Coconut & Mango Sweet Green Smoothie

Here’s another combination I tried recently and loved. There is nothing better than using up the contents of one’s fridge and freezer and creating something delicious in the process!

Ingredients:

  • Flesh of one mango – frozen
  • Flesh of one small coconut – frozen (4 frozen coconut cream cubes would work perfectly with this as well)
  • 1 cup Pure Harvest Coco Quench (or whatever milk alternative you prefer. Regular Full Cream, Almond, Oat or Coconut & Almond milk would work as well)
  • 1 large handful baby spinach
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Chia seeds for topping (optional)

Method:

I let the frozen coconut flesh and mango thaw a little bit and then added all ingredients and blended together to create a lovely, thick and almost sorbet-textured smoothie. Top with some chia seeds if you like.

Coconut & Mango Sweet Green Smoothie

Coconut & Mango Sweet Green Smoothie

Sinead xx

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

‘That Sugar Film’ . . . brilliant!

If you do just one thing to improve your and your family’s health then watch ‘That Sugar Film’ by Damon Gameau. Full stop. Point emphasised. I promise it will leave a lasting impression on you!

I was lucky enough to be able to see this film at Alice Springs Cinema on Friday night with a friend as part of the Travelling Film Festival and Damon was actually present to be able to answer questions following the screening. By ‘lucky enough’ I mean that two cinemas were booked out for the screening of the film (basically unheard of in Alice Springs). For those who don’t know, Damon Gameau is an Australian actor that you may have seen in Love My WayUnderbelly: A Tale of Two Cities or the Australian film The Tracker.

That Sugar Film

I have to say that I was genuinely surprised at how much of the information in the film I knew already through my journey through the I Quit Sugar 8-week Program and my continuing subscription to the IQS blog, however there was so much fascinating additional information in regards to the effects that sugar has on the brain that I was left re-motivated and enlightened.

Basically Damon is sugar-free before he starts the film. He has a very whole-foods approach to his eating (partly due to trying to impress his new health-nut girlfriend) and as the sugar debate began to reach the news more and more he decided to undertake an experiment on himself. He sets out to eat 40 teaspoons of sugar a day for 60 days. Yep, 40 TEASPOONS?! You might be thinking this is a ludicrous amount, but I assure you that he does not even eat junk food or lollies during his experiment. He eats food we have conventionally viewed as ‘healthy’ and has absolutely no problem at all reaching his determined level of sugar. Scary huh? Actually, the really scary part is the effects that his new diet has on his body and yet he is eating the same amount (or sometimes less) of calories as his previous diet.

Low-Fat Yoghurt to Kit Kat

The film is funny, witty and just plain brilliant. It puts all of the complicated information into such a simple and easy to understand format that you won’t be left going “Glucose? Fructose? Lactose? . . . Oh blah blah blah it’s all the same crap. This is way too hard”. I have no doubt at all that this film will change your life. In fact, it’s been picked up by the same people who distributed ‘Supersize Me’, is going to be played through Europe and has proved so popular that it will be given regular screening times in cinemas across the country. Not bad for a low-budget Aussie film hey?

For further information about the film, screenings, campaigns and the associated book go to:

http://www.thatsugarfilm.com

Oh, and go see the film!

Sinead xx

The ultimate smoothie for your skin

I got the recipe for this smoothie off of the I Quit Sugar website (as I seem to do with most things I cook or drink these days). I have to admit I am always doubtful when there are claims that a simple smoothie is going to give you ‘glowing skin’ or it will ‘cleanse your body’ as obviously it won’t do this if everything else in your life is unhealthy. Not to mention I’m not quite in-tune enough with my body yet to sit down and really recognise the effects unless they are reasonably major. The fact that this smoothie is called the ‘Fountain of Youth Smootie’ and the ingredients it incorporates made me even more dubious!

However, I noticed after a couple of weeks of having this for breakfast one or two days a week that the skin on my face really cleared up and was looking great! Not to mention it is genuinely delicious and refreshing. I altered it slightly and used Coco Quench coconut milk instead of Coconut water which I think was perfect for adding some extra creaminess and balancing the herbs and bitterness of the grapefruit.

So here it is, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:

Ingredients

  • 1x grapefruit (I used ruby grapefruit)
  • 4x strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Small handful of mint
  • Small handful flat-leaf parsley (yep . . . parsley!)
  • 1 cup coconut water (or I used the Coco Quench and it was great)
  • 4x ice cubes

Blend all together, sip it down and think of all the magical things it’s doing to you that you may not notice!

Fountain of Youth Smoothie - image from I Quit Sugar website.

Fountain of Youth Smoothie – image from I Quit Sugar website.

Sinead xx

Getting back into it . . .

Wow, I definitely let this whole blog thing slip in the last 10 months or so. I now have an appreciation for all the regular bloggers out there who are able to constantly find fascinating and entertaining content and then divulge to the masses! It really is a labour of love.

So much has happened since my last post.

  • I’ve been to Fiji and New Zealand for the first time each (all for weddings of course)
This is a shot from the wedding we attended in Queenstown. Standing along side my partner, his brother Ricky and Ricky's partner Amy.

This is a shot from the wedding we attended in Queenstown. Standing along side my partner, his brother Ricky and Ricky’s partner Amy.

  • Another of my best friends is engaged (and no I don’t resent the fact that everyone around me is getting hitched whilst I remain in the ‘de-facto’ section of filling out forms – sarcasm intended)
Myself and my beautiful best friend Kate who recently got engaged.

Myself and my beautiful best friend Kate who recently got engaged.

  • I’ve got a new baby nephew to dote on
  • I’ve continued with my (mostly) sugar-free journey and therefore developed a far healthier mental relationship with food
Christmas Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake from the I Quit Sugar Christmas eBook - deliciously indulgent!

Christmas Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake from the I Quit Sugar Christmas eBook – deliciously indulgent!

  • I’ve been part of a team to win my first ever netball premiership (go you T-REX Rovers A-Reserve!!!)
  • I’ve gone sky-diving (yep, for some reason I jumped out of a perfectly good plane over the mountains near Queenstown, NZ)
Holding a picture of myself sky-diving and still barely being able to believe I just did it.

Holding a picture of myself sky-diving and still barely being able to believe I just did it.

  • Bought more clothes than I care to admit . . .
  • I’ve tried and tested the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide – and in the process discovered that this sort of resistance exercise does not necessarily work well for me
  • I’ve started incorporating regular yoga into my exercise routine . . . and despite all of my pre-disposed opinions I had about it’s link to pretentious, preaching health-nuts (or ‘snobby hippies’ as I like to refer to them)  . . .  I LOVE IT!

Ahhhh goodness the list is potentially endless and what’s more there is even more to look forward with a pending trip to the famous Coachella Music Festival in Palm Springs in April and the prospect of being a bridesmaid for the first time ever for one of my bestest friends!

I’ve now made a commitment to myself to attempt to post a blog entry at least once a week from now on. My posts will vary from sugar-free food recipes I’ve tried, tested and loved, to travel, quotes and thoughts about maintaining a healthy body and mind. All will be in the name of the continual pursuit of serenity!

Hope you enjoy,

Sinead xx

On the home stretch.

As Week 7 of the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program ends and the final week is looming, it’s about time to stop and reflect on what this program has done for me and whether I’m going to make this a permanent change. To do this I thought it would be easiest to seperate my musings into my key areas of interest and major challenges to do with the I Quit Sugar theory.

Energy levels

This was the major reason for me even beginning the program in the first place. Whilst I’m still suffering from constant lethargy, it is much better than before.

Negativity from others

This has been a difficult challenge for the duration of the program. I simply was not expecting so many negative responses to my own personal choice to give quitting sugar a go, however Sarah Wilson very eloquently points out that this is commonly due to good ol’ envy and fear. You are talking about doing something that a lot of people do not have the courage or will-power to do themselves and therefore by confronting them with your choice there is no surprise that you meet some defensiveness in the process. Sarah therefore encourages you to not push your I Quit Sugar choice in peoples faces and as a result I am trying to preach on about it less when I’m at a social gathering (friends please feel free to let me know if this isn’t working)!

On the up-side I’ve had many people around me show a genuine interest in the program and commend me on being so dedicated. So far the most I’ve slipped up is caving in to a jelly shot at a friend’s Hens party and the odd crisps or chips here and there (sugar-free but still junk). Pretty darn good I think!

Weight Loss

Whilst this wasn’t a major factor in undertaking the I Quit Sugar program, it has definitely been an added benefit! To date I’ve only lost a couple of kilograms but I definitely feel leaner, less bloated and overall a pretty balanced and healthy weight. I was never big to begin with, but it’s nice to no longer calorie count my food or feel guilty about what I eat. I eat a lot, it’s just the good stuff now!

Here’s me actually enjoying a green smoothie with some added blueberries:

Cucumber, Spinach, Chia, Coconut & Blueberrie Smoothie

Not to mention I can still enjoy eating delicious things such as bacon:

Bacon & Egg Cupcakes

Permanency is terrifying!

Numerous times through-out the program I’ve had a minor attack of “WHY THE HELL AM I PUTTING MYSELF THROUGH THIS”. This normally happens when I’ve seen other people enjoying cupcakes or a piece of cake at a friend’s party, or I see famous skinny celebrities on Instagram still enjoying a big fat dose of sugar (hmmm speaking of which I must unfollow, it’s just too darn depressing).

When these moments happen I stop and reflect on why I started this in the first-place, how much healthier I’m going to be because of my choices and thank god for the numerous delicious sugar-free recipes for chocolate!

The Final Decision

When it comes to making the decision as to whether I want to continue with a sugar-free lifestyle following the end of the program it’s a bit of a no-brainer for me. Whilst I’m terrified of the thought of not being able to eat everything that the people around me can eat, it’s all about adjusting your perspective to focus on the awesome things you can enjoy and not the negatives. At the end of the day I want to be healthy and live long, therefore bring on a sugar-free life! Oh and bring on my holiday to Fiji at the end of next week, the first big challenge to put this new lifestyle to the test (no sugary cocktails for me)!

Broccoli Pesto Quinoa Quick Lamb Biryani

 

Week 4 = Detox meltdown!

Zero energy. Headaches. Body Aches. Pimply face. Toilet troubles.
Oh doesn’t week 4 of the I Quit Sugar program sound simply devine!

I genuinely thought I was coming down with the flu this week, but turns out it must be the sugar detox phase! It probably didn’t help I consumed copious amounts of gin, lime and sodas on the weekend either. I don’t think Sarah Wilson had that in mind when she said that was a drink low in sugar but still to drink in moderation. Oops.
I got so bad I had to have a day and a half of work. Instead I lay in bed in the dark watching episode after episode of The Vampire Diaries and crying everytime Elena and Stefan had a fight or someone died (therefore I was crying a lot).
And to top off a crappy start to the week I’m having to consume chunky green liquids for breakfast every day (which fyi actually don’t taste bad but look disgusting).

It’s not all bad this week though. My cravings for sugar have definitely diminished since week 2 and this morning I realised I’ve lost 2kg since starting the program with only minimal exercise being undertaken. Yippee for being able to be a little lazy!
Plus I’m super proud of the fact that I’ve stuck to this plan so well and have genuinely grown an appreciation for ingredients I previously shunned or was too scared of in the kitchen (honestly who would have thought Quinoa would be pronounced kin-wa).

Has the program been worth it so far? Yelp.

Baked Eggplant

Breakfast Bruschetta

Roast Pumpkin and Buckwheat Noodles