Tuesday, 18 April 2017

When Breakfast is This Good...

Hidy-ho there friendly friends and happy Wednesday!

Today the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, I had a lovely lie-in rest-morning (brutal PT training sesh 10:30am coming up though!!) and just came back from a gorgeous beach walk with the mother. To say life is pretty good would be an understatement!

It's the little things in life that truly bring us the most pleasure overall and I think truly acknowledging them and thanking the world for them each and every day is what fills our hearts and warms our souls.

Ok, enough with the deep stuff that makes our bodies feel amazing. Onto something else that makes our bodies feel amazing; good and honest and wholesome fooooooooooddd!!!!

Today also happens to be the day when I made one of the best breakfasts I've made in a long, long time. And here it is:
This my friends, is what I like to long-windedly call the tropical banana-mango green smoothie bowl topped with raw cacao rich choc and turmeric oat truffles!

And it was phenomenal.
Filled with so many antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, a few servings of veggies thrown in there, rich dark chocolate truffles, paired perfectly with the cool, creamy, sweet smoothie base... friends, this is it.

Mango Smoothie Bowl with Raw Choc Truffles

Ingredients:

Truffles:
1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a few big dashes turmeric
1 heaped tablespoon crunchy peanut butter (any nut butter will work)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (any milk alternative/ water will be fine)
Optional- two dates for sweetness (I love tart, bitter dark choc, so committed but if you want some subtle sweetness dates are amazing!!)

Smoothie base:
1 large frozen banana
1 handful frozen mango
1 handful frozen zucchini
3-4 chunks frozen spinach chunks
1 super big scoop greek yoghurt
1/2 cup water

Method:
1. Make the truffles by putting all of the ingredients for the truffles into a blender/ food processor (vitamix to the scene!) and whaz together until smooth and sticky.
2. Roll out into balls and place on a plate lined with baking paper and into the freezer for 20-30mins whilst you make the smoothie base.
3. Make the banana-mango green smoothie base by putting the zucchini, spinach, greek yoghurt, mango, banana and water into a blender (Vitamix, you're up again!!) and whizzing up on high until smoothie-smooth, thick and creamy.
4. Spoon out and smooth over into a bowl and into the freezer for 15 mins to harden up slightly.
5. Remove both from freezer, top smoothie bowl with balls and ENJOY!
Seriously so delicious and the sweetness from the smoothie balances out that bitter fudgey chocolate so well! Gah, it's so good you guys!!
 I feel like this is the literal definition for the hash tag; #dessertforbreakfast and I'm not even sorry.

When the ingredients are this good, it's hard to feel guilty about eating something this delicious!!

So yes, already it has been such a wonderful, perfect and delicious day and a big part of that is simply realising all the amazing things we are blessed with in this life!

Eat good food, move your body, smile more and most of all, remember how awesome even the smallest little awesome-nesses are!!

Have a good one my friends and I'll be back with another post soon about the ways in which I am feeling my body during strength training and weights to get all those #gainzzzzz
Bye for now friendly friends :D

P.S. EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS.

Monday, 27 March 2017

I'M STILL HERE!!

Hi friends!!

I know I've been a little absent on the blog front lately- but if you follow me on Instagram you would know i'm still alive and thriving! :D :D

Nope, just bogged down with the hectic-ness that we call the beautiful life and whilst I love blogging and it brings me so much joy, I have had to put it on a bit of a back burner for now as I simply do not have the time to sustain a consistent blogging schedule!

So to keep up with the daily consumptions of moi, I literally post it all on Insta with recipes, so that's where you can get all those delicious inspirations for your next meal whilst I am not blogging regularly!!

In the meantime to fulfil your food-lovin' needs (and mine :P) here is a pic of some sweet potato toast I made for brekky the other morning. It was awesome:
 Eaten with a delicious bowl of mango fro-yo:
 This bad boy involved a few big handfuls frozen mango chunks, handful frozen zucchini, 4-5 frozen spinach chunks and 3 spoons greek yoghurt- whazzed up in the Vitamix until smooth and creamy and popped in the freezer whilst 'toasts' were cooking :D
 And the sweet potato toast was literally sliced sweet potato toasted multiple times in the toaster until cooked through:
 Topped with cashew butter and smooth PB:
 Happiness.
It did take quite a few toasts but in the end it was worth it- nicely browned and crisp on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside:


 And of course this happened:
Happy days.

So yes, that's what happening at the moment- again, keep up with ALL the food on Insta (@Steph2chef) and I will see you when I see you!

Keep eating delicious foods friendly friends!! :D :D

Ever eaten sweet tater toast?
Fav topping for them?
Fav way to eat sweet potato? Roasted, baked whole, steamed, mashed, toasted?? (thinking about steaming, mashing and popping in my almost empty jar of almond butter tomorrow :) :D)

:D

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole of Restricion

Hidy-ho friendly friends and...

Sorry for being so M.I.A. recently!!

Life has just been happening, you know?? I've been working a lot and then uni started up (and there is a heck of a lot of stuff to organise before you even get into week 1 of university! CRAZY!) and well, ya girl had to prioritise life in order to make the most of each day and unfortunately that meant posting all the delicious foods to Instagram instead of this lovely space as it was simply quicker, more convenient and let's be real; easier! :P

Anywho, I am back today and this time with a real serious post to get the brains a-thinking and to follow the theme of the week which is in fact NEDA week (National Eating Disorders Awareness week) and today I wanted to talk about restriction.

Restriction in both the sense of restricting yourself with food and also restricitng yourself of happiness, in general.

It is such an easy and almost unintentional rabbit hole to first fall down, but once you've fallen the twists and turns it takes makes it almost impossible to find your way out of without a serious reality check and/or (and preferably and) a little help from others.

You might be thinking, but Steph, how can you possibly know that, you're always going on about the enormity of the meals you eat and the abundance of food you allow yourself.

And yes, that is the case. Most times.

You see, my also unexplained absence can be drawn down to my having lost some wight and finding some of my thoughts surrounding eating, exercising and healthy living in general to sway more towards the unhealthy side. And I know this for sure because I've been pulled up on it by not 1, not 2, but 3 separate people I've met on Instagram when posting my stories and or pictures of what I've been eating/ doing. And when a stranger who doesn't even know you picks you up on disordered living... that's when you know something is up!
I posted this picture to my Instagram story a while back of some steamed veg and beans and was amazed to find two separate commenters commenting that this was far too small and imbalanced for my lifestyle- slap yourself in the face Steph!!!

And so recently I've decided to take a step back from all the commitments I've made to myself in the past, including this blog and try and reflect on how I am currently living life and whether or not this is the healthiest life for me.

The thing is, there's a strange sense of pride and or feeling good about yourself when you do eat less than you should. It is so disordered this thinking and so wrong on so many levels but I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that sense of... accomplishment??
Again, I fill my plate like always but half the plate is raw veggies and the sandwich is not enough to put back in all those calories my body needs!

And this is where body dismorphia also comes into play, because looking in the mirror and sure, thinking; 'yeah I've lost some weight but there's still fat around my hips, or I'm still not the perfect figure etc.' is all too easy when you fall down that rabbit whole that is, as hard as it might be to take, extremely selfish and self-focused that you don't even realise you are a heck of a lot smaller than the majority of people around you!

And then your family starts to notice and maybe brings it up in convo- nice and casually like; 'Gosh that was a long workout- you must be getting so fit! And also you are small!!' They worry and yet try and phrase it in a positive light to start the conversation and thus, once again, people are noticing the restrictive behaviour.

The restrictive behaviour of over-exercising, of not taking enough rest days for your body, of becoming so focused on fitness and physique that the joy and love of exercise is lost too amongst the twists and turns of the disordered maze you've found yourself in. Resorting to only taking rest days once a week and those being active 'rest' days will continue to work your body. And disordered minds thrive of this (I know I am currently in this cycle!)
Another 'lunch' fit for a snack.

And then after all this; the smaller meals, the less nut butter added to your oats, the chucking out the food because you can't fit it in your belly, the choosing a plate of raw veggies over your preferred roasted veggies because you've eaten too much fat already today, the 30min 'rest day' workout you put yourself through when your body cries out for rest, the sick satisfaction of looking at protruding bones in the mirror and a little sense of dark pride surfacing in your mind, you lose weight. And not the healthy kind. The unhappiness kind. Because you're also losing happiness.

And again, how do I know this?? Because I am currently working through all this mentioned above myself.

I don't want that disordered little voice controlling my actions throughout my life and I sure as heck don't want to lose any more weight. I never thought I'd get to a stage like this, but if I want a happy, healthy future, with the ability to carry children, have the energy and healthy bones and functioning body to do all the things I want and alive a long and prosperous life, meals like this one above are going to need to become a lot more balanced as well as my balance with exercise and rest.


I love my body and yet I've fallen down the rabbit hole of restricition but luckily I've realised this and so now it's time to pull myself out!

This was a brutally
honest and hard to write post for me, so I hope this can spark hope and start a conversation with all of you guys struggling with the same kinds of things, so leave a comment if you wish, share your story if you like (feel free to email me if you would like me to hear your story or even share it here on the blog) and as always, my friends, eat something delicious. Bye for now!! :D

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Week In Workouts!!

Hi there friendly friends and welcome to another Week In Workouts post!

Rest day is scheduled in for tomorrow and thus I thought I'd share with you what the previous working out days have looked like and a typical working out week for me at the moment!

Now I'm the type of person who needs to keep things changing and interesting to keep my motivation up. Last week my way of doing that was completing this insane Weekend Warrior Workout by Lifting Revolution that nearly killed me. Honestly it was one of the hardest workouts I've ever done. And it was awesome. :P

This week was a little less crazy, but still filled with fun, interesting and challenging workouts that left me wanting more every single day!

Saturday saw a brutally awesome full body and arm-focus workout that left my muscles shaking with enriching exhaustion:
 I started out with 12 full body lifts which involves picking up the barbell from a deadlift, hoisting it up to my chest, pushing above my head, back behind on my shoulders, low squat and then thrusting back up above my head, to chest to deadlift to ground- truly great warm-up to get the body warm and ready to go!!
 Following that I did 15 deadlifts with my new super heavy barbell I got for my 18th (I got a whole weight-lifitng set for my birthday :D Happy days!) and then 27 squats, the last 5 being low to the ground.
 And from there I went into my arm routine which involved biceps and triceps supersetted together so I didn't have to break so often!
Finishing off with another 12 full body barbells- nice!

Sunday was crazy HIIT day where I crushed out Fitness Blender's Climbing The Mountain workout- which will never fail to make me sweat!! Honestly, if you want to challenge your body- do this workout. By the time you get to 60 seconds through with only 15 seconds break in between- the pain will be real!

Monday= AB DAY!!
 I'm so proud how far my abs have come in the last few months- not only there occasional appearance but also the fact that I can feel how much stronger my core is and can amaze myself by some of the exercises I can now do that used to leave me crying on the floor! :P
 This session involved another fun challenge- Blogilate's 1000 abs challenge, followed by a medicine ball full body workout and then Fitness Blender's advanced weighted core workout, finishing off with Blogilate's Muffin Top Shredder Song Challenge (my favourite song challenge I think!!)
 This is me being super excited about seeing abs: :P
 As you know I like to train fasted as any food in my belly makes me feel nauseous (especially during intense workouts) and so it's so utterly important for me to get a good brekky into me following such rigorous exercise:
 Enter amazing breakfasts like this:
 A huge creamy, delicious green mango smoothie made with 1/2 large super ripe frozen mango, 1 frozen banana, 1 handful frozen zucchini, 5 chunks frozen spinach, 3 scoops greek yoghurt and a splash of water, along with a BIG heaping of mixed nuts (brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds and cashews)- absolutely perfect!!
 Tuesday featured another fav of mine: HIIT and run:
 Judging by the face you can probably tell it was a good one!!
This involved 2 Fitness Blender short HIIT workouts (a regular HIIT and a jump rope HIIT) followed by a 40-45min 7km slow recovery run- hit. the. spot:
 See, I'm happy really ^^ :P

Finally that brings us to today's workout before rest day which finished out the session quite similarly to how we started; with some weights:
 Today was more chest focused, still starting and ending with 12 full body barbell lifts but with a heck of a lot more bench presses, push-ups, dumbell flies, rows etc.
 The best parts about weights for me is seeing just how strong and capable I am. It makes me feel powerful and I truly love that feeling! Hence why I love adding it to my workout routine!!
 It's also pretty cool to see my muscles growing and my body transforming into a strong, powerful girl woman!
 BOOM:
 Again, refueling with the best:
 Berry cheesecake oats made with 1 cup rolled oats, 1 sliced banana, 1 handful frozen berries, 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, 3/4 cup water- stirred over medium heat until absorbed (vigorously at the end for fluffiness and to fully incorporate banana) 2 scoops greek yoghurt stirred in at end and topped and tailed with crunchy peanut butter, coconut nut butter in the middle- NOM!

And all my other meals during the day have been filled with all the good stuff like these two dinners:
 Huge bowl of steamed veg (pumpkin, potato, broccoli, brussels, peas and chickpeas)

And this toasted roasted veggie sourdough seeded roll:
 Spread with hommus, topped with spinach, roasted pumpkin, parsnip, potato, white sweet potato, beetroot and swede- sooooo delicious!!
 Toasted up until golden and crispy in a sandwich press:
 So yes, that is what a typical work-out week looks like for me and I utterly love it! Something different every single day to keep my body guessing and challenging and testing my limits- keeps my body strong, keeps my mind strong and ultimately leaves me feeling like this:
Which is how every workout should!!

Your turn:
What was your favourite workout from the week?
Lifitng weights? Are you a fan?
Fav way to eat roasted veggies? I'm keen to try whazzing them up into a smoothie- I saw it on Instagram and now I'm intrigued- will get back to you on that one!!!

I hope you found today's post interesting and helpful! I just want to ensure you are working out for the pure pleasure and blessing of being able to move your body and enjoy it!! Have yourself a wonderful day, do something you love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!!! :D

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Top Breakfast of 2017!!

Hi there friendly faces and brace yourselves for a recipe that will change your life.

A recipe so delicious it will make you question your sanity in choosing to waste so many years of your life starting your day with a bowl of bland cereal, or dry toast with jam, or- and this pains me to even think about- no breakfast at all!!

This recipe will fill you with so many emotions that you won't know what to do with yourself and leave you with the kind of skepticism that can only be associated with the question; Can this really be good for me?

This recipe is a recipe for hot, gooey, chocolate brownies.

For breakfast.

Oh, and they're high protein, grain free, sugar-free and vegan.

Yep.

Super Fudgey Sweet Potato Protein Brownies

Yep, you read that right; the sneaky, secret ingredient in these bad boys that make them the wonder brownie they are is in fact steamed and mashed white sweet potato.
Now, if you've ever eaten steamed/ roasted white sweet potato on its own you would know the rich, fudge-like texture and beautifully sweet, addictive flavour this variety of sweet potato offers; it's almost as though you are eating a delicious cake... in veggie form!

Which is why I chose to create a brownie using this delicious potato and the results were phenomenal!
Imagine a slightly chewy, golden, crunchy crust, encasing the most fudgey, warm, gooey middle filled with rich chocolate flavours and incredible sweetness that doesn't overpower the brownies but only adds to the moreish factor!

As you can see by the above pictures, I decided to pair these bad boys with some berry froyo to cut through that richness and sweetness with a nice tangy berry punch! To make, I simply placed 1 large handful frozen mixed berries into the Vitamix with 1 handful frozen zucchini and 2 scoops greek yoghurt and whazzed on high until smooth and creamy:


And now, what you've all been truly waiting for; THE BROWNIES!!
Ingredients:
3/4 cup steamed and mashed white sweet potato
1 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder (I use the Sunwarrior brand)
1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 heaped tablespoon nut butter (I used crunchy peanut butter)
2 pitted dates
Splash of almond milk
Method:
1.Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper
2. Place everything in a blender/ food processor (again, I just used the Vitamix) and process until smooth and combined
3. Use a spoon to scoop out balls of the mix (should be sticky but roll-able) and roll into balls, flatten onto baking tray to make individual brownie bites
4. Bake in oven for 15-20 mins (maybe longer depending on your oven) until slightly hard and golden and top (ensures that delicious chewy crust!)
5. Remove from oven, cool slightly and then enjoy (you know mine didn't cool for very long!!)

Enjoyed with my berry froyo- this truly was a breakfast to remember!
A breakfast filled with veggies, protein, fibre, healthy fats, so many vitamins and minerals- you feel like it's a dessert, but your body is thanking you for it!
As are your taste buds!!!
I literally had a smile on my face eating these brownie bites for breakfast and I knew I couldn't not share the recipe with you ASAP..

I've done blackbean brownies, chickpea blondies and avocado brownie bites, but these guys take the cake brownie!!
There's something about the smoother, creamier, fudgier texture that truly makes these bites so mouthwatering and addicting and I think I have that amazing white sweet potato to thank for that one.
But seriously, brownies for breakfast, you know you have to do this.

Your turn:
What has been the best brekky of the year so far for you?
Brownies- favourite add-ins/ ways to make them extra special?
Favourite way to eat sweet potato?

I hope you enjoyed this post and give this recipe a try because you need this in your life!!

Have yourself a truly epic day, do at least one thing you LOVE and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D






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