Tuesday, 30 September 2014

4 Fab Foodie Finds


1. Eat Fit Food's new "Transform your life through food" new 8 week program. 
You all know by now I'm a huge fan of Eat fit food; fresh, delicious and healthy meals delivered to your doorstep, why not? Well, Eat Fit FOod have now come out with the Uber-bomb of programs, an 8 week fitness and nutrition program to really transform you life. They have some incredible experts on board so head over and check it out - http://www.eatfitfood.com.au/transform-your-life-program.htm


 2. THE VITALITY SHOW! 
Its all happening next weekend and and I'm so excited. A 3 day bonanza of amazing speakers and exhibitors, I believe that its a must to attend. 
More info here - http://www.vitalityshow.com.au/
We have 3 tickets to giveaway too so keep posted to our instagram and facebook page for that. 



3. SADHANA KITCHEN. 
I was introduced to this amazing food at an event this week. WOW! Think raw, vegan high tea. So delicious and so pretty! 
More info here - http://www.sadhanakitchen.com/


4. WHAT TO EAT PROGRAM with Stirring Change
A 3 months program over 6 session packed to the brim with traditional nutrition info to take with you and put into action along your own family health journey! I cant rave highly enough of this program and everything Stirring change does. I am coming to the end of taking part in this program and I havent stopped absorbing all the mind-blowing information along with trying the wacky recipes given to us to try. I just want it to keep going!
More info here - http://stirringchange.com/what-to-eat/

RECIPE: Raw Chocolate Bars – Yes, they are allergy friendly!

RECIPE BY SONYA LEE OF ALLERGY SAVE


This delicious allergy friendly recipe ticks all the boxes – allergy free from nuts, dairy, eggs and soy. It’s also gluten free, sugar free, preservative free, raw, delicious and easy to make.  Yummyness without the guilt!

Raw Chocolate Bars
Yields 20

A delicious and healthy slice bound to satisfy those sweet cravings.

Ingredients
14 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut oil, extra
4 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 Tablespoons raw local honey

Method
Place sunflower seeds into bowl of processor and blend until f they turn into crumbs.
Add dates, vanilla and 1 Tablespoon coconut oil and continue processing until combined. . Press into a 20 x 20 cm dish.
In a glass jar place remainder (1/2 cup ) coconut oil, cacao and honey. Place jug into a bowl of boiling of boiling water. Stir until coconut oil melted and mixture is smooth. Alternatively heat in microwave for 30 seconds until melted
Stir well and pour over date base. Place in fridge for a couple of hours. Cut into squares and devour.

Notes
ALLERGY ADVICE: FREE from GLUTEN, PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, DAIRY, WHEAT, EGGS, SOY, Grain Free, Sugar Free.



Recipe by Sonya Lee from Allergy Save
Sonya is a Mum on a mission to make life with intolerances and allergies easier for parents sharing amazing allergy friendly recipes while sharing her own families health journey along the way. You can see more of what Sonya has to offer over at http://www.allergysave.com/

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: The MyCook Premium


We've all heard of the whizz-bang multi function thermal cooking machines that make Mum life a whole lot easier right??? They have LITERALLY taken the world by storm and everyone I speak to "MUST HAVE ONE!" Last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to the preview of a new contender on the block, The Mycook Premium. Well it's only new to Australia, they've been around for years in Europe... I believe it could be the head honcho of the bunch and I was definitely sold in an instant. Why? Because, not only was the multifunctional side of it incredible and the food was made delicious in minutes but almost all parts are made from stainless steel. Yep I said it, theres not a whole heap of plastic bits that give you a fear of serving up a side of toxins with your food. Amazing right? I am yet to test drive one of these but it looks very heavy duty and super strong so great for the most heavy handed of chef's along with being a great fit into a family kitchen. The safety features of locking bowls and steamers sound like a winner too. I believe its worth booking yourself a demo and seeing one of these babies in action... It may just save your sanity!

What do you think? What would be the first thing you would make if you had a MyCook premium??


MyCook website: http://www.ozcook.com.au/

Monday, 29 September 2014

10 natural alternatives to refined sugar

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NATVIA – Stevia can be known to be quite bitter and some people can never get used to the taste so Natvia created a product that uses the best part of the stevia plant for a naturally sweet taste that’s never bitter and mixed it with a sugar alcohol to bring us a natural sweetener that we can use 1:1 in baking. It is a winner! This makes things nice and easy and any recipe you see with sugar in the ingredients you can swap it out with Natvia for the perfect finished product. Its great for birthday parties to create amazing cakes and treats without giving the kids a sugar high. You can purchase Natvia at the supermarket in the sweetener isle.

NORBU- A very new sugar alternative to hit the sweetener scene. Norbu is a natural sweetener you can use 2/3:1 to table sugar and it only contains 0.5 calories per serving. It’s a great alternative for people who don’t liken to the stevia taste but still don’t want the fructose. Norbu is made from Monk Fruit which is a sweet fruit that has been cultivated and hand-picked from hundreds of years in remote mountain regions. It is great in baking and can be easily subituted where stable sugar is asked for.

XYLITOLLike stevia, xylitol does not feed Candida or cancer. It is a white crystal powder that can be used in tea, coffee, and to sweeten up your recipes but in too high doses it creates a laxative effect. Xylitol is a bit of a magic dust. It naturally forms in our bodies throughout our daily metabolism. It’s a naturally occurring carbohydrate in fibrous fruit and vegetables that your body does not require insulin to metabolise it. Unlike sugar, it is actually good for your teeth and if you read the back of a lot of natural toothpastes you will find it in the ingredients list. Xylitol is anti-microbial which means it prevents the growth of bacteria, unlike all other forms of sugar which cause the overgrowth of bacteria and fungi. Xylitol is a healer, not like sugar which causes damage. In saying this, xylitol should not be overused.

COCONUT SUGARCoconut is a wonder food and coconut sugar has minimal effect on blood sugar levels. It is the evaporated nectar from the coconut. It is fantastic for baking and sweets giving a slight caramel taste.

RAW HONEY - It does have a very high fructose content and if you need to quit sugar all together for health reasons then I would recommend something different. But bees are amazing! Honey is a medicinal food. It is filled with amino acids and nutrients, and enzymes that actually help us to break down sugar and B complex vitamins. It is antibacterial and antiviral which is why it is known to kick off colds and flu’s and respiratory infections because it contains so many vitamins and minerals. It is a very powerful food that is packed with lots of good stuff.  All this talk about honey being so great, keep in mind it still caries quite a lot of natural forming fructose that will still raise your blood sugar levels so only use sparingly. Raw honey is to be only used in raw recipes; if you cook it, all the nutrients will go so you may as well have used table sugar!
When I talk about honey, I am not talking about the stuff in the supermarket… That is a no no! We want RAW unfiltered HONEY.

FRUITSWhole Raw and Stewed fruits make for great sweeteners for baking! When you consume a piece of fruit it contains so many great nutrients that the body needs; all these vitamins, minerals and fibre help us to digest the sugars. 
They are natural! They are sweet! They are whole! Use them where possible!

DATES - Oh how I love cooking with dates! Yes dates are a fruit also high in fructose but they are great because they are high in nutrients and packed with fibre. When you use dates you are using the whole food. Nothing refined. You are getting all the nutrients they provide to help digest the sugar at a slower rate... Organic Medjool dates are amazing and the only sort to buy. They are great to relieve constipation, as well as helping prevent cardiovascular disease. They are great to add to any baked desert, smoothie or as a sweet treat.

MAPLE SYRUPMaple syrup is full of lots of beneficial minerals, like zinc for your immune system and magnesium for energy production. Beware though; most of the products being sold as maple syrup are chemical laden sugar syrup dressed up in disguise. Read the labels! Make sure it is the real deal. Real maple syrup is the sap gathered from the maple tree. Maple syrup also has high amounts of natural occurring sugars so only use sparingly.

PURE STEVIA - It was originally used in medicines and has only recently been approved for everyday consumption. It is a great alternative to anything containing sugar for diabetics, Candida, or Cancer or your just worried about your blood sugar. It is super sweet, approximately 300 times sweeter than conventional sugar so you only need a very small amount. This herb has absolutely no effect on blood sugar. It comes in liquid, powder or pill form. You only need 3 drops of pure stevia to be as sweet as 1 teaspoon of table sugar and 1 teaspoon of stevia to be the same as 1 whole cup of sugar so it can be a little tricky to bake with to get the correct amount without it tasting too bitter.

RICE MALT SYRUP - Rice malt syrup is a natural sweetener that is derived from rice. It tends to cause lower spikes in glucose levels because it is made from complex carbs, this is gentle to the metabolism. It is not as sweet as sugar but can be a good alternative. It can be good for baking but you need to reduce the liquid content if you want to swap table sugar for rice malt syrup.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

39/52




"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Attitude.

Little P: A beautiful thing with a great whinge.

Sunshine: When your happy your on top of the world but when you crack it, its all over.


Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

WEARING: Denim



Spring is here and the sun is shining and what better way to feel better than to spend some time in the sunshine. For the first time in over a year I have put shorts on, feeling quite bare but also in the mood to embrace it and just fell good. What else makes you feel good is new clothes right? I go into melt down at the thought of trying clothes on so I am super stoked with the bargain of a shirt I picked up at Coles* last week, only because a good friend of mine said I HAD to go down there and pick something cool up. Haha Love it!

WEARING

Denim Shirt | Mix apparel aka Coles
Shorts | Seed (bargain at the end of last summer in the hope that they would fit me this year, and HORRAY they do!)
Sandals | Salt Water sandals

* yes, sometimes I shop at coles.

And just for a bit of fun with my denom buddy Lynsey from Stuff Mums like... ;)



Wednesday, 24 September 2014

RECIPE: Winner Chicken Dinner

RECIPE BY LYNSEY OF STUFF MUMS LIKE

I'm very excited to share a recipe with you from a friend of mine; Lynsey. She is a woman about blogging town and she has taken on our Sugar Free September Challenge which I am thrilled baout. Here's her go to dinner for the fam; simple and delicious! Its definitely a winner.

A simple and heart warming meal for the whole family.
Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts 2 onions Handful of mushrooms 1 kg of Broccoli 8 baby potatoes 3 carrots 3 large oranges Handful of seasonal herbs 2 cups of chicken stock. 1 cup of water.
Method:
Roughly chop all ingredients and put into large casserole dish Pour stock into dish. Squeeze oranges over and then pop them in with skins. Cover with Tin foil & pop in oven for 90 min at 150 degrees. Check & stir after 30 minutes then recover and leave for another 30 min.
Depending on your oven you may have to leave longer. 
Serve steaming in bowls as a stew and enjoy with the family.  
Serves 5 with leftovers for lunch.

You can find more of what Lysney has to say along with her partner in crime Maraya with fun stuff for mums @ www.stuffmumslike.com.au


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Dining in with Qantas



Today was a great day, not only because I got to have 4 hours of blissful child free time but I also got to hang out with some of the best while taste testing the latest menu to hit the sky at Qantas.

As a 'real food' blogger, on the way to the event, I was preparing myself to see food that I wouldn't dare to eat. Let's face it, plane food is never usually very good. It can be a bit soggy with a side of weird smell and it is far from being nutritionally dense. From what I have come across, it usually includes a lot of prepackaged 'treats' and processed foods. Any digestive system is not going to like that and its not a great start to a holiday right?
Well tomorrow at 5pm things are all going to change, Australia's leading airline Qantas has taken their customers feedback seriously and are stepping it up to provide fresh, healthy food to their travellers. Gourmet, cafe style meals that taste good... really good!
A few of the dinner box menu options include:
- Japanese Slaw with chicken, ginger and sesame seeds.
- Lentil, Quinoa and falafel salad with feta and pomegranate dressing
- Farfalle pesto salad with proscuitto and toasted hazelnuts

I was super impressed and really chuffed to be honest to see that healthy food is becoming mainstream, even in the sky. Who would of thought you would see quinoa or lentils on a plane? I have only ever heard of devoted healthy mums spending hours in the kitchen preparing for flights so their little ones get some good stuff on the go as the food that is provided isn't an option. This is a real break through and I'm really stoked that we can now feel at ease to know that we will be fed REAL FOOD when travelling.

On top of the food, I was amongst some very talented and beautiful bloggers, being wined and dined in the middle of the qantas building. It is so nice to make real life connections with people that you only know online. There is never a silent moment at a table full of influential women. It was a really fun afternoon!

Great work Qantas! Now its definitely time to book a holiday!

Cass ox

ps. The beautiful photo's above come from the lovely people at Qantas. ;;)

REAL MUM REVIEW: Mitsubishi Mirage



Last week I was lucky enough to score a new Mitsubishi Mirage sedan LS to trial. I was pretty excited to have a new car for a week so we swapped the car seats over quick smart and got into the Mitsubishi. I’m used to a higher, bigger style car so it was a change but that was the whole point, to show us mums that we don’t need a HUGE car to get from A to B and we can feel lighter and a little free with more $$$ in the bank after filling the tank with petrol. We are all about value and this is such an economical car, we only used between 4 and 5 litres per 100km. That’s amazing!


Even though the car looked quite small from the outside, once you got in it was quite spacious. Our family fit very comfortably. The interior of the car is nice and stylish, I was a little taken back without a middle consol but I survived. They made up for it with the size of the boot. I have a big pram and I was impressed to find that I could fit it in the boot with ease.

We love the smart key and keyless entry features, the way that you can open the door by a button if the key is in your pocket or deep down in the bottom of your bag is wonderful and having a special spot to put the key to set off and driving is fabulous. I don’t know how many times I lose my key in my car now (yes IN my car, or the floor somewhere) so I love that they have created this spot.

I was most impressed by the technology that the mirage has; the Bluetooth system is so easy to set up and before we knew it we had the hands free, voice recognition set up for making calls. My husband loved this as it makes busy peoples lives easier, so safe and as a mum I know that phone calls are best made in the car while the kids are distracted by what’s going past their windows.

My husband’s favorite thing was the rain sensor wipers. That’s right, the wipers come on by themselves when the rain hits. How cool is that? The wiper strength actually adjusts to the environment or the strength of the rain. So cool!

I’m a mum and I just need to know I am safe in a car that will take me from one spot to another with ease with all the bells and whistles to make mummy life that little bit easier. This car hits the nail on the head, its sleek design and affordable price along with all the fancy features, I think it’s a winner!

THE MIRAGE SEDAN IS DESIGNED FOR FAMILIES LOOKING FOR AFFORDABILITY AND VALUE FOR MONEY WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON STANDARD FEATURES, LATEST TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY AND SPACE. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THE MIRAGE SEDAN SHOWROOM HERE.

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THE MIRAGE SEDAN IS DESIGNED FOR FAMILIES LOOKING FOR AFFORDABILITY AND VALUE FOR MONEY WITHOUT COMPROMISING ON STANDARD FEATURES, LATEST TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY AND SPACE. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THE MIRAGE SEDAN SHOWROOM HERE.

Monday, 22 September 2014

38/52




"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

A weekend with Mim.

Little P: Swing swing swing.

Sunshine: Ninja with a Dummy


Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

37/52




"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Its been a while but the 52 project is back. No camera and so busy with the all the fun going on with #sugarfreeseptember, I fell off the boat for a little while but I'm excited to get back into it.

Little P: Such a character my dear, I do love you so much!... "Take a photo of me with my hate on"

Sunshine: You are just way to beautiful little guy and I'm so happy that things are starting to shift in a good way.. Clear face, glistening eyes, repping his new Bibbanas made by a gorgeous friend of mine. You need to get onto these, there so cute! Check them out on instagram @bibbanas.


Are you taking part in the 52 project? I would love to see!!! 
I'm linking up with Jodi here. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Hip Hop Health Workshop at Yoga 213



A few weeks ago now I received a very surprising email invitation to attend a Hip Hop Yoga health workshop at Yoga 213 in Bondi. An hour and a half Hip hop yoga class with the Hip hop yoga queen; Sammy Veall, followed by an intimate health talk by the one and only Lola Berry. I had no idea what I was in for but I couldn't say no. Hip Hop, health, yoga and 4 hours of peaceful child free time, I'm in!

I arrived a little nervous to be honest as I was welcomed by a bunch of super fit yogi's with bubbling smiles...The last yoga session I had been to was when I was pregnant over a year ago and I'm very far from being the fitt-est I have ever been, yep I was freaking out!
But I signed in, got into class and the music started pumping, the yoga class began and we flowed from one pose to the next, sweating and relaxing. It was great, the music gave it that oomph of fun for each movement and it kept me focused to keep up. Our teacher, Sammy was amazing with such a beautiful way of sharing her love of hip hop yoga.
After the meditation I felt like I was on a another planet, a good one. So relaxed and in a place where I hadn't had the time to go for a while. Just happy to be.

Yoga was followed by some yummy homemade treats and fresh pressed juices and then we listened to Lola talk the talk about the 5 pillars of health. It was nice to hear from someone so real and so passionate about real food and health as a whole. Its easy to forget that its not all about food, we have to be good to our mental/emotional health too.
It was a great afternoon and I highly recommend checking out Yoga 213 and trying out one of their amazing hip hop yoga classes. Its such a nice vibe and an awesome workout.

Head over to - http://www.yoga213.com.au/ 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Day 6 #sugarfreeseptember - SLEEP


Almost a week into our Sugar Free September Challenge, it's really important to listen to your bodies and rest when you need too. If that means getting into bed straight after your kids, then do it.. Your body will thank you in the morning. 
Be kind to yourself and do something for you; go for a calming walk, take time to be grateful, meditate, pray, or take a yoga class... Do whatever you need to give yourself time out to just be. 

I know how hard it can be to stop, believe me I am the queen of just being too busy and it's affected my own health so it's something I'm working on and I know how important it really is!


I started the weekend with the most beautiful yoga class at Rikai Blondel's tree house yoga this morning followed by some home grown lemon grass tea and it's given me great grounding to tackle the weekend ahead! 

What are you doing today for you????

{If your on the northern beaches check out Rikai's website; www.rikaiblondel.com}

Thursday, 4 September 2014

RECIPE: RAW BEETROOT SALAD with broccolini, feta and honey lemon dressing


GUEST RECIPE BY TRAVEL - COOK - CAPTURE


I am really excited to share this recipe with you tonight as it comes from a couple of very good friends of mine. Trish and Chris Hunter are friends of ours from the South Coast where my husband and I grew up; Chris is an amazing Chef and Trish knows the in's and out's of world travel as a travel agent and passionate photographer. A few months ago, after a couple of wines and a beautiful dinner (cooked by Chris) we were chatting about what we love and what we would love to do with our lives and our chats led to how Trish and Chris should share their passion for delicious food and Travel with the world as they both have so much to offer in the specific fields. And right there, was when TRAVEL - COOK - CAPTURE was born. I am in love with this new little spot on the web where Trish and Chris share their journeys and incredible recipes. I highly recommend that you bookmark their site and start planning your next adventure with the inspiration they throw your way. 

RAW BEETROOT SALAD
with broccolini, feta and honey lemon dressing


INGREDIENTS
Salad
1/2 bunch of broccolini
2 medium beetroots - peeled and thinly sliced (approx 2mm thick)
60g dates - chopped into small pieces
100g persian feta - crumbled
Small handful of flaked almonds - lightly toasted in a dry pan

Dressing
1 1/2 tablespoons of raw organic honey
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons of vegetable oil

METHOD
For the dressing…
Place warmed honey, lemon and vegetable oil in a bowl and whisk well

For the salad…
Boil broccolini for 2-3 minutes or to your liking
Place thinly sliced beetroot on a plate and top with broccolini
Sprinkle over persian feta, dates and almonds
Drizzle with dressing




TRAVEL - COOK - CAPTURE
Trish and Chris Hunter

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Day 2 #sugarfreeseptember - MY INSPIRATION!


These two little faces are the reason I threw my heart and soul into real food! When little P was born, like every mother, I was given the responsibility to feed my child. That huge responsibility gave me the drive to research into every food that was to enter her little body; I wanted everything that she ate to be of the best quality to give her the best start to life that I possibly could. She shines so bright, I am yet to ever take her to the doctor, even at age 3 she is passionate about being healthy and saying NO to junk; She makes me a very proud mum. 
My little boy, on the other hand has found it a lot harder to thrive, he has struggled with gut issues which has contributed to a whole lot of intolerances, eczema and big wild tantrums... We are working so hard to feed his health naturally and kick the bad bacteria in the butt! He has taught me so much more about health and healing and he gives me even more drive to share how food choices really can heal! 

Being a parent is a crazy thing in itself but my husband and I are so inspired to make whole and real food choices for our children as their health is in our hands!
It has been a real journey for us and we have had people put us down and ridicule our food choices but it has also been the most empowering feeling to know that we are doing the very best we can for our children! 

You too, have all been inspiring me so much this past week with the excitement and motivation to take on this challenge! This past year has been pretty hard so I really thank you!!!! You are the greatest! 

Here's a snapshot of the great #sugarfreeseptember pics of the day today over on Instagram ... 



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