Pass the Turmeric! While the days are beautifully warm the nights are saying that Autumn is well and truly here. I'm taking proactive measures against cold & flu with some of nature's most powerful immunity boosters.
This post has been a long time coming! I am sorry to keep you waiting as I know many of you have been hanging out for a post on Kombucha.
I brewed my first jar of this sparkling effervescent tea last winter, and I've been enjoying delicious weekly batches of it ever since. I love it because a) the taste is addictive, like fizzy apple champagne with a delightful cidery twang b) the very nature of the ever-growing 'scoby' encourages community and sharing, c) it's insanely simple to make and d) if you can afford some tea and raw sugar, then you have access to one of the most incredible probiotic beverages on the planet, continuously!
At the beginning of December I was invited to take part in the Comvita Super Antioxidant Challenge. In a nutshell, the Challenge celebrated the vitality and longevity enjoyed by people from around the Mediterranean Sea. They are among the healthiest, most vital and happy populations in the world, with life expectancies 10 years above the global average. Sardinia in Italy and Ikaria in Greece are two of five areas in the world known as "Blue Zones", pockets around the globe where people live measurably better.
The Challenge before me was to make like the Sardinians and eat antioxidant rich Mediterranean style whole foods, do simple activities every day that connect me to family and friends and boost my wellbeing, and take a swig of Comvita's "Sardinian bottled secret" - Olive Leaf Extract - every morning. It's packed with antioxidants - up to 30 times more than the freshest extra virgin olive oils and 400% greater antioxidant capacity than Vitamin C. The antioxidants in OLE play a huge role in protecting our body cells from damage caused by a poor diet, stress, pollution, excessive exposure to the sun, cigarette smoke and alcohol.
Truth be told, this challenge couldn't have come at a better time! 2013 was massive, and by December I had finally allowed myself to feel the fatigue my body had been carrying (and I had been ignoring) for months.
For those of you who have read my about page you'll know a little about my philosophy on food and wellness. You'll notice I don't focus on what not to eat, instead it's all about the limitless possibilities of vibrant, alive, colourful, real and mostly plant-based food.
My day on a plate consists of leafy greens, veg, fruits, beans, lentils, wholegrains, nuts & seeds. Plant-based creations, with the occasional serving of free range eggs or sustainable seafood. It's not a chore, it's simply what I love and crave to eat. Nothing is set in stone - I like a bit of fancy cheese from time to time. Coffee and alcohol are not a huge part of my life but I certainly enjoy the odd wine with dinner or out with friends. I don't mind cooking meat (the good stuff) for my husband, even though I don't eat it myself.
The point is, diet constraints and pigeon holes be gone! Food, (and we are talking about REAL food, here) is a joy, not a battle. It's about preference, listening to your body, gratitude, creativity, flavour, friendship and family. What does wholesome food have in common with music, or art, or exercise? I think it helps us live in the moment with those we are dining with, and helps us to enjoy and be truly present. I think that true love of food extends beyond taste, to an appreciation & gratitude of how it's grown, how it nourishes, and how it brings people together.
I think I've found the one. My life long kitchen partner.
Green juices and smoothies are so hot right now, and for very good reason! Made the right way, they are absolutely delicious, revitalizing and nourishing to our bodies. If you're new to the buzz, rest assured it ain't hype: smoothies and juices are the incredible, life giving elixir they are cracked up to be! They are kind to your digestive system, great for your skin, hair, eyes and immune system, anti aging, weight loss , detox and cleansing. Moreover, green smoothies and juices are a cost effective way to get and keep you and your family healthy. I love them because they promote REAL food. Sure, you can chuck all kinds of super powders and potions into your drinks, but fundamentally, blenders and juicers are all about fresh produce: their number one goal in life is to make your fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables SHINE!
Given it's #SMOVEMBER (your 30 day pre-summer smoothie challenge), and the month before Christmas and beach season really gets cranking, I thought it was high time I did a post on smoothies and juices - their benefits and differences, tips, and the best types of machines to invest in.
SO which is better, blending or juicing?
It's the classic debate among health lovers. The answer is, well… BOTH .. are fabulous (but different) ways to quench your body with loads of nutrient dense veggies! Both smoothies and freshly extracted vegetable juices offer better nutrient absorption than you'd get eating foods whole. They’re a delicious, quick way to download a massive amount of raw nutrients into your body every day.
This meal is easy, delicious and full of flavour. But that's not all. Packed with detoxifying veggies, leafy greens and one of natures most alkalizing grains, millet, it'll leave you feeling satiated, nourished and not the slightest bit guilty.
Millet is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body. It is also gluten-free, non-allergenic, has a low glycemic index and is rich in protein, magnesium, calcium, niacin, copper, manganese, fiber and antioxidants. Millet aids in digestion, relieves constipation, lowers cholesterol and acts as a handy little prebiotic.
Greens, glorious greens
I love them. Can't live without them. But why?
Homemade Bounty Bars
Chocolate Coconut Kale Thickshake
Dinspiration - my favourite throw together meals
Raw Vegan Lime Cheesecake
The Original Green Smoothie
Plant-powered Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
DIY Three Ingredient Facewash
Creamy Cashew Berry Smoothie