This feels odd.
To be seated in front of my laptop and to be blogging again, after a two- month hiatus.. This simply feels odd.
Not in a bad way, of course! Quite the opposite, actually - I'm so excited to be re- entering the blogosphere that I feel butterflies in my stomach.
I'd like to take a moment now to explain that my break from blogging did not come about as a result of laziness or carelessness - it happened because the past few months have been all sorts of crazy, hectic and busy!
Among a trillion other things, the past several weeks have seen the change room foods create guest feature recipes for a number of different websites and eBooks, secure a highly esteemed first stockist, cater for some incredible events, supply private orders to an ever- increasing number of wonderful customers, and get listed in Lorna Jane Active's 'Top Ten Instagram Girls You Need to Follow'! All whilst simultaneously working full- time as a registered pharmacist.
Needless to say, there has been little time for sleep, let alone blogging.
And I'll be honest (and human) for a moment and confess that my stress levels have been impossibly high - but I've discovered (or rather, rediscovered) a solution, and it has been my saviour.
You see, when the going gets tough, it's easy to dismiss physical activity as a luxury instead of a necessity. Look at all the other things that need to be done, I'm guilty of thinking to myself - I don't have time to go for a run.
And so, I'll wade through days and nights of endless work, becoming less productive as time goes by, until I pull on my sneakers and step outside for a run. Or pick up my dumbells and start to lift. Or lay down my yoga mat and salute the sun.
No matter how much I have on my plate, I have never regretted a workout. Instead, after it's done, I'm filled with a new sense of purpose and accomplishment - and every stressful task immediately seems achievable and less daunting.
One other thing I've noticed from all of this stress- busting exercise, is that I'm beginning to crave proats again.
'What are proats?' I hear you ask.
Proats are simply protein (powder) + (overnight) oats.
They're rich with complex carbohydrates that help to provide a steady and sustained release of energy, but also contain good fats and protein to help aid fat burning and muscle recovery and repair.
My favourite proats recipe to date has been the one I am about to share with you.
Please note: I make my own cold- pressed juice because I am fortunate enough to own a cold- press juicer. However, in a pinch, most supermarkets sell cold- pressed juice, and there are also a number of cold- pressed juice boutiques that exist now, too. When neither option is available, I have been known to blend (using a stick blender) freshly- sliced apple and use the cloudy juice as a substitute instead. I strongly discourage the use of regular juice - the reasons for this will be covered in a blog post at a later date.
my favourite 'proats'
1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup cold- pressed apple juice
1/2 cup organic plain, unsweetened yoghurt* - plus extra, for serving
6 Brazil nuts, roughly chopped*
2 tbsp organic (dried, unsweetened) shredded coconut* - plus extra, for serving
2 tbsp organic hemp seeds - plus extra, for serving
2 tbsp organic raw mulberries*
1/2 tbsp organic maca powder*
1/2 tbsp organic mesquite powder*
2 tbsp vanilla pea protein powder*
1 tbsp organic chia seeds - plus extra, for serving
Organic crunchy peanut butter, organic raw cacao nibs*, sliced banana - for serving
Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir until the ingredients are well- combined. Add the apple juice and yoghurt, then stir well.
Cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight (or for at least 1-2 hours) to allow the fruit and oats to become plump and deliciously juicy.
To serve, top with dollops of peanut butter and yoghurt, and sprinkle with shredded coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cacao nibs and sliced banana.
Now, time to go for that run..
* I use five:am organic yoghurt, loving earth's organic activated Brazil nuts, shredded coconut, raw white mulberries, maca and mesquite powders, and Vital Greens pea protein powder.