Precious Morning Moments

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We’ve blogged about our love affair with mornings a couple of times. We’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how much we just adore our morning cup of Joe and how ridiculously early we get up. Even on Sundays.

 It is also quite obvious how much we love breakfast. We take it so seriously. I mean honestly, who wants to rush out of the house with a stale piece of toast when you can take the time to enjoy warm buttery organic sourdough with avocado and parsley. I mean, really.

But since being out of home, moving house twice and adapting to city living, we’ve started to develop an even deeper love for the early hours. So many feelings about this topic. I’d like to share these feelings with you all so that you may feel inspired to create your own morning routine. A morning routine that sets you up for the day ahead.

 I’ve actually researched the power of morning routines. It’s quite a fascinating topic. Some people become extremely ritualistic with their early hours. Having a set schedule that you abide to each morning can become somewhat therapeutic, almost like a moving meditation. I know for me personally, if my morning activities are altered in any way I feel ‘off’. I am very pedantic about this time of the day. These hours are precious to both Mel and I.

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 So what do we like to do in these precious moments? Well, depending on whether it’s a work-day or a day off, we always wake up between 5:30-6:30 am. Upon waking, I’ve found it’s so important to rehydrate my body from a night of sleeping. We’ll drink around 750 mL of warm water. Usually out of a washed leftover sauerkraut mason jar. We are yet to own cups. Sometimes we take our water back to bed and do some reading. Sometimes we meditate. Well, attempt to meditate. I’ve found that reading or even just relaxing in bed is good enough for me. Mel likes to read magazines. Magazines are also nice. She says they give her a bit of inspiration for the day.

 Next up it’s coffee time. The best time. If it’s a work day, we’ll be out of the house around 7:30, even earlier, so our morning coffee will be of the stovetop sort and showering usually takes place beforehand. We buy our ground coffee from various places but recently it’s been from Wide Open Road roasters and we only buy organic unhomogenised full cream milk. Shulz, Demeter and La Latteria are great dairy farms that we love supporting.

 For us, stovetop coffee isn’t just regular coffee. It’s so much more. There is something so utterly special about having to wait for the coffee to rise. If I’m getting ready in my room, I just love coming down the stairs to the sound of the bubbling hot coffee. The sound and the smell both bring me back to the flat that our Nonna and Nonno use to live in in Switzerland. They made stovetop coffee daily. Mel and I were basically raised with the smell so each time we make it; it brings us back to the months we spent in Europe. Literally our most favourite smell.

 If it’s a day off however, we’ll usually skip on the stovetop and instead, we’ll walk down to a local café for a takeway. Extra hot flat white. Totally delicious. At the moment our go to local is Industry Beans in Fitzroy. Great coffee. They don’t use organic milk though. We feel a little funny about this. We are yet to find a local café that serves coffee with unhomogenised organic milk. The hunt continues. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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 Anyway. After coffee time is done, ‘The best time’, it’s breakfast time. Also the best time. Being creatures of habit, we tend to stick to the same sort of breaky theme. We eat a diet high in protein and fat. It’s satiating, nourishing and delicious. (It shouldn’t be news to anybody that the low fat diet trend is flawed, full fat is the way to go – will blog about this in the future). Eggs of some sort, either boiled or scrambled with turmeric and wakame, generous servings of avocado, organic butter, himalayan salt and home made buckwheat loaf (recipe by one of our biggest inspirations Jacqueline Alwill), sprouted bread or an organic sourdough loaf are staples for us. We also occasionally dabble in Ayurvedic porridge made savoury with plenty of ghee, carrot and spices. We’d also like to start making macrobiotic breakfasts with basmati rice, buttery fried eggs, sea vegetables and sesame – when we can be bothered cooking the rice that is. We never eat sweet breakfasts. Instead, we load up on healthy fats like butter, eggs, avocado, almond butter, olive oil, cheese and ghee. Obviously not all of these at the same time, we just pick and choose what we feel like on the day. Today for example, it was butter, almond butter and Himalayan salt on sourdough rye with half an avocado drizzled with olive oil eaten by the spoon.

 Whilst eating breakfast and drinking coffee, we’ve found that playing a soothing track on the CD player and burning a candle also sets a peaceful tone for the day. We’ve recently bought a candle that we’re completely obsessed. Like obsessed. Scribbling in our diaries and updating ourselves with the happenings of social media also usually take place at the breakfast table.

 We then clean up, possibly prepare lunch if we haven’t already got it organised the night before and then head out for our day. We both have to walk around 35 to 45 minutes to get to work so this is how we fit in our morning movement. It’s a lovely walk as well, through the Carlton Gardens. Long gone are the days of 5 am runs and yoga sessions. Now that a great yoga studio is literally down the road from us, we opt for the afternoon or late morning sessions. They’re normally ‘stronger’ classes where we can feed off other yogi’s energies. If you are into yoga then you would understand this.

 These precious morning moments are how we turn inwards and reflect.

 Honest feelings from me to you.

 I hope now you feel inspired to create your own precious moments in the early hours.

 Sarah

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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

 

 

 

 

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

Atlantic Salmon, Roasted Vegetable, Grilled Eggplant and Charred Kale Salad

This dish was quite possibly one of the most satisfying meals we have made! (well most definitely in our top 5). It was rich in flavours and just really hit the spot. It doesn’t take much preparation so there are no excuses with this one!

We enjoyed this meal the day our mum came home from Europe. We spent the whole day chatting and catching up on the past two months. This dish with a glass of organic shiraz was the perfect end to the day

Enjoy this meal, and every other meal, with your loved ones. No one should ever eat alone

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Ingredients (Serves two as a main)

All our ingredients were organic. Try eat organic vegetables (especially leafy greens) where possible

– 1/2 a small eggplant

– 1/2 a sweet potato (or one small sweet potato)

– 2 handfuls of brussel sprouts

– 2 handfuls of curly kale (around three leaves)

– 2 wild salmon fillets

– 1/2 an avocado

– 2 tablespoons of pistachio kernels

– Sicilian olives (around six per person or how ever many you desire)

– 2 cloves of garlic

– Parsley (to garnish)

– Extra virgin olive oil

– 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

– Himalayan salt and pepper

– 1 teaspoon of ground sage


Method (you will need an oven, grill, fry pan and wok)

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius

Wash all vegetables thoroughly

Roughly chop sweet potato and keep brussel sprouts whole. Place them on a tray with the garlic cloves (you can keep the cloves whole or chop them roughly)

Drizzle your vegetables with one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper and salt. Massage the oil into the vegetables and place in the oven to roast for around 30-40 minutes

Once your vegetables have been in the oven for 15-20 minutes, turn on your grill and slice 1/2 the eggplant in half again, making two quarters. Make a few slits in the eggplant (not on the skin side) and massage around one tablespoon (or slightly less) of olive oil, pepper, salt and ground sage all over and in between the slits of the eggplant. Place under the grill with the skin side facing down. The eggplant will take around 15 minutes (may take longer depending on how high you put your grill on – keep your eye on them)

Check your vegetables, if you can easily place a knife through the sweet potato thats the sign that you can start your salmon fillets!

On a fry pan, place the coconut oil and wait until the pan heats up. Then place your salmon fillets with a drizzle of lemon and pepper. Salmon usually takes around 5 minutes each side, however this will depend on your frypan and how cooked you like your fish

Slice 1/2 your avocado in half again, making two quarters. We then decided to grill our avocado for a few minutes (feel free to keep your avocado fresh – grilled and fresh avocado taste quite different and can change the taste of your dish. With this in mind, grilled avocado went perfectly with this dish)

Once your fish is nearly ready (or ready), roughly chop the kale and place on a wok with a dash of water. Sauté the kale for only 3 minutes

Now you will be ready to start serving. So! First place your sautéed kale on two plates. Then top with your sweet potato and brussel sprouts. Grab your eggplant and chop into thick chunks then place on plates. Grab your avocado and either slice or leave whole and place on plates. Grab your salmon fillets and roughly chop into thick chunks… then guess what… place them on the plates

Add your olives and pistachio kernels

Garnish with some fresh parsley!

Spring Salad Series #5

SPRING SALAD SERIES

Roasted Vegetables and Poached Chicken on a bed of herbs and Kamala Olives

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This salad is pretty simple but it incorporates basically all of our favourite foods so we’re pretty excited to share it with you guys! Who doesn’t love garlic-y roasted veggies, tender poached chicken, herbs, avocado, olives and olive oil?! We absolutely love all of these ingredients and make a version of this salad often at home. Grilled salmon or finely sliced lamb backstrap or even a nice eye fillet steak goes wonderfully.

It’s one of our staple dishes so make it with love and enjoy with close friends and family

Ingredients Opt for organic ingredients if possible

– 2 small to medium potatoes

– 1 fennel bulb

– 2 to 4 carrots

– 1 beetroot

– 1 leek

– 3 cups of finely chopped herbs and greens of choice. We used parsley, fennel leaves, rosemary, chives and spinach 

– 10 pitted Kamala Olives

– 2 organic chicken breasts

– Half an avocado

– 2 tbsp of Olive oil (the the dressing and for the roasting)

– 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

– 1 teaspoon of cumin

– Himalayan salt

– Pepper

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Method

1. Set your oven to about 175 degrees Celsius.

2. Cup on all your root veggies into generous sized chunks. Scatter onto an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper and cumin. We also added a few  rosemary sprigs, a few a couple of cloves of garlic (leave the outer skin on) and some thyme from the garden.

3. Once oven is ready, place your veggies in. They will take about half an hour to get nicely roasted and golden. Thats you’re prep for your roasted veggies done, now you can work on your greens. You really can use any herbs that you may have on hand for this salad. We have heaps of parsley, chives, fennel leaves, spinach and rosemary so we roughly cut them all up and scattered them onto two plates.

4. As your veggies are roasting, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. As you are waiting for the water to boil, slice your two chicken breasts into about 2 centimetre pieces. You should be able to cut about 4 to 5 pieces per breast.

5. When the water is boiling, add your chicken. The pieces will be readily poached when they sort of start to float to the top. Around 5 to 10 minutes (its a bit of a guessing game to be honest! so keep checking them – you don’t want to ‘over poach’ them as that will make them dry and chewy!)

6. Your veggies and chicken should be done around the same time. Distribute the veggies evenly onto the two plates (with the already made greens) and top with your nicely poached chicken.

7. Now for the finishing touches. Add around 5 olives to each plate, plus a quarter of an avocado. We like to create an ‘avo slide’ by finely slicing the avocado and melding it into the shape of a ‘slide’ Refer to the photos

8. We keep our salad dressings simple with just olive oil, apple cider vinegar, himalayan salt and pepper.

9. Eat

M + S xx

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Spring Salad Series #3

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It’s the middle of the week which means it’s Spring Salad time!

After a morning spent watching the french news, eating a version of our famous breaky boards and swimming laps at our local pool, we came home and made a ‘Herb Salad Party’. We call this a party as we literally added so many herbs from our garden! Well only parsley and mint were actually invited…

Anyway, in went these herb babies with the rest of our ingredients and the end result tasted like sunshine and gardens.

So good, so spring.

Oh and we leave for Europe in 10 weeks and we are so damn excited. 

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Ingredients 

Serves two hungry twins after a swim

-1 small organic avocado

– 1 cup of peas

– 1 cup of cooked quinoa (we cook up a big batch at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge for quick and easy lunches)

– 2 cups of shredded spinach

– 1/2 a cup of finely chopped mint (and a few extra whole leaves for garnishing)

– 1/2 a cup of finely chopped parsely

– 1 can of organic sustainably caught mackerel in olive oil

– 1/3 cup of fresh blueberries

– Himalayan Salt to taste

– Pepper to taste

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Method

1. Heat up the quinoa and peas either in a saucepan with a dash of water or in a microwave if you’re short for time. Again, as mentioned in the ingredients – we pre-cook our quinoa.

2. As the quinoa is heating up, start finely chopping your spinach, mint and parsley. Also, slice your avocado into small cubes.

3. Add the greens and the avocado to the warm quinoa and pea mix. Thoroughly mix with your hands and evenly distribute onto two plates.

4. Now for the toppings! Add half the can of mackerel to each dish and drizzle the oil evenly between the two. Finish with topping with the freshest and plumpest blueberries you can find!

5. Garnish with the last couple of mint leaves and a tad of pepper and himalayan salt.

All done, ready to gobble up.

 

 

Our Green Smoothie

Our Green Smoothie a day will definitely keep the doctor away!

Green smoothies are a relatively new addition to our morning routine. We use to be quite skeptical about the benefits of consuming liquid greens on a daily basis as in our minds we didn’t find it necessary to consume added veggies if you were already eating a balanced diet. Although still agreeing with this point to an extend, the last couple of months however, things have changed. In an attempt to up our intake of nutrients to fight uni induced fatigue, as well as other health complications, we have welcomed a green smoothie into our daily routine.

And we couldn’t be happier about it.

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Now a day doesn’t go by in which we have to have our greens. Increased energy, clearer skin, and softer hair are a few of the benefits that we’ve noticed since adding in a smoothie. Another plus also including the fact that if we happen to not fit in our daily 5 veg at meal times, at least we’ve gulped down our greens to compensate (smart hey!)

After much negotiation, we’ve come to the conclusion that for us, greens sit well as a morning tea snack, rather than with breakfast (or as breakfast). Some people love a smoothie first thing but we tend to eat a fair amount in the mornings, focusing on a balanced spread of savoury and nutrient dense food – Organic oat sourdough with avocado, poached eggs and tomato plus organic coffee would be a staple for us. So with a relatively large breakfast, a smoothie is welcomed a little later in our day.

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Anyway the point of this post is EAT YOUR GREENS. You’ll feels more energised and your skin, eyes and digestive tract we definitely thank you for it.

Serves Two

*We try to only use organic ingredients in our smoothies

– 2 cups of spinach

– 4 large leaves of kale or 2 cups

– 1/2-1  zucchini (this is optional but we do find that the zucchini thickens the smoothie, giving it a richer consistency)

– 1 frozen banana

– 1 1/2 tsp of chia seeds.

– Generous knob of ginger

– Squeeze of lemon (optional)

– A few drops of liquid stevia (if you’re not worried about fructose, you could add in a couple of dates as an alternative)

– 1 cup of coconut water

– A little extra water or ice

M + S xx