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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What I Ate Today #2


Disclaimer: This isn't what I eat every day. This is what I ate on this day. I eat a plant-based diet and try to get 80-90% of my calories from carbohydrates. The remaining 10-20% are divided up evenly between fat and protein. I don't follow any specific guidelines on what I should eat and when, I listen to my body and just go with it. I'm not saying this is what you should eat, it's just what I eat. This is a healthy diet.




I started off with a fruit salad made from 4 tangelos, 3 kiwi fruit and 2 apples. I woke up late and wasn't super hungry this morning so I snacked on this for about 30 minutes.

At lunch time I had two bowls of pumpkin soup and 2 pieces of bread before going grocery shopping. I garnished the soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and cracked black pepper.

Then for an early dinner I ate roughly 2 cups of cooked rice, a corn cobb, a head of broccoli and a few small bunches of bok choy. I added about a teaspoon of vegetable stock to the rice water before I cooked it to give some more flavour and then I seasoned it with black pepper after serving.

I'm planning on doing a video on why I eat such a carbohydrate heavy diet but the simple reasoning is that in my (decade) of research and understanding of the human body, I've learnt that carbohydrates are the key to peak health. After more than 10 years of dieting I can finally eat healthily and happily. I've never felt so energetic and alive and I lose weight at a steady pace without ever restricting what I eat. In my opinion this is the ideal human diet.



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What I Ate Today #1

My Instagram has unintentionally turned into a Foodstagram. I can't help it, I cook a lot and I love food I make. This has prompted plenty of people to ask me for my meal plan or what I eat in a day. I tried writing several posts but I couldn't make it entertaining or exciting with just words and pictures so I cracked open iMovie for the first time and put together the video you see below.

I've added a brief description of my meals below the video.

Disclaimer: This isn't what I eat every day. This is what I ate on this day. I eat a plant-based diet and try to get 80-90% of my calories from carbohydrates. The remaining 10-20% are divided up evenly between fat and protein. I don't follow any specific guidelines on what I should eat and when, I listen to my body and just go with it. I'm not saying this is what you should eat, it's just what I eat. This is a healthy diet.



Alright, I start most mornings with a fruit smoothie. Today I had 4 bananas and 1 1/2 cups of blueberries. If I won't be able to eat throughout the morning I'll add a handful of raw oats into it to give me a bit more of an energy boost. I blended it with 375ml (one bottle) of coconut water.

An hour later I followed it with 500ml of orange juice. I buy bottled orange juice rather than squeeze my own (who has time for that?) but I make sure I buy 100% orange juice, no nasties added.

For lunch I went to the market and ate a chickpea and salad wrap. I'm big on chickpeas at the moment.

In the afternoon I snacked on two huge fuji apples and fresh peanut butter. This peanut butter is made from only peanuts, there's no added oil, salt or sugar. I bought mine from a health food store where I can grind my own but you can also find it in supermarkets.

I made the most of the remaining summer fruits by eating a few hand fulls lychees. There were probably 20 lychees in total.

For dinner I chopped up 4 large dutch cream potatoes that I also bought at the market. I sprinkled them with some garlic and herb seasoning and served them with sweet chili sauce. I try to have a few dinners a week that are just plain, simple carbohydrates. It gives your digestive system a rest and keeps you full throughout the evening. 

Let me know if you like this type of post, I had a lot of fun making it and if you enjoy it then I'll definitely make more.


Monday, January 26, 2015

My Favourite Green Smoothie



I know this isn't the first green smoothie post you've ever seen. I know you're brain is probably thinking 'ew, seriously?' at the thought of blending spinach with your sweet banana breakfast smoothie but your body is actually squealing with delight and will love you indefinitely if you start your mornings with one of these.

Kale is the most nutrient dense food on the planet. It's rich in vitamin B6 which promotes brain development and healthy hormone activity. It helps your body to metabolise carbohydrates and form red blood cells. You'll also find a good dose of Riboflavin (vitamin B2) in a standard serving of kale which helps vision and skin health as well as strong energy production. It's jam packed with fibre for healthy digestion, calcium for strong bones and potassium for heart health. Don't worry, the list continues. Iron for muscle function, hemoglobin formation (the protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body and returns carbon dioxide from the body back to the lungs). Magnesium which is used by every organ in the body for bone and protein formation. It helps your muscles to relax and recover at night and is required for healthy insulin levels. It's high in omega-3's which help with anti-inflammation in joints. Folate for heart, brain and reproductive health and niacin for healthy cholesterol levels. 

I don't like the taste of kale. It's quite bitter and has a strong after taste. That's why I add cucumber to my green smoothie. The refreshing, watery taste overpowers the kale and makes the smoothie far more pleasant. Kale is virtually tasteless when combined with cucumber. 

On it's own, cucumber is a rich source of vitamin K which protects your body from infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease and promoted strong overall brain health. It's also goes hand in hand with vitamin D, you can't absorb one without the other. 

Spinach is a powerhouse of plant protein and it's is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. It's the third most nutrient dense food, coming in behind kale and watercress.

Spirulina is a blue green algae and it has more than 100 nutrients packed into a small teaspoon of fine powder. I'm not going to list them all because I just made you read all about kale. You'll have to just trust me on that one. It smells like a fish tank but it's completely flavourless in a smoothie.



I sweeten my smoothies with fruit and coconut sugar. I'm not on board with the current coconut craze. I don't like coconut water and I avoid eating coconut oil. However I do have a soft spot for coconut sugar. 

Coconut sugar is made from the evaporated sap from coconut palm trees. It's principals are similar to maple syrup. It has a similar sweetness to regular white sugar but it has reasonable amounts of vitamins and minerals which push it closer to 'superfood' status. Let's be clear though, coconut sugar in no way a 'superfood', it's just an alternative to other sweeteners. 

My favourite smoothie fruits are bananas and berries. Every cell in your brain runs off sugar carbohydrates. I flood my body with plenty of natural sugars every morning to give me the best possible start to the day.

All of these ingredients combined will fill you up and give you an incredible energy lift without bringing on an energy crash later in the day. You need to remember that all of these ingredients are very low calorie and calories are what give you energy. Use a lot of them and take your time drinking it. I usually make a big jug, I'll drink half of it as soon as it's ready and then sip the rest of it while I'm getting myself organised in the morning. 

Let me know if you try it!



Recipe:

1 big handful (5-7 leaves) of kale with the stalks cut off. 
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1 teaspoon of spirulina
1/2 a cucumber
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (optional)
3 bananas
2 cups of frozen berries
1-2 cups of water, depending on how thick you like your smoothie

Blend all the greens together with 1 cup of water until they're a thin liquid (about 30-60 seconds). Add the bananas, berries and coconut sugar and blend until completely combined. Add more water if you like your smoothie to be thinner. 

Enjoy!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Goodness Me Box Introduction and November Box Review


We've all heard of monthly subscription boxes, I've been subscribed to many of them over the past few years but Goodness Me Box is a little different. Instead of beauty products Goodness Me sends you a lovely little box each month filled with healthful food. I gave it a go this month to see what it was all about. 

The sign up process was easy, I set up a month-by-month automatic payment through PayPal. After signing up I was prompted to take a short survey to disclose my eating preferences and any restrictions I have in place (gluten-free, vegan, etc).

I've been keeping an eye on what other people have received in the boxes on social media and there have been a couple of different ones that were sent out this month. Everything I received in my box was vegan and I am presuming it was done on purpose because I said that I only ate vegan food in my sign up survey. Goodness Me box does say that they will try to be accommodating to all food preferences but there may be months that you receive something you're uninterested in trying and I'm okay with that. 

I have to say that I am really impressed with the selection in the November box. The $25 price tag was a little steep for just a 'sample' box but I'm really happy with the value I received.

November Box

The first thing I saw when I opened the box was the Sam Mills Gluten Free Fettuccine. I love Sam Mills pasta and eat it several times a week but I've never seen it in any 'spaghetti' form before, only in penne and spirals. It's made of 100% corn meal and it tastes incredible. I haven't gone back to eating regular pasta since I found it. I'm not a gluten free eater but Sam Mills pasta is just that good. This product is 500g (full size) and retails for about $2.99.

To compliment the pasta I also received a box of Ceres Organics Chopped Tomatoes in Tomato Juice.  The brand says that their unique 'box' style packaging keeps the product fresh without additives so you get an authentic taste upon opening. I've never seen this brand before but I use tinned tomatoes all the time so I'll definitely get use out of this. The product is 390g (full size) and retails for $3.15.

Moving onto some delicious snacks you'll also find a Luv Sum Chocolate Chia and Nut Energy Ball hiding away in the box. I've seen these posted so many times on Instagram but never actually seen them in a store myself so I'm glad I get a chance to try it for myself. They're packed with antioxidants, omega-3 and protein so they're great for a quick hunger busting snack. The product is 43g (full size) and retails for $3.50.

Next you'll find little snack sized pouch of Bite Smart Paprika Dusted Cashews, Pepitas and Chick Peas. They're a great fibre hit during the day and are convenient to keep in your car or handbag for a quick snack. I'm eating them as I type this in fact. The snack pouch is 35g (full size) and retails for $3.50.

I always make my own granola because finding a vegan one is difficult but I'm excited to try the Mama Bickie's Grain-O-La that came inside the box. It's made from oats, nuts, maple syrup and coconut and is made in a completely gluten free environment so it's wonderful for those with sensitivities. The granola is a snack sized sample, the full sized 420g box retails for $15.20 so I estimate this 75g sample to be about $2.70 in value. 

Next I received an old favourite, Camu Powder from Bioglan. I've used Camu powder before but the price tag puts me off of repurchasing it as often as I'd like too. Camu is a 'superfood' that boasts about it's ridiculously high level of vitamin C. It's a fantastic immunity boosting supplement, it's filled with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It's often referred to as a 'beauty supplement' because it has wonderful effect on the skin. I'm glad I received it, I love using Camu powder in my smoothies. The product is 100g (full size) and retails for $26.99.

I think I'm the only person in the world who doesn't like coconut water. Is that weird? Either way I received a can of Nakula Organic Coconut Water inside my Goodness Me box. Coconut Water is absolutely wonderful for you but I personally can't drink it straight up. I'll use this in smoothies though, I'm thinking some kind of coconut water and pineapple pina-colada breakfast. This product is 330ml (full size) and retails for $3.95.

Then we're left with a few samples. Higher Living put 6 organic tea bags in the box, I've never heard of the brand before but I drink tea a few times a week so I'll give it a go. I'm especially interested in the Cacao and Chili tea! A box of 15 tea bags retails for $3.96 so with 6 bags this adds about $1.60 in value to the box. 

And last of all, a cute little sample of Norbu Natural Sweetener. This sweetener is made from Monk fruit and has 96% less calories than sugar. It's promoted as being fructose free and non-GMO. It's great if you follow one of those 'sugar free' diets but that's not for me. I'll try it and see if it adds an interesting flavour to my food. A box of 40 sachets retails at $4.99 which means this sample adds $0.12c to the box. 


I'm actually thrilled with Goodness Me box, I'll use all of these products, almost everything was full size and I received a great combination of foods. $25 may be higher than most monthly subscription boxes but when it contains almost $50 worth of products that I will actually use I'm more than happy to keep my subscription going. 

I'll review the box again next month and see if Goodness Me keeps up their awesome value!



Animal disclaimer:
All of the products mentioned are vegan friendly. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Current Favourite TV Loves

Yes, yes, yes! Spring has sprung which means all of my favourite TV shows are returning. There's nothing quite like cuddling up on the couch at the end of the day with a cup of herbal tea and diving into someone else's life for a few moments. Here's a look at just a few of my current faves:


The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project is one of the best television shows ever made. There, I said it. It has comedy perfectly suited to my humour, it has characters I want as my best friends and Mindy Kaling is basically super woman in the television world. The show revolves around a modern day obstetrician (Mindy) and her constant quest for love while balancing a hectic personal and professional life. It's perfectly timed comedy and it's fantastic.

Witches of East End
I've only just found this show but I've already binge watched my way through the first half of season one. The story revolves around a family of witches, the two adult daughters have only just learnt of their powers and the curses that haunt their family. It's kind of a mix between The Vampire Diaries and an adult Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It's a light drama with some really good plot lines.

Gotham
To say I was excited for Gotham to start would be a serious understatement. I was ecstatic, especially with the casting of Ben McKenzie as James Gordon. Perfect! The story is set in the city of Gotham before there was Batman, before Penguin, before Catwoman, before everything. I've been watching it on iTunes but the series will be premiering in Australia this week and even if you're not a Batman fan I suggest giving the show a chance.

A-Z
This is a brand new sitcom and I believe it doesn't start in Australia for another few months but it's available to purchase on the US iTunes store. It's basically 500 Days of Summer turned into a TV show. Only two episodes have aired so far but I'm really enjoying the story. In the beginning of episode one we're told that the two characters, Andrew and Zelda, will date for eight months, three weeks, five days and one hour. After that, we have no idea what happens. The series is supposed to delve deep into their relationship and everything that goes right or goes completely wrong.

Vampire Diaries
This series is jumping into it's sixth season and after the final amazing episodes at the end of season five I am so excited to see where these characters are going. It keeps getting darker, more twisted and leaves really exciting cliff hangers. I thought that season five was the best yet so I have huge expectations for season six.

The Good Wife
My boyfriend and I watched our way through 5 seasons of The Good Wife in a little over a month, once we started it didn't take long for us to become absolutely hooked. The drama follows Alicia, a litigator returning to work when her States Attorney husband is put behind bars due to a sex and corruption scandal. I really enjoy Alicia, I like seeing this type of female lead where relationships are still relative but the main focus is on her talent as a lawyer and how she translates this into her personal life.


An honorable mention needs to go to Awkward which has been so hilarious this season. To the new ABC sitcom Selfie which had a really great first episode. Brooklyn Nine Nine, Big Bang Theory and Modern Family all get shout outs for their consistent brilliance.

I'm still waiting for 2 Broke Girls and Suits to return but they are two of my absolute favourite shows and I know they're not going to disappoint.

What shows are you hooked on at the moment? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter on Instagram @ohrebeccalife


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Go To Skincare! Properly Clean and Exfoliating Swipies Review!



You only need to take one glance at my bathroom shelf to see that I am a skincare junkie. I have more cleansers, moisturisers, toners and exfoliators than any woman needs but I can't help it, I'm always hunting for the best. Another (slightly more notable) skincare junkie is is Zoe Foster-Blake and when she announced she was releasing her own skincare line the whole internet got themselves dizzy with excitement.

There are only three things you need to look for in skin care. It should be simple, natural and effective. Zoe claims to have mastered all three with her natural skincare line Go-To Skincare so I didn't hesitate in ordering. I received these products on April 4th which means I've been trialing them for five months and have just used up the products entirely.

Properly Clean Foam Cleanser

First I have to squash the first picky thing about this product. Almost every review I've seen mentions that they 'don't usually like foaming cleansers but this one's great!'

Foaming cleansers are a gel formula that foams while you rub it onto your face, they're almost always created for oily skin and they're quite stripping and drying. This is not a foaming cleanser. It's a water based cleanser that happens to have a foaming pump. Cool? Cool.

Properly Clean claims to be for all skin types and I have to agree. There is nothing stripping or drying about the product (great for dry skin) and it also doesn't promote too much moisture in your skin either (great for oily skin). It just does exactly what it says it will. It properly cleans your skin.

My oily/sensitive skin has kept calm while using Properly Clean, the natural fragrance hasn't caused any irritation and the scent doesn't linger. Properly Clean will suit any skin type and is great for guys too. One pump is enough to cleanse my face and neck.

It doesn't claim to be a make up remover so I never expected it to be. I've seen several reviews that say it will remove make up but in my experience it won't. I tried removing foundation with it and even after two cleanses I could still take more foundation off with my usual make up remover. I tried removing eye make up with it but it couldn't break through my mascara. This isn't a negative point though, it's a cleanser, not a make up remover and I've never found a cleanser that removes make up completely. I recommend removing your make up first and then cleansing your skin. 

It's a fantastic product and has a very affordable price tag. I'd definitely recommend it to any of my friends.


Exfoliating Swipies

Exfoliating is both my favourite and least favourite part of skin care. I love fresh, clean skin but the feeling of stripping back layers of healthy skin isn't something that appeals to me. A gentle, non abrasive exfoliator is the perfect solution to this dilemma and Go-To Skincare has hit the nail on the head (or face?) with the Exfoliating Swipies. The active ingredient is lactic acid, one of the most gentle AHA's, and the added aloe vera immediately calms the skin while exfoliating.

The cotton pads make application so easy, just take a pad out of the container and gently swipe it over your face for a minute. Rinse and follow with your cleanser*

This exfoliator is absolutely incredibly. I love that I don't need to scrub my face and buff away dead skin cells, the lactic acid in this product does it all for you and it's so gentle and mild that you can practically hear birds chirping as you use it. 

As opposed to other cleansers that have plastic 'microbeads' that scrub at your skin and then get washed down the drain, these exfoliating swipies don't contribute to lake pollution. Did you know that's actually a thing? Lakes are becoming congested with all those little plastic beads in exfoliators. 

Anyway, would I repurchase? Yes, yes, yes. I think I may have found my holy grail exfoliator. 


Other products

I won't be purchasing the Very Useful Face Cream or the Exceptionoil because I don't like shea butter (sorry!) and they both contain beeswax. I did purchase the Lips! lip balm and while it has to be said that it tastes amazing (like can someone make this into an edible syrup please?) my lips weren't a fan. I have been using it as a cuticle balm though and it's been working really well however I won't repurchase because of the non-vegan ingredients. 

I'm excited to see what other products Go To comes out with. Zoe is always yelling at everyone to use rose hip oil so perhaps releasing her own will be on the cards. I'd also be interested to see what she could do with the idea of a natural tinted moisturiser or sunscreen (no shea butter please).

All in all, great brand, great products and I'm excited to see what's next. 



*While a lot of skincare instructions ask that you cleanse then exfoliate, I personally choose and advise that you cleanse after exfoliating, then follow with a moisturiser. This means that any dead skin cells are removed and the new skin is properly cleansed. 


Cruelty-free disclaimer: 
Go To Skincare does not test on animals. My analysis of both of these products is that they're vegan however the brand also manufactures products that aren't vegan (lanolin, beeswax).


Monday, September 15, 2014

I owe you an explanation..


Hey there,

It's been a while so I thought I better write you a letter and explain myself before I continue blogging as if nothing ever happened.

I'm a big believer in doing what makes you happy and an even bigger believer that what makes you happy can always change. We grow, we learn and things that used to be so important to us just stop having any significance. New things come in and take over, new interests develop and life starts taking you down a path you'd never even thought about before.

This isn't a break up letter and it's definitely not a goodbye. It's an introduction to who I am now and what new parts of my life I want to share with you. 2014 has been a great year for me, I've learnt so much about life, about the decisions I make and found things I am so passionate about.

At the beginning of the year I merged my two blogs into this all inclusive website. I had started feeling like the beauty content on EasyDress.org wasn't the most interesting thing for me and that I just didn't have time to devote to writing about food on EasyBite.org. The idea was that this blog could be about beauty but also about anything else I cared to write about. I got pretty lost along the way. Every time I'd write a post it had no passion. I'd think of new topics and start to write about them but get bored part way through. The pressure to continue writing like I was writing for EasyDress.org was strong, I didn't want to disappoint myself but even more then that I didn't want to disappoint you by providing mediocre content. I took an unplanned break from blogging. It wasn't my intention, it just happened and I'm sorry I gave you no warning.

With a new focus and a better understanding on what I want to write about I'm ready to write for you again. Beauty is still something I enjoy and you're guaranteed to see plenty of beauty content but there's also a lot more I want to share with you. My lifestyle has moved into living cruelty-free and I will write about this change in more detail later. It means that a lot of brands will no longer have a place on RebeccaLife.com and that's okay, I no longer feel pressure to write about products that may be wonderful to use but have morals I don't believe in behind them.

I hope you understand my absence and I really hope you enjoy the new direction I intend to take this blog. I think you'll have a lot of fun here. As always, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram (@ohrebeccalife) or send me an email at friends@rebeccalife.com.

Your friend,
Rebecca.