Category Archives: Wellbeing

2 weeks downtime

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It’s been more than two weeks since I’ve shared a recipe, opinion, tidbit, or pointless part of my daily life. I’ve actually spent the last two weeks focusing on work. Photoshoots with amazing people like Lola Berry, product shoots with some amazing wellness businesses and collaborating with beautiful souls in the magazine industry. It’s really shifted me on a private path to prosperity where I never thought I’d end up. It’s been hectically refreshing and I am really excited and scared for my future but am a huge believer in serendipity and am ok with learning curves, failures, tests.
So I have been busy in the kitchen, in the fermenting HQ and with the camera and cannot wait to share with you some great food and projects next week. My two passions are merging more and more and it is truly exciting. Hang in there with me as we restore and revitalise RealFood Mum.

Meanwhile let’s throw back to a great breaky recipe for a Saturday morning. The mornings are warming, the sun is shining and it’s a great time for a smoothie bowl of nourishment. I know I’m having one in the morning

Have a fabulous wholefood realfood weekend

S xx

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Ghee

Dairy or Casein sensitive?
On the butter train but it makes you feel a bit yuck?

Why not try Clarifying your butter. Removing the milk solids breaks down the butter and leaves you with a golden jar of goodness that is actually great for digestion.

You'll need; butter, a spoon, a pan. 1. chop butter into cubes
You’ll need; butter, a spoon, a pan.
1. chop butter into cubes
2. Put butter into a stainless steel pan on a medium heat
2. Put butter into a stainless steel pan on a medium heat
3. Stir the butter as it melts. The first stage is 'foam'. The butter will start to boil and foam. This will happen after a couple of minutes.
3. Stir the butter as it melts. The first stage is ‘foam’. The butter will start to boil and foam. This will happen after a couple of minutes.
4. Next the foam will settle. Keep stirring occasionally, the bubbles will get bigger and slower. This is a good sign the fat and solids are separating.  This stage takes about five minutes.
4. Next the foam will settle. Keep stirring occasionally, the bubbles will get bigger and slower. This is a good sign the fat and solids are separating. This stage takes about five minutes.
5. The solids will become more visible in the pan. The pan shows solids on the side. Keep stirring as you go and scraping the sides down and the solids from the bottom so they don't burn.
5. The solids will become more visible in the pan. The pan shows solids on the side. Keep stirring as you go and scraping the sides down and the solids from the bottom so they don’t burn.
6. Final stage is foaming again. It will happen pretty quick after the last stage and will quickly rise to the top of the pan. This is when you know it's done
6. Final stage is foaming again. It will happen pretty quick after the last stage and will quickly rise to the top of the pan. This is when you know it’s done
7. Pour through a sieve covered in cloth so it catches the solids.
7. Pour through a sieve covered in cloth so it catches the solids.
8. Solids settling in the strainer. I strain twice incase I missed some on the first pour.
8. Solids settling in the strainer. I strain twice incase I missed some on the first pour.
8. Leave to cool. It will set and be a golden fabulous ghee. Use in cooking. Roast vegetables will never be the same again I PROMISE Pop in a jar. Refrigerate in warmer weather and leave on bench in cooler months
9. Leave to cool. It will set and be a golden fabulous ghee. Use in cooking. Roast vegetables will never be the same again I PROMISE
Pop in a jar. Refrigerate in warmer weather and leave on bench in cooler months

Smoothie Bowls

Ok I’ll admit it…..I’m addicted to smoothie bowls. I don’t know whether I need therapy or an intervention or whether it’s ok for me to seriously obsess over creating bowls of awesomeness (if I do say so myself) everyday – or there about.

My favourite at the moment would have to be a ginger and cinnamon flavoured one as it is cold here at the moment and to help with my lack of blood flow I’m at least trying to make an effort to reduce inflammation with these inclusions. I have also gone from frozen to room temp bowls. Slowly but surely I will transition from them but this creative obsession is too fun…..at least it’s a healthier obsession!?

Here is my idea of a smoothie bowl and why I include the things I do to keep me healthy, balanced and nourished from the get go (or be it lunch or dinner….sssshhhhh don’t tell the coach)

My Winter Smoothie Bowl

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PREPARATION TIME                   TOTAL TIME
2 MINUTES                          5 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 frozen banana (I peel, cut mine into quarters and pop into freezer so there’s always options for smoothies, nana ice-cream or a quick snack)
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries (I buy organic frozen berries or freeze fresh when in season)
    knob of ginger root
  • 1 tsp ground good quality cinnamon (yes the supermarket ones are not that good)
  • 1 tsp maca powder (lady hormone help)
  • 1 tsp slippery elm bark powder (helps digestion and is a great thickener)
  • 1 tsp of fibre/ omega 3 mix (I mix psyllium husks, flax seeds and chia seeds and pop in jar and scoop out to get a rounded selection of boost – this is also a great alternative to making chia pudding if you don’t want to overload on chia every time)
  • 200ml filtered water (you could use homemade almond milk or coconut water or coconut milk but I prefer to help my daily water intake as much as I can)
  • 1/4 avocado (it’s important to include good fats with your smoothie bowl like avocado as it helps to balance the sugars that you are consuming through the fruits)

*optional (I add to mix up the flavours 1 tsp cacao, 1 tsp turmeric, basil leaves, mint leaves, 1 tsp acai powder,  2 strawberries,  1 Tbsp fresh cut pineapple, 1 tsp spirulina/ super greens mix, knob of zucchini/cucumber, sprig of watercress, 1 tsp unhulled toasted tahini. Anything really to change it up and get your taste buds loving yourself.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. add all ingredients to a blender
  2. 2 blend on high for 2 minutes
  3. rest for 1 minute
  4. blend on high again for one minute
  5. Pour into bowl, top with a small selection of nuts and seeds (TIP- chop them they stretch further. I chop a selection and keep to add to meals, then I am not over consuming and regretting it half an hour later)
  6. Pour over a drizzle of coconut kefir or unsweetened coconut yoghurt or make your own with a good starter (avoid using commercial yoghurt to culture)
  7. add a sprinkle of coconut, cacao nibs, goji berries or whatever you have to add a little antioxidant, taste, texture and little surprises
  8. mix it all through the smoothie mix
  9. eat slowly, chew through it even if its liquidy please.

    NOTES- why I choose a smoothie bowl over a smoothie
    *Drinking a smoothie is not as satisfying (to me). It’s rushed, you can over consume and end up hungry an hour later. By adding texture like nuts, seeds, berries etc you are forced to chew and that aids digestion, satisfies your taste buds, your brain and your belly.
    *It forces you to sit down and eat (yes I know we don’t all have time) you will be fuller by eating slower and concentrating.
    *You can take it anywhere in a jar
    *You can prepare it the night before
    *It’s healthy
    *It gives me enough to get through until lunchtime. By including the above it is a rounded balance (for me) of the right things to keep me energised, happy and full until I call for lunch.

Supporting Local Growers & Farmers

REPOSTING from last year…….

 

This is a huge passion of mine! Whether you are living in a big city, country town or something in between…support the local producers.  A while ago I convinced my husband to come grocery shopping with me in a supermarket. I had him do most of the shopping while I pushed as I wanted him to see what we bought. At the end of the shop we were behind a family with an overflowing trolley filled with foods that I would not want anyone in my family consuming. Hubs watched them go through (most likely thanking god that we only have one child) and their total was $126, then it was our turn. Half a trolley of vegetables and meat later and our total exceeded the family in front; $150. He was blown away and I caught him saying ‘how can a family eat crap for less?’ I told him commercial food from big supermarkets are cheap. A family assorted pack of biscuits for arguments sake is half the price of a tub of strawberries, it’s a shame really.
The following week I took my hubs to the market where I buy all my vegetables and whatever else I can. Once again I gave him the money and free reign to purchase the weeks worth of fruit and veg. Three green bags later and we’d spent $30. A stop at the butcher $30 and an order of organics from health food shop ($100 for the month) and we were in front by $50. He was so happy and relieved the exercise paid off.

vegetables EGGS

Since then he has told half a dozen mates that exact story in hope that they will stop shopping at the chains and start buying local. It is sad and disgraceful that supermarkets (even the ones that are the cheapest) continue to have people spend too much money on crap let alone fresh produce. But it is uplifting and so so satisfying to find local suppliers that are half the price, great quality and people you can trust.

Think Local before you enter the supermarket next time..

 

FARMERS’ FEED

This month is at Farmers Feed they are setting a challenge to shop and eat from your local farmers market for a whole week. Register to commit and see the savings, education and the overall feeling of eating REAL seasonal foods that are grown/raised by the seller.

Check out where your local market is.

 

The Low down on the LOWER body

Not for the faint (or fart) hearted

 

If you know me, you know I love talking about bums! If you’re thinking this is a little left of centre then you’re wrong. I love talking about the way it functions. My whole life I’ve had an interment relationship with my digestive system and felt like my whole life revolved around the porcelain throne.
I found this lady who also loved bums and last year I was lucky enough to be in the same room, be taught the craft of lacto-fermentation and talk about poo, health and all things cabbage and coconuts.
Last month an article appeared in my inbox that took me back to the beginning of my lifestyle changes and the understanding of what really does come from your rear end.

So I introduce….or re-introduce the lovely Maria Hunt from yourdigestion.com.au and the article that may have you laughing, crying, gagging or hopefully more aware of your health than ever before.

http://yourdigestion.com.au/blogs/news/14119309-do-you-have-a-healthy-bum 

Living in the NOW

WARNING, WARNING!!!


Not food related, totally personal waffle………

I’ve got some big surprises coming up on the blog and also in collaboration with some other brilliant women that live a wholefoods, paleo inspired lifestyle, I’m excited!

But first I want to share,  a ‘get to know me better’ kind of post.

I don’t often share myself (personally) and as you know in my bio this blog was a personal project to help with illnesses, mind-boggling woman stuff and becoming a mum and living ‘REAL’ through wholefoods and wholeliving. But as the community grows, as more knowledge is available on eating right, living right etc there has been an overwhelming sense of ‘what the blooming heck am I doing?!’ so I thought I’d share that and hopefully get some people, nodding and smiling along the way and because I could burst if I don’t verbally vomit something to type.

I stand confident, walk to the beat of my own drum and do what I do for the greater good of my family and myself. I love my health and fitness, I fell in love with food a decade ago when I found out that I couldn’t eat half the planets food supplies and then I became a photographer and married the two together (hence my images). I come across ‘all together’ I got this world thing going on, I don’t worry…STOP!

Truth is…………………..

I am all that, I live with grace, but I’m a worry wart. I worry about everything. I question everything….it’s hereditary or something. I read into EVERYTHING-I’ve been told it’s a woman thing and sheeesh if it is we’re all doomed. So, I worry about what you say, how I look, what I wear, eat, talk, burp, fart, everything!! It’s tiresome really. It’s a ‘thing’. I’m sure that it’s caused by lack of gluten and dairy- I tell myself that anyway as there is no known cure to being a ‘woman’. I also think too much; I think that I’ll come across as an impostor, I’ll miss the boat and then someone else would take the cake. As a woman you get it allll the bloody time, right?! I remind myself daily not to ‘worry’ and fill my life with positive affirmations on being that flower that blooms and doesn’t care about others, but it’s hard. In a competitive world where everyone wants to succeed, become the next ‘big thing’ who wouldn’t think twice, thrice!!

Okay so now that’s out in the open I’ll get to my point. I ventured out of my ‘comfort zone’ and started making bigger plans for the future. I am very goal orientated and am always striving for something as I want to conquer world hunger; but they are calculated goals and I have usually spoken to my husband 100 million times before deciding I’m going ahead with it and that’s usually because ‘ol mate down the road’ MUST be judging me (in my head anyway) or someone looked at me different so I can’t do what I thought was a cool idea. You get my drift?! I lack self-confidence (is that it)

Anyway; I’ve had some sort ‘awakening’ in the past two weeks. Whether it be through meditation, yoga or a change in me personally or new networking; I am seeing my path clearer. I know what’s coming up (kind of) and that what I have been dreaming of the last year can actually happen and that I am totally responsible for that.

So stick with me as over the next month you will see a shift, a change in gears as I grow and develop and create my dreams and goals into my future.

You may have noticed some movement on the social media pages, if not jump on and ‘Like’ RealFood Mum Blog and also a trend in some recipes of late. Well lo and behold the first step in my career path is there is an e-book in the making. I am in production at the moment collating old and new recipes based on Real Wholefood Living. There will be some features in there, some resources, but mostly a whole lot of yummo mummo recipes. It’s been a huge goal since forever ago and well it’s about time
I have so much to share and am teaming up with some freaking amazing people to create this ‘wholefoods’ ‘wholelife’ thing I have wanted to be a part of for so long. Working along side like minded people who are as passionate as you is liberating. I know I can strive to achieve my future based on foods, community support, photography and of course conquering world hunger come to life

Can’t hold me back anymore…….(I dig Elsa from Frozen clearly). But I’ll still worry what others think, read into everything but believe in it a little less.

Some positive affirmations for you if you too are a woman and feel this way. If not then please share your secrets.

worry-is-a-misuse-of-imagination

 

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Thanks for listening, next post is delicious I promise.  A tried and tested Newbie for Winter.

Keep living Real

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Fermentation Debate

I always over promise things but to be honest I lost the research and citation I had on the topic of wild vs cultured fermentation and it has taken me a while to find where I was at the time and what I wanted to get across.

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Sarah Craven Photography

Do you ferment vegetables? Drinks?
Have you heard people talk about Kimchi, Water Kefir, Milk Kefir, Kombucha, Whey, Kvass? Are you wondering what all the craze is and why people are using these words and swapping grains and SCOBY’s?

It’s called Lacto-Fermentation:
Lactic acid is a natural preservative it inhibits the growth of harmful,  bacteria. Fermentation has travelled through cultures for years as it allowed people to preserve foods for extended periods of time before the advent of refrigeration or canning.
Lactic acid also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. That is why lacto-fermented foods are considered probiotic foods. (Probiotic means “for life”.)

The process and science behind lacto-fermentation is amazing and it is where it first had me hooked (inner geek).  You see lactobacillus (from a prepared culture, fresh whey, or just naturally occurring) plus sugar (naturally present in vegetables and fruits), plus a little salt, minus oxygen (anaerobic process), plus time, equal lactic acid fermentation. How cool? How complex? Let’s cut to the chase.

Why have people started on the fermented foods?

Nearly every person I meet has a topical, digestive issue. Thyroid’s are very popular, candida’s population could inhabit 10 of our worlds plus venus, mars and pluto….get my drift?! Doctors have been prescribing antibiotics, cortisone creams for as long as I can remember. Now remember that I speak from personal experience only, I love doctors, nurses, the medical profession is needed but for me I abused it and it’s resources. Most people who I suggest lacto-fermentation to have one or more of the following;

  • Signs of intestinal or systemic Candida overgrowth
  • An immune system that has lost its balance—with signs of allergies or autoimmune disease
  • An inflamed and leaky gut
  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Multiple food sensitivities
  • Mood or behavioural disorders
  • Skin rashes, eczema, or acne
  • Antibiotic overuse

But with everything in life there are road blocks, there are caution signs. Lacto-fermented foods are kind of like a really good block of chocolate. You eat a small piece you feel great, you eat the whole block you feel like a warrior for 3 minutes then curl in a ball and cry wondering why you went so far and delving into the seven deadly sins over the following 48 hours.

So it brings me to how much and when?!

For a regular person that presents with no real issues and wants to boost their immune system and jump on the ferment train (wooo wooo) then I say for WILD! Wild fermentation is wonderful. Using whey, kefir grains, kombucha scoby’s, salt only is a special process. We reproduce all our Wild cultures and love how we can share our ‘babies’ around. So check my recipes and make some. Find a person locally that can supply you with a SCOBY and grains or contact me personally.

Now for the rest of us WILD can be more bad than good. I started the lacto-fermentation process in a WILD way and I went backwards quickly. What I thought was going to be the answer to my prayers was a nightmare. You see, people with damaged ecosystems need more than what wild culture has to offer and in order to repair the damage caused by antibiotics, sweet additives and preservatives in foods and a poor diet in general.
By using a starter culture to begin with you can start to repair the damage. Starter cultures help the fermentation phase by limiting cause for contamination, help nourish and grow the right bacteria and yeast needed to build your ecosystem.

So why not just take a tablet?!
Think of over probiotic supplements as a sleeping biotic. They are not LIVE and do not act immediately. They are also manufactured in a laboratory and contain a lot more than a million lactobacillus. Wild and cultured probiotic’s are alive and naturally beneficial. 

So where do you start and what do you look for?!

I don’t endorse any brand, I don’t think any brand is better but what I can say is what to look for in a starter culture.
Look for these ingredients;  Sugar (as a carrier), active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides and pediococcus acidilactici) anything else that is listed move right along.
Beware of prepackaged fermented drinks and yoghurt too. Always look at the ingredients. If you see numbers, agave, long words that don’t match the above then don’t use it. You will end up feeding the buggers that are causing all the problems rather than nourishing and repairing.

Above all else speak to a body ecologist if you have inner ecosystem issues. Don’t go it alone either. Find a cultured community and work together, cook together and share your cultures.

I will holding classes locally this month for beginners offering a nurturing approach to lacto-fermentation and how to nourish your body.