BANG! Back in the game.

May 4, 2011 § 16 Comments

Somebody pinch me, I feel like i’m in the midst of the most amazing dream! (sadly not involving a self-replenishing mini-bar full of coconuts).

I HAVE THE INTERNET BACK AT HQ! Sure, I’ve had my iPhone to receive emails and lurk on Facebook, but there really is nothing quite like stalking food blogs in giant high-defintion iMac glory. Two months without blogging capabilities has left me a broken, brittle husk of a girl with little direction or purpose in life… Meals just aren’t the same when they’re served hot; I prefer them luke-warm and mushy after 30 minutes of careful photography and garnish rearrangement!

But here I am, back for all your nutty naturopathic needs and non-educational entertainment!

Seeing as I didn’t expect to have internet again, ever, I don’t really have any relevant photos or meaningful topics to share with you this evening. To add to the wackniess, I just ate enough raw cacao to send the easter bunny into cardiac arrest. BZZZZZZZZ!

The gorgeous Paije from Veggie Monster tagged me about a century ago in a ‘7 random things’ quiz, so I thought that would be awesome fodder for my first foray back into blogsville.

1. 

Say ‘Beer Can’. Say it again.

Now you’re saying ‘Bacon’ like a Jamaican!

2. This week I rode my bike to college 2 out of 3 days. ‘Ride’ is loosely defined as being mounted on the bicycle in forward motion at least 50% of the time. I think I just scraped through!

I also embraced shabby chic by wearing my daggiest sports gear, and bringing down the collective style of my class by about 100 points. Function trumps form!

I was completely inspired by the crazy Amanda of Me Vs the Bulge, who is a DEMON and started riding her bike a few months ago to work. It’s greener, and gets me a good 1.5 hours of exercise each day that would normally have been spent crammed in next to snotty school kids and cologne-covered businessmen on the bus. My thighs were weeping tears of lactic-acid by the end of day two, and I need to stop veering out randomly into the path of oncoming traffic but with a bit more practice I may just have found my new 2-wheeled obsession!

3.  This week I tried mixing chopped young coconut flesh into my buckwheat porridge. It was a win!

If you’re wondering, buckwheat is probably my favourite gluten-free pseudo-grain at the moment. It’s exceptionally easy to cook (1:2 ratio grains to water), incredibly versatile, and has off-the-charts nutritional value!

4.  A few weeks ago, my buddy at college and I decided it would be a fun experiment to drink a garlic cocktail every evening for it’s antioxidant and anti-microbial activity. Here are the ingredients:

The result?

Liquid death.

The idea was if we drank a superfood elixer of the most potent kind each night, somehow we would become superhuman disease-fighting maniacs within a week and live forever. Worked in theory; in reality I destroyed about 70% of all my tastebuds and acquired a sexy garlic scent that didn’t win me many friends. Food experiments are fun!

5. It’s hard to return to fending for yourself after an indulgent trip home to see family. Someone tuck me in at night, stat!

6. In Perth, my new friend Sarah took us to the most amazing raw vegan cafe ever. Sydney, lift your game! I don’t think there are any dedicated raw restaurants here, whats up with that?

Dear lord, this smoothie was out of control. Banana, cacao, ESPRESSO, almond milk, maca…pure unadulterated chocolatey bliss.

I had the raw pizza with some kind of mind-blowing carrot and coconut salad that I could never hope to replicate.

There was also raw flatbread, salad and mango salsa action.

I definitely recommend The Raw Kitchen in Fremantle if you’re ever on the West-side.

7. I’m currently eating homemade sauerkraut in front of my computer at 11pm.

Don’t act surprised; at least i’m not sucking on a big clove of garlic 🙂

So so so excited to resume normal programming now we have the sweet interwebs back up and running. I’ll have a post for you tomorrow about how I’m going after almost 3 months off the Pill and also some other naturopathic goodness.

Until then, peace, love and pickled cabbage to you all! xx

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Happy International Women’s Day & raw banana pie recipe.

March 8, 2011 § 14 Comments

I’m generally a punctual, reliable and downright conscientious individual.

With recipes however, an evil dark side lurks. You may have observed that promised how-to’s tend to evaporate into oblivion and are never spoken of again.

It’s certainly a pet reci-peeve of mine, and thus I blog before you today with all good intentions of nipping this ghastly habit in the bud.

My peace offering:

Raw choco-banana pie!

I originally made this raw banana pie to share with my man on Schmalentine’s day, and a couple of you have since requested the recipe.

The bad news is, I decided to include a big hit of raw cacao in my newest batch to make it a rich, chocolatey affair. I’m sorry to do this to you; I understand that you may just be repulsed by such an idea…:)

Simple, pantry-friendly ingredients:

BASE:

  • 1/2 c raw almonds & pepitas, mixed together (can just use almonds if you prefer)
  • 1 T raw honey
  • pinch (~1/8th t) celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon.

FILLING:

  • 2 medium-sized frozen bananas
  • 1 T raw cacao
  • 1/2-1 t raw honey, to liking

Place the 1/2 cup of nuts into your food processor and pulverize for around one minute until relatively fine. Then add 1 tablespoon of raw honey, salt and cinnamon to mixture and process until combined. Spoon your base mixture into a small crock lined with baking paper (mine was about 20cm in length and 10cm in diameter) and press into sides to make the crust.

Then add frozen bananas (chopped into chunks) into your processing beast and whir until ice-cream-like. Add cacao, and honey if desired. Dollop into crust.

This would be extra saucy topped with fresh strawberries, but alas none were to be had.

I lined my crock with paper, but you could definitely forego it and just eat it as is with a spoon. In fact, please do that.

Freeze for around an hour, and you have yourself the makings of a good night 😉

*************************************************************************

You may or may not know that it’s also International Women’s Day today. In fact, it’s the 100th anniversary!

I am so incredibly thankful that I’ve grown up surrounded by strong, intelligent and inspiring women in a society in which gender discrimination is, for the most part, considered unacceptable. I have never been confronted with warped notions as to things I could or could not do as a female. I’ve been at liberty to express myself in whatever way I see fit, and enjoy the complete satisfaction of knowing my sex will never determine my destiny.

Historically women have not been so fortunate, and were forced to contend with damning scientific theories (ie. blood being diverted to the uterus for pregnancy thus lower brain capacity), marital domination, sexual atrocities (especially in times of war and unrest) and an array of painful and ridiculous fashion options (i’m thinking corsets, lead-based face powder and the modern stiletto!).

We live in fortunate times.

My mother is highly intelligent, vibrant and independent, raising the Bonne Santé gal solo – no mean feat.

Dad’s partner and my awesome step-mother, with a PhD in feminist theory, has informed my education more than any class or tut, expanding my vocabulary from the moment we met and supporting me through my awkward teenage years and beyond. Thanks to her, I am an unapologetic and empowered wo-man.

Needless to say, many amazing women exist in my life, and incidentally, the blog-world is FULL of them!

Which women have inspired you in your life? What do you like best about being a fierce and ferocious wo-man?!

 


One minute chocolate fix.

February 27, 2011 § 10 Comments

Morning bloginis!

Isn’t sunrise the most perfect, tranquil, refreshing time of day? Morning exercise always starts things off on the right foot (or left, on occasion).

Soak it up.

I’ve got to run and make myself semi-presentable for work, but I thought I’d leave you with a big hit of crack-cao for your early Sunday theobromine fix.

When you want chocolate, STAT!

1/3 c raw cacao

1/4 c raw honey

1 T coconut oil

Mix mix mix.

Add some orange zest, a touch of vanilla and almonds for a decidedly lindt-like experience.

My prescription: pour over pancakes, add to oats, freeze in a bar, spoon from the jar.

Happy Sunday!

 

Words from Wolfe.

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:
  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon
  • 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!

xxxx

 

 

Hunger pangs.

December 20, 2010 § 4 Comments

Hi loverrrs!

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.’

‘…What’s Spirulina?’

‘Oh, y’know, just a type of ALGAE with amazing and abundant super food health properties.’

*gulp*

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!

 

Steps:

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

Goals for muggles

December 3, 2010 § 9 Comments

Aloha!

To coin an appropriate American acronym, TGIF.

This Girl Is Fried.

To recap:

  • Monday I learned that shit-boring, piss-easy subjects do not always have shit-easy piss-boring exams. False advertising.
  • Tuesday I questioned my capacity for cramming. Is learning 5 body systems in one night considered responsible exam preparation?
  • Wednesday I unloaded all my anatomical knowledge, my mind a blank canvas for more intellectual abuse to come.
  • Thursday I cut crustless sandwiches into elaborate works of art for the kids I babysit. No squares & triangles here – they want the goddamn Archibald prize! Needless to say, I shed a tear when my intricate designs were promptly chewed, regurgitated and smeared in unimaginable places.
  • Today I took executive action and fashioned myself a new hairstyle. Kitchen scissors give the ultimate shag-effect. I was desperate.

In other news, I’ve been happier than ever with my new rawcentric diet, having more protein rich cooked meals like buckwheat and beans on the odd occasion I experience legume lust, but generally, most of what I want is FRESH, RAW and VIBRANT.

Exhibit a).

Was totally inspired by a recipe from The Kitchen Operas a few weeks back for spiralized zucchini pasta with a simple anti-pasto-esque dressing. I threw this together with some extra virgin olive oil, fresh cherry tomatoes, delicious herb-marinated organic olives and a kick of chilli. On the side I munched on a couple of awesome dehydrated flax crackers (can’t remember the brand) that gave the meal some more staying power. Supremely tasty and satisfying.

Also, remember this?

I made this ‘goals’ board quite a few weeks ago now after months and months of ‘should-ing’ and generally neglecting my grand plans for personal development.

Can I just say, these things are magical like Harry Potter. I feel like a muggle who just caught a glimpse of Hagrid’s flying motorcycle. It’s UNCANNY how many of my short-term goals have already come to fruition (in full or in part) and I think just having a tangible, visual reminder of what you are striving for helps it all come in to being in a seriously scary way. Good scary, like Scary Spice.

Anyhoo, I’d recommend you all take some time to write a few short, long, and wildest dream inclusive goals.

I feel like sitting down and conjuring up the maddest, most fanciful dreams I could think of really set something interesting in motion. I realised we are often self-limiting in what we believe we have the capacity to achieve, using phrases such as ‘I could never…’ or ‘That will be the day…’. Yes, that WILL be the day, because I’m confident that successful people simply visualise and aim for what others pass off as too hard, too intimidating, too far removed from the comforts of normalcy.

I would make a fearsome motivational speaker, albeit incoherent. (Did we, or did we not just jump from Scary Spice to life affirming goals?)

What are your craziest, wildest dreams?

Peace x

Finding dietary balance.

November 25, 2010 § 14 Comments

Well well well, look who came crawling back to blog-land. Apologies for the cliffhanger re. raw status. Is she? Isn’t she? Did she die when she tried unsuccessfully to hook chlorophyll to her veins?

All possible theories. But alas, I’m breaking the news to you that I ended my 100% raw experiment after 10 days. Not because I felt like crap, or it was all too hard…but I just really, really, REALLY wanted a cookie.

I was extremely surprised during the whole raw experience that I didn’t have any overt cooked-food cravings or moments of yelling obscenities at my flatmates as they fried up some tortuously aromatic dinnertime treat. That was, until the night of day 9, where I began to contemplate the delights of a tray full of vegan brownies, or a crispy batch of peanut butter & flaxseed cookies. The drool could not be stemmed. My raging sweet tooth demanded satisfaction.

I never originally set a time-frame for the raw trial, but by day 10 there was no denying that I felt fantastic eating this way, and more at peace with my diet than ever. (Yes, yes, minus the cookie conundrum).

I didn’t think it was necessary to deprive myself of something I really wanted, so allowed myself to go to the organic store and pick out some vegan cookies to break the raw stint. (I’d usually bake some myself, but to be honest the emerging cheapskate within deemed it more practical to buy them pre-made. Infinitely more cost effective.)

The cookies were pretty disappointing, and tasted chalky and boring. I ate them anyway, because, as I had now realised, this was evolving into some kind of post-raw cooked-food bender. I’d read about raw foodists and their propensity to binge on ‘forbidden’ foods every so often, and I couldn’t believe I was participating in this crazy behaviour!

I had hummus & crackers, more cookies & a bowl of savoury oats for good measure. The rest of the day does not need to be discussed…

Truthfully, the cooked food tasted bland and strangely unsatisfying, but it was clear to me that any kind of restrictive diet, be it 100% raw or otherwise, could potentially lead to these kind of ‘episodes’ after unconsciously excluding certain foods. I think my subconscious resents any kind of strict, limiting, force and acts to restore the balance by way of a crazy, illogical food rampage. So despite feeling better than ever, and fairly content with the offerings of the 80/10/10 raw food diet, I acknowledged that something needed to shift if I was going to be successful in the long-term. A balanced diet is not characterised by random lapses into mindless munching; I felt I needed to eeeeease on up.

Needless to say, the food made me feel terrible; it was like a reverse detox  if that can possibly be imagined (no, not a reverse enema. Minds out of the gutter please).

It convinced me more than ever, that dogma and restrictive rules have no place in a balanced diet; in fact, they are in direct opposition to everything I am learning about living moderately and happily. This fact alone turns me off following in the footsteps of extremely rigid raw-foodists who, it seems, place more value on the temperature of their food than it’s health-giving properties. This is particularly evident to me in the gourmet-raw movement where (as Frederic Patenaude points out) often things that are extremely dense and hard for the body to assimilate such as nut-based dishes, are given preference over foods such as steamed veggies, that would in fact be a more healthful option, despite not being ‘raw’.

In the same vein, I hope all of you had a chance to read the amazing post by Tasha (formerly the Voracious Vegan) over the weekend, explaining in true compelling and tear-jerking form the reasons behind her move away from a strict vegan diet. I was astonished and saddened to hear that such a decision, one so personal and physically necessary could inspire an outpouring of condemnation from the vegan community. Of course, she has a swathe of loyal followers, yet some individuals still felt justified in accusing her of dietary blasphemy, asserting that it is better to be sick and lifeless than eat an omnivorous diet. Once again, dogma becomes the foe of happiness & balance, and we find our eating habits are more political than healthful.

A diet has to work for you. If a certain eating plan is not furnishing your body with adequate nutrition, or leaving you feeling dull and lifeless, you should change it, irregardless of what others deem to be nutritionally ideal.

/Rant.

In saying this, you all know how much I loved the raw experiment & that is why the next day I awoke with the knowledge I would continue to eat mostly raw, with cooked food (& COOKIES) included when I wanted them. I also see no reason to avoid little things that are raw-biguous (ie. kinda cooked, kinda not – don’t know, don’t care) because why get caught up in the minutiae when there is so much FOOD LOVIN’ to be had?!

It sounds strange, but I actually felt quite depressed after going back to cooked food – I think there is a definite difference in energy, and obviously in the metabolism of heated vs. uncooked that made me feel sort of flat.

The past few days i’ve been slurping avocado thick-shakes, gobbling fresh mangoes…

…raw-ifying Bill Grainger recipes (oh. holy. jeebus)…

…munching seaweed salads with kale, sesame oil and chili…

…and of course, more smoothies in abundance.

I love all this vibrant, shimmering, pulsating fruit & veggie love, and as a few awesome commenters have suggested, i’m also incorporating some more fats in my diet and not being so worried about the ratios and whatnot. Basically, i it feels good, I’m going at it face-first.

Speaking of faces, I also wanted to do a quick shout-out to an Australian make-up company called Minerelle that has come up with the beautifying goods. Never have I purchased such an effective total-head-concealer mineral make-up. I’ve been searching for an aussie brand, vegan-friendly and with a short, non-threatening ingredient list. Minerelle fits the bill. If you go to their site, you can have free samples shipped to you (just paying postage of $5) and once I ordered the powder foundation itself, it arrived within a couple of days. For an impatient, demanding, needy consumer this was most welcome. The ingredients are not PERFECT, but it seems i’m all about compromise today, and thus am filing it under ‘balance and moderation’.

My improved head. Au naturale non?

Ha! This post is raging. I am so painfully verbose; I suck at succinct.

Oh and Kirsten, your pleas for smoothie recipes will be answered in the next post my dear. Stay tuned!

xx

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