Thursday, 28 February 2013

countdown is on

I have to say I'm overwhelmed by the response I'm getting in support of Clean Eating March.  This says a lot.  
More than anything, it tells me that there are a lot of like minded individuals out there and more importantly, that we need to support each other.  
When push comes to shove, we all want the same thing; to be in better health, have more energy and look and feel the way we want to.
I'm so grateful to my friends, family and the blogging and instagram community for all their support and inspiration.  Just awesome!

One question that keeps popping up is what I will be doing for the challenge.  Don't you already eat clean?
Yes, this is true, my diet is relatively clean, I gave up animal products coming up to eight months ago and I have been 95% raw vegan for the past two months.  However, I do have some vices, mainly coffee!  And because I have a flat white, my only alternative is soy milk.  Whilst I'm picky about what soy they use (must be bonsoy), it's still soy and that's not allowed.  Whilst I love coffee, caffeine does put pressure on your adrenal glands so having a little break won't be a bad thing.
Also, I've been doing some more reading into the 80/10/10 philosophy of eating (halfway through the book),and I feel like it makes a lot of sense.  
Ever since I greatly minimised grains, I do feel better.  
What do I mean by that?  Ok, I don't get bloated anymore, I eat as much as I want at meal times and throughout the day IF I feel hungry, I don't count calories, yet I have managed to keep a steady weight.  
I still exercise 6 days a week for up to an hour each time and still have the same if not more energy.  I barely feel tired, except when I over load myself with things to do.  I'm notorious for trying to squeeze as many things into one day as is humanly possible.  It's not one of my best traits but I'm working on it.
So, the challenge for me will be to try and do less and to keep as close as possible to the 80/10/10 way of eating.
That means cutting out vinegar, majority of oils, corn thins (yikes), coffee, alcohol*, minimising nuts and seeds, no superfoods, no salt, no nutritional yeast, bahhhhh :(  
Basically, if it's not something you can consume in it's natural state, than I can't have it.
Whilst this may sound extreme, and given, it is quite extreme, I feel that one month is enough to test it out without doing harm. After all, some elite athletes are devoted to this lifestyle, along with a lot of other super healthy individuals.  Like with any thing, if done correctly and with as much information as possible, it can be successful. 
Not sure if it'll be a long term thing for me, I'm aware that what works for one, doesn't work for another.  I'll just take each day as it comes.  The most important thing for me is what good information and lessons I will take away from it when it's all done and dusted.
I will continue taking supplements, mainly vitamin B12 and vitamin D.  But I think everyone should take those.

I have also been asked what time of the days I eat and exercise.
I normally have breakfast anytime between 8:30-10:00.
Lunch is usually 12:00-1:30
Dinner is always between  5:00-6:00

When I can, I prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, before breakfast and after my 1L of water.
Otherwise, I exercise whenever time allows, most of the time it's after we have had our family dinner and showered the girls, usually 7pm.

* a word on alcohol.  I didn't add it to the list of things not to have because I just don't think about it anymore.  I don't normally drink during the weekends, and definitely not during the week. If you do drink, you may want to think about giving it up for March, or maybe cutting down to just a couple of glasses on the weekend or if you drink during the week, just one glass every other night.  I'm for cutting it out all together if you want to get the most benefit but I'll leave that up to you.
What I know about alcohol is this, whenever I consume too much of it, I feel like crap the next day.  It demotivates me, it makes me want to eat ALL DAY, and it makes my body feel gross, which leads to a wasted day and no exercise.  I don't like that.  

Another thing, when starting out on a plant based diet (for those cutting out animal products), there is a tendency to eat lots of the sweet treats, lots of nuts and chia, coconut oil, e.t.c.  Whilst I love nuts and chia seeds, I would make them occasional foods rather than every day.
If you are going to be doing a lot of cooking, coconut oil is definitely the healthiest oil to use due to it's high burning point.  
My advice is to put your focus into eating as many fresh vegetables and fruits as possible.
And whilst I'm not trying to say that you should go raw (which you can if you want to), if you can keep at least two of your meals raw, you will see so much benefit.
By having the green smoothie first up, you already have one raw meal done.  Add your salad at lunch and there you have two meals.  Easy Peasy!

Now let's talk about sugar.  I have revised the last post and added refined sugar to it.  I'm sure most of you already knew this was a given as did I but I thought I'd better added anyways.
I find that because I eat a lot of fruit, I don't actually get to crave other sugars, my body is satisfied with the sugars it gets naturally.
If you're having problems giving up refined sugars, have a date! I mean a medjool date of course, and they are the most deliciously caramelly treat you'll ever have!
If I need to sweeten something up, I always use medjool dates.  
Whilst they are high in calories, I don't have a problem eating them.  Like I said, I gave up counting calories as soon as I went raw.

But don't fear, I'll be posting some cooked food ideas, as well as lots of raw ones.  
I also recommend looking at previous posts, where I have lots of cooked recipe ideas.
I'm really interested in what dishes everyone comes up with so please tag @onehungrymami #onehungrymami if you're on instagram and feel free to share your recipes, progress, questions, in the comments section below.

One last thing, whilst you are doing Clean Eating March, I urge you to think about other toxins that you may be absorbing without realising.  Whilst it's difficult to be toxin free in this world (being stuck in peak traffic springs to mind), we can try and minimise what we add to it.  Choosing better foods is one way, but have you thought about the personal products you use?  Have a look at your moisturiser, your deodorant, your perfume and make up.  A plethora of chemicals that we slather on our largest organ on a daily basis, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day.  Here's a post I did that talks about this, you will be surprised at the amount of chemicals that are in our everyday beauty products, I know i was.
I don't want to overwhelm you, just get you thinking about things.

So exciting!!

Peas, love and mungbeans


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Clean Eating March - Ready, set, HEALTH!

Weddings are wonderful, but they are also a little taxing on the mind and body.  All that celebrating, late nights, eating out, they really do take their toll.  Specially for me, as I can only handle being out of my routine for a short time before I feel frazzled and lost.
Coming to the end of February, I feel a little like that, so I thought it would be a great time to do a challenge.
Yes, that's right, I'm feeling the itch and there's no better time than the first day of March to start a Clean Eating Challenge.
I've been chatting to friends, and getting lots of feedback from followers on IG who have expressed an interest in eating better and improving their health.
This post will contain some info on what I believe clean eating to be, some foods that you can't live without as well as some overall tips.  
At the end of the day, clean eating should really be a part of your overall lifestyle and not just a fad.

The Basics

To me, clean eating refers to eating foods that are as close to nature as possible.
Sure, some foods you have to cook, but that is because it makes them easier to digest.  This is fine.
What you want to avoid or greatly minimise, is the amount of pre-packaged or pre-prepared food you eat.
Everything that is packaged has had to go through some type of handling and processing. You are not there at the time, so you really don't know what is being done, added, handled, when this takes place.  And whilst Australia adheres to some strict food handling guidelines, at the end of the day, human error can still impact on how things turn out the other end. 
Nothing beats choosing your fresh ingredients, and making a meal from scratch, where you know absolutely everything that you have put into it.  You know that you've cleaned your produce to your level of satisfaction, you know that you haven't added any harmful additives, and more importantly, you can pronounce every ingredient.

So what should your clean eating pantry look like?  This depends of course on what you eat but of outmost importance, is having an abundance of fruit and vegetables, of as many varieties as possible.

I have what I call non-negotiables, foods that I will have in my fridge no matter what.

  • silverbeet
  • baby spinach
  • kale
  • cos lettuce
  • zucchini
  • carrot
  • red cabbage
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • sprouts
  • onions
  • garlic
  • fresh herbs
  • lemons/limes
  • medjool dates
  • pears
  • bananas - must be ripe (LOTS of frozen and also fresh)
  • mangos
  • watermelon
  • berries (frozen and fresh)
  • avocados
  • oranges
  • cold pressed organic flax seed oil
I also get whatever other fruit and veggies are in season, as I love to try new varieties and also love tropical fruits - figs, prickly pears, pitaya, stone fruit, pomegranate, e.t.c.

NOTE: frozen bananas will save your life.  No joke.  You can add them to your smoothies and it gives them the creamiest consistency.  You can add it to your food processor and it will make ice cream for you.  I mean, I just love them, I can go through 6 a day, no sweat.

Things I like to keep in my fridge but can live without:
  • young coconuts
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • almond milk
  • 100% pure organic maple syrup
  • coconut nectar
Non-negotiables for the pantry:
  • raw cacao powder
  • cacao nibs
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • herbs and spices
  • apple cider vinegar
  • nutritional yeast
  • organic corn thins
  • coconut oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
As you can see, my life in regards to food, is pretty simple.
My meals as a result are also simple, sometimes they only contain a few ingredients but it works for me.

What you must NOT consume whilst doing Clean Eating March:
  • highly processed foods
  • gluten
  • dairy
  • deli meats
  • canned foods
  • refined sugars
  • soy products
For those of you who eat meat and fish, I would encourage you to always buy grass fed meat, and to buy sustainable fish.
Always buy the leanest possible cuts and do not, whatsoever, buy packaged or deli meats.  There's a reason why they've been linked with an increased risk of developing cancer.

For those of you who eat grains, make sure you keep it to whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet and amaranth, and make sure you rinse them carefully and thoroughly, and soak for at least 10 minutes if possible.
Oats in themselves do not actually contain gluten but they are usually processed with grains that do thus they become contaminated and individuals who are sensitive to gluten should avoid them.  You can buy uncontaminated oats, you may just have to get them online or I think the Freedom brand has some.

I say dairy and soy because they are in the top 5 food allergens list, along with eggs and tree nuts.
Dairy is not really something that humans breakdown very well, as of course, we are not cows thus lack the enzyme to break it down, and that's simply because we are not meant to be drinking another animal's milk!! 
Soy products are highly processed, and some are genetically modified.  If you can't live without soy, try tempeh, it's better for you as it has been fermented.  You can also use unpasteurised and raw miso which is also fermented.  Works great as a seasoning instead of salt if you are trying to cut down.

Whilst we can preach about eating clean and lean, organic, local produce, we do have to exist in this world.  And this world is fast, it's also very expensive and an abundance of money and time is something most people don't have, myself included.
So, in order to successfully change to a clean lifestyle, you do have to be prepared.  As the saying goes, 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail'.
I strongly believe that, especially if you are starting out.  After a while, it will become second nature, you'll know what foods work for you, what to avoid and what your go to meals are. This will make day to day cooking and food preparing easier.  Trust me!

Okay so here are some basic tips to get you started.  Please read about clean eating, food combining, e.t.c, to get some added and varied information and see what sits well with you.
The following are things that I've learnt on my journey, they really work for me and I have to say, I've never felt better.

  • Start your day with a green smoothie, fruit smoothie or fruit salad.
  • Eat a big salad before anything else at lunchtime.  Sometimes this will be enough and you'll find that you won't have room for anything else.  If you are going to eat animal products, you could have some boiled eggs, or some lean meat/fish with your salad.
  • Eat your heaviest meal at the end of the day, when you won't be eating anything afterwards, and your body has a chance to break it down without further interruption.  If you are eating grains, this would be the best time to eat them.  You can have some gluten free pasta with a vegetable sauce.  I wouldn't recommend eating grains and animal proteins together.  Both really hard to digest, together, they are double trouble for your digestive system.  Animal protein and vegetables is ok.
  • Eat as many fruit and vegetables as possible.  Vegetables specially should be the bulk of all your meals.
  • Drink water.
  • Make as many of your meals as possible.
  • Use lemon juice as dressing, or, if you're after something creamy, mash an avocado, mix it with lemon juice and put it through your salad.
  • Get as much sleep as possible.  Hard if you have kids, I know that, but you can always try.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week.  Keeping active is important, it helps with your cardiovascular health and also keeps you energised.  Even if it's 30 minute brisk walk, or you could try an exercise dvd, youtube video, e.t.c.  Again, everyone is different so find something you like and stick to it.  An idea for those who just don't like the idea of exercise, is to get off one train stop before yours and walk the rest of the way. Anything that gets you moving!
  • Take a deep breath.  At the end of the day, it's just life, and if you don't do so well today, you get another chance at acing it tomorrow :)
Remember, we are all human, and we are influenced by others, specially  our loved ones.  So whilst some of us may find this transition easy, our loved ones may find it difficult.  I know when I stopped eating meat, my hubby was initially supportive, but only because he thought it was temporary.  After the 12 weeks was over, he kept on challenging me about my decision, asking whether we'd ever eat 'normal food' together again.
Whilst it annoyed the crap out of me no end, I didn't let him know that it did. 
I just quietly and patiently reminded him that the food I put in my body was a personal choice, one I wasn't inflicting on him and for that reason, what I ate had no bearing on what he ate.  Of course this was partly the truth, as what I ate most certainly had an impact on him, I was calmer in mind, healthier in body, and therefore, an overall better and happier person to be around!  My food choices also meant that I stopped buying harmful foods thus unknowingly, he had also stopped eating those things.
Having a diet largely made up of fruit and vegetables also means that there's always healthy choices for him and the girls to have as snacks.
Seven months later, he's my biggest supporter and has adjusted to our new life.  

So I just want to make a point.  This is not meant to be hard, it's not meant to be a about losing weight, it's actually about eliminating harmful foods.
Whatever particular diet you follow, whether it's plant based or not, there is always an opportunity to make it healthier.
Bottom line here is, keep it clean, keep it lean, and enjoy making wonderful new foods to keep you interested.
Simple is best and the end of the month will be the test.
Hopefully we'll all be feeling better for it and we would have learned a few new things.

If you need some breakfast ideas, please see my previous post for some smoothie recipes but really, who can't make a smoothie?!  Go nuts experimenting, that's the best part!
If you can't live without your cereal in the morning, I would recommend switching your packaged cereal for some home made yumminess.
You could make some overnight oats by placing 1/3 cup of wholegrain oats and mixing it with your favourite smoothie and leaving it overnight.  By the time you crack it open in the morning, it will be soft and filling and feel like you're eating a delicious dessert.  WIN! it's also the best as a take away breakfast.

If you can't live without coffee, just cut down to maybe one a day, or have a cup of green tea instead.
I'm going to completely cut it out in March, it's going to be hard but I'm sure I'll manage, yikes!!

I'm so excited for everyone who is going to do this with me, and I hope we can keep each other motivated and discover new and amazing recipes.

Remember, if it causes you too much anxiety, maybe you're not ready, just focus on one thing and go from there.
It's meant to be a good thing!

See you at the finnish line peeps!

Peas, love and mungbeans


Monday, 18 February 2013

love food, love love

It's been such an amazing start to the month, not only do I feel great after nearly a month of eating clean and mainly raw but I also took part in what is one of the most important of traditions.  
Yep, I got married!!!
Getting ready for the big day was an incentive for my new direction in eating and now that it's over, I don't think I want to stop!

Not feeling bloated, getting good sleep, feeling energised, getting compliments on my skin, all good reasons why I want to continue.  Not to mention that it's also so much fun experimenting with new tastes and textures when making a meal.

Of course, this isn't the first time I've gone raw, I did a month of raw a little while ago.  This time however, I did it a little bit different.

I didn't consume as much nuts and seeds as last time, and I also kept oils to a minimum.
I have been keeping mainly to the 801010 philosophy which basically translates to a high carb, low fat way of eating.
Basically, I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.  I get my fat from avocados or flax seed oil, chia and some nuts.
I get my protein, vitamins and minerals from veggies and fruit, making sure I eat a lot of greens which contain all the good things your body needs in abundance.

People ask me all the time if I feel any different now than I did when I ate animal products and the answer is always the same.  A big YES!
Now when I see someone tucking into fried foods covered in sauces, I actually feel a bit sick and I wonder if that person knows that what they are putting in to their bodies is actually doing them harm.
But that's not to say that all vegans are healthy, quite the opposite is sometimes the case.  
One google search of vegan food reveals some pretty scary stuff. Packaged soy products, not-meats, sugar laden cakes made from nutritionally devoid ingredients, these are not what your body is meant to be eating.  But hey, we're all human and we all make mistakes, I know I have.  I haven't always eaten what's good for me.  But if you can learn from your mistakes, then you are on the right track.
I think a common mistake people make when going down the vegan path is that they remove the animal products but don't replace it with anything.
This is why people look sick and pale. 
A diet full of starches and packaged foods is not sufficient to maintain good health.
At the end of the day, regardless of whether you follow a plant based diet or one that contains animal products, eating foods as close to their natural state is what is best.

So what does a raw foodie high carb low fat day look like?
I start the day with 0.5-1L of water.
Follow with a 1 L smoothie/juice, mostly green with some fruit.
Lunch is a big salad with lots of green veggies like kale, baby spinach, cos lettuce and whatever other veggies I have.  
Nori rolls are also a favourite because they are quick to make and super tasty.  Sometimes I replace the nori with rainbow chard leaves, or choy sum leaves.  I still haven't been able to find collard greens here but if anyone has, please message me, I'm dying to sink my teeth into those!!
Snack on fruit if I need to, or half an avocado.
Dinner is sometimes banana sundaes (i kid you not), salad, raw pasta, or some fruit or a smoothie, depending on my level of hunger.

If you think smoothies can get boring, then here are some that you can try to get you out of your smoothie rut.
All recipes serves 1

Pitaya, Blueberry and Banana

2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup pittaya cubes
a sprinkle of chia seeds (optional)

You know what to do!!
Pitaya, or dragon fruit as it's known in Australia, is said to be a good source of vitamin C, specially the red skinned variety.
Pitayas, like most fruit, are also rich in fibre and minerals, notably phosphorus and calcium.

The seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and in particular Red Pitayas contain very little saturated fat.
Pitayas also contain significant quantities of phytoalbumin antioxidants.  WIN!

Banana, Blueberry, Beetroot and Pear 

2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 medium beetroot
2 small pears

green on left, beetroot on right.
Green Smoothie

1 frozen banana
3 cos lettuce leaves
2 cups baby spinach
4 cm piece of celery
1/2 mango cheek
1 pear
goji berries for garnish (optional)

I had this particular combination of smoothies on the day before a fun run.
Beetroot is said to help with carrying oxygen in your blood, particularly helpful when you're going to be needing the extra oxygen I think!

Banana Chocolate Pie

2 frozen bananas
1 pear
1/4 avocado
2 medjool dates
2 TBS raw cacao powder
chia seeds and raw cacao nibs (optional)

When a chocolate craving calls, I don't shy away from it.  
I just make sure it's as full of as many nutrients as possible.
The avocado really gives it that creamy taste and the good fats your body needs.
The dates give it an extra touch of sweetness and a hint of caramel.
Are you drooling yet? I am!

Pine Green Smoothie

2 frozen bananas
1 large pear
3 kale leaves
2 handfuls of baby spinach
2 cups of pineapple cubes
8 mint leaves
We went on holidays with our girls after the wedding, more like a "famimoon" if you will.
We stayed at a caravan park but that didn't stop me from taking my hand held blender.
I just can't live without my breakfast smoothies!
This combination was really fresh and tropical and it just screamed out sandy feet and salty skin.

The Valentine's Edition

1 large frozen banana
3 kale leaves
2 handfuls of spinach
2 medjool dates
1/2 lemon juiced
1 punnet of strawberries
1 mango
6 basil leaves

We went to a strawberry and tomato farm the day before Valentine's day and had the pleasure of picking strawberries with our girls.
It was such an enjoyable experience, specially getting to eat them after our hard work.
I had to add them to my smoothie the next day, being Valentine's day and all.

Cherrie Berry Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen blueberry
1/2 cup of cherries, stones removed
1 pear
With the end of cherry season upon us, I tried to make the most of it by adding them to my smoothies and making some cherry ripe sundaes, but more on those later :)
Antioxidant Hit

3 kale leaves
2 handfuls of baby spinach
4 cos lettuce leaves
1/2 stalk of celery
2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 TBS raw cacao powder
coconut water (about 300 mls)
Raw cacao nibs and dried coconut flakes to garnish

I really needed this after a weekend of celebrating with friends and drinking a glass of wine more than I'm used to.

Definitely did the trick though.  Felt so energised and revived after this little beauty, I think I'm going to keep it as my secret weapon anytime I'm having a down day.  Well, not so secret anymore but sharing is caring!

Pear Vanilla & Coconut

2 frozen bananas
2 large ripe pears
400 mls of coconut water
2 TBS of coconut flesh
1 vanilla bean, insides scraped out and added to the smoothie

It was hot and humid today and after my huge lunch, I just wasn't up to making a big salad so I whipped up this most uncomplicated smoothie and had it with a mixed fruit salad for dinner.
It was absolutely delicious and ended up being super filling too.  So satisfying.  

Sometimes I can't decide on what flavour smoothie to make, when that happens, I make a little bit of all the ones I want, stick it in a glass and call it a Breakfast Parfait!
The bottom and top layer is green smoothie, the second layer is blueberry smoothie and the white layer is just banana and coconut flesh.
Just make sure that you reduce the amount of water and ingredients so that you don't get any wastage.
What I did was use 1/2 a banana for each layer and that gave it the perfect consistency for each layer.

And before we move on to the more savoury dishes, I just have two more treats for you.

Choc Chip Banana Split
Serves 1


2 frozen bananas
1 fresh large ripe banana
2 TBS raw cacao powder
1 tsp raw cacao nibs
1 tsp dried coconut flakes
3 fresh cherries


In a food processor, place your frozen bananas and process until banana has broken up and starts to look like soft serve.  Add your raw cacao powder and process until it becomes incorporated into the banana ice cream.
Cut your large banana in half lengthways, place on a serving plate, spoon on your chocolate ice cream.  Top with fresh cherries, and sprinkle on the cacao nibs and coconut.

and yes, i did have this for dinner!!

Cherry Ripe Sundaes
Serves 2


2 fresh cherries
1 TBS dried coconut

For Cherry Ice Cream                    For Chocolate Mousse

10 pitted fresh cherries                2 small avocados
2 TBS coconut milk                      2 medjool dates
2 frozen banana                         2 TBS of raw cacao powder
                                        1 tsp vanilla extract
                                        1/4 cup coconut nectar *


For Cherry Ice Cream

Place all ingredients in your high speed blender (i use vitamix) and blend until ingredients are incorporated and resemble ice cream.

For Chocolate Mousse

Place all ingredients in your food processor and process until super smooth.
*coconut nectar can be hard to get, feel free to use 100% maple syrup if you can't find it.  I use loving earth and order it through their website.
Alternatively, you could leave it out and add some extra dates, possibly half the amount of raw cacao powder as it is pretty rich!

To Assemble

Just layer the chocolate mousse and cherry ice cream in whatever beautiful glass you have, top it off with a cherry and sprinkle on the coconut.
Too easy!

I placed mine in the freezer for a little while as it was a very hot day and I wasn't going to eat it until later.  You could double the recipe and make some to have in your freezer for those days when you don't have time to make something delicious.

Okay, let's go down to savoury town with these next few recipes.
Y'all know I love nori rolls and I've put up some recipes for them before so I may be repeating myself but so it goes....
I love the simplicity of them and the fact that you can add anything you want!  It's such an easy meal, and perfect for when you need to eat your veggies fast before they lose their sparkle.

Seasoned Seaweed Nori Rolls
Serves 1


2 nori sheets
1 cup of alfalfa sprouts
1/2 handful of enoki mushrooms
6 strips of red capsicum
100g of seasoned seaweed (i bought mine from the fish markets)


Lay out your nori rolls on a sushi mat, make sure you have some water close by as you'll need it to seal the edges once you roll them.
Place your chosen ingredients in the middle, leaving about a 1.5 cm space at the edge.
Roll up, roll up, seal and serve with your favourite accompaniments.
 Note the pickled ginger.  You should try to include some type of pickled or fermented food in your diet, it really helps your digestive system stay in tip top shape.

I also love sauerkraut,  really delicious on it's own, or in fillings with some salad and tahini.

The following recipe is for a dressing that I made up when we were away.
As I said, all I had was my hand held blender so this was quick and pleased the family.

Minty Avocado Dressing
Makes approx. 1 cup


1 large ripe avocado
1/2 lime juiced
small handful of mint sprigs, leaves only (or more depending on how minty you want it)
Freshly ground pepper
Himalayan pink salt to taste


Place all your ingredients in a blender (or use your handheld) and process until super smooth.

I served it on top of a salad made up of baby spinach, thinly sliced zucchini (use potato peeler, no spiralizer), grated carrots, capsicum, tomatoes and cos lettuce.
Fresh and delicious.
If you don't like mint, feel free to substitute with whichever herb tickles your fancy.
I also use this dressing like mayonnaise and add it to my nori rolls or when I make sandwiches for my girls.

If you eat salmon or tuna, this would be really nice if you substituted dill and had it in a wrap with some salad greens and capers.  

If you have any left over, it will last in the fridge for a max of 3 days.

Mango, Pineapple and Grapefruit Ceviche
Makes 6 cos lettuce cups


6 large cos lettuce leaves
1/2 large mango diced
1 cup of diced pineapple
2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves sliced thinly
1/2 cup mint leaves chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves chopped
1/2 large red chilli thinly sliced (remove pith and seeds if you don't like it hot)
1 lime juiced
Himalayan sea salt 
Freshly ground pepper
12 grapefruit segments


In a large bowl, mix your ingredients except for your lettuce leaves and grapefruit segments.
Do so gently with your hands, just enough to coat all the ingredients whilst keeping them fresh.  You don't want a squishy mess.  Remember, people eat with their eyes also ;)
Once mixed add your grapefruit and mix gently again.
Place your cos lettuce cups on a serving platter and carefully add your ceviche into the middle.
The idea is that you leave room to wrap them up in little parcel which you stick in your mouth and devour!

Ceviche is a dish that is traditional to my birth country Peru and I grew up eating it.
It is a really healthy dish that traditionally uses boneless white fish and it's eaten raw, with the only cooking taking place due to the acid from the lime and lemon juice.  It is normally served in a lettuce cup with a side of corn and sweet potato.  There is no oil used, and the only other ingredients are red onion, coriander, salt, pepper and chilli.
This is my version of a beloved dish that always reminds me of my family and Peruvian heritage.

Fettucine with Spicy Tomato Sauce*
Serves 2


For pasta

4 medium zucchini
2 handfuls of baby spinach
4 medium cup mushrooms sliced
8 kalamata olives sliced thinly
4 cherry tomatoes halved
2 basil leaves roughly torn for garnish

For sauce

2 large tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1/4 red onion
1/3 cup red capsicum
1 TBS tomato paste
1 small red chilli (remove seeds and pith if you don't want it too hot)
1 tsp dried oregano 
5 large basil leaves
1 medjool date pitted
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1/2 lime juiced
1/2 medium carrot


For the fettucine

You will need a spiraliser or a potato peeler (please see previous posts re: how to do this).
Use whatever method to make the zucchini into fettucine.
Place zucchini pasta in a large bowl and add your other ingredients except basil.  Toss gently to combine.  Set aside.

For Sauce

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until super smooth.  

To serve, pour sauce over fettucine, sprinkle with basil leaves and serve.
if that's not fast food, i don't know what is!
*ok so this may not be completely raw due to the tomato paste.  You can make it completely raw by using sundried tomatoes and soaking them in water for 30 mins before adding them to your sauce.  I just didn't have any at hand but was craving this dish so bad.

Cherry Tomato Salad
Serves 4 as a side


20 cherry tomatos
5 large basil leaves
1/2 small red onion
1/2 lemon juiced
extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan pink salt and fresh pepper to taste


In a large bowl, add all your ingredients and toss gently to coat with oil and juice.
Serve with your meal.
These are the tomatoes that we got at the farm.  They are award winning due to their amazing flavour and I just didn't want to complicate the dish. With flavour this good, it was best to leave things simple.

Choy Sum Wraps
Serves 1



4 large choy sum leaves
1 cup of fenugreek sprouts (or whatever sprouts you like)
carrot sticks
red capsicum sticks
thinly sliced zucchini


Fresh chilli thinly sliced


Place choy sum leaf on a plate and add fillings to the centre of the leaf, leaving some space on the bottom so that you can turn it up and tuck it when you are rolling so that your filling doesn't escape.
Roll them up and use a toothpick to secure them into place.
Place them, edge down, on your serving plate.

To make dressing, just add your tamari and mix it with your chilli and place in a little dipping bowl.

I served this with a yummy salad which is super easy but super tasty.

Apple and Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Lemon & Poppyseed Dressing
Serves 1


10 brussel sprouts (remove tough outter leaves)
1 apple peeled
5 mint leaves sliced thinly*


1 TBS apple cider vinegar
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tsp poppy seeds


Put your apple and brussels sprouts into a food processor and process until it resembles chunky crumbs.
Place in a medium bowl and add mint leaves and dressing ingredients.  Toss well to combine and serve.
Top with some pomegranate seeds (optional).

*an easy way to thinly slice herbs is to get all the leaves on top of each other, roll into a tight little stick and slice thinly.  Fast and gives you uniform strips.... and yes, I am a bit of a control freak.

So, that's me and my raw food clean eating adventures to date.
Lots of fresh, in season ingredients, which in this country, we are lucky to have in abundance.
Which brings me to a point I want to make.
Being able to have a choice about what food you put into your body is a gift.  I am humbled and grateful every day that mother earth has chosen me as one of the lucky people who can do this.
To eat food, (let's call it food but I don't believe that junk food is real food, just junk)that is bad for you and is doing damage to your body, is like shitting on those people who are not as fortunate.  Sorry to be so blunt and crude but seriously. 
And no, I don't believe that you necessarily have to have a plant based diet to do this.  Just be mindful of what you eat, where it comes from, what you waste, what you consume. 
Waste not, want not.

Peas, love and mungbeans