Monthly Archives: May 2013

Let’s kick sugars’ a$$

June 1st people this is happening. I am kicking sugars’ a$$ and you are welcome to join me. I am not doing this to lose weight but if that is your motivation that’s cool. I am doing this because I know what it is like to live a sugar-free life & I like the person that makes me. I don’t get hypo-glycemic and want to rip peoples faces off because I am ‘hangry’, I have loads of energy, my skin is clearer, I sleep better, I eat better, I train better. Sugar is addictive & what makes you fat & sick. I need to have a restart on that because I have had too many exceptions to my ‘no sugar life’ lately and I don’t feel good for it.

About 18mths ago I Quit Sugar, it was the best thing I have ever done & I totally recommend everyone read Sarah Wilson’s book as a great starting point.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t ‘do’ processed sugar but in the past few months some “healthy sugars” have snuck their way a bit too frequently back into my life. My “sometimes” foods, have become “often” foods, by often, I mean every day. Some stevia in these cookies, some maple syrup in that cake, all totally fine in moderation but not in the frequency I have been consuming them. I need to reel that $hit in. So from June 1st I am doing a 2 week sugar detox. I need a reset & if you want to, you are welcome to join me.

Here’s the go- I will give you the guys the guidelines I am going to follow but you need to work out on your own what suits YOU. We are not the same people & if you have not even kicked processed sugar yet you might find this more of a challenge. I am not saying don’t do it, all I am saying is that I am not going to negotiate with you what you can & can’t have, I am not going to check food labels for you. If you are not sure if it is some form of sugar, google it, if you are not sure if you should be eating it, don’t. If you don’t know what an ingredient is….. Hot tip- it is some form of processed cr@p that you don’t want in your body.

Let’s get back to basics. JERF. Just Eat Real Food. It’s 2 weeks, it’s not a lifetime and it’s a great opportunity to realize that you can live without sugar, even the “healthy” stuff. Do it, or don’t. I don’t really care but my system needs less cookies & cake for a couple of weeks.

How I am going to roll with this & some guidelines for newbies. This is not a negotiation, it is a dictatorship. Take it or leave it, I am not justifying my choices to you-

* No processed sugar (like I said, this is already out for me but you might need to start there), check sauces & condiments, they are loaded with the stuff. Start reading ingredients, not nutrition panels, INGREDIENTS.

* No dried fruit- the insulin response will have you peaking off your face then flat on your face as you come down.

* No honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut nectar, stevia etc

* No artificial sweeteners- xylitol, Splenda, Equal, aspartame. That $hit is toxic anyway, get it out of your life.

* No gum, lollies or mints- they are loaded with artificial sweeteners

* I’m doing no alcohol- work out whether that flys with you, it’s what I am doing, if you’re old enough to be drinking then you are old enough to work out whether this is something you can be down with. Keep in mind, if you drink, you’ll probably eat $hit while you are drunk & when you are hungover you will continue that trend. I don’t think it will end well. Just sayin’.

* MAX 1 serve of fruit per day if any- preferably berries, they contain the most antioxidants and are generally lower in sugar than other fruits, best if you can avoid fruit as much as possible though.


* Be prepared, pack your meals & make sure you have snacks on hand in case you are hungry otherwise you will be turning to the work vending machine at 3pm & that is going to end badly in a sugar coma.

* Make sure you eat enough. Load your plate with veggies, protein & some good healthy fats. We want to get our bodies using fat for fuel in the absence of sugar. If you don’t eat enough healthy fats your body won’t want to let go of what it has stored. Without sugar, our bodies are excellent at utilizing fat as an energy source.

* Eat mindfully. Are you hungry? Or are you bored? Start to listen to your body & give it the nourishment that it needs.

* Look at this process with a new perspective. It is NOT depriving yourself of anything, it IS providing yourself with nourishing, nutrient-dense food to allow it to function optimally. Be a “nutrient-seeker” and look to foods that can give you something of value, not just a sugar high or diabetes.

* MOST IMPORTANTLY– if you ‘fall off the wagon’ so to speak:
– Identify WHY (were you stressed/anxious/angry/sad?) and be mindful of that for the future
– Be kind to yourself, this does not make you a failure, it makes you human
– Do NOT let it result in an all out binge because ‘well I’ve stuffed it now, I might as well keep going’! Peeps I have been there & it is NOT constructive. Take a deep breath, step away from the Mars Bar, make yourself a cuppa & chose something nourishing to eat next.
– Remember WHY you are doing this, it should be to make YOU feel better, it is no-one else’s goal, it is yours.

I will post some videos of my meals & cooking if you are that bored that you wish to watch them. I will come up with some alternatives to the sweet treats & will guide you to my recipes that we can alter or adjust for the sugar detox.

Adios Eggs

Oh my beloved eggs, why have you forsaken me!? And almonds! What’s your story? I thought we had something special! All I have ever done is make you into delicious tasting morsels and you too are destroying my guts. Oh, you think they are annoying? Try adding to this list dairy in all forms (including goats), whey & casein, sugar cane, banana, cranberry, pineapple, scallops, amaranth, sesame seeds, buckwheat & mushroom as well as moderate sensitivity to spelt, wheat, kidney beans, string beans, Lima beans & clams.

A few weeks ago I had my food allergies tested by my naturopath to try & help get to the bottom of my crappy gut. We had already determined that my gut was leaking to some degree (most likely stress related) which was obviously impacting on my digestion & absorption of the food I was eating. I was eating this amazing nutrient dense diet but was still showing low Iron, B vitamin deficiency as well as a number of other things in my blood results. I was feeling exhausted despite sleeping a lot, my hormone levels are all over the place, I was getting constant breakouts, I was bloated all the time and could not work out why, I had achy joints, my eyes & throat were constantly itchy, I had bags under my eyes & just felt generally sluggish.

A food allergy is a problem caused when IgE antibodies in your immune system mistakenly think that a normally harmless food substance is actually dangerous. Your immune system tries to defend your body, these IgE antibodies trigger the release of histamine which provokes an inflammatory response to attack this substance. If you constantly consume food you are having an allergic response to, your body will be in a constant state of stress & inflammation. Your immune system will also be so busy attacking these food particles that you might also become immune suppressed & get sick often and long term, far, far worse consequences like auto immune disease may manifest!

I knew a few things didn’t agree with my stomach, like dairy, yet I still continued to consume it occasionally because “I didn’t know for sure” I was intolerant. Don’t you love how we make excuses to eat things we know are not the best choices for our body. The below was a self experiment I did with some natural yoghurt. Left picture is before, right is about 1/2 hr after eating some …. Yet I still continued to justify why I could continue to have “just a little bit” because I wasn’t 100% sure I was intolerant. Seriously, WTF is wrong with me!?


Well, now I know. I have no excuses, I need not continue to do self-experiments with these food. So what will I do with this new found knowledge? Well, I have 2 choices: I could ignore it & keep eating these things, continue to cause inflammation & stress on my body, perpetuate my leaky gut & possibly end up with an autoimmune disease. Or, I can remove these things from my life for a while, feel better, allow my gut to heal & perhaps be able to reintroduce some of these things back one day. It’s kind of a no-brainier. I am sick of feeling crappy, I want to feel better. Adios allergens.

It seems to be a much bigger problem for people around me than what it is for me at this point. “What will you eat?”, “that is the WORST”, blah blah. Let me answer for you…. What will I eat? Loads of great, healthy & nourishing foods. Fruit, vegetables, meat, other nuts & seeds, coconut products, about a bazillion great foods that will make me feel 1000% better than dairy. It’s not the worst, it’s the BEST. I can start to heal my body & I can start to get my body back to functioning the way it was designed to. You know what would be the WORST? Eating nutrient-void, refined & processed foods every day & being so used to feeling crap that I didn’t know how it felt to feel good. That would be THE WORST.

So 3 weeks on and I have removed all the foods that showed even a “mild” reaction. My eyes & throat have not been itchy at all. Not once. The dark circles under my eyes have lessened. I have not been bloated. My aching joints have lessened. I am sleeping better. I have lost a little bit of weight & no longer feel like a slug. Moving forward I hope that allowing my gut to heal will improve my digestion & food absorption & help to remedy the hormone imbalances that are occurring. We’ve only recently begun to understand the extent of the gut flora’s role in human health and disease. We now know unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, hormone imbalances, IBS and other joint disorders. You can read more about that HERE. Stay tuned for a post on gut healing & how I am doing it.


Toasted Coconut & Goji Chocolate & a Rant about Calories

This is totally faux chocolate, don’t hate me for tricking you. It tastes like angels dancing on your tongue so just go and make it.

Calories schmalories…. Ok, Strap yourself in, this is going to get messy. WARNING! Rant about to begin! Lately there has been a stupid number of people talk to me about calories. How many calories are in that dish, how many calories can I eat for lunch, can I have 5 almonds or 6? IT DOES NOT MATTER!!! Calorie counting = diets and I do not believe in diets! Just like I don’t believe in vampires (sorry Twi-hards but I don’t) diets are equally as ridiculous! They do NOT work. Maybe for a month, or an 8-week challenge or even a year, but long term they all fail because as soon as you stop dieting, you put that weight back on, plus some. You cannot spend your life on an 8-week challenge.

You need to adopt clean, nutritious eating habits permanently. For life. Forever. That is not to say you cannot go out to dinner, you can’t have the occasional dessert, it means that you educate yourself about what is actually in the food you are eating, so, more importantly than “how many calories does it have?” you are asking “what can this food do for me?”, “what health benefits will I get from eating this deep fried Mars bar?”- the answer to that last question my friends is NONE, you will get a sugar high, then a sugar low. The amount of fat & sugar together is taking the whole lot straight to your ar$e, you might clog a few arteries along the way and possibly end up constipated from the amount of cr@p now clogging your guts. Still want it?

If you are eating clean, nutritious, whole foods that are not packed full of preservatives and artificial everything, you will not overeat. You will be full because good food fills you up, unlike sugar which enables you to smash that entire packet of lollies and be hungry again 15mins later.

Fats are NOT the devil provided they are good fats (nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil), your body needs fat! Your weight loss and ultimately health will suffer if you are NOT giving your body enough fat. Good dietary fat is used to build the outer lipid layer of every cell in the body, and if that layer is impaired, your ability to process carbohydrates will be impaired, and you’ll get fatter. Stay away from all TRANS fats- that $hit will kill you.

Take a step away from the calorie panel and before you shove anything suspect down your pie hole, ask yourself “what can this food do for me?”, google it, ask us, download an app, I don’t care. If you cannot find an honestly positive health benefit from it, don’t eat it! ‘High in fibre’ or ‘low in fat’ is NOT good enough, that does not make it healthy. Rant over. Now go make this delicious treat.

500g dried coconut, lightly toasted
1/2 cup goji berries (cranberries or another dried fruit would be fine too)
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs (or dark choc chips)
1/2 cup mixed seeds/nuts (whatever you like)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract

Pop the toasted coconut into your food processor & blend until it turns into a smooth liquidy consistency. It only took a couple of minutes but it might take about 10 depending on how strong your food processor is. Keep scraping down the sides & be patient, it’s worth it! Once you have the buttery liquid, add all the remaining ingredients and stir though gently to combine. Spoon into moulds or just pour into a baking paper lined tray. Pop it in the fridge to set.

Osso Bucco with Gremolata

Osso Bucco sounds all posh & fancy schmancy but it just means ‘bone hole’ because of the hole you can see in the middle where the bone has been cut and it is actually a pretty cheap cut of meat. It comes from the shin or shank of veal or beef. This is my first experience with it so I have no idea how else you would cook it but I’m thinking slow cooking might be the only option if you don’t want it to taste like old shoes. If you don’t have a slow cooker, they are brilliant & cheap as chips. It will change your life so just go & get one. Seriously, it means you can just leave your dinner cooking all day at home without worrying about burning the place down….. Actually that could probably still happen but it is UNLIKELY people, unlikely.

This dish is perfect for those nights that are cooling down, it is warming & wholesome without being stodgy. It is low in carbohydrates, a great source of protein & full of even more amazing digestive health benefits if you make it with delicious bone broth.

Osso Bucco-
4 pieces of Osso Bucco
Punch salt & pepper
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs ground ginger
3 cups stock (I used Bone Broth)
1 cup white wine
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Coconut oil for cooking

1/2 cup fresh mint
1 bunch (about a cup of chopped) parsley
6-10 anchovies (optional- you can just use a pinch of salt instead)
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Pinch pepper

For the gremolata- add all ingredients to a little food processor bowl if you have one or a mortar & pestle and blend to a paste consistency. You can add a dash of water if it is too dry.

For the osso bucco- In a bowl add the garlic, ginger, salt & pepper & roll each Osso Bucco in this mix to coat like flour. Heat the coconut oil in your pan (or crockpot if you are using that to cook in) and brown the Osso Bucco on both sides then remove from pan. Add any remaining garlic & ginger from the ‘flouring’ to the pan and the white wine and increase the heat until the wine has reduced by half. Add the tomatoes & stock & bring to the boil. You can now add all this with your Osso Bucco to your slow cooker (or just add your Osso Bucco back into your crockpot), pop it on low & forget about it for at least 5 hrs (prob about 3 hrs in the oven in a crockpot), I left mine for about 8hrs while I was working. Once you are ready to eat you can remove the meat and set aside, pop all the sauces back in the pan & simmer to reduce & thicken the sauce if you like or just use it as it is.

Pile a nice bed of cauliflower mash on your plate, top with the Osso Bucco & some sauce & a nice dollop of gremolata.

Green Papaya Salad

I love finding random fruits & veggies at the market & trying my hand at creating something with them. I found Okra a few months back, that was weird & the jury’s is still out on whether that was weird-good or weird-bad? For now I am just saying weird. Green papaya isn’t weird but it is certainly something I don’t find a lot at the markets.

Did you know that Green Papaya contains two of the most powerful plant proteolytic enzymes: papain and chymopapain which excel at breaking down proteins, fats and carbs, as well as aiding healthy digestion. It makes a delicious salad & could be used in place of green mango in my Green Mango Salad. You could use zucchini spirals if you don’t have green papaya in season for this recipe.

2 eshallots, finely sliced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 long red chili, finely chopped & seeds removed if you don’t like it got
Handful finely chopped mint
Handful finely chopped coriander
1 green papaya, julienned or use your veggie twister
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup coconut aminos (you could use tamari or soy)
4 kefir lime leaves, bruised but left whole
500ml coconut cream
1/2 cup lightly toasted cashews
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbs honey or maple syrup
OPTIONAL- 1 kg chicken, finely diced

Sauté the chilli, garlic & ginger in a deep frypan or large saucepan. Add coconut cream, lime leaves, lime juice, aminos, fish sauce & honey & bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer & add chicken. Continue to simmer until chicken is just cooked then use a slotted spoon to remove chicken & set aside. Find the lime leaves & pull them out too. Put the sauce back on the heat & allow to simmer until it has reduced by half then remove from heat & set aside.

In a big serving bowl add green papaya, herbs, eshallots and chicken & toss well to combine. Pour over the sauce & toss well again. Top with cashews & serve. This is delicious cold as well!

Berry cheesecake

Last night we did ‘Pot Luck’ dinner with some friends. This involves everyone bringing a dish to contribute to dinner, no one knows what anyone else is bringing so its always a random mish-mash of great things. The brief for this ‘Pot Luck’ dinner was ‘Paleo’ or ‘Vegan’. We ended up with Vegan Sliders, Raw Paleo Pad Thai & 2 amazing Paleo Tarts. A chocolate one & this blueberry one, of course we all had to taste-test everything & just about needed to be rolled out the door afterwards.

Simple, simple, simple. This recipe only has 6 ingredients & is so freaking easy the dog could make it….. Well actually maybe not, the dog does not have opposable thumbs so it would make opening a can of coconut milk near impossible for him. BUT, if he did have opposable thumbs I think he could make it despite not being the brightest crayon in the drawer. Here he is, look at how clever he looks 😉 Check out that burger tongue!


Berries are loaded with antioxidants & the darker the berry, the greater its phytochemical content. Blueberries especially have great anti-inflammatory properties. This recipe has no processed sugar, some great healthy fats & looks freaking spectacular if I do say so myself. You could make a few changes to this and flavor it any way you like. Take out the berries & add some raw cacao & stevia/ maple syrup for a chocolate cheesecake or some lemon juice & zest for a lemon version. Get creative & let me know if you come up with some good substitutions!

500g dried coconut
1 tbs cinnamon
10-12 fresh dates

500ml coconut cream (full fat)
2 heaped cups berries (I used blueberries but any berries will work)
1/2 cup chia seeds

In a dry frypan (or low temp oven) lightly toast your coconut & immediately pop into your food processor & blend until a smooth liquid (this is toasted coconut butter). It could take up to 10mins depending on your food processor. Keep scraping down the sides & be patient. Add dates & cinnamon & blend again until smooth. Remove from food processor & set aside in a bowl to cool. Rinse the food processor & add all the filling ingredients & blend until smooth. Pour the coconut butter mix into a flan tin & press into bottom & sides to form an even base. Pour the filling in on top & pop it in the fridge to set for a few hours. You can top it with some more berries if you like. I used pomegranate because they are in season & beautiful right now.

Red Velvet Oatmeal

This has no oats in it, maybe I should have called it Noatmeal…. You can probably use oats if you want. I don’t, I want vegetables for breakfast. Moving on. So, how do you get the red velvet color without nasty food coloring? Beetroot of course! What else!? This tastes like chocolate pudding, it’s amazing.

Few hot tips for new players…
1. Beetroot stains like a ba$tard so do NOT wear white whilst preparing this.
2. No matter how you try, it will end up all over every surface in your kitchen & look like a massacre has occurred.
3. Your hands probably won’t be normal-colored for days after so just factor that in if you have a hand-modeling job coming up or some such occasion. Obviously, not my problem- I have massive man-sized hands that no one should want to photograph.

Cauliflower is from the same family as broccoli and cabbage, it contains many essential B-complex vitamins and loads of vitamin C. Cauliflower contains several anti cancer phyto-chemicals which have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers. Beetroot contains loads of folic acid which is essential for normal tissue growth, it contains mineral silica which helps the body absorb calcium & decrease the risk of osteoporosis. It is also a great source of antioxidants & provides potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C.

1/2 cup grated beetroot
1 cup ‘riced’ cauliflower (chop raw cauliflower into chunks, pop it in the food processor and pulse a few times until it has the consistency of rice)
1 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tbs ground flaxseeds
1 heaped tbs raw cacao
OPTIONAL 1 heaped tbs protein powder (flavorless, vanilla or chocolate)
Stevia, maple syrup or coconut nectar to taste

In a small saucepan add beetroot, cauliflower & milk & bring to the boil, reduce heat & simmer for a few minutes. Add all remaining ingredients & stir well to thicken. Spoon into a bowl, top with berries, cacao nibs or a drizzle of coconut cream & dig in.

Carrot Cake Porridge

This is similar to my Oat-Free Oatmeal recipe. This is part of the no-eggs series of recipes, you can read more about my NO EGGS HERE. Yeah, it has zucchini in it but don’t have a meltdown, you can’t even taste it, it just adds goodness.

Zucchini is low calorie and a great source of fibre. It is rich in vitamin A, flavonoid and poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species from the body that play a role in aging and various disease process. Carrots are full of beta-carotene which helps to reduce the risk of cancer, low in carbohydrates and full of vitamins C, K and B6. Health-promoting minerals found in carrots include potassium, calcium and manganese.

1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 heaped tbs protein powder (vanilla or flavorless)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cloves
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup chopped nuts & seeds (whatever you like)
1 heaped tbs ground flax or chia
Dash stevia (1 tbs honey or maple syrup as an alternative)
Coconut to serve (optional)

Add the zucchini, carrot, spices & milk to a small saucepan & bring to the boil, reduce to simmer & add all remaining ingredients. Cook for a few more minutes until all heated through and it has started to thicken. Pour into a bowl & eat cold or warm. Top with some coconut yoghurt, strawberries, poached pears or grilled figs would be delicious too!

Carrot Cake Breakfast Bars

I’m not sure if you are up to date with my latest body experiment but I had my food allergies tested to try & get to the source of my dodgy gut. Result are in and it’s a pretty dire outcome, though it could be worse…. I could be allergic to bacon or coconut. I will share the whole saga in another post but dairy in all forms is a massive one (adios whey protein), almonds (that’s pretty annoying), mushrooms & bananas & pineapple (not ideal but I will cope), sugar cane (who cares), wheat/gluten (no surprise & don’t care). There are more, but they are the main ones. Then comes eggs. My biggest SADNESS is EGGS!!! I freaking love eggs, I eat them all the time, every day for breakfast at least (perhaps my problem). BUT, it is ok because, if it is going to make me feel better then I am all over it. No eggs for at least 4 mths then we will reintroduce & see how we go. Until then I need some new breakfast ideas.

These protein bars are low carbohydrate, I have snuck some veggies in there to keep me from getting scurvy, high in protein & have some healthy fats as well. I freeze mine as individual bars for the days when I need brekkie or a snack in a hurry. See eggs, I don’t need you.

1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (you could use a tsp or ground ginger instead)
2 cups mixed nuts/seeds (choose whatever you like)
1/2 cup protein powder (vanilla or flavorless)
4 tbs ground flax or chia mixed with 1/4 cup water (or 2 eggs)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup nut butter, coconut butter or seed butter of your choice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1/2 tsp stevia powder (or 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup)

Preheat oven to 170C. In a bowl (or I used a food processor) mix zucchini, carrot, coconut oil, water, nut butter, ginger & flax, chia mix or eggs and combine well. Add the spices & protein powder & stevia (or honey) and mix again. Add all remaining ingredients and blend to just combine. Line a cake tin or loaf pan with baking paper and pour the mixture in & flatten out. Bake for about 20-30 mins until cooked, sprinkle with a bit more cinnamon, allow to cool before slicing into bars. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Creamy Pesto

Fresh herbs are the bomb, they add a flavor punch to any salad, meat or veggie dish with very little effort. They can jazz up the most pedestrian of dishes & make them into something amazeballs and the top news is, they are pretty easy to grow yourself so you always have some on hand. You don’t need much space, just a few small pots and, a hot tip for new players, get the kind of pot that has the self-watering bit at the bottom….. Trav bought me these ones after I kept killing the last lot of herbs because I forgot to water them. Poor herbs.

Basil has been hailed for its excellent anti-inflammatory benefits as well as its antioxidant properties that can protect the body from premature aging, common skin issues, and even some types of cancer. Did you know that dill is a very good source of calcium!? It is also a great antibacterial and contains oils that can help neutralize some types of carcinogens.

1 full packed cup chopped herbs (I used a mix of dill, basil & parsley)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 heaped tsp fresh grated ginger
1 avocado
Juice 1 lemon
1 tbs tahini
2 tbs olive oil
Pinch salt & pepper

Blend in your food processor the herbs, ginger & garlic until it is as finely chopped as you can get it. Add the remaining ingredients & blend well until smooth. You can add extra olive oil or even some water or green tea of you want a runnier consistency. I used this to dress my super salad concoction of kale, fennel, grated beetroot, grated carrot, chopped apple, baby tomatoes, capsicum, dried seaweed flakes, celery, cucumber & homemade turmeric sauerkraut. I will certainly NOT get scurvy after that meal!

And here’s my kick a$$ super salad