Immune Boosting Tonic

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It’s well into the Winter season which means cold and flu season is upon us. I am a firm believer in food as medicine and using plants, herbs, oils to help heal ourselves and assist our bodies to what nature intended it to do. Especially to prevent the severity of viruses, because we all get sick from time to time.

If you are eating a relative healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables your body tends to fight off any nasty antibodies more quickly because your immune system kicks into gear fighting it off as soon as you start to feel run down. There are many ways we can assist our bodies to help us on the road to recovery quicker. Continue reading “Immune Boosting Tonic”

How It Worked For Me

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Feb 2015, a few months after having my third son I convinced myself to get back into an exercise routine. Although always being active previously, during my pregnancy I found it so hard to find the energy to do anything let alone exercise. For the first few months I had participated in  my usual Pilates classes but soon even that felt too much of an effort  to continue. With having two other kids to look after, school runs, maintaining  a house hold, chores, dinners I was exhausted and really struggled third time round. Making my decision quite clear that this third child would be our lucky last. I hadn’t even given birth yet and It was only going to get harder.

 

 

I didn’t want to put mountains of pressure on myself like most mums do in our society  these days to get back to pre-baby bodies within which feels  like weeks after birth, like the Bec Judd’s of the world. Bless her and her slender twin pregnant perfect body at the moment sheesh (insert envy face). But most of us don’t feel like that is realistically achievable. I gave myself two months to get settled with my new baby and adjust to being a mother of three then I made that choice to get active again.

 

It was only twice a week as that’s all I could really commit to. I’d finish my day having the kids fed & bathed, then I would lock myself in my bedroom usually around 7pm and workout for a solid hour while my husband watched the children. I would start with cardio on my treadmill usually running for around 15- 20 mins, then follow on with floor exercises focusing on legs, arms and core work for around 30-40mins.  I followed the Kayla Itsines programme in the beginning but as her training regime is working out everyday honestly I just found it too difficult to stick to with my restrictive new schedule. Getting the basic idea of her workouts, my own knowledge and with some help from my brother-in-law giving me a few exercises to follow (he just happens to be a personal trainer unfortunately he lives in a different state darn it!) collaborating all of that I would implement my own workouts. In addition to our weekends as a family, we go for family walks and bike rides which contribute to our healthy lifestyle.

 

 

Naturally coinciding with our healthy eating which goes without saying is most significant. Cutting down our portion sizes, replacing heavy carb based meals with more nutritious clean eating, more vegetables, lean high protein  based meals and cutting out refined sugar from our diet, the weight just seemed to come off without too much effort. I truly believe if you take the focus off the weight loss and make more of the focus on lifestyle it really does work and for the long haul. Give yourself time and you will start to see a difference. It will happen and once you have a routine down it really becomes a way of life.

 

 

 

18 months on I lost 14 kilos, even more than I’d gained through pregnancy and keeping it off. I’ve maintained my weight and an active life and have found my latest passion in Xtend Barre classes which is a combination of Pilates and ballet barre exercises. As an ex dancer it is right up my alley. I still have personal goals I wish to achieve and with a positive mind and attitude will not be not far from reach.  My advice is set realistic goals small to start and find something you enjoy whatever it may be, a sport, gym, Pilates, zumba or even going for a run as long as you make it part of your regular life you are already winning.

 

There is really no secret, eat well,  be active you will feel better for it and have a treat on occasion as that is how we can make it last and not a hindrance to our lives.

Caz

xxx

 

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Going Bananas

Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming  for anyone wanting to make a lifestyle change. Especially the sugar debate, sugar no sugar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or  agave and the list continues there seems to be an expansive amount of sugars and sweeteners on the market these days and can get a little confusing on what to use and what not to.

My theory is any that have been  refined is a no no so white, caster, brown sugar, cane sugar..avoid. Rice malt syrup and stevia are our friends..they contain no fructose (which is the bad stuff)  and the so called “healthy” natural sweeteners  such as honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut sugar and Medjool dates do contain fructose but can be consumed on occasion as a healthier alternative to refined sugars in baking etc. Im no expert on the subject but I’ve done quite a bit of research and I think this is a favourable guide to lead from.

If you would like to read more about sugar and the affects of it on you health I suggest you read ‘Sarah Wilsons I quit Sugar’ or visit her website iquitsugar.com she has all the facts and this is her field of expertise.

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Who doesn’t love banana bread.. I certainly do its my sweet treat, my coffee partner and afternoon tea vice. The thick cafe style slices that I used to crave made me a happy mummy so when I wanted to make my own and a healthier non sugar version I was so delighted  that it actually worked and tasted just as good as the cafes used to serve me but without the added sugar. Its a definite ‘go back to’ in my recipe book.

Tip: I slice into individual slices and cling wrap them, put in the freezer for when in need of a sweet fix or for school lunch boxes .

Banana & Fig Loaf

Ingredients

1/3 cup grapeseed oil

1/2 cup rice malt syrup or maple syrup

2 eggs

1 cup mashed bananas approx. 2 large bananas

1/4 cup milk of choice

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups plain wholemeal flour

5 chopped dried figs (soaked in hot water for 1 min)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 160’C and line a loaf tin with baking paper
  2. In a large bowl or mixer place the grapeseed oil and rice malt syrup and whisk for 2-3 mins
  3. Add 2 eggs one at a time whisking in between till well combined
  4. Add mashed banana, milk, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and flour and mix to combine
  5. Stir through soaked figs discarding  the liquid first and pour into lined loaf tin
  6. Bake for 60mins or until skewer comes out clean. Let it rest in the tin for 10-20mins before slicing.

Tip: I slice into individual pieces and cling wrap them, put in the freezer for when in need of a sweet treat or for school lunch boxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome…

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After much procrastinating I have taken the leap and started my very own blog. As much as it is daunting it is also exciting, I have pondered over this for some time now and think its probably a good time in my life to start. I am a wife and a mum of three energetic, enthusiastic, boisterous boys. One school aged, one preschool aged and a toddler and like most mums find it hard to keep up with them, the house  and everything else that comes with the SAHM tag,  let alone their eating habits.

Over the last  few years we have made some lifestyle changes food wise and boy has it been a excellent move. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer whilst I was pregnant with the second son and it rocked our world, 5 years on she is in remission and loving life to the max. Its only after her sickness I began to research, read, collect advice from doctors and really delve into what’s really in our foods and it was a real eye opener. I began to change my cooking and what I bought from the store, kids snacks,  lunches etc. and so many advantages we have gained from this. The kids and also our behaviour, moods, energy all improved. Myself  and my husband lost a considerable amount of weight  (over a period of time) Our energy levels are way up and overall happiness in our home. Don’t get me wrong it’s not all rainbows and flowers there is still temper tantrums, chaos, fighting, arguing and plain right stressful days were you just want to run away to sit on a beach and forget the world you left behind, but that’s anyone we all have bad days especially with kids right? And yes they are still kids. It would be unrealistic to expect them to be perfect all the time.

Above all it is our inner health that I’m most focused on building strong healthy minds & bodies from the inside out. Getting back to eating REAL food not processed quick easy meals that the supermarket seem to market so enticingly. That meaning, eliminating preservatives, artificial colours & flavours and additives packed in processed foods and my biggest peeve added refined sugars in food which seem to be added to everything these days. Luckily people are catching on to this and there has been a steady change in some products with supermarkets stocking healthier range of health foods which only could ever be once bought at a health food store. Getting back to basics and eating real fresh food again it’s not a diet or the latest craze its about a different approach on how  we look at food. What we are really eating and most of all it CAN be easy and delicious!

On my blog I will share recipes and tips and what works for me and my family and encouraging others to make some change big or small whatever works for you. I am not a nutritionist  I am a home cook with a love of cooking and healthy eating and would love to share it with others. It’s not about making perfect meals every night but about making better choices and enjoying delicious home cooked food, to fuel our bodies to be the best we can be.

Happy Cooking!

Caz