearance.' He then called her a “beautiful girl” and noted his anticipation over her next album.

Kate Spade plates and glassware

I drool over Kate Spade's gorgeous homewares collection, not to mention her clothes and bags! But her glassware and dinnerwear is something I think all sophisticated girls' kitchens should contain whether for entertaining purposes or sheer private delight.

My favourite is the 'silver polkadot' ceramic set called Larabee Road Platinum Set, which comes with matching glassware including old-fashioned round champagne glasses. Kate has also released a range of Florence Broadhurt designs, which are of course stunning.

If you are getting married soon, put this on your wedding registry stat!

February 23, 2012

3 easy steps to make candied rose petals

Taken from http://photos.weddingbycolor.com 
Vogue Living has a beautiful blog and spending a quiet Friday evening traipsing their site, I found this gorgeous post on how to make candied rose petals. 
As a tribute to one of America's best-known restaurants Chez Panisse on its 40th birthday, David Prior showed how to make candied rose petals, which adorns many of the restaurants beautiful desserts.

How to make candied rose petals:
1. To produce candied rose petals gently pluck the individual petals from unsprayed roses. 
2. With a soft-bristle paintbrush, carefully paint with egg whites.
3. Cover in fine organic sugar. Leave candied petals to dry on a rack.

Serve them the Panisse way, atop a Rose Geranium Pavlova.
This recipe appeared as part of ‘Organic Uprising’, a story by David Prior on pages 63 to 69 of Vogue Living Sept/Oct 2011.

Skinny gluten-free rasberry coconut pudding

Is there anything more delicious than warm pudding served with comforting custard? Well never fear, there are plenty of skinny options for pudding lovers. This recipe is adapted from Delicious magazine. I love the sticky jam base of this golden-coloured cake, which has mouth-watering crunchy exterior.

Skinny Rasberry Coconut Pudding


* 1/3 cup of sugar-free rasberry jam
* 1 2/3 cups of gluten-free plain flour
* 3 teaspoons of baking powder
* 350 grams of caster sugar
* 100 grams of dessicated coconut
* 4 eggs, 2 whole and 2 egg whites
* 400 ml of low-fat soy milk
* 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
* 60 grams of organic butter melted
* low-fat sugar-reduced custard


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Spread the jam over the base of a 2L pie dish.
3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients, beating as you go. Remember ingredients will combine more easily if they are at room temperature.
4. Pour the cake mixture into the pie dish and bake for 40 - 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and cake feels springy to touch.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before serving with a spoon and drizzling with warmed custard.

Serves 6 - 8

Haylie Duff's watermelon skewers

Haylie Duff
Watermelon Skewers

Haylie Duff has her own food blog, The Real Girl's Kitchen and she recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post on a healthy vegetarian recipe. Haylie has always been interested in healthy foods and exercise, and her gorgeous sister Hilary Duff often credits her sister to getting her more fit and healthy.

"When I first started thinking of an awesome, healthy, vegetarian recipe for HuffPost High School readers, I had so many ideas that it was difficult to narrow it down to just one dish! There's a couple reasons that every teen should have some go-to healthy recipes on hand: first of all, healthy, home-cooked food can be more delicious than anything you'll get at a restaurant. And secondly, if you have some nutritious, easy recipes in your repertoire, you're almost certain to eat better and to save money.

After school or work, you're tired and it's easy to pick up some fast food on the way home. (Full disclosure: I know this because I am guilty of the same behavior.) But I promise you will feel like a whole new person the minute you cut the junk. I'm not talking about weight loss... I'm talking about brain power, renewed energy, and clear skin. Now that all the holidays are over, let's clean up our acts together!

These watermelon caprese skewers are tasty and healthy -- but there's more. Not only is this a no cooking required snack, but it's also a no clean-up required. I often have days where I feel like making something yummy but don't feel like trashing my kitchen, and the clean-up stands in the way of making something delicious. You'll only need three kitchen items to make these gorgeous kabobs -- a knife, a melon baller, and a cutting board -- which makes for super easy cleaning. If that's not incentive, then I got nothin'."

Watermelon Caprese Skewers

What you need:
1 small seedless watermelon, cherry tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls, fresh mint, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, BBQ skewers, a melon baller

How to:
Using a melon baller, scoop some pretty balls of watermelon. That's literally it. Stack your skewers however you fancy them. I alternated flavors but watermelon, tomato, and two mozzarella balls is a good-looking order as well. Once assembled, drizzle some balsamic vinegar across the top and give em' a sprinkle of salt.

This is a great vegetarian option for a BBQ... and if you feel like experimenting a little, throw these babies on the grill before you add the mozzarella. Grilled watermelon is oh-so-tasty.

Love, Haylie (taken from the Huffington Post)

Reese Witherspoon on her favourite dishes and keeping that amazing body

Reese Witherspoon has been flaunting a super-toned figure in her latest flick 'This Means War' and it got me thinking, how does she do it?! Reese works hard on her fitness and is often spotted on her daily runs where she reportedly makes a three mile journey each day. Reese emphasises, 'I work out all the time anyway just to stay healthy. I don't believe in crash dieting or anything like that.' Not just a dedicated runner, Reese has also started practicing yoga for the health and wellbeing benefits.

From the South, Reese loves comfort food but uses healthy ingredients like fish and vegetables with rice to create her favourite family dinners. The creativity of cooking is a relaxing ritual for her and she enjoys cooking for her family. The traditional French dish Coq au Vin is one of her favourites.

A true blonde Southern girl, Reese loves fried foods but understands she needs to curb these from her diet and amp up her workout routine when she indulges. She loves her grandmother's spiced tea recipe where you take instant powdered tea, a can of Tang, a can of powdered lemonade, and you mix them all together with some nutmeg and cinnamon. Reese claims, 'I'm telling you, southern people will know this recipe. And you shake it all up, then you put it in a Mason jar, and put a piece of fabric on top and a piece of ribbon around it. Then, whenever you want, just put two scoops in hot water. It's the most delicious thing in the world.'

February 21, 2012

How to lose 1 pound per week

No matter what time you eat, what foods you eat or how much fat is in your food, it all comes down to CALORIES! You can still eat whatever you like when you diet, but you have to count the calories.

Technically you could put weight on from eating celery, you would just have to eat a lot of it. In contrast, you can lose weight and still eat chocolate, you just can't eat too much of it. Of course you will feel better if you feed your body with the right fuel, just like a car engine will work best with the right petrol. Yet you can still overindulge in healthy foods and this won't lead to weight loss. 

To lose 1/2 a kilo per week or 1 pound, you need to have a 500 calorie deficit in your calorie budget. 

For example, if you weigh 50 kilos, you burn about 1300 calories per day. To lose 1/2 kilo a week, you need to get your total calorie bank down to 800 calories a day. To do this, you can eat 1100 calories per day and burn 300 calories per day to equal the 800 calorie mark. This will add up over the week to burn the 1/2 kilo of weight. This is a flexible bank meaning if one day you do a big workout that burns 500 calories, you can eat more that day or take the calories off another day if you are going out and want to drink a glass of wine.

To manage this system, it is most helpful to have a calorie and exercise diary that you maintain daily. Big cardio workouts will burn the most calories, which is helpful if you have overdone it in the calorie intake one day. Likewise, sugary foods will have calories that are the least satisfying so it is helpful to avoid these types of foods when dieting.

When following this weight loss plan, over one week you will have saved 3500 calories, which adds up to the 1/2 a kilo or 1 pound! Over three months, this will equal 3 kilos. Once you have reached your goal weight, you can go back up to eating calories to stay at your weight (eg. 1300 calories a day). If you keep on the program, you will continue to lose weight so make sure you adjust your energy intake up to what your body's needs are as soon as you reach your goal weight.

Look up the recommended calories for your weight then you will know how much you can eat and how much you will need to exercise to equal the daily 500 calorie deficit.

Here is an example of what I eat on this program.

1 sachet of instant oats
1/2 cup of low-fat soy milk or almond milk
1 sachet of natvia sugar substitute
(150 calories)

1 wholemeal wrap with salad and poached chicken

Tofu vegetable stir fry
(250 calories)

1 large rice cake with fat-free cheese slice

Diet yoghurt tub with blueberries or raspberries
(100 calories)

Steamed vegetables and grilled fish

Chicken vegetable stirfry with sunflower seeds
(250 calories)

1 row of dark chocolate (sugar-free)

1 large piece of fruit (apple, pear, orange, etc)
(100 calories

10 almonds

Total calories consumed:
850 calories

30 minutes of cross-trainer and 30 minutes of strength training

Burned 250 calories

850 - 250 = 600

Total: 600 calories total intake, burned an extra 200 calories today...

Here is an example of a day when you can eat some treat foods:

Fruit salad
(150 calories)

1 skinny sweets cupcake
(200 calories)

Chicken salad
(250 calories)

2 pieces of pizza at a restaurant with small amount of cheese
(450 calories)

2 glasses of wine
(250 calories)

1300 calories

1 hour power walk 300 calories.

1300 - 300 = 1000

Total: 1000 calories for the day.

Can reduce this down to 800 calories because you had 200 calories in your bank from yesterday.

It is handy to have a calorie count book with you to look up foods. Some foods especially those fried will have a lot of calories and you will just find these to hard to include on this diet because they need so much work to burn off.

Good luck!

Me before the program
Me after the program (lost 5 kilos)

February 19, 2012

A skinny version of Marilyn Monroe's favourite fudge pie

To celebrate the release of the beautiful and poignant film, 'My Week with Marilyn' I have given Marilyn's favourite fudge pie a makeover. Marilyn loved this fudge pie, which originally came from Serendipity in New York. She reportedly ate it wearing a raincoat and Chanel No. 5. Therefore, I recommend spritzing on some divine Chanel scent when whipping up this beauty.

Marilyn unbelievably was more insecure than the average girl-next-door. She never felt worthy of her success, her talent or of being loved. Watching the film reminded me that even the most seemingly 'perfect' people have self-doubt.

Skinny Fudge Pie (Marilyn's favourite dish reinvented)


For the pie:
Fat-free baking spray, for the pan
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of organic butter
1/2 cup of low-fat milk or rice milk
4 ounces (4 squares) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs - 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese
Icing sugar, to garnish

For the coulis:
100 grams of fresh or frozen raspberries (if frozen, thaw completely)
1 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
print a shopping list for this recipe


To make the pie:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round pie pan and line with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. On a low wattage in the microwave, melt the butter, chocolate and heat milk together, stirring to mix. Do this in short installments as to not overheat the mixture. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the cream cheese while beating until the mixture is combined. Add the melted chocolate and mix completely. Fold in the sifted flour mixture and stir only until the batter is combined but not over mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, just until the batter is just set. Do not over bake; it should be moist and slightly gooey but not wobble if you gently shake the pan.

While the pie bakes, make the coulis:
Purée the berries and pass through a sieve (if you are using fresh berries, you may wish to reserve a few to use as a garnish when serving). Add the sugar and heat in the microwave on low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Chill before using.

After removing the pie from oven, allow it to cool completely in the pan. Carefully turn it out onto a serving dish, remove the parchment paper, and dust lightly with icing sugar. Serve warm or room temperature with raspberry coulis.

February 15, 2012

A food makeover - healthy vegan doughnuts

Yes, it is possible! You can make doughnuts healthier! These dougnuts are baked gluten-free moist cakes that satisfy your cravings for the deep-fried dessert.

February 14, 2012

Beetroot and walnut pizza

Walnuts not only taste great but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids. They are a great addition to a vegetarian pizza to add some protein to your diet.

Beetroot and Walnut Gluten-Free Pizza

* 1 gluten-free pizza base
* 1 sachet of tomato paste
* 1 can of sliced beetroot
* 100 grams of low-fat fetta cheese
* 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped roughly
* 3 tablespoons of kalamata sliced olives
* 1 handful of low-fat grated cheese

1. Cover the base with tomato paste.
2. Layer with beetroot slices, top with crumbled low-fat fetta, olives, grated cheese and walnuts.
3. Bake in a hot oven (200 degrees) for 15 minutes, until base is crisy and topping is toasted and cheese is melted.
4. Cut with pizza slicer and serve with a green salad.