TWO INGREDIENT SUGAR-FREE JAM

TWO INGREDIENT SUGAR-FREE JAM

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Lather it on peanut butter toast, add it to jam drop cookies, stir it through greek yoghurt or just spoon it on your porridge. This chia seed jam is the perfect healthy indulgence and is 1000 times easier than making regular jam – all you need is TWO ingredients!

Ingredients:

250g frozen raspberries

1 tbsp chia seeds

Method:

  1. Defrost raspberries in a microwave safe dish or in a pot over the stove.
  2. Once defrosted use a fork to mash them into a thick sauce consistency.
  3. Stir through chia seeds. Pour into a jar and allow to cool and set.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you have any other ways of using this chia jam I would love to see how you incorporate it into you meals or snacks so don’t forget to tag me on instagram  to show me your creations!!

Love and light,

Caroline x

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Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

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A new season calls for some new recipes!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Pancakes:

3 ¼ cup of almond flour

2 large sweet potatos

2.5 cups of almond milk

3 tbsp of coconut oil

2 tbsp of baking powder

1 tbsp of flx seed meal

1 TBSP cinnamon

3 eggs

1 banana

Compote:

–   Big handfuls of both blueberries and blackberries

–   3 tbsp of lemon juice

–   ¼ cup of coconut sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pakcakes:

1.  Heat sauce pan on medium-low heat

2.  mix all pancake ingredients, (I used a .blender)until smooth

3.  put a tbsp of coconut oil in the sauce pan, medium to low heat.

4.  scoop ¼ cup of the pancake mix and dollop onto pan.

5.  allow the pancake to cook until it begins to bubble.

6.  flip! and cook until golden brown

Protein Oatmeal Slice

Protein Oatmeal Slice

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Perfect sweet snack to hit the 3pm sugar cravings. Filled with protein, fibre and healthy fats to keep you full for hours. Keep them in the fridge for the perfect pre-workout snack.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup pepitas

2 tbsp flaxseeds

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 cup sultanas

1/4 cup vanilla protein powder

1/2 cup coconut oil melted and cooled

1/4 cup rice malt syrup or other sweetener

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius and grease and line a slice tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and stir.
  3. In a separate smaller mixing bowl combine all wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredient mixture and stir gently until just combined.
  5. Place into prepared slice tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  6. Place into preheated oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown on top.
  7. Slice and drizzle with melted dark chocolate (optional, kinda).

Enjoy!!

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10 Hard Things to Start Doing for Yourself

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  1. Start letting go of unnecessary ideals. – When a thought comes to mind, ask yourself if it’s helping you grow or holding you back.  Take back control.  Make the unconscious, conscious, and let go of what isn’t serving you.  This form of letting go is not giving up.  It’s surrendering any obsessive emotional attachment to particular people, outcomes and situations.  It means showing up every day in your life with the intention to be your best self, and to do the best you know how, without expecting life to go a certain way.  Have goals, have dreams, aspire and take purposeful action, and build great relationships, but detach from what every aspect of your life must absolutely look like to be “good enough” for you.  Just accept reality and then respond effectively.  Focus on what matters—what moves you forward today—and let go of what does not.
  2. Start putting your heart and soul into the things you do. – There’s a big difference between empty fatigue and gratifying exhaustion.  Life is short.  Invest daily in meaningful activities.  And don’t wait around!  Too often we wait—because we think we need to “find” something new or different to be passionate about.  But that’s not true.  If you want more passion in your life right now, act accordingly right now!  Put your whole heart and soul into the next thing you do.  Not into tomorrow’s opportunities, but the opportunity right in front of you.  Not into tomorrow’s tasks, but today’s tasks.  Not into tomorrow’s run, but today’s run.  Not into tomorrow’s conversations, but today’s conversations.  I’m absolutely certain you have plenty in your life right now that’s worth your time, energy, and passionate focus.  You have people and circumstances in your life that need you as much as you need them.  You have a massive reservoir of passionate potential within you, just waiting.  Stop waiting!  There is no tomorrow.  Put your heart and soul into what you’ve got right in front of you!  Become it, let it become you, and great things will happen FOR you, TO you, and BECAUSE of you.
  3. Start stretching yourself just beyond the edge of comfort. – When you’re struggling to make progress, that’s when you actually are.  Let that sink in.  It’s far wiser to spend an extremely high quality ten minutes stretching yourself, than it is to spend a mediocre hour running comfortably in place.  You want to be stretched to the edge of your ability at least once a day—it needs to be hard and uncomfortable for a little while.  But most of us don’t want to be uncomfortable, so we run from the possibility of discomfort constantly. The obvious problem with this is that, by running from discomfort, we are constrained to partake in only the activities and opportunities within our comfort zones.  And since our comfort zones are relativity small, we miss out on most of life’s greatest and healthiest experiences, and we get stuck in a debilitating cycle with our goals.  We keep doing what we’ve always done, and thus we keep getting the results we’ve always gotten.  And our true potential falls by the wayside.  Choose differently!  Go to environments that expand your mind.  Spend time with people who inspire you to stretch yourself.  Read books.  Grow.  Get better.  Your life is your choice.
  4. Start taking more deep breaths, so you can mindfully collect more lessons for the long run. – It’s incredibly easy to overestimate the significance of a single decision, outcome, or event in the heat of the moment.  But you must remind yourself to take a deep breath when things don’t go your way.  Your results in the long run—good or bad—are always the byproduct of many small decisions, outcomes, and events over time.  The truth is we all fail sometimes.  The greater truth is that no single failure ever defines us.  Learn from your mistakes.  Grow wiser.  Press on.  Character and wisdom are sculpted gradually.  They come with loss, lessons, and triumphs.  They come after doubts, second guesses, and unknowns.  The seeds of your success are planted in your past failures.  Your best stories will come from overcoming your greatest challenges.  Your praises will be birthed from your pains.  So keep standing, keep learning, and keep living.
  5. Start side-stepping senseless drama. – Tune out the cheap shots people take at you along the way.  Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence.  Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.  Seriously, before you waste it on anger, spite or frustration, think of how precious and irreplaceable your time is today.  Give yourself a permanent break from the drama that can be easily avoided—just don’t engage in it.  Life is just too short to argue and fight.  Count your blessings, value the people who matter, and move on from the drama with your head held high.  Remind yourself that calmness is a human superpower. The ability to not overreact or take things personally keeps your mind clear, your heart at peace, and yourself moving forward.  Take constructive criticism seriously, but not personally.  Listen to others, and then operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.
  6. Start staying true to your values and convictions. – Rejections don’t matter in the long run.  Accept them and refocus your attention on what DOES matter.  What does matter is how you see yourself.  Always make a habit of staying 100% true to your values and convictions, regardless of what others think.  Never be ashamed of doing what feels right.  To help you implement this positive habit, start by listing out 5-10 things that are important to you when it comes to building your character and living your life.  For example, Honesty, Reliability, Self-respect, Self-discipline, Compassion, and Kindness.  Having a short list like this to reference will give you an opportunity to consciously invoke and uphold your handpicked traits and behaviors in place of doing something random simply for the purpose of external validation.
  7. Start looking for silver linings. – The most powerful weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.  Train your mind to see the good in the truth.  Studies have shown that doctors who are put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis consistently experience significant boosts to their intellectual abilities than doctors in a neutral state, which allows them to make accurate diagnoses almost 20% faster.  Similar studies of other vocations have shown that optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by over 50%, and university students primed to feel happy before taking math exams statistically outperform their neutral peers.  So it turns out that our minds are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative, or even neutral, but when they are positive.  So think a little less about managing your problems and a little more about managing your mindset.  Do your best to keep it positive.
  8. Start focusing inward more often. – Do your best to focus inward, as often as necessary, whenever you need a moment of clarity.  And remember that your time spent focusing inward and finding clarity doesn’t just help you—your mind is powerful and your thoughts create ripples in other people’s lives.  When you bring clarity into your life, you bring the best of yourself into everything you do—you tend to treat yourself and others better, communicate more constructively, do things for the right reasons, and ultimately improve the world you’re living in.  This is why praying, or just meditating on some positive mantras, on a daily basis can actually make a real-world difference in your life.  A heightened level of your conscious awareness—mental clarity—instantly elevates you in countless ways.  And then interesting things begin happening—good things that are outside of your immediate purview—good things you haven’t even thought of yet.
  9. Start embracing your humanness and giving yourself more credit. – “Human” is the only real label we are born with, yet we forget so easily.  To become attached to an opinionated label of depressed, divorced, diseased, rejected, or poor, is to be like the rain, that doesn’t know it is also the clouds… or the ice, that forgets it is water.  For we are far more than the shape we’re currently in.  And we, like the wind, water, and sky, will change forms many times in our lives, while forever remaining beautifully human.  Once we fully embrace our humanness, it’s almost funny to see how quickly we outgrow what we once thought we couldn’t live without… and then we fall in love with what we didn’t even know we wanted.  Take this to heart.  And don’t forget to pause once a day and appreciate how far you’ve come.  You’ve been through a lot, and you’ve grown a lot.  Give yourself credit for the steps you’ve taken, so you can step forward again with grace.
  10. Start taking the next small, insignificant step (one at a time, every day). – Sometimes it’s really hard to get going again.  This is how Angel and I felt a decade ago when we were stuck in a rut after simultaneously losing two loved ones to suicide and illness.  It was really hard to move when we didn’t think we had the strength to push forward.  But we pushed ourselves to take one tiny step every day—one journal entry, one workout, one honest conversation, and so forth—and it felt good, and we got stronger.  And believe it or not, that’s basically what I did again this morning.  I was struggling to motivate myself after a significant business opportunity fell through.  I was feeling defeated.  So I took the tiniest possible step.  Just turning on my computer, opening up the word processing application, and writing a single sentence.  Such an action is so small as to seem insignificant, and yet so easy as to be possible when I was feeling defeated.  And it showed me that the next step was possible, and the next.  And the end result is the blog post you’ve just finished reading.

Your turn…

The next step forward is yours for the taking.  Just pick one of the aforementioned points and start focusing on it for a few minutes every day.  The key is making sustainable shifts in your beliefs and behavior.  That means practicing each point gradually—one at a time, one day at a time, and then letting them build on one another.  Go from zero to ten over the course of a few months, not all at once.

Will it be easy?

Not likely.

As you marshal forward in life, adversity is inescapable.  And it’s much like walking into a turbulent winter storm—like the ones Amundsen and Scott inevitably encountered on their race in the South Pole—as you fight to push onward, you not only gain strength, but it tears away from you all but the essential parts of you that cannot be torn.  Once you come out of the storm, you see yourself as you really are in raw form, without the baggage that’s been holding you back.

And that makes all the difference—because it frees you to take the next step, and the next.

Recipe: Pepita Crunch

Recipe: Pepita Crunch

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Pepitas are one of my favourite foods! They are packed full of nutrients, are high protein, low carb and full of healthy fats. So not only do they keep you full for hours but they sneak in nearly 40% of your RDI for magnesium, are a fab source of iron for vegos but they also have plenty of the amino acid tryptophan which converts to serotonin, our happy hormone!! What isn’t to love about these little morsels. I add them into everything from oats to salads but this little snack slice is amazing!

I like to cut these into little cubes and divide them up into snap lock bags for snacks during the day. The recipe serves about 10 serves and if you cut them up into small cubes it makes about 4-5 cubes per serve… The perfect crunchy, sweet, salty snack!

250g pepitas

1tbsp sesame seeds or chia seeds

2 tbsp rice malt syrup

pinch of sea salt

Method:

1. Toast pepitas on a lined baking tray under the grill for 3-4 minutes. Toss them frequently and be sure not to let them burn. They should start making slight popping sounds when they are ready.

2. In a mixing bowl add the seeds, toasted pepitas, salt and rice malt syrup. Stir well until combined and work quickly! The heat from the pepitas will turn the rice malt syrup into a sticky glue.

3. Place the mixture onto a lined baking tray and pop into the oven at 180 degrees celsius and cook for 15 minutes or until golden.

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.

RECIPE: LIFE CHANGING LOAF

RECIPE: LIFE CHANGING LOAF

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INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pepitas

1/2 cup flaxseeds / linseeds

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes (you can also use rolled oats)

2 tbsp chia seeds

4 tbsp psyllium husks

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp honey

3 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 1/2 cups water

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Stir together wet and dry ingredients and mix until everything is soaked and the mixture becomes thick.
  5. Spoon mixture into a flexible silicon loaf pan (FYI these are amazing – if you don’t have one, get one!). Smooth out the top of the loaf with the back of a spoon.
  6. Allow to rest on bench for 2 hours until mixture has thickened and solidified enough that when you move away the sides of the silicon pan the loaf retains its shape.
  7. Place loaf in preheated oven and cook 20 minutes.
  8. Remove loaf from silicon loaf pan and place on a baking tray. Return to oven for a further 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool COMPLETELY (I learnt this the hard way) before slicing.
  10. Serve with avocado, peanut butter, chia jam, or any other delicious toppings that take your fancy!
How Sleep is Affecting your Weight

How Sleep is Affecting your Weight

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Okay I’ll be honest here. I am guilty. This world is so work-a-holic driven! There is so much pressure to be a #girlboss, to do it all, yet there are only so many hours in the day!! So what seems to go first every. single. time… sleep!

Sleep deprivation isn’t just about having a night or two without sleep. Sleep deprivation can sneak up on you like a thief in the night. Just cutting back an hour or two each night and then before you know it a week goes by and you start feeling a little off.

For me this is EXACTLY what happens. I think i’m killing it. I’m running fine on 6 hours sleep a night, I’m girl bossing away like a machine and then it creeps up on me. I start losing interest in training, I am not as happy and my appetite goes completely haywire. Most of the time at this stage I do not actually feel tired so I don’t immediately think oh just sleep it off. Most of the time in fact,  I think i’m just being lazy – so what does that mean – I beat myself up, go harder, grind more, find time to fit in training ect ect ect. Annnnd i’m sure you can guess what happens next. BOOM it hits me like a train. I am a mess. I am cranky. I am hungry. I am emotional. I am SO BLOODY TIRED.

Anyway my ability to throw a tantrum like a two year old wasn’t the purpose of this post so back on topic.

One thing I have noticed over time is the effect sleep has on appetite and food choices. This is something that I think is so important that you know because if like me, you may not even realise that it is a LACK OF SLEEP that is making you choose unhealthy foods, or eat more than you need. It is not your lack of willpower, it is your FATIGUE. It is your brain crying out for help!!

 

How does sleep affect your appetite?

On a hormonal level when we haven’t had enough sleep our hormones which regulate appetite change!  We have two primary hormones that affect our appetite ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin stimulates appetite while leptin suppresses appetite. These hormones usually find their own happy medium balance when we are well rested. However, when we are sleep deprived our bodies produce MORE ghrelin and less leptin (and in these studies sleep deprived was less than 8 hours – barely sleep deprivation in my books!!!).

So what does this do to our appetite? When we haven’t had enough sleep essentially we are waaaay more hungry and way less satisfied by food, so yepp you guessed it, we tend to eat more!

 

How does sleep affect your cravings?

When you are sleep deprived the reward centre of your brain actually responds more strongly to high calorie foods than when you are rested. What does this mean: when you eat or even see higher calorie, higher carbohydrate, higher sugar foods you actually get more pleasure from them in a sleep deprived state than you would in a well rested state. So that chocolate box on the desk at work is looking 10 times more tempting than it did previously.

This is something I couldn’t quite wrap my head around for so long. Whhhhhyyy when the chocolate box literally means nothing to me every other day, in fact it doesn’t even enter on my radar does it all of a sudden scream at me when I’m tired? Well that is why, our brains reward centre is going absolute bonkas over that chocolate box.

Just to make matters worse. When we are sleep deprived, brain imaging studies have shown that our behaviour control centre of the brain is less active.So not only does that chocolate box look a billion times more tempting than it normally does, your ability to control yourself is also lower. Fabbb.  So it is more tempting to us AND we have less ability to control our behaviour. Not a great combo if you are trying to eat healthy!

So how much sleep do we need to prevent this?!

This is individual, some people find they can run quite well on less sleep. In general the research states that for OPTIMAL health we should be getting between 8-9 hours of sleep a night. Don’t forget though it’s not just about how much sleep if you have having 9 hours of crapppy quality sleep you will still get the effects of sleep deprivation. Aim for 8-9 hours of QUALITY sleep. I find that this is even okay if it broken into 6-7 hours sleep overnight plus an hour or so nap in the afternoon.

How to get better sleep?

  • Prioritise sleep. Just like you’d prioritise other important events/habits make sleep something you don’t start cutting back on when life gets busy.
  • Meditate! Seriously can’t suggest meditation enough
  • Lights off – no phone, no computer, no kindles for at least 45 mins before bed
  • Get a bedtime routine. Have a little ritual you go through which helps your body wind down. Maybe it is shower, moisturise, meditate and then read. Try keep it consistent each night to let your body know that this means it is wind down time.
  • Keep your bedroom for sleep only! No computers/tvs in the bedroom.
  • No caffeine after lunch
  • Set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it. Get into bed at that time every day. Make it an appointment with yourself, an appointment with your health. Even if you don’t fall asleep right away get into bed with the lights out.
  • Try lavender or essential oils.
  • Make you bedroom a total zen zone!

 

PS If you know someone who would benefit from reading this – don’t forget to share it with them.