(Thank you @maverickbeanco for introducing me to Quinoa’s cousin. We get along very well).
Meet LUPIN. The next superfood you need to know about. Thanks to old mate, this BB is gluten-free, super high in protein and fibre, low in carbohydrates and zero saturated fats… but I can ensure that it is full of taste, stunning texture, natural energy and overloaded with nutrients.
(MWA – love u Lupin)
3 ripe bananas, smashed
3 free range eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
200g Lupin flour
2 heaped tbsp LSA, Psyllium Husk or Ground Flaxseed
Optional: 1 heaped tbsp Monk Fruit/Stevia (if you want to make it taste like that sweet store bought banana bread!)
2 heaped tbsp raisins or sultanas
1/4 cup granola, mixed seeds & nuts or Muesli mix for the topping and base.
Preheat oven to 170C
Line a loaf tin with baking paper (approx 26 x 11cm)
Mix the smashed banana, eggs, honey, olive oil, baking soda and lemon/lime juice.
Stir in the Lupin Flour and LSA/Psyllium.
Fold in the sultanas/raisins.
Sprinkle half of the granola/seed mix into the base of the lined tin.
Transfer the banana bread mixture on top of the granola/seeds, into the lined tin (this will ensure a crunchy base AND topping)
Sprinkle the remaining granola/seed mix on top of the mixture
Bake for 45-60 minutes (checking after 35mins every 5-10 mins with a skewer).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tin.
Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature, or covered in the fridge for up to 7 days!
NOTE: Covering the loaf with foil whilst baking will stop it from browning and burning too fast if you can see the bread overcooking.
NOTE 2: I love storing half of my loaf in the freezer so that I can save it for when guests come over!
NOTE 3: It can be fun to decorate the top of your loaf in various ways – granola, nuts, seeds, or even a sliced banana for a worthy Instagram pic (hash-tagging #flavourfoodflow of course!)
Who would have thought that this health & wellness chick
would have a crack at a 9-5 desk job (and love it?)
For those of you unaware, my side gig from @flavourfoodflow is actually a Bachelor of Commerce with a Marketing Major at the University of Sydney (yes, my inner nerd). I am due to graduate at the end of this year and so, with graduation just around the corner, I chose to partake in an Industry Placement subject. Essentially, IPP (for short) provides you with the relevant experience inside a real-life company! The best (or for some, worst) part of this subject is that you had to apply through a formal application process – resume and grade application, online interview and an assessment centre. For those selected to continue, the subject coordinators matched you up with a company they felt best suited you. I was extremely lucky to be paired up with Nespresso and its Marketing Department in their Head Office located in North Sydney.
10 weeks of coffee HERE… WE… GO!
Three Valuable Lessons.
Being the busy-body I am, I felt it was necessary to give corporate business life a crack! From this experience, I have 3 valuable lessons that will not only help direct my personal growth and future career path, but hopefully also inspire yours.
Firstly, the importance of work/life balance and adhering to your values within the work place. For me, this is a particular focus on mental health, physical health and ensuring adequate nutrition.
Secondly, the significance of working for a company who shares the same beliefs/interests to your own, and how a passion for what you do can assist with better work outcomes. At Nespresso, I thrived whenever I was working on a project that aligned closely with my strengths – such as the creative elements, briefing design agencies and the Wellness Initiatives. I can not stress enough how important it is to work for a company that you love – the product, the people, the place and the passion.
Thirdly, I learnt the power of feeling busy in a job that you enjoy, helping to ensure that days are not wasted. Reflecting back on my experience at Nespresso (Marketing department), the idea of a ‘desk job’ no longer holds negative connotations, but rather presents itself as a possible career direction that I would love to explore. Like they say do not judge a book by its cover, you equally need to try before you buy – if you have never experienced a certain job role, you can not immediately jump to the conclusion you will not enjoy it. For me, I have always thought I would never enter a business environment (the usual 9-5 gig). Now, I can recognise that I will enter a 9-5 role if it interests me, and I can rock up to work every day loving the life I live.
My fav desk snack – Plant Based Bounce Balls. This kept me from hitting that 3pm slump.
Expectation VS Reality.
I was expecting to learn a lot during the ten weeks. As most of you know, I work alongside my Commerce degree as a wellness influencer, health coach and yoga teacher. Nespresso’s corporate business environment took me out of my comfort zone and I was concerned about the difference between my current experience and a full day behind a desk. I knew it would be increasingly difficult to remain physically active, socialise and see my family – my life priorities! I felt exceptionally occupied over the last 10 weeks – fancy way of saying BUSY AF! However each day was sensational. I can assure that my time-management skills have improved beyond measure, and my ability to stay organised is my new secret weapon.
My first day involved the usual office tour and meet and greets. My Supervisor, with her previous experience in the Advertising world, instantly inspired me! I was also aware of her frequent appearances on the Gruen Transfer – now that is pretty cool. With her guidance, I learnt quickly about who did what, seeing which areas best resonated with my interests. My absolute favourite was the Public Relations team (PR for short), digital marketing and product promotion. As you can imagine, the digital space sparked an interest in me because it is quite similar to some of the social media projects I work on myself for @flavourfoodflow.
9 to Thrive.
I loved working on projects where I could see the impact of my contributions – stay tuned with the upcoming promotional antics of Nespresso – I DID THAT! Watching hard work unfold found myself waking up with immense excitement on the weekdays placement fell on. I will admit that it was all a bit nerve-wracking and foreign at first, however the more experience I had in such tasks, the more confident I became. I stayed true to my values and refused to become stressed or anxious, ensuring that my days were enriching.
This is my moto, and I encourage you all to employ this foundation within your own career paths – do you wish to work to live? Or live to work? Food for thought…
I stayed true to my values and refused to become stressed or anxious, ensuring that my days were enriching.
My Love/Hate Relationship with Technology.
Yes, computers are great. Yes, smart phones make digital marketing possible. Yes, e-mail is super convenient and an easy way to reach people. BUT I stand by the belief that technological advancements have both positive and negative effects in the workplace. Nothing is done by a pen and paper these days, so it is not surprising that a vast amount of time at the office is spent working on a computer at your desk. I am an extremely active individual (ya think?!), previously working in jobs that require a lot of physical movement. So, as you can imagine, I found sitting at a desk for extended periods of time to be a significant challenge. At times, it made me feel restless and lethargic, but I constantly reminded myself how important it was for me to experience this style of work if Marketing is the direction I wish to go down in the future. On the other hand, it also taught me another one of those valuable lessons. Howto be flexible in an entirely inflexible situation. My resolution to the issue involved multiple ‘rest’ breaks (Nespresso coffee on hand at all times). My second resolution was to take advantage of the close proximity of Nespresso HQ – and by close, I mean walking distance. A one hour walk home from work may not suit everybody, but for me, it was magical. Bringing my runners to work, changing from heels to sneakers before I left the office at 5pm…GENIUS. I went from tired to extremely awake and rejuvenated by the time I arrived home.
On the other hand, it also taught me another one of those valuable lessons. Howto be flexible in an entirely inflexible situation.
Bringing my runners to work, changing from heels to sneakers before I left the office at 5pm… GENIUS. I went from tired to extremely awake and rejuvenated by the time I arrived home.
To anyone from Nespresso whom I have been lucky enough to work alongside with, I want to say THANK YOU. You were incredibly welcoming, nurturing and taught me everything I now know about business life (high expectations follow as a result!)
SO there you have it. An insight into my experience at a business job (yippee!).
Working with a recognizable brand is motivating, and I highly recommend giving it a go. On the other hand, in terms of my personal growth and ‘where to from here’, I remain convinced that a healthy and active lifestyle will stand as the foundation for my career.
Home-made Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread, using nothing but the beauty of natural ingredients.
Whenever I am walking home from the bus stop, I always detour via Scoop Wholefoods in Mosman. I browse for about 10 minutes, as I source out at least $5 worth of goodies due to the Eftpos minimum ha!
However it is worth it. Each time, I leave with different ingredients, eager to get home and whip up a storm in my kitchen!
Today was a Nut Day; hazelnut and macadamia
Something a little diverse, and certainly something a little tasty.
When you buy nuts, you can do one of 2 things.
Store them in an air-tight jar in the fridge for snack purposes
Blend up a Nut Butter Creation!
I always choose 2.
1 cup hazelnuts
1 heaped tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp honey
2 heaped tbsp cacao powder
2-3 tbsp water
Blend the hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped
Melt the honey and coconut oil, adding into the Nut mixture
Add 1 tbsp water, blend
Add the cacao powder, blend
Add the rest of the water & cacao nibs
Blend until a smooth, rich and fluffy texture forms – depending on your blender, you may need more wet ingredients for a smoother consistency. However, if you like your nut spread crunchy, then adapt to suit your preference!
Only an hour out of Sydney.
Amidst the nature Australia is known for – beautiful bushland, clean air, green trees and peaceful surroundings.
All these years of me taking 3-4 weeks off work to venture off overseas, when this piece of magic was available at Sydney’s doorsteps!
If you were to ask me about a month ago, I would have told you that there is no way I would find relaxation in anywhere but an Island; a tropical sunny holiday with beach, sand and sun. However, after staying at Billabong Retreat, I managed to find a point of mental clarity and stillness within the space of 3 days.
I made my way to Billabong Retreat via train, which departed from Central Station in the early afternoon. Arriving just in time for the welcome session and arvo Yoga Class. I was greeted with a smile by the friendly Taxi Driver who services the guests, transporting them from the train station at Vineyard to the retreat HQ!
Upon my arrival, I was taken to my room. I must admit, I was upgraded (life goals!), to the groovy Treehouse at Number 4. Not only did this room have 2 beds, but it also had 2 baths – one in the bathroom and one on the balcony. Ah, heaven! The room was fully equipped with tea of all sorts, a kettle, hot water bottles, a heater, EcoDownUnder towels and linen, Epsom Salts, a sound system, a fruit bowl… it was divine. I was also happy to see that Billabong is completely Eco-friendly, everything is recyclable and/or reusable, organic and nature-loving!
“2 baths… one in the bathroom and one on the balcony…“
In terms of the structure of the days? The true beauty lay in the fact that there was structure, but it was not forced upon you. Yes there were distinct meal times, sunrise yoga, afternoon tea, wellness session, but there was also no one knocking at your door demanding your attendance! If you felt up to it, then it was waiting for you with open arms. If you preferred to take a fresh air stroll or an afternoon snooze, then this was also encouraged. Choice – absolutely necessarily for someone like myself.
The food. Now this is where my head, heart, mind, body AND soul were completely sold. The food was organic, fresh and entirely plant based. They also catered for all food and dietary requirements, offering a variety of options to cater for varying tastebuds. My favourite was the Polenta slice and green veggie salad.. OH, and the delicious buckwheat and banana pancakes with vegan creamy sauce. YUM!
“They also catered for all food and dietary requirements… my favourite was the delicious buckwheat and banana pancakes with vegan creamy sauce… YUM”
The yoga. Ahhh, my favourite! A combination of gentle Yinyasa to wake the body of a morning, and a relaxing Yin practice to balance the Yang. Funnily enough, I only did 2 of the yoga classes. Why? Well, being a frequent yogie myself, I quite enjoyed the time “off” away from the mat… it also meant I enjoyed a sleep in for the first time in AGES. But for anyone new to Yoga, or for those who are constantly saying “I must do more yoga” – then Billabong Retreat is calling your name.
In addition, the workshops were mind-blowing. From learning how to ferment your own veggies and create your own kombucha, to adopting new knowledge about gut health and the gut brain relationship. For anyone that knows me well, you are aware of how much I LOVE talking about the significance of a healthy belly – hence, the Health Fundamentals package totally aligned with my values and beliefs.
“The yoga… combination of gentle Vinyasa to wake the body of a morning, and a relaxing Yin practice to balance the Yang…”
I can safely say I slept the entire train trip home – waking up upon my arrival at Central station feeling energised, relaxed and eager to conquer life!
A touch of purity and an element of clearness… awaken your inner mind through bringing ‘Saucha’ into your life.
But hold up… “what even is Saucha?”
Put simply, Saucha is one of the five Niyamas, stemming from Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. It often translates as ‘cleanliness’, however not only physical cleanness (like a tidy room), but also an awakening of your inner mind.
Saucha is much more than just #YogaTalk… Incorporating Saucha into our everday life allows us to arrive on our mats with focus, but also aids us towards being healthier, happier and more aware.
HOW TO bring some Saucha into your life this Sunday…
Fresh & Clean Food
Clean out the pantry of any processed, sugar-overloaded, expired CR@P!
Your body is your body, and we were only given one, so treat it well. Toxins and chemicals in our food can severely impact the way we feel physically, but also the way we think (for example, certain additives in food can create imbalances with our hormones, causing unnecessary mood swings).
Clean out the fridge, and stock it with FRESH produce;
Like I suggested with the Pantry, clean out the fridge of any sauces, take away meals, high sodium foods that you know deep down your body will not enjoy in the long run.
Before you restock it, give it a good wipe down! All you need is a warm sponge, some white vinegar, eucalyptus oil or natural soap. Kill that bacteria – your body has enough of it growing inside you already.
Load it with fresh produce (organic where possible) from your local market, rinsing and storing it in such a way that keeps it preserved and fresh/alive for as long as possible.
Cook once, eat twice;
Prep for the next day(s), depending on your weekly schedule.
The best way to preserve your perishable goodies is by ‘partially cooking’ them, and storing them in the freezer in freeze bags or glass containers. This means baking or steaming things like sweet potato, beetroot, pumpkin etc so they’re about 70-80% cooked. Allow to cool before storing in the freezer for later. This also makes it super easy and quick to whip up a delicious dinner dish when you come home from work (and cooking is the last thing on your mind…)
Making a salad, vegetable curry, soup or even loaded a quiche with lots of vegetables is another perfect way to utilise your goods. But don’t simply cook for one nights meal, make enough to last 1-3 days maximum (as leftovers are not only the easiest, but also the tastiest ‘next-day’ lunch option!)
A clean SPACE
And by space, I emphasise your Bedroom;
It’s a place where you not only sleep, but hopes and dreams are also made and created. Lets start by OPENING up your windows, your balcony door, your bedroom door… allow fresh, clean and pure air to enter your room.
See all those clothes on the floor, or on that chair?
Are they even clean, or are they dirty? How about all those tea cups or snack plates from the apple you ate earlier this morn… Yep, lets get rid of it all! Toss the dirty clothes in the wash and fold the clean ones up and pop in your wardrobe. Take the dirty dishes to the kitchen to be washed by hand (or a dishwasher if you’re lucky). Whilst you’re at it, grab the vacuum, broom, dust pan and/or duster, and give the entire place an old classic wipe down! With more space to work with now that all your junk is gone, you can thoroughly rid yourself of that excess dust gathering on the books sitting on your bedside-table.
Change your sheets;
Even if you washed them a few days ago, lets be extra ‘Saucha’ today and pop them in the wash alongside your clothes. A dirty pillowcase is a strong contributor to troubled skin, especially if you’re someone who is prone to breakouts and has oily skin. I recommend changing your pillow case every 3-4 days, and sheets at least 1 or 2 times a week.
Candles, incense, essential oils, flowers;
These are all great options to bring beautiful smells and clean air into your room naturally, without the nasty chemicals. They not only smell fantastic, but they really jazz up the interior of your room too!
A clean BODY & a clean MAT
Take a shower before yoga, and wash your hair;
It may sound silly, especially for anyone practices in a heated room or just gets super sweaty, but trust me, it feels amazing. Clean sweat is much nicer than dirty sweat, especially when you’re wearing clean yoga clothes! Rocking up to yoga with freshly clean, wet hair has an incredibly cooling and purifying effect on you whilst you practice… it’s also better for your hair follicles to dry naturally than applying heat from a blowdryer, so it’s technically a win-win situation.
Clean your mat;
We often wipe down our mats before and after practice, but the sponges we use are often communal, and therefore your mat is not necessarily getting the proper clean that it needs. Today, let’s give your mat a proper scrub before you leave home to practice – natural disinfectants like eucalyptus oil diluted in warm water works like a charm.
If your mat is at the studio, be sure to give it a sponge with the communal tools on offer, but after class today, let’s take your mat home. Take time this week before you next practice to give it a thorough clean, and clear away any built up muck and not-so-nice smells.
A clean MIND
End your day with some self-love;
Whether that be a solo evening walk listening to relaxing tunes, or a bubble bath with essential oils and soothing fragrances, be sure to take the time to rest and unwind.
Bring your focus on affirmations such as “I am healthy” or “I am happy”, as these can really help to cement this new Saucha aspect into your daily life. Focusing the mind through Pranayama (breath work) is also another way to reach inner clarity.
An early nights sleep;
Sleeping is where the magic happens – where our body soaks in all the goodness of the day, and makes way for new great opportunities to enter. So give your body all the time it needs in order to recharge for the week ahead.
Did you know that salt water actually has a healing effect on the body?
“Hippocrates first used the word ‘thalassotherapy‘ to describe the healing effects of seawater, according to Pacific Naturopathic. Ancient Greeks appreciated the health and beauty benefits of this mineral-rich water and bathed and soaked in seawater-filled pools and hot tubs.” (Live strong)
Through simply popping on your swimmers and diving into the water, you can help improve your skin smoothness, any blemishes or pimples, mental health, digestive system and more!
Salt – Also known as Sodium Chloride, did you know that it acts as an incredible clearing, and cleansing agent. Switch from your harsh chemical based products, and introduce a morning swim in the ocean to help cure your skin issues!
Water Fitness – Whilst it may seem obvious, swimming at the beach will help you keep fit. You use an array of muscle groups such as your arms, legs, shoulders and other unique muscles that aren’t really used in other forms of physical activity.
TIP: If you’re short on time, simply tread water at a fast pace for 1 minute! The more reps you do, the more calories you’ll burn! It’s incredible for toning too…
Whose waking up at 6am for a morning swim tomorrow? I know I am…
This tasty pizza recipe is GLUTEN FREE and healthy! A great alternative to your fast-food option… And perfect for an enjoyable night in.
Its the simpizza things in life
For the Crust:
1 ½ cups quinoa, uncooked and soaked overnight
½ cup filtered water (plus more for soaking)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
For the roasted cherry tomatoes:
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
For the basil pesto:
2 cups tightly packed basil
¼ cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup olive oil
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Sea salt and pepper
Other pizza ingredients:
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
Handful of basil leaves (to garnish)
Other toppings: sautéed mushrooms, eggplant, or peppers, sautéed spinach or other greens, garlic, mozzarella cheese.
For the quinoa crust:
Place uncooked quinoa in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Quinoa will have absorbed all water by this time and fluffed up a bit. Place soaked quinoa in a mesh strainer and give a good rinse.
Preheat oven to 220C°/425°F. In a blender or food processor add in soaked and rinsed quinoa, ½ cup filtered water, salt, baking powder, oregano, and garlic powder. Blend on medium-high until quinoa begins to form a smooth batter – about 1-2 minutes.
Line a large baking tray or round pizza pan with parchment paper. You can drizzle pan with a bit of oil before placing the parchment paper on top so it doesn’t move around. Drizzle parchment paper in pan with olive oil and pour in quinoa crust batter in a thin layer. Use a spatula to thin out and make sure crust is even.
Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, until it begins to turn golden. (During this time you can also place your tomatoes in the oven to roast!) Remove pizza from oven, gently flip over, and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden and crisp. During this time, prepare the pesto and slice your zucchini or other toppings.
Remove pizza from oven, cover with pesto sauce, layers of zucchini, and roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle pizza with sea salt and pepper. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until zucchini starts to gently brown. Remove from oven, slice up, and devour! You can also sprinkle the pizza with some torn basil leaves, or a drizzle of olive oil.