Saturday, 21 June 2014

Education Pt 1: Cooking cooking cooking

So you will start to see my little blog here evolving. Mellness is going to be a collaboration of not just hoping to help others to stay awesome until they are 96 and beyond, but to keep me awesome too! And how do I do that?? By integrating all the extras that I love in life into my strive for conscious, healthy living.  And one of those loves is travelling. I think I love it more than I love my mum. Ok that is not possible, but I maybe love it the same. It's a passion, soul food, a life force. Anyways, it's huuuuuuge!! So of course my traveling is going to incorporate what I value in life.......cultural experiences, tradition, healthy back to basics living and education. Which is why I have made a commitment to do a cooking class in every single country I go to. I become the nerd  in the class asking so many questions because I love different cuisines, basic principles of the ingredients and how they are sourced and also how I can replicate  the recipe at home if I might be concerned about an ingredient whether for health or sustainable reasons ie palm sugar....NO THANKS!!!!!!!

So as you would have seen from some of my last posts, I was recently in Ubud in Bali Indonesia. I was lucky enough to be able to have the most amazing personal cooking experience with Wayan Suriani in her little kitchen nearby the villa I was staying at. I could not have gotten more of an authentic class.






Me, her, her little kitchen and her son fascinated by my camera!! Being one on one meant that I could ask her so much about the ingredients and where they come from, how the locals eat and why they use the methods they use.




                       Then I got to take it all back to my villa to share dinner with my buddies!


 

                                                              
     
But I have to confess something. As excited as I get about creating dishes from scratch with fresh ingredients, there was something else that flipped me on my ass! She makes her own Kombucha!!!! Aaaaaaah I was floored when she asked me if I wanted a cold drink, and I nearly turned it down for my water!!! For anyone that has never heard of Kombucha, it is a fermented probiotic beverage brewed from tea through the aid of using a healthy bacteria called a SCOBY. I am not going to shower you with too much info here but if you want to know more about it feel free to ask or check it out for yourself. For those that have heard about it then you would probably agree that it is becoming a bit of a health fad. Which is sad because that inevitably means that it will get some flack! And I agree about fads. 





But what is fascinating is that when I explained to Wayan Surinai that in Australia it is becoming so popular as a 'health' drink, she found it strange because they just drink it on a hot day!!! Needless to say when she gave me some to take back to my friends and even some to bring home so I can begin brewing my own, I was a very pleased lil pumpkin!

So the moral of todays post is that tradition, the 'basics', old school tricks of the trade are the way to go. If you have a particular cultural background then get in touch with it. If you don't then that doesn't excuse us from not cooking and creating our own food and meals for ourselves, families and friends. Don't you want to be healthy, happy and show this to your children or future children.....or your cat??? LOL!!!!

xxxxxx

Friday, 20 June 2014

Why is it so hard to find what you are looking for?? Dang I'm gettin deep!

So I have a theory. And this may just apply to me. Which is probably why that makes it my theory....mmmm wow, such a genius. I believe that life is made up of a multitude of different spectrums which is why I don't believe in the phrase 'everything in moderation' it arrrrgh makes me so angry but that is for another post, and believe me it is coming! But back to why I think every part of life has it's own scale. Kinda like polar opposites. And at the half way point of my own vision of polar opposites there is a tipping point. I think that with many challenges, changes, or growth we hit this tipping point before shit gets real and we feel like we are losing the plot. This my friends then clears the stage for the next act to come along......bliss, happiness, success, content, peace and better yet all SMILES!!! Whoop! The thing is that anything negative in life stands out to us and crushes the visions and memories of some of the fabulous stuff. For instance, we dwell on how bad things are or have been more than focus on all the little positives. Apparently it takes 5 positive actions to counteract a negative. Therefore wouldn't it be fair to suggest that it would take 5 awesome things to occur for us to get over the fact that one shitty thing might not be going according to our precious plan?? Anyway I am getting off the beaten track here (why is the track beaten??) so back to the tipping point and finding the emerald city......

Whether you are looking for a new career, house, love, your calling, general life satisfaction or even a new couch (not judging) not matter what, it seems that unless you know what you are looking for you end up very exhausted. And even if you know what you are looking for it still may not appear straight away. Hence we get frustrated. Enter the tipping point. Picture a bucket. No, picture a dripping tap with a  bucket underneath. Each tiny drop adds to the bucket filling up bit by bit. One little drip doesn't seem like a big deal. Until it gets to the point where just one more drip means the bucket overflows and you  hit  breaking point. All of those tiny drips are your thoughts, feelings, emotions, visions and daydreams filling up the bucket resulting is mass irritation and general unhappiness. But what now??? Aha, this is only the start. Ah shit. It's just the monster creeping up on us to alert us that something needs to change. That there is discontent within us. Which leads to becoming exhausted. Due to there being such a huge part of your life that is unfulfilled, you spend so much of your time contemplating and searching for what it is that is going to help you hit that mark. For me it means that I spend so much of my time trying to find what it is that I am looking for that I feel like I make myself more and more busy and have nothing to show for it. The more I fill my life with solitary searching and procrastination, the less and less time I have to dedicate to those I care about. Or possibly finding someone to care about. Or devoting my energy to less things but that I enjoy. Becoming so lost in yourself and your life's direction means that your soul tires and you need a break. You feel desperate to have more and more time to yourself to relax and switch off. Double ended sword really.

I think what I am trying to say here is that by finding your truth, your place, your purpose, your direction, your groove tube you will spend less time trying to find it and have more time for others and for fun things like competitive hopscotch, fairy bread dinner parties (with fresh gluten free bread and some form of body happy sprinkles that I haven't created yet or maybe I just have....) and laughing with the bestest people you can find. Doing more of this and less of the disillusioned soul stumbling means that eventually everyone will have more time for each other, appear less selfish to those around them that may need them and hopefully create a much better life vibe.

So to those that feel like I am speaking to them.......embrace the struggle to find it and DO IT. And to those who think that I have been sitting in a tree smoking fairy dust. I will make up for it with this recipe:

Roasted rosemary sweet potato and Apples

This recipe I got from PaleOMG and she is a damn genius! It is divine and goes great as a warm winter dish on it's own or as a side to a nice slow cooked roast. But the pic I have here is where I also turned this into a dessert (of course so I could make it my own!) once roasted I tossed with some crunchy toasted pepitas and a big dollop of coconut cream. Soooooo good!!!!

All you need is.....


  • sweet potatoes
  • apples
  • melted coconut oil (enough to thoroughly cover the mix)
  • fresh rosemary (or dried if you don't have)
  • salt

1. Chop up equal amounts of sweet potato and apples into small cubes and place in a bowl
2.  Pour over coconut oil and mixed with your hands until covered.
3. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt and mix with a spoon.
4. Transfer to a baking tray lined with foil and bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 35 minutes or until sweet potato is cooked through. 

*Tip: Try tossing diced fried bacon through it. Haven't tried it yet but it could be amazing!



xxxxxx

Saturday, 14 June 2014

2's??

So I think i might be going through my own terrible two's. I read somewhere once that youngsters when they are at or approaching the age of two that outbursts and tantrums start to emerge as they are struggling to express themselves and communicate their feelings, thoughts and emotions. Now not being a parent myself and given that I have not even a smidge of an idea about raising a little human, I am not suggesting that this is the case. However, what I have noticed is that at the '2' milestones in my life, something fishy is occurring. I should ask my mother what I was like at 2 and whether I was a crazy baby, because at 12 I started turning into a puberty monster, and 22 I went through the most tumultuous time with the most significant relationship I have been in to date, and now I am 32. BAM! Semi trailer. Frustration, irritability, difficulty connecting with myself, with others and with life around me. Not exactly knowing where I'm at, where I want to go and what I am. Well I know that I am not a cat, but work with me here! I pictured myself as a bit of an emotional volcano this morning while I was at yoga. Lava coming out of my head and shit. Ok, that part I only just thought of. But seriously, WTF?? When the hell did this start happening?? Probably when I was 2 eh?? Grinning......


Pre yoga beverage at Yoga Barn.....ginger, lime, lemon grass and honey!



Morphing into what I call Mellness, is not only about the quality of the fuel we put into our body and the movement we get as a result. It also means that we need to allow, permit or damn right make happen the days like I had yesterday. A day spent in Bali with inspiring bestie company, treating our body's and effectively our minds to massage, facial and feet treats. Followed by challenging emotional conversation and super nourishing superfood at one of my fav places to eat 'Down to Earth' aaaaah why aren't you in Melbourne??? Maybe I will just have to make you happen in Melbourne! 

If you are ever here, go here!!!!!
I guess sometimes we need to try just a little bit harder. Push boundaries and open up to something or someone that is different from yesterday. I think yesterday I took a baby step. And baby steps are almost always followed by feeling like you are being crushed by a giants step! But that's ok because the crushing feeling will disappear for a while making way for the next baby step. I better write that down so I remember......see ya xxxxxx

Friday, 13 June 2014

Tropical food explosion!!!


So I am 2 days into my 9 night stay in Ubud Bali and as per usual I am constantly smiling. What makes me smile?? Asia. That’s it, just Asia. No explanation necessary. I get that it is not everyone’s cup of tea but it’s mine. Think of your best best best most favourite tea (I think mine is China Jasmine) and that is what it is for me. Mostly because of the perfect display of simpleness everywhere you look. Food, work, the daily grind, social activities, medical ailments, child distracting apparatus, make shift motorcycle helmets…….life in a nutshell. But let’s get back to the first word. Food. This intrigues me, but also makes me a lil sad. Sad because the past is leaving and with it day by day it takes with it a tiny slice of tradition with it. Because the future gets faster and faster everyday. And no I am not on the brink of a 30’s catastrophe. Ok, ok maybe a little but honestly as time flies, food and everyday life needs to catch up. We need food fast. Prepared. In packet form. With bright colours and awesome slogans like ‘good day coffee’ a 3 in 1 ready to go crime against the real deal. And I guess everyone can only do their best and live to their means right? But what is deflating is that generations that move in may slowly become dissected from their culture. Their cultures food.  But enough about negative things, let's talk all of the amaaaaazing stuff! The 'intriguing' part of the food!! Because that’s way more fun. Yesterday by chance we found out about a lovely little organic farm/cafĂ© that a beautiful walk through the rice paddies lead us to. Of  course when in Asian I get super overwhelmed with their local ingredients and concoctions and tend to order the most outrageous item I can find on the menu. Todays was a Balinese herbal drink of Balinese juice ( no answers as to what that is!) mixed with turmeric, tamarind and honey lime. POW with the turmeric!! My partners in crime also tried out amazing blends of juices with basil, mint, ginger and fresh fruits and wait for it……we were sitting amongst the garden it was all growing in! In fact we watched as they picked from the garden. Could the juice have been fresher?? Impossible!

                                                                                                                                                                   Today’s quest has seen me watch exquisite local coffee brewed by Balinese that know their shit,           


















drinking  young coconut.....NOT

out of a can or bottle


and eating snake fruit AKA fruit too cool to be easily available in Australia. Queue snake fruit pic……









Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Seed crunchies

This is pretty much my easiest go to recipe that I always As I always tell everyone, get creative and don't always just stick to recipes. I suggest try it once to the instructions, then once you know how it rolls you just rock it out what ever way you want!! With this one you can add dried fruits or berries, choc chips or anything you like to taste. Use crushed or broken nuts if you don't have enough seeds.  I hate anything that has too many steps or ingredients. If I have to keep reading instructions or ingredients then you lose me! Unless it is for a special dish! Quick, easy non fiddly is what I like peeps!



Seed Crunchies

1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of sesame seeds
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
3 heaped tablespoons of honey melted
Cinnamon to taste (I used about 3 tsp)
1/2 tsp of salt


*I also used a tsp of orange blossom water for a bit of a spin but they taste just as awesome without!

Mix dry ingredients together, stir in the melted honey and pour mixture onto a baking tray covered with greased baking paper that you have greased with coconut oil, olive oil or ghee/grassfed butter.

Bake at 160 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

While still soft, turn out onto a tray or plate and place in the fridge for 10 mins or so until mix starts to harden but still with a sticky consistency. 

Remove from fridge and break into chunks! Keep in the fridge and use as lunch snack for work or school.




You have 2 options with this one. You can place the mix onto a plate or tray once you have removed from oven and break into pieces after the mix has been in the fridge (great for snack bags or crumble for desserts, muesli) OR you can place into little clumps as per below for a more biscuit approach!
                                               

Time to get personal!!


It’s funny. I started out writing my blog and Facebook page conscious of how I communicate, the words I use, whether I swear, whether I offend, whether it is funny. But you know what?  That’s shit. Because this has now become my online journal. You see I am basically split into 5 parts. Not like crazy schizto split. I just have a very adaptable personality.
I have always describe myself as the best display of my mum and dad. Equal parts. But I am starting to realise that parts of me I take from other in my family. My lil sist and her bf are like little semi gangstas. Hence my gangsta rap on my ipod and obsession with sneakers. My bro and his gf are reserved and keep to themselves (me a lot). Hahahahaha and anyone that knows me knows I am a hermit!! My other sister and her husband are straight up say-it- how–it- is crude and dirty (but only between us). Yes we take about sex at the dinner table.  My dad is so beautifully mannered, honourable and a total family man. He lives for his kids. We both share a very similar and moral view on the world. My mother is bursting with energy, wants to be a part of everything, and ambitious…..Hahahaha and that’s where I get my crazy 1000 ideas a day, my independence, my need to explore and my distaste for skincare products with so many mean things for our skin. So that’s why I am a little part of them all, collaborated into this urban hippy that that I am.

 I started this blog because by my standards I got to a pretty crappy place with my health. And wanted to share what I have learnt and keep learning. I thought that I needed to be of picture perfect health for people to want to be interested and ride the wave.  Not true. So how about just being real? So REAL people can relate. Because you know what? I am not perfect.  I am super clean, I am super charged with advice. I have a super amount of ideas and ways to help others and show how living a life of beautiful health in all aspects can be the best thing for your soul and the body it is in. But being real means being honest. And honestly, I am still kinda in that crappy place.  So there is a reason why I carry on and share stories, thoughts, ideas and information about non food related topics and seemingly random bull shit.  It is because I realised quite some time ago that focusing too much on food and fitness means that other things in our life suffer.

Our minds tell us what to do right? They create how we feel and how we feel is how we behave. How we behave can be the difference between making choices that make us feel better or not so great.  It is so hard to grab those thoughts before you act. Because, well they are just there! You almost don’t know what told you  ‘you know what, I have had a shitty day, f**k it I am just going to treat myself to cake” And that is something that I am struggling with.  LOL not the cake!!! I punch cake in the face unless it is a lovely occasion, homemade, gluten free, free of refined sugars and wholesome ingredients of course!!!

But I struggle with what my mind tells me. And it’s hard. And for all of us that do have those negative thought processes they affect us in many different ways. Some with weight, some with depression, some with addictive behaviours but we all wish to the universe that they weren’t there right??

So this is to everyone that feels like they know what I am talking about. And to not feel that just because I post pics of some recipe I made or that  I preach about how bad preservatives and gluten are, that I don’t share the same struggles.

Yaaaaaaaay, now lets have pajama party and talk about boys!!!!!!



Remember:  

The PRESENT moment, is what you PRE sent. So make more moments that you purposefully created. Not what your lazy brain told you

xxxxxx

Monday, 9 June 2014

Zucchini pizza base with beetroot, carrot and apple salad

So this was tonights dinner. Strange mix? Kinda. But I don't care because it tasted amazing, I am trying to use up my overflow of fruit and veg before I go to Bali on Wednesday (yyyyyyyyiiiiippppppp) and lets face it, I love fresh salady food and am trying to pretend that winter is not coming!

Thanks to Katie @ Gluten freelance I made these suuuuuperb Zucchini pizza bases, check out the easiest recipe ever!

http://glutenfreelance.com.au/zucchini-pizza-crust/


3 ingredients!! I just substituted the buckwheat flour for almond meal/flour.  

 



And then I spread a smear of Tahini on those little bases. Then topped it with this:


1 small beetroot grated
1 small carrot grated
1 small apple grated
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
salt 
pepper 
cumin


  1. Place beetroot, apple and carrot in a bowl.
  2. Combine enough olive oil and apple cider vinegar vinegar to coat your salad.
  3. Season with a little sea salt, pepper and cumin to taste (I put cumin in evvvverything but you can leave it out of this one!)
  4. And your dressing to the salad and mix