Feb 27, 2013

Are You Eating Your Way To Beauty?

Can foods really make a difference to our looks?

Not wanting to sound vain, but I think we’d all be lying if we said we had no interest in beauty – the beauty industry can set the record straight if need be. Everyone is buying new creams, lotions, potions, trying new regimes, treatments, and facials, every day in this country, all in the name of beauty. Well what if I told you there are much cheaper, simpler, pain-free, and health-boosting ways to make sure you’re always walking the path of beauty? Interested? Read on.

Feb 25, 2013

Monday Munchies + Books I'm loving

Happy Monday beautiful people.

Did you receive THE very first Eat.More.Plants newsletter last Friday? I gotta tell you all I was sooo excited hitting send and watching it disappear to all your in-boxes. Thank you for the wonderful feedback I've gotten so far too - it means alot, and helps me to ensure I'm giving you guys what you want. If you didn't get it, make sure you sign up here for this week's - you're not gonna wanna miss it!

How was your weekend otherwise? I had a really cruisey, quiet, study weekend --

- I began AND finished 2 1/2 assessments; amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it hey?
- I went shopping for my two nephews whose birthdays are next week
- Organised the need-to-know facts before I go out and buy a sexy sleek new (mini) laptop for my travels
- Had sushi (my faaaaav thing to eat away from home)
- And had a super quiet time at home all on my own as B was away with mates, my sister was out of town, and I had no real interest in venturing out much; It was great!

It's Week 3 of No Sugar this week and I'm still feeling pretty good. Last week I had a couple of super tired days again, and wanted some choccie on occasion, but as I make my own sugar free choccie - I know its the coconut sugar I want mmm.

It's also my 3rd week back at college and I'm thrilled to say that I (had to) order a few books online for my studies; and I always grab a few extras I've been wanting. Having a PO BOX for my mail to be sent too; it's like getting a Willy Wonka golden ticket everytime I open my box to find a slip informing me I had a parcel inside (that obviously doesn't fit in my little slot). I jump up and down, run around the corner, and quicklycomposemyselfbeforeentering and then calmly walk on in to collect my prize!

This week, these are the beauties I'm LOVING:

- Add More -ing to Your Life; A Hip Guide to Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein
which is so far AMAZING! I love this chic, how she writes, how she effortlessly makes putting this stuff into practice, and FUN!

- Nutrient Power; Heal your Biochemistry and Heal your Brain by William Walsh
this is a real nerdy book, and I'm only a few chapters in my it ticks all the boxes of a great study book.

- I Quit Sugar Detox and Recipe book by Sarah Wilson
the hardcover copy of her ebook program and recipe book, with tonnes more added inside. I must have already made half a dozen recipes from this I'm LOVING it.

And I've got more on the way -- as-excited-as-a-kid-in-a-lolly-shop!!

Ooh have you seen our Eat.More.Plants Facebook page? Some great foodie stuff is happening over there right now! Check out last week's inspiration --

 We made seed crackers on the weekend and these babies are sooo good with avo or PB

Study break Saturday -- this was my lunch. I had only just bought the plate and chopstix too so this felt extra spesh. I also paid attention to eating mindfully - I find this so easy when eating Asian food it's weird.

 Lunch yesterday - simple but whilst studying it was perfect. Cute plate again huh?

And this baby - I was making pumpkin puree in the Vitamix and as lots stick to the sides, I decided to thrown in some Coyo, almond milk and cinnamon for a mid-morning snack! AMaZinG!

Anyway I've gotta get back to my studies now. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss out this week. All things food, recipes, love, nutrition, inspiration, fun and more.

Have an awesome start to your week. 
Christie x

Feb 22, 2013

Weekend Recipe: The Eat-It-With-Your-Eyes Salad

I luuuurve a recipe that's not really a recipe -- you know the ones; start with this, add a handful of that, sprinkle some such-and-such, and top with whatever you like! No measurements, certain amounts, or weighing ingredients. It's a super easy way to make a meal, allows you to get in touch with your inner tummy to see and sense what it feels like.
Having said that; I'm still a fan of recipes and know them to be of great use and probably the best thing ever when starting to get yourself familiar in and around your kitchen -- especially with baking. Is anyone else like me here; you've got no clue about baked goods without a recipe??

Anyway this melange of a meal is from the delicious duo at Simply Raw. My bestest friends ever, the food that comes out of their kitchen is just -- well let's just say I'm happy to be rubbing shoulders with them at their place on my trips to Syd! This meal is something that's quick to prep, using basic ingredients and regular veggies so you've got no excuse to whip up something of the sort this weekend. Ladies and Gentlemen may I present you to  

The Eat-It-With-Your-Eyes Salad --

What you're gonna need:

A bunch of mixed lettuce
Sprouts (snow pea, mung bean, lentil...)
Shredded carrot
Black tahini

Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Combine lettuce, sprouts, corn, carrot and tomatoes in a bowl. Add your avocado on top (I love half an avo sliced thinly) and a good tablespoon's worth of black tahini drizzled on top -- black tahini is for aesthetics predominantly, tasting the same as regular tahini.
Shake your dressing ingredients in a jar, or simply drizzle, squeeze and sprinkle one by one on top, and Voila!

Feel free to add anything extra you might like - I find this great with some tuna, a poached egg, or some beans for added protein and to keep me going a little longer. Add more sprouts otherwise as they'll do the same thing! Sit down, say thanks to the farmers, dig in and enjoy every little burst of flavour and yummy goodness your body will receive from this amazingly nutrient rich meal!

Enjoy your weekends wherever you are.
Drink quality water. Eat quality food. And smile :)

Christie xx

The Simply Raw team and Sebastien and Janine whose products come straight out of Bondi Beach in Sydney. All ingredients used in their products are 100% Certified Organic, Raw, Vegan and free from any Gluten, Dairy, Refined Sugars, Artificial Colours, Soy & GMO’s. Highly nutritious, absolutely delicious & always handmade with love!

This is important as it allows us to have peace of mind that our bodies are being fuelled with the most pure ingredients, straight from the earth.

Find Simply Raw on Facebook here
And check out their range of goodies and order online here

Feb 20, 2013

Coconut Oil; Are you using it? And is it in your Bedroom??

For the last 60 years (so I've only read) the majority of health care officials and the media have been telling us that saturated fats are bad for our health and lead to a host of negative consequences, including high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. I know I've heard it all my life.
But for the same length of time, all these diseases and conditions have also been escalating. How is that so?

Well the fact is, saturated fats are not all created equal; created because some saturated fats occur naturally, while other fats are artificially manipulated into a saturated state through the man-made process called hydrogenation. This process changes and manipulates vegetable and seed oils by adding hydrogen atoms while heating the oil, producing a rancid, thickened substance that really only benefits processed food shelf life and the profits of the big companies making them. These manipulated saturated fats are also called trans-fats -- and are one of the worst thing's you can put in your body.

What's good about saturated fats?

Back in the 1930s, Dr. Weston Price found South Pacific Islanders whose diets were high in coconut to be healthy and trim, despite high dietary fat, and heart disease was virtually non-existent. Similarly, in 1981, researchers studying two Polynesian communities for whom coconut was the primary caloric energy source found them to have excellent cardiovascular health and fitness. (2) Obviously, coconut oil was doing nothing to harm the health of these islanders.

Alot of health seekers, health advocates, coaches, nutritionists and personal trainers these days are well aware that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil is actually good for us. For those of you that may not have read such information, check out the awesome info-graphic from Natural News on the right, and allow me to list a few profound health benefits:

• Improving your heart health (3)
• Boosting your thyroid.
• Increasing your metabolism.
• Promoting a lean body and weight loss if needed.
• Supporting your immune system.

Coconut oil is also nature's richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs. LCTs are large molecules, so they are difficult for your body to break down and are predominantly stored as fat. But MCTs (6) found in coconut oil, being smaller, are easily digested and immediately burned by our liver for energy -- like carbohydrates, but without the insulin spike. MCTs actually boost your metabolism and help your body use fat for energy, as opposed to storing it, so it can actually help you become leaner.

So how do we use the stuff?

If you've ever been to a David Wolfe seminar you'll giggle in remember-ance as he always asks his audience which 3 rooms in the house would you keep a bottle of coconut oil --
1. Kitchen, 2. Bathroom, and 3. Bedroom. I'll let you ponder that one...

1. Kitchen
I only use coconut oil (or ghee) for cooking. Olive oil is not a good oil to use in cooking. The chemical structure of it makes it highly susceptible to oxidative damage; simply put, it turns bad. Olive oil is a great oil to use -- but drizzle it on your salads, make dressings with it, pour it over your meal AFTER the cooking has been done. But don't heat it. Coconut oil on the other hand, being a good saturated fat, has a higher heat point and can withstand the high heat in cooking foods, without turning bad.
NOTE: Definitley don't cook with vegetable oils such as corn, canola, safflower, sunflower etc. These are far worse than olive oil. Why? They produce toxic chemicals when cooked with, form trans-fats, destroy antioxidants in the oils (= oxidiation), most are genetically modified, over-consumed, and contribute to the common overabundance of omega-6 fats in our diets, throwing off the balance with our omega-3 fats, which has a whole host of problems in itself.

2. Bathroom
As body oil/lotion! You will smell AMAZING! Add drops of your favourite essential oil if you like. It is also a fabulous hair mask for dry and brittle hair.

3. Bedroom
I told you to work this one out yourselves!

Have a look here for an extensive list of 80 uses for coconut oil

So do yourself a favour and if you don't already have a great tasting organic, cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil sitting in your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, go out and grab one! Your health, skin, body, liver, cells and those close to you will all LOVE YOU for it :)

Ooh a couple more things

Have you signed up for my Weekly Nutrition Notes Newsletter? The very first one comes out this Friday so make sure your name's on the list or you'll miss out on the weekly juicy bits! Sign up here.

And... If you have an insatiable lurve of ebooks that make you not-wanna-put-them-down coz they're so yummy, scrummy and bursting with delicious things to make your life even better than what it already is... I highly recommend Melissa Ambrosini's brand new (and very first) ebook 12 Steps To Wellness. Melissa is an incredibly beautiful soul (and my amazing coach) and if I'm loving her book, I know you will too!

(2) Prior IA, Davidson F, Salmond CE, Czochanska Z. Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesian atolls: a natural experiment: The Pukapuka and Tokelau Island studies, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1981;34:1552-1561
(3) Raymond Peat Newsletter, Coconut Oil, reprinted at www.heall.com. http://www.heall.com/body/healthupdates/food/coconutoil.html An Interview With Dr. Raymond Peat, A Renowned Nutritional Counselor Offers His Thoughts About Thyroid Disease
(4) Baba, N 1982.Enhanced thermogenesis and diminished deposition of fat in response to overfeeding with diet containing medium-chain triglycerides, Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 35:379
(5) Dr. Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. Source: Coconut: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century (6) St-Onge MP, Jones PJ. Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue, International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders, 2003 Dec;27(12):1565-71. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12975635

Source: Coconut Oil Benefits: When Fat is Good For You, Dr Joseph Mercola

Feb 18, 2013

I'm Quitting Sugar

Happy Monday!! How did you all go with Lee's Quinoa Porridge over the weekend? We made it up here but added amaranth and cacao powder as well. Yummo! I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't have wanted some fresh berries or a drizzle of honey though - such is the whole quitting sugar thing.

If you didn't already know, I’ve decided to experiment with eating no sugars for a period of 6-8weeks to:

a)      See if I can do it; I have a love affair with Loving Earth’s Coconut Mylk Chocolate that has recently gotten a little outta control
b)      See how I feel; Sarah Wilson followers will know that she says she got a mind and body that is clear and clean (what’s interesting is that I also had this same feeling as a high-carb raw vegan follower; ie. I was eating truckloads of fruit, but this only lasted up until a certain point). Over the past year though, little by little, my fruit intake has dwindled as I’ve listened to my body more, felt teeth tizzles and headaches from 2 medjool dates, and needed afternoon naps just to get me through my days.
Sarah said she felt she needed to quit sugar because she knew she was an addict – a sugar addict – but not with soft drinks, lollies, or sugar in her tea, which is similar to me… both Sarah was, and I am starting to end the addictions we have had to the hidden stuff; the “healthy” stuff – honey, coconut sugar, dark chocolate (mainly) and fruit. I was always wanting something sweet to “finish a meal” as if it wasn’t complete with it some dark chocolate, date and coconut rolls, a raw food bar, or the like. Now this in itself isn’t a bad thing, but feeling as though I would go mad if I couldn’t get my hands on something sweet, even something tiny, after lunch and dinner, then that’s definitely not a good thing. In addition to this, I’ve been struggling with fatigue and exhaustion, thyroid, adrenal and blood sugar problems, and just had to give it a go. It might help after all. Why wouldn’t I try it? 
Will me diet improve sans the stuff...

I’m doing this for 8 weeks (having read and now following Sarah's program here), and have already spent 2 weeks watching where I was eating unnecessary sugars and using that awareness to make alternative meal choices (such as a few pieces of chocolate would instead turn into a few macadamia nuts). Today begins my Week 2. My partner has very kindly decided he’s going to do this with me, in support, but also for stress-free-kitchen escapades over these 8 weeks. Good thinking.

So what am I eating instead?

With no fruits, no dried fruits, my beloved acai, honey, yacon syrup, raw chocolates, and a few other delicious morsels that entered my mouth quite frequently, the rest hasn't changed much;

Brekkie is often two Happy eggs (a farm up here in Far NQ), and then some sauteed zucchini or cabbage with bean sprouts, or sauerkraut and mushies, avocado, leafy greens... 
Or a bowl of warm cooked oats, quinoa or amaranth with added cinnamon, coconut oil, cacao, coconut flakes, activated walnuts and maybe a little blob of plain Coyo.

Lunches are more often than not left over dinner as I'm still having to stick to cooked foods (read more about that here and here) so let's go straight there...

Dinners can be lentil bolognese or tomato red kidney bean mix (with no pasta) on cooked veggies, stir fry veggies sometimes Slim Pasta (which is made from an Asian plant called konjac; super high in fibre with no calories so great for weight loss, but also wheat free, inexpensive, filling for work lunches, and delicious in any meal as they have next-to-no flavour of their own), some quiche or frittata (if eggs weren’t brekkie that day), salmon and veg, quinoa cook-up, brown rice with something delicious, roast vegetables, or something else.

Snacks are Coyo yoghurt with buckini’s or walnuts, a few of Lee Holme’s Butternut Cookies, cups of tea or bone broth (which I will write more on shortly), a few macadamias, a homemade fruit-free icy pole, a few mouthfuls of tuna, or some coconut water with brown rice protein powder.

So today is officially Day 8 and so far so good. I have had a few cranky-pants episodes, and a couple of days feeling totally exhausted, but I’m not sure how much of that may be from quitting sugar, or from my exhaustion that I’ve been trying to heal through everything else – quitting sugar included.

I’ll be keeping you all in the loop so you know how things are traveling' the good, the bad and the ugly. The recipes I'll be posting over this time will all be sugar free as well so make sure you try some. They will all be great for kids! If you want to grab yourself a copy of Sarah's recipe book or the 8-week program, you can get them at her website here.

Until next post...

I feed my body NUTRITIOUS foods for optimum HEALTH, ENERGY and peak performance.

Christie x

Feb 15, 2013

Weekend Recipe - Quinoa Porridge

It's Friday and the time of the week when I like to get my thinking cap on as to what goodies I can get into creating in my kitchen over the weekend. I've got a few ideas, but this one is super easy and sounds delicious, so why don't you make it with me too and we can talk about it on the Eat.More.Plants Facebook page here in the next few days?

I've pinched this recipe from the beautiful Lee over at Supercharged Food as I was hoping to find her oven-roasted cauliflower that I made during the week (sensational!), but that recipe is not online so I'll have to grab it from my book with my photos and get that to you all another time. Most ingredients here you may already have in your kitchen, but if not, there's minimal to buy.

Quinoa Porridge

Serves 2
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 drops stevia liquid concentrate
  • 1 TBS coconut oil or butter (if tolerated)
  • Almond milk to serve
Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a wide saucepan
Add quinoa, sea salt, cinnamon, stevia and butter/coconut oil
Cover and reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes
Remove from heat and scoop into a bowl add almond milk and enjoy

Those berries ontop there look delicious but as I'm currently doing the I Quit Sugar thang to see if my health imrpoves, there'll be none of that for me! Maybe some activated walnuts or a teaspoon of ghee.

Peace and Kitchen fun
Christie x

Feb 11, 2013

A Whole Lotta Love in the Air

Ok wow there seems to be so much going on right now and I'm LOVING every little piece of it all!

There sure is alotta love going 'round. And with Valentines Day this Thursday, International Self Love Day this Wednesday, and me trying a little more to my own self-love department... I'm not at all surprised it's all in my radar vision at the moment.

What I see everytime I sit down at my desk :)

Here are a few delicious things going on this week:

- Sacred Self's sending out free self-commitment meditations on Wednesday to newsletter subscribers so make sure you join up here
- The beautiful Melissa Ambrosini has just launched her first ever eBook 12 Steps To Wellness and I grabbed my copy this morning and haven't put it down, I'm LOVING it!
- Jess Ainscough from The Wellness Warrior (who I saw speak at a Womens event up in Cairns last year, and can say first hand she is a delight to listen too), and Melissa are teaming up together to bring us all a free teleseminar Falling In Love With Yourself which I was soooo looking forward to, but my first evening back at college has had to be changed and it's now on Tuesday night! Argh!! Might have to get my man to watch it and fill me in :)

As for me, I've recently began adding some self love practices into my day and the reason being (asides from we all really need to be doing some) is that I simply feel it's time - for me. It's something that I've either ignored, shyed away from, ran away in fear from, or merely thought I was doing (like working out thinking it's a good thing when my body really really couldn't do it). Time is a funny one though - in hindsight it's not. We're all ready when we're ready (to do anything), but this can make for frustrating times when we think we really want to do something, but maybe we're not ready (in the grander schemes of things).

I digress...

So I've began:
- A short grounding and breathing technique each morning and night that only take me 5 minutes, as any longer I know I wouldn't do (this is HUGE for me; I've had massive resistance to meditation for way too long and get super fidgety sitting attempting to allow my thoughts to pass through my mind - I'm much more accostommed to having them come in, hang around, wreak havoc, and leave a mess)
- I've got a list of things I love to do titled Self Love Menu on my wall in front on my laptop, and I do at least one thing from my list everyday
- I'm focusing my attention on the (negative) talk in my head and asking myself if what I'm hearing is really true (I know it never is, but sometimes... woo... hard time convincing myself otherwise)
- I am writing (aiming for daily) in my gratitude journal again
- I'M QUITTING SUGAR starting from today; I felt the time was right to experiment with this for my health (more to come as to why) and Brock is supporting me and joining me for the ride. Exciting!!
- And I'm letting myself and my body just be; not feeling like I have to workout if I'm exhausted, not feeling like I have to study when I'm too tired, not feeling like I have to say Yes to additional work shifts... that list goes on...
- Using my oils more; twice a day or more even! I LOVE using my essential oils, chakra balms, alchemy oils and Bush Flower essences (more on all these beauties at a later date - I can't wait to dive in here with you all)

Little by little I do feel subtle shifts in my thought patterns, in my physical bodily sensations, in my mood and emotions. I'm yet to write up all about how my health is going, but when I'm having a rough day, these little things can make all the difference and be sure to put a smile on my dial  : )

What are you doing to look after yourself at the moment? 
Day by day?
What do you do to enhance your own self love?

I'll leave you with those and a super quick recipe that I found here and will definitely be trying out as a cacao fan, and only recently, a no-sugar girl. Yum Yum.

Love and sweetness
Christie x

Disclaimer for today: No I am not making any money, getting any free products or services from any other above mentioned wonderful females, their businesses or their blogs. I have decided to write about these women as I follow their work, love what they do, and want to share it with you, as I know you will love it all too xx

Feb 7, 2013

Berry Vanilla Yoghurt Pops

A super easy recipe to make as the weather up in Cairns continues to rise.

I asked my mum for icy-pole moulds for Christmas wanting to make my own delicious fruity, yoghurty, juicy, milky, whatever I fancied flavours of wholesome goodness, knowing what I was eating with no junky sugars, sweeteners, colours, and the like. I had visions of boysenberry ice cream in my head so this is what I came up with.

Berry Vanilla Yoghurt Pops

1 x 400g tub Coyo (coconut yoghurt - found at the health food store)
150ml almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Handful of blackberries

Blend all ingredients except the black berries, then pulse these in so you still have little bits through the mixture. A blender or food processor will both work as this mixture is very thick.
This quantity will make 4-6 icy-pole moulds, so depending on the size of moulds, you may have more or less than you need. Eat what's left over if you've got more! Then freeze overnight and enjoy the following day. 

Keep cool when it's hot with sufficient good quality water intake, coconut water if you're like me and love it, and then when it's just too hot, put your feet up and enjoy your home made Berry Vanilla Yoghurt pops :)

Love and Berries