Green smoothies – a great way to eat veges for breakfast

Smoothies are a great quick way to start the day and green smoothies ensure you get a huge dose of nutrients – super important going into winter (*sigh*) with nasty coughs and colds floating around.

Watch out for the smoothies you can buy in cafes as these can often be hiding ice cream, cream, honey etc and add up to 500-600 calories in one drink!!! Some are fine, but definitely ask what is in the smoothie before ordering ūüôā

Making your own smoothie is a great way to know exactly what you are eating – important if you watch what you eat or have dietary intolerances.

The recipe below is one of my favourite green smoothie recipes (I make all kinds of variations too – listed below). If you are new to green smoothies you may be thinking “Yuck, why on earth would I want to eat spinach for breakfast?!”. I promise you won’t even taste it.

Green smoothie recipe: 
– 2 cups of baby spinach leaves
– 1 banana
– half an apple (granny smith is best)
– 1 kiwi fruit
– 1 cup of coconut water
Add everything to a high powered blender and whizzzzzzzzzz!

Coconut water is a really good source of electrolytes, it is a bit of an acquired taste (I know a lot of people don’t like it), but try it in the smoothie and you won’t even taste it! ūüėČ

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Below are some variations I often make depending on what’s in the cupboard/fridge. The list is just a start, have a go with your own variations and let me know what flavour discoveries you find you like.

Variations/additions: 
– chia seeds
– sunflower seeds
– berries
– protein powder (I made it with vanilla and it went nice and creamy!)
– almonds
– mango
– almond milk instead of coconut water

Jane xx

Protein slice

Super quick post to share a recipe I was experimenting with this morning.

I like to spend Sunday’s preparing for the week ahead, food/cooking, washing, clothes for the week, pretty nails etc – all the things that I run out of time to do during the week (so I can spend more time sleeping and less time up late organising stuff!).

I call this one “protein slice” – exciting name huh. ¬†It tastes a lot better than the boring name may suggest ūüôā

Protein slice - yum!

Protein slice – yum!

Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecans (or other nut if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or cashew or whatever you have at home)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp honey (can leave out if don’t want to add sugar)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit – I used dried cranberries and blueberries
  • Extra shredded coconut for on top

1. Toast coconut and nuts under grill until golden.

2. Pulse toasted coconut and nuts in blender until like coarse breadcrumbs.

3. Melt coconut oil and almond butter.  Add vanilla and honey and add to coconut/nut mixture.

4. Add almond flour and mix till combined.

5. Add egg and mix.

6. Fold in dried fruit (and maybe a wee bit of dark choc if you are that way inclined ;)).  Could also drizzle choc on top after?  I am yet to try that.

7. Press into greased slice/loaf tin.

8. Bake for 10-15mins at 160 degrees. ¬†Sprinkle shredded coconut on top for the last 5-10 mins of baking and leave until golden. ¬†Once cool cut into squares and enjoy ūüôā

Approx macro content per piece:
15g fat
7g carb
8g protein

Enjoy!

Easter is over – still feeling like chocolate?

Easter is over and if you are anything like me all the chocolate and eggs are gone (if I eat them all in 2 days there is none left to tempt me and they are gone -don’t ask the logic behind this…).

You know the saying that “one bad meal doesn’t make you fat, just like one good meal doesn’t make you healthy” – what that means is few Easter eggs here and there isn’t going to ruin all your hard work.

That said, I don’t know about you but I had a killer headache from the chocolate I ate – sugar overload much?! I reminded myself of this today as I got back on track with my eating, but for some reason I just couldn’t shake the cravings. Ahh, that’s right, sugar is a sneaky little bugger in that it always leaves you wanting more (sugar high, crashhhhh, need more sugar to get back up again and so the cycle continues).

So, for those of you who (like me) may feeling be finding it a bit hard to shake the sugar devil, here is a recipe that *tastes* like it is full of naughtiness but is really full of fat (and a tiny bit of sugar) which as we know, keeps you fuller and much more satisfied than any sugar laden goodie is going to with no nasty crash and cravings later. Oh, and it’s full of chocolately goodness too – win ūüėĄ

This should help wean you off your the Easter sugar high while still giving you your choc fix.

Not so naughty fudge:

1/4 cup coconut oil melted
2 tablespoons almond butter
1/4 cup of cocoa or cacao
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp honey (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and pour into cupcake liner thingees (yes that is the technical name for them), then freeze to set. Keep in fridge or freezer.

Choc treats

 

Warning: these may not last very long due to being quiiiiiite delicious!!

While they are a less sugary alternative to Easter eggs, these are still a sometimes food.

Let me know what you think if do give these a try.

Jane x

Genetics loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger

genes There is a chapter in It Starts with Food on genetics and how big a part they play in determining your future. The book touched on how people with a¬†family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or¬†obesity may¬†believe their chapters have already been¬†written and how this history¬†will override any lifestyle choices they are in control of making. The Hartwig’s (the authors) use a beautiful analogy from¬†Dr. Francis Collins – “Genetics loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger”. They explain that yes, it is very real and scary that certain groups are more susceptible¬†to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure¬†or¬†obesity than others and that for some it can seem that their genes and make up are like “a loaded gun”. BUT the amount of stress you have to manage, your level of activity, your physical environment and the food you put on your plate are all choices you make everyday that make up your environment. You (mostly) choose the environment you build for yourself and live and breathe it day in and day out. You spend a lot of time in this environment. ¬†If you have a healthy, balanced environment you put that loaded gun to the side and say adios to the writing on the wall. If you have high stress, low activity, poor diet and toxic environment you may very well be pulling your own trigger.¬† Now I am not a doctor, nutritionist, naturopth¬†or any other qualified medical advisor. I know it’s not this simple and that every case is different. But this does make a lot of sense to me. Let me share with you my gene pool and my various environments¬†I have built myself over the last 5 years and what this has shown me.¬† Let me introduce you to the Topps.

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My Dad – Total legend

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My Mom – Most amazing woman I know

 

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My Brother – My hero

This is my family. Mum and dad, Jason and me. Mum and dad have been married for 40 (FORTY) years this September which is incredible and i’m so lucky to have such amazing role models at the other end of the phone. My dad is 60 and has played sports his entire life. He stills runs any building site like a boss and does more heavy lifting than most kids half his age! Mum pushes a desk by day but wears a spin bike every other¬†morning. I think you would agree she’s in great shape for a young lady about to reach another milestone b-day. Jason has always always always been a gym baby. I remember him eating egg whites and plain tuna for months on end in order to ‘bulk up’. When he was 16 he slipped a disk in his back and rehabilitated himself back to better shape than before his accident by religiously following the physio and specialists guidance for 12 months. He has¬†always been a benchmark for what hard work and dedication can achieve. So why am I showing you my amazing humans? Because im lucky enough to not have¬†heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or¬†obesity in my family. My family is happy and healthy in all senses of those words. That means that any “gun I load” is 100% due to my environmental choices.¬†I have lived and breathed in¬†both a healthy, balanced environment and a toxic environment for sustained periods of time and my body has changed drastically to reflect the environment i am living within. When I work long hours, eat poorly, exercise¬†sporadically¬†and miss my own personal goals I am on auto pilot to just achieve a few tasks at hand. I miss the small things. I miss my friends and family and most of all I miss living. I rush from one task to the next without stopping to reflect on what I achieved or what I could’ve done better. Months seem to go by in a blink of an eye and I still seem to have to¬†‘start again’ again.

Happy healthy balanced environment

Happy healthy & balanced

But when I have a healthy work life balance, eat well, do exercise i enjoy regularly and make time for myself I thrive. I have two hands on the steering wheel. I feel passionate about so many things. My relationships flourish and I enjoy the little things of every single day. I love the smell of my morning coffee. I love the feel of new shoes forming and norming around my feet. I love the burst of air so cold when I walk outside it takes my breathe away just for a minute. I am so happy to say I have made many decisions in 2014 that put me on the path to a healthy balanced environment and I am so excited for the changes that come with that. Nearly everyday this year has been better than the day before.

Work In Progress

Work In Progress

Laura xx

Grain free muesli – yum!

Toasted breakfast cereal is one of those foods that is often frowned upon when it comes to healthy nutritious food.

This recipe is grain and sugar free and a great healthy alternative to the high calorie store brought toasted cereals that provide little to no nutritional value (this is sure to impress even those who are huge toasted cereal fans!).

Grain free cereal:

2 cups of almonds, macadamias or pecans
1/4cup of chia seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Coconut oil (you can use olive oil if you don’t have coconut oil)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1-2 cups of dried fruit with no added sugar (I used mango, apple and apricot)
2 Tbsp almond flour
Grated orange rind

Directions:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Place nuts, seeds and fruit in a blender and mix well. There will be some big chunks and some will be fine/flour like, this is good.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add coconut oil and mix well.

Add almond flour and grated orange rind.

Line a baking dish with waxed paper and place the mixture in the dish. Place in oven and cook for approx 15 mins, moving the mixture round once throughout cooking time.

Chill in fridge till cool and then store in an airtight container.

Serve with almond milk (paleo) and fruit or yoghurt.

Note: this is very high in omega 3 and 6 so limit this to 3 days a week for a balanced diet.

Do you enjoy cereal/muesli for breakfast?  Let me know how this stacks up against your favourites!

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Simple

20131006-120529.jpgSimple and true.

Make a plan that you can stick to for life rather than some fad diet that may help you drop a few kgs quickly.

It’s a lifestyle

1‚É£ ¬† Drink more water. ¬†Aim to drink 3L of water daily – more when you are training. Try adding lemon, cucumber, mint or other flavour variations if you are someone who struggles to drink water by itself (personally I drink water like i’ve been trapped on a desert island – But that’s just me ūüėČ).

2⃣   Limit processed foods.   Prepare meals from scratch and limit things from a packet. It tastes better and you can pronounce all the ingredients in your meal.

3⃣   Limit (or even better remove!) sugar from your diet. This includes fruit Рwhile it contains vital nutrients it is high in sugar, so of you are trying to lose weight, limit to 1-2 serves max a day.

4⃣   Include more veges in your day (green smoothies are a great way to do this!).  Why? Simple!  Veges are good for us!!

5‚É£ ¬† Get creative and enjoy your food! Try new variations of flavours and mix it up so you are never bored ūüôā