December 17, 2014
It is the time of the year to treat yourself with delicious Christmas food, spend time with your loved ones and celebrate! Celebrations are a wonderful part of life but can be a challenge for those focused on healthy eating. Challenges will lie ahead in the next few weeks with decadent buffets, indulgent desserts and sugary cocktails served at parties.
The most important thing you can do for yourself this silly season is to keep track of what you are eating and to stay active. Monitoring yourself will help to keep the December weight off and start the year off right.
I have three tips to help you to healthy over the few weeks.
1. Don't drink at every party!
Christmas time means booze, booze, booze not to mention New Years' Eve and summer get togethers. Use some restraint here to decide what parties you want to let loose at - and abstain (or at least limit) from alcohol at others. Try a wine spritzer, which is half sparkling water and half wine or stick to vodka and sodas. Also have a glass of water between every drink to stay hydrated. Avoid refills before you have finished your drink so you can monitor your intake.
2. Stay active!
Have a swim, a run on the beach and even train on Christmas Day! Wake up and have a beautiful walk or jump in the pool to get your body moving. Any movement will do. Dance around with your friends, do lunges up the stairs or do some burpees when you wake up. Still try to stick to a work out routine but when that schedule gets interrupted you can always improvise. Great workout routines are on you tube to try, including HIIT cardio programs, yoga follow alongs and pilates routines.
Keeping a food diary or journal can help and keep on track of your food and exercise. It is a time to treat yourself but not at every meal time so choose where you want to lash out and stay healthy at other times. Really choose those foods you most enjoy rather than scoffing down lollies, chocolate and greasy canapés without thought. Those calories quickly add up and can derail your training program. If you plan ahead you will be better equipped to make healthy choices. Look over the past few days of your eating diary and see what worked and where you faltered. This will help you make improvements and stay on top over the holidays.
December 04, 2014
Spiced poached fruits, red jewelled cranberries and buttery fragrant coconut all represent the flavours of Christmas and the festive December month. My cake is made with these festive favourites combined with almonds, quinoa and eggs to make a decadent but healthy sweet treat. The eggs make this cake super moist and golden with a richness that works for the cake to be served alone or warmed with custard for an after-dinner pudding. Making the whole cake in a blender creates minimal mess and apart from the baking time of 45 minutes, it really takes little effort to make.
Gluten-free Low Sugar Peach, Cranberry and Coconut Cake
- 200 grams of almond meal and quinoa mix
- 5 organic eggs
- 450 grams of tinned peaches
- 1 cup of Natvia
- 1 teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder
- 1/2 cup of cranberries
- 1/2 cup of shredded coconut
- Use a blender to puree the eggs and sugar until creamy.
- Add the peaches without liquid.
- Mix in the almond meal and baking powder until combined but don't over mix.
- Stir in the cranberries and coconut.
- Pour into a lined baking tin or generously cover the tin with coconut oil.
- Sprinkle over some shredded coconut.
- Bake for 45 minutes on a moderate heat. Check the cake is set by inserting a skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean you will know it's baked through.
- Let cool in the pan.
November 23, 2014
A basic sweet cupcake recipe is essential to any bakers repertoire. For those bakers who like a healthy twist on their sweets, this is the type of vanilla cupcake that you will want to make, satisfying vegan and gluten/dairy free requirements. You could also swap the honey for stevia if you wanted to create a lower sugar cake.
- 1/2 cup sitfted coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil or butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all the dry in ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well (a hand mixer works great).
- Divide batter among 8 cupcakes.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool and then frost.
*Store in a airtight container at room temperature for a few days or in the fridge for about a week.
1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese or tofu cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup stevia
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter or vegan butter, softened
1/4 cup stevia icing sugar mixture
2 Tbsp. cocoa
For both icings, whip together all ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.
November 20, 2014
There is no question of the over consumption of sugar to be bad for your health. To think that type-2 diabetes (which is directly linked to poor diet) kills someone every six seconds around the world, it is no wonder that doctors are closely examining what we eat.
Move over saturated fat as sugar is now demonized as the old dreaded 'fats' once were. Books on eliminating sugar from your diet have repeatedly hit the best sellers' list in the past 18 months.
It's not just confectionary items that give you a sugar overload. With 80% of processed foods containing sugar including many perceived 'healthy' foods, some people are unwittingly consuming much more of the sweet stuff than they may realize. Cereals, yoghurt, muesli bars and sauces are all culprits for loading up your sugar dose, quite often those labelled 'low-fat' or '97% fat-free'.
With a onslaught of 'healthy eating' practices bombarding the public it is no wonder we are confused. Paleo eaters boast the benefits of eating meat, giving up sugar entails bumping up your fat intake and new research tells us meat shouldn't be eaten regularly for good health. Each piece often seems to contradict one another and after sugar got beaten around in the media, health experts started to tell us not to quit sugar as your body needs it for clean fuel. You can't blame the public for throwing in the towel.
Personally quitting sugar has worked for me. I lost weight easily and realized how much sugar I had unknowingly been eating with my breakfast cereals, love for honey toast, sugary yoghurt snacks and afterwork cocktails. I never thought to think about what it was doing to my body until I stopped eating it and gained much more energy, mood stability and maintain a weight 6 - 7 kilos lighter than when I ate more sugar.
Australian TV actor and filmmaker Damon Gameau set about to do the reverse of my lifestyle change and revert back to eating sugar in a seemingly 'healthy way' for 60 days. His journey is documented in 'That Sugar Film' where Damon completely changes his health in a mere few months. The shocking results on his mental and physical wellbeing were staggering. Within a few weeks he had the beginning of fatty liver disease, he felt on edge and was terribly tired. Damon had gained 10cm of visceral fat around his waist and was informed he was on the fast-track to obesity.
“I had no soft drink, chocolate, ice cream or confectionery,” Damon told Australian program 'Sunrise'. “All the sugars that I was eating were found in perceived healthy foods, so low-fat yoghurts and muesli bars and cereals and fruit juices, sports drinks ... these kind of things that often parents would give their kids thinking they’re doing the right thing.”
A typical breakfast for Damon would have low-fat yoghurt, cereal and apple juice containing 20 teaspoons of sugar (where 4 grams of sugar relates to one teaspoon of sugar). He believes many people don't realize they are consuming so much sugar and that labeling in ambiguous and misleading.
SOME OF OUR WORST SUGAR OFFENDERS ... according to Damon
- Raisin toast (4 teaspoons per slice)
- 250ml popular liquid breakfast drink (4 teaspoons)
- 250ml bottle of multi-vitamin juice (6 teaspoons)
- Iced tea (8 teaspoons)
- Powerade (8 teaspoons of sugar)
- 400ml apple juice (10 teaspoons)
- A serve of low fat yoghurt (11 teaspoons)
- A low-fat strawberry standard size smoothie (18 teaspoons)
I am looking forward to seeing this documentary when it is released in March 2015.
November 04, 2014
ricotta pikelets with figs and honey
This recipe is super simple, fresh and healthy. Ricotta is a yummy low-fat soft cheese that is mild in flavour and creates light and fluffy pikelets. To me, combining cinnamon and honey at breakfast time is one of life's little pleasures and this always makes my morning a little more special. Treat your guests to a home-cooked pikelet feast or make this treat just for yourself.
- 3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra, to serve
- 2 eggs
- 100g extra light ricotta, plus extra to serve
- 3/4 cup buttermilk or almond milk
- 2 tbls honey
- spray oil, for cooking
- 6 figs, quartered, to serve
- honey, for drizzling, to serve
- Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon together into a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and ricotta together until smooth. Whisk in milk and honey, then combine with dry ingredients.
- Heat a heavy based non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the pan using the spray oil. Add ¼ cup of batter and cook until golden brown on the underside, 1-2 minutes. Turn over and cook until just cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Stack up piklets on serving plates. Top with a spoonful of ricotta, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a generous pile of figs and finish with a drizzle of honey.
October 15, 2014
10 ways to improve your body image
Low self-esteem and long-standing negative core beliefs can often fuel negative thought patterns of your body image and appearance. The first step to creating a positive body image is to question those negative thoughts and introduce yourself to healthier ways of viewing your appearance. The more you practice these new thought patterns, the better equipped you will be to block out you inner mean girl and banish those negative thoughts to create a more positive body image.
Your body image is a function of how you feel about your appearance and how well you feel your body performs and your general health. Some of the cues that influence your body image come from your own perspective and others are affected by social factors. For instance, if you feel that you are strong and capable you will have a better body image than if you feel uncoordinated or weak. Similarly, a chronic illness can cause you to resent your body for causing pain and impeding your life goals.
Another facet of body image, and perhaps the most prevalent negative aspect in society, is your feelings about your appearance. What you view as your appearance is largely determined not by how you feel but by how society defines ideals of physical beauty. Most people who experience body image disturbances are sensitive to these social definitions. They feel that there is a mismatch between how they look and how they "should" look.
The list of techniques below that help to build self esteem are taken from The National Eating Disorders website. They are really helpful ways to second-guess your negative thoughts are shift your perspective, which will help to see your body in a more positive light!
1. Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you—running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
2. Keep a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about yourself.
3. Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin deep. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
4. Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you–as a whole person.
5. Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.
6. Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.
7. Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your body, not against it.
8. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages: write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message
9. Do something nice for yourself--something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.
10. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.
October 12, 2014
Lots of your Nana's or Mum's sweetie recipes can be transformed into healthier and more nourishing versions with a few ingredient swaps. Subbing regular processed sugar for stevia and replacing plain flour with low-gluten wholegrain flours, you can replicate those old-fashioned favourites the healthy way.
Jam drops are one of those childhood baking memories I thought to make over. These biscuits keep really well and you can have them on hand all week for sweet treats. Their sweet and straight-forward flavour mean they are a hit with the kiddies as well.
Healthier Jam Drops
- 110 grams of organic butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup of stevia
- 1 organic cage-free egg
- 1 cup of ground almonds or hazelnuts
- 1/3 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
- 1/3 cup of quinoa flour
- 3 tablespoons of chopped coconut flakes
- low-sugar strawberry or raspberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line two baking trays with greased-proof paper.
- Use an electric mixer to whisk the butter, vanilla and stevia together until white and creamy. Beat in the egg. Add in the ground nuts and use the electric mixer once more to combine.
- Add the flours and coconut and mix by hand to make a dough.
- Spoon out a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball, flattening down onto the tray. Repeat with remaining mixture leaving 5 centimetres apart from each biscuit.
- Use the end of a spoon to make a hole inside each biscuit. Fill with jam.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Depending on your oven, you may want to keep an eye on them after 10 minutes. My oven always cooks baked goods much faster than recipes predict!
- Let the cookies cool on their trays for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
October 02, 2014
This recipe is taken from The Conscious Foodie, another blogger dedicated to providing yummy healthy treat recipes! What's great about this recipe is you don't have to do any baking, just prepare and leave to cool in the fridge for a fudgey and delicious end result.
Conscious Foodie's Raw Choc Brownies
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 10 fresh dates (seeds removed)
- ½ cup cacao powder
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Strawberries (or other berries) to serve
- Process almonds, walnuts and cacao until the nuts turn into a fine meal and the cacao is well combined.
- Add dates slowly until the mixture combines and starts to stick together.
- Finally add coconut oil and process until well combined.
- Press the combined brownie mixture into a small tray. Place in the fridge while you make the icing.
- To make the icing, process all ingredients until smooth and then spread on top of the brownie.
- Cool in the fridge for 3 hours, then cut into squares and serve with strawberries (or other berries). These brownies are best stored in the fridge. Enjoy!
September 22, 2014
Part quiche part pie, this dish has a few of my favourite ingredients, pine nuts, fetta cheese and spinach, combined much like the classic Greek meal Spanakopita. Yum!
However this creation is defined, I absolutely loved how it turned out and it was delicious warm for dinner or wrapped up cold for lunch.
Healthy Spinach Quiche
You will need a flan or pie baking dish for this recipe.
- 1/4 cup of almond meal
- 1/4 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
- 1/4 cup of gluten-free plain flour
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 4 eggs
- 6 cubes of frozen spinach, thawed
- 1/2 block of light fetta cheese, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts
- 4 tablespoons of milk of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- In a large bowl, sift in the flours and mix together. Make a well in the middle of the flours and pour in the olive oil and water. Mix together until the ingredients start to come together. Use your hands to form a dough. Add more flour in the dough is too wet. Form a ball and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- In a small fry pan, sauté the garlic and onions until soft and fragrant. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Mix in the spinach, fetta, pine nuts and the cooked onions.
- Take out the dough and sprinkle with flour. Cover your kitchen bench with some cling film and also dust with flour. Roll out your dough with a rolling pin on the covered bench until you get a thin stretched circle to cover the pie dish. Make sure you use flour as you go to prevent the dough sticking.
- Lightly oil the pie dish and carefully transfer your rolled dough to cover. Press into the sides. Don't worry about it being perfect. Little bits of dough can be used to cover any patches or holes. It is important to not have any leaks in the dough to keep the filling intact.
- Once you are happy with the crust, blind bake for 10 minutes until crisp and slightly browned.
- Now you can pour your filling in and bake for a further 20 minutes.
- Serve with a green salad with some kalamata olives.
September 16, 2014
Me: Love coffee?
You: Need. Now.
Me: Love chocolate?
Me: Love cake?
You: Mmm. Cake... (cake cake cake)
This one's for you.
Ok let's do this.
Vegan Mocha Cake
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1 shot of espresso coffee
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/3 of stevia granules (I use Natvia)
- 1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds or chia seeds
- 3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 3 tablespoon of cacao powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- vegan choc chip for topping
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees fan forced (moderately hot).
- Grease a bundt tin or cake tin with coconut oil thoroughly. You don't want that baby to stick!
- Whip together the coconut oil, stevia, flax or chia and vanilla. Whisk in the espresso and almond milk.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift in the oat flour, almond flour, spices, baking powder and salt.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and gradually pour in the wet ingredients. Very gently (!) mix together the ingredients until just combined. This helps the cake to stay moist and not gluey when it bakes.
- Pour the mixture into your greased cake tin and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cake springs back when you press the top.
- Let the cake cool slightly (few minutes) before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
September 05, 2014
Apart from being super gorgeous, Renee Somerfield always seems genuinely happy and bright, with her positive energy oozing from every sexy shot she posts on Instagram. Her insane looks have attracted lots of attention from admirers, including plenty of girls crowning her as their ultimate fitspo. While Renee is a devoted vegan and stays active, she does admit she's "definitely always been skinny."
She reveals, "My physique is naturally very petite and I am quite tall (5’10). Growing up, this felt very awkward but I have grown to love and embrace my body! I work hard to keep my body looking healthy and fit, which means eating 6+ times a day and working out with resistance and weights to make sure I maintain lean muscle… I don’t like looking too skinny!"
A passionate vegan (for over five years), Renee finds it easy to eat healthy as she tried to keep her food the way mother nature intended avoiding animal products such as meat and dairy and following a plant-based diet. A typical day would include organic muesli, fruit, salad on rye bread or organic muesli, veggie pattie burgers, and wholegrain pastas. For more ideas on how to eat vegan, check out Renee's fellow fitness model and bestie Sheridyn Fisher's daily meal plan.
Enjoying her food, Renee loves to cook and uses a vegan cook book to make Thai dishes with veggies & tofu, tacos or burritos with beans and chilli (she touts herself the burrito queen), baked veggies with hummus or vegetable soup with beans and pasta. When eating out, Renee finds it easy to spot a healthy option on the menu or asks for her food to be prepared adjusting to her vegan diet. She also isn't afraid to treat herself in a healthy way like her fave dessert of chocolate soy ice cream or the occasional cocktail.
To stay lean and toned, Renee keeps moving and focuses on being strong and not skinny. Despite her diet and fitness routine, she stresses "Confidence comes from how you feel." Eating well comes from a belief to nourish her body with healthy, natural and nutrient-rich foods. Renee also think her positive mind set helps to maintain her desire to stay fit, keep her skin glowing and nail and hair strong. Giving her body love and respect is why Renee eats well and stays active, avoiding alcohol, processed foods, caffeine and getting adequate sleep.
Considering her crazy busy schedule, which includes doing two shoots a day in all different environments, Renee has plenty of energy and enjoys shooting outside, especially on beaches or exotic locations. Her bubbly and gracious personality sees her hired again and again, and those stunning looks help merchandise to fly off the shelves. Her instagram account alone has 750 000 followers and counting. A couple of selfies have fans going gaga over her amazing body and vivacious looks. This isn't by accident either as Renee tailors what she posts to create a specific image which the media has quickly picked up on calling her one of the best in the 'sexy selfie' game.
Renee agrees, "It's all about the content, I share what I'm doing everyday and that's usually in a bikini," she says. "As I've turned my Instagram and social media into a business, I make sure the content will benefit that."
Well the girl knows what sells!
Other than her strong sense of business and work ethic, one of Renee's top priorities is staying active. When it comes to spending time in the gym, Renee much prefers staying active outside to keep her workouts fun and outdoors. Her favourite ways to exercise are through long distance running, walking her dogs, sand dune sprints and Pilates with weights. It's no surprise as a passionate vegan, Renee is a big animal lover and her dogs often feature on her Instagram and once you see the size of one of them, you will imagine it keeps her running around! She also keep handy equipment on the go with her, like resistance band which allows her to exercise in hotel rooms.
Renee advises, "If you loathe going to the gym (like me!) then try an outdoor class, swap the treadmill for the sand or go for a bike ride with a friend. Working out is meant to be fun, not a chore!" A healthy lifestyle is a year-long habit for Renee who doesn't do any emergency dieting or extra training before a shoot.
"I believe in a healthy lifestyle, not a quick-fix diet. Making sure I am eating clean and moving my body ensures I am always bikini ready!"
Visit www.reneesomerfield.com or follow Renee on Twitter and Facebook!
September 02, 2014
I'm often one of those people that while I am eating dinner, I am thinking about what may lie ahead for me for dessert. Having a sweet tooth can really derail your diet and undo your hard work at the gym that day. My trick is to have lots of healthy sweets and treats on hand to satisfy those cravings and stop you from downing hundreds of empty calories in a few handfuls of M&Ms.
Firstly let me stress that if you are having super strong sugar yearnings post dinner make sure you have eaten enough calories for your body that day and have incorporated enough balanced carbs into your diet. Sugar and high fat foods is usually what your body will long for if you are undernourished and low in energy. Don't be afraid to eat a big but healthy lunch and dinner. When I started increasing my size and calorie count of lunch and dinner, I found it easy to cut out snacks and stop the urge for something sweet.
BUT if you have taken care of yourself that day but still need a treat (it is part of what makes life fun!), then these yoghurt pops are perfect for you.
Berry Yoghurt Pops
Berry Yoghurt Pops
- 1 large tub of natural plain or Greek yoghurt
- 1 punnet or 1 cup of strawberries
- 1/2 cup of raspberries
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- In a blender, mix the yoghurt, strawberries and honey together until creamy. Stir through the chia seeds.
- Fill your popsicle tray half-way with the yoghurt mix, throw in a couple of raspberries and then fill to the top. Place the popsicle sticks 3/4 the way down the pop, leaving enough room to remove and hold the popsicle.
- Leave to freeze for at least six hours. When you are ready to eat, take out of the freezer and few minutes before to loosen the outside (or run a little hot water over the base if you can't wait!).
September 01, 2014
I have been loving on Ellie Gonsalves for years now and I'm not surprised her fame grows exponentially once people get a look at that incredible figure and stunning natural beauty. The proof is in her bod so of course I have always been curious in how Ellie works out and how she gets those AHmazing abs and that curvy toned butt. Google has led me to a blog post Ellie herself has written on a quick 10-minute buns routine she does at home or on-the-go when she is traveling. Taking one look at her incredible butt will make you want to whip out your yoga mat and start this routine stat.
Each workout is 1 minute long and I have a 15 second break in between each exercise.
All I need is;
Yoga mat/or carpet, timer (I use my iPhone!) & my fit girl attitude!
1. Squats for 1 minute;
- I stand with my feet hip distance apart & parallel
- I bend at knees & stick my bum out behind me
- Keep back straight & the weight in my heels
- As I return to standing, I squeeze my glutes
- 15 second rest -
2. Front Lunges for 1 minute;
- I stand with feet hip distance apart & parallel
- Take step forward with right leg. Bending at knee
- Push back up through heel of forward foot
- Alternate & repeat
- 15 second rest -
3. Side Lunges for 1 minute;
- I stand with feet hip distance apart & parallel
- Step to right, bending at knee
- Keeping back straight, press back up to standing position
- Alternate & repeat
- 15 second rest -
4. Squat Jumps for 1 minute
- I stand in correct posture with feet hip-width apart, toes pointed forward.
- Reach forward with my arms as I drop into the deep squat.
- I jump up as explosively as I can, driving down with my arms.
- Then lower myself back into the squat to complete.
- 15 second rest -
5. Wall Hold for 1 minute;
- I put my back against the wall with my feet flat on the floor
- Bend my knees to a 90 degree angle & hold for 1 minute
- 15 second rest -
6. Donkey Kick Right Leg for 1 minute;
- I get on my hands and knees with abs pulled in tight
- Reach right leg up behind me with bent knee, pushing through heel and engaging glute
- I keep back my straight and return to starting position, then repeat for 1 minute
- 15 second rest -
7. Donkey Kick Left Leg for 1 minute;
- I get on my hands and knees with abs pulled in tight
- Reach left leg up behind me with bent knee, pushing through heel and engaging glute
- I keep my back straight and return to starting position, then repeat for 1 minute
- 15 second rest -
8. Hip Bridge for 1 minute;
- I lie on my back, hands by sides, knees bent
- I keep my weight in my heels, squeeze my glutes and push hips up so my body is in one line from my knees to shoulders
- I then return to starting position and repeat!
Ellie says 'after my workouts, I always take 10-15 minutes to stretch & have a protein shake while I do so.' Lately I have been doing the same using a lean whey protein mix with added fat burners. I mix one scoop of this with water in my shaker to have right after a crazy workout.
Let's face it, we spend a whole lot of time chained to our desks… whether you are in corporate, own a small business, are into blogging or just have a penchant for online shopping, we are usually sitting somewhere staring at a computer screen. Considering it's a space we spend many of our hours, I think it's worth putting your personal touch and flair into 'the office'.
Whatever your office is, the corner of your bedroom, a nook under the stairs or a its own fully fledged room, there is a host of cute and quirky homewards and accessories just waiting to spice up that space. It will make coming to work a little more fun and only be a tiny bit distracting (well we need to stay sane people!). Okay let's get into my tips, and I take no responsibility for the dint this may put in your latest hard-earned pay cheque ;)
Above pictures from pinterest.
Makes you want to write, something.
|Rifle Paper and Co Birds of a Feather Notebook|
|Desk Calendar http://www.hattanhome.com|
|Pastel Planners from Keep.com|
|Polka Dot Notebooks www.luluandgeorgia.com|
Staplers, notepads, pens and calculators? These websites have got the cutest versions of all the mentioned and more. Just keep a close eye on them, these are the kind of office supplies you don't want to go missing.
|Kate Spade Folders www.swoozies.com|
|Paper Clips Kate Spade www.paper-luxe.com|
|Dessert Erasers from Tofu Cute|
|Borrow my Pen? From papersource.com|
|Russel and Hazel Acrylic Stapler and Tape Dispenser Set|
The Decorative Bits
Add your own personal style and flair aka the fun part.
|Inspirational prints from http://www.hattanhome.com|
|A Donut Pillow - what dream are made of. Find at papersource.com|
|DIY Chalk Board from Wallies Neon Pink Chalk Board Stickers|
|Oh Hello Friend Heart Tape|
|Steep Up to the Plate http://www.fishseddy.com|
|Hanging Planter by Gems by Lex at Etsy|
August 19, 2014
Don't expect these to last long! The bicarb of soda mixed with the honey creates a deletable honeycomb texture to these biscuits. I also love the crunchy shell and soft inside of the icing smeared on top, which makes the biscuits look all that bit cuter.
Healthier Honey Jumbles
- 1 1/2 cups of plain flour
- 1/2 cup of Natvia
- 1 teaspoon of all spice
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 large tablespoon of raw honey (I used an amazing natural honey from Tasmania)
- 1 tablespoon of whole milk
- 2 tablespoons of soft organic butter
- 2 tablespoons of soft coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds soaked for 30 minutes in 50 mls of water
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of Natvia icing sugar mixture
- a few drops of red food colouring - could also use blue, yellow or leave white.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees fan forced and line a large baking tin with greased-proof paper.
- In an electric mixer, whisk together the butter, coconut oil and Natvia until pale and creamy.
- In a small microwave safe dish, warm the honey and milk until the honey is dissolved. Add in the baking soda and stir until the mixture is frothy and bubbling.
- Add the honey mixture into the first mixture and whisk to combine. Add in your chia mixture.
- Sift over the bowl the plain flour and all spice. With a large spoon, stir until well combined.
- Dust your hands with plain flour. Roll a tablespoon of each mixture into a ball and place onto tray. Repeat with remaining ingredients, leave a couple of centimetres of space around each biscuit. Flatten with a fork before baking.
- Bake in the oven for 10 - 13 minutes, checking after 10 minutes as the biscuits can cook quickly.
- Take out a let cool slightly on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the icing, use an electric mixer and whisk the egg white, lemon juice and vanilla. Gradually add in the icing sugar while beating. Wait until the mixture becomes thick, pale and silky. Add a few drops of food colouring to get your desired colour.
- Ice each of the biscuits and let dry, until the mixture becomes hard and shiny.
August 13, 2014
Exciting news! To help you with your sugar-free baking, I will be giving away a fabulous Natvia baking value pack!
Thanks to my baking sponsors Natvia, makers of all natural stevia sweeteners, I have a set of Natvia baking sugar and icing sugar to give away to my beautiful readers. I can't wait for you to have fun experimenting with these fabulous Natvia products, which are undoubtedly the world's best tasting sweetener brand. This exciting Skinny Sweets and Treats give away also includes some cute patty cake cases for your sugar-free goodies and a tin of Natvia sweeteners to pop in your tea or coffee when you're on-the-go!
To enter, simply comment on this blog post what recipe you are most excited to bake with your Natvia products and make sure to leave your email address. For a bonus entry, make sure you subscribe to my blog by entering your email address in the subscription bar on the right. Entries close and winner drawn on the 31st of August 2014.
Now onto the scrumptious recipe! This dessert is very simple (and not like Jamie's 15-minute-meals simple, like it's actually really quick and easy) and perfect to whip up for a hungry crowd.
Lemon delicious is an old-school citrusy dessert that my mum made for us when we were children. I have always adored the tangy lemon flavour and find these types of puddings so comforting, especially in the cooler months. This recipe is very versatile though so if it suits you more, bake the mixture in a mid-sized cake tin for a lemon cake that would be beautiful served at a morning or afternoon tea. You could even add in half a cup of poppy seeds to create the classic lemon and poppy seed pairing. As you can see from my picture below, the spongey cake cuts beautifully and is ridiculously moist. Totally yum.
- 40g organic butter, melted
- ¾ cup Natvia
- 1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon rind
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons plain (gluten-free) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup (80ml) lemon juice
- 1 cup (250ml) almond milk
- pouring (single) cream or coconut cream, to serve
- Preheat oven to 160ºC (320ºF).
- Place the butter and Natvia in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until light and creamy. Add the lemon rind and egg yolks and beat until smooth.
- Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture and beat to combine. Add the lemon juice and milk and beat until smooth.
- Place the eggwhites in a bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Use a metal spoon to gently fold the eggwhites into the pudding mixture. This step is important in creating a light and fluffy sponge.
- Pour into a lightly greased 1 litre-capacity ceramic ovenproof dish and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden.
August 03, 2014
Crushed Raspberries, Sour Cherry and Pistachio Tart
- 2 sheets of short crust pastry
- Natvia and cinnamon to dust
- water, with a pastry brush
- 1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup of full-fat ricotta
- 1/4 cup of Natvia, pulverized in a blender to powder
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 punnets of raspberries (or 1 cup of frozen raspberries, thawed)
- 1/4 cup of dried sour cherries (can omit if unable to source)
- 1/4 cup of chopped pistachios
- cinnamon to dust
- Preheat the oven to a moderately hot oven at 180 degrees fan forced. Take two sheets of pastry out of the freezer and leave to defrost for a few minutes lying flat on a large chopping board or clean bench.
- Line a baking tray with greased-proof baking paper. Place one sheet of pastry on top of the baking paper and brush with water. Sprinkle with Natvia and cinnamon.
- Using the other sheet of pastry, cut four strips vertically with a sharp knife. Place these strips along the edges of the tart shape and pinch upwards to create an edge. Gently press the knife along the edges to make small indentations. Prick the centre of the tart carefully with a fork to let steam escape when baking.
- Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts in the leftover pastry. Put these hearts in the fridge for now on a plate lined with baking paper.
- Pop the tart in the oven for 8 - 10 minutes until golden and crisp. Take care not to let the tart become too browned as the pastry can easily taste burnt.
- Transfer the tart shell to a wire rack. Take the hearts from the fridge and place these on the baking tray. Brush with water, Natvia and cinnamon. Bake for a few minutes until crisped.
- Place the baked hearts with the tart shell to cool.
- To make the filling, mix together the yoghurt, ricotta, powdered Natvia and vanilla. Add half a punnet of raspberries to the mixture and crushed lightly to incorporate. Spoon the mixture into the tart shell.
- Using the remanding raspberries, crush in a small bowl. Spoon the crushed raspberries on top of the tart. Finish off with sour cherries, pistachios and a dusting of cinnamon. Serve with pastry hearts on the side or arrange on top of the tart for decoration.