Archive | March, 2014

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

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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.

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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 ❤

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

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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