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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Resisting the Mini Bar while Travelling

It’s been a demanding few weeks slaying dragons. When on my way home from a trip I thought it best to share some handy travel tips.

Not deviating from your nutrition and exercise routine is hard enough on an ordinary day for some. Enter the ultimate malevolence, air travel and hotel rooms and you have enough despicable elements to derail your hard work. We prepare by packing our shoes, clothes, underwear and reading material why is nutrition forgotten?
If you plan in advance you don’t need to sell your soul to the mini bar devil himself! The good news is that a rough spot doesn’t have to derail all your efforts to stay on track with your health & training goals. When my hotel is being booked for me I have one request - a gym. Your runners also double as pretty neat protective housing for snacks in your bag. You take your food wrapped yeah? So quit thinkin about shoes and food and STAY FOCUSED!

My aims when travelling are be prepared, for when you’re ahh not prepared duh.  It’s not rocket science, it’s not even religion studies actually but it’s amazing how many humans just don’t do it. I always try to have food on hand for meal times, also snacks in case I'm craving. That way I don’t have to rely on will power as much, I have free passes through each gate. I am absolutely frothing over these new raw bars from Freshness Fine Foods. When you open the packet, each slab is positioned against cardboard backing, once you peel away from backing the bar is a chewy flexible mass. The way real food is when its blended with other wholesome natural ingredients! I buy mine from Macro Wholefoods in Dank Street – look how cheap they are, perfect for those ‘unprepared’ moments.

Major rule - don’t hit that mini bar – instead of just one fruit and nut bar disappearing it will be the whole god damn contents of the fridge. In the morning when checking out of your room the youngest, most inexperienced concierge makes a beeline to serve you. The words ‘trainee’ emblazoned on their name badge screams with the attention of vivid red light district fluros. Instead of discreetly offering an itemised list to check off the previous nights sins, the trainee, with the volume of a foghorn invites you to be the lead role in the broadway show ‘Concierge Confessions - Last Night’s Indiscretions’. Together with battling grim memory demons now the public speaking demon whispers satanically, the foyer turns opportunely noiseless, the stage is now yours to perish upon. For the record this is hypothetical, it’s never happened to me. Ever.

This past Sunday afternoon I was at ANZ stadium proudly watching the Bulldogs whitewash the Sea Eagles. I’d been training since 10am, showered at practice and went straight to the game. Chatting in Star City’s corporate box with my manager and injured Frank Pritchard we are offered meat pies. Hello enticement, we meet again. I politely declined the dutiful waiter not before receiving witty jabs from the boys about having ‘just one’. Does the consumer of pies feel less guilty if the health nut agrees to one? Is the consumer of pies merely upholding Aussie tradition of mockery amongst friends? Most likely the latter.  The boys had more pies on demand, edible and piping fresh direct from the chefs private kitchen out back. This was no mass serving tray strewn with remnants of party pies turning stone hard and frosty. Medium sized meat pies on an individual plate just for you. Was the chef out back kneading his own pastry or what? Does pastry even get kneaded? Damn, these puppies smelt like the business!

The ex Coca Cola Employee is not pictured here!

That morning whilst packing for the days outings I had two choices.

1.       Roll out empty handed, rely on willpower and the best of intentions to get through the day eating clean

2.       Whip up Raw Monkey Choc Protein Smoothie (below) jammed with loads of ice to keep cold, pack  BREAKFAST BALLS (recipe) baggie of mixed raw activated nuts, nashi pear, mandarin & apple


Breakfast Ball mix pre mould

The reality is I’m not a superhero, I have just as much on my agenda as the next person. I chose option 2, even smart people make bad decisions when they’re rushed.
I digress, back to the corporate box. I whip out my breakfast balls and begin to unwrap, the boys and waiters intently wondering what monstrosity could arise from the foil. I break open one of the little pearlers, revealing a slight tinge of green from spirulina which poses questions about ingredients. One of the lovely waitress’s wasn’t even sure what spirulina was. If I hadn’t been training all day and was ready to knaw my own wrist off perhaps I would have offered them a taste. Actually nah they were fine with their pies. What I am conscious of is not being that ‘health nut’ that looks down on others for eating their pies – tuck in champ, go for your life! I would only pipe up if over several meetings you smashed numerous pies then whinged about being a slob. I’d also strongly disagree if you told me Coca Cola is wait for it - healthy to drink every now and then because of it’s ‘cleansing properties’. Cleansing like Ajax on the floor, like Exit Mould on tile grate. The same person went on to tell me he used to be an employee of Coca Cola for many years. In the factory they kept a huge waste bin where damaged products unable to be sold were discarded. When the bin was emptied they discovered Coca Cola had CORRODED A HOLE IN THE EARTH! Over the course of a month fluid had leaked eating through the base of the bin and rotting a ditch in the asphalt! This persons profile will remain anonymous, perhaps the consumption of the beverage has impeded his brain function over the years. Nice bloke though, I ain’t judging each to their own. You do your thing I’ll do mine.

Perhaps if the night previous I hadn’t been at a Christmas in July party and eaten my far share of impure goodies I would have indulged in a pie. My life is relatively structured yes, but every now and then I free myself from the pressure to stay perfectly on track which I think helps in my long term goals. But the free reigns gates don’t stay open for longer than necessary.

Jennifer Thompson  Detox Expert, Health Coach and Iridologist put it well- ‘We have to look at the body as a whole, not just focus on one food, one additive, one organ or one symptom.’ This great quote guides each 24 hours I am alive and well.
Be well too!  Au revoir.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A day in my guts

This may appear to fast be becoming a food blog. GOD PLEASE NO I'm a unicorn DO NOT let it become a food blog. You have my scouts honour it won’t. Tomorrow we're slaying dragons, it will be fun, stay tuned.

The question I get asked by so many - what goes in my guts.
I was somewhat unprepared this week, normally I have other food prepped but working an 80 hour week things have crept up on me. It was a) have ideal nutritional prep and go to work nude with one eye open this week OR b) do washing, get some relatively minor shut eye and still have an acceptable plan for the week. Unfortunately after checking with my boss, he would not appreciate me arriving in my birthday suit. In an ideal world tilting slightly less fruit in favour of green veg, a touch more protein I'd be chuffed. but I'm not losing sleep over it. I could have waited, presented another day with a more complete profile but every day is not perfect, anyone who tells me theirs is is a liar, or a bodybuilder. I also drank several cups of herbal tea – check your ‘herbal’ collections ingredients if they have artificial flavours – toss em.

This Garden of Life Raw Protein formula provides the complete suite of essential amino acids from a variety of plants so this baby is up the top of the food chain with the quality of animal protein sources. And when the label reads 'organic, gluten free, dairy free, lactose free, no fillers, no synthetic nutrients, no artificial flavours or preservatives' seriously it’s like the heavenly choir opens up , a god like experience YES there is still good in the world you just have to open both eyes and walk a few short steps further to source it. USDA certified organic approved means no pesticides, fungicides or antibiotics and GMO free.

There she is - the elusive Leucine !
Now, I will say the flavour is neutral and the powders consistency is kinda gritty. Let’s avoid you purchasing thinking its smooth, shake it up, I've SYKED you out,  you lurk outside my bedroom window holding me liable for a refund no siree.  Whack a couple of scoops in a blender and you should avoid a tongue on chalkboard tang. Also throw in 1 C almond milk, 1/2 banana, 1 t natural vanilla, 1 t cinnamon, 1/2 C frozen mixed berries, 2 T ground flax seed, ice and water for a decent smoothie.

Good for anyone with gastrointestinal sensitivities to milk, whey or other protein sources. Raw just means at any point from the time the plant has grown and dried and placed in the container it’s not subjected to heat that would break down the most heat sensitive nutrient in that given food source, this would typically be an enzyme or probiotic. This protein has true integrity, it's ALIVE you open the lid and the little enzyme soldiers are mostly still actively fist pumping. Even when labelled natural watch out for toxic chemicals in other protein brands. Seriously - go read the label of your protein supplement and accept what you're ingesting.

The highly anticipated breakfast balls recipe for you, many non vegan colleagues steal this recipe. Tops to disguise the taste of spirulina, play with the amount of honey to desired sweetness. I keep these in packs of two in freezer as snacks on the go. BOOM


• 2T chia seeds
• 2T pepitas
• Juice of half a freshly squeezed orange
• Zest of orange (make sure it is organic)
• 1C raw almond flour
• 1/2t cinnamon
• 1/2C dessicated coconut (for rolling in)
• 2T melted coconut oil
• 1/2C almonds chopped
• 2 T spirulina
• 2 T cacao powder
• 1/4C raw honey
• 1/4C date paste (make by blending 4 dates with 4T water)
• 1/4C raisins -- chopped
• 1/4C cranberries -- chopped
• 1/2C medjool dates -- chopped
• Pinch himalayan sea salt


Whisk chia with the orange juice and zest and set aside. Mix rest of ingredients in a bowl (except for ingredients for rolling the balls in) and mix thoroughly. Add the chia and orange mix and mix again. Work the mixture with your hands shaping into balls then roll in dessicated coconut to coat. Pop in freezer or fridge and allow to set before eating.

Wish me luck with the dragons...