Eat Pray Workout - Australia's Leading Lifestyle & Healthy Living Blog
Amy Darcy finds a different way of healthy living, one that is sustainable and balanced, free from fad diets, unnecessary restrictive eating, rules around fitness, and worldly expectations that only add stress to our already busy lives.
Want a tasty, healthy recipe that the whole family will go BANANAS for? Look no further than my mouth-watering Banana Bread! This yummy loaf is quick and easy and will satisfy those sugar cravings with some decadent dark chocolate thrown in…-dee-lish! In addition to its amazing aroma, my Banana Bread is also packed with all the good stuff your body needs like potassium, fibre and protein. Whether you serve it fresh or toast it later, one thing’s for sure- your loved ones will go APE for it!
Let’s chat about the hero of this dish: bananas. Not only are they delicious, bananas also contain high levels of potassium which are essential for regulating your heart beat and maintaining blood pressure. An integral mineral, potassium also allows your muscles to flex and for your nerve cells to react. As well as potassium, bananas additionally contain antioxidants which can help fight chronic diseases and free radicals- that is, unstable molecules which often cause damage to our cells. Magnesium in this fabulous fruit also helps to support a healthy immune system and strong bones- how good is that?
If bananas are the hero of this recipe, chia seeds and dark chocolate are the trusty sidekicks here to help boost your nutrition.
One of my favourite super foods, chia seeds (like bananas) are rich in antioxidants and provide a great source of fibre to keep your digestion system happy and healthy. Incredibly versatile, chia seeds also contain iron and omega-3 fatty acids which help to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
As if you needed another excuse to eat chocolate, dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and actually offers protection against free radicals much in the same way bananas do. Additionally it contains less added sugar and fat than other types of chocolate and boosts your immune system. A potential cancer prevention, dark chocolate can also help to stabilise cholesterol and improve your all around heart health- you don’t have to tell me twice!
4 medium-large bananas (still firm if you want the recipe to be low FODMAP)
3 T almond milk (or dairy free milk of your choice)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp bicarb soda
pinch of salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 ¾ C gluten free plain flour
120g 70% dark chocolate (NB: if you need this to be dairy free, opt for a dairy free dark chocolate or Lindt 90% dark chocolate), cut into chunks
- Sit chia seeds in a small bowl with the water, allow to set for 10 minutes
Preheat oven to 160 C (fan forced), and line/grease a large loaf tin.
In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil, and rice malt syrup.
Beat in the chia gloop.
Mash 3 of the bananas with a fork, in a separate bowl, and then mix in the banana, almond milk, and vanilla.
Sift in the bicarb soda, salt, cinnamon, and gf flour, and fold in gently with a spoon.
Add the chocolate chunks and stir through.
Pour the mixture into prepared tin.
Slice the remaining banana in half, lengthways, and place on top.
Sprinkle with an extra shake of cinnamon, and bake in the oven 50-60 mins, until golden brown, and the cake pulls ever so slightly from the sides.
Remove once cooked through, allow to sit in the tin for 10 or so minutes, before transferring to a wire rack and sitting for another few minutes before slicing.
Serve warm! (Or toast it later!)
ARE YOU THINKING WHAT I’M THINKING B1?
This recipe is pretty versatile! Depending on your taste, why not add some delicious fresh blueberries, raspberries or pear? Or try serving it with some yoghurt? What are your suggestions? Leave them in the comments below to share with the Eat Pray Workout Tribe.
WHAT’S MINE IS YOURS
If you make any of our delicious recipes, don’t forget to tag @eatprayworkout and #EPWtribe on Instagram or Facebook -I’ll be sharing your fabulous creations on my stories to show the rest of the tribe!
I realised today that I haven’t bought my Mum or Mother-in-Law anything for Mother’s Day yet, so I thought I had better get a list of gift ideas together to discuss with hubby. Then I thought heck, I should do a blog post on it, surely it would help other unorganised people like me too! Here’s a list of my favourite last minute gift ideas for Mother’s Day 2019. There is a range of price points and I’ve included a few active living gifts because I always think it’s important to encourage exercise – happy shopping!
A’kin Moisture Rich Miracle Facial Trio RRP $39.99 – enriched with botanical extracts I love A’kin’s natural skincare ranges and so will your Mum! Another great gift pack is the A’kin Ultimate Hydration Starter Kit RRP $24.95
Clean & Pure Lip Balms – Starting at $4.99 – Aussie owned and made a lovely natural range of lip balms – perfect to fill out a present but be something practical for everyday!
Frankie 4 Footwear – you will be your Mum’s favourite if you buy her a pair of Frankie 4’s! Designed by a podiatrist and physio – these shoes take comfort and foot health combined with fashion to a new level. You can return for free within 30 days if the fit isn’t right, so don’t stress about buying online! Pictured is Beth Pink.
Found these after I had finished the graphic, but thought they were too gorgeous not to include!
Seafolly Las Palmas Active Bomber ON SALE $69.97 (RRP $99.95) – Seafolly have an amazing activewear range, I particularly love this bomber jacket leading into winter.
Seafolly Las Palmas Active Legging ON SALE $76.97 (RRP $109.95) – how amazing is this print? Mostly dark so it’s slimming but keeps you tropical holiday dreaming! Pairs perfectly with the bomber jacket I mentioned above.
What are you getting your Mum this Mother’s Day? I’d love some more ideas to share! Did any of these ideas take your fancy?
How often do you tell yourself off for eating something you have mixed feelings about? On the one hand you really want the comfort, but on the other hand you want to stick to your intention to eat healthier.
We humans have a complicated relationship with food, but honestly, it’s not our fault. It has nothing to do with us not being strong enough either. It’s just that willpower runs out over time, so if we want to eat healthier, willpower alone is not something we can rely on. Today we welcome mindful living coach Manna Stone to offer some more insight on creating a positive relationship with food so we can live a healthier lifestyle.
Eating is an emotional experience
Eating is something emotional and intimate. As a baby we get fed, nurtured, loved and touched at the same time. When we are upset, it’s our mother’s milk that comforts us. Food has always and will always be highly emotional and something through which we can show our love to other people.
And we live in a world where food companies have made it their duty to create foods that have that same effect on us. That’s why there’s so much added sugar to many of the products, to give us that same feeling of intimacy that we so often lack in this world.
So how can mindful eating help us navigate our choices?
1. Be mindful of what you’re eating
Real food was made for you
Firstly, each piece of fruit, vegetable or meat was grown for us. It was alive and created for our consumption. Most of these have taken a long time to grow and a lot of labour has gone into getting these foods to where they are, on your plate. This is something to be grateful for, all these hands that have worked to get you this food, the miracle of it growing out of the soil and the hands that have prepared it for you.
Be aware of your senses
Secondly, we can bring our attention to our senses. What do we see, smell, taste, hear and maybe even feel. Every bite can be a little adventure when we get curious about all these things. You will notice new things about foods that you’ve eaten many times before.
Do you really like the taste?
By tasting the food there’s also something else that might happen. My experience is that most of the junk food that I ate suddenly lost it’s appeal. It wasn’t satisfying me like it used to and I just simply didn’t want it anymore. I encourage you to try this out. Even if you still like it, you’ll notice that a few bites are usually enough to satisfy the craving.
2. Be mindful of why you’re eating
There are a lot of reasons why we can choose to eat something. We might be stressed, bored, emotional or lonely. You’ve learned that it is wrong to use these things as ‘an excuse’, but I tell you these are very valid reasons to eat.
As I told you before, eating is emotional and nourishes way more then just our bodies. Emotional eating is super normal, we all do it. The problem is when eating becomes our only coping mechanism. It might be great at comforting us, but it won’t solve what’s going on.
When I notice that I want to eat for purely emotional reasons, I usually ask myself these questions:
What is really going on? What am I feeling and why?
What is the best way I can help myself right now?
If that is eating something, then go for it! But maybe it is calling a friend, confronting someone that hurt you, changing a situation that isn’t working for you or whatever it is that will help you deal. Consider all your options, before you make your choice.
3. Be mindful of how you talk about eating
The way we’ve learned to talk about food is often very disempowering. As it’s my mission to empower you to make your choices out of self-love, this is an important topic to talk about.
When you eat mindfully, there is no food you can’t have (unless for medical reasons). You will never have to say you ‘can’t have something’ anymore. Because who decided that? You. No one oversees your food choices, but you. So, from now on you can eat anything you want. It is up to you to make the most self-loving choice in every moment. If that’s a no, then just say ‘no thank you’, your choice.
4. Be mindful how you talk about your body
I would also like to encourage you to talk kindly about your body. No matter what it looks like. It is worthy of your love and respect. If this is difficult for you, there are many inspiring body positive accounts on Instagram which you can follow. We have learned to hate every ounce of fat on our bodies. The only reason this message is told to us, is because it’s a market. People can make money of our insecurities. This becomes a lot harder when we decide to love ourselves. Does body positive mean that we stop try to eat healthy? Not at all, but healthy and skinny are not the same thing. We can be happy and healthy at many different points of the scale.
So be mindful of what & why you eat and how you talk about food and your body, so you can create a more loving relationship with food.
About the Author
This is a guest post by Mindful Living and Minfulness Coach, Manna Stone. You can read more of her interesting story here.
Conquer your Cravings Book Giveaway
Manna loved sharing all these tips with you and if you’re craving more of this, then I want to encourage you to leave a comment below to win 1 of 5 copies of her book ‘conquer your cravings’ to help you create a loving relationship with food. To enter, please comment with which tip in this article has been most helpful for you and why.
Open to Australian residents only, competition closes midnight, 23 May 2019.
Sometimes all I need to get me out the door, in the zone and moving my body is my headphones on with a pumping playlist. It’s like it takes me to another place and reminds me – hey exercising actually makes me feel really good and I WANT to do this! I made this running / workout playlist for my 2019 workouts but it will also be great for my post pregnancy running training later in the year. I hope you love the playlist too – it will definitely help get your heart rate up, head in the game and smashing those workout or running goals!
GET EXCITED because I also have 1 of 2 pairs of Plantronics Headphones to giveaway (valued between $139.99 and $239.99) so you can workout with not just a good playlist but some great sound quality too!
My 2019 Workout / Running Playlist
Here’s the playlist on Spotify, don’t forget to ‘follow’ this 2019 workout/running playlist so you can easily find it when you’re ready to get moving.
It does have a few songs that are pre-2019 but I just enjoy working out to so I included them anyway!
GIVEAWAY – Win 1 of 2 sets of Wireless Plantronics Headphones
Plantronics have kindly offered two pairs of their AMAZING headphones to giveaway to help keep you motivated as you workout and listen to my new playlist. Enter below to win either of the pairs of Plantronics Headphones pictured above (BackBeat Go 600 valued at $139.99) and (BackBeat Fit 3100 – valued at $239.99).
Why I love the BackBeat Go 600
I keep these bad boys in my handbag for daily use – great for when I’m doing a weights session, going for a walk with the dog or working in a cafe and want to drown out the surrounding noise. They have 8 hours of power on a single charge and a 3.5 mm backup jack so they don’t leave my handbag more than once a week!
Why I love the BackBeat Fit 3100
I’ve tried a lot of fitness headphones in my time, but really think these are something special! Hats off for the innovation here! The ear tips don’t fully block the ear canal, letting in ambient sound and allowing you to simultaneously listen to music and hear your surroundings. This offers safer training whether you’re running or riding in the city or out on the trails. They are sweat proof and waterproof (hello swimming with music!) and have up to 5 hours of listening plus 10 hours with the charging case.
Disclosure: The wonderful team at Plantronics gifted me these headphones (and the pairs to giveaway) but as always, opinions shared in this post are my own. I really do love using both of these and hope you do too!
Who doesn’t love that hydrated, dewy, fresh and healthy skin look? It’s #skingoals right? Well, over the years I’ve sought to find out what helps keep my skin like this and I thought I would share what I’ve learnt. I believe there are two parts to maintaining and/or improving the moisture in your skin. Today I’m sharing my top six tips (plus a bonus one thrown in for good measure!) to improve the moisture in your skin. Have a read and see if you do them too!
Nourish Skin From the Inside
1. Stay hydrated – drink water!
Water helps remove toxins out of your body, which can otherwise accumulate in your skin, causing clogged pores & acne. Aim for 2-3 litres a day. It’s easier to meet your water intake if you always choose water over sugary drinks and drink an extra glass of water for every dehydrating caffeinated drink you have.
2. Eat foods that are good for improving skin moisture
Omega-3’s are great at helping increase and retain skin moisture. Omega 3’s form the cellular structure of your skin and support skin elasticity. These are found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel and sardines and in nuts and seeds (such as chia seeds, flaxseeds/linseeds and walnuts). These foods also help reduce skin inflammation and redness. Soy products like tofu, tempeh, soy milk also aid dry skin due to the isoflavones found within soy.
Here’s a few examples of how to get some of these foods into your daily diet:
For more tips on foods that help with healthy skin in general (ie. looking after fibres like collagen and elastin that support your skin structure) see this post from my good friend and knowledgeable dietitian, Rebecca Gawthorne. She’s taught me so much over the years!
CARE FOR SKIN FROM THE OUTSIDE
3. Choose quality products
Your skincare routine can largely affect the health and moisture of your skin so finding the right products that work for you is important. The last month or so I’ve been using the Olay Total Effects range. No, it’s not just a Mum range found at the supermarket, but there is good reason that Mum’s use it (Mum, why are you right, again?!).Olay Total Effects offers skin an antioxidant boost and contains Vitamin E, B3 and Pro-B5 to revive dull and tired looking skin. Here’s a quick overview of how each of these 3 active ingredients will benefit your skin:
Vitamin E: antioxidant known to defend skin surface from free radicals that cause skin aging
Vitamin B3: brightens skin tone and known to boost skin energy
Vitamin Pro-B5: known to soothe skin
Olay Total effects also fights 7 skin problems:
fine lines and wrinkles (I’m keen to keep these at bay for as long as possible!),
uneven skin tone,
dark spots (younger women yes we still need this – think of those unseen and ghastly dark sun spots you can only see under UV light!),
So let’s chat about the exact products I recommend for helping ensure you have moisturised, radiant skin today and always!
4. Use a serum
I only started using serums a couple of years ago but I love them! They work on reaching the deeper layers of the skin by their lightweight molecular structure. Using a serum morning and night can give your skin a firmer, smoother texture, make pores appear smaller and increase moisture levels. However, serums will not offer sufficient moisture to your skin, so it is recommended using them in conjunction with heavier moisturisers which will also help lock in the moisture to the lower layers of skin that serums are designed to reach. I’m currently using the Olay Total Effects Daily Serum and have really noticed a different in my skin’s suppleness and radiance as a result – bring on that plump glow, baby!
5. Use a day moisturiser with an inbuilt SPF
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I’m crazy about wearing SPF50+ if I’m heading outdoors since viewing my skin under ultra violet light and seeing the damage the sun has caused it. Not to mention that sun protection is the easiest and most effective way to avoid skin cancer!
The difficulty I have found with applying SPF 50+ after a SPF free moisturiser, is some days I won’t take the extra step if I am not planning to be in the sun. The problem then comes when I go out unplanned because I’ll often forget to head back to the bathroom to apply the sunscreen. So to make sure I’m covered, I’ve now gone back to using Olay Total Effects Day Moisturiser that has SPF 15+ built in – enough SPF to back me up for a short time if I forget to apply the SPF 50+ sunscreen.
6. Use a night moisturiser
The time that you sleep is the perfect time to give your skin a ‘drink’ from a heavier night moisturiser. Our skin is in tune with our circadian rhythm (ie. our day/night body clock) and it goes into ‘repair and replenish’ mode at night. It produces less sebum (natural skin oils) which means it can more effectively absorb the active ingredients into the skin. I have been using Olay Total Effects Night Moisturiser in conjunction with the serum at night and again, I highly recommend as it has helped improve my skins moisture but doesn’t feel as thick as a paste like some night creams.
A few extra notes to get the most out of these moisturising tips
You’ll also benefit from using a cleanser before using any of these moisturising products (to remove any dirt from the day, preventing clogged pores which cause acne). It’s just as crucial to use an exfoliator a couple of times a week too to remove dead skin cells – because there’s no point in moisturising dead skin cells!
Don’t forget that managing other factors like stress, hormones, your environment, sleep patterns and the weather can help improve your overall skin health too.
This post is proudly sponsored by Olay Total Effects. All thoughts are my own and I have tried, tested and loved the products I recommend in this blog post.
Due to a later than normal season, there is a flush of Australian Passionfruit in the market right now, yet the demand is very low. This means growers are at risk of having to dispose of large quantities of perfectly good passionfruit because not enough Australians are buying them! So it’s time to support our hard working passionfruit farmers by stocking up on passionfruit.
If you’re anything like me you are always looking for a healthy, convenient post workout snack. If you want to know more about why post workout snacks are important check out this post. Bliss balls are one of my favourite post workout treats – they are small, portable and packed with nutrients! They’re very quick to make and are cheaper than buying the store bought natural products, many which have refined emulsifiers in them. I have made a new recipe – my Nutty Choc Protein Balls. They are delicious and are the perfect snack or dessert when you need something healthy, but still a little indulgent!
I have used a peanut-coconut spread in this recipe because I love it’s flavour, but you can use any 100% nut butter that you have on hand.
Christmas is only five sleeps away. Eeeeeee. Are you ready for everything? Have you got all your decorations in place? Do you have your menu planned and your Christmas Eve grocery list written out? Did you remember to get the Bon Bon’s and the Christmas serviettes? And importantly – have you checked out my 2018 Fit Girl Gift Guide and finished your gift shopping???
I love Christmas. It’s one of my favourite times of year. I love taking time out, coming together with family over a meal and sharing gifts and a drink or two. But when I look at the list of things I plan and prepare for Christmas Day it can be a little overwhelming. What I find even more overwhelming is when I stop and think about all the things I am preparing when there are so many in the world today who have so little to look forward to on Christmas Day.
Poverty can seem like such a huge, unsolvable problem that we simply blindside the issue (espeically at Christmas time when it puts our privileged situation in harsh perspective). But I really want to take a moment to encourage you that each and every move you make to help those in need makes such an impact to the lives of those who receive your gifts.
So, in light of Christmas, the spirit of generosity, filling those last minute gift lists and with the encouragement of Proverbs 11:25 which says “A generous person will prosper, whoever refreshes others will be refreshed”, I’ve collated my annual list of five gifts you can add to your gift list. These items are in line with what we care about here at Eat Pray Workout, improving the health and nutrition, but there are so many more options to choose from! Have a look at the full range on the World Vision Website.
Fast Growing Seeds – $10 – Help parents provide nutrients for their children with rice and vegetable seeds.
Emergency Food for Children – $40 – Help provide food to malnourished children so they can survive and thrive.
Eco-Cooking Stove – $45 – Help a family cook nutritious food safely in their own home.
Vegetable Garden Starter Pack – $50 – Help families grow nutritious vegies to eat and sell at local markets.
Clean Drinking Water – $60 – Clean water helps to bring good health to struggling families.
With the joys of Christmas come the joys of Christmas food. Well, for most people at least. For those of us that suffer from medically diagnosed IBS, the ‘joys’ of Christmas food can quickly become the most stressful (or uncomfortable) thing that we have to deal with!
I have medically diagnosed IBS and I experience the stress of managing the Christmas social events with the pressure of complicated dietary requirements first hand. What a PAIN it can be. But I have a few handy tricks up my sleeve to help get you through too if you’re trying to manage or avoiding symptoms like bloating, gas and poor bowel regularity.
So here are my top tips for managing medically diagnosed IBS in the Silly Season!1. Bring a plate.
2. Try substituting protein powder in recipes with ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink.
ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink comes in the form of a powder, which means it is very versatile for use in a variety of recipes. It’s made with low FODMAP ingredients which means it is easier for you to digest, contains roughly the same amount of protein as an equivalent serve of protein powder (9g per serve), plus it’s got fibre (3.4g) and provides 50% of your calcium needs! Win Win Win! Try it in these Mocha Protein Bars or Chocolate Bliss Balls recipes.
3. Eat Yo Fibre.
You’ll be sorry if you don’t. Fibre largely impacts the health of our body’s digestive system. To avoid discomfort from constipation or to manage diarrhoea I use ProNourish® Natural Balance Fibre (yes, it’s one of the few fibre supplements that works to help manage both constipation and diarrhoea!). It’s made from Guar beans that have been milled and partially broken down already, so they are easier to digest. The type of fibre in these beans has been clinically shown to reduce bloating symptoms and relieve gas in those who suffer from medically diagnosed IBS. It can be mixed into hot or cold drinks or foods. For ease of routine I have mine with a smoothie style drink in the morning, that way I know my fibre needs have been met right from the start of the day!
4. Take a sachet of ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink in your bag.
I do this in case there is nothing I can eat at a party. There is nothing worse than getting to an event and realising that there is absolutely nothing that is suitable for you to eat. Depending how sensitive your gut is, simple things like someone adding cous cous to salad, a crumb on the meat, onion and garlic in all the hor’deurves, or fruit salads filled with high FODMAP fruits like mango, peach, pear, etc., and all the desserts including lactose in them can make it very difficult to know what to eat without paying for it later. Sound familiar?
So that you are not stuck between the options of going hungry by eating only carrot sticks, or eating the food provided and trying to deal with the consequences I always carry a sachet of the ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink in my handbag. Small, portable and easy to prepare. You may feel a bit silly the first time you have to use it as an alternative, but your gut will thank you. They taste good too!
5. Experiment with food at night.
If you’re going to branch out a little from your regular dietary routine, save the experiments to the end of the day, rather than the start. That way you won’t be stuck managing symptoms during the party.
So, this wonderful Christmas season, you don’t have to go without to keep your IBS in control. That’s a Christmas present in itself. Just do a little bit of planning, keep your Monash University App handy if you are testing your diet with the Low FODMAP diet and incorporate some ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drinks into your routine to make sure you are meeting all of your dietary requirements! HAPPY CHRISTMAS my IBS friends!
This post was proudly sponsored by ProNourish® (Nestle Health Science). I am a huge fan of the ProNourish® range, I use it regularly and am glad to partner with them! All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.
The ProNourish® range is available in leading pharmacies.
ProNourish® Natural Balance Fibre: Always read the label, use only as directed, if symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Monash University receives a license fee for use of the Monash University Low FODMAP Certified trademarks. Monash University has assessed this product as being low in FODMAPs but has not assessed its suitability as a therapeutic good.
ProNourish® Digestive Balance Drink is a formulated supplementary food. Formulated to supplement a normal diet to address situations where intakes of energy and nutrients may not be adequate to meet an individual’s requirements. Consume as part of a healthy varied diet. Monash University Low FODMAP Certified food. One serve of this product is low in FODMAPs.