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Healthy Made Easy by Luke Hines + Coconut and Blueberry Loaf

Written by Lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

Are you ready to make healthy easy again?

Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place!

Luke Hines is a passionate cook and health foodie. Dubbed Australia’s ‘Clean Living Expert’, Luke creates real fuss-free recipes that look and taste amazing. All of Luke’s recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.

Luke’s latest book, Healthy Made Easy, shows you how healthy food can be incredibly simple to make and taste damn delicious too. Every recipe is filled with sustainable protein, fresh fruit and vegetables that’ll help you thrive and flourish, rather than feel restricted, hungry and bored. Say goodbye to those celery sticks and say hello to over 140 fast and delicious recipes.

The 'Gaytime' Cake

Healthy Made Easy focuses on finding tantalizingly tasty, healthy substitutions for your favourite old-school meals and snacks that’ll help boost your energy and make you feel happier and healthier more than ever before. PSA: this is also how being around Luke makes you feel!

If you’re ready to transform your life, regardless of how busy you are or your kitchen experience (I know, we can’t all cook for a living!), Healthy Made Easy is the book for you.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Luke and his delicious new book, read our interview below! Oh, and don’t forget his Coconut and Blueberry Loaf recipe - it's a real winner.

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started?

Having grown up struggling with my weight all throughout my teens, but not being overly sporty, I completed my high school years knowing I had to do something about my health, but what? I fell in love with the gym, but more so, I actually LOVED being in the kitchen! Fast-track 10 years of my life and I become a Personal Trainer with a specific focus on eating clean. Then a little show called My Kitchen Rules changed my life in 2013 and made food my full-time gig. Now, I spend my years writing recipes, sharing my books with the world, and hopefully inspiring others to know that healthy cooking is super easy, fun and really delicious!

  • I love your Facebook Live Cooking Videos; they’re always hilarious and everything you make is drool-worthy! What made you start them?

They sort of just accidentally happened! I first started filming videos and them editing them, and this proved time-consuming and I often felt a little unnatural when doing certain parts of the recipe over and over for the perfect shot. I decided I was better live as I was less nervous (go figure) and it actually showcases what cooking is like for everyone else at home. No staged, not faked and anything can happen! I realised people really resonated with the fact that not everything always works out, and thats ok! Its about having fun and simply using real food ingredients!

Surf-Chilled Coconut Ocean Trout

  • Do you subscribe to a food or wellness philosophy?

I did spend a period of time where I was fairly strict Paleo, I think energetically at that time I needed the structure that it came with to get my health on track, but asking me now I am more a flexitarian, making sure that life always comes first. What I mean by that is that I try to eat clean, which to me is the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and limit anything that could cause harm or inflammation, but never let the way I eat dictate my adventures in life as experiences should always come first. That means when I am in Italy, it's all about pizza and pasta, mindfully, in moderation! I don’t think we should ever restrict, just do the best you can when possible and in routine, and relax and don’t be hard on yourself if things don’t always go to plan!

  • What are your top 3 cooking staples? 

Eggs! Perfect for cakes, oh and breakfast! They are a true superfood in so many ways, and the real versatile hero for the kitchen!

Cauliflower! From rice to a pizza base, these babies are the bomb! What's not to love also about a simple slow roasted cauliflower in coconut oil or ghee! YUM!

Raw Cacao! Perhaps its the magnesium, or maybe she’s born with it, but I am obsessed with raw cacao! Added to my morning coffee, in a healthy raw chocolate slab, or in a delightedly chilli mole mince! Healthy and delicious, what more can you ask for?

  • If you could cook a meal for one person(apart from me ha!), who would it be and what would you make?

I’d actually love to cook for Stephen Spielberg! I am a massive movie addict, and I just LOVE his films, especially Jurassic Park, it still holds up today as one of the most magical pieces of cinematic work and it's almost 30 years old!  I'd ask for all the behind the scenes ‘how was that made’ type stuff! Plus, he might cast me in his next movie about a humble chef from Australia being kidnapped by pirates at sea.  

  • What are your top tips for people who are trying to live a healthier life?

First and foremost you have to be kind to yourself! Any physical and emotional transformation for the better, requires us to love our selves and be comfortable in the now, so we can let go of stress and allow ourselves to move into our next phase of health. Then, I would say, small, easy, incremental steps each day that add up to long term sustainable change. Progress over a long period of time is better than rushing and burning out.

Healthy Made Easy was born from all the amazing feedback from the book that came before, Eat Clean. Anytime I asked anyone what their favourite thing about Eat Clean was, the answer was the same, EASY but still delicious recipes. I spoke to my publisher and I said, how about we give them more recipes, that are quicker, easier and easier than ever before, in the hope that we could eliminate the stress and time that some people think comes with cooking your own nutritious food. As health authors, we often hear people say that eating well can be costly, confusing and take too long, it's time to turn this myth on its head!

 - What’s your favourite recipe from Healthy Made Easy?

Oh, this is like having to pick a favourite child! Ok, so, I will give you my favourite sweet and my favourite savoury! My favourite savoury is the Bangkok Beef Cheeks due to their delightful curry sauce and use of one of my favourite cuts of meat! And as for dessert, I can’t go past the Easy As Lemon Slice! It is so simple and delicious!

Wow thanks Luke and thank you for the wonderful recipe you are sharing with us today 🙂

Coconut and Blueberry Loaf - Makes 1 loaf 


I love this loaf as a slightly sweeter more decadent start to my day. Inspired by the traditional banana bread, the coconut and blueberries are a wonderful flavour combination. Enjoyed fresh out of the oven or toasted in a pan with some coconut oil until crispy, this is epic when lathered with the coconut frosting and drizzled with honey.

Ingredients: 

  • 200g desiccated or shredded coconut, plus a few extra to garnish the top
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 1 large very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh vanilla bean
  • 1 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, plus a few extra to garnish the top
  • Vanilla coconut cream, to top
  • 1 tablespoon honey, to drizzle

Directions:

  • Get started by preheating your oven to 180 degrees and lining a 450gram loaf or bread tin with baking paper. In a good-quality powerful food processor, blitz the desiccated coconut until it forms a crumbly flour-like consistency. Be mindful not to over-process it, as it will turn into coconut butter.
  • Either by hand or using a hand held mixer, beat the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla bean for a few minutes until well combined. Now add in the mashed banana and stir to combine.
  • Fold the coconut flour mixture you’ve made into the wet mixture, then gently fold through the frozen blueberries. Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin and top the batter with extra blueberries and shredded coconut.
  • Bake at 180C for 45 mins. Remove from the oven, turn onto a wire rack if you’ve got one and allow it to cool if you are patient.
  • Enjoy it immediately with a generous lather of vanilla coconut frosting and drizzled with honey or your favourite topping. Store in an air-tight container in the pantry or fridge.

Health Tip: This delicious breakfast bread is also great with a slathering of butter or coconut oil. 

Note: Last up to 7 days in fridge.

Australian Digestive Excellence

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


If you’re looking for a product that’ll provide instant relief for your gut issues, you’ve come to the right place! The Australian Digestive Excellence is a product that is well… excellent.
 
It contains everything you need to strengthen and develop a healthy digestive system, including a unique blend of some of my favourite high-quality special herbs like aloe vera, liquorice root extract, marshmallow root extract and more. The formula was developed, researched and perfected for over 17 years in Australia and is now available in the USA! 
 
The Australian Digestive Excellence has proven to promote immune and digestive health and defend against the common culprits of constipation, gas, diarrhoea and bloating. For all my vegetarian, gluten-free,alcohol-free and GMO-free friends, this product is perfect for you guys too! It's an extremely natural product dedicated to anyone who's interested in living a healthier, happier and more vibrant life. 
 
Once you’ve cleaned your gut with our lovely Love Your Gut powder, The Australian Digestive Excellence can enable you to help alleviate your symptoms. It’s based on both Ancient healing methods and modern-day research. Trust me, it makes an impact. Anyone who’s ever experienced diarrhoea, bloating, gas, constipation, indigestion and more, will agree with me when I say one of the worst parts of these issues is not knowing when they'll end. This is where the Australian Digestive Excellence thrives as a product. It provides instant relief. So, if you’ve ever had that post-plane stomach feeling (you know exactly what I’m talking about!), this is your new favourite travel companion.
 
 
If you want to take control of your life and your gut health, you’re going to need to try the Australian Digestive Excellence out for yourself.
 
In fact, Dana said: “For the past 25 years I have been bound to my house and my bathroom. I have suffered with chronic Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis. My life has been a series of health obstacles that could only be treated by using immunosuppressive drugs. Most of that time I have relied on steroids to live. Thanks to high doses of those drugs I developed  stage II breast cancer at the age of 32. I have survived! My magic bullet has arrived. It's all natural! I drank! Within five minutes I started to noticed signs of improvement. I am not kidding!  The Juice had an instant effect on my gut. All I could think was that's it's too good to be true.”
 
This amazing product is only available in USA for the time being, but If you are in Australia there is limited stock to one per individual in Australia right now and this can be arranged via emailing summit@healthygutexperts.com
 
For future orders you can contact Australian Excellence directly at australianexcellence.com to get on the growing waiting list for orders outside the USA.  Use our code SUPERGUT to let them know you found their beautiful product through me.
 
If you’re ready to take charge of your gut health today, be sure to check out The Australian Digestive Excellence today! 

Thompson’s Hemp Foods Review

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

Ready for a riddle?

What’s got all three Omega fatty acids, comes in three different forms, often feels misunderstood and is sure to put a smile on your dial?

Hemp seeds, of course.

Hemp food holds a wonderful source of nutrients that can be used as a healthy snack, added to salads, smoothies, granolas and more.

Thompson’s have just released their line of Hemp Products and I’m so excited to share them with you.

The line includes hemp seeds, hemp wholefood powder (chocolate & unflavoured) and hemp seed oil (for all your salad dressing dreams).

Hemp seeds are a plant-based protein that contains amino acids, including the essential amino acids that our bodies are unable to produce naturally. That’s pretty good when it comes to plant-based protein! Hemp seeds are also rich in essential fatty acids. It’s also high in dietary fibre which means it’s great for supporting the digestive system, keeping it regular. 

For all my sniffle buddies out there, Thompson's Hemp Products are low allergy and suitable for vegans, meat-eater’s, Keto and Paleo enthusiasts, dairy-free and glutards alike.

Let’s start with the seeds. Thompson’s Hemp Seeds are the most nutritious part of the hemp plant. They naturally contain a whole load of essential fatty acids, protein and fibre, and can boost energy. You can sprinkle them on top of soups, salads, smoothies, curries and all your favourite dishes. The seeds are available in a 225g (RRP $15.45) and 450g (RRP $27.25) pack and serving size is 15g per day (1 heaped tablespoon). 


Throw out your tummy-troubling whey and soy protein powders and say hello to hemp-y goodness.  Thompson’s Hemp Wholefood Powder is rich in both plant-based protein and dietary fibre. It comes in two flavours – chocolate and natural so, you can pick whichever one suits your taste buds. If you’re anything like me though, you’ll choose chocolate. Chocolate always wins. Always. I love adding Thompson's Hemp Wholefood Powder  to my smoothies, breakfast bowls and baking (or raw-ing… you know, raw dessert making). The powder is available in a 450g standing pouch in chocolate (RRP $32.95) and unflavoured (RRP $29.95). Serving size is 30g a day. 


If you’re looking for a new salad dressing, you may want to add some Thompson’s Hemp Seed Oil drizzle to your life. It’s extremely rich in essential fatty acids (79% Omega 3 & 6) and has a delicious nutty flavour so it works well with everything. Thompson's Hemp Seed Oil can be drizzled onto your favourite salads, stir-fries, used to coat veggies after oven roasting and can even be added to your own home-made dips!  It comes in a 200mL bottle (RRP $18.15) and serving size is 10mL per day. 


Thompson’s Hemp Products are now available at pharmacies and health food stores! I’ve been waiting for the day that this nutrient-dense food would be available to the public and now it’s finally here. Oh, no, I’m not crying… something just flew into my eye. I promise.

If you're looking for more ways to add hemp to your life, be sure to check out their Instagram and Facebook pages too! 

IBS Formula Review

Written by Lee on . Posted in Natural Products, Reviews

Are you tired of wasting your hard earned money on health products that don’t actually work?.  It’s the same thing every time; You get so optimistic and excited about a brand-new product, but after only a few days, become disappointed and experience the exact same symptoms, or even worse ones!

If you’re ready to transform the way you feel and the way your bowels move, it’s time to bring IBS Formula into your life!

With IBS Formula, a GMO-free, vegan and gluten-free treatment formula that offers natural relief from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, you can finally heal your IBS symptoms for good. It’s estimated that as many as 1 in 4 people world-wide suffer from IBS but this magical formula can help by balancing the flora within the digestive system that often causes abnormal intestinal spasms that irritate the bowels during IBS.

The holistic herbal and plant-based ingredients aid in digestion, detoxifying the body, eliminating waste and easing gut discomfort! It can also assist in curing both constipation and diarrhoea and relieve gas and bloating. In fact, most people have seen positive results within the first 2 days of treatment!

IBS Formula combines digestive aids and naturally-occurring foods which provide real relief from IBS symptoms. Both Acai and Chlorella play a role in this antioxidant-rich blend which gives it some of its healing properties. It’s proven to increase stamina, improve weight balance, reduce toxins in the body and of course, get rid of those nasty IBS symptoms for good. It’s seriously life-changing and costs less than $1/day.

If you’re interested – jump to this website here and let me know if you love it as much as I do!

Port Douglas Cottages and Lodge + Travel Guide

Written by Lee on . Posted in Reviews, Travel & Lifestyle

Welcome to Paradise!

If you’re looking for a holiday that feels akin to a home away from home, make your way to Port Douglas. I’d call it a DIY retreat; there’s plenty of delicious food markets, interesting tours, nature and yoga sessions. You'll come back feeling super refreshed and relaxed.

I stayed at the beautiful Port Douglas Cottage and I could not recommend it highly enough. It’s basically what you'd get if Notting Hill and a luxe beach-house had a baby.  It's absolutely magical. The cottage is beautifully furnished, clean and only a few minutes’ walk away from restaurants, shops and the beach. It’s relaxing, cute and totally not over the top, which means it ticks all my accommodation boxes.

The happiest bedroom you'll ever see

The best room in the house - the kitchen!

Some places just exude warmth, openness and happiness and this is one of those places. The bedroom was absolutely beach chic and included robes (I don’t know what it is but I love walking around the house on holiday in a fluffy robe – is anyone else the same?). The kitchen was light and felt like the center of the home; as it should be. There were also beautiful flowers everywhere that always brought a smile to my face.

Simple seasonal salad by the pool

My highlight was undoubtedly the private pool. That pool and I now share some seriously special memories!

The cottage is perfect for families, couples and solo travellers like myself. Graeme, the owner, was super lovely, friendly and accommodating too – what a bonus! I’m counting down the days till I can go back to Port Douglas and stay in the cottage again.  

Breakfast at the Little Larder

If you’re looking for some great restaurants in Port Douglas, these are some of my favourites:

Dinner at Salsa

Seabean Tapas

My top seven things to do in Port Douglas include:

  1. Get yourself a picnic blanket, pack your lunch and meet the locals while watching the beautiful sunset down at The Point in Rex Smeal Park
  2. No trip to Port Douglas is complete without going on a tour of the Daintree. I loved seeing the crocodiles and seeing swallows and native birds when birdwatching. Check out my review of the tours I went on below!

The Daintree River

3. Go to the jungle juice “hippie market”. Trust me. If you’re a spiced chai fan, like myself, and your mouth waters at the thought of almond falafels, you'll be in heaven. Make sure to stop by Kuranda markets to try it all!

4. While we’re talking about markets, don’t miss the Mossman Market on Saturday morning.

5. Get the train to Kuranda, to experience one of the most unique rail journeys in Australia. Get ready to bear witness to traditional Australian culture and deepen your knowledge of the Dreamtime legend of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people. The carriages date back to the early 1900’s so you know you’re in for a real treat. It’s even better than Harry Potter. It’s more than just a train-ride, it’s an educational experience not to be missed. Explore the spectacular views, look at the marvellous tunnels and visit Freshwater station.

Kuranda Railway

Oh, and definitely come back via the Sky rail. It’s a must-do. It’s a skyrail committed to environmentally-friendly tourism, protecting the environment and providing guests with an opportunity to challenge, learn and grow. You’ll glide just a few metres above the gorgeous world-heritage protected rainforest, see the real beauty behind the ancient tropics and learn all about one of the most diverse areas on earth! You’ll see, hear, smell and become part of the tropical rainforest. It’s a full-body experience.6. Eat lunch at Salsa in Port Douglas. Delicious.

7. Walk the lighthouse and do the heritage walk around the town. It's absolutely beautiful and so calming.

Being the homeboy that I am, the best part of the day was always coming back home to my little cottage. I would buy lots of delicious fruit during the day and dream of coming back to snack and lounge around by the pool. It felt like my home centre and the place where I could truly unwind.

If you’re a full-on yoga-lover like me, be sure to check out Deep Yoga Studio. It’s been voted as the number #1 yoga studio in Port Douglas and it has my Supercharged tick of approval. It’s a peaceful and beautiful studio with highly-skilled teachers who personalise classes phenomenally.  It’s super close to town and just five minutes from the beach – yoga and swim anyone?  They have a range of classes to suit everyone including dynamic and energising classes, introspective yin-style classes, warmer yoga classes and Pilates. If that doesn’t get you excited, they also have a massage retreat, sento bath and steamroom/sauna!

You can enjoy a 60 minute session in their Soaking Pool, combined steamroom/infrared sauna, followed by their Relaxation Studio. Any place which has a room called a Relaxation Studio is a place I want to be! They have cocoons (how cool is that?!), mats, massage balls,  band mats and more!

TOURS:

Daintree Discovery Tours

  • This tour well and truly has it all. Be whisked away along the beautiful Mossman gorge, experience a Daintree River Cruise, take Instagram pics (we all have our priorities) of the panoramic views of the Daintree river, walk the beach of Cape Tribulation and more! You can choose between a half-day or full-day tour depending on your preferences and personal schedule. I chose the morning tour and was not disappointed!  Grant Knight, will pick you up from your accomodation, (he is was one of the best tour guides I’ve had!) He's a legend of a guy and so passionate about everything he spoke about. The itinerary's pieced together beautifully and I was interested and engaged the whole time. Who needs to listen to the sounds of the Amazonian rainforest on an app when you can witness it in person?! Driving through the Daintree was magical. We saw crocs, snakes and birds.

Scarface the crocodile

  • Get ready to fall in love (see what I did there?) with these beautiful waterfalls. You can feed the fish and turtles, swim in this unique environment or just sit back and enjoy the wonderful view.
  • If you’re looking for a tour like no other, be sure to check out Brett’s Kuranda Day Tours. Brett picks you up from your accommodation and takes you on a lovely 7.5-hour tour of your choice, so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! He’s friendly, funny, extremely helpful and knowledgable – what else can you ask for in a tour guide? He takes you through Kuranda via the Skyrail where you can see the beautiful village craft markets. You then travel up through the rainforest via the Kuranda Scenic Railway where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and arrive in beautiful Palm Cove. At the end of the tour, Brett drops you back at your accommodation or a restaurant and you say bye after a fabulous day together! If you’re in for a food-venture (like me, always), you may want to check out his Outback Tasting Adventures. Enjoy a delicious range of food (and maybe a cheeky glass of wine), with beautiful backdrops of lush scenery and explore growing crops and dairyland. You’ll learn all about bananas, mangoes, avocadoes, macadamia nuts and more and taste them for yourself! If you’re a night-owl, Brett also takes night tours to Tjapukai. It’s a quick yet, luxe trip which involves delicious welcome drink and canapes, a live Didgeridoo tour, a sacred corroboree of the Aboriginal dreamtime, a lake-side fire ceremony, tropical dining and a fireside farewell. If you’re interested, be sure to call Brett at these numbers: 07 40985 059 or 0418 909 818, click on the links above or check out his Facebook page here.

To learn more about Port Douglas and experience it for yourself at the beautiful Port Douglas Cottage, click this link here.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Elixir’s Review

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


Today, we’re talking about shrooms.

No, definitely not those kinds of shrooms!

We’re talking about medicinal mushrooms.

Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries to increase energy, boost brain function, rev up metabolism and strengthen the immune system. They’re also great for relieving stress and aiding sleep. They're basically the new kale. 

Four Sigmatic is a mushroom superfood company who are on a mission to make mushrooms cool again. I know what you’re thinking, *sigh*, another superfood product. While some products are great in theory, they often taste gross and are hard to implement into everyday life. Four Sigmatic have created a deliciously easy way to incorporate these powerfully potent and often overlooked superfood mushrooms into your everyday life. Get ready to upgrade your elixirs, hot chocolates and even your coffee, because these mushrooms are coming at you with a purpose!

Four Sigmatic use a blend of functional mushrooms like chaga, reishi, cordyceps and lion’s mane to create beautiful and delicious products we all can enjoy. While some of you may be mushroom ninjas, I know not everyone has mush-room for facts and figures, so I'll gently guide you through what mushrooms are special and why they're so good for us.

Chaga, also known as the King of Mushrooms, is famous for its medicinal properties. It’s been used since the 17th Century to help guard against several diseases because of it's high antioxidant properties. It’s also highly alkaline to help balance the environment within our body. The next mushroom, cordyceps is extremely famous in Asia and is actually known as a sacred treasure. Cordyceps help produce energy and can even assist our adrenals and stress hormones. Lion’s Mane is another medicinal mushroom that's well-known in traditional Chinese medicine. It's a great booster of brain health and can help to increase cognitive function. Reishi, the ancient and well-studied mushroom, is great for balancing our adrenal system and relieving stress. Phew!

Four Sigmatic is founded by the Finnish Funguys, a small start-up company which I love. They’re the most fun-guys around! They’ve created their very own Elixirs, Mushroom Coffee and Mushroom Cacao. My personal favourite is the Mushroom Cacao. After all, just a spoonful of cacao helps the medicine go down! Their Mushroom Cacao is a smooth and creamy dark chocolate mixed with warming cinnamon and cardamom. It works as an adaptogen to help relieve stress and boost the feel-good hormone known as serotonin. It's the perfect treat to satisfy chocolate cravings and serves as a great afternoon pick-me-up. 

If you’re a coffee drinker, the Mushroom Coffee will help boost your brain and energy, without the usual coffee jitters.

If you're keen to make some medicinal mushroom magic, just dissolve one packet into a cup of hot water, mix it into a smoothie or even add it to raw slices. Hello deliciousness!

Four Sigmatic use the highest quality ingredients which have been wild-picked or log grown. All of the products are organic, vegan, paleo and don’t contain additives, gluten, lactose, white sugar or soy. Everything is 100% safe and tested rigorously.

For more information about Four Sigmatic or to purchase your very own mushroom magic, Follow @FourSigmatic on Instagram, @FourSigmatic on Twitter and FourSigmatic on Facebook.

Upton’s Naturals Jackfruit Review

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


For all you vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians and #meatlessmonday’ers, this one’s for you!

You know when you're invited to a barbecue and everyone's eating their pulled-pork burgers or shredded chicken burgers and you're left with a sad, soggy mushroom burger (been there, done that)? It can sometimes feel a little isolating and tastes a lot like you should've eaten before you came.

Well, not anymore! 

Upton's Naturals has created THE ultimate replacement for your sad mushroom burger. Guess what it’s made of?

Jackfruit!

Yes, you read that right – your newest burger is made of fruit. Confused? Do read on...

Jackfruit, native to Southeast Asia, makes for the perfect meat substitute. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre. I guess you could say it’s the jack of all fruits! 

Upton Naturals takes the green young  jackfruit plucked from the tree and does all the dirty (or in this case, very clean) work for us! They prepare, season and package the jackfruit so it’s ready to serve.

Unlike many alternative meat products, Upton Naturals Jackfruit is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, low GI, gluten-free, oil-free and soy-free.  It’s completely natural, vegan, cruelty-free and guilt-free!

Now for the most important part – how does it taste?

Upton’s Naturals Jackfruit comes in six different flavours!

The Original is completely unseasoned so you’re free to make it your own. I like shredding it up and pan-frying it in my favourite seasonings.

If you’re looking for something a little more tangy, the Bar-B-Que Jackfruit may be your perfect fit! I also love the Chilli Lime Carnitas for a bit of a kick. Sriracha Jackfruit makes for a great wings alternative or chilli-swap for your Mexican feast. If you're a lover of all things smoky, Sweet and Smoky may be your new favourite. There’s even a Thai curry flavour; that’s sure to give your meat-loving friends a run for their money!

Upton's Naturals Jackfruit is also extremely versatile – you can try your hands at fresh rice paper rolls, jackfruit stir fries or even a Thai curry burger. Adios sad mushroom burger! 

If you want to read more about Upton's Naturals and their legendary Jackfruit, be sure to check out their website here! It's got lots of tasty recipes. 

Prana Chai Review

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


Some people can't wake up without their latte fix, others are addicted to their bulletproof coffee and I, well, I swear by my Prana chai.

For any real chai lovers out there, you’ll agree with me when I say a good cup of chai is more than just a good cup of chai. Chai warms you up from the inside out and feels like a million gentle hugs, cuddling your insides. If home had a taste, it would be chai. My ultimate motivator for finishing my morning walk is a daily cup of home-made chai and it helps me reach the finishing line every morning 

I’m not sure if it’s because of my Indian roots or if it’s because I like to add some spice to my life but if you can't already tell... I’m a little bit obsessed with chai.

So, I can say honestly, as a qualified chai enthusiast, there’s nothing worse than ordering a chai at a café and spying a teabag (#anglo-Indian girl problems) or even worse, the instant powder (just a whole bunch of sugar and additives), scooped out of a tub to serve.

Nothing can quite compare to the silky-smooth texture and aromatic delightful taste of a home-made chai.  

Prana Chai is made with that in mind. It's hand-made each day in Melbourne with only the best natural spices, mixes and of course, love by the owners, Vincent Conti and Mario Minichilli. After travelling across the globe, they, like myself and many others, fell in love with chai. Upon returning home, they worked on developing a chai blend inspired by their travels and love affair with India. This is when they met Koray Gencel and I guess you could say, the rest is chai-story!

I try to be humble with everything I do, but there’s one thing I’m certainly not humble about; I make a very good chai, one of the tastiest in the world. I’ve achieved the equal blend of froth with spice and I just couldn't make chai the way I do without my favourite Prana Chai.

So, what is Prana Chai? The word Prana, originating from Ayurvedic medicine, links to the idea of life-giving force or vital force, which is why it's the perfect name for this chai range. Prana Chai is an honest product with nothing artificial; only love, tea and whole spices.

Masala Chai, which is my favourite of Prana’s range, originates from Ayurveda, the traditional healing medicine system of India. It's a beautiful mix of black tea, aromatic Indian spices and milk. 

If you'd like to get your hands on some chai, be sure to go to Prana Chai's beautiful website here or check them out on instagram here.

If you’ve never made chai before, you need to chai it out! It’s so simple to make and will boost your senses!

Just follow these instructions down below:

  1. Place two or three heaped teaspoons of Prana Chai into a pot
  2. Fill with one cup of your favourite milk (or I do half water half milk)
  3. Heat over the stovetop until it’s been brought to the boil.  Turn off and let steep for five minutes.
  4. Strain and pour into your favourite tea cup
  5. Relax and let that chai take over your whole body!

Acure Organics Travel Pack and Cleansing Towelettes

Written by Lee on . Posted in Natural Products, Reviews

A common theme around wellness is that we are what we eat.

If this really were the case, I’d be a kale omelette with salmon and avocado... which I’m perfectly okay with!

But this had me thinking; how does this philosophy apply to the skin we are in?

If we feed our skin with a bunch of chemicals, pesticides, synthetic colours and fragrances – what’s our poor skin going to look like in the long run?!

I don’t know about you but I’d rather my skin look fresh and vibrant like a punnet of berries than a chemically-operated science laboratory.

There's no denying that we all feel our best when we consume healthy food, so when it comes to our skin, the same rules apply. 

ACURE Organics is a product range that’s pure and driven to provide you with the best and most organic experience possible. The brand is loved globally and is the #5 natural skin care brand in the US.

Unlike many organic brands, ACURE Organics has an incredibly diverse range of high-quality skin, hair and baby products that are gentle on the body and won’t break the bank.

All of their products are free from gluten, mineral oils, parabens, sulphates, harmful preservatives and artificial colours. However, ACURE Organics is so much more than what they exclude in their products – it’s about what they put in. Their products are made from pure essential oils and plant-based natural ingredients. This means they’re high in antioxidants to protect our skin from damage and ageing *insert collective cheer here*!

ACURE Organics uses powerfully potent nutrients that are good enough to eat. They've created a Certified Organic Curoxidant Blend as the foundation for each product, and it's food based and features acai, pomegranate, blackberry, rosehip and rooibos – I'm getting hungry just thinking about it…

They're also leading the way with plant-stem technology, figuring out how to isolate and amplify a plant’s benefits up to one thousand times their natural bioavailability. This is revolutionary in the tech world!

All of their products are pH balanced to match our skin’s natural acidity, helping to prevent damage. Everything is toxin-free and not tested on animals. One of the other things I love about ACURE Organics is that they're a sustainable brand that uses green packaging, recycled materials and biodegradable ingredients and packaging where possible.

By buying ACURE Organics, you're not only helping save the planet, you're also supporting charity. With every purchase, you're also supporting two wonderful charities – Unite for Her (a non-profit breast cancer support organisation) and Turning Green (a student-led sustainable movement).

Their new on-the-go product line makes beautiful travelling that much easier. The ACURE Organic’s travel pack combines a mini 30g size of their hydrating shampoo and conditioner, brightening facial scrub and day cream. The travel pack's a great idea if you’re scared of committing to big bottles and want to test it out for yourself first! They're so easy to pop into your toiletry bag and travel with.

They’ve also created biodegradable towelettes which are vegan, sulfate-free, paraben-free and cruelty-free. These towelettes contain glycolic and zinc to clear the skin of dirt, grime and oil. You can choose your destination when it comes to their smell - either clean your face and body with Fragrance Free or, my favourite, Coconut + Argan Oil (because who doesn’t want to smell like a tropical island?).

ACURE Organics  offers high-quality, and effective organic products for low prices. Could you ask for anything more for the health of your skin?

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 

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.

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.

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