Tuesday, September 16, 2014

stills collection


1. Juice Art is a new smoothie & juice bar/cafe in Murwillumbah. I will post more about it soon.

2. River being his spontaneous, theatrical self who I love.

3. Beautiful poppies gracing Ruth's kitchen.

4. Wholefood picnic deliciousness.

5. We will be hitting the road again soon. The final leg home.

Monday, September 08, 2014

spring cleanse reading

Life got in the way last week of getting this posted on Friday for weekend reading so here it is to start your week...

In keeping with our spring cleanse/self care theme this week here are a few links to help you cleanse body, mind, and spirit and to inspire you to be as kind to yourself as you are to your best friend.

I LOVE this from The Yogic Housewife - Don't worry no one has it all together

The importance of connecting to nature for our well-being and our children's well-being is spelt out clearly on Nic's page. Her passion and clarity about this brought tears to my eyes.

If you are looking for tips on starting meditation head to Leonie's post: Meditation for lazy people

Or exercise inspiration go here

For green smoothie inspiration head to Simple Green Smoothies

What to eat?

Try my simple parsley, apple and capsicum salad

My friend Robin's warm kale and pumpkin salad (minus the feta if you are on the cleanse)

Teresa Cutter's warm broccoli salad with kale, lime and roasted tamari almonds

Janella Purcell's miso soup with veggies

Green Kitchen Stories carrot, tomato and coconut soup or warm cauliflower salad (again minus the feta if you are on the cleanse). There are many other delicious suitable recipes on this site.

This delicious sounding vegetable curry

I have been making separate/additional meals for my children during the spring cleanse, it is the only time I do this! I have been keeping it simple for them though too, avocado, poached egg on toast, tasting plate with veggie sticks, olives, hoummus that sort of thing.

I'd love to hear how those of you on the spring cleanse are going. Only 5 days to go! Which also means 5 days until my birthday. Can't quite believe I am turning 40! Half way to 80. More thoughts on that later. Happy Monday!

Photo credit: Peter McConchie

Sunday, September 07, 2014

stills collection: road trip

1. Driving up Elim beach at low tide to see the coloured sands

2. So many mangroves. Elim beach

3. Fisherman in the making

4. Sand dune fun

5.  River gave his AFL footy card collection to his friends in Hope Vale

6. Sunset Hope Vale

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

spring cleanse: self-care

If you are anything like me, taking care of others comes easily but self-care falls to the bottom of the list.

Part of the focus of the spring cleanse that I and many of you are undertaking is to be kind and gentle with ourselves and making self-care a priority.

Taking away coffee and chocolate and wine and grains and so on, strips things back and there is more space to hear our inner voice and feel our feelings. Sorry if this is sounding like I'm off with the pixies, stay with me!

The reality is there are always going to be demands on our time and energy, so it is important than we learn how to protect these valuable resources and how to nurture ourselves.

As many of you know, my family and I are on a 5 month road trip. We have had amazing experiences being together on the road. I have also though been pushed to find ways to energise myself and to feel like I am taking care of my needs as well as everyone else's.

One way I have done this is to re-commit myself to daily yoga and meditation. These practices had fallen away over the course of our travels and I began to really feel it in my mood and energy levels. *read - cranky mummy appeared at very short notice!*

The interesting thing I've found with my new practice is that it was as easy as making my mind up. The day I decided, we were out in a remote camp and though I was committed to the idea of daily practice I felt a bit overwhelmed about where to start again. That afternoon we drove into Cooktown and I went into the newsagent to buy some paints for River and Sol and saw The Australian Yoga Journal. This was my place to start.

If you are looking for some inspiration and motivation with your yoga practice I highly recommend this magazine. Each issue includes a great home practice sequence.

And if meditation is something that you'd like to start but don't know how, my mother-in-law Peg who has been meditating for decades (literally!) teaches beginners to light a candle and to focus on the flame "begin with just five or ten minutes and then increase the length of time as you feel comfortable" says Peg.

When meditating you may find yourself wondering "am I doing this right?" "how do I know if it is working?" it is very normal to think these thoughts but just let them float away and return your awareness to your breathing.

Meditation and yoga may not be your thing. It may be walking, or swimming, or singing. The point is, we all have something other than the love of our family and friends that fills us up, we must find it and make time for it.

If you need some self-care inspiration head over to Olga's site.

And while self-care doesn't require spending money, I do have a great offer to share with you in honor of our spring cleanse from Simone Denny who runs Nourishing Hub, a site dedicated to putting women's health first. Simone is offering a generous 15% discount to Wholefood Mama readers, just enter the code SPRING to receive your discount. Thanks Simone.

Now it's over to you, where are you at with self-care? what are some things you'd like to do just for you?

Monday, September 01, 2014

spring cleanse

Happy first day of Spring!

I feel very lucky to have escaped the bleak Victorian winter this year.

I'm celebrating the arrival of Spring with a cleanse - body, mind and spirit - and I invite you to join me.

I did a quiet cleanse last year from the 1st of September to the 13th (my birthday, turning 40 this year! But that's another story), the main change I made was switching my daily cup of coffee to a vegetable juice. Radical I know.

This year I am stepping things up a little and decided on Friday to ask The Wholefood Mama facebook page readers to join me and am very happy with the keen response.

If you'd like to take part read on, (sorry for the short notice! but it isn't too late to start and you don't have to be on facebook, I will be posting updates and tips here on the blog)

The Wholefood Mama Spring cleanse guidelines:

Spring is a traditional time of cleansing and renewal in nature and in many cultural practices as we say farewell to the darkness and inner nature of winter and welcome the lightness of the new season.

For me a cleanse is not about an extreme detoxification, rather it is about bringing my awareness to what I am eating and drinking, how I am spending my time, the things I have in my space and making changes in a direction that is nourishing and makes me feel lighter.

I don't have qualifications as a health practitioner so please bear this in mind if you are joining me, my suggestions will be gentle and doable wherever you are at on your health and wellness path, but do check things out if you are in doubt.

The cleanse will look like this:

- caffeine free
- refined sugar free
- grain free
- dairy free
- vegetarian
- alcohol free
- 2 litres of water per day
- daily yoga and meditation or walking
- reading and writing affirmations
- setting new intentions
- practicing gratitude

If I were at home I would cleanse my surroundings too, sending anything I no longer use off to the op shop.
Here is a little shopping list to get you started:

- in season fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably organic): best bought every few days, enough for breakfast smoothies, salads and soups
- lemons, so you can start your day with the juice of 1/2 a lemon in warm water
- miso so you can have miso soup for breakfast or as a 'snack' between meals
- dandelion and/or herbal teas to replace caffeinated drinks
- macadamias, brazil nuts and almonds
- pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseeds
- coconut water
- fresh ginger, garlic, herbs and spices

Breakfast ideas: fresh vegetable juice, fresh fruit, green smoothie, miso and vegetable soup

Lunch ideas: soup, salad, stir-fry, veggie curry, green smoothie

Dinner: see lunch

Snacks: 6-8 nuts (chewed very well!), a piece of fruit, veggie sticks

As I have already mentioned I am not a medical practitioner, I am sharing the cleanse that I am doing and invite you to join me making adjustments that are right for your energy and activity levels. If this outline feels too drastic to you, ease it back a little and include chicken soup, or some dahl or similar.

One of the main reasons for doing a cleanse is to rest our often overworked digestion, so simple light meals are best.
I will be doing the cleanse for 12 days, completing it on the 13th in time for wholefood cake and champagne with my family and friends for my birthday! 

I'd love you to join me for the 12 days but as little as two days will renew your energy and focus.

If there are other things you would add to the shopping list or other meal ideas please share them in the comments. Are you in?

(the beautiful photo was taken by my husband Peter McConchie)
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