Mar 29, 2013

Weekend Recipe(s!) - Healthy Hot Cross Buns + Easter Cacao Mocha

Healthy Hot Cross Buns

These have no added sugars, no dairy and no gluten, which will leave you feeling good after having one of these. Enjoy this Easter with these delicious, healthy Hot Cross Buns.

What you'll need:
2 tsp instant dried yeast
1 1/2c warm water
1 TBS raw honey
1 tsp stevia
2 dates
2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 c sultanas
1/2c dried apricots
80g organic coconut oil
2 eggs
4c plain gluten free flour
1/4c rice milk

White Cross on the top
2 TBS rice flour
A little water

1.  Place the dates in the blender and chop
2.  Add yeast, warm water, stevia and honey and blend until mixed up
3.  Set aside in a bowl for 10 minutes
4.  Place the other ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly
5.  Add the yeast mixture to step 4, mix well and leave to rest for 5 minutes
6.  Cover the mixture, then leave in a warm place until the mixture has doubled in size
7.  Break the mixture up into bun-sized portions and place on a lined tray close together (I made my very rustic and just put them there with a spoon rather than rolling into a ball)
8.  Leave the dough to rest for 5 minutes
9.  If you wish, add a cross placing the mixture into a zip-back and cut a small hole in the corner.  Pipe cross across the top.
10.  Sprinkle / spray with water to help the dough go brown
11.  Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes
12.  Turn the oven down to 180 degrees and bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes
13.  Remove from the oven, and leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving

This delicious recipe is from the relauncher
Sit down and put your feet up with one of these buns... and perhaps team it with this delicious mocha below.

David Wolfe's Sacred Mocha Coffee

+ Brew a hot pot of coffee with spring water (about a litre) and put aside
+ In a blender add the following ingredients:

½ a Sacred Chocolate 69% Twilight Dark chocolate bar (break the bar in half)
1 tablespoon reishi powder
1 teaspoon of raw maca powder
1-2 tablespoons of lucuma powder

+ Add almond milk to the blender as desired if you like creamy mocha coffee
+ Add 1-3 teaspoons of honey to the blender if you like a sweetener in your mocha coffee
+ Pour the hot coffee into the blender directly onto all the ingredients. Cap and blend immediately. After 10-15 seconds, stop the blender, and pour the hot mocha through a strainer into coffee mugs. Taste and enjoy!

Mar 25, 2013

Coz Ur Worth It

Happy Monday chikadees! And what a great Monday it has been - Ok I'll admit it's been a teeny bit stressful (but that's all ego crap anyway isn't it?) - B and I moved the rest of our life into storage, gave our little town house key back, I took him to the airport, had lunch with my sister, wandered all over town grabbing last minute things for our travel, and just finished the rest of my final assessment and then emailed off ALL 10 ASSESSMENTS to my tutor!

This was a major goal of mine since the beginning of this subject. 10 assessments in 6 weeks. 10 BIG assessments. I've written more than 20,000 words. They weren't due today but I had decided there was no way I was taking them on holiday with me.
With a trip to the Sunny Coast for Easter, followed by a 2 month stint in Thailand and Burma at the end of the road... I had to give myself a kick up the bum to get them all done. And so thankful (and bloody exhausted) I am now as I can actually stop.

Stop - wow. That sounds really really nice.

And rest.

Put my feet up.

Pack all college books away.


Stare at the wall.

Meditate more.

Read anything my heart and being longs for - not just Pathophysiology and Biochemistry.

And in Thailand I'm going to get a massage everyday.

And to really rest, relax, rejuvenate, and allow my body and soul the time to heal.

It's long overdue. And the time is now.

I deserve it and so do you.

What do you want to do for yourself now that is long overdue? What have you kept pushing into the back of your thoughts and mind hoping it would disappear?
Your health? That excess weight? The argument you had with your best friend 4 months ago? That pesky chronic fatigue (that's trying to tell you something)?

Have a look at where you've been putting yourself last. I invite you to begin taking steps towards better health, a more beautiful life, and a better more beautiful you.

For more on nutrition, health, life, recipes, and oodles more, sign up for weekly Nutrition Notes from me here

Christie xx

Mar 22, 2013

Weekend Recipe: Super Quick Roasted Capsicum Salsa

This weeks recipe comes from Miryam over at Eat Good 4 Life. Super quick, super easy and perfect if you've got unexpected guests dropping by (yep it's that quick).
What you'll need:

+ 340g roasted capsicums (from a jar or roast your own)
+ 2-3 jalapeno peppers, some seeds removed
+ 2 garlic cloves
+ 3 cups fresh coriander leaves, washed
+ 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
+ pinch of salt

Place all the ingredients in your food processor and pulse until all the ingredients have combined. About 20-30 seconds. Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week. In the fridge for longer.

Enjoy with veggie sticks, crackers, of choice, ontop of a salad or some roasted potatoes... Yum!

PS. Are you on the newsletter list for weekly doses of delicious foodie stuff, recipes, nutrition know-how, and extra goodies only seen there? Well get your butt on that list girl! Now!

Mar 20, 2013

Which diet is the 'right' diet?

This topic seems to be red hot at the moment and I have to say, I prefer not to get involved as I don't believe there is a 'right' diet - not for the masses anyway. But for you my dear? Well yes. As to what that 'right' diet is, I'm afraid I can only help you, educate you with knowledge and support you in your choices and decisions. Only YOU know your 'right' diet.

However there seems to be plenty of people on the web that love telling us all exactly what we should be eating, how much of it, what times of day, and god forbid if we choose to differ from these individuals and groups. We get verbally abused. I know this sounds harsh but I've witnessed it first-hand and yep, it's harsh all right. So when I saw this post written by Robyn from Girl On Raw, I loved every word, read with full attention and respect, and couldn't agree with her more. So here it is --


There seems to be a little bit of a trend going on. Some people who are/were considered leaders in the modern vegan and raw vegan movements have made some dietary changes. Changes that if they were not so prominent in our little online communities wouldn’t really create much of a stir. But because we feel like we know them through their blog posts and social media presence it can come as quite a shock when something like this is revealed as we not only feel we know them, but we’ve also gained so much insight from them in the past.

Raw food, for the unaquainted, is generally coupled with veganism and for me this was true for a period of time however when I first ventured into raw food I was neither vegan nor vegetarian. That came 2 years later and was a gradual nondeliberate process.
My veganism lasted 2 years, until I fell pregnant with my first baby, not for any other reasons over than cheese just tasted good and absolutely nothing else for my first trimester.
It was never a conscious or deliberate decision, and even when I was vegan I never really made a song and dance about it, in fact people just assumed I was vegan because i was into raw food and a formally trained raw chef. I even wrote a blog post on labels here when I was vegan but never did I identify myself as vegan nor encourage others to.

When a friend and previous fellow blogger Natasha of the now defunct blog Voracious Vegan came out  after months of  dealing with her change to an omnivore diet due to health issues, I couldn’t believe the outrage over the nets. Honestly? I know many people become vegan for animal activism and sustainability and that I applaud. However I make no apology for choosing a human’s health over an animal especially if it’s your child’s health. Motherhood brings something tribal out in you. And you will never know it until you are one. On a side note, Natasha’s never looked better since changing to an omnivore diet.
Kevin Gianni from Renegade Health also wrote about why his baby will not be a raw nor vegan baby and neither was his wife during their pregnancy on his post here 5 Reasons We Do Not Have a Raw Baby and their Follow Up Thoughts here.

So what sparked this post? Last night my dear friend, mentor and the girl that got me into this raw thing, Kristen Suzanne blogged last night that she is no longer vegan. My first reaction was cool and ambivalent, but who cares – in a nice way, really girl. I guess because Kristen is perceived as an expert in raw vegan circles she felt the need to explain and I get that.
Sayward Rebhal of popular vegan blog Bonzai Aphrodite recently blogged about her failing health as a vegan but refusal to veer away from her vegan diet.

Heathy from Sweetly Raw also blogged about her problems on a vegan diet in 2010 here, and Joanna Stevens from mentions in her eBook, Well Rounded Pregnancy “an unsupplemented raw vegan and vegetarian diet is difficult to follow for many reasons.” She notes soil depletion, over-pasteurisation of some foods, lack of availability year round of local produce etc.
And it’s not just about leaving veganism, but Penni Shelton, head of biggest raw food space in the place Raw Food Rehab made a video post about full disclosure on her starting to eat cooked foods again here.
In a twitter conversation last year Dhru Purohit of Clean Program but former mastermind behind premier but now defunct raw food hub We Like it Raw, we talked about how it’s not about raw food anymore it’s about being ‘healthy’.

So all this got me thinking that what is it about eating a certain way for a period of time that works, but one day just does not. Well Kristen touched on it in her post, that perhaps it’s a cleaning up of a previously poor diet or placebo. Honestly I think it’s more of the former. Also I think that our bodies are amazing and can cope with so much that we throw at it even if it’s not in it’s best interest. Eating a poor meal choice one or twice may not result in an overall calamity but denying your body of variety and sticking to a militant regime over time can possibly cause havoc.

Of course you are going to feel great after a juice fast, because you have cleansed of years of poor choices, but ongoing you might start to deplete of certain nutrients and vitamins. Same with going vegan after years of a highly processed diet. Yep you’ve cleaned up your act but long term you may suffer deficiencies. These are just examples to give you an idea and not necessarily anecdotal.
Like a friend said to me, some people can thrive on a vegan diet just like some people thrive on an all junk food diet, I just think we are all different.

Do you think our ancestors had to give as much thought to what they ate? How about third world countries? It’s all about survival. And one could argue that we have a longer life expectancy than our ancestors and some of our poorer cousins however we do seem to have an abundance of diseases of affluence.
It’s amazing how much emotion one’s dietary choices bring up in others, good and bad. Again I appreciate the activism and as an animal lover I get it. But again when one’s health is in question would you sake you or your children’s health or life to save an animal. Honestly I really don’t want this becoming an activism speech there are many other forums for it.

In Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Dr Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat to Live says eating meat once or twice a week can still form part of a healthy diet, despite generally promoting a vegan diet. I admit this is still less than most omnivore household’s current consumption.

The purpose of this post is not to dictate a militant diet regime and honestly I’ve never been about that anyway, plus who am I to talk. I am a chef, I make food taste delicious I don’t prescribe diets, I merely offer educatied guidance. Plenty of my readers and clients are not even vegetarian but are just wanting to eat healthily (whatever that means to you) and I’m all about encouraging more consumption of fruits and vegetables in a society that is either too busy or too unaware to eat their veggies. But I really encourage you to find your own way, and I’ve always been about that.

If you want to add more raw meals into your diet then you’ve come to the right place. I’m all about that too, sometimes even a yummy vegetarian/vegan cooked dish. And for those living in a family like mine where you want to just eat a smoothie for dinner but your meat eating husband and sometimes son wants some salmon and steamed veggies or even a roast chook and your role is to provide then I can relate. I’m not a chemist (i just like making vegetables taste delicious) and if eating a certain way requires supplementation to sustain my health then I’d rather not,  but if it floats your boat go ahead.

Whenever anyone asks what kind of diet I adhere to, I am reticent to put a label on it for fear of it backfiring on me when as a human, I change my mind, but I will say this, I am committed to learning and practicing the healthiest diet I can based on the information I have, what intuitively feels right and what works for me and my family. I feel the closer I stick to nature the better off we will be and am everyday grateful for having the luxury of choice. Especially when I live in a cross section of cultures and backgrounds here and have daily reminders of the adversity and struggle many of us will never experience, every day I step outside my door and am greeted by the company labourers on my compound. Many of which send most of their money home to their families in Bangladesh or Pakistan, and only get to go home every 2-4 years to see them.
I honestly feel there are different reasons and stages in life where different dietary choices are required. For eg a cancer patient can thrive on a juicing regime (Gerson Therapy) whereas juicing and cleansing is not advisable for pregnancy and nursing, weight loss/maintenance, diabetes etc. Seasons and reasons and lifestyle and climate. And so many more.

I believe in moderation in all aspects in life. You will forever find a for and against for any argument you wish to have in life. The thing is, health ‘facts’ and science appear to change all the time.
I’ll leave you with this awesome quote from Josh Rosenthal (founder of Institute of Intergrative Nutriton) --

"Nutrition is a funny science. It's the only field where people can scientifically prove opposing theories and still be right"

I love this post written by Robyn from Girl on Raw as I too have noticed a lot going on in and around the 'raw food world', and have to say I have seen first hand how nasty some people can be towards others that are listening to their bodies and making dietary changes to support their health and it upsets me. I love raw food. I love cooked food. I loved how I felt when I was eating a raw vegan diet, but I began noticing changes in my health that were'nt for the better. So I decided to change things up, and have to say, I'm feeling a lot better, and physically look a lot healthier also. Having said that, there are people that thrive following raw vegan eating habits and I'm happy for them. We should be encourgaing and supporting one another to be the healithiest and happiest we all can be, regardless of whether our dinner plate is cooked food or raw food, fish or lentils.

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. How do you eat? What feels good in your body? What doesn't? Let's continue this conversation in the comments below and on Facebook :)

Mar 18, 2013

Fancy Olive oil + Lemon juice for dinner (minus the salad)?

So if you're a twitter follower of mine you would have seen some interesting pictures of magnesium salts, and olive oil + lemon juice concoctions in place of a delicious dinner yesterday afternoon/evening. What the hell for? Well, my liver. My gallbladder. At the root of it all. But also for strange loopy headaches I've been getting this week, digestion issues that are appearing after I eat anything (so you're the first to hear that I've gotta start looking into foods that exacerbate symptoms seen in IBS, slow oxidiser diet principles, GAPS, and the whole salicylates thing... most of which contradict each other so this will be loads of fun! - hear the sarcasm), and for that fatigue which has actually been so great of late and I've not really felt it. Except for yesterday. Wowzas. Anyway... the liver gallbladder thing.

You may or may not know that the liver is the largest organ in our body and perhaps the hardest working, responsible for over 500 different functions (yep crazy amazing organ that one), including the cleansing of toxins which most of us are aware of. So it's understandable then that many health problems that appear throughout our body stem from a toxic liver, clogged with stones that eventually make their way into the gallbladder (which modern medicine is so fond of ripping out non-chalontly).

The Liver and Gallbladder Flush is a really quick way of flushing toxins, fat, sludge and small gallstones out of the liver and gallbladder. If you google "liver flush" or "gallbladder flush" or "epsom salt lemon liver flush" or anything of those sorts, you will no doubt find a host of amazing reactions and results, but a few not-so-great ones also - usually due to unpleasant reactions. Most of us will have gallstones or sludge in our gallbladders, but often they cause us no pain or discomfort and can be termed "silent gallstones", posing no real threat. But about 18% of these will cause problems over a 15-year period (says Dr. Sandra Cabot) so dissolving them away is a better option than coming up against problems later down the track.

Disclaimer here: If you think you have gallstones or sludge and are feeling pain in your upper abdomen, experiencing nausea, vomiting, or right shoulder pain, you need to see your doctor.

A weak liver and congested gallbladder can result in many symptoms including:
• depleted immune system • increase in allergies
• poor digestion and constipation • endless fatigue and exhaustion
• front right side pain below the rib cage • poor skin condition
• back pain under the right shoulder blade • emotional outbursts
• weakened eyesight • depression
• weak alcohol tolerance • increased desire for sugar
• tendency to put on weight • debilitating stress on other organs

The reasons we want to keep on top of our liver and gallbladder health are numerous, but put simply, we want to keep these organs! It's a sad fact that too many gallbladders are being ripped out of people with gallstones and gallbladder disease these days, and we should want to keep ours. Gallstones are a Western disease purely due to (poor) lifestyle, and it can easily be prevented, and even reversed (liver removal on the other hand equates to death - not cool either). So this flush is one way to stimulate the elimination of toxins and/or gallstones out of the bile ducts, for happy healthier organs.

So in my decision to try this for the very first time, I came across loads of different ways to do this. Which of course had me (the perfectionist) in a bit of a tizz wondering which was right. Were they all right? How was I to actually know? I'd only be guessing if one book says to do it one way, yet another reference says differently - and both are reputable books by qualified practitioners with a history of experience. Hmmm... more research needed as I wasn't happy swallowing amounts of olive oil and lemon juice that could have been too much  (coz who actually wants to swallow a cup of olive oil?), or not enough to have an effect (again - who wants to swallow olive oil?).

The way to begin this flush can be (1) by drinking as much apple juice as you can each day (along with your regular diet) for a week prior to D-Day, or (2) to skip the juice and just do your usual thing and flush on the weekend. Most sources recommend cutting out meat and dairy for a week prior (if not two), and some suggest eating only raw foods for 2 days prior. Now as I'm eating predominantly cooked foods right now for optimal digestion, I wasn't going to put my tummy in the firing line of 2 days on solely raw veggies as I'm not eating any fruit right now. Ouchies on my tummy that's for sure. So I just ate simply; had a salad or two, cooked eggs for brekkies, at least 3L of water each day, extra coconut water with my green powders, etc. Nothing too heavy or clogging basically. And then came the end of my delicious lunch out on Sunday and that meant no more food until late this morning.

How to flush 

+ Pick a day when you've got little on that afternoon, and nothing on the following morning (most people choose Saturday)

+ Eat light on the flush day. Lunch will be your last meal so try not to think of it as you're last feed and eat more than you usually would. I had a salad with a veggie pattie. Be sure to drink plenty of water (I had about 4 litres throughout the day, but bear in mind I'm in the tropics. 2-3 litres is likely enough if it's not too hot)

+ At 5pm* mix 1Tbsp of epsom magnesium sulphate salts (make sure they're food grade) into 1/4 cup warm water and drink it. Urgh this stuff was horrid. Chase this with more water.

+ At 7pm* repeat this. I'm actually looking forward to live oil now.

+ At 9pm* drink a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice - 'salad dressing' no? (Before this time, make sure you're prepped for bed with nothing else to do but drink this stuff) Now the ratio of this mix seems to be different everywhere I read; one reference said 1 1/2cups olive oil and 1 1/2 cups lemon juice... Another said 3/4 cup grapefruit juice with 1/2 cup olive oil. A third said 115ml of each. The olive oil triggers and stimulates bile production inside the liver, and the excess of bile pushes the stones out. The more oil you take, the more bile is produced. So taking more oil is better. The problem is avoiding nausea. You do NOT want to throw up.
So I decided to drink 1 cup of each. I started with them in separate glasses taking sips from one then the other. But then had to bung them together in one jar, shake, and go for gold. Either or. Just get it down. And do it quick (within 5mins is optimal). Then you need to go straight to bed. Wash up tomorrow. I mean it. Straight to bed and lie on your right side with your knees up to your chest. This will force your gallbladder and bile ducts to contract and begin to expel stones. Lay on your side for at least half an hour, after which you can lay whatever way you're happy sleeping. If you feel so inclined, speak to your stones and command them (nicely) to remove themselves. Then relax and sleep til morning.
You may wake during the night after  feeling nauseous, (a stone in the bile duct can result in vomiting), or needing to visit the bathroom. Try to keep the oil down if you can, but even if you do throw up after several hours the cleanse will still work. I woke up at 3am and couldn't sleep I felt so nauseous, and yep I threw up.

+ The following morning, at 7am mix and drink 1Tbsp epsom salts in warm water, followed by at least another full glass of water. This drink will act as a laxative and provoke several later loose bowel movements. Whenever you do visit the bathroom, watch for "stones" being passed. They will float and are usually green, but can be other colors. Size can vary from pea-sized to over an inch in size. (Having a used egg carton and a disposable plastic spoon is helpful if you want to examine them further.)

I found this photo online (not mine) but my stones look exactly the same

+ If you haven't had a bowel motion, you can take a fourth preparation of epsom salts at 9am. I didn't need this as I began going to the bathroom as soon as I woke up at 630am. If you feel nauseous, wait until you no longer feel it and then take the prepped epsom salt mix.

+ After 2 more hours you may get up and feel like eating something. Start with some juice or broth or yogurt. Half an hour later, eat some fruit or vegetables, if you want. One hour later you may eat regular food but keep it light. Just feel into what  your body wants and choose that. By evening you should be feeling good and ready to phase into eating normally.

*These times were decided upon by me as everywhere I read I was being told something different; Epsom salts at 3pm, 5pm, then the lemon and oil mix at dinner. Or maybe at 6pm, 8pm then 10pm. Well I did mine at 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm. Different again.
I found out that most people/experts/studies/reports/etc seem to lean on the later times, and this is most likely as the gallbladder does most of it's work late in the evening. However if we were to actually wait until that prime time, we'd be getting no sleep. The earlier suggested times, in my opinion, are likely to accomodate the general population who might be wanting to work around feeding times, family members, bed times, etc. And as I'm usually in bed about 930pm, I decided 10pm was too late for me, and thus the times I took my tasty beverages, are a little different to others.
So how did I go?

Well I've got to say that initially assuming drinking olive oil would be the worst of this all, it was actually the only good part. Epsom salts are revolting o drink and they made me feel nauseous to begin with. The second dose of them had me looking forward to olive oil and lemon juice! Then the lemon juice was so unbelievably sour that the olive oil was the easiest one to drink of the whole lot! I was worried I would feel very nauseous and throw up the mixture, but in fact I felt a lot better after it. It was 3am I felt horrible, got up and threw up. Bowel movements this morning were very liquid which is why I didn't take the fourth epsom salts mix (just the thought of that stuff makes my body shudder). And I've seen plenty of stones! All green. Some tiny like hundreds and thousands, but a couple that, if I hadn't seen them for myself I would not have believed it but, they are the size of brazil nuts!

So whether they are actually liver and gallstones or simply congealed olive oil, I will never know, But I will say that today I feel much better than I have been. Would I do it again? Hmmm perhaps. But the thought of it right now is too close to home. Urgh. Happy to be eating food later on.

Have any of you ever done this liver flush? I'd be curious to hear how you (or someone you know) went.

Another Source I used besides Dr. Sandra Cabot's"The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book"

Mar 15, 2013

Weekend Recipe: Carob Protein Bites in 5 minutes. Sugar, dairy, gluten, egg and grain free

So first up I'm gonna say that this is not my recipe. It is damn delicious, effortlessly easy, and free of most things people seem to be either avoiding or intolerant to these days so Win Win Win. The recipe comes from Heather over at Sweetly Raw

Similar to me, Heather was once following a raw vegan diet high in natural sugars for a few years until she hit some road blocks with her health and began an entirely different way of eating in order to heal her body. She now eats more fats and proteins, among other things, and so this little snack or after-dinner treat is perfect for her, me, and everyone else wanting something sweet that's also super charged with nutrition.

What 'cha gonna need:

1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup carob powder
4 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon coconut milk
5 drops stevia, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons coconut flakes
3 tablespoons slivered almonds

+ Stir all ingredients together (from the first section) in a bowl, adding the oil last.
+ Stir in the coconut flakes and almonds. 

+ Spread the mixture into a plastic wrap lined container (I used a container that could hold a sandwich). 

+ Chill in the fridge until it firms up, or even store in the freezer.

+ Chop into bite sized pieces, sit back and relax whilst your taste buds do the talking.

My notes you might find useful...

+ I used macadamia butter in place of almond butter. Yummo this is my favourite nut spread, and the only one in my pantry at the time.

+ I didn't use almonds either as I had none. Only coconut flakes. Still crunchy and delish. Use your taste buds cues here - if you love gojis berries, cacao noibs, chopped nuts or something else, give them a go!

+ My protein powder is sweetened with stevia so no additional drops were needed (it would have been way OTT on the sweet stuff if I had)

So there you go. I made this last night and I kid you not, it took me less than 5 minutes to grab the ingredients from the pantry, whip it all together, squash it in a dish and bung it in the freezer. I got about a dozen little bite-sized pieces from this quantity. B and I ate a few after my stuffed mushrooms attempt at dinner - not bad at all if I do say so myself.

Anyways, off to grab some ingredients from the markets right now and get into my study when I'm back. Have a fabuloso weekend. And if you haven't signed up to my newsletter that goes out today, make sure you do so you get it next Friday and can put your feet up with a cuppa and read the latest blog goss, nutirtion know-how's, recipes, tips and more. Ensure you get the latest here.


Mar 13, 2013

Waste Not Want Not

A topic that Sarah Wilson has been behind for a little while, and one our grandparents stuck by to a tee. So why has it become something so far from our everyday that our annual household food wastage in Australia is now a $5.2 billion problem?

Considering rising food prices, it’s startling that an estimated

4.45 million tones of household food in Australia ends up in landfill

with each household throwing out approximately 936kg a year (this doesn’t account for food wastes from industrial and commercial sources). This 5.2 billion dollars in waste is equivalent to installing solar hot water systems in 960,000 Aussie homes according to UTS’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, and costs us more as a nation than running the Australian Army, says the Australian Institute’s 2009 report What a Waste.

John Dee, founder of Australian social and environmental organization Do Something!, says the impact of food waste is far more than just financial. “The vast majority of Australians are unaware that when discarded food rots in landfill, it gives off methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution that comes out of your car exhaust”, he says. Holy hell!

I recently read about one organization dedicated to “rescuing food and fighting hunger” and that’s Victorian-based charity FareShare. They accept donations of unwanted food from businesses, transforming it into healthy meals for the homeless which I think is amazing. In 2009 they recovered and distributed 400 tonnes of food which they estimate prevented 620 tonnes of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere, as well as calculated that for every kg of food recovered, they also saved 56 litres of water.

So what we can we do to rectify some of this burden we have collectively put ourselves under? Well it all begins at home. In my favourite place – the kitchen;

+ Look at what’s in your fridge
+ How do you store your food?
+ Why do you buy certain products? Were they on sale and you couldn’t resist? Was it on a whim? Or was it planned? Most of us buying sale items are lured in by the (cheap) cost rather than stopping to think how (and if) we’ll actually use it.

Ways to reduce your food waste at home might include:

+ Rotating the food in your fridge and your pantry to put the older items at the front to be used first.
+ Store your food well; airtight containers, sealed bags, refrigerated if necessary.
+ Shop with a list you have compiled based on what you already have at home; this reduces impulse buying but also makes sure you don’t double up on something you already have sitting at home waiting to be used.
+ Make leftovers; these are my favourite meals usually! Make a big pot of veggie soup, a casserole, or a stir fry at the end of the week to use up everything left in your fridge. Have some for dinner, and some for lunch the following day, and freeze anything else left for those nights you just can’t be stuffed!
+ Compost! The food we simply throw in the garbage ends up in landfill contributing to greenhouse gases from the methane produced when broken down anaerobically (without oxygen). However when we compost our food scraps, they decompose aerobically (with oxygen), generating few emissions and double as a super duper usable product for your garden, not to mention much safer than commercial fertilizers, for your garden, your family and the animals. Think about it; you’re adding to the soil, not taking away from it.
+ Additionally, throw your fruit and veggie scraps in a blender, whiz up, and pour straight on your garden.
+ If you make juices at home, save the pulp left over for making crackers, adding to bone broth for extra flavour and minerals, or for use in veggie or mince patties.

The food chain is just that – a chain. And unless we work in the industry’s that directly in contact with our food along any of the multiple processes from farmer to plate, all we can do is start at our fridges. And go from there.

This week’s challenge: Have a look in your fridge and pantry; pull the older items to the front and use these first. Start writing a shopping list to go by when you go grocery shopping. Find recipes to use what you’ve got sitting at home if you’re unsure what to do with them. And start composting! If it’s in an old ice cream tub or a bucket from the back of the garage – it’s perfect. Starting somewhere is better than not starting at all.

Christie xx

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Mar 11, 2013

Prescription: Listen to Your Inner Guide

Day 29 of my I Quit Sugar, and I have to confess to some balsamic vinegar on my cafe eggs this morning, and to trying a native cherry at the organic shop - other than that I'm still all good and feeling great (you can check out how B is doing with his as well as he does a youtube vid each day on how he's going) !

Well - not quite great with an exclamation mark. But in regards to how I'm going without the sweet stuff, I'm doing well. That aside it's still fatigue and a few other niggly issues that I'm dealing with to get myself back to feeling amazing, but I'm working on it daily and little by little I know I'm getting there.

Sometimes health issues seem like they are with us forever and we wander when things are going to get better. The tricky things is that as we are all so different and unique, so too are our health concerns. If it's weight we want to let go of, what works for Sarah isn't the same as what works for Jane. If we're battling depression, it might be a simple nutrient deficiency for Bobby, but a whole load of deeper childhood issues for Bill; not nutrient issues at all.

Having studied bits and pieces of healing modalities and a lot of nutrition over the years, on top of coming up against quite a hefty load of lessons and issues of my own to deal with, I can tell you that there is always a reason and sometimes these issues can hang around longer than we want because we might not have learnt the lesson yet. Some of my lessons have been so that I can teach others - the powers of nutrition; knowing what works best for healing eating disorders, balancing blood sugars, and losing weight. Or why exercise and nature are just as important. Other lessons are for me - to slow down, look within and connect back to my spiritual practice. Or to learn to love myself looking back at my reflection everyday.

Whatever it is, we all need to stop, close our eyes, breathe, and try to listen to what we really need. Our heads will say one things, but our bodies will say another.

Take my acne for example; I could say (as I've heard it a million times before) that all I need to do is eliminate dairy and wheat, use glycolic acid peels regularly, drink plenty of water, and address any gut issues. Now these alone would cure someone's acne I know it. I've seen it. For some, their only problem is a dairy intolerance causing their skin conditions. For others, it's living in a hot climate. For others again, it may be hormonal or stress related. You try everything anyone mentions.

But only by listening to my inner guidance did I learn that none of that matters so much for me and that my acne is all about self love. No doctor, skin specialist, naturopath, or health store chic would tell you that (unless you ran into me at my shop). Now, don't get me wrong, all the aforementioned things will definitley benefit skin conditions (and other suggestions will benefit other conditions). It may or may not be one sole issue that needs addressing, but regardless, you may as well stack all the odds in your favour and do as much as you can in all areas of your life to help you with whatever it is you may be experiencing, struggling with, distressed by, etc.

If it's letting go of weight that no longer serves you - address diet, exercise, thought patterns, lifestyle, energy blocks, stress and relaxation, self love and acceptance, lymphatic drainage, water intake, visualisations...

If it's a skin condition - address diet, hydration, essential fatty acids, topical solutions, working from inside-out, parasites, hormones, energy, feelings and emotions surrounding it, self love issues...

If it's fatigue and exhaustion - you need to look at diet, movement, supplements, oxygen and nature, hormones, affirmations, thought patterns, music, meditation, massage, rest and relaxation...

The list goes on. I've learnt that rarely one things will solve everything. People come into the health store everyday wanting the latest weight loss pill they've seen on Doctor Oz, and to his credit, there have been some that do work - but not on their own. If we really want to heal health and life issues and imbalances then we really need to stand up, say so loud and proud, and commit to doing everything we can in order to do so. I know it can be bloody hard work; I'll be the first to admit, but I'm also willing to hold your hand and see you through because I've been lying on my bedroom floor in tears unable to get out of bed as well. I've been left empty and unable to walk up the home stairs to my bedroom, falling asleep half way. I've hit my rock bottom and know how frustrating it is when you seek help here, there, and everywhere to only be given one piece of your 1000-piece puzzle at every appointment.

I want to give you half the puzzle. At least. I can't give it all to you because you're actually the one with the last piece you just don't know it. We came into this lifetime already writing down what we want to experience and what we want to learn. I find this invaluable to remember when things seem overwhelming. To stop and accept that my eating disorder, my acne, my adrenal fatigue, exhaustion, thyroid issues, blood sugar issues and more are all as a result of me wanting to know what all this really felt like so I could truly put myself in others shoes and help them by understanding exactly what they are going through, because this is my passion. This is my love. This is what I am here to share with the world right here right now.

So I want to connect with you and for you to know that if you're struggling with anything right now, find that place inside of you that knows there's a greater reason for it. And that's it's all part of the master plan for you to grow, deepen, come alive and connect with others in a beautiful and meaningful way. You're not the only one going through what you're going through. You have love and support surrounding you.
Try new things if you haven't already. Don't solely rely on diet or your energetic healer. You need a little from everything as you are a little of everything.

Written in true Christie rambling fashion post an amazing healing session I just got home from, with no planned blog post for today.


Mar 8, 2013

Weekend Recipe - Veggie Egg Scramble

Here is your weekend recipe to try. Super quick. And oh my is it delicious (I've had it 3 days running!). I've given you the recipe I used the first time I made this but as I mention below, the possibilities and variations are only limited to what you have in your fridge, so get creative and go nuts!

Your list of goodies:

1/2 zucchini; sliced and quartered
1 egg tomato; sliced and quartered
3/4 cup (ish) grated pumpkin
3 organic free range eggs
Big handful of leafy greens
*Optional cheese

Put a drizzle of coconut oil, ghee or butter in your fry-pan and when it's warm and melted down, throw in the zucchini and stir with a wooden spoon to soften for a few minutes.
Add tomato and pumpkin. Continue stirring gently to cook until almost soft.
Crack the eggs into the pan. Add sliced or grated cheese if you're into it (not alot) and continue to gently mix all ingredients together so it's kinda looking like a scrambled egg-veggie-mess. Add your greens towards the end so they wilt and soften but don't turn into nothing-ness.
Serve on your favourite plate, maybe add a fresh brewed cuppa tea or a veggie juice. Sit down, relax, and enjoy.

Oh cracked pepper on this is a definite must. Amazing! Sea salt to taste. Or dulse flakes are great.
I've since made this without grated pumpkin and instead put little cubes of left-over roasted pumpkin, or whatever else I have in the fridge. The variations are endless! Mushrooms would be amazing too. Or add tumeric. YUM!!

Cook this up for yourself as a delicious filling brekkie or other meal of the day; double the quantity if you're cooking for two.

Let me know if you come up with an even better version and what is it you made.

Have a great weekend.
Christie xx

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Mar 6, 2013


Here it is – the Bone Broth post. Most of you know I had followed a vegetarian-vegan-raw vegan diet collectively for over 15yrs up until last year when I made some changes due to my health. Most recently the addition of bone broth has been thrown in the mix. I wanted to try this as I felt it was what my body needed, and rationally it made sense being good for gut health, loaded with minerals and easy on digestion. I had read and heard of other people’s amazing experiences with it and wanted to try it for myself.

Mar 4, 2013

How was Your Weekend? I hit Rock Bottom

Happy Monday all! How was your weekend? Did you get to making those delicious crackers?
Well my weekend was far from amazing, but I have just gotten home from a session with a Shamanic Healer, medical intuitive, naturopath, iridologist, reflexologist, author and more, all in one. And here's why --
I’m sitting here drinking bone broth with so much flowing through my veins right now that I feel the need to put it all down on paper my blog, and the post on my beverage of choice at the minute that I promised you would come today will have to wait, and I’ll put it up on Wednesday - Why you gotta get bone broth in ya!

So what the hell couldn’t wait to be told??

I haven’t made mention of how my health is going recently and I wanted to share with you. Like I said this wasn’t the intended post, this is flowing through my fingers, so just roll with me.

I hit rock bottom. Yep it was sure a surprise to me too when I hit the pavement and skidded up onto the median strip in the centre of the road, falling off my scooter, to get up quickly in total shock, bleeding, bruised, really fighting tears, ushering the cars to continue like I was totally okay and this was no big deal, and only worried about my chin (female - face - priorities - I hit my chin in my fall). All I can say now is thank god for the English tourist who walked over to me and grabbed the bike to wheel it off to the side of the road, hold my hand, and calm me down. I likely would have just gotten on and attempted to ride off, only to fall again due to shock and fear. He stayed with me, gave me water, and spoke to me about his holiday, his daughter (who had a similar accident in England years ago), how smoking his whole life makes scuba diving really hard, and that he thought I was one brave tough nut. I then had to really fight back tears, put my helmet back on, and ride that thing home – well to the chemist first for everything I all-of-a-sudden needed, and then to the shops for all my dinner supplies, and yep all whilst hobbling around with blood dripping down my leg.

When I got home, I lost it. I couldn’t control my crying. In fact it began before i got home. Can you imagine seeing a chic on a bike passing u while she's balling her eyes out? A rather strange sight it would have been I'm sure. I was an emotional, physical, bruised and bloodied mess. But crying was exactly what I had to do. I had been fighting tears for 2 whole days, and this day everything seemed at it’s worst. 
I initially rode into town that day to ponder around the beautifully inspiring bookstore hoping I would smile and feel happy, as my brain was not going anywhere near the study I had intended on doing. But I also wanted to see if I could find some kind of a healer who could answer some of my questions –

Why do I feel so depressed at the moment?
Do I have negative energies around me I am attached too?
I am inviting negative energies to me?
And the biggie – when will all my current health and emotional issues begin to get better; Do I have loads more work and learning to do; or is it looking up soon?

I felt I needed to know as it feels like this has dragged on way too long and exhaustion is fucking exhausting!

After my fall I could see my answer. That’s it. Shit couldn’t get any worse than it was on Saturday. I felt miserable, didn’t want to get out of bed, only really began doing stuff after midday, and wondered if things would ever get any better. I always tried to think positive and sometimes it worked. But on days when as soon as I woke up, I could barely move from exhaustion, yawning all day, no food or drinks made any difference, I couldn’t think straight and just wanted to sleep – those were the days it was all too much.
After a bucket-load of a crying sesh, and calling B to tell him what happened (he’s in Brissie which of course makes an emotional mess / blooded and bruised fragile girl even more emotional and fragile), I managed to cry my way through cleaning up my battle wounds (Dettol still really stings as a big kid), having a cold shower, calming down, and making some food. The rest of the day was not exciting.

Yesterday however I woke up and I actually felt semi-normal. Not that heavy I-cant-get-out-of-bed horrible feeling. I was a little groggy from poor sleep as everytime I turned in my sleep I either felt pain and woke up or felt wound weeping from one of the bandages. Urgh! But I did actually feel a difference. I felt like something had been lifted. Or shifted. Whatever, I felt better; good even!

I’ve been reading Gabby Bernstein’s Add More ~ing To Your Life that I told you guys about last week, and she talks about when her coaching clients hit their rock bottom she says CONGRATULATIONS!! much to their confusion and surprise, as you can imagine. But things can only get better once you’ve hit the bottom! So praise the lord, thank you, bless you, I can’t believe I would ever be this happy after coming off a scooter around a bend! And over a median strip! Christ! But I am! I am so bloody happy right now coz I can already feel changes. I feel a difference. I feel a spring in my step. I feel happy doing things. Seeing people. I feel confident in getting my assessments done. I feel happy knowing I will be in Thailand for 6weeks once I get my butt into booking flights. I am happy in my kitchen cooking dinner listening to my Eat Pray Love soundtrack I’ve been obsessed with ever since I got it (years ago). I AM HAPPY TODAY AND IT FEELS SO GOD DAMN AMAZING!

Perhaps my Bush Essences have played their role too as I only began taking my new bottle last week. Everything plays their role in the grand scheme of things. I love the Australian Bush Essences and I’ve spoken about them once before. I made this bottle for myself to support me in the changes I want to make. It’s made up of 5 essences which is my max number to put in a bottle, and it includes:

Black Eyed Susan – for inner peace and helping me turn inward to be still and slow down
Spinifex – empowerment through emotional understanding of my ‘illness’, physical healing
Crowea – for my continual worry; bringing me peace, balancing and centering me and providing clarity of my feelings
Hibbertia – acceptance and contentment with one’s own knowledge
Five Corners – love and acceptance of myself; celebration of my own beauty; joyousness; this is great for low self esteem, self sabotage behaviours, and drab clothing (that makes me laugh - but it's def a thing of mine)

Everything I feel I need right now. I always have good intentions when I take my Bush Flowers and feel the effects from them all.

So as I was meant to be at work today, but I'm sitting on the lounge with my foot up on the coffee table.
As I mentioned earlier, I had a very last minute session with a healer this morning which was exactly what I needed and long story short; I cried, things shifted, I saw new ways to look at situations, and was in shock when my own body told me something I had no idea about. I went to see this woman wanting clarity and enthusiasm for life, whilst having no expectations, and I left with much more.

Still physically limping around, I do feel lighter on my feet (more crying also helps) and am eager yet patient to now move forward. So that's my this-can't-wait stuff, and it feels good to get it off my fingers and onto this page. Thank you for reading and for listening. Bone broth benefits, beauty-ness and recipe coming up real soon!

 Christie xx

Mar 1, 2013

Weekend Recipe - Meal-In-A-Biscuit Crackers

As you  all know I'm doing the whole I Quit Sugar thang' and whipping up truckloads of recipes in my little kitchen this past week. One of them were these crunchy, delicious, so-good-for-me crackers, taken from Sarah Wilson's latest recipe book which I'm absolutely loving! Oh and did I mention they are sooooper easy to make?

Your Meal-In-A-Cracker Crackers

1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup almond meal
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp freshly chopped herbs
1 tsp dulse flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp salt

+ Preheat the oven at 160 degrees celcius.
+ Line a baking tray with baking paper.

+ Combine all seeds in a mixing bowl.
+ Combine everything else in another bowl, with 250ml water.
+ Pour the liquid mix into the dry seed mix, and use a wooden spoon to combine it all together

+ Spread the mixture out onto your baking tray, and use the back of a wet spoon to press it down and smooth it out; get it about 5mm thick.
+ Bake for 30mins.
+ Grab it out, cut your slab into squares, turn them over, and bake for another 25mins.
+ Cool on the tray then store in a sealed container for up to 2weeks.

These are delicious on their own, but even better with nut butter smeared all over the top; straight out of the oven; think melted PB goodness; Mmmmm... Have them for a snack, add them as a side to your salad lunch, or whip them up quick smart if you know you've got guests coming over... in an hour!

Enjoy xx

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