Healthy Home Made Jam

Waking up on a cosy morning with rain falling gently outside, with nothing to do, but enjoy your morning? Those are honestly my favourite types of mornings. They don’t happen very often, so when they do make an unexpected return, I won’t waste a minute of it.

On these mornings, I like to plod along to the kitchen in my dressing gown, and make breakfast as quick and simple as I can, so I can get back into bed and enjoy the rain.

My go to on these days is: A cup of freshly brewed Earl Grey tea in my favourite large handmade ceramic mug, and a stack of delicious gluten free sour-dough toast slathered in butter and my homemade jam. They all go onto a tray and off back to bed I trot, to enjoy my simple breakfast while reading a magazine and listening to the rain pattering outside.

So why Homemade Jam vs Store-bought Jam?

When I first thought about making homemade jam, I thought it was going to be very time-consuming, full of sugar and honestly just not worth my time. But then I saw a 3 ingredient Jam recipe floating around and thought I could give that a go. This was at the beginning of the year, and I haven’t looked back since.

The idea that making Jam at home is old fashioned and will take a lot of effort and time, is just not true.

When I would buy jam from the shop, I always tried to get one that was more fruit than sugar. Keeping an eye on what is actually in your store-bought food, can be a real opener. All the unnecessary ingredients that are added to so many foods, can be a disaster for your health. Which is why making your own (where possible) is so important, and empowering.

When buying store-bought jam, the cheaper you go, the higher the sugar content. Next time you are at the store, have a look at the ingredients on the different brands of jams, and see which ones uses sugar (or a sugar syrup) as the first (and therefor the largest ingredient) in the jam. When going for high quality jam: aim for jams that have the least ingredients on the label and fruit as the first ingredient (meaning the jam will be mostly made from actual fruit).

So why go for homemade then?

Well like anything, having a input into your own food and diet is empowering and helps you to understand and appreciate what is going into your body with eat bite. When we make our own jam, we have control over the flavour, the quality and the nutritional value.

Recipe

Homemade Blueberry Jam

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen blueberries (or whatever fruit you choose)

2 tablespoons chia seeds (the gelling agent)

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

To make:

  1. Sterilise a jar to place your jam in once made. Make sure you sterilise the entire jar including the lid, so no cross contamination can occur.
  2. In a saucepan, add the blueberries and cover with a lid. Bring the blueberries to boil, then add in the maple syrup (if including), then reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. (The blueberries will release their juice, helping to keep the berries from sticking to the saucepan, though you can give them a stir just to be on the safe side.)
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. With a potato masher, mash up the blueberries till a consistency you like. (You can keep it more chunky or remove all the chunks.)
  5. Remove the lid, and add the chia seeds to the mix, and stir in.
  6. Leave the mixture and let it sit in the saucepan off the heat, for 10-15 minutes.
  7. After the time is up, give your jam a taste test. If it is tasting good, transfer it straight into the jar, and pop into the fridge. If the mixture is too watery still, add in another tablespoon of chia seeds, mix in and allow to sit again. If the taste isn’t sweet enough for you, add in more maple syrup.
  8. Keep in your fridge for up to 1 week.
  9. Enjoy!

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Calming Bliss Balls

We all love a good bliss ball, but did you know that you could be adding some incredible ingredients to that can help to reduce your stress and bring the bliss back into bliss balls?

Stress and anxiety is in running high in 2020, which is why I created these ‘Calm Bliss Balls’. When things begin to feel overwhelming, we often stress-eat to give ourselves a sense of stability and a burst of comfort. So we will go for the foods that bring us this joy, such as a block of chocolate or coffee. Yes, these foods would give me a sense of feeling better, but it would wear off quickly, making me reach more comfort food. They were here for a quickie, not the long haul.

Recipe: Calming Bliss Balls

Makes Approx 7-15 Balls, Depending on how big or small you roll them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Medjool Dates – seed removed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup Rolled Oats (or oat flour)
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa Butter
  • 2 tbsp Hemp Seeds (Hemp Hearts)
  • 2 tbsp Matcha Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Bhrami Powder
  • 3-5 drops Peppermint Oil
  • Pinch of Salt

To Make:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and blend/pulse until mixed together till smooth.
  2. Scoop out mixture and roll into little bliss balls.
  3. Enjoy!

Can be placed in an airtight container and placed in the fridge for a week. (although mine never lasts that long!)

Calm Bliss Balls – Enjoy with a cup of tea and a good book or listening to @wild.awakening_podcast

Why do these balls make you calm?

A good question! These balls are little bit sized moments of delicious goodness and contains different herbs to help calm your mind and body.

Matcha – Matcha comes from the  Camellia sinensis plant, and contains high levels of the Amino Acid; L-theanine; which is known to reduce stress while giving your mind a calm alertness. (which makes these balls a perfect 3pm pick-me-up!)

Bhrami – Bhrami known as its botanical name as Bacopa monnieri, is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries in helping to calm the mind and relax the body.


Feeling stressed and unhappy with your health?

Book in for a Holistic Health Consultation.

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Ayurvedic Elixer To Calm Your Mind & Body

My favourite Ayurvedic inspired calming elixir. 🍵🌿 This is my go-to drink to help calm my body and mind during the cooler months.

Ingredients:
▪︎1 cup milk (your choice, I use nutty bruce almond/coconut)
▪︎I tsp cacao powder
▪︎ 1 – 2 Medjool Dates (de-pipped )
▪︎ 1/2 tsp Bhrami powder
▪︎ 1 tsp Ashwagandha powder
▪︎ 1/2 tablespoon Ghee (optional)
▪︎ 2 tsp Maple Syrup or Jaggary

To Make:
▪︎ Put all ingredients together in a blender (except Ghee, Bahrami and Ashwagandha), and blend together.
▪︎ Pour blender content into a pot and add ghee.
▪︎ Heat milk on medium till required temperature.
▪︎ With heating, using a whisk, add in the Bhrami and Ashwagandha, whisking to mix them in, and to create a milk froth.
▪︎ Once at the desired temperature, pour into a cup and enjoy.

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Why it is so important to eat local in-season food.

How often do you hear the saying “Eat local in-season food”? It is one of those sayings that we hear about a lot, but without a clear indication of the ‘Why’ behind it. In Ayurveda, it is high up on the list of ways to help keep you at optimal health and wellbeing, so let me explain why.

When we eat seasonal local produce, we are helping our Body and Mind to align with the Earth and our natural environment. This food has the current energy of the season it is produced in, which then helps our own energy to customise to the current season. We as humans are part of the natural eco-system and the natural laws of the earth. Which means that we get affected by the seasons just like how the plants and animals do. In our modern-day world, we have lost this connection, especially when it comes to our diet. We can eat produce all year round, regardless of the time of year or season. While some might think that is great – I mean who wouldn’t want mangoes all year round right? They are delicious! This way of consuming food is having negative effects on our body and mind.

Let me explain why…


By eating local, fresh, seasonal food, we are fueling our body with food high in nutrients, rather than the depleted food that has been sitting in storage for months before hitting your supermarket shelves. This food, is low in Prana, aka Life Force, and it is often loaded with chemicals and waxes to keep them looking fresh.

With our modern-day food system, it means we can eat foods like for example tomatoes all year long, but that doesn’t mean we should. Nature has everything figured out for us and provides us with the food needed within that season.

For example, Oranges are best between June – October in Melbourne, with its high Vitamin C and warming energy, this fruit is naturally designed for us to consume during winter to help fight off touches of flu and colds and keep us warm.

Not sure what is in season? The Seasonal Produce website HERE has a great month by month list of seasonal fruit and veggies that they put out. Or just hit up your local farmers market, or try growing a few of your own fruit and veg!! Nothing tastes better than a homegrown carrot or freshly picked apple!!

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The Coffee – Wine Cycle

Something that I notice time and again in the clinic, and from just generally chatting with friends and family, is this classic routine that people fall into.

Coffee in the morning to wake up, wine (or other alcoholic drink) at night to wind down. Anyone guilty of this?

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying your coffee or a glass of wine, there is something out of balance if you are relying on it to function properly each morning and night!!


What this routine is doing is constantly playing with our nervous system, which for most people, is something that is incredibly burnt out! By constantly having to jolt start it with caffeine in the AM and sedate it in the PM, we are creating a not so healthy and supportive routine that we believe we cannot live without!


Coffee and alcohol are great when we are enjoying them out of just the pure fact that it is delicious, but when it come into a co-dependant relationship with these drinks, then something isn’t right.


Have a look at your relationship with these drinks. How is it? Do you feel you may be in a co-dependent relationship with one or both of them? If so, it might be time to step back and change this relationship. 

During a consultation, I can help to find why you have developed this relationship, and show you ways that best suit you, to create a new healthy relationship with these drinks. Call or DM to book in. (Skype sessions available) 

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Incompatible Foods

In our modern day society, especially here in Australia, we LOVE our food. Our social connections are dominated by food. Catch up for brunch? (avo smash anyone?) How about an alfresco dinner with family and friends – fire up the barbie (BBQ) and bring on the potato salad. Or even just some popcorn at the movies or a takeaway coffee on our morning walk. Food is a huge part of our social life and our life in general. We love our food.

But the question is:

“Is our food loving us back?”

The problem with our “foodie” culture – especially with the rise of the insta-foodie; we are more concerned whether our food looks amazing, rather than if it will make us feel amazing. There is so much information out there telling us what to eat, how to eat it, and what not to eat. The problem is: so much of this advice is conflicting. Like seriously, where do you start and who do you believe? Back in the day, we were told that drinking soft drink was good for us (seriously…) and that oil was bad for you, but now it is good for you? It is no wonder we are confused. My biggest advice when it comes to our food is trusting your intuition. Tune into your body and notice how food makes you feel. Do you feel sluggish after eating, or do you feel satisfied and energised? Another thing that can confuse us in choosing what to eat, is all the diets and fads that we get bombarded with daily. Do I go Paleo or Vegan? Should I try the Ketogenic diet or go all Raw?  A thing I truly love about Ayurveda is that does not have a one-size fit all approach to health and diet. We are all individuals, with our own personal genetic and energetic makeup. This means that what might work well for your friend or partner, won’t necessarily work for you.

 

One thing we often do not consider when thinking about how healthy food is for us is the combination of the food. We often think about the nutritional value and how much protein vs carbs there is, which is important of course. But thinking about what foods we are actually combining together to form our delicious healthy meal, is just as important. Not all foods should be eaten together. In Ayurveda, we call these the “wrong foods” combination or “incompatible foods”. These foods should not be eaten together, as they can cause toxins to build up in the body, or cause things like indigestion etc.  Whether we are eating out or making our meals, it is important to keep these food combinations in mind*.

* Quick side note: Something I have noticed people do when discovering these food-combinations is, that they become so fixated on avoiding them, that they create stress and guilt in their relationship with food. Please note these are guidelines, and to not punish yourself if you do have a combination on this list from time to time. Remember our thoughts and energy are just as important as our diet, if not more important.

Incompatible / Unhealthy Food Combinations

  • Lemon should not be consumed with yogurt, milk, cucumbers and tomatoes.
  • Grains and Melons – Melons digest faster than the heavy grains – which can cause indigestion and ama.
  • Milk and Meat Products  – Any type of meat (fish, beef etc) should not be mixed with milk. Milk is cooling while meats are heating.
  • Honey – Honey should only be taken uncooked. According to Ayurveda, when you heat honey, it turns into a toxin (ama). It also weakens/destroys enzymes, vitamins, minerals, etc.
  • Milk/Yoghurt with fruits – unless cooked (such as stews apples and pears). Fruits digest at a different rate from dairy products, which can cause indigestion and ama.
  • Milk and Banana. Yes, I know this will be harder one, especially for smoothie lovers! However together these two lower Agni (digestive fire) and produce Ama (toxins). This can cause allergies, congestion, coughs and tiredness to occur.
  • Milk and Melons – Melons are a fruit that should nearly always be consumed by itself.
  • Vegetable starches and Fruit – Fruit is a simple sugar, while starches are a complex sugar – which means they will digest at different times. Avoid eating these together. eg. Potatoes with fruit.
  • Nightshades (which are eggplants, potatoes, chillies, tomatoes etc) are not to be consumed with melons, cucumbers, milk + milk products.
  • Eggs should not be eaten with meat, banana, yogurt, melons, cheese, fish or milk.
  • Corn should not be eaten with fruit.
  • Salt and milk together should be avoided due to opposing qualities in the two.
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