December 30, 2013

New Year Blessings


Its been nearly 5 months since I decided to include coconut oil in my diet, over that first month I slowly made the choice to switch my whole way of eating around, stopping dairy, gluten, refined sugar, processed foods, I hadn't eaten red meat since my early 20s and so I cut out chicken this year too. Its been an exciting journey, I thought I knew a lot about food to begin with, and was proved wrong very quickly, it didn't dishearten me, but made me want to fight more for what I believed in. I don't think the learning will ever end, or the work, but its always been enjoyable and knowing I'm doing something good for me, healing myself keeps me motivated.

I don't think my enthusiasm has ever dipped, even though my many auto immune conditions that have plagued me since I was a teenager are still present, they have been easier to cope with.  Even when my joints are flaring and pain depression creeping in, my inner motivation is still there, I know I'm on the right track. I'm sleeping well, I used to only sleep in two hour bursts a few times a night with lots of pain in between, lots of exhaustion tears! Now once a week of no sleep is the norm. I've got more energy, my blood sugars are more stable, my steroid needs for my adrenal gland failure is down, because the overall stress on my system is down. I believe I will keep getting better, maybe not steadily, the rollercoaster of life will still happen, but, overall, a year from now, I know I will be better than this point in my life now.

I will never go back to eating the old way, its natural now, eating as much bread, dairy, chocolate etc, as I used to is not normal anymore, the though process of reaching for those things in the pantry is gone, so its definitely easier to keep on this path than I ever thought it would be at the start.

For me, its not been solely about what I put in my mouth either, 5 years ago, after my medical team had spent the previous 14 years either nearly killed me, or making me feel so bad I was asking for death, lol, I decided to wean off many of my damaging medications, I began learning, introducing natural medicine to my life, plus, daily yoga, and meditation, beginning with one stretch a day! It has taken me this long, many ups and downs, but my perseverance has never wavered and it has again worked miracles, not only am I able to walk unaided around the house but in my best times I can walk my beloved dogs, and I did the unimaginable yesterday, I sat on a pony! If I could have glimpsed in to the future 5 years ago I'd have never imagined it, yes, all the hard work and determination has worked.

Yesterday when I sat on the pony, oh my did it hurt and tear at every part of me that was already damaged, inflamed and hurting, walking was hard after! I thought I would come home, bath and bed, but my inner self instructed me, yoga!!!  And so I did, and I kept moving, and although I'm worse today, I will keep moving, and stretching and strengthening. I was so impressed that I had built up such core and muscle strength to get up there from the mounting steps! I have dreams that I feel can be reached now, never in a rush, I will steadily keep working hard incorporating healing foods, natural medicine, yoga, meditation, stress reduction, the best friends, family and lots of animal friends <3 p="">
Happy New Year everyone!!!!  Wishing you a bright, happy, healthy and blessed 2014 <3 p="">

December 19, 2013

dairy free ice cream perfection!

With our first mini heat wave almost over, I've been in an ice cream making frenzy once again! The most exciting news is that I've perfected my recipe! Yay!

When I first made ice cream I was using the raw egg, or, no egg techniques, the main reason was, I wanted ice cream in an hour, tops, not 5 hours with lots of preparation over a hot stove.  However, I knew the cooked custard way would probably taste better...

So, I decided to stop being a wimp and experiment some more over the hot stove! It really wasn't that bad or long, and if you're ok with using the microwave, even quicker!  I used the recipe I created in my last post, only I cooked the egg through first in the coconut cream, maple syrup, lemon juice and salt, then added the fruit  ingredient.... Chilled, And, ice cream maker or ice mould freezy magic time later....perfection, sooo delishious, it's certainly worth the prep time and wait time.

I also decided to try using silicon single serve cake moulds and kids ice block moulds, they worked fabulously!!!

So here are the photos...



And here is the recipe

Ingredients...

1 can coconut cream
2 eggs
Pinch salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 TSP vanilla essence (one day soon when I can afford it I'll try the real stuff!)
Squeeze lemon juice

For berry ice cream
250 g raspberries or your favourite berry

OR for banana ice cream
one mashed banana

OR for coffee ice cream
1 heaped teaspoon instant coffee, dissolved in one teaspoon hot water

To make...
Whisk together coconut cream, eggs, salt, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice.  Stir over low - medium heat until custard thickens.  Add berries or banana or coffee, then chill in your fridge or freezer for a quicker chill!  Then add the mix to your ice cream maker and follow your machines instructions, or, pour directly into your silicone or ice block moulds and freeze a few hours until frozen solid.

Yum!!!!!

Did I say yum?!!! :-)

December 2, 2013

Can't be without my ice cream!


I looove ice cream, always have!  One of the many reasons it took me so long to abandon dairy!  Gelati too, I remember going to get gelati in the 80's with my sisters when we were young kids. Mum went one way to do the food shopping, we went the other, ah, simple times!  Mine was always strawberry, hehe, Strawberry Shortcake girl, everything was pink or Strawberry, just like my hero, I don't even know if it was my favourite flavour, isn't that silly!  And completely ME lol. - and I think I just called myself silly... Annnyway, when I was older and beyond the doll with the sweet smelling hair's influence, well, sort of, ("smile a sunny mornin'", lol,) I would only eat vanilla, weird!  Anyway, now I have a new way of eating, and an awesome ice cream maker, the weather is finally warming up, it's time to go berserk :-)

I'd made a few recipes, and wasn't completely happy with any of them, so I decided to do what I do best and create my own. I came up with this, my family and I have tried it three times, each time a winner. Yum yum yum!!!!

If you don't like the idea of raw eggs in your ice cream, you can warm everything but the berries in a saucepan on low - medium heat, then whisk in the eggs and cook for 5 minutes. Cool completely in the fridge, then add berries and pop into your ice cream maker.

Ingredients...
1 can coconut cream
2 eggs
Pinch salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 TSP vanilla essence (one day soon I'll try the real stuff!)
Squeeze lemon juice
250 g raspberries or your favourite berry

To make...
Whisk together coconut cream, eggs, salt, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice.  Add berries, then add the mix to your ice cream maker and follow your machines instructions.  Yum!!!!!



November 29, 2013

Can't get enough Pumpkin Pie!


I wanted to share my pumpkin pie recipe with you, not because we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, but after seeing so many pumpkin recipes on the internet at this time of the I was craving one! I've made this recipe twice already and I'm ready to make another!  I do love my pumpkin :-) 

I am always thankful for my loving and supportive family, amazing friends, fur kids, home, and all mother nature has provided me with.  Now I'm at the beginning of a new journey, through healing foods, it's the first time in my life I can begin to feel grateful for my glimpses of health, it's still early days, but I'm truly thankful for the small blessings in daily living.

Yummy and Healthy Pumpkin Pie!

Biscuit Base
Gluten free, dairy free

1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup cashew meal
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix all these ingredients together, and press into 25 cm pie dish

Pre bake base for approximately 20 mins at 180C or until it's just stating to brown up.

Leave to cool

Pumpkin filling
Gluten free, dairy free

1/2 a butternut pumpkin, baked and puréed, approx 2 cups pumpkin.
1 TSP cinnamon
1/2 TSP nutmeg
1/4 TSP ground cloves
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut cream
Pinch salt
1tsp vanilla essence

Blend all this together with an electric mixer.  Pour into pie base, and bake at 160C for approx 40 minutes. Make sure filling is cooked through, it will have risen a little and be fully set.

Yum!  Enjoy!


November 24, 2013

easy to make almond milk

Almond milk, its delicious, and a great alternative to cows milk. It taste great on its own, and I also use it in tea, coffee, cereal, recipes...ice cream, the list goes on.  Considering store bought is quite expensive, it is full of additives, the taste is quite bad in comparison to home made, and the biggie, they usually only use 2% almonds! I weighed this out, and it turned out to be a very very small amount of real almonds in each store bought litre!  In Australia the usual cost is about $4 a litre! Mine costs about $1 a litre and has much more almond in it, is tastier, more nutritious and is so easy to make!



My hands are quite bad from arthritis, so, I can't do the usual cheesecloth squeeze required in many almond milk recipes.  So, I came up with this easy method.

1 cup almonds
Water

Step 1 measure out 1 scant cup of almonds and soak them for 24 hours or so.


Step 2 blend them up with a cup of water for 2 minutes 




Step 3 strain through a sieve and collect milk in a bowl


Step 4 soak out even more milk from almond meal in a separate bowl and pour through sieve again.
You can repeat this several times, depending on how thin you like your milk.  I keep going until I get two and a half litres.


Step 5 squeeze as much liquid out of the meal as you can and let it dry for a couple of days.  You can use your clean hands if you like and squueze, I can't make my hand into a fist, so I use my spatula, then the back of my hand to mix about and press down into the sieve. It still dries up nicely even if its a little wet...just takes a little longer.  I do ask for help with this part generally, to get the meal drier, but I can do it on my own if need be.


Step 6 yummy almond milk!  


Thank you Linda Benson for the original recipe and inspiration to make my own :-) 











October 14, 2013

Pumpkin is such a cute word...

Isn't it? Well, anyway, I looove pumpkin, and even though it's not techniqually harvest time in Australia, it's still the time of year that the world focuses on pumpkin recipes!

I'm determined to find a great pumpkin pie alternative recipe, but while searching through pinterest, I found this one...

http://www.beautyandthefoodie.com/magical-paleo-pumpkin-crumble-bars/

And then this happened


It's DELISH! Like, we've divided it up so we get equal pieces lol

Yum!

.... Well? What are you waiting for? ;-)




October 10, 2013

Lunch time just got better!


I've been researching making my own flat bread the past two weeks. There are sooo many recipes out there, it was actually making me more confused than not trying to figure out which to try, what ingredients to use.

I found this one today, and thought I'd give it a go, even though I didn't have coconut flour or psylium.

http://byebyegluten.blogspot.ca/2012/02/easy-grain-free-flatbread-20.html

So, as usual, I made it up as I went along, and it's actually very good, my sister ate her lunch with smiles, mmmmm's and this tastes like café bread... all good signs I hope!

So here is my recipe - I've come to enjoy my sit down to write in my blog after being busy in the kitchen experimenting...

Recipe.....

Add to a mixing bowl,

1 cup gluten free flour mix,
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch mixed herbs
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 - 2 cups boiling water ( this could differ slightly depending on flour mix, batter should be of medium-thick consistency and coat a spoon thickly)

Combine flour, egg, salt, herbs and garlic, add coconut oil and then add boiling water gradually.
Whisk whisk whisk!

Season a fry pan with coconut oil and heat up to hot, season with coconut oil, using a ladle, half fill for small bread, full ladle for classic wrap, pour into rounds and once the top is set, wait a little longer, about a minute to cook underside propetly, then turn, wait until the other side is cooked. Let cool or eat warm. Yum!


October 8, 2013

Anyone for Pancakes?

It seems I can't stop cooking lately! I am totally enjoying learning and experimenting with my food changes. The next thing I want to make from scratch, gluten free, dairy free is bread wraps, pancakes, Naan bread, all the wraps :-)

So after looking at a multitude of recipes and getting confused, I decided to do my usual dash of this and splash of that, "feel" way of cooking I've come to enjoy and trust.  I've made pancakes a million times, it can't be that wrong to just switch ingredients and go with my intuition.... Sooo.... this happened, and they taste good! Quite good actually.

Gluten and dairy free pancakes...


Remember these quantities are not exact, everyone likes their pancakes their own way, I like mine slightly thin and cooked through. Add liquid or flour to suit :-)

I began with a cup of almond milk
Whisk in one egg
A pinch of salt
A teaspoon honey
My flour mix consists of - maize and rice flours, maize and tapioca starch. I'm buying Macro brand for now, soon enough I'll work on my own.
I used 3/4 cup of flour and whisk whisk :-)

I used my medium fry pan, heat on 3/4 of the way, I used a small amount of coconut oil before each use and two big spoons per pancake. Once the top is set, flip, wait another 40 seconds or so, out and on to the next one :-)

I tried these as a savoury for lunch, buuuut, I found these were better with a drizzle of honey, almond, cashews, and some shredded coconut. If you are into eating coconut oil solid and straight for health benefits as I am, add some chunks of it too, it makes it taste even more delicious plus adds to your daily quota.



Have fun baking :-) 

October 6, 2013

Dairy Free VEGGIE BAKE, Mmmm!

I love veggie bake, any time, its one of my favourite comfort foods. Its even more delishious on a chilly night for dinner, like tonight.  Being dairy free now I can't make it the way I used to, but have found by using coconut milk as a substitute it is still absolutely scrummy, and I wish you could smell it cooking, mmmm!

I pop my peeled vegetables in my bullet express food processor, on slice blade.  More potatos than anything else, I used about 6 medium - small potatoes, a half an onion, a quarter of a butternut pumpkin, and a third of a head of cauliflower.  But carrots, some broccoli, even some mushrooms would work.



Pop everything in your oven dish, then sprinkle with seasoning of your choice, and pour half a 400 ml can of coconut milk over the vegetables, add a teaspoon of crushed garlic to the other half of the can, mix it about and pour that over the vegetables evenly.

Cover with alimunium foil and put it in the oven for an hour at 180 C

Ding, that's the timer....ready :-)  yum, smell that :-)


It isn't as brown as a normal bake, but it still tastes yummy.  I can't taste the coconut milk at all.

Happy baking xx S



October 4, 2013

Gluten, Dairy Free Caramel Slice for Someone Special

My beautiful sister is the strongest bravest person I know, she's been through some of the worst times imaginable, all while retaining her loving, generous, positive spirit and smile.  She amazes me constantly and inspires me always. She just finished with another surgery and while sitting and chatting with her about our healthy eating plan, she asked if a healthy version of caramel slice could be made... So my mission was set, and after sorting through many Paleo, Gluten free etc recipes on Pinterest, I came across this one.

http://www.mummymade.it/2013/08/caramel-slice.html

Mine turned out like this


I followed the recipe for the biscuit base ( yum, I'll use this for other things again)

I followed the chocolate topping, except....I added a heaping tablespoon of stevia granules, ah, my sweet tooth still demands a little more...

The caramel, or condensed milk didn't work so well for me, I don't know why, it had simmered for an hour but wasn't thickening, so, I added two eggs and it thickened up nicely on the stove, plus adds to a richer nicer taste.  I'm so glad I can eat eggs, non cruelty of course from our lovely friends farm :-) 

So that's it, yum! This recipe took some time, but I learnt a lot from it, and it's yummy too :-) plus the smile on my lovely sistors face and clean plate make my heart happy. Love you sooo much my little Laura xxx

Next challenge?.....

September 27, 2013

Nutty for Coconut!

Coconut oil....how can I write about you without sounding like an overenthusiastic nut....lol....well, I can't so I won't even try!  Coconut oil has quickly become like liquid gold in our house, yes, we kind of worship it LOL.  The health benefits aside, its yummy!!!!  Yes, yummy! If in doubt give it that first day or two, a week if you're fussy, and it becomes an addiction, it replaces all cravings for sweets and junk foods and you become healthier in the process!  

Coconut oil is not absorbed the same way as other oils, its quickly converted by the liver into energy to be used by the brain and muscles, not stored as fat! Yes, you read right, a fat you can eat and it won't end up on your bum!  I feel the energy hit pretty quickly once I've eaten my dose and become brighter eyed and clearer of thought, nice feeling! I have also found I have more energy to burn since I've started taking it.  Not only that, but it is a superfood, it does amazing things for your body.  Just read from some of my favourite informative links...



I started off with 1 tablespoon for a week, and then 2, now I take between 2 -3 per day, depending on how many meals I smother it on.  There are so many recipes for using coconut oil.  But to make sure I've had my daily dose, I melt it a little in the jar, in hot water, measure out my dose, mix it with dedicated coconut, a little honey and some nuts, and yum!!!!  Such a satisfying treat!  Yes, I do mean treat!  I really do, don't worry, I had my doubts too, surely I'd gain weight, its going to be SO hard to eat that much oil every day...  Its why I had a jar of coconut oil sitting in my cupboard for 3 years, I threw it out when we moved house thinking I'd never use it, you know, one of those fads I bought the stuff for but never started and a year later, present day, it dawned on me....uh duh...coconut oil!!!



I'm a Pinterest addict, too, hehe, I've been pinning loads of healthy recipes to my board Delish and Nutrish, if you would like to take a look at some ideas feel free...

I smother it on baked potatoes, use it in pop corn, on my gluten free toast, recipes, meals, anything....its such a good replacement for the vegetable oils and butters I don't eat anymore as they add to inflammation levels in my body.
I've already lost kilos, and I'm eating more food, in just over a month of starting taking it! I'm on prednisolone for my adrenal gland failure, and haven't been able to shift my weight gain for the last 6 years, it is now shifting!  My blood sugars have dramatically decreased even though I've had type 1 diabetes these past 18 years since I was a teen, I have more energy, and my skin is so smooth, without applying moisturiser!  

Here is more detailed information. http://coconutoil.com/coconut-oil-weight-loss/

So coconut oil is free in our house, along with coconut milk, shredded coconut, coconut cream.  The big problem with going on restricted foods is not being able to cook a lot of things because key ingredients are missing, this has become a problem of the past.  Coconut can replace just about any form of dairy or fat in cooking, and it tastes great!!!  I honestly can't even tell its coconut anymore, I tasted the mild coconut flavour for about a week and then I was used to it, it tastes as good, or better than what it's replacing.  After eating a heavy, rich, fatty meal or dessert, I would always feel icky afterwards, or just plain guilty!!  I've said goodbye to that, those things don't exist when you use coconut, you just feel wonderful!!!!

I have started learning about oil pulling, but have only done it a couple of times and can't hold it for more than about 5 mins so far. I will let you all know how I go with it.

http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2012/04/oil-pulling-my-new-morning-ritual/

Some more great information, because coconut oil has so many other uses




TTFN and let me know if you are a coconut nut too :-) 

September 22, 2013

chocolate banana ice cream!

I'm addicted.... I need a bigger freezer or more mouths to feed lol. Making healthy ice cream and experimenting with different recipes is so much fun!

Soo here is today's effort, from this blog...

Vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and my version is sugar free.

http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2011/04/28/vegan-almond-milk-ice-cream-3-recipes/

I substituted the sugar with Stevia granules but you could also add 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup....there's an idea, yum!

It tastes yummy, smooth and delicious, but you do taste the banana in it.  I'll look to make a truer chocolate soon!
Probably tomorrow....teehee



Scrummylicious Coffee Ice Cream


One of the things I love about my new way of eating is I can make loads of desserts, cake, ice cream.....and eat them!  They taste as good as the real thing, only they are healthy and actually add to the process of nourishing and healing my body, reducing inflammation instead of adding to it..how good is that!  I grew up without desserts, Haha, I know, totally deprived!  My Mum was wanting the best for us, and limited sweets, we ate really well, but not rubbish foods or too much sugar. Its so twisted that I ended up with multiple chronic illnesses and spent a lot of my childhood sick with one thing or another...  But, I'm sure I would have been a lot worse if I hadn't been packed full of healthy meals each day, and looking after myself responsibly now, using moderation, would have proven more challenging without my nutritionally sound beginnings. Thanks Mum and your love of carrots teehee - you always made and still make the best meals xx

So, having type 1 diabetes these past 18 years, it wasn't a stretch to eat less sugar and fat, but the tragedy was, I love to bake!!!  Sooo much!!!!  I was in the kitchen from a child onwards, I made all the birthday cakes, so although I still baked occasionally,  but not a lot because of the blood sugar issues, and no matter how well my insulin pump works, I just wouldn't pack myself with sugar and overload my system.  So, back around to the point of this story, I loooove this new way of eating!!!  I can bake, I can make ice cream and experiment with recipes, I can do all the fun stuff I always wished I could without harming myself!

Here is my coffee ice cream, perfect for the anti inflammatory diet it's sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, don't let that fool you, its delicious!!!!  Much better than store bought, even the expensive stuff.  Its easy to make and cheap!!!!  I'm not sure if I am so used to coconut now (I worship the stuff, another story another time...) But I can't even taste it, it just tastes like a creamy gelati to me.

I started with the recipe on this site http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2011/04/chocolate-coconut-milk-ice-cream/
And I see she started with a recipe from another site, lol...its so much fun to re create...

Here is mine....

In a saucepan on low heat melt...
1/4 cup coconut oil
Then whisk in,
400 ml can coconut cream
1/4 cup honey
1 TSP vanilla
Pinch of salt
3-4 tsp instant coffee

Take off heat and whisk in 2 egg yolks, quickly, you don't want them to cook!  You can leave out the egg if you are keeping things egg free.  Next time I'll be brave and add another as the original chocolate recipe had up to 4.

Let this mixture cool in the fridge, really cold!  I learnt the hard way, chronic impatience and all!  My ice cream didn't set in the mixer for two reasons, the first being - because my ice cream maker is brand new, I was impatient to use it and even though the instructions read to freeze thoroughly, if you hear liquid inside, its not frozen....I chose to ignore the swoosh sound... *Looks the other way....* secondly, my mixtire wasn't chilled thoroughly, so I had to stick the half frozen ice cream in the freezer overnight! I make it a habit to learn from mistakes lol

When cool, pour in ice cream machine until ready! Yum!

Enjoy!  Make sure you chill your mixture! Lol Patience is a virtue my Mum always said :-)






September 20, 2013

another lemony coconuty concoction...

Its the season for lemons, and our neighbours are giving them away, literally, wheelbarrows on driveways, free lemons, lol. Luckily I love lemons and they go so well with coconut!  So, this slice is also delish, or maybe I'm just hungry, lol, honestly this new way of eating has me feeling hungry for the first time in....um....since I was a kid!  It's a weird feeling actually....I used to eat to feed my illnesses, or comfort, to feel good..well, taste bud good anyway.  I'm actually able to eat more of this sort of stuff and feel good about it so I'm in no way deprived, it's just spurring me on to research and make new recipes..the inner naturopath/dietitian in me is having a ball!!!  It's what I dreamed of doing when I was in high school when chronic auto immune illness interrupted... So, I'm loving learning and doing this now!  But who would have thought these healthy sweets could actually taste good huh!

Gluten free, dairy free, simple sugar free



I found this recipe at this site...

http://thecoconutmama.com/2013/09/triple-coconut-lemon-bars/

And for anyone looking for an excellent source for recipes and information, the coconut mama is awesome :-)

So, I did exactly what she did, except - I soaked my cashews for an hour in hot water.... Why? Hunger issues... Lol
I used dried dates, tripled the quantity and soaked them too.
I used a tablespoon of honey
And
A half cup coconut.

I baked it at 180C for 15 minutes fan forced oven

I also didn't wait till it had cooled.... Lol!

I bought a nifty little mini chopper from Big W yesterday for $15, the brand is Abode and it worked really well for this.  Saves me pulling out the big one and also saves the hassle of washing it all up too!

PS notice the sunshine streaming through the window on the slice? Yes you say? :-)  It's so nice to see some sun! I've been outside every moment its been out today, come on Spring, you can do it :-)

TTFN...off to think about dinner lol x S





September 18, 2013

Veggie Burgers...Mmmm

I've been making these veggie burgers for awhile now, they are sooo good for you and taste yummy too. I have one for lunch most days and feel so good for it.  I make up a big batch and freeze them so I can defrost them as I need.  Of course, the first day I make them I have them for dinner with a baked potato smothered in coconut oil, yum!!

Gluten free, dairy free, 
Veggie Burgers!

Ingredients...

375 g Bag of dried chick peas, soaked overnight and cooked
1 TBS Olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Vegetables - you will need about 6 carrots or a half a butternut pumpkin.  Plus, I use whatever I've got in my kitchen that needs to be used...  In this version I've used 6 carrots, a red capsicum and 3 celery stalks, but zucchini would be wonderful too, anything that you enjoy eating really, just not anything too watery.
3 egg whites
1 tsp Paprika
1 TBS Mixed herbs
Salt and pepper to taste or a vegetable stock powder

How to make...
I pull out my Bullet Express food processor and on the grate side, blitz up the chick peas.  If you can mash them with a potato masher, do that, the burgers will hold together better this way, but, food processors are made for people with arthritis so I'm not ashamed to put mine to work or of my slightly grainy looking burgers :-)



Put them aside, and then using the same food processor, shred up the onion, garlic, and vegetables.

Heat the olive oil in a big fry pan, and cook up the onion, garlic and vegetables until soft.  Add the paprika, herbs and seasonings and let cool

Once cooled, mix in the chickpeas, and egg whites, mix well.



Grab medium sized handfulls of the mixture and form into balls.  You should get around 20.  Put them on a plate and refrigerate for at least an hour.



You can either fry these in a pan with a TBS of olive oil, about 5 minutes each side or grill them on high, about 8 mins each side.  Either way, press them down a little, but not too thin, you want them to be a little chunky otherwise they will fall apart on the first turning. Cook until brown and crispy, turn over and cook other side.

Done :-) :-)  These are such a yummy addition to my day, packed with vitamins, protein and sustained release energy, hope you enjoy!  xx S

September 16, 2013

coconut lemon bars...with a story...

Coconut Lemon Bars
Dairy free, Gluten Free, Nut free
I've been slowly adjusting to an anti inflammatory diet the past month.  After my rheumatologist basically told me I was a totally insane person for trusting in anything natural, I was even more determined to walk further down the natural path....take that rheumy! Lol.

Its funny, I began with psoriatic arthritis at 19, other auto immune problems at 14, and I've been told by so many well meaning people along the way, to change my diet, add coconut oil, loose the dairy and wheat...I think I'd been disillusioned so many times by wacky and expensive cures, I started ignoring...plus, what would I eat to comfort myself during pain and illness? And, I was really ill wasn't I, blood tests positive, worried doctors, serious medications, surely people this diet worked for weren't really sick like me....  I sure wish I'd listened earlier...so much of what we are told by doctors we take as truth huh.... Amazingly, I don't need the comfort food, I'm busier doing things, learning, and feeling empowered.  I feel more satisfied with food that is healing me instead of adding to my inflammatory immune response...

So, my synovial swelling has been intense, present and progressing and damaging joints for three years now since stopping the chemo cocktails. I will never go back to that way of life, they may have kept damage at bay, but made my life an all round hellish experience, and ironically, my entire pain levels more extreme, so, having accepted the lesser of two evils, sigh, willingly, I never said I'd lost my fight:-) Anti inflammatory diet....

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/21/inflammatory-foods-worst-inflammation_n_2838643.html

Within a month, my swelling has halved....I'm in tears of joy seeing creases in my fingers again, my stomach feels so good, its like I've unbloated and didn't know I was bloated, I'm not talking weight, even though I have lost weight, I'm talking inner slim, I can't help patting my stomach area it feels different, and like I'm standing taller or something too...my face is less puffy...

Energy, I have so much more!!!  Its incredible!  I have so much healing to do, a lot of years have gone in to the damage done, but I honestly didn't expect this sort of result...  Anyone who knows me, knows I'm about the full mind body spirit connection, its a lot of work, any of this sort of thing is, taking charge, responsibility for your own health, seems like a lot at first, but trust me, you feel so good, its worth every second, and you have more time to do more things, you aren't wasting time looking after yourself, its worth it, I realised I was worth it and you who are reading this, are worth it too :-)

So, after a month, I'm feeling a bit like something sweet!  I made this up today....its super yum!  I dare you to stop at a slice:-)

Ingredients for crust
2 1/2 TBS coconut oil
1 1/2 TBS rice malt syrup
1/2 cup gluten free flour, mine consists of maize, tapioca, and rice flours.
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 egg white
Pinch salt

Melt coconut oil over low heat in the stove.
Add rest of ingredients, except egg white, and mix well remove from heat.
Add egg white, stir well.
Press into a 9×9 inch baking pan lined with baking paper and give several stabs with a fork.
Bake at 180 C for 10 mins or until you see it browning a little, remove from oven.

Ingredients for filling
3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 TBS rice malt syrup
2 TBS honey
2 TBS Stevia granules
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 TBS lemon zest
3 TBS dessicated coconut
1 TBS gluten free flour

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and yolks until frothy, add rest of ingredients and whisk for another 2 or more minutes, you will need to use a spatula to help mix the sticky sugars from the base of the bowl.
Pour over crust base.
Bake at 180C for 15-20 mins, you will see it firm up and the sides begin to brown, its done:-)  My middle raised and cracked a bit, but the rest was smooth and lovely.

Let it cool....you won't though, so make sure you have another piece when its cool:-)

I had high doubts when putting this together, I'm really pleasantly surprised :-)  its not overpoweringly sweet and since I'm a type 1 diabetic, it doesn't make my blood sugar rise drastically, so doesn't make me feel tired and gross like other sweets do. There is no dairy, or wheat, or gluten, and only complex sugars.  Wonderful!

Credit.....
These are the recipes I adjusted mine from :-) thank you ladies :-)

http://flaxandhoney.com/2013/02/25/lemon-bars-grain-gluten-dairy-sugar-free-paleo/

http://www.againstallgrain.com/2013/05/10/luscious-lemon-bars-nut-free/

September 1, 2013

Suddenly it's Spring...

I do love winter, but since moving to a cooler climate, winters are longer... I was actually beginning to miss the sun and warm days!  This year has been especially cold and gloomy, so I've been really happy to see spring here. It's funny how suddenly it appeared, our flowering cherry tree has come into bloom literally over the last few days, it's truly magical to see :-) 
Here are some of my beauties, I love being able to grow these cool climate bulbs down here, I can't wait to see the tulips!
Wherever you are, enjoy this season of change, remember to stop and take some time to notice and enjoy it.
Springtime blessings x S








August 27, 2013

Rheumatological rant...

Many of you know I have many auto immune conditions that keep my life interesting, to say the least ;-). I had my first rheumatologist appoint in 4 yrs yesterday. I had been going along steadily these last few years, joint progress and swelling but riding the roller coaster of bad and not so bad, generally feeling the best I have in a long time. After a severe flare these last three months with renewed activity in my large joints..I freaked out a little and decided to go see a new guy down here for an evaluation. Nearly two hours drive through the most beautiful scenery, it was like what I see on British shows like Escape to the Country, only I'm in Australia!  Much better than driving through city smog like we used to.  Yes, that was the positive energy I pulled from the day, and what a gift that was!

As I thought, there's nothing he can do since I've had such bad reactions to all the new wonder drugs. Methotrexate is it...which never helped, but harmed...mentally I still withdraw from even thinking of going back on that, the complete and utter sickness I felt ALL the time...14 years of that and liver damage was enough!  Yet, he disrespected my natural healing regime, which, not only is ALL I can do and the hope I cling to, BUT, has helped more than anything over this 18 yr nightmare..without nearly killing me!  I've had less pain and joint involvement over the last 3 years since abandoning modern rheumatology and the 14 years of hell that went with it, feeling I would die, bedridden, tears each day, heart doctors, lung doctors...I could go on... from SIDE EFFECTS, not the disease!  Proof enough my body was not tolerating any of it and I was being poisoned!

The reason I've had this huge flare recently was because I forgot to renew my herb and spice cocktail while I was sick with a bad virus! Anyway, I gave him a piece of my mind about not upsetting me and we got on fine after that LOL.  He even taught me a few things. But isn't it about quality of life, not scientific proof! These last 3 years have been like waking up again after living a nightmare.. like one of those movies where you wake up and you're in your mid thirties and the last thing you remember is being a teenager... I usually feel depressed after these appointments, he saw me as a great teaching subject for his student and as usual, I left him scratching his head over how complicated I am lol. After writing this though I feel quite calm and collected. I'm going to have xrays for keeping note of joint progress...and this hippy freak is staying natural baby ;-)

I am back on all my natural remedies again, and adding coconut oil to the concoction, plus I'm ditching all processed food, chicken (already four legged free) and dairy, gluten...  I do yoga, meditate, am conscious of unhealthy and healthy energy forces and the control I have over that, I practice mindfulness thinking, I walk at least three times a week (when I could not leave the house... 5 years ago the rare occasion I left was in a chair) I'm not wonder woman, I never compare myself to anyone, worse or better, I just do what I can do and try to live in the moment.  Chronic illness is not managed with drugs alone, we are so much more than that... body, mind and spirit...

Isn't it a shame we can't work in harmony to help these debilitating diseases, why does the modern world disregard what our ancestors did for centuries so easily... :-(




July 20, 2013

library love...


Today has to be the coldest I've experienced, 3.5 degrees Celsius at lunch time, that's really cold for an Aussie :-) I love it though, I love winter and feel so content listening to the sounds of rain, hail and thunder, whilst being cozy inside, lovely...

So, cuddled up with blankies, doggies, books, my Google tablet, and cup of tea... and chocolate, can't forget that... I started thinking about book love, which reminded me of library love!  I'm working through the mountain of books I borrowed last time I went to my wonderful library, I can't wait to finish so I can go and browse and borrow some more.  I totally love my kindle app, but there is something really comforting in a real book when you aren't feeling well.


I had to be about 3... my first memory of a library, my mum took me there, and taught me of its purpose, I still remember choosing my books and bringing them home, exciting! It really is one of my earliest happy memories, thanks mum xx

At the school library, I was 5 and doing the borrowing on my own, adults scared me, so it took a lot of courage to take my Meg and Mog book up to the counter to get the cards stamped, I really liked that book, so the story ends well, I did it lol.  I  bought a copy of Meg and Mog lately for sentimental reasons, plus it's still an awesome book! :-) 

Today our library has an adjoining café, making the experience even more perfect, it's one of my favourite places to go, and always makes me feel better.  Library love :-) 

Thanks for reading ... x S 

July 15, 2013

Simple joys...

I think I've always had it in me, the ability to see, appreciate, and enjoy the simple things in life... being still and just soaking in the glory of something like a dewdrop glistening in the sunlight, the beauty of a flower or even sitting and admiring the things in my home I've collected on my life's journey.  Not so simple I guess, really...

I call it a blessing, and draw on it every morning especially as I'm going through this psoriatic arthritis flare up...I go to bed each night and can't help but hope for a better tomorrow, when that doesn't happen, I remind myself that this is my normal for the day, to then live in the day and let the positive energies around me, the simple joys, help me feel content. 

Today, these beautiful anemone flowers made me feel glad, aren't they beautiful!  I feel that even though I sorely miss doing lots of things each day, I'm given the gift of time, to enjoy a flower for hours if need be...a nice counteraction to the negative effects of illness huh :-) 

Well, today was a little more exciting, we decided to begin watching the Harry Potter series again, days can feel really full if you use your imagination, and luckily, I have  copious amounts of that ;-)

Thanks for reading  x S 




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