Monday, 5 December 2016

Leg Day, Dessert For Breakfast And Exploring!

Hidy-do there folks and welcome back to the place we can chat about food, fitness, fun and everything else in between.. also known as my blog.

Today's post is a little like a Hollywood blockbuster, if you will. A little bit of everything; action, romance, comedy... well actually food, fitness and sun, like I mentioned above. I recently received an invitation to share some of my favourite spots around Perth and I thought to myself; Heck yes! Perth's awesome, let's showcase some of my fav places to visit!

But before we get into that, here's a little recap of how my morning went so far (the fitness and food before the fun! :P)

Today is Tuesday (yep, well done Steph) and thus I sort of went against my standard routine of #Legday Monday by doing a brutal, jelly-fying legday today! So... Legday Tuesday?!

Here are my beautiful Instagrams to showcase the love I have for this day:

(If you aren't following me on Instagram, well let me just tell you- you are missing out on all the EPICNESS that is my wall. Sorry! Rectify this insanity by checking out @steph2chef! :P :P)

1000 squats, deadlifts, more squats, lunges, single-legged deadlifts, box jumps, chair stands, more squats and a lot of scrunching up my face and grunting later- my legs were thoroughly worked!

And so it was time to head on into the kitchen to make some FOOD to refuel those fatigued muscles!!

Which is where I found this lovely lass (otherwise known as my mother) sporting full pink as I rocked the full black- opposites!!

Anywho, for brekky I made up these delicious bites of awesome-ness:
 That I like to call; No-bake vanilla protein chickpea blondies!
 With a side of mixed berry and zucchini fro-yo for that refreshing hit of creamy fruitiness!
 And to whip them up? SUUUPER simple! Just pop 3/4 cup rinsed and drained chickpeas, 3/4 cup rolled oats, 1 heaped tablespoon crunchy peanut butter (or any nut butter/ spread), 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder, 1 teaspoon maca powder (optional), splash of almond milk- whaz up until smooth!
 Then I simply scooped out portions and rolled into balls, flattening into squares for the typical blondie shape and then popping in the freezer on a plate to firm up a bit (probably 15-20mins) taste-testing along the way of course (this girl was HUNGRRRYYY!!)
 The fro-yo was simply a handful of frozen zucchini, a handful of frozen mixed berries and 3 big spoons of greek yoghurt, whazzed up until smooth and creamy- popped in a cup and into the freezer for around the same amount of time as the blondies :D.
 But seriously guys, if you ever want to eat rich, sweet, vanilla flavoured, fudge-like blondies for breakfast and not just 1 or 2 but 6!!!! Then whip up this recipe- it is so so good and filled with so much goodness too!
 Especially post-workout, this meal is filled with protein from the protein powder, chickpeas, nut butter and greek yoghurt- your muscles will be mighty happy and recovery will be optimised!
 Soft, chewy, delicious bites of joy:
 The ultimate way to start the day:
Fitness, food and now onto the fun!

So if you didn't know already, I am an Aussie born and bred girl and so thanks to the email from Cara, I think it's about time I rattled off some of my favourite places to adventure to in Perth (because Perth is filled with so many awesome sites and activities)

First and foremost: Hillary's Boat Harbour:
A harbour for boats filled with restaurants, shops, small beaches, fish, arcades, a ridiculous amount of ice cream shops and smiling people and families everywhere you go- a truly awesome place to visit!

Next up we have Rottnest Island which is a short ferry ride out of Perth and is home to some of the most unique and amazing flora and fauna in the world!
Including this litte guy- the quokka (the reason Rottnest was called Ratsnest when it was first discovered- explorers thinking the island was filled with rats!)

Fremantle is also a favourite of mine to visit:
Filled with so many hidden gems of restaurants and market places (Freo farmers markets- the best!!) where you can buy anything from huge, freshly-made cinnamon doughnuts, to lavender scented bath salts- not to mention some of the best vegan and hipster cafes I've been to!
Health Freak Cafe will always be one of my favourite cafes to visit in Perth, offering so many different optiona for every dietary type:
As well as Voyage restaurant -right near the beach and offering some of the best foods I've ever tasted!
And on my wishlis this Summer: To go hiking in the John Forrest Reserve- looks so amazing!!
Ultimately though, the place I will most probably be day-in day-out here in my amazing Perth is the beach!
Perth beaches are incredibly beautiful and I live pretty much next door to it, so that will be the main place I'll be visiting this Summer!!

If you want more details about how to book tickets for local events in your area, click here!!

Alrighty! What a post! I'm sure you're totally overwhelmed by this Hollywood blockbuster and I would be utterly impressed if you made it all the way to the end!

Your turn:
What's your favourite workout of the moment? I'm loving all of Fitness Blenders workouts right now- so fun and challenging!
Favourite breakfast of recently? This guy takes out the ranks!!
Favourite place to visit in your home town? Paint me a picture of what it's like!!

Have yourself a truly awesome day, do something you love to do, be with those you love, smile lots and, as always, EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D :D

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Brekky Round-up!

Hey guys! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared with you what I’ve been loving on lately in the breakfast front- and as you all know; breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day but just so happens to be my utterly favourite meal of the day.
For whatever reason, breakfast time is when my creativity is at it’s peak, my stomach is at its growliest and thus my creations/ random throw-together-of-ingredients-that-I-call-recipes appear
 Like for example, these super choc protein oat balls- the recipe can be found on my Instagram and I definitely recommend giving a try! (Insta name; Steph2chef)

Recently there have been quite the number of tasty delights to start my day (honestly, how can people skip this ridiculously delicious time of the day!?!) and yes, most of them mimic the taste of some kind of decadent dessert or another because that’s just the things my body seems to crave when I wake up in the morning (savoury brekky, nah, I’ll pass.)

So, what exactly have I been noshing on for brekky

Well, do you remember that time I went through the ‘cookies for breakfast’ phase? One morning I woke up and had the most intense desire for one of those muesli-esque, warm, crispy, chewy oven-baked breakfast cookies and then this resulted:

 Super quick and super easy- I literally just throw around 3/4 muesli into a bowl with some cinnamon and then some warmed up pb and almond milk (a heaped tablespoon PB and 1/2 cup almond milk) and stir together- onto baking tray, into oven at 180 degrees celsius for around 15 mins (until golden) and then nom!!

Utterly delicious, filled with all the good stuff and a perfect way to start off the day!
Eaten alongside some refreshing and creamy mango froyo (frozen mango, frozen zucchini, greek yoghurt whazzed up until smooth and creamy)  it truly was a perfect breakfast!

Now, my two other obsessions came back strong these past few weeks as well: Oats and green smoothies!

 So many variations happening over here but these delightful beauty (that I just so happened to whip up today following arm-day- hence filled with protein!!) has taken the ranks as my favourite yet; A huge vanilla protein banana green smoothie!! 2 large frozen bananas, handful frozen zucchini, 4 chunks frozen spinach, 2 big scoops greek yoghurt, 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder, 1 heaped tablespoon crunchy PB- whazzed up in the Vitamix until smooth thick and creamy delicious!!
 And yes, this was basically just half the amount I made... the rest was eaten staright from the blender- perfect! :D :D
If I didn’t wake up craving the refreshing, creamy, thick, volumous delight of a green smoothie:

Than the body decided to wake up craving a big bowl of hearty, wamr, gooey, sweet oats, of whatever flavour:
 Like these gloriously pink cherry cheesecake oats filled with oats, 1 thinly sliced banana, frozen cherries, almond milk, water- cooked up on the stove until absorbed and thick and then somew greek yoghurt stirred through at the end- NOM!
 Crucnhy PB layered throughout (even coverage my friends!!)
 And lovingly devoured!

 Chocolate oats are probably one of the most decadent breakfasts I have during the week because they atste just so rich, gooey and fudgey that it just feels like your eating a fudge brownie warmed up and served to you with fresh bananas and love:
 But these guys are filled with protein, fibre, wholegrains, antioxidants and very minimal fat/ sugar etc.
 With an ingredient list of rolled oats, sliced banana, raw cacao powder, vegan choc protein powder, cinnamon, almond milk and water- greek yoghurt stirred in at the end- this brekky is almost too good to be true!
 Note the almost! :P :D

I think it must be a texture thing whereby my body flicks from creamy and slurp-able to thick, warm, gooey oats eaten with a spoon and nut butter drizzled throughout, melty along the warm oats, creating a pool of the most deliciously nutty taste.
 These simple banana oats made with rolled oats, sliced banana, maca powder, cinnamon, almond milk and water truly hit the spot the other day and the simple banana slices and pb throughout just topped it off perfectly!

Of course there have been some other experiments involving not smoothies or oats or cookies such as these delicious vanilla mint protein balls (throw-back whoo!!)
 Original recipe can be found here

Eaten alongside a delicious cherry smoothie for another perfectly refreshing pairing.

 As these are make-ahead and you simply pop them in the freezer until you want them- brekky can come together in no time at all (sometimes just what I need after my fasted morning workouts that leave me a little on the... HANGRY MONSTER side!! :P
 Just leave to thaw for around 15-30mins (depending on how soft you want them) and them nom them right up!

 High protein, filling fats, sweet, delicious and oh-so-good-for-you, what more could you want??
 I had a few other breakfasts tp share with you but I have noticed this post getting a little on the lengthier side, so I shall save those up for another day!

In the mean time- keep eating glorious, delicious foods that nourish your body and your soul and make sure you make your next brekky a great one!

Your turn:
What did you eat for brekky today?
Sweet or savoury breakfast?
Favourite dessert? (I'll grab some ideas as to what health-i-fied/ breakfast-i-fied creation to whip up next!!

Have yourself a truly awesome day, do something you love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D :D

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Breaking The Exercise Addiction

Hi there folks and yes, I am back!!

Back from my glorious week away in the hot sunshine, beautiful crystal clear beaches, sea turtles, fish, snorkeling, sand boarding, hiking, hanging out with some of the coolest people- honestly, if you haven't been on a Scripture Union Camp- I whole-heartedly recommend you do! It was honestly one of the best weeks of my life and a perfect way to spend my end-of-year-12-and-WACE-exams Leavers Week!

And whilst I could write an incredibly long and detailed post about all the amazing things I did on camp... well I've already done that re-telling my trip to my friends and family back home so instead you will get something a little more relevant to the blog and a little more eye-opening and extremely important and relevant for me!

This here is a post about exercise addiction- the way it can sneak on into your life without you realising and then all of a sudden you realise you need certain regimented exercise in your day-to-day life in order to be 'healthy'. And yet, this is actually incredibly unhealthy and unhelpful to a happy and prosperous way of living.

Yes, I will be the first to admit I was falling into that trap and how did I know this? It was probably when I started to feel queezy about not being able to do my minimum hour-long workout sessions in the morning on camp, or when I wrote out a bunch of body weight and HIIT workouts to bring along with me so I would always have something on stand by. That was probably the moment I realised the addiction/ obsession was real.

You see, lots of people who don't work out on the regular can't understand this exercise addiciton phenomenom because to them, exercise hurts, it makes you work hard, it takes effort, determination and a heck-of-a-lot of mental strength. But those who exercise on the regular and continually push and work and have ultimately cleared that hard bump in the hill of starting off and the pain of exercise, have probably started to experience the beloved 'gains', the improvements and increasing fitness levels, the tone in their arms and legs, the strength of their growing muscles. Push-ups become easier, burpees; a walk in the park, a sit-up no longer counts as an ab exercise, workouts become longer and harder.

I was definitely feeling this and thus was worried about taking a week off from all the progress I had made. I didn't want to lose tone, or decrease my growing muscles, or lose the physique that came with my workouts and now looking back at those words, it pains me at how superficial and outward focused my brain was. I'm constantly harping on about how we should move our bodies in the way that makes us happy, not skinny etc. And yet, my main concerns was how my outward body would look from not doing my morning workouts!

In the past, camps have sparked anxiety in me about what the food will be like and if I can break my 'food rules' and just eat whatever is put in front of me. Thankfully I've gotten over that road bump after numerous years of struggling because I've come to terms with food as fuel and a way to spend time and memories with others. Plus (and I'll go into this in more detail a bit later on) this camp made me HANGRY at every. single. meal and thus a big plate of cheesy lasagne was almost too good to be true when I sat down for dinner one of the nights.
 I ate white bread, buns, rice, pasta. I ate cheese and milk and way too many beans (pretty much my main protein source on the camp) I ate a heck of a lot more sugar than my bodies used to (berry yoghurt, cereal, weet-bix and fruit for brekky etc.) and what happened? Nothing. I was fit, fed and happy and in all honesty liking the change up and memories I associated with foods I hadn't eaten in years!
So yes, my worries about not getting enough exercise in were quickly squashed after our first day at the beautiful Ningaloo Reef. My first day included a 4:30am wake-up to be ready to go surfing by 5:00am whereby I tried (and failed) to surf and then just body boarded for the rest of the time, followed by breakfast at 7:30am, my morning activity that I chose to be snorkeling, back for lunch at 12:30pm, out again to do sandboarding (literally sliding down dunes on a wooden board!), hanging out until dinner at 6:30pm, and then night games/ activities which that night involved a sport night (lots of different sports where we rotated every 10 mins.
So whilst I wasn't doing my planned 1-2 hour session in the morning, I was probably doing a heck of a lot more exercise than I would of at home anyway; only difference? I was doing it unknowingly and having the time of my life! The roaring hunger was indication enough of the increasing fuel my body required to power through these huge glorious days of fun in the sun (it's always so funny sitting down at a group with my plate of food, the girls nibbling at their small portions and the boys sizing up their plates with mine- GIRL GOTTA EAT YA KNOW!?!)

My favourite activity of them all was the Gorge walk- a 3km hike through the gorges (some steep climbs thrown in there too) and it was like I was running, with how high my heart rate got and the burn in my legs from climbing all those rocks. I ended up doing that 4 times. And because I'm not the best swimmer, all the swimming activities left me utterly exhausted and my arms so dead- but again, so so worth it when you saw a turtle or a little fish or the beautiful coral right there underneath you!

And do you know what the craziest thing that happened at the end of my week away? I probably got more fit. More toned. More muscly.

And I had the time of my life.

This baffled me at first (my disordered, exercise-crazed side of my brain that it) and then logic hit me right in the face with a 'See? Exercise does not need to be planned out to a T to see results. You've been lifting weights and working your butt off and yet the one week you take off and just enjoy yourself being active with other people and spending time doing incredible activities in the sun, you see the most progress yet! Be kind to your body, love your body and your body will love you back!!'

I am so thankful this week forced me to simply go with the flow and make some of the best memories of my life and now I can bring all this new-found knowledge back into my life and start living a happy, fun-filled life once again whereby my brain is not consumed by the prospect of working out etc.

Life is meant to be lived, so why not live it to the max- and enjoy every second!

Your turn:
Do you/ have you ever struggled with an exercise addiction?
 How did you come out of it?
Favourite way to move your body?

I hope this post helped anyone struggling like I was and has given a little inspirsation about getting out there and doing the the things you love again. Happy to be back, but missing it already, although I'm so keen to have unlimited time to experiment in the kitchen once again and bring you guys some awesome recipes!

Have yourself a wonderful day, look after yourself and others and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D :D

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