New year new me bullshit out of the way. Every person on the Internet with a blog or YouTube is back at it this week, hungover, 5k.g heavier and inspired from a cute lil pic they saw on Facebook about starting afresh.
Well me too suckers.
Do I think I’m going to keep any of the things I want to achieve this year? You damn bet I will. Because it’s not go to the gym each day or some unattainable bullshit like eat kale at every meal.
My goals are going to be about making small changes that overall are going to help my mental health. Because bloody hell thanks end of 2k17 you sure did razor scooter me in the ankle.
So here we go:
Gut and mental health. Which are closely linked. You can easily fall down the rabbit hole researching all the different types of bacteria (good and bad) that occupy out bodies. Which can directly link to our brain function. What we put into our bodies affects us mentally so much. I’m defiantly not a doctor or nutritionist but if you keep eating something that makes you feel like crap, then stop! Ever since I cut out dairy I feel like a new person. Food substitutes are so easy to discover and incorporate. Plus it requires you to be more creative and aware of things around you. Which is an extra bonus.
Get stronger. Mentally and physically. I want to continue to challenge myself especially in how I think and act. My anxiety has defiantly changed how my brain functions. It’s damn easy of me to say oh but I eat healthily and exercise and have hobbies so why am I still sad and panicky. That’s because I still think negatively. My biggest goal of 2018 is to challenge and hopefully change how my brain operates. It is doable.
Read more. I’ve started the year off reading ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’ by Mark Manson which has been read by every person on the planet and rightfully so. I’ll post a review on it when I finish it. I want to expand my book favourites. I tend to read a lot of cooking books, fashion and photography and autobiographies. I finished ‘The Trauma Cleaner Book’ by Sarah Krasnostein in 2 days. I want to still read lots of different autobiographies but also try out some crime novels and thrillers.
Be more creative and motivated. I want to get a career job this year and move cities. They are two big changes, but I have my mind set on doing them. They will require saving money, which is a goal going along well so far. I also want to make videos and use my GoPro Hero 5. I’ve only filmed bits and pieces on it but next piece of footage I film I want to be underwater!
Be more aware of purchases, ethical and environmental. I feel like 2017 was a turning point for people seeking out their own education for products and their life style impacts on the environment. From reusable bags, to keep cups and no straws there were plenty of little things that became revolutions in 2017 that helped the environment. Education is the most important thing for making informed choices and I want to make plenty of them this year.
The second recipe I’ve made entirely by myself which I am very proud of! I had a whole Sunday to myself where it was rainy outside so I thought I’d do some creating in the kitchen and make up a muesli bar that is gluten free. I had had a really hard time trying to find gluten free mule bars (also dairy free that aren’t covered in chocolate) so I thought I’d give it a go and make my own. This also is my first time using coconut oil (yes I know only about 20 years behind on the trend…) because to be honest I was afraid to cook with it. I have a blog post coming up on coconut oil and all the important information I could find on it. It is defiantly something I want to continue using, but I am still figuring out how I want to cook with it.
Anyway off topic, here below is my muesli bar recipe, gluten and dairy free. You can even make them vegan by leaving out the egg I just used it as a binder, but there are plenty of other vegan options for eggs to use in baking, it just depends on your taste preferences.
Enjoy, Gab xo
2 cups oats
¼ cup coconut
¼ cup brown sugar
2 table spoons rice malt syrup
2 table spoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 cup fruit and nut mix
Mix the oats and coconut in a bowl. Desiccated coconut is best.
Melt coconut oil and rice malt syrup in a bowl together until the coconut oil is soft. Add to dry ingredients.
Add brown sugar and egg. Mix well.
Add the sesame seeds if desired for flavour and fruit and nut mix. You can use whatever combination of dried fruit and nut you prefer.
Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper and spread the mixture out evenly. Press down on it with the back of the spoon to make sure it fills the corners of the tray.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.
The mixture will be very soft when first taken out of the oven. Leave to cool down and set for 1 hour before cutting into approximately 15 pieces.
Because YouTube is life I’ve got a few favourite channels for health and exercise ideas and mentality when I’m looking for inspiration. I love watching these girls who all have started their owns channels about their passions. That’s so inspiring to myself and their passions makes me want to keep making my content and creating things I love.
Here are my favourite YouTubers:
Keep It Cleaner Girls: Laura and Steph are both successful in their own terms, but have teamed up to make a YouTube channel and as I’m writing this a brand new food line released at Coles! I’m going there straight after I finish this blog. Review wanted of the food? Cause I’ll have to try it all obviously. It’s a relatively new channel compared to some of the the other YouTubers featured in this blog, but they have made a massive impact in Australian featuring on many magazine covers and being invited to big events and also creating their own app! I have to research more into the app, but from what I’ve seen it includes a bit of everything which I think is so important for well-rounded health. Not just giving exercise or food but both for living our best lives. Laura and Steph are naturals in front of the camera and their confidence and relaxed attitude makes them enjoyable to watch. Steph’s video earlier this year on body image was so inspiring and reassuring that everyone, even models feel insecure at times.
Sammy Robinson: Sammy started off her channel doing beauty tutorials and reviewing products and clothing hauls, all of which she still does. But she now has started to slowly introduce her fitness workouts and diet ideas. My favourite thing about her videos on what she eats and her supplements she takes in that she continuously reminds her viewers that she is not a health expert and her words should just be taken as an idea, not the exact way to eat. I find her words about being honest and trying new vitamins and supplements refreshing instead of just saying all are delicious and you need to stick to the same ones. Trying or taking different types of vitamins are different stages of your life benefit what is happening to your body at that moment. This has been a big take away for me from Sammy’s videos. Her want to be careful of what she tells her viewers shows to me that she wants to create the best content with correct information for her viewers.
Claudia Sulewski: One of my O.Gs for YouTube channels I started watching Claudia several years ago when becoming an influencer and YouTuber was on the rise. Claudia is an actress in L.A who started off her channel doing beauty but now focuses on motivation, healthy eating and interior design. I’ve re-watched most of Claudia’s videos more than once, each time learning something new. It’s obviously that she loves what she does. There is something so calming for me watching someone cook and decorate their apartment while just chatting about their life. Claudia makes her viewers feel like her friends which is inspiring to me.
Sarahs Day: Sarah probably has one of the biggest personalities of the YouTubers that I watch. She has her own eBook on exercise which she promotes quick often, but the good thing about Sarah’s channel is that she creates plenty of content that buying the eBook is not a necessity to know her fitness and food tips. Sarah has recently shifted more towards food and gut health which I think could be an insight into the next thing she creates for an eBook. I’ve learnt a lot from Sarah with eating with dietary restrictions. Of course she is much more stricter than I am when it comes to dairy (ahem cheese) but she does make me feel like it is possible to eat a paleo diet without going full Pete Evans. Seeing her shop at Woolworths instead of a hole in the wall super exclusive and expensive health food shop makes her relatable and easy to watch.
Any.body.co: O.K so these two best friends don’t have their own YouTube channel (they should), but they deserve a special mention for Instagram content and appearing on YouTube channels for various companies and publications. It is legitimate goals for everyone to work with their best friend doing something that they love. So these girls are living the dream! Body positive is so important to me.
I absolutely recommend any of these YouTube channels (or websites) for people who want to learn about new and easy to do recipes, work outs to do at home or even just a short kind and encouraging word when it seems like everything can be getting hard and unattainable.
So I was sitting at home hungry and craving something sweet, but didn’t want to indulge in food that was heavy in gluten and sugar. I was about to make my trusty banana bread but decided why not try and create some biscuits
So here is the recipe of my gluten free banana and peanut butter biscuits. I made mine vegan as can you with leaving the egg out. I found the dry and wet ingredients combined well enough to not need the egg.
P.S Didn’t manage to snap a photo of them cause I ate them too fast.
2-3 large bananas (overripe)
1 cup oats
½ cup plain flour (gluten free)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
¾ cup of milk (almond)
1 tablespoon peanut butter (crunchy is best)
¼ cup of sultanas, or dried fruit )small pieces)
1 egg (optional can be used for binding of ingredients)
Mash up bananas.
Add the oats and milk. Stir well.
Add peanut butter, rice malt syrup, cinnamon, sultanas or dried fruit and combine into banana mixture.
Add egg if desired.
Begin to add flour in small amounts to make the mixture drier.
Place tablespoons of mixture onto baking tray evenly apart and flatten.
Bake for approximately 10 minute or until biscuits are golden.
It may just be me at the end of Winter with the S.A.D feels but motivation is at a low. Which got me thinking about motivation and the huge push to always to be and have some sort of personal push to be the very best. I would call myself a pretty motivated person only when I really want to do something. Otherwise, see ya. It’s not going to happen. Even having the motivation to write this damn blog post has been weighing me down for a week.
When I was planning out all new content and things I want to film I came across the idea of motivation and discipline from Kayla Itsines. About creating better habits and staying disciplined.
“I don’t stay motivated. I stay disciplined and that helps keep me motivated but more importantly keeps me on track during times of difficulty.”
I think that is something we can all remember, especially myself when it comes to writing blogs, like is this something I really like to do? Well yes and no. I like to write but I decided against studying journalism as it’s not my passion. But I love to research and learn new things which is why most of my blogs take so long to write (except this one). I want this blog to amount to something, so that’s why I keep on writing.
So I’m calling bullshit on motivation because that doesn’t get me up every morning for work or takes me to the gym afterwards. It’s the discipline to be better and make a career involving being creative making content that makes people think which is my ultimate goal.
It’s not until you start looking into the sustainability and effects that products and production have on the planet that you realise the hidden side effects. Especially with our food.
The One Million Women campaign has a great website on reducing the effects of climate change. They provided me with some really easy to understand information on the four most common types of milk alternatives. Soy, almond, coconut and rice. The most important thing I learnt from researching these alternatives, along with dairy milk itself is that all production and growth have an impact on the environment. The best way of dealing with the environmental impacts and reducing them is to buy milks that are locally sourced. This is difficult for in Australia we a lot of the ingredients from over seas.
Rice requires the most water to be grown, and even more so for it to be mixed with water to create the milk. Rice milk is often the best option for people who are allergic to soy and gluten, but vegetable oil and thickening agents can be added to the final product. So there are environmental cons to it, but rice milk can often be the only option for some people. Apart from coconut milk.
The first time I tried coconut milk in a coffee I thought it tasted terrible! There was a fatty, oil like sheen to it. Which makes sense to me now that I know that coconut milk is high in fat. It is not a personal favourite of mine, but coconuts are grown in Australia, so it is a possible opinion for people here. Coconuts also do not need as much water or land to grow as soy beans, almonds and rice. So if you like it coconut milk is defiantly an opinion but just not every day.
My first thought being told lactose wasn’t going to sit well with me (apart from the ice cream I’d miss), was how to get enough calcium into my diet. I didn’t know anything about getting calcium from anything but dairy. A health benefit I took for granted. But soy milk contains calcium! It also uses only 28% of the amount of water used for dairy production. That’s still a lot of water for some milk. Organic soy beans require even more. So read up on where your soy comes from to help with the air miles if the water can’t be reduced.
Almond milk hands down is my favourite tasting dairy milk substitute so far. But I always try and have ones with no sugar added. Unfortunately almonds require A LOT of water to grow, so not the best for the environment. Also most of the world’s almonds are grown in America so the milk already has a bigger impact than others more readily available in Australia.
I hope this short and sweet post has helped anyone looking into the environmental impacts on the most popular types of non dairy milks at the supermarket. There obviously are so many more, but these are the ones I have tried so far.
The worst part of finding out I’m lactose intolerant was an ice cream shop opening right out the front of the doctors. Boy did I want some choc mint ice cream too. But although it was a bummer to be informed that I could not longer enjoy a cold glass of milk with some choc chip biscuits. It gave a lot of answers to questions I had been thinking of. The bloating and general feeling of uncomfortable stomach issues came to light. I realised I had a lot to learn about dairy substitutes, especially for milk which was something I’d been having nearly everyday in the form of a hot drink.
There’s going to be an upcoming blog on the most sustainable forms of milk substitutes, hint almond milk is not too good for the environment.
I did start off with a large almond milk hot chocolate. And that made me feel just as ill as milk. So why? Well after some research I learnt that dairy substitutes, especially milk ones can have the same effect on the body. Next up was soy milk. Presently surprising, will continue to be drinking that one. I also have coconut milk at home to eat as a treat with some coco pops and strawberries on top.
WHAT CAUSES A LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
According the Dr Google and the mayo clinic, lactose intolerance all has to do with your small intestine. Basically taking out all the medical phrases. Lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine stops producing or simply doesn’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase. Lactase is needed to digest the sugar found in milk called lactose. Now there are three types of lactose intolerance. The body all fails by not producing the lactase needed to break down the sugars in milk. The two types of sugars the milk is broken down into in a person’s small intestine are glucose which nearly everyone has heard of, and galactose. These sugars are absorbed into the small intestine and the body uses these sugars and breaks them down.
With a lactose intolerance person the sugars are not broken down and instead they go straight onto the colon where the symptoms of a lactose intolerance occur.
TYPES OF LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
Primary Lactose Intolerance. Most common type. People are born with their small intestine producing enough lactase. For unknown reasons this tolerance to lactose decreases quickly in adulthood.
Secondary Lactose Intolerance. This type of intolerance comes after an illness or surgery on the intestine which impacts on the production of lactase.
Congenital or Developmental Lactose Intolerance. Babies can be born with a lactase absence. Both parents carry the gene which does not produce lactase.
So this is all the basic information I’ve been able to gather on lactose intolerance. My next blog post will be about the sustainability of milk substitutes.
After being a gym member for one whole week do I feel better? Yes!
I was pretty nervous to begin going to the gym, but that was not going to be a deterrent. I wanted to have some sort of idea of what I was to do at the gym instead of walking around looking clueless.
I joined the same gym as my boyfriend who has been going for a long time, this gave me the motivation to have a training partner and also someone with the knowledge of the gym. A friend also joined and we’ve been going together which is a huge motivation for me.
After the first week and a half (as I’m always late af with blogs) I’m feeling motivated and better about exercising at the gym.
Waking up to the burn of new muscles forming is a good thing! Something I have not felt for in a few years.
I have always eaten pretty well, though I did indulge a little more in sweets over the past two years. Mainly chocolate which I never really cared for before. Now I’d much rather have a square of 80% dark Lindt with almonds.
But I removed from my shopping lists any muesli bars hull of sugars (always got to watch out for those sneaky ones), lollies, salty crackers and sugar and salt filled pasta sauces. Otherwise my pantry, fridge and freezer were good to go. Lots of herbs, spices and garlic to keep flavours interesting, fruit and veggies fresh and frozen. Pasta, eggs, rice noodles grains to bulk up meals. And my sweet treats of super dark chocolate or sweets baked by me containing no sugar.
Food is such a huge passion and interest of mine. I get such joy from walking around the supermarket looking at all then foods and ingredients out there haha. So I want to Blog and vlog when I feel like I have the right content to visually present.
After finishing uni and not being too sure of what the next step in life is going to be, I have been a bit lost trying to figure it all out. Though the one thing I 100% knew I wanted to focus on was my health. I wanted with the time I was previously spending studying and focusing on assignments to investigate and research into what I could do best for my body and my health. Both my physical and mental.
In high school I used to exercise a lot, but since uni and life in general got more time consuming, my plans to exercise were often pushed aside in favour of having a nap. I noticed by body beginning to change after I was diagnosed with anxiety, I lost a lot of weight very quickly and was also diagnosed with PCOS, also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. After realising that I needed to gain weight I tried for over a year, with no luck. It was not until I was not on a medication best suited for my body that I began to gain weight a little too fast and went over my ideal weight. So here I am, one week into a gym member ship which hopefully will help me tone up and shift those last few kilos.
I’m passionate about health and trying to put as many good foods into my body as possible. Since the latest push to be environmentally friendly too has gained momentum I’ve become so much more aware of all the good things I can do for not just myself but the planet too. I’m going to blog a new series about my health journey.Managing my PCOS and anxiety by eating well and exercising. Hopefully this blog will be a promise to myself to record each few days what foods I’m eating and my exercise plans.