I mentioned before that I’ve long-since abandoned the notion of dieting. The fact that one is ‘on a diet’ suggests an interruption, a pause of sorts, a ‘waiting’ until something has been ‘achieved’. I’m nearly forty years old. There can be no waiting. There should be just living. And eating. And enjoying. Advancing in years comes with much wisdom really.
I’ve been using the laya healthcare Healthcoach app for over five weeks now. Have I been making some positive changes? Yes. Have I been a saint? No. Because, well, life. And kids. And snow. When I set out on my journey I had specific areas I wanted to target for improvement and well, it’s been good. Really good, in fact. I’ve been cooking up some new healthy favourites (two of which I’ve shared below) and I’m more active than I’ve been since before all the leg drama.
HERE’S THE SKINNY
I set out to be inspired by my laya Healthcoach app, to incorporate suggestions for a healthier lifestyle into my often chaotic, family life. Constantly living ‘on plan’ wasn’t wasn’t going to work. What WAS going to work, however, was using my Healthcoach app to do the following:
- Get inspiration for healthier breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for EVERYONE and use the recipes suggested by the Healthcoach team to tweak some of our family favourites in order to make them better – adding more veggies, switching out oil for low-cal spray, considering low-fat options (butter and cheese excepted. Sacrilege.)
- Give me a gentle kick in the behind to be more active every day.
- Give me access to tools and resources to improve general mental wellbeing and factor some self care into my week.
- Prompt me to be a little more cognisant of what’s going on in terms of energy-in, energy-out.
- As a natural consequence to all of the above, make some improvements to the stats and figures that gave me quite the hop during my initial one-to-one meeting with my Healthcoach, Chris.
This week we'll be offsetting the pancakes and Valentine's Day vino (which I may have to hit early btw, on account of the relentless pancake-making 😅) with some extra walking and general outdoorsyness. I've set myself one of the distance challenges on my #layahealthcoach app. 100,000 steps in 10 days. That's 10,000 per day, which, for a parent who doesn't sit much, is totally doable, yes? If only I had her energy! ☝️😳#ad
SO, HOW ARE WE DOING?
- I’ve enjoyed lots of meals from the plan to date. Breakfast has been properly shaken up and now often features walnut pancakes, banana and choc chip overnight oats with chia seeds and nut butter on toast with fruit. Good, right? If it’s just me for midweek lunch, I’ll chow down on a delicious salmon salad, stuffed peppers or a creamy chicken wrap from the list of lunch recipes. At dinnertime, I’ll often tweak a suggested meal so that everyone can enjoy it. Normal food, with a healthier, Healthcoach-inspired slant!
- My activity levels have undoubtedly increased. To be fair, it wasn’t hard considering I was barely moving! A gym-bunny I ain’t BUT I’ve started tracking my steps (when I remember to wear/charge my Fitbit), I’ve upped my walking and swimming (two activities I genuinely enjoy), I’ve tried some of the gentle exercises on the app and I’ve undertaken a distance challenge. What’s probably most surprising is the fact that I’ve taken up a weekly spinning and toning class. Do I enjoy it? No. Who could? All that sweating is against nature, surely? Does it make me feel better? Yes. It makes me feel like I’m being a bit more responsible and proactive about my health – one of my goals to begin with.
- I’ve enjoyed reading tips and articles from experts. I’ve particularly enjoyed The Sleep Clinic and Be Here Now programmes on the app. Sleep was something I was struggling with and as my kids get older, it’s harder to blame them for the eye baggage. I’ve made some positive changes to help me unwind earlier with a book instead of mindless social media scrolling! I’m also making efforts to get some more time for me, whether it be meeting a friend for a coffee, going for a walk or listening to a podcast uninterrupted.
- I’m a food superfan and I spoke before about the fact that I’m unwilling to deprive myself of things that I love. That being said, I find myself thinking more about quantity and portion size when it comes to the good stuff (and when I say ‘good’ stuff, I mean the tasty stuff. The alcohol. The chocolate. The cheese.) That’s certainly progress. Moderation I can live with. Abstinence is a mug’s game!
- I finally did it. I reluctantly put a battery in my bathroom scales after years of neglect. When I remember to use it, I can easily input updated figures and measurements into the app, which makes for the most delightful coloured graph that is, for now, going slowly the the right direction!
Sometimes self care is as simple as sticking on a cartoon for the kids and stealing a half hour for yourself with a book and cuppa. My nifty little #layahealthcoach app unlocks all kinds of rewards when I undertake challenges or meet goals. Rewards include Eason's vouchers, beauty vouchers, and discounts with Irish Breaks. There's even money off Deliveroo! My kinda incentive. 😁#balance 😏 @layahealthcare #ad
I’m sharing two of my favourite meals from the app. They’re easy, delicious, healthy and made with simple ingredients that are probably already knocking about your kitchen. Keep an eye on my Instagram Stories over the coming weeks, where I’ll be sharing some more of my favourites.
LUNCH: RED LENTIL SOUP
Consider making double. It freezes well.
- 1/4 Onion
- 2 large carrots
- 75g uncooked red split lentils
- 200g tinned, diced tomatoes
- 4-5 sprays of light spray oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/4 teasp cumin
- 1/4 teasp turperic
- 1/2 teasp coriander
- 375ml veg stock
- Coat a non-stick pan with light spray oil.
- Peel and crush garlic, peel and chop onion. Add both to the pan for 3-4 minutes.
- Peel and chop carrots into circular shapes. Add to pan and cook on medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
- Add spices to pan and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add stock, lentils and tomatoes to the pan. Allow to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft.
- Eat hole or blend with a hand blender.
DINNER: BEEF MADRAS CURRY
Serves 4 (or our family of 2 adults and 3 kids)
- 450g Lean steak
- 1 tbsp olive oil or low fat spray
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 600 mls beef stock
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 2 teasp grated root ginger
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 300g french beans
- 300g broccoli
- bunch fresh coriander (to garnish)
- Combine coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper, chilli powder, crushed garlic, ginger and lemon juice in a bowl to form a paste. Set aside.
- Heat a non-stick pan on medium and coat with light spray oil.
- Add steak to pan and brown.
- Add paste to the pan and stir continuously to ensure steak is completely covered in paste.
- Add stock and tomato puree and reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low heat for an hour or – if you’re in a hurry – until the beef has cooked through.
- Add broccoli and french beans to the pot for the last 5 – 7 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with fluffy basmati rice.
Here’s the link to my initial post, Living Better with Healthcoach, in case you missed it. I’ll be back with one final update next month. In the meantime, if you’re interested in following along or finding out more about the specifics of my personal plan, you can keep up to date on Instagram and Facebook. If you’re an existing laya healthcare customer or you want to find out more about the Healthcoach service, check out layahealthcare/healthcoach. It’s available to all laya healthcare customers at no additional cost.
If you’ve any questions about my programme, feel free to get in touch or drop a comment below. If you’ve taken healthier steps in the right direction and you’d like to share your tips in the comments, I’d LOVE if you did! I’ll take all the inspiration I can get!
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with laya healthcare. To find out more about what this means and how I work with brands, check out my disclosure page.