February 19, 2011 § 12 Comments
This morning I slothed out of bed at 6am, ready to make good on my promise of running before work as the sun rose. Once the initial indignation of waking at 6 on a Saturday in the dark subsided, I set out to enjoy a nice 4o minute jog amongst all the other (smug) perky fitness enthusiasts.
I love early mornings, but lately I’ve been sticking to 7am quite happily and losing an hour seemed like a rude insult. I’m aiming for 5am next week, so i’ll have a solid 2 hours of tea-sipping before I have to even think about leaving the house. Worth it? Yes.
Anyway, when I was out jogging a group of older runners came up alongside me and we started chatting. Turns out, they had already done 20kms and were training for an ultra marathon! Respect grand-daddies, respect.
Love the people you meet by chance who inadvertently inspire you.
Now, more about health, less about my pre-breakfasting habits!
As you know I went to see David Wolfe on Thursday night here in Sydney. As I entered the event, I was immediately struck by his charisma and warmth, roaming around chatting animatedly to the attendees. He visibly glows with health and vitality – and that mop! I had ringlet envy.
Nicknamed David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe
I’ll share with you some of the main points I scrawled down in a frenzy of enlightenment:
- “Being healthy has nothing to do with suffering” – I wish more people knew this!!
- We should all live by the concept of ‘adding on’ and upgrading our diets, rather than cutting things out in some puritanical, rigid way. This allows you to access the ‘psychology of success’ which rewards your efforts, & focuses on adding as opposed to subtracting.
- “Success is a refined study of the obvious” – How often do we know WHAT to do, but cannot effectively implement it?
- Do what you will do rather than what you know you’ll never do – do not set yourself up to fail by creating unrealistic goals/rules.
- Wearing shoes = oppression! Hahah I love this.
- Alkalinity/alkaline diet basically grants you a more negative charge (like the earth). The atmosphere is positive and all the vital elements we need will flow more freely into our bodies if we are like magnets attracting the positive charge. Fill yourself up with substances of the earth (pigments/antioxidants/noble substances) and facilitate this transfer!
- “Get in the way of all good things” – place yourself in the path of opportunity & success!
- There is too much food fanaticism – drop the judgement. Judgement and denial create riffs & tears in the fabric of reality and deliver us back to the very thing we originally judged and denied.
- Nutrients inspire noble thoughts.
- I liked the way David said “My message is the way I live & not more than that” (explaining why he doesn’t engage in things like animal rights activism etc).
Super food goodness:
- David places a strong emphasis on consuming foods with a dense nutritional profile that deliver potent antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other amazing constituents. He believes we are noble creatures and therefore should eat superlative foods.
Punchy crunchy pomegranate
- Betaine (found in beets) is incredibly powerful for detoxifying as it acts as a methyl-donor and can subsequently convert homocysteine to methionine (high levels of homocysteine in the blood has been implicated in increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease & stroke). Ca-ca-ca-crazzzzy!
- Purple corn has a pigment that acts as an antidepressant & potent antioxidant.
- Reishi mushroom is a phenomenal immune enhancer and restores balance to the body.
- Stinging nettle is great for improving bone density & has antihistamine & anti-inflammatory actions.
- Button mushrooms help lower ‘bad estrogen’.
- Olive oil – top 5 foods for longevity, as well as:
- And of course, Cacao! (According to 109-year old raw-foodist Bernando LaPallo)
- Foods look like their nutritional function ie. An avocado is a uterus!
- Asparagus root has shown amazing anti-cancer potential (credited to the immune boosting polysaccharides).
- A constituent of Astragalus (Chinese herb for immunity) called TA65, has shown remarkable promise for helping to reverse telomere shortening (it is theorised that the cleaving of base pairs from telomeres in our DNA results in ageing & death). INCREDIBLE RIGHT?!
- Purslane may have similar properties that are being investigated.
- Cacao is fantastic for asthma!
Raw chocolate treats
- We have our very own superfood here in Australia – the Kakadu Plum! Thought to be the richest food source of vitamin C!
- Cat’s Claw & Pau D’arco kill Candida.
- Sea plasma is thought to reverse genetic defects.
That’s my slap-dash recount of some interesting key points. Now go forth and research my pretties!
February 18, 2011 § 9 Comments
It’s one of those times when i’ve suddenly been prompted to consolidate a lot of information that’s been sitting idle, waiting to be put to decent use.
Digesting a surplus of information over some homemade herbal sage tea
Take for example, news #1.
I am breaking up with the pill. (Helllllo 2011 resolution ass-kicking).
About time you say? Hear hear. Returning to college has thrown me back amongst my favourite wizarding folk, and out of the realm of muggles. (Muggles who prescribe you a contraceptive pill at 16 for cramps, without mention of the countless implications for your long-term health).
It may be tough. I may become a big, bloaty, hormone-fuelled demon. But my god will it be worth it. (I wrote an article a while back about the birth control pill here).
News #2 is that I saw an amazing, inspiring, exceedingly wise new naturopath today who is helping me with a few health-related hurdles and of course, supporting me with some Chaste Berry for the impending hormone apocalypse.
Turns out i’m eating way too much fat (i.e all those coco loco antics have to go…I WEEP!) and this is causing imbalances & excessive heat in my system. Even if it is ‘good fat’, apparently I am OD-ing. Wvvvhhooppps. Desserts occasionally replace dinner, what of it?! 🙂
I’ll elaborate further in another post because he shared some amazing insights that I think would interest many of you, but for now it’s on to news #3.
We have officially entered the realm of sorcery at college! Herbalism, homeopathy, counselling. Love getting to the good stuff.
I’ve been picking sage from my garden and steeping it in hot water to make a delicious and nourishing tea, since i’ve been feeling a little congest-o-rama with a head cold (read more about the benefits of sage here). Aloe vera is also beautiful for dabbing on sores/blemishes/burns and can be blended into smoothies, or shot like the hard stuff to help heal and soothe the digestive tract. Perhaps my stubby yellow thumbs will one day turn green?!
Shiny, gooey aloe
News number #4 is that I went to see David Wolfe speak last night. I want to do a full recap of that too, however for now i’ll say it was very informative and he has a great energy that is totally infectious. He just makes you want to kick off your shoes (synonymous with all that is eeeeeevil about Western Society these days, so we were told!) and stroll around like an unapologetic hippie, nibbling on natures super foods and growing a mop of unruly hair.
A delicious salad made from Kale, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, grape tomatoes, sprouts, tempeh and tahini & lemon juice.
I felt like I’ve only skimmed the surface of all the recent happenings, but i’m feeling redonkulously lazy and under the weather so I’m going to call it a night.
Peace and love and spew-nity to all!
Please regale me with any comforting/less-comforting stories of exorcising the pill demon! Would be much appreciated 🙂
December 22, 2010 § 11 Comments
Ever since I was a wee lass, I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with lemon.
Lemon squeezed on toast, lemon on steak (ick), lemon used in all manner of potentially wrong and mind-boggling combinations.
Lucky for me, this bizarre fetish turned out to be exceptionally healthy.
Lemons have been revered throughout history for their medicinal and therapeutic value; the Romans considered them a weapon against all types of poisoning and Ayurvedic medicine uses them for…well…pretty much everything.
On and off throughout the last couple of years, and now religiously of a morning, I wake up and skull a mega glass of water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in. If it’s organic, I just throw the whole hunk in there at the end for easier refills!
Let me spin the lemon sales-pitch:
- Despite being acidic in taste, lemon juice is highly alkalizing. (An alkaline internal environment is less-hospitable to disease and chronic illness).
- Lemon helps to detoxify, heal and restore the liver, and is currently being trialled as a remedy for hepatitis, liver cancer and AIDS!
- When consumed in warm water on an empty stomach, it can help relieve constipation.
- Consuming lemon in water before meals also helps to stimulate digestion. (Just remember not to drink too much too close to meal times – copious amounts of liquid can dilute stomach secretions).
- It is a potent anti-bacterial – proven effective against a range of infectious pathogens such as malaria, cholera, diphtheria and typhoid which are destroyed in lemon-juice
- As you all know, it is high in vitamin C – a necessary vitamin & anti-oxidant that supports immune function, lessens oxidative stress, synthesizes collagen (goodbye premature wrinkles!), acts an an anti-histamine and is currently being investigated in megadoses for the treatment of cancer.
- Helpful in treating acute and chronic conditions of the mouth and gums.
- The vitamin C content also helps in calcium metabolism.
- Beautifying properties – I rub lemon on my skin if i’m having a breakout and leave it to dry. It works quite well to reduce acne scarring and dry out flare-ups.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of sauntering downstairs to the little garden out the back of my mum’s apartment, and plucking a fresh ripe lemon straight from the tree. I threw half in the blender, pith and all, with some fresh mint that I also snagged, water and ice and a small dollop of honey.
I did remember to thank the tree afterwards though, and give it a soothing pat. Why? I was watching this crazy show called Weird or what? with William Shatner (best. host. ever. So much suspense between sentences!) and it looked at these amazing experiments conducted on plants. A plant was hooked up to a lie detector (that basically measures changes in physiological reactions) while a man cut off a stem. Incredibly, the lie detector registered a huge spike before the guy made the cut – as he was approaching with scissors. They did other experiments too, and the consensus was that plants may have some kind of consciousness and ability to feel. I’ve long been a believer in this theory, and my mum, avid gardener, subscribes wholeheartedly to the notion that touching and caressing plants will help them grow.
The question is, if plants have feelings…..WHAT THE HELL WILL I EAT NOW?
Thoughts on lemons/plants with ESP?
December 20, 2010 § 4 Comments
Welcome to Christmas week. Who’s excited!? Just today i’ve been scheming up sneakily healthy and supremely tasty Christmas day recipes to catch people unawares.
‘Mmmmmm Katey, this is SO GOOD, what is it?!’
‘THAT is a RAW VEGAN dessert made with no sugar, gluten or dairy, with added Spirulina.’
‘Oh, y’know, just a type of ALGAE with amazing and abundant super food health properties.’
Congratulate yourself for popping your friend/parental/distant, senile relative’s super-charged sea vegetable cherry.
In other news, I am continually ravenous.
Not because I no longer have enough money to feed myself after the photography splurge (although that will probably become an issue once I return to Sydney to fend for myself).
Not because my metabolism has suddenly gone into overdrive (although that could be handy on Christmas day. Increased speed + efficiency of digestion = more scope for x-mas feasting).
Namely, because I am spending far too long doing this.
They say you should guzzle a smoothie within the first few minutes to reap the benefits of the freshly pulverized ingredients before they oxidize. My smoothies hang around so long, i’m certain I end up spooning nutritionally empty mush into my mouth, 20 minutes later. All my meals have had to be adjusted to compensate for this self-imposed time difference. Katey plates up 30 minutes before the family in order to do her kooky photography thang.
This breakfast smoothie was merely to tide me over while I took photos of the mung bean sprouts I’ve grown over the last few days (see below) but I ended up subjecting it to it’s own shoot, and slurping it whilst perusing iPhoto, and surfing the net. Mindful eating – I think not.
It was seriously yummy though:
2 small frozen bananas
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
massif handful of baby spinach
2 heaped tsp Spirulina
hazelnut & rice milk
Blend blend blend for a smooth, creamy and dreamy breakfast delight.
I also promised SPROUTS. And sprouts ye shalt receive!
As you know, I’m a complete chicken when it comes to preparing things that have more than a few, easily comprehensible steps. Things i’ve never attempted before, and the cultivation of ‘living’ foods (such as sprouts and Kefir) also fall under the umbrella of daunting kitchen processes that I put off for a rainy day.
In the spirit of the challenge (and because my mum has superior resources such as pretty mason jars and cheesecloth) I decided to sprout me some mung beans that I picked up at the farmers market.
Like most things, it wasn’t nearly as hard or labour intensive as I imagined. I followed my gut (always a dependable option) and found myself with gorgeous living sprouts two days later!
Get your hands on some organic dried mung beans (would work with other beans/legumes too I assume).
Measure out half a cup of the beans and rinse thoroughly, picking out any stones or debris.
Pour into a glass jar, and cover with a decent amount of water. No measurements here, just remember the beans will expand to about double their original size.
Let soak overnight (8-12 hours).
In the morning, strain and rinse beans and place back in jar, laying it on it’s side and covering the opening loosely with some cloth or paper towel.
Rinse your little babies every 8 hours or so, and watch them start to shoot! (N.B They are not sitting in water anymore, just moistened from the rinsing).
After 2 days, this is what I awoke to.
I plan to throw them on salads, try out some new raw recipes, and enjoy eating food that is literally still living and growing.
I’ll pop them in the fridge soon to stop them sprouting, and apparently they can keep for a week or two.
What have you made in the kitchen lately that has challenged you?
Catch you soon! xx
October 15, 2010 § 8 Comments
Salut, Ola & Good Day to you all!
I have been a reclusive bloggie hermit crab this past week, due to unforseen technical er…difficulties.
I did the unspeakable last weekend in my haze of homeward-bound misery, and LEFT MY MOBILE IN A DIFFERENT STATE. Am I, or am I not part of gen Y? Apparently not. My youthful, tech-dependent cohorts would never abandon their most vital iOrgan without some serious health repercussions. I myself lapsed into a kind of foggy coma whereby my colourful world of facebook, twitter & instantaneous email became a dark a scary place.
Hook it to my veins!!!
Is this an inappropriate image on my wholesome healthy living blog? Welcome to the real world.
Luckily, I was reunited with my precious tumour-promotin’ mobile baby a couple of days ago, so all was (temporarily) well in the world!
The day I picked it up however, was also the day that our internet contract ran out. Simultaneous technology fail.
I knew our contract was waning (we were ‘babysitting’ someone else’s net until it lapsed) however I ignored the problem, hoping that someway, somehow, the glorious interweb would continue to greet me each morning without any financial/contractual input. I obviously had elevated expectations for our USB internet stick.
This is also why I am supplying you with hand-made (with love, mind) images. Unable to upload drool-worthy photos of food! What a travesty. I have thus unleashed the majesty of paint to communicate my most recent adventures.
I’ve been concocting some DELICIOUS smoothie creations this past week.
*witch-like cackle* This is me, stirring my big, freaky, vegan cauldron.
What did the smoothie look like you ask?
Well! Let me provide you with a highly accurate representation.
I even went all macro on yo’ ass, as per usual.
If you couldn’t tell, it’s an Avocado, Banana & Almond Butter flurry. It is my latest obsession.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup rice milk
- 1 tbspn of flaxseed oil (optional)
- 3/4 tspn raw honey for extra sweetness (optional)
Holy bonanza, this smoothie trumps all other foodstuffs, period. If you’re unsure about the avocado…don’t be. It MAKES the recipe.
I’ve also eaten many a
since my return. Glorious.
Well, the title promised wisdom as to hidden toxic factors that may be lurking in their evil, harmful way behind the most innocent of facades. (Now if that isn’t a sensationalist scare-tactic, I don’t know what is!).
It is true however that we do live in a highly toxic environment, and there are undesirable substances present in the most mundane of household & personal items. This does not mean we must strive to eliminate ALL negative external influence; however being aware of their presence and measures to reduce their impact, certainly comes in handy.
Did you know for instance that Amalgym fillings, ie. those gnarly silvery/black deposits your dentist may have bestowed upon you, actually contain mercury? There have been concerns as to the safety of this cavity-filling-brew for a long time, however I was horrified to learn that I actually have one just chilling in one of my molars, KILLING ME SLOWLY. (Sorry, I let my inner hysteria loose again). Mine was put there by a shady, school-based dental scheme; a pox on them.
(disclaimer: not my gaping mouth)
It has been shown that the mercury can leach from the fillings and do all kinds of good things inside your body. I’m not saying that you should share my hysterical mania, but perhaps think of having yours removed & replaced with porcelain, a much safer (and more aesthetically pleasing) alternative.
Incorporating superfoods such as Spirulina & Chlorella, as well as such humble ingredients as garlic, onion and seaweeds (in particular Bladderwack) can actively detoxify your body of these aforementioned nasties – how amazing is that?!
In fact, increasing the amount of antioxidants in your diet goes a long way towards preventing free-radical damage from a host of uncontrollable factors; you may choose not to believe me, but I have noticed since improving my diet and inhaling about 50 superfoods a day, I rarely get sunburnt anymore. In fact, I consider it much more effective (and delicious!) to EAT my sunscreen. (Not that i’m condoning lying in the sun and slowly making a handbag of yourself – employ some sense, please!).
- Check out this article on foods that help protect your skin.
- This is also a really excellent one by Meghann Telpner.
Other contact I am trying to minimise is with chemicals found in shampoos, conditioners, face creams, deodorants…all of the above. You’d be surprised at what you can unearth when you research those funky-sounding ingredients on the label.
You may have seen incomprehensible names such as Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate thrown around, and various parabens; both of which consistently find their way into most ‘mainstream’ beauty products. I was even horrified (albeit not surprised) that one of my flatmates’ all natural coconut oil shower scrub contained SLS amongst other lengthy, fear-inducing ingredients, with perhaps 5% of the total derived from actual coconut oil. Highly deceptive marketing makes it hard to decipher what is safe to put on your body – after all, our skin is our largest organ, and extremely permeable.
So why should we be concerned about chemicals in our personal/beauty products?
As I mentioned, nearly everything that we put onto our skin can be absorbed – thus, most chemicals will absorbed too. Anything that isn’t a natural, recognisable substance is extremely hard for our system to break-down, and can interfere with other functions.
SLS is an irritant, with many people fiercely allergic to it. Not only that, but once it enters the bloodstream, it is directed to the liver where it becomes a challenge to process and break-down. In some cases, this can lead to liver toxicity.
Parabens are added to products to perform antimicrobial functions & keep them fresh, however their safety is an ongoing area of concern and is worrying filed under the list of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ substances – ie. parabens have been demonstrated to be present in a large number of cancer patients , however the defense is that presence does not prove causality. I’d rather err on the side of caution, wouldn’t you? They can also have estrogenic effects that mimic the body’s natural hormones, and subsequently lead to imbalance. No thanks, para-lames.
How do you replace these seemingly necessary items, all of which, infuriatingly contain unwanted chemicals?
I look to fluoride-free toothpastes from the health-food-store, aluminium-free deodorants (Miessence works well), natural (not fake-natural) shampoos & conditioners (read read read those labels!) and beautiful organic skin care.
A company I am suuuuper impressed with (who is obviously not in any way affiliated with this site) is Hemp Hemp Hooray!, an Australian-based brand who make delicious skin-care products that I have found great on my combination, never-happy, totally high-maintenance skin.
The ingredient list is so amazingly fabulous – I recognise ALL the constituents & it’s recommended you keep it in the fridge to prevent spoilage (y’know, like a safe, natural product would be prone to doing). It’s the only cream cleanser i’ve ever used that doesn’t clog my pores & the moisturiser is so lovely & nourishing. I really can’t get enough!
Well my friends, I really have to wrap up this post because it’s starting to animate a la Frankenstein’s monster and come alive, ALIIIIVE!
Have a great weekend! I’ll be intermittently trying to mooch off other people’s net until I can find it within myself to pay for my own 🙂
October 2, 2010 § 6 Comments
I am speaking to you from a land far far away; Where left is right and East is West and the whole world has gone tospy turvy. I am referring, of course, to Western Australia – where the sun sets over the sea. I am obviously enamoured.
No photos of my surroundings as yet, however I would like to share the rawsome mousse-like creation that I magicked into being just the other day.
It has officially usurped spirulina sludge-shakes as my breakfast of choice, and includes all necessary food groups; Protein, Healthy Fats, Carbs, and Banana.
Borne of desperation and a severe lack of ingredients, I stumbled across a combination that is startlingly reminiscent of the childhood favourite, yo-go. Remember that awful, yet criminally addictive mousse-like substance that masqueraded as ‘yogurt’ but was clearly whipped sugar/flavour/air?
This is the answer to all your lingering yo-go fantasies!
In the vein of Chocomole and Banana Soft Serve, Choc-Chia Yo-Go utilises that number 1 mystery ingredient, Avocado. Throw in a frozen banana, soaked chia seeds and some carob and you’re on your way to whippy trippy bliss.
1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 frozen banana
1-2 tbsp chia seeds, soaked*
2 tsp carob powder
1 tsp raw honey (to make truly vegan, can sub agave etc)
may need extra 1-2 tbsp water to blend
Toss everything in a decent blender & whip yourself happy.
* To soak chia, I add about 3 times the amount of water as seeds & let sit for around 10 mins, stirring occasionally. You will know if they need more liquid.
This morning pre-departure, I had a moment of heart-stopping agony when I realised I was SANS BANANA. No phallic yellow friend was to be had. Instead, I used frozen wild blueberries & added a little extra honey for sweetness. Result: AMAZING.
Serve with shredded coconut, chopped banana, granola, a drizzle of honey, cinnamon – choose your own adventure!
Anyhoo, hope you’re all enjoying a delicious Friday. I am so utterly knackered that I may just have to curl up & nap, basking in the presence of the eternally lovely Bonne Ma and her amazing new HQ.
September 6, 2010 § 5 Comments
I am having a synapse seizure.
Let me explain…
Have you ever felt like there is so much information swelling, pooling in the inflated little knobs of your axon terminals that no nerve impulse can push it’s way through to the command centre? No? Not so much? Perhaps i’m a unique case.
(Can you tell i’ve been studying the brain?!)
Point is, I am so overwhelmed with epiphany-inducing health-related inspiration that today, I have no idea what to post about! There is simply too much to be contained within the claustrophobic confines of this here blog-hut. Much of said wisdom is stemming from this book I got last weekend. It is too amazing for words.
Well, almost too amazing for words, as I may just write some about it now.
I have barely scraped the surface of it’s epic insight, however this book is more than just a bland nutritional guide consisting of facts about vitamins and minerals. It is a consummate bible of holistic health, with a decidedly eastern philosophical underpinning which I think is just grand. More and more I’m appreciating the incredible, intuitive, beautifully balanced ways of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It reminds me of how my mid-80s-and-still-vibrant Nan conducts her own life – calm, measured, eating simple whole foods; not over or under eating; listening to her body; loving and respecting it; exercising for fitness and relaxation. And perhaps most importantly, practicing moderation in everything she does. No extremes, no crash-dieting, no denial of a naughty food if that’s what will bring her happiness and pleasure…It’s a hugely fulfilling way to live.
In honour of my new, life-changing book acquisition, and also all things moderate and equilibrious, I’ve been brewing up lots of alkalising sea-vegetables in huge delicious salad batches, and chowing down with chop-sticks.
Oh sweet kelp, you complete me.
Is this excessive?
finely shredded cabbage, spinach & kale
thinly sliced capsicum of any variety
thinly sliced mushrooms
soaked wakame and arame seaweed, sliced (keep in mind these expand A LOT once in water)
sesame seeds for garnish
2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2-1 tsp tamari
1/2-1 tsp honey
about 5 drops sesame oil
about 1/4 clove garlic, finely chopped
equal parts fresh, finely chopped ginger
fresh chilli – optional
(NOTE: I also made another dressing with rice wine vinegar, sweet soy mirin, tamari, sesame oil, ginger & garlic but I wanted to cut down on the sugar content from the RWV and mirin, so the above non-traditional dressing was born. ALSO NOTE: You know how bad I am with measuring, so please take this as a rough guide – I always taste test and add/subtract as I go. Pssst this is me taking no responsibility for unworkable recipes!)
Mix everything, and whip out your eating sticks!
I wore my seaweed scarf to honour the event.
Let me reinforce the miracle of sea veggies:
- contain 10-20 times the minerals of land plants, and a host of other minerals necessary for metabolism.
- certain seaweeds can remove radioactive and toxic metal wastes from the body.
- useful in weight-loss programs and for lowering cholesterol and fat in the blood.
- contain soothing gel-like substances which are fantastic for healing the digestive tract.
- minerals and nutrients from seaweeds are highly assimilable in the body.
- arame & wakame, used in the above recipe, contain more than ten times the calcium of milk.
- wakame contains four times the iron of beef.
- excellent source of amino acids & iodine (supports thyroid function).
- have cooling properties in the body and are believed to be able to soften hardened areas or masses in the body.
So get down to the beach and gnaw on some kelp people! You might see me, intertwined with a big slippery mass of sea grass while you’re there 🙂