diet

Four Top Tips For Travelling Healthy

Eating healthy when travelling is hard, right? Wrong. You can travel healthy just like you can be healthy in any situation if you really want to. Here are my top four tips or my four top tips.

1. Scroggin.
Make a bag of scroggin or trail mix for snacking. To be honest, I always do this anyway not just for travelling. There’s always a bag of mixed raw nuts, seeds and natural dried fruit in my handbag for in case I get hungry.. or have a sweet craving. This way, there’s always something else for me to have in place of that naughty/unhealthy/excessively sugary thing. The important thing here is to make your own. Already mixed nuts, unless otherwise stated, usually have preservatives and additives like excess oil salt and/or sugar.

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2. Request a special meal. 
You can do this when booking your ticket. Even if you’re a meat lover, just for this one trip, request a vegetarian or vegan meal. Why? Because special meals are ALWAYS ALWAYS better than what everyone else gets. They’re not mass produced and guaranteed to be fresh. Special, just for you! So I had this delicious stir-fry with broccoli, shiitake mushroom, corn, capsicum, peas, green beans and celery and a wholemeal seeded bun when the dude next to me had a gross looking “beef” curry with 2 pieces of carrot and a white bun. I also had “fancy” fruit when everyone else had “boring” apple and mandarin. And, I got my special meal first. For breakfast, I was given porridge, fancy fruit again and HOT wholemeal bread from a picnic basket (the same as the people in first class) whilst the lady next to me ate a watery looking pale yellow omelette, processed sausage and a white bun wrapped in plastic.

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3. Request an isle seat
Yikes, you’re being such a difficult customer! Ha, but it’s ok. You can do this. It’s free to request! Worst-case, you don’t get it. Again, you can do this when you buy your ticket or else, at the check-in counter. So why an isle seat? Yes, you miss out on taking that iconic instagram shot of the airplane wing and watching the clouds turn romantic orange but you are free, FREE I say, to walk up and down and down and up and up and wherever. Especially after eating. You know t’s not good to eat and sit.

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4. Hydrate like a mothetrucker. 
We all know the benefits of drinking water. Or if we don’t know, just take my word for it.There are a billion toilets in an airport and in an airplane. So take advantage, dink up, Hydrate.

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Mindful Eating For Dummies

Are you constantly hangry? Are you constantly craving EVERYTHING?

STOP! Don’t exit. This is not some generic ad for an ab-machine.

What this is, is a few simple steps in winning this seemingly impossible hunger game we, the wealthy 21st century humans, all seem to be playing.
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1. CHEW
Remember my post about the health benefits of smoothie bowls? The more we chew, the more our stomachs signal our brains that we’re full. Apparently, we’re supposed to chew our food 20-30 times before swallowing. I hear ya! Ain’t no body got time for that. Well, I ain’t got time to buy new jeans either.

2. USE A PLATE
Try to do this even when you’re feeling angry or upset. No doubt, you’re less likely to eat a whole packet of Oreos if you see them on a plate. This visual reality check will instantly show you that the portion is too big.

3. EAT AWAY FROM THE SCREEN
Checking the number of likes on your new profile picture can wait. Experts caution that eating meals or snacking while distracted by our cellphones and/or computers makes our food seem less satisfying. Dissatisfaction will most likely cause us to seek out more snacks later. This concept also applies to eating food “on the go”: driving/studying/etc/etc. So like, don’t eat a muesli bar with one hand and hold the steering wheel with the other. Instead, pull over and smell the roses. This means focusing on the taste, texture and aroma of each and every mouthful. Remember, we are among the very few privileged individuals of this day and age who actually have access to such an abundance of food. Which means we are seriously obliged to give our food time, energy and respect.

4. PRIORITISE SLEEP
Lack of sleep can mess with our moods, food cravings and even cause our skin to breakout. It does this by increasing our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that causes inflammation and turns on our oil-producing glands. In addition, insufficient sleep causes hormonal changes that decrease our satiety after eating, lower the calories we burn during the day, and turn on obesity-promoting genes. BRB snoozing!

5. BEWARE OF OTHER HUMANS (A tad OTT, but true.)
Other people can hugely influence our food choices. When US researchers looked at groups of three people for the 2012 Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Cookies study, they found that if two friends restricted their intake of biscuits, the third friend followed suit, NOT ONLY when with the group but also when alone! On the other hand, when two friends ate more biscuits, the third friend also tucked into more, and again, ate more when alone. In short, pick healthy friends. Or, be that healthy friend. Let’s do this together <3

Some People Come To Japan And Turn Japanese

and others retreat to their roots.Because, there’s only so much salt, sugar and seaweed a girl can take. Ah, I feel so ready to move on to my next chapter… though I know how important it is to enjoy the now and how dangerous it is to wait wait wait. Especially when we don’t know what could happen the very next second. So, I have booked my ticket to Spain! For which, as you can imagine, I am crazy excited. I wish it was sooner. And this wish is dangerous. So, I must try to be positive and to continue making the most of my current situation. Because there are a lot of things I (hate is a strong word but still) hate about my job and my place of residence. But, it’s not forever. It’s a learning experience. It HAS been an incredible learning experience and and this too shall pass. So I will continue to actively foster creativity in my everyday at the same time as eagerly awaiting my future adventures.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
-Viktor E. Frankl

Pictures: my number 1 love, which used to be a pancake but is now a Persian breakfast and my Persian-inspired bento which is actually a big contradiction because Lunch for Iranians is the biggest meal of the day. So, this tiny thing would definitely not be sufficient but alas the flavors are there. Recipe below.
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1 cup brown jasmine rice
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 small pumpkin
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
bunch of fresh parsley (chopped or torn)
1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
1/4 cup raisins
bunch of young radish (sliced thin)

Dressing:
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook rice as per packet instructions but incorporate the turmeric in the cooking water.
Once done, let cool.

Chop pumpkin small then toss in a bowl with a tbsp of oil (I used olive) and a sprinkle of salt and pepper then bake in a toaster oven or oven oven on high (220C) turning every now and then and keeping a close eye on it for 20 or so minutes or until crispy and golden. Again, let cool.

Mix rice and pumpkin with remaining salad ingredients together.

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small jar and do as T Swift and shake shake shake it IN TO the salad.

Refrigerate before nomnom for best results or  bon appétit if you just can’t wait!

Boiled Orange Cranberry And Chocolate Cake

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2 whole ORGANIC oranges
2 and 1/4 cups ground almonds
1 cup coconut sugar 
4 free range eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roughly chopped good quality dark chocolate

Place whole oranges in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and continue the boil for 1 hour.

Drain. Let cool (apparently patience is virtous)

Preheat oven to 160 C

Cut oranges in half and place in a food processor (skin, pith, flesh errythang) with ground almonds, coconut sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and baking soda then process until smooth.

Turn the food processor off, unless you want to die and using a spoon, gently mix in the cranberries and chocolate (leaving a handful behind for topping)

Pour batter into a baking-paper lined cake tin, top with remaining cranberries and chocolate and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a fork comes out clean when inserted.

Let cool completely before removing from tin.

Note: using organic oranges is vital here seeing as you’re going to be eating the whole thang. Also, the thinner the orange skin, the sweeter.

Enjoy! Let me know how it goes and don’t forget to tag me in your creations xx

Today Is The Day

My parents arrive TONIGHT! In Japan for their first time! YAY! Naturally, as Anisa does, I spent last night baking for them. I baked my “Bluberry and Lemon Yoghurt Loaf” into muffins using raspberries in place of the little blue babies. And, I made my “Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes” into a loaf, with the addition of macadamia nuts mixed both through the batter and sprinkled on top of the thing. Also, at one point I had a mini, okay major, panic attack because I’d so obviously overfilled my muffin tray and visual evidence clearly indicated that they were destined to merge into one giant cookie, which on second thoughts wouldnt be that bad a thing (hehe) but thank heavens for the brilliant invention of the silicon tray cos I managed to get them out just fine and look at that.. now they’re sporting, perhaps the sexiest muffin-tops I’ve ever seen ;)
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My thighs

Currently writing poems with my second-grade students. Two styles. First, one word first line, two words second line, three words third line, four words fourth line then last line, one (1, 2, 3, 4, 1). Second, Haiku (syllables: 5, 7, 5).

Cellulite
is growing
with light speed
in and around my
butt

Oh my ghee doughnut
how did all this cellulite
get around my butt?

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A little poetry outlining my current situation. But it’s okay, nothing last forever. Ok, maybe cellulite does. Alas, I dream of the days when I’ve left my current job, where I have to be seated at my desk between classes and in school holidays, for the entire day because the students are on break and the teachers are not (strange country), and the days I leave my rural home, where not only my workplace but supermarkets/cafes and civilization in general are an hours drive. Excuses, excuses, I hear ya. ALL OF ME hears ya. GAH. Also, Japanese homes aren’t built for the cold.. making it really hard to exercise inside…But, spring is coming and with it warmer weather and cherry blossoms and so is my mom and nothing else matters when she’s around. Not even my bum.

SIX Breakfasts To Keep You Full An Entire Day

Yipee! I have officially completed my first day of the fast and currently eating everything. Just kidding! Not really… Seriously though, it wasn’t that bad and I reckon it’s because I had a really good breakfast. So, without further adieu, the following are my top 5 breakfasts to keep you full an entire day, fasting or not, either way.

1. Bircher muesli (Oats are probably the most filling breakfast food ever. Top with raw nuts and fresh fruit for extra oomph! If you’re feeling adventurous, try my peanut butter and banana variety, HERE.)
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2. Chocolate chia-seed pudding (Excuse me while I drool into my keyboard…but in all seriousness, this breakfast is super nutritious and super filling because both chia seeds and raw cacao are incredible SUPERfoods (see what I did there?). Alternatively, for a simple chia pudding, click HERE.
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3. A Persian breakfast (Good bread, walnuts for omega 3, good-fat vegetables like avocado, healing herbs like mint and basil and good quality cheese ok maybe not the cheese but shhh! What else could your tumtum wish for?!) Watermelon! Yes, it could wish for watermelon.
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4. Banana and blueberry baked oats (Oats, eggs, walnuts, bananas and if you can, blackcurrants over blueberries but all in all, allllllll good!)
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5. Black rice pudding (There’s a reason black rice or “forbidden rice” was solely reserved for the emperor back in the day. Tis good shizz. Combine with plant-based “milk”, raw nuts and/or seeds and fresh fruit and I guarantee you’ll stay full). Don’t like black? Rather brown? Das cool, das cool. It’s ok to think like that when it comes to food. Click HERE for a brown rice pudding recipe.
image156. Savory oats (a high fiber oatmeal packed with extra protein: a free-range egg, healthy fats: avocado and sunflower seeds, and lots of metabolism kicking chili!)
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5 Minute 5 Ingredient Vegan Mushroom Soba Pasta

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If you, like me, like pasta, you should be eating soba! What is soba? Soba are Japanese noodles made of buckwheat flour. What’s the big deal about them? They’re low cal! Basically, half the calories of white pasta. A cup of cooked soba contains 113 calories whereas white spaghetti contains 220 per cup and wholewheat spaghetti 174.

113 < 220
113 < 174

You get it right?

For all you non-Japan dwellers, you should be able to find soba in the health or Asian section of your local supermarket. For Cantabrians, Piko, Liberty Market and New World.

Tonight I made this and WOW it was good. If I can say so myself.. which I can because this is my blog mwahaha. Anyways… I know a lot of people don’t like shiitake mushrooms so if you’re one of them you can use regular mushrooms or another vegetable all together (corn, broccoli or chickpeas are my recommendations).

1/2 packet of soba (or more or less whatever)
1/2 onion, diced small
1 punnet of shiitake mushrooms, chopped medium
1/2 can of whole peeled Italian tomatoes
spices (I’m cheating, I combined all the spices to make the recipe “5 ingredients” hehe but in my defense, it’s just a pinch of salt, red chilli and black pepper.)

Cook soba as per packet instructions, usually about a mere TWO minutes in boiling water – another reason why it’s so much better than pasta! It’s fasta! Get it? lol

Fry onion on medium heat with a little oil in a pan (1 minute)

Add mushrooms, stir (another min)

Add everything else, tomatoes, spices and cooked soba, stir.

Serve when all hot and steamy.

Oh mama mia! Oishi desu yo!

Skinny Slaw

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A year or so ago, I was in the best shape of my life. I started boxing with my good friend Wally and eating really well. Around that time, my father also happened to be on a diet though his “life-style change” was entirely forced by my mother. So, every morning when I made my “clean” lunch to take with me to college, I prepared dad’s as well. This slaw which I’ve named “Skinny Slaw” merely to grab your attention so you click the link but also because I actually believe in its powers, is what my father and I ate for 2 months straight and it worked, we lost weight. Which is why you should totally try it. But for the record, your ass looks great in those jeans anyway xx

Salad
1 packet of chopped cabbage or one cabbage, chopped.
1 large carrot, grated.
1 apple, diced
1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

Dressing
juice of one lemon
zest of one lemon
1 tsp seeded mustard
1 tbsp olive oil

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake like a Polaroid picture.

Add dressing to salad.

Mix.

Das it.

Keeps (refrigerated) for a week.

Step By Step Vegan Curry Cashew Cabbage

Cabbage is like tahini, once you’ve used it for hummus, it sits in your fridge forever. Seriously though, how many of you have had to let a half, or a quarter head of cabbage rot after you’ve made your coleslaw or whatever? Living in the countryside has been difficult but it’s also had its perks. For one, I am constantly gifted vegetables. And not just any vegetables but ones grown with much love and care. Any-who, what to do with all these cabbage heads? Pinterest! Where I got the idea for this simple curry cashew cabbage thingamajig that I slightly adapted (since that one used butter and much ginger). Enjoy!

STEP ONE: gather your ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/2 smallish cabbage head
1 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
image[1]STEP TWO: melt coconut oil in a pan (med heat), add cashews and cumin and stir until both are fragrant and golden.

STEP THREE: add cabbage, add turmeric, stir. 

STEP FOUR: tis not really a step but just keep stirring for a further 5 or so minutes then nomnomnom away!image[2]