Apr 30, 2012

Hot Choccie to warm them bones

Alright fellow Sydney-siders (and anyone else anywhere in the world where it has been ridiculously cold out of the blue for no good reason)... thanks to my gorgeous girlfriend Bianca, I've got a yummy scrummy hot choccie recipe to share with you all next time that chill hits!

I don't know about you but I have not been able to concentrate on my studies I've been so cold. Trakkie-daks, hoodies, fluffy socks, slippers, scarfs, non-stop pots of tea... I've done the lot! But when I saw taste-bud-tantalising pic, I instantly felt warmer. There's something about hot choocie I think. Just those words;    

      h o t   c h o c c i e

It seems to remind everyone of childhood. Memories of winters at home with the family, or on school camps, maybe the walk to school was a hot choccie time. Whatever the reasons and memories, they always seem to invoke warmth, yummy-scrummy-cuddle-time, and an all-round sense of wellbeing. Who would have thought; Chocolate?


Hot Cacao with Almond Mylk

2 cups of homemade almond mylk*
3 teaspoons of raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon of mesquite powder
1 teaspoon of agave
a dash of cinnamon

First up set aside 2 Tbsp of almond mylk (you'll see why). Put everything else in a pot on the stove and heat on low heat (do not boil) stirring it slowly... once it's the temperature you're happy with, pour into your favourite mug and serve with a swizzel of fresh almond mylk (to make the heart!) and a dash of cinnamon ...that makes hot cacao for two ..

Served with a coconut chia pudding, sliced bananas, coconut flakes and a few dates

 * I've got a recipe for brazil nut milk here, but you can easily substitute amlonds instead. Or use whatever you've got. Almond is nice as it's a subtle flavour, but sesame milk is divine, brazil nut is one of my fav's, or I dare you to try hazelnut milk ... hello Ferror Rocher!!

Apr 27, 2012

One step at a time

So not off to the best of starts after my 2 months away... and as much as I procrastinate telling myself that I can't post a blog without photos, as my mobile phone/camera is in at the shop getting repairs done (complete with all my photos of our Sunday banana-choccie-almond-crunch-chia-layered-parfait-brekkie, my tranquil trip away to Bowral last week with my step-mum's home grown vegies in the back yard, the massive green salads Brock and I had post yoga, and more)!!

NOTE: since typing this draft yesterday I've had an AHA moment and 2 of the pics I posted straight from my phone last week onto FB, have now been posted below. Blonde moment yes, but we've got some piccies!! :) And my photo-shopping program has been updated so I have a bucket load of new designs and effects to play with! Happy days :)

Mid-morning snack on the front balcony over looking the lake

Besides the lack of a good mobile phone at present (although my old cute little flip top Sony I bought in Italy years ago brings back such happy memories), things are pretty much the same as usual.
Actually no - you know what, they're not the same! They're BETTER than usual! Yep! BETTER! I'm forever telling people I'm the "same as usual - never ending study, work, etc, you know" when this past week has been so much more than just that! The past few weeks infact.

- I took 3 weeks off work to really knuckle down some college modules and I have done just that, and feel great for it! Sure it's a challenge getting my head around Biology and the deepening ins and outs of nutritional studies but when I understand it I LOVE IT and it's FASCINATING!

- I spent 5 days down in Bowral at my dad's place to really chill out, focus, drink tea (I say that like I don't otherwise drink copious amounts), eat lightly, and rest. I got a bunch of assessments done there, and since being back I've got a bunch more done.

- I'm trying new bits n pieces for my skin issues and am finding small improvements (yippee!). I'll let you know how things are going a bit later.

- Brock and I have been spending the best time ever together - even if that was one whole day driving from one mobile phone shop to the next, back home for contracts and receipts and back again. He is due to head off to Thailand on Sunday so intentionally or not, we've been glued to one another hip. I quite like that ;)

- I've also been doing a few gentle -but powerful- online workouts as well as rebounding and find I'm feeling a lot better from them both. I've always been a fitness and gym junkie but after a shoulder injury, followed by a sciatic injury (both for reason's still unknown to me), I was off the gym and have been for probably 3months now. Soooo unlike me! But you know what? I am so surprised at how my body has held up! My mind was trying to convince me that without my 4-6 gym classes a week I would surely balloon out, get fat and feel yuck! Well, my body looks very close to exactly the same as it was when I was up early every second day to work out. I know there's no way I could lift the weights I was 3 months ago now which is a bit of a bummer, but Brock mentioned to me yesterday that some of the world's top athlete's take 6 months off every year to really rest and recover, which was a huge boost to my self esteem, and a real joy to hear after beating myself up for not working out. My step-dad has also said each time I've popped over to say hello, that I'm looking better than ever! I laugh and say I'm doing absolutely nothing! It doesn't really surprise me though. My body has been feeling too tired and sore and exhausted to do much of anything that all I muster up is a 20minute walk most days, and even that brings on minor pain. But it's good to get out of the house.
So with that, I've been on my rebounder more and that has given me loads of energy, lymphatic boosts, and with minimal impact, and I'm feeling so-far-so-good coz of it! Really good infact. Yay :)

But I best get going again coz my aim is to finish one big Nutrition assessment today, and a Biology one too if I can squeeze it in! I'm off to a comedy gig tonight and very much looking forward to surprising Brock with that! I only just got given free tickets - ten minutes ago!

Quick and easy (minimal pantry ingredients) dessert or brekkie parfait

But before I jet I'll spill the beans on a super easy-use-whatever-you've-got-dessert-or-brekkie-recipe you can try this weekend.I made this at dad's down in Bowral the night before I left to use up my last few bananas, and coconut. I've tried to guess the quantities I used but adjust to taste coz I never measure anything myself.

Recipe (quite literally):

Step 1
Young coconut flesh from one coconut
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla
Coconut water as needed... blend all until smooth then pour into a small bowl and set aside

Step 2
2 bananas
1-2 tsp cacao... blend together then pour into a small bowl

Step 3
Handful of chopped dates
Handful of nuts
Pinch of salt...blend until crumbly and set aside

Pull out 3 little glass cups, bowls or jars and start layering your 3 mixtures. Eat straight away, or set in fridge or freezer. If you're like we were and too full from dinner, save these for brekkie!

I'd usually use a few other ingredients in something like this but at my dad's the pantry is not stocked for a raw vegan and so I use what I can. Something like this can be made with any fruit, and nuts, and any dried fruit. Be creative. Experiment with your favourite flavours and let me know how you go!

Have an awesome weekend!!
Christie :)

Apr 12, 2012

Baby Got Back!!

Well... I don't know where to start but I suppose it would be nice of me to say Hello after so long! Over 8weeks now since I was last on here with you guys and thank you for those that did contact me to ask where I was, what I was doing, and why I wasn't blogging - knowing full well the joy I get from blogging!!
I've been so busy with my studies that I literally forgot about my blog for a few weeks, and then just didn't have the time to blog thereafter. I've had assessments and exams coming out my ears, along with continuous worry, stress, and mild panic over how I was going to get it all done! Of course it always get's done, but I have a tendency to worry worry worry, which gets me nowhere but into a tizzy.

Distance study has it's pro's and con's - one con being there's no-one but yourself to push you through the tough sticky bits. But it is getting done and I'm feeling good about it :) Learning more new and in depth topics to get those gears moving up top. It's been great and the thirst I have for new knowledge is what keeps me going. The excitement I feel when I begin to understand something and can regurgitate the information to someone else. I love it!!

Apart from burying my head in the books, I've had nothing too too exciting happen since my last post. A few things that have been wonderful though...

- I have done a Laughter Yoga course that I loved, have fun with and look forward to doing more of in the future. Have a look at this video where CNN news had a segment on it! Amazing!!

- Level 1 in Australian Bush Flowers which I fell in love with, and cannot wait to incorporate, play with, experiment, and help others with! I've got a small delivery coming to me today that I cannot wait to get my hands into and start making up remedies for friends and family to try!

- a 5-day Easter weekend trip down South; Brock and I drove to Tilba Tilba with another friend, to stay at Brock's mate's place on his eco-life property! Rolling permaculture gardens, spring water on tap, so much greenery, beautiful people. There was the annual Tilba Festival on the Saturday so we spent all Friday making risotto tarts, veggie curries, raw power balls and muffins, before a break with live music 20mins away in a seaside town called Bermagui (love that place). Then all day Saturday having fun selling out creations, chatting to locals, listening to music, checking out the local honey guy and other produce... lots of fun! Easter Sunday was a bit emotional for me for different reasons but I did end the day smiling which is the most important thing. Then Monday night we went to visit another friend and stay with him in Batemans Bay. Amazing place. We had so much sensational food, went on bush walks and bay walks, chilled out with tea and DVD's. Bliss :)

- more social gatherings with friends have been great! I'm making this more of a priority coz it's very easy for me to do nothing but study and then wonder why I'm so stressed? No time to rest and have fun! So a few dinner parties (always amazing with raw friends!), tea and gossip catch-ups, phone chats with my sister in Cairns, quality time with my man...

- I made amazingly delicious mini triple-choc-tarts for the birthdays of beautiful friends of mine

And yep, whatever thoughts are running through your head right now - they're spot on!

A delicious choc base (always my favourite part of a tart) with sweet soft velvety filling of 3 different flavours

And these mini versions were dessert for a dinner party with friends. Yum!

I'd love to give you the recipe, but as I tweaked it from the Cafe Gratitude recipe book, I Am Grateful, it'd be easier for you to just follow their recipe. If you can't find it anywhere, shoot me a line and I'll post it to you :)

- making decisions about moving to Cairns!!Yep. I want to do some face-to-face study and that's where my campus is. I'm excited at the thought of living with my big sis for a while up there in the heat of it all too! Having only been there once, I quickly fell in love with the place and cannot wait to get back!

- making decisions about starting an online site with health, food, well-being, fitness, info, tools, talks, products, the lot (very very exciting!!) Hard to contain myself on this one!!

- exploring herbs more and about to embark on a regime that I feel will do wonders for my skin, and the rest of my body (will tell more when I've worked it all out)

- enjoyed a few Hot Cross Buns over Easter. Yep, that's right! The amount of cooked food I eat is so minimal it's not worth mentioning but a good organic hot cross bun with coconut butter (generously spread) ontop is so delicious I look forward to it ever year! My gut is fine with wheat so no issues there. I've just gotta be prepared to not feel hunger pangs for about 5hrs instead of my usual 2hrs :)

Everything is rather exciting and a little hectic but I'm trying to focus more on the exciting bits! My little nephew is coming to visit next week, I hope to visit my dad in Bowral the week after, and get back to blogging for you and me regularly! I've got 3 dinner's on this week where we all eat raw food so I always love seeing what we all come up with!!

So thank you for your patience and hanging in there for me to return. Thank you again to all those who contacted me and left comments on my blog. I was very touched, and initially surprised at how much you guys wanted my posts! That was so beautiful to realise. Drop me a line anytime, always love hearing from yet-to-be-friends :)

Peace, Love and Mung Beans :)