All posts filed under: Food

How to food plan like a rock star

Before I started my health kick I used to open the fridge door at work at look at the shelves of homemade lunches with envy. There they stood, packed lovingly the night before full of healthy looking goodness. I wanted to be like those who made at work food look so easy. The owners of this food also didn’t have to spend 20 minutes of precious lunchtime hunting for something reasonably healthy to eat. And then pay $15 for the privilege of enjoying said meal. Fortunately, like all those who had come before me, after some investigation I realised that I too could do the food from home thing. All it would take is a little planning, some consideration and confidence and of course, lots of experimentation! You see, bringing healthy, delicious food from home isn’t actually that hard (I know – shock horror!) you just have to prioritise it and apply some savvy organisation tips to the process. Two years later and I’m now a food prep queen (if I don’t say so myself) …

Remembering where our meat and veg come from

Over the last few weeks I’ve been binge watching River Cottage AU. For those of you who aren’t across the Lifestyle Channel production, it’s an Aussie version of famous UK series of the same name. Local foodie Paul West sets up home in the beautiful Tilba region (five hours south of Sydney just near Bega) with the goal of building a fully self-sustainable, organic life on his very picturesque farm. From veggies to livestock, foraging to seafood we see him live a seasonal country existence from the highs of fresh milk from his jersey cow to lows of slaughtering his farm pigs for meat. The show is a stark reminder of where our food comes from and the energy, passion and life that is often required to give us the pleasures we typically take for granted. I’m now coming to the end of season two (there are four in total) and watching Paul’s farm flourish is a guilty pleasure of mine. I dream of creating a similar lifestyle for our little tribe, and hope that …

Raw Summer Veggie Pad Thai

Fresh off the back of our amazing trip to Thailand and Cambodia, this week I was craving more of the authentic Asian food we experienced while overseas. Not one to sugar coat it, the food in South East Asia wasn’t always ‘wellness’ kosher, but it certainly was full of flavour and depth. Cambodia is home to some of the most fragrant curries I’ve ever tasted; if you ever get the chance to try an Amok or Khmer dish, don’t pass on it. In Thailand, particularity Phuket where we were based, the seafood options seemed endless. But unfortunately despite how romantic the above sounds, in most instances we were either stuck with poor interpretations of western food or delicious authentic dishes lined with sugar, soy and gluten. And don’t even get me started on the airport food… So it took me by no surprise that upon returning home I had a gut to rebuild. Fortunately one of my intentions for 2016 is to make our dinner meals almost entirely veggie-based; enter the above dish and hello …

Packaged wholesome food (hooray, there is such a thing!)

At the end of a long day the last thing I feel like doing is cooking. While the process of pulling together a dish is OK, it’s the cleaning up afterwards that I hate. The trouble with eating wholesome food is it often requires a lot of prep-time in the kitchen. This is why I have become best friends with my food processor. With the determination to eat well comes the reality that you need to get your hands dirty (particularly in the case of organic potatoes), all the time. Clean eating is the consumption of food in its most natural state, but there are no rules saying that these products can’t be packaged. I recently shared on my Facebook page a tips list for managing the shopping aisle with a clean attitude. Key pointers for success included checking the product list from unrecognisable numbers and ingredients and being mindful of green or organic washing. When you do find a product that meets all your healthy eating needs, it can be a serious sanity saver. …

Getting my green thumb on; organic gardening on our tiny balcony

Last weekend I stood like a weirdo hopelessly in the corner of Bonds nursery. I was trying to listen to a podcast on organic gardening (out loud) inconspicuously as I’d left my shopping list at home. As the nursery is a good 30 minutes from my house, I was determined not to make a second trip to the shops. As I stared confusingly at the range of organic potting mixes, fertilisers and plant foods, trying madly to remember what it was I had written down, I scribbled pointers from the podcast on to a flower catalogue. I questioned how much my little organic seedlings really needed that blood and bone mix, or if I really wanted a chicken poop stench haunting my small back balcony. Organic gardening is something that most holistic health coaches swear you should do. I’ve been told there is a profound joy that comes from nurturing little seedlings into fresh, tasty fruit and veg. And as I’m a big fan of anything that’s meant to be good for the soul, I’m …

Quinoa Crust Pumpkin Pie + learning to cook

On Sunday I made pie and it was delicious. That sounds kind of old school doesn’t… but I loved every minute of it. Of course, true to my ‘The Whole Life’ approach this wasn’t your ordinary pie. There was no sugar coating or stewed apples. This one was made from quinoa and cinnamon pumpkin. The incredibly simple and delicious feast was from Donna Hay’s Cookbook Fresh and Easy. While her books don’t usually scream sugar free, gluten free or dairy free recipes, this one offers a seriously good bevy of mostly clean options that’s are pretty easy to adapt to your specific food preferences. Before embarking on my health journey, I couldn’t have given two clicks about cooking. To me, food prep wasn’t a pleasure it was a pain so convenience in the kitchen was always key. When I started to take an interest in what I was putting in my body, I had to learn from scratch what it meant to actually make something that wasn’t toast or packet pasta with sauce. At first …

A health conscious social life; is there such a thing?

There’s no universal answer on whether you can have a social life and be healthy. Firstly, it depends on how healthy the people you’re socialising with are. It’s then a question of how dedicated to the cause you are. The truth? Just because you’re trying to be healthy doesn’t mean life stops. My social circle has people from all over the health spectrum. Some, like me, follow pretty strict eating guidelines. Choosing restaurants when we’re together is a dream because we’re both on the same page. But for the most part, I’m the painful friend who usually asks about the ingredients in each dish and whether it’s possible to switch out one item for another. While it’s easier to be in total control when you’re cooking at home, existing only in this space isn’t going to bring you happiness. Learning to voice my needs and not show embarrassment when questioning the menu was a major hurdle I had to overcome, but am so glad I did. It’s a massive self confidence thing to not feel …

Why ‘organic’ isn’t always good for you; green washing 101

Recently I posted on detoxing from the outside in – if you missed it you can check it out here. Before I shared this post, I swept my house for nasty chemical-ridden products replacing suspicious looking items with supposed healthier, green versions. I checked the labels on each product I purchased and convinced myself that the extra coin was worth it because I was looking after my body (I still believe it is, but that’s another point). As far as I was concerned, post the purge I lived in a happy, healthy home free of most common household toxins. I’m here today to declare that I fell victim to green washing. Having done my research on the topic I thought I was armed with the knowledge I needed to make smart purchasing decisions. I decided that I would try and buy a mix of products from my local organic health food shop (which has a stellar beauty section) and my closet big chain supermarket. I guess you could say I was hopeful that I wouldn’t …

Winter warmers: the humble berry nut crumble

Winter is in full force. So much so, even the thought of leaving the house without a big scarf and warm boots is enough to send shivers down my spine. Fortunately, with the frost also comes the excuse to eat hot, scrumptious desserts whenever a little warmth is needed (ahem, all the time). Our freezer is currently stocked full of organic frozen berries and as a result the humble berry nut crumble is quickly becoming a winter staple. The recipe for this warmer is incredibly simple. The below deconstructed version also keeps all week (crumble in an air-tight container, berries in the freezer) so if you can resist eating it all at once, it’s a handy one to have ready for lunchboxes. Other than being delicious, berries are also antioxidant powerhouses. Their superpowers include the ability to improve mental dexterity and heart health all while reducing the risk of cancer. Which is amazing! They’re also low in fructose and calories (if that’s your thing) so there’s no need to stress about eating too many. The …

Banana and cinnamon pancakes that will rock your world

It’s a tradition in our relationship to go out for breaky on Saturday mornings. Aaron and I usually jump between a few local cafes as a way to ease ourselves into the weekend. But with me back at  boot camp this week I accidentally threw our ritual into chaos. By the time I got home from my session Aaron was awake and happily resting on the couch watching a movie. But when I walked through the door I felt like I’d committed somewhat of a  cardinal sin; our Saturday morning vibe was out of joint. We were both pretty keen to stay at home and simply enjoy the morning. With this comfort came the question, what on earth were we going to eat? After a few minutes of searching through the pantry, I thought I might just have the ingredients to make some pancakes. I sensed checked my thinking in a few of my favourite cookbooks of late and wasn’t surprised when I found a stellar recipe in Lola Berry’s new cookbook ‘The Happy Cookbook’. …