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To Nepal and Back Again

19 May

Hi Lifters!!

Sorry for my absence – those of you on Facebook would have seen that I went volunteering in Nepal for a month! I went over to do a medical elective and received the whole cultural experience by staying with a local Nepali host family. It was a wonderful experience and very humbling.

I had a bit of a rant on Facebook, and for those that didn’t see it here it is again:

“Hi lifters! I’m back from my overseas adventure and would like to thank you all for being so patient. I ended up taking an extra week to get myself organised and recover from the trip.
What. An. Experience. Going to a third world country and witnessing the life that many people have to endure is a true eye opener and has made me question many of my priorities. I have always been concerned about my appearance – it is natural for us to feel this way in our society – but in comparison to many of the issues that I saw in Nepal it has really made me revise whether it is really that important. Sure, I still truly enjoy sweating it out in the gym. But the obsession with the shape of my body and the importance placed on eating 100% clean is really blown way out of proportion. Unfortunately the Western society has encouraged us all to believe that if we are thin, we are successful and happy. It is a huge money making industry.
I have come back from Nepal with a fresh attitude towards a healthy lifestyle. It is necessary to look after your body by eating well and regularly exercising. But putting it ahead of other aspects of life, such as being with friends or going out for a romantic dinner with a loved one or appreciating the birth of a newborn child, is completely unnecessary and, in fact, unhealthy.
I’m not discounting everything posted on Learn Love Lift, I just want you to reconsider what is important in life, and remember how lucky you are :).” 

I’ve decided to take on a personal project to attempt to improve infection control within hospitals as it is currently terrible – and it has nothing to do with lack of money.

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It’s great to be back and eating the usual diet again. After a month of rice, lentils and curry I was so excited to come back and eat grilled chicken and veggies. I kept my metabolism going whilst overseas by ensuring I still ate every 3 hours, even if I wasn’t very hungry, and I think that has made it a lot easier to get back on track.

Before I left, you may have seen photos of my crepes on Facebook. They are SO delicious!! You can top them with anything you want, but my personal favourite is slice banana and 70% dark chocolate 🙂

Ricotta Crepes

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½ cup ricotta

¼ cup almond meal/flour

4 eggs OR ¾ cup egg whites

3 Tbsp milk

Pinch of salt

1 tsp baking powder

 

Method

1. Beat ricotta with eggs

2. Beat in flour, salt, milk, baking powder

3. Allow to sit for 15 mins

4. Heat saucepan over medium-low heat

5. Pour in batter – enough to thinly coat the pan

6. Don’t attempt to flip it!! Wait until the top of the crepe is dry to the touch, then slide straight onto a plate

7. Go crazy with toppings!!

 

I’d love to know if you come up with any great combinations that you recommend

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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

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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Eating Through a Straw

6 Jul

I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed a week ago, so this second week of holidays has not been ideal. Most of my meals have been mush and, most frustrating of all, I haven’t been allowed to exercise. On the plus side, I was pedantic about ice application, so my swelling was minimal and I didn’t have any bruising :).

Motivation: Ana Delia De Itturondo

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In an effort to maintain my high protein, low carb diet, I came up with a few yummy smoothies. It seems that many people turn to smoothies when wanting to go on a ‘health kick’. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found that liquid food is never as filling. If you look at the recipes below the macros are higher than my usual recipes, and yet they never kept me satisfied for very long (I’ve been snacking on sugar-free jelly to get me by – highly recommend for cravings!!!!).

Let me explain the importance of chewing (mastication) to you. Chewing is a primary component of the first stage (ingestion) of food digestion. It triggers various physiological components that are essential to good digestion and the feeling of satiety.

1) Mechanically breaks down food (duh) which increases the surface area of the food and enables easier absorption later on

2) Saliva contains an enzyme called salivary amylase (or ptyalin) which starts the  breakdown of starch and carbohydrates

3) Glands near the tongue secrete an enzyme called lingual lipase and is involved in fat digestion

4) Chewing relaxes your stomach. There is a muscle called the pylorus at the base of the stomach leading into the small intestine. The mechanism of chewing helps relax this muscle, enabling the contents of the stomach to easily enter the small intestine

5) Helps taste the food. This might seem silly, but taste is actually an important part of triggering the rest of the digestive system to produce certain substances to optimise digestion. This is called the cephalic stage of digestion. Here’s a good little animation if you’re interested: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072507470/student_view0/chapter24/animation__three_phases_of_gastric_secretion.html

So basically what I’m saying is that I prefer to chew my food haha.

 

Breakfast Booster

This contains super foods such as goji berries, psyllium, flaxseed and blueberries. It is high in antioxidants, fibre, good fats… and is delicious!

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Serves 1-2

¼ cup reduced fat cottage cheese

1/3 cup oats

1/3 cup frozen blueberries

1 tsp goji berries

1 tsp flaxseed oil

1& ¼ cup water

¼ tsp psyllium

4 serves Stevia

1 scoop vanilla whey

4-5 ice cubes

Blend!!!

 

Nutritional info: for whole recipe

Calories: 345

Total fat: 8g (1.8g sat)

Total carbs: 33.5g

Sugar: 7.2g

Protein: 35.8g

 

Coco-Berry Smoothie

Tastes like a chocolate smoothie!! I recommend adding natural almond butter, I think it would taste even better!!

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Serves 1-2

½ banana

½ cup silken tofu

3 strawberries

2 tbsp cocoa

4 serves Stevia

1& ¼ cup water

4-5 ice cubes

½ scoop vanilla/choc whey

Handful spinach

Blend!

 

Nutritional info: for whole recipe

Calories: 415

Total fat: 14.4g (7.3g sat)

Total carbs: 29.1g 

Sugar: 11.3g

Protein: 39.5g

 

Starting back at uni next week – holidays never seem to be long enough!! I’ll be able to get stuck into my training again; I’m going to start Ashley Conrad’s program from the start and this time there won’t be any surgery disrupting it. Hope everyone is well and keeping on track!! Please don’t hesitate to message/email me, I love hearing from you all and finding out where your are in your fitness/healthy lifestyle journey 🙂 x

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Beautiful Blueberry Pie

27 Jun

Another week another recipe!! I’m stressing out today because I’m getting my wisdom teeth pulled out tomorrow :S I’m going to be living off protein shakes for a while I think!! Any ideas healthy low sugar high protein smoothies feel free to let me know :). I’ve been smashing out week 1 of Ashley Conrad’s Clutch Cut program and it’s pretty good!! It involves a lot more cardio than my usual workouts and I think it’s good to shock my body by getting out of routine.

 

Motivation: Dana Linn Bailey

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This recipe was inspired by Protein Pow(d)er – Blueberry Protein Pie

Yum. Yum yum yum yum yum

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Serves 8

Pastry:

1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup vanilla pea protein powder

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1 tbsp coconut flour

Filling:

1 packet of unflavoured powdered gelatine

2 scoops berry flavoured BCAA (I used raspberry blue)

2 cups of blueberries (I used frozen)

(Instead of gelatine + BCAA you can substitute sugar-free jelly powder)

 

Blend the pastry ingredients together until it resembles a sort of dough

Press the dough into a greased small spring-form pan, covering the bottom and as much of the sides as you can (I saved some and sprinkled it on top as well)

Put this to the side

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius

Put the blueberries in a saucepan and bring to the boil

Once the blueberries have started to disintegrate a little, add the gelatin and the BCAA and mix until the gelatin is well combined

Pour the filling into the prepared  pastry base

Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the sides and top look and feel cooked

Allow to cool before serving with a big dollop of fat free Greek yoghurt 🙂

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Nutritional info: per serve (without yoghurt)

Calories: 173

Total fat: 7.9g (1g sat)

Total carbs: 11.2g

Sugar: 4.2g

Protein: 12.4g

 

Yours Always in Health & Fitness x

Escape from Study

18 May

Study. Seriously it is taking over my life. My only escape is an hour or so of exercise per day!! So as you can imagine, it’s my favourite time of day :). In order to create a little extra break, as well as sneak in some more cardio (which I’m constantly avoiding), I’m going to put together a 30 minute plyometric circuit that I can do at home in the mornings – a great way to start my day. Within the next couple of weeks I’m going to post this workout on my facebook page and would love to have people doing it with me so that we can keep each other accountable! Please let me know if you’re interested.

Motivation: Paige Hathaway

 

I only have a couple of recipes to share with you this week, but they’re both really yum.

 

Greg Plitt Cookie Dough from www.gregplitt.com – my boyfriend absolutely loves these!! He makes them every week

Serves 12 (although make them as big/small as you want)

2/3 cup chopped almonds

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

2/3 cup oats

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp cinnamon

200g dark chocolate

¼ cup sugar-free maple syrup/agave syrup

3 scoops of whey protein (not part of the original recipe but I think it makes them better)

Blend/process all of above ingredients

Roll into golf-ball sized portion and place on baking paper

Freeze

Nutritional info: per serve

Calories: 214.8

Total fat: 15.1g (5.5g sat)

Total carbs: 10.4g

Sugar: 5.3g

Protein: 9.0g

 

Banana Nut Protein Bars from www.proteinpow.com – these are awesome as breakfast-on-the-run or a pre-workout snack

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Serves 6

1 small banana (~55g)

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup almonds

4 brazil nuts (I subbed 10g of hazelnuts)

2 tbsp coconut flour

3/8 cup whey powder (I used vanilla)

3/8 cup milk (I used lite coconut milk)

1 tsp of chicory powder – I could NOT find this anywhere!!! Very frustrating. It’s optional but apparently adds a nice flavour kick

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius

Blend everything together and press the batter onto a small non-stick brownie pan

Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

Nutritional info: per serve

Calories: 163.3

Total fat: 7.9g (1.7g sat)

Total carbs: 14.2g

Sugar: 2.3g

Protein: 9.6g

 

I’m looking forward to creating this morning workout and hope you can join me in burning those fat cells!!! 🙂 x

 

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