Thursday, 20 December 2012

Life - tea, potatoes and nut butter

So much for my big blogging spree I thought I was going to have last week. I'd planned yummy cheesecakes and roasted spatchcocks and... they just never happened. No one (read: neither mum nor I) has been that hungry so nothing has really been cooked. Ok, so I lied about the cheesecakes. I made a second batch of cupcake cheesecakes with crushed up, pink-icing-and-100s-and-1000s-covered-sugar-soaked cookies for the base so I thought it might not be a good idea to post that recipe up. But I had a few other things to mention about stuff I found yesterday.

I really don't know how I found it - I must've been looking up herbal teas - and I found this website called Steepster. Basically, it's a social networking site for people who love to drink tea, and you rate the tea you drink and talk to other tea drinkers across the globe. Sounds ridiculous? Honestly, I think it is a bit. But I love the simple idea of it. I think the fact that I am signed up to it will make me want to drink more tea (herbal tea, that is) and hopefully get a better understanding of it. And find some tea-drinking friends too! Another good site kinda like that that I found is Punchfork, which is a Foodgawker-style site but you can put a preference in for paleo stuff. That's right, there's a foodie blog place you can choose to get you completely paleo meals! Aaand they have an app, so I'll certainly be using that a lot.


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Lazy Stuffed Zucchinis

Neither mum nor I wanted a big dinner tonight, and neither of us wanted to do anything fancy. Mum said that she'd be happy with toast for dinner. But on the weekend we picked up a couple of cute little (like 15cm long) fat, organic zucchinis and I didn't want them to go yuck. And I'd planned this meal at the beginning of the day so it was going to happen.


This recipe is a very, very laid back recipe - if you could call it a recipe at all. I was pretty demotivated to take good photos so what you see is the best my laziness could do with an iPhone. Which is very little.

I gathered a collection of paleo stuffed zucchinis and found that it's basically just minced meat, a few bits and bobs, herbs and spices if you're feeling snazzy, and your scooped zucchini. The recipe that really wowed me the most was this one from Eat Drink Daily with the addition of olives. Boy, were they a good addition! They really tied the whole thing up, and I think that without it, this recipe wouldn't even be that fantastic enough to write about.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Mistakes I've Made - Activated Almonds

Yesterday I mentioned that I made my own almond meal using my 'failed' almonds. How do you just fail a nut?

As I've mentioned in a previous post, you have to soak nuts for them to not stuff up your insides, so when I came back from Costco with a big bag of almonds the other day, I decided to try to soak them all at once and dehydrate them so that I can just eat them without worrying about soaking overnight.

The bag was emptied into a big bowl, the almonds were blanketed with water, and a splash of apple cider vinegar was stirred in. Ok, maybe a big splash of vinegar. I didn't really know how much to add so I just kinda poured it in.

And they sat in the cupboard with a tea towel lid overnight.

In the morning I rinsed them and preheated the oven to I think it was 150 degrees to start with. Once the almonds were patted dry with paper towels, I lined a few cookie trays with baking paper and spread out my now-expanded almonds between them because there were that many of them. I popped the trays in the oven like so and checked them every half hour. I advise you not to check this often; it makes you feel like your nuts have taken a lifetime and nothing has happened since you last visited.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Orange Almond Cupcakes

I don't even know how many days it's been since I've posted. I'm not going to count, because I'm trying to not stress (hint: that hasn't happened.) and I've been really demotivated to post anything because I've had nothing to post. So I think next week I'll be posting a whole ton because I've planned about four recipes to make, plus I want to post about something that's not cooking related. Just thought about it now, make that two things. Three things. I'll get up to date with posting then! And by the time Christmas rolls past and we get to New Year's, I'm going to be chockers with days out and courses to go to and I'll try my hardest to keep blogging at the (unstable) rate I've been going. And then it's into year 11! So that'll probably mean you'll be lucky to hear a peep out of me. For the next two exciting years.

I made these cakes at a time where I just wanted to bake, regardless of my oven's temperament. So I made these for my friends because it seemed easy and kinda healthier than they looked like it tasted. And because I like cooking for people I love :)


Monday, 10 December 2012

Healthy Oniony Rissoles (and they're easy!)

I haven't got too long and I haven't got any photos (yet) so this post will be a quick one.

Yesterday I made a big batch of rissoles to keep in the freezer because I get so annoyed when mum comes home with ugly, preservative-, additive-filled balls of 'meat' which she thinks are great. Nuh uh. She said that it all comes down to convenience so I decided to come up with a basic recipe for rissoles I can make to put in the freezer. I'd prefer to spend 15 minutes making these over spending a much longer time worrying about what is in those globs of intestinal destruction.

I didn't take any photos of the rissoles because, to be honest, squished raw meat is not pretty. Especially with my uber cool camera of an iphone. And also, when I finished shaping them they went straight in the freezer so it's not like I cooked them straight away.

But I did have a try of them today. And they need a little bit of a touch up, shall we say? I've added changes that I would personally add but feel free to make them however you want!

Healthy Oniony Rissoles

Makes 28 medium sized rissoles

1kg chicken mince
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 egg
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 medium sized mushrooms
1 large Spanish onion
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Chop up the celery and mushrooms up into tiny little bits. I put it all in a blender, which I think would be a lot easier than doing it by hand.
Slice the onion into little chunks, not as small as the celery and mushrooms but small enough to fit into a little rissole.
Put the oil in a medium pan and once the pan is hot, fry the onions and garlic.
When the onions are half cooked, add the mushroom mixture and stir it around until the mushies are all cooked through. Let cool (or not, if you're impatient.)
In a largeish bowl, mash together the chicken, flaxseed meal, egg and salt and pepper with your hands until combined.
Add the onion mix to the chicken and mush it all together with your hands.
Shape the meat into balls as big as the dent in your palm and place on a prelined baking tray.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until it's cooked inside.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Earth Hour 2013

Guess what I found today?

The 2013 Earth Hour campaign video! Last year I wasn't so concerned about the whole save-the-planet idea, but now, through my journey of healthiness and wellness I've picked up on hints about environmental problems that the world faces, and I kinda wanted to do something about it this year. So when I found that the Earth Hour people were giving us the opportunity to make a change for the earth we're switching our lights off for, I decided to throw myself into the challenge.

The 'theme' of the day hour is 'I Will if You Will' so I've accepted this challenge and I'll do this in return. Watch my video right here to see what I'll be doing. Hopefully I'll inspire you guys to get involved in Earth Hour too!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Grains in a Nutshell

In this post, whenever I say 'grains', I mean:
- grains
- legumes
- beans
- nuts
- seeds
so just include all those when I use the word 'grain', got that?

You might have noticed that my posts could sometimes say things like 'This is paleo so I'll eat it' or 'Preferably, soak/sprout the grains' and it might pique your interest as to why I tend to shy away from grains.

I would like to stress that I AM NOT ON A LOW CARB DIET. I don't do diets. Especially low carbs, because you need carbs for energy.

The reason why I put grains to the side is not because of what they give you (lots of energy), but what they take away from you. There's more to those nasty little buggers than meets the eye.

I could go on for hours about why you shouldn't eat grains, which grains are better for you, who can eat more grains than others, ways to sub grains, grains that aren't actually grains, health benefits of grains, but I just wanted to make a short little post so that you guys can get a bit of a taste as to why grains aren't as great as they're made out to be.

Have you ever wondered

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mistakes I've Made - Baked Eggs

This morning I had a bit of time so I decided to make myself baked eggs for breakfast. Bad idea. Well, not really. I definitely learnt from it. It was kinda funny how I stuffed up because, in a way, I planned for it to happen this way.

My baked eggs went as followed:

I fried up my sliced mushrooms and greens (some grown up bok choi and a bit of spinach) the night before...


but I only half cooked the greens because I knew that they would get even more cooked in the oven in the morning, so the white bits of the bok choi was still quite crunchy. And I popped it all into a medium sized ramekin.

Meditating

I have been so stuck for blog post topics so you might have noticed that I completely missed Sunday’s post. And I’m not even sorry.

The whole year our religion class has been going to meditation fortnightly and today was the last time we ever got to go. I don’t think we get to do it in senior years unfortunately. But the 80-something sister sang a Christmas song to us and it was really really cute :) Anyway, meditation.

Meditation, scientifically, is something like bringing your brainwave rate thing down to a stage of half-asleep or something, but most people recognise meditation as something to fix your mind up somehow, whether that be calming you down or focusing your attention. There’s a thousand reasons why people meditate, but here’s the main reasons why I meditate:
- to improve my focus. I want to strengthen the part of my brain that yells CONCENTRATE at me when I’m doing some sort of hard-to-focus-on work, and I’m sure studies have backed up meditating for focus somewhere.
- it calms me. Just give me five minutes when I’m agitated or angry and after a little sit-down, I’m a little less agitated and angry.
- it's part of my sleep. Kinda like the calmness thing, I meditate last thing before bed because it really relaxes me. It gets me from a pace of working to a pace of slowness and usually sleepiness. Doing meditation before bed helps me settle down and it's like someone in my brain goes around and switches off every last switch during those five minutes.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Simple Mango Smoothie


For the last two months or so, I’ve been starting to enjoy having smoothies with my breakfasts occasionally. They’re a quick combination of yummy fruit, lots of protein, nuts and even more nuts in the milk. I might also like them because of the fact that we have glasses that make them look kinda cafe-style. I have a few little mini stories about my two-month progression of smoothie-making and I thought that I could just collect them all and include them all here. So excuse the random jumping around here.



My favourite smoothie fruit is mango. I tried a banana smoothie once, but it was too.. gaggy for me. I think I’ll have more bananas in their whole form before I move onto having bananas in any mashed, mushed or squishy form. I’ve also tried pumpkin and that would have to be my second favourite. And orange just doesn’t work at all; it’s all watery and stuff and that doesn’t go well with the powder. I don’t think I’ve experimented with any other fruits... Does anyone have any ideas for other fruits/vegetables I could try?

It’s a little against my ideals, but I got myself a big bucket of protein powder a while ago and I’ve been popping a tablespoon of it into my smoothies. When I first got it, I couldn’t find a scoop so I assumed it didn’t have one, but I eventually dug down to it and when I found it, it was GIGANTIC! It would have to be at least two tablespoons! How does someone fit all that powder into a smoothie that is supposed to be runny and slurpable? That wasn’t going to happen. Also, the powder I’ve got is unflavoured so it’s not the most... amazing taste in the world. But after having a tablespoon of it nearly daily, I’ve gotten used to it and sometimes I kinda crave a smoothie just for the (overwhelming) taste of the powder. It’s kinda weird. I guess it’s like how I initially detested tahini and now I love it.

I entered a healthy chicken nugget competition some time ago and surprisingly I came a runner up! :D I was so excited that the people who were running it actually tried to make my funny nuggets that I think I was more excited about that than my actual prizes. One of prizes I got was a sample of super greens and reds so I tried it in my smoothie this morning instead of my protein powder and it smelled a bit spirulina-y before I tipped the little sachet in but it tasted great! Well, it didn’t exactly taste like anything; for once, I could taste the mango instead of any powder. It was a nice change from the protein powder, with all the organic vegetables, fruits and superfoods. I can’t say that I can feel any more energy or more vitalised or anything but it's got to be good for you.

I think it’s been two weeks now that I’ve improved the whole smoothie-making experience for myself. I used to own (actually, we still have it) a little tiny blender with a teeny baby 250ml cup thing to put the content in, and while I can actually control how much fruit I need to make a smoothie the right size (or else I’d make a batch for a small community), the stuff at the top wouldn’t be as blended as the stuff at the bottom so I came to liking the idea of a chunky smoothie. A couple of weeks ago, like I said, I upped the ante and I got a big 1.5L blender. I could not be more excited; I could finally have smooth smoothies! So of course now my smoothies are far too big to fit into one glass.

I think that covers all my little stories for now! I don’t even know how I have such a variety of things to talk about when it comes to smoothies, because I barely stray from this super-short ingredient list and I’ve barely had my share of smoothie time. So here’s the recipe to the one-and-only simple smoothie!


Simple Mango Smoothie

Serves 1

flesh from 1 big mango cheek plus all you can get off the stone
1 tbsp nut butter (I have almond, walnut or peanut butter)
1 tbsp protein powder
non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)
a couple of soaked almonds (optional)

Pop the first four ingredients in the blender in the order provided (I find it easiest this way, so that the nut butter or the powder doesn’t get caught up in the blade and do funny things) and when pouring the milk in, pour in about enough to cover three quarters of the content in there or enough to make it runny instead of a puree kind of thing. Pour into a pretty glass and sometimes I like to drop in a few soaked almonds :)



Sources:
http://www.ezyprotein.com.au/
http://naturalnewagemum.com/2012/11/22/kates-almond-crusted-chicken-nuggets-winner-of-the-great-homemade-chicken-nugget-competition/
https://nutraorganics.com.au/our-products/super-greens--reds

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Knitted Babies Up for Sale!

Hey guys! So the other day, I was knitting at school at lunch time, as I always do, and I got a random request to make a unicorn for one of my friends. I'm used to the whole ordering-of-a-knitted-product thing so I guess it wasn't too random... But tonight I finished him and I think he's adorable!


She wanted a white unicorn with a light purple mane and a yellow horn so a white unicorn with light purple and yellow is what I made. But I wanted to make something stand out on him, something that wasn't so obvious like the horn... So I gave him teeny tiny legs! Aren't they cute? And yes, he does have legs, see?


I almost gave him a mouth, but I wasn't really quite sure how I should do it, and I think he already looked quite cute. And this way, you can make up whether he's happy or sad. He's almost so adorable I don't know how I'm going to give him away!


While I was sorting through my thousands of balls of wool trying to find the perfect purple and yellow to use, I came across some of the things I'd made earlier this year that didn't exactly get as much love as some others. You see, I made a batch of these little round people and some of them sold, but some of them didn't. I also found a few other little knitted creatures that didn't get to find a new home.

So I've decided to sell my little babies online! Well, almost. I'll post individual photos of all the little munchkins up soon but for now, here's a few of them:


From left to right, there's my little beaded hippie, my super cheery red man (the red men are part of a series, I made a few of them) and my little chicken.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Pumpkin Lasagna? Challenge Accepted.

This afternoon, I asked my friend what I should make for dinner and the response I got (and wasn't expecting) was 'lasagna'. Outside, I said no. Inside, I proclaimed CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! and started brainstorming ideas for veggie-filled lasagnas without pasta. What could I include? Zucchini? Carrot? Tomato? But when my brain turned to 'pumpkin', I had ideas like crazy and knew that that would be what would be made.



The pumpkin was my second challenge. I got it last week and had neglected it because, well, I'd have to cut it up. But today I got home and carved that pumpkin up. He must've been seeking revenge for not being touched for a week, because he was soo hard to get a knife through! Every slice was like an opportunity to lose a finger, a toe or worse. But thankfully all the anger and frustration was all contained in his thick skin so he was a little looser on the inside.



I'd had a really fancy idea for this lasagna and I wanted to make a white creamy sauce only because I knew we had some cauliflower, but when I explained my idea to mum she just whipped up a batch of flour-butter-milk white sauce. Sigh. I wasn't going to try to explain my cauliflower sauce idea tonight so I just let it be. Mums always know how to cook food best, so I let her do it and decided that I'd make my super paleo idea another day.

This is also a bit of an unrecipe in terms of types of food to include. Yes, put pumpkin, but use whatever type you have that's been neglected in the fridge, and I had butternut. Use whatever sort of mince-y, cut-up meat you can get your hands on (I used half roast chicken breast, half pork mince because that was what was available). And feel free to include any other veggies that tickle your fancy in the mix!


Pumpkin 'Lasagna'

Serves 4

350g pumpkin
500g meat of some form that isn't a solid piece of muscle
clove of garlic, minced or chopped finely
some massive handfuls of spinach
2 tbs whole wheat plain flour
1 tbs butter
milk
oil for spraying

Cut the pumpkin up so that you've got slices of pumpkin and not chunks of it, so it's about 5mm thick and as long and wide as possible (mine is about 10cm-15cm long and 5cm wide).
Steam the pumpkin for 10 minutes or until it's cooked a little and isn't going to fall apart when you pick it up.
Meanwhile, cook the meat if it's not already, with the garlic.
While that is all cooking, fry the flour and butter in a small saucepan and whisk until cooked, and add milk while whisking until the sauce reaches the consistency of a thick custard. Add salt if preferred.
Assemble the lasagna: To do this, cover the bottom of a deep pre-lined (oil or baking paper) baking dish with some pumpkin slices until you can't see 97% of the bottom.
Next, grab some spinach leaves and lay them onto the pumpkin.
Then grab the meat and layer it on top until all the spinach is covered by the meat. You might want to squish the layers down a little for this.
Pour some of the sauce on top and make sure it's all spread out and covering everything.
Repeat the assembly order until everything is used up.
Lightly spray the top of the whole thing with a touch of oil so it doesn't burn (I forgot to do this).
Pop the whole lot in a preheated-at-180-degrees oven on fan forced and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the sauce is all cooked inside.
Slice with a sharp spatula-type thing and serve.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

Camp - for friends only

So I've gone another day not posting again. At least I realise it! I was only on camp for three days so I could've posted yesterday buuut... I was too caught up in knitting and dehydrating almonds. By the way, when they say that dehydrating nuts takes a while, they actually mean that it takes a while. How did I think I could spend 24 hours obsessing over the oven? I think it would be a lot more enjoyable if I could smell the almonds or if I focused when I first soaked them. I may have forgotten about vinegar-to-water ratios and now whenever I open the oven it smells like vinegar... Another oopsie. But I'm learning. I added some rosemary to counter the smell but it still hasn't gone away!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Shannon's Date in a Blankie

On Wednesday, we're going on camp for three days, two nights for school (I'm perfectly fine with the whole 'camping' thing, I'm just panicking a little over the food choices there) so tomorrow I'll be running around like crazy making sure everything is ready so I decided to post tonight to make up for it. I really hope I survive it, and get enough sleep! They said that lights out is 11pm so I think I'm going to be a little dead by the time I come back. Anyway, onto the recipe.

Last year, our Canadian friend, Shannon, stayed with us for a few weeks before going back home to Calgary (I sooo want to go there!) and before she left, she shared a recipe (well, it's more like an unrecipe) that she and her friends love back home. And when she made a batch of these for us, it's no wonder you can't eat just one! 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

How to Lose (x)kg

I am in no way shape or form a certified health practitioner, nutritionist or someone who's been studying for years on end to learn how to tell people what to eat or do, so don't take this all to heart. I was just asked by one of my mum's friends (she's mine too) on how to lose that last little bit of weight, so I decided to come up with an extremely loose and flexible sort of guide.

Around this time, everyone indulges on the Christmas feasts and the NYE drinks, so it might be a good idea to keep your weight in check and watch what you eat so you can feel a little less guilty come December 25 and 31.

A Sort of Guide to Losing the Last Kilos

I'd like to make this three sections:
- food
- exercise
- mind
and since I was asked to make a food plan, I won't delve into the exercise area too much.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Thai Chilli Coconut Roast

What do you do when you want beachy, summery flavours and a comforting wintery meal? You combine them of course! Last night it was a little colder than usual but I felt like a bit of chilli and coconut so I came up with a bit of a concoction:

Coconut oil
Chilli flakes
Cayenne pepper
Desiccated coconut
Thai seasoning



And mixed my chicken breast into it. If I wasn't being so lazy, I would've made more and mixed the veggies in it, but the coconut oil was in the fridge so I had to scrape it out instead of scooping it out. I need a small jar of it to keep in the cupboard for easier use. If you don't have coconut oil, feel free to use a light oil or some olive oil (my veggies got a dash of EVOO - extra virgin olive oil). It shouldn't make too much of a difference.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

My Rant about Dairy

Ok, I knew this day was coming where I wouldn't be able to keep to my posting promise. Oops! This'll probably happen more often when there's more Christmas parties...

The other day, I was about to have a rant about how you shouldn't eat/drink dairy when I didn't exactly have the words to actually say anything. I knew it's not good for you because of the hormones and that the dairy industry is absolutely foul in terms of animal rights and safety, but I didn't know the exact facts. So I did a little more research on it and found the stuff I had on the tip of my tongue, and I also found out a bit more that I didn't know.

Basically, cavemen didn't drink milk, so neither should we - to an extent. I'll get to the topic of cavemen at some point here.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Bracelets for Weight Loss (or any longish-term goals)

Since about April or May this year, I've had a bracelet around my wrist.

No one but mum has known what it's for, and no one really asked me. I usually don't like wearing things on my wrists apart from my watch so I've been surprised that no one has asked me why I kept a dirty little ugly-coloured braid on my wrist. The only questioning I've had about it was from one of my teachers who was out hunting for detentions to give to people when she saw my bracelet.

"What's that?" pointing to my bracelet.
"A bracelet..."
"Can you take it off?"
"No."
"Why not?"
"Because I can't."

Physically, by that stage, it was easily able to be removed from my wrist. But mentally? This bracelet was more about looks. Actually, if it was all about looks, it would have been long gone.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Baba Ghanoush

I can't say I'm impressed. However, I also can't say that I've had baba ghanoush before, so I have nothing to compare this to. I'm still not impressed.

I really wish I put in the effort to use the barbecue to cook the eggplant.
I wish I roasted the garlic.
I wish I had some spices, or at least the knowledge of which spices, to add to this dish.
I wish I added some salt.
I wish I had some salty pita bread in the house.
I wish baba ghanoush could be made with the eggplant still piping hot from the oven/barbecue to keep all the delicious smell in.

So obviously my baba ghanoush lacked a bit of flavour. But I can always add a bit of flavour later, right? Next time I have it (I'm thinking with eggs in the morning), I'll add a ton of flavour to it - I'm thinking salt, olive oil, cayenne - but if I make it again, I'll definitely smokey up the eggplant. Some smoke would make a difference I reckon!

More Recipes Coming Up!

Ok, so I might have been procrastinating and not putting anything up for the last few days... I mean weeks...

It's just that so much has been happening since my birthday. Last week we were going out every night, and we had a few exams on too, and basically I had other things to focus on than writing about the stuff I was focusing on.

I've also progressed a lot more in terms of health in the weeks I haven't been here. I've upped my calories and upped my workouts, and for me, increasing calories is kinda hard so I've had to be a bit inventive. I hope to post a smoothie recipe up soon! Speaking of smoothies, I've gotten myself a protein powder just to help with the weight gain a bit. It's 100% unflavoured raw sprouted rice protein, so if you can imagine that, you can imagine why I can only really have it in smoothies! It's just too... funny-tasting to be used anywhere else. I make sure I have some of it every day, so I'm slowly getting used to it.

These past few days I've been cooking a lot more as well (at the moment I've got an eggplant in the oven) so I've got some more recipes to post! None of them are my own but I've tweaked recipes a bit. I tend to tweak a lot of recipes...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Raw Walnut Cashew Butter - better than Almond Butter!

My birthday was the other day, and for my birthday, I asked my friends for nuts. And what did I get?

Raw almonds. So many raw almonds.
They know me too well.

I love almonds!

I eat them every day, and I could eat them even more often if I really wanted to. My gorgeous friends know how much I love my almonds so the day I got them, I spent my meditation trying to not to drool and not focusing on making some delicious almond butter. Not that I'd tried it before, but I'd made nut butters before and if they were good, a nut butter made out of my favourite nuts would be like liquid bliss.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

About Me

Well, I felt like my possibly-unreachable, tiny About Me description didn't tell you guys enough about me. So here's a few Q&As to get to know me better!

Beach or snow?
Last winter, I was really looking forward to summer and the heat and the beach and going swimming at the beach and ice cream and all that Australian stuff, but now that the heat's come I want cozy winter back... I think it has to do with the numerous American recipes calling for roasts and hot chocolates while I'm here busy eating salads.

Long or short hair?
I have short hair now (just past my shoulders when it's out) but in my photo I have longer (and pink!) hair. For the first 13 years of my life I had EXTREMELY long hair that I started chopping off two years ago and now it's too short for me to plait, which I really miss.
Pilates or yoga?
Depends what mood I'm in. Every morning I do pilates for strengthening, but nothing beats a good yoga class. Yoga is one of my favourite ways to unwind and calm my mind when I have a spare 15 minutes or so.

Talk or listen?
I'm a big listener, probably because of the fact that I don't talk much. And the reason (at least I think) for this is that I never really have anything to say or add to a conversation. I would love to be able to talk more. However, it's hard to shut me up if you start talking to me about food or exercise!

Cook or eat?
Well... I guess that all depends on what to food is, if I've cooked it, if I know what's in the food, what mood I'm in, buuut if I had to pick one it would be... cook. Because sometimes I feel the need to make some super unhealthy (otherwise known as 'normal') cookies or something.

School or holidays?
This might sound a bit like an obvious question, but I actually enjoy school so much. But in saying that, I also love having a break, especially if I'm going away. I think I prefer school over no school though because I love the order of things in the day, and trying to organise everything, whereas in the holidays I just feel bleugh because I have nothing to do. (I'll most likely regret saying all that while I do the HSC!)

What countries would you like to visit?
Oh man, this list could go on for ages. The Caribbean (yes, it's not a country, but I would love to go cruising around there). Greece. Italy. Spain. Germany again for the Christmas markets (and the family). France, and I'd love to see (not participate!) the Marathon du M├ędoc. America, not 100% sure yet, but I want to see New York (again, for the marathon), California and Florida. Maybe Chicago as well. Japan for some Buddhist meditationy retreat thing. But the one place I know I definitely want to go to is Calgary, and I want to go on my birthday one year so that I can also go to Halloween where people actually CELEBRATE it and eat some 'fall' food like pumpkin pie and things we don't eat over here. Oh and I always want to go to Tahiti as well, but I have a feeling that any Pacific island would do. Oh, and Mauritius. Basically, I want to travel the world.

Morning or night person?
Morning! I can't stand night time, unless I'm in a half asleep state anyway like meditating. I don't understand a normal teenager's concept of go to sleep at 2am, wake up at 9am. Don't they feel like they've wasted the day? By 9, I've been up for three hours, have had breakfast AND morning tea, done at least half an hour of pilates, had a shower, gotten dressed, gotten ready for the day, and my day has started. Ages ago. I'm going to be the biggest late-night party pooper...

Best meal of the day?
Breakfast breakfast breakfast! Even though it's the meal I spend the least time cooking and eating, I really love my breakfast. I normally have two eggs and some vegetable, but occasionally I'll have oatmeal with fruit or a chia pudding if I'm not feeling hungry. UPDATE! Now I spend a super long time with my breakfast. I'll wake up, try to fit a small glass of lemon water in, body brush, come back and have eggs and either a fruit or a vegetable and maybe a drizzle of tahini, and after my workout I'll usually have a smoothie with a piece of fruit (my favourite is mango), a tablespoon of nut butter, a tablespoon of protein powder and fill it more than three quarters with a non dairy milk. If I don't have that, I'll be creative and mix the protein powder into my nut butter or something, or just have some nut butter with a piece of fruit. And then my lunches and dinners happen to be quite small.

Sweet or savoury?
That's pretty tough... Since getting a lot healthier, I've cut out quite a lot of sugar from my diet (that includes honey and maple syrup etc), mostly for 'addiction' reasons, but whenever I have a dollop of honey on something it's the best taste in the world. Cutting right back on my sugar intake has also made me appreciate savoury food more. And also the powers of cinnamon.

Paleo or vegan?
I love the paleo idea but I don't think I could give up quinoa. No matter how many saponins and starches and lectins and 'bad stuff' there is in legumes and beans and grains and things, I couldn't go strictly paleo. I couldn't give up my beloved soaked almonds. I couldn't give up oats (I've tried that, but it didn't work out). It would be too boring anyway. I mean, meat that often?

My Daily Health/Beauty Routine:
Before breakfast, I do a body brush to get rid of excess skin and because it feels good. If I don't, I become a human snow machine and all my clothes are instantly turned white. I put moisturiser on my face in the morning after my shower, and after my shower at night I put on face moisturiser, leg moisturiser and baby oil on my sides. And a little eczema cream for my eczema. I also have a ginger/lemon/apple cider vinegar 'tea' with my afternoon tea.
Before I go to bed, I write one thing I'm grateful for in my gratitude journal, put cuticle creme on, and meditate for at least five minutes. Doing this health routine makes me feel healthier, happier, calms me down, and the meditating really makes me sleepy, which is good because it's the last thing I do before I fall asleep. And I'm trying to reduce my cream usage and switch to more natural alternatives like avocado oil, because I couldn't go without because my skin is super super dry.

My food obsessions
Tahini. Oh my god this stuff is like the essence of amazingness. It's better than peanut butter. If you dunk anything (savoury!) into it or spread it on top of something it makes it taste just that much better. But I can understand why people don't like it.
Nut butter. On camp, I was talking about what I eat and one of my friends asked me what I'd have for a treat. They meant what would I have as an unhealthy treat, but I didn't really have one so I said NUT BUTTER and professed my love for them. They taste soo unhealthy that I find myself guiltily sneaking peanut butter fingers from time to time (Friends reference, anyone pick that up?). It's better than chocolate and doughnuts and lollies combined, to me anyway. I don't even know how to put into words how amazing a spoon of nut butter is. It's like a spoonful of sunshine and healthy, nutty goodness that you can nourish your body with and you just feel like you've tasted god. It's that good.
Almonds. I have a little handful of soaked almonds every day and I love them. They're delicious and full of calcium and deliciousness. I also have almond milk instead of any other milk because it's yummy and I love almonds. I would absolutely love to make my own almond milk, and also more almond butter. And almond faux cheese. And make almond meal cookies and cupcakes and crusts and pastries and anything that can be made with almond flour. Mmm.
Broccoli. I think the reason why I love this vegetable is the calcium content and the versatility of it. You can steam it. You can roast it. You can eat it by itself and with a million other things. You can eat it half raw. You can eat it raw (not my preference though). And it's soo good for you!
UPDATE! I don't eat yoghurt any more, and if you'd like to see why, click here.
Coconut water. Only if it's a good brand, like C Coconut Water or Cocobella. Kokomo tastes like soy sauce and I've had a lot of floury ones. I don't really like many other drinks apart from water, so coconut water is like my treat.

I'll see if I can make a proper About Me page at some point, but otherwise this is here. :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Gnocchi with Fried Cauli-Broccoli Rice

Hey guys! More of a ranty post than a recipe post, but I wanted to put tonight's dinner up :)

So today I finally decided to change my subjects for year 11 and 12, so I strolled into the guy-who's-responsible-for-that-sort-of-stuff's office and asked for the form. But when he asked me what subject I wanted to change to, I told him I wanted to go from chemistry to pdhpe but he was like 'oh you can't do that they're not in the same line so you have to pick from this this or this' so I was like KJRBEIUH BUT I DON'T WANT TO DO MODERN HISTORY OR LEGAL OR THINKING SUBJECTS!! So I calmly accepted the fact that I wasn't going to get my perfect subjects as he wrote down my suggestions. And so I left the room and rushed to my exam I didn't know about... for pdhpe...

I was soo scared that I was going to get a 0 for missing the class I was hoping to swap into (how bad would that look??) but thankfully my pe teacher is a gem and let me do the exam. I wasn't even that late... like 2 minutes...

Anyway, all day I've been looking at my suggestions and asking all my friends what I should do. But there is no way I'm dropping either biology or food tech for pe so my final choice was...

DRAMA!

And yet I'm one of the shyest people on the planet. You know what? Who cares! I'm just going to stroll in there and pretend that I'm slightly more confident than I actually am and if people ask me what the hell my body is doing flinging itself across the front of the room, I'm gonna say that SCHOOL IS FOR LEARNING and I need to learn how to fling my body around the room so I don't look like the epitome of tragedy.

Plus I want to be a part time commercial model (yes, models don't all have to be tall and skinny! They can be short and... not skinny like me ;) ) so doing drama would help I guess.

Now time for the recipe, what you've been waiting for!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Healthy Moist Banana Loaf

Good morning/midday/evening peeps! Today was a relatively fine day... I started a course in the city, and it goes for 6 days, 3 hours every day, Tuesday to Sunday, and today was obviously the first day. I had high hopes, but they weren't exactly reached in the way I wanted them to.

We did make up today, and I'm not one to wear make up. In fact, this was my first time doing my own make up (I've had it done to me lots of times before so I do know what it's like). And the outcome? Let's just say it was like a four year old had drawn on my face with their left hand. So I quickly took it off before I headed back into the city for a bit of shopping.

For the first time ever, I found a lululemon store! And omg it's like paradise. There's all these beautiful clothes everywhere, and the designs are all varied enough to not be boring, and the layout of the shop was amazing, and it wasn't a tiny shop! It was quite large and well-stocked, so I took my happy little body around and picked out about five different items, just to try on. Aaaand I felt the desperate urge to buy something there to hold onto those ten minutes of being in the store, so I got myself a pair of overpriced booty shorts. And then I felt guilty for spending so much on so little fabric that I went home and used up the overripe bananas in the fridge.

This banana bread was made in a bit of an unhappy mood. I'd bought super expensive black lycra undies, I'd made a mess on my face, and I wasn't in the mood for bad food, which often happens when I cook food I'm not familiar with making.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

First Post

Hey everyone, and welcome to my first post! I think I'm going to jump straight into it and give you a nice simple recipe for my first post.

Summer's here!
I can feel it; the days are getting longer, and the layers are getting fewer. Aaaand it's the holidays at the moment, so I've been enjoying the sunny weather. I've been longing for this season since it ended in February. And now it's actually come! It felt like it never would!

Yesterday I made myself a nice icy treat to celebrate for the inevitable return of the Australian hot weather. We had loads of fruit in the fridge, and what better way to prepare it lazily than to freeze it up and blend it with some coconut water?