A 5'3 Perspective


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What I Ate Wednesday [And A Recipe]

Remember when I promised to share the recipe for those coconut lemon balls I raved about? Well I’ve tweaked them just a tiny bit over the week and decided that they are ready to be revealed, but first, let’s take a sneak peek into my photo food diary. WIAW

Breakfast – Green [Brown] Smoothie. During the summer months I always crave something cold and refreshing for breakfast. To make this beast of a smoothie I used about a cup of frozen berries, a huge handful of spinach, a scoop of protein powder and water.
Snack – Goat Yogurt with blueberries and pecan pieces.
Lunch – Zucchini noodles with tomato sauce.
Snack – A big bag of veggies. This is my go to afternoon snack, usually consisting of carrots, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
Dinner – Steak, a couple pieces of chicken, roasted asparagus and zucchini, and homemade sweet potato fries.
Dessert – Coconut Lemon Goji Balls!! As promised – head over to I’m Fit Possible, where Tara was lovely enough to host me as a guest, to see my recipe.

Have a lovely day friends!

xo Lauren


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What I Ate Wednesday [And A New Breakfast Recipe]

Lately it feels as though I have been going grocery shopping on a daily basis but rarely have any meals to make. Over the past week I have been using the clean out the fridge mentality. For today’s What I Ate Wednesday, I unintentionally went with a meatless theme as well – which is very atypical for me. I also came up with a delicious and simple new breakfast recipe – banana, egg white and oat pancakes – the name says it all but I’ll share the specifics at the end of this post! WIAW

Breakfast – Healthy Pancakes [scroll down for the recipe] topped with fresh blueberries.
Snack – A handful of almonds.
Lunch – Homemade bento box of cucumber, hard boiled eggs, lactose free cheese, yellow pepper and hummus.
Pre-workout Snack – Goat yogurt with blueberries and pecan pieces.
Dinner – Grain free, vegetarian enchiladas

Recipe: Veggie Filled, Meatless, Grain-Free Enchiladas

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Dessert – Lemon Coconut Balls – I’ll share the recipe for these soon, I promise!

On weekdays, my go to breakfast consists of either egg whites and spinach, or goat yogurt and berries – but lately I have been feeling so uninspired by the choices. Last week I came up with a new and extremely simple pancake recipe that I have been cooking non stop – it even gets the boyfriend seal of approval!

Banana, Egg White, Oat Pancakes

Ingedients
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup gluten free oats
1/3 cup egg whites
cinnamon [use as much or as little as you like]
dash of vanilla

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Cook on a skillet/pan as you would a typical pancake. For me it takes approximately 2 minutes per side, sometimes less.

What was the best thing you made or ate this past week? Did you try any new recipes?

xo Lauren


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What I Ate Wednesday

If you follow any full fledged healthy living blogs, you’ve likely seen this type of post a million times. If not, here is a quick run down – What I Ate Wednesday, also known as WIAW, was started as a once a week food diary which allowed people [healthy living bloggers] to show off their beautiful and nutritious meals through pictures. Since then, WIAW has transformed into a weekly social event for bloggers worldwide.

Although I have been hesitant to join the movement since I know people will compare their diets to mine, but that isn’t the point. I love reading What I Ate Wednesday posts from others because it gives me new recipes and meals to try – that is the reason I am sharing my eats with you. This is a pretty typical day for me, except for dinner… that was a bit of a splurge, but totally worth it!

Thanks to Jenn of Peas and Crayons for hosting this Wednesday party!WIAW

Breakfast – Tea and Oats In A Jar, made using gluten free oats, unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, strawberries, pecan pieces and stevia].
Snack – Big container of veg!
Lunch – Baked Salmon, Sweet Potato and Broccoli with a bit of lemon juice.
Snack – White Chocolate Raspberry Quest Bar – one word – UNREAL.
Dinner – Homemade Gluten Free Pizza Chicken Pizza with Spinach, Roasted Red Peppers, Broccoli, and Lactose Free Cheese.
Dessert – A Maple Coconut Ball. When these bad boys are in my fridge, I just can’t resist.

Happy hump day friends!

xo Lauren


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Raw Chocolate Swirl Cheese[LESS]cake – Grain and Dairy Free

I love cheesecake, like more than you can imagine… but when I became lactose intolerant it was one of the first things I had to give up. It has taken me a few years to find a replacement that I enjoy just as much, probably because my criteria was quite strict – no dairy, no grains and all natural – lo and behold – I found the perfect recipe, and today I am going to share it with you!

Read this recipe with an open mind. When I serve it to guests I never tell them the ingredients until after they have asked for seconds. I promise it is absolutely divine and almost entirely guilt free. Although this recipe has three parts, it is one of the easiest desserts in my repertoire. Make these – this is not a suggestion, you’ll thank me later!

Raw Chocolate Swirl Cheese[LESS]cake

Recipe from: The Detoxinista [my favourite healthy cooking blog]

Raw Chocolate Swirl Cheese[LESS]cakeStep One

Chocolate Crust:

 1 cup raw pecans

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Using a food processor or high power blender, add the pecans and pulse until you achieve a crumb texture – do not over process as you’ll end up with pecan butter, which is not the objective here. Once the pecans are “crumbed” add the rest of the ingredients and blend until well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated. Remove the mixture from the food processor and transfer the it to a square 6″ Tupperware, lined with plastic-wrap, and press down evenly. Place the Tupperware in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to allow it to set. During this time you can start the next step – the filling.

Step Two

Cheesecake filling:

 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least an hour

1/2 cup zucchini, peeled and chopped

2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Combine all above ingredients in a food processor or high power blender and mix until completely combined and smooth. Pour the filling over the chocolate crust and smooth the top using a spatula.

Step Three

Chocolate Swirl:

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 Tablespoon coconut oil, in liquid form

Directions:

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth and fully combined. Spoon three lines [parallel to each other] across the cheesecake filling. You will be swirling them soon so it doesn’t have to be perfect. It should look something like this:

Step ThreeUsing a knife and a light touch, drag a knife through the top of the cheesecake back and forth perpendicularly to the lines you made– creating a marbled look like this:

Chocolate SwirlPlace in the freezer for at least 4 hours. When you are ready to serve, you should be able to remove the cheesecake from the Tupperware by lifting the plastic-wrap and then slice into 12 squares. Store and extra in the freezer as they will melt quite quickly. Make sure you serve them chilled.

Now make your way to the kitchen and give it a shot – this is one recipe I just cannot live without!

xo Lauren


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Grain and Dairy Free Blondie Squares

There is nothing I like more than a simple, healthy and delicious recipe – and that is exactly what I am sharing with you today. Careful though, these blondies are extremely addictive.

Grain and Dairy Free Blondie Squares

Recipe slightly adapted from: The Detoxinista

healthy blondie barsIngredients

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 whole egg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (omit this if the peanut butter is already salted)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup carob chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8″ square pan with coconut oil.

In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, honey, egg, salt and baking soda until well combined.

Fold in carob chips.

Pour the batter into the greased pan, and use a spatula to smooth the top.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Remove from the oven, cool, cut into 16 squares and ENJOY!

Happy Baking!

xo Lauren


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Grain, Dairy, Sugar Free Chocolate Mini Muffins

I am sure you are all well aware by now that my favourite treats to bake are ones that I can eat [which means no gluten or dairy]. It is definitely takes some practice to make recipe substitutions but once you realize that it is okay to go wild in the kitchen – you end up with some amazing baked goods that are healthy and delicious!

Grain, Dairy and Sugar Free Chocolate Mini Muffins

Inspired by: The Detoxinista

 sugar, dairy free mini muffins

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup sugar free maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a mini muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, sea salt and baking soda.

Add the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and whisk again until a smooth batter is achieved.

Using a spoon, evenly fill the muffin tin. This batch makes about 18 mini treats. Do not overfill as the batter rises.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, testing with a toothpick after 12 minutes.

Allow to cool and enjoy.

These muffins are quite delicious as is, however, if you want a real treat – add a chocolate glaze.

Easy Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients

3 large squares of dark chocolate (70 – 80% darkness)

1 – 2 tsp of coconut oil

Directions

Heat the chocolate and coconut oil and stir until well combined and completely melted. I use the microwave for this.

Dip the tops of the muffins in the glaze and place in the fridge to harden.

Hope you enjoy these delicious chocolate treats as much as I did!

xo Lauren


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Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Pumpkin Loaf

I seem to have a lot of success when using pureed pumpkin in my baking. Not only do the recipes taste delicious and savory, but they are always soft and have the perfect texture. Today’s health-ified pumpkin loaf proves me right once again. As usual this is an extremely easy recipe to follow with very few ingredients.

Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Pumpkin Loaf

Inspired by: Slim Palate

Healthy Pumpkin LoafIngredients

1¼ cup almond flour
1¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
heaping ½ teaspoon of cloves and cinnamon
heaping ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin
2 droppers full of liquid Stevia (if you want this to be a sweet treat use 3)
⅓ cup melted coconut oil + a bit extra for greasing the loaf pan
3 eggs
⅓ cup water

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well [I used a fork to mix].

3. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil to ensure that you’ll be able to remove the pumpkin bread once it has finished baking.

4. Pour mixture into loaf pan and spread around so it is spread out evenly in the loaf pan and place in the oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

5. Allow to cool – or not – serve and enjoy!

Healthy Pumpkin Loaf

I like to eat mine warm topped with coconut butter, it is so delicious [and healthy enough to have for breakfast]!

Give it a try – I promise it is worth it!

xo Lauren


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Healthy Cinnamon Spice Muffins [and an announcement]

The holidays may be over but that is no reason to stop treating yourself to a batch of delicious muffins – especially ones that are guilt free. These grain and dairy free muffins are extremely nutritious, but the best part is that they don’t even taste like health food. With only one tablespoon of honey you can indulge without worry!

Cinnamon Spice Muffins

Inspired by The Detoxinista

Cinnamon Spice Muffins topped with Greek Yogurt Icing and Walnut Crumbs

Cinnamon Spice Muffins topped with Greek Yogurt Icing and Walnut Crumbs

Ingredients

1 cup natural smooth almond butter
2/3 cup puree carrots (I used baby food)
1/2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1.5 droppers full of liquid stevia
1 tbsp honey

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in the food processor [or use a hand mixer]. The batter will be quite runny – this is normal. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, divide the batter evenly into 10 lined muffin cups. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the center of the muffin is firm and the top is slightly golden.

If you want to really impress your guest, you can make icing by combining free greek yogurt mixed with liquid stevia. Top with walnut crumbs for decoration.

These muffins are quite dense but they are delicious and easy to make!

                                                                    

And now for the announcement! Today I registered for the Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon. This is an idea I have been toying with for years now [I talk about it here]. My father is an avid runner and has always inspired me. So 2013 is the year – if you see me training, give me a smile and expect a wave – yes I am one of those dorks that gives the runners salut.

You won’t grow unless you push yourself – get out of your comfort zone, you won’t regret it.

xo Lauren


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Walnut & Sweet Potato Biscuits

2013 – boy does time fly! Hopefully you had a great time ringing in the new year and spending time with your loved ones – I know I did.

What better way to start the year than a new recipe. Yesterday I spent a lot of time in the kitchen fooling around with ingredients. I had a few recipes bookmarked that I was dying to try but didn’t have the necessary ingredients. What’s a girl to do when EVERYTHING is closed?! Substitute. But really – do I ever follow a recipe as written? Luckily this time my baking turned out great, so now I can share it with you!

If your New Year’s resolution is to eat better and get into shape, I would recommend whipping up a batch of these Walnut and Sweet Potato Biscuits – they are lactose, gluten and sugar free [crazy right?!] and pass the boyfriend taste test. Oh and they are so simple to make as long as you have a food processor or blender.

Walnut & Sweet Potato Biscuits

Inspired by: A Dash of Megs’ Sweet Potato Biscuits

Gluten Dair Sugar Free Walnut and Sweet Potato Biscuits

Ingredients

1 large baked sweet potato

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 cup egg whites

1 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup fat free greek yogurt (naturally lactose free)

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp almond coconut milk

1 tsp cinnamon

2 droppers full of liquid stevia

pinch of salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Grind 1 cup of walnut pieces in the food processor until it becomes a crumble like texture. This takes between 45 seconds to a minute.

3. Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor and mix until a smooth batter forms.

4. Drop batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I was able to make 9 biscuits from this mixture.

5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the tops have browned just slightly.

6. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Healthy Treats

These biscuits are really tasty and moist have good crumb. They melt in your mouth!

If you’re interested in the nutritional information for these biscuits [1 serving = 1/9th of the batter] here it is:

Calories: 121 / Carbohydrates: 9g / Fat: 8g / Protein: 7g / Sodium: 42mg / Sugar: 3g

Now that is a good looking nutritional profile – eat up!!!

What have you been baking lately? Any healthy treats?


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Get In My Belly Banana Bread

In our house someone always ends up buying more bananas than they can eat, in hopes that they will magically turn into banana bread. That someone usually gets his wish – what a lucky guy!

I can’t remember where I came across this recipe, but I have made a few tweaks over the years and it seems to work out perfectly every time.

Part of the reason I am sharing this recipe with you guys is because I need to rewrite my post-it note of ingredients or else I may soon lose it.

Seriously… this is a health hazard. And look at how I spelled flour – I don’t know if I can ever live that one down.

I always thought making banana bread was a really tough feat – until I came across this recipe. I have been using it for as long as I can remember and I hate to brag [kinda] but I’ve been told it is the best out there! I should probably mention that this isn’t the healthiest recipe on the market [it isn’t the worst either though], but it is totally worth it!

GET IN MY BELLY BANANA BREAD

Makes 1 loaf

What you will need:

Simple and few ingredients – as usual!

3-4 very ripe bananas [the ones in the picture are for show, I usually freeze my brown bananas and defrost them when I am ready to bake]

1/3 cup melted butter or margarine [either work so it is your preference]

1 cup sugar

1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour [I have made this recipe using whole wheat flour with success]

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

pinch of salt

What to do:

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: In a large bowl, thoroughly mash the bananas – I use a potato masher for this task.

Step 3: Add the melted butter and sugar and continue to mash everything together.

Bananas, margarine and sugar mash.

Step 4: Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well using a fork or spatula, whichever you prefer.

Ready to be poured into the pan.

Step 5: Grease a loaf pan using butter or margarine. This is essential to easy removal from the pan.

Step 6: Pour the batter into the loaf pan – the batter will be quite thick and sticky.

Before the oven.

Step 7: Bake for 60 minutes.

Step 8: Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 15 – 20 minutes.

And after. I love the way it cracks at the top and caramelizes – so pretty and tasty!

Step 9: Serve and enjoy!

This banana bread doesn’t last more than a few days in my house. I bake for banana bread purists so I don’t add any extras, however, adding nuts or chocolate chips would be delicious – your call though!