May 15, 2010 § Leave a comment
Zzzzzzz. I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat, headache and that weak feeling that screams PATHOGEN ATTACK!
Well, enemy swine, THIS IS WAR.
It’s actually a rare day off for me and in usual style I had planned everything out in miniscule, to-the-hour detail so as to best milk the day of it’s juicy juicy goodness. Plans involved:
- wake up, whip up a giant bowl of cacao porridge w/ Stevia & Dandelion tea.
- head to get groceries early, before I have to beat through the crowds with a giant stick. Hate. Busy. Shops.
- cleaning spree of house, involving loud music, daggy attire and rubber gloves.
- read SMH and catch up on cultural happenings in order to appear intelligent & informed.
- tackle an epic run around the beaches.
- write a letter to my lovely Nan – we dig snail mail.
- plan trip to Brisvegas to see extended family.
- cook up kitchen wonders.
- maybe attend friend’s 20th tonight if Nanna alter-ego permits.
Instead, had to bail on the run & preemptively cancel plans for tonight because of mystery illness. Did however, buy some amazing groceries, clean the house like an anally-retentive madwoman, and blast some sweet tunes, so still a happy Saturday so far 🙂
Grocery loot highlights:
Spelt wraps that were a million dollars, but will make excellente pizza bases.
Tray of baby sweet potatoes; the fetish grows stronger daily & shows no signs of abating.
Radishes on sale!
Replenished nut stocks with fresh Cashews, Almonds & Brazil nuts. Glorious.
Yep. you guessed it; still rocking the steamed sweet potato craze. Served with salad & artichokes.
When I ran out of spicy veggie tapenade, I just mixed hummus, beans, tomato paste & hot sauce together to achieve a similar taste sensation. ANYTHING would work for this baby, it is the meal of champions – screw you weet-bix!
Have been drinking & eating a lot of young coconuts this week, because my amazing boyfriend brought over a whole stash as a present! He knows me too well; I was beyond stoked! I’ve been finding the coconut water & flesh really delish just blended up with some cacao powder. Simple, yet mind-boggling tasty.
You put the spoon in the coconut and…shove it in your face!
Drinking green smoothies from a stein. What of it? Us impoverished uni students can’t afford fancy glassware. Is it wrong that I try and pour it like a beer too, so it comes out with a head? Soon i’ll be carving shamrocks into the top and dancing around like a leprechaun.
I will never tire of the spirulina, cacao, berry, banana, spinach & rice milk combo. Too good.
Some random buckwheat pasta, tahini, spinach, lemon, corn & garlic combo. With savoury yeast flakes, of course.
Aaaaaand back to curing myself of the dreaded plague, which I have thought about some more and deduced it’s probably infected sinuses because of all the damn hayfever i’ve been getting lately. I think it’s the time of year, and living in a house with carpet may also be aggravating it a little. Not used to plush, cushiony floor coverings, more of a floorboards kinda gal.
So for lunch, I aimed to kick whatever it is that is inhabiting my head in the butt.
Because radishes have an extremely high vitamin C content, I thought they’d be a great thing to include in copious amounts in my meal. I don’t usually eat them, but I heard they’re brilliant for your skin too because they contain sulphur, so i’ll check my glow-meter tomorrow and report back!
Best colour and shape. Aren’t they pretty?
Made a very simple salad with mixed greens (rocket, spinach, lettuce), sliced radish, fresh lemon & sea salt. The radish is quite bitter, and I had visions of creating a salad with pear, walnuts & red radish to detract from the tartness. I was still really impressed with my chic llittle salad though; keeping ingredients natural & letting them speak for themselves is something I want to try & do more.
KA-POW. Punch to the illness factory with a kale, orange & banana smoothie. This was good. Real good. Vitamin C overload!
And the crowning glory – steamed sweet potato with hummus, tahini & melt-your-face-off chilli sauce (i’ll smoke it out!). The sweet potato thing would have to be one of the best discoveries of the past few months. I mean, I’ve always used them but making them like this has, i’ll be honest, changed my life & made me a better person. Oh, sorry, that was W.U.O.I (Written Under Oprah’s Influence).
I’m like a proud mother; glad I brought this meal into the world & gave it a home.
Also planning to ingest some of this here ginger later on in hot water to try and help my poor, gummed-up face.
Hopefully, all this goodness will see the infection on it’s merry way. I am much too busy to be sick, let’s face it. Who has that kind of time?
Enjoy your Saturday my sweets! xx
May 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
Hello friends! Well, after another long hiatus, i’ve returned with many-a delicious recipe to share, and some controversial news about one of my most treasured ingredients, TEAR! In health and body news, I’m STILL battling the epic breakout, but trying to stay positive despite the overwhelming urge to hide away indoors, and only address people through an artfully constructed paper-bag with eyeholes. Failing that, I tilt my head to a practiced angle so as to conceal the most offending areas. Oh now, this is terrible talk…I apologise for my blatant self-pity!
Tactics for getting over mystery break-out:
- drink an obscene amount of water (nb: remain within 0.5 km radius of toileting facilities at all times)
- continue to be dairy-free and gluten-sparing (would do this anyway – seriously the best thing I’ve ever done)
- continue to take Spirulina
- take Zinc supplement (a little bit behind this philosophy here)
- get plenty of outdoor sun time
- have temporarily stopped drinking dandelion tea…perhaps it was detoxing my liver and there was nasty stuff hidden down there? Who knows, will only drink my old faithful green tea for a while and see if there’s a change
- continue to exercise to improve skin circulation
- MUST NOT PICK
- soaking my oats for porridge religiously now (see: this article by Fran) Maybe the phytic acid was blocking my body’s absorption of nutrients like zinc and B vitamins?
- be HAPPY and don’t let crazy baby-sitting kiddly-winks wake stress-monster from slumber
So you may be wondering what the controversy involves? Well I hate to say it, but my beloved Agave has been in the spotlight recently due to it’s high fructose content. Although this is it’s calling card in that it helps keep blood-sugar levels stable as opposed to sweeteners which instead have more glucose, it is now argued that the fructose is actually more stressful for your body to process and can have implications for your kidneys & liver. GAH! My favourite, secret ingredient! See this article at high on health for a more accurate summary of the debate. I have such a sweet tooth, and am despairing a little as I use Agave every day. I might try and find some alternatives and let you know how I go! Still using it in moderation for now.
I also experienced a proud moment this week when I made my flatmate NO-CHEESE-PLEASE Vegan Pizza.
She took a bite and LOVED THE PANTS OFF IT! Prouder still, was when she added some ham to the very last slice (without which no vegan meal is complete…) but begrudgingly admitted that she wrecked it and it tasted better sans pig! I was radiating smug!
I’ve been eating a lot of Kale, and find it a really great alternative to lettuce, of which i’ve never been the biggest fan. I have it with avocado squished through, some olive oil, fresh lemon juice and a touch of sea salt then add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sprouted beans, grated carrot etc. Tasty goodness!
Have been buying Hummus seeing as my blender is a P.O.S and can’t deal with chickpeas, and it’s so darn convenient!
At least the ingredients are all-natural, and it’s locally made.
Making superfood balls, in a cup – the laziness continues. This satisfies my schweet cravings and has a bunch of super-hero foods to boot! I blended up some oats, almonds & goji berries then mixed in raw cacao, spirulina, coconut oil, shredded coconut and agave and ate with a spoon. Is that weird?
Loving on this smoothie with 1 cup Kale, 1 banana, 2 tsp spirulina, 1 heaped tsp cacao & rice milk. Gotta thouroughly blend it’s ass though because the Kale tends to resissssst!
Mixed salad plate with carrot sticks, hummus, steamed & raw veg and random fruit! I love to chomp through a whole lot of different flavours and textures in the one plate – it takes ages and gives you a chance to realise that you’re full!
Over and out!
March 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
You’ve probably heard along the line somewhere the benefits of having a ‘fast’ day every once in a while – some spiritual gurus and health yogis even promote a day a week dedicated to fasting & reflection. There have also been a lot of studies that show a lower calorie diet (as in, below normal recommendations) actually contributes to longevity, not to mention the arguments that support giving your body one or two days every now and then to just detox and take a breather.
There are numerous methods of sustaining a fast – the complete fast that is just water; the juice fast; a fast where you drink only herbal teas or tonics…the list goes on. Naturally these have sparked my own curiosity for a number of reasons – could a fast be a beneficial detoxing process for me? Is it healthy to allocate a regular day to just ‘being’ in a spiritual sense without the distraction of food and consuming? Is it something that could break the emotional connection I seem to have with eating? Could it teach me that I won’t die if I don’t eat for a day?
I’ve been contemplating how i’d go for even a day without food, and I tend to arrive at the same conclusion each time. I’ve always been someone (my mum & grandma are the same) who needs to eat regularly to prevent getting sick, shaky…that ole’ stomach-imploding-in-on-itself sensation. Definitely there has been a dramatic improvement in my ability to sustain activity without food since I improved my diet…my stomach seems much more calm and my body has more reserves to keep me going in general. But yesterday, after concluding that I probably couldn’t hack a food-free-day, I had an inadvertent fasting experience to test the theory.
I stayed at my boyfriends house and because of his work, he has very different sleeping patterns, so doesn’t get up until much later in the day. Also, he pretty much keeps NO food at his house as he just buys everything out. So i’d had a very small dinner the night before, then stayed at Jarad’s only to not eat until 2pm the next day. You may be thinking….that’s nothing, I do that all the time! I know, many people do – my flatmates can just ‘forget’ to eat and they are fine. But seriously, I’m hungry when I go to bed, having naughty porridge dreams until I wake up, and usually eat breakfast at around 7am.
By 2pm, after being out and about, and getting over the I want breakfast stage…then the I want lunch stage…I thought I was doing ok. I didn’t have a stomach ache or anything and I felt very clear-headed and calm, but then later we were walking around this shopping centre and I just really started to feel fragile. I was so frustrated that I hadn’t eaten, I didn’t want to be there, I was being sulky and glum, and actually started to tear up. At this point Jarad recognised my need for sustenance and bought me a big veggie juice with Spirulina…but even so, I didn’t end up eating solid food till around 3 or 4pm. I was an emotional wreck by the afternoon, and realised that unless I was in some kind of shaman trance or had the day just to quietly relax and reflect, I don’t think I could easily give up eating for a full 24 hours.
I do however believe that it has immense benefits just from what i’ve read, and perhaps at a higher level of eating raw, unprocessed foods, my body would be able to see me through a fasting period. Have you tried fasting before? How did it go?
So to honour eating, here are a few recent eats;
Bean + tomato, lettuce, avocado & nooch wrap (was craving that old el paso taco flavour, but just couldn’t achieve it without the mysterious taco seasoning that is probably terrible for you…ah well).
Morning porridge with apple, cinnamon, chia seeds, coconut, sunflower seeds, walnuts & agave.
Post-run electrolyte booster and brain food to get me through my french homework! This is such a treat; water & flesh of one young coconut, bit of rice milk, 1/2 banana, handful berries, Spirulina & Chlorella. Get in mah belleh!
Ok, time to stop procrastinating and get my uni-work ass into gear. Have a great weekend!
March 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
You know, I would post on here A LOT more if it didn’t take a mind-numbing age to upload photos with wordpress. Does anyone else have this problem? Well, I’m moving beyond the rage to bring you some more snaps of my recent gastronomic adventures!
I have this app. on my iPhone called Vegan Yum Yum and it’s a really cute little thing with delicious looking vegan recipes, so i made it my mission this week to try a couple. I made this Nearly Raw Tahini Noodles the other night, but thought it needed some adjusting. I’ll post the recipe anyway as I still quite enjoyed it (after I added more Tamari and lemon juice & copious amounts of fresh mint and coriander) so if you’re making it just beware that it needs a bit of surgery to bring it up to salivatory standards.
You’ll need (to make; a shitload):
200g whole wheat spaghetti (I think this would work equally as well with any healthy noodley doodley food you can find)
2 small carrots, shredded (I grated mine)
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
1 stalk broccoli, cut into v. small florets
handful of fresh mint, chopped (I used a heap of coriander too)
For the Tahini Sauce:
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbs Tamari
3 tbs water
1 tbs Agave
1 tbs Rice Vinegar
1 chopped chili
1 tspn Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Cook you noodles, rinse & set aside
- Shred carrot, cabbage, chop broccoli & herbs
- Mix together ingredients for sauce, toss with vegetables and noodles
- Garnish with more herbs, and heaps of sesame seeds
To tell you the truth, even though it’s great because this recipe is allllmost raw, save the spaghetti, I heated mine up a little before I ate it, cos it just didn’t taste right. I don’t know if this one’s a keeper….but definitely makes a stack so i’ve been using it for pre-packed lunches & dinners which is handy.
I’ve of course been guzzling ugly green drinks that are my favourite thing in the entire world, and making particularly tasty ones with:
handful frozen berries
handful baby spinach
Spirulina & Chlorella
topped up with rice milk
Continuing to pack dinners and lunches due to cursed night classes and a severe lack of any spare time at all. I took this for dinner last night to my audio class – mashed sweet potato & a big sprout salad with lemon to squeeze over.
Sunny happy Tupperware dinner!
How delectable is sweet potato? I mash it with a splash of rice milk, a bit of butter (cannot find earth balance vegan margarine yet! Devastated) lashings of salt and pepper, and the secret ingredient….nutritional yeast flakes! This is a recent acquisition that may leave you positive that i’ve gone too far & am now scoffing yeast and claiming it’s a food. It is! It is! It’s not yeast like, beer yeast, or like…yeast infection yeast…but it is a kind of yeast that looks like yellow fish food/parmesan cheese and it’s great for vegans because it’s fantastic for you (lots of B vitamins and awesome amino acids) and adds a cheezy taste to dishes. So I add about a tspn of this little guy to my mash and it makes it taste of parmesan!
As always, changing up my oatmeal every morning! This is a particularly mouth-watering batch that i’ve been making.
oats cooked on water
when almost done, add 3 tspn chia seeds
handful frozen mixed berries
tspn coconut oil
topped with apple, walnuts, goji berries, coconut flakes & agave
Moving on from mouth-watering cuisine, there’s something that’s been plaguing me for, oh, I don’t know, EVER. It continues on from when we were talking about weight loss, and I think i’ve suddenly realised the most important, stellar, number one thing that holds people back, and keeps resurfacing in my own ‘journey’ to better health/weight loss. It’s guilt. Eating out one night and feeling like you’ve ruined everything…having a week of eating leftover birthday cake…late night snacking on your housemates stash of Arnott’s family assorted… (I am waaay too familiar with this behaviour…). Then because of this, engaging in negative self-talk and carrying around a whole lot of guilt that you’re a failure and you’ll never succeed in being healthy, or thin, or whatever. This is something that STILL gets me, every time.
For example, a few weeks ago I felt on top of the world. I weighed myself for the first time in eons and realised that since the same time last year, I’d lost 6 kilos. Woah! Awesome! Great! Maybe a little embarrassed that I was 6 kilos more of a person not too long ago… But anyway, I felt really happy and confident and like I’d reached a point where I could be comfortable with myself. How long did this elation last? A depressingly short time, because it happened that I ate some dessert, or binged on almond cacao cookie dough balls for a few nights, and POW I felt like I’d let myself down, started telling myself that I was already fatter, and what do you know, it became a lot easier for me to reach for another treat because I considered my good work already undone.
It’s sad that this is the case for so many of us. We wouldn’t talk to someone else in that derogatory manner, so why ourselves?
So I made it my mission to end the fat talk, because in fact, feeling guilty and terrible only facilitates bad habits, as we are not respecting ourselves and aren’t finding happiness in our health.
When I was feeling particularly dismal, I decided to get out and be active to try & allay my big mopey aura. I went on a run that felt so good; it was beautiful, I realised I was fit, healthy and strong, I was looking like a big goofy idiot with a grin plastered across my face because I was out doing something positive, and relaxing, and appreciating our glorious coastline. I told myself I looked great and healthy. Instead of saying to myself, ‘you’re getting fat again, you’re going to feel like shit and be a slave to food forever’, I changed it to ‘I have attractive, feminine curves, and feel strong and healthy and am doing great things for my body’. I thought then that no matter how you see yourself, I can guarantee there is someone who thinks you’re gorgeous. I know this because I have friends who battle with their appearance daily, but to me, all I see is amazing hair, awesome eyes, beautiful skin etc. People don’t do the nit-picky thing of thinking ‘oh gosh, her features are slightly disproportionate’, they see things about you that are pretty, and in this way, all my friends to me, are stunning.
So Oprah-esque, inner-journey talk aside, I just wanted to point out how hugely important it is not to be horrible to yourself, because even though you’re only saying it in your head, those negative affirmations are manifesting themselves into general feelings of hopelessness and unhappiness. Challenge yourself to think nice things about your body & appearance, and though it may sound silly at first, it is much more constructive than feelings of guilt or frustration. You’ll find that once you allow yourself to be happy and content, wanting to be healthy will come naturally – and if you’re trying to lose weight, positive thinking will work wonders.
Your mission? Respect yo fineeeee self. Good luck!
March 17, 2010 § 2 Comments
Howdy health fiends! I’ve been trying to post today but my browser kept crashing, so I took it as a sign…that I really need to invest in an external hard-drive so all my shite stops clogging the electrical arteries of my darling computer. But we have success! And in honour of St Patrick’s day, i’ve created a decidedly green theme for this entry.
Green is my new favourite colour. It sounds silly, but drinking green smoothies and eating lots of vibrant, fresh green veggies is really generating some seriously peaceful hippy trippy vibes for me.
I made a HUGE batch of veggie smoothie to drink throughout the day yesterday, which included:
spirulina & chlorella
water to dilute this potent living beast of a juice
I’ve been thinking that I need to step up my daily dosage of the Spirulina & Chlorella from what was advised on the bottles, because after researching it, it seems a case of the-more-the-merrier with my algae friends. So double doses for me! I’ll be glowing a nice shade of nuclear green in no time!
Yesterday was a particularly good day for veggie consumption, and I’ve been realising more and more the importance of trying to base a majority of what I eat around alkaline-forming fresh produce. What I mean by that is (and i’m still not too well informed about this food science) but it’s 1000 times better for our bodies to try and eat foods that do not produce acid in our system – this is what causes premature ageing, fatigue, disease, all those things we know and loathe. Alkaline-forming foods like vegetables, citrus, sea foods (dulse, kombu), sprouts, millet, quinoa are non-toxic for our bodies and help to cleanse & detoxify. They also do not create mucus (who wants to be a big phlegm head?) and contain alkalizing minerals like magnesium and calcium. Foods like dairy, alcohol, all processed things, bread, meat etc are ‘acid-forming’ and should be eaten in moderation.
So yesterday, after my breakfast super-oatmeal ritual, I downed green smoothie, and had a big salad with a rye bread tortilla & hummus & MORE salad inside for lunch.
I then packed my dinner in advance because I was babysitting, then galloping madly straight to night-class. On the menu was ‘mystery’ quinoa (every time I cook quinoa it’s a culinary surprise!) which had fresh ginger, chili, spinach, broccoli, red-onion, lemon, olive oil and other random flavourings paired with yet another monster salad.
With my green smoothie (double batch!), lunch and dinner efforts, I really gnawed through a large chunk of the contents of my crisper! I seriously can never have enough fresh fruit & veg to keep me going more than a few days.
Anyhoo, last night I was a dirty stop-out tired little thing dragging myself home at 10.30am this morning after not coming home…I always feel like I need to rejuvinate straight away when I get back after a night with less sleep than usual (and later breakfast…I was feeling pretty darn anxious to wrap my face around a big spoonful of porridge by mid-morning! Nanna trait #1). Plan of action? Superman change into stretchy pants/top, mini-facial with some exfoliating and moisturising action, big drink of hot lemon water, then onto more important matters like CHOCOLATE PORRIDGE.
3 tsps chia seeds
frozen mixed berries
heaped tspn cacao powder
topped with chopped apple, walnuts, almonds, coconut & agave nectar
Mmmm choc berry bonanza!
Needless to say, I coupled this with three zillion cups of green tea, and later on, a big green monster drink.
For lunch I had 2 rye tortillas, baked into pizza-like creations.
I put tomato paste, shredded spinach, salt & pepper & basil for the sauce, then topped with tomato, zucchini, red onion, mushroom, capsicum, avocado & nutritional yeast and baked for about 10 mins. Pretty darn tasty!
I’m hoping to blog about cutting out sugar, and more on weight loss soon! Hope you’re all cooking up creative new things and exploring interesting food options!
March 15, 2010 § 1 Comment
I just blended up a storm, making a green smoothie that would probably be palatable to a regular human! Visually though, these monsters will never be pretty, let’s face it.
It wasn’t a big veggie fest like I usually make, but is still very healthy with the inclusion of Spirulina & Chlorella.
about 1/2 cup (or more) frozen mixed berries
daily dosage of S & C
top up with your choice of milk (I used rice milk…ideally would like to always use almond, but it’s too pricey for my thin little wallet)
Delicious post-run treat.
Other new stuff i’ve discovered is brazil/cashew/almond nut butter. Holy jeebus this is some tasty paste! Of course, only buy the kind that is natural, raw, blended nuts with no added salt or oils or anything – the only ingredients should be the nuts themselves. The reason I’ve strayed from my loyal staple of Peanut Butter is (as well as seeing delicious almond butter condiments everywhere in the blogosphere) I was reading about how peanuts can play host to this mould (aflatoxin) that is toxic…ahh yet another crazy realisation about a staple food and it’s evil dark side! I probably will still eat natural peanut butter occasionally, but to tell you the truth, I’m pretty smitten with almond (etc) butter so the separation shouldn’t be too painful.
I have some other discoveries too, but this is just a really short post before I have to go out. Hopefully posting won’t fall by the wayside like it has the last week or so!
Til next time…
March 1, 2010 § Leave a comment
Young coconuts have been popping up a lot on food and health blogs alike, and I thought it was about time I ticked them off my ever-growing list of super foods to try (honestly, how am I meant to fit in consuming all this amazing stuff every day?!). I’ve seen those white, pentagonal-looking things in the supermarkets but didn’t actually know if that was what I should be eating…turns out, it is! You can even buy them in the chilled fruit & veg aisle at Coles! They are quite expensive at $2 a pop, considering they don’t yield a heap of coconut water & flesh, but after only 2 days of having them in my fridge, I am unashamedly hooked!
(Note – these aren’t the husky old brown ones that you see stacked up in piles all hairy and hollow-sounding – they have lost much of their nutritional value and don’t have the same tasty water & flesh as the young white ones.)
I was amazed to learn that in the Pacific War, soldiers actually used coconut water for blood transfusions because it has the same electrolytic composition as human blood – elixr of life anyone?! Because of this isotonic awesomeness, it’s a natural ‘sports drink’ so to speak. It has a host of health benefits that you can research, but it is namely very high in magnesium, potassium and calcium while still being low in calories and containing NO cholesterol. The white flesh that you scoop out of the inside is also highly nutritious…I find it really soothing to eat, and when I was researching it, I found that it is given to people with digestive complaints like IBS & leaky gut. This is a seriously versatile and delicious fruit.
I thought i’d share with you the most obscenely tasty smoothie recipe ever, period. This is even flatmate/carnivore/junk-food-fanatic proof.
about half of the white inside flesh of a young coconut, along with half the coconut water
2 tspn cacao powder
a generous slurp of agave (to taste)
fill it up to desired level with milk substitute (I use almond milk or rice milk)
blend your little heart out
IT IS SO INSANELY DELICIOUS – CANNOT GET ENOUGH! People won’t believe you when you tell them this is 100% healthy – downright nutritionally amazing in fact.
In other news, following recipes has been working out well for me lately, how bizarre! Thought i’d share with you a recipe I followed to a tee from the Tal Ronnen vegan cookbook that my thoughtful friends bought for me. (You may have seen it on Oprah…don’t let this put you off – just means it’s idiot proof)
I made this for the boyf. Let’s just say, food is always more impressive when it’s been formed into a tower…this is food sculpture I tells ya! If you want the real recipe, message me (is that allowed? am i infringing copyright? well, keep it on the DL…), but its basically quinoa for the base (flavoured with heavenly things like coriander and lime), with fresh avocado, baked sweet potato, cajun tortilla crisps and this funky tomato and coriander jus (sauce? this is much more than just a sauce my friends). So I am definitely going to try my hand at this following-a-recipe business more often – ends in success and satisfied house guests!