How to: No-Bake Seed Bars

Hello tribe!

Thank you for standing by while I explored (and continue to explore) a little side project of mine!


I became a qualified yoga teacher! Over these last few months Ive been growing my business, teaching like mad, and searching high and low for space for a yoga & nutrition studio of my very own!

But Im back in the blogosphere (that is, if you haven’t been keeping up with my A Teaspoon Half Full endeavours on instagram, because Im still active there!) and I have a recipe for you!

I’ve been playing around a lot on Periscope (my handle is @vitalbeatyoga if you’re a “scoper”) and creating short, live-feed instructional videos around yoga. Today I decided that I would broadcast a recipe as I made it  😉  As promised to my Periscope followers, here ’tis;









The Curse of The Nutritionists Child Part 3

The Curse of The Nutritionists Child Part 3… or “How I got my child to eat like a horse AND sleep through the night!”

Here we are, hopefully, the final instalment of our eating journey.

Part 1
Part 2

Elodie has always been small for her age – born at just 2.6 kilos (5 pound 13 ounces) I never expected her to be a michelin-roll baby. She was certainly long at birth (both her daddy and I are 6’1”), she just lacked the “chubby factor”, as did I when I was a baby. It was this tiny frame I was conscious of, when considering her needs for food.

As a mother, you’re told a thousand times over that a measure of a child’s health is not how often they ate or how much they ate, but that they were growing, either in length or weight or both. This is true of course (along with their overall vitality) but naturally, it crosses every mothers mind at least once…. are they healthy? Are they growing at the rate they’re supposed to? For Elodie, my focus was ensuring she got enough nutrition and nutrient variation (as well as enough calories) but it was hard when she ate very little and fussed so much over her meals or what she might eat.

At 14 months old she picked up an illness at daycare, while I was staying in Melbourne, and was very sick for about a week. During this time she didn’t eat at ALL. This was normal for us… at the slightest sign of illness, Elodie would always go off her food completely. However her cough persisted for 4 long weeks, creeping up during the night and waking her (and me!) up. This also meant she didn’t eat much at all in those 4 weeks, and so we fed mostly formula. The doctor told me it was a standard bacterial infection, and it would eventually pass. But 4 weeks was just too long so I went to the Naturopath, and she gave me two batches of herbs; one to support her flagging immune system, and another to give her at night as a natural cough suppressant and to sooth her raw throat. The naturopath also suggested that her low immunity was due in part to the huge amounts of calcium she was still consuming at her age – as calcium, zinc, and iron all compete for the same absorption sites in the small intestine (and zinc & iron are huge needs in immune function).

She didn’t eat at ALL. This was normal for us… at the slightest sign of illness, Elodie would always go off her food completely.

She also suggested that I start watering down her night time bottles so that she was getting most of her calories in the day time. Funnily enough I already knew this – but the thought hadn’t occurred to me to link her multiple bottles of formula with her inability to shift her infection. I needed an objective voice to connect the dots. That night, Elodie slept right through, and didn’t cough once. Winner! The interesting part however, was the breakfast that she devoured down the next morning. But you know, in hindsight I was so sleep deprived, and distracted by nutrition assessments, I really just associated her big improvement in appetite with her feeling better on the herbs. I didn’t think much about the diluted bottle I was offering….


At 15 months old her eating was sporadic at best. She might have a few weetbix for breakfast (breakfasts seemed to be her best meal), a reusable squeeze pouch (with green smoothie in it) during daycare, and a few bites of dinner – but she never finished her meals, and grew bored easily. Some days were better than others and I knew that toddlers normally fluctuate in this way. Some days she ate decent amounts, other days like a sparrow. Between long walks with the pram, distraction-feeding, her smoothie pouches and a few different favourite breakfasts, I resigned myself to this way of eating. I mean, she WAS eating now. It wasn’t great, but I could still count on her to eat something every day. The daycare routine was helping too, they were very patient with getting her to eat her smoothie pouch or nibble on fruit. Some days they’d tell me; ‘she ate all her watermelon today and asked for more!’ Small victories.

When she was 16 months old we moved back to Perth again (my uni term was over) and I set about preparing for the renovation & move in of our new house. The upheaval seemed to send her backwards. She picked up a bug at daycare and that was it – the food was the first thing to go. I wanted to cry, I was pulling my hair out. Would she ever grow? Would she ever eat normally? Did I need to go to the feed clinic at PMH? Even after the illness passed, Elodie began to hate her highchair. She would scream at me when she saw me preparing food. She would throw her plate away. She would retch if I shoved food in her mouth when she wasn’t looking. We were still on formula as almost her sole nutrition source some days (along with the odd bowl of porridge, or a sausage, or chopped strawberries).


I had to get help. I knew she COULD eat. I needed someone else – someone objective again – to pull apart what I was doing. To give me RULES to follow, I didn’t care what the rules were going to be. I’d try anything. It killed me to watch the babies in my mothers group demolish anything that was put in front of them while my daughter, now 18 months old, was the devil reincarnate.

I googled child behaviourists and found one not far from me, and late one night after the bolognese was thrown across the table, I sent her an email. She replied the next day and told me she wouldn’t need to see us, she could fix this, and she would just call me.

‘Rightoh’, I thought. ‘I’d like to see you try’.

She told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was to cease ALL formula. Effective immediately. I was also to cease the cod liver / flax oils I was adding, and the children’s multi powder. I was to switch directly to cows milk, and even then it was to be a 50/50 ratio of milk to water.

She asked me why I was still providing formula at her age, and I told her it was Elodies only source of nutrition, because she refused to eat. She asked me if Elodie had bottles during the night, and I said she had 1-2 (of watered down formula – as per the naturopaths earlier suggestion).

She told me that night bottles were to be water ONLY.

She told me, that I was giving her too many calories. That I wasn’t allowing Elodie to get hungry. She told me, quite clearly, we needed to starve her.

‘Rightoh’, I thought. ‘I’d like to see you try’.

Hearing her give me her list of orders, made me feel ill. I felt powerless, and I genuinely worried what Cyclone Elodie would launch into once she wasn’t eating AND was hungry. I wasn’t sure I was entirely ready to go against everything I had done so far in feeding & nourishing Elodie.

She told me though, that if this didn’t work, that we needed to get her into the PMH Feed Unit. I wanted this womans advice to FAIL because it seemed like such a simple solution, that it was silly that it hadn’t occurred to me before. But I also wanted it to WORK, because I was so sick and tired of the uphill battle.

That night after the phone call, I offered Elodie warm dairy milk in her usual bottle before bed (2/3 milk and 1/3 water). That night she woke once and I offered her cows milk again, at the same ratio. The next morning, she shared my porridge. It wasn’t a great deal, but she didn’t throw her usual tantrum. So, was that luck? Hmm.

That day, instead of formula before her midday nap, I sent her to daycare with her cows milk diluted with water. At bedtime, I gave her a 50/50 diluted cows milk bottle. She woke in the night and I decided THIS was the time to go 100% warm water – and in her sleepy state, she took it!

THE NEXT MORNING, we sat down to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, and before I’d even finished setting the table, she was trying to climb into her highchair. IM SORRY WHAT?

The HATED highchair?!

Elodie ate not only an entire bowl of cheesy scrambled eggs, she also ate half of a weetbix. That was more food than she’d eaten in one sitting… EVER.

I burst into tears. I literally blubbered into my muesli, and I pulled out my phone and I FILMED it. I filmed my daughter eating food because… EATING!! I posted it on instagram, I posted it on Facebook, I sent it to her daddy. But mostly, I just let the tears run down my face as I sat there flabbergasted. The most incredible weight came off my shoulders.


And truly, that was 7 weeks ago and we haven’t looked back. There is no more formula. The watery milk is just for routines and comfort (and bonus hydration). Elodie now eats two enormous meals every day (breakfast & dinner), has a light lunch of half a sandwich and yoghurt, and snacks on fruit or crackers throughout the day. I have a completely different child. One who ASKS for food for the first time ever. One who sits down at her little lunch table of her own accord. One who will continue to eat her breakfast even if I walk out of the room. After 5 weeks I weighed Elodie, and she had gained 1 whole kilo (taking her from 9.5 to 10.5) and lifting her out of the lowest percentile. Thats a 10% gain in 5 weeks!

So what came first? THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG. I suppose I’ll never know if her food refusal caused me to supplement with more formula, or if the formula supplementation caused her food refusal. What I learnt though, is that sometimes our instinct to CARE and LOVE our children, and to ensure they have everything they need, clouds our judgement, and our ability to think with clarity. The simple fact alone, that I was already feeding her too much for her to even GET hungry, was completely fogged up by my fixation on how much nutrition and how many calories she was getting. I wasn’t able to step outside of the paradox of being a Mama AND a Nutritionist.


Post Script:

‘So what about the sleep!?’ I can hear you cry.

I was not prepared to enter into THAT battle with Elodie after having made so much progress with her eating. I was happy, she was happy, and I had gotten quite used to waking 1 – 2 times in the night to give her a bottle. But as the weeks wore on, and she was literally having only water at night now, I wondered what was driving her to wake… it certainly wasn’t hunger now, because she wasn’t being fed. Then I had a few consecutive nights of her waking 3-4 times and I decided, after multiple coffees to keep me alive, that this HAD to stop.

I realised that after all this time, Elodie was PROGRAMMED to wake up. Think about this; if YOU woke every night at 11pm and 3am to have a cup of tea, for 6 months, even if you stopped drinking the cuppa, you’d still wake up right?

Back to google, late in the night to see what other Mama’s were trying! I browsed through baby forums under search terms like “my toddler won’t sleep through” and “not sleeping through at 18 months”.

There was one technique that a mother tried that jumped out at me, and I decided we were going to give it a crack. When hubby came home from site, I told him we would try this together, and under no circumstances was Elodie to have a bottle…. we were going to attempt to resettle her without it.

I realised that after all this time, Elodie was PROGRAMMED to wake up

The first night we tag-teamed her wakeups. We tried every technique to soothe her, except a bottle. I rocked her, sang to her, paced around the room, told her stories, and patted her, but I made a point of not leaving her room. When she fell quiet, I would lay her down, and say all the same things I would say at her normal 7pm bedtime, “shh, bedtime, time for sleep, I’ll see you in the morning” etc and then I would walk straight out. She’d cry of course. I’d wait 10 minutes (I just sat on the edge of my bed and read a magazine, I was in for the long haul!) and then go in again. I’d use any technique to calm her down, then when she was calm, I’d lay her down again. Hubby did a similar thing. And we battled through each time until she didn’t protest and just fell asleep.

The next morning we were WRECKS. Elodie had been up 3 times, and each time took an hour for her to fall back asleep.

But we persevered. And the next night wasn’t so bad. She still woke up several times, but resettling was much shorter (about 15 minutes).

By night 3, she was still waking twice, but I could just walk in, lay her straight down again, readjust her blankets, speak softly to her, and walk out. When I walked back into our bedroom, I shook hubby awake and hissed, ‘You’ll never just guess how easy that was!!!’

On the 4th night – she slept 10 hours straight. UNBELIEVABLE. I felt mildly human again!

We were able to successfully readjust her out of needing a bottle for sleep. Elodie now sleeps through every night as a rule, usually 7pm until 6.30am. If she does wake, I literally lay her back down awake, reassure her, and walk out.

Between the food and sleep, Elodie is a completely different child. We’ve now also brought her pre-nap and night-time bottles forward, to about 30 minutes before I intend on putting her down, so that they’re no longer linked to sleep (but she still has a full tummy feeling). Sometimes now, and it feels crazy to say this, she asks to go to bed before I’ve even offered the bottle!

There are other bonuses too; if someone does a burnout on our street, or the possums fight on the roof and Elodie wakes up, it takes 2 minutes to send her back to sleep and I don’t even have to pick her up out of the cot. Sometimes… I even hear her wake, cry, chatter to herself (or her teddies) and then silence again as she goes back down on her own.

I do regret not taking away the dead-of-the-night bottles sooner (just think of all that sleep I could have had! haha) but I also think I just wasn’t emotionally ready for the battle. I also don’t think I could have managed it without switching to just water first. Taking away the dead-of-night eating took away the purpose of her waking, I just had to change the HABIT.

All I can say is this; keep trying mama. This is just my own experience, but often, it gets worse before it gets better. Its ok to ask for help – yes use the internet – take what you need, leave what doesn’t feel right. And if you tried something and it didn’t work, you’re not failing – just remember that you have a different kid! Give your munchkin a break, give yourself a break, and then try something else.

This shit is hard.


How To : Homemade Coconut & Buckwheat Granola


Crunchy clusters of goodness.

I know you’ve seen them on the shelves at the supermarket, up there with all the breakfast cereals… don’t tell me you haven’t eyed them off!

We’re going one better though aren’t we…. by quickly and easily creating our own…. en masse…for way cheaper (and of course, more tightly packed with nutrition!) 😉

Granola is delicious. Its delicious because its sweetened, and baked. This makes it an accompaniment. That is, it’s a delectable topping or side, to;

  • Mix in with your nuts for a kick ass trail mix
  • Sprinkle over your muesli, or porridge, or
  • Serve with a heft dollop of full fat natural/greek style yoghurt

This recipe is made with buckwheat (as opposed to oats) which makes it gluten free, and it has this fabulous ability to kill post-dinner, late night, Game of Throne watching, chocolate cravings!

It’s also a great energy-dense snack to whip out in the car on long trips, or for long study sessions in the library.



The What:

  • 2.5 cups of whole buckwheat kernels
  • 1 cup of shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup of LSA meal, or Flaxseed meal (LSA is a blend of Linseed, Sunflower, and Almond)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pink himalayan salt
  • 2-3 tbsp of liquid sweetener – such as raw honey, maple syrup, or rice malt syrup.
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp vanilla

The How

  1. Preheat oven to 120 degrees
  2. Roughly chop & dice your almonds on a large board (no need to be precise)
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  4. Over very low heat, combine sweetener, coconut oil, coconut butter, & vanilla until melted
  5. Pour the melted mixture over your dry and stir very well to combine.
  6. Line a large tray with baking paper and spread out your mixture.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 mins – remove, turn mixture over & redistribute – then bake for another 15-20 mins. Use the colour of the coconut as an indicator – don’t let it go too brown… thats burnt!
  8. Remove & allow to cool, before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the fridge.

Your new batch of granola is a powerhouse of whole foods nutrition, rich in protein, healthy fats, and omega fatty acids, as well as minerals such as magnesium, selenium, iron, and zinc. ❤


I find coconut butter can usually only be bought in larger quantities. But this suits me fine as I often use it to make my own chocolate  >.<

Try adding goji berries for a hit of antioxidants, or a tablespoon of raw cacao powder to turn it into a Chocolate Coconut Granola!

Need it to be nut free? No worries! Just sub out the LSA mix for straight linseed meal, and sub out the almonds for anything else crunchy of your choice! You could always increase the amount of seeds, or add cacao nibs  🙂

Enjoy! xx



How to : Caulicrust Pizza


A year ago if you had told me I could make a low carb grain/flour free pizza with a humble winter vegetable, my mind couldn’t possibly wrap itself around the concept.

But! Here we are.

The last time I attempted a caulicrust pizza, I took the ingredients that I knew were in it; cauliflower, parmesan, and egg, and then guesstimated the rest.

Silly really.

The whole damn mess ended up like sloppy pizza-flavoured rice, and it was eaten with a spoon and fork! This time, was a success. High fives all around. I am about to plant little cauliflower seedlings in my new garden bed, so I hope to make many more with the bounty!

Caulicrust Pizza

The What:

  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower (should weigh between 600 & 700 grams)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Mixed dried italian-style herbs (such as rosemary/oregano) – roughly 1 teaspoon
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Toppings of choice – such as – spinach, rocket, olives, feta, cherry tomato, ham, or cubed roast pumpkin!

The How:

  1. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees.
  2. Dice the cauliflower, then place it in a food processor and blitz it until it resembles large breadcrumbs.
  3. Simmer the cauliflower in a pot of water until its well cooked & fluffy. Optional: I used 50/50 water and homemade stock for extra flavour
  4. Drain the water away using a sieve, and then press extra water out with the back of a spoon. Allow to cool enough to be handled.
  5. Using your hands or a small spoon, completely squeeze all the moisture from the cauli – this is very important!
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauli “crumbs” with the egg, herbs, and half of the parmesan cheese
  7. Line a baking tray or pizza tray with baking paper, and firmly press the mixture into the tray, aiming for about 1/2 a centimetre thickness.
  8. Bake in the oven at 120 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. This can vary depending on your oven, and the moisture content of your cauliflower. Too hot and it burns before it dried properly. Not hot enough and it takes MUCH longer. You’re essentially dehydrating & baking the cauli crust. It should feel firm to the touch, and be almost gold in colour.
  9. Remove pizza from oven, and add your toppings, starting with the final 1/3 of the parmesan (this will help keep topping “in place”). Tip: with toppings, less is always more! Tip: if you plan on using any raw meats (such as bacon), you’ll need to pre-fry this, as the second bake won’t be sufficient to cook it. I’d just use smoked/cured meats instead.
  10. Bake in the oven at 150 degrees for another 15 minutes (until cheese is melted or greens are wilted)
  11. Slice & serve hot!

Enjoy. xx IMG_5093

How To : Easy Cheesy Kale Chips


Friend: ‘Hey Kaye, I’m going on a health kick! Where can I get kale???’ Me: *giggle* ….days later…. Friend: ‘Argh Kaye I can’t stand kale its AWEFUL’ Me: *giggle*

What is it about kale? Ok ok I get it, it’s the poster child for an entire health movement. It’s gone from Zero to Mainstream in just a few short years. Read more about kale here.

I have to have a little laugh though, of course there are many places to start when embarking on a journey of wellness, but kale…. it always seems to be at the forefront.

If you’ve tried kale and you recoiled at the taste, I urge you to keep trying. Of course, the benefits are worth it. Gastronomically speaking, it’s essentially a cross between cabbage and silverbeet, so that said, it tastes best when you eat the youngest, most tender leaves fresh (such as in a smoothie), or when you stir fry in the pan, or lightly blanche (wilt) the leaves in hot water. And be sure to remove the woody stems!

So how about kale chips?! Yessss DO it! Kale chips are a handy way to get kids (and grumpy adults) to eat more greens in place of potato chips and crackers.


The What:

  • 1 bunch of fresh kale (the curly leaf kale is my favourite)
  • Coconut or olive oil spray
  • Paprika
  • Grated parmesan cheese

The How:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Low & long heat cooking is best.
  2. Remove the leaves from the woody stems and tear them into “chip” sized pieces.
  3. Place the kale in a large bowl and spray lightly with oil.
  4. Using your hands, massage the oil into the kale, and toss the leaves around so they’re adequately coated. A little more oil spray is ok, just don’t soak them!
  5. Add a little parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of paprika and toss to coat again.
  6. Place baking paper on a large flat baking tray and arrange the kale chips in a single layer.
  7. Finish with a little more paprika (or other middle eastern spice of choice) and another sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until crispy. ~ NB. They will soften & go soggy first before they crisp up.

So here’s the thing about kale chips. All you truly need is kale and a healthy oil to bake them. Beyond that? Let yourself get creative! Garlic granules, turmeric, himalayan rock salt, onion powder… all add fabulous flavour, you don’t HAVE to add cheese. And on the topic of cheese, I find mozzarella or tasty-style cheeses too runny for kale chips, they don’t crisp up as well, so stick to the parmesan or pecorino.

And, enjoy immediately 🙂


Maybe check out my other kale recipes too?

Superfood Salad

Three Salads to Die For


How To : Banana Pancakes


The thing about having a toddler, is that you never know what the “food of the moment” is going to be.

The week before last it was strawberries. Last week it was bananas. This week its mandarins… or ‘man rins’. So I now have a banana-glut. And some of them are turning brown, so they’re being frozen in batches to use at a later date.

But not before I made these YUMMY banana pancakes!

Banana Pancakes (serves 2)

The What:

  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt (you could also use water, but i like the tang it adds to the banana)
  • 2 tablespoons of linseed (flax) meal
  • 4 tablespoons of rolled oats (or quinoa flakes if you’re gluten free)
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • Organic grass-fed butter

The How:

  1. Add all of your ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth. The consistency should be just like “regular” pancake batter.
  2. Grease a warm frypan (I use grass-fed butter but you could also use coconut oil)
  3. Pour pancake mixture into the pan, aiming for an approx diameter of 15cm (easier to flip!)
  4. Cook pancake until its golden brown & begins to bubble and then flip to cook the other side.
  5. Serve warm, topped with sliced fresh fruit & liquid yumminess, such as real maple syrup or honey, or coconut nectar.


Kaye. xx



10 Things I Would Tell My Teenage Self About Being Well

Ive lost count of the amount of times I’ve stopped, taken stock of my life and thought, ‘geez, I’d wish I’d known that sooner’. There are some things they don’t teach in schools, that I reeeeally wish they did. Things about life, self, wellness (not just health) and identity.

If I could go back and sit down with my 17 year old self, I’d sure have a few things to say….

So….. *clears throat*…. DEAR KAYE,

1. Low fat foods will not make your body low in fat

In fact, when you’re older you’ll find that the healthiest lifestyle you have involves heaps of natural fat and getting rid of refined carbohydrates (and that damn sugar).

Repeat after me, ‘Whenever I see the words low-fat or sugar-free, I think; Chemical Shitstorm’.


2. Avoid all of the white stuff like the plague. 

White rice, white pasta, white bread, white sugar – they do you NO favours. They’re nutritionally empty. They’re deleterious to your digestive tract. They mess with your blood sugar levels – which impacts your ability to concentrate, your energy levels, and your mood – which you will find out is KEY in treating your soon-to-evolve anxiety and depression (that will come in your mid 20’s, hold onto your hat girlfriend). The effects of garbage food is harder and harder to get rid of, the older you get – unlearn the habit now.

3. Skipping meals has the opposite effect that you want it to

Honour your cortisol hormone. It’s there to protect you in times of famine – and that includes the preservation of fat stores, and brings your metabolic rate to a slow. Eating regularly keeps that fire burning. Skipping meals also wreaks havoc with your blood sugar – see point 4.

4. Do yoga. Learn to breathe. I mean, really breathe.

SO much of what you are faced with in your twenties, could be handled so much better if you just learn to breathe, deep from your belly, to sit with your thoughts, and to dedicate yourself to a practise of intentional body movement. Yoga will make you sane again.


5. Stay away from the canteen, and the corner deli

Pack your lunch every day. The school canteen is a JOKE – taking money only leads you to buying crap for lunch – ice cream is not lunch, chocolate is not lunch. Cheese on toast is not lunch.

No good can come from food that lives on the shelf for a year before it’s eaten. Or that is served on paper that becomes see-through from the grease.

6. Cigarettes? Are you kidding me!?

Just don’t even go there. Put it out. Its not hot, its not cool, its toxic and it gets more and more expensive as the years pass!

7. Embrace that shape, it will change.

You have only one body and it is all your very own. You will never look like her, or her, or her, because they are not YOU. How unlucky for them. You will never be happy with your efforts to be healthy or well, as long as you hate your body.

When you are 29, you will honour and be in awe of your body, as you grow a human, and give birth. Don’t wait that long to be truly happy in your skin.

**FYI. The boys who will like you more if you have boobs are NOT the boys you want anywhere near them!**


8. The oral contraceptive pill – don’t.

Very little has changed in woman’s contraceptive protection in 60 years. The pill, has always been the pill, without much advancement for us. Until of course it evolved into the mirena *shudder*, and the subcutaneous long-haul injection. But its still a drug, a hormone design to override the natural rhythym of your body. It will make you cry, it will make you aggressive, it will completely pulverise any notion of a regular cycle. On that note, your irregular cycle is NOT normal – your pill is doing that to you.

9. For crying out loud, learn to COOK

When you first move out of home at 18, you will fail so miserably at cooking that takeaway is inevitably cheaper, and easier. Also? Cooked white rice with vegemite stirred through (because you have no soy sauce) it is NOT an acceptable meal. Neither is Mee Goreng instant noodles.

On that note, STOP buying your alcohol wants before your food needs. Your drinking is the reason you can’t afford nourishing food.

10. “Sexy” and “hot” don’t come from a magic number on the scale or the width of your waist.

Sexy is the way you walk because you feel like a queen. Hot is the width of your smile when you see the ones you love. They radiate out of you as confidence. Cultivate self-confidence and bam, girlfriend, instant Goddess.


What would YOU tell your teenage self?

The Curse of the Nutritionist’s Child (Part 2)

It’s so hard to explain to people that every bite Elodie takes is some kind of magical bliss for me. When I explain that Elodie didn’t eat, they assume I mean that she was fussy. Or that she eats like a sparrow.

‘No, I mean, she LITERALLY doesn’t eat’.

That confuses them. ‘Well what does she eat then?’, to which I reply,

‘A bottle of milk’.

Lately, I’ve been directing people to my blog post, in an attempt to explain. I even sent it to our health providers, so that they’d stop assuming I was overreacting or helicopter parenting.

Was it sensory? Was it developmental? Or behavioral? We’d ruled out allergies. There weren’t feeding or digestion difficulties. We’d weaned perfectly fine. She wasn’t bloated, farty, or constipated. She wasn’t ill.

So we persevered.  But oh no, it didn’t happen like *clicks fingers* that. It took determination, practice, and firm rules.

‘TELL ME!’ I hear desperate mothers shout through the computer screen.

And so Part II begins. (read Part I here)


No, not eating, just pushing it all around 😦

There were some non-negotiables with Elodie’s diet. Jars and pouches of ultraheat treated (UHT) baby food were one of them. I was determined to continue making nourishing whole foods for the little amount she WOULD eat.

My mum, bless her heart, suggested I feed her icecream, just to get her “into the habit of meal times”, but I was conscious of not creating a raging sweet tooth just to get her “over the line” (not to mention the gut, digestive, and immune issues that come from giving refined sugar to babies).

But here I was.

Standing in the baby food aisle with a now-10 month old on my hip, looking at row apon row of satchets, pouches, and jars. I must have been there for 10 minutes, wrestling my own views on UHT food, picking up each packet and scrutinizing the ingredients. Other mothers came and went. I pep talked myself – I was at the end of my tether. I picked a few organic varieties with the lowest sugar and salt I could find and off home I went.


Dry crackers – one of the very few things she’d nibble on

And guess what? Elodie ate them. She held the little pouch between her hands and sucked the fruit & yoghurt mix right out. She was able to feed herself (exercising her independence) and I didn’t have to wave a spoon in her face. My mouth dropped open. I was watching her eat a “meal” for the first time in weeks and weeks. She wouldn’t, of course, eat the meaty/veg version… and I don’t blame her. I tried it, they were AWEFUL.

But we were onto something.

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Daddy helps!

Searching online – I found Little Mashies. I could almost hear the angels singing and the little beam of light shine down. I was able to give her food pouches…. with my own creations inside! I ordered a box and it arrived the next week.

So I got creatin’ in the kitchen. It took some trial and error, to ascertain what Elodie liked. Eventually I deciphered that I could feed her pretty much anything, provided it was HIDDEN in fruit and natural yoghurt. And I tried to pack as much nutrition in as I could. So they went like this;

  • Spinach, Banana, Oats, Cod Liver Oil, Hemp Seeds, Avocado, Natural Yoghurt.
  • Spinach, Banana, Peaches, Cooked beetroot, Flax seed oil, Natural Yoghurt.
  • Spinach, Banana, Strawberries, Quinoa Flakes, Avocado, Probiotic Powder, Natural Yoghurt.
  • Spinach, Banana, Cooked Sweet Potato, Chia seeds, Avocado, Coconut water, Natural yoghurt

Always yoghurt, always spinach, always banana – and then whatever else I had going that had maximum nutrition…. you get the drift.

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But still, Elodie screamed when I put her in the highchair, and if I left her with the food pouch it was carried around partially nibbled on and eventually tipped upside down or sat on. She still wouldn’t eat them without a long fight.

The next part happened unintentionally.

It was still summer and the weather was beautiful for walking. It was almost Elodie’s 1st birthday. I began packing Elodie up in her pram and hitting the back streets for an hour. On one trip, I wondered if I could use the walk to feed her a Little Mashie pouch, using the scenery as distraction. We were barely at the end of the street when I realized it was all gone.


When I got home I told my mum, “She ATE THE WHOLE THING”. We were floored.

The next day, we tried again. Yep, a whole pouch. Devoured.

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Green smoothie, just before placing into pouches

So for the next two weeks, Elodie & I walked every day. 140ml of green smoothie was THE meal of the day. And ooh bonus, I was getting fitter 😉 I sent the food pouches to daycare and she ate them there too. They were as ecstatic as I was, ‘She ate her pouch today!’.

At home, a separate battle was being waged with mealtimes. My own parents, Elodie, and myself, would sit down purposefully at the table to eat. Elodie’s food would be placed in front of her (on the high chair tray – not a plate because she threw those across the room!). The grown-ups would eat our food, and it was like some kind of comedy show. None of us would look at Elodie, instead we’d make noises about how delicious our food was. ‘Mmmm, yum’, ‘Oh yummy mm mm, om nom nom’, ‘om om om, mmm, so good’. It was literally ridiculous. My parents were forbidden to engage with Elodie (when they forgot, Elodie would realise the focus was on her, and either stop her attempts to eat, or throw her food clear across the room) and we would watch her from the corner of our eyes. One night, mum whispered to me, ‘She just ate a piece of salmon!!!’, but there was no celebration. We continued to ignore her, and she continued to eat. We talked to each other, but not her. ‘I can’t believe she’s eating! Is she still eating? She just took another bite. Yes but don’t look! She ate 8 peas!‘. See? Ridiculous.

As the nights passed, the less fuss we made over her, the more she ate. If she threw her food away, it was removed without a word. She still ate very small amounts, but at least she was going through the motions of consuming.

At age 1, she had begun to eat. We’d done it!!

Ha! NOPE. The battle had only just begun.

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…To come: Part III – the simplest solution

Nourishing Gardens: Jenna @ Radiant Sprout

Like myself, Jenna started out with a simple backyard conversion, turning suburban lawn into a thriving produce garden, by utilising some unused iron sheeting. I often wonder if the tenants in our house back in Melbourne, where we built our first iron sheeting veggie beds, are using them. I hope so!

And, like myself, Jenna is self-taught and experimental with her food garden, testing and trying what works and discarding what doesn’t. Join me in sneaking a peek into her backyard!

PS. Isn’t it so neat and pretty? Its like straight out of a gardening book!

Radiant Sprout Logo_Printing

Welcome Jenna! Please tell us about yourself & your garden set up?

I’m a freelance writer and health coach and live on the Gold Coast with my husband Mitch and our one-year-old daughter, Violet.

Our home is in a typical suburban residential area, so space for a garden in our backyard was incredibly limited. We had about 30 to 40m2 to play with, so we built two raised garden beds along our northern and western backyard fences. Mitch built them using the recycled iron sheeting from the old lawn locker in the corner of the yard.

This setup has enabled us to grow a good amount of produce with minimal space — and there’s still enough lawn left over for Violet and our dog to play on.

We established our garden in February of this year, and so far we have planted spinach, cabbage, silverbeet, broccoli, cos lettuce, sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, chilli, ginger, turmeric, green beans, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, kidney beans and shallots. We also have a potted lime tree and, thanks to our neighbours, a very bountiful passionfruit vine that has crept onto our side of the fence.

The next stage in our project is to build a wall herb garden on our patio using recycled timber pallets.

Jenna Low Res-10

‘We really wanted Violet to grow up having a connection to and appreciation for the nourishing food on her plate.’ ~ Jenna

Who or what inspired you to start growing your food?

We really wanted Violet to grow up having a connection to and appreciation for the nourishing food on her plate. We encourage her to help us plant and pick the produce and then join us in the kitchen to prepare it so that she has a sense of responsibility and understanding of where her food comes from.

Another reason is simply because it’s cost-effective. We’ve saved a lot of money, particularly on leafy greens, by growing our own! For a long time, we’ve dreamed of having enough room to be completely self-sufficient when it comes to fresh produce, so until we can do that we’re doing the best we can with the space we have.

Finally, it purely comes down to the joy of growing, nurturing, harvesting and eating our home-grown food, as a family.


What principles or philosophies do you transfer from your daily life to your garden?

We went into this project with almost no knowledge of gardening or backyard farming, but we had the passion and desire to learn. It’s been a really wonderful experience because we’ve since learned that this project has been a beautiful metaphor for our own life, in that is has required a lot of patience, learning, nourishment and love.


How does keeping a food garden affect your health?

By eating what we grow, we have complete control of what goes into the soil, the produce and, ultimately, our bodies. We know it has been grown sustainably and hasn’t travelled thousands of unnecessary miles to get to our plates.

You can’t let an abundance of beautiful vegetables go to waste, so we’ve certainly increased our daily intake of nourishing foods. The pure convenience of having leafy greens and other produce just outside our back door means that when the fridge or pantry are bare, we can usually at least pull together a fresh salad or smoothie, without having to opt for less healthier options.

The physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of getting outside in your garden and grounding, earthing or connecting with Mother Nature — whatever you want to call it — are endless too.


We went into this project with almost no knowledge of gardening or backyard farming, but we had the passion and desire to learn. ~ Jenna

What do you grow a LOT of?

Our main goal was to grow a good amount of leafy greens, because it’s easy and it’s something we eat a lot of in our home. They go in our daily smoothies, salads and just about every other meal. It’s so nice to be able go outside each morning, grab a handful of fresh spinach and pop it straight into our blender for a green smoothie.

In just five short months of growing our own, we’ve enjoyed huge amounts of spinach, cos lettuce and silverbeet.

Our green beans, snow peas, kidney beans and cherry tomato plants have also been equally generous.

The next thing we look forward to harvesting is our carrots and sweet potatoes.


What do you WISH you could grow?

Without a doubt, avocados and bananas. Violet devours these on a daily basis and they certainly take up a lot of our weekly grocery budget, but we simply don’t have the room for these trees.

I’d also love to have some happy hens roaming around and laying fresh eggs too!

Do you use organic/biodynamic practises? Are there any that you use the most?

We’re doing our best to learn and honour organic gardening practices and this has so far included incorporating organic soil, seeds and seedlings, and fertilisers. We’ve also co-planted with some gorgeous marigolds here and there as a way of controlling unwanted insects.

Pest and disease management has been a huge learning curve — we’ve lost zucchini and cucumber plants to disease and had our cabbage, broccoli and silverbeet completely annihilated by creepy crawlies, but learning to treat these problems in a way that won’t impact our health or the environment has been really rewarding — and effective!

What’s your top tip for the first timer starting out with a food garden?

Do what you can, with what you have. If you only have room for a small pot of herbs on your window sill, you’ll still reap the benefits.

Secondly, learn as much as you can from research and your mistakes.

Finally, be patient!

Do you have a recipe from your garden to share?

Zucchini Pasta with Spiced Lentil + Tomato Sauce


For the sauce:

  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 stick celery, finely sliced
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 ½ cups fresh tomato, diced (or one tin diced tomatoes)
  • ½ Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry split red lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pasta:

  • 2 raw zucchini, spiralised. (Or you can use a basic julienne slicer — I do.)

For garnish:

  • Fresh herbs, such as parsley or coriander 
  • Natural yoghurt


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan
  2. Heat spices for a minute or so, until fragrant.
  3. Add onion and garlic, stirring until softened.
  4. Add vegetables, until slightly softened.
  5. Stir in lentils, coating well in vegetable and spice mixture.
  6. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to boil, before simmering on low heat for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are well cooked.
  7. Serve sauce over a bed of zucchini pasta and top with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkle of herbs.


Thanks Jenna! And last but certainly not least, where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on  Instagram, or Facebook.


How To : Simple Vegetarian Fauxsagne


Moving house…. what chaos!

But oh yes, it’s such a good feeling to finally be in ones own home, to create ones own space. We’ve been relentlessly renovating and chipping away at piles of boxed goods for weeks, finally forming the home that we’ve been waiting for.

We moved from Melbourne to Perth in May of 2014, and moved back in with my parents. In July I fell in love with a house, we made an offer, they accepted, we sought finance, it settled, and we owned it in September. But THEN, I decided to head over to Melbourne for a few months in early 2015 (no point moving in and then leaving an empty house, right?!) so we put a tenant in there and continued to live with my parents. Once back in Melbourne, I lived with extended family too.
Fast track to June 2015, the tenant was vacated, we were back in Perth again, and we’d been without a home for a YEAR, effectively “squatting” in the spare room at respective families houses, all our belongings still in storage.
So the long unpack has begun.
And… here’s the thing about moving house, and staring into the abyss of boxes, bags, clothes, paperwork, and where-the-heck-did-i-ever-store knick knacks that serve no purpose…..
You know what you want to do at the end of the day, when you’ve barely made a dent in those piles of STUFF?
Drink a coconut water.
Laced with a double shot of vodka (hold the lime).
So of course, when I’m faced with the (somewhat diabolical) decision of What To Have For Dinner; I turn to the meagre collection of foodstuffs in the cupboard & fridge. I’d “Jamie Oliver” it from a rudimentary pantry. And you know what? It was delicious.
So here it is; my slap-together fauxsagne. That is, a lasagne without the pasta. Or maybe its moussaka without the eggplant? >.<
Who knows… it’s layers of YUM.


(serves 2)
 The What:
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 400g can of crushed (or diced) tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup of bone broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup of puy (french) lentils
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • Italian style herbs (such as rosemary & thyme)
  • Grated cheese

The How:

  1. In a pot or deep pan, cook the lentils in the broth/stock until soft, adding water as required
  2. Add in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, and herbs, and simmer to form a thick sauce
  3. Season with himalayan salt & pepper to taste
  4. Slice zucchini into long “sheets”, approximately half a centimetre thick
  5. Layer zucchini in a small (20cm x 15cm) rectangle pan. Top with 1/3 of the sauce
  6. Continue until sauce & zucchini is gone. You should be able to do approximately 2 slices per layer, for 3 layers.
  7. Sprinkle grated cheese over the surface of the fauxsagne.
  8. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees c until the cheese is melted & beginning to brown (25-30 minutes).
  9. Slice & serve with leafy greens!

Whats YOUR slap-dash meal?




The Wasteless Pantry

After 7 years living in Melbourne, it was safe to say that I was enthusiastic about, and enamoured by, the culture of wellness & holistic living that exists there. I see it too in Perth, but it’s still growing, and has much growing to do… I hope to be a part of it.

Access to health food stores, organic grocers, and wellness service providers, was much easier in my northern Melbourne suburbs neighbourhood than my semi rural now-home of Mundaring, in WA. But that’s ok, I’m here for many other important reasons; the bush, the clean air, the space, the total lack of traffic congestion, my fruit trees & chickens, the sense of community, and of course, my family.

But when these “little pieces of Melbourne” arrive in my sleepy little town, of course I’m thrilled. When a new yoga studio opens, or a wellness centre, or a whole foods cafe, (none of which existed before I left Perth), I no longer have to drive an hour into the city to find it!

So when my mum sent me an email with a link to a store called Wasteless Pantry, opening up in our little shopping complex, I literally squealed(!). A bulk whole foods store was opening in MY neighbourhood and I didn’t have to drive an hour (with a grumpy toddler) to find it!

The Wasteless Pantry opened officially on June 1st, with much enthusiasm from the community. I was there for the big day, with my reusable tins and jars, and the store crawled with curious hills folk. I spoke to the masterminds, Jeannie & Amanda of this new store, shortly after their opening….


Tell me a bit about the dynamic duo! How do your life philosophies apply to your business model?

Amanda and I actually went to Eastern Hills High School together, although we didn’t know each other well then. We reconnected when we had both moved back to the Hills and were first time Mums. We were both already fairly eco minded and aware not only of the new sustainability challenges and choices one faces when parenting small children (ie, disposable nappies or cloth? Wet ones or a wash cloth?) but also the enhanced desire to leave our planet in decent condition for our children and future generations.

We already took our own reusable bags when shopping, bought as little packaging as possible, kept chickens to take care of our food waste and recycled. Amanda has been an enthusiastic Locavore for several years and I try to avoid Palm Oil where possible because of the environmental implications of it’s production. We both love to cook and experiment in the kitchen and we knew what we liked and disliked about the shopping options available to us locally and  that we wanted to have as much time at home with our families as possible. So from the outset our aim was sustainability. Sustainable for us time wise, and sustainable in an economic and environmental sense.

The Duo-2

Image credit: Sarah Brookes / Echo Newspaper

There is a big ground swell of eco conscious, holistic, and whole foods living occurring in Perth, but in particular the locations of Fremantle and the inner suburbs like Mt Lawley. So why Mundaring for your location?

When we began researching the viability of the venture, it was always going to be in Mundaring, or very close by. Once again, it needed to be sustainable for us to operate, so a big commute wasn’t an option. More so, we felt strongly that it was something the Hills needed and something that could very positively impact the community. So we concentrated on collecting local information and data. We conducted an online survey and the response was overwhelmingly positive and I think that was the turning point for us. Suddenly it was less of a day dream and more of a possibility.

Yes, that is a peanut butter maker!

Yes, that is a peanut butter maker!

How can someone new to whole foods living, best experience the benefits of waste-free bulk buying, when they’re currently quite reliant on the supermarket? 

I think the best approach is one step at a time. Trying to do a complete lifestyle overhaul is overwhelming and difficult to stick to. If you are someone who packs prepackaged snacks in their kids lunch boxes, perhaps you could try some of our bulk snack foods and send them in small lidded containers (a “naked” lunch box). If you’re fairly new to cooking, shopping this way is a great way to experiment with new ingredients. You can buy the exact amounts you need for a recipe, and that way you’re not stuck with the remainder of a packet if you’re not happy with the result. Spices bring beautiful flavour and variety to foods and bought this way are extremely economical. Perhaps you could look at the items that you store in containers in your pantry and as they run out, bring them in to refill.

Be brave about trying it out. Our store is warm and friendly and we are always delighted when we get to show a fledgling waste reducer how it’s done!! I think most will be surprised by how satisfying (and time saving) it is to walk into your kitchen after shopping, put the containers in the pantry and not have to throw a single piece of packaging in the bin!

Photo credit : Wasteless Pantry

Photo credit : Wasteless Pantry

What are some of the tools one needs to begin shopping for, and creating meals with, whole foods?

Clean, food grade containers with a secure lid are a must. Arm yourself with some great, inspiring cook books or find recipes online, so that you can plan your shopping and buy correct amounts. I recently discovered how easy it is to make a taco mix from scratch.


How exactly does it work when I come to shop? 

We encourage customers to bring their own containers into the store to fill. You weigh your container on the scales provided (with the lid on is best) and write the empty weight on the container. We have paper tape and markers next to the scales. Then it’s just a case of filling your containers with the quantities you want and bringing them to the counter. We buy the produce in bulk so that you don’t have to. You can buy as little or as much as you need. We will then subtract the weight of the container so that you only pay for the produce by weight.

For those starting out, we have jars and bottles for purchase, donated second hand (clean!) jars, and paper bags to take food home in. But we don’t do single use plastic!


What are some of the difficulties you face when sourcing products? Do you have “rules” that you adhere to?

We have a descending list of priorities when sourcing and deciding on the products we will stock. Firstly we have to be able to obtain them in BULK. We are motivated by reducing the amount of single use packaging that goes to landfill or recycling. It’s worth noting here that while recycling is a better option than landfill, it is an extremely costly process and most plastics are “downgraded” when recycled. That is they won’t be made into the same thing again. It also bothers me that once our plastics are sorted, they are shipped off to South East Asia to be recycled, becoming someone else’s problem and reducing the control we have over the process and it’s impact on the environment.

Secondly, we try to source produce locally where possible. The further food has to travel to us the bigger the footprint it leaves and the more it’s quality can be compromised. We are sourcing all our flours from Mauri anz in Northam WA, our Macadamias are farmed in WA, the honey is from Beechboro WA, our ethical, eco friendly cleaning products are from WA company Enviro Care, and ONYA Australia are our suppliers of reusable produce bags, drink bottles and lunch wraps. Fortunately, produce that is local is usually ethical.

After that comes organic certification. At present we have not focused on sourcing organic products (we do stock some) because they can be difficult to obtain in bulk or minimal packaging and can be at a price point beyond some people’s budget. As we have limited space we wanted to focus on a concept that was accessible to all.


Whats your favourite product/s on offer, and can we make product requests!?

I’m mad about the honey, and I’m thrilled to be able to get my coconut oil (extra virgin, cold pressed) on tap. I’m also excited about the cleaning products. Enviro Care are going to refill our 15 ltr tanks, so I can buy my laundry and dish liquid, shampoo and conditioner completely waste and palm oil free!  You are encouraged to add to our ever evolving ‘Customer Wish List’ chalk board which will be a permanent fixture in the store.  So yes, definitely make any requests for products you would like us to look into.

(Kaye) You can view the products on offer here  🙂


I know you’ve only just launched, but do you have any ambitions (or maybe some wild ‘n’ crazy dreams!) for the future of Wasteless Pantry?

We have lots of wild and crazy dreams! Maybe more stores if this one is a success?   Maybe we can tackle retailing milk and some other dairy products in re usable / refillable vessels at a reasonable price point? But at the moment, if it’s a success from our point of view, it’s a success for the community.

We want to employ locally, support local initiatives (we think of the business as a social enterprise) and the more locals who shop with us, the less waste will be going to landfill.

photo credit : wp

photo credit : wp

And lastly, do you have a recipe you’d like to share??

This is a great one if you send packaged muesli bars in your kids lunch boxes. It’s nutrient and calorie dense for busy little bodies and it’s super easy to make, which means the kids can help!

Munchie Muesli Slice

The What:

  • 110g (1/2 cup) castor sugar
  • 150g (1 cup) SR Flour
  • 75g (1/2 cup) chopped dates
  • 60g (1/3 cup) sunflower seeds
  • 90g (1 cup) shredded coconut
  • 90g (1 cup) rolled oats
  • 80g (1/2 cup) sultanas
  • 75g (1/2 cup) raisins
  • 60g honey
  • 125g butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 egg

The How:

  1. Pre heat oven to 180deg c.
  2. Mix together sugar, flour, coconut, oats, dried fruit and seeds.
  3. Melt butter, water and honey together and pour over the combined ingredients while still hot.
  4. Stir well until mixture comes together and then stir in the egg.
  5. Spoon mixture into a lined lamington tin and bake in preheated oven for 40 mins until set and golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool before cutting into slices.

Recipe from “In the Kitchen” by Alan Campion and Michele Curtis

Check out Wasteless Pantry at Shop 17, Mundaring Shopping Village, Mundaring WA 6073

or on Facebook, or Instagram!

xx Kaye

How To: Wholegrain Banana Muffins (egg free)


It’s no secret that I’m a fan of chia seeds. Their gelatinous texture when wet makes them a perfect dessert or baking companion, PLUS they’re a nutritional powerhouse loaded with fibre, calcium, magnesium, omega 3 essential fatty acids, zinc, antioxidants, and b vitamins. They’re great for maintaining gut flora balance, regulating blood sugar levels, and supplying the body with plant-based omega 3’s, and we all know how important they are!

And, as a mama-bear with a fussy eater, they’re a simple way to maximise Elodie’s nutrition, and a great way to send certain recipes to a daycare that has “Egg Free” rules, as chia is a great substitute for eggs in cooking.

And so in one of my many attempts at getting Elodie to eat well (without her realising it!), I whipped together these muffins. They were so delicious I ate 2 while warm (whoops) but there was enough left for Elodie to taste-test, as well as freeze for later in the week.

These muffins are sweetened only with fruit, and are 100% wholegrain. They’re also quite high in protein compared to a standard muffin and much higher in fibre, keeping you fuller for longer. Perfect for lunch boxes for big & small.  🙂



**Makes 6-8

The What:

  • 1 cup of whole rolled oats
  • 2 large & very ripe bananas (this is a great way to use up bananas that are turning brown!)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup natural (unsweetened) yoghurt
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice

The How:

  1. Mash the bananas until you form a paste
  2. Combine oats, banana, yoghurt, and milk in a bowl and stir well to combine. (You can add a teaspoon of cinnamon or vanilla here if you like, but I didn’t bother)
  3. Then add chia seeds and stir well to combine. Allow it to sit & set while you prepare your muffin tin.
  4. Lightly grease the muffin tin (I use coconut oil spray) and spoon your mixture between 6 – 8 cups.
  5. You can add a garnish at this point – Elodie loves sultanas (“tahnees”) but pepitas would taste awesome too.
  6. Bake in the oven at 160 degrees for 20 mins or until slightly golden & when a skewer inserted into a muffin, comes out clean.

Freeze immediately, or enjoy warm with a little butter!

Be well.



Nourishing Gardens: Leah @ Green Life Love

Meet Leah, a hardcore Permaculture Nerd, edible garden mentor, and Ecologist, who is throwing her heart and soul into creating a self-sustaining agriculture loop in her own backyard in Brisbane.  Leah blogs over at Green Life Love, where she shares her passion and knowledge, and her brand new garden design project.

She also has great buns! 😉

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Welcome Leah! Please tell us about yourself & your garden set up?

I’m an Ecologist, certified Permaculture designer and creative with a giant Eco-Geek Streak! I just love the wonders and rewards of the natural world, and how it all fits together in a perfectly imperfect system. My work centers around connecting gorgeous souls to the magic of our planet and the meaningful intentions we put behind our plates. Because, each of us is dependent on the natural environment for beautiful health and ultimately for the very air that keeps us alive.

I recently moved to a two acre-ish block to spread my green wings (so excited) so everything at our new garden is still getting set up. However, I will be establishing an overall plan for how to get my garden to work efficiently with least effort, while caring for and enhancing the garden’s ecological functions, and providing ultimate abundance and nutrition for me! I know it all sounds almost too awesome to be true, but that is the power I’ve found by mixing ecology with agriculture, through the practice of Permaculture.

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Who or what inspired you to start growing your food?

As soon as I saw a patch of dirt that was bare, I would grow things in it, even as a child. I’ve always loved plants and nature, my parents both loved working the garden, and I loved being in it. When I got to Uni I started learning in detail how our modern food system works, how commercial food is produced and how it impacts our health and our environment. This was long before supermarkets started putting origin labels on their broccoli – so as a student, I had no idea how far my broccoli had traveled, how much soil was lost in it’s production, how long it had been on the shelf, how it was grown or with what chemicals!  So I realised I had to do my part to grow more food myself.

It also makes me feel capable and empowered that I have a pretty cool, practical skill that provides healthy food for my family. ~ Leah

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What principles or philosophies do you transfer from your daily life to your garden?

Imperfection, patience and creativity. My garden needs to feel like a nice comfortable place to be, like a little organic artwork in itself – not structured and all laid out in straight lines. I like to mix different plants all among each other to create colour interest and a sense of ‘wildness‘. This also has an added benefit of both creating more habitats for good bugs and critters, while confusing the pests that do damage –  they can’t ‘hone-in’ on your bed of prize cabbages as easily if you mix the plants throughout the garden!

How does keeping a food garden affect your health?

Gardening is one of my main sources of exercise at home. All that lifting, shoveling, squatting and walking back and forth really make for nice buns! At least I think so. It also makes me feel capable and empowered that I have a pretty cool, practical skill that provides healthy food for my family.

I feel that the practice of gardening, and the simple act of watching something miraculously grow from a tiny seed, has been wonderfully complimentary to my spiritual practices. I feel connected to the Earth in so many ways and also connected to all the living beings around me. It has taught me to give more, have more patience, be more mindful and value simple, beautiful times with my friends and family.

What do you grow a LOT of?

Basil! That stuff just won’t quit! It self-seeds everywhere and it’s really tough and productive.


What do you WISH you could grow?

I wish I could grow coriander! It’s my favourite herb for cooking with, but I cannot get it to last in the garden! As soon as it gets up, it goes straight to seed (but i do harvest the seeds for curries). I assume because the climate at my place swings quite suddenly from mild to surface-of-the-sun hot.

Do you use organic/biodynamic practises? Are there any that you use the most?

As I mentioned, I use the principals of Permaculture to establish, maintain and grow my garden.

Permaculture is a design system for sustainable, abundant living, based on replicating patterns and connections we see in Earth’s natural ecosystems into our food gardens and overall way-of-life. Permaculture literally means ‘Permanent Agriculture’ so, it’s a way of producing what we need (not just food, but many things) in a way that fits in and works WITH nature and lasts over time.

The goal with Permaculture is to avoid techniques used by industrial agriculture such as monocultures, continuous need for chemical fertilisers and soil-eroding practices. These methods only deplete the earth until it no longer functions and contains no nutrients to offer our plants. Instead, in a Permaculture system, the aim of the game is to keep natural resources (such as soil, nutrients, organic matter, water and energy) cycling through our production systems for much longer, even permanently! This creates the opportunity for more biodiversity, less waste and more goodness and resilience for us. This usually happens through careful planning and thoughtful design and lots of pondering with cups of tea in the garden.

Generally organic food growing methods are also used in Permaculture, such as using organic nutrients and natural soil amendments. Generally my experience is, when I get the balance right, the system is working effectively and the soil is teaming with life, pests and disease are rarely an issue at all – so I don’t really need pesticides – organic or chemical! I use natural methods and ecosystem services to keep them check. Oh, and LOTS of homemade compost!

What’s your top tip for the first timer starting out with a food garden?

Start with foods that will give you the best bang for your buck. Make a list of the herbs you love to use, but have to buy in the shop. Fresh herbs in the supermarket are super-expensive by weight and often sealed in ridiculous plastic cases, which is just wasteful packaging. I used to find I would never get through the whole bunch before it went slimy and so it would go to waste anyway. Growing herbs at home is a wonderful place to start – you just pick a sprig or two when you need it – no waste, no packaging, ultimate flavour and muchos kudos from your hungry family/friends.

Some of my best and easiest recommendations would be thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage – these all enjoy similar conditions, so you can place them together or in pots. They don’t like frequent watering and they are hard to kill. If they turn up toes, it’s likely that they’re getting too much water! Parsley, basil, chili, cucumber and shallots (green onions) need a bit more love and water, but are still very easy  to have success as a beginner, and are always useful additions in the kitchen.

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Do you have a recipe from your garden to share?

I love finding new ways to use the green parts of vegies that aren’t often used, or that are thrown away – such as radish top greens, beetroot leaves and celery leaves. These parts are often super nutritious, cleansing for the body and abundant in the garden.

Off-beet green leaf smoothie


  • small handful of celery leaves
  • some young and tender beetroot leaves
  • 3 or so good looking radish-top leaves.
  • half a cup of mixed frozen berries (or pineapple or mango works well)
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • 3/4 of a cup of filtered water or fresh fruit juice if you like more sweetness
  • one teapoon of chia seeds


  1. Before you prepare the other ingredients put the chia seeds in a small amount of water, to let them expand and absorb water (this stops them getting too sticky in your blender and thickening your smoothie too much).
  2. Place the water and leaves in the blender and whiz together really well for 30 seconds or to your liking.
  3. Add in the berries, squirt in your lime juice and add the briefly soaked chia
  4. Give it one more whiz until the berries and chia are smooth. Add more water if needed for the consistency you prefer.

Thanks Leah! And last but certainly not least, where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on my website Green Life Love, also Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook.

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How to : Creamy Spiced Pumpkin Soup


There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

And while thats not the best analogy, the same can be said for Pumpkin Soup.

There are literally HUNDREDS of variations to this humble winter staple, but in the spirit of giving, I’m sharing my version with you. I love my soups thick and rich and nutrient dense and this pumpkin soup is exactly that. It’s also supercharged, which I’ll explain in a moment 🙂

Reasons to love Pumpkin Soup;

  • Gentle fibre for bowel health and low GI
  • Rich in minerals and beta carotene
  • Cheap to make for the end of those pay weeks!
  • Easy to make in bulk (and freeze!)
  • Kid-friendly
  • Perfectly warming for these cold nights
  • Contains immune boosting nutrients ginger, curcumin (a powerful anti-inflammatory), Vit C, Zinc, and Magnesium.

Creamy Spiced Pumpkin Soup

The What:

  • 1 medium butternut pumpkin, hulled & diced, skin on.
  • 1 small-ish sweet potato, peeled & chopped.
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger (approx 1 inch square) finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 3 cups of chicken stock (when I’m out of homemade stock, I use Australia’s Own Organic Faux-Chicken Stock)
  • 1 tablespoon of organic butter OR coconut oil
  • 1.5 cups (approx 400g) of pre-soaked chickpeas
  • Salt & pepper to taste

The How:

  1. Line an oven tray with baking paper, arrange your sweet potato and pumpkin, and place in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins.
  2. Remove roasted veg and place in a large pot with all the other ingredients.
  3. Add enough water to cover the veg.
  4. Bring to the boil and the reduce to a simmer.
  5. Cook until completely softened (approx 10-20 mins, depending on how roasted the vegetables were)
  6. Allow to cool to room temp, and then use a stick-blender to blitz in the pot, or blitz in batches with a bench top blender.
  7. Serve with warm flatbread or Chia Linseed Crackers.

Points to Note:

  • Pre-roasting your veg is entirely optional. I like to do it because it intensifies the flavour, and adds a hint of sweetness to the pumpkin & potato, which pairs perfectly with the spices of turmeric and chilli. If you’re not pre-roasting, you’ll need to simmer the pot for longer.
  • VERY important that you allow the soup to cool before blending. It can explode or spit during blending and we don’t want messy kitchens, stained shirts, or burnt hands!
  • Chickpeas are an excellent protein source, they contributes to feelings of satiety (that means you’re fuller for longer!), it slows down your digestion to allow for maximum nutrient absorption, and they’re rich in b vitamins and minerals. You can substitute chickpeas for white beans, quinoa, or lentils too.
  • Several key nutrients are fat soluble, which means there needs to be fat in digestion to facilitate their absorption. A dose of butter or coconut oil not only adds to the creaminess, but helps you to absorb essential nutrients. Fat (unlike carbohydrates) also triggers the receptors in the gut to signal that you’ve had a nourishing meal. People who eat a little fat with every meal tend to eat less calories, on average, than those who don’t! Interesting huh?


Nourishing Gardens: Rachel @ Earth to Self

How exciting – I still have so many more gorgeous gardens to show you. Which is fabulously helpful to me at the moment, as I’ve really struggled to find time to write blog posts lately while I juggle full-time on-campus study with raising a toddler!

But the semester is now over so I’m hoping to share some great information and recipes with you soon! Until then, I’d like you to take a moment (and a cuppa) to ogle over Rachel’s gorgeous food garden. Rachel Ross is a Transpersonal Therapist who guides women on their own journey of self-discovery. She’s also an advocate for living lightly upon, and sustainably with, our Earth, and all the magic it can offer us.

Rachel doesn’t have a HUGE back garden (only slightly larger than suburban size) but she makes up for this with a separate allotment of land where they can raise livestock with several other couples, which makes them self-sustaining in sourcing ethical meat too. I think this is a great initiative, and something to consider if you don’t have space to keep animals but perhaps know someone who does!

Gardening grounded me, helped me to slow down and allowed me to connect more with the seasons and cycles of nature. In that first year, you would find me in the garden, in fits of delight – Rachel

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Welcome Rachel! Please tell us about yourself & your garden set up?

I’m a transpersonal therapist and blogger at Earth to Self. I also work part-time for a regional food co-operative.

We live on the beautiful south coast in NSW and are lucky enough to have a warm temperate climate, which extends our spring/summer/autumn growing periods. Plus, no frost!

We have a regular ¼ acre block that includes plenty of garden beds, a fire pit and a fledging forest garden. We also raise animals on a property about 20 minutes away, including pigs, chickens, ducks and sheep. Our living arrangements include 2 couples (we have a self-contained granny flat in our backyard), so we all share responsibility for raising animals and growing food which really cuts down on work-load. It’s a bit of a communal effort.

Our backyard garden is continually evolving. We started out with raised beds because we live right near the coast and our soil is pretty much sand. Not a lot of nutrients going on there! We built up our soil with compost and manure, etc and recently got to the point where we dismantled the beds and created longer, market-garden-style rows in a sunny section of the garden. We hope this will help us improve yield. We still have a handful of raised beds including 3 large wicking beds and we crop rotate between them all. Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 2.44.17 pm

Who or what inspired you to start growing your food?

In 2011, I got to the point where I was over city life and deeply craved more simplicity. I was also generally re-assessing where I was going with my life and knew that I wanted to live closer to nature and more consciously in general. I made the decision to leave Melbourne to come and live with my man who was already set up here on the coast.

When I moved here with no job and no contacts, I threw myself into learning about organic veggie gardening. Gardening grounded me, helped me to slow down and allowed me to connect more with the seasons and cycles of nature. In that first year, you would find me in the garden, in fits of delight, discovering how a snow pea grew, or squealing about the size of a parsnip! For the first time I started to think about where my food came from. At the same time I was educating myself in health, nutrition and everything that’s wrong with the industrialised food system and over time, consciously moved away from buying food in supermarkets to buying local wherever I could.

We are currently self-sufficient in meat, grow a lot of our own veggies and buy pretty much everything else from our local food co-operative and farmers market. Caring about where your food comes from and sending your dollars to local and/or organic farmers is the easiest way, I think, that you can make a difference.


What principles or philosophies do you transfer from your daily life to your garden?

Growing a garden is such a great metaphor for life. The more time, effort and attention you put in the more you get back. And also it’s a humble reminder that nature is always in charge!

I quite like following the moon cycles with planting and other gardening activities. Following the lunar cycle is part of my personal spiritual practice. From a gardening perspective, it gets you into a rhythm of focusing on one plant group or gardening activity at a time, every month. It’s also a good way to plant in succession to ensure year round vege supply.

We are also quite heavily influenced by permaculture and particularly love the people/care aspect of this approach. Looking after each other is just as important as looking after the Earth.

wicking bed_peas

How does keeping a food garden affect your health?

I’m eating organically grown food most of the time, so much of what we consume is nutrient dense, especially so when it’s freshly picked and eaten right away. There is simply nothing better. Spiritually, I feel way more connected to the seasons, to nature and to myself. There’s nothing like the quiet sense of presence I get when tending the gardens and putting my hands in the earth. Emotionally, it helps to keep me calm and balanced.


What do you grow a LOT of?

Well this changes depending on what we are having luck with in each particular season! Generally speaking, we can never have enough leafy greens. They are a great way to bulk out a meal and super good for you, so stuff like silverbeet, kale, spinach and bok choy are pretty much garden staples. I also LOVE broccoli, so personally, I like to plant a lot of that. At the moment, we have Chokoes coming out of our ears.


What do you WISH you could grow?

RASPBERRIES. Ohmygoodness, I absolutely love raspberries, but it’s not cold enough in our climate zone unfortunately. I have a dream of starting a Berry garden one day, just for fun. We have plans to buy land with a collective of creatives and that will be my little project – to keep us all in a year round supply of berries!

Do you use organic/biodynamic practises? Are there any that you use the most?

We grow organically and incorporate permaculture systems wherever possible. We recycle all organic scraps via worm farms or compost and use them to feed our soil. We also interplant beneficial plants and flowers to attract the good bugs. We crop rotate every season and chop and drop weeds and plants where appropriate to maintain soil structure. Our garden is arranged according to permaculture principles complete with a forest garden at the back that grows copious amounts of yellow mountain paw paw. We’ve also had muscovy ducks in the past to assist with slug and snail control.


What’s your top tip for the first timer starting out with a food garden?

Start with seedlings rather than seeds for a head start, concentrate on creating good quality soil and plant leafy greens and herbs to start with. They are fast growing and you’ll be adding them to meals in no time. (That’s my top 3 tips)!

Do you have a recipe from your garden to share?

My go to staple!

Quinoa Salad with Haloumi & Crunchy Green Veg


  • 1 cup of Australian grown Quinoa, rinsed well.
  • 200grams of Haloumi cheese
  • 2-3 handfuls of green vege, like broccoli shoots, snow peas, sugar snap peas and broad beans.
  • 1 handful of salad leaves
  • A tablespoon each of Sunflower and Pepita seeds.


  1. Cook Quinoa according to instructions.
  2. Fry up haloumi cheese in a medium-hot pan. Chop into small pieces.
  3. Lightly blanche a selection of seasonal green veg, including broccoli shoots, broad beans, snow peas and sugar snap peas. They are best nice and crunchy.
  4. Pan roast pepitas and sunflower seeds.
  5. Toss all ingredients together, with fresh salad greens, and dress with a home-made French-style lemon and mustard dressing.

Thanks Rachel! And last but certainly not least, where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on my website Earth to Self, on Instagram, or on Facebook

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Nourishing Gardens: Robyn @ The Refresh Project

Robyn is the self-confessed “green half” of the Sustainable Earth Mothers behind The Refresh Project.  Robyn and Belinda are on a mission to share everything that is clean and green (and fun!) about living sustainably with your health in mind. The Refresh Project is a great resource if you want to start making positive changes that will help your health, your children, your home, and your world. The Refresh Project is for you if maybe you’re not sure where to start? Or you need another gentle push in the right direction.

I hope you enjoy visiting Robyns garden!

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Welcome Robyn! Please tell us about yourself & your garden set up?

I grew up in an Italian family with a celery Market Garden as our backyard, so gardening is definitely in my blood. As kids, we would collect our own eggs daily, and pick our own fruit from our abundance of fruit trees.  We would compete against our cousins in tomato picking, and to this day still make our own sauce each year (over 450 bottles).

My backyard is an edible garden. We have lawn for the kids to play on, but it is surrounded by veggies, fruit trees, flowers, a greenhouse for our seedlings, and a vertical herb garden.

We have not yet converted our front lawn, but have plans over the next few months to replace the lawn with native plants and fruit trees.

I also look after my son’s school veggie patch, which consists of 6 plots and a greenhouse.

I have so many photos I can share with you, as its kind of an obsession!


Who or what inspired you to start growing your food?

You would think it was my family, but it was actually my son’s school.  Up until 3 years ago, I had only a few fruit trees and herbs planted in my backyard.  I didn’t believe I had the space or time to grow my own veggies.  It wasn’t until the school’s principal asked if I would be interested in setting up a school garden that I rekindled my passion.  He obviously believed in me, more than I believed in myself.

first apples

What principles or philosophies do you transfer from your daily life to your garden?

I am an outdoors person who believes that being close to nature is necessary every single day.  I encourage my boys to walk barefoot on the grass every day, to climb trees and of course to help in the garden. They never have to be asked, as its not considered a chore, but something fun that they can do with their Mum, and something that gives them food (a big plus in a house of boys!)

‘He obviously believed in me, more than I believed in myself’. ~ Robyn

How does keeping a food garden affect your health?

Any time I feel stressed, I go into the garden or go for a walk.  Being close to nature improves my mind set, which I believe improves our health.  Eating organic is also a huge benefit of growing your own food.


What do you grow a LOT of?

I always grow according to season, so I have a bit of everything growing. I do however make sure I always have spinach growing in the garden. We use it every day in our green juices, or under our poached eggs.  Herbs are also always grown year round, as they are very easy to grow, can be used in everything and are an effective form of natural pest control.


What do you WISH you could grow?

I wish I could “grow” chickens.  We don’t have any at the moment, but I’m working on it! It would also be nice to grow tropical fruit, but in South Australia its not really possible.

Do you use organic/biodynamic practises? Are there any that you use the most?

Yes, our home and school garden are both organic.  I believe there is no need for artificial pesticides in such a small garden.  They are toxic to our health, and to our planet.  To keep away the insects I use several different practices, such as companion planting, crop rotation and good soil management. I also make my own natural insecticides if the pests get out of control.  The kids are great for pest control as well. They love searching for creepy crawlies.


What’s your top tip for the first timer starting out with a food garden?

Just give it a go! No space is too small. Don’t think that you need to be a horticulturist.  Most of my experience has come from trial and error. If something doesn’t grow well in one area, move it to another.  Soil quality is the key.  Compost, compost and more compost is my best advice.


Do you have a recipe from your garden to share?

Basil & Spinach Pesto

  • Fresh basil
  • Spinach (and any greens from the garden)
  • Sunflower seeds (as my son is allergic to nuts)
  • Olive oil and garlic cloves.

Blend it all together and use on penne. Add some parmesan cheese if you choose. Delicious and nutritious!

Thanks Robyn! And last but certainly not least, where can we find you on the web?

Web: The Refresh Project 

Join The Refresh Revolution (and download your free copy of The Little Green Book)

Facebook: The Refresh Project

Instagram: The Refresh Life Project

Twitter: Refresh for Life

Pinterest: Refresh Project

Bailey garden

Nourishing Gardens: Bec @ Think Big, Live Simply

When I spoke to Rebecca Shann from Think Big Live Simply about featuring her food garden, I got irrationally excited apon hearing about her magical space. She’s doing the things I have always fantasised about for my garden, working within an almost closed loop of sustainability… AND combining her work and her passion into one!

Bec is a Permaculture Designer, Simple Living advocate, self-confessed Garden Nerd, and lover of all things fun and beautiful. It’s her greatest joy to support others to live simpler, more sustainable lives, while saving the planet one veggie patch at a time.

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Welcome Bec! Please tell us about yourself & your garden set up?

I’m a herbs-in-pots turned self-sufficient market gardener kind of gal!

My husband and I are living and working on a property in country NSW, where a big part of our job is market gardening. We grow food for the “family farm” and some higher value crops like garlic and horseradish that the owners supply to gourmet delis and butchers in Sydney. Our market garden areas totalled about an acre in size this summer, so that’s a lot of food! We also look after a ‘food forest’ area – a gorgeous space with fruit trees under planted with strawberries, silverbeet, lettuce, kale, spring onion, fennel, celery and various herbs. To round it all out, we also look after 31 chooks and 5 pigs, which add lots of fertility (and fun!) to the system.

We are super lucky here, with the property also running a commercial composting operation – so we have the space, compost and water to allow us to grow on a larger scale with little restriction. It’s been an amazing learning experience, and although we will be leaving our position here in the next few months, it’s given us such a great foundation to build towardsdoing this for ourselves some day in the not-too-distant future.


Who or what inspired you to start growing your food?

I started my food growing journey with a single pot of rosemary about 9 years ago. Growing up I was NOT a gardener – my idea of hell was visiting the nursery with Mum on the weekends. I ended up doing a university degree in an agricultural field and working in pest and plant research though, so it’s kind of ironic! From that first rosemary plant (which I still have), I moved on to a lemon tree, blueberries and thyme, and it just grew from there. As a renter I grew mainly in pots until my husband and I bought our first home, which happened to already have an area dedicated as a veggie patch. I just started experimenting and seeing what worked and what didn’t. A few years ago, I spent two weeks in Tasmania learning all about Permaculture Design (a design science that’s about creating efficient, sustainable systems in your garden and in your life) – and the rest is history. I’ve become incredibly passionate about growing food and sharing what I learn with other people through my blog and garden design and mentoring services. Growing my own food is such a wonderful, fulfilling thing to do I can’t imagine ever not doing it.

‘My idea of hell was visiting the nursery with Mum on the weekends’ ~ Bec


What principles or philosophies do you transfer from your daily life to your garden?

I think actually it’s the other way around for me – philosophies from the garden have leant themselves to my wider life. Growing a garden teaches you masses of patience and it also teaches you to let go of control. You can be the ‘best’ gardener ever, and still have complete failures due to the weather or a sudden influx of some pest that you weren’t able to counteract. It’s just how it is sometimes. It can be absolutely devastating to have nurtured something from seed to the point where it is nearly ready for harvest, only to have it eaten or killed. It takes resilience to just keep planting the seeds and lots of faith that something so tiny will grow – quite a bit like life really! Gardening really teaches you about the power of hope, a really beautiful practice.


How does keeping a food garden affect your health?

In so many ways. Before market gardening, I worked in a corporate environment where a lot of my time was spent sitting at a desk in front of a computer. Physically, I am so much healthier getting out in the sunshine and fresh air, moving my body every day. I didn’t have a single cold or sore throat over winter, something that has NEVER happened before. We eat really seasonally now, with 95% of our fruit and veg coming from the garden. Not only is it healthier to be eating organically grown produce, but it couldn’t be any fresher, meaning we get the maximum nutritional value from it. I believe eating seasonally is much more natural for your body too – for example, in summer when you need lots of hydration you find highly hydrating fruits and veg like watermelon and cucumber in the garden. Nature is clever like that!


What do you grow a LOT of?

Tomatoes in summer and kale in winter – last Christmas I was given a Fowlers Vacola preserving unit, and I’ve been working away each weekend preserving lots of whole tomatoes. There is something so very satisfying about putting away excess from now for later – I absolutely love knowing that in a few months time I won’t be buying tinned tomatoes to cook with, I’ll be cracking into our own organically grown ones. We grow Tuscan (Black) Kale for a lot of the year, but it definitely lends itself to being a winter veg more than anything. I love it in soups, stirfries, pies or turned into yummy kale chips. And a bonus is that it is such a visually beautiful, structural plant to have in the garden, it deserves to be grown just for that really.


What do you WISH you could grow?

Here in southern NSW we have four very distinct seasons, which I love…but sometimes I am so envious of all the beautiful gardens in the subtropical and tropical parts of the country that can grow bananas and ginger and turmeric, and tomatoes just about year round! While I’ve committed to eating as locally and as seasonally as is practical, I’m not into deprivation so this does mean we buy things like bananas and mushrooms from the shops. We are lucky that we can source these types of things grown within our own country, but in an ideal world we’d grow them ourselves or buy them locally if we could.

Do you use organic/biodynamic practises? Are there any that you use the most?

We grow using organic principles – and going a step further than this, we try to grow with minimal inputs and create a self-sustaining loop. My motivation for growing organically is driven by doing what is best for the environment as well as growing the healthiest food possible.

To me, creating a healthy soil is the key to creating a healthy garden. While the use of organic fertilisers and additives is a much better alternative to conventional or synthetic ones, there is still a high embodied energy cost associated with their production and transport. So, we try to use practices that build the soil health in place, rather than adding to it from external sources. These are things like composting our kitchen scraps and garden waste to add organic matter to the soil, using chickens to scratch, clean up and fertilise garden beds after a crop has finished, having worm farms to create liquid fertiliser that we spray on the veggies, rotating different types of crops throughout the beds so that they don’t become deficient in certain minerals, resting beds between crops by growing ‘green manure’ crops that get fed back into the soil, using lots of mulch so that all the worms and microbes are happy, and generally looking after the soil structure by not compacting it with heavy machinery or pulverising it to dust with cultivation. Looking after the soil is the main objective, because if you have healthy, happy soil, the plants are healthy, free from pests and disease and practically grow themselves!


What’s your top tip for the first timer starting out with a food garden?

Start small. It is so tempting to head to the garden centre and stock up on punnets of your favourite herbs and veggies, pop them in with grand plans to be growing everything on your plate in only a couple of weeks… I promise you, this will only lead to heartache. Starting with a couple of plants or a small veggie patch will be so much more sustainable, it will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and help you to get some confidence in your ability to keep things alive. You’ll be adding to it before you know it!


Do you have a recipe from your garden to share?

I have adapted this recipe slightly from Angela at Natural Heart Health. It’s called ‘Anti-Inflammatory Soup’ and it is packed full of veggies and goodness. I love it for this time of the year when there is an abundance of veggies in the garden and the weather has cooled down just slightly enough to enjoy a yummy soup. I’ve included what we have available right now, but you could really add just about any veggies you liked.

Anti Inflammatory Soup (Serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or diced finely
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated finely
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 6 large leaves of black kale or spinach
  • 1 red capsicum
  • ½ head of broccoli
  • 3 chopped tomatoes or 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable stock powder, or the equivalent in concentrate
  1. Chop and fry your onion in the butter until softened in a large stock or soup pot.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic and turmeric to the pot and cook for a minute.
  3. Add all the rest of your veggies and stock to the pot, give it a stir and add enough water to nearly cover them. Simmer for around 20 minutes until everything is soft and cooked through.
  4. Remove from heat and blitz using a stick blender until smooth (or slightly chunky if you prefer!). Serve with a drizzle of olive oil for added richness and healthy fats.

Thanks Bec! And last but certainly not least, where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on my website Think Big Live Simply or on Instagram 

Nourishing Gardens: Erin @ The Rogue Ginger

Yay I’m so excited that we can begin!  If you know me, you know that I’m a avid gardener. I’d much rather spend my Friday evening amongst my lettuces, tending to my little leaves (with a wine in hand, of course) than be packed into a crowded bar.

Joy of joys, I am not alone! There are young women out there, just like me, who share a passion for their little patch of earth. And so begins, the first part of my new series that shines the light on these gardening beauties. Some of them have swathes of acreage, while others have pots on modest balconies but what they share is a passion for growing their own food. 

First up, let me introduce you to Erin Rhoads from The Rogue Ginger. Erin is a passionate advocate for a waste-free life. She believes in using what we already have and doing our best to not contribute to the downward spiral that inevitably comes from a life of endless consumption. If you’re contemplating reducing your impact on the world, Erin’s blog is a great place to start. Connecting with her has come perfectly timed, as a bulk wholefoods store is JUST ABOUT to open around the corner from my home! My jars and boxes are raring to go. 😉 Erins’ ideas are super simple to apply, and you can take what you feel you can manage from her philosophies – even just one less packaged item is one less bag of junk in landfill!

Erin has a small vegetable garden in Victoria, and she has done incredible things with just a fraction of the space. Proof that you don’t need to convert great patches of lawn into growing space in order to nourish yourself with your garden. You CAN have your entertaining space, and eat it too 😉

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 1.47.18 pm

Welcome Erin! Please tell us about yourself & your garden set up?

Hello. I am a proud red haired lady that happily lives a plastic free life and creates no trash (formally known as zero waste living). My home and garden is in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria.

My garden is small but nourishing. Beyond the back door we have 60 square meters of space of which 85% is decking (our outdoor entertaining area). Around the east and south side of the decking is where you can find our vegetables and one fruit tree growing amongst birds of paradise, variety of ferns and some palms.

trg_03When I moved into my boyfriends home he had an established garden and I was there when he was working tirelessly to get it up and running. I started our vegetable garden with wood pots on the decking. I kept adding more and more pots to the decking growing mainly beans, cucumber and horta. My boyfriend enjoyed having fresh food and in September last year he set about to expand the amount of growing space so I could plant more vegetables without removing any of his established garden. He put in three planter boxes on the eastern wall and added a garden bed in the corner surrounding a palm tree. New soil was brought in as the existing soil contained clay.

Who or what inspired you to start growing your food?

My parents are enthusiastic gardeners so it is safe to say they are my primary influence. They have an abundant vegetable garden and are a knowledgable source that I draw on when I have a question or two.

What principles or philosophies do you transfer from your daily life to your garden?

Be kind, grateful & patient and you will be given what you need.

How does keeping a food garden affect your health?

Gardening is great for stress management and reminding me that the best things in life are the simplest. I go out every morning or when I get home from work to see how each of the plants are. There is rarely a day that does not see me in the garden. It is never a stressful place even when a crop has not performed brilliantly or the slugs have enjoyed a feast on a kale leaf or two. The process of gardening reminds me there are some things in this world beyond my control and to be thankful that I have the opportunity to grow food.


What do you grow a LOT of?

In the warmer months my garden is full of beans, cucumber and silverbeet. It looks like I am going to have a late harvest of zucchini and yellow squash too.

Popular picks in winter are kale (but this has grown back very strong in the last three weeks of summer), snow peas, spinach, silverbeet, fennel, coriander, parsley and beetroot. I didn’t have the planter boxes or new garden beds last winter so I am excited to see what I will add. It is starting to cool down here so I will be preparing for the winter crops next week.


What do you WISH you could grow?

More fruit trees please! We have one Meyer lemon tree now in its third year and finally seeing fruit. We eat a lemon a day so having a big lemon tree would be nice. I love stone fruit, apples, passionfruit, avocados and figs…there is just no way we could grow them with the space we have.

Do you use organic/biodynamic practises? Are there any that you use the most?

I use organic fertilisers. Today I removed most of the summer plants and put down organic mushroom fertiliser. I will follow this up with organic compost that I will collect from a farmer in western Victoria and top with lucern hay. Because I live a plastic free and zero waste life I am limited by convenience. For instance I can’t go to the local nursery for most of our garden needs. There is a lot of time spent trawling through for places that I can get fertiliser from and have it delivered or picked up unpackaged.

I collect seaweed to help alleviate hungry bugs. The salty seaweed drys out making the surface unfriendly for slugs and snails to move on. Seaweed had been one of the best pest managements I have used. Plus it is fantastic food for the soil. Happy soil, happy plants!

Over the summer I had trouble with birds digging up plants and seeds. I already had an old net from years ago but it was not enough. Because I don’t buy anything packaged I decided to use old lace curtains from second hand clothing stores on the planter boxes. It works a treat and cost me $3. I use sticks/branches collected in a park up the road to hold the nets up and for a bean trellis.

I have never sprayed anything on my plants except water.


What’s your top tip for the first timer starting out with a food garden?

Ask many questions and keep a garden diary – it’s really is handy to keep track of what works and what does not. Oh, and just start!

Do you have a recipe from your garden to share?

Beetroot leaves with lemon and garlic


  • 1/2 bunch washed beetroot leaves and stems (leaves and stems separated – stems cut into bite size pieces)
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon.


  1. Warm up the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic. Cook for two minutes.
  2. Add the stems and toss around the pan until coated with oil.
  3. As the stems begin to soften add the beetroot leaves. Toss to coat leaves in oil.
  4. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze over the leaves and stems.
  5. Keep tossing the leaves until they have become limp. Pull off the heat and serve immediately.

This favourite recipe of mine features several times throughout the week and is perfect for using up slightly wilted leafy greens too. I also swap out the beetroot leaves for silverbeet, kale or radish leaves depending on the season.

Thanks Erin! And last but certainly not least, where can we find you on the web?

The process of gardening reminds me there are some things in this world beyond my control and to be thankful that I have the opportunity to grow food. ~ Erin

How To: Savoury Seed Crackers & Sweet Potato “Hummus”

IMG_3346 Elodie had decided she was a “dipper”. That is, she has a new found fascination with taking a cracker or a piece of bread and dipping it into something (dip, yoghurt, soup)… again, and again…. aaand again. (Double dipper? Ha! More like quadruple dipper!) So of course, I set out to find a way to give her crackers and dip with maximum nutrition, because as you know, she’s super fussy! So anything we can get into her is supercharged in any way I can. Homemade crackers are also free of soy flour, and other such fillers or flavours, with much less salt. IMG_3293I’ve always been apprehensive of cracker-making, I figured it was too complicated or required special equipment or planning. But I was genuinely surprised at how well this creation turned out, first time! This recipe was perfect to have ticking away in the background while I prepared other meals for the week. The key here is not to cook the crackers per se, but to DRY them out. Slow and steady wins the race! You can always use a dehydrator, keeping in mind that it will take longer (such as overnight) but on the upside; you don’t need to keep an eye on it.

The dip is a variation on your usual hummus – with a little supercharging, again 😉 Chickpeas are a valuable source of plant protein, B vitamins (especially Folate), and fibre, as well as magnesium, iron, and great sources of the trace minerals manganese, copper, and phosphorus. Sweet potato is rich in beta carotene, and the seeds linseed & chia are very rich in the brain-boosting essential omega fatty acids.


The What:


  • 1/2 cup chia
  • 1/2 cup linseed
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon ground Himalayan Rock Salt
  • Paprika & dried herbs to taste


  • 1 tin of drained chickpeas
  • 1.5 cups cooked & drained sweet potato
  • 1 heaped tablespoon nut butter (or tahini, but I can’t stand the taste!)
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup natural/greek yoghurt (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon ground Himalayan rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon natural Honey

IMG_3348The How:


  1. Preheat oven to 70 degrees
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. Add all water and mix well, ensuring there are no seed clumps. Allow to set for 10 minutes
  4. Roll into a dough-like ball.
  5. Transfer to baking paper lined oven tray, and roll out your dough mix
  6. Press down firmly with your hands and fingertips until thin & firm (no more than 0.5cm thick)
  7. Press knife into mixture to form cracker shapes (or use a cookie cutter if y’all wanna get fancy-like)
  8. Place baking tray on lowest shelf in the oven and bake at 70 degrees for 2 hours.
  9. At the 1 hours mark, break apart the crackers and turn them over so that they dry evenly.
  10. When slightly golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  11. Transfer to airtight container and store in your pantry.


  1. Cook sweet potato and drain
  2. In a blender, combine all ingredients with the sweet potato, except the yoghurt, and blitz.
  3. Add the yoghurt, and blend again. Add a little water or yoghurt until you reach your ideal consistency
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Hope you enjoy these like we do!

Be well.


Toddler Approved!

Toddler Approved!

The Curse of the Nutritionists Child (Part 1)

Elodie 018 8x12

‘It’s not all sunshine and roses being the child of a Nutritionist’, my daughter would say, if she could speak.

And I would reply, ‘Nor is feeding you when all my training and knowledge amounts to shit‘.

Everything I offered she annihilated with gusto

We started off pretty dandy, weaning to solids at a little over 5 months. Elodie was an enthusiastic eater; everything I offered she annihilated with gusto. I was conscious of expanding her palette. We avoided anything processed, we skipped the “rice bran porridge” stage, everything was homemade, we stuck to savoury foods with the odd sweet fruit, and we tried everything from salmon to eggs to veggies to pasta to lamb to sauerkraut to nut butter.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 10.54.36 amWhen she became confident reaching for, and holding things, I offered her sticks of food; steak to gnaw on, broccoli florets, steamed carrot sticks, pieces of fish or bread. All my training and knowledge was being exercised…. little did I know it would soon amount to shit-all.

We were on a roll!

My breastmilk dried up when Elodie was a little over 7 months old. In the space of about 6 weeks I went from pumping for 15 mins and getting 120ml… to just 10ml. I wasn’t too phased, as Elodie was eating 3 solids meals a day so I just supplemented with formula instead. Then she got the flu, and for two days threw up all her food. Strangely she could keep milk down, so we upped her bottles to keep her fed and hydrated. Then I caught her flu, and confined to bed for several days, hubby did all the feeding with a bottle.

She started to slide. The refusals started. I started offering alternatives just so that she’d get some food… that worked for a while, but then she’d refuse the alternatives too. I think the timing of everything was just crap – between losing my breastmilk, switching to formula, her getting sick, me getting sick, and reaching an age of 8 months where she was stretching and exerting her independence, the food was the one thing she could control. Or maybe it wasn’t that at all? Only Elodie could say for sure… but the one thing for certain was that her descent to being a “non-eater” took about 2 months…

It started with mouth clamping. Fussiness. Head turning. Rolling it around her mouth and spitting it out. Screaming in the highchair, even before feeding began. I didn’t stress about it, it was a phase we could just roll through.

But the phase didn’t end.

In fact, it got worse. For nearly 3 months she literally ate nothing except milk from a bottle. Nothing that was offered made it down her throat, but if we were lucky, a spoonful or two of porridge would go, but instead Elodie was opting to drink over a litre of formula a day….

I was sitting in my GP’s office, asking for a Paediatric referral. Her eye brow was raised, I had just explained that Elodie refused to eat.

She turned to Elodie, sitting dutifully on my lap, “Elodie is just going to have to learn that mummy is actually the boss!”

I gave the doctor a deadpan stare. I was ready for this.

The doctor turned back to me, “What kind of things are you feeding her? Do you need assistance with diets for babies or how to wean?”. I interjected; “Its not WHAT, its HOW she’s eating. I have a pretty good idea about what… Im a nutritionist…we have behavioural issues”. Well that certainly changed her demeanour – suddenly I was being talked to like a colleague, rather than a naive first time mother.

She asked what I had tried…..

Um, everything? But more specifically

  • Spoon feeding
  • Finger food feeding
  • Giving Elodie the spoon to feed herself
  • Feeding with a distraction – tv / book / toy / Grandma dancing around like an idiot
  • Feeding in a distraction free room
  • Feeding in the highchair
  • Feeding while seated on the floor
  • Feeding while on my lap
  • Leaving plates of food near her so she could pick at them
  • Withholding bottles so that she was hungry
  • Offering a small bottle to take off a little hunger before offering solids
  • Keeping bottles and solids completely separate meals so she wasn’t “just waiting for the bottle to come”
  • Feeding her off my plate at the table
  • Feeding her with other children who were eating (at daycare)
  • Giving her a spoon/fork to feed herself
  • Simultaneously letting her feed me while I fed her
  • Waiting until the crying started then shoving it in
  • Getting the grandparents to feed her
  • Using puppets and talking dolls to “eat” first
  • Only feeding when she asked for it
  • Working to rigid meal times
  • Offering food constantly all day
  • Heaping praise on her when she did eat something
  • Ignoring her entirely
  • Offering packet foods / squeeze packs
  • etc etc

I got my paediatric referral.

On the referral letter it read, “Mother is a Nutritionist”…..



Stay Tuned for Part 2 – The Battle

How To: Superfood Salad



On one of my jaunts down Melbourne’s famous Degraves Street, I stopped in at my old haunt, TOFWD – The Organic Food & Wine Deli. A modest little hole-in-the-wall cafe, it serves up some of the most delicious organic & wholefoods wares, especially designed for on-the-go or short lunch breaks in the city.

I was in a hurry, so I ducked in for a takeaway salad and it was sooo yummy I decided to take a stab at the ingredients, and recreate it here for you!

Now, this recipe is for bulk salad; whip it up one evening and eat it over a few days. It’s a great side accompaniment or as a meal on its own.

Superfood Salad

The What:

  • 1/4 of a medium pumpkin
  • 1 bunch of curly Kale
  • 1 cup of whole buckwheat kernels
  • 1 tin of soaked chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons of tamari sauce (or soy)
  • 1/3 cup of seeds (pumpkin/pepita & sunflower)
  • Boiling water

IMG_2969The How:

  1. Fill your kettle and put it on to boil
  2. Dry-toast the seeds in a pan until just starting to brown (careful not to burn), and set aside.
  3. Cook pumpkin in a saucepan in equal parts stock & water, until soft – I used real chicken stock
  4. Cook buckwheat kernels in equal parts stock & water, until just soft. They should still retain their firmness
  5. Finely chop the kale, place in a large bowl, pour the recently boiled hot water over the kale so that it blanches. Quickly drain away the hot water.
  6. Add the chickpeas & toasted seeds to the bowl of Kale, stir to combine.
  7. In a separate bowl, mash the cooked buckwheat, tamari sauce, and pumpkin together.
  8. Combine the kale mixture with the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine.


Just as tasty warm, as it is cold. Also goes great with thinly sliced poached chicken, or cubes of pan fried wild Salmon!

Be well!


How To : Apple, Oat & Sweet Potato Slice (egg free)

IMG_2858Well here I am!

I’m back in my old haunt, Melbourne. Im here for 3 months, soaking up loads of nutrition knowledge (and having a few brain melts in the process).  Ive missed you Melbourne, you gorgeous broad and your unpredictable moods!
Im also having to put Elodie in daycare – which means preparing nutritious meals every day for her to take along. The fruit part is easy, and I pack a green smoothie into her Little Mashie, but what to pack next is just one part of the endless battle I face with “Ms Uber Fussy 13 Months”.
IMG_2847She loves muesli slice bars…you know the kind; the sugary ones on the shelf in the supermarket. But these are “very sometimes” foods (or as I call them, Handbag Emergency Foods – stored in my purse for panic moments) and they are NOT something I want to send her in with every day!
So I took it apon myself to concoct a healthy alternative.
The problem with baking for child care, is that some of my favourite staples at home (ABC Nut Butter, free range eggs) are not permitted in most child care centres, as they’re an allergen risk for sensitive children. I find this challenging as I’m ALWAYS adding egg to Elodies food, as they’re such a complete (and dense) source of calories and nutrients. A quick glance at the ingredients for the processed egg-free bars and the answer is clear… CHIA!
Chia becomes a mucilage, that is, it forms a gel when combined with water. This gel acts as a binding agent and is a perfect alternative to my egg problem.
And the first attempt was a great success. In fact, I made PLENTY and I’m now able to take them as snacks for myself too!
This recipe has less sugar, less sodium, no vegetable oils, and no preservatives. So it won’t stay happily in my handbag for a month – thats a good thing!  Its also rich in b-vitamins & mineral-rich wholegrains, as well as omega 3’s for brain development. While the specifics are listed below, I also encourage you to explore with whatever you have on hand!

Egg Free Muesli Bars (makes 15-18)

The What

  • 3/4 cup whole oats
  • 1 & 1/4 cups of oat bran (this is literally just ground oats)
  • 2 tablespoons of linseeds or hemp seeds (for the brain boosting oils)
  • 1/2 cup warm (not hot) water
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of pre-cooked sweet potato
  • 1 pinch of salt (under 1/2 a tspn)
  • 1 cup of apple or pear puree* – if store bought, make sure it has no added sugar or artificials. If homemade, be sure to properly drain away the liquid before pureeing.
  • 1/4 cup blanched spinach
  • 1/4 cup of freeze dried fruit (available from the health food section of the supermarket – again look for brands without added sugar or colours)
*You can also use soaked/pureed dates in place of apple but you’ll need slightly less, as they’re sweeter.

IMG_2864The How:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Combine chia & water in a cup, stir well and allow to sit for 5 mins
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix briefly.
  4. Add wet ingredients and stir with a large flat spoon until thoroughly combined.
  5. Line a small tray with baking paper
  6. Press muesli mixture down firmly into the tray with the back of a spoon
  7. Using a knife, press down a few lines into the mixture – this will make it easier to cut when cooked.
  8. Bake at 180 degrees for 20-35 minutes or until golden & firm beneath the fingers. It shouldn’t be rock hard, but give slightly when pressed.
  9. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  10. Finalise the cutting of the bars.
  11. Easily freezes – just stack them in an airtight container with a piece of baking paper between each layer.
Be well,

How to : Blueberry Mint Flip

‘Don’t buy any more frozen berries!’.

That was my mums statement after she cleaned out her refrigerator yesterday. The entire top shelf of the freezer is jam packed with bags of frozen berries, from strawberries to mulberries (from our farm!) and many bags of blueberries. I can’t help myself, I feel like frozen berries are just one of those household staples. But in the spirit of helping mum clean out her freezer, I will help her eat them!

This cool berry flip gets its gorgeous fluffiness from egg whites, and that extra protein source helps keep you fuller for longer. And of course blueberries are FULL of antioxidants. You can use fresh berries too but I find the combination of frozen berries and refreshing mint makes this a perfect summer drink.

Blueberry Mint Flip (serves 2)

Fluffy berry goodness!

Fluffy berry goodness!

The What

  • 1 cup frozen certified organic blueberries – I use the Oob brand available at Coles
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2-3 fresh mint leaves

The How

  1. Blend and enjoy!  >.<

xxx Kaye

Blueberry Mint Flip 'Stache!

Blueberry Mint Flip ‘Stache!

P.S. When sourcing your berries, remember that they top the list for the amount of chemicals that are required to grow them (and protect them from bugs & fungus). So especially if you have little ones in the house that like berries, go organic wherever possible. Their little growing bodies are so much more sensitive to these residues than ours.

Be sure to consider also where your frozen berries come from; a recent investigation found that many of the frozen varieties (think supermarket-brand boxes) are imported from overseas, from countries with little to no regulation on pesticide/fungicide use, and contained unacceptable levels of chemicals (or that are banned for use in Australia).

“A report has found unacceptable levels of chemical residues in more than half the fruit tested.
Of the 27 conventionally grown fresh strawberry samples tested by Choice, three contained pesticide residues that exceeded legal limits or showed traces of banned pesticides.”

“So how did these chemicals make their way into our food chain? Most of these berries are imported. As an example, Creative Gourmet import their berries from a variety of countries including Chile, Serbia, China and Poland. Why? The report interviewed an Australian farmer who said they just can’t compete with the low costs from overseas.
In a separate report, a selection of peaches and berries that were imported from Chile were found to contain traces of DDT. DDT is one of the most dangerous pesticides that has ever been used on our food supply and as a result, has been banned in Australia for many years.”

Alyse Cocliff

All About: Magnesium [video]

In Part 3 of my Vlog series, I continue to talk about the fundamentals of Nutrition. Vitamins, minerals, and the basics of good-health principles.

Lets take it back to the essentials…

Click to watch the third instalment – MAGNESIUM

Watch the VITAMIN C video

Watch the B VITAMINS video

Liked this post? Please, let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Or maybe there’s a vitamin or mineral you’d like me to cover?

Be well. xx


The ONE rule of bone broth you need to know.

You know that feeling – if you’re not too distracted by life of course – when the wheels are starting to fall off your health. You realise you’re getting the warning signs… Headaches, a sniffle, a tickle cough, feeling tired/foggy, unable to concentrate, unable to sleep or unable to get out of bed, breakouts, a “hangdog” look, tightness/tension through your next and shoulders, sore joints, bloating, nausea, that icky taste on the tongue. These very first of signs that come to us before we get “proper sick” or injure ourselves. Sometimes we notice them, sadly sometimes we don’t, but when they come my way and Im paying attention, I know something has to be done.

So two things happen; I smash some green smoothies, and I make a batch of bone broth.

Image via

Image via

Bone broth has been only a recent addition to my life in the last few years – but its effects are far reaching. It’s of particular importance if you have digestive issues or mineral deficiencies, its soothing to the mucus linings, and rich in nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and silica, and gelatin and collagen, the body’s connective tissues. Bone broth supports connective tissue regeneration (so thats your joints, cartilage, tendons etc), gives vitality to your epithelial tissue (hair, skin, and nails – a youth elixir!) and gelatin helps treat digestive upset and leaky gut. Sure you could use collagen in your night cream, but your skins capacity to absorb it is very limited (thats why the skin is such an effective barrier!). The best source of collagen is obtained in digestion.

I put it off for many years because it was up there with sauerkraut, kombucha, and sourdough, as food I was too nervous to try! It seemed complicated, time consuming, and a little bit woo-woo. But since taking the plunge and jumping on the brothin’ wagon, its now a staple in my life.

But there’s one rule you need to know with bone broth….

The art of the slow simmer

The art of the slow simmer


Ok so thats a little white lie. You MIGHT need BONES.

And water. 😉 But beyond that, how you broth is as much a personal thing as how you do your hair. There is no hard and fast way to create bone broth, whichever way you make it you’ll still have the same result.

However in the spirit of sharing, Im going to give you a few tips and suggestions and ideas, based around how I create my own.

  • I tend to collect my bones over a few weeks, as left overs from meals. Whether its lamb roasts, t-bone steaks, drumsticks, or shanks, I wrap up the bones and pop them into the freezer. When Im ready to make a broth, I’ll pop to my local butcher and collect beef chuck bones, and pair of chicken frames (crazily cheap), and Im ready to go.
  • I choose free range/grass-fed (organic if its available) bones – they’re such damn cheap cuts, we can afford to get quality.
  • I use a slow cooker to make bone broth (just $30 from the department store). You can use a large heavy bottom pot on your stovetop but I find this more risky (you can’t really go out and leave it burning, unattended) and its a greater waste of energy as much of the heat is lost to the air.
  • I cook my mixture for 30 hours. As a general rule, after 24-30 hours the larger bones should be full of holes and can be crushed between your fingers – this is a sign the minerals have leached into the liquid. The smaller bones & joints have usually vaporised altogether! I just pop it on in the kitchen, go about my day (for two days) and take it off the following afternoon.
  • I don’t bother with apple cider vinegar. I just prefer to cook it for longer rather than adding an acidic element to break it down.
  • I do however add in some turmeric (a powerful anti inflammatory), a few cloves of garlic (antibacterial and anti fungal), some fresh herbs, and a knob of ginger (for immunity).
  • If I happen to have any waste-veg (tops off carrots or beetroot, potato skins, wilted greens) I’ll add these too but I won’t really go out of my way to add veg.
  • I always include joints of some kind – whether its wings, frames, necks, or knuckles. This is where the collagen and gelatin in your broth comes from, rather than straight-up bones. The bones contain the nutrient-rich marrow, and the minerals.
  • Once cooked, I strain it through a fine mesh seize to remove all the “bits”, pour it into a bowl and allow it to cool.
  • Once cooled, a layer of opaque fat will have formed on the top. I scrape this off with a spoon, transfer it to a small container, and keep it in the fridge or by the stove. I will then use it for cooking in place of coconut oil, such as frying eggs, sautéing my silverbeet greens, or roasting vegetables. YUM
  • The cooled broth is meant to be like a jelly, this is from the presence of gelatin. Its now ready to use! I divide my broth up into 1L containers and freeze what Im not going to use short term. Broth keeps in my fridge for about 2 weeks (if I don’t use it all up before then!).

So what exactly to DO with broth?

  1. For the most part, I drink it on its own piping hot in the morning or when I get home from a long day, in a mug seasoned with himalayan salt & a squeeze of lemon or lime.
  2. I also use it as a base for curries, risotto, soups & stews etc, instead of that additive-filled, and nutrient-void packet/powdered stock!
  3. Its an incredibly nutrient-dense source of food for small children, especially of importance if your little one has had to have a course of antibiotics or ibuprofen, both which can strip the gut lining. For children particularly, its a GREAT source of minerals that support their rapidly growing skeletal system, including magnesium, silica, calcium, fluoride, and phosphorus. You can offer it to them as a drink, or stirred into their baby food.

If you’ve got any extra tips, please add them below!  Be well. xx

Read a previous post; 5 Reasons to Own a Slow Cooker

Image via

Image via

Is 2015 your year for change? In January I’ll be opening up some very limited one-on-one coaching spots. I take my knowledge of nutrition, plus the experience of my own wellness journey, and history as both a corporate junkie and a new mother, and combine them ALL to offer services and support to women (and men!) looking for a better version of themselves.
Coaching can be face-to-face or via Skype but spots ARE limited. If you’d like to be the first to view the packages on offer in the new year, drop me a line! EMAIL:

PART 3 : Reconnect With Your Food

Welcome! to Part 3 of my series; A Teaspoon Half Full for New Mothers.

“How to re connect with your food”

Hint: It won’t happen at the supermarket
Read Part 1 or Part 2 of my series here

As a Nutritionist, my focus is first and foremost on the role food and nutrients, specifically wholefoods, plays in the promotion of wellness. However what we are prone to forgetting sometimes, is that food isn’t actually “just food”.

Y51aFguqRcGTgsYRYBXV_20140104_085932In practice, we often see food as emotionally charged; it draws you in, elevates you, or brings you down. The choices we make every day are bound by more than just taste too. Our moral compass, the depth of ties to community, cultural background, education level, socioeconomic status, food security & availability, our family upbringing, our sense of self worth, and our aesthetic desires, all combine in a melting pot of influence that dictates what, how, and when, we eat. Food has always been about more than just sustenance and survival. However as we enter the world of motherhood, we stop being the centre of our own universe – that position is now filled by our children, and for many of us, our health suffers. Many of us don’t have great relationships with food to start with – so what the extra duty of motherhood can do is return us to that battle with food we’ve been trying to fight (sometimes successfully) all our lives. Only now we have greater demands on our time, our energy, and our financial and emotional resources.

One of the things we have been taught as Nutritionists is that we are also counselors & mediators, in that we need to explore the relationships people inevitably develop with food (both good and bad). We delve into how people interact with food, and why, not just the types of food they choose. All too frequently, a disconnect is discovered between the eater, and the eaten. This disconnect stems from a lack of awareness of the role of food beyond taste and sustenance. This disconnect commonly widens for new mothers. Reconnecting with our food is the first step towards improving your relationship with it as an entity, not just with the nutrients (or lack thereof) it provides.


Tea-TimeIt makes no difference if your metabolism or lifestyle calls for 3 square meals for day, or a grazing style diet – the key is attentiveness. Research shows that distracted eaters eat up to 30% more than people who ONLY eat. Have you ever watched a movie… and then wondered where all those M&Ms went!?

I’m guilty of distracted eating with a baby in my life as I flit from one thing to the next, juggling her needs with my own. However when I put as much concentration into feeding myself as feeding Elodie, I make better food choices. Think of how mindful the relationship a small child has with her food. Her palate is constantly exploring new tastes and sensations, she is learning to chew and swallow, and discerning what she does and doesn’t like. Cultivating this sense of child-like awareness is the first step towards understanding that food is more than just a source of nutrients for survival.

Chewing your food purposefully and thoroughly, taking note of the textures and changes in flavor not only makes your eating mindful, but is also helpful in the digestive process, breaking down the bites in pieces more easily accessed by the enzymes of the stomach.

Tips for Mindful Eating;

  1. Remember to chew each morsel thoroughly before swallowing, 20-30 times is a good guide for solid foods
  2. Make the act of eating the ONLY thing you do. Sit at a table (don’t walk around), don’t watch TV or surf the internet, pull over in your car, don’t answer emails on your phone or watch youtube clips! Make your meal the centre of your attention.
  3. Don’t eat out of a packet. Apportion meals and snacks out on to a plate so that you can see and understand exactly how much you need to feel satisfied.

Is your eating mindful or mindless???


What is it about your food choices that drives you to make them? What is it about comfort food that makes it SO easy to indulge in? Does it fill a void greater than the void in your tummy?

Be honest in your introspection. Is cheese on toast a throw back to sleepovers at Nana’s house? Does a chocolate sundae remind you of summer holidays?

Do our worst or most indulgent food choices and eating habits come when we are emotionally raw? I know I personally struggle with an over-eating off switch when Im sleep deprived. Which happens a lot these days!! I combat this by simply not having my “Achilles heel” living in the pantry – its all I can do!

Tips for Emotion Eating;

  1. Keep a food diary to record your feelings and emotional state if youre prone to binging, or over-indulging. Be sure to record how much sleep youre getting, and how stressed your environment is.
  2. Reframe your comfort foods. Mine, like many, is chocolate, cheesecake, or banana bread. Now that I can make my own, I’m able to substitute the “nasties” for the “not so nasties”. Then when I DO enjoy them, they’re nutrient dense at the very least, instead of being “empty calories”. Seriously, try my chocolate mousse 😉
  3. Consider seeing a counselor or psychologist if you feel that your eating habits are affecting your day to day lifestyle, or if youre consumed by thoughts of food. Eating disorders are NOT just cut’n’dry – you don’t have to be anorexic to be unwell, instead they exist along a variable spectrum. More info:


zU6fwmDaSVWZdCXcZfot_IMG_3838Where does your food really come from? Who grows it? Who makes it? A family farm? A corporation? What do they use to grow it, how is the land managed for sustainability? Does it roam freely? What chemicals are used to grow it, what antibiotics are used to treat it, what is it sprayed with before it can be imported to our country? Is it in season? Is it imported? Is it picked before its ripe and shipped from interstate?

These are all questions worth finding the answers to.

For some people, ethics is making compassionate food choices for animals. Sometimes its about choosing veganism or vegetarianism, but for most of us, it’s about educating ourselves about the WAY our food comes to our plate. Not just in the rearing, feeding & breeding but the slaughtering process too. Nothing makes me raise an eyebrow quite like omnivores who condemn those who hunt for food, but will happily pick up a stall pig loin chop at or grain-fed beef steak at the supermarket. This shows a classic disconnect from where and how our food comes to us.

I’ll be honest, it’s overwhelming at first. So forget trying to solve the worlds problems, and start small instead. One change at a time. One lesson at a time. Read, learn, and most importantly, experiment.

  1. Learn whats in season locally and shop with that as a guide. Oranges aren’t in season in summer, but theyre still in the supermarket right? Probably Californian. Chinese garlic is fumigated with methyl bromide before it hits our shelves. Asparagus has a short summer season, so usually its imported from Peru. Tomatoes from far north Queensland are picked while green, shipped to Western Australia, and treated with ethylene gas to ripen them.   Seasons Guide
  2. Go to the Farmers Market. Commit to going at least once a month, creating meals from what you’ve found and learning to eat intuitively and creatively. Talk to the farmers, ask them about their produce and how its raised or grown. Taste test. Ask for recipe ideas. Buy cheap produce in bulk and store/freeze/preserve it. This food doesn’t come through major distribution centres, these are your local farmers who need your support. Find a Farmers Market 
  3. Read. Some of my favourites have been ‘Animal, Vegetable, Miracle’, ‘Food Shock’, ‘The Omnivores Dilemma’, ‘Frugavore’ and ‘In Defense of Food’. These books opened my eyes to the possibilities and truths of food, and allowed me to explore how I felt about its production and what it takes to simply get it to my plate.

Sarah Wilson has also collated a fantastic reading list here.


Whether you have 30 acres, a balcony for pots, or just a sunny kitchen windowsill, we’re ALL capable of growing our own food. If you have no yard to speak of, sprouts are an excellent, easy, nutrient dense source of nutrition.

If you have only a little space and even less time, herbs are no-fuss, economical, and attractive. They’re also chemical spray free, cheaper than those ridiculous tubes of puree, and rich in botanical oils.

This post I wrote on starting your very own patch is a good place to start.

oMRKkMc4RSq7N91OZl0O_IMG_8309When I talk about making food, I’m talking about expanding your degree of self-sufficiency. It might be yoghurt, icecream, bread, chocolate, sauerkraut, cheese, dips, spreads, or bone broth… whatever takes your fancy. Experiment in the kitchen & teach yourself, or even take a class! Expanding your repertoire of home-made foods not only provides you with fresher foods (free from fillers, preservatives, and artificial additives) but also has the added bonus of instilling confidence and self-respect for your body, and pride in the meals that grace your table.

My homemade sourdough is made from flour, yeast, water and salt. No canola oil. No soy. A few practice runs and I can now whip up bread mix in 10 minutes. And the smell, oh lorrrrrdy. Do me a favour; next time you’re in the bakery section of the supermarket, I encourage you to take a gander at the “use by date” on the pastries. Then flip them over and have a look at what has to be in them to last that long. Scary huh?

Michael Pollan puts it so brilliantly in this short animation…


berriesSomewhere along our journey, we came to accept the fact that packets and boxes is where we should find our food. There is a saying that the best food doesn’t have advertising – how true! It also doesn’t have ingredients that we’re unable to pronounce, or have a shelf life of months and months.

We need to reconnect to the delicious sweet crunch of sugar snap peas, the fragrance of freshly blended chickpeas & garlic in our hummus, the warming flavours of roast onion & potatoes, the caramelized skin of a crispy salmon, the crunch of an apple.

Re education takes time, but you CAN learn to appreciate the sublte flavours between different varieties of cucumber. You CAN learn to retaste a salad that isn’t smothered in Caesar dressing. You can enjoy a meal without salt. And you can certainly exist without processed foods. Im not saying you must shun them altogether (I AM an 80/20 advocate after all) however we need to stop taking the easy way out with microwavable dinners and pre-steamed flavoured pouch food!

And you know what that takes? Self-responsibility.


Its time to take stock of food, time to embrace it as part of a wider dynamic relationship with your health. Practising gratitude is a beautiful tool we can utilise to take us beyond the potentially damaging or orthorexic relationships we have with food. While its important to understand the role of the glycaemic index, grams of fibre or protein, how much is enough, or how much exercise is required to “burn it off” in food, we need to appreciate that the body is a fantastic and complex mechanism that facilitates not only our survival, but enjoyment of life.

43e39040The active practise of gratitude allows us to recognise the whole-of-life role that wellness plays, and turns what we have, into enough. Your body can stay upright without you even thinking about it, it can renew and replace itself, as well as have the capacity to grow, birth, and feed your precious children. It can rest itself, work for hours on end, make love, feel joy, and experience a whole host of sensations that are physical and emotional. While we can infatuate ourselves on those little things that we can measure our success by – a pre-baby body, those size 10 jeans – the optimum state of wellness doesn’t have a magic number or magic size. Gratitude for being healthy, and alive, and working towards maintaining a long and healthy life into the future, is the grandest vision we can have for ourselves and our children.

Is 2015 your year for change? In January I’ll be opening up some very limited one-on-one coaching spots. I take my knowledge of nutrition, plus the experience of my own wellness journey, and history as both a corporate junkie and a new mother, and combine them ALL to offer services and support to women (and men!) looking for a better version of themselves.
Coaching can be face-to-face or via Skype but spots ARE limited. If you’d like to be the first to view the packages on offer in the new year, drop me a line! EMAIL:

How To : Mango Lassi (dairy free)

Our Summer bulk delivery!

Our Summer bulk delivery!

I had my very first Mango Lassi on holiday in Indonesia when, at 3 months pregnant, I wasn’t able to indulge in pool-side cocktails! A Lassi was my luxurious alternative, complete with pineapple wedge and paper umbrella! Its essentially a thick smoothie, made with yoghurt & fruit and tastes kind of like melted ice-cream. Since then, Ive busted it out every Summer when boxes of cheap fragrant mangoes arrive from north-west Western Australia. At some times of year, mangoes are $5 each. In high summer, you can find a box (10-12) for almost the same price, so we buy ours in bulk & either freeze the flesh, or eat them! This recipe can be as easily made with yoghurt as it can coconut – however if you’re opting for yoghurt, choose a “natural” style, low in sugar, and there is no need for the chia seeds.



  • 800ml of coconut cream / milk (2 cans)
  • Flesh of 3 large ripe mangoes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons of white chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or vanilla (optional)


  1. Blitz in a blender or with a stick blender, and allow to set in the fridge for 5-10 minutes
  2. Top with cacao nibs, goji berries, grated dark chocolate, or shredded coconut
  3. Don’t forget to offer your guests a straw!

TIP: Turn the Lassi into a spoon-worthy pudding by increasing the chia seeds to 8 tablespoons. Want to go one better? Freeze it in portion sizes and simply remove 10 minutes before serving.

Mango Lassi Pudding topped with flaked coconut

Mango Lassi Pudding topped with flaked coconut

PART 2 : The Art of the Meal Plan

Welcome! to Part 2 of my series; A Teaspoon Half Full for New Mothers.

“The Art of the Meal Plan”

I didn’t participate in meal planning until just a few years ago. Until then, I was a wander-around-the-shops-and-grab-what-looks-good kind of gal. I’d hit the supermarket 2-3 times a week, sometimes buying food just for dinner that night. Sometimes I’d be too stuffed to even think about what I might eat and… ‘takeaway it shall be!’.

Thats fine… if you’ve got the time. But what new mother has THAT these days, amiright?!

I began meal planning when I first started to explore farmers markets each Sunday – I never really knew what would be available, what would be cheap, or what types of produce were in season that month. On a Sunday afternoon I’d sit down with my new bags of fruits and veggies and create meal ideas based around what I’d acquired. Since having Elodie, meal planning has been more than just utilisation of produce…. for new mothers, its a MECHANISM OF SURVIVAL.

Take a moment to think about the act of preparing nutritious meals… there’s 21 of them every.single.week. Not including snacks, or dessert if you’re so inclined! And we’re not all lucky enough to have children who’ll eat what we put down… so some of us are making meals for fussy toddlers or dutifully pureeing batches of baby food. THATS ALOT OF TIME IN THE KITCHEN. Make it easier on yourself!


1. Time saving

Meal planning takes 1 hour, one day a week. But it gives you back many many hours over the course of that week! It means less time spent buying food, less time wandering aisles, zig-zagging shop floors, making multiple visits, or making emergency runs for a missing ingredient.

It means less time at home in the kitchen, trying to come up with meal ideas, staring at the open pantry, or going through the motions of cooking each and every night.  You have not only a catalogue of options, but a stockpile of meals for those can’t-be-stuffed days.

If you’re a sharing-caring household and the cooking duties are even (or “somewhat” even!), you can build this into your meal plan, effectively scheduling yourself a night off. Maybe Mondays are the night hubby does his “World Famous Kangaroo Salad”, or on Thursdays he brings home a hot roast chook for your salad.

2. Cost saving

Meal plans = less impulse expenditure, at least in our household.  Obviously you have to learn to stick to your list, but going to the supermarket is infinitely more price-friendly when you have a plan of attack. Shops thrive on your impulse-buying. This plan also enables you to work with weekly specials, instead of just going for your regulars.  When I don’t take a list, and I wing it, I inevitably forget things. So not only am I impulse buying things I won’t use in my cooking this week, Im ALSO forced to go back later in the week for more food (which equals another bout of impulse buys). I also haven’t outgrown my tired baby-brain, so I accidentally buy things I already had in the fridge/cupboard – thats hardly economical!

Meal planning means more bulk cooking, and less stand-alone meals, another cost-saving mechanism.

3. Nutrition and Health

Meal planning is beneficial to our health! Significantly, because it makes us less inclined to take short cuts, less inclined to reach for crackers & dip for a late dinner because baby just wouldn’t go to bed! We’re less inclined to grab a Big Mac on the way home if there is chicken breast thawed in the fridge. We’re less inclined to skip breakfast if we always make sure our breakfast options are easy and fully stocked. Working to that list also means less impulse buys that become “oopsies” later in the week – I don’t buy Tim Tams for that very reason (as much as I like them).

You can also plan for your full nutrition spectrum. I always tell clients they need to incorporate raw food into their weekly plans. The best way is usually through a salad, or “Thunder Bowl”, or lunch wraps. You can also build in a serve of omega-rich fish, or plant proteins like legumes.

You’re planning not only your health, but babies health. Whether you’re breastfeeding or weaning, having nutritious options available means less packet baby food (take a look at the salt content on those), less unplanned snacks, and more fun & healthy alternatives.

4. Its fun!

haha OK OK that might be just ME… but I revel in lists and plans! I enjoy meal planning. Maybe you will too!

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 8.36.40 pm


** Check your social and appointment calendar. Before you even think about laying out meals for the week, you need to know what you’re doing, who’s home when and who’s not. There’s no point planning a meal for a night when you actually have a restaurant reservation. Obviously if hubby is away for work (like mine frequently is), you can adjust portions and meal types. Mine appreciates A LOT of meat. When he’s away, I embrace many more vegetarian meals!

** Make it pretty! This doesn’t work for everyone but Im a very visual person. A list on the back of an envelope just doesn’t have the same effect as a colourful table, on display. My meal planner booklet comes from Kikki K. It even has magnets on the back for whacking onto the fridge door!

** Decide WHAT you’re going to plan. Do you just need to get dinners under control? Or is breakfast & lunch important too? Kikki K Dinner planner

** Pick a recurring time period that works for you and your family. Weekly works best for most people (myself included) because most people can’t know whats happening over a whole month. It seems a lot of us are also socially tuned to “the weekly shop”. It gives us control of our current schedule while still having flexibility for the weeks ahead. However if your household budget is structured fortnightly (say, around a pay cheque) this may work for you too.

** Pick a recurring day. I choose Sundays for my meal planning, because on Sundays I use up the last of everything in the fridge (so I know what I have to work with for the week – and how many more meals I need). I then do my shopping on a Monday – simply because the shops tend to be quieter!  You may like to choose a Thursday or Friday and then use the weekend to do all your cooking.

Ok, you’re ready to go!

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 8.37.03 pm


1. Cast your eye over your fridge and pantry and making a mental inventory of what’s left over from last week, what’s close to its use-by-date, and what could be incorporated into this weeks meals. And hey, while you’re standing there, now’s also a good time to throw out some questionable items   😉 Check the freezer for frozen meals too, theres no point doing a bulk cook up if you’ve got no room!

2. Start to acquire a collection of “basics” – these are things that can form the base or starting point of a meal when the pantry starts to look bare. Remember to keep your basics re-stocked when they get low. Basics in MY house include tins of crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, jars of tomato paste, dried chickpeas, brown rice, cacao powder, coconut oil, chia seeds, bananas, flour and always 1 lonely lemon.

3. Plan meals for the family that are baby friendly.  No matter what stage your baby is at, you can meal plan to allow for them to share. Whether you need to blitz it in the blender, roughly mash in with the back of a fork, or your little one is doing Baby-Led Weaning, keep them in mind when you’re planning recipes (so make sure there’s a few recipes without chilli, for example!). I’ll quite often choose fatty/oily fish over lean white fish for this reason, or minced meat (instead of diced) in my recipes because Elodie doesn’t yet have teeth. I’ll also factor in plenty of food suitable for eating with her hands, like wheaty-biscuits soaked in milk for breakfast. I like blueberries on my yoghurt or cereal, but Elodie doesn’t like them at all – opting for nectarines instead. SO instead of buying both, we just share nectarines 🙂 Elodie doesn’t like zucchini, so I swap it out in recipes for squash or broccoli. Not EVERY meal needs to be baby friendly, remembering that they eat much less than us, so if you’re keen on spicy curry… go ahead!

4. Get inspired. If you’re budget conscious, the weekly supermarket special/sales catalogue is a great place to start. Sit down with the catalogue, SKIP THE PROCESSED/JUNK SECTION and check out what produce is on special and build your meals from there. If chicken drumsticks are on sale, its not the week for those beef kebabs! If budget isn’t such an issue, websites like Taste are great, as are Pinterest. Just plug in your key words. Otherwise the trusty cookbook is there for a reason, too.

5. When the week is over, don’t throw away your meal plan. Slip it in a folder or pin it to a board and start to collect them. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, you already have a back catalogue of tried & tested options. If a recipe didn’t work, or your toddler launched it across the room in disgust(!) scratch it out before you store it.

6. Be flexible. If you planned on grilled salmon but the fishmonger has run out, consider a lemon pepper baked Cod instead. If you wanted to make a chicken casserole with thigh fillets but the bone-in thighs are discounted, just make the swap, slow cooked chicken simply falls off the bone.

7. Have regular family favourites, and intersperse new ideas in between. Now is NOT the time to try 5 new recipes a week! My meal plan generally always has a soup, a pasta, and a slow-cooked/casserole style dish. Maybe you’d like to consider theme nights – Tuesdays could be ‘Curry Night’ and Fridays could be ‘Seafood’, or ‘Taco night’. Regulars and staples take a significant portion of the work out of your planning, just don’t have TOO many regulars…. no one likes to be bored of their meals 😉

8. As you flesh out your meal plan, start writing down the ingredients required as you go (if you already have an ingredient in the fridge/cupboard, don’t write it down). Once the meal plan is finished, you have a full list of what needs to be bought. I like to go one step further (because Im neurotic like that!) and re-group the list into sections in the supermarket; fruits & veg, bakery, dairy, meat, deli. It means less time shopping because Im not zigzagging from one side to the other (with a screaming infant in my trolley).

9. Build left-overs INTO your meal plan. As you can see from my example, I know that Im going to make MORE of something that I immediately NEED, so I slot left-overs into my meal plan, either as next-day lunch, or as a frozen dinner a few days later. Bulk cooking is economical AND importantly, time saving. Frozen meals and leftovers are a blessing for those Cant-Be-Bothered nights, when baby is teething, you’d rather shower than cook something, and the in-laws are coming over tomorrow so you have to put away that months worth of washing. Get my drift?

10. Embrace vegetarian options and incorporate a few during your week. I love a slow-cooked pumpkin & chickpea curry, or vegetarian burritos, a quinoa salad, or soups like pumpkin, or potato leek & lentil. Michael Pollan states we should eat ‘Mostly Plants’ and its a philosophy I’m happy to embrace. As a general rule, home-cooked vegetarian meals are nutritionally dense, and gentle on the purse!

Try a meal plan next week, report back and let me know how you went!

Be well, Mama.


Read Part 1 : 5 Reasons to Own a Slow Cooker

Is 2015 your year for change? In January I’ll be opening up some very limited one-on-one coaching spots. I take my knowledge of nutrition, plus the experience of my own wellness journey, and history as both a corporate junkie and a new mother, and combine them ALL to offer services and support to women (and men!) looking for a better version of themselves.

Coaching can be face-to-face or via Skype but spots ARE limited. If you’d like to be the first to view the packages on offer in the new year, drop me a line! EMAIL:


ALL ABOUT: B Vitamins [video]

In Part 2 of my Vlog series, I talk about the fundamentals of Nutrition. Vitamins, minerals, and the basics of good-health principles.

Lets take it back to the essentials…why DO we harp on at you about good food and good nutrition? Because YOU need it. Your BODY needs it. Its time for your lesson!

Click to watch the second instalment – B VITAMINS

Watch the first video, on VITAMIN C

Liked this post? Please, let me know in the comments below!  🙂

Or maybe there’s a vitamin or mineral you’d like me to cover?

Be well. xx


How To : Rice Pudding Restrung

Raw cacao nibs for crunch factor, or dried berries or fresh! Your choice!

Raw cacao nibs for crunch factor, or dried berries or fresh! Your choice!

Some foods define your childhood. For me, it was Rice Pudding. It was our dessert of choice, unless of course Mum made too much, in which case whoever was up first in the morning, inhaled it for breakfast!  White rice. And Sweetened Condensed Milk. Yep, just two ingredients. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that I simply wouldn’t make it that way anymore. The times, they are a-changin’!

How To : Rice Pudding Restrung (serves 3-4)

Its a good idea to make this before dinner, so it can chill awhile.

The What

  • 2 cups cooked organic/biodynamic brown rice
  • 200ml organic thickened cream (or coconut cream)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (low GI)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (a blood sugar stabiliser)
  • Berries, coconut, or similar; for topping (optional)

The How

  1. Cook brown rice until soft and fluffy, drain off excess water.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine warm rice with all other ingredients and stir to combine
  3. Place bowl in the fridge to chill
  4. Serve topped with poached apple, berries, shredded coconut, or crushed nuts!

You could also add 2 teaspoons of mineral-rich raw cacao powder for a chocolate rice pudding.

I swear every bite feels like Im 9 years old again…..

Enjoy! xx

Tempted to eat all three

Tempted to eat all three