you don’t make friends with salad

… or do you?

summer’s here and it’s starting to heat up. with the warmer weather, i often crave cooler, lighter meals at the end of the day.

you know what i also crave?

healthy food that is easy to make, easy to eat and easy to clean up. lucky for me, salad fulfills all this criteria.

and yes, i can hear you all now. i HATE salad. salad is bland. tasteless. boring. or worse still, if i eat a salad, i’ll be hungry 2 hours later and probably eat 10 kit kats and a loaf of bread.

the secret solution to all these problems… your ingredients!

a GOOD salad needs balance. the balance is greens + vegetables + carbohydrates + protein + fats.

because i’m feeling generous, i’ve done the research for you. here is the lowdown on what makes a super salad.

step 1: greens

choose from a mix of leaves including rocket, spinach, kale and beetroot leaves. salad leaves are rich sources of fibre and vitamins and if you choose well, can add both colour and flavour with very little kilojoules.

step 2: vegetables

the more you include, the more nutritious and delicious the salad will be. carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot and capsicum are a good place to start. but really, the world is your oyster… mushroom, that is!

step 3: carbohydrates

without adequate carbohydrates you WILL feel unsatisfied. by adding a small amount of low GI carbohydrates to your salad (think sweet potato, corn, chickpeas or quinoa) you can prevent this from happening.

step 4: protein

tuna, salmon, egg or chicken breast provides bulk for your salad as well as containing essential amounts of iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega 3 fats. the protein is important as it will keep you fuller, for longer.

step 5: fat

olive oil, flax seed oil, avocados and walnuts are the best additions to your salad as they not only taste great but they are satiating and help with the absorption of nutrients.

so, now you’ve got the formula, the only real limit is your imagination.

the lesson here… you DO make friends with salad!

cara x

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cabernet candles

we promised. now we’ll deliver.

candles made out of old wine bottles. drink then DIY. but maybe wait until you’re sober before playing with fire. you with me? good.

so, it’s pretty simply really. grab an old wine bottle, pop some gravel/rocks/pebbles/gems in the bottom, so that it has some weight.

then using one of those fancy BBQ gas lighters, lightly melt the end of a pillar candle so that you can insert it into the top of the bottle and the wax “sticks”.

once, your candle is in, continue melting around the base so that wax begins dripping down the edges of the bottle. this is to prevent any candle catastrophes i.e. burnt tablecloths.

next, cut your wick and light the candle.

that’s it. you’re done.

the real magic happens over time. light the candle at dinner time, bath time, anytime really and let the wax do it’s work. the more you use your candle, the better it looks.

when the candle burns down to a stump, simply pull it out and replace with another. repeat the initial steps so that the candle is solid in the top of the bottle before using.

crafty, huh?

karen&cara

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raw treats that are good to eat

this was an experiment. raw chocolate. ingredients are natural and antioxidant rich. could it possibly taste good too?

… yes! even my dad approved.

ingredients

2 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted)

2 tablespoons of hulled tahini

2 tablespoons of raw cacao

3-4 tablespoons of honey (to taste)

squeeze of orange juice/teaspoon of vanilla essence/teaspoon of peppermint essence

method

melt coconut oil and combine with honey and tahini.

once melted, add the cacao stirring constantly.

once mixed, dollop into individual serves (i use shaped silicone moulds but iceblock trays could work too).

either top with desiccated coconut or raw cacao powder.

freeze for at least 1 hour. best to keep frozen and then remove when ready to eat they have a fudge like texture.

serve. eat. enjoy.

cara x

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up-cycling: like unicycling but cooler

anyone else feeling like they need to re-think the way they live?

lately, i have been looking to recycle, re-use & re-purpose household goods. reducing my environmental footprint is a big plus but it is also a way of simplifying my life.

minimalism is so trendy right now. and i don’t mean the, white walls, white curtains and white couches kind of minimalism but just reducing the amount of “stuff” bought on a daily basis. taking a step back and asking the question. do i need this?

the next step is to look at what goes to waste at home. what can be re-used ? living out of town means we don’t have a recycle bin collection and a lot of potentially useful stuff is turned into waste.

but not anymore!

since late last year, i have been saving tin cans and jars, washing & removing labels then re-purposing them as pencil holders, bathroom décor/accessories & plant containers.

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it’s simple, yes but it looks good and it’s personal. moreover, with christmas fast approaching, i have been getting a head start on making gifts for family & friends.

remember, string art? i’ve spent many a “crafternoon” creating unique artworks using old wood, nails and coloured string.

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it really is that easy. with a little bit of thought and effort, old can become new again. people really enjoy my homemade goodies and not only will you save time (no need to go to shops and battle the pre- Christmas madness) but it is also cost effective and can save you heaps of money.

saving money and saving the environment. what’s not to like? – cara

with a little planning you can do this too. check back next week for instructions on how to turn a boring empty wine bottle into a piece of delicious décor.

the bonus is you have to empty the bottle before using it…

get busy.

karen

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growing your own produce

despite the derogatory tone of the recent venture of woolworths and michelle bridges, i have decided to keep being a freak.

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that’s right, i grow my own vegetables, fruit and herbs. and my hair looks just fine, thank you very much.

i don’t quite understand why anyone wouldn’t want to grow and eat their own produce. it’s organic and pesticide free, it tastes great and you get an amazing sense of achievement whilst saving money. these are all pretty nifty things IMO.

real food doesn’t come from the freezer.

what do you guys think… offensive? hypocritical? funny? just plain stupid?

give me a holla’

cara x

chocolate crisis

cliché or no, it’s the truth – chocolate is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

but i’ve got a conscience and the more i learn about the world of chocolate the more concerned i become about the environment and the sustainability of our cocoa consumption.

as cities grow and supermarkets take over, we are more removed than ever from where our food comes from. and sadly, so is our sense of responsibility.

we don’t seem to be making the connection between the fires in indonesia and palm oil… rising chocolate prices and the cacao crisis. the very fact that WE are guilty of fueling a trade that puts the lives of animals, humans and the environment at risk.

so, what’s a chocolate obsessed, PMS crazy, nature lover to do?

ALTER ECO!!!

one of my many amazing discoveries whilst in byron bay was this brand. finally, a company that is all about ethical relationships and sustainable farming and REAL results.

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i mean, what more could you want? chocolate that is not only “nourishing for the foodie, farmer and field” but delicious and completely affordable at $5 a block.

so, do yourself a favour, next time you reach for cadbury’s, choose alter eco instead.

and when you finish it – recycle it– even the truffle wrappers are compostable!

it’s better for you. it’s better for the world.

** what’s your favourite flavour? lemme know.

cara x

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club magic

if i was ever uncertain about my spirituality and what the universe had in store for me, the retreat i attended this weekend just passed, has quashed those doubts. flattened them in fact.

it’s actually quite difficult to put into words. from complete surrender and crying on my mat whilst chanting to shiva, to the laughter, joy and ‘lightness’ i felt as i moved my body with abandon… who knew that 72 hours could be such a game changer.

i know where i’m going and i know that they universe won’t let me fall. the support i have from my family and friends and fellow yogi’s is unwavering and i could not be more grateful.

namaste lovers.

cara x

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healthy chocolate mousse

this is one of my all time favourite recipes. it’s easy. it’s tasty and believe it or not, it’s pack full of protein and antioxidants. perfect for dinner parties or a guilt-free treat.

ingredients

500gm tub of natural or greek yoghurt (depending on your preference, greek can be a little tart)

a block of dark chocolate (70% or more)

fresh strawberries (frozen raspberries work well too)

method

melt chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water

once melted, allow to cool slightly, adding the yoghurt and stirring constantly

once mixed, dollop into individual serves (wine glasses work well but can be a pain to clean)

either top with fanned strawberries or if using frozen raspberries put them in the bottom of the glass

refrigerate for at least 3 hours and remove 10 minutes before serving

eat.

you can thank me later.

cara x

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redd catt

filled with local artwork, comfy booths and charismatic staff, redd catt is a great spot to grab a coffee, cake or something more filling. open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (friday’s and saturday’s only) with both indoor and outdoor seating, this café caters to everyone with vegetarian and gluten free choices available.

breakfast is pretty standard fare (their latte art is not!) however, lunch raises the bar with a specials board to complement choices like prawn ravioli with sauce vierge, quinoa and smoked eggplant salad with pomegranate jewels and an amazing, if not a little daunting, soft shell crab burger with chilli jam.

dinner is a step up again with dim lighting, jazzy tunes and an ever-changing tasting plate. although the menu for mains is somewhat limited, it’s quality over quantity here. the house made parpadelle with a champagne pesto cream and roasted truss tomatoes is an example of how simple is sometimes best.

and if perfectly balanced and presented desserts are your thing, (they’re mine), try one of the 2nd year apprentice chef’s desserts – you won’t be disappointed.

bon appetit.

cara

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** as featured in gippsland country life magazine, winter edition, 2015

yoga

for many, yoga conjures images of lithe and limber ladies in lycra. whilst this is true (on instagram at least), there is so much more to the practice of yoga.

aaaand i’m gonna tell you. let me share a little about my own yoga journey and how it’s changed my perspective. cool? let’s roll.

for me, it shows me truths that i don’t always want to see. and that’s the beauty of the practice.

(this is where it starts to get a bit heavy but bear with me because believe it or not, yoga is more than just asana)

yoga in sanskrit, loosely translates to union. in yoga philosophy, it is said that peace and contentment can only be attained through balance. balance in mind, body and spirit. physical expressions or postures in isolation will not lead to happiness.

(this is a concept that I struggled with for a long time. im a perfectionist and sufferer of the dreaded middle child syndrome)

in the beginning, yoga was just another thing I needed to be good at. I needed to be stronger, more flexible, skinnier, faster… better, than the person next to me. yoga was ALL about my body… time and a swami later, i’m a little wiser and i’ve experienced my first breakthrough moment. i am not my body. and neither are you.

your body is a vehicle. look after it but don’t become “attached” to it. it is what it holds that you should value the most. the very uniqueness that is “you”.

so what do you do know you’ve experienced a little snifter of self-realisation?

keep going. be curious. and start practicing yoga in every single part of your life. a little quote from a reasonably famous dude comes to mind here. you might have heard of him… gandhi?

“be the change you want to see in the world.”

our bodies are impermanent. our actions are forever.

you may be just starting on your yoga journey or continuing on your path of awareness and self-inquiry. either way, my advice to you, my dear readers, is this….

be good. do good.

laugh. recycle. smile. compliment. be grateful. educate. keep an open mind.

and let happiness find you…

namaste.

cara x

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