Thursday, 30 June 2016

A Fantastic Friday :D (RECIPE!!)

Hide ho there friendly friends and happy, happy FRIDAY!!

Always love a good Friday and everyone just seems to be that little bit more chipper and optimistic (stark contrast to Mondays!!) So, yes, I do love my Fridays and do you know what makes this particular Friday even better?? It's the first day of my mid-year holidays!

It feels like an eternity since I've been on holidays and the past term at school feels like it was two separate terms with the exam break in the middle. I will be honest here, I definitely burnt myself out over this last term and these holidays couldn't have come fast enough to help rejuvenate my mind, body and emotions!!

So, yes, this Friday I woke up to the sound of not-an-alarm-at-5:45am, instead waking up at a luxurious 6:11am, before making my way downstairs to grab my iPad, back to my cosy bed, blog scrolling and then up and at-em' for a quick tempo run followed by some quick Blogilates workouts (obliques and arms and back and butt). Following this... I did have to go back into school because I forgot to grab half of my school books for revision over the holidays... but after that? Well, I was in for a treat! And now you are too:

 That, my friends, was this morning's first-day-of-holidays breakfast celebration! And let me tell you, it was better than as good-as-it-looks!

Warm, home-made, crunchy, golden, cinnamon nut butter granola over the top of some creamy, plain greek yoghurt, sweet, perfectly ripe banana slices scattered throughout and a pour of ice-cold almond milk to finish it all off.... food heaven:
 This is one of those moments where the foodie in me comes out and appreciates all the different textures (smooth, creamy, crunchy, chewy) flavours (rich, refreshing, sweet, nutty) and gives myself a little pat on the back for gifting my tastebuds and stomach with such yumminess.
 Now, if you're still following, or maybe even perhaps drooling? (I only ask because I know I am... and I only ate this around an hour ago :P) I'm sure you're are itching for the recipe because you should most definitely make yourself a bowl of this yum! (if you follow me on Instagram; @steph2chef, you would have been the lucky receiver of the recipe practically as I was eating it!)
 Now, onto the recipe!

Nutty Cinnamon Granola Yoghurt and Fruit Bowl

1/2 cup natural muesli
2 heaped tablespoons rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I probably added way more :P)
1 handful wholegrain cheerios
1 HEAPED tablespoon- 2 regular tablespoons of nut butter (I used an LSA peanut butter mix- so good!)
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
greek yoghurt (as much as you want in your yoghurt bowl- I probably used around a cup)
1 banana, sliced
Extra almond milk to drizzle over when serving!

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a small tray with baking paper
2. Place the muesli, oats, cinnamon and cheerios in a bowl and stir to combine
3. Place the nut butter and almond milk in a small bowl and microwave/ heat on stove until warmed through (I don't mix together generally because they will get mixed into muesli)
4. Add heated nut butter and almond milk to dry muesli mix and stir to combine (should be quite sticky)
5. Spread out evenly on baking tray and bake in the oven for around 15-20 mins until golden and crunchy on top (I like the extra crispy bits so I leave it in for the longer time!)
6. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then start layering your bowl; greek yoghurt, banana slices, granola, banana slices, granola, banana slices, granola, banana slices- drizzle over almond milk- EAT!!

This breakfast is so delicious, comforting and extremely filling (thank you healthy fats from the nut butter and protein from the nuts and greek yoghurt) so you definitely won't hit a sugar slump from the regular bowl of sugary cereal! No way this bowl of 'cereal' is packed full of nutrients and will do your body so many favours!

Now go make it!

Your turn:
What did you have for breakfast today?
Favourite granola flavour/ add-ins? (I love adding in wholegrain cheerios- I did it once and have never looked back! Cinnamon also seems to be a must for me!)
Best breakfast you've eaten recently?

With that I hope you all have a truly fabulous Friday, relax for the weekend, unwind, relax and do something you love. And, as always, EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS! (But that's for any day of the week really :). Bye for now friends! :D

Monday, 27 June 2016

Lunch Time!!

One of my least favourite meals the day might very well in fact be lunch time.

Look, before I get a whole bunch of hate and strong debates thrown my way, I am not saying I don't like lunch time (come on guys, it's food time) it is that of all the meals I consume in my day this is not one of my favourites.

Because it is smack bang in the middle of the school day and I get ready/ start school bright and early in the morning (when I like to fit my workout into my day), there is no time to prepare lunch that morning. Thus lunch is prepared the night before, generally after a long, hard day of learning at school, followed by at least an hour of homework.

The brain's fried people. You can wave goodbye to creativity. So what's a girl to do when she's standing in the kitchen staring blankly into nothing trying to come up wth a delicious tupperware container of food that can taste good cold, last overnight and utterly delicious?

Well, sometimes a girl just chops up a super easy salad of raw veg and some kind of protein (generally a tin of mixed four beans, some peas, lentils, tofu, falafel- that kind of stuff.

But other times, a girl has her tried and true standby's that are super easy to whip up, take no brain power (especially when you've made them a few times over!) and are guaranteed to get one looking forward to the mid-day break for food!

So, without further ado, here are my go-to lunches that are prepped the night before and enjoyed immensely at school:

1. Pesto rice and veg:
This is such an easy recipe and yet tastes so gosh darn good, delivers so many nutritional benefits and will defeat any mid-afternoon slump that tries to barge it's way into your day!
To make, simply cook up a serving of brown rice according to packet instructions (I generally just boil mine for around 40 mins) and leave to cool in a medium bowl. Whip up a serving of pesto (my loose recipe involves roughly two large handfuls of spinach, 5-6 leaves of fresh basil, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon pine nuts, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water- whazzed up until smooth- you may need to add more water if it's not coming together), steam some peas and corn, drain and rinse a small tin of mixed four beans and stir everything together until combined... and fluorescent green!
Again, leave to cool completely, top with lid and place in fridge overnight for a delightful lunch the next day!
It's even better the next day as the flavours have a chance to develop and mingle and it just becomes oh-so-good. Plus I seem to prefer to eat cold meals; I feel you can taste and appreciate them better :)

2. 'Cheesey' Spaghetti and Veg:
This is another of my all-time favourite, cold, take-away lunches and, once again it is so, so simple to whip up and enjoy!
Simply cook a serving of spaghetti (I used this new ugh-fibre brand that tastes awesome and offers a bunch of important fibre!!), at the same time steam up some pumpkin and parsnip (as much as you like). When the pasta needs about 1-2 mins left, pour in some frozen peas, then at the very end add a handful of spinach until wilted down. Drain pasta and veg. Transfer to medium bowl, add the steamed veg and around 2-3 tablespoons of hommus (optional add in a tablespoon nutritional yeast for extra cheese flavour)
Leave to cool, transfer to container, lid, fridge, done!!

3.And finally, possibly the easiest of them all (especially since I made up a big batch of pesto so it was all ready to go when I needed it) is this deliciously simple (and awesome cold) lunch of steamed veg and pesto:
 I will be the first to admit that it doesn't look too great all mixed together and a large part of that is the awful lighting, but what am I going to do when it's cloudy and stormy outside and the house is internally darkened and gloomy? I'm going to take a picture anyway and let you use your imagination as to how tasty this lunch actually was!
 In the mix was simply some cut up butternut pumpkin, swede, parsnip, beetroot, carrot and baby potatoes, all mixed together with a few spoons of the pesto mentioned above (make another serving- recipe above makes 1 serving)
Cooled, containered, lidded, fridged, nom-ed!

Aaaand that's a little insight into the types of foods I take to school to fight of the mid-day munchies (they become real after a hard session of maths and chem, let me tell you!

Your turn:
What's your favourite prep-away/ take-away lunch made at home?
Favourite lunch of all time?
Favourite way to use pesto? Pizza always wins for me but when I'm feeling the pesto pasta, it sure does hit the spot!

That's it from me today folks, I hope you all have a great day, take time to think of all the things you are blessed with in this very moment, love yourself, love others and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now! :D

Friday, 24 June 2016

Persimmons Coming Out My Ears!!

Hello there my fellow, food loving followers! (I have a thing for alliteration... but you already know that! See here, here, here) :P

Anywho, that's not what the topic of this post is about (unfortunately. My inner Dr Seuss would be quite elated with a whole post written in alliteration! Maybe one day!).
No, this post is about something else that I seem to have an abundance of right at the minute- PERSIMMONS!

Now, I've mentioned before how my first experience with a persimmon was not so great and I somehow managed to pick the only sour and gross and extremely crunchy persimmon I've ever had but luckily (probably around 6 months- a year later) I retried the 'dreaded' fruit (as people were still raving on about how fantastic they are) and to my utter delight experienced the sweet, rich, delightful taste of a perfectly ripe persimmon. So now of course I love them!
One of my favourite snacks- cut up perfectly ripe persimmon with a mug of ice-cold soy milk!

However... my love was given a true test when my mum said one of her friends came across super cheap full trays of persimmons at her local fresh food shop and was wondering if we wanted a tray. Of course my first response was a rapid yes! And then I may have slightly dropped my jaw at the sheer number of perfectly ripe persimmons that turned up on our kitchen bench.

Either I was going to have to get into some serious persimmon nom-ing (i.e. giving up all other food groups and simply eating persimmons for every meal) or I needed to resort to my tried and true method of preserving literally everything; Freezing!

I knew the persimmons were perfectly ripe because the first one I had for a fresh cut up snack was the most delicious, perfectly sweet, rich (sort of like a rich coconut-y flavour? I just don't know how to describe it!) and this told me that within a day or two these bad boys would be mushy, soft, sadness.

Some chopping later...

I had a full bag of chopped up fresh persimmons ready to be frozen solid in the freezer for later use.

In the mean time, I decided it was time to dust off the old creative pants and come up with some fun ways to use up the remaining persimmons (that tasted so so good!) and that is how Monday's breakfast came to fruition:
A mug of oats Steph? Seriously?
Yes- it is a mug of oats, but more specifically that is a mug of creamy dreamy, banana persimmon cheesecake oats! Topped lavishly with a big spoon of almond butter (so delicious!)
To make this I simply put around 1/2 cup steel cut oats in a saucepan with 1 sliced banana, 3/4 thinly sliced persimmon (I ate the other quarter.. hey I'd just been on a long run!), 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup water, starry-stir over medium heat until absorbed and creamy (around 15-20mins). Leave to cool slightly and then stir through some greek yoghurt (I probably added two heaped spoonfuls).

It surprised me how much the persimmon seemed to dissolve away a little bit in the porridge but the slight sweetness and creamy factor it added was so gosh darn divine! Definitely recommend adding sliced up persimmon to your next bowl of oats (probably would work best with steel cut, may be a little crunchy still in regular oats) for a next level nom-factor!

Want to see my bag full of chopped up persimmons ready for the freezer?

 I told you there were many!!
And this past weekend when I woke up on a lovely (*cold) Sunday morning, I decided it was time to test out these frozen bites of happiness and whaz them up into one of gigantor green smoothies that don't ever fit into my smoothie jar (and this day was no different!)
 Into the Vitamin went 1 large handful frozen zucchini, 1 handful kale, around 3/4 cup rolled oats and 1 teaspoon chia seeds soaked in 1 cup almond milk for 10-15 mins, 1 chopped, frozen banana, around 2 handfuls of the chopped persimmons, spinach and water- whizzed up until smoothy-smooth and delicious!
 Yes, there was quite a bit left in the blender, but simply popping a lid on your smoothie jar- into the freezer and diving into the remains with a spoon is a perfect pre-brekky snack!
 Now; this smoothie. Guys. You guys. This was incredible! So creamy, so delicious, slight taste of persimmon... gah I want it again now! (and it's been what.. an hour?)
 I used to never think a smoothie could be enough for breakfast and that I always needed something else to munch on as I drank said smoothie but when you fill your blender to the brim with all the good stuff- I'm happy for hours and hours!

And can someone also tell my body that it's weird for craving huge smoothies in winter. I'm either drinking my smoothie shivering, tucked up in a blanket, or in front of the heater every morning I decide to make one.
My smoothie and my cold legs :)
Come summer and all I'll be wanting to eat is warm, stick-to-your-ribs oats! Oh the irony!!

So yes, I have persimmons coming out my ears. I've never eaten so many persimmons in such a short space of time (they're quite expensive here in Aus so are generally a once-in-a-while treat, like fresh mangoes :) and I've got to say, I'm not complaining. In fact I'm dreaming about the next time I'm going to whip up one of these big, green, persimmon smoothies!!

What about you?
Are you a fan of persimmons?
Favourite way to use persimmons other than simply eating fresh?
Smoothies in summer or winter? What does your body prefer? Maybe my body craves the extra immune-boosting properties of all the fresh fruit and veg my green smoothies have to offer... who knows?

I hope you all have a lovely rest of your day, enjoy every second, remember all the blessings in your life (even the little ones that are so often taken for granted each day) and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

My Love-Affair With Sourdough :D

Hi there beautiful people!

I have a confession to make.

It's a confession that I've been holding onto for quite some time now and I think now is probably the right time to share it with all of you lovely readers.

Because at Steph 2 Chef we share things. Like food obsessions, training dilemmas, injuries, food aversions, deeper/ more personal stuff... the whole shebang.

And so today I need to confess something to you all before we continue our relationship together as blogger and reader.


Ok, my name is Steph and... I am having an affair with sourdough.

*inaudible gasp!*

Yes, I know, I know, it's utterly scandalous and completely crazy but sourdough and I have been seeing each other for quite some time now and I just had to tell someone!
Ok, all jokes aside... but seriously the love is real and I have just got to share some of my favourite meals involving my beloved sourdough with you all so you can truly understand the integrity of my love :P

But before we get into that, why don't I make it all the more acceptable by sharing all the benefits sourdough offers to ones body! (Sure makes me feel a bit better :)
Sourdough bread is made by the fermentation of dough using naturally-occurring lactobacilli and yeast. This means that when we eat sourdough bread it's like taking a probiotic, enhancing our gut bacteria as it contains multiple strains of beneficial microflora.

This in turn helps with prober digestion and absorption of nutrients (without microflora this would not be possible as the food would not be broken down sufficiently and thus not absorbed) and helps maintain a healthy intestinal tract.

Not only this but sourdough bread also provides vitamins B1 through B6 from lactobacillus and B12 vitamins from wild yeast.

As it's easily digested and absorbed it's also a great choice for people with a slight wheat/ gluten intolerance as it's a lot nicer on the digestive tract (not suitable for coeliacs!) which is a win for me who often gets a little bloat-y after a big wheat/ gluten meal!

So, in a very succinct nutshell; Sourdough is great and thus I will continue to eat it!

*On a little side note here, I used to work in a bakery and I was closing with a girl one day and we were saying our favourite bread,  I of course said sourdough and she looked at me as though I was crazy and said; 'Do you know how many kilojoules are in sourdough!' And apparently there is a fair few. But you know what, that's such a sad way to live your life determining which foods are your favourite depending on the caloric content!!

Now onto my beloved sourdough:
As you can see by this shot, sourdough doesn't have to be fancy. One of my all-time favourite ways of eating the delicious sour bread is simply lightly toasting and spreading with nut butter:
This also happens to be my favourite type of sourdough bread; mixed seed and grain sourdough- slightly nutty, chewy and delicious!! Topped generously with crunchy PB and cashew butter.
Possibly one of my favourite ways to enjoy this mixed seed sourdough however is with a spread of homes, some mashed avocado and a poached egg on top. Seriously, nothing beats that flavour combo and I literally have this attest once a week if not more!


Lastly I wanted to show you this amazing lunch which featured pumpkin, lin and sunflower seed sourdough buns! Freshly baked from woolies and utterly amazing warmed up, spread with hummus, topped with spinach, a veggie patty and some grilled capsicum and fresh tomato slices: Hello ultimate veggie burger:
I also cannot wait to test one of these bad boys out with some rich, thick pumpkin soup for dipping. To. Die. For!
And just for your viewing pleasure... lookie!!!

I am a big fan of chewy, dense bread, so if you're more of a lighter, fluffier, mild tasting bread, sourdough is probably not for you. but if like me you just want to chew on a deliciously flavourful bread with so much to offer whatever topping you decide to put on the throne, then definitely give sourdough a go- you will not be disappointed!!

* Another side note; pane di casa bread is also ridiculously marvellous and has a slightly less sour taste if you still want max flavour and chew- recommend!!

Now it's over to you:
What is your favourite bread of all-time?
Favourite topping for toast?
Best sourdough experience?

I hope you all have an extremely fabulous day, do something you absolutely love to do and eat something you absolutely love to eat. Your body and mind will thank you for it! bye for now friends!! :D

Monday, 20 June 2016

Carbing Up!!

Hide ho friendly friends and welcome to the space where i talk non-stop about food. And quite frequently exercise, and also regularly healthy living and eating to fuel the amazing machine that is your body.

But mainly food.

Always food.

Love food.


Anywho, if you didn't guess already this post is a post about food (yup) and more specifically about the recent foods that have been entering my digestive system as of late (hurrah!!).

Yeah, ok, that sounded grosser than intended but in a nutshell; lately I've been upping the intensity/ duration of my workouts (no specific reason at all really. Exams are over, my body feels capable and strong and I'm in a good headspace- it's the ebb and flow of the wave of life people; seasonal change and all!). This upping of intensity has left my body feeling powerful, strong, capable... hungry and sometimes a little sore.
This may not look like much to many people but it's very evident to me that I'm finally starting to get some of those much-desired muscles and filling out my legs and arms with stronger, leaner, muscle-r physique :)

You know what that tells me? I need to eat to recover. (And also rest; resting is important and like today, sometimes we wake up at the crack of dawn and don't put on our workout gear to lift that heart rate but choose instead to grab some water and slide happily back into the cosy embrace of bed for a while longer :).

So in that very large nutshell.. I have been eating all the foods. Primarily carbs. Because my body prefers them to burn and run efficiently and so, here are some of my recent eats!
Right here was one of my dinners from last week that was quick, simple and just the fuel I needed after a sweaty HIIT sesh that morning (recovery lasts the entire day people!)

It included steamed broccoli and brussels over warmed, mashed chickpeas (so good!!) with two slices of mixed seed sourdough, one topped with crunchy peanut butter and the other with raw cashew butter. It was so good. I want it right now.

On the topic of dinners..
This guy was another high-carb winner that blew my socks off again with how the simplest meals are always the most delicious. featuring two poached eggs atop another bed of warmed, mashed chickpeas (I tell you- it is amazing!) topped with some medium salsa, with a side of crispy oven-roasted regular white potato and white sweet potato (potato, olive oil, 180 degrees celsius, 55mins)

The potato love is real.
Moving straight onto lunches (they too help so, so much in recovery of hungry muscle cells!) and this bad boy stole the show last week leaving me in food heaven as I tried to concentrate during my bible study meeting about next terms schedule whilst simultaneously devouring this tupperware container of yum:
High fibre spaghetti with steamed pumpkin and parsnip, peas, spinach and homes all stirred together the night before and then left in the fridge overnight creating a delicious cold pasta salad of 'cheesy' goodness from the homes :)

Sorry about the poor lighting of this next shot (shows how early I get up to fit in a good sweat session!) but this breakfast followed an awesome sprint session comprised of 50m full-out sprinting, some no-handed cartwheel practice, and some continuous sprint intervals (hard for 50m, slow for 50m).
No handed cartwheel practise, you question? Yeah, I think it's just an innate reflex in me that whenever I sprint hard at something I'm typically about to flip #alwaysagymnast.

Anywho this brekky was just some steel cut oats with banana, maca powder (great for recovery- heaps of potassium), cinnamon, almond milk and water- bubbled away for around 20 mins until absorbed and deliciously soft and oatmeal-y :P With cashew butter on bottom of mug, crunchy pb in middle and more cashew butter on top (full coverage people!)

Healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and essential carbs for optimum recovery!

Finally who can go past the beloved sweet potato??
A super simple, super delicious dinner of 1 medium baked sweet tater (pricked with fork, baked at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour) topped with coconut butter with a side of raw grape tomatoes and steamed zucchini.

Practically all veggies now that I look at an actual photo :) Funny how you eat things but don't register the full picture! Any other food bloggers out there get that? Food blogging makes eating habits so much more prevalent??

Alrighty so that's a little snapshot into some of my eats to fuel the fire in my muscles. The workouts I've been incorporating and upping in intensity include super sweating, heart raising HIIT (typically Blogilates), sprint training (super tiring/ quickly exhausting but definitely one of my favourites!), hill sprint training (even harder and definitely works the gluten and but muscles a lot more than just flat surface running!), Blogilates workouts (don't knock it until you've done Extreme Abs 2 and Extreme Abs 3 in one morning. One after the other!), long runs (increasing the distance to around 10km-ish now) and weight lifting for the arms (this also creates real hunger and is also a favourite of mine!)

I find it's utterly essential for me to keep each day new and exciting and different from the day before to keep me motivated and wanting to sweat! I love, love, love working out, it makes me feel so gosh darn amazing and I'm not going to lie, baby biceps and baby abs will always bring a smile to my dial. I must remember that when the hunger becomes real, it is time to eat and eat to fuel my body (which seems to be a heck of a lot more fuel than other girls in my year- trust me, I've written many posts on this topic!) and that it's utterly ok to devour the food that my body craves and helps it recover and work at it's best potential.

So, yes, this post was just a little insight into how fitness and training definitely changes up from time to time, just like the seasons, or the calendar months and that's absolutely fine! Some times my body needs more rest. Other times it needs to GO GO GO. The trick is listening to these cues and not forcing your body to run 10km if it truly needs an extra lie in, or light stretching instead. And also, this post was an insight into how my eats have shown that with increased training does come increased appetite and for me that means increasing my intake of my delicious friend; The carbohydrate!

Your turn:
I'd love to hear where you're at too with all this so please tell me:
Are you dealing up or reducing down your workouts at the moment?
Fav macronutrient for workouts? Protein, fat, carbs?
Best dinner you've made this week?

I hope you all have a really lovely day, remember to listen to your body cues and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Friday, 17 June 2016

Saturday :D

Hi there lovely lovelies! And happy Saturday!

This week seemed to go forever for me and so when I woke up Friday morning to the knowledge of the end of the week.. well there was a bit of a smile on my dial!!

Not as big a smile than the one on my face today though! Because unlike Friday, Saturday's mean I have absolutely no commitments/ schooling/ activities planned at all and whilst it may seem kind of dull/ boring, when in year 12 and seemingly busy all. the. time. A day of nothing is one of the best things that could possibly be thrown my way in this season of life.

Season of life- handy that I mentioned that because that is something that also became a lot more evident to me today in particular as well. I've mentioned it before in previous posts whereby I talk about in a similar way to the changing of the seasons, our lifestyles; activity levels, meals, appetite etc. also change and we need to listen and honour these changes even if our minds (generally influenced by what society perceives as 'acceptable') tells us no.

For example, I've just come out of a season of reduced activity/ exercise, with a greater focus on rest/ recovery and looking after my body and this was quite a long period in my life. It followed the over-exercising I put my 14-year-old self through that left me completely burnt out and resultantly lacking any motivation after I recovered from predicted injuries from the amount I was pushing my body.

And for the past few weeks I've moved into a season in my life where my body wants to be pushed. Thrives on working hard, sweating lots and seeing gains I've never had before! I think I'll write a bigger post about this in the near future but this was all to say that we can't keep up an extreme and intense workout schedule every single day. It's not healthy and like the changing of seasons, the body goes through different phases which require different methods of movement.

I'm a firm believer that the body will always benefit from some form of movement every day but I also believe that if that form of movement is a nice, easy, relaxing yoga session as opposed to a high intensity hour long cross-fit training bootcamp, that could be just as beneficial to the body because that could be exactly what the body needs then and there.

So how did my Saturday turn out with all this in mind?

Well, it involved a lovely lie-in (refer back to first point- no school/ plans/ ANYTHING!!) to around 6:30am (this is definitely a lie-in when you consider the usual alarm sings at 5:45am most school mornings!) where I literally did smile with joy at the weekend.

Following this, my body did want to just get up and move. This was a clear difference to the times when my body felt tired and exhausted and I knew a longer lie-in would be beneficial (during recovery for over-training. I also just want to re-iterate that this recovery does take quite a while and you shouldn't feel upset or angry at a lack of motivation/ body's ability to move- your body needs this time to recuperate from the intense training you put it through).

So up and out of bed, hopping down the stars, grabbing my iPad and a cup of water, hopping back up the steps (it's also really cold in the winter mornings in Aus now- I do not cope well with the cold!) and jumping back into bed for a bit of blog reading and water sipping (this is a daily ritual I always do as getting some good hydration into the bod first thing in the morning makes a considerable difference in the way I feel for the rest of the day!). Recently I've loved reading Tina Muirs blog, especially her personal running/ eating posts- super interesting!

After around 15 mins of this I was ready to go! The night before I had already planned a long, easy run as my entire body just felt super stiff and rigid after an intense sprint training on Thursday (yep, even after rest day Friday!) and a looong easy run I knew would be just what the body needs to unwind, unravel and stretch out (my gluten were so tight!).

Running clothes on, shoes laced up, leg-swings done and straight into a jog up the hill out of my court.

I ended up running for a good 90 minutes or so, clocking in around 13.5km with a slow, easy pace and I felt from the very beginning my body beginning to loosen up and get comfortable in the easy stride that I maintained throughout the entire run.

For the first time in months I got that runner's euphoric exhaustion, the heavy legs that just pushed me to keep going and the fatigue that I crave (it's the type of fatigue that rids your mind of any stressors in life/ ability to think of anything really- good fatigue!) It was just me, my legs and the pounding of pavement (well, in my case grass, because I am utterly prone to injury if I only run on pavement!).

And it was a great, great run.
Post-run sweaty selfie :P
Flick back a month or so and my body would have been burnt out by kilometre 5, whether that was my mental state, my physical endurance, or something else, that was absolutely fine and now, I'm going with the increased endurance and determination/ motivation.

And after a long run, fuelled only by the previous night's dinner, breakfast becomes a major priority as soon as I enter through my front door! What a great breakfast it was:

Chic cheesecake protein oats, using a scoop of the delicious Sunwarrior vegan chic protein powder. Quick to whip up, filled with so much goodness- carbs, fats, proteins- perfection!

Did I mention it also tastes like eating a wickedly rich dessert? For breakfast? Yeah, life is good! :)

After sitting down with my warm, gooey mug of oats with crunchy peanut butter melted throughout, in front of the warmth of the heater, I will admit it was quite the challenge to move again. I would happily pause that shot and be happily warm, exhausted (in a good way!), filled with endorphins, with a delicious breakfast in between my hands.

A perfect Saturday.

So to sum up? Life changes, our bodies change, and we have to accept that or result in fighting our body likely leading to injury/ burning out.

And also main take-away from this post? Dessert for breakfast is always a good idea :D

Your turn:
What phase of your fitness do you think you're currently in at the moment?
What's your favourite type of workout at the minute? I'm finally falling back in love with my beloved running!!
Breakfast this morning was?

I hope you all have a fabulous rest of your Saturday/ weekend, do something you absolutely love to do, honouring your body and what it wants/ needs in this period of life and of course; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Creamy Green Pasta Bowl And Other Green Recipes!

I don't know about you but I feel 1000x better when I sit down to a meal that is predominantly the colour green.

It could be a bit of a illusory feeling because my mind is simply seeing green and thinking 'ok we must feel good now!', but I would believe that a big part of my feeling healthy, energised and full of nutrients is because these green foods provide energy bursting, nutrient-filled benefits!

Avocado, broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, pears, silver beat, peas, beans, green apples, kiwi-fruit, cucumber, zucchini... the list goes on and on and the benefits simply grow and grow!!
 I definitely notice a considerable difference in my energy levels, digestion and general feeling of wellbeing when I haven't included many green veggies/ fruits/ foods in my diet and hence am always drawn back to these greenies whether it be a massive green smoothie or a bowl full of basil pesto pasta.. the body knows what it needs!!

This is why I try and incorporate green-ness into almost all of my meals! And here today for you is both a dinner creation and breakfast creation that left me feeling noticeably happier, energetic, not bloated/ worn down and just... good. Full stop.

Now without further a do- how about a recipe for a super creamy, delicious pasta bowl?
Creamy Green Avocado Pasta Bowl:

1 serving penne pasta (I used high fiber penne)
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup corn
125g tin mixed four beans, drained and rinsed
1 handful spinach
1/2 large avocado
1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast

1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions- add peas and corn for the last 2 minutes and in the last 30 seconds add the spinach to wilt down to literally nothing!
2. Drained pasta, peas and corn and spinach and place in large-ish bowl (to stir around) and add the rinsed four beans
3. Mash avocado (either large half or a whole small avocado) with the nutritional yeast until smooth and combined
4. Add the creamy mashed avocado to the pasta bowl and stir until every bit is covered in creamy, delicious avocado!
5. Transfer to eating bowl and NOM!

 So simple, quick, healthy and so gosh darn delicious- perfect weeknight meal when you don't know what to cook, need something comforting yet don't want to feel gross and bloated afterwards- make this bad boy!!
 Literally ate this with a big smile on my face as the creamy delicious-ness of the avocado cream sauce coated all the pasta, providing a luscious, silky texture and delicious almost-cheesey flavour as a result of the added nutritional yeast- perfect!
 So now that you've just eaten you're delicious, creamy green pasta bowl and you've felt great, gone to bed and woken up for a brand new day, why not keep up the theme with a HUUUGEEE (and you know me and my smoothies; when I say huge, I mean huuuggee!) green tropical pineapple smoothie!
 To make you're very own full-to-the-brim jar (with plenty left in the belnder for pre-breakfast snacks! :P) simply place:

1 large chopped, frozen banana
1 handful of chopped, frozen zucchini
1 large handful chopped, frozen pineapple
1 LARGE handful of kale
1 LARGE handful of spinach
3 big scoops of greek yoghurt
1/2 heaped cup rolled oats with 1 teaspoon chia seeds soaked in 1 cup almond milk for around 10-15 mins

1. Place everything in the blender in this order: zucchini, kale, oats, pineapple, spinach, yoghurt, banana and a splash of water (I only put in a splash as I love my smoothies ridiculously thick- like strain to suck it up the straw thick, so if you like it less-thick just add more water!) and blend on high until smoothie smoooooth!
 Creamy, delicious, ridiculously green without the taste of green-ness at all, filled with all the good stuff and the vitamin C from pineapple to help with the absorption of iron from the spinach and kale, (irons an important one for us ladies!!) this is seriously a great way to start the day- and trust me, it will leave you full for quite some time!
 I'm not one to simply make smoothies with water and frozen fruit because I know that will not leave me full or satiated for very long at all and I also know I would be lacking a huge bunch of vital nutrients from my first meals of the day- thus greek yoghurt, rolled oats, almond milk and chia seeds are added in to add the protein, fibre, good fats and omega-3's my body thrives on to really crush my day! And also the size of the smoothie is simply so large even I won't feel hungry for a few good hours!! :P
 And again; there's no bloating or sickness when this baby starts my day!

So there you have it friends! Two delicious green recipes that will leave you feeling refreshed, energised, light and happy, simultaneously providing your body with so many essential nutrients without you even noticing! Happy, happy dayzz!

Your turn:
What's your favourite green food? I have no idea what I would choose, probably spinach because it is just so versatile!
Favourite green recipe? Mine would definitely be green smoothies. But I did have a long affair with pesto for a while there... and avocado toast is simply so, so good!
Best breakfast you've had recently?

I hope you all have a truly wonderful rest of your day, look after your amazing bodies, do something you utterly love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!

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