Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Asparagus and Strawberry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Candied Pecans

Asparagus and Strawberry Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Candied Pecans

I love our Albany Farmers in the Spring.  So many colourful fruit and vegies for our meals.  I am glad the produce knows it is Spring, because the weather certainly doesn't.  The last two weeks the farmers had to sell their produce in the rain and cold.  I am glad they are committed every week.

I used two of my favourite Spring ingredients for our salad this week.  Asparagus and Strawberries.  "Spring on a Plate" 

All measurements are approximate.  I don't normally measure just adjust and season to taste.

Roasted Asparagus

Prepare asparagus and roast your favourite way.  I like to toss in a little oil, salt and pepper and then in the oven for 10 - 15 mins, so they are still crunchy.

Candied Pecans

2 tablespoons Organic MapleSyrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Smokey Paprika
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Splash of Olive Oil (or try Macadamia Oil)
Cup of Pecans
Toss together and bake in 185 degrees C oven for 10-15 mins

Maple Vinaigrette Dressing

1 tablespoon Olive Oil (or try Macadamia Oil)
1 tablespoon balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Organic Maple Syrup
Whisk Together and drizzle over salad
To assemble salad, arrange the roasted asparagus on top of English Spinach. Toss sliced strawberries evenly through the salad and top with pecans.  Drizzle with the dressing when ready to serve.
Enjoy and know that it is good for you as well.

Nutritional Facts
Maple Syrup - contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, and zinc. Vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and B6
Strawberries - rich in the essential nutrients vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fibre. One cup of fresh strawberries contains 160 percent of the daily recommended quantity of vitamin C
Asparagus - excellent source of vitamin K, folate, copper, selenium, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It is a very good source of dietary fibre, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, choline, vitamin A, zinc, iron, protein, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid. (listed as one of the worlds healthiest foods - World Health Organisation)
Spinach - excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fibre, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein and choline.
Pecans - contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellness. The nuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of phenolic antioxidants.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Party Isn't Over When You Get Healthy

The longer we are following our healthy lifestyle, the easier it is and the best part is we now actually enjoy it. Our first step in getting to that happy place was to change our attitude.
At first, it may look like we had to give up everything (wine, chocolate, bacon) to lose weight and get healthy, but what we gained from those changes is much more meaningful and satisfying. The reason we should eat is to keep the body healthy and strong, and a healthy body leads to a happy mind! Not only has our body changed, but our mind has changed as well.
 We are gladly giving those things up as we experience how our body feels after healthier meals.
It didn’t cross our mind that working out was something we would look forward to. During the first few weeks of exercise, our body and mind rebelled against our new workouts and we wondered if we would have get used to it or enjoy it..
Like healthy eating, however, exercise actually became easier over time and now we look forward to it every day.  Well most days.  Cold 5 am mornings are still a bit of a challenge.
Here's what can happen when you make exercise a regular part of your life:
 Exercise can help with diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety and high cholesterol, as well as protect our bodies from some types of cancer.
We are more alert, focused and not dragging towards the end of the day.
We are so blessed to live in this corner of paradise with so many amazing beautiful beaches.  Imagine waves gently crashing along the shore, sunlight streaming through the beautiful fluffy clouds and kilometres of seemingly-endless sand joining the horizon.  This is our happy place during some of our exercise time.  Maggie loves getting out early enough, watching the sun rise from the horizon and feeling the warmth of the early morning sun.  Then there are the wonderful benefits of negative ions generated by the sea.  A Columbia University showed it to be a natural type of antidepressant; it also increases the flow of oxygen to the brain, reduces allergies, and helps us get a wonderful night sleep. 
Our Garmin has also made it so easy to WANT to exercise and get in shape. It is one of the things that drives us every day. We want to hit our goals and we get excited to get out bed in the morning and start moving. We LOVE seeing those smiling faces on Garmin dashboard at the end of the day, and we look forward to weighing ourselves every morning. We LOVE watching the kilos drop off and the feeling of loose clothing — clothes we couldn’t fit into before!
You don’t have to use a Garmin or FitBit, but finding ways to make exercise fun and you will want to do it as often as possible. Our Garmin’s just makes it easy and fun as we challenge each other and ourselves..

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Finding the fun in healthy eating rather than experiencing the pain of poor eating

We are eating a primarily plant-based diet focused around whole, fresh foods. These are the foods full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and all the energy we need to live our lives. We never feel deprived – we eat what we want and that’s mostly just whole foods prepared in simple and delicious ways.  We are finding the fun in healthy eating rather than experiencing the pain of poor eating. Anyone who believes eating healthy is no fun does not really understand how to eat healthy. 
Maggie’s choice to eat plant-based is an ethical one and Becki’s is more a health one, but we also love how a plant-based diet makes us feel. Day to day, our diet consists of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, some grains like chia, oats, brown rice and quinoa and some beans and lentils.
We are not on a diet and we are certainly not counting calories or worrying about our weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight is just a by-product of eating foods that are good for you. We are eating for health and happiness and real food makes us happy! This is a new lifestyle for us and we are very passionate about it.
We love cooking healthy meals at home, full of every colour in the rainbow. We enjoy experimenting with recipes, new foods, herbs and flavours. We love how amazing a healthy diet can make us feel inside and out. We now have so much energy and know it’s because we are fuelling our body with healthy, whole foods!
We feel very, very fortunate that we have the choice to eat the way we do with access to fresh, seasonal and local produce, farmers markets and health food stores. We have plenty of everything we need, every day. Why would we eat any other way when we have access to all this beautiful, real food?  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Eating Healthy is FUN!!

Anyone who believes eating healthy is no fun does not really understand how to eat healthy. They believe starvation and deprivation is the only way to eat healthy and lose weight. In fact, both starvation and deprivation are unhealthy, and should never be a way of eating.

My definition of healthy eating is eating food that is enjoyable to me in the quantity that is good for me.

Where is the fun in healthy eating?
  • We are discovering the large array of food that is colourful, seasonal, enjoyable and healthy. 
  • We no longer suffer with the over full feeling. 
  • We have lost weight and now control and manage our body weight. 
  • We are in control of our food, and food is not in control of is. 
  • We are enjoying better health as our bodies are nourished. 
  • We are experiencing increased energy, leading to improved achievements. 
  • The chances of ill-health consequences have diminished and we no longer take medications to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol. 
  • Adding quality of life to our years. 
  • It has improved our mood. 
  • We are more socially and physically active. 
  • Our appearance and outlook on life continues to improve. 

How can we use our experience to help others? By being a good example and encourager and continue blogging our journey that being healthy is fun. Passing on the message and keeping the plant-based lifestyle movement going. We are fully committed and will continue to share our journey. All the benefits of a plant-based diet are too good not share and we would love everyone to experience improved health, weight loss while reducing our carbon footprint. We will lead by example and try not to preach.

Adopting a predominantly plant-based life-style

There is a huge difference between adopting a vegan lifestyle and “going on a diet” It’s easy to be tempted into straying from diet plan or “cheating”, but it’s not the same with veganism. We know why we made the decision to be vegan and why we wanted to adopt this lifestyle. It was important to learn the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and the effect animal products have on our health, environment, and humanity. After watching the documentary Forks over Knives our eyes were opened to the real effects animal products have on our lives.

“There’s lots of well-controlled science and research to show that adopting a predominantly plant-based diet probably has the biggest impact on health [compared to other diets] for all the chronic diseases,” says Rick Miller, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association.

“Eating more plants and fibre and reducing our consumption of meat not only leads to weight loss but also to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure and certain cancers, especially prostate, breast and bowel.”

“A vegan diet is obviously very low in saturated fat, which mostly comes from animal products,” says Rick Miller. “But research has also shown the unsaturated fats found in plant-based foods don’t seem to accumulate in visceral fat. That has huge implications for people’s health because it’s visceral fat that leads to things such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”

We are excited to think of all the new and delicious foods there are to try and not concerned about the foods we're giving up. We are so surprised at how many options there really are. There’s loads of suitable international dishes and it is easy it is to veganise our old favourite meals and recipes.

We are continually researching and learning the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and educating ourselves about the practices and costs behind the production of animal products.

Becki and I have lost 65kg between us (that;s a whole other person)since starting on our new lifestyle and feel healthier than ever before. Its an exciting journey and we feel blessed that we are able to travel this road together.

We are inviting our guests along on our journey, by offering Vegan menu options for breakfast and dinner. Inspiring our guests to change their life and creates some special food memories along the way.

Real Recovery is a Lifestyle Change

and began with a vision and a single step.

28 Weeks ago Becki and I (HideAway Haven hostesses) decided to take our health and fitness into our hands. After years of slowly putting on weight, eating the wrong foods and enjoying our wine o'clock too regularly.

During this time we radically changed the way we eat, are regularly exercising and have given up our wine (for now). We have now both lost approx 32 kgs and are focused and committed.

Join us on our journey as we share and hopefully encourage and inspire you. We will share health tips, recipes, exercise inspiration and a lot more. Please make your comments or ask questions in the box below and we encourage you to share what inspires you.