Monday Foodie Love | Kick your week off right

I love baking my own snacks. Not only do they taste better homemade, but you can make sure that everything you’re putting into them will nourish your body. No processed rubbish, no sugar, no wheat. Just delicious goodness.

Here’s one of my favourites. I’ve been known to overbuy bananas just so I’ve got an excuse to make this delicious bread!

This recipe is taken from one of my fave online finds – The Healthy Chef. You can find the original one here, but I’ve altered this one using ingredients that I LOVE.

Banana-Bread-Graded1A-3014-652x978

Banana Bread 

Ingredients

Approx 2-3 smashed ripe bananas

3 free range / organic eggs

2 tablespoons raw honey or rice malt syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla
essence

¼ cup coconut oil (or oil of your choice)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda ( bicarb soda) + 1 tbsp lemon juice

2 cup flour of your choice (I use wholemeal buckwheat flour) or almond meal

¼ cup ground flaxseed (linseed) or chia seed

 

Method

Preheat your oven to 160C.

Combine smashed banana, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lemon (the lemon activates the bicarb). Do this by hand or in a good mixer (if you’re lucky enough to have one!).

Add the almond meal and flaxseed and mix well.

Lightly oil one loaf tin and then coat liberally with extra almond meal or desiccated coconut – this will prevent the cake from sticking.

Spoon batter into the tin and bake for  45  minutes to 1 hour (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).

Cover the top with foil if over-browning. 
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.

Makes 1 loaf serves 12.
keeps in the fridge covered for up to 1 week.

ENJOY! And spread with Coconut Chocolate Butter if you’re so inclined (and I am…).

 

Love and sunshine. xo

Photo: The Healthy Chef

Advertisements

Fabulous February | Why Detox?

It’s almost the end of February, which means  we’ve all heard the word ‘detox’ muttered a number of times by colleagues, family and friends, sandwiched alongside ‘resolution’ and ‘get back on track’.

Guilty as charged!

43f11fe3145a9ed83cf7322d0d1b2bbb

Before starting my first cleanse last August, I’d read countless articles on how to do it yourself or the latest juice cleanse {which, for juice, is ridiculously expensive…why?}, but I was never able to fully commit. Once I tried to do one myself but couldn’t fathom the thought of giving up coffee, so that ended up being a failure. When I purchased my first Dietlicious cleanse in the middle of last year, I was scared of failing. After a rough start {read: caffeine headaches so bad from never giving my body a break that I fell down the stairs at work and dislocated my shoulder!}, I managed to conquer it and felt amazing at the end.

Today marks Day 4 of my second 5 Day Cleanse for the month and so far so good. I will admit that I have added in more fruit {two rather than one pieces} a day, but I have managed to stay off the caffeine, red meat, gluten dairy and booze.

For those of you considering giving your body a break from the bad stuff, here are a few answers to some commonly asked detox questions.

Why detox?

9913408b9391277ba4db86c71e5d2e30

What’s with the lemon in water? 

It might seem strange, but that lemon in warm water you’ll be sipping first thing in the morning is doing wonders for your body. A few pluses include:

  • Helps with digestion
  • Supports the immune system
  • Balances pH levels
  • Detoxifies the liver.

For more benefits, check out Body & Soul.

There’s no way I can give up my daily coffee…

I know, I know! Trust me, this is the hardest part! But have you ever wanted to challenge yourself to see if you can go without that soy latte in the morning? It’s only five days, meaning if you start on a Saturday, you’ll be back to your caffeine fix by Thursday morning. In the meantime, sip on as much peppermint or other herbal tea of your choice.

39b3c3b07986eceba80c590c85be4872

PLUS, the fewer toxins you put into your body, the more that come out of your body! Winner!

I’m detoxing but feel tired and lack energy, what’s with that?

Yuck. The first few days are not pretty. Days 1-2 are the worst, particularly if you’re a caffeine junkie like me. By Day 3, you’re starting to feel a little better and don’t want to throw hot coffee in the face of your colleague with the large flat white. Your first couple of days may also see you tired and lacking energy. Completely normal. Don’t try to push your body at this time with hard or vigorous exercise. Take it easy and book yourself into a pilates or yoga class instead {hot yoga is amazing for detoxifying your body as well!} and wait until your energy levels increase before you start pounding the pavement hard.

Got any more questions? Hit me up!

Images: 12 / 3

Love | Bits n Bobs

85fa9afed57674433b4d18a979278bff

Wellbeing | Surf and sand

Last weekend saw Husband and I finally head back down the coast for some surfing and camping action. It’s been aggggges since I’ve played around with my surfboard and by the end of the weekend I was feeling great. There really is nothing like the buzz of catching a wave.

Fact: surfing clears your head.

When you’re out on the waves, paddling away and only looking for the next swell, it’s impossible to think about anything else. Thoughts of the office, family issues or what you’re going to have for dinner tonight don’t enter your mind, until you’re on solid ground again at least.

9f42c10846f50d3f381b44daaac5715f

633ee50b32ea18dba50d6f895c56033c

Health | Delicious Goodies

I must admit, I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times during Fabulous February. One was in the form of a decadent lamington {it was worth every mouth full} and the other was two scoops of ice cream covered in coconut when we went out for an amazing Vietnamese feast the other night {again, it was delicious and I don’t regret it!}. In between cleanses, I’ve made sure I’m nourishing my body by making my own snacks. Because, let’s face it, sometimes raw almonds and walnuts are just not going to cut it.

Banana bread

In particular, I’ve been digging this GF {gluten free AND guilt free} banana bread from the amazing Teresa Cutter aka The Healthy Chef. I altered the recipe slightly and made mine with four bananas, one cup of almond meal and a cup of wholemeal spelt flour instead and the result was amazing! It’s a moist bread and packed full of protein with no added sugar.

{guilt free banana bread}

{guilt free banana bread}

Bliss Balls

I’m totally digging these raw cacao bliss balls from the amazing Melissa Ambrosini. They are divine. It’s impossible to stop at one, so I’ve taken to making small ones so I don’t feel guilty if I have two…or three…

9acdd9d47fa36e882eb563a902171560

Refreshing beverages sans alcohol

Part of Fabulous February  saw me sign up to take a month off alcohol and participate in FebFast. I’m now officially halfway through and apart from the odd occasion when I would luurrve a cold glass of vino on a hot night, I’m finding it surprisingly easy. Disclaimer: I am planning on drinking a glass of champagne tonight for Valentine’s Day by buying a ‘Time Out’ pass.

The month off the booze has seen me get creative with my drink choices. My go-to refresher? Soda water, slices of lime and mint. Hello mojito!

213f022d7d477c4960961325540ca42c

Mind | Nurturing and Nourishing

1ef912b0d5caf0bcf139260c61ea3849

I’m back on the mat! It’s such a great feeling. I’ve been sticking to my once a week yoga plan and am about to shake it up with some hot yoga over the last two weeks of Feb.

I also nabbed some great hot pink reversible crops from Lululemon to amp up my practice wardrobe {buy similar here}.

As part of this month, I’ve been wanting to meditate more but have found it a little tricky to set aside the time with all the 5.15am {to be precise!} starts. Never fear, I’m always up for a challenge so am working on a bumper how-to post on meditation and other lovely things to do for your mind and body.

9e60eef06f135fe595af2c9788f897d7

PS. In other news, I’ve just signed myself up for the Bright-Eyed and Blog-Hearted course run by the amazing Rachel MacDonald from In Spaces Between. I could not be more excited to knuckle down and give you lovely people the very best blog I can create! Watch this space!

Images: sourced via Pinterest / Lorna Jane yoga images

Fabulous February | Detox Challenge

7f99e3b8e05fe20b2843de1ead19ecac

Thanks to the lovely people at Dietlicious, I was able to kick off my Fabulous February adventure with a cleanse – including all meals and snacks. Easy peasy!

The first few days were definitely the hardest, but once I was over the half way mark, I’m started to feel the benefits {catch up on my first few days in struggle town}. Here’s a brief snapshot at the last three days of the first half of my detox challenge.

Day 3

Yikes! Back at work where the cafe is buzzing and all I can smell is my {hot} soy latte calling my name. I make sure I have my breakfast at work to give me something to do other than drink coffee. White tea is my friend all day. I’m still feeling really sluggish and blah. Have to play netball later that night and lack a lot of energy. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that this is the last day of ickiness.

Day 4

I’m up at 5.15am before the sun to make the early pilates class. Try and sip my lemon in warm water slowly but I’m running late and end up sculling most of it! Feel amazing afterward class and, apart from avoiding the cafe next door, I’m fine to have peppermint tea with my breakfast. Still can’t stomach the thought of strenuous exercise so instead of running group, I head off to yoga for an hour and 15 minutes of bliss.

Day 5 

Up early before the sun again and smash pilates. Make myself a cleanse friendly smoothie because I forgot to defrost mine overnight {whoops!} – in go chia seeds, almond milk, mango, strawberries and some ice. Delish! Struggle throughout the morning, so tired and all I can think about is coffee!

{I'll be trying my hand at DIY detox water next week}

{I’ll be trying my hand at DIY detox water next week}

Cleanse Part II

I had originally opted for the 10 Day Cleanse to really challenge myself and amp things up, however a break between delivers meant I had a few days off and I made the decision to save my final five days and complete it in the last half of February and really finish the month off in style.

To keep my on track after a week or so off the cleanse, I’ll be starting the next five days on Monday 17th, finishing up on Friday 21st. I decided to opt for the middle rather than the last week of Feb as I know myself too well – this is when I will need another kick up the butt and a chance to reign in any naughty habits that may have developed during the Fabulous February challenge {I’m looking at you date bliss balls you amazing things!}.

Jump onto Dietlicious‘ website and get your meals delivered for next week stat! Trust me, investing in your health and wellbeing is never something you regret forking out some extra money for. Think of it this way – it’s around $35  a day for your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Go out for a meal and order a glass of wine each weeknight and you’ll have spent the same amount AND wake up feeling guilty / heavy after a restaurant meal.

Stay tuned for my next Fabulous February post where I’ll share some things I am loving at the moment {sans alcohol, gluten and sugar!}…

67e8823baeb1ec332c5bf72a4db55880

Images: Field of FlowersDetox Water / Choose to be Content

Fabulous February | Farewell Toxins

Well I’ve survived two days of the epic month that is Fabulous February and I can tell you…feeling far from fabulous right now!

{Freezer stocked and ready to go with Dietlicious goodness}

{Freezer stocked and ready to go with Dietlicious goodness}

{40 degrees forced me to make my own detox friendly icey poles}

{40 degrees forced me to make my own detox-friendly icey poles}

{Dinner on Sunday night - dory with steamed greens}

{Dinner on Sunday night – dory with steamed greens}

My body has well and truly cracked it at me and is now craving the caffeine / sugar / alcohol / red meat / dairy that I had been feeding it earlier this week. Here’s a recount of my last few days…

Day 1

Wake up, have lemon in hot water and gluten free toast with hummus and tomato. Easy peasy I think to myself. The day involves pilates, peppermint tea with my sis, a rest and a gig at night. I sip my soda water contently and think about how awesome I’m going to feel in the morning.

6b44aa3ec79e9a10bd205a919c3336ef

Day 2

Wake up, feel sluggish and slow. Head is blurry. Whhhhattt??  I feel robbed. Head off to meet my brother and his fiancé to talk weddings, fail to drink enough water in the sun and end up with a splitting headache. Take my delicious lunch of spinach dhal to a friend’s place to lounge around the pool and everyone agrees, it tastes delicious! Manage to get rid of my headache by drinking lots of coconut water. Come home and I’m still feeling ordinary. Damn those toxins! Dinner is delicious – dory fish with vegetables.

f96603cbffa9dec2494e4743ce0226f6 b352b31b4d160f398826be6428e6a114

Things I’m noticing…

I always crave something sweet after dinner. I’ve long-since replaced my ice cream treat with healthier versions {such as natural yoghurt and/or berries} but I’m trying to remain satisfied post-dinner with a herbal tea while on the cleanse. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be and I’m realising that I don’t really need that post-dinner treat.

I am well and truly addicted to coffee. And I think I always will be! I love coffee! I had meant to cut down on my caffeine fix last week, but promptly forgot all about it and so the withdrawals have been quite bad. I almost caved this afternoon and downed a shot of espresso but stayed strong. Plus, my beautiful friend gifted my decaf coffee this afternoon so I’ll be trying my hand at that this week when I’m desperado!

Alcohol-free weekends are unusual. I don’t remember the last time I had one, which concerns me slightly. I’m pretty good at not drinking during the week, but this weekend has been a challenge! I’m hoping next weekend will be easier but I get the sense I’m not going to love missing my glass of bubbles…let’s hope the rewards are worth it!

Have you started a detox this weekend? How have you gone? All those febfasters out there, you’re doing a terrific job! Keep up the soda!

Love and sunshine. xo

Images: sourced via Pinterest

Fabulous February | Time to Detox

63233eee72659fd2caf14dfa9d96c195

Can you believe we’re one week away from February? This year is already whizzing past and after a few months of overindulging and celebrations, it’s time to give my body a break!

4b6d2436a1249aee833dfb686a7961f9

This February, I’ll be committing to a clean and fresh month, and have accepted the following challenges…

No alcohol: have you ever joined in febfast? It’s the shortest month of the year and a great time to give your body a break from the booze after the festive season}. It’s mocktail mojitos for me and I can’t wait to reap the rewards of a month off the booze.

dde8b083817a88dea7629d12899b4488

Detoxing my body with a 10 day cleanse: ever given your body a break from the things you love {but it doesn’t}? See the folks at Dietlicious for the most affordable and easy cleanse on the market.  All your meals and snacks are supplied and delivered to your door. No excuses. I’m upping the anti this time with a 10 Day Cleanse. I’ve previously done the 5 Day Cleanse and LOVED it but decided it was time for more of a challenge {uh-oh!}. Quick sticks, order it now for delivery in time for the start of February.

e01eb05e619abb43d002d2a10b5094e0

Moving my body: I already make an effort to move my body every day {yesterday was the first day in a while where I didn’t exercise and man, did my body and brain suffer as a result!}. Come February I’m giving myself another fitness challenge and committing to…

  • Five pilates classes a week
  • Running five times a week {including one long run on Sundays} and walking for an hour on the days I don’t run
  • Yoga every weekend

ab6b330a29630492f4d3db1bd92af071

Meditating every morning upon rising. Even if it’s just for five minutes. I have never been great at this but after speaking with my yoga teacher this week, I’ve downloaded some great music she used during the class that is instantly relaxing. I’ll be starting off with guided meditations and will put the details of those up soon.

fb302f585b890e05667d62cb99b126a1

Dry body brushing every day for the entire month! I only recently bought a dry body brush {I got this one from The Body Shop} and I keep forgetting to use it. Wellness guru Melissa Ambrosini raves about the benefits of exfoliating using a dry body brush. Read up on all the goodness and how to do it yourself in her article.

9477ef4922e9bcafa311c312b2af2b8a

fac63629f0ddf978531fb00573b99b06

So, there you have it! My Fabulous February is fast approaching and while I’m nervous for the challenge, I’m also very excited for the results! Plus the shortest month of the year can’t be that hard, can it?

I’ve already roped in a few pals to join me, so are you with me? Or are you challenging your body in another way next month? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Love and sunshine. xo

Images: 2014 /Pineapple Mojito Fruit & Vegies / Lorna Jane / Meditation / Palm trees

Cool, calm and cleansed

e3a8bb9124a63fe8dc421ae03bf08ba3

Many of you will know that last week I conquered my second Dietlicious Cleanse {queue harmonic music}. It was a tough one, I had a number of things on during the week but managed to stick to it with the exception of two business lunches, where it would have looked bizarre for me to ask the venue to use their microwave…not the kinda impression I wanted to give off!

But never mind. I felt great by the weekend and even had a few leftover lunches to keep me on track this week. High five!

Dietlicious offered this cleanse to me at the perfect time, just before Spring Racing and after a long. hard winter. By the time my box of goodies arrived, I was pumped to get started.

Review-Dietlicious-5-Day-CleanseI did the same Cleanse  back in August on the recommendation of a good friend, so I knew roughly what to expect but this time I made a few simple adjustments before I started which made it a lot easier:

  • Cut down on coffee over the weekend {was super tired the first day and only had one coffee the entire weekend, a miracle!}
  • Limited alcohol beforehand {a few glasses of sparkling spread over the weekend was all I had}
  • Stocked up on herbal tea and started having peppermint tea at night

The Melbourne Dietlicious kitchen has just opened which meant that this time I also received a salad box and fresh fruit in addition to my meals. Easy peasy.

So how does it work? The best part about the Cleanse is that it’s all portion controlled. I often find myself eating more than I probably need and my weakness is definitely something sweet after dinner. An example of a day in the life of a Cleanser is…

  • Slice of lemon in warm water upon rising
  • Smoothie for breakfast {some delish combos like mango, banana and chia seed}
  • A small portion of nuts and seeds mid-morning
  • Microwavable lunch {hurrah!} like tuna risotto, dhal or chicken and quinoa
  • Piece of fruit for afternoon tea
  • Fish with stir fried veggies for dinner

It seems like quite a bit of food, but I struggled mentally most days and had sugar cravings even though I have {mostly} cut processed sugar from my life. Definitely more of a mental game than anything for me, but the endless amount of herbal tea helps take your mind off missing your morning latte.

D8A4365I’ve made some great changes since  the Cleanse and I’m hoping they stick around. Here are some of them:

  • I don’t need dessert and a peppermint or chamomile tea will often suffice
  • Not snacking before lunch unless I’m hungry
  • Less caffeine, more herbal tea {but oh man is it amazing to have my morning soy lattes back!}
  • Only bake when it’s necessary {ie. my mum requests some more cookies or to make my own healthy snacks}

I’ve also been inspired  to think about some other things I’m looking forward to trying food-wise as well as other changes I can make to give my body the best food it deserves! Rainbow bowls, chia seed puddings, avo mousse and plenty of greens are just some of the things that spring to mind and that I’ll be trying over the next few weeks.

Keen to spring clean your body and shed some of the winter woolies? There are two Cleanse menus available with Dietlicious  or the Kick Start is also a great way to get back into some healthy eating habits!

Enjoy! Love and sunshine. xo

0a7d6fd423b519cabddf5f60f0805610Image: PinterestDietlicious / Move Nourish Believe / Pinterest