Healthy Shift Worker Snack – Chocolate & Sesame Seed Slice.

Sugar cravings are a massive challenge for anyone working shift work because the body instinctively seeks out sugar as a source of fuel when its been unable to obtain sufficient quality sleep.

This is because it can convert this sugar into energy much more quickly than it can from eating protein or fat.

However, eating large amounts of sugar over time – especially the highly refined and processed sugar found in most store bought chocolate and candy bars, can be a leading contributor to an ever expanding waistline.

In fact this expanding waistline forms one of the ‘Top Shift Working Struggles’ that I mention in my newly released book – Too Tired To Cook.

It’s why making your own homemade chocolate snacks can be a much healthier alternative – especially for your waistline!

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Shift Work Snack Ideas: Zucchini Coconut Lunchbox Bread

Do you often struggle to find healthy snacks to munch on during your shift? Are you guilty of snacking on store-bought cakes, muffins or donuts with little nutritional value? Essentially manufactured food which is laden with fats, additives, colours and flavourings?

Well I have an alternative – and I promise you will love it.

Forget the Krispy Crème donuts – you can whip this nutrient dense zucchini coconut bread at home in your kitchen and throw in your lunchbox to have for morning tea, afternoon tea or even as a midnight snack if you’re working a night shift.

Not only are there no hidden additives, colourings and flavourings – there’s absolutely no sugar!

Now before you panic and think it’s going to taste awful – think again. This recipe is delicious! And what I really love about this recipe is that it makes two cakes so you can keep one in the fridge and slice up the other one and throw it in the freezer for later.

In other words you can be all stocked for your entire working week – even if you work more than 7 days straight!

Nutritional Facts: Zucchini is SO good for you – it’s a great source of vitamin C, manganese, potassium and vitamin B6.

Ingredients

2 large zucchinis, finely grated
1 cup rice malt syrup
1 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons coconut butter or oil
3 large eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup toasted pecan nuts, crushed
shredded coconut (for topping)

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Grease and line two loaf tins with baking paper. Squeeze grated zucchini and drain as much liquid as you can before adding to baking mix.

Mix zucchini, syrup, oil, eggs and coconut butter in a large bowl.

In another bowl sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the coconut flour.

Add flour mixture to the zucchini mixture. Add pecans and mix well using a wooden spoon. Scoop mixture evenly into the prepared loaf tins. Smooth the tops and sprinkle the coconut on top.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until cooked through when tested with a skewer inserted down the middle of the breads. Remove from oven. Cool in tins for about 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool further.

Butter a slice and eat straight away or freeze in ziplock bags to carry in your lunchbox for a nutrient packed shift work treat.

Recipe adapted from Cook Republic.

Raw Cacao Chocolate: A Treat That Will Give You Some Oomph! Even After An Early Shift …

Whether it’s night shift, early shift or even an afternoon shift, working 24/7 is certainly hazardous on your health – particularly when you’re wondering around like a zombie thanks to a life of constant sleep-deprivation.

So in times of a much-needed pick me up, have you ever reached into the refrigerator for some chocolate only to feel guilty afterwards?

Well have I got some good news for you!

Try these Raw Cacao Chocolate Treats With Coconut Flakes as they will not only give you energy, but they’re actually good for you too.

(Yes that is not a misprint!) Let me explain why.

Cacao is the seed of an Amazonian fruit tree which is the main ingredient found in chocolate. Often referred to by the Ancient Mayan and Aztec civilisation as “the food of the gods”, raw cacao has many health benefits including:

* A high source of magnesium which helps balance brain chemistry and build strong bones
* Increases energy, focus and alertness
* Helps to diminish appetite
* Contains no sugar
* Touted as the number one source of antioxidants of any food on the planet!

So how do you make these wickedly good for you treats? Quite simply and easily using the following recipe below:

Ingredients

1/2 cup pure raw chocolate cacao nibs
1/2 cup cacao powder
3/4 cup almonds
1 tbsp. coconut butter
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. organic coconut flakes

Method

1. Throw everything into a high performance food processor and blend until thick.
2. Press firmly and flatten onto plate
3. Allow to set in freezer for 45 minutes
4. Break into small pieces and store in freezer until ready to eat!

Note: These treats are incredibly addictive so best not have too many before bed time!

Shift Work Snacks – How To Have Your Chocolate And Eat It Too!

When you work shift work it’s really easy to snack on all sorts of junk food. If you’re feeling fatigued all of the time you just want to grab the fastest source of food you can get yours hands on.

And for most shift workers, this typical shift work diet falls into the ‘very unhealthy’ category.

I know because I used to be one of them.

Chips, chocolate, lollies, soft drink, fast food burgers – you name it and I’ve tried it.

The only trouble with this lifestyle, is eating junk food severely adds to your fatigue.

Have a think about this.

If you eat a packet of potato chips which are laden with fat, salt, and preservatives how is it going to give you more energy? Your body is going to think – “What on earth is this?” or more importantly, “how am I going to digest these potato chips because they’ve undergone so much human intervention.”

Your body simply does not recognise this type of food.

You see the actual process of digestion expends a great deal of energy, so if you’re already struggling from exhaustion then you’re only contributing to your fatigue when you eat these types of highly processed foods.

Your body is an amazing machine.

It can put of with a lot of junk but it will always struggle to digest highly processed food because it quite simply does not know HOW to digest it. As a result, not only will you feel really tired soon after eating this food, your body will receive little if any nutrition at all.

If anything, you are just loading up your body with toxic substances making you feel even more tired.

What’s really interesting is in most developed countries today, people are severely malnourished.

Not because we don’t have an abundant source of nutritious food (quite the contrary), but because we’re eating all of the wrong foods. Foods that were not grown from the earth containing all of the essential vitamins and nutrients our body needs in order to stay healthy and function at its peak.

So I’ve decided to share with you one of my favourite shift work snack recipes to help steer you away from this toxic junk food path. It’s about eating more raw foods, that is, foods which are as close to their original state as possible.

And the best part about this shift work snack is you can have your chocolate and eat it too!

Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Cacao Balls

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup softened dates
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup gogi berries
3 heaped dessert spoons of Organic Raw Cacao Powder
1 tsp vanilla concentrate
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons tahini paste
Desiccated coconut for rolling

Soak dates overnight or simmer until soft. Process all ingredients (except the coconut) in a food processor and then place into the fridge for 30 minutes. When cool, shape into balls and roll in desiccated coconut (makes about 20).

The Healthiest Snacks of Them All!

I’ve just got back from doing my grocery shopping and I’ve got to tell you – I’m very excited!
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Hmmm… you’re probably thinking I’m a bit weird.

Well maybe a little, but it’s because my fridge is now bursting with vibrant colour from all of my fresh produce.

Nature has provided us with the healthiest and tastiest snacks of them all – as you can see right here from my overflowing fruit bowl.

Inside that bowl I have plums, peaches, bananas (kinda obvious that one), pears, apples, lemons (great to add to ice cold water for some extra zing), apricots, and my all-time favourite summer time fruit – mangoes!

And don’t forget you can add any of these fruits to create a delicous smoothie (… well maybe not the lemon), as it is a great way to fill you up and keep you going until dinner time.

So forget about reaching for chips, chocolate or biscuits when you’re in need of a snack – they will only zap your energy and leave you feeling like a deflated balloon!

Eat what natured intended us to eat and you’ll be fighting off fatigue and sickness in next to no time.