have your cake and eat it too

cake or cookie?

neither. this recipe is actually a healthy hybrid. part gooey chocolate chip cookie, part velvety cake this baby is packed with fibre, protein, antioxidants and most importantly no nasties, so it’s a surefire hit for those late afternoon munchies.

ingredients

1 1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 tsp pink rock salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

2-3 tbsp organic maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tbsp nut butter of your choice

1 egg

1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate/cacao nibs

method

preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a loaf tin with baking paper. in a mixing bowl, stir the almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. in a separate mixing bowl, whisk the coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter and vanilla extract until well combined. add the egg to the wet mixture and whisk for until it’s light and bubbly. fold through the dry ingredients until the whole mixture is just combined. add in the chopped chocolate or cacao nibs and stir.

the mixture should be quite wet, resembling a cake more than a cookie. pour it into the lined loaf tin and flatten out, making sure the mixture reaches the edges. bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden on top and around the edges.

let it sit in the tin for at least 30 minutes before removing and placing on a rack to crisp up.

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that’s it.

cut into slices and store in an airtight container for up to three days (like it’s going to last that long!)

cara x

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pash me

now i’ve got you sucked in with my witty title, you’re at my mercy. and by mercy, i mean i’m going to gift you an amazing recipe for raw passionfruit slice. so who’s really the winner here?

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*disclaimer* this slice was a spontaneous “look what’s in the fruit bowl of this place I’m house sitting” kind of thing. hence the recipe below being a bit vague. i legit just chucked stuff in until it looked and tasted good. i encourage you to do the same… go crazy.

base 

a good handful of almonds
10x dates (ish)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

filling

1 cup natural coconut yoghurt (i used cocobella)
2-3 tablespoons of locally sourced honey
3 passionfruits (plus extra for topping)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

method

use a food processor for the base, making sure that it’s sticky enough to hold together. press firmly into a tin lined with baking paper and pop in the fridge to set. 20 minutes should do it.

the filling can all be put in the same bowl. give everything a stir and then pour on top of the base, smoothing the top.

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chuck the whole thing in the freezer for a couple of hours or until set. it should then be fine to be placed in the fridge for ease of stuffing in one’s mouth.

(if you wanna get fancy, cut it into long slices and use some extra passionfruit pulp on top).

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do i get a kiss now?

cara x

be my squeeze? (lemon bliss balls)

who doesn’t love that sour hit you get from a squeeze of fresh lemon?

the tartness and the burst of citrus on the inside of my cheeks reminds me of the sour warheads i used to get from my primary school tuckshop.

this recipe is an ode to my childhood. also, i just had a shitload of lemons.

ingredients

100gm almond meal (i make my own, it’s easy and much cheaper)

45gm desiccated coconut (plus extra for rolling)

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons (it really depends on how much zing you like)

1/2 teaspoon good quality organic vanilla extract or bean

2 tablespoons organic, locally sourced honey

method

chuck it all in a food processor. ta da (i’m so clever).

roll the mixture into balls and then coat in the extra coconut.

store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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these little babies are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. perfect for a 3pm pick me up.

cara x

purna yoga, peeps

it’s finally happening, homies.

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i am going to be running yoga classes and they will be based around the key principles of purna yoga.

wtf is purna yoga i hear you say? well, let me explain in 140 characters or less… LOL, that was a joke but seriously, have a read.

purna in sanskrit means complete. and as such, involves not just asana (physical postures) but a wide variety of techniques to address physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.

for me, this is super important as wellness is about treating the whole person and purna yoga allows me to fulfill my dharma (life purpose).

so, what does this look like on the mat?

in my beginners or foundation program, the asana will be based around level 1 poses with sustained holds and a flowing sun salutation sequence. hands on adjustments and a focus on alignment will enable students to develop strength, open energy channels and refine movements.

there will be pranayama practice (the use of the breath to connect the postures) and meditation to help control the mind and nervous system.

and why should i try it?

because i honestly believe that it will change your life for the better. calming the mind and soothing the body through movement and breath. i am here to help you any way i can. give me a call, send me a text, write on my wall, hail me down in the street, knock on my door? (maybe don’t do that, that’s a bit weird).

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other important stuff

classes commence on monday the 31st of july.

when: 7pm

where: pure, traralgon

come and try. if you hate it, i won’t hate you (promise).

cara x

 

don’t have a cacao, man.

remember when 4 ingredients was THE cooking book of the decade?

it was simple, it was fast and even the gastronomically challenged could make something… well, for me, the idea of any recipe being 4 ingredients or less is still really attractive and has lost none of its lustre. why? because of the simplicity. making food and the art of cooking accessible to everyone is one of the things i am most passionate about as a nutritionist in training. whilst shows like masterchef and my kitchen rules have amped up interest in niche food products, a lot of it is out of reach of the average family.

nutrition starts at home and these super simple bikkies are a simple food swap that taste great whilst also providing lots of the good stuff (antioxidants, iron, fibre, magnesium and key minerals).

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ingredients

2x mashed over ripe bananas

1 cup of steel cut rolled oats

1 teaspoon locally sourced honey

a handful of cacao nibs (i didn’t measure just kind of chucked them in until it looked good?)

method

pre-heat your fan forced oven to 160 degrees. mash the banana in a bowl and then combine the oats. add in the honey and cacao nibs and you’re done. (woah, that was hard…not). roll into tablespoon size balls, place on a tray with baking paper and flatten slightly.

cook for approximately 10-15 minutes. you can pop a little ghee on with a pastry brush if you want a nice brown crispiness on the top.

cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then move to a rack.

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lastly and most importantly, EAT!

makes 10

super yum, nutrient dense and most of all, simple.

cara x

 

 

 

badass banana bread

girl loves a good alliteration… and banana bread. mostly, banana bread.

but what i love most? baked treats that don’t send my blood sugar levels sky high, only to come crashing down harder than my hopes of that guy i liked ever calling me back.

but i digress. this dessert (or breakfast if you’re me on a monday) is full of the good stuff. protein, fats, fibre and antioxidants. too good to be true? nope. and i’ll let you in on the secret.

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ingredients

1 1/4 cups GF plain flour

2 tsp GF baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2/3 cup LSA meal

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

2 free range organic eggs

1/2 cup good quality oil

3/4 your choice of nut mylk

1/4 organic honey

1 cup mashed banana

125gm your choice of berries

1 tablespoon chia seeds

method

pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (10 degrees less for FF) and line a loaf pan with baking paper. sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl then stir in the LSA and coconut.

whisk the eggs, oil , mylk and honey in a jug then add the banana. stir into the flour mixture until just combined. stir in the berries gently (fun fact, if you coat them in a little flour they don’t tend to sink as much).

spoon into the pan and sprinkle with chia seeds. cook for around 45 minutes. it should be golden brown with a nice crust on the outside. use a skewer if you’re an amateur.

if you have left over mixture like me, make a baby cake that you’ll pretend to share with someone but really just eat the whole thing yourself… what?

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eat well, homies.

cara x

veg out, vegan style

you know all those lame things you’ve heard about vegan food being boring and tasting like cardboard? well, those are merely the cries of the uninitiated because not only is vegan food delicious, it is simple to whip up a feast for all your friends.

and on that note, here we go…

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cauliflower and parsnip soup

1x whole cauliflower (break into florets)

2x parsnips, chopped finely

2x vegetable stock cubes

1x onion, chopped finely

2x garlic cloves, chopped finely

600ml water

cracked pepper

1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard

method

cook off the onion and garlic in some olive oil and then add cauliflower and parsnip until slightly browned. dissolve the stock cubes in hot water (should just cover the vegetables) and add to pot. crack some pepper over the top and turn up until it starts to boil, then let it simmer until the vegetables are soft. let it cool slightly and the use a bamix/stick blender to until it reaches a delicious puree-like consistency. stir through the mustard and serve!

but wait, there’s more…

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banana brownies

3x medium, overripe bananas

1/2 cup nut butter (i used peanut butter, coz yum)

1/3 cup cacao

handful of cacao nibs

method

preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. smoosh the bananas and combine with nut butter (you can heat it, if it’s a little claggy). stir through the cacao and cacao nibs and pop into a lined loaf tin. cook for about 15 minutes. brownies should still be fudgy. serve with a little raspberry coulis and voila!

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add a tipple of organic red wine (makes the morning after, a little easier on the noggin’) and you have yourself a beautiful night in.

any old school recipes you’re dying to eat but wanna make a little more wholesome? hit me up in the comments and i’ll see what i can do.

cara x

truth bomb

the hard truth about recovering from anorexia.

 “I no longer wear exhaustion as a badge of honor.”

                                                                  – Brene Brown

i place so much of my self-worth on my appearance, achievements, academic excellence, prestigious degrees – as if these are the only markings of success. as if a thin body and a certificate make me worthy of love.

but does anything really matter, if i’m making myself sick in doing it?

i’m not happy. in fact, i’m fucking depressed and often have thoughts that I will be stuck in this cycle of addiction and restriction and complete loneliness for the rest of my life. that I’m a failure for not finding a career path that fits or being able to feed myself 3 meals a day.

but then there is a little part of me that wonders if there isn’t more to life than what we’re told. are we born to pay bills and die?

i am constantly trying to do more, be more, achieve more in the vague hope that i’ll suddenly be happy one day. but so much of this is tied up in what i think other people expect of me.

and so, i have made the decision to step back. i’ve deferred my studies and i’m going back to live with my parents and master the art of doing absolutely nothing.

i am slowly trying to remove the guilt and shame attached to not being in melbourne, working 9-5, earning heaps of money and the praise of my peers. trying to let go of the fear that i will be judged for having a mental illness.

i want to start making time to be present.  prioritising things like reading, meditating, resting, doing yoga, taking a bubble bath, lighting candles, playing with my pets and spending time with friends.

practicing the art of just ‘being’.

my body, my mind and my spirit need time to slow down.

and there’s nothing shameful in that.

cara x

*if you or anyone you knows needs help with an eating disorder, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me or give Eating Disorders Victoria a call on 1300 550 236.

box of bliss

it’s thursday. oh, happy days. one day until the weekend and all that.

but what makes THIS thursday extra special?

a very unexpected care package from carman’s muesli… for reference, nothing gets me going like a box of bliss balls.

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jam-packed with all the good stuff, these superfood bites are gluten-free, dairy-free and naturally sweetened with fruit.

they’re a natural pick-me-up to combat the dreaded 330itis. and with three different flavours, everyone should be able to find a healthy alternative to those left over easter eggs.

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so do yourself a favour and grab some next time you’re at the supermarket. this nutritionist (in training) approves 😉

cara x

 

 

apple 3.14

apple pie. how clever am i? that, or i’m just really running out of cool titles…

anyway, here’s my recipe for a super tasty treat that is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free but definitely not taste free!

base

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

2 cups of dates

(measurements are not accurate, just use a food processor until you can mold it into a cup-like form using a muffin tray. also, make sure you use baking paper otherwise they’ll get stuck).

filling

4-5 organic apples

chai masala spice mix

dash of water

(stew the apples with lid on until soft, then take the lid off towards the end to allow the apples to caramelise in the sauce).

that’s it. stick your base in the fridge and after 2-3 hours, pop some apples on top.

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delish and nutrish. eat up!

cara x