"How can you even MAKE cupcakes without eggs, butter and milk??".
Simple. Let me share a recipe with you. I made these on the weekend for a vegan picnic I was hosting.
Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes.
216g plain flour
4g baking powder
7g bicarbonate of soda
185g dry rapadura sugar
15g vanilla bean paste
196g thawed frozen raspberries
317g soy milk
8 drops of raspberry essence
93g canola oil
*preheat the oven to 180C
* in a mixing bowl sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cocoa, add sugar and mix well.
*in a separate bowl place raspberries, soy milk, vanilla and raspberry essence. Blend together using a stick blender.
*add oil to the soy milk mixture, stir through gently.
* slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. stirring continuously to ensure there are no lumps. Go slow. I learned this the hard way...
*divide among 12 large patty pans. I use Robert Gordon ones because they are super cute.
Now I don't have a baking time as I just check to see when the cakes bounce back when touched with your finger. Also a lot of ovens vary temperature.
When cool I use the Vanilla (not) buttercream frosting recipe on my recipes page.
XX Happy Baking XX
I'd love you to let me know how you go in the comments below
So it would seem that I am not indestructible. Bugger!
Today I awoke sneezing, my brain clearly in need of some sort of brain camp therapy. It was not going to be a very functional day, I was certain of that and I felt that I only had myself to blame. Too little sleep makes Claire a very run down girl.
Now in the past when feeling unwell I would drown out my senses with comfort food in attempt to make myself feel better. I don't recall one time in which that practice actually worked. This time I tried something different. I consumed foods that I believed would actually help my body heal and recover.
Juice. Pineapple, ginger and orange.
Pineapple is high in vitamin C, which is a well known fabulous vitamin when feeling the oncoming of a cold or flu. Pineapple also contains bromelain which is helpful with the cough and mucus side of things. Mmmmmm. Delightful!
Oranges are also high in vitamin C. Orange juice is often the go to drink for those with a cold coming on and vitamin C is the reason why. Oranges and Pineapples both also aid in lowering blood pressure.
Ginger helps with digestion. It is high in zinc and selenium and helps to relieve coughs and colds.
Juice followed by lots of water and a good long rest in bed and I'm much better than I was earlier today.
Lesson learned, I do not bounce back from late nights as easily as I used to. Especially when I neglect to catch up on sleep.
Another lesson I learned is that nights out dancing with friends are very much necessary at times and can be Oh so much fun!
Once again, moderation and listening to your body is the key.
Today I started my morning with a delicious Beet, Apple and Celery juice. Much better than the tea I used to drink for a wake up kick in the morning, this amazing juice hits the spot in more ways than one.
I wanted to tell you all the amazing benefits of Beetroot. Raw is best as when foods are cooked the chemical structure changes and many of the nutrients are lost.
Beetroot is high in magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, potassium and calcium. Beetroot also contains high levels of folate, which makes it a super food for women who are pregnant. I wish I knew this when I was pregnant, a much better way to get the additional folic acid as opposed to the store bought supplements that are recommended!
A study has been conducted, with results that consuming beetroot juice can actually lower your blood pressure. It has also been mentioned that this study only involved 15 people. I'm not sure if I believe that beetroot juice alone can lower your blood pressure. However a diet containing low saturated fats and based on fresh and raw fruit and vegetables with most certainly lower your blood pressure.
I for one have certainly been finding my energy levels much higher having a juice in the morning first thing. I 'll try and have a whole lot of water (not cold, room temperature or warmer) first thing, then about 700mls of juice. I can't believe it was only a year ago that I seriously could not imagine life without my caffeine kick from a cup of tea first thing in the morning. Good luck to anyone who crossed my path back then before that cup of tea, I was not a pretty face. These days unless I'm seriously sleep deprived a juice gets my by wonderfully. The other thing I notice is my skin is much fresher looking. I've never had terrible skin, but as Ive gotten older I've noticed the difference and I truly find with lots of water and loads of raw fresh fruit and vege I'm much nicer looking. Fresh and even somedays some people might detect a slight glow about me, that isn't related to my eco tan!
I'm still on the look out for great vegan skincare range. One that is good quality (I'm turning 30 this year..I can't keep ignoring and relying on youth to keep me looking pretty). One that is not only cruelty free but also botanically based I think. I've heard good things about Arbonne and love the tinted moisturiser. Will keep you posted. Skin is our bodies largest organ and we need to look after ourselves inside and out... XX much love Claire
Its a quick one tonight...
Woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a tonne of bricks.. looked similar. Pulled myself together over a litre of freshly squeezed orange juice and continued to feel better through out the day as I drank my banana and spinach smoothies (two of them).
My digestive system was definitely thrown out by all the festive foods yesterday - and to be fair my version of a "cheat day" is probably a lot tamer than someone else's. I still steer clear of anything that contains animal products. My poor belly, its good thought to have a bit of a food hangover. Reminds me how good I have actually been feeling while eating clean.
The raw til four is definitely the way to go for me. SO much better on my body in general.
Finished off the evening with lots of brown rice, a little gluten free soy sauce ( yes I know it has salt...but it was necessary) and organic broccoli. Super simple, Super Fresh and super yummy.
So over all feeling pretty good for the day that I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck.
Realising also that its a bloody big commitment to blog daily! But I'll get on with it.
Happy Monday Beautiful people. Look after your body and it will take care of you also. XX
Detox and Mothers Day.
So it would seem that I am learning more and more through this detox, that I am actually not designed to follow strict eating plans. Is that an excuse or an observation? I'm going with the latter! After following ridiculously strict eating plans through college to lose ridiculous amounts of weight in ridiculous amounts of time, I do prefer to have balance. I think the balanced attitude is overall more healthy than one of all or nothing. I think I have mentioned this before, so I won't go on with it...
Today was Mothers day. I had my mother and brother and his wife over for lunch. The spread looked lovely. And although it wasn't following my strictly fruit during the day plan, it was reasonably healthy in comparison to the average Australian's diet. I ate a lot. As I am used to consuming lots of carbohydrates through fruit, I ate lots of carbohydrates, though this time white bread. I won't lie. It tasted AMAZING. So did the heavy handed spread of vegan margarine on top. So the fat content was definitely higher than usual. To be completely honest I felt a lot more tired today than I have any other day this past week. I believe it is that as cooked and highly processed foods take a lot longer in the body to break down. This is because they are harder for our bodies to digest. My body being used to digesting fruit and quite simple food all week, has had a pretty easy time doing this. Now fill it with all these delicious tasting processed foods and the difference in the energy my body is using to process the foods is very noticeable. Hence the feeling tired. That's ok. I have observed and this week I will get back on the fruity band wagon. Another thing I noticed today was my ability to bounce back from my emotions. I'm not entirely sure if it was again the change in diet today OR the fact that every 10 minutes my mother would tell me that I need to eat meat to be 'normal'. Could quite easily be either.
On another note I made a simply amazing Zucchini and Potato soup for dinner. I will share it in the recipes page. If it isn't up tonight it's due to the fact that my hand are shaking after a good session with the boxing bag and typing this blog has been hard enough as it is. But as with the other recipes..... soon.
Love Claire XX
Are your banana's ripe?
I only learned this year that bananas are actually perfectly ripe and ready to eat, when they look just like the ones in this picture above.
Before this they are not actually fully ripe and don't contain as many antioxidant as they do when they are fully ripened with the little black spots on them. According to Japanese scientific research bananas with little black spots are 8 times as effective as underripe bananas, in combatting abnormal cells in our body. Wow that is pretty impressive!!
Bananas are also high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium and a good source of fibre. Bananas are high on carbohydrates and sugar, but NO bananas WON'T make you fat!!! They are fruit. If you're worried about fat, cut the milk, cut the cheese, cut the fats. But don't cut back on bananas or fruits. They really are natures perfect food.
Fruit is best eaten on an empty stomach as fruit digests much quicker than say bread or heavier foods. Fruit even digests quicker than veggies. So best eaten on an empty stomach and left alone in there for at least a couple of hours so it can digest in peace without the interruption of other foods being thrown in on top of it.
So boys and girls... EAT YOUR BANANAS!! lots of love Claire XX
References: Japanese research regarding Bananas
The looks I get at work as I hit the blender every few hours.... the bananas I consume in a day..... I think my co workers may wonder if I've totally lost the plot.... haha GONE BANANAS!!!
I have been consuming a lot of these little beauties lately. I must admit that before deciding to hit up 30days of more disciplined clean eating, I was already pretty close to this. In theory anyway. I have gradually moved myself closer and closer to a high raw vegan diet. This came with a lot of resistance, but not a lot of choice health wise.
Winter last year was a bit of a rock bottom health wise for me. It had been coming on for a couple of years before but I pushed on, because quite frankly I didn't have any time to be sick. I had moved out on my own with my son who I had 50% of the time. With no real support network. Sure I had a lot of friends that were willing to help out, and absolutely did help out plenty of times. But bottom line was I had no financial security and no family in a place financially to help me. So I was running myself on empty, afraid that if I put one foot out of line I would end up homeless. Of course this never happened. I have a knack for making money appear when I need it. But the problem was the fear that was eating away at me and I reached a point where I had trouble getting out of bed, my body was depleted of vital nutrients due to stress over such a long period of time, but also the fact that I wasn't paying enough attention to the food I was choosing as fuel for my body. I was reading the books and buying the food. But at the end of the day I had a pantry full of super-foods and books full of information and ideas. But my reality was that I was keeping myself so busy I wasn't using these books and ingredients very often and my health was suffering as a result. I was literally living off green tea - to make up for my complete lack of energy, cupcakes - the start of my cupcake business, I'd just grab and run and home made miso soup. Which is great in moderation. But it was pretty much all I would eat whenever my son wasn't with me.
I had discovered that although I absolutely adored to cook for other people. When it came to myself, I simply couldn't be bothered. I had no energy and it was becoming a vicious cycle. I needed to change. So I did. As I mentioned before I had no choice. I was running out of sick leave and I had committed to not eating meat ever again, despite the constant reminders from well meaning friends, that perhaps if I just ate meat I would be ok. HELL NO! So I set out to prove that I could indeed be super healthy and energetic following a vegan diet.
The biggest change I had to make was the decision to start to care for myself the same way in which I care for others. I had to put effort into my meals, my food. Of taking care of my body. I had to value myself as much as I valued my son and my friends. This was the biggest challenge and one that perhaps we are all working on? I know I am getting better at it, but its certainly a journey.
I found RAW. I had always been drawn to the raw lifestyle. But mostly though books, I had never thought it achievable for the average person in the "real" world. However I met a friend who had recently tried 80/10/10 eating fruit pretty much all day. So I tried. Despite my doctor telling me to cut out all fruits for a short period of time (I turned up to see him with photocopies of evidence as to why I could eat all this fruit and be fine) I ate mostly fruit all day, until dinner time. I experimented with this on and off. And found my energy levels much higher. I even put on a little weight, but felt healthy. Something I hadn't done in years and I felt the extra couple of kilos did me good. (and the plus side for those who want bigger breasts....mine got noticeably bigger haha but true story).
So not I eat lots of fruit and I recommend it to anyone. I am full. I eat lots. Its easy to do as you just eat fruit. Easy to prepare. I either eat it whole or blend into a smoothie. It takes the work out of deciding what to eat for lunch etc. I just need to ensure I'm stocked up with enough fruit and I'm good to go. I'm still not on a perfect diet and still am flexible with things. I find balance to be important, more important than perfection, especially when it comes to diet. Aiming for perfection can easily lead to feelings of failure and guilt when we don't live unto our own ridiculously high expectations. And that is a cycle that I see all too frequently and takes me back to the days of my own eating and weight issues. No one needs that.
I had intended that this blog be about the nutritional value of bananas and how to tell when they are perfectly ripe. But instead this happened. When my fingers hit the keyboard there really is no telling what will happen.
I want to encourage people to try adding more fresh fruit to their diet. Even if just for breakfast. It really is natures perfect food. That and encourage people to listen to their body. Enough of the fad diets and negative body image that seems to haunt so many. I would love to see everyone comfortable and healthy in their own skin. Lots of people happy to be naked vegans haha. Comfortable in our own skin. The ultimate goal. XXX Claire
PS. The recipes and banana tips will come.. promise...
Day 4 and here I am!
After a bout of sever irritability a good friend of mine suggested I meditate. So i did. I don't alway take advice from others, in fact it all truth I very rarely take advice from others. The inner rebel in me runs a mile in the opposite direction just to prove I can. Doesn't often work in my favour! Anyway this time I listened and began my day with a beautiful walk in nature and mediated before work. And although I was super tired from my late night last night I felt pretty good all day.
I feel that a lot of the good feeling had to do with my diet. I had a couple of meetings on tonight after a long day of work. So I packed an enormous bag of fruit and veggies and carted along my juicer to work also.
Food for the day was a morning juice of green apples, a couple of radishes and some carrot. - don't think I'll juice radish first thing in the morning again. My stomach felt pretty weird for a while, but eventually settled after eating some bananas.
Snacked on medjool dates (YUM) and perfectly ripe bananas and permissons. You know they're perfectly ripe when they have the black spots on the skin.....
snacked on lots of bananas. even made a banana, celery and lettuce smoothie.
in the afternoon before my first meeting around say 5:30 I made about 700mls orange carrot and celery juice. It was amazing and kept me buzzing and attentive during my meetings until I managed to get a few late night potatoes into me.
Im am most certainly ready for bed now. But still feel alert. Its the thing I am noticing the most from my high fruit high carb diet. I feel more ALIVE. I kid you not! And when I eat enough I don't crave sugar or even the salt cravings are less as I make sure I include lots of greens in my diet. Celery is quite high in natural sodium.
Day 4 and I feel good. My body is going well. A girl at work is often concerned with my sugar intake from all the fruit and bananas and juice. Well the proof is in my belly. Yes, I am bloated after A BIG glass of juice, but it goes down. My digestion is easy. I don't get problems related to food that I used to such as cramps, gas, burping etc. All the things that used to seem so normal, I am barely noticing these things with my diet. I feel good. I feel alive and my body feels good and certainly not putting on weight with all the calories from fruit.
I would call this diet the ALIVE diet. ... Nite for Now XX Claire
This is what happens when you stay up late doing things you probably shouldn't be doing..... blog day 3 ends up here ... at midnight. The time when Cinderella's magic wore off and everything went back to normal.
Day three. No crazy devouring of Oreos today. Today was a big glass of orange and celery juice about 12 bananas and some spinach, lettuce and medjool dates, which taste to me like sweet sticky caramel....mmmmm
Dinner was potatoes with a tahini and avocado dressing with spinach. It was nice. I quite enjoy the simplicity of potatoes. Still missing the salt which I used to liberally shake all over everything. But I'll stick this one out and hopefully my tastebuds will settle and return to their normal state without the need for over stimulation.
I wanted to share with you a movie I watched tonight with a friend. We didn't quite make it through it all, as it was getting late. But here. Watch if you will, share with your friends. For through awareness we can make a change.
love Claire xx
Today started out well. I kind of bounced out of bed, got my 8 minutes of each abs and butt exercises out of the way. Gulped down a freshly squeezed orange, carrot and celery juice and managed to drop Rhys off to school on time all before 9am.
Got a call about an advertising opportunity for my psychic healing business on my way to work and was feeling like nothing could bring me down. That is until I caught sight of my reflection in the revision mirror. OH MY GOD! What had happened to my face?!! My skin is supposed to be clean and clear not cleaning out! PIMPLES! More than I would like to count, popping up without invitation. So then, I was late into work, trying to get rid of the damn things! Of course it didn't work and my jaw line ended up looking like it had been attacked by tropical mosquitoes. There was nothing I could do but be thankful for the cooler weather, pull my scarf up high, paint on a smile and head into work.
I had taken with me 8 bananas, 2 permissons and a small bag of baby spinach. This appeared to be not quite enough, I was feeling a little light headed. I wasn't sure if this was necessarily linked to the food, or the fact that I have been struggling to have a solid night sleep over the past week, combined with rather unexpected exercise int he morning. I blended the bananas and spinach to make a deliciously creamy smoothy. I know this may not sound amazing, but I dare you to try it. It tastes GOOD. I made myself drink 2 litres of water, in attempt to combat the crazy ass break out that I seemed to be experiencing. A little bit light headed, which did pass. A little bit bloated, which still hasn't passed. And a little bit irritable and not sure why.
After school pick up turned into a tough afternoon. My darling 5 year old son was pushing boundaries like never before and we hadn't even left the school yard. Then we had to stop by the shops and grab a few things. You can imagine how well that went. By the time I was home I was starving and ready to fall into a heap of tears on the ground AHHHHHHHH I love him dearly but some days I'm just not sure what to do with him!!!
I made myself a super sugary pear and celery juice, convinced that my super emotional-ness was linked to my being hungry. Then I had a light bulb moment. The date, the emotions, the sudden craving I had for chocolate.... aha. Right. Unfortunately for me today my awareness of why I was feeling this way did not seem to make taming the cravings any easier. And I must admit. That on day 2 out of 30 I am sitting writing this ( after a tiresome 5 year old dinner and bedtime... so go easy on me...) with a cup of liquorice tea and a half eaten packet of oreos.
Bad time of month to start a detox. haha. Oh well, whats that song... "Pick yourself up and try again...." The most important thing I believe in times like this is to not let the guilt of supposed failure get you/me whoever it is, down. Life is learning and tonight I learned that detox day 2, temper tantrums and that time of the month do not go well together, but throw in half a packet of Oreos and some how everything is not so bad.
I still haven't popped up any recipes yet, and trust me tonight isn't looking like the night for it. But I will get there. If you're having a read and feel like saying hi in the comments below, please do. This tired and emotional girl needs all the love she can get.... haha. XClaire
Ps. I'll be back tomorrow... the Oreos are over and I will reclaim my 30 days.
Here I am. Day one of my 30 day super clean eating challenge. I am challenging myself to 30 days eating super clean. High Raw vegan and High carbohydrate low fat diet and this is definitely as much about self discipline as it is clean eating. Self discipline is something I envy in people. People who can commit to an exercise class and actually show up, on time and even stay for perhaps a whole term! My heroes. Almost as soon as I make a plan of any kind, even a date with a Jared Leto lookalike, it seems I am formulating a way I can safely get out of it again!!! anyway... enough about my commitment issues. More about the food!
I have decided to blog my 30 days as it will hold me accountable on those days where my emotions get the better on me and before I know it I am climbing on chairs stacked upon benches to reach the forbidden chocolate high upon the highest shelf. My blog is for those days, the days I feel like giving up on myself.
OK! Day one. I had expectations of waking up on day one all enthused that I was starting my challenge today, jumping out of bed excitedly running to the lounge room and getting into my exercise routine. FAIL. The cats. Oh my dearest darling bloody cats kept me from sleeping very much at all last night and the alarm at 6am was not met with any sort of enthusiasm, other than that I had in hitting the snooze button as quickly as I could!
Day one began with lots of water as I was too disorganised to manage breakfast before I got to work. I took with me about 12 ripe bananas a couple of cucumbers, 3 persimmons (if you haven't tried these already, DO they are freakin' amazing!!) and a couple of oranges. I've been looking into and reading a lot about the 80/10/10 diet and feel that I do actually resonate with what they are taking about. It makes sense to me. However I am finding my own way with it, as I am certainly not ready to commit to a diet I barely even know enough about. Also I have strong belief that everyone's body is different and the "Best" diet is not as simple as a one size fits all.
This 80/10/10 diet encourages people to eat A LOT of fruit. To give you enough calories for what your daily required intake is. This can be calculated and again the fruit can be weighed and measured to ensure you are meeting this requirement. I have decided to take a different approach and to feel my way through the food. I have found that listening to my body is what works best. It doesn't necessarily mean that I cave into every craving as soon as I feel one come on. Its more for me about understanding these cravings, what do they mean. Often I find they are linked to emotions and by understanding and addressing the emotions, my craving will start to fade. On other days I completely cave and find myself sitting on the kitchen floor with half a cupcake hanging from my mouth. Thankfully days like this seem to be further and further apart these days.
My plan is to eat mostly fruit during the day until a light, high carb, low fat dinner. This can be cooked or raw. The point is to be a close to the foods natural state as possible. I will be avoiding just about all processed foods, except for say some brown rice. Salt is a big no, no. I'm testing this one out. I LOVE salty foods. Tonight was a real challenge to not add salt to my pumpkin soup. I home made the stock myself. Avoiding the preservatives and added sugar/salt and whatever else in the store bought stocks. I added lots of veggies and ate LOTS of it to fill me up, am a little bit concerned that I will be running to the toilet all night with al the liquid I have consumed today!
So I nibbled my way through approximately 8-10 bananas, 3 persimmons, one orange, 2 cucumbers and a handful of spinach and 2 litres of water. And 1 bowl, actually no... it was 2 BIG bowls of home made pumpkin soup. I feel good. I am resisting the temptation to eat anything sweet after my dinner. As fruit after a heavy or cooked meal can make the digestive system go a bit crazy, due to the different speeds in which foods break down and digest in the body.
I'll share my pumpkin soup recipe another day, as I feel this first blog really has gone one for quite enough time already.
Love Claire XX