RECIPE // APPLE CRUMBLE W MACADAMIA RICOTTA

Apples are pretty damn amazing. I love apple-y desserts. Apple pies and crumbles are the absolute best! This recipe is a healthy take on an apple crumble and it missed out on being in my eBook because I lost the recipe. Now that I have found the post-it note I scribbled it down on (I am terrible!), I thought I’d share it through my blog. Yay!

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Apple Crumble w Macadamia Ricotta

Makes 8ish slices of pie

Ingredients
Filling
6 granny smith apples, sliced very thinly
juice of one lemon
1 t vanilla (paste, extract or one bean, scraped)
1 t cinnamon
½ cup water

Crumble
1 cup oats (can sub for quinoa flakes)
½ cup almond meal
½ cup flaxmeal
1 t cinnamon
1 T coconut sugar
1 T maple syrup
½ cup nuts (mixed – I used pecans and walnuts)

Macadamia Ricotta
2 cups macadamias
juice from one lemon
1/3 cup water
pinch of salt

Method
1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
2. In a saucepan heated over low-medium heat, add the filling ingredients.
3. Stir until well combined and then leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. In a food processor, combine all the crumble ingredients and blitz until well combined and broken down. It can still be a little chunky, it will be a great texture.
5. Set crumble aside.
6. Make macadamia ricotta by adding all ingredients into a food processor or high speed blender and blitzing until creamy and smooth. You made need to add a little more water depending on your desired consistency.
7. Leave this in the fridge.
8. Once the apple filling is soft, add it into a pie dish and layer the top with the crumble.
9. Add to the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the to is slightly browned.
10. Serve the apple crumble with the macadamia ricotta!

Try this over the weekend! It’s great after a roast dinner.

Claire xx

INTRODUCING // FEED THE MACHINE

I somehow managed to condense all of my most important ideas, values and inner-workings of my wildly indecisive, overactive and multi-domain-loving mind into one place; my eBook, Feed the Machine.

Every year I set goals. For the past two years one of my goals has been to write an eBook. It’s funny to me, because throughout the whole process I didn’t really know why I was writing it. I knew what I wanted to be in it, I knew what stories I wanted to tell, though I didn’t know my ‘why’.

Knowing your why is important for many reasons. It is your purpose, what inspires you, what makes you come alive. Some people purely just do, without any thought or driving force behind their actions. Knowing your why allows you to discover your deepest and most wildest passions. It enables you to truly play on your strengths and add the most value you can to whatever you are doing. Knowing your why means you know your direction and you are more inclined to tackle challenges, because you know they are in line with your end goal.

So, I initially started collaborating all my recipes into one space. This was my driving force. Allowing you to have quick, easy access to my food creations. Along the way, the document grew bigger and my ideas started to flourish.

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I realised partway through that I wanted to instil inspiration in others to feed themselves right and to ditch diets and fads, and instead learn about themselves. However, feeding yourself is not just about fuel from food. Feeding yourself is much bigger than that. Yes, nutrition is an integral component of wellness, but I know my why for studying what I study and pursuing the career I am pursuing, and it was not aligning with just a document filled with awesome recipes.

Feed the Machine has become a multi-level wellness guide that I envision will challenge some mindsets. Challenges are great, because they prompt change. I hope that every reader is challenged in some way. Or looks at at least one area differently to what they did before. At the very least, that the reader learns something new.

My eBook includes a ridiculous amount of recipes, an amount I didn’t even know I had in me, though turns out I have made over 70 creations that I am more than happy sharing with the world. They are balanced and wholesome and so very easy to create. I am not a chef. I wouldn’t even say I am a skilled cook. I just have a sense for flavour and knack for re-creating healthy dishes without all the added crap. I have been doing this for years and years.

In addition to recipes, there is a wealth of nutritional information about the foods within the ingredients list of each meal. Pretty insightful stuff! I called on textbooks and journal articles for this information, not all of it was in my head. So this was an awesome learning experience for me as I picked up a few things I didn’t know before!

My nine elements of health are outlined. My health philosophy encompasses all the necessary elements needed to feed your machine. It doesn’t stop at just nutrient fuel. Recognising and understanding these elements is your first step!

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To wrap things up, my eBook also includes a 6-week comprehensive nutrition plan that embeds all my recipes into weekly meal planners. There are food prep tips and a guide for getting the most out of the 6 week journey. Accompanying this plan is a diary for you to note down everything about the foods you are eating. This is step 2 for learning to feed your machine by understanding exactly what your body wants and needs.

I want you to learn about yourself. I don’t want to be telling you what to do, saying what is wrong or right, good or bad. I want to empower you to seek your own knowledge. Treat life like a degree where you are trying to soak up every bit of necessary information that applies to you. I hope my eBook becomes one of your resources. At the very essence of life, is health. Your health is of utmost importance and so, I think you should be the one in control of that. Not your doctor, or your parents, or your partner. You.

Feed the Machine release date is the 11 September. I am overwhelmingly excited to share it with you.

If you’re not already on the mailing list, you can jump on it here. Mailing listers will have access to an awesome eBook deal before the general public, but shhhhh!

Claire x

 

 

VULNERABILITY // GET COMFORTABLE WITH BEING UNCOMFORTABLE

Today I will be short and sharp, as I am cooking up a storm in the kitchen perfecting recipes, coaching kiddies and adults in CrossFit, trying to put all my thoughts about my philosophy of health onto paper in the form of an e-book and studying for a chemistry test on Saturday…I’m swamped!

I still wanted to say hello and plug you into something I think is really worthwhile and awesome.

Vulnerability. Being vulnerable.

Instead of reading my words today, I would love for you to jump over and listen to Brené Brown‘s words in her TEd Talk: The Power of Vulnerability.

You might have already watched this one, if you have – I’d love to hear what you think?

Set aside 20 minutes to listen to a concept you might not have really heard about before, not in this context. I know you will resonate with what Brené is saying, in one way or another. She is absolutely hilarious to listen to as well.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable (something my boyfriend Kosta said to me at a CrossFit competition on the weekend). It didn’t really make sense to me at the time, because if you’re comfortable, then how can you be uncomfortable? I think it ties in nicely with this vulnerability talk anyways. Get comfortable feeling vulnerable.

What I also love about this talk is Brené highlighting worthiness as a common trait of being whole hearted and happy. This ties in so well with the name of Kosta and my CrossFit box: Dignus (as dignus is latin for worthy).

Love all round. I hope you enjoy the talk as much as I did/do.

Much love,

Claire xx

MY FOOD DIARY // HOW I FEED MY MACHINE

Anyone who knows me, or eats with me, knows I consume a lot of food. I put a heap of fuel into my body because, well, it needs it. I train and I use my brain a lot (which uses a lot of fuel!). I want my body to have enough fuel and nutrients to do exactly what I want it to do. I want my muscles to move and grow, my brain to function at its optimum and my organs to receive plentiful nutrients to keep up the good work they do in providing me with good health.

Calorie counting is stupid. Dumb. Don’t even get me started on a rant.

“Don’t mock it til you’ve tried it”. One of my favourite sayings. I can mock it, because I have tried it.  For a year I researched and experimented with many different diet modalities. Including carb loading, and calorie counting.  Do you know what I found from both – they lead to obsessive eating and habits. They make you cray cray. They limit your ability to build muscle and grow strong! I was skinny. But that was boring, my body didn’t do anything cool, like it does now.

IMG_2929I don’t calorie count, because I love my body and don’t want to limit the fuel it receives. I want to give it everything it needs to thrive. 

I spent so much god damn time inputting my foods into my fitness pal, good time I could have spent reading journal articles about the amazing things this food was doing for my body, which is what I ended up doing. It has thus far served me well. Goodbye my fitness pal obsession.

Oh, not to mention how hungry I was! Ah, jebus!

So, Lauren Fisher re-posted her daily intake of food again today, which has prompted me to follow this inspiring post up with my own food diary for a day, if you’re interested in reading on. I find it insightful seeing what people eat. I love it. I analyse diets for a living. I bet you love it too, because it provides a foundation for what may work for you. It will also put into perspective the amount of ‘calories’ I intake and how little effect this has on my ability to stay lean and fit. This is in anticipation of my e-book, which I am diligently working on for you all! This post is a precursor to the nutrition and optimal performance information my e-book will provide you with.

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So here it is, my food diary for a decent day:

5AM Pre-breakfast
I always start the day with a lemon drink. I add 1 whole lemon, bi carb soda, Himalayan rock salt and about a cup of filtered water to a glass and glug it down as soon as I wake.

6AM Then I have a shitload of goodness in a juice. Every green leaf you can imagine + carrots + cucumber + green apples + ginger + turmeric. This recipe will be in my upcoming e-book

7AM/8AM Breakfast:
Depending on time and whether I have food prepped, I alternate between a breakfast wrap from Esprezzo (bacon, egg, spinach, tomato chutney & goats cheese), bacon and egg bombs (recipe in my e-book, yay!) or an omelet with zucchini, mushroom, spinach, kale and red capsicum + bacon + strawberries.

I have a green tea with added goji berries around about 9AM. I actually have these on tap, most of my day.

9:30AM/10AM
I have some kind of meatball. I love meatballs and meat patties. Pork, turkey, chicken. They are so easy to make and store well. I accommodate these with some kind of carb, so a banana, or quinoa, or cauli rice. If I am not in the mood for meat, I will have a stack of protein pikelets with something awesome like chia jam. Sometimes I might have a huge smoothie bowl topped with nuts if it is a non-training day and I will take in a heap of Greek yoghurt for digestive health.

12NOON
Every single day I have a superfood salad for lunch. If I don’t, I feel off. In the salad goes many things; greens, beetroot, roast pumpkin or sweet potato, quinoa, sprouts, veg, a protein (beef, chicken, salmon) and I finish it off with a medicinal dressing. If I am in a super-sweet mood I will add goji berries or a tiny bit of maple syrup to my dressing. If I catch on to this, and wipe those sweet cravings away early, I never crave chocolate in the PM.

Pre training (around 1:30pm):
Banana + almond butter + cacao + maca + chia. An abominable combination that provides my body with exactly what it needs to perform.

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4:30PM
Post workout shake. I use bareblends protein and I bung in a banana, frozen blueberries and almond milk. Sometimes I add creatine powder.

I also take my fish oil and glutamine supps now.

6PM
I am so starved by this stage, I try push out my meal to 6pm so I can get through the next few hours of the evening coaching CrossFit classes. Training takes it out of me. If I am not hungry, I know I have eaten too much throughout the day at some point. I know how my body works. If I am not that hungry, I will eat less of a serving than I first thought I would need.  Dinner is usually meat + veg + carbs and good fats. Beef-y cacao chilli w quinoa, almond butter chicken with caul rice, peri peri chicken + sweet potato chips + avocado, or maple chilli salmon + greens and brown rice. All recipes to be included in my e-book + many more ideas!

I always finish the day with a herbal tea just before bed. I feel like it balances everything out, starts to shut my digestion down and ensures I am ready for bed.

A lot of food right? I always feel so hungry by the next meal and I never overeat to the point where I feel sick or full as a goog. It’s all about balance, and finding your very own balance that mixes into your life and training schedule. If I didn’t train as much, I wouldn’t eat as much. I also eat whatever I want on weekends. Life is too hectic to stick to anything. I don’t like being tied down by a diet or way of eating that impinges on my life and ability to enjoy myself.

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How do you feel after a day’s eating? Are you full or bloated or just blatantly blah? We are all different and no one thing will work for everyone. So much info about this and various other topics in my upcoming e-book due early September!

Sign up to my mailing list to be the first to hear about it!

I hope you found some of this info handy and applicable,

Claire xx

MONDAY MEET-UP // JESSICA SEPEL

This week I was totally stoked that I was able to meet up with Jessica Sepel to ask her some questions about her recent e-book, her approach to wellness and what inspires her.

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Jess, your interest in nutrition began about 5 years ago when you decided you wanted to study nutritional medicine. Since then you’ve started work as a nutritionist and become such an inspiration to many on social media, where you promote clean eating and loving yourself, inside and out. Your recent released of your first e-Book has gone off like wild fire! You are one dedicated and determined woman, it is exceptionally inspiring.

So tell us, why The Clean Life?

Between readers and clients, I’m asked time and time again how I found acceptance and balance in my own life. It wasn’t easy! I learned and experimented a lot while I was in school, and The Clean Life draws on my nutritional and wellness studies as well as my own experiences. It’s for people who are seeking nutritional advice and hundreds of yummy recipes, yes, but it goes deeper than that. I want to help people who are struggling to find peace in their bodies. I want people to uncover the peace and wholeness that comes with healthy living. We’re all in this together!

How did you feel putting yourself out into the public so openly (and honestly!)?

I truly believe in being honest, real and genuine. Because I struggle with my own body image for most of my teenage years and early 20s like so many women, I wanted them to understand they’re not alone. And more importantly, that they can overcome these struggles and truly thrive! 

What advice would you give someone wanting to take a risk to follow their passion?

Don’t be afraid. Go for it. The world needs you. We underestimate the power of our voices and the beautiful ways we can help one another. The human connection is so powerful. Trust in the universe- it is on your side! Believe you are worthy of success. Because you are!

What inspires you?
The JSHealth community. When I hear from a reader or I’m working with a client and she has a major breakthrough – I am so proud and inspired when women finally “get” that they are worth taking care of themselves!

What is wellness to you?

It means taking care of oneself – eating whole foods, getting plenty of rest, and talking to oneself with respect. Wellness is both mental and physical.

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How do you find balance?

I have to set some boundaries for myself. I ensure I have a delicious morning routine – depending on the day it includes quiet meditation, writing in my gratitude journal, deep breathing or yoga. I only switch on the phone or computer after my routine. I believe looking at your phone first thing in the morning (which most people do) is incredibly stressful for the mind and body. This is not a healthy picture. 

What does a day on the plate of Jess look like?

I wake up to a warm lemon water to fire up digestion and detoxify my body after a good night’s sleep.

My 8:00 breakfast is usually a power protein smoothie topped with mixed nuts and seeds, homemade granola with organic Greek yoghurt, gluten-free oats, or 2 eggs – boiled or scrambled with steamed greens and avocado.

Mid-morning is green juice time, typically kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon and ginger. I often add a handful of raw walnuts or raw veggies with nut butter or hummus.

By 1:00 my belly is ready for lunch – I usually have a dark, leafy green salad with a portion of protein (fish, chicken, lean grass-fed meat or beans) with quinoa or brown rice. I also include a good fat like avocado, hummus, or a sprinkle of mixed seeds. My favourite salad dressing is a combination of olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, miso paste and Dijon mustard – yum!

I have a snack around 4:00 to keep my blood sugar stable until dinner. I love a cup of herbal tea with a quarter cup of raw nuts, or perhaps a homemade bliss ball.

I try to have dinner as early as possible, so I typically eat at 7:00. One of my favourite dinners is salmon with cauliflower mash and steamed broccoli – I love cruciferous vegetables.

And I make room for a treat! I always have a cup of chai tea, but If I feel like something sweet I’ll have dessert at about 9:00. Enjoying a couple squares of quality dark chocolate, 2 dates with almond butter, or a homemade cacao ball is a great way to end the day.

Thanks Jess, you are doing truly amazing things!

If you want to learn more about Jess, or follow her blog, you can here

RECIPE // BAKED EGGIES

Want a simple, quick way to pack a protein-rich, nutrient-filled breakfast into your morning? Well, this recipe is just for you! All you will need to get is a small pan, about a quarter to half the size of a regular pan. Then you can add practically anything to this recipe with the eggs. Whatever your favourite veg and spices are, just whack them in. I have provided my favie.

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Baked Eggies

Serves One

Ingredients
1 egg, 2 egg whites
2 rashers bacon
2 T almond milk
1 stalk of kale
Few cuts of broccoli
3 or 4 cherry tomatoes
Handful of chives
1 t chili flakes
Pinch of Himalyan rock salt
Few crumbles of goats cheese or feta (optional)

Method
1. Whisk eggs and almond milk together.
2. Add to a mini saucepan (like really small – ¼ size of normal) and drop all other ingredients in there in an orderly fashion.
3. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes in an oven heated to 180°C.
4. Eat it right outta the pan! Noms!

Once you get the hang of this brekky, you can whip it up so fast. Just whisk those eggs, throw all your ingredients in and bake away! You can prep all the ingredients the night before and when you wake up just turn the oven on to preheat whilst you are getting ready for your day. Little ideas to help you plan your meals and ensure you start the day right!

Claire xx

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS // DITCH WEAKNESSES

Ever thought that you would progress further in life by concentrating and building on your strengths, rather than working your weaknesses? So often we hear from our educators and people of authority that we need to work on our weaknesses. As the saying goes, “you are only as strong as your weakest weakness”…or something like that. Right? No, this is wrong according to strengths researcher Marcus Buckingham.

I was introduced to this guy in a coaching workshop I attended a couple years back through Australian Institute of Management. We did a whole lot of work on what our strengths were and then we tried to asses whether our jobs were allowing us to play to them. Mine at the time wasn’t really. So, I have revisited the test and revisited the activity. How awesome – I just want to share it with you so you can do it too.

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Firstly, lets delve deeper into Marcus’ theory. It is quite positivistic, which I love. He talks about channelling your strengths in whatever you do and dismissing your weaknesses. It is a total myth that you are going to grow the most and learn the most by working on your weaknesses! Your dreams may change, your circumstances may change and your achievements may change, however, the core of you, and the most dominant part of your personality, will remain the same.

We can definitely learn new skills and practice what we aren’t good at, which is fine. Though what Marcus is trying to say is that we expend a whole lotta energy trying to be better at something we’re no good at, assertiveness for example, and that time could have been spent on trying to better ourself in something we’re fabulous at. In the end you will grow faster in the skill you’re working on that you are already a gun at. Instead of going from really, really bad, to just bad, at a skill you’re crap at.

I am not good at Maths. I will happily admit that. It’s actually an on-going joke with my family and friends- and that’s okay. I listened to this video by Marcus and resonated with the fact that 77% of parents will focus on an ‘F’ on a report card, over focusing on the ‘A’. I actually got an E in Maths in year 11. I completely switched off and spent my time studying human biology instead of crunching the boring, tedious numbers into my calculator. For some reason the teacher was okay with this. I received an A in human biology. Though the E was the focus on my report. Now, I don’t really employ maths at all and my additional study in human biology is completely relevant to everything I do and want to do in my career. (Not saying skip out on maths class, just try to establish a point).

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You are going to develop most in the areas of your strength. So take your push and take your drive and apply it to building on your strengths and being gold standard awesome!

You can take a strength test through Martin Seligman’s test centre at Penn University. I highly, highly recommend this! It’s really interesting to do and you might find out something new about yourself, or learn that there is a reason why you are so god damn good at organising events. Or why your friends seem to come to you for advice when they are troubled or in a pickle. You have a strength. The first part is knowing what you’re strengths are.

So take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. It should take about 15-20 minutes. Don’t think too much about the questions, just answer what you feel. Then come back to this blog post…

Cool right? I hope you learnt something new about yourself!

Now the idea is to figure out if what you do in your daily job resonates with any of your strengths. For example, one of my strengths was Zest, Enthusiasm and Energy. As a CrossFit coach, we need to be motivating others and be full of energy and enthusiasm. If this was one of my last strengths, and I was coaching all day every day, I would be very tired and drained. Whereas, coaching people invigorates me, it makes me feel alive. I can see why it does, because I am this way inclined and it plays on my number one strength. Another of my strengths was social intelligence, being aware of the motives and feelings of others. This is great for me when I am in a one on one nutrition coaching session with a client – and I can honestly say I always leave feeling absolutely inspired and full-of-energy. I feel like I am in exactly the right place after coaching someone and working to understand them to be able to work fully with them to reach their goals.

The easiest way to do this activity is write down all the different skills you need for your job. For example:

Administration Clerk 

  • organisation skills
  • communication skills
  • ability to work in a team

These are some examples of skills you would need for this occupation. Then have a look at your strengths. If Industry, Diligence and Perseverance is at the bottom of your strengths list, you might be feeling drained by continually having to do the work others set for you. Especially if Leadership is one of your top strengths. You’re probably itching to get out and do your own thing.

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You can even take the full strengths test by Marcus Buckingham here. It just costs some dollars. The one by Martin Seligman is just as relevant. Marcus also has some great best-selling books about playing to your strengths. You actually receive a free-code in them to do the test online! These have had such a big impact on me, I think they will for you too!

I am certain you had fun with this! What were your top 5 strengths? I would LOVE to know!

Claire xx