Vegetarian Experience

Howdy!

I thought Id quickly write about my experience with being a vegetarian in terms of why I chose to cut out meat, how I emotionally felt about it, how it physically affected me after the three month mark, and why I decided to start eating meat again. Yes I went on a bit of a rollercoaster with my diet however I feel as though I needed to go through it in order to understand what works for me and my limits with meat consumption.

So here it is,

Back in the day, well around 6 months ago when I was travelling Europe solo I found myself in an Argentinian restaurant ordering a 300 gram beef tenderloin in Milan with my beautiful cousin. As it arrived on my plate, all I could think about was the fact that I was eating an animal. I had never felt this before and it was the first time I understood why some people become vegetarian and never look back. Ever since that evening my want for meat fizzled away and I made the conscious decision when I arrived back to Melbourne that I did not want to eat animal protein again. I cut out red meat, poultry and fish for a good three months. I started to add beans and pulses to my meals and was having quite a good time soaking the beans and watching them sprout and then cooking them in a pot. The whole experience of cooking beans entertained me for quite some time. I did not feel the need for meat at all, and I found myself even starting to feel repulsed from eggs (but I never gave them the flick).

Everything was going fine and dandy until I started to feel fatigued on a regular basis, hungry every two hours, my digestion slowed down and I felt bloated almost every day. These symptoms started to happen around 3 months after I gave up meat, which is usually when you begin to feel the affects on your body after making the change. On top of that, my acupuncture practitionor told me that my thyroid glands were not working properly (they became under active), which explained all of my symptoms. Around this time I started to crave the feeling of biting into flesh. I know that may sound a little strange but that is the best way of explaining the way I was feeling. It was as if the inner mammal in me was crying out for prey. I decided to listen to my bodies needs and started to introduce fish back into my diet, and not long after that I re introduced chicken and now I am back eating red meat once again. I still do not feel 100% okay with the consumption of another animal, however I have put my health first in order to support my under active thyroid and adrenal fatigue.

Sarah and I are back at drinking bone broths together, slow cooked meals, crispy skinned king fish and pan fried curry chicken. We source grass fed, organic meat and shop at local farmers markets and healthful stores. The fact that we only buy the best meat you can find and we only eat meat in moderation makes me feel slightly better inside.

So why have I just explained my feelings about eating animals to you guys? Because as we post about organic food and living a conscious lifestyle, I wanted to keep you all in the loop with my vegetarian adventures and to give you an insight into why I personally chose to make a rather big change to my life.

Anyway thats all from me now,

Its time for a drink, ciao!

Melanie

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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

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!)

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!