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.