It’s Summer time…

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I’ve always been in awe of yogis.   I haven’t worked out if it’s because I’m completely amazed by the things they can do with their bodies, or if I’m attracted to the dedication and steel determination that I think you must possess in order to reach both feet beside your head.   I think the yogi name for that is Gandha Bherundasana – Formidable Face Pose.  Look it up, I dare you!

So, when I discovered Summer Perez on instagram, I was hooked.   Apart from her obvious gorgeousness and killer yoga poses, there’s something so positive and calm about her that I couldn’t help but be drawn to it.

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I look forward to her pics every day, as well as the beautiful accompanying quotes.  They serve as a reminder that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to.

But how does one get that good at  yoga?  And is it more than just the aesthetics of the physical body?  Well, of course it is!

Whilst researching all things yoga, I came across this amazing article, it sums it up pretty well.  You can find it here.

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And I also got to ask Summer all the usual OHM questions :)

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I recently made a massive life change when I moved to Las Vegas from Miami.  I’m a wife and a stay-stay-at-home mom of two toddlers who is working on launching a health-related business in the community within the coming months.  I’m also working towards my own blog and Youtube channel.  I love photography, writing, reading, motorcycles, music, leather, chocolate, stand-up comedies, and the occasional raw cheesecake.
What is your eating philosophy?

Most of my week is clean and plant-based unless my husband brings home something else and I’m hungry (so I’m not 100% plant-based just yet..there’s some cheese from time to time). I definitely don’t like preparing raw meat. But that’s not the only reason why I lean towards a plant-based lifestyle.  See, my kids are genetically predisposed to developing Multiple Sclerosis (my MIL suffers from it now), and the research I’ve read says that many of the triggers are created through lifestyle choices before the age of about 15. Switching to a plant-based lifestyle with less than 25 g of saturated fat per day, and omitting dairy and eggs, helps decrease the odds significantly. They are also predisposed to developing Alzheimers (my FIL has it), which is basically Type 3 diabetes.  Because of that I try to keep their sugar intake low so that they won’t have a huge craving for it later on. Do I freak out about food then?  No.  When we have something that isn’t in line with our everyday, I want them to know that, “Hey, this isn’t the greatest thing for you, but don’t beat yourself up if you have it every once in a blue moon”.  I want them to develop a healthy relationship to food and not develop anxieties at meal time. Food is nourishment, not a cause for a panic attack.  I grew up in a family that believed that food is one of the best medicines out there. And I believe that this is why I’m rarely sick and my injuries heal quickly…I want the same for my own children.  Give your body the nutrition it needs to perform optimally, and it will take care of you for many years to come.

When and why did you decide to start eating this way?

Aside from what I mentioned already, I knew about healthy eating since I was a child. I stopped having so much dairy when I was 14 when I realized I was lactose intolerant. Then in my late teens I started to recognize how food had the power to clear my skin.  But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second child that I noticed how much wheat hurt me.  I would have pains and even wake up feeling like I was hung over.  I cut down the wheat products immediately.  A few months later I found out my son was allergic to wheat and eggs, so my journey to truly listen to my own body and understand its reaction to foods began.  I stopped the meat when I noticed my body felt much better when I omitted it.

Have you noticed any difference since changing your eating philosophy (if any)?

Yes! I have more energy, my pains have lessened…and I have noticed I’ve gotten stronger and more flexible.

Have you met any barriers to eating this way, if so, how did you overcome them?

For me, no.  But for those around me, yes.  At first many believed that it was going to be expensive and difficult, and it would ruin family get-togethers, but I’ve found it to be much more cost effective and pretty simple… and now those same people are asking me for tips on how to revamp their meals and health! And no one noticed that I didn’t reach for the turkey or ham at Thanksgiving.

What is your favourite dish to make?

Chickpea curry and rice, or red beans and rice. Simple comfort food.

What ingredients are a must-have for your fridge/pantry?

Oatmeal, quinoa, chickpeas, beans, rice, celery, bananas, coconut oil, nut butter.  These are permanently on the shopping list.

Juices or smoothies? What do you prefer and what combination?

Both! But I do lean towards juices more often than not. I experiment a LOT with many different combinations, and I’ll soon be finalizing recipes.

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Sweet or savoury?
Too hard to pick

Can you share a fave recipe with us?
My kids LOVE this one!

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Lentil tacos
1 teaspoon olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon taco seasoning, or to taste (or make your own with cumin, chili powder, paprika)
1 2/3 cups vegetable broth
2/3 cup salsa
12 tortillas or taco shells
Method
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.  Mix lentils and taco seasoning into onion mixture; cook and stir for 1 minute.  Pour vegetable broth into skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover the skillet and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Mash lentils slightly; then stir in salsa.  Serve about 1/4 cup lentil mixture in each taco shell. Garnish with cilantro (coriander) or any of your favourite taco toppings!
Another simple one is:

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BBQ cauliflower “drumsticks

Preheat the oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet.
Cut the cauliflower into florets.
Brush on BBQ sauce.
Bake for 40 minutes, moving them around every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning.
Brush on more BBQ sauce when it’s done.
That’s it! Serve like you would chicken drumsticks.
Can you describe your day on a plate (from rise to bedtime)?

I keep it clean as much as possible.

Example from what I’m planning on having today:
Breakfast- oatmeal with something sprinkled on top like flaxseed, hemp hearts, chia seeds, raw honey (today was flax and honey)

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Lunch- quinoa with black beans, corn and salsa
Snack- peanut butter bananas
Dinner- chickpea curry over rice

Any snacks in between are usually fruit, peanut butter on celery, and/or nuts. Coffee for breakfast but lots of water throughout the day.

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How do you stay fit and what is your training schedule like?

I stay active! I make it a “must” in my life instead of a “should.” I join in on my kids’ playtime, which involves involves a lot of running and jumping.  I can’t make it to the gym, so every workout is at home. Sometimes I use my kids as added weight when I’m doing squats and lunges or holding a plank.  I practice yoga every day, and when it comes to strength training, I like breaking up the days (like Monday and Thursday for lower body, Tuesday and Friday for upper body). Sometimes just 5 to 10 minute workout breaks throughout the day are just the thing I need when life gets busy.

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Your yoga poses are so graceful and beautiful, they actually remind me of art! What got you into yoga?

Thank you! It was yoga that really showed me that the body is a vessel for creative expression. I love playing with poses, lighting and photography and seeing what turns out :)
I started yoga at a time when I was surrounded by negativity and things were just rough in my life.  My body felt just as weak as my self-esteem, and I kept going in and out of post – partum depression..or maybe it was just depression from life in general.  Who knows.  I just know I wasn’t able to shake it off like I usually do until my mat started calling for me on a daily basis.  And with every breath, a new life started to unfold…stored energies started to clear…mental blocks started to move…fears became released.  I started to feel like myself again..that same way I did so long ago when I remembered to meditate.. remembered to be kind to myself… remembered that my true essence is love.  I realized that I had let life get in the way and I didn’t take care of myself the way I should have. But now that my kids are getting older, I’m seeing how vital it is for me to continue my practice and make time for ME.  I owe it to myself and to my family to be at my best every day, and I can only do that if I love myself and devote time to my needs.  And when I do that, these blissful moments become more frequent as we feed off of each other’s high frequency vibrations.  My practice makes me a better mom and wife, and it develops a loving relationship with my true self and with the Universe as a whole.
You are mega flexy! What has your journey been like to get to this point in your practice and what does yoga mean to you?

I was a runner for most of my life, then spent time boxing and lifting weights. So due to the nature of those activities my hips and hamstrings were pretty tight when I first started practicing yoga.  I had some flexibility, but it’s been practicing every day and learning to breathe into the stretch that really helped my progress.  I can see the difference from one day to the different next if I don’t practice.
But yoga is so much more than poses. It is a way a life…one in which love, truth and acceptance prevails.  Yoga is about pulling away all of the layers and discovering the core of who I really am.  It redirects energies and facilitates the return to love.  The awareness that it brings to every day allows me to live life without letting it pass me by.

Does your whole family do yoga?

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Yes! My kids will sometimes follow alongside whatever flow I’m doing, or they’ll practice something off to the side that they’ve seen me or someone else do.  My husband does a bit of yoga from time to time with me, too, when he’s home from work.  As a family, we practice the principles off the mat, and we do breathing exercises to bring us back to centre whenever things start getting hectic.  It brings so much peace and awareness almost instantly.

What would be your top tip for someone beginning on their own yoga journey?

Honour your body. Push up to and slightly past your limit, and keep moving forward steadily… you don’t want to risk injury.  Celebrate the small successes along the way.  You’ll gain confidence with every step. Show yourself love, compassion and lots of patience.  Show up consistently and you’ll see not only your body transform, but your mind and soul, as well, as you begin to take the lessons from the mat into your daily life.  And enjoy the journey!

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What’s your advice on staying mentally healthy in our fast paced world and with so many different life pressures?

Breathe and be love..and practice forgiveness. Everytime you can catch yourself wrapped up in a situation, take a moment to breathe deeply and choose the path of love, peace, and understanding.  You don’t have to show up to every conflict you have been invited to; you can be the light, instead. And forgiveness is so vital for our sanity– it removes the power that person or event holds over us.  The more we forgive others and ourselves, the more freedom we feel and the easier it is to live in truth.

Wise words from a wise and amazing soul.

Hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did.  It really just makes me want to pull my finger out and get on that mat!

You can find Summer on instagram @summerperez

 

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

 

All photographs supplied by Summer Perez.

Beautiful Hippy – Taline Gabriel

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I have been in love with Taline’s instagram from the first time I came accross it.  She makes the most delectable healthy treats, that just happen to be plant based.  One scroll through her photos and it’s not hard to see why she’s so popular.   But apart from the aesthetics of her photos, her treats are truly delicious, and you can believe me because I’ve had the pleasure of eating what she’s made.   You can’t get more legit than that!

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I first met her after we worked with Stephanie Rice on a food shoot for her website.  It was Taline that reached out to me and asked if I wanted to be part of the project which was so lovely, and of course I was a bit star struck as I’d been a huge fan of hers for a while.

Whilst we didn’t get a chance for much conversing on that shoot, we have met up since and what striked me most (aside from her obvious hotness) was how honest and down to earth she is.  Apart from making gorgeous treats, she’s also a genuine person who tells it like it is.  Which is why I love her even more.

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Here’s me being nosey and asking the usual OHM questions.  For your reading pleasure of course!

Questions

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Australian of Armenian descent, born and raised in Sydney. I am married and have two wonderful children. I love anything food and fashion and am travel obsessed. I’m passionate, fiercely loyal and say it how it is.

What is your eating philosophy?

– I eat a variety of fresh, unprocessed and ethically sourced food that’s mostly free of gluten, dairy, GMO and refined sugar. I make baked and raw vegan treats but I’m not fully raw or vegan, although I fully respect the vegan lifestyle and their ethical and environmental standpoint.

When and why did you decide to start eating this way?

– I have always been generally health conscious but I wasn’t restrictive or on a particular diet. About 4 years ago, when I was trying to fall pregnant with my second child, things didn’t seem right so I went to see a holistic gp. I learnt that I was intolerant to a whole list of foods including egg, dairy, wheat, and soy. I needed to cut these offending foods out of my diet to help heal my gut, so that’s what I did.

Have you noticed any difference since changing your eating philosophy (if any)?

– A huge difference. I feel less bloated and sluggish and generally more energetic. I don’t have digestion issues as I used to and feel well overall.

Have you met any barriers to eating this way, if so, how did you overcome them?

– We definitely reduced the amount we ate out. My husband is in coffee and hospitality so we travel often and dine out a fair bit. Although I was already big on cooking and prepping my own meals, I got in the kitchen a whole lot more. I found it was just easier to eat at home as I knew exactly what was in the food I was eating. I also began to make my own treats. This was the hardest part of being egg, gluten and dairy free. There were seriously no sweet options. Especially when you add ‘no refined sugar’ to that list. That’s how Hippie Lane evolved.

These days there are so many alternative options available on café and restaurant menus, it’s hardly an issue. Things have come a long way in the last 4 years, it amazes me how conscious people have become to dietary restrictions.

What is your favourite dish to make?

– I love anything chocolate. My raw Cookies and Cream Slice is probably my favourite.

What ingredients are a must-have for your fridge/pantry?

– Organic cacao powder, coconut oil, nuts, dates, activated buckwheat, rice malt.

Juices or smoothies? What do you prefer and what combination?

– Smoothies for sure. I love acai-based smoothies. My favourite at the moment is a mix of acai powder, berries, banana, cacao, maca and almond mylk. Obsessed!

Sweet or savoury?

– SWEET

Can you share a fave recipe with us?

– Absolutely. If there were one recipe that I’d convince you to make it, it would be my RAWEO. Here it is:

Raweos

Biscuits:

3/4 cup pecans

1 cup dates

Pinch of salt

1 tsp pure vanilla powder

3 tbsp cacao powder

Filling:

1 cup soaked cashews

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp coconut nectar

1 tsp vanilla powder

Method

Process biscuit ingredients in a food processor until it reaches a dough-like consistency.

Roll the dough into a large ball and flatten on cutting board with a rolling pin.

Cut in circle shapes with cookie cutter.

Refrigerate until firm. You can freeze to speed up the process.

Blitz filling ingredients in the food processor. Should be nice and smooth.

Spread filling onto chilled cookies and sandwich together.

Store in the fridge.

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Can you describe your day on a plate (from rise to bedtime)?

Breakfast – Smoothie Bowl with Hippie Lane RAWnola, fresh berries and nuts
Lunch – Quinoa and baby leaf salad with lentils and roasted veg + a raw chocolate treat
Dinner – Bean casserole with sautee garlic mushrooms and kale, with a rocket salad

How do you stay fit?

– Pilates and long walks. I’m tempted to start the Kayla Itsines’s program, just trying to find the motivation to begin – I hear it’s grueling!

What are your tips for staying mentally healthy in our fast paced world and with so many different life pressures?

– I try to be mindful and to live in the moment. I’m very grateful for all the wonderful things in my life, including my work, my friends and most of all my family. I take each day at a time and count my blessings.

Seeing your treats are a delight to the eyes, thank you for that! But what inspires you to create such yumminess and how do you know what will drive us all crazy?!

– It’s funny, you can never really guess how people are going to react to your recipes. There are times when I think something will be a huge hit and it will receive a lukewarm response, and a treat that I post reluctantly will have people going crazy. It’s bizarre! But I’ve worked out that people love chocolate and peanut butter. I can safely assume that people generally go nuts for anything with that combination.

If you could give someone a piece of advice regarding adopting a healthier lifestyle, what would it be?

– Take small steps. It can feel overwhelming letting go of old eating habits – don’t try to do it all at once. I would suggest beginning by eating more fresh food, especially plants, and to reduce the amount of packaged food you consume. That would be my starting point.

You have a new website and it looks fantastic, what’s next for Hippie Lane?

– Thank you! I have a recipe app on the way and am moving toward wholesaling my treats to the café market.

Any news on when the app is coming out, we’re all hungrily awaiting!

– Yep so I’ve been told! It’s been a monster job to get all elements of the app together and into production. We expect the app to be ready before the end of this year, sometime in December. So not long now ;)

If we want to try your treats, where can we get them?

– Hippie Lane is currently supplying to Dose Espresso and Ritual Coffee Traders in Sydney.

 

If you’re not already following her on Instagram, I suggest you do!

As for me, I’m off to enjoy my Rawreo :)

 

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

Avocado and Coconut Ice Cream

Whenever I go to the states, admittedly only twice so far, I come home with some kind of kitchen device.  On my last visit, I bought a kitchenaid, and on this visit, I bought the ice cream attachment for that.  I’ve been wanting this attachment for AGES so I was pretty excited to get it to say the least!

It did however, still take me nearly a month to use it but hey, that’s life.  You get so caught up on the day to day stuff, you forget that there’s new gadgets to play with!

My first ice cream experiment is this easy, peasy, lemon squeezy recipe that I think you’ll love.

It’s rich, creamy, tasty, tangy, and crunchy.  And the best part?  It only requires 4 ingredients!

This recipe requires an ice cream maker.  If you don’t have one, you can always freeze the mixture and intermittently mix it (every 2 hours or so) to aerate it so you get that creamy ice cream consistency and no ice crystals.  I haven’t personally tried this so can’t vouch for the end result.

IMG_3597Avocado and Coconut Ice Cream

Makes about 550 mls

Ingredients

1 1/2 cans of coconut milk (I used full fat)

2 medium ripe avocado

Stevia* to taste

1 lime, zested and juiced

Good handful of unsweetened coconut flakes (optional but highly recommended for texture)

Method

Place all of the ingredients, except coconut flakes in a powerful blender and blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust sweetness.

Pour into your ice cream maker (one that  you have left in the freezer overnight of course)!

Churn for about 10 minutes, until it reaches a creamy, ice cream consistency.

Pour into a tray and place in the freezer to set some more as it will be quite soft at this stage.  Or you can eat it as is!

To serve, remove from freezer, let it soften for 5 – 10 minutes, add the coconut flakes if using and enjoy.

*I use powdered stevia leaf, which is green in colour.  You can buy it from Alfalfa House in Enmore if you’re in Sydney.  Otherwise regular stevia works too.

This is best enjoyed sitting in the sun, licking the drops of your fingers.

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

3 day juice cleanse

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When I decided to go on this 3 day juice cleanse,  I was so excited!  I’d done a juice and smoothie 5 day cleanse before and loved it, but it was different this time.  Doing just a juice cleanse is another kettle of veggies!

First of all, most smoothies are packed full of fruit which are high in fructose, so the sugar keeps your energy up.  Secondly, because there’s fibre in smoothies, they tend to be more filling.

So why just a juice cleanse?  To be honest, I think it had more to do with the fact that it would be more challenging, than with any perceived health benefits, that got me.  Although I know that there are definitely those.

Doing a cleanse such as this, for me, above all else, is the break that it gives your digestive system.

Our digestive system is a pretty hard worker.  Think of all the times you shove something in your mouth.  Working.

Or the fact that when your body is under stress, it will shut down the digestive system so that it can pull that energy into saving your life. Working.

Or that sleep is difficult if you’re body is still fighting to digest your dinner.  Yep, still working.

So for me, giving it a break from this, but still getting the essential nutrients to keep my body functioning is what initially attracted me to do the juice cleanse.

But what I got out of it, was more than health benefits.  What I got out of it, was a newfound appreciation for food as a whole and an insight into how much food I physiologically need compared to what i actually consume.

For me, this cleanse was about resetting my mind and my body and I believe that I have achieved that.

To be successful on a juice cleanse, you really need to be in the right frame of mind.  My advice is to not have too many expectations of yourself.  If you’ve never done one before, my advice is to take it slowly.  Start with 1 day, then a couple of months later, if you liked the way it made you feel, do it for 2 days and so on.  Also, try to keep busy, but not around food.  The easiest day for me what the first day, because I was at work, and it’s always busy.

Secondly, choose a juice company that uses organic ingredients and the cold press method.  The cold press method is a process that entails pulverising fruits and vegetables and then pressing them with enough force to remove all the nutrients and juice, leaving behind a pulp, or fibre.  Whilst fibre is great for us, taking it out for this purpose is what allows your body to rest, and allows for the nutrients to be hyper-absorbed into the body, or so the theory goes.

But can’t I just use my juicer?  Well, yes, you can do that, but the difference is that blenders and juicers create centrifugal force, which could raise the heat of produce slightly and potentially cause nutrients to begin to deplete.  Again, this is what cold press juice enthusiasts say but you can make up your own mind.

I did the Cali Press 3 day Deep Clean Cleanse . This cleanse consisted mainly of vegetable juices, mostly green (my fave) and no smoothies. Not that there’s anything wrong with smoothies, I love them, but because I am trying to reset my body and mind and break my sugar habit, which has been creeping back over the past 6 months, I wanted to do one with the least amount of fruit.

The juices in the Big Clean, still contained some fruit, but I feel that this was warranted as I still needed the energy to get me through the day.  I really liked that the cleanse came with detailed instructions on how to go about it and I found that sticking to the timing schedule really helped.  I was never hungry, in the physiological sense.  My stomach never rumbled, and I never felt faint.  I actually felt comfortable the whole time in terms of hunger.  I attribute that to the fact that my body was getting the required amount of nutrients to keep it happy, plus I have stored energy too :)

The juices were tasty and subtle and my fave out of the 8 that you get was definitely the popeye, which is a green juice made from kale, spinach, cos, celery, cucumber, parsley and lemon.

Whilst I probably overdid it with the exercise on that first day (I did’t listen to the instructions about taking it easy on the exercise – what can I say, I’m a rebel), I was surprised that I still had the energy to keep to my regular fitness schedule.  I did take it easy on the last day though, no point pushing the friendship!

I have to admit that preparing meals for my family on the second day was really challenging, as we always have dinner together when I’m not working.  It’s a special time for us, but watching them eat was hard, not because I was hungry, but because it was just such a change from my routine!  So I took Billie for a walk instead.  There’s always an alternative :)

What I liked the most about doing the Cali Press juice cleanse, is that it gave me some extra time.  I didn’t have to think about my meals, I could just chill.  Oh the luxury!  They also came in their own little cooler bag, which made it handy when I had to take it to work.

The cleanse also made me aware of all the mindless eating I do.  Finishing my daughter’s plates, sticking my hand in the nut jar because it’s in front of me (even though I’m not hungry).  Having 1 litre smoothie when 500 mls is just as satisfying.

I know that I’m lucky to be able to choose good, healthy foods to eat. And whilst I know that I can’t help the circumstances that come out of having this life that I am blessed with, it has made me more appreciative about my impact on the world, from a consumption point of view.  Regardless of how you choose to eat, there will always be some kind of impact.  Overconsumption, whether of plant or animal foods, is still impacting the earth in a negative way.

So, now that it’s over, I am grateful for the experience.  It’s probably something that I’ll incorporate into my life on a regular basis.  How regular will be up to me and what my body tells me.

I can honestly say that it’s been a great experience, both physically and mentally, and I got out of it what I was hoping for and more.

A big THANK YOU to the legends at Cali Press for keeping me juiced up and for using organic produce grown by local farmers.  Big ups!

If you’re interested in doing their cleanses, just head to Cali Press and enter the code HM001 for a 10% discount on all the available cleanses (there’s 3 to choose from) or some of their custom juice cartons so you can try their juices before you commit.

Now, what to eat tomorrow?  I think I have a few ideas!

Peas, love and mungbeans,

xxb

reboot week 1 round up

So the end of week 1 of my self-imposed reboot is complete.  How did I go you ask?

Suprisingly, whilst I didn’t struggle during the week, I did have a hard time staying away from sweet treats come the weekend.  Could’ve had something to do with all the chocolate floating around due to Halloween, or the fact that I have a good schedule during the week, but whatever the case, I did have moments on Saturday where I probably ate things I wasn’t meant to (dark chocolate mainly, oops).

But, I guess like with anything, you will have some slip ups and what gets you to the other side is forgiving yourself and moving on.

As for the rest of the time, I felt super motivated and happy with my choice to do the reboot.  I also got excited again about cooking and food prep again which is always nice.

In terms of what I’ve been eating, I’ve been pretty constant:

Breakfast:  Green juice or chia porridge

Lunch: Big salad (lots of greens), with some good fats (avocado, nut and seed butters, seeds), some crunchy fruit for texture and a little bit of added sweetness (think green apples, nashi pears, pomegranates) and sometimes some baked pumpkin.

Dinner:  Baked sweet potato (can’t get enough), green salad and some type of legume for added protein.

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating for breakfast:

IMG_3060IMG_3330I made both of these when I was in the USA, but it’s basically what i’ve been eating here, sometimes I just change up the fruit but try to stick to berries and kiwifruits because I’m really into them at the moment, and although the berries are way more expensive here, you can still get some good frozen berries which is what I’ve been using to substitute.  Strawberries have been good, so I’ve been using them quiet a bit.

I get a lot of questions about how I make my chia porridge so I’m going to outline the recipe below.  Everyone has their own way of making it but this is the way that I like to do it as it gives a really nice consistency and that’s what it’s about for me.

 

Basica Chia Porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 TBS of chia seeds

3/4 cup of non-dairy mylk (I like unsweetened coconut or unsweetened almond)

few drops of stevia (0ptional)

 

Method

Add all of your ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake the hell out of it.  A lot.  Like a few times.  To make sure the chia seeds don’t clump up together, because that has the freakiest texture and it’s not nice.

Leave it in the fridge overnight or for at least 30 minutes.  If in doubt, shake it again.

That is all!

You go get creative on that chia!

I like to layer mine with some coconut kefir yoghurt and above mentioned fruits but whatever rocks your mason jar.

I also like to make a smoothie first and then add it to the chia seeds, this adds flavour and colour and some extra nutrition depending on what you’re putting in your smoothie.  Below is one I made by blending coconut mylk with baby spinach, spirulina, a little stevia and 1/2 banana.  Sky’s the limit really with the flavour combos.

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IMG_3390This salad was really simple but yummy, I actually ate it two days in a row.

 

Baby Greens with nashi pear and roast pumpkin

Serves 1

 

Ingredients

1 cup each of baby kale, baby spinach and baby mixed greens

1/2 nashi pear, sliced thinly

1/3 cup of baked pumpkin

2 tsp of pumpkin seeds

 

Dressing

1 TBS raw and sprouted pumpkin seed butter (I use Dastony brand)

1/2 lemon, juiced

1-2 TBS of water

Himalayan pink salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

 

Method

Wash and dry your leaves carefully, using a salad spinner will help (my lifesaver).  Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Mix all your ingredients for the dressing together and pour over the leaves.

Mix in the pumpkin and nashi pear, being careful not to mash it all up because it’s nice to have texture!

Sprinkle on some raw pumpkin seeds and eat.

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Ok, so this dish was inspired by Chicago raw vegan restaurant, Karyn’s Raw.  I went there on my visit to Chicago with fellow instagrammer and lovely human being, @ericabeevegan.  She treated me to a beautiful raw vegan brunch and it was the bomb!

I saw these ravioli on the take away menu there and Erica showed me that the trick to get the turnip soft and pasta-like, was to salt them first.  GENIUS!

Two Cheeze Ravioli with Napolitana Sauce

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 medium sized turnip, sliced with a mandolin to make thin even slices

1/3 cup of raw cashews (soaked overnight or at least 1 hour)

1/3 cup of raw macadamias (soaked overnight or at least 1 hour)

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 TBS nutritional yeast

1/2 clove of  garlic

1 tsp of dried dill

Himalayan pink salt

Freshly cracked pepper

1 cup of chopped tomatoes

4 kalamata olives, chopped and deseeded

1/2 clove of garlic

2 tsp of evoo

1/2 date

2 basil leaves

1/4 – 1/2 cup of water (optional)

 

Method

Peel turnip and thinly slice with a mandolin.  Set aside on a plate lined with absorbent paper.  Once you cover the plate with the turnip slices, sprinkle with salt, add absorbent paper on top and repeat the process until all of the turnip slices are covered.  Set aside to soften whilst you make the rest of the dish.

For the cheeze, first rinse the nuts well, then add them to the blender with the nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice and dill.  Blend until it’s mostly smooth but not completely.  Add a little bit of water if needed to get it going but not too much.  You still want it to be thick in consistency.  Once ready, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scrape the contents into a small bowl and place it in the fridge to harden.

For the sauce, blend the tomatoes, olives, oil, basil, date and garlic until smooth and season to taste.  If it’s too thick for your liking, add some water.

Now let’s make some ravioli!

Rinse the turnip slices under cold water to get rid of the excess salt.  Dry again on absorbent paper.

Place about 1 tsp or more of the filling in the middle of each turnip slice, leaving plenty of room around the sides.  Turn one side over, making a half moon type shape.  This is your ravioli.

Place them on a clean plate as you go.  When you’ve done them all, pour over your marinara sauce and you’re done!

I served this with a baby kale and clover sprout salad with a chunky avocado and lemon juice dressing.  So good!

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This dish is one of my fave all time dishes as it’s quick and simple and the salad is delicious.  I’ve been making this salad for so long now and it never gets old.  It’s a fave at family gatherings because it’s so simple but so damn tasty, which is exactly what I’m about.

I always bake lots of pumkin and sweet potato so I have them in the fridge ready to go whenever I’m time poor.  Nothing beats freshly baked but if you’re out of time, it pays to have some handy.

Kale, Pomegranate and Avocado Salad

Makes a big salad bowl

Ingredients

1 bunch of curly kale

1/2 large pomegranate, seeds removed

1 large ripe avocado

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 lemon, juiced

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Method

Remove stems from kale leaves, and wash them well under running water, being careful to remove any dirt or insects that can sometimes hide in the little curly bits.  Place in a salad spinner and spin well to remove water.  Repeat until you’re happy with how dry they are.

Place leaves on a chopping board and chop into thin threads.  Place chopped leaves in a large mixing bowl.

Add avocado in cubes, 1/2 the lemon juice, some salt and cracked pepper.  Use your hands to squish the avocado through the kale, at the same time mixing it through and massaging the kale (this will soften the kale).

Taste and adjust seasoning and/or add more lemon juice if required.  Mix with hands again to get every little bit of kale smothered in the avocado/lemon juice goodness.

Once you’re happy with it, add the onion and pomegranate seeds and use tongs to mix them thorough.  Done.  Don’t forget to wash  your hands

For this dish, i just used a baked sweet potato and canned organic black beans which I topped with some chiplote parmesan cheeze.

I fell in love with chiplote when i was in the states, it just tastes so good in everything!  So I bought some chiplote powder and brought it back to Australia, since I’ve found it hard to source here.

For the chiplote parmesan all you need to do is ground some walnuts, sunflower seeds, add some chiplote powder and nutritional yeast and season with a little bit of Himalayan pink salt and it’s ready.  I store mine in a glass container in the fridge.  I’m purposely not giving you measurements as it’s a very individual thing.  Feel free to leave out the chiplote if you can’t get your hands on some.

IMG_3403IMG_3448 IMG_3434IMG_3451Don’t forget there’s always zoodles!  They are another go to meal and I usually like mine with mixed baby spinach or baby kale and a cashew sauce or mashed avocado and lemon juice.

I’m also excited because a new About Life has opened up a walk away from where I work so if I’m ever lazy, I can just stroll there and get a healthy meal (as you can see above).

Well, I hope I’ve given you some ideas for some dishes to try if you’re on a reboot or if you just want to start eating more fresh plant foods.

Remember that it’s not just about eating well (although it mostly is), but also moving your body.  Get it doing something that gets the blood pumping for at least 30 minutes a day and your body and mind will be so grateful you did.  I promise :)

Wishing you a productive and fulfilling week.

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb