10 Minute Meal Prep:Peri-Peri Chicken and Sweet Potato

As a lover of food and fitness, I’m always looking for quick and healthy recipes to fuel my workouts and long days. Most days I don’t get home from work until around 9pm, so the last thing i want to be doing is slaving over the cooker and not eating until after 10pm. It is this exact issue that causes so many people to then make the wrong choices and reach for convenience foods. I understand, I am the biggest culprit myself,  who doesn’t love a bowl of cereal (or 4) for dinner?

This is why we prep. You see it all the time in the fitness industry and it is by far one of the most successful ways to stay on plan, eat right, feel good and save money. 

My most recent fav is my peri peri chicken and sweet potato 10 minute dinner.

 

 

All you need is:

  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 400g Uncooked Chicken
  • 3 Mixed Peppers
  • 200g Broccoli
  • 1tbsp Nandos Peri-Peri Salt
  • 1tsp Coconut oil

 

Method:

  • Chop up the sweet potatoes, place in a microwavable bowl of boiling water and microwave on full power for approx 8 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile slice your chicken into thin strips and lightly coat in peri peri salt, chop your peppers and broccoli. Place 1tsp of coconut oil in a pan and fry the chicken and veg until fully cooked.
  • Remove the sweet potatoes from the microwave, drain and add them to your chicken and veg. Mix everything together.
  • Serve even amounts into 2 tupperwares and you have 2 days dinner sorted already (or tonights dinner and tomorrows lunch). All you have to do is pop it in the microwave for 1 minute and dinner is served! No mess, no effort. 

 

Alternatively, you can increase the quantity of each ingredient, make more and freeze the extra meals until you’re ready to eat them. 

 

For those counting macros or calories, here is the breakdown for one portion:

  • Carbs: 48g
  • Protein: 52g
  • Fat: 2.8g
  • Calories: 440kcal

 

Give this one a go, it is definitely a current favourite of mine.

Enjoy!

 

Fiona x

With a New Year comes new challenges, new adventures and a whole load of new possibilities. The best thing about getting this fresh start is that everybody is in the same mind set at the same time, it’s easier to achieve your goals when everyone is on the same page. January is a time to accept a new beginning and move on from whatever was dragging you down before. New Years Resolutions are a great thing to encourage you to become a happier you.

Here are 6 resolutions that I think everyone should give a shot!

 

1- Try Something New Every Day

Simple, yet effective. Setting yourself the challenge to do something you’ve never done or eat something you’ve never tasted will open you’re mind to so many possibilities. You will feel pride and accomplishment in yourself when you find new things you love.

 

2- Save

Buy a box that you can put money in, but cant take back out. Every day put £2 that you would usually spend on unnecessary snacks in there. By the end of the year, you’ll have £730 saved in there. Christmas bonus!

 

3- Go Your Own Way

It’s easy to get caught up following others lifestyles, doing things that don’t make you happy just to keep others smiling. Sometimes it’s okay to speak up and say what you would rather do. If nobody wants to listen, the go do it yourself.

 

4- Smile

That is all. Smile, it’s contagious.

 

5- Do a ‘Dryathalon’

You heard me. Choose a month and for that entire month… NO alcohol! Your body will thank you.

 

6- Look After You

Self care is not selfish. It’s one of the most important factors in life. If you don’t know how to look after yourself, you’re never going to be able to look after others.

 

Comment your resolutions below!

All the best for 2018,

Fiona x

My Favourite Christmas Songs | Blogmas | FionaMeikle

It is officially acceptable to listen to Christmas music, despite the fact i have been since September! Haha, you’ve been asking if i can write a post on my fav Christmas songs, so here you go! 🙂

 

1. Baby It’s Cold Outside- Dean Martin

As much as i love the original version, i also love Michael Buble and Idina Menzels cover. I acted out a play to this song in drama when i was at school, it brings back some great memories and definitely gets me in the Christmas spirit.

 

2. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree- Brenda Lee

It’s super fun and uplifting and who doesn’t whip out their best moves to this one. Haha!

 

3. Fairytale of New York- The Pogues

It’s not Christmas until you’ve heard The Pogues. This has always been one of my favourites and i’m sure it always will be.

 

4. Do They Know It’s Christmas-Band Aid

I love this one purely for the charitable meaning behind it. So much money is raised for charity from this song every year. It’s amazing.

 

5. Christmas Wrapping- The Waitresses

The classic, and my ultimate favourite. I know every single word to this song and could probably recite it backwards i’ve listened to it so many times! 

 

Let me know your favourites down below!

Merry 4th of December!

 

Fiona X

Asos Christmas Wishlist | Blogmas | FionaMeikle

We all love an Asos haul don’t we! I took a good look through their website last night and made a wishlist of a few of my favourite items. All these things are great for either treating yourself this Christmas or wrapping up to give to your friends for the holidays! 

 

Item 1: Christmas Piggy Jumper

I often refer to myself as a “pig in blanket” over the season because of my undesirable need to eat every single food i see. So this jumper is perfect for me! £16

 

Item 2: Christmas Romper

This is different, but i like it. A cute little pyjama romper. £35

 

Item 3: Reindeer Garland 

 

For pinning up on your wall this season, i like this because it doesn’t just have to be for Christmas. Leave it up all year round! £23

 

Item 4: Leggings and Top Combo

This leggings and top combo, it’s different but cute! For someone (like me) who lives in leggings, this is perfect. £18

 

Item 5: Rose Gold Coasters

Rose Gold is the new Silver. These will look great in your home this winter. £15

 

What is your favourite item on the list? Leave a comment and let me know!

Happy Holidays,

 

Fiona X

 

Vlogmas Day 2:

Christmas Hot Chocolate | Blogmas | FionaMeikle

I am a hot choco-holic. There’s no hiding it, and at this time of year it is acceptable to embrace it. One of my most recent addictions is ‘all things salted caramel’ I. LOVE. IT. So combine the two and we get the creamiest, sweetest, salted caramel hot chocolate!

 

 

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup carnations caramel
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2tsp finely grinded sea salt

Instructions-

1. Melt the chocolate chips slowly in a large pyrex bowl above a pot of boiling water. Once smooth add in the caramel, cream, vanilla and milk. Stir continuously for approx 15 minutes (until all the ingredients are mixed together and the mixture is smooth) Continue to heat through to your desired temperature.

2. Pour the mixture in your festive mug, stir in the salt and top with whipped cream and caramel sauce!

Enjoy!

Fiona x

Vlogmas Day 1: 

Christmas Advent | Blogmas | FionaMeikle

First of all, happy December and welcome to Blogmas day one!

Incase you haven’t guessed by the title, today’s post is all about the 24 days of advent. I have written down 24 different things that you should do this December. They don’t have to be in order, but the more of these you complete, the better you will feel about yourself. Finish off the year by being the best version of you, this will set you up for a great start for 2018.

 

Day 1. Contact an old friend

Day 2. Visit a Christmas market

Day 3. Visit family

Day 4. Have a clear out, donate old clothes to charity

Day 5. Make your own decorations

Day 6. Go for lunch at your local hospice

Day 7. See some Christmas lights

Day 8. Make a homemade gift

Day 9. Watch a Christmas movie

Day 10. Wear a Christmas jumper

Day 11. See a pantomime 

Day 12. Decorate your home

Day 13. Arrange a secret Santa

Day 14. Bake cookies

Day 15. Have a dinner party with friends

Day 16. Forgive and forget

Day 17. Show gratitude

Day 18. Play a board game

Day 19. Take a break – We all need at least one day off

Day 20. Talk to somebody new

Day 21. Write your New Years resolutions

Day 22. Show compassion

Day 23. Do that last minute wrapping

Day 24. Appreciate every single moment and everything you have, not everybody is as fortunate as you are

 

It’s day one, better get started now!

Merry Christmas,

Fiona x

What’s New?

As someone who is fairly new to the world of blogging, i cannot express how much of a stress reliever sitting down and writing a new post is for me. After starting my YouTube channel a few weeks ago i have discovered that filming videos works the same way for me. 

Anybody who knows me will know how massive a fan of Christmas i am! So, putting the 3 together, Starting from the 1st of December until the 24th of December i will be doing both Vlogmas AND Blogmas. 

Every day i will post a new blog post and i would love for you guys to let me know what you want to see. Additionally, either every 3 days or once each week (let me know what you would prefer) i will post a vlog of everything i’ve been up to over those days.

I can’t wait to start on this little project and see where it takes me.

Please let me know in the comments what you want to see on my blog, and what you want me to get up to in my videos!

Subscribe to my Youtube HERE

I’m always looking to improve my content and make my blog the best it can be, help me out by telling me what you like and don’t like about my posts. I’m open to all ideas and perceptions! 

Have a great day,

Fiona x

Children in Need Rainbow Pudsey Cupcakes

In honour of Children in Need coming up this week i decided to make these cute little rainbow Pudsey cupcakes. They are super easy, fun and quick to make, of course, they also taste amazing. I would love to see you guys give these a go at home and tag me in pictures of your finished cakes!

 

 

You will need:

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 130g self raising flour
  • 150g softened butter
  • 20g cornflour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 4 different food colourings of your choice
  • Icing sugar and yellow, blue, green, black and red food colouring (or pre rolled icing)

 

Method:

Preheat your oven to 160°c and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.

Mix together the dry ingredients, beat in the eggs and butter, then mix in the vanilla extract and milk. Separate the mixture evenly into 4 different bowls. In each bowl gradually add in a food colouring until you get your desired colours. Take one table spoon from each coloured mixture and add it to your cupcake cases. Run a fork through the middle a couple of times to get a marble colour effect. Place on the middle shelf in the oven and leave to bake for approx. 15 minutes (or until a cocktail stick comes out clean) Once baked place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

 

For the icing:

You can either, cut pre rolled yellow icing into circles matching the size of the cupcake surface, using the black icing roll out small circles for one eye, a nose and a mouth. Use plain white icing to draw on the eye patch then cut a circle from the green, blue and red icing to make the polka dots on the patch.

Alternatively, you can add 2 table spoons of water to 150g of icing sugar and mix together until smooth. Take 1 table spoon from the mixture and separate it into a different bowl, repeat this in separate bowls 5 times (you should have 6 bowls in total and the one you started with should have the most mixture left in it) In the biggest bowl mix in a few drops of yellow food colouring until you get a strong colour. In each of the smaller bowls repeat this step with red, blue, green, black and leave the remaining bowl white. Use the yellow icing to fully coat the surface of each cupcake, using the black add one eye, a small dot for the nose and a smiley mouth 🙂 Draw on the eye patch with the white then use the red, blue and green to make polka dots.

I originally went for the pre-rolled idea, i cut out all my shapes then left them for so long that they went hard and cracked when i tried to mould them. So if you’re going to go for this one, make sure to stick them to the cakes straight away!

 

Children in need is an amazing charity used to help children living in poverty. Please take a few minutes to donate a couple of pounds at Donate to Children in Need. Every donation, no matter how small will help. 

Send me your cupcake pictures to @FionaMeiklePT on Twitter.

Subscribe to my youtube channel  FionaMeikle to see the video on how to make these coming out on Tuesday! 

Have a great week!

Fiona X

 

Simple Ways To Become A Happier You

Here are some simple steps you can take to help change your mindset, cheer up your outlook on your life and the way you cooperate with those around you 🙂

Be Positive

You know the quote, ‘think positive and positive things will happen’ Well in my opinion, it works! If you stress over things too much, you’ll work your self up and your performance won’t be as strong as it would have been if you were calm. If negative thoughts are building up in your head, take a moment to calm yourself down, do something which relaxes you and re-evaluate the situation with a positive outlook before you act on it. Hopefully your great attitude will rub off on others too.

Forgive

We’re all human, we all make mistakes. If someone you care about has upset you in any way, forgive them. Forgiving their mistake is much better than losing them forever. I’m sure they will make it up to you one day and do the same for you.

Respect

Those who are achieving their goals, those who raise money for charities, every disability, race, gender, sexuality, people who have got themselves out of a tough place in life, your elders, those who have overcome addictions, passed exams, came out of their comfort zone. Every. Single. Person. Deserves. Respect. So be respectful and you’ll see it come right back at you.

Appreciate

Put down your phone and talk to those around you. Don’t be that person scrolling through your phone whilst someone is trying to tell you a story. Appreciate the time you have and the friends and family there to share it with you. Appreciate your surroundings and everything you have.

 

Taking on board just one of these points can have a massive effect on your perspective of your life. Give them a go, watch how you change 🙂 

 

Fiona x

Life Has it’s Way of Surprising us

Life has it’s way of surprising us. Personally, i was hit with a few surprises at once. It was like a continuous slap on the face but, i took everything as a wake up call.

Life is too short. Live it before it ends.

Please keep reading until the very end.

 

So you’ve probably already noticed my vague title. 

Let me tell you a story. 

The development of type 1  is strange- It has such a subtle encroachment that you barely even notice anything changing. Each symptom is brushed off and simply absorbed into your lifestyle until everything becomes normality.

I was 13 and trudging my way through high school. I’m decent at hiding away my emotions and keeping things to myself, so my initial symptom was not the biggest nor most noticeable of problems. We all know teenagers are moody, so my erratic notions to dropkick anyone who accidentally nudged me in the corridor were normal teenager feelings… Yes? Just like the rest of my classmates I stayed up late, resulting in around 4-5 hours of sleep every night. So falling asleep in maths class was standard for everybody, not just me (although i seemed to do it a lot more than others). Lack of sleep would also account for my need to stop for a breath half way up a small flight of stairs and would explain why i could hardly focus on an episode of The Simpsons for more than 5 minutes.

The thirst… THE THIRST! This is what did it for me. I had always taken one bottle of water to school with me. This would usually do me for the day and i would most likely go home with the bottle still half full. Gradually, one bottle turned into two, two bottles turned in to three, three turned into four and four turned into five PLUS a phone call to my dad around midday asking him to bring me some more as i’ve already finished what i had. I couldn’t leave a shop without paying for an empty multipack of water because i had already drank them all before reaching the checkout. The feeling was so overwhelming i don’t even know to explain. As i had water flowing down my throat, I still felt thirsty. 

Naturally concerned, my parents made an appointment with the doctor. The outcome… “Take her home, she’ll grow out of it”… She’ll grow out of what? Dehydration? Stunned at the doctors lack of care, my dad put up a fight and insisted something was done. So tests were carried out, blood was taken and away home i went.

Days later, I’m home alone and the phone rings. A concerned voice doesn’t let me finish my ‘hello’ before asking me how soon i can get to the hospital. 

“Is there somebody who can drive you or will i send an ambulance?”

Possibly the most terrifying sentence my young mind had ever heard. I had no idea what was wrong with me but i promptly knew it must be serious. I was frantically calling my mum and dad. My mum drove home and we made our way to the hospital. She was there for me, i could sense her fear but i knew as long as she was with me, everything would be ok. The silence in the car was anything but tranquil, you could just about see our anxious thoughts.

So i got my diagnosis. Type 1 diabetic? i was so confused.

How can i be diabetic when i’m a fit and healthy 13 year old? Nurses began to explain the often confused meaning behind diabetes. There is two different types;

Type 1- Insulin dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. It is treatable however, it is unpreventable and currently incurable. 

Type 2- Most often caused by lifestyle, most frequently found with obesity or in the elderly.

So keep in mind, i am type 1 diabetic, not type 2 and I could not have changed anything about my life to prevent the disease from happening.

Imagine being young, living in constant fear of losing control of your own body. Having to draw blood from your finger tips 8 times a day and inject insulin into your bloodstream minimum 4 times Every. Single. Day. For the rest of your life. Knowing that by the time you’re 20 you could be blind, you could have limbs amputated or kidney failure.

Imagine being too scared to participate in any form of sport, incase you end up in an unconscious heap on the floor. Growing older, missing nights out or feeling too lethargic to even lift yourself out of bed. What about being scared to fall asleep, because there’s a chance you may not wake up.

I was 13 years old and scared to fall asleep. 

That is diabetes. Not that cake you posted on Instagram the other day and captioned ‘#Diabetes’

It had been less than a month after my diagnosis, I had already been hospitalised again after my sister Rachel found me unconscious at home. I lived in fear but there was no doubt about it, all hands were on deck in my family. I had all the support possible.

My dad had retired at age 49 and we became a team, I was now his full time job. He would spend hours in supermarkets reading food labels and trying to calculate how much insulin I would have to inject for each meal. He organised my prescriptions, hospital appointments and took me to the diabetic clinic every month. He monitored my levels and made sure we always had extra snacks in the house in case my sugar levels dropped. My life was in his hands and he did everything he could to keep me healthy. 

As if I wasn’t enough pressure on my dad, he also had his own mum to help look after. She was well into the late stages of Alzheimers and was a lot for my Grandad to cope with on his own. After being rushed to the hospital one night, the family gathered round her bed side, fully aware that things were not good. It was getting late, she was stable and I had school the next day, so we headed home. The thought of losing my gran destroyed every part of me. I lay in bed drowned in my own thoughts, my dad came and lay with me, he asked me how I think he must feel, losing a parent. He told me “everything happens for a reason, but life just keeps going.” I was prepared for the morning phone call, my dad answered and he smiled..? She pulled through, she’s as bright as a button and will get home later on today. 

So life continued back to “normal” Calculating my insulin doses, appointment after appointment for both myself and my gran. One week i would be in hospital, the next it would be her, the cycle continued until i began to stabilise. Things were picking up, we would book a few weekends away every now and again to escape. My gran was settled in a care home, my sugar levels were steady and I was beginning to focus on my GCSE’s. Life was looking good.

 

It’s winter now. My mum is a day patient at the hospital for a planned hernia removal and the same day, my dad finally goes to see about this ‘common cold’ he’s been having which is now accompanied by spots of blood when he coughs. Both parents come home safely, my mum bed bound for a few weeks and my dad with a pneumonia diagnosis and a course of antibiotics. With a quick recovery, all is well again in the Meikle house.

Weeks go by, it’s coming up for Christmas and my dads symptoms come back. He spends a few nights in hospital to undergo some tests. After multiple blood tests and X-Rays he is sent home to wait for answers. Strange things begin to happen. My dad isn’t himself. He claims to be fine and most of the time, he was. But a few scary nights happen, he says things he would never say and lashes out in ways he never would, but he was adamant there was nothing wrong and he did not have to go back to the hospital.

Over the course of a few days he became a man i didn’t recognise. I was scared. He lost the ability to communicate through words, he couldn’t talk and could not function one side of his body. Within 3 days of his initial change, lifting a cup to his own face became impossible. Facial expressions and slurred sentences were his only way of communicating. Although he made it clear that under no circumstances do we phone a doctor, we were left with no choice. The doctor arrived within 4 hours and my dad became agitated and aggressive. Whilst my dad lay on his bed the doctor spoke to us on our own. He asked if we’ve been in contact with any charities like Macmillan or Marie Curie. This confused us, but there was so much going on that it was brushed off and forgotten about. He was readmitted to the hospital and more tests started going down. 

Christmas Eve – It’s the morning and myself, my mum and Rachel are patiently waiting for visiting hours to come around. My mums phone rings and an instruction is given for us to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Off we go. 

Remember that silence i spoke about in the car earlier? It’s back.

We enter the hospital. My mum goes to the ward first, Rachel and I wait patiently outside. Minutes feel like hours, eventually we are called in. We walk into this tiny waiting room. My dad isn’t there. My mum is sitting hand in hand with the nurse. Both  are holding tissues and blotting the tears from their eyes. We sit down, each in a world of our own and prepare ourselves for what this nurse is about to say.

Cancer.

Terminal cancer.

There is not a single word i could possibly use to explain how that word hit me. It had started in his lungs and was now taking over his brain.

The nurse continued on to say how shocked every doctor is at how rapidly he is deteriorating. To cut a long story short, we were wasting the valuable time we had left with him. 

Christmas day – He was sitting up on his bed, unable to talk, but smiling uncontrollably whilst opening his presents. The next day, sitting up was impossible. He was admitted to St Andrews Hospice where he would spend his final days. He was completely bed ridden but the care and attention not only he received, but also my mum, Rachel and I received was outstanding. I could not be more thankful. We stayed in the hospice with my dad to spend every minute we had next to him. 

After we all dozed off one night, we were awoken by a nurse and advised to say our goodbyes. Suddenly everything felt real. We gathered round his bed, held onto his hands and spoke softly as his breathing slowed down immensely. It was time. It felt like there was 10 minutes between every inhale, and then finally, he just stopped. The room was silent, the nurse checked his pulse, glanced at her watch, then nodded to us and held our hands. The silence filled with tears and his presence just vanished. 

Within 11 days of my dads diagnosis, he was gone.

The family made their way to the hospice as we waited to hear what happens next. I was in a room full of people but could not of felt more alone, a massive part of my life was missing. He had been there since day one and now he’s just… Gone. 

Less than 3 months later, my gran decided it was time to join him. I woke up to that dreaded phone call i had prepared myself for the last time. But this time it had really happened. She slipped away peacefully during the night. 

I had lost two people who meant the world to me.

I had many sleepless nights, I suffered from sleep paralysis almost every time I started to drift off. I would see my dad and my gran walk into my room hand in hand. They would sit on my bed and tell me everything is going to be ok. This terrified me. I would see my dad in front of me, I could feel him hold my hand and I could hear him say my name, but he wasn’t really there. I stopped going to school almost every day and failed every exam I took except one, graphic design. Over the years I later discovered a few food intolerances which caused problems with my sugar levels. I was in hospital again with liver and pancreas problems and once again my full diet had to change. 

As my dad told me that night, life continued on. I left school early and picked up my first part time job at a gym. I had found a new passion for fitness! I attended different training weekends and within a few months I became a group fitness instructor. As my love for fitness grew, I went on my personal training course and am now a fully qualified personal trainer and nutritionist. 

Now i’m taking the next step, which is why I have made this blog. I want to inspire. This post was hard to write, there isn’t enough words to convey the rollercoaster of emotions I have experienced through the years. The lesson to be learned is, for as long as you’re healthy, you must live life to the fullest. It’s too short to take for granted.

I want everyone to know that not being where you want to be in life is ok. Everything happens for a reason, you will get there one day.

Life has it’s way of surprising us. You just have to carry on.

 

Fiona x