It’s an overwhelming task to reduce what we use, own and consume. One of my big simple living goals is to reduce my waste to minimal levels. I’m not sure ill ever get down to zero waste (although I highly commend those who take the notion to heart), there simply will always be some waste being a carbon based organism living on a carbon based planet. And living in itself will always create waste products. But I do believe we have a moral requirement to actively choose to consume and waste less.

We live in a society where everything down to the last straw are disposable. Technology changes daily, and the media and big corporations tell us what we should buy based on what is popular and what celebrities are buying. Luckily, I think that being environmentally friendly is actually gaining popularity-it goes hand in hand with the health craze happening right now (I will not voice my opinion on that here-although the Nutritionist in me is begging to let loose on the health industry).

This post is simply a list of the things in which I believe I can change in my daily life to live with less, waste less and live a more fulfilled life. I have already been doing some things for almost 10 years-I’ve been into looking after the enviro for quite awhile.

  • Swap plastic one-use bags for re-usable tote bags DONE
  • Swap disposable coffee cup use for re-usable coffee cups DONE (Although I need to make sure I remember to bring it with me!)
  • Swap plastic straws for re-usable metal ones DONE
  • Reduce kitchen waste by meal planning and prepping DONE
  • Buy less new items, and instead shop regularly at op shops DONE
  • Swap a plastic disposable drink bottle for a re-usable stainless steel one DONE
  • Start buying from bulk stores and bring in own containers IN PROCESS
  • Swap disposable plastic produce bags for re-usable mesh baggies IN PROCESS
  • Swap plastic wrap for re-usable beeswax wraps IN PROCESS
  • Start a compost bin to reduce food waste IN PROCESS
  • Make homemade cleaning products to reduce plastic waste IN PROCESS
  • Swap store bought beauty products for homemade beauty products IN PROCESS
  • Recycle all plastic and cardboard as necessary DONE
  • Stop using wrapping paper, use newspaper, brown paper or teatowels instead IN  PROCESS
  • Swap paper towels for microfibre cloths IN PROCESS
  • Create a capsule wardrobe of 50 items PLANNED
  • Swap disposable razor for safety blade PLANNED
  • Switch to soap and shampoo bars to reduce plastic waste PLANNED
  • Create a zero waste shopping kit PLANNED
  • Share books,clothes and other items with friends PLANNED
  • Grow plants from kitchen scraps IN PROCESS
  • Make my own: kombucha, bread, cheese, butter, kefir, sauerkraut, almond milk, ginger beer IN PROCESS
  • Grow more food at home IN PROCESS
  • Raise chickens and maybe a goat FUTURE 
  • Decline receipts at every opportunity IN PROCESS
  • Walk, cycle or catch public transport as often as possible IN PROCESS

I’m sure that there will be more items to add to this list as I discover and research the world of simpler living.


Recently iv’e been struggling with the concept of purpose in my life. I think it coincides with my new found love for living a more simple life, by taking away the stuff and junk out of my life, I am left with the bareness of both my house and my mind. As a society we are not used to having less, we live in a consumer driven world where the constant stream of new stuff is filling any void where you may be missing something in life.

So by taking away some of the stuff out of my life (I’ve started with clothes-I’m down to around 50 items!) I feel a void creeping in. For example, yesterday I had the day off, and I spent it wandering around the house unsteady and feeling like I needed to do…something. I read a little, I watched part of a movie, I cleaned the kitchen, did the washing, then decided to get out the watercolours. Yet nothing was actually satisfying me.

By taking away the stuff I have left myself with a new space in my mind to be a little more free, but I’m just not used to it, and i’m trying to fill the space with the old stuff, it’s like i’m trying to find a new problem to solve, or maybe i’m trying to make a change. It’s difficult to just be with this new space in my mind. Just like my wardrobe-now it has space all I want to do is go out and buy more clothes because I can. But maybe the point is to just be ok with having the space.

Has anyone else discovered this when removing the “stuff” from their life?

20 Low GI snack Ideas


Having plenty of small, low GI snacks foods is a great way to stabilize your blood sugar levels throughout the day. A healthy snack consists of some low GI carbohydrates, good quality protein and a little bit of the healthy fats.

To prepare a healthy low glycemic snack, start by choosing your carbohydrates. Raw or lightly steamed veggies; fruits, such as apple, pear, peach, or banana, and fresh or frozen berries make the perfect base. Quinoa, brown rice or flax seed crackers are also a good choice, if you are ok with gluten, wholegrain crackers can be ok too.

For a healthy protein choose unsalted nuts, for example, almonds, pecans, cashews, or walnuts. Nut butters are also great. Don’t forget about seeds – my favorite are unsalted, non-roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Nuts, seeds, and their butters are perfect because they also contain some healthy fats. Some other great protein sources include soft cheeses such as plain cottage cheese, feta cheese, and goat cheese, as well as Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, hummus, black bean spread, roasted chickpeas and much more.

20 Healthy Low Glycemic Snack Ideas:

  1. 1 piece of fruit with a handful of nuts;
  2. 1 cup Edamame (soybeans from pod)
  3. ½ cup cottage cheese with ½ cup fruit (optional – 1 tsp of vanilla extract);
  4. 1/3 cup dried apricots with a handful of almonds;
  5. 1 sliced apple with 2 tablespoons peanut butter;
  6. 1 cup raw veggies with 3 tablespoons hummus;
  7. 1 hard boiled egg and 1 cup raw veggies;
  8. ½ cup cottage cheese with herbs or salsa and 1 cup raw veggies;
  9. 1 cup fresh fruit salad with ¼ cup sunflower seeds;
  10. ½ cup grapes with 1 sliced peach and ½ cup Greek style no sugar added yogurt;
  11. 1 sliced pear with 2 tablespoons soft goat cheese;
  12. 1 hard-boiled egg with 1 tomato or 1/3 English cucumber and some sea salt;
  13. 1 cup berries with ½ cup cottage cheese or Greek yogurt;
  14. 1 hard-boiled egg with 1 cup lightly steamed broccoli and/or cauliflower;
  15. 1 cup grapes with 2 tablespoons soft goat cheese;
  16. 1 Iceberg lettuce wedge (about 1/3 of the lettuce) with ½ cup cherry tomatoes and 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese;
  17. 1 cup sliced veggies with ¼ cup black bean dip;
  18. 1 sliced apple sprinkled with ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ½ cup plain yogurt;
  19. 1 cup berries with ¼ cup sunflower seeds;
  20. 1 cup sliced fruits with 3 tablespoons nut butter;

Pears goat cheese cranberry pistachios.original

What on earth should I eat?

what on

We all get super duper confused around what actually constitutes a healthy diet. It seems that its an arbitrary thing that somebody decides is the “right” food to eat for health, or is decided by the most famous “nutrition celebrity”. Wrong. Its actually been VERY well researched, and perfectly outlined by the Department of Health (they used 55,000 research articles to get to the guidelines we have today). The problem is, we just don’t listen. If we all were eating what the guidelines tell us too, we would all be pretty darn healthy. Sadly, we snack on junk, eat far too much sugar, fat and processed foods, and its causing a whole load of disease that isn’t necessary. 

So recently I have challenged myself to make sure I am eating what the guidelines say, because most of us don’t even get to this point. We are too busy focusing on the latest fad diet, superfood or crazy new supermarket product to actually focus on getting our baselines right. Its been a very interesting few weeks, and I must say I wasn’t eating exactly what I should be eating (a sad point to make for a nutritionist). I was eating far too many serves, and far too much of the discretionary items. Most of what I was eating was very nutrient dense, but I stopped listening to my body’s hunger cues, and started mindlessly eating food in front of the tv. Cue-being my heaviest weight ever. 

So here are my basic guidelines for what you should eat. It’s not hard, its not any crazy new idea, its just the same old message. Also, I like lists and bullet points – so this makes my brain happy. 

  • Bring your diet back to its basic form: Fruit, Veggies, Meat, Wholegrain’s, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, Dairy products and a little healthy fats. 
  • Eat 2 serves of fruit minimum: eat one for a snack, then have one after dinner with some yoghurt. 
  • Eat 5 serves of veggies minimum: make sure one of your snacks includes veggies, as well as at least one serve at every meal. I like to try half fill my plate with veggies before adding anything else. 
  • Eat 6 serves of mostly wholegrains: this means the grain hasn’t been stripped of all its important nutrients in the outer layers; Brown rice, wholegrain bread, wholegrain pasta and noodles. If it has a wholegrain option; choose that one. 
  • Eat 2-3 serves of dairy everyday: Don’t be afraid of dairy products, most of us have  developed the ability to process lactose in dairy products, so just get over yourself. Go for milk (Whole, skim-whatever really), natural and greek yoghurt, and small amounts of cheese (by small amount I mean the size of a matchbox or 20-30g). 
  • Eat 2-3 serves of lean protein: and variety is good here, try chicken, salmon, tuna, beef, eggs, tofu, legumes. Its all good! Legumes are both a protein AND a vegetable, plus they have plenty of fibre, phytonutrients and minerals. 
  • Everything else is discretionary, although I will say that fats are vital to healthy cell development and neurons, so we do need to make sure we are getting some healthy fats everyday (Contrary to the old ways of fat-free everything). Try olive oil, avocado, nut butters, seeds, plant oils, oily fish and nuts. 
  • There is no need to cut out everything, its just about what you eat MOST of the time, so simply eat the treats less often. For example, eat a varied, nutrient dense and healthy diet for most of the week, and allow yourself a couple of treats throughout the week. 

Eating for health isn’t rocket science, its just simply putting some guidelines in place to make sure you are doing what’s best for your body. There is no way your body can be at its best if you are giving it the wrong fuel. 

Keep your eyes peeled-ill be posting a 7 day outline of what iv’e been eating too, so you can see all of this in practice. 

A simply glossary of milk



I’m a huge fan of milk, despite various websites/blogs/media outlets telling us that milk is bad and causes inflammation/gas/bloating. While it is true that there are some individuals who cannot digest milk (they simply haven’t got enough of the enzymes) the rest of us have adapted to be able to successful digest, absorb and utilize the components of milk, without too much of an issue. 

A recent study released by the CSIRO noted that “one in six adult Australians are choosing to avoid milk and dairy foods, the majority without a medical diagnosis, leading to public health concerns for women in particular”. This is an alarming fact, considering the nutritional benefits of consuming dairy products, for example, dairy products are a great source of vitamin B12-Which is vital for the normal functioning of our brain and nervous system, not to mention in the formation of new red blood cells. Another great nutrient those who avoid dairy often miss out on, is Vitamin D, which is useful in the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphate. A deficiency of Vitamin D can cause issues with bone density and potentially rickets. 

With all of this in mind, and knowing that the majority of health professional still recommend dairy products as part of a healthy diet, people are still confused about what milk to buy. In my local supermarket I often see people standing in front of the milk fridges looking utterly perplexed by the huge variety of milks on offer. So here iv’e put together your simply glossary of milks:

Whole Milk (3.5% fat) is the whole milk which contains 3.5% milk fat, which is why it tastes so delicious and has a rich, creamy texture. Generally whole milk is homogenized and pasteurized (see below). After babies stop drinking mother’s milk, they usually drink whole milk until they are at least two years old. The fatty acids in whole milk are important to the development of the brain and the nervous system.

Light/Low fat milk (1-2% fat) has some of the benefits of whole milk, however due to the fact there is less fat, there are less of the fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin A. Some brands will fortify their milk with both of these vitamins later in processing. Often skim milk powder is added to it, which makes it taste creamier and also boosts the calcium content. Also called HiLo milk. 

Skim Milk (less than 0.15% fat) or non fat milk, generally contains less than 0.15% fat. Again skim milk powder is often added to increase the protein and calcium content, as well as make it taste creamier. 

Buttermilk, despite its name, is typically made from nonfat or lowfat milk. It is a cultured sour milk made by adding certain organisms to sweet milk, and is popular in cooking. 

Homogenised: The process of emulsifying milk so the fat droplets are evenly dispersed throughout the milk (unhomogenized milk is SAFE to consume and has the fat/cream layer on the top)

Pasturised: The process of partial sterilization, using heat treatment or radiation to make milk safe for consumption, removing all the nasties. The basic process for whole milk involves heating the milk to a temperature of no less than 71.7ºC for a minimum of 15 seconds (max 25 seconds). This process is known as High Temperature Short Time (HTST).

Raw milk: The untreated variety of whole milk, still contains potentially harmful bacteria. Generally is not legally sold within supermarkets, however in some places is sold for “beauty purposes”. Due to the nature of the harmful bacteria it is widely known that we shouldn’t consume raw milk, regardless of what health guru’s say. 

A2 milk: Standard milk contains both the A1 and A2 proteins, however there are some varieties of cows who produce milk with only the A2 protein, and for some people this can reduce the amount of digestive upsets. The reason this is the case is that A1 and A2 milks have a different structure and so for some people, will digest and absorb A2 better than A1. However it is much more expensive than standard milk, so only buy it if you find there is a real difference in how you feel, otherwise it’s not better from a nutrient density point of view. 

In summary: I tend to keep it simple and go for a standard whole milk, because it tastes so much better than skim or low fat, and I enjoy it more. I guess if you were wanting to lose weight skim or low fat milk might be a good option, however I think there are much better ways to reduce energy intake (and there are some studies that show that whole fat milk is actually better for weight loss-due to the satiating nature of the fat and protein content of whole milk). 

I could go on and on and discuss the varieties of plant based milks, however they generally don’t compare with standard milk, however can be a great addition to your healthy diet, or for those who are medically diagnosed lactose intolerant. 

For more information check out these great links: 



5 things I LOVE about sweet potatoes


If you asked me what my favourite vegetable is, I would have a pretty tough time trying to decide-I love almost all of them. But the one I always come back to, and have very fond feelings for, is the humble sweet potato. It’s so versatile, flavoursome and nutritious. What isn’t to love! As the slightly more exciting cousin of the potato, there is a whole lot of great stuff you can say about sweet potatoes, and here are my 5 favourite things about the beautiful orange veggie. 

  1. Sweet potatoes are full of Beta-Carotene (A red-orange pigment found in plants) which is a precursor to vitamin A, and therefore leads to an increase in our blood levels of Vitamin A (Which is a fat soluble vitamin we use for vision, reproduction and cell communication). 
  2. They are full of complex carbs (starches) at around 20g per 100g, which helps to keep our energy levels up for longer, and keep us full. 
  3. They are relatively high in fibre with 3.8g per 100g, the fibre is both soluble and insoluble, with the soluble fibres increasing fullness, reducing blood sugar spikes, and decreasing food intake, while the insoluble fibres improving gut health (by feeding the good bacteria) and reducing the risk of diabetes. 
  4. Sweet potatoes contain lots of Vitamin C (19.6mg-or 33% of our daily intake per 100g), which is a great antioxidant, can help to reduce the duration of colds and boost the immune system, as well as helping to keep our skin healthy.
  5. They are a great warming comfort food, without the added extras that we sometimes find in pastas etc. They are versatile and can be used in a number of ways: mashed, boiled, stuffed, sautéed, fried, baked, made into fritters, added to stews and curries, no to mention simply roasted (my personal favourite way of eating them). 

So next time you are choosing between your starchy carbohydrate at your next meal, sweet potatoes are a great choice! 


Nutrition hacks: Food pairing

black-beans-pepper-1-354f333763e6ee9b2c3ab0cd9a1357b5e3a3d202-s900-c85We often think of putting food together because they taste awesome together: bread and butter, tomato and basil, cheese and crackers, peanut butter and jam, coconut and cacao (I put that last one in there for the superfood fans :p). But there is another way…what if I told you by putting some foods together you get MORE NUTRITION! Thats right, simply by putting foods together you can get more bang for your (nutrition) buck. 

So i’ve put together a few easy examples on how you can get more out of what you eat! 

  • Iron and vitamin C

This is one of the most popular food combos, and the first one I learnt about at uni. By putting foods high in iron with foods high in vitamin C, the iron is better absorbed. There is some cool science behind this: Iron from non-meat sources is called non-haem iron, and it’s not absorbed as well in our body as haem iron from meat sources (red meat, poultry). By eating non-haem iron rich foods with foods rich in vitamin C, the plant based foods better “let-go” of the non-haem iron. 

So things to eat together based on this:

  • Spinach, kale, lentils,soybeans, tofu, potatoes and legumes with
  • Strawberries, chilli peppers, orange slices, a squeeze of lemon juice, or tomatoes

In an actual meal this might be something like a spinach and chickpea salad with balsamic strawberries and orange juice dressing. Or red kidney beans with lemon and chilli. 

  • Fat soluble vitamins and fats

Seems simple right? By consuming the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) with fats, it helps dissolve the fats and therefore have them ready for your body to absorb!

So in this case you should eat: 

  • Vitamin A rich foods: Sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkin
  • Vitamin D rich foods: Mushrooms and eggs
  • Vitamin E rich foods: Almonds, sunflower seeds, and dark leafy greens
  • Vitamin K rich foods: Spinach, Kale, broccoli (Basically any leafy green vegetable)

With a thumb sized portion of healthy fats:

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Coconut oil

There are some super cool foods like salmon, egg yolks, liver, almonds and sunflower seeds that have both the fat soluble vitamins and the healthy dietary fats! They are their own little perfect nutrition package. 

  • Incomplete proteins

What if I told you not all protein is made the same? Protein found in animal sources is a complete protein (it contains all of the 9 essential amino acids we need-the ones our body can’t make), however plant based sources of protein don’t contain all of the essential amino acids, only some of them. But by putting plant based sources together you can make up a complete protein! For example:

  • Rice and beans
  • Hummus and bread (Made from wheat)
  • Pasta and legumes (Think a nice pasta salad)

You don’t actually have to combine proteins to make up the complete set every meal, you can do it over the course of a day, the main thing here is to think about variety (Every food has a different nutrient profile so the more that you get the better). 




Vegetarian and Vegan diets



It’s so fantastic that so many people are adopting a more plant-based style of eating, and some even go the extra mile to announce that they are fully vegetarian or vegan. I 100% applaud anyone who decided to stop eating meat or animal products, there are a bunch of great benefits not only for health, but for the environment as well. There are so many reasons that one decides to go full-vego, and whatever that reason is, is all good. Making a commitment to a way of eating and for some a lifestyle shows a huge amount of respect, dedication and personal value. However, many people who go vego don’t do their research before doing so, and there are a number of things that need to be considered from a nutrition point of view before proceeding. 

My personal philosophy on vegetarian and vegan diets is that while I respect any individuals decision to follow it, I’m more on the no-diet approach bandwagon, which means still eating as ethically as possible without cutting out any food groups. I also know my body simply does better with eating meat and animal products, so I do my best to investigate brands and buy products which encourage ethical farming practices. Iv’e had periods of my life where I was following a strict vego diet, and although it was well managed, I still lacked energy, dropped my iron levels and increased my frequency of being unwell. You just have to do what works for your body.

Type of vegetarian diets:

There are a number of styles of vegetarian/vegan diets, all of which have a different set of “guidelines/rules” and all of which will have a slightly different set of nutritional let-downs. The main two broad categories ill talk about are vegetarian diets (cutting out meat) and vegan diets (cutting out all animal based products). 

Vegetarian: Cut out all meat including pork, beef, lamb, chicken, duck, veal, while keeping fish, eggs, dairy products and other animal-based products. 

 Vegan: Cut out all animal based/derived products, including; meat, fish, eggs, dairy, gelatin, honey, insects and also any products that animals may have been included in the processing (e.g. leather, enzymes, some cane sugar)


Health implications: 




Fatty acids


Vitamin D

A healthy vegetarian diet: 


How much H2O?


The age old question “how much water should I drink?” is not an easily answered one, there are so many factors that contribute to water loss and retention, but considering our bodies are largely made up of the stuff, we really should make sure we drink enough. Most of the time we hear that 8 glasses of water is the target, however this really doesn’t account for body weight, mass, exercise levels, disease states and amount of water consumed from our diets. So lets delve a little deeper…

Water in our bodies:

Water is the most vital component of our bodies, with every single one of our cells needing it for survival. We require it to help eliminate waste products and toxins, carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells, cushion our nervous system, lubricate joints, regulate our body temperature and of course keep our little cells happy and hydrated!


Most of us walk around in a state of constant dehydrate without knowing, often we mistake our thirst for hunger. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dry mouth, low energy levels, muscle cramps, constipation, digestive upsets, and flushed skin. In extreme cases it will lead to dizziness, mental changes and unconsciousness. And surprisingly thirst can happen even when we are not hot and sweating-it can also happen in cold climates such as while skiing. 

When do we need more?

There are a number of circumstances that its super important to keep up our intake, these are when we are most at risk of dehydration. Dehydrating environments (such as air-conditioned offices and planes) contribute to dehydration, as well as hot and dry weather, outside during sporting events, at the beach in full sun (I hope you are also wearing plenty of sunscreen!), during endurance events, various illness and disease states, and while pregnant and breastfeeding. A high protein diet is another circumstance where dehydration may be an issue, with the kidney needing to work extra hard to get rid of the metabolic waste products from excessive protein intake. 


So what is ‘enough’ water?

Well, as I said it depends on a number of things, and the best way of doing it is listening to your body and learning what being well hydrated feels like. My best estimate is one based off body weight:

35mL x body weight in kg

So based on that, an individual that weighs 70kg would need to drink:
35mL x 70kg = 2450mL (or 2.45L)

If you are exercising lots, or will be in air-conditioning for long period, you will most likely need more, if you are breastfeeding, drink more. And while other beverages may contribute to water intake, water is always best as it doesn’t contain empty kilojoules (energy without nutrients) and will immediately begin to rehydrate you. Coffee has been said to be a diuretic (Something which causes us to urinate more frequently and therefore loose water), however the actual effect of this is very small. Coffee and tea can contribute to your overall fluid intake, but remember that high levels of caffeine are also detrimental to your health. 

Another aspect of course, is the water content of our food. So for example, fruits and vegetables contain high levels of water content, so help to contribute to our overall water intake. All the more reason to get your 2 and 5 everyday! If you are not currently consuming the recommended amounts of fruit and veg, then you will definitely want to be getting plenty of water, aim for the full amount needed for your body weight. 

On a final note, the easiest way to make sure you are getting enough fluids, is to simply drink water. While in rare cases you can drink too much, drinking 3 litres a day isn’t going to get you there, and more water will be beneficial to your thirsty cells. I have a big 1 litre drink bottle, that I make sure I finish before lunch, then fill up again at lunch. After I have finished those 2 litres, anything else is a bonus! 

Be at PEACE with your food


So often, I get asked…Should I eat this? What about this? I heard _____ is bad for me. It makes me terribly sad to hear people demonising particular foods. Then there are all the fad diets that get you to cut out various groups of food, creating more fear behind what we are eating. If you listen to everything you hear online and in the media about food, there is almost nothing that we “should” be eating. There is alway something bad about every food. For example, lettuce, seems pretty standard-what can be wrong with lettuce? And cue the arguments about GMO’s, organic, pesticides….what do we think about lettuce now? Do we believe everything we have heard, and stop eating lettuce for good? 

My thoughts on the matter, is that we need to stop listening to random uninformed advice and pictures we see online, especially on social media. How do you know they are true? Fear sells. And fear gets noticed. 

So what to do about it? Unfollow those crazy misinformed diet pages, get rid of the negativity around food on social media. Only follow pages that have scientific and well researched information, and those that make you feel good about yourself and what you eat. Ask yourself: where did this person get their information from? Does it sound sensible? Are they telling you that you need to cut out or get rid of things out your diet? What qualifications do they have? 

How to be at PEACE with your food:

  1. Get rid of negative, misinformed pages on social media: especially watch out for unqualified individuals
  2. Eat what nourishes your body: You are literally made up of the food you eat, so choose it wisely
  3. There is no food that is inherently “bad” so stop using the terms “good” and “bad” to describe your food
  4. Get mindful peeps! Really THINK about what you are eating. Take the time to actually enjoy it rather than stuffing it in without a thought
  5. Take the time to learn about the food you eat, colours=more nutrients, fresh, whole foods are going to nourish your body better than those in packages
  6. Realise that every food has a place in a healthy diet, so YES cake is fine (but not everyday !), and those chips are ok too (Shock horror a Nutritionist said the chips are ok!!!). Just make sure you are nourishing your body too!

So there we go, a few Sunday musings for you, and forget starting that diet tomorrow, just eat real food!