08 October 2012

just another manic monday

Things are still crazy around here - time is flying and there's still plenty of renovation work to be done around our house before baby #2 arrives. Nesting mode is in full swing! I'm almost finished all of the painting (we're talking inside and out!), so next on the agenda is getting Noah's new bedroom ready which is the fun part! I'm just trying to do as much as I can while I'm still mobile as I plan to spend the last few weeks of this pregnancy either with my feet up or at the beach. Like so:
So that explains my absence on the blog - there just isn't enough time in the day at the moment! But I do have to share with you my latest obsession: raw cultured butter. You already know how I feel about raw dairy so this was always going to be the next step, no? Let me tell you - it's amazing! You can read all about the (long) list of benefits at some of my favourite sites Mercola.com and Natural News.

Meanwhile, how awesome is it that daylight saving has started? More so because our day now starts at  reasonable hour than because of the longer days. Getting back to 6am wake-ups has been amazing. Summer is definitely on its way!

16 September 2012

my life: when the day begins at 4.46am

It's 10.35am on a Sunday morning and I'm already exhausted. Our day started at precisely 4.46am when Noah decided that enough was enough when it came to sleep. Lucky that we were staying at my parents house for the night (since Rob is away visiting his family), so I got to go back to bed at 6am for another few hours, but it still already feels like it should almost be dinnertime.

Somewhere in my delirious state when I felt like cursing the sun for rising so early, I thought back to an awesome article I read this week on Daily Life about the realities and competitiveness of motherhood. I must admit that I found it somewhat comforting to know that for most of us, life isn't always sunshine and roses.

I find articles like this so refreshing. It can sometimes seems as though everyone you know leads the perfect life, and often it's because it is the only part of their life you see (I'll blame the endless Facebook status updates and beautiful photos of holidaying friends on Instagram!). Sure, I'll always be one of the first to jump up and say that I love being a mum, and that it's been the best experience of my life to date - being a naturally positive person I can't help it. But I'm also the first to tell anyone who asks what the reality can be like. Yes its tiring (amongst other things!), but I wouldn't change it for anything - except maybe sleep from time to time, but that's what grandparents are for!

Thinking back to this post I made a few weeks ago, I can definitely see why comments like these made by Miranda Kerr can sometimes grate on people. Although I agree with what she was saying in this instance, there's definitely a feeling of superiority when someone talks about their seemingly perfect life. We all have our ideals about parenting but we also need to be prepared and supported when our reality turns out completely differently. To me, the only thing worse than sleep-deprivation is a feeling of inadequacy, and frankly there's no place for that in parenthood.


So if we all have the same goal when it comes to raising children (assuming that everyone wants theirs to be happy and healthy!), then the fact that we all do it differently really shouldn't be an issue. Sleep-deprivation can make you do crazy things, but being judgmental or feeling inadequate when things don't always go according to plan ain't helping anyone. That being said, if anyone's got any tips on how to make the sun rise just a little bit later, I'd love to hear it.

P.S. If reading about this kind of thing is totally up your alley then you'll love my friend Jacqui's awesome (and honest!) blog Talking to Ladybugs.

14 September 2012

get real

Awhile ago when I started looking into the health benefits (and risks!) of drinking real (raw) milk compared to pasteurised milk, I came across this fantastic article in Nourished Magazine. My friend Cass from Choose Life posted the link on her Facebook page this week and I thought it was worth sharing again.

Ingredients for my cacao-hazelnut hot chocolate

It's a bit scary to read when you think of how much milk most of us consume on a daily basis - just think of all of the coffee we drink to start! It's almost impossible to avoid completely (and where's the fun in that anyway?!) but as always, being mindful of our consumption is a good start.

I must admit that I'm a bit of a milk snob these days and would rather not drink non-organic milk when I can help it - I just can't stop thinking of all the hormones and antibiotics it has! But obviously raw milk is in limited supply so I do still drink pasteurised organic milk occasionally too.

My problem is, when I'm on the go and want to grab a coffee (and by coffee, I also mean a chai or hot chocolate), I still can't decide which is the lesser or two evils between regular (non-organic) milk and soy milk? Sometimes a herbal tea just isn't going to cut it but I'm not sure which way to go. So the jury is still out for me on this one...

10 September 2012

my life: it's been awhile

I know, I know, I've been MIA for ages - but life got busy all of a sudden! This is what I've been up to and into since I've been gone... 

home renovations: We're in the middle of some more home reno's which are taking up quite a bit of my time, but it's worth it. I've been waiting so long to finally get our house finished! Plus these days I'm also dealing with major sleep deprivation due to a certain toddler who now thinks that 5am is a reasonable time to start the day. Lets just say that I cannot wait for daylight saving to start!

Day one of renovations

making kefir: This stuff is ridiculously good for you - think of it as Yakult on steroids. It has heaps of good bacteria (which we could all use a good dose of - one serve has way more than your standard probiotic) and is a great internal cleanser. Its super easy to make too - mix the grains with your beverage of choice (I use raw milk but am also keen to try it with coconut milk) and leave it at room temp for about three days. My new favourite breakfast is this mixed with almond milk and homemade muesli, topped with fruit and raw honey. It's surprisingly tasty (once you add a bit of sweetener)!

Homemade Kefir

online shopping: My new iPad has helped me rediscover online shopping - I have a feeling that things are about to get cray-cray! Perhaps I should start my Christmas shopping early this year?!

smoothies and juices: Finally! My love of cold drinks has been reignited with all of this warmer weather. Our Vitamix is getting a workout again and I'm already feeling better because of it. I've still been getting bouts of morning sickness even though I'm over 22 weeks pregnant now, so hopefully these will help me stay on the healthy bandwagon for the next few months.

Apple, carrot and strawberry gelato

blog hopping: A new season means I'm in the mood to be inspired by some super-stylish peeps. Here are a few of the blogs that I'm kinda addicted to at the moment:
And that's it from me today. I promised myself an early night after today's 4.45am wake-up! 

10 August 2012

hello from my soapbox

I love Miranda Kerr. Not just for the obvious reasons, mind you, although I definitely see why she's kind of a big deal. It's more because of her frankness in interviews and the fact that she isn't afraid to speak her mind and say what she believes in. She's a great health advocate and I totally dig her vibe.


So she received some "backlash" this week (don't they all?) for having an informed opinion on epidural anesthesia. While discussing her son's birth, she commented that she had seen videos comparing newborn babies whose mothers had had an epidural to those who hadn't. Miranda described how the babies of mothers without pain-relief often went straight for the breast. "Then they showed ones right after the epidural and that didn't happen", she said. "The baby was a little bit drugged up, and I was like, 'Well I don't want that'...  I had made a decision I wanted to do it naturally... I wanted to give him the best possible start in life I could".

What I find most frustrating about this "backlash" is not only that her comments were clearly on something she had educated herself about, but also because of the fact that her opinion isn't necessarily the mainstream way of thinking. It seems like many people were offended by her comments, perhaps taking it as a personal attack, but there's no denying the fact that when you do some research, Miranda isn't making it all up. As is often the case with many health-related issues, sometimes we need to dig a little deeper than the "truths" the mainstream media and health professionals give us, to find out what exactly we are exposing ourselves to.

While I was pregnant with Noah, I did a whole lot of reading on all aspects of pregnancy and birth (as most expectant mothers do!). This book changed my life:

It really opened my eyes to a lot of things, but what I remember most is that when I finished it I was convinced that I was going to have a natural birth. Now I'm not saying that there isn't a time and a place for an epidural - and I'm not one to judge - but I do think that we as mothers should at the very least take control and be educated about every decision we make in regards to our bodies and that of our families. No one else will.

Miranda has merit in saying what she truly believes was the best for her situation. I ended up having the natural birth that I wanted and that was the best for my situation. Who knows what will happen with my next one, as much as I hope for the same outcome. But at least I'll know what I'm getting myself and my baby into when the time comes. And I really encourage all expectant mothers to do the same.

09 August 2012

making changes

Wow, what a week! It's been another busy one and the highlight was most definitely this:
Baby Guinevere
My gorgeous little niece who finally made her way into the world on Wednesday morning after a few false alarms. She kept us all on our toes but was definitely worth the wait. And let me tell you, it's lucky I'm already pregnant because there's nothing that will make you want a baby more than holding a newborn!

In other news, my week of hydration has been a huge success. The weather has been ridiculously warm which works well when you're downing smoothies and coconut water like they're going out of fashion. It's just so hard to keep fluid levels up when its cold!

If anything I definitely feel much more mindful about not only how much I drink but also how dehydrating certain foods can be. The obvious one being anything overly salty, but also meat and caffeinated drinks. I'm planning to focus on this a lot more now, and hopefully it will only get easier if this weather keeps up!

06 August 2012

hydration motivation

I was browsing one of my favourite sites today and was completely inspired by this post on hydration. It was a timely reminder for me because recently I've been guilty of some major dehydration. Part of it is because I'm always rushing around and simply forget to have a drink, and part of it is due to being pregnant and the fact that I feel like I need to pee the second I drink anything - not fun!

But I've decided that I'm totally going to give this a go - a week of serious hydration. I want to focus on drinking more juices and smoothies (which is super hard for me in Winter - the last thing I feel like on an ice-cold day is an ice-cold drink), herbal teas and, of course, coconut water! Plus I'll aim to eat more hydrating foods, and less caffeine, salt and meat. Taking on a challenge like this is often exactly what I need to get out of a rut and back into trying some new things in the kitchen again. Wish me luck!

P.S. There are also a few follow-up posts on their site if you're interested in the idea. Just have a looksie here and here.

02 August 2012

my food: going coco for cacao

So I just tried out a new recipe for cacao balls and I had to share - they're that good. I'd even go as far as to say that they're as tasty as these. Yep, you need to try them. If you have half as much love for chocolate and coconut as I do then you'll be glad you did.

You can thank me later.

01 August 2012

my life 01.08.12

Can you believe that it's August already? It's the best month by far (the end of Winter and my birthday. 'Nuff said).

my food: So I made these cookies for Noah this week and keep getting asked for the recipe. They are super-healthy (wheat and dairy free, naturally sweetened and packed full of goodness) and they taste good too (bonus!) so it's only fair that I share it with you - it's adapted from a Jude Blereau recipe in Wholefood. I've made it before as a slice instead of cookies which works just as well if you feel that way inclined.

Oat Cookies
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup oatmeal (it sticks to the wet ingredients and helps to bind it all together)
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or dried figs
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 - 3/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 - 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup
2 eggs

Simply mix all of the dry ingredients together then add the wet ingredients (adding more oil or honey if you think it needs help to stick together). Stir well before shaping into cookies and baking at 180 C for around 10 mins.

my fashion: The combination of dressing for pregnancy and a ridiculously chilly winter (it feels way colder than usual, am I right?) means that I'm not exactly excited when it comes to fashion these days. So to lift the spirits I'm focusing my attention on accessories and online shopping. 

Exhibit A:
Acne sandals
Exhibit B:

See by Chloe bag
I love you both already. I just know we will all be so happy together in the warmer months.

my family : Meanwhile this week I am eagerly awaiting the birth of my niece! She is officially due tomorrow but I have been sitting by the phone for the past few days just in case she couldn't wait any longer to meet her favourite Aunty. Newborn cuddles are on the horizon and just the thought of it makes me giddy. Good Luck EJ! 

29 July 2012

my food: back in the game

Ok, ok. I know how slack I've been with the blog posts. It kind of became an issue when we (and by we, I mean Rob) lost the charger for my laptop. Add to that the fact that he has been working long hours (and so his laptop hasn't been readily available) which means posting has been pretty much impossible. BUT I finally gave in to the fact that it wasn't just going to turn up out of the blue and bought a new one - so now I'm back with a vengence! (And by vengence, I mean posting at least a few times a week. Hey, its been a while. Baby steps...)

So what have I been up to? Well let me tell you that I am most definitely back in the game when it comes to food prep. Don't believe me? Why, here's proof:

Chicken curry (with homemade curry paste)

Homemade hummus

Pasta with broccolini, parmesan and breadcrumbs

Raw zucchini salad
Go me! This is a vast improvement compared to my efforts a few weeks ago. Though I must admit that I'm starting to tire of all of the winter produce and am dreaming of a new season. Not long now!

08 July 2012

back in the kitchen

This pregnancy has really thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to cooking. So far, energy has been my biggest issue when it comes to the amount of effort (or lack thereof) that I currently put into preparing meals. It's a rather frustrating side effect combined with a sudden aversion to random foods that I can't quite put my finger on until they are presented on a plate right in front of me. So far on this list we have onions, honey, pork and broccoli (just to name a few) and weirdly enough I have hardly any cravings for tea or chocolate... Who am I?!

But despite all this I'm determined to push through it all - I have an inkling that my lack of energy comes not only from the pregnancy but also from a lack of good, whole food as a result of my laziness. Although I am not eating badly, I usually have a much healthier (and at least more diverse) diet which I'm going to aim to maintain on my better days. So the plan for this week? I'm not going to get too ahead of myself here, but I am thinking along the lines of something like this for dinner tomorrow night:

Black Sesame Otsu
The recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks Super Natural Every Day but is also available here. I'm already excited.

04 July 2012

my life: a week gone by

This past week has been an eventful one and not only because of this. In an effort to shake my annual winter slump (it's unavoidable, I just really don't like the cold) I booked in to get my hair done at my new favourite place Mana Hair. I have been there a few times now and each appointment is more fun than the last. It has the best rep on the beaches and the girls there are lovely. 

And hey, if it's good enough for Heidi Middleton (and her current rhubarb-coloured hair), then it's good enough for me. In fact, she popped in for a touch-up while I was there and I couldn't help but stare - she is without a doubt one of the most effortlessly stylish people I've seen. I left in a much better state of mind with a shorter and lighter look - which I love! Change really is as good as a holiday (but that doesn't mean I don't still need a holiday if you're reading this Rob).

my food: Friday night involved unwinding with a few of the girls over Mexican. At Missy Foxall in fact. The food there never fails to impress, but then again I guess I get pretty excited just being out at night these days. I had the chicken tacos and let's just say that approximately 5 minutes after this picture was taken, that plate was telling a very different story.

my family: At least one of our weekend mornings is typically spent at the dog beach. Sandy Bay beach next to Clontarf Reserve is absolutely beautiful.

Even in Winter it's lovely - Scout has a swim and and the boys get to bond over a warm drink.

Cuteness overload
And I just stand around taking pictures.

02 July 2012

it all makes sense now...

Ok, ok. I know I have been super slack with the blog posts of late. And yes, I do have the ultimate excuse. If you'll give me the benefit of the doubt, I will explain. You see, the past few weeks have been rather trying, and not just due to a few bouts of illness and my penchant for hibernation in cold weather. It's because of much more than that. Let me show you:

Yes my friends, I am well and truly up the duff and have been silently suffering from who-the-hell-called-it-morning-because-it-is-24-hour sickness for the past few weeks. I'll be honest here, it hasn't been pretty. Think of waking up in the middle of the night to throw up, and a constant supply of oranges by the bed to lift my blood sugar level when needed, and you get the drift. Although I do feel like I'm coming out of it (to a degree), the constant tiredness has led to more than just a new bedtime - my cooking mojo has pretty much vanished, as well as my will to leave the house. So not only were my waking hours substantially shorter, but I also wasn't doing anything interesting enough to blog about.

But that's enough of the excuses. I do hope you'll forgive me, and know that I have every intention of regaining my momentum in the coming weeks - if only because of the fact that I think we're all getting sick of sandwiches for dinner and wearing summer clothes in winter (washing has been way down on my to-do list).

18 June 2012

my food: sweet treats

I think I can feel my cooking mojo coming back. Finally! After a few weeks off where I took it real easy, I had a super-productive day in the kitchen. Naturally, the first thing I had to make was some of my favourite raw brownies, and since the food processor was out I also made a batch of powerballs which I find just as addictive!

They are such a great snack for kids. Seriously, if Noah didn't dig them then I wouldn't have to make a new batch every week or so! I also had a hankering for some pancakes, so it was the perfect opportunity to try out this recipe for a buckwheat version from the Gaia Retreat website.

Now I know buckwheat doesn't sound like a particularly tasty ingredient (especially compared to other such delicacies as plain white flour and icing sugar) but thy were surprisingly delicious! This is how they turned out before I slathered them in maple syrup and sliced banana - they looked way too appetising after that so I didn't actually manage to get a photo before I demolished the entire plate. My bad... but you get the drift!

12 June 2012

health hiccups

Wow, what a week. After a few too many days fighting gastro and a mild cold, I'm finally starting to feel like myself again. And let me just say, there is nothing like being knocked to the ground with sickness to make you appreciate good health. While I was under the weather I spent plenty of time resting on the couch, so not only am I totally up to date with all the episodes of The Bachelor, but I got to catch up on my favourite blogs. And this article on the Wellness Warrior, Everything you need to know about the pill really hit home.

You see, I look at the time that I went off the pill as a major turning point in my life - it was essentially the catalyst which started my journey to health and well being. I suffered some of the nasty side effects discussed in the article (and also the comments) including vitamin and mineral deficiencies and ammenhorea. These issues took months to sort out (and not without the help of my amazing naturopath), and after discovering the cause, I couldn't believe that I'd been putting synthetic hormones into my body for years without ever really questioning it.

It doesn't surprise me now when I realise just how common these problems actually are. And it doesn't surprise me that so many women remain in the dark about these issues when you think how often, if at all, an article like this would be published in mainstream media. But that's the beauty of the internet - it's a way for us to tell our own story and find our own truth - because if I learnt anything this past week, it's that good health is the one thing that we should never take for granted.

07 June 2012

I'll be back...

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. I've been struck down with a bug and have spent the majority of my time feeling sorry for myself while taking up permanent residency on the couch. I'll be back as soon as I'm able to construct a proper sentence without falling asleep x

04 June 2012

my food: seasonal juicing

One of the best things about the change of the season (come on, let's try and be positive about the fact that Winter is upon us people!) is the abundance of juice-friendly fruits and vegetables that suddenly appear. Case in point:

Let's just say that I am totally in my element right now.

And I'm not the only one.

31 May 2012

food for thought

So earlier in the week, the article How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health (which I touched on here), went viral. Now, Green Smoothies Blog has responded with this post. It's a really interesting read and, if anything, shows us just how little we know (or how much we can often get wrong) about nutrition and disease. What I take away from these kinds of articles is that we just can't escape the hard-hitting facts.

Today's (not so) green smoothie: banana, blueberries,  spinach, lemon and chia seeds.

Since I read The China Study (the best book in the world!) I've become so interested in the scientific side of health and nutrition. I recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in taking control of their own health, and especially anyone affected by disease. It's a game-changer. And really, these days, who doesn't know someone who is?! My copy is getting loved over and over again, and that in itself makes me happy. I love spreading the word.

And seeing articles like these remind me that there is no "right" answer or "perfect" way to live. But doing whatever you do consciously makes a hell of a lot of difference.

finger food: delicious and nutritious

There is nothing more child-friendly than finger food, and nothing more fickle than the child for whom the finger food is made. Noah's preferences change on a daily basis and he never likes the same thing more than two days in a row, if he has decided that he likes it at all. So I am constantly on the lookout for new recipes to make, and the Millet Muffins from Heidi Swanson's cookbook Super Natural Every Day have been a winner (so far).

Here is my adapted recipe:

280g wholemeal flour
60g raw millet
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb
Pinch celtic sea salt
225g natural yoghurt
2 eggs, beaten
120g unsalted butter, melted
175g honey

Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then add the wet mixture to the dry bowl and mix until it has just comes together. Divide equally into a 12-hole tin and bake for 15 mins at 200C.

The original recipe also includes lemon juice and zest, which I left out of half of the mixture just in case, but he didn't seem to have a preference either way. This is a really great base recipe and not overly sweet. I think it'll be delicious with some added fruit next time.

28 May 2012

my life: the weekend edition

You know how we all have that one month in which every occasion seems to fall? May is that for me, so this weekend was a busy one. Rob and I celebrated our seven-year anniversary on Saturday, plus it was my mum's birthday on Sunday. Happy days!

my fashion: I was feeling a little bit fancy (and absolutely freezing as well, might I add) so it was time to pull out the (faux) fur.

I just love this one, which I picked up at the Avalon market day a couple of years back. Also loving these boots which were an absolute steal from Target, but are already dirty from one-too-many days spent at the local park.

my food: We went to St Malo Bakery for breakfast on Saturday. The food there is soooo good, and I just love looking through the sweets cabinet. You can see the chefs baking out the back and the breads are all organic - bonus!

Rob had the Breakfast of Kings as usual (basically breakfast with the lot) and I treated myself to the Brioche french toast. Seriously, if you live in Sydney, this place is worth visiting!

my family: In between all the celebrations there wasn't time for much else although I did manage to squeeze in a walk from Manly to Shelley Beach - beautiful!

We also moved some furniture around the house to accommodate our new couch. Scout is now mourning the days that she was allowed to sit up there with us. To be fair, she is now allowed to sleep on the rug! Ahhhh kids...

Now all I need is another weekend to unwind from this one.

24 May 2012

everything in moderation: moderation is everything!

As much as I am an advocate for living a healthy lifestyle, I am most definitely not one to impose rules or restrict myself - where's the fun in that? I like to make the healthiest choices possible the majority of the time, but there is always room to move.

Reading this article on How Green Smoothies Can Devastate Your Health kinda puts it all in perspective. Who would've thought that you can be too healthy - that you can eat too many greens and have it work against you?! It sounds like crazy talk! If anything, an article like this promotes the importance of moderation and I love that. So for the sake of protecting our health, let's not forget to go easy on ourselves. Moderation is everything - so would someone please pass me the dark chocolate?!

23 May 2012

bringing up baby

A good friend of mine and one of my earth-mother inspirations sent me this link last week: The Attachement Parenting Paradox. We both have such similar views on raising children, so I was nodding my head in agreement as I was reading. . Couldn't have said it better if I tried, so I won't. This is my favourite quote:

Followed by:


22 May 2012

my food: weeknight dinners

So I got a little bit excited on the weekend when I bought Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar Cookbook. There are so many recipes that I want to try and not enough time! I haven't done her 8-week I Quit Sugar plan yet as I'm not sure I'm keen on the idea of limiting fruit (and I haven't read the e-book yet so can't decide whether or not I should until I know more details), but the cookbook is totally up my alley - how delicious do these Avocado and Coconut water popsicles look?!

They're on my to-do list for later in the week once my rock-hard avos have softened up. In the meantime, I made her sweet potato soup. It passed the taste-test by Rob, who doesn't particularly like sweet potatoes, and I loved it because potatoes and lentils are just some of my favourite things.

My cooking approach tonight was a slightly different story. I'd lost my mojo by mid-afternoon so all I was up for come dinnertime was a tried-and-true staple. Since I already had some brown rice soaking I made fried rice with free-range and nitrite-free bacon (this is the only bacon I use, otherwise I just omit it), organic eggs, spring onions, peas, corn and tamari. Delish. It hit the spot.

I'm going to have another flick through the cookbook for some more dinner inspiration and I'll be sure to let you know how those popsicles turn out!