A little ray of sunshine

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2020

In this, the second part in our immunity theme, we’re discussing ways to optimise vitamin D levels.

In recent years, research has uncovered the central role that vitamin D plays in regulating our immune function.

Indeed, it’s one of the most important nutrients in this domain and deficiency is associated with an increased susceptibility to infection and autoimmunity.

Unsurprisingly, several studies have now highlighted associations between low vitamin D and increased risk of both COVID-19 infection and complications.

Theme: Immunity

Topic: Eating your Vitamin D

When we think of obtaining vitamin D, most of us think “sunshine”.

However, multiple factors can interfere with our skin’s ability to manufacture this nutrient and it’s important to know what they are if you’re relying predominantly on this source.

Unfortunately, the anti-sun campaign has resulted in the pendulum swinging the other way, with 1 in 4 Australians having...

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The humblest superfood

Uncategorized Jul 29, 2020

Greetings Coasties

If you watch our weekly 5@5 bulletin on Fridays, you may recognise me as the former news anchor. I was tempted to joke about being a woman of many talents, but then it dawned on me that it’s only ever been food, or talking, or some combination of the two.

In any case, I’m hoping this column will inspire you with regards to the former.

It’s been a lifelong obsession for me, food that is (not talking) and one that has had me traipsing around the world on many adventures.

I even have some credentials to speak of.

Firstly, I’m a clinically trained nutritionist and wholefoods chef.

Secondly, I’m a mum, which brings a dose of humility and realism to one’s health advice!

Yes, that’s right, I’ll be leading you in some “from-scratch” healthy cooking, among other things, but I promise to arm you with plenty of tips to make it achievable – and delicious.

Afterall, I’m a diehard foodie, at...

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Healthy Tiramisu: Wholefood bliss!

healthy sweets Jan 25, 2018

I’m sad to have finished the recipe testing for this one. Granted, it may have triggered a temporary relapse into coffee addiction. (After 15 years of virtual abstinence!) But we had such a nice little routine going in our house for several weeks there. Breakfast, a bit of work around the farm, then a mid-morning slice of healthy tiramisu. It was nourishing on many levels. Self-care for the soul. And I started to cherish and keenly anticipate the ritual. (Might have been the addiction talking.)

I finally worked out why this recipe is such a revelation.. it’s kind of show-stopping (you’ll see)! One idea that we explore in depth in my program, is that nutrient dense foods are actually the most flavourful. And that our taste buds are in fact, engineered to discern and savour nutritional complexity – at least, once we return to our intended diet of real food. Fresh veggies, from mineral-rich soils are worlds apart from the supermarket stuff, for example. Even...

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How to embrace seasonal eating: my tips from the road

Embracing seasonal eating isn’t just an attempt to reconnect with nature. It’s one of the simplest ways to radically improve the quality of your food. And by default, you’re reducing grocery bills, packaging and food miles, all whilst supporting local farmers. That’s because seasonal food is fresh, local food. The type that our grandparents, and indeed all our ancestors, thrived on.

This post is part of our Traditional food tour through Europe.
We’re still in Frankfurt, Germany.

Seasonal eating in Australia

Thanks to the dwindling food culture – the price of convenience for our parent’s generation, we’ve really lost touch with eating this way. Most Australians shop predominantly at their local supermarket instead of markets or farmgate stalls, as is the norm in Europe. There’s certainly more of an inherent understanding over here, that all foods, including meats, have a season.

Spargel berries
Beautiful fresh asparagus we found at a...
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Easy Rose Petal Vinegar: Your skin will drink it.

Two things sprung to mind when I spied the red roses growing outside our new country home. Rose petal jam. Rose petal vinegar. The latter won, as it turned out. It’s been far too long since I made a floral or herbal vinegar. And Spring seemed like the perfect time, with fresh salads stealing the lion’s share of the menu. Having a few novelty dressing additions on hand, never goes astray.

Flowers and fresh salads. I LOVE this time of year!

The wonderful thing about rose petal vinegar is that it’s equally at home in your bathroom cabinet and pantry. Well, to be honest, my entire beauty routine originates from the pantry anyway, so nothing special here.

Roses & vinegar: allies in beauty

As an ex-beauty therapist, I have a long-standing appreciation for roses. Their extensive list of active constituents and healing properties mean they have unparalleled scope when it comes to treating skin issues. You’ll see it recommended for dry skin, inflamed skin, acne...

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Traditional Food Tour: indulging in the name of research

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2017

And so begins our 10 week traditional food jaunt through Europe. Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland. The purpose is three-fold: to introduce the newest young member of the clan to his European elders; to sample as many nose-to-tail delights as possible and to broaden our knowledge of traditional and regional cuisine in general. My feeble attempt to address the enormous void that exists on that front, in Australia.

It's certainly taken us a few days to get used to the new timezone and lingering Winter temps (1 degree on our *very brisk* walk the other morning), but we’re now settled into our new life and loving every minute.

It's not TOO much of a stretch, when my mother-in-law (our host for the next couple of weeks) is a talented German housewife whose lifelong dream was to own a bed-and-breakfast. A master illusionist, is she. You never really spy her working, but our perfectly pressed clothes appear on the stairs each morning and the dining table is always immaculately set....

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Nose to Tail for Beginners: Brainy Frittata

traditional food tour Feb 01, 2017

Nose to tail eating: a lost tradition

Did you realise that nose to tail eating, the art of consuming the whole animal, has been a common practice in every traditional culture? It’s something I take any opportunity to wax lyrical about and for good reason. Organ meats are the most nutrient dense food group and eating nose to tail is quite simply, the only way to achieve a balanced nutritional profile as a meat-eater. Let the renaissance begin!

Eat brains; become brainier? Our ancestors thought so.

Brains are enjoyed across the world and are considered a nourishing food.  African, Chinese and Indonesian folk happily feast on the grey matter of monkeys, goats, pigs, cows, squirrels and horses. In India, Bheja Fry and Maghaz Masala are popular goat brain recipes available throughout the country. When in Mexico you may try some tacos de sesos, or in France, cervelles (lamb brains) are a prized ingredient in many gourmet dishes.

Traditional cultures trusted the principle of...

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Food Waste: how to avoid it in your kitchen

Are you throwing away 20% of the food you buy? Unfortunately, according to Food Wise food waste is a real problem. Australians are tossing 1 out of every 5 bags of groceries purchased.  That’s a staggering 4 million tonnes, worth $8 billion dollars of edible food going in the bin each year.

Thankfully, food waste can be a thing of the past. Waste-free cooking is pretty simple, once you know the ropes. We just have to rekindle some of Grandma’s know-how.

Why bother with waste-free cooking?

Firstly, there’s the financial benefit: $1,036 per year for the average household (enough to feed a family for a month)!  This Sustainability Victoria report found food waste in 2014 to be even higher, at $2,200 per household.

Secondly, the environmental impacts are quite significant. When food waste ends up in landfill, it produces methane gas. This greenhouse emission is a staggering 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution from your car’s...

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Offal for beginners: Delicious ‘Hearty’ Bolognese

food as medicine recipes Sep 15, 2016

f you grew up in Australia (or the US) during the last few decades, then it’s unlikely that organ meats – collectively known as offal – made an appearance on your dinner plate too often. But if you flick through your grandparent’s cookbooks, you’ll see it was the norm only one generation ago.

Granted it’s nowhere near as sexy as kale or goji berries, but offal deserves a place in the superfoods hall of fame. In fact if we’re defining them by their nutrient density, it truly puts all the others to shame! Many health conscious consumers are surprised to learn that organ meats are by far the most nutrient rich foods available. Even if you’re already in the know, chances are you have no idea how to incorporate them into your family’s diet.

I recently had the opportunity to test my most popular beginner offal recipe, Hearty Bolognese, on Body & Soul features writer and offal virgin, Rosie King.  (And she survived!)

Offal: Body+soul

Why we...

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Homemade Gelatin: a neutral-flavoured version for desserts!

Gelatin is somewhat of a superfood, having its heyday again after years of misguided vilification.  It is the cooked form of animal collagen, which contains an unusually high amount of the amino acids, glycine and proline. Aside from getting a small supply whenever you eat gelatinous meaty dishes, there are three other ways to boost your intake. By consuming bone broth; using the storebought powdered or sheet form; or preparing your own homemade gelatin.

Benefits of gelatin – why we all need it

Gelatin’s health benefits are extensive. It is wonderful for the gut and digestion in general. And it’s also well known for assisting with joint health and arthritis pain, largely due to its chondroitin content. The impressive amounts of glycine make it a wonderfully calming food for people suffering with anxiety, stress or restless sleep. (Especially children!)

Sourcing vs. making gelatin

Gelatin is naturally found in the skin and cartilage of animals. It...

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