she eats health

For the love of food, health and life

eat seasonally

Who’s ever referred to summer as Mango season? I have. You just know that as the weather gets warmer that golden fruit is going to hit the markets and summer is officially here. Likewise, when mandarins come out in winter. There’s no doubt that our everyday menu changes with the seasons. Winter calls for warming soups, roasts and comfort food. In summer we crave lighter salads, fresh fruit and iced delights. As the phenomena of eating seasonally occurs around us – seasonal chef menus, farmers market specials, magazine recipes – I find myself exploring the added benefits of eating seasonally.

In season fresh fruit and veg:

  • are more affordable
  • are bigger and more ripe
  • Taste better
  • Have less transit time from farm to plate

Therfore:

  • Have a higher bioavailability of nutrients for us to absorb!

Let’s be honest, who wants to eat a cherry in June that has travelled a bazillion kilometers and is the size of a pea? Chefs and nutritionists alike urge us to eat with the seasons and more than ever I give full merit to this recommendation. For a great tool to see what’s in season, check out the Sydney Markets site here.

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While studying the in season list for November, I was so inspired that I decided to spend a weekend in the kitchen. Gettin’ all seasonal! I wanted to share how your day on a plate could look incorporating seasonal produce for this time of year. So here it goes!

How to eat seasonally this November? Easy!

Green Smoothie

1 cup baby spinach

1 cup lettuce, chopped

A few sprigs of fresh coriander

A few sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley

½ cucumber, chopped

1 orange (Valencia), chopped

1 handful blueberries

1 cup coconut water

½ cup ice

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Blend baby spinach, lettuce, coriander, parsley, coconut water and ice in a blender. Once combined add cucumber, orange and blueberries. Blend to desired consistency. Enjoy slowly and chew your liquids!

This green machine is packed full of vitamin c, antioxidants, beta carotene, potassium and magnesium to name a few. Spinach is known for its disease and cancer fighting properties with its ability to reduce cancer cell growth in stomach, skin and breast cancer and used in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. It is important to chew your cruciferous vegetables (think spinach, kale, broccoli and cauliflower) as their liver detoxifying enzymes are only activated when the veg is torn up, most effectively by your teeth.

Breakfast

Tropical Muesli

Homemade muesli

½ cup paw paw, chopped

½ cup pineapple, chopped

½ cup mango, chopped

½ cup rock melon, chopped

½ passionfruit

2 tbs organic natural yogurt/coconut yogurt (dairy free)

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Follow my homemade muesli recipe from my post new spaces here.

Chop up pawpaw, pineapple, mango and rock melon. Drizzle with passion fruit pulp and serve with your choice of yogurt.

This seasonal breakfast boasts a bowl of healthy fats from the coconut oil and the nuts, protein from the nuts and yogurt, low GI beta glucan from the oats and a good dose of vitamin C and carotenoids (the properties responsible for the orange colour) from the fruit. With probiotics from the fermented yogurt and fibre from the fruit, your digestive system will love you!

Morning Snack

Guacamole salsa dip

1 avocado, deseeded

1 tomato, diced

1 sweet corn cob, boiled, remove kernels

½ red onion, diced

1 red chili, diced finely

1 pinch coriander

1 lime, juiced

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp black pepper

1 cucumber, cut into dippers

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Mash avocado with a fork. Combine tomato, corn kernels, red onion, chili, coriander, lime, smoked paprika and black pepper and add to avocado. Stir to combine. Cut cucumber into long sticks for dipping. Serves 2.

Avocado is a monounsaturated fat powerhouse – closely linked to reducing adipose tissue and visceral fat (fat around the organs). Avo’s also supply us with vitamin E, B6 and fiber for glowing skin and regular tummies. With the added zest of chili, tomoto and fresh herbs this dip is a great way to keep you going until lunch. Swap the crackers with cucumber sticks for a grain free option.

Lunch

Zucchini pasta with tomato lentil Bolognese

1 Zucchini, mandolined into ribbons

½ tsp olive oil

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 bottle Organic tomato passata/sauce

1 tomato, chopped

A few sprigs of flat leaf parsley, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

½ red onion, diced

1 can Italian lentils, drained, rinsed well

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Slice zucchini’s into ribbons. Sautee zucchini in a pan on medium heat with olive oil and chili flakes. When soften, remove from heat and set aside.

Crush the garlic and chop tomato, flat leaf parsley and onion. Throw into a pot on medium heat until soften. Pour in tomato passata/sauce, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lentils and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Sever zucchini ribbons in a bowl and spoon on lentil Bolognese. Top with fresh basil leaves.

This is a grain free, low carb, veg protein take on the classic spaghetti Bolognese. Tomatoes are full of vitamin C, A and K and most famously known for containing cancer fighting lycopene. This carotenoid reduces inflammation and is used in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, prostate, colon and breast cancer. The lentils provide a source of fiber and repairing protein to keep you full throughout the afternoon.

Afternoon Snack

Banana nut sandwiches

1 banana, chopped

1 tbs almond and chia butter (I use Melrose, check them out here.

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Cut a peeled banana into slices and top with almond and chia butter to make little banana sandwiches.

The natural energy from the banana and protein, monounsaturated fats and omega 3 from the nut/seed butter make this an optimum pre-workout snack.

Dinner

Baked turmeric salmon with greens

1 lemon, juiced

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs ground turmeric

1 pinch parsley, flat leaf and curly

1 bunch bok choy, steamed

1 handful green beans steamed

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Place salmon fillet on a baking paper lined tray. Brush fillet with olive oil and season with a squeeze of fresh lemon, turmeric and parsley. Bake in a 180 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Steam bok choy and beans in a steamer on the stove. Plate up with extra lemon and black pepper.

Tame that flame with the wonder that is turmeric. This anti-inflammatory spice also has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties and is used to fight infections and a number of diseases. Bok Choy is a member of the brassica family (also a cruciferous veg – so chew!) and is rich in antioxidants, vitamin c, calcium and fiber. Team with healthy omega 3 fatty acids from the salmon and you’ve got yourself a detoxifying, clean and nourishing dinner.

Dessert

Raw very berry cherry crumble (try saying that 5 times in a row!)

1 cup almonds

2 tbs chia seeds

2 tbs organic coconut flakes

1 cup walnuts

2 medjool dates

½ cup blueberries

½ cup blackberries

1 cup fresh cherries, pitted

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Combine almonds, chia seeds, coconut flakes, walnuts and dates in the food processor. Process until a sandy crumble consistency is achieved.

Pulse berries in a blender, leaving fruit somewhat chunky. Pour fruit into ramekins/cups and top with raw crumble.

There’s no better way to enjoy some seasonal berries than with this no-bake crumble. This dessert is free from grains, gluten, dairy and refined sugar. These berries are loaded with powerful antioxidants and vitamin C, which are used in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancers and brain degradation. Bonus? Get an added omega 3, vitamin E and protein hit from the crumble topping.

*This dessert is adapted from Teresa Cutter’s Strawberry Crumble recipe. Check it out here.

Now, I urge you, go to the market and get creative with what’s in season. It’s fun, I promise. And the best part about experimentally with food…is eating it.

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detox

Have you ever had one of those weekends, where the only thing on the menu is indulgence?

I have. It was two weekends ago.

I had a charity breakfast, a girls night away, a 23rd birthday, a 24th birthday and a 1st birthday.

This meant one thing: cake.

And cake was what I ate…at every occasion.

While I had a great time, my digestive system became cranky with me. But instead of giving me the silent treatment, she gave me a good dose of the bloat.

I came across a detox plan a few months ago and I recently purchased it online for $8. Nikki Sharp’s 5 Day Detox was waiting patiently in my email inbox. It was just begging for the perfect moment to be used. What better time than this?

What I like about Nikki’s detox is there are no gimmicks. No starving yourself, no lemon liquids, special pills or potent powders. Just good, clean, whole foods eaten regularly, married with good hydration and green tea.

Sounds okay, hey? Here’s where we get to the tricky part. Nikki’s plan urges you to alkalise your body, and give your digestive system a break by cutting out meat, grains, dairy, processed foods, sugar and caffeine for 5 days.

5 days. 1 working week. Easy. I can do this. Can’t I?

When Monday rolled around I decided to take the challenge. Any chance to get a bit competitive and exercise some willpower is fine by me. So, what does one eat when the above foods are restricted? Vegetables and fruits, a few more vegetables and fruits, then throw in some legumes and nuts. That’s pretty much it.

Here’s what my typical day looked like:

 Wake up: 1 cup hot water with lemon and fresh ginger

Breakfast: 1 egg scrambled with baby spinach, mushrooms and avocado, 1 handful of almonds and fresh blueberries and raspberries

1 green tea

Morning snack: 1 handful almonds and goji berries

1 green tea

Lunch: 1 salad with baby spinach, cucumber, carrot, red capsicum, celery, red kidney beans, mixed bean sprouts

1 green tea

Afternoon snack: 1 apple with cinnamon

1 green tea

Dinner: 1 vegetable stir fry with carrot, mushrooms, red capsicum, celery, zucchini and chickpeas with cumin, chili, paprika and turmeric with fresh coriander

1 green tea

2 Litres of water (throughout the day)

I ate like this for 5 days without straying. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was. A little repetitive maybe, but nowhere near as difficult as I had anticipated. I was surprised – after all, anything that rids the body of toxins is surely not supposed to be enjoyable. Right?

My detox Insights…

Things that surprised me:

– My body missed meat (even after being a vegetarian for 5 years).

– I didn’t miss sugar or grains…at all (there was an option for 1 cup of quinoa a day, but I didn’t feel I needed it)

– I trained, as normal, 3 times and felt strong and energetic.

– While grabbing lunch at one of my favourite wholefood cafes, the waiter told me they had nothing on the menu that was meat, grain and dairy free (baffling).

Things that didn’t surprise me:

– I missed Greek yogurt in the mornings

– Going meat free forces you to get creative with veggies. I discovered spices and flavours I’d never tried before.

– My ability to exercise willpower

– How good I felt

What I learnt from detoxing:

– I was a little disappointed that my digestive system remained sluggish while on this cleanse. It wasn’t until I integrated grains back into my diet that this improved. I guess nothing beats fiber!

– Finding what works for your body is all about trial and error.

– This meal plan isn’t best for my body on a permanent basis, but doing the 5 days every few months is a great way to stay on track.

– I know now, that I can live without these foods and not feel deprived.

My lunch on day 4:

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Salad with baby spinach, carrot, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green beans, red capsicum, red kidney beans, sesame seeds and fresh coriander and parsley.

Interested in checking out Nikki Sharp’s 5 Day Detox plan? Go to: http://www.staysharpbestrong.com/detox-plan/

10 Foodie Commandments

You know you’re a (healthy) foodie when…

1. You exercise because it’s good for you and (more importantly) because you love to eat!

2. You are more interested in asking your friend what they had for dinner than hearing about their cat, new squeeze, parking ticket, hair cut, engagement (maybe not that last one).

3. You go to sleep excited to wake up in the morning because you know it only means one thing…BREAKFAST!

4. Your idea of shopping is not at Westfield, Pitt Street or David Jones – but at Harris Farm, About Life and the organic markets.

5. It’s date night and you’re out for dinner. You’re both starving and your food finally arrives. Your partner’s thinking: Yes! Dig in! You’re thinking: It’s now time for a well thought out photo shoot for Instagram!

6. At least half (or more) of your pay cheque is spent on food.

7.You love to start your day with what could only be described as ‘lawn in a cup’ to all those non-green-smoothie-lovers out there.

8. Assembling your morning porridge is a well-orchestrated affair. Yes, there’s the typical base of oats, but then you continue to spend the next 15 minutes adorning your bowl with the likes of fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, spices, powders, superfoods, nut butters and non-dairy milks.

9. You always end up over ordering at a restaurant. After a thorough study of the menu, you can’t choose between the exotic curry, quinoa salad or rice paper rolls – so you order all three!

10. You know that kale can be a chip, almonds can be a butter and zucchini can be spaghetti!

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Kale Chips!

Speaking of kale being a chip…

Make these easy, delicious morsels in just 5 easy steps:

– Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.

– Take a baking tray and line with baking paper.

– Tear up kale into bite size pieces.

– Drizzle with organic extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and paprika.

– Bake for 10-15 mins or until the edges are golden brown.

Pop in a bowl and enjoy the crunch. Who ever said eating your greens wasn’t fun?

life is a buffet

About two years ago, I was an addict.

Okay not that kind of addict. I was addicted to cereal.

Well, it was actually one particular brand of natural muesli. I had this muesli every morning for about eight months straight. Every. Single. Morning. Without fail. I did this until I eventually OD’ed on it and now I can never eat this muesli again. To be honest, I can’t even look at the packet when I see it at the supermarket.

This scenario is all too familiar for me. When it came to food, if I found something I liked, I’d eat it. Everyday. I wouldn’t get bored of it, or crave something different. I’d be completely content eating it all the time until the overdose process would kick in and I’d go off it completely. Then my next obsession would begin. Vicious cycle, really.

I’ll admit, I’m a creature of habit. I love routine. I thrive on it, I get excited for it. There’s a good and bad side to being a routine lover. Some may say I lack the delight of spontaneity and sometimes not having a plan makes me highly uncomfortable. But being in a routine keeps me focused…motivated and well, happy.

Newsflash: the mind may love routine, but the body doesn’t.

I clearly had no idea of this fact until I started studying nutrition. Nutrition 101 – variety is key!

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Logical. We need to consume lots of different foods to get a balanced diet for optimum bodily function and health. Now all those food pyramids and dinner plate diagrams from school are finally making sense!

I may be wrong, but I suspect a few of you were blind to this idea as well. I can totally admit that this used to be my genuine thought process.

Thought bubble: “Celery is good for you”…”Celery is a vegetable”…”It’s green, it’s crunchy”…”Surely if I eat celery with my lunch, dinner and snack, I’ll be healthy”…”Right?”.

Wrong.

Yes, celery is great. It’s basically 90% water, it’s low in kjs, its packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. BUT, think about all the other nutrients you’re missing out on if celery is your only go-to veg.

The truth is, the body craves a buffet. Think a resort style breakfast  – you’ve got the granola bar, the egg station, the fresh fruit platters and the cooked brekkie options.

This is what our bodies want – variety.

In class, the hot topic is always food intolerances. Why are suddenly so many people intolerant to foods? Our teacher makes a good point – overconsumption.

Cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner. Sound familiar? This example of a typical western diet may be the answer to why gluten intolerance is affecting more people than ever before. Maybe our bodies just weren’t made for such a repetitive consumption of gluten?

It can also be the same with protein sources. Many people (especially athletes) know the benefits of a high protein diet. The body needs protein for recovery and to build muscle. But hey, chicken is not the only answer! Why not mix up your main protein source? Think:

Monday – red meat (beef, lamb)

Tuesday – poultry (chicken, turkey)

Wednesday – fish (salmon, tuna)

Thursday – eggs (organic, free range – white and yolk)

Friday – legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils)

Here’s a little experiment for you. Next time you head to the grocery store, try picking up one food you wouldn’t usually buy. Maybe it’s a tropical fruit, a root vegetable or a grain. Try adding it to your favourite recipes. It’ll be fun discovering different flavours and your body will love you for all the new properties.

I tried this a couple of weeks ago with medjool dates. Other than trying one in Dubai, I’d never bought dates.

Just for something different, I picked up some fresh dates and used them to make The Healthy Chef’s protein power balls. They’re a delicious snack and perfect for getting that energy boost pre-workout.

I rolled these date-based morsels in goji berries, chia seeds, coconut and crushed walnuts.

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Here’s how they turned out.

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The idea of variety can really be applied to anything. Your exercise routine, your friends, the clothes you wear. The smorgasbord of life is calling you. Why not mix it up?

 

Find Teresa Cutter’s protein power balls recipe here: http://www.thehealthychef.com/2011/09/protein-power-balls/

knowledge is power

I have a confession. I’m a bit of a nerd.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t lust over exams or get excited about essays.

It’s the learning part I like.

Someone once told me that knowledge is your best weapon. That person wasn’t lying.

With this ‘weapon’ mantra behind me, I finished my degree last July and naturally thought, what next?

I thought I would start with a bit of ‘world’ knowledge – so exactly one week after my final exam, my boyfriend Howie and I jetted off to explore the world.

We travelled 11 countries in 11 weeks and saw places we’d only visited in our dreams.

Of course, my destination choices were based on cuisine, so we literally ate our way through the US, the UK and Europe.

There was ceviche in Mexico, vegan burgers in New York, BBQ octopus in the Greek Islands, macaroons in Paris and dates in Dubai.

Travelling was something I had always wanted to do, but never felt super confident about doing. Our trip barely skimmed the surface, but for us, it was a massive.

We were forced to take risks, confront the unfamiliar, face fears, lose control…but in a good way.

Not only did we learn heaps about ourselves and each other, we also learned that together we can conquer any challenge, big and small. From finding a decent coffee, to dealing with gastro at an Italian train station. Did I mention you have to pay every time you use a public toilet in Europe? That was a fun…and expensive day. But as they say, it’s all part of the experience. And it is.

It was this time – last year – we embarked on this crazy adventure, so this week I’ve been feeling a mix of things. Nostalgia, restlessness, despondence and gratitude. Mostly gratitude. I’m thankful that we had the opportunity to travel and to gain world knowledge that is denied to many.

When I returned to Sydney, it took all of two weeks for me to realise I longed for the next piece of the puzzle.

‘Professional’ knowledge is what I wanted next. ‘Get a job’, is what you’re thinking, right? Easy! No, quite the opposite actually. Do you know how many journalism students come out of uni with dreams of writing for magazines? Heaps! And do you know how many of these roles are available? Very few.

Like many in the magazine world, I interned for several different titles over the course of a year. This was to get experience, and secretly to see if The Devil’s Wears Prada was a true depiction of the industry. I’m going to say for the most part…it is.

It took five months to land a dream job with a renowned company and an incredible team, but it was well worth the wait.

Working at a health title could not have been a better fit. I’ve always flicked to the food/health/fitness/body/wellness pages of every magazine. I have an undeniable talent to sniff out a health story in even the most unsuspecting of magazines. I once found a food recipe in a magazine for knitting enthusiasts! Take note, nine times out of ten these pages are located in the center or last third of a mag. Am I the only girl who flicks past the fashion pages, barely skims the beauty and always goes straight to the food?

My new job has inspired me to take my next educational leap – something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. Six weeks ago I signed up as a Nutrition student at Nature Care College. Every week I count down the days until our Thursday night classes. Our class is such a mixed bag of (organic, fructose free, paleo) lollies. Some people are taking the course for a career change, some for their health, and others for the health of their family. What we all hold is an interest in food and the desire to know more.

In the past six weeks I’ve learnt the strangest, most exciting, bazaar and fascinating things about food and the body.

Here are 5 fun facts I’ve absorbed so far:

1. Low Fat, Lite and No Fat products are usually laced with sugar. Removing the fat often means removing the taste. Sugar is added so it doesn’t taste like cardboard. I’m guilty of giving into these marketing techniques in the past, but wholefoods are a better option.

2. The body can’t live without protein. We can live without carbohydrates, but we will die without protein. We find protein in all animal products including meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs. And plant based proteins from beans, legumes, lentils and some grains and seeds, like quinoa.

3. It seems simple, but if you do one thing – chew your food and eat slowly. Digestion starts in the mouth, so if the surface area of food is small when entering the stomach, the more easily digestible it is.

4.On that note, the Mediterranean diet isn’t heralded as great for weight management just for it’s use of olive oil! Think about how the Mediterranean’s eat – it’s a full affair, eaten slowly and enjoyed with family and friends.

5. Children who are breast fed until at least 4 months old are less likely to develop food allergies.

Okay, call me a nerd, but I find this stuff fascinating! And if knowledge is power, then I’m going to try get as much as I can. Want to improve your health? Get educated people!

Now, I’ll leave you with two things.

For all you social media addicts (like myself), you can now follow She Eats Health on Instagram. Follow @sheeatshealth for some serious foodporn and lots of fun, healthy posts.

And, if you haven’t already tried the toasted muesli recipe from my last post – hope this inspires you to give it a go!

Homemade toasted muesli made with rolled spelt, served with fresh blueberries, strawberries, raw honey and organic whole milk.

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new spaces

I’m 22 years old and I have a full time job. I am very lucky to still be living with my parents.

In December 2006, we packed up the home we knew for 12 years for what my Dad called “a sea change”. We moved to the northern beaches – my favourite part of Sydney! Our old house sold in what felt like a minute, so we got a 12 month lease on a shack until we found our ‘new home’. Little did we know this lease would be broken in just six weeks! Our dream beach house came on the market, so mum and dad wasted no time in snapping it up.

Fast track to about a month ago, my mum renovated her kitchen. This “kitchen” project ended up meandering its way into the living room, bathroom and onto the deck. We had to move out for a few weeks and when we returned, the only working appliances were the kettle and toaster – tea and toast for dinner anyone (every night)?

What did I learn from this renovation experience? Quite a lot actually!

First, I learned that my mum – a gentle, golf loving, Virgo has a massive talent in interior design and decorating. Just to show you what I’m on about, here’s a before and after shot (excuse the dodgy photography).

Before

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After

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Next, I learned that the kitchen really is the heart of the house. It’s where meals are prepared, people gather and great conversations are had. It’s the hub, the rock, where you go when you want to procrastinate, when you’re hungry, when you want a chat and where you read the paper. I’d say we’d all agree, a kitchen is a pretty essential place. When you don’t have one – you notice.

Eating take away lost it’s appeal and our make-shift kitchen in the corner of the TV room felt wrong.You may call it a first world problem, but without a kitchen I felt lost.

Once the project was complete and the last appliance was up and running, I felt a fresh breath of air through our house.

She was back.

What I learned next was my favourite part of this experience. This new kitchen really ignited a new love of cooking for Mum. She’d spent months choosing the right colour for the splash backs, species for the wood and down lights for the ceiling. She wanted to spend time in this space she had created.

In our house, Mum has always been the executive chef – my Dad, siblings and I have all played roles as apprentice chef, dish pig and (more often than not) customer, but Mum’s always run the show. But cooking, for Mum, was a job. Something that had to get done – to feed, to nourish, to shut the “I’m starving” up. But, now, Mum’s dream kitchen is less of a workplace and more of a playground. A place to experiment and to get excited about.

To my absolute glee, Mum has started baking! Something she never used to do. Me? I’ve loved baking ever since I was old enough to press ‘go’ on the mix master. But Mum needed more convincing. I was thrilled when she asked me to find her some great healthy baking recipes. Since then, I’ve come home to wafts of baked goodness more times in the past month than I have in my life. Together we’re currently experimenting with date balls, clean banana bread, oaty clusters and raw raspberry cacao brownies. Not everything turns out perfect, but each batch gets better with practice. What I love more than devouring these treats, is that we’re realising that what we used to buy in processed packets, can actually be prepared at home. After years of trying almost every muesli brand on the market, I came up one night to find Mum taking a full tray out of the oven.

“What’s that, Mum?”, I snigger. “I toasted my own muesli”, Mum says with sparkly eyes.

She what now?

What I should be saying is…thank you, kitchen. Thanks for teaching me a few new things – about my Mum, about home cooking and how new spaces can have a huge impact on your health.

I want to leave you with Mum’s homemade toasted muesli recipe. This bowl of wellness has some serious crunch. Enjoy for breakfast or a snack!

1 & 3/4 cup organic rolled oats

1/2 cup flaked almonds

3/4 cup whole natural almonds

1 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup shredded coconut

2 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

100 ml coconut oil

100 ml raw honey

1. Preheat oven (180 degrees celsius fan forced and 200 degrees celsius conventional).

2. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl until combined.

3. Add the oil and honey and rub through the mixture with clean fingers.

4. Line deep tray with baking paper.

5. Spread the mix out in one layer and bake for about 20 minutes.

6. Shake tray and turn after 10 minutes for even toasting.

7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on tray. Stir to prevent clumps.

8. Store in an air tight container in the pantry for up to 4 weeks (it won’t last this long – too yummy!)

I serve it with warm stewed pears, natural biodynamic yoghurt and fresh blueberries.

Tip: IT WILL BURN! Believe me, one of our batches did. I mean, I am partial to a bit of burnt toast, but this was carcinogenic! A big no no – keep an eye on your muesli people!

This muesli is adapted from Karen Martini’s ‘Toasted Muesli’ recipe published on http://www.goodfood.com.au

blog numero uno

When I was a teenager I had terrible anxiety.

I was queen bee of paranoia and if someone had ‘something’… Be it a cold, a sore leg, a heart attack or pregnancy, in my head I was sure to have it too.

I once heard that someone at school had gone home complaining of pain on the left side of her stomach. She was later rushed to hospital with a burst appendix.

I didn’t sleep a wink that night.

The left side of my stomach was throbbing and my anxious mind was already packing it’s bag for the hospital.

I got up the next morning feeling perfectly fine.

My paranoia of illness lead me to become obsessed with preventative measures. I became a vegetarian, guzzled two liters of water a day and held my breath when walking past smokers.

If I heard someone say eating pumpkin cuts risk of cancer – Cinderella would not of gone to the ball. Her poor carriage would be my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

As I got older I’ve managed to tweak this compulsive, if not neurotic behaviour and change my attitude towards health for the better.

I got help to manage my anxiety and really developed a thirst for health and a love of life.

I believe that living healthy is a lifestyle not a chore, and now my choices are based on passion, not fear.

And then came my love affair with food.

This relationship started off rocky – as a kid I was so fussy I would worry my mum sick. Like many, I would turn my nose up at food without even trying it. “But I don’t like it” was the most commonly spoken words at my dinner table.

Mum hates to admit it, but she would serve me chocolate Pop Tarts in the morning just so I’d go to school with breakfast in my tummy.

Oh, how I’ve changed.

Now I pore over cookbooks, my idea of shopping is at the grocery store and I’m constantly counting the hours to mealtime.

The power of food never fails to amaze me and I couldn’t believe more in the philosophy of eating yourself healthy. I must admit, I’m an amateur to the sport of clean, real, healthy eating. But I love the fact that it’s never too late to reverse the effects of being a junk food addict and a couch potato (believe me, I was both).

Another thing I’m really into is writing.

I’ve recently graduated from a journalism degree and entered the magazine world. I figure there’s no better time than now to turn a million ideas in my head into published words on a screen.

So basically my two loves – writing and health – hooked up, got married and gave birth to a beautiful thing called this blog.

I’m hoping this blog keeps me accountable and who knows maybe entice someone else to take the health plunge.

One thing I do know… it’s so worth it! Join me for the ride.