Healthy & Delicious Cookie recipe

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These are seriously some of the best cookies I have ever made. I’ve mentioned before that I am allergic to nuts, but lately I’ve been experimenting with almond milk and I haven’t had any bad reactions to it, so I decided to try almond flour. Best. Decision, Ever.

These cookie are soft, chewy and taste amazing! The great thing is they are gluten free,  dairy free and super healthy. Read below to find out how to make them yourself and if some of the ingredients don’t work out for you, don’t worry I have some substitutes.

flour-3636553_640 Ingredients:

  •   2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed egg)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or maple syrup)

Directions:

  1. Add the almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder and coconut sugar to a bowl andegg-944495_640 mix well.
  2. Add in the egg, coconut oil, and vanilla and fold the ingredients together using a spatula.
  3. Line a tray with baking paper and use your hands or a spoon to scoop the dough. Tip: the dough will be more sticky and runny that regular dough, so I wet my hands  with very little water before rolling and pressing the cookie dough. This prevents it from sticking onto your hands.
  4. Bake them in the oven at 180ºC for around 10 mins (check on them regularly as they do bake fast).
  5. Sprinkle them with some more coconut sugar and cinnamon and enjoy.

 

This is just the base recipe, I have also tried other variations. You can add raw cocoa powder, vegan chocolate chips or dried fruit to make your own version. Another delicious combination would be lemon zest and ginger. I hope you all enjoy this recipe and do let me know if you try them out.

 

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Vegan Snack Bars

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This recipe is an updated version of my older recipes. It’s a great snack for people on a gluten free and vegan diet. They’re my take on the snack bars we usually buy. Energy bars on the market often contain tons of sugar and preservatives and while they are advertised as being ‘healthy’, they are actually high in unnecessary calories, thus prohibiting weight loss. People often consume two to three of these bars daily, thinking they’re healthier, but that is a common misconception. Which is why I decided to make my own, now these bars last up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge and the recipe makes about 10 bars. The recipe can be adjusted to your preference, I’ve chosen a combination I enjoy, but you can experiment with others if you like. (Cocoa nibs and coconut are also a favourite of mine)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of gluten free rolled oats
  • 3 medium sized bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup dried goji berries
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1tbsp chia seeds

Step 1: Blend the oats in a blender or food processor to obtain a grainy oat flour. Pour the oats into a bowl and mix in the cinnamon, chia seeds and berries.

 

Step 2: In another bowl mash the banana with a fork and add in the almond milk and vanilla.

Step 3: Fold the banana mixture into the dried ingredients to make a dough.

Step 4: Line a baking tin with parchment paper and spread the dough using a spatula or your hands.

Step 5: Bake at 170 ºC for 10-15mins. Check on them regularly as they cook pretty fast, once your fork cannot stick right through the bars, they are cooked.

Step 6: Once they’ve cooled, cut them up into bars and store them in the fridge.

 

I hope you try out this recipe, let me know  down in the comments if you do. Thank you for reading and please follow for more posts like this, xoxo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Weight Loss Method

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This is something I implemented after hitting a weight loss plateau, it took me some time to come across it but If you’re reading this at the beginning of your fitness journey, you should definitely take advantage of this. At one point in time your body gets used to the way you’re eating and your workouts, if you aren’t yet ready to make any further changes to these two then this method is for you.

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What is it

Intermittent Fasting. Don’t worry, I’m not making you skip meals for the day or anything like that, most of your fasting time would be spent sleeping. If you haven’t heard of it, intermittent fasting is basically just concentrating everything that you eat in a shorter period of time. For example; I start eating around 10am and stop around 6pm and I have around 5-6 small meals.

What are its benefits?

Intermittent fasting allows your digestive system to rest when you are ‘fasting’ and eating in a limited time period allows your body to burn more fat, as it boosts your metabolism. It also helps curb cravings and prevent binge eating (I know you’ve ended up hunting in your kitchen at 1 am at least a couple of time… I know I have.) I tested intermittent fasting for 1 month, without any exercise and while being a bit more lenient with my diet. After the 1 month of no exercise and gluten free bread every single day, I lost around 3kg. Now, I’m not saying never workout and eat anything you want while trying this out, but I’m just showing you how effective it can be. Obviously, I went back to my workout routine and cleaned up my diet, because I knew it would be more effective that way.

How do you Approach it?

Well, you have a couple of options. You can try 8/16 or 10/14; meaning you’d eat within 8 or 10 hrs and fast for 16 or 14 hrs. You can start eating at any time you want, I personally prefer 10 am, but some people choose to start between 12-2pm, it’s completely up to you. Take your bedtime into consideration as well and at what time you’re appetite is the strongest. Also ensure that you’re taking your daily caloric requirements, do not starve yourself at any point in this. You may feel hungry if you’re used to eating late at night but your body will get used to the timings after some time. You’re allowed to drink coffee or tea even when fasting, without any sugar or creamer however.

A different approach would be to commit to intermittent fasting for only a couple of days, let’s say 5 days a week. This leaves the weekends out, an essential, especially when you have social obligations.

A Day at a Glance 

  • 10am- breakfast
  • 11.30 am- coffee/ tea or a snack
  • 12.30 pm- lunch
  • 2pm- snack
  • 3pm- coffee/tea
  • 6pm- dinner

or

  • 12pm- lunch
  • 2pm-snack
  • 4pm- second meal
  • 6pm- snack
  • 8pm- Dinner

 

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you do try out intermittent fasting and how it goes along for you. I hope to see you again soon, xoxo.

 

 

 

 

Burn More Fat Doing Less Cardio

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When trying to lose weight, most people jump on the treadmill first thing and ‘workout’ for 2-3hours. Now while this may burn calories, it’s definitely inefficient and inconvenient in the long run, especially when you don’t have much time to spend in the gym. Running for hours on the treadmill, will also burn muscle, which isn’t what you want if you’re looking to tone your body. Moreover, building muscle boosts your metabolism and increases the amount of calories you burn, so what you need to do is find peace with your cardio routine.

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This is where HIIT training comes in. High Intensity Interval Training leads to burning more calories in less time. However, I do recommend you consult your doctor before taking up any form of exercise as it may be detrimental to your health or cause injury, so make sure to verify with your doctor.

I’ve recently started HIIT training and I’ve begun to see changes in my strength and body after only one week. I combine HIIT workout along with strength training as well as pilates to increase my flexibility. The great thing about HIIT is that you can adapt it to any form of exercise; on the treadmill, the elliptical, the rower or even PIIT (HIIT with Pilates). If you need a starting point, here is my HIIT routine on the treadmill.

Beginner’s guide to a HIIT workout

  • 5 min warm up
  • 1 min sprint + 2 min walk (repeated 6 times)
  • 5 min wind down

Your speed and inclination is totally dependent on your fitness level, I usually walk on 5mph and run on 8-8.5 mph. I do increase the amount of reps every one or two weeks if I feel myself getting used to the workout or I increase my speed. HIIT training is definitely one of the fastest ways to achieving a change in your body, but keep in mind that during a workout your heart rate will reach its optimum level during that one minute.

There are several videos that go into depth about the several workouts you can do, if you want to take it a step further. I’d also recommend Blogilates (Youtube) for PIIT workouts. I hope you enjoyed this post and leave me comment if you decide to take on HIIT training.

5 Healthy Ways to Lose Weight

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I’ve come to a point where the next 3-day diet will not entice me. I’ve tried almost every diet and I’ve noticed that after I get past the initial Motivation high, I crash. Hard. Then it’s binge eating at 1am cause I can’t get food off my mind. It’s obvious that a drastic diet change won’t last and that after some time, the weight will come back. So here are 10 HEALTHY ways you can lose weight and keep it off.

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#1. Love your Greens– The importance of weight loss is balance, but eating a salad every single day probably isn’t for everyone. (It definitely isn’t for me!) So at least try to fill half of your plate with salad and veggies for at least two of your meals. Greens not only aid in your digestion, but fibre helps keep you fuller for longer, curbing the cravings.

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#2.Detox Juice– Don’t leave!! Just hear me out for a second. Green juices and I haven’t been good friends, but one just can’t ignore their benefits. Detox juices not only cleanse your gut, removing toxins from your body, but they also boost your metabolism and accelerate fat burn. Try drinking a detox juice in the morning, before breakfast, for a couple of days. If you want a recipe, I have one coming up soon, so keep reading for more of that.

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#3.Green Tea– studies have shown that green tea has amazing weight loss benefits. Drinking 3 cups a day after every meal will also lower the glucose high we get after eating. Moreover, it helps curb your appetite, therefore it’s definitely worth a try.

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#4.Cut Out Sugar– avoid any form of refined sugars, this means candy, white bread, white pasta, cakes and cookies. This is one of the hardest steps but also one of the most important ones. I’m not asking you to never touch a cookie again, instead I’m only suggesting that you limit your sugar intake as much as possible. If you have a sweet tooth, alternatives include; fruit or unsweetened cacao chocolate OR save for a cheat meal (next point).

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#5. 90/10 Rule– there are different approaches to this method, but it’s basically the idea of not depriving yourself from certain foods that you truly enjoy. This is where a cheat meal comes in, you can allow yourself one cheat meal per week in which you can indulge in anything you want. Just make sure that you are working out on that day and you are not in a major calorie surplus, because that will hinder your weight loss. A cheat meal should be treated carefully so that it isn’t abused, however for the sake of happiness and all that is right in the world, it is an essential. I usually have a cheat meal every Saturday, but I try to keep my cheat meals on the healthier side, so I go for a healthy pasta option or something like a gluten free sandwich. It’s totally up to you!

This is my fitness update…

fullsizeoutput_16d.jpeg   And even though I still have a long way to go, I am finding joy in the journey and I hope you can enjoy it as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Be More Mindful in 2019

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  1. Start a Gratitude Journal– writing down only 3 things you are grateful for every morning can have a great impact on your day and on your life overall. Sometimes we fail to acknowledge the many great aspects of our lives, allowing us to take things for granted. Your list could include major things such as being grateful for your spouse or job or even little things like books and coffee. It really doesn’t matter as long as you’re being mindful of that person or object’s presence in your life.

Challenge #1: Tomorrow morning when you wake up, grab a pen and paper and write down three things you are grateful for.

2. Brain Dump– this is initially setting a timer and writing down everything that’s on your mind. This may be tasks you need to accomplish, creative ideas or even emotions. Having to keep all of that information in your brain is somewhat taxing, therefore by externalising it you are releasing your mind of the need to remember and the stress of forgetting.

Challenge #2: Set a timer for 15-20 mins and write down everything that clicks in your mind, take your time while doing this and let things come naturally to you rather than trying hard to focus.

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3. Learning more about food– one thing we all need to do in 2019 is to be more mindful of what we put into our body. This involves reading the ingredients list of the foods we buy and listening to how our bodies feel after taking certain foods. Being more conscious of our food will also help us to improve our energy levels.

Challenge #3: The next time you go grocery shopping, read the ingredients list of the products you buy and that day, write down each one of your meals and your energy levels (out of ten) after eating.

4. Declutter– this allows us to be more mindful of the things we buy and also helps to declutter our mind. Decluttering is a whole process in itself, but you can always start small. Perhaps start by decluttering you office area or closet, if an item doesn’t bring you joy or you haven’t used it in the last month, it’s probably time to let it go. You can choose to donate the items if they’re still reusable or pass it down to someone else.

Challenge #4: Choose a small area in your home to declutter and take out some time to declutter the space. It might be hard at first but it’s definitely worthwhile.

5. Digital Detox– taking out some time to spend without our devices or the internet is essential to calming our mind and being more aware of our surroundings. We often forget there is a world outside of our screens.

Challenge #5: Schedule in one hour or two and turn off all your electronics (perhaps you should notify a few people before doing so). You can choose to spend this free time reading or going out in nature. You may find this process almost addicting and next time you’ll try it for a whole day.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have your own techniques in mindfulness, feel free to comment them down below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matcha Powder

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What is it and Why Are We Crazy About it?

Matcha is finely ground green tea leaves. It enables you to take in the full benefits of the green tea leaves compared to traditional green tea. Matcha powder is abundant in antioxidants, thus strengthening your immune system, as well as vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. Moreover, it boosts your metabolism, helping you burn calories and thus lose weight. Not only does matcha lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, but it also helps to detox the body (plus I find the simple act of making it extremely relaxing). In other words, matcha gives you energy without the caffeine crash afterwards.

Uses

Matcha is a versatile ingredient that can be used in smoothies, baked treats, oats or chia pudding. My favourite is a matcha latte.

Matcha Latte Recipe 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 tsp matcha powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or any of your choice)
  • sweetener (stevia)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sift the matcha powder into the water to remove any lumps.
  2. Using a match bamboo whisk, start whisking the powder into the water. (You may use a regular whisk but it will not produce the same foam as a bamboo whisk.)
  3. Keep staring until it is well incorporated as the powder does not dissolve into the water.
  4. Add in the cold milk and sweetener to your taste.

 

 

 

Self Love…

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We often forget the importance of self love for the health of our state of mind. Reducing stress and clearing our mind is crucial to obtaining our ideal health and body. When we neglect our mental state we find ourselves letting our physical health slide as well, chronic levels of stress leads to high cortisol levels thus contributing to weight gain. So here are 5 self care habits to help you de-stress and unwind.

  • Yoga/stretch routine– sometimes a full blown workout isn’t what your mind and body needs. Stretching allows you to both relax your body and center your mind, making you more aware and present. When you feel stressed, try 10mins of yoga or stretching to calm yourself and rejuvenate your body.
  • Journaling– I’ve mentioned journaling before and it isn’t something that should be underestimated. Sometimes writing out your thoughts and emotions help to clear out and organize everything on your mind. Have you ever had something bothering you but you just couldn’t figure out what is was? Well journaling can help you realize or come to terms with issues located deep in your subconscious.
  • Rest day– taking a day off of your workouts is necessary to let your body relax and heal. No one can handle workout out vigorously every single day, so take a day off (I usually take Saturdays) and focus on other aspects of your life.
  • Filter your social media– we’re usually unaware of the effects of social media. Seeing endless pictures of perfect models probably isn’t helping you love your own body, instead you’re now analyzing and being critical of your own body image (keep in mind that this excludes fitness influencers or mentors). So filter out the type of people you follow or are subscribed to; if they don’t inspire or motivate you, it’s best to set them aside. Trust me this goes a long way to help you de-stress.
  • Digital Cleanse– this is one of the most difficult yet most effective habits, taking a break from screen time. That means ignoring your phone, laptop, tablet and tv for a set time (this doesn’t include sleeping hours so don’t cheat). This helps you to be more present and it actually forces you to be more creative or outgoing as you find other ways to entertain yourself (unless you lay in bed staring at the ceiling for hours).

I hope you implement some if not all of these habits into your life and I hope they help you in any way possible. Thank you for reading, please like and follow for more posts like this one. See you next time xoxo.

Pineapple smoothie bowl

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This refreshing smoothie bowl is a great breakfast idea and the best part is that it’s vegan and has plenty of nutritional benefits.

Pineapple- has both digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits

Coconut milk- is a healthy fat and is high in vitamin C and many more. (Plus it makes smoothies creamy and delicious!)

Banana- has a high fiber content and is loaded with nutrients such as potassium (plus it’s a great sweetener!)

Chia seeds- are packed with antioxidants and their high fiber and protein content makes them ideal for weight loss.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Pour your coconut milk into your blender first, then add all your fruit and ice.
  2. Blend into a smooth consistency and serve topped with chia seeds, a drizzle of coconut milk and your choice of frozen fruit.

You can also add any other fruits you’d like to this simple recipe. One of my favorite combinations are frozen blueberries, banana and lemon zest (it tastes just like a blueberry muffin!) I hope you enjoyed this recipe, please like and follow for more. Thank you for reading xoxo.

Healthy Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon rolls are a great holiday treat and since it’s often difficult to keep healthy over the holidays, the best solution is to have healthier holiday recipes so that you can still indulge but without guilt. This recipe is both dairy free and gluten free, it does not contain yeast therefore it’s texture is different from traditional cinnamon rolls, but it’s still delicious and easy to make.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 cup of gluten free flour
  • 1 cup of cornflour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond or rice milk
  • 1tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Filing:

  • 1tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients and add in the eggs, milk, vanilla and coconut oil.
  2. Fold the ingredients together and avoid over mixing. When the batter forms a dough, knead the dough with your hands.
  3. Roll the dough out on a piece of parchment paper until it’s about 1/2cm thick. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Using the parchment paper, start rolling the dough by lifting the paper and folding the dough.
  5. Cut the rolled dough into 2cm thing rolls and place them together in a baking pan. Make sure the pan is sprayed with coconut oil or lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake the rolls in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes. Once golden I like to drizzle them will a dash of dairy free milk to keep them moist. You can also use a glaze with melted coconut butter or thickened coconut cream.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, follow for more recipes like this. Thank you so much for reading xoxo.