All thats well and good August - to her coreThis past weekend was quite relaxing – a few Pilates classes, brunch with a girlfriend, long walks in the sunshine with this little one and a “football party” with the boy. Our two teams played one another on the weekend – his team guaranteed a spot in the finals whilst mine missed out this year due to inconsistent form, making the event less exciting for me knowing they wouldn’t be progressing past this round. If I’m being honest, I guess you could say that I am a bit of a fairweather fan – I’m their greatest supporter when the going is good, but when they drop their standards, my attention span tends to fall at a similar rate.

Growing up in a small rural town in Tasmania where watching the footy on the weekend was the norm, I started out as a passionate fan in my youth, but my interest and following of my beloved club and their game started to wane as I approached my teens and found other distractions like clothes, music and boys. My interest however was renewed a few years back however when I entered a football tipping competition at work and surprised myself (and everyone else!) by winning. Figuring that I had some inherent skills when it came to footy tipping, I started paying more attention in the following years to ensure that I kept up my good form – unfortunately this didn’t pay off, as I haven’t placed in the top spot since. This year however, I’ve done much better – consistent with my lack of attention this year – and I’m thinking I may very well have figured out the winning combination to footy tipping – don’t pay too may attention, and always tip the favorite!

In other news, it has been BUSY around here lately – no so much with regards to the blog – but more so with my 9 – 5 job. The IT project we have been working on for the past 8 (!!) years is going live in two short weeks, and it’s all systems go until then (well, we actually stopped all the old systems this weekend just been – but you know what I mean!)

What I’ve been doing

  • Eat more veggies competition – The Eat More Veggies competition came to a close earlier this month, the winning dish a delicious baked chocolate porridge with a hidden serving of zucchini. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen my recreation of the dish the other day – I was so impressed with the delicious flavour and texture of the dish I asked the winner, Kate, to share the recipe here with you all which she happily agreed to do – so keep an eye out for that one!
  • Changing the Way We Eat conference – I attended the Changing the Way We Eat conference in Hobart the other weekend, which was an all day event focusing on healthy eating and living, with a strong focus on ancestral/primal eating. It was great to see a sold-out event like this take place in Hobart, and to see so many people so passionate about healthy living and eating. The key messages I took away from the conference were 1) Eat real foods – no processed junk; 2) Cut down your sugar intake – including healthier sugars – and don’t be afraid of fat; 3) Eat mindfully – something I need to remind myself to do continuously as I am a notorious snacker! and 4) Eat locally and think about where your food comes from.
  • Attempting to prefect the white balance in my food snapsLast month, I mentioned I wanted to work at getting the white balance of food photos right. I have been working on this, though I must say it’s been very time-consuming and frustrating. I’m also not sure I’m actually getting any better at it either, despite downloading Photoshop and buying some grey cards. Still, I am determined to get better, so I’ll keep trucking along and hopefully see some improvement too (though once again – I’m welcome to any suggestions! :)
  • 100th post!  – I didn’t actually realise it until after the fact, but I posted my 100th post on here the other day – my Zesty Lemon Cream Cups Which is all the more reason to celebrate and go and make another batch I say! ;)

What I’ve been loving

  • New BlogWholy Goodness - I’ve been following Jessica on Instagram for a little while now, but only recently started to drop by her lovely blog and started to try out some of her delicious looking recipes, such as her carrot top pesto (which is a fantastic, deliciously simple way to use your carrot greens instead of chucking them in the bin!) Jessica’s cooking approach focuses on vegan, wholefood recipes and centers around an intention to not convert the world to veganism but to dispel the myth that vegan cooking is daunting and ludicrous. And judging by the amazing dishes she keeps churning out, I’d say she was doing a pretty damn good job!
  • Mixing up my workout routine – After coming back from my holiday, I realised that I was finding it hard to get back in to my old workout routine. So instead, I have been mixing it up a little. My main forms of exercise at the moment is a half hour HIIT class at my local gym which I try to get to at least twice a week, and Pilates. I have always done Pilates in some form, but I have recently started attending a new Pilates studio which a few friends also attend – exercise that includes socialising is always a lot more fun!
  • The Wee Lemon Tree - My favorite new stall at my local farmers market is owned and run by the delightful Millie who sells handmade nut mylks, cold pressed juices and delicious chia puddings every Sunday morning. Definitely check drop by and grab one of her tasty little creations if you’re ever at the Farmgate market in Hobart.

Next months goals and plans

  • Continue working on white balance - see point above. Practice makes perfect, right?
  • Improving the blog - I’m currently working on improving the content for the blog, as well as making it more user-friendly for all you guys :) This is a work in progress, but you’ll hopefully start to see some improvements over the next few months.

So that’s it for me for the moment – but stay tuned this week for a quick and delicious cookie recipe! And as always, feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below – I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to as well! – D x

Note: the above picture is a snap I took of the Hobart waterfront the other weekend – not entirely relevant to this post I realise, but better than a football-related pic I think! 

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Image courtesy of thephotographymuse

Image courtesy of thephotographymuse

Sometimes we all need a little pick me up – life just gets a bit much and we start to feel a little overwhelmed or down in the dumps.

When a quick trip to spend a few days relaxing on a deserted beach in the sunshine is out of the question, try one of these suggestions instead to help lift your mood… Its not quite that mini-holiday you might need, but smiling will instantly boost your mood and help you deal in the meantime.

1. Go for a walk outside. A change of scenery and some fresh air, plus some light exercise, will help to lift your spirits

2. Watch this and marvel at the beauty of nature

3. Take three deep breaths – this will instantly calm and center you

4. Cuddle a pet. I always feel better after having a cuddle with my pup, even when she’s being a terror. If you don’t have your own pet, go and visit one in a pet store or at the par. Or – on the days when my dog is being particularly mischievous, your welcome to borrow her for a little bit ;)

5. Pull out the yoga mat or an old towel and do some gentle stretching

7. Book yourself in to give blood. This costs nothing and will help someone in need, plus you’ll get a feel-good from it too. You also get to catch up on celebrity gossip and get free food at the end

8. Do this one minute meditation to silence your mind and calm your energy

9. Clear out your wardrobe and donate any clothes you don’t regularly wear to a local charity

10. Stream an episode of your favorite trashy TV show. Something ridiculously outrageous that will make you realise that even though things may not be great for you currently, they could be worse – you could be a reality tv star! ;)

11. Smile at a stranger. Chances are they’ll smile back – smiling is, after all, contagious

12. Watch this cute animal clip. Or this one. Or this one. Or any really. If you can watch any of those videos without a smile crossing your lips, I will give you $100* (*in Monopoly money… ;)

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zesty lemon cream cups (very low sugar, gluten free, dairy free) | to her core

Lemon-y desserts are something I’ve only recently developed an appreciation for. For the best part of my life, anything dessert-like had to involve chocolate.

No arguments.

No compromises. 

I remember getting ice cream for a treat as a child, and then as an adult, and drooling over the delicious chocolate flavours, contemplating if it would be too indulgent to get three or four flavours in my cone, as there was no way I could settle on two. And being incredible skeptical of the motives of anyone who ever opted for the lemon sorbet flavour… What a waste of an icecream! 

I’m not sure if it’s my taste buds developing with age, but I’m slowly starting to appreciate other flavours. Don’t get he wrong – chocolate will always be my one true love. But I now realise that there is room for other flavours, and lemon is definitely making a strong case for itself.

zesty lemon cream cups (very low sugar, gluten free, dairy free) | to her core
These little lovelies were originally intended to be mini lemon cheesecakes. Until I made my Chocolate Zucchini Pudding for breakfast a few days earlier and remembered how well zucchini lends itself to pudding/mousse creations, without effecting the flavour.

And because I’m somewhat obsessed with including vegetables in nearly everything I eat, I arrived at the conclusion that zucchini would be a great addition to my little lemony tarts. I was right – it blends in beautifully and adds to the creamy texture.

Also – I’ve tried not to use too many sweeteners here – I don’t think they need it, and it’s always a good idea to cut sugar wherever it’s not neccessary. In the whole recipe there are only 3 dates and 2 Tbsp honey which works out to be around 7g sugar per cup. This is about the same as per two small squares of Cadbury chocolate. But you get a whole delicious, lemony cream cup instead, winning! 

zesty lemon cream cups (very low sugar, gluten free, dairy free) | to her core

Zesty lemon cream cups

Ingredients

  • Base
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 1.5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon rind
  • Pinch salt
  • Filling
  • 2/3 C chilled coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped, peeled zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Grated lemon zest, to serve

Instructions

  1. To make the base, place all ingredients for the base in a food processor, and process until combined and sticking together when squeezed between two fingers.
  2. Place one tablespoon at a time of the mixture into a muffin tin and press firmly around the edge.
  3. Place in the freezer to set whilst you make the filling
  4. To make the filling, place the zucchini, lemon, honey and coconut oil in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  5. Measure out 2/3 cup of the thickened coconut cream (do not use any of the liquid, only the solids), and add to a bowl with the zucchini mixture, and use an electric beater to whip until firm, like whipped whipped cream (you can do this whole process in the food processor, though note it will be more of a softer, pudding-like texture as opposed to a thicker cream).
  6. Scoop the cream into the cups and top with the grated lemon zest.
  7. Place in the freezer for half an hour before serving.
  8. Store in the fridge.
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