I fell off for a while whilst I was struggling with IBS. To manage it my doctor had me on a low FODMAP diet where legumes are not allowed.
Now that I’m able to eat them again I’ve been using beans and lentils wherever I can. If you love chickpeas too you have to try Pamela Reif’s inventive cookie dough recipe – chickpeas are involved…
If you’re not adventurous enough to try chickpea based desserts, try a making a savoury hummus at home.
I find homemade hummus much more flavourful than the store bought kind, and it’s a brilliant way to get plant-based protein, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and healthy fats in.
As I’m also (weirdly) addicted to green olives, I’ve added them to the recipe as well – feel free to exclude them if you’re not as keen.
Blend the following until smooth, and try it yourself:
400g canned chickpeas (washed & drained)
Healthy dose of lemon, herb and garlic seasoning (I find the Masterfood’s blend the perfect amount of zest and flavour, but you can always use an actual squeeze of lemon, mixed herbs, and a clove of garlic).
This summer I’ve been seeking out protein balls/bites/bars wherever I go. This could be due to my constant snack cravings, or because they are freaking moreish.
Either way, my recent obsession has prompted the careful creation of a rich, chocolatey recipe that combines all my favourite protein ball ingredients in one.
Cacao is a dream ingredient because of all the health benefits it provides. Not only it is a powerful source of antioxidants, I recently found out it contains anandamide, which targets receptors in the brain to balance mood swings.
For those who don’t know, Poke pronounced “poh-kay”, is a native Hawaiian dish of diced raw fish in some sort of marinade.
For most, raw fish probably doesn’t seem appetising, but when whipped up in a salad-style bowl with an assortment of other flavours it’s to die for. Raw fish is also beneficial for heart health, weight loss, and contains vitamin A and D (see more here).
I got onto the poke bowl trend after discovering a restaurant (Greenhouse Asian Salads), which does a brilliant Poke bowl with tuna, black rice, soybeans, wasabi peas, and veggies.
I must have been going on about how much I loved Poke because a friend bought me a poke recipe book (probably to stop me from dragging her all over the place to try different poke bowls).
To make them yourself, you need a protein, base, salad, marinade, and some toppings for extra flavour and crunch. Here are my favourite combinations:
Diced Raw Tuna in Mayo
Diced Raw Salmon in Soy Sauce
Roasted Sesame Dressing
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dried Seaweed (Nori)
Each time I make a poke bowl I mix it up with a variation of the above! Let me know if you try it.
I’ve recently transitioned back to the low FODMAP diet, following the recommendation from my dietician, as my gut has been giving me problems again.
The low FODMAP diet reduces foods that may give people stomach pain and discomfort. I usually do the diet for 6 weeks or so, and then when I’m feeling better I slowly introduce other foods.
If you are not familiar with foods eliminated from the diet, head over to the the MONASH website to read more.
Although the diet is pretty restrictive, I’ve been changing up some of my favourite recipes to suit a low FODMAP lifestyle.
These pancakes are 100 calories each, and because of the extra protein, the meal keeps me full until lunch.
Why is protein for breakfast important?
Protein is an important macronutrient for muscle growth, tissue repair and recovery. You want to make sure you are getting a healthy serving of protein in the morning so that your body can use the day to develop and maintain its lean muscle. Protein also helps to keep you full, so having it for breakfast stops you from getting ravenously hungry at 3-4pm and binging on unhealthy foods in the pantry.
The protein powder in the recipe: The protein powder you choose really makes the pancake – so make sure you choose a protein powder you enjoy the taste of. Prana Plant Protein and Vida Glow are two of my to-die-for brands, as I really crave a sweeter protein mix, and I prefer plant-based formulas. Note that soy protein is not low FODMAP, go for brown rice protein or pea protein.
You will need:
25g Chocolate Protein Powder
1/3 Cup rolled oats (Use coconut flour for the gluten free option)
100ml almond milk
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cinnamon
1 egg or 1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp baking powder
Coconut oil for cooking
Peanut butter, blueberries (no more than 40g), chopped banana for topping (no more than 100g).
Having the motivation to workout every day is tough and it’s even harder when traveling. Usually, when I’m on holiday all I want to do after a day of sight-seeing is crash on the hotel bed.
However, exercise makes me feel so good AFTER that I try to squeeze in 3-4 sessions per travelling week. Of course, there’s the excuse of not having a gym. If I don’t have a hotel gym or a gym nearby I use YouTube workouts or, if I feel like a lighter workout to get my body moving I do Tabata training.
Tabata training is a Japanese workout method that involves high intensity interval training for short periods of time, with shorter rest. There are lots of different Tabata workouts, so I created one that works my whole body:
For each set (each number), there are 5 repetitions, 20 seconds each with 10 seconds rest.
Jumps (getting your knees to your chest)
The workout itself if quite short, which keeps me motivated to do it. It means that I can boost my heart rate and activate my muscles so that they are not complete jelly when I return home. If you want to work out for longer, you can do more reps or do the whole workout twice through.
If I am feeling like a more intense workout or I need a source of motivation I use a video I have downloaded onto my phone from Youtube.
Again this workout doesn’t require any equipment, which is essential because who wants to fill up their suitcase with 10kg of weights.
I know that sometimes it does get really tough to exercise on holiday but once you get into a rhythm you’ll feel so good!