Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Clean eating FAQ and a progress pic

Today is Wednesday, which means my 3 1/2 yr old is at family day care. And I get to spend half my day without having to answer 250 questions… why Mummy… but why… but why!!! Her little brain is piecing together this wonderful world, and I must admit, I'm reminded daily of how confusing and magical it is. Trying to explain things like steam from the hot water, rain from the sky, and why some moths have 'eyes' on their wings.
Anyway! I digress…
I was out shopping, buying a birthday present for my 5 year old niece, when I went into my favourite kids shop in town (Kawaii Kids). Lovely Andrea, the owner, and I were discussing my love of clean eating, and how to implement in into our lives easier.
It's a question I get asked the most.
Where to start.
In a world full of easily accessible information, we seem to have been overloaded with information, ideas, fads, gimmicks and lots of bad, misinformed advertising. And now we are now all confused.
We really all know what we should and shouldn't eat. If we be honest with ourselves. But the 'quick fix' sells a lot better than the real answer. We all want our cake and be able eat it too.
"The best diet shake…….
Is the shake your booty makes when you run."

So I'm going to try and simplify it for you.

1. You need to get real about why you want to start eating clean.

Are you overweight, have bad skin, always tired, have no energy, on medication for lifestyle illness (type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc). Do you sleep poorly, struggle with moodiness, depression? Are you constantly getting sick? Do you suffer irritable bowel syndrome (constipation-diarrhoea, bloating, gas, pain)?
Your diet effects everything listed above (and more).
What you put in your mouth either fights disease, or feeds it.
What is your goal. And you need one.

Personally, mine was a combination.
I wanted to have more energy, sleep better, cure my IBS, and stop being so moody!

2. You need to get rid of the excuses. Period.
You need to own your behaviour.
I think this is the part where people struggle the most. We have excuses for everything. "It's too hard/I'm too busy/I don't have time/its too expensive/I'm too tired".
You need to be honest with yourself. How bad you do want your goal?
Stop the excuses. You're only cheating yourself. Changing your life is hard.
I came across a great little quote on instagram the other day-
"What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?"

3. Preparation. 
Throw out all your unhealthy food- or donate it to a shelter if you don't want to waste it.
Fill your cupboards with healthy foods and snacks. Get rid of anything processed and packaged. If you don't recognise and ingredient, chances are your body won't either. Chuck it.
Put aside 5 min each weekend and plan you meals for the week. Know you're going to a function? Think ahead and offer to bring a salad/ fruit platter- full of foods that fit your lifestyle.
Organise family activity which includes incidental exercise (walk to the park, swimming). Instead of catching up for coffee- grab a take away and talk and walk.
"The better I eat, the better I look. The better I look, the better I feel. The better I feel, the better I eat. I could get used to this cycle"

4. Commitment.
You're doing this for you. It may be hard in the beginning, but hang in there. Little by little you will notice your life changing.
Don't give in to the haters. People who mock you for wanting to change your lifestyle are only jealous of your commitment, dedication and motivation to better yourself. It's time to be selfish. It's not a bad thing. Look after yourself. It takes courage to step out from what you've always known and been taught. The old ways are not always the right ways. Look where they have gotten you. You starting may be the light switch for everyone else around you. Be that person. Keep going, you never know who you are inspiring.

5. Knowledge is power
I cannot emphasise this enough. We are never to old to learn new things. The more you learn about why clean eating is so important, the more likely you are to embrace it. I know how good the bread basket would taste. But I also know how horrible I will feel afterwards. Learn what all that sugar and processed food is doing to your liver, your brain, your bowel. You'll find it easier to pass on the jam doughnuts once you know what they are really doing to your body. Find and learn new recipes that are easy to cook. Ask questions. Lots of questions!!

What to read?
Some of my favourite books are
It starts with food by Dallas and Mel Hartwig
I quit sugar by Sarah Wilson
The paleo solution by Robb Wolf


Do I practice what I preach. Damn straight I do.
Here's some proof.

Me 40+6 days pregnant. And then 14 weeks later. I put on 18kg this pregnancy.
Clean eating and exercising. No shakes, no starving and no counting calories. I ate wholesome food. It was not easy, I work hard for my health. I'm still breastfeeding and running after a 3 1/2 year old and my husband works long hours. I'm committed. It's simple. And I LOVE how my lifestyle makes me feel.
                        Clair xx

Monday, 21 October 2013

Raw chocolate nut truffles

Sorry I've been a bit M.I.A on here lately!
I'm still alive, and still living and loving my paleo lifestyle- although, if you ever come to my house, do not expect to see a clean kitchen! I'm always cooking (which I love) but I don't love the mess! Oh well, you can't have everything!

Here's a recipe I threw together today for on of my most favourite things to eat! Raw chocolate nut truffles. It's pretty much a combination of everything I love!
They are sweet and satisfying, plus full of great fat, vitamins and minerals. Just try not to eat the entire mixture before rolling- like everything- moderation is the key ;)

Recipe mades approx 14 little balls
1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup walnuts

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablesp cacao powder (extra for dusting on top)
1 tablesp desiccated coconut
1 tablesp cacao nibs
1 teaspoon mable syrup
1 tablespoon chia seeds
pinch sea salt

Blitz everything in food processor until sticks together when pressed.
Roll into 14 little balls (approx a heaped teaspoon each ball)
Put in fridge to set.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Raw chocolate caramel cheesecake

Another cake! Yep. I love making these delicious raw creations! Full of nutritionally dense ingredients, this cake tastes naughty but doesn't have any nasties in it that you get with traditional cheesecakes.
It is dairy free, gluten free, egg free, grain free, refined sugar free and vegan friendly!
The cake has a slight banana taste to it, if you're not a fan of banana's omit them and add another cup of cashews (preferably soaked) and increase the coconut oil to 1/2 cup.

For best results, use a spring form pan. You can line it if you like.

1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup macadamia nuts (or almonds)
1 cup dates
1 tablespoon cacao
big pinch of sea salt flakes

Process all ingredients in food processor until ingredients stick together when pressed. 
Put into spring form pan, pressing down to make a firm base layer, going up the side of the pan slightly.  Put in freezer to set while making the cheesecake.

2 Bananas
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup cashews
1 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup cacao
1/2 cup coconut cream

Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Pour on top of base, and put in freezer to set for 1-2 hours.

Caramel sauce
1 cup medjool dates, soaked (discard water before use)
1 teaspoon mesquite powder (optional)
1 tablespoon almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut cream

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour on top of cheese cake, smooth out top. Return to freezer to set for 4 hours, or overnight.
Cut with a hot knife while still frozen. Allow to soften a little before eating...if you can wait.
Top with raw cacao nibs. Nom nom nom.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Raw carrot cake with 'cream cheese' cashew frosting

I love carrot cake. Sweet and moist with a hint of cinnamon spice and a sneak of coconut. I also love cream cheese- cashew cream cheese that is! Smooth, lemony, creamy goodness.....mouth watering deliciousness!!! Ommnomnom get in ma belly.
I found a good recipe and have changed it up to suit my way of eating- gluten free, grain free, dairy free. It is also egg free and refined sugar free too.
It is wonderfully moist, dense, and totally satisfying.
So here it is!
 Don't mind my lack of food styling skill....

This is before it was covered in the cashew frosting

 Wala! My old cake decorating skills have come in handy....

The cake above is made in a very small (12cm diameter) spring form pan- so I halved the recipe below. Since I'm terrible at not eating the entire cake in one go, I thought I'd better make a small version...

Use a spring form pan about 25cm diameter

Cashew frosting-
2 cups cashews (preferably soaked overnight, or for at least 4 hours, then discard water)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons of agave (or sweetener of choice)
2 tablespoons of coconut

Blend everything up in the food processor until smooth- if it seems too dry, add a little water. Set aside. Try not to eat...

2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups almond meal
2 cups pitted medjool dates
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Process carrots until very fine. Add everything else, process until combined.
Press 1/2 mixture into bottom of spring form pan. Spread cashew frosting over top 1cm thick. Put in freezer for 2hours. Press the rest of the mixture on top. Freeze again for 2 hours.
Open spring form pan carefully, cover with rest of cashew frosting.
A small slice is perfect accompanying a cup of tea.