Jun 24, 2012

Saturday Night Potluck Feast

Saturday night was the last raw food pot-luck in Sydney as we've known it, as the wonderful woman behind it all has decided to step away for the time being due to health issues. Every month she would organise events at different locations, get lucky-door prizes sorted, and much more, so it will definitley be sad to see her go, but the much needed rest she is after will do her the world of good I'm sure. And who knows - someone else might step in and take over and we'll have more Sydney pot-lucks in the future... And maybe I'll begin organising them up in Cairns when I get there - more about that soon.
I took loads of piccies of all the amazing food as usual, so will keep the word content short and sweet so your eyes can do the talking as you scroll through the mouth watering morsels that were our dinner.

First up - My big plate of everything piled up ontop -now what exactly is all this??
Carrot Falafels with Tahini Sauce
Cauli-Brocc-Dill-Avo-Orange Salad
The most delicious Garden Salad - with macadamias! My fav :)
A yummy Cabbage and Veggie Salad - walnuts tossed through for extra crunch
My dinner highlight - Raw Dolmades!! Wow these were incredible!
Cabbage Slaw - one of those great dishes to soak up the goodies scattered amongst your dinner plate
Veggie Salad with colourful Greens
Chunky Creamy Curried Vegetables
Salad spread
That scrumptious macadamia salad again
My guacamole and the creamy cauli-brocc salad
Most of the dishes on half the table - I got so excited to see so many colourful salads!
Two different sauces for the Zucchini Pasta
Little blob of babaganoush on the left there - that was incredibly and delectably smokey

We absolutley polished every salad dish off with next-to-nothing to spare! That's how good it all was. But a pot luck is never complete without desserts, and often there are so so many you make yourself a little sick, so I was quite pleased to see less than usual, and most based on fruits not cacao (now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my cacao, love love LOVE it, but too much does make me feel ill, and too much is an easy thing to let happen at a pot-luck).
So for the desserts...

Pear Baklava Crumble deliciously moist with pistaccio's smothering the top
Mmm ooey gooey goodness!
Fruit Salad with Crunchy Mature Coconut
Soft and sweet Carob-Banana-Coconut Balls - had myself a few of these babies
 And the grand finale...

Strawberry Ganache Fudge Cake - YUM!

I had an absolute ball seeing everyone again - people I know, people I was yet to meet. I love the banter that goes on a pot-lucks where everyone shares what works for them in relation to the food intake, what doesn't, things they've read about, hints and tips for things, connecting like minded people, enjoying fabulous food and company!

So as I mentioned above, I might start this sort of thing up in Cairns! Yep it's official I am moving to Cairns! I've made little mention of it in previous blogs as I decided exactly what I wanted to do and what was in my best interest for my studies. With all that (and more) in mind, I have made the decision, booked my flight, and will be leaving Sydney for Cairns July 18th! I will be continuing my Nutritional Medicine studies, but doing modules in class as oppose to via distance education as I have been doing. I'm very much looking forward to the warmer weather, spending time with my big sister who lives up there, meeting new friends, and study buddies, and living in a different city. I can't wait to go, but as I still have so much to do before the big day, I'm quite content with the days passing slowly!

Until next time... a quote to keep you inspired...

"The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison" 
- Ann Wigmore

Jun 12, 2012

Recipe to make You Feel Soup-er!

As I've sat on my couch all day at home, finishing assessments whilst surfing the web in procrastination, I envy all the American people getting ready for Summer, whipping up fruit cocktails, frozen popsicles, fresh produce... not that we can't have it down here, but you'd be mad too! Sydney has been so darn cold of late I'm wondering if my fingers are going to soon fall off! I've always been one to feel the cold, but I'm not over-exaggerating here. My friends will agree. It's FREEZING!!

But cold weather doesn't always equate to getting a cold - unless you've got family that come to visit all weekend, and leave a trail of sore throats, coughs, headaches, running noses, bodily aches and pains... Welcome to my last 24hrs. Yep, what a nice place to be. It's funny how whenever we're healthy and have to go to work in the rain, we secretly wishe we were sick at home on the couch watching day time soap's whilst our loved ones would wait on us hand and foot with scrumptious food, showers of affection, love and get well wishes....

Well I'm sure there are plenty of lucky people out there who get all that when they're sick (I know I used too - when I was 7yrs old), but not me. I had trouble sleeping last night due to a severe sore throat that I was genuinely surprised to find was not tonsilitis when I got up and opened my gob to the mirror this morning. I made the tough decision to bail on my clinic hours today (yes, I LOVE going in, and that was not a sarcastic tone), stomached a coconut water and a teaspoon of honey (couldn't do anything else), then wandered up the road to grab a juice and a few veggies to make a pot of soup for the day. I took my Manuka honey, miso paste, veggies and herbal tea, and walked the 3 houses down to my mum's place where I could sit and do assessments all day by the heater, whilst my soup would brew on the stove (mum was going to be for more than half the day anyway and the few hours she would be home was with the kids she nanny's for, which means WARNING CHRISTIE, you'll get no study done... but still... there's just something about being in your mum's home when your not feeling well.

Veggie Soup 

1 onion
2 potatoes
2 carrots
1 swede
1 parsnip
1 tsp miso paste

Chop all veggies, throw 'em in a pot, cover with water and plop in miso paste. Cook until soft enough to eat. It probably took me about 45minutes. I've had it left on the stove all day. Reheated a bit in the afternoon. Will do the same in a couple hours for dinner. If you like garlic, but all means add it. If I had it I would have!  ENJOY!!

The assortment of veggies I used was purely and simply coz when I went to the store, they were pre-bagged up for soup making, and the first thing you grab when you feel shit, is usually the way it goes. You can use any others you like. My girlfriend Janine from Simply Raw swears by loads of garlic and a pinch of chilli in her soup!

Later on I made a herbal tea for my throat and threw in sliced lemons for an extra kick-up-the-pants! Most herbal tea's will help a sore throat due to the warming effect and herbal properties. Pick what you like, make your own, or go buy one. We sell a Zen Throat Soother loose leaf tea that we make ourselves that's amazing where I work.

I've had a few small bowls of my soup and a few cups of tea. Went for another short walk to get some fresh air, then made a fresh O.J. All up, if you look at what's in the soup, in terms of quantity, it's a far cry from my usual calorie intake, but (1) when you're sick and don't feel like eating, don't eat! Your body knows best and right now, it's need rest! and (2) I wanted to eat minimal to let my body rest and heal, but you do need some nutrients or you'll flake and your body can't work with nothing anyway - especially if you're trying to do college assessments.

The only other things I can add which I'm sure you're all aware of (but whether you do or do not when feeling under the weather) would be:

- keep your fluids up
- phone a friend for a chat
- really listen to your intuition; a girlfriend of mine only just told me that when she feels sick she craves junk food and eats white bread, strawberry jam, lollies, soft drinks... I wanted nothing this morning but juice, and my first soup serving hours later was tiny! A typical day of eating for me would have usually included 6 bananas, more fruit, a big salad and some nibbles all in that same length of time!
- chew slowly; this will make sure everything gets broken down well making digestion easier on your body and ensuring no upset tummies later on
- try sticking to foods that are easier to digest
take time out to rest; easier said than done I am well aware, but it can mean feeling crappy for a day or two versus a week or two
- start that book you've been meaning too, watch that DVD you haven't had time too, or write that blog post you've been trying to squeeze in somewhere the last little while ;)

The sooner you're feeling AMAZING again (me too) you (and I) can get back to our usual beautiful bubbly selves :)

Jun 7, 2012

Mocha-Chip Smoothie

I thought I'd share something a little more tasty than our last poo talks here and here this time around.
I've got my delicious Mocha-Chip Smoothie recipe for you.

I'm not sure if I've made mention or not here before but I am partial to a (damn) good double espresso. No milk. No sugar. Nothing. If it's good coffee... mmmm it's BLISS. I put it down to my barista-ing for 8yrs that I have a bit of a snobbery when it comes to good coffee - but with good reason in my opinion. Why pay for something if you're not going to enjoy it right?

Anyway... it's not a daily ritual for me, as it is for some. It's not even a weekly one. I go through periods where I don't want it for months on end, and then I want it twice in two days. For me, I do notice though if I have coffee everyday, it affects my adrenals and before i know it, I'm tired, lethargic, stroppy, cranky, I have no energy... the list goes on. Maybe it's due to all those coffee's I drank daily behind the machine I don't know?

I find my adrenals are the first thing to go when I'm not looking after myself so I have to watch my intake of this oh-so-delicious beverage enjoyed my millions daily worldwide.

So, I came up with a sneaky alternative for when I really want my (two) shots, but know it's not in my best interest -

Mocha-Chip Smoothie

4 1/2 small bananas (I ate half in the process)
1 cup water
2 heaped teaspoons of cacao powder
8 organic coffee beans
3 fresh dates
2 tablespoons of cacao nibs
drop or two of vanilla

Blend everything except the cacao nibs until smooth. Then add the nibs and pulse once or twice more. Doing it this way ensures the coffee beans have been pulverised a fair bit, but you still get your cacao crunchies.

If you've got a cupboard full of superfoods, other add-ins I love include (1 tsp) acai, (1/4 tsp) pau d'arco, (1/8 tsp) licorice root, even goji berries.

If it's hot where you are, use frozen bananas! If it's cold (like Sydney at the moment - OH MY GOD!), use warm water to warm them bones. If you want less banana's you can easily do that also. I had this smoothie this morning after a run and was starving!

So delicious this one is, and in comparison to a double shot espresso (using god knows how many hundreds of beans), this recipe only uses 8 teeny tiny baby ones! But the coffee flavour is sure there!

Enjoy!!  :)