Thursday, 30 July 2015

The science behind a rest day

Confession time:

I struggle with taking rest days. Not gonna lie, it's a struggle to give my body the rest it deserves/ needs. Some rest days I feel fit and fighting and just want to move- so I do. Some rest days I'm tired and burned out and am definitely in need of the day of rest- but I move any way.

Those days are the psychological ones where my mind starts playing tricks on my body. When it goes into overdrive thinking about how I won't be moving much at all that day, or I'll be sitting down for hours on end at school or whatever and so I NEED to exercise to counteract this.

Or so my mind says.

Lately this has been getting a little out of hand, in the sense that I haven't actually been having any complete days of rest, fitting in some kind of workout everyday. At first, it was fine and I felt good. After a few weeks, it began to take it's toll. Mentally and physically.

Mentally- I wasn't looking forward to my workouts. I was dreading them. Wake up in the morning- ok gotta do my exercise before I can get on with my day. It was like a little road block I had to get through- NOT how I want to view my workouts.

Physically- My body seemed so tired and achy. I would sleep-in longer- something I never do- and it's obvious now that it was my body literally forcing me to have more rest. I grew frustrated and agitated and now that I think about it, my workouts grew shorter, less intense and probably had no effect on anything- mood, endorphins, health- whatsoever!
Of course, as an avid health and fitness blog reader, I knew how important rest days are and how you will actually benefit from them! But some dark, evil section of my brain clouded that knowledge and told me that rest days would make me weak, or set back my progress, or something like that. I'm not even too sure what it was that I feared most of all. I just blindly went with it.

I knew my torn muscle tissues needed time to recover, I knew my body needed time to recover to prevent injuries from occurring, I knew my immune system could over heat and my sleep could get affected. I knew that I was doing more damage than good to my mental edge.

So, a few days ago, I had enough. I wanted my fun workouts back. My motivation and the great feeling I get after exercising with a happy and health
y body and frame of mind.
And guess what? The world kept spinning, I kept living, and the next day I was pumped for a run! I will admit that there were some small pockets of time during that day that I had a bit of anxiety, but really they were miniscule and in the end I managed to ignore them. I knew I was doing my body a service and that seemed to quieten the worries.

In the end I think it's true that there are two types of people when it comes to rest days:
And I probably fit with the latter, however now I'm making it a priority to fit in a couple of days of rest during the week to keep my body happy and healthy and enjoying movement as it should be!

Click here for some funny (and downright truthful) thoughts you have on a rest day!

What about you?
Do you/ have you ever struggled with taking rest days?
How many rest days do you take a week that make you feel on top of your game?
Favourite activities to do on rest days?

That's all from me today folks, just something that's been running through my mind recently ;). I hope you all have a fabulous day, do something that makes you happy and eat something delicious! Bye for now friends!! :D

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

WIAW #67 Pepping ALL the meals!

Hidy folky folks!
Popping in super fast with this weeks WIAW!!! YAY! So much to do and so little time, so.... that was my intro!
Of course, don't forget to head on over to Peas and Crayons for the awesome link-up party and check out what everyone else has been nom-ing on!

Now- onto the eats!!!
(This is a feature of a full day of eats from Monday- a hectic day of school and then work... which means a lot of pre-preparing most of my meals :)
Breakfast: 7:25am
Breakfast was pretty much the onle meal I didn't prepare ahead of time for this Monday... and it was simply because all I had to do was cut two slices of bread, spread em' with almond butter and top with banana slices and toast!
Alongside some mango fro-yo (handful of frozen mango chunks whazzed up with a few scoops of greek yoghurt)
I can't get over how good this tastes!
Also, there's a story with the yoghurt. You see I've only ever bought 0% and 2% yopghurt and then, without realising it I bought the full fat greek stuff. I will admit I had a little freak out... and I will also admit I don't like the taste as much- it's not as tangy/ creamy. (Pit's proabbly the different brands; Chobani you are awesome!!)
Enough thinking about yoghurt though when you have this bad boy in your mouth!!

Snack: 11:00am

Lunch: 1:15pm
Salad prepped ahead of time so it was an easy grab and go in the morning:

All the raw chopped veg (spinach, tomato, capsicum, cucumber, beetroot and cabbage) with some gingerbread-y spiced roasted black beans.
So much yum! And took wuite a long time to consume as well. lots of chewing!

Snack: 3:35pm
Straight back from school, jump into work clothes and nosh down this snack:

A cut up nashi pair and a beautifully ripe persimmon.
I love fruit. Nature's candy :)
Dinner: 7:40pm
Back from my shift, utterly starving (it is a workout guys!) and here lies a plate of deliciousness already prepared for me. Thanks past Stephanie, you rock!
You're welcome future Stephanie, I think you're pretty cool too.
Alrighty, moving on. ;) This was some roasted brussels and broc roasted in coconut oil and then also some leftover pumpkin and sweet tater which was just roasted in regular oil, with some tri-coloured quinoa.

So tasty, and soooo good eaten cold. (Cold pumpkin roasted is out-of-this-world! Especially the bits near the skin... it remind me of kabocha! Sad face.)
Of course that wasn't quite enough for my hungry, raging body, so I also snack on some dried dates and unsalted cashews. Then I was done. :)

Aaaaaand that's what I ate!

Apart from feeling flustered from all the rushing about, it was all pretty delicious stuff.

What about you?
Do you ever pre-prepare breakfast? I do sometimes, but it;'s usually my lunches and dinners that I make-ahead.
Are you a fan of nashi pears? I'm still deciding on this one. I'm not too sure on the texture, it kind of freaks me out- so watery!
Cold pumpkin? Yay/nay? You already know my thoughts on this one. :)

Hungry for more? Head on over to Peas and Crayons!

Monday, 27 July 2015

The belly bloat

I know I'm not alone here.

I know many, many, many people have suffered with me on this one, and many, many, many people will continue to suffer all throughout life with no understanding as to why this happens.

Painful, uncomfortable... even embarrassing.

Yep- I'm talking about the belly bloat!
 As a child I suffered from extremely painful episodes of tummy aches and belly bloats. I still have this memory of lying on the couch when I was about 6 or 7, completely stuffed from a dinner of some sort of fast food (pizza/ burgers or something)  followed by dessert of course, puffing up my stomach and then having my mum ask me; 'What are you hiding under there, Steph? A ball?' and guys, she wasnb't even teasing me, she was genuinely asking me what I had stuffed under my t-shirt... and the answer was my stomach.
Yes, it is still a family joke even 8 years on, but little did I know that I was suffering from bloating and irritation caused by the food I was eating. I think it was the painful stomach aches that left me curled in a ball rocking back and forth with my eyes scrunched up in pain that eventually lead mum and I to take action and uncover that I did in fact have a pretty sensitive stomach, which resulted in a LARGE amount of herbal medicines to try and treat it.

Not fun. Especially for a young little 7 year old.

Any who, as you may know, I now steer clear of my trigger foods that include highly processed wheat products, sugar and milk....

So how come the other day I was rapped with pain, curled up in a ball with a humongous bloated stomach?
It was not until I did a little research that I uncovered quite a lot of the foods I eat actually contribute to bloating- I was so unaware!

In that list included things like nut milks, broccoli, lentils, apples and onions- all foods I pretty much eat on the daily!
Most of the fruits and veggies listed cause bloating as they contain hard-to-digest sugars, that remains in the gut until bacteria ferment it producing gas= bloating. In items like nut milks, supermarkets add ingredients like the thickening agent carrageenan (derived from seaweed) that has also been linked to stomach issues.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised then how after my usual snack of a glass of soy milk (not home made) and a large apple left me feeling not so great.
Me, whenever my friends tell me to 'Live a little and eat it!'

Don't give up all hope though- there is help out there. How do you beat foods that cause your stomach to look pregnant? Why you eat other foods to counteract it of course! (best. medicine. ever!)
Things like bananas, avocados, kiwis, oranges and pistachios (all choc-full of potassium) prevent water retention by regulating your sodium levels (reducing salt-induced bloating) and other foods like papaya actually contain an enzyme that helps break down proteins in your GI system making digestion a heck of a lot easier!

So next time you are greeted with that lovely rounded belly, have a think as to what you've eaten recently, what could be the culprit and what you should include at your next meal to ease your painful stomach. I know I will!

Your turn:
Do you suffer from a sensitive stomach?
Do you ever get belly bloat after eating certain foods?
Best way you've found to combat it?

I hope you all have a fabulous day and do something fun (even for 5 minutes!). Bye for now friendly friends!! :D

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A make-ahead lunch recipe!

As a high school student, part time job working, extra curricular, teenager who loves to eat healthy, I find that I need to make a lot of make-ahead meals.

Anything from make-ahead breakfast (overnight oats, truffles etc.) to make-ahead snacks (home made bean muesli bars, cut up fruit) to make-ahead dinners (roast veggies, quiches) I've made it all. And nothing compares to the amount of make-ahead lunches I've prepared in my time. Hello school lunches 5 times a week.

There's a few briefs that a meal needs to meet in order to be a good make-ahead meal. One- it has to maintain it's shape/ consistency/ texture that it would normally have made at the time. Two- it has to be transportable (in that it won't 'break' if it gets tossed around a little bit). And three, it has to taste super yummy cold. And super yummy period.

And what would be an example of a brilliant make-ahead lunch? Give this one a try:

'Cheesy' Pumpkin and Veggie Pasta!
I guess you could say it's my take on a 'healthified' pasta bake/ mac and cheese. But trust me, you'll forget all about how healthy it is when you taste how delicious it is!

Sweetness from the pumpkin, cheesiness from the hommus and nutritional yeast, savoury mixed beans and sweet popping peas.
All of that intensified after a couple of hours in the fridge and then eaten cold. YUM.

1/2 cup mashed pumpkin
Serving of pasta (I used spelt spirals)
Small 125g tin of mixed four beans
A heaped cup of mixed steamed greens (I used broccoli, string beans and peas)
1 heaped tablespoon hommus
1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1. Steam and mash pumpkin, cook pasta as to packet instructions, steam greens and drain and rinse beans.
2. Mix the hommus and nutritional yeast with the mashed pumpkin.
3. Drain the pasta, and add the steamed greens, mixed four beans and pumpkin mixture to the saucepan with the pasta and stir to coat everything with the cheesy pumpkin mixture.
4. Transport to a bowl/ container, leave to cool and then place in the fridge until required.
5. Serve hot/ cold (but cold. Because it tastes so good!)
 This was my saviour after not eating for about 6-7 hours. So happy I had a make-ahead lunch!
 Full of veggies (Not sure, but I'd probably estimate a good 3+ serves in that one bowl!!), fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Very good lunch indeed!
So next time you need to pull together a little something to bring with you/ make-ahead for when you come back later, why not give this one a try? You won't regret it (and I'm sure you're blood levels and satiety will thank you after passing on that tempting fried fast food).

Your turn:
What's your go-to make-ahead meal?
Is there anything else I should add to the brief for make-ahead meals?
Do you ever prefer to eat your meals cold over hot? I pretty much always do!

I hope you all have a fabulous rest of your day, take a moment to be 'in the moment' (something I need to work on) and as always; eat something delicious!! Bye friends! :D

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Linking up!

Hidy-ho there friendly friends and HAPPY SUNDAY!

This Sunday's breakfast was quite an interesting one for me, as I didn't get around to grocery shopping yesterday (the designated grocery shopping day of the week) on account of working, so when I woke up famished and ready to throw something together... there wasn't too much to throw together!

Alas I did end up creating something, and of course it was on the day when I was absolutely starving for breakfast that food is limited! While I tried to decide on something I had half a glass of chilled almond milk and a teaspoon of nut butter to keep my mind focused. Then I threw together this guy:
That was a bowl of frozen cherry and banana ice cream:
1 frozen banana + big handful of frozen cherries- whazzed together in a food processor until smooth
Topped off with some home-made nut butter granola:
Quite tasty if I do say so myself!

However I don't think I'll be too surprised if I'm famished again in a few hours. Especially after doing some weight training this morning!!
 But that super cold and warm fudgey combo is just too good!
Now that you've heard all about my morning and #firstworldproblems I have some links for you, as it is Sunday!

I hope you find some good reads!



Good reads:

Aaaand I'm out! Grocery shopping awaits and then a whole pile of homework. Yeah, I know you wish you were me right now ;).

I hope you all have a fabulous Sunday. Rest, recover and rejuvenate for the week to come! Bye for now friends!! :D

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...