Dec 12, 2012

Fancy a Rum Ball? Oh Yes please!

Well you don't need me to tell you that Christmas is just around the corner (although in a round-a-bout way I just did) and from here on in you'll no doubt see more and more people getting crazy leaving gift buying, family arrangements, food prep and more til the very last minute. Personally, I like to think I'm pretty well organised each year however I'd be lying if I said it was totally cruisey for me - I think I just go crazy a little earlier on as my default mechanism to then later cruise through the finishing line to the 25th. 

That's my personal life though. I know in past years my blogging life has not been so well thought out; posting photos of what I HAD for lunch and what I MADE for Xmas AFTER all the festivities were had. So... this year I wanted to give you guys one of my favourite recipes early so you can save yourselves a little time and a little sanity by making this ahead of time; even then they will only take you 15 minutes to make. And what's great about these are they are
gluten free, wheat free, sugar free, dairy, free, egg free, vegan and raw!
You can make them nut free too buy substituting the nut meal for coconut flour.

You will need:

1/4 cup nut meal (almond and cashew work great)
1/2 cup medjool dates (pitted and chopped)
1/4 cup raisins*
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp rum
1 Tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp other dry ingredient (I have used oat flour, coconut flour, even additional nut meal works)

In your food processor throw in your nut meal, dates, and raisins (*if you'd like little chewy raisin bits in your rum balls only put half the raisins here and pulse or hand mix the rest through at the end) and process until bitsy. Then add everything else and process until the mixture forms and is well combined. If you decided against the delicious rum in this recipe you will need to substitute another liquid so the balls are moist enough.

Taste test - I'll be honest here, with this recipe it is so hard not to eat half the batch.

Roll the mix in the palm of your hand into any size you like and then roll in cacao powder, chocolate sprinkles, coarsely ground cacao nibs, coconut or leave them naked.

This recipe makes 12 small rum balls so by all means do as I always do - and make MORE!

If you're making these now for Xmas, store them in a well sealed container in your freezer to prevent them from drying out. Then after that fridge or freezer, and they are able to last for a month or so - but as if that's going to happen!

Take them to your family Xmas get together or wrap them up and gift them to work colleagues, friends, family or your nan - I know she'll love them!

I would love to see photos of your rum balls when you make these so please comment below or share your pics on our Facebook page Eat.More.Plants

Enjoy these scrumptious little morsels of joy and happiness

Dec 5, 2012

Got 10minutes to make an awesome Carob Cake?

Last month Brock and I celebrated our anniversary (remember my post here about our memorable evening lying in bed with him feeding me mango pieces as my exhaustion had hit rock bottom?), and as it was only a  week after his birthday (when we shared this amazingly delicious and super easy Coconut Cream Pie), we never celebrated our anniversary with a cake (and I'm not a cake-whore having to make one for every occasion... but I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy doing so because it's always a win-win-win; I win by getting to spend my time getting creative in the kitchen and having a ball doing so... the person who I am making a cake for win's obviously - they get a cake... and then everyone else wins by getting to share in the marvelous delectable creation made [and yes, that includes me again too])

So when B said "let's have a cake to celebrate our anniversary" I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it earlier! Wanting to come up with something super quick (I had assessments coming out my ears as usual, and some cakes can take a day or so; that and we wanted to eat cake pronto!) and something inexpensive using as much straight out of the pantry as I could (as these assessments come with hefty school fees), this is what I came up with!

4-Ingredient Carob Cake and 4-Ingredient Carob Frosting

In the cute shape of a little love heart, small enough to share, but big enough that half was plenty :)

You will need:

1 1/2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup raisins
1 tsp carob powder
2-3 Tbsp fresh orange juice

Blend using a small food processor until it is all combined and looks deliciously gooey enough to eat straight out the container (well you all know my rule by now - you gotta be taste testing!)

Then mould, push, poke and prod your mixture into a (coconut-oiled) small cake tin (this love heart was no bigger than the size of a CD; the plate in the picture is a tea cup plate). Alternatively, mould it into a square or a circle shaped cake straight onto a small plate.

For the frosting you will need:

2 small avocados (1 extra large one will also work)
2 medjool dates (chopped finely)
2 tsp carob powder
2 tsp honey (agave, maple syrup, stevia, etc)

Mash your avocado to speed up the process here. Then blend all ingredients into a small food processor (I find these work better than blender as the avo gets stuck easily). Keep blending until your frosting is smooth and creamy. You can add a drizzle of water if need be but be warned here; too much and you're then going to need to add more avo again. Start with 1/4tsp water and go from there if you find you need it.

Frost your cake and decorate as you wish. I only had cacao nibs and wanting something red to brighten it up, I chopped up a few dried cranberries. Goji berries would look cool also, or fresh strawberries! Yum!

 If you're sharing with a loved one, cut your heart in half and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea or dessert in the evening :)


Nov 27, 2012


Ok so I was really hoping I would have gotten my super-quick-super-easy-fuss-free-minimal-ingredient-Carob Cake recipe to you guys by now (you can find a pic on my Facebook page here), along with another post/update of how I've been doing since my TCM appointment (if you're unsure of what I'm talking about, read this post)… but as you can see I've not written anything. I think I’ve just about learnt now that each day is so totally unpredictable for me in terms of my energy levels that planning and sticking to plans are starting to appear as pointless. Like today; the plan was to study all day and instead I've been lying in bed all day. And as such the blog posts I wanted to write never got written.

Nov 15, 2012


I haven’t really been keeping you all updated on how my adrenal exhaustion is going, and as things have changed a little I thought I’d give you an update. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, feel free to read a recent-ish post about it all here.

Since then I felt I was doing pretty well until little by little (of which I was completely unaware of until it all became too much) everything started rolling downhill. 

Nov 11, 2012

Live Coconut Cream Pie

This (totally nut free, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, raw, paleo, [and in my case] 100% organic so bloody sensational) stunner of a cake tasted just as good a couple of weeks ago when I made it for my partner's birthday up here in Cairns. I wanted something delicious (obviously), but nothing super time consuming as I had assessments and other things coming out my ears, and we had both only arrived back in Cairns the day earlier from our travels - me to Sydney, he to China. So this is what I found! A simple coconut pie that I jazzed up a bit so it was a proper birthday cake; and not just a cake. I promised you all I'd share the recipe so promise me you'll all make it (your taste buds are shouting YES too).

You will need:
For the crust - 
2 1/2 cups coconut flakes/dessicated coconut
1/4 tsp vanilla (or the insides of one vanilla bean)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup (heaped) finely chopped fresh medjool dates

For the filling -
1 1/4 cups coconut milk*
3/4 cup coconut flesh
3/4 cup (heaped) finely chopped fresh medjool dates
1/2 tsp vanilla (or the insides of one vanilla bean)
2 pinches of salt
3 Tbsp lecithin
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut oil (Important note here - be sure you have an exceptionally good-tasting coconut oil as you will be able to taste it; shit oil makes your cake taste shit. My favourite is Nuigini)
Decorations; fresh fruit, coconut flakes, cacao...

* to make your own coconut milk, blend the flesh of a thai young coconut with the liquid, and uv got milk! One coconut is more than enough for the quantity of milk you need; but you will need more for the additional flesh. I had 4 to be super-over-organised. You'll likely only need 2 but an extra one is always advisable as you can sometimes luck out and open a dodgy one. 

Step 1 - Prepping
Make your coconut milk and put is aside.

Step 2 - Prepping
Prep all your ingredients on the bench. Start pitting and chopping your fresh dates and measuring out all your ingredients. Grab a 20cm cake tin or another flan dish you have, and either grease with coconut oil or line with non-stick paper.
Then in an S-blade food processor, put in coconut flakes, salt and vanilla and begin to process. Start adding small amounts of your chopped dates until it begins to stick together. Use more dates if need be (I did).

Step 3 - Base
Once it's sticky enough to hold together, press your mixture into your prepared cake tin. Use your fingers to work it up the sides of the dish to form more of a crust. Alternatively you can just have the crust as the base, but it might be a little messier getting the cake out.

Step 4 - Filling
Next up, get out your blender. Throw in your coconut milk, coconut flesh, dates, vanilla and salt. Blend all this until super smooth. Add the lecithin and coconut oil and blend again until all this is mixed through well. Dip your finger in to taste. Not optional. If you need something added (sweeter, cinnamon jazz, etc, add it now). And of course taste again :)

Step 5 - Pouring
You guessed it! Pour your delicious mixture straight into your crust. And voila! Easy as pie!

Step 6 - Decorating
You can get creative and decorate your pie any way you wish - the recipe used coconut flakes but as I was making this for Brock's birthday, I wanted something a little more spesh, so I got out the fresh fruit for splashes of colour!
Such an easy recipe. But it looks amazing! I LOVE a fool-proof recipe that always turns out looking a million bux!

Serve with tea if you please. Or have for brekkie like my man insisted (it was his birthday after all)


Recipe taken from I Am Grateful recipe book.

Nov 2, 2012

Earth to Table

The other week when I was in Sydney, I was lucky enough to be there for the opening of the first raw cafe in Sydney, Earth to Table. It's the baby of Julie Mitsios from Conscious Choice - and when I initially found out Julie had decided to open one, I knew that if anyone can do it, she could! I was way more than excited!

The cafe is totally organic, all raw and vegan. They support local farmers, environmentally friendly products and sustainable agriculture. Everything is made with love, amazing ingredients with flavour combinations that sit side by side in perfect taste-bud harmony on each plate, and served with smiles and attention :)

I had this lunch date planned for weeks anticipating my arrival and flight down to Sydney, and knowing it was opening the day before I left. Total luck there! Those perfect date-match-ups so rarely happen in my world. I was like a kid in a lolly shop with excitement at going to Earth to Table with my best friends, Janine and Sebastien from Simply Raw. The three of us drove up to Bondi Junction (from their cosy beach pad) and was welcomed with big Hello's and smiles from Julie and her team into the bright, fresh new decor of the place. We had a wander around, had a look at all the products available there; books, appliances, raw proteins and super foods powders, seaweeds, dried berries, tea, environmentally friendly drinking bottles, mushroom supplements, and cacao, including my favourite, and the smoothest, most delicious rich raw chocolate ever had, Sacred Heart raw chocolates OMG!! Get them here 'cause orders online from the USA will have you paying truckloads in freight (trust me, I know and learnt that one the hard way).
So after we had our chit chats and admired every inch of the place, we calmed down a little and began perusing the menu... Let me warn you; you might be flipping coins to narrow your choices down. You've got juices, smoothies, coffees, light salads, bigger salads, starter bits n pieces, heartier earthy meals, cakes and more. This is what we had...

Now I LOVE kefir - but I will say I love kombucha more. So seeing this on the menu had me sold. The subtle ginger taste lifted it for me as I'm a lover of water kefir over coconut water kefir, but this drink was delicious none-the-less and helped my belly with everything that followed...

Janine had this salad as her must-have from word go. I have to say, she chose well. Cabbage, broccoli, carrot, kelp, arame, hemp seeds and more all smothered lightly in a delicious creamy dressing. 

COFFEE!! Oh hello you delicious dreamy glass of goodness! I have had a love affair with coffee since it first hit my lips. A barista for 8-odd-years, I've since teetered in and out of my addiction slash love affair as I've played around with my health and tried new things. Having said that... I've always loved the stuff. Give it to me black, straight up, no fillers, creamers or sweeteners. YUM! Sebastien and I share this love for the black stuff, sometimes adding shilajit or reishi for a hint of difference, so when we saw the coffee available here we were in Heaven. Seb was cursing me for putting ideas into his head as to potentially riding up for a daily hit but I said just roll with it! I think coffee is great for so many different reasons, but not when it's taken with dairy and sugar, and of course individually dependent (by that I mean if you've got an addictive personality or suffering adrenal stress, daily coffee shouldn't be on the menu, for example).
From memory there are about 6 different coffee's available, both iced and warm varieties, but we ordered one whose name I can't remember but not because it was only average. This coffee was insanely good! It was a cold-pressed iced coffee with almond milk and WOW it was the most delicious, creamy, iced coffee I've ever had! Def gonna be getting that every trip back home!

Raw garlic bread. Yep, not something you see everyday and this baby immediately had my attention when reading through the menu. The 'bread' is crunchy on the outside yet subtly soft on the inside with a
dreamy garlic flavour running through it all. Served with a traditional South American chimichurri sauce with added bits n' pieces that was to die for - definitely  needs to be bottled!

In all the catering events, raw retreats, and food workshops Julie has done, I have always heard rave reviews about her quiche. Always. Every time. So when I found out she was serving it at her cafe, there was no further thought processes in my head other than YES PLEASE. This was  
quite possibly the best meal we shared. In terms of satiety, price, flavour and everything else, the quiche is the winner! Caramelised onions, olives and marinated mushrooms in a spinach quiche that tastes exactly like my mum's when I was a kid (but minus the cheese, milk, cream, butter, and pastry). So so good!

This was the salad I wanted to try - I LOVE picked, fermented anything! And the cheese on top tasted like a pongy blue cheese (which I always loved eating) it was incredible!  

Another amazing dish filled with lots of veggies including mushies, zucchini, fresh green peas (no doubt hand-shelled), onion and a few others and mixed into a tomato-ey, chilli type concoction of Heaven. And the 'bread' crumbled in your mouth... oh this was good!

And of course no meal is complete without dessert - especially if it's at a raw restaurant! And they are all so appropriately displayed behind glass at the counter so you can oggle and drool, and make your meal choices according to the dessert you've already eyed off - just like we did. Tiramisu it was gonna be! There was also a damn fine looking pear-ginger-caramel cheesecake, a choc-peppermint cake, a nut-free berry cheesecake and raw super food balls.

Here my love of coffee and chocolate intertwine for the most delicious Italian dessert - but made completely raw. So light and smooth each spoonful feels like your mouth is floating in the clouds. The rich chocolate hits the sides and the subtle coffee is enough for any coffee lover but not too much if you're not a huge fan of the stuff. This was totally incredible, delicious, taste-bud tantalising, a real conversation go-er, and the perfect way to finish the most delicious 6-course meal I've probably ever had!

We came. We saw. We conquered.

Janine and I doing our photo's thing with our phones

And we will definitely be back again. In less than a few weeks to be exact. I'll be back down in Sydney November 16th for Coldplay (and more raw cake of course).

In the meantime, I'll be posting the recipe for the coconut cake I made for Brock's birthday last week in a few days. It's super simple and super delicious! And nut-free so the ingredients will set you back less than otherwise which is always nice. Keep your eye out for it. I reckon it will be perfect over the Xmas Summer holidays in Oz, or the chilly Winter elsewhere. I'll be making it again then for sure.

Oh and have you signed up for my weekly Nutrition Notes Newsletter yet? Be sure you do. I'll recap the week's posts, share some nutrition info, giveaways, prizes, recipes, and anything else that inspires me to share. Get you name on the list here

See you there
Christie xx

Oct 29, 2012

My favourite things to do in Sydney

Last week I was lucky enough to get down and visit my home in Sydney - even if it was to pack up my entire life into boxes at my mums house before she leaves and rents the house out (think 25yrs of stuff needing to find a home in a box - manic!). I arrived to beautiful weather and amongst my mad-packing that I knew I had ahead of me, I made sure I had time to fit in a few of my favourite things whilst there...

Views of Sydney Harbour are like no other, and my dad was staying at Kirribili for the weekend so I had this magnificent view to oggle over, before Thai lunch with everyone - my big sis Nikki was in town for literally 2hrs between international flights, so we tee-ed up lunch with dad; who has always been overseas for work the weekend of October 19th (his birthday), mum and my little sister Lisa; both who hadn't seen Nikki in months; our step-sister Amy who lives hours away from everyone and our little nephew Callum, who has never met Nikki! So in the short meal we shared before Nikki had to bolt back to the airport, we all had a ball.

I went out with mum on Sunday morning to the Frenchs Forest Markets which are my absolute favourite!! The colourful buzz about, fresh produce abounds, juices, smoothies, Asian foods, natural lotions and potions, superfoods, baked breads, cookies and treats, elixirs, honey, massage, coffee and more! Everyone walks around saying hello to people they know, munching on their weekly favourite and grinning ear to ear. I got the organic green juice I love, we tried new organic raw honey, got the best macadamia nuts in Australia (Hand N' Hoe Organic Macadamias), and the most delicious raw apple crumble from Flawless Foods. These girls are amazing and their food will have every taste bud in your mouth having a party! Their goodies are sold at the Supafeast stand, and what's even better, is that they change things up every week!

After  my market fun, my girlfriend picked my up  for my all-time favourite yoga class; a 90 minute vinyasa power flow yoga class in St Leonards. My yoga teacher, friend, and mentor is the instructor for the class, and after sweating, stretching, twisting, flowing, bending, balancing and calming my thoughts, I leave on top of the world! I'm blessed that I could see him twice more before I left Sydney too!! (if you're interested and near by, he is offering a free-week pass to new students here)

Later on I caught up with all my old work girls for afternoon tea and chit chats before a relaxing evening at home, happy that 90% of my boxes at home were packed :)

My 2nd last day was pre-planned weeks before and that was to spend the entire day with my two best friends; the creative kitchen geniuses behind the Simply Raw bars. I drove over to beautiful Bondi at 730am after yoga and stopped to take in the stunning ocean and breathe in all the fresh sea air I could, before heading over for brekkie smoothies at their place.

Bondi Beach

Me feeding the chickens across the road

We fuelled our bodies with delicious juice and smoothies and sat all morning catching up on everything that's going on in our lives. And for lunch, we were going up to Earth to Table - Sydney's first raw vegan cafe! I know I'm not alone in shouting out FINALLY! We're a bit behind the 8-ball. But it is here; well it is there (in Sydney) and every time I visit now I've got somewhere I can choose anything off the menu to eat, enjoy it, LOVE it, and leave feeling amazing! Julie Mitsios from Conscious Choice is the wonder-woman behind this little gem up on Bronte Rd, and has decked out the place so it is simplistic-elegance. But you'll have to be patient and wait until my next post for all the mouth-watering pics and food reviews, as it wouldn't do it justice meshing them all in with this post.

We spent the rest of our afternoon lazying around on the beach, getting some sunshine, laughing and being silly before the "see you later's" instead of the dreaded "goodbye's". I'll be back in Sydney in less than a month! And the morning before my flight, mum and I both managed to have time free to grab some brekkie together and have a nice long (proper) girly chit chat :)

My girl Janine and I chillin' at Bondi Beach

Brekkie out with my beautiful mum

Remember to stay tuned or sign up for email alerts for the upcoming post and food-porn pics from Earth to Table; Sydney's first raw vegan cafe.

Until then... Love and Light :)

Oct 15, 2012

What's been happening up Far North

Here we are now in October – wow hasn’t this year gone so fast! As a kid it never seemed to go fast; if anything it was all really slow. As I get older, it fly’s by. Why is that? Am I having too much fun? Or simply have too much on. Both? Whatever the reason I’m not really all that fussed, I think I easily fall into these habit-forming-sayings due to people around me saying them. In fact I LOVE Christmas so bring it on!

Since my last post where I left you tempted by FNQ's CACAO fruit, I’ve had a fully loaded schedule (and thus no blog posts). Here are a few of things that have been going on:

A day trip back to the grass roots of local organic farming, and to our food source as nature intended. When I first heard about this I definitely wanted to go. And with good reason. What a day! We began in Cairns then drove up the range to Kuranda, where The Real Food Network shared information on the importance of how locally grown and ethically sound food can build a stronger community, help local farmers secure a reasonable income, ease the pressure on farm lands and bring healthy food to our dinner table. 
Back on the bus we were then off to Kaizi’s coconut oil farm - Australia’s only Indigenous, Torres Strait Island producers of Pure Coconut Oil. Whilst slurping fresh coconuts, munching on grated coconut, and devouring the most amazing coconut treat, we discovered the marvels of this fruit including the methods of production, how to use coconut oil as your preferred oil to cook with and some of the different traditional dishes using coconut, it's topical uses, and its environmental impact.
Kaizi’s Coconut Keai (freshly grated Coconut with chopped dates, Coconut juice and Keai sprinkled on top) WOW!

Kaizi labelling his coconut oil jars

Off again, this time to stunning location up the top of Hallorans Hill in Atherton where we had a Thermomix demonstration and had our lunch prepared fresh in front of our eyes. 

And last, but certainly not least, we were at a lovely couple’s place near Lake Eacham, just outside Yungaburra, where they lead a self sufficient lifestyle. Most of their food is produced using biodynamic and organic practices, including growing fruit and vegetables, rearing livestock for meat and milk production, rearing poultry for meat and egg production, cheese making, bread making, bee keeping, making preserves and cooking great food. Brock and I were very interested in this - these guys do the lot! Home made scones with home made butter (both of which were made with ingredients from their farm) and tea were on the cards, as were big chunks of gooey delicious honeycomb. Yum!

Dairy cows on the sustainable property

Inside the veggie-herb-green house

Daintree Getaway
I took a week off work after working double my usual shifts for all of September. We wanted to drive up to the Daintree and just chillout for a bit. Lazy days, swimming holes, lots of fruit eating, beautiful locals, and we found the most amazing places to do our daily yoga practice as well.

We saw this guy jump off the cliff on our drive up; just before Port Douglas

Daintree tea plantation

Hottie in the jungle

The first river we came across

Typical scenery when driving through - not bad ey?

House Sitting
Ok so maybe not a big deal, but it was for Brock and I as our friend owns a mansion on top of City View (the suburb name – for obvious reasons). We did our yoga, swam everyday, ate all our meals overlooking the city, and really only left when we had too. A bliss-full long weekend that was.

Little overcast that day but we weren't complaining! Best yoga spot ever!

I was at this on Friday night and from the first time I heard about this (from Emma who also organized The Organic Experience) I couldn’t wait! It was held at the beautiful Shan-gri La at the Marina and on arrival ladies were greeted, welcomed with drinks and healthy canapes, there were goodie bags, loads of exhibitors with their products; be in natural skin care, massage, mineral make up, natural organic food products, pregnancy and doula information, meditation workshops, chemical free house hold cleaning products, the list goes on! The main ladies included Bec for a local radio station doing the MC-ing, Jessica Ainscough from The Wellness Warrior got up and spoke about her cancer healing journey and her tips to live a holistically balanced life, and Kim Morrison fwho has written a book titled Like Chocolate For Woman. This woman had me at Hello! She is absolutely beautiful and her presence and energy, and just herself is what had me so enthralled. You know those people you either meet, or you just hear speak and you know that they have something (or alot of things) that you need to learn from them. Not a chance encounter type thing. That's what I felt when listening to Kim speak on stage. Her business is centered on self-care and empowerment for women – something I’m finding myself drawn more and more too day by day and I can’t seem to get enough. She spoke for an hour perhaps and I wanted more. Which is why I immediately signed up for her Aromatherapy workshop the following day, which I went to yesterday.
This was just divine. A small group of less than 20 women and again, Kim had my full focus instantly. We went into more depth with the range she sells, and spoke a lot more about self care; it’s not selfish – it’s essential. This is where I am being drawn to most, where I know I need to focus more attention, and where I am seeing the biggest changes when I do so. It was beautiful. Very much the feminine energy I've been craving. We had our cups of tea and our raw balls and enjoyed an afternoon together surrounded by yummy smells, trying on skin care, passing 'round oils... 
I do want to make mention of one thing Kim spoke about that really struck a chord with me and instantly it felt so real to hear -  
Kim started talking about the many many women all over the globe who complain about their appearance – we all know one if we're not one ourself. I’m one of them. I don't complain out loud to girlfriend or colleagues, but I do have a whinge every now and then to my partner, and I know too-well the continuous stream of dribble-drabble that plays like a broken record over and over in my head, most of the time. Kim continued and went on to say that if we are a woman who dislikes something about her appearance, we’ve got 1 of 2 options – and she didn’t care which one we took.

(1) Step up and commit to change; changing our diet for the better, getting out to exercise or signing up to a gym, wearing clothes we feel good in, whatever it may be. Say affirmations, and day by day our bodies change. Our mindset will change. Our thinking will change. It might be tough work – Gwenyth Paltrow said in an interview when asked about her appearance that she works out 6 days a week for 90minutes a session, she eats certain foods and not others…her list went on, but she said she deserved the body she works so damn hard for. And it’s true! 
(2) The alternate option was to stay where we are because it’s comfortable, familiar, and not scary. And a lot of us do stay here, even though we THINK we so badly want to be elsewhere. So we keep eating cake and cream or whatever it may be … and this is where it got real... "but you have no right to whinge about how you look. No right! And everyone gets sick of hearing it, so if you’re not going to do anything about what you’re always whinging about, you’ve no right to whinge about it! You've made the choice to do nothing about it. Would you be complaining about your boobs and saying they’re too big, too small, or too saggy to someone who’s had to have hers removed? Would you whine about how you dislike your legs to someone sitting in a wheelchair who can’t stand up let alone walk like you can? How would you feel if you were saying "oh gosh I really hate my hair" to find out the lady beside you was going through chemo treatment?" 
These questions are very powerful and easily put everything into perspective. 

I do exercise. And I do eat well. But it's my mindset and negative thinking that creeps in and sabotages it all. The best food in the world won't do shit if your head is in the wrong place. Even with nutrition my passion, I truly believe that. I've seen it in my own life for years. It's my self-care and self-worth that I'm not prioritising. Why? Because when you go there it's scary and confronting. It's very easy to change a bad habit if it's easy to do. What about trying to eat better if there were no emotional attachments - might not be so hard. Think about self-worth issues - it's all the tough emotional stuff. Straight up, on the rocks. I know exactly why I've avoided it for so long! It's no fun, but the rewards are well worth it!
As for the change bit, and the self-care – I've learnt that time and money are no longer excuses. Prioritising is what it’s all about. And when we do so, self-care is fun!
So I took a lot away from yesterday afternoon (including a great book and one oil blend to get me started) and cannot wait to start implementing what I learnt. I also highly recommend reading some of Kim’s website if you’re into self care and aromatherapy. I'll definitely let you know how I go working with all this :)

A few other things up in Cairns:
- The Paleo cafe opened a few weeks ago and so far has great reviews. I was initially excited having never seen one before, until it sank in that every other cafe in town offers meat protein with veggies on a plate! Not so new. I will get excited though if they use the space to really educate people about the benefits of food as close to its natural state as possible; even if this does include the use of meats. That is one big plus with all the Paleo followers cropping up left, right, and centre. They're all really amping up the colour on the plates and buying fresh produce. A step in the right direction for anybody.
- College is going great; 99% for my Advanced Anatomy and Physiology exam :) Another reason the blogs have not been at all consistent. And I've just begun Pathophysiology and Symptomatology this week - say that with a mouthful of Sao biscuits! 
- Brock and I are in the middle of a 40-day Yoga journey together following Baron Baptiste's Book, who's training we LOVE and so we're feeling AMAZING! I LOVE yoga so committing to a daily practice that gets longer each week (going from 200mins to 90mins) is complete self-care for me. I feel so much better. My head's clearer. I worry less. My thoughts ramble less. I'm much more aware of my surroundings and less in my future. I look better. I love love LOVE it!
- And we moved into a new place, sharing with another guy we get along with famously and we’re loving it! A 15 minute walk to the Botanical Gardens and the well-known Cairns run, The Red Arrow. A 15 minute bike ride into town. We are surrounded by bush with a little creek at the bottom of the block, and we have a great balcony amongst it all that we are loving doing our yoga on. Happy days :)

I jet down to Sydney in 2 days to pack my childhood home (see my best mates, do my old-usual-weekend-highlight-yoga class and catch up with my teacher, visit my favourite Sunday markets, have girly catch-ups and dinners with my little sister, see my baby nephew, and so much more!). I cant wait! 

Until next time...

And ps. my apologies about the incredible array of font styles in this post - my computer has deiced to do its own thing tonight ?!?!

Aug 24, 2012

Australian Cacao Fruit

The other week when my mum was up here visiting, my sister and I took a drive with mum up to Port Douglas for the day. The drive alone is stunning - golden road bends overlooking vast ocean seas, palm trees and pebbles on each opening we passed, and blue skies stretching as far as the eye could see.

The markets were on when we were there, and I was over the moon when I found a lady selling raw chocolate bars, blocks and pieces, along with cacao pods and nibs - from AUSTRALIAN CACAO FRUITS!

I'm not suite sure why I never stopped to think whether cacao could or was being grown in this beautiful country of ours; assuming it was all overseas. So you could imagine my excitement! I have since found out that there are 4 or 5 plantations of cacao up here, all making their own chocolate. HELLO WILLY WONKA!! We'll definitley be planning a little adventure trip to suss them all out soon enough that's for sure!

But when I saw that this woman was selling cacao beans that she had herself taken straight out of the cacao fruit, and dehydrated to dry... I was sold. The fleshy fruit was still hanging on the outside of each bean. And this makes for a totally incredibly different taste sensation on eating...

It's fruity and tropical with hints of sweetness and tang. But once that disappears you're left with the bitterness of the cacao bean. It's Mother Nature's perfect combination...

And afternoon tea's perfect snack.

The following week my partner went on his own adventure up to the Daintree and brought me back that big cacao fruit above. Indeed. Yep. A whole fresh intact cacao fruit. In it's entirety. In Australia! I was speechless! Well no not really, that's a lie. I was jumping up and down in excitement (once again - could I really be that predictable around food?).

This is what it looks like inside - incredibly soft flesh and not much of it. Enough to keep the beans soft and moist. When you bite into a bean when it's like this, it is not hard as you may have had before. It's almost a little chewy. But a little powdery too. I know how odd that sounds and no doubt hard to imagine, but trust me, its' delicious.

The beans are purple inside, not chocolate brown, and you would be hard presed to just sit there and eat many more than just a few. We had fun adding them to smoothies too, believing we were getting an even better, fresher, bigger, richer hit of antioxidants from these babies! Hehe.

So I will be sure to keep you updated on our cacao hunting trips up here! In the meantime, I'm keeping myself very busy with work at the health food store which is great, college work piling up on me as I was in bed for about a week with what I think was a nasty case of influenza running around up here, and trying to rest and get myself back to my usual bubbly self :)

Peace, Love and mung beans xxx