photos LUISA BRIMBLE
Nutritionist, netball coach and wellness writer Lani Finau was inspired to support and assist teens in building healthy habits after discovering her love of netball as a young woman. Studying nutrition at Endeavour College, she now spends her days helping people find joy and passion through food and movement. Here, Lani shares her favourite two-ingredient oat pancake recipe for starting her day off right.
My initial interest in health and wellbeing began as an early teen. Little 11-year-old me fell in love with netball. If I wasn’t playing, I was training, watching or having a throw-around with Dad. The only other thing I had ever been that dedicated to was watching Play School every single day after school, at 3:30pm, like clockwork when I was five.
With netball, I soon realised that to continue progressing into teams, apart from more hours at the courts, there was something else I could focus on… my body. Eating well. Training more. Taking care of myself. Dad called these the extra “one-percenters”.
Over the years, while I still loved netball (and sport in general as a foundation for teenage health), my interest in the food side of things grew. By around 16 I knew I wanted to study nutrition and immerse myself in it all.
I noticed such a powerful change in myself as a teenager (and woman) the moment I began paying attention to what I put in my mouth; it came as a natural progression to want to work with this age group. What I love most is that working with this demographic means working in prevention. It’s about building healthy, sustainable habits that will last the long term – and hopefully keep [my clients] thriving in later years.
I noticed such a powerful change in myself as a teenager (and woman) the moment I began paying attention to what I put in my mouth.
This was probably the first “healthy” recipe I came up with as a young teen – and it has just two base ingredients. That’s why it’s a favourite. It’s nutrient dense, tastes delicious and will keep you satiated throughout the day. Anything too complicated or too time-consuming and you’ve lost me.
Top it with whatever you like: nut butter, banana, melted berries, cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, even a dollop of coconut yoghurt if you’re feeling fancy.
TWO-INGREDIENT OAT PANCAKE
½ cup rolled oats
100% nut butter, to spread – almond, cashew or peanut butter are good options
½ cup frozen berries, melted
1 tablespoon coconut or natural greek yoghurt
1 banana, thinly sliced
Honey, to drizzle
Cinnamon, to sprinkle
Combine oats and egg in a bowl. Mix to combine and form the pancake base mix.
Add 1 teaspoon of an oil of your choice to a medium-sized pan (coconut oil is great) and bring to medium heat. Add pancake mix to the pan and use the back of your spoon or fork to flatten it into a pancake shape.
Lightly pan fry on each side for 1–2 minutes, or until golden.
Remove the pancake to serve and top as desired – I added nut butter, berries and honey!