Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the generation gap: grandparents and sugar

I'm curious, does anyone out there have a wholefood grandmother or if you're really lucky two wholefood grandmother's in their family? Or a wholefood grandfather? I'd love to hear.

Both Pete's mum and my nan are of similar vintage, they are beautiful grandmothers we love them to bits and like many grandparents they have sweet teeth, that's right not just one tooth, a whole mouthful of them and take great delight in giving our children sweet 'treats' mainly in the form of chocolate AND/or ice cream. These great women grew up in times before fast food, before overly processed and packaged additive filled 'food', they were the days of backyard veggie gardens and chooks, cooking from scratch, and at times - going without.

Fast forward to the days of 'convenience' food and these beloved ladies are kicking up their sugar coated heels and relishing every moment of pouring ready made custard from the carton on to their heat'n'eat apple pie. My nan still loves to bake, cheesecake and pavlova being her signature desserts. And in some ways I can't blame them! They are living long lives defying nutritional odds, they've worked very hard, given a lot (and still do) so I say yes ladies put your feet up and have your pav and eat it too. Of course I can't help but think of the longevity and vitality that adopting even just a few wholefood ways would provide for them.

When it comes to sharing the sugar coated love with our boys, the sweet treats from their grandparents are well spaced as we only catch up once a month sometimes less because of the distance apart that we live. If we lived closer I fear I'd have to change the rules. I say fear because you and I both know there'd be tears and possibly not just from the children.

Grandparents are not the only ones though who take great delight in filling children with sugar and other processed junk 'food', other relatives and some friends do too.

I read with interest on the weekend an extract of Dara-Lynn Weiss' book The Heavy: A Mother's Battle Against Her Seven-Year-Old Daughter's Obesity. What stood out to me in Weiss' story is the way she stood up to social pressures on a daily basis to prevent her child being offered and encouraged to eat unhealthy or excess food. The stakes were higher for Weiss in navigating this because her daughter at age 7 was obese and had high blood pressure, she was very clear first with herself and then with those around her that she wanted to improve her daughters health and if that meant asking her daughter when she went to a friend's birthday party to choose between chocolate and cake then she would. It wasn't always easy but she did it with the best grace and good nature she could muster and her daughter is healthier for it.

Parents of children with allergies are also navigating more challenging waters when faced with people who want to pressure their children into eating foods that are not compatible with their body. 'Go on just a little bit won't hurt'. A friend learned her child was allergic to orange juice and dairy, she took her child to her mother-in-laws to be minded for the day and explained the allergy diagnosis. Her mother-in-law replied that she didn't believe in allergies "you never heard of it in my day." Well no you didn't but that's a whole other post.

I am well underway with writing my first ebook and it relates to this post. I am working at filling it with useful information, tips and recipes to help you share the whole food love with your family. One of the chapters covers dealing with peer pressure from grandparents and other caregivers to feed your children junk. I would love to hear your experiences with this.

Do you have parents or grandparents who are not on the same page as you when it comes to sugary 'treats'? Have you had to set limits? Do you make allowances? Or do you have wholefood grandparents so it isn't an issue? Is converting your family from eating processed food to wholefood something that you are working at or have you already done so? Tell me tell me tell me do.

Friday, January 25, 2013

friday fruit

I love receiving a package in the mail. Today there was a sweet little something beside my letterbox from the lovely Jay, a package that traveled from Bellingen to the Peninsula before Christmas but never actually arrived to me so traveled back to Bellingen and now a month later here it is! A totally gorgeous pomegranate hand embroidered by JayAlong with some holiday reading, Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer. Thankyou Jay! I love the intricacy of the pomegranate, you are so talented. 

The weather has turned wild and stormy here this afternoon, perfect for making a cup of rooibos tea and reading a few pages Prodigal Summer. Just a few though because the writing work has filled my inbox thick and fast early this year which is wonderful, I am very grateful but takes some juggling with children at home and school holidays still to enjoy! 

To all the mamas preparing to send their babes to school for the first time this year I'm thinking of you because I was in your shoes last year. Yes it was a heart swelling emotional day. For us a wonderful school year followed, I wish that for you and your children too and look forward to hearing all about what you come up with to fill their lunchboxes :)

Today's linky list:

Are the tomatoes ripening at your place? I can't wait to try Jay and Woo's wonderful kasundi recipe.

And for more ideas on what to do with bumper crops, my friend Robin has put together a fantastic post Preserving the Harvest 

Loving Anja's food 4 thought

Home made icy pole inspiration

More lunchbox recipe ideas from My Green Lunchbox

This is slightly off topic (still relates to health and wellness), in Australia we have a huge problem with a deeply ingrained culture of alcohol abuse that is socially accepted and sadly mistaken as part of what it is to be Australian. I have decided I am going to work towards changing this in any way that I can. I came across keep 'em safe which I think is a great resource for parents of teenagers who are navigating keeping their young people safe from the potential harm associated with alcohol.

And while we're off the topic of food, if you have a little one starting or returning to school this year Jodi is writing a great series on that very topic.

Happy weekend to one and all. See you here next week which is back to school week for us. Oh too fast x

Thursday, January 24, 2013

beach fare

Its summertime here in Australia and for most of us that means sunny days at the beach. My family and I are lucky enough to live a short stroll to our favorite patch of sand and sea. These school holidays we have spent every possible moment swimming, building sandcastles, playing beach cricket, stretching out on beach towels and talking with friends. Of course packing a delicious, nourishing picnic is essential as packing the sunscreen and hats.

When I've looked around this summer at what others are bringing to the beach to eat (I'm always curious!) much of it is processed and packaged foods - chips, savoury biscuits, pretzels, muesli bars. And then when the sun starts to lower in the sky signalling dinnertime, parcels of fish and chips, pizza or a bbq of sausages served in white bread with tomato sauce seem to be the popular choices. I write this as curious observation not as a judgement about what other people eat, we've eaten fish and chips on the beach too this summer but looking at things from a social health point of view the majority of people living in Australia and many other developed countries would benefit from eating more fresh fruit and vegetables.

So I thought I'd write this post and invite you to share what you like to take to the beach for snacks or meals.

For snacks my staples are fresh fruit and rice crackers with home made dips, sometimes some veggie sticks and cherry tomatoes from the garden.

For dinner, pesto pasta salad, homemade nori rolls or flat bread wraps with avocado, fetta or goats cheese and salad with roast chicken or boiled eggs.

Jay tells me, "I love taking a quiche, tart or pie to the beach/river or a whole lot of delicious things to wrap: roasted veggies, haloumi, feta, greens, chilli, caramelised onions. Yum! And fruit for dessert.
We always have fruit and nuts on hand for snacks."

And now its over to you, what ideas do you have for beach snacks and meals?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

the lunchbox revolution

Only a matter of days mamas before we wake up to...empty lunchboxes. Holidays over what to fill school or work lunchboxes with? Well, I was excited to find Mona Hecke's (pictured) fabulous book 'The Lunchbox Revolution' sitting on the counter at my local health food shop last week. I bought a copy, love it and am now very happy to share it with you because I think Mona's tips and recipes will make your life easier and keep your family happy and healthy.

Mona lives on the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland where she works as a naturopath and is a mother of three beautiful teenage children, so Mona is well qualified to fill a book with fantastic, nutritious recipes for school and work lunches.

In addition to great recipes, the book includes really useful info about allergies and food intolerances plus tables detailing mineral rich foods and Mona's top 10 best and worst foods for health.

I talked to Mona about sharing a recipe here and she told me that her recipes for chocolate balls and protein balls are really popular. I made the chocolate balls for dessert last week when we had friends over for dinner and they were a hit, super chocolatey and sugar free!

Thanks Mona for sharing your recipe here and for writing your book. Here's to the Lunchbox Revolution and providing nutritious wholefood and great health for us and our families.

The Lunchbox Revolution by Mona Hecke $10.95 available at health food shops or online

If facebook is your thing you can find The Lunchbox Revolution page here, like it and receive more great tips and recipe ideas

Chocolate balls

This chocolate delight is sugar free, deliciously rich, packed with super antioxidants and will satisfy that chocolate craving. Fresh Medjool Dates provide a high source of energy, fibre, vitamins and minerals and are perfect for people on the go.

250g (or 12) Medjool Dates (pitted)
2 tablespoons Raw Cacao
1 cup Almond Meal
2 tablespoons Agave Syrup
Shredded or Dessicated Coconut for rolling

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until well combined and moist.
Roll into approximately 22 heavenly chocolate balls, tossing in coconut or raw Cacao before refrigerating.

Note: Use the raw Cacao Powder available from Health Food Stores.

Monday, January 21, 2013

salad love

We left the coast for a day and headed inland to farewell friends who are moving north with their young family to live on acreage and change the pace of their days.

At our friend's farewell bbq I enjoyed being in the kitchen (of course!) cutting watermelon for hot and hungry children and picking up a few new salad ideas.

The first salad is my friend Steph's yummy creation and the second one is her mum's. Both salads are cooling and crunchy, making the most of beautiful seasonal ingredients such as asparagus and cucumber.

It's sad when friends move away, and at the same time exciting that they are following their dream. 
And also exciting that we have a new holiday destination! 

Enjoy! xx

Asparagus and goats cheese salad

1 iceberg lettuce, washed and roughly chopped or torn
1 bunch asparagus, blanched and chopped into bite size pieces
1 avocado, diced
1 green apple, diced
1 small beetroot, grated
Apple cider vinegar

Place lettuce in salad bowl and top with asparagus, avocado, apple and beetroot.
Using a fork, gently break up the goats cheese in the jar.
Scatter the goats cheese across the salad and pour enough oil from the jar over the salad as the dressing, include the herbs in the bottom of the jar.
Splash a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar onto the salad.
Lightly toss the salad (over tossing will result in a completely purple salad thanks to the beetroot).

Cucumber and dill salad

4-5 lebanese cucumbers
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or more if you prefer)
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
sour cream or natural unsweetened yoghurt

Using a grater slice the cucumbers into ribbons (you can do this with a knife if your grater doesn't have a ribbon option, the slices need to be really fine though).
Place into a salad bowl and pour lemon juice over to cover and season with salt and black pepper.
Sprinkle dill over and then add enough sour cream or yoghurt to coat the cucumber.
Toss all together. So simple.

Friday, January 18, 2013

friday breeze

I'm at the local cafe, it has become a summer ritual to leave the house a few mornings a week and come here to write for an hour or two while my 3 guys hang out together. I love the space to think clearly and to enjoy my coffee solo no little faces asking can they eat the froth off my cappuccino :) A cool breeze is floating in the window coming off the bay. The temperature has dropped after yesterday's hot one but with my saltwater scruffy hair, more beach picnics planned and holiday makers filling the town it still feels like summer. How I wish it would last for at least 7 months of the year.

On with today's list:

Love a raw chocolate sweet treat? Check out this recipe

Food for thought: How to raise your kids not to be food snobs

Mamabake have 7 tips for healthy lunchboxes.

Tanya Winfield is a mama of 3 and founder of The Additive Free Pantry. Take a look.

Ever wondered which weeds are edible? Pete gave me a book about edible weeds for Christmas written by Dorris Pozzi. You can read an interview with Dorris here to learn more about making the most of what is growing in your own backyard.

Next week I'll have more on lunchboxes, a post celebrating the simplicity and deliciousness of sprouting seeds at home, a salad recipe or two and some beach fare ideas.

Have a wonder filled weekend and I'll see you back here. Thanks for reading xx

Thursday, January 17, 2013

live the dream

Nothing to eat in this post. Sorry. Plenty of food for thought though :)

I am veering off topic today to share my excitement about having a story published in this month's edition of Australian Yoga Journal (out now in newsagents). On page 36 you will find 'Light after Loss' a story written by me about the healing power of yoga during times of grief.

I am SO excited to have this story published because it is one that is close to my heart and one that I have been wanting to write for oh 12 years! I am very thankful to editor Molly Furzer for being so receptive to this story and presenting it in the way that she has which is so true to the story I wanted to tell.

In this post the story I want to tell is to encourage anyone reading this, if you are holding a secret desire or dream to write or paint or draw or sing or photograph or change jobs or lose weight or have a conversation you know you should have, whatever your dream may be - to go forward in any way you can and live what is in your heart.

I consider myself so blessed to not only have found writing as my way of making sense of the world but also to have admitted to myself that writing is the way I want to earn my living and then to have taken the steps to make that happen. Sure the steps are not always clear and not without bumps in the road but to live life wondering and wishing is not an easy path either.

My path to having this story published began with reading Allison Tait's posts about pitching stories and making a living freelance writing. I enjoy Allison's blog and value her posts on writing immeasurably, to anyone wanting to follow the writing path I highly recommend reading Allison's posts about writing.

After reading Allison's posts I realised I had been hiding in my food niche, hanging out in my comfort zone doing the work that came my way easily. So with the knowledge that even an experienced long time freelancer like Allison still deals with rejection, a well of courage and inspiration opened up within me and I pitched my idea to Molly, an editor I had never had any contact with before.

Two weeks later I was checking my emails and to my delight there was a reply from Molly commissioning me to write the story. I don't intend to 'make it sound so easy' because it isn't always, as Allison writes in her post rejection of ideas is a big part of the job when you are freelancing however the key is not to give up. You may rest my friends, but never give up.

Here are 12 of my humble thoughts on making dreams come true:

1. Read Shakti Gawain's book 'Creative Visualisation'. I read this book when I was 14 and practicing what was in the pages taught me at a young age the power of the mind and the magic of the universe.
Here we are 24 years after I first read the book and it is now available in digital and audio form.

2. To quote Goethe - 'Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.' And don't think that boldness has to be a giant step, boldness may be writing your idea down or telling a friend. It is the beginning, the action, the doing that is important.

3. Learn what you need to learn to go where you want to go. Learn online, find books at the library, talk to people who are already doing what you want to do, sign up for a course.

4. Remember and honor the seasons of life. This is paramount for us mamas. Consider the season you are in and remember the seasons change, keep your expectations in check relevant to the season you are in. If you have a newborn, two children under three, have children starting school, are recently divorced, are moving house, are recovering from illness, then remember to be kind and gentle to yourself. Your dream will not fade. After the birth of my first son River as blissed as I was about becoming a mother I was feeling anxious that my writing life would slip away. A wise friend and mother of 3 said to me 'Enjoy this time, it will enrich you and your writing in ways you can't know yet'. I relaxed on hearing her words and she was right.

5. Keep your eyes on your own dream not on someone else's. Comparison can feed self-doubt which we are all susceptible to. You are your own perfect you and they are their own perfect them.

6. On your road you will inevitably meet critics, knockers, rotten tomato chuckers and naysayers. Think of them as a prickle in your barefoot, pluck them out toss them aside and keep on walking. Don't look back. Oh and say a quiet thank you to them for reminding you how important your dream is to you.

7. Ask for help. This has been a VERY difficult one for me. For many years I tried to do everything myself, asking for help in my mind equated to burdening people or inconveniencing them. I am much better at this and my life is better for it. Giving and receiving is the balance, if you have always been a giver it is time to do some receiving.

8. Share what you know. As you progress along the path and learn some things and have some successes you will meet people at the start of their path, it is a great feeling to encourage them even just listening to where they are at can be incredibly helpful.

9. Aim for progress not perfection. Perfection can be crippling. You must make progress first and then refine what you have done. You can't edit a blank page.

10. Rest but don't give up. Some days the road will seem long, don't chuck the teatowel in. Make a cup of tea instead, put your feet up, phone a friend. When the words aren't flowing for me taking a walk is the best remedy.

11. Make it happen. Ever see those bumper stickers written in rainbow colours with the words 'Magic Happens'? I always think they need a tagline underneath 'if you make it happen'. I believe in magic truly I do, but the dream won't happen without action to match it. Baby steps are fine, but whiling away the precious hours on social media, watching tv etc; do not helpeth to maketh thy dreams come true.

12. Celebrate your successes. Whether you have just spoken your dream out loud for the first time or landed your first big gig - celebrate. Give yourself credit and give thanks to those around you who supported you to make it happen.

Go for it! xx

Friday, January 11, 2013

friday with friends

It's another hot day here. Hooray. One of the many things I love about summer and living out of town near the beach is all the friends that escape the city and head to the coast. We've enjoyed spending time with old friends today. Hope you're having fun whatever you're up to.

On with the links...

Always so exciting to discover a blog to fall in love with. If you haven't already, meet The Nourishing Gourmet

Have you heard about Gut and Psychology Syndrome? Also, known as GAPS. This is an interesting and useful resource.

With so many people suffering these days from allergies, I thought a link to The Allergy Shop may be helpful.

Do you use a juicer at home? Wondering what to do with all that fruit pulp? The Organic Mum has a sweet solution.

This list is short and sweet. The beach is calling :) happy weekend everyone xx

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

wholefood mama: Rachel Pitts

What a treat it is today to have wholefood mama Rachel Pitts gracing this post with her wholefood story and delicious recipe. Rachel has a distinctive flair for inspired recipe writing and delightful food styling and it brings me much pleasure to introduce her story to you. Without further ado from me, its over to Rachel. Enjoy! And a very big delicious thank you Rachel for being part of this and sharing your words and photos here. Muchas gracias xx

Rachel Pitts loves to feed people, none more so than her husband and two young children, Greta, 3, and Finian, 7 months. She writes The Hungry Girls’ Cookbooks – petite handmade books that are a collaboration with two friends, illustrator and designer Katherine Bird and photographer Leah Holscher. She is also a freelance cookbook editor with recent books including the SBS Food Safari series. In her spare time Rachel loves to tend a small vegetable patch, and she somewhat sporadically posts stories and recipes on the Hungry Girls’ blog. In 2013 she hopes to have a lot more spare time!! 

where does your love of food and cooking come from?

Probably with a few memorable food experiences in my childhood – the giant box of apricots that Nana and Grandad brought down to us at Christmas, and nana’s Christmas pudding and Christmas cake, all of which I absolutely adored. My family wasn’t a big cooking family, but I realised as a young teenager that I could start to make delicious things myself and so I started making cakes, and then I think vegie burgers came next ... I loved the creative side of cooking and realising you could experiment a bit.

what are your favorite dishes to cook and why?

Dishes abundant with fruit and vegetables. Some people adore seafood or meat, and I love these too, but I think what I love most is the stuff of the earth. A simple bowl of silverbeet sauteed with onions and currants, a pile of ‘Persian carrots’ on homemade sourdough toast with a dollop of yoghurt, or a cherry-smothered chocolate pavlova that went down really well this Christmas.

kitchen gadget or appliance you can't go without? 

Our wok and our big, heavy mortar and pestle ... Staying at a holiday house over Christmas and trying to crush seeds with a hammer inside glad-wrap was not quite the same. So, these are essential items, but as for irreplaceable I’d have to say the one round aluminium cake tin that was my nana’s. All my fancy springform, non-stick cake tins age badly as their coatings start flaking off, so this simple cake tin is always the best. 

what do you hope to teach your children about food and cooking?

To be open minded about all food and see the deliciousness of just about everything! We eat really varied meals at home and I think this was challenging for our 3 year old girl (and us) when she first started eating, but now she eats pretty much anything and even a touch of chilli, which I’m still fairly amazed by. She claims she just doesn’t like ‘white tangy things’, by which she means horseradish, and I figure at this point in her life that’s okay. I want my kids to become good little cooks as that’s of course how you eat well and keep healthy. 

which cookbooks and food blogs do you turn to for inspiration?

I don’t find nearly enough time for reading blogs at the moment. I feel a bit out of the loop, although I do really like Trotski & Ash ... As for cookbooks, I find all the cookbooks/travelogues by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid very inspiring, and also love thumbing through Moro and Casa Moro by Sam and Sam Clark. Otherwise, I love digging around in old fashioned cookbooks – little hardbacks with yellowed pages and no pictures, particularly ones on different cuisines.

a memorable food moment?
The night before I headed off on a four month trip to Nepal and India with a girlfriend, my partner, who is now my husband, made me the most romantic dinner ending with chocolate mousse for dessert. It was slightly daggy served in tall glasses with strawberries, but it blew me away! I think I knew then I should marry him. I still have a big soft spot for chocolate mousse.

Rachel's recipe: Chinese peanut and celery salad
photos by Leah Holscher

I’ve been slowly growing my repertoire of Chinese salads – cool, crisp numbers that are fresh with rice vinegar and the perfect accompaniment to dumplings, spiced skewers or steamed fish. This one features boiled raw peanuts (juicy and softly crunchy like water chestnuts) along with stir-fried celery, all suspended in a delicious dressing.

1 cup raw peanuts in their skins
11/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon black or white rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
11/2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying such as peanut or sunflower
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2–1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (depending on their heat)
4–5 celery stalks, wide bottoms cut in half lengthwise, sliced

Boil the peanuts in a saucepan of water for around 15 minutes, until they have softened a little.

Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl. When the peanuts are cooked, drain them and toss immediately in the dressing. Set aside for 30 minutes or longer to soak up the flavours.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and the garlic and chilli flakes. Sizzle briefly, then add the celery and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes. Add to the bowl of peanuts and mix well. You can serve the salad immediately or leave it to cool to room temperature.

Serves 4

Friday, January 04, 2013

friday hot hot hot

Forty two degrees (celsius) is the predicted top temperature here today. River, Sol and Pete headed to the beach at 7.30am while I savoured every moment of a walk and coffee on my own before stocking up on watermelon, grapes and strawberries to see us through the day. We'll draw the curtains and hide at home til the late afternoon and then venture back to the beach.

Now, on with the first friday list for 2013...

A big happy new year welcome to first time blogger Melanie Cushen who snuck quietly into the blogosphere late last year with her blog Mouk and Monk in the kitchen - tales of wholefood cooking with kids. Pop on over and say hi. Fantastic to have another wholefood blog out there.

I read this article about plant based diets and heart health with interest. Love to hear your thoughts.

Australian grown, organic herbal teas by Penelope Sach. Yes please.

I am a big fan of aromatherapy for keeping me and my family cool, calm and creative, it is something I would like to learn more about this year and add to my collection of oils...I came across  Twenty8 Aromatherapy via Sonia's great blog Natural New Age Mum

I also found this raw food berry cheesecake recipe on Sonia's site. Looks good! Thought you might like it too.

The Yoga of Eating. Love this.

Summer is my favorite season. How are things where you are?
See you back here next week for more recipes and wholefood stories. Happy cooking. Or fruit eating if you're keeping cool xx

Thursday, January 03, 2013

real life

Pete's mum (Pepe) came to stay for a night and when we are together our wholefood ways go on holiday and we eat food that is not normally on our table. For dinner Pepe bought us fish and chips for a picnic at the beach. River and Sol were very excited because Pepe and Charlie (her dog) were staying, and because we were having 'treats'.

I'm writing about this because I am conscious of wanting to keep it real on this blog. I don't want to give the impression that we eat homemade humus and sprout salad 100% of the time and are holier than thou. I think it is so important not to be dogmatic about anything in our lives, doing so with food can set up patterns of binging and guilt and banning foods from children make them all the more attractive.

On a visit to Dr Gruba he told me about a patient who was so strict with following an elimination diet and not returning to a wide variety of food that she actually created allergies for herself by being so restrictive.

So while Pepe was here we ate white ciabatta with ham and mustard, we took the boys out for an ice cream and in the evening had fish and chips. And today as we waved goodbye, Pete and I looked forward to a wholefood dinner! We enjoyed the moment, our time together and while the food we ate was not our normal fare we didn't gorge on it either because in our experience the further along the wholefood/healthy path we go the more sensitive we are to fried food, refined food, processed food and it doesn't feel good to eat too much, it might taste good at the time but the feeling afterwards not so much.

I was chatting to a friend recently who is a natural health practitioner and eats mainly raw foods, we talked about that if you are very health conscious it is sometimes challenging for those around you and they enjoy pointing out if you stray from your healthy path...eat a chocolate bar, fish and chips, pizza.

The reality is there are many opportunities in life to eat unhealthy, low nutrient food, in fact I'd say it is the dominant culture so if you are forging ahead finding your way with wholefoods and feel like you are going against the tide of processed food advertising and peer pressure from family and friends I think it is fantastic because whether those around you come on board, the fact you are protecting your health and vitality is to be celebrated and you just never know who you are quietly inspiring to change their ways.

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

To sum this up, lay your wholefood foundations, keeping learning, keep noticing how you feel as you make changes and when you occasionally step left or right to fast food or lollies etc; do so with awareness stopping before you overdo it and without guilt or regret knowing that you have built or are building a solid wholefood path to return to.

I hope that is helpful to read. Are guilt and regret around food and eating something you struggle with? Perhaps that can be a goal to let go of them this year and celebrate all that you are doing to eat well and live well. xx

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

slow roasted goat leg & our dear old friend

On the Friday before Christmas Pete took the boys to our local farm to buy eggs, potatoes and onions as we often do. I went out solo to finish some last minute Christmas shopping.

When I arrived home River opened the door with a solemn look on his face and said, "Mum you need to come and sit down". This has to be one of my least favorite strings of words.

I sat down with Pete, River and Sol and they told me that Georgina, our beautiful friend and hard working organic farmer had died the night before. We loved Georgina, she was part of our community, part of our family. At a guess, Georgina would have been in her late seventies and she had for the past year been unwell. Somehow she still managed to find the energy to tend her veggie garden with her friend George helping her.

It George and Georgina who arranged the leg of goat for us. We had never eaten goat before and they were excited to share some with us.

So, Pete and the boys returned home with the goat leg, eggs and vegetables and a feeling of sadness that we would not see Georgina again.

One of Pete and my favorite memories of Georgina is that it didn't matter the vegetable she pulled from the ground her recipe for cooking it was the same, "Darling look at this beautiful - insert name of vegetable - you cook it olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, a little bit salt. Beautiful" waving her hands around.

This post is in honor of Georgina who turned up to her garden in the wind, rain or sun and grew food for our community. She worked hard and smiled broadly, from her heart. We miss you Georgina. We are so happy to have known you and for our boys to have known you and witnessed the joy you brought to growing real food.

We cooked the goat leg a few days after Christmas. Never having cooked goat before I consulted Google for a recipe or two and adjusted this one (minus the chilli, sugar and pickling onions). Reading both recipes was helpful to learn that goat can dry out easily, hence all the wine and slow cooking. Our goat leg turned out to be moist and quite delicious, and to our taste very similar to lamb. We enjoyed the leftovers the next night wrapped in flat bread with salad and garlic, minted yoghurt.

Here's to real food and friendship, together they are nourishing in every way. x

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013 - get glowing!

2013 we're off and away.

We had a 'private' party to see the new year in. After a very social December there was nowhere else I wanted to be than at home with my three gorgeous guys, cooking beautiful food, drinking fruit punch and toasting to all that we loved about 2012 and what we are looking forward to this next year.

I am naming 2013 a power year. I was born on Friday the 13th, so thirteen is a lucky number for me and my wish for you is that this year is all you dream it to be.

I'm looking forward to getting to know more of you this year and to sharing recipes and stories from the kitchen, recipes that go beyond looks and taste and nourish us at a deeper level.

I am bursting with inspiration for all I want to write this year both here and elsewhere and I hope that you will find information and inspiration aplenty right here to eat well and be well.

For today, I share these words from Lao Tzu

"Water your dreams with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dreams."

What are you dreaming? What would you like to see here this year? Recipes? Interviews? Anything specific? Nutrition? Health and wellness? Help with getting started on the wholefood path? I'm all ears. Happy New Year to you and yours x
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