A Dancers Life

Dealing with the pressures of performing.

Dance Advice, The Dancer's DiaryEnergetiksComment


The limelight that occurs on stage can be one of the most rewarding moments of your life but it can also easily be the most terrifying. I recently traveled overseas to another country to compete in a major competition. Away from home, and away from family and all things that seem familiar. It was one of the scariest performances of my life. Not only is it the pressure of competing with others but the pressure of wanting to please those who supported you for making the journey. Keeping a happy mind in such an intense situation can lead to such a rewarding thrill.


My tips for any competition or performance is to keep your cool. Easier said than done, right? So here are some steps for calming your nerves before the big moment;

1. Always ensure you have had a healthy meal with enough energy to sustain you through your warm up and performance! This process can sometimes take hours, especially if your competition is running behind schedule. Along with that you should make sure you are drinking enough water the night before and leading up to the performance. With the nerves and excitement you may not even realize how dehydrated you are which will only make dancing on stage that much harder for your body to handle.


2. Always warm your body up properly. Try and time your warm up so that you are at your warmest and most relaxed right before going out on stage. There is no use in warming up your body just for it to go cold before you go back on stage, that will only waste energy. Start from the feet up and work your way slowly. Remember to switch on all those muscles that you use in practise.


3. Certain people work differently in pressured situations. Some people may constantly talk to others to calm their nerves or some may completely withdraw. Learn what makes you feel comfortable. For me I know I like to spend more time alone having my thoughts to myself. I find the best way is to separate yourself from other competitors maybe by going to a quite dressing room. Also bringing a pair of earphones and listening to your favourite playlist on your phone can be a good way to stay calm and lighten your mood. It is also very important to not always take offense to others in performance situations. People handle themselves in all different ways, what someone else says or does to you is not a reflection of you or your performance. So if anyone treats you in an odd way or begins to act unfriendly or rudely towards you, don't think about it, it’s your performance and your time to shine. Always remember to be considerate of others, be thoughtful before and after you have performed as others may not be as happy as you are with their performance.


4. The build up of entering stage should always be thought of in a positive way. Don’t think about who is performing before you. Look at the stage and plan your floor pattern. This could possibly be a new stage or a new dance never performed on stage by you. So your first few moments entering may be a little confronting. The lights may be shining very brightly and there may even be a dark pit of blackness where the audience is, but these are the things to embrace. Feel the hot lights give you a warm sense of energy. Its not often in life that there are pretty lights beaming down on you, so seize the moment and let yourself shine. The darkness where the audience is can help because you no longer need to look at their faces. If you are struggling to find a spot, there are usually some lights that are kept on in the audience and can act as a guide. Once you have got your bearing on stage let your worries melt away and just sink into the wonderful moment. You have worked as hard as you can up to this point and there is nothing more you can do other than to feel the music and let your heart lead your body.

Many people will never  get the opportunity to perform on a stage, so think about how lucky you are. FORGET your technique and DANCE! Because after all, isn't that the reason you're there.


X Layla

Stunning choreography on a deserted train platform

Dance InspirationEnergetiksComment

American dancers Phillip Chbeeb and Renee Kester are mesmerising in this beautiful piece they choreographed and performed on a deserted train platform, watch and admire! 

We hope this inspires you to go and be fearlessly creative today, enjoy. 

Everyone will tell you it is hard to let go of pain... and it is. Since we are children we have been told to embrace the best of our experiences & disregard the worst... But what happens when the most beautiful memories from our past end up doing the most damage to our future?

How do we let go? 

How do we move forward? 

The past is comfortable
The past is familiar
The past is the prison I'm fighting to escape

Phillip Chbeeb
Renee Kester

Phillip Chbeeb

The Perfect Dance Diet - maybe not what you think...

Body Health + Fitness, Dance AdviceEnergetiksComment

It's becoming more and more apparent in today's health industry that there's more to keeping fit than just exercising and counting calories. With plenty of new studies and research data being collected and published every year proclaiming to have uncovered some new (conflicting) 'key' to achieving the perfect healthy body, it's clear that everyone has there own ideas on the ideal path to fitness. One minute we're told 'No carbs!' the next it's 'More protein!' or, 'no sugar is the key!', but 'dairy is bad!'... 'actually, no, dairy is great! Just avoid chocolate', then 'If you're smart eat chocolate daily, just no caffeine!', 'Stick to margarine not butter. No, scratch that, butter is best!', 'Oh and coffee, coffee is actually wonderful.' ...*cue mental breakdown whilst sobbing into a box of half-eaten chocolates*.

It's no wonder that tucking into a meal these days can give any health-conscious human a mini-panic attack. One day during dance rehearsals for an upcoming show I found myself sitting between two friends, each convinced their lunch was the ultimate healthy diet,  sure to provide them with all the magic ingredients they needed and none of the evil foods that they were both adamant would somehow transform then into sumo-sized dancers  faster than Rothbart can magic Odette into a swan... the trouble was, they were completely opposing each other. One friend was adhering to a strict no-carbs philosophy, snacking on nuts at break time, and living off avocado and egg salad for protein and energy. The other friend in contrast, was of the opinion that fats were to be avoided at all costs, opting to consume as many low-fat, concentrated carbohydrates for sustained energy as she could cram into her tiny portioned lunch container - usually consisting of a banana and a brown rice or pasta dish - and the disapproval with which she eyed the innocent packet of nuts sitting beside me was practically palpable. Meanwhilst her food seemed to be physically repelling my no-carbs classmate. It was like sitting between Abby Lee Miller and Kelly Hyland from Dance Moms.

To say that things were 'tense' in the locker room is an understatement.

No carbs?

No carbs?

vs.                                                                                No fats?

vs.                                                                                No fats?

So who was right? Which diet is correct? The simple answer is both of them, and neither at the same time. Now hang on! Before you despair at that answer, roll your eyes and go back to Googling 'ultimate dancer diet' let us explain;

The problem with the concept of any 'diet' is that it necessitates the restriction of a certain food group, which when you listen to the 'weightloss experts' might sound like a great idea, but is really just an unhelpful fad, with nasty consequences and empty promises. The perfect diet is created through balance, not restriction. Every food group has a purpose and serves a valuable function within the human body, so trying to vastly reduce or eliminate any one of these is going to hinder your body from performing at it's optimum level, and when you are living a particularly active lifestyle as dancers are, this has an even greater impact on your body's ability to function properly and your overall well-being. Not only that, but you're going to have an extremely hard time, because the human body is one awfully clever little machine, and it will be constantly triggering you to crave the food group that it's being deprived of, in order to get what it needs. So if you decide to restrict your fat intake (when fat - by the way - is actually responsible for lowering cholesterol, burning sugar and stabilising blood sugar levels, building muscles and even promoting weight loss to name but a few of it's benefits), guess what's going to happen? You'll probably find yourself neck deep in a tub of Ben and Jerry's before the end of the week.

'Splurging' is often a sign that your body is feeling deprived.     (Image: www.accoladesfitness.com)

'Splurging' is often a sign that your body is feeling deprived.     (Image: www.accoladesfitness.com)

The truth is that any diet that focuses on 'cutting out' a certain food or food group is not acknowledging the way in which our body uses nutrient sources. Something that everyone needs to be aware of is that, even though every nutrient has a specific function, no nutrient ever works completely alone – this is known as the principle of nutrient interaction. Every thing that a nutrient does within the body, it does with the assistance of a series of other processes, which are only possible with the presence of other nutrients.

For example, as the Mental Health Foundation explains in a report by Courtney Van de Weyer; "If fat is ingested, it will be broken down into its different fatty acids, which may then be converted (or ‘elongated’) into the types of fatty acids the body needs. Similarly, protein will be broken down into its different amino acids. These are then available to perform a wide range of processes in the body – including acting as a precursor to other metabolic processes." - Hence, 'eliminating' fat is the equivalent of trying to take a leg off a table, and expecting it to stand straight; it's just not going to work.

The answer is balance: Carbs + fats in moderation will both do you the world of good.

The answer is balance: Carbs + fats in moderation will both do you the world of good.

So now you're starting to get the picture, how do you go about implementing a 'diet' strategy that won't leave you feeling like you're playing a great big nutritional guessing game... Here's some strategy tips to keep you on track:

The Guidelines.

1. Keep it simple: Yes, everything does serve a purpose in the human body. That being said, not all foods are created equal. If you're not sure how healthy something is for you, remember, the less refined the food, the better it's likely to be. Eg: if something looks like it's been plucked right out of the garden (ie. raw fruit and vegetables, nuts, etc.) then you know it's going to be high in nutritional content and lower in additives and nasty preservatives, artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners. If however, it looks more like it's sliced and sautéed it's way through Gordon Ramsay's kitchen, whilst it's (surely) going to be delicious, it's pretty safe to assume that there will be more of those unwanted, processed ingredients and less of the natural stuff. To take it up another notch, if it's takeaway you bought from a fast food joint the other night, and it's sitting in your fridge and still looking fresher than you do after an invigorating jazz class... well it's probably more parts preservatives than food.

So given the choice between two foods, always try to opt for the fresher, less processed of the two. Your body will definitely appreciate it, and I'd wager your tastebuds will too!

2. All things in moderation: So you're craving chocolate? Okay, have some. As long as your idea of 'some' isn't a whole block of Cadbury and a packet of TimTams then there's no harm in having a treat every now and then. Even someone with the self-discipline of, well.... a dancer! - Is not going to be able to maintain a diet that restricts everything even moderately naughty. We all need a treat every so often, regardless of whether to you that means a slice of homemade pizza or an indulgent scoop of icecream. As long as you don't approach the treat with a self-destructive mind-frame ("OMG my diet is ruined, I will never succeed now!" - ahem, not true!) then having something tasty that you enjoy can give you the boost of motivation you need to keep going with your goals, and reassure you that healthy eating is a reward itself, not a sentence to be endured.

3. Stop focusing on the (so-called) bad and start focusing on the good. So far, the health industry has maintained a pretty firm 'Avoid this!!' type tactic when it comes to educating people on what to eat, but at the end of the day, creating negative images around food is only going to leave you feeling miserable and restricted, and set you up for failure. Consequently when you do fall off the wagon, the negative connotations that we have self-imposed on 'bad foods' transfers to you, and you end up feeling like a bad person, or even disgusted with yourself, which isn't just untrue (stop it!) and harmful, but only greatens the chance that you're likely to slip up again, since you're already feeling like you've failed. Solution: when you're wanting to improve your diet or lifestyle, focus on what you need to start doing or eating and forget about the negative things to avoid. Your new healthier routine will naturally start to replace the old foods and habits without you actively avoiding them. ...And you'll be so much happier for it.

Oh, and the same goes for your body. If you really want to succeed in having a healthier, stronger physique, then focusing on the negatives ain't gonna cut it. If you've been working your butt off, and eating healthy for two weeks, but you're still looking in the mirror and attacking your own reflection then of course you're going to struggle to keep going. How are you supposed to keep working hard when you're still only scrutinising your flaws. From day one it's essential that you create a positive attitude towards your body in order to ensure you're giving yourself the best chance at success. Make it a goal to notice the improvements instead of the flaws. Arms looking a little more toned? Yay. Stomach feeling a little tighter? Woohoo. Did an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill today? Go You! Body shaming yourself will never help in any way. It will definitely make the job harder. And you deserve better.

4. It may be a cliche, but remember the mantra 'You are what you eat' ...because we absolutely are.

...just not quite this literally!

...just not quite this literally!

A human body weighing 65 kg comprises: 61.6% water, 17% protein, 13.8% fats, 6.1% minerals and, 1.5% carbohydrates. So as you can see, cutting out proteins or fats, even moderately, is going to have a huge impact on your entire body, especially when 20% of the entire body’s calorie intake goes to the brain alone. And yes I know we're all getting a little tired of experts harping on about how much water we need to be drinking... but you really do need it! Fluid is continuously lost throughout the day with sweat, evaporation and excretion, and if it's not replaced the dehydration will start to affect your mood and alertness. Amongst other things, the bodily fluid we maintain through drinking/ingesting water is responsible for digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

And then of course food with high water content often looks larger, is absorbed more slowly by the body, and it's greater volume requires more chewing, which all helps you to feel fuller. So opting for foods with a higher water content can be an extra strategic step in keeping up the good work; fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans are all great snacks and meals that will increase your water intake and boost your will power.

It's also a great way to look at eating as a tool with which you are building and improving yourself every single day. Each food that you put in your mouth is helping to shape who you will be tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. This makes eating that bowl of veggies even more rewarding when you're aware of how much your healthy eating habits will impact your body.

Image source: https://iamimperfectandiamenough.wordpress.com

Image source: https://iamimperfectandiamenough.wordpress.com

So there you have it. Hopefully we've helped to shed a little light on some of the common dieting misconceptions that bombard us all on a daily basis and have put an end to any tragic 'fat-phobia' or 'carb-phobias' you may have been suffering from. At the end of the day the main thing to remember is to trust your body, and to treat it with the respect and love that it deserves.

After all, your body produces 25 million new cells each second, your brain has over one billion brain cells, and your nerve impulses are firing off at an incredible 400 km/hr. Your heart is beating around 100,00 times every day, whilst your eyes can see up to ten million different colour surfaces and take in more information than the largest telescope known to man, and in your lifetime you will store one quadrillion (that's one million, billion) separate bits of information... so take a minute to think about how amazing your body is, and then go and do something awesome with it!

Happy being-active guys! 

Why you shouldn't act your age!

Things we LOVE, Body Health + Fitness, HealthEnergetiksComment

For the young-at-heart adults out there, we have good news about keeping your inner child alive and kicking (and making the outside match!).

Here is the only excuse you ever need to act like a big kid again, because the verdict is in, acting young keeps you young! ...no need to tell us twice.

The research: In 1981, Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer set up a short but classic experiment: For five days, a group of men in their seventies left their homes and temporarily lived in a house set up to look like 1959, with dated magazines, dated music, and Ed Sullivan on a black and white TV. When the men walked (or shuffled) through the door, they were told to put on Mad Men-era clothing and act as if they were 22 years younger.

The surprise: After they left, they took a battery of tests and seemed to actually be a little physically younger. Acting like their middle-aged selves had left them with better flexibility, dexterity, and even slightly better eyesight. It was a small study, and never published. But it pointed Langer in the direction of decades of further research that supported the simple idea that if you act younger, your body will be a little younger too.

The research inspired a simple new video. As part of an ad campaign, Kiehl's, the skincare brand, asked a group of people to say how old they felt—and then dance as if they were that age, as a reminder that age on a calendar isn't much of a reflection of health.

The campaign "is about embracing our 'second age'—the age we feel," says Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl's USA. "When we were building this, we said things like 'we hope that it will inspire the 15-year-old budding entrepreneur to start a company, the 40-year-old to get out and dance at that club, inspire a 60-year-old to practice for that triathlon.' But the bigger, loftier hope is that it inspires everyone who watches it to simply feel good in their own skin."

They saw dance as the best way to express age. "The Internet is pretty good support of this—if you look up 'old lady dancing' you find endless numbers of hysterical old women dancing to hip hop," says Evan Slater, partner and creative director for Night Agency, which produced the ad. "It's one of those forms of expression that no matter how old you get, you can also express yourself if you're in the mood. It's a universal thing, regardless of age or culture or language. Dance is sort of an easy equalizer."

Though casting included a couple of professional dancers, most of the people in the film are ordinary people reacting to being asked to express their age through dance.

"A lot of times you try to find yourself using the edit room to tell a story that isn't there," says Slater. "In this case, I was amazed at how the theory wasn't just a theory—we didn't have to concoct a story. It's true. You find people and ask them how old they feel, and give them a very simple vehicle to express it, and they can. It's a genuine thing."

Source: Adele Peters, for Co.Exist

Don Quixote in real life..?!


...throwing it back to this little gem because - frankly - if this doesn't help you through those pesky middle-of-the-week blues then we don't know what will.

It's just our long-time idol and all round ballet whizz kid Daniil Simkin innocently going about his day in NYC... as Basilio, from Don Quixote. And since Simkin is currently killing it in the States with his self-initiated art project, Intensio, debuting at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, we thought it was time to revisit what happens when you let Simkin do his thing... Hilarity ensues.


Directed & shot by Alexander Ekman
Shot and Edited by T.M. Rives


Want more? Keep up to date with Simkin's adventures and marvellous photography (we know, he's such a talent hog right...) right here.

Thank us later.

New Black-Swan inspired mini-series to air this year!


For those of you still suffering from Dance Academy withdrawals (...who isn't?), we have good news!

A new ballet-focused mini series is currently in the works; described as a "dark and gritty drama that unflinchingly explores the dysfunction and glamour of the ballet world" - Starz' new drama series Flesh and Bone features dancer Sarah Hay (previously in Aronofsky's film Black Swan) who plays the role of a young ballet dancer making her way in a prestigious New York ballet company.

The cast boasts an impressive selection of professional and former professional dancers (the producers have stated they aimed to use as many real dancers as possible as opposed to actors with body doubles... hurrah!) including former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko, current American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky, and Ballet Arizona company dancer Raychel Diane Weiner. The series also sought out Ethan Stiefel, artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, who served as consultant and choreographer. He created 13 minutes of original ballet in addition to the other elaborate dancing involved in the series.

Certainly something to loo forward to for anyone who's a fan of dance dramas on the small screen! The mini-series is set to air on November 8th in the US, hopefully closely followed by an Australian release date!

Sarah Hay (left), Ethan Stiefel (centre) and Irina Dvorovenko (right).


Energetiks Dancer of the Month!Energetiks1 Comment

Name: Daniel
Age: 24
How did you get into dancing, and how old were you? I got into dance through a local youth arts group, I was about 16 at the time.
What do you like about Energetiks? the STYLE!
Do you have a favourite style of dance? I love contemporary dance, the long flowing movements and the ease of storytelling
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If I had it my way, I would be dancing every day, and acting in my spare time.
What do you like to do when you're not dancing? I act, I am currently learning lines for one play while writing a script for another play.
All-time favourite dance movie: Billy Elliot!
Best dance memory/moment: The very first time I danced in front of an audience (I have been on stage many times before but never for dance) the feeling was amazing, like nothing in the world mattered. The audience faded away, time slowed and the lights reflected off of the stage and my fellow dancers and we just moved... it was beautiful.
Food you can't live without: That's an easy one CHOCOLATE.
The person you'd most like to meet: I would have loved to have met Michael Jackson... he was an amazing artist.
Favourite saying or advice that inspires you: "If it is to be, it is up to me."




Congratulations Daniel, you've won an Energetiks Mystery Prize! Please email promotions@energetiks.com.au to receive your prize.


Would you like to be featured as our Energetiks Dancer of the Month?


Energetiks Dancer of the Month Questionaire

How did you get into dancing, and how old were you?
What do you like about Energetiks?
Do you have a favourite style of dance (if so what)?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What do you like to do when you're not dancing?
All-time favourite dance movie:
Best dance memory/moment:
Food you can't live without:
The person you'd most like to meet (living or dead):
Favourite saying or advice that inspires you:
Include a photo of yourself (dance related please)

Email your answers to promotions@energetiks.com.au for a chance to be featured!

Quality not quantity - Getting the most out of your dance training.

Dance Advice, The Dancer's DiaryEnergetiksComment

Full-time dancer and Energetiks model Layla shares her advice on seeing improvements sooner rather than later!

I am sure many readers will hear the phrase 'practise makes perfect', which in most cases can be the key to nailing a dance piece. But are you using your time wisely? Time not spent working to the best of your abilities can be time wasted or even worse time spent working yourself into an injury. My name is Layla Burgess and in this blog post I will be talking about how to safely manage your work time using quality rather than quantity. I have been dancing since I was 3 and I am currently in my second year of full time ballet on the gold coast. I am Classically trained but love all styles. I have definitely spent many hours tucked away in the studio. Days where I feel like I haven't even seen the sun, and days where I come home feeling like not a muscle in my body could support myself much longer. I have also suffered from a dislocated knee, which taught me to listen to my body. My body at that stage was tired and overworked, when I didn’t heed the warning signs it hit harder than expected. Coming back from my injury taught me with that within a short amount of time I could overwork my injury and that I really had to do the most important things in that time. Thinking before dancing can be a key step from moving up from just a dancer, to a great dancer.

Each dancer’s goal is to improve as quickly as possible but this doesn't necessarily mean racking up hours in the studio. Alternative ways to improve your dancing with a change of scenery can keep you on your toes and motivate to you work harder. For example if you lack a strong stamina and your new dance piece has you puffing half way through, try going for a brisk walk, light jog, or run through your local park or on the beach. Swimming is also great for building up stamina without putting weight on tired muscles. Use the outside fresh air and nature to clear your mind and give you strength to work on your stamina. The change of scenery can distract you from the dance and give you time to think about other things while actually still improving your dancing. If you're working on a ballet exam and your new adage and you're lacking the strength to hold positions then don't overwork yourself by holding them hundreds and hundreds of times. GO back to basics, think about the muscles you are using, or the muscles you should be using. Go back to the barre, hold on and try the positions slowly, look in the mirror and see for yourself if there is anything wrong that can be fixed. If you have found a key muscle that you think is too weak to hold the position, then work on that one muscle, do some pilates or other strength training on that specific muscle. There is no use practicing something if you're practising it wrong. Move slowly through the steps in your work and analyze each moment in your head before trying it. One hour of very focused work can mean so much more than 2 hours of time in the studio spent talking or not really trying as hard as you can.

My uncle once told me if you practised something for one hour a day you would become an expert in a year. You may not think this would apply to dancing as it is such a diverse sport/art, though in some ways certain elements do. The effectiveness of the time and effort we put in to our classes can improve our technique at different speeds. We think that committing to hours and hours of blood, sweat and tears will drastically improve our dancing. But the truth is it may not. Sometimes smaller portions of dance but with 110% effort and full focus can mean seeing the results you want quicker and safer.

Hope you enjoyed my first article and that this helps you see some improvements in your dancing!

Love Layla Xx

Follow Layla on Instagram: instagram.com/laylaburgess

Hot Cross Buns via The Healthy Chef

Photo courtesy of The Healthy Chef

Photo courtesy of The Healthy Chef

Now is the perfect time for making these delicious hot cross buns made from wholemeal spelt, oats, muscatel, honey, cinnamon and vanilla. This is not the light fluff style of hot cross bun you may be used to in the supermarkets made from white flour and refined sugar. My version is full of fibre and the oats give it a wonderful chewy density that marries perfectly with the cinnamon and vanilla.  I’ve used large muscatel raisins in this recipe, but they are also delicious with sun-dried figs, apple and walnuts or a combination of dried cherries and 85 % organic dark chocolate to give it that Easter touch.

For those who are gluten free or paleo, you will just love my gluten free version below the spelt, made from almonds and scented with orange, vanilla, cinnamon and honey with a light sprinkle of sun-dried cranberry and organic dark chocolate.

What’s good about them:
Whole-meal spelt is often tolerated with people who have digestive issues as it has a slightly lower gluten content and higher amino acid profile then traditional wheat based flours.  The beta-glucan fiber found in oats can help regulate your appetite and lower blood cholesterol. Macadamia nut and olive oils are anti-inflamatory and kind to the arteries. Cinnamon improves insulin’s efficiency, which lower and help to regulate blood sugar levels.

220g whole meal spelt or whole-wheat flour
50 g rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried yeast
125 ml (1/2 cup milk) your choice of dairy, almond, rice, oat, soy
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or 1/2 of paste
60 ml (1/4 cup) macadamia nut oil or olive oil
1 free range / organic egg, lightly beaten
80 g muscatels or raisins
50 g currants

Mix the wholemeal flour, oats, cinnamon, yeast and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
Warm the milk, vanilla and honey just a little until just slightly warm, then pour into the mixing bowl along with the egg and  oil.
Mix the dough for about 6 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Add the dried fruits and mix through.
Cover the bowl with a clean cloth or glad wrap and leave the dough to double in size in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Knock back the dough and tip in onto your  working bench.
Kneed a little then shape into 10 rolls.
Cover lightly and allow to rise for another 30 minutes or until double in size.
Preheat your oven to 160 C.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
Cool then if you like pipe a cross made from either white or dark chocolate on top.

Makes 10 hot cross buns
Nutritional info per bun:
Protein: 4.8 g
Carbs: 28 g
total fat: 7.6 g
Saturated: 1.2 g
Fibre: 3.5 g
Calories: 200
Kilojoules: 838

These buns are delicious lightly toasted with a light spread of macadamia nut butter
Add sun-dried cherries and dark chocolate in place of  raisins and currants.
Add sun-dried figs, apple and walnuts in place of raisins and currants.
Sprinkle with a few oat flakes before baking for a rustic effect or brush with egg wash before baking for a lovely glace finish.



300 g (3 cups) ground almonds
pinch sea salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/4 cup macadamia nut oil or light flavoured olive oil
2 good tablespoons honey
zest from 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 free range / organic eggs
pinch cinnamon
80 g dried cranberries or cherries
50 g organic dark chocolate 85% + extra for crosses if you like.

Preheat oven to 160 C.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well, this includes the dried cherries and dark chocolate.
Scoop or spoon out 14 small portions onto a baking tray – I like to use a small ice cream scoop.
Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until golden.
Remove and cool.
Drizzle dark chocolate crosses on top if you like.
Makes 14

Nutrition per bun:
Protein: 5.7 g
Carbs: 10 g
Total fat: 17.7 g
Saturated: 2.2 g
Fibre: 2.3 g
Calories: 218
kilojoules: 912

These last for 5 days in an airtight container.
Makes a delicious power snack.

Recipe credit to Teresa Cutter - The Healthy Chef www.thehealthychef.com