My Top 10 Tips for Mindful Eating

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Things have been very busy lately. Between a busy schedule, raising a baby and all those other things that make up ‘life’ I have found myself rushed and completely stressed. Everyone has their ‘tells’ when life is getting a bit out of control and for me I have two very obvious ones. Firstly, I start talking jibberish. For example, in a recent conversation with some very confused acquaintances I referred to my darling daughter Lucy as ‘a gorgeous little boy’. Awkward. And I scoff. Boy, do I scoff. Like a python – no need for chewing, just dislocate the jaw and she’ll be right!

On chatting with a few people about it, it seems this scoffing phenomenon is very common. And it comes in many forms and with many different triggers. Eating badly due to an unwanted emotion, eating needlessly just because there is food in front of you, eating out of habit , snacking out of boredom. This way of eating shows a disconnect between your mind and body and can lead nowhere good. We need to connect the two and be fully present – and dare I say grateful? – about what our bodies are doing.

It is all about mindfulness.

Mindfulness is at the base of all those gorgeous ancient practices we love – meditation, yoga, any of the vedic sciences. It simply means to be in the present moment. If you haven’t officially given meditation a go we can do a damn simple exercise right now. Get comfortable in your seat. Close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths in and out – concentrating only on your lungs filling up and then emptying. Observe any sensations in your body – How do your toes feel on the ground? The back of your thighs on your chair? Anytime a thought crosses your mind, acknowledge it (I  mentally say ‘thought’) and let it drift on. Sit there for a few minutes. As soon as you flutter those eyes awake notice how much better you feel; how much more in tune with yourself.

Now imagine how powerful a tool it would be if you could transfer that practice to your eating methods. It is called Mindful Eating and it is a wonderful skill to conquer.

My Top 10 Tips for Mindful Eating

1. Cook with love

This may be considered new-age phooey but it is fact – thoughts create energy. So if you are making dinner resenting it and thinking about your awful day, things that annoyed you, how much you hate your body – it is going to have an effect on the food you create. There is an awesome demonstration of this in one of my fave documentaries What The Bleep Do We Know?! Dr Masuru Emoto experimented on the effect of energy on water. Viles of water had different words taped on them, were left overnight and then were photographed under a microscope. The results are pretty amazing – see it here.

2. Pause

Pause before you start eating. Before every meal take a few breaths in and out to appreciate what you are about to do. Be grateful for what you have. Take a few moments to really look at your food and notice the colours, the textures and smells. The power of this simple moment is quite amazing.

3. Smaller serves

Serve your food onto a smaller plate. Because there is less you will naturally slow down and savour your food more. I find that by the time I get to the end of a bowl half the size of my regular I am full. This is also why my husband and I share meals when we go out to tea nowadays.

4. Switch off

Remove all the distractions! I am talking technology or anything else that reroutes your brain-power – TV, computer, phone. There are plenty of studies around that have shown that people overeat if they are focused on anything other than their plate with the average overeat estimated at 45% more than non-distracted diners.

5. NO DUB STEP!

Have you ever tried running to a song with a very slow beat? It’s hard. Your jog turns to a plod. Yet whack on some Black Eyed Pea’s and off you go! It is the same with eating. As humans we naturally search for rhythm so if you like to listen to music while you eat then make sure it sets you at a slow, calm pace.

6. Eat in a sacred space

Only eat at the table (or the romantic equivalent e.g. a picnic blanket). Pressure points – the car, public transport, in front of the tv, while you are cooking!

7. Become a food critic

Discuss the flavour in detail with your friends, family or cat if you live alone. Really connect with the party that’s going on in your mouth. The other day I had a very deep conversation with my dogs and Lucy about the flavour of sesame oil (it’s hard to describe!).

8. CHEW!

Seems obvious but did you know that there is actually a widespread phenomena of Mastication Deficiency in western cultures. We are scarfing, gobbling and washing food down with drinks. Chewing is not just the delivery method of our food to our guts – it is actually a vital step in the digestive process. It breaks down our food and gets are bodies producing digestive enzymes that are so vital for breaking down food effectively and absorbing all the goodness and passing on the bad bits. As an exercise try chewing every single mouthful 30 times. Turn your food into liquid. This is my favorite mindful eating exercise as it really puts your eating habits into perspective!

9. Slow down

Do not reload your fork before you have finished the mouthful. I find putting my fork down between bites helpful. If you need even more help you could try eating with your wrong hand, eating with chopsticks or eating with smaller cutlery (like a teaspoon or cake-fork).

10. Bring the ritual back to your home

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Eating together used to be such an important time. I remember as a kidlet being SO excited to have that time where my mum, dad and brother all sat together at night and our only distractions were each other. We were given that one beautiful time of day where the to-do lists were crossed off and our only job was being a family and enjoying the hell out of each other. So make it enjoyable – whether you have a family, or room mates, or some pets or just yourself. Make your table a beautiful place that you want to be. Break out the good crockery, drink water out of wine glasses, light your good candles. Lets rediscover the beauty of sitting together and eating food cooked with love. I read this quote the other day and I just adore it;

Think of mealtime as a celebration. After our whole family has survived another day, with all of its ups and downs, we come together in the evening and celebrate together. We don’t have to wait for birthdays or holidays to be happy together. Life is short. It doesn’t matter that we’re eating macaroni and cheese with mismatched forks. What does matter is that we make mealtime a relaxed and enjoyable time together. Let us make our kitchens creative centers from which emanate some of the most delightful of all home experiences.

“Follow Joyously”, November 1980

Doesn’t that make your heart sing!

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What do you do to eat mindfully? I would love to hear in the comments. 

Kicking Candida’s Butt Phase 2: The Diet

Click image for source: Vivienne McMaster

Click image for source: Vivienne McMaster

So it is Day 15 of my Candida Cleanse and boy-oh-boy a lot has happened since I last wrote to you on Day 3. In fact so much as happened that I needed to take a little blog siesta just to concentrate on my health. There have been revelations, epiphanies and breakdowns. Jubilation and desperation. Leaps forward and stumbles back.

Where We Left Off…

So in my last post (here) I spelled out exactly what you need to do on the cleansing period. I was warned that in the cleansing period I would experience some pretty nasty detox side-effects (attractively termed ‘Die-Off’). Day 3 came and went and I felt pretty damn smug that I had not experienced anything. However from Day 4 through to the next week I was hit hard. As you may have seen on my Facebook page or Instagram I had a rather puzzling symptom. At 10:30pm on the dot every night I got a massive, itchy rash all over my body. It was red and welted and stung like hell and kept me awake until about 2am which gave me approximately 59 minutes of sleep before my darling daughters’ 3am maddy-hour! You should have seen me that week. I was a delight.

**Thanks to my amazing social media friends for all their support, suggestions and shared horror. Turns out it was all part of the detox and the healthier I got it slowly stopped happening.

But, my fellow Candida sufferers, there was light at the end of the tunnel! On Day 9 I felt AMAZING. I woke up feeling clearer and lighter than I had in a long time. My stomach looked slimmer and I had so much energy. Mood swings stopped, I wasn’t having my 5pm dip where I would feel completely exasperated by the day and my husband and I stopped bickering entirely. To make matters better I lost 4kgs which put me under a weight threshold that I have been stuck above for 3 years. I felt like I had found my answer.

Anyway… back to the diet!

Your Candida recovery comes down to three main elements.

  1. Diet
  2. Probiotics
  3. Antifungals

Even though it is reasonably restrictive the diet is also very, very doable. Rather than listing off exactly what you can’t have… lets focus on all the awesome, nourishing foods that you can!

What to eat!

As with the cleanse period you are only allowed select vegetables of the non-starchy variety – again no carrot, parsnip, pumpkin (squash), sweet potato (yam/kumara), beetroots, peas or potato. If humanly possible source organic produce – you want to help your liver/digestive system as much as possible which means lightening the toxic load where you can. You are also allowed to add in certain meats, fish, non-glutinous grains, probiotic dairy products, nuts, seeds and seasonings. You then must have a heavy dose of probiotics and antifungals throughout the day (more on that later).

Meat

It is essential that you source organic meat. The reason being animals that are grown in conventional meat and dairy industries are fed antibiotics to combat the stress of their living conditions, over-crowding and their unnatural (grain-based) diets. Cows are also fed growth-hormones to keep up an unnatural year-round supply of milk. The bacteria in your gut is already haywire and antibiotics are only going to make it worse. In fact, antibiotics are one of the most common causes of candida overgrowth. It is more expensive but you are investing in your health – not to mention a far more ethical and environmental way of eating. (I will be posting in coming weeks how to balance your money and ethics while consuming meat – I am passionate about animal rights and this new diet as been a struggle. But I have found ways!).

Meat must be unprocessed and whole – this means nothing cured (bacon, salami etc). No pork. No luncheon style deli meats.

Fish

Same goes with fish. You need wild-caught fish as opposed to farmed. Fish are also fed medicated food. (If you haven’t looked into fish farming I sincerely recommend you do – it is eye-opening and jaw-dropping and basically, a little terrifying). Aim for small fish like anchovies, sardines and herring which are lower in the food chain and have therefore have not bioaccumulated as many contaminants. They are also far more sustainable – DOUBLE WIN! If you eat salmon it must be wild caught.

Probiotic Dairy

Proper organic probiotic yoghurt and kefir (a grain that you ferment) are also allowed. The reasons doctors tell you to consume lots of yoghurt when you are on antibiotics is because the live cultures help kill the Candida yeast and balance your system! I have cut dairy completely and have been feeling great for it but lots of people I have spoken to recommend it.

Nuts and seeds

You want to include nuts and seeds that have low mold content. So you are going to focus on almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, flax seed, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and sunflower seeds. Sadly cashews, peanuts and pistachios are off the menu.

Almond milk is allowed too! See my recipe here.

Non-Glutinous Grains

Buckwheat, millet, oat  bran and quinoa are all on the menu.

All these grains are not actually grains, they are grain-like seeds. They are also full of fiber which is essential for keeping that digestive system cranking.

Seasonings, herbs and spices

Woohoo – here is the fun bit. You are allowed SO many yummy flavourings.

  • Coconut oil (virgin, cold-pressed) is encouraged as it is a natural antifungal. I have a teaspoon in my lemon water every morning. I cook with it. I rub it on my body. Actually… interesting story. When I was having my 10:30 rash-athon I rubbed coconut oil over myself and the rash went away. Magic. Powers.
  • Olive, sesame and flax oils are all okay.
  • Cayenne, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, paprika and rosemary all have antifungal properties which means – load ‘em up baby!
  • Apple cider vinegar – as always – is good for you!
  • Coconut aminos are a great alternative if you are a bit soy/tamari obsessed like a certain candida-cleansing blogger that shall remain unnamed.

Sweeteners

Stevia and Xylitol are both natural plant-based sweeteners that are allowed on the cleanse (stevia is great for hot beverages; xylitol for baking).

Personally I choose not to use them. The jury is out on the long term effects of it. There are massive fans (like here) and not (like here) and fence-sitters (like here). You make the call.

Not on the menu

So now that I have told you all the yummy bits you can eat if you do want to see a list of what you can’t then look at this one here. Basically no fruit, sugar of any type, starch, beans, mold containing nuts, processed anything, soda.

Alcohol?

You know that stumble I mentioned in the introduction. Yeah. Day 12. I read somewhere that alcohol is not technically the worst thing in the world for your Candida Cleanse because there is actually very little sugar in alcohol. But basically I think I found an article that facilitated some sort of faux loophole in the diet. I had a dinner party on Friday and one wine turned into many. I had felt on top of the world yet 3 days later I am still feeling the effects – my rash came back, I feel hot and clammy and I am bloated. So from now on I am going to avoid alcohol as much as I can. It does not serve me.

We are humans and not robots. We are making a massive life changes and habits are hard to break. So try as hard as you can and if you fall off then get back on (read how to here). Perfect example of this attitude is this incredibly brave article from Sarah Wilson. Even if you take two steps forward and one step back you are still moving in the right direction!

P.s. Beer is a total no-no (yeast!). Wine has the highest of alcohol sugar contents. Whoops! Best option? Vodka with a little squeeze of citrus.

Probiotics

Your Candida diet without probiotics does not work. The probiotics are essential in your recovery (and in daily candida-free life as well!). They help your digestion and create a healthy balance of your gut flora in your digestive tract.

I have bought a probiotic supplement called Ultrabiotics45 which has 45 million friendly bugs from 9 different probiotic strains. This cost around $50 for 30 pills. For the first 2 weeks I took 2 a day (one with breakfast and one with dinner). This meant that I used the entire bottle in the first fortnight which means the first month is reasonably expensive. But after that you can drop back to 1 a day.

In addition to this I have been consuming natural sources of probiotic like raw sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), probiotic yoghurt and kefir. You can order kefir online here and you can make your own sauerkraut reasonably cheaply at home – here is an awesome recipe.

Antifungals

Antifungals and probiotics are partners in crime. Antifungals kill the yeast and probiotics then build up the good bacteria.  So, in addition to those yummy spicy antifungals mentioned above you may also want to introduce some supplements or other natural sources.

Oil of Oregano

You can get this from most health food stores. It costs around $30 and you can add it to water, drop it under your tongue or add 3 drops to your oil-pulling ritual.

Caprylic Acid

A very common supplement is Caprylic Acid which comes in a capsule however I try and take the wholefood option where possible. Guess what has lots of caprylic acid? Coconut oil! Every morning I have a super-duper fungal killing beverage made up of the juice of ½ a lemon, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, some grated ginger and a sprinkle of turmeric. YUM.

Olive Leaf Extract

I add a teaspoon of this to my green smoothie in the morning. I made a massive mistake by trying to drink it straight the first time. Vile. Approach with caution. I would advise to dilute in smoothie, juice or at least water.

Pau D’arco

Why is it that all superfoods are from South America? Pau D’arco is made from the bark of a very strong tree and I will go on record as saying that it will be the next big thing in the health food world. There are some amazing studies being done on the effect of Pau D’arco  on all sorts of diseases like arthritis and cancer.

I take a supplement that cost $33 from a health food store. Similar to the probiotics I took 2 a day for the first day then 1 a day forward from there. You can also buy it as a tea. You should not take this if you are pregnant, breast-feed or have any sort of blood disorder.

You Ready?

So safe to say that this diet is not for the faint-hearted and that it is a bit of an investment. My husband and I have cringed at the cost of all these new ingredients and supplements. The price has also gone up because where we would usually pad our meals out with a bit of a starchy vegetable we are now literally on protein and green vegetable.  BUT we are both feeling the effects and know that if we just stick at this for a month or two then are lives are going to be entirely different.

In the coming weeks (perhaps months) I will be sharing recipes that I have been creating, tips on how to keep your budget down and ways to curb those cravings that hit you like a freight train at 3pm.

Yeah… you’re ready. Lets do it!!!

 

Mel’s Famous Goji Berry Bliss Balls

The universe has been delightful again and has smashed me into contact with the absolutely gorgeous Mel from Raw Energy and Wellness. As Mel will tell you below, she is a Remedial Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer and has just moved to the my glorious end of Australia (the West). She also just happens to be a fellow IIN colleague and I am telling you now, she is going to do big things with her Health Coach qualification! I’ll hand the microphone over to Mel now to introduce herself and then share her protein-packed bliss balls… 

melAfter leaving School 15 years ago my first stop was cooking school. I wasn’t really sure what in the world I wanted to do but I knew I loved to cook for people so decided my new aspiration was to become a chef. After being told, quite politely, by my teacher at that time that I talked to much to be stuck in a kitchen everyday, I went on a career hunting adventure over many years. I tried soooo many things…Horticulture, waitressing, landscaping, accounting, started a business degree, interior design, sports management and finally found my calling when I qualified as a Personal Trainer and opened my first boutique gym 6 years ago.

Although I did love what i was doing I always had a deeper desire to further help people, so completed a number of extra nutrition and coaching certificates and enrolled myself to become a Remedial Therapist. I thought this would help me on the road to “fixing” people.

However, as before, I still felt that burning desire that there was something else out there for me to learn in order to motivate and inspire people to become the best version on themselves they could possibly be. This is when I stumbled across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, this is what I claim to be my “light bulb moment”. It made so much sense to tie in all of my knowledge and experience into this one qualification: a HEALTH COACH.

Since enrolling 3 months ago I haven’t been able to contain my excitement and so many doors have started swinging open. I am so grateful for the new path my life is taking and would you believe that after 15 whole years my passion for cooking has returned. Although this time around, after everything I’ve learnt over the years, the ingredients I am experimenting and creating with are far more pure and nourishing. I absolutely love shopping and hunting for yummy, quality ingredients. Then when I get home, have so much fun getting lost in the middle of a kitchen full of nuts, seeds and superfoods. And the best part, I get to talk just as much as I like!

To celebrate the rediscovery of my passion I would love to share my famous Gogi Berry Bliss Ball recipe with you. Goji Berries contain all essential amino acids and also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble yogi berry is a nutritional powerhouse.

Enjoy beautiful people!

Mel’s Famous Goji Berry Bliss Balls

Vegan – Raw

Makes 16 balls

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Ingredients

  • 15 dates 
  • 1/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 
  • 1/4 cup pepitas 
  • 1/4 cup goji berries 
  • 1 cup almonds 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts 
  • 1 tbs cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cup oats 
  • 1/2 cup coconut 
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 4 scoops vanilla protein 

Method

  1. Add all ingredients except milk to a food processor mix until you are left with a fine texture
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, add milk and stir 
  3. Roll into small balls using extra coconut for rolling in

How good do they look? If you want more recipes like that follow Mel here;

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What is your favorite healthy snack? Would love to hear your go-to food in the comments!

Healing Winter Soup

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Last week I experienced for the first time what it was like to be the parent of a poorly little poppet. Little Lucy got a nasty chesty cold with one of those horrendous barking coughs. As a result my body has been fighting it like crazy and that goes hand in hand with some very sleepless nights. It is true though that babies are born with universal intelligence. She knew exactly what to do. Lie down. Stop. Screw up the to-do list (which must have been stressful for her – she had to reschedule ‘chew remote’ and ‘chase dogs’). Cry those emotions out. Feel sorry for herself. Be gentle. Sleep.

Taking my cue from her I listened to what it was my body wanted. It wanted warm, grounding, healing soup. So I chose beautiful seasonal organic produce, chopped it all up and made a soup that can only be described as Bloody Bonza, Mate. (apologies to the non-Australian contingent of this readership). I then supercharged it with a whole load of ancient superfood spices and Bob’s ya uncle.

So I stopped with my daughter and we cuddled and I watched Death at a Funeral for the 34,824th time. It was lovely. 

And the more we slurped down the better we both felt. Our healing could be due to all the Vitamin C in the pumpkin and sweet potato though it is much more likely because of the soups magical powers. 

So if you are feeling sick or you just like delicious soup – this is for you! Lucy loved it…

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Healing Winter Soup

Vegan – Gluten Free – Paleo

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Ingredients

  • 1kg Pumpkin (Yam), cubed into 4cm cubes
  • 1/2 large Sweet Potato (Kumara), cubed into 2cm cubes
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups Stock or Water
  • 2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3cms knob of Ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely diced
  • Bunch of Coriander (Cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander seeds (Cilantro)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional

  • 1 can of Coconut Cream
  • Dulce Flakes

Method

  1. Heat Coconut Oil in large pot
  2. Add Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Onion, Ginger, Garlic and the stem and roots of the coriander bunch. Stir until the onion is soft.
  3. Add Leek, Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander Seeds, Coriander Leaves (save some for presentation) and Nutmeg and stir until the spice has thoroughly coated the contents of the pot.
  4. Add Stock or Water and bring to the boil
  5. Then simmer until soft (approximately 20 minutes)
  6. Allow to cool slightly before blending (either in blender or with stick blender)
  7. Serve hot. If using coconut cream skim the cream off top with teaspoon and swirl on your soup for extra prettiness. I also dusted mine with Dulce Flakes.

Bored of the soup?

If you are halfway through your pot and are getting a bit tired of the same taste there are a few options.

Thai Pumpkin Soup – Add coconut cream, a pinch of cayenne, lime juice and your salty seasoning of choice (coconut aminos, tamari or fish/soy sauce). Add them all to taste and BAM – you have yourself a zesty pumpkin soup.

Curry Base – I sauteed some broccoli and onions in some spices (garlic, ginger etc) and then added a few ladles of soup. Served it on a bed of quinoa with a health handful of raw cashews for a super simple lunchtime curry!

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What about you? What is YOUR favorite healing food when you are feeling under the weather?

Wellness Women We Love: Jessica Ainscough – The Wellness Warrior

The world is simply abounding with amazing, wonderful women that are doing so much good! So from now on every Wednesday** I will be interviewing an amazing woman that is sending some serious good juju into our world… because goddamn they should be celebrated!

For anyone who has read this blog for a while you would be aware that there is one woman in particular who inspires my life…

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Jessica Ainscough. The Wellness Warrior. Blogger. Health Coach Extraordinaire. Public Speaker. Author. #girlcrush.

She is a bonafide superstar in the health and wellness world and is doing a damn fine job at spreading the message that our bodies can heal themselves. Jess kicked cancers ass via natural therapies, positive psychology and basically just simplifying her life (less stress, getting back to nature).

She also changes my life on a daily basis through her Lifestyle Transformation Guide. I am part of her tribe and while I continue to work through her program I am constantly bolstered by encouraging emails from her, answers to my silly questions and an awesome community to boot. She gave me to tools to get myself healthy. She inspired me to take the step that found me on this path… going in a direction I am finally happy with.

Basically I am unbelievably honoured to have Jessica Ainscough as my inaugural Wellness Women We Love.

Bucket list item… tick.

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Thank you for walking onto this virtual stage! Now if you were walking on-stage in real life what tune would you have playing as your theme song?

Dark Fantasy by Kanye West.

What motivated you to take the first step on your wellness journey?

A double kick up the butt from the universe! I was leading a lifestyle that was a tonne of fun, but not good for me in any way. I was working long hours, eating food that came from a microwave, and drinking like a fish four nights a week. When I was 22, my body gave me a huge ultimatum in the form of a terminal cancer diagnosis. With no conventional treatment options available, I had to radically change my lifestyle and commit 100% to healing myself.

What do you do every morning to set up your day for success?

I start my day with a walk up Mt Coolum or a walk by the beach, followed by oil pulling, dry body brushing, and meditation. I finish up my meditation with this mantra: ‘Always speak your truth, always follow your intuitive, always act with love and kindness.’ Then I pick an Angel card to find out what my angels want me to know for the day.

There are so many nutritional untruths floating around out there. What is your favourite myth to debunk?

That being healthy is boring and bland. It’s the most fun thing ever!! Those of us over here on the clean side feel like we’ve been let in on a big secret. I love seeing people’s faces when they taste the food that I eat on a daily basis. Most of the world has no idea about raw desserts, natural sweeteners, the fact that you can make milk and cheese from nuts, and that green smoothies taste incredible.

How do you handle your dietary non-negotiables when you are invited over/out for dinner?

Unless I’m going somewhere that will serve me organic food, I take my own. I pack an esky full of yummy home-made food so that I don’t feel deprived while I watch others eat. I even went to a Thai restaurant recently and took my own coconut curry. I just always call ahead first to make sure it’s okay.

If you had to cook one meal to impress a tough crowd of unhealthy eaters, what would it be?

I would probably make healthy Mexican – spiced beans, guacamole, cashew sour cream, homemade chilli sauce, lots of fresh salads and potatoes cooked in coconut oil and spices. Then for dessert, it would either be raw chocolate brownies or a raw avocado-lime cheesecake.

Do you have any natural products/alternative therapies that you cannot live without?

Coconut oil! I use it for everything – cooking, moisturising, hair mask, make-up remover, sunscreen …

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

First, I make sure my home is always flooded with natural light and air. I have doors and windows open all day. I also have house plants displayed around the place to add to my air quality. I have so many Himalayan salt lamps in my home that the place glows orange at night. These guys neutralise positive ions by emitting negative ones, to create a healthier space (particularly good around electrical items). Plus, I have an oil diffuser going most of the day spitting out beautiful essential oils in scents like peppermint or lavender.

What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

I’m very loud. People are always telling me to use my indoor voice, but I don’t have one. I’m not sure why I like this. It used to be embarrassing, but now I just think it’s funny.

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

Am I experiencing joy on a regular basis?

What is the most important decision you make to ensure you are a conscious consumer?

Always buy, eat, apply and clean with 100% natural and certified organic foods and products.

Pretend this is your mountain… what message do you shout to the world?

Be kind to yourself. Do what makes you happy. Eat real food. Drink green juice.
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Find Jess

Twitter – @jessainscough
Instagram – @jessainscough
**Editors Note: I am aware it is Thursday but I had major technical issues yesterday. In future WWWL will be every Wednesday. Damn interwebs!

Choc Macanana Smoothie


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Liquid Cleanse. Two words that on their own are completely acceptable, even pleasant, but put those hands together and you have yourself a world of hurt. And it is only day one! Well actually I am being a bit dramatic. In general I find cleanses liberating, detoxifying, lightening and (funnily enough) cleansing! But of course they can be difficult and need a fair chunk of determination to get through. It is more of a psychological challenge than physical; because you know you can’t eat anything the mind plays tricks on you and tells you that you’re hungrier than you are. (Which is exactly the reason diets don’t work).Either way… by 3:30pm of Day #1 I felt faint, nauseous and panicky. I really felt I needed something hearty to keep my energy levels up enough to play with my 5 month old and pack our entire life into boxes. Enter the Choc Macanana Smoothie.

Also – for fun – whisper Choc Macanana in a deep tribal voice; doesn’t that sound like some mystical island legend? Can’t you imagine being around a campfire on the beach and Choc Macanana appearing with a fern headdress? Look, in my solids deprived brain I found that hilarious and have now been giggling for about 5 minutes. C’mon Em, pull yourself together!!! Anyway…

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A Little Word About Maca…

I will go into a lengthier post about Maca Powder later on but I just wanted to say that this is the one Superfood that I have felt instant and dramatic effects from. Maca comes in powder form and is made from a turnip-esque root vegetable of South America. The list of health benefits of Maca is too huge to list but the most common praise I had heard was it’s ability to balance hormones, give your energy levels a boost (your libido as well!) as well as giving you the most amazing glowing skin.

I had held off until a few weeks ago as I had heard from some that it can negatively affect anxiety levels – and considering mine were just starting to normalise I didn’t want to risk another surge. But in the end the pros outweighed the cons and I gave it a go. Even on the first day I took it I felt noticeably better which I have never experienced with a product before. Now after two weeks of 1 teaspoon a day I feel like a different person. My husband has commented on how much more positive I am, more patient. I have had a lot of comments on my skin. And – surprisingly – my anxiety management has improved again. I have since learned that Maca is renowned for it’s depression-busting skills too.

The point of this spiel is to recommend that you invest in some Maca if you have any of the ailments I mentioned. I use this product from Loving Earth and they deliver all over Australia. But hopefully you can find it in most good healthfood stores.

Prep time – 5 minutes; Serves 1

Ingredients

1 x banana

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used my homemade Cashew Milk using this recipe)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon maca powder

1 teaspoon raw cacao powder

Pinch of cinnamon

2 x dates

Method

Throw all ingredients in the blender.

Blend until smooth.

If you want to get fancy sprinkle on some cacao nibs.

What is your can’t-live-without ingredient and why?

Would love to hear in the comments…