Hello 2015!

Wow. Can you believe that it’s 2015 already?

I feel like the older I get the fast time goes by.

I must admit that last year I slipped a bit and neglected to write! But I never stopped cooking, experimenting and working out!

I’ve got lots of recipes and tales from the year that was in store so stay tuned over the next few weeks! 2015 is the year!

Soph xx

Caramel Slice is Very Nice

caramel slice

After almost 11 months my brother is back from living in South America! Yay!

I thought this called for a celebration.

I’ve been wanting to try out a clean caramel slice for ages- so thought this was a pretty good time to whip out the recipe I’d been eyeing off.

I used the recipe from Wholefood Simply and OMG- delish.

BUT. I broke my food processor…I’m just going to say that it was worth it and it gives me a needed excuse to invest in a much more hardy one (any suggestions?)

You can get the recipe here.

 

 

Have you heard?

As Borat would say “great success!”

You may be wondering why? I have gotten into Award School (yay!).

They tell us that it’s not an advertising school- and it’s not- but thats the easiest way to explain it. My application got selected out of hundreds for the state- so I’m riding on cloud nine a bit right now!

We’re two weeks into our 12 week course- and man oh man have we got to hold on! There is so much to learn and so much to do and no time to do it! 

Each week we are given an advertising brief and we need to create many ideas. Which is proving to be a challenge. 
Hopefully at the end I’ll have some good ones to stick in my portfolio!

So that’s the news. I’m loving it. 
But maybe not loving my even more busy schedule- but hey I do love keeping busy…

Soph xx

21 Aspirations for 2014

2013 was a pretty big year for me, I had an overseas holiday in March, graduated university in June and did many awesome things. I had something to look forward to.

We’re week into 2014 and sure I’ve got birthdays and holidays but that’s not the same as a three week vacation. I’ve realised that I haven’t got anything to look forward to this year.

Yet.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions- if you want to do something then do it, it doesn’t matter when it is. However this year I have come up with 21 Aspirations for 2014– not to be confused with resolutions. To have a resolution is to merely have a firm decision to do or not do something. Instead I aspire to do things, meaning I have great ambitions and goals.

While I’m well aware that I may not achieve some things on the list, or I may forget or not get a change to try- I will learn new things and push myself. Life is all about pushing your limits.

21 Aspirations for 2014

  1. Run a half marathon
  2. Accomplish hand stand push ups
  3. Stop getting blisters from CrossFit (I think this is more wishful thinking…)
  4. Cook a new meal once a month
  5. Face my fears
  6. Go camping
  7. Plant a veggie patch
  8. Budget and save $$ !!
  9. Plan and save for Nepal/India/Sri Lanka 2015
  10. Pay off my car loan
  11. Study something more
  12. Read more
  13. Discover more about Buddhism
  14. Be positive. Everyday
  15. Start learning French again
  16. or Spanish
  17. or Greek
  18. Try hot yoga
  19. Do a detox
  20. Have a week without social media
  21. Forgive and forget. Don’t hold resentment or negativity inside you!

So I’ll try, I may fail. I may even write about some of my efforts. And hopefully this will give me something to look forward to- new challenges and experiences. 2014 come at me!

 

Soph xx

First for the new year!

Well I’ve been on holidays for the past few weeks, and as such have been a little too slack in the writing department. But on the plus side I’ve been able to spend time in the kitchen experiments and whipping up some awesome creations!

Tonight I made a delicious dumpling noodle soup! Not the healthiest dinner ever- but it’s pretty close and the fresh ingredients and flavors are amazing!

Wonton noodle soup:

3 salt reduced stock cubes (chicken or vege)
photo (12)3 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
1.5 litres of hot water
Small onion sliced thin
1 garlic glove crushed
3 celery stalkeds sliced thin
1 carrot grated
3 spring onions sliced thin
1 bunch of bok choy
1 packet of thin hokkien noodles
2 teaspoons of seasame oil
1 packet of dumplings (I buy some homemade veggie ones from our local Asian supermarket)

Lightly fry the onion, garlic, ginger for a few minutes until fragrant. Add stock, water, soy, carrot, celery amd spring onion.
Bring to the boil.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add dumplings and boy choy, cook for 8 minutes (or until dumplings are done).
Prepare noodles and seperate into bowls.
Top with soup and dumplings.

I like to garnish it with some fresh coriander! YUM!

Soph xx

PS: if you have a good dumpling recipe (preferably vegetarian) I would love to know- still trying to find a winner!

Summer lists & weekend breaks

My brothers

Last weekend I went away to the beach with my family. Just the five of us, my mum, dad and two brothers.

One of my brothers is headed off to South America for seven months in a few weeks so this was our last chance of getting together as a family given he’ll be away for Christmas and the summer holidays.

Anyway..I love the beach- it’s beautiful, relaxing as well as a wonderful place to exercise.

South Australia has so many beautiful beaches. You can reach the beach within 20 minutes of the CBD. But we travelled about 2 hours away to Port Elliot and it was stunning.

Each day I was able to walk down to the beach and go for a long walk or run- not only was it a work out but it was therapudic. I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world.

Sunset at the beach

Gorgeous sunset on the beach

We’re only a few weeks into Spring at the moment, but I’ve realised I have to make the most of what I have right here on my door step. And this Summer I want to make it to the beach more. I want to make more time for that.

Call me crazy but I love lists, they help me stay organised, focused and give me something to work towards. They just work.

So I’ve written a list of the top five things I want to do, or do more of this Summer.

1. More beach walks
2. Cook something new each week
3. Take more photos and capture the moments
4. Go snorkelling
5. Have picnics

I have no doubt that the list will grow, but this is a starting point- and I can’t wait.

Soph x

Cacao, cranberries and almond balls

balls

For the past few months I’ve been wanting to get my hands on some raw cacao powder and the endless recipes that I continued to find spurred me on. I love chocolate, so what could be better than a chocolate that is good for you?!

Yesterday I finally go around to buying some cacao power. And today I made some balls.

O.M.G.  I think I’m in love.

This stuff is amazing. I compiled a whole lot of recipes I found and created these from the ingredients I had and love.

They are perfect- I thought I made enough to last a week but now I’m hoping they will last the day after one of my brothers was salivating in the kitchen while I was making them.

I love the dried cranberries in them- they add the sweetness and you don’t have to use any honey or other sweetener! Plus they make the balls taste a bit like a cherry ripe!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw organic cacao powder
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup almonds
1/2 shredded coconut

Soak the dates in hot water for 5-10mins
In a food processor combine all the other ingredients, then add the dates.
Leave the mix for a few minutes.
Form the balls and roll in extra coconut.
Pop in the fridge for 30 minutes + to set!!

Soph xx

Simply running

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”
George Sheehan

I never thought I’d be able to run- not physically but mentally. I had no doubt that I could, but it was whether I wanted to. And in the past I never did. I would run for 10 maybe 15 minutes and be bored.

However, one day, about five months ago, I decided it was time. I plugged in my iPod and found my mojo. I didn’t doubt I could- it was merely whether I wanted to.

The time was right and it was great.

I realised this whole other side to exercise. I love walking, but running is everything walking is and more.

The satisfaction of completing a long run is exhilarating and very satisfying. It’s almost like I prove to myself that I can do this every time I run.

I’ve entered my first race, and I can’t wait. I’m nervous, excited and don’t know what to expect.

Running has given me a new and fresh outlook on fitness- something that I think is so important. If I find something boring and I don’t have to do it- it’s simple, I dont. A work out shouldn’t be a hassle- maybe having to drag yourself out of bed- but once you’re in it it should be something you enjoy doing whether it is running or not.

Soph xx

Muesli

Ingredients:

-oats
-cinnamon (to taste)
-Pumkin seeds
-sunflower seeds
-natural almond flakes
-dried cranberries
-goji berries
-shredded coconut

You can either make it fresh each morning or mix all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container (super convenient for busy mornings!)

-Lastly pour over milk, soy milk, almond milk or your choice of liquid!!

Enjoy!

Soph xx

 

Clean eating

I’ve always been interested in food. And I’ve always loved being active.

About two months ago I came across the term “clean eating” and didn’t give it much of a second though. 95% of the time I eat really well. The other 5% would consist of dinners out, the occasional junk food and the lolly/ chocolate jar at work that haunts me- let me tell you at 3pm it is hard to resist that Caramello Koala just three steps away from your desk…

Anyway. Somehow I came across clean eating about three weeks ago- only this time I noticed it. I go to the gym about 4 times a week, run at least twice and play netball and I work hard. But my figure doesn’t budge in the slightest. So after a few hours of reading, researching and looking at all the wonderfully delicious recipes online I decided to eat as cleanly as possible. And you know- it hasn’t been too hard.

I’ve just had to alter small things that I haven’t really missed. Bread was the big one for me- but I haven’t had any since and honestly I don’t miss it- the only thing I am missing is any bloating!! When I do feel like bread I have a mountain wrap instead. They may not be 100% clean but with only 4 ingredients they come fairly close!

I must admit it was hard in the mornings. In summer I always have a smoothie for breakfast- that would be easy and clean. BUT it’s the middle of winter and I’ve been wanting something more comforting…

So I looked over and over in supermarkets but everything- even the “natural” muesli was loaded with sugar, vegetable oil and things I can’t even pretend to pronounce. I headed to a health food store last week and found a variety of muesli that seemed good- but ridiculously expensive. So I set about making my own.

And it is delicious!

(I will post the recipe next!!)

So wish me luck and hope I don’t stray!

Soph xx