Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Every day ISN’T a Rainbow!!!

- Aka Some days are Diamonds, Some days are Stones (in the words of John Denver)

A couple of days ago, I had a rotten, crappy, down, moody, growly, grumpy, plain ole shitty day! A day where I woke up feeling low and went downhill from there. You’ve all had one of those, right?!?

Then the lovely voice in my head got started and made me get even grumpier and more down on myself! I hated everyone and everything, especially myself! Then I tried to talk myself out of the funk (you know how we do that “You shouldn’t feel this way, snap out of it already, stop being such a grumpy cow!”) and the pressure of feeling like I shouldn’t have this bad mood or bad day made me feel even worse!!

And that, my friends, is the rub! I’ve encountered this a lot lately, people who advise or think that all day every day should be rainbows and light. A lot of the time the message is you should never have a bad mood or bad day, you should change how you think about that person/situation, and take a lesson in love and light and peace from every situation! Blah Blah Blah!

So I decided to speak out and admit that you know what, sometimes we have days that just suck! Days where you’re in a funk and you can’t immediately learn from it or turn it around or make it all about peace and rainbows! AND THAT’S OKAY!

Sometimes the lesson is to own your emotions, to not beat yourself up because you’re down, to live in that moment and acknowledge that yes, that person or situation has really pissed you off! Because there is power and growth in this too! Owning your emotions is one of the most powerful things you can do. And it is SO freeing! For myself, I gave up trying to “snap out of it” and just allowed myself to feel down for a while. I had a whinge to my husband and a couple of friends, and by the end of the day, guess what? I FELT BETTER!

At the end of the day, after chatting to a friend and having a long hot bath, I made a conscious choice to have a positive thought in my head before I went to sleep, and VOILA! The next day was great! :D So don’t be afraid to feel down occasionally, it really is alright!

Love and Health,
B xxx

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Why I'm Quitting Sugar & Omelette Recipe

Recently I've been reading and hearing a lot of buzz about sugar. And while I've been eating "better sugars" for quite a while now (I can't remember the last time I had white processed sugar), there's some argument that sugar is sugar is sugar. So generally it has a similar affect on our blood glucose regardless  of whether you're using honey, agave, dates, rapadura etc. Obviously it's better to use more natural whole foods rather than refined processed chemical-laden white table sugar, but an argument can be made that its a good idea to limit ALL types of sugar.

So having discussed this topic and read about it at length lately, and having experienced continual energy and mood swings whilst still eating pretty healthily, I thought I'd give it a go!

I've just read Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar ebook which is fantastic, and that's the program I've chosen to follow. A couple of friends are joining me: Emma from The Healing Space, and Jodi from Hot Pink Chilli both decided to jump on board and we'll all be running updates and keeping each other motivated and on track, so you can follow our progress or join us via any of the three pages or facebook pages. :D

There's a link on the right of the blog if you want to purchase the ebook and jump in yourselves!

So in the spirit of Week 1 which is to simply CUT BACK on sugar, this morning I made a delicious, filling savoury breakfast:

Quinoa & Chia Seed Flat Bread with Herbed Omelette (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free):

For the flatbread I simply used Quirky Cooking's Recipe for Quinoa & Chia Seed Flat Bread. This recipe is INSANELY quick and easy and has a fantastic flavour for something that's so minimal fuss, LOVE IT! :D

After getting the flatbread in the oven I made my Herbed Omelette:
1 clove garlic
1/8 red onion

fresh basil
fresh oregano

1/8 red capsicum
2 eggs (free range organic or RSPCA approved eggs - I've found Yamagishi eggs here which seem to be quite humane)
1 tomato
handful baby spinach leaves

1. Place garlic, onion, basil, oregano and capsicum in TMX and dice for 3 seconds on speed 7.
2. Saute this mixture for 3 minutes on 100ºC on speed 1.
3. Add eggs to the TMX bowl and beat for 30 seconds on speed 5 to allow mixture to become light and fluffy.
4. Line your Varoma with wet baking paper (just wet it under the tap in a ball then squeeze off the excess, you can't use the cheaper varieties of baking paper for this or they tend to fall apart). Chop tomato roughly and sprinkle through the top of the Varoma, and also sprinkle your handful of baby spinach in.

5. Pour egg mixture over the tomato and spinach in the Varoma. Add water to the TMX bowl (about 1L) and set Varoma on top. Cook for 20 minutes on Varoma temp on speed 1-2.

As always hoping you're all well wherever you're reading this! Come pop by my facebook page and say hello, or even get really brave and put your hand up to join me in quitting sugar! :D

Love and Health,
B xxx

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Chocolate Chia Porridge (Dairy Free)

WOW! It's been a CRAZY hectic mad whirl of work, study, family, illnesses, more work and study here the past couple of months! I've been totally delinquent in my blogging! So sorry all!

So I've enrolled and started studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition - soon I'll be ready to take on clients as a qualified Health Coach - its SUPER exciting!! :) But extremely time-consuming! There's so much to learn and I'm loving every minute of it. If any of you are interested in a career where you help people live their best lives as your job, check it out at: and tell them I sent you! Or contact me. I've also met an amazing amount of wonderful new friends through this course and am constantly learning from my co-students! A list of some great new blogs and pages I've discovered will be at the bottom of this post.

For those of you who are interested in all the health and nutrition information, I will be starting up a website and a blog very soon for the Health Coaching business, so when that's ready I'll let you know. From now on Chookie's Cookin' is going to be solely healthy Thermomix Recipes. Other tips and tricks and info will be on my other blog and site.

But the good news is that I'm back with something really easy and super delicious and sooooo good for you! ;)

I first saw this when we were doing our Thermomix stall at the Atherton Show this year when Jo from Quirky Cooking showed me how she makes her version. She found the original recipe at Homemade Healthy Happy here and following is my version.

Chocolate Chia Porridge with Strawberries and Bananas (single serve)
2-3 TBSP Chia seeds
1 cup almond milk + extra to pour over (I use Quirky Cooking's Rice Almond Milk)
1 tsp cacao powder
1/4 tsp maca powder
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
Sliced strawberries
Sliced bananas (mine were from the honey farmer - organic local sugar bananas!)
Small handful raw cashews
1-2 tsp raw organic honey (from the farmer up the road! :))

Stir together the Chia seeds, almond milk, cacao powder, maca and vanilla bean paste, and leave to soak for 45m-1hr (if you leave it longer its not a problem).

Slice fruit and stir through with nuts, and top with extra almond milk and honey drizzled over.

There really is no limit to how creative you want to get with this. You can sprinkle with goji berries, add cinnamon, cacao nibs for crunch, other nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds and pepitas, drizzle with coconut cream. Or you could soak the seeds in fresh apple juice, and stir through shredded green apple, silvered almonds, sultanas, some kefir or CoYo (coconut yoghurt) and honey for a Bircher inspired wet Chia muesli (which I plan to have VERY soon!).

Some awesome new blogs/pages I've recently started following:

Co-Inside Wellbeing: - Curtis and Candice Aiken are just so fantastic and vibrant, love this page!

Happy Healthy Abundant: - Jia is amazeballs!!! She's so inspiring and enlightened.

Nourish Co: - Rebecca's company is just beautiful - taking care of companies with heart who are taking care of others! Mindful marketing at its best! 

And a beautiful collection of inspiring pictures at The Love Yourself Challenge:

Have a fabulous weekend!

Love and Health, 
B xxx

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Recipes! Choc Rhubarb Crumble with Raspberry Coconut Icecream, Creamy Vegetable Soup, and Baby Food! :D

I've been really busy just around the house with the children the past two days, making delicious healthy food for myself and them, playing, playing and playing some more! :D I've been really inspired in the kitchen the past couple of days so there are some scrummy recipes coming up in just a sec!

I finally took the step I've been wanting to, as I'm feeling awake and with it again after being in a bit of a slump for a couple of months. I've enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to follow my passion to become a Holistic Health Coach! I'm so excited to get my materials and start studying officially on the 16th of July, but I've already started listening to lectures and I'm LOVING it! The ethos of the school, the way the course is structured, the people involved, all just so great, so like-minded! I just know I'm going to treasure this year of learning there! This was today's gratitude too btw, I'm so grateful to have found IIN and to the people who inspired me and keep me inspired on this path I'm on!

For the Reboot days 9 and 10 I've continued to have green smoothies, vegetable soups, delicious big salads, and more green juices and smoothies. I was a bit naughty today, it was SO COLD here this morning, I had a cashew milk hot chocolate for breakfast (not really in my plan for this week) and I did have most of my daughters Choc Rhubarb Crumble tonight too! But I'm not going to beat myself up, 90% of what I'm eating in a day is nourishing me in a fabulous way!

On to the delicious recipes!

Choc Rhubarb Crumble with Raspberry Coconut Ice-cream (Dairy-Free, Vegan)

* Note, the combination of the rhubarb with the chocolate crumble worked for ME, but for my other taste testers (Mum-in-law and hubby!) thought the combo wasn't totally fantastic, so an option is to leave out the Cacao from the crumble!

Rhubarb Crumble:
For the rhubarb:
600g rhubarb, peeled and roughly chopped
100-150g sugar (depending on how sweet or tart you like it)

1. Chop rhubarb in TMX for 10sec on Speed 5.
2. Add sugar and cook for 15 minutes on 100ºC on Speed 1.
3. Strain excess liquid if necessary, spoon rhubarb into 4 ramekins.

For the crumble:
40g sugar
10g cacao (optional)
60g coconut oil
120g quick oats

1. Mill sugar (& cacao if you choose) for 10sec on Speed 9.
2. Add coconut oil and quick oats, and cook for 3 minutes on 60ºC for 3 minutes.

Spoon crumble over the top of the rhubarb, place on a tray and bake in the oven on 180ºC for 20 minutes.

Raspberry Coconut Icecream:
* Just on a personal note, this icecream was SOOOOO good, I wanted a bucket full of it! LOL
20g sugar
100g frozen raspberries
350g frozen coconut cream
1 egg white

1. Mill sugar for 10 sec on Speed 10.
2. Add raspberries and mill for a further 10 sec on Speed 10.
3. Add coconut cream and egg white and mix for 1 minute on Speed 10, using the spatula to push mixture onto the blades if necessary.

Serve the crumble with a generous scoop of icecream on the side and enjoy!

Creamy Vegetable Soup (Dairy-Free, Vegan):
* With this cold weather we're having, who doesn't want a delicious soup?!?! The semi dried tomatoes and the paprika go so nicely with the veggies in this one, it was so good we had it for lunch AND dinner! ;)

2 cloves garlic
3 large leek leaves
60g semi dried tomatoes
20g olive oil

1/2 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
1/2 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 med sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 stalk of celery including leaves, chopped
1/2 a red capsicum
1-2 tsp paprika
handful flat leaf parsley
handful fresh basil
1 TBSP TM vegetable stock concentrate

800-1000g water (depending on how thick you like it)

1-2 packed cups of baby spinach or chopped english spinach

1. Mince garlic, leek and semi dried tomatoes in TMX for 3 seconds on Speed 7, then Saute for 3 minutes on Speed 1.
2. Add all other ingredients except water and spinach, and puree for 30 seconds on Speed 5.
3. Add water and cook for 10 minutes on 100ºC on Speed 1½.
4. Put chopped spinach in the bottom of your thermoserver or serving bowl, and pour soup over, then stir through and serve.

Just a final quick note on baby food, if you haven't already, read this post I did earlier in the year about baby food (plus there's a delicious hot chocolate recipe there! hehehe). In a quick addendum to that post, I have recently had great success with my bub with oats. He just loves the flavour when I make this for him with some pureed fruit and pureed spinach!

Baby Porridge:
Grind 100-200g quick oats in TMX for 10-20sec on Speed 10. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.

Spoon a couple of teaspoons of the oat cereal into baby bowl, add a couple of teaspoons of fruit or vegetable puree on top and some pureed spinach (for iron), then stir in a tablespoon or so of boiling water. * Note: DON'T pour the boiling water straight onto the oat cereal or it will go clumpy, put the puree on top of oats THEN mix the water in. My 8 month old just loves the texture and flavour of this one! :D

Love and Health,
B xxx

Monday, 2 July 2012

Recipe: Garlic Roasted Eggplant Salad & Reboot Summary

Today was a really interesting day! And pretty great. My tummy is having some hassles adjusting it seems, so I ended up starting the day with a juice anyway (just didn't want anything else) and even though I had a fairly small amount to eat, really wasn't hungry for dinner either.

Day 8 Summary:
Breakfast: Juice of 2 x pink lady and 2 x granny smith apples
Lunch & Afternoon Tea: Garlic Roasted Eggplant Salad

This was super delicious, and the recipe is below. After two serves of this - yes I came back for seconds for afternoon tea  ;) - I was feeling really full! My tummy was pretty rumbly and a bit sore in the afternoon also, I think maybe just the adjustment to the little bit of garlic, oil and salt in this recipe might have been to blame.
Dinner: Green smoothie with 2 bunches english spinach, 2 large bananas, 1 tsp cacao and 1/2 tsp maca

I did fit in a brisk 30 minute walk with the children this afternoon, it was really lovely to be out in the beautiful fresh air. Thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Gratitude: Some of you may have seen on facebook, my gratitude for today was for my "mistakes" for helping me learn and grow and become the person I am today :).

Recipe: Garlic Roasted Eggplant Salad (Vegan):
* Serves 1 person as a main meal.
* This recipe IS a little fiddly but its WELL worth the effort! :D
2 M-L Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP Chopped Parsley
1 TBSP Tamari/Noma Shoyu/GF Soy Sauce/Liquid Aminos

1/2 a large eggplant, sliced in 1/2 cm slices (8-10 slices)
2 cloves garlic
1 small pickling onion or 1/4 large brown onion
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
2 TBSP Olive Oil

1-2 tomatoes, sliced in 1/2 cm slices
8-10 leaves fresh basil

1. First preheat your oven to 160-180ºC. Then set the mushrooms to marinate: slice mushrooms and dice parsley, and place in a small bowl, pour Tamari over and set aside to marinate.

2. Prep the eggplant: Lay out the slices of eggplant on a cutting board or tray, and sprinkle each slice with a little salt, rub the salt into the slices. Leave to sit for approx 15 minutes, then flip over the slices and repeat on the other side. Leave to sit for a further 15 minutes. Then rinse the slices of eggplant and dry between sheets of paper towel. *This breaks down the eggplant a little so you don't get that rubbery texture, you should notice the slices are softer and floppier after doing this.

 3. In your TMX or food processor, finely mince the garlic and onion for 5 seconds on speed 7. Put this into a small bowl  or ramekin and add olive oil, mix.

4. Lay the slices of eggplant on baking paper on a cookie tray. Using a teaspoon, spoon a small amount of garlic, onion and oil mixture onto each slice of eggplant, spread evenly over each slice using the back of the spoon. Sprinkle with a little good quality salt and cracked black pepper.

5. Bake eggplant in oven at 160-180ºC for approximately 20-30 minutes or until you see the onion and garlic browning, and eggplant goes nice and soft.

6. Arrange slices of eggplant around a round plate, place a slice of tomato and a leaf of basil on top of each piece of eggplant, and place marinated mushrooms in the centre of the plate. Serve and enjoy! :D

I hope you all had a lovely day! Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Maybe pop by my FB page and let me know what YOU'RE grateful for?

Love and Health,
B xxx

Sunday, 1 July 2012

28 Day Reboot - Week 1 Summary & Week 2 Plan

I DID IT!!! :D I have successfully completed week 1 of my 28 Day Reboot - the 7 day juice fast.

It was a challenging week without a doubt. For the first two days I felt weak, light-headed, a little woozy and by the afternoon of the second day I had a whopping great headache! However, after that it got easier and easier. It was like my body adjusted (pretty quickly all things considered) and the second half of the week was pretty easy to maintain. By day 5-7 there was a definite craving for solid foods, but it was more of an emotional or psychological craving than an actual physical craving, so wasn't too hard to resist.

What I learned: This is a FANTASTIC way to cleanse, give your digestive system a break, lose a fair chunk of weight healthily, and boost & nourish your body with a bunch of fabulous micro-nutrients. I also learned that I DO have willpower when I choose to exercise it! On the 6th day I went to Cairns and took my daughter to a movie and was easily able to resist the temptation to have popcorn or other snacks/junk food. That felt really good, really empowering! :D I also lost 3kgs by about the 4th day, I haven't weighed myself today to see the total for the week, I'll do that in the morning and get back to you!

Tonight I rewarded myself by breaking my fast with a delicious dinner out. I had baked barramundi with a fresh salad and lightly steamed vegetables. I tell you I was soooooooo full! I'm still feeling full almost 3 hours later! Just goes to show how quickly your stomach shrinks, and how unnecessary a lot of the "filler" foods we take for granted actually are - I'm specifically thinking about the starchy carbs most of us think are imperative to a main meal like rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, etc.

So my thinking for the 2nd week of this Reboot is that after doing that fabulous juice cleanse, I don't want to jump straight back in to eating just anything. I want to continue the cleansing benefits from the first week, and keep my diet really clean.

So for Week 2 - Days 8-14 - Food: I'm going to continue having ONLY fresh fruit and vegetables, with the difference being I'm going to EAT them! LOL This means I'll still be having a green smoothie or green juice for breakfast, and probably a juice for morning and afternoon tea as well. For lunch and dinner I'm going to have salads, lightly steamed vegetables, vegetable soups etc. I'm also going to allow myself small quantities of condiments such as Nama Shoyu (or gluten free soy sauce), apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, herbs, perhaps some semi dried tomatoes and olives, the occasional avocado, and very small quantities of cold pressed olive oil (to make dressings and flavour soups etc). I'm hoping that this will ease my digestive system back into coping with solids again, but also continue the cleansing benefits of eating just fruits and vegetables.

Week 2 - Days 8-14 - Exercise: Last week I didn't manage to exercise at all, but I'm okay with that, considering the major changes my body was coping with, I decided to cut myself some slack and not expect too much! For this week I'm planning to do light exercise (such as a brisk walk) 5 out of 7 days.

Week 2 - Days 8-14 - Emotional Health: My friend Vicki brought this aspect to my attention last week when we were discussing this program. I do tend to get really fixated in the physical sometimes, and forget that my emotional state is every bit as crucial to nurture! For the first week I really felt like I just needed to focus all my energy on completing the juice cleanse and dealing with detoxing, but for the second week I do want to start focussing on the emotional side of things as well. So for this 2nd week, I plan to try to spend a few minutes each day on gratitude. Taking a leaf from Eva's book (from, check it out, she's super awesome!) I am going to take just 5-10 minutes per day to quickly jot down a few things that I'm grateful for. I'll post my daily gratitude on my FB page, so if any of you are following this, and you DON'T see my daily gratitude, please nag me! ;)

If any of you are keen to try this plan, please let me know and feel free to ask any questions either here or on my FB page. I'd love it if some of you joined me! :D

See you in a day or two!
Love and Health,
B xxx

Friday, 29 June 2012

28 Day Reboot - Day 5 Summary

I'm pretty used to this now! I don't physically feel hungry or light-headed any longer. What I AM struggling with at the moment, is after 5 days of liquid meals, my mind and emotions want to CHEW stuff! So whilst I do feel physically sated most of the time (except if i go a little too long between juices), the emotional/psychological cravings for solid foods have started (and how!).

Day 5 Summary
Breakfast Juice: Pineapple, mint, english spinach
Morning Tea: Vegetable broth made with garlic, shallot, leeks, bok choy, shitake mushrooms, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt - this was cooked and then I strained off the liquid and just drank that. A nice change from cold juices!
Lunch: Watermelon, pineapple, english spinach
Afternoon Tea: Celery, lettuce, tomato, red capsicum, cucumber, lemon
Dinner: Vegetable broth made with garlic, red onion, red capsicum, tomato, celery, carrot, english spinach and 1/2 tsp vegetable stock concentrate.
After Dinner Juice: TBA - tonight I will probably have a "dessert" juice using pine and orange or something along those lines

Cheats: 10 cigarettes :( Still no exercise but thanks to some advice from Em, I'm not too worried about the exercise for this week anymore, as my body needs to rest and detox and heal during this phase.

Looking forward to catching up tomorrow.
Love and Health,
B xxx

Thursday, 28 June 2012

28 Day Reboot - Day 3 and 4 Summary

I've actually had a pretty good couple of days. It seems my body has adjusted and is running quite well on juice.

Day 3:
On Waking: 1L Water
Breakfast Juice: Orange, pineapple, green powder, english spinach
Morning Tea Juice: Beetroot, carrot, apple, lemon, parsley
Lunch Juice: 1/2 large cucumber, 2 stalks celery, 2 tomatoes, lemon, red capsicum
Afternoon Tea Juice: Orange, pineapple, watermelon, english spinach
Dinner Juice: Orange, pineapple, english spinach

Cheats: Too many cigarettes (I actually lost count but I think it was about 12) :(

I was much more active in general, doing work around the house and spent most of the day either on my feet or driving, without feeling light-headed or having a headache.

Cleansing: Lets just say there's movement at the station! Its obvious that a lot of stuff that has been stuck in my digestive tract is being cleaned out. It all very easy and comfortable though! Just have to keep up the water.

Day 4:
Breakfast Juice: Watermelon, lime, raspberries
Morning Tea Juice: Beetroot, carrot, apple, lemon, parsley
Lunch Juice: Spinach, orange, passionfruit
Afternoon Tea Juice: Pine, Mint, Baby Spinach
Dinner Juice: TBA (or I might not have another one tonight, will see how I feel)

Cheats: 6 cigarettes

Once again I had a fairly active day spending most of the time on my feet. I'm feeling pretty good now except for the smoking. Really going to make the extra effort tomorrow to stop!

So far I've learned that I can't do too many juices that are just vegetables in a row - that's when I seem to get dizzy and low energy etc. I guess pure vegetable juice just doesn't have enough calories to keep you going for very long. I've been trying to alternate fruit and vegetable juices, or at least make sure the spinach in my juice makes up at least 1/3 of the juice. I also learned that despite the fact that I don't feel thirsty, as all I'm doing is drinking all day, I DO still need to drink a decent amount of water - 2L approximately. This helps with keeping me feeling full and I haven't had a headache or dizzy spell since I started concentrating on drinking more water.

If any of you are also trying this out, I'd love to hear how you're doing so far! :D

See you tomorrow,
Love and Health,
B xxx