For many months, a whole year actually, I’ve been going round in circles as to whether I should buy a juicer. I’m a loyal Thermomix lover that makes awesome smoothies so I felt like I was cheating on Thermie even looking at a juicer.
Juices vs smoothies I feel shouldn’t be a competition; it’s down to preference or just have both. Each have oodles of nutritional benefits. Smoothies make a filling & wholesome, fibre rich breakfast that generally quicker to make too. Pure vegetable juices are easily digested & a large variety of different vegetables can be mixed together in one hit. No chunky bits either to deal with.
A niggling voice & a gut feeling was telling me the time was right to get myself a juicer. I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I finally took the plunge a week ago & headed to the Good Guys for a look. I’ve done a lot of research on the different brands, trawled the blogs & read the reviews. There are a lot of juicers out there. The main difference I’ve found is the way the juice is extracted. Cold press is best as any heat from rotating blades & motors can reduce the nutrient value of the juice. It’s better to gently squeeze out the juice that vigorously chop & mash.
Here’s what I found. Again I am no expert, just an avid Googler, one must chose the juicer that is right for you. The path of self-discovery is the most rewarding 😉
The number one juicer seems to be the Norwalk. The Gerson Therapy only allows its programs juices (13 a day!) to be made in a Norwalk cold press. This is the shebang mother of all juice machines & rings in at US$2500. They aren’t available in Australia so add shipping & tax/import duty that could be anything up another $1000. Err no, sorry can’t afford that just for every day juice.
The second best one is the Angel juicer. This looks a little more compact & is shipped free in Australia. Again this comes in at nearly $1500. Sadly out of budget.
A similar model to the Angel is the Champion juicer. It looks like the same shape but is plastic instead of stainless steel. It’s a lot cheaper at $549.
I know a few people who have picked up second hand quality juicers from various websites that is always an option to save a few dollars. Breville Juice Fountains are highly regarded. The size put me off though.
After all my research I ended up going for a very entry-level cold press juicer that I found in the Good Guys. I’m glad I went to a shop as the size & weight of juicers varied dramatically. At the end of the day I’m new to all this, have a tiny budget & very little kitchen bench/storage space. I feel I made the right choice for me.
I went for the Aquaport Juice Pro Slow cold press juicer. It was on special for $230. It’s compact, not too heavy, and easy to clean. It does the job I require. I’m very happy with it. It also is great for making almond milk. Once I’ve soaked & grinded in the Thermomix instead of filtering the milk through cheesecloth my juicer does it for me. Separating the milk from almond pulp.
My first juice was a simple greens made with an organic Granny Smith apple, cucumber, spinach, kale & lemon. I chopped the veg up as recommended; it fed through without any drama & the juice tasted really good. I did find it foamed a bit as the juice filled up in the container. A quick stir eliminated most of it. The motor did get warm but not drastically & it didn’t affect the juice that was still cool. (I’d refrigerated my produce first)
I do have to say that I’m now a convert & haven’t had a smoothie since getting the juicer, sorry Thermie! Pure juice is so tasty. Even more it’s so energising. Apart from the green apple I haven’t juiced any other fruits yet as I’m loving the green vegetables. Green juice gives you energy. It’s true! You have to be careful with other fruits, as without the fibre it’s pure sugar, natural for sure but still it’s good to note if you worry about that sort of thing.
Fresh is best. Gerson recommends all juice be drunk no more than 20 minutes after pressing as the nutrient value diminishes. Some people freeze juice or keep it till later in the day & report they still taste good. I made double quantity juice the other day. I put the extra juice in an airtight mason jar in the fridge. However it was so good it couldn’t leave it sitting in the fridge & guzzled the second serve. A healthful craving for sure.
What’s your favourite pure juice recipe? Please share in the comments below.
Love K xx
Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to have snagged a much-coveted ticket to see Jess Ainscough aka The Wellness Warrior speak live in Perth. The tour was originally scheduled for October but due to a deeply personal situation for Jess she had to postpone. Now it’s February & Jess is bouncing back into the spot light.
If you’ve never heard of Jess take a look at her awesome & inspiring blog right here. I started following her about eighteen months ago. A quick 101; Jess was diagnosed with a rare & incurable type of cancer, epithelioid sarcoma, in her left arm at just 22 years old. The hard-core party girl thought her life was over. After an unsuccessful bought of chemo the cancer returned. Jess’s only option for survival doctors told her was to amputate her arm. Even then this would only buy her a few more years until it spread further.
Jess knew there had to be another way & decided to tackle her cancer with the holistic method of Gerson Therapy. Six years on Jess is thriving & is definitely one of Australia’s number one healthy lifestyle ambassadors.
The tour was to celebrate the launch of Jess’s book ‘Make Peace with your Plate.’ I first purchased this when it was released as an ebook a few years ago. That didn’t stop me purchasing a hard copy now Hay House has published it. I find it handier especially for recipes & tips to be able to flick rather than click.
The Perth event sold out within a day the first time round. A bigger venue was found that sold out again. With the rescheduled date & an even bigger venue selling out it was a full house. Go Perth’s wellness tribe!
When I first arrived (super early as usual) I thought I’d got the wrong place. The foyer was filled with young, glamorous & glossy folk. I thought I’d walked into Perth fashion week. That l left me feeling a wee bit self conscious in my baggy yoga pants, flip-flops & Bali bag. Ha at least I’d slicked on some (organic) makeup. Not to worry at all. I was actually really pleased that Jess was reaching out to these hot young things & educating them early on healthful lifestyle choices. Wellness is awesome. To quote Jess, “You can love green juice & nice shoes.”
My early arrival enabled me to secure a front row centre seat. I no longer care about going to events alone. It’s nice to meet new people. The lady next to me struck up a conversation & we happily chatted about our common interest in wellness.
In person Jess was super glam. Sporting an angelic white cotton dress & sky-high heels. She was open, funny, cursed a little & above all was down to earth normal. The damage to her left arm was visible. Her left wrist was strapped up; I could see a few scars & she had minimal mobility in her left fingers. Still, she had her arm. Jess to me is a ‘glowing & radiant’ picture of health. “A cancer thriver” Jess calls herself.
Jess’s number one message was strongly based around the individual. Gerson therapy suited Jess. It isn’t for everyone & she fully backs that. You must find your own way to heal by listening & observing what your own body is telling you. I agree. The body is amazing & has it’s own way to self-heal; you just need to help it along with good nutrition. Jess’s message was ‘ditch the diet dogma’ do what is right for you. Eat what your body tells you too. Forget rules & labels. Don’t beat yourself if you eat an egg despite regarding yourself a vegan. If your body wants an egg, eat it. If you bloat up like a balloon after a steak then don’t eat it.
Obviously being a wellness advocate Jess couldn’t stress more how a plant based & organic diet does work best for optimum health. Jess is a living example how she tackled her cancer through a very clean vegan diet & oodles of coffee enemas. (I still haven’t tried one!) There really isn’t a place for processed food in our diets. Eat straight from the ground as nature intended.
An example Jess gave regarding processed food vs real food was an experiment she set up at home. Jess put three different types of food out on her kitchen bench to see how long each lasted till they perished.
- A homemade salad sandwich using all fresh organic produce.
- A shop bought packaged salad sandwich.
- A McDonalds cheeseburger.
The organic sandwich didn’t last more than a day before the creatures moved in to chow down on it & the vegetables perished. The shop sandwich lasted a little longer but not much. The Macca’s cheeseburger sat there for SIX MONTHS! Nothing would touch it & it didn’t even go moldy. Hmm something very wrong there. Bugs & insects are not stupid. They know what good food is; they are part of nature too & want to eat well. They did not recognize the cheeseburger as food. Who wants a cheeseburger now?
The biggest take home message I got from the evening is wellness can be fun. Change is uncomfortable; it’s hard & challenging. Find a way that works for you. A juice combo that makes you want to leap out of bed & crank up the juicer. As David Wolfe says ‘don’t wait for a crisis to happen before you change your diet.’ Also don’t let the fear of getting sick or dying to be the reason to get healthful. Do it because you love your body & wish to care & nourish it the best you can. Your body will respond.
The other guest speakers were awesome too. The amazing & stunning Melissa Ambrosini, musician Wes Carr & local Perthling Paul Reid owner of Solomon’s café in Highgate. All shared their own stories of finding their path to health. Beating anxiety, drink & drugs despite being in the high pressure entertainment industry. Paul is a muso too & Mel used to dance at the Moulin Rouge as well as TV present. Wes show cased his talents by playing a few rocking tunes & we had a mini dance party to round off the evening.
Just sitting in the theatre that night I could see wellness was cool. It wasn’t weird or hippy or grungy. Wellness can be glamorous too. It’s up to you what you make it. Just because you are looking after your health you don’t have to change who you are. If you like wearing nice clothes & curling your hair there is no reason why you still can’t do that. Just don’t judge your life on the material, what you have or have not or how big your pay cheque is. Fixating on the material won’t make you happy. Be content with what you have right now by staying present. “Pretty things are just the icing on the cake” is how Jess put it.
Meditation was big on the ‘must do’ list. I back this 100%. Sitting in stillness with yourself every day is the only way you’ll discover who you are & what makes you tick. The more you know the real you ‘inside’ by leading from your heart rather than you head will make life flow. All the speakers advocated Transcendental Meditation (TM) as a practice of choice (The Beatles were also keen practitioners who worked directly with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi). I’ve never tried it personally but I’m currently looking into it. I can say though any type of meditation is beneficial & doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
To wrap up…be yourself, love yourself & cherish the present moment for the gift it is. The more you love yourself the more that love will return back to you. Go easy though, be kind to you & take a few small steps at a time.
Love K xx
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©Seren Holistic Lifestyles Blog 2014
(please share the love with full credit thanks)
It’s been a while since I shared a recipe with you all. I came across this one in the back of the Lorna Jane product guide. Nothing like a nice frozen dessert in the summer. The great thing about this is you can leave it in the freezer for a few weeks & dip in when you like. I did find it a bit tricky to cut though. My photo does not look as nice as Lorna’s!
I used Woolworths Organic Greek yogurt in mine as well as fresh blueberries & strawberries. It’s best to let it sit out once you’ve cut it for a few minutes so you A) don’t break a tooth & B) avoid brain freeze.
Check out the recipe on the Lorna Jane website right here.
Leading on from yesterday’s post I’m going to show you how easy it is to make a nutritious, vegetarian & filling meal from the Woolworths Organic brand range. The rest of the ingredients I got from my herb garden & an egg from my chooks. For the breadcrumbs use any gluten free shop bought bread (Organic is ideal) & whiz a couple of slices up in the food processor.
This recipe I found & have adapted from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition Gluten Free Holiday Recipe Guide. It is a free download but can I find the link to it now, no. Here’s IIN main website as a reference.
Spaghetti & Vegetarian Lentil Meat Balls
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 cup Organic dry lentils – soaked for 8 hours
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or water) I use homemade Thermomix stock
- 1 Organic free range egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp fresh oregano or other mixed herbs
- 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- 1 pkg Organic Spaghetti (or gluten free/raw zucchini pasta if you prefer)
- 1 jar Organic pasta sauce
- Shredded parmesan cheese to top (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 180° C.
2. Bring the vegetable broth and lentils to a boil and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
3. Combine egg, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano in a food processor. When the lentils are done, add those as well. Pulse until blended well. Fold in the bread crumbs. If the mixture is too dry, add another egg. If it’s too wet, add more bread crumbs (you want these a little more on the wet side).
4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
5. Roll the mixture (with wet hands or use food prep gloves) into1-inch balls. Place on sheet.
6. Bake the lentil “meat” balls for 20 minutes or until they start to get golden brown.
7. While the lentil balls are baking, cook your pasta according to the directions on the pack.
8. Heat the pasta sauce.
9. Drain pasta and divide into bowls. Top with a few lentil “meat” balls, some pasta sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
Institute of Integrative Nutrition Gluten Free Holiday Recipe Guide, 2013, Page 18.
Over the past year supermarkets in Australia have really started to get on board with the Organic food movement. I feel Australia has been so far behind other Western countries like the USA in this area for too long. Finally it is becoming so much easier to eat organic without having to go searching too far a field.
What is all the fuss about Organic produce anyway? Organic certified products have been produced without the use of any chemicals. These chemicals are not only harmful to our bodies but also to the environment. The wash off from fields doused in chemicals runs off into rivers that supply our drinking water leading to other problems. Organic products are farmed using sustainable farming methods as well. Many reasons to get with Organic.
Eating from the earth with minimal use of mass produced packaged food is the ideal & best way to eat. Personally I try the best I can to eat this way. Let’s be realistic though & I’m a realistic person. Sometimes I am so dog-tired, time starved & hungry I find that I do need to grab something quick & easy to eat. Take away food is just not an option for me even if I did live near such outlets. I’m very lucky to own a Thermomix that can whip up a quick meal from scratch with a few basic ingredients. There are days though when I’m down to scouring the pantry when the fridge is looking sparse & seeing what I can throw into Thermy. This usually involves pasta, tofu or quinoa.
Packaged & canned food has a lot of down points in being high processed. However they do save us time when needed & I feel there is still a need for such food products. This is where Organic ranges come in. If you have to buy packaged & processed then we should at least go Organic to minimise some of the downsides. Buying organic means there won’t be any hidden nasties or chemicals used in their production.
Woolworths supermarkets have so many certified Organic products on their shelves now. Just six months ago there were a few things in the ‘Marco’ section. Now their own brand Organic can be found on every shelf right by the regular products. Pasta, sauces, flour, butter, yoghurt, maple syrup, jam, rice, nuts, cheese, tofu, canned veg, coconut oil & water the list goes on. Pretty much everything I would eat from a packet (which isn’t that much) I can now buy Organic.
The Woolworths Organic branding is pretty simple & easily recognised. Just look for the purple band. There are other Organic brands too. Make sure you look for the Organic stamp of approval either from Australian ACO, the USDA or your own countries Organic authority.
What about the price though? Yes Organic products in the past have been more on the expensive side agreed. However in Woolworths they aren’t that much more expensive, less than a dollar more. It’s all about keeping an eye out for specials, just like I would with regular products. Eating in season is a must for fresh vegetables & fruit. The other day Organic Kale was cheaper than regular Kale. If non-perishables like canned Organic chickpeas are on offer or rice I stock up & buy in bulk. Personally I prefer to cut back on other things in life to allow a few extra dollars to eat fresh & organic. It just takes planning. Think how much you can spend on a takeaway. A lot more than say an Organic bag of pasta & sauce.
You can easily whip up something quick & easy from the Woolworths Organic range. No excuses. Keep an eye out when you next shop to see what is on offer.
Love K xx
These days I am paying more attention to the state of my skin. Skin is our largest organ & needs special care & attention to keep it looking youthful. It is also a good place to start looking if there are things going on inside that you might not be too aware of. If there is something bubbling up inside at some point it may show up on the outside. Your skin being so vast is an obvious place. Think rashes, pimples, congestion, lumps & bumps.
For me skin care starts on the inside. Eating a balanced vegetarian diet of mainly plant-based foods is a must. Feeding my skin from the inside out. How many of us have had an over indulgent weekend & by Tuesday our skin looks like crap? Now I’m at that age where wrinkles start to kick in a bit more I feel it’s time to get more serious about the external as well.
Earlier in the year I was very grateful to Haley from Peachy Clean who did an amazing interview all about the benefits of going organic with you beauty products. If you need a refresher click right here.
Here are three products I am using right now & totally love (all organic of course!).
I plough through face wash far too quickly. When I asked Haley for her recommendation on a long lasting wash this was one of the top picks. You only need a tiny amount, literally one squirt, a little goes a long way. In the image below you can see how much is left after five months! It’s nice & gentle, smells amazing and really leaves my skin feeling clean. It has no problems clearing away make up either.
What I love also is that Dew Wash is enriched with crystal essences. As you know I’m a huge fan of crystals and their vibrational benefits for promoting good health. Infused with opal, amethyst, charoite, turquoise, emerald, quartz and chrysporase I feel the face is getting it’s own crystal therapy session. Of course the crystal vibration will then be absorbed further into my bodies too.
This moisturiser is lasting a long time as well. The concentrated formula means one big squirt can cover my whole face. I don’t like heavy, thick, greasy moisturisers and this is none of those. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin smooth & supple. My powder foundation goes right on top without the need for a primer. I chose the Blue moisturiser as it is recommended for combination skin. Again enriched with crystal essences & 100% natural I feel I can’t get much better than that.
I’ve been a bit rubbish with eye creams over the past few years. No excuse for laziness really as the delicate area is the first to show signs of aging. Then I discovered this amazing product that makes eye application less than two seconds. The handy roll on is less messy than usual oil application techniques. You only need a tiny bit as well making this very economical even at under $15.
I’ve used Rosehip oil for aiding the appearance of scars and it really does work. On fine lines it’s just as good. Beauty oil is so under rated. For someone with oily skin it seems made to put oil on oil, however the oil is only there as my skin gets dehydrated. Oiling up my face actually stops my skin getting it’s own oil going as Rosehip is hydrating & it’s packed full of Omega fatty acids which assist in skin renewal.
Have you any new beauty loves you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.
Love K xx
Keeping variety in my breakfasts can often be tricky as I eat this meal on week days at my office job desk. It’s far too easy to bring the same easy to pack smoothie or home made banana bread. This week I decided to go back to a combo I haven’t really had for over a year.
Organic Greek yoghurt, fresh strawberries and organic granola. I’ve never been a huge fan of processed, sugar laden cereals but when some organic granola grabbed my attention on the shelf I decided to try it out. Sadly I wasn’t thinking too much when I decanted the granola into an air tight container for storage and threw the box into the recycling. Alas I have no idea what brand it was. Hopefully I will recognise it next time I shop! Sweet, crunchy, colourful & surprisingly filling without being too heavy.
Living off the land and being self-sufficient is a dream for many. I remember watching the 70’s British sitcom ‘The Good Life’ in which the main characters ditch their day jobs to turn their suburban house into a hobby farm. More recently TV show’s such as River Cottage are doing what the fictional Tom & Barbara did for real. It is achievable and I’m all over the idea.
My partner, who is a horticulturist by trade, set up a vegetable garden a few years ago in our back yard. We are super blessed to live on a property so space & equipment were not a challenge. Gardening is his yoga. He’s a total earth boy spending hours with his hands in the dirt. All the planting is done in conjunction with the moon cycles for optimum production and universal balance.
I introduced you to ‘our girls’ the chooks a few months back in this post. The feather kid family has now expanded to turkeys in preparation for Christmas. (Despite being a vego I’m okay with this as our meat birds are living a happy, free range life & gratitude will be given highly for their sacrifice) The egg production has slowed down for winter & I’m finding it hard to fill the demand. It’s a very rewarding to be able to offer ethically and organically produced eggs from happy chickens.
The veggie garden has grown and expanded too, so much we now have surplus supply. In the past we gave most of it away that we couldn’t use ourselves. After watching an episode of River Cottage Australia my partner was inspired by a local community event called a ‘Food Swap.’ The Eastern states have got this down. You rock up with your excess produce & put it on one of the swap tables. Then you go off and pick out what you need from what others have brought. It all seemed to run smoothly and the exchanges worked out fairly. Sadly this is yet to take off properly in WA. Watch this space!
To fill the gap my partner came up with this idea ‘take what you want, pay what you want.’ He kitted out the back of his ute to resemble a vegetable market stall, complete with a home made shelf. Then each Friday he takes his ‘stall’ to his workplace to offer his suburban colleagues a chance to purchase fresh, organic veg at a price they can afford. After posting this picture on Facebook a few of our neighbours dropped by in the evening ‘to shop’ too.
I’m getting the most delight in this by watching how a passionate past time may well turn into something of a grander scale.
Love Seren xx
Apart from the usual loves in life; family, partner, pets, friends, yoga, vegetables etc. Here are some alternative love’s I am loving right now.
This fab vegetarian recipe book that was gifted to me recently. It’s an oldie but a goodie. The advantage of a book twenty years old there are no super fancy hard to find ingredients that take out of the way trips to random health food stores. It’s all about vegetables, plain & simply tasty. Cooking like Granny did (without the meat). LOVE!
Fresh flowers. Lot’s of discounted gems to be had right after Mother’s Day last month. There is nothing more cheerful than a vase of flowers close by. Lily’s are my favourite right now as they smell divine. LOVE!
Furry hot water bottle. It’s freaking freezing in Perth & rather than use an energy zapping heater in the office I’ve opted for this puppy. Keeps me toasty when I’m feeling a little nesh. LOVE!
Indah Organics perfume balm in Dewi. Since ditching the toxin packed commercial fragrance I’ve found these pots of scented loveliness. Jasmine & Neroli mixed into organic coconut oil. Very delicious. LOVE!
Organic lemon & ginger tea. Yes it’s much better to use fresh lemon & ginger but at the office the Nerada bags hit the spot. Herbal tea is great for hydration in the winter months. Warming yourself up from the inside out. LOVE!
Organic Pandora’s box of joy from Peachy Clean. A website full of amazing products shipped super quick to your door. I love the attention to detail with the elegant packaging materials too. Check out our interview with Haley all about holistic skin care. LOVE!
What are you loving right now? Share below in the comments.
Love Seren xx