Foodie Plants

There are a few plants which are easily grown either in pots or gardens. These can add a touch of special to your cooking, so whether you are a beginner or a diehard foodie, these are my favs.

Parsley

There are two types curly or flat leaf (AKA Italian).  I love the flat leaf & use it heaps – curly kinda reminds me of the garnish off the pub meat tray!

It is rich in vitamins K, C, B12, & A, as well as high in beta carotene, iron & folic acid.  So why wouldn’t you put a handful in your salad, with your vegies or in your soup.

  • It loves full sun with a well-drained soil.
  • Water regularly.
  • If it gets stressed it will go to seed & die.  Should this happen – you will need to either get yourself a new one, or let the seeds fall & start from scratch. 

Lemon trees

I love lemons & use them for a few things – it irks me to pay for them in the supermarket.  Currently we have a lemon tree in the back yard, but I have dabbled with a dwarf lemon in a pot previously.

  • They love the sun, but not the wind (kinda like me but not yellow)!
  • Water regularly but let it dry out between watering’s (so no wet feet for this plant).
  • They are hungry critters & love a regular feed of fertiliser.

Nutritionally speaking lemons have a great amount of vitamin C, as well as a smaller number of other vitamins & minerals (a few Bs, such as niacin, folate, thiamine, & riboflavin; plus, potassium, zinc & magnesium).

Back to my potted dwarf lemon – it was pretty easy, requiring a little pruning (really just shaping), lots of sunshine, regular watering & fertiliser.

Cherry tomatoes

These are dead easy to grow, especially in pots.  Cherry tomatoes seem to have less problems with pests & disease when compared to regular tomatoes.  What I love about them is the amount they give you back, oh yeah I feel like a bountiful farmer with these!

  • They love the sun.
  • Water regularly & deeply, preferably in the morning (so the leaves can dry – then there is less chance of disease also).
  • Again, they are hungry critters & love a regular feed of fertiliser.

These are always popular, super easy to use (if they make it to the kitchen of course) plus they are high in vitamin C.

Basil

Absolutely love this one, it smells like summer!  I love this fresh & use it a lot when it’s in season.  There are heaps of different types of basil, but they are all rich in antioxidants.  I just pick the tips out each time to use, which promotes plant growth.

  • Another sun lover.
  • Water & fertilise regularly (I’ve noticed seaweed extract is especially good for basil).

Growing your own herbs, not only gives you great flavour (& a smug feeling) – it’s way cheaper than !buying them from the supermarket.  You don’t need a big garden bed, you can just start with a pot.

I also love rosemary but that story is for another day 😉

This makes my heart happy!
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Vegies and body parts…

I had a fabulous conversation with my niece, Miss 7, about how different vegetables are good for different body parts.  The funny part was sometimes the vegies looked like the body part – other times it took some imagine but it was a good convo.

Here is the low down on our vegie discussion.

Carrots & Eyes

Yup, you heard right, carrots do in fact help your eyes.  It’s the high amount of beta carotene, which is used to generate vitamin A, which in turn is vital for eye health.  After a bit of discussion, we decided they kind of looked like eyes with their darker centres being similar to pupils.

Ironically zeaxanthin & lutein, in kale & spinach actually make them a better choice for eye health – but we couldn’t make them look like eyes (not even with a 7year old imagination on the job)!

Broccoli & Bones

Broccoli is a winner in the calcium stakes.  Although spinach has a higher amount of calcium, you body doesn’t absorb it as easy.  We decided that the broccoli stood up like a tree, all strong & tall – so it was like a skeleton helping us to stand up straight.  Work with me here 😉

Sweet Potatoes & Skin

Sweet potatoes have a natural antioxidant, vitamin E, as well as high levels of vitamin C.  This means the humble sweet potato helps with protection from sun damage, lowering development of wrinkles & the production of collagen.  This combo helps with keeping your skin soft & supple.  Admittedly this one did involve a bit of squinting, but we thought it looked a bit like skin due to the relative smoothness of the skin of the sweet potato.

Green Leafys & the Brain.

Kale, silver beet both have that wrinkly appearance kinda like cartoon pictures of brains.  Although cauliflower deserves a special mention, even though it’s not green.  It’s the vitamin K which improves cognitive function & decreases inflammation & oxidative stress.  Kale particularly has vitamins A, C, E & selenium as well – a powerhouse nutrients for the brain.

Red Tomatoes for your Heart.

A little less imagination required for this one, a cut tomato does look like there are different parts to it.  These are not only rich in potassium; they are full of carotenoid lycopene both of which are great for heart health.  Tomato juice is great for blood vessels & reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol. 

We often have cherry tomatoes growing, which the Miss loves to pick when visiting (although not all make it back to the kitchen).

Carrots & Hair.

This was pretty entertaining as we discussed what carrots could look like with different hairstyles!  It is actually any orange or yellow vegetables which contain beta carotene, which in turn is great for your hair.  It worth noting that the vitamin E in root vegetables helps assist hair with protection against sun damage.

It was a fun convo, with plenty of turns, lots of imagination plus a tad of education….but mainly giggles & fun!

#why #nutrition #wellnesss #consciouslynutritious

Unsure, where the convo would have gone with dragonfruit?!
Photo by Marissa Rodriguez on Unsplash

Kaizen

I was recently told about this idea & I love the simplicity of it.

What is it I hear you say?  Kaizen is based on creating a continuous improvement in small increments which build to a larger change, which reaps major improvements.  As very basic example, you make a 1% change every day, which adds up to a 31% change in a month or 365% over a year. I know sounds so easy, right?

Kaizen is a composed from two Japanese words which together translate as “good change” or “improvement”.  Over time it has evolved to mean “continuous improvement”.  This part action, part philosophy ideal was originally applied to business, but I think it could just as effectively apply to personal life.

Give it a go – small changes add up to big changes!
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

The main principles

  • Let go of assumptions.
  • Be proactive about problem solving.  Set goals & make sure you have any relevant background.
  • Don’t just accept the current situation.  Review the current situation & develop a plan for an improvement.
  • Let go of perfectionism & have an attitude embracing constant & adaptive change.  Implement the changes, do it.
  • Look for solutions as you find mistakes.  Keep reviewing & fixing any issues.
  • If a work or even family environment – make sure everyone feels empowered, so they contribute.
  • Don’t just accept the obvious issue – ask “why” five times, to get to the root cause.
  • Get information & opinions from multiple people
  • Be creative to find low cost, small improvements
  • Never stop improving, keep the cycle going.

Sounds impressive – straight forward & logical, but how could that apply to your health & wellness?  Kaizen will help to make it a lifestyle.

Day 1 – Add an extra glass of water for the day

Day 2 – Walk for 5min extra.

Day 3 – Put an extra vegetable on your plate.

Day 4 – Have a piece of fruit.

Day 5 – Be mindful for 10 min.

Day 6 – Cook an extra meal, to freeze for later.

Day 7 – Add a cup of green tea to your day.

All small changes by themselves but over a month it’s an extra 4 glasses of water, 20min walking, 4 more vegetables & pieces of fruit – it adds up.  It doesn’t have to be the same change each week it could be a yoga class, it could be checking in with a family member or friend, it could be reading a book in the sun for 15min.

#Kaizen #smallsteps #motivation #candothis #rightdirection #movingforward #naturalhealth #happyhealthylife

Water in Winter

The temptation is so high for a coffee…sigh!  I know there should be more water being consumed, but the ritual, the smell, the taste – it’s just so damn nice.  We should be drinking approximately 2 litres a day – but it can be hard when the weather is cooler.

In order to try get more into me, I’ve endeavoured to mix it up a bit.  I’ve busted out some herbal teas for the warm hit.  Pukka do a great range of herbal organic teas.  I recently tried their Night-time blend with oat flower, lavender & lime flower but I think my heart still belongs to Revitalise which has cinnamon, cardamom & ginger.

I’ve also put some infused water out to make it more interesting too.  If you are infusing water, citrus is pretty instant, but herbs will take a bit longer.  As for berries, they also take longer but release a beautiful colour.  If you are keeping your water in the fridge, keep it at eye level to you are encouraged to have a drink.

Some favs I’ve picked up through experimentation:

Cucumber & lime – great for detox, combine all ingredients & infuse.

  • 1 litre of water
  • ½ lime, quartered
  • ¼ cucumber, sliced.

Summer fruit – combine all ingredients & infuse.

  • 1 litre of water
  • 1 lemon or lime, quartered
  • Handful of raspberries or strawberries, roughly mashed
  • Spring of mint, lightly bruised
  • Combine all & infuse

Mandarin, basil & black tea – a nice mid-morning drink, combine all ingredients & infuse for 2-3hours. NOTE: this does have a bit of caffeine, but it’s delish!

  • 1 litre of water
  • 2 mandarins, broken into segments
  • 1 black tea bag
  • 4 basil leaves, roughly torn

Pineapple & Mint –  another great one for detox, again combine all ingredients & infuse overnight.

  • 1 litre of water
  • 3 chunks of pineapple, roughly chopped
  • Handful of mint, lightly bruised

The extra fluids, without the caffeine, will aid with digestion, metabolism & cognition.  Plus, it helps with weight loss & glowing skin.  Oh yeah, that sounds good.

#waterinspo #recipes #easypeasey #consciouslynutrititous #naturalhealth #wellness

Love me a cuppa tea!

Photo by Morgan Sessions on Unsplash

Immune boosters

Almost 70% of your immune system is in your gastrointestinal tract!  So, it makes sense to keep it healthy right?

In Brisbane, the Ekka has started which means there are about to be a lot of sniffles and coughs going around. Some top players to boost your immunity are:

✅ Oily fish

Tuna, salmon & sardines are packed full of omega 3, which is not only great for gut health but also have an anti-inflammatory effect.  Plus, a great source of vitamin D. Yup, this is a winner from a few angles!

✅ Oranges

Well really any citrus fruits are bursting with vitamin C, which is great for your immune.  Hmmm, interesting how they are in season right now.

✅ Garlic.

Legendary for its effectiveness as a preventative but also a great antibacterial.  BTW also handy for keeping those vampires at bay 😂

✅ Kiwifruit

Full of vitamin C & K, as well as potassium & folate.  My niece loves oranges & kiwis together as a snack, sounds good to me.

✅ Leafy greens

Packed full of antioxidants! Yup, that old chestnut – eat your greens!

✅ Nuts & seeds

Lots of healthy fats, zinc & vitamin E.  Great for portable snacks – I always have a small bag of them in my uni backpack or handbag – pretty darn easy.

✅ Orange vege

Rich in vitamin A, which is great for your digestive lining.  Think carrots, sweet potato & pumpkin to name just a few.

✅ Eggs

A powerhouse packed with vitamins most notably vitamin D, plus they are protein rich.  I did a FB post late last week on how good eggs are – check it out if you’ve not already looked.

✅ Tea

Green or black, both are high in antioxidants.  I’m always up for a cuppa – who else?

✅ Fermented foods

Full of gut friendly probiotics, think of sauerkraut, miso, or pickles.  Every culture seems to have a favourite fermented food, even the hipsters are embracing kombucha. 

#immunebooster #top10 #wellness #happyhealthypeople #consciouslynutritious

Photo by Joseph Kellner on Unsplash

Salsa time!

Yummo!  What an easy way to add a bit of pizzazz to a meal.  I recently caught up with a friend for a picnic – we took a little BBQ & made Mexican – there was mince, rice, salsa, guacamole & salad.

A Mexican feast at Scarborough… ole!

It got me thinking about some salsa recipes I have, why wasn’t I using them more often?  You will be glad to know, this has now been remedied as they have been dug out & are ready for some summer loving at BBQs, Mexican nights, or even with beans & tuna to make an easy lunchtime salad – these little multitaskers are going to spruce up a few meals over the coming months.

I’ve listed the ones I have on high rotation.  Just combine in a bowl, let sit for 10minutes & voila!

All-purpose salsa

390g can corn kernels, well drained – even better use fresh corn

1 large, or 2 small firm ripe avocados, diced

3 tomatoes, diced

½ small red onion, finely diced

½ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 chilli, seeded and finely diced

Juice 1 lime or ½ lemon, to taste

Mango salsa

This seemed to come out often for Christmas & it was always a big hit (great with ham, chicken or fish).

1 large mango, cut & cubed

3 green shallots, finely sliced

1 tbspn fresh lime juice

1tbspn chopped fresh mint leaves

A splash of olive oil

Paw-Paw Salsa

Again, delish with fish, chicken or ham.

1 pawpaw, diced

½ red capsicum, finely diced

½ chilli, finely chopped

½ red onion, finely chopped

4 sprigs mint, finely chopped

2 limes, juiced

A splash of olive oil

Strawberry salsa

Sounds weird, but great with BBQ meats (think steaks & snags)

1 punnet of strawberries, diced

1 lime or lemon, juiced

2 tspn chillies, finely chopped

4 spring onions, finely chopped

¼ tspn ground black pepper

Pinch of salt

Experiment & add whatever you like to them (add capsicum, coriander or basil, leave out the chilli) or adjust quantities (more tomato & less corn).  Whatever you do, it is a fun way to get in more of the good stuff into your diet!

#options #sideinspiration #easypeasey #delish #nokalehere #consciouslynutritious #happyhealthylife

Self-care 101

As I head into my last semester of Uni, I want to make sure I look after myself, so I don’t burn out.  To do this I’ve scheduled some regular days (well half days actually) into my diary – so I can recharge the batteries.  Whether it be getting some sunshine and reading a book, a walk through the local Farmers Market, having a bubble bath or meeting friends for a coffee … the point is, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as there is some re charging time for me.

Long periods of relentless stress play havoc with our bodies.  So often you hear people saying they are tired, stressed or chasing their tails – these are all code for burnouts of varying degrees, as people impose deadlines on themselves and trying to do too much.

It’s OK to take your foot off the accelerator and say no to things which don’t benefit you.  Go to bed earlier, leave the unfolded washing – instead sit in the sunshine, breathe the fresh air, smile and laugh.

#timeout #selflove #wellness #stressless #happyhealthylife #naturalhealth #recharge

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Hi, happy to meet you

I’m Shân, currently I’m in my final year of a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine) at Endeavour College of Natural Health based in Brissie. Why did I decide to do this? I love the combination of traditional food wisdom, you know the sort your Nana gives you, but with current scientific evidence. I think it’s pretty cool that your body has an innate ability to try & heal itself. Your physical, emotional & mental wellness is affected by your diet & lifestyle choices – I love that we can control these things with food and limit any drugs we put into our bods. In holistic terms it is the recognition of you as an individual, you are different to everyone else & so, you need an individual treatment – yup, that’s right you’re unique! My life previous to study was in the travel & hospitality industries for over 30 years. This has allowed me to travel a little, do some crafty renos to houses &, of course, laugh a lot with friends.