Saturday, 28 March 2015

It's been two weeks at the Slow Carb Diet. How am I doing?

Recently, much has changed in my life. I moved to Edinburgh, I started a new job, and I also took upon 30 - day challenge doing the Slow Carb Diet. It has been few days since I try to eat accordingly with the diet’s principle and I want to share with you my thoughts. Well… how am I doing? The answer is: VERY GOOD!

At first it seemed to me that the constant eating of meats, vegetables and beans will be unbearable, but honestly with time it turned out that preparing meals in accordance with the diet, is actually very tasty, the portions are big, and I am losing weight faster than ever. In today's post I will describe briefly what I eat for breakfast, dinner and my favourite day of the week in other words on the cheat day. Snacks and lunches I will leave for another occasion.

Breakfast is an important meal of the day and I always try to have it no later than 45 minutes after getting up. I would often eat scrambled eggs, baked sausages with vegetables, and salads for example with tuna. Here, in the picture I had some scrambled eggs with vegetables and baked beans in a tomato sauce with the addition of cayenne pepper.

I eat dinner always around 8pm and I generally choose vegetables as an option for example of fried fresh vegetables with garlic butter and herbs.

During the whole week, I stick to the rules of the diet, and everything what I want to eat but I can't I would buy and eat on Saturday - a picture below. Even though I feel like a big balloon after a day-long indulgence, my weight still goes down anyways! Sounds too good? But it's true! Slow Carb works wonders!

I have prepared for you a list of my advice that will hopefully help you deal with the first few days on the Slow Carb Diet:
- First, arrange the menu for the whole week, I know this is hard to imagine all of the meals for the entire week but it helps to control what you eat.
- Try to do the shopping only once a week, so you buy only what is necessary.
- Try to eat the meals at the same time every day. This will guarantee that you will not be hungry as our bodies like routines!
- It is best to choose a cheat day on a day when you do not do much and spend most of the time at home as this is when we tend to eat more. For me this would be a Saturday also because this is when I go out in the evening with friends and enjoy eating out and drinking some alcohol at a party.
- Believe me, you can't last long on a diet, if every day you are going to have the same thing over and over again. I tried with chicken and vegetables, it just gets too boring and demotivating. Try to look for different recipes and eat meals that very in ingredients.
In Slow Carb Diet, once a week you can eat everything you want!

Changing quickly subject: I don't know if you realise, but it is approximately100 days left until the summer starts so maybe it's a good time to take up the challenge...? :-)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Home-made body butter

In today’s post, I would like to talk about homemade natural cosmetics. I have been experimenting ever since September 2014 and I am now a devotee to couple of interesting and easy to make substitutes for store bought in products. I am not completely converted yet, as I still use make-up products but then you have to start somewhere and in my repertory of daily use of products, I now use natural soaps and shampoos, homemade antiperspirant and natural body butters. I even tried to intensify my natural hair colour with some homemade solutions. I will try to cover each of these topics in the next series of posts.

But today, I will show you how to make your own body moisturizer or body butter. Which is very simple to make and honestly a great product. For me this is it, I will never buy a body lotion/butters or other similar product from the shop. No need, this does the job soooo well and it is all 100% natural!! 

So what you need to know is the ratio. And this vary slightly from recipe to recipe but not too far. You need 70% to 75% of solid butter (e.g. shea, mango or cocoa) and 25% to 30% of liquid oil (e.g. coconut, hemp, sweet almond, olive, avocado, etc.) So for example: 1½ cup of shea butter and ½ a cup of coconut oil liquid or solid (depending on where you live, both work just fine). This was the ratio I used for my very first body butter and I can confirm, it works!! To this, I then added couple drops of vitamin E that helps to preserve it.  And this lasted me for months!

However, today, I would like to try something new and I will make two small batches rather one large. My ratio for this will be: 50% shea butter, 25% coconut oil and 25% either hemp or sweet almond oil and I will add some essential oils for scent.

I have decided to try to use the hemp oil as it is known to treat redness, cracked and dry skin. And the sweet almond oil as it is overall nourishing and it helps to soothe skin’s irritations and inflammations. I will let you know in my next post, whether there is a difference in results of the two products. But, then… you need to know, that there is no one simple solution for all. So you need to try different oils to find which one suits your needs best.

Ingredients for one small jars:

When it comes to essential oils, it is a rather personal choice. Here, I am using a lemon eucalyptus for its lovely smell, but you can also use: lavender, sweet orange, tea tree, rosemary, lemon, etc. This is where you can really personalise your cosmetics.

How to:

- But the butter and oil in a glass bowl and place it in a pan of simmering water until all is melted and combined together.
- Add either hemp or sweet almond oil. Mix well.
- Cool it down and put in a fridge until it all sets back together.
- When ready, add the vitamin E and the essential oil.
- Whisk with an electric mixer until it looks like a whipped cream.

- Transfer to a jar and enjoy!

The reason I ever started to think about natural cosmetics, was because I have a very sensitive skin prone to reactions. Whether it is due to cold weather outside or dry air inside, stress or actual reaction to chemical ingredients, I tend to get these dry itchy patches. And these are no fun to look at nor to live with. And the products bought from the pharmacy did little at best and mainly nothing at all but yet they are very expensive. So I started to read about homemade solutions and it turned out, there are many people who either have a similar skin problems or want to simply give it a go to this natural idea of products and have now as I have their life changed. There are many blogs out there and many personal journeys… so I invite you to do your own little research and who knows you might end up creating your own range of cosmetics as it happened to me. Here are few blogs that are worth exploring: Rawmazing, Wellness Mama and a Facebook group for Polish readers Kacik Kosmetyczny.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Edinburgh is a city of mystery. I didn't think that every day I could discover something new here. There are so many beautiful and fascinating places everywhere around. No wonder, the city is very popular with tourists, wondering around the main sites: the Old Town, the Arthur's Seat, the Edinburgh Castle, the Holyrood Park and the Royal Mile. And, I am sure, everyone who have been in Edinburgh, has probably visited those places. But there is so much more to the city than these above and Edinburgh has so much more to offer.

Today, I would like to focus on those ‘less’ popular sites of the city that I personally really like. For instance, Dean Village. Path along the Water of Leith river is almost 20 km long and it is perfect for a Saturday walk or a bike ride. It was definitely built so to look good in pictures. Everywhere you go, you can see beautiful sceneries and buildings.

St Bernard's Well and Greek goddess Hygeia, Water of Leith

 Walking route, Water of Leith

 Dean Village

A bit of fun facts, Dean Village built more than 800 years ago. It was the milling village which supplied Edinburgh with flour and bread. Now, this is one of the most expensive areas to live in in Edinburgh. I went for a tour of the Dean Village few weeks ago and I was lucky with the weather, with February’s sun out and warm temperatures it was a pleasure to have my look around. But I cannot wait to the spring even more, it will probably be even more beautiful then.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Hearty meal recipe: lentils with pork

Here's a wholesome recipe packed with dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and delicious taste. Also, very suitable for my brother’s slow carb diet or honestly any diet. This is low fat, low kcal and just healthy!

It is a little bit more complicated than my previous recipes but it makes a great change to pasta, rice or potatoes. It is one of those easy in one pot dishes with a right combination of meat, vegs and legumes.

All you need is:

-          0.5 kg meat ( any, I chose pork but chicken, beef, lamb would go equally well), diced raphly into 2cm cubes
-          200 g of green lentils
-          Can of chopped tomatoes
-          2 tsp of tomato purée
-          2 carrots, diced
-          1 onion, diced
-          1 tsp of vinegar (cider, wine, etc.)
-          Salt and pepper
-          Rosemary
-          Small can of green peas – optional

How to:

1.    Start with browning the meat on a preheated pan with a little bit of oil. When the meat is browned all over, add onions and mix well. Cook for about 2 minutes then add carrots and sprinkle all over with rosemary then mix again. Cook for further 5 to 7 minutes.

2.    Next, add water so it covers the meat.
3.    Wash quickly lentils on the sieve over the sink and add them into the pan with the vinegar. Mix so that everything is well incorporated.
4.    Cover the pan with a lid and slowly cook for further 30 minutes.

5.    When the time’s up, add the tomatoes and purée. Mix well and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the sauce starts to get thicker. Here, you can also add the green peas.

6.    Add salt and pepper to taste and this should be now good to serve.

I love this recipe both with meats and as a vegetarian meal. For another quicker meat version it goes perfectly with sausages. Although, I would cook those separately on the side. For a vegetarian version, you can skip the meat part and cook the lentil stew using only vegetables. It is great served hot but I also love eating leftovers the next day cold.  Making it into a salad with adding some chopped cooked beetroot and some feta cheese. It is sooooo good!!

I hope you like it and don’t forget to tell me what you think not only about this recipe but the blog all together.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Green goodness or simply broccoli soup.

I have made this broccoli soup for you. It is a fuss free and very TASTY, not to mention suuuper HEALTHY recipe!! I love soups and the idea that it is a quick and easy way of eating vegetables and something warm. This could be a great lunch option with a sandwich on a side, or a low fat dinner with a goat’s cheese toast on top or a starter to a romantic dinner.

You will literary going to need five ingredients. You can even do it with four and it will still be DELICIOUS! And, I am pretty sure two of those ingredients you already have in your cupboards or laying around somewhere in your kitchen. So let’s put those potatoes and stock cubes into work, shall we.

Let’s begin with the list of INGREDIENTS:
  • 1-2 large fresh broccoli chopped into florets or a bag of frozen ones, which are already chopped making this process even easier
  • 1-2 stock cubes, either vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2-3 medium size potatoes, peeled, washed and quartered
  • 100 g bag or 2 handfuls of spinach (optional), wash if unwashed
  • 2-3 triangles of The laughing cow cheese

These differences in quantities depend on whether you want to make more or less of the soup. If you want less, just use the smaller number of the two suggested and this should make about three servings. The larger quantities should be enough for up to six servings.

So in this recipe I used a 1 kg bag of frozen broccoli. I wanted to make more of the soup, to be able to store some of it for later. I will give you an easy solution for how to do it, so it lasts for couple extra days in your fridge. This is my way of ensuring that I have something already made for those days that I am too busy to cook. 


  1. Start with washing the broccoli, even if it is frozen. Put it on the sieve and run the water through. Then place them into a large saucepan together with potatoes and pour enough water to cover the vegetables.
  2. Bring back to boil.
  3. Then turn it down and add stock cubes. Cover with the lid and leave to cook for 15 minutes.
  4. When the time is up, add the spinach. Mix well and cook for further 2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Switch off.
  5. Add the cheese to the soup and blend using hand blender until all is nicely blended J
  6. Try the taste and add some black pepper and/or salt if necessary.

When the soup is still very hot, I transfer some of it very quickly into a 1 liter jar. Then I close it very firmly so that when the soup cools down, it releases the air and automatically seals the jar. You will hear this pop sound when it happens. It will not happen straight away, but it will when the soup is cooling. So this prevents the air and bacteria from getting in and therefore preserving it for longer. This can be stored easily for a week in the fridge. 

I love this soup and I have tested it on my friends and family with receiving many yumms and thumbs up. So it is time for you to try it and I hope you will enjoy this and I would love to hear all about it!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Does a Slow Carb Diet actually work?

Over the last few years I have been on almost every diet - Dukan, South Beach, 1000 Calories, Atkins, you name it and I have probably tried it. Unfortunately, the results were always similar. I would have lost weight then gained it all back, lose it and then put it back on again and so this is still an ongoing battle.

And so, recently I have noticed, that when I look through Facebook, more and more of my friends go on a diet too, but manage to have better results. Obviously proven with their multiple selfies of their beautifully sculpted bodies, lean bellies, etc. And then, the internet in its own right is full of it too, showing celebs and other successful stories everywhere. Probably, you too have seen pictures of people, who lost tens of kilograms and now they look like Holywood stars just few months after restrictive dieting. So while I am feasting on my last cup of ice cream, I must say that these pictures before and after make a huge impression on me. Ok, I must admit, I envy ALL of them! So how did they do it?!

I have read a little about the latest trends in dieting. Also, I have contacted some of my friends whom I have seen have had a better luck dieting. This has let me to take upon this 30 - day challenge and I’ll go on a Slow Carb diet! The time has come for me to take care of myself!

Have you heard anything about this diet? Ever since it has been published, it became at once very popular. It was created by Tim Ferriss, the author of the “The 4 Hour Body” book. The diet is based on couple simple rules:
1. Every day you can eat only: lean meats, beans, and veggies but no white foods like sugar, pasta, rice, cheese or bread.
2. You can't eat fruit. Only tomatoes and avocados are allowed in moderation.
3. Don’t drink calories. No Pepsi, Coca Cola or orange juice. 1 glass of red wine is okay, but the best option is to stick with water with lemon or herbal teas.
4. The most beautiful thing about this diet is that one day a week you can eat whatever your heart desires. Pizzas, sweets, ice creams, fruits are then unlimited! One more thing, the breakfast on this "cheat day" needs to comply with the diet.

This seems easy enough and so I say: no problem and bring on the challenge!

Anna, here’s a question for you: why don’t you join me? :-)

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Porridge. Is there anything better?

As it’s my first post, I’ve decided to share with you my breakfast favourite: the king of them all THE PORRIDGE. I believe starting the day right is a key, and perhaps this would also be my key to starting this blog right. All in the hands of my porridge haha.

My way of making porridge is with this spicy apple-banana mix with a creamy dollop of Greek yogurt sprinkled with roasted seeds. My mouth water just thinking about it. I don’t know whether it’s me alone or there are more of us out there, but having breakfast is almost like a ritual to me. I think about it and prepare for it a lot! I like to be healthy and this is my way to do it. I'm not saying this is all I eat for breakfast, I do like to go crazy occasionally and have pancakes or waffles instead. But my all-time fav is this one. Also, it’s just a perfect match with the current weather here in Brittany, meaning rainy, windy and grey. So this recipe is like a sunshine, that warms me up from the inside and keeps me full easily until lunch. Bla bla bla… but it’s true.

So I try to keep it as healthy as possible. I use water instead of milk and don’t add any sugars in any form: honey, agave nectar included or other. To be honest, the combination of fresh and dried fruits gives enough sweetness. But then, if you need more then add whatever you like. I would say that maybe maple syrup would complement best the used spices. But, hey I am me and you are you.


I start with grating my apple and then mashing into it half of a banana using a fork. This could be done in a bowl you use for breakfast or directly in a saucepan use to heat it up. I then add oats and sprinkle the mix with a bit of each: cinnamon, turmeric and ginger. Pour water over it to well incorporate all the ingredients and I like to keep it rather loose. 

This is now ready to be heated. It takes about five minutes and voilà! 

Finishing touches:

I like to add into mine a mix of flax meal and buckwheat flour for an extra fiber, both gluten free. This is a mix I buy here in France. On top of that, I drop a big spoon of the Greek yogurt and sprinkle it with roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. This is where, you can add some sweetness on top. You won’t regret it, I’m telling you THIS IS DELICIOUS!!

Eating porridge is well documented to have multiple health benefits. I think we all know it by now. So tuck in and enjoy it!


-          1 grated medium apple
-          ½ of ripe banana
-          5 tbsp of oats
-          Glass of water, depending how thick or liquid you like your porridge
-          ½ a handful of raisins
-          1 tbsp of flax meal and buckwheat flour
-          1 large tbsp of Greek yogurt
-          2 tbsp of roasted seeds: mix of sunflower and pumpkin

What I love about porridge is that it has endless possibilities. I have my seasonal favourites and this is why it never gets boring. I'll make sure to keep you posted on my porridge adventures. But before, what are your ways of eating it? Don't be shy and share with us!