Clean Eating… my thoughts

I’ve read a lot about clean eating, people’s recipes and thoughts all the time, there are mag’s, books, e-books and guidlines, and I’ve been known to post some myself, and use the phrase on more then one occasion (see how many times I tagged). What do I really think about it? Bullshit! It’s such a load of crap that now someone thinks they’ve discovered America with this eating “revolution”. Every aspiring wann- be posts their own ebooks on it, as if they are something special, and like I said, I am guilty, have a look at my tags, I’ve done it, and probably will after this post too. A bit harsh I know, but I read all these young impressionable girls writing things to these gurus as if these people are god, some fountain of nutrition knowledge, when many (MOST) aren’t even qualified in any relevant field, and it makes me mad. Often, I feel like they’re been taken for a ride. Some of these ebooks on clean eating are just receipes that people have shared on blogs and various forums, and it makes me mad that someone packages them up and sells them to people who are often quite desperate, who look at their fit bodies and think if they buy the product that’s been flogged, whether a book, recipes, smoothies, protein powder, by a miracle this will instantly transform them. At the end of the day, it’s mainly diet, as well as exercise, nothing revolutionary there. The number of times I have read or heard people say “I don’t count calories, eat clean and you’ll be fine” is incredible! And too often, if you go by the definition of the term, these recipes include ingredients that are far from fitting that definition. Is protein powder really clean? How so? Too often they are actually using low fat,  or packaged, or ultra processed foods in the recipes or diets. What is clean about that?? Food should be plain and real as possible. I know when I first started trying to lose weight I was reading all of these things, and buying this crap, when all along I should’ve just listened to what one my aunties said – eat at home, eat like what we have always eaten, and just watch portions and you won’t get fat ever.

I think there’s something very unhealthy as classifying food as ‘clean’, therefore making the other food ‘dirty’. Guilt much? Does that sound like a recipe to a healthy balanced attitude to food to you?

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Let me explain further. As I’ve mentioned, I was actually born overseas. When I go back  I have to say that there is a huge difference with supermarkets and people’s way of shopping, thoughts on food, and weight issues (prevalence of type 2 diabetes) is hugely different to here, the US or England (and I’m sure other places). In many places, you still go to a butcher for meat, greengrocer for veg, bakery for bread etc. The foods are more natural and real generally, rather then having to specifically seek out places that advertise as being ‘clean’. In a supermarket, for instance, I look at the milk or yoghurt, and it isn’t a whole wall with every imaginable fat free, added omega/folate/whatever, or minus whatever ingredient, it’s proper real milk and proper yoghurt. There are some skim options (sadly, more and more, and moreso in capital cities or other big cities that are becoming more westernised in food habits), but overall, it’s pretty much a difference in milk brands, or flavours, rather then messing with food too much. Lettuce comes as you would pick it, not all pretty in a bag, pre rinsed and cut etc. Same with most veg, rather then pre-cut, pre-portioned, packaged, with added whatever in it.  And, when I am there I don’t even buy skim milk, and yet every time I am there I seem lose weight just incidentally. Now, I know this isn’t just the food, it’s the way meals are structured and portion sizes, however trust me, anyone with European rellies will know – as the guest there’s no saying no to desserts, seconds, and there’s no holding back with foods. And, add to this that Polish food is not lean by any stretch of the imagination. We have amazing sausages, smallgoods, cakes, cheeses etc, and I love them all. Yet, as I said, I always every time without fail slim down there, and I look around and not only are there less overweight and fat people around, the ones who are aren’t grossly obese like you see here. If they are there, I have never seen even one. It’s no secret which nations are the top for obesity, and no coincidence that these same nations have similar attitudes to food, meals, portion sizing and an abundance of fat free, lite, low fat etc predominant on the shelves.

I am going cold turkey. For the most part, I don’t get fat free, but I do buy skim milk, and a few other things. No more. Done with that shit.

Now, I will probably contradict myself and post some recipes tagged clean in future, feel free to call me out on it, it’s a journey, but this is my thoughts today, and where I stand today on it. What are your thoughts on this?

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Healthy Hot Cross Buns recipe for Easter – and Easter eggs

Happy Easter everyone!

I found the below healthy hot cross bun recipe today, which I’m going to make this afternoon – better late then never – and it’s never too late to enjoy some Hot Cross Buns, especially when they look this yummy and healthy! There’s also a link to an Easter egg recipe in the article. It’s from Move Nourish Believe

 

Healthy Hot Cross Buns Recipe

 

hotcrossbuns_01 With a little good, there is always a little bad, or so they say.  But this Easter, don’t let the joyous holiday occasion be ruined by the guilt of gorging on gifted chocolate eggs and sugary Easter buns. Instead, make your own Easter treats!

*We have already posted some nourishing Easter egg recipes, and today I am bringing to the holiday table a healthy Hot Cross Buns recipe.

Commercial Easter buns are notorious for containing a foot-long list of ingredients, of which most would be highly processed, fabricated and harmful.  Our Easter buns, however, are extremely nutrient dense and are a good source of quality fat from the coconut oil, fibre and protein from the oats and spelt flour, contain natural and complex sugars from the honey, and are rich with protective antioxidants from the blueberries and dark chocolate.hotcrossbuns_07These buns, although quite dense, are just awesome.  The oats are imperative for the entire experience and mouth-feel of the buns, while the dark chocolate and blueberries make them sinfully tasty.

hotcrossbuns_02Gather you ingredients and get mixing. The mix should be quite sticky, add a bit more moisture if they do not roll into shape easily.

hotcrossbuns_03Spoon out the mixture and roll into a ball (portion size above). Drop on a tray lined with baking paper… now they are ready to cook!

hotcrossbuns_04Ummm YUM!! Leave these buns out to cool for about 10 minutes. Then you can add your special x marks the spot. The buns raise quite nicely, this is due to the baking powder we added to the mixture.

The most common raising agent used in baking is yeast.  Yeast produces a delightfully fluffy and light product, however, can be tricky to use.  So that’s why we have used baking powder. Baking powder is a pre-mixed combination of bi-carb soda (a weak alkali) and cream of tartare (a weak acid).  When this combo is provided with moisture (like when you’re forming your bun dough), gas is released forming bubbles, causing the dough to expand, and thus, rise.  The end result is a slightly raised bun.

hotcrossbuns_05A hot cross bun wouldn’t be complete without the cross. Using your tempered chocolate, in a piping bag, drizzle that decadent chocolate over the bun to top off your Easter bun.

hotcrossbuns_06VOILA. Would you check out those beautiful buns? DELISH. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s a totally acceptable treat for all year round, so you don’t need Easter as an excuse to whip this recipe up. Now that you are done, gobble them down on the spot or keep safe for the Easter long weekend to share with your friends and family. Enjoy!

Rhi’s Nourishing Notes:
  • Baking powder is similar to that which is added to flour to make self-raising flour.  Baking powder and self-raising flour are most suited to making products such as cakes and muffins, while yeast is preferable when making breads.
  • Choose an aluminium-free baking powder.
  • Baking powder does have a best-before date.  Over time the effects of the acid-alkali reaction will wear off, leaving the baking powder useless.  Replace baking powder at least every 12 months, as it is best used for only around the first 3-6 months after opening.

Banana blueberry protein bars

I was a bit lazy with food prep for lunches this week. I usually do brown rice and chicken and then only have to add veg to take for lunch but didn’t do it yesterday. I didn’t have any bars made up either. This was basically due to not going to the supermarket for extra ingredients. (This may be TMI but it’s THAT time of the month and I knew if I went shopping I’d end up caving and getting something I’d rather not. Like ice cream….. Mmmmmmm……). Anyways, I did intend to make the same carrot cake protein bars as last week, but since I was avoiding the shops I changed it up and made blueberry banana ones- and they’re delish! I always have peeled and chopped bananas in the freezer, as well as blueberries, and other berries,( and mango’s, spinach etc) for smoothies. So I put together pretty much the same protein bar recipe, changed slightly because I didn’t check the recipe and made it from memory.
I used 3 frozen bananas (I’m sure you can use fresh too)
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
3 egg whites
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup oat flour (I just blended up rolled oats to make my own)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I like Define Vanilla)
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 F.
Mix all the wet ingredients. I actually put my bananas and yoghurt in the food processor because the bananas were frozen. (On a side note, this was so yummy!! I’m going to do it again, and re-freeze for banana fro-yo. I loved it, had to remind myself I’m actually trying to prepare for the week, not just scoffing food!). Then fold in egg whites. Fold in dry ingredients. I had used a little coconut oil on an Pyrex dish, then I covered it with bran so the bars didn’t stick, and in my head they were going to be cheese-cakeish so I thought a bottom would suit. They aren’t, and the bran didn’t make much of a difference. They came out really easily, but so did the carrot cake ones from last week. Anywho, bake this in the oven for about 40 mins, or until you get a clean skewer. My oven is super hot so I got them out early, keep an eye on them when they brown on top. Enjoy!

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Clean Eating Egg Muffins Oxygen Magazine

I bought 2 large cartons of eggs, and needed a clean recipe that would make life easier during the week for lunches, so thought I’d share. The original minced rather then dices some veggies, but it’s a personal preference thing.

These portable energy-revving muffins are great to make in advance and use throughout the week!

Ready in 40 minutes • Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • Oil spray
  • 4 spring onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 capsicum, diced finely
  • 1/2 zucchini, shredded
  • 14 egg whites
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • Dash salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Coat a 12-muffin tin with a little oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Combine vegetables in a big bowl. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with vegetables.
  3. Whisk eggs and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop egg mixture and pour slowly into each muffin tin. Egg mixture should fill tin the rest of the way. Bake 30 minutes or until muffins have risen and are slightly browned.

Nutrients per serving (98 g):

Calories: 56, Total Fats: 2 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 71 mg, Sodium: 93 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 3 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 7 g, Iron: 0.5 mg

STORAGE TIP: Muffins will keep up to one week in the refrigerator or can be frozen. If freezing, allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

egg muffins

Mountain Bread light tandoori yoghurt crusted chicken with mint – eat clean

I’ve been experimenting with Mountain bread, and found this great book of recipes online. I like the rye mountain bread, I took a wrap to work today with tuna and salad, have made other recipes which I’ll also post.

Mountain Bread

2  small chicken breasts (recipe calls for thighs but we eat chicken breast, chicken breast and more chicken breast in my house)

1 cup  greek yoghurt

1 tbsp tandoori paste

8 mint leaves, thinly sliced

250 gm mesclun lettuce

salt and pepper

8 sheets of Mountain Brea

1 tsp olive oil

 

Method:

1 Marinate chicken thighs in ¾ cup yoghurt and

tandoori paste for 2 hours.

2 Blend mint and washed lettuce together.

3 Heat oil in frying pan and cook chicken on a

medium heat for 4 minutes on each side until

cooked. Set aside on a plate to rest for 5 minutes.

4 Slice chicken and serve with extra yoghurt and

lettuce mix. Wrap up in the Mountain Bread

and enjoy.

 

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!

Vegetable Curry with Quinoa – from Kora Organics – Miranda Kerr

Vegetable Curry with Quinoa

Picture Different from outcome

Don’t you just love a meal that you can sit down to with the complete assurance that what you’re eating is bringing health, vitality and healing to your body?.  In the state of the busy world today, it seems that our priorities are so focused on the high speed rhythms of work and priorities, that we don’t have any time to think about what we are feeding the very body that is endlessly chugging us through a life of almost impossible demand. Those demands require nutrients and that is the key for a functioning body and a healthy life.

Nowadays we are fully immersed in a society where fresh wholesome food is available, yet unfortunately our biggest killers are preventable diseases.  In my opinion we need to get our aprons on, our skillets a-sizzling, and link arms to tackle these issues head on, with enthusiasm and joie de vere.

The idea of preparing nutritious meals at home can seem like a pain to many people. But really there’s no need to feel daunted, it just takes a little practice in the kitchen, planning, and an appreciation of the nutritional value of wholesome ingredients.

The Supercharged Food website and blog are a perfect starting place, providing you with nutrient packed, easy recipes complimented by research that will educate you on the very ingredients you’re cooking with. You can prepare and enjoy disease fighting food knowing exactly how the ingredients are bringing your body into a state of health and wellness. Win-win!

This exotic vegetable quinoa curry is a wonderful meal to include into your transition to a lifestyle of health. Cook up a massive double portion and freeze the leftovers for those busy weeknights or work lunches. I promise that your body and tastebuds will be jumping for joy!

The base of this mouthwatering curry is quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), technically a fruit seed that seems to be growing and growing in popularity due to its versatility and significant health benefits. Quinoa conveniently has a quicker cooking time compared to brown rice and other grains, and accompanying flavours are absorbed beautifully, making it a great option for sweet or savoury cooking.

The uses of quinoa are remarkably diverse, and it can be used in pilaffs, gluten free risotto’s, soups, salads, or as an interesting addition to stuffed capsicums, tomatoes or mushrooms.  I personally love to use fluffy royal white quinoa to make a satisfying gluten free breakfast porridge.

One very important thing to remember before cooking with quinoa is to wash the seeds, as they contain a naturally occurring outer coating called saponin, a defense mechanism of the seed that is toxic to humans. This can be easily removed by placing the seeds in a fine sieve, washing under a tap and using your fingers to scrub off the residue. Saponin has a bitter taste, so a taste test before cooking will ensure that it has been removed.

So why is quinoa really selling out in supermarkets? What are its real claims to fame besides being a convenient grain substitute? The rage for quinoa has its roots in the knowledge that unlike other grains, it is a complete protein. The superfood uniquely contains all nine essential amino acids required for protein utilization. Vegans and protein junkies rejoice!

Quinoa is the perfect substitute for animal protein, therefore a lunch ingredient of high biological value that will fill your tummy and protect you from the haunting idea of eating that sugar laden doughnut during your 3 o’clock slump. Quinoa is also rich in iron and magnesium, and provides fibre, vitamin E, copper and phosphorous, as well as some B vitamins, potassium and zinc.

Studies confirm that quinoa is a very good source of flavanoids, particularly in its high levels of quercetin and kaempferol antioxidants.  Quercetin has been found to be valuable in cases of allergic reactions due to its ability to inhibit the production and release of histamine.  It has also been linked to an improvement in the health of capillaries and connective tissues, as well as having important antiviral and immune support benefits. Kaempferol is known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Evidence has indicated that kaempferol is one of the most important flavanoids that inhibit heart, spinal cord and brain disease, and studies have shown that it can help the treatment of cancers, cardiovascular disease, neuron disorders and cholesterol.

I could go on forever. There is so much valuable evidence out there showing the countless benefits of this superfood. Try out this delicious, hearty curry as a way to include quinoa’s wonderful benefits into your life.

Vegetable Quinoa Curry Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups baby green beans
  • 1 head cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 4 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped coriander
  • 1 1/2 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 large onion, cut into strips
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander

Let’s Get Cracking:

  • Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add quinoa cooking for 5 mins
  • Add green beans and cook for a further 5 mins
  • Now drain and set aside in a colander
  • In a frying pan sauté garlic, ginger and onions in coconut oil push to one side and toast cumin and coriander and turmeric for a couple of minutes, stirring consistently
  • Add cauliflower, cashews and carrots and stir fry for a couple of minutes then add stock and bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer and stir through coconut milk cook for 10-15 mins
  • Remove from stove and stir coriander through and then fold in quinoa and green beans

For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com

And a pic of Miranda looking Ah-mazing to inspire…

My idea of HEAVEN!! Avocado Frozen yoghurt

Avocado Frozen Yogurt – a delicious fresh summer treat! Two of my favourite things, avo’s and frozen yoghurt. I am in Love. Officially besotted.

"Avocado Frozen Yogurt"

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2-3)

– 1 1/2 ripe avocados

– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

– 3 tablespoons stevia (or to taste)

– 2- 4 oz containers soy yogurt

– 1/2 cup soy/almond milk

– 1 tablespoon lemon zest

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. With the lemon zest set aside, place all of the other ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix up til smooth.

2. Then scoop everything out into a bowl or ice cream maker. Stir in the zest.

Tip: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, then freeze the mixture in an airtight container for about 2 hours. Then when ready, take out, let it thaw a bit, and give it another stir.

YUM!!!

Adapted from The Vegan Scoop