Vegan Chickpea Cookies courtesy of Detoxinista

Get a mouthful of these delectable goodies! Vegan Chickpea chocolate chip cookies.

I’ve recently changed my lifestyle in order to try and get my upset gut a little happier and to aid in my weight loss goals.. so I looked into veganism. I’m not hardcore enough yet to drop cheese and eggs, but I’m writing this post drinking a hot chocolate almond milk and eating a piece of dark chocolate so I’m certainly changing my ways for the better. One day at a time.

I found this recipe after talking to my vegan friend about baking and she recommended that I give it a go. So out came the organic chickpeas that had been in the cupboard for what seemed like forever…….

Here’s the recipe, straight off Detoxinista

I, in no way take credit for this recipe, but I wanted to share it in it’s truest form because it is just so great!

Here’s what you’ll need

Vegan Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 (15 oz.) can, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour*
3/4 cup coconut sugar
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

*Note: You can make your own flour by simply grinding gluten-free rolled oats in a food processor or coffee grinder until a fine flour is created. 

If you aren’t worried about gluten free, just use regular flour- Steph

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Process the chickpeas, coconut oil and vanilla in a large processor until relatively smooth. Add in the coconut sugar, flour, salt, baking soda and vinegar and blend until until a smooth batter is formed.

Add in the chocolate chips and pulse briefly until incorporated. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto a lined baking sheet and use wet fingers to gently flatten each mound (they won’t spread a lot on their own.) Bake until the tops begin to crack and the edges are dry to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Steph here again: It’s that simple, and they are so tasty straight from the oven or cooled completely and eaten a few days later (if they last that long). I’m going to try mine with wholemeal flour next time. I added a little bit more coconut oil and vanilla essence to the mixture to get a good consistency. Top notch!
If you make these, tag @livelikewewantto and @detoxinista so we can see your creations.
Much love,
S
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#AdultwithBraces

I have braces… Again.

I first had them when I was 15. I had terrible teeth and felt very self conscious about smiling. As a ballet dancer I found it challenging to be confident when my smile was not what I desired it to be. I remember being told so many times to smile!!! Braces were no big deal at that age, every second person at high school seemed to have them! It was quite fun choosing colors and comparing stories with my other ‘brace-face’ comrades. My braces were removed shortly before my 18th birthday and I was given some retainers to wear every night. Easy! The trouble was, over time, my retainers began to crack and got really grotty (even though I thoroughly cleaned them after every wear) so I went back to my orthodontist and guess what?! He refused to give me new ones.  I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to stand by his work and help me keep my teeth straight. Thinking about it now, he was one of two orthodontists in my home town so he probably didn’t care that much as long as my teeth got straight and he got paid. I contacted him about a year and a half ago and he didn’t want a bar of me so I got my records from him and contacted an orthodontist in Wellington (who I have much more faith in!).

6 Years later, age 24 I decided to get braces put back on my teeth because they weren’t straight anymore and I was starting to refuse to smile in photos and I despised how my teeth looked, especially in photos. I did a heap of research, but found it very hard to find any proper information on Fast Braces in New Zealand as every website you go to suggested a consult. I watched some Youtube Vlogs and decided to go for a consult at the Supreme Dental Centre in Lower Hutt, Wellington. My consult was free so there was no pressure to go ahead with the treatment but I decided to go ahead with it after I spent some time thinking about it (as it is a lot of money to part with).

fast braces

I’ve had braces on for three weeks and already my teeth are in line and although it was super painful for the first 2 weeks, it’s not unbearable. In my experience the first few weeks is the worst: I had some serious ulcers and some mornings could hardly open my mouth because it was so cut up on the inside but wax really, really helps. It has been a savior! I put wax on once a day, and if you put in just the right spot, the rubbing of wire against flesh is significantly reduced. Hooray!

It’s hilarious when people see you, and they didn’t know you were getting braces. They sort of stare but don’t know what to say and then blurt out ‘ you’ve got some new bling’ or ‘You got braces???’ Yep, sure have. A few people asked me why, and how much it was costing. I just had to be honest- I don’t like my crooked teeth so I am getting them straightened! And I just gave a ball park figure for the cost because your finances are your business, right?

I’m not going to lie, I had no idea how much extra ‘clear’ braces cost- $1300 more than regular braces!!!!!!! But WHY?!

If you are thinking about getting braces, do your research first and I would highly recommend Fast Braces simply because they are a lot cheaper and less bulky than regular braces and you’ll have them on for a fraction of the time. A lot of orthodontists take ages to get you in for an appointment, charge for the initial consult and give you a quote which could be upwards of $10,000. There’s no need for that amount of money to be spent, if you look around you’ll find much more affordable options.

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I’d love to hear about your ‘lettuce stuck in your wires’ moments or your experiences with Braces if you have had them or have them now! Comment below xx

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#GutUpdate

If you read my post about Irritable Bowel Syndrome then you’ll know that I have been suffering for quite some time with horrendous bouts of gas, tummy aches, anxiety and overall just feeling pretty darn shitty (no pun intended).

I’ve been taking probiotics for almost 2 months and have noticed a significant difference in my well being. I no longer feel like my insides are going to drop out of my backside, the noxious gas has subsided and I rarely feel anxious in public toilets. Winning!

I’ve also stopped eating fruit. I’ll have a banana in my morning smoothie but apart from that I stay well away from the sugary goodness we like to associate with being healthy. My boyfriend was telling me that in america, apples take 14 months to get from the tree to the shelf. 14 months!! By that point, it is basically a floury ball of fructose. It’s no wonder I get a tummy ache after eating apples; although I am sure NZ apples don’t take that long to get to the consumer.

So, by cutting out most fruit (fresh and dried) and taking a probiotic every morning after breakfast I feel a whole lot better. I’ve also continued to limit dairy products although consume butter, small amounts of probiotic yoghurt and cheese occasionally.

It is quite incredible how a food group can have such a negative impact on me, even eating dried dates would send my gut into panic mode. I have since removed those from the pantry and made myself some probiotic yoghurt to snack on instead.

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#IrritableBowelSyndrome

I have IBS. It ain’t pretty. Basically, when it gets bad, it feels like my insides are going to fall out of my bum. There’s no other way I can describe it.

I have been in denial for about a year- simply because I love cheese and yoghurt. I found it easy enough to find a milk alternative, but the alternatives to most other dairy delights are quite hideous. So, I kept consuming dairy until last week when I realised my body was very unhappy and it was time to accept that I have issues with my gut- mostly caused by dairy, vegetables and sugar.

So, I set out to figure it out and make some sense of what was causing the bloating, stomach pains, poop issues and the worst of all… gas. A lot of tootin happens when you suffer with IBS. One of my irrational fears is pooping or tooting in public (especially public toilets) so I panic when my symtoms get bad and just want to hide away alone, and, well… sit on the toilet for a while. There have been times where I have been out running with my boyfriend and have said “oh gawd” in a distressed fashion and he’ll say “Clench those cheeks together” because I have honestly felt like I am going to shit myself. I’m lucky that I can be pretty open about these things with him and it generally leads to a good giggle.

comic

But IBS is no joke. Apparently 11% of the world’s population suffers from it and only 30% of those people visit the doctor for their symptoms. I know exactly why that is… because the thought of talking about your bodily functions is not particularly appealing -in fact is is quite embarrassing.

So I thought I would share my ‘experiences’ with you so that if you are suffering there might be some things you can try to help find some relief.

                The first thing I did was quit sugar. It sounds like a big feat and dont get me wrong, it isn’t easy to start with. It took about 2 weeks for me to get over the cravings and ‘need’ for sugar. After that I would have the odd coke or lemonade here and there, but I was nowhere near as bad as before (sitting down with a bottle of coke, a bag of doritos and a bag of m&m’s and getting a good way through each of them).

                I also started exercising – going for walks at least every second day. My boyfriend and I climb a hill out the back of our suburb which is basically 15 minutes of hill climbs and stairs, to a ridge at the top where we pick up the pace and run along the ridge and all the way back down. The first time we did it we took 35 minutes. Now we have the time down to 23.5 minutes and our fitness levels are increasing while our waistlines are decreasing!

                The most recent thing I have done is given up dairy. I quit dairy about 2 months ago due to the shocking treatment of bobby calves on some NZ dairy farms but then realised that I felt a lot better too since giving it up. I decided last week that I didn’t want to eat dairy due to my icky side effects so I accepted that cheese and yoghurt would no longer be in my life.

                Lastly, I looked into the science behind the ‘sore tummy’ and found some interesting ways to help the IBS naturally with diet. Have you heard of FODMAP’s? I had heard them in passing a few times, at health expo’s but never really took a serious look into them. FODMAPs is an acronym for Fermentable-Oligo, Di, Monosaccharides and Polyols which are commonly found in our diet. By reducing the amount of FODMAP’s in our diet the symptoms of IBS should reduce.

 I typed in ‘FODMAP’ to pinterest and it spat out some really good infographics that help to decide which foods are okay and which ones might cause issues to the ol gut. Here is a good one I have found quite useful.

I also have to be careful about the type and amount of alcohol that I consume. People think I am ‘boring’ or ‘nana-ish’ because I don’t go out drinking very much. The real reason why I prefer to stay at home is because I am convinced I am allergic to alcohol and I either get sick or get a serious bout of ‘booze poo’s’ while out in town/ house parties etc. It’s gross and makes me feel very un-sexy and VERY self conscious. I constantly worry about pooping in a foreign toilet (not at home) and it not flushing. Like, what do you do? Wait and hope that it flushes the second time? Walk out and advise the next toilet goer that the toilet was ‘soiled’ when you went in? Scoop it up and throw it out the window? The first option is normally the best bet. Or staying at home is even safer. Moral of the story here is to consume in moderation and never stray far from a loo.

farts
Image courtesy of Pinterest

I have also sat myself down and taken a good long look at the things I am eating. I am a sucker for a delicious lemon muffin and a bag of twisties. But those things generally cause me to get a tummy ache. Oh and ice cream is an absolute NO DEAL. So I stripped back my pantry and refrigerator to things that I know I can eat without any nasty side effects. Sustainable fish, nuts, free range chicken, low FODMAP vegetables, lean red meat, fruit (I can’t eat apples) such as melon, plums, berries, mango and bananas, eggs, oat milk and seeds are my staple foods. I tend to stay away from wheat although making a nice loaf of wholegrain bread on the weekend is a nice treat. I find the easiest way to adhere to a gut-safe diet is to make my own dinners (from scratch) and keeping half of it for lunch the next day. I’ll have a smoothie for brekky- usually with a banana, oat milk, some chia seeds, LSA and oats and also occasionally a spoon of sugar-free hot chocolate. Snacking on fruit during the day is enough to keep me going and then a walk after work and a nice home made dinner has me set for the evening.

smoothie
Image courtesy of MyRecipe.com

It all sounds easy in theory! But living with IBS is not easy- it is really, really hard. My poor boyfriend has to deal with me and all my ghastly side effects and complaints. I have to take days off work because I am so ill I can’t handle being 10 steps away from a bathroom. I say “I can’t eat that” about 5 times a day and beg my boyfriend to get me a tummy transplant on the regular.

I have started reading a great book called ‘GUT’ by Giulia Enders which you can buy here and it is really, really interesting!

Gut 1

It is all a balancing act. I’m still looking for my balance but I have attained some pro-biotics which should help and fingers crossed that eating a plain diet of meat and vege will bring me some relief!

Let me know in the comments if you have any tips for me!

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