Study study study

I have been MIA lately, had mid-semester exams, and a few assignments o hand up. And what I think is crazy also had to still attend classes as normal that week and have a week off this week. I have a friend coming up to visit, so trying to get prepared for next week now. I have two things I need to do – a case study I want to actually get completed and some research for a group assignment that I want to get mostly done, so I know I won’t post much in the next week, but please bear with me.

I have been eating total crap during the last two weeks and feel like shit because of it. I have totally used study snacks as an excuse and I can tell I have put on weight, which I’m so angry at myself for and totally depressing. But, whatever, I am not going to sit and mope about it, just get on ewith un-doing the damage. It’s actually a god lesson – the damage two weeks of eating like shit will do. Never again! At first I was in denial, like my stomach is just a little bloated, it’ll be fine in the morning (?!?), but by two weeks when my fave shorts were tight as and I totally had muffin top I was like YUCk. I feel like shit. During the whole time I have still been exercising. In fact I completed the Insanity program and started to loop back around with the core balance ones and going to do the second month again. Just goes to show how it truley is 80/20! All about what you eat, you CAN’T out train a bad diet. I lived this saying for myself. So, anyway, I’ll be posting more now to keep myself strict with diet and motivated. Blogging does wonders for me motivationally. And I’m saying godbye to all the unhealthy shit I have been eating.Image

(not my books, too lazy to take my own pic hahaha!)

Supplements – Protein for Men and Women – Review

My boyfriend and I started both trialling a few different supplements a while ago, in order to do some reviews. We both had different aims, and been trying a few different brands to find products that give us the results we’re after, as well as being good value, and tasting good. I also like to make different recipes with my protein powders as you all know, like baking bars, pancakes, protein balls, and even mixing with some greek yoghurt so flavour is probably more important to me.

So, anyway, we just finished our his and hers vitalstrength protein powers. The company was also generous enough to chuck in a a sample of the pre-workout. It’s the 16:00 Nitroxl pre-workout and came in orange crush and arctic blue. The boyfriend gave one of them to his workout mate. Both of them are doing personal training, and a prepping for a bodybuilding comp, so take this sort thing ultra seriously. They both liked the flavour they each tried, and are thinking about switching from their current pre-workout. This said it has no side effects, which they said it’s hard to tell only using it once, but is something that if it’s the case would be a HUGE selling point for them, as well as to recommend to other PT’s and guys at the gym. I’ve put links to the site if you want to have a look. Apparently they can make you jittery and it messes with your sleep big time. These guys work out in the afternoons so that is a major factor, and happy to report my baby slept like a baby.

He also got vitalstrength Weight Gainer in chocolate blast. He hammered this product, three shakes a day, and is definitely seeing some great results. I have noticed them too – his shoulders have grown so much! Hot. I can’t find this exact product on their website to link it though… the pro muscle looks similar, click here to see this. I used this in baking my protein bars, the banana blueberry ones, and he loved this batch. Despite the weight gainer being the last thing I was after, I did try them too, and I loved them. I usually use my Define Vanilla but was low and didn’t want to use it last batch of bars I made. Anyways, the next one he wants to try is the WPI  from vital stength, so I’ll update you on his results with that.

I like my Define Vanilla, high protein, fat free, low carb, so exactly what I look for. For me flavour is an important factor too, and this protein nails it. I love vanilla because it’s so versatile. I was talking to a friend who was saying she can’t believe I get Vanilla, but for me it’s the best. I can do all sorts of smoothies (see smoothies post here), and it goes with all, the avocado combo’s, ones with berries, greens, tropical flavours, works everytime. I put some PB2 in sometimes, cacao, or keep it simple and just use the vanilla. This has gotta be my favourite protein powder I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a few different brands – and from me that’s a big call. my routine lately has been to do my Insanity workouts, shower, head off to uni and I take my protein in a shaker – and this needs to keep me going for at least the next couple of hours until I have a break. Many I’ve tried are too watery, taste shit with just water (sometimes I mix milk and water, sometimes just water), gritty, or leave me feeling bloated and crampy after. NOT what I want when I got to sit through a lecture after. Has anyone else had that from protein powders? Also, I have got the best results with this, combined with my exercise routine, I feel really happy with. I’d also like to try chocolate, but I’m ultra fussy with chocolate flavours, I especially don’t like some of them when I use them in smoothies with greek yohurt. I’ll update on this after I try it too.

Anyways, that’s my review of the vital strength products. Like I said, as soon as my boyfriend tries the pre-workout for a longer period I’ll update on side effects in more detail, as I know this is something a lot of people are interested in hearing about.

20130312-204357.jpgNewMuscleJarThis is the one on their site that I think is most similar to the one my partner loved, but this is the actual one below:

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And finally the pre-workout

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juicing vs smoothies and exercise commitment

I just wrote a whole post, published it and ‘poof’ no where to be found. And I hate re-writing something that I’ve written, but am feeling motivated to post again luckily. It’s been one of those days, basically.

So, month two of insanity is still kicking my arse. I waxs walking up stairs today and my hammies and butt were killing me – but most pain is my chest. Never have I done so many push ups. I love the sore feeling though, so embrace this. Insanity is definitely the most engaging program I’ve ever done, but also the only one I’ve stuck to. I really can’t recommend it enough, it’ll be tough, but if you commit you’ll feel wild when you do it. I love sharing things I love, so have told all my friends to get into this!

I have made working out one of my priorities, just something that I do every day, rather then something I should fit in. I have a pretty full schedule, but it’s no reason to be slack and bitch about not being fit/thin/toned whatever it is you’re after. There is always someone busier then you. I have a friend with children, studies, works, has an active social life and house is always clean and tidy yet manages to workout daily. And good, tough workouts too. I don’t have patience for bullshit excuses of others, so try to not to it myself. And I reckon I succeed. If you want, you will find any excuse, time of day (too early, too late, too midday), just got home, just ate, just woke up, weather – too hot, too cold. I am already rolling my eyes at the thought of this bullshit, blah blah blah, have a whinge! Just don’t whing about body/fitness/health because it’s just bulshit.

On a lighter note, I brought the blueberry protein bars to uni the other day, and after begrudgingly sharing got asked for the recipe. Yep, they’re a hit. Trythem by clicking on this.

I was actually reading some of the emails I subscribe to this morning and looked at the Lorna Jane site, which had this awesome little piece on juicing vs smoothies. I’m a smoothie girl myself, last time I had a juice would’ve been over six months. I actually remember it, I was at the beach and got a fresh pinapple, watermelon, orange and beetroot juice ( the beetroot chucked in to make it a bit healthier). Delicious but I feel way more virtuous and healthy not to mention satisfied after a smoothie. I have them post workout usually, so many great combo’s I feel like one now just typing this! Anyways, have a lok at the below. What do you like? Juice or Smoothies?

Your Go-To Guide To Green Juicing & Smoothies

By By MNB TEAM | Posted in Nourish | March 13, 2013 | Add to favourites

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Struggling to get enough fresh veggies in your diet?  Do you often feel a little bit flat and in need of a energy boost?  Looking for great ways you can get some nourishment on the run?  Don’t worry girl, because at MNB we’ve got you covered with this guide to green juicing.

It’s totally obvious we are crazy, obsessed about all things GREEN, especially of the smoothie or juice variety, so to get you all super excited about it too, we are going to break it down and explain the bounty of benefits that come from fresh juicing and smoothy-ing (we may have made up a new word).

So why are green smoothies and juices so good?

First off, smoothies and juices are actually very different.  Smoothies are made by completely blending whole fruit and vegetables into a thick drink.  Juices, however, are exactly like the name suggests, and only the ‘juice’ from the vegetable or fruit is extracted for consumption.

Therefore, the main nutritional difference between smoothies and juices is that juices contain no fibre. 

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by our bodies.  This means that it passes straight through our digestive system without being broken down and without contributing too much to calorie intake.  Although it cannot be digested, it is still an extremely important nutrient as it keeps our digestive systems super happy by promoting healthy stools and supporting beneficial bacteria in our gut.  Not only this, but fibre keeps us feeling fuller for longer.

So now we know what fibre is you may be inclined to think that smoothies would be the better choice over juices.  Smoothies are wonderful, but consuming juices has its benefits too.

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So, there are pros and cons to both juicing and smoothies.  But which one should you choose?

Both are great to have on a daily basis, but there might be a few factors to take into consideration before you decide to juice… or blend those greens.  The next few scenarios may help you in your decision:
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What will I need to start blending or juicing?

Unfortuantely, to get the most out of the fruit and vegetables, you do have to initially invest in nothing less than a good quality blender or juicer.  Some cheaper blenders will just not do what you want them to do without a lot of patience, pain and tears.  High-powered blenders however, get the job done in next to no time.

Centrifugal juicers are much more common, but do some research and shop around before you buy any machine.  Cold-press masticating juicers, although a lot more expensive, are sturdy machines and can last decades.

So, why go GREEN?

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When shopping for green leafy veg, fresh is definitely best.  Avoid wilting, faded leaves and try to get organic, or at least local.  Give your greens a big wash, even if organic, before using to get rid of any nasties.

rhijuice_02This is MNB’s fave green smoothie combo. Super nourishing and jam packed full of green goodness!

Rhi’s Foodie Tips:
  • If you can, make a few smoothies or juices a day in advance, this will leave you with no excuses to not get those nutrients into you.
  • Start out slow.  At first aim for a fruit and vegetable ratio of 1:1 whether juicing or making a smoothie.  Then, slowly work your way down, getting accustomed to the taste, until you are using at least 3 parts veg to 1 part fruit.
  • Change it up every once in a while by having a different coloured juice or smoothie every day to experience the benefits of a variety of fruit and veg.
  • Use lemon or lime to prevent the discolouration of your drinks.
  • Store your drinks in glass for ultimate freshness.
  • Use the freshest of fresh produce to get the most bang for your buck.

Homemade muesli/granola bars

Today I was so hungry during the day, I didn’t pack enough to take out with me, and so I’m wanting to make some homemade muesli bars.

Ive been looking for some good recipes, that are clean, not too sweet, will keep well, and not too complicated to make. If you have any on your blog, or that you like making, please post a link or recipe below!

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of making Coach Nicole’s Chewy Oat and Nut Granola bars The recipe and nutritional profile seems good, although I may modify them a little. I’ll have to wait until I go shopping though as I don’t have almond milk at home.

In the meantime I think I’ll put together some protein bars to tide me over. Again, if you have a good TASTY protein bar recipe I’d love it if you can share! Some protein bars I’ve had have been, uh, like eating chewy, well I don’t know what, but BAD! The recipe I’ll use is based on Jamie Eason’s ‘Oh Baby’ carrot cake protein bars, but I change it a little depending on what I have or don’t have. Works well and tastes good.

Ingredients

Coconut or Olive oil (i don’t ever use no fat non-stick sprays)

1 cup oat flour (blend whole oats in food processor)

2 scoops vanilla whey protein

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

4 egg whites

¾ cup Splenda (I’ve used honey or raw sugar instead too)

2 4 oz. jars or packs of baby carrots, instead of shredded carrots, (I have had to blend up a tin of baby carrots when that’s all I had)

1/2 cup ricotta (again, the original recipe calls for fat free ricotta, which I don’t do, or you can use greek yoghurt as I’ve done before)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pyrex dish with non-stick butter spray, or coconut oil, Olive Oil etc.
In a large bowl, combine flour, protein, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice.
In a medium bowl, mix egg whites, sweetner, water and baby food until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix well. Finally, fold in the quick cooking oats (optional) and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into the pyrex dish and spread evenly. Bake 28 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and cut into 16 pieces – 4 x 4.

Number of Servings: 16

The original nutritional profile is (but I modify the recipe): 94 calories  (132 cal with oats folded in)
1.25 g fat  (2 g fat with oats folded in)
10 g carbs (17 g carbs with oats folded in)
10 g protein (11 g protein with oats folded in)

(not my picture – mine aren’t as pretty!)

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First day of Insanity

I did the first day of the Insanity program today… Initial thoughts? Nothing worth having comes easily. It was the fit test, and I thought I was reasonably fit, I mean I run almost daily but so not used to all this jumping!!! Ouch! I can’t wait to get better. Now that it’s on here I will have to update and it’s more motivation to stick with it. I tend to lose interest in these things, in the past. But, I’ve seen other people’s results and can’t wait to see my own. Bring it!!!

Meanwhile, I think I should get this as a reward, maybe I’ll wait until halfway and treat myself.

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Healthy Travel snack ideas for upcoming holiday period

With my holiday rapidly approaching, I am thinking about travel snacks and healthy options. I’ve expressed some anxiety about my diet and routine suffering, and there are definitely some VERY unhealthy options in terms of travel food – whether it be airports, or on the road. It’s easy to not even try being health, but with the holiday season approaching I thought I would write about some healthy options.

 

Obviously – fruit. You can pre-cut it if that’s easier, but what better packaged option then a piece of fruit?

Yoghurt – A small portion sized container filled with some full fat greek yoghurt portioned out has an added bonus of probiotics which can help if you get uneasy in your stomach while travelling. I would get the small serves from a supermarket, but trying to find one that ISN’T REDUCED fat, and naturally flavoured is practically impossible. Plus, some of the sizes are more then 1 serve, so I bought these little stay fit containers, you freeze the lids to keep it cool, and you’re set.

 

Nuts – a small serve of nuts or trail mix is so handy to have, again you need to be aware of portion sizing, but they’ll help keep hunger and cravings at bay until you can get a proper meal.

Homemade muesli bars – I am making some with oranges and a little chocolate drizzled, yummm. There are some good natural bars you can get if you don’t feel like making them, I just don’t want something with too many additives.

I did consider some beetroot chips, organic and blah blah, but the sodium was ridics in them.

 

Because I am road tripping, I’ll also pack some crackers, like Vita-weats, or Ryvitas, with some avocado, or tuna that I can put together on the go for a bit more of a meal-y snack.

 

 

 

I am so so motivated!!! If I can do it you can too!

Lately, I have been slack with eating habits relaxed, exercise routine very sporadic. The number one reason for this blog is to keep me accountable, so there it is. I’ve blogged about my struggle with a plateau, losing my mojo etc. BUT- I will not give up! I am so close to my goal, and I WILL get there. I want to still lose about 5 kilos more and firm and tone up. Summer is around the corner, and come 2013 I want my body to be at a point I’m happy with, and can maintain. I am so close, and want to get there for once and for all! I got this, and if I can do it, so can YOU! 

 

9 Foods For Amazing skin

http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com/2012/10/24/9-foods-for-amazing-skin/.

I came across this today and thought I’d repost, I love superfoods for skin! Like the Perricone Diet – amazing skin if you can make yourself eat COPIUS amounts of fish! For me, the sauerkraut and cabbage wasn’t a surprise, in Poland we know how good it is for your skin! And best of all, these are all really easy to incorporate into your diet, have loads of other health benefits, and and not obscure, and hard to get. I always have lemon and water first thing in the morning, have chia seeds in a brekkie or sometimes as a pudding, cucumbers in salad all the time, love a seaweed salad from sushi train, recently tried papaya for the first time (i know, hey, but I’ve always avoided it and thought I didn’t like it),  pumpkin seeds I put on a salad for crunch etc.

SkinWe may not be able to change our DNA or completely alleviate blemish-inducing stress, but we all can eat foods that contribute to amazing skin, says Kimberly Snyder, celebrity nutritionist and author of the best-selling The Beauty Detox Solution. Snyder shares with us nine foods—from cucumbers to kale and sauerkraut (surprise!)—that can seriously impact the look and health of your skin.

Cucumber

Cucumber: Cucumber is a virtually a cure-all full of hydrating enzyme-filled water, and hydration is key for youthful, smooth skin. It also contains vitamins B and C, zinc, iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and potassium. And it has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why you put the chilled slices over your eyes for a DIY spa treatment!

Seaweed

Seaweed: Seaweed is rich in B vitamins and minerals such as iron, which helps with healthy blood flow to contribute to radiant skin. It is also naturally low in (bloating) sodium, but high in iodine, to help your thyroid and metabolism function at its peak. Order a seaweed salad when you go for sushi or add spirulina to your smoothies or diet.

Kale

Kale: The sexy, good-for-you green is an excellent source of the beauty vitamins A, C, and E, which have potent anti-aging properties and help promote healthy new cell growth. Kale is also loaded with minerals, such as magnesium and calcium that healthy skin needs. Make a green juice or massage a kale salad stat.

Papaya

Papaya: Papaya’s gorgeous reddish color is due to its high content of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body, and acts like a mechanic of on-going skin repair. The enzyme papain is used in all kinds of exfoliating facial masks, but when you eat it, it contributes its cleansing properties to your digestion and promotes both bright skin and eyes.

Sauerkraut

Raw sauerkraut and other probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics are one of the biggest beauty secrets for clear, radiant skin. They encourage the growth of friendly gut flora that helps keep your digestion in check, so there’s better nutrient delivery to the skin and entire body. And they help make B vitamins, critical for energy and beauty overall. How to eat more? Add a scoop of sauerkraut to a rice or quinoa bowl with steamed veggies for a zing.

PumpkinSeeds

Pumpkin seeds: A handful of these are like taking your B vitamins and biotin, an essential nutrient for strengthening hair, nails, and skin. Pumpkin seeds are also high in minerals, such as zinc, which in deficiency can lead to issues such as acne. Sprinkle them over anything from yogurt and salads to rice bowls and fish.

ChiaSeeds

Chia seeds: They’re an unbelievable source of essential fatty acids that nourish the skin and scalp. Chia seeds also contain skin-saving antioxidants (in the ballpark of blueberries) that fight free-radical damage. Be sure to soak them first before eating, or add them to a pudding or smoothie.

Cabbage
Cabbage: The humble cabbage is actually a wonderful beauty food. It’s high in fiber and contains the compound sulforaphane, which promotes anti-aging antioxidant activity in the body. It’s also high in vitamin C. How to eat more? Add sliced purple cabbage to your salads.

Lemon

Lemon: I recommend starting each day with hot water with lemon. It gives you a boost of vitamin C, and this simple drink starts you off in the day hydrated. Lemon’s enzymes have also been shown to help rejuvenate liver tissue and help support skin collagen.

Clean Eating – Dips

I love dips, they’re great to serve to guests, with some rye mountain bread wraps, cut up and toasted, or to add flavour to eggs and chicken, which when you eat a lot of sometimes need that something extra to prevent your diet from becoming monotonous.

Beetroot Dip

425g can Beetroot slices, drained

1 tsp Ground Cumin

⅓ cup Natural Yoghurt

Method

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Tzatziki

¼ cup Greek Yoghurt

4 Cucumbers, grated

2 Tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup mint leaves, chopped finely

¼ cup dill leaves, chopped finely

Method

Combine yoghurt & juice in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients & mix.

Guacamole

1 Avocado, mashed

1 Tbsp Greek Yoghurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

¼ red onion, diced

Lemon juice

Salt, pepper & chilli (to taste)

Method

Combine all ingredients.

Hummus

400g chickpeas

2 Tbsp unhulled tahini

¼ cup lemon juice (approx 1 lemon)

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp water (or more)

salt & pepper (to taste)

Method

Put everything (except salt & pepper) in a food processer & whiz. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Spinach Dip

1 container cottage cheese, or cup of greek yoghurt

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed

1 can water chestnuts

½ red onion, finely diced

½ cup parsley

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp salt

Method

Using a blender, blend cottage cheese until smooth & creamy. Put cottage cheese in a large mixing bowl & add all other ingredients, mix until well combined. Store in fridge.

Turkey Mince Shepherds Pie with Cauliflower Mash

ImageAs mentioned in my last post, I made a turkey mince Shepherds pie, with a cauliflower mash top. A great healthy lower calorie and lower fat version of a favourite comfort food. You need:

For the pie:

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

500g minced Turkey

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

400g can chopped tomatoes

110g (4oz) frozen peas

1 tbsp tomato puree    (optional, I was all out but usually have some and add it)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash:

1 Cauliflower

salt and freshly ground black pepper

50g Cheddar, finely grated

Firstly, preheat your oven to 190 degrees C ( which is 375 degrees F). Next you fry up the turkey mince in a pan, with some onion, and salt and pepper or whatever spices you like. I used Vegeta and chilli. Then add carrots until they’re a little tender. Then add a tin of whole peeled tomatoes and a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. I just added to taste, but trust me, don’t skip it as it makes the dish in my opinion. Cook it down for quite some time, longer cooking times are great, a minimum of half hour though, you don’t want it watery at all, especially as cauliflower mash can be quite watery. Add peas towards the end, they don’t take long to defrost, and you’ll be baking it anyway.

Seperately, steam some cauliflower. I used about 3/4 of a whole cauliflower, and also had a potatoe in there (i’m trying to use up food we have at home before we go away). Once it’s soft mash it. You can add butterImage

I need to clean my cooktops, I’m kinda mortified at this pic!!

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Enjoy! Comfort food deluxe!