High Protein Low Sugar + Fat Cake Baked By My Mum ❤️

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My beautiful mama made this recipe because of her dietary preferences, she wanted a cake that would be high in protein, and low in fat as well as sugar. In addition, she wanted to cut out processed bread from her diet and replace it with something that would still provide her with energy, carbohydrates, in addition to being lovingly homemade! This is not a ‘typical’ cake, due to the low absence of fat so it is more dry and almost bread-like. Whole-meal flour was also used to boost the nutritional content of the cake!

  • 1.5 cups of flour (0.5 cup whole meal and 1 cup white flour)
  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition vanilla protein powder
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cube of unsalted butter at room temperature (my mum didn’t really measure the exact amount of butter, she said it’s around a 1/4 cup)

Preheat the oven to 160 C/320 F/Gas 3. Line a baking tin with grease proof paper and oil it up.

Whisk together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt and mix well. Then add the protein powder and the milk. Make sure the mixture is well blended before gradually adding in the flour. Sift the flour and baking powder in the batter (the wholemeal flour is a bit hard to sift!) fold it in the flour mixture with a spatula gradually so you don’t add too much at a time and the batter turns too thick. Making sure the batter is still runny, keep adding the rest of the flour. Try to reach a consistency where if you pick up the spatula, the mixture should drop back down in the bowl within two seconds (if the mixture is too thick, you can simply add a bit more milk, or if it is too runny, add a bit more flour). After all the flour is folded into the mixture, gently pour the mixture into the baking tin and leave in the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown. Once cooked, remove the tin from the oven and leave to stand for a minute. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of tin to loosen the sponge, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Once it’s cooled, it’s ready to eat! ♥

You can also add some blueberries or nuts to the batter for added nutritional content!

 

 

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Cruelty-free Beauty

DSC_0653I feel that it is so incredibly essential to know where we put our money, and what exactly we are getting. When it comes to food, I think that it is so unnatural to buy something with a label that contains no word you can pronounce. You don’t actually know what it is, you don’t actually know how it’s made, where it’s extracted, where it comes from, and at the end, you put it in your body? Or some people automatically think that if it’s sold in stores, then it is safe and approved to be consumed so there’s nothing to worry about. It is up to you whether you buy these items or not, but I feel like it is your right and your responsibility to know exactly what is going in what you are buying. Sometimes when I go out for a quick snack to eat from a food place, I ask the workers for the ingredients inside their recipes, and they end up panicking asking each other for help because they don’t know what to tell me. They end up asking me if I’m allergic to anything, and I say “no, I just want to know the ingredients, I want to know what I’m buying”. They get surpised by my enquiry and I get surpised because by law, they have to know what they’re selling, they have to have a list of ingredients, and the customer should very easily attain them. I get surpised that this happens in a highly developed country, that customers cannot easily attain an ingredients list, let alone know what they’re buying.

That was a bit off topic from the heading of this post, but I want more people to take responsibility for where they are putting their money. I am very interested in beauty and definitely plan to develop the beauty section on this blog because it’s such a big part of my life and I’m very passionate about it. Because I usually turn to natural products, as part of my hair and body routine, that aspect is cruelty-free. However, in terms of make-up, I stayed away from two companies as I was aware they do animal testing, and I blindly thought that all other companies are okay. But after doing further research, I was surpised by the number of companies or parent companies that actually do animal testing and I feel that is is completely my responsibility to know exactly what I am buying, and what processes are done in creating these products, because I know I cannot physically fund animal testing, giving a company more money in order to carry out what they’re doing. Also, I learned that any company sold in China has to carry out animal testing since it’s required by law there. It just doesn’t make sense to me how some companies can make amazing products and be so successful and not carry out this crime. Just so we can look good. So, any further beauty or make-up products I may mention on this blog I will make sure it is cruelty free, and if you do not think it is, please let me know. It’s amazing how all these top multi-national corporations just abuse cheap labour, cheap land, and using all their resources to extreme utilitarian measures due to greed, possibly paying much cheaper tax, or even no tax at all. With all the crimes they’re committing, they still give you pretty advertisements, with the top celebrities using their products, and the amazing results you’re going to get, and it’s all just a lie. How much are you really chained to the lie? To the world? To the trends? Like it or not, to some extent you are, even subconsciously. I believe that it’s true freedom to be cut from all that.

Another thing I wanted to say, is that mainstream, commercial shampoo contains sulphates to strip the natural oils in your hair and dry it out. You are told the directions, you are told what to do “use this shampoo and follow with the conditioner for amazing silky hair, then use this moisturiser to seal in the hydration” and then people eventually start noticing their hair falling out, the health of their hair declining. So instead, they reach for natural sulphate -free alternatives, but not only that, but paraban-free and possibly mineral-oil free, because they find out that these chemicals are bad. Then those big multi-nationals start coming out with new products that are actually sulphate-free. It’s just ironic how they try to reverse the years of damage that they caused, to still try and get money off you. They obviously know that sulphates are bad for your hair prior to the studies or the media highlighting it. They know how bad and harmful the chemicals they put in the products can be. But they put it for maximum profit. For instant results, just like you see in that advertisement. What’s funny is, you don’t actually need sulphates to wash your hair, but it strips the oils in your hair purposely so you use conditioner, and thus giving more money and feeding that pattern of consumerism. There’s probably another chemical in their shampoo that’s harmful, and in a few years, it’s officially discovered that it’s harmful (even though they already know) then they release products without it, continuously getting money off you.

I just feel like it’s so important to be aware of these things. Not just with food, beauty products, but also the way the media one year claims that one year, fats are bad, and the next year, carbohydrates are bad. Directly having an impact on your diet. One year, it’s good to be skinny, and the next year, it’s good to have curly hair, and the next year it’s good to wear patterened trousers. Again, it’s all consumerism, but I feel like maybe people want to follow these trends because they subconsciously don’t want to “miss out”, they don’t want to feel like they’re missing out on something, the joys of something that they’re constantly surrounded with or budged into their eyes. But that also doesn’t go for trends, but it goes for life. You shouldn’t feel like you need to do something, you shouldn’t feel pressured to do anything, to “fit in” especially if you don’t know the purpose that you are doing it for. You don’t know what you are getting, you don’t know what you are buying from that possible invested time, energy,  money, that you are putting into something. Just like how you check the ingredients list make sure you know what’s in a product because it’s your responsibility to care for yourself and know what you’re actually paying for. So we need to research and educate ourselves about what is in the actual products we are buying, or ideas we are buying or a lifestyle we are following. So, when you come to do something, possibly due to peer-pressure (from any direction), or anything, make sure you know exactly what you are going to get out of it. Don’t follow blindly. You are a free human being and there’s no need to tie yourself down.

 

Super Healthy Plant Protein Pancakes

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This is a super healthy, energising, protein filled recipe and I love eating it for breakfast! It does not look very appetising but it is very delicious! Especially if you’re craving something sweet, at the same time, want something nutrious and filling, this is perfect!

  • 1-2 bananas (I usually use 2!)
  • 1 scoop of hemp protein powder (provides around 14g of protein, all the essential amino acids, fibre, and lots of omega 3 and 6!)
  • 2 eggs (around 12g of protein and high in vitamins A, E, K, B, and folic acid)
  • Around 1 tbsp of honey (or less/more depending on your taste buds! You can substitute honey for any liquid sweetener that you would like)
  • Oats (I usually add enough so the batter is at a thicker consistency, but this also adds good complex carbohydrates as well as more protein!) I usually like to add 95g to have more calories and carbohydrates.
  • Coconut oil to fry

Start off with mashing the bananas well with a fork and add the eggs. Mix well but be careful not to mix too harshly as this can breakdown some of the nutrients in the eggs. Next, mix in the hemp protein powder, and the honey. Then gradually add in the oats so the batter reaches a thicker consistency so it sticks together while frying. Pour a bit of the pancake mixture in a hot, oiled pan (but be careful because this pancake can burn quickly!) and flip it to the other side when it is golden brown. Serve with anything that you like or you can eat it plain as this pancake is a filling, nutritious meal! Enjoy ♥♥

 

Colombian Arepas!

DSC_0462 Seriously, the most gorgeous thing ever…

I spent (literally) 2 hours trying to make the perfect arepas, and I did it! I tried different recipes, and stuffed some with goats cheese and feta cheese, made small ones, big ones, fat ones, and tried not to eat them all before I take  pictures of them!

The secret to making them super delicious is to add a teeny bit of milk, a pinch of sugar, melted butter, and lots of mozzarella!

I didn’t weigh my ingredients, so here we go…

  • Warm water
  • Pre-cooked cornmeal (Harina P.A.N.)
  • A cube of butter, melted
  • A large pinch of salt and a small pinch of sugar
  • Lots of mozzarella
  • A teeny bit of warm milk
  • And love!

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I poured the water in a bowl and added the flour, mixing with my fingers until it formed a dough. Then, I added the melted butter, salt, sugar and started kneading. Finally, I put the mozzarella in, making sure everything sticks together beautifully. I added a bit of warm milk so the mixture is moist, yet, easy to shape. You can apply some oil to your hands so it doesn’t stick, and form a soft ball with the mixture. Afterwards, place it on an oiled plate and slap it so it flattens. Take a round bowl and place it on top of the arepa so it comes out perfectly circular – alternatively, you can just use your hands to shape it. Then, I gently placed it on a buttered non-stick pan. I left it for about 8 minutes on one side, and flipped it so the other side is golden brown. Repeat the process until all the mixture is used and make more (what I did)!

My dad said it’s one of the best things he’s ever tasted (woohoo!) and my cat was growling, trying to munch on any available crumbs on the floor, like he’s never seen food before!

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A fat arepa stuffed with melted goat’s cheese… Super yummy! I spread the cheese on one arepa, then added another one on top, & pressed the edges together so they merge into one.

 

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My first, not very sure what I was doing Arepas… I made them just using mozzarella, flour, water, and salt, but also shaped them using my hands!

 

 

 

Protein Supplements and Building Muscles

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If you are interested in building muscle, please visit my Get Ripped guide.

We don’t need supplements to build muscles, but because our bodies does not absorb or take in all the nutrients it needs, taking multi-vitamins, fish oils and protein supplements may be beneficial to ensure optimum performance and results. It’s an on-going debate on whether protein supplements are really necessary and the truth is, they’re not. However, protein powders are easily absorbed by the body after working out, so they can reach your muscles quicker compared to, for example, steak which needs a lot more time to be digested. In addition, they help escalating your total protein intake to efficiently build muscles.

When and how much should I consume protein shakes?

Protein shakes should be consumed within 20 minutes of your workout so your muscles can absorb them. Make sure to read the instructions on the pack to ensure you are getting the right amount of protein (should be around 25g). They can be added as part of your daily diet for extra protein, but they should never be used to replace real food like eggs, meat, chicken, fish, etc.

Below I will explain the pros and cons of different types of protein powders.

Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein is the most commonly used type of protein powder, and it’s made from the clear liquid that’s left over from cheese-making, which gets dried up to form a powder. There are 3 types: concentrate, isolate,and hydrolysate. The main difference between them is simply how they’re processed and what they offer e.g. faster absorption rate, less fat/carbs. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what type you consume, unless you have specific requirements.

Pros-

  • Quickly absorbed by the body
  • Can be easily blended in a drink
  • Tastes great, with a variety of flavours
  • High in protein (around 25g per portion)
  • Contains all necessary amino acids

Cons-

  • May cause stomach upsets in certain individuals or bloating – hydrolysate protein is the most recommended for these symptoms
  • May cause acne for some individuals, if combined with a high-dairy diet
  • Not suitable for vegans or individuals who are lactose-intolerant

Casein Powder

Casein is similar to whey, as it’s another compound found in cow’s milk. The main difference is that casein digests slower than whey, making it a better option when you need a slow release of protein (usually before bed as you will go several hours without food). However, I would not recommend it for beginners as it’s not really essential.

Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein is my favourite as it always makes me feel more refreshed, and funnily enough, it’s a derivative of cannabis but it’s completely safe to consume.

Pros-

  • Helps ease muscle pain for quick recovery
  • Suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant
  • High in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
  • Easy on stomach and doesn’t cause bloating
  • Contains all necessary amino acids

Cons-

  • Doesn’t taste good
  • Less protein per portion, so you often need more scoops to have 25g of protein
  • May be expensive, specifically in the US since it’s illegal to grow, so it has to be imported

Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein usually comes from, yes, peas…

Pros-

  • High in protein per portion
  • Suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant

Cons-

  • Does not contain cystine (essential amino acid)

Soy Protein 

Soy Protein comes from soy beans, which are legumes native to East Asia

Pros-

  • Contains all the essential amino acids
  • Cheap
  • Suitable for vegans
  • High in protein
  • Suitable for individuals who are lactose-intolerant

Cons-

  • Studies say that soy can interfere with hormones if taken in large quantities, potentially lowering testosterone levels and increasing oestrogen levels

 

Sweet Potato Banana Magic…

DSC_0179It’s one of the best feelings, to ‘bring a new dish’ to the world (no matter how simple it may be) and so I invented some crazy sweet potato yummyness. I roasted the sweet potatoes as always do, but they were white-fleshed and I didn’t like them, so I made this which was just too delicious…

This recipe makes around 8 mini-cakes:

1 white flesh sweet potato – (roasted for 1 hour)

1 banana

butter

Mash the sweet potato with the banana and shape them into circles using your hands, making sure they’re well bonded and stuck together. Heat butter in a non-stick frying pan, and place the mini cakes on top. Then flip carefully until the other side is golden brown. Best eaten hot, so it’s all buttery!

Yummy Egyptian Dip

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This dip is called ‘Asal Eswed Bel Tahina’ which literally translates to ‘Black Honey (Molasses) with Tahini’, and it’s an awesome dip as it acts as a full meal, which includes around 25g of protein (as much as a can of tuna), healthy fats, and calories. I would especially recommend it to those who do weight training and want to grow muscles (check out the ‘get ripped guide’ if you are interested in that), and I swear I have muscles growing out of no where when I eat this! Molasses is extracted from sugar cane and it’s a staple ingredient favourable to many Egyptians. Tahini is sesame paste, which is flavourful and nutrient dense and used in Middle Eastern cuisine.

The ingredients below act as a guideline only, so you can try it out and add more tahini or molasses, as much as you prefer.

100g of tahini (sesame paste) – you would often find it in the international section of a supermarket, or any health shops

35g of molasses – usually found at health shops

Your favourite bread (preferably pitta)

Pour the tahini in a bowl, and gradually add the molasses so it twirls on top and mix very gently until the mixture has pretty brown patterns or if it’s a light brown colour. Dip in some bread and see if you would like more or less of any ingredient to suit your tastes. Alternatively, if you would like a lighter dip, you can add some water to the tahini and mix it well first, so it’s less concentrated.

Below are some benefits of molasses and tahini (sesame paste)…

Molasses: 

Good for hair – One serving (two tablespoons) of blackstrap contains approximately 14 percent of our RDI of copper, an important trace mineral whose peptides help rebuild the skin structure that supports healthy hair. Consequently, long-term consumption of blackstrap has been linked to improved hair quality, hair regrowth in men and even a restoration of your hair’s original color! Click here for more information about blackstrap’s hair benefits.

Safe sweetener for diabetics – Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55. This makes it a good sugar substitute for diabetics and individuals who are seeking to avoid blood sugar spikes. Moreover, one serving of blackstrap contains no fat and only 32 calories, making it suitable for a weight loss diet.

Laxative qualities – Blackstrap is a natural stool softener that can improve the regularity and quality of your bowel movements.

Rich in iron – Two tablespoons of blackstrap contain 13.2 percent of our RDI of iron, which our bodies need to carry oxygen to our blood cells. People who are anemic (including pregnant women) will greatly benefit from consuming 1-2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses per day.

High in calcium and magnesium – Blackstrap molasses contains a mineral profile that has been optimized by nature for superior absorption. For example, two tablespoons of blackstrap contains 11.7 percent of our RDI of calcium and 7.3 percent of our RDI of magnesium. This calcium-magnesium ratio is ideal, since our bodies need large quantities of magnesium to help absorb similarly large quantities of calcium. Both of these minerals aid the growth and development of bones, making blackstrap a good safeguard against osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

Additional mineral content – Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses also contains 18 percent of our RDI of manganese (which helps produce energy from proteins and carbohydrates), 9.7 percent of our RDI of potassium (which plays an important role in nerve transmission and muscle contraction), 5 percent of our RDI of vitamin B6 (which aids brain and skin development) and 3.4 percent of our RDI of selenium, an important antioxidant.

Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/043009_blackstrap_molasses_nutritional_supplement_health_benefits.html#ixzz3B8XAqkCL

Tahini: 

It’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
It’s a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
It’s one of the best sources of calcium out there.
It’s high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.
Helps to promote healthy cell growth.
Prevent anemia.
Helps to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone.
It has 20% complete protein, making it a higher protein source than most nuts.
It’s easy for your body to digest because of its high alkaline mineral content, which is great for assisting in weight loss.
It is high in unsaturated fat (good fat!)

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6997/10-Reasons-to-Eat-Tahini.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Cane!!!!!!!

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I finally have sugar cane, been waiting for them for a long long time! In Egypt, we usually have sugar cane juice in super fancy cups so you would drink it and peer at all the beautiful stray cats around you… *nostalgia*

But here, I would just peel it and chew on it like an angry person…

Here are some benefits of sugar cane:

 

  • Sugarcane, being low on glycemic index, helps keep the body fit and healthy.
  • Sugarcane juice has been found to be very beneficial for preventing as well as treating sore throat, cold and flu.
  • Since sugarcane has no simple sugar, it can be enjoyed by diabetics without any fear. However, they intake should still be limited for people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
  • Being alkaline in nature, sugarcane juice helps the body in fighting against cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer.
  • Sugarcane provides glucose to the body, which is stored as glycogen and burned by the muscles, whenever they require energy. Therefore, it is considered to be one of the best sources of energy.
  • If you have been exposed to heat and physical activity for too long, drink sugarcane juice. It will help hydrate the body quickly.
  • Sugarcane is believed to strengthen stomach, kidneys, heart, eyes, brain, and sex organs.
  • Sugarcane clears the urinary flow and also helps the kidney to perform its functions smoothly.
  • As sugarcane consists of carbohydrates, in good quantities, it serves to refresh and energize the body. It supplies instant energy to working muscles and for this reason, it is also known to maximize performance in sports and endurance.
  • Sugarcane is also good for digestion, as it can effectively work as a mild laxative because of its high potassium content.

Source: http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benefits-of-sugarcane-1882.html

 

 

Delicious Yam Pie

imageIt isn’t really a pie, but it kind of looks like one and it’s made with yams (not to be confused with sweet potatoes) that are full of antioxidants, increases the absorption of nutrients, aids digestion, and full of carbohydrates to give plenty of energy (apparently Usain Bolt says yams are his secret for being so fast).

Fry one onion and one clove of garlic in olive oil in a non-stick pan until they’re golden brown. Next, add mashed yams and stir it all together. Finally, slap the yams against the pan so it flattens out and the side facing the pan turns into a lovely golden colour (should take about 10 or so minutes). Place a plate over the pan, flip it (careful!) and serve.

I think I know what I want to be when I’m older…

I don’t know what to call it, but I want to almost ‘politically’ change the system of food available for us to buy. The government always tells people to eat more fruit and vegetables for our health, but fruit and vegetables filled with artificial sprays, fertilisers, pesticides, and a load of other ‘stuff’. So when you turn to organic foods, because logically, you want the natural stuff God made, without any addition, it’s expensive. So if the government spent a little more on the quality of the food we eat (promoting more organic foods), they may gradually spend less on health care because people will have more quality health. In fact, I think that if developed countries spent less on military services, and more on people’s well being through good food, it could drastically change the health of individuals. For example, the US spend $663 billion on the military, according to the Department of Defence and apparently one week of US military spending can get rid of world hunger. What I’m trying to say is money is not a problem, but where we put our money is.

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Some people don’t think it’s too important to consume organic. I’m sorry, but artificial additions to the food nature provided us is creepy. It’s not only creepy, but it may spike certain allergies to people or be the cause of health issues that may show up later in their lives.

 

I started reading about raw milk because apparently the milk we drink is ‘dead’, due to the pasteurisation that kills all the good nutrients, that makes it essentially a liquid with sugar dissolved in it. Raw milk also has soooo many benefits, (I put a link about it below) and it’s illegal in some places. Really? What’s going on with governments? But then I read that raw milk is safer when it’s organic and from jersey cows because they are the older breeds who don’t have a certain mutation in their cells that most new breeds have. So I searched online for organic, raw jersey milk and it was £3 a litre plus a delivery charge. That’s crazy, I can’t afford that. At the same time, milk is one of the most consumed substances on the planet, so investing in some good milk is important.

jamesstewert

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://www.naturalnews.com/035216_raw_milk_photos_prison_food.html

Benefits of raw milk:

http://chriskresser.com/raw-milk-reality-benefits-of-raw-milk

Lately I have also been researching indigenous foods because back in the day, indigenous tribes had health that enabled them to bath in cold water in winter and they had amazing physical strength all because they depended on nature. Their knowledge was able to sustain ecological food systems and take care of their family 7 generations ahead. As colonisation came along, their health started to decline because they were introduced to overly processed and refined foods and the produce of healthy indigenous foods that could benefit the whole world dropped. For example, millet (a hign protein grain that helps to lower cholesterol) growing by the Kondh tribe in India has dropped 63%, from 500,000 hectares to 200,000 hectares in 2008 for a government subsidised rice programme offering refined white rice. As far as I know, that would happen because developed countries want white rice, why on earth would they want the healthy millet?! Now the Kondh community suffers from even more malnutrition. It’s not their fault, they want the food they relied on for thousands of years. Ironically, while the modern, Western diet is being inflicted on indigenous tribes, the indigenous foods and diets are being recommended by dieticians.

kondh

 

 

 

Now, I’m not totally healthy like it seems, but I strongly want us to reconnect to the foods we used to eat thousands of years ago before industrialisation, colonisation or modernisation came because at that time, people were more focused on their health rather than money. That’s a personal opinion. I think that in the modern world, people want to climb this ladder of ‘success’, meaning go to university, get out, find a job, get money, get more money and get a big house, forgetting all about health. It’s all part of the bland, ordinary, constant, and repetitive system.