Low fat this, low carb that.. Seriously..

One thing that always bothers me is hearing people say ‘I want something low fat, something low carb.. Something low in sugar…’ People, we need to change our mentality!

Yes we should be saying ‘I want something without Trans Fats – or something low in saturated fats’ BUT we should also be saying ‘Give me something high in essential fatty acids, because, you know, my body can’t make them and I need to eat them on a daily basis to keep my brain working, skin healthy, my central nervous system and eyes healthy, and reduce any inflammation in my body…’

And low carb should mean low in REFINED horrible carbs that my wonderful book Healing with Wholefood says: Whenever we eat refined food, whether it be white-flour foods, denatured rice and other cereals, or refined oils and sugars, we limit the opportunity to bolster our immune system, keep our blood sugar and emotions balanced protect against degenerative diseases, maintain a trim and fit body, and in general, keep our integrated experience of life harmonious..’

Wow.. that seems to me a pretty good list of reasons to ‘swap’ as our government would say.. We should be saying ‘can I have something high in wholegrains, full of fibre and containing proper sugars, rather than any of those artificial chemical ones, because my body runs on glucose, high fructose corn syrup causes obesity and aspartame is poisonous..’

What is hard to explain to people is that the full fat version in its natural state is much easier to digest than something modified – skinny milk for example, or reduced fat butter – we need all of the components so our bodies can recognise them as a food, and digest it accordingly.. This is the reason Trans fats have become so dangerous – they are modified and our body has no idea what to do with it, so it just stores it, never to be digested or eliminated. Imagine if you are eating a lot of them…

Ok… enough of a rant? I guess i just wish clinical nutrition was a subject everyone had to do at high school – we are never taught the true value of food, or vitamins and its evident from the way society eats, and looks that this info could be beneficial :)

Sleep…

Sleep is something i’m craving, however I am in the middle of exams at the moment so will have to wait a little longer.. I haven’t had a lot of time to post recently and for that I apologise but I found something cool the other day that i wanted to share..

A lot of people seem to be having trouble sleeping and one remedy that myself, friends and family have found invaluable is Young Living’s Cedarwood Essential Oil. A small amount applied to the feet, wrists or chest, or diffused throughout the room makes me fall asleep (even if i’m trying not to! haha). Physiologically it stimulates the limbic part of the brain as well as the pineal gland which in turn releases Melatonin – the hormone we need to fall asleep :)

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I’ve spoken briefly about the oils and am always amazed at how they work so quickly, I love that feeling that you can take charge of your own health through something so natural..

I also read a study earlier that discussed how through evolution our sleep patterns have changed. There is documented evidence that hundreds of years ago we slept in two four hour blocks with around a two hour break in between.. It was quite common for people to get up and chat, socialise etc and then go back to bed.. They also spoke about how the anxiety we feel about not sleeping enough can have an impact on our health. Every now and then I wake up and can’t sleep for a few hours and without knowing this I tend to worry – however maybe next time it happens i’ll take comfort in knowing that it might not be for a negative reason – maybe its just what’s needed :)

If that doesn’t work I think this is a lovely way of looking at it!

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Do you have trouble sleeping??

M xx

If anyone wants more information on Cedarwood – or wants to join the multitude of my friends that already have some please don’t hesitate to ask for more info – at around $20 for a bottle its a bargain!

A birthday dinner fit for… my father..

It was my wonderful fathers birthday on Sunday and after a weekend away my sister and I thought it would be nice to cook them dinner… I was so excited to have an excuse to try some of the wonderful recipes I have found recently and spent all last Sunday cooking – while watching cooking shows on TV. What more could you ask for?

The menu was as follows:

  • Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips
  • Grape Tomatoes with Bocconcini & Basil
  • Baked Cauliflower with Herb Dressing
  • Beans & Snowpeas with Balsamic Glaze
  • Cheesy Quinoa
  • And a Beautiful Free Range Roast Chicken..

I won’t write all the recipes here – most can be found in my Pinterest recipe collection – or please feel free to me ask questions, I’m more than happy to go into detail :)

I have seen Kale chips pop up on Pinterest and in Blogs a lot recently and with a massive bunch in the fridge from the farmers market I thought – what better way to use up some of the tops! It turned out to be easier and more rewarding than I ever thought it would be.. I cut/tore pieces of Kale, washed and dried it, then put it on a plate and drizzled some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top.. Then for each piece of kale I rubbed it on the bottom of the plate to coat it, and placed it in a single layer on a baking tray covered with some parchment paper. At this stage a grind of salt is great, and for one batch I even grated some parmesan over the top.

Bake them at around 180C for 20 minutes and viola! The way they crunch and then crumble in your mouth was amazing! We will certainly be making them again! (If you find they start to soften, as we did after a couple of hours, put them back in the oven for a few minutes to refresh them.

The tomatoes were a quick easy bite sized addition which i drizzled with olive oil, having made a partial slit down the middle, and stuffed some fresh bocconcini and a leaf of basil in there.. and the Chicken I seasoned with paprika and sea salt, and stuffed with a lemon & some herbs to infuse with flavour.

The cauliflower could have done with a little more cooking but the sauce was an easy and healthy way to add great flavour – I just took a big handful of herbs (we had coriander, basil and parsley on hand) finely chopped them (or if you have a thermomix, or blender – whizzed them) added lemon juice, and olive oil and it was ready!

The beans and snowpeas were quickly sautéed in a large pan with some olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar… It was a really nice way to have a roast chook without the normal roast veggies, and I very much enjoyed making it..

I may have had some fun playing with the camera settings – i promise i’ll be more consistent next time :)

Happy Birthday Dad!!

M xx

Food as medicine

I recently posted a quotation that encompasses my reason for studying this wonderful degree.. Most of us go through life not realising the impact foods can have on our health – yes we know that if we eat fast food it isn’t good for you, and will make you fat – but other than knowing that veggies are good for us do we know why??

I love the concept that we can tailor our eating to suit whatever ailment we may have, or to support our immune and digestive systems. This forms a large part of Chinese Medicine, and the traditional Asian diet, and is something we seem to have lost in Australia.

I’m hoping to bring you lots of tips over the course of my degree but here are some to start with:

Did you know that eating artichoke increases bile production in the liver by 100%?

Or that your stomach and liver LOVE lemon juice and apple cider vinegar as they alkalise the body??

Or that peppermint and fennel teas are wonderful for digestion?

Sage breaks down fats in meals and is therefore the reason we make a burnt sage butter..

Rosemary works in a similar way with Lamb, aiding with digestion.

Fresh food really is the answer to health, it holds so many vitamins and nutrients that support different organs and give us the ability to build ourselves and our immune systems up – or we can feed our body poorly and wonder why we end up with disease.. So eat fresh, eat local, eat what’s in season. Find a local market, or green grocer, a butcher that prides themselves on quality, and you’ll notice the difference..

A lot of people have recipes passed down to them from their mother, or grandmother that have probably been termed old wives tales – but there will be a reason it works for each ailment :) The good old garlic, lemon and honey tea when you have a cold, the chicken soup, or the hot toddy should be prescribed by all doctors :)

What do you cook when you’re sick, or use to stay healthy?