January 29, 2015

Ideas for a DIY Skinny and Vegan Super Bowl Party

Hello my lovelies! So I am an Aussie and kinda oblivious to the Super Bowl hype, other than I know it's a big deal for Americans and some of my fave reality star's husbands play in the game. Despite my lack of knowledge in the Superbowl department, I love an excuse to throw a party and watching sports is one of my favourite ways to get my friends and family together. Usually we are watching Australian Football League, soccer or cricket BUT I wanted to celebrate Superbowl with you guys.

So I am team neutral but this year we have the Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks competing for the title. Who is your team? Whoever you are supporting, I have some fun ideas for healthy party snacks and skinny sweets to help you celebrate.

Let's get into the recipes!

Chickpea Dip with Vegetable Sticks and Crackers

  • 1 cup of tinned chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini (optional) 
To serve:
  • paprika and oil
  • vegetable slices in red and green for each team
  • crackers
Puree all these ingredients together until creamy. Serve topped with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with seed crackers (no white flour!) and vegetable sticks.

Vegan Chocolate Football Brownies

  • 1 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of linseed mix
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of rice bran oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  1. Combine the spelt flour, baking powder, cacao and sugar together. In a separate bowl, mix together linseed, water, rice bran oil, banana and vanilla. 
  2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine.
  3. Put some baking paper into a brownie tin and pour in to fill.
  4. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Take out of oven and let cool in tin.

Cut out the brownie cake with a knife into football shapes by making a curve on each side to meet. Use a white icing pen to draw on the lines to make the football complete!

Cranberry Cocktail

A sports party is not complete without a little booze, lets be real. It makes the cheers louder and eases the pain if your team loses. These cocktails are cute served in jars with a label written with your team on.

Serves two 

  • 1 cup of sugar-free cranberry juice
  • 2 shots of contrieu 
  • 2 shots of raspberry vodka
  • the juice of one lime
  • 1 cup of sugar-free Sprite or lemonade 
Mix these together in a large jug and serve in jar with lots of ice and slices of lime.

I hope you enjoyed a few of these simple ideas and may your team be victorious! 

Lots of Love xxx

January 28, 2015

How To Stay Healthy During Winter and Avoid The Dreaded Flu

For those of my readers in the Northern Hemisphere, suffering in bitterly cold temperatures, I've got some tips for staying well during the winter. Living in Australia and in humid hot weather, I cannot imagine enduring blizzards and negative temperatures! If you are braving snowy and frosty conditions, it can be challenging to protect your immune system and stay healthy.

The dreaded flu, with coughs and colds, sneezing and sniffly noses, headaches, sore throats, muscular aches and fever, is one of the worst parts of winter. These symptoms, whilst normally mild, are the leading causes of days off work and school and can completely deplete the immune system, leaving you susceptible to contracting more viruses and staying sicker for longer. Flu can also lead to depressive symptoms as you are feeling unwell, missing social events, staying isolated and remaining inactive.

Your Immune System

What you need first and foremost is a healthy immune system to keep your body well and protect you against flu circulating in your environment. There are many factors that may contribute to the weakening of your immune system including:
  • stress, 
  • poor sleep, 
  • a lack of regular exercise, 
  • not enough rest and relaxation and 
  • making poor food choices.
These factors are important to manage to stay healthy and strong during winter.

Boost Your Immune Defences

Simple dietary and lifestyle changes keep you healthy and reduce your risk of colds and flus:
  • Eat a well-balanced diet including fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, legumes and lean red meat.
  • Make healthy warming meals like homemade coconut curries and vegetable soups. Here are some delicious recipes for Carrot Dill Soup and Fragrant Veggie Curry from Aloha.com
  • Reduce your intake of mucous-forming foods such as dairy and refined foods.
  • Avoid foods low in nutrients such as sugar, white flour products and alcohol. These foods are known as empty calorie foods and only harbour your immune system.
  • Drink at least 2L of filtered water every day.
  • Use herbal teas such as green, peppermint and lemon and ginger
  • Regularly exercise but also take rest days, especially after intense training to allow your muscles to recover.
  • Practise good sleep hygiene to ensure a restful night of sleep such as turning off TV and computer before sleep, avoiding exercise late at night and limiting alcohol. 
  • Try meditation or yoga to keep your stress levels low. If you are a beginner, try a local class or log into you tube to try out a guided session at home.
Specific Nutrients For Immune Support

Zinc is crucial for immune function as a zinc deficiency may cause a weakened immune response, predisposing you to a longer or more severe cold. Zinc and vitamin C are nutrients essential to good health and have a growing body of scientific evidence to support their benefits in boosting immunity and strengthening the healing process. You can take supplements of these vitamins and also indulge in foods such as seafood, citrus fruits and spinach.

You can also include an immune booster vitamin in your routine or fortify your meals with whole food powders. Try this Daily Good Greens powder for a vitamin charge.

What to Do If You Get Sick

Both the common cold and flu are caused by viruses, with the most common virus being rhinovirus. Antibiotics target bacteria only and are unable to kill the viruses responsible for colds and flu. Rest is essential when you are unwell to allow your body to recover. Try warm bath in epsom salts for muscle ease, take an immune support vitamin and put a dehumidifier in your bedroom for night time.

Congestion and a stuffy nose are signs that your immune system is hard at work and can result in blocked sinuses and breathing difficulty. The decongesting, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial essential oils of eucalyptus, thyme, lavender and peppermint may help to reduce the nasal and sinus congestion that accompanies upper respiratory tract infections. Put these oils in your dehumidifier to circulate in the air.

Taking care of your body during winter is the best way to avoid the flu. Eating well and getting adequate rest will support your immune system and help you to stay healthy.

Take care xxx

January 27, 2015

Ellie Goulding On Why Strong Is The New Skinny

Showing off her athleticism, Ellie Goulding strikes a series of sporty poses for Nike's new campaign 'A Melody of Movement'. If you follow the popstar's Instagram, you would know she is a fitness fanatic and avid runner posting clips of her intense workouts and dedication in the gym. Goulding's work with Nike celebrates women's fitness and includes designing a 15-minute Nike+ Training Club exercise routine to modeling the new range of workout gear in gorgeous photos taken around the UK.

The new 15 minute N+TC App workout incorporates all of her favorite training moves, alternating metabolic drills with high and low intensity movement for a full body workout to help burn calories and keep you mentally and physically engaged.

The Nike 2015 campaign, Goulding displays her yoga moves

First and foremost, Goulding is a performer but fitness is one of her true passions. "For me, exercise is a crucial part of being alive. It’s like breathing,” she says.

Running in half marathons since she was in her teens, Goulding feels proud to support the movement of being strong and not skinny. "I like the fact that I can be that role model. I still think there's a little bit of work to do with promoting fit, not thin. But it's getting there."

Goulding performing in NYC

If you watch Goulding perform, you will not only be grooving to her amazing vocals but be awed by
her stunts on stage supported by her fitness and love of entertaining. Likening the thrill of performing to the rush she gets when running, Goulding feels running and performing go hand-in-hand. 

Goulding likes to vary her workouts to keep them fun and challenging, and to feel constantly inspired. "I think having a yin and yang with exercise is the important thing for me. I love to do high-intensity training, but I also love to take it easy. I say take it easy, but doing yoga is not easy," the pop star shares of her fitness routine. "Doing something different every day keeps things fresh, exciting, and interesting."

Goulding boxes with her trainer

Another way to inspire you to get off the couch and try that new workout is the fun prints in neon and geometrics that feature in Goulding's Nike collection. Designed to combat the dreary weather in the UK, Nike's range has pieces in brights colors and stand-out prints to boost your energy and give you a reason to get to the gym.

Nike 2015 campaign, Goulding shows off her handstand skills

As for her diet, Goulding is now a vegan and feels it helps keep her lean. Going vegan wasn't a huge leap for the former vegetarian except for curbing her cheese addiction. Admitting 'A cheese plate with fruit is my weakness!' Other tips the popstar gives to those wanting to live a healthy lifestyle is to stop worrying about the future and instead focus on staying positive and working hard allowing those efforts to guide you in the right direction. Considering the star's blooming career and stunning physique, I am inclined to agree!

Shop Nike's new range here.

January 22, 2015

The Khloe Kardashian Workout

Post-divorce, Khloe is channeling her energy into training hard to not only look amazing but feel fantastic on the inside. A high achiever, Khloe loves to work out hard in the gym to get results and give her mental clarity. Training with celebrity gym guru Gunnar Peterson, Khloe is a fan of high intensity work outs and circuit training to get her heart rate up and tone at the same time. The reality star holds physiques like Jennifer Lopez's body as her motivation and works towards an athletic shape.

Boxing is one of her favourite cardio methods with Gunnar noting Khloe's professional attitude to the game which gives her impressive technique, strength and power. The interactive part of boxing is what keep Khloe interested in the work out.

"I’m just so busy having fun, I forget that I’m working out; 45 minutes go by and I’m dripping wet. We do a lot of workouts together, my sisters and I, and we go on a lot of hikes and walks outside. I never like doing the same workout two days in a row, I just get bored."

Khloe (left) training with her sister

Khloe has been noticed at her LA gym on the daily, arriving as early as 5am. It's this type of dedication and perseverance that her coach Gunnar emphasises as a necessary part of training if you want to get results. Her focus isn't only for weight loss (although she has lost up to ten kilos), Khloe loves the confidence training gives her to tackle her day outside the gym.

Even when her time in the gym is restricted, she will make the most of her workout posting a picture of a 35 minute session where she burned over 500 calories citing 'a warrior moment'. To get her booty in shape, Khloe is a huge fan of squats, leg lifts, lunges and jumps.

“I’ve definitely become obsessed with working out! It’s funny, because my weight has always fluctuated — but recently so many people have been saying “you look so good, you’ve lost all this weight.” It’s actually been about a year and a half that I’ve been making a lifestyle change. There’s no quick fix, I would say.

As for her diet? Khloe is not as strict with her eating plan as her sisters, allowing herself to eat what she wants and not banning alcohol.

Khloe post training with her sister Kendall

“If I ate better, I would lose weight faster, but I don’t want to. I love food and there’s lots of family time with food and your friends. I work out really hard so I can have my champagne and that part of life. I’d rather take longer to lose weight, but have fun doing it.”

Gunnar's advice?

"Eat defensively. If you are going to an event, eat beforehand, so you can combat the finger foods and avoid temptation."

January 20, 2015

Lemon Meringue Body Scrub

This smells so amazing, you will be conflicted on whether to eat it or smother your body in it. While technically edible, this concoction is designed to scrub you smooth and scent you in delicious zesty sweetness. Making your own body scrub will give you a chance to get crafty and create the most delicious exfoliator that is all natural and affordable.

Lemon Meringue Body Scrub

  • 1/2 a cup of granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
  • 8 drops of lemon oil
  • the zest of one lemon
  • a few capsules of evening primrose oil
  1. Clean and sanitize a jar by soaking it in boiling water for ten minutes. I used a botanica juice jar I had on hand.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, melted coconut oil, coconut and lemon oil. Add in the zest. Pierce the primrose oil tablets and squeeze into the mix. Make sure everything in combined.
  3. Put into your jar and top with a small handful of coconut to finish.

January 14, 2015

Herself - Caitlin Explains It All

Women – Love each other, support each other, defend each other. It comes at a greater cost to you to attack the women around you than it does to empower them. 

The young Australian actress Caitlin Stasey has garnered much publicity after posting a series of nude shots accompanied by a compelling honest interview on the website Herself. The thoughtful questions asked are responded candidly and some topics discussed really sparked my interest. Discussing the role of women in our society, Caitlin shared her thoughts of feminism, body image and freedom. Recently I've chatted with my friends about the lack of information we received on the female body and our hormones which is ironic to us because we all went to a girls' only school. It seems we were not the only ones who felt uneducated on our own bodies and desires, with Caitlin discussing her own obstacles.

I have taken some excerpts of the interview below.

Were you ever embarrassed about your development or puberty? If so why?

Puberty was devastating for me. I suddenly had stretch marks all over my body, cellulite, hair, lumps, acne. Looking back now I know I wasn’t alone but at the time I couldn’t have felt more isolated. I was developing at a rate that wasn’t mirrored in my social group. I was always surrounded by long, lean, hairless, blondes who excelled at sports & were entirely asexual & then there was me, swarthy, curvy & short – I’ve always been slight but I was womanly WAY before my peers. I was embarrassed by the changes I was going through and that I had no real outlet for my confusion but more than anything I was embarrassed by my interest in sex, one that was present in me LONG before puberty.

When did you become aware of your gender?

It was always thrust upon me. I never had an awakening it was just understood that I was born cisgendered so there was never any turmoil over my sexuality or upset. I was given gender neutral toys but for the most part I opted for barbies, toy kitchens, lovely little dresses, the only truly non-gendered items I loved were art supplies (although the reason I became interested in art was because it was the only way I could access images of naked women without question!) I was a HUGE girly girl save for my blundstone boots. I was always wearing a tutu & these heavy duty workman’s boots. The simple reason being that I did NOT care for shoelace tying and my blundstones were incredibly comfy. I’ve worn them consistently all my life.

What, if any, are the obstacles you’ve overcome on your path to womanhood?

My vagina has been an unending and constant source of turmoil for me – not that vaginas are intrinsically female, it’s just happened to be a big part of womanhood for me personally – UTI’s, PH imbalances, sexual dysfunction, pain, discomfort. Sexual education is no way near comprehensive enough as all of these things I’ve had to learn myself, treat myself & diagnose myself. I’m still struggling to gain control over my body, over my vagina.

What are your negative relationships with women?

The women I’ve encountered who attempt to discredit feminism, to tear one another down – basically any woman working for the dailymail, newscorp or TMZ.

How do you feel about products marketed to women?

It’s grotesque the way we target women. Ad campaigns are so sneaky, so covert, they masquerade as your ‘friends’ having a lilting lady voice soothe you into buying THESE cosmetics because we ALL know ‘your crows feet are there’ & they are FUUUUCKED. It’s so underhanded.

How do you feel about feminine hygiene products’ portrayal in the media?

This blue liquid in place of red really has to stop. It lends itself to making menstrual blood a spectacle and a horrifying & gruesome secret. Let’s just be cool about it. Let’s all get the fuck over the fact that some people have periods.

Do you feel your sexual education was sufficient?

Not at all. I learned the basics, the very basics & it seemed so foreign and sterile that I didn’t relate it back to myself. I couldn’t imagine that all these incredible things were going to happen to my body.

In what ways does being a woman make you vulnerable or exposed?

We have come to understand the world as a ‘Man’s space’ and that we women are merely traveling through that space, although not all people feel this way, it is evidenced in cat calls, street harassment and the constant pursuit of women by strange men.

How do you define feminism?

As a group of people pushing forward to total & inarguable equality.

What do you think are positive ways the world views women?

It’s funny, this question once struck me as innocent enough until I started asking women it. I found that EVERY answer they came up with had a seed of male gaze within it, and of course that’s the case. If you think of the patriarchy as a tree, it’s roots tainted by male privilege & oppression then all the fruits of that tree are tainted as well, no matter how prettily it’s dressed up. In order to state that “being a woman is good because of…” is to separate us into categories that are arbitrary and socially inflicted anyway. If being a woman, by today’s standards, benefits you then you aren’t benefiting. You’re merely feeding back into a system that let’s you down.

Do you think the worlds perception of women limits them or benefits?

Limits them hugely.

Have you ever been in a position where your sexuality was used against you?

I’ve been accused of ‘friend zoning’ again & again, that my kindness & flirtation were grounds to expect sex from me. I was warned by several dudes to modify my behavior and be careful of leading men on. If I could go back in time I’d have laughed in their pathetic horny faces and waltzed off.

Have you ever been physically or verbally threatened because of your appearance?

I’m cat called at least a dozen times a week in summer. Mercifully during winter it’s too cold for people to roll down their windows and stick their heads out.

When you imagine sex, what is the visual/feeling you associate with it?

Sometimes pain, I suffer from constant & chronic UTI’s, the fear of pain causes your muscles to spasm and contract which can make sex impossible. Other times it’s just the loveliest thing to think of.

How do you feel about the media’s portrayal of women?

It depicts us as sexless unless corrupt, hairless unless masculine & helpless unless evil. We’re not allowed to be gross or crass & intelligent, or beautiful & funny. We have to fit into neat little boxes.

Are you satisfied with the women you see depicted in film, television & advertising?

Not at all. I’m not even entirely satisfied by some of the women I’ve played. The erasure of colour from entertainment is truly staggering & appalling. The erasure of women from within the LGTBQIA community is equally as awful.

How do you think the world at large views women?

As mothers, sluts, virgins, or wives.

How do you maintain a sense of self?

By creating my own world daily & loving the women around me fully.

What is something you deeply love about yourself?

My sense of humour, I truly think I’m blessed to be able to laugh as often as I do.

Do you have people you look up to?

Anais Nin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clementine Ford, Marieke Hardy, Haylee Collins, Malala Yousafzai.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Women – Love each other, support each other, defend each other. It comes at a greater cost to you to attack the women around you than it does to empower them.

January 13, 2015

Ariana Grande's Vegan Diet and Fitness Regime

The cute little Pop Princess Ariana Grande has become a passionate vegan, preferring to eat fruit and vegetables over her furry friends. Ariana is quoted to 'love animals more than I love most people' and is a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length. Attributing the vegan lifestyle to actually making her happier, Ariana has left behind her Italian roots by saying goodbye to meats and cheese, joking that she has had enough in her young life to last her a lifetime. Although the singer admits her grandparents still have a heart attack when she turns down the meatballs at the dinner table.

Being a vegan can seem to confine you to a strict diet begging the question what does Ariana eat? Striving the eat organically from a young age, Ariana is no stranger to healthy eating but was quick to eliminate processed food and meat from her diet. She admits dining out can be tricky but sticks to what she knows by choosing vegetable and salad options. If the suitable meals are small, she tops up her intake with eating more when she gets home. On the run, she takes snacks like almonds and cashews to nibble and hydrates with coconut water. In support of her commitment to veganism, Peta sent her a bunch of recipes to get started on the vegan lifestyle.

A vibrant and active performer, Ariana's main form of exercise is dancing, often in 5-inch heels! On her downtime, the singer loves to hike, jumps of the elliptical trainer and always fits in some daily meditation. With an incredible busy schedule of performing, rehearsing, recording, and photo shoots, Ariana credits meditation to helping keep her grounded.

What Ariana thinks is the most important factor in feeling good is building a solid self esteem foundation. The singer believes there are 'too many girls who don’t like themselves' and she urges her fans to look deep down within yourself to find what defines you, the beautiful and unique qualities of you. Ariana stresses that hair and makeup, nice clothes, and photoshopping don’t make a person beautiful.

January 11, 2015

Vegan Raspberry and Beetroot Cupcakes

Raspberry and Beetroot Cupcakes 

Beetroot is a natural and effortless way to make your cakes a rich candy pink and purple and the inherent sweetness of beetroot is perfectly complemented by the raspberries. Super moist, these vegan cupcakes are topped with a red velvet-esque 'cream cheese' icing. Yum yum yum.

Serves: 10-12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup coconut milk beverage (or sub light coconut milk canned or almond milk)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of Natvia (stevia) or raw sugar 
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup beet puree (add a little lemon or orange juice when pureeing to achieve a smoother consistency) also reserve 1 tablespoon for icing *use canned beetroots to puree in blender or food processor 
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1/2 cup lightly mashed raspberries 

Vegan 'cream cheese' icing
  • 1 tub of vegan cream cheese (tofutti) 
  • 2 cups of icing sugar 
  • 1 Tbsp beet puree 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with paper or parchment liners.
  2. Whisk together the almond or coconut milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
  3. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to the milk and beat until foamy. Add beet puree and beat again.
  4. Next, carefully add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a sifter and sift over wet ingredients. Beat until no large lumps remain, then fold in raspberries. 
  5. Carefully scoop batter into the cupcake holders, filling 3/4 way full. Bake for about 28-32 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let rest in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to let cool completely. 
  7. Rinse your mixing bowl out while the cupcakes are chilling and make the cream cheese icing.
  8. Beat cream cheese, then add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until desired thickness is achieved. Add in vanilla and combine. You can add a little coconut milk if the mixture is too thick or more sugar if it is too runny. Carefully swirl through the beet puree to get a swirl effect or blend through to dye the icing pink. 
  9. Frost cupcakes when they are cool and store in an airtight container. I topped mine with sprinkles. 

January 08, 2015

Five Ways to Store Groceries To Keep Them Fresh!

Australians throw away up to 20% of their bought groceries each year adding up to $8 billion worth of wastage. We over buy, incorrectly store food and overestimate our appetites. To help prevent food wastage, shop smaller or more thoughtfully by planning meals and learn how to keep food to preserve its freshness. 

I buy small amounts of vegetables and fruits that are in season and build my meals around what I have in the fridge. I regularly buy meats like chicken breast or lean mince and have on hand canned beans, frozen vegetables, tofu and cheese to add to meals. Spices, tinned tomatoes and brown rice are also great to have in the pantry for your cooking. 

I found an amazing list of 40 DIY ways to store groceries to make them last and stay fresh. I have picked out five of my favourites for you. See the complete list here. Have you got any tips to share?

  1. Don't keep cheese in plastic: Contrary to what you may have learned in the past, you should never wrap cheese in plastic wrap. Wrap it in wax paper instead and then store it in a plastic bag. You should also keep your cheese in the warmest area of your refrigerator such as in the door or a vegetable bin.
  2. Make herb ice cubes: You can freeze fresh herbs to make them last longer. Just cut them up and add them to an ice cube tray and cover with olive oil. Once they are frozen, you can take them out and place them in a plastic freezer bag. 
  3. Add paper towel to your lettuce storage: Adding a paper towel to your lettuce before storing it will absorb the moisture that turns lettuce limp. Just add the paper towel over the lettuce in a bowl or plastic bag and it will keep moisture from causing the lettuce to wilt, making it last up to a week longer than regular storage methods.
  4. Keep eggs for up to 4 weeks past their use-by-date: If you want eggs to last longer, store them inside the fridge as opposed to in the door. Eggs that are stored on a middle shelf will last up to 4 weeks past their sell by date and those stored in the door will often begin to go bad right around the sell by date. Even if you have an egg holder in the door, avoid keeping eggs there. To test your egg, pop it in a bowl of water. If it sinks it is still fresh, if it floats, it has turned bad.
  5. Freeze your nuts: Nuts last much longer in cool environments as they are less likely to turn rancid. Keep in sealed containers and take out a few minutes before use.

January 06, 2015

No More New Year Resolutions AND How to Choose a Protein Powder

Welcome to 2015 my loves!

This year I am not making any resolutions. I think we make the same resolutions every year, typically to be more healthy, lose weight, stress less, exercise more, spend more time with the family, work less, quite a bad habit, etc, etc. Setting rules for myself is something I no longer want to do but for 2015 I certainly have big dreams for my own happiness. I feel blessed to have 365 (well 358 now to be exact) days to spend with my family and friends, my beloved dog Pablo, enjoying my time in my beautiful apartment, moving my body, connecting with nature and exploring the world. A genuine feeling of positivity surrounds me in embarking on the new year and I just feel excited to be given each day.

My Chihuahua 9-month old Pablo

While I have strayed from traditional resolutions, I certainly endorse setting goals for yourself and seeing the new year as a fresh start. I have enrolled in an online nutrition course with the premise to sort through the conflicting information out there on how to achieve optimal health and to get the information I need to make an educated decision on how and what to eat. I want to take a step back from intense exercise after realizing my body is not designed for such strenuous activity (a neck and shoulder injury forced this epiphany) and I am shifting the focus back to lighter movements, lots of walking and plenty of stretching. An exciting European holiday is also set for the new year and I am having endless fun planning our travels; the Amalfi Coast here we come!

What do you have planned for the New Year ahead? If shifting your diet to include more nutritious and healthy options is one, you may have considered adding a protein powder into your meals. Protein is essential to have at each meal time and especially useful at breakfast as it revs up your metabolism to burn more calories for the day. It will also rebuild your muscles if you are embarking on an exercise program in 2015 which will help you to achieve your goals in both how you feel and how you look.

My good friend asked me about a protein powder the other day and after trying endless ones myself, I thought what would be the powder I recommend?

These are my top two:
  1. 100% Whey Isolate Protein Powder (I like Gold Standard): Whey is derived from a cheese by-product meaning it does contain dairy and isn't suitable for vegans. You can get this type of protein powder in many different brands but it is important to look for those labelled whey isolate as they fat and lactose (mostly sugar) is removed. There are two other types of whey proteins so you may want to do your own research. While not dairy-free, it's a type of protein usually tolerated by those sensitive to dairy but not intolerant. It does have a slightly milky taste. My tip would be to buy this product from a supplement store or online to get the best deal. These will be more expensive at pharmacies or grocery stores. Also see if you can get flavour samples before purchasing a large quantity as there is usually a lot of different flavours to choose from and you don't want to get stuck with a dud.
  2. Sunwarrior Protein Powder: This is a great vegan option and is easily accessible, I can buy it from my grocery store. Again you can probably find the best deal online. This powder is made with fermented rice proteins, and is also gluten free. Some vegan proteins can taste super chalky but this one is pretty delicious although those comparing it to a whey protein may find it hard to palate. 
There are hundreds of powders out there to choose from but this would be my golden rule. Always look at the label when deciding on a protein powder and make sure it doesn't contain any more that 7-10 ingredients. Try and find a powder with more natural ingredients. If you can't pronounce all the ingredient names, put it back on the shelf. 

100% Whey Isolate Gold Standard

Vegan Sunwarrior Protein