Feb 24, 2011

Coming down from cacao...

So I was going to politely ask you all to bear with me whilst the perfectionist in me looks over the 40-odd pages of notes I took last weekend to condense it all down into something quick, easy, informative, and interesting for you to read... but in doing so the playful child in me is yelling "who gives a rats ass, it's more fun to write as you're thinking, in the moment, wing it, and see how it goes".

So here I am!

I love that I sit here typing to you guys like I’m really typing to myself, talking with myself… I am still beaming and buzzing from what was one of the best weekends of my life to date! And no, that is no exaggeration!

Cacao come down...

So I met my superhero! Number one. My living breathing superhero. David Wolfe (Never come down from that one). The man I know I will work with one day. I have seen him before but never actually went up to talk to him. This time I did. So a self-confessed-David-Wolfe-junkie if there ever were such a thing, I was over the moon when I sat down to talk to him. Speechless even – stupid really. But I did infact tell him I’m a bit if a groupie, that I’m gonna be the first aussie female version of him (watch this face), that I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out about his raw nutrition certification course (booked in baby!) and I’ve been following his teachings for a couple of years now. YAY! He was excited. I was excited. He was smiling. I was smiling. All hugs and smiles. Best day(te) ever!

So last Thursday night is where it all began. A lecture here in Sydney where I was on the edge of my seat waiting to dive into all the information about to be presented to me. Surrounded by like minded individuals, pen and paper in hand, ready to go!


Take it, leave it, try to ignore it, forget it, or prove it wrong… those few simple words have stood the test of time and will continue to do so. And these few words are what David usually starts with. And where I feel the strongest connection.
Food. Nutrition. Education. Throw them all together and that’s me. That is my passion. It is also David Wolfe’s passion – thus the self-confessed-DW-junkie right here. Loud and proud.

I went along with my good friend Jess, but ran into loads of people I knew; friends and trainers, my colon hydrotherapist, people who recognized me from the raw café, from work, from my blog even (and finally met the woman behind The Raw Butterfly). It was a fantastic mix of people all with similar interests and a few really different backgrounds. I love that!

We learnt fascinating facts, figures and fantasies about hormones and how to correct your own; this stuff is all very new to me still – I started getting into hormones about 8months ago and every little bit I learn is incredible interesting to me so I loved all that! David also spoke in depth about bone density, Chinese medicine philosophies, Chinese herbs and jing, Ormus, calcification in the body, cancer, herbal immune boosters, detoxing, cell rejuvenating, longevity, immortality, goal setting, thought processes, he even gave his thoughts on what he believes 2012 to be all about.

But the core underlying of the whole weekend was YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. This is the fundamental principle to it all. To everything. For so many reasons. And on so many levels. It's something I really want to dig deeper and deeper with you guys on. Explaining in more depth the reality behind those few words.

Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouts, seaweeds, grasses, superfoods, superherbs.

This is exactly what my diet consists of currently. Of course some things more than others like anyone really, but in learning more about different things I am trying more and more, seeing what my body can handle and handle well. Seeing what impacts me, works well for me and what doesn’t work well for me.

A human guinea pig. It excites me! High doses of different superfoods daily, then not at all. Sporadic taste testers, more of one thing, less of another, mixing it up, all together, each on their own. Surprising my body. I get kicks out of seeing how my body takes to different things and how I feel. And what gets me jumping even more? When I can then tell someone else about my experience – along with things I’ve read, heard, or researched. I get customers, clients and friends asking me all the time about different supplements, superfoods, healing foods, natural remedies and more… and I love when I can give them a solution based solely on my research, my education, AND my own experience. That is the icing on the cake in my books. And usually what most people are wanting to hear about I find.

"Eat the best food ever and observe the results over time. Eat the worst food ever and observe the results over time. Compare and contrast."


But enough of that for now, we'll revist that later on...

On Saturday Jess and I had way too much energy (I take that back - there's no such thing) so were outside during our lunch break lazing about on the softest grass ever, and then both had the same impulse to start doing cartwheels...

and handstands...

crashing down all over the place but having a ball, both filled with childlike energy and enthusiasm. Buzzing with all the knowledge we were taking in! So we thought we'd take it one step higher - with CACAO! Yep we both had our first Sacred Heart chocolates (well my second as I caught one David threw in the crowd on Thursday night - that was pure manifestation baby). So this stuff is the bomb! The creme-de-la-creme of raw chocolates.

Here's me opening the Immuno Mushroom - cacao nibs, maple sugar, cacao butter, whole cacao beans with their skins on, pine pollen, and the good stuff - medicinal mushrooms, and quite the list - chaga, turkey tail, reishi, maitake, shiitake, cordyceps, himematsutake, mesima, oyster and lions mane, all made to perfection in a chocolate that is so prefectly rich and creamy, bitter and sweet, melt-in-your-mouth soft yet with a delectable snap of a bite. I've never had any raw chocolate come close to how good this stuff is!

So I got loads! 69% whole bean with vanilla. 58% "milk" choc. 70% Sun Sweet with inulin (jerusalem artichoke) - which was my first one and so rich, no sweetener at all, my fav so far. 83% Midnight (looking forward to that one). And 52% Amazonian - the powerhouse choc. Get this -

amazonian jungle peanuts, coconut, brazil nuts, quararibea funebris, incan berries, cashews, purple corn extract, maca, acai, lucuma, vanilla bean, stevia leaf, sacha jergon, camu camu, sacha inchi nuts, yacon leaf, clavo huasca, yacon root, andean salt, chuchuhuasi, tahuari golden, canchalagua, iporuro, pasuchaca, hercampuri, pau d'arco, guayusa, chancapiedra, yerba mate, cats claw, and manayupa amongst the cacao nibs, cacao butter and maple sugar.

Could you get a better chocolate?

I think not. But you could (and we did) combine that with awesome music, awesome people, more cacao, and have yourself a RAW CACAO ECSTACY PARTY! Welcome in Saturday night.

Cacao smoothies, cacao mousse, cacao ice cream, cacao brownies, and superfood bliss balls. Jess and I made sure we tried them all (and went overboard with 2 serves of ice cream).

After a cacao celebration ceremony to honour the sacred bean, we danced our butts off with David and friends we ran into as the weekend progressed. Bare foot, arms up, hips moving to the drumming beats from Ganga Giri, blissing out on cacao, having the time of our lives!

THE BEST WEEKEND EVER!! I had an absolute ball :)

Feb 16, 2011


Have you ever been excited to get creative in the kitchen when you're feeling down, and then putting all your LOVE into what you're doing, even when you're not exactly sure what it is you're doing, to later have everyone try your creation and be WOWed by it?

Ok, so possibly a very lengthy way to ask that question, but still... have you?

It's a strange thing I think - when I'm emotionally feeling like shit (pardon my language there), I get in the kitchen and somehow manage to find so much joy and love that fills my being from top to toe and comes out into what I'm making and getting messy with, which is then tasted in the food. It tastes AMAZING! Just like an Italian mamas spaghetti - always beats the fancy expensive restaurant version doesn't it?

I decided to get in the kitchen on Sunday afternoon coz I was feeling really flat, upset, sad, and lonely. Depleted of any joy really, and I wondered when was the last time I actually got in the kitchen and got my hands dirty? I couldn't remember!! When I'm not feeling happy and can't decribe it any better than just being FLAT it's a sign to get creative. It's what my soul needs. It's where I get rid of the blah energy and bring in loads of bounce and fun! Dancing around to Bruno Mars (addicted to his new CD), hips-a-swingin, birds on the window sill, the kitchen was mine!

So that's exactly what I did. I had an idea of what I wanted to make, but wasn't totally sure so just went with it... and by the end I had these babies -

Banana Choc Fudge Cookies

Top-of-my-head stuff that turned out awesome. Above we have the before shot... and below is the aftermath once having spent a couple of days in the dehydrator.

Chewy, delicious cookies perfect with friends in the afternoon (right Jess?)

And then Valentines Raspberry Tarts.

And what made me smile the most - when I took them into work and over to my cousins and posted them on facebook, I had everyone asking for the recipe! It was actually really nice! Coz again, it was top-of-the-head-stuff! Sure I got inspiration from here, there and everywhere but essentially these are my babies! Looked yummy. Tasted yummier. And they had me feeling yummy.

So here it is;

The Base/s:
1/4 cup ground oat groats
1/2 cup ground cashews
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1/8 cup agave syrup
good pinch of sea salt

Throw it all into a big bowl and mix really well.

The rest of it:
1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped
few tbsp warm water

Blend these together, adding enough water in tiny tiny bits until it belnds nicely.

3/4 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
good squeeze of lime juice

Blend this until smooth, and then push it all through a sieve so that all the tiny seeds are seperated and you're left with nice runny smooth raspberry sauce.

1/4 cup ground cashews
1/4 cup coconut oil
good pich sea salt
tsp vanilla

Blend all these together until smooth.

Putting it all together:
Decide if you want mini tartlets or one big one - and then using wet fingertips, spread your base onto the bottom of whatever you choose to use (silicone moulds, muffin tins, etc). Pop in the freezer to set.

Blend all the filling ingredients together (once you've done each individual step). Grab your bases and start spooning the filling ontop. DO THIS QUICKLY as the coconut oil will set on the cold bases pretty quick. Shake and bang your tarts on the bench so that they even out and become smooth ontop.
Decorate with goji berries, cacao nibs, fresh berries, whatev!

Store in the freezer and eat whenever you need some lovin!!

So there you all go. Unleash your creativity, roll up your sleeves, and SPREAD THE LOVE!
Or try your hand with some raw chocolate... DAVID WOLFE IS HERE! I'm so excited I can't tell you! Tomorrow night is his first lecture here in Sydney and I'm BUZZING so much I feel like I'm on drugs!! CACAO perhaps? Then there's more lectures all weekend and the highly-anticipated RAW CACAO ECSTACY DANCE PARTY!! Wait for those pics hey!! Watch this space! :)

Feb 12, 2011

Organics in a box

Today I was down in Crows Nest grabbing a few things - hemp seeds, coconut oil, pepitas - before a small smoothie and 2hrs at the gym. I upped all my weights in my Pump class and got through every little bit of gruelling running, jumping, squatting, punching, hopping, kicking and clapping during Body Attack afterwards, affirming to myself "no regrest Christie, no regrets". And left feeling FAB!

Why am I telling you this? Who knows. Maybe I'm still coming down from my "gym high" and wanted to share it with you guys? But as I sit here at home on a Saturday night eating salad on the lounge, I felt the urge to blog, keep my mind in distraction from other things and thoughts, and tell you guys about the DELICIOUS salads I've been concocting thanks to the organic fruit and veg box I got this week!

I ordered a box from work coz now I'm at college, I don't have organics staring me in the face at work everyday to grab whenever I may need! And ordering a box from work means I have one less thing I have to worry about during my week - well for a few days anyway. I think next week I'll need a much bigger box, or make sure I pop down to markets on the weekend too, coz I eat a hell of alot more food than this here!

The goodies - I got tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, coz lettuce, bok choy, cabbage, corn, a big fat cucumber, half a rockmelon, a nashi pear, and some cavendish bananas! YUM!

And then got straight into it! Last night my creativity and taste buds took my here ;

A greek garden salad if you like - Cos lettuce, a tomato, half a corn cob, half head of broccoli, quarter of an avo, 3 raw black olives, few crumbled walnuts, olive oil and freshly squeezed lime (served one raw vegan)

Today I was pottering round home until after lunch so had another look in my box (and grabbed a few other bits from the fridge) and came up with this;

Healthy Healing Salad - Cos lettuce, half a head of brocc, one carrot, half corn cob, few tbsps of coconut oil, and really generous handfuls of both dulse flakes and nutritional yeast (served one hungry raw vegan)

And just now I came up with this;

A Sweet Coleslaw - half a cabbage softening in olive oil for a few hours - then 2 shredded carrots, one julienned green apple, good handful of sultanas, sprinkling of cinnamon, juice of one orange, a small splash of apple cider vinegar, decent crackling of black pepper and a pinch of sea salt (made enough for dinner and extras for lunch tomorrow and the following day - time saver!)

Tomorrow morning I hope to get down to Frenchs Forest Markets for some more organics (gotta get me some kale!!), bliss out at yoga, and then have some KITCHEN FUN creating something I can indulge myself in on Valentines Day!

Fancy a clue -

Sweet are fresh berries.
Salty the sea.
I'tl be something delicious,
Creative from me.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Feb 10, 2011

Short Cuts through Nutritional Medicine??

Well my first week of Nutritional Medicine is almost over and I LOVE IT! I've met some really nice people, the lecturers are all friendly and bubbly making the classes interesting and informative, and every little bit of my being is vibrating from the excitement of what I am learning (first week I kno... things will no doubt get tougher and harder, but this is what I EAT, LIVE and BREATHE so to finally be learning it in a classroom setting...).
It feels GREAT!

( spirulina smoothie in Chemistry) :)

I've had to re-work my week though, compared to how it used to be. Three days a week I'm studying for 9hr days, plus travel time, study at home, gym sessions, yoga, runs, coaching, working at the health food shop AND preparing all my food - which can take anywhere from 1hr up to 3hrs per day!! Busy busy!

So I'm trying my best to try and cull the meal prep a bit - as the rest is all a little bit trickier (self confessed fitness junkie - don't dare try taking that away from me!!).

So, each night when I make my salad for dinner, I make enough for two, throwing a whole lot into my tupperware container for lunch the following day. Short cut numero uno.

I've also been making my brekkie smoothies the night before if I know I've got an early(er) start. Today I took 2 smoothies with me. One for brekkie and one for afternoon tea. I kept them in the freezer over night coz I was going to the gym at 530am and wouldn't be slurping on my smoothie til at least 8am. By then - perfect slushie and ice cold. As for afternoon tea - cold all day. Yum!

Snacks are ALWAYS in my bag; nuts, seeds, goji berries, dried apricots, medjool dates, whatever I'm feeling like. Perfect mid-arvo when I'm getting the munchies and want the cheeky snack whilst note taking.

And then my buckwheat crackers are also a great throw-in-the-bag-and-run type munchie. This arvo I spread a couple with barley miso and unhulled tahini; Don't knock it til you try it! It's a weird combo I know, and even weirder that it reminds me of VEGEMITE... But it's delicious! Give it a go (and let me know what you think)!

I'd love to get any extra suggestions you guys may have with organising your food. And I hope my suggestions help you - study or not, we all lead busy lives these days!

Feb 7, 2011

Permission to show off?

Okay I've just gotta show off what my friend Jess and I made last Thursday night -

Moonie Pies!!!

A recipe of Heather's that I've wanted to make for soooo long (even though I'm not a fan of making chocolate-dipped-anythings really). I thought it would be alot of chocolatey-messy-fun to do with Jess. So we rolled up our sleeves, and around so much chatter we slowly got things under way.

A date and walnut base, covered with a vanilla-coconut-cream layer, topped off with a another layer of the date and walnut base... all left to set layer by layer until it looked like this. One mighty big slab of we cut up into about 30 pieces.

Then the messy (taste testing) part - the chocolate dipping. Although if I do say so myself... we were pretty clean!

It amuses me that something of reasonable size, once dipped into a rich cacao sauce and left to set, instantly turns into giant blocks of rich chocolatley goodness - almost too big for one!
I said almost ;)

Of course we had big green salads full of goodies, as I've gotta have greens when making something with cacao or I feel sick as a dog (even so, the following morning I woke feeling the effetcs of the cacao).

Yummy kale, sprouts, mushies, cukes, sunnies, avo, asparagus, seaweed, onion chili relish, olive oil... loads of fun!!

Aside from that, last Friday I had orientation for college (which starts tomorrow!!) - which wasn't all I cracked it up to possibly be by the way... but once that was over, I met Dani for a whopper sized organic vegie juice on her lunch break then took my time walking from Crown Street all the way to Newtown to get my colonic!! Yes, it was the 35+degree day here but I've gotta say I love the heat! And aside from one other friend of mine, I think I could be the only person in Sydney that loved it last week. Ok so HEATWAVE I know. I get it. It's hot. Maybe I need to move north?

Anyways, I hadn't my therapist in a while so I was very excited to catch up on everything we've missed! As usual, a great session (no need for gorey details) followed by my little slice of bliss - the infra red sauna. Not usually a sweaty person I love getting in these things coz i actually sweat! And coz of the temps we were having last week, I was dripping in less than 5minutes. Want proof?

From head to toe baby!

So tomorrow begins my new adventures in Nutritional Medicine as I begin my studies! It's something I have wanted to do for far too long and so I am excited to finally be beginning - but at the same time, which surprises me actually, I'm very bloody scared!

Wish me luck! I'll let you all know how I go.

Feb 3, 2011

Vegie Curry in the heat?

Thursday afternoon off work and I'm sitting at home, drinking a big green juice whilst keeping cool from the heatwave Sydney is currently in the middle of. Whilst my older sister is sheltering inside also, however up in Cairns where she lives, and not from the heat but from the wind, rains and Cyclone Yasi. I get the feeling Mother Nature isn't very happy with the way we have been treating her over the recent years.

However, I was lucky to get to the beach on the weekend which is one of Mother Nature's finest artworks, and one that I could not imagine living without.

This heat has had me sucking away on many a smoothie - this one here is frozen bananas, frozen mango and passionfruit. Hit the spot very well the other day.

Regardless of the heat, I have been running more and on one run from St Leonards to Gordon last week (after a solid gym session too - yes I had severe energy to burn) I ran past the smell of Indian curry cooking. Ahh YUM!
I don't eat Indian curry anymore as I know that I would feel pretty sick in doing so, but I'm always up for some good Indian curry scent wafting my way. And running home it's all I could think about! And so what did I make for dinner? You betcha!

I threw a bunch of things in the blender, knowing the few necessary ingredients I had to have so my taste buds could bliss out, mixed my chunky sweet sauce through some carrots and broccoli, ontop of loads of leafy greens and mixed it all through again. YUM!

I found a recipe that I used as a guideline (whilst knowing what exact flavours I had to have), then swapped, changed, and omitted things to come up with this -

1 cup brazil nuts
1 ripe banana
1 tsp spices of choice (I used combination of cumin, paprika, tumeric, coriander, etc)
2 tbsp cold pressed oil (I used olive)
1/4 tbsp - 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp sweet soy sauce (I would have used tamari but had none)
2 medium apples - chopped into small bits (I used green ones)
1 cup sultanas

Throw brazil nuts into your blender and cover with filtered water. Blend until smooth. Add your banana, spices, oil, vinegar, sweet soy sauce and blend again. Throw in apple pieces and sultanas, pulsing until combined but still chunky.
And the if you like coconut, throw in some shredded coconut as well and mix through. Tastes SO GOOD!

You can mix this through chunky vegie pieces, use it as a dip with crudites, or combine it through your salad for a deliciously different 'dressing'!!
I had this for work the other day and OMG. You know when you just stumble across something AMAZING by pure accident in throwing leftover bits and pieces together? This was one of those times -

1. kale, carrot, mushies, corn, sprouts, avocado, dulse flakes, and nutritional yeast salad
2. carrot, capsicum, rocket, spinach, curry sauce salad
Combine the two together and Wow. Wow. WOW!

Crunchy bits, smooth chunky bits, soft avocado bits, sweet sultanas, delicious sauce...

It makes a fair bit of sauce, but that's the way I like it - always leftovers!

Anyways, I gotta jet out the door to go buy some walnuts and dates for something I'm making later tonight. A girlfriend of mine is coming round for some KITCHEN FUN! Stay tuned for what we'll be doing...