Guide to a wholesome pantry | Caramel protein balls

Hey welcome back to my blog.

Last week you may recall I did a blog on creating a colourful refrigerator, if you haven’t read it you can find the link either to the side or down the bottom of this page.

My pantry is literally my staple, if the fridge is empty I know that I can always make something from my pantry, without going “I’ll have to get take-away because there is no food”. I’m going to show you some hacks I have learnt so you can make anything from your pantry including my Caramel Protein Balls that are to die for!

Spice things up e.g. Cinnamon, Tuscan, chilli, turmeric, paprika & cumin ect. 
Oh mama mia this can be like walking in to a foreign country not knowing any of their language. Trust me I used to look at ‘paprika’ and ‘cumin’ cross eyed thinking, “What the heck do I do with this” some people make spices look so easy.
Don’t be afraid of spices! It’s all about practice. My favourite spice is cinnamon, its super high in antioxidants and has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. It also goes great on peanut butter and banana. Closely followed is Tuscan spice! If you haven’t tried Tuscan on baked sweet potato, you are missing out!

Carbs are good e.g. wholemeal bread, brown rice, quinoa, oats, wholemeal pasta & sweet potato ect. 
Carbs are my favourite food. Seriously If I could live of one thing it would be pasta and bread. As long as you are eating a range of complex carbs and the right amount, then you have nothing to worry about. I know I have said it before but I’ll say it again, carbs do not make you FAT! Did you know that woman actually need more carbs than men? Also they release slowly into the bloodstream so you never suffer a “crash” like you do with caffeine or sugar. This means you’ll have energy all day long and won’t have to deal with the afternoon slump.

My favourite shelf 
These are just to show you a few of my favourite health foods, they are so beneficial to your health and so easy to add into your daily food intake.

Chia seeds – You’ll probably see this food in many health food recipes, why you ask? Chia seeds are a balanced blend of fibre, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates and protein.
Organic coconut flakes contain protein, fibre, iron and zink. Its got a great flavour to it, great for snacking on, you can add it to such things as yogurt and you can sprinkle some on top of your cereal.
Raw cacao – Ever wonder why you go reaching for a block of chocolate when you’re feeling down? It’s because the cacao realises the ‘happy’ chemicals in your brain,  boosting your mood and it also acts as an aphrodisiac too!
‘Sugar-free’ hot chocolate powder – Who doesn’t like a sweet fix? I love adding a teaspoon to my morning coffee especially if I need an extra boost. If you can’t find sugar-free chocolate powder, raw cacao works just as well with a bit of rice-malt syrup.
Nuts and seeds are so versatile in not only sweet dishes, but savory too. Always try to buy natural and unsalted wherever possible. Almonds and cashews are a great one to snack on but remember portion control!

Cans/legumes e.g chickpeas, red kidney beans, lentils, tomato puree, organic pasta sauces & coconut cream ect.
Dont feel as if you have to rush out now and buy all these right now, as you follow new recipes you will slowly build up your own collection of canned items. Out of these items you can make so many things such as your own clean pasta sauce and clean curries. Most of my savoury recipes contains these canned foods which I’ll be sharing with you very soon.

Oils/vinegar e.g Coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, apple cider vinegar & red wine vinegar
Oils are not only great for cooking with, they also go great on salads. My favorites are cooking with coconut oil and using raw olive oil and other vinegar such as apple cider vinegar on salads.

Subscribe to my blog and/or add me on Instagram @healthfoodobsessedsam to stay tuned for my next blog!

HealthFoodObsessedSam xx


Caramel protein Balls 

Ingredients 
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup macadamia
1/2 cup desiccated coconut flakes
1 cup of chopped dried dates
1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips
5 tbsp of vegan vanilla protein powder
3 tbsp of water (you may need more)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine all ingredients into a food processor. (WARNING: I used my nutribulet which probably wasnt a good idea, because it broke!)
Once combined, roll into balls.

Enjoy! 

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Guide to a colourful refrigerator | 15 minute stir-fry

Welcome back to my blog!

One of my most frequently asked questions is what do I eat? Well, today I’m going to give you a tour through my fridge to help you pack your fridge full of these essentials.

Firstly it might be a good idea to clean out the hight-fat, high-salt and sugar filled foods that are in sight, because naturally we would rather go straight for last nights left-over pizza. Am I right? Yeah I thought so.

Vegetables
These should fill your crisper to the max! Vegetables bulk up every meal so not only are you getting more vitamins and minerals into your body, you are also bulking up your meals without the added calories.
I’m the queen of rotten vegetables at the bottom of my crisper, actually yesterday I found some old asparagus oozing yellow juice… oops! So if you’re anything like me, you can always buy frozen. They’re snapped frozen which means they don’t lose their nutritional value, they can also be cheaper, saving you some extra cash. Oh and they last quite a bit longer than my asparagus did.

Fruit 
I love fruit but if you’re on the weight loss journey I do recommend cutting back your fruit intake. Fruit can contain a lot of sugar, even though it’s natural sugar your body can’t distinguish the difference between natural sugar and other types of procsessed sugars, so it can actually make you crave more sugar fixes throughout the day. In saying all that I would much rather you go for an apple rather than a candy bar. In my freezer I keep tons of frozen mixed berries as they’re super versatile, low in calories and contain heaps of antioxidants and they also aid in weight loss!

Meat
Whether you are a Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Pescatarian or like me, a meat eater… Everyone’s different but there is one thing we all have in common and that is the need for protein in our bodies. Look down at your hands, did you know that your nails and hair are mostly made up of it? It’s also mostly important for us woman building lean muscle mass. Every week I buy free range chicken, grass-fed lean mince meat, tuna (the home brand version looks scary but at 80cents a can it’s great value and it actually tastes better than the ‘brand version’). I also buy tofu, frozen fish & eggs (my boyfriend and I fight every week over this. I like the small 600gram and he likes the 800gram eggs.. I win of course). Now this is going to be the most expensive part of your weekly shop but probably the most vital!

Dairy products 
I’m for the most part ‘dairy free’ and why I say for the ‘most part’ is because my favourite food in the whole wide world is ICE-CREAM *insert emoji with drooling tongue* I believe cows milk these days is highly processed and in no way a benefit to my health but everyone is different and cows milk just doesn’t agree with me. So when it comes to milk substitutes I buy almond and coconut milk. Soy milk is a great one to start off on, especially if almond milk doesn’t tickle your taste buds. I started on soy lattes’ and that’s how I came off drinking cows milk. In saying that though, be careful when consuming too many soy products because personally I found it to cause hormone imbalances in my body. For more information on the effects of soy milk, you can read more at live strong 

Lastly a few other staples in my fridge that I can’t live without would have to be; Lemon infused soda water, coconut water, Mayvers all natural peanut butter, Nuttelex, coconut oil, butter, coconut balsamic vinegar (which you can pick up from your local health food shop) and lastly, remember how I said that my favourite food in the whole wide world was ice-cream earlier? Well, I have discovered the best guilt free ice-cream which is called ‘Halo Top’. It is to die for and at 250 calories per pint, its hard to stop at the recommended serving!

Subscribe to my blog and/or add me on Instagram @healthfoodobsessedsam to stay tuned for my next blog  ‘Guide to a healthy pantry’ 

HealthFoodObsessedSam xx


Sam’s mid-week 15 minute stir-fry 

IMG_2080
Ingredients: 
1/2 brown onion
2 shallots
3 celery sticks
2 carrots
1/4 pumpkin
1 zucchini
1 red chilli
1/2 broccoli bunch
2 cups spinach
2 heaped tsp garlic (fresh or crushed)
1 heaped tsp ginger
2 tsp chilli flakes
500 grams chicken or substitute for tofu
1 tbsp coconut oil
Ceres Organic Coconut Aminos seasoning (This is a substitute for soy sauce, you can pick up this from any health food shop)
Brown rice noodles

Method 

1. prepare all the vegetables into small bite-sized cubes
2. Heat coconut oil in a large wok over high heat. Stir fry the garlic, ginger, chilli, onions and chicken until the chicken is sealed.
3. Add all the vegetables with the chilli flakes and stir fry until softened
4. Meanwhile prepare the brown rice noodles by soaking in boiling water until softened
5. Add the brown rice noodles and pour generously the coconut aminos, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes before serving. Serve with more chilli flakes and shallots
6. Enjoy!

Ditch the ‘diet’

Diet 
definition: a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves to lose weight

Lets get one thing straight… Diets don’t work, from no carb diets, juice cleanse diets to dangerously low-calorie diets. Maybe in the short run but in the long run you’re just setting yourself up for a very disappointing result. This was probably my hardest realisation, thinking if I just ate poached chicken and veggies id be skinny before I know it. So id start my morning off with 2 eggs and plate it on a bed of spinach, take a photo of it and upload it with the hashtags ‘#healthy & #delicious’ in the hope that It would actually convince me that this bland and in no way nutritious balanced meal was again ‘#delicious’. So come 4pm on the same day as my ‘diet’ id find myself rampaging through the fridge and pantry, demolishing everything in sight, by 9pm i’m laying on the couch with feelings of shame, guilt and failure because I had eaten enough for a family of 4 and when you feel that guilt and shame 9 times out of 10 you’ll find yourself in that vicious circle where you’ll go back to the fridge to make yourself feel better because you feel like you’ve already failed. Seriously though food is there to be enjoyed and in no way meant to be restricting or make you feel guilty, it creates a bad relationship with food… thinking “oh no I can’t eat that chocolate because it will make me fat”. FACT: Dieting and restricting yourself only makes you want something more  which makes you the star of your own binging episode.

My number 1 piece of advice for you is to eat 80% healthy and 20% unhealthy. Its all about balance. Go out with your friends and enjoy an ice-cream or cocktail but when you  get home try making my ‘chocolate overnight oats’ so you’re prepared for the best start the following morning.
Don’t get me wrong its normal to go off track with eating well here and there, I still have my days where I have a packet of chips or a Snickers bar but the only difference is that I don’t feel guilty for it because I know that I have chosen to live a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life.

Remember its not a quick fix.
It’s the rest of your life & your body will thank you in more ways than you know it.

HealthFoodObsessedSam xxx

Chocolate overnight oats

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of quick oats
1tbs chia seeds
1tbs coconut flakes
1tsp cacao
1tsp stevia sweetener or rice malt syrup
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup rasberries

Method: 
Add all ingredients into a bowl and let sit in the fridge over night.
Garnish with left over berries and banana.

Multitasking

I’m trying to multitask right now. Ive got my Maca pancakes sitting to the left of me and my laptop on my lap. I’ll leave my recipe down bellow for you. Let me tell you its so hard to concentrate writing this whilst I have all this goodness beside me…. Anyway enough about my breakfast (only I get this excited about breakfast time).
I thought I would explain a little further into why I am starting this blog. I love food and nutrition, but it wasn’t always like that. As a teenager I had NO idea about what I was putting in my body and how the food I put in me effected my mood, skin, overall health. So come 16 years old I was quite chubby or in the words of my mum “Cute”. Food to me wasn’t something to enjoy it was my vice getting through life. I would eat my emotions through tubs of peanut butter ice-cream and packets of sugar-filled chocolate biscuits.  I became an ’emotional eater’ and through that I was diagnosed with binge eating disorder, which is a disorder like bulimia but minus the purging.  Now days I am a happy and healthy size 6 and I want to show you how you can do the same.

HealthFoodObsessedSam xx

Maca Pancakes Serves 2

Ingredients: 

2 bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup rolled oats
1tsp Maca powder
rice malt syrup (Optional)
Fruit and nuts of your choice to garnish

Method:
Blend ingredients together, pour mixture onto a hot pan with coconut oil and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Serve with rice malt syrup and fruit of your choice

Enjoy! 

*Maca powder is amazing! Great for woman in particular. It helps to improve physical and mental energy, mood and hormone imbalances, sexual health and your overall health and wellbeing

Welcome

Welcome to my blog! Firstly just to introduce myself, my name is Sam McGown, I’m 21 and I live on the Central Coast of Australia.
Ive made this blog to share my own experience and journey to living a healthy and active lifestyle, through my own struggles with unhealthy relationships with food, weight gain & anxiety. I want to help you build a great relationship with food and also share MANY of my delicious recipes with you. I can’t wait for you to come along this journey with me!

HealthFoodObsessedSam xx