Healthy Banana Oat Muesli Bars

This is our go-to, easy and delicious muesli bar recipe, which is great for healthy snacks, lunch boxes and even for a yummy evening treat with a cup of tea.

They are perfect for using up any bananas that are a bit too ripe. You can add anything you like really. We like ours packed with fruit, nuts and seeds so that’s how we came up with this recipe, but you can adjust quantities to your taste.

healthy muesli bar 1

Ingredients

3-4 ripe bananas

2 1/2  cups of traditional rolled oats

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup finely chopped dried dates

1/4 cup diced dried apricots

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

2-3 TBS pepitas

2 TBS chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

3 TBS Rice Malt Syrup (optional) or you could use natural honey or maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 160-180 degrees. Grease a square slice tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Mash bananas until smooth. Add all other ingredients (ensure your almonds, dates, apricots are finely chopped). Stir well and mix until well combined. Spoon into prepared slice pan and use back of spoon to press down firmly in pan (this ensure it slices well once cooked).
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Allow slice to cool before cutting into small bars (sometimes we can’t wait that long and slice it anyway as we like our first piece still warm hehe). Serve.
  4. Store in airtight container in the fridge.

healthy muesli bar

Enjoy xx

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Book Review : Clean Food – Clear Thinking

I was asked to review the health and wellness book, Clean Food – Clear Thinking written by Naturopath Karina Francois. I was thrilled to be sent a copy as I love reading everything about health, wellness, nutrition and mindset. I was a bit slow getting around to it due to my Personal Training business really picking up and getting busy now that it is spring, but boy I’m glad I made time to read it over the last few weeks!

Clean Food -Clear Thinking by Karina Francois

Clean Food -Clear Thinking by Karina Francois

Karina Francois is an international author, entrepreneur, leading health expert and Naturopath and this book really outlines how you can achieve optimum health through nutrition which leads to happiness in other areas of your life.

The book starts with a great overview of the basic foundations for healthy living and explains nutrition and cellular needs, including easy to understand information about Protein, Carbs and Fats for our bodies. It then goes on to explain everything our body needs for optimum health. There is a fantastic chapter on detoxification, digestion and food sensitivities which I found really interesting, especially as our 1 year old daughter has a rare food intolerance called Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES). I am constantly researching and making it my mission to find out everything I can about this condition and raise awareness, so it means I have become much more aware of food sensitivities etc.  I have become a sponge for information on this topic and it has become a bit of a passion of mine, hence why I am also currently studying my Diploma of Nutrition and Dietetics for Personal Trainers!

Part 2 is all about Mindset – Psychology of Health Management. This is really interesting stuff and goes into great detail about the brain and making health management and weight loss management a life change. Once again, this is a topic that I really love and it really helps in my field to have a good grasp on it as it is something I deal with in my clients. I promote a holistic approach to health, wellness and fitness and I truly believe that it needs to be a lifestyle change and something that you can easily adopt and carry with you throughout your entire life.

It then goes on to a fantastic section all about self image, self esteem and discovering your ‘why’. There are some great self esteem builders, affirmations and assessments and checklists to keep you on track and understanding a lot more about yourself and your self image. This is something I really got a lot of benefit from and it something that you could keep going back to over time! A lot of the content and philosophies are in line with my own so I will be able to use a lot of the information with my clients which is fantastic!

The final part is recipes and meal plans. Now, I LOVE a good cook book and a new recipe and this book does not disappoint. There are some awesome and simple recipes in this book and the thing I like the most is they don’t contain a thousand ingredients that you will probably never use again. They are easy to follow and perfect for health conscious, busy families. A few of my favourites include the healthy muesli bars, banana loaf, zucchini, carrot and walnut bread, kale and mushroom frittata and the flourless chocolate cake/muffins.

Delicious Healthy Muesli Bars - Recipe from the book

Delicious Healthy Muesli Bars – Recipe from the book

If you are looking to change your habits, lifestyle, mindset and health and really achieve optimum health then this is a great book to help set you on the right path! I would highly recommend it and I really enjoyed reading it.

Let me know if you have read any good health and wellness books lately that I should check out.

Check out my facebook page here

Enjoy xx

FitM.U.M 8 Week Summer Body Transformation Check-In

The lucky winner of our FitM.U.M 8 Week Summer Body Transformation, Cassie is just about to start week 4 and will be half way through this 8 week program. However, knowing Cassie and the amazing changes she has made and the way she has embraced the exercise and nutrition changes, this will just be the start of a whole new lifestyle for her. I am so impressed with her motivation and determination to work hard no matter what. She is a  wife and a busy mum of 4 and works part time while trying to juggle everything else that a busy life entails. She has previously suffered anxiety and depression and I am so glad that she entered this competition and made the commitment to do something for herself and start her journey towards a healthier, happier and more active life (for her and her family!!). What a fantastic role model for her children!

As well as seeing Cassie’s physical strength improve and fitness increase, one of the best things as a Trainer is to actually to witness her confidence and self belief grow. She is changing her life and becoming a much stronger and happier person because of it. The workouts I have given her have been HARD but she has done every single one of them with no excuses!

Cassie enjoying a strength workout

Cassie enjoying a strength workout

Let’s hear from Cassie about her first three weeks of her program:

Wow! What an amazing three weeks it’s been. Kelly has given me a workout plan every week consisting of body weight exercises, weights and cardio. She also provided me with some awesome food advice.

I was totally shocked when I read my first workout plan. I thought there was no way I was going to do it. I had six days of workouts with one rest day and Monday consisted of two workouts!
But I did it! I completed the whole week and I felt amazing.
During week two Kelly came to do a PT session. I was really nervous, but didn’t need to be, she made me feel completely comfortable and didn’t mind helping me to correct my technique and to pick her brain.
It’s now week three and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.
Next week I go for my massage I won as part of the competition, can’t wait.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Thank You everyone for your support and kind words of encouragement, I was in tears reading all of your messages x
Cassie.
I hope this story may help, inspire or motivate someone else who has their own challenges and may be starting their health and fitness journey (or thinking about starting). Set yourself goals and do it for yourself! Today is your day to get started.
Head over and join our wonderful FitM.U.M community on Facebook to stay motivated with other likeminded people!
xx

FitM.U.M – A day on my plate (limiting processed carbohydrates)

After feeling very average for a few weeks (due to increased ‘winter’ carb consumption) and experiencing bloating, cramping, feeling sick and decreased energy levels, I decided to try and go without processed carbohydrates, mainly bread, pasta, crackers, porridge and things I was eating too much. I found myself in a downhill carb spiral and the more I was eating the more I would crave it. These foods weren’t filling me for long either so I was eating a lot more in a day and because I am busy I started opting for quick, easy options like toast, crackers, even crumpets!!! I knew I needed a break to detox my body and hopefully loose the bloated feeling and the cravings. I also knew this was probably going to be hard! Today was day 4 and I have actually surprised myself at how well I am doing and more so how good I am feeling. What a difference. I am beginning to plan my snacks and meals better again and ensure that I have healthy options on hand so I’m not tempted by quick fixes. For me, it is all about being organised and prepared. If I don’t feel like it is an effort, I am much more likely to succeed once I’ve put my mind to something. Here is how my day on a plate looked today.

For breakfast I had eggs, with avocado and cherry tomatoes. I have had this twice this week (once with the addition of mushrooms too) and it fills me for longer than high carb breakfasts which I like as I am busy in the mornings and hate feeling hungry straight after I eat. I had one cup of Green Tea with lemon with this. I always start my day with Green Tea. eggs breakfast Friday’s are one of my busiest days for Personal Training and business so I ate my morning snack in between clients. It was a mix of raw almonds, cashews and cranberries. I knew I would be out a lot so I made sure I packed my container with me to snack on. I also drank 1L of water before 11am.

Lunch today was a bit out of the ordinary for me as I needed to fit in my long run (14km) so I had a smoothie. I usually have smoothies as a snack or breakfast rather than lunch but it worked well today and filled me up as well as being a great post run drink. smoothie lunch Dinner tonight was my delicious dairy free low carb Vegetable Frittata. I had a productive day yesterday and made this yummy Frittata, the eggs make it high in protein. fritatta dinner I had quite a bit of interest yesterday’s post on my FitM.U.M Facebook Page about the Frittata so I promised to share the recipe. Now, I actually didn’t follow a recipe, I just knew what vegetables I wanted in it and that I need dairy free so I made it myself and it worked very well and tasted delicious, if I do say so myself. Obviously, you can choose your preferred vegetables and you can also add cheese etc to it to make it to your liking.

FitM.U.M’s Dairy Free Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato (cubed)

1 red onion (diced)

1 medium zucchini (diced)

8 cherry tomatoes (cut in halves)

100g baby spinach

100g premium lean leg ham, chopped (alternatively you could use bacon or omit all together for vegetarian option)

6 mushrooms (thinly sliced)

8 eggs

1/4 cup oat milk (use any milk you like)

1 TBSP minced garlic

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 185 degrees.

2. Whisk eggs and oat milk with a pinch of sea salt

3. Heat Pan or skillet and add garlic, sweet potato, mushrooms, onion and zucchini with a pinch of paprika and ground pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables soften. fritatta prep 4. Add whisked eggs and stir through

5. Add baby spinach, ham and cherry tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for only a minute until spinach wilts slightly.
6. Pour into baking dish and bake in oven for approx. 30-40 minutes or until eggs are set and it is brown on top. fritatta raw 7. Remove from oven once it is cooked and let cool in baking dish and slice when cool fritatta slicefritatta cookedI have drank 2.5L of water today which helps curb cravings. I also made a little ‘clean’ sweet treat to enjoy tonight as I have been very good this week and not indulged, so I thought being a Friday night, why not!!! It is just banana and strawberries with my mix of peanut butter/cacao chocolate. Extremely Yummy and I am literally enjoying them now with a cup of Peppermint tea. treat treat 1 I hope this has provided a little insight into my low processed carb detox that I have been doing this week. I can honestly say I am not bloated or sick after I eat and I felt great on my 14km run today! This is not a long term elimination, I am planning to slowly introduce carbohydrates (such as rye bread, mountain bread, porridge) I will just limit them and only eat them in small quantities.

For those who are interested, I will keep you updated how I go! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see my workouts, food and recipes and our busy but active life as a family of 4 in Adelaide!

Enjoy xx

FitM.U.M Product Review – Polar Loop Activity Tracker

I was lucky enough to be contacted a few weeks ago by the Marketing Coordinator of RunStopShop, a fantastic online fitness store (http://www.runstopshop.com.au/) to be a brand advocate for them and try a few of the awesome products that they stock.

runstopshop logo

This blog post is one of two posts to review the first two products I received. As well as ooohhing and ahhhing over the many, many fitness products, I also spent some time finding out more about the company and I love that their purpose is simple: to provide the products which enable you to get the most out of your active lifestyle, and enable you to reach your goals faster. This is something I’m all for…. as a busy mum of 2, who is not only on my own fitness journey, but who also motivates and trains many mums who are all embarking on regaining their health, fitness and active lifestyle! The timing could not have been more perfect, I was literally in the market for a fitness activity tracker and was researching different brands so when I saw the Polar Loop 24/7 Activity Tracker I knew I had to have it. It looks great, is extremely easy to set up and is very comfy to wear.

Polar Loop from RunStopShop

Polar Loop from RunStopShop

It’s features include:

  • Heart rate (when you are wearing the Polar H7)
  • Calorie expenditure
  • Total steps
  • Time of day
  • Activity Benefit gives feedback about your day, week, month
  • Waterproof

I love that it is simple to use and displays all the important information at the touch of a button but also has a smartphone app and website syncing which provides an accurate insight into your everyday activity and movement & sleep habits. I am definitely someone who is driven by having goals and targets to reach so, in the week that I have been wearing it, I have been so motivated to reach my daily fitness activity goal of 14,000 steps. Another feature I really like is that it tells you how much more activity you need to do to reach your goal (eg. jog for 30 mins or walk for 1hr 15). So far, I have achieved my goal each day.

As a mum of a 10 month old baby, who isn’t the best sleeper, I am up A LOT during the night to breastfeed her, so even though I am aware I am getting a very interrupted nights sleep, it has been good to see how much restful sleep I am getting at night. It accurately shows the times I get up and I find it quite amusing to see the tracking of me walking to her room (blue activity lines) and then sitting in the chair feeding her (grey activity lines) and then walking back to my room again and going back to sleep….. hey, at least I’m getting extra steps in my day. There are 24 usable hours in every day…. it’s no wonder I’m reaching my target.

Polar Loop App - Activity Breakdown

Polar Loop App – Activity Breakdown

So, although I have only been wearing my Polar Loop Activity Tracker for 1 week, I am hooked! I only take it off to charge it and I am much more aware of my movement and activity patterns and I am making sure I am staying active throughout the day. If you are looking for extra motivation to help you on your fitness journey and want to track your daily fitness, activity and sleep then I highly recommend using an activity tracker and, personally, I am loving my Polar Loop. I think it is on sale at the moment and you can shop this awesome product here.

Enjoy xx

Your reason or your excuse… which is greater?

It happens to all of us, sometimes we just don’t want to exercise. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter, there will be a day where you just do not want to get out there and get it done, plain and simple! But it’s funny (almost ironical) because those are usually the days that if you can overcome that feeling and switch to ‘mechanical’ you mode and do it anyway, you will probably enjoy it more, get good results and feel a whole lot better afterwards.

This is something I have been working hard on in the last 6 months. Yesterday I went for my run, it was my seventh day in a row and my legs were heavy, I had quite a bit going on, living on about 5 hours of sleep and quite honestly, it would have been very easy for me not to go. But I knew that wasn’t really what I wanted and that I would actually be disappointed if I didn’t do it. I set myself a realistic goal and off I went. I went through the paces and surprisingly I felt good and actually went 4 km’s further than I set out to go! The distance wasn’t huge and it wasn’t my fastest run but the whole way I felt proud of myself. It’s these workouts that actually make you a stronger person. I kept repeating things to myself like “I’m one run stronger than I was yesterday”, “I’m closer to my half marathon goal”, “my legs are strong and my breathing feels good so keep pushing!”, “make your family proud but more importantly make yourself proud”, “do it because you can, and for the people that physically can’t”….. there are lots more mantras I use to get me through. I use my running time as my thinking time, my planning time, my reflection time, my alone time. I always surprise myself at what I am capable of and what I can achieve. It’s my mental strength that has surprised me the most above and beyond my physical strength and capabilities! If you can overcome the mental barriers and negative talk etc you are well on your way to achieving whatever you put your mind to!

The reason I put my shoes on and went outside yesterday and did it was because my ‘want’ to get it done was far greater than my ‘excuses’ not to! This is not a post about #noexcuses…. do you know why, because at times we all have real reasons why we can’t train and that is totally OK. We are mums, and we have sh!t going on, I’m no different, but we deserve to do something for ourselves and we deserve to spend time on our own health, fitness and sanity! For me that’s keeping fit, healthy and active and sticking to my training plan for my half marathon this year!

stronger than your excuses

I know I am much happier when I do fit my exercise in and I find it also means I tend to eat better too. If I skip a day or a session, for some reason it carries over into the rest of my day/lifestyle and I seem to not eat as well and I am grumpy (hence the reason my family are so supportive of my training ha!).

I’ve said it before in my posts and anyone who knows me will tell you, I am no elite sportsperson. I am a mum who has decided that this is my year to be the best I can be! I am constantly striving to be a better me, stronger me, fitter me, healthier me, happier me….These are my reasons for getting it done every single day! .This is my motivation.Every run or workout I do brings me a little bit closer to all of that, especially the ones where I bloody well didn’t want to do it!! What are your reasons and motivation? It’s so much easier when you have a clear and defined purpose for doing what you do (and that’s in all areas of life, not just exercise!).

The saying is “Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going” but I actually think motivation is what gets you started and your purpose and reason is what keeps you going… no matter what. If I give up on my reason, I am giving up on myself and I am not going to let that happen. I’m sure we can all come up with at least 10 legitimate excuses why we just can’t be bothered exercising today, but how much will we let them get in the way and actually stop us from doing it anyway and getting closer to reaching our goals?

This post was in my head while running yesterday and it didn’t quite come out as well written down as it sounded in my head (I really need to start recording myself while running as things seems much clearer when I’m not at a computer) but I am sure it will resonate with someone else and hopefully it will motivate even just one person to not give up on your own goal just because you might have an excuse or two. You are not alone, I was there yesterday!! It’s all part of the journey.

FitM.U.M xxx

FitM.U.M January 2015 Fitness Challenge…. Make this your healthiest year yet!

You did it, you clicked the link for my FitM.U.M January Fitness Challenge…. Good on you. I am so proud! Now the next step is up to you to take the challenge and see it through to the end! 31 days to improve your health, fitness and wellbeing, to look and feel great and start 2015 with a bang and make it your best year yet.

Below is the link to the challenge. Alternatively, you can email me at fitmumsa@gmail.com and I will happily email you the PDF version to print out at home.

FIT MUM CHALLENGE

Come and join us over here on the FitM.U.M Facebook page to stay motivated, and get extra tips, workout information, recipes and encouragement. You can also ask any questions you may have, post your progress and take photos of yourself doing the daily challenges and post them so we can all offer support and motivation along the way. Here is FitM.U.M Instagram page where we can also post our photos and use the  hashtag #fitmumchallenge or tag me @fit_m.u.m so I can see all your hard work!

I can’t wait for you to join me in this challenge and share the journey together! 2015 is going to be an awesome year and what better way to start it off. Will you take the challenge?

ab brace 2

Enjoy xx