This is a special occasion chia pudding that will fit in with your health goals and is easy to make. Chia is a grain that is healthy and nutritious. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, iron and calcium. The recipe includes cacao powder, the unsweetened form of chocolate which is very nutritious. Without all the nasties like sugar and fat that are added to it to make milk chocolate, it has many health benefits. It can improve your memory, reduce heart disease, increase immunity and is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. You can find chia seeds and cacao powder in the health food section at the supermarket. I use almond milk for this recipe but you can substitute it for cows milk, soy milk or whichever milk you prefer.
vegetarian, veganskill level: easy
Prep. time 15 mins. Resting time 4 hours Calories: 191kcal
INGREDIENTS [PER PERSON]
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the chia seeds and milk together in a bowl
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well
Let the chia seed mixture sit for 15 minutes until it thickens. Stir again.
Pour into decorative glasses, e.g. parfait glasses
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving
Top with your favourite berries, cherries or fruit.
Saturated fat 3g
Vitamin A 4%
IDEAS FOR TOPPINGS:
Purees or sauces made from fruit and/or berries
Cacao nibs or a sprinkling of cacao powder
Muesli or granola
Nuts and seeds
Creme Fraiche or whipped cream
chocolate nibs, sauce or flakes
Images: Left – Christina Henry; Right Bottom – David Disponett, Pexels; Right Top – Pixabay, Pexels
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When my husband and I met we were both in our 40’s and each had a house full of furniture. We had enough “stuff”. Our presents to each other are usually “experiences” rather than more “stuff”. For example, a sunset boat cruise with dinner, a weekend away, or a fishing charter trip. One of my favourite gifts was a day at a spa for pampering. We’ve also bought each other concert and theater tickets, a snorkeling trip and a whale watching boat cruise. At the top of my wish list this year is a gift voucher for massages which I have regularly for my back pain. The gift of quality time together is priceless to me, as our time together is limited by our work hours – my husband regularly works away from home, and I do shift work. Having said that, it is still nice to receive a gift sometimes and why not give someone a gift that can inspire a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ideas for gifts for your loved ones.
FITNESS AND WELLBEING:
gift certificate for massages
exercise equipment e.g. hand weights
Hamper with beauty products, (ensure the moisturiser is sun friendly).
Workout gear and Sportswear: You feel better working out in comfortable clothes so a voucher to a sportswear shop like Lorna Jane, Nike or Rebel Sport allows them to buy workout gear that fits properly.
10 visit pass for a gym
pool toys e.g. beach ball,
beach games e.g. Volleyball,
surfboard, body board or stand-up paddle board
Sun hat, beach bag
mittens, gloves, scarf,
other outer wear to encourage outdoor activities
beauty products including Chapstick, moisturiser, body butter
indoor equipment -e.g. yoga mat
FOR ADVENTURE LOVERS AND ADRENALINE JUNKIES:
Voucher for an indoor climbing venue
theme park tickets
boxing gloves and boxing bag
To Inspire a HEALTHY DIET, some ideas are:
food dehydrator to make your own sun dried tomatoes etc.
mortar and pestal
voucher to a health food store or restaurant
kit to grow your own bean sprouts or herbs
reusable produce bags
steamer cooking pot
Hamper filled with healthy food
Recipe book with delicious, healthy recipes
I’d love to hear if you use any of these gift ideas! Please let me know by commenting below.
One of the hardest times to keep on track with our health goals is during the “silly season” – Christmas and New Year, up to Australia Day at the end of January and even up to Easter. In the US and Canada, Thanksgiving Day in November is the start of the silly season. Summer in the Southern Hemisphere is a time of beach, school holidays, barbecues and celebration, while winter in the Northern Hemisphere is a time for hearty meals, staying indoors in front of the fire and eggnog! It has to be the most challenging time of the year for people trying to keep to their health goals.
If you are having a celebratory meal or gathering of any kind, inevitably the menu includes food that is high in calories and alcohol, and wouldn’t be normally in your day to day diet. Some suggestions to deal with these situations are:
Take your own platter with healthy food to share. This is my number one way of dealing with these situations! Try using my recipes for a savoury and sweet grazing platter – or combine both for a really interesting platter
Eat a small portion of the food on offer
Drink water in between each alcoholic drink
Take your own beverages
If you don’t want to drink alcohol but feel pressured to, order a drink that looks like an alcoholic drink e.g. mocktail, lemon lime and bitters or soda water. I’m a fan of Kombucha which is really refreshing and doesn’t include many calories.
Drink less high calorie alcoholic drinks like a wine spritzer or vodka and soda water. There are low carbohydrate beers and diet mixers as well
Order a salad with the dressing on the side. Salads are often covered in dressing in restaurants and that is where all the calories are
Many restaurants list how many calories or kilojoules are in their food. Some of them even publish it online so you can research the venue before you go.
Don’t go to an event with an empty stomach
Don’t order a 3 course meal. Just a main meal is usually ample. My husband and I share an appetiser or dessert if we really feel like another course
Don’t stand near the buffet! Take a small plateful and walk away
Space out your meal. Give your body time to feel full. Only eat til you start to feel the signals that you’ve had enough
Having said that, if I know that I’m about to blow my calorie allowance for the day, I plan for it advance and eat lightly for the rest of the day. A small breakfast and a salad for lunch counterbalances a blow-out for tea.
Learn to be assertive and say “no thank you” when offered food. This was always a challenge to me but I’m getting better at asserting myself
Accept that some situations are going to be out of your control. If you’re eating to plan during the rest of the week a day of overeating is not going to affect you long term.
Enjoy that blow-out meal! You deserve it.
Don’t neglect your exercise regime during holiday periods. You will feel so much better if you exercise on days that you’re consuming a large number of calories. Even a walk in the morning before an event will help
Try to make celebrations around activities rather than just feasting and getting drunk. Do something active like a picnic at the beach or a bush-walk. Even active party games can take the focus off eating and drinking. Have a game of cricket after Christmas lunch!
If my readers have some other solutions, please share them in the comments. I would love to know how you deal with social events and keeping track of your health goals
Everybody loves a cheese board! They can turn a buffet into something special, and look amazing. This is how to make a savoury grazing platter that is healthy and appealing to most people.
Most grazing platters are heavy on processed meat, cheese and crackers. While tasty, they are high in calories and saturated fat. Instead, try using these healthier versions:
low fat ham or roast beef, thinly sliced
chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces
carrot, capsicum, celery sticks
one or two cheeses – I usually use Brie for the soft cheese and a hard tasty cheese. The one shown in the photo is a vintage cheddar cheese I picked up from the Good Food and Wine show. Because it’s a tasty cheese, a small amount packs the flavour in which means you’ll eat less of it
low carb crackers like these Tribe Organics rice crackers and baked pea crisps from Harvest Snaps
Dips and spreads such as hummous and salsa which are healthier than a lot of other dips such as french onion.
olives, sundried tomatoes or pickles
You can increase the size to cater for the number of guests you’ll have. You can also put some sweet flavours in like dried apricots, grapes and honey. Nuts such as cashews and almonds go well too. Alternatively, you can make a separate platter for dessert, like my dessert grazing platter.
Experiment with different combinations of flavours, adding in food that you enjoy.
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