June 24, 2013

Thought you were picking the healthy choice? 6 foods that are not healthy options

Here are six foods that you may have thought were the healthy choice, but are in fact laden with sugar and salt and empty of nutrition. 
  1. Reduced-fat peanut butter: One of the biggest benefits of peanuts is that they’re full of monounsaturated fats, which are the good fats. Take that out of the peanut butter and what do you have left? Tons of sugar and the same amount of (now empty) calories. Typically whenever you see reduced fat in any product, it means that the fat was replaced with sugar or salt. Make sure you choose an organic peanut butter with no added sugar, oils or salt. Also try almond butter as a great peanut butter alternative. The key here is to control portion size and without sugar, you will only need a small about to feel satisfied. 
  2. Fruit smoothies: Most juice and smoothie bars are marketed as the healthy beverage choice but the average fruit smoothie can contain more than 30 grams of sugar, with no protein or healthy fats. Juices should contain mostly vegetables, with a little fruit added for sweetness. The same rule applies to smoothies, but in these you can also add coconut water for hydration, vitamin powders for added nutrition such as spirulina, and peanut butter or protein powder for fat and protein. 
  3. Protein bars: If you read the label of a protein bar, I doubt you could recognize half of the ingredients. Too many protein bars are just processed bricks of artificial ingredients and fillers. Also many of them are very high in sugar, fat and calories. If you want a quick snack, try and apple or celery sticks with peanut butter, quinoa crackers with avocado or carrot sticks with hummus. You can also make your own protein snacks at home, try some of my recipes.
  4. Low-fat frozen yoghurt and ice-cream: While some of these products may be fairly low in calories, they are nutritionally empty and send straight sugar into your blood stream, which often turns directly into fat. If you want a cool treat, try a protein rich yoghurt (such as Chobani which is low in sugar) and add in a tablespoon of flavored whey protein powder, a tablespoon of LSA (linseed meal), and blueberries. 
  5. Sushi: Japanese food is often an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, but Westernised versions of these meals often contain added fat and sugar. Watch out for meals rich in sweet and salty sauces or sushi rolls made with fried foods, mayonnaise or cream cheese. The best choice is sashimi, edamame or seaweed salads, which are all high in nutritional value and low in carbohydrates, sugar and processed fats.
  6. Vegetarian or gluten-free options: Just because a meal is labelled vegetarian or gluten-free does not automatically mean it is good for you. Vegetarian foods can be laden with oils, cheese and fats to substitute meat. Make sure you look for fresh options that include some lean protein, such as tofu or legumes. Gluten-free products like baked goods or pastas are often just as high in sugar or carbohydrates as the wheat-based equivalents. Make your own healthy versions of muffins at home (here are some recipes) and try substituting pasta for shredded zucchini. 

June 23, 2013

A tea to add to your collection: Dandelion Tea

I know you are probably thinking, 'not another tea!' or 'isn't green tea the ultimate in herbal drinks?' But dandelion tea has an enormous range of benefits, which can knock green tea off it's health pedestal and make it a must have for your tea collection.

June 18, 2013

Peanut Butter, Banana and Choc Protein Truffles

A great snack to have on hand when those sugar or hunger cravings hit as these protein truffles are so tasty and packed with good fats and vegan protein to help carry you through the day. Very easy to make, these bite-sized treats are sugar-free and high in fibre.

June 12, 2013

Eating For Your Body Type - Advice from Tracy Anderson

Firstly you need to determine which body type you have as this dictates what foods and exercises are best for you. Read each of the body type descriptions in this post to decide what most fits to you and Tracy will give you a guide of what to eat and how to move to get the best results for your shape.

June 04, 2013

Pistachio and Strawberry Rose Meringue Cake

This stunning cake is the ideal centerpiece for a girly afternoon tea in the sunshine. Serve with beautiful rose champagne, and make sure you have lots of hungry guests with a sweet tooth. The lightness of this cake is perfect for warmer weather or a wedding celebration. The pictured cake was made by my talented friend Georgie, who has a cupcake and sweet business in Brisbane called Narnies Cupcakes. She can make an array of gorgeous treats, including macarons of all colours and flavours, beautiful wedding cakes and cupcakes, and can cater to your personal preferences and occasion.

Skinny Sugar-free Cinnamon Tea Cake

This is a very simple recipe and makes the most delicious buttery cake with simple but beautifully matched flavours. I replaced sugar in the recipe with Natvia stevia sweetener. Cinnamon on the palate is also associated with sweetness and can mimic the taste of sugar in your mouth.

June 02, 2013

Skinny Sugar-free Gluten-free Butterfly Cakes

The perfect treat at an afternoon tea, butterfly cakes are dainty and sweet, and are always a crowd pleaser. These sponge cakes are made without gluten or sugar yet stay fluffy and moist. To keep the cakes completely allergy free, the berry centre is made with blueberry flavored CoYo, spiked with some Chambord liquor.

Skinny Butterfly Cakes
120 calories per cupcake

  • 100gm (2/3 cup) gluten-free plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of Natvia sweetener (stevia sweetener powder)
  • 50 gm butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large tub of blueberry CoYo (coconut milk yoghurt)
  • 2 tablespoons of Chambord or raspberry liquor
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan forced. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake liners. Sieve the flour and baking powder twice into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sweetener until pale and creamy, and doubled in size (about 5 - 8 minutes).
  3. Gently fold the flour mixture into the eggs and sweetener until combined. Add in the melted butter and fold again until incorporated.
  4. Divide the mixture amongst the 12 cupcake liner; the mixture should come to just over 3/4 full. Don't fill the cupcake to the brim on the liners as they will rise.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until risen and golden.
  6. Take out of oven and let cool in tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool.
  7. Once cooled, use a small sharp knife the cut out a dome shape in the centre of the cakes. Cut this small piece of cake into two to use later.
  8. Transfer the CoYo into a bowl and mix together with liquor.
  9. Fill each cake cut-out with the CoYo and top with remaining cake pieces to form the butterfly.
  10. Dust with natural icing sugar before serving.