Category: Food

How I encourage clean eating with teens

Ok… let’s just say from the get-go that it’s not easy.  I have gotten to where I am because I chose to research like crazy for, well, years really.  And to be honest.. it’ll never stop.  But, I’m also sensible enough to remember what I was like as a teenager.  I could eat whatever I liked…  never got sick, or had what I now know to be food related health issues.  Even the things that are indicators of unwise eating for me now.. like intestinal discomfort (that’s a nice way of saying borderline constipation 🤣), headaches, gas, sluggishness.. that kinda thing…  wasn’t an issue for me (as far as I can try and remember it anyway).

And to be real….  I pretty much ate whatever I wanted until after having my first bubba at 24yrs old… and didn’t have to even think about making ‘healthy choices’ until after that… and if I’m real honest, it was totally about weight management. (aka.. caring what I looked like… aka vanity🤔) . I did, however, make good choices around pregnancy… no deli meats, weird seafood… that kinda thing.  I also began drinking water regularly when I was pregnant.. and that’s actually where I developed my love for drinking water.  It was just convenient that you kinda NEED to drink lots of water regularly when breast feeding.. and seeing I was pretty much pregnant or breastfeeding from mid 2000 until mid 2003… and then pregnant with James in mid 2004, breastfeeding until mid 2006, I formed good habits that continue today.  #thankfulI

(somehow, without even trying really, having developed a love of drinking water in my kiddos, but that solely comes down to it being the only thing I gave them when they were young.  There was no cordial or juice in our house.. they may have had juice as a treat.. but they never had soft drink.. and even now, don’t like it much.  Jordan is the only one who drink some occasionally. )

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So, I am able to see why they don’t automatically just take on what I have to say around their health and the correlation to their eating.  I didn’t give two hoots at their age either.. I had no reason to care about it.  My 17yr old son Jordan is mindful re eating… but that is solely around body image.  He wants to look a certain way, so he exercises and eats in a way that will best help him achieve that.  He does still have his ‘naughty’ eating though.. so he’s still very much a normal teen in that way.

My 18yr old daughter, TJ….  well, let’s just say she probably has a % of Nutella flowing through her blood stream.  How she doesn’t experience negative issues due to her Nutella consumption is simply beyond me.  I mean, as I said, I didn’t care what I ate as I teen.. but I also never consumed things like Nutella by the tubful.  🤣 .   Anyway…  we’ll just need to let that one run it’s course.. only she will deal with the negative (if any) issues that come from her Nutella addiction.  (Maybe there’s a Nutella addicts anonymous ??  who knows.😂) . And yes, trust me, I’ve tried to make my own, buy healthier versions etc etc.. no luck so far.)

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My 14yr old, James… while not really caring about his food intake from a healthy point of view.. he also doesn’t really have any hugely unhealthy things that he eats.  The issue with him, which has some correlation with his ADHD meds, is actually getting him to eat at times.  If he’s focused on something… or basically if there’s something more interesting to do…  he simply won’t eat.  And seeing that his medication can only be given to him if he within a healthy weight range.. it’s super important to keep him fed.

I really do see it as part of my responsibility as their mother to respect THEIR temples…  while they don’t have the maturity to do it themselves.  I was blessed with those kiddos, I and I need to look after them.. that pretty much covers it really.

And then there’s my DH, Terry…  He doesn’t really care about healthy eating….  that’s about all I have to say about that.  LOL

Then we get around to me….  in the interest of total honesty… Peanut M & Ms are my kryptonite..  #nuffsaid

OK.. so now that I’ve thoroughly thrown us all under the bus….  let’s look at how  I deal with this as a family.

Thrown Under Bus

It’s is a pretty important to me (that’s putting it mildly) to put a very healthy meal on the table each evening.  I want out ‘meat and dairy footprint’ to be less than it has in the past, so usually, our meals would be considered Vegan, if not for the meat. LOL.  I use organic extra virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, to cook in…  a dairy free butter for spreading, or to cook in with veggies etc, cashew meal replicates the cheese flavour in pretty much all meals.  Some cheese may go on the top of spag bol etc, but other than that..no cheese.  When making any recipes that would have previously begun with a bechamel sauce, they now start with coconut cream, cashew meal & the vegan butter, Nuttelex.

Shameless Nuttelex plug…  Dairy free, Lactose free, Nut oil free, Gluten free, Soy free, Cholesterol free oil, Salt reduced, Contains Vit D, Natural flavour and colours.  The main ingredients are basically Olive Oil & Sunflower seed.

Having a family that loves curries is super easy too, as you can so easily substitute with coconut milk/cream.. and a dairy free yoghurt.  In those types of recipes, you can’t even tell it’s a dairy free option used.

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We also have ‘Meat free Mondays’… but it sometimes end up ‘meat free whatever night it happens’.  It’s super super easy to make yummy vegan meals if you do just a little bit of research.  The stigma around vegan meals is downright ridiculous.  Now, to be clear, I’m not promoting a 100% Vegan diet, at all… I love my chicken and steak too much for that…  but I do wholeheartedly believe that our meat and dairy consumption is ridiculously glutinous.   I believe this very strongly as a Christian also !  Scripture backs the premise that meat was originally not even ‘on the table’, and even once it was ‘permissible’ following the flood, it was a luxury… not a main staple.  The mass production of our meat industry is disgusting.. but hey, don’t get me started.

So, the biggest way I combat my teens lack of interest in eating healthy, is to put that healthy, appealing meal on the table each evening.   While I transitioned to dairy free milk nearly 3yrs ago, we are now a dairy free milk family as a whole.  It was a gradual thing though… with Jordan he was convinced by doing some research himself and finding out that milk products are like moths to a flame when it comes to acne… and what teen likes acne.. so over he came to the dairy free side.  My husband was convinced when he received a high cholesterol result in a blood test around his 50th b’day.  He could have just gone to a lighter milk option.. but hey, I shamelessly took the opportunity when it was presented to me.  ha ha.

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By this point, with it being 3 against 2, it was a foregone conclusion that we were going to go 100% dairy free milk as a family… but both James and Tyler-Jasmine were easily swayed by the possibility of acne improvement too.

We did play around with different options for a while, and finally everyone was happy with Rice Milk.  Sadly, there’s still one certain 14yr old who much prefers the white rice milk as opposed to the healthy option of brown rice milk… but hey.. take the wins where they come.

With that change in the family diet, breakfast was sorted, as all 3 kids, and my husband, like weetbix for breakky each morning.  No, I don’t think it’s the healthiest breakfast one could consume.. but hey, it’s far from the worst.

Snacks are typically tricky… I myself, don’t snack to be honest.  I’ll have a bliss ball if I’ve made them.. but as a general rule, I don’t snack.  I would like to improve in that area though, as besides fruit & good quality muesli bars….  the boys don’t take much else in the snack department.

Lunch can be an issue… and here’s where I’ve decided to ‘regress’ in some ways.  My kids were encouraged to be independent with lunch (& brekky) from a fairy young age….  and that’s what has happened for many years now.  Only thing is, I noticed that fairly basic things were being taken to school each day (that’s if anything was taken), and sometimes on weekends, I would notice that they didn’t eat lunch at all. It was then that I made the decision that I’d much prefer them ate well then argue with them about health and wellbeing…  which, as I’ve already said, they pretty much don’t give two hoots about.

So, yes, I do now make my son’s lunches each day… and I don’t mind doing it.  I would much rather they had good healthy food intake in these really important developing years, than have them eat food very low in nutrition, because I’m being a stick in the mud regarding independence.  They’ve got their adult lives to make bad food choices, and I won’t be able to do a thing about it… but while I can have a say in what goes into their bodies, then I’m going to to that.  Even my husband, who, for context, just walked in the door from woolies with dairy iced coffee and a bag of choc covered honeycombs.. Arrrggghhh…  he will go without lunch when busy, rather than make himself something… so I don’t have an issue with making him something.  I mean really… with those rubbish choices, I’ve gotta get as much nutrition in as I can.  😂

While I’m here..  a hot tip for you…  If you suggest to your family to use wholemeal bread/wraps instead of white…. or to add spinach to their wrap/sandwhich…  they won’t be too keen initially…  but you make them a toastie on healthy bread, with healthier ingredients.. and all you’ll hear is “Thanks Mum!”  As I’ve said before… sooooo much of it is about healthy substitutions.

That pretty much tells you how I subtly indoctrinate my family into the healthy eating lifestyle..  😂🤣🤣 #noshame #letshopeitsticks

Blessings Peeps…  Remember to Respect the temple, inside & out . xx

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Ageing smarter !!

Evening all !!

Quite a bit recently, I’ve been thinking about age…. as in the actual number that is the count we’re up to in years on planet earth.   It’s 42 (& a half) for me right now.. and what I’m finding interesting.. and encouraging.. is that I continue to not have any concern about how ‘old’ I am.  While others I know actually get depressed about their birthday coming around each year… I continue to just love every birthday…. as it’s always brought many many blessings in the year leading up to it.  Also, there’s pretty much always things to look forward to in the year ahead.

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I think back on when I was my daughters age, (she’s just turned 18), I honestly thought of my parents and their friends as ‘middle aged’.  My grandparents were ‘old’, but my parents… being the age I am now…  were middle aged in my reckoning, and I thought that there was no way that when I got to their age, I’d still feel remotely ‘young’.

Well…  surprise surprise…  I honestly don’t feel much different than when I was 24 and having my first baby.  When talking to my Mum about this, she says that’s exactly how she felt at my age… and she did, in fact, ride a pushbike up & down half the Queensland coast at my age.. a round trip distance of about 1000kms.  She says that she didn’t really begin to feel any ‘age’ until her 50s…  so here’s my challenge….  to keep on track with my fitness journey with as fierce a conviction as I have had for 3+yrs now.   I want to ‘push out’ this ‘feeling of age’ as long as I possibly can.  But… there’s more to the story…

Sadly, it’s true, as a person ages, we’ll experience a decline in our maximum exercise capacity. Our capacity to recover quickly from long or intense bouts of physical activity will also decline.

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Our maximum heart rate declines, and our maximum oxygen uptake also declines by about 1% per year. Oxygen uptake is crucial, as all our muscle energy is made by combining oxygen with the fuel in our body (carbs, and fat). The faster you transport and use oxygen, the faster you can go, and the longer you can keep going for.  (interesting facts don’t you think !!)

Sound a little dreary ? Well, it can be.. but in fact, this info prominently speaks to those operating at their maximum fitness level, which, let’s face it… most of us are not.   I consider myself a very active person, who is very health and fitness conscious, but I also know that I am in no way operating at my maximum capacity.  And, to be honest, I don’t really desire to.

As a person operating at my kinda level… It’s very encouraging to know that with the right types and amount of training (including recovery and nutrition) we can actually gain back more fitness than time takes away from us!  Sounds good, right !!

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Another great thing about getting older is that we have wisdom on our side. We are far more likely to ‘respect the temple’, as well as taking better care of the recovery side of the athletic equation.  (this is mostly due to common sense, as we KNOW that we pay for it if we don’t.) We’re also more likely to approach training and exercise a little smarter and more sensibly than our younger selves.

A lot of this comes down to a drop off in our lack of interest in training, and staying fit as we get older..  whether that’s about laziness, lack of motivation, time or knowledge… it’s fairly common that we age quicker than is biologically necessary.  We see it all the time…  older men and women, appearing to defy age… but when they’re questioned about it…. it’s nearly ALWAYS the fact that they remain active in their everyday lives.   In other words, ‘Use it or lose it’ isn’t just a saying…  it’s a legit thing.

I personally think the lack of knowledge one is extremely prevalent.. and sadly it’s not just about people not seeking the knowledge… it’s a lack of care for it.  I am ‘up against a brick wall’ with a lot of those I know and care deeply about.

I can speak very personally about how I KNOW that my chosen diet of nutrient dense meals keeps me healthier in general.  I hardly ever get sick, as in general colds/flus etc.  Sadly, I do experience a LOT of unpleasant symptoms due to my cycle…  but hopefully that will be sorted out soon.  (Sidenote… I have seen a great improvement in some of the symptoms by including Maca powder in my smoothies.)  But when it comes to general health and wellbeing, I know that the food & drink I choose to fuel my body with, as well as the amount of physical activity I do each day, improves my life immeasurably.

But these things don’t seem to factor in with a lot of people.  I suspect they resent the idea of the effort required…. only thing is, if they simply started… they’d find they enjoy the benefits so much, and begin to enjoy the physical exertion so much, that the effort required becomes a great enjoyment in their lives.

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No judgement here tho, as I was ever so slightly like this in previous years.  I do firmly believe that each person needs their own conviction, of ‘light bulb’ moment. I don’t believe, other than in a dangerous health situation, that a person can be TOLD to care about their general health to a degree that would greatly improve their lives.

I believe that those of us who do strongly feel the conviction to respect our temples to the best of our ability need to lean on the knowledge that God will use us as an example to others, and work through that.  Which, less face it, is going to be far more effective than anything we can say or do in the natural.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

So, as we wrap up this weekend, and prepare ourselves for the week ahead, let’s go forward in the knowledge that God’s plans are abundantly, amazingly, above and beyond anything we could even imagine… that’s a pretty big deal… a huge reason to go forward in confidence, expectancy and excitement !!

Blessings peeps !!

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In a great headspace !!

As I was walking Cooper this afternoon for his normal late afternoon walk, it occurred to me, that other than the sometimes yuckiness of life….  hormonal teenage outbursts, middle aged husband emotions (😂),  continuing to grieve my Dad, the still unreconciled extended family situation, plus normal ‘life’ stuggles…  my life is in a really fantastic place.  I know that this is all because of Jesus, our ultimate peacemaker.

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

I‘m very blessed to have pretty much always had a very strong surety when it comes to my faith.  I don’t struggle with doubt, or unbelief in any areas…  and I KNOW, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this strength in my faith is what places me in this great place in life.  If I made the mistake of looking at things logically, maybe I’d struggle to not get depressed about it.  BUT, I know that God’s plans are the BEST plans, so even when something doesn’t happen, or not happen, when I think it should….  or something doesn’t come together that I wished had…. or God pushes me down a pathway I was hesitant (understatement) to go…  I have the confidence in knowing that God’s got this !!  

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What I was most thinking about when this came to me on my walk this afternoon was my health and fitness journey.  I know I covered this in the last blog, but I’m really finding the social media outlets not only a tool of accountability, but a great encouragement.

I had to buy 3 major pieces of equipment in order to dive into this ministry that God has for me….  when the 2nd arrived a couple of days ago, I said to my husband… “This is getting real, when the 3rd package arrives, I actually have to do this.”  Like I said in the last blog.. exciting, but scary !!  🖥📸💜🏃🏽‍♀️

Another thing that had me pondering where I’m at, is the people that we’re surrounded by.  It’s a no brainer that we do our best when championed on by loved ones and friends.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

I’m very blessed to have really wonderful people around me, but like most people, I also have those around me that are kinda hoping I fail….  those that think this is just a faze.. and I’ll just go back to the unhealthy weight and food choices that were my life 3+years ago.  I also have people in my life who choose to see something about me that simply isn’t me.   All I can say about that is…hey… haters gonna hate.  Move on, but pray for them like crazy.. coz happy people want the best for others… unhappy, or damaged people… do not.  So, whatever way you look at it, those that maybe don’t champion you on in your life….  or worse, outright speak negatively about you..  need our prayers more than anyone else.  

 

Back to the possibility of back tracking in fitness… even if solely for physical comfort, I’d need to stay off dairy and big amounts of meat intake…..  which is a BIG part of having a healthy body…. so even if I were to let the physical exercise go, I’d still be far healthier than I was previously.  Having said that, I kinda LOVE my walks, my workouts, my clothes (😂), so I can’t see me going away from this healthy lifestyle.

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In order to keep it real, I’m not saying I never get down… coz man, I do !  I was in a real funk a couple of days ago for an evening and a day… and I just couldn’t explain it… It was near the anniversary of my Dad going Home to the Lord, but I really didn’t think it was that.. it was different….  and low and beyond.. the dreaded monthlies arrived today… so waa laa… explanation found !!  🤔

On this front, I actually received a letter with a surgery date for my much dreaded Hysterectomy, but as it was going to clash with my daughter’s 18th b’day & party, I had to let them know I couldn’t do that date… so back onto the waitlist I go.  Heartbroken?? NOT

As it’s Easter Saturday (is that actually an offical thing?? I don’t think so.. but anyway)… so in just 17mins… it’ll be the time my Dad went Home on Easter Saturday 2017.  Last year, it was rough, as easter fell BEFORE the date of the anniversary, but his year, it’s already passed, so it seems a lot easier.  However, I”m choosing to not dwell on it, so there’s that.

In regards to my blog pages, I’ll just let you all know that I will be consolidating my two pages.  I’m halfway through blogging my Europe trip with my sister last year, so I’ll finish that off before wrapping the page up… but after that, this will be my main blog page, so as to best facilitate this new health, wellness and fitness ministry.

My entire homeschooling journey, as well as Master 14s ADHD diagnosis & journey are over on Lovely Shiloh, as well as travel blogs, preparing for and then grieving the loss of my Dad.. and general life.  Feel free to go check them out, but there’s 248 blogs over there as we go live…..  so just a bit of reading for you.  Here is the link.  😀

I’m wondering if there’s a way to make a copy of all blogs…  without literally printing them all out.. if anyone knows of a way, please tell me, as I’d love to do that.

OK..    that’s it for now.

Blessings Peeps.  xox

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Follow me on Insta

Hi all… just a super quick post tonight… In continuing to be obedient in following Holy Spirit prompting, I have started up an Instagram page solely for my health, fitness and beauty posts.

So far, it’s been pretty encouraging, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m actually finding it to also be a fantastic accountability tool.

So… search for me .. Fab_fit_fi on Instagram. I’d love to bless you guys with meal inspiration, fitness tricks & tips, recipes, beauty products that I love.. and basically anything else the Lord lays on my heart to share.

And yep… I know.. I need to dedicate more time to this blog… arrgghhh… man, there’s not enough hours in the day.

Blessings peeps.

Maintaining.. but wanting more..

Hi All !!

While I’m super happy with my weight, of course there’s still areas.. mainly my tummy… that I wish were firmer.  Also, if you’ve followed me over on fimum23, you know that I LOVE toned arms.

So, it’s my new plan to up the strength training in these areas.  Yes, I know… I’ve said this before.. and it’s not like I didn’t do any of it… I do.  But I clearly need to do MORE in order to get the specific results I’m after.

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There’s a couple of practical/housekeeping things I’m needing to sort out in order to make these changes as optimally as possible… but that’s in the works.

1.  I need to sell my X-trainer as I literally NEVER use it.  I used to really enjoy it, but now… not so much.  I know that it’s probably a seasonal (kinda) thing and I may come back around… as is proven by my now LOVE of my treadmill, which I did once detest the idea of getting on.  There’s also the undeniable aspect that the X trainer gives a full body workout.. and seeing I’m wanting to improve my upper arms, it would seem like a great plan to actually use it regularly, but the fact of the matter is, if you don’t enjoy being on there.. you simply won’t get on there.  (proven by the fact that I haven’t stepped on the darn thing in like 6mths). It’s also a rather bulky item to have in your rumpus room being unused.  At present it sits kinda under the workout cage, making it not 100% useable itself.  So….  that is a MUST DO item for next weeks ‘to do list’.  Advertise X Trainer !!

Achieving #1 will make #2 actually happen.  Using my workout cage to it’s full capabilities.  I absolutely LOVE doing weighted squats…. they just make me feel crazy strong (LOL).  I used to do them with my PT all the time (because it’s obviously way easier when someone can hand it to you…. or better still, place it across the top of your shoulders). But, doing them on your own is harder… and throw in the element of me having rather garbage balance due to my eyesight… basically impossible.. or at most… a rather bad idea.   Having the added safety of being able to pick up your bar at your optimal height and place it back in that same position…  just so great.

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It’s hard to see in this image, (as this isn’t actually my cage), but there are holes top to bottom, so you can place your bars at whatever height suits.   This is super handy in my house seeing I share with my son, who is 194cm tall.  😂

Another thing I’m yet to achieve, and REALLY want to, is early morning workouts…  As much as I try… I just love sleeping in the morning too much.  I also KNEW that this was going to get even harder as the mornings got cooler, so I really wanted to have achieved this BEFORE winter.  I do still have time for this, so I”m being optimistic and saying I’ll reach the goal.

I’m still loving my smoothies…. to the point where I am pretty bummed that I actually didn’t have one today.  (I mean seriously.. look at just a couple of smoothies I’ve concocted … pretty darn appealing)   I made my son the Healthy Mummy chia choc chip pancakes a couple of months ago, and he LOVES them…. so that’s what was on the brekky menu for today.  Then, of course, I had a healthy hamburger craving at lunch…  so there’s that… and then for dinner… I did actually have a smoothie, but just a simple meal replacement one, as I was crazy busy making stovetop lasagna for the fam, so needed to down my dinner before it was too late.

I absolutely LOVE (yeah, I know.. I capitalise a LOT) (See what I did there? 😂) finding different ways to get extra nutrients in by way of staying hydrated.  I’ve started making both cucumber water (which I actually fell in love with onboard Pacific Aria last March), and also Celery juice.

When I went to make the Celery juice for the first time, I was bummed to realise that I needed a nutbag to strain, but I’ve found that my Norwex dish cloth does a fantastic job.  (Yes, a shameless Norwex plug.. I have re-activiated my account too.  LOL)

OK… just a quick update for now….  I’ll make an effort to blog more in the days to come.. as I have soooo much info to share.  My niece has just given me two apparently fantastic books to read….  ‘Diet for a new America’ by John Robbins (I’ll just read ‘Australia’ every time it says America..lol.. and ‘Food for life’ by Neal Barnard, MD.  I”m super bummed to get into them as they do seem packed with great info, even just by flicking through briefly so far.

Continuing to #respectthetemple peeps !!

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Healthy on the hols

Hi all !!

I just wanted to jump on and share 3 things with you ….  how much I LOVE my smoothies of a morning, how easy it is to make simple substitutions in order to still have a ‘treat’ when out & about…. and lastly, how creating a yummy healthy dinner is actually fun to do !!

So, EVERY single morning starts with a Healthy Mummy Smoothie….  I’m in a bit of choc cherry or Raspberry Ripple phase at present, but really any flavour is divine !!

My husband is constantly in awe at how much I actually pack into my brekky smoothie, so here’s a run down on what goes into every morning smoothie.

I used to put almond milk in my smoothies, but ran out one day, so simple threw a handful of almonds in with water.. and it tasted just as good.  So I thought…  well, that’s gotta be a healthier option.  If you look at the nutritional info on a carton of almond milk (even the good organic activated almond milk), the % of almonds is pretty darn low.  This way, I know I’m actually getting a good amount of almonds in.

So, along with the almonds and water, goes a frozen banana, 2 or 3 frozen strawberries, (usually some frozen blueberries, but I actually forgot them this morning, .. whoopsie), a big ole spoonful of LSA (Yes, I know I’m doubling up on almonds.. but hey, there’s worse things to double up on, right?), Organic cacao, Maca powder, Chia seeds, Hemps seeds & the HM mix.   This one had some organic cacao nibs on top with the blueberries and strawberry too.   Whip it up in the trusty Ninja Auto IQ.. and you’ve got yourself a nutrient dense, yet delicious, breakfast !!

I literally go to bed each night looking forward to my smoothie… it’s crazy right?  I did wonder when I started with HM whether I’d get bored with them, or get sick of making them each morning, but no… I still LOVE it.  I also wondered how I’d go thru winter.. whether I’d like getting up and having a cold smoothie on a cold morning.. but I actually went through last winter still having one each day.  There was one morning that I made a warm smoothie, using the thermomix, after seeing a HM recipe for it. I really did like it, but didn’t actually make another.. so who knows if I’ll do more of that in winter this year.

I also have come to love using my ‘smoothie time’ as my quiet time with The Lord.  I make my delish smoothie, make it pretty (a totally unnecessary part of smoothie time.. but hye, it makes it more special.. like you’ve having a smoothie from Charlies Raw Squeeze.. lol).. and then go sit somewhere nice and get into the Word.  I GREAT way to spend part of your morning.  I’m still working on ‘becoming an early morning person’…  (says the blogger at the computer after 10pm).  It just seems to make so much sense to me.. to get up by 6, have a solid hour with The Lord.. and then tackle the day… but I’m not there yet, so currently have a quiet time of about 20-25mins.

OK… jump forward into the day.. and we decided to head to the beach around lunchtime as there’s not too many of these opportunities left before school goes back.  I totally could have taken something with me to eat, but part of the fun of a ‘beach trip’ is the chips on bread lunch/arv tea you have after a swim in the ocean.

Sooooooo, here’s how I still have my ‘treat’ with the kiddos, while fueling my body the best way I can in the situation.

If you’re not Australian, and you’re reading this…. that pic on the left, is a VERY Aussie beach meal.  A ‘chip sanga’.  Not many would choose to have it on multigrain, but hey…  I actually like it.. and it meant I was actually adding some nutrition to what would normally not have much.

In years gone by, the chip sanga would have gone down VERY well with a Pepsi Max, but today… a delish Watermelon water was my selection.. and man, it was no sacrifice.  It was downright divine !!  I have had this one before, so knew it was going to be yum.. but still.  It meant that I ate alongside my kiddos.. enjoying the beach lunch experience with them.   Being healthy isn’t just about the food & exercise peeps !!!  However, I can’t help myself, I did walk out a mere 5000 steps along the beach while the kids rode the waves.

OK… an hour drive home… and it’s time to tackle my challenge for the week….  instead of ‘meat free Monday’.. I decided to challenge myself to a ‘meat free week’.  It’s too much to go into right now, but when my niece went vegetarian a few years back, I decided to look into and do some research as to why people think it’s a better option.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my chicken and beef far too much to go vegetarian, but after all the research I did, I certainly do believe there is too much meat production in the world.  As a result, I made the decision to go one night a week without meat… but I’d like to aim for 3 or 4 nights per week as meat free.

What had me seeing it as difficult tho is I didn’t think I could come up with enough options to reduce our meat intake, but after I came across a page last night, I’ve put together a list of options.

Here they are  – Vegetarian lasagna, soup, fritters, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, veggie bake, mushroom risotto, chick pea & veg curry, flafel burgers, sweet potato and feta sausage rolls, veggie nachos with guacamole, veggie frittata, roast pumpkin and quinoa salad, quesadillas with beans, spinach & ricotta pastries, bbq halloumi & veg kebabs.. and vegetarian pizza.

Tonight, I decided to simply start at the top of the list and make veggie lasagna.  We actually ended up having friends over for diner last minute, so they were my little guinea pigs.  lol.

I was honestly just making it up as I went along (see, it’s fun !! )….  randomly putting in whatever I thought would work…  actually being so lazy that I didn’t even make a cheese sauce, but only poured a can of coconut cream over one of the layers.  I also used lavash bread instead of the lasagna sheets.  One, because it’s a healthier option.. and two, because it gets dinner on the table WAY faster.

My method was – Slice up 2 sweet potatoes and lay the pieces on a pan and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top, then season with S & P.  In a 180 degree FF oven for approx 20mins.  While they’re cooking, slice up 2 big zucchinis and 4 large carrots and microwave them for 10mins (if I had more time, I would’ve steamed them though).  Once everything is ready, simply start constructing layers in an oven proof rectangular dish.  I added a can of diced tomatoes, a can of corn kernels, the sweet potato, carrot and zucchini slices, some cream cheese spread dollops, some chopped mushys,  the coconut cream.. and some grated cheese on top.  It only took maybe 10mins in the oven as there’s really nothing to cook.

I’d love to show you a picture, as it actually came out of the oven looking gorgeous.. but it got eaten too quickly.  I do have 2 serves left tho… so I’m now hanging out for lunch t’row.  ha ha.

OK..  so there you have it… a day of Fi’s meals.  A little bit of a treat with the chip sanga, but overall, a very good food day, nutritionally speaking.

Still #respectingthetemple

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Let’s talk healthy food !!

I’ve never been one to ‘meal plan’ so to speak, and am far more a ‘decide at 4pm’ kinda gal.  Now, this is perfectly fine IF you have good ingredients in your house.  The biggest trap when it comes to eating un-healthily is going for the ‘easier’ option, usually because it’s faster.

So, as long as I have a can of tuna or lentils in the cupboard… then I’m all good for a 4pm (or even 5.30pm) decision.  (Side note – I do live only a 10min walk to the supermarket, so I can literally decide on a roast at 4pm if I really wanted to… I never have though. ha ha)

But, seeing as we can’t live on Tuna & Lentils, I need to be more self disciplined and actually think of the evening meal the night before, or at least first thing in the morning.  I totally realise I can defrost in the microwave, and against my better judgement,  I do sometimes, but I prefer to let it defrost on the side of the sink overnight.

I’m not telling any big secret here when I say that mince is your biggest versatile friend when it comes to the evening meal.  So much can be made from it, but be sure to not scrimp on the quality .. your tummy won’t thank you for that 2 star mince people !!  I’ve recently been making the Healthy Mummy stovetop lasagna (Recipe HERE). It is so great in so many ways…..  one less pot & wooden spoon to wash, hidden veggies, great ingredients… and it’s a WINNER with the family.  The recipe calls for lasagna sheets, but I’ve also made it with spiral & shell pasta, GF pasta, wholemeal pasta, egg pasta, pulse pasta…. so basically it’s great whichever way you want to make the meal.  It is also a FANTASTIC leftovers dish for those hungry 16yr old boys that eat you out of house and home. 😂

Rissoles or meatballs are also fantastic as you can, once again, hide all sorts of goodness in them (grated zucchini, carrot, celery, chia seeds etc).  Also they can be served for dinner with great fresh veggies or salad, and then save some leftovers to have with a yummy finger food lunch.  Here’s my lunch from yest where I had some leg ham, but this is the kinda lunch I’d pop a couple of meatballs onto.

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Yes, it’s a little heavy on the cheese, but that’s because my Great Nephew was here and he likes to steal my cheese.  :0) (PS, those cheese filled bell peppers were THE BOMB.COM .. they were actually a b’day present from my daughter, so I’m having them super sparingly!!)

This plate is a fairly good illustration of what I have for lunch a few days per week, just with the protein sources swapped around……  quite often it’s tuna or chicken on the plate as a great low fat protein option.   Don’t forget the added goodness you get with each addition.   eg. Tuna is a great source of iron and potassium.  Chicken is a very good source of selenium (enhanced immune response), vitamins B2 & B6 (helps with inflamation, as well as lots more).

Basically, whenever you eat wholefoods, there are AAAAHHHmazing health benefits in everything….  because, guess what.. GOD DESIGNED THEM THAT WAY !!  (Although, He may have some questions about some of the variations nowadays. lol)

You know I LOVE finding new wholefood cafes to try… and today was another victory in that department.  Soul Harvest Wholefoods Eatery at Margate (HERE is their Facebook page) is in a street just a block up from the beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula.  Really great atmosphere, loads to choose from.. and friendly staff.  I’ve been following their FB page for awhile and had been super keen to try it out, but didn’t get there until today.

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My Brekky choice – ‘Eggs your way’ (my way is poached :0) on activated charcoal sourdough, with a side of bacon and some homemade relish.  (I so wish I could master poached eggs at home… I have one of those magic egg thingos for the microwave, but it’s just not the same..plus there’s the whole ‘I don’t want to be using the microwave thing.)

 

 

 

You’ll also see on their FB page that they’re not just about eat in food & drinks, but takeaway, catering, picnics (Look for future blog post on this as it is so our next date day option !!) as well as classes on things like making your own Kombucha, essential oils, Beeswax wraps etc.  They also have loads of stuff going on around healthy living and wellness.. yes, some of it sounds a little new-agey, but just do your homework before going along to something.

As I’m typing, I’m enjoying my darn stinking delicious HM Choc Cherry smoothie.  This is normally my breakky routine, but as I had brekky out, I’m having it now.   I LOVE how I can add in all sorts of goodness and not even taste that it’s there.  I just ate an entire zucchini and it was like it wasn’t there at all.  BAM

OK….  that’s today’s lunchtime thoughts.  I actually got my mince out on the side of the sink at 11am today, so let’s see what #nutritiousdelicous meal I can whip up with it.

Love to you all….  let’s continue to #respectthetemple in all that we do (& eat).

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