Coconut, Chai and Turmeric Chia Pudding

turmeric-chia-feature

I have finally got around to putting up my recipe that was featured on the I Quit Sugar site a few weeks back.

Over the many years that I have been experimenting with the best way for me to achieve optimal health, I have found that one of the easiest things I can do is ensure that my breakfast is packed with nutrients. It sets me up for the day and means that even if I make less-than-optimal choices later on, I know I’ve already got in a stack of nutritious goodness.

This sweet treat packs a punch of anti-inflammatory turmeric. For best creamy results, use Pureharvest Organic Oat Milk.

 

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons chia seeds.
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut.
  • 1 1/2 cup Pureharvest Organic Oat Milk.
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla essence or powder.
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric.
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Optional

  • 1 tablespoon Pureharvest Organic Rice Malt Syrup.

Directions

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, making sure no clumps of spices remain.
Add oat milk, vanilla essence and rice malt syrup, stirring until combined.
Cover and leave in fridge overnight to set.
Serve as is or top with chopped nuts and more shredded coconut.

Enjoy!

Laura xo

Fear the food and eat it anyway

Some not-so-scary greens.

Some not-so-scary greens.

Food. Four letters, one syllable. How can such a simple little unassuming word cause so much angst and confusion?

This question sits at the heart of why I’m so passionate about dedicating the time to dig through the mountains of conflicting information and advice about what we should eat and, bigger than that, how to obtain that seemingly elusive goal of being vibrantly healthy.

What’s considered the ideal diet changes with every season: Low fat, high carb? High fat, high protein, low carb? Vegetarian? Organic? Sugar-free? Paleo? I’m sure I’m not the only person who finds it bloody confusing! I’ve talked a bit about the conflicting advice on this blog in the past but today I want to peel off another layer and talk about our fear of (real) food.

A couple of days ago, I talked about a post on Facebook (if you haven’t done so already, head on over and like the page to keep up with everything that’s happening in this little community of ours) that the beautiful Amy from OtherWise Living shared. The post talked about taking a common sense approach to drinking raw milk. Here’s a snippet, if you missed it:

“What is it about milk straight from the cow that gets people so wound up? From this week anybody providing raw milk for consumption will face a fine of up to $60,000 (in case you were wondering the penalty for distribution of small amounts of the drug “Ice” attracts a $45,000 fine)….Drinking raw milk has risks associated with it but we do many things that have risks attached – we drive cars, swim at beaches, skydive. If you’ve ever done a food safety course you’ll know we eat many foods that we need to be careful with; rice, chicken and leafy greens are common foods most responsible for recorded food-borne illnesses. The thing is we don’t ban them we take a preventative and educative approach.”

This got me thinking. Why are we so scared of real simple food but so trustingly assume that the stuff sold to us by big corporations is perfectly safe to eat?

I don’t drink cow milk (never really liked it) but I this post caught my attention because I find it fascinating that on one hand milk is referred to affectionately as nature’s perfect food, and on the other we have a situation where we are terrified of drinking the stuff in its natural form! Don’t get me wrong – it is devastating that recently a child died after drinking raw milk. No parent should ever have to go through that hell.

But when we consider that people die on our roads every day, yet people still put their kids in cars, surely it must nudge us closer to the truth that there are inherent risks associated with simply being alive and sometimes really shitty things just happen. 

As the original post said, rather than rushing to ban raw milk, might there be more value in taking a measured approach of implementing safety procedures and educating people about safe transportation and storage of milk? Our safety is important, yes. But let’s stop underestimating our own ability to make safe choices for ourselves. Us humans are a lot smarter than the rule-makers give us credit for.

This is bigger than raw milk though. It’s just one of the telling signs of the mess we have got ourselves in when it comes to what we eat. Our modern food-production system favours food that is processed and cheap to create in large volumes. It tricks our taste-buds into wanting more than we need by layering sweet over salty over fatty. It confuses us with its multi-million dollar marketing strategies designed to take advantage of the part of our brain that associates green with healthy; and the part of our brain that sees a list of what a product doesn’t include (no sugar, no dairy) and forgets to check what it does include (artifical sweeteners, processed soy).

We have been conned into thinking that eating fresh, healthy food is dangerous, and that’s simply not true.

I have seen this fear in others: being greeted by wide eyes when talking about how I drank spring water straight from the source, rather than treated tap water.

I’ve seen it in myself: being too scared to drink the first batch of kombucha I brewed because I didn’t trust that I had the skills not to make myself sick.

Enough’s enough. Let’s start taking back our power. Let’s start trusting that Mother Nature actually does know best – she definitely knows better than humans do. Let’s stop assuming that because it comes in a package it’s OK to eat and start questioning why it needs a package to begin with.

Let’s eat real food, even if we are scared.

Laura xo

I ditched being gluten free to save my social life

Eggs on GF toast

Homemade eggs Florentine on gluten-free toast, courtesy of my lovely man.

“I don’t think I need to be gluten free anymore.”

I announced this to my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago through mouthfuls of avocado smothered gluten-free toast.

Three months prior, my fabulous dietitian Marieke Rodenstein had recommended that I ditch gluten to see if it would help heal the gut issues I had been experiencing. The list of reasons Marieke gave for this suggestion were long and hard to refute (and I was sick of feeling sluggish, bloated and generally not great) so I happily accepted the idea and after leaving her clinic, headed straight to my local organic grocer to stock up on all things gluten free.

After about a week of my new diet I found that my symptoms were starting to lessen and I was feeling much more energetic. I was still getting bouts of nausea and bloating but over the following weeks, these symptoms also started to fade.

For the next couple of months, I continued to adhere to a gluten-free diet and reaped the benefits. I had more energy than I’ve had in years (albeit, my iron levels were also on the way up, which would absolutely have contributed to this) and I no longer had to struggle to button up my jeans over my bloated tummy. In short, I felt great!

So, why did I decide I no longer needed to live out my days sans gluten? At the time, I told myself it was because I was about to embark on Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar program and that I wanted to only eliminate one thing from my diet at a time to really determine the cause of my issues. Sounds reasonable, right? That’s what I convinced myself, too.

It actually wasn’t until a couple of days ago (yep, you can call me Laura “Ye Ol’ Slow On The Uptake” Miller) that I sat in discomfort (and not just from the Mexican wheat-flour burrito I had just devoured) with the realisation that I had been lying to myself. I didn’t revert to eating gluten because of any misguided nutritional belief that if I gave up both gluten and sugar I would never know what was causing me grief. No, I started scoffing the stuff again because I was scared of having yet another food label slapped across my name.

Social functions were already fraught with uncomfortable moments of not realising that the delicious-looking arancini ball actually contained mince meat until it was already in my mouth. Now, they’d be even more stressful as I faced the choice of either accidentally chowing down on something with gluten in it, or dealing with the embarrassing prospect of being handed a Glad wrapped plate of special-needs dried out food, while everyone else swanned around with canapes.

When eating out, not only would I have to scour the menu for that elusive little fella called ‘v’, I’d also have to hunt out his even more rare cousin ‘gf’. My friends would groan as I’d say to the poor waitress, “Yes, I know porridge is made of oats but are they gluten-free oats or just oat oats? I can see that the bacon dish is gluten free but I don’t eat meat.”

Not only would I be Laura: that vegetarian woman, I’d now be Laura: that vegetarian, gluten-free, pain-in-bum, can’t-take-her-anywhere woman. Me, dramatic? Surely not.

Nope, it wasn’t happening. Not on my watch. It turns out my desire not to be a social outcast was far stronger than any urge to rid myself of the physical discomfort I was experiencing – at least it was, until last week.

Last week, when I finally found the courage to dig a bit further into the real reason behind my decision, I was shocked (and if I’m being really honest, I was disappointed) at myself. Here I was, studying to be a naturopath, passionately espousing the importance of listening to your body and finding out which foods make it sing, and I was doing the opposite. The exact opposite.

Isn’t it funny how these contradictions creep into our lives without us noticing! I am endeavouring to be more aware of when this happens so that my reality more closely matches my ideal life. In psychological terms, this is called congruence and achieving it is an important part of being a natural therapist. It’s also kind of critical to living a happy life. Sticking to gluten-free fare for now is the right choice. I feel it within every cell of my body.

So, I’m back on the gluten-free bus. I’m still giving up sugar (more on that soon) but I’ll resume my gluten-free ways and then reassess once the I Quit Sugar program is finished. I’ll take an honest look at how I feel and decide then whether I truly can go back to eating gluten or not.

And this time, the decision will be based on love for myself, not fear.

Laura xx

Why and how to shop locally

Ride your bike when shopping to earn extra happy-planet points.

Ride your bike when shopping to earn extra happy-planet points.

Shopping locally is something I have become increasingly passionate about in my old age. I used to only have a peripheral interest in things like food miles, supporting local farmers and the real cost of food but about a year ago it was suddenly as if the universe was beating me across the face (lovingly, of course) with messages about the importance of shopping locally. I figured I should start listening (because who am I to argue with the universe?)

Organic, locally grown food can seem expensive at first glance but what you’re seeing is the true cost of food. It freaks me out that we can buy asparagus all year ’round and that it has usually been flown in from some far-flung corner of the world to get to the supermarket shelves, and it’s still only $3 a bunch. The cost of transport alone is more than that, never mind paying people to grow it, pick and pack it, and shelve it. It’s ridiculous and, while we might save 50c at the checkout, the cost to our health and our environment is huge. Food that is shipped to us in cold-store is also nutrient poor and tasteless. For a bit extra you can get fresh and tasty asparagus that is chockers with nutrients and grown by someone in your area.

When I first decided to ditch the supermarket, I had visions of me spending my whole weekend trooping from one farmers market to the next in order to stock my fridge. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for putting in the effort to ensure my health is top notch but I also put a high value on my spare time and want to maximise it wherever I can. I did some research and discovered CERES Fair Food, who, in their words, are “an organic food delivery service and online grocer, providing Melbourne with the freshest seasonal organic fruits, vegetables, and other organic groceries, all sourced from our network local farmers and artisans. We pay farmers a fair price for their sustainably grown food, delivering fair food boxes of certified organic fruits, vegetables and other groceries such as bread, free range eggs and bio-dynamic milk to households across Melbourne.”

The biggest benefit of CERES Fair Food is that you can choose to have your fruit and veg box dropped at a designated house in your suburb so you can pick it up after work. This suited me perfectly because I live in an apartment and don’t really have anywhere safe for a box to be dropped off. They have also introduced a feature that gives you a good idea about what goodies will be in your box, so you can decide if it will meet your week’s recipe needs. If you prefer for your box to be dropped to your door, there are tonnes of companies that offer this service. A quick Google search will bring back companies that operate in your area.

If you are fortunate enough to be in an area that has frequent markets and/or good quality grocers, then I recommend canning your weekly Woolies trip and checking out the smaller guys instead. You’ll get to know the people who grow your food and get the feel-good fuzzies that come with knowing you’re helping to support your local community in a tangible way. I also get a kick out of seeing so many vibrantly healthy people in my local organic grocer. The people that shop there are relaxed and happy. I don’t know about you but ‘relaxed and happy’ is not how I would describe the general supermarket crowd. There’s something about isles full of processed food and harsh fluorescent lighting that just puts you in a funk!

It’s also much less confusing when you start switching highly marketed food for the real stuff. There will be no more need for you to stand in the isle comparing the sugar content of one loaf of bread to another because you will know it is all high quality and made with your health in mind.

If you’re starting to get fed up with the quality (or lack thereof) of supermarket produce and meat, then it might time to stick your head into that little organic grocer down the road. You’ll be greeted with a friendly face, I promise!

Laura

How to travel wellness style

Hawaii 1

Our goodies for the flight.

I’m back! Despite being a bit tired from the long flight, I feel great. The trip was exactly what I needed. It nourished me mentally, spiritually and physically. Not all of my holidays have been like this one though and I often find it hard to stick to my wellness regime when I’m travelling. Unfamiliar food choices, different restaurants and a lack of knowledge of what’s available in the area, can lead to my healthy diet being derailed.

It doesn’t take long for me to start feeling the effects of poor eating (I end up sluggish, moody and bloated) and this is not how I want to feel at any time, let alone when I’m trying to enjoy my holiday.

Here are some of the ways I kept on top of my health game while in Hawaii:

Pack food for the flight

Loving Earth's Luvju bars are the perfect travel snack.

Loving Earth’s Luvju bars are the perfect travel snack.

Plane food generally tastes awful and is loaded with salt, sugar and flavourings to make it more appealing. I packed a tonne of snacks for the flight to Hawaii but completely forgot about including a more substantial meal! Next time, I’ll be more prepared and make something like a quinoa salad. So, what was in my pack?

  • Raw kale chips
  • Brown rice and nori chips
  • Loving Earth Luvju bars
  • Pana raw chocolate
  • Coconut water (to drink while waiting at the airport)
  • Homeopathic jetlag-ease tablets
  • An assortment of herbal teas (just ask the flight attendant for a cup of hot water when they come around to offer tea and coffee)

I also had a huge green juice (cucumber, lemon, celery, kale and green apples) when I first woke up, to fill my body with nutrients and chlorophyll, in preparation for the onslaught of toxins I was about to ingest at the airport and during the flight.

Research your destination

The Beetbox Café breakfast burrito was scrunch-your-face good.

The Beetbox Café breakfast burrito was scrunch-your-face-up good.

A key criteria when choosing where to stay was whether or not there would be organic cafes and restaurants nearby. I jumped on Google and checked out my favourite blogs before to find recommendations of places to eat, and discovered Beetbox Café, which is a tiny café tucked in behind a health-food shop. Beetbox Café offered all-organic, vegetarian meals (including their famous acai bowls) and it was by far some of the tastiest food I have eaten.

Stay somewhere that has a kitchen

Organic salad, made with fresh veggies from the property and farmers' markets.

Organic salad, made with fresh veggies from the property and farmers’ markets.

We booked a house through AirBnB so we had access to a kitchen to prepare some meals in. We picked up fresh produce from local farmers markets and then created delicious and healthy meals with it. I get sick of eating out pretty quickly so it was great having the option to do our own cooking. We were fortunate enough to pick a place with an organic veggie patch. It doesn’t get much fresher than that!

Find ways to move your body

Trail riding along the beach.

Trail riding along the beach.

Sitting on a plane for hours wreaks havoc on your body, not to mention the negative effects of jetlag. The quickest way to start feeling good again is to do some gentle exercise like walking, yoga or swimming (you get extra props if it’s in the ocean). I always feel so much better when I’ve headed outside and got my heart rate up a bit. As you know, exercise helps flush out toxins, which is great for when you’ve been around airports and on planes. Jet fuel only does bad things to you!

Flush out radiation

Airports and planes are cesspits of radiation. I prepared my body by upping my dose of chlorella in the days leading up to travel, drinking green juice before and after the flight and taking zeolite tablets.

All of this might sound like hard work but it took barely any time at all and made such a difference to the quality of the trip. Instead of coming back with a couple of new friends in the form of kilos, I arrived home feeling fit and healthy.

Hawaii, I’ll be back.

Laura

Overwhelmed by going green?

It can be easy to get lost in the world of green.

My journey of going green has been characterised by surges of energy and passion, followed by moments when I am so overwhelmed by the amount of ways toxins have invaded our life that it takes all of my willpower not to simply give up all together. I’m always moving in the right direction but sometimes my progress is slower than other times, which is OK. I used to fret and stress if I felt my diet was slipping but I’ve now learnt that it is inevitable for my approach to food to change from time to time. If I notice my diet is less than amazing, I just gently start shifting it back in the direction I want it to be. I do this by adding more herbal tea to my day, making sure my snacks draw has plenty of nuts and seeds in it, and by making a big glass of green juice. By starting with the simple stuff, I take the pressure off and find I quickly get back on track.

Obviously the process of going green is different for everyone but there seem to be some common themes. It starts with the decision to get healthier, and what’s the easiest way to do that? Eat more vegetables. You quickly realise it isn’t enough just to eat more of them. You need to eat the organic ones, but the supermarket only has one tiny shelf of produce to choose from. You jump on Google and type ‘organic produce <insert your city here>’, and are confronted with page after page of links to farmers markets and companies that delivery to your door. You order your first organic fruit and vegetables box, and relax into the momentary relief you feel that you’re back on track.

You then start going through your fridge and pantry, and are disgusted by the amount of carcinogenic chemicals you see listed on the packages of your food. You throw them into a bag, determined to rid your kitchen of all things toxic, and are about to chuck the bag in the bin when you remember that article you read about how our throw-away culture is destroying the planet. You give the bag to your in-laws instead, explaining that you’re cleaning up your diet and that they don’t have to eat the contents of the bag but you didn’t want to throw it all out but on second thoughts maybe you should just chuck everything because it is all full of toxic chemicals, and they give you a look that is equal parts ‘you have finally completely lost it’ and ‘please stop talking about toxins because we don’t care’.

With a blank canvas (otherwise known as an empty pantry) you head to your local health-food shop in search of food that is organic, living and clean (whatever clean even means). Your hand is hovering over the organic local honey you just spotted when the girl next to you says, ‘You really should be eating Manuka honey for its medicinal properties. The others are just poor substitutes.’ You’re pretty sure you read that eating local honey is the best thing for your health but you put the jar back on the shelf and head over to organic biscuits section instead. You take a deep breath and wade into the land of agave versus stevia versus Zylitol versus coconut sugar versus who even knows how to pronounce that! You end up with a packet of unsweetened oat biscuits and are feeling pretty pleased with your choice, except you can’t quite remember if oats contain gluten, and aren’t you supposed to be avoiding that? Or was it gelatine?

Now that your kitchen is finally restocked, you’re ready to start cooking but first need to clean the bench. You pause, Ajax in hand, and it suddenly occurs to you that you really should be using natural cleaning products. Into the bin goes your Windex, detergents, shampoo and dishwashing liquid. There’s no chance you’re going to ruin your sparkly clean body with harsh chemicals that are used to clean engine oil from workshop floors! No way. From here on out your showering experience will be a healthy one… except you really should put a filter on your shower head because your skin is your biggest organ and it absorbs everything that touches it. Your relaxing morning shower suddenly became a giant chlorine and fluoride health hazard. Argh!

OK, deep breath. While it can be a bit of rabbit warren of seemingly contradictory information, I’ve learnt that you really only need to keep a couple of things in mind when navigating the land of green:

  1. Keep it simple and natural. Look for products that have the fewest amount of ingredients and, if you can’t pronounce something you see on the label, it’s probably not something your body wants you to consume. Just opt for real food (that’s the stuff that wasn’t made by a human, in a factory).
  2. Make sure every meal is centred around organic vegetables or fruit. The easiest way to keep your health on track is to jam-pack your diet with fresh produce.
  3. Go with your gut. The more you start exploring this world, the more confident you will be in trusting your choices. Most of the time they’ll be the right ones.
  4. Have fun with it. Changing your lifestyle is about upgrading to the good stuff and crowding out the less-than-great stuff. Enjoy the process and don’t be too hard on yourself. Just by being conscious when deciding what to put in and on your body, you’ll immediately make better choices.

Good luck on your journey! I’d love to hear about your journey or any tips you have.

Laura

Queen quinoa. Six reasons why you should get this seed in you.

A healthy take on fried rice.

A healthy take on fried rice.

Confused about that new buzz grain/seed/nut thing, called quinoa, that everyone is raving about? So was I. It’s pronounced keen-wah and it’s worth checking out.

As I found out last week, quinoa is actually a seed. I’d assumed it was a grain and only discovered my mistake after months of telling anyone who would stand still long enough to listen that I was obsessed with a grain I’d recently come across. What’s that saying? When you assume, you make an ass out of… something something. Anyway, it’s a seed. And a versatile one at that. I eat it as porridge, put it in salads and use it as a rice substitute.

This little ripper of a seed (did I really just write ‘little ripper’ and I wasn’t being ironic? Apparently, yes.) comes from the Andean region of South America and it is super good for you.

Here are some of its standout features:

  1. It is alkalising, so it helps to counteract acidity in the body and ease inflammation.
  2. It is a great source of calcium.
  3. It fills you up without being heavy.
  4. Its protein levels are off the chart and it contains all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein.
  5. It is rich in manganese and magnesium.
  6. It has almost twice as much fibre as other grains.

You don’t even need to go to a health-food shop to get it! Your local supermarket  should stock it in both of its varieties: red and white. Both are equally good for you so it comes down to your preference. I like to mix them together to get a variety of colours on my plate. It’s crazily versatile and it doesn’t weigh you down like rice and wheat can. It definitely deserves all of the kudos it has received recently. Check it out!

Laura

 

1000 Blessings cafe. A short review.

Quiche with beetroot and rocket salad, and a green juice.

Quiche with beetroot and rocket salad, and a green juice.

If you’re looking for a breakfast or lunch spot that supports local suppliers, and offers a huge range of organic and vegetarian options, then 1000 Blessings is your place. This little gem is tucked away in a residential street of Richmond, between Victoria Street and Bridge Road. It has all the charm of a little cafe in a small country town but with an innovative menu that comes with being located in a big city.

The cafe is welcoming and, despite being quite spacious, gives the the impression of being intimate and cosy. If the weather is fine though, get there early to snag one of the coveted outdoor seats, which leads me to another benefit of the cafe’s location: you can sit outside without having to compete to have a conversation over the roar of cars driving past.

I went there with my mates, Elsa and Warren, for lunch on Saturday and, while it was busy, we were able to get a table straight away. The first thing we did was order a green juice each to start. Warren and I got the kale- and pear-based juice and Elsa got the celery- and green-apple-based juice. We all agreed the juice was fantastic and it was served in generous glasses. I’m a big fan of green juice so anywhere that can make a good one has my vote.

As for food, I ordered the quiche, which was delicate and crisp on the outside. I also got a side salad of beetroot, feta and rocket, which complemented the quiche well. Everything I ate was delicious and I believe a big part of that is due to the ingredients being mostly organic. There is just no substitute for organic produce. Its taste and quality is far superior to conventional produce. And the price of the meals at 1000 Blessings is comparable with that which you would pay at any other cafe. Win, win.

I will definitely be back.

Laura

Organic vs. conventional produce: is there really a debate?

Do we really know better than Mother Nature?

Do we really know better than Mother Nature?

One of the biggest and most noticeable turning points on my path to wellness was when I made the decision to switch to a mostly organic diet. The improvement I saw in my health was huge and it happened so quickly that I can’t see myself ever switching back. I haven’t done the math (it never was my strongest subject so I’d probably give you bung figures if I tried) but I would hazard a guess that I between 80% and 90% of what I put in my mouth is organic (Mind. Gutter. Get out.) these days.

Even before switching to organic, I was confused by the message we have been fed that organic produce is somehow a luxury item that isn’t really necessary, and that it’s the unusual choice. Organic fruit and vegetables are simply in the form that Mother Nature intended them to be in. Our bodies are designed to get their nutrients from food, especially fruit and vegetables. Conventional produce is a bastardised, stripped back, chemical-laden and, quite frankly, poor substitute for the real deal.

Farms used to be diverse places, with an abundance of different fruit and vegetables that all worked in harmony to maintain the ecological balance and ward of pests. When farmers switched to one-crop farming, they destroyed the soil’s mineral content by continuously planting the same crop and only feeding the soil with a mix of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (because they’re absolutely the only things we need in the soil our carrots are growing in, right?).

They also quickly found that insects and pests were a huge problem due to the lack of diversity on the farms. What to do? Introduce a Molotov cocktail of pesticides and fungicides that have been proven time and time again to cause all manner of illness, of course.

So, how bad can conventional produce really be? I found the answer while I was studying for a recent assignment. I came across a journal article (which I can’t, for the life of me, find again to link here!) that found you would have to eat more than 30 of today’s conventionally grown apricots to get the same amount of vitamin A as you would have from one apricot in the ’50s. 30. That’s bananas! (Or apricots, as it were.)

When I switched to organic, I did notice a difference in the cost of my grocery bill but it wasn’t out of control and I took a step back and realised that, for me, saving my health (and by extension, my life) is more important than saving my money. And, it actually isn’t that much more to buy organic. The trick is to shop local to avoid the shipping and storage fees that are whacked on to the tiny little organic range at your local Woolies or Coles.

Having said all of this, I 100% understand that not everyone is in a position to buy organic produce all of the time but I do have to honour what I know about food and not shy away from the truth. If you want to start transitioning from conventional to organic but don’t have the funds to go the whole hog, I recommend checking out the dirty dozen and clean fifteen (i.e. a list of which fruit and vegetables are the most toxic when not organic). Another way you can reduce the chemical load is to soak your produce in a bowl of water with 1/2 a cup of vinegar for 15 minutes before eating them.

Eating organic is simply food in its real form. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Laura

Breakfast, will you marry me?

How to Make Porridge Interesting 101.

How to Make Porridge Interesting 101 = add nuts, seeds, berries and maple syrup.

Confession time: I spend a disproportionate amount of my life thinking about breakfast. Like, a lot of time. If you catch me daydreaming, chances are I’m thinking about amazing breakfast ideas. It totally rocks my little white socks. It is far and away my favourite meal – so much so that I often eat three breakfasts in a day: two in the morning and one at night, instead of a normal dinner. I mean, who wants to be normal anyway? Sing it with me!

We all know the benefits of eating breakfast so I won’t bore you with a sentences that include phrases like, ‘kick start your metabolism’, ‘break the fast’ and ‘reduce your overall caloric intake for the day’. Instead, I want to celebrate changing the way we look at breakfast. Sorry Kellogs but the traditional bowl of sugar-and-preservative packed Just Right just isn’t going to cut it anymore. There are much better options. As an aside, have you ever wondered how cereal companies can advertise their products as being preservative free when the cereal has a shelf life of months? They load up the bag with preservatives instead, which then coat the cereal. Sneaky, right!

Smoothies: the easiest way to cram more good stuff in to your day.

Smoothies: the easiest way to cram more good stuff in to your day.

I have a big, fat, juicy crush on smoothies. (‘No way! We had no idea!’ I hear you all cry.) Looking for an easy, quick and tasty way to up your nutrient count for the day? Say hello to your new best friend, Mr Smooth(ie). I start every weekday (my first breakfast) and some weekend days (weekend days? Is that a term? Who even knows.) with a smoothie. The key to making your smoothie burst with goodness is simple: add a handful of leafy greens, a couple of spoonfuls of the superfood of your choice (think, maca, colostrum, or acai), some low sugar fruit (e.g. berries), a glug of nut milk, and top it off with some seeds (I love hemp and chia). Done. Easy nutrition that you can take with you if you’re in a rush.

Powerhouse weekend brekkie.

Powerhouse weekend brekkie.

If I don’t have to hurry out the door, there is no better way to start the weekend than with a big breakfast, health-warrior style. Serve me up some avocado that has been smashed with lemon juice and chia seeds, then add some grilled tomatoes and perfectly cooked organic eggs, and you’ll have my adoration. Add in butter-fried mushies (all organic, of course) and I’m yours for life.

There are oats under there, I promise!

There are oats under there, I promise!

If you’re more of a cereal girl or guy, just go for quinoa flakes or rolled oats. Before you close the tab in disgust that I could dare to suggest such a boring breakfast, hear me out. You can turn your oats or quinoa flakes into a majestic breakfast by topping them with hemp seeds, pepitas, macadamias (or any nut, really) and frozen berries. You can defrost your berries first, if you prefer, but I like the extra challenge of trying to eat them frozen while avoiding giving myself a brain freeze because that’s just the kind of thrill seeker I am. Or something.

I hope I’ve inspired you to try something new for breakfast or just given you some food for thought (pun totally intended). If you have any amazing breakfast ideas you think I should know about, let me know in the comments section below or on the Facebook page.

Laura