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Why Hemp Could be Considered a Household Staple & Thompson’s Exciting New Range of Hemp Foods

I am so excited that low THC hemp seed foods have finally been permitted for sale  in Australia, so that we can all enjoy the wonderful benefits of these powerful seeds. Hemp is considered one of the most nutritious plants in the world! Yet despite this, over two million Australians are still confused about hemp foods and, as a result, may miss out on the benefits of this superfood. Below are the key benefits to using hemp powder, seeds and oil in your daily life, what they taste like, how to use them, and why they won’t impair your state of mind!

PROTEIN: The seeds are a good source of protein and they contain the essential amino acids our bodies do not produce naturally, thus helping our bodies building and repair muscle and tissue;

ESSENTIAL FATS: Hemp is a plant-based source of essential fatty acids (omega-3 & omega-6) in an ideal ratio. These fats are crucial to support the structure and function of cells. The human body doesn’t produce essential fatty acids, so it’s important that we get them from our diet;

DIETARY FIBRE: A good source which is Important for healthy digestion, supporting gut health and offering steady energy.

TASTE

Hemp products have a pleasant, mild, nutty flavour that is not overpowering, and lends them to both sweet and savoury dishes.

HOW TO USE

x Sprinkle the seeds on top of salads, stir-fries, soups or smoothies

x Blend hemp protein powder with fruit into a strengthening smoothie

x Stir through the powder or the seeds into porridge or bircher muesli

x Bake with the powder/seeds in muffins, loaves or cookies, or roll them up in bliss balls

x Add the seeds to bean burger patties for added texture

x Mix hemp oil with other ingredients to form a salad dressing or simply drizzle on salads or over steamed veggies (Note, not to be used for heating)

x Soak seeds in water and blend into hemp milk

FINALLY… Whilst yes, hemp is derived from the Cannabis genus of plants, the seeds do not contain enough THC (<.5%) to produce any psychoactive effects! So it’s not going to alter your state of mind in any way.

Thompson’s Hemp Range is now available in Australian pharmacies and health food stores.

Check out @thompsons_nutrition_au on Instagram, @ThompsonsNutritionAustralia and www.thompsonsnutrition.com.au for more information.

 

What I eat in a Day to keep healthy

Everyday superfoods I aim to include…

  • 1 tbsp kimchi (probiotics, gut health)
  • 1-3 tbsp flax (omega 3, blood-sugar stabilising, fibre)
  • 1 tsp dulse flakes or 2 sheets nori (iodine and trace minerals, thyroid and hormone health)
  • 1-3 tbsp nutritional yeast (B-vitamins and amino acids, great for energy)
  • 2-3 Brazil nuts (selenium, important for thyroid amongst many other functions)
  • Greens, cruciferous vegetables, beans/legumes, lemons, parsley, coriander, turmeric, maca, goji berries (antioxidants, fibre, detoxifiers, mineral and vitamin-rich, anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar regulating foods!)

Liquids I choose…

  • Lemon water (stimulates digestion, supports liver)
  • Filtered water with a pinch of celtic/rock salt (enhances of absorption/hydration)
  • ACV in water (improves stomach acid and gut health) – when I remember!
  • Herbal teas- Dandelion, Tulsi, Women’s cycle, chai or soaked goji berries in hot water (stress, hormone and liver helpers)
  • Glass of Kombucha / kefir (gut health) – every second day or so
  • Celery & Beet juice – (liver and circulatory health)
  • Miso soup

6:30am First thing in the morning I have ½ lemon juiced in warm water.

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Breakfast

8-9am: Green Smoothie – find my everyday recipe here. Sometimes, particularly at the moment, I leave out the celery and lemon, and add 1 tbsp ground flax, 2-3 brazil nuts and 1 medjool date to it. It tastes so creamy! I make a herbal tea for right after this to tie me over – often we go back for more not because we need more but because we haven’t allowed our appetite to settle post meal.

Green smoothie heaven ✨ Post a killer barre workout @leanbeanfitness thanks to the gorgeous Lizzie via @classpass You've gotta try it! • By now you know that I like to start each day with a clean green smoothie to fill myself up with fibre & the beautiful vitamins & minerals we get from #raw greens Nothing makes me feel better! Did you know 95% of us don't meet our veg intake, which probably means a similar % don't meet our fibre needs We need fibre for a beautiful healthy body- to stabilise blood sugar & cholesterol & ensure a well-functioning digestive system. Yet we're all so concerned with protein (which hardly anyone is deficient in btw). 95% is staggering! #Fibre is key Try to work out how much fibre you get today & see if you need to up the ante. A smoothie a day will definitely help ☺️ #greensmoothie #healthystart #asmoothieaday

Morning tea

10-11am: Because my breakfast is quite light, I often find I am hungry 1-2 hours later. I like it this way! I personally don’t do well on a heavy breakfast, I feel it slows me down and leaves me feeling less vital. Fruit is easy and quick to digest, so it makes sense I am hungry again. As such, if I am out and about I will bring this bircher muesli: 1/3 cup oats, 1 tbsp flax, 1 tbsp chia, 1 tbsp hemp/pumpkin/sunflower seeds, 3 crushed walnuts, 1 tbsp goji berries soaked in coconut water or nut milk/water + sprinkle cinnamon, and sometimes ¼ cup berries. Alternatively, at home I have 1 x sprouted gluten-free toast w smashed avo, a sprinkle of dulse and nutritional yeast and some sprouts or herbs. If I am not hungry, a herbal tea, nut milk turmeric latte, or glass of homemade coconut Kefir or Kombucha will do me fine!

Activated Omega Pot! A staple in our vegan diet at the moment. Early mornings I like to have a light green smoothie, and then this little pot of goodness for morning tea, gets me through to lunch! It packs a powerful punch with both soluble & insoluble fibre, it's high in both omega 3 & protein (around 17g) Plus when you soak it all overnight it assists #digestion and what's more, the goji go really soft & plump like juicy sultanas ☺️ Except they're much more #nutritious! Just soak 1/3 cup oats in @h2coco coconut water with 1 tbsp of each: chia, ground flax, goji, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds & 4 crushed walnuts & you're ready to go in the am!!! ✨ #plantbased #healthybreakfast

Goji tea - an easy home remedy recommended by my TCM-enthusiast fellow nutritionist & yogi @balancedbymaya Said to be a liver/kidney tonic to help replenish & purify blood for improved circulation, menstrual flow & fertility May be a helpful addition for those with low-iron/anemia. Ideal with Chinese red date too however a little tricky to get your hands on! I just love it because it turns these little #antioxidant powerhouses into juicy plump sultana-like treats that burst in your mouth I added a few sprigs of mint but perfect on its own - 1 tbsp Goji to 1 cup boiling water ❤️ @balancedbymaya full of yummy, natural ideas! This has been an arvo / evening staple for a month now!! #gojitea

Lunch

12:30-1:30pm: I try to have some apple cider vinegar and aloe vera juice in water before my lunch salad. This is consistent, I just rotate my choice of veg and pulses. My guide is: roughly 3 large handfuls of leafy veg (options include: rocket, cabbage, spinach, kale, cos) + sliced salad veggies of choice (tomato, cucumber, capsicum, onion, shallots, carrot, fennel, snow peas etc) + 1/2 cup beans/legumes + 1/2 cup starch (potato, pumpkin, beetroot) + handful cruciferous veg (if I have some roasted up, e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts), 1/4 of a ripe avocado, 1 tbsp fermented veg/kimchi. Herbs and sprouts are great additions if I have any on hand. I toss this all up with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar then sprinkle with 1 tsp dulse, 1-3 tbsp nut yeast, and a pinch of chili flakes and black pepper. Otherwise I use one of my dressings using a combo of lemon, lime, ACV, dijon, tahini, hummus, miso, tamari etc. See my blog! Note, if I have leftovers from dinner I might have this instead, but I do like to get my raw veg in this time of day 🙂

Are all salads created equal? ✨ New blog post is up! ~~~~ An area so many of us get lost in is salad dressings. Firstly, because the store-bought or cafe-ordered ones are usually overrun by oils of varying quality, excessive sugar, preservatives, artificial ingredients etc. which can turn your otherwise healthy meal on its head. And secondly, I believe, we are all looking to oil as they key ingredient... Find out why I prefer to skip/skimp on oil in favour of delicious, whole-food ingredients, and learn 7 easy dressings you can shake together in a jar, no fancy equipment required: • Miso Tamari • Lemon Dijon • Lemon Tahini • Nutritious Creamy Citrus • Passion-fruit Lime • Apple Almond • Miso Tahini (my fav at the moment!)

A squeeze of lemon atop your food makes the iron more available, as vitamin C has the ability to increase iron absorption Of course, plants like green leafy vegetables have the miraculous combination of both iron + #vitaminC ... because nature is clever like that but a little extra lemon love boosts it even more!! We should also be careful not to consume tea & coffee around meal time too, which can inhibit iron #absorption. ~~~~ Good sources of #plantbased iron: Lentils, beans, tempeh, quinoa, brown rice, oats, cashews, tahini/sesame, pepitas, sunflower seeds and leafy greens!!

If I am on the run I might grab 2 x brown rice (if possible) avocado and cucumber sushi rolls and a serving of edamame, veg rice paper rolls, a cup of soup from a cafe,or a fresh DIY salad with beans or falafels…

Lunching today at the gorgeous new @thebrunchlady !! DIY salads & the yummiest smoothies- try the Acai!! And definitely get the gluten-free vegan falafels My face says it all

Afternoon tea – note, I don’t always have this, I tune in to my hunger.

3-5pm: A few days a week, I have a “pick me up” smoothie… 1 banana or ½ banana + ½ c berries/unsweetened acai, handful of spinach + 1 tbsp ground flax, 1 tbsp glutamine, 1 tsp maca, 1 tsp bee pollen and sometimes cacao, cinnamon or tahini for flavour. If I am very hungry I will add a scoop of Nuzest vanilla clean lean (pea) protein, or 2 tbsp hemp seeds. Other options I like: carrot + hummus, nori veg rolls, homemade bliss balls, green juice, an apple, miso soup or I will simply choose one of the drinks I mentioned for morning tea if I haven’t already had one and am not too hungry.

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Riceless sushi snack inspo. Including the star of so many of my meals: Sea vegetables ⭐️ ~~~~ Have you started incorporating sea veggies into your meals? I try to include a little each day! They are full of trace minerals that we don't always have plentifully in our land veg, mainly iodine- a very important nutrient for a healthy thyroid. I say a little, however, as too much iodine can be as bad as not enough (note my caveat below with kelp). Here are some great ways to include it: - Chomp on seaweed/nori sheets as a snack. Try find untoasted varieties - "Ricless sushi" #rainbowrolls (pictured): roll veggies, tempeh, avo, dip, kimchi in seaweed - Slice up a nori sheet and throw it into a salad or stir fry - Sprinkle 1-2 tsp dulse flakes into your salads, soups, stir-fries and stews - Try kelp noodles as a pasta/noodle alternative- Note kelp is very very rich in #iodine so should be consumed rarely and sparingly !! - Veg brown rice sushi rolls (good on-the-go option when in the city/shopping centre) - Throw some dulse/nori/arami/wakame in miso soup as a snack ! Love miso

Dinner

6:30-7:30pm: I like to keep it grounding and warming for dinner, even into the summer months. This usually means a cooked dinner, sometimes with a side salad. Good, complex carbohydrates don’t scare me at dinnertime like they used to. My days are designed so that I eat fresh, healthy, wholefoods that are easy to digest, so at night, my body can handle them. There is also research to suggest they help with sleep. Of course, as mentioned, it comes down to the quality i.e. unrefined, complex carbs, paired with plenty of veg. I choose: brown rice or noodle tempeh stir fries, lentil/chickpea curries, veggie-based soups with some grains or beans, split red lentil Dahl with rice, mung bean and brown rice kitchari, bean burger patties atop greens, zucchini or konjac/quinoa pasta with lentil bolognese and greens, mushroom, lentil and brown rice san choy bow… to name just a few of my staples! Basically, I always pair my beans and grains with lots of greens, especially cooked cruciferous veg, and sometimes I have a side salad too. I try to cook with: ginger, turmeric, coriander, parsley, miso, flax and lemon regularly, and use condiments like tahini, tamari/coconut aminos, vegetable broth and organic canned tomatoes or coconut milk. I use minimal oil in my cooking, just a little coconut oil to pan-fry where needed, or I “steam-fry” my veg with water/broth.

Tonight My lentil Dahl recipe on the blog ✨ With all the fixings.... love adding fresh (very bitter) rocket from the garden to it & purple sweet potato The bitterness is good for digestion Try it this week and let me know what you think!

Miso & sea vegetable soba noodle soup! I like using sea veg where I can, usually dulse flakes in my salads but here I've used the whole leaf plus wakame & nori too! Sea vegetables are a wonderful way to get a wide variety of beneficial vitamins & minerals into your diet, especially as our soils become more & more depleted. Not just iodine (which is important for healthy thyroid function) but also Bs, zinc, potassium magnesium & iron I basically whisked miso paste into warm water and allowed the sea veg to soak in it as I lightly cooked it on the stove, before adding the steamed broccoli & zucchini, stir-fried mushrooms & silverbeet, & cooked 100% buckwheat soba (careful, some varieties include wheat). Combined it all together with a few drops of tamari. Very quick nutritious dinner. Chilli optional but recommended! I love Asian-inspired dinners!

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Dessert

8-9pm: Most nights 🙂 I try to keep this the latest I put anything in to my body, even herbal tea! I don’t want to be running to the bathroom in the middle of the night! My favourite choice is a warm milky drink, as this is both sweet and comforting, perfect for this time of day. Cacao, turmeric or a chai latte, made stove-top with almond milk and stevia are my choices. Alternatively, 1-2 dates with a few raw nuts, or a few squares of dairy-free dark chocolate (probably choose this twice a week, the rest I have my latte/tea). Weekends might be a trip to a vegan gelato bar or enjoying a vegan treat I have made or bought 🙂 Alcohol is not a big part of my life, but if I have a glass or two I avoid “binging” like I did in my early 20s, and enjoy it for special occasions. A dirty martini is my go-to, I promise you will drink it slow!!

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Made a batch of Choc Mint Slices for a housewarming dinner tonight My girls can be the taste testers Almond, buckwheat & coconut base + avocado, fresh #mint centre + cacao @h2coco oil layer on top! As if it wasn't healthy enough I also snuck a healthy booster into the middle- @grassesoflife superbiotic greens powder! Jam-packed with barley grass, alfalfa, chlorophyll, spirulina, probiotics, kelp....... Soo this is basically a salad, right ? Stay tuned for the recipe ✨ #vegan #glutenfree #chocmintslice #cleantreat

Healthy Snacks Available at the Supermarket

I thought I would do something a little different for you – I took 20 mins to browse the health food aisle at Woolworths & sourced the best on-the-go snacks on offer I give my tick of approval ✔️ Decent, affordable and accessible snacks that you can reach for when out & about with little time!

 
I tell my clients to find a few favourites – 1-2 sweet, 1-2 savoury, that they can pick up & pop in their bag for later, so that office snacks don’t become tempting These are all around $2-4, gluten-free, vegan, refined-sugar-free & most importantly artificial flavour/preservative and vegetable oil free (which is soo difficult to find! Particularly with dips)… Just FYI the Well Naturally chocolate bar has a little sugar alcohol in it, but total sugar is only 0.6/100g. If you have difficulty digesting sugar alcohols, i.e. follow FODMAPS, avoid, but this is definitely one of the best treat options available, in my opinion.

 
Craving crunch or something salty? Choose the crackers or carrot + dip. A mars bar? Try the sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate. Cake? The Emma & Toms life bar or Soma Bite! Ice cream or a milk shake? Chia pudding w blueberries. Fizzy drinks? Kombucha! Something light? A piece of fruit or cold-pressed green juice. Easy, good-for-you swaps!
I’ll do the same for Coles shortly!!

My Vegan Superfood Staples

Ever since turning 100% plant-based, I have become fascinated with all of natures sources of beautiful and beneficial nutrients. What many of us are unaware of is how every nutrient we need comes from the sun (vitamin D), or the earth (everything else). Therefore, in terms of optimal absorption and utilisation, it makes sense to consume them from the primary source. Here is a list of my vegan staples, all of which are brimming with nutrition and make me feel energised and satisfied, not to mention I feel they have helped my skin, hair and nails become smoother, stronger and healthier overall. I actually manage to incorporate most of these in one single meal – my superfood lunch salads. It might seem like a lot, but they each add so much flavour and texture that you begin to crave them! I hope you find them intriguing, try them out and feel the difference in your own body 🙂

Nutritional yeast – brimming with key vitamins and minerals it is also a complete protein (with 18 amino acids), containing 71% protein by weight! Stress and poor diet deplete B vitamins so we could all do with a little dietary boost. Nutritional yeast is a great source of B’s, which offer us assistance with energy levels, brain health, fat metabolism, sleep quality, and hair growth. Note, unless fortified with B12, nutritional yeast is not a reliable source. As a guide, 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast = 9g protein! I often sprinkle this amount on a big green salad, soup, or in a veggie mash.

Sea vegetables – dulse and nori are my go-to’s, but I occasionally also enjoy other varieties such as wakame or kelp (particularly high in iodine). Sea vegetables are full of trace minerals that we don’t usually have access to, specifically iodine. Iodine ensures healthy thyroid function, which is important for metabolism, energy levels and hormonal balance. Sea veggies are a great way to replace salt in a meal, as they are naturally salty and arguably, more nutritious. Another hair-loving nutritious source, they also contain vitamins A, E, B6 and B12, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium and magnesium! Powerful stuff!

Saurkraut/kim-chi – fermented veggies are living foods! This means they contain active enzymes which help digest our food, as well as good bacteria called probiotics that ensure healthy gut function, and B vitamins. All this assists immunity and digestive health for optimal wellbeing. I try have about 2-3 tbsp at least once a day.

Chia/flax – just 1 tbsp a day can ensure you meet your omega-3 quota! Omega-3 is important for many things including hormonal balance, brain health and nerve function. These two seeds also provide you with healthy doses of insoluble AND soluble fibre which helps with blood sugar/appetite control, steady energy levels, and healthy colon function. Flax also provides us with lignans, cancer-protective and important for heart health. Try 1 tbsp of either in bircher/porridge, flax on top of a stir-fry, or sip on a few tsp chia in your water throughout the day (you won’t even taste it!).

Hemp seeds – 3 tbsp = 11g easily assimilated protein for long, lean muscles! This is one of natures most concentrated sources of essential fatty acids, particularly GLA. I don’t have this every day, but try to have it on a particularly active day. When I do I sprinkle it on my oats or enjoy it in/on top of a smoothie.

Quinoa/brown rice/oats/millet – I try to rotate the grains I use as much as possible to ensure a broad spectrum of different nutrients, as each grain has a different nutrient profile. One of the best thing that has come out of me going vegan is my new-found appreciation for quality carbohydrates, ridding myself of any trace of “Carbophobia” I definitely once had. The truth is, we are designed to eat carbohydrates as a mainstay in our diet (we produce the digestive enzyme amylase, which break down carbs, whilst some other animals don’t), and thus carbs are required for optimal muscle and brain function. These grains are gluten-free (oats contain trace amounts of gluten in Australia due to crop rotation, but they seem to be fine with most people, and if not, you can source gluten-free oats usually from abroad). Fantastic for amino acids (protein), B vitamins and fibre, these either go in my breakfast (oat or quinoa porridge), in my lunch-time salads, or with a stir-fry/curry for dinner. Complex carbohydrates like these keep me full, energised, non-irritable, and focused.

Parsley – a great vegan source of antioxidants and loads of vitamins and minerals like iron, try my tabbouleh for a healthy hit! You can also throw a bit of parsley into a green smoothie, juice or salad regularly to up your dose. As a powerful natural detoxifier and diuretic that prevents bloating, water retention and cellulite, it’s a goodie.

Miso – think of it it as vegan bone broth! This is a great gut-loving, plant-based alternative, that is soothing and provides enzymes and probiotics to promote healthy digestive function. Note, you must choose unpasturised miso, in order to reap these benefits. Alkalising, anti-viral, immune-boosting, cancer-preventative, antioxidant-rich and great for digestion… perfect as a snack with some sea veg (bonus points!) or used in salad dressings, try to incorporate it regularly.

Sprouts / Microgreens – the most powerful foods for cellular regeneration and health, sprouts are up to 50 x more nutritious than their mature counterparts!! They provide antioxidants, protein, enzymes and minerals that are easy to absorb and utilise.

Non-negotiable Green Drink – this one isn’t so much a food as a meal/snack, but it definitely is part of my everyday routine and something I source an abundant amount of nutrition from. Brimming with greens, I make sure I have one of these each day to slot in a huge amount of dietary fibre (it is usually a smoothie with over 3 servings of greens, but if I am out and about, it might be a juice), antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. A power-packed green drink is really the best energiser, I feel cleansed and incredibly vibrant after mine!

DIY: KOMBUCHA

Hi guys!

I thought I would share with you how I make my Kombucha at home. I’m always snap-chatting it away as I brew a new batch (showing you my many SCOBY’s), and have received a few questions regarding my process. What’s interesting about my DIY Buch is that I actually grew my SCOBY myself 🙂 But let’s backtrack for a min, because I am sure some of you are looking at me through the screen like “SCOBY?” “KOMBUCHA?!”…. so first things first….

Kombucha is made from sweetened fermented tea and has a well-known and impressive list of health benefits. Most of these are centered around it’s probiotic effect on gut health. Probiotics (meaning “for life”) promote the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut, critical for good digestion, nutrient absorption, disease prevention and even mood stability. You can take actual probiotic capsules daily, however it is also of benefit to consume probiotic-rich foods. These are generally fermented e.g. kombucha, kefir, saurkraut, kim chi, miso etc.

Ok, so now let’s clear up some misconceptions about Kombucha that might have people red-flagging it:

THE SUGAR:

If you have followed me for a while now, you know that I’m virtually sugar-free, particularly I avoid refined sugar. However the sugar that kombucha calls for is actually consumed by the SCOBY during fermentation. Yes… it needs food too! Unfortunately, there is no sugar-free way around this, so save your stevia/xylitol for baking and just accept that you are not actually consuming 1 cup of pure sugar! I have found that raw sugar tastes the best, but white, brown, cane and apparently coconut sugar also work. The taste will vary.

THE CAFFEINE:

You do need to use a tea that contains some caffeine, hence why herbal teas won’t work. But don’t worry, as with the sugar, the caffeine is, for the most part, transformed during the fermentation process.

THE SCOBY: (look at the tea-toweled covered jar in my pic- See that thing floating toward the middle? There it is!)

I get it, a “Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast” sounds and looks less than desirable, but you need to understand that this is where all the goodness comes from. I’m not asking you to slice it all up and toss it in a salad, which some people do by the way, but just know that it serves a purpose and don’t let it scare you off the good stuff. The SCOBY also multiplies pretty much every time you brew a new batch! So you will have a clean new one each week or so, and you can either let it layer upon layer, or throw out a few of the old ones as you go.

THE ALCOHOL:

Kombucha does contain a little alcohol, due to the fermentation process, it is uslaly less than 1%.

THE FIZZ:

During fermentation, kombucha becomes naturally carbonated, giving it a little fizz. You can take this a step further with a second ferment, which I explain below. Note, it is unlikely going to taste as fizzy as the store-bought varieties, as some of them actually do carbonate their bottles of ‘buch.

THE FLOATIES:

It’s OK to consume the “floaties” in your brew!! These are little bits of the SCOBY floating around, offering you the healthful benefits that comes with Kombucha. I admit, big ones are a bit of a shock, but for the most part, you don’t even notice the little guys 🙂

 

I first fell in love with Kombucha in the USA, where they had a fabulous, low-sugar brand called GT’ Kombucha. It proved really hard for me to find a brand I liked back home in Australia, which motivated me to start researching how to DIY it.

I first tried using the SCOBY from a friend, which was a baby one from the original SCOBY she received from another friend. You see, SCOBY’s are either passed down between kombucha lovers, or sold online (BUT! I have a better way, see below). Anyway, that first batch wasn’t my cup of tea 😉 so I almost gave up. When I finally found a brand in Sydney that I liked (Tonicka, for all you Sydney-siders wondering), I decided to try to grow my own from it. Let me explain how!

What you’ll need:

Step 1 – Create the SCOBY

Tools & Ingredients:

  • 1 cup store-bought ORIGINAL Kombucha (best if organic, best if you have tried it and liked the taste, and will not work if flavoured);
  • 1 medium jar
  • 1 tea towel
  • 1 elastic band

Method:

Simply consume the kombucha, leaving just 1 cup liquid. Place that cup of liquid into a jar, cover it with a tea towel and secure with elastic band, and leave in a shaded part of your kitchen for approximately one month.

By the one month mark, the “floaties” all band together, feed off the kombucha and form a unified thin “film” at the top of the jar. This is your SCOBY!

Step 2 – Brew

Tools & Ingredients:

  • Your SCOBY
  • Kettle
  • 1 LARGE bowl
  • 1 LARGE jar (3-4L)
  • Plastic (not metal) tongs, the SCOBY doesn’t like metal
  • Tea towel
  • Elastic band
  • 8 organic tea bags – I prefer Green Tea
  • 1 cup organic sugar – I prefer raw sugar
  • 1 cup store-bought ORIGINAL Kombucha 

Method:

Boil the kettle with around 3-3.5L of water, depending on how much your kettle holds. I do two batches of 1.7L, making the total 3.4L.

Place the sugar and tea bags in your large bowl.

Pour boiling water over the tea and sugar and allow the bowl to stand overnight or for at least several hours, until cooled to room temperature.

Remove tea bags.

Pour sweetened tea into your large jar.

Use tongs to place your newly formed SCOBY into the jar, and 1 cup of store-bought kombucha.

Cover with a tea towel, secure with an elastic band, and let it sit on you kitchen bench out of direct sunlight for 7-10 days (I taste-test to determine this length, for me I like the 8-9 day mark).

Step 3 – Second ferment:

Tools & Ingredients:

  • Plastic (not metal) tongs, the SCOBY doesn’t like metal
  • 3 Glass “milk” bottles
  • Funnel
  • Flavour additions – lemon, ginger, turmeric, berries, mint

Method:

Remove the SCOBY with the plastic tongs and place it into a ceramic bowl (note, NO metal).

Place the funnel into one of the milk bottles, and pour the brew into the milk bottle until about 3/4 full. Seal with the milk bottle lid, and set aside.

Repeat process until almost all the brew is gone and your bottles are ¾ full each. Note, leave at least 1 cup of brew for your next batch.

This is the step you could add some flavour, and then strain/remove the flavours before putting in the fridge.

Repeat Step 2 and brew a second batch with 1 cup from previous batch, tea and sugar, allowing to cool before transferring to the SCOBY jar, where it ferments for the next week etc. etc.

Keep your milk bottles on the kitchen batch for a further 2-3 days for the second ferment.

Place in the fridge when ready, and consume as you like.

I hope this was helpful and it has inspired you to make your own buch! If your SCOBY starts to look a little funky, it might mean the environment around it has changed. Bare in mind that changes can often be fine, so I would just google it and see if someone has experienced a similar situation. Also, if you are new, I would start slow- no need to go drinking a full bottle daily! I like to have it in my fridge regularly for a sweet alternative to soda and a refreshing alternative to tea. I have a few sips here and there, and go through phases of having 1 cup every other day.

Brew & enjoy!

Sami xx

 

 

Inspired by: Stef Jung, WholesomeStef

Continuing on with our Inspired By series, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the lovely, well-travelled, fitness enthusiast and health coach, Stef. Stef has recently moved from Switzerland to Sydney and has a story very similar to so many women of all ages. She is on a mission to lift others out of the darkness and destruction that comes with disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with food and body image. Keep reading to find out more about Stef’s past, how she cares for herself today, her health philosophy and much, much more!

Tell us a little about yourself and how you became involved in the health industry?

I haven’t always been this healthy. In fact, I used to be a fad dieting, self-destructive treadmill junkie that obsessively counted calories and stepped on the scale up to five times a day. I had that “inner mean girl” syndrome, meaning that I was constantly telling myself I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, and the list goes on. After years and years of self loathing, I decided one day that enough was enough and that it was time to start taking care of myself. It’s been a long and hard journey, but five years later I have overcome my eating disorder and have created a healthy, fulfilled life for myself that I am absolutely in love with.

As I became more intrigued by the power of nutrition, mind – body connection and a holistic lifestyle in general, I realized that I wanted to help others with their own struggles. I am now a certified health coach and it is my goal to inspire other young girls and women to live their life to the fullest by becoming the healthiest and happiest version of them self, minus the deprivation, restriction and obsession around food and exercise.

What is your personal health philosophy? 

For me, being truly healthy isn’t just about what you eat and how much you train. It’s about so much more than that. You can eat all the kale in the world and live from juice cleanse to juice cleanse, but if you are not nourishing your soul on a deeper level, your body and mind don’t thrive. I think that being truly healthy means nourishing your body with whole foods, exercising because you love your body (not because you hate it!) and living a life that fulfills you and makes you happy. It’s something that I had to learn the hard way, but now I truly understand the importance of having the right mindset. Photo-21-06-2016-1-46-01-PM-e1466481045257

How do you begin your morning?

I love starting my morning by thinking about three things that I am grateful for. If my partner and I wake up at the same time, we ask each other what those three things are and then get up together. Next up is either a mini yoga flow (5 minutes), a journaling sesh or I go straight to preparing breakfast, depending on the schedule for that day. Oh, and I like to oil pull or drink my lemon water with ginger, cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar while getting breakfast ready. Depending on my schedule, I might even get my workout in in the morning, so on those days I’m off to a class straight away and will have my nourishing morning routine post-workout.

What does a typical day look like on your plate?

I don’t believe in dietary labels and love mixing things up and trying new things. That means that no day ever looks the same! I tried going fully vegan once, but realized that, because of my restrictive past, it was triggering at times. These days I eat a very balanced, mainly plant-based diet with lots of fresh unprocessed foods. If I do eat animal products, I make sure I buy organic produce of the highest quality. I listen to my body and nurture it with whatever it asks for; that may be a vegan salad with quinoa, spinach and sweet potato or a bar of (dark and organic) chocolate. Some staple meals of mine are: tofu stir fry with buckwheat noodles and leafy greens, a green smoothie with vegan protein powder, hummus with veggie sticks as a snack and a warming oatmeal for brekky. 

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Right now I’m actually on Sarah Wilson’s 8-week I Quit Sugar program, and like I said, I love experimenting with new foods and seeing how my body and mind react. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so it’s been more of mental challenge than anything.

Fitness is a huge part of your life. What is your workout routine and do you have any tips you can offer on how to commit to an exercise regimen? 

Since moving to Sydney, I haven’t had a real workout routine per se. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t worked out everyday! I’m actually using Classpass at the moment and I really enjoy trying out new studios and types of workouts throughout the city. I’ve alIMG_9090finaleso been very active in nature and have been going on regular runs and even took up surfing. I find it really important to mix things up and love to push myself out of my comfort zone every day, otherwise I get bored easily! These days I’ve been doing one crossfit/functional training/ weight lifting type of workout per day + one more relaxing stretching session like yoga or pilates.

If you struggle sticking to your workout routine, I recommend finding a workout buddy that holds you accountable and also to schedule your workouts into your calendar. It’s all too easy to forget or neglect the commitment to yourself, but if it’s scheduled in, it makes it just that bit harder to ignore.

What are the three foods you have to have on your desert island? 

I go through phases with food, but I could never live without

  • Hummus

  • Coconut yoghurt

  • Spinach

What is the greatest health advice you have ever been given? 

That health is a journey, not a goal. It took me many years of dissatisfaction and body dysmorphia to realize this, but now I understand the importance of “enjoying the ride”. If you are always working towards that one far distant goal, then you will never be happy with yourself in the moment. 

It seems you have travelled/lived all around the globe! Where did you find was the easiest city to embrace a healthy lifestyle? Do you have a favourite fitness studio or cafe in that city? 

Sydney by far! There is such a huge health scene here with many amazing studios, healthy cafés, sporty events and a bunch of beautifully inspiring like-minded people that help you stay motivated and on track. In fact, that’s pretty much the reason why I moved here…Europe, and especially Switzerland (where I moved from) is so far behind on the trend, so it’s been a refreshing scenery change for me. Plus, the warm weather and beautiful nature just makes you want to be active outdoors all day long. One of my favorite cafés is Sadhana Kitchen in Bondi (if you’re skeptical about raw vegan cuisine, this place will change your mind!) and I love Urban Yoga and Humming Puppy for a good yoga session.

Like so many of us, you have overcome a difficult relationship with food, body image and self love. Do you ever still struggle with this? And if so, what do you do to pull yourself out of it? 

Yes, definitely! I still struggle from time to time, just like everyone else. But over the years I’ve assembled a whole list of tricks that help me deal with a bad day. From taking a walk by myself to dry body scrubbing, writing in my gratitude book or talking it out with my bestie or partner before the feeling manifests itself, it’s all about self love and acceptance on those days. It’s when everIMG_9323ything seems to go wrong that kindness is more important than ever. No matter how busy I am I will try to find some “me time”, as my health and happiness will always be number one priority.

I also like to remind myself of this quote (one of my faves!):

You are under no obligation to be the same person you were 5 minutes ago.”

 The quote is a reminder that even if you had a crappy start to the day, it doesn’t have to ruin the rest of their day. Become aware of your feelings, work through them and pick yourself back up.

One more thing that I want to add: It’s always been my goal to be as authentic and raw as possible with my audience. I allow myself to be vulnerable and try to always share when I feel down, frustrated, annoyed, insecure etc. There are way too many accounts out there that showcase this picture-perfect world, and it can be very triggering for girls who compare their own life to the highly edited life of social influencers. What’s important to realize is that we all struggle from time to time, and it’s my goal to show both the ups and the downs.

Please share with us one of your favourite clean recipes! 

Stef’s Vegan Banana Blueberry Pancakes

Serves: 2

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Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp ground flax seeds

  • ½ cup of water

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 2 very ripe bananas

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (we used almond)

  • 1 cup of blueberries

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • ½ tbsp nutmeg

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup of ground buckwheat (buckwheat flour)

  • Coconut oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Start by making your flax eggs: mix the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl, mix with a fork and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.

  2. Mix all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, spices).

  3. Mash your bananas and add to the dry mix along with the mix, vanilla and flax eggs.

  4. Once all well mixed, add the blueberries and mix gently.

  5. Heat up a pan with a small tsp of coconut oil.

  6. Add 2 big tbsp of the mixture at a time and cook.

  7. Add homemade vegan chocolate sauce.

  8. Sprinkle with fresh blueberries and coconut flakes before serving.

Connect with Stef:

Instagram: @wholesomestef

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wholesomestef

Website: www.wholesomestef.com

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Bang For Your Buck: Why Juicing From Home is Double the Nutrition and Half the Price

We all love our fresh fruit and vegetable juices, and rightly so. Not only do they taste amazing, they’re an awesomely easy way to boost our diets with all the right nutrients. However, not all juices are created equally. It turns out that how your juice is extracted makes a huge difference to both the nutritional pack they punch, and to your hip pocket.

In fact, there are two types of juicers; traditional (or centrifugal), and cold pressed (or masticating).

Traditional juicers extract juice using high speed and heat, a process that can readily destroy and oxidise nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes (also visible in your rapidly separating juice). Cold press juicers, on the other hand, use a non-heat, slow pressed extraction process that retains maximum nutritional levels.

Amazingly, studies* have shown that cold pressed juicers extract up to 50% more nutrients (including up to 42% more vitamin C, and 60% more vitamin A), all while yielding up to 50% more juice.

There are many other health benefits associated with enjoying your juice cold pressed. They can help manage weight, detoxify and cleanse our tired bodies, and prevent and fight a variety of ailments including that nasty winter flu. Juices also fit neatly into even the busiest of lifestyles, and can tempt even the pickiest of palates.

Purchasing cold pressed juice from your local café or bar can be a pricey exercise. In fact, if you were to buy a cold pressed juice every day from your local, you’d spend around $3500 a year (based on a conservative $9.50 per juice.) Yes, you’d feel amazing – but you would be spending ridiculous amounts of money in the process.

As a health food enthusiast and lover for fresh produce, I’ve found that cold pressing at home is the cheaper, simpler, and tastier alternative to store bought juice. By using the Mod Juicer, I’ve switched my daily café juice to juicing at home, and saved thousands of dollars in the process. It’s amazing how a simple switch can have such an impact, both to our heath and our wealth.

Juicing at home allows you to take full control over the quality of your produce, your recipes, your ingredients – all when you want it.

Only like to shop organic or local? Hate beetroot? Allergic to ginger? Want to start a detox immediately after a big weekend? All totally do-able. Not only that, you can also make your own tasty nut butters and natural nut milks. More wellness, and more savings. Here are two recipes loved by the Mod Team:

of raw almonds overnight in water (for at least 12 hours)
l of filtered water and add a small pinch of salt, mix together

Almond Milk

  1. Soak 100g of raw almonds overnight in water (for at least 12 hours)
  2. Take 800ml of filtered water and add a small pinch of salt, mix together
  3. Turn Mod on and add a quarter of the soaked almonds, followed by a quarter of the water
  4. Continue alternating soaked almonds with water until all added
  5. Waste from the nuts will begin appear in the pulp chute
  6. Open the juice tap to let flow your tasty, fresh nut milk. Enjoy!

Nut Butter

  1. Soak 200g of nuts (we love almonds as they are so alkaline) overnight in filtered water
  2. Drain nuts
  3. Replace the metal mesh and plastic rotation wiper with your clear plastic filter in your Mod Cold Press
  4. Open the orange juice stopper located inside the juice drum (where all the juice collects) (don’t remove, just move it aside)
  5. Place your nuts down the chute and watch in amazement as nut butter is created!
  6. OPTIONAL – Stir through a little sea salt once complete if you like a little seasoning to your nut butter

 

By Katharine McCarthy, Founder and Director of Mod Cold Press

Katharine McCarthy is the Founder and Director of Australian owned and run cold press juicer company, Mod Cold Press. Health enthusiast Katharine founded Mod Cold Press in 2015, after struggling with her first child’s distaste for fruit and vegetables. Katharine discovered cold press juicing as a complementary way to nourish her children. Here, Katharine saw the opportunity to create an efficient cold press juicer that was affordable, offered minimal wastage, and was aesthetically pleasing. The Mod Juicer comes in black and white and is $599 RRP available online at www.modjuicer.com.au.

For more information on Mod Cold Press Juicer head to the website and follow on Instagram: @mod_cold_press, Facebook: www.facebook.com/modjuicer, and the hashtag #mod_cold_press.

Sources:

*Korean Food Research Institute; Michelsen Laboratories Inc.

+Example based on purchasing a juicing box capable of creating at least 7 juices a week at a cost of $35 per box for 52 weeks. Mod Cold Press Juicer RRP $599, currently on sale at $499. Example based on sale price.

Healthy Hot Spots: Melbourne

My boyfriend, Mike, and I escaped for the weekend to Foodie-heaven i.e. Melbourne. It hadn’t been long since I was walking Melbourne’s beautiful streets, as I visited my brother who was living there last year, however since making the transition to 100% plant-based, I was desperate to go back, show Mike around and try out all the incredibly healthy, vegan creations! (Read: Will travel for food!!)

Not only is Melbourne a mecca for clean-eating, however there are also so many great yoga studios to explore as well. Whilst we live in Sydney, by the beach, with access to so much good food and yoga, it is definitely nice to change up the pace and be tourists for a weekend. It gave us the time we needed to slow down and enjoy the simple things – walking through different neighbourhoods (when do you do this in your hometown?!), try exciting menus and different yoga/exercise studios, sit in a park, travel far for a vegan croissant (!!!), indulge, read, take a bath, go to bed early, and of course, each other.

So, I thought I would share with you some of the little gems we found so that you can curate your own Melbourne getaway whenever you get the chance…

Transformers: My favourite dinner spot – the tofu buns and kelp noodles are our favourite! I love how you can do wellness shots before dinner too ;)

Smith & Daughters: Vegan Nachos, need I say more? Save this one for dinner, it’s really vibey and full of Mexican deliciousness.

Serotonin Eatery: Probably my favourite daytime cafe, the Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll Bowl (pictured) was bursting with vibrance and flavour, my ginger and lemon tea was perfection (they have a tea sommelier :O), and the choc mint mini magnum on the way out was heaven! A must.

Monk Bodhi Dharma: This place is so effortlessly cool. It’s different to all the usual “clean” cafe’s that are all shiny and brand new, and is much more New York City – less hype, a little grungey, very creative, extremely creative and delicious. The vegan pancakes are insane, and I was dying to try the mushrooms on toast (but didn’t get a chance, so you should! Tell me how it is…), so I will definitely be back. They also have a few baked goodies I had my eye on!

Tall Timber: Spectacular food for all taste buds + great coffee

Top Paddock: Gorgeous, cosy interior, delicious coffee, delicious green juice (didn’t get a chance to eat here, but I am told it doesn’t disappoint!)

Matcha Mylk Bar: The infamous fake egg- actually the reason I went to Melbourne! I had to try it! Turns out, it is made from coconut and sweet potato puree. It’s not bad, but don’t expect it to taste like egg! What really blew my mind were the eggplant meat balls. Definitely go here and order anything, soo many stand-outs!

Drugstore Espresso: This is where you come for good coffee, juice and Acai. Perfect when you need a shopping break from Chapel St.

Barry: Try the crunchy peanut butter, heirloom tomatoes and peanuts on toast! Don’t judge, just try…

Two Birds One Stone: My brother is a coffee connoisseur and when we told him where we were located, this was his pick. We both loved the coffee, and I also picked up a green juice which was yummy.

Mr Nice Guy Bake Shop: A whole bakery dedicated to veganism? Yes please! Croissants, brioche doughnuts, cinnamon buns?? You get it… 😉

Didn’t quite get to these places, but will definitely be back for them…

  • Shokuiku

  • We are Combi

  • Sister of Soul

  • Smith & Deli

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