Thursday, 31 March 2016

The HCLF Raw Vegan Lifestyle

Hidy-ho friendly friends and welcome back to the teensy corner of the interwebs that holds refuge to my small, yet stuffed-full-of-food-pics blog!

On my mind today (actually this has been on my mind for the past few weeks, really!) is the ever-increasing and growing popularity of the HCLF (high carb, low fat) raw vegan diet/lifestyle.

If you're an avid healthy blog/ Instagram/ YouTube follower like me you have probably come across the pictures/ people/ reasons for this type of lifestyle. To get you in the right atmosphere for what to expect from people who follow this lifestyle, I've got a few pics for you:

1. Potatoes
 Potatoes make up a large portion of the carbs of this high carb low fat diet and I cannot count the number of vegan vlogs I have watched that show the process of oven baking mass quantities of potato without oil in the oven for a meal.
2. Bananas
 What seems to be the second biggest aspect of this diet is filling a meal with bananas. And when I say filling, I mean 10 bananas being the minimum.
 Whether they're eaten as a snack or blended up into a 10+ banana smoothie- bananas seem to be a large component of the HCLF lifestyle.

3. Freelee The Banana Girl
 On that note, this brings us to one of the most charismatic followers of the HCLF diet- Freelee The Banana Girl- who you can find on YouTube and see her Days In The Life and daily eats to find out more about this lifestyle.
Her charisma and strong opinions is what drew me to her videos and then her blog in the first place. I was mesmerized by what and the amount she ate as I had never seen anything like it. Starting the day with a 1.5L smoothie of 18+ dates and water- I couldn't get my head around it- surely a stomach couldn't fit all that in!
4. There are so many other aspects to this diet and I love the focus on fresh, organic, beautifully grown produce, so I am definitely not bagging this lifestyle/ diet choice, but I guess I do have my opinion/ concerns

The way the HCLF raw vegan diet is presented on social media is with images of incredibly slim, toned women who look flawless, have stunning hair, skin and bodies, have the energy to exercise for hours each day and just seem to have the best possible life! Now, that could entirely be as the result of this lifestyle- but when naive girls who are too young to truly understand how to fully nourish their bodies see results of slimness and beauty like this- cutting out entire food groups could be the answer... though no prior knowledge or research would go in to how to be properly nourished on this lifestyle.

Ultimately the simple pictures without info on how to thrive off this diet could result in girls developing eating disorders from not eating enough, malnourishment, osteoporosis, anaemia... the list goes on.

My point in a nutshell is this is a diet that needs to be taken extremely seriously with a lot of research and then effort to create every single meal and not just grab a packet of zero nutrition and I think that girls simply being drawn in by the beautiful results posted on Instagram or Facebook etc. need to realise that there are severe consequences to one's health if nutrition requirements are not met.
Again, I don't think this diet is the worst possible thing someone can do to their body, I just think with a diet of almost 100% fruits and veggies, one must eat a TON of fruit and veggies and a great variety too (which in some places could become quite pricey if bananas are not as cheap as chips and you're going through 20+ a day!)

It's quite funny, but I think subconsciously, after watching quite a few of Freeles's videos and other HCLF vegan vlogs, I've most definitely seen my diet take a little shift to a much greater raw fruit and veg intake:
 Look- 6 bananas in my smoothie!! Just kidding, I simply cut each one up and put them into individual serving bags for my smoothies during the week :P
But in all seriousness, here is an actual dinner I made that really hit the spot and after eating it I realised it was very HCLF-esque:
 1 whole baked white sweet potato (skin on because that tastes gooooood after baking in the oven- nature's candy!)
 Some steamed and then grilled pumpkin (no oil but cinnamon sprinkled on during the grilling):
 And a cup of steamed peas (because you all know how much I love peas!!)

So I think that was interesting to see the indirect way all this research/ video watching has affected my own cravings.

I don't think I can ever give up my love for mass amounts of nut butter, or avocado though- high carb and high fat? That sounds good to me!! :D

Your turn:
What are your thoughts on the HCLF diet?
Have you ever done the HCLF diet?
Favourite way to eat potatoes? I really like just roasted up full sweet potatoes (mini ones of course!) and just nom-ing on them- so tasty!)

I hope you all have a fabulous day, eat a banana or two, or just increase your fruit and veggie intake in general for the day :). Do something you love, be with those you love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Hangry Pants!

Hi friends, how are we today?

Good? Good.

As for me?


You and I both know I go through stages of extreme hunger and kinda subdued, not really all that hungry but could eat if I had to hunger (which I'm guessing the vast majority of normal people in the world experience).

And yep, you guessed it, I've swung back into the hangry category.

I never know what causes my extreme hunger, or how my body can fit in so much food, but you see, the thing is, I don't care. I care about the types of food I put in my body. I care about where that food comes from, how I can lovingly prepare it so the natural and beautiful flavours remain and I care about making sure I can get the most nutrition out of all of my meals. But as to size- I simply do not care.
 This smoothie consisted of 1 frozen banana + 1 handful frozen zucchini + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder + large soaking of rolled oats in almond milk + 3 big scoops greek yoghurt +1 massive handful of both kale and spinach + 1/2 an avocado + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder + water
 I had to drink the remaining bit that was left in the blender separately because it wouldn't all fit in the jar!
Not being one to have ever count calories in my life, the very idea just seems insane. If my body is telling me it's about to eat the insides of my stomach if I don't eat a relatively calorically dense meal in the next 3.5 seconds then I'm not going to take the extra time to make sure my half an avocado isn't going to push me over my calorie levels for this meal.
I needed a snack. Peanut butter had to be involved. I think the ratio of celery to peanut butter may have been around 1:1000 :D

Now, I completely understand the reason for counting calories in some circumstances. When you've entirely mucked up your metabolism through not eating, or the other extreme of binge eating, it becomes hard to properly interpret your hunger signals and in turn can lead to under/ over consuming a lot more/ a lot less than your body requires. So, by all means, calorie count your way to a restored metabolism and a restored relationship between you, your body and your metabolism, so you can once again trust your hunger signals.

But as for me, if I am hungry I shall eat. I shall eat what I desire in the quantity that I desire because I trust that my body knows and needs this fuel. Sometimes when I don't feel the hungry bug, I have to eat a little more than I feel my body needs because if I'm satisfied after a simple fruit smoothie for breakfast- I know my body requires a heck of a lot more than that to function on a day-to-day basis.
 Let's just appreciate the size of this avocado for a second... it was huge. It was delicious.

Recently I have upped my mileage a bit more, so I'm guessing that could be one of the contributing factors behind this sudden spike in hunger and in all honesty this makes me quite happy. I love that my body is burning through the fuel I feed it on the daily and I love that I've got a well working, efficient machine that enables me to move, run and do everything else with energy and enthusiasm.

No, I do not calorie count. yes I will have that extra piece of dark chocolate after dinner if I'm still hungry and no there will be no guilt felt on my part because I know and trust my body and from past experience this has worked out perfectly!

What about you?
Are you a calorie counter or do you go by the waves of your hunger signals?
Do you sometimes have to make yourself eat a bit more because you know your body needs it?
Favourite post-workout meal?

I hope you all have a lovely day, look after those bodies that do so much for you, do something you love and as always; eat something delicious! Bye for now friends!! :D

Sunday, 27 March 2016

A Letter to the Shamers... of the Body Variety

Hello there beautiful people!

Today is Monday and what does one do when one misses pancake Sunday and wakes up Monday morning?

Well, one rolls out of bed, checks the time, sees it is 5:50am, gets a drink, rolls back into bed, realises one is awake, gets out of bed, grabs a full glass of water, puts on workout clothes, goes for an early morning beach run which seemed to get longer and longer because one was feeling rather good on this run, returns home to do a quick Blogilates workout and...

Makes Monday Morning Pancakes!!

See, we got there eventually!

 These were simply a few vanilla protein 'cakes made with spelt/rye flour, rolled oats, vanilla prtoein powder, cinnamon, baking powder and unsweetened almond milk with two chopped dates thrown in there and stirred up until smooth- pan over medium heat with light spray of oil, 2-3 mins each side- et voila!
 Placed on some paper towel and then topped off with either mixed nut and seed spread or home-made peanut butter- these were delightfully delicious!!
 With a side of blueberry fro-yo to serve! Frozen bluebs + 3 big scoops of greek yoghurt- whazzed up in a mini food processor until smooth!
And now some eating shots for your pleasure:
 Onto the topic of today's post! Totally got carried away by my Monday Pancakes!!
Having recently dipped into the world of Instagram it has become even more apparent as to the level of justification and self love we all seek in life (whether it's in our day-today relations or via social media)

P.S. Ronda Rousey is a legend

There doesn't seem to be an end to the amount of workout snaps, recaps of how far someone ran and then how little they ate, a picture of a teeny cookie with a caption like; 'TREAT YOSELF!' and all this through the edited, pretty coloured, perfect world of a phone lens.

I'm not going to lie- I am a big fan of Instagram (even if I've been on it for less than a week) but it just makes it more and more obvious to me how much self justification and self worth is tied through the pictures and thus the likes of each of these pictures.

And I think I know why.

Too many people are worried about the shamers. The shamers of this world who seek to bring people down. Who see any flaw and will make a comment. Who have only a negative mindset. Who judge before judgement is valid. Who comment before comment is required. Who cause so many of us (particularly young girls/ women) to ultra-beautify and edit our lives so as to receive praise and self-worth.

#gymselfie #naughtydessert #ideserveit...

It's these people who judge without any background knowledge or respect that cause so many people to develop eating disorders. To cut down the amount of food they eat until they reach a 'perfect amount' by what society deems as acceptable. Who abuse fitness, or even become addicted to working out because then the shamers can't get to them.

But I think the worst thing about shamers is the fact that the worst shamers of all out there in this world... are us. Us onto ourselves. And the real reason we do the extreme things we do isn't because of a fear necessarily over what someone else might think, but is actually an internal battle between ourselves and our minds who judge and spread negative thoughts and escalate our morals and values into obsessions that slowly but surely become extremely unhealthy.

So, here's to the silencing of the shamers. The external shamers and the internal shamers. You do you. Listen to your body and do what it pleads for. If you are hungry eat. If you are tired rest. If you are buzzing with energy jump up and down like a mad thing whilst spinning in circles (always a fun pass time of mine! ;). If you want to spread your nut buter on thick- spread it on thick:
 I know I do!
If you want a little something after dinner, have a little something after dinner- your body or even just the wellbeing of your mind will thank you for it:
Dark choc and soy milk... Happy days!
If you need a lie in, in the morning, don't force yourself to complete your 10+km run. Take the lie in and skip the awful feeling you'll now associate with running and the likelihood of injury caused by over training.

If you need to exercise to free your mind of stress, anxiety or just a heap of energy- go out and MOVE!
This be me after running on the beach and Blogilate-ing it up- feeling AWESOME!

Most of all, just love yourself. Flaws and all. Because the one guaranteed way to get rid of all shamers, both external and internal, once and for all is to show them that you know you're awesome and there's nothing anyone can say that could sway you otherwise!

Also, get yourself a shirt that has your daily slogan on it. Because then you will fell great :D

If you suffer with shamers (whether it's extrenal people, your own inner thoughts or a combination of the two) I really truly hope you take some of these messages away and just know that the real you is so much cooler than anything a shamer can understand, so you just gotta show as best you can just how amazing you are!

Your turn:
Do you battle with external/internal shamers?
Have you felt the same sort of vibe on Instagram?
What did you have for breakfast this morning?

 I hope you all have a truly lovely day, do something you love doing, be kind to yourself and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Life Recently...!

Hello there beautiful food-lovin' people!!

I hope you're all having a fabulous day, doing something you love (even if it's just five minutes with yourself and a cookie... do it!) and making time to smiiillleee.

I realised that we haven't had a good ol' sit down and chat for a while and you're probably very un-up-to-date on my life! GASP!! So I decided to fill you in on Life Currently: Steph-style!
Life wouldn't be life for me without a current food obsession whereby every second day or so I eat said obsession. In the past we have had white sweet potato (that one never truly goes away, I just stop buying white sweet potato), which moved onto smoothie bowls, swinging into a cookie obsession (healthy, muesli, brekky cookies!) and now? Now we've moved onto creamy green substances with fudge-y, nutty, warm granola straight out of the oven:

It's become quite the obsession recently whereby every other day will be something else I haven't made in a while (pancakes, toasties, oatmeal) and falling back to green smoothie/ fro-yo/ 'ice cream' with granola.

This particular breakfast was a creamy mango smoothie with mixed nut butter granola and peanut butter granola:

 Obviously I hated it:

And then I changed things up!!!
Look at that! That's not a smoothie- that's creamy green 'nice-cream'! Frozen banana + frozen zuchini + spinach, all whazzed up together in the Vitamix until smooth :)

 The granola was simply peanut butter granola. But how can I say simply? This warm, fudge-y peanut butter granola is out of this world delicious and deserves so much more love and recognition!
Peanut butter warmed up with almond milk, stirred into around 3/4 cup natural muesli with ground cinnamon- into the oven at 180 degrees celsius for 15-20 mins until golden and fragrant- eat pretty soon afterwards for optimal enjoyment!!
 Pop a few on top of the ice cream and you have one delicious breakfast!
 My theory for my food obsessions is why I force myself to eat something else when I will absolutely love to eat the same thing and will enjoy eating the same thing more?
 It's all about one's happiness people :D
 Ok, so that's the food side- onto fitness!

You may remember my most recent posts about fitness are actually quite a few months old and discuss my decrease in mileage and increase in strength training/ Blogilates videos (HIIT type stuff, or if you're a Blogilates girl, PITT)

Well, it's been quite similar, however I have upped the mileage/ training- a lot more hill sprints and simple sprints around the park, mixed with 1 or 2 long runs in the week and some ab/ leg/ arm workouts (mainly Blogilates) on the off-days. There's also rest-days thrown in where I might just do an easy stretching/ workout video.

This passed Saturday I did one of my longest runs in a while- and I felt good. It just shows the ups and downs and changes of seasons in one's life and I sort of new the day would come where my body would once again love a nice, easy, slow run.
 An hour long run whereby an interesting, funny podcast got me through!

I've found that this combo of cross-training with strength workouts, HIIT and sprint workouts mixed with long runs has toned my body and left me feeling strong and healthy and ready to tackle the world! Or something along those lines!

Something un-health related? My hair's gronw pretty long over the past few moths and I'm kind of excited to have my long thick hair for the up-coming Winter- bring it on cold weather!

In all honesty, this is also a post whereby I try to make the blog a tad more personal with some pics of me- which I sort of cringe at sharing but know that I want you guys to know me better! So.. yep!

Your turn:
What's your current food/ breakfast obsession? How long has it been going for?
Green smoothie fan?
Current fitness favs?

That's it from me today folks (got a bit lengthier than anticipated!) I hope you all have a fabulous day, again- do something you love, and a s always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friends! :D

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