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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Apple, Carrot & Blueberry Muffins

This is a simple little muffin recipe that is perfect for kids lunch boxes and snacks. We usually whip up a batch of these every few weeks during our Sunday Snack Prep and I keep a few in the fridge and freeze the rest for later in the week.

I make them with a combination of spelt flour and almond meal, however this does make them much more dense and they don’t rise as well as regular muffins so you can use plain flour or wholemeal flour. My measurements are an approximate off the top of my head so feel free to play around with your batch to suit your taste. You can also add any fruit or ingredients you like.

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Ingredients

1 cup wholemeal spelt flour (or plain flour)

1/2 cup almond meal (or wholemeal flour)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch sea salt

3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (of you can use butter)

1/4 cup grated apple or apple sauce

1/2 cup coconut or natural Greek yoghurt

2/3 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup blueberries

1 carrot, grated

1 egg (or omit to make it egg free which I usually do but I add 1 mashed medium banana instead to help combine)

2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases. In a mixing bowl, which together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a seperate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil or butter, yoghurt, milk, vanilla extract and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.

Fold through the blueberries, grated apple and carrot.

Spoon mixture into muffin tin and bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Store in airtight container in fridge or they do freeze quite well.

I would love to hear from you if you do make these or adapt the recipe as I’m always keen to hear about what people are enjoying! So make sure you comment here or on my FitM.U.M Facebook Page!

Enjoy xx

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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Final wrap up of Cassie’s 8 week program – Determination, strength and long term changes

This is, sadly, the last blog post to wrap up the final session and results of Cassie’s journey, our 8 week Summer Body Program winner . Cassie not only completed the 8 weeks, she totally smashed it and always did whatever was asked of her and more. Over the 8 weeks Cassie learnt a lot about fitness, nutrition and lifestyle but she mainly learnt about her personal strength and how much she is capable of achieving. She freely and openly admits that when she found out she won, she actually wasn’t sure if she wanted to even start. Cassie has battled with anxiety and depression and she has realised how important it is to listen to your body and your mind and how important mental health and wellbeing is, as well as physical fitness.

cassie week 8 exercise

During the 8 weeks, I gave Cassie a new program every Sunday night for the following week. These were hard programs and she even said once that she actually thought I was trying to kill her. The reason for this is so she would see progression each week and learn to push herself out of her comfort zone to complete all of the workouts. She only had 1 scheduled rest day each week and she had a double session on a Monday (morning and afternoon). We also worked on her nutrition and I went through a 3 day food diary with her to analyse what she was eating and drinking in a typical day. We discussed her diet and made a few changes including increasing how much she was eating for breakfast and the importance of healthy snacks during the day. I actually told Cassie she could increase the amount she was eating during the day. We also minimised the amount of added sugar (mainly to tea and coffee). These were simple changes that she could make and it fit in with her busy lifestyle (she is a working mum of 4 young children). Cassie’s entire family were so supportive of her new lifestyle changes and her husband and kids were encouraging her during her exercise and also enjoying the new food they were eating.

I met with Cassie 3 times during the program for training sessions. We  discussed how she was finding the exercise sessions, whether she was on track with her healthy eating and most importantly how she was feeling, physically and mentally. The most important lesson to come from our 8 week training program is that in a short timeframe such as 8 weeks, it is not only about weight loss and numbers on the scales. Cassie is the perfect example of how much balance exercise and fitness can bring to your life. She felt stronger and more positive after working out and even on the days she might have not been feeling great she still pushed herself to do her workouts and she always felt better afterwards. When you do something that makes you feel better mentally, it carries over into all areas of your life and Cassie also felt like a better wife and mother. The mental benefits are huge. What an awesome role model for her children! Our children are always watching what we are doing.

cassie and son

Another awesome example of Cassie really pushing herself out of her comfort zone and proving once again how strong she is and how far she has come, was when she joined our FitM.U.M Mount Lofty Walking Group one weekend. For those that aren’t aware, Mount Lofty is a steep and fairly long hike up a mountain in Adelaide… it is definitely tough! I was so pleased that Cassie came and she never once gave up even when her mind might have been telling her to stop or when panic may have set in. Her husband came with her to support her and she overcome a massive mental barrier that day and should be very proud of her efforts.

Towards the end of our program Cassie and I had a very honest discussion about the medication she is on for her anxiety and that it makes weight loss very difficult but that it was important that she remain on it to feel her best and not impact on her life. This program was about a complete change of lifestyle and it simply can not be all about one area only. To be successful and make any form of long term changes , it needed to be manageable and maintainable and that is exactly what we did. Cassie lost 2kg and at least 1-2cms from her waist, hips, arms and legs. But best of all she feels so much better and is managing her anxiety and depression and she has shown herself how much strength she has and that she can do anything!

Enough from me, let’s hear from Cassie now that she has finished the program….

Well my 8 week challenge has come to an end. I have learnt so much from Kelly and also about myself over the past 8 weeks.

At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the end. I was at a pretty low point mentally and not sure if I was up for the challenge. BUT I did it!

I feel so proud to say I have done almost every workout Kelly has given me.

However, I haven’t lost much weight, only 2kg. And this has been so hard to come to terms¬†with, when I’ve been working my butt off. I haven’t lost any weight¬†due to my depression and anxiety medication and I probably won’t lose much while I’m still on it.

But I have gained so much physically and definitely mentally. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone too many times to count. I never thought I was this strong, not just physically (don’t get me wrong I did 100 push-ups today when I couldn’t even do one in the beginning), mentally I am so much stronger now than when I began. My depression has decreased and I have the motivation and determination to continue pushing myself.

Just because my 8 week challenge is finished, I’m not finished with exercising. I’ve changed¬†my lifestyle now and Yes I still have my low days but the benefits of the new lifestyle are definitely worth the effort.

Thanks for following my journey and all of the support you have all given me along the way. Xx

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Cassie was such a deserving winner and I am so grateful that I met her and could help her to incorporate exercise and diet changes into her life. She is an amazingly strong woman and a fantastic wife and mother. Never underestimate yourself Cass, you are a champion who should be very proud of what you achieved over the 8 weeks and how much you have changed! I am proud of you and feel as if I made a friend in the process! Keep up the great work FitMumma!!  xx

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.

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Enjoy xx

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 РPsychology 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 ‚Äėwhy‚Äô. 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.

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Enjoy 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