SPRING and other really exciting stuff

Image from Rachelemilyblog.com


It has been far too long since I have posted anything on The Wellness Plate, and I’m going to put that down to the fact I’ve been almost hibernating over the winter (and of course uni). However, its September the 1st, and that means time for some fresh new stuff, and to come out of hibernation. Of course, my body was telling me I needed to slow down and rest, I just didn’t realise it meant 3 months of rest 🙂 
Through what I have learnt in the past few years, I know that if my body is telling me to slow down-I need to listen. Stress, anxiety and sickness are part of my life as a uni student, and for the sake of my health and mental state its better that I slow down. If your body is giving you signs of breaking, then listen to it. Give it the space and time it needs to rest and recover, and if that means you need to focus on yourself for awhile, then that’s OK. Do what you need to do to be healthy and happy. For me that was taking time out to just relax. It meant reading books in bed all day, taking long walks with friends, eating (lots) of warming hearty food, watching endless movies and entire seasons of my favourite TV shows. And that is OK. 
However, now that I am feeling 100% again, my stress feels balanced, I have my routine back, and uni is well and truly under way for the semester, its time that I get back into writing, because its something I love to do, and if there is even one person that benefits from something I write, then its worth it. So here are 5 ways you can spring-clean your life:

1. De clutter stuff:

One of my favourite things about spring is the de-cluttering process, where it is literally out with the old in with the new. I always feel cleaner after I have cleared out some old junk, its kind of like I’m clearing emotional junk from my soul too. Plus you end up with a gorgeous cleaner home as well (and that’s always a good thing). So grab a few bags, and get sorting. Its such a great feeling giving your old things to charity, there might be someone out there looking for that exact item!

Image from www.wherthestyledthingare.com

2. De clutter your body:

Of course, Spring is the best time to detox or update your diet. I always like to go through a 6 week detox with my Naturopath during spring, but if that’s not your cup of tea you could always do a 3 day juice cleanse, or just start some new dietary habits. Things like trying to have veggies at every meal, or increasing your water intake are great simple ways you can clean up your diet. Pure glow cleanse have a great juice cleanse delivery service that is a fantastic way of pushing the reset button on your diet, just make sure you don’t stick to your old ways at the end, so have a new diet plan ready to go after you finish!

3: Plant a food producing garden:

Spring is a great time for heaving out all the weeds from your gardens and replanting plants that are going to produce food. There is something great about growing your own fruit and vegetables, and knowing that you can nourish and feed your body. Its also a great way to teach your kids where food comes from, and that the best kind of foods are ones that you can grow yourself. I planted up my garden this weekend, and I’m so proud of the results. There is a great edible gardening guide over at ABC Gardening

4. Try out new exercises: 

Now that the weather is warmer (Slightly) and there is more light in the morning, why not update your exercise regime (if you have one) and try out a new exercise. Or if you haven’t been doing any exercise over the winter, its a great time to start! And its not all about getting a “bikini body”. Exercise and movement is vital for our health, not to mention can improve your mood. If your exercise routine is a little rusty, why not set-up a walking routine with a friend, once a week go for a big walk, and get coffee after. You are much more likely to walk of there is another person relying on you. Plus you get to chat AND drink coffee! 

5. De clutter your health: 

What I mean by this, is make sure your body is in tip top condition. Go get a check up, make sure your heart is healthy, get your moles checked, get a blood test, get a Chiropractic check-up, go see a Naturopath about your hormones, visit your dentist, get a new diet plan from a Dietitian, sort out your immune system, get a massage, join a Gym, get a Personal Trainer, get some Reiki, try Acupuncture, or just simply be aware of how your body feels and what it needs right now. There is no time like the present to get your health in check, honestly for me my health is one of my top priorities, because without it, I wouldn’t be able to have the wonderful life that I have. Go and get your health sorted today!




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Goodness me box review

 

The new hype in the wellness industry is subscription boxes-seriously they are everywhere! However, I recently discovered Goodness Me box, and it was so beautiful that I couldn’t not sign up! I recieved the box on a Friday night at 8pm (how’s that for service) and opened it to find 7 gorgeous products. 

This is their philosophy:
 

“GoodnessMe Box is a health food sampling service. Each month, GoodnessMe Box surprises you with 5-10 health food goodies so you can get your hands on the most sought-after clean eats the world is going nuts about!

The GoodnessMe Box experience is all about discovery so each month the content of the box is a surprise. Plus, each GoodnessMe Box includes nutritional recipes.

Our aim is to provide you food with integrity. We source only the highest quality health food brands that share our passion to provide wholesome and natural food products that are GMO-free and which are two or more of the following: Organic, sustainable, raw, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free or vegan.”

 

  • Pukka Tea sample’s: Licorice and peppermint, and Detox (2 Samples)
I love Pukka tea, its been my go to tea for a few years, and I always love trying new flavours. The peppermint and licorice is an absolutely lovely tea, and is super warming during winter. The detox tea is refreshing and a great way to detox everyday.
Total = $0.80
  • Raw C Coconut water 330mL
It’s the new in-drink, and there is a good reason why, coconut water is full of nutrients, and tastes super yummy. I use mine in smoothies and with my granola. Edit: Although in saying that, I don’t really agree with the company philosophy. Would however buy other brands!
Total = $2.95
 
  •  Simply Raw Superfood bar: Coconut rough 15g
I LOVE these bars! I have tried them before, but Goodness me box reminded me why I love them. Only 6 ingredients, and its all good stuff. Yummiest superfood bar around!
Total = $1.50
 
  • Loving Earth Luvju: Coconut Mylk 35g
Always a big fan of the Loving Earth Luvju bars (especially the caramel) so of course I was excited to see that Goodness me had included one of their bars. YUM!
Total = $2.90
  • Naked food: Organic and health food voucher $10
I have never tried this particular online health food store, but their website looks gorgeous! I can’t wait to try them out.
Total = $10
 
  • Mayvers: Pure state Dark Choc super spread 375g
This stuff is so good, I had it on a slice of dark rye bread over the weekend, and it was just a perfect combination of nutty goodness and tasty super foods. A great way to get a nutrient dense hit.
Total = $7.99
 
  • My Wholesome Kitchen: Granola Crunch 130g
I love a good granola, and this one is a goodie! Full of nuts, seeds, coconut, and cranberries, what’s not to love. I enjoyed mine with some lovely Greek yoghurt.
Total = $3.50
 
Paid for box = $25/month
Total amount received = $29.60

The other thing I LOVE about Goodness me box, is that they have a qualified Nutritionist on staff reviewing every product before it goes into the box, the lovely Melissa Fine who you can follow on instagram @melissaeatsmindfully, she has some gorgeous pics and some great food ideas!

Goodness me box also have a qualified Naturopath and yoga instructor on board, Amy Holtz, who again helps to ensure every product in your box is the healthiest, yummiest product.

Overall a great first box, and some fabulous products. I’m really looking forward to the next July box. If you want to get your hands on one, sign up over at www.goodnessmebox.com, the July box is sold out, but they will let you know when the August box is ready!

Have you signed up to a great subscription box recently? I would love to hear about it, comment below 🙂
 
 
 

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My 6 week wellness challenge



Hi Wellness lovelies!

There has been a bit of a break here on The Wellness Plate, My life has been busy with exams and Birthday fun. Finally its the Uni break (I’ve got 6 weeks off yippee!) and so Iv’e decided that its time to do a complete health overhaul. My health has slacked quite a bit over the past month, and I’m feeling low, groggy and emotional. But that’s all about to change. There are a few things I will be doing over the next 6 weeks, these include:

  • The I Quit Sugar 8 week challenge

I’m really excited about this one, me and a good friend are doing it together, and although I don’t have a big sweet tooth, its’ going to be helpful to really be aware of what I’m eating again, and generally restarting my health. I love the program because its so easy to do-They give you all your meal plans and shopping lists, which is such a great time saver. Iv’e had to jump in on week 2 because I missed last week due to exams-But so far the meals are amazing!
 

  • The #Sheisradiant 6 week wellness adventure from Claire Baker (This is lifeblood)

I was lucky enough to grab an early bird copy of Claire’s gorgeous new ebook. Its full of soul filled life changing knowledge, and its going to be a great base to help remind myself why I love my body, and why I love being healthy. Claire has created a book with love oozing from every single page. Its got life lessons every week, as well as recipes, affirmations and lots of other wellness tips and tricks. Plus its gorgeously designed and super easy to read. 

  • The 21 day Meditation challenge from Claire Obeid (The Wellness Project) 

I discovered this challenge a week ago, so I’m already up to day 5, but gosh its fantastic! Everyday you get a new mini meditation delivered to your inbox, then all you need to do is plug in your headphones and go! They have been incredibly empowering so far, and I’m thriving on being more present and aware everyday. 
Today is the last day to sign up however, so you better get in quick!
  • I’m tracking my progress using a few different apps:

-Runkeeper:

Iv’e been using this one for a few years now, but its still an old fav. Its super easy to use, and its great for walking, running and cycling. I’m hoping to get in 3 runs/walks everyday for the next 6 weeks and this is how ill be tracking everything. If you want to join me and start running/walking my username is bsmi109. 

-Myfitnesspal:

I don’t usually advocate tracking meals and counting kilojoules, however during the next 6 weeks ill be doing the I Quit Sugar program, so its going to be really interesting seeing what my nutrition is like. Plus i’m really hoping to get some good habits going, and I know by tracking my food intake ill be more aware of what i’m eating. Again, if you would like to join me my username is bsmi109. 

-Glow:

This is a recent find of mine, but its a gorgeous app for tracking reproductive health. Being aware of your reproductive health is just as important as the rest of your health, I am a total advocate for whole body wellness, so this is a great way to be more aware of your own body. It lets you track everything from periods, mood, temperature, and supplements/medications. Its a great addition to your health tracking-Plus its a really pretty app. They even give you little health tips everyday-honestly the best app of its kind that I have found. 

-Fitjourney

This one is a photo based weight tracker. Again I don’t usually advocate keeping track of your weight, during the next 6 weeks I will be, so I can get on top of some bad habits and kick start my health and wellness again. This app is beautifully designed, and has lots of great functions like adding goals, photos, and calculating your ideal weight (based on BMI). Ill be using this predominantly to track my photo progress during the next 6 weeks. 

So, I would LOVE for you to join me over the next 6 weeks to reboot your health and wellness. Use the hashtag #TWP6weekwellness-I look forward to seeing all your posts, photos and updates on how you are  going!


What are you planning on doing over the next 6 weeks to reboot your health? I would LOVE to hear your comments below!


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Post #100: Why looking after your spinal health is important

I’m so excited, this is the 100th post on The Wellness Plate! After starting this blog in September last year, I had a good feeling that it would be the one that would stuck, and I’m happy to say it will be around for a long time 🙂 
Today I’m going to talk about one of my biggest passions, and the single thing that decidedly moved me from wanting to be a mainstream Medical Doctor, to wanting to be a holistic Dietitian and Wellness Practitioner. Today I’ll be talking about Chiropractic and spinal health. My wellness journey started as a single job application among hundreds. When I arrived to Australia fresh out of my first year of Medicine, I was looking for a job in medical reception, so I could get some experience in the industry. I got quite a few interview, but none of them felt right. Then I got a call from an incredible lady called Davina, and her call set me on my path. 
 

The company that started my journey (Thanks Davina!)
www.flourishenterprises.com.au

The first interview I went to was a group interview, and  I was completely inspired that there was a job out there that people were so utterly passionate about. Davina has this huge passion for the industry, and to be honest, I never knew about Chiropractic, but her words and inspiration make me feel like I just HAD to be part of this.  I unfortunately didn’t get that first job, but the universe had something better in store for me. Davina called me a few weeks later and asked me to come for an interview at a different clinic. This time it was a big inter-disciplinary clinic lead by one of the most experience Chiropractors in Perth, Dr Simon Carlin. 

I cannot thank both Davina and Dr Carlin enough for the life changing experience of being a Chiropractic Assistant, it is one of the most fulfilling jobs, full of teams of insanely passionate people, who’s incentive everyday is to helped the world see and discover their true health potential. It was due to the incredible team at Karrinyup Wellness Centre, and these two inspiring community leaders that I chose to start on the path of Nutrition and Dietetics. (If you guys are reading, THANK YOU). 
The reason I bring this up now, is that yesterday I was at the Dynamic Growth Experience, which is basically a conference for Chiro’s, their teams and Chiro Students. Being part of that community, and hearing how truly incredible everyone involved in Chiropractic is, I have to share this message. If you are interested in the health and well-being of yourself, your family and your community, Chiropractic is for you. There is alot of misinformation about Chiropractic around, on the Internet, and from people who just don’t know what we do. 
 

What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a Primary Health care alternative, which in its most basic form looks after your spinal health. What you have to realise though, is that spinal health is crucial to your entire body. Your spine encases the superhighway of your nervous system, which takes messages from your body to your brain, and back the other way. If these messages are interrupted by poor spinal health, then the health of the rest of your body will not be optimal. Chiropractic ensures that your spine is free from interruptions, and is able to send messages correctly. This is done through adjustments. 

 

Why is that relevant to me?
Most of my clients ask me “but why should I go to a Chiropractor if I don’t have back pain”. This is an easy one, basically because interruptions sometimes don’t actually present as pain. Sometimes interruptions can go for years completely unnoticed, and in the meanwhile will be secretly affecting your digestion, sleep, hormones, mood, immune system and your ability to be your best self. And so, I believe that every single person should be checked by a Chiropractor at least once in your life. It is vital to your health, and if you are like me, I want to be the best version of myself, so I can achieve amazing, awesome things, and be the best I possibly can. I also know from studying Nutrition, that if the signals from your brain to your digestive system aren’t functioning, your body can’t process your food properly, so no matter how much of the most nutrient dense food you eat, you will never be getting the full benefit. 

 

Who should get Chiropractic?
I think everyone should be checked by a Chiropractor at least once in their lives. I see the perfect time for this as soon as you are born. Babies are full of life potential, and new gorgeous energy, but the birth process is traumatic. Its stressful, and often babies end up being twisted, pull and vacuumed out. Which is a huge problem for the spine. If a babies spine is misaligned this young, then how can their body grow, develop and learn properly? However if a baby starts getting Chiropractic care from day one, then they are set up for a life of optimal growth and development. However stress and trauma doesn’t stop at birth, throughout our lives we have falls, accidents, and generally, we live our lives. So with all this, how can the messages be correctly sent through a spine that is misaligned? If you care about the health and wellbeing of your family, kids, friends and yourself, then get checked by your local Chiropractor. 
 

They say once you start getting Chiropractic, you have to keep going…..for life!
This one is completely and utterly true. From my previous point, life is stressful and traumatic and at any point the messages can stop being sent properly, and you may never know until its bad enough to get pain. Therefore, if you are getting checked say, once a month on a regular basis, then any of the stuff that life throws at you can be can be supported by you body. Chiropractic has become my number one form of health care, because I work there I am lucky enough to be checked and adjusted once a week, but for Wellness care once a month is perfect. 
 

“Chiropractic has become my number one form of health care”

I was lucky enough to see some incredible speakers yesterday at Dynamic growth, and one of my favourites was Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani. She is an inspiration to Families, Parents, Mothers and Fathers, and advocates for Chiropractic care to become the leading healthcare for families. And I completely agree with her. In my time at the Wellness Centre, I have seen incredible things happen for families who start care. Usually it begins with one family member coming in with pain. They get amazing results, then the rest of the family start coming in. The family begins to be healthier, sleeping better, getting less sick. The family is more active, they are happier, they have bigger goals and dreams, and they start to fulfil those goals and dreams. I am looking forward to reading Dr Jennifer’s book “Well adjusted babies” over the uni holidays.
In our current worldwide health climate, there needs to be a change in how we deal with the health of ourselves and our families. We all know drugs and surgery are not the way to go, we need to take preventative action and really give a damn about our own health rather than leaving it in the hands of those who don’t care that much, or are looking to make money out of us. We need to be community leaders, and inspire others to care, we need to stand up and share our journey’s and information. The reason I do it, is because I want the world that my children are born into to be a better, brighter and healthier place, and the only way I know how is to be a leader in the community, and stand up for the health of the people around me. 

 

Ok, so now what?
Well, there are a few things you can do, the first and most important step, is go and find a good Chiropractor, the best way to do this is to get a referral from a friend. 
Secondly, join the industry! If you want to be part of the big change, join us in a healthcare revolution. Be part of the growing community of healthcare professionals wanting to make real lasting changes in the healthcare system. If we all rally together, there is huge change that we can make, and I would love you t e part of it. 
Thirdly, take your health into your own hands. Be proactive and don’t wait for things to break. You can achieve incredible amazing things in your life, but you can only do it if you are healthy. 
 

 
I would love to know if you get Chiropractic care, and what amazing benefits have you received from it? (Comment below)
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The Flower Moon

So last night marked the May full moon, which is also know as the Flower full moon traditionally named for the time of planting in spring (For us here in the southern hemisphere its a little opposite).Its also called the hare moon, corn planting moon, and the milk moon. This particular full moon is interesting for a few reasons, Firstly in the scientific community this full moon passes past Saturn, called an Occultation. You can read more about it on Universe today. Sadly, I missed this astronomical event, but none-the-less was interesting to watch the videos. 
Secondly, the full moon during May is a very significant day for the Buddhist community. Its marks Vesak or Buddha day. This day marks the day in which Buddha was Enlightened. This passage from Buddha.net explains it:
 
 

“During the first watch of the night, when his mind was calm, clear and purified, light arose in him, knowledge and insight arose. He saw his previous lives, at first one, then two, three up to five, then multiples of them .. . ten, twenty, thirty to fifty. Then 100, 1000 and so on…. As he went on with his practice, during the second watch of the night, he saw how beings die and are reborn, depending on their Karma, how they disappear and reappear from one form to another, from one plane of existence to another. Then during the final watch of the night, he saw the arising and cessation of all phenomena, mental and physical. He saw how things arose dependent on causes and conditions. This led him to perceive the arising and cessation of suffering and all forms of unsatisfactoriness paving the way for the eradication of all taints of cravings. With the complete cessation of craving, his mind was completely liberated. He attained to Full Enlightenment. The realisation dawned in him together with all psychic powers.”

And Thirdly, the significance in astrology, the full moon signifies personal growth, reflection and resolution. This excerpt from the Cosmic intelligence agency explains it:

“When our dear, beloved moon comes into full opposition with our blinding Sun, we undergo the monthly process of personal reflection and, as expected, some inner issues emerge into the full light of day where they are consciously realised and hopefully become effaced, resolved, and somehow put to rest. It is a time when we seek closure.”

Every full moon I get a little bit crazy, but something always comes of it. For me, today signifies new growth and spiritual development, and the courage to make big progress and decisions. Of course, this full moon also signifies the end of Mars retrograde (read more about it on Gala darling) which has been going on for the last 2 months, honestly, I’m so happy its over, I was getting ansty about my career prospects and the life decisions I have made. Today feels like I am on the right path, and I have gained clarity about where I’m headed. It also means projects I have been holding back on will now be in full swing!

What does the full moon mean for you?

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Manifesting dreams: Creating a vision board

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I recently finished my vision board while having a pretty lame sick day. It was a day full of bed, rest, tea and vitamin c. But I decided that there was no better time to sit down with my scissors and glue, and a couple of great mags, and complete my vision board. Its been sitting unfinished for 6 months, and maybe that has been why I’ve been feeling a little incomplete with my goals and dreams. I’ve been feeling like I’m not any closer to my dream of becoming a dietitian, and that I have no idea where I’m headed or what I’m supposed to be doing. But after completing my vision board, I feel slightly enlightened to stand back and look at what its telling me. 
I’ve noticed that I pick lots of pictures of food, inspiring big words, images of community, travel pictures, active lifestyle, natural products, and yoga. This all combined together helped me realised that I’m on exactly the path I need to be on. I’m heading towards and incredible career as a dietitian, inspiring and helping others, while contributing to the community. 
Dreams I’m manifesting and creating:

  1. Becoming a successful and inspiring dietitian
  2. Having a healthy food cafe/health food store
  3. Educating and empowering people to lead healthier lives (Becoming a wellness coach)
  4. Being part of developing my own community (starting a farmers market and community garden)
  5. Travelling to far off exotic lands to explore other cultures and envelop myself in human societies
  6. Own a beautiful home surrounded by trees and be able to grow my own food
  7. Collect lots of gorgeous antique furniture (because its always got a great history and story behind it)
  8. Becoming a practising yoga instructor
  9. Create a recipe book full of nourishing healthy food for humans
  10. Getting married to the love of my life
So if you haven’t already made your own vision board, get to it and start making your dreams happen!

How to create a vision board (watermelon style):

What dreams are you manifesting at the moment? I would LOVE to hear below! Sharing them and asking the universe for them will help you make your dreams happen. 

 

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How to SPARKLE!


You can totally SPARKLE everyday! You know those days. You get up and its a complete struggle. You feel flat, tired, uninspired, and lacking energy. The world is crap and everything bad that could happen to you, does.

We all have them. The bad days. But what if everyday is like that? How do you move out of this kind of spiral of depression and self hate? The answer is….well not that simple, its a process, and it takes time. But you can absolutely change your mindset. I doubt myself every single day. I doubt whether or not anyone reads anything I write. I doubt my knowledge. And of course I have self-confidence issues. But I try not to let it get in the way of my mood. Because you know what? A bad day doesn’t mean a bad life. 

My trick is to get my brain thinking differently. Its been a long process, but for me a few deep breaths and positive affirmations can turn my negative thoughts into a great situation.

So I want you to try this: Focus on whatever negative thought you are having right now. Now imagine a box. What I want you to do is imagine that the negative thought is a rock. Put the rock into the box. Now put the box on a shelf. Then close the door. Your mind is now open and ready for the flow of positive thoughts. 

When I went searching, I found a tonne of articles on “how to turn your bad day around”. You could try all of these things. But for someone who is depressed, and has been in the cycle of negative thought for a long time, simply ‘having a shower’ isn’t going to cut it. I could write a list of all the things that you could try to get positive, but honestly, training your brain isn’t that easy.

What I would LOVE you to do instead is write your own list. Write down all the things that make you happy. Or even just slightly happy. Or the things which amuse you. Or the things that make you laugh. Then, I want you to DO ONE HAPPY THING EVERYDAY! It seems silly, and too simple, but by slowly getting your brain used to being happy, you can teach it to be in that state all the time.

You could use Instagram to do the #100happydays challenge, where you take a pic of something that makes you happy everyday. It seems simple, but by actively thinking of something that creates happiness, you are changing your state of mind.

Image from: http://evelynmoliveira.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/believe-in-love.html

Better yet, make yourself a Happy toolkit. This is a set of stuff that will help you to change your state of mind.

  • Go back to your list. Get pictures of the things that make you happy, and start compiling a happy book. Write why each of these things makes you happy.
  • Make a collage of pretty things, happy thing, cute things and other stuff you like. Even if it doesn’t specifically make you happy, the simple act of being creative will get you back to your glue-loving 5 year old self. 
  • Get some crystals. Use them to focus on positive affirmations.
  • Make some affirmation cards. Use these while taking deep breaths to switch how you are feeling. 
  • Your favourite yoga poses: write them down, print out pictures, then when you are feeling down, do the downward dog!
  •  A playlist of your favourite songs, or the songs that make you happy. Listen to it, sing to it, dance around the room to it. 
  • Trinkets: these can be literally any small object that brings you hapiness or happy memories. I have a box full of these and whenever i’m feeling blue, I pull them out and start reliving awesome times. 
  •  Your favourite recipe. In times of sadness and un-sparklyness get into the kitchen and whip up something yummy. For me it’s these Cherry Ripe Truffles
  • Tissues and chocolate. Sometimes, you can’t change your mindset. Sometimes you need to cry. This is ok, you don’t need to hold it in. Let it all out. Then, when you are done, eat some chocolate.

Whatever you need to do to get your sparkle back-do that. It takes time, but you can totally sparkle EVERY SINGLE DAY!

In saying all of this, I did find this great article by Tiny Buddha: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-ways-to-let-go-and-overcome-a-bad-mood/

Beef and mushroom Shepherd’s pie

This is one of my favourite winter recipes, which will one day be in my book (more on that in the future). Its packed full of veggies, and the beef is rich and tasty.

Beef and mushroom Shepherd’s pie

500g Beef mince
4 Large Mushrooms, chopped
1 Large carrot, diced
½ medium zucchini, diced
½ white onion, diced
2 Handfuls of baby spinach
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and diced
½ cup Red wine
1 cup Beef stock
2 Tbsp Tomato paste
½ Tsp Sea salt
Pinch Black pepper
1 Tsp mixed Italian herbs
1 star Anise
2 Dry Bay leaves
1 Tbsp Tamari soy sauce
2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour
2 Tsp Olive oil (for browning meat and onion)
2 Medium Sweet potatoes

  • Heat a frying pan on medium heat and sauté onion in ½ the olive oil for 8 minutes (or until brown). Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the beef mince to the pan, break into small chunks with a spatula. Stir frequently for 10-15 minutes, or until the beef is browned on all sides.
  • Add carrots, zucchini, garlic, red wine, sea salt, pepper, start anise, bay leaves and herbs, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add beef stock, tomato paste, mushrooms and tamari, stir and bring to a simmer.
  • Turn the heat down to low, then cover and simmer for 35 minutes, or until most of the liquid is gone. Stir occasionally.
  • Once the beef is simmering, you can prepare the sweet potato. Peel sweet potato and cut into large chunks. Place in a pot of boiling water and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until soft (you can check this with a knife).
  • Drain the sweet potatoes and leave to cool for a few minutes. Once cool, mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the sea salt and a little tapioca flour and mix well (I like to keep mine a little chunky for the texture). Leave aside.
  • After the beef has been simmering for 35 minutes, uncover and add spinach, stir well and let the spinach wilt. Once it has wilted add the tapioca flour. Stir to combine, the beef should thicken. Take off the heat and leave aside to cool.
  • Heat oven to 180C. In a medium casserole dish, spread the beef mince on the bottom, ensure you leave around ¼ of the space for the sweet potato.
  • Carefully spread the sweet potato over the mince evenly, until the mince is completely covered. You can use a fork to add a visual effect on the top. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Serve 2-3. Serve with a side of steamed veggies, garden salad or on its own.

Print version below:

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Live below the line: The review

Day 1:

So far, its been smooth sailing, although breakfast was a bit disappointing. Note to self-plain oats with pear and cinnamon sounds nice, but in reality, it still tastes like cardboard. 
For snacks I had a simple carrot and garlic soup, and raw carrot sticks. I also didn’t eat all the oats for breakfast, so I popped them in the oven for a baked pear and cinnamon crumble (again not so successful, it needs sugar-why did I not think of sugar!). 
Lunch was a nice big bowl of fried rice, with zucchini, garlic, onion and carrot. Luckily, lunch saved me and was really nice! 
Dinner was lentil dal with rice and one piece of flat bread. This was super yummy, and I’m so glad I have the garlic for flavoring everything! 
After my meal prep on Sunday, I have revised my meal plan:

$10 total
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Snacks
Day 1
Oats with grated pear and cinnamon
Fried rice with chicken, zucchini, carrot and fresh herbs
Chickpea and pumpkin curry with rice
Bone broth, carrot, carrot and garlic soup, Baked oat, pear and cinnamon crumble
Day 2
Toasted oats with stewed pear and cinnamon
Pumpkin, chicken and rice patties with roast potato wedges
Roast pumpkin with sautéed potato, zucchini and onion
Bone broth, baked potato, carrots, Pumpkin seeds
Day 3
Veggie hash with carrot, pumpkin, zucchini and tomato
Fried rice with chicken, zucchini, carrot and fresh herbs
Lentil dal with flatbread
Bone broth, carrots, carrot and garlic soup
Day 4
Oats with grated pear and cinnamon
Pumpkin, chicken and rice patties with roast potato wedges
Chickpea and pumpkin curry with rice
Bone broth, flatbread, carrots, Pumpkin seeds
Day 5
Oats with grated pear and cinnamon
Pumpkin, chicken and rice patties with roast potato wedges
Lentil dal with flatbread
Bone broth, carrots, baked potato

 

Might end up changing it again, depending on how it goes. 
The recipes I used as inspiration can be found here:
Pumpkin, chicken and rice patties
Chickpea and pumpkin curry
Lentil dal
Flatbread (Except no yoghurt-I will replace with water)
Bone broth
Pumpkin seeds
Of course, I didn’t make them exactly the same as I didn’t have all the ingredients, I only used what was on my shopping list. 

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Day 2:

Today was HARD. I was at uni all day, and I had such little energy, that I don’t think I spoke to anyone all day. I swapped around breakfast today, and I had toasted oats with stewed pear and cinnamon. It was slightly better than day 1, but still not great. Lunch was ok, I had to have it on the go, so it was cold, but not too bad. I was hungry by the time I got home, so I had some bone broth, and roasted my veggies. Dinner was great, but not very filling, I was hungry again by about 8.30. 

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Day 3: 
Due to all my hard work over the last few days, I treated myself to a big veggie hash this morning. It filled me up until about 11, which was great! Again fried rice was nice, but a little bland-it really could have done with some salt (must remember that for next year). The flat bread I made to go with the dal tonight was actually really yummy, and I’m glad I included it. 
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Day 4: 
I have caved and decided to sub out 2 potatoes, and sub in 2 Tbsp of sugar, I just couldn’t handle another day of plain oats. On the bright side, breakfast was actually nice today. The best way to do the oats is by grating the pear and adding the cinnamon and sugar, then stewing that with some water, and adding the oats when that’s cooked and letting it cook for a few minutes. 
Day 5: 
I’m so glad ts the last day today, however I accidentally burnt my roast veggies today (I had a few carrots leftover so I roasted them with the potato). I can’t wait for tomorrow and all the coffee I will drink, I also looking forward to some chocolate and maybe eggs. Its been an emotional roller coaster, I’ve been hungry, tired and grumpy, and I still have to carry on. 

 

Summary: 
Live below the line has taught me the value of food and nutrition, and how truly lucky we are to be able to afford nourishing food. It was such an incredible experience, I honestly think everyone should do it during their life. We have so many emotions tied to food, I was all over the place during the last week, but for me, it has an end date, for millions around the world poverty has no end. Today I eat with a grateful heart, and the will to improve the circumstances for those living in poverty. Thank you to everyone who supported me during this last week, and to everyone who donated.
 

 

Total amount raised: $261
Goal: $300
Next year: $500

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Stuff I heart # 3

Here’s the latest in stuff I heart, there has been a tonne of great new products and companies that II have discovered, and I’m excited to share that with you!
 

1. Making your own candles. 

Image from: http://www.underlockandkeyblog.com/2013/01/diy-scented-soy-candles.html

I’m awaiting a delivery of gorgeous candle making supplies, which i’m going to turn into some lovely soy pillar candles. I have a candle lit most evenings, and I just love the feel it gives to my house. I relate candles with warmth, spiritualism, awakening, calm, sensation, enlightening, slow movement and breath. They go perfectly with the evening wind down yoga session. 
I got my supplies from www.candlemaking.com.au. They have lots of great quality soy wax, as well as a huge range of scents. I also found this great tutorial over at move, nourish, believe on how to make your own natural soy candles. 
 

2. Chai Tea:

 

Image from: http://www.hungryforchange.tv/article/coconut-chai

During Winter, chai tea is my go to tea. I love it-with milk, without, with nut milk, with honey, and with absolutely nothing at all! It has such a glorious full flavour, and is super warming. I found this brilliant recipe for Coconut Chai Tea on the Hungry for Change site, its so creamy and has so many spices! If you have never tried chai tea before, I urge you to, its the perfect comfort drink during those cool winter days, as well as the nutritional benefits:
 
Cinnamon: Can help with immune function, muscle spasms, regulating blood sugar and reducing infections
Nutmeg: Can help with sleep, skin, digestive issues, antibacterial, and improving circulation
Cloves: Can help with respiratory issues, inflammation, toothache, digestion, and are also anti-fungal
Cardamom: Can help with mouth ulcers, digestion, depression, urinary tract issues, and immune system function
Ginger: Improving digestion, nausea relief, anti-inflammatory, headaches, immune function, and respiratory function
Licorice: reducing blood sugar, reducing inflammation, antiviral, and is a great antioxidant
 
So with all those wonderful spices, and array of health benefits, why not grab a cuppa!
3. Learning about crystals
 

I started using crystals a few months ago, and have a small collection now. Its one of my favourite things to go shopping for a new crystal, there are so many gorgeous shapes and colours-I find it hard to choose. But the best way I have found of choosing, is to just go with your intuition and pick the one that draws your attention, I also like to pick ones based on how they feel in my hands.

I love this gorgeous guide by Gala Darling on Crystals for Beginners. 

4. GoodnessMe Box

 

I love the whole craze at the moment with healthy “boxes” that are shipped straight to your door. There are so many to choose from though, and they all have such great products. One of my favourite ones is a new company that has just started. GoodnessMe box has some of my favorite brands including Loving Earth, Pukka, and Raw C  Nakula Coconut water. Plus they even have a Nutritionist (Melissa Fine) on board which is just awesome. I’m hoping someone will gift this to me for my birthday (Hint hint it’s on the 30th of May).

5. Botanical Beauty Co.

 
 
Being a kiwi, I love hearing about awesome little kiwi companies making gorgeous healthy products. Botanical Beauty Co is one of those companies. They have tonnes of gorgeous, natural and handmade products that are high quality, honest and natural. Founder Rachael Muollo, wanted to have a range of apothecary formula’s reminiscent of a by-gone era, without the chemical nasties of modern beauty products. I’m loving the solid perfumes and body butters. You can purchase the Botanical Beauty Co products from their website.
 
 

 
 

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