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Ten Work-Day Survival Tips + My Beef Pho Broth

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Let’s talk about stress, baby. Let's talk about you and me...

While I know stress isn’t one of the sexiest topics out there, in our modern-day world, it’s become a major issue because we've all become super busy! While we praise busy-ness and love to talk about how busy we are (seriously, it's like a competition these days!), the stress that comes with it isn't always a good thing. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I always try to remember to listen to my own gut instinct; by that I mean to take things slower when I'm feeling like everything is becoming a little too much and I try to reduce stress as much as possible by slowing down. 

Stress plays a huge role in gut health, altering the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota and likewise, an unhealthy diversity of bacteria can impact emotional behaviour and exacerbate our stress response. While we all try to find balance by going to work, spending time with family, seeing friends, exercising, cooking healthy meals, and the list goes on, this kind of busy lifestyle can lead us down stress street! 

If an adult hasn’t inherited healthy lifestyle and eating habits from their family or community when young, it becomes increasingly harder to develop and implement them in later stages of life. We all know it’s a lot easier and more convenient to choose processed, take-away food over home-made food but really, in the long run it's not always the best choice for long term health. The thing with processed and instant foods are that they can be difficult to digest, really slow down our digestive systems and take a huge toll on the health of our gut micro biome.

If you’re looking to make ‘adulting’ at work a little more easeful, I'm sharing a few tips and tricks from my book Supercharge Your Gut to get you on the right track, because you know what - adulting is stressful enough. 

I recommend waking up early with the sun, drinking a large glass of warm filtered water with the juice of half a lemon or apple cider vinegar to kick-start that digestive system and liver into full gear. I love getting up and moving first thing in the morning. Not only does getting out into nature help start the day off on the right foot, it also resets the circadian rhythms which stimulates the pituitary gland, releasing feel-good hormones. Now you have no excuse to not be a morning person!

Once you’re home from your morning exercise, try dry body brushing with a long handled brush. Then shower and switch between bursts of hot and cold water to get the lymphatic system pumping. While you’re in the shower, try oil-pulling. Place 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth upon rising, before you’ve eaten or drunk anything. Swish the oil around your mouth for 10 minutes, then spit it out. Never swallow the oil, which will be full of bacteria.

Brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly afterwards, to remove any excess oil, or invest in a tongue scraper. Including this simple ritual in your day will offer benefits such as whiter teeth, clearer skin, healthier gums, fresher breath, clearer sinuses, an improved lymphatic system, better sleep and increased energy, and for pre-menopausal women better regulated menstrual cycles. 

When you’re ready and dressed, make yourself some Love Your Gut Powder in a glass with water. If you're low on time in the morning, I recommend preparing breakfast the night before. Recently, I've been loving my Golden Gut Nice Cream, Mocha and Banana Smoothie Bowl, Golden Gut Granola Clusters or Smashed Avo on Golden Gut Loaf for breakfast. They're all seriously delicious and can be prepared before-hand for ultimate convenience. 

Throughout the day, be sure to hydrate! Sip on ginger, lemongrass, fennel and fresh mint teas, and flask it. You can also stash pre-made tea mixes in your desk drawer at work to enjoy throughout the day.

And now, for lunch! If you can, use your lunch time as a break in your day. Try to enjoy lunch away from your desk, instead of doing that half-eating, half-typing or writing thing – not good! Go for a walk during your break, do some yoga poses or stretches and remember to breath!

If you've got a meeting after lunch, try warrior pose for strength and firm foundations.  It takes just a few minutes and you'll be surprised how different you feel afterwards. Find an empty meeting room or do it in the bathroom! Avoiding being sedentary can reduce stress and increase focus and productivity.

If you’re keen for an absolutely delicious lunch; one that’ll take your whole office to the streets of North Vietnam with its fragrant smell, you have to try out my Beef Pho Broth. Pho originated in the early 20th century and was sold at dawn and dusk by roaming street vendors, shouldering mobile kitchens. Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, as this wonderfully fragrant broth is very simple to prepare. My advice is to make the broth beforehand on a weekend and freeze it.  That way you'll have it on hand when you need it. It also works beautifully in a slow cooker. Pho is as comforting as it is delicious – it’s like a mid-day hug for your insides.

If you’re prone to snacking, you may want to pack some snacks so you’re well prepared and not munching down on the packet of stale crisps that has been sitting at the bottom of your desk drawer for three weeks too long. Try vegetable sticks with hummus, tuna dip and/or an avocado. If you're feeling extra zesty, why not pop half a lemon in your bag for a citrus squeeze? 

Once you've finished work and got home, it's usually the time to start thinking about dinner. I know how hard it can be to motivate yourself to cook something after a long day of work, but it's so worth it! For me, I like to use cooking as a time to de-stress and reconnect. After a long day, I recommend choosing a meal with protein such as my Asian Kelp Noodle Salad,  Supercharged Savoury Mince or Vegan Caesar Salad!  They're quick and easy to prepare and so Yum.

Make sure you’ve had enough to eat by indulging in a gut-soothing dessert. Try some Turmeric Fudge (which can be pre-made on the weekend and frozen) and, if you’re still hungry, finish the night with a Maca and Tahini Latte.

For ultimate stress-busting benefits, be sure to try out my beautiful broth below! I promise you won't be disappointed. To make it easy for you, don't forget to make the broth on the weekend then it's so easy to heat up for mid-week dinners and lunches, just by adding the extra ingredients.

Beef Pho Broth

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) beef bones — shin, knuckles, marrow and gelatinous cuts are good
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 7.5 cm (3 inch) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 3 zucchini (courgettes), spiralised
  • 1 handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 large handful of mixed fresh basil, mint and coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges or cheeks

Directions:

To make the broth...

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Melt the coconut oil in a flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the bones and stir to coat.
  • Put the lid on, transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the bones are browned. Place the casserole dish back on the stovetop.
  • In a dry frying pan, toast the spices over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add them to the casserole dish with the filtered water and vinegar.
  • Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, then simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours, adding a little more filtered water from time to time if necessary.
  • Using tongs, carefully remove and discard the bones. Allow the broth to cool, refrigerate or freeze, then scrape off any congealed fat on top (keep it for cooking with).

To make the soup

  • Add a bit of the stock fat to a frying pan and lightly sauté the onion and ginger. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish.
  • Bring back to the boil, stir in the tamari and season to taste.
  • To serve, arrange the beef and zucchini in bowls. Pour in the boiling broth and top with the bean sprouts and herbs. (The boiling broth will book the meat. If you prefer the beef to be cooked longer then add it to the casserole dish when bringing to the boil). Serve with lime wedges.

Cherry Ripe Easter Eggs

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Easter is hoppening soon and you know what that means – chocolate, sleeping in, long weekend celebrations, chocolate, the Easter Bunny, chocolate, oh and did I mention chocolate?

If you’re looking for a new delicious Easter egg to bring to your table or basket, why not try out my Cherry Ripe Easter Eggs?

I know what you're probably thinking - Why Cherry Ripe?

I think it’s safe to say, Cherry Ripe's are sometimes one of the most unpopular chocolates of the bunch - they're the one that are usually left at the bottom of the packet. There’s just something about the combination of dark chocolate and cherry glace that’s usually off-putting, especially to children! I must admit, out of all the chocolates out there, the one I would never choose was the Cherry Ripe. I just never jelled with it 😉

However, seeing that I’m a big believer in giving things a fair go, I decided to give them a second chance.

And you know what? I’m happy I did!

These chocolatey, cherry and coconuty raw, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly Cherry Ripe Easter Eggs are perfect bite-sized snacking, just in time for Easter! If you were never a cherry ripe fan, but like me, love cherries, coconut and chocolate, you’re in for a real treat.

If you’re someone who usually feels a little bit lethargic, tired or bloated after holiday period, these are the Easter eggs for you! While I love celebrating holidays with good food, it’s very easy to overindulge over the holiday season and feel a little queasy afterwards. Be sure to fill up on good-quality, wholesome food, rather than leaving too much room for dessert! If you fill up on mains, you’re less likely to overindulge when dessert’s ready. However, if you’re looking for a dessert perfect for Easter, these Cherry Ripe Easter Eggs are exactly what you need.

By consuming real, home-made Easter Eggs you can avoid the processed one’s on the shelf, usually packed full of additives, vegetable oils and sugar. Home-made goodies such as these Easter eggs always taste better because you can truly taste the love that is rolled into them! 

The combination of cherries and chocolate makes this recipe extremely high in calcium and Vitamin C. Cherries are bursting with antioxidants and can help reduce bodily inflammation. These Cherry Ripe Easter Eggs also have a little Love Your Gut Powder to help soothe your tummy after some necessary Easter feasting!

The best part about them? No cooking is required! Yes, that’s right – it’s raw! If that’s not an Easter miracle, I don’t know what is. Oh, and they contain cherries – I mean, who wouldn’t be happy with their kids hunting for fruit?

So, go on... I know you want to.

Happy Easter everyone!

Cherry Ripe Easter Eggs

Makes: 12–15 Easter eggs

Ingredients

Chocolate Coating

Method

  1. In the food processor, pulse coconut, coconut oil, coconut cream, powder and rice malt syrup if using until combined. Be careful not to over mix. Add in the frozen cherries and pulse until combined.
  1. Using your hands, scoop up about 2 tablespoons worth of mixture, shape into an Easter egg shape and place on a tray. Repeat until you use up all of the mixture. Place in the freezer to set for 2 hours.
  1. After about 1 ½ hours, prepare the chocolate coating by melting ingredients together in a small pot over a low heat. Transfer to a bowl, place in the fridge for 15 minutes to let it thicken slightly.
  1. To cover in chocolate coating, first prepare a rack over a tray to catch any dripping chocolate. Carefully dip the eggs in the chocolate coating mixture and place on the rack.

Note: You want to work quickly here to prevent the eggs from melting. This is why it’s important your chocolate mixture isn’t too hot but is still melted and has a liquid consistency. You may wish to work in batches. Place back into the freezer as soon as possible to set the chocolate.

  1. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Crispy Salmon Cutlets with Hemped-up Pumpkin & Rocket Salad with Hemp & Lemon Dressing

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

It’s incredibly easy to get lost in the crazy world of social media and completely lose sight when it comes to healthy eating. While celebrities and supermodels promote insane diets, unhealthy skinny teas, sugar-laden ‘protein’ bars and more, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for us to navigate a reliable source of information and the best way to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

If you want my opinion, the best way to do that is to eat real food and love your gut.

Which brings me to my next point – protein.

While some people rave on and on about how you need "x" amount of protein to build muscles, become lean, pick up buildings, etc. it’s important to note that you don’t need to eat meat for every single meal to get enough protein. There are plenty of sources of plant-based protein that can be enjoyed by everyone, not just your hippie vegan friends.

So, without further ado, it’s time to pass the spotlight onto the product of the moment – hemp seeds.

Before I go on, I think it’s important to clarify a few things about our hemp-y friends. Hemp seeds aren’t the smelly stuff your neighbours have been smoking and it won’t impair your state of mind either. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that hemp isn’t the same. Hemp seeds are the fruit of the hemp plant, and only contains trace (<.5%) amounts of the psychoactive element THC so it won’t affect your state of mind.

The Thompson’s Hemp Range contains proteins full of amino acids, including the essential amino acids that our bodies are unable to produce. They’re also high in essential fatty acids, dietary fibre and boost energy. Plus, they’ve got a delicious nutty taste and super satisfying crunch.  I love that they’re a low allergy food and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

If you’re loving the idea of hemp but unsure where to begin, as always, I’ve got a delicious recipe up my sleeve! I’ve created crispy salmon cutlets with hemped-up protein and a rocket salad with a hemp and lemon dressing. It’s super simple but sure to satisfy every single one of your cravings. I love the sweetness of the pumpkin, the crunch of the hemp seeds and the zing of the lemon & hemp oil dressing.

Pumpkin’s aren’t just good for Halloween! Pumpkins are packed full of fibre, antioxidants and minerals. They can also help boost our immunity and reduce inflammation. Undoubtedly, the best way to enjoy pumpkin is baked in the oven. I love when it comes out sweet, toasty and ultimately, delicious.

Of course, this dish wouldn’t be complete without some salmon. Salmon is a serious wonder-fish. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins for energy and protein. It’s one of the most nutritious foods on the planet - it can even promote eye, skin and heart health!

I’ve combined these three wonderful ingredients, pumpkin, salmon and hemp, to create the ultimate dinner or lunch to impress. Make it for yourself, your family, your friends or even your special someone and they’ll be blown away with your cooking abilities and new-found knowledge on all things hemp!

Are you ready to get hemp-y?

You can find the new Thompson’s range at pharmacies and health food stores across Australia.

Crispy Salmon Cutlets with Hemped-up Pumpkin and rocket salad with a hemp and lemon dressing

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For salad:

  • 1/4 pumpkin chopped into squares
  • 1 tbs olive oil 
  • 2 cups rocket leaves
  • 1 cucumber peeled and slices
  • 2 tbs Thompson's hemp seeds
  • 2 tbs pine nuts

Method:

  • Heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius
  • Lay pumpkin on a baking tray and cover with olive oil then bake for about 30 mins till crispy 
  • Five minutes before the pumpkin is roasted warm oil in heavy frying pan and add salmon, cooking until crispy then turning over to crisp up the other side
  • Once cooked set aside and arrange salad ingredients between two plates, make dressing and drizzle salad with dressing. 
  • Top salad with Thompson hemp seeds and pine nuts. 

For Dressing:

Method:

  • In a small bowl mix dressing ingredients with a fork until combined 
  • Pour over salad and enjoy

Valentine’s Day Mocha + Banana Smoothie Bowl

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Dairy Free, drinks, Gluten Free, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

There are two types of people in this world; those who eagerly count down the days till the 14th of February and those who want to pop every heart-shaped balloon in site.

Don't get me wrong, I love Valentine's Day but sometimes... sometimes it can get a bit too much. We make reservations for the fanciest of restaurants, we prepare ourselves for the pure wonder of it all and then we land up getting a little disappointed when it's not the exact fairytale we've dreamed of...

Every.

Single.

Year.

Do we never learn?

Let's simplify Valentine's Day this year. We can all agree that Valentine's day is a day about love - whether it's with yourself, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, partner, friend, dog, neighbour, neighbour’s dog, it's time to spread the love! 

And in true Supercharged Food fashion, the way we’re going to spread some luuuurve today is with food. What better way to start the day than with showing your love with some breakfast in bed? 

If you or your love of choice think that starting the day feeling both happy and energised is a foreign myth unless you’ve had your morning cuppa joe, or, if you can’t make words or look anyone in the eye until you've had your first sip of creamy coffee in the a.m., this one is especially for you.

Let’s take that espresso shot, throw it into the blender and espresso some love with a mega morning smoothie!

My delicious Mocha and Banana Smoothie Bowl recipe is from my latest book Supercharge Your Gut, and it’s every bit as good as it sounds.

This delicious smoothie made with real coffee (which you can substitute for dandelion tea if you’re *gasp* not a coffee lover), raw cacao, chia seeds, hazelnuts and blissful bananas feels a little like monkey magic. This bowl will give you a natural hit of everyone’s favourite hormone, dopamine – the happy one (if you know what I mean ;-)!)  Plus, it tastes like chocolate. If anyone ever tells you that you can’t have chocolate for breakfast, they’re wrong and you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!

Golden Gut Mango Cheesecake

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Does anyone else have a love affair with cheesecake?

It combines two of my favourite things – cheese and cake.

And it makes for one delicious dessert.

But, for my friends who are cutting down on processed foods, gluten, dairy, sugar and eggs, cheesecake is probably one of the foods you avoid like the plague.

Until now!

I’ve created a cheesecake with my Golden Gut Blend that’s a perfect afternoon treat or delightful dessert for summer. It’s a raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free cheesecake that is absolutely delicious.

Before you give me that attitude and roll your eyes at the idea of a cheese-less cheesecake, sometimes, you've just got to trust me. I think I can even say I like this more than regular cheesecake. And quite frankly, so does my stomach (sorry for the TMI!).

Don't be the friend who brings the unpalatable raw dessert to your dinner party. Bring this instead!

I’ve included sweet, juicy mangoes because they’re finally in season here in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m a little bit in love with them. Seriously. If you get a good one, don’t let that man-go. If you were to check my search history, “How many mangoes can I eat until I turn into a mango?” may come up. I promise I was asking for a friend… If you’re a lover of all things mango too, check out my Supercharged Banana and Mango Smoothie

This cheesecake combines two of my favourite goodies into one delicious recipe. My Golden Gut Mango Cheesecake is a recipe you’re going to luuuuurve.

The best part?

Apple Cider Gummy Bears + Booktopia Supercharge Your Gut Special Offer

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Organic, Snacks, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I have a passion for healtha-fying traditional recipes and making them kid-friendly. In fact, I’ve got a whole book dedicated to it called Supercharged Food for Kids.

If you’re trying to add more apple cider vinegar to yours, your kids or your neighbour’s diet, but can’t stand the taste, you may want to give my gummies a whirl. They're one of the many delicious recipes from my latest book, Supercharge Your Gut. 

It was great being able to drop into Booktopia HQ yesterday and sign hundreds of books, it's safe to say I may have writers cramp for a few days but I have picked up some brand new calligraphy skills to add to my resume!

If you can't wait to get your hands on a copy, the wonderful people at Booktopia are stocking these signed copies which are available right now at the special price of only $27.95. You can pick one up here.

Now that we’re done with a little shameless plug, it’s time to get down to business. And by business, I mean Apple Cider Gummy Bears Business. It's serious stuff, you know!

Apple cider vinegar is seriously good for our health. It can help tackle colds and flus, tame troubled tummies, ease a scratchy throat, control blood sugar levels and even boost weight loss. It has beautiful probiotic enzymes to help balance gut bacteria, improve nutrient assimilation and balance pH levels.

When I’m talking about apple cider vinegar, I mean the real thing. NOT the sweetened and sparkly apple ciders kids are drinking these days. The REAL variety of apple cider vinegar is unfiltered and contains the ‘mother’ of all ingredients – the mother! Most  apple cider vinegars out there have had this crucial ingredient removed and are heavily processed, so make sure you find one that’s got it all intact like this one here.

I'll be the first to admit it, while apple cider vinegar sounds great for our health, it isn't usually the most palatable of ingredients to kids (and pretty much everyone else out there too... if your friend says they LOVE apple cider vinegar, they're probably lying). This is why I’ve combined it with a gut-healing guru, gelatine, and some natural apple juice to make these gummies yummy and good for the tummy!

Gelatine does all the heavy lifting when it comes to gut health! It helps to seal the lining of the gut that's often been opened by various factors such as poor diet and stress. Gelatine can also improve the strength of our digestive system and enhance the secretion of gastric acids to help us break down food, making it easier for us to absorb all the nutrients we're eating! If you're trying to improve your bowel movements (sorry for the possible TMI), gelatine is your gut ninja as it absorbs water which keeps the digestive tract running with fluid and so, promotes good intestinal transit time and healthy bowel movements. Woo-Poo! 

If you're ready to have some seriously devoted healthy gummy fans, you have to give my Apple Cider Gummy Bears a try.

Apple Cider Gummy Bears

Makes about 12

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) apple juice (no added sugar)
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/164 cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons powdered gelatine

Method:

  • In a small saucepan, warm the apple juice and vinegar over medium heat.
  • When it starts to bubble, remove from the heat.
  • Sprinkle the gelatine on top and whisk briskly until dissolved. Strain.
  • Pour into teddy bear moulds, or other moulds of your choice, or into a small lined baking tin.
  • Refrigerate for 1–2 hours, or until set.
  • Turn out of the moulds, or cut into small squares to serve. The gummies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for 1–2 weeks.

SUPERCHARGED TIP:

For my vegetarian friends, you can now have you gummies and eat them too! To make Aloe Vera Gummies, replace the vinegar with aloe vera juice.

For Vegetarian Gummies, simply heat up 350 ml (12 fl oz) aloe vera juice in a saucepan, add 1/2 tsp agar-agar powder and stir to dissolve. Agar agar is a flavorless gelling agent, derived from cooked and pressed seaweed.

Continue stirring for a couple of minutes. When the mixture starts to boil, remove from the heat, add some liquid stevia, vanilla extract, chopped mint or whatever spice you like — even berries would be nice!

Pour into an ice-cube tray. Top with shredded coconut if you like, then refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until set.

Light Up Your Summer Table with Four Seasonal Salads

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian

It’s beginning to look a lot like summer,

Everywhere you go! 

Imagine your ideal holiday period.

Are you cuddled up by the fire with your special someone, or perhaps caravanning by the beach with family, tripping overseas in a foreign kitchen, or maybe even camping in the bush?  You may even be lying on the grass at your annual picnic?

Wherever you are, there’s one thing we all can agree on – it’s spending time with your special ones that matters the most… and the food. Okay, maybe two things we can all agree on then.

While festive feasting in Australia may not look like steaming hot chocolates, roads studded with fairy lights and snowflakes, stuffed chooks and bellies filled with pudding, holiday season is still holiday season! While it’s a little too hot for full roasts and mashed potatoes here in Australia, we can still celebrate the season with fresh produce and delicious salads – what could be better?

I’ve created four delicious salad recipes you can make wherever your festivities may take you. Just make sure that when you do enjoy these beauties, you’re enjoying them with your special people.

The only Kale and Strawberry and Avocado Salad you'll need this holiday season.

What do you get when you combine sweetness, bitterness and bright colours?

My Kale and Strawberry Salad, of course!

This totally good-for-you salad is filled with veggies, berries and healthy fats which make a nutrient-dense meal suitable for anyone.

Our forest friend, kale, delivers protein, fibre and impressive amounts of vitamin A and C, making it a powerful antioxidant.

Kale’s dynamic partner in crime (and by crime, I mean tasting good because there’s literally nothing harmful about this salad!), strawberries, are full of vitamin C that’ll help boost immunity and even keep wrinkles at bay! 

The combination of the green and the pink make this salad almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Seeing as this salad is simple and easy to make, it means you’ll have more time to spend with your friends and family this holiday season. You’re welcome.

This welcoming dish brings a touch of summer to your table. and right down to the dressing is a total knockout that'll blow your mind!

Who knew healthy could taste so good?

Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad with Speedy Jam Jar Dressing

Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

Speedy Jam Jar Dressing


Method

  • In a large bowl place lemon juice and olive oil and stir then massage it into kale leaves adding a pinch or two of sea salt. Keep massaging until leaves are soft and dark green
  • Add remaining ingredients and toss
  • To make the dressing whisk all ingredients together

Fig and Goats Cheese (Yum!)

Get ready for an ultimate platter that’ll make you forget all about your run-of-the-mill, sad garden salad.

This Fig and Goats Cheese Platter will wow your guests and make you change the way you think about cooking altogether. This throw-together salad is so simple that it just might work!

I can’t believe it when I hear people say they dislike the taste of figs! Who can possibly deny themselves the pleasure of lusciously sweet and summery figs that have a chewy flesh, smooth skin and crunchy seeded centre? My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Figs are high in potassium that’ll help lower blood pressure. They’re also high in fibre to get things moving on your insides, which is essential with all the over-eating we tend to do around the holiday season! Or you can always try my Love Your Gut powder to remove the junk from your trunk.

Another summer fruit that’s ready to finally get in the spotlight, peaches, are tantalizing for our tastebuds and high in antioxidants which help reduce our disease risk.

Now that we’ve got our fruit sorted, we need to find an edge. This is where Goat’s cheese comes in. Goat’s cheese is high in calcium and essential fatty acids and can be much easier to digest than other cheeses. It’s also known to cause less inflammation in the body than regular dairy and helps aid nutrient absorption. Goat to love that!

Combine these three ingredients with antioxidant-rich greens and one delicious dressing and you’ve got one heck of a platter! Grab the recipe here. 

 Teacup Watermelon Salad

 

As a foodie, there’s something about the changing of season that always brings me joy. I love to see what each season provides me and, form recipes that celebrate produce of the season. While in winter we tend to crave soups and stews, summer provides us with a need for hydrating and fresh produce. Namely, watermelon.

To me, summer just yells watermelon. There’s nothing that adds more bliss to a hot summer day than eating the right piece of sweet and juicy watermelon. While you can enjoy watermelon just on its own, I love putting it into a good watermelon salad. If you’ve never tried watermelon in a salad, you’re in for a treat with this recipe! This salad comes from my book Fast Your Way to Wellness which is full of summer recipes that are as good for your waistline as they are for your soul! It’s perfect for sustaining abounding energy and a healthy weight year-round. 

I’m not sure which genius thought it would be a good idea to combine watermelon with cheese and mint, but whoever it was, I owe them! This interesting collaboration knocks your socks off and keeps you coming back for seconds every time.

While the sweet juiciness of watermelon comes through, it’s balanced by the bite of the crumbled Goat's cheese and cooling zing of fresh mint.

Watermelons are about 92 percent water, making every bite perfectly hydrating! They're also rich in vitamin A, B6 and C, as well as beauty-boosting antioxidants that’ll keep your skin glowing all summer long.

This dainty teacup salad can bring joy on warm days as a refreshing snack, light meal or even dessert.

I’ve dressed this bad-boy with a zesty mixture of lemon and lime, with floral notes of coriander of course, creamy sheep’s milk yoghurt.

Check out the recipe here.

Vegan Caesar Salad

I've taken an alternative approach to your summer menus and created a #meatlessmonday extravaganza! If you’re looking to cater for vegetarians, flexitarians or vegans, you’re definitely going to want to try this one!

While meatless meals are great for our digestion and can make us feel lighter than other ones, often times, meat-free dishes, like faux soy meats, are full of processed ingredients and chemicals that make the whole vegetarian thing not so good after all!

When cooking without meat, be sure to use fresh and natural ingredients. Also remember to include a source of protein, such as beans, seeds, tofu or tempeh.

What’s tempeh, you ask?

Tempeh is made of fermented, cooked soybeans, meaning it’s less processed than tofu and high in protein and fibre. This makes it easier for us to digest and richer in probiotics which are key to increasing our gut microflora; an aspect of health that tends to go out the window in holiday season. Probiotics help break down sugars, control harmful bacteria and improve our immune system so we can enjoy summer and the holidays sniffle-free.

Tempeh has a slightly earthy and sweet taste and is firm and chewy in texture.

My Vegan Caesar salad, made with tofu’s lesser known tempeh, is the perfect Christmas dish. This delicious Caesar salad is so good, you’ll be looking forward to Mondays from now on!

Check it out here.

Enjoy these four seasonal salads and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Lee xo 

Golden Gut Granola Clusters

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Are you looking for an excuse to skip breakfast?

This is not it.

In fact, this recipe will make you go to sleep dreaming of breakfast, longing to wake up and get your chew on. 

This delicious and simple recipe is perfect for eating during the week when you don't have a lot of time but it's also great on the weekend when you want to have a relaxed breakfast in the garden. It's basically granola for every occasion. 

The other great thing about this recipe is that you only need to make it once for it to travel a really long way. That is, depending on your self-control.. portion control, people!

While most of the store-bought packaged granolas are high in sugars, fat and filled with unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients, this homemade granola only contains ingredients that are beneficial for your body and wellbeing.

Oats are such an amazing way to start the day. They’re rich in important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants which work to improve healthy gut bacteria, control blood sugar levels, ease digestion and increase feelings of fullness.

Incorporating nuts and seeds in this recipe works because they not only get the thumbs up for  taste, they also come with a range of amazing health benefits too! Almonds, pumpkin seeds and linseeds are all a tasty source of protein, dietary fibre, healthy fats like Omega 3, and essential nutrients like Vitamin E. These work to give you a healthy boost of energy and can also help to reduce hunger pangs and promote healthy weight-loss.

Combining these ingredients with my Golden Gut blend is the perfect way to set you up for glowing gut health. Because the blend contains diatomaceous earth and the wonderful spice turmeric, it's packed with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties and can even help improve nutrient absorption, digestion and regulation. With a high amount of absorbable iron and a variety of vitamins and minerals, the blend is the perfect addition to this oat and nut granola, to add an energy kick, boost brain function and the immune system. You can watch a video about diatomaceous earth here.

Not only does using coconut oil make this recipe bond beautifully, using a healthy saturated fat together with turmeric makes it easier for your body to absorb and make the most of the benefits of this golden spice.

Enjoy these golden crunchy clusters any time of the day in a variety of ways!

Let me know how you go with making them and if you love them as much as I do.

Golden Granola Clusters

Makes 1L jar

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a large tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix the oats, coconut, almonds and seeds.

Warm the coconut oil in a small saucepan and add 3 tablespoons honey, Golden Gut, nutmeg and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined then pour over the oat mixture.

Mix and rub the spiced oil into the oats, nuts and seeds. Once the mixture is evenly coated, spread onto the baking tray. Make sure it is levelled across the pan, and then you can create some small clusters if you like. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey across to finish.

Bake for 25 – 30 mins or until lightly brown and golden on top. Shake the tray one or two times while cooking.

When finished baking, let cool completely on a wire rack. The cooling process should be at least 30 – 45 mins and is crucial in order to crisp the granola. Once cooled, break into clusters.

Store the granola in an airtight jar or container.

For breakfast serve with cold coconut milk and bananas, or over a smoothie bowl or sheep’s milk yoghurt with fresh berries.

Enjoy straight out of the jar as a yummy snack or crumble over roasted pears or my Golden Gut-time ice cream for desert!

Mindful Alcohol in the Silly Season + New Year Egg Nog

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

As the weather heats up in Australia, so do our social lives. This time of year, brings with it a whole lot of holiday parties and festivities, lots of silliness (tis the season after all!) and of course, alcohol.

While a night out with the girls or throwing back a few bevvies with the boys may seem harmless, doing this for weeks straight can have detrimental effects on your body and wellbeing. Alcohol intake can have a run-on effect too. One glass of wine can lead to two bottles of wine, three packets of hot chips, twelve chicken nuggets and two meat-lover’s pizzas later. After such a big night, your willingness to exercise will probably reduce a whole lot the next day too. If you’re trying to have some balance in the holidays, this sounds like a recipe for disaster!

While I’m all about having a great time, excess alcohol, along with the excess food you consume because of said-alcohol, can inevitably upset the apple cart.  

Excess alcohol consumption can also lead to all sorts of health issues including inflammation, allergy, autoimmune diseases, liver conditions and weight gain.

Have you ever noticed after a night out of drinking that your stomach isn’t exactly your best friend? For more on gut health you might like to read my new book Supercharge Your Gut. Alcohol interferes with your ability to digest food. It also inhibits your ability to absorb nutrients, so even if you’re drinking green the next day to ‘repair the damage’, your body will struggle to take all the nutrients in.

And now for the big one - binge-drinking. Binge drinking, drinking lots of alcohol in a short period of time or drinking to get drunk, can lead to falls, mood problems, memory disorders, mental health issues, dreadful hangovers and unnecessary weight gain.

Don’t worry; you don’t need to choose between that bikini bod or pulling a sickie, lying in bed, watching Netflix and crying because you have to miss your work Christmas party (unless you want to, in which case, you have my blessing). You can still enjoy the festivities and the alcohol that comes with it but, if you want my advice, drink mindfully. It's good to let your hair down and not stress about missing a gym session here or there, that’s what new year’s resolutions are there for after all! Just remember that moderation is key.

Here are some of my tips for staying healthy and being mindful of your alcohol intake in the silly season.

Before a big night out, make sure to stay hydrated with water during the day. I also suggest eating something before you go out so the alcohol doesn’t go straight to your head before you even realise (I think we’re all been there) or make you hungry enough to overeat and eat and eat. I also suggest alternating each alcoholic drink with a glass of water to stay hydrated and keep your liver a little bit happier.

I know when you’re taking down shots that you need a delicious chaser to wash it down with, but I recommend avoiding soft drinks. Not only do they add to your overall calorie intake, they’re full of sugar and foreign chemicals and can make you feel even worse the next day. 

I also recommend at least 2 alcohol-free days a week. This doesn’t mean you need to put your social life on hold though. If you’re trying to reduce your alcohol intake, why don’t you meet your friends for a tea instead of alcoholic drinks? 

All in all, alcohol shouldn’t be feared, but, it shouldn’t be drunk by the 2 x bottle either. Alcohol can be part of your life, it just needs to be enjoyed in moderation and not in excess.

If you are trying to cut-down on your alcohol intake during the festive season or you're a tee-totaller, why not try my New Year Egg Nog? It'll nog your socks off! 

New Year Egg Nog

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Method

In a saucepan, on the stove top place coconut milk and cream, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and stir gently until combined and slowly bring to the boil.

Remove from heat and allow to steep.

In a blender place egg yolks and blend on high until well-combined and frothy

Add coconut milk mixture then whizz for a couple more seconds

Remove from the blender and serve warm or can be and refrigerated until cold

Serve and garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg

Happy New Year!

Lee xo

Supercharged Savoury Mince

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free


When I started living a healthier lifestyle, I wanted to find quick staple meals that were easy enough to swap-out with my older, less healthy and more traditional recipes. Being the full-time, mum that I was, I wanted recipes I could make once and use again… and again… and again. It was just SO HARD to find anything that was both easy and healthy. It seemed like an impossible feat; a tale of two star-crossed lovers who were never meant to meet.

I was stuck.

Cook, they said.

It’ll be fun, they said 😐

I just wanted something simple that was nourishing for my body and versatile. How hard could that be?! You know what I mean – the patty for burgers night that could be re-made into the topping for your salad at lunch, the fillings for your lettuce-cup, an easy fridge snack on it’s own and then the base for a Shepherd’s pie. The filling. I wanted the filling. Because let’s be real, who has time or energy to cook for hours on end just for one small meal?

Nobody. Absolutely nobody.

And this is something that still rings true today for many people. Whenever I cook, I like everything I make to be versatile. I only ever cook something that I can eat for the next week. A Renewable Table as I like to call it (and yes, that was a cheeky plug to The Renewable Table eBook which you can check out here). I'm not trying to say I'm a big deal or anything but, I guess you could say I was into meal prep long before it was cool.

If you’re looking for a healthy swap for your burger patty, a substitution for your meat-balls or a dish to just enjoy on its own – you’ve come to the right place. My savoury mince makes for an easy weeknight meal or weekend communal dinner and delivers a flavour-packed dish that's not only big on taste, but also great for the family and able to be modified into any of your favourite meals down the line.

While the regular ground beef you find at the supermarket is typically low grade, my mince is high and mighty in taste. My savoury mince is a healthy alternative that's filled with only good-for-you ingredients that's ground up into a convenient form. If you’re a lover of all things burger, spaghetti or lettuce cups – I’ve found your perfect filler. It’s comfort food without the pressure of stodgy ingredients.

To add to the meatiness of this mince recipe, I’ve added some mushrooms. Not only are mushrooms high in copper which helps look after heart health, they’re also high in vitamin D. There's been a huge rise in vitamin D deficiency simply because we don’t spend enough time outside (helloooo indoor gym sessions, 9-5 desk jobs and Netflix). Vitamin D deficiency can cause both bone and muscle pain as well as a whole other list of other symptoms. It’s good to try and get at least twenty minutes of sun exposure every day. But, I have a little trick for you. If you want to up your vitamin D intake, leave your mushrooms outside in the sun for 15 minutes before cooking them. I know, it sounds a little bit crazy BUT similar to own bodies, exposing mushrooms to UV rays helps increase the vitamin D. Mushroom magic!

This mince is almost like the cold meat of every salad, sandwich, snack and sushi recipe you can find at the petrol/gas station. Except this time, it's enjoyable for both you and your tummy. 

Supercharged Savoury (Mighty) Mince recipe

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks sliced
  • 200g button mushrooms, quartered
  • 500g beef or lamb mince (grass fed is good)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg 
  • Pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 tbs wheat free tamari
  • Squeeze of lemon juice 
  • 1 cup spinach (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas  
  • Fresh coriander to serve

Method

  1. Place olive oil, garlic, onion, in heavy based saucepan over medium heat and cook until softened.
  2. Add celery, carrot and mushrooms and cook
  3. Stir until cooked through.
  4. Add mince and break apart with wooden spoon and stir to cook until browned.
  5. Season with spices and add tamari and lemon stirring well. Letting spices infuse and turn heat to low.
  6. Add peas and spinach and cook on low until cooked through
  7. Spoon into bowls and enjoy
  8. Serve with fresh coriander 

Savoury Smashed Root Vegetables

Written by Lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Snacks, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter

Just a quick question...

Would you choose a ketogenic diet over a lovely bowl of root vegetable mash? 🍠 

I know which one I'd be choosing, and really, who wouldn't want to enjoy tasty prebiotic fibre for good gut health.

*Runs away and takes cover from keto enthusiasts 🏃

Oh and one last thing, mash isn’t just all about spuds. Served either as a light meal on its own or as a side, this tri-coloured bowl of primitive, hulk-inspiring nourishment will have you at hello.

Anyway, later ’taters. 

Enjoy the recipe.

Savoury Smashed Root Vegetables

Serves 4

  • 1 small turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) additive-free coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • Sprinkling of Golden Gut Blend or Love Your Gut powder
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Place the turnip and parsnip in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil for 10 minutes, then add the remaining vegetables and boil for a further 20–30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

In a separate, small saucepan, simmer the olive oil, coconut milk and garlic over low heat for 5 minutes.

Drain the vegetables and place in a food processor with the coconut milk mixture and nutritional yeast flakes and pulse briefly, so the vegetables are still chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper and gut powder if using.

Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl

Written by Lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Organic, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free


If you’re a keen foodie who's always riding with the food trends, there’s no doubt you’ve already jumped on the Buddha bowl bandwagon.

These flawless bowls are bouncing with all the veggies, perfectly-packed protein and avocado that's diced up a little too neatly (Seriously, HOW do they do it?!). 

Here at Supercharged HQ, we're not into the neat and the pretty - the flat-lays of life. We love the messy, the real and the raw (or baked in this case). That's what life is after all. There's beauty in the irregularity and that's why my Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl, brewed in the hinterland of Byron Bay is a forever recipe.

Have you heard of the Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl ever?

Probably not because it's a Supercharged special!  Until someone decides to permanently borrow it of course. (Blogger jokes ;))

The Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl is all about getting real and letting out your true colours. Finding your loosest pair of harem pants, letting down your flowy hair (or at least pretending to) and getting the groovy music going, man. I’m starting a revolution and inviting you to get amongst it, baby!

Viva le bowlolution!

My Bohemian Baked Veg Bowl is also full of nutrients to tell you the truth. It’s truly a melting pot of flavours where everything is welcome and loved, in all it's mess and glory!  

This bowl is aesthetically pleasing (perfect for the keen instagrammer), versatile and well… delicious. Plus, it’s super simple to make and not very time consuming either. Essentially, it’s a bowl with all the good stuff – lots of veggies, greens and seeds. Oh, and let’s not forget a creamy tahini dressing that’s almost too good to be true. *Wipes drool from side of mouth*.

The best part about my bohemian veg bowl is that it’s fool-proof! Yep, almost anyone who knows how to work an oven and shake ingredients in a jar can make this one. Plus, you probably have everything lying in your fridge and store cupboard anyway.

I know you're just as excited as I am by this discovery so let's dive straight to it!

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