Tag Archives: dessert

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/

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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

 

Happiness: Winter, Fitness and Paleo (carrot-cake) pancakes

6 Jul

Winter in Sydney this year is agreeing with me. Shocking right?!

Normally I would be complaining and hiding under my warm blankets waiting for the warmer days to return, but not this time.

With the rain I have found a new sense of contentment. I am waking up before most of the city has even contemplated opening their eyes.  I train myself, then I teach a class or private PT session, I race home to prepare my paleo meals for the day, work, eat, perhaps do another quick strength session, teach another class, catch up with friends/boyfriend/family after work, then cook dinner, and write some articles before bed ready to do it all over again the following day!

Exhausting to type, but surprisingly not so exhausting to do!

Why and how is this routine working you may ask? Eating clean brings energy and balance, training brings the same while cooking and play time brings happiness – so together the synergy just works and balances one another. If my diet was bad, processed and full of sugar it would decrease my energy, my hormones and mood would be terrible so I would bitch instead of train and good luck trying to wake me up.

I look back and feel bad for the former years I may have wasted sitting and waiting.

The moral of the story (if there is one..) don’t wait to start things. You can look back in a year and be happy you made the changes towards a healthier lifestyle.  Or, you can look back in a year and regret that haven’t started yet.

Below is my weekend winter reward treat – so delish and quick to whip up!

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Paleo 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!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon stevia
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • Once cooked plate up and top with a tablespoon of coconut butter and maple syrup – DELISH!!

Instructions

1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl

* almond meal

* coconut flour

* baking soda and powder

* spice

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. Cook on both sides for 3 or so minutes.

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

Makes approx 4 pancakes.

This fab recipe was originally sourced via http://paleomg.com (but I have made a couple of Fitness In The City style amendments and inclusions!)

Your ‘comfort food’ just lied directly to your face..

4 May

It’s kinda refreshing to know that all the times I was feeling blue, or had a touch of the crazys about me, or one of the many times when I was so tired I was convinced I had chronic fatigue syndrome.. that it wasn’t ‘me’. It was the food.

High fives all round!

It was the lifestyle package of stress with a good side of adrenal fatigue, not enough sleep (but too much cortisol) and a whole lot of other bad  food choices that spiraled from this. That’s right, I wasn’t always a healthy gal simple (or partly) because of the poor food choices I was doing to my even poorer body.

Enter education, study, movement and clean food.

PMS? It’s what you are eating (or not eating) that contributes to this state of unbalanced hormones,  feeling angry and agitated for no real reason? Blame that sugar loaded meal you just had. Bloated and tired? Um, you did just eat a bowl of pasta followed by a mars bar..

You have to consider the irony when you reach for the exact type of food which makes you feel exactly the same way. Do you ever really feel comforted when you eat your go-to comfort food? I’m pretty sure the bowl of ice cream only made you feel good for 10 minutes before it turns on you and shows you it’s true colors. Cheap two faced you know what. But eating a warm bowl of vege soup or healthy smoothie – when did that ever lie and cheat to you? That’s right, never. It is always there for you- clean and healthy with nothing but good intentions for your body.

Girls breath a sigh of relief (and boys too for that matter) those blah days can be lessened just by eating like our great grandparents – which is full of whole foods (foods in their natural state). No McDonalds, no fat free bars, no coke OR diet coke. Just clean simple food and yes fat is included.

It’s true that everyone functions differently..while one person can go their whole life feeding their body with practically no nutrients while still feeling ‘fine’, the person next to them who who eats the exact same way will find they can hardly function and their quality of life is decreased – hence why many begin their journey to making smarted and cleaner food choices, one step at a time.

While society is slowly beginning to be educated about good health (and I don’t mean by large corporations telling us what is healthy like McDonalds or dairy association adverts wanting to sell milk so they say it is the best form of calcium (when humans aren’t actually made to digest cows milk but that’s another story) or cereal brands pushing their sugar for breakfast…) I encourage you to educate yourself and to just make one healthy change at a time.

You may be one of the lucky ones who can eat anything without your body screaming no in defense, but think about your long term health. That artificial sugar may be ‘fine’ today but it won’t be years down the track. It’s no strange coincidence that cancer, diabetes and allegories are on the rise.

Start investing in your health now by decreasing made man foods and  increasing whole foods.. and slowly but surely things like PMS, 3pm slumps and those sneaky new kgs to your frame.. will be a thing of the past. Comfort food not required.

 

* just take out the bad stuff and put in the good stuff  *

 

To (Easter) binge or not to (Easter) binge – that is the question…

4 Apr

With Easter just around the corner it is very hard not to fall into the obligatory binge: chocolate (anything) hot cross buns and, let’s be honest – everything in sight to compensate and offset the sugar come down.

Now I am not a heartless wench who excepts you NOT to indulge.. but let’s get a grip before the long weekend begins.

You will eat chocolate, that’s a given.. but let’s talk portion control and quality.

First, step away from the cheap and cute foil wrapped bunny and exchange it for some dark chocolate and for god’s sake, splurge a little!! Ideally I would like you to select your Easter treats with at least 85% dark cocoa (I love Green & Black’s), but if your taste buds are not at that point yet (I understand it is an acquired taste if you are used to 100% sugar, I mean dairy milk chocolate) so 70% cocoa will be just fine and taste just as good. That means there is only 30% sugar in the remaining (better than 90%!), and the antioxidants are much higher in dark chocolate – where regularly has none. The high levels of cocoa have also been shown to lower blood pressure due to the large amounts of flavonoids.

If you are being ‘good’ and want to take your health kick a step further over Easter, head to your local health food store and get yourself some Raw Organic Cacoa NIBS –  these cocoa beans are straight from the source and is what all chocolate and cocoa products are produced from.

According to http://www.powersuperfoods.com.au/cacao-power-raw-nibs.html the nutritional benefits of raw cacoa products include:  being a source of beta-carotene, amino acids (protein), Omega-3 EFA’s, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur, potassium, and one of the best food sources of muscle relaxing and also stress relieving magnesium.  Other good news is that it is only 92 calories and 0.54grams of sugar per 15grams serving!

Suggested uses – eat as raw nibs or add to your cooking (use instead of chocolate chips), add to your smoothies or grind with your coffee beans. You can even make the Almost Chocolate Bliss Ball (see older posts for recipe) and add the nibs to the mixture – delish!

If you would like to make your own healthy dark chocolate Easter eggs (ambitious yes but it is a long weekend so you have time to try something a little different) then check out the below:

In a blender:

  • Add 5 tablespoons of organic cocoa powder
  • Add 5 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil

Blend until thoroughly mixed.

  • Add 5 tablespoons of raw cacoa nibs (Power Super Foods Cacoa Power Nibs is one good brand but you will be able to find several different brands)
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of a sugar substitute (honey or palm sugar)
  •  Add a pinch of Himalayan Salt

Mix well.

Place the mixture into Easter egg moulds and refrigerate.

You can also add a few drops of stevia, vanilla essence or cinnamon to your mix.

Enjoy your chocolate whether it is dark chocolate from the store, few nibs, homemade batch or almost chocolate balls, and use the extra time to move your body on at least one of your days off!!!

Confessions Of An Addict

18 Mar

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, and I don’t want you to judge me too hastily until you understand all the facts.

I once had an addiction. Yes me, and it wasn’t just one substance…

For the last 2 years I have had it under control. Well, maybe not 100% under control because you know the saying… once an addict always an addict, so let’s just say I have been in rehabilitation since I made the conscious decision to lead a better, healthier lifestyle.

But 3 days ago, for one reason or another I fell off the wagon. Actually crashed it, flew towards the ground and face planted into a big bowl of sugar, Ben & Jerry’s to be exact. Two tubs and yes they were large, followed by some pizza and other such simple-sugar laden foods not fit for online publishing.

The reason I am telling you this and possibly tarnishing your view of my holier than (I don’t know… think of the healthiest and fitness person you know) lifestyle, is because I want you to know that I too am human who side steps off the health path for time to time. It happens. The only difference now is how I react after it happens.

The old addicted me would have continued to spiral into negativity (and continued to eat whatever I knew I shouldn’t eat), not even thinking that all I have to do is stop, walk away from the poison of choice, and change direction.

Now I know to change my mindset at that exact point from, ‘I’m a failure, fat and might as well keep going until Monday when I can be healthy and exercise again’ to, ‘Shit, that got a bit out of hand- that food make me feel like crap and obviously isn’t good for me. I’ll go for a walk and then prepare a healthy vegetable soup for dinner.’

Easy, positive, and you don’t spend another 3 days binging until Monday comes to start that elusive new diet.

Just eat clean people. That is how I have learnt to fight my addictions and overcome negativity. Eat clean at least 80% of the time and then really enjoy what ever you want the remaining 20% of the time (and if that happens to be healthy ‘bad’ food like dark chocolate and fruit then even better!).

So there you go, it’s not a cure to cancer but it is just a gentle reminder that no one is perfect. Not even someone who works (or moonlights…) in the nutrition and the fitness world. You fall off the wagon, just dust yourself off, put down the candy bar and walk away feeling good that you changed direction.

P.S… if you need a helping hand to quit sugar, then do yourself a favor and buy the e-book on the right hand side of this page from Sarah Wilson for only $15.

You’re welcome.

Dessert without the guilt? Sign me up!

25 Nov

There are some things in life which are so sweet and pure, that the thought of excluding it from your existence could be seriously detrimental to the soul. Ranking in the top 10 of this list, is banana bread. Ok so you may have been expecting me to say something a little more deep and meaningful than a loaf of what is traditionally known as sugar bread, but really delicious, straight out the oven banana bread that is HEALTHY (approx 190 calories per serve), gluten free and as paleo friendly as you could find (yet still soft and moist… ) well that is a different story!!

I have only recently stumbled across this recipe from my fav site called The Healthy Chef  http://www.teresacutter.com/ (Teresa Cutter) and with a few slight alternations it has become a fast favorite of mine. Quick, easy and yes, healthy – what more do you need to know!

Bananas are excellent sources of potassium, walnuts’ vitamin E levels are through the roof and almond meal is my go to alternative to flour. It is literally just almonds ground up– high in protein, manganese, potassium, copper, and vitamin E, as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. The blueberries not only add a sweet element to the banana bread, but are also jammed packed with antioxidants, so really, with every mouthful we are getting health benefits.. make yourself a green tea to have on the side and wholah– perfect Sunday brunch material!

Once cooked and cooled, give yourself a clear conscious and serve a (largish) slice with a handful of blueberries (frozen is totally fine) and enjoy with every mouthful. Alternatively, serve with natural yogurt and a drizzle of honey.

I was amazed at how quickly and easy this was to make, and despite it’s gluten free contents, the loaf turns out very light (rather than a heavy brick) and soft – what a rarity!

Makes 1 loaf

Preheat your oven to 160 C.

300 g ripe banana

3 free range / organic eggs

60 g organic maple syrup
(or honey if need be)

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

60 g macadamia nut oil

Half-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2  tsp baking soda ( bicarb soda) + 1 tbsp lemon juice
200 g (together as the lemon juice activates the bicarb)

(2 cups) almond meal
200 g

(1/4 cup) 25 g ground flaxseed (linseed)

Walnuts and blueberries to garnish

Preheat your oven to 160 C.

In your blender add: banana, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lemon – then blend until the ingredients are the consistency of a thick smoothie.

Once blended pour into a large mixing bowl to finish the banana bread batter.

Add the almond meal and flaxseed and mix well.

Add baking paper to your loaf tin (the paper can hang over the sides of the tin as it makes it easy to remove after cooked.)

Spoon/Pour the batter into the tin, but before you pop into the oven add a handful of frozen blueberries deep into the batter using a spoon. Sprinkle several walnuts down the middle of of loaf, and finally, dust the top with some cinnamon for a nice golden crunch.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).
The top should be slightly brown but don’t overcook.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf on a cooling wire rack.

Keep in an airtight container – will keep for a week (that is if everyone doesn’t eat it in the first day!)

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