What Are You Eating?

This post starts off with a little bit of history on myself. It’s still raw, emotional and private but somewhat necessary for the topic in this blog post. It also explains the main idea behind this blog, who and what it is about.
I had a period in my life where I was extremely unhealthy. These were in my teens years, when I was becoming more independent with food choices and was able to purchase and cook my own food. When I moved out of home as a teenager it of course got worse. I knew nothing about nutrition nor did I care about my health. I smoked a pack a day, never exercised, didn’t sleep, ate vegetables maybe twice a week and ate junk food upon junk food every single day. I suffered from anxiety and depression so severely that I was hospitalized many times over many years. I was diagnosed with every mental illness under the sun over about 10 years. This was not all down to nutrition in my case, it was also to do with being on medication that was supposed to be the answer, but in fact was half the cause  – but my story is far too big to really get into now. Perhaps one day I’ll go there (for now you should check out this doco).
A long story short, after coming off the poison (I mean, medication) I slowly cleaned up my health. I started to eat better, cut out soft drink (at one point it was 2 litres a day), quit smoking and not only did I physically improve my health but mentally I was great. I felt alive! Having been told I would never last off medication and would eventually relapse, I looked more and more into how to support myself with nutrition. The theory that mental illneses (and autism etc) can be because of lack of vitamins, minerals and general poor nutrition was a new one but made complete sense after what I’d been through personally. 
Since having a baby I’ve had a lot of questions and comments regarding the way we raise our daughter. I’ve been told I over react to what she eats and am causing her more harm than good by “denying” her of packaged process shit.
Olivia is 16 months old now and as a newborn she had “reflux” and after much investigation we discovered dairy was causing her the upset and therefore she became 100% dairy free, as did I, because I breastfed her. This is where I took a bigger dive into my healthy lifestyle. Having a baby has been wonderful for me in more ways than one!
Now my whole family tries to avoid dairy, gluten and refined sugar and we definitely stay away from colourings, preservatives, additives and all the fake stuff listed on packet food that I can’t even pronounce (a sure sign we shouldn’t be consuming it). We eat meat once a week, if not less often. We try to eat raw, and cram as many vegetables in as possible. We use superfoods on a daily basis. I make almost everything from scratch. Of course we have dairy, gluten, sugar etc on occasion. We can’t avoid it everywhere we go. Birthday parties, relatives that just don’t understand, shopping centers, it’s-a-long-car-trip food  etc. People ask “but what do you eat?” Simple answer… whole foods. 
So, what has prompted me to write this blog post? Well I read THIS ARTICLE this morning which was interesting but not surprising. It’s about the studies. by US experts, into chemicals (fluoride, pesticides etc) causing brain development disorders in infants and young children (heck, even adults) like ADHD, dyslexia and autism.
There was also recently this TED talk I watched this week about how a mother completely eliminated her daughter’s autism symptoms through diet (don’t get me started on how free glutamate is the base of all vaccines, which is furthermore food for thought [no pun intended] and again a whole new discussion). 

These days for me it is a no-brainer. But for so many others it’s a joke to them. They think it’s paranoia, or a fad, or just plain bullshit. I find the people who say that are uneducated, uninterested and scared. Don’t feel guilty, don’t be scared, because it’s never too late to change.
My point of this post is this:
We really need to think about what we are feeding our children. I feel so strongly about this since becoming a mother. I’m writing this post to raise your awareness. I can even vouch for it’s truth myself. Share the links in this post, or share the link to this blog post. Do your own research into it, educate yourselves. Become informed and aware. Make changes. Feed your family what you all deserve. Take care of your health. Without it, you are not here.

Cranky Pants: On!

Peaches Geldof (left) and Katie Hopkins.


What the actual fuck is wrong with Katie Hopkins? 

If you haven’t heard about the Katie VS Peaches video, watch this Youtube video.

I knew where the video was going just by the sour look on Katie’s face the whole time Peaches Geldof was talking. For 24 years old, Peaches comes across as a well-rounded and mature woman. Much more so than the over-tanned Katie next to her who is 14 years older! I follow Peaches on Instagram and she is always getting put down for the way she parents. She has numerous snaps of her using a forward facing baby carrier (a big no-no in regards to the development of a baby’s hips) and is always blasted for it. But then the poor girl had to be in front of paparazzi when her boy pretty much fell out of the pram as it tipped over in a pothole, and she was blasted for that too (and shame on Katie for mentioning it!) so she can’t win.

I agree with Peaches  – it’s sad that this “style” of parenting even has to have a name. I’d rather call it “instinctual parenting” if we must label it. I for one found everything I do with Olivia to be 100% instinctual. Doesn’t that mean something? Do people realize the western countries are really the odd ones out in all this? AP “guidelines” aren’t new, and they certainly aren’t a fad. 

But this video… phew!

The comments that pissed me off were ones like “When you walk into Costa, you can virtually smell the breast milk on them”, meaning the parents who practice AP.  For the record, Katie, there are women who breastfeed their babies and DON’T practice attachment parenting but that’s really not the point, is it. In this current day, we need to be encouraging breastfeeding more than ever, and not saying remarks like that which are sure to discourage new breastfeeding mothers. 

Or how about the dolly comment? Co-sleepers haven’t grown out of playing with dollies apparently! She’s got to be a joke, right? This lady…!

And the golden one she blurted out a few times “attachment parents are crap parents”. Well that’s just an insult and really got me angry! I was open-mouthed at the laptop at 7am, wanting to bitch-smack the shit out of her through the screen.

I’m proud of the way I parent. We co-sleep, breast feed, baby wear (when she lets me), and I respond to my babies cries. I’ve bonded beautifully with my daughter, and truly believe all of the AP things I do will only benefit her as she grows and develops. It won’t “spoil” her or make her too “clingy” or “dependent”. In fact, research has shown that being there for my child now actually helps a child feel safer and therefore more independent as they grow older. 

I’ve copped a lot of flack for the way I parent, from strangers, friends and sadly even my own family. But I’m really confident with the way my husband and I have chosen to parent Olivia. We feel secure in our choices and actions and we’re also lucky enough to be surrounded by a community where AP is a popular way of parenting. We have a lot of support, and I choose to surround myself with these parents, rather than the friends and family who are judgmental of us.

I’m going to say what I believe it comes down to: Katie Hopkins is so aggressively fired up about this topic because SHE FEELS GUILTY  for the way she has parented/is parenting her 6 children (3 of which are her own, 3 are step children). She obviously doesn’t feel 100% secure and comfortable with how she’s raised her kids. Do you agree?

Now have a laugh at the numerous websites taking the piss out of Katie Hopkins, such as this one.

Juicing

Months ago my juicer broke and I’ve been using one of those old school citrus juicers and having an orange, grapefruit and lime juice every morning before breakfast. Maybe once a week I’d buy a “proper” juice when out and about with O and the hubby… but it’s hard to spent $6.50 on a juice when I know I could make double the amount for half that price at home. 

We thought about buying a new juicer but it’s low on the “thing we need to buy” list. So I just made do without. Hubby being the fixer he is, tried to soak the metal mesh basket of my juicer in vinegar and bicarb.

It was pretty clogged with “juice junk”… you could barely see through it. Perhaps that’s why my juicer wasn’t working anymore? It was worth a try.

I should add, my juicer is about 8 years old. I’m sure it’s ready to retire, and secretly I want a slow/cold press juicer anyway (xmas is coming, right? I’ve already researched the Hurom juicer!). I But today I cracked out the juicer again and gave it a whirl. And while it’s still not performing 100%, it worked! 
Now I’m excited to go juice shopping again! Meaning, fruit and veg for my juices.
Today’s juice was made from the few things I have in my fridge… we really need to do a grocery shop. Plus, I was craving something sweet.

It had 2 carrots, 2 oranges, 2 green apples and 1 lemon. I juice green apples because they are lower in sugar compared to the red varieties and help to digest carbs. Winning!

Hubby was going out for the day (apparently it’s something called work?) so I did another batch (2, 2, 2, 1) and put it in an old Loving Earth jar for him to take on the run.

It was delicious. And I have plenty of left over – it’s hard to pace myself with juices but I know it’s still full of sugars so I try my hardest to have just one big glass a day!

Tell me some of your favourite juice combos!

Raw Cheesecake Recipe

I hate cheesecake. I always have. But raw cheesecake… well I could eat that every day! It’s soooo good. And whats better is it’s actually good for you! And so easy to make even though it doesn’t look like it. I wanted to share this post now, because with the weather warming up (at least here in Oz!) it’s a great dessert to take to a backyard BBQ or to have stashed in your own freezer as a sneaky dessert at night.

There’s lots of raw cheesecake recipes floating around lately. I’ve adapted this one from here. Because who doesn’t love berries? You can easily leave the berries out if you want though.
Raw Cheesecake
For the base:
  • 3 cups macadamia nuts or peacans (I’ve tried both with happy results)
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
In a springform pan lightly spray some coconut oil on the base and then sprinkle a layer of desiccated coconut over it. This will prevent the crust from sticking.
In your food processor, combine the base ingredients well. You may need to add an extra date or two. 
Press the mixture down firmly into your tin and then pop it in the freezer.
For the filling:
  • 3 cups cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours in filtered water
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup raw honey or agave
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
Combine all the ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust to taste (I often put some more lemon juice in). Pour half or 3/4 of the mixture over the top of your base and tap the pan on the bench to remove air bubbles. 
Place some frozen raspberries in the mixture… just gently press them in with your finger.
Add a handful of frozen berries to the remaining filling in your food processor and blend until the berries are combined. Pour this over the top of the plain filling and then place the cheesecake into your freezer carefully.
Leave it in your freezer until it’s firm… at least 4 hours. You can remove it from the pan once it’s frozen and slice it. I keep mine in the freezer and take a piece out onto the bench top 30 minutes before eating it. If you had this for a party, I’d recommend taking it from the freezer to your fridge about 3 hours before you want to eat it!
You could also make a raspberry sauce up to drizzle over it before serving by blending some dates and berries together. I usually just top it with some berries and maybe a drizzle of agave. Options for this cake are endless!

It’s not the cheapest of cakes to make but it does last quite a while, as it’s kept frozen, and it’s large!
I want to take this cake to someones house and see if they notice that it’s not a “real” cheesecake… that would be fun 😉

Babble Box – A Review

I came across Babble Box on Instagram at first, and followed them up on their website. I fell in love with the idea behind it – once a month your child received a box full of goodies, suitable for him or her and they look forward every month to opening it and the contents are a surprise every month! They can do boxes from 0-4 years and you can choose to have it as a month-to-month set up or a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.
And the best part about Babble Box? For every box sent each month, they give back by making a donation to a charity such as Bravehearts and Barnardos. Isn’t that lovely?

I think it’d make a great gift especially.  Imagine if you were far away from a little one, perhaps a niece or nephew, or a godchild or even a grandchild. How beautiful would it for them to receive a box every month from you? And you don’t have to worry about it every month, it’s sent out for you. Or perhaps you could order a box in advance as a birthday gift. Heck, it could be your own child that you spend 24 hours a day with and it’s still a cool idea.
So what was in the September box I received? 
Well let’s start with the packaging. Oh my! Pretty darn cute if I do say so. Not to mention it was addressed to O, not to me. I’m sure for kids who can recognize their name, this would be a thrill! O was more into the cute bear logo on the box.
After unwrapping it all and then rescuing the paper from O’s tightly clenched fists that were shoveling it into her mouth (kids are really like puppies sometimes) I found the following items inside my Babble Box. Sorry, O’s Babble Box!
Also included was the tray pictured at the top of this post, along with a toy for O:
She moves way too fast these days to capture a decent
quality pic, sorry!
I thought I’d escaped this toy for awhile… surely 11 months is too young to know how to blow into a toy trumpet? Wrong. Fucksticks. Thankfully, at 11 months her attention span is very short and therefore she only has a couple of blows into it before throwing it over her shoulder and moving on to chewing a DVD (or the lounge, or her bib, or the glass coffee table…).
My favourite item in the box was probably the pig tray. Just because it’s really cute and made from bamboo. O’s favourite item was the trumpet. She goes from being enthralled with it to being petrified of it!
Check out Babble Box and surprise a child in your life.

Jack & Jill Competition Winner!

The competition has ended for the Jack And Jill prize pack. With 12 entries, and extra points for sharing the Instagram photo, a winner was chosen today…

Becc V.
I’ve emailed the winner, and hopefully you enjoy your pack of natural toothpaste and brushes for your little one! 
Thank you for entering the competition, and thank you to Jack And Jill for the giveaway. Check out the full Jack & Jill range on their website.

Raw Caramel Slice

This slice is to die for! I posted it on Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of requests for the recipe so I just had to share. It’s so easy to make, and is actually healthy for you, even though you feel a little bit naughty when eating it. I was pleasantly surprised by how fudgey and, well.. caramel-y the caramel layer was. It turned out perfectly! The best thing is the tiniest piece is so rich and sweet (but not an over-whelming type sweet) that you really don’t need much and it lasts forever!




Raw Caramel Slice

For the base:

  • 2 cups dessicated coconut
  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp water
Put all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until combined. It will take a few minutes to come together, don’t despair! Start with 10 dates and add a couple extra if needed. I ended up using 12 and a half this time, as 10 wasn’t enough to make the mixture sticky.
Once combined well, press firmly into a slice tin lined with baking paper. I used a 7″ x 7″ pan. One of my favourite tricks is to use another piece of baking paper to press the mixture down. That way it won’t stick to your hands or be lifted by a spatula/spoon.
Pop the tray into your freezer.
For the caramel:
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup tightly packed medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp water
Pulse the macadamias briefly. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Be patient – it WILL become smooth! Remove the base from the freezer and spread it evenly on top. You can use a spatula, your fingers or another piece of baking paper to get an even coverage. Put it back in the freezer.
For the chocolate:
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (maple syrup, rice malt syrup and agave should work fine too)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, not melted
  • 2 tbs raw cacao powder
Place all ingredients in your processor and whizz it until it’s smooth. Pour evenly over the top of your caramel layer and again put it back in your freezer. After an hour or so, it should be set enough to slice up.
You can keep this in the fridge or freezer but I leave mine in the freezer and take a piece out a couple minutes before eating – the consistency is just right! 
You could use cocoa instead of cacao but remember cacao is so much better for you! You could even add a tablespoon of it to the base if you like things chocolaty. Using a liquid sweetener such as agave instead of honey will make this dessert vegan. 
Leave me a comment if you give this recipe a go, I’d love to hear your feedback!