Monday, 20 November 2017

Date Night

No bake, no added sugar brownies

I have been on a diet recently and managed to shift a few pounds, and a big part of the shift has been achieved by cutting out the sweet stuff and my big weakness chocolate.

Apart from managing your weight, cutting back on sugar is a good idea for your skin too, as it attacks collagen, which you need to keep your skin looking good.

However, I do have a sweet tooth and a life without any treats would be very dull.  But I want to know, more than ever, what is actually in the food that I eat.

So whilst trying to curb a recent sugar craving I conjured the recipe below.  It is not sugar free but the sugars are natural and whilst the fat content is high - it is the good or better sort.

My quantity didn't make very many brownies but this was a conscious decision as I know what I am like when it comes to sweet things - I have a tendency to hoover them up in one go!

Brownies: Most definitely contain nuts🐿

Brownie mix
  • 50g pecan nuts*
  • 50 g walnuts*
  • about 12 dates
* these are the nuts I had in the house, would work well with others - almonds, cashew etc

Icing
Put the nuts and dates in a food processor and pulse until they resemble breadcrumbs.

You may need to add a few more dates, you should be able to squish the mixture together and it should hold its shape.  I find that if it doesn't fall off a spoon it is done.
Line a dish with greaseproof paper and then add your mixture and squash it together, can be any thickness you like.

Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours - overnight is perfect.

Make your topping - (entirely optional)

Melt the coconut oil - I melted mine by putting it in a bowl which was sitting in hot water.  I didn't do it over any heat as I didn't want to 'cook' it.

Stir in the Choc Shot and a good teaspoon of cocoa powder, give it all a really good stir and then let it set.
Once set you will need to stir your icing again to get a spreadable texture.  

Spread it (thick) on top of your brownie base.
Cut the brownies up into whatever size you wish and put them back in the fridge just so the topping has time to reset.  

My mixture made 8 brownies.
My version of a kind of healthy sweet treat.

I really like them, if you give them a go please let me know what you think - just try to resist hoovering them!








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Monday, 13 November 2017

Eat well - Butternut squash pizza base πŸ•

Eat well for better skin

Along with protecting your skin from the sun, not smoking, getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water, what you eat plays a big part towards your skin health.

Sugar has got a bit of bad press recently but it does attack collagen... which you need to keep your skin looking soft and plump and squidgy with health.  So it makes sense to try and cut back where you can.

I am trying my best to age well and have managed to lose a few pounds recently.  I've done this fairly painlessly by thinking about what I eat, avoiding refined sugars (mostly, I will still roll over and beg for a chocolate orange 🍊) along with more cooking from scratch and avoiding ready meals & processed foods.

My face has got thinner through weight loss, which is a bit of a disappointment as it makes me look older, but it does mean my little piggy eyes look a bit more noticeable!

Good news though I feel loads better and my general skin health has improved, less spots, smoother, clearer just in all round better condition.  I put this down to all the collagen in my skincare routine but also the recent improvements link in with my change of diet and healthy eating campaign.

Being on a 'diet' so to speak does make you think that about what you eat, and whilst I love my food I do find myself thinking, 'Is it worth it?' (which is always yes when it comes to any orange shaped chocolate fruit).

Beautiful pizza!

Pizza, as an almost veggie, it is one of my favourite meals and here is my healthy take on it - a base with NO FLOUR just 3 ingredients:
  • Butternut squash 
  • One egg
  • About 100g porridge oats
And maybe a pinch of garlic granules

Enough for a one hungry blogger and her bestie.

I love this base, more than any regular pizza base I have made or purchased in the past, Mr Beautyboo prefers it too.  Once cooked you can top it how you like and you can still pick it up to take a slice.

So here we go, the recipe, it's very simple (you need a food mixer though) and it needs to be cooked before you top it, so allow the time.

I purchase my butternut squash as spaghetti, it is just easier on the mixer.

Everything goes into the mixer and you press go. Once done it should be a soft biscuit like texture, or that of a really thick porridge.

Next line a baking sheet with grease proof paper and then spread out your mix to form your base. Make sure you spread it evenly and thinish, my base usually ends up about 9-10inches wide.

The base needs to be cooked on both sides, side one for about 20 mins at 180 until it looks golden and feels crisp. Then carefully turn it over to cook the other side, about 15 mins.

Once the base looks nice and crispy I topped it with red pesto, red pepper, onion, mushrooms and just 30g of reduced fat cheddar.

My take on healthy pizza, no sugar in sight, I'm eating the dream.
Yumerty  yumerty πŸ‘… 
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Monday, 6 November 2017

Miles and miles to a better smile

Invisalign What are they?

Braces basically, or Orthodontic Appliances to be precise, often called aligners - Invisalign is a trade name.

Used to move your teeth - so to fill a gap, straighten them, widen your arches etc.

Custom made plastic guards (often called trays) that you wear for at least 22 hours a day.

The beauty is you can take them out, which for me is the big plus.  I intend to wear them of course but the fact that I could take them out appeals to the control freak within me.
(you do have to take them out for eating, some drinks and teeth brushing)

Traditional braces are metal, Invisalign are made of clear plastic.  They are not invisible but pretty much unnoticeable unless you are looking for them.

I also have had to have to attachments fitted to my teeth (very common).  These are tooth coloured little nodules/bumps which help the trays fit snuggly, which make my aligners slightly more noticeable.

Do people notice?  No one has said anything to me but yes when I point them out (which I don't do very often) then they can see them.

Invisalign - my choice

I've never had any orthodontic work done but have always had an overbite.

My front two teeth are crowns and the ones each side are veneers - I got them knocked out when I was about 11 (playing with the boys on the boys playground πŸƒ)

I have noticed, and this is something that tends to happen with age, that my overbite has got worse and I am now a proud owner of an over jet!

So at the age of nearly 50 I decided to get my teeth done.

My top teeth now:
And how they should look like at the end - wider arches and less sticking out:

The costs - money and time

It is not a quick fix.  If you decide to go down this route you need to be prepared for that - in my case about 18 months to 2 years until I am done.

It is not cheap.  I have managed to get some money back via insurance as my over jet does cause my bottom teeth to 'bite' into the top of my mouth (no ouch involved).

The total for me (without insurance) was about £3,000.  As I said a lot of money, fortunately my orthodontist takes all major credit cards!

What you get for you money

However much I say it,  £3,000 is a lot of money to spend on your teeth.

It has to be worth it for you, and you need to be committed to the process which is lengthy.  I could have easily said don't bother but I know how self conscious I was becoming about my teeth, plus I was told things would only get worse with time...

What you are spending your money on is an investment (in you) and something that is totally bespoke and made to measure.

Plus you will benefit from some pretty nifty technology and of course the time of your orthodontist as you will need to go along for regular check ups and adjustments.

Here is a breakdown of where my money has gone so far:
  • My first consultation, no that was free. 
  • A scan - a 3d scan of my teeth -no impressions
If you don't know what a dental impression is, lucky you!  It is when they fill a tray with a thick putty and then put it in your mouth and apply pressure to take an imprint of your teeth so they can later make a model.  Getting it out (especially if like me you have a small mouth/narrow arch) takes some force and they tend to do this twice.

I hate them, they make me want to panic, gag, hide etc.  A friend of mine even threw up whilst having one!

What I had instead was a 3d scan of my mouth which meant someone taking lots of photos of the inside of my mouth with a device about the size of an electric tooth brush - it was wonderful.

  • A panoramic x ray - again not like a normal one when you have to bite down on a bit of card and then everyone runs out of the room whilst they zap you with x rays.  This was a stand up x ray which just rotated round me - easy.
  • Home whitening kit - to get your old teeth looking as white as possible. 
  • 43 bespoke aligners trays.  Yes 43 trays which you change once a fortnight that means a whopping treatment time of  86 weeks.
  • ClinCheck - a simulation of what your teeth look like at the start, finish and every tray in-between.
  • Invisalign starter kit - a couple of retainers cases
  • Appointment to have the first tray fitted
  • Appointment at 6 week stage to have the attachments put on to some of your teeth (I have 8, 4 top, 4 bottom, don't worry they come off at the end).
  • Check ups with your orthodontist as required every 8 weeks or so.
  • Final appointment to have the attachments removed and issue of retainers to wear at night for about 2 years.

So your money pays for quite a lot really, but it of course depends on how much you want this and if you are prepared to do the long haul.

I will be writing a few posts about Invisalign to let you know how I am getting on.
It is early days but things are going well the trays are really easy to put in and take out plus I forget I have them in most of time and no lisping!

I am just about to put in tray number 9 but my journey has started and I should be all done by... early 2019!  If in the meantime you have any questions about Invisalign please drop me a line as I am sure I had them too..

πŸ˜„


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