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.
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.
Let’s face it: Travelling is expensive. After you’ve bought the flights, paid for hire cars, accommodation and travel insurance, you’ve already spent the majority of your budget before you’ve even walked out your front door. I know first hand how much travelling can impact your bank account, and how painful it can feel to constantly be handing your card over; so this holiday season I’ve thought of 3 ways to cut costs that won’t get in the way of the pleasure and rest that a holiday should bring.
1. Make your own food
A huge cost that is often overlooked in the budgeting process can be food. Obviously you have to eat when you’re travelling and it is likely that you won’t always have a kitchen at your disposal. When I travel, I aim to eat out only once a day, which means getting creative when it comes to food. Granola Muesli and fruit can easy option for breakfast, or if you have a bar fridge (I think this is what the mini bar is really for) you could try something a little more exciting like overnight oats as they don’t need much preparation.
Make snacks before you go and store them in zip lock bags for easy access. This is particularly helpful if you have kids or if, like me, you are prone to getting hangry when you travel. I like to make muesil bars, biscuits, muffins and bliss balls. If you are travelling interstate or internationally, make sure you check the local quarantine laws. It can feel like a big effort to make these things ahead of time, but your future travel self will thank you when you do. If you don’t get time always remember that apples are easy to throw in a handbag and can be eaten on the go – mess free.
Lunch and Dinner options can be easy. We often buy a packet of wholegrain bread rolls or wraps at a deli and just add some fresh veggies, avocado and sometimes some deli meat and cheese. Make tinned tuna and beans your best friend. Also ready made curries and rice packets have saved me a few times! See travel as an opportunity to get creative and make recipes that require only a few ingredients and no cooking, such as this Mango, Mint and Tuna Salad – Yum!
Last but not least, don’t forget your water bottle! We always avoid paying for water when you can get it for free (this does not apply to countries where bottled water is required).
2. Get outside!
I try to stay active on holidays. One of the best ways to do this is by getting out and using the wonderful, and ever available, gift of my LEGS to get me where I want to go. I’ve experienced my favourite travel moments and seen the best sights while I’ve been walking, bike riding and paddle boarding. These things aren’t always free, but bike hire is definitely cheaper than a double decker bus tour. And the best part is that the experience becomes part of the attraction! Isn’t that what travel is all about?!
3. Prepare Beforehand
I always read some travel guides before I leave. Try looking some up, like this one I wrote for Hamilton Island. A bit of research behind you means that you will know where you want to go, what you want to see and how you are going to get there. This reduces the risk of booking a last minute pricey tour at the hotel reception.
Make sure you write a list of all the things you require for the holiday well in advance, such as power adaptors, travel comforts such as inflatable pillows and even travel insurance. This allows you to find sales so that you don’t end up paying full price for something that was discounted only a few months before.
If you are travelling with kids, make sure your nappy bag essentials are stocked up beforehand (remember the snap lock bags of snacks!). If you don’t you may find yourself ordering $10 toast at the airport or paying for a cab to take you to the nearest store for some baby wipes.
Some holiday destinations require a more specific dress code. If you are travelling somewhere like that look up advice in advance such as What To Wear In Dubai. This will prevent you from frantically buying clothing at the expensive airport clothing stores.
One of my favourite travel quotes is this:
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”. – Anonymous.
I hope these tips have been useful to you, and help to bring rest and joy in your next holiday.
Where are you travelling next? If you have any travelling tips please share them with me in the comments below!
I love Mediterranean flavours! I associate these flavours with warm weather and long summer nights, which is exactly where we find ourselves here in Sydney! It’s honestly my favourite time of year. I’ve used these flavours to create a warm, nourishing dinner bowl that I plan on eating on my verandah tonight! It’s quick and simple to create and a perfect dinner for two. Even better it’s vegan, gluten free and FODMAP friendly and most of the ingredients you will already have in the cupboard.
Note: If following the Fodmap diet, ensure the olives are not marinated in garlic, and limit dressing the meal to 2 Tbsp.
1 C brown rice
125 g mixed olives
½ punnet cherry tomatoes (about 12)
½ can mixed beans
pinch of paprika
FOR THE DRESSING:
¼ C tahini
¼ C warm water
½ T lemon juice
½ tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Cook brown rice as per instructions.
While the rice cooks, make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a small bowl, and whisking well. Add extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if you prefer your dressing runnier.
Dice capsicum into large pieces, and cook in a pan over a high heat for a few minutes.
Lower the heat, add tomatoes, and olives into the pan. If your olives were sitting in a marinade, add this also! If not, drizzle with a little olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a pinch of oregano, and warm through.
Drain and rinse beans.
Once the rice is cooked, assemble all elements in a bowl, and drizzle with plenty of dressing!
So give it a go – let me know in the comments below what you think!
December is here ladies! How are your shopping plans going? Whether it’s for yourself or for the active girl in your life, I’ve got you covered with gift ideas for this year! In fact, I’ve included so many gift ideas included here that you are sure to find something that suits and is in your price range. You could even copy this link and text it to your man on the sly, just to give him a helping hand you know?
Plantronics Backbeat Fit 3100 Wireless Sports Headphones – have you tried wireless headphones yet? They will change your workout. No more holding a phone as you run or trying to slip it into your pocket at the gym, hello fitness freedom! I’ll be doing a giveaway with this excellent brand soon so make sure you keep you eye on the blog for details.
The Lorna Jane 2019 Active Living Diary – this is a must for every active girls wish list. It’s stylish on the outside and beautiful on the inside. It’s even tempted me away from my online calendar this year.
Kikki K. Phone Box – Connect to disconnect. I absolutely love this product, I have been hounding my husband to make something like this for ages and it hasn’t happened, but here it is ready made! No more phones at meal times or overnight in our house.
Peter Alexander Disney Fair Isle Onesie – I’ve been waiting for sooo long for someone to bring out a short Summer pyjama onesie and it is finally here! No more getting tangled in pyjama tops that roll up when I get into bed.
And although it’s not pictured above, my last but by no means least, Christmas Gift idea, the Endota Favourites Gift Pack – My Christmas Gift List would not be complete without an Endota inclusion – they are my favourite skin care brand and self-care gurus. This pack is a great way to sample their incredible products!
What’s the difference between good and bad fats? And what good fats should I eat?
You should follow a low-fat diet! No wait, fat is good for you – eat up! Actually, only eat some fats, so make sure you choose the right ones! Now only eat plant-based fats! Forget that, don’t eat fat at all! There is so much information out there regarding fat in our diet, what’s good and what’s bad, which types and how much. How does the average gal know how to decipher it and who to trust? I’ve been confused on this issue myself, so I’ve done some research and spoken to some Dietitians who have helped me sort it all out. So, read on to find out the difference between good and bad fats, and which fats we should be including in our diets.
Why should I be concerned about fats?
Some of the major health problems in our society, such as obesity and heart disease, can be directly affected by the fat content in our diet. Because fat is so energy dense (it gives over twice as many calories per gram than carbohydrate and protein) eating too much of it can lead to weight gain. Also, fats have a direct effect on the cholesterol levels in our body. This effect can be positive or negative, depending on the type of fats we eat.
Should I eat fat?
Fat is an essential part of our diets. Fats provides us with essential fatty acids (like Omega-3), fat soluble vitamins (Vitamin A,D,E and K) and they are an important source of energy. However, as with anything too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, so make sure you eat it in moderation. Fats are also beneficial as they release hormones in the body that stimulate feelings of fullness, meaning you will feel more satisfied after a meal which includes some fats. I definitely find this to be true!
What types of fat are there?
There are three main types, saturated fats, unsaturated fats and trans fats.
Which fats are bad?
Saturated fats are the bad guys. You can tell a fat is a saturated fat if it is solid at room temperature. These fats raise the total cholesterol level in our bodies, particularly the bad type of cholesterol, which is called LDL. You’ll find saturated fats in foods like butter, full fat dairy, palm oil and coconut oil.
Which fats are good?
Unsaturated fats are the good guys. They help to lower cholesterol levels. You can identify them as they will be liquid at room temperature. There are two different types, poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats.
The most common polyunsaturated fats are n-3 and n-6. It is so important to include these fats in your diet as the body has no way of making them by itself. It’s best to get your n-3 from animal sources, particularly fish, as this is the most efficient source. Plants have a slightly different form of n-3. It’s still good for us, but our bodies have a limited ability to convert the form from the plants into the correct n-3 out body needs, so marine sources are best. You can find n-3 in EVOO, fish, nuts and seeds.
Most of us get enough n-6 in our diet without going out of our way. It is in nuts, sunflower seeds and oils, soybean products and most spreads.
Mono unsaturated fats
Mono unsaturated fats lower the cholesterol levels in the body. They are a great option to replace saturated fats. Find them in avocado, nuts, EVOO, and peanut oil.
These fats caused me a bit of confusion. They are classed as unsaturated fats – this would make them good right? Wrong. Getting all technical for a minute, it turns out that they have the chemical structure of unsaturated fats, so technically they are, but they ACT like saturated fats by raising the bad cholesterol in our body. In fact, trans fats are double bad because they actually act to reduce the amount of good cholesterol in the body.
It can be tricky to identify what foods these fats are in because food manufacturers do not have to include them on the label (unless they make a specific claim about fats on the label). They are found in anything that has been deep fried, in pies and pastries, cakes and crackers. They are formed when oils are heated to high temperatures (at which point their chemical structure changes and they become unstable). So, the best way to avoid them is to avoid take-away and processed food and instead stick to a whole food diet.
What about Coconut Oil? That fixes everything right?
The past few years has seen ongoing hype around the health benefits of coconut oil, being used for everything from homemade suncream to treating yeast infections. But is it really that good?
Let’s start at the beginning. How is it made? Coconut oil is extracted directly from the fruit of the coconut. It is 92% saturated fat, which is actually a higher content of saturated fat than butter. The frequently stated claim for its health benefits is that although it is a saturated fat, it acts more like an unsaturated fat in the body. This is because of a high content of lauric acid, which raises HDL, the good cholesterol in the body. In this sense it has a similar effect to unsaturated fats. However, studies have shown that it also raises the total cholesterol levels, including the bad cholesterol. Most of the other health claims revolve around the content of MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) in coconut oil. These are beneficial for health however, these only make up 10% of the total fat content of coconut oil.
So, it is best to choose unsaturated fats like EVOO instead. Coconut oil also has no vitamins, and no polyphenol antioxidants, so when compared to something like EVOO, which is full of antioxidants and vitamins, it just doesn’t stack up. If you’re not convinced about this have a look at these papers:
I often find that I get in a rut with my lunch routines. If I’m not prepared I can easily slip into the land of cheese and mustard toasties or tuna on corn thins, and nobody needs a week of cheese and mustard toasties! Do you get into lunchtime ruts? I recently had a friend over for lunch and she brought some spreadable feta (she knows I love new food products) – I didn’t even know this existed before! She whipped these roasted veg open sandwiches for lunch and it was delicious! Goodbye tuna corn thins, hello gourmet lunch of roast veg and feta open sandwich!
Sustainable, transparent, safe, minimal waste, fair – what does ‘ethical clothing’ actually incorporate? Ethical clothing for a long time was a topic I thought ‘ I should look into that’, but it felt like such a huge task! Can you relate? I thought (and sometimes still do think) ‘am I really ready to confront my wardrobe and think about it’s effect on the world?’, ‘Am I ready to find out about the production practices of all my favourite brands?’ It’s a tough adjustment and commitment to make, but I am convinced that we have a responsibility to make informed decisions about how we spend, and so I am, somewhat nervously, continuing to turn my steps in that direction.
What does ethical clothing mean?
The term ‘ethical clothing’ or ‘ethical fashion’ encompasses all aspects of the fashion industry, from growing the plants to make the fibres, design, production and purchasing. It considers all kinds of issues within this industry, such as working conditions, slave and child labour, animal protection and environmental sustainability among others. But such a huge umbrella term can make this research intimidating. Where do you start? Well you can take a breath, reading this post IS your start! You’ve already begun.
Why is ethically produced fashion important?
Our world, and the resources in it, is not infinite and the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. The impact of the fashion industry affects waste, water usage, toxic chemical supply and disposal and energy consumption. Here’s a scary stat (from global news), the average T-shirt uses around 1500-2200L of water to produce, while a pair of jeans uses nearly 7000L! That’s a heck of a lot of water usage for a T-shirt, and I have SO many T-shirts in my wardrobe! So, I’m convinced I need to be more careful in my purchasing and my wardrobe purging. My dollar has an impact with a much farther reach than I have previously realised and I have a responsibility in how I spend it.
What type of ethical fashion should I choose?
As I mentioned before, ‘ethical clothing’ is a huge term. Trying to find brands that are doing everything right is difficult, and it can feel overwhelming to go from not considering ethical clothing at all to having to consider every aspect of it! So where to start? A good way to start is to have a think about the types of ethical grading I mentioned and choose one or two that are particularly important to you and start your research there.
Today I’m starting with Environmentally friendly, or ‘eco-friendly’ fashion. This term looks at aspects of clothing production such as the way your clothing is died, how the waste water is handled, which fibres are chosen (as some require less water to produce such as hemp or linen), how much Co2 is emitted and which chemicals are used during production.
Eco Friendly Fashion – this is where I’ve started.
I was recently lucky enough to attend the launch event of Paco Loves Luna’s eco friendly active wear range. Apart from being a beautiful event, overlooking Sydney Harbour, Lauren (the founder of Paco Loves Luna) also included eco friendly drink bottles and keep cups into the event. I’ve included some pics from the event that showcase the new eco-friendly range.
Lauren Vickers sources from many eco-friendly brands around the world that not only employ sustainable practices in manufacturing products, but also look after their workers well to make sure they have optimal working conditions and fair pay. In particular, one brand is brought across from Hawaii, USA in which every product is hand sewn, with the use of 100% organic cotton and recycled polyester, with the personalised production of using recycled plastic bottles.
She’s using fabric made from recycled bottles! I think that’s amazing! It is such a great way to reduce the waste in our world. This is how it’s done:
– The plastic is picked up from a recycling centre and then sorted into type and colour
– The plastic containers are then put through a removal process to ensure they have no labels or caps and are then chopped into flakes.
– The flakes are melted down and made into consistently shaped pellets which go through a second melting process and are extruded to make fibre which is cut, drawn and stretched.
– This can then be used as fabric for a variety of textiles.
Crazy right? I love it when technology can be used to create excellent processes like this! What’s more, ‘all textiles used to create the garments are BPA-free. The dyes to create patterns and colouring are made with vegetable oil and are not only bold and vibrant but hold their colour’.
I love what Lauren is doing, and there are so many labels out there who are improving their practices and advocating for responsible fashion production. Some of my favourite eco-friendly fashion labels also include Patagonia, Style Saint and Alternative Apparel. Do you know of other eco friendly fashion labels? Have you got any favourites? If so please share them with me! As a community we can work to collate and share this information.
In the past Peanut Butter has been considered ‘unhealthy’ due to the inclusion of added sugars and stabilisers. But there is good news! Over recent years the food industry has responded to our growing health knowledge and concern for good nutrition and there are now nut butters that contain nothing other than nuts – no added vegetable oils, stabilisers or sugars!
To celebrate 100% natural nut butters I’ve created this Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip recipe. There are oodles of recipes similar to this floating around on the internet BUT this is my favourite. Why? Because I’ve found a new flavour in nut butter spreads. The Mayvers Original Super Spread includes sesame seeds which adds a new dimension to the flavour palette and I LOVE it. This isn’t a sponsored post (although when posts are sponsored I love them just as much – I’m very selective about the brands I work with!), I’m just sharing this info with you because it genuinely makes this dip tastier and more nutritious. This dip also provides you with the added benefits of probiotics from the yogurt.