Category: wholefoods

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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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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