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Slow cooking is the key to a healthy winter + Rosemary and Thyme Chicken Stew Recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

It's time fire-up those kettles into full gear, keep the soup spoon handy and pull the fluffiest blanket out from the back of the cupboard – winter is here!

Winter is a time of hibernation, where we crave comfort foods and warming drinks. But we're usually so busy keeping warm, we tend to spend more time eating, less time cooking and even less time working out - which inevitably adds to that extra winter pudge! (Hello... Heal Your Gut powder!)

But it's important to keep in mind that winter is also one of the best times of year to stock up on those essential nutrients and eat healthy.

My winter menu generally rotates between comforting soups, spicy stews, crispy stir fries, perfect porridges and spiced teas - all of which can be packed full of nutritional whole foods. Curries and stews are perfect for packing in your veggies and protein, but the misconception is that these delicious wintery meals take a lot of time to cook.

Enter your new best friend: the slow cooker!

Basically, a slow cooker does all the hard work for you, and they're easy to clean - which I know will have most home cooks cheering! If you're time-poor in the evenings, find some slow-cooker recipes - lamb shanks, curries and stews are perfect - throw the ingredients into the cooker, and it'll be ready for you at dinner time. 

Mr Perkins Wellness Cleanse

Written by Lee on . Posted in Ingredients, Natural Products, Reviews

I'm not sure about you, but I don’t love the idea of a fruit juice cleanse. After day one, I often feel deprived, lethargic, cold from all the juices and a little bit moody!

I'm a big believer in eating with the seasons so sitting by the fire-place and shivering whilst sipping on a pineapple juice for my 'health'. It just doesn't make sense to me! 

That's why I was thrilled when I found out about Mr Perkins' new Wellness Cleanse.

Mr Perkins, the latest health hub in Bondi Beach has a philosophy that I really love and try to live by myself – ‘cooked slow, served fast’. They turn the idea of 'fast food' on it's head with that one! Everything they serve is made in-house daily with locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Think hearty soups in winter and delicious smoothies and beautiful salads in summer. 

They've just released their official cleanse which is completely plant based, rich in fibre and designed to help heal and promote wellness. The cleanse is designed by Mr Perkins’ resident nutritionist, Jessica Rutledge, from the Greenery Clinic. 

Unlike many juice cleanses on the markets, Mr Perkins Wellness Cleanse acknowledges the seasonal changes and knows we don’t want to be drinking juice for dinner all winter long! It includes juices, smoothies, soups and broths to keep us satisfied whilst promoting detoxification. The body requires nourishment and warmth to maintain our wellbeing and this is what Mr Perkins does so well!

The cleanse allows us to step away from foods that are often inflammatory and, emphasises the goodness of vegetables, fruits and seeds.

If you’ve never done a cleanse before, don’t worry – it’s suitable for all levels. It works for people who’ve never touched a detox in their life to the juicing ninjas among us.

You can experience either a one-day, two-day or three-day cleanse depending on you.

Not yet convinced?

I’m giving you a sneak-peek into their delicious menu below!

Start the day off with a green smoothie, filled with avocado, banana, coconut milk, spinach and spirulina. This smoothie is energising and just delicious!

For lunch, you can enjoy a mineral-rich Shiitake broth filled to the brim with vegetables.

Need a pick-me-up? The Strawberry Gazpacho aids detoxification and is bursting with fresh flavours. It’s the perfect afternoon treat.

Now for dinner: their Green Soup with broccoli, leek, coconut milk and cumin is a real winner!

I love the Berry Chai Parfait for dessert. It’s a wholesome way to end the day, helps promote detoxification and is full of antioxidants and healthy fats to keep us going.

For more information, visit their website here or you can check them out on Facebook and Instagram @mrperkinsbondi 

Three Supercharged Workout Meals + Pear and Walnut Oatmeal, Hemp and Tahini Bliss Balls + My Ultimate Roasted Veg Bowl

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Shopping List, Vegetarian, Wheat Free

This one's for all you exercise and gym lovers and likers, hikers and bikers, buffs and bunnies.

If you're planning to fit a workout into your daily schedule, nourishing your body with the right foods is essential.

It can be difficult to find a pre or post workout meal with just the right amount of nutritious ingredients to make you feel satisfied AND energized.

If you're pressed for time or honestly can't be bothered after a long day at work (it’s alright, we've all been there), having a few supercharged ingredients on hand can make a real difference to your motivation levels.

Before we begin, I’m going to have to break a bit of a myth that’s circulating about how to build or tone specific muscles in the body. There’s no miracle food that can tone your physique or build specific muscles. What I can tell you however, is that by eating supercharged foods, with an adequate amount of protein, healthy fats and unrefined carbohydrates, and a great exercise regime, you can be on your way to #breakingtheinternet with your fabulous body.

Supercharged foods are everyday super foods full of antioxidants that are easily accessible and relatively affordable. It’s all about making it easier for you to make healthier food choices so your mind and body don't fall into temptation and undo all your hard work.

That's why I’m a huge fan of bowl food. Personally, I find that eating food out of a bowl has made me more conscious and mindful of what and how much I'm eating. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make and you can come up with as many healthy combinations as possible. It's the best motivation for smashing out another set of squats! 

Usually I opt for a healthy mix of protein, vegetables and grains. It’s nutritious and a great way to exercise portion control. More importantly, the great thing about bowl food is its convenience. You can easily whip up a meal by using whatever you have sitting around in your fridge and pantry.

Did you also know that food eaten out of a bowl can trick your mind into feeling full? Studies have shown that when we're exposed to various sensory stimuli, this can impact our perception of flavour – including how full we feel after a meal.

Eating heathy meals served in bowls simply because they seem to taste better and eating smaller portions sounds like a win-win situation to me!

And now I've concocted three new reps to add to your repertoire!

Carbohydrates are a go zone when it comes to helping to build muscle, especially if we’re burning through energy while exercising. Carbohydrates help keep our energy levels steady and fuel our muscles so we can be twerking the night away.  Some of my favourite carbohydrates are brown rice, quinoa, pumpkin, sweet potato and fruit. Just be sure to stay away from refined products like pasta, pastries and white bread to keep your butt looking fab instead of drab.

If you plan to workout in the morning, the Pear and Walnut Oatmeal bowl is a great option. Pears are in season now so I've included them in this recipe but the best part is that you can swap them out for other fruits and they’ll taste just as good! 

I try to stock up on oats, nuts and seeds when I can. Sometimes I use fresh supercharged foods such as berries in my breakfast bowl but oats and nuts are a great alternative and non-perishable so you don’t have to worry about them turning to mush within a week.

Pear and Walnut Oatmeal bowl

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Place pear, vanilla, cinnamon, nut butter and milk into a medium saucepan and heat to medium high, cook stirring until pears are softened and milk has reduced to a thick sauce, about 10-15 mins.
  • Add oats to a small saucepan and add water and salt and bring to the boil then simmer until the water is absorbed and oats are cooked.
  • Scoop oats into a bowl, top with caramelised pears and top with walnuts and pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs

I've also included a simple bliss ball recipe, as an on the go snack so you have all your bases covered.

Hemp and Tahini Bliss Balls

Makes 10 large

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Place nuts, almond meal, hemp seeds, coconut flakes and coconut milk into food processor and mix

  • Add honey, almond nut butter and tahini and continue to mix until combined

  • Chill the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes
  • Remove the dough from the freezer and using hands, roll into balls and placeon a flat tray

  • Place extra hemp seeds in a bowl and roll balls to coat the surface

  • Refrigerate and enjoy. These can also be kept in the freezer

If you truly don’t have the time to make your own bliss balls, Sprout has quite the selection, including gluten-free, paleo or vegan-friendly options.

Now that you're finally done with the daily grind and your workout, it’s time to nourish your body with the good stuff. The urge to eat a big old bowl after a workout can be strong and why not? You deserve it. Reward yourself by eating smart and opting for the Ultimate Veg Bowl, which allows you to not only avoid undoing all your hard work but also tastes delicious at the same time!

The Ultimate Roasted Veg Bowl

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ butternut pumpkin cubed
  • 2 zucchini sliced lengthways and quartered
  • 4 yellow squash quartered
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 3 TBS extra extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cauliflower chopped into florets
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • squeeze of lemon
  • small bunch broccolini
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tbs tamari
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 avocado quartered

Method

  • Boil eggs and set aside
  • Make quinoa and once cooked fluff with a fork and set aside
  • Place pumpkin, zucchini, squash, on a roasting tray and drizzle with 2 TBS olive oil and sea salt, sprinkle pumpkin with hemp seeds
  • Place in oven 210 degrees for 35 mins
  • Meanwhile coat cauliflower with turmeric and remaining olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and place on a smaller tray in the oven for 20-25 mins
  • Place broccolini in a tray drizzle with oil and place in oven for 15-20 mins
  • Mix tahini, tamari and lemon with water to create a pourable dressing
  • Once roasted layer all ingredients into a bowl and top with tamari and tahini dressing
  • Add avocado and egg and top with extra hemp seeds

Totally Totable Recipes for Workdays + Supercharged Bento Box and Nori Rolls Recipes

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Fast Your Way to Wellness, gut health

I know that after a busy day at work, the last thing that most people want to do is figure out what they should have for dinner, let alone lunch the next day!  Working for hours on end and trying to be healthy may seem like two things that don’t necessarily go together but I’m here to show you that healthy eating doesn’t have to be time consuming or over complicated. I’ve got some great recipes for you to take to work with you that are fast and easy to prepare.

Sometimes, the thought of picking up something on your lunch break from the local food hall or fast food chain might seem like the only available food option. However, pre-preparing healthy food for work can not only save you money, but it can also save you time in the long run so that you can sit down and enjoy your lunch that has already been made by you. 

Eating healthily and preparing meals to nourish can also help to improve your work performance, and it can be simple to prepare healthy food the night before so that you can just grab it and go in the morning. If you’re reading this and it seems to you like an impossible feat, I’m here to show you that healthy lunches can be an achievable change in your workdays and really, it all comes down to mindset. 

The number one word I’m going to use here is preparation.  Preparing food, the night before or even preparing a few meals on the weekend, can save a lot of time and unnecessary stress in the morning. I’ll often cook more for dinner and take the rest as a takeaway. For example, if I’m making a salad, I’ll take some out before serving and put it in a container, and then dress the rest. This means the next morning it will still be fresh and delicious for the day and then all it needs is a protein source like a can of tuna in olive oil which I put in my bag and I’ll take a lemon with me to work (I work from the local library) and then at lunchtime, I'll dress the salad from there.

I’d love to share with you two of my favourite "Totally Totable" recipes from my latest book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

The first is a scrumptious Bento Box and secondly my Vegie Nori Wraps which are fun to make. Not only are these meals simple to prepare and delicious, they’ll also make all your co-workers extremely jealous by how good they look! They’re easy enough to transport to work and will help keep you focused for the day ahead.

The Supercharged Bento Box is a combination of everything to satisfy you fully! There’s a section packed with protein, another filled with complex carbohydrates, the third with vibrant veggies and of course the last one has a sweet little treat. I like to keep my meals balanced and like most, love having dessert to look forward to.

Nori is the main star of my Veggie Nori Wraps. Nori is an edible seaweed that is low in calories and rich in protein, iodine and fibre, making it a perfect lunchtime mix. Nori is packed full of B vitamins, especially B12, which is hard to find in vegetarian foods. This simple seaweed is also high in minerals and amino acids to maintain health as it controls everything from the immune system to mood.

Supercharged Bento Box

421 calories per serve (1763 kJ)

Serves 1

This meal has saved me time and time again! It’s a little bit like a throw-all-the-good-contents-from-the-fridge-into-a-container and it will no doubt taste delicious kind of meal.  This is easiest to eat from a bento box or lunchbox with four separate sections. Once it’s assembled, just refrigerate it for lunch the following day. Easy!

Sesame slaw with tahini and orange dressing

  • 15 g (1/2 oz/1/4 cup) shredded green cabbage
  • 15 g (1/2 oz/1/4 cup) shredded red cabbage
  • 40 g (11/2 oz/ 1/4 cup) grated carrot
  • a few mint stalks, chopped
  • a few parsley stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion (scallion)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan

DRESSING

Combine all the slaw ingredients except the sesame seeds and put in a section of the box. Combine the dressing ingredients, adding filtered water as needed, then pour over the salad. Top with the sesame seeds.

Sardines with Lemon and Pepper

  • 45 g (11/2 oz) tinned sardines
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon wedge

Drain the sardines and place in a section of your box. Season with pepper and add the lemon wedge.

Zesty Quinoa

  • 110 g (41/4 oz/1/2 cup) cooked quinoa (make this the night before or on the weekend and store in fridge)
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine the quinoa and lime zest, then season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a section of your box.

Sweet treat

Put a small handful of berries in the last section of the box for dessert.

Vegetable Nori Wraps

181 calories per serve (758 kJ)

These wraps are satisfyingly simple. Feel free to make them your own – add any additional veggies you like to the mix! Packing these nori rolls for lunch will keep your nourished and grounded when you’re on the go.

Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
  • 2 teaspoons rice malt (brown rice) syrup or raw honey
  • 2 nori sheets
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (cashew nut butter works well)
  • a few handfuls of baby English spinach leaves
  • 40 g (11/2 oz/1/2 cup) shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 large carrot, grated
  • 100 g (31/2 oz/about 1/2 large) avocado, sliced
  • small handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped

Note; You can add a protein source to this recipe too, tuna or salmon is nice!

Combine the tamari and rice malt syrup in a small bowl. Lay one of the nori sheets on a clean work surface with a long side facing you and the shiny side down, then evenly spread half the nut butter over it, leaving a 3 cm (11/4 in) border on the top side.

Spread about one-third of the tamari mixture over the nut butter. Spread a tiny bit of tamari on the top side to help the wrap stay rolled up.

Put your desired amount of spinach on top of the nut butter and tamari layers, followed by half of each of the remaining ingredients. Be sure not to pile on too much or the wrap could break when you roll it up.

Roll the nori up away from you until sealed. Cut into three. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Wrap in plastic wrap, seal in an airtight lunchbox and refrigerate until ready to eat.

I hope you enjoy these totally totable work day recipes.  Make them and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

The Garden Apothecary Review + Maca-Macadamia Chocolate Bark Recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews


We all know the importance of eating clean, sweating it out at the gym and fuelling our bodies with products that promote wellness, but, this is usually where healthcare ends. While this is helpful, there's a lot more to looking after our health than green smoothies, boxing classes and chia seed puddings. 

Just for a moment, consider all of the chemically-filled beauty products that we use on our skin daily, or the pills that we take when we feel we could be coming down with a little sniffle?  Unfortunately for many of us, ancient herbal remedies have been replaced by runs to the pharmacy, pill bottles and cure-alls.

For people looking for that quick health fix, we’ve forgotten the very nature of food as medicine and the concept of using our own kitchens and gardens as a natural pharmacy.

Everyone's favourite Herb Nerd, Reece Carter, is on a mission to show us how easy it is to take health into our own hands by inspiring us to create our very own homemade herbal remedies. 

The Garden Apothecary his debut book, empowers the reader to turn to garden herbs and plants and the food already sitting in our pantries and concoct them into powerful medicinal aids.  He also give us the chance to personally fall in love with simple herbal remedies and tasty recipes.

At just ten years old, Reece could be found trying to re-create his grandfather’s fabulous veggie garden and making an absolute mess in the kitchen. I can tell you now that nothing for this herb nerd has changed. Reece went on to study Naturopathy and his goal was, and still is, to make herbal medicine a part of our everyday lives.

In The Garden Apothecary, Reece teaches us the art of herbal medicine, so we too can become our very own herb nerds. Reece helps us every step of the way – from growing our own plants to making our own ointments and tinctures.

With over forty recipes to choose from, Reece reveals how to relieve a range of ailments the natural way. This includes fixes for the everyday cold, boosting our immunity, relieving stress, curing sleep issues, improving digestion, increasing vitality and even resolving skin issues.

These herbal remedies have been backed-up by both traditional users and modern-day scientists to provide you with the best of both worlds.

The Garden Apothecary will inspire you to become your very own herb nerd. Take hold of your health with these natural remedies and fixes! 

We're very lucky that Reece has shared one of his tasty recipes with us today.  His Maca-Macadamia Chocolate Bark which will lift anyone's mood with it's delicious flavours and happy hormone-boosting ingredients. 

Maca-Macadamia Chocolate Bark

Serves: 12 

Ingredients:

Method: 

  1. Slice the vanilla pod lengthways, then scrape out the seeds using the back of a knife. Discard the pod and keep the seeds.
  2. Roughly chop the macadamias in half, and place to one side for later.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a large mixing bowl over a water bath.
  4. Remove bowl from heat and stir through the coconut cream, cacao, vanilla seeds, maca, rice malt syrup, sea salt and chilli powder. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Add half the macadamias and half the coconut. Stir through with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper, then spread the mixture over evenly.
  7. Top with the remaining macadamias and coconut.
  8. Refrigerate until set, then break into twelve pieces roughly the same size. To store, layer the pieces in an airtight container, separated by baking paper. Keep refrigerated or—if like me you prefer it with a little more snap to it—in the freezer.

Good luck with your book Reece! I know it will go far.

If you want to find out more about Reece, you can find him on Instagram here, check out his website here or click this link for his Facebook.

It only takes 15 seconds to Love Your Gut + free eBook

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, micro flora

Let's talk about gut health.

I receive hundreds of emails daily and numerous personal clients tell me that they're constantly confused when it comes to the health of their gut. Even though many of them are eating a healthy diet, they continue to experience serious issues with digestion, a lack of energy, debilitating brain fog and annoying skin breakouts.

Do you want to know what I tell them?

You can eat as many chia-seed puddings, green smoothies and raw spinach salads as you like. Eating healthy food doesn't always mean you're absorbing all of the beautiful nutrients from these foods. So no, eating a can of spinach won't always give you instant popping muscles like Popeye (sorry to crush any dreams!).

These foods are great for you BUT in our modern-day world, many people have problems absorbing all the possible nutrients they provide. As a result of pesticides and chemicals, our poor bodies are finding it hard to recognise, differentiate and digest the goodness that comes out of delicious produce. This is where loving your gut, through the use of my powder, kicks into play. 

How long does it take to change a tyre?

I don't know, but what I do know is that it takes only 15 seconds to love your gut!

Incorporating my Heal Your Gut powder  (soon to be renamed Love Your Gut powder) into your everyday life is the easiest and quickest way to show your gut some love.

My powder, made from the finest naturopathic-grade Diatomaceous Earth in the world, is rich in absorbable iron, silica and other essential nutrients such as magnesium and calcium. It helps to gently sweep the gut and carefully wipe it clean - like a dentist check-up for your insides (which is way nicer for you than it sounds!).  You can find out more about Diatomaceous Earth in this video here.

Heal Your Gut Powder helps you to absorb nutrients by removing built up plaque, allowing you to absorb more from your food and in turn it helps to switch on and improve your digestion.

We source our Diatomaceous Earth from the best source in the world, found in the United States, to ensure that it's the lightest and finest quality around, the Australian version just doesn't cut it when it comes to purity and quality!. 

It's so easy do take too...

All you need to do is put a tablespoon of my Heal Your Gut Powder into a glass, mix it with water and drink it down.

And because it's FREEBIE FRIDAY, I also have a whole FREE eBook available full of great gut-healing recipes with my powder to help you on your way.

See how I work my gut-healing magic below. 

So... do you have 15 seconds to spare? Show your gut some love and I want to hear your results!

Let me know, the more information the better, I've heard it all ha! 🙂

Lee xo

Immune boosting herbs and remedies for winter

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Winter

Herbs are a healing gift from Mother Nature herself, beautifully wrapped and sealed with a kiss of enduring health. Often herbs can be easily lost in the background or worse still, left to go soggy in the bottom of the crisper drawer. And then it’s hello crisper bin juice ewk!

With a bit of familiarity, you can tap into the natural goodness of herbs and incorporate them easily into many of your Supercharged meals.

Today I’d love to encourage you to put down your synthetic packets of multivitamins and supplements and forage into the world of immune-boosting herbs and foods that will supercharge your immunity.

At times when your immune system is being bombarded by foreign invaders, it might need a little kick-start to conquer compounds such as infections, inflammation, bad bacteria and toxic microbes.

Once a foreign body enters your blood stream your cells can start to ring alarm bells which are heard loud and clear by the lymphatic system, a vital system which runs across our entire body and consists of tonsils, thymus gland, spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow and lymphatic vessels.

The alarm bells can signal more and more cells from around our body to produce antibodies and transport them towards unwanted guests.

A Year of Beautiful Eating + Roast Lamb and Ramen Recipes

Written by Lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

a-year-of-beautiful-eating

Madeleine Shaw, a wonderful nutritional health coach from London, has just released her latest book A Year of Beautiful Eating and I must say, it's everything that I look for in a cookbook and more!

A Year of Beautiful Eating explores the art of eating healthily to achieve inner and outer beauty all year round. It contains over one hundred wholesome recipes that are made according to the season and help to recognise what our body needs to feel and look its best throughout the year.

Like many of us, Madeleine turned to health after feeling constantly lethargic and bloated. She embarked on a health journey to Sydney, one of the healthiest cities in the world (go Sydney!), to discover the art of eating well and living a more energised life. This is when she started to learn how to listen to her body and give it what it needed. Madeleine began to fall back in love with food, life and most importantly, herself.

After this revelation, she was inspired to help others back in London, and across the world, do the same.

Madeleine is now a food blogger, nutritional health coach and mum to be.  

I had the pleasure of meeting up with her over lunch, last time I was in London launching my book Fast Your Way to Wellness and let me tell you, she practices what she preaches! Madeleine delivers her philosophy of keeping things simple, delicious and deprivation-free. She is lovely in real life and glows from the inside out.

Madeleine believes in healthy eating, not starvation and deprivation. More than anything, A Year of Beautiful Eating teaches you how to live a healthy life, not just follow a diet. The recipes are sugar-free and wheat-free and will be sure to leave you wanting more. Every dish is mouth-watering and simple! 

Whether you’re looking to cool off with a Papaya and Peanut Salad in summer, delve into a Slow-Roast Lamb Shoulder with Celeriac Mash and Greens in Autumn, cure your Winter blues with Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies or lovingly lounge with Lamb Chops with Parsnip Mash and Asparagus in Spring, A Year of Beautiful Eating has got you covered. It's the perfect cook book for everyday of the year!

Two of my favourite recipes from the book are the Slow-Roast Lamb Shoulder with Celeriac Mash and Greens and the Chicken Ramen. Yum.

Congratulations on the beautiful new book Madeleine and best of luck with the baby-to-be!

You can follow Madeleine on Instagram here.  

Slow-Roast Lamb Shoulder with Celeriac Mash and Greens

Photography by Sussex photographer Emma Gutteridge

Serves 6

  • 2kg lamb shoulder, bone in
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh
  • rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • For the celeriac mash
  • 2 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt

For the greens

  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh
  • parsley
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Take the lamb shoulder and rub the garlic, thyme, rosemary and salt into the meat all over. Place in a casserole pot with the lid on, and put in the oven.

Turn the oven down to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2 and cook for 4 hours until the meat falls apart.

Shortly before the lamb is cooked, prepare the side dishes. Steam the celeriac over a pan of simmering water for 10 minutes until cooked through, then drain and place in a blender with the mustard, butter and salt. Steam the Swiss chard for 5–6 minutes, then drain and tip into a pan. Add the olive oil, parsley and salt. Sauté for a minute or two.

Serve the lamb with a dollop of mash and a serving of greens.

CHICKEN RAMEN

chicken ramen copy 2Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts or thighs, cut into strips
  • 100g rice noodles
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 2 spring onions,
  • finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp toasted
  • sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Next add the stock, mushrooms, chilli, tamari and chicken pieces.

Cook for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your rice noodles as per the packet instructions in a separate pot. In another pot, boil the eggs in plenty of water for 4 minutes, until the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny. Once cool enough to handle, peel and slice the eggs in half and sprinkle on a little salt.

Just before serving, throw the carrots and cooked noodles into the soup and squeeze in the lime juice. Top with the boiled egg halves, spring onions and sesame seeds, then serve immediately.

These recipes are taken from A Year of Beautiful Eating by Madeleine Shaw, published 20th April 2017 by Trapeze in Hardback and eBook, priced £20/£10.99.

Probiotic Drinks at Home + Jun with Ginger and Galangal Recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

One of my favourite parts of the human body, the gut, has taken the health world by storm. Probiotics are foods that help our guts not only survive, but thrive and their popularity is your one-way ticket to wellness.

But why?

Probiotics increase our energy levels, aid in the detoxification process, improve our skin and boost our overall health. From Kombucha to kefir, you can actively transform your gut health with every single  probiotic sip.

Felicity Evans is a fellow gut-health crusader. She was initially brought into the health world after a health crisis following the birth of her second daughter. Her disease sparked her interest in all things gut and probiotic. She started to create her own probiotic drinks and the rest they say, is history.

She has also launched her own kefir brand, Imbibe Water Kefir, to help people add more beauty and energy into their everyday lives (we’ll take two please!). 

Felicity Evans has released her first book Probiotic Drinks at Home, a step-by-step recipe book with over 50 delicious probiotic drink recipes. Her recipes are low in sugar (only natural sugars here), functional for the body and aimed at helping to boost the immune system. Evans shares her secrets about fermenting, and explains the why and how of each fermentation process. 

Probiotic Drinks at Home is the perfect book for anyone looking to improve their gut health and overall immunity. She covers everything from Kombucha to ginger beer.

I was lucky enough to interview Felicity myself and let me tell you, she’s GUT some interesting and innovative ideas!.

If you want to find out more about Felicity or Imbibe Water Kefir, you can go here

Tell us about your new book?

My new book aims to add more radiance and energy into the lives of everyday people, by helping them create their own probiotic drinks at home.  It’s so much more than a recipe book – it’s a new way of living, aimed at connecting the dots between ancient ways of fermenting drinks and our hectic modern lifestyle.

 It aims to demystify the process of making your own probiotic drinks at home in a simple and stylish way.  Gone are the days of 1000-steps and multiple processes to make the perfect kombucha. 

It’s easy to read, beautifully styled (with lots of vines from my garden!) and the steps to fermenting are laid out in a step-by-step way so that it’s super simple to follow!  There are pages and pages of troubleshooting tips, FAQs and everything you need to get started. 

It’s the type of book I wish I had when I started off my fermentation journey.

I personally make all these drinks every week for my family, and myself and I know they work. 

What exactly does a fermentation aficionado do?

We thrive, not just survive!

Seriously, these drinks have totally changed the trajectory of my life so I’m pretty enthusiastic about them. Before I discovered the power of living probiotic drinks, my health was lackluster, my skin was dull and my digestion was slower….. so fermentation is well and truly here to stay in my life!

I’ve found a very natural pace and rhythm to my family life and fermentation slides beautifully into that pace.  Usually on a Sunday I’ll make and bottle a 5 litre batch of seasonal kombucha – right now its ginger and turmeric and green tea… in summer it will change to mango, cherry, plum and peach.

Then of course there is my everyday nourishment in the form of Imbibe Living Water Kefir, which is my company – I’ve made a batch of water kefir everyday for the last 3 years, so it’s in my blood now, and if I don’t have it I truly miss it!  You really do start to crave these drinks.

In terms of my business, Imbibe Living (imbibeliving.com) my mission is to bring the radiance and energy into every day.  I do this by making a range of low sugar organic water kefir elixirs that I stock at over 200 health food stores.  I also make fermentation easy for people to access with my homegrown kombucha and water kefir kits and cultures. Part of my service is creating free Ebooks and video tutorials and other resources so that people can find a pathway to probiotic nourishment.

Why are probiotics and probiotic drinks good for you?

In my mind, they are the ultimate beauty food! Seriously, beauty begins within, so to cultivate radiance you need to focus on your gut – and living probiotic drinks are a fabulous adjunct to a healthy diet, good sleep and all the other things we know we should be doing!   

Probiotics are the good bacteria that we all need to help us thrive.  We are outweighed 10:1 bacteria to human cells, so to thrive, we need to be replenishing the good bacteria in our gut.  When you ferment ingredients, the nutrients become more bio-avaliable for the body to digest and absorb.  

So for example, making a Beet Kvass (a low sugar fermented beetroot drink), not only are you getting the living probiotics activated through fermentation, you are also getting pre-digested enzymes and nutrients from the beetroots, renowned for their liver and blood cleansing properties.

What are some of the pitfalls you encounter when handcrafting and brewing elixirs?

Oh my gosh! There are so many things that could go wrong!  Which is why I wrote this book – to arm you with all the troubleshooting so that if something does go astray, you know exactly what to do to fix the problem! 

The main things I find that come up is not understanding how these factors can affect fermentations, leading to people giving up:

Temperature

Because fermenting is so dependent on a myriad of factors, it can be frustrating.  E.g. in summer, your ferments could rage and bubble with delight and be perfectly sour in 24 hours.  In winter, it could take 14 days, and you may be left wondering if it’s all still working! 

Time

Having a diary will really help you understand and track the progress of your ferments so that you understand when they should be ready.

Ingredients

The quality of the ingredients you choose will ultimately affect the fermentation and also the end result of the handcrafted elixirs.

There are a few unusual drink trends surfacing in 2017, from wild mushrooms to blue algae and non-hallucinogenic hemp. As 2016 was the year from kombucha and kefir, what new probiotic drink concoctions are on the horizon for 17?

Ha!  Well, I can firmly put my hand up and say I contributed to the blue-green algae drink trend, because I make an organic blue water kefir using blue-green algae!

I think that as 2017 unfolds, we will see consumers being more aware of what constitutes a real living probiotic drink (hint, if its not in the fridge section of your local store, its probably not living!) and choosing small batch, beautifully pure probiotic drinks. I also see water kefir making a huge impact, as people don’t necessarily want to drink dairy kefir, and prefer the lightness of a water kefir. 

What’s your favourite recipe from the book, how did you come up with it, and why do you love it?

It would have to be the Jun with Ginger and Galangal. It’s such a light, refreshing and delicious elixir.   I was looking for a drink that would give me all the benefits of a living probiotic, but not have that super acidic taste that kombucha can sometimes have.  My research lead me to this mystical and mysterious culture called Jun.  Jun is an effervescent fermented tea, which only ferments green tea and honey.  It has a light taste and sort of sparkles in your mouth.  The roundness of the honey almost makes it buttery against the slightly sour characteristic of a fermented drink.

Jun with Ginger and Galangal

Ginger and galangal pair well with the sweet honey notes in the Jun. They can boost circulation and heat the body, calm nausea and aid in digestion. These two rhizomes complement each other well in the flavour department. Ginger has more of a fiery, pungent and sharp taste, whereas galangal is more peppery and aromatic, with tones of pine. The bacteria and yeasts tend to love the ginger and galangal – you will see lots of carbonation building around the rhizomes. If you don’t have both ginger and galangal, just use whichever one you have.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Fermentation time: 6–17 days 

Difficulty: Easy–medium

Shelf life: Refrigerate for up to 4 months  Makes: About 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 x basic Jun (recipe below)
  • 2 cm (3/4 inch) piece fresh ginger, skin on, thinly sliced
  • 2 cm (3/4 inch) piece fresh galangal, skin on, thinly sliced

Primary fermentation

Follow the instructions for basic Jun below.

Bottling

Follow the instructions for basic Jun below.

Secondary fermentation

Add the ginger and galangal to the bottle and tightly seal the lid. Leave the bottle on the bench to build carbonation. This could take anywhere from 2–7 days, depending on the temperature. ‘Burp’ the Jun daily to release some pressure by opening the lid slightly and then tightening it again.

Drink up

When the Jun is as fizzy and sour as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.

Tip:  you can add more ginger and galangal if you prefer stronger flavours.

Add a squeeze of sweet and fragrant lime juice when serving the Jun.

Basic Jun

The quality of the green tea and honey you choose will affect the final taste,
so choose the best quality you can afford. I always use organic green tea and
raw honey so that the Jun culture and I both get the best quality on offer
and there are no pesticides that could kill the good bacteria.

Preparation time: 30 minutes 

Fermentation time: 6–17 days 

Difficulty: Easy–medium

Shelf life: Refrigerate for up to 4 months 

Makes: About 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water or springwater
  • 4 green tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose-leaf green tea
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 3 tablespoons Jun starter culture liquid (available at http://imbibeliving.com)
  • 1 Jun SCOBY, around the size of your palm

Primary fermentation

Bring 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of the filtered water to a simmer. Pour into a teapot or heatproof bowl, add the green tea bags or tea leaves and leave to steep for 40–60 seconds. Strain the tea into a heatproof 1.5 litre (52 fl oz/6 cup) wide-
mouth glass jar and discard the tea bags or tea leaves. Pour in the remaining water. Add the honey to the jar and stir well to dissolve.

When the liquid has cooled to room temperature, add the Jun starter culture liquid and SCOBY. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with an elastic band.

Place the jar out of direct sunlight in a cool spot where it won’t be disturbed. Leave the liquid to ferment for around 4 days in hot weather and 7–10 days in cooler weather. 

Bottling

Gently remove the SCOBY to re-use or rest, and retain 3 tablespoons of the Jun liquid as the starter culture liquid for your next brew.

Mix in any sediment that has settled at the bottom of the jar. Put a funnel in the opening of a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top
of the funnel. Pour the Jun into the bottle through the strainer. Either discard any solids left in the strainer or incorporate them into your next brew.

Secondary fermentation

Tightly seal the bottle lid and leave the bottle on the bench to build carbonation. This could take anywhere from 2–7 days, depending on the temperature. ‘Burp’ the Jun daily to release some pressure by opening the lid slightly and then tightening it again.

Drink up

When the Jun is as fizzy and sour as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.

Tip:  Letting green tea steep for too long causes it to turn bitter. Only steep the tea for around 40–60 seconds.

Images and recipes from Probiotic Drinks at Home by Felicity Evans Murdoch Books, RRP $27.99. Photography by Rob Palmer.

The Wholefood Pantry + Chia Pudding Three Ways Recipe

Written by Lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

We all know just how important it is to avoid too many processed foods. Everything from sauces to cheeses and butters to jams, and even pickles; all of these are delicious foods but often by the time they hit our palates and plates, they've been enhanced with additional sugar, salt, artificial ingredients and refined carbohydrates.

The art of creating your own versions of these foods however, for some people can seem all too difficult in this day and age. Sometimes it seems as if creating a whole new pantry of items can cost more than an arm and a leg and leave us with an even bigger dent in our wallets.

This is where the Amber Rose’s latest book, ‘ The Wholefood Pantry’ comes into our lives.

Amber grew up in New Zealand where her pantry was actually her mother's garden. Her mother and her would forage for wild flowers, exotic fruits, mushrooms and seasonal goodies to include in their cooking.

Her family have a love for not only cooking deliciously simple food, but appreciating the whole process; the excitement of discovering and collecting food, completed by the rituals of preparation and cooking.

Amber's childhood inspired her love for cooking and teaching others how to do it themselves. Amber introduces us to pantry essentials so we can re-build the contents of our kitchen from the inside out. 'The Wholefood Pantry' includes wholesome recipes for stocks, sauces, butters, milks, pickles and more!

Her cooking style is extremely intuitive, delicious and simple. She uses lots of flavoursome herbs and spices to make her recipes as nourishing as possible.

'The Wholefood Pantry' starts with the basics, teaching us the art of fermenting, creating and customising. Kim chi, nut milks and cheeses are all on the agenda. Once you’ve nailed these pantry staples down, we can move on to utilising these items in delicious recipes. Expect to find loads of salads, meat dishes and of course, beautiful sweet chocolatey dishes too.

'The Wholefood Pantry' simply embodies the ideal that food is medicine. It takes us back to our hunter gatherer roots so we can fall in love with not only food, but cooking it too.

Lucky for us, Amber has allowed me to share her delicious recipe for Chia Pudding basic mix plus two delicious variations down below.

Congratulations on the beautiful book Amber!

For more on Amber, check out her beautiful website and instagram

Chia Pudding

Photographs © 2016 Nassima Rothacker

Serves 4-6 

BASIC CHIA PUDDING MIX

  • 500ml coconut milk or almond milk, or a mix of the two
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½–1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
  • ½–1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1–2 tablespoons kefir, either milk or coconut (optional) 

Pour the coconut/almond milk into a glass jar, add the raw honey and give it a good whisk. Add the chia seeds and use a fork to stir them through the milk really well. Let the mix stand for 1–2 minutes and then stir it really well again, breaking up any lumps that have formed. Repeat this process a few times over a 10-minute period. Add the spices, if using, and stir. Place the chia pudding in the fridge and let it soak overnight, or for at least a few hours. This allows the chia seeds to soak and thicken up.

You can also try the layered vanilla chia and fruit cup below;

  • 1 quantity of the basic chia mix
  • 550-600g your favourite fresh fruit or compote
  • Edible flowers,  optional

Spoon half the chia mix into three glasses. Sprinkle over half the fruit, layer on more chia pudding, then sprinkle over the rest  of the fruit. Serve. 

Raw chocolate and red berry chia pudding.

MADE IN ADVANCE

  • 1 quantity of the basic chia mix, to which add 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder before soaking and 2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw clear honey

FOR ASSEMBLING

  • 350g strawberries and raspberries, mixed
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • 1–2 spoonfuls coconut kefir (optional)

Put the berries, lemon juice and coconut sugar in a small bowl and mix well, lightly crushing the raspberries. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes.

Spoon half the chocolate chia pudding into three glasses, spoon over half the macerated berries, then layer the rest of the chocolate chia pudding on top. Finish with the rest of the berries and lastly sprinkle over the cacao nibs. Serve.

Recipes from The Wholefood Pantry by Amber Rose. Published by Kyle Books. RRP $39.99.

The Wahls Protocol Cooking For Life + Turkey Tacos + Spaghetti Squash

Written by Lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

If there was one story that I would've loved to have heard when I was enclosed in eerie hospital walls and in the grips of fibromyalgia, it would be Terry Wahls.

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the year 2000, Dr Wahls' health was on a down-hill spiral. She became confined to a wheel chair and felt like there was no hope in sight.

Just like myself, Dr Wahls decided to turn to scientific research and understand nutritional ways to cure herself. Instead of getting her vitamins, antioxidants and minerals from pills, she decided to find ways to  enjoy these nutrients by way of the food at the end of her fork.

This led her to developing the Wahls Protocol; a revolutionary diet and lifestyle based on a modern paleo plan to help to treat all chronic autoimmune conditions. After years of being confined to a wheelchair, Dr Wahl reversed many of her symptoms and now rides her bike to work and walks around cane-free. Now thats an achievement!

Dr Wahls has a foot in two camps, as a patient and also a clinical professor of medicine. Wahls conducts clinical trials to test the effect of nutrition and lifestyle interventions to treat progressive health problems, like multiple sclerosis.

After hearing about Dr Wahls' recovery story, I just knew I had to get my hands on her beautiful book and share it with you all.  

The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life covers the essential recipes you need to reduce and improve symptoms related to autoimmune problems, neurological diseases and other chronic conditions. The book is in a simple, easy-to-read format to make lives that much easier.

The Walhs Protocol Cooking for Life contains over 150 tasty, simple and nutritionally-charged foods so it's perfect for anyone looking to improve their state of wellbeing or just add to their paleo recipe collection. These include green juices (my favourite coloured juice!), grain-free cereals, succulent soups, delectable desserts and more.  

Unlike many cookbooks on the market, The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life book helps us understand how to cook delicious food on a budget, how to celebrate the holidays without compromising on our wellbeing and how to reduce the amount of food we waste; something that's near and dear to my own heart.

With Wahls' help, you can be one recipe away from rewriting your health journey.

We’ve been lucky enough for Dr Wahl to share two of her deliciously easy recipes with us: Turkey Tacos and Spaghetti Squash.

Thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us Terry Wahls and best of luck with your beautiful new book!

Turkey Tacos

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey 
  • 3 cups thinly slices bell peppers
  • 3 cups thinly sliced onions 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 large lettuce, kale, or collard leaves 
  • 2 tbsp ghee 
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning Salsa and/or guacamole to taste 

Method:

Heat the ghee in a stockpot or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, taco seasoning, bell peppers, and onions. Cook until turkey is browned and the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve the cilantro and hot sauce on the side, or stir them directly into the skillet. Divide the taco filling among eight large leaf wrappers (lettuce, kale, or collards). Add salsa and/or guacamole.

Roll up or fold up and enjoy. Alternatively, serve the filling on a bed of greens as a taco salad. 

Cooking tip: You don’t need to add water or broth to the fat when you are cooking the meat for this meal.

Slow-Cooker Spaghetti Squash

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, melted 
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • Sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Put the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the squash feels soft.

Remove the squash and let it cool until you can handle it. Cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and scrape out the pasta-like strands with a fork. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 375° F.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, put the halves cut-side down in a large roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Use a fork to scrape out the pastalike strands. 
Put the spaghetti squash “noodles” in a large bowl and drizzle with ghee, then sprinkle with the nutritional yeast and sea salt and pepper to taste. You can also top this with your favorite bolognese or marinara sauce.

The Digestive Health Solution

Written by Lee on . Posted in Books, Food & Drinks, Reviews

As well all know, the digestive system is one of the most talked about topics in the wellness industry. Did you know one in four people experience regular digestive discomfort? That’s gut to be crazy!

The Digestive Health Solution by expert naturopath Benjamin Brown (ND), gives us the much needed low-down on all things digestive health.

If any of you experience stomach cramps, pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation, you may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Don't panic! Whilst IBS still has no known cause, there’s a lot of available research which uncovers ways to resolve these issues and enhance digestion.

IBS isn't as simple as food goes into our mouth and out the other end with mild (or not so mild) turbulence in between. It also relates to headaches, depression, anxiety, fatigue and more. If we have poor overall health, our digestive health won’t function efficiently. What we need to do is fix our overall health and then we'll be able to reap the benefits in our digestive system!

The Digestive Health Solution is a revolutionary book that’s above and beyond health fads, focusing on an evidence-based approach. Brown explores the mind–body connection, food intolerances, gluten sensitivity, dietary changes, food additives, parasites, fermented foods and a low-histamine diet. He then provides a practical ways to help us turn our digestive health around.

It can be so hard to know what’s right and wrong with a constant flood of gut related products and information from different sources being shoved down our throats. Brown uncovers evidence-based and safe treatments to enhance digestion and improve, or even eliminate, these issues. He individualises his approach with a five-step program to quickly relieve and improve health.

The book teaches us that by improving our digestive health we can transform the health of our whole body. He’s passionate about all things natural health. His interest in various natural therapies, such as mind-body therapies, nutritional and herbal medicines has been incorporated in a fascinating way.

Good luck with your new book Benjamin! It’s a really good read.

If you want to hear more about the author click here, or, if you’re interested in the Digestive Health Solution, click this link here.

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