chocolate brownies

How To Enjoy Cheat Meals & Why They Can Work In Your Favour

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Throughout the week and on weekends, I usually enjoy a macro-packed breakfast like  pancakes and  muesli and berry parfait  to keep me full and satisfied, until I become peckish around midday and make myself a green smoothie before lunch.

But while I try to eat a balanced diet of whole foods most of the time, once a week I give into temptation to ‘treat’ myself and my tastebuds to some of my favourite foods I don’t usually eat or enjoy on a daily basis, like chocolate brownies or raw chocolate– Oh, c’mon, WHO wouldnt decline an offering of anything with chocolate in it?

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Everybody’s reasons are different but I choose to indulge once a week:

  1.  to help re-ignite my thyroid and leptin hormones to increase my metabolism to burn more fat.
  2.  to satisfy sweet cravings
  3.  to splurge (reasonably + with portion control) without feeling guilty
  4.  to have a little fun
  5. and…..because chocolate is life (along side peanut butter hehe)

I have a “metabolism boost meal” rather than a “cheat meal”  ONCE A WEEK (usually a sunday, unless I’m going out) because without it I find myself binging ALOT throughout the week on sugary perishables and processed foods :/ I choose to call it “metabolism boost” because It removes the negative association of “cheat” for a healthier relationship with food 🙂

Note: The amount of MEALS you have should depend on your fitness regime, personal choice, will power AND long-term/short-term and overall fitness goals (eg- lean up, loose weight, gain muscle, bodybuilding etc) but generally, 1 per week is enough.  

Yeah, at first, I found “metabolism boost meals” really challenging because I wanted to eat the treats everyday, but along the way I used the tips below to strengthen my will power, to make my cheat meal work in my favour.

  1. Include protein: this will help you maintain fullness and should be eaten first. If its a dessert your having, try to choose something with nuts such as pepitas and almonds or use a plant-based protein powder (I use Sunwarrior) if you’re going to create something yourself.
  2. Sit down and eat: Don’t eat in front of the TV because you’re going to be distracted. Sit down at a table and eat slowly, taking every bite in and enjoying every single flavour. You want to consciously enjoy the meal.
  3. Portion size: Stick to a STANDARD SERVE of your favourite food and don’t over indulge. If your going out, choose an entree instead of a main meal and drink water after you’ve had a beer or glass of soft drink. Remember, moderation is the key and its a cheat MEAL, not day!
  4. Don’t feel guilty: Don’t feel guilty that what you are eating is going to go ‘straight to your thighs’, or ‘make you fat’. NO IT WONT. Savour it. Enjoy it. If you let yourself feel guilty, you’re missing the whole point. One cheat meal isn’t going to make you fat like one good meal isn’t going to make you skinny. ENJOY IT because Its delicious, yummy, mouth-watering and pure heaven.
  5. Start fresh and move on: Don’t allow your indulgence meal to influence bad eating. Plan and prep your next meals ahead of time so your organised and ready to get back to healthy eating. Commit yourself to 6 days of healthy eating so you can enjoy 1 meal of pure indulgence. Set weekly or daily goals if need be. Build that willpower!

REMEMBER: Next time your having your metabolism boost or cheat meal, Savour it. Enjoy it. Move on. 

I hope you find my tips helpful and if you have any of your tips you would like to share, please leave them below in the comments because I’d love to see what’s worked for you!

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Kayleigh, x

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Sweet Potato Caramel Chocolate Brownies

OH. MY. GOD….. these brownies! WOW!

They are the yummiest, fudgiest, melt-in-your-mouth, rich chocolate brownies I have ever tasted and they are 100% CLEAN and HEALTHY! Oh, and they are also completely vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free and incredibly addictive! Perfect for everybody!

Traditional Chocolate Brownies are made with egg, flour, cocoa and butter but NOT these ones! Sweet Potato acts a natural sweetener combined with medjool dates, and is an excellent Low GI substitute for eggs and butter to create a fudge appearance and texture.

By using healthier alternatives like cacao instead of cocoa and almond meal instead of white self-raising flour, you automatically decrease the amount of calories and increase the nutritional values per serve, which allows you to STILL ENJOY the good things in life like chocolate, sweets and ice-cream! HOLLA to that, seriously, Why should you have to miss out when theres a healthier version? 

Chocolate brownies

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Makes 16  (4cmx4cm) | 1 serve = 1 brownie | Total time: 1 hour

 Ingredients 

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 5cm circles, skin on for extra fibre 
  • 1 Cup (20) medjool dates, pitted 
  • 1 Cup almond (or hazelnut) meal
  • ½ cup raw cacao
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour (gluten free)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • Method 
  1. Line a baking 30x20cm baking tray (standard) with baking paper and pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Cut sweet potato into 5cm circles and place into a steamer until very soft (20 mins). You want the potato to look a dark orange and be soft enough to mash. 
  3. Add sweet potato, medjool dates, cacao into a high-powered food processor and blend until combined enough to resemble a smooth appearance.
  4. Add almond meal, arrowroot flour and coconut and blend until all ingredients are completely mixed through. At this stage the mixture should be smooth and thick. If its a little sticky, add a tablespoon of almond meal until you you’re happy with the consistency. 
  5. Scoop mixture into baking tray and using the back of a spoon or pressing firmly with your palms, smooth and even out . Its important to make sure the brownie mixture is even otherwise you will end up with different thickness.
  6. Place in oven for 15- 20 minutes and when soft and spongy, remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before slicing into squares.

Enjoy!

* excuse the change in text fonts, for some reason it changed once I begun putting bullets in :/

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Kayleigh, x