Thursday, 24 November 2016

Creamy berry chia pudding

This is one of my favourite snacks, breakfasts or even desserts. Its so fresh and creamy and not to mention nutritious. YUM!

Chia is full of so much goodness, being high in omega 3, fiber and many micronutrients. Plus as they swell in your tummy they will keep you full too.


1/2 cup chia seeds
1 can coconut cream
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries
Stevia to taste

Blend coconut cream and berries until smooth. Pour into bowl, add in chia seeds and stir until thoroughly mixed through. Add stevia to your liking. I use about 1/2ml of liquid vanilla stevia. You could also just add 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla essence or 1 vanilla bean pod.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Top with fruit and serve :)

Creamy berry chia pudding

Monday, 21 November 2016

No Noodle Pad Thai

This recipe was taken from a book called ‘Green Kitchen Travels’ by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl with a few slight modifications. It is such a fresh dish bursting with flavour and is perfect for a hot summers night. I also love that it is very allergy friendly (except for peanut allergies but I will give you an alternative to peanuts) and so healthy.


2 zucchinis
4 carrots peeled
250g mung bean sprouts
4 spring onions finely sliced
350g organic, GMO-free firm tofu cut into quarters (grilled chicken can be substituted for tofu if you want soy free)
1 large handful coriander chopped
2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
4 slices lime to serve

Peanut sauce
125g peanut butter (tahini paste can be used if you want to go peanut free)
4 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. organic tamari or soy sauce
¼ red chilli chopped fine
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp. sesame oil
Approx. 3 tbsp. water to thin

Use a peeler or spiralizer to create noodle from zucchini and carrots. In a large bowl add zucchini and carrot noodles to mung bean sprouts and onions. Add tofu, coriander and sesame seeds. Stir all ingredients together.

In a separate bowl stir all sauce ingredients together. Add extra water if you need to thin more. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and mix thoroughly so the sauce covers all the vegetables.

Place in individual bowls, garnish with sesame seeds, coriander and a wedge of lime and enjoy!
No noddle pad Thai

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Is time just flying by?

This morning I had 5 minutes to spare and decided to go outside and stand in the sun. This is something I often do when I have a bit of extra time in the morning. I love the feel of the warm sunrays on my face and the cool earth under my feet. I love having a few minutes to breath in the fresh air and admire the beauty of the garden. This is a small practice I started a few months ago and have felt the grounding and centring benefits every time. It is the loveliest way to start the day.

This morning after 2 minutes with my eyes closed just feeling the rays of sun on my skin I decided to check Facebook as I had brought my phone with me to keep track of the time. I scrolled through Facebook for about 1 minute and then checked the time to realise it had actually been 3 minutes. These 3 minutes had just disappeared whereas the 2 minutes I spent just standing felt like a much longer time. This realisation brought to the forefront of my mind our societal issue of not having enough time. Everyone I speak to says the same thing that time is juts going too fast. It made me think about the amount of time we spend on electronic devices whether it is our phones, computers, watching TV or checking social media. If my 3 minutes can just vanish like that then no wonder our days are disappearing when we spend so much of them connected to our appliances. Maybe if we spent a bit more time just being, time might slow down for us just that little bit. I think this is the basis of mindfulness and actually being present in the moment. When we are present our minds can relax and you will notice that the speed we experience normally stops and time just slows down. Imagine if we all just spent 5 minutes each day just being present. These moments bring clarity; reduce stress and anxiety, as our minds are not over stimulated. I hear so many people saying I just don’t have time for this type of thing, to dedicate 5-10 minutes a day to relaxation. Well first of all these practices actually help you have more time by slowing down our minds so we can be more productive but second of all you do have the time. We all do, it is just about priorities and allocating time accordingly. If you have time to check social media you have time for this, if you watch TV you have time for this, if you snack throughout the day you have time. Even if it is simply 30 seconds of being present 5 times a day that is a great place to start. Instead of having a 30 second break to chew a cookie allocate that time to being present. You can even do this while eating just shift your focus.

Our fast pace society is doing nothing for our health. It is causing massively high stress levels, which is a huge contributing factor to many diseases. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves, no one else’s. If you feel out of control, with time just flying by try this simple technique. Put away your device and just spend a few minutes truly being present with yourself. It is amazing how something so simple can be absolutely so powerful.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Top strategies for improving mood when you are feeling down in the dumps

We all have those days where nothing seems to be going to plan. You have so much to do but are simply getting nothing done, sitting and wallowing in your own misery hoping that somehow you will come out feeling better, having achieved something or that magically all your problems will disappear. Yesterday was one of these days for me. Growing up I quite commonly fell into the trap of overwhelm. This would particularly happen around exam time but also occurred any time I had to do something out of my comfort zone. But now this does not occur very often. Luckily after many years of not coping too well I have developed some strategies that work fast and very well for getting myself out of that dark hole. So yesterday after a few things didn’t quite work out the way I was hoping and I had spent the majority of the day feeling sorry for myself, I decided enough was enough. I got up, put on my active wear and went for a run. One of the first strategies I learnt all those years back was simply to get moving. I know when you are miserable that is the last thing you feel like doing but it is the first thing you should do. After being outdoors, getting some fresh air, listening to some uplifting music and getting my heart pumping, I was feeling much better, clear headed and energised. I have had many years to learn what works for me when I am feeling down, stuck or overwhelmed. I hope my strategies can help you too.

1.       Get moving- My all-time favourite strategy for anyone feeling stuck, down or miserable is to put on your running shoes and get outside. Go for a 10 minute walk, go for a run or a bike ride. I don’t care just get moving. When your mind is stuck in a negative spiral, the best and fastest way to change that is to create some movement. When I would be studying for exams and would be feeling totally overwhelmed I would get up, go for a walk and I would always come back feeling so much lighter, so much better. This is exactly what I did yesterday to get myself out of my bad mood. The combination of fresh air, some music and moving your muscles is the greatest way to change your mood.
2.       Breath- Deep breathing can be so powerful. It is a great way to centre yourself. Something that can be done anywhere at any time. When we are stressed, overwhelmed and panicked we often forget to breath. If you feel these dreaded emotions coming over you stop and focus your mind on your breath. This can be enough to change the outcome of your emotions. It is one of my favourite strategies if you are at work, about to go into an exam or in a situation where you can’t just go off for a walk around the block. Simply excuse yourself and go to the bathroom where you can focus purely on your breath for 5 minutes until your mind begins to relax.
3.       Talk to someone- misery is a lonely person’s game. This is how I feel at least. It is much easier to be miserable when you are alone and often when you are feeling down all you feel like doing is retreating to your room and blocking out the world and all those people in it. However, this is actually the worst thing you can do. Talking to someone who can support you is often so helpful in these low times. It helps to get things off your chest, puts things in perspective and it just helps to know someone out there cares. I was alone all day yesterday and once my husband came home and I had some company and someone to talk to I realised I had to pull myself out of my mood. If you don’t feel like you have someone you are comfortable opening up to then there are professionals available and I highly recommend you speak to one.
4.       Rescue remedy- This is a handbag must have. It’s quick, easy and works fast. A few sprays helps to calm you down immediately.
5.       Music- music does wonders for the mood. It can lift you and it can bring you back down. For me I find it really depends on the day but sometimes all I need is to belt out an emotive song to release any pent up sadness while other days I need something fun and uplifting. This is something you will have to work out for yourself but if you are deep in sadness, music is an exceptional way to release emotions. With my run yesterday I had some fun pop music and then followed it with a few ballots to sing along to while stretching. I found that the uplifting music helped me get out of my bad mood while the more emotive songs were a good place to think and put things into perspective.
6.       Pets- Aren’t animals just the best. They are always there for us no matter what. They listen, they don’t judge and they just give some much love. If you don’t have a pet call up a friend who does and go give it a cuddle.
7.       Nature- my first point of getting outside touched on this slightly but nature has amazing abilities to help centre and heal. It has been shown that going barefoot on dirt for 30 minutes a day has amazing health benefits. I love going to the Dandenong ranges and walking in Sherbrook forest. I find it really helps to calm me and I always come home so positive and relaxed. But obviously that’s not somewhere I can go daily so just go outside and spend some time in your garden or walking the streets and smelling the flowers. Others may look at you like you are a crazy hippie but I promise you will feel better for it!

My favourite place to escape to. The Dandenong Ranges.