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FIVE ON FRIDAY … 5 foodie tips

FIVE ON FRIDAY … 5 foodie tips

Posted July 22, 2011

My five favourite foodie tips 1. Try different seeds/grains Open up to trying a few different, incredibly nourishing and easy to prepare grains such as Quinoa, Barley, Millet, Amaranth…Whole grains are an excellent source of slow release energy. Nutritionally they contain essential enzymes, iron, fibre vitamin E and B- complex vitamins. Whole grains have been part of the human diet since early civilization when we figured out how to grow and yield crops. From here we shed their hunter-gatherer ways and settled into farming communities. From corn, rice and millet to quinoa, oats, bourghal, barley and more, cultures around the world enjoyed a variety of grains as a staple in their diet – so why shouldn’t we? 2. Oils are your friend Give oil a go. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking oil is the (evil) reason behind weight gain and bad health. Think again. Yummy healthy oils like olive, macadamia, walnut, sesame, coconut are all incredibly nourishing and essential fats! Eaten raw – drizzled onto avocado, a summer salad or vegies – it adds a unique flavour that can make the simplest, same-same meal taste different. Also, other oils like coconut, sesame, rice bran oil and peanut oil have higher burning or ‘smoke’ point, which means it takes a greater temperature to heat the oil to burning. You want to avoid cooking with oils that easily hit the smoke point because this basically marks the breakdown of flavour and nutritional value.Avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points at 271 degrees. Look for extra virgin, cold pressed and unrefined where possible. 3. Make your own yoghurt This is my parents totally old school method of making yoghurt, but it works and I stick with it, even though I know there are fancy yoghurt makers and all. It’s satisfying to eat your own yoghurt (or use it in a smoothie). I know what’s not in it! Just a note here – don’t even bother buying ‘lite’ or ‘fat-free’ yoghurt. Basic science; if you take something out (the fat) it must be replaced… otherwise it’s no longer stable. So all those fat-free, skim options are just packed with added sugar – check out the labels if you don’t believe me. When it comes to making yoghurt, anyone can do it. You just need a bit of patience. I prefer raw, unhomogenised, unpasteurised full fat milk. But technically it’s not allowed to be sold in Australia – so I won’t be talking about that. Otherwise organic milk and goats milk are two options that work well separately or sometimes mixed together. How to: · Pour milk into a pot. I usually do about 1 litre at a time. I also place a small flat plate in the pot – I’ll explain soon. · Gently bring the milk to a simmer. When the milk is a moment’s away from boiling and it starts to build a white frothy top (or when you first here the plate tinkle away at the bottom of the pot) take it off the heat. · Let the milk cool – I usually know when it’s ready if i can keep my little finger in for 10 secs(that’s a dad trick). No idea what that temperature is! · Add in 1-2 heaps tablespoons of yoghurt (starter) – either from the previous batch or from a tub of organic yoghurt, full cream milk · Mix in the yoghurt and then put the lid and wrap the pot in a cloth and keep it somewhere warm so the temperature doesn’t drop – allowing the cultures to grow. In summer it’ll be fine left out, but in winter I place my pot under my sick near the hot water tank! · Come morning what you should find is a tub full of thickened yoghurt. You’ll also see the curds and whey (running, goopy stuff) which is extremely nutritious. Keep it as it is, or if you prefer a thicker yoghurt place a muslin cloth over a strainer with a bowl beneath it and pour in the yoghurt. The longer you strain the thicker your final product will be. 4. Don’t cook with Chia seeds Chia seeds are packed with Omega 3 fats (as well as calcium, boron and protein), which are good for your brain, hormones and reducing inflammation.But, you should cooking with Chia seeds. Essential fats are polyunsaturated and this means they’re unstable. Oxygen, light and heat can quickly turn omega-3’s rancid, destroying many of their healing properties. (Similar to Olive oil) o Eat chia seeds raw, soaked (add to a little water and watch them soak up the water, turning into a goopy jelly consistency) or ground then up just before eating o Don’t bake with chia seeds o Avoid processed foods made with chia including crackers, breads, and cookies (your Omega-3’s must be fresh) o The best ways to eat fresh chia is (ground up) sprinkled on a salad/meal or added to a smoothie (soak first) Try 1-2 Tbsp of ground seeds daily for a nice kick of healthy essential fats, and can keep you fuller for longer. 5. Get Sprouting I love doing this. The process of it and then the final product is all very rewarding. What you get is pure goodness goodness! There are two examples here of sprouting. The first is about activating nuts and the second is sprouting beans. When it comes to nuts, enzyme inhibitors such as Phytic and oxalic acid, make it difficult for us to digest nuts and preventing the absorption of vital nutrients and energy.So, get activating. It’s really easy and something that can be done in 24 hours. · Buy a large (500g-1kg) bag of nuts – my favourites are walnuts and almonds · Soak the nuts in water, with a dash of salt, overnight. · The soaking process ‘sprouts’ the nuts – releasing the inhibitors, awakening the enzymes. · The next morning, drain and rinse thoroughly. Lay the nuts out onto a tray and bake (dehydrate) them in […] Read more

NUTS FOR COCONUT… why it’s good for your health

NUTS FOR COCONUT… why it’s good for your health

Posted July 14, 2011

Coconuts. I love the word, the scent, the taste, the fact that it’s a large nut with so much to offer… But what I love even more is that Coconut Oil, something I once used by on holidays in Thailand for my hair and skin, is now widely acclaimed as highly nutritious. Coconut oil is so packed with lots of goodies that you should rush out and by a coconut plantation, now. Traditional cultures have long known the incredible health-giving benefits of the humble coconut and we are just cottoning onto it now. So, what about the whole saturated fat thing? Well… it’s true, Coconut Oil is high is saturated fat, but it’s the good kind. You don’t believe that saturated fats can ever be good? Well that’s a whole other conversation, but t’s hard to gloss over the truth. The evidence is there. Heart disease was rare when cultures consumed saturated fats like coconut oil, butter and ghee. Come the 20th Century and the introduction of the ‘healthy heart safe’ oils, from hydrolysed vegetable oil, and cue an incline in heart disease. What are the benefits of coconut oil? · Increase energy · Reduce risk of heart disease · Improve digestion and ability to absorb nutrients · Promote weight loss and maintenance · Help prevent bacterial, yeast, fungal, and viral infections · Support and enhance your immune system · Regulate blood sugar · Prevent osteoporosis · Prevent premature aging and wrinkling of the skin Not convinced yet? Well here are a few easy ways to include coconut into your diet to see how it works for you. 1. Add coconut oil and/or fresh coconut water and flesh (from young coconuts) to your smoothies 2. Use coconut oil to bake with instead of vegetable oil. I use when I’m baking banana bread, muffins etc 3. Cook with it. It has a really high burning point so coconut oil doesn’t go rancid like olive oil (best to eat this raw, not heated). It adds the nicest, slightly nutty flavour. 4. Eat it! A spoonful is more than enough and will help you feel fuller for longer. 5. A healing remedy. Because Coconut oil has anti-microbrial properties it can help with a cold. Warm water, honey and a tbls of coconut oil makes a soothing tonic. Or add it topically to little cuts and scratches. 6. An all-purpose beauty tool – a lip balm, body/facial moisturiser, make-up remover, hair mask. There is something so luxurious about using coconut oil on your body, face, hair… and economical! 7. Detox. I haven’t tried this one but coconut oil is said to help detox the body whilst supplying it with necessary energy. Take 5mls of coconut oil up to seven times a day will help the body eliminate toxins, impurities and candida. Buy a good quality oil (it will harden in winter but will melt easily with a little heat). Look for extra virgin, cold pressed and unrefined. Organic would be best with no added chemicals, bleaching, deodorising or hydrogenation. A mouthful, but worth it… mouth-watering. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when buying coconut oil. If you are going to switch then you may as well get it right. My favourite is Aclara. Enjoy getting some coconut in your life. What do you think of coconut oil. Do you cook with or use coconut oil at the moment? Signing off with an exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

MY FAVOURITE LUNCH

MY FAVOURITE LUNCH

Posted July 05, 2011

I’m a creature of habit. I love routine. I seek it out. Hunting for ways to sort my life. Does that sound boring? Maybe… but to me it’s not – it creates the structure I need to have the space to be silly, creative, spontaneous and joyful. It’s funny, because as an Aquarian, people expect eccentric, creative and freethinking behaviour, but there is another side a lot of people don’t know – the side where we Aquarians crave routine, consistency and habit. But not only am I an Aquarian but, in Ayurvedic terms, Vata dosha dominates my prakruti (nature) propelling my desire for grounding, routine and structure even more… in fact, it becomes a necessity. Why am I talking about astrology and Ayurveda when the title of this post is ‘My Favourite Lunch’? Well… it’s because a certain homemade lunch graduated to the position of favourite lunch du jour, mostly because my routine-loving Aquarian meets Vata-ness wanted it that way. That desire for grounding, routine and nourishment led me to a Sunday night ritual. I love this ritual, not only for the end-point – the delicious lunches produced at the end – but the act of ‘doing’ is simply enjoyable. I love being in the kitchen and focusing on nothing else. It’s almost meditative. Every Sunday afternoon I take an hour to prepare lunch for myself and my boy (let’s call him Julio). I try and make enough for the week. The recipe does vary, and in all honesty, sometimes it doesn’t happen at all, but generally I stick to the recipe and ritual. The basis is Quino (pronounced KEEN-WAH). I absolutely L.O.V.E Quinoa… for more reasons than one. Quinoa, although widely thought to be a grain is actually a seed. And after trekking in Peru last year I totally understand why the ancient Incas called this seed the ‘Gold of the Incas’. It is a protein powerhouse. When you are looking for sustenance, Quinoa gets down to business. Complete with all eight essential amino acids that the body requires for tissue repair and growth, it is a dietary must. But forget all that for a moment – it’s actually just damn yummy! Slightly nutty, soft and crunchy all at the same time… I could (and do!) eat this everyday without complaint. It is incredibly versatile especially for you peeps who are gluten-free or avoid traditional carbs. So, here it is: My Favourite Lunch Roasted vegies (seasonal) with herb infused Quinoa • Soak one whole bag of red Quinoa (an essential – there is a bitter coating on Quinoa called Saponin which leaves a soapy residue in the water) • Finely chop a variety of vegetables. Choose seasonal vegies. In winter I love root vegies for their sweetness and grounding qualities. My favourite mix at the moment; Red onion, capsicum, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, sweet potato, carrot, cherry tomatoes, fennel, mushrooms, leeks, • I roughly crush/slide a few garlic cloves (be generous, will help fight off winter colds) • Add in cracked pepper, cumin, dash of turmeric, chilli flakes, and salt if you desire (make sure it’s good quality salt like Himalayan!) • Toss in melted coconut oil (I prefer cold pressed, extra virgin, unrefined – healthier and tastes gorgeously coconutty!) • Roast vegies – I aim for a lower heat over a longer time say 100 – 120 degrees for 45 minutes or so. I toss the vegies halfway through as well • Last 20 minutes of roast I rinse out the Quinoa. In a large pot I add in a teaspoon of coconut oil, some more garlic, coriander (including stalks) and chia seeds then add in the Quinoa and toss to coat, fry off for a 1-minute or so and then add in water. I make sure there is enough water to cover the Quinoa and the let it simmer for 15 minutes. • Once everything is finished and cooled I package up the vegies separately in a big container and then bag up the Quinoa into individual portions. • Leftover Quinoa gets bagged and frozen for later use and the rest if ready for lunch each day at work. • Eat at work. I buy FISH4EVER Tuna (it’s sustainably caught and tastes better than the rest) or I might pre-cook salmon, chicken for some added protein. • Sometimes I add in Kale or Spinach before I eat it. It is my most favourite lunch. I look forward to it. It’s warming, grounding and I never get bored of it. In fact, I look forward to it. Knowing that after I eat it I don’t feel too full or sleepy like you would after a bowl of pasta or rice, it tastes soooo good, but mostly I feel content and it punctuates my day – the ritual of making it and then the ritual of eating it. Do you have a favourite lunch recipe that never fails? Do you love routine? Signing off with a big exhale. Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more

SUPERFOODS

SUPERFOODS

Posted June 24, 2011

Recently I listened to an IIN lecture about SuperFoods. I was surprised to realise that so many of the random health products my dad brought home when I was growing up are now classified as SuperFoods… thanks dad! Oh, and sorry I didn’t care back then… oops. That’s not to say I wasn’t fascinated as a child. Especially when my father explained that those amazing little bees carried pollen from flowers in their own purpose built ‘baskets’ all over their body! But to be honest, unless I could visualise a little bee with pollen filled baskets I was too busy building tents in my bedroom to pay attention or understand the worth of these SuperFoods. Whatever dad brought home I would eat/take, mostly because I was too scared to say no but now I’m on this journey and have learnt about the value of SuperFoods in our diet I would gladly welcome a delivery from the old man. So, what are SuperFoods? Well, it depends who you are asking. The macrobiotic crew classify wholegrains, green tea, berries, leafy greens, sea vegetables and fermented soy products (to name a few) as SuperFoods. And yes, they definitely pack a punch. But then there are the SuperFoods which are far from ‘new’ but only becoming more mainstream now. Thesen are frequently seen in the diets of vegans looking to maximise their nutrient intake. The more unusual kind like Hemp Seeds (which you can grow in Australia but can’t consume!), Kamu Kamu, Maca, and Bee Pollen. Either way, SuperFoods are the foods that sit head and shoulders above others in similar categories. Nutrient dense with long held healing and medicinal qualities. Maybe you are thinking that some SuperFoods are just another product with empty promises being marketed to us… or maybe some of them are actually quite spectacular in what they can bring to the table. Whichever way you see SuperFoods the only real way to answer is to try them yourselves. Pay attention to how they make you feel – do you feel fuller, more energetic, revitalised? Seeing as some of the SuperFoods around today have long been part of the diet of many ancient cultures, such as the Mayans and Aztecs, surely they got something super out of these foods? We used to supplement our diet with Propolis, Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen and Raw Honey and yep these are now widely available SuperFoods. There are also incredibly nutritious plant products such as goji berries, hempseed, cacao beans (raw chocolate), maca, spirulina, acai, chia seeds and more. Incredibly powerful sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, good fats, essential fatty and amino acids, and other nutrients. In the words of David Wolfe (Raw Food, Health and Nutrition expert) these SuperFoods ‘represent a uniquely promising piece of the nutritional puzzle’. So how do you get them into your diet? Do your research first and make a decision for yourself what you’d like to include in your diet. As these SuperFoods are so incredibly nutritious it’s best to consume them as close to their natural state as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t bake or cook with them but to really get the most out these SuperFoods I say get your smoothie on. A morning smoothie, packed with a variety of SuperFoods, will leave you feeling fresh and bouncy. The fibre from the fruit and veg is great for your bowels and a well stocked smoothie can be a great breakfast on its own for those that struggle to eat a large meal in the AM. My favourite smoothie is a Green one and with the added SuperFoods it really is the most easily digestible hit of nutrients. Try this out: • Handful of cos lettuce • Handful of spinach • Squeeze of lime juice (helps with the absorption of X in spinach) • 1 cup of 100% organic apple juice (avoid anything with added sugar/additives) • 1 banana (frozen is fine) • 1/2 cup of blueberries (also frozen – buy in bulk www.berryman.com.au • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (soak in water first) • 1 teaspoon spirulina • 1 teaspoon cacao (be generous here!) • 1 teaspoon pure powdered acai • Dash of cinnamon (blood purifyer) • Ice Blend! What you will get is a dark greeny, brown smoothie that probably looks pretty off and unappealing. But to be honest, the more unattractive the better. The taste? I’ll just say this, my boyfriend, Chris, who is a chorizo loving, meat advocate who feels cheated if there is no bacon with his breakfast absolutely LOVES this smoothie. He loves it more than the berry/yoghurt/honey/cacao concotions I do when I’ve run out of greenage. That’s got to say something, right? But, in short. They rock. I’m going to continue my experiment with SuperFoods and I’ll update again… I’ll see what other smoothie recipes I can come up. Oh and I’m also attending a ‘cooking with cacao’ workshop. Which is basically a day of cooking and eating chocolate yumminess made with pure cacao. Soon, I’ll also break down the nutrient information around some of these SuperFoods. A little teaser – one of the richests natural sources of Omega 3! Have you included Smoothies, SuperFoods or anything similar into your diet? What do you think about SuperFoods? Signing off with a big exhale… Pause.Listen.Live Cx Read more


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