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

IMG_2522

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;

Layout_proof01(1)_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Wellness Women We Love: Claire Baker – This is Lifeblood

Claire Baker 1

Claire and I are the classic tale of modern day love. You know… Girl Instagrams food, other girl Instagrams place, girls laugh at photo similarities, girls meet at cafe to Instagram together, girls fall in mad friendship-love. And they lived happily ever after making flower crowns and going on road trips all the way.

But seriously, for me, it was adore at first sight! Claire has the most amazing way of making you feel completely comfortable from the second you meet her. And this knack clearly translates to her writing and has surely been key to her blogs massive popularity! With the perfect balance of vulnerability and strength, she delves deep into her own ego and thus challenges you to examine your own. She is a champion for following your dreams, living authentically, travelling lots, eating amazing nourishing food (the girl can cook a curry!) and just to let life flow.

I am not sure what forces of the universe spun us into each others orbits but I am extremely grateful to them as my life is better for having her in it. I’m sure after getting to know her you will feel the same!

Meet Claire – the coolest dude around!

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

Ooohh I’m going to have to be corny and say The Beatles ‘All You Need is Love’ and I’m skipping on stage with daisies in my hair, the sun is shining and life is good. Love is all you need baby!

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

Being diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis at 17 certainly threw me into the deep end of raw juices, whole foods and the wellness world. Seeing my body heal through natural, holistic therapies changed my life forever. I’m so grateful I had that experience of being so unwell as I value, appreciate and prioritise my health today on a whole new level.

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

If I’m honest with you, I don’t always meditate in the mornings. I don’t always exercise, drink warm lemon water or oil pull (although I do most days) but I ALWAYS create a mental gratitude list by thinking of 5 things I am grateful for every single morning before I get out of bed. Being grateful for what we do have shifts our perceptions, attracts more of the good stuff and ensures we don’t start the day with stinky negative thoughts.

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

That milk is the best source of calcium. Noo!! Where do you think the cows get their calcium from? Greens people, greens!

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

I’m pretty flexible to be honest. I admire people who won’t eat anything that isn’t organic or prepared in a certain way but unless my friends are serving deep fried mars bars smothered in cheese-in-a-can, I’ll pretty much eat anything. When I’m out for dinner, I stick to lean meats, seafoods, salads and veggies and pass on anything too gluten-y.

Claire Baker 2

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

It’d have to be a slow-cooked (organic, grass fed) lamb roast with warm spinach, pumpkin, beetroot and parsnip salad. Particuarly in the cooler weather right now! In Summer I’d probably whip up a coconut-crusted salmon fillet on a bed of mango, celery and cucumber salsa. I’d finish both meals off with this slice.

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

Apple cider vinegar for the win! Raw, organic, unpasteurized of course. This stuff does wonders for my digestive system, either diluted in warm water in the mornings or a cap or two before meals. You can also use it as a yummy salad dressing, a toner for your skin, hair rinse or even as deodorant.

How do you ‘zen-ify’ your home?

Candles, open windows, fresh air, natural light and crystals. And regular de-cluttering.

What is your favourite imperfection about yourself and why?

My sweet tooth! Because I freaking love making raw chocolate treats, chia puddings, bliss balls and slices like this one.

What is one question that everyone should ask themselves?

What do I LOVE to do?

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

It totally depends on what I am consuming. However, I really try to refrain from accumulating ‘stuff’ and I think it is ultra important to shop locally and avoid the big chain supermarkets as much as humanly possible.

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

Beautiful people, life is there to be enjoyed, not endured! So clear the crap, uncover your inner strengths, pursue your passions, do whatever the hell makes you happy, be weird, be grateful, love yourself and never stop giving back.

Don’t you just want to nip her? If you want more of Claire find her here

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClaire Baker is a life-loving holistic health coach with a permanent travel bug and zeal for true happiness and healing. Addicted to living authentically with gutsy passion and purpose and helping others to do the same, she digs peppermint tea, medjool dates, a good belly laugh and wearing yoga pants all day.

Come say hi at This is Lifeblood, her online space to share her passions for all things nourishing, spiritual and creative and subscribe to her free weekly love letters.

You can also find her on hanging out on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

This is Lifeblood blog here.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What do you find most inspiring about this girl? Share it in comments below!

 

 

 

Wellness Soulpreneurs and Flower Crowns

2

Saturday was toe-tappingly, heart-warmingly, soul-squeezingly awesome.

It was the launch of the Perth Wellness Soulpreneurs meet-ups. Basically, a whole bunch of really inspiring women who are all working and blogging about wellness in Perth decided to get their butts together and watch the magic happen. And happen it did.

This get-together was organised by the effervescent Jacqueline who (along with Annette from Wellness WA) is going to be launching a Perth-based cold-press juice delivery company Pure Glow Cleanse –Hallelujah!

Photo courtesy of Vegan Sparkles

Photo courtesy of Vegan Sparkles

Our morning started with a private class of Vinyasa Yoga which was taught by two very passionate and nurturing Yogini’s Donna and Kate from The Yoga Vine. There were plenty of bend-backs, downward dogs and Donna-asana’s to be had. I felt SO invigorated and I was not the only one to comment afterwards that it had inspired me to get back to the mat. Kate then gently guided us into an extended meditation. It was so lovely (and dare I say a little poignant?) to practice being still in the middle of the bustling city.

3

After we had namaste’d it out, Fiona Ferreira from Left of Centre Therapies took the stage. The softly spoken Reiki Healer explained her work and love of crystals with the most touching of speeches followed by a quick Q+A. One thing that really resonated with me was when Fiona explained that we are all born with an empty back pack and through our lives we fill it with all of our good and bad experiences. Healing is taking the bad baggage out. Just lovely.

1

By that stage the Cocobella coconut water could not keep us satiated and the pack made our way to The Green House for food, tea and chats. I had food envy over every single person’s plate – even my own! Can that even happen? I say ‘Yay’. Special mention has to be made to the Baharat Cauliflower which will feature heavily in my dreams for the next millennia.

4

7

Then – my favourite part of the day. Actually… favourite bit out of most days ever. We moved to a tiny patch of grass that was surrounded by busy shopping malls and towered over by cold skyscrapers. The super-gorgeous Jacinta from Cintism then led us in a flower crown tutorial. The (by now) 7 of us were like kids. From fits of giggles to excited squee’s and then looooong concentrated silences we all made the most stunning floral headpieces – each piece speaking volumes about the makers personality. I have two hen-nights to organise and I am so excited to have found Jacinta’s workshops for them; flower crowns trump cheesy devil horns a million times over!

13

One thing I did notice though was how many people didn’t. Seven girls in the middle of the city with about 15 big bunches of flowers laughing and making crowns and most people had their noses down and were rushing through life. I’m not saying that everyone should have been showering us with attention buuut… flowers are damn pretty and a lot of people didn’t seem to notice. And I can guarantee that a year ago if I had walked past on my way to work or an appointment I wouldn’t have noticed either. It inspired me to make a renewed commitment to being present. Instead of constantly focusing on the destination – whether that is an upcoming event, a personal goal or just an actual physical location – I am going to stop and enjoy the goddamn footpath. Enjoy the process, marvel at what’s happening around you, acknowledge when you stub your toe but try not to swear too much and keep moving forward as slowly or fast as you like.

12

An amazing day in every way – I am so excited for next month’s gathering. Here are some happy snaps from the day…

11

8

23a

17a

20a

21a

15

18a

19a

Want to get to know the inspiring women I shared my day with? Of course you do!

Anna – Lifes Shiny Pretty Things

Annette – Wellness WA // Pure Glow Cleanse

Bex – Vegan Sparkles

Claire – This is Lifeblood

Elizabeth – Life with Elizabeth Rose

Fiona  – Left of Centre Therapies

Jacinta – Cintism

Jacqueline – Pure Glow Cleanse

Jia Ne – Jia Ne Teo

Karen – Conscious Cravings

Kavesha – Wellness WA Contributor

Vanessa – learn.grow.heal

Highlights from my Sanctuary

Last week I decided I needed some R&R… and sometimes the one thing you need to truly relax is to be near your family. So I (largely) switched off from the social media world, got on me wellies and headed to my parents beautiful hobby farm for a mini-holiday. Here are some highlights!

This is my parents cottage. It is in a very small town in South West Australia called Boyup Brook. It is made of granite and is encased in vines which change from green to red throughout the year. Staring out the windows is always magic.

IMG_5302

The perfect reading chair!

The perfect reading chair!

Every morning started like this…

Picture6

The wonder in Lucy’s eyes when I would part the curtain and reveal this leafy world with crazy guinea fowl running around, was amazing.

Then we would go and get breakfast…

From my Instagram profile - @oliveonblonde

From my Instagram profile – @oliveonblonde

Mum and Dad truly love their animals and have unintentionally created their own farm sanctuary. Every sheep and goat that they have on their farm was rescued by them; from the countless lambs that were found alone and shivering to death in a paddock to the ‘dud’ goat that they bought after seeing it chained, unwanted and about 2 days away from a stove top. They now have a hilarious and mismatched collection of 6 goats, 13 alpacas and about 30 sheep – each has a name and most come when they are called. Here is a photo from 3 years ago… the start of their mad family. All but one of these sheepy’s is still around and Dufus is the leader of the flock.

6733_123089408326_6811177_n

What happened when I took Lucy to introduce her to the them all is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. I walked into the paddock and sat on top of the hill looking down on all the goats and sheep. They turned and looked at me and then from every direction started walking towards us – such a funny sight to see over 30 animals all making an executive decision to come say hello. Then when they arrived they almost lined up and took turns coming up and very gently sniffing on Lucy’s face and mouthing her nose. She could not stop giggling and they had no problems at all with her reaching out and running her hands over their wool. It was amazing. Later when I told mum about it she said that that is what they do when they are introducing a new lamb into their flock. Heart officially melted.

What a funny face

What a funny face

These are not pictures of that exact experience, but they reacted much the same. Especially my darling Charlie who is everyone’s favourite sheep. My dad cannot count the number of times that he has been gardening or fixing a fence and felt something fuzzy on his face to find Charlie giving him smooches. He will happily sit with you for hours asking for a face tickle.

IMG_5340 IMG_5339 IMG_5336 IMG_5333 IMG_5346 Picture2 Picture1 IMG_5360 IMG_5349

This is Sherman.

IMG_5308

He is the ‘dud’ I mentioned before. He has mixed up man bits and is technically known as a Cryptorchid. Basically – commercially speaking – he is useless. He is lucky he met mum and dad who scooped him up for a life of wandering paddocks.  He is also without a doubt the strangest animal I have ever met. He is slightly vacant but is also really funny. He has bulbous eyes that aren’t a regular characteristic of his breed. His horns grow like a mohawk down the centre of his head. And he stinks. He stinks to high heaven. Lucy and I were sitting alone in a paddock and all of a sudden this ungodly stench punched me in the nose. I was looking around to try and figure out what was causing this smell which is when I spied Sherman plodding across the paddock to say hello. Strange, lovely, stinky little man.

And here are some of the other cheeky buggers…

Lady Fallon

Lady Fallon

Springer... a spoilt but delightful lad!

Springer… a spoilt but delightful lad!

Fallon welcoming Lucy Goosey

Fallon welcoming Lucy Goosey

A very self-satisfied Stompy

A very self-satisfied Stompy

Gorgeous Elsabee

Gorgeous Elsabee

Photo-bombing goat…

IMG_5280

Allen being cheeky!

Allen being cheeky!

And of course no trip would be complete without the disobedient little arsehole…

IMG_5297

My parents are amazing. My mum is a feeder. If anything is wrong in life the solution starts with a meal… the bigger, the better. So when I asked for a very light, very small plant-based meal I couldn’t help but laugh when she produced this…

Picture3

You may not be able to tell from the photo … that veggies stacked weighed about 4 kilos! It was absolutely delicious even though I could barely finish a quarter of it.

I also found this little book in my Dad’s bookshelves.

Picture5

Made my heart burst a bit when I remember how nervous he was before giving the speech at my wedding. What cute little muffins they are.

I came back feeling loved, rested and content. Must be true that home is where the heart is.

Where is your special place?

Pics from Less Is More Festival 2013

Back in February I was a presenter at what is fast becoming a stalwart of the Perth Sustainable Calendar: the Less Is More Festival. I ended last years (see the round-up here) and had no idea that a year later I would be asked to give a talk at the next one – to say I was flattered is an understatement. My topic of choice was indeed topical given the recent events of my life; Eco Babies! The presentation was an hour long and was chock-a-clock full of information and links so instead of creating one gigantic blog article I am going to post them over the next few weeks… I spoke about a whole range of things from nappies, to designing your nursery, homemade baby products and toys.

For now though I will just share some snapshots of the day. It was really amazing… such a fun variety of workshops and activities all focused around the idea that less can be more. Less waste, more fun. Less shallow, more fulfilling. Less materialistic, more creative. The way it should be.

The gorgeous setting - The Grove library in Peppermint Grove.

The gorgeous setting – The Grove library in Peppermint Grove.

Right this way.

Right this way.

Beautifully apt quote to have in front of the library.

Beautifully apt quote to have in front of the library.

What a fun schedule of workshops!

What a fun schedule of workshops!

Me with my tables of goodies!

Me with my tables of goodies!

Talking about the moment I lost my head and bought some useless baby merch... a shower cap. What all babies need right?

Talking about the moment I lost my head and bought some useless baby merch… a shower cap. What all babies need right?

Talking with some of the people afterwards... showing my DIY products.

Talking with some of the people afterwards… showing my DIY products.

A mending station was set up, where people could mend and sew to their hearts content!

A mending station was set up, where people could mend and sew to their hearts content!

Great old sewing machine

Great old sewing machine

We need to replace Spending with Mending!

We need to replace Spending with Mending!

Funky old upcycled jeans

Funky old upcycled jeans

There was also a movie lounge screening eco documentaries. Love these denim jean bean bags!

There was also a movie lounge screening eco documentaries. Love these denim jean bean bags!

REALLY cool junk mail art by local artist Rob

REALLY cool junk mail art by local artist Rob

More cool art and sculptures!

More cool art and sculptures!

The busy foyer.

The busy foyer.

Info about Living Smart

Info about Living Smart

The main mode of transport for the day. Love that even the bike has been yarn bombed!

The main mode of transport for the day. Love that even the bike has been yarn bombed!

And ended the day with a big ol' love heart leaf. Doesn't get better than that! :)

And ended the day with a big ol’ love heart leaf. Doesn’t get better than that! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Less IS More

184584_503562546372510_682365537_n

Well tomorrow is finally the day… The Less Is More Festival is back! A celebration of anti-consumerism!!!

It is an incredible day run by the Western Earth Carers which involves hands on DIY workshops that will show you how to buy less and live better! It is family friendly and of course in the spirit of anti-consumerism… is completely free.

I will be there running two workshops on Eco Babies (they run at 10am and 12pm) and there are so many more amazing workshops…

  • Make your own natural soap, toothpaste and deodorant (bring jars if you can!)
  • Fix your bike
  • Declutter your life
  • Live plastic free (with the amazing Simone)
  • Eat raw food (with one of my favorite Perth wellness goddesses A Foodly Affair)
  • Grow a native garden
  • Keep chooks and bees
  • Mosaic making
  • Make your own ginger beer, yogurt, preserves and sourdough

View the schedule here of the entire day here.

Saturday 16 February, 2013 from 9:30am until 5:00pm
The Grove Library, 1 Leake St, Peppermint Grove, WA 6011
If you decide to come along beware that parking will be very limited. BUT the good news is, the library and community centre have ample bike racks and lockers, and excellent public transport links! (See Public Transport Links here)
Would love to see you all there!
less-is-more