Wrap Your Hands Around This

To all the mum’s and dad’s out there who make the school lunches, hats off to you I say. The rules and regulations that schools, kindergartens and daycare facilities have set for what is allowed to go in to the lunchbox has certainly changed the game. Some places have a no nut no egg policy, no plastic wrap and packaging free while others say no chocolate but anything else is ok.

This is a positive step towards good nutrition for our children at schools and I think it’s a great idea, but for a lot of parents it means staring at the empty lunchbox wondering what the heck are you going to put in there.

In my day a Nutella sandwich on white bread with a packet of pizza shapes and a frozen poppa was a good lunch day. Times have changed.

Here is the challenge for most parents: to pack a lunch that is not only adhering to the regulations but that is nutritious, delicious and let’s face it looks good so that your kids will eat it!

Challenge accepted.

Now I’ve based this recipe off of Stupid Easy Paleo’s tortilla recipe but have changed and added a few ingredients to suit the purpose. Stephanie did an awesome job of creating these tortillas and I use them all the time. I’ve also tried to keep it pretty simple so that you can make them on prep day or in a rush the night before.

What Goes ln

• 1 cup of baby spinach leaves
• 4 eggs
• 1 tbsp of coconut oil
• 4 tbsp water
• Pinch of salt
• 1/2 cup of tapioca starch/arrowroot flour
• 2 tsp of coconut flour

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Making the Wraps

• Put the spinach, eggs, oil, water, pinch of salt in the blender and blend for 45 seconds or until it looks like green liquid no bits/chunks of spinach.

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• Heat a small fry pan (20cm) on a medium heat.
• Pour the green liquid into a jug or bowl with a pouring lip and add the flours.

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• Whisk with a hand whisk until combined.
• Pour a small (less than a 1/4 cup) amount of the liquid into the pan and swirl it around until the bottom of the pan is covered.
• When the sides of the mixture start to peel away from the side then flip the wrap over and cook for a few more seconds.

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• Remove from the pan and place on a plate while you make more wraps.

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Now I did try using a larger pan to make a larger wrap and it worked. I guess depending on how big a wrap you think your child or you will eat depends on the pan you will use.

What to Wrap

This depends a lot on your child’s tastebuds and what is allowed at the school/kindy/daycare.

Here are some suggestions:

• Ham, avocado and an organic grassfed cheese
• Smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber and paleo Mayo
• Almond butter and organic honey (I’ve tried this and it was ace!)
• Almond butter and banana
• Shredded Chicken, grated carrot, beetroot and avocado
• Pulled pork, grated apple, grated cabbage and paleo Mayo (also one of my favourites!)

Try some of your own combinations or your kids favourites wrap fillers and see how you go!

Roasted Cinnamon Almond Butter

It’s happened. I’ve reached that age where I look back and think to myself, how and why did I do the things I used to do?!? I think this feeling of “ugh” stems from receiving text messages from friends (sans children) at 4am on New Years Day saying they had an awesome time camping at a 3 day music festival in the middle of stinking hot Aussie summer with no sleep and some wicked hangovers. I immediately felt sympathetically hungover and thought… “at what point does that sound like a good time?” I love my friends but, they’re crazy!

See, now I’m old. A good time for me is going to bed early, sleeping 8 hours straight through without having to get up at 2am in the morning to change my toddler’s bed sheets or soothe a crying 1 year old.  I consider a sleep in 6am and a good day when everyone eats well and sleeps well without any tantrums or injuries.

Some may think that having kids ruins your lifestyle, but to me it seems that having children has only made me prioritise what is important to me. It’s not important for me to go out every weekend, drink and then sleep through the next day. It’s not as important to me to see a certain band, movie or go shopping for the latest clothes. What’s important is the little things. I like having breakfast together on the weekends with my family. Going to the beach and making good use of our beautiful surroundings. Having a nap with the kids after lunch or seeing them play with the dog in the backyard. Those things seem to be the highlights of my life now. Yeah yeah I know… boring.

Don’t get me wrong! A night / day off every now and then is fabulous and I will never pass up that opportunity to dress in nice clothes and talk to adults… uninterrupted… without food being mushed into my face by little hands. But I’m quite happy to embrace the ebb and flow of growing older and watching my amazing little human beings flourish and grow.

However, that being said, when people always ask “are you having a third child?” and my response is, “oh heck no!” … at least not until I get some sleep, a bigger house and a new car at least (hint, hint hubby!) Actually throw in a couple of holidays as well :p

Anyhoo, I refuse to pay nearly $20 for a jar of almond butter. I love almond butter. Firstly, because it has the word butter in it (drool) and secondly because it’s really delicious to eat out of the jar with a spoon pre-workout. AND it’s bloody easy to make! Is that not like the trifecta of eating?

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What you need to make it

  • 1 to 2 packets of dry roasted almonds
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of cinnamon

Yep. That’s it.

How to butter your nuts 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Get a nice big oven tray and spread the almonds evenly over the oven tray.

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  • Roast for 5 – 10 minutes (depends on how powerful your oven is) shaking the nuts around on the tray every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Once slightly roasted let them cool for a couple of minutes and then place in your food processor.
  • Add the cinnamon when the nuts just begin to reach the paste stage. Process some more.

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  • Process the almonds until they reach the consistency of a paste/spread.
  • It will take probably 15 minutes or so to get to the paste stage.  I tend to turn off my processor every few minutes to give it a rest.

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  • The  almonds will go through several stages before reaching the the last stage. Persevere as it is totally worth it.
  • Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Mine NEVER lasts that long 🙂

Enjoy by itself with a spoon and the jar, on some apple slices, add a dollop to your smoothie. It can be used to make satay sauces, cookies, cakes and brownies. The uses for almond butter are endless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Run Paleo Mini Quiche

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Well another festive season has been and gone and so begins the chapter of a new year. Squee!!! How exciting!

But first… I need to grinch about something.

WARNING: This blog post may offend some people, but quite frankly I hope it does so it opens your eyes and mind to the reasons why people choose not to give their kids sugar / junk food.

Over the christmas holidays there are many tempting “treats” and “sweets” out there. Yes I do succumb to these things and a glass of wine or two, maybe even a cider over this period, I’m no saint. I try to stay well behaved and this year was my best year yet I feel!  I also try very hard to get my kids to stay away from lollies, sugar, cakes, desserts and things as these tend to be everywhere you look during christmas. I mean my kids are 1 and 3, they don’t need to have all that crap anyway!

But my question is, why is it people persecute parents for actively excluding “treats” and “sweets” from their children’s diet? Why is it so hard for them to refrain from force feeding my kids sugar? I’m not being mean by not giving my kids crap food. I am being a parent. I don’t want my children to be on a sugar high and have to endure the lows of a crash an hour later. I don’t like it when they are clutching their bellies screaming that it hurts when they have had too much dairy. It’s my choice to try and give them good food that doesn’t make them feel bad or act out of character. I’m not perfect and occasionally they will have stuff that isn’t great or paleo. But for goodness sake, respect that we as parents are trying to educate them on healthy choices and show them that you don’t need to have junk to enjoy food. There is absolutely no reason to go against a parents request and give the kids junk food.

I don’t understand what people think they are giving children when they give them blue or red lollies, bowls of ice cream and cake and chocolates before nap time. You are not giving them a treat, you are giving them a ticking time bomb of crazy behaviour, upset tummies and no nutritional benefit at all. So if I say “no” to giving my kids something, please respect that I am doing it out of love for my child and their health. If you want to show them love through food, give them nutritional food that will help them to grow into healthy human beings. Better yet just give them hugs and kisses and show your love that way.

Moving On…

New Years always holds that air of new beginnings and fresh starts. I haven’t made any resolutions this year as I tend to only break them. BUT, I will be setting some personal and training goals and hope to work towards achieving them by the end of 2015. For many people, new years is also a time to reflect on where things went wrong for last years resolutions. I know several people who have vowed to become more organised and prepared with their nutrition so that they don’t resort to grabbing something unhealthy when they are in a rush.

My friend K-star who trains with me at CrossFit Iron Lion, is a beautiful, generous, kind person who is ALWAYS running to and from events, work and family. She literally sometimes runs, not kidding. Good thing she loves to run!

K-Star made these mini quiches for our athletes for a CrossFit competition late last year. They were such a convenient, fully loaded, nutritious snack that travelled well. I thought, what a bloody good idea K-Star! She won’t mind that I share the recipe for everyone to use! Right? :p

What You Need

  • Roasted Sweet Potato (I always roast several on my prep day for the week but you can find out how to do it in the Stuffed Sweet Tats recipe)
  • 8-10 eggs
  • Chopped bacon that has been semi cooked
  • Diced red onion also sauteed slightly
  • Baby spinach chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt

What You Do

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases (fancy ones – see picture)
  • Press a spoonful of roast sweet potato into the bottom of each muffin case
  • Lightly cook your bacon and sauté your onion
  • Place the bacon and onion on top of the sweet potato in the muffin cases
  • Place the chopped spinach on top of the bacon and onion
  • Put your eggs in a blender with the pinch of salt and blend for 15 – 20 seconds
  • Pour the egg mixture evenly into each muffin case. Don’t over fill!
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until egg is cooked.

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Makes 12 mini quiches

You can virtually add any ingredients to the quiches like leftover shredded chicken, smoked salmon, mushrooms, asparagus or broccoli. There is no limit to the combinations.