Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets. 

I stumbled upon a really interesting programme that’s available on BBC iPlayer right now called Clean Eating’s Dirty Secret. 

It’s a documentary starring Grace Victory, a Vlogger on beauty, fashion, body image and mental health. Throughout the programme, Grace explores the recent ‘trend’ of ‘Clean Eating’ that’s sweeped social media and become a lifestyle for many. 

In short, she compares insta/YouTube famous ‘nutritionists’ opinions with scientific, factual information from a qualified dietician. I’ll begin by clearing up the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician. ANYONE can call them selves a nutritionist. In fact, Grace herself took a 20 hour, £30 nutritionist course online in the programme which enabled her to claim she’s a raw food nutritionist, despite her not even having any real understanding or passion for nutrition. The difference with a dietician is that they must have studied at university to gain their qualification and it’s perhaps more factual and less opinionated. 

Through the programme we see some (in my opinion) crazy diets from all potato, to virtually protein free banana based diets and 100% Raw and vegan. At the start, they do mention how clean eating is dairy, meat, egg and gluten free. I have to say I don’t really agree with this (I’ll come onto that in detail) as to me, clean eating is eating natural which includes meat and eggs so I would say that’s only some peoples version of clean eating. 

That gets me on to the fact that pretty much EVERY diet/nutrition/fitness person has a way of doing things and pretty much think their way is the only correct way. There’s some magnificent claims made, for example Freelee – The Banana Girl eats around 30 bananas a day and claims that protein is like acid for the body!? And that the human body receives most of its protein through your own flesh!? Of course this was totally rubbished by the ‘real’ dietician. Another claim by Deliciously Ella is that milk damages your body. Again, rubbished by the dietician who stresses the importance of the calcium that milk offers to the body. 

The programme showed the physiological dangers also associated with the clean eating hype, that often go alongside the physical. Many more girls/boys are suffering from Orthorexia Nervosa – an obsession with eating foods that are deemed as healthy by the person. I took this little Orthorexia Self Test which showed that I may have a modest case of Othorexis and I must say I may agree. When I see these (mainly) girls on Instagram with crazy clean meals and insane workouts, it almost makes me feel guilty when I go slightly off course. It’s probably phycological but I actually feel healthier and more attractive when I’ve been ‘eating right’ and restricting myself as opposed to eating what I really want. I must add this isn’t a worry for me, as I do regularly make food choices that aren’t ‘clean’ just because I want to. 

Another one to add is gluten free. I do try to eat a gluten free diet due to it being a trigger for my IBS (and no one likes looking 8 months pregnant for no reason) but I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would CHOOSE to be gluten free if they don’t need to?! It’s so restricting. The other day I went for lunch with friends post-training and wanted a Caesar salad which the menu said came as a gluten free option. So of course I presumed the croutons would be gluten free maybe? Nope. The server came out and said that the gluten free option would literally be chicken and lettuce and is this okay? At £10 uhmmmm, nope. Oh and the sweet potato fries? Coated in flour. So if you think gluten free is easy, you couldn’t be more misguided. Not to mention the fact that gluten free options can be 3 times more expensive and can contain all sorts of nasty chemicals and additives! 

I think the most important thing I took away from this is that each individual is different. You can’t follow someone else’s lifestyle in its entirety because every persons body is different. You wouldn’t see my trainer giving a 13 stone lady the same workout as me and this applies to the diet even more so! You need to find what works for YOU and remember you can have everything in moderation. It’s useless trying to cut out certain food groups in their entirety because chances are, your body needs them! Just try and cut back on the things your body doesn’t agree with and that you know aren’t good in large quantities. 

Oh, and don’t believe everything you read online. 

Hels xxx
*Clean Eating’s Dirty Secret can be found on BBC iPlayer. 

* I am not a nutritionist or dietician, I just have an interest in food and fitness. 

* Any major change in diet requires an all-clear from your GP or dietician. 

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EatCleanTea – Matcha Green Tea Review. 

I’ve been a huge fan of Matcha since my favourite local cafe began serving Matcha Latte’s. I hadn’t initially realised just quite how versatile Matcha was until I began seeing it EVERYWHERE. Fruity iced matcha, matcha icecream, matcha energy balls…. Anything you can think of, within reason. 

I’m very much into looking after my body and remaining as natural as possible. I personally believe that keeping natural in food, drinks, skincare etc is the best possible thing you can do for your body – keep it as nature intended. The world today is full of nasty toxins and everything is becoming processed, which goes a long way in explaining the poor health many face. 

Anyway, I was so excited about this package as I’ve been reading up all about the benefits of matcha. I’m obsessed with green tea as it is, and matcha amplifies all of the health benefits of ordinary green tea, as it is made from the ground leaves. Here’s a few of the many health benefits: 

  • It is packed with antioxidants
  • It boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • It calms the mind and relaxes the body, whilst boosting memory and concentration 
  • It’s rich in fibre and many vitamins such as Vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium 
  • It prevents disease
  • It lowers cholesterol and blood sugar 
  • It increases energy levels and endurance 
  • It’s all natural (when bought from a reliable source such as EatCleanTea) 
  • It tastes amazing! 

So EatCleanTea have three flavours: Original, Matcha and Mint, Matcha and Ginger. All three are totally natural and of the highest quality but I opted for Original this time as I know I love the taste. I can’t wait to try the other flavours though! Since receiving the package, I have religiously drank Matcha Latte’s with either soya milk or almond milk. I prefer the sweeter milks than the original, but I’ve also tried adding a little agave nectar which added a really nice natural sweetness. 

I’m yet to try my matcha cold, but tomorrow at some point, I’ll be throwing some ice and water into my nutribullet to give it a go! I think it’ll be amazing with a little apple juice and maybe some fruits soaked in. There’s so many recipes online and on the EatCleanTea website and Instagram (@eatcleantea) so even if you’re not a fan of hot drinks, it’s still a must-have purchase! 

Below, I’ll tell you how I make the perfect Matcha Latte using soya milk and the EatCleanTea whisker (which makes it so much easier not to get pesky lumps!) 

  1. Add two scoops of matcha to your favourite mug 
  2. Add a small amount of hot water and use the whisker to blend away any lumps
  3. Full the mug with your milk of choice
  4. Pop in the microwave for 1 minute (you don’t want it piping hot as it will ruin the tea) 
  5. Whisk once more to create a froth
  6. Enjoy 


You can purchase yours at EatCleanTea and do let me know if you think of any interesting recipes for your Matcha! #TeamMatcha 

High protein, clean, vegetarian breakfast ideas. 

Breakfast is probably my FAVOURITE meal of the day. I can’t be the only one who decides what they’re having for breakfast whilst lying in bed the night before? Not only is breakfast my favourite meal, it’s also the most important. You’re setting yourself up for the rest of the day’s diet and mindset – if you start the day off badly you’re more likely to make bad food choices throughout the day. Also, you’re fuelling yourself for a busy day ahead. 

My mum is embarking on a new high-protein diet plan, however as a vegetarian, it can be hard to get the protein in. Therefore, we’ve started experimenting with different ideas. 

I always try to get a good balance and protein and fruit/veg and also add a few good carbs into the mix. Understandably, most people don’t have the time to create beautiful breakfasts each morning but you can take inspiration to adapt to your lifestyle, and remember you can always prep the night before! 

   

 Protein Porridge 
I use the sachets of vanilla protein porridge from MyProtein – these are great if you’re on the go as well! I use almond milk and add a tablespoon of chia seeds for some extra nutrition. I like to add some fruit or have some on the side as well. These sachets pack 16g of protein per serving so you’ll have plenty of slow releasing energy throughout the day. A simple alternative is just adding a scoop of protein powder to your usual oats. You could prepare this the night before or take a sachet to work to pop in the microwave! 

  Protein Pancakes
These Maple pancakes are another MyProtein product that adds ease to breakfast making. I simply add 1 1/2 scoops of pancake mix to almond milk, give it a stir and fry in coconut oil. Simple! You can sweeten if desired with honey, agave nectar or any syrup you fancy, or top with fresh fruit and nuts. The pancake mix packs a whopping 34g protein per serving and taste like an absolute treat. These can be made the night before and eaten cold or heated up in the microwave. 

  Scrambled Eggs and Avocado on Ryvita 
Simple and fast! Half an avocado mashed, 2 eggs scrambled, on top of ryvita, a sprinkle of black pepper. Sorted! I teamed it up with some frozen berries and passion fruit. 

  Chia Seed Pudding
I’ve spoken all about the wonders of Chia Seeds in a previous post. These magical littles seeds absorb liquid to create a pudding-like consistency that can be flavoured all sorts of ways. Add different nut milks, vanilla or almond essence, fruit, syrups, nut butters, anything! 

Enjoy! 

Hels X 

New health craze: TreeVitalise

There’s always a new health craze on the go, most of them… Questionable. So it’s always great when you find a product that not only tastes AMAZING but is also really good for you. 

The post man bought me this beautiful little package this morning with 3 bottles of TreeVitalise Organic Birch Water – lemon, mint and original. 

  
Birch Water has been hailed as the new health and beauty saviour, topping the coconut, aloe, cactus ‘super waters’ that we all rushed out to snap up. 

It comes from a tree commonly found in British gardens – the birch tree and the naturally sweet water is tapped from the trees without damaging them. 

There’s claims that birch water can treat all sorts of ailments from flu, headaches and dandruff, to eczema, cellulite and liver disease. However, the most common benefits are hydration, improved immune system, and it’s antioxidants and diuretic properties allow it to flush out toxins, uric acid and excess water. 

The drink is widely used across the world, particularly in America, Eastern Europe and China but it’s now becoming available here in the UK thanks to TreeVitalise

As my readers know, I’m a big health lover and like to try anything that can contribute to my health and well-being. So I was DELIGHTED to receive this package today and it’s SO prettily packaged with sky blue tissue paper on a bed of matching shredded paper. Each bottle tied with string and a little heart for good measure. 

  
They’re so nice to grab from the fridge after a workout and my favourite flavour (lemon) will be accompanying me to Yoga tomorrow! All three are delicious and refreshing and of course guilt free at just 4 calories per 100ml. 

Check out TreeVitalise at www.treevitalise.com and follow them on Twitter/Instagram @TreeVitalise.