Surviving The Silly Season

I am still struggling to come to terms with the fact that it is already December.  We personally have had a massive year filled with lots of exciting adventures but it has really flown!  So here we are at that time of the year when everyone is trying to squeeze catch ups and celebrations in before the year ends and 2015 rolls in.  

I know that when I am in my normal routine it is a lot easier to stay on track with my food and general well-being.  When you are eating out a lot more than normal it becomes challenging to stay in control of what you are eating and drinking, and if you don’t have iron-clad willpower (let’s face it – how many of us really do?!) then you can pretty much guarantee that you will over indulge.  

Here are my top 5 tips to staying on track during this crazy time.

1.  Drink lots (and lots and lots) of water.  Try and drink at least 3 litres per day.  If like us you are living Down Under  you’ll need it to help your body deal not just with toxins but also with the heat – and we are expecting a scorcher of a summer in Australia this year!

2.  Don’t let your training regime go out the window.  Make sure you commit to as many of your regular sessions as you can, and if you can pick up a couple of extra workouts to make up for relaxing your diet, then that’s all the better for you!  If you can find a training buddy to keep you accountable and motivated it will make it much easier to stick to your resolve.

3.  Don’t skimp on your sleep.  Yes there might be some late nights celebrating, but make an extra effort to turn the screens off and have early nights when you don’t have stuff on.  You should be aiming for at least 7 hours sleep – more at this time of the year would be even better!

4.  Eat more greens!  Full of essential nutrients to help your body detox and recover, eating more leafy greens at this time of year will really make a difference.  Throw a handful of spinach in your scrambled eggs in the morning, or in your protein shake.  Even better, now is a good time to make a green smoothie a daily ritual.  My favourite green smoothie is a blend of spinach, cucumber, lemon,green apple, ginger, turmeric, ice and filtered water.  I also like to add my supplements including a probiotic powder, greens powder and collagen.  All which keep me on top of my game!

5.  Try not to stress about it!  Stress is probably the most toxic thing you can do to your body.  It’s been a big year, why shouldn’t you be able to let your air down and enjoy yourself a little more than usual?!  Do the best you can but don’t beat yourself up for having a bit of fun over the next few weeks.  Just make sure you resolve to jump straight back on the wagon in the new year.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and all the best for 2015!

X

Alix

 

The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

This is a fantastic way to start the day – especially after a good workout! It is tasty, filling and as always very nutritious!

It might look like a bit of work in the kitchen but it seriously only takes a few minutes to throw together.  If you are time poor it’s a good idea to chop up a couple of leeks and some veggies at the beginning of the week and just grab handfuls when you are ready to make it (rather than chopping it all every morning).

I don’t have it with bread and I don’t feel like I am depriving myself.  Apart from adding heaps of flavour, the coconut oil and butter make it really satisfying, and you’ll find you won’t be hungry again for ages. Enjoy XX

The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

(Serves 1)

What you will need:

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or good quality grass –fed butter
  • 2 free range eggs (organic if possible), whisked quickly in a separate bowl
  • About 1 inch of leek
  • Mix of chopped veggies – e.g. zucchini, tomato, broccoli, beans, spinach, asparagus
  • Sea salt/freshly cracked pepper

How to pull it together:

Heat the butter and/or coconut oil in a pan.

Add the leeks and cook until browned.

Throw the rest of the veggies into the pan and stir through until well coated.

Add the whisked eggs and stir through until scrambled.

Serve and eat immediately.

Note:  If I have any leftover meat from the night before (e.g. steak, lamb or chicken) I add this with the veggies.  For a kick you can add some fresh chopped chilli with the leek or a good quality chilli paste stirred through at the end.

Enjoy XX

3 Home Workouts Guaranteed To Test You Regardless Of Your Ability – Guest Post By Jess Robinson of Lazy Girl Fitness

There are many reasons why it’s not always possible to get to the gym. It could be your kids, absent partners, lack of time and/or lack of motivation to walk through those often intimidating gym doors.  I am often relegated to my garage to train  and so I am always on the lookout for nifty little workouts that I can pull out and use.

Lucky for you guys, I asked my good friend Jess from Lazy Girl Fitness for a selection of workouts so you can start doing the same thing.  It doesn’t matter how fit you are! Here is an example of a beginner, intermediate and advanced workout to get you started.  I tried the advanced one with a good friend last week and it wasn’t pretty, we were a sweaty mess by the end of it, but it was fun and we felt amazing all day!

So give at least one of these a go this weekend and let me know how you feel after!  Thanks Jess!!!

We were a sweaty mess but it was loads of fun!

We were a sweaty mess but it was loads of fun!

3 Home Workouts Guaranteed To Test You Regardless Of Your Ability

By Jess Robinson of Lazy Girl Fitness

No matter where you are on the spectrum of fitness, planning a workout can be tough. How long should the session go? What body parts should I work? Why am I having a complete mind blank on ideas?

We’ve all been there.

Luckily, putting together workouts is one of my favourite things, so today I’ve done not one, but three for you! All are no-equipment bodyweight workouts that can be done anywhere – from the gym to your backyard or even your living room. And everyone’s a winner because I’ve designed a beginner, intermediate and advanced session.

No excuses guys!

Beginner Workout

This total body workout is a great place to begin, full of simple exercises that will get your heart rate up and your muscles into gear, When you’re just starting out, it’s important to include ample rest time in your program. As you progress, feel free to increase the intensity of the workout by decreasing your rest time and/or increasing the intensity at which you perform the exercises.

Lazy Girl Fitness Workout For Beginners

Lazy Girl Fitness Workout For Beginners

 

Intermediate Workout

OK we’re starting to really work now. Part one of this workout will send your heart rate skyrocketing. Part two is all about intensity – go as hard and as fast as you can (while keeping good form) and try to better yourself with each round. This workout isn’t a long one, but you should be dripping with sweat by the time you’re done.

 

Lazy Girl Fitness' Intermediate Workout

Lazy Girl Fitness’ Intermediate Workout

 

Advanced Workout

Yikes. You know that any session starting with five minutes of burpees is going to be a doozy! It’s a 45-minute full-body HIIT session that focuses on big movements for maximum calorie burn and finishes with a cheeky little abs circuit. If you don’t curse me by the end then I’ll be a bit surprised.

Lazy Girl Fitness' Advanced Workout

Lazy Girl Fitness’ Advanced Workout

 

Hope you enjoy them!

About The Author:

Jess Robinson is a certified personal trainer, outdoor fitness instructor, writer and sub-editor, based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. She created Lazy Girl Fitness in the hopes of building a positive online community where everyone – from the fitness-crazed to the fitness-phobic – can come together for workout ideas, conversation and empowerment. She also needed somewhere to post pictures of her dog.

You can read more on her blog here, follow her on facebook at here or twitter/instagram @LazyGirlFit

PS – Jess is holding a Get Set For Summer 6 week bootcamp in Sydney in November – if you are interested please check out the link here.

jessandlou

The Shrinking Hubby’s Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

The Shrinking Hubby’s Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

These are a really yummy and healthy treat.  I confess to having a bit of a thing for salted caramel, and these bring those flavours out beautifully.  With only a handful of ingredients, and a few seconds to blend together they are quick and easy to pull together and a great one for the kids to make.  My daughter is excellent at pitting the dates for me and these are her favourite cookies!  Enjoy XX

Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

Makes approximately 16 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until well combined.

If using a Thermomix (or similar), place all ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix 20 seconds, speed 9.

Roll the mixture into balls about 1 tablespoon each.  Flatten with your palm and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12-15 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Careful as they will burn easily so keep an eye on them and keep in mind that they will continue to cook for a minute or so after you have taken them out of the oven.

Allow to cool and enjoy.

 

 

 

Jazzing Up Your Veggies (Part 2)

Jazzing Up Your Veggies (Part 2)

It’s been a while since I wrote my article ‘Jazzing Up Your Veggies’ which has some great tips for getting creative with ordinary vegetables to make them more appealing and delicious.  You can check it out here  – seriously that sea salt and cinnamon roasted sweet potato is just so yummy!

I often post photos of my food on my facebook page or my Instagram feed  and you guys are always eager to know how I prepare my veggies so I thought I’d share a few more of our family’s favourites here:

1.  The Super Greens Stir-fry

This is my current favourite accompaniment – delicious with barbequed salmon, grass-fed scotch fillet, chicken thighs, lamb cutlets or even aside a succulent roast chook.  The coconut oil and/or butter or ghee make it really tasty (and filling).  The trick is to get the leeks nice and brown before adding the rest of the greens.

All you need to do is heat up a good dollop of coconut oil and/or ghee or grass-fed butter in a large pan.  Add a handful of chopped leek (I usually use about 5cms (or 2 inches)) and cook until nicely browned.  When it’s ready add some chopped asparagus, broccoli, zucchini and beans (or whatever veggies you like) and stir until well coated and cooked to your liking. Add a good sprinkle of good quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately with your choice of protein.

2.  Zoodles (pasta free zucchini noodles)

If you love your spaghetti but are trying to avoid pasta and starchy carbohydrates, these are just the best thing ever!

What you will need:

  • 2-3 zucchinis/courgettes per person
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • A vegetable spiraliser (or you can use a vegetable peeler for a ‘fettucine effect’ if you don’t have a spiraliser)

How to pull it together:

Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser (see note below).  Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and drizzle with a splash of olive oil.  Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes.  You will find a lot of liquid leaves the noodles which means that they will shrink down quite a bit.

You can heat them up before serving, or have them raw – they are delicious both ways!

NOTE:  I have tried many spiralisers to make vegetable ‘noodles’ and the GEFU Spiral Slicer Spiral Fix is by far the easiest and most effective I’ve used.

If you like the idea of Zucchini noodles and want more inspiration I have used Zucchini noodles previously with the delicious Dina’s Tomato Sauce here, my Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles here and we absolutely love our zucchini noodle ‘spaghetti bolognese’ here!

Z-1

3.  Slow Cooked Tomatoes

These are the best!  So easy to pull together and pack a huge punch of flavour to any meal or salad.   Again, this is a perfect accompaniment to a barbeque, but is also delicious for breakfast with eggs and sauteed spinach and mushrooms.

Lay out some small tomatoes (I used baby roma tomatoes on the vine here but cherry tomatoes, or halved tomatoes also works well).  Drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle some torn basil leaves, sea salt and cracked pepper and cook in a moderate oven for a good 30 – 45 minutes or until well cooked to your liking.

 

 

4.  Cauliflower Rice

This is seriously so easy it doesn’t even really qualify as a recipe!  If you have a thermomix, simply pop half a head of cauliflower into the mixing bowl and chop in reverse speed 5 for about 5 seconds.  If you are using a food processor, put the roughly chopped cauliflower into the bowl and pulse until it reaches a texture you like.  Cauliflower rice is brilliant with curries, stir fries, as fried ‘rice’.  A perfect substitute for rice for those looking to avoid grains or starchy carbs.

Feel free to play around with your seasoning, a bit of lemon juice, sea salt and cracked pepper or some spices such as chilli, cumin, paprika or even cinnamon are all delicious!

I love to throw some lemon zest, a squeeze of the juice and some green shallots (spring onion) into the machine with the cauliflower for a lemon zesty ‘rice’.

9k=-15.  Zesty Salsa

I love a tasty little salsa.  This one is delicious served with my healthy nachoschilli mince or with my gluten free chicken schnitzel or a barbequed piece of fish or steak.  It is zesty and tasty and takes no time to prepare!

Don’t be restricted what I’ve used here – you can use what you’ve got in the fridge, some organic corn kernels or rinsed baby salted capers would be nice here too.  The idea is to create a fresh and zesty mix of flavours to jazz up your meal!

(serves 2-4 as a side dish)

What you will need:

  • 1 Avocado diced
  • 1 cucumber peeled and diced
  • A handful of button mushrooms diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum diced
  • 1 green chilli (seeded) finely chopped
  • 1 roma tomato or a few cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/4 red onion finely chopped
  • About a 1/4 cup of fresh Coriander leaves (cilantro)

For the dressing:

  • The juice of 1-2 limes (depending on your taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

How to Pull It All Together:

Shake or whisk all the dressing ingredents together.  Combine the chopped up veggies into a bowl.  Gently toss the veggies with the dressing and serve!

9k=-3

I hope that some of these ideas inspire you!  I have a few more up my sleeve for the third installment of Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Shrinking Hubby style! Stay tuned!  And don’t forget to like me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more ideas to create healthy meals for you and your family!

Enjoy XX

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