3 Fitness Myths

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Hey guys, I thought I would address one of the major problems in our society today regarding women and young girls. I’m sure that, just like me, you grew up with the idea, that losing weight was the best possible thing to happen to a girl. Being told that we lost weight was a compliment and it made us feel better about ourselves. We were fed the ‘diet mindset’ by society and the media, throughout our lives and we ended up fearing our weight and food. That mindset is still very present and it is still destroying the mental and physical health of so many girls. DISCLAIMER: I know that simply saying these things won’t solve our problems, it will take a lot more to do that, however I do hope to increase its awareness.

1.DIETS ARE THE HOLY GRAIL

I want you to think about how many times you’ve said ‘I am going on a diet’ in the past. Just saying those words gave you a feeling of relief, but why is that? Growing up as young girls we are led to believe that the slimmer or the skinnier you are, the better. Moreover, we are duped into believing that skinny equals healthy. I remember when I was overweight and would go for a checkup, doctors would always tell me to lose weight. However, no showed told me the right way to do so and I delved into the world of endless diets. Long story short, none of them lasted long or had lasting effect.

One thing we need to establish and preach is that food is not the enemy. Instead of banning foods and being afraid we need to have a healthy relationship with them which takes time. That means making the healthy choices most of the time and indulging occasionally, but most of all knowing that ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean punishment or steamed broccoli everyday. You don’t need a cheat day once a week or the guilt of enjoying food you love. Our main goal should be a sustainable healthy lifestyle. I want you to view the food you eat as energy for your workouts, because at the end of the day, that is how your body processes it. You need energy to lose weight and thus food.

2. CARBS MAKE YOU FAT

Now it is true that some bodies react better to carb intake than others and low-carb diet can make you lose weight however carbs do not make you fat. Let’s break down why you may think carbs make you fat. When we eat carbs, our body breaks it down as glucose, thus rising our blood sugar and our pancreas in return produces insulin which signals our cells to use up the glucose. 50% is used by our brain and our muscles and liver store the glucose as glycogen, so as you can see, extreme low carb diets can have a debilitating effect on your health and muscle growth. Finally, the rest of the glucose is stored as fat, which is why people are afraid of carbs.

However, know which types of carbs are best for your body. Stick to complex carbs such as oats and quinoa and avoid simple carbohydrates that spike your blood sugar and provide little to no nutrients. You do not have to eliminate carbs completely from your nutrition, it isn’t sustainable and besides carbs release serotonin (your happy hormone) so don’t deprive yourself. There is only one way you can put on weight or fat and I clear that up down below.

Now, let’s get the gist of all of this. The only way you can lose weight is through a caloric deficit through nutrition or increased physical activity, similarly you will only put on weight/fat if you are in a caloric surplus. If you are working out; combining resistance training with some form of cardio, your body needs the carbs and the calories. Someone who is not active at all would require the same caloric needs. The key thing to understand is that no one’s nutrition can be exactly the same and you will have to change your nutrition throughout your fitness journey.

For example; right now I am trying to build muscle in my end goal to have a lean physique. Which is why I am in a slight caloric surplus and it’s a carb fest for me (I am literally having a bowl of overnight oats while writing this). In a few months, I will slightly decrease my carb intake simply to help my body burn fat faster (your body will still burn fat if you are working out, regardless of your carb intake). I am definitely going all out on my workouts but I am enjoying the process. I like to call this lean bulking.

3. WEIGHTS MAKE YOU BULKY

This is one I hear pretty often and I have to confess that I used to believe that as well when I was younger. Many women believe that if they pick up a dumbbell that’s heavier than 2kg, their muscles are going to puff up in 2 seconds, but that is not the case. For a woman to be able to bulk up like a man, she would need a ton of supplements/drugs. We don’t have the levels of testosterone that men have, therefore lifting weights will not give you a manly physique, instead it’ll help you lose fat and achieve a lean build much faster.

Lifting weights has done a lot for my physical and mental health. We’re led to believe that we need to override on cardio to achieve our ideal body, but I call that torture. I do incorporate cardio into my workouts in the form of HIIT training but I mostly focus on resistance training. One thing to takeaway from this is to try out different types of workouts and choose the one you enjoy doing, not the ones you dread.

Let me know your views or other myths down in the comments. The main objective is to create a healthy community and encourage this mindset. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please like and follow for more, xoxo.

My 3 Go-To Snacks

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Hey guys, welcome back to my blog. In this post, I’m going to share the 3 snacks I alternate between in a week. I always aim to be completely honest with my content, because I believe that transparency is necessary especially with health/fitness influencers. So, as you can tell, my snacks are loaded with carbs. Now, let me first say that carbs are not the enemy, it is true that some bodies thrive on a higher-protein diet, but that does not mean everyone will or that carbs are evil. I love carbs, they make me happy and they fuel my workouts which is why I have them in every meal. You can easily add more protein to these snack ideas with a few tweaks, but anything works as long as you’re using whole foods with real nutrients.

#1. Banana Toast

I love this combo, it’s something I’ve seen my family have plenty of times and I am here for it. You may think carb on carbs is scary but it’s a great pre-workout snack, especially when you’re going all out. I sprinkle some cinnamon on top and if you want you can add almond butter as well. You can use any type of bread you like, but I always have gluten free bread, I either bake it (here is the recipe) or buy this one.

#2. Banana Coffee Smoothie

I’ve talked about this one a couple of times and you can find the recipe here. However, a few alternatives that I’ve been liking are cacao-coffee with raw cacao powder and cacao nibs and vanilla protein. I also have a new recipe coming up so look out for that.

#3. Popcorn

I love popcorn, it’s salty and crunchy and just fun to eat. This is my usual late night snack; I use raw popcorn kernels (I like this one), pop it in a small saucepan with a little bit of olive oil for 5-10 mins or until the popping slows down and sprinkle in some Himalayan pinks salt or garlic salt.

That’s it for today’s post, it was a quick one but I hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to know what are some of your favourite snacks so let me know down in the comments. Please follow and like for more recipes and health posts, xoxo.

Should I Track My Calories?

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We all know that a calorie deficit is needed to lose weight, but is it a good idea to track your calories? I am currently not tracking my calories, but I did track vigorously for more than 6 months in the past, and in my case, it wasn’t the healthiest experience. I became obsessed, foods became numbers, and I tracked every morsel of food that went into my mouth. Before tracking, I would suggest ensuring that you have built a wholesome relationship with food. The best advice I was given is that ‘food is a fuel’, it isn’t the enemy so stop being afraid of it, instead use it to achieve your goal.

Do NOT track calories if you have/had an eating disorder or if you have an inclination towards it.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

  • It’s often hard to discern your exact caloric needs, which can affect tracking and your goals.
  • Lower calories does not always mean weight/fat loss, undereating inhibits your goals.
  • Studies show that it isn’t beneficial for women to decrease their calories below 1400.
  • Calorie Trackers are often inaccurate.
  • Even ‘healthy’ calories can lead to weight gain, if in a surplus.
  • Everyone’s caloric needs are different!!
  • Your body needs energy to burn energy.
  • Instead of focusing on how many calories you burn in a workout, focus on how it makes you feel or you will never enjoy it.
  • When tracking it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re eating less, which will also dampen your goal.

When Should I Track?

I believe that you can meet your goals without tracking, I started making progress and building muscle when I stopped worrying about the calories. However, it does matter where the calories are coming from. If you are just starting on your weight loss journey, I wouldn’t advise you to track but to replace processed, unhealthy foods with whole foods. If you are well advanced in your progress and you’ve hit a plateau then it might be beneficial to see where you are in your caloric intake.

If you must track, I’d suggest:

  • Tracking simply once a week to see if you are still on course with your caloric needs.
  • Avoid tracking throughout the day, instead do it at the end of the day.
  • Don’t have cheat days, instead eat in moderation or follow the 80/20 rule, whereby 80% of your nutrition consists of healthy whole foods and 20% consists foods you love.

My perspective on losing weight or fat has shifted throughout the years. I’ve definitely made mistakes but they have led me to where I am right now. The biggest shift has been my mental health and overall happiness. I used to view my workouts with the idea of how many calories I would burn, but now I do it to gain strength. I no longer fear or ban foods, but sometimes we need help to view things that way. I had someone that triggered that shift for me and I hope I can help you in the same way. Thank you for reading, please like and leave a comment, xoxo.

What I Eat in a Day…

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Hey Everyone, I’ve recently noticed how my relationship with food has changed within the past few months. I know exactly what my body needs and following that instinct has led to making progress in my fitness goals and mental health. This is sometimes referred to as ‘intuitive eating’ but it doesn’t always come naturally. Intuitive eating is personal to every individual; which means that intuitive eating for me is different from what it means for you. Nevertheless, a ‘what I eat in a day’ can give you some inspiration and show you that eating healthy doesn’t mean bland food. This is what I eat on an average day, keeping a balanced dairy and gluten-free diet.

BREAKFAST

This is definitely my favourite meal of the day! (That’s saying a lot cause I love every meal) Before eating I have a glass of water and my coffee with almond milk. I normally eat around 10am and I have a few breakfasts I alternate between, but today I chose my healthy banana pancakes. These never get old, they taste amazing and they usually hold me over until lunch. I love adding protein powder to the mix, especially if I have a weight session that day and my go to protein is the Organifi Vanilla.

LUNCH

This is my second meal of the day and I usually have it between 1-2pm. I like to think of my meals as balanced; carbs, protein, and fats. Today I had stir-fried veggie quinoa with grilled chicken breast. Quinoa is definitely one of my favourite sources of carbs, it’s easy to make and it takes less than 15 mins. I usually stick to lean protein so chicken breast is also a usual.

AFTERNOON SNACK

This is my pre-workout snack that I have between 4-5pm. This time, I had a protein coffee smoothie with banana, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. Gives you a great boost of energy while still being light, plus it’s ideal for my coffee lovers. If you’re tired of your typical green or berry smoothies give this one a try!

DINNER

Gluten Free Pizza! You can’t go wrong with that. The crust is from Schar and it takes about 30 mins to prepare. This is a quick, easy dinner that I indulge in at least once a week. Unfortunately, Schar recently added Soy protein to their recipe so if you know any good gluten, soy, and dairy-free crusts, let me know down below. After dinner I tend to have something sweet; either dark chocolate (I like sweet switch’s 70% Dark), vegan hot chocolate or if I’m hungry, like I was on that night, I have some granola with blueberries and almond milk.

That’s it for the day, as you can see, I don’t restrict my eating or track my calories. Keep in mind I am currently trying to build muscle steadily and I workout 4-5 times a week. One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone should eat the same diet, but this is what works for me and I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Please like and follow for more posts, xoxo.

Healthy Food Staples

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Healthy Grocery Staples

When trying to eat healthily, it’s easy to get confused by the variety of products on the market. Many foods are marketed as being ‘healthy’ but are often not; brands use words such as ‘low fat’, ‘low carb’, ‘high in protein’ and ‘low calorie’ to entice us into buying their products. However, these foods are often filled with several unhealthy ingredients. For example; protein bars are marketed as a healthy, ‘high protein’ snack, but are filled with sugar. This is why it’s important to always read the ingredients.

It will get easier to choose which foods are best for you with time, but to make it simpler, here are some whole-food staples that are widely available and versatile. These are gluten and dairy-free but I’ve also listed foods (italicized) which I don’t include in my nutrition due to allergies.

CARBS

  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • GF bread
  • Potato Gnocchi
  • Veggie Pasta

PROTEIN

  • Chicken Breast
  • Lean Beef
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Chickpeas

FRUITS & VEGGIES

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Spinach/Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Bell peppers

OTHER

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Organic Honey
  • Unsweetened plant-based milk

I hope this post is useful in helping you tackle the basics of eating balanced, please follow and let me know what you think. Thank you for reading, xoxo.

Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

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Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

Fluffy, delicious and guilt-free, these muffins will disappear in a minute! I came up with this recipe, craving for a healthy sweet treat and honestly, you wouldn’t even know whether they were gluten or dairy-free. I think cinnamon and raisins make the best combo and this recipe makes about 6 medium-sized muffins. If you’d like to see alternative ingredients for these muffins, let me know down in the comments below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cup gf flour (I used Neofoods All-purpose brown flour)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar/ erythritol
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup raisins

STEPS

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar.
  2. Add in the coconut oil, ensuring all ingredients are at room temp.
  3. Fold in the flours and baking powder until well incorporated.
  4. Fold in the raisins and spoon your batter into cupcake moulds, greased with coconut oil or lined with cupcake paper.
  5. Bake at 180ºC for 30 mins (less in a preheated oven).

I hope you try out this recipe and let me know how it goes and what recipes you’d like to see in the future. Thank you for reading, please follow and like for more, xoxo.

Banana Bread Cookies

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Combining my two favourite snacks; banana bread and cookies was one of my best decisions. These cookies are gluten and dairy- free and are pretty easy to make. They are the ultimate guilt-free snack; the flavour of banana bread but with the fun of cookies, while incorporating whole ingredients and superfoods.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cup gf flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar/xylitol
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp cacao nibs / dairy-free chocolate chips

STEPS

  1. Mash the bananas and combine the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil and sugar together.
  2. Fold in the baking powder and flour until it forms a sticky dough.
  3. Spoon the batter onto a baking sheet, allowing space between each scoop.
  4. Top with the cacao nibs and bake at 180ºC for 30-35 mins or until the cookies turn golden brown.

I enjoy having these cold, but you can have them however you’d like. Thank you for reading, let me know if you try them out and please like and follow for more recipes like this one.

Healthy 5 min Apple Crumble

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This is a delicious new recipe that serves as a healthy snack but also as a hack for your ordinary apple crumble. It’s dairy, vegan, and gluten free, but the best part is that it’s really easy to make. I tried this when I was craving a midnight snack, so here it is;

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 tsp any liquid sweetener (agave syrup/ honey for a non vegan option)
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2tbsp granola (you can find a recipe here)

STEPS

  1. Dice the apple, mix in the syrup and cinnamon in a mug.
  2. Microwave it for 3-4 mins or until the apples turn soft.
  3. Add in the almond milk and top with granola.

This was a quick one, hope you try it out and thank you for reading! Like and follow for more easy and healthy recipes, xoxo.

3 More Healthy Breakfast Ideas

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#1. Avocado Toast

I’m sure you’ve seen this meal a few times on instagram and from health influencers and that’s because it’s a quick and wholesome option, providing essential healthy fats, protein and carbs. I find this one to be a great pre-workout meal as well and the method is pretty straightforward so here’s what you need.

INGREDIENTS

  • Gluten Free bread (or any healthy alternative of choice)
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 2 Eggs/ turkey slices/ salmon
  • S+P / chilli flakes

#2. Healthy Pancakes

You might think healthy pancakes can’t be real but they are. After making this recipe a couple of times, regular pancakes just don’t do it for me anymore. These ones are gluten, dairy and sugar free and they contain healthy fats, complex carbs and protein. Here’s the recipe. You can make them high protein if you’s like.

#3. Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowls have been the trend of healthy breakfasts right along with avocado toast, as they should be. You can basically fit any fruit and even some vegetables into a smoothie bowl, plus it’s a great alternative to simply drinking a smoothie and you get your serving of micronutrients in. This is also a great vegan option; my latest addiction has been coffee smoothie bowls but you can make any variation you’s like.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2-1 cup Frozen banana chunks
  • 1/2 cup Frozen fruit (berries/mango/pineapple)
  • 3-4 tbsp plant-based milk
  • Nut/seeds (chia, pumkin, cacao nibs, almond butter)

Hopefully these have given you some new inspiration for your breakfasts and let me know what your go to breakfast is. Thank you so much for reading, please follow and like for more, xoxo.

Check out more healthy breakfast ideas here!

Healthy Mug Cake Recipe

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I have become obsessed with this recipe because it’s the quickest cake recipe ever and it definitely satisfies my sweet tooth. If you find yourself binge eating your batch of cupcakes or eating the whole cake, perhaps a one-serving recipe is the best option for you. There are some days where you’re just craving a dessert or cake but you’re worried about your goals, so one thing to remember is it’s okay to have a little treat once in a while.

The key to having a healthy relationship with food is by eating mindfully, this means if you want something sweet, have a healthy alternative with intention rather than mindlessly binge eating a batch of processed cookies. This way if you set out to indulge, you won’t feel the guilt, you only feel guilty when it’s an impulse.

This mug cake is the perfect indulgence, it’s soft, rich and tastes exactly like a regular chocolate cake, even though it’s gluten and dairy free. You can also make a vanilla version if you’d like. So here’s how to make it…

INGREDIENTS

  • 2tbsp corn flour (or any gf flour)
  • 2tbsp almond flour
  • 1-2tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1tbsp coconut sugar (or any alternative)
  • 3tbsp almond milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1tbsp cacao nips (optional)

STEPS

  1. In a large mug, mix the flours, baking powder, sugar and cacao powder.
  2. Mix in the egg, vanilla and plant-based milk until well incorporated.
  3. Lastly mix in the cacao nibs (you can also use dairy free chocolate chips).
  4. Place it in the microwave and cook for 1-3 mins (depending on your microwave). Mine usually takes 2 mins and if the top is cooked, then it’s done but you can always double check with a skewer.
  5. Now you eat your cake straight from the mug!

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you try out this recipe and follow and like for more like this one xoxo.