Improving Digestion With Food Combining

Over the past few months I have been flirting with a raw food diet. I certainly haven’t gone all out but rather have adopted more of a ‘Raw Till Four lifestyle’. I’ve also gradually cut out any remaining dairy products from my vegetarian ‘diet’.

I feel great without the dairy and have always wanted to transition from being a long-term vegetarian to a vegan, although I don’t like to put labels on myself. The thing was when I started making fruits and vegetables my stable foods I really thought I would magically, overnight get perfect digestion.

Truth is, I’ve had a sensitive stomach ever since I can remember and suffered from poor digestion and chronic stomach pain. Much to my surprise, when I starting eating more raw foods I experienced terrible stomach pains (you know the ones when you’re curled over and confined to the couch.)

I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong until I started experimenting with food combining. I had vaguely heard of the concept before, I think from reading an interview with supermodel Miranda Kerr.

So what is food combining? 

Different foods digest at different rates. Food combining is the practice of eating foods together that have roughly the same digestion time. This is said to prevent a ‘traffic jam’ occurring within your stomach which can cause indigestion, stomach pain, flatulence, acid reflux, diarrhea and even acne and fatigue.

How do you food combine?

Food-Combining-ChartCredit: juiceandjumpropes.tumblr.com

I think the best way to understand how to properly food combine is to do a Google search for ‘food combining charts’, such as the one pictured above.

Here are also a few pointers.

  • Melons consist of mainly water (take watermelons that are made up of 92% water.) Due to their high-water content, they digest the fastest out of all foods and therefore should not be combined with other types of foods and preferably eaten on any empty stomach.
  • Fats should not be combined with sweet fruits. The same also goes for ‘proteins’ which you could also classify as fats such as nuts and seeds. They both can be combined with leafy greens and acid fruits.
  • Sweet fruits such as bananas don’t mix well with acid fruits like strawberries. I personally find this to be the hardest combination to digest and typically will end up having a really sore stomach and feel sorry for myself after consuming this combination.
  • Leafy greens digest well with all fruits (besides melons.)

Is food combining necessary to achieve optimal digestion?

A final point. I know there are plenty of people out there who don’t food combine and never have issues with digestion or stomach pain. I write this for people who have had similar experiences to myself and may want to try it and see if  it helps them. Because let’s face it stomach pain is awful and when you have it you’ll do anything to get rid of it.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

Advertisements

Indian Potato & Pea Curry

Indian-Potato-And-Pea-Curry
It was a gloomy and drizzly day in old Melbourne town; the perfect weather for a restoring and comforting curry. This recipe is vegan, low fat and contains no oils or salt but is incredibly delicious. You can adapt this recipe to however you like; lentils would also be a great addition as well as some baby spinach.

Indian Potato & Pea Curry
Serves 4 (large serves)

Ingredients
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 med-large red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp curry powder
3 cups potatoes, cubed
3 large flat mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup green peas
3 large flat mushrooms, chopped
400g tinned organic chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Water

Method
1. Heat the mustard seeds in a dry pan until they start to pop. Add water to the pan to prevent sticking and add onions, garlic and ginger, cooking until the onion is soft.
2. Add the turmeric, chilli, cumin, garam marsala and curry powder. Add potato and coat in spice mixture. Add enough water so the potatoes are just covered and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the potato is just tender. Stir and add more water occasionally to prevent sticking.
3. Add the mushrooms half way into the cooking process, as these will take less time to cook.
4. When the potatoes are tender, add the peas and tinned tomatoes. Stir well to combined. Mix in cilantro before serving.

The Fashion World Of Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean-Paul-Gaultier-Exhibition

Where has the time gone? It feels like forever since I last blogged.

Now I could come up with a million and one excuses for why I have been MIA but instead I’m just going to jump right back into things, starting with what I got up to today.

Venturing out to Melbourne’s CBD, My mum and I visited the National Gallery of Victoria to see one of their latest exhibitions ‘The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’.

My childhood dream was to become a fashion designer and while I decided not to pursue fashion design as a career, it will always be something close to my heart. Watching Jean Paul’s shows I was always in awe of his fancy-free creations and provocative style that challenged not only what was fashionable but also challenged our ideals.

Gaultier-Union-Jack-Punk-Design

Gaultier-Punk-Collection

An international first, the exhibition features more than 140 garments and in addition photographs, sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from fashion shows, film, television, concerts and dance performances.

Gaultier-Corset

Gaultier-Corset-Dress
It took us almost three hours to view the collection which spanned over seven rooms, all of which had their own theme. My favourite being ‘The Boudoir’, which featured the garment his probably most recognised for, The Corset.

Gaultier-Sailor-Inspired-NGV

Gaultier-Indian-Wedding-Dress

What I really appreciated about the exhibition was the effort and thought that went into the presentation. It could of well been a gallery with white walls and mannequins, but instead they completely transformed the decor to suit each theme and collection of designs.

If you’re in town, I highly recommend you visit ‘The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’ which runs until the 8th February 2015.

Pray For Sydney

Pray-For-Sydney

Tonight my thoughts are with the hostages and the loved ones of Sydney’s Martin Place Siege. If you’re unaware of the terrifying situation you can read more here.

I spent most of the day messaging my best friend back and forth, she lives in Sydney and was confined to her office building all day; just a short block away from the cafe.

If I could just ask of you one thing and that is to pray for the hostages and for their safe and imminent return to their loved ones.

Spread love not hate and please #PrayForSydney

Adventures In Ireland: Kissing The Blarney Stone

Today our journey would end in Kinsale, a gorgeous little fishing village located in County Cork. But first on the agenda was a trip to the famous Blarney Castle.

Blarney-Castle

During our travels through Europe and The UK, we visited many castles! While Blarney wasn’t my favourite (it’s a bit touristy), I am glad we decided to visit, even for the views alone which were pretty spectacular.

View-from-Blarney-Castle

I remember it being fairly quiet the day we visited and after climbing the very small and steep stairs to the castle top, we had these beautiful views all to ourselves.

Blarney-Castle-Interior

View-from-Blarney-Castle-2
Of course it wasn’t long before we were summoned over by a guide to kiss the infamous Blarney stone.

Legend has it that if you kiss the stone it will give you the power of eloquence or ‘the gift of the gab’.

Kissing-the-blarney-stone
My BF was brave and got straight down to business. Me on the other hand thought the whole act of kissing a stone that millions of others had kissed was a bit gross but of course I caved. After all it’s not everyday an Aussie girl finds herself in Blarney so I got down there and gave the stone what it wanted, a good ol’ peck.

Blarney-Poisonous-Gardens

Before we departed Blarney we took a lovely stroll around the grounds including the poisonous gardens which had some really interesting plants such as wolfsbane (I thought this only existed in vampire tv-shows).

Blarney-Castle-Gardens

Creek-at-Blarney-Castle

Blarney-Gardens

Blarney-House

(The picture above is of Blarney House located within the grounds. It is absolutely gorgeous but was closed when we visited)

We arrived in Kinsale late afternoon and made our way to The Blue Horizon, a local Pub/B&B that would be our resting place for the night. The rooms were comfortable and clean and were located away from the Pub so we never had any issues with noise.

Located on the ocean front, you could step outside of your room and in a few meters be standing on the beach. It was really overcast and stormy during our stay and we both vowed to come back to Kinsale during the warmer months. We both agreed that with a bit of sunshine, Kinsale would be the perfect summer holiday spot.

Christmas Chaos Averted

Hello! How was your weekend?

Mine was fairly quiet as I needed to finish off an assignment.

You know that feeling when you can’t concentrate on anything else until you get that one thing done and off your plate.Well this was that one thing and even though it wasn’t the most exciting of weekends hitting that send button on Sunday evening felt so good!

Over the weekend I also took some time to do a bit of Christmas planning and online shopping.I have to say I’m pretty chuffed with myself when it comes to Christmas shopping, in my mind I’ve got it down to a fine art 😛

Every year I create a ‘fancy’ excel spreadsheet which lists the person, present, store, the cost of the present and a column to tick off when I have the present ready to go.

I highly recommend doing this as it’s so much easier to keep to budget and avoid going overboard, which is something I’m inclined to do. If I had to choose my language of love I would definitely be the gift-giver.

What I also love about this spreadsheet is you can map out which shops you need to visit.I might love shopping but I don’t enjoy the crowds so being able to get in and out as quickly as possible is a must at this time of year.

In between purchasing gifts for loved ones I also sneakily purchased a few items for myself.

Frank Body Scrub

Frank-Body-Scrub
It seems like everyone has tried this body scrub (well at least on Instagram), so I was keen to try it out for myself. I picked up the original coffee scrub and I will definitely share a review once I have tried it out 🙂

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The-Happiness-Project
I’ve seen so many bloggers rave about this book so I had to check it out. ‘The Happiness Project’ is going to be my summer read once I finally finish ‘Almost French‘.

Question Of The Day?

Do you plan your Christmas Shopping?
What are your top tips for surviving Christmas shopping madness?

Christmas Frosted Lofthouse-Style Cookies

Christmas-Frosted-Lofthouse-Style-Cookies

Happy Friday Friends! 

To celebrate the end of the working week I made these delicious frosted lofthouse-style cookies. Truth be told, I’ve never actually tried a lofthouse cookie but have seen pictures of them and have been told they are a softer style cookie topped with a buttercream frosting.

These cookies are vegan, coloured with natural food dyes and cruelty-free sprinkles. Don’t worry they won’t taste like beetroot! I promise the only thing you will taste is soft, buttery, vanilla goodness. Enjoy 🙂

Frosted Christmas Lofthouse-Style Cookies
Makes: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients
Cookies:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (Plain flour)
2 1/4 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup non-dairy butter or margarine (Nuttelex or Earth Balance), softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar (White sugar)
3 tsps cornflower + 3 tsps water, whisked
3 tsps pure vanilla extract

Frosting:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (Soft icing sugar)
3 tbsps non-dairy butter or margarine (Nuttelex or Earth Balance)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For ‘red’ food colouring
1 tsp beet juice
For green food colouring,
2-3 drops of vegan food colouring paste in dark green

Directions
To make the cookies:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter/margarine and sugar together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
3. Whisk together cornflower and water and slowly beat into mixture. Add vanilla.
4. With mixer on a low speed, add dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed.
5. Roll mixture into a ball, cover and chill for 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C.). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
7. Create tablespoon-sized balls of mixture and place on prepared baking sheets, flattening balls slightly with your fingers, spacing the cookies roughly 2-3 inches apart.
8. Bake for 6-12 minutes. Be careful not to over bake! You want little to no browning. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:
1. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl. Add butter/margarine, milk, vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
2. Divide frosting into batches and tint each with food colouring. Add extra sugar or milk if required.
3. Decorate cookies with frosting and sprinkles and place on wire rack to let frosting set. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe Tips
1. When making frosting, go by eye and add more sugar or liquids depending on how thin or thick you want your frosting.
2. Natural green food colouring can also be made using spinach, spirulina powder and green powders.
3. Watch the oven! It only took 6 minutes for these to start to brown.

Sweaty Santa Stairs Circuit

Good Evening Guys. Hope your day is going well.

Today I popped into our local pet supplies store to pick up some new balls for Oscar. I’m convinced this dog was a soccer player in a past life. You will either find him kicking the ball around with his snout or following someone around the house trying to convince them to play fetch.

Oscar-with-soccer-ball

While I was there I also purchased his Christmas present, this adorable pink lamb which he will probably destroy in 5 minutes.

Pink-Lamb-Dog-Toy
I couldn’t leave without these delicious looking doggie Christmas cookies. Don’t they just look good enough to eat!

Doggie-Christmas-Cookies
So onto today’s workout.

I need to amp up my cardio but two things have been getting in my way. Firstly the weather here is hot, hot, hot! and I’m not a fan of running in the heat. Secondly, my treadmill has decided to die on me 😦

Have you ever hired someone to repair a treadmill? what was your experience?

This stairs circuit is one of my all-time favourite indoor cardio workouts. Alternatively you can do this outside and using stairs or a step. It really is a total body workout and will get you nice and sweaty 🙂

sweaty-santa-stairs-circuit

 

Black Forest Smoothie

Black-Forest-Smoothie

I’m currently sipping on this delicious black forest smoothie.

Black forest is probably my favourite type of chocolate and when I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it.

The only stickler was that it included cacao powder which I had never been a fan of.

On one of my most recent trips to the supermarket (I tend to be one of those people who visits the supermarket several times a week), I came across this Nature’s Way Super Cacao Powder.

Nature's-Way-Super-Cacao-Powder
Certified organic, this raw cacao powder is choc-a-block (see what I did there 😉 ) full of antioxidants, magnesium and iron. But the best part is the taste. It has a decadent dark chocolate flavour but without the bitterness. It’s definitely changed my view of cacao and I’m keen to try some more recipes using this superfood.

Here are a few facts about cacao.

– Natural unprocessed alternative to chocolate
– Native to the tropical areas of South America
– Includes high levels of antioxidants to help fight free radicals
– Contains one of the most concentrated forms of magnesium found in nature to support heart health, build muscle and bones and assist with cramps
– Promotes good mood and energy with feel-good molecules and amino acids
– Source of calcium, iron, fibre and protein

Now onto the recipe.

If you’re after something that is super nutritious but tastes completely indulgent this recipe is for you.

Black Forest Smoothie
Serves One
Recipe adapted from Anji B Found here

Smoothie-Ingredients
Ingredients
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries
1/3 cup pitted dates (remove pits)
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
2 tsps Nature’s Way Super Cacao Powder
Water to blend

Method
1. Blend all ingredients in blender until you achieved the desired consistency. Add water if smoothie is too thick.

Recipe Tips
1. Freeze the bananas or add ice cubes to make the smoothie colder.
2. If you don’t have vanilla almond milk on hand you can use 1/2 cup almond milk and 2 tsps of vanilla to achieve similar taste.

Question of the day
1. What’s your favourite juice or smoothie of the moment?

Feeling The Lieb Love

Liebster-Award
Yay! I’m so happy to have been nominated for the Liebster Award.

Thank you to Lynn & Alex from Eat2Health Blog for the nomination. Please do check out their blog, its full of delicious recipes!

It’s only been a few short months since I entered the world of blogging and I’ve been absolutely loving every moment of it. Thank you to everyone for all the encouragement and support. The fact that you guys continue to read and enjoy the blog truly means the world to me.

So you might be saying ‘Lieb what?’, well its an award given out to bloggers by fellow bloggers. It’s an encouragement award of sorts to welcome new bloggers to the community.

As part of the award rules, Eat2Health Blog have given me a few questions to answer so here goes.

1. What have you found to be the hardest thing about blogging and why?
Finding the time to create blog posts that are well-written, interesting and include quality photographs. Even though it’s challenging, I’m enjoying the journey of developing my personal writing style and learning the in’s and out’s of food photography.

2. Do you prefer sweet or savoury?
I’ve always had a sweet tooth and love chocolate, cookies, cakes, you name it.

3. What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
If I get to choose the movie, it’s most likely going to be a ‘chick-flick’, comedy or travel movie/documentary. For 2014, my pick would be Begin Again.

Begin-Again
4.  Do you eat2health?
Definitely. When I went vegetarian 5 years ago I noticed a huge difference in my health, both physically and mentally. I truly believe our planet, which gives us life is where we will find the cure for the diseases and ills that cripple our society. By eating a diet largely of wholefoods you will eat your way to a happier and healthier self.

5. What song brings you the most memories when played and why?
Country music- anything by Shania Twain and Bryan Adams. I always reminisce jumping on the couch and singing along with my childhood friends.

6. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve over come up until this point?
It’s still a work in progress, but loving yourself for who you are. I’m definitely getting better at this with age.

7. What’s your all-time favourite book?
It changes over time but in the last few years it would have to be Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Eat-Pray-Love
8. Do you look at your glass as half empty or half full?
Half full.

9. What’s your favourite dish to cook or bake in the kitchen?
It’s forever changing but I’ve always loved baking sweets, particularly cupcakes.As of late I have enjoyed making Indian foods and curries.

10. Where’s the most exotic and/or interesting place you’ve traveled to?
Most interesting place would be Italy. The way of life is so different from what I have been brought up with, it was a culture shock that’s for sure. I was in complete awe when we visited the ruins and was glued to the guide book trying to understand the history behind the overwhelming amount of art and religious sites.

Trevi-Fountain
11. What one piece of wisdom could you pass on to your fellow bloggers (not necessarily about blogging!)?

Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

…Now list 11 random facts about yourself!
1. My first job was working in a candle store.
2. I collect cookbooks. Two of my most unusual books are an Alice & Wonderland cookbook and the WWF cookbook.
3. My dream job as a child was to be a fashion designer.
4. I’m an only child.
5. My dog’s name is Oscar and he is a Tenterfield Terrier.
6. I’ve always lived close to the beach.
7. My favourite flowers are sunflowers. They are so bright and cheerful.
8. I love the theater. I grew up acting, mostly on stage. The last show I saw was Wicked which was incredible.
9. My favourite holiday spot in Australia is Port Douglas, where you can snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.
10. My favourite cuisine is Mexican.
11. I’m at my happiest when I’m out in nature- hiking in a national park with loved ones or running along the beach. Being outside always calms me.

Who I nominate for the Liebster Award
1. Zaatar & Quinoa
2. Jon’s Journey
3. Honestly Fitness
4. This Is Emu
5. Healthy INGRIDients

Questions for the talented nominees.
1. Where would you live if you could choose anywhere in the world?
2. If you could be a celebrity or famous person for a day who would you be?
3. What was your favourite tv-show growing up?
4. What’s your favourite comfort food?
5. What are 5 sights a visitor to your country should see?
6. What’s something new you would like to try in 2015?
7. Who is your favourite singer/band?
8. What is one of your favourite traditions? (can be with family/friend/yourself)
10. If you could change anything about the world what would you change?
11. What is your favourite thing about yourself?

Here are the rules of the Liebster Award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.

5. Nominate 5 –11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)

6. Create a new list of questions for the bloggers to answer.

7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:

8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!).