How I Start My Week: Running and Healthy Eating

I can’t pretend weekend excesses don’t happen. One drink on Saturday night easily turns into more glasses of wine, vodka sodas and even a tequila shot happened (at least I remember it). We shovelled along the night. Then I was in a multi storey nightclub squished amongst boys and girls with very little clothes on. The partygoers were wooed with flame throwers, acrobats and a champagne showering female DJ.

Twenties happens. Enjoy it (and I secretly really do).

Now, take a breath of non-vodka, non-cigarette infused air. I like to start my week with Positives with a capital P.

Running Around the Harbour

The weather is starting to cool down in Sydney. The mornings are more crispy cool and the days are shorter. It is time I starting running outdoors again!

And how can I not when Sydney has some absolutely gorgeous running trails along the harbour. I took these photos with my iPhone during my runs on Sunday and Monday.

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Healthy Eating

I love kitchen gadgets. I have more than I use. I also suspect I am not alone.  One of my cheap and useful gadget is the humble citrus juicer. It cost me only $5.

It makes one of my favourite juice drink consisting of 1 ruby red grapefruit, 2 oranges and an upper body exercise.  I sometimes add a splash of soda water to the mix for a vitamin packed soft drink/soda alternative.

This isn’t exactly a detox miracle drink (and it will never counteract that tequila shot) but it taste good and I like to drink it on our patio, sitting by the shade of our tree.

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Sydney Autumn coolness is the best.

Agnes xx

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Yellow Squash, Hazelnut and Lemon Muffins with Cream Cheese and Coconut Icing

I just discovered blog “tags”. Yes, I’m super fresh to this WordPress blogging scene.

What happened afterwards surprised me. I #fitness and all of a sudden, my blog is being followed by names like Guns At Gym and Vic the Vegan (names have been changed to protect their identities).

While flattering at first, it is going to be so disappointing when I start #cake #chocolate and #carbs. And NONE of that, I am going to pretend that shredded vegetables taste like pasta, business*. I mean full fat milk type of serious business.

*Side note, if you are not into the healthy eating scene, you wouldn’t be aware that home cooks are now playing dressed up vegetables: zucchini as spaghetti, cauliflower as rice and asparagus as risotto. They are pretty clever and I love my vegetables so I love these ideas. But a zucchini is a zucchini and will NEVER EVER taste like carb loaded spag bol. Respect thy vegetables!

Now I have put that discussion out of the way, I can tell you about the yellow squash and lemon muffins. It’s the sort of recipe a well meaning mother might bake for her children. Be warned, health nuts. It is still loaded with real sugar, real oil and real gluten wheat flour. They taste good, period. They don’t taste like vegetables, period. The yellow squash just keep them super moist and even the day after. Sold.

Healthy yellow squash and lemon muffins with coconut cream cheese icing

 

 

yellow squash and lemon muffins

This recipe was adapted from a version in Coles Magazine.

Ingredients

Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup of grapeseed oil (or olive oil is ok)
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind
2 eggs
1 cup of finely grated squash
1/2 cup of hazelnut meal
1 cup of self raising flour
2 tablespoon of milk
125g of cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C for fan forced oven. Spray a muffin pan with the oil. I used a silicon pan so it’s easily non-stick.

2. Use an electric mixer to beat the oil, sugar and lemon rind in a bowl until light and fluffy. I failed to see my oil mixture become light and fluffy like you would when using butter but it did get sufficiently pale and foamy. Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined.

3. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. I omitted the really seedy centre part when I was grating.

4. Stir the squash and hazelnut meal into the sugar mixture.  Stir in the flour and milk until just combined.

5. Spoon the mix into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Remember to let it cool in the pan because the muffins are quite crumbly and hard to take out if it’s not sufficiently cooled.

7. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until it is smooth. Spread over the cooled muffins. I added a special touch of organic shaved coconut. The juicy coconutty kind from the farmer’s markets, not the manufactured desiccated coconut from the supermarket.

8. Share with your friends and pretend that they are super healthy!