Tuesday, 6 June 2017


So I've had this blog for a while now (read, 3 and a half years!!) and throughout the entirety of this blog I have umm-ed and ahhh-ed over whether or not to become vegan, frequently posting vegan recipes and meal ideas and admiring all those vegans out there with their huge plates of plant-based goodness...

And so it might seem shocking as to why I didn't go vegan a long, long time ago. But I think there was this tiny part of my brain that doubted whether or not i could/ should give up all animal products entirely.

But the other thing was, I was basically vegan anyway (especially throughout this year as I finished up with school and had more time to think about who I wanted to be as an adult in this world. I was really only eating greek yoghurt as my everyday animal product and eggs maybe twice a week max! So really, the transition wouldn't be so hard at all...

Which is why... come Sunday morning I whipped up a bowl of berry oats and just... poured over some extra almond milk instead of the greek yoghurt scoop and haven't looked back!

Yep, ya girl is vegan now and let me tell you, even in the last few days I've already noticed my digestion is heaps better, my hunger levels are back, my appetite is roaring, I'm energetic and I'm just happy.

You know the post about how easy it is to fall down the rabbit hole of restriction?? Well now that I've told my brain I'm vegan it's sort of like broken down that food restriction barrier and I'm eating in abundance and ALL the good stuff too! Soooo many veggies and my creativity for cooking has returned!

Thus, the real reason for this post:

Put down whatever it is you are doing right now and go and make this bowl of vegan AWESOMENESS!! So awesome (and healthy) I even made it for lunch! Plus a sneaky secret ingredient to keep you full and firing for hours!!!

Rich choc protein granola with coconut yoghurt, frozen mango and fresh dates:

a splash of cold almond milk over the top:

Such a simple and out-of-this-world delicious meal to make and yep, I have the recipe right here for all of you to enjoy (and seriously- MAKE THIS NOW!)

Vegan Choc Granola Yoghurt Bowl:

1 cup red kidney beans (told ya there was a sneaky secret ingredient)
3/4 heaped cup rolled oats
1 scoop Sunwarrior vegan choc protein powder
1 teaspoon maca powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
splash almond milk

Few scoops coconut/ soy yoghurt

four fresh dates (fell free to use dried dates I just happened to have the fresh ones from the grocery store the other day)

few handfuls frozen mango

Extra almond milk to splash over

1. Drain and rinse red kidney beans and microwave for 30 seconds
2. Add beans, protein powder, maca powder, cinnamon and almond milk to blender/ food processor and process until smooth and creamy.

3. Massage into oats and then spread onto tray lined with baking paper

4. Place in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for around 30 mins or until the granola starts to get a little crunchy on the outside and smells incredible!!

Little dark and crispy on the outside- just the way I like it!! :D :D

5. Leave to cool slightly and then layer up your bowl! First some granola, then some dates, yoghurt, frozen mango, more granola, dates, frozen mango, granola and almond milk- hey presto! It's the best-o!!!

Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner and thank me after your done devouring this bowl of goodness.

Absolutely needed after today's leg day- the hanger was real!!

Now, as for the red kidney beans added to the granola? No my friends- you cannot taste them at all! In fact they even add another dimension of fudginess I often find lacking in typical crunchy/ dry commercial granola and that browns-like texture is just incredible! Trust me my friends- this addition is legit!

I can't wait to discover what other mad creations I am yet to come up with and am so excited to be excited about food once again (and EATING!!) so here's to the next amazing chapter in my life (I'm cheers-ing with this bowl of chocolate goodness by the way :P :D)

No questions today, just a fun happy post filled with goodness and foooooooodd!!

Have a wonderful day my friends (and eat something delicious!! :P :D :D)

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

So... I ran a half marathon!!!

If you didn't guess from the title my friends, I did something awesome on Sunday the 28th of May...

Something I've wanted to do for quite a few years now and have finally achieved.

Something I've trained for for quite a while now and have finally completed.

Something that makes me smile now just thinking of it.


And it was awesome.

Anywho, I thought i might do a little recap for you of the day, how it went, how I felt and all the fun stuff in between that made up THE DAY I RAN A HALF MARATHON.

So, I began training for this half about 4-5 months before... yeah, props a little too long if you ask me, and with that came quite  significant drop in weight (on my already smaller frame) and some worried glances from the mother and friends. Not gonna lie, I did not like seeing the bones becoming a little more obvious and the muscles, a little less... but alas this was a challenge I wanted to complete and so I stuck it out with my training (approx 1 long run every week with a few mid-length ones scattered in between) and eventually the day rolled round!

It was a 6:45am start in the city and you had to be there 30 mins prior to the start. It takes about 30mins to get into the city from my house too. Let's just say I was up before 5am and getting ready for the excitement of the race! (And trust me, I was excited... and nervous!!)
Running for you Headspace!!

My pre-race fuel of choice was my tried-and-trusted frozen banana (an exceptional choice considering it was only 6 degrees that morning!!!) and devoured that bad boy in the car (mum kindly offered to drive me in- wasn't too keen on the train in the pitch-black of early morning) with the heating on and a jumper that I was going to whip off before the race started as they collect all the jumpers on the side of the road and donate them to charity- happy days.

With the road closures mum got me as close to the start as possible and then my trusty little pocket map lead me the rest of the way (just like a block and a half) to the start where I came across the mass of people warming up, stretching, jogging, getting ready for the oncoming 21.1km.

It was time to find a toilet.

McDonalds seemed like a good idea as it was meters from the start line.

Seemed being the operative word.

Everyone else had the same idea and it took about 20mins to move in the line to the front upon which I raced in, raced out and made it to the starting line as they were counting down from 10!!

Alrighty, no time to warm up- but that's ok because I had peed!!

Jumper whipped off, quick little high knees and away we goooooo!! (well, walking for a bit as it takes a little to get the momentum of such a big crowd going)
Excited Steph-face :P
Nice blurry photos to show my excitement/ coldness :D :D
Not sure what was happening here:

The first half of the race was awesome (in the running sense), absolutely freezing (in the weather sense). Quite a bit of the first half was uphill, which was a little challenging (especially when you also cannot feel your fingers) but also made the flatter sections seem like a breeze. When the sun finally came out the body started to defrost and I really found my stride and rhythm.

I felt so good, running, running, running, passing people, people passing me, feeling strong and powerful- happy, happy days.

I think I hit a bit of a lull at 11km as it was weird having each and every km mapped out for you and made them seem so much longer, so when I got to 11km, 10more just seemed ridiculous.

But soon after it became just another awesome run again as I remained in good stride, felt the atmosphere of the puffing, pounding feet and all around good vibes of an early morning run shared with so many people.

During my training runs I never fuelled mid-way with anything/ took water breaks and that was fine for them so I stuck to my no-food/ water during run plan and was absolutely fine as well. Also, those energy gels they were handing out just look really scary. So, no.

At about 16km I was still feeling pretty stellar and honestly felt this was one of my best runs. I smiled at all the cameras, tried to get a thumbs up for all the snaps (managed some!!) and danced through the  music players and disco lights in the underground tunnel segment (my favourite part of the whole race).

And as we neared 18km-19km that was when I truly felt invincible. I had done basically all the race, was feeling so good and was heading into the HBF arena to smash out the last little bit and smash it out I did!

As we entered the race track I simply pounded it to the finish. I had this extra stored up energy and I was going! Flying past the other finishers and looking up at the clock to see I'd made it in under 2 hrs (my goal- my actual time resulted in 1 hour 49mins and 44seconds :) :D)

It almost didn't seem real that I had just finished the run. Over already? Really? But I kept walking through the gates, gleefully took my half marathon medal, stopped for a cup of water and then a full bottle, passed on the banana/ powerade (I had a big brekky planned for later!!) and headed to the lost childrens section where my friend and i had planned to meet (she was running the 12km but would finish around the same time).
Ok legs, time to walk :P

About 15 mins later we were united and headed off to a cafe called Toast, a few blocks away that boasts pretty much ALL of the toast combos you can think of (my dream!!) and after getting a little lost, finally finding the place and a spot to sit (with 36,000 running in the HBF runs pretty much everywhere was packed!!) and deciding on brekky (we ended up getting the same thing anyway!)
So many people!!
This was so good my friends!!!

Two slices of rye toast topped with the house-made smokey beans (out of this world!!) 2 poached eggs, avo and mushrooms- hit. the. spot! Especially after waiting quite while with a post-run hanger!! :P

We got lost once again after breakfast trying to find our way to the buses to get back to the train station and instead just ended up walking about 20 mins to the train station following the masses of people which was fine because it was a perfect, sunny day and nice to have a bit of a chat and stretch out those legs! (when we had to climb stairs... not so fun)

Back on the train, she got off a few stops ahead of me and then I was back in the car with the mother who surprised me with the most perfect simple Pandora bracelet with a small 21.1km charm to start my fitness highlights bracelet :)

Sweaty, smelly mess ^^ But HAPPYYYY :D :D

As you can imagine I was ravenous ALLL day long and so refuelled at lunch with overnight oats simply thrown into an almost empty Chobani yogurt container with 2 kiwifruit and grapes- soooo good!

That night my friend was being confirmed at church, which made the day even more special! And back home once again for another big ol' meal to feed those tired muscles:

Baked sweet tater with crunchy PB and peas and soy milk- perfection!

Lots of 90% dark choc afterwards as well :P

And then off to relax, unwind and then sleep with a nice big smile on my face after a truly perfect day! Happy days :D

1:49:44 <3

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

When Breakfast is This Good...

Hidy-ho there friendly friends and happy Wednesday!

Today the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, I had a lovely lie-in rest-morning (brutal PT training sesh 10:30am coming up though!!) and just came back from a gorgeous beach walk with the mother. To say life is pretty good would be an understatement!

It's the little things in life that truly bring us the most pleasure overall and I think truly acknowledging them and thanking the world for them each and every day is what fills our hearts and warms our souls.

Ok, enough with the deep stuff that makes our bodies feel amazing. Onto something else that makes our bodies feel amazing; good and honest and wholesome fooooooooooddd!!!!

Today also happens to be the day when I made one of the best breakfasts I've made in a long, long time. And here it is:
This my friends, is what I like to long-windedly call the tropical banana-mango green smoothie bowl topped with raw cacao rich choc and turmeric oat truffles!

And it was phenomenal.
Filled with so many antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, a few servings of veggies thrown in there, rich dark chocolate truffles, paired perfectly with the cool, creamy, sweet smoothie base... friends, this is it.

Mango Smoothie Bowl with Raw Choc Truffles


1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a few big dashes turmeric
1 heaped tablespoon crunchy peanut butter (any nut butter will work)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (any milk alternative/ water will be fine)
Optional- two dates for sweetness (I love tart, bitter dark choc, so committed but if you want some subtle sweetness dates are amazing!!)

Smoothie base:
1 large frozen banana
1 handful frozen mango
1 handful frozen zucchini
3-4 chunks frozen spinach chunks
1 super big scoop greek yoghurt
1/2 cup water

1. Make the truffles by putting all of the ingredients for the truffles into a blender/ food processor (vitamix to the scene!) and whaz together until smooth and sticky.
2. Roll out into balls and place on a plate lined with baking paper and into the freezer for 20-30mins whilst you make the smoothie base.
3. Make the banana-mango green smoothie base by putting the zucchini, spinach, greek yoghurt, mango, banana and water into a blender (Vitamix, you're up again!!) and whizzing up on high until smoothie-smooth, thick and creamy.
4. Spoon out and smooth over into a bowl and into the freezer for 15 mins to harden up slightly.
5. Remove both from freezer, top smoothie bowl with balls and ENJOY!
Seriously so delicious and the sweetness from the smoothie balances out that bitter fudgey chocolate so well! Gah, it's so good you guys!!
 I feel like this is the literal definition for the hash tag; #dessertforbreakfast and I'm not even sorry.

When the ingredients are this good, it's hard to feel guilty about eating something this delicious!!

So yes, already it has been such a wonderful, perfect and delicious day and a big part of that is simply realising all the amazing things we are blessed with in this life!

Eat good food, move your body, smile more and most of all, remember how awesome even the smallest little awesome-nesses are!!

Have a good one my friends and I'll be back with another post soon about the ways in which I am feeling my body during strength training and weights to get all those #gainzzzzz
Bye for now friendly friends :D


Monday, 27 March 2017


Hi friends!!

I know I've been a little absent on the blog front lately- but if you follow me on Instagram you would know i'm still alive and thriving! :D :D

Nope, just bogged down with the hectic-ness that we call the beautiful life and whilst I love blogging and it brings me so much joy, I have had to put it on a bit of a back burner for now as I simply do not have the time to sustain a consistent blogging schedule!

So to keep up with the daily consumptions of moi, I literally post it all on Insta with recipes, so that's where you can get all those delicious inspirations for your next meal whilst I am not blogging regularly!!

In the meantime to fulfil your food-lovin' needs (and mine :P) here is a pic of some sweet potato toast I made for brekky the other morning. It was awesome:
 Eaten with a delicious bowl of mango fro-yo:
 This bad boy involved a few big handfuls frozen mango chunks, handful frozen zucchini, 4-5 frozen spinach chunks and 3 spoons greek yoghurt- whazzed up in the Vitamix until smooth and creamy and popped in the freezer whilst 'toasts' were cooking :D
 And the sweet potato toast was literally sliced sweet potato toasted multiple times in the toaster until cooked through:
 Topped with cashew butter and smooth PB:
It did take quite a few toasts but in the end it was worth it- nicely browned and crisp on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside:

 And of course this happened:
Happy days.

So yes, that's what happening at the moment- again, keep up with ALL the food on Insta (@Steph2chef) and I will see you when I see you!

Keep eating delicious foods friendly friends!! :D :D

Ever eaten sweet tater toast?
Fav topping for them?
Fav way to eat sweet potato? Roasted, baked whole, steamed, mashed, toasted?? (thinking about steaming, mashing and popping in my almost empty jar of almond butter tomorrow :) :D)


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole of Restricion

Hidy-ho friendly friends and...

Sorry for being so M.I.A. recently!!

Life has just been happening, you know?? I've been working a lot and then uni started up (and there is a heck of a lot of stuff to organise before you even get into week 1 of university! CRAZY!) and well, ya girl had to prioritise life in order to make the most of each day and unfortunately that meant posting all the delicious foods to Instagram instead of this lovely space as it was simply quicker, more convenient and let's be real; easier! :P

Anywho, I am back today and this time with a real serious post to get the brains a-thinking and to follow the theme of the week which is in fact NEDA week (National Eating Disorders Awareness week) and today I wanted to talk about restriction.

Restriction in both the sense of restricting yourself with food and also restricitng yourself of happiness, in general.

It is such an easy and almost unintentional rabbit hole to first fall down, but once you've fallen the twists and turns it takes makes it almost impossible to find your way out of without a serious reality check and/or (and preferably and) a little help from others.

You might be thinking, but Steph, how can you possibly know that, you're always going on about the enormity of the meals you eat and the abundance of food you allow yourself.

And yes, that is the case. Most times.

You see, my also unexplained absence can be drawn down to my having lost some wight and finding some of my thoughts surrounding eating, exercising and healthy living in general to sway more towards the unhealthy side. And I know this for sure because I've been pulled up on it by not 1, not 2, but 3 separate people I've met on Instagram when posting my stories and or pictures of what I've been eating/ doing. And when a stranger who doesn't even know you picks you up on disordered living... that's when you know something is up!
I posted this picture to my Instagram story a while back of some steamed veg and beans and was amazed to find two separate commenters commenting that this was far too small and imbalanced for my lifestyle- slap yourself in the face Steph!!!

And so recently I've decided to take a step back from all the commitments I've made to myself in the past, including this blog and try and reflect on how I am currently living life and whether or not this is the healthiest life for me.

The thing is, there's a strange sense of pride and or feeling good about yourself when you do eat less than you should. It is so disordered this thinking and so wrong on so many levels but I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that sense of... accomplishment??
Again, I fill my plate like always but half the plate is raw veggies and the sandwich is not enough to put back in all those calories my body needs!

And this is where body dismorphia also comes into play, because looking in the mirror and sure, thinking; 'yeah I've lost some weight but there's still fat around my hips, or I'm still not the perfect figure etc.' is all too easy when you fall down that rabbit whole that is, as hard as it might be to take, extremely selfish and self-focused that you don't even realise you are a heck of a lot smaller than the majority of people around you!

And then your family starts to notice and maybe brings it up in convo- nice and casually like; 'Gosh that was a long workout- you must be getting so fit! And also you are small!!' They worry and yet try and phrase it in a positive light to start the conversation and thus, once again, people are noticing the restrictive behaviour.

The restrictive behaviour of over-exercising, of not taking enough rest days for your body, of becoming so focused on fitness and physique that the joy and love of exercise is lost too amongst the twists and turns of the disordered maze you've found yourself in. Resorting to only taking rest days once a week and those being active 'rest' days will continue to work your body. And disordered minds thrive of this (I know I am currently in this cycle!)
Another 'lunch' fit for a snack.

And then after all this; the smaller meals, the less nut butter added to your oats, the chucking out the food because you can't fit it in your belly, the choosing a plate of raw veggies over your preferred roasted veggies because you've eaten too much fat already today, the 30min 'rest day' workout you put yourself through when your body cries out for rest, the sick satisfaction of looking at protruding bones in the mirror and a little sense of dark pride surfacing in your mind, you lose weight. And not the healthy kind. The unhappiness kind. Because you're also losing happiness.

And again, how do I know this?? Because I am currently working through all this mentioned above myself.

I don't want that disordered little voice controlling my actions throughout my life and I sure as heck don't want to lose any more weight. I never thought I'd get to a stage like this, but if I want a happy, healthy future, with the ability to carry children, have the energy and healthy bones and functioning body to do all the things I want and alive a long and prosperous life, meals like this one above are going to need to become a lot more balanced as well as my balance with exercise and rest.

I love my body and yet I've fallen down the rabbit hole of restricition but luckily I've realised this and so now it's time to pull myself out!

This was a brutally
honest and hard to write post for me, so I hope this can spark hope and start a conversation with all of you guys struggling with the same kinds of things, so leave a comment if you wish, share your story if you like (feel free to email me if you would like me to hear your story or even share it here on the blog) and as always, my friends, eat something delicious. Bye for now!! :D

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Week In Workouts!!

Hi there friendly friends and welcome to another Week In Workouts post!

Rest day is scheduled in for tomorrow and thus I thought I'd share with you what the previous working out days have looked like and a typical working out week for me at the moment!

Now I'm the type of person who needs to keep things changing and interesting to keep my motivation up. Last week my way of doing that was completing this insane Weekend Warrior Workout by Lifting Revolution that nearly killed me. Honestly it was one of the hardest workouts I've ever done. And it was awesome. :P

This week was a little less crazy, but still filled with fun, interesting and challenging workouts that left me wanting more every single day!

Saturday saw a brutally awesome full body and arm-focus workout that left my muscles shaking with enriching exhaustion:
 I started out with 12 full body lifts which involves picking up the barbell from a deadlift, hoisting it up to my chest, pushing above my head, back behind on my shoulders, low squat and then thrusting back up above my head, to chest to deadlift to ground- truly great warm-up to get the body warm and ready to go!!
 Following that I did 15 deadlifts with my new super heavy barbell I got for my 18th (I got a whole weight-lifitng set for my birthday :D Happy days!) and then 27 squats, the last 5 being low to the ground.
 And from there I went into my arm routine which involved biceps and triceps supersetted together so I didn't have to break so often!
Finishing off with another 12 full body barbells- nice!

Sunday was crazy HIIT day where I crushed out Fitness Blender's Climbing The Mountain workout- which will never fail to make me sweat!! Honestly, if you want to challenge your body- do this workout. By the time you get to 60 seconds through with only 15 seconds break in between- the pain will be real!

Monday= AB DAY!!
 I'm so proud how far my abs have come in the last few months- not only there occasional appearance but also the fact that I can feel how much stronger my core is and can amaze myself by some of the exercises I can now do that used to leave me crying on the floor! :P
 This session involved another fun challenge- Blogilate's 1000 abs challenge, followed by a medicine ball full body workout and then Fitness Blender's advanced weighted core workout, finishing off with Blogilate's Muffin Top Shredder Song Challenge (my favourite song challenge I think!!)
 This is me being super excited about seeing abs: :P
 As you know I like to train fasted as any food in my belly makes me feel nauseous (especially during intense workouts) and so it's so utterly important for me to get a good brekky into me following such rigorous exercise:
 Enter amazing breakfasts like this:
 A huge creamy, delicious green mango smoothie made with 1/2 large super ripe frozen mango, 1 frozen banana, 1 handful frozen zucchini, 5 chunks frozen spinach, 3 scoops greek yoghurt and a splash of water, along with a BIG heaping of mixed nuts (brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds and cashews)- absolutely perfect!!
 Tuesday featured another fav of mine: HIIT and run:
 Judging by the face you can probably tell it was a good one!!
This involved 2 Fitness Blender short HIIT workouts (a regular HIIT and a jump rope HIIT) followed by a 40-45min 7km slow recovery run- hit. the. spot:
 See, I'm happy really ^^ :P

Finally that brings us to today's workout before rest day which finished out the session quite similarly to how we started; with some weights:
 Today was more chest focused, still starting and ending with 12 full body barbell lifts but with a heck of a lot more bench presses, push-ups, dumbell flies, rows etc.
 The best parts about weights for me is seeing just how strong and capable I am. It makes me feel powerful and I truly love that feeling! Hence why I love adding it to my workout routine!!
 It's also pretty cool to see my muscles growing and my body transforming into a strong, powerful girl woman!
 Again, refueling with the best:
 Berry cheesecake oats made with 1 cup rolled oats, 1 sliced banana, 1 handful frozen berries, 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, 3/4 cup water- stirred over medium heat until absorbed (vigorously at the end for fluffiness and to fully incorporate banana) 2 scoops greek yoghurt stirred in at end and topped and tailed with crunchy peanut butter, coconut nut butter in the middle- NOM!

And all my other meals during the day have been filled with all the good stuff like these two dinners:
 Huge bowl of steamed veg (pumpkin, potato, broccoli, brussels, peas and chickpeas)

And this toasted roasted veggie sourdough seeded roll:
 Spread with hommus, topped with spinach, roasted pumpkin, parsnip, potato, white sweet potato, beetroot and swede- sooooo delicious!!
 Toasted up until golden and crispy in a sandwich press:
 So yes, that is what a typical work-out week looks like for me and I utterly love it! Something different every single day to keep my body guessing and challenging and testing my limits- keeps my body strong, keeps my mind strong and ultimately leaves me feeling like this:
Which is how every workout should!!

Your turn:
What was your favourite workout from the week?
Lifitng weights? Are you a fan?
Fav way to eat roasted veggies? I'm keen to try whazzing them up into a smoothie- I saw it on Instagram and now I'm intrigued- will get back to you on that one!!!

I hope you found today's post interesting and helpful! I just want to ensure you are working out for the pure pleasure and blessing of being able to move your body and enjoy it!! Have yourself a wonderful day, do something you love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!!! :D
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...