Archive | March, 2013

Raw Healthy Chocolates!

28 Mar

Fitness In The City - raw chocolates

Instead of buying the standard cheap, sugar filled chocolate eggs from the supermarket this Easter.. why not try something a little different and make your own.

Healthy, easy and simply delicious – what more could you want?!

Raw Homemade Chocolates

Ingredients:

¾ cup coconut oil (it needs to be liquid so if solid put jar in hot water to melt)

¾ cup agave nectar (you can also combine honey/maple syrup/agave)

1 cup of raw cocao powder (Green & Blacks organic cocao is another option)

1 tablespoon of almond butter

1/3 tsp of vanilla extract

 

Directions:

1. Place liquid coconut oil in a bowl – if hard melt beforehand.

2. Mix all ingredients together with a hand blender until smooth.

3. Pour chocolate mixture into moulds (I use Ikea shaped icetrays) or pour into a baking dish lined with baking paper.

4. Place moulds into freezer to be set in the freezer (approx 15 minutes).

Options: add goji berries or peppermint oil for a flavour change.

Fitness In The City - raw chocolates with goji berries

 

Paleo bread – possibly the best. Ever.

22 Mar

Not a day goes by when I don’t think of my beloved bread. Even though it was such a one sided relationship – I loved, and the bread? Well the gluten, grain filled bread did nothing but cause me heart (ok tummy) ache.

There were times when I would crawl back for more, just to endure days of pain and even depression. Then something new came along.

The world’s best paleo bread. Ever.

 Paleo bread sliced

Top with a generous scoop of homemade berry jam (if you’re feeling really crazy.. add some natural yogurt onto to act as cream YUM!!) and I promise you will be hooked too.

Ingredients:

200g cashew butter

220g macadamia butter

(Or 1 cup smooth nut butter of your choice at room temp)

5 eggs at room temperature separated (5 whites separated and 4 yolks separated)

1/2 teaspoon honey

2.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup rice or almond milk (a splash more if need when whisking)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. For a white colour loaf as in the photo, place a small dish of water on the bottom rack.

Line the bottom of an loaf pan with baking paper, then spread a very thin coating of coconut oil on the sides of the pan.

Beat (electric hand mixer) the cashew butter with the egg yolks, then add the honey, vinegar, and milk.

Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until peaks form.

Combine the dry ingredients in another small bowl.

Make sure your oven is completely preheated before adding the egg whites and the dry ingredients to the cashew butter mixture. You don’t want your whites to fall, and the baking soda will activate once it hits the eggs and vinegar.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and beat until combined. This will result in more of a wet batter than a dough. Make sure to get all of the sticky butter mixture off of the bottom of the bowl so you don’t end up with clumps.

Pour the beaten egg whites into the cashew butter mixture, beating again until just combined. You don’t have to be gentle with this, but don’t over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, then immediately put it into the oven.

Put in oven and drop temp to 140 degree and cook for 45 minutes – don’t open oven door for at least 40 minutes. Once cooked on top do a tooth pick test then cool for 15 minutes in tin. Then take out and cool on wire rack for at least 15 minutes before you dig in!!

Paleo bread with jam

Berry Jam

1 cup of frozen berries

1 tbs of honey

Rind of one lemon

2 teaspoons of lemon juice (or a good squeeze!)

Directions:

Boil on medium heat for 15-20 minutes stirring constantly until it thickens. Stick with it, it does thicken.

Pop in freezer for 10 minutes to ensure it is set then enjoy on top of fresh bread!!

Will keep for 1 week in fridge

Paleo bread

The original recipes (which I have adapted) came from the amazing gal at AgainstAllGrains.com.

Why You Should Start Dry Body Brushing Today

15 Mar

dry body brushing
Fast, effective, numerous health benefits – what’s not to love about dry body brushing in the morning?

You may be thinking, Why do I need to add something else to my already busy morning routine? Let me assure you, the extra five minutes this takes is well worth the investment.

Think back to your human biology class (minus the traumatizing exam) and answer these questions: What is the largest organ in the body? What is one of the most important elimination organs in the body, playing a large role in daily detoxification? What organ receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body? When the blood is full of toxic materials, what organ will reflect this with problems? What organ is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to shows signs of imbalance or deficiency?

Answer for all: the skin!

The benefits of dry skin brushing include:
• Listen up ladies: Increasing the circulation to the skin could possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. So, rather than take drastic measures like liposuction, how about utilizing the dry skin brushing techniques to help break down unwanted toxins?
• Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with any pesky ingrown hairs.
• It assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively.
• Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin (and it feels pretty great, too!).
• It helps with muscle tone and gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits.
• Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.
• And, in my experience, dry body brushing first thing in the morning can actually set up a perfect day! By doing something solely for yourself first thing in the morning, you can develop a beautiful follow-through effect, starting with a healthy breakfast – why ruin all the good work you just did?
Can you try dry body brushing at home?

Good news – you don’t have to book a pricey spa treatment to reap the benefits; this one can be done in your very own bathroom. All you need to do is purchase a natural bristle brush (not one made from nylon or synthetic materials). One with a long handle is also a plus, as it means you can reach all areas of the body.

The directions are pretty simple:
• Start on dry skin before bathing.
• Work in gentle circular, upward motions, then longer, smoother strokes.
• Always begin at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart – the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it’s important that you brush in the same direction.
• Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back.
• After you’ve finished with the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun-burnt skin, or skin cancer.
• Ensure you shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities.
• Tip: alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin.
• Then follow it up with a slick moisturizer to nourish the skin (personally, I’m a fan of coconut oil).
Give it a go for 30 consecutive days and your body will love you for it!

See my original post on Dry Body Brushing here on MindBodyGreen

MindBodyGreen

Ditch the coco pops – three healthy breakfast ideas

1 Mar

If you haven’t already.. it is time to retire your favourite sugary cereal and replace it with a real meal to kick start your day (ie using real food). Unless you want to continue to feel sluggish and tired, then by all means – keep on eating those pops!

First up I want to introduce you to homemade gluten free corn cakes (inspired by Bills).  Served with a side of bacon, asparagus and tomato, avocado and coriander salsa this meal of champions is simple delish!

The carbs you get from the corn, coconut flour and asparagus will gives you the extra energy you need to power you on to lunch (with a snack thrown in for good measure of course). Plus the good fats for the avocado and protein from the bacon is essential to making this a balanced meal. Ensure the bacon comes from a good source – I always aim for organic meat where possible.

Sweetcorn gluten free Fritters with Avocado Salsa

Gluten Free Sweetcorn cakes

Ingredients

Corncakes
• 500 g fresh corn kernels – either cut from 3 corn cobs or use frozen kernels for convenience (defrosted first!)
• 2 organic eggs
• 1 small red onion chopped
• 15 g chopped coriander leaves
• 125 g coconut flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• Sea salt and ground pepper
• Coconut oil for frying

Avocado salsa
• 2 ripe avocados diced
• 10 g coriander leaves
• 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tomato finely sliced
• Sea salt and ground pepper
• Thinly sliced chilli if you want a bite to it or dash of Tabasco

Directions
In a food processor or blender add: 2 cups of the corn kernels, the onion, eggs, coriander, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and blend until combined. Then add the remaining corn and contents in and stir though.
Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium to high heat and add mixture into pan – keep each corn cake small in size so they are easy to flip. Cook 3 minutes per side.
Once you have cooked your desired number of corn cakes, serve with bacon, asparagus and avocado salsa.

On the run breakfast – yogurt, fresh figs, walnuts and LSA.

yogurt, walnut, figs & LSA

While I always prefer to have a hearty ‘meat + nuts’ breakfast, sometimes that just isn’t possible! When in a rush (or the fridge is empty..) I simply throw together in a bowl:

Ingredients:
• BioDynamic Organic Yoghurt (low GI, aBc probiotics, no artificial sweeteners or sugar like most yogurts)
• Fresh figs (Figs are naturally rich in much health benefiting phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins)
• Walnuts (high in omega-3 fats, manganese, vitamin E just to name a few)
• And a spoonful of LSA which is made from ground Linseed, Sunflower and Almonds into a meal. LSA is rich in protein and helps keep blood sugar levels balanced which is important when consuming fruit. It also provides a good dose of omega-3, zinc and calcium.

Meat and Nut breakfast

Meat & Nut breakfast

This no frills breakfast is a paleo favourite – the meat and nut breaky includes the 3 macronutrients (protein, carbs and good fats) and can have the following benefits:
• kick-start your metabolism for the day
• allowing you to burn more fat throughout the day
• decrease the insulin load in your body therefore increasing your ability to stay lean year round.
• increase your mental energy early morning and throughout the day;
• increase physical energy early morning and throughout the day;

Ingredients:
Lamb steaks cooked in coconut oil, herbs and spices.
Avocado garnished with ground cracked pepper and salt and a good squeeze of lemon
Raw asparagus
Basil leaves
5 macadamia nuts (you can have these instead of avocado)
Cook, serve and eat!

You can also check out what I eat for breakfast in Prevention Magazine online ‘What the experts eat for breakfast’ here

Lee Sutherland – Personal Trainer and Health Coach, Fitness In The City www.fitnessinthecity.com.au / www.facebook.com/fitnessinthecity / www.twitter.com/fitnessinthcity / http://instagram.com/fitnessinthecity_

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