September 27, 2012

Sinless Strawberry Slice

I think I might like this slice because it is just so darn pretty. I also am quite partial to strawberry-flavoured anything - be it ice cream, lip gloss, cocktails, bodywash.... it might have something to do with how much I love pink and anything sweet. Whatever the reasons for my strawberry obsession, I do think this slice is pretty special. I modified the recipe from the FODMAP cookbook, which helps those with food intolerances whip up some great dishes that won't cause any tummy upsets or allergic reactions. Phew. This dessert looks spectacular and tastes delicious! It's perfect to bring to a morning or afternoon tea with the ladies, and you can whisper, "it's low-fat!", just in case anyone was wondering....

Sinless Strawberry Slice

Makes 20 small slices



  • 80 grams of ultra light pro-active margarine spread
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 200 grams of plain gluten-free biscuits made into fine crumbs either with a food processor or crushed in a sealed plastic bag - I use a rolling pin to whack the biscuits into crumbed submission...
  • 1 packet of ultra light cream cheese
  • 1 small tub of low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup of stevia sweetener (Natvia is the one I use)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of low-fat milk
  • 100 grams of strawberries, hulled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 packet of sugar-free strawberry jelly - made using half the water required
  1. Line a 22 cm baking dish with baking paper.
  2. Microwave the margarine in a medium bowl until melted and add the biscuit crumbs. Add the beaten egg and mix everything together.
  3. Press this biscuit mixture into the base of the baking dish and refrigerate.
  4. Using an electric mixer, mix together the sweetener, vanilla, cream cheese, milk and cottage cheese and mix together. Mix in the strawberries on a low speed until combined.
  5. Pour this cheese mixture over the biscuit base and spread out until flattened. Refrigerate for 2 hours until firm. 
  6. Make the jelly according to the packet directions but use half the water required. When the crystals are dissolved and the mixture is completely cool, carefully pour over the cheese slice. Place back in the fridge to cool for 6 hours or overnight.
  7. Cut carefully into slices by dipping the knife into boiling water after each cut. 
  8. Store in the fridge (will last 2 days).

September 26, 2012

Delicious guilt-free chocolate mini muffins

I have been craving chocolate cake all week but with an island holiday looming in a few weeks and the thought of flaunting my bikini body, I have resisted the urge! Then I thought, why not create my own chocolate treat that is guilt-free yet completely delicious and satisfying?! Throwing a few of my favourite ingredients together, I came up with these gorgeous mini muffins, made with peanut butter, yoghurt and blueberries. I only used one tablespoon of gluten-free flour, using almond meal and LSA (a blend of linseed, seeds and almonds) as the bulk of the muffin. My usual favourite Natvia (stevia sugar substitute) sweetened up the cocoa I added to create the chocolate taste. Using lots of blueberries is a good trick too as it cuts down on the calories of each muffin and also adds moisture and sweetness.

Gluten-free Chocolate Mini Muffins


  • 1 tablespoon of gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup of almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons of LSA
  • 1/4 cup of organic natural crunchy peanut butter (I like the crunch texture in the muffins)
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 small tub of diet vanilla yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of Natvia
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa 
  • 3/4 cup of frozen blueberries
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the egg, peanut butter, yoghurt and blueberries to the dry ingredients and combine until smooth.
  3. Grease a 12-hole mini muffin tray with spray oil and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  4. Fill each muffin hole with a generous tablespoon of the mixture.
  5. Bake in your oven for 25 minutes, until cooked through.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool further. They might get a little stuck; I loosed each with a knife around the sides before turning each out to cool.
  7. Store in an airtight container. I immediately freeze mine by wrapping each in clingfilm and placing in a container in the freezer to take out when needed :) 

September 24, 2012

Why breakfast can kickstart your metabolism

Eating breakfast, not skipping breakfast, will actually increase your chances of reaching your weight loss goals. A healthy and filling breakfast will satisfy you right to lunch, keeping your blood sugars stable and your energy levels firing.  If you’re not adding fuel to your system, your body will burn calories more slowly because you don’t have enough stored energy. Eating a well balanced diet will increase your metabolism allowing you to burn calories more efficiently throughout the day.  
Just eating breakfast is not enough.  You have to ensure you are giving your body what it needs.  Eat foods with a high nutritional value that will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function effectively. 

Foods to Eat
Make healthy choices with your breakfast and give yourself enough time to eat.  If you are in a hurry in the morning, prepare your breakfast the night before or eat something that is portable. Soak some protein-fortified oats or quinoa overnight in a container with berries, almonds and low-fat greek yoghurt. You can take this straight to work with you or have 20 minutes to yourself to relax at home before your hectic day starts.
Whether it’s for weight loss or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating breakfast will help start your day off right and keep you going.  Make sure you make the right choices. I like Brookfarm's gluten-free porrij mix, with no added sugar and a variety of protein-enriched grains :) delish! I top with sugar-free vanilla yoghurt, blueberries and almonds. 

This is my favourite breakfast choice!

September 11, 2012

Skinny Fig and Hazelnut Puddings (gluten-free)

I adore sticky date pudding, the gorgeous golden cake adorned with rich caramel sauce is my idea of heaven. Despite the seemingly healthy sound of 'date' pudding, these little desserts are seriously sugar laden. To transform these puddings into healthier treats, I have used a few creative tricks that cut down on the calories without sacrificing the dessert's delicious flavours.

Sticky Fig and Hazelnut Puddings (gluten-free)

Makes 6


  • 50 grams of hazelnut meal (to make, process 50 grams of roasted skinned hazelnuts)
  • 150ml of fresh orange juice or organic orange juice with no sugar added
  • 1/2 cup of chopped figs, plus 6 dried figs cut horizontally
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons of grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 60 grams of low-fat margarine
  • 1/3 cup of Natvia sweetener
  • 1 organic egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • boiling water, to steam
  • coconut milk yoghurt or ice cream to serve
  1. Grease six 250ml (1 cup) ramekins or ovenproof tea cups and place a circle of baking paper on the bottom of each cup.
  2. Put orange juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil on medium heat. Add the chopped figs (1/2 cup), ginger, cinnamon, and orange zest and cook for one minute. Remove from the heat and add the baking soda, allowing the mixture to froth up, and set aside to cool for ten minutes.
  3. Combine the margarine and Natvia in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well combined (don't be alarmed if the mixture curdles). 
  4. Fold in the hazelnut meal, and add the flour in slow increments, slowly incorporating until all flour has been added. 
  5. Pour in the orange juice mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Divide the maple syrup into the base of the ramekins and top with remaining orange zest. 
  7. Arrange two of the fig halves in the base of each ramekin.
  8. Spoon the pudding mixture into each cup until three-quarters full, then cover with a square sheet of foil, sealing securely.
  9. Arrange the cups in a deep roasting tin and full the tin with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. 
  10. Bake for 35 minutes in a moderate oven. 
  11. Take the cups out of the water and place on a cooling tray for 5 minutes.
  12. Invert each pudding onto a serving plate and accompany with coconut milk yoghurt or ice-cream.

Miley Cyrus brags on the benefits of gluten-free eating but does it really equal weight loss?

So everyone has noticed Miley's recent weight loss, which I must say has now been superseded by her rather dramatic hair transformation. I don't like her new hair so I am not going to post a pic of it! But google it if you haven't seen it already. Miley is attributing her new weight loss to eliminating gluten from her diet, something which I have also done in my own eating plan. Whether you are allergic to gluten or not, some people can be gluten sensitive and find their digestive systems work more efficiently without eating any gluten.

In terms of eliminating gluten from your diet for direct health benefits, I don't think it can be measured in black and white. Gluten is only bad for people who are either intolerant or sensitive to the substance, which is found mostly in products with wheat. If your body doesn't have any difficulty processing gluten, you do not need to cut it from your diet. What I think attributes to weight loss in those who cut gluten is by following the gluten-free diet you tend to avoid heavy carb foods like pizza, white bread, pastries and sugary cereals.

Gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean healthy; gluten-free foods can be high in GI and low in dietary fibre meaning you can end up eating more calories than you need. If you can tolerate a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, go right ahead! Wholemeal breads that free from preservatives are great for you, keep you satisfied and prevent bowel cancer.

For me, the gluten-free diet works wonders for my stomach health and comfort. I have lost weight following the program but I mostly eat a clean diet of fruit and vegetables with protein. I don't eat a lot of 'gluten-free' products except for a little gluten-free bread and rice crackers. Gluten-free muffins, cookies and cakes can be just as fattening as the regular versions. It certainly does not fast-track you to skinny.

September 10, 2012

Ellie Gonsalves' Clean Eating Plan

Eating clean has become the newest phenomena in healthy eating and has many celebrity advocates. I love eating clean, particularly as I have seen huge changes in my body since eliminating sugar, gluten and dairy from my daily diet. Eating clean helps you to focus on feeding your body with the most nutritious foods that are most beneficial in keeping your body running efficiently.

What does eating clean mean exactly? Well basically eating clean is the practice of consuming whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. It also means staying away from man-made foods consisting of sugar, bad fats (hydrogenated, trans-fat), preservatives, and any other ingredients that are unnecessary. Foods like white bread, pre-packaged frozen meals, fried foods and chocolate bars are obvious no-no's. An easy way to remember if a food is clean; "if man made it, don't eat it."

I have an instagram account, which I love dearly, not only for my own little collection of treasured snaps but to see my friend's creativeness and learn tips from the leaders in fitness and nutrition. One of the lovely ladies I follow is the gorgeous Ellie Gonsalves, a beautiful Australian fitness model. She is one of my biggest body inspirations as she has earned her lean and curvy figure through hard work, dedication and eating well.

Recently on her own blog, she posted an article on her 'Clean Eating Plan', giving us a run-down on what she eats to get in shape. Ellie emphasises that sticking to a planned daily routine is important to ensuring you stay on track with your diet, and consistency is key.

You will also notice meals are eaten frequently throughout the day, which helps your metabolism stay in high intensity and not store fat. Ellie's mantra is 'do not skip meals!' as it slows your metabolism, and no one wants that. I also think skipping meals leads you up for a binge later and meal preparation is key. You know how it goes, you have eaten celery all day just to stuff yourself with everything in the pantry when you get home. Don't set yourself up for failure!


Meal 1 – 7:00am - Breakfast
- 1 piece of organic gluten-free light rye toast + squeeze of lemon + ¼ Avocado (No Butter) + banana
-A shake with half a cup of natural fresh mixed berries (no added sugar), 1 cup of raw oats + 1 scoop of protein from The Supplement Den + 1 cup of water..
- Warm water with lemon & freshly sliced ginger
- 1 scoop of Pharma-Greens with water

Meal 2 – 9:30am – Snack
- 1 medium apple + 15g natural almonds + a few goji berries

Meal 3 – 12:30pm - Lunch
50g of chick peas or 4 bean mix + salad
- Salad + gluten free light rye bread made into a sandwich (Use small amount of avocado as a substitute for butter if you need it)
Organic lentil pattie with sliced zucchini, carrot, garlic & onion
- 1 cup of organic green tea with freshly sliced ginger

Meal 4 – 3:30pm - Snack
- 1 cup of steamed vegetables + tofu + lentils + 4 bean mix
- 1 cup of organic green tea with squeeze of lemon with freshly sliced

Supplement Den Pre Workout Shake (20 mins before workout) –
Supplement Den During Workout Shake (Consume during workout) -
Supplement Den Post Workout Shake – 6pm (Straight after workout) –

Meal 5 – 7pm – Dinner
Vegetarian stiryfry + lentils + chickpeas+ vegetables (zucchini, broccoli, carrot, baby corn, organic tofu, squash & spinach) with garlic, chives, chilli, coriander, lemongrass & onion
Veggie pattie with cooked spinach, chickpeas in an organic wrap with a side of tofu
Mediterranean salad (Lentils, chick peas, leafy greens, tomatoes, spinach, spanish onion with steamed vegetables)
-       1 cup of organic chamomile tea before bed


  • I stay away from coffee & dairy products - Milk, cheese ect.. 
  • I drink 2- 3 litres of water per day + 1 litre for every hour of exercise done 
  • For best results on this plan – No Alcohol is the way to go! 
  • I allow myself 1 meal off per week. 
  • I take flaxseed oil + coconut oil gel capsules + hair, nails & skin supplement + a multi-vitamin every morning with breakfast
  • Stick to this plan 100%. 
  • Avoid store bought juices, coffee, milk & sugary drinks/energy drinks

September 03, 2012

Father's Day Low-Cholesterol Pistachio and Ginger Cupcakes

We all worry about our dad's heart health so what better way to treat him on Father's Day then with some low-fat ginger and pistachio cupcakes! My dad loves ginger and I think it must be a bit of a dad thing; my friends all agreed on the flavour choice noting their dad's were a fan of the spice too. I iced these gingerbread cakes with some sticky creamy icing, made with Pashmak pistachio fairy floss. To decorate, I adorned with some star-shaped freckles.