I am not sure how I come up with the name. It just kind of happened. But when I think into it a bit more, the name makes perfect sense to me, and it sums it my weight loss and maintenance. HUNGRY describes my loves of food - kind of obvious that I love food when you look at my before pictures. The one thing I didn’t want when losing weight was to eat less and give up the foods I loved completely, and I didn’t. In fact, I probably eat more, I just eat the right things. I wanted to continue with my love of food, but just adapt my eating. This is where HEALTHY comes into it. For me, my success has been in finding and making healthier alternatives of the food I love so that I never feel deprived. HEALTHY is also about me discovering how much I love exercise. It gives me a bigger high than any food ever did. I don’t exercise so I can justify eating a huge slice of cake after it, I do it because it makes me feel good, keeps me on track and is helping me see changes in my diet that weight loss did not do. HAPPY is the combination of the previous two. At the end of the day, if you are not happy, you are never going to stick to it. I was miserable for a big portion of my life, and my weight was a big reason for that. Still being able to enjoy food and being the healthiest I have ever been is what contributes to making me the happiest I have ever been. That is something I am not going to give up on.
When I first started losing weight, I couldn't cook at all. I thought I could, but I was just putting frozen things in the oven. So I started slowly and looked online at other people's recipes and bought a few recipe books. I needed some kind of structure to my cooking at that point, so recipes were perfect from me. After that, I got a little more confident and I started adapting other people's recipes and substituting ingredients and adding ones I liked. After that, I realised that I really loved cooking and I became pretty good at it after a LOT of trial and error and a lot of mistakes. I then started creating my own recipes, just throwing things in a pan and seeing what happened and this is how I come up with all the recipes for you all. I usually don't measure anything (except baking, that is more of an exact science), but for the purposes of being able to post the recipes for you here, I work everything out as I go along. I also try to buy seasonally and locally as much as possible, so that reflects in my cooking too.
Not as much as I would like. I would be in there all day every day if I could be, but sadly that thing called work gets in the way. I probably spend about 90 minutes a day in there (I know that is more than some). I get angry messages from people often saying along the lines of "it's okay for you, you spend 10 hours a day in the kitchen preparing your food, you have time to be healthy". I have the same amount of hours in the day as every one else. I have just become very organised with my cooking and planning so I get the best meals for the shortest time possible.
I think finding a balance is important to me. I love food and I enjoy making it and eating it, but I also need to stay healthy so I can't eat fattening pizza and cake all day every day. That is why I focus on making healthier alternatives to unhealthy food. So I can have health and taste.
To me, basically means not eating processed foods, but it means something different to everyone. I fill my diet with fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meat and cutting out sugary, fried foods as well as refined carbs such as white rice, pasta and bread as much as possible. I don’t drink fizzy drinks and I drink lots of water. I wrote more about clean eating here.
Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. The Chocolate Fudge Brownie one is amazing. I make my own healthy frozen desserts all the time, but some times there is no substitution. We don't buy it very often, but when we do, I enjoy every single bite.
You might hear a lot of pages/websites stating a specific amount you should be having, but the problem I have with that is the same problem I have with most “rules” that the diet industry comes up with, they don’t allow for individual differences. Everyone is different and everyone will need a different amount depending on where they live and how active they are. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think water isn’t important. It is very important to stay hydrated and I only drink water and green tea (apart from the occasional cocktail or glass *ahem bottle* of wine).
Personally, I drink a lot of water because I have hydration problems. I probably drink around 12 glasses a day, but I do work out a lot. I go by how I feel. If I am getting a headache, it normally means I need more water. If I am feeling sluggish or with a dry mouth, I usually need more water. Also, look at the colour of your pee. If it is dark, then you most likely need to be drinking more water. But you also don’t want it to be colourless – it should be a light colour. The best thing to do it experiment with drinking different amounts (but drinking too much can be dangerous), and see what works best for you.