Staying Healthy on Holidays

I head to Los Angeles on Monday and this is basically a post to show how I plan to avoid coming back from America the size of a small house . . . which seems a strong possibility.

Whilst I plan on fully embracing the local deep-fried cuisine, enjoying wines with lunch and sampling the buffets in Vegas, I’m hoping to avoid the usual over-indulgence that resulted in me gaining 4kg after a 3 week holiday in New Zealand late last year.

After doing a bit of research on the topic and reading a few blogs and articles with various tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle on holidays, I’ve gathered together a few principles and habits that I’ll aim to maintain for the duration of my trip to ensure I don’t fall off the wagon completely:

California Vibes

California Vibes

Drink plenty of water every single day

By buying a litre bottle of water I’ll aim to drink at least 3 of them each day.

Walk wherever you can

Pretty self explanatory. This is an easy one for me on holidays as I find I walk way more than I usually do in my desk job.

Aim to do one bike/hike/run activity in each city that also incorporates local culture and scenery

This is a great idea to combine being active whilst also being fun. Quite often it’s free to do things like this too, an added bonus! Do some research before you go and find out what activities are available where you’re going. In LA I’ve already researched that I want to do Runyon and the hike up past the Hollywood sign. In San Francisco I’m planning on riding across the Golden Gate Bridge and exploring the park on the other side.

Hollyridge Trail - from behind the Hollywood sign

Hollyridge Trail – from behind the Hollywood sign

Find a couple of short and easy workouts to do in your hotel room or outside

If they are short and simple you’re more likely to do them! Adriene Mishler has some short, sharp and sweet travel yoga sequences on her YouTube channel for which I’ll only need a towel.

Otherwise I found this little gem on Pinterest which goes for the duration of Kanye West’s ‘Power’ – boom!

Kanye West Power Workout

Utilise the hotel sauna if they have one

This is the perfect opportunity to detox from the excessive alcohol and rich foods I’ll be consuming. Unwind and sweat it out!

Always start the day with a big and healthy breakfast

I don’t mind being a bit naughty at lunch or dinner, but breakfast is make it or break it time for me. Start the day right and do breakfast properly. It’s also worth doing a bit of investigating and trying to find a place that does good green smoothies nearby. One or two of these for breakfast a week will make a huge difference! Paleo-friendly places are also a great option to look for.

Healthy Breakfast

Don’t skip meals and be smart when snacking

Empty calories from snack foods are a sure way to set you up for a nasty shock when you come home and if you skip meals you’re sure to snack.

As we will be spending a bit of time driving on this holiday the urge to snack will be inevitable. To cater for this I plan to visit local markets or green grocers where possible and have some nuts or fruit on hand.

Use a smaller plate when eating at a buffet

Why not trick your brain into thinking you haven’t held back whilst still avoiding that painful stuffed and guilty feeling at the end of a buffet sitting. I’m a sucker for a buffet and always surprise my partner with how much I can physically put away so this trick will be extremely beneficial!

Not the healthiest meal to demonstrate - but look at the difference! We nearly always subconsciously fill our plates.

Not the healthiest meal to demonstrate – but look at the difference! We nearly always subconsciously fill our plates too

Order a side of vegetables with your meal and always eat them first

This is good if you’re meal comes only with chips. In fact don’t be scared to go vegetarian once a day to ensure you’re getting in your daily dose of vegetables.

And finally . . . listen to your body

Snap out of the ‘I’m on holidays so it’s ok’ way of thinking and instead focus on what you actually feel like eating or doing. I find I often eat things I don’t actually want to on holidays just because I feel like I’ll be missing out or because I haven’t tried it before. This then results in me not actually being satisfied at all and feeling guilty for my over-indulgence. How is that fun?

Listen to your body and what it’s craving. Feeling a bit bloated and clogged up? Avoid the gluten and have some warm water with lemon or Apple Cider Vinegar or a peppermint tea.

Feeling really tired? Avoid the caffeine drinks and drink more water and eat an apple instead. Maybe even avoid the bar and go to bed earlier that night. Don’t be afraid of missing out on something and therefore forsaking your health. After all, what if you got sick and then ruined the rest of your holiday?

Then again, if you’re feeling fine and that big ol’ beef burger and beer combo is looking pretty darn delicious then don’t be afraid to enjoy it! I certainly won’t . . .

Sinead xx

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Banana, Strawberry and Coconut Breakfast Smoothie

I made this smoothie for breakfast this morning and enjoyed it so much I had to share.

It was particularly filling which was exactly what I needed after a 7.4km run this morning to start the day. I also used frozen berries for the recipe so the end result was almost like eating ice cream, perfect for while it’s still quite warm in the mornings!

Frozen raspberries would work well also if you want a lower fructose option and it would taste just as good if you omit the protein powder too.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ice cubes
  • half a frozen banana
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 heaped tablespoon coconut protein powder (vanilla would work also – I had some 180 nutrition protein powder leftover from some samples)
180 Natural Protein Superfood - 100% natural ingredients and gluten and sugar-free! I prefer the coconut flavour over the chocolate.  Go to 180nutrition.com.au

180 Natural Protein Superfood – 100% natural ingredients and gluten and sugar-free! I prefer the coconut flavour over the chocolate.
Go to 180nutrition.com.au

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup (250ml) So Good Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk
So Good Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk - low in calories and sugar and delicious also.

So Good Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk – low in calories and sugar and delicious also.

Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy!

Sinead xx

Banana, Strawberry and Coconut Breakfast Smoothie

Banana, Strawberry and Coconut Breakfast Smoothie

Two paleo bread recipes that actually taste good and are easy to make!

I don’t know about you but when I see the words ‘paleo’ and ‘bread’ in the same sentence I get pretty sceptical. I mean, what’s with all the bizarre flour substitutes and types you have to put in them? No I am not going to buy a $15 bag of buckwheat or arrowroot flour just to use 2 tablespoons for one particular recipe and then leave it in my pantry for 9 months. Give me easy, simple and tasty any day of the week!

Having tried and tested the following two recipes I can safely say that they are pretty much fool-proof (I am a hopeless baker and both of these turned out perfect!) and delicious just lightly toasted with some full-fat butter at any time of the day.

My only word of warning with these recipes is that they are quite moist due to the high amount of vegetables in them and therefore do not keep for long even in an air-tight container (I was so devastated when I discovered the mould on my sweet-potato paleo bread!). The best way to make these last is to slice up and freeze into two-slice portions with a piece of baking paper in between.

Paleo Inside-Out Bread

This recipe is from the I Quit Sugar for Life book and actually calls for the dreaded Arrowroot flour mentioned above. As I obviously did not have this on hand I just substituted for some good old Woolworths brand Gluten-Free flour from the health food section and it turned out perfect!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 3/4 cups arrowroot (Woolworths gluten-free flour is fine!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup pitted olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/3 cup finely diced ham
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160C and line a loaf tin with baking paper. In a large bowl, mix together the almond meal, arrowroot (or gluten-free flower), salt and bicarbonate of soda. In a separate bowl and using a fork, whisk the eggs lightly with the apple cider vinegar. Add the parsley, olives, zucchini, ham and cheese and whisk well, then add the egg mix to the dry ingredients. Mix well to combine, then pour the dough into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle with pepitas.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top starts turning golden and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool for five minutes before slicing. Freeze leftover slices between sheets of baking paper in a ziplock bag.

Paleo Inside Out Bread courtesy of Sarah Wilson, absolute favourite!

Paleo Inside Out Bread courtesy of Sarah Wilson, absolute favourite!

Sweet Potato Paleo Bread

With only 6 ingredients, it doesn’t get much easier than this recipe! I love the fact that the sweet-potato adds a bit of sweetness. Pumpkin would work great with this too, in fact I think I might try it this weekend!

Ingredients:

  • 400 g steamed and pureed sweet potato.
  • 4 free range eggs.
  • pinch of sea salt.
  • 50 g coconut oil or butter.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder.
  • 300 g almond meal.

Method:

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees. In a food processor, mix the eggs, oil and sweet potato. Spoon this mixture into a bowl and add the ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Pour into a paper lined baking tray and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Leave this to cool for an hour before slicing it with a sharp knife to serve.

Sweet Potato Paleo Bread

Sweet Potato Paleo Bread

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Sinead xx

Sinead’s Cheesy Bacon, Mushroom, Basil and Baby Spinach Brekkie

One Saturday morning I woke up and thought to myself that I really wanted bacon. I lay in bed for a while contemplating how difficult it would be to get up and cook the said bacon until at last the grumblings of my stomach persuaded me out of my king-sized cloud-like bed and to the kitchen. On getting to the kitchen I realised that alas! I didn’t have eggs! I don’t know if it’s just me but it always feels strange to me if I eat bacon without eggs. Like eating mashed potato without gravy.

Me contemplating my love of bacon . . .

Hmmm I think I feel like bacon . . .

I definitely didn’t want to just have bacon on bread (bleurgh how boring) and I happened to have some leftover basil, mushrooms and baby spinach. The end result from my fridge scavenging hunt was the following recipe, which is now one of my ultimate favourite breakfasts! It feels so naughty and decadent when you’re eating it but it’s actually full of good fats and fresh wholesome ingredients so you’re left with quite a nourishing breakfast.

Just so you know, if you do add a poached egg/s on top of this it is equally as good with added protein to boot.

Ingredients:

  • Large piece of toasted sourdough bread
  • 1cm wide slice of butter approx.
  • Few rashers of bacon
  • 3-4 mushrooms
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • Large handful of baby spinach
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (to taste)
  • Poached eggs (optional)

Method:

Slice the bacon and mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Cook the bacon in a non-stick frying pan until starting to brown and a little crispy on the edges. Add the mushrooms and butter to the pan and stir. Once mushrooms almost cooked add the basil and stir for a couple of minutes. Put the bread in the toaster. Add the baby spinach to the pan and stir until wilted. Remove from heat.

Pour the mixture onto the toast and grate the parmesan cheese over the top. Enjoy!

Sinead xx