If you’re looking to improve your belly fat burning and health potential this year then be sure to watch the video & read the post in full as you will get a lot from both on different levels!
I never normally write blog posts on a Sunday, but today is different. My new year detox is going surprisingly well. Where normally I might be wandering around feeling sorry for myself, today I have a spring in my step. No hangover! No alcohol has passed my lips (or entered my blood stream and causing me to walk around like a zombie) since around 2am on New Year’s Day, when the ever hilarious photo was taken of me on the sofa covered in bottles, shoes and party popper string asleep! Classy!
Hey, I’m a guy… I like going out with my friends, but I still try and be healthy most of the time and train hard during the week. I start a new exercise routine from tomorrow, so this weekend I haven’t trained and have had a full weekend of rest, but am really looking forward to the week ahead.
So myself and my housemate went to Cribs Causeway today in Bristol, a big mall and to be honest I wasn’t expecting to come back with the purchase I’m about to talk about.
I walked past Holland & Barratt and was drawn inside by some interesting looking self service oil containers that I haven’t seen before. I’m a fan of my healthy oils, especially over my lunch box.
So I headed over and made my selection, which you can see below. These are to spice up my boxes during the week. If you follow me on the facebook page or are in the VIP area then you will know that I try and keep my boxes as varied as much as possible. The variety of ingredients ensures I’m gaining a broad range nutrients and the variety mainly stops me from becoming BORED… which is why most people stop healthy eating in the first place.
So, in-between preparing to cook the roast (pork) I thought I’d tell you about what I bought.
So first all all I picked up a:
1. Tomato Balsamic Vinegar
I love balsamic vinegars because when splashed over the rest of the box, it just brings out loads more flavours. Health benefits include being rich in minerals, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. It’s good for the heart and circulatory system. Most of all they’re great because for few calories you can get a infusion of flavour where normally you might opt for a salad option that is fat less healthy.
You can find these everywhere and just a small amount will help you to really increase the taste sensation. Many of you who are getting creating with your boxes will know that just one ingredient like this, or some fruit can turn a normally dull box into one that completes blows you away (surprisingly today I DIDN’T buy any hot sauces, but I did yesterday!).
Now this vinegar was £1.65 for the bottle and £1.65 for the oil, but if you go back you can just pay for the refill. If i’m honest, I probably won’t take the bottle back because I won’t remember, and I’m lazy like that, but it’s a great option if you want to save the pennies…
2. Pomegranate Vinegar
I picked this one up because I love the taste of pomegranate and is classed as a super food when it’s not in a ‘Pomegranate Cereal Bar’ form or something else that’s coated in sugar and trans fats.
Same cost as above.
3. Walnut Oil
I was hoping that they would have had some extra virgin olive oil but they didn’t so for my boxes, I wanted to have a slightly different flavour. Now I wouldn’t use balsamic and this oil at the same time and you will just need a splash of walnut oil on your box to really give it a kick, especially if you do the Lunch Box Diet ‘tremor’. For those of you who aren’t on the diet yet, the ‘tremor’ is when you put all of the ingredients in your box, put the lid on and then shake everything up. Now agreed, your box will now go from looking very ‘camera ready’ to a bit of a mess, but for what you get back in taste, that’s all cool!
Walnuts offer one of the best source of anti0xidants from the tree nut variety and they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamins b-1, b-2, b-3 and vitamin-e and niacin. They are also useful in controlling blood fat levels, so useful to prevent diabetes.
The cost of the oil is slightly more on the 100ml, £2.49, but the same applies with the bottle. Rather than buying really big bottles, because I want to vary the taste of my boxes as much as possible, I want to keep them small and buy different ones and spread my money that way… Much like those little samplers of fragrance, instead of buying the massive bottles and using the same smelly all the time. I like change. But, each to their own.
4. Whole Almonds
I like using nuts in my box for a few reasons. On your non gym days when you don’t include active carbs, they fill you up for longer and also give a great texture variety to the box. A selection of veggies and protein is great, but splash over a small handful of nuts and you’ll really get a whole different dimension. So if you say have two boxes per week with nuts, that’s a really good simple switch that give A LOT of variety.
Of course, the health benefits of reducing cancer risks along with being a healthy fat, reducing heart attacks and no cholesterol are all good reasons to get nutty about almonds.
Also, I get asked a lot about post evening meal nibbles: “what should I eat if I’m peckish late in the evening… well instead of filling yourself up on a chocolate bar (if you do they go for 75% or over coco) then go for a small handful of nuts such as almonds.
I grabbed a big 500g bag for £6.99.
5. Macadamia Nuts
Full of essential vitamins and minerals and considered a super food, these have an acquired taste for sure, but try them once and you might not go back. They are high in fibre, have no cholesterol and have a high proportion of monounsaturated fat (85%), so the type of fat that won’t make you fat, as long as you don’t sit there eating pack after pack (which would be very expensive anyway). Perfect to throw a few onto your lunch box.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you can get hold of Macadamia oil to use for cooking, it’s one of the best, because of its high heat temperate. Holland & Barratt didn’t have it, so it’s worth checking for online retailers.
I picked up a small 100g bag of the nuts for £2.85, so I will just be using these in probably one box over a week, so they will probably last about a month, maybe a bit less.
6. Superfood Sprinkles
I’ll be honest I was drawn to the name of this product… I think that a lot of foods these days are branded ‘superfood’ so you do have to be careful, but in this 250g packet (£2.89) I have got a great selection which will really add something special to a box over the next couple of weeks.
Contents include blanched peanuts, raisins, dried cranberries, walnut halves and dried blueberries. The contents in that order by volume so this means that 25% of the content is peanuts with the blueberries having the least quantity.
On reflection, I should have looked on the ingredients because there’s also vegetable oil and sugar added and this is the main difference with the mixed nut packs and the almonds and macadamia nuts. A bit of a slap on the wrist for myself, but on a plus side it’s a lesson that I can now bring up and pass to you. I’ll still use the product, but will be more careful next time and probably put together a mixture myself.
7. Organic Golden Linseed
Also called flaxseed, these tiny seeds have double the potency of of most sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids which are an essential part of health for maintaining a healthy weight, improving your hair, skin and nails as well as fighting off disease.
I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t used these in my box for a while, purely for the fact I didn’t have any in the house, so I grabbed a 250g bag which since the seeds are the size of a pin head lol, should last me at least 6 months, probably longer. I will aim to start using them in most of my boxes from now on, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing them in more recipes in the VIP area. Of course, if for some reason you don’t like them, just remove them from the recipe, no biggie. Actually while I’m on that, a lot of people can get hit up on not liking a recipe that I put out purely because it has just ONE ingredient they don’t like. Simple replace it with something you do like.
The reason I think many people are like this is because some diets are so strict, where as you’ll discover my lifestyle plan IS NOT!
These are PERFECT for vegetarians and it’s well worth looking up ‘benefits of linseed’ on the old googly for more health benefits.
8. Whole Green Lentils
I think many people avoid lentils because I they think they taste bland and the truth is, they do if you haven’t got other foods with them. So, from today, reshape your opinion of lentils because they are a great low cost source of protein, and in your lunch box are great with the other flavours, plus you can also fill a small bowl with them and mix with herbs, hot sauce, some pepper, garlic, or balsamic and you have a new, exciting lentil that you would be proud to call your friend lol!
A 500g bag will set you back all of £1.39. Most supermarkets have these in BIG OLD bags, so well worth picking up, you can get them in a variety of colours and for those of you who haven’t got the time to cook them and just want to put together a 3 minute box… you can buy them tinned. I have a couple in the cupboard. Always have an emergency supply of these so that you can eat them instead of the bad stuff!
9. Organic Quinoa
Definitely a super-food, quinoa is the cream of the crop when it comes to pasta and rice alternatives. Per 100g you get 13.0g of protein and 68.0g of carbs, perfect as the active carb in your lunch box.
In addition, it’s a complete protein which means it has all 9 of your essential amino acids and is a super source of magnesium (stabilising your blood pressure) and fibre, to keep your colon running at optimum efficiency… .
I use this like the lentils, either cook it up and spread over the top of a box and then shake, or make it more flavourful using herbs and spices and do the same. Also great as an addition to an evening meal instead of as mentioned, using rice or pasta which will spike your blood sugar levels and stop you from losing fat properly.
A 500g bag of this costs £3.49 and I picked up two bags, which should last me a couple of months depending on usage, I will probably use it twice weekly, maybe more if I include it with evening meals after training sessions.
10. Acia Super Fruit Juice & Pomegranate Super Fruit Juice
Okay so these aren’t for the box (well actually I could splash some over the box, I’ll try that), but I did want to pick up some high potency super-food drinks so went for Ransom’s make which can be taken direct from the bottle or cap as a shot, or can be watered down.
I think a lot of people have a lot of negative feelings about Acai due the scams around. As soon as a new ‘super food’ is ‘discovered’ a lot of companies come out with subscription plans, which are hard to get out of without many calls, letters etc. But by going to a health food shop you can pick up the ingredient.
I was hoping to find some frozen acia pulp packs which are expensive, but the quality of the fruit as taken from the rain forest is right there. This is the best second option in my opinion.
Each 20ml dose contains 17.8mg of Acia berry complex. The bottle is 500ml and will cost you £8.75. Now of course you don’t drink this like you would a soft drink so it will last you for a while.
I will be taking a shot every other day for next 30 days and see how my energy changes because as well as being a great antioxidant which will fight of disease, the energy properties are meant to be better than coffee.
The pomegranate version offers many of the same benefits, but is cheaper at £6.85 for the same volume. I bought both to vary the shots daily.
The difference for the price of these two products will be purely down to how available the fruit is, not necessarily how much better for you one fruit is than the other. Ultimately varying your fruits and vegetables is the best option, which is why the Lunch Box Diet is so healthy… You simply have so many colours and so much variety in the contents, you’re hitting your health from so many angles. Another reason people report more than weight loss. More energy, improved hair, skin and nails! Woop.
So there we have it, I wasn’t really expecting to do a blog post, but I’ve been sitting here now for over an hour going through everything for you. Didn’t expect that!
Total bill from the girl at the checkout: £51.38.
A bit expensive you might say, but my night’s out (if I’m not detoxing) can easily hit £100 so I’m not worried, and this will take me just one step closer to optimum health. Tomorrow is the start of my new training plan, so with all this stuff and the detox in full swing, I’m all happy!
Let me know below in the comments how many of these you currently have in your diet and whether you’ll be including them more? Are there any foods that you have tried that you’ve noticed a significant change in your health? I’d love to know, maybe I’ll start including them more. Remember this is your community and blog, I want to hear from you!
Have a fantastic week!
Tags: 2am, Barratt, Blood Stream, Cribs, Detox, Exercise Routine, Fat Burning Foods, Hangover, Healthy Eating, Healthy Oils, Holland Amp, Housemate, Lunch Box, Oil Containers, Party Popper, Roast Pork, Self Service, Service Oil, Vinegar, Vip Area