Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Easter fun for everyone!

Hey friends! Long time! Apologies but 2013 has turned out to be quite a busy, yet stupidly exciting year thus far! I feel incredibly blessed to have been offered so many great opportunities. 

Image by Joelle Fleurimont via pinterest

Like what, you say? 

Like working with Sarah Wilson on her I Quit Sugar program! This has kind of been an Oprah 360 moment (or is it an "aha moment"?) for me - back in 2009 when my health literally went to s#*t, one of my good friends (also named Sarah) put me on to Sarah Wilson's blog. Long story short her blog was the impetus for me going back to uni to study nutrition and dietetics. And now I work with her! Funny how things work out, ain't it?

So yes, you will notice that I am tweeting/facebooking/instagramming more #iquitsugar food porn, but I can honestly say I would not promote something that I do not whole-heartedly believe in, especially when it comes to nutrition. To get my tick of approval:

a) the information should be based on good science AND anecdotal evidence (yes, unlike some sticklers out there I believe peoples' experiences in the real world actually count for something)
b) the food should be nutrient dense
c) the meals should be delicious. Brownie points for easy preparation meals. 
d) there should be ample use of pretty pictures. Just kidding, but it definitely helps.

As a side note - this post will potentially be quite short (relative to my other essays) as I have recently acquired a gorgeous little kitten named Charlie who is keeping a close eye on my fingers and every now and then jumping on the keyboard to take a swipe. It's a little annoying, but he's super cute and I can't get mad! Check him out:

Yes, I like cats. Deal with it. 

Anywho, let's get on with the post, hey? It's Easter, baby!! And you know what that means....chocolate!!! Yes, you can have chocolate and still be healthy. In fact, I believe it improves health - physical, mental and emotional! I'm not talking Cadbury, though. I'm talking the real deal. The gorgeous Renee of Renee Naturally recently did a fantastic post on the benefits of raw cacao HERE. 

(P.S. This post is going to be full of link love, Mark Sisson style)

Yes, it's all good and well that raw cacao is good for you but, to be honest, it has quite an intense bitter taste which can take a bit of getting used to. So how do you make it delicious??

A. Outsource the goods

If you are in Sydney, there are a few sources of chocolate goodies:

1. Soulla of My Star Anise Organic Wholefoods makes incredible dark chocolate balls
2. Kate Johnston of Kore Welbeing makes a delicious chocolate and nut super berry slice, which she stocks at Bayside Health Store in Double Bay
3. Spring Wellness make amazing organic raw chocolate love truffles that you can order online and they stock at a multitude of stores (including Maitland!)

B. Make your own

Sarah Wilson's Raspberry Ripple deliciousness
This is the cheaper and often easier way to do it:

1. Try my delectable chocolate mousse recipe
2. Try one (or all) of Sarah Wilson's sugar-free Easter treats. I can highly recommend the Raspberry Ripple. It is in my freezer right now and it is taking all of my willpower not to go and gobble it up before my husband gets home. 

So there you go peeps. Lots of ideas. Very few of them mine. Lazy, I know, but there is no point in trying to improve on perfection. And when it comes to chocolate, these guys have already nailed it and I'm more than happy to let them have the glory. 

Have a fantastic Easter all! Stay safe! xx

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Grain-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free Banana Muffins

I hate wasting food. Do you know how much food we waste? Do you?!?! Let me tell you! Australians waste around 136 kilos of food per person each year! We toss away up to 20% of the food we purchase! It has been estimated that 20-40% of fruit and vegetables are rejected before they even get to the store, mostly due to aesthetic reasons e.g. bruising. Want more facts on how shamefully wasteful we are? Check out OzHarvest

Seriously people, this is a disgrace. I know everyone always says "think of the starving children in Africa", and you definitely should, but do you ever think about the starving people in Australia? Or do you consider the hard work that the farmers have put in to produce that food for you, just for you to say "that's not pretty enough for me to eat"? Do looks even really matter? What doesn't get used to refuel, repair and regenerate your body will just end up as poop anyway, and last time I checked, it's not too pretty! To be honest, I actually prefer buying produce that looks slightly tarnished - at least then you know it's normal and not covered with toxic waxes and chemicals (no, your apple probably should not be shiny). 

OK that's enough of a rant. This topic gets me a little worked up and considering I am trying to keep my stress levels in check, I'll get to the yummier and happier part of the post. 

The fantastic organic produce shop I go to (BU organics in Bondi Junction) nearly always has a box of food out the front that is a little older than the rest and so they give it away for free in order to encourage less waste. Brilliant - everyone wins! This past Sunday they had a whole lot of manky bananas - I'm talking mushy and brown - really manky. Quick pop quiz - what is the benefit of overripe bananas????? They are incredibly SWEET and fantastic to use in a recipe in place of sweeteners. Woo hoo! Straight away my brain (or tummy) screamed "BANANA MUFFINS!!!" and who was I to say no? So I bundled up the goods and was on my way to carry out another kitchen experiment (never mind the displeased husband who hates bananas). 

Banana Muffins pre-baking
The result? Moist, delicious, sugar-free, grain-free, dairy free morsels of goodness! I even received the tick of approval from my mother-of-4 client who usually pooh-poohs my healthy food (yes, these muffins are healthy). NEWSFLASH - healthy AND delicious can be used in the same sentence without the word "not".  These little babies were gobbled up by the clients at Primal Fitness in no time!

So I guess you want the recipe then, huh? OK, I give you permission to use, adapt, share, whatever you want to do with it if you promise to make a conscious effort to waste less food. Deal? OK good one.

Sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free moist banana muffins/cupcakes (makes about 12 muffins)


  • 4 pastured eggs (my fave is Egganic )
  • 1 tbsp organic raw honey or maple syrup (you could leave this out as the bananas are quite sweet)
  • 2 tbspn coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (Braggs Organic is best)
  • 3-4 overripe bananas 
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla powder (different to vanilla extract - buy it online
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking soda/powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 pecans
  • nutmeg
How to
  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius
  • Beat together the honey/maple and coconut oil then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add in apple cider vinegar and beat well. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together and then slowly mix into coconut oil and honey/maple
  • Mash the bananas with the coconut milk in a bowl then add to the batter, mixing well
  • Line a cupcake tray with some patty cases (you could also just grease the tray with butter or coconut oil, but I'm lazy and don't like washing up)
  • Pour around 1/4 cup of batter into each patty case, topping each up if you have extra mixture
  • Place a single pecan and a sprinkle of nutmeg on top of each raw muffin
  • Bake for around 15-20mins until slightly browned and a skewer comes out clean
There you go! Now go and scrounge up some old, unloved, manky bananas that no one wants and turn them into something that everyone will love!