roasted carrot coriander pesto -- to her coreI’m three days into my cleanse, and so far, so good! I haven’t really been craving sugar which has surprised me a little, although have been craving something sweet after my lunch and dinner where normally I wouldn’t. I also have been coping okay so far without my three or four cups of milky tea per day – instead I’ve been travelling along well with lots of fresh water with lemon and mint and herbal teas. I’ve been making sure that I keep cravings at bay – as much as possible – by making sure that I have enough food – my cleanse definitely isn’t about starving myself so I’ve been heading off to work each day with chia puddings, smoothies, big salads and nuts and chopped veggies to snack on. As well as making sure I’ve got enough food to eat so that I don’t get hungry, its also important when doing a cleanse that you have as much variety in what you eat as possible. This is not only to ensure that you are taking in a wide variety of nutrients from different foods, but also that you don’t get bored. Vegetables usually play a huge role in a cleanse, but this doesn’t mean just having plain veggies – there are plenty of ways to enjoy them whilst still eating clean. One of the best ways to eat vegetables – especially if you’re not too fond of veggies, or if you are also feeding other fussy eaters – is to dress them up a little. Fresh and dried herbs and spices; vinegars, flavoured oils and other dressings; mustard, chutneys and other condiments. roasted carrot coriander and pistachio pesto -- to her core One of my favorite ways is to make up a big batch of vegetable-based dip to use with my favorite veggies. The quickest easiest option is a can of rinsed legumes, a handful of leafy greens, a smaller handful of fresh herbs, drizzle of oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Nuts and seeds are also great to add in for a little texture and some protein, a little garlic adds a great bite (though careful not too add to much – raw garlic can be quite potent!) This dip roughly follows the path of a traditional pesto, with a few tweaks. Carrots are roasted until they start to brown and caramalise, and pistachios are used to add a different flavour although you could easily use another nut or seed here. This dips is very versatile, and there are many ways to use it -

  • Mix through some quinoa, spinach and a can or tuna or some crumbled feta (or legumes for a vegan option) to make a tasty salad
  • Toss through some freshly cooked pasta or raw zucchini noodles, and top with a little Parmesan or a sprinkle of seeds
  • Spread over a pita bread, add some thinly chopped mushrooms and a sprinkle of cheese or fresh herbs to make a quick pizza
  • Slather on a rice cracker with some freshly cracked pepper for a quick and tasty snack

The options are endless though, and you could easily use this tasty dip in most places where you would normally use a pesto. roasted carrot and coriander pesto - to her core

Roasted carrot and coriander pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 Tbsp coriander root
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shelled, raw pistachios
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C || 390 F
  2. Scrub and roughly chop the carrots. Line a baking tray and brush lightly with a little coconut or olive oil. Add the carrots and roast for 40 minutes, turning half way through. The carrots should be starting to brown and caramalise by this stage - you still want them quite firm though and not startng to soften too much.
  3. Remove the carrots from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  4. Add carrots, coriander leaves and root, pistachios and garlic to a food processor and blend until the ingredients are finely chopped, but not smooth - you still want some texture (it took me about 20 - 30 seconds in my food processor).
  5. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and pulse a few times to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper
  6. The pesto will last up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.
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Image courtesy of dizid; (CC 2.0)

Image courtesy of dizid; (CC 2.0)

The start of spring is a great time to reset and rejuvenate – and a great way to do this is through a seasonal cleanse. I’m committing to a 10 day cleanse and I’d love for you to join me!

The body is great at naturally detoxifying itself, however we are subject to so much more these days than our ancestors ever were, creating excess toxins for our livers to process, be it excess sugars and additives in our food, antibiotics in our meat, increased use of over-the-counter medication and alcohol and caffeine. A cleanse can help your bodies enzymes and liver detoxify your body through assisting to speed up this process.

Side effects of a sluggish system can include

  • restless sleep
  • weight gain/inability to lose weight
  • digestive issues
  • low energy/fatigue
  • mood swings
  • brain fog
  • unexplained headaches

Whilst I normally try to eat healthy most of the time, over the past three or four weeks, my “sometimes” treats have started to increase (case in point – this, or this, plus all the other sweet treats I neglected to post!), and my overall health has suffered as a result – my sleeping patterns are out of whack and I’ve been feeling constantly tired and lacking energy and motivation.

So I have decided to do a little cleanse for the next 10 days to get myself back on track and start feeling amazing again!

What I’m doing and why

  • Cutting out inflammatory foods like wheat, gluten (I’m actually on a two month gluten free diet at the moment so this one shouldn’t be hard!) dairy, caffeine, alcohol and all processed foods. These foods are all inflammatory and instead I’ll be eating lots of fresh vegetables, green juices and smoothies, probiotic foods and beverages and wholefoods like nuts, seeds, avocado, legumes and wholegrains like buckwheat and quinoa.
  • NO SUGAR! My sugar intake has increased dramatically over the past month, so for the next 10 days I’m limiting my sugar intake to only one to two serves of fruit per day for the whole period. This is largely due to the fact that fruit is high in sugar and I know from experience that eating a lot of fruit will make me crave other sweeter food.

In addition to my diet, I’m also using this time to detox other areas of my life that I feel could use with a little reset.

  • No computer/internet after 8:30pm every night – instead I’m going to spend time with my family, read, and wind down for the night
  • Sleep – I’m aiming to get a good 8 hours of sleep a night, lately my sleeps been a little interrupted and I’d like to get this back on track
  • Exercise – I’ve been increasing my yoga and Pilates classes lately, but at the expense of my cardio. I’m aiming to do a little cardio most days – enough to work up a little sweat, which is another fantastic way to get rid of toxins from your body.

Over the next 10 days, I’ll be posting my daily eats and progress on Instagram and I’ll also post some tips and recipes here for you to enjoy.

Can you relate to any of the symptoms above? If so, a spring cleanse might be a great solution for you as well. Some of the benefits to a cleanse are

  • Improved sleeping patterns
  • Clearer skin
  • Clearer thoughts/more focus
  • Increased energy
  • Improved digestion
  • Weight loss
  • Increased motivation

Even a gentle cleanse can help – you don’t need to completely restrict certain foods, do what’s right for you and your body. Simple changes like lemon water in the morning or a few extra serves of fresh vegetables a day can help to slowly cleanse your system and get you on your way to a healthier you!

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Please note the above is intended as a guide only – please consult s doctor or nutritionist before drastically change your diet

 

Baked chocolate zoats - to her core

Last month I ran a competition encouraging people to experiment with different methods of cooking with vegetables to discover new ways of including vegetables in their daily diet. It’s estimated that only half the population of Australia eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables (1) and less still in America (2). A diet high in vegetables has many health benefits, including lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, improved digestive health, increased immunity and assisting in maintaining weight. For me personally, I feel more energetic and vibrant, have a lot more energy, and my skin and hair health improves greatly when I’m eating more veggies.

[Side note: For some great ideas and recipes to help you easily include more veggies into your daily diet to have you feeling better and full of energy - plus the great skin and hair! - check out my posts on delicious veggie ideas for breakfast, main meals; and sweets and snacks]

With over 120 entries to the competition, it took a lot of deliberation and  had to bring in some extra help to assist with picking a winner from the shortlist, but in the end we chose a delicious looking baked chocolate oat dish with a hidden serve of zucchini – aka “zoats”. I tried the dish for myself shortly afterward and fell in love with the delicious flavours and was very impressed to find that it filled me up until lunch time, which is a must to stop my morning snacking habits!

I asked the competition winner Kate if she’d be willing to have a quick chat and share the recipe and some of her photos of the dish here with you all and she happily obliged.

Kate is a holistic health coach in the making – we discovered in our chats we are actually studying at the same nutrition school! - and describes herself as a breakfast and tea enthusiast, which explains the amazing breakfast creations you’ll see if you check out her Instagram! She is hugely passionate about creating and eating real, wholesome food and inspiring others to do the same, which she does through her Instagram account, as well as her blog - Well of Nourishment, which acts as a space for her to share her passion for good health and nutrition.

When Kate isn’t busy coming up with amazing healthy creations, she is also an avid wanderluster, runner, hat wearer, and nature lover, who you’ll find more often than not with a great big smile on her dial.

On her winning dish, Kate explains that this dish is a super easy way to sneak more veggies in at breakfast time, particularly if you’re not a savoury breakfast lover. And if you arent a huge zucchini fan, Kate suggests swapping out the zucchini for other veggies such as cauliflower or carrot! She assures us that this breakfast will nourish you and help you power through your day, which I can fully attest to!

Baked chocolate zoatmeal (zucchini oats)

Ingredients

  • ¼ - ½ small zucchini, grated
  • ½ cup rolled oats, soaked in water overnight (or buckwheat soaked overnight & rinsed)
  • ½ cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 – 2 tbsp cacao (depending on how chocolate-y you want it!)
  • 1 egg (or 1 chia egg), optional
  • Optional: 1 tsp sweetener like coconut sugar if you need a bit more sweetness
  • Handful of raspberries/berries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C
  2. In an oven-safe bowl/dish, combine soaked oats, zucchini, cacao and baking powder (and sweetener if using). Mash the banana into the mixture. Fold through the berries, leaving some to sprinkle on top for decoration.
  3. In a separate jug whisk the egg and milk together and then pour over your oat mixture. Alternatively, just pour the milk over the mixture.
  4. Place dish in the oven and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the wet mixture has cooked through. Serve with extra berries and almond milk if you desire!
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To connect with Kate, you can find her at -

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