A look inside FitMUM’s Shopping Trolley

I have had a few questions about what health food products (and brands) I use so for something different I thought I would do a post all about what made its way into my shopping trolley this week. Once I started I realised that there were so many more products that I could have written about. I have enough for a second blog article on this topic at some stage. If this is something that interests you, leave me a comment on my blog or my Facebook page here if you would like more.

Obviously this is not my entire shop (how boring and long would that be) but this is a selection of products we buy on a {very} regular basis and things that I love and use ALL time {basically can’t live without}.

Traditional Rolled Oats

Good old fashioned 100% rolled oats. Not often you find a product with only one thing listed on the ingredient list. I love oats and have them for breakfast every morning (with the exception of the odd Sunday when I have poached eggs on toast). They are quick and easy, super good for you and delicious. I make mine with Oat Milk and then add a drizzle of honey, chia seeds, diced apricots and either a handful of blueberries or a sliced banana. I also make a delicious Overnight Oats recipe about once a week from the I Quit Sugar Cookbook. YUMMO!

rolled oats

Black Chia Seeds

I add chia seeds to many things. I have them on my oats, in my smoothies, and in our bliss balls and choc granola.

Among other things Chia Seeds are high in fibre, protein and omega 3 and they are loaded with antioxidants. They certainly pack a health punch for such a tiny seed and they are low in calories for something so high in fibre.

chia seeds

Rice Malt Syrup

This mild tasting syrup is a fantastic fructose-free sugar substitute. It is very versatile and inexpensive. I use it in any recipes instead of sugar. You can drizzle it over pancakes or oats or use it to sweeten your tea if you are trying to quit sugar.

It is made from 100% brown rice and is a better option than other sweeteners that are high in fructose and release sugar faster into the blood stream causing insulin spikes and subsequent blood sugar crashes.

rice malt syrup

Green Tea & Peppermint Tea

I used to be a bit of a tea addict but since being dairy free I have switched to only drinking green tea and peppermint tea. I always start the day with a cup of green tea and I always end the day with a cup of peppermint tea (I also drink them throughout the day if I feel the need). I use Organo Gold Organic Green Tea which is infused with Ganoderma, a very powerful ingredient that has been used for centuries in China and Japan for its many health benefits and healing properties

*If you would like to know more about this product (both tea & coffee) email me at fitmumsa@gmail.com for more details*

OG green tea

 I have pretty much tried every brand of tea, if you don’t use Organo Organic Green Tea, these are others I buy:

green tea

We have all heard the many benefits of green tea (the list is long), one of the big ones being that it has been shown to increase fat burning and boost your metabolic rate.

Coconut Oil

I love coconut oil for so many reasons, from cooking through to using on my bubs cradle cap and dry skin…. seriously awesome stuff!

It goes great with cacao when making sweet treats so we use it in our choc granola, bliss balls, homemade ‘chocolate’ and other baking. It is the healthiest oil to cook with and has a high smoke point so can be used at high temperatures.

coconut oil

Oat Milk

I use organic unsweetened oat milk. Since removing dairy I have found this to be the best substitute for me (personal preference). I do have almond milk sometimes too. Oat milk goes perfectly with my breakfast oats and smoothies. I also use it in baking as a substitute for cows milk and the rest of my family can’t taste the difference (they still drink cow’s milk).

oat milk

Almonds

We buy dry roasted almonds by the truck load. They are a great snack mixed with dried fruit and other nuts. I usually carry a container of homemade trail mix in my bag for when I am out and about. I also put them in our choc nut bliss balls recipe here

We often make our own almond meal and use it in baking. This is also a great alternative to crumbing meat eg. Schnitzels.

almonds

Quinoa

We are a bit obsessed with Quinoa in our household. We usually eat it at least 3 times a week (minimum). We also buy health food brands from the markets or the Woolworths Macro range, however this is the one I grabbed this week as we were almost out. All of the organic brands are as good as each other in my opinion.

I have listed the health benefits of Quinoa on one of my previous Facebook posts and have written out the recipe for our Healthy Roast Vegetable & Quinoa Salad find it here

We also substitute any rice dishes with Quinoa, eg. Stir fry’s, Curries or just season it and use as a side dish with dinner. The options and recipes are endless so get creative with your Quinoa and start incorporating it into your weekly meals!

quinoa organic

So there you have a little insight into some of the staples in my family’s shopping trolley and some of the ways we use them.

Happy Shopping FitMummies!! Xx

Cacao & Nut Bliss Balls Recipe

These are a weekly staple in our house and part of my Sunday weekly food prep as discussed here https://fitmumblog.com/2014/10/07/food-prep-for-a-healthy-week/

If you wish, you can add your favourite protein to them if you want Choc Nut Protein Bliss Balls. This photo is half Cacao & Nut Bliss Balls and half of my Apricot Bliss Balls.

Half Choc & Nut Bliss balls and Half Apricot Bliss Balls

Half Choc & Nut Bliss balls and Half Apricot Bliss Balls

Cacao & Nut Bliss Balls (makes approx. 24)

3/4  cup almonds (dry roasted)

3/4 cup walnuts

30 Pitted Dates

1/2 cup diced apricots

1/4 cup cranberries

2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp Rice Malt Syrup (can substitute Honey or Argave Nectar)

Combine all ingredients in food processor until combined (roughly chopped nuts for a chunkier texture or blitz them for a smoother texture… personal taste)

Roll in mix of chia seeds and desiccated coconut.

Chill in fridge for approx. 1 hour (or freeze).

We usually store half in an air tight container in the fridge and the other half in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

Enjoy!

Apricot Bliss Balls Recipe

These delicious Apricot Bliss Balls have no added sugar or preservatives. They are the perfect snack for adults and kids alike. I make a double batch and freeze half. A double batch makes about 24 balls.

Such a delicious, quick and healthy snack!

Such a delicious, quick and healthy snack!

Ingredients

* 1 cup dried apricots, soaked in hot water for 30 mins

* 3/4 cup of oats

* 1/4 cup desiccated coconut (extra for rolling)

2 Tbsp Chia Seeds

1 Tbsp Coconut oil (melted)

Method

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients blend until mixture forms a ball. Takes a few minutes.

Place extra coconut on a plate and roll mixture into small balls and roll in the coconut.

Place half in container in the fridge for approx. 45 mins. Place the other half in a zip lock bag in the freezer for later.

The problem I have with these is trying not to eat them all the day you make them. Enjoy!

Food Prep For A Healthy Week

I firmly believe that preparation is the key to success. Spending adequate time on weekend food prep is a such a big part of my ability to eat healthy in the week ahead. I haven’t always done this, I am usually a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ impulsive kind of girl. However I made it a goal of mine this year to ensure I dedicate time on Sunday’s for weekly food preparation. Since doing this, not only am I eating much healthier, I am also wasting less food too! I spend a couple of hours preparing and cooking things for the following week that will provide me with easy and healthy meals and snacks. It’s the snacks that have made a big difference to the way I eat. I am a huge ‘grazer’ and eat quite a lot throughout the day so having pre-prepared snack options means I am never hungry, I have food to take with me when I go out and I make good choices instead of eating crap!

food prep collage

We usually do our food shopping on a Saturday and we buy everything we need for the entire week in one shop. My next goal is to get back to shopping for our fruit & veg at the markets. This is something we used to do and we loved it but having a baby recently has meant that we have let this slide. However, I am planning on making my market comeback very soon now that bubs is getting a bit older (16 weeks now) and will happily sit in the baby carrier. We love the atmosphere of shopping at the market as much as we love the fresh (and cheap) fruit, veggies and health food supplies.  It is also a great outing for kids and I believe it sets them up with healthy food habits for life and hopefully it will become a little family tradition that they will also continue!

Here are some of the healthy weekly foods I prepare and store: (I will start to upload some of my weekly food prep on my instagram – follow me here http://instagram.com/fit_m.u.m#

* Quinoa Bars

* Protein Bliss Balls

* Apricot Balls

* Overnight Oats

* Granola or Muesli

* Trail Mix (almonds, cashews, macadamias, goji berries, dates, cranberries, diced apricots)

* Muffins (sweet and/or savory)

* Cacao & nut choc (make a big tray and break into snack size portions)

* Salads (these vary week to week from mixed green salad to quinoa salad and chicken salad)

* Boiled eggs

* Chicken or Turkey Quinoa Patties

* Spelt Pancakes

* Freeze whole bananas (use for ‘icecream’ dessert)

* Choc Stuffed Raspberries (melt cacao, coconut oil and peanut butter *optional* and fill fresh raspberries and freeze… OMG delicious!)

* Smoothie Bags (freeze portions of berries, bananas & any other fruit for a quick smoothie)

I make a double batch of the Protein Bliss Balls, Apricot Balls and Cacao & nut chocolate (not all in the same week, we rotate between these and other healthy treats) and I freeze half and keep the other half in containers in the fridge. Once we use the half in the fridge we can then use the frozen ones which only just gets us through a whole week as we like these treats A LOT! Again, it is important to remember moderation. Even though these are all healthy (no added sugar) treats, they are still treats and still contain calories.

preparation key to success

A little work once a week goes a long way towards staying on track with my health and fitness goals throughout the week. Once you start doing food prep, it becomes enjoyable and saves time and stress during the week.

Hope you have found this helpful, please feel free to leave a comment or even share your food prep ideas and join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fitm.u.msa

Our Healthy & Yummy Roasted Veg & Quinoa Salad

Healthy & Yummy Roasted Vegetable & Quinoa Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled (depending how many people you are making it for you can easily double the quantity)

2 TBSP Oil (we use Rice Bran Oil)

1 Zucchini (finely chopped into small cubes)

1 Red Onion (finely chopped)

500g Butternut Pumpkin (finely chopped into small cubes)

1 TBSP Moroccan Seasoning

1tsp Cumin

1 tsp Paprika

Salt & Pepper to taste

Roast all the vegetables with seasoning and oil (liberally coated) for about 1 hour.

Cool the vegetables

Stir through the Quinoa

*you can also add ½ cup cooked baby peas to this when you are stirring through the Quinoa (adds a bit of colour)

We have tried this with a few different dressings, two we like the best are:

Olive Oil, squeeze of lemon, crushed garlic, chopped coriander, pinch sea salt & ground pepper

Sticky Balsamic Dressing

quinoa

If I can do it, you can do it. But will you?

An important part of being a good mum & wife is taking care of myself both mentally and physically. It is not selfish, it is important. Along the lines of “happy wife, happy life” I strongly believe “If Mum ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. As mums we put ourselves last all too often, which is the worst thing we can do. This is why I was so motivated to start exercising again. Everyone wants to feel happy with themselves and their lives and I have never been happier.

After having my second baby (with a 7 year age gap) I had forgotten how that post baby belly looked and felt. I was disheartened leaving hospital 5 days post C-Section with a belly that looked as if my Obstetrician had left one in there. Admittedly, a lot of it was swelling from the surgery and I had probably set my expectations too high, but I was still unhappy and no amount of ‘sucking-it-in’ was hiding that post baby belly!

During the 6 weeks post baby when I couldn’t do much, I started planning my ‘come back’ in my head and this is when I felt my motivation starting to build and I was really looking forward to being able to start exercising again. Having the right mindset is always the best way to start, so I was already at that point. *Tick*.

My recovery was much better second time round and I felt so great I started doing a bit too much too soon and suffered some pain and bleeding. Much to my Obs disgust I was vacuuming upstairs and downstairs, picking up after my 7 year old and hubby and walking with the pram. Oops! Just because I was feeling good doesn’t mean I was ready to be doing all of these things yet. I am naturally a very active, busy person who does not do “sitting down” and “resting” very well. I find it really hard and I don’t enjoy doing nothing. So after a good telling off from my post natal nurse and wanting to be a good patient, I waited my 6 weeks to recover and after getting the nod from my Ob I slowly began my reintroduction to exercise and fitness. It was just like riding a bike (pardon the pun) but I was starting with my training wheels on.

Once I started with the fitness part, I found that my eating and nutrition automatically improved too *bonus*. I’ve always been health conscious but I was beginning to enjoy way too many indulgences (read: creamy hot cocoas and Kit Kats among other naughty temptations). In a way, I was comfort eating, if I couldn’t exercise yet then why not enjoy eating as much as I wanted of all of these yummy foods?! This is a bad mindset to be in and my poor eating had become an extremely bad habit. The more junk food you eat, the more you crave. I couldn’t just have a cup of tea, I had to have 3 biscuits with it…. that kind of thing. But like everything these bad habits can be changed, it’s mind over matter. I needed to find my willpower and get back on track. In my next blog post I will go through a few of the eating/nutrition challenges I faced both during and after my pregnancy. Let’s just say it hasn’t been smooth sailing…..but it has taught me how to be dedicated and strong willed.

As I said in my first blog post, motivation is a very personal thing and comes in many forms, different people are motivated by different things. When you find your purpose and motivation, it makes it a lot easier to succeed. What motivates you? If you need a bit of extra motivation come join me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter (links in my about me).

motivation blog quote