The Naked Blondie Talks Food
Nicola Carolan from Athy Co. Kildare decided to make a healthy change and lose some weight. Over 22 stone at her heaviest, Nicola realised that she could not continue with the unhealthy lifestyle she was living and decided to sign up with her local Slimming Group. Since then, Nicola has been tracking her progress on her very honest, informative and entertaining blog, The Naked Blondie. Here we hear about some of Nicola's favourite foods & more on her journey to date.
What's your favourite food?
Anything Italian, I adore it! That's why I chose my Healthy Deep Dish Lasagne as one of my favourite recipes to show you all.
What's your favourite restaurant in Ireland?
Mimosa Wine & Tapas Bar in Carlow. Always welcomed with open arms and the food is AMAZING!
What's your favourite meal to make at home?
Definitely my Crispy Chilli Chicken for all the family which is now available from my website - TheNakedMeatCompany
Who is your favourite cook/chef?
Good ol' Jamie Oliver!
What is your favourite sweet dish/dessert?
Lol Cheesecake! My healthier option would be of course using the Glenisk Greek 0% Fat Vanilla as a substitute for fresh cream.
What's your go-to cheat food?
I don’t think about food in terms of cheating or forbidden foods because it’s not a healthy way to live or eat. I treat myself all the time to foods that I love, but I am much more conscious now about healthy alternatives and smart substitutes, as well as portion control.
You're hosting your dream dinner party, who's at the table?
My family, both past and present.
Nicola, you're an inspiration to so many people who want to live a healthier lifestyle. What's the one piece of advice you'd give anyone starting this journey and maybe feel overwhelmed or hopeless?
Take every day as it comes. It’s overwhelming to think too far ahead or feel intimidated by the scale of the challenge. Trust me, I understand. Take it meal by meal and always hold on to the reason WHY you are on this journey. You won’t fail if you believe you won’t fail; it’s called a journey for a reason. It’s not a sprint.
What would you do differently if you were starting over again?
Nothing. I have enjoyed every single minute of my journey and still do.
Why do you think your journey worked out so well without any setbacks? What's the secret to a smooth journey?
For me it was self-belief, in all the times I tried to loose weight before nothing ever worked for me because deep down I didn't believe I could do it. I couldn’t and was not willing to accept that this was journey for the rest of my life. However I have changed my attitude and beliefs now. I know that this is forever and this is my life now.
How has social media helped you with your journey?
Weight gain can be very isolating, and those of us with weight to lose are often guilty of hiding away and feeling ashamed. Actually shining a light on the issue in an accepting and positive way is so much more productive. Social media was the platform that allowed me to reach out to other women and men on the same journey as myself. I shared my experiences but also learned from others. It was a fantastic learning experience and helped with motivation and inspiration. Sharing food ideas really helped.
Has social media ever caused you difficulty?
I am very blessed that I have the most amazing, kind, sweet and considerate followers. You will always get the odd one or two that may suffer from the green eyed monster but it would never deter me. It just makes me want to achieve more. If one person every day or week comes across my story and takes inspiration from it, that’s amazing! The girl who never believed, she did it. Maybe I CAN too.
You're now very close to your goal weight. Does it feel how you expected it would? What's different to what you expected?
I had no expectations. I just took it day by day. I have loved seeing how my body has changed and continues to change. Most of all I am just so proud of everything I have achieved, from weight loss to personal achievement and business. There is nothing you cannot do, if you just believe in yourself.
Tell us a bit more about your business
The Naked Meat company was created to give that extra helping hand everyday to the Irish population. We want to create awareness of healthy eating and pass this knowledge of healthy eating and choices to our kids, younger siblings grandkids nieces and nephews. We have a whole range of products from slimmer-friendly, fitness & high- protein and a great kids range. Our business only began on June 18th and it has been an incredible journey so far. We didn't expect the hugre reation we have got so far. We are producing top quality Irish meat products that have been stripped back with no additives or preservatives. It is meal prep done for you. In our current society we are always trying to find that extra few minutes hours in the day and that’s exactly what the Naked Meat company does for you. Our convenience gives you your time back and also allows you to be on plan and most importantly stay on track! We can all do with a helping hand now and again and that is exactly what the Naked Meat Company is!
Check out our recipe collaboration with Nicola for lots of healthy, tasty dishes!