Posts tagged fitness
'Golden Bars'... Turmeric Granola bars (perfect 'back to school' snack!)

So turmeric is kind of a big deal at the moment in the health and wellness world... turmeric lattes and golden milk is now pretty much mainstream!

turmeric oat bar 2a.jpg

I first made these bars a few months ago (when the photos were taken) and have since made them so many times with slight tweaks to the mix-ins depending on what I have to hand... they are perfect for festival food and camping trips, full of good nutrition, great sustenance for a mini meal or snack that keep you going for ages, and robust to pack!

I also realised they would be perfect for lunchboxes or after school snacks now back to school season has hit. Equally, they'd be great for breakfast-on-the-go, or a healthy mid morning/afternoon snack at work.

These were actually a spin on these amazing chocolate banana squares... featured in my 'Not Just For Goldilocks' ebookThey taste more dessert-like than snack like.

As all of my favourite recipes the variations really are endless- just be mindful to keep the proportions of wet and dry the same.

Tell me... what are you favourite 'back-to-school' or breakfast-on-the-go snacks?

turmeric granola oat bar.jpg

Recipe: Golden Granola Bars

Makes approx 12 squares


  • 2 cups water

  • 2 large mashed bananas

  • ¼ cup nut butter of choice

  • ¼ cup ground turmeric*

  • 2 ½ cups rolled oats

  • 1 packed chopped dried fruit (I find cranberries, dates, apricots best)

  • ¼ tsp black pepper (don’t omit as this activates the turmeric)

  • 2 tbs ground ginger or cinnamon (optional)

  • 1 cup chopped nuts and seeds

  • ½ cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate drops (not shown in this photos but are a great addition)

*or equivalent fresh turmeric root blended into the water


Blend the water with the bananas, nut butter and fresh turmeric (if using) until very smooth.

In a separate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and then add the banana mix slowly, making sure the everything is fully coated (it’s easy to get pockets of dry pieces if you are not careful!). If the mixture is too thick, add a touch more water.

Note: taste test the mix before baking and add a little syrup/coconut sugar only if needed.

Spoon the mixture into lined and greased brownie tin so that it is approx 2cm thick. Press firmly and smooth the top. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

turmeric oat bar 3a.jpg

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Definition Magazine.... pizza party!

Just checking in to let you know my latest column in Definition Magazine has been published!

The recipes for this issue were a real labour of love... with so much pizza eating. Yep, this issue is all about vegan families and featured a full pizza spread I created... gluten free base options, and plenty of choice for toppings.

There was so much pizza when I shot these photos, I had to invite my family over for a pizza night!

Here are some links to check out the magazine in all it's glory. Aimed at vegan ladies into fitness, but perfect for all active people in general! Rahhhhhh...

To download single issue ($4.99):
(The first 50 people to use this link save $1 off cover price!)

For subscription (which puts each issue at $3.75)

To read a sample of the issue or all back issues:

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here you might like to check out my 'About' tab up top. To buy healthy nibbles you can also find me over at my sister site Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Hand balancing... a parallel for life

Recently I've taken up head stands and hand balancing. Right now I'm really rubbish, I can't hold myself away from the wall for more than a second at a time but I'm persevering. 


Because I love the way it makes me feel. I love the notion of being upside down turning the word on its head, experiencing things from a different point of view. I also love the simplicity of the experience, my form in alignment, of progress and of feeling my body grow stronger as one. 

As I was upside down this morning, I thought of something. A parallel for life.

When I hit the sweet spot in my balance, with the alignment of my body stacked correctly within the centre of gravity. Then hand balancing seems timeless and effortless. The effort only comes from constantly bringing myself back to neutral, the constantly needing to realign myself with that sweet spot when I travel too far forward or backwards from the mark.

It all comes down to incredible subtleties of movement that can serve to keep me aligned or throw me off course. A slight shift in weight, the spread of my fingers and contact with the floor, a deeper focus in my mind, a soft gaze, a braced yet relaxed form.

The more I practice, the more effortless it becomes and the more time I can spend in my sweet spot. 

This is what we should all be aiming for in life... maximising time in the sweet spot. The pockets in our lives that feel amazingly effortless, that flow with grace, almost to good to be true such that our minds question it and we tell ourselves it can't be that simple. But it is that simple and with the courage to let go of expectation and with daily practice we can spend more and more time there.

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Hate protein shakes? ...try this chocolate mousse!

In recent weeks I've been aiming to bump up my protein levels a little bit as I felt my progress had plateaued in my strength training workouts. I'd always been very much one for avoiding supplementing protein powders as I didn't like the idea of isolated protein and was never a big fan of the taste and texture of protein shakes.


Everything changed for me when the new high-protein white hemp powder recently came on the market. Prior to this i'd typically resort to the natural green hemp which left a lot to be deciding the taste department unless well camouflaged. I buy my hemp protein here from Real Food Source (they sell both types of hemp) but I understand it's becoming more widely available wherever you are in the world. It's also a much higher protein ratio at 72% compared to the traditional green hemp at 50%, the main difference being the white hemp has had the fibre removed. For me, in following a plant-based diet I get so much fibre in my day-to-day meals that I haven't any concerns with this simple refining of the white hemp protein.

white hemp 72% protein powder

white hemp 72% protein powder

Seriously, if you're not a fan of plant-based protein powders, try this stuff. I still wouldn't go for many other protein powders and definitely not the flavoured pre-made blends with unnecessary ingredients, and to be honest I'm still not a fan of it in shakes (though I did make one I liked here). This mousse packs a huge protein punch plus a load of super foods in one hit... so for me it really does tick every box!

As with most of my recipes like this you can swap in and out ingredients to suit your tastebuds and also what you have to hand. Also I often use 20g of protein if I'm having a snack or 30g to 35g if I need more of a meal on the go when combine this with a green smoothie on the side and I'm ready to rock!

The recipe has been made numerous times since the photos were taken an I have added a few extra notes beneath the recipe based on my experiences.

Another quick note... I wouldn't leave out the raw cacao/cocoa as you do end up with more or a grey looking mousse and it also really help with the overall texture. Red berries might help to camouflage but I haven't tried that yet myself (I like chocolate too much!)

various toppings... hemp powder and various mix-ins ready to go!

various toppings... hemp powder and various mix-ins ready to go!

Recipe: Chocolate hemp mousse 

(based on 30g hemp- modify quantities as you see fit)


  • 30g hemp protein (approx. 1/2 scant cup)
  • 1 heaped tbs raw cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 small banana mashed (see note) plus a drop of liquid stevia if desired
  • 1 tbs chia or flax seeds
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp amla powder (my new favourite- learn more here)
  • approx 1/2 cup water


Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mall bowl. Mix the jam, nut butter, and a little of the water to make a paste, mix this in to the dry ingredients and slowly add the remaining water until you reach your preferred thickness (note the chia thickens it up further)

You can decorate with extra nuts, cacao nibs, granola, dried fruit or my Wholeplus Toppers.

Notes: I originally used a banana to blend into the texture, but now I find i don't need to if I add a little sugar free jam and a dollop of nut butter instead which I now prefer- higher protein count for the overall volume which is my overall aim.

pre-topping... you could add extra water to make a less thick our if you wished.

pre-topping... you could add extra water to make a less thick our if you wished.

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Matcha avocado crackers!

I have been testing out teapigs matcha tea for the last week or so.... I was selected to take part in their two week matcha challenge during May, with a review of the product at the end of my two weeks. 

This opportunity was perfect timing for me since I'd become really intrigued by matcha (after hearing a lot about it on Instagram and Kathy's blog). I don't consume coffee- never have liked the taste! But I still like foods that create an energy boost if ever I need one. Maca has been one of my favourite additions to smoothies and snacks for this reason and I add it to lots of things... maybe matcha will gain an equal ranking!

I'll talk more about how i've experimented with the matcha tea in my full review (you can also see more snippets on my Instagram) but for now a super simple recipe for you.

I made these avocado crackers as a pre-workout lunch/snack and then proceeded to smash my PB's on a number of exercises with my trainer... so was the matcha to credit for this? who know's!

Recipe: Matcha avocado crackers

  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/2 tsp serving of matcha powder
  • 1 tbs squeeze lemin juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crackers to spread the avocado mix on*

*For the crackers I used homemade dehydrated quinoa crackers but you could also use rice cakes or oat cakes.


Mash/mix everything together well and spread on top of the crackers. Eat immediately!

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

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Some changes and my book preview!

It's been a crazy few days finalising my e-book ready for launch at my seminar next week...but i think i'm finally there. It's being proof read as i speak (my eyes can barely see the words any more!!)

On another note I've have also spent some time updating the 'Getting Started' tab at the top of the page- with new content on 'tips and substitutions' and 'ingredients'. Let me know what you think and any ways I could make it even more user friendly and informative for regulars and newbies to the site, I will of course continue to update content over time.

Below is a little sneak preview of my book....  it will available to purchase through my Wholeplus site (and linked on here) as of next week. I'm so scared and excited!! 

I am also looking to make a few changes round here today (if it comes together) or in the next couple of days. Since I am looking to gear up my health coaching service and also since Wholeplus has become a much bigger part if my life in the last couple of months I want to integrate everything i do and offer in a much more user friendly way.... so i figured the answer could be to have a new landing page. When you first come to Including Cake you will not auto-default to the blog but instead a landing page with 'blog' being one of the options. Nothing changes except one extra 'click' to get to where you want to be, and hopefully it will all be much clearer.

It's hard to visualise properly without giving it a try, so there may be a few teething issues to start with. But please please give me your feedback as the changes happen as It's so important to me that the experience is as seamless and used friendly as possible for you all..... so please let me know what you think about everything I do, always! :-)


Right, I'll go now.... more recipes soon I promise!!  

(p.s this book has lots of new recipes that don't and will not feature on the blog... it's a mix of the best old and new!)

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Chewy coconut granola bars

Remember I mentioned my coconut overload?

Well, I’m still hot on the coconut infused recipes and this one is no exception, although you can easily change things around and sub the coconut if you want as it’s a super versatile concept.

This recipe was originally generated by accident…following a batch of chocolate granola gone wrong. That will teach me to mess with things when they are perfect as they are. Anyway, this particular batch was a little lacking in flavour and was very crumbly, still edible but not enjoyable as a snack on its own.

So chewy granola bars to the rescue!  This could easily have been a no-bake recipe as the banana holds everything together, however to me they were like chunky versions of smoosh barsand  I wanted something a little firmer… so I baked them for 10 minutes. Just enough to firm them up but so they still retained the lovely chewy texture.

You can use any fruits and nuts you like and if you don’t have granola you can toast some oats and use those. I used chocolate granola, but if yours is plain feel free to throw in some cacoa powder or maybe even some cocoa nibs for a bit of raw chocolately goodness!


Recipe: chewy coconut granola bars

Makes one 8” pan


  • 1 medium banana- mashed well
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 cup mixed fruit ( I used raisins/dates/cranberries/figs
  • ½ cup coconut flakes (or crushed nuts)
  • 1 cup granola (I used homemade choc granola)


Blend all ingredients, except the granola, together in a food processor on medium speed (so the fruit doesn’t break up too small) or mix well by hand. Add the granola last, mixing through well.

Press firmly into a lined square pan. You can either keep these raw and simplychill until firm or you can bake them for approx.10 mins at 180C.

Once cooled/firm cut into bars and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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