Uncategorized

The Yogi Paige

I’m absolutely loving the “My Daily Insposeries and today I’m introducing you to the woman who got me to do the impossible. I have always said that I hated yoga and that it wasn’t for me, that was until I did a class with Paige Cassidy. There was an instant connection which I didn’t understand at the time, but after getting to know Paige we actually have so much in common.

Her words to me after my first lesson, “I see you!!”

How and what was the motivation that made you start yoga?

My honest motivation for yoga is that I got out of Rehab and needed a form of discipline that would not only keep me moving physically but moving me mentally. A space, a movement that allowed me to be vulnerable and strong at the same time. A self-discipline.

What obstacles has yoga helped you overcome?

Yoga has helped me get rid of this crazy perception I had about my body. This want to be perfect. I used to stand in front of the mirror criticizing myself about the way I looked. Yoga has helped me to fall in love with my body. Yoga has taught me to respond and not react to situations and people.

How important is meditation to your yoga practise?

I think people’s perceptions of meditation is slightly confused! Meditation for me is not sitting for hours in silence trying to calm the chaos in my head. Meditation for me is waking up making plunger coffee and sitting outside listening to the birds. It is washing dishes, visualizing washing the dirt away in my life. Meditation for me is playing music whilst creating beautiful food not only to look at but food that tastes amazing. To me it means climbing into bed and being able to lie there and not think of 50 million different things all at once. Yoga is my meditation.

When did you understand you wanted to be a yoga instructor?

When I was younger I wanted to be a ballet teacher, so I think the passion of being a teacher was always ingrained into my being. I was working full time as a project manager, studying and teaching in the evenings and the one day (I worked for an asshole) I pushed that fear out of my head of “what if I don’t make enough money” and quit my job and started teaching. I’ve never been happier.

Any advice for beginners or people wanting to start yoga?

Yes, come and try MY yoga. My question I always ask my new students “are you mentally strong?” I have clients that respond “HELL YES” and I have clients that respond “I’m not to sure,” and no matter what response you will walk out my class feeling mentally & physically tougher. You will walk out my class and would have surprised yourself.

“A strong mind makes a strong body” – Thomas Jefferson

“A strong mind makes a strong body” – Thomas Jefferson

What is the rewarding part of being a yoga instructor?

The most rewarding part about being a yoga instructor is seeing the growth mentally & physically in my students. Watching them prove to themselves that they are stronger than they know.

Should kids be introduced to yoga?

We should watch kids and they can teach us about yoga. Kids are fearless when it comes to the physical aspects about yoga but if you go deeper the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects children have no boundaries when it comes to their honest feelings. Children are vulnerable without feeling ashamed. Children are loving without limitations. Yoga should be compulsory for little ones.

How is Will Power connected to yoga?

Will Power is completely connected to Yoga “the ability to control your own thoughts and the way in which you behave”. The lesson behind yoga.

What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

I am currently struggling with learning how not to do all the classes with my students as this becomes physically and emotionally exhausting. I have been taught patience through my students. I have been taught to put my own issues aside. I am still learning to breathe outside the yoga studio when life gets tough.

Tell us your practise style and how did you choose your method?

My practice style . . . “Paige Yoga”. My yoga is all about Power of the Mind. Pushing past the boundaries we create for ourselves in our mind. My ballet background adds to my discipline in yoga. My love for movement allows me to be creative in my classes. My father has always said to me “mind over matter”. This I proved to myself when I came out of rehab, that I am stronger than I know!

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So much love lives here

As you can see from Paige’s answers, she is fearless, raw, real and a warrior. Simply put, Paige Cassidy is a badass!! She has overcome numerous obstacles in her life and is unapologetic about the life she lives. Paige is an example for us all, that shit happens but we have the ultimate choice when it comes to moulding our lives into something beautifully strong.

Food

Thai Prawn Stir-fry

Thai Prawn Stir-fry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 500g raw, peeled prawns
  • 2 red chillis, cut into rings
  • 3 garlic cloves, 1 crushed and 2 finely sliced
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 small purple cabbage, cut into shreds
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 – 3 tbsp coconut flakes ( garnish)
  • lime wedges (garnish)
  • 3cm piece ginger, finely sliced
  • spring onions, finely sliced
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp Thai spice

Directions

  1. Shell the prawns and set aside in a bowl.  Don’t forget to remove the poop shoot.
  2. Blitz chilli, garlic, coriander, coconut sugar and thai spice in a spice grinder.  Add half of the lime juice and the fish sauce, then pour this over the prawns.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok, add the ginger and spring onions and fry for 1 min. Add the cabbage and fry for 1 min, until starts to soften.
  4. Add bean sprouts, and toss together until the bean sprouts start to wilt. Add the soy sauce into a serving dish.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in the wok and add the prawns.  Toss for 1-2 mins until they turn pink, add the marinade and stir.
  6. Combine the veg and prawns
  7. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and coriander
  8. Serve with lime wedges.


Uncategorized|Weight loss

"Banter" with Nikki Peeriyalal

My fitness journey has been one of the most amazing experiences, entirely because of the inspirational women that have come into my life.   This week’s feature for My Daily Inspo Series is the gorgeous and oh so kind-hearted Nikki Peeriyalal.  Nikki follows the LCHF diet  also know as Banting.  This SAHM is also a serious cross-fitter and has successfully lost 36 kg since her journey began 2 years ago.



1. When did your weight become an issue?

My weight became an issue when I looked at a photo of myself taken on the 3rd of January 2016 at my cousin’s wedding. I couldn’t believe I was so large and hadn’t even noticed the changes.  I often hid behind the comment, “you’re tall so it’s ok to be big!”

2. What was your lightbulb moment that pushed you to lose the weight?

The lightbulb moment didn’t even happen after my moment with this photo. It happened several months after in May 2016. My son told me I couldn’t run with him because he didn’t think I could keep up because I was too fat. He also proceeded to question why I was so fat even after having my baby.

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At her max weight of 108kg

3. What made you decide to start banting?

In May 2016 on my son’s birthday, I made him a promise that a year from that day I would be healthier and fitter.  I made him a promise that I’d be able to do any strenuous exercise with him.

4. How much have you lost to date?

I wasn’t initially going for a goal weight as I don’t believe in the BMI method. So I worked on a goal dress size. I worked towards a size 36. On my 1 year anniversary of banting,  I comfortably fitted into a size 36 and had lost 35 kilos. I really couldn’t believe it was that much!

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Nikki’s hard work and dedication is producing amazing results

5. As a mom of three, how do you find balance in your life?

Let’s just say that I wing it. However, keeping meal plans and ideas at the fore helps bring balance. I’m lucky that my older children are almost the same age. So I don’t have that much of a disruption with routines. I’m strict about sticking to schedules and meal plans. If there are a sudden unfortunate obstacles in my way, I improvise whilst still sticking to clean eating.

6. What has kept you motivated when you were feeling down?

There were many people who told me that they know my personality and that I am the kind who gives up when things get too hard. I don’t ever recall being that way, so I was even more determined when I was feeling down, to continue and achieve my goal. It was always so difficult to eat clean while everyone else in the family refused to join me. So I was alone on this journey and had to prove them all wrong.  The lack of encouragement and belief in me was all the motivation I needed.

7. What is your biggest struggle – food, exercise or temptation?

Right now, I don’t have a struggle because I’ve become used to this lifestyle. However during my first year, my struggle was exercise and temptation. More exercise because I had last done it in high school. So I was extremely unfit and I felt I couldn’t do it.

8. How has your weight loss affected your relationships?

Weight loss and relationships: It’s amazing how people see you differently when you lose weight. They’re always full of compliments as well as questions. But I find I’m more approachable now. My husband in particular is loving my curves and muscles.  We talk a lot more and I’m able to encourage him and others daily to keep trying to make healthier decisions. Weight loss brought me closer to my husband because I’m no longer hiding in a fat body and not dealing with things. I’m confident and at ease now, so automatically I feel more drawn to him and others and them to me.

9. Lastly, tell us what your tagline is.

It’s a Maya Angelou quote – “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.”


Even though I haven’t met Nikki in person she is what you would call an Insta Friend.  Neither distance nor meeting in person has stood in the way of her encouraging me to push harder, eat cleaner and continue on my journey.  Her support means the world to me.  Nikki lives to encourage, inspire and motivate people on a daily basis through her Banting Beauties page on Facebook.  Nikki is a lifestyle and wellness consultant focusing on the low carb lifestyle for all ages.

Press release|Wellness

The Bra Guru

I recently attended the launch of the Pretoria branch of The Bra Guru which is currently in its 4th year running.  Their flagship store is located in Hyde Park and due to the high  demand, Managing Director Taryn Palacios has opened a second store in Pretoria. 

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MD of The Bra Guru, Tamryn and I are both in agreement that “there is nothing a good bra can’t sort out”.

One of my huge issues as a result of my weight loss is most definitely my breasts. Our breasts are made up of primarily fatty tissue and when we lose weight, your body burns excess fat for energy. This is turn causes the stretched skin to sag over many areas of your body, including your breasts. One of the best tried and true methods to tighten any area of the body is to improve muscle tone. Your chest is controlled by the pectoral muscles. Exercises that target this group should pull in tissue and help firm up your breasts,  If however that doesn’t work for you or going the more invasive and permanent way of a “boob job” isn’t for you, keep in mind that it all starts with owning one good bra in your perfect fit.

Our breasts go through several changes in our lifetimes as it is a vital part of our reproduction. First before birth, again at puberty, and later during the child-bearing years. Changes also happen to the breasts during the menstrual cycle and when a woman reaches menopause.

Research has shown that more than 80% of women wear the incorrect bra size so it is important to get properly measured by a professional. While there are many stores that offer a bra fitting service, The Bra Guru happens to be a bra fitting specialist that educates you whilst helping you determine your perfect fit.  Finding the perfect bra involves more than just finding the correct size.  It involves finding a style that is best suited for the shape of your breast.  Breasts are unique, so one style unfortunately does not fit all. A proper-fitting bra tends to ensure that clothes fit better, posture improves, and in the event of back and shoulder pain, this is diminished.  The  goal is to not only achieve better lift and separation, but also to gain more confidence while being comfortable.  As we all already know, there is nothing more uncomfortable than a poorly fitting bra.

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Your bra collection should include these basic colours
The Bra Guru stocks imported bras that have been designed by an Aeronautical Engineer which is of special interest to me seeing as I am an Aircraft Engineer.  It really puts things into perspective, as I can understand the in-depth testing involved in each bra design.

How Should Your Perfect Bra Fit?

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Did you know?

  • A good bra should last you a year
  • You don’t need an underwire bra for good support
  • The straps serve the purpose of just holding the material of the bra up
  • There are no-slip devices to keep your straps in place
  • You shouldn’t use softener when washing your bras
  • The back strap gives the most support
  • The cup gives our breasts shape
  • A medium to high impact sports bra is essential when participating in physical activities
  • Your bra size can fluctuate between brands
  • You can protect your bras by using lingerie wash bags or by hand washing
  • You could be wearing the wrong size bra

Why Shop at The Bra Guru?

Well, The Bra Guru has something to cater for your every need and occasion. Their range includes bras up to a size K and they stock the following styles:-

  • T-shirt bras
  • Plunge
  • Balconette
  • Lacy
  • Strapless
  • Sports
  • No wire
  • Sleep
  • Maternity
  • Accessories
  • Swimwear

While at the launch I used the opportunity to get myself measured by the gorgeous Tamryn herself.  My fitting was professionally conducted in a comfortable and relaxed environment.  I’m extremely glad that I got measured, else I would have probably continued walking around in bras that are too big for me.  The fitting was also extremely informative and I learnt so much about bras in general.

I’m totally in love with this lacy number which is super sexy and I must say that the fabric felt exquisite.

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Their sports bra is another favourite of mine and the design is amazing.  The microfiber lining is a definite win for me.  Having had the opportunity to examine each of the bras in the range, I must tell you that the designs and quality are impressive.  The launch  has made me realise that I need to start investing in good quality bras.

I highly recommend that you give The Bra Guru a call and schedule a no obligation fitting to determine your perfect fit.  Who knows, maybe you will find the perfect bra at the same time.

Uncategorized

Run Time with Ultra Runner Jayindri

I recently wrote a blog-post about my insane love-hate relationship with running. As already mentioned, my hate for running stems back two decades when I did Basic Military Training in the South African Air Force. The idea of someone screaming at me and making me run for 3 months straight was enough to put me off running for a lifetime. That was until I met Jayindri Shanmugam.  We met the same way I met Botle Kayamba, at the Women’s Health event held at The Cookery.  Ever since, Jayindri has been encouraging me to pursue my running.  She’s the little angel sitting steadfastly on my shoulder reassuring me that if she can, so can I.  We recently got together to chat about all things running.
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Cooking up a storm with Women’s Health Mag

1. How did your life as a runner begin?

Five years ago (at the age of 40) I went for a standard medical checkup, and the doctor asked if I exercised, I responded that I had two daughters and they kept me active. The doctor in turn wrote down Sedentary.  So for some unknown reason this was my wake up call.  It really was my aha moment.  I must admit that I didn’t start running immediately.  At first I did the Women’s Health Magazine DVD called “Look better naked”  and I slowly grew in confidence as well as in my fitness.

2. When did you start running

It was my mission to get fit at 40 after that doctor’s visit. Once my fitness was up I started running and started with a little 2 or 3 km and used the Nike app.  My goal was to complete a 5km or 10km. My first race was the Spar race which I did with my daughter who was 12 at the time.  Before I knew it I was doing a 10km and had convinced my husband to join me.  We also joined Discovery Health and later the Discovery Vitality Running Team which was pivotal in getting us from COUCH TO COMRADES.

3. Which goal do you most identify with?

Initially my main goal was being healthy but now it’s all about getting stronger.

4. How many km have you run per month in the last 3 months?  How does that compare with what you averaged last year?

I have run 474 kms since January 2018.  It’s pretty close to my figures from last year as I’m currently training for the Two Oceans and Comrades.

5. What injuries are you susceptible to?

Common ailments are low immunity and ITBS injuries.  Iliotibial Band Syndrome is one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. It occurs when the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, is tight or inflamed.  IT band pain can be severe enough to completely sideline a runner for weeks, or even longer.  Basically these injuries are due to the higher volume and intensity of the training.

6. What’s your brand of choice when it comes to running shoes and when do you need new ones?

Running shoes are the most important gear decision you’ll make, so make a concerted effort to buy a good pair of running shoes suited for your feet. I run in Asics Nimbus and generally get 500-600 kms out of a pair.

7. Who is your running support network?

I’m extremely blessed and fortunate to have the support of my husband, both my daughters and my in-laws.  My husband and I train and run together.  He was the one who suggested we start running 21km races.  I also have a running coach who supports me.
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Jayindri and her husband after yet another race

8. What training phase are you in right now?

High mileage starts now in order to peak for Comrades in June. Two Oceans Ultra is at the end of March.  Running is very much part of my lifestyle and it doesn’t end.  It is an all-encompassing routine that requires commitment, dedication and perseverance.

9. What are your top three things that you do to prevent injury?

I take supplements, fuel my body with wholesome food, stretch often and have regular massages. I’ve learnt that sleep is the most vital part of recovery.  You asked for three and I have given you more things but these points are essential for my life as a runner.

10.How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

Running takes a considerable amount of discipline. My husband motivates me. Also I’m inspired by women like you, Amy Hopkins and veteran runner Deidre Larkin who is 85 years old.

11. What has been your running highlights?

My first race with my daughter will always hold a special place in my heart.  That was the start to my life as a runner.  The Two Oceans Ultra 2017 was another highlight.  For Comrades 2017, I raised over R13000 for the Pink Drive. I did complete the race but sadly it was just after the 12 hour cut-off.
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I have always been in awe of Jayindri and the fact that she is an Ultra-runner, a title she modestly acknowledges.  After chatting to her about the nitty gritties of running I have a new found respect and admiration for runners.  Aside from being a runner, she is an amazing mom and wife, and her family comes first, despite her hectic training schedule.  She teaches us that its never too late to chase those goals or try something new.  Jayindri is passionate about everything life has to offer, but the way she speaks about the women who inspire her, shows the character of a woman of strength.
Eating out|Lifestyle

The Rock Diner

When I asked my son where he would like to go to celebrate his 10th birthday he chose The Rock Diner. This is a casual diner-style restaurant with a traditional diner-style menu.

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A man-size meal equals one happy and excited 10-year-old

Their killer beef or pork ribs and uber delish burgers are to die for, and pretty much explains why a 10-year-old would choose a diner instead of a kid friendly restaurant.

Their chicken ‘Excalibur’ is a popular item on their menu and definitely my fav dish at The Rock Diner, but this time around I tried their baby chicken. Now let me just tell you that there is nothing baby about their chicken. In fact all their meals are overly generous portions, and having to feed two growing young men makes this the ideal place to eat out.

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The Excalibur

The Rock Diner has a variety of dishes that will cater to almost everyone’s needs and tastes, and is accompanied with an extensive drink list. Their desserts are to die for and the creme brulee was our favourite. I honestly can’t stop raving about their food.

The decor is chic and rather impressive for a so-called “diner”. It presents a very comfy and chilled atmosphere, with branches open in Design Quarter & Kyalami Corner. Menu’s vary slightly between the two locations with the “Fallen Ice-Cream” only being available at Design Quarter. I guess I will need to make my way over there to try it out.

The staff get a 10 out of 10 as far as I am concerned. Everyone is super attentive and friendly. They were especially great with the kids and is also another reason my kids love going there.

And if all this wasn’t enough to entice you to make your way to The Rock Diner, then how about their weekly specials. Mondays and Thursday their 1kg of ribs sells for an impressive R129. On Sundays all burgers are half price between 4pm-8pm. Lastly, you still have the option of making us of your Entertainer App. So there are no real excuses. Definitely a restaurant worth trying out.

Fitness

My Love-Hate Relationship with Running

If you don’t already know, I have a love-hate relationship with running. The hate part began 2 decades ago when I did basic military training in the South African Air Force. Running has never been my thing but I have always secretly wished that I could run. Like just run non-stop for a mere and insignificant 5km. The love part is where running (or run-walking in my case) helps me clear my head and process things. At the end of a run I always feel rather strong, but it’s also the exercise the improves my fitness level the quickest.

When I started my weight loss journey, my biokineticist wanted me to run 30 minutes on the treadmill daily. Oh my word … I think I almost died that first day. Needless to say that there was no running involved but my chest was on fire and my breathing was heavy. It was complete and utter torture. Thinking back my speed on the treadmill was a 4. I started doing parkruns with my husband and kids. Time for my first 5km was more than 60 minutes. I have however had slow but steady progress over the last year and now run on the treadmill with my speed setting at 8 and I can complete a 5km in 38 minutes. It’s all about progress and not perfection, but I’m ready to take my running to the next level.  So I a 12 week program and my blogger friend suggested a running app that gets you to 5km in 8 weeks, so at least we have choices.

12 weeks to a 5km
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Phone app suggested by Cherralle who runs the blog My Daily Cake

A Few Pointers to Keep in Mind

  • Safety First

Remember to always get medical clearance before starting on any exercise programme. It’s also important to listen to your body. Road running and trail running has become increasing dangerous in South Africa. Try and join a running club or find a running partner. Avoid running on your own in isolated and/or dark areas.

  • Shoe Selection

The single most important piece of equipment is running shoes. If at all possible have your feet analysed to determine the if you are a pronator or not. I, in particular have flat feet so stability running shoes are best suited for me. I’m torn between my Asics Noosa Tri 11’s and my New Balance 860v8’s. I’ve heard that feet, particularly those of beginners, tend to swell the further you run. Something to consider when running longer distances.

  • Running Attire

When it comes to running, runners prefer comfort far ahead of fashion when it comes to fitness gear. Begin with basics: a pair of shorts or tights (helps prevent chafing) and definitely invest in a good quality high impact sports bra. Layering is essential in colder conditions. Reflective gear is import for night races and road running. I definitely can’t run without my buff and peak cap. I’ve yet to find a good quality pair of running sunglasses but it’s definitely on my list.

  • Tech Stuff

GPS watches and fitness trackers allow runners to measure time, distance, pace, and much more. Personally, I love my Fitbit and seeing I’m not a professional runner, the Fitbit Charge 2 does everything I need it to do

These also happen to be some of my fav exercises

General instructions:

  • Don’t forget to start with a 5-10 minute brisk walk or jog to warm up before every session and end with a 5-10 minute brisk walk to cool down.
  • After cooling down, take the time to do some stretching.

Guidelines

  • Easy run – comfortable pace, where conversation with walking partner is easy.
  • Moderate run – you might be left slightly breathless.
  • Moderate run with hills – a moderate-paced run that includes about 3 to 4 hills of 300m each.
  • Fast run – make a concerted effort to maintain a fast pace.
  • Repeats, tempo, hills, strides – speed-work sessions.
  • Strength training – not essential for you to finish the 5km distance, but it has tremendous benefits, both for your running fitness and your health.
  • Cross training – not essential, but makes your training programme more balanced.
  • Rest – a vital part of any training programme when your muscles increase in strength

So while running is an internal and mental battle for me, 2018 will be the year I overcome this and the year I run a 5km non-stop. 1July 2018 Im coming for you.

Food

Chicken & Cashew with Baby Pak Choi

Chicken & Cashews with Baby Pak Choi

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 8 chicken breasts, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 baby pak choi, quartered
  • 5 green onions, chopped, green and white parts separated
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 red chillies (cut into rings)

Directions

  1. The sauce: in a small bowl whisk the stock with the oyster and hoisin sauces, then the garlic. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or a wok over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown. When cooked place in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add the pak choi, white part of green onions and peppers to the same skillet; cook until the stem of the pak choi and peppers are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  5. Return cooked chicken to skillet along with the sauce, the green onion tops, red chillie and the cashews.
  6. Cook until sauce thickens, and everything is heated through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice or noodles
  8. Sprinkle chopped cashews, fresh red chilli, coconut and dhania on the top (optional)


Food

Chocolate Bark

  • Servings: 1 sheet
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup nuts, roasted and chopped (almonds, macadamia, cashews)
  • 1/4 seeds (pumpkin, chia, sunflower seeds)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut flakes

Directions

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicon mat.
  2. Break chocolate into pieces
  3. In a double boiler, add chocolate pieces, coconut oil and butter. Allow to melt mixing slowly.
  4. Pour chocolate into the baking tray and even out.
  5. Sprinkle the chopped nuts and seeds over the chocolate.
  6. Pop the tray into the freezer to set.
  7. When set break into pieces and serve.
  8. Store in the fridge as it will melt quickly