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Smoothies & Juices by ‘The Health Enthusiast’

#reblog from Five Minute Fix Bog.
It is great to know that The Health Enthusiast can be contribute to useful tips and tricks for getting things done quickly. Check out this blog on ways on tips on keeping your stress levels at bay and keeping your mind and body healthy!

five-minute fix

Smoothies and juices are fun and simple way to feed your body with the essential nutrients that you need. For those people who are always on-the-go, smoothies are perfect way to get all the fruit and vegetables to complete a healthy and balanced diet.

For today’s post, my friend, Emilia, shares her five-minute smoothie fix— all you need is a blender, fruits, vegetables, and milk (or yogurt as a substitute for milk). Mix all the ingredients in a blender, grab a container and go. The good thing about making your own smoothie is that it provides benefits that will keep you on the right track towards good health. By adding fruit and vegetables in your diet, you nourish your body with vitamins, natural sugars and fibre that you need for your daily nutrition intake. If you’re the type who does not like eating greens, smoothies and juices are the perfect alternative for…

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Homemade Granola

My very own granola!

I’m pretty impressed with this recipe- It is extra crunchy and flavoursome!

Ingredients;

1/2 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup activated buckinis

1/4 cup almond

1/4 cup macadamias

Handful of sesame seeds

Handful of chia seeds

Handful of flax seeds

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons barley malt syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Method;

Preheat oven to 150 degrees

Add all your ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix everything together

Place non stick baking paper into a small tray 

Add your mix into your baking tray

Bake for about 40 minutes. Make sure you stir every 5-10 minutes.

Let it cool for 15 minutes or until hard

Brake your granola slab into desired pieces.

Ready to eat!

(Add your granola with some natural biodynamic yoghurt and berries = delicious)

Enjoy! 


Nutritious toast options

Toast can definitely be a healthy breakfast option if you are smart with what bread and toppings you use.

Highly processed ham and cheese on toast is a popular breakfast meal although it really isn’t helping your insides!

Buying bread from your local bakery is a great place to start. Preferrably not bakers delight or brumbys and most definitely stay away from the Coles/ Safeway bread section. Source a bakery around your home that supplies bread with natural ingredients and no preservatives. Sourdough (made with wholegrain or rye) or 100% spelt bread are great healthy alternatives  which I buy from the local markets. 

I also keep healthy toast toppings in the fridge  for times when I am in need of a carb loaded snack. This includes; avocado, natural organic peanut butter, cottage cheese and vegemite.

My top 3 favourite toast options are;

Smashed avocado on toast with freshly squeezed lemon on top.

Peanut butter and chopped banana with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top

Cottage cheese, cayenne pepper and chopped radish. 

Coconut Chia Breaky

My love for chia seeds has made me want to create a new breakfast option with chia seeds of course! 

Chia seeds provide an impressive amount of nutrients with very few calories, they are a rich source or omega 3’s, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, fiber and protein! 

If you are looking for a sweet breakfast option, without the added sugar and a high nutrient profile, this coconut chia breakfast pudding may be the one for you! 

Ingredients;

Chia seeds, light coconut milk, house made granola, banana, frozen berries and coconut flakes.

Method;

Soak 1/5 of a cup of chia seeds with 1/4 of a cup of light coconut milk overnight

In the morning top with granola, banana,berries and coconut flakes!

Quick, easy, nutritious and ready to eat! 

Eggplant Boats

Eggplant stuffed boats are an excellent healthy meal for you to enjoy for lunch or dinner.
They are an easy and nutritious hearty meal, which can be made the night after you make bolognese or can also be made without meat to cater for the vegetarians!

Ingredients;
1 eggplant
250 g minced beef
1/2 onion
tomato paste
carrot
zucchini
capsicum
mushroom

Method;
1. Heat some oil in a fry pan on medium heat. Add onion and wait till it is golden brown
2. Add mince and cook for 5 minutes, while stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the mince
3. Add tomato paste, carrot, capsicum, mushroom and zucchini and let it all simmer for another 5 minutes
4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
5. Cut eggplant in halves (pierce some holes in the eggplant) and place pieces on non stick baking paper. bake for 30 minutes
6. Take your eggplant tray out of the oven and add your mince and vegetables into the eggplant boats
7. Cook for another 10 minutes or until eggplant and mince has a brown crisp to it.
8. Allow to cool a little and they are ready to eat!!

MY Top 5 Melbourne Brunch Spots

Melbourne will never disappoint you if you are looking for a new cafe with amazing coffee or a delicious menu. As a health enthusiast and keen foodie, I am always looking for new healthy places to try. There is nothing I love more than catching up with my girls over brunch or enjoying my daily morning latte. 

Below are the latest cafe spots I have been at and absolutely loved! If you are looking for a new place to brunch, these are a must try! 

   1. HEAL.THY SELF CO.

This clean eating cafe is located in the western suburbs of Melbourne in Yarraville. It has a delicious variety of plant based food and catering for all the sugar, gluten and dairy free health enthusiasts. Producing incredible juices, smoothies, breakfast bowls and lunch options. The almond crusted chicken wrap on a organic spelt wrap is delicious and their acai bowls will never disappoint! 

 

2. LITTLE BIG SUGAR SALT
 

Little Big Sugar Salt is a cosy cafe in Abbotsford situated on Victoria Street with the cutest menu design I have seen! The creative menu is presented along a food pyramid, indicating its size and whether the meal is sweet or savoury. I ordered the Secret Garden which was absolutely delicious and gave me at least 2 of my 5 serves of veggies for the day, which made me leave feeling extremely satisfied! I also was able to get an almond milk latte- which can be hard to find at most cafes, which again was amazing!

 
3. PATCH
 

Patch is located in Richmond, situated within the heritage restoration of Studio 9. Their sublime paleo inspired food delivers a healthy menu with a great atmosphere. The power bowl is an amazing light-sweet breakfast or try the delicious cave man meal which would be perfect after a big night out in melbourne town! 

 
4. COMBI
 

Located in the beachside suburb of Elwood. Mostly known for their delicious nourishing raw smoothies along with some of Melbourne’s best raw cakes and treats. Their Acai bowl, raw pizzas and raw snicker treats are my favourite!

 
5. SARDI
 

Sardi is definitely becoming one of Melbourne’s favourite go to spots for brunch, healthy smoothies and delicious almond milk lattes which are located on Church St, Hawthorn. This small cafe delivers a variety of healthy all day breakfast options, including delicious acai and superfood breakfast bowls (which I desperately want to go back for!) as well as a tasty lunch menu. Their coffee is superb and they offer almond milk lattes which taste amazing, even if you aren’t lactose intolerant!

Strawberry & Kiwi Choc Bites

Are you looking for a new healthy treat or a quick and easy yet guilty free dessert to treat visitors !? Then strawberry and kiwi choc bites may be your new found love!

These bites are so simply to make, attract mostly everyone because of their vibrant colours and of course taste extremely good!

Ingredients:
2 kiwis
1 punnet of strawberries
250g 80% dark cacao chocolate
Bee pollen

Method:
Simply slice your kiwi and wash your strawberries

Melt some 80% dark cacao chocolate in a mini fry pan (make sure you watch this at all times as the chocolate can easily burn, and you will not be able to use it)

Once the chocolate is melted, tilt the fry pan while dipped the kiwi and strawberries in the chocolate sauce and place them on a plate

Sprinkle bee pollen onto the melted chocolate before it dries

Place the dessert in the fridge for at least 20 minutes/ or until chocolate hardens before eating!

Best served chilled!

ENJOY

Black Bean & Quinoa Salad with Lime Corriander Dressing

I have been trying out a new mix of flavours to make an exciting new healthy salad for lunch and the black bean & quinoa salad with lime coriander dressing has definitely hit the spot!!
It’s hard to get bored of this high protein salad because of its refreshing mix of flavours. Not only is it quick and easy to make it has an excellent source of nutrients (Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B6, Magnesium) to nourish your body to maintain a healthy glow from the inside and out!

Ingredients;

Black beans
Red Quinoa
Corn
Red Capsicum
Corriander
Lime Juice
Olive Oil
Pumpkin Seeds
Cummin
Salt and Pepper

Carbohydrates

There is a lot of misconception around carbohydrates and whether they are good or bad.

Carbohydrates are essential in order for us to maintain a well balanced diet and healthy body. They are the body’s main source of energy and are one of the easiest macronutrients to be absorbed by the body due to their ability to quickly convert into glucose for energy. However to sustain energy it is better for our bodies to absorb glucose slowly. Therefore consuming complex carbohydrates rather than simple is a great way to achieve this.

Low carbohydrate (low-carb) diets are popular for weight loss. This is due to the belief that you need to eat as little carbs as possible as carbohydrates cause weight gain. However this is misleading as weight gain comes from an overconsumption of kilojoules (energy), which can come from any food sources such as high fat, even high protein foods.

Low carb diets can also affect the ability to maintain a healthy and nutritionally adequate diet as they can have a high fat content and tend to restrict important food sources of nutrients. Low carb diets tend to contain few fruit and vegetables and may be high in saturated fats (bad fats), low in fibre and be nutritionally inadequate due to their low levels of thiamine, folate, vitamin A, vitamin B6, calcium and iron.

So before you even consider taking on a low carb diet, I would suggest to firstly think about the type of carbohydrates you are eating. Complex carbohydrates sustain energy for longer periods of time and are usually more nutrient dense compared to simple carbohydrates. Changing your lifestyle for the better may start from switching to complex carbohydrates rather than simple, which will not only be better for your health, can also be an option if looking for a healthy weight loss journey or a clean eating journey.

Here is a list of complex and simple carbohydrates that you may like to consider

COMPLEX

  • Wholegrains- rye, spelt, sourdough
  • Gluten Free Grains- quinao, brown rice, buckwheat
  • Starchy Vegetables- sweet potato, beetroot, pumpkin
  • Low GI Fruit- berries and citrus fruits
  • Oats
  • Legumes

SIMPLE

  • White Bread
  • White Rice
  • Cereals
  • Potatoes
  • Pastries
  • Refined Sugar

Gluten Free Banana, Blueberry, Walnut and Chia Muffins

These gluten-free banana, blueberry, walnut and chia muffins are a perfect healthy snack or breakfast muffin when on the go and are so simple to make!

RECIPE

Ingredients
2 cups of almond meal
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs coconut oil
3 eggs
pinch of salt
1 cup of walnuts
2-3 ripe bananas
small handful of chia seeds

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. In a mixing bowl, combine almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon, blueberries and salt together
3. Preferably in a food processor (or a separate bowl if you do not have one) combine eggs, bananas, coconut oil and walnuts thoroughly
4. Add both mixtures together and mix thoroughly again
5. Once mixture is ready you can spoon it into muffin trays lined with baking paper, and then top with banana slices, a blueberry, before sprinkling chia seeds over the top.
6. Bake for 30 minutes

Makes 8 large muffins

Superfood Slice

Today I made a delicious healthy superfood slice and I am very impressed with it! It satisfies the sugar cravings without the added sugars and preservatives and can last about a week or so in the fridge, so you can have a slice everyday of the week as a treat if you wish!

Ingredients;

150g LSA mix
150g Hazelnut meal
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon organic malt syrup
Handful of goji-berries
Handful of cacao nibs
Handful of desiccated coconut
250g of organic dark cacao chocolate
Sprinkle of Bee Pollen

In a mixing bowl add LSA mix, hazelnut meal, coconut oil, malt syrup, goji berries, cacao nibs, and coconut.

Mix this well together, if you think the mixture is a little too wet, add more LSA or hazelnut meal

Place the mixture into a square container, then place pressure and pat the mixture down well.

Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes

While mixture is in the fridge, melt your dark chocolate into a small fry pan

Pour your chocolate on top of your square slice, making sure it evenly covers your mixture, then sprinkle bee pollen on top as desired.

Place the slice back into the fridge to cool and to allow the chocolate to harden

In about another 30 minutes your superfood slice is ready to eat and is best served chilled!

ENJOY

Obesity: The Problem

Obesity is a major health concern in Australia. There are currently 62.8% Australians that are overweight or obese and numbers are steadily increasing over the years. The onset of obesity is occurring at a younger age, which means associated diseases will provide unhealthy and unhappy lives of those affected.

Obesity is strongly related to chronic inflammation, which is a low-grade inflammatory attack within the cells that responds to harmful stimuli and is the root cause of many diseases. This raises a number of concerning chronic and debilitating diseases, including; diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, stroke and some cancers.

Over-nutrition and obesity influences impaired adipose tissue (fat cell) function that causes inflammation and promotes diseases. Adipose tissue is also an important endocrine organ, which has multiple metabolic roles in regulating our overall body energy homeostasis. Fat cells become enlarged as individuals become overweight or obese, thus the fat cells cause negative modifications that effect systematic metabolism. This is how inflammation is caused which therefore initiates inflammatory pathways which contribute to concerning chronic diseases.

Your health is at risk if you have a waist of;
Men: More than 94cm
Women: More than 80cm

Recommendations to prevent or reduce inflammation:

  • Eat foods containing Omega 3 fatty acids, or alternatively take omega 3 supplements that are found to reduce inflammation.
  • Adjust your diet by switching to products with low fat quality to high fat quality, consult your GP, dietician or nutritionist for advice on products that will suit your lifestyle.
  • Introduce actions that will decrease waist circumference or help maintain a healthy weight. This includes either exercises or diet practices.
  • Reduce sedentary behaviours, including sitting, standing and sleeping (adults should not be sleeping more than 8-9 hours a day). Sedentary behaviours are strongly associated with increased BMI’s.

Blueberry, Watermelon, Pomegranate + Coconut Water Popsicles

These delicious blueberry, watermelon, pomegranate and coconut water popsicles are great for those hot sunny days.
They are a healthy alternative to icypoles/ ice cream, packed with antioxidants and are great to keep you hydrated!

Other great combinations are:

Freshly squeezed orange juice, strawberry and blueberry

Freshly squeezed Apple juice, kiwi and strawberry

Filtered water, lemon and berries

Chicken and Veggie Ginger-Soy Stir Fry

This recipe is so simply to make yet so incredibly delicious. It’s the perfect meal to ‘eat the rainbow’ and is a great dinner option to chuck in all your leftover veggies. 

Ingredients 

2 chicken breasts 

1 grated ginger root 

soy sauce 

1 bunch bok-choy 

1 bunch spring onions

 1 red capscicum 

1 packet of baby corn 

1 broccoli head 

2 carrots 

olive oil 

1/2 cup water 

Method: Dice the chicken breast into small cube pieces and place into a tupperware container Add the grated ginger and pour soy sauce all over the chicken breast Shake the container and let the chicken marinate in the refridgerator for at least 30 minutes Heat up a fry pan and sear your chicken until it all changes colour, then turn pan off. Heat up a wok with olive oil and 1/2 cup of water Steam the broccoli and carrots for approx 5 minutes, then add the chicken into the wok Heat this for another 10 minutes Once the chicken, broccoli and carrots look about ready, add in all your other veggies; capsicum, baby corn, bok choy and spring onions Keep frying for another 10-15 minutes or until spring onion and bok choy has softened and is hard to visualise. Once this is done, your chicken and veggie stir fry is ready to eat! ENJOY!

A Little About IRON

Last week I had someone ask me about iron, as they’d recently been diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia. It prompted me to write this post, which I hope will not only provide awareness, but also aid in the prevention of iron deficiency anaemia.

Iron is an essential mineral that is primarily responsible for the transportation of oxygen in the blood and other important bodily functions. It is an important component of hemoglobin, which is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. This is important for providing energy for every-day activities and routines, and is vital for brain development. Iron deficiency is a condition resulting from inadequate iron in the body, and is the leading cause of anaemia. The prevalence of anaemia and contribution of iron deficiency to this burden is varied between diverse populations. It not only affects a vast amount of children and women in developing countries, but is also a major health concern and highly prevalent in developed countries. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common and prevalent nutritional disorder in the world affecting 1.62 billion people worldwide. It is a significant public health problem in Australia, with approximately 8% of preschool children, 12% of pregnant women and 15% of non-pregnant women of reproductive age in Australia suffering from the condition.

The focal causes of this issue include:

1. an inability to produce adequate iron stores during periods of increased demand (namely during adolescence, pregnancy or during breast-feeding)

2. inadequate dietary intake

3. blood losses and inability the absorb iron

If you have iron deficiency anaemia you should most likely be taking iron supplements (consult with your doctor first).
The best way to treat iron deficiency anaemia is to eat wholesome food with a high iron profile. This includes; red meat, beef or chicken liver, oysters, perch, salmon, tuna, breakfast cereals enriched in iron, squash, pumpkin seeds, beans ( white beans, lentils), broccoli, spinach and last but not least – my favourite – tofu!