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Meet crossfit queen Kara Webb (+ her fave Paleo Chocolate Cake)

26 Jul

Today’s health power players are no longer just doctors or dieticians. They are smart businesswoman and men, tradies, bloggers, and health/fitness coaches – the new ‘it’ people on the health scene so to say.

Each week we will talk to a variety of inspiring individuals – from raw foodies, crossfitters, organic city dwellers, paleo peeps, nutritionists, bloggers & overall amazing human beings who actually practice what they preach.

First up I would like you to introduce you to Kara Webb who is THE fittest gal in Australia. For real. She placed number 1 at the Wollongong Crossfit Regional Games which is a massive feat – and she is current in California competing at the Crossfit Games which is running now until July 22-28.

Kara Webb

Name: Kara Webb – (placed #1 at the 2013 Crossfit Australia Regional Games)

FITC Question: For the people who aren’t familiar with you (or just want to know more), tell us a bit about yourself.

Kara: I live in Brisbane and I my life is pretty much CrossFit. I am a coach as my sole job and love it. I get to use my experience to help others be better and in return I can learn from them to better myself. I have almost completed a nutrition degree but have taken some time off to just live and enjoy the cool stuff going on in my life. I got married, bought a home, made it to the CrossFit games and just decided to really enjoy it because this is the best time of my life and I don’t want to blink and miss it. I plan on finishing off my degree in the next 12 months or so, slowly but surely.

FITC Question: What made you choose the path of leading a healthy life and was there a particular turning point?

Kara: I was 19 and I had been going out doing all of the usual things a 19 year old does, drinking and carrying on, but I just felt gross. I didn’t have much energy or motivation for anything in life, I was eating bad food and didn’t feel very productive. I decided to ditch the silly times and joined a regular gym to try and feel good and get some positivity in my life. I started to really enjoy being fit and eating well, and the people that came into my life. Within 3 months I had met my now husband and also my coach/boss/friend. My choice to focus on being a better be brought the right people in my life and they haven’t left. My coach was my personal trainer and then he started CrossFit and I joined in too. My life is now perfect!

FITC Question: What does your usual daily routine look like – what is on your ‘must do’ and ‘must take’ list?

Kara: I am up at 4:30am every morning to coach at 5am so I don’t have a great deal of time to play around with. I always have a banana, and some other piece of fruit depending on the season and a big glass of water as soon as I wake up. I then have a second glass of water for my supplements. I take Pure Pharma’s fish oil, vitamin D3 and Magnesium and at the moment some Co-Q10.  I then coach 2 classes (with a cup of Earl Grey tea J) and sometimes train in the morning or practice some skills, and then come home to a second more satisfying breakfast usually left over dinner or some kind of eggs and ham or bacon and avocado.  I love a warm cooked breakfast. I then have lunch around 11:30-12 because I like a solid meat and veg or meat and salad lunch and don’t want a full belly when I train at 2:30. I will then usually have some kind of little snack about an hour again before I train. Heaps of water during the day, and then a Progenex protein shake straight after I train while I cool down. Then more water, some kind of fruit or snack if I have to coach again and then straight home to more meat and veg for dinner. I love every kind of meat, poultry and seafood you can imagine and make sure I balance it out over the week. Always have a cup of chamomile tea before bed to turn my body off and calm my nervous system after a crazy day.

FITC Question: Let’s take a peek in your bathroom cupboard – what are your must have products?

Kara: Since I train heaps I have to have things like Lavender oil for torn hands or grazes on my shins from Olympic lifting. I also take really good care of my skin since I train so hard and the mix of excess free radicals and salt on my skin can dry it out and leave it a bit worse for wear. I have a natural range from a company online called EZEntial. A nice gentle balanced cleanser, definitely toner, and a good night time moisturiser are my must haves.

FITC Question: What do you always have in your kitchen (both fridge and supplements)?

Kara: Always have dark chocolate, bananas, tea, heaps of meat, sweet potato, fish oil, magnesium.

FITC Question: How important is clean, nutrient rich food in your diet? Do you follow a certain style (ie raw, vegan, paleo etc)

Kara: I guess the basic structure of my diet follows a paleoish form. I eat red meat, fish, poultry with salad, fruit and vegetables for all of my main meals. Most other foods are occasional foods and might pop up in my diet from once a week to once every 6 months. I eat good quality cheese and yogurt maybe twice per week but other then that I don’t have dairy. I try to just follow the rule of eating food as it is for all of my main meals and have a few treats around that. I always have dark chocolate a few times during the week with my hubby.

FITC Question: How do you like to move and keep fit? Is exercise an important part of your life?

Kara: I wouldn’t be who I am without exercise. I do CrossFit 5 days per week. I need to feel challenged, productive, sweaty, fit, and strong most days or my body and my mind doesn’t function at its optimum. I want to live the best life I can and when I exercise I do that. It brings a feeling of contentment and happiness that nothing can compare to.

FITC Question: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your health journey? These days we’re influenced by so many different sources – from friends, family, blogs, magazines and now even Instagram!!

Kara: A combination of my coach/friend/boss Brian being such a positive influence on my life and coming into my life at the right time was the best influence probably. The other influence would be the continued companionship and socialising with my husband and everyone who does CrossFit with us. It’s the most positive environment that its addictive. We all feed off each other. That’s why you have to surround yourself with positive like minded people. Being happy is my influence. If it makes me genuinely happy and content then I will continue doing it as long as I feel that way.

FITC Question: Currently loving:

Kara: Loving Chamomile tea so much at the moment. I starting drinking it at regionals to keep my nervous system in check at night because its so hard to sleep during competition and it made me feel so relaxed and helped so much. I drink it every night now.

Number 2 is Sudoku haha. I have always liked playing it but I started on the plane to regionals also and then downloaded the app for it and played that all weekend. I have found keeping keeping my mind active in a positive way distracted me from any negative over thinking and in turn makes my training so much easier. I have been playing it ever since.

Number 3 would probably have to be interior decorating. I absolutely love it. There is nothing more fun then moving everything around and making your own space beautiful. I love my home to be my zen place. I make the effort to keep it clean, functional and full of beautiful positive things that keep the energy flowing. I am addicted to Pinterest Home Décor and spend way too much time on it but when I get home at the end of a big day at the gym I literally feel so happy as soon as I walk in the door.

FITC Question: Fave local cafe or restaurant?

Kara: We have a little café/roasting house calles Elixir in Hayward street Stafford next to the gym. The people are amazing, the coffee is beautiful (decaf for me J) and the food is so yum (Have to order the potato Rosti). It helps that its so close to us too.

FITC Question: As your parting gift to us – what is your favourite health product/holiday destination/retreat/exercise/recipe/tip etc (choose one and provide some info)

Kara: Well my favourite treat actually is a chocolate cake I make probably at least once per week for my husband and I. Its so simple and gives me an excuse to use my kitchen aid, and tastes delicious even though its not full of junk (recipe from the Fast Paleo App)

Kara’s Favourite Chocolate Cake:

Paleo Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

4 Eggs

¾ cup Honey

3 Table spoons coconut oil

2 Tea spoons vanilla essence or extract

½ tspn baking soda

¼ tspn salt

¼ tspn baking powder

1 cup cocoa

* thats right, no flour!

Method:

Beat all of the wet ingredients well. Slowly add the dry and beat gently. Cook in a cake tin on 180 degrees celcius for 20 minutes. Check with a tooth pick its all done and you have a super moist awesome chocolate cake in next to no time.

FITC note: I made this cake and it is amazing!! For extra luxe I added paleo chocolate icing

Paleo Chocolate Icing:

Paleo Chocolate Icing

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado

1/3 cup of cocao powder

1/3 cups of honey

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

Blend in a food processor until smooth – done!

Paleo/gluten free Cauliflower Crust Pizza – the best you will have.

18 Jul

cauliflower pizza

Confession time. Even though I’m 99% committed and hardly ever stray, every now and then when it all gets too much I cave.

I cheat.

And yes, sometimes I lie about it.

You see I am 98% grain free in my diet but sometimes I crack and find myself driving straight to a nearby Crust Pizza franchise and order the finest gluten free pizza they have. I just love pizza and can’t seem to shake it. But you know what, I am sorry Crust because I can no longer afford to pay $50 for you to fuel my addiction (or deal with the tummy issues post gorge) when I have fallen for the new kid on the block.

Let me introduce you to the Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

What can I say, it has won me over with its taste, it’s sassy nutritional value, and the way it just make me feel all smug when I take it out of the oven.


Pizza Base Ingredients:
makes one approx. 10-12 inch pizza
1 small – medium sized head of cauliflower – should be approx 2 to 3 cups once processed
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh basil (can add other herbs too)

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I use a pizza combo of parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese etc)
1 egg
2-3 tablespoon almond meal

Topping:

As much tomato pizza topping sauce, cheese for topping, and other delish veggies and meats as you desire.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees (or 450 f). I have been cooking the pizza base on a piece of baking paper on top of a wire rack as it helps cook both sides, but a pizza tray should work just as well.

Cut up your washed cauliflower florets (don’t use too much stem) and pulse in your Vitamix or food processer for approx. 20-30 seconds until it is powdery and almost smooth.

You then want to cook the cauliflower so either place in a pot and continually stir for apox 5 minutes or place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and zap for 4 minutes.

Once cooked place cauliflower onto a clean tea towel (you might want to let it cool for a few minutes before you move onto the ‘squeezing’ stage) – this entails you ringing the living bejesus out of it until you remove as much water as possible. Once you have think it is all done, do it again you will be surprised at how much liquid it holds!! This step will ensure you get a yummy pizza list base that holds together, rather than a crumply mess that falls to bits.

Once you are happy that all the liquid has been removed from cauliflower, remove it from the tea towel into a bowl. Now add all of the remaining pizza base ingredients into the bowl and mix away – using your hands generally works best to form it into a ‘dough’, you want your “dough” to be sticky.

Now it is time to place dough onto the baking paper, make sure you pat the dough tightly together when forming your crust– don’t make it too thick but don’t make it too thin either, you want it just right! Make sure you pat the dough tightly together when forming your crust

Pop into oven and bake for 8 – 11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

Now it’s time to build the rest of the pizza (only when the base it golden in colour should you move to this step)! Add however much sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. Place it back into the oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden.

Once you have taken out of the oven allow to cool for at least 2 minutes before you slide pizza onto a chopping board and cutting up with a super sharp knife or  with a pizza cutter. Remember to keep slices reasonable small so they hold together nicely.

Enjoy your delicious grain-free cauliflower crust pizza!
*Disclaimer – the slices may still be a lil floppy until you get the recipe and cooking times down, but they shouldn’t be crumbly.

This post look familiar? Thats because it is up on MindBodyGreen!! Check it out here

Breakfast feast: rolled eggs & greens

3 Jul

rolled eggs

There is nothing I love more than going out for breakfast on the weekend, but I just can’t help get the feeling I am being cheated not only in taste, but also at the expense of my bank balance! So last Sunday we did something a little crazy. We ate at home. Extreme I know, but I was pretty happy with the results and will defiantly be cooking up a storm at least one day over the weekends. I posted this pic to Instagram (find me at Fitnessinthecity_) and I have had a few people ask for the recipe – so here you go!

Rolled eggs with chilli greens.

Ingredients:

2-4 free range eggs (depending on how hungry you are or if you are sharing)

1-2 cups of washed greens. (I like Bokchoy, Silverbeet, Purple cabbage, Kale or whatever is in season/in the fridge.)

Handful of basil

2 organic free range bacon strips (optional of course)

½ Avocado

Handful of cherry tomatoes

2 slices of Lemon

Coconut oil, garlic, chilli paste, Himalayan rock salt, pepper to garnish

Egg spices:

Za’arar mix: Sumac, sesame, thyme, parsley, oregano, Himalayan salt

You can make your own or buy pre made. Another option is to just roll the eggs in sesame seeds or finely chopped herbs like parsley or basil – very tasty!

rolled eggs prep

Directions:

Boil room temperature eggs (I boil the water on a low to medium heat with eggs already in it, and then set the timer to 4 minutes once the water begins to boil).

In a fry pan on a medium heat cook your bacon to your liking.

In another pan, add some coconut oil, garlic and chilli paste to sauté your greens and basil in – don’t overcook as you don’t want to lose the nutrients of the greens. This should only take approx. 3 minutes, then set aside.

Your eggs should be off the stove now and resting in cold water (so they stop cooking) ready for you to gently peel (or have someone peeling for you – even better!)

Once peeled roll them in your desired spices – I rotate between chopped herbs, sesame seed or Za’arar mix (I got this idea from Dane: The Healthy Tradie)

Cut the Avocado in half (scoop out with a spoon), squeeze lemon over it and dress with Himalayan Rock salt and pepper.

Plate everything up, sprinkle the remaining basil on top – add a great chia tea and you’re ready to feast!

I would love to see your egg creations – tag your photos with #fitnessinthecity on Facebook (@FitnessInTheCity) or Instagram (Fitnessinthecity_ )

Raw chocolate shortbread bars

27 Jun

Raw chocolate shortbread bars

There is nothing sweeter or more rewarding than having a positive impact on someone’s life – regardless of how big or small. In this case, it was introducing my soon to be sisters to raw desserts. That’s right, they have swapped empty calories, white, processed crack, (aka sugar) for more natural, nutrient dense substituents. And whola, the result was a gorgeous (paleo friendly) Raw Chocolate Shortbread bar.

And here is how you too can make it.

Shortbread ingredients:

1 cup cashews

1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup dates

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate ingredients:

1 cup cashews

1/3 cup coconut oil (you must use coconut – no substitutes!)

1/3 cup maple syrup, honey or agave nectar

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon water

1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Process: Place all shortbread ingredients in the food processor. Process until the mixture sticks together and the dates are well processed.

2. Place: shortbread mixture into your dish, making sure you press the crust down firmly with your hands. The Shortbread base is now done.

3. Blend: Place all chocolate mixture ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend until very smooth.

4. Pour/deposit chocolate mixture on top of shortbread, similar to pouring icing on brownies. Smooth with the back of a spoon.

5. Freeze: Cover and freeze for at least 1 hour. Always store these in the freezer.

6. Enyoy! Slice a frozen piece, and let it thaw out on the bench for 15 minutes or so, top with some berries if you wish.

I would love to see your creations too so please tag your healthy pics with #FitnessInTheCity, then follow me via

www.instagram.com/fFitnessinthecity_

www.facebook.com/fitnessinthecity

www.twitter.com/fitnessinthcity

Big thanks to The Rawtarian for this amazing recipe! Check out her site for more delish recipes and tips http://www.therawtarian.com/

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.

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_

Best Paleo (gluten-free) Pancakes. EVER.

11 Feb

paleo gluten free carrot cake pancakes with berries
Tomorrow is Pancake Day in Australia! That’s right – we have a whole day dedicated to these delicious fluffy treats!

Truth be told, Australians didn’t really come up with the idea. Pancake Day is traditionally known as Shrove Tuesday, which is the last day to eat all the flour, eggs and dairy products in your kitchen before the start of Lent (which is a time of abstinence and reflection in the 40 days before Easter). Here in Oz however, we have turned this day into a fundraising opportunity that essentially encourages local people to help other locals: http://www.pancakeday.com.au/

Wondering what you can make without sacrificing your waist line (or taste buds) by eating excess amounts of sugar first thing in the morning (trust me your blood sugar levels are screaming in protest at the thought of it..)?

Well, let me introduce you to my favourite pancake recipe which excludes all the nasties (sugar, wheat/gluten etc) while being 100% fussy eater approved – Carrot Cake Pancakes!

Ingredients
1 cup of grated carrots
3 eggs
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or pecans)
2 tablespoon coconut oil
4 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (I usually add more than this though!)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Once cooked plate up and top with a tablespoon of coconut butter, maple syrup and a few berries– DELISH!!

Instructions
1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl
* almond meal
* coconut flour
* baking soda and powder
* spices

2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
* carrots, eggs
* coconut milk
* coconut oil

3. Heat a large frypan up under medium-high heat and use coconut oil to grease the surface. Don’t be shy with the oil here you don’t want it to stick!

4. Pour batter into piping hot frypan – keep them small so they are easy to flip. Cook on both sides for 3 or so minutes.

5. Top pancakes off with coconut butter and organic maple syrup.

Makes approx 4-5 pancakes.

Recipe also getting some love here: http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/food/recipes/recipe/-/16114480/paleo-carrot-cake-pancakes/

paleo gluten free carrot cake pancakes

If you have a go at making these I’d love to see your creations – post them on http://www.facebook.com/fitnessinthecity

Enjoy!

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