Food-Stress Syndrome

For those of you who follow thymes.two on Instagram would know that I study nutrition and am utterly obsessed with anything health and wellbeing related. The nutrition industry is booming with more and more people taking control over their health and wanting to make a difference to the quality of their lives. This is all great. This is exactly what needs to happen in order to reduce Australia’s staggering rates of preventable diseases. I mean seriously, you don’t need to be studying nutrition to know that our country’s food supply and consumption of ‘food like’ products is far from ideal. Crispy potato chips from a packet do not count as a vegetable and just because you use a microwave to heat up your store bought prepackaged dinner does not count as cooking. Just sayin’. 

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to study in the field that interests me the most and for all future possibilities that are ahead of me in my career. I love wellbeing, I really do. I have heard numerous times from people ‘I just want to study what I love’, ‘I just want to find my passion’ etc – I can honestly say that I have found mine. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

However. There is one element bothering me about the whole thing, well quite a huge element really. Information overload.

There is just so much information. So many opinions and ‘expert’ opinions for that matter (and when I say expert I’m referring to those 100k follower instagram fitspo accounts, celebrities and health bloggers that really should not be health bloggers – this is not an attack towards bloggers – there are just a few who really don’t know what they are talking about). So many fads. So much social media. So much confusion. So much comparison, guilt and basically just a whole lot of headaches. Do you get me?

In class the other day we had to debate the statement ‘ignorance is bliss’. I was on the ‘agreement’ side of the debate and one of the ideas that came up in my group was ‘When you really think about it, how much easier would life be if we just didn’t know about any of this food stuff’. We could eat what ever we wanted (within reason and probably still health orientated) and not have the slightest care factor for the foods nutritional breakdown within the body, kilojoule amount and chemical makeup. You see, you would probably be put in the ‘silly’ compartment if you weren’t able to admit that unhealthy food is bad for you however some people just chose to ignore this. They ignore this and they’re probably happy and food-stress free (obviously for the sake of this post, lets assume they are not suffering from any preventable illnesses such as diabetes or obesity..!). I’m sure many of you know someone, family or a friend maybe, that are aware of health and nutrition but don’t really ‘watch’ what they eat. Do they seem food-stress free to you? I think they do.

Now I am not saying this is a good thing. Of course we all need to be health conscious, eating a healthy and nutritious diet filled with an abundance of whole foods and take action to reduce our stress. But with all this misinformation, contradiction and comparison, how do we know what is right anymore? And how can we avoid the food-stress syndrome?

This is what is bothering me. But I am slowly learning how to tackle it. 

Recently as I’ve been scrolling through instagram, reading blog posts, watching documentaries, being in class at uni and reading health books, I’ve started to feel quite stressed and confused. There are literally so many opinions as to what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat that I am struggling to keep up. Paleo, vegan, raw vegan, fruitarian, ketone diet, high carb, bullet proof diet, intermediate fasting, blood-type dieting, macrobiotic diet and the list goes on.

I have to admit though, some of these have intrigued me, and still do.

For example, when I entered into my studies of nutrition I started to tune in to what was working well for my body and what wasn’t. I found that gluten wasn’t really working for me so I slowly made changes to eat gluten free alternatives. Buckwheat and quinoa became my favourites and are now my best buds. I also found dairy wasn’t really all that great for my belly so I stopped with it all together for a while and followed the ‘soy’ trend. Both of these changes lasted for quite some time in my life but after somewhat healing my gut (still in progress), changing where I buy my food and changing my attitude and educating myself on soy, I now eat full fat diary and some gluten grains such as sourdough, rye and oats but only organic, minimally processed and from a trusted source.

Another example, a couple of months ago Mel and I decided to jump on the paleo bandwagon to see what all the fuss was about. It’s focus being on eating a nutrient dense diet based on vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, nuts and oils and avoiding grains, dairy, legumes and soy (some also avoid nuts and starchy vegetables). This is the diet that apparently was adhered to in palaeolithic times, before the introduction of farming and agriculture in which grains and processing was introduced.This was the diet also eaten before the introduction of preventable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and even neurological problems. Sounds interesting right?! Well, it did to us anyway.

Despite the potential benefits of this diet (for some), our attempt at it lasted I’d say a week or two. Pathetic I know.

After that little stunt, we went back to eating unrefined gluten free grains and dairy to return back to a state of emotional balance. From this experience, I learnt that restriction doesn’t sit well with me. It creates unnecessary stress (for me) around food and kind of freaks me out.

A month or so after, Mel and I started gaining quite a bit of interest in sustainability, food wastage and basically eating what is best for the planet. I decided to watch the documentary ‘cow spiracy’ plus another one that I can’t remember the name of and I can actually say that I almost did a three-sixty and turned vegetarian. Vegan-ism crossed my mind for a split second but I just couldn’t handle the idea of giving up eggs. I was so traumatised from watching these documentaries that the thought of eating animal products didn’t seem right anymore. I really hit a road block and felt lost.

How could I give up animal products knowing the nutritional benefits behind them? (you see this is where ignorance can be bliss). Some of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet are largely found in animal products. Salmon, livers and bone broth to name a few. Not being able to ‘un-know’ what I know, I couldn’t just cut these foods out of my diet all together. It just wouldn’t make sense to me. I am studying nutritional medicine after all.

So. what did I do next?

I made a decision to continue eating animal products but only of the best quality I could possibly find. Organic, ethical, cruel free, antibiotic free and sustainable were the words that I searched for at the farmers market and whole food stores. Now I’d like to say that I had been eating organic and ethical meat for quite some time anyway so this wasn’t new to me – it just become even more important.

Despite the stress that I experienced from the continual moral debate I was having with myself, Mel didn’t feel this at all. She didn’t even watch the documentaries and just based on a feeling she felt after having a rather large steak plonked infront of her at a restaurant in Italy, she stopped eating meat. That was it. She said goodbye to sustainable caught fish, organic roast chicken and eye fillet. All of the sudden meat wasn’t just fuel anymore, it was an animal. An animal with feelings that she did not want to eat.

She is now a chickpea, lentil, quinoa and rye toast eating vego and she’s never looked back. We like to cook vegetarian meals together now and I love it!

Vegetarianism sits well with her and I am happy that she is following her gut and living a cruel free life.

I heavily value the nutritional component behind food so vegetarianism doesn’t sit well with me. And that’s okay. It’s all okay.

After my many attempts at following the current food trends, I have now decided to take everything like a pinch of salt (or is it ‘as a pinch of salt’ – who knows). I’ll read the article, watch the clip and read the blog post, but I won’t emotionally engage in it. I won’t let it consume me or let it make me feel guilty for my already highly nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle. Oh I also love yoga and walking. I don’t do cross-fit or run marathons. 

Instead of being all caught up in what diet to follow, I am now only really caught up in where my food comes from and how can I reduce my food wastage. I eat the best quality food I can find from markets and whole food stores. I also eat the whole apple, eat the tip of carrots, buy the less popular cuts of meat and I don’t peel anything.

This also means I eat full fat diary The cafe around the corner from my house uses organic milk. I also eat gluten from time to time I love organic rye sourdough toast with avocado and organic butter mmmm. I eat an abundance of vegetables starchy and non starch, nuts I buy them activated – expensive I know! But I don’t buy ‘superfoods’ so this is how I justify it to myself, oils coconut oil roasted veg are my favourite and olive oil just pretty much on everything, some fruits I love bananas, green apples and berries, dark raw chocolate, coffee and organic red wine I’m a shiraz girl. 

My point being, I have come to a place where I eat all food groups. I don’t follow fads. 

It’s the kind of lifestyle that is working for me right now. Wholefoods a plenty, my beloved daily coffee made with organic milk, red wine whenever I feel like it but only a glass or maybe two, organic chocolate and basically trying my hardest to reduce my food-stress.

I’m entering an industry that I love but also an industry that stresses me out. I have learnt however that this is okay, everything is always okay. You just have to do what works well for you and try your best to live the happiest, healthiest life that you possibly can.

Because we only have one life and who has time for food-stress syndrome?!

But please folks, eat your greens, choose your food carefully and be nice to the planet.

Sarah x

 

 

 

 

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Poached Salmon with Sautéed Greens

Poaching fish is easy peasy! Give this super simple recipe a go!

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Fish. What’s better than a perfectly cooked salmon (or any fish for that matter) with some sautéed greens for a beautiful dinner with your loved one? Um nothing tops that.

This is by far one of our go to meals a couple of times per week. When buying your fish try and opt for organic wild caught and for your vegetables try to shop at your local farmers market on a Saturday morning for local produce (so much fun!) or your nearest health food store for organic produce.

Enjoy kids!


Ingredients: Serves Two

2 organic wild caught salmon fillets

A fresh variety of organic  greens (kale, silver beet, rainbow chard, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini) Pick all or just a few, but try and make it fun!

1 tablespoon of organic ghee

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 organic avocado (optional)

Fresh organic parsley

1/2 organic lemon

Pepper and salt to taste


Before you start with the salmon, you need to get started on the vegetables!

Wash all your green vegetables thoroughly before roughly chopping into bite sized chunks then place them into a bowl and put aside for the mean time.


Poaching your salmon

  1. Place the two salmon fillets in a pot or large pan (with room for some water)
  2. Fill the pan with some filtered water, covering half of the fillets
  3. Drizzle with two tablespoons of EVOO
  4. Turn the pan onto a medium heat and poach (with the lid removed) for around 5-10 minutes. ** The time will depend on how large your fillets are and how well done you prefer your fish

Sautéing your greens

  1. In a pan, place in all your vegetables with a dash of filtered water. Bring to boil then turn down to medium heat and sauté for around 5-10 minutes
  2. Once ready, turn off the heat and mix through the ghee

Plating

  1. First gently place your vegetables down on the plates then top with your succulent poached salmon
  2. Slice some fresh avocado on the side
  3. Top with fresh parsley, pepper & salt and dress with lemon

 

E.A.T

Flu-fighting Power Porridge

FLU FIGHTING POWER PORRIDGE 

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This porridge is a fabulous. I absolutely love it. Especially recently when I’ve been working a lot and starting to feel the strain on my body and mind! Anyone working in retail during this christmas lead up will most definitely know what I mean…I hate customers.

The ginger, turmeric and macrobiotic salt provide you with immune boosting properties. The salt is also beneficial in balancing your electrolytes This is extremely important if you’re feeling dehydrated. Adding carrot to your morning breakfasts is also a great way to add in some veggies! Finally, topping your bowl with the anti-bacterial nature of local raw honey as well as the protein loaded activated nuts and hemp seeds will fuel you for a few hours.

Now do you see how this is a flu fighting power porridge?!

I’m obsessed – I hope you become obsessed too

Sarah x

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Ingredients

– 1/2 cup of organic oats or gluten free oats if intolerant

– 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk of choice)

– 1/2- 1 cup of water

-1 grated carrot

– 1.5 tsp of grated ginger

-1.5 tsp of grated turmeric

-1/2 – 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

– 1/4 tsp of nutmeg

– 1 peppercorn

– 1 green cardamon pod (optional)

-1 tbsp of organic sultanas

Toppings

-1 small handful of activated nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts)

-1 tsp of pepita seeds

-1 tsp of hemp seeds

– 1/2- 1 tsp of raw or local organic honey (omit it vegan)

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Method

  1. Place all the ingredients except the water, carrot and the toppings into a small bowl and let it soak for around 15 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, transfer the spicy oat mix and add half a cup of water. Cook on low heat for about 5 to town minutes.
  3. Next add the carrot and mix throughly, if you find the mixture is a little too dry for your liking, add a little more water. Cook to desired consistency. The longer you cook it the better!
  4. Remove form heat, add to a cute bowl and top with desired toppings. In my opinion, activated nuts, seeds and honey go super well. The honey has anti-bacterial proprieties (if using raw, local honey) and the nuts + seeds not only provide you with that desired crunch but also contain beneficial protein and healthy lipids that will help keep you feeling satiated.
  5. Enjoy this lovely porridge when you have the time to sit and relax with a warm tea and a book. It’s the best way to begin the day if you’re feeling a little worn out (..me!)

Spicy Porridge

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Mel’s in Europe at the moment which means that mornings at home have changed quite drastically. I no longer wake with Mel’s sleepy face running to the bathroom to go pee (she pees a lot! haha – sorry for that reference Mel), nor do we get to go on beach walks together early in the morning before the rest of Melbourne wakes. We don’t get to sit at the table with our organic coffees whilst talking about the events of the day and we definitely don’t get to make a wholesome breaky that we can both enjoy. Missing out on all of this sounds so sad and tragic but I am using this as an opportunity to self reflect and tune into what my body needs.

 My mornings are now 100% dedicated to ‘me’ time. I wake pretty early, do some slow movement which is usually in the form of yoga, a light weights session or a beach walk (around half an hour) I then commit to 15 minutes of meditation using the 1 giant app. (highly recommend this app for anyone new to meditation) I have found that I don’t really need the app anymore, but I do love having that extra guided support so I’ve continued to use it.

After around 45 minutes on my mat, I make my way to the kitchen and prepare myself a wholesome, nourishing and satisfying breakfast. I’ve started to mix it up a bit to give my body an array of nutrients day to day. Mel and I have also taken a deep interest into Ayurvedic medicine so my meals have now also evolved around Ayurvedic principles (not all meals but I try to be mindful about how I can add an Ayurvedic touch when I can). Mel knows much more about this than I do so I’m sure she’ll be posting frequently about this topic soon!

 We are definitely mostly ‘Vata’ types so foods that ground are highly beneficial for us. I have found that my body is responding very well to foods that are mostly cooked rather than raw, with adding spices and ghee whenever I can. Ghee is clarified butter which is an extremely nutritious alternative to traditional butter or oil. I have also loved making homemade chai’s either after dinner or in the morning.

In terms of breaky, I have begun to introduce porridge in the mornings. I love making a warming bowl of organic oats or rice flakes with added turmeric ginger and sometimes carrot. Topping with yoghurt, or adding whole organic unhomogensied milk is also fantastic. I don’t particularly love sweet breakfasts so I tend to opt for a more savoury type but in saying that I also do love to indulge in a banana and coconut porridge from time to time.

After nourishing my body and If I have a bit of time, i’ll make myself an organic coffee at home with biodynamic unhomogensied milk (the only milk Mel and  I will drink). Enjoying my coffee whilst checking in with emails, social media (terrible habit) and journalling, I’ll head for the shower. I like to body brush for about 5 minutes before showering and only use certified natural body wash in the shower. Reducing my toxic load is a priority for me. The only moisturiser I use for my body is coconut oil. It works tremendously for me, I absolutely love it!. Plus I bought a massive jar for around 16 dollars and its lastly me ages! Bargain!

There is my morning routine. I have noticed that if I don’t do all of these things, I feel somewhat unsettled and ‘off’. The power of the morning is so understated.

Just realising how much I have just ranted in this post (sorry!) I just wanted to make a point highlighting that finding a morning routine that works for you is a very self-nurturing and self-respecting way to welcome the day. Whether that be taking some time out to read the paper or sit outside calmly with your coffee – our mum loves to start the day like this, or walking the dog around the block. Whatever it is, find what works, find what you love and find what you can stick to every morning. Do this and your body and mind will thank you for the rest of the day.

Trust me.

p.s I miss mornings with Mel.

Finally, here is my spicy porridge recipe

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Ingredients; serves one

– 1/2 cup of organic oats (or gluten free oats if intolerant)

– 1.5 cups of water. (if you want a creamier consistency, you can add half a cup of coconut milk or unhomogensied full cream milk plus 3.4 cups of water)

– 1 tbsp of organic sultanas

– 1.5 tsp of grated ginger (can add more depending on how spicy you like it!)

– 1.5 tsp of grated turmeric (can add more depending on how spicy you like it!)

-1/2 tsp of macrobiotic salt or himalayan salt

– 1 tsp of hemp seeds (preferably unhulled)

-1 tsp of golden flax seeds

-1 tsp of pepita seeds (pumpkin seeds)

Originally I wanted to create this dish with a tad of Japanese influence so sprinkling your porridge with tamari toasted sesame seeds would be perfect! I’ll definitely try that next time!

Method

1) Grate your ginger and turmeric finely and add to a saucepan with your oats, water and sultanas.

2) Cook your oats on the stove on a low heat for around 20 minutes. You want the flavours of the turmeric and ginger to infuse into the oats so the longer you cook it the better!

3) Once ready, pop into a nice bowl and top with the seeds. If you have sesame seeds, whilst your pats are cooking you can toast about a 1.5 tsp of sesame seeds in a small pan with a tad more salt or tamari. If toasting with salt, this method is called Gomasio. Gomasio is a wonderful addition to any dish, its grounding and super tasty!

4) Enjoy your oats on a cosy couch (I most definitely did!)

Hope you enjoy it

So much love,

Sarah x

I am cold. Very cold.

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Water colour painting by Wayne Roberts 

So here I am writing from my cosy room in my aunts apartment in Neuchatel, Switzerland. It’s raining outside and very much icey cold, but hey that’s what you expect when you choose to come to Europe for the winter months. I spent my morning with the usual yoga and meditation followed by a coffee (Americano style) & avocado on wood fire fresh dark sourdough. This bread is next level good, I literally haven’t had a bread better than this one in a very long time. God I love you Europe.

Due to these cold winter months, I will be cooking meals that compliment the season. Of course I will be enjoying meals with my family most of the time however when I find myself alone Ill be experimenting in the kitchen trying to come up with some nourishing oatmeals, spiced rice, dahls, stews and soups. Many, many soups. Oh and can’t forget the chai lattes that Ill be brewing myself in my aunts tiny kitchen. So stay tuned kids because Ill be posting the recipes up here!


If you’re interested in Ayurvedic medicine than here are some ideas you could implement in your diet in order to feel your best if you’re feeling un-steady and disconnected:

– Spiced basmati rice with raisons, cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh grated ginger and ground turmeric. Add a teaspoon of ghee just prior to eating.

-Coconut and sesame oatmeal. Cook you oats in almond milk and coconut oil, then simply add some toasted coconut and sesame seeds on top. Sesame seeds are beneficial for female hormones, so if any of you ladies have any issues in this area get onto the sesame seeds!

-Morning Poha. Either savoury with carrot and zucchini or sweet with coconut milk.

-Vegetable Dahs with brown rice.

-Coconut milk curries.

-Golden Milk (ground turmeric with pepper and raw brown sugar). Drink before bed to ensure a restful nights sleep.

-Kitchari. If you’re feeling slougish than this is the perfect meal to give your digestive system a well deserved rest.

You can find varying recipes of each of these dishes online if you suss out some blogs or reliable websites. My go to woman is Jody VassalShe knows her stuff.

I find myself researching Ayurvedic principles for hours as to me it’s extrememly interesting and I can personally relate to most of it, but hey its not for everyone. But I assure you if you start researching you will most likely become hooked, like sarah & I. I also recommend seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner if you want to take it that next step further.

Much love from my little corner of the world. Its now time for more coffee.

 

Green Yoghurt with Sweet Raisons

Left over dutch carrot leaves make for the perfect chunky dip/mash/side to any meal or nourish bowl! Do not throw them away!



Ingredients (serves four as a side dish)

The hairy leaves/stalks from a bunch of organic dutch carrots (roughly chopped)

3-4 heaped table spoons of organic thick Greek yoghurt (we use five.am organic yoghurt)

3 heaped tablespoons of organic raisons (roughly cut them in half)

Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 pinch of himalayan salt

Half a lemon (optional)


All you need to do once you have chopped your carrot leaves and raisons is add all the ingredients together and mix thoroughly. If there is not enough yoghurt then simply add some more! You can really play around with this recipe, even adding some walnuts or toasted seeds. Just have fun with it!

You can see in the image below that we used ours in roasted root vegetable nourish bowls

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Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Cookies

Cookie Monsters

These bad boys definitely hit the spot if you’re after something sweet, a pick me up or a dessert. You could even have these for breakie! We absolutely love them, and being gluten free our bellies are left feeling super happy

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Ingredients

1.5 cups of almond meal

1 large organic egg

1/4 cup of cold pressed coconut oil (melted)

1 heaped tbsp of melted organic unsalted butter

1 tsp of baking powder

1/3 of a block of dark 85% Loving Earth chocolate

1 tsp of organic pure honey/raw honey


Method

  1. In one bowl mix all the dry ingredients together, leaving out the chocolate
  2. In another bowl add the wet ingredients
  3. Now you can add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients
  4. Roughly chop the chocolate into small chucks. Add these in last, gently folding them through the mixture
  5. Okay so now you have made your cookie dough. Make it into a small ball and place in some glad wrap. Then place in the fridge for around 1 hour or so, whilst also pre heating your oven to 180 degrees celcius
  6. After an hour, remove the dough and set up a baking tray with some baking paper. Pull off tablespoon sized chucks from the dough and roll into balls using your hands. Place them on the tray and flatten them into nice neat cookie shapes. You should make around 9-11 cookies depending on how large you want them to be
  7. Place in the oven for around 10 minutes. 10 minutes will mean your cookies will be moist, if you want your cookies to be slightly crunchy simply leave in the oven for longer. However be aware you may burn them!