Friday, 27 May 2016

Minty Fresh!

Hello there beautiful people!!

Today I'm popping in (for what seems like the first time in a long time- #studylife) for a quick little recipe creation that was purely a let's-see-if-this-works-out-because-it-just-came-to-me inspiration/ epiphany that got the brain cogs (the none mole-ratio, anti deriving, English technique cogs that have been in overuse) turning.

You see, in this season of life- things be busy. Real busy. And more often than not I'm heading into school early for some kind of meeting/ commitment/ cross country training. And in particular with cross-country training mornings- brekky needs to be prep-ahead, transportable and still delicious after sitting in my bag for an hour.
Just you wait... :D

Yes, you've heard it all before- but when you're in a period of life that requires certain recipes, than the recipes that will be shared will be of certain characteristics- and recently as you made have deduced, they have been prep-ahead and take on-the-go meals! And I think we all appreciate these recipes at some point in our lives!

So anyway, onto today's inspired creation!

I had fresh mint leaves hanging around in my fridge that needed to be used up in the next day or so. I also had cross-country training the following morning. I'm also a person who love, love, loves the malt-y, vanilla-y, rich flavour of protein powder added to recipes. And oats are a great addition to a post-workout breakfast as well as my undying love for them meaning they would also be included in this recipe.

So I got to thinking, what would tired, hot, sweaty, muscle-sore Steph want to devour as soon as she made it back to the change rooms after a heavy training sesh? (And I mean heavy; think stair runs, interval sprints and suicides... for 12 minutes EACH.)
Unfortunately my imagination cannot make stairs appear flat... no matter how hard I tried :P

It was then that I knew I would be making some sort of vanilla-mint, fudge, no-bake oat bite creation. And so it was created:
Now I could go into lengthy detail about how soft, chewy, fudge-y rich and delicious these bites were and that hint of fresh mint coupled with the delectable, sweetness of the vanilla protein powder and the nutty tones hidden throughout every bite... but I just did so I guess I will in fact!
To make a batch of these bad boys for yourself all you will need is:

Ingredients:
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 dates
3-4 fresh mint leaves
1 large scoop peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1/4-1/2 cup almond milk (add more if too crumbly and not forming nice compact balls)
dash of cinnamon (optional)

And all you will need to do is:

Method:
1. Place everything in a high-speed belnder/ food processor and whaz! You may need to stop and give everything a little stir around and whaz some more until combined!)
2. Line a container with baking paper
3. Roll mix into balls, place in container, cover with lid and pop in the freezer overnight until required (around 30-40mins should be enough if you're making it for that day).

This:
 To this: (frozen)
 Nice and cold; perfect for a cooling brekky treat:
 No Steph; don't devour it yet- an hour defrosting will make it all the more delicious! (tip for anyone creating it; let defrost for at least half an hour for optimal texture and taste)
And just for your viewing pleasure; here is my hand, holding my delicious vanilla-mint oat fudge bites in said change room, crying tears of joy (or maybe I was just delirious after being so smashed from training!)
 Yeah, I'm the weird kid taking pictures of her food in the school change room. No shame.

That texture tho...
 Happy, happy days.

 Beautifully balanced with carbs, fat and protein for optimum recovery; the body was happy!

Your turn:
Had any good runs recently? Workouts that have left you completely hammered? It hurts.. but it's so, so good!
Fav brekky of recently?
What's your fav combo with mint? Choc mint is pretty good, though vanilla-mint has suddenly taken the spotlight in my life at the minute!!

 I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, filled with love, laughter and good times- make a memory you will never forget and, as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Monday, 23 May 2016

Prep-Ahead Breakfasts! - Cross Country Edition

Hello there awesome-sauce people of the blog-o-sphere!

Today I have a small compilation of random-impromptu-created-as-I-went prep-ahead breakfasts that I created specifically for my early cross-country training the night before. My mission? To make super delicious night-before breakfasts that I would utterly cry with happiness whilst chowing down on in the school change rooms after a super hard sweat sesh.

And let me just say, I was quite happy with the results!!

So, if you find yourself in a busy period of life, or you too find yourself having to gt up with the moon and the stars to go to a training session, or if you just really need your beauty sleep and thus have no time to whip up an awesome, nutrient-filled breakfast in the morning... then these recipes will be perfect for you and your food lovin body!

Now onto the foood!!

1. Freezer Oatmeal Vanilla Protein Bar! Recipe number one involves a deliciously creamy oat mixture creation- frozen and then left to defrost for an hour the next day and eaten as a frozen oat bar breakfast! Confused? Don't worry, just read on below:
To make this bad boy...
Ingredients:
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 heaped cup greek yoghurt
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 pitted dates
1 tablespoon nut butter (I used peanut butter)
Splash of water

Method:
1. Place everything in a blender/ food processor.
2. Blend/ food process... :)
3. Then simply pour into a container lined with baking paper, cover and place in the freezer overnight:
When I woke up the next day? I simply cut the frozen oatmeal bar in two and wrapped in foil to defrost slightly in my backpack whilst I ran around and worked up a biiiig appetite!
This was just so cold, creamy, fudgey, filled with all the good stuff and DELICIOUS! Perfect post-run fuel!

2. Baked Chickpea Blondies! Recipe number two! A version of my chickpea blondies, whipped up and baked the night before, popped in the fridge overnight ready for brekky the next day!!
To make yourself a batch of these simply:

Ingredients:
3/4- 1 cup cup rolled oats
2 pitted dates
3/4 cup chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 large scoop (pretty much 2 tablespoons) peanut butter
Splash of almond milk
Optional- protein powder/ other flavourings

Method:
1. Again; place everything in a blender and blend until smooth and combined
2. Form into balls/ sqaures/ bars and place on a tray lined with baking paper and bake in an oven at 180 degrees celsius for around 15 minutes until golden brown on top (not too long because you don't want them to dry out)
3. Leave to cool completely, then place in a container in the fridge until ready to eat!
Soft, fudgey, chewy... again; a perfect post workout brekky, filled with so much yum!
And I also apologise for all of the early morning shots- reality right here, folks!

Sigh, I want more of these in my life..

3. Choc Fudge Brownie Bites! Last, but most, most, most definitely not least (maybe even the best!) were these raw choc, protein, fudge breakfast truffles:
These were frozen once again and left to thaw for approximately an hour in my bag during training.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 massive spoon peanut butter
1 scoop protein powder
2 pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup almond milk

Method:
1. Blender- blend- smooth-boom! (add more liquid if too crumbly)
2. Roll into balls and place in container lined with baking paper, cover with lid and freeze overnight.
3. Defrost for at least an hour and then enjoy these delicious, cold, fudge-y raw brownie bites!!
Hello early morning shots!!
And once again, ridiculously delicious!!

Checklist complete?
Healthy?
Nutrient-rich?
Re-fueling?
DELICIOUS?!?!

Check, check, check, CHECK!!

Definitely recommend any of these recipes if you're short on time because they offer so much goodness that will start your day the right way (and not just in a way a banana, or coffee, or processed breakfast drink would) And especially if you're doing easrly morning training- these recipes ensure your cells and muscles are running on the best fuel possible for optimum recovery!)

Nom.

Your turn:
Are you a night-before breakfast prep-aheader? Quite a title, huh?
Favourite overnight brekky recipe? I do love me some overnight oats?
Do you prefer raw (vegan of course) brownies, or cooked brownies? I love the cool, raw, fudginess of creamy chocolate that hasn't been baked- so good!


I hope you enjoyed these recipes as much as I enjoyed eating them (highly improbable!!) and I hope you have a delightfully delicious day! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D

Friday, 20 May 2016

Undereating- uh oh!

Hi there everyone!!

In today's post I wanted to touch on something I think I take very seriously in my life and work to influence many other teenage girls my age through day-to-day interactions and this blog too. It's the topic of under-eating and it's something my body has struggled through in my past which is why I find it so worrying to watch other girls go through the similar struggles I experienced.


There was a time when I lost so much weight. When I was cold every second of every day. When my natural cycles were stuffed up and I suffered from insomnia- what I felt to be the most debilitating result of not eating enough. When I would come home from school and collapse onto the couch ready for a nap. When I couldn't even go on a walk with my mum and the dog.


And that was a time I never, ever, EVER want to go back to. So when I see the girls around my school, tossing their sandwiches in the bin, or shivering under two jackets on a sunny day, or falling in and out of concentration... I'm sick to my stomach.

But this post isn't about those girls. This post isn't a commanding, preaching post telling you all to eat enough fro your bodies, ensuring you are getting enough kilojoules/ calories to fuel your day-to-day life, because I've already done that. I have quite a collection of posts now regarding eating to fuel your body. So no, that's not why I'm here today. Today I want to talk about my concern that I might be slipping back into bad habits.

You see, it's so easy to let your mind float into disordered unhealthy thoughts when a thought like; 'If I don't add in a chickpea patty I will eat a heck of a lot less.' pops into your head and you simply prep yourself a salad simply made of veggies (no protein or fats). And this happened to me the other day when I chopped up some raw veg to bring to school and then added in a few lentils and called it lunch. I was starving by the time I got home.

This was also the day I had early-morning cross-country training which involved re-running the course and then doing continuous sprint and recovery drills (boy it was tough!). This was also the day when my body needed more fuel and i gave it less? Why did I feel that small sense of accomplishment? It's moments like this that I can 100% relate to those going through an eating disorder or those who regularly suffer from disordered thoughts. As soon as you let one little unhealthy thought take hold of your mind, it's so easy to slip entirely off the rails.

^^This is one of my favourite posts on this topic by The Cookie ChRUNicles (part 1 and part 2)

And then on the other hand, the busyness of my schedule, combined with the stress of school and amount of homework I had ahead of me for the weekend left me with approximately 0% energy or creativity to come up with anything for dinner, so after my merger salad at lunch, this is what my dinner turned out to be:

I'm sure many people would eat this amount of food for dinner, but for me this is definitely not enough to fuel my body. I need to eat probably double this and yet all i made myself for dinner was 2 wholemeal crumpets topped with vegemite, avocado and poached eggs with a side of baked beans.


In short? Friday I was under-eating and the take-away message for me from this day was that i can do it both consciously and unconsciously. I both choose to undercut and I also end up underrating as a result of not being bothered to come up with anything else.

It was after this dinner when I noticed for the first time that day (when I actually took a minute out of my day to simply be present) that I felt the hunger my body was crying out to signal to be fed. So I took action. I knew I needed to up my protein so poured myself a big glass of cold soy milk and enjoyed a few squares of dark chocolate. I still had not eaten nearly enough to fuel that active day for me but it was important for me to recognise this and take action, something I didn't do a few years back and was so quickly and easily taken over by unhealthy under-eating.
This Instagram probably helped me with the wake-up call :)

This morning I woke up just feeling empty. I took an easy morning (your body needs rest too!!) and enjoyed this delicious HUGE Steph-sized brekky:

A big not-so-green-purple green smoothie with a side of freshly baked, warm, straight-from-the-oven granola!
 I'm telling you, a spoon would have probably been a better apparatus to use for this smoothie than the start but alas... I was hungry and it was delicious!!!
 I also felt a heck of a lot better with a substantial and nutritious and filling and awesome amount of food in my belly! :D

This is a wake-up call for me (and maybe one for you too) Steph- do not fall back into unhealthy, disordered thoughts and remember to eat. EAT. Eat enough because your body needs a lot of fuel to prosper!

What about you?
Have you ever under-eaten? Conciously/ unconsciously?
Favourite quick throw-together dinner?
Favourite meal to up the fuel into your body?!

I hope you all have an awesome, awesome day, smile lots and EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! TRULY! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D




Monday, 16 May 2016

The Savoury Section!

Hi there amazing, inspiring people!
(Did that make your day a little brighter? With that little piece of truth? Good! :) )

I have a shocking post in store for you today and you won't believe your eyes when you read the next words that are soon to pop up on your reading radar in a few lines when I stop blabbering and finally get to what today's post is about. Right now. RRRIIIGGHHHTT now.

Ok, I'll get on with it!

Today I have a recipe.

No that's not the shock.

Today I have a recipe that is not intended for breakfast! (I mean, you can eat it for breakfast; each to their own right?) But no, that is still not the surprise...

On this very day I have a recipe that is of the savoury variety.

SURPRISE!!!

Creamy Pumpkin Veggie-Stuffed Pasta Bake
 As winter approaches with the cold, dark, chill of sadness... I kid, winter's great (sometimes)... comfort food is required to make the happy pleasant fairies in your stomach happy and you even happier.

But what's a girl to do if comfort food actually makes her tummy fairies a little unhappy... and decide to punch and rip and kick at the lining of her stomach until she's doubled over in pain approximately 30 minutes after eating a cheese-filled white-pasta filled dish? Why she makes a version that's just as tasty and gives her all the goodness her body deserves!
 So I made pasta bake.
And I think you should make it too.

Ingredients:
1 serving wholemeal penne pasta (or whatever pasta you want to use)
3/4 cup mashed pumpkin
3 brussels sprouts, chopped
A few broccoli florets (4-5)
1/2 cup green beans
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon hommus
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/3 cup rinsed and drained lentils
One handful spinach

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grab a loaf tin/ pasta bake tin
2.Cook pasta according to packet instructions
3.Steam the brussels, broc and beans until tender
4. Drain pasta, stir in pumpkin, greek yoghurt, hommus and nutritional yeast.
5. Add the steamed greens and lentils and then stir in the spinach
6. Transfer to tin and place in oven. Bake for around 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and a little crispy :)
 ENJOYYY!!! (leave to cool first- my little mistake :)

The cheesey, comforting, warm, goodness of this meal is so gosh darn tasty and offers so much nutritionally that this dish ticks all the boxes (tasty, comforting, delicious and filled with the stuff your body thrives on!).

As a kid I hated pasta bake. As a teen I make this and I cry with happiness:

Nom.

What about you?
Are you a fan of pasta bake?
Favourite stuff to add into your pasta bake?
What's the one food you always burn your tongue on? Mine would probably be pizza straight from the oven.. because that smell is too good not to dive straight into!!

I hope you all have a fabulous rest of your day, give someone you love a hug, give yourself a hug and as always EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Friday, 13 May 2016

TWOOOO RECIPES! :D

Hidy ho friendly friends and happy Friday!
It is currently the end of the school week, about mid-afternoon, sun beginning to set (you know it's coming into winter when it gets dark this quickly in Aus!) and my mind is simply done, hence why I'm blogging when there is homework that could potentially be done right now-ish... but you know what, sometimes we all just need a break. Sometimes we gotta be kind to our bodies and our minds (I'm always going on about treating your body as a temple in terms of food and exercise but this also refers just as much to our mental state!)

So yes. I have chosen you guys over my much-loved, anticipated and eager-to-complete homework. Yep. You can thank me later.

Anyways onto the post!

On to the food!

Yes, this is in fact a food blog and thus I would like to gift you with some pictures of food that will leave you hungry, drooling and basically just needing a little snack to make it through. And if not... then you must have just eaten and I respect you just a little bit more :)

Today (because I was feeling bad for not posting in a while... ahh gotta love year 12 life) I have for you not one... not two... no it is two. I have TWO delightful breakfast recipes for you guys and not only that, they offer so much more than just a recipe... one of them is a Lazy-Sunday-I-Got-plenty-Of-Time-To-Make-Breakfast breakfast and the other one is a Quickest-Ever-Throw-Together-Meal-Evvveerrr breakfast so you have two great options for two completely different mornings!

Ok, enough talking (boy I can blabber on!) onto the fooooood
 What is that a picture of, you ask?
 Why it is a big plate of cold, fudgey, creamy avocado choc fudge bites with a side of cherry fro-yo. Oh yes.
Ohhh yes.
 To make these bad boys I literally popped:
Ingredients:
1/2 an avocado
3/4 cup rolled oats (I probably put in a bit more because I made quite a lot!!)
1 scoop choc protein powder (sub in with a teaspoon or two of raw cacao powder)
2 dates
1 laarrggee spoon of nut butter (I used peanut butter)
A little splash of water to get it all moving

Method:
.... all the ingredients into the Vitamix and whazzed until smooth and combined.
Then I formed them into bites, placed on a parchment lined plate and popped in the freezer for atleast 30 minutes... Then I died of deliciousness:
 I don't think I'll ever be able to get across how fudge-y and creamy these bites were... so you're just going to have to go right ahead and make them yourself- I promise you will not be disappointed!
 And the cherry fro-yo? Well you all know by now- handful of frozen cherries + 3 scoops greek yoghurt- whazzed until smooth and popped in the freezer to harden slightly! Perfect partner to the rich, dense brownie bites :) :D

Gah! I want this again!!

Alrighty- moving right along to the easy-peasy-throw-together-in-5-minutes breakfast! Because sometimes we just don't got the time in the morning for luxurious pancakes, or steel cut oats or delicious, creamy, fudge-y, dense, delicious fudge bites (yep, I need these in my life again very soon!)

Breakfast Papaya Boat:
 Again, I have no words. So instead I have a recipe:

Ingredients:
1/2 papaya
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
small handful dried fruit
small handful raw, chopped nuts
3 big scoops greek yoghurt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 large tablespoon of coconut butter
2 tablespoon almond milk

Method:
Place oats, dried fruit, cinnamon and nuts in a bowl, stir in the greek yoghurt and almond milk and leave in the fridge overnight (or at least 30 minutes to an hour).
The next morning, place the coconut butter and almond milk in a small bowl/ saucepan and heat up (bowl in microwave for around 15 seconds) until melted and combined. Stir into soaked overnight oats.
Retrieve your half a papaya breakfast boats and scoop in the oats and.. nope that's it you're done!

 Cold, creamy, sweet, juicy- all the flavours, textures and deliciousness in one breakfast!
 Happy, happy days.
And whipped together in the morning with a little night-before prep in approximately 5 minutes- even happier happy happy days :)
Nom.

And there you go.

You're welcome.

And now I'm hungry again. *sigh* thanks Steph!

Your turn:
What's your favourite lengthy-throw-together breakfast?
What's your favourite quick-throw-together breakfast? Cereal doesn't count! (I'm not against cereal- love the crunchy delight- but it's just a bit toooo quick)
Sweet or savoury breakfast? I'm all about them sweet, dessert breakfasts!

I hope you all have a fabulous Friday- do something fun, fun, fun because it's FRIDAY FUNDAY! Yep it's a universally recognised thing! Eat something delicious and I will see you next time for whatever crazy, throw-together post I come up with for next time! Yay! Bye for now friends!! :D

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Race Recap!

Hidily-hodily friendly friends and happy happy whatever today is to you!!

Why am I in such a giddy, happy mood? It could have something to do with the delicious breakfast of lemon coconut bites and a frozen grape and banana green smoothie I enjoyed for breakfast this morning outside, under cover watching the rain crash down (oddly calming- anyone else agree?), or the fact that today was a lazy, lie-in, complete rest day that let my body just reeeelax (haven't had a rest day in a while and felt like the body could do with a little stress reduction... feeling a cold coming on!)

Anywho, it could have something to do with all of those things but that's not why I am so utterly and absolutely elated.

Nope.

The actual reason?

You're reading (was going to say looking but then I realised you can't actually see me :P) the words of  the open girls cross country champion for my school! So stoked right now!

You may remember from last year me doing a post on winning the year 11 cross country race.. but I feel like this is an even bigger deal and I'm not going to lie I'm pretty proud of myself. You see I've been in and out of almost falling into my old-friend ITB syndrome and runners knee injury for the past month or so, struggling to maintain good posture and running style and ensuring that I was stretching and foam roller-ing (you should see the bruises on my leg from my spike-y roller- ouch!) every night, combined with the nerves of knowing I was definitely doing a heck of a lot less training than I wanted to be for preparation for this race. I got to the point where I was doing multiple Blogilates cardio videos to last for a good 30 mins to get that same heart rate and breathing that I would from a tough run to increase my lung capacity and stamina!

I hadn't run since Sunday and the race was on Friday. This was due to the fact that after a longer than planned run on Sunday (around 6.5km) my leg became quite stiff indeed and I felt the niggling pain in the outside part of my left knee starting to return. Dang it, Steph, I thought- why'd you have to go out and run for longer than needed?

Come Friday, I was nervous. This is something I truly wanted. This was a big goal for me. This added immensely to the nerves. To put it in perspective? I had two of my school services to attend where I was speaking in both as head girl and the one thing I was truly nervous about was running those 3km!

Better yet? The girls were the very last runners to be let out of the gates (it went social walkers in the middle school, then senior school, then the boys running the 4km and then when every single person was back, the girls running the 3km! Hello butterflies! I couldn't even eat all of my lunch- cous cous salad with veggies and 4 beans- because I was just starting to feel sick)


Should have told myself this to get me through!!

At last we were off, as per usual everyone started in a sprint, I got intimidated and of course tried to stay with the pack. Foolishly. I felt the pain pretty early in (and I wasn't even on the hill for the way back!) I tried to keep the same high pace but definitely felt my body crying out for my usual slow and sustained pace I run for my long runs. I had my eye on the prize though, and I think my mental strength started to take over after about the half way point when I noticed the one year 12 girl in front of me begin to slow down- she started so, so strong and I had pretty much resigned to the fact of getting runner up behind her.

 But I was catching her up this hill (spanning all the way back to my school- I know, how cruel is that!?!) Then I was by her side and gaining ground. And then she said; 'Go Steph. Go.' and off I ran. Those couple of words gave me some inhuman strength to keep going and push myself faster than I had started down the hill. I was gaining ground, I was getting closer and closer to school... then I saw the line-up of cars on the one bit of road we had to cross and I knew i would be stopped to let them through. Worst nightmare confirmed.

I jogged on the spot, not because I felt I needed to but mainly just to calm the nerves of not moving and my competitor being right behind me and suddenly in view. As soon as I saw her round the corner, I was let off and began an even quicker sprint/ run up that dreaded hill.


And then I saw the gates. Lungs not filling with oxygen, eyes cast down, feeling like I was going to throw up the entire contents of food in my belly... and then I was through. just half an oval before I would win. I saw a girl from another year in front of me, maybe 4-6 meters or so. She was fast but she didn't have anything left in the tank. And I did. Somehow I had the remaining energy to sprint my heart out, straight past her and through the finish line, finishing stronger than I ever had before.

I had done it. I had won champion girl. And I felt like I was going to puke! Alas, I did not, instead I got my name taken down, tried to drink (wasn't breathing properly yet) hugged the runner up (we're really close and have been running cross country together for a few years now) and tried to stretch out my throbbing legs (they hadn't worked that hard in a long time!). I was utterly bewildered how I managed the win after such a reduction in training and shaky legs. And just so so so happy as well.

In my smart ways of mine, I had agreed to go to a party that night too- which just felt so good on my legs! Not! But it was still fun, even though I woke up super early Friday morning (too nervous to sleep!) and so was ready for bed at around 9:30pm at the party! :D Ahh, life of a runner :P.

So that is my race recap for my school's 2016 cross country qualifying race! And guess what, there's going to be another race recap coming up soon after I run the 12km HBF Run for a Reason coming up later this month (22nd)! So get excited for that one (an actual distance I like to run!! :)

Today my legs feel tight, sore and like they've been cramping, but a few epsom salt baths, stretching and foam rolling should bring em' right back to their glorious selves!


Your turn:
What's the most recent race you've run? Any marathoners out there? My ultimate goal!!
Anyone currently injured at the moment? What did you do?
Tips fro feeling before an afternoon race? I never usually run any time other than before breakfast (with zero food in ma belly) so it was quite strange to eat around an hour before starting and I did feel quite sick during the run!)
The trophy :)

I hope you enjoyed this little recap and let me know if you want to see more of these kinds of posts (they're quite fun to write!!).
Happy, slightly exhausted, slightly dazed Steph after race!

Have yourself a fabulous day, do something that truly makes you happy and that your body with thank you for. Look after yourselves and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D


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