greensmoothiechallenge.com

I have always loved juices, and regularly drink a beetroot, carrot, celery and ginger mix. But as I live in an apartment with a very small kitchen I just don’t have the space for a juicer a) on my bench or b) in my cupboards! But a few months ago, I heard about green smoothies. Green smoothies? I thought smoothies were those yummy blueberry and strawberry ‘treats’ you have with your grandma? They sometimes even put ice-cream in them, how could they be healthy? But, I had a lot to learn….smoothies, when made right can be very healthy indeed. I heard about the “green smoothie challenge” and typed it into google. It’s a two week challenge, where you incorporate green veggies into your blender and drink. Apparently, when juicing you loose a lot of the good nutrients so smoothies include all these valuable nutrients into your diet. I did the challenge, and there were a few I did not like, there were some that grew on me, and some which I loved. And after a few days, I did notice having a green tinge to my poo(!) and noticed my digestion improving rapidly. The particles of a smoothie made like this are so easy for your body to break down. So, now I just try to have a green smoothie 3 or 4 days a week, and in it I put; frozen blue berries, half a banana, two handfuls of fresh spinach, one handful of rocket, a handful of fresh parsley cut straight from my pot on the balcony, about a cup of purified water and two teaspoons of ‘vital greens’ powder. And best of all it’s alkalising. (More on this in another post).  Now…it’s not for everyone…a friend was over the other day and turned their nose up at even the thought. “Try it” I said “it’s actually really nice”. So they did, and made the vomit face! Ok, I get it but you have to remember this is a healthy smoothie, and seriously the more you have the more you will come to love them and expect the new flavours. Occasionally I add the bioceuticals protein powder, but that’s generally if I am using the smoothie as meal replacement or if I am having one after a big workout and I want a bit more protein. Sometimes I’ll add a bit of fresh lemon, the rocket gives a nice bitter/ sweet bite to it and really all in all very delicious – and so nutritious! So why not give it a go today? In fact I think I’ll go and make one right now! You can visit the site yourself here: greensmoothiechallenge.com

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What’s your chakra?

I am sure many of your have heard about Chakra’s but perhaps you don’t understand what they mean for you? With more news of a family members ill health, I decided to learn to understand these better and how they affect my life. There are 7 main (primary) chakras in our lives- which all influence our health greatly. The premise is that the health concerns related to them are caused by an imbalance in the chakra itself, at an emotional and spiritual level. This then manifests into a physical ailment.
The belief is that illness, is for us and those around us, is an opportunity to learn a higher lesson. And deciding if you want to learn from that lesson is part of the battle!
Your whole body can be affected depending on the emotions and concerns that you carry around with you. Childhood, work, life and other stresses or issues that you may not consciously be aware of could be the cause of your illness now.
Please don’t jump down my throat, as I don’t think that every single thing that goes wrong with you physically is a chakra issue because we are human beings that are affected by nature and accidents happen.
However, we all have intuition and we all are often provided with ‘hints’ about what you should be doing and how you should be living but we often ignore the words. “I know I need to lose some weight, I know I need to drink less” are all too often spoken phrases…but this post is a good chance to ask yourself…do you know what you need to change but continually postpone taking action? If so, why is that? Chakra work is not easy…so don’t for one minute think we can all just have some deep ‘me’ time and all our problems will be sorted. But as humans, and as Australians, we have the tendency to ‘sweep things under the carpet’ and according to Chakra philosophies, those emotions are transferred at a cellular level in our bodies. Often, it’s only where there is a bulge in the carpet do we notice/ take action. And even then we sometimes need to be reminded of the lesson! I’m really fascinated by this topic and so ’ll be writing more about this but I’d love to know what you think, or if you have had any chakra experiences which have changed you?


Women and happiness.

I have recently come across a few articles that inform me of the fact that women’s happiness levels are declining. Given the fact that we can now vote, work, speak our minds and even become prime-minister we are led to believe that women have all we’ve ever wanted. However, according to certain surveys this doesn’t appear to be the case. Marcus Buckingham has written about this in his bestselling book ‘Find Your Strongest Life’ and has said that results show that over the last 40 years or so, “life is not trending toward more fulfillment for women; life is…becoming more draining instead”. Buckingham has even quoted Thomas Jefferson in saying that  “though women now have the liberty to choose whichever life they’d like, many are struggling in their pursuit of a happy life.”
As I look amongst my friends, most do seem pretty happy. But most of us are also at that wonderful stage of being DINKS (double income no kids). I am sure once children come into the picture life balance will get a whole lot harder. Being very interested in the topic and from my own observations my personal belief is that women can’t have it all….right now. You can have the perfect job, family, clean house, fit body, social life, relationship, as well as some ‘me time’, BUT just not all at the same time. And I think anyone who tries to tell me otherwise is deluding themselves! Unless of course you have the most perfect partner who is at home to share the load. You often will hear women say “I just can’t do it all” and in many ways we need to accept that something has to give. A while ago, Germain Greer made a comment that said that nothing has changed with feminism, other than the fact that “women are now doing all the work”. And I think in many instances this is true. Most of us can’t afford a nanny, a cleaner, a cook, a gardener and what I feel has happened is women are now working alongside men but yet they also have another full time job when they get home – one that is not paid but that is equally if not more demanding (and some would argue even more important). When I was a child and was asked what my parents did for a living I used to say ‘my mum doesn’t work”. Ouch! With 4 kids, a dog, a large house to run and an energetic busy husband her job was busier than many! And it’s only now do I realise how much of an insult this must have been for her. “A woman’s work is never done” is a famous statement for a reason.  No wonder why women’s happiness is suffering. So what do you think? Are we happier now? Is is harder? We have so many pro’s of being empowered in both the work place and home, but with it does it get harder to be truly happy?


Muesli for dinner?

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. Sometimes before I go to bed I get excited about waking up because I love my breakfasts. I know – that sounds mad. But for me, every mouthful serves a purpose of including just what my body needs to nourish me for a big day ahead. It’s normally gluten free muesli, chopped almonds, stewed pear /rhubarb or fresh mango or paw paw, sheeps yoghurt with a sprinkle of coconut, chia seeds and LSA. The mix is so delicious to me that I get annoyed when I go out for breakfast and I am horribly let down.
However, sometimes there are exceptions to my muesli ritual. A few months ago we had a friends wedding in the country and were staying at a local B&B. It was a bit of a late night, and as I woke, the smell of a traditional old fashioned breakfast rose up the stairs. And all of a sudden I needed what ever that smell was. For me, this is very unusual. I can’t normally face eggs in the morning. (And I love my muesli combination too much!) But, my body was craving it, the smell was sublime and and so I decided to listen! So I ordered it. Local free-range eggs, with really yellow yokes. With mushrooms and spinach on thick sourdough toast. Yum. It hit the spot and I felt great.
But a few hours later, I felt something was amiss. I had drunk plenty of water. I had my regular lemon in hot water when I first got up. I even had a cup of green tea as I read the paper but I just didn’t feel quite ‘right’. Then it hit me, ‘A ha’ I realised that I needed my muesli fix. My days just aren’t right without it. So when we got home that evening, I poured myself a bowl of muesli and ate it for dinner. Every crunchy munchy nutritious mouthful was delicious. I ate it and I instantly felt like I was back to being me!
Sometimes if I am out for a work function, I get home late and having not eaten, know that I need to eat something before I go to bed. But it’s not ideal to go to bed on a full stomach of ‘proper’ dinner, so again, I pour a little bowl of muesli. And it hits the spot every time. Do you have any meal time rituals? Are you a cereal or cooked breakfast person? Or do not eat breakfast at all?


These are a few of my favourite things…White linen.

Don’t you just love fresh white sheets? Seriously, is there anything better than hopping into bed, all nice and fresh after a shower and a day full of exercise and good food – and diving into that gorgeous crisp but smooth feeling of freshly laundered 400 thread count Egyptian white sheets?
I don’t think so, and I often muse about this on my twitter account and many seem to agree! White is timeless, crisp, universal and calming. I’m sure there are also other spiritual elements of white that I am yet to learn.
I normally wash our sheets once a week on Sundays as I seem to have more time then to hang them out in the sun and pull them in when required. Because of this, it makes going to bed on Sunday night pure joy rather than a disappointment after the lovely weekend we’ve just had.
Country Road do a great job of making the whole ‘white sheet theme’ work, but in my experience their quality is not as good as Sheridan and the White Linen company or Moss River.
For me, clean white sheets provide positive and calming energy to make for beautiful sleep – and as sleep is so important to our bodies ability to repair and heal, why would you not want to make sure you can do everything you can to help enhance the sleep experience?
Hope you all sleep well tonight, I know I will!


Gluten free, dairy free Orange and Almond Cake

Since cutting out dairy and gluten (most of the time) from my diet, occasionally I have found it a bit disappointing that I don’t get to enjoy some of the many yummy cakes/ sweet things on offer. Sometimes it’s not so much the food itself but the ritual of a ‘cup of tea and cake’ shared with friends that means so much. So I was thrilled to come across a cookbook full of organic recipes from the Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat.
One of them being the aforementioned cake. It seriously was one of the most delicious, moist, perfectly sweet but not too rich cake that I have ever tried. It made a huge amount so I ended up getting 2 cakes out of it, one for me and one for my mum so all in all it worked well. I ran out of a couple of the ingredients it called for and also prefer to use agave rather than honey (you need less for a similar result) so ended up varying it slightly and the result was splendid. Here’s the recipe I used if you want to try:

  • 5 free range home grown eggs
  • 175gms almond meal
  • 50gms gf flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 75mls agave
  • 1 tspn cinnamon
  • 2 oranges

Quarter whole oranges and boil for 1 hour. Drain and allow to cool. Chop off any nimbly bits. Blend the whole oranges in a food processor (I only have a blender so just did this in batches). In a separate bowl beat eggs, agave, cinnamon and stir in orange pulp. Add almond meal and flour, mixed with baking powder and mix all together (will be quite wet). Pour into lined and wide baking tray (or 2 cake tins) and bake at 160 degrees celsius for approx 20-30minutes (depending on your oven). Cool in tin before turning out onto cooling tray.
Serves about 10-20 pieces depending on the sizes you cut! I served with a dollop of Meredith Dairy sheeps yoghurt which was delicious with it’s tartness and the sweet of the cake. Will certainly be trying this one again soon!  (Could probably substitute oranges for lemons if prefer a lemon style cake).


No dairy.

 

Recently I have cut out dairy of my diet. And to tell you the truth – I feel fantastic!
Typically dairy is cow. But many people lump all milk and yoghurt products into the one category. My dad has said to me all my life that “cows milk is for baby cows” but I have never really taken that on board until recently. So, I am still having sheeps yoghurt, goats cheese and today I tried a beautiful sheeps brie that made me so excited to know that even in my present state I can still enjoy yummy cheeses!
So why did I do this? It started earlier in the year when I did a detox and I cut out coffee, dairy and alcohol for the month of February- and when the month was over I was craving coffee and I was craving my yoghurt on my muesli. But the funny thing was when I first had it again after the detox, it did not agree with me. I thought it was the coffee, so I skipped the coffee (and haven’t been back- more on that later). But then a few days later I was out and ordered a blueberry smoothie and it had me running for the toilet. I won’t bore you with the details but it just ‘went through me’. And so I thought…perhaps it is dairy that I am best without. I then switched my diet. I stayed off coffee, I replaced cows milk for rice milk on my muesli, jalna yoghurt with sheeps yoghurt, and my favourite blue castello cheese with goats cheese.
And the results were almost instantaneous!
My skin was suddenly completely blemish free, my bowel movements were more regular and frequent, my tummy was less bloated and I began again to feel more energised. In fact I have kept with it. But like I have mentioned earlier, sometimes you have to zig-zag. Life is too short not to sometimes enjoy our favourite things. And sometimes it is just not humanly possible to be a ‘perfect eater’. Given I am a foodie who loves cooking as well as new restaurant experiences and who has to be social for both professional and sanity reasons I don’t always eat perfectly! But, it’s what you do everyday that matters, not what you do sometimes! I have noticed now that when I do “zag” that my body has become even more intolerant of the dairy that I prefer to listen to my bodies ‘voice’ and avoid it as much as I can. The consequences aren’t worth it!
Do you have any food intolerance’s? Have you noticed a difference when you do or don’t eat dairy or other certain foods?