About natattacks

Hello! I am a 23 year old girl who grew up on the beach in Santa Monica and Malibu, California. I now live in New Zealand where I am living the life..one bite and one posture at a time...

Reflection + Comvita Olive Leaf Review

I saw this reflection on Gina’s blog who writes over at The Fitnessista and I thought this was a perfect time to think about, exactly that…. What am I thinking about? Soo here you go a bit what about going over in the Nat Attacks Real World-

Making: A list of festive holiday treats that I would like to make

Cooking: Lots of green smoothies, salads and fish tacos.

Drinking: Bubbles, Pumpkin Beer, Sparkling Rose, Iced Coffee and lots of water

Reading: BLINK by Malcolm Gladwell- The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is a 2005 book by Malcolm Gladwell. It presents in popular science format research from psychology and behavioural economics on the adaptive unconscious

Wanting: to be able to run again

Looking: to buy our first house in 2014.

Sewing: Nothing

Wishing: that my best friend in LA came to NZ to surprise me on my birthday-hint. Hint…

Enjoying: Sunshine, Christmas spirit, getting another year older, seasonal products (pumpkin, cinnamon, etc.) sales, online shopping, summer, and protein ice cream.

Liking: how stress free my Christmas shopping has been

Wondering: what else Nat Attacks A Balanced life will bring for 2014.

Loving: Pumpkin anything, HUGE Green Smoothie Bowls, PB2 (powdered peanut butter)

Hoping: that I get a chance to go home to LA in 2014 and see all my friends and family!

Marvelling: at how amazing and inspiring pregnant woman are who continue daily walks, runs, yoga and even cross fit, you guys sure are incredible!

Needing: GHD, Juicer, Nespresso and a Soda Stream (not sure if these are considered needs or wants) however, I have everything I need in life, these would just be great bonuses.

Smelling: Auckland Sunshine

Wearing: lululemon running leggings, Nike boys running t-shirt-cut into tank, Nike free’s

Following: My favourite bloggers, everyday… Hungry Runner Girl, Oh She Glows, Eat Live Run, Run Eat Repeat, Peanut Butter Fingers, Fitnessista, Daily Garnish, Girl Meets Life, Carrots n’ Cake. 

Noticing: how much absence really does makes the heart grow fonder (especially around the holidays)

Knowing: that this moment is exactly how it supposed to be

Feeling: excited for my birthday celebrations next week :)

Bookmarking: wall my favourite holiday recipes!

Opening: packages including my new IPhone 5c an early birthday present from dad!

Giggling: while a fall out of crow pose as I have finally learned how to take flight! Thank you Erica Davis from East West Yoga for the guidance along the way.

Thinking: that I am grateful for all the opportunities I get through Nat Attack’s, the people that I have gotten to meet, the social media community who supports what I do everyday and getting the chance to make this world a healthier and happier place.

I am beyond grateful to be able to try out products for the blog and when I got approached to do a 30 Day Comvita Olive Leaf Challenge I gladly accepted as the Comvita Challenge came at such a great time. With the change in seasons along with the stress leading up to the holiday season, I thought taking Olive Leaf everyday would be able to help keep colds away and help me live my life to the fullest! I usually take Olive Leaf through the winter and never considered taking it in summer however; I will definitely continue to take olive leaf all year around!

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About Olive Leaf

Comvita Olive Leaf extract for every day antioxidant support.  It is a natural source of health made from fresh olive leaves.  Comvita’s globally unique olive leaf extract ‘made from fresh leaves’ contains 30 times more antioxidants than the equivalent amount of the best virgin olive oils.

The Mediterranean diet is well known for a range of health benefits, partly due to the healthy antioxidants derived from the high intake of olive oil, made from olive fruit.  For many centuries the fresh leaves of the olive tree have also been used for health maintenance. (From http://www.comvita.co.nz/ingredients/aboutoliveleaf.html)

Olive leaf (Olea europaea) was first used medicinally in Ancient Egypt. It is gaining recognition as a powerful defender against sickness and numerous scientific studies have been conducted to investigate the extract’s beneficial properties. The reported benefits of olive leaf extract range from promoting increased energy and healthy blood pressure, to supporting the cardiovascular system and the immune system.

Other Benifits Include: 

  • Treating influenza
  • The common cold
  • Candida Infections
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Dental/ Ear/ UT Infections
  • Improved psoriasis
  • Normalisation of heart beat irregularities
  • Diminished cravings
  • Less pain from haemorrhoids, toothaches and chronically achy joints.
  • Stabilising blood sugar levels
  • Boosting immune function
  • Plus many more…

For more information, check out the Comvita Health Website found at http://www.comvita.co.nz/.

Mini Cacao Nib Macaroon Whoopie Pies

Happy Fat Free Talk Week!

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This post is sponsored by the gorgeous Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point (http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/), who runs triathlons, own a few small businesses, runs after a toddler…She is truly and inspiriation and is one of the first blogs that I started reading.

I truly love the idea of a week dedicated to encouraging people (especially young women) to think more constructively about their negative self-talk and be more proactive in saying and thinking positive things.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the years of thinking about internal negativity and how it impacts everything you do.  Negativity is something that I’ve struggled with in various forms throughout my life. Negativity does nothing but make the rest of your life a heck of a life harder.  It can be so hard to go from the ‘dark side’ to a happier place, but it always starts with one simple step: choosing to reframe your thoughts in a more positive life.

Choosing to see the bright side, the goodness, the opportunity can be challenging.  But it makes everything that comes after seem so much better.  (And trust me – it gets easier with practice!).

So, although Fat Talk Free Week is mostly about body image, I challenge you to take a big step back this week and study your internal dialogue about all things.  How do you put yourself down in work, relationships, health?  How do you create self-doubt and set yourself up to fail?  How can you change that dialogue into something more positive?

Check out this amazing video:

Now enjoy this guilt free recipe!

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Mini Cacao Nib Macaroon Whoopie Pies

2 Cups Shredded Coconut
1 Banana-Mashed
2 Organic Free-Range Egg Whites
1 tsp. Vanilla Essence
¼ Cup Coconut Oil
3 TBSP of Coconut Flour
1/4 Cup Cacao Nibs
If you want, you can add a quarter cup of maple syrup, coconut sugar or Agave Syrup for added sweetness.Filling:
½ Cup Coconut Butter
1 TBSP of Cacao Powder
1 TSP Vanilla
½ TSP of Himalayan Rock SaltTo Prepare Macaroon:

In a bowl, mash banana, vanilla and whipped egg white (and sweetener if you would like)

Mix in coconut shreds, cacoa nibs and coconut flour. Mix Well.

Roll into mini balls.

Prepare filling by melting coconut butter in a double boiler, very slowly, being careful not to burn it. Add in Cacao powder and Vanilla and mix will to form a paste. Sprinkle a bit of salt, to taste.

Add a nice layer of filling and add another coconut macaroon layer.

Bake for 10-12 mins at 190 degrees celsius.

Enjoy!

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Guest Blog: The dangers of refined sugar + My Food Philosophy

My Food Philosophy

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I changed my life around.  I started exercising, I started eating healthy, and I tried changing the attitudes I had towards people and myself to positive ones.  I cut out added sugars (like plain old granulated sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, etc), and eating whole foods rather than processed was a goal of mine, no matter how hard it got, and no matter what situation I was in–I was always going to be prepared (in a day out running errands, I would take a healthy snack with me to avoid hunger and reaching out to the nearest fast food restaurant.  For a long day of classes, I would take a few bars with me and try to keep everything low-glycemic to sustain my energy.  I would schedule times to go to the gym, because we all know how going to the gym “on the fly” works out!  Anything to stay healthy and motivated.  I was tired of living an unhealthy lifestyle deprived of nutrition and pleasure–chocolate bars stopped making me happy after a while!)

Overall, I just want to find balance. If I cave one day and enjoy a slice of birthday cake with some family or friends, I want to enjoy every single bite of it, without the guilty feelings I once have had. If I indulge too much in wine and pizza on Friday night with my boyfriend, then I will. However, I like to live by the 80/20 rule. One slice of cake or a pizza date with your boyfriend is not going to make you ANY LESS healthy, on the contrary, it will probably make a healthier you! So enjoy! I hope you can come visit me and enjoy a place where decadence and health become one.

And now I am going to hand over my blog to David Novak’s who has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world.  He’s an avid health enthusiast, and frequently is featured in regional and national health publications. He is also a weekly writer for Healthline.  To visit his other stories on Healthline, visit http://www.healthline.com/

Health Dangers of Refined Sugars

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Refined sugar is widely used in foods and cake, but behind that enjoyable sweetness of sugar, there exist some lurking dangers.  Raw sugar, derived from sugar cane or sugar beet, is a form of sugar which is purified by removing unwanted substances.  In other words, the process of making raw sugar involves removing the fiber materials in sugar, such as plants, soil, bugs and mold.

After boiling and the drying the raw sugar, it’s then bleached, giving it its white appearance.  This bleaching process involves the addition of lime and carbon dioxide, and the end product is “refined sugar.”  Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?

Health Issues Associated with Refined Sugar

Refined sugar can lead to weight gain and an increase in triglyceride levels, a risk factor for heart disease. Refined sugar also causes tooth decay, and is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Refined sugar can cause hyperactivity in children because it enters the bloodstream quickly and can cause blood sugar to rise. It can even trigger the release of adrenaline, which makes a child hyper.

Refined Sugar: An Addiction

With all of the dangers associated with refined sugar, it’s unfortunate that we are genetically programmed to like sugar. It makes us feel good, adds flavor to food, and if you are truly consuming it in very small amounts and eating a healthy and balanced diet, then it is probably not much of an issue. However, one of the problems with sugar is that we are mainly consuming refined sugar, which has been stripped of its vitamins and minerals, leaving only an empty calorie that our bodies cannot process properly.

Eating refined sugar is actually worse than nothing because it has to leech vitamins and minerals from your body, vitamins and minerals that would normally be present in raw sugar in order for it to be metabolized.

Another big problem with refined sugar is the amount of sugar we consume. Most people in Western societies consume far too much sugar – in energy drinks, sodas, piled into tea and coffee, sweets and desserts and so on. Carbonated sodas are the single biggest source of refined sugars in the American diet, and yet we spend over $80-billion a year on these beverages.  Energy drinks are no better, and even commercial fruit juices are working against us.

The problem is compounded by the fact that refined sugar is added to almost everything these days, including canned vegetables, pasta sauces, yogurt, cereals, crackers and soups. Obviously sugar does not need to be included in these foods, but food companies know that if they add sugar, it will taste better, and people will continue to buy and consume it.  These manufacturers know refined sugar is addictive, and they are taking advantage of your health so they can expand their bottom line.

We Need Sugar

In all of this, you might be asking yourself if our bodies need sugar.  The answer is yes. We need it for energy, and all carbohydrates are a form of sugar, which is the body’s primary energy source, and which is eventually broken down into glucose. However, because all of these vitamins and minerals in refined sugar have been stripped, this type of sugar goes into your bloodstream much more rapidly than with sugar from nutritious food like fruit.  As a consequence, your body has to produce more insulin to compensate.  This unhealthy process causes you to fatigue quickly, run low on energy and your body thinks it needs more sugar to bring your blood sugar back to normal. You get stuck in a cycle of highs and lows, which is not healthy or natural and can have a negative impact on your health, including your immune system.

Diabetes, which is probably one of the main health consequences that people think of when it comes to sugar, is developed when the pancreas constantly has to compensate and produce more insulin to control blood glucose levels.  When this organ has to do this too many times, it can cause the pancreas to burn out until it can’t produce enough insulin. This is what can eventually lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

Evidence suggests that increasing the consumption of sugar puts you more at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, and it can also lead weight gain, as the insulin has more difficulty getting through fat around cells to help glucose enter cells, which is how our bodily cells get the nutrients from the food we eat. Then, the glucose stays in the bloodstream which leads to a multitude of negative effects. There is also evidence that excessive sugar consumption is linked to certain forms of cancer and many other diseases and degenerative conditions. It has also been linked to autoimmune diseases such as asthma and arthritis.

Cutting Back

Cutting down on refined sugar consumption is the obvious solution to all of this, but it can be pretty difficult, especially considering its addictive make-up. Doing so, though, can make you feel a whole lot better.  Start by drinking your coffee black and diluting your morning fruit juice. Another good tip is to drink a lot of water so you don’t get thirsty and crave a sweet drink. Eat small amounts of food regularly to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Allowing your blood sugar to drop exacerbates your sugar craving. Also, read food labels carefully for added sugar, and watch out for alternative ways food manufacturers advertise sugar.  Some labels may not say “sugar” on them, but the following food additives are the very same thing: high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, sucrose and dextrose.

Rather, use whole cane sugar.  It contains the molasses, which is normally removed during the refining process, but which has more flavor. Or try some honey as a sweetener, Honey is a simple sugar that contains a lot of healthy enzymes.  Stevia is another sugar substitute.  This natural herb is very sweet, doesn’t have any calories and only requires small doses to effectively sweeten a food or a beverage.  Finally, agave nectar is the raw nectar from the agave plant, which tastes a bit like honey but has a lower glycemic index, and you can use it the same way you would use honey.  You can also use it as a sugar substitute for baking.

Lemon Love

My kitchen is lemon overload at the moment and my digestion system couldn’t be happier. I have been using it for everything including my morning lemon, apple cider vinegar and cayenne and dressing for my salads and veggies, in my water bottle at yoga and also to make home made lemonade. 

Drinking warm water with lemon on an empty stomach is a great way to start the day. Here are my top 10 healthy uses for lemon. Make sure you drink it first thing, with luke warm water. 

1) Aids Digestion. Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. It’s atomic composition is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Lemons are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract. The digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating. The American Cancer Society actually recommends offering warm lemon water to cancer sufferers to help stimulate bowel movements.

2) Cleanses Your System / is a Diuretic. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials in part because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.

3) Boosts Your Immune System. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds.  They’re high in potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function. Potassium also helps control blood pressure. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms plus it enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function. Lemons also contain saponins, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Lemons also reduce the amount of phlegm produced by the body.

4) Balances pH Levels. Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Sure, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). Lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, weak acids easily metabolized from the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood. Disease states only occur when the body pH is acidic. Drinking lemon water regularly can help to remove overall acidity in the body, including uric acid in the joints, which is one of the primary causes of pain and inflammation.

5) Clears Skin. The vitamin C component as well as other antioxidants helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes and it helps to combat free radical damage. Vitamin C is vital for healthy glowing skin while its alkaline nature kills some types of bacteria known to cause acne. It can actually be applied directly to scars or age spots to help reduce their appearance. Since lemon water purges toxins from your blood, it would also be helping to keep your skin clear of blemishes from the inside out. The vitamin C contained in the lemon rejuvenates the skin from within your body.

6) Energizes You and Enhances Your Mood. The energy a human receives from food comes from the atoms and molecules in your food. A reaction occurs when the positive charged ions from food enter the digestive tract and interact with the negative charged enzymes. Lemon is one of the few foods that contain more negative charged ions, providing your body with more energy when it enters the digestive tract. The scent of lemon also has mood enhancing and energizing properties. The smell of lemon juice can brighten your mood and help clear your mind. Lemon can also help reduce anxiety and depression.

7) Promotes Healing. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), found in abundance in lemons, promotes wound healing, and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage. As noted previously, vitamin C also displays anti-inflammatory properties. Combined, vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of good health and recovery from stress and injury.

8) Freshens Breath. Besides fresher breath, lemons have  been known to help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. Be aware that citric acid can erode tooth enamel, so you should be mindful of this. No not brush your teeth just after drinking your lemon water. It is best to brush your teeth first, then drink your lemon water, or wait a significant amount of time after to brush your teeth. Additionally, you can rinse your mouth with purified water after you finish your lemon water.

9) Hydrates Your Lymph System. Warm water and lemon juice supports the immune system by hydrating and replacing fluids lost by your body. When your body is deprived of water, you can definitely feel the side effects, which include: feeling tired, sluggish, decreased immune function, constipation, lack of energy, low/high blood pressure, lack of sleep, lack of mental clarity and feeling stressed, just to name a few.

10) Aids in Weight Loss. Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. Studies have shown people who maintain a more alkaline diet, do in fact lose weight faster. I personally find myself making better choices throughout the day, if I start my day off right, by making a health conscious choice to drink warm lemon water first thing every morning.

We have a special birthday in the family this week so I decided to put our lemons to use and make a simple lemon, vanilla and yoghurt cake. 

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Vanilla, Lemon and Yoghurt Cake with Lemon Glaze

Ingredient:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain greek yoghurt (full fat)
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large organic free range eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
2 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Grease a circular cake tin .. Line the bottom with parchment paper. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the coconut oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, melted coconut oil and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

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Recipe Makeover-Chewy Chocolate Apricot Mini Cookies-

I was in kitchen making bliss balls for the week ahead and I wanted to create a bliss ball centered around Apricots and Coconut as opposed to my usual date/ cocoa base. I was definitely on the right track and enjoying my result as I got half way into rolling my beautiful, chewy, coconutty bliss balls when I got a craving for a cookie. Like most kiwis, you would usually head out the door to the corner dairy and grab yourself a Cookie Time since they are a classic New Zealand past time. I remember long nights at university and lectures fueled by Cookie Time’s Apricot Chocolate Chunk.  They totally bring me back to uni days and so do these cookies. It wasn’t until later in the week, while I was enjoying my mini cookie for morning tea that I suddenly got the Cookie Time flavor.

Unlike Cookie Time, these cookies are filled with healthy, wholesome, natural ingredients and not to mention sugar free unlike the original, which have 26.9 grams of sugar EACH COOKIE! That is absolutely insane and just gross! These will be perfect anytime of day and perfect for your kids lunch boxes. They are even healthy enough to eat for breakfast, guilt free!

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 Chewy Chocolate Apricot Mini Cookies

Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan Option

Ingredients:

 ¾ Cup of Apricots – Chopped (soaked for at least one hour)

¼ Dates (soaked for at least one hour)

1Tbsp of Chia Seeds

½ Cup Almond Flour/ Meal

½ Cup Shredded Coconut

2 Tbsp. of Coconut Flour

½ Cup GF Quick Oats

½ Tsp. of Baking Soda

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 egg- Or EnerG Egg Replacer

1 tsp. of Vanilla Essence/Coconut Essence

2-3 Tbsp. of Cacao Nibs (or more)

¼ Tsp. Sea Salt

Boil soaked Apricots and Dates for about 5-10 minutes with a bit of water. Add Chia Seeds and Vanilla and Coconut Essence. Mixture will get nice and thick and it you should be able to mash the fruit into a thick spread.

 Add to a bowl and mix in 1 egg or Egg Replacer and mix well.

 Add Oats, Coconut Flour, Almond Meal, Coconut, Cinnamon, Baking Soda and sea salt and mix well.

 Roll into little balls, as if you where making bliss balls and flatten. (or leave out eggs, coconut flour and baking powder and roll into bliss balls)

 Bake on a cookie sheet, lined with baking paper, for 10-12 Minutes on 190 degrees Celsius.

 Enjoy.

For Comparison, I wanted to show the nutritional value and ingredients in a Cookie Time cookie, which includes 26.9 GRAMS OF SUGAR in each cookie! That is just GROSS and so unhealthy! I will pass on those…and proceed to eat 3 of my healthy cookies.  

 

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Ingredients: Butter (cream, salt), Wheat flour, Glucose syrup, Chocolate 11% (sugar, cocoa mass, milk solids, cocoa butter, emulsifiers (soy lecithin, 476), malted barley syrup, flavour), Dried apricots 11% (with antioxidant (220)), Eggs, Coconut (with antioxidant (220)), Rolled oats, Brown sugar, Wheat bran, Wheat germ, Raising agents (500, 450), Salt, Wheat starch. Contains egg, milk and soy products, sulphites and gluten-containingcereal products. May be present: Peanuts and tree nuts.

Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Chia Coconut Torte

Say that five times fast.

Then enjoy this wonderfully dense, rich, decedent and beautiful torte.

This post is a little bit late however, it is defnitely not worth forgetting about it. I made this cake for a very lovely father in my life and had a piece for myself and my own father who I did not get to see, since he lives in LA. However, New Zealand sure brought all the fathers a beautiful spring day and the fathers that I saw, got to also enjoy this cake.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Chia Coconut Torte

(Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Dairy Free)

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries, or berries of your choice
  •  1/4 cup agave (or honey)
  •  1/4 cup coconut oil
  •  5 free range eggs
  •  1/2 cup coconut flour
  •  1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds
  •  1/2 cup cocoa powder
  •  1/2 tsp baking soda
  •  1 tsp pure vanilla essense
  •  1 handful of roasted hazelnuts sliced in half

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Icing

  •  150 grams of 72% pure organic dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp of hazelnut infused instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp almond/ rice/ soy milk

To prepare:

 1. Preheat the oven to 150°C and grease or line a cake tin with baking paper.

2. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt together the extra virgin coconut oil, and honey. Set aside to cool.

3. In another small saucepan on low heat, mix raspberries with a splash of water and allow berries to melt but not come to a boil. Add in chia seeds and your vanilla essence.

3. In a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, including the raspberries, coconut oil and agave. Blend until smooth.

4. Pour the batter in to the prepared cake tin, then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean once inserted.

 While your cake is baking away and filling the house with sweet, chocolate and coconut aromas get started on your icing…

 In a small saucepan on low heat, melt together the extra virgin coconut oil, diced up pure dark chocolate, you really don’t want to use chocolate with added sugar, preservatives, added ingredients just the pure stuff. Allow your mixture to melt slowly and add in your dairy fee milk, infused coffee and vanilla.

Once your cake is cooled ice your cake, I iced my cake while the icing was a bit warm and it worked out well. And top with shredded coconut, roasted hazelnuts.

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Coconut Butter Cacao NiBLISS BALL BONANZA.

Love of Bliss Balls

Bliss balls are easily one of the most convenient, healthy and versatile treat on the market. They are great to prepare at the start of the week, or anytime really, to keep on hand in times of need. I try to keep them on hand and ready for morning tea, afternoon tea, pre work fuel and dessert! Pretty much they are a lifesaver for me 

I also love how you can customize them to tailor with ingredients that you have available in the kitchen so you don’t need to gather a whole bunch of ingredients when you are wanting to make them in an instant. 

These are by far my favorite bliss balls that I have have. 

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Coconutty Bliss Balls. 

Sugar Free, Vegan, GF (Option)

1 1/2 Cup Dates
1 Cup oats (GF) (or quinoa flakes, buckwheat groats)
1/2 LSA
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Coconut Butter (not oil) Melted
2 TBSP Caco Nibs
1 TBSP Chia Seeds (optional)
2 Tsp Pure Coconut Essence
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Essence 
1/2 Tsp Himalayan Rock Salt

To Make:
Boil Dates with about 1-2 Cup Water and let boil, once boiling, reduce to simmer and simmer down dates till they form a thick and saucy like texture. Take of heat and add salt, coconut and vanilla essence.

Add Oats, LSA, Chia, cacao nibs.
Mix Well. 

Add your melted coconut butter and mix again. 

One all your mixture is well mixed. Roll into balls and then roll into more coconut. 

Set to cool in the freezer for about an hour. Keep them frozen till you are ready to enjoy. This is optional but they become softer, however, I like firmer bliss balls. 

Enjoy <3

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White Chocolate Gingernut Slice.

White Chocolate Gingernut Slice

This gorgeous slice will tempt your tastebuds, it is filled with spicy gingernut biscuits and complimented with dreamy white chocolate that creates a perfect balance between sweet and spicy.  This slice is delicious and indulgent. I created a new way to enjoy your Kiwi classic biscuit, who thought that Gingernut’s where just for dunking into tea?

Enjoy with your favoruite cup of tea and shared with great friends.

Nat Attacks White Chocolate Gingernut Slice

Ingredients:

  • 1 block of Whittakers White Chocolates
  • 1 packet of Gingernut Biscuits-Crushed
  • 1 packet of plain biscuits-crushed
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 150 grams of organic butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 2 free range organic eggs

Directions:

Put the butter and sugar into a heavy sauce pan, place over a low heat and allow to melt. Allow to cool slightly.  Add Vanilla Essence

Meanwhile greace a 21cm/ 7 in square cake tin with a little melted butter.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, allow to cool slightly and beat in the egg.

Gradually stir in biscuits ( and any other add-ins). The mixture should be quite firm by the time the biscuits have been added.

Pile into a prepared tin and press down firmly. Refrigerate for two hours.

(If you want to take the base out of the tin, to allow easier cutting later. Remove base from the tin now. To turn out the slice place the bottom of the tin in a bowl of very hot water for a few seconds then turn onto a place. )

Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a bowl set over, not in, a bowl of simmering water.

Pour the chocolate over the slice and leave to set in the fridge.

Check out more recipes over at: https://www.facebook.com/NatAttacksABalancedLifeImageImageImage

4 Ways to Get Your Stress Levels Under Control + A Feel Good Recipe

It is said that stress is related to 99% of ALL illness. Stress can be caused by a variety of external factors. There is not one way to help relieve stress and everybody responds different.

Over the past few months, for no particular reason, I have been feelling especially stressed out and to be honest, I actually don’t have anything major to be stressed out about. I eat healthy, I exercise regularly, I practice yoga, I have great friends, I have a job that I love and a partner who I love more then the world. It sounds like I have it going on but that is not always how I feel. When I got asked by a fellow blog reader if she could do a post on Stress Management, I could not think of a better time for this post. I will leave the rest to Alicia…

4 Ways to Get Your Stress Level Under Control Now

 Stress is a part of life for everyone, but differences lie in how people deal with it. Getting stress under control effectively can mean feeling relaxed and levelheaded as pressures rise. On the other hand, stress that’s not managed properly can have an adverse effect on your health and quality of life. Below, you’ll find some simple but powerful ways to bring your stress level down.

Target the Cause

 It can be extremely unsettling to wake up and realize there’s a strange feeling in the pit of your stomach for no apparent reason. Whether this sounds familiar or you know what’s causing the uneasiness, the first step is realizing why you’re stressed.

After that, you’ll be able to understand if what’s stressing you out is within your control. For example, if you’re worried because of a rainy weather forecast on the day of your outdoor event, that’s not something you can impact one way or the other. However, if you’re frazzled because of incompatibility with whomever you share an office space with at work, you can control that to some extent by requesting to be moved into another room.

Perhaps it’s stressed caused by having too much to do. Create a routine where you write down everything you have to do at home and work. Next, organize by importance and deadlines. Once you have it written down your brain can finally relax because it isn’t trying to hold on to everything at once.

Know the Signs and the Remedies

 Try to gain more awareness of what happens just before and during the times you feel especially stressed. Also, keep a close eye on what you normally do to feel more at ease, and make sure those behaviors aren’t destructive. Some people who visit addiction rehab centers realize that the inability to cope with stress in therapeutic ways was ultimately a factor in cultivating dependency.

Once you can recognize what happens when you feel stressed and how you usually respond, it’ll be easier to decide whether a change is in order. Perhaps you find running lowers your tendency to be stressed or yoga after work helps you relax. Focus on minimizing stress through techniques you can do anywhere, such as eyes-open meditations or deep breathing exercises.

Ask for Support

 One good thing about stress is that since everyone has to deal with it, there are plenty of strategies to consider. Don’t feel that you have to manage a stress problem without help. Recruit people in your circle of friends and family, or think about making an appointment with a stress expert. Taking steps like these can help you branch out and try solutions you may not have otherwise explored.

 Don’t Rush It

 Stress causes numerous responses in the body, and some of them aren’t ones you can influence directly. Set small stress management goals and remind yourself that just trying your best to make a positive change is a step in the right direction.

If you get temporarily off track, take a deep breath and get refocused. Striving for perfection can quickly bring frustration. Instead, remind yourself of what’s important rather than becoming overly discouraged about small shortcomings.

These suggestions can help you make the transition from being anxious and uneasy to cool and collected. Try them today and see if you notice a difference.

Alicia Lawrence is a Harrisburg-based writer and entrepreneur specializing in communication and health. She works as a content coordinator for a tech company and is the founder of MarCom Land. For more about Alicia, visit her website or follow her on Twitter @Alicia_Lw.

Thank you so much Alicia for your wise words!

What also helps me de-stress is being in the kitchen and creating new recipes (especially with a glass of red wine). This is a wonderful way for me to take my mind of things and relax. Here is a recipe to get you in the kitchen. For more recipes like this visit, my facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/NatAttacksABalancedLife

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Coconut Magic Bars

These are free of any refined sugar, Paleo, Gluten Free and filled with goodness.

Ingredients:

2 Cups Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Melted Coconut Oil
1/4 Pure Maple Syrup (or Honey-not vegan)
1 TSP of Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Rock Salt
70% Vegan Dark Chocolate
** I added a 1 TSP of Cinnamon, since I adore the additional spice.

Combine all of these ingredients in a blender till smooth, this will take about 5 minutes.

Once smooth, lay out base in a baking tin or tupperware container, freeze for about 15 minutes.

While freezing, melt about 1/2-3/4 cup of 70% Vegan Dark Chocolate with about 1 or 2 TBSP or coconut oil as your glaze. Spread mixture over coconut base and allow to freeze for a further 15 minutes or so.

Keep frozen or in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Guest Post: Eat Well, Fight Well.

 

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Cancer. No matter whether this is a new word to you or one that has become all too much of a companion in your life, you are certainly aware that it is well fought with good nutrition. Although a healthy, balanced diet is not proven to cure cancer; it nevertheless provides solid ground from which to go through whatever cancer treatment looks like for your particular diagnosis. It gives you fuel with which to fight a good fight for recovery.

What is a Nutritious Diet?

Generally, a nutritious diet is recognized as one that is comprised of adequate protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and plenty of water. Fats, sweets, and salty snacks should be avoided. Some specifically recommended cancer-fighting foods include berries, grapes, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and kale), peppers, sweet potatoes, olive oil and green tea.

 

Better Energy Levels

A healthy, balanced diet gives your body good sources of nutrition, which give you improved energy. Radiation, chemotherapy, and many other medical procedures which your body is being subjected to can leave you feeling depleted. Eating a poor diet of processed food filled with empty calories exacerbates fatigue. Good food helps your body perform its basic functions at an optimal level so that it serves you the best it can even under cancer’s stress.

 

Improved Quality of Life

A nutritious diet is a good idea no matter what cancer you are fighting–breast, lung, liver, mesothelioma, Hodgkin’s, or a myriad of others. Healthy eating will result in better digestion, more restful sleep, and clearer thinking. It is a gift you give to yourself, one that is proven to give you the best quality of life possible.

 

Foundation for the Future

The brave hope of cancer treatment envisions your future life as cancer free. While you move with courage toward that goal, lay a foundation for it in a body established on good nutrition. When you emerge from the cancer battle, your body will be able to recover from the stresses of treatment and stay strong.

 

Nutritious eating while going through cancer treatment gives you the energy to fight your battle, improves your life during it, and lays a foundation for health beyond it. Eat well, fight well!

 

Written By: 

Your one and only Survivor, David Hass.

If you have any futher questions regarding Nutrition for Cancer please contace me at NatalieWolfsdorf@gmail.com and I will forward you on to David.