Self discovery

You Can Be Perfectly Happy Just On Your Own

To be truly happy we have to be conscious that only you can create your own happiness and no one else. We can share the happiness we feel with others but we cannot depend on other to make us happy. Discovering yourself and being confident and happy with the person you are is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Discover who you are as a person, it’s the only person you have to live with forever and the only person you can truly rely on so make it a great, healthy and positive relationship.

Eat well and be well.

sp x

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Meet me … Leigh Howard

Leigh Howard

Leigh Howard is a professional racing cyclist with team Orica-GreenEDGE. The young Australian is currently based in Spain where he travels the world racing both road and track. He is a world champion having won world tittles in the omnium, team pursuit and madison. The 22-year-old has also tasted success in several race stages and tours in his young but promising career and aims to start a Tour de France in the next few years.

What does health and wellbeing mean to you?

Health and wellbeing is one of the most important things in life for me as a professional athlete. The understanding of how to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle is the first step to actually ‘doing’ it. The next step and hardest part for me, is to actually ‘do’ it. With so many unhealthy foods and bad habits in our world today, the temptations to live a bad lifestyle are limitless. As I have grown older, I have learnt to deal with these temptations better and my body is a lot better for it, and with this has produced better results in my sports.

Describe your diet –

To describe the diet of a professional sports person like myself is very difficult because it can vary immensely from day to day depending on your work/training load is. During a heavy training faze or competition when recovery is the most important thing, my diet includes a high amount of carbohydrates (usually derived from pasta, rice bread ect) also proteins (usually from eggs, isolate protein powders and chicken) and mixed in with these ‘main’ products are vegetables and added vitamins and amino acids. During a training period where training is important, but I might be trying to shed an extra couple of kilos, I generally add more protein and take out some of the carbohydrates. I like to keep snacking throughout the day to keep my metabolism going, but it might be as simple as a few rice crackers or a small salad.

 What does a typical day on a plate look for you?

On a typical day of training my ‘plate’ will be an omelet and a small bowl of cereal for breakfast. A protein bar and a couple of small muesli bars while training. A protein/recovery shake after training. A salad or sandwich in the afternoon. Then a normal meal at night, which always includes the essentials.

Leigh in action in France
Photo: Graham Watson

Your signature dish is –

Salmon with mashed potato, asparagus and poached egg on top, with a topping of chopped red onion, avocado, cherry tomatoes, oil and salt and pepper.

 Your last meal would be?

Chicken Parmi with chips!

 How do you stay healthy whilst travelling?

Sometimes I pre-prepare food, but usually I just try and stay clear of bad foods and stick with café’s that serve fresh foods and fruit salads.

 Describe your fitness routine –

As a professional athlete, my fitness routine is 7 days a week. It can include sometimes upwards of 30hrs (1000+km) a week ‘ON’ the bike for training, plus core exercises, stretching, massage and a whole heap of other little things to keep my body in tip top shape.

 What’s one thing you would change about your current lifestyle of diet?

I have a major sweet tooth that I wish I didn’t have! Makes eating healthy very hard sometimes.

 Favourite way to unwind?

Playing Golf or Training to do my helicopter license when I return to Australia.

 Who do you admire?

Chris Judd. He is not only a great athlete and very naturally talented, but he also does all the 1% things on the side that make him an absolute superstar!

 What’s next for you?

My next race is the Criterium du Dauphine Libere, which is a big race in France. I hope I can get my first win for the year!

Crunchy or smooth peanut (or any nut butter)?

Crunchy!

Check out this video where Leigh shows the various types of food, provided by PowerBar or cooked up by team staff, GreenEDGE eats on race day — before, during and after the race. http://www.greenedgecycling.com/media-gallery/detail/376/131

You can also find out more about Leigh and his races via his website http://leighhoward.com.au/ or his twitter http://twitter.com/#!/leighhoward1

Eat well and be well.

sp x

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WIAW

Peas and Crayons

Not much has been happening this week as I’ve been up north in Queensland for a few days enjoying the sunshine and getting my dose of vitamin D. Returning home Monday night my sister in law was cooking my famous jelly slice recipe. Jelly slice has to be one of my favourite slices along with a good old hedgehog slice. Whenever there’s a get together that’s my go to slice and it always seems to be the crowd pleaser. Here’s my WIAW which does feature my overly attractive jelly slice! Enjoy.

[Breakfast]

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[Lunch]

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Seaweed salad and salmon sashimi – clean and yummy

[Dinner]

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Baked sea perch with steamed carrots, kale, broccoli, beans and kale

[Dessert]

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Jelly slice – had 2 pieces it’s so good!

What’s your favourite slice and your go to dish when you go to parties?

Eat well & be well.

sp x

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Life..

Why Complicate Life[Source: http://pushthemovement.tumblr.com/]

Life’s too short. Spend time with people you love and do things that make you happy.

Eat well & be well.

sp x

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Fast Fact

Healthy crunch – BOK CHOY

http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/winter-farmers-market-recipes

Photo provided by the daily green

An Asian specialty, a half-cup of cooked bok choy is about 20 calories(~84 kJ’s), but offers a mammoth 144 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A and 74 percent of vitamin C. The leaves and stalks are also loaded with calcium, magnesium, potassium and folate.

So why not throw some bok choy in your next stir-fry or steam it and drizzle with olive oil.

Eat well & be well.

Sp x

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WIAW #8 Clean eating

Peas and Crayons

Winter everyone seems to be talking about it. Love it or hate it happens. Personally I love winter BUT I do hate being cold. Therefore I’m a serial ‘layer-er’ – tights under jeans – a singlet, t-shirt, jumper, then a jacket and of course a beanie. Today i re-discovered the pleasure and warmth of snow socks – they’re just ‘cushion-ee’ and they fit your feet so nicely!

All the headlines in the magazines seem to be on the winter bandwagon also; ‘You’re all round winter guide’ or ‘How to prevent getting sick this season’. They tell us to move more, eat more veggies, reduce your intake of sugar and dairy (because it’s forms mucus) although research by the University of California at Davis, US, shows eating yoghurt triggers your body to produce up to four times as much of a key immune receptor. “Yoghurt with live cultures improves the health of your digestive tract, making your immune system more effective” researchers stated.

Basically winter I don’t do anything extreme to prevent myself from getting sick – no flu injections or anything. I eat clean most of the time so in winter I tend to rug up, eat lots of vegetables, drink ‘real’ hot chocolate and if i feel a sore throat coming along I drink copious amounts of hot water, ginger, lemon and manuka honey. So soothing!

What are your tips to prevent getting sick in winter or some home made remedies??

Here are my eats from today. Enjoy and I hope all is well.

[Breakfast]

My usual – homemade muesli soaked with water and kefir with berries

[Juice]

Fresh juice whilst shopping at the market – beetroot, carrot, celery and ginger

[Lunch]

Favourite meal of the day – seaweed salad 6 fresh oysters that I topped with either tamari and ginger or hot sauce. All fresh from the vic market!

[Dinner]

Grilled flathead tails with sweet potato with cinnamon, steamed kale with olive oil and garlic and some sauerkraut

[Snack]

Natural yoghurt with cinnamon and honey warmed up & some coconut water

Eat well & be well.

Sp x

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Chicken pho – Monday motivation

So Monday’s is the day that people seem to dread – The weekends over, they have to go to work and probably they have to start their healthy eating or exercise plan that realistically they probably won’t stick to! Well I’m here to motivate you with a healthy recipe that is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, pale friendly (if your into that) and just all round good for you.

Since the thermostat here in Melbourne has been going down, down, down to funky town of recent weeks this has led to the firing up the crockpots, slow cookers and stoves for some hearty comfort food to get us Melbournians through the cooler months.

One of my favourite comfort foods/cheaps eats any time of year is Vietnamese pho. Big hearty bowls of soup filled with your choice of chicken, beef, tofu, rice noodles and topped off with DIY coriander, bean sprouts, chilli and whatever might tickle your fancy!

The other week you might of seen my WIAW #5 post where I braved the cold and all the asian grocery stores of Box Hill to make my first ever chicken pho. I did make mine a touch healthier by throwing in extra greens (that’s just how I roll – I love my greens) but it turned out very nice indeed!

Chicken pho

CHICKEN PHO

STOCK 4-6 serves

12 cups water

5 missal chicken stock cubes

2 tablespoons fish stock

3 cloves of garlic halved

1drop of liquid stevia

3-4 cm chunk of ginger cut into 2-3 chunks

1/2 a red onion

2 star anise

10 whole cloves

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 large chicken breast

 

Place water and stock cubes in the pot.

Add fish stock, garlic, ginger and stevia (if you’re using it – you can also substitute 1 teaspoon of sugar).

In a tea infuser place the star anise, cloves and coriander seeds (easier to remove when cooked)

Finally add chicken breast.

 

Let the stock cook for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked.

Remove chicken and cut into chunks.

Remove all other ingredients from the stock and throw away.

Stock bubbling away

For the soup. serves 1

5-6 Broccoli florets

1 Buc choy

handful bean shoots

fresh coriander (as much as you like)

holy basil (as much as you like)

1/4 lemon wedge

chopped chilli (depends how hot you want the soup)

 

For my soup I quickly blanched the florets and buc choy in the stock.

added this to my bowl along with as much shredded chicken I felt like and topped up the bowl with the delicious stock.

On top of the soup I then placed bean shoots, herbs, chilli and a fresh squeeze of lemon. Voila!

Finished product – chicken pho (noodle-less)

 

This was very yummy and doesn’t leave your mouth with the taste of MSG! Traditional pho does have rice noodles in it but I didn’t have any handy.

I had a heap of left over chicken and stock so I just froze these in separate containers for rainy, cold nights that I can’t be bothered cooking and I’ll just make sure I throw some greens in there!

Eat well & be well.

sp x

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6 pieces of advice to my younger self

 

Note to self cover

Whilst driving to work the other day I was having a sing along to some classic hits when Cher came on and in that oh so, so unique voice she has she was singing to me “If I could turn back time!” This then got me thinking about hindsight and how often people who are generally older then me say, “If only I knew this and that at your age Sarah!”

So here are a few life lessons I’ve learnt in my brief time which I would gladly pass onto my younger self.

When something isn’t changing or you’re stuck in a rut, nothing will change until you take action and do something about it.

 “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

Even if this means pushing your own boundaries or risking it all I believe nothing is a mistake if you learn from it.

The past is the past – forget about it.

The past is the past don’t dwell on it, you can change it. The only thing you can control is what you do now.

The most important relationship you’ll ever have is your relationship with yourself.

 How do you really know who you are, where you’re going or what you want to do if you don’t know yourself? You’re the only person who is going to be with you for the rest of your life. Getting to know you at a young age, having dreams and goals and knowing what is important to you is the most freeing experience anyone can have. It might be scary but I love know now why I do and don’t do certain things and why I react in certain ways. Real joy and contentment in life comes when you know yourself.

 Listen to your Mum – she’s often right.

 For as much as I might have rebelled and been quite disrespectful to Mum through my hormonal years she always gave me advice. I might not have taken it on board then but it all certainly comes back to you. Especially relationship advice!

 Say yes more often.

 The power in saying yes is amazing. Yes to catching up with friends, yes on going on trips, yes to that guy who asks you on a date. You get to meet knew people, establish networks and create amazing memories when you do more with your life. What else would you be doing – sitting on the couch?

 Go easy on yourself.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy it. Enjoy the people who come into your life. Learn from them. Just because society believes you should have a partner, buy a house, get married and have kids by a certain time in your life doesn’t mean you have to!

 

If you could give your teenage self some advice – what you tell them?

 Eat well & be well.

Sp x

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WIAW #7

WIAW # 7

Peas and Crayons

What a week! Well I have had a great week since last WIAW. My good friends had their engagement party over the weekend and what a night it was. Obviously too much alcohol and terrible greasy food was consumed but what a great night of dancing, singing and catching up with friends. Below is a pic of me (centre) and a couple of girlfriends at the end of the night.

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Since I don’t drink too much alcohol (this was the first time since Feb I think) I had a terrible, terrible hangover! I couldn’t even go to my usual Sunday bikram class and that is a first for me (I did make up for it on Monday though!). But I tell you what is an amazing hangover cure the Australian burger joint ‘Grill’d’. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of my ‘Simon Says’ burger but it go a little something like this – Sourdough bread, grilled chicken, avocado, grilled bacon, tomato salsa, lettuce, onion, tomato and because I’m very Australian of course I added on beetroot – OMG it was delish!

The rest of my hangover day was spent making nut butters! I made 3 lots – roasted almond, roasted cashew and peanut butter. I seriously am hooked. Last night after dinner I had some frozen bananas that I just kept dipping into the different butters – Don’t worry no one else in my family likes my ‘what the F are they’ butters so double dipping is allowed!

As my week has been quite hectic with working, studying etc I haven’t had much time to took or take pictures of what I’ve been eating. So here is some of the things I’ve been munching on this week.

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Homemade muesli soaked over night with berries and kefir

Whenever I know i need a quick meal on the way home from the city I call veggie bar and pick up this little beauty on my way home. Always pleases – roast pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, fetta, nuts and a sweet orange dressing. Umm Yes please!

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Veggie bar macadamia salad – YUUUUM!

Friday I was in the city for a meeting so i quickly went down Degraves lane way (a must do when you come to Melbourne) to tofwd. I picked up which essentially is brown rice sushi but not sushi, if you get what i mean. I always get this there – Tuna nori roll with spinach and biodynamic brown rice. No avo or anything on here folks but the rice is like cooked or soaked in tamari at some stage and it is B.E.A-utiful!

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TOFWD (the organic food and wine deli) brown rice tuna nori roll

Alas! A home cooked meal folks! I tried to replicate (semi replicate) one of my favourite salads from Cambridge cafe in Collingwood which I have previously posted about in WIAW. It was good, tasty – but I think I just enjoy going into the cafe to catch up with the lady because she’s so lovely!

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chickpea and sweetpotato salad with spinach, roasted pumpkin seeds and a delish miso dressing

What is your favourite hangover cure or food?!

Hope you’ve been well & happy.

SP x

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Fast Fact

Green tea delivers a large number of catechins, powerful antioxidants that help protect the body from free radical damage. Japanese green teas in particular sencha contain more catechins therefore more antioxidants!

Shincha

Photo provided by geekgirlunveiled

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