Last weekend I spent a bit of time driving on my own and those of you who know me really well, know I love nothing more than pulling up at a nice petrol station and getting a large coffee when on a road trip. It’s also nice to take a break and stretch the legs.
So while waiting to pay for my few bits I was watching other customers stock up on lots of tempting snacks. As they were choosing the 3 for 2 offers for their journey, I remembered the days that I too loved picking up different offers that were nicely laid out on the shelves before me. I always picked them up even if I didn’t need or want them. The trouble was I loved snacking and always ate them.
Nowadays, some of the petrol stations are like restaurants with delicious smells of hot food wafting in the air as you enter the store. The coffee is always placed next to a selection of buttery croissants and chocolate glazed donuts. The pastries look delicious and often have half price deals when you buy a tea or coffee. The salad bars have baskets of fresh crispy bread rolls, hot chicken, cheese and creamy coleslaw.
A few years ago I would stop at a garage and pick up a can of coke, a bar of chocolate and a packet of crisps (cheese and onion). Sometimes I didn’t even need petrol but would just stop along my journey for this amazing trio. That was a big bold habit that I needed to break.
Over the years I have tried lots of diets, counted calories and bought low fat this and low fat that. I thought Almond Milk was a horrible tasting milk that people with allergies were forced to drink. I never heard of Kale and thought Popeye was the only one who ate Spinach. The only Nuts I ate were salted or dry roasted and I ate them by the bag. I thought Avocados could only be eaten as guacamole and that Seeds were something you planted. I had a lot of learning to do and a lot of bad habits to break.
I have very few photos of when I was overweight. The main reason for this is that I never liked the 15st 9lbs Elaine in photos. I stood behind the lens rather than smile for the camera. When I decided enough was enough, I started to read about food and lifestyle choices that could change the way I felt and the way I looked.
We have all heard about and seen the “Food Pyramid” with lots of healthy foods at that bottom and a limit of tasty treats at the top. Most of the foods we love are processed foods that sit at the very top of the food pyramid. These convenience foods are great to give us the energy boost we need but the sugar content is huge and after feeling good for 20 minutes you hit a slump. Then the sugar ends up being stored as fat.
Finding new healthy treats that keep me from reaching for the sugary foods at the top of the pyramid is important to me. Healthy snacks high in protein will give you energy and fight off those sugar cravings.
So for those of you who are wondering what I picked up when I stopped off at the garage, here you go.
- 1 litre bottle of water because I had just finished the one in the car and even though I wasn’t thirsty I always like having water beside me. (Tip – Drink 2 litres a day)
- 1 treat size packet of Pistachio nuts. Once I start eating nuts I find it very difficult to stop. Try and buy a small treat size packet when travelling as I find the big bags very difficult to put away. (Tip – watch your portion size -12/14 nuts is plenty).
- 1 large black coffee. Some petrol stations now have almond milk in the fridge beside the coffee machines which is great to pour a little drop if you need it. A few months ago I could not go without milk in my coffee and now I cant drink it unless it is black.
- 1 BIG smile. This smile was one of total pride. Knowing that I am a million times better off for not picking the treats all around me and that my skinny jeans will continue to fit me tomorrow and for as long as I continue to stay focused and avoid temptation. (Tip – You got to want it)
Next time you pop in to pay for your petrol, avoid impulsive snacking by asking yourself the following:
- Do I need anything other than petrol?
- Do I need the 3 for 2 offers or will I end up eating them all myself?
- Do I really need the half price pastry with my coffee even though I had breakfast an hour ago?
- Can I wait until I get home for my lunch?
Change is difficult for everybody. If you want to loose weight and eat healthier then you need to keep an eye on what you eat everyday. It is difficult to break bad habits but with help and support you can. So next time you think of reaching for that sugar craving maybe stop and think of an alternative like healthy nuts, seeds or berries.
If I can do it anybody can!
I recently made these energy balls that are so easy to make and so delicious.Try them and let me know what you think. They went down a treat in my house and are great to reach for instead of a biscuit or bar when in need of a treat.
Elaine’s Energy Balls
- 200g almonds- 1 bag
- 200g dates – 1 bag
- 4 tablespoons cacao powder,
- 2 ½ tablespoons almond butter,
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Begin by placing the almonds in the food processor and pulsing until they are nicely ground.
- Add the dates and then the coconut oil until it’s fully mixed.
- Then add the almond butter and cacao and mix until all ingredients have come together.
- Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a small ball. Continue doing this until the mixture has finished.
- Place the rolled balls into the freezer for around 1 hour, then remove and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- These ingredients should make about 12 so keep them small.
Thanks for reading