The Perfect Diet

Atkins, candida, low-fructose, raw food, gluten-free, high protein – I wonder, how many different types of diets exist and which one is perfect for everyone? Some of us have probably tried one, two or all of these diets in a bid to make a change in our health, whether it be for weight loss or to battle illness. Personally, I have dabbled in at least three of these diets over the years and have not found complete success with any of them. But just take a look online and you can be sure to find thousands of people who can advocate for the benefits of each one. At the same time there are thousands of people who claim that none of these diets work. With so many mixed messages, how is someone like me meant to figure out what’s best?

Over years of experimentation with raw food, low carbs, gluten free and the like, I have discovered that there is no popular diet that is perfect for everyone. ย While one diet is perfect for one person, it may be harmful for the next. The problem is, there are so many diets now accessible online that people simply download a plan, follow it exactly and expect results. And they may get those results. But there are always those who don’t and that is because if a diet is not personalised, it is likely to fail. To find the perfect diet for you, it’s about being conscious of how your body responds to certain foods. I discovered early on that dried fruit was a no-go for me when I ate half a bag of dried apricots and ended up doubled over in pain from bloating and gastrointestinal issues. The same thing happens to me when I eat grapes and too much ice-cream. Both dried fruit and grapes are very high in fructose while ice-cream is high in lactose so I put two and two together and decided that I probably have some sort of sugar intolerance. As a result, I ย avoid the kinds of sweet foods which lead to those gastrointestinal issues. ย Interestingly, I have no problems drinking freshly squeezed juice, eating wheat and various other high-sugar fruit and vegetables which may have negative effects for others following a low FODMAPS diet. So it’s really about discovering what works for you.

As a general rule, fresh, unprocessed foods and plenty of water is the foundation of a great diet. From there, it’s all about experimentation to find out what foods and meals work best for your digestive system, energy levels and palate! Recording how your body responds after each meal is a fantastic way to pinpoint some of the foods that could be potentially contributing to great health or ill health. And my final tip: the perfect diet is the one that makes you feel good on the inside and look good on the outside! x

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Raw Ferrero Rochers

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Oh dear. It seems I have an obsession. But I think it’s a healthy one this time! For anyone who follows me on Instagram, they may have seen that I was given the greatest gift anyone could ever receive on their birthday – a stash of products from the latest Mayver’s Food range! If you don’t know about Mayver’s, they are an Australian company who makes raw seed and nut spreads (among some other things) that are completely natural and functional – that means they are good for you! I have six products from their range so far and all of them are AMAZING. Consequently I’ve been going hammer-time in the kitchen, spreading, mixing and dolloping Mayver’s goodness on pretty much anything. Now, it should be noted that while these products are totally raw, they are definitely not fat-free or low-calorie. Personally, I don’t really believe in calorie-counting if you are eating natural, clean, pure foods so I am a massive advocate for this brand, especially if you’re using it to replace highly, processed, sugar-filled foods that are devoid of nutrition.

Which leads me to this awesome recipe! It’s my take on Ferrero Rochers (which I absolutely love but know that they aren’t the healthiest treat in the world). If you liked the previous post ‘Chewy Choc Peanut Slice’ you will see that this is just a variation on that, and so you can experiment with your own flavours if this doesn’t take your fancy. I adore how these balls turned out and they are sure to satisfy any sweet cravings, trust me!

Enough rambling, here’s the recipe!

Raw Ferrero Rochers (makes about 11 balls)

Ingredients

6 heaped tbsp chia seeds

3 heaped tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

3 tbsp almond meal

1/2 cup Mayver’s hazelnut & cacao spread

1 tbsp honey (more if you like it really sweet)

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it makes a thick paste. Roll the mixture into small balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until firm. Eat!

Note: These raw balls would have looked cute presented in some gold tin foil but all I had was some silver metallic paper which I crushed up in my hand to give it a crinkly effect. They would also look great in some super mini patty pans which you can buy from homeware/kitchen stores ๐Ÿ™‚

Chewy Choc Peanut Slice (Gluten, Sugar & Dairy Free!)

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I posted this recipe up on my Facebook and Instagram and I was bombarded with comments and requests for the recipe! I don’t blame y’all – this sweet treat tastes even better than it looks! The texture is a mixture of chewy, soft and crunchy thanks to the addition of chia seeds. Seriously, it’s the best thing EVER. For my overseas readers, you may not be able to get the Mayver’s products however you can just substitute with whatever brand you like. Go make it now! You won’t regret it!ย 

Chewy Choc Peanut Slice (makes 16 bite size pieces)

Ingredients

6 heaped tbsp chia seeds
6 heaped tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1/3 cup natural peanut butterย 
1 heaped tbsp Mayvers peanut cacao spreadย 
1 tbsp PB2 (if u don’t have this just add another 1/3 c of peanut butter)ย 
1/4 c honey
Roasted nuts, chopped (I used almonds)

Method

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a sticky paste. Spread the mixture into a thin slice tin lined with baking paper and top with nuts. Refrigerate until firm (a few hours should be fine) and slice it up into bite size pieces. Easy!ย 

Note: You can also use the same mixture to make bliss balls, just roll into small balls, coat with crushed nuts or coconut and refrigerate.

Coconut Cashew Maca Balls

Continuing on my current Maca obsession, here is my recipe for an easy dessert or snack for those with a sweet tooth! They are nutty, mousse-y balls of goodness!

ImageCoconut Cashew Maca Balls (makes 12)

Ingredients

2 cups unsalted cashews

2 tbsp maca powder

1 tbsp organic cocoa powder

1 tsp organic vanilla

1 tbsp honey or agave

1 tsp ground cinammon

1/3 cup almond milk

Shredded coconut to coat

Method

  1. In a food processor, blend cashews until they turn into a sticky flour. Add cocoa and maca and blend through.
  2. Put cashew mix into a bowl and add vanilla, honey, cinnamon and milk and mix until you get a smooth paste.
  3. This is the bit that gets messy! Take a small amount of the mixture in your hands and roll it quickly into a ball. Drop the ball onto a plate of shredded coconut and roll it around until it is fully coated. Repeat to make 12 balls in total.
  4. Pop them in the fridge or freezer to cool and then eat!

Oatmeal Protein Pancakes with Raspberry & Chia Sauce

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This recipe was taken from The Healthy Foodieย and is such a great, nutritious breakfast idea which fills you up for hours because it’s full of protein! I couldn’t resist making this because I have been wanting to use up the bag of raspberries in my freezer and didn’t want to make a dessert out of them (even though this breakfast kind of tastes like it could be dessert!). I really like this take on pancakes as it’s full of natural protein rather than the store-bought stuff which I think ruins the flavour of anything it’s added to. The raspberry sauce is so good! If you let it get really thick, you could spread it on anything, just like jam but without all the preservatives. Thumbs up from me! Recipe below adapted from the original ๐Ÿ™‚

Oatmeal Protein Pancakes with Raspberry & Chia Sauce (serves 1)

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup natural yoghurt or cottage cheese

1/2 cup egg whites

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinammon

1/4 cup frozen raspberries

For the sauce:

3/4 cup frozen raspberries

1 tbsp agave syrup

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup water

1 tsp lemon juice

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Method

1. In a small pot, put in all sauce ingredients and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes it should have a thicker sauce consistency. Add more water if you like it more runny. Let the sauce cool and then puree in a blender.

2. Mix all the pancake ingredients (except for the raspberries) in a blender/food processor. Pour into a small bowl and fold in the raspberries.

3. Divide the batter into 2 or 3 portions and cook it on medium heat in a small pan. Flip when bubbles appear in the batter.

4. Serve the pancakes with the raspberry sauce and a sprinkling of nuts. Bon appetit!

Orange & Poppy Seed Muffins

Orange & Poppy Seed Muffins

It’s the absolute worst when you buy an ingredient that you only end up using the tiniest amount of – it just sits in your pantry or fridge to die a slow death. I hate wasting food! Recently I made pasties which required a sprinkling of poppy seeds and I was left with a massive bag of the stuff. I’ve never cooked anything with poppy seeds before and I was determined to not let this bag get pushed to the back of my pantry shelf to make friends with that other container of brown seeds that I am yet to identify. Enter my saviour, Google, and I discovered this great sugar and dairy free recipe that looked delicious and nutritious enough to be a viable everyday snack.

A few notes:

  • The original recipe called for lemons but I just used oranges because I had plenty on hand and they’re super cheap at the moment too ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I did not have any applesauce, nor have I ever used it before, so I just peeled and chopped up half a Pink Lady apple, nuked it in the microwave for a couple minutes, added a bit of water and kind of mashed and mixed it with a fork. Voila – instant apple sauce albeit slighty chunky!
  • These muffins are great for vegans because they are dairy free!
  • They are also sugar free; it uses maple syrup as a sweetener. Maple syrup (I used the 100% real stuff) ย is a great substitute for white sugar as it has a lower GI per 1/2 cup. It also provides a variety of minerals (calcium, iron, zinc ย and manganese) unlike white sugar which has zero to offer nutrient-wise. Be careful: make sure you use the 100% Maple Syrup and not the “Maple flavoured” syrup as the fake stuff can have up to 200% more sodium per 100ml, a variety of preservatives and none of the essential minerals.

Orange & Poppy Seed Muffins (makes 12)

Ingredients

Dry:

  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarb soda)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbs poppy seeds

Wet:

  • 3/4 100% maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce (see notes above on how to make your own)
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (basically the juice of one orange)
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used Almond Breeze)
  • 1 tspn vanilla or vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix softly with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don’t over-mix. The batter should be soft and airy!
  5. Fill a 12 cup muffin tray with the mixture, each about 80% full.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Test if they are cooked by popping in a skewer or toothpick and if it comes out clean, they’re ready!

Thanks to “Live. Learn. Love. Eat.” for the great recipe. Check out the original (using lemons) here.ย