Fuel for Thought

Krissy Cela’s small steps to happy, healthy, strong

We often let big dreams get in the way of our happiness. Let me give you some examples. We spend so much time thinking, ‘I want to get fit to run a marathon’ that we let the marathon take over our lives. Or we might think that the only way to train is by lifting really heavy weights and all we focus on is our personal best.

As much as these thoughts and goals are valid, we let them get in the way of our everyday, small wins – and that isn’t what fitness should be. Approaching fitness with a holistic mind is all about small changes, small steps, all designed to make you feel and be your very best. That might be eating more veg every day, making your own lunch instead of buying it or taking the stairs instead of the lift. These steps are the key to feeling positive and happy about fitness – not putting pressure on yourself when you’re working out.

So what’s the key to happiness?

You. You are your best friend, your best cheerleader, your best you! Prioritizing your fitness journey, your food and your health helps everything else fall into place. You’ll feel more confident in yourself, you’ll take control of your own time, decisions and choices. We all spend so much time focusing on the happiness of others, but now I want you to make your life, your wellbeing, the number one priority. And the beauty of it is, it doesn’t take very long!

People think you need to train for hours on end in the gym, but a simple 30–40-minute workout at home or at the gym is all you need to get those endorphins going to make you feel great about yourself. If you start with 15 minutes, you’ll soon realize you have time to fit in another 15 minutes. Just start making time for your wellbeing and, I promise you, those happy feelings will follow.

You just need to focus on:

  • Your ‘whys’
  • Your habits
  • Your schedule
  • Your routine
  • Your planning

Remember to grab a diary, a journal or the calendar on your phone and schedule your workouts. When it’s set in stone (in black and white), you’re way more likely to do the workout as the planning and thinking have already been done. And if you’re not feeling it? Just get up and do it anyway – remember, it’s a healthy habit, one that you will never regret.



Carrot Cake Muffins

Makes 12 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins

These muffins are absolutely delicious and super easy to make. It’s like having dessert for breakfast and I can’t tell you how much I love dessert! Just be sure not to finish the whole batch in one go.
Calories: 301kcal • Carbohydrates: 31g • Fat: 17.9g • Protein: 5.9g

Ingredients

  • 120ml olive oil or melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g rolled oats
  • 50g pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 3 large carrots, scrubbed and grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 200ml almond milk, or other milk of your choice
  • 100g chopped walnuts
    100g raisins

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, and grease a 12-hole muffin tray.
  2. Put all the ingredients, except the walnuts and raisins, in a blender or food processor and blend to form a coarse batter that still has some chunks. Stir in the walnuts and raisins.
  3. Divide the mixture between the holes in the muffin tin. Bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins bounce back when you lightly press the tops.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to seven days.

Ricotta & Spinach Pasta

Serves 3 generously

Prep: 15 mins, plus cooling
Cook: 55 mins

Pasta just keeps getting better and better! If I have a bit more time in the kitchen and really fancy a little something extra, I pick up some cannelloni or large pasta shells and make this super-yummy meal.

Calories: 417kcal • Carbohydrates: 31.3g • Fat: 28g • Protein: 14g

  • 16 cannelloni or large pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 200g spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 50g mozzarella cheese, grated, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 150g ricotta cheese
  • 6 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Tomato sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped
    tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4.
  2. Cook the cannelloni or pasta shells in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water according to packet instructions, then drain and allow to cool.
  1. For the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
  1. Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat,  add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the spinach and cook for about 3 minutes until wilted. Transfer the spinach to a large bowl, add the mozzarella, ricotta and basil, season thoroughly and mix to combine.
  1. Spread half the tomato sauce over the base of an ovenproof dish in which the cannelloni or pasta shells fit snugly in one layer. Stuff the pasta with a generous amount of the spinach mixture and arrange in the ovenproof dish. Top with the rest of the tomato sauce, sprinkle over a little grated mozzarella, cover the dish with foil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes, until bubbling.

Happy Healthy Strong by Krissy Cela is published by Octopus. Available now.