LIZANNE MARR

Wholefood Dietitian & Nutritionist │ Personal Trainer

Filtering by Category: Nutrition & Health

5 ways to a healthier weekend

destress You’ve worked hard all week. You got up early every morning to do your workout. You planned out your meals, you even prepared your breakfast and lunch the night before. You said no to the cake at the Friday morning tea at work. Heck you even had your super greens powder and lemon water upon waking even though you dry reach every time just thinking about the after taste. You did everything right this week. And now you feel you need to be rewarded for it this weekend. Don’t do it! You are undoing all the progress you made during the week and perhaps even taking a step back. If you’re tired of not reaching your fitness goal it’s time to have a good hard look at what you’re doing over the weekend, because it is probably the reason why you are not there yet. Here are a few easy tips that you can do this weekend to help you get closer to that goal you made at the beginning of this year. It’s not too late to reach that 2014 new years resolution!

1. Avoid over sleeping You might think sleeping in an extra 2 hours on the weekend is doing you good, but in fact your body is already used to your sleeping routine from the week and so are your mealtimes and metabolism. If you sleep in, that means you’re less likely to do your morning exercise, you’ll probably skip breakfast and your meal pattern will be all over the place for the rest of the day. This means you’re more likely to over eat or eat when you’re not actually hungry. Allow yourself an extra 30 minutes of sleep and plan to do something active with your friends or family that you can’t normally do during the week.

Exercise with weights

get up early to exercise

2.  Plan ahead You might feel like the weekend is the only time when you can relax with your meal planning and be more “spirit of the moment”. You can still go out for a post beach swim breakfast or have a romantic dinner, but plan ahead and look up their menu on the internet. Do this when you are not hungry and make a decision about what you will order then. This way you’re more likely to steer clear of the all-too-familiar last minute hot chips side order.

3. Reward yourself You still need to reward yourself for all the effort you put in towards your goal during week, but you can do this without using food. Pamper yourself with a foot massage, a warm bath, your favourite magazine, a bunch of fresh flowers or some quality time with a friend. Remember to take deep breaths and give yourself a big pat on the back for your hard work!

success

4. Watch the alcohol! The biggest problem with this is that your body makes it its number one priority to metabolise this toxin once you’ve started sipping your champagne.  This means that any food you’ve eaten before, during, or after will be stored as excess energy (fat) – even if you’re drinking low carb beer or a vodka lime and soda!  Your best bet is not to have anything at all and enjoy other alternatives  (check out my delicious mocktail on Instagram) because alcohol is proably THE BIGGEST culprit for not reaching your goal yet. Your second best option is to stick with only 1 or 2 drinks and sip slowly to savour each mouthful. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and don’t drink too close to bedtime as this will affect your sleep and set you up for a tired unmotivated start to the week.

5. Take the time to de-stress Use the extra time you have on the weekend to de-stress from the week. Take some time out to reflect on your progress so far and write down any thoughts or ideas that can help you be better this coming week. Make sure that you spend quality time with your family and friends, laugh a lot, get outside and enjoy life. We can easily lose perspective on the important things in life when we focus too much on one goal. When we get our focus right, we are generally happier and therefore more productive and motivated to get where we want to go.

destress

Enjoy a healthier weekend and reap the rewards!

Lizanne xxx

[jetpack_subscription_form]

Healthy Strawberry Macaroons

I want to clear up the confusion between macaroons and macarons. Macarons is a sweet meringue-based confection made with eggs, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond meals, and food colouring/flavour. It is usually filled with a ganache or buttercream. The macaroon is a type of light, baked confection, that can look like a small cake or meringue-like cookie. Here is an illustration provided by blogilates

It is this innocent-looking delightful treat on the high tea tiers that makes us second guess the healthy eating vow we murmur to ourselves as the tea is being poured into our fine china cup.

Not Your Typical Dietitian has developed the "Not Your Typical Macaroon" and gave it a healthy twist, without refined sugar and butter. I am not saying that this treat is that healthy that you can now gorge yourself on them, but they're definitely a better option than the macarons you'll find staring back at you through the glass casing at the patisserie. And they have real fresh strawberries in them!

Ingredients: Makes ~20 macaroons

1 ½ cups almond flour 2 ½ cups organic shredded coconut 3 tablespoons raw honey 3 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract 1 punnet fresh strawberries (250g) (finely chopped) Pinch sea salt

Method: Combine dry ingredients. Warm coconut oil and honey in a bowl suspended in hot water until runny, then add vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients. Once well combined, carefully mix through the strawberries. Use your hands to form into macaroon shapes and place on baking paper. Chill in fridge for around 1 hour or until firm. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Will keep for 1 week.

IMPORTANT: You probably noticed that these babies don't require any baking. However, if you would like to bake these for a crunchy outer casing and soft chewy centre, then you can bake them at a very low temperature (140 or 150 degrees Celsius) for around 40 to 50 minutes. The key is not letting them brown too much - so keep an eye on them!

 

Wild Quinoa, Date, & Banana Protein Muffins

I am a big fan of preparing ahead for meals. It means my week is less stressful and more organised, which also means I stick to healthier options. This week I had so many things going on that I completely forgot about the mix of quinoa and wild rice made up to add to salads or to use as a base for hot dishes. There was no way I was going to waste this precious bundle of nutrients. So from there....the wild rice and quinoa muffin was born with the ever-so-complimentary additions of date and banana.

The quinoa and wild rice somehow combines with the rest of the ingredients into the perfect mix of crunchy, chewy, and delicious sticky sweetness...

The ultimate must-have's in a muffin? I think so! Even the nutrient profile is impressive, delivering all 9 essential amino acids (proteins) as well as a good dose of fibre and healthy fats.

Ingredients:

½ cup almond flour 1 scoop protein powder 2 cups cooked quinoa & wild rice mix* 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ¼ cup organic coconut sugar* 2 ripe bananas mashed 1 large free range egg ¾ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract ½ cup dates Cinnamon for dusting

* use ¾ cup dry quinoa and ¼ cup dry wild rice – cook with 2 cups of water * OR ¼ cup rapadura sugar OR ¼ cup brown sugar OR 3 tablespoons honey OR stevia

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Combine almond flour, protein powder, quinoa and wild rice mix, spelt flour, baking powder, and coconut sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the bananas, egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Finely chop the dates and fold into the mixture. Scoop into a muffin tin and place in pre-heated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and the skewer comes out clean. Dust muffins with cinnamon and enjoy warm with a cup of tea.

You might think that this muffin combination is a bit strange.

But don't knock it until you've tried it. It really delivers on taste.

Link of the day: Rhubarb & Raspberry Tart

 

Rhubarb & Raspberry Tart

Rhubarb is really in right now. Especially since it's winter here in Australia. So I made a rhubarb and raspberry tart to celebrate (healthy style of course!). Here's how I did it.

Ingredients - Makes one delicious tart

Base 1 ½ cup oatmeal ½ cup shredded coconut ½ cup almonds or macadamia nuts 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or 2 ½ tbsp. almond/macadamia/olive oil) 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Filling 5 stalks rhubarb (chopped) 1 cup frozen raspberries 1 large pear (chopped) 3 tablespoons honey/maple syrup/agave (or stevia equivalent for sugar-free diets) 2 tablespoons arrowroot 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping ¼ cup shredded coconut 2 tbsp. coconut sugar 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts

Method Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Using a food processor, lightly process the oatmeal, coconut, and nuts until the nuts are just broken. Add the oil and syrup and pulse until the mixture is combined enough to stick together. Press the mixture firmly into a tart tin using clean fingers. Place in a hot oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden.Meanwhile, heat a saucepan on medium heat and add raspberries and chopped pear. Using a potato masher, squash the fruit to release juices. Stir in the syrup and vanilla until combined. Add the rhubarb and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring the contents to prevent it from burning. Once the rhubarb becomes soft and starts to disintegrate take off heat and add the arrowroot to thicken the mixture. Cool slightly.

Pour rhubarb mixture into tart base and spread evenly to cover pastry. Place in the oven and reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius. Combine the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle over tart after 20 minutes of baking. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and eat warm with coconut ice cream. Heaven!!

This one was eaten with Greek yoghurt, crushed berries and honey, but the flavours in your mouth turn into a party when paired with some homemade or store-bought coconut ice-cream.

Are you licking your screen yet? Go and make it NOW! :)

 

Baked Pears with Banana & Almond Butter Ice Cream

This dessert is satisfying, warming, and delicious - everything you want in a winter dessert. This is my kind of food, because it tastes naughty but is actually VERY healthy. And who doesn't want guilt-free indulgences right? Especially when the weather is getting chilly!

The main feature of this dessert is the pear. I am a bit obsessed with pears at the moment. They are really cheap at my local farmers market and I love how versatile they are. You can use them in smoothies, grate them into bircher muesli, add thin slices to a lunchtime salad, or even as a marinade for meat (think Korean food....yummmm). They're delicious added to freshly squeezed green juices too (I love kale, cucumber, lemon, and pear).

And of course, as a dietitian, I love pears for their high fibre content - a whopping 7g of fibre in one pear! We all need at least 30 grams of fibre per day, so you can see that eating a pear a day pushes things along nicely (literally)!

Ingredients for pears (makes a large batch)

5 ripe fresh pears cinnamon 1 cup of warm water ~ 10 drops Organic liquid stevia drops (~ 3 teaspoons of powdered stevia) 1 tablespoon honey Natural vanilla extract

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Wash pears, cut into quarters, and remove core. Set aside. In a bowl, combine warm water with stevia, honey, and vanilla extract. Add pears and mix to coat pears with syrup. Place the mixture onto a roasting tray and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon (about 2 teaspoons all together). Bake for 20 minutes and then turn pears so the skin faces out (this is to get that crispiness). Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until skins are crispy and golden. Serve warm (or cold) with ice cream.

Ingredients for ice cream (for one serve)

1 frozen banana 1 teaspoon of almond butter 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon maple syrup for drizzling

Method

Place frozen banana and vanilla extract in a high-power blender and blend until you reach a creamy consistency. Add almond butter and blend until well incorporated. Use an ice cream scoop to serve, and drizzle with a little maple syrup.

What is your favourite pear recipe?

Link of the day: Why not make this Maple Brown Rice Pudding with pear? Maple Peach Brown Rice Pudding 1

What I Ate Wednesday

A lot of my blends (blogger friends) have this thing where they post what they ate on Wednesday. I think it's genius. For one, we get to see what others eat (c'mon, I know we all secretly want to know this). And secondly, we get inspiration from others. Let's be honest there is nothing new under the sun, and all of us lose a little inspiration or creativity sometimes. "What I Ate Wednesday" is here to help us all.

So here's what I had.

Breakfast:

1/3 cup of rolled oats cooked with 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 a pear. Topped with chia seeds, almonds, and walnuts with a dash of agave syrup. My favourite kind of breakfast for a cold rainy day.

Snack:

1 small banana cut into wheels and topped with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. Sorry I didn't take a picture, I was in a hurry!

Lunch:

This is my new favourite. Two slices of the life changing loaf of bread topped with 1/4 of an avocado mashed, a handful of microherbs, 1 tsp of homemade almond dukkah and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. I had a side of freshly chopped tomatoes and orange capsicum! So yum!

Snack:

As I said, it was a cold and rainy day. What is a girl to do in this kind of weather? Well, have chocolate of course! This was in the form of warm liquid chocolatey goodness! It is called my Hot Choconana, and is made from 1 teaspoon cacao powder, half a small banana, 1 cup of almond milk and a date! All you do is blend and then heat on the stove or with a coffee machine milk frother. Or, you can do both simulaneously if you have a thermomix (which is the coolest kitchen gadget you will ever use). Top with extra cacao powder and a few cacao nibs. Chocolate heaven!

Dinner:

This is such a quick meal to make if you had a long day and can't be bothered to spend a lot of time cooking a healthy meal. It's a Tomato, Kale, and Lentil Pasta topped with goats cheese fetta and fresh coriander. I made the sauce from organic canned tomatoes, freshly chopped onion and garlic, and lots of different spices (chilli, turmeric, coriander, sumac, paprika, cinnamon). Then added a whole bunch of washed purple kale and a tin of organic brown lentils. I then let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes while the pasta cooked (made from wholemeal spelt flour) and then combined with the pasta. Dinner time!!

Dessert:

Yep, I eat a lot. Dessert was a medjool date filled with a teaspoon of almond butter and a cup of rooibos tea. The perfect sweet end to a busy, cold and productive day.

Question:

What do you think of "What I Ate Wednesday" blog posts. Yay or Nay?

Link of the day: Creamy Almond Milkshake Creamy Almond Milkshake - perfect for breakfast, a snack, or dessert!

The Life-Changing Bread

I love bread. It is definitely one of my weaknesses. If I didn't know better and didn't have all the nutritional knowledge from studying for 6 years, I'd probably eat french bread sticks and sourdough from my local baker with lashing of butter at every meal. But unfortunately (and fortunately for my health and yours!) I do have the knowledge.

By no means am I saying that bread is bad for you. There is definitely a place in a wholesome, well-balanced diet for bread that has been made from good quality ingredients in small amounts. But unless you're willing to fork out $8-$12 for a good quality bread these days (or have the skills of a Danish bread maker) you're stuck with the mass-produced loafs from the supermarkets. These are often laden with processed wheat products, soy flour, colours, preservatives, sugars and syrups. If this is news - learn to read your labels.

One of my passions is to create healthy versions of everyday foods and dishes, and to encourage others to do the same. I simply had to look for a healthy alternative. These sorts of pursuits don't often stop until I find what I look for and it has ticked all my nutritional boxes. It didn't take me long though, to find this life-changing bread that was geniusly invented by Sarah at My New Roots. When I saw it, I simply had to try it. The end result was a very impressed dietitian with a huge smile on her face holding a piece of life-changing bread in her hand. With lashings of homemade jam (my treat).

The best thing about this bread? It actually is HEALTHY for you. And it is REALLY easy to make, with minimum kitchen mess. You the combine ingredients, stir, soak, and bake all in the one dish - perfect!

Here is the recipe from the My New Roots blog

Ingredients:

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup / 90g flax seeds
  • ½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats ( contains far less gluten than bread)
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
  • 1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
  • 3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 ½ cups / 350ml water

Directions:

1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.

3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).

4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast

Mediterranean Multigrain Salad

Today is Salad Inspiration day - and this one will fill up your tank with lots of flavour, fibre, and fat-fighting goodies!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup 4Grain Protein Rice (I also added wild rice and buckwheat to the mix) 10 cherry tomatoes 1/4 onion 2 handfuls of green leaves 1 tsp tahini Juice from half a lemon 2 - 3 tbsp almond milk 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp chilli powder 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tbsp goats cheese fetta (optional)

Add the chopped onion and cherry tomatoes to the protein rice, and lay the mixture on a bed of green leaves. Place tahini, lemon juice, almond milk and spices in a small glass jar and shake vigorously until well combined and a dressing consistency is achieved. Pour the dressing over the salad and top with goats cheese fetta. Enjoy!

What is your favourite go-to salad?

I love a freshly grilled fish salad with some sort of fruit added to it - like mango or peach! In case you haven't realised - I'm a bit obsessed with fruit :)

Link of the day:

Fresh Fig & Goats Cheese Salad 20130211-095053.jpg

Crunchy Choc Almond Butter Cups

I've been wanting to make these for sooooo long...and finally Easter seemed like the perfect opportunity!

These are so delicious and 100% satisfying - I devoured 2 or 3 the day I made them (...oops!).

What better way to enjoy chocolatey goodness on Easter than these little beauties!?

This is the perfect treat for when you feel like something naughty but don't want to be naughty...it is a wholesome treat you can enjoy (in moderation) without the guilt.

Ingredients: Half cup cacao powder Half cup coconut oil 2 tablespoons maple syrup or stevia equivalent 1 tbsp cacao nibs (optional - makes it crunchy!) Quarter (1/4) cup almond butter slivered almonds

Method: Combine the cacao powder, coconut oil, and syrup together in a bowl and stir vigorously until the mixture is thick but pourable. Pour the chocolate mixture into small cupcake moulds, only filling them halfway. Refridgerate. Once set, top with a small amount of almond butter. Add the cacao nibs to the remaining chocolate mixture and pour over each mould. Top with slivered almonds. Refridgerate until set. Take the chocolates out of the moulds and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Yum yum!

I think these are my new favourite way to enjoy chocolate the healthy way!

What is your favourite healthy sweet treat?

Maximising your nutrient intake

I often get asked by my clients what the best way is to make sure that they achieve their requirements for their vitamins and minerals. There are two answers -

1. If you want to make 100% sure, see an accredited practicing dietitian who can analyse your diet in detail.

AND

2. Eat a wide variety of different foods (at least 20 different foods per day) and eat them in lots of different colours!!

Why? The more colour a fruit or vegetable has, the more concentrated the vitamins or minerals! This is almost always an indicator that it will be more nutritious.

Here are some examples of colourful fruit and vegetables and how they can benefit your health:

Red - strawberries, tomatoes, radishes, beetroot, rhubarb, pomegranate. These contain lycopenes and anthocyans, believed to help reduce the risk of certain cancers, improve heart health, and help fight off infections.

Orange & Yellow - sweet potato, mango, carrots, pumpkin, oranges. These contain carotenoids and bioflavonoids which help improve vision, fight off cancer, slow ageing, and maintain a healthy immune system.

Green - kiwi fruit, avocado, spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini. These contain phytochemicals that help antioxidants fight carcinogens and strengthen our bones!

Purple & blue - blueberries, raisins, eggplant, figs, plums. They contain anthocyans and resveratol that may reduce cancer risk and slow down ageing.

This is more than enough reason for me to eat colourful! So that's what I did for lunch today...

20130326-182516.jpg

Roast veggies with Grains, Greens & Tahini

Happy Dietitian Day everyone!! I'm sure that this is probably the first time you've ever heard that there is an actual day to celebrate Dietitians. Well if that is you, all the more reason to fimiliarise yourself with what Dietitians do, where to find your nearest Accredited Practicing Dietitian, and more importantly, how we can help you! Take a look at the Dietitian's Association of Australia website!

But first...let's celebrate Dietitian's Day with a salad...boring??? Not at all!! This one is so delicious, you won't even know that you're eating a salad - I promise!

20130313-140418.jpg

Ingredients (makes 4 to 6 serves):

1/4 large japanese pumpkin 3 medium sweet potatoes 2 large beetroots 1 tbsp Olive oil 2 cups of cooked 4Grain Protein Rice (for this recipe I substituted the brown rice with wild rice and buckwheat) 1/2 head of broccoli 4 cups Spinach leaves 2 tbsp Tahini 1/4 cup Almond Milk Juice from 1/2 a lemon 1/2 a tsp Chilli powder 1/2 a tsp Garlic powder

Step 1: Roast veggies for approximately 30-40 minutes in a moderate to high oven with olive oil.

20130313-140230.jpg

20130313-140252.jpg

Step 2: Prepare the 4Grain Protein Rice

20130313-140328.jpg

Step 3: Steam broccoli for 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked but still slightly crunchy.

Step 4: Combine the tahini, almond milk, lemon juice, chilli powder and garlic powder in a small glass jar and shake to combine until it forms a creamy sauce consistency.

Step 5: Mix together the spinach leaves and broccoli. Top with grains, roast veggies and tahini sauce. Enjoy!

20130313-140434.jpg

The tahini sauce and creamy roasted pumkin is a match made in heaven!

20130313-140455.jpg

This provides at least 3 out of the recommended 5 serves of veggies for the day.

It is also gluten free, vegetarian and vegan friendly, and a great choice if you're watching your waistline!

20130313-140512.jpg

The high fibre content will keep your insides healthy and regular and help with weight management and blood sugar control. The tahini sauce packs a good dose of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids!

Sold yet? Give it a try this week and let me know how you liked it!

What is your favourite way of having roast veggies?

Moroccan Chicken Salad

There are few things as satisfying as enjoying the taste, smell, and look of your food whilst knowing that it is good for you. It is even better when it is easy and quick to make!

This chicken is so tasty, you'll never want to make it any other way! But there is a bit of cheating involved which cuts prep and cooking time in half and gets the food on the table in less than 15 minutes! Whatch out Jamie!

Ingredients:

2 - 3 small free range chicken breast tenderloins 1 tablespoon Moroccan paste (this is a pre-made paste that you can buy if you're short on time that has whole ingredients, but if you have some time to spare you can make it from scratch using this recipe) 2 cups fresh dark green leaves 1/4 avocado 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method: Evenly space the tenderloins between 2 leaves of baking paper or cling wrap. Take a kitchen hammer or the flat end of a wooden spoon and give it a few good whacks to flatten the meat. This greatly reduces the cooking time!

Uncover the meat, make a few small cuts/slits in each tenderloin, and spread the paste evenly onto each side. Cover it with the paper and massage the paste from the outside into the meat on both sides. Heat pan.

Meanwhile, wash the leaves and dice the avocado. Combine the cherry tomatoes, a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Pour onto an oven tray and bake in very hot oven for 5-10 minutes. When the tomatoes start to blister take them out of the oven, squash them slightly with a potato masher to release their juices. Add the remaining balsamic vinegar. Combine the tomato mixture, salad leaves and avocado in a bowl. Mix well.

Add the remaining olive oil in a pan and grill the chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Stack the chicken tenderloins onto the salad mixture and enjoy!

If you're looking for more sustenance, the addition of some 4Grain Protein Rice would be perfect!

What is your favourite way to cook chicken?

Grapefruit, Berry & Passionfruit juice

I had the pleasure of a gastro bug inhabiting my insides over the weekend - not fun!! As a result I feel pretty low in energy and in need if some serious nourishment! So what do you do when you need to get feel-good nutrients in ASAP? You juice!!! 20130305-173506.jpg

20130305-172758.jpg

I was drinking this on my way to work this morning as people were driving past me with their coffee cups in hand.

20130305-173810.jpgNothing like a shot of vitamins flooding the system to make you feel alive again!

Grapefruit, berry & passionfruit juice

1 grapefruit 1/2 a fresh beetroot 1/3 of a cup frozen berries 1 passionfruit

Juice the grapefruit and beetroot. Pour juice into blender with berries and blend. Pour into glass and top with passionfruit!

20130305-174156.jpg

Don't worry...the beetroot doesn't have any taste - all it does is add a beautiful colour to your juice and lips and add an extra boost of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and betaine - a compound that keeps your blood vessels healthy and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease!

Yes please!

What is your favourite juice combination?

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola

ooohhhhh granola...

...there's something about the crunch that makes you want to go back for more. And why wouldn't you? This one is super duper nutritious with loads of flavour!

 

Buckwheat is a wonderous little grain-like seed that is not related to wheat at all so its naturally gluten-free and wheat-free (yay for all our gluten intolerant friends)!

It is really high in fibre and has a low Glycaemic Index (GI) which means you have sustained energy throughout the day and you'll feel fuller for longer - great for weight loss or maintenance!

 

Ingredients: 2 cups buckwheat groats (soaked and sprouted) 2 bananas 1/4 of a cup chia seeds 2/3 of a cup almonds 2 tbs acai berry powder (optional) 2 tbs agave syrup 1/2 cup of shredded coconut 1/3 of a cup goji berries 1/2 cup macadamia nuts 1/4 cup sultanas

Method: Soak 2 cups buckwheat groats and let them do their magic by sprouting! There is a really helpful tutorial on how to sprout buckwheat here.

Next, combine the chia seeds, almonds and acai berry powder in a blender and blend to a fine consistency. Add the banana and agave syrup and blend until a paste is formed. If the mixture is too thick you can add a little water to make it thinner (you dont want the consistency to be too thin, but it needs to be thick enough to hold together when mixed with the buckwheat to form clusters when dried). Scoop mixture into a bowl and add sprouted buckwheat, shredded coconut and goji berries. Mix well.

 

Spread evenly onto an oven tray and dehydrate the mixture in a food dehydrator or in an oven (set at the lowest temperature) for around 8-10 hours or until the mixture is dry to touch. Let cool and add the macadamia nuts and sultanas. You're done!

 

You're set for breakfast for the next 2 weeks! Hooray!

 

These little clusters are of course delicious with some fruit and yoghurt for your morning food! A perfect start to the day.

 

How much do you want to dig into this? yummmm

 

What is your favourite morning food?

Saturday Sandwich

Weekend lunches are the best...

...we had lunch on our sunny balcony enjoying some relaxing Saturday tunes, an icy cold drink and the perfect open sandwich (even better than a steak sandwich - trust me)!

image[6]

My local fruit and veg markets sell a delicious organic 9-seed sour dough bread from their bakery. This is my treat for weekend! This sandwich was so yummy that there was almost no exchanging of words as we gobbled up every last crumb.

Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)

- 4 slices of good quality bread - 1 large Spanish onion - balsamic vinegar - 1 handful fresh basil - 1/2 a teaspoon agave syrup - 1 handful cherry tomatoes - 3 cloves garlic - olive oil - 1/2 a cup of low fat Greek yoghurt - 1 tablespoon tahini - 1 lemon - 1/2 avocado - handful chives

Method:

Chop the onion into strips. Heat the pan on medium and add a splash of olive oil. Add onion and cook for 5-10 minutes until translucent. Add 2 to 3 good splashes of balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until the vinegar evaporates into a reduction. Tear the basil into small pieces and add to onion. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add agave syrup. Combine cherry tomatoes, a good splash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and 2 roughly chopped garlic cloves in a bowl. Once well coated, pour the tomatoes onto an oven tray and cook under a hot oven grill for 5-10 minutes or until their skins are blistered. Take them out of the oven and squash them gently with a potato masher to release their juices. Stir and combine well with surrounding juices.

Combine the yoghurt, tahini, 1/2 lemon's juice and 1 glove of crushed garlic. Assemble the sandwich - spread tahini yoghurt onto a slice of bread, top with sliced avocado, roasted cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions and chopped fresh chives.

I paired it with a baby spinach, chive and green apple salad dressed with some lemon juice. It would go great with some baked sweet potato fries if you're trying to impress or have some friends over for the weekend.

What is your favourite Saturday sandwich?

 

 

Creamy Almond Milkshake

What is better than a milkshake? photo 1

A milkshake that is GOOD for you of course!

My husband has a thing for dairy. He especially LOVES ice cream and milkshakes. Being married to a dietitian though, he doesn't get much approval for it and has to deal with sideways glances from me when he arrives home with a tub of ice cream. It probably has more to do with the fact that now I'll have to exercise self control because I know it is sitting in the freezer waiting for me. So I've had to come up with another plan to satisfy both of our sweet & creamy tooth cravings. And this one does a fine job at that.

photo 2

Ingredients:

- 1 tsp chia seeds - 1 tsp cinnamon - 1 tbs vanilla protein powder - optional (I like Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder) - 10 almonds - 1 tsp almond butter - 1/2 a tsp vanilla bean paste - Half a frozen banana - 1 cup almond milk (I like Australia's Own Almond Milk) - Slivered almonds - Agave syrup

Method:

1. Blend together chia seeds, cinnamon, protein powder and almonds to make a powder. 2. Add almond butter, vanilla paste, banana and almond and blend until smooth and creamy. 3. Top with slivered almonds, cinnamon and a dash of agave syrup if you feel the need for some sweetness :)

Pesto-style Butterbean Salad

I need constant inspiration to keep me motivated for my lunchtime greens. Don't get me wrong, I love having salad for lunch. It makes me feel amazing inside and really energizes me! But let's be honest, salad NEEDS to be dressed up to look sexy and taste delicious. So that's what I did with this one...

...and it definitely makes me want to eat more salad!

photo 2

This one is so quick to make, very light on the wallet and waistline, and has all the nutrients you'll need to sustain you until your afternoon snack! Packed with fibre, protein and good fats - you'll definitely want to add this to your lunchtime salad repertoire!

Ingredients: (makes 2 servings)

- 3 cups fresh dark green lettuce - 1 can butter beans or cannellini beans - 1 large handful of chopped fresh basil - 1 clove of garlic crushed - 1/2 lemon juiced - 1 tablespoon pinenuts - 1/2 small avocado finely chopped

Method:

1. Combine beans, basil, garlic, lemon juice and pinenuts in a bowl. Mix well. 2. Lightly "crush" the mixture with a potato masher to bring out the flavours. 3. Add the avocado 4. Spoon the mixture over the salad leaves. Drizzle with EVOO. Season with salt and pepper.

Lovely! If you want to give this salad a bit more oomph (for those active peeps out there) you can add some 4Grain Protein Rice to this or some form of lean protein. I served it with a can of tuna in EVOO for my husband - he loved it!

Don't let salad boredom prevent you from getting your essential greens - get regular inspiration from blogs, recipe books, websites and tv shows! Here are some of my favourites for salad inspiration:

1. Pinterest - just search "salads" and you'll be instantly presented with a sea of salad ideas. Thank me later!

2. Salad blogs like this one - salad pride and say yes to salad blog

3. The salad collection on Taste.com

Question: What is your favourite salad and where do you get your inspiration from?

 

4Grain Protein Rice

Love your rice but feel like you're not getting as much from it as you'd like?Say hello to 4Grain Protein Rice! Now with more protein, fibre and B-vitamins than ever before!

This staple is colourful, crunchy yet soft, satisfying and exciting! It has a low Glycaemic Index (GI) giving you slow-released energy and stabilised blood sugar levels - perfect for weight management or diabetics! The seeds in this are also really high in protein so it will keep you fuller for longer and help repair your muscles to keep your metabolism sky high. Who wouldn't want this new rice? Even those who are gluten-intolerant can have this as it is 100% gluten free!

This is SUPER easy to make if you have a rice cooker at home. If you don't, it is still very easy. I promise :)

Ingredients: 1 cup brown rice 1 cup quinoa (I used red) 1/2 cup amaranth seed 1/2 cup millet 5 cups water

Don't worry these are not difficult to find! Quinoa and brown rice is widely available in Australian supermarkets these days - look in the healthfood isle. Amaranth and millet will need to be sourced from your local health food store and are very affordable. I want to talk a little bit about these grains and their nutritional value:

Quinoa is a seed that contains all essential amino acids required by the body, therefore a complete protein source! It is not a grain but a seed and when cooked becomes soft with a nutty, satisfying taste. You can read more about it here.

Brown rice is an unmilled, whole natural grain that has only had its outer husk removed. This means that it contains more B-vitamins, magnesium and iron than white rice. It is also a great source of fibre!

Amaranth seed is often called "grain" because is behaves like a grain but is technically a seed. There have been a few studies to show that amaranth may help with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This seed is also naturally gluten free and is rich in B-vitamins!

Millet is a traditional food source for many countries including India, Russia, Germany, China and West African countries like The Gambia! This little seed is rich in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. These are all important for healthy bones, skin and energy levels.

Have I convinced you yet? Well maybe the easy method will...

Method: Combine all ingredients in your rice maker and turn it on "cook". It should be ready in about 20 minutes! Voila...it's that easy!

* If you don't have a rice maker, simply add everything in a big pot on high heat until it starts to boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked.

This 4Grain Protein Rice is PERFECT to add to your food prep for the week! It is something that will keep in the fridge for the whole week and works really well added to salads for lunch or as a foundation for dinner!

This is how I had it for dinner last night...a delicious purple raw kale & brocolinni salad and oven-baked sweet potato with a creamy tahini sauce drizzled over it!

You could even make it into a healthy dessert like this one! Or use it in a salad like this one.

Question: Do you get bored with rice? What else have you tried to make it more nutritious and exciting?

Food prep for the week!

I recently showed you (here) part of my food prep and organisation that I like to get done on the weekend so that I’m ready to go for the week. Part of that routine is to go to the fruit and veg markets to get all my supplies for the week at a reasonable price. I also like to prepare a few foods on the weekend to make the process of creating meals easier. Here are a few of my favourites! Breakfast: It’s a real treat to wake up in the morning without having to think what you’re going to make for breakfast. That’s why I like to make a big bowl of homemade granola to last us a week or two. I like to do gluten-free sprouted buckwheat or an oat-based granola mixed in with various goodies. Perfect with almond milk and fresh chopped banana. Watch this space - recipes to follow!

Dips/sauces/spreads: I get so much use of out making these and they are so versatile! They’re perfect as a spread on a lunchtime sandwich, a dip with veggies or a few wholegrain crackers for a snack or to mix through quinoa or steamed veg for a main. - Hummus - Tahini Yoghurt - Chargrilled capsicum relish - Pesto

Here I made a baked sweet potato, radish and tahini yoghurt lentil salad topped with chargrilled capsicum relish. Lentil salad

Poached chicken: It works really well to poach a few pieces of lean chicken breasts, shred them and flavour them with lemon juice, pepper and herbamare. This can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, or I like to freeze them in portions. When you make your salad for lunch in the morning you can take it out of the freezer, pop it on top of your salad and it will be thawed and ready to eat by lunch time!

Quinoa: This is my absolute favourite staple as mentioned before. It behaves like a grain (so you can substitute it for rice/couscous/pasta) but it is actually a seed and a complete protein source. This beauty is perfect tossed through salads or to bulk up soups and curries. I also like to make quinoa pilaf and use it as a foundation for my meals. Here I mixed quinoa with pesto and brocolinni. Quinoa salad and scallops

Frozen fruit: I love to freeze ripe bananas and mangoes. Whenever I feel like a healthy frozen treat during the week I throw them into my thermomix to make 100% fruit ice cream! They’re also really handy for making smoothies. I love to freeze grapes for a cool summer snack.Frozen yoghurt blocks: I take this as a perfect opportunity to use up the last bit of my yoghurt from the week before it goes off. I like to combine it with honey/agave/maple syrup and any kind of chopped fruit.

Snacks: Trail mix - I like to combine raw almonds, walnuts, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and some chopped dried apple. You can leave this in a jar and grab as you go, or you can make them into little snack packs.

Super snack balls – these are one of my favourite snacks. So easy to make and very tasty!20130114-175701.jpg

Remember, 80% of your success is going to be nutrition - whether it is to tone up, bulk up, maintain or improve your general wellbeing. Exercise is vital, but eating the right foods is going to be the secret key to unlock the door to that level you're aspiring to! And being organised forms part of the key.

Success motivation quote Question: What kind of foods do you like to prepare to be organised for the week?