Gluten Free Bacon & Asparagus Slice

Asparagus and bacon gluten free slice

The school holidays are over and it’s back to teaching and reality for me this week! That means getting organised in the food department again, so here’s a new recipe to start the term with.

My Bacon & Asparagus Slice has been a life saver at morning tea; high protein, low carb it kept the hunger at bay so I haven’t been craving sugar at lunch time!

I made it on Sunday and it kept for a week in the fridge, it was popular with my teen boys, (although I was stingy this week and didn’t share much)!!

Bacon & Asparagus Slice

Serves 6 generous portions

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 400g of asparagus chopped into small chunks
  • 2 handfuls of washed baby spinach chopped
  • half a cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 6 mushrooms, diced
  • 4 spring onions chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6-8 slices lean bacon cut into long slices
  • half a cup of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • pinch nutmeg
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, spring onions & parsley
  2. Beat the eggs well with the crushed garlic
  3. Add nutmeg & salt & pepper to taste
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese and egg mixture to the vegetables and mix thoroughly
  5. Line a Quiche dish with baking paper and spoon in the mixture
  6. Cover the top of the slice with bacon, overlapping the slices slightly
  7. Bake at 180 degrees C for approx 30 minutes or until the egg has firmly set
  8. Cool on a wire rack and store in the fridge

Feedback is always welcome whether you have ideas for improvement, questions or rave reviews!

Leave your ideas in the comments, I reply to everyone!

Own The Change You Want to Achieve

strong powerful women

Often the biggest challenge I face is self-doubt.

I have so many aspirations, dreams and passions, but I doubt my ability to realize them.

Notebooks overflow with my ideas, but it is Doubt that keeps them cocooned within the pages; Doubt that whispers ‘stick to what you know’; Doubt that says ‘it’s too risky’.

I feel as if I’m teetering on the edge of a precipice, to step back is to give power to my doubts, to step off  is to believe in my own power.

The power to change.

Transformation

I’ve been embracing 6 weeks of change on my Mind & Body Transformation Challenge, and that has ignited a spark within me, the spark of self belief.

I can change when I commit with passion and purpose to my vision.

Changing my body has been a great; I’m stronger, leaner and healthier, but changing the way I think has been profoundly liberating. Through personal reflection, research and positive connections I’ve started to change the  toxic habits that were barriers to my success.

Knowing and understanding myself has enabled me to tap into something I didn’t know I had; my own innate  power! It might sound like a cliché, but you have to own the change you want, or else it doesn’t truly belong to you.

I own the change I have created.

And this week I’m about to make another change; I’m stepping off the precipice!

I have an opportunity that both excites and terrifies me; up till now I have been giving power to my doubts by doubting my power to succeed.

Today I accepted that opportunity and stopped doubting my power.

Do you experience self-doubt? What do you do to chase the doubts away?

Sign-up to follow Lisa at mummy2mum to see where this opportunity takes her next!

 

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Find Your Purpose & Commit To Success

Y chart for weight loss successI’m 5 weeks into my Mind & Body Transformation challenge and I’m feeling stronger and more determined than ever. But, I do know that the journey will be longer than 6 weeks!

Is that really news to me? Deep down I always knew that it wouldn’t be a ‘quick fix’ and that I had to embrace life long change, but I wasn’t ready to face that at the beginning of this challenge.

At the beginning to make the sacrifices necessary for weight loss I consoled myself that it was only for a short period, and this helped me to cut out the crap. As the challenge has gone on I’ve felt stronger mentally and physically, and determination has taken over! What used to feel like a sacrifice now feels like a kindness to my body; how I eat and exercise reflects who I want to become.

The 6 week challenge will officially end in a week, and before it does I’m reaffirming my purpose and my vision while my commitment is running high. In this way when I celebrate the achievements I have made I will look at my goals and know that I’m only part of the way there.

Embed Your Goals In Sensory Memory

As a teacher when I want my students to embed a concept I use a tool called a Y chart. This is really effective because it gets them to engage with a concept on a sensory level. You can take any subject for a Y chart and describe what it feels, looks and sounds like; for a weight loss goal this is perfect!

Having a clear purpose that is embedded at the sensory level helps me to stay connected to my goal in a visual way.

Y chart for weight loss

Create Your Y Chart:

Equipment: scissors, glue, coloured pens, coloured paper.

  1. Get a large sheet of coloured paper (A3 or bigger)
  2. In the middle of the sheet write your focus (weight loss, body transformation)
  3. Draw a huge capital Y on your sheet, make it appear to go behind your focus  (see my photo)
  4. Your page should now be sectioned into 3 parts as the Y separates the areas
  5. Label the sections; Feels Like, Sounds Like, Looks Like (the order doesn’t matter)
  6. Now comes the fun part – filling it in!
  7. Feel Like – this section should reflect the things you’ll feel once you’ve achieved your goal eg strength in my mind & body
  8. Sounds Like – imagine what you’ll hear people saying to you once you’ve achieved your goal. “You look great in that bikini!” What sort of words do you want to hear yourself saying? “Size 14 is too big for me!”
  9. Looks Like – use images in this section, either body shapes that inspire you or photos of yourself when you were at a weight that you associate with feeling happy.
  10. Now sit back and admire your work, it should reflect a very personal vision of where you want to be.
  11. Stick it up somewhere where you will see it every day; mine’s in front of my desk where I write, but on the wardrobe door, bathroom door or inside the pantry are good places that you’ll visit frequently.

Y chart for weight loss

Floating Without An Anchor To Identity

lose yourself to find yourself

The feeling of losing myself has been a pivotal experience of motherhood. I have lost myself in the love, the wonder and the daily grind of bringing children into the world and making a family.

So consuming is the experience of motherhood that I didn’t even know I had lost myself. It wasn’t until my children found their sense of self outside of me, that I knew I was floating without an anchor to my identity.

I knew that I was the not the same person that had started out on this journey 15 years ago. She is a memory, an echo of me.

As I float in the space between knowing who I was, and finding out who I am, I feel a great sense of anticipation.

 

 

Lisa is participating in the Advanced Fitness Mind and Body Transformation program, and finding herself to be stronger and more determined than she knew.

Quote sourced from tiny buddha

candid cuddlesThis post is linked to Candid Cuddles Quotes

7 Budget Friendly Tips To Transform Your Teens Room Into A Sleep Haven

create a sleep haven

Over the school holidays bedtimes get later and it’s easy to forget how important sleep is.  The boys are more active and social, and with the warm weather comes a stream of friends passing through the house. It can feel hard to maintain a sense of calm at bedtime after the frenetic activity of the day! So the concept of creating a sleep haven is very appealing and may help us maintain a bedtime routine while school is out.

The boys bedrooms get messier and messier as the weeks go on; some nights I take one look at the state of Berry’s bed and turn around and go straight back out again! I know he gets this bad habit from me; as I pile all my clothes up on my bed then transfer them between bed and chair for about a week month, before I put them away! This is certainly not the mental picture I create when I think sleep haven!

I visualise a sleep haven as the epitome of tranquility and calm, and often despair at how to bring that to my own bedroom, let alone the boys! But these 7 simple budget friendly tips, allow you to transform any bedroom without creating a DIY nightmare in the process!

7 simple Tips To Creating A Sleep Haven:

  1. Cover up – both the boys do their homework in their bedrooms, which means that they have books, pencil cases and school work spread all over their desks. This is something I can change very easily with a simple piece of fabric (duvet cover, sheet or table cloths are perfect) and cover it all up before bed!
  2. Burn the midnight oil – adding an essential oil diffuser into the room before bedtime with a sleep blend will help to create that sleep haven. Find out more from Kristy at Beach Life Essentials who can recommend a sleep enhancing blend and stocks oils & diffusers from doTerra.
  3. Hide and seek – I’m a big fan of hiding things you don’t want to see! It’s only  a temporary solution, but ideal for a sleep haven transformation. Hide school bags, uniform and general clutter in the bottom of a wardrobe or cupboard – out of sight out of mind while you sleep!
  4. Let there be light – adding a reading lamp next to the bed provides the opportunity to read a book in bed, and adding some mood lighting to the room works a treat for creating sleep appeal. I use a lava lamp for mood lighting, a clip on spot light on the bed for reading and I love the look of fairy lights draped across the curtain pole, (although my boys would ban this from their rooms!).
  5. Tell me a story – I’m a big fan of audio books, if you use Audible you can set a sleep timer and go off to sleep while someone is reading you a story! If your teen finds reading laborious then audio books are a perfect way to engage effortlessly with a story.
  6. Bedtime tunes – create a playlist of gentle and relaxing music and only put this on before bed, it will create an association between.
  7. Cool down time – light bedding, comfortable cushions and a room temperature of 21 oC (70F) are a must to create an inviting  sleep haven. The body naturally cools down during the night so encouraging teens to wear light pyjamas (or even no pyjamas) can lead to better quality sleep.

I hope you enjoy experimenting with some of these tips to create a sleep haven for your teen. I’m going to be implementing some of these tips into my own bedroom, as it suffers from being a duel sleep and office space too! Might have to invest in a couple more sheets to hide all my mess under though!

 

Image Attribution

Sleeping Cat – Mashael Al-Mehmadi from Albumarium

Other images sourced from Pixabay

Raw Carrot Cake – gluten, dairy and sugar free!

raw gluten free carrot cakeInspired by the awesome website The Merry Maker Sisters I tried their Paleo Raw Carrot Cake recipe. I added a few of my own special touches and now I’m ready to share my version with you!

Although it’s super healthy, do not be fooled into thinking it is your friend if your goal is to lose weight! The nut content makes it calorie dense so have it on a cheat day!

A Hit With The Kids

One thing that did really blow me away with this recipe is that my teen boys, who do NOT like nuts, loved it! It was a perfect after school snack (beware taking it to school due to the risk of allergies)!

As teenagers my boys are burning energy at a crazy rate and although weight gain is not an issue,  I’m just conscious to fill them up with great quality super food to give them the best nutrients for all that growth and development. This recipe ticked that box!

Ingredients

Cake base:

2 grated carrots

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup walnuts crushed into small pieces

1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)

1 cup pitted dates (I prefer Mejoole dates but if you don’t have these then soak 1 cup of dried dates in boiling water for 15 minutes and then drain)

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Frosting topper:

1/2 cup raw cashew nuts soaked in cold water (minimum soak time 30 minutes, the longer you soak the creamier they are)

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup coconut oil

Juice & zest of 1 lemon

3 tbsp honey (I use Jarrah honey which has amazing health benefits click here to find out more)

 

Method

Cake:

  1. Grind the walnuts in a blender till coarse
  2. Add walnuts, almond meal, grated carrots, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg to a mixing bowl
  3. Blend the dates and coconut oil to a smooth paste (I liquefy the coconut oil before I blend by warming, this prevents my blender getting unhappy because the paste is too thick!)
  4. Add date paste to the bowl and mix thoroughly (I found using my hands worked best)
  5. Share the mixture between 6 large patty pan cases (this is a generous serving, you could easily use smaller cases and make 10 bite sized carrot cakes)
  6. Refrigerate while you make the frosting.

Frosting:

  1. Drain the cashew nuts and place in blender
  2. Add coconut, coconut oil, lemon juice, zest and honey and blend until really smooth.
  3. Get the cake bases out of the fridge and ice each one with the frosting
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and decorate with walnut halves
  5. Enjoy!

I’d love to hear how this recipe works out for you and your family, and if you add any tweaks of your own.  Why don’t you share your ideas and feedback in the comments, I look forward to reading and replying!

 

This post is linked up with:

Kidgredients for What Kids Eat Wednesdays

The Fit Dish Link Up hoisted by Jill Conyers & The Fit Switch

Digging Deep To Find Determination When The Going Gets Tough

determination to reach your goal

I’m half way though my 6 week mind and body transformation challenge and I’m starting to find some obstacles in my path. It’s at this point that I need to dig deep and really find that determination to push through the last three weeks.

What has prompted this dip in my resolve? A combination of static weight, sickness and intense pressure at work.

As a teacher my desire to do the best job I can in the classroom is driving me to neglect myself.  The dominance of school work has resulted in less meal planning and more ‘winging it’!  If you’ve been following my journey over the last few weeks  you will know that in the past it’s the planning that lets me down, so I hear the alarm bells ringing!

This is the first week that I haven’t created a food plan or cooked extensively at the weekend. To add to this I haven’t been to my regular gym sessions before school because I’ve been off sick and I’m sleeping in! These 2 things signal a drift towards old patterns and a slide away from my goal.

When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal,

you do not change your decision to get there.

This quote is a reminder that I must set my course doggedly, work around these obstacles and never lose sight of my goal: I will be a fitter, stronger me!

With school holidays less than a week away I need to re-focus, plan and prepare for the last 3 weeks of the challenge.

What do you do when you feel yourself letting things get in the way of your goals? Do you have any tips or tricks to share about galvanizing your determination and re-focusing? I’d love to hear your advice in the comments.

 

Further Information

Lisa is participating in a 6 week Mind and Body Transformation at Advanced Fitness studio. To read about goal setting and finding your why click here.

Low Carb Green Thai Curry Meatloaf Recipe

Low carb green thai curry meatloafThis has been a big hit with the family and is so versatile; I use it as a sandwich filling, a high protein snack, a cold lunch or served with a stir fry for an evening meal!

The only draw-back with it is that it disappears so quickly! I have taken to making double and keeping half uncooked in the freezer to replenish stocks mid-week as the kids eat it like it’s going out of fashion!!

Green Thai Curry Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 500g pkt  turkey mince
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 zucchini grated & squeezed out
  • 1 carrot grated & squeezed out
  • 1 tsp garlic crushed (I use the paste)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 generous tsp green Thai curry pate (I used Ayam brand)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup ground almond meal (shredded coconut can be substituted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds for the top (optional)

Method

This is such a simple meatloaf to make!

  1. Mix the turkey, vegetables and onion, garlic, ginger, salt and curry paste  thoroughly in a bowl.
  2. Add the egg and continue to mix until the minced turkey meat is smooth
  3. Slowly add the almond meal till the consistency is like a thick sticky paste
  4. Spoon into a lined loaf tin or small baking tray
  5. Sprinkle with seeds of your choice
  6. Bake at 180 centigrade for approx 30 minutes till firm and spongy
  7. When you remove it from the oven it will be a bit wet around the edges (moisture escapes during the cooking process) so drain off the excess liquid and dry on a cooling rack
  8. Keep refrigerated for up to 4 days

Look forward to hearing what you think of it in the comments!

 

What To Do When The Scales Don’t Say What You Want To Hear!

When the scales say OMG

This is week 1 on my Mind & Body Transformation Challenge and I’ve felt super motivated to succeed! I’ve been pouring my energy into the belief that I can make a difference because this time I’m addressing mind-set rather than just weight loss.

But the reality is that weight loss is still one of my priority goals and the most tangible way to measure success. A week ago my fitness buddy and I weighed, measured and photographed one another, setting out on our weight loss journey with determination, commitment and solidarity. A week later, we met again and stepped onto the scales.

Now before I tell you the result I need to fill you in on the feelings I’ve had about this impending weigh-in – I’ve been dreading it!!

Why Am I Dreading The Scales?

In the past I would be dreading the scales because I know I’ve not stuck to my plan, however, this week I have stuck to my plan and this makes weighing myself even worse! It’s easy to take a poor result when you have the excuse ‘I’ve eaten terribly’ but much more difficult if you’ve been doing everything you can! I felt more vulnerable than ever!

The verdict on the scales: my buddy had a loss and I gained 100g.  I was  gutted.

Fear Of Failure

My fear of failure reared its ugly head and said ‘I knew you couldn’t do it!’

When the scales say what you don’t want to hear it can derail the whole transformation process,  fueling negative self-talk, leading to comfort eating and then self-loathing! I’m sure that this cycle is familiar!

This week I broke that cycle!

Finding a Way to Break the Cycle of Self Loathing

To break the cycle of self loathing I had to create new emotional patterns.

These are the 5 things I did:

  1. Acknowledge the emotion and release it
  2. Reflect on what is driving the emotion
  3. Get physical right away
  4. Identify the positives & negatives
  5. Plan for next week

I found an understanding shoulder to cry on  and I let out that disappointment with strong safe arms supporting me. And then I reflected – why am I so upset about this?

It didn’t take much soul-searching to know why; it feeds my lie – the lie that whispers – you can’t change, you’ve been here before and you’re here again, you do not have what it takes to make this happen.

The insidious thing about that lie is that it calls on certain truths to prove itself – I have been here before, the only one out of a group of friends failing at the scales each week. And what happens next feels as if it’s already written – my suppressed emotion turns into an angry binge on chips, chocolate and cheese!

So I went straight to Combat, and punched the crap out of that feeling of failure!

Then I started to make a new plan; evaluating the previous week, identifying the positives and negatives, setting out to repeat the positives, eliminate the negatives.

By the end of the morning I wasn’t wallowing in self-pity, I was ready to attack the coming week with conviction!

This is the first time I can remember managing my disappointment without turning to comfort eating!

How do you manage your emotions when the scales say what you don’t want to hear? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

 

 

Further Information:

Lisa is participating in a 6 week Mind & Body Transformation program run by Advanced Fitness.

 

Re-Thinking Your Weight Loss Strategy

re-think your weight loss failuresI’m a serial offender when it comes to dieting; over the years I’ve followed Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Dr Joshi’s Holistic Detox, Carol Vordorman’s Detox Plan, The 8 Hour Diet, CSIRO Total Well Being Plan and Atkins Don’t-Poo-For-A-Week Plan!!

Before I started each and every one of those plans I had heaps of enthusiasm, had done all the reading, inspired friends to join me and set off believing that this would be the one! But once I got started the boredom and monotony of following a routine did my head-in so much that I self sabotaged!

And do you know the most frustrating part about this? Celebrating the success of the friends who I convinced to join me when they reached their 5kg goal, while I was stuck right back where I’d started!

Why were they so successful? What did they have that I didn’t?

Well the answer may lie in how my brain is wired!

Know Yourself

Recently I was lucky enough to attend a Body Transformation Summit at Advanced Fitness, where I was re-introduced to the In8 Model by Veronica Smith. If you’ve never come across the In8model before, you’re not alone! I hadn’t heard of it until last year, when I had a chance to get my profile done.

In a nut-shell the In8 Model provides a way to understand how your brain works and use this awareness to target areas for change and growth.

I was fascinated with the idea that my preferences for using a particular area of my brain was able to explain many of my good (and bad) habits! But it wasn’t until I heard Veronica speak that I had an ‘a-ha’ moment!

The reason that I’m so good at encouraging and motivating others to join me on new diets is because I have a brain preference to connect, inspire and enthuse others. Equally, the reason that I’m so crap at sticking to a plan is because I’m under utilising a part of my brain that delivers the detail, routine and planing!!

It’s likely that the friends who have been successful are better utilising the planning quadrant of their brain, but need someone else to enthuse them into action and give them a kick-up-the-arse (otherwise known as a quadrant 1 preference)!

How Does This Help Me?

How does knowing my brain preferences help me to change? I believe it’s all about self-awareness.  I know that quadrant 2 of the brain focuses on persistence, planning and self-discipline and it’s an area that I have a preference to AVOID at all costs (hence late bill payments, poor time-keeping and zero routine!).

This knowledge helps me to re-focus my energy into this part of my life. By recognising that I avoid routine because it makes me feel restless and bored, I’m also able to see how this preference has sabotaged my previous attempts to stick to a weight loss plan.

I have to ask; is this preference serving my current goals? If the answer is NO, (which it is) then I will target this as an area for change.

Making Planning A Priority

In practical terms, I have prioritised my time and energy into planning and preparing.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

I wrote a weekly meal planner and stuck it inside the pantry door. I also shopped to the plan, and spent a few hours on Sunday afternoon preparing food for the week ahead.

Today it’s Wednesday, and the preparation has really paid off; I’ve eaten the food on my plan and it’s time to re-stock and cook again ready to nail it for the rest of the week!

If you’d like to check out my weekly meal plan click this link: Food Plan week 1 – 6 Wk Challenge

What are your areas of challenge when trying to change?

Do you believe that knowing your brain preferences would help you to achieve change?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

Further Information

If you would like to find out more about the body transformation program click here

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