SERVES 12 bars


PREP TIME 15 minutes

COOK TIME 15 minutes


Ingredients

3 tablespoons macadamia oil

1/2 cup almond butter

1/3 cup honey

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup macadamias, halved

3/4 cup cranberries

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup dark chocolate pieces


Instructions


-Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang for easier removal. Set aside.


-Over medium heat, place cranberries, honey and lemon into a saucepan and cook for 3-5 minutes or until all juice has been absorbed.


- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the macadamia oil, almond butter, macadamias and vanilla essence, combine until smooth. Fold in oats and flour, combine until a sticky dough has formed. Fold in the cranberries.


- Transfer the mixture into the lined baking pan—Press mixture down very firmly and flattening with a spoon.


- Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until the bars are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Slice into even bars and dip the base in dark chocolate and drizzle on top.


As a health and nutrition coach and sports nutritionist, I often ask why we should eat a balanced diet? There are many factors as to why it's essential to eat a healthy balanced diet. First, a balanced diet will supply your body with all the nutrients it needs to function correctly. When considering what foods to consume, you should consider getting your daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and lean proteins.


A healthy diet should include the following nutrients; vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates, starch, fibre, protein and healthy fats. These nutrients are found in foods in the following food groups; fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein foods such as meat, eggs, fish, beans, nuts, tofu and legumes.


Fruits and vegetables are optimal for your health as they provide vital sources of essential vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with a varied supply of nutrients that it needs; remember to include dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, green beans and broccoli as they contain a wide range of nutrients. Also, try selecting local fruits and vegetables that are in season; they will be fresher.


Most people reduce or remove whole grains from their diet when starting on a new health journey. This is because we are sometimes fearful of certain foods. We may perceive them as"bad" foods, and thinking are the cause of us gaining weight. However, you can still maintain a healthy body weight and lose body fat while consuming whole grains, carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Start by including whole grains into your diet more. Although when selecting which whole grains to include, remember that refined white flour found in various baked foods offers inadequate nutritional value. The reasons for this are; the goodness is in the grain's hull, or outer shells goodness has been remove during the process stage. So instead, try switching from white bread, pasta and rice to whole grain products that contain the entire grain, including the hull. This provides additional vitamins, minerals and fibre to the body.


Food swaps that I love


Mayo for Mustard

Packet chips for Popcorn

Ben and Jerry's ice cream for Halo Top ice cream

Sugar for Cinnamon or Stevia

Olive oil tbsp for olive oil spray

White Bread for Wholemeal bread

Butter for Avocado

White Rice for Brown Rice

Jatz biscuits for Rice crackers


“Healthy does NOT mean starving yourself EVER. Healthy means eating the right food in the right amount”.


Thanks

Samantha xxx



Most of us go through life on auto-pilot, thinking we have no control over what we experience, settling for the same daily routines we need for basic survival. Yet, in life, we must experience our wants, needs and desires; love, relationships, food & water, security and a chance to experience self-fulfilment and empowerment.

These aspects of life make us feel alive and give us purpose to get out of bed each morning and live life consciously with intention, direction and the drive to make positive changes within ourselves.


If today turned out to be your last day here on earth, would you be able to say that you lived your life to the fullest? I can happily say that I am trying to live each day being more present, absorbing the beauty in everything and taking every experience for what it is. If you asked me a few years ago if I was living my life to the fullest, my answer would have been yeah.. maybe…


I honestly didn't understand how important it is to be present in my everyday life, and I now live my life with passion and purpose.


Here are some helpful tips I use today to guide me into living my life with happiness, abundance and gratitude.


1. Being mindful and present in all your experiences- When you start to become more aware of your thoughts and what you say to yourself, you can learn to be more mindful of them. For example, allowing yourself to become more aware of your surroundings and appreciating the smaller things in life like enjoying a nice coffee or taking a walk in nature.


2. Create experiences- Going on an adventure with friends and family, take pictures and creating memories for you to look back on. Talk about these experiences with family and friends; reliving them will bring you joy and happiness.


3. Do more of what makes "you" happy, not others- I have struggled with this concept most of my life; I tend to put others needs before my own, which at times has made me unhappy or left me feeling unappreciated. However, I am now more mindful of the people I interact with and have learned it is okay to say "no" if the situation will affect my internal peace.


I hope you try these helpful tips to be more present in your everyday life.


xxx

Samantha