Simple & healthy choc-nut thick shake

If you are looking for a totally delicious and healthy snack or dessert idea or even as a substitute to your daily smoothie repertoire, look no further than this devine and simple choc-nut thick shake. It is just like a chocolate sundae but free of nasties and full of nutritious goodness for you and the entire family. You don’t need to feel guilty when you want a little sweet treat…. and you can even give it to the kids and they will never know it’s packed with healthy ingredients! WINNING MAMA!

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RECIPE (1 large or 2 small serves – easily double the recipe for the whole family)

Ingredients

1/2 Avocado

1/4 cup almonds

1 large frozen banana, chopped

1 cup almond milk

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

1 tbsp raw cacao powder (more if you prefer strong chocolate flavour)

You may wish to garnish with extra cacao powder, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, chia seeds or anything else you like

Method

Place all ingredients in blender (except your toppings) and blend until smooth and creamy enough to drink.

Pour into glasses and garnish with preferred toppings and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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For more recipes and healthy living ideas and motivation, come and check us out on Facebook or Instagram – we would love to meet you!

Kelly xx

 

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One small step… one giant leap (our life with FPIES)

This blog post has been a long time coming but I feel like now is the right time because it is a positive story rather than a negative one about our life with Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES). I have briefly written about our youngest daughter Indie’s, rare food intolerance before but to give you a very brief background, Indie has acute reactions to certain (unknown) foods and the acute reaction symptoms are profuse and prolonged (usually 2 hours) vomiting until she goes into shock (pale, clammy, unresponsive, high heart rate, low blood pressure, dehydration). It is scary and we have ended up in the Emergency Department 4 times, where unfortunately they have not even know what FPIES is. There is no cure, there is no testing and there is nothing you can do once a reaction begins (except get to hospital, fluids and monitor). The symptoms are never instant, for us they have always been exactly 3 hours after ingestion of a trigger food and it has never been on first exposure of that food (it has always been on day 3-4 of eating the trigger food). All of these things make it very difficult to know what she will react to.¬†FPIES is a non-IgE food allergy, which unlike classic food allergies, cannot be diagnosed with readily available food allergy tests such as skin prick tests.

We were extremely fortunate to get an early diagnosis because our Paediatrician was familiar with FPIES and had previously diagnosed it in other children. For this, I am so thankful as there is a huge number¬†of undiagnosed cases as it is so rare and often gets mistaken for other gastrointestinal illnesses or ‘just a virus’. ¬†So, we now have to test every single food that she eats until we know it is a ‘pass’ or a safe food. Indie is about to turn two in June and she has passed lots of new foods, which we are so grateful for because there are a lot of children with FPIES that have absolutely NO safe foods and they are fed through a nasogastric tube. A typical new food test for us involves choosing a food which we believe has many nutritional benefits because we want her diet as broad and healthy as it can be. We test it over 5 days, starting with only 1 teaspoon and then increasing to 2 teaspoons on day 2 etc. If she has not had a reaction by day 5, we take a 2 day break from this food and then reintroduce it again on day 7. We do this because a reaction can occur after you let the gut rest from the new food and then reintroduce it. It is only at that point that we consider it to be a truly safe food.

Her major trigger foods that we know of so far are: Sweet Potato, Avocado, Dairy, Egg and Rice

Up until this point, Indie had never eaten anything processed or packaged. We buy fresh single ingredient foods (vegetables, fruit, fish, beef, quinoa) and cook everything for her. We usually do a big weekly cook up and freeze her food into little portions. For the first 14 months of her life, her diet was very limited and it was hard to fill her because her food was predominantly fruit and vegetables and her diet lacked ‘stodgy’ food. She has a fantastic appetite and loves all food that she eats, I just wish we could introduce a whole heap of new foods at once instead of the constant trialling period. She is a healthy, active, happy, funny and typical 2 year old she just takes longer to fill her diet with the¬†same foods as everyone else.

The best news so far on our journey is that in the last few weeks (at almost 2 years of age and being extremely interested in food and what everyone else is eating) we decided to bravely let Indie trial ‘Weet-Bix’. This was to be her first multiple ingredient, packaged food and to be honest we were all really excited. Seems like such a small thing…..

The hardest part is actually allowing her only 1 teaspoon of the new food when she loves it and wants more. Imagine how mean we feel when we give her a tiny taste and then say “you can’t have anymore until tomorrow…..”! However, she has quickly progressed to having one and a half Weet-Bix every morning for breakfast (with coconut milk) and she absolutely loves it and would eat more if we let her. I can’t believe that something so common and ‘normal’ for so many kids, is a huge step for us and it opens up lots of opportunities for new and exciting foods.

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I am so passionate about raising awareness about this rare condition and I am constantly researching and talking to as many people as I can about it. If you want more information about FPIES you can head to the FPIES Website here . If you have a story to share about FPIES, I would love to hear form you. We have never actually met anyone else with an FPIES kid so it would be great to connect with others.

Thanks for taking the time to read about our journey so far. It is an ongoing journey but we are a constantly moving forward and we are well aware that we have a much more mild case than lots of other amazing FPIES families out there!! xx

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IRONDAD… The fitness fanatic balancing act!

Jason or IronDAD (as he is affectionately known on my page), is my amazing Partner and is incredibly dedicated to his fitness and triathlon training (as well as his family). He is currently 25 days out from competing in his third full Ironman Triathlon in Cairns on 14th June 2015. Jason also works in the Fitness Industry and is completing his Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise Physiology). He is often asked how he fits it all in. I thought it would be good to hear from him on FitM.U.M about how to find the right balance and fit in everything that is important to YOU.  He will offer a different perspective and to show that no matter how busy you are you can definitely have fitness goals and ambitions and work bloody hard to achieve them.  

Melbourne Ironman 2014

Melbourne Ironman 2014

I AM AN IRONMAN DAD:

                -FAMILY WITH 2 KIDS (8yr old & 10 month old)

                -WORK 38+ HOURS PER WEEK and STUDY (UNI) PART TIME

                -TRAIN 10-18 HOURS PER WEEK

Glenelg Olympic Distance Triathlon 2015

Glenelg Olympic Distance Triathlon 2015

IRONMAN Training is very demanding not only physically and mentally but also on family and work life. I recently became a Dad again and nothing has changed drastically. I am busier, I am trying to find the time but I have a goal and am very focused on hitting the goal, QUALIFY FOR KONA (the epitome of Ironman/Triathlon – to Race in Hawaii)!!!. My number one motivator though, is my Family. Kel is the most supporting wife anyone could ask for, I know she would prefer me home most of the time but she is also committed to my goal and that means a lot to me and also¬†means I am accountable to another person. She always manages to add some questions and encouragement after a session; Have you done enough? What about the Run? Did you give it your all? You need to go faster!…

Finding the right balance is tough, but you need to really sit down and plan out a normal day and be honest with yourself. Everyone can fit in 30 minutes a day somewhere, and it is all about making the most of the time you have and prioritising. When people say Ironman, we mean a 3.8km swim followed by a 180km ride and finishing with a 42.2km run (YES, THIS IS A MARATHON). People think you’re crazy, you need to train 20-30 hours a week to complete it. If I was a pro and this was how I made my living then yes. But I’m not Pro, I don’t train anywhere near that. My training will vary between 10-18 hours a week depending where I am at with my training plan and what I am focussing on. I have lots of friends that train for an ironman on 10-12 hours max a week and complete it in under 13 hours. The key is to have a PURPOSE to each session. If you have 30 minutes for a bike trainer or rpm session you make sure that you are hitting Heart Rate targets, maximum effort, or if it is for recovery each session has a purpose for doing it. If there is no purpose it is a waste of time. It is all about being effective and efficient!

 Tracking workouts gives you very important information, hours trained, speeds, distance covered, Heart rates and writing down exactly what you did each session. This allows you to see how you are going week to week and to see improvements in times/distances/heart rates. This is something that I not only do for myself but also for other people to help them get the most out of their training for their personal/specific goals. Please get in contact with us if this is something you are interested in or would like further information on. You will get the best results from having a clear and specific goal, training plan and recording information. 

 KEY THINGS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR TRAINING ARE:

          HAVING A PURPOSE/GOAL (Long Term Goal, Short Term Goal & Session Goal

          TRACKING & PLANNING

          MAKING IT A PART OF YOUR LIFE

          REMEMBER YOU HAVE 168 HOURS IN A WEEK, DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO SPEND ALL THOSE HOURS

Get out there and TRAIN!

FitM.U.M & IronDAD xx

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A FitMUM’s busy week… if you can’t find the time, make the time!

It’s no secret that there is a lot to fit into a week, especially for mummies. I am lucky enough to currently be on maternity leave (bubs is now 4 months old) but some weeks I still struggle to fit everything in to a week. It’s crazy! This week was quite a busy one for us so I thought I would use it as an example and elaborate on how I make time (even if it’s only a small amount of time) for myself and to make sure I fit some form of exercise in every day.

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Like a lot of you, it was back to school for my eldest daughter this week after a busy and fun filled holidays and it was immunisations for my youngest. Irondad is in training for a short course duathlon on Sunday which he has set a pretty high expectations and goals for himself (EDITED post race to say that he smashed it by the way but that’s a different story!). We’ve had plenty of appointments, visits and of course all the household jobs that don’t do themselves as much as we’d like them too. So at the beginning of the week I knew I would have to work hard to fit in my exercise and not use any of that as an excuse to let it slide. It is easy to say “stuff it, I’ll just skip it today” but that can lead to the next day and the next day and before you know it you’ve changed your habits again. That is self-sabotage, try hard not to head down that path. Keep your motivation high and remind yourself of your goals. I am constantly reassessing my short term and long term goals to help me stay focussed and always have something to work towards. I do this in life and in fitness and I find that it really helps me stay motivated, accountable and achieve things.

My week from Sunday to Sunday included 7 runs (1 treadmill interval training run and 6 road runs) ranging from 4km – 7.5km, 3 x HIIT sessions, 1 Gym session and stretching and foam rolling (my old muscles can get a bit sore after running and foam rolling is perfect for easing those knots in your muscles).

Even on the days where I think it is going to be hard to fit it in, I find opportunity when I can and try my best to make it happen. Two good examples of this which I had to do this week were:

* Thursday my little one had her immunistations late in the afternoon and I hadn’t had a chance to do anything beforehand. That night we were having dinner at my parent’s house (they have a treadmill) and I didn’t want to be too far away from bubs, so going out for a run was out of the question as was the gym. I planned to get to my Parent’s house a bit early, got baby to sleep and did a 40 min interval session on their treadmill. It was actually a great sessions because it broke up my running week and provided intervals and heart rate training that I wouldn’t otherwise get on a road run. I was sweating hard, burnt mega calories and it gave my dodgy knee a bit of a rest from the road * all boxes ticked*.

* Friday I had a full on day so once Irondad got home we decided to do our weekly food shopping as we knew we had a busy weekend and wouldn’t get it done. Never one to miss an opportunity, once we had loaded everything into the car, including the children, off they went home with Dad and I ran home from the Supermarket. It is only 4.5km to our house but at least I fit it in, otherwise it just wasn’t going to happen. Do you know, the bonus of this is that by the time I got home all the shopping was put away too. I also did a quick 10 minute HIIT session out the back when I got home to finish the session off. I am usually dressed in my workout gear, you never know when you can improvise and squeeze in a quick run when you are out and about.

As you can see it is not rocket science and if I can fit these little exercise sessions in, hopefully you can too. Sometimes you just need to think outside the box and use 20 minutes when you can grab it. The shorter the timeframe, the harder you should push yourself! It all counts. I am just an average mum like everyone else, who’s time is in demand but all I do is make sure I plan and prioritise so that I don’t miss out! I am so thankful I have such a supportive family too.

If you have to go somewhere as a family on the weekend make sure you wear your workout gear (or at least have it with you in the car along with a hat and suncream and earphones if you like to run with music – be prepared and you can’t go wrong) and get dropped off on the way home and run there. Make sure you pick a distance you know you can comfortably run and increase it each time. I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I have done this. Sometimes the family even pace me in the car and drive along side me for part of the run. My 7 year old loves yelling out the window to encourage me.

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If you can’t find the time, make the time!

I have done previous posts about the importance of planning and having a goal, read here¬†https://fitmumblog.com/2014/09/29/good-choices-planning-a-goal-results/ it’s the only way to get things done. So, even a busy week can be just as productive, it’s what you do with your time that counts. The choice is YOURS.

30km run week