Apologies in advance that this post does not contain a recipe, more accurately it contains some rambling and a link to a deliciously mind-blowing recipe – the distinction is small I know. The last couple of months have really been about university, studying and not a lot else. I will be the first to admit there has been stress, a few tears and some emotional eating. After finally coming to the other side of what was affectionately known as ‘Mad May’ it’s nice to reflect on what happened and how I can avoid some of the pitfalls I fell into.
Like any other teenage/early-twenties girl, I have a thing for chocolate. When I am stressed, or spending a long day studying I like to cuddle up with my boyfriend at the end of the day and enjoy a delicious little treat. The problem was that when stress levels rose this treat when from being occasional to daily and increased it in portion size. I can normally justify it to myself by saying ‘you eat healthy for every meal of the day’, ‘this is the one treat you really enjoy’. However, the reality is I think I have a wee chocolate/sugar addiction, and in the long run no amount of healthy eating is going to outweigh it. After coming to this harsh realisation that chocolate and I needed to go on a break, I decided to give myself a bit of reboot and focus again on healthy foods and a good exercise regime.
I really enjoy exercising as a stress release, but I find that I need a goal to work towards otherwise I get bored and unmotivated fairly quickly. When everything was busy I just exercised whenever I could, doing whatever I felt like. This got me through at the time, but as holidays have now begun and I have evaluated how I am feeling I’ve decided to challenge myself. Cue Kayla Itsines. If you are on instagram, or vaguely have an interest in health or fitness it is likely you have heard of Kayla and her Bikini Body Guides. I had been interested in them for over a year now and toyed with the idea of starting a number of times. My need for motivation and a challenge led to the decision that now was the right time and I began BBG#1 on the 1st of June. I have always been a reasonably fit person (aside from some breathing issues) but these workouts do prove how different certain types of fitness are. I am currently on week two and am loving the challenge. The sessions are innovative and truly push you which is great motivation, as I come from a competitive sport background I am all about seeing how far I can push myself. I’m looking forward to seeing what progress I will make and I am happy to continue to update my thoughts if you guys are interested.
So to summarise at present: I am attempting to be chocolate free. I am embracing fruit – especially kiwifruit – as an alternative and to help curb the cravings. I have started BBG#1 and can’t wait to see how I go and I currently enjoying a wee reprieve from Univeristy which I am making the most of by trying out some delicious recipes. Food favourites at the moment include: oats (we are pretty much in a long-term relationship), smoothies (I finally got a new blender and everything is soooo smooth), roasted winter veges, warming curries and falafel. Favourite relaxing time: nighttime or early morning yoga or curling up with a good book in the winter sun.
One of the best recipes I have tried was Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes. As part of my chocolate abstinence all substitutes including the mighty cacao have been welcome and I am a peanut butter-aholic so these were heaven on a plate. Every other pancake recipe I have tried has failed miserably in either taste or texture so I was over the moon when these were a success in both departments. The recipe yielded light, fluffy and delicious pancakes which were boyfriend approved (for all the skeptics) and you can find the delicious recipe here.