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2 SUGAR FREE LIP-SMACKING SNACKS

2 SUGAR FREE LIP-SMACKING SNACKS

Posted April 23, 2013

When I was first studying to become a health coach I remember learning ways in which to break sweet/sugar cravings. I can’t lie though, I’ve never really had a ‘sugar addiction’… so breaking it wasn’t as hard as I know it is for some. Power to you! It’s totally do-able even if it’s a challenge. Having said that, I do need a little sweetness in my life. Especially as a Vata Dosha. This Ayurvedic life-science system talks about how Vata types tend to hit a slump around the 3pm/4pm mark. Now, whether you are vata or not I am SURE you experience the same thing. Why? Well, we live in a Vata based world – go-go-go, high energy, multi-tasking, quick-thinking, fast paced… you get the idea. (P.s If you have NO idea what Vata/Ayurveda is you can read some of my past posts here and here). That afternoon sweet hit helps to calm, sooth and ground us. The problem is when we reach for something jacked up in refined sugars we actually exacerbate that vata energy. Not to mention eating food that works as anti-nutrient – taking away good stuff instead of giving it back! So, with that in mind. How do we get some sweetness in without having a sugar-hit? Well, I have quite a few little tricks up my wellness sleeve. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’d know about my healthy nutella. Check out this recipe guys – it’s gorgeous: 1 tbls Tahini 1tbls cacao 1 tbls raw honey or rice malt syrup Mix it up and eat it! Or you might want to try the one that will blow your friends away – Raw Chocolate Mouse (it’s dairy-free and sugar-free!) But, especially now as the weather cools down I find I need something sweet, nourishing AND grounding. Here is my little trick… wait for it… I use veggies. Yep. ROOT veggies to be exact. My favourites are Beetroot and Sweet Potato! It’s simple. I peel, wash, dice and toss in coconut oil, sprinkle on some cinnamon. Wrap up said veggie in some foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. The result?A sweet, soft and deliciously healthy afternoon snack. You can eat them alone or dd to a meal. Whatever works for you. And of course, there is a health benefit – these root veggies help to maintain your blood sugar levels, reduce cravings for something sweet and help breakdown heavier proteins like meat, poultry and fish. Not so exciting? Try it before you knock it! Lots of my clients have got on the root veggie wagon and they l.o.v.e it. Honest. Go on, try it and let me know what you think! I’m off to eat my baked sweet potato now. If that’s not enough for you here is a list of 9 HEALTH SNACKS … they’ll hit the spot too! Saha to you, Claire Read more

EAT THIS: MIDDLE EAST MONDAY

EAT THIS: MIDDLE EAST MONDAY

Posted April 22, 2013

Welcome to the latest segment on the blog… if you are new here you might not know that I an Australian born to Middle Eastern parents. Not so special in Australia, I know – we are such a melting pot of cultures – we are so lucky to have the best of it all. To me though, my background (my mother is Lebanese, my father is Syrian – and nope, I’m not related to Eddie Obeid!!) is something I am proud of and love to share. I grew up in a relatively English-Australian suburb by the beach in Sydney, Australia. My family was one of only a few (if not the only) ethnic families and let me tell you, I wasn’t always proud of my background. My sisters, brother and I were bullied. We experienced racism in various forms: teasing, physical abuse, even verbal abuse from our teachers. To rub salt into the wound we were sent to school with food that most people hadn’t heard of let alone seen – they opened up a whole lot of quizzical looks and questions. I have such a strong memory from Kindergarten around food. I remember asking my teacher (who wasn’t a very lovely person) which of my two wholemeal sandwiches (filled with lamb, pinenuts and fresh yoghurt amongst other things) I should eat for recess. Her answer? “How would I know what you people eat, I’ve never even seen that weird stuff”. Charming, right? Now, this post is NOT about racism (although it seems to have started that way) or the current state of multi-culturalism in Australia, or the western world for that matter. I love a good debate, so if you are keen drop me a line. But this new series has a much more humble intention… It’s about celebrating my culture, my family, their food and most importantly their influence on the way I view and understand health. You see, I was raised on what we now call a ‘wholefood/organic’ diet. My parents didn’t have labels for it. It was just food to them. Not real food, or organic, or anything else for that matter. But it was good, quality, nourishing food and there was a lot of it. Visiting my parents, to this day at the age of 31, is like getting a reservation at a cafe that grows it’s own produce out the back, makes everything from scratch and delivers your food with so much warmth and hospitality that you don’t quite know what to do with it, but you know you don’t want to leave! Both my parents get alot of joy from cooking and feeding their tribe. As I do now. I have inherited many of their recipes and I still have a long way to go. In this blog series I’m going to experiment with some of my parent’s treasured recipes and post it up for you. You might like to give it a shot yourself and add a little of the Middle East into your life (sans war, of course). To kick-off I’m giving you a mini-feast! The first four recipes in this feast I’ve already blogged about so you can link straight to their recipes. The last two recipes are featured below. Falafels – Recipe HERE. Hummus – Recipe HERE. Labne (Yoghurt) – Recipe HERE. Spicy Cumin Tomatoes – Recipe HERE. We eat like the spanish do – smaller dishes that when enjoyed together create a complete meal. Today I like to serve these dishes  with a beautiful slow cooked lamb or roast. Zucchini and Mint salad 4 small – medium zucchini’s – halved and cut into small chunks 2 tbls of coconut oil 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds 1 bunch of fresh mint 1 bunch of fresh parsley Juice of 1 lemon 1/4 cup of activated almonds (roughly chopped in blender and toasted) salt and pepper Method: In a bowl, toss the zucchini chunks in coconut oil and cumin seeds. Use your hands to toss well. Heat a grill pan until it’s super hot. Cook until golden brown – stir frequently! Put in a bowl, add the herbs, lemon juice and season. Sprinkle with the almonds before service Oven-baked eggplant 1 large eggplant, sliced in circles Coconut oil or Ghee 3 tbls Tahini 1tbls Olive Oil 1 cup chopped coriander Juice of 1 lemon Method: In a baking paper lined oven tray pour in your melted coconut oil or ghee. Lay eggplant in the tray and coat both sides well in the oil. The more oil, the softer the eggplant. The less, the more crispy and ‘chip’ like it will go. Both are great. Bake on 170 for 10 minutes – check regularly so they don’t burn. To finish, make up the tahini sauce (olive oil, coriander, lemon and tahini) and drizzle over or serve on the side. Alternatively, use plain yoghurt which is really refreshing and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds for a little zingy kick! ____________________________________________________________________________________ There you have it! The first of what I hope will be many MIDDLE EAST MONDAYS. I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Do you like middle eastern cuisine? What food did you grow up with and what’s your favourite family dish? Saha to you! (Saha means good health in Arabic). Claire x Read more

3 HEALTHY MOORISH TREATS

3 HEALTHY MOORISH TREATS

Posted March 26, 2013

Lately my ‘eating regime’ looks a little something like this. A BIG Energy Dense Smoothie Late breakfast (11ish) Late lunch/early dinner (3 – 5pm) It changes up of course, it’s not strictly this everyday, but you get the idea. Not, I’ve never been an excessive snacker, but I’ve found lately I’m hungrier than normal. Not sure why but I just need a little sumin-sumin in between my main meals. Usually after the late lunch/early dinner. Now to mention I have alot of clients attending sessions in my office now (it must be the wallpaper?). So I like to serve up little treats. Here are three little snacks that I love. A couple are adapting from the gorgeous Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Cookbook. 1) ABC + Coconut Brittle 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 1/3 cup melted ABC nut butter 2 tbls coconut flakes – I blend these up so they are quite fine 2 tbls rice malt syrup dash of salt 2 tbls cacao nibs 2 tbls crushed nuts 1 tbls tahini 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tbls coconut cream Mix all ingredients. Spread out onto baking paper on a flat plate/tray. Place in freezer and then snap into pieces after about 20 – 30 minutes. I keep in the freezer ready for a snack 2) Goji-Cacao Tahini Protein Balls 4tbls Caca0 1 handful of Goji berries 3-4 Dates 2 tbls Tahini 2 tbls SunWarrior Protein Powder 1 tbls Coconut Oil Large handful of almonds + cashews Dash of vanilla powder 1 tbls rice malt syrup if needed Blend all dry ingredients first. When well grounded add in oil, tahini and rice malt syrup. Roll into balls and place in fridge in a plastic container between sheets of baking paper so they don’t stick. This is also nice sans cacao for a choc-free flavour  3) Basil Pesto crackers 1/2 cup each of Chia seeds sesame seeds and pepitas (I’ve used 1 egg before when I’ve run out of chia seeds) 1/2 cup of almond meal (I use the leftover from making almond milk) or pre-ground A dash of salt + pepper 1 cup of water 1/2 cup of pine nuts 1/2 cup of fresh basil 1 garlic clove Shredded Parmesan Combine all ingredients, except the seeds, into a bowl. Whisk up with your stab mixer or blend in your processor and then add the seeds. Spread out onto a lined tray. Use a spatula to pat it down to about 1/2 cm thick. Bake for 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees. Remove, slice it into crackers, flip and bake for another 25minutes. When it’s done (check to see they are crunchy and golden brown) turn the oven off, sprinkle parmesan all over and let it melt on. Cool and store in the fridge. Serve with any dip or have on their own! I hope you enjoy these delicious treats, knowing that they are 100% guilt-free! Claire x Read more

4 SUN WARRIOR POWER SMOOTHIES + A GIVEAWAY

4 SUN WARRIOR POWER SMOOTHIES + A GIVEAWAY

Posted March 21, 2013

You might remember I recently mentioned the exciting news that I am an Ambassador for Sun Warrior Protein Powder. Stay tuned for an exciting giveaway! Now, let me just say straight up here that I was NEVER a ‘protein-powder’ girl. I actually used to be a little judgmental thinking it was just for gym-junkies trying to bulk up. I also saw that alot of protein powders were made up of synthetic ingredients, soy or whey (dairy) which I was never going to touch! Having said that, I am fully aware of the necessity in consuming a decent amount of protein each day. Although I am not a vegetarian, I have a predominantly vego/fish based diet. But I don’t always get the chance to include it in my diet nor do I always desire animal based protein in my daily diet. So making sure I have enough protein in my diet is important. When Sun Warrior approached me I had tried their product a few times, but not religiously. Before I signed up I spent a few weeks including their protein powder into my diet and was a little blown away by the results… Here’s a few major ones I’ve noticed: Super strong nails – it’s stupid how often I have to trim them! Better skin – I am frequently hearing that I am ‘glowing’ Healthier hair (I haven’t had a trim in forever and still no split ends!) Better immunity – I am consistently healthy whereas I can normally get a little rundown when doing too much! Protein is necessary. It’s the building blocks for our cells, it helps our body absorb necessary vitamins and minerals. I wrote a post a while back explaining protein and why we NEED it. But, what’s so good about Sun Warrior? What makes it different and why am I happen to include it in my diet and advocate it? ALOT. It contains 80% protein – non soy, raw, vegan, plant-based It”s made from raw sprouted whole grain brown rice – a process that combines the endosperm and bran (the best bits!) of the grain it has a 98% correlation rate to mother’s milk It has a super high digestibility rate – it’s so easy to absorb It contains ALL 9 ESSENTIAL amino acids and non-essential amino acids. So you get a perfectly balanced protein profile It has a soft, silky texture (it’s not chalky and hard to blend!) Packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, thiamin, niacin, phosphorous Sugar-free –  in the flavoured versions stevia and xylitol is included and natural flavours (vanilla, cacao) It’s available in chocolate, vanilla and natural. I prefer the natural and vanilla is my second favourite. So, let’s get to the good stuff. There are so many ways to utilise this powder but for now I’m enjoying it in my daily smoothie. These smoothies are protein and fat focused to give me energy after a dynamic yoga class or to prepare for a busy. For each of these smoothies I add in 1 serve of Sun Warrior Protein Powder.  You’ll probably notice that I’m not on the Green Smoothie train at the moment. Right now I prefer to eat my greens so that I can prepare them properly (steam/sauteed and eating with butter) and take green supplements (Good Green Stuff and Super Greens) but sometimes I go for a green smoothie here and there. Oh and the instructions are the same – blend, serve and enjoy! 1) VANILLA BEAN + BERRY SMOOTHIE 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Powder 1/2 – 1 cup Blueberries + Mulberries 1 cup coconut water ABC Nut Butter 1 tbls cacao 2 tbls coconut oil 2 raw eggs 1/3 cup yoghurt 2) BREAKFAST IN A GLASS 2 raw eggs 1/3 cup soaked oats 2 heaped tbls tahini 2tbls coconut oil 1 cup almond milk 1 cup water 1 tsp cinnamon 1 Banana 2 dates 2 tbls cacao 1 tbls chia seeds (pre-soaked) Flesh from inside coconut 3) BERRY NUTTY POWER 2 tbls natural peanut butter 1/2 – 1 cup Blueberries 1-2 cups coconut water 2 tbls coconut oil 1 tbls maca 1 tbls chia seeds 1 tsp cinnamon 4) GREEN KICK 2 cups coconut water 2 tsp Good Green Stuff or Super Greens 1 cup pre-steamed greens 2 tbls chia seeds 1 tbls maca 1 tbls cacao 2 tbls coconut oil 1/2 cup of berries and goji berries 1 tsp vanilla bean powder Cacao nibs + goji to sprinkle on top 4 delicious, protein packed, super nutritious smoothies. Get creative, mix and match the flavours and experiment. Now, giveaway time. Keen to try some Sun Warrior Protein Powder? Well, it’s super easy to enter the draw to win 1 VERY large bag of this good stuff (valued at $64.95). All you have to do is… 1) Like The Wellness Project facebook page (if you haven’t already) 2) Like The Sun Warrior facebook page 3) Comment below and tell us WHY you want to try Sun Warrior Protein Powder? Don’t forget to subscribe to my Weekly Wellness Update – this is where I’ll announce the winner on Friday March 29th. love + light, Claire x (Feature image from B*E ) Read more

EAT THIS: PUMPKIN, PISTACHIO + MINT SALAD

EAT THIS: PUMPKIN, PISTACHIO + MINT SALAD

Posted February 28, 2013

I love a mixture of flavours and textures in meals. My clients would also know well that I also love a meal that takes minimal prep and can be ‘thrown’ together. I’m not too into fussiness – fueling my body in the right way and eating mouth-watering meals is all I care about. Add to that the recent shop – The Source Bulk Foods – that just opened in my area. My god. This is a health nuts/foodie’s heaven! Everything I eat on a daily basis (coconut oil, nuts, goji berries, cacao and more!) sold in bulk and super cheap. Which brings me to this recipe. I love pistachios but can’t find them often and when I do they are stupidly expensive! I bought a big 500gram for mere dollars from The Source. The result? This beautiful Pumpkin + Pistachio salad with lots of refreshing mint. So here you go… eat this! What you’ll need: 1/2 Butternut pumpkin – peeled and diced 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1/2 – 1cup of roughly torn mint leaves 1 cup of borlotti beans – if from a can rinse thoroughly 1 medium red or brown onion – diced 1/2 cup of pistachios – no shells! What to do: Toss pumpkin in coconut oil and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes Meanwhile fry off onion in coconut oil in a pan, just when the onions turn golden take off and chuck into a large salad bowl. Toss in the beans, pistachios, cherry tomatoes and mint. When the pumpkin is finished, allow it to cool before tossing into the salad – coconut oil and all! Season with a touch of salt and pepper. More coconut oil if needed and a squeeze of lemon juice. As an option – fry some haloumi in the same pan after the onions. Or add in another protein source like lean lamb, chicken or tuna. Eat and enjoy! Saha to you, Claire x Read more

3 FLAVOURSOME SIDE DISHES READY IN 10 MINUTES!

3 FLAVOURSOME SIDE DISHES READY IN 10 MINUTES!

Posted February 25, 2013

I’m always telling my clients to keep it simple. Gourmet food and extravagant meals are best enjoyed out with friends – pay a little more cashola and revel in the experience. Otherwise, getting healthy is all about simplicity. For me? Well, if I can’t whip it up, bash it out then, I won’t do it. One of my favourite fool-proof eat-well-easy tricks is to stock up on my favourite fish (or lamb, chicken, beef, beans – whichever protein source works for you!) and cook it up alongside a super fresh and simple side dish. Uncomplicated. Delicious. Healthy. Quick. And, yep, these only take 10 minutes! Who doesn’t want that? So, here are three of my recent favourites! 1) Grapefruit + Mint salad 1 ruby red grapefruit – peeled and segmented 1 red or white onion, thinly sliced and (soaked in cold water first) 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste Simply toss together and season! 2) Spicy Cumin Tomatoes 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp coriander seeds 2 tbls olive oil 1 small onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 5 cm piece of ginger, grated 1 whole punnet of cherry tomatoes or small, sweet tomatoes 1 bunch of fresh coriander Salt + Pepper First, dry rose the seeds until they pop/aroma is evident. Then grind in your pestle and mortar or inside a pepper grinder. Heat pan with olive oil – low heat – add in onion, garlic, ginger and stir occasionally. Next add in spices, tomatoes and cook until skins blister. Take off heat, add in coriander and salt + pepper to taste. 3) Green Goji Salad 1 avocado, sliced 1/2 cup goji berries 2-3 tbls hemp seeds 2 cups steamed silverbeet and kale (or other dark leafy greens) 2 cups of diced steamed green beans 1/4 cup steamed sprouts Dressing: ACV + Olive Oil + Lemon Juice + Pink Salt Simple toss together and season! These little numbers will bring so much life to an otherwise standard meal. Serve with whatever protein source you like, enjoy as a snack on its own if you prefer and even get a little creative – mix up the ingredients and make your own creations. For some other easy side dishes try these: Delicious Homemade Hummus  Stuffed Zucchinis Lebanese Falafels Do you have any fool-proof  bash together dishes that perfectly complement in a meal in no time? Enjoy and saha to you, Claire x Read more

MAKE THIS: HOMEMADE FRUITY YOGHURT POPS

MAKE THIS: HOMEMADE FRUITY YOGHURT POPS

Posted February 19, 2013

These are perfect for warm nights… like right now, as I write this. I think I’m perspiring just from typing. Got to love an Aussie summer! There are a few ways to do this. I don’t have ice-cream moulds, but if you do, even better. You could also use cones, shot glasses or even a muffin tray. Me, I used my ice-cube tray. What you’ll need: 1/2 cup of natural yoghurt Fruit of choice – get creative with your flavours! Try these combos: rockmelon + cinnamon berries + vanilla Grapefruit + lime with honey Papaya and coconut flakes pineapple + coconut cream Play around with honey, cinnamon, vanilla powder, even cacao, maca and other superfoods. What to you: Simply whizz up in your food processor on a slow setting until well blended and smooth. Pour into your container of choice. When half frozen push in a popsicle stick (you don’t have to bother with this with the ice cube trays if you don’t want to!). Eat when completely frozen through. You can add banana to thicken it up a bit, this gives it a creamier texture. Remember to These are fantastic for kids, chucked into smoothies for an extra cool hit or a refreshing treat on a hot day. Eat and enjoy! Saha to you, Claire x Read more

NOURISHING BROWN RICE + COCONUT CASHEW PORRIDGE

NOURISHING BROWN RICE + COCONUT CASHEW PORRIDGE

Posted February 04, 2013

This cleanse has got me back into the brown rice… I’m loving it! It’s so nourishing and I’m finding it doesn’t bloat me, helps me feel fuller for longer and definitely works well with keeping my digestive system moving along nicely. Here’s a little breakfast porridge I whipped up the other morning post yoga. It was a little windy and crisp for a summer’s morning so I felt like something warming and grounding. Not to mention this interesting fact: Did you know that our stomach’s PH is 1?! Yes, ONE! What does that mean? Well, it’s an acidic environment. And so it should be, we need it to kill any bugs that find their way there not to mention rapidly and efficiently breakdown our food. Now, cold, wet food, especially in the morning for breakfast (like cold muesli, cereals, sugary breakfasts) are not the ideal environment for a bubbling cauldron of acidic juices that is our stomachs. This is why we often feel so much better after warm, grounding, nourishing breakfast. It just makes sense. This porridge is perfect. No added sugar. No cold milk. Warming spices. Protein and fat sources. Good quality grain for slow release energy and antioxidant berries. So what’s in it? 1 cup Brown Rice (pre-cooked – I make up a big batch, individually bag up the rice and store in the freezer) 1/4 cup of activated cashews (any other nut will do too!) 1/4 cups of coconut flakes Cinnamon/Vanilla/Nutmeg – your choice! 1/4 cup of biodynamic whole-milk yoghurt (kefir, goat’s/sheep’s milk or coconut yoghurt would also work well) 1/4 frozen blueberries 1 tbls coconut oil 1 cup water How do you make it? Easy! Throw in your pre-cooked brown rice into a pot with the water. Bring to a simmer. Add in cinnamon/vanilla/nutmeg and let it slowly boil down into a porridge like consistency. Meanwhile in your food processor throw in your cashews, coconut and more seasoning. Blend up into a fine consistency. Serve up the brown rice. Layer the cashew coconut mixture on top. Add a dollop of yoghurt, sprinkle on the blueberries and drizzle on the coconut oil. When you are ready to eat, mix it all together and enjoy the textures and flavours. Of course, you can sweeten with coconut nectar, raw honey or even stevia if you want. Delicious. Light. Nourishing. Satisfying. You will love it. Enjoy and Saha to you, Cx Read more

5 ON FRIDAY… WHAT I’M LOVING THIS WEEK

5 ON FRIDAY… WHAT I’M LOVING THIS WEEK

Posted February 01, 2013

Hello all! Welcome to this week’s installment of 5 on Friday. Firstly, before we get into the top 5 things I am loving this week I’d like to send out a big, warm, gooey THANK YOU. I had such positive feedback from last week’s inaugural video blog that I am feeling much less terrified to try again! Your comments really make a difference, so again, a HUGE thank you from me to you. So here we are … enjoy this week’s video and of course, for those of you that prefer to read the 5 things I am loving are all below. Happy watching! 1) Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap 18-1 Hemp Almond Pure Castille Soap Made with organic coconut, olive, hemp and jojoba oil. You can use this for everything, 18 uses in fact! A face and scalp massage, body wash, hand wash, cleaner, delicate clothes wash, pet wash, shave gel, toothpaste and more! You can find this at most health food shops. 2) Buckwheat crepes Here’s the recipe I recently posted. They are just so versatile, satisfying and BLOAT-free! 3) Good Green Stuff You may have read about this recently in my 3 Ways to Get More Green Energy post. I’m so smitten with this. The best bit is that it’s not pumped with rice bran as a filler or 4) Marrok Farm Bio-Dynamic Yoghurt I usually make my own yoghurt (find out how to here!) but this is the brand I find is closest to the homemade stuff. It is creamy, fresh and incredibly delicious. I am so loving yoghurt right now – homemade lassi’s, yoghurt dips, figs, yoghurt and cinnamon for a sweet treat! 5) Yoga Yep, my love affair with yoga has deepened. In particular back-bending. After trying to deal with a chronic back injury I’m now coming out the other side. It’s still hard work, but I’m so much wiser, in tune, respectful. It fascinates me how much we can still learn. There you have it, my 5 on Friday – What are you loving this week? Feel free to share below in the comments. Saha to you, Claire Read more


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