Heal Your Body

I have battled for many years with my weight and self-image, and over the years I have jumped around trying all different types of eating styles and methods looking for ways to get my body to respond to how I wanted it to.

What I have learnt is that I have had a love-hate relationship with food, and in actual fact, it wasn't about food at all, but about the way I was feeling about myself. Instead of loving my body and nourishing it, I would feed it a lot of negative talk and self-doubt which would manifest as stress, and therefore would not enable my body to work optimally.

More recently, and especially the past few months, I have tried to release all the negativity towards food and weight and so I wanted to share with you some of my tricks.

1) Don't beat yourself up for what you ate yesterday

No one eats perfectly... including me!! And really, what is the definition of perfect??? Take each meal as an opportunity to nourish your body and feed it with love. It's not serving your body to think about what you may not have eaten correctly and this will not assist you to reach your goals.


2) Practice mindful eating

Sit, chew and breathe with food! Try to remove any distractions, T.V's, phones, computers, iPads etc.... The more we use our senses and appreciate the food that we eat, the more our brain will be signalled that it's satisfied and therefore, we will be less likely to overeat.

3) Enjoy your food

Don't turn an enjoyable experience into a stressful one! Do not allow the negative thoughts of "I should not be eating this" or "I'm a failure and have no control over what I eat." This will increase the amount of stress your body will be experiencing, which in turn will increase your cortisol and potential fat storage.

4) Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations

Affirmations have a really powerful effect that can change your beliefs, behaviours and actions. They can help improve your relationship with food.

5) Stop comparing!

With social media these days we are surrounded by photos of beautiful women and perfect bodies but what you don't know is all the potential photoshopping that is happening in the background to create the image that you have seen.

Also remember, your body and nutritional needs are different from your friends, your sister and even your mother!! What works for one person may not necessarily work for you. Focus your energy on learning to understand your body and what works for you!

6) Are you hungry, or is there something emotional going on?

Learning to identify your hunger signs as compared to eating to satisfy your emotional needs can have a huge impact on your relationship with food.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to identify the differences:

Did you skip a meal or ‘forget to eat’?

What did I eat in my last meal and how long ago was it?

Do you use food as a reward mechanism?

What is going on for me right now?

Always stop and identify what it could be and if you realise that you are not actually hungry, then do something else that is pleasurable.

Go for a walk, massage, hot bath, manicure, watch your favourite TV show with a cuppa, read a book or have a chat with your bestie!

Remember, we only have ONE body. Feed it with the nutrients, love and care it deserves.

Treasure it, love it and it will love you back.

Cheese and Herb Muffins

Making sandwiches for the kids everyday can become boring, so I like to change it up a little. These savoury cheese and herb muffins are the perfect swap and are great as snacks too. Packed with a lot of flavour and goodness, you're kids will absolutely love them. They also freeze really well so it's always handy to have an extra batch prepared and ready to go.

Ingredients:

3 cups Spelt flour (or flour of your choice)
50g butter
3 tablespoons mixed dry herbs (I used rosemary, parsley and oregano)
1 cup grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1.5 cups Almond milk (or milk of choice)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease your muffin tins and set aside.

Place the flour in a large bowl and using your hands rub in the butter.

Add your dry herbs and cheese and mix.

Add your eggs and milk and mix so that it is all well combined. Be careful not to over mix.

Spoon the mixture into your muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins

Pumpkin Fritters

Moving away from the traditional potato fritters, here is a lower-GI version using pumpkin. These are so light and fluffy that you'll almost mistake them for your breakfast pancakes!

Ingredients:

500g pumpkin, steamed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons spelt flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
cracked pepper to taste.
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

Steam your pumpkin until it is soft enough to mash. Pat the pumpkin dry once it is finished steaming and then transfer into a bowl to mash.

Add your eggs, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper and mix so that it is well combined.

Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan on medium heat and then add 1.5-2 tablespoons of the mixture for each fritter. Allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and then carefully turn them over and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Once cooked, remove the fritters onto a plate with paper towel to allow some of the oil to be soaked and then serve.

Makes 10 fritters

Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

Bliss balls are a fabulous snack or after dinner 'treat' and what's even better about these ones is that they have a vegetable too! They are great for on the go and are super simple to make.

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded carrot
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup desiccated coconut (plus extra for rolling)
8 Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until it is all well combined and smooth.

Roll 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into balls and roll in the desiccated coconut.

Allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes before eating. Store in a glass container in the fridge

Makes 16-20 balls.

Veggie Packed Chicken Balls

These balls are a favourite for my kids and it's a great way to make sure that they are getting their vegetables too without too much fuss. On a bed of rice or pasta, you have a simple, complete meal that takes minimal time to prepare. They freeze really well too so make sure you double the batch!

Ingredients:

600g chicken mince
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup broccoli florets
1 corn cob, kernels removed
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 garlic clove, minced

Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon coconut balsamic vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
½ fresh parsley, chopped

Method:

Start preparing your meal by steaming the corn by your preferred method and then remove the kernels and set aside.

The next process will be making the sauce. Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof saucepan on medium heat and sauté the onions for approximately 5 minutes. Add your mustard, paprika and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add your tomatoes, stock and vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow it to cook whilst you prepare the meatballs.

Pre-heat your oven to 120 degrees.

To prepare your meatballs, place your cauliflower and broccoli in a high speed blender and blitz for 5 seconds until it resembles ‘rice’.

In a large bowl, place your chicken mince, cauliflower, broccoli, corn and seasonings. Mix well so that everything is combined.

With wet hands, roll the mixture into balls and place them in the simmering sauce. Once all the balls have been rolled, place the saucepan in the oven and cook for 2 hours.

Makes 12-16 balls (depending on size)

Chocco Smoothie

Everyone loves chocolate, and being able to 'indulge' in a chocolate smoothie for breakfast is sure to get anyone leaping out of bed. This smoothie only has a few ingredients but has the perfect balance. Not only does it taste great, but it will keep you feeling full for several hours.

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana, chopped
2 tablespoons raw cacao
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 60 sec until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass and enjoy.

Serves 1

Gluten Free Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie

This gluten free pie has everything you need for a complete meal. The filling is packed with protein and complex, fibre rich carbohydrates whilst the almond meal base gives you that dose of healthy fats that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. You can also change up the filling to include as many vegetables and flavours that you desire.

Ingredients

2 cups blanched almond flour
pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, sliced
500g chicken thigh fillets, diced
200g mushrooms, sliced
4 silverbeet leaves, stalk removed and shredded
½ cup of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste


Method

Preheat oven to 175 degrees

Prepare your dough by placing the almond flour and sea salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the coconut oil and egg and pulse until it forms a ball.

Press mixture into a non-stick 24cm pie dish and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until it browns slightly. Remove crust from oven once cooked and set aside keeping the oven on.

Prepare your filling whilst crust is baking. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on a medium heat. Add the leek and saute for 5 minutes. Then add the thigh fillets, stirring regularly so that the meat does not stick and leeks don’t burn. Once chicken has been browned, add the mushrooms, silverbeet, vegetable stock and seasonings and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared pie crust and then bake in the oven for a further 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a beautiful side salad.

Serves 4

Nut-Free Protein Balls

In between meal times can be very difficult for some. So having these balls in the fridge will make it easier to eat healthier at these times. One little ball will satisfy you thanks to the goodness from the good fats of the coconut and the protein source from the powder. It's a fun way to get this kids involved by having them help roll the balls.

Ingredients:

6 Medjool dates, pitted
½ cup desiccated coconut (plus extra for rolling)
¼ cup chocolate protein powder
2 tablespoons raw cacao
1/3 cup coconut oil

Method:

Mix all ingredients together in a blender until it is smooth and well combined. Using slightly damp hands, take approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture and shape into balls. Roll in the desiccated coconut and store in glass container in the fridge.

Makes 16 balls

Apple Spice Cake

Being prepared and having healthy snacks ready and waiting is the best way to be able to avoid reaching for those unhealthy treats that are not going to do you any good. This cake freezes really well so you can portion it up and have it ready for the kids to take to school.

Ingredients:

1 red apple, grated
¼ cup coconut oil
5 large eggs
1/3 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ teaspoon bi-carb soda
50g honey
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees. Prepare loaf tin with lined baking paper.

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour mixture into the pan and bake for 45-60 minutes depending on your oven. The cake is ready when you place a skewer through the middle and it comes out clean.

Once cake is ready, gently remove the cake from the tin and allow it to cool on a wired rack.

This cake freezes really well therefore is great to have ready and waiting to include in your lunchboxes. I will take it out the night before to thaw out on the bench.

Makes 12 slices

Apple Chips

This makes a really easy and tasty snack for our kids. It provides a little variety to eating just a piece of fruit, yet doesn't remove any of the fibre or nutritional value.

Ingredients:

2 red apples, cored
Coconut oil spray
Cinnamon

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 120 degrees and prepare two trays with baking paper.

Thinly slice your apples into circular shapes and spread over the trays so that they don’t overlap each other.

Spray with some coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. Do this on both sides.

Place it in the oven for 2 hours, turning them half way. After the 2 hours, turn the oven off and open the door slightly, leaving the apples in the warm oven to crisp up.

Transfer into a well-sealed container.

Serves 4

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