Breakfast on the go!

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I’m always looking out for quickie breakfasts that are clean, filling AND super tasty for when I’m on the go. I have been stalking KALYN’S KITCHEN recently for ideas and came across a broccoli and cheese casserole that I had to try. The concept is simple, you can pretty much go crazy and add any mix of vegetables you like and it can be eaten hot or cold – perfect if you don’t have access to a microwave! 
Preheat the oven to 375 F whilst preparing the ingredients. I used:
1 broccoli crown
1 red pepper
1 cup spinach
1/3 cup mexican cheese blend
6 eggs + 1 cup egg whites + splash whole milk
I blanched the broccoli for a couple of minutes in boiling water and then added them to the tin along with the chopped red pepper and spinach. I whisked the eggs and egg whites together with some whole milk – you could use almond milk here as an alternative. I added salt, pepper, marjoram spice and basil to the eggs then poured over the veggies in the tin. I mixed it all together using a spoon and sprinkled the cheese over the top. I then baked it in the oven for approx 25mins – basically until it has cooked through. Once cool, I cut into portions (it made 5 servings) and wrapped in foil for the fridge. 

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SWEATY SUNDAY CIRCUIT

Okay time to work up a sweat and burn off any excess calories you may have indulged in over the weekend. I needed to get my butt in gear this morning after a couple of wines last night and tonight I’m heading out for an early birthday dinner with friends! So no doubt more wine!
I posted a video of the BURPEE DEADLIFT, check it out if you haven’t seen it. Grab yourself a timer (you can download an app for your phone). You want to set it to the following 

4 Rounds

1 minute per exercise

30 seconds rest between each exercise

1 minute rest between rounds

You should have a total of 19 minutes on your timer. Make sure you warm up your body sufficiently for at least 5 minutes before kicking off the circuit. Here are your three exercises –
  • Burpee Deadlifts

  • Full Kettlebell Swings

  • Weighted Reverse Lunge

I selected a moderate weight for the kettlebell and used dumbbells for the lunges as the rep range is pretty high with a full minutes work. Hope you enjoy it! Happy Sunday!

 

Guilt-free CARROT CAKE

IMG_4648So I’ll start by giving full credit here to my hubby, who whipped up this AMAZING carrot cake yesterday whilst I was out at CrossFit. It’s SO good that I had to post and share this wonderful recipe to all those that love to eat clean but still get that sweet sugary hit. After indulging quite a bit over Thanksgiving, we were both craving a sweet to follow our Sunday dinner! Ross is a dab hand at baking so I put in a request for a clean recipe that was free from added sugar and butter so we can treat ourselves, GUILT FREE. He adapted a recipe from a fellow bloggers site – Amy’s Healthy Baking
I had another slice earlier and I’m blown away at how bloody good this cake is. It’s moist, fluffy and sweet with warm spices. I guarantee a lot of happiness when eating this cake! 
Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour – be exact with measurements
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk
  • 3 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 small orange (cut in half and squeezed)
  • Large handful walnuts
  • Large handful raisins
Frosting ingredients:
  • 8 oz nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 3 tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat your baking tin with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
For the cake, whisk together the flour and next 5 ingredients (down to and including the salt) in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup and Greek yogurt, thoroughly mixing with a whisk until it’s lump free. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, stirring just until incorporated, Add in more milk if the mixture is too dry. Fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins and add the squeezed orange juice. 
Spread the batter into the tin, and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, using a knife insert it into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. Ross’s needed another 10 minutes or so to cook right through. Cool in the tin before removing the cake from the tin. Cool completely to room temperature before adding the frosting. 
To prepare the frosting, stir together the ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, agave, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread on top of the cake and let it set for at least 1-2 hrs. We couldn’t wait beyond the 2hrs mark! We put it in the fridge overnight and I swear it tastes even better today and the frosting has really set. 
The frosting is really sweet and balances the cake out perfectly. Enjoy a slice with a hot cuppa!! YUM!!

5 reasons why fats are FAB!

Here’s FIVE reasons why you should be including fat in your diet:
1. FAT IS THE MOST CONCENTRATED SOURCE OF ENERGY IN YOUR DIET. EAT MORE AND RAISE YOUR ENERGY LEVELS.  
2. FAT FREE FOOD IS STRIPPED OF THE TASTE AND REPLACED WITH CHEMICALS. FULL-FAT OR ‘LIGHT’ PRODUCTS WILL MAKE YOUR FOOD TASTE BETTER. A FAT FREE DIET IS SAD AND BORING.
3. FAT WILL RELEASE A HORMONE CALLED CCK (CHOLECYSTOKININ) FROM YOUR TUMMY AND SIGNAL TO YOUR BRAIN THAT YOUR SATISFIED, FULL AND IT’S TIME TO PUT THE FORK DOWN.
4. FAT WILL KEEP YOU FEELING FULLER FOR LONGER AS IT SLOWS DOWN THE DIGESTION OF FOODS (CARBS) INTO YOUR BLOODSTREAM. 
5. FAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT. IT SURROUNDS AND PROTECTS YOUR PRECIOUS ORGANS! 
If you’re unsure what I mean by ‘healthy’ fat, here’s a list to take on your next grocery trip:
These fats are rich in MONUNSATURATED FATS (GOOD)
  • Almond butter/Peanut Butter
  • Almonds, Macademias, Cashews, Peanuts, Brasil NUTS
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil, Peanut oil, Grapeseed oil, Canola oil
  • Olives
These are less favourable fats containing SATURATED FAT (BAD). These are fine as long as you’re not consuming them everyday – moderation is key!
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame Oil/Soybean oil
  • Butter
  • Half and half / Cream
  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Mayonnaise light / vegannaise

The doom of DOMS

unnamed-4We’ve all had those days where we’ve woken up the day or the second day after a heavy workout and can barely walk as your body is in bits. I used to like those days, not because I couldn’t move without wincing, but because I felt like I must have worked so hard to be feeling this way and I’m on a fast track to hitting my goals. Maybe not so wise.
That pain is known as DOMS – Delayed-onset muscle soreness. It can appear about a day or so after exercise and can last up to 4 days. A strong indicator of DOMS is extreme tightness/soreness in your muscles and joints – sitting on the toilet, walking down the stairs or brushing your hair can be a real struggle. Generally DOMS will occur when you’re new to exercise, trying out a new form of exercise, increased the intensity of your training or you’ve had a nice long break from your regular routine. What’s important to know is that it is NORMAL, however DOMS is not necessarily a sign of having had a great workout! The reality is that you’ve traumatised your body somewhat and it hasn’t been able to heal and repair itself. Muscle tears, tissue damage, muscle spasms or inflammation can produce DOMS. None of the above are favourable. At times it can be unavoidable as yes you should be ramping up the intensity of your workouts, switching it up and trying something new and obviously taking breaks to allow the body to fully rest. My point is that this feeling of soreness shouldn’t be something that you strive for after every workout. If it is, and you feel this way then it’s likely you’re overtraining. It’s completely normal and OKAY if you have an awesome session in the gym and then wake up the next day feeling great and not sore at all. It doesn’t mean that you didn’t work hard enough. NOT AT ALL. Your body can’t handle continuous stress (overtraining), at some point it will crumble under the pressure and you’ll injure yourself. We want to avoid injury at all costs as it only leaves you out of the game for weeks on end whilst you recover. If you’re a fitness junkie, taking time to heal an injury is SO FRUSTRATING! It feels like the world is going to end.
Here’s a couple of things you can do to either help prevent a serious case of DOMS or help with the aftermath..
* FOAM ROLLING – Get your foam roller out before and after your workouts. It’s a form of self massage that’s amazing for releasing tension in muscle tissue across the body. Here’s a good article on how – FOAM ROLLING
* PROGRESSIVE TRAINING – Take things slowly. If you are increasing the intensity of a workout, progress at a reasonable pace, introducing increases gradually. Rome wasn’t built in a day.. you won’t look like the Rock either after one big session lifting weights.
* EAT EAT EAT – Repair and recovery of the body will ultimately depend on what your feeding yourself! Eat a snack 30mins-1hr before your workout – click here for some ideas to FUEL YOUR WORKOUT. Post workout – eat a balanced meal as soon as you possibly can – ideally within 30minutes. Shakes are a convenient method of replenishing your muscle stores. Hit the gym prepared with a shake containing protein, carbs AND fats.
* ACTIVE RECOVERY – Yes you’re body needs to rest, but it can be worthwhile engaging in some form of active rest such as yoga, light jog or hike to loosen up some of the tension.
* SPORTS MASSAGE – A personal favourite of mine but it comes at a cost. Not only can they be expensive but they are painful and not for the faint hearted. The feeling afterwards however is second to none!
* STRETCH – It’s easy once you’ve finished a workout to want to get the hell out of there and relax.. I feel that way too. But it’s so important to allow the body to cool down slowly and take your body into a relaxed state. Stretch your major muscle groups, holding your stretches for 30secs min and then finish off with a blast on the foam roller to maintain and improve flexibility. 
SO take it easy, make sure that not all your workouts are hardcore and eat an abundance of unprocessed nutritious foods so that you body has a chance in hell of recovering from those sessions that you do end up killing it!!

Lean, mean burgers!

IMG_4641Not only do these burgers taste delicious, they are very simple to make with few ingredients and won’t take more than 30 mins. Enjoy as a main meal with homemade sweet potato chips and veggies, for lunch with a large salad or take one with you for a nutritious snack! A pound of mince will make 6-8 burgers. Here’s what you’ll need –
  • 1lb extra lean pork mince
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 oz feta cheese
  • 3 cups spinach
  • tbsp basil
  • tbsp garlic powder
  • tbsp red pepper chilli flakes
  • salt & pepper as desired
I combined all of the ingredients listed above, apart from the mince, in a blender and mixed together well. The mixture will be grainy. Add the mixture to the mince in a large bowl and mix together with your hands, separating into individual burgers. Mine are approx 3oz per burger. Using a flat skillet on a med temp, cook each burger on either side for a couple of minutes to seal them and then put into the oven at 375°F for approx 25mins / until cooked through. I used baking paper to line the oven tray to soak up any excess fat. I’ll be enjoying these tonight!!!

Heat your cockles – Mild Cod Curry

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This is a repost of a recipe on my facebook page that we enjoyed last night. Perfect for the colder weather! There is lots of hype in the press about fish oil and the intake of omega 3’s due to hundreds of studies backing up the benefits. It’s been shown to reduce the risk cardiovascular disease, reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels; function as a natural blood thinner, which results in the lowering of blood pressure; and reduces inflammation in the body. So on that note, I try get a range of fish in my diet – salmon, cod, tuna. Here’s a very simple recipe with minimal prep time and takes 20mins to cook! 
Alaskan cod fillet
1 Red bell pepper
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander / fresh leaves
Pinch red chilli pepper flakes
(Salt & black pepper to taste)

Sautee the red pepper for a couple of mins then add all the dry herbs/spices. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the fish, poaching it for approx 20 mins or until the fish flakes. Buy a large piece of fish so you can portion it out across several meals. This tastes AMAZING on day two! Serve with your favourite green veggies!!