Laiken @everydaysimplehealth

 

I’m Laiken, a 22 year old girl from SA in Australia loving a plant based diet filled with colours, nutrients & carbs!

 

I have never been overweight but when I was younger my diet was mainly filled with packaged junk - against my Mum’s advice. I was a fussy kid in my school days. I also never really played any sports and did little to no exercise. This kind of diet and lifestyle really didn’t help with all the stomach and digestive issues I was experiencing.

 

I saw a gastroenterologist where without doing any tests that a too invasive as I was only in my teens, he suggested I have IBS and recommended I should clean my diet up... which I wasn’t too keen on and I didn’t start doing until my very late teens!

 

When I left school and got an office job, that was when I joined the gym as I knew I would be sitting down for long hours! From then I slowly started learning more about food and exercise, really focusing on it over the last three years. I was noticing that changing my diet made me feel better, not completely better, but it improved my symptoms.

 

My diet has made the most progress over the last 1.5 years as this was when I switched to a plant based diet. In my everyday life, I don’t eat gluten, dairy, refined sugar, meat, eggs or animal products, just eating lots of fruits, veggies and some grains. About once a week I treat myself by going out to dinner but I still try to keep my diet vegetarian when dining out and usually opt for a gluten free option and always ask for no cheese.

 

 

Some of the delicious creations on Laiken's @everydaysimplehealth Instagram feed

 

I like to play around with my diet and see what helps me feel the best. You may have heard the terms “HCLF” or “80/10/10”, which is what I am doing lately. This is where most of your calories, 80% from carbs (fruit & starches, veggies & grains) and the rest is 10% protein & 10% fats.

 

I’ve also tried a low FODMAP diet which is recommended for people who have IBS and digestive issues. To describe this briefly, it’s a diet where you cut out lots of trigger foods that are typically difficult for the body to digest. It didn’t really work for me but I still limit some of the things the FODMAP diet suggests like onion, garlic, broccoli and legumes.

 

The problem with IBS is that no matter what you do or try you will still have your “bad” days and moments. You just have to find a way of eating that keeps your stomach well, more often than not, and I find a plant based one agrees with me best. I also drink a lot of water (around 4ltrs), take a dairy free pro-biotic and keep my stress levels down as being stressed affects me quite a lot. Stomach problems can be caused by mental health! Some other tips that I find also help is: drink at least 1 litre of water before breakfast each morning (with lemon is great), not eating too frequently (having at least 3 hours between each meal), not “grazing” (eg. Eating an actual meal, not snacking frequently... but yes, I do still snack!), not eating too quickly (my personal struggle! Haha) and finally, drinking before and after meals, not during as this can upset the digestive process.

 

I love the Power Super Foods range of products as they have a huge variety available including my staples of Cacao Powder, Maca Powder, Goji Berries and Chia seeds.

 

Laiken's fave PSF goodies

 

I use Maca Powder daily to help with hormone function, mental health and because it’s a natural energy booster – perfect to add to your morning smoothie or oatmeal.

 

Cacao is amazing because well... it’s healthy chocolate packed with benefits! I have it multiple times a week in my smoothie and it’s great in making baked and raw vegan chocolate-y treats. Just like Maca, it’s a natural energy booster. It’s also a source of protein, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamins C & B.

 

Here are some of my favourite recipes:

 

 High-Iron, Chocolate Super Smoothie

(Serves One)

INGREDIENTS:

3 frozen, ripe bananas

1 handful of baby spinach

250ml coconut water (can sub for water or dairy-free milk)

2 heaped tsp cacao power

dash of cinnamon

OPTIONAL:

1 tsp nut butter

1/2 tsp maca powder

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp blackstrap molasses (major source of iron!)

 

METHOD:

  1. add all the ingredients to a blender except the bananas. I use a stick blender so I add individual broken pieces of banana and blend each one as I go so I can control the thickness. You may need to add more coconut water or liquid to achieve your desired consistency.
     
  2. If it’s a slight green colour add more cacao powder!

 

 

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

(Makes 8)

INGREDIENTS:

Each, for top & bottom layer:

4tbsp coconut oil

3tbsp cacao powder

1 tbsp coconut nectar (can sub for liquid sweetener of choice eg. Rice malt syrup)

 

 METHOD:

  1. Melt the above ingredients on the lowest heat on the stove in a pot to melt and combine.

  2. Pour into moulds, I used silicone ones, and pop in a sealed container & into the freezer and leave for about 15 minutes.

  3. When they have set, smooth about a tsp of peanut butter on each one & pop back into the freezer while you re-make the chocolate mix as you did earlier for the base.

  4. Pour an even amount of chocolate as you did for the bases on top of the peanut butter & pop back into the freezer.

  5. Enjoy when they are set & store them in the freezer.

 

 

Sweet Potato Mousse that’s Healthy Enough for Breakfast!

(Serves One)

INGREDIENTS:

1-1&1/2 cups sweet potato mash

2 tbsp cacao powder

1 tsp soaked chia seeds

2 tbsp date paste or liquid sweetener (eg. Rice malt syrup or honey)

1/4 tsp maca powder (omit for dessert version as maca powder is an energy booster!)

a dash of cinnamon

1/3 cup almond milk

 

METHOD:

In a food processor, combine all ingredients.

Pop in the fridge to chill for 30+ minutes before consuming.

 

You can find Laiken on Instagram, search:

@everydaysimplehealth

or look up her blog at: 

https://everydaysimplehealth.wordpress.com/