Food

Recipe: Falafel Meal Prep Pack

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(per serving) 409kcal / 20 P / 46 C / 14 F

Okay, so, these are currently my go-to afternoon meal! The salad preps and stores well, and if you like, you can cook the falafels and pita chips fresh each time because they don’t take long at all! If you’re planning on using this as meal prep store the falafel and chips separately from the salad so that you can reheat them without heating up the salad.


Ingredients

  • 1 (220g) packet of falafel (I used these)

  • 2 tomatoes

  • A large whole meal pita bread (I used this) - one pita can be used for 4 servings

  • 1 cucumber

  • 30g feta cheese

  • 1/4 red onion

  • 3 tbsp hummus (1 per serve)

  • Baby spinach leaves

Method

  1. Preheat oven

  2. Slice large pita bread up into 8 pieces (2 pieces per serving of falafel meal prep)

  3. Place pita in the oven to turn into ‘chips’

  4. Heat up a skillet, spray some cooking spray, and put falafels on to cook

  5. While falafels and pitas are cooking we will create the salad

  6. In a bowl combine red onion, tomato, cucumber and feta, and stir

  7. Serve salad with baby spinach leaves

  8. Remove pita from the oven and falafels from pan

  9. Place with salad and serve with hummus

Food

Recipe: Poached Turkey & Cranberry Wrap

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(per serving) 396 kcal / 42.2 P / 28.5 C / 11.4 F

Turkey and cranberry is a pretty well-known flavour combo! And I wanted to put it together into a wrap for a fast dinner or lunch option. If you can’t find non-processed turkey with a low sodium count, try doing what I do and poaching it!


Ingredients

  • 100g (3.5oz) lean turkey breast

  • 1 tbsp cranberry spread

  • 1 tbsp light cream cheese

  • Baby spinach

  • Whole wheat wrap

  • (optional - not in macros) Avocado

  • (optional - not in macros) Tomato

Method

  1. Bring water to the boil in a saucepan

  2. Cook turkey breast for 5-7 minutes to poach it

  3. Serve with all other ingredients (and optional extras) on a wrap, easy! :D

Food

Recipe: Lamb Chops & Bean Salad

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(per serving) 510kcal / 28.1 P / 19 C / 35.8 F

A delicious dinner that’s easy to prep for multiple people (or to leave some leftover salad for yourself the next day).


Ingredients

  • 200g (half can) four bean mix

  • 4 lamb chops

  • 100g diced pumpkin

  • 4 tbsp balsamic dressing

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • 100g (3.5oz) roast capsicum

  • Baby spinach

  • Rocket

  • (optional) rosemary

Method

  1. Heat up a non-stick pan and place lamb chops in pan, they will cook in their own fat (add some rosemary if you like)

  2. To speed up the cooking process take two microwave safe containers, in 1 place the pumpkin, and in another place the frozen green beans and four bean mix

  3. Separately heat up the beans and pumpkin for a few minutes each

  4. Flip over your lamb chops (these will only take a few minutes each side)

  5. Start constructing your salad with baby spinach, rocket, cooked pumpkin, cooked beans, pumpkin seeds, roast capsicum and balsamic vinegar

  6. When lamb is finished serve with the salad

Food

Recipe: Low Carb Beef Bowl

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(per serving) 502kcal / 52.8 P / 21.4 C / 23.5 F

Dinner doesn’t have to take forever! Whip up this filling low carb beef noodle bowl in under 30 minutes! This dish is a great way to get some extra veg into your day without it being too much fuss.


Ingredients

  • 400g extra lean beef mince

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 packet Chang’s low cal noodles (or other Konjac/low carb noodle)

  • 4 tbsp Hoisin sauce

  • 1 small packet chopped coleslaw mix (example)

  • 2 whole eggs

  • 3-4 stems of broccolini

  • 1 bunch bok choy

  • 1 tbsp almond flakes

  • Spring onion

Method

  1. Heat large pan and add small amount of oil to the pan

  2. Place beef mince on pan and allow it to start cooking

  3. While mince is cooking chop up broccolini and bok choy, either cook in a steamer, or place them into microwave safe containers with a small amount of water and cook in the microwave to steam them

  4. After mince has been cooking for around 5 mins add hoisin sauce and coleslaw mix

  5. In a small, separate pan cook 2 eggs sunny-side up (no oil needed if you use a non-stick pan)

  6. While eggs are cooking jump back over to the pan with the mince, chop up konjac noodles (which have been rinsed) and add to pan, along with cut spring onion and some almond flakes

  7. Serve the mince with the steamed greens and place the egg on top

fitnessinfo

20 min At Home Upper Body Workout

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Whether it’s because you’re travelling, don’t have a gym membership, or simply haven’t plucked up the courage to go yet, it’s always a great idea to have an upper body workout on hand that can target more than just your biceps and triceps. This upper body will work not only those two, but also incorporate your chest, back and shoulders to form a balanced workout.

Equipment you will need:

  • Workout mat

  • Bench or chair to lean on

  • Hand towel or tea towel

  • Dumbbells or two full water bottles

Press play to watch the full workout and follow along, or screenshot the written version below.

 

THE WORKOUT

FOUR SETS (with 10 sec rest between):
Push ups - 10 reps
Targets: Chest & tris

  • 1 MINUTE REST

FOUR SETS (with 10 sec rest between):
Lying towel row - 12 reps
Targets: Upper & mid back

  • 1 MINUTE REST

THREE SETS (with 10 sec rest between):
Chest flys with dumbbells or water bottles - 12 reps
Targets: Chest

  • 1 MINUTE REST

THREE SETS (with 10 sec rest between):
Bench dips - 16 reps
Targets: Triceps

  • 1 MINUTE REST

TWO SETS (with 10 sec rest between):
Reverse grip push up - 10 reps
Targets: Biceps & triceps

  • 1 MINUTE REST

TWO SETS (with 10 sec rest between):
Lateral raises with dumbbells or water bottles - 12 reps
Targets: Shoulders (medial head)

 

Want to work out smarter without needing a gym?
Check out my 8 Week Transformation Challenge.

8 week transformation challenge

Food

Recipe: Almond Milk

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(per 1 cup) approximately 65kcal / 1 P / 4.5 C / 5 F

Every now and again I like to whip up a batch of home made almond milk. I wish I could do this all the time, but alas, I cannot keep up with how much Mitch needs hahah. It’s a great alternative over store bought, where ‘almonds’ themselves are so low in the ingredients list.

If you purchase blanched almonds the process is quite easy! And almond milk is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is particularly known for it’s high levels of vitamin E. Every 1 cup of of almonds will yield 2 cups of almond milk.


Ingredients (to make 4 cups)

  • 2 cups blanched almonds (that’s almonds without the skin)

  • 8 cups water

  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean extract

  • 1.5 tbsp raw honey

Method

  1. Place the blanched almonds in a large bowl with water to soak for 24-48 hours. I find them best after 48. We’re choosing blanched almonds so that you don’t have to stand and peel off the skins. If you make almond milk with the skin it will taste very bitter, and if you choose to peel of the skins the whole process will take a lot longer

  2. Cover the bowl of almonds and water in a linen cloth or tea towel so nothing can get in

  3. After the almonds have soaked, drain the water they’re sitting in and rinse them under cool water

  4. Now we will be making two batches so that we don’t overfill the blender haha. Repeat these next steps twice to create the full yield

  5. Take 1 cup of soft almonds, and place them into a blender with 4 cups of water (use more water if you want it less creamy), 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract, and just under a tablespoon of raw honey

  6. Blend the mixture well

  7. Place a cheesecloth over a glass jug (or some other container to catch the milk)

  8. Pour the contents of the blender through the cheese cloth

  9. Tie up the cheese cloth and begin to squeeze the almond milk through the cloth into your glass jug (the left over almond residue inside can be baked and turned into almond meal)

  10. Repeat this step to create full yield

  11. Pour contents from glass jug into your preferred preserving jar or milk bottle, and refrigerate before serving!

Food

Recipe: Ultra Low Carb Smashed Avo on Toasted Pumpkin

(per slice) 764kcal / 7.5 P / 3 C / 36 F

I created this recipe purely because I got a new Garlic and Rosemary Olive Oil I wanted to try. I wanted to put it with something that wouldn't require me to cook it so I could experience the full flavour. 


Ingredients

  • Two slices of butternut pumpkin

  • 1/2 an avocado

  • Rosemary & Garlic Olive Oil (here) - or normal will work :)

  • 50g feta

  • Handful of walnuts

Method

  1. Preheat grill, or use your oven's grill feature at 215C (420F)

  2. Line a tray with baking paper and place 2 slices of pumpkin on

  3. Do not add anything to the pumpkin, we do not want it to go too soft while cooking! Cook for 15-20 mins, keep an eye on it. The skin should brown.

  4. While the pumpkin is cooking place the avocado and feta in a bowl and mash with a fork.

  5. Separately, chop the walnuts up into small pieces.

  6. Once the pumpkin is finished remove it from the oven and place the pieces on a plate

  7. Add avocado and feta mix on top

  8. Drizzle olive oil over the avocado

  9. Sprinkle walnuts on top to finish!

other

Are You ACTUALLY Hydrated? How To Tell

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Remaining hydrated is absolutely fundamental to staying healthy. More than 60% of our bodies are made up of water, and without enough, the impact both our physical and mental wellbeing is severely impacted. However, many people don’t know the tell-tale signs of dehydration. In this post, I will explain exactly how you can tell when you are dehydrated and what you can do about it.

 

How to Tell When You Are Dehydrated

A recent study in the American Journal of Public Health published shocking statistics which revealed more than 50% of people are not getting enough water. Whether you are exercising or just in hot weather conditions, fluid is easily and quickly lost.

 

Dry Mouth

The most common sign you are dehydrated is a dry mouth. If you are feeling thirsty, then without a doubt, you are dehydrated, and this is something which should not be put aside or ignored.

 

Lack of Perspiration

If you are not sweating, this could be a severe sign of dehydration. Everyone has their own bodily habits, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all indicator, so when it comes to a reduction in the amount you are sweating, you need to be mindful of what is normal as one persons’ perspiration levels will be very different to another.

 

Muscle Cramping

This is easily written off by many people, especially during exercise. However, muscle cramping is a primary effect of being dehydrated. It comes as a natural effect during exercise. However, the tightening of muscles in the body could be caused by a lack of hydration. If the cramping appears to be mobile and isn’t concentrated to just a singular or small area, then this could be a sign that you are dehydrated.

 

Tiredness and Irritability

Even just a mild level of dehydration can have an impact on your mood and the normal functioning of the brain. If you seem to be forgetful, less alert, irritable or confused, this can all be due to the fact that you are not getting enough water. There are a whole range of studies that back up this information and prove that regardless of whether you are exercising or merely just going about your everyday tasks, a loss of just 1.5% in the normal volume of water in your body can severely affect your cognitive functions.

 

Disorientation

Another sign that you are dehydrated is disorientation. This can take the form of feeling nauseated, becoming light-headed, feeling weak or dizzy or even light-hysteria. Making decisions can become challenging, and in some cases, people have reported they feel overcome with delirium. The reason this occurs is due to the fact that your body does not have an adequate amount of fluids to send throughout the body.

 

Dark Yellow Urine

If your urine is a similar colour to straw or just a light-yellow colour, this means you are adequately hydrated. If you have urine that is a darker yellow colour, this is a sure-fire way to tell that you are dehydrated.

 

Dry Skin

If you are not hydrated correctly, your skin will show signs of this. Not just the skin on your face, this applies to the whole body. When correctly hydrated, the skin will appear to be somewhat doughy in texture, it will be elastic and will always return to its normal position when pinched. If you are dehydrated, then your skin will appear to be thinner, and it will take longer to return to its original form.

 

What to Do If You Are Dehydrated

It goes without saying, that if you are exercising and believe you are dehydrated, then you need to stop immediately. If you carry on and ignore these signs, the temperature of your body is only going to keep rising, and this can lead to more serious issues. Taking a break can help your body to cool down.

·       Drink Fluids – Preferably with electrolytes
·       Eat Something – Preferably Fruit or Vegetables
·       Remove Excess Clothing
·       Elevate Your Legs
·       Get Out of The Sun

Follow these steps if you are dehydrated and you will immediately start to feel the benefit. Dehydration can very easily creep up on you so knowing what to look out for is key. Be aware of your body and always try to prevent dehydration by drinking the correct amount of water during the day.

Although there are many differing opinions on exactly how much water you need to drink daily, there are also many variables to take into consideration, such as your climate, your weight, your activity levels, and your general health overall.  The average is 6-8 250mL glasses (roughly 2L per day).

Food

Recipe: Spiced Apple Quinoa Porridge

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(per serving) 402kcal / 10 P / 58 C / 12 F

So you want a sweet breakfast, but aren’t sure how to get one with a little bit of protein in it? Let’s make some quinoa porridge! Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein - a really beneficial addition for anyone who is on a plant based diet.


Ingredients

  • 150g (5oz) rinsed quinoa

  • 200mL (half can) light coconut milk

  • 1 green apple

  • 1/2 sachet stevia

  • Cinnamon (to taste)

  • Nutmeg (to taste)

  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

  • (optional - not included in macros) Pecans

Method

  1. Cut up green apple

  2. Put saucepan on lowest heat and add coconut milk, quinoa, nutmeg, and vanilla extract

  3. Cook and stir until the quinoa has absorbed the coconut milk (this will take about 15mins)

  4. After the quinoa has been cooking for around 5 mins heat up a non-stick pan and add chopped green apple, 1/2 sachet of stevia and your preferred amount of cinnamon

  5. Stir the apple frequently

  6. Remove quinoa and apple from the stove at the same time (quinoa should’ve cooked for around 15, apple for around 10)

  7. Serve together and optional, serve with honey and pecans

other

Heal Your PCOS Naturally With These 9 Tips

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Ah, PCOS, my old frienemy… Three/four years ago I was downright miserable. I was fighting daily with the following symptoms:

  • Inflamed, painful acne all across my cheeks and jawline

  • Irregular period (3-4 times per year max)

  • Slightly elevated androgens

  • Follicular growths on my ovaries

  • Irritability and mood instability

  • Unexplained weight gain

  • Fatigue

  • Gluten intolerance and verging on dairy intolerance

  • Bloating (and I mean like, every.. damn.. night)

  • Headaches and migraines

Flash forward to now and the only symptom I’m dealing with, if you could even call it that, is my body fighting back against me if I’m not diligent with my nutrition haha.

I so often have women contact me who call themselves a ‘victim of PCOS’, or say they are ‘suffering with PCOS’, firstly, let’s change that language. Your language shapes your thinking. Take back that control. With PCOS we can (with some effort and consistency) regain that control through nutrition and lifestyle changes. It all comes down to how badly you want something, and what changes you’re willing to make to get there.

Keep reading to find out the lifestyle changes that I have made, and that I recommend for my clients to make, to regain control over their PCOS, their bodies, and their health.



Cut the caffeine

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 The first thing I’m going to tell you, which some of you may hate.. is to limit your caffeine consumption. The reason for this is that excess caffeine can cause havoc in your endocrine system. This becomes exacerbated by other external factors, such as lifestyle stress, hormone imbalances, or any physiological changes your body is already going through.

Excess caffeine consumption can also reduce your body’s sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Confirmed in a study from 2007, the daily consumption of caffeine reduced insulin sensitivity and the effect remains present for a week after the caffeine dose.

What is your endocrine system?

Your endocrine system is a collection of glands that help produce hormone that help produce hormones, regulate your metabolism, and mood.

 

Limit alcohol consumption

 Alcohol is another thing which can disrupt your endocrine system. Alcohol consumption can also delay the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH helps metabolise sugars. If you have PCOS it’s very important that your body can metabolise sugars, as we are already predisposed to insulin resistance.

If you’re drinking frequently you may inhibit your body’s ability to efficiently process sugars.

  • Alcohol hits you with about 7 calories per gram, so each drink is roughly 100-150 calories, and that's not including any mixers - that's straight alcohol.

  • After the consumption of alcohol the production of human growth hormone (HGH) in the body is slowed by up to 70% (study conducted by Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine). HGH is responsible for regulating body composition, muscle growth, and the metabolism of sugar and fat. 

  • Alcohol can impair protein synthesis, which is the process that helps build new muscle.

  • For a few days after drinking alcohol your body is focusing more of it's attention on removing those toxins you've put into it, as a side-effect from that if you do exercise during this time your muscle soreness will be much more noticeable.

 

 

Exercise, but not too much

Exercise is fantastic for your PCOS, but what kind of how often will depend on the rest of your lifestyle, your nutrition habits, and any pre-existing burnout or thyroid struggles.

You may wish to start light with walking, swimming, pilates and work your way up to see what you can handle. It’s also important to note that recovery is an essential element, and one that is all too easy to neglect. You can only train as well as you recover.

If you’re new to training, or want to switch your home workouts up to something more efficient, grab yourself a copy of my 8 Week Transformation Challenge.

 

Consume quality calories

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Our diet is such a big factor when it comes to hormonal balance. What we eat influences our hormone production. Your body won’t be as efficient at balancing your hormones when it cannot make or isn’t receiving the basic building blocks it requires. Make sure you’re eating adequate protein, slow releasing carbs (including nutrient dense vegetables), and beneficial fats. Eat small, frequent, balanced meals to keep blood sugar stable.


Swap out the simple sugars and increase your fibre intake.


Here are some PCOS-friendly meal ideas to try! (click the meal to go to the recipe)

 

Start a food diary

 If you’re not comfortable counting calories and macros, you don’t need to. Unless you have very specific body composition / fitness goals in mind this may not be necessary for you. However, I think it’s very helpful to start a food diary, I have a pre-printed journal which you can use to track both your food and your training

Tracking what you’re eating will make you more mindful of your choices and eating history – this will also help you decide what changes to make. And in the future, if you decide to see a dietician or another health professional to help you with your diet, having a historical food diary will be very helpful for them!

 

 

Be consistent with your nutrition

This is one of the biggest factors that causes people to fail! You’re not going to see results in 4 days, potentially not even 2 weeks, or even 2 months. If you think about the fact that what you’re eating changes your hormones, your mood, and the composition of your body – it’s mind blowing! And this is a process that takes T I M E.

Look for foods you enjoy (that are also goal-friendly) and a cooking/eating pattern that fits into your lifestyle. If it seems like a chore, if you hate the food, or if you’re dreading every moment, I promise you it’s not going to work for you long term.

 

 

Pre and Probiotics

Gut health and PCOS are closely linked, click here to read my post about Gut Microbiome. One symptom a lot of girls come to me with is signs of leaky gut (read my leaky gut post here), which is where their digestive system is unable to absorb nutrients from their food. Many also start to show signs of gluten or dairy sensitivity, or both.

Women with PCOS tend to experience chronic inflammation, which in turn impacts on insulin resistance and eventually weight gain. Our intestinal flora are the gatekeepers that mediate this inflammatory process.

Changes in gut flora can result in decreased body fat, weight gain, and inflammation.

Fermented foods are also a good source of probiotics, read my fermented foods here.

Probiotic supplements can be extremely helpful for women with PCOS. In fact, a clinical trial conducted in 2015 showed that  probiotic supplements helped lower blood sugars as well as improve insulin sensitivity in PCOS patients.

 

De-stress

As we’re talking about lifestyle factors, this one is important. We’re not living in a time where we’re going to be chased by a lion, but our bodies haven’t learnt how to differentiate between emotional stress and physical stress.

Stress can cause menstrual disfunction and hormone imbalance.

The pituitary gland in your brain releases a hormone called ACTH (short for adrenocorticotropic hormone, but let’s not make me spell that out again) in response to both physical and emotional stress. ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands to produce a cocktail or other hormones, such as cortisol, noradrenaline, and adrenaline, as well as androgen hormones, including DHEA, DHEA-S. The androgen hormones can contribute to elevated androgen hormones typically seen in those with PCOS.

When ACTH and cortisol are raised in response to stress, cortisol down-regulates ACTH production creating a negative feedback loop. As I mentioned, ACTH stimulates the production of DHEA/DHEA-S to help protect the brain from too much cortisol, but unfortunately these androgenic hormones do not affect ACTH, and therefore our bodies cannot create a feedback loop to effectively ‘switch off’ androgen secretion.

THINGS I LIKE TO ADD INTO MY DAY

  • 1 MINUTE BREATHING USING THE ‘BREATHE APP’ ON MY WATCH

  • 3-5 MIN MEDITATION WITH HEADSPACE BEFORE BED


Sleep well

Women who have PCOS are already more predisposed to have issues with their sleep, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, etc. Sleep is a crucial part of overall health, and recovery.

Adequate sleep is essential for blood sugar regulation and keeping your hormonal profile in check, and regular fluctuations in blood sugar levels can make your PCOS symptoms even worse over time. Lack of sleep has also been shown to decrease the body’s ability to lose fat, alter glucose metabolism, and may lead to increased body fat.

On top of waking up feeling irritable and groggy, a lack of sleep can alter your appetite the next day. Remember how I said it can disrupt your hormone levels? Feeling hungry and full are feelings that are flagged by two hormones, ghrelin, and leptin, respectively. So guess who is probably going to mindlessly over-consume after a bad sleep?


Try incorporating some of these lifestyle changes. For the best effect don’t work on more than two at any one time. I know the process might feel slower, but what’s better? Banging in head-on and trying to tackle it all at once only to fall off track in 4-5 weeks time, or taking your time to make sustainable changes and find solutions that work for your lifestyle, so that after a few months you have all these new habits locked down and not one of them feels like a chore? I know which one I’d choose…

Food

Recipe: 20min Chicken and Mushroom Skillet

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(per serving) 577 kcal / 54.5g P / 57.1g C / 13.9g F

If you’re after a warming chicken dish, this is the one for you. Macro-wise it works so well for after training. Feel free to add in some green veg like broccoli or beans for an extra micronutrient hit, or eat it as is. These are fairly large servings, the recipe could easily suit three.


INGREDIENTS

  • 400g(14oz) chicken

  • mixed herbs

  • salt

  • pepper

  • 400g(2 cups) rice (i used basmati)

  • 500ml (17fl oz) chicken stock (salt reduced)

  • 110g(1.5 cups) chopped mushrooms

  • 100ml (3.3fl oz) fat reduced coconut milk

  • parsley (to taste)

  • 20g(<1oz) shaved parmesan cheese

  • cooking spray

 

METHOD

  1. Add cooking spray and chicken to pan with salt, pepper and mixed herbs

  2. Cook chicken through

  3. Turn down to low heat and add broth, rice, and mushrooms and allow to simmer for 10-15 mins

  4. Add in coconut milk, Parmesan and chopped parsley and cook for a further 10mins, stirring frequently

Food

Meal Prep - 5 Meals in 1 Hour

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Because I so frequently upload meal prep videos I thought it’d be easy if I place all the instructions / macros etc for this latest one in one place! Watch the video here.

It took me 1 hr and 15 mins to do this meal prep, and film it! So if you’re not filming your kitchen escapades it should be even quicker than that.

I don’t eat these meals in a specific order. I save the recipes in Lifesum so I can plan my day and select when I eat them. We picked out of these for 3 days (amongst cooking other things - we eat 5-6 x daily) before we ran out.

Note: Eat the salad the same or next day you make it.


Chicken Tray Bake

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Makes 4 serves

(per serve) 238 kcal / 28 P / 17 C / 2 F

INGREDIENTS

  • 600g (21oz) chicken

  • 1 x sweet potato

  • 1 x parsnip

  • ¼ pumpkin with skin

  • Roast vegetable seasoning

  • Mixed herb seasoning

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180c (350f)

  2. Chop veggies and place on a lined tray in the oven, flip over after 10 mins

  3. After a further 10 mins chop up chicken and add seasoning, place in the oven for around 20 mins

  4. Remove all when veggies are baked to your liking


Breakfast Muffins

Adapted from the blog eatyourselfskinny

Makes 10 muffins
(per 1) 74 kcal / 6.2 P / 1.8 C / 4.4 F

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 x eggs

  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan

  • ½ brown onion

  • 1 x handful rocket (arugula)

  • Salt (to taste)

  • ½ red capsicum

  • ½ zucchini (shredded)

  • Garlic (to taste)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190c (350f)

  2. Chop onion and garlic and cook in a pan for 2-3 mins

  3. Add chopped capsicum and grated zucchini to pan

  4. Transfer cooked veg to mixing bowl and add chopped rocket, eggs, parmesan, salt and mix

  5. Line muffin tray with coconut oil

  6. Pour mixture into bowl

  7. Bake for 20mins


Turkey Burgers

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Makes 8 patties

(per 1) 133 kcal / 16 P / 4 C / 5 F

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 500g lean turkey mince

  • 1 cup bread crumbs

  • 3 x eggs

  • ½ brown onion

METHOD

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl

  2. Heat up a pan and roll mixture into 8 patties

  3. Cook for 8-10mins flipping halfway through


Beef Stroganoff (sorta)

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Makes 4 serves

(per serve) 399 kcal / 32 P / 40 C / 13 F

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 500g extra lean beef

  • ½ punnet mushrooms

  • frozen green beans

  • frozen broccoli

  • 1 packet brown rice (2 cups)

  • 1 packet beef stroganoff sauce

METHOD

  1. Cook beef for 5 mins in skillet before adding mushrooms

  2. Allow to cook for a further 10 mins and add in stroganoff sauce

  3. Cook rice and add to dish

  4. If eating immediately add green veg to pan, if meal prepping keep veg frozen so they only need to be cooked once


Mango Lime Side Salad

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This is a side salad, serve with a protein source.

Makes 2 serves

(per serve) 90 kcal / 2.3 P / 21 C / 0.5 F

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x lime

  • 1 x mango

  • spinach

  • coriander

  • 1/3 cup black beans

METHOD

  1. Place spinach and desired amount of coriander into a bowl

  2. Chop mango and add black beans (cook if you like)

  3. Squeeze juice of ½ a lime over the top

  4. Serve with protein of choice


other

Leaky Gut + How To Fix It

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What exactly is leaky gut?

Intestinal Permeability, AKA leaky gut is a specific condition whereby the lining of the smaller intestine is damaged. The resulting factor of this damage is that specific bacteria, food particles, and toxic waste products to seep out via the intestines and overflow into the bloodstream.

When this happens, it can cause a number of different reactions in a person’s body in the form of an autoimmune response. This can present in a number of ways, such as eczema, food allergies, headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and more.

When a person develops a leaky gut, it also means that the damaged intestinal cells will no longer produce the proper enzymes needed to digest food correctly. As a result of this, the vitamin, minerals, and nutrients that are needed do not get absorbed into the body, which can lead to a weaker immune system, and potentially unbalance levels of hormones as well.


What Can Cause a Person to Develop a Leaky Gut?

In nearly all instances, a leaky gut is developed as a result of a person’s diet. While it differs greatly from one person to the next, there are certain foods such as those which include dairy, soy, and gluten, which can trigger a person’s body to take the fight and respond. In many cases, when a person is sensitive to a particular substance or food, this can result in the production of antibodies, which in turn, trigger an immunological response that can cause headaches, tiredness, inflammation, and diarrhoea.

Aside from the diet, there are also some forms of medication that cause irritation to the lining of the intestine and the protective mucus layers as well. Some of these include aspirin, steroids, or even regular antibiotics.

How can you tell if you have a leaky gut?

As with all conditions of this nature, each person will have slightly different signs and symptoms, and what may present in one individual, might not be present in another. Here are some of the top signs that you could have a leaky gut.

1.   Nutritional Deficiencies

2.  Constipation

3.  Gas

4.  Bloating

5.  Weakened Immune System

6.  Chronic Diarrhoea

7.   Excess Tiredness or Fatigue

8.  Brain Fog

9.  Memory Loss

10. Headaches

11.  Rashes on the Skin

12. Carbohydrates or Sugar Cravings

13.  Joint Pain

14.  Inflammation

15.  Arthritis

16.  Anxiety or Depression

17.  Autoimmune Conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease or Lupus

What type of foods should you be avoiding or eating more of with leaky gut syndrome?

There are lots of different types of foods that can really help if you have a leaky gut; similarly, there are certain types of food you should try to avoid. Here is a quick summary of both what to eat and what not to eat with this condition.

Avoid These Foods if you Have Leaky Gut Syndrome

Sugar – Refined sugar is the worst of all the types of sugar you could have. This is what is usually added into your typical deserts and drinks. Even natural sugars such as maple syrup and syrups can be problematic as the sugars can imbalances within the gut by further feeding bacteria and yeasts.

Milk – There are lots of people who can have problems with milk and dairy in their diet, and it is one of the most common food sensitivities. However, there are so many alternatives for traditional dairy products, such as coconut milk, almond milk, and rice milk.

Grains – There are lots of grains which contain a high level of gluten, such as rye, barley, spelt, and wheat. Although there are plenty of whole grains that form part of a healthy diet, it is important to try to only eat whole grains which are sprouted or soaked as this can deactivate any anti-nutrients.

TIP: Usually, if a person has a leaky gut, then it is best to avoid all types of gluten altogether until such a point that the lining is fully functional again.

 

Try to Eat These Foods if you Have Leaky Gut Syndrome 

Healthy Fats – There are good fats, and there are not-so-good fats. Omega-3 fats are notoriously anti-inflammatory in nature and very easy to digest. Healthy fats are renowned for improving digestion and helping to feed the good bacteria in the gut.

Phytochemicals – There are some very powerful plant-based foods that are enriched with phytochemicals, and which are renowned for their anti-inflammatory and healing capabilities. Although raw fruits and vegetables are often difficult to digest, when they are blended or cooked, you can still benefit from the nutritional properties. The best way to choose fruits and vegetables that are high in phytochemicals is via the colour, the brighter, the better!

Bone Broth – This particular type of broth is known as a super-food and one which is exceptionally beneficial for a leaky or inflamed gut. The best variety is home-made organic bone broth that is made from grass-fed animal bones.  

Turmeric – This is swiftly becoming one of the most popular spices in the nutritional and healing realms. It has well-documented anti-inflammatory properties, and it can also help to support the detoxification of the liver.

Fermented Foods – These types of foods introduce a specific type of good bacteria into the guy. There is a range of cultured vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi that are ideal, and also some specific types of fermented drinks such as Kefir and home-made kombucha that are good examples that help to support a healthy intestinal flora.

How can you get rid of a leaky gut?

There are a number of ways that a person can heal a leaky gut. For most, changes to the diet are a key first step:

1.     Stop consuming drinks and foods that are known to damage the lining of your gut (soda, coffee, alcohol)

2.     Start consuming drinks and foods that reduce inflammation and restore a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut (bone broth, kombucha, kefir)

3.     Reduce stress in your life where possible

4.     Get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis

5.     Review gut healing supplementation options

 

The key to getting rid of a leaky gut is to stop putting foods into your body which are known to cause stress or damage to our gut lining. Caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten, soy, and sugars are all typical problem foods for many people, and, in most cases, the elimination of some or all of these foods alone can significantly improve a person’s symptoms.

Aside from this, adding in certain foods such as fish, flax, avocados, and coconut oils can restore the proper levels of good bacteria within the gut. L-Glutamine is a specific type of amino acid that is typically found in these founds and can be supplemented in order to rejuvenate the lining of the intestinal wall.

Food

Recipe: Home Made Strawberry Jam (No Refined Sugar, No Pectin)

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(per serving) 10kcal / 0.2 P / 2.4 C / 0.1 F

Although far gone are the pre-school days where I’d have a blackberry jam sandwich for lunch every day, every now and again I do love some strawberry jam, particularly on protein pancakes. The one thing that always bugged me about it was refined sugar being the main ingredient, and it generally only containing 40% strawberries! 1 tbsp usually gives you a whopping 9.9g of mostly processed sugar.

Strawberries are already sweet enough, so I decided to have a few goes at whipping up a batch of jam. This is the recipe I have decided I liked the best so I wanted to share it. The natural sugar provides more than a bunch of sweetness, and only has 1.45g of sugar per table spoon, plus it stores in the fridge just perfectly. Next time I’m making a much larger batch to create 2-3 jars to store in the fridge.

The goal after that is to make them with strawberries I’ve grown myself with the plants I just bought haha.


Ingredients

  • 5 cups roughly chopped fresh strawberries

  • 3 tbsp water

  • 1.5 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 4 tsp finely ground tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)

 

Method

  • Loosely chop strawberries (removing tops) to accurately measure in a measuring cup

  • Place all ingredients into a saucepan and heat on a very low temperature until the strawberries are soft (this should only take 2-3mins)

  • Place the entire mixture into a blender or food processor and blend (or just pulse). I made mine smooth, but in another attempt I made a ‘thicker’ batch, either works well

  • Pour mixture back into the saucepan on the lowest heat possible

  • Allow the mixture to simmer, and then keep an eye on the stove and stir the mix regularly

  • It will start to thicken, and if you don’t stir it every 5 or so minutes it will stick to the bottom of the saucepan

  • It will need to cook for around an hour on the lowest heat with occasional stirring

  • You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture stays separated for 2 seconds when you run a wooden spoon or a spatula through it

  • Once this happens remove and allow to cool before placing in a jar of choice - the mixture will continue to thicken in the fridge

  • Store in the fridge (serve after it has cooled for approximately 2 hours. I photographed mine before it was fully cooled)