Pizza Please!

4 Apr

 

Hi Lifters!

Hope you are all well! I thought you’d be interested that I saw the dietician today… she opened my eyes to a few things. Basically, I have a lot to change about my diet haha. It was great talking to her about some of the things that I’ve ‘learnt’ from the fitness industry. Some of the things that I learnt:

  • Smaller is not better
  • Restricting foods is not sustainable
  • Our bodies are too clever – if we deprive them of calories they learnt to adapt and slow metabolism
  • It is essential to not have black vs white/’good vs bad’/‘all vs nothing’ attitude towards food
  • Do not avoid certain food groups
  • Carbohydrates are essential as an energy source – the brain is unable to utilise any other fuel!!
  • Burning carbohydrates kick-starts burning fat
  • Your body will break down muscle (not fat!) for energy if carbohydrates aren’t present
  • In order to gain weight, you need to eat 2000 calories more than normal for longer than 2 weeks! One meal seriously doesn’t make a difference
  • You will weigh more after a binge (e.g. Christmas dinner) because there’s more food in your bowel, not because you’re ‘fatter’ (obvious, but I hadn’t really thought about it that way)
  • If a weight-loss product seems too good to be true, it probably is
  • Your metabolism is active 24/7 – it only slows down by ~10% whilst you sleep because you are inactive
  • 80% of your metabolism is your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) (things that you’re not even aware of e.g. breaking down food, beating heart, hair growing)

I hope some of the points above teach you something too! It was really interesting to chat to her and it’s great to know that I’m on track to get my metabolism back on track. I’m slowly introducing more low GI carbohydrates and increasing my calories. To give you some idea of the changes:

Meal 1: my favourite pancakes PLUS 1 serve of fruit

Meal 2: TWO protein bars

Meal 3: 100g meat + vegetables PLUS 1 serve of carbohydrates e.g. ½ cup cooked rice, ½ cup cooked quinoa

Meal 4: TWO protein bars

Meal 5: unchanged

Meal 6: unchanged

I want to share this information with you because I want to bring awareness to ‘normal’ eating. Unfortunately our society has created the illusion that ‘less is more’, ‘quicker is better’, and ‘skinny is attractive’. I do not, in any way, want to encourage people to starve themselves or promote eating disorders. I’m trying to fight this and want to educate you that eating the way that I am now is not sustainable. It will result in reduced metabolism, weight plateau, fatigue, unhealthy attitude towards food, and unhappiness with body image. Please, please, please take on board what I’m telling you and don’t use it to manipulate your diet and lifestyle for the worse. I want to fight society’s unhealthy attitude towards food and weight. :)

On another note, here’s a new delicious recipe!!

Gourmet Mediterranean Vegetable Protein Pizza

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Ingredients:

Serves 2

Base:

½ cup almond meal

½ -3/4 cup oat flour

1 egg – beaten

1 garlic clove - crushed

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley and/or basil

½ tablespoon lemon juice

½ tablespoon coconut oil (melted if hard)

Good pinch of salt

Topping:

Capsicum

Zucchini

Mushroom

Olives

Feta

Pine nuts

Fresh basil

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2. Mix ingredients for the base

3. Cover a pizza tray with baking paper and spread base out evenly

4. Bake for 10 minutes

5. Chop up zucchini and capsicum, and cook for 5-10 minutes

6. Once the base is complete, layer with toppings and bake for another 5 minutes

7. Relish with joy <3

 

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Learn constantly, Love your body, Lift yourself higher x

 

Mad for Muesli

29 Mar

 

Hi Lifters!

Not much to chat about this week – other than these scrumptious muesli bars!! For some reason I was really craving them and decided that it wouldn’t be so hard to up the protein content in them. Give them a try and let me know what you think!!

Chewy Protein Muesli Bars

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These are great to throw in the bag for an on-the-go snack AND feel free to make your own modifications – I would have loved to add pepitas and almonds but there were none in the pantry. Get creative! :)

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

¼ cup chia

¼ cup shredded coconut

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

1 Tbsp sunflower seeds

½ cup (55g) vanilla whey

Pinch of salt

¼ cup coconut butter

1 tsp vanilla essence

¼ cup sugar free maple syrup (or honey, or regular maple syrup)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius
  2. Mix all dry ingredients
  3. Whisk together coconut butter, vanilla essence, and maple syrup (it may be necessary to soft the coconut butter by putting it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds first)
  4. Add coconut mixture to the dry ingredients and mix
  5. Add a splash of water if too dry (mixture should be sticking together but not sloppy – I added only about 1 tsp of water)
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and spread mixture out evenly. I used a 30cmx24cm tray but if you want thicker bars, use a smaller tray
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes – longer if you want the bars to be crunchier or if you have thicker bars
  8. Once cooked, allow to cool slightly before slicing into bars (I divided mine into 16)

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Learn constantly, Love your body, Lift yourself higher x

Metabolic Rage

25 Mar

Hi Lifters!

This week I learnt that my metabolism has significantly slowed down L. Talking to my doctor (who actually knows about this stuff, unlike many) she was shocked at my currently daily caloric intake and suggested that by continuing this over a long period of time it has resulted in my metabolism adapting and subsequently slowing.

Your metabolism refers to the chemical processes that occur within your body enabling regular everyday actions to occur, such as bowel movement, muscle repair, and temperature regulation. This also includes rate of fuel breakdown to provide the body with energy, also known as Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Basically, this determines how many calories/kilojoules our bodies should be consuming each day. If a person has a high BMR, calories/fuel stores (e.g. fat) will be burned up faster.  BMR is influenced by several factors, some of which we can modify to increase (or decrease) the BMR.

Non-modifiable factors:

  •          Age: BMR slows down with increased age
  •          Gender: males have higher BMR than females
  •          Genetic predisposition
  •          Infection/illness: increases BMR
  •          Environment temperature: extremes of temperature (really hot and really cold) increase BMR

Modifiable factors:

  •          Lean muscle mass: increases BMR
  •          Body fat percentage: fat cells slow BMR
  •          Drugs (e.g. caffeine, nicotine)
  •          Diet
  •          Physical activity

Here is a really basic guide as to the recommended caloric intake to maintain a healthy weight range. Please keep in mind that this is only to give you an idea, and the recommended intake varies depending on all of the factors mentioned above. To accurately calculate individual energy intake you should consult with a dietitian.

Calories
It makes sense that to lose weight you should eat less than the maintenance energy requirement; and similarly if you wish to gain weight you should eat more. However, when aiming to lose weight and going to the extreme for a prolonged period of time will cause the metabolism to slow down. The body is smart – it wants to keep you alive. If you’re not providing your body with enough fuel, it will slow the chemical processes down so that you aren’t burning your energy stores too quickly. I have been eating between 1,200-1,500 calories for about 2 years now and hadn’t thought about how it could be affecting my metabolism. It has causes my weight to plateau, I get tired easily, and my body has stopped responding to different exercises. I want to make you aware that this can happen so hopefully it doesn’t happen to you. As I’m young, it should be easy to speed my metabolism back up by making slow modifications to my diet. I’ll be seeing a dietitian in several weeks and will let you know how it goes :). I’m annoyed that I’ve done this to my body, but I’m glad I’ve found out now and can make the necessary changes to get back on track. If sufficient damage is made to metabolism it becomes more difficult to repair, resulting in a permanent low BMR.

Zucchini and Walnut Protein Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

 

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This tastes way better than it sounds haha it’s a beautiful dense cake perfect with a cup of tea. Plus it gets in a cheeky serve of vegies ;)

Ingredients:

Cake

½ cup oat flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

20 serves stevia

25g pea protein

25g whey protein

123g zucchini – grated

3/4 cup fat free Greek yoghurt

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

38g walnuts – chopped

Frosting

125g light Philadelphia cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 serves Stevia

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2. Combine dry ingredients (except walnuts)

3. Add in zucchini and yoghurt

4. Whisk eggs with vanilla essence, then add to mixture

5. Taste mixture and add cinnamon/nutmeg/sweetener to taste

6. Fold in walnuts

7. Line cake tin with baking paper (this won’t rise much, so keep this in mind when choosing a tin)

8. Pour in mixture and bake for ~30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

9. Whisk together ingredients for frosting and, once cake is cooled, layer on top

 

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Learn constantly, Love your body, Lift yourself higher x

 
References:
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/healthyactive/publishing.nsf/Content/healthy-eating-calculator
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/n6

Pie Face

14 Mar

Hi Lifters!

Another week = another post. So far so good ;)

Hope all is well wherever you are in the world. Did you know, in the last 12 months people from 142 countries have checked out my blog!!! Spread the healthy living and self-acceptance!! J Speaking of which, I received a few message from people this week commenting on how good it is to focus on self-acceptance rather than self-critique and self-improvement – I’m glad you are able to see the importance of what I’m trying to do.

2014-03-13 17.49.15

PIE!!! Oh. My. Goodness. I love pie. Ever had a really good Aussie meat pie? Many of you living overseas probably haven’t. When I went to Europe it was one thing that I really truly missed and found no food that was a sufficient substitute. Unfortunately the traditional meat pie isn’t exactly healthy – quite the opposite in fact.

meat pie

I had a huge craving for pie the other night so put together a healthy version of shepherd’s pie and it tasted JUST LIKE traditional meat pie!!! I can’t even stress to you how excited I was haha. Want to know what an Aussie meat pie tastes like, minus the excess calories and carbs? Give this a try.

Sweet Potato and Mushroom Gravy Pie

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Ingredients:

Filling

500g extra lean beef mince

¼ cup onion, diced

½ cup frozen peas

½ cup capsicum, diced

4 mushrooms, sliced

½ cup carrots, diced

1 tsp garlic, minced

4 Tbsp gravy mix

½ cup hot water

½ Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Topping

1 ½ sweet potato (or 1 sweet potato + ½ cup pumpkin)

Dash of oil

Splash of milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Put frying pan on medium-high heat, add garlic, parsley, and onion and cook until onion is translucent
  2. Add mince, capsicum, mushroom, carrot, and peas
  3. Cook until mince is brown
  4. Add gravy mix and hot water
  5. Simmer for 5-10 minutes
  6. Meanwhile, peel and chop sweet potato, put in a microwave-safe container with ~1/2 cup water, and microwave on High for 8-10 minutes or until soft
  7. Drain water from sweet potato, mash, and add oil, milk, salt and pepper to taste
  8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  9. Find a casserole dish and fill with meat mixture
  10. Top with thick layer of sweet potato mash
  11. Put in the oven for 10 minutes
  12. Scoop out a spoonful and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley +/- tomato sauce (aka ketchup)

PS I will start posting nutritional information again, I just need to calculate the last couple of recipes.

 

Learn constantly, Love your body, Lift yourself higher x

Return from Summer

7 Mar

Hi Lifters!! My sincerest apologies for being so absent from this page – those who follow me on Facebook may have seen my big apologetic ranch that I posted the other day and I have made the promise to post each and EVERY Friday. Cross my heart!

Well, so where to start – is it too late to say Happy New Year? For those of you who made New Year resolutions I hope you’re sticking to them and haven’t given up. Persistence is key! Did you know only 64% of resolutions last longer than 1 month?

I’m taking this year off medical school and spending my time doing things I enjoy, learning more about myself, and adding to my resume. So no real excuse for missing my blogging ;). I’ve been taking time off my usual resistance training as I was advised by a shoulder specialist that 2 months was necessary to help my shoulder heal. I’ve been continuing the cardio but can’t wait to get back into the weight room!! I’m seeing a psychiatrist and learning to love myself more – not in an arrogant way but in an appreciation/respect/acceptance way. So many people, especially women, tend to loathe their appearance and lack self-acceptance. We, as a society, need to change this <3

Hope you are all well, and I’d love to hear about things you’ve done that you are proud of; goals you have achieved, recipes that you’ve created, stepping outside your comfort zone etc.

Motivation: I’ve decided to stop using photos of people as motivational pictures on my blog. I think it is important that we focus more on eating well and exercising, rather than targeting a specific appearance or body shape. The beautiful body will follow – and you’re attitude towards yourself and food will be so much healthier. However, I’ll still be putting photos up on my Facebook page for the time being.

Quinoa

Have you ever had quinoa? Pronounced “keen-wah”, it’s known as a superfood – high protein, low GI, gluten-free, and has a delicious nutty flavour. I really love it but it needs to be cooked just right. The method that has worked best for me is a 1:2½ ratio (quinoa:water). See below for cooking instructions.

Organic Quinoa with Moroccan Lamb, Fresh Mint and Greek Yoghurt

quinoamoroccanlambfreshmintgreekyog

Ingredients:

½ cup capsicum, chopped

¼ cup frozen peas

¼ cup frozen corn

¼ cup onion

Moroccan spices

Lamb (lean cut e.g. loin chop, leg)

¼ cup olives, sliced

½ cup mushroom, sliced

3x cherry tomatoes

Greek yoghurt

Fresh mint

Quinoa

½ cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained

¾ cup water

Method:

  1. Combine rinsed quinoa with water and bring to a boil in an uncovered saucepan
  2. When it starts to boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle raw lamb with Moroccan spices
  4. Place a frying pan on medium-high heat and cook lamb as desired (I prefer on the medium-rare side)
  5. Once cooked you may remove the lamb and slice it into desired size
  6. Put lamb back in the frying pan with onion, mushroom, and capsicum
  7. Cook until onion is translucent then throw in cooked quinoa along with the peas, corn, olives, tomatoes, and more Moroccan spice
  8. Stir until warmed through, then serve with fresh mint and Greek yoghurt

Keep trying

Eat and be Merry

12 Dec

Hi Lifters!

Wow it has been ages. I am so sorry!! I find it quite easy to consistently post on the Facebook page but it seems to be more difficult to keep the blog up to date :/

NO EXCUSES!! New Years Resolution – frequent reliable blog posts :)

A lot has happened since my last post but here’s a quick up date:

- Summer holidays woo!

- Finished Medical Uni exams but waiting to get results *fingers crossed*

- Moved back home with my family (I was in temporary uni accommodation)

- Accepted by Voguehouse modelling agency – I have been invited to attend a 10 week ‘Model Boot Camp’ and following the 10 weeks I may or may not continue with the agency. It should be a good learning experience, if nothing else! www.voguehouse.com.au/

- This boot camp requires me to make very slight alterations to my usual routine – as I already eat clean and frequently, the only changes that I need to make are an additional 30 mins of high intensity interval training each day

- Queensland holiday with my family + boyfriend in less than a week

 

It can be quite difficult to stick to health and fitness routines around the holiday season, but there are a few things that you (and I) can do to minimise the dint it makes in our progress. Here are a few quick and easy tips:

- Avoid the snacks! Cheeses/biscuits/sausage rolls etc are too easy to overindulge on

- Bring a healthy platter to the family dinner – I don’t know what your Christmas dinner is like but we tend to have tonnes of creamy potato salads and lamb cutlets etc, so bring a nice fresh salad, or a fruit platter for dessert

- Fill your plate with salad and healthy options before adding a few treats (such as Nanna’s infamous lasagne)

- Only fill your plate once!! Don’t keep going back for seconds

- Let yourself have some dessert and don’t get hung up on it! It’s Christmas after all

- If you drink alcohol (which I do – guilty!!), steer clear or minimise consumption of heavy alcohol such as egg nog, beer, wine – the alcoholic beverage with the lowest number of calories is a vodka, lime (fresh, not cordial) and soda (~80 calories). Remember that these drinks do contain calories

- Left overs: give as much as you can to other people to take home/freeze it/throw it away/pack it into individual serves. If it’s just going to sit around and get consumed in a big moody binge it’s better to be out of the house, even if it may seem like a waste of money

- Give yourself a bit of a break from exercise. Please don’t feel like you need to go for a big jog on Boxing Day to ‘work off’ Christmas. If you follow the above tips you should be happy that you haven’t overindulged and, besides, one unhealthy/large meal won’t make you gain weight

- Move on! Don’t stretch the holiday season over weeks/months. Party, enjoy yourself, then get back into it

 

I can’t stress enough how important it is not to beat yourself up if you feel like you ate too much over the holiday season. Punishment and regret is not going to help in any way. Just lift your head up, think of the wonderful memories you had with loved ones without stressing about calories, and carry on :).

Of course, Christmas food doesn’t have to be unhealthy. I’ll post a few recipes up here over the next few days – some of my own and some that I find that look scrumptious. 

Gingerbread Protein Cookies

Adapted from Protein Pow holiday e-book

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2 whole eggs

1/4 cup vanilla pea protein powder

1/2 cup oats

6 brazil nuts

1/8 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup

12 serves Stevia

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Blend the ingredients together

Roll out the dough onto the bench with a rolling pin (make sure to cover the bench with PLENTY of oat flour because otherwise you’ll never get that off…)

Grab cookie cutters

Bake at 170 degrees Celcius for ~30 mins or until browned

If you want you can jazz these up with some nuts pressed in before baking, or drizzle melted chocolate over them once they’re cool

I will get back to you with the calories :)

 

I love hearing from you, so if you have any questions or comment please feel free to chat on Facebook or via email!! x

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Catching Babies

6 Aug

I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry; I know I promised to post more often but I’ve been flat out since starting on obs and gynae!!! I’m managing to find the time to cook my healthy meals and go to the gym, but obviously struggling to type up blog entries unfortunately.

O&G is good but there is a LOT of waiting around, and I’ve been very unlucky with catching babies. Ah well, I’ll keep persisting!!

Motivation:

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Have you ever eaten from Salsas Fresh Mex Grill? When getting takeaway I love their bowls – and it’s pretty good for you!! I tend to avoid the rice and corn chips though ;). Anyway I love their Chicken and Veg Bowl so I decided to make my own (clean) version of it! And it is delicious!!!

Chicken and Veg Fresh Mex

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Serves 6

1 kg chicken breast – diced

2 capsicums – diced

1 brown onion – diced

1 broccoli – chopped

1 packet of taco seasoning (or you can make your own – e.g. http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2013/05/diy-homemade-taco-seasoning.html)

Fat free Greek yoghurt

Reduced fat grated cheese (I used Kraft Live Free grated cheese)

 

Mix chicken breast with taco seasoning and cook in a lightly sprayed frying pan

Add onion to chicken

Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and the onion is translucent

Meanwhile, steam broccoli and capsicum (~3-5 minutes, depends on how you like your veggies)

Once cooked, stir veggies in with the chicken mix

Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of cheese

 

Nutritional info: per serve

Calories: 216

Total fat: 2.2g (0.8g sat)

Total carbs: 6.2g

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 44.7g!

 

Only 3 more weeks left on O&G (including this week) so fingers crossed I get to catch some babies!! Looks like I’m going to have to do more night shifts haha. Hope all is well, weights are being frequently lifted, and so are your forks :) x

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