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Gluten-Free Pistachio + Orange Shortbread Cookies

gluten free pistachio orange shortbread

Every year my family goes away for a week at Christmas. It’s always been a week of indulgence filled with chocolates, shortbread biscuits, more chocolates, fruit mince pies, more chocolates, leftover dessert.. you get the idea. For a few years I’d indulge too and write it off as a once-a-year binge.

But the more I learnt about health and how what we eat effects how we feel, the more I realised that having a full-on blowout that left me feeling awful for days wasn’t really how I wanted to spend the holidays. And so over the years I’ve added in more and more healthy substitutions and alternatives to the menu (without anyone really noticing I might add). This year I will be aiming to have a mostly* clean Christmas. *full disclosure: there’s no doubt some champagne + trifle will be enjoyed!

Once I decided that I would start taking control of every food-related situation I found myself in, this became SO much easier to do. Rather than the situation happening to me and having to ‘just go along with it’ – the xmas party, the family BBQ, the holiday, the friend’s birthday bash etc – I would find ways to give myself choices in the situation and gain back some control. Sure, I could indulge in some birthday cake if I wanted to, but I also had a healthy alternative to eat instead. Or I’d eat beforehand so I wouldn’t be starving and have no choice but to dive into the fried food to avoid passing out (or even worse….getting hungry in public). Or I’d bring along a plate of something that I could eat (which is always appreciated by the host).

So, with this approach, this year I’m taking a lot of my own food on our family holiday so I feel like I have a choice and I don’t feel bad for saying no to what everyone else is eating (if I’d prefer not to eat it). Of course I hate missing out on delicious treats as much as the next person, which is why I have been playing around with a healthy gluten free shortbread cookie recipe which I will bake and take along to enjoy when the mince-pies and shortbread come out. Read more

16 Ways to Have a Healthier December – Part 2

Healthier December


Last week I shared the first 8 ways to have a healthier December, which included tips on how to maintain a healthy body during the crazy festive season which is now well and truly upon us!

Today I’m going to delve a little bit deeper, because being healthy and feeling vibrant, full of life and happy involves so much more than just our physical bodies

As I talked about in the first part of this post, Christmas can bring up all sorts of emotions in people. The media portray it as the happiest time of the year, but the reality is it can be lonely, isolating, stressful or anxiety-provoking for many people, particularly for those who aren’t surrounded by support network of family or friends or have emotional eating issues or a negative relationship with food. The abundance of food and over-eating that often comes with Christmas can also lead to feelings of shame and guilt for many of the women I speak to. Read more

16 Ways to Have a Healthier December – Part 1

16 Ways to have a Healthier December

December is the time of year where food and drinks are flowing, and BBQ’s, Christmas parties and get-togethers fill up our calendars. It’s also a time filled with emotions – from joy, happiness and excitement to stress, sadness and loneliness – everyone has different feelings and emotions that are triggered at this time of year. And for many of us, food and emotion are inextricably linked.

All of these things combined can make December a pretty daunting and anxiety-provoking time of year for those of us who want to stay on track with our health and weight-loss goals.

So how can you have a healthier December? Over the next 2 weeks I’m going to share my top tips that can help you make healthier choices over the coming festive season, that will nourish your body, mind and soul – so you can enjoy a healthier and happier Christmas this year.

First off I’ll share some simple tips to help support a healthy body, liver and digestive system over the coming weeks – so you can head into Christmas feeling light, confident and full of energy!

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Healthy Snacks for Dealing with Cravings

healthy snacks when dealing with cravings

Lately I’ve had lots of people asking me about ideas for healthy snacks that will satisfy their mid-afternoon or after-dinner sweet tooth.

Cravings happen even to the healthiest of us. It can be our body’s way of telling us what it needs. Or it can be an old habit or emotional crutch that’s subconsciously running the show (more on that in a minute). No matter the reason, when a craving hits we get the urge to snack – which when done mindlessly, can undo our healthy habits.

There are a few different schools of though on snacking, some people say eating regularly helps keep your metabolism firing, while others say it put too much strain on the digestive system. My personal take is more about being in-tune with your own unique body. Learning the difference between being physically hungry and craving food to help deal with a certain emotion is a really important step in dealing with our relationship with food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Sadness, loneliness, stress and boredom are common reasons people turn to food for comfort, it’s about getting to know your triggers. I find when I’m standing in front of the cupboard wanting something ‘nice’ to eat an hour after lunch, I just ask myself if I’m bored, procrastinating or actually really hungry? If it’s one of the first two I’ll distract myself for a while, have a glass of water and the desire to eat generally goes away. Of course if I’m actually hungry I’ll make myself something healthy and delicious based on what my body feels like.

I’m not sure about you, but I find that when I get a craving for something, it won’t go away until I’ve satisfied it! Even if the craving goes away for a week or so – it’ll be back with a vengeance soon enough. A technique I find really helpful when dealing with cravings, is to substitute it with a similar but healthier alternative.

Usually, when we get a food craving it’s either for Read more

Foods That Support The Liver During Spring

Foods that support liver during spring

I am a huge fan of eating seasonal foods. There are a number of benefits like they’re healthier for you, lighter on your wallet and better for the environment. If you want to know more, I shared 6 benefits of seasonal eating as well as tips on how to choose seasonal produce earlier in the year.

While winter is a time for conserving energy and turning inward, spring brings with it a feeling of renewal, new life, and expansive energy. In Chinese medicine, in which each organ is associated with a season, the spring is about the liver and the gallbladder.

The liver and gallbladder work in harmony to support a strong immune system, balanced moods, and healthy digestion. The liver is responsible for filtering and neutralizing harmful substances in your body. It has 500 metabolic jobs, which it cannot perform optimally when overburdened with toxins. Chinese medicine also believes the liver to be responsible for the smooth flow of energy (Qi) throughout the body.  

This is why eating seasonal foods can support your body. We’re designed to thrive on juicy fruits and hydrating salad vegetables throughout the hot summer, and rest and restore on grounding, warming foods like root vegetables and squashes in winter. In spring, there are many vegetables and herbs available naturally which support and cleanse the liver and the body’s detoxification process.

Supporting this essential organ can help improve energy, sleep, skin issues, brain fog, digestive issues and weight gain among many other things.

So, if you’re looking to support great liver health this spring, try adding some Read more

8 Simple Practices for Daily Cleansing

Practises for Daily Cleansing

My philosophy around cleansing is that it’s not something that should be done once or twice a year in a way that shocks or deprives the body. In fact, these extreme detoxes (like juice or water cleanses) are extremely dangerous and will leave you even more toxic and unhealthy than you were before. Cleansing or detoxing should be done continuously, not just after a few months of letting our diet slip and not exercising. After all we’re exposed to an increased amount of toxins every single day, so it makes sense that we support our bodies to detoxify daily too.

Here are some easy and simple daily cleansing practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will increase your Read more

Starting a wellness journey PART 2: 3 practical ways to get started

In the first part of this post, I talked about how I finally came to the realization I’d spent the best part of two decades trying to lose weight and feel good about myself because of other people’s expectations, my own limiting beliefs, the media and marketing messages that preyed on my insecurities. And it meant I became more and more disconnected from my body. I’d deprived it, restricted it and punished it in the gym, all in the name of losing a few kilos.

But I had a life-changing experience where I realized that nurturing myself and my body was how I wanted to live my life. Gone were the days of deprivation and restriction and losing weight became effortless. For the first time in my adult life I had energy, felt amazing and had most of my health issues literally disappear. You can read more about how I got to that point here.

My life quite literally changed when I decided to:

  • Stop listening what everyone else in the world was telling me to do.
  • Challenge what I believed to be true (my beliefs).
  • And realised that giving to my body rather than taking things away from it was a better way to live.

It had such a profound effect on me that I wanted to share my top 3 practical ways that you can start to experience a similar shift in your own life. The thing is, health is a journey. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the following tools are like taking those first, most critical baby steps in the right direction to improving your health and wellbeing, self esteem and confidence. They’ll make you start questioning things, thinking differently and most importantly trusting yourself more. And that, I think, is the perfect place to start…

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6 Reasons why you should be eating seasonal foods (plus yummy pumpkin + ginger soup)

Although it’s taken Perth a while to get there, we’re now in the full swing of winter in the southern hemisphere. Freezing mornings, stormy evenings, fires, wooly jumpers, and the time of year I love to hibernate and spend time with the one I love.

I was out doing the food shopping yesterday, loading my basket with parsnips, sweet potatoes and pumpkin and thinking about how amazing it is that we intuitively know what types of food that most nourish us in these cooler months. It just makes sense that those foods are the same foods that are in season.

So today I’d like to share a list of those beautiful fruits and vegetables so you know what to look out for, as well as the benefits of eating seasonal, local produce all year round (there are lots of them!)

What is eating seasonally anyway?

Eating seasonally means adapting to each of the seasons and eating produce that naturally grows at a specific time of year.

Seasons are critical for sustaining thriving life on our planet. They balance the earth’s resources and allow for natural diversity which has been critical for our survival as a species. They truly are so much more than a change in weather, and should be something that guides our food choices and how we nourish our bodies and look after ourselves.

Unfortunately modern food processing and the worldwide distribution of food means just about everything is available all year-round, so we often don’t think about where our food is actually coming from or what we should be eating at certain times of year.

When I started eating this way, the first thing I noticed was that asparagus is only naturally grown in the summer. For years and years I ate asparagus all year round, every single week. I was a staple in my fridge. But when I become Read more

Starting a wellness journey PART 1: How I discovered my personal health philosophy

Deciding to improve your health and wellbeing can be tough. In fact, I stubbled around with the wrong information for many, many years and got nowhere. And the thing is, these days there’s just SO MUCH conflicting information out there it’s easy to end up feeling overwhelmed and the whole idea just goes in the ‘too hard’ basket.

If you’re looking to improve your diet or lose a few pounds, there are those who say that carbs make you fat, meat causes cancer, eating more fat makes you thin. Those who believe that grains cause inflammation, and those who swear cooking food can be harmful to the body. Not to mention deciding whether you should be counting the calories or monitoring the glycemic index of the foods you’re eating! My head hurts just thinking about it! How on earth is anyone meant to know where to start!?

After finally figuring out what I was doing wrong, I now believe that improving your health and wellbeing doesn’t have to be hard at all. In fact it’s been a wonderfully rewarding and life-changing experience for me.

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