Thursday, July 28, 2011


As a naturopath, it's always a good feeling to have a client or customer come back and tell you that 'whatever it was, it worked!'. Especially seeing as I'm currently a shop-floor-naturopath, the client has to make the extra effort to come back and see me (it's not like I'm calling them asking how they're going, if you get what I mean).

The other day I had the best news I could wish to hear from a client - I'd helped them get pregnant (I am aware that putting it that way does sound a little odd...).
Basically a client hadn't been able to get pregnant for years and I gave her a couple supplements to take and 2 months later it works! I am incredibly happy for her and proud that I was able to help someone at such an important stage of her life.

The only downside is, we'll never know if she would have gotten pregnant anyway, supplement or no supplement. I like to believe in myself and in my therapies so I'm just going to go ahead and take some credit.
Happy days!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Losing My Veganity.

Important Announcement.

Until at least February next year I will be leading a vegan diet, for the following reasons:
-Because I want to try it out and see what it's like.
-So I actually have a topic to talk about at the Natural Health Expo next February (topic - The Farmer's Daughter Goes Vegan, and eating to maximise nutrient profiles - how does that sound?)

Yep. So I know my reasons aren't what you'd call 'solid'. But hey, it's been about a week and a half now and I'm loving it. Well I'm loving most of it. Everything except being a burden on others when I go to their houses to eat. I even don't mind eating out at restaurants, it's like I see it as a challenge.
Image from here

As I browse the internet (too much, so much so that I need reading glasses now and I blame the computer!!) I come across heaps of good vegan blogs that are SO interesting and I'm realising how much being a vegan is actually a passion. I also came across a lot of people saying they felt 'liberated' when they declared themselves vegan and I am kinda identifying with that. There's just something about it that makes me feel... lively.

I'm not saying that I agree completely and utterly with the concepts of a vegan diet, but I do like the benefits so far (like the satisfaction of lowering my carbon footprint).

Another thing - did you like the title of this post? It's probably been done before, but I wanted to have a play on words after discovering a few witty blog names: It Ain't Meat Babe, Vegan Dance If You Want To and Pride and Vegudice. I'm laughing just writing these down. Classic!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Multi Purpose Almond Mush

Hello! It's the start of another weekend, although I'm up early to go to work on a Saturday, fun!
I'm off to an 80's themed party tonight, but good ol' organised me thought that ordering my Flashdance costume over the net 10 working days in advance would be enough - apparently not! So I'm gradually piecing together a plan B.

Remember when I was talking about the leftover almond pulp when making almond milk? And how I said it was too good to throw away? Well this is what I did with mine:

It went from being innocent, healthy almond mush ...

To the icing on a decadent chocolate cake!

A total turn around! I had the idea because I was making this vegan cake and was wondering what I could use for icing if I didn't want to use margarine. Obviously there's some better choices out there (like coconut oil) but I had to use the almond pulp for something. I added copious amounts of raw cacao powder and icing sugar and a bit of vanilla essence.
Josh gave the cake 2 thumbs up but the icing (his words) a 'slight thumbs down'. It tasted good but the texture isn't what we're used to. I think it tastes heaps better the next day (ie this morning... cake for breakfast anyone?) I got the recipe from here and it comes highly recommended. I did substitute the vegan mayonnaise (too lazy to make, to frugal to buy) for avocado. Worked a treat!

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Home Made Almond Milk

Me: "I'm making home made almond milk"
Friend: "How do you milk an almond?"
Well I'll tell you how!

Step #1: Soak 250g of raw almonds in about 850mls cold water for 24 hours.

Step #2: Put everything in a blender (water included) and blend until you can blend no more.

Step #3: Put it all through a sieve. Mine was quite thick because of the cheap and nastiness of my blender, but you can use the pulp for other things - too good to throw out!

Step #4: Drink and enjoy! Or use in your oats, like I just did and it was great!!

The picture above doesn't really do justice to the creaminess of the almond milk, it had a real frothiness about it after blending it for so long. Actually none of the pictures do it justice because they are all taken with a phone.

Notes: I added a smidge of maple syrup and vanilla essence to take a little of the almond bitterness off. Commercial almond milk has rice syrup and also a bit of oil added to it (not sure why).

Why you would want almond milk over dairy:
- You have a dairy intolerance or allergy
- You're on an alkalysing diet: dairy milk has a higher pH than almond
- Vegan
- You have a cold: dairy (as a food group generally) is mucous forming, so avoiding dairy can be beneficial during times when you already have enough snot and mucous floating around.

Why you wouldn't want almond milk over dairy:
- You're only a child
- You're on a tight budget (these almonds cost me $3.25 with a discount and it didn't make heaps)
- You have milking cows in your back yard (??)

Anyway I'm off to get ready for another day at work (as my co-worker would say, another day, another million dollars - Ha!)


Friday, July 15, 2011

Hot Quinoa Breakfast

Good Morning!
Wow, 3 blogs in quick succession - I must be getting bored!! No, I just wanted to tell you about my breakfast this morning, as I'm sure you all need to know.

I've talked about quinoa before and how healthy, yummy and versatile it is. Previously I'd only ever cooked it savoury (quinoa and roast vegetable salad, quinoa with chicken and fetta...), but it's been coming up for a while now that I should try it as a sweet dish (I have lots of customers ask me about it).

If you read as many health food blogs as I do you'd know that there probably isn't a single health food blogger out there who hasn't written about a quinoa breakfast. What makes mine so special? Because I made it, of course!

This is how I made it:
-Boil the quinoa at a ratio of 1 part quinoa 3 parts water and wait until it has absorbed the water (stir frequently).
-In that water add a generous dollop of mixed spice, nutmeg, some cardamom pods and rapadura sugar.
-Once it has absorbed everything, add about 3/4 cup of milk (I used almond) and as many sultanas as you like and a sprinkling of coconut and again wait until it has all been absorbed.
-To serve, I put in a bowl with more sprinkled sultanas and a little bit of light cream (gasp).

It made the house smell so nice! And was delicious. Just one note, the texture is quite unique and I can tell some of the more fussy eaters wouldn't like it just because of that. I will definitely make again, but I might try soaking the quinoa overnight to see if it speeds up cooking time because at the moment it could only be a weekend breakfast (it took me about 25-30 minutes all up).

Also did anyone notice the addition of Ayurvedic spices? Cardamom is supposed to be really good for digestion and some respiratory conditions (amongst other benefits).

Have a great weekend!


In With the New (But Not Out With the Old)

Today at work we had another naturopath work with us for the first time, and I loved it! We had so much fun.

When I say for the first time, well technically while I was on my little holiday there was a herbalist that took my place for that time but I don't think she's anything permanent.

This morning the newbie and I worked together and it was super quiet so we had heaps of time to chat about natural therapies and the like. She specialises in Ayurvedic medicine (if you want to know more go here) which I know next to nothing about and it was really interesting learning about it and how she tries to incorporate it into her life.

She tries to practise Ayurvedic techniques in her day to day life such as meditation and yoga and also adding lots of spices to her foods (the spices are specific to her constitution). There's obviously a lot more to it than that, and every 2 years she goes to India for a 5 week Ayurvedic detox which sounded so extreme (and so awesome!).

I've been the only (forgive me) knowledgeable one at my work for about 6 months now and I suppose some people might think that I would feel threatened by someone else coming into the scene, but I'm actually really keen to learn from her and broaden my perspectives on my current treatments and practises. It's exciting!

The downside was it was ridiculously quiet in the shop today so we didn't even get to give anyone health advice, but soon! Soon I'll have the consultation room in the shop and I can really practise what I've learnt.

Exciting times ahead. Stay tuned. I'm off to experiment with wonton wrappers.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ways I Try to Conquer the Common Cold

It's that time of the year again where you read in every magazine and newspaper the benefits of vitamin C or good hygiene or the next big wonder cure. Let's face it. These bugs get around, and I get subjected to the lot of them at work.
Now, {disclaimer} I'm not perfect, last year I got 3 severe colds. This year I didn't want a repeat, and so far I've only had one and it didn't progress very far. So why trust my advice? It's not like I'm someone who never gets sick - but I know what helps me enormously, and I'm not that different from everyone else!

I take around 1000mg of calcium ascorbate (non acidic vitamin C in a powder form) 5 days a week. It would be 7 days but I leave it at work and take it when I get there, it helps me to remember.
I didn't take it last year, and I think it's really helped me this year. Also having a generally healthy diet (lots of fruit and veg, no smoking etc) can help you overcome sickness more easily.
There are lots of 'immune support formulas' out there, usually based on herbs and minerals, which can be really effective (especially if you know you don't have a good diet) but I think if you just put a bit of thought into diet then you don't necessarily need more.

If you get a tickly throat:
As soon as my throat feels different - not even sore, just ticklish or weird - I will do something about it. Last week I was sitting on the couch and thought my throat felt weird so I went to the cupboard and in a cup put the juice of half a lemon and some good quality honey (preferably manuka), mixed it around a bit and ate it all. The next day I woke up fine, but then again I could have been imagining it in the first place. But seriously, that is what I continue to do throughout a cold anyway.
My favourite lozenge is Nutrition Care Zinech Throat Lozenges, I find them really good for my throat and they're also high enough in echinacea to be beneficial to you getting over your cold (not just soothing a sore throat).
These are the things that I do, if it's really bad (only once, for me) I buy Fusion Cold and Flu and take 6 tablets a day until I'm better.

So there you go! Hopefully you won't need my advice because you won't get any colds!



Saturday, July 2, 2011

The SLOW Principle.

Hello everyone!
It turns out I didn't get to go to New Zealand after all, but I had a nice Tasmanian holiday anyway, of which today is my last day. So back to blogging!
During our nutrition section of study, we learnt that the basis to a solid, healthy diet is to follow the SLOW principle.

To be honest, if I had to make them in order of priority, I would put them in the opposite order, but WOLS isn't as good an acronym.

I completely agree with this principle, but it's like an 'in an ideal world' type principle. To eat only (or even mostly) locally would be quite difficult. If I restricted myself to eating only Tasmanian products I'd get by, for sure, but there would be a lot of resisting temptation going on. Even though Tassie has some great produce, it doesn't have the climate for a lot of the things I love, like coconut or bananas. But I think it's a good idea to choose Tasmanian over imported where you can to support local business and reduce your carbon footprint slightly.
Some Tasmanian things you can find in my pantry: Miellerie Prickly Box Honey, Organic Quinoa, Ashgrove Bush Pepper Cheese, Tas Flour Mills Wholemeal Flour and Blue Banner Pickled Onions - the onions are grown in Tassie but I think pickled in NSW... so not entirely Tasmanian, but delicious.

Seasonal is more about eating fresh foods, which I don't completely agree with. Snap frozen foods can have more nutritional value than fresh sometimes because they've been sitting in the supermarket for ages whilst veggies such as peas are frozen within 24 hours of being picked.

Organic is great where it is a) affordable and/or b) available. Organic foods found in my pantry - Melrose Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil, Elgaar Farm Organic Milk (also Tasmanian) and Lotus Organic Chia Seeds.

Whole is, in my opinion, the most important of the 4. Over processed foods, even though they are often delicious, are the bane of the current Western diet. Is that too harsh? Probably. Enjoy in moderation! Choose wholegrain breads - wholemeal isn't wholegrain, by the way, read the ingredients for 'wholegrain flour'. Try to get your 5 serves of fruit and veggies in a day. My favourite wholegrain bread is Ancient Grains Wholegrain Organic Spelt which is sooo yummy as well!
And to leave you with this weekends photo (totally on topic) - Oby enjoying himself amongst our recently pruned 4 fruit trees (greengage, apricot, peach and apple). This is their 2nd year in the ground so hopefully we'll get some mature fruit.