Pear and Raspberry Muffins | Paleo and Gluten Free

Pear and Raspberry Muffins Paleo Gluten Free

Second last week of the holidays.  I'm freaking out just a little because Hunter starts school next week.  Next week.  I can't believe that time has come around already.  Surely there are some other Kindergarten mamas out there freaking out a little just like I am?

I'm trying to stretch the holidays out as long as possible so we have been taking it easy and this week and I have been trying to get back into the habit of baking some healthy snacks for our lunch boxes. The kiddos requested some raspberry muffins so I decided to adapt this delicious paleo banana bread recipe to make some pear and raspberry muffins that are dairy free, grain-free, Paleo and gluten-free.


1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda (or baking soda)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted)
3 eggs
1 cup of berries
1 pear peeled and chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey


1.  Preheat oven to 150 degrees C
2.  Mix the dry ingredients together
3.  Add eggs, oil & syrup/honey, mixing well between each one.
4.  Stir fruit through gently.
5.  Spoon into muffin cups and place in oven.
6.  Bake for approx 20 mins, checking regularly.

You can also replace the fruit with other variations, or make it as a loaf/bread by using a loaf tin and increasing the cooking time to roughly 35-40 minutes.  Let me know how you go..

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Inspirational Mothers: Karla Gilbert

Ever wondered how those fabulously fit and healthy mothers manage to find the time to workout, eat well and look so healthy while still meeting the needs of their families?  Well, I'm really excited to kick off my Inspirational Mothers series today which will be happening here for the next little while.  Every Monday, I will be introducing you to a fit mama who is successfully finding ways to manage her family, health and fitness. This series is designed to inspire you as well as bring you practical tips for living a healthy, active lifestyle. If you've ever wondered how other these inspirational mamas  manage it all, then this is the series for you!

Today we are talking to Karla Gilbert who is an Ironwoman champion, SUP title holder, mother of two beautiful girls, blogger and wellness coach. I am a huge fan of Karla's blog, Ironmum Karla where she regularly shares healthy recipes and fantastic fitness advice. Karla is a terrific inspiration and has been kind enough to share a little about her lifestyle with us today..

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your fitness background.

I competed professionally in the multidiscipline sport of Ironwoman racing (swimming, running, ski paddling and board paddling in the ocean) from the age of 15 and won 7 consecutive Uncle Toby’s/Kellogg’s series titles, 2 world Ironwoman titles and 3 Australian Ironwoman titles. After retiring from the sport I lasted about 1 year not competing and thinking I could return to a somewhat ‘normal’ life but this thought didn’t last long and I dabbled in Adventure racing which lead to an Australian title in 2007.

Kids then entered the scene and Ella – 7 and Summer – 4 who brought a whole new dimension of being busy to my life ;) After Summer was born I began standup board paddling (SUP) as a way to strengthen my body post kids while still being able to enjoy the ocean. One thing led to another and I began competing internationally and have won the past 3 Australian SUP titles as an ambassador for Naish SUP.

I am now a Lifestyle, Food and Wellness Coach assisting people to achieve their own goals in health and blog at Ironmum Karla

2. Have you always been able to successfully find the time to stay fit/active while being a mother?

Yes, with a lot of support from my husband, it was hard at first to try and work around a breastfeeding schedule and tiredness but as the kids got older this freed me up and to helped me to feel ‘me’ again after some horrible nauseating pregnancies.

3. How often do you manage to exercise during the week, and how does this fit in with your family's schedule?

I will do something each day. My husband is active also so we alternate mornings with our different training groups. The mornings he is out I duck into the gym (we have set up at home) and jump on the spin bike or do some strength work before the kids wake. It really is about grabbing any opportunity whether it’s 1/2 an hour here or there. Time is a luxury when there are kids involved, but we do try and hit the beach together on a weekend and go surfing.

4. What is your favourite type of fitness/exercise, has this changed at different stages of your children's lives?

I have always loved anything involved in the ocean. This is where I feel my calmest and at peace. The ocean allows you to only focus on what is around you and brings perspective and clarity once you return to shore. Swimming, surfing, SUP’ing, ocean ski paddling all fall under this umbrella. I used to punch out 3 sessions a day – 6 days a week while I was competing professionally, like any job where I was earning an income the time had to be spent but these days it is more about the social aspect and maintaining a level of fitness and strength that allows me to do the things I love in life. More emphasis is now placed on quality workouts in less time rather than quantity unless I have an endurance event I am training for.

5. So, tell us what your average day looks like?

4.50 am wake up, then off to SUP group training or in my gym, my husband takes control of the kids until I return (or vice versa if he is out training) where I hit the ground running when I return to get the kids ready for school and dropped off at the gate ( Ella in grade 2 and Summer kindy 2 days a week). If it is a day Summer is a kindy I usually have my wellness coaching clients timeslotted during the day or if not we are off to get groceries, the park, housework etc.

Before you know it, 2.30pm rolls around and it’s time to pick up the kids from school and on to after school sport. If my husband has finished work early I might be lucky and get out of this one and get some stuff done around the house otherwise we are back home at around 4.30pm and thinking about dinner and perhaps a quick 25 minute HIIT session in the gym while the kids chill. Usually we have the kids marching up to bed by 6.45 pm for books and homework and asleep by 7.15pm.

In the evenings I tend to work on my blog Ironmum Karla and research with follow up emails for my wellness clients. Once this is done there is some couch time with my husband before I head up to bed around 9.30pm.

6. What is your philosophy/goals when it comes to family nutrition?

Everything in moderation, sticking as close to the source as possible and minimising processed foods. I think being mindful of what you eat throughout the day has a lot of impact on your family’s health. Try to include a rainbow of colours each day and create some sort of plan so you’re not just winging in regards to your grocery shopping and meal plans. If you don’t buy the junk then your kids can’t eat it.

7. Do you have any fitness/exercise goals for the future?

I train for life, and that has always been my philosophy. The last few years have had some big SUPing goals with races in Maui and the USA but this year I want to focus more on my Wellness Coaching and help others achieve their best. Who knows, I haven’t planned most of my sporting endeavours and I tend to go with the flow of what may come!

8. What is your best advice to mamas that would like to be able to be more active, but are having trouble finding the time?

There is never a good time to start, you just have to make a commitment to yourself and make it work. Even when my kids were young, if I had a spare moment I was in the gym and knocking over some dance cardio while they slept or taking the double pram for a spin. Sure I was tired too but I knew it would bring energy to me and make me a happier person. If your kids are at school then is your chance to get something done but do it straight after drop off or else things tend to creep into your day and it doesn’t get done. I know some crazy busy mothers that don’t have a lot of support but they still make it work. We are really good at making up excuses to suit or give a biased opinion but in the end everyone is accountable for their own actions but with a few simple changes to your lifestyle and routine, exercise can become a constant in your life and be the element that brings a sense of control.

Thanks so much for sharing with us today Karla, there is so much wonderful advice here! If you would like to learn more about Karla then head over and check out her awesome blog.
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Guilt-free snacking with Harvest Box

Harvest Box

With school starting back soon, I have been trying to think of nutritious snacks that I can include in our lunch boxes, or in my handbag for after-school snacks, so when Harvest Box asked if I was interested in giving their delicious snacks a try, I was very keen.  The Harvest Box sounded promising... healthy, natural and quick to throw into a bag when we are in a rush (which, with young children, can be quite often).

I usually make my own trail mix to take with us on a daily basis as I find trail mix to be the perfect energy boost I need to satisfy and sustain me between meals, but Harvest Box have delicious combinations that I had never even thought of putting together.  Some of the mixes even contain a tiny bit of chocolate for an extra special treat.  I think my favourite would have to be Go Bananas, and judging by how quickly the kiddos gobbled up the Go Bananas snack pack, I think it's safe to say it is their favourite too.

These delicious snacks are available as a weekly subscription, delivered straight to your door or desk on the day of your choice (and they deliver to every postcode in Australia).  You can also find the Snack Packs in Coles nationally where you can choose from 8 healthy combinations of dried fruit, nuts, seeds and treats.  

The snack packs are just the right size to give fill the tummy and give you some energy between meals, so will help reduce the likelihood that you will be reaching for those unhealthy, sugar-filled alternatives.

Harvest Box is an excellent alternative for busy people that are mindful of what they eat, would like healthy alternatives, yet don't have the time to prepare their own food.  It is quick and convenient and totally healthy.

If you'd like to try these delicious snacks for yourself, Harvest Box have been kind enough to offer TAM fans their first box for free, just click here.
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The secret to living an active lifestyle

active lifestyle

We had a wonderful family holiday last week up on the NSW north coast (photo diary attached). While we were there I was watching Olly spending increasing amounts of time on his new Stand Up Paddleboard, which was turning out to be great not only for his strength, fitness and back pain, but also for his mood.  It got me thinking about exercise and physical activity and why it can be difficult for some people to maintain physical activity in their lifestyle.  One of the biggest reasons is probably that they aren't enjoying it.

Take Olly for instance, up until very recently he was a stay up late-sleep in late kind of guy.  No matter how hard I tried to encourage him to come to bed early and rise early so that he'd have more time to do things, it just wasn't his thing.  But that all changed after he bought his SUP.  Since buying a  SUP he has been up early and out on his SUP before the rest of us have even hopped out of bed. A SUP is definitely a whole lot of hard work, but he loves it, he is completely motivated and can't get enough.

The secret to living a physically active lifestyle isn't complicated.  It is simply, find something that you love and do more of it.  It doesn't matter whether that something is stand up paddleboarding, surfing, snowboarding, running, netball, swimming, yoga, or *insert any sport of your choice here*. If you love it, make time to do more of it.  Arrange your lifestyle around it.  That is the secret to staying active and living a life that you love.

We all know that the benefits of exercise are numerous, but exercise doesn't have to be for the young, (if you don't believe me just watch this), for the fit (everyone has to start somewhere), or for people that have the time (reality check here) . You just need to stop making excuses and start looking for ways to make it work.  I am allowed to say that because I spent quite a few years making excuses myself.

Exercise should be fun.  It doesn't have to be boring, repetitive or lengthy sessions (just google HIIT).  It can and should be something that you love doing.  If you don't love it, try something else until you find something you love.  Just take a look at those people in the Jack Lalanne video above, you can see that they love what they are doing, and that is why they are still doing, and are still able to do their chosen activities at the fabulous ages they are.

Find something you love.  Do more of it.

That is the secret.

If you want to be more active but are feeling overwhelmed or time-poor, then get ready for an exciting new series starting next week where we will talk to an inspirational mama every Monday to find out how she manages to find the time to fit exercise into a busy family schedule!  See you back here then :)

(a few pics from our summer holiday below)..

active lifestyle
post-surf coconut berry smoothie
Olly and I
Surf date with Olly but surf and weather were not cooperating
a little slice of paradise
the boy loves his SUP

I am so looking forward to when these gorgeous kiddos can come surfing with us

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Why rabbits make the best pets

rabbits make best pets

I mean, seriously.. how could you not love this little face? Meet Sniffy, our family rabbit. All snuggled up like this, I'm quite sure he thinks he is a baby. This lucky little guy got himself a new deluxe penthouse suite for an early Christmas present, and my munchkins were excited to get on the tools and help me put it together. I was actually pretty impressed with how well Alleah used a screwdriver for the very first time. I get the feeling this girl will be totally capable in the DIY department!

I had never even considered adopting a rabbit as a pet until Mr 5 found one in our front yard one day. We adopted him and cared for him, and fell just a little bit in love with him, until his owners came door knocking (as we'd left our information with a local vet). The kids were so upset that he had to go home that we decided it might be time to adopt one of our own, and that's how Sniffy, Mr Sniffles or Sniffle Bunny (as he gets called) became the newest member of our family.

Until owning a rabbit. I never realised how fantastic (and practical) they are for a pet. We weren't ready to commit to all the walking, yard adjustments and cleaning up dog poo that is involved with owning a dog, so we have found that a rabbit is the perfect choice. Thanks to PetCircle, I'm going to tell you why rabbits make such fantastic first pets:

1. They easily house-train

Rabbits are very easy to house train. In fact, a lot of the time they will train themselves. We just place a cat litter box with some straw in a corner for Sniffy, and he uses it to do his business. Very little mess, no fuss.

2. They are affectionate

Our little guy comes and gives us licks, kisses and love nibbles whenever he wants a pat. He will sit or lay with us for as long as we will pat him. If we happen to fall asleep in our lounge room, where he likes to hang out, we are often awakened by kisses from a rabbit.

3. They like their own space

During the day when we are busy going about our business, they tend to hibernate. Generally speaking they become most active in the morning and evenings, preferring to rest during the day.
This is perfect for a busy family and gives us the space we need to do our thing during the day without feeling like we are neglecting him.

4. You don't have to walk them

This is perfect for the busy family. We don't really have time to add dog-walking into our routine at the moment, so having a rabbit is perfect. As long as they have a large enough run/cage, or they can come inside and roam freely around a room, they will be getting enough exercise. Our little guy lives in a hutch outside during the day, but comes inside after the kids go to bed for the evening. He used to live inside all day but he did like to chew on the kids books and toys that they'd leave on the floor, so now he only hangs out in our lounge room which is rabbit-proof.

5. No poo clean up

I think this one is self-explanatory. I'll just say that a litter box is very easy to empty and I'd much rather clean that than the bigger animal alternative! ;)

6. Holiday friendly

We like to travel when possible, and boarding animals can become expensive. One of our reasons for buying Sniffy such a nice big hutch was that we can happily leave him at home, knowing that he will get enough exercise inside his hutch, and our family/neighbours can check on him and feed him easily for us when we are away.

7. Cuteness

Rabbits have to be right up there on the cuteness scale. How can you not love them?

If you are looking for a great family pet that low-maintenance, then definitely consider a furry little rabbit friend. We love our one!

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Coconut Berry Smoothie

coconut berry smoothie

Olly has been making me the most delicious smoothies over the holidays. This coconut berry smoothie is both delicious and nutritious. It has no refined sugar, is dairy free and Paleo-friendly. It has an optional tablespoon of coconut oil for some added energy and dose of healthy fat.

The thing I love most about this smoothie (apart from the delicious taste), is that it doesn't separate, so you can make a big batch, take some with you, or store it in the fridge for later!  Olly got the original idea for the smoothie recipe here, but he changed it slightly, so here is our version:


1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 ripe avocado
1 apple (cored, peeled & diced)
2 cups coconut milk
1T coconut oil (optional)
6 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!
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Happy New Year

I can't believe it is New Years Eve already!  I'm sitting here, on the couch, wrapped in a gorgeous throw that my mama bought me for Christmas.  Olly and I have been watching the Victoria Secret Fashion Show (which is kinda becoming our New Years tradition).  We had big plans of venturing out to the local 9pm fireworks, and I got really excited about it for two reasons - 1.  we have had quite a few recent New Years Eve's at home, and 2.  I don't think the munchkins have ever seen real live fireworks before, but as anyone with kids knows, you have to learn to be flexible, and the munchkins were pretty tired after a few late nights and a big week, so we decided it was best to let them get a good night sleep after all..

This year has been a good one.  I am thankful for the many blessings we have received in 2014.  I have been thinking back over my goals for 2014, and I'm pretty happy that I have achieved most of them.  I improved my diet substantially when I became Paleo, and I ran a 5km fun run (I had been wanting to get back into competitive running for quite a while).  I think I could still improve my water intake so I'm going to add that back to my goals for 2015.

My goals for 2015 are as follows:

Family:  Be present, not distracted.  Be intentional with the way I talk to my children always.  They are old enough that they are picking up on everything these days, so I need to always be mindful that I'm explaining things correctly and carefully.

Fitness:  I'd like to achieve a PB in the 100m, 200m, 110 hurdles, 400m, long and triple jump.  That requires training so that should keep me working hard!

Home:  I want to be more organised and less distracted with my time.  I am such a daydreamer, it can be so hard for me to stay focused, especially when my mind is on a creative project.

Blog:  Write more, share more.  I want things to be bigger and better here at TAM in 2015.  I've held back a lot over the last two years due to feeling like I was juggling my commitments, but I feel like I'm organised to give more here in 2015.  I hope you're as excited as I am!

Health:  Bone broths, smoothies and more veggies being added to my diet in 2015.  Oh and more water of course ;)

And very importantly, I wanted to thank all of you for your support in 2014.  Your kind words and comments are all incredibly touching and I appreciate every single one.  I hope this blog continues to be enjoyable and a positive influence to you in 2015.

So now it's your turn - what are your goals for 2015?  Share a link to them below in the comments, I'd love to pop over to read them!
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