Friday, February 27, 2015

weekend reading



So sad to read of the passing this week of the beautiful, vibrant and inspirational Wellness Warrior, Jess Ainscough.  Such a loss to so many people. Jess certainly lived her life to the fullest and leaves a lasting legacy of inspiration. Wishing peace to her family and friends in their grief.

Sigh.

I made this list earlier today before reading the news of Jess, some of it seems trivial to post in comparison to what I have written above but I post it for you to read another time or to take your mind somewhere else if it's been one of those weeks...

If you're a fan of Practicing Simplicity, click on over to Violet Journal  and read an interview with Jodi about creativity and motherhood, plus a giveaway of Jodi's new book.

Anyone done Marie Forleo's B School or considering it? I haven't but I'm curious every year!

Writers, I've enjoyed discovering Canadian writer Sarah Selecky's site this week.

And more on writing, here's 10 Terrific Creative Writing Blogs from Copyblogger

Have you seen nutritionist Lola Berry's new book? The Happy Cookbook all recipes are sugar-free and gluten-free

I'm dreaming about a little blog design overhaul, any thoughts on Squarespace?

I love visiting Erin's blog

Pete and I enjoyed a lunch date today at Cakes & Ale in Sorrento, a bistro I am very happy to have in my neighborhood and to be doing some writing work for. More about that soon.

There's still time to sign up for Brenda and Naomi's Break Through program

And, if you're new to blogging I'd love to meet you at my Blogging for Beginners course on Saturday March 21st at Sorrento Community Centre. 10am-3pm. Cost: $60. Bookings: 03. 5984 3360

That's all for today. Wishing you all a beautiful weekend. Xx

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

something for you: break through



































First of all, I can't take credit for this beautiful food photography I have to hand that to the talented Kristin Mamacino.  In between making granola and all her other wholefood goodies, writing ebooks, blogging, raising her family, she has added a new string to her business bow: food styling + photography. I think she's on to something!

Now, if you like the look of that yummy chia pudding, the anti-oxidant smoothie and the colourful roasted veggie salad you might be surprised to learn that they are actually on the menu of my friend and health coach Brenda Janschek's holistic weight loss program, Break Through!, that she put together with her friend and naturopath Naomi Judge.

Brenda and Naomi developed the 28 day program for women who were having trouble shifting stubborn weight and more than that, Brenda and Naomi want help women identify their individual barriers to weight loss and to feeling vital and energised.

After a successful launch program last year Brenda and Naomi are excited to offer their program again this year. I was an affiliate last year and didn't hesitate to recommend their program to you again this year for a number of reasons:

- I love the holistic, supportive approach of this program
- The emphasis is not calories in, calories out it is about balancing hormones, correcting digestion and identifying lifestyle factors such as stress and poor sleep that contribute to stubborn weight loss
- The recipes are delicious, easy to prepare and family friendly
- This program is not just for people who want to lose weight, it is also a great program for people who want to get on track with cutting processed food out of their diet
- Brenda and Naomi are both highly experienced and knowledgable when it comes to supporting women to make healthy changes in their lives that are realistic and achievable



If you are feeling like you'd like to do something just for you, to lift your energy, gain mental clarity, get your glow back, and yes lose a few kilos too then I highly recommend taking a look at Break Through!

Considering that an initial consultation with a naturopath or health coach can be between $80 and $100 or more, this program offers excellent value. Brenda and Naomi are on hand for the whole 28 day program to answer your questions, guide and encourage you, along with the support you get from the private facebook group.

The program kicks off on Monday 2nd of March for 28 days. To take advantage of the early bird offer of $99 you'll need to sign up quick as the offer ends on February 25th, but even if you miss that you can register between February 26th and March 1st and the program is still excellent value at $147. Read more or sign up here.

You'll learn how to balance hormones, detoxify, reduce stress, reset your thyroid, combat overeating, understand the connection between your emotions and the foods you eat, create a positive mindset, identify foods that are compromising your goals, feel comfortable and excited about your body (really!), and understand how to maintain your optimum weight.

Really this is a wellness program as much as it a weight loss program.

I wanted to share this here because we mamas spend a lot of time caring for the other people in our lives and this is one way that you can do something just for you! Something that you may have been putting off, been frustrated by, at a loss for what the next step is, or just wanting to get your energy back.

I hope this is just the thing that some of you have been looking for! x


Sunday, February 22, 2015

weekend reading

Bloom nutritionist is my friend Lucy's site where you'll find delicious plant based recipes and beautiful photography

A great post from Georgia: How to resolve food intolerance

I actually made it to the movies to see Wild, have you seen it? Read the book? The suspense was intense at times but I loved it.

Its been getting a lot of circulation on social media, have you seen The Katering Show?

Check this out for a wholefood, dairy free version of macaroni cheese. Go on you'll be surprised.

Spiced lentil and mixed beetroot salad. Yes please.

It's a bit hot here at the moment for soup but this carrot one sounds delicious.

Melbourne people if you're near Collingwood let me introduce you to Rupert (the owners are close friends of my sis-in-law who gave me the heads up. I haven't been there yet but if you go let me know what you think!)

If you live on the Mornington Peninsula and are planning a party, wedding or event, call my friend Rachel at Feast Catering. She's super lovely and her food is oh so beautiful.

My friend Brenda, a health coach and blogger, is running her fantastic holistic health and weight loss program, Break Through! Your Ultimate Guide to Losing Stubborn Weight, again this year with her friend naturopath Naomi Judge. It was such a success last year, with hundreds of women not only losing weight but feeling empowered because they were educated to make better choices that work for their individual needs. The 28 day program starts on March 2nd and there is an early bird special of $99 available until Feb 25th. You can find out more and sign up here.

Ok that's a mixed bag of links there for you. Here's to a healthy, happy, productive week where I actually get back into the flow of posting regularly and on time here!

Thanks for visiting x


Monday, February 16, 2015

wednesday: ordinary & precious

Indulge me today in a personal post.

Wednesdays have taken on new meaning.

You see, my youngest, Sol, is finding his way at school for the first time and wednesday is the day he has off.

My heart is breaking into a new shape as I learn to let go and at the same time seek ways to hold on and never let go make the transition smooth.

It's been bumpy so far. There's been tears. Leg clinging. "One more hug." "One more hug," he says ten times at the classroom door.

On the one hand, growing, separating, gaining independence for both he and I is how its meant to be. Like the butterfly, once we grow our wings we can't squeeze ourselves back into the cocoon no matter how hard we try or how much we miss the security of what we have known. We must venture forward into the unknown.

On the other hand, I can't help but question whether my boy is ready. Ready to be in a classroom with twenty-one other children, and at recess and lunchtime in a playground with two hundred and ninety nine other children. He is a sensitive soul. Happy in his own company a lot of the time. Confident with those close to him, a bit at sea in a crowd of kids.

I sat in his class for the first half hour of the day last week and could see clearly why being at school feels more stressful to his being than joyous. One teacher, twenty two five year olds. The ratio doesn't seem right. One curriculum, twenty two different personalities, learning abilities, attention spans and interests. The ratio doesn't seem right.

But that's mainstream schooling. One size fits all. To a degree.

I love the school we have chosen for our boys. And yes they do teach children at their point of need, but its not an easy gig teaching. The teachers at our sons' school are dedicated and the thing that makes it bearable to leave Sol, knowing he is not keen to be there, is the kindness and patience his teacher shows him. If he is upset she gives him a hug and sits him on her knee.

In different words, some have said to me of Sol's resistance 'he just has to toughen up', 'its part of life' 'he'll get used to it. and so will you'. But I'm not of that school of thought.

I am in the very fortunate position of having time on my side and to sound all hippy mama on you, I believe very much in parenting the soul of each child. Modern living doesn't allow much space for this kind of parenting because it takes time and that is one thing most people are short of. I have time in my day to spend easing Sol into school life. The very thing I don't want is for him to have to toughen up or adjust his sensitive soul to fit in.

There's a difference between some kids needing a gentle nudge out of the nest and for those who actually find it stressful.

We are only two weeks into term but I have fleetingly entertained the thought of homeschooling!

I'm sharing this today because I am sure there are many of you reading that can relate. We are not alone and parenting is a life long process of letting go and guiding our children (and ourselves) through each stage.

I will do this stage my way though for I know my child.

I will do all I can to preserve his nature, by giving him plenty of time when he is home just to be in his own company, to paint and draw, to play imaginative games with his toys, to not feel any pressure of having to know the answers or to know what to say to other children or teachers.

And hopefully this quiet time at home will fuel him up to face his days at school, knowing he is supported and nurtured.

The other thing I will be doing is seeking out Sarah Napthali's book 'Buddhism for Mothers of 
Schoolchildren'. I love Sarah's writing. Her voice of experience and wisdom has soothed me many times. I highly recommend her books to you if you have school age children or if you are a mother of a newborn.

The photos above are from our wednesday. Ordinary & precious.

How is everyone settling into the school year at your place? Tears, tantrums or joy?

Friday, February 13, 2015

weekend reading


If you're in Melbourne on Thursday 25th February, Creative Women's Circle are hosting an event: Janine Vangool of UPPERCASE magazine will share her story of starting a print magazine and growing a loyal readership in this digital age. You can find out more and book tickets here.

How gorgeous is this wholefood journal?

Hummingbird cake anyone?

101 Cookbooks kale quinoa bites - yum!

One of our favorite wholefood heroes, Jude Blereau, has given her website a makeover

Inspired (again) by Nic at Planning with Kids, we're starting family meetings

Highlight of my week was having lunch today at Cakes & Ale in Sorrento with an old friend, and also my friend Jane Cornelius author of Baby and A Backpack, a fab book that you'd all love.

For those local to the Mornington Peninsula, I'm hosting a Blogging for Beginners course at Sorrento Community Centre on Saturday March 21st. I'd love to meet you and show you that blogging is not that hard or scary once you get started. I'll show you how. Time: 10am-3pm. Cost: $60. Bookings: 5984 3360.

And if you're more serious about your blogging ambitions, Problogger 2015  event details have been announced today!

There's a storm coming through here. I'm loving that it is Friday and we can just be inside and enjoy the thunder and rain. The weekend is stretching out before us with no plans...just the way I like it!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend whatever you're up to. Xx

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

wholefood step-by-step: # 24 make your own ice cream and icy poles


It's summer here in Australia. Hooray! My favorite season (next to Spring)

Hot days call for cool ice cream, not just any ice cream though - home made, wholefood, real food, preferably organic kind of ice cream.

The beauty of making your own is that you know exactly what's in them and you can be endlessly creative with the combos you come up with.

What to avoid in commercially made ice creams and icy poles

Where to start? Well of course there's the obvious one the high concentration of sugar in all its forms - cane sugar, glucose, maltodextrin to name a few. Then there's the numbers that are usually attached to emulsifiers (the ingredients that add to the smooth creaminess), then there's ingredients you probably wouldn't expect to find in ice cream like wheat and soy. And finally the pasteurised homogenised milk and cream that can be difficult for people to digest, you can read more about modern milk here. And what on earth is the curious 'flavour' ingredient listed in so many processed foods?!

Let's take Peter's Original vanilla as an example:

  1. Ingredients: Water, Cream (15%), Sugar, Milk Solids, Glucose Syrup(Wheat), MaltodextrinVegetable Origin Emulsifiers [477, 471 (Soy)], Flavour, Vegetable Gum (412).
  2. While we're here, I just want to go over something that comes up a bit with wholefood/healthy blogs and bloggers. And that is, I'm not saying that I've never eaten this type of ice cream and neither have my children - we have. If you go and stay a weekend at my nan's I guarantee you will be offered this ice cream alongside a piece of her cheesecake or pavlova. I just want to give a little reminder that the whole purpose of this series is to shine a light on what is in processed foods and offer ways to make better choices more often.
I want to be so careful that people don't feel shame or guilt about what they have in the freezer and pantry when they read a post here. We are all on a learning curve in this processed food world we live in, awareness is the beginning for change and for long term health and happiness. So, no shame, no guilt - my line of work is about education not deprivation!

I digress. 

Back to the ice cream and icy poles. The ingredients to consider in commercially made icy poles are of course again an overload of sugar but also artificial food colourings. You can read more about food colourings here and here.

Equipment to make your own

- Icy pole moulds. You can buy these in most supermarkets and chain stores (ie. in Australia big w, kmart, target) and they are relatively inexpensive around $10, the ones I use I've had for two years. Biome have a range of pricier stainless steel moulds here. (I'm not an affiliate).

- A blender comes in handy if you want to make 'smoothie' style icy poles.

- An ice cream maker adds to the fun but is by no means necessary for creating beautiful cool sweet treats. 

- And of course the thermomix fans in our midst will already know the wondrous sorbets and ice creams that can be made with this pricey kitchen appliance that has won hearts all over the world (personally I don't have a thermomix and don't actually dream of owning one either but that's kind of a whole other post!)

Believe me when I say I don't have fancy or expensive equipment in my kitchen. I recently bought a blender from Kmart for $25, when my other one blew up unexpectedly, and it is doing a fine job of creating all manner of smoothies. 

I do have an ice cream maker that I picked up about 4 years ago at Aldi again for the magic sum of $25. The tricky part for me is I have a very small freezer and this particular ice cream maker requires the bowl to be frozen before use so it takes some planning, the ice cream it produces is beautiful though. There really is nothing like making ice cream at home and if your family really love it I would recommend making the investment in an ice cream maker.

Ingredients to make your own:

Fresh seasonal fruit, local and organic is always good!
Coconut milk or yoghurt
Organic milk or yoghurt
Sweeteners of your choice: maple syrup, honey
Real flavours: cacao, vanilla bean, mint, cinnamon
Freshly squeezed fruit juice

The possibilities are endless!

For some recipe inspiration check these out:

Raspberry mint ripple icy poles, Avocado lime icy poles
- Jo from Quirky Cooking : coconut ice cream with date swirl (no ice cream maker required)
- The Best Apricot Ice Cream Ever (dairy free)
- Michelle Schoeps icy pole video!
- The easiest way to make vanilla ice cream at home (this is a very comprehensive post. If you don't want to use cane sugar in the recipe you could try coconut sugar or rapadura, bear in mind it will change the colour of your ice cream. But even if you do use sugar (perhaps reduce the amount) it will still be healthier in my opinion than a store bought ice cream full of additives).

For the icy poles pictured I used:

2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 can coconut milk
a dash of maple syrup

In the blender til smooth then into the moulds and freeze. Delicious. Enjoy x

Do you make your own? Share some of your favorite flavour combos in the comments and the brand of your favorite ice cream machine if you have one.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

weekend reading



So. I disappeared from here for two weeks. I didn't plan on disappearing. It just happened that way. Time slipped through my fingers. But it was more than that. The ability to get my brain to function and complete tasks seemed to slip through my fingers too.

Anyway, I'm back!

One more sleep until school starts for us and this year Sol, our youngest, begins his school life.

A bittersweet moment.

I am looking forward to what I can make happen in the hours that he is at school. At this point it feels like I've been given a blank page to write on.

I just have to be careful not to fill those hours with errands and tasks!

FOCUS is my word for this year for good reason.

To get things started, here is a belated weekend reading list for you:

I love the sound of this raspberry and coconut summer porridge

If by some chance you don't have a diary for this year AND you are an aspiring writer, this may be the diary for you

Sign up to Brenda's newsletter and when she finishes her ebook 'Think Outside The Cereal Box' you will receive a copy to help you get everyone out the door fuelled up with delicious, nutrient dense wholefood rather than processed cereal that is convenient but falls short of what bodies and minds really need

A fun back-to-school lunchbox post from Sophie at Local is Lovely

From Jodi: The cost of living in 2015 (read the comments at the bottom of the post too you'll pick up more tips and ideas)

For those with little ones at home, if you're looking for art activity inspiration visit The Artful Parent

I feel like summer was all too fleeting. Or perhaps it hasn't fully arrived and we'll have a hot February and March. I can't imagine living somewhere with this much snow fall. I love Erin's blog.

If you haven't already, join me on Instagram @wholefoodmama and facebook

And on Saturday March 21st at Sorrento Community Centre I'm presenting a Blogging for Beginners workshop. If you're local to the Mornington Peninsula and curious about how to get started come along. Cost: $60 Time: 10am-3pm Bookings: 5984 3360

A new week. Here we go! x


Friday, January 16, 2015

weekend reading

I love Homegrown Kitchen and it just got even prettier with a new look to start the new year

If making peace with money is on your to do list for 2015, set half an hour aside and listen to Barbara Stanny author of 'Overcoming Underearning' she is amazing. She speaks the language of women: "the inner work is as important as the outer work" that is, working through the feelings and values you have around money are equally as important as learning how to budget and invest. And this, "Earning and managing money is not about the money, women are capable of that, it is about women owning their power".

Still on goals for the new year, I really enjoyed Nicole's 2015: the one thing post

And I thought this fantastic post from Nicole would come in handy with two weeks of holidays to go: Non technology activities for kids to do at home

I think Jodi's book would make a beautiful gift, especially for new mothers

Looking forward to a dinner date with my man at Cakes & Ale

I shared this on facebook during the week, a little video on how to get children to help around the house. Perhaps you can identify with being an 'overfunctioning parent' ie. "it is quicker and easier if I do it myself, then I know the job is done properly" Mistake! This creates underfunctioning children. See the vid for more details.

You have until midnight to sign up for Lisa's Small Steps to Wholefoods e-course. Lisa is one of the most passionate and motivated people I know when it comes to teaching people how to live the wholefood life without breaking the bank and so that your children and husband will happily get on board too! This course is perfect if you want to kickstart your wholefood year or get back on track.

It isn't too late to grab yourself a copy of Leonie Dawson's Incredible Yearbooks. 
Take some time out just for you and decide what you'd like to happen this year.

Ok better go it is getting a bit rowdy here in the background time to get them outside.

Happy weekend everyone. x


Thursday, January 15, 2015

thursday recipe: oat 'n' nut slice

I'm not sure what it is, the rainy weather or that there are basically only two weeks until school goes back but I was in the mood to bake something muesli bar like.

Working with what I had in the pantry this is my satisfying oaty nutty creation. I had to photograph it quickly because the taste testers were hovering, I'm glad I snapped it when I did because it didn't last long.

If you live in a warm climate this is definitely best stored in the fridge so that the coconut oil stays solid otherwise the slice becomes crumbly, delicious whatever shape its in but if you want it to hold together keep it cool. It isn't a particularly sturdy slice, probably best enjoyed at home or taken on a picnic but I don't think it would survive the rough and tumble of going to school in a lunchbox.

While we're on the topic of lunchboxes if you are looking for nut free options for going back to school Sonia has just put together a great post with 20 nut free lunchbox friendly recipes. She is organised that Natural New Age Mum! (A little too organised, I don't want to think about kids going back to school yet Sonia! but thanks for getting us on track :)

Enjoy the recipe but most importantly soak up these last couple of holiday weeks with your little folk
(& teenage folk too!)

Oat 'n' nut slice

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seed and almond sold in supermarkets and health food stores)
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup almond meal
3 tbsp maple syrup
1.5 tsp aluminium free baking powder
150ml coconut oil melted

To make

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C
Line baking tray with baking paper (mine is approx 20cm x 25cm)
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients
Press mixture into baking tray
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden
Would be delicious served with berries and yoghurt

**NOTE: wait until slice is completely cool before cutting or it will crumble**

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

wholefood step-by-step: # 23 rethink flour, & what to do with coconut flour

My friend Anthea inspired this post. Anthea bought some coconut flour for the first time and asked me, 'what on earth she was meant to do with it?!' I'll say from the outset coconut flour is not my go to flour (I use spelt flour for baking), I use coconut flour from time to time and am keen to embrace it so I thought this was a good opportunity to investigate further.

Before we get into some ideas for using coconut flour, let's take a look at flour in general.

Once upon a time when all foods were prepared in the home, made from scratch, we would have been grinding our own flour, possibly from a variety of wholegrains - not just wheat. As you can imagine, if we had to grind our own flour - by hand - we probably wouldn't use it too often!

Fast forward to our industrialised, factory food world and much of the modern diet is based on grains and namely wheat flour - bread, pastry, cakes, sweet biscuits, dry biscuits, muffins and so on. Now that we're not grinding our own flour (unless you own a thermomix :), floury foods have become convenient.

The cons of eating a high grain/flour diet is a whole post in itself but in a nutshell:

- grains/flours are carbohydrates, eating a high carbohydrate diet often means that nutrition suffers because carbohydrates are chosen over fruit, vegetables and protein.

- wheat ( including spelt, kamut, triticale) rye, barley, and oats contain gluten and the number of people with health problems related to gluten intolerance or sensitivity appears to be on the rise. ranging from bloating, stomach cramps, nausea vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome to coeliac disease. 

What is coconut flour and why should I try it?

One of the great things about coconut flour is that it is made from the byproduct of making coconut milk, which means nothing is wasted! The coconut pulp is dried and then ground into flour.

Fans of coconut flour love it because it is:

- it is gluten free
- grain free
- high in fibre
- low carb
- good for baking

Where do I buy it and how much does it cost?

If you shop online, thanks to Nutra Organics I am very happy to offer you a 10% discount discount in their online store not only on coconut flour but across their whole range!

Visit Nutra Organics here. You can find their Wholefood Pantry certified organic coconut flour here 1kg $14.35.

The discount code is: Wholefoodmama and is valid until February 28th 2015.

You can also buy coconut flour in health food stores and in some supermarkets in the section where flour is sold. It is generally sold in 500g or 1kg packets and prices range from approx. $6 - $12 depending on weight and whether it is organic or conventional.

If you'd like to try making your own coconut milk and coconut flour follow these instructions by Coconut Mama.

How do I use coconut flour?

The most popular way to use coconut flour is in baking: breads, cakes, muffins and desserts.

**Important tip: coconut flour cannot replace other types of flours at a cup for cup ratio. Coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid and you will notice recipes with coconut flour generally call for a large number of eggs to assist with binding the flour to produce a cake or muffin that doesn't just fall apart.

Thanks to some of my favorite wholefoodie bloggers I have a great collection of recipe links here for you of their tried and true baked goods made with coconut flour:

Natural New Age Mums'  Healthy Chocolate Muffins

Bek Mugridge's  Berrylicious muffins (not gluten free)

Brenda Janschek's  Brownie Cake

Georgia Harding's Healthy Chocolate, Almond, Coconut Bars

The Nourished Psychologist's Paleo Banana Bread

And if that's not enough to get you started, check out Empowered Sustenance 105 coconut flour recipes

Tell us the highs and lows of your experience with coconut flour. I'd love to hear!

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

Visit Nutra Organics here. You can find their Wholefood Pantry certified organic coconut flour here.

For 10% discount the code is: Wholefoodmama and is valid until February 28th 2015.


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