Sunday, 27 November 2016

Breaking The Exercise Addiction

Hi there folks and yes, I am back!!

Back from my glorious week away in the hot sunshine, beautiful crystal clear beaches, sea turtles, fish, snorkeling, sand boarding, hiking, hanging out with some of the coolest people- honestly, if you haven't been on a Scripture Union Camp- I whole-heartedly recommend you do! It was honestly one of the best weeks of my life and a perfect way to spend my end-of-year-12-and-WACE-exams Leavers Week!

And whilst I could write an incredibly long and detailed post about all the amazing things I did on camp... well I've already done that re-telling my trip to my friends and family back home so instead you will get something a little more relevant to the blog and a little more eye-opening and extremely important and relevant for me!

This here is a post about exercise addiction- the way it can sneak on into your life without you realising and then all of a sudden you realise you need certain regimented exercise in your day-to-day life in order to be 'healthy'. And yet, this is actually incredibly unhealthy and unhelpful to a happy and prosperous way of living.

Yes, I will be the first to admit I was falling into that trap and how did I know this? It was probably when I started to feel queezy about not being able to do my minimum hour-long workout sessions in the morning on camp, or when I wrote out a bunch of body weight and HIIT workouts to bring along with me so I would always have something on stand by. That was probably the moment I realised the addiction/ obsession was real.

You see, lots of people who don't work out on the regular can't understand this exercise addiciton phenomenom because to them, exercise hurts, it makes you work hard, it takes effort, determination and a heck-of-a-lot of mental strength. But those who exercise on the regular and continually push and work and have ultimately cleared that hard bump in the hill of starting off and the pain of exercise, have probably started to experience the beloved 'gains', the improvements and increasing fitness levels, the tone in their arms and legs, the strength of their growing muscles. Push-ups become easier, burpees; a walk in the park, a sit-up no longer counts as an ab exercise, workouts become longer and harder.

I was definitely feeling this and thus was worried about taking a week off from all the progress I had made. I didn't want to lose tone, or decrease my growing muscles, or lose the physique that came with my workouts and now looking back at those words, it pains me at how superficial and outward focused my brain was. I'm constantly harping on about how we should move our bodies in the way that makes us happy, not skinny etc. And yet, my main concerns was how my outward body would look from not doing my morning workouts!

In the past, camps have sparked anxiety in me about what the food will be like and if I can break my 'food rules' and just eat whatever is put in front of me. Thankfully I've gotten over that road bump after numerous years of struggling because I've come to terms with food as fuel and a way to spend time and memories with others. Plus (and I'll go into this in more detail a bit later on) this camp made me HANGRY at every. single. meal and thus a big plate of cheesy lasagne was almost too good to be true when I sat down for dinner one of the nights.
 I ate white bread, buns, rice, pasta. I ate cheese and milk and way too many beans (pretty much my main protein source on the camp) I ate a heck of a lot more sugar than my bodies used to (berry yoghurt, cereal, weet-bix and fruit for brekky etc.) and what happened? Nothing. I was fit, fed and happy and in all honesty liking the change up and memories I associated with foods I hadn't eaten in years!
So yes, my worries about not getting enough exercise in were quickly squashed after our first day at the beautiful Ningaloo Reef. My first day included a 4:30am wake-up to be ready to go surfing by 5:00am whereby I tried (and failed) to surf and then just body boarded for the rest of the time, followed by breakfast at 7:30am, my morning activity that I chose to be snorkeling, back for lunch at 12:30pm, out again to do sandboarding (literally sliding down dunes on a wooden board!), hanging out until dinner at 6:30pm, and then night games/ activities which that night involved a sport night (lots of different sports where we rotated every 10 mins.
So whilst I wasn't doing my planned 1-2 hour session in the morning, I was probably doing a heck of a lot more exercise than I would of at home anyway; only difference? I was doing it unknowingly and having the time of my life! The roaring hunger was indication enough of the increasing fuel my body required to power through these huge glorious days of fun in the sun (it's always so funny sitting down at a group with my plate of food, the girls nibbling at their small portions and the boys sizing up their plates with mine- GIRL GOTTA EAT YA KNOW!?!)

My favourite activity of them all was the Gorge walk- a 3km hike through the gorges (some steep climbs thrown in there too) and it was like I was running, with how high my heart rate got and the burn in my legs from climbing all those rocks. I ended up doing that 4 times. And because I'm not the best swimmer, all the swimming activities left me utterly exhausted and my arms so dead- but again, so so worth it when you saw a turtle or a little fish or the beautiful coral right there underneath you!

And do you know what the craziest thing that happened at the end of my week away? I probably got more fit. More toned. More muscly.

And I had the time of my life.

This baffled me at first (my disordered, exercise-crazed side of my brain that it) and then logic hit me right in the face with a 'See? Exercise does not need to be planned out to a T to see results. You've been lifting weights and working your butt off and yet the one week you take off and just enjoy yourself being active with other people and spending time doing incredible activities in the sun, you see the most progress yet! Be kind to your body, love your body and your body will love you back!!'

I am so thankful this week forced me to simply go with the flow and make some of the best memories of my life and now I can bring all this new-found knowledge back into my life and start living a happy, fun-filled life once again whereby my brain is not consumed by the prospect of working out etc.

Life is meant to be lived, so why not live it to the max- and enjoy every second!

Your turn:
Do you/ have you ever struggled with an exercise addiction?
 How did you come out of it?
Favourite way to move your body?

I hope this post helped anyone struggling like I was and has given a little inspirsation about getting out there and doing the the things you love again. Happy to be back, but missing it already, although I'm so keen to have unlimited time to experiment in the kitchen once again and bring you guys some awesome recipes!

Have yourself a wonderful day, look after yourself and others and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D :D

Thursday, 17 November 2016

A Day In The Life- Of An Adult??

Hello there awesome-sauce-folks!

How's your day/ week/ month been??

I hope you answered good because life should be good and it's the ability to see the good in things (even when they're not-so-good) that creates true happiness!! Happiness isn't having a perfect life, am I right?

Alrighty, inspirational speech of the day done, now onto the good stuff!!

Now that I've officially graduated school and finished my final exams... life took a bit of a major gear shift- like that was all I knew- school and/or studying. There was no 100% free-time ever. Like for literally the past 12-14 years of my life. Every Summer holiday was great, but there was always that knowledge that you would be returning the next year to further develop on the stuff you learned the year before.

Except this time, no. Nope. Nada. Not going back! The past is in the paaaaaassssttt! Name that Disney film! :P :P

So today I thought it be appropriate to do a new Day In The Life post, as my days in the life have changed, once again and let's be real; days in the life almost always have to feature food... soooo...

Let's go!

Wake up for the first time for the morning- each day it's always, for whatever reason, somewhere around 4:45am-5:00am that I wake up and am therefore busting for the toilet- run to the toilet- back to bed for as long as my sleepy mind needs before it's WIDE awake and will not fall back to sleep. This is usually around 5:15-5:20am :P

Jump out of bed- morning bird my friends!- and brush my hair, grab a glass of water, fling open the curtains, tie them back to let all the Summer sunshine in! Make my bed (yep I'm one of those folks), pop on my workout clothes, tie the hair back into two pigtails (too short now for a reliable pony :P) put on a Lorna Jane head band to keep the hair back, grab phone, water and head on downstairs for whatever workout is crack-a-lacking today!

Begin the sweat sesh!
Recently I've been LOVING on Fitness Blender at home workouts- they're free, super challenging and all-round fun. I love, love, love doing HIIT now-a-days and as such have reduced my running quite a bit because I love the burn and rapid heart beat HIIT delivers.

I generally workout for over an hour and if I'm really feeling it- close to two, but I always listen to my body and if I've only done an hour and I'm spent, I will stop because there's no point pushing on through that!

I am now happily drenched in sweat and smiling through my endorphins and also entirely ready for BREAKFAST! I'm a fasted worker-outerer and thus my pre-workout meal is whatever I ate for dinner the night before; hence the importance of a good fueling dinner!! That said, by brekky time; I'm ravenous!!

So, into the kitchen to whip up something filled with all the good carbs, fats, proteins and love.

Today I was so kind to myself I whipped up these mint protein balls the night before and popped them in the freezer ready for an easy breezy throw-together breakfast:

Cherry 'green' smoothie to wash it all down:

Frozen cherries, 1 large banana, frozen zucchini, kale, spinach, greek yoghurt, water- nom!

Honestly though, these vanilla mint protein balls are so rich and fudgey and delicious you will not believe the goodness that is inside of them!! Oats, dates, mint, vanilla protein powder, almond milk, maca powder, almond butter- gah! So good!!

Inside shot:

Nom, nom

After breakfast I head on upstairs to shower (much needed) and change into actual human clothes (just kidding, I'm almost always back in workout wear, or leggins and a baggy t-shirt :) :D

Teeth brushed, hair done, dressed, guzzling water and flicking through Instagram as well as probably posting my breakfast/ workout because this is my favourite time to do such things!!

Ok, now to finally start the day- a whole day of freedom. Sounds amazing, actually quite daunting when you're entire year has revolved around waking above, doing the above things and then studying.

Alas I survive. And generally if the sun is out and shining I'll go for a nice long beach walk (hat and sunscreen applied now) to wake up the brain and just calm me down and make me feel so good- it truly is a form of meditation for me going down to the beach and breathing in that fresh salty air and hearing the waves crash- LOVE IT!

Back from the beach and ready to take on any chores for the day; some days that included cleaning up my entire study space- getting rid of all the books, pens, notes, random bits of paper and vacuuming.

Today it included going up to the shops to buy a pair of sunnies for my Leavers week away (leaving tomorrow!!!) and buying a few last minute snacks to take with me (bought some veggie chips and trail mix- yum!)

Continued to pack and find stuff I needed to stuff in my suitcase


Ravenous as always and this is what resulted; delicious rice and veggie bowl that is literally whipped up in 5 minutes (thank you microwave!)

Now is the time I like to have a bit of a chill and wind down so I generally pop on a movie on Netflix and stand around watching that (I hate sitting, by the way, and will often stand to watch movies- I also do some handstands and stuff while watching if I get a bit bored- good fun!)


After my movie I'll go outside again (get my energy from the sun people) and have a wonder around, might play with the dog a bit.

Then I pick up a book/ magazine and have a good read for a bit- love to read and this was also something I did not get to do very much this year (along with watch any movies, ha!)

Now's my favourite time to watch a bit of YouTube, What I Eat In A Days and other foodie/ funny videos

After a bit of watching my stomach starts a growling again and I whip up my favourite snack of always; fruit and soy milk, or just a big plate of frruit- and back to YouTube watching

Now is when I like to go take a shower/ bath and get into my pyjamas- yep. My mamma raised me right. If I have nothing on that night, there's nothing like getting into comfy PJ'S for the arvo and just chilling out.

I probably start thinking about dinner and what I'm going to make, so start whipping something up around this time. I'll also have a good scroll through the Insta now and see what everyone's been eating (and then get really hungry as a result!!)


Tonight was my favourite dinner of all time that I at least have once a week. At least.

And I almost never just stop after dinner- there is always a finishing glory- this time it was 2 pieces of 86% dark chocolate- so delicious!!

After dinner I head on upstairs again, brush my teeth, hair and settle in for the night with whatever's good on TV.

Generally find myself nodding off around now (yep... yep) and so get myself up, toilet stop, drink stop aaaand bed stop.

Happy, happy days!

And that's a day in my new life as a not-student (adult perhaps??)!

Your turn:
What's your favourite way to start the day?
Morning or afternoon exerciser?
Favourite dinner of all time??

I hope you enjoyed this post, I love to write them and also read other people's too! We're all nosy like that!! Have yourself a great day, do something you love, be happy and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!!! :D

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Grilled Cheese! Aussie Style...


You guys.

Ok, we need to take this back to the beginning.

Now, I'm an Aussie, yeah? Yes.

So, in a sense that makes me automatically predisposed to love Vegemite. Now, I'm not saying every Aussie does, but let's be real, every Aussie secretly does :P.

Now, I'm also a human being right? Right.

So, in a way that would make me indisputably in love with warm, gooey, melty grilled cheeses? Yes.

Anyway, enough about the scientific facts I've just mentioned above. Let me let you in on what I'm going on about.

The other day when I was in the mood for lunch HANGRY MONSTER STEPH I had no idea what I wanted to whip up and generally my best creations come to fruition in this time of food desperation. So I went with it. I let go. I let my mind have a rest and went with my intuition. Followed my gut.. if you will. :P

And I found bread.

Yes bread! Exactly what my undercarbed body needs- high-five Steph, you legend!!

What next...

Vegemite- because I was craving the salt, the savoury the deliciousness that is Vegemite (if you have alternate opinions, kindly keep it to yourself- many thanks.)


Now what?


Oooooook, calm down Steph- this can happen! And enter the monstrosity of a creation that resulted from this furious rambling about the kitchen piecing together bits and pieces to make a delicious meal:
Enter the home-made wholemeal spelt, Vegemite, gooey, vegan cheese, open-faced sanga that ultimately made my week:
I mean, come on!
The cheese is warm and gooey, golden brown at the edges, the Vegemite added that hit of salt and savoury love, the bread, added the bread. Need I say more?

So please; whatever you are making for lunch, whip this up too (trust me, my slice of bread was THICK (end piece, hehe) and this is integral to the sandwich.) and you will not be dissapointed- I'm sure it could even turn Vegemite haters into lovers!
Gah, just the sight of it is making my mouth water!
For the vegan cheese I simply stirred together in a small bowl 2 tablespoons hommus, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast and 1-2 teaspoons of water until pour-able consistency
Then, after spreading my piece of bread with Vegemite, I spread on the 'cheese' and popped it on a tray in an oven at 200 degrees celsius on grill to crisp up the bread into toast and cheese-ify that glorious vegan cheese!
And after all these pictures I appear to have taken on this one slice of bread you would think that was my whole lunch! But come on guys, Steph was hungry remember??
There was a big ol' salad of veg too, have no fear!!
Happy, happy days

Now over to you:
What is your favourite alternate additions to grilled cheeses/ open faced sandwiches?
Vegemite lover or hater and favourite way to use the yeasty spread??
Favourite lunch of the moment?

Seriously though, please make this because it is too good not to have others experience it! Also, have yourself an EPIC day, do something you love, smile uncontrollably, and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now friendly friends!! :D :D

Thursday, 10 November 2016


Hey guys!! Remember me??


Well, I don't blame you!!

It's been a hot minute since I've been on the blog and let me tell you- I have missed you guys!!

I love, love, love writing this blog and rambling on about food and health and fitness and ya-da-ya-da-ya-da because that's what I am so so passionate about in life.

However, the blog does take a little extra energy and time from me (which is definitely not a bad thing because all worthwhile things do!!) but whilst I was in the midst of my mock exams and then preparing for my actual final FINAL year 12 school WACE exams, I knew I had to scale back. And by scale back you all know I just stopped! :P

But guess what?

Exams are over.


I am a free woman!!

And I cannot express enough the joy I feel to never have to pick up my extended maths textbook again and try and recall how to differentiate a logarithm. To find out the area of a pineapple. For fun.

Anywho, I thought today I would do a little post outlining my experience through the most stressful time I have ever felt in my entire life and what I did to survive combat this.

First of all- BREAKFAST. Everyday. Especially exam days. SOOOO IMPORTANT.

My breakfasts were always big, hearty, balanced, filled with plenty of carbs, healthy fats and protein and preparing my brain to think and use up all the glorious nourishing energy I was feeding it.
 These are my no-bake black bean brownies made with black beans, rolled oats, choc protein powder, raw cacao powder, cinnamon, dates, almond milk and that's about it! Into the vitamin and blended up until smooth! Rolled into balls and then flattened into squares to be popped in the freezer for around 15-30mins (depending on how ravenous you get!! I'm always more on the 15 minute side of things :P)
 Plus cranberry fro-yo made by blending up frozen cranberries and greek yoghurt an popping the freezer for a few mins to set a bit more.
 If you want a full recipe you can find a similar one here :)

On the topic of breakfasts, to up my vitamins and minerals and all the other good stuff to keep me happy and healthy (i.e. me drastically trying to not catch the awful cold that was going around- that both my parents caught during my exams!!) I drank ALOT of green smoothies!
 Super big, thick green choc protein smoothie made with 2 bananas, 4 blocks of frozen spinach, 1 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 big spoons greek yoghurt and water- whizzed up in the Vitamin until smooth and super creamy!!

Not just for those added nutrients though- also because they taste absolutely amazing!!
 But, if I was going to drink a smoothie, you can bet it was going to be fluorescent green!! Also; frozen spinach- adds so much more volume and thickness- win!
Green mango smoothie with almond butter and mixed nut butter granola- current favourite breakfast

And lunches and dinners followed the same kind of trend in that I tried to shove as many fresh and cooked veggies in as possible to ensure I was feeling my body with the best foods available!
 Raw veg sticks with a cooked up veggie and lentil patty 

 A bowl of sautéed veg, cooked up with a bit of olive oil in the frypan for a few minutes with some garlic tofu added in at the end
Super simple and delicious dinner of mashed mixed veg (steamed beetroot, pumpkin, parsnip, potato, sweet potato) with a small tin of reduced-salt baked beans stirred in along with some nutritional yeast and spinach- yum!

And of course, I never gave up my workouts because they helped keep me calm and motivated and helped keep my brain firing and concentrating through the long 3-hour exams:
Sure the burn-out I was feeling with study and sitting exams did effect my attitude towards working out but I knew when I chucked on the gear, went downstairs and got things started, I would start to feel that rush of endorphins and kick butt! So that's how I did it folks; just made myself get started!

Now, all that helped me get through this truly hard time and I did, but when I actually stopped and just listened to my body after that final exam, I almost broke down in tears. I have never pushed my body so far in my life and these exams broke me. And I'm a strong person.

I think I will just need a few days of resting up and recovering because right now I am in such a burnt out state I can't even.

Enter today's rest day:
 Turmeric spiced oats made by placing 3/4 cup rolled oats, 1 thinly sliced banana, 4 chopped dates, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2-1 teaspoon turmeric (I just put a few dashes in; don't measure) 3/4 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup water- into a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until absorbed- greek yoghurt stirred in at the end (optional)
 Followed by a shower, lots of water and a beach walk; and that was my morning.
Happy days

Haven't got much else planned for the day and that is A-ok with me! Might even watch a movie or something after lunch! Who knows!! Gish it's been a while since I've watched a day time movie! :P

What about you?
How do you handle stressful periods in your life?
Best foods you make to ensure you keep firing through your day?
What did you have for breakfast today??

Have yourself a wonderful, wonderful day, do the things you love, be with those you love and as always; EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS (that's my one goal for the day!!) Bye for now friendly friends! :D
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...