Zucchini and corn fritters

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So I’ve been making these gorgeous fritters for the past 6 months, every few weeks re-creating the recipe and altering it slightly. Its a favourite of mine for Sunday brunches, or quick go-to weeknight dinners. I love this recipe because it only takes a few minutes to throw together, and just takes 20 minutes in the oven.

I like to serve them with a salad, and some tomato chutney. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients: 

1 large zucchini
1 can corn, unsalted
4 eggs
2 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 handful parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup gluten free flour (Or almost any other flour you have on hand, i’ve used coconut, chickpea and plain flour and they have all worked well)
Olive oil spray

Method:

  • Heat oven to 180 degrees, line a flat baking try with baking paper and leave aside.
  • Grate zucchini and place into a large bowl.
  • Drain the canned corn, and add to the large bowl with the zucchini.
  • Add eggs, curry powder, salt and pepper. parsley and cheese to the bowl and mix to combine.
  • Add flour to the mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Place spoonfuls of the fritter mix onto the lined baking tray, and squish down with a fork.
  • Place in oven for 20 minutes, or until golden, turning once.
  • Serve with green salad, chutney and fresh tomatoes.

Serves 4-6. Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes
Gluten free. Dairy free. Nut free.

Bloating: 10 tips and tricks to help you through the storm

Feeling as bloated as this little guy?

 

Bloating is generally caused by gases produced whenever we eat or drink, for some it can cause a visibly swollen stomach, pain or discomfort. Normally, gas is produced in the colon and moves smoothly through the body prior to being emitted or absorbed. Sometimes, the gas doesn’t have a smooth transition and this is where issues are found. If the gas gets trapped in either the small or large intestine it can cause the discomfort associated with bloating.

There can also be a number of medical reasons why bloating is affecting you, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease or lactose intolerance. If bloating is affecting your life, it’s advisable to get it checked out by a medical professional. The best practitioner to see would be your accredited practicing Dietician (APD), who specialise in allergies, intolerances and digestive issues.

However, there are a number of things you can do to prevent bloating, or to minimise the discomfort.

  1. Ensure you are having a healthy diet, including fruits and vegetables at every meal. This will ensure you are getting plenty of fibre which is associated with improved digestion. Some fruits and vegetables may actually cause gas and bloating-be careful of onions, cabbage, broccoli, beans, sprouts and cauliflower.
  2. Limit the amount of processed, high fat, and high sugar foods. These types of food have less fibre and nutrients as well as lead to poor digestion. Salt is a culprit in fluid retention and too much will cause you to feel bloated, be aware of how much salty food such as chips, sauces, processed and takeaway foods.
  3. Cut our caffeine, or reduce the amount you consume. Try to replace caffeine in beverages with herbal teas or water.
  4. Go for a walk, the movement and simple exercise can help to pass the gas through your digestive system and ease the discomfort of a bloated belly.
  5. Relax and reduce stress. This may seem like a silly one, by stress negatively affects digestion by disrupting the muscular contractions that control digestion. Try yoga, meditation, breathing and reducing the cause of your stress.
  6. Try eating some probiotics: these can be in the form of yoghurt, probiotic supplements, and fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir and kimchi. Probiotics contain the good bacteria needed in our gut to maintain good digestive flora. They assist us in digesting and absorbing food, and are vital for optimal health. Your bloating and discomfort may be assisted by a boost of these little bacteria friends!
  7. Try a herbal remedy like Iberogast from Flordis: this combination of 9 herbs does wonders for a bloated belly, and I can personally recommend it! Get it from your local health food shop, pharmacy or naturopath.
  8. Drink a herbal tea like ginger or dandelion. Both teas aid in digestion through saliva, bile and other digestive fluid production. Ginger also has a role in relaxing muscles and can assist in passing trapped gas, as well as relieving intestinal cramps. Dandelion tea is a natural diuretic, so it aids in passing gas and fluid through the digestive system. You can either find dandelion tea at your local health food store, or try growing it yourself!
  9. Pay attention to how you feel after eating sensitive foods such as wheat/gluten and dairy products, if you are feeling bloated after consuming these types of foods it might be a good idea to reduce them or eliminate them. In this instance I suggest seeing your GP or booking an appointment with a Nutritionist/Dietician.
  10. Be present and mindful when eating, only eat when you are actually hungry, and be sensible with your portion sizes. Your bloated belly could simply be the result of a big, heavy meal and you may just need to eat smaller portions. Also chewing your food properly and being mindful of how fast you are eating can assist you in preventing bloating in the future.

Paprika spiced sweet potato and ham salad

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It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe on Nutrilly Nutrition, and this salad I came up with for lunch today was a winner. I was super hungry after a mammoth gym session, and I knew some wholefood carbohydrates was the best way to go. I also wanted something fresh, filling and nutritious. I added some rice noodles too, but you could omit them and it would still be a great salad!

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potato
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
2 large handfuls mixed lettuce leaves
10 cm piece of cucumber
1 handful cherry tomatoes
small bunch parsley
1 Tbsp pine nuts
3-4 slices ham
50g rice (vermicelli) noodles

Method:

  • Heat oven to 180 degrees, on a large baking tray place a piece of baking paper. Chop sweet potato into small chunks, and cover with 1/2 the olive oil. Sprinkle 1/2 the paprika and all the cumin over the sweet potato. Bake in oven for 30-40  minutes, turning once. Once cooked, take out of the oven and leave to one side to cool.
  • In a large bowl combine mixed lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes and chopped parsley. Mix to combine and leave to the side.
  • In a small fry pan heat a tiny amount of the olive oil, when hot, add pine nuts and toss until golden. Leave to one side to cool.
  • In the same fry pan add chopped ham and heat until golden and crispy. Add remainder of paprika and toss to cover. Leave to one side to cool.
  • In a small saucepan heat water to boiling. Add rice noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until noodles are soft. Remove from heat and place in a colander. Rinse with lukewarm water, and leave to one side.
  • In the bowl with the lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes, add the toasted pine nuts, crispy ham, rice noodles and roasted paprika spiced sweet potato. Toss all to combine and serve.

Serves 2-3. Prep time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 50 minutes

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Welcome to Nutrilly Nutrition: Make yourself at home

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For my readers who have been around for awhile on The Wellness Plate, you may have noticed a bit of a change in the past month to the website. I have been hard at work on redesigning my site, re-branding and developing a whole bunch of exciting new content. The Wellness Plate, although a fantastic start to my blogging career, just wasn’t where I wanted to be heading. My focus is more on Nutrition, and allowing myself some creative freedom with food, nutrients, recipes and education.

The aim of Nutrilly Nutrition is to be your go to nutrition site, full of healthy recipes, resources, dubunking the current nutrition fads and having a good old yarn about nutrition over a cup of herbal tea and a cherry bliss ball. I hope that you can find some clarity and inspiration for your health in Nutrilly Nutrition, my hope is that this is a fun, non-judgmental place to get some answers and enjoy eating and food as it should be.

For some recipe inspiration head over to the recipe page and find some great healthy recipes there, I soon hope to have an e-book for sale with lots of scrummy recipes! Keep an eye out for that mid year.

If you are looking for some no-nonsense nutrition education, the back to basic’s area has you covered. Iv’e also developed a great guide for packing your kids school lunch box, because I know how hard it is to get it right!

I hope you enjoy Nutrilly Nutrition as much as I do. Its a place I love spending time and chatting with you all, in hope that I can inspire you to lead a healthier, happier, and more mindful life.

Love Britt xx

 

Happy happy new year: Exploring my intentions and goals for 2015

2015

Hello gorgeous souls! Welcome to 2015. Iv’e got a really good feeling about this one, its going to be an incredible year. So far the energy for me this year has been of completion, rejuvenation and exploration. I haven’t made a single resolution, because this year I will make change whenever I feel necessary, I’m going to resolve to never make a resolution again, because resolutions are made to be broken. Instead, i’m setting intention filled goals and stepping back to look at the areas of my life where i’m not happy or am feeling unsettled.

Therefore, 2015 has started with a bang, iv’e moved jobs, planned a holiday, enjoyed the company of my mum and sister, have embarked on Kayla Itsines 12 week bikini body challenge, and have really enjoyed living where I live. So often we long for a new place, or think somewhere else will be better, but we forget to explore and enjoy the place we live. My word for 2015 is therefore EXPLORE.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon the beautiful guide by Susannah Conway for Unravelling your year ahead-2015, and her 5 days to developing your 2015 word. If you are feeling a little shaky still about this year, then I urge you to go and visit her enlightening website and get on board your year with mindfulness and creativity.

ExploreMandala2015

 

There are a number of reasons EXPLORE spoke to me, firstly, in the typical sense to explore my surroundings with more open eyes and a present mind. I want to EXPLORE the city I live in (Perth) in more vivid detail, finding new nooks and crannies, and exploring places in Perth I’ve never been. I also want to EXPLORE the wider world, and discover new places overseas. I’m going to start this by a quick Bali trip in February, then next is Japan and hopefully more of Asia.

The next reason I chose EXPLORE, is to explore myself more, the person I have been, and the person I want to become. I want to discover where my true passions lie, where my weaknesses are, and what i’m afraid of. I want to push my limits this year, and EXPLORE the parts of myself I may have hidden in the past. I want to EXPLORE my personality and why I’m an incredible human being.

Another reason I chose explore is to EXPLORE my relationship with my partner. We are headed in the direction of getting engaged/married and I want to learn more about us, and how we can become a better team. With this I hope we can EXPLORE the (physical) world together through a couple of trips and weekends away. For me this is especially important as the last few years have almost solely been dedicated to study and work and I’m feeling its time for a bit of exploration!

Lastly I want to EXPLORE my spiritual and intellectual side, learning more about the world around me, whats going on and opening my mind to new and incredible opportunities. In the past I have done some pretty crazy and exciting things, and over the last few years dedicated to study, I’ve barely touched my spiritual and intellectual side (with the exception of studying nutrition and health). So i’m eager to explore that area of my life more fully.

With all of that I hope to step so far out of my comfort zone this year that I can’t even see it any more. I’m hoping to get some full on life experience and wisdom during 2015, facing my fears, living life to the full and being awesome! So Namaste everyone, I hope your year is as insightful, exciting, and beautiful as mine will be.

Surviving a Buffet: Your guide to Christmas parties

Image from hipandhealthy.com

It’s the time of year when weekends are filled with Christmas related events: Family things, work Christmas parties, kids Christmas parties and Christmas events with friends. Sadly this also means huge amounts of unhealthy food. Generally Christmas means chips, dips, sausage rolls, sweets, pastries, meat, desserts, pudding, and all the trimmings. Nutritionally – not so great for our health. I recently went to my partners work Christmas party, and it turned out to be my worst nightmare – a seafood buffet. Firstly, I have a huge aversion to seafood (due to a bad bout of food poisoning from some bad seafood a few years ago) and secondly, buffets are crazy.

Our brains are designed to eat for survival, so when we are presented with huge piles of food (such as at Christmas time or at Buffets) our brain tells us we have to eat as much as possible. Back a few thousand years ago this would have been fine, as food was scarce, and we may never have known where the next meal was coming from. However, today food is abundant, most people never have to worry about the next meal, so when presented with large quantities of food, we are trying to override our brain’s natural instinct to eat as much as possible.

So, how, when it’s our natural instinct to eat as much as possible, do you survive Christmas? Here are a few ways you can attempt to override your brain during the silly season.

1. Fill HALF your plate with veggies and salad.
Your brain is going to want to pile your plate with as much food as possible (especially at buffets), by creating the illusion of a full plate, you tell your brain “there is plenty on my plate”. It can help to eat less of the high fat, high sugar and energy dense foods, by replacing them with the nutrient dense veggies.

2. Grab a smaller plate.
This one’s easy-Smaller plate = Less food. This only works if you grab one plate of food, so if you go back for seconds and thirds its void. However, same as number 1, if you trick your brain into thinking “my plate is full” then it can help to eat less of the rich food, and more of the good stuff. So even if you do end up with almost a whole plate of unhealthy food, at least the plate is smaller.

3. Eat slowly.
Christmas is a time for celebrating and spending time with friends and family, so take the time to enjoy the meal, the food and the company, and be mindful of what you are eating, and appreciate every mouthful. It’s a blessing to live with so much abundance, take the time to really make the most of being in a happy place with the people you love.

4. Save room for dessert.
An easy mistake to make is to eat the main course until you are full, then try to stuff more in during dessert. Not only is this uncomfortable, but really unhealthy to overstuff your stomach full of food. It will be playing havoc with your body’s ability to digest, as well as sky-rocketing your blood sugar. So, keep the mains small, save room for dessert!

5. Choose dessert wisely.
Instead of instantly running to the trifle and Christmas pudding, spend some time getting to know the fruit. Grab a bag handful of fruit first, then if you are still wanting something sweet either grab a very small portion of each dessert, or choose your favourite. It’s not great to be so full after eating that you can’t move.

On a final note, Christmas is a time for celebration, so don’t be completely hard on yourself and only go for the salads, give yourself the space to enjoy food that you might not normally eat, be happy, and most of all relax.

Back to basics: Serve sizes

One of the things that confused me when I first started studying nutrition was what actually constituted a serve size — It seemed like an elusive fairytale. No one really knew what a serve size actually was. And you can’t trust what you read on the back of the package, that serve size is made up by the manufacturers, so they could basically put whatever they want on there. A good example of this is bottle of Coke:
These are all products from the UK, and all except the 500mL are said to be “1 serve” based on the nutrition panel. However, every single one is a different size-How can these all be compared then, when the serve size is different? The same goes for the products worldwide. A bigger bottle is still only 1 serve. Tricky huh!

While this is true for many pre-packaged products, how are we as consumers supposed to figure out how much we should actually be consuming? The Australian dietary guidelines have been well researched (Think 55,000 research papers), and have been discussed and approved by not only the government, but a raft of experts. You can’t really argue with that. Below I have outlined what constitutes a serve size of each food group:

Vegetables include fresh, cooked, and canned vegetables as well as beans and legumes, and generally we need around 5-6 of these a day. The majority of people don’t consume this amount of vegetables. A serve of cooked vegetables would be 1/2 cup of parsnip, beetroot or cauliflower, or a whole cup of fresh green leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, rocket, spinach, silverbeet or asian greens. A serve of starchy vegetables is slightly less-1/2 a medium (Potato or sweet potato). 

Most people consume the recommended 2 serves of fruit a day, and this includes; the larger fruit such as apples, oranges, pears, and bananas, where one whole piece is equivalent to 1 serve; and smaller fruit such as plums, apricots, kiwifruit, and nectarines, where 2 small pieces are equivalent to 1 serve. There are also things like watermelon, berries, and chopped fruit, where 1 cup is equivalent to 1 serve. Just remember that dried fruit is very energy dense-so only have occasionally, and only consume in small amounts (for example 4 dried apricot halves).

Dairy products are a little tricky-they all have very different serve sizes. For example-1 cup of milk is equivalent to 1 serve, however 3/4 cup of yoghurt is equivalent to 1 serve. The other tricky one is cheese-1 serve is only 40g – about the size of a match box. Generally we need 2 1/2 – 4 serves of dairy per day, it just depends on your age and gender (see the table below).

Grain serves for grain and cereal food are pretty easy, for example 1 slice of bread is 1 serve, as is 1 crumpet of English muffin. When it comes to rice, pasta, noodles or quinoa 1/2 cup is equivalent to one serve. Overall we tend to eat too many grain and cereal products, we need between 3 and 6, depending on age and gender (see table below), and pregnant and lactating women need even more.
Its easy to over consume grain and cereal products, and while they do contain a large amount of nutrients, we can get most of these nutrients from elsewhere. So make sure when you do eat grains and cereals get the whole grain and high fibre varieties to get the most nutrients possible.

Generally people in the western world over consume meat, we only need 2-3 serves a day. One serve of red meat is equivalent to 65g (or an easy visualisation is a small palmful), and for poultry one serve is equivalent to 80g (a slightly bigger palmful. When it comes to eggs, 2 large is one serve, and 1 cup of legumes is also one serve. Nuts are a really easy one to over consume – 30g is one serve, however most packets of nuts come much larger than this. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, but they are very energy dense, so be careful not to over consume them. 
Below is an overview table for the recommended amounts of serves adults should be getting everyday. This is generally for adults who are doing moderate levels of activity, so for those who are heavily active (such as athletes), these amounts will not be the same. 

References:
https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/how-much-do-we-need-each-day/serve-sizes
https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/how-much-do-we-need-each-day/recommended-number-serves-adults
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Back to basics: Reading nutrition labels

Hey there! 

After a few months off the blog I’m back and ready to inspire and educate! I’ve been busy finishing off my 2nd to last semester of my Nutrition degree (Only 2 units to go before I’m a real NUTRITIONIST) and starting a new job, as well as joining a gym. Needless to say it’s been a hectic few months. However, I’m back into it, and the next few weeks are dedicated to getting back to our nutrition basics. 

Something that has become very apparent to me after reading and following a vast number of nutrition blogs and websites, is that there is so much information out there; how on earth are we supposed to know what’s right? My suggestion-go with someone who is qualified. There are a number of celebrities who are having their say about nutrition and its a little frustrating for the rest of us who actually know what we are talking about. I’m not saying they don’t have any good ideas, I’m just saying that if they are making money off their information without any real qualification, then it probably not a great idea to follow it to the tee. However in saying that, they do have a large amount of really great ideas and recipes.

Ok, moving on from the mini rant. Today I’m planning on doing a quick “Back to basics” Nutrition lesson on how to read labels. Its a great skill to have to be able to pick up a packet and figure out if it should be in or out your shopping trolley or not. My rule of thumb is to fill up most of my shopping trolley with stuff that doesn’t need labels. Nutrition labels can be confusing if you don’t know how to read them, they do actually provide a heap of great information. I tend not to get too stuck on the total kilojoules (although if I’m comparing two items ill pick the one with less kilojoules, as well as everything below). 

Serve sizes vs 100g:

When reading nutrition labels, ALWAYS read the 100g column, that way you are able to compare items. The serve size is an arbitrary number that the manufacturer puts on based on what they think the serve size should be. Often, this serve size is way too much (We will talk about serve sizes in a later lesson). 

Fat:

There is so much hype around fat at the moment, and in the past the “low fat diet” has been very popular. To be honest, unless you require a specific low fat diet (e.g. Individuals with gallstones) then fat is fine. Actually, some fats are vital as our bodies can’t produce them (Think Omega 3 and 6). We just need to be wary that we aren’t replacing nutrient dense foods with fats, fats are still energy dense and eating too much will contribute to adding weight to your body.

When reading labels try to avoid items with more than 10 grams of fat per 100g. Saturated fat is a bit of a sticky one right now, new research is saying that its not as bad as we thought it was, however, as I said above, all fat is energy dense, therefore pick fats that are nutrient dense as well-think olive oil, salmon, avocados, nuts, and greek yoghurt, rather than fats in packaged products such as chips, muesli bars etc. The other debate is around fats such as coconut oil and butter, which honestly, are fine in small amounts (as with any fats). Whatever the advice around it just remember-if you are eating “raw chocolate” which is mostly coconut oil, you have to treat it as if it was real chocolate-its a treat, and not the same as nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. 

Fibre:

Fibre is the forgotten warrior of the digestive system. We tend to forget that we NEED fibre for our guts to work properly. Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables and wholegrains. In packaged products, most of the fibre will have been removed, so try to only buy products with more than 3 grams of fibre per 100g. Fibre keeps everything moving, and is eaten by our gut flora, both of which keep us healthy. Our guts are an ecosystem of living organisms (weird huh!) and fibre (among other things) keeps everything down there happy. 

“Fibre is the forgotten warrior of the digestive system, we tend to forget that we NEED fibre for our guts to work properly

Sugars:

Overall, I tend to avoid sugar, its really just carbohydrates with very limited nutrients. There is a vast amount of research out there with regard to the negative impact sugar has on our bodies (Especially in large amounts). However the sugar found in fruits is not the same as sugar found in packaged food such as sweets, biscuits, ice cream and cereals. I honestly don’t think we need to “quit sugar” but reducing the amount we have in packaged foods is a great idea. That way most of the sugar we are consuming comes from natural sources such as fruit. Please also remember that sugar in this way is talking about refined sugar (as opposed to all carbohydrates), we actually need “sugar” to survive-glucose is our bodies basic energy source. So when certain individuals talk about “quitting sugar” they really mean “quitting refined and added sugar”. 
When reading labels, make sure there is less than 15 grams per 100g, and read the ingredients list. If sugar is high up on the list, ditch it! Remember sugar can be in disguise – it might be called dextrose, fructose, golden syrup, honey, sucrose, malt, glucose, lactose, raw sugar, and maple syrup. 

Sodium:

Sodium is super sneaky! Its in everything, make sure when you are buying packaged products, look for products with less than 400mg per 100g, and even better less than 150mg per 100g. Sodium is already naturally in a number of fruits and vegetables, plus we add it to our meals anyway. High salt diets have been shown to lead to high blood pressure, which can influence our risk for heart attacks. High salt foods also tend to be high in fat, as well as being energy dense and nutrient poor (think fries, fast food, chips, meats, and pre-packaged sauces). Try to make as much from scratch or specifically choose low sodium options. Also remember, just because its” Himalayan sea salt” doesn’t mean its any better for you than regular salt. 

In summary:

  • Read the 100g column to be able to compare foods
  • Less than 10g of fat/100g
  • More than 3g of fibre/100g
  • Less than 15g of sugar/100g
  • Less than 150mg of sodium/100g
  • Buy more foods without packages

On a final note about reading labels, all of the above relates not only to regular supermarket food, but also to “healthy” alternatives – think health food stores, “organic, and “natural” products. While they may have some great marketing, they still have  the same basic macro nutrients, and may or may not have more micro nutrients. Just be aware that you may be paying $15 for a bar of chocolate that is exactly the same nutritionally as a regular bar. Its just packaging peeps-chocolate is still chocolate!
Try to buy food that doesn’t need a package, its always going to be more nutrient dense and healthier than anything packaged! Banana’s don’t need to tell us how great they are!
References:
https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/eating-well/how-understand-food-labels


 

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Let’s talk about fear, stress and anxiety



A topic that has been on the front of my mind pretty much everyday for the past few months is fear. The reason for this is due to a huge amount of upheaval and change in my life, and my brain is feeling it. I’m not ok, I have had panic attacks, trouble sleeping, and instead of being my usual confident, positive self, iv’e been a negative ball of anxious energy. 

I know that when I live my life in fear of what is coming next I forget about the present. I miss that opportunity to laugh with someone, I miss the gorgeous sunrise, and I miss the everyday miracle of being alive. Its a tough cycle to get out of, I’m still in it. I’m afraid of what will come tomorrow, if I will be good enough, if I will have regrets, or if I will make a difference. Because I so strongly want to make a difference in this world during my life. I want to see a change in the way we deal with healthcare, I want to stand up and be the one to make noise and lead the change. But I can’t do that if I am living in fear. 



So what am I doing about it? Well at the moment I am trying to get through everyday. Uni is the toughest, with assignments coming out my ears, and decisions about where I go next-do I study dietetics, do I wait? And work as well, I have just accepted a fantastic new job which starts next week, and although I am incredibly excited about it, I am also afraid. What if I am not good enough? Then of course there is all the rest-family, friends, money, exercise, health, diet, mental health, spiritual health, goals and finally my car. Its all swirling around in this crazy brain of mine, its terribly hard to get it to stop. 

So if this sounds familiar to you, I urge you to speak up-lets have a conversation about fear, stress and anxiety. Because if you are not ok, you don’t have to deal with it alone. There are so many incredible people in this world, many of which will be feeling the same as you right now. We are brought up to put on a strong face, to pretend we are ok, to not show emotion and to be brave. But it is ok to cry, its ok to feel weak, its ok to not be ok. We are part of this beautiful community of human beings, and I think we need to start acting like a team, supporting and motivating each other to be the best we can. 


So here are my top tips for dealing with fear, anxiety and stress:


1. Breathe


Its simple, but effective. A few weeks ago when I was having a panic attack (It was really scary because I had never had one before) my partner Cam was amazing, he simply told me to breath. It was like my brain had forgotten. And his words guided my to regain control of my breathing, and to allow my brain to be a little clearer. 

2. Exercise


In times of fear and stress going for a walk does wonders. If you don’t have time, its ok, only go for 5 minutes, but the benefits of getting outside in the fresh air, with the grass and the trees will help you to get focused again, and to try to keep cool, calm and collected. If you need to cry, its ok, those trees aren’t going anywhere-and they won’t judge you. 

3. Call a friend


When in doubt, call or catch up with that friend you know will be there for you. Get it all out, talk it through, they will listen, and give you the best honest advice. Sometimes all you need is an ear to listen to your problems. And sometimes, afterwards, they don’t seem so bad. 

4. Let it out


There is no point trying to keep it in. Its too hard, its like air filling a bottle, and the more you try to keep that air in, the more it wants to get out. And if you don’t let it out, it will explode. So cry, scream, break things, stomp around, rip paper, whatever you need to do to physically release the negative, fearful energy. A few plates and cups are worth your mental health. 

5. Pamper


During the last few weeks I have pampered myself more than I have in the past few years. Get your hair done, nails, eyebrows, massage, facial. Tell yourself you are beautiful and strong, and you will get through this. For me this makes me feel like I have it all together, and I know that the better I feel on the outside, the better ill feel on the inside. Treat your body, allow it space and time. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL HUMAN. 

6. Nourish


I know when stress, fear and anxiety rise up, its easier just to grab takeout. But seriously, you are not doing yourself any favours by taking the easy option. Instead, put on the slow cooker with a big old stew, curry or soup. That way when you get home from work/uni etc you can easily grab a big, warm, nourishing bowl of goodness. Eat fruit, smoothies, veggies, porridge, yoghurt, and nuts. Don’t go grabbing that packet of biscuits, bar of chocolate or bag of chips. It may ,make you feel better right now, but getting on that road to feeling better comes from the inside. 

7. Rest


Its ok to take a mental health day. You are entitled to sick days, and honestly its just as important to take it for mental health as it is for physical health. Your body will thank you for it, rest, sleep, relax, read a book, walk the dog, go to the beach, watch a movie, binge watch your favourite tv show. And don’t judge yourself for doing so, or feel guilty. This is your body and your mental health. Take control of it, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad. 

8. Write


Sometimes. its helps for me to get it out on paper (or in this case on screen), get that old dusty journal out, and write your heart out. Let out all the thoughts, negative emotions, fears, stresses, anxieties, and anything that has worried you. This is no time for holding back, so be brutally honest with yourself. Allow your self to scribble the pages, fill them up with everything on your mind. Let the pages take you away, and allow you to clear your head from the negative energy, you don’t need to hold onto that stuff. If it helps, once you are done, rip the pages and burn them, physically letting go of the feelings and thoughts. Then, once you are done, write down a purely positive mantra or quote that will take you to a place of clear, positive, beautiful thoughts. 

And most importantly of all, LOVE YOURSELF! You are a beautiful, intelligent, capable human being. 


If you have any tips that have helped you to get through times of fear, anxiety and stress, comment below, you never know who you might be helping. 



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Brown rice and quinoa stir fry veggie bowl

I love a good, quick throw together meal, and this one came as a spark of inspiration when I was looking for something to have for lunch today. I’m a big fan of stir fries, however they can be pretty unhealthy. This one is a veggie-packed version, full of nutrient dense veggies, brown rice and quinoa. 
*Please note, I usually keep pre-cooked quinoa and brown rice in the freezer, so it literally took me 10 minutes to throw this together. 

Serves 2-3 (depending on serve sizes)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes
 
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pre-cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup pre-cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced
  • 3 asparagus shoots, diced
  • 1 small can corn, drained
  • handful of beetroot leaves and stems (or just use spinach)
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt reduced soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
Method:
  • Heat olive oil on a medium heat in a large wok or fry pan. Add the capsicum, asparagus, corn, beetroot stems (not leaves), and mushrooms. Heat through for 5 minutes until soft.
  • Add honey, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and lime juice, and mix through.
  • Add pre-cooked quinoa and rice, heat for another 5 minutes until rice and quinoa are hot, then add beetroot leaves (or spinach if using).
  • Place on plates and top with chopped coriander and sesame seeds.

 

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