Top 3 Problems with the Typical Healthy Breakfast

oatsSo…I have been tardy, absent and severely missing my communication with the wonderful world of blogging and my readers!

Apologies, I have been dabbling in website overhaul. Needless to say, I ain’t that good at it, but when I manage to pull this off (I am aiming for end of January) you will be so impressed!

I am going to be having video content as well as exciting kitchen styling sessions from other fit and healthy personal trainers, health coaches and dieticians.

Just writing about it gets my adrenaline pumping!

As for now, I will continue to instagram and post facebook updates, while my website is currently ‘down’.

Yes- I should have clarified this earlier. But, no one is perfect and I thought I could pull the rabbit out of the hat sooner rather than later.

So today, I thought I would reflect on breakfast – again.

I find this meal to be a stumbling block for many well-intentioned health seekers.

Particularly for women who want to ‘tone up’.

While I have a few friends who naturally sit at a muscular level, I am not one of them and over the past few months I have dabbled in strength training and proper nutrition in order to see how a fit body is made through spot on nutrition, fun strength training and adequate rest time.

(Such as today – where I believe a nice stretch and an epsom salt bath will suffice)

Back to the breakfast issue though, I have realised how seriously lacking most breakfast options are of protein and now know why so many people flail on the energy levels prior to lunch and indeed experience a slump in the afternoon. Instead of subtracting my breakfast portions I have merely added twice the amount of protein and gained some serious definition in my arms and abdominals (ok I am not ripped but my abdominals are present rather than pudgy!)

With this in mind

My three Issues with the Standard Approach to Breakfast:

1.    Cereal:

When a food company says something is a ‘healthy choice’ I recommend taking a closer look. Cereal is one such ‘health food’ that is targeted towards us health conscious girls. There are several leading healthy wholegrain cereals that have seriously high levels of sugar and salt, which are added to these products to lower the fat content without jeopardising the taste. Next time you are in the supermarket, grab a chocolate bar and head to the cereal aisle then compare the sugar content of either. You will be amazed.

Even better is when the cereals have synthetic vitamins added to them, which are both unnatural and often used in such small amounts that the benefits are negligible.

Once again, it isn’t cereal that is a problem it is the pre-made boxes that are seriously questionable when it comes to your health.  I encourage you to make your own cereal, read the label to see what is exactly in the box or if all else fails I suggest you say ‘cereal later’.

Cereal Substitution: Oats or Buckwheat, Cinnamon, Stevia with Coconut Oil or Cultured Butter, either warmed over the stove or baked in the oven.

2.     Dried Fruit:

Although considered a good source of energy, be fussy in the type you select. Drying is a wonderful age-old form of food preservation. Unfortunately the dried fruit that is available in supermarkets, is just not as natural and wholesome as you think. Most of these options are vacuum freeze dried, and then placed in a microwave or boiled before being vacuumed a second time. It is little wonder that after this process the dried fruit in question is nutritionally devoid. This process is also solely cosmetic; appealing to our desire for plump, soft and substantially bigger portions and involves the use of chemicals (sulphates typically) that can trigger asthma and allergies.

Now, don’t get me wrong. One of my favourite things are dried dates – they honestly can substitute chocolate for me – but I choose to eat versions with no sulphites, manufactured with integrity and I make sure, in keeping with my desire for good digestion that I counteract the dryness of the fruit with lots of water. Regardless of whether your dried fruit is organic or conventional, dried fruit is taxing on your digestive system and needs to be either soaked in water or followed with lots of fluid!

Dried Fruit Substitution: Angas Park Dried Fruit – an Australian company with fruit that is incredibly plump, dried naturally and without additives. The dates and figs are amazing and they can be found in Coles.

3.    Milk:

 I have never actively craved milk. But I don’t see why it can’t form a part of a healthy all round diet. Indeed, milk has long been part of human diets. However, recent questionable farming practices and feeding methods have left me doubting whether the milk you buy in the supermarket is as ‘bone building’ healthy as we are lead to believe.

There are a lot of anti-dairy crusaders in the health world, and with good reason. However for me generic milk at the end of the day is the stuff that is best avoided. The stuff you buy for $1 a litre has been homogenised to even out the fat molecules and pasteurised to kill off bacteria. This is often why people have issues with milk. Heating up milk through pasteurisation alters the enzymes present in milk. Milk therefore becomes difficult for your body to digest.

If you want good milk, choose a quality provider who is committed to the welfare of their animals. This way, you know your milk is mineral rich and the cows have been fed a proper nourishing diet.

Milk Substitution: I personally don’t buy it, but I really like the ethos of the Elgaar Dairy Farm. You can pick up their products at health food stores and all of their dairy products are packaged in reusable glass so you can return your bottles when you run out and be reimbursed! I adore their cottage cheese and cream. If you like the taste of Almond Milk, then I would also consider giving this a run!

What about you? Are there any breakfast finds that you have found to be particularly awesome?

I’d love to see what everyone else considers their optimal start to the day!

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Gourmet Pate Recipe

You would be right in thinking I am a little bit of a fish freak.

 Yep- I was a polar bear in my former life.

 But I just love the stuff and I guess I am lucky that fish and seafood in general are nutritional powerhouses. Even if they weren’t, I would still eat them for no other reason than pure happiness.

There are a few minerals, fats and amino acids that our body just doesn’t make on its own.

Omega 3’s are one of them.

Which is why it is vital that people actively choose foods that are essential for development and ulitmate nourishment.

 Going through the scant shelves of a boutique deli recently, I was trying to find the perfect dip accompaniment for my crudités. (As you do)

I am often left searching for that perfect ‘convenience’ food and left without hope when I realise that half the ingredients on the list are just too suspect for my liking. It is an annoying habit of mine, if I am not fully aware of a component/additive I hesitate to purchase.

 The search for aforementioned dip, proved futile when I decided that my hope in finding a dip sans canola oil or sunflower oil was null and void.

 Is it that hard to use a nice nousihing oil, or am I only going to be able to buy PUFA (Omega 6) bombs every time I buy ANYTHING in a package?

Then there are the additives. Dubious delights of corn fillers, xantham gums and potassium sorbates.

What if I just want to eat food?


 Once again, I was left to fend for myself.

But as we know, necessity is the mother of invention and I have happened upon a very easy, very tasty dip that can be transported to work or a lazy Sunday BBQ and met with praise on your professionalism.

‘Oh this pate, oh yes I slaved over it for hours, do you know how long pate takes to make?’

 And with that being said, I bring to you, the easiest, tastiest and potentially trendiest Smoked Trout Pate.

 Ingredients:

 1. Smoked Ocean Trout Fillet, skin and bones removed.

2.Half a tub of Quark, good quality Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese or strained Natural Yoghurt (I tend to eyeball things. I would say this is about 300g)

3. Squeeze of Lemon Juice

4. Teaspoon of Horseradish (if you have it…not necessary but a great kick!)

Method:

 Whizz all the ingredients in a blender and pop on a serving platter with a dollop of dill.
Serve with veggie crudités.

(Terribly arduous I know)

 Done.

 Eat.

 Enjoy.

Feel free to use a tin of salmon or tuna if time isn’t on your side and you only have a supermarket to run to!

Happy Friday and get blending!

Sugar Free Muesli Bar!

I love muesli bars.

I have fond memories of being able to choose which flavour of Muesli Bar would be in our lunchbox for the week.

For me it was Chewy Choc Chip or Yoghurt Topped Apricot.

And don’t even get me started on the flavour of butter and oats combined (ergo a good moist Anzac Cookie)

But let’s have a look at the average contents of your store bought Muesli Bar

 rolled oats (28%), whole wheat (10%)], glucose (wheat), sugar, dried apricot (9%), vegetable oil [emulsifier (soy lecithin), antioxidants (304, 306)], coconut, maize starch, humectants (420, 422), dried apple, rice flour, oat flour, skim milk powder, honey, emulsifier (soy lecithin), food acid (citric), natural flavour, preservative (220)*.

 

Hmm…I never liked numbers…. perhaps that’s why I don’t like eating them either.

 Just looking at the above is enough of an answer as to why there are so many food allergies.

But back to the Muesli Bar….

As I like to limit the amount of sugar I eat, I have struggled to concoct a muesli bar that I would be happy to eat.

 Several have been made- but they have bordered on cakey rather than chewy.

 Disastrous I tell you.

 So this is why I am super proud to bring you my latest kitchen pursuit that lives up to its name.

It’s a Muesli Bar…that is what it is.

 In fact, don’t even bother to introduce your offer of a muesli bar with the fact that it is gluten, sugar and lactose free….just offer….and watch them consumed.

 

Enough Said? 

Muesli Bars without the Crap

80g of Gluten Free Oats (or GF Muesli Mix)

90g of Vanilla Whey Protein (make sure it is pure without any funky additives)

100g of Natvia

100g Sprouted Dehydrated Buckwheat (if you don’t have, just add more oats)

40g Shredded Coconut

70g Butter or Coconut Oil

Dash of Celtic Sea Salt

(feel free to ad extras…I just like my bars simple!)

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a square cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
  3. Melt the fat with the Natvia in a small saucepan over low heat
  4. Combine the two and then press into the lined cake tin until even.
  5. Pop in the oven for about 30 minutes until crispy and golden!

 

Makes 8 Muesli Bars!

 

Yummo!

 

 

My Sugar Free Afternoon Snack!

So it’s ‘SUGAR FREE SEPTEMBER’ in the blogosphere and I have had MANY requests for sugar free alternatives to satisfy that sweet afternoon temptation.

First things first though –

Sweet cravings usually means you are:

1. Sleep Deprived (go to bed early tonight)

2. Stressed (take one thing off your to-do list)

3. Hormonal (eat the dam chocolate)

4. Reinforcing bad habits by always turning to something sweet in the afternoon.

On the matter of sleep. If you deprive your body of the necessary shuteye required for repair your body will try to ‘repair’ itself the next day.

To do this, your body releases growth hormone, stimulating ghrelin – your hunger hormone.

Needless to say you crave easy, accessible forms of energy i.e. sugar.

Regardless of this rant – I too am human and like something sweet in my life. Particularly with this warmer weather I ADORE ice cream. But I am not keen on most store bought products as they are filled with suspect numbers, soy lecithin and vegetable gums…to name but a few.

Hence, I invented my next best alternative!

Sugar Free, Protein Packed Ice Cream!

If you are keen for ice cream but hate the preservative ridden alternatives and lack time – try this on for size!

Protein Cheesecake Low Carb Ice Cream for ONE! 

Ingredients:
150g of cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (good quality means everything on the label makes sense to you)
¼ cup of water/almond milk/coconut milk
1 scoop of protein powder
Pinch of Vanilla powder
1 tsp of liquid stevia
1 tray of ice cubes (about 10-12 small ones)
1 tbs of Chia seeds (not necessary – they were sitting next to my blender so I thought why not?)

Method:
Combine ingredients, except for water in a blender or magic bullet. Add half the water and blend. If more water is required – add the remaining water. The water is purely to get the blender going – less is more. Puree the mixture until smooth and free of lumps, scraping down the blender as required.

Et Voila!

Serve immediately, otherwise the ice will melt somewhat. (Which is ok – just more of a thick smoothie then)

I love this at the moment- especially with this beautifully balmy weather we are having.

Oh – and for the purists who read my blog – (I love you…BUT) yes this isn’t typical ice cream, made with quality egg yolks and milk. However- as a kitchen cheat – this deserves me a gold medal!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Health to Glow Episode 10- SMOOTHIES! Yum!

This week watch Mel and I whip up TWO delicious smoothies using Coconut Water.

Mel and I were lucky enough to stumble upon CHI coconut water which is the

LOWEST SUGAR

coconut water on the Australian market.

More importantly, it is the only coconut water that I have found comes vaguely close to the REAL thing!

If you want a laugh, have a look at me trying to down a banana smoothie at the end…

Anyone who knows me, knows I HATE BANANA’s! 

The things I do in the name of education/entertainment/heath….

Health to Glow Episode 9- Delicious Delights, Guilt Free Chocolate Mousse!

 

So a while back I ranted on about my Chocolate Ice Cream…I didn’t get a massive vote of confidence from many as the main ingredients was..

AVOCADO…

And I think most people can’t seem to wrap their head around a savoury staple being morphed into a decadent chocolate cream.

Trust me, it’s been done, and it is

a little bit amazing…

Watch Mel and I tackle the EASIEST dish since a cheese toastie and eat half the contents of the food processor…

I implore anyone who manages to snatch a cheap box of avocados to make one big batch and freeze some for later and eat the rest now….

You will thank me.

😉

 

 

Chia Seed Jam – or a cheats version of the sweet stuff!

 

 I love a little kitchen experimenting – particularly when working with novel ingredients with unusual abilities.

I will explain.

First things first- you don’t NEED to buy lots of novel ingredients in order to live a nourished life. Indeed gimmicky foods with high price tags have usually got large marketing bucks behind them, compelling us to buy into a certain form of health.

That being said, when I was given a bag of chia seeds , I wasn’t going to waste them and I also knew that these mini seeds had an array of benefits.

My Top Three FAVOURITE things about chia:

– Chia seeds have the highest levels of omega-3 fats out of any other plant source.

– 100g of chia has as much calcium as two cups of milk (that being said, 100g of chia seeds is ALOT!) still…it puts it into perspective!

–  Chia seeds are also a high source of dietary fibre. 

In reference to chia’s unusual abilities – I find it rather novel that it jells up in minutes if added to water. 

And it got me thinking about how I could use it.

Where most people suggest, just adding it to cereal.

I question ones ability to actually digest microscopic seeds.

Which is why I turned it into a fruity jelly concoction of sorts.

ANd named it JAM.

And served it to unknowing guests who were none the wiser.

And it went down without question.

I’d go as far to say that it went down rather well.

So without further ado – here is a chia jam recipe, sweetened with stevia, full of fibre, nourishing fats and a dash of vanilla powder, because it tastes so good.

CHIA JAM

Ingredients:

3 cups raspberries

1 tsp of Liquid Stevia

2 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp pure vanilla powder (Loving Earth has a beautiful one! )

 

1. In a pot, bring the raspberries and stevia to a low simmer. Stir frequently to prevent the raspberries from sticking to the bottom of the pan and simmer for a few minutes until fruit has softened. Lightly mash the raspberries with a fork. Feel free to leave a few lumps for texture. Up to you.

2. Turn off the heat and stir in the chia seeds and vanilla powder. Leave the pot and let sit for 20 minutes. The jam should naturally thicken. If you are feeding fussy kids, blitz the mixture with a stick blender.

3. Once the jam is thick- taste to ensure you like the sweetness then place in an old jam jar and whack it in the fridge. I love this over my home made buckwheat bread or straight up with a spoon! The jam should keep for at least a week in your fridge.

Next time, I think I will try making some ginger and apple jam….YUM!

 

Green Protein Bar

Ok ok….so I am a huge fan of whole food and believe I should really just have a nice wholesome piece of protein with a suitably dressed veggie…but sometimes (quite often really) I know I am going to be out and about not sitting down when it comes to meal times. In this circumstance I have go to meals that I prepare on Sunday afternoons and bundle them up in portions ready for the week ahead. The key here is simplicity and ease; beautiful bundles that have limited carbs and sugars with maximum protein hit. Think of these as your go to protein bar sans soy fillers and questionable alcohol sugars.

Ingredients

½ cup macadamia nuts, soaked overnight to soften

1 ½ cups of coconut (organic prefereably…or one without sulphites)

¼ cup unflavoured whey protein powder

4 tbs of chia seeds (preferably soaked overnight)

4 tbs of green powder

½ cup water

½ coconut oil melted (or your desired fat;-)

½ tsp of liquid stevia

Process the nuts, coconut, green powder, and protein powder until you have a gummy powder consistency. Add the soaked chia seeds, drained of any excess water, water and coconut oil until combined. Press the mixture into a small pan and refrigerate. That’s it!

When you remove them cut them into portions or roll into balls.

Out of the fridge these babies are dense. Once I wrap them up in baking paper for work, they tend to go gooey…. which is also delightful!

Note: If you want to create a chocolate element to this dish…simply ad ¼ cup of Cacao powder and eyeball a little more liquid.

Health to Glow Episode 6

 

This week Mel and I are talking sugar.

Now before you get your knickers in a knot and start removing all trace elements of the sweet stuff from your diets – there are some sugars that nourish and support you.

Choosing the, “all or nothing approach” is

-drastically boring

-drastically difficult

-drastically unrealistic

..and won’t make you the poster child for healthy eating.

While I live by a ‘low sugar’ lifestyle. 

I eat fruit…

and I don’t damn its fructose content.

There is a bunch of other stuff happening in that morsel of a blueberry, apple or orange you are devouring than sugar itself. These all have a massive impact on how your body digests and uses the sugar contained in it.

Indeed, contrary to popular opinion there is no significant evidence that fructose is the evil fattening toxin that people are claiming it to be. And for one more good read – take a look here – sugar is not fattening. 

 

Perhaps the most ‘dangerous’ aspect of sugar is its ability to lead to overconsumption. Period.

But I would wager that not many people can down a watermelon in one sitting. Or would want to for that matter.

Drinking soft drink laced with sugar or a large fructose sweetened beverage won’t keep your appetite at bay. Generally, when someone adds a wholesome form of sugar (as in fruit) into their diet, they will reduce their food consumption elsewhere.

The moral of the story is once again – listen to your body- and don’t believe everything you read.

..Oh and take a look at the ‘crap’ sugar Mel and I are ranting on about in the film. Far too often this sweetener is being recommended because it’s ‘LOW G.I’. Regardless, it is pure fructose at its best…

..Above and beyond this rant…your thoughts on sugars?

Has reducing them in your life helped or hindered you?

 

 

 

Cashew Nut Burgers

healthywholeholly, vegetarian, sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, burgers

Sealed with a Kiss…x

Despite what we read, soy is not the miracle health food it is claimed to be.

Rather it is SUPER cheap to produce and the profit margins are HIGH. 

SO why not tell everyone to drink, eat and be merry with fake milk, fake meat and fake energy bars?

Soy is a relatively new food, which is probably why it is one of the top allergenic foods, coming closely behind, gluten, dairy and corn. Soy, like grains, also contains phytates. These are chemicals which bind to important minerals so you can end up short on zinc, iron and other nutrients if you eat them all the time.

And if you don’ think you eat soy all the time…then have a look at

 99% of prepackaged food and there will be a soy ingredient in their to fill it out.

These GMO sources of Soy are often processed in aluminum casks that leach aluminum into the final product. Little wonder then, when I first had my hair mineral analysis read, my aluminum (among other things) was off the scale. I can hypothesise this is in part due to a teenage diet comprised of ‘healthy’ prepackaged crackers, bars, milk and crap chocolate.

Of course, when prepared properly and eaten every so often, not everyday, soy foods such as miso and tempeh are perfectly fine. However, if they become your go to sources of protein, than I would start to worry about

a) the lack of variety in your diet

b) your hormonal profile (as an endocrine disruptor, soy can and does wreak havoc on your hormones)

Enough said?

In the interests of the vegetarian friends I have, I have decided to whip up a ‘veggie burger’ devoid of the usual soy fillers, weird numbers and suspect ingredients. They are super yummy, super simple and quite fun to make – if I do say so myself.

———————————————————

Cashew Burgers with the lot

1/3 cup buckwheat soaked overnight in 1tsp of Celtic Sea Salt and filtered water

1.5 cups cashews

2 tbs coconut flour

½ red onion – cut into chunks

2 cloves garlic

1 cup of flat parsley (or your favourite herb)

2 tbs macadamia oil

  1. Drain the buckwheat of its water. Rinse the buckwheat to remove all starch.
  2. Add buckwheat to a small pot, filled with 2/3 cup boiling water. Bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and fluff with a fork.
  3. Combine all ingredients except for oil into food processor.
  4. Form into patties and refrigerate for an hour to firm up. ( If you are in a hurry, skip this step)
  5. Remove from the fridge and heat oil over a medium heat.
  6. Add a few of your patties and seal them to cook. Say 2 minutes a side. Do this in batches to ensure that each patty has the care and attention it deserves.

Et voila! Meatless, soyless, processed foodless vegetarian patties, for my veggo friends.

x