Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Upping My Calorie Intake

Hey there cool potatoes!

Because potatoes are cool in fact.

And so are you.

Thus, the calling you of cool potatoes.



Ok, now onto the topic of today's post. If you're an avid reader of Steph 2 Chef or simply know a lot about me (for whatever reason... :P), you would be aware that over the passed few months I have been slowly- and safely, for that matter; that should be understood above all else; I have done this so my body can handle it and not die/ get injured :)- increasing my workouts in both length, intensity and all-round crushing it abilities!

My long runs have gotten longer, my HIIT workouts more intense for longer with minimal breaks, the weights increasing every time I feel a new sense of strength in my arms/ legs/ back/ whatever it is that is lifting said weight. You name it; I've been upping it!

And the reason for all that is because it simply feels right by my body. My body is at a season in life where it wants to be pushed, it thrives on the challenge of doing one more rep, or lifting a much heavier weight, or pushing itself to limits I didn't even think existed inside me!

So, yes, I've been upping it on the workout stakes and with that comes an appetite that pales in comparison to what I thought was a monstrous one prior to my increased workouts.

Again, if you know me, you know I eat. I need to eat. My body is an eating machine and more than once have I shocked a friend or peer by the sizeable amount of food entering ma belly!

So, what happens to a girl with an extraordinary appetite who decides that weight lifting is super fun?? She experiences a ravenous rumble that she never thought possible. I'm telling you friends, this new level of hunger brought about by an increase in my muscle mass; it's extraordinary and at first, i just didn't get it.

I would continue to eat normally, constantly tormented by thoughts of food, merely an hour after eating a meal, waking up extremely empty and ravenous and yet still powering through another workout and almost feeling guilty if I added an extra snack/ portion to my meal because I never needed that much before.

Come on Steph; wise up!! The level and intensity of workouts I'm doing now requires a heck of a lot more energy to power through, prevent injury and most of all make my workouts enjoyable and not ridiculously hard and exhausting. That and the amount of training I was doing, coupled with the level of hunger I was ignoring, probably meant that all those possible gains I had been wanting in my muscle mass was going straight to waste as the body was consuming my muscle just to live!

Let me paint you a picture:

When you come out of a workout looking like this:
 You need to ensure you refuel with enough food to sustain your muscle mass, promote energy throughout the day and recover like a boss so that you can come back swinging' for your next sesh! (always the hardest after leg day!!)

And so, I have been making it my mission over the last week or so to truly hone in on my hunger signals, to listen to the bod and feed it increased calories (be that extra food, or just more calorically dense meals) with higher protein as well as all those other essential food groups.

Especially breakfast; because they are not only my first-meal-of-the-day post fasting through the night, but also function as my post-workout recovery meal to help my body heal up and be energised for the day ahead:

 Here we have a BIG bowl of blueberry cheesecake oats with Mayvers Mixed Nut Butter on the bottom, crunchy PB in the middle and more mixed nut butter on top (I need even coverage of nut butter throughout my oats for optimal oat-eating enjoyment!
 With the goodness of rolled oats, banana, blueberries, almond milk, greek yoghurt and nut butter, this substantial meal ticks so many boxes being high in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats- win, win, win!!!
 You can find the recipe for this bad boy here :)
 if it's not oats to fuel the hungry muscles than it will most likely feature some type of smoothie in there somewhere:
 This was a super delicious brekky featuring gingerbread oat balls (recipe to come) with a mango banana creamy green smoothie- so much goodness in one meal!!
 Into the Vitamin went 1 large frozen banana, 1 handful frozen mango, 1 large handfuls spinach, 3 scoops greek yoghurt, splash of water- whaz!
 Lunches have been no different as the mornings now usually feature a good long study sesh and thus a workout for the mind which requires a post-workout meal just the same!!
 ALL the steamed veggies with a torn up chickpea veggie patty.
 And when I say all the steamed veggies, I mean it- there were so many veggies in here!! Definitely filled me up this one! Pumpkin, parsnip, swede, sweet potato, white potato, carrot.

Funny story with this lunch:
 On this particular day, I had hit legs. HARD. And decided to refuel with an epic protein smoothie (coming up!) however, I didn't include any nut butter or oats in said epic smoothie and thus the hunger come lunch time (where I conveniently moved lunch time to 11am) was out-of-this-world.
 Thus this magical creation of who-even-knows-what's-in-there came about. I literally threw some microwave brown and red rice into a bowl with a tin of baked beans, some frozen peas, chopped tomatoes, spinach, hommus, a bucket of nutritional yeast and a sprinkle of water into a bowl and microwaved it all up for around 3-4 mins until warmed through and cheesey- tomato-y goodness had resulted!

It filled me right up and conquered that hunger bug... for a couple of hours at least! :P

And dinners:

So far from my workout at 5:30am I shouldn't even be hungry am I right??


Your body is constantly healing and repairing loooong after you've wiped the sweat of your face from your workout and my hunger levels are direct evidence of that!
 A substantial serving of steamed greens (including the stem of the broccoli- so good!!) with a baked sweet tater with a BIG dollop of nut butter- because a small dollop is downright...racist. Yep.
 Dinner also happens to be my pre-workout too. No I do not head on out to the gym at ridiculous hours of the night in my jimmies for workout #2 of the day, I'm not that crazy... yet. :P
Nope, this is the meal that will take me through to the morning when I do my fasted workout (my preference; food in the tummy makes me feel ill- everyones different!) and smash my goals even more!!

Finally, whenever you see a picture like this:

Which just so happens to be the glorious big protein smoothie I mentioned above; know that the amount you see in the jar is usually only half of the smoothie, the other half that didn't fit eaten straight from the Vitamix with a spoon as I try and shush the hunger monster.

To make this bad boy I simply popped 2 large frozen bananas, 1 handful frozen zucchini, 1/2 frozen avocado, 2 handfuls spinach, 3 big scoops greek yoghurt, 1 scoop Sunwarrior choc protein powder, 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder, dash of cinnamon and some water into the Vitamin and whizzed until smooth- so thick, so creamy and so so so delicious.... plus all those delicious extra scoops straight form the blender (pictured smoothie in freezer thickening up whilst I finish it off.

Now, onto my last point; post dinner, I always eat a little something. It may be out of habit, it may be to finally quieten the hunger bug, it may just be because I enjoy food and food should be enjoyed, but after dinner I will always have either some dark chocolate, a cup of ice cold soy milk, some raw mixed nuts or dates/ figs. Whatever it be, it makes me happy and again; fuelled for the day ahead!!

Aaaand that's that on the Steph having to eat more than she used to which was ridiculous in the first place!!:P

Your turn:
Do you go through seasons of your life where you are just so much more ridiculously hungry? How do you cope?
Best way to quell your hunger when it's just out-of-control??
Favourite breakfast of the moment?

I hope you enjoyed this read, it's something that's been on my mind recently as I eat and eat and can't seem to control the hunger levels! Also, I hope you have a glorious rest of your day, do something fun, smile lots and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Sunday, 23 October 2016

When Clean Eating Becomes Obsessive

Hi there friendly friends!

I hope you are having an awesome day and if not, eat something incredibly delicious that your body will thank you for and that should do the trick in making the day a little more on the awesome side.

Alright, all necessary intros aside, today I wanted to talk about something a little more on the serious side of things and a little closer to me, personally.

Clean eating.

This idea that by eating certain foods, one's diet can be described as clean. This obviously leaves the opposite and opposing diet not containing these foods or in fact containing other foods along with said 'clean foods', as one that is 'dirty'.
Through a quick internet search of clean-eating, sparked by my curiosity of the types of things that would pop up from such a search, the amount of do's and don'ts and rules and regulations and lists of suitable foods and lists of 'dirty' 'unhealthy' 'life-threatening' (yep, even this word appeared in the search) flooded my screen and I was suddenly quite overwhelmed by all the 'advice' and 'ways to eat for health' that were available on the internet from a quick google search.
Now, I've touched on this before in previous posts where I have brought up my own personal struggles with the recently acknowledged eating disorder of Orthorexia Nervosa, whereby the prospect of only filling my body with 'clean' acceptable foods free from processing, added sugars, saturated fats, white flour, dairy etc. etc. and any of the other 'bad things' I'd come to fear with a gnawing feeling in my gut when I'd be put in a situation that would require me to consume such foods.

What a way to live huh? Always thinking about your next meal and what you can/ can't eat, what you've already eaten that day, so what you should eat at your next meal, making sure you are having a salad at lunch because you know you are going out with friends to a restaurant for dinner and are ordering the vegetarian wok with noodles (there's no way you could go for the pizza, even if it's veto because of all that white flour, salt, cheese- oh my!), packing pre-made meals to almost every outing you go, turning down invites to go out because it's during a meal time and not having the control over the food choices is a panic attack just waiting to happen.

To some, this may seem unimaginable, preposterous, how-the-heck-can-anyone-live-like-this!?! But I did and I know for a fact that many, many other people like me have to or are still living like this. Trust me when I say I am not fully recovered from my orthorexia mentality because it is something that does stay with someone in the back of their mind and pop up in times of weakness. It is the ability to squash that voice out and love yourself that shows the strength and journey you have come on.

So what in the world sparked that kind of thinking in me and in so many other people in our society today?? Unfortunately I would have to say it is the rise of the new, highly popularised and religiously followed lifestyle known as Clean Eating.
You log onto Instagram and one search of the tag; Clean Eating will offer you hundreds, if not thousands of accounts dedicated purely to the lifestyle of eating clean, offering a myriad of pictures of bright fresh veggies, green smoothies, healthy alternatives to your 'devilish favourites'.
Oh, yes, some watermelon pizza is just what I feel like when I was just about to go out and order some thick crust, cheese pizza. Not.

Anywho, I need to make this clear also (because the above comments might appear a little harsh.. maybe I'm just hungry... who knows! :P) I love these Intagrammers and their accounts of beautifully fresh and abundant foods and recipes and new takes on ways to make traditional dishes and heck I've done all those things myself.

The issue occurs winsome of the posts feature words like; Always eat this many veggies a day to be happy. Make sure you cut out so-and-so to lead a healthy fulfilling life. Never eat this. Eat this daily. Cut this out forever. These global and demanding statements are the ones that stick with me. That push the competitive, perfectionist inside of me to follow to a T and to be the 'perfect eater' I know I can be.

So I never eat this. So I eat that every day. So I cut this from my diet entirely. So I ensure I always make a healthy substitute for whatever I'm feeling like. So I stop living my life the way I want to.

Clean Eating can be a truly beneficial and abundant way of living... if you don't submerge yourself in a pool of rules and regulations and lists of foods and times of eating and restrictions when going out. Clean eating should be a lifestyle one can sustain. But not only that, a lifestyle one can enjoy. And if that means you go out for pizza with the girls, or have an ice cream after dinner with the family, or laugh over a bag of skittles when trying to study for that dreaded test with class mates... than that's ok too.
Gotta love friends! :P

Clean eating becomes an issue when those things become an issue to you. If they can just fly in and out of your day as little funnies that happened and then finished- that's true health!

Again, I am so far from this healthy way of living and still find myself tormented by what I should/ shouldn't eat and so my challenge as I head on into adult-hood and out of the highly structured and protective-ness of school is to truly start living my life because my experience with 'clean eating' has done the exact opposite.

I want to be able to go out with friends when I want and eat what I want. I want to eat abundantly; the fresh fruit and veg I have come to love so much and not think about what vegetable to have because this one has more starch, or I've already had this one today. I want to be able to finally listen tony body and go with what the natural self wants, not the overly stimulated and filled with 'eating facts' brain thinks is right.

And that's why I think clean eating can be extremely beneficial to some people, but also can cross a line with others, like me, who once started, will strive for perfection in all that they do. And unfortunately with clean eating? That takes the fun and life out of living.

Your turn:
What are your thoughts on the current 'clean eating' lifestyle?
How do you ensure a healthy relationship with food?
Best meal you've eaten recently?

I hope you enjoyed reading about my thoughts on this topic. Took it as a little study break and then got really into it- so my mind must be pretty fired up! Have yourself a wonderful day, be kind to yourself and others and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Scrambled Eggs!!... Without The Eggs?

What did the egg do when it saw the frying pan?
It scrambled!




Ok, you know it's ridiculously funny when you're laughing at your own joke.

But in all seriousness, the eggs truly did scramble when I went to whip up my lunch the other day!

You see, I have come across vegan tofu scrambled eggs more times than I will ever be able to count on Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, everywhere!! Tofu scramble is the new avocado craze (although the avo craze is still going proud and strong by my observations!!) and yet I hadn't jumped on board??

Well, my friends, to say I was not much of a fan of scrambled eggs as a kid growing up would be a slight understatement. I would see my sister whip them up for her breakfast toast every morning before school, or my mum scramble the heebie-jeebies out of them for an egg-y dinner and the colour, texture, slimy taste... it just did not do it for me! Poached, fried and boiled for me any day!

But if you have an excellent memory (or are my personal stalker, either way) you may remember this post when I suddenly ended up with the massive craving to whip up some scrambled eggs for lunch one day. And that I did. They hit the spot like nothing else ever has for some reason and so I just went with it.

So that part of the story is to say that I now do not have an irrational disgust of the fluffy pillows of scrambled goodness and now onto the tofu part:

I bought a block of hard tofu at the shops last week.

The end.

But truly, it was just sitting there in my fridge all like; 'Use me up Steph, I'm going to go off if you don't!'

And I was all like; 'Naww, ok little tofu block, I'll put you in a searing hot pan and then digest your little soul until...' Too far??

Anywho, after a morning weights sesh of back and chest which followed a long run day the day before, my body was crying out for one thing and one thing only. Protein. And thus I took it upon myself to remove that lonely little block of tofu from the fridge, give it a little rinse, break it up into ridiculously-similar-in-appearance-to-scrambled-eggs chunks and cooked up my very own version of tofu scrambled 'eggs'
And they didn't turn out too shabby either for an experimental creation!!

So, I thought I'd share the recipe (more like a make-it-up-as-I-go-along type thing) with you guys today so you too can whip up this high protein, highly nutritious, flavoursome, incredibly similar to scrambled eggs in the texture, vegan, oil-free scrambled tofu for yourselves!!

Here we go!

Vegan Oil-free Scrambled Tofu:

1/2 block firm/ hard tofu (approx 125g)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder (the more the better!!)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
optional- any veggies you'd like to add in; I popped in some chopped up green capsicum
1. Heat a non-stick fry-pan over medium heat. Rinse tofu with water and then dry with paper towel.
2. Place spices (not including nutritional yeast) into the heated frypan and stir for a few seconds until fragrant.
3. Using your hands, crumble in the tofu and stir around to coat in spices.
4. Add nutritional yeast, capsicum/ other veggies and a splash of water and then cook, stirring every so often until tofu becomes golden brown in colour and fragrant
5. Remove from pan and serve! Eaten hot/ cold- both amazing!!!
Of course, feel free to add oil instead of water for that richer flavour and healthy fats, however I just wasn't feeling it this particular day and wanted to give the option to everyone that this too can be made oil-free, water works just as well!!
eaten alongside some raw carrot sticks, mini roma tomatoes, sprouted beans and celery sticks, the warming, spicy tofu scramble was most definitely the stand-out of this lunch, but the crisp, fresh veggies added the perfect accompaniment to make that scramble shine!
Filled with so much protein (approximately the same amount as 2 scrambled eggs!), vitamins and minerals and offering the comfort of traditional scrambled eggs (without the butter/ cream/ milk/ cheese/ salt) this truly is a champion go-to meal when you feel like you need that protein boost and hit of deliciousness all in one!
I was quite chuffed with this meal and it definitely satisfied the hunger bug for a good few hours (which can be quite the miracle when it comes to the Steph-hunger-bug!)
Look, I'm not going to lie to you, it doesn't taste like scrambled eggs in the flavour department (how could it, it's not eggs, it has no cheese, or milk...) but the texture is freakishly similar, the warming spices add a hit of flavour no scrambled eggs I've eaten before ever did and even though not a direct copy, tofu scramble is delicious in it's own right- perhaps a more accurate term being tofu crumble/ golden tofu curry bites, whatever you call it, you will be pleasantly surprised by the tastiness that a humble block of tofu can bring to the table! :)
Now over to you:

Have you ever tried tofu scramble?
Favourite add-ins to your tofu-scramble/ egg-scramble?
Ever make scrambled eggs for dinner? I don't know if this was just a thing in my household but eggs on toast was quite the regular for me growing up, as were pancakes... and I loved it!

Alrighty, that's it from me today folks, have yourself a truly lovely day, do something you love, love LOVE to do, give someone a BIG BEAR HUG and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D

Monday, 17 October 2016

Why Half My Workouts Feature Blogilates

Hide ho there friendly friends and happy... Tuesday??

Who really knows what day it is when each day is looking quite the same now in the up-coming to my very last high school exams! Basically wake up, sweat it out, eat some delicious foods, study study study, go to bed. Not much else happens and quite frankly, that is fine for the month or so I have left until it's all over- just temporary and that's what is getting me through!

On the topic of sweating it out, I wanted to talk about something I realised the other day when I was thinking about my current workout schedule.

Recently I've definitely upped the stakes with the intensity, length and quite frankly; sweat-inducing characteristics of my daily sweat sesh's (there is most definitely a rest day thrown in there to recovery though my friends!!) and I have never felt stronger or more capable of so many things ever in my fitness journey (which probably started when I first got into running around 3 years ago when I was 14).

This has included quite the increase in my weight-training sessions (yeah, I used to be one of those cardio bunnies who only really ran... and ran) which has left me feeling so much more powerful and as a side bonus, given me some awesome gains! Leg day and arm training days have become some of my favourite days as i enjoy that slow burn that doesn't require an elevated heart rate to achieve said burn, just the slow torture of lifting the weight up and down (or squatting that weight down and doooowwwwnnn :P). Sure, I still love running, but it definitely is not the main feature of my workout routine anymore- I have a lot more variation now-a-days.

Which leads me onto this: Whilst upping my training, taking on bigger and better challenges, becoming so much stronger, there has been one thing that has remained constant this whole entire time. That is the awesome-ness that is Blogilates.

I first came across Blogilates after doing PurelyTwins workouts (featuring Tabata and HIIT style routines that I instantly fell in love with having only experienced steady state, long runs) and watching some of their videos online. Whilst I loved their stuff so much, I much preferred following along with someone throughout the entire workout than printing off a whole bunch of paper for each different workout (seriously, I had a gigantic stack of PurelyTwins workouts).

So, in the recommended bar along the side I came across the infectiously bubbly, energetic and motivating Cassey Ho and instantly fell in love with Pop Pilates and the challenge it brought to my body, targeting muscles I wasn't even sure I had!!

In the early days I would do one or two of her videos before breakfast/ school, sometimes not even changing out of my PJ's and that was great for me then; just the kind of quick, efficient, heart-pumping workout I was after that still left me so much more toned and strengthened in areas that simply running cannot achieve. My daily Blogilates workouts were around 10-30 minutes long max and I fell in love with fitness all over again.

So, wouldn't one think that in these recent 5 or so months when I've stepped up the ante of my workouts and began focussing more on lifting heavier weights and becoming a heck of a lot stronger, working out for longer, that my quick little Blogilates sessions might just fall down to the way-side??

Oh no, my friends! How you underestimate the power of pilates. Sure, it may seem like an easier, girl-version of a workout, but I dare you to try out one of the Extreme Abs and not end up screaming on the floor (trust me, the screams become less frequent the more times you do it!). Blogilates hashuge range of workouts from beginners to more intermediate to insanely challenging 100x burpees burnouts. So to say I'd become bored and not challenged... yeah not gonna happen.

It's when you start doing more of the tougher, more advanced workouts that you come to realise just how strong Cassey herself is and how powerful and challenged you can be through these pilates based workouts.

When I said that leg day and arm day were on my top favourites for my workout sessions, that was just under my Blogilates days, where recently I've been known to go for about 1 1/2- 2 hours straight of doing her videos because I love them so much and that's how far my fitness has taken me. I could end up completing the equivalent of 3 HIIT sessions doing a range of her videos and not even realise it as she ALWAYS keeps you on your toes, brings new moves to every video and creates a fun and exciting challenge that leaves you motivated, excited and surprisingly sweaty!!
 The sweat is real my friends!!

On days when I want to run, but not looooong distances, but still want that burn and challenge, I simply complete a tough Blogilates HIIT workout prior to a run (you will be sweating, believe me!) and then I just pop on my shoes and head out. If you want to feel the burn, that is how you do it. On days when I want an epic leg workout but maybe not all those weights crowding up the place, I'll do a leg PIIT
which stands for Pilates Intense Interval Training and goes for about 30 minutes, plus a ton of her other challenging leg and thigh videos and by the end of the sesh, my legs will feel just as jellylike, if not more, had I been using the weights!
Post HIIT + run ^^
To give you an actual insight; today's workout looked a little something like this:

It was cardio ab day and I simply did an 8 minute cardio workout, followed by a 10 minute ab workout, 6 minute oblique workout, 2x ab PIIT,
 an extreme abs (I did number one- still so hard!! Snow bunny blast cardio workout, another ab video, an oblique song challenge, a stability ball ab workout (approx 12 mins) and finished off with my current favourite Blogilates video: Cardio beat (definitely recommend trying it out; it's just so gosh darn fun!!) finished everything off with some skipping and by then; I was done! But seriously, this is the state of my happiness just after:

Cassey is probably one of my ultimate role models because not only does she motivate me on the daily to move my booty, but she promotes so much good health, body positivity and simply loving-life mantras that she really does offer the entire package and the fact that she posts all of these videos to YouTube for free.. it doesn't get much better than that!

So, yes, that is the long-winded answer as to why Blogilates workouts still make up probably more than half of my entire fitness regime and why I absolutely love it!!

Your turn:
What's your favourite workout of the minute?
Morning or night or in the middle of the day workouts?
Favourite fitness YouTuber you follow?

I hope you found this a little interesting and perhaps even give Blogilates a go (because it really is just so much fun!). As usual; be kind to your body, be kind to others, do something you love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Shari's Berries Are Back!

Hidy-ho there folks and welcome back to the blog all about food, fitness, health an happiness!! Plus a little bit of random here and there. And sometimes some chats entirely dedicated to nut butters. Or just running. Sometimes I just ramble. On and on and on and on and on...

Alrighty- so moving right along!!

You may recall this post from a while back from the wonderful Shari's Berries on the importance and benefits of eating fruits in season along with an awesome chart showcasing the different fruits that are best suited to each season and taste their best when naturally grown and eaten then.

Fresh produce tastes so so so much better when eaten at the right time as that was how nature intended it, and let's be real, nature knows what it's doing. I have no doubt in my mind that the reason majority of kids dislike fresh produce is because they have only tried out of season stuff for the first time, experiencing a bland, watery, taste-less experience and deciding they don't like blueberries, or apricots, or plums, when if they had tried these sensational, incredible-tasting foods at their prime, I would guarantee they would have a significant change of heart!!

Anywho, the lovely Julissa who contacted me previously about the seasonal fruit chart (seriously, guys it is soooo helpful!!) sent through another email for me, this time with a chart (just as beautiful as the first) with an additional step-by-step picture guide on how to store fresh strawberries!
Now, I'll pass over the stage to Julissa who wrote up this great intro for the chart below:

Finding fresh and organic berries at your local market is always great. They look so good that you want to enjoy them right away but, perhaps you would like to save some for later as well.  Did you know there are several storage methods for strawberries that will help keep them fresh for up to two weeks? 

Shari's Berries created a helpful guide on how to store strawberries which includes 5 different methods -- and even two simple freezing ideas for later use such as smoothie bowls or sweet treats! The good news is that these methods work for any type of berry so you can enjoy them all year long!

This is another super helpful graph that makes preparing and keeping strawberries so easy to follow and with a step-by-step guide on the blog too- definitely a winner in my book (quite the visual learner I am!) And also; keeping strawberries for up to 2-weeks, without having to freeze/ dry out/ make into jam! Yes please, I always fall into the trap of buying way too many berries and trying to scoff them all down in the first few days before they start to get a little too ripe; so if I can prolong that time a bit more- naturally- that would be amazing!!

Now, thankfully for me, I have had the opportunity to taste berries when they are in season and have experienced that incredible taste myself which is why I'm so so thankful we are finally coming back into Summer here in Aus, so I can go back to enjoying my fresh strawberries, watermelon, mangoes, grapes- you name it, all the fruit I love!

Look, apples are great and all, but there are only so many apples one can eat in a week before the taste because a little on the... ordinary side.. :)

Alrighty, I hope you found this chart as helpful as I did and be sure to head on over to Shari's Berries blog to find heaps more articles with such great info laid out in such a colourful and appealing way!

Your turn:
What's your favourite Summer fruit?
What's your go to use for strawberries?
Any tips/ tricks about storing fresh food that I NEED to know about??

I hope you all have a lovely rest of your day, do something you love, do something kind for someone else and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D

Sunday, 9 October 2016

A Day In The Life!

Hide-ho there friendly friends and welcome to one of my favourite posts to not only read from other bloggers, but also to write up for you guys! It's A DAY IN THE LIFE post!! Yayyy!!

I don't know what makes posts like this and others similar (What I Ate Wednesday/ Weekly Workouts, Friday Favourites) but I think in the end it's about finding that motivation and inspiration from others so you too might try some new things out and maybe experience something great that you never would have tried out before reading about it/ watching a YouTube video (currently so obsessed with Diana Malloy's Diet Diaries- she's just so funny and I love her videos!!

Anywho, as I said, I love writing up these posts, I hope you guys like reading them and if you want any particular posts, just let me know in the comments or shoot me an email and I'll be sure to give it a go!

So, without further a-do, this is a typical day in my life, where I'm no longer at school, rather at home preparing for my final examinations of my high-schooling!!

5am- Mornings usually start out pretty early for me, as I'm just one of those natural early-rises and when I'm up, I'm up folks!! my mind is awake, my body is awake and I'm ready to go! I've never been able to just tuck back up into bed for a few more hours (1. I would be wide awake tucked up in bed which leads on to; 2. I would be ravenous lying there wide awake in bed) so instead i just sort of go with whatever time my body has decided to wake me up with on the day and power through with a  nice little early morning workout...

And when I say little, you know I mean super sweaty-hot-mess-Steph-inducing workout :P.

After waking up around 5, frequenting the bathroom, chugging down some water, making my bed (yeah, I know...) curtains drawn, hair brushed and pulled up into a tight pony, jammy's off, workout gear on, I swing down the stairs to tackle the day's session which just so happens to be LEG DAY!!!
I secretly love leg day because that burn is so real!! And so is the sweat dripping down my face as I am on my last set of calf raises with the heavy (not sure what weight) barbell on my shoulders... in a low-wide-squat. Yep. Try that out for fun!
My leg-day workouts are usually around 1 hour-isa (sometimes a bit shorter, sometimes an hour and a half, sort of depending on how long my breaks needed to be/ how strong and powerful and energetic I was feeling on the day. This particular one was a 90 minuter I think and my legs were J.E.L.L.Y afterwards!!

7:30am- finish off the workout with some full body, deadlift, to low squat (x8... again another killer) and move to the bathroom to wash my face. Then I flow into the kitchen on my slightly shaking legs and plan out whats it going to be for brekky!! As I prefer to workout on an empty stomach, breakfast is utterly essential to ensure all those weights and squats etc. actually form into muscle. I also try and consume it pretty soon after my workout for quicker recovery.

Breakfast finally ready, this particular day's deliciousness involved some freshly-baked choc nut butter granola with a big banana-mango green smoothie- favourite breakfast of late!
For the granola I simply placed 2 tablespoons of Mayversfood choc nut butter into a small bowl with 1/3 cup almond milk and microwaved for around 20 seconds until warmed through. Then into a bigger bowl I popped 3/4 cup rolled oats, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 large handful wholegrain, reduced-sugar cheerios, some maca powder and then rubbed in the warmed nut butter and almond milk.

Placed on a baking tray lined with baking paper and into the oven at 180 degrees celsius for around 15 mins until fragrant and crunchy on the outside!!
The smoothie was simply 1 large frozen banana, 1 large handful frozen mango chunks, 1 large handful frozen zucchini, lots of kale and spinach, greek yoghurt and a splash of water- whizzed up until smooth and deliciously creamy- SO GOOD!
I love enjoying the separate crunchy, rich flavour of the granola (as well as eating it straight form the oven and not worrying about melting the smoothie) and then the cool, refreshing, thick, creamy smoothie to pair it off perfectly!
Truly delicious:

8:30am after eating breakfast and scrolling through Instagram and Facebook and checking emails and the like, I head on upstairs to take a shower as my hair is a sweaty, truly mess and I am a sweaty mess, thus for the sake of the people involved in my day I shall clean thyself!

9:00am Showered, cleaned, dressed, teeth brushed and this is the time I usually post something to Instagram and then get on with the day!

This day featured a trip to the shops to hand in some resumes for a Summer job because 3-ish months of nothing after exams is going to become pretty dull without one! So hopefully I can land something for that break, if not I shall have to think of something else.

I also head up to the library to get some reading stuff to keep me occupied in this little break (around 3 weeks before WACE).

12:15 I have lunch at around 12:15pm today because I am quite hungry, surprise, surprise and today's lunch featured some oven roasted veg with lots of steamed peas layered throughout:
This bowl featured roasted pumpkin, parsnip, sweet potato, regular potato, beetroot and swede- simply coated in extra virgin olive oil and roasted in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for around 50 minutes to an hour.
I have an absolute obsession with roasted veggies and probably consume roast veggies at least 4 times a week- roasted pumpkin is my weakness! That texture and flavour though!!
After lunch, as I am not starting up my study routine again until after graduation (I don't want to burn out before my final exams!) I use this time to just do what I want to do, so the afternoon is typically pretty chilled, involving watching some netflix, possibly typing up a blog post, scrolling through Instagram, reading a book/ magazine and anything else I think to do.

I pretty much did all those things on this day and it was fabulous!

3:30pm This is typically when I get hungry again and thus my still all-time favourite afternoon snack of fruit entails and I enjoy every single bite!

As I'm a creature of habit, I always eat my snack watching my favourite YouTubers... one of my guilty pleasures/ favourite times of the day.

4:30pm- 5:15pm Now I always get really cold for some reason, so it is shower time once again, head upstairs, shower, change into comfy, warm pyjamas and head on down to the kitchen to prepare whatever it is I am making for dinner!

Dinner typically occurs around 6:30-6:45pm for me and my family and tonight I was feeling super lazy and decided to whip up a 5-minute dinner. No exaggeration:
This rice bowl featured a microwave packet of rice and quinoa, some chopped capsicum, celery, chickpeas, tomato, spinach and nutritional yeast-all mixed together and then microwaved for 4-5 mins until everything is heated through and tender:
Super simple and sooooo delicious!! My favourite type of dinner!
After dinner there pretty much is always a guaranteed after-dinner snack/ dessert as I need to ensure I am properly fuelled for whatever workout I've planned for the next morning!! Or maybe I just always need a little something extra after dinner :P. Either way- Tonights dessert featured two pieces of Lindt 90% cocoa chocolate (so creamy my friends!) and some ice-cold refreshing soy milk- deeee-licious!

7:00pm- 8:30/9:00pm After dinner I take my magnesium tablet and head upstairs to watch some telly and typically zone out and also typically doze off at around 8:30 wish where I finally manage to get up and take myself to my bed for some much-needed sleep time! Yep, early to bed, early to rise (definitely not a night-owl!!)

Aaaand thats a typical day-in-the-life for me, I am a creature of routine but do find that I sometimes need to switch things up to keep me from getting down/ anxious. Change is good my friends- I need to keep telling myself that!!

I also love looking back at these posts to see just how much has changed in my day-to-day life over the months/ years, kinda cool to have that stored away to look back on!

Ok, that's enough rambling from me- gosh this post is a lot longer than anticipated- props to you if you made through the whole thing! now tell me:

What's a typical morning look like for you?
When do you prefer to fit in your workout?
favourite no-fuss dinner? Rice/pasta bowls, or toasted sandwiches etc. are usually the go for me! Yum!

Alrighty, I hope you have an awesome day, do something you love to do, smile lots, be kind to everyone and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D
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