Be inspired by health and fitness pins

By Kirstin Buick
10 June 2013

Our Pinterest blogger tells us there’s so much on the content-sharing service to be inspired by, especially if you’re watching your weight and trying to stay healthy.

It’s easy to get lost in the awe-inspiring world that is Pinterest. Especially the food and drink section.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up positively “starving” and in desperate need of a slice of chocolate chip cookie pie or some bacon and corn griddle cakes after a visit to this Pinterest category.

But for every Oreo cheesecake, there’s something for those of us wanting to live a healthier, trimmer life.

So once in a while, try to tear yourself away from the all the calorific joys in this section and check out these fab finds in the health and fitness section – they’re just as interesting as brownie browsing.

These are just a few things I learnt from it. And thankfully, it didn’t leave me wanting to stop off after work in search of chocolate , cream cheese or bacon. For once.

Salads aren’t boring

Jamie Oliver has been trying to tell me this since I fell in love with him years back but I just never believed him. I’m not a big salad eater – to me it’s cold, watery, tasteless and unsatisfying.

But one look at this simple cucumber, avocado and mango salad with lime gave me some kind of hope of getting more nutrition into my diet. Sounds juicy, sweet and tart.

Ingredients

15-25 ml (3-5 t) fish sauce

5 ml (1 t) freshly grated lime zest, plus more to garnish

30 ml (2 T) lime juice

15 ml (1 T) canola oil

10 ml (2 t) light brown sugar

5 ml (1 t) rice vinegar

1 ml (¼ t) crushed chilli

1 medium cucumber, diced

1 avo, diced

1 mango, diced

60 ml (¼ c) fresh coriander, chopped

Method

1. Whisk fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, vinegar and chilli in a large bowl.

2. Add cucumber, avocado, mango and coriander and toss.

3. Serve garnished with lime zest, if desired.

Apples are great snacks, ok!

We have a running joke in the office that if someone says they’re craving a chocolate or something equally calorific, we suggest they eat an apple instead.

It’s often met with a very dirty look and it’s funny because who really enjoys an apple over, let’s say, a packet of jelly babies when the 3 pm snack attack hits?

But these ideas gave me inspiration. When you’re watching your weight or health in general they can come in handy. I really wouldn’t mind suggesting these.

Baked apple chips Simply slice apple thinly, coat in a bit of sugar and cinnamon and back until golden!

Whole baked apple: Core an apple and stuff with oats, nuts and a little honey. Bake until soft.

Apple sandwiches Mix up some muesli and peanut butter and spread between two thick apple slices.

I don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in cupcakes

I’m obsessed with cupcakes. I can never seem to have just one and always end up on a sugar high and wracked with guilt that only another cupcake can ease. But alternatives exist! How cute are these? And just look at those healthy ingredients!

Frozen yoghurt cups

Makes 12

Ingredients

250 ml (1 c) low-fat vanilla yoghurt

8 strawberries

half a ripe banana

5 ml (1 t) mini chocolate chips

Method

  1. Place 12 mini silicone baking cups on top of a small wooden cutting board.
  2. Fill each of the cups halfway with yoghurt.
  3. Puree the strawberries and banana. Add a small spoonful to each cup, so no yoghurt is showing.
  4. Then add another dollop of yoghurt to each cup using the last of the yoghurt.
  5. Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of each cup.
  6. Gently place the board in the freezer for at least an hour.
  7. Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 10 minutes before eating.

There’s chocolate, and then there’s chocolate

Who knows what a chocolate bar is stuffed with? When the craving for chocolate hits, I’d much rather prefer to indulge in the real stuff and make myself a dark chocolate treat instead of having a sugary chocolate bar – it contains fewer kilojoules and actually has some health benefits.

I’m obsessed with this idea.

Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters

Ingredients

250 ml (1 c) plus 45 ml (3 T) melted dark chocolate chips

dried cherries (optional)

375 ml (1 ½ c) whole almonds

handful of coconut shavings

Method

  1. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Start melting dark chocolate chips in a pan on low heat; it won't take long to melt. If you want a sweet cherry taste, throw a handful of them into the pot once the chocolate has melted.
  3. Place a teaspoon of melted chocolate on the baking paper, top with a small handful of almonds. Drizzle almonds with one tablespoon melted chocolate. Repeat process with remaining almonds and chocolate until your pan is full.
  4. Sprinkle coconut shavings over each tiny delight.
  5. Transfer to the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to chill and remove when firm. They'll be ready to enjoy right away!

Note: The serving size is for melted chocolate, not chocolate chips.

I can’t, I just can’t do it alone

If you’re anything like me, motivational quotes, rather that stats about obesity are the thing that will see you choosing a healthy meal over mac and cheese for dinner or going for a jog/walk. When I need a boost, or reminder about why I want to be healthier, it’s easy to log onto Pinterest and find it. These are just two of my recent faves.

I can ignore those “it’s too cold to exercise” excuses in my head

There are tons of quick ways to get in your exercise quota for the day. And in winter, it’s nice to have options for exercises you can do inside too. Like these! Just print them and stick them up on your wall, and of course the key to success is to do them! I have a space in a spare room at home and whenever the urge to exercise strikes I go there. This would be the perfect place to put up guidelines like these.

-Kim Arendse

  • c – cup(s)    t – teaspoon(s)    T – tablespoon(s)

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