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Greek Salad Perfection

The Greeks have had it right for quite some time.

When it comes to food, so many of their meals are about simplicity, freshness and colour so that’s tick, tick, tick for me! Last year, I visited Greece for the first time and experienced for myself this awesome and natural way to eat plus I got to try one of my all-time favourite dishes in its’ homeland.

The Greek Salad.

The salad that is all-too often left sitting for hours with soggy tomatoes, associated with bad take-away and generally looked down upon when it comes to modern food. Well I’m here to tell you it need not be the case and that this super quick and delicious salad should get back on your menu…

As you know I am all about the salad and feel as if I have a fairly solid foundation of knowledge on the topic. When eating raw salads, the first and foremost point to consider is the quality of the ingredients. As always, though particularly in this case, buy the best that you possibly can and you’ll find this humble dish elevated to superstar status; it’s that simple.

The 3 must-haves:

  1. Heirloom tomatoes to lend sweetness and variety to the flavour
  2. Fresh oregano – you just wait
  3. Organic and seriously good quality fetta cheese

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Do You Need to Count Calories?

Wow isn’t this is a hotly debated area? It’s also an area that I have discussed before on the blog and all over social media as well.

The science

Each of us have what is called a resting metabolic rate (RMR) meaning that in order to function exactly at the state we’re in now we need to consume x amount of calories per day.

For instance I currently weigh 60kg, have 45kg of lean muscle mass and my RMR sits at 1560 calories/day.

So that means in order to maintain my current state, I need to consume 1560 calories each day before taking into account my lifestyle and activity level.

Another example is Lisa* who currently weighs 52kg, has 27kg of lean muscle mass and an RMR of 1207 calories/day.

Also my husband Tippy who currently weighs 85kg, has 60kg of lean muscle mass and an RMR of 2100 calories/day.

This is a wonderful way to illustrate how powerful body composition is especially as it has to do with your day-to-day eating habits and health and fitness goals.

The old adage of men being able to eat more food is linked with their naturally higher muscle content than women and as you can see from the above 3 examples, more muscle means more calories and more muscle means more fat burnt.

In order to create and maintain muscle (get that bodybuilder image out of your head right now), our bodies require an individual approach to calorie distribution in the form of proteins, fats and carbohydrates AKA macronutrients.

Additionally in order to lose body fat, we need to consume less than we expend. To lose body fat and crucially not sacrifice muscle mass (you can see from the above how important it is), the science of calories in vs calories out as well as the type of those calories is the crunch point.

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The Died and Gone To Heaven Chocolate Thickshake

There are few things as nostalgic to most people than a thick shake.

It is a calling to a time long gone and hopefully to a way of eating that’s in the past as well. Unfortunately the thick in most thick shakes include a long list of less-than-ideal choices for our bodies to thrive, that includes processed ice-cream and many lab-created chemicals/food-like products.

So I decided it was time to let you in on a little secret… The secret to velvety, rich and decadent shakes every single time. Decadent yes and simple, natural and nutritious as well.

Frozen banana.

That’s it. That’s the secret. It’s that easy (and cheap!) that you may not believe me. Easier still is that you don’t even need to cut them up! Each week we buy bananas, peel them, break them up roughly and freeze in glass containers for our smoothies and shakes throughout the week, it couldn’t be easier. Read more

Why I’m Not Celebrating My Birthday Tomorrow

….at least not in the traditional sense.

Over the years I have had some fairly incredible birthday celebrations; whether that be elaborate parties with all of my friends, week-long celebrations or even flying to other countries. The Leo in me (yes I like astrology) loved that. In fact the Leo in me relished that.

Tomorrow I turn 29.

I will wake up in my own bed at home and have somewhat of a quiet day, taking the time to be myself. After a morning gym session, the hubby and I are headed to one of my fave spots for lunch followed by a raw treat detour, some wandering/meandering around that neighbourhood and a quiet family dinner.

Fairly different from this…

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Gluten-Free Brown Rice & Quinoa Salad

Most of us have a dish that we always take to BBQ’s, gatherings and picnics. The kind of meal that ticks the simple, abundant and crowd-pleaser boxes with ease.

This meal is that for me.

I watched in delight the first time that I saw people enjoying this meal, people who couldn’t care less about the best choice for their body and they were loving it! This recipe has since been fine-tuned and made on many an occasion in my life, including dinner at home!

It was served at both my eBook launch and Clean Eating Workshop in June to much acclaim and recently both The Daily Telegraph and my local paper The Mosman Daily featured the recipe (and a little about me) for their readership  – it is a seriously awesome salad that I know you will love too.

No surprise then that that dish was also one of the first inclusions in my eBook EAT WELL LOOK GOOD FEEL GREAT which is available here for download on iPad and Mac.

The recipe is gluten-free, vegan and the base ingredients can easily be made in advance saving you time and stress if cooking for many people or you simply have a busy lifestyle. You guys know how crazy I am for preparation by now….

As is the case for all recipes in my eBook, this dish is to serve one person though is easily multiplied for when you have other hungry mouths to feed OR as I do at home, make enough for a few days. The shining ingredient that brings everything together here is the coriander pesto which is made simply and cheaply in minutes as well as being a super handy and versatile inclusion for your fridge. My instagram is full of other ways to use the pesto and this post is another delicious option too!

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Travel is the Best Medicine

There’s nothing like crossing the Nile River in a huge flying tube to put things in perspective.

The perspective that being away from home can be just as good as coming back.

That stepping away from the routine, from the everyday, even from what you know and love; that this is where the magic happens. This is where life SPARKLES.

Yesterday I boarded a plane, a plane just like the others I had been fortunate enough to board in my life. What made this plane special however was that I wasn’t crapping my pants to be getting on it. When I woke up that morning, when I ate my granola, when I was in the car, when I checked in, when I cleared immigration and security, when I enjoyed a fresh juice, when I cleared security again and even when I was in the boarding tunnel with the plane in sight (and smell) – nothing. No fear, no anxiety, no concerns.

Instead I took one look at my new husband thanking him for his company and love on our trip, bid farewell to Dubai and simply… boarded the plane. The thing is I have not just boarded a plane for close to 15 years. Not even for a 1.5-hour trip to Melbourne and certainly not one with a 14-hour journey ahead of it.

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Inspiration Insider | Amanda Bisk

Another volume of Inspiration Insider has arrived.

Another opportunity for me to showcase the immense talent, passion and awesomeness of others in the wellbeing space – I love doing this!

I love it because no matter what level your wellness journey is at, inspiration never hurts for any of us. Inspiration can come in many forms and today that form is – Amanda Bisk.

The super bendy, super athletic and super awesome, Amanda Bisk.

With a cult following of over a quarter million fans and growing each day, it may feel as if you could have little in common with this lady though she is as lovely as they come. Down-to-earth, funny and devoted to health; her own and ours too; what’s not to love?

I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda at an industry event a few months back and as we have mutual friends we have kept in touch. Moving to Sydney earlier this year with her boyfriend Adam (the talented guy behind most of Amanda’s incredible photos), she has settled in to her east coast life with ease and grace and it has been a pleasure getting to know her better and continuing to be inspired by all that she does.

As an Exercise Physiologist and Former Australian Pole Vaulter, Amanda feels incredibly passionate about motivating and inspiring others to live the best life that they can; her awesome instagram competition #benditlikebisky is proof of that. With her competitive sporting and Olympic hopeful past, she knows a thing or two about what it takes to chase your dreams, and on the flip side how it feels to crash down as well. This bubbly, authentic and kind individual is perfect for our latest edition of Inspiration Insider so let’s dive right in…. Read more

Peace and Kindness for a Healthier Body

Peace and kindness.

Until recently I would have said these words were fairly overrated in their use.

Now?

Well now, I couldn’t speak their praise enough.

The first way that I mean this is within.

Finding peace and kindness for and of yourself is quite possibly the greatest challenge that you can face, also without doubt the most rewarding.

It is infinite power and wisdom and of course in such a peaceful and serene way. It can move mountains with its’ force and ensures that you are never alone. It helps you sleep better, move with freedom and breathe more deeply. It allows you to live an ultimate life and who doesn’t want that?

This is the universal human longing. Plain and simple. Read more

A Clean Entertaining Platter To Impress

Spending time with loved ones is what life is all about. It makes everything that little bit brighter, that little bit better and more enjoyable. Sharing food with loved ones is high on the list of things to do and I dare say more than likely #1 universally. It is what we humans do and what we love so much, or is that just me….

You only have to visit a bar, cafe or restaurant and see the vast examples of this all around the world.

So what happens when eating better and caring more about your health takes a higher priority in your life and socialising falls to the wayside? Eating out can be a minefield for those newer to the journey and all of a sudden you find yourself healthier though somewhat of a social pariah.

What do you do?

You create delicious food for the people that you love and enjoy it with them. Without song and dance, or complication and instead made from a place of love and shared as such. Believe me when I say that I was never one for cooking for others, it all seemed too hard! Getting excited about serving people food that I had made especially in an informal entertaining manner seemed very far away. Now however, preparing food for people and seeing them enjoy it is truly special. Even more so when they don’t feel as I do about food and my health. I offer the food without explanation and take serious (and silent) pleasure observing their enjoyment at eating healthy AKA boring food. Oh the joy!

As well as preparing wonderful meal options that both satisfy and delight people, sometimes you just need snack-type savoury food and dare I say the kind of food that complements wine. My family, being of Hungarian descent are all about this kind of eating with both my mum and sister quite partial to a savoury snack accompanying a nice glass of red and who is to complain about a thing like that?! This European heritage has most certainly influenced my selections on this plate and and as I am currently in Italy enjoying being a newlywed, this post seems ever-fitting.

When someone pops over to our place for a wine and a catch up I like to have something on hand and believe that the best kind of food that you can serve is the kind that is least fussy and that you made yourself. Running to the store stressed and buying 10 items in packets doesn’t work for me nor my budget and I realised that what I was serving almost every time were my homemade dips. Not only are they delicious though also cheap and simple to prepare, doubling or tripling as spreads on nut & seed loaf, as marinades or atop whatever salad I am enjoying that day. Talk about versatility!

Alongside my dips I wanted to create a nutrient-dense cracker (still in the laboratory on that one) and a special though simple version expanding on the classic entertaining option – olives.

Presenting to you therefore an entertaining platter to both impress and nourish the people that you love (including you!) – Orange & Rosemary Marinated Olives, Coriander Pesto, Hummus & Crackers. The crackers I make do contain gluten though you could easily include a gluten-free option if need be and otherwise this platter is vegan, sugar-free and delicious! Read more

I’m getting married tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be married. Married to my best friend and in the most spectacular of settings, on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, in the town of Positano.

Surrounded by 21 of our nearest and dearest, celebrating our love and affection for one another and thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

This decision to get married and in this way was, although simple, one which I truthfully didn’t know could reveal so much to, and about me.

Getting married was not on my radar, it wasn’t part of my plan.

{insert shock horror here}

I have always enjoyed my own company and understood the power of this; it has been important than being with someone for the sake of it. Don’t get me wrong I know this isn’t always the reason that people want to be married though the motivation to be in such a position sometimes comes from a less than- independent headspace. Humans often want to be with other humans more than we want to, or can be alone.

Of course that’s easy to say when you haven’t felt overwhelming, genuine, supportive and incredible love you might be saying?

Even then it still took me a little while to get on board with the idea. Read more

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