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

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Spicy Porridge

IMG_3329

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

IMG_3328

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

Post Yoga breakfast feasting at ‘St Edmonds’

 

photo 5

                                                                                            ——————————–

After a night of contemplation, we finally came to a decision as to where our weekly post yoga breakfast feast would be.

Let’s paint a picture for you all..

Slouched on the couch last night with our eyes glued to the ever so popular renovation and styling series, ‘The Block’, we were tossing between the prahran cafe St Edmonds and Richmond’s Feast of Merit (Supposed to be amazing – always wanted to give it a try!).

With a combination of uni induced fatigue and natural indecisive characters, we were literally becoming stressed about this situation. Still trying to focus on ‘The Block’, we were given a sign from the universe as one of the Block contestants were being filmed sipping a latter at St Edmonds.

What are the chances? Therefore, obviously we had no choice but to venture to St Edmonds. The universe said so.

So, this morning after a 6:15 yoga class, we made our way to this industrial stele cafe, hidden behind the hustle and bustle of chapel street, just off groovy Greville Street.

As we were done with yoga by 7:15 and the cafe not opening till 7:30, we found ourselves standing outside this lovely nook, waiting for the barista and chef to wake up and serve our hungry post bellies some glorious food.

In the meantime we were able to admire the exterior and came to the realisation that the eye capturing feature of St Edmonds would have to be the large Graffiti feature wall that surrounds the entrance. It’s this colourful wall that draws your curious eyes into the cafe, but its the helpful staff and industrial interior that keeps you snugged up inside. —— A note on the staff and customers, St Edmonds seems to be quite a ‘blokey’ place to hang out. Our evidence for this statement: This morning we were the only females there…actually.

Now onto the food.

A simplistic yet interesting menu, their food really caters for everyone; Vegan, Vegetarian, Carnivore eaters and lean gym goers. They are all able to find a dish that will meet their nutritional needs and cravings.

photo 1-2

Although we were leaning towards their ‘Breaky Green’s‘ (Buckwheat, Kale, raw broccoli, avocado, pistachios, poached eggs and chilli), we were persuaded towards trying their new gluten free bread that supposedly “everyone is raving about.” (quoted the waiter)

Soooooo, surprise surprise we opted for poachies on GF toast with AVOCADO (…der) and smoked salmon. yum.

photo 1-3

photo 3-2

photo 2-3

Eddies is an easy-going, stylish and simply an awesome cafe that every Melbournean must try.
Go on kids, fill your bellies with eggs on toast at this perfect Prahran nook.

154 Greville Street, Prahran

M + S xx

The twins famous ‘Buddha Bowl’

FullSizeRender

So we have been meaning to post about one of our obsessions lately, a glorious bowl of scrumptious food that is currently bombarding our instagram account. We like to call these marvellous creations ‘Buddha Bowls’

We suppose this name stems from the fact that these bowls started as ‘post yoga.. I’M SO HUNGRY’ throw together feed.

(Namaste = Yoga = Buddha Bowl) Well, it makes sense to us..

Lets just get straight into why we love these bowls so much…

In one word, they scream N O U R I S H M E N T

You can literally throw anything in this bowl. From raw veggies to steamed or roasted goodies. Protein and carbs are always a must, hence we generally opt for poached chicken, smoked salmon or boiled eggs, with the carb component including either quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice.

This is essentially a multi-vitamin in a bowl.

Oh and we always like to add our version of a sauce. That being either five:am organic Greek yogurt or another exotic organic dip.

Soooo here are a few of our favourite combinations….

– – – – – – – –

1) ‘Breaky’ inspired buddha bowl (smoked salmon, boiled eggs, greek yogurt or haloumi cheese, all sorts of veg, quinoa)

2) ‘Moroccan’ inspired buddha bowl (cumin spiced lentils, roasted veg, greek yogurt, green olives, brown rice)

3) ‘Rainbow’ inspired buddha bowl (colourful cooked and raw veg, poached chicken, feta, olives, spiced carrot mash, buckwheat)

4) ‘Nicoise’ inspired buddha bowl (tuna, boiled eggs, green olives, haloumi cheese, all sorts of veg, brown rice)

All of these little gems have a general base of grated zucchini, grated carrot, peas and spinach.

So there you have it, a short and sweet description of our ‘go-to’ meal.

NOURISH AND FLOURISH KIDS!

M + S xx

Toorak’s Townhouse

photo-32

———-Y——-O——G——-A———

Still recovering from our wild friday night, here we are, stranded on the couch trying to find the words to describe our sunday morning ritual. Yes thats right, its sunday morning and we are still tired from friday night (…we have fatigue problems…)

For us, sunday mornings are dedicated to our 90 minute yoga practice at the One Hot Yoga studio in South Yarra. You heard right, we prefer spending our mornings in downward facing dog on our mats rather than in bed, like a normal person.

Today’s post won’t just be about Toorak’s Townhouse cafe, we’d like to briefly share a bit about our love for yoga. We stumbled across one hot yoga about 4 months ago when we were searching for the right studio to practice. One hot yoga fit us perfectly with its inspirational teachers, beautiful architecture and of course, their refreshing body wash (it just smells too good!).

With it’s temperature set at 37 degrees, studio one is the room for their slow hot flow. Studio two (where we were this morning), is built for their power flow, set at around 27 degrees. For us, we opt for the slow hot flow during the week and weekends, we usually dedicate to power flow.

It is rather difficult to find the words to describe why we love yoga so dearly, it’s one of those things that you have to try for yourself. But what we can assure you, a regular yoga practice will leave you feeling calm, strong, balanced and bendy. 

Anyway, lets get onto the topic of food.

Townhouse, located in Toorak village, is only a few hundred metres from the yoga studio, making it the ideal place for a post yoga nourishing feed.

Townhouse has that feeling of freshness reflected from its white interiors and open front window, allowing for maximum natural light. It’s this light that ultimately gives this cafe a sense of happiness. Oh and not to mention, their gorgeously welcoming staff, always with a smile on their diles.

This morning, after a gruelling yoga session, we decided on our usual of poached eggs on dark rye with a side of avocado and smoked salmon. Bliss!

photo 1-1

photo 2-1

Every visit, without fail, our eggs are perfectly poached, our avocado perfectly sliced and our smoked salmon is perfectly fresh. Literally. They definitely set the bar high.

So, to all the one hot yogis out their (and everyone else of course), head over to Townhouse and make them your local.

photo 1

466 Toorak Road, Toorak

M+S xx