Chia OBSESSED

Chia seeds, yes we have all heard of them but I have only recently become obsessed with these tiny little power house balls 😉 Chia have so many nutritional benefits, they’re great for your omega 3 and 6 content, super high in calcium, a good source of fibre, protein, antioxidants and you can use them in many, many, many different ways.

I’m a bit chia pudding crazy at the moment. Eating them for brekkie, as a snack or dessert. Best part is there are so many flavour variations. Here are a few of my favourite most interesting combinations!

Tahini Maple Chia

tahini-maple-chia

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup almond milk

1/8 cup chia seeds

1/8 tsp ground vanilla

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of himilayian rock salt

3/4 Tbsp maple syrup

3/4 Tbsp Tahini

Method:

  • Place all ingredients besides the chia seeds in a blended. Mix together until combined.
  • Stir in chia seeds. Pour in glass jar or serving dish and refrigerate over night.
  • Garnish with your favourite toppings. I chose banana, goji berries and cinnamon!

Golden Chia

golden-chia

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup golden milk (you can buy turmeric latte powder from many health food stores. Follow the directions to make enough for your chia pudding. You may even want to make some in bulk so you have golden milk for following days.)

1/8 cup chia seeds

Additional sweeteners or spices if desired

Method

  • Whisk chia seeds, golden milk and additional ingredients together in a bowl or glass jar.
  • Refrigerate overnight. Serve top with banana slices and shredded coconut or your favourite toppings.

Chilli Choc Chia

chilli-choc-chia

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup almond milk

1/8 cup chia seeds

large pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of himilayian rock salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 Tbsp maple syrup

3/4 Tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

  • Place all ingredients besides the chia seeds in a blender. Mix together until combined.
  • Stir in chia seeds. Pour in glass jar or serving dish and refrigerate over night.
  • Serve with your favourite toppings. I suggest crushed nuts, goji berries and cocoa nibs

Peanut Butter and Salted Banana Chia

peanut-butter-salted-banana-chia

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup almond milk

1/8 cup chia seeds

1/8 tsp ground vanilla

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of himilayian rock salt

1 Tbsp peanut butter

1 tsp Maple syrup

Method:

  • Place all ingredients besides the chia seeds in a blender. Mix together until combined.
  • Stir in chia seeds. Pour in glass jar or serving dish and refrigerate over night.
  • For the salted banana melt 1tsp coconut oil in the fry ban on low heat, add 1/2 banana cut into coins. Add a pinch of himilayian rock salt and about 1/4 tsp coconut sugar or maple syrup. Turn the heat to medium high and toss until banana has caramelised.
  • Serve on top of chia pudding with a dash of cinnamon and an extra pinch of himilayian rock salt. Garnish with an extra spoonful of peanut butter for a decadent chia pudding. Yumo!
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The Importance of The 3 ZZZ’s

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Remember the feeling you get after an amazing yoga class, your body feels completely relaxed and rejuvenated, your mind clear and calm, energy flowing from head to toe and a light glow radiating from your skin. That’s how we should be feeling every morning after a proper night’s sleep. Here’s why sleeping is as beneficial as that early morning yoga class.

Improves Your Memory

Sleeping strengthens our memory skills and improves our cognitive function. Whether you’re trying to learn something physically or mentally our brain consolidates this new learned information whilst we sleep. Sleeping also enhances the brain’s ability to restructure memories at a faster pace.

Rest and Repair

While we rest our body switches into repair mode. Our entire system slows down to heal itself. Muscles and joints are able to relax, our digestive system slows down, the mind slows down, our immune system is boosted and hormones stabilise within in the body. Just like a long savasana after yoga, the body reaps full benefits after a long sleepy slumber.

Improves Your Metabolism

It’s interesting to know that sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same area of the brain. If we do not receive adequate amount of sleep this can disrupt the function of our metabolism affecting weight management. So it’s not surprising to hear that when the body is in a state of fatigue the brain has difficulty signalling leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that regulate our hunger signals.

Overall Wellbeing

There’s truth to the saying “you got out on the wrong side of the bed”. Irritability, mood swings and poor concentration are all signs of sleep deprivation. Over an extended period of time lack of sleep can have serious impacts on our mental health resulting in depression and other mental disorders. It’s no question that a good night’s sleep should be incorporated into our health regime.

Finally, just like you don’t expect to see benefits after one great yoga class, you won’t see benefits after one good night’s sleep. We need to be sleeping regular hours every evening to see true benefits within our body. Of course the number of hours differs depending on the person and the lifestyle you lead, but the suggested shut eye is an average 8 hours.

Night, night.

 

For The Peanut Butter Lovers

Bliss balls so yummy you’ll want to juggle them into your mouth….

FullSizeRender-7

Makes 8 balls

Ingredients

4 Tbsp Peanut Butter

4 tsp chia seeds

12 dates – cut finely

pinch Himilayian salt

2 tsp flax seeds

2 tsp pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup oats

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor, blend until mixture is combined
  2. Scoop out one heaped tablespoon at a time, roll mixture into balls with your hands
  3. Roll in cinnamon if you desire
  4. Place on a plate and refrigerate for 20mins
  5. Enjoy

The Importance of TAKING A BREAK

 

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Ever feel like your mind is constantly on a treadmill? Always needing to fill your day with productivity. As each day goes by you believe your to do list will decrease, that the work load will get easier, only to notice the incline and speed on that treadmill creep up. The feelings of fulfilment absent when you reach your goals as you are already focused on the next one. STOP it’s time to take a break, it’s important for all of us, physically and mentally.

Studies have shown when we push our brains and body too much our body and brain pushes back. Ideas stop flowing as quickly and tasks become a huge effort. Everything becomes slower, whilst you become harsher on yourself to get things done, creating this downward spiral effect. This is all too common for many of us, some of us even experiencing exhaustion.

Let’s work to change this mindset of constantly needing to work and get more productive (I know ironic) by taking various breaks. Here are a few ways to switch into the zen zone.

Taking Short breaks

By switching to a simple task whilst working this allows another section of our brain to step in a problem solve. This switch allows us to maximise the entire usage and capacity of our brain. Try working for 25 mins with a 5 min break and see how your productivity improves.

Vacations

Getting away from the hustle and bustle and into nature clears our body physically and mentally. The constant stimulation we experience living in the city can cause us to live anxiously running through our days on autopilot. Going back to our primal roots into nature allows our minds to slow down and relax, whilst the fresh oxygen running through our veins improves our vitality.

Taking frequent vacations should be encouraged as the change in environment has significant benefits for your brain. Although these brain benefits do dissipate quickly once we are back into our regular environment and routines. Try to take regular vacations away from the smog and the city even if they are just day trips.

One Day or One Evening Off Each Week

Whilst this may seem luxurious and unavailable at first, taking one day off or one evening off each week actually increases work life balance. Interestingly people who follow this ritual have said to be more productive and appreciative of their work accomplishments. Fill this day or evening with something you are passionate about or that excites you. Your free time should not be spent on food shopping, house domestics or other such task I like to call “life admin”.

Quieres una siesta?

Ok I know this is probably out of the question for most of us but studies have shown napping makes us more alert, more productive and decreases the probability of making mistakes. If you already know a midday shut eye is only assigned for your your nana try a short 10 minute meditation instead. The release of brain alpha waves from the meditation will increase your happiness for the rest of the day.

Now there’s no need to feel guilty about putting your feet up, hold your head high and confidently say to yourself “I am taking a break, for my body, my mind and my work productivity”.

 

 

Tahini, Almond Meal, Cocoa Cookies

So happy that you all loved the cookies I whipped up on a rainy Wednesday evening.     After all the requests I thought I need to post the recipe so here it is! It’s super easy and super quick, just how cookie recipes should be so you can eat them straight away. Enjoy 🙂

Tahini Almond Meal Cookies

Makes 6 Small Cookies

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1.5 Tbsp water

1/2 cup almond meal + 1/8 cup almond meal

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/8 cocoa nibs or good quality dark choc pieces

a generous pinch of Himalayan salt

1 Tbsp of maple syrup

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp tahini

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. In a small bowl mix the chia seeds with the water. Set aside and let it sit for a few minutes
  3. In a larger bowl add all the almond meal, desiccated coconut, cocoa nibs or chocolate and Himalayan salt. Mix well until combined.
  4. Add the tahini, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract to the chia gel. Stir well until combined
  5. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until a dough is formed
  6. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into balls with your palms. Place on the baking tray. Press cookies down lightly with the back of a fork to flatten.
  7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden on the outside. Cookies will still be soft and chewy on the inside.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before devouring!!!

 

Additions/Variations:

-Add 1 tsp cinnamon to step 3 in the cooking process

-Maple syrup can be replaced for honey, coconut sugar or a sweetener of your choice

-Add an extra 1/2 tsp of maple syrup for a sweeter cookie

-Add 2-3 Tbsp of raw cocoa powder for a decadent triple choc cookie

-Double the mixture for larger size cookies

Safe Snacks

I’ve had many people say to me they are lost for ideas when it comes to healthy snacks, so either end up eating nothing….or grabbing something that makes them feel gross, guilty, unsatisfied and inevitably more hungry. Now problem solved, here are a few fun, satisfying and most importantly easy snack ideas that will keep you powering on through your day!

If you want the complete range of snack recipes write a request in the comments section at the bottom of the page, I’d be more than happy to send them over 🙂

Fill Me Up I’m Hangry

Fancy Rice Cakes

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Sweet Toppings:

  1. Nut butter (almond, macadamia, peanut) with banana cocoa nibs and cinnamon
  2. Almond butter with strawberries and coconut
  3. Peanut butter, blueberries dash of nutmeg or cinnamon

Savoury Toppings:

  1. Vegemite and avocado
  2. Cottage cheese, Himalayan salt, lemon, parsley, dill

-Cottage cheese is a great source of calcium and protein for the body. It also has a very low-fat content compared to other cheeses

  1. Hommus, avocado and dukkha
  2. Tahini, avocado, toasted mixed seeds

 

Munch Away 

Spiced chickpeas

chickpea2B3

  1. Place one can of chickpeas on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for around 10 minutes until excess water has evaporated
  2. Remove from oven and place chickpeas in a mixing bowl
  3. Cover with 1 Tbsp of your favourite oil and spices to taste (eg. cumin, turmeric, cayenne, smokey paprika, black pepper, Himalayan salt, curry powder, soy, lime, sesame)
  4. Return to the oven and bake for a further 30 mins at 180 degrees or until hard and crispy

 

I’m Feeling Naughty

Raw banana split

images0ba023bb037e479Ahealthy-banana-split

  1. Cut banana in half
  2. Spread with 1 Tbsp of nut butter
  3. Place one scoop of coconut yoghurt or coconut ice cream in the middle
  4. Garnish with coconut flakes, cinnamon, cocoa nibs and extra nuts

 

Enjoy, snacks may just become your favourite meal of the day!

My brothers favourite: Blueberry Banana Bread (Gluten Free)

 

Blueberry Banana Bread

Makes 1 Loaf – 7 large pieces

Ingredients:

3 cups smashed ripe banana (organic bananas will create a sweeter banana bread)

3/4 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

1/2 cup maple syrup

3 organic eggs (can use chia eggs as a vegan replacement)

1tsp vanilla bean powder or vanilla essence as a substitute

1/4 coconut oil melted

1tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

pinch if Himalayan rock salt

1/2 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (the lemon juice must be fresh to activate the bicarb soda in the cooking process)

2 cups almond meal

1/2 cup ground flaxseed (linseed)

coconut flakes to garnish

Method:

1. Preheat your oven 160 degrees fan forced

2. Combine the smashed banana, maple syrup, coconut oil, spices and salt

3. Add the eggs (or chia eggs) and mix until combined

4. Add the bicarb soda and pour the lemon juice over the bicarb soda (watch the bicarb soda bubble and activate!!!) Then mix all ingredients together with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined,  do not over beat.

5. In a separate bowl mix the ground flaxseed and almond meal, then fold through the wet mixture (banana mixture) with the blueberries until combined

6. Grease a loaf tin (10.5cm wide, 26cm long)  with coconut oil to prevent mixture from sticking

7. Pour batter into the tin and let the mixture settle. Sprinkle over coconut flakes

8. Bake in the oven for 45mins, then remove the banana bread from the oven and check if the mixture is cooked in the centre by inserting a skewer diagonally. The skewer should come out moist but not gluggy. If the cake is uncooked return to the oven checking every 10mins until cooked through.

Cooking Notes:

– Cover the top of the banana bread with foil after 45mins to stop the coconut from burning

– Blueberries can be replaced with raspberries, walnuts, dark chocolate pieces or removed completely

– Substitute half the amount of almond meal for desiccated coconut

-Add more almond meal for a denser banana bread

Serving Suggestion:

– Warm or room temperature with organic butter or your favourite nut butter

– Warm or room temperature with an extra drizzle of maple syrup and dusting of cinnamon

– Warm or room temperature with sliced banana, coyo ice-cream, cinnamon and bee pollen

– Toasted in the sandwich press with your favourite spread

– Plain and simple as is!

Turmeric Tofu Bowl

Turneric Tofu

Serves 2

Ingredients:

375 gms firm tofu (or tempeh for a more smokey flavour) – cut into cubes

2 large cloves garlic – diced

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp fresh red/green chilli – sliced

1/2 tsp himalayan salt

2 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp black pepper

dash soy sauce

2 spring onions – finely sliced

1 small dried red chilli – roughly crushed

handful coriander to garnish

squeeze lime or lemon juice

2 heads bok choy – cut in half lengthways, steamed

1 cup brown rice – cooked

Method:

1.  Place sesame oil and garlic in fry pan and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes

2.  Add tofu/tempeh and cook on medium to high heat until the tofu/tempeh browns on all sides

3. Add spring onions, fresh red/green chilli, salt, pepper and more sesame oil if needed until mixture is combined

4. Add turmeric and dried chilli stir till combined

5. Add dash of soy, stir mixture and turn heat up so tofu/tempeh gets slightly crispy on each side

6. Remove fry pan from the heat, add a squeeze of lemon/lime juice and stir through mixture

7. Serve brown rice at the bottom of the each bowl with bok choy on top (centre of bok choy facing up). Dress brown rice and bok choy with extra sesame oil, fresh sesame seeds and salt to taste.

8. Serve turmeric tofu on top of bok choy and rice, garnish with coriander

9.  ENJOY THE YUMMINESS!!!

Additions & Variations:

– chilli can be removed for a less spicy dish

– black and white sesame seeds or fresh ginger can also be added

– garnish with a drizzle of kecap manis for lightly sweet flavour

– replace brown rice for quinoa

– serve with sauerkraut to incorporate probiotics

3 Minute, 3 Ingredient Truffles

Coconut Truffles

Makes 6 Truffles

Ingredients:

1 cup desiccated coconut

3 Tbsp Unhulled Tahini

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl

2. Scoop out 1 Tbsp of mixture at a time and roll into balls

3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving

Additions and Variations

– Add in 1 Tbsp of cacao nibs for coconut choc chip truffles

– Replace the maple syrup for rice malt syrup or honey

– Use hulled or black tahini for a bitter truffle

– Add a pinch of himilayian rock salt to draw out flavours, increase mineral content and add a hint of saltiness

– Throw in a handful of chopped macadamias for a crunchy truffle