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.
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 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
March 6, 2011 § 10 Comments
Mooorrrrning has brroooooookkkeeennnnnnn!
I actually wrote this post about a week ago and it’s been sitting in my drafts giving me the stink eye ever since. It’s kinda tough because it involves some new dietary stuff, so roll with me here.
I’m going to be extremely self-indulgent today and write a post squarely centered on myself. Oy, the spotlight.
In doing so, I’m less concerned about satisfying my engorged ego than shelling out some real-life experience that could assist others on their own road to health.
Y’all know that my fetish for all things nerdy and nutritional manifests itself in the constant revision of my diet, exercise regieme and lifestyle – I’ve always appreciated that finding a true healthy balance involves a lot of trial, error and evolution. I want to discover a way of being that satisfies not only my ideological viewpoint, but also nourishes my physical and spiritual health.
Being a self-declared fence-sitter (or perhaps just painfully open minded) means that i’m always keen to see things from a different perspective and have never wanted to lock myself into a specific diet or become caught up in dogma.
Experimenting is how I plan to eventually gain enough wisdom and first-hand experience to advise people as a qualified Naturopath/holistic wellness…person (some letters after the name would be nice!) and I’m a firm believer in the fact that not every diet works for every body.
I’m beating around some dense thicket here but basically the gist is, I’m being open minded about my health and the advice as given to me by my naturopath and other people whom I respect. This currently involves a little shift in what i’ve been known to eat.
That, my friends, is an egg. It may the the first egg to grace the halls of Bonne Santé.
Because I am writing in crazy, staccato, illogical mode right now, I’ll break it down…
Main Point: In the spirit of experimentation, I want to see how adding a few foods I previously considered to be unnecessary/sub-optimal back into my diet makes me feel.
Please note: These eggs are from a local grower who has a small-scale hobby farm and lets his hens roam freely, eat natural food and lay eggs where they wish. The carton came with a little newsletter that is written monthly to update buyers on the farm, hen-related-happenings and even the health of specific named chickens! I am confident that no harm comes to these animals and they are being treated with love and respect. That being said, I still grapple with the overriding philosophical question as to whether we are ever entitled to ‘own’ and use for our benefit, another living creature. In this sense, I cannot defend the choice to consume eggs and must sit with my internal conflict. I also wish to point out that I am in no way intending to eat meat again – I understand it’s value in a lot of diets and as always, cast no judgement, but for me I feel better energetically without it. I cannot reconcile with eating dead animals and although some may feel that eating any animal product is to be complicit in their worldwide abuse, I’ve chosen to simply see how I go.
Why? : Ever since I did my raw experiment at the end of last year, I haven’t been feeling so great. Not that I attribute this to the diet in any way; merely to illustrate a time frame. Apart from being hard-pressed to shake a recurring throat infection, I also find myself snacking like a deranged beggar (esp. after dinner), irritable/moody/heinously wench-like and displaying some worrying patterns of un-healthy thinking about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. Enjoying optimum health sometimes involves not thinking too hard about it, and I don’t want to become so rigid in my eating that it defeats the original purpose – to seize life by it’s man parts and enjoy the hell out of it.
I also want to eat mindfully (both in the not under/over eating sense, and ethically) and give my body what it truly needs so that I can squeeze the most out of every day. If this means incorporating some chicken menses a few times a week, then so be it.
UPDATE: One week later, and I’ve chowed through some happy hen-offerings and mulled things over. I appreciate that eggs are an amazing source of many essential vitamins and nutrients, not to mention a complete protein source and a convenient snack, however they’re still something I’m debating bringing back into my diet. They taste SO RICH to me now, and it’s not necessarily a flavour or sensation I crave. A big HMMMMMMMMMMM to the yolkers.
In other news, Notella has officially been usurped. Ousted. Replaced.
Meet my new lickable lover – honey roasted almond butter.
I made a variation on Ashley’s Maple Roasted Cinnamon Butter, and my life will never be the same.
Then I took it up a notch by investing in some blindingly white and criminally crusty jewish sourdough to act as a vehicle for this obscene specimen of butterisation.
I eat bread rarely, but when I do, it’s gonna be freshly-baked, doughy decadence.
MORE INFO ON ALMOND BUTTER TO COME!
Now, I leave you with some pictures from my weekend antics. Mardi Gras themes – parental supervision required.
Peace and man-thongs to you all! x
February 24, 2011 § 27 Comments
After months of attending classes on OH&S, appropriate client/practitioner relations (apparently sexy massage is NOT within the scope of Naturopathy) and how to tell a foot from an arm, we have finally landed on the juicy stuff at school.
Nutrition. Herbs. Homeopathy. You name it, we are brewing it up in our big bubbling cauldrons.
The issue is that learning about nutrition, whilst fun and informative, tends to send the whole class into a strange state of culinary nostalgia. Analysing sugars prompts us to recall allllll the iridescent candy we consumed as children, one-upping each other with tales of cookie binges, 10-slice wonder-bread sandwich monstrosities and inevitably, Nutella. Eaten with a spoon from the jar, of course. Occasionally with some bread on top.
Reminiscing about all the ways we used to eat, snort and swim in Nutella got me thinking that I should try to replicate this kiddie-crack at home, with fewer & far more wholesome ingredients.
Presenting my first attempt at NOTella.
Vegan Notella, for the nut-butter enthusiast.
I was really happy with how this turned out, however it does not have quite the same taste & texture as the revered original. Being exceedingly wholesome, palm-oil free and homemade however gives it tons of extra foodie cred for me. The process of making a nut-butter yourself while requiring a little more time and patience is an exciting exercise for the closet Nutella fiend.
You will need:
- Food processor fitted with the S blade (you cannot do this in your blender, sorry kids)
- Approx. 4 cups raw organic hazelnuts
- 1/2 t celtic sea salt
- 2 T raw cacao powder
- 2 T (generous) happy local honey or vegan sweetener (agave/maple)
- 1 t room temperature extra virgin coconut oil
- Glass jars for storage
Assemble army of raw hazelnuts; novelty spoon optional.
Lay the nuts out on an oven tray lined with baking paper and toast for 8-10 minutes at 200 degrees C. It’s important to keep checking them as they will burn in a snap if you forget about them whilst thinking of more clever veg*n food puns (chick-un, tofurkey…dad joke central).
Why not sterilize your jars while you wait?
After removing from the oven and allowing them to cool, try to de-shell as many nuts as possible by rubbing them between your fingers or a tea-towel. This gets rid of the extra husk and will make for a smoother end result, but don’t get too hung up about it for every second you waste is keeping you from your Notella destiny.
Place the hazelnuts in your food processor beast and begin the epic process of turning solid, stubborn nuts into compliant, creamy butter.
Stage one: quietly confident.
Stage two: minutes have passed and you’re now quietly confident that I’m a lying vegan scoundrel.
Stage three: 8 minutes and 3-thousand side-scrapings later, you remove Bonne Santé from your bookmarks bar.
Stage four: it starts to come together; your minimal faith in my recipe credibility is restored!
Stage five: FIST PUMP! 12-15 minutes of processing and a suspected case of tinnitus from the perpetual whirring later, NUT BUTTER IS FORMED!
It’s important to keep processing even after it starts to look buttery, because it takes an extra couple of minutes for the nuts to release their luscious oils.
To make it more true to Nutella, I stirred in 2 T raw cacao powder, 2 heaping T of organic honey, 1/2 t sea salt and 1 t coconut oil after the butter had formed. I have read that it’s best to delay adding other ingredients until you’ve processed the bollocks out of the nuts because it can mess with the chemical/magical butterisation, but other recipes call for the addition of oils & sweeteners as you go, so I imagine you could get creative. My additions are also not overly sweet or rich, so feel free to amp up the cacao content and get decadent. Yields around 2.5 cups.
The perfect gift!
Now, to see if it will last until Nutrition class on Monday 🙂
January 19, 2011 § 7 Comments
I miss you all! I miss the blog! I miss having an outlet for all my kooky health-related thoughts, theories, and conspiracies.
As I mentioned in my last post, my slightly senior apple computer needs to be put out to pasture, and a new, shiny, speedy model must somehow be procured. This senility has seriously affected my ability to blog regularly, but i’m determined to maintain some kind of posting schedule because Bonne Santé has really become more than just a hobby for me.
It’s a place where I have collected a year’s worth of posts about health and food (however much I cringe when reading back through!). It’s also becoming a creative outlet – somewhere I can parade my photographic experiments and on special occasions, Paint masterpieces. Perhaps most worthwhile and gratifying, is that blogging has become a haven for connecting with like-minded and exceptionally talented individuals around the world, and I’m honoured to call many my new friends.
Contextually unrelated chia seeds
External to the blog, other exciting happenings have characterised the start of 2011.
I’m in the early days of starting a new job that is altogether more in alignment with my studies in health & nutrition – I believe that our professional lives and personal passions should not exist in separation, rather they can enhance and compliment each other. Where’s the fun in slaving 9-5 in a job that is entirely removed from your personal goals and ambitions?
In short, I feel blessed by a gender and demoninationally non-specific higher power.
I’m also thrilled to have won an amazing competition over at the lush Roost for the design of a new blog header! Y’all know how clueless I am with all things technologically/graphically inclined, so this is an incredibly opportunity for Bonne Santé to be pimped beyond it’s wildest dreams! Once again, some generous female deity is smiling on me.
Other noteworthy happenings, in no particular order:
- Finally got a new haircut. Below $30 at that! I asked for a fringe, and the hairdresser commented that ‘I have a good face for it’. What I heard was, ‘FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE COVER THAT GENEROUS FOREHEAD!’. I live to misconstrue.
- I went to the gym yesterday and became stuck on the step machine in an endless elliptical, forward motion. HOW DO YOU STOP THOSE THINGS?!
- I bought new clothes with my rent money. This was reckless, and hoping I can magically manifest more funds before next week. At least I’ll look presentable in the gutter.
- I finally went to the doctor about my concerning yellow glow – I’ve had it for years, ever since I went nuts on the beta-carotene, but lately I got to thinkin’ maybe my liver was, y’know, dead or something. Rational thoughts indeed. Anyway, 4 blood tests later, I was given a clean bill of health (thriving on a vegan diet wahoooo!) and told that yes, my beta-carotene levels are quite abnormally high. My doctors official recommendation; ‘eat less carrots’. Uh, no, I don’t think so medical man. Doesn’t he know high levels of beta-carotene (precursor for vitamin A) help protect the skin, and is proven to reduce your risk of most cancers as well as anti-oxidant-ising the shitzen out of your entire being? Win.
- Speaking of shitzen, the little girl I babysit yelled, ‘Oh, SHITZEN HAUSEN!’ the other day at something which annoyed her. She is 4. My hero.
Well, I hope you’re all having amazing days wherever you are in the world, and thanks for sticking around despite the erratic posting 🙂
January 12, 2011 § 8 Comments
Is anybody ooooooouttttt theeeeeeereee?
I may have short circuited and rage quit the blog for a while, due to unforseen technical difficulties. Technical difficulties being that my new
has a terrible personality clash with my ancient mac.
TOO MANY MEGA-PIXELS. DOES NOT COMPUTE.
It’s like an old, grouchy dog that has been usurped by a younger, bouncier, less-scabies-ridden pet, and does not want to play. I’m constantly being given the apple evil eye…
Thus, pictures from my new camera take about 10 light years to upload, and seeing as I like to spam you all with images, this has created quite the time-sucking vortex that led me to place the ol’ blog on hold until such time as I am gifted/stumble across/straight-up steal a new macbook.
BUT this awesome nomination from the bubbly, vivacious, and all-round amazing Amanda has dragged me out of hibernation!
Thanks so so much to that ass-kickin’, fat-blastin’, Rambo-channelin’ fitness demon over at Me Vs. the Bulge!
I have to pass this on to seven other sassy, stylish bloggers and also give you seven random facts about myself. Fun!
(Lucky I had another post on the back burner, because now I can merge the two into one super post and claim exemption from blogging duties for another month! The pictures that are on here are a result of about a week of uploading one image per day, yelling expletives at the screen and plucking out the grey hairs that keep springing forth from my roots in response to the teeeeeeeeeedium of posting. Have I complained enough yet?)
So, without further adieu, I’m passing on the love to the following sensational bloggers:
- Kate at Green and Juicy for providing us with wonderfully well-researched and thoughtful posts on holistic health. And also because I suspect we were separated at birth.
- Lindsay at The Kitchen Operas because not only is she a fabulous cook, but an awesome singer to boot!
- Paije at Veggie Monster for her abundance of salads & great sense of humour.
- Shellet at Shellet wants to run because I love & admire her determination.
- Pure 2 Raw twins for their rawmazing inspiration and super sweet blog posts.
- Gena at Choosing Raw because her blog is the ultimate raw/vegan resource and I one to day hope to be half as witty, intelligent and switched-on as she is!
- Ashley at Healthy Ashley because she aims high, achieves the unthinkable and inspires me daily.
Plus about a thousand more.
Want to know seven irrelevant things?
1. My boyfriend gave me a food processor for my birthday, and subsequently, my diet now consists of perfectly pulsed raw veggie concoctions, and this..
…Banana soft serve. A little late to the party, but i’m making up for lost time.
2. In the photo below, some home-grown macadamia nuts are casually scattered around a spoonful of tea leaves, with my new mug just chillin’ in the background like it had been there all along.
But there is nothing casual about it. Macadamia nuts have no relation to green tea, nor do they fall artistically on chopping boards in perfect alignment. I also spilled the tea leaves on purpose, but made it look like an accident…TRICKY, TRICKY! All the pro’s are doing it. My photos are contrived; I’m coming clean!
More nuts and tea!
3. When I was little, I actually feared for my mother’s back when walking over cracks in the footpath. Too this day, her spine is stellar and you’ll never see me lay a toe over broken cement.
4. I sometimes stop liking bands once they go ‘mainstream’. I’m fickle and snobbish like that.
5. Sea and river weed scare the bajeesus out of me. Total irrational phobia, but if there is a swathe of dark, wispy seagrass at the beach, i’ll swim as far away from it as possible. Sharks? Bring it on. Jellyfish? Harmless. Underwater plants? Bone-chilling.
Funny, seeing as I literally eat it for breakfast every day.
6. I decided that if I don’t eat meat, then I also shouldn’t buy leather goods or animal-derived apparel. This has become problematic as I’ve discovered the nicest fashions and accessories are always cow hide, and as a result, I must now wear my vibrams everywhere. More problematic are my weekend party plans. Can we get a stiletto VFF please?
7. I don’t believe in playing games on my phone, but somehow I ended up downloading Angry Birds the other day and have become slowly addicted. Last night I went to bed late, at 12am (eeep!), and decided to ‘just try to make it past level x’ for 5 minutes. I looked at the time a little later and 45 MINUTES HAD PAST! If you want to travel rapidly into the future, invest in a frivolous iPhone app that lets you hurl birds at pigs at increasing levels of difficulty.
And now, a fun little food-processor-friendly recipe!
Vegan almond butter crunch ice cream!
Take one well-endowed frozen banana, chop it into pieces, process with a generous teaspoon of almond butter until it whips into a glorious soft-serve-like mess, place in a ridiculous martini glass, and top with candied almonds!
I’ve missed the blog; I hope I can get technology sorted soon. I have so many tasty pictures and irrelevant thoughts to share!
Let’s meet again soon. x
December 26, 2010 § 9 Comments
I’m always a big grinch in the lead-up to Christmas, but when the day arrives, a sheepish smile spreads across my gimpy features as I delicately unwrap gifts on xmas morning, and watch my loved ones do the same. Even better, is sitting around a simply laid table in the stillness of a sweltering Australian afternoon surrounded by excellent food and charming, intelligent and slightly intoxicated individuals.
2 tiny bursts of flavour as grown on our balcony, still warm from the sun.
Mum has a Kombi fetish. She evidently carries the dominant hippie gene that has been passed down; although I can’t say I share the same enthusiasm for novelty salt & pepper shakers.
Amongst the happy snaps, I thought I’d share a little health-related happenings of late. After all, this is a health blog if I remember correctly, with a decidedly photographic slant of late.
One of the reasons my healthy-living libido dropped a few weeks ago, and the blog became decidedly undernourished, was that I became sick. Sick with some kind of viral infection that, while not severe enough to lay me low, persisted with irritating, uncomfortable symptoms. In fact, on day 10 of the raw food trial I started coming down with these flu-like symptoms; my nose was gushing like Victoria falls and at the same time, I turned to cooked comfort food to satisfy an errant cookie craving. In hindsight this was probably part of the entire detox process, and I’ve also read that illnesses that you’ve had in the past can resurface before leaving your body for good. I had quite severe glandular fever when I was about 16 (mononucleosis) and I felt perhaps this was again rearing it’s fugly head.
Since then it’s safe to say, I’ve been a cruel mistress to my already immunocompromised insides. Compounding the sickness, i’ve been eating super clean for one week, then downing an array of franken-foods the next (some not even vegan – no meat of course, but ice cream and cheese may have featured). I don’t feel I have to stick to a rigid vegan ideal (however I would never touch cringe-worthy cage eggs or pig-fat soft serve); it’s more that my innards have been subjected to a roller coaster of dietary randomness, with foreign foods not seen for months, interspersed with super-food smoothies and wholesome raw goodies.
In an oversized nutshell, I have felt decidedly unhinged and have called into question both my general health, and the respect that seemed to be altogether absent in my dealings with my own body.
Why was I sick when I continually invest so much into my health?
Am I deficient in something?
Did I go into the raw diet too fast and cause myself greater harm than good?
Why do I find myself constantly placing undue stress on my body (ie. eating way too many sweets in a sitting & effectively sending my body into crazy adrenal overload)?
Why why why why why for the love of all that is sprouted why?
For if there’s one thing i’ve learned, it’s that how we eat is just as important as what we eat. I have a rudimentary understanding of food combining and the importance of proper elimination; I realise that eating some things in combination with others can inhibit the absorption of certain vitamins; I know that if we eat while stressed, we are unable to digest food effectively; I believe that overeating places stress on the body and contributes to ageing and other chronic illness; I feel we need to allow ourselves a little room for fun, frivolity and freedom because happiness is crucial to health, and vice versa.
I could talk about these things until I was blue in the jowls, however putting them into practice has proven more difficult.
So with my recent resolve to avoid orthorexia and be more flexible in my dietary needs (without giving up my predominantly vegan values and committment to health) I also made the decision to:
a) improve my immune function and make sure I am not missing essential factors in my diet.
b) bring more mind into mind/body wellness. A repeat offender for ignoring mental health in favour of the physical, I am taking the lead of individuals I admire and bringing some yoga and meditation into my life. My new mantra is OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM….nom, nom, nom.
c) play nice with my body. Don’t bully, belittle or badger; criticize, castigate or condemn; denounce, degrade or disparage…
d) quit alliterating. It’s doing my head in.
With bizarre illness still kicking on, in a pretty muted, fatigue-ey, throat-ey, gland-ey kinda way, I went and stocked up on Astragalus (for immune function), milk thistle (treat possible liver inflammation from mononucleosis) and Zinc (also for immune function, amongst other things), dosed up on Spirulina, barley grass and seaweeds, have been trying to include adequate protein, and lots of fresh fruit for vitamin C (as always). I’ve also been doing yoga each morning, and sometimes of a night, and generally trying to focus my attention on pacifying my peevish mind (ah, seem to have already reneged on committment d).
Treating your body with kindness may just be the best gift you could give yourself. What do you all think about this approach? Ever had health doubts or moments of questioning your own resolve?
Onto lighter topics, look what Santa brought maj! Isn’t he a hip, rockin’ dude? The speediest, flashiest model of VFF’s no less. I have vibram envy.
Leftovers from christmas eve dinner. I made a fairly scrumptious quinoa salad from a recipe here. And also a strawberry & baby spinach salad from Golubka – please go to this blog now. It may just be heaven in html.
Dissecting the goods.
Typical aussie bouquet of natives.
Hope you all had a beautiful, relaxing holiday x