Category Archives: Food

WIAW #8 Clean eating

Peas and Crayons

Winter everyone seems to be talking about it. Love it or hate it happens. Personally I love winter BUT I do hate being cold. Therefore I’m a serial ‘layer-er’ – tights under jeans – a singlet, t-shirt, jumper, then a jacket and of course a beanie. Today i re-discovered the pleasure and warmth of snow socks – they’re just ‘cushion-ee’ and they fit your feet so nicely!

All the headlines in the magazines seem to be on the winter bandwagon also; ‘You’re all round winter guide’ or ‘How to prevent getting sick this season’. They tell us to move more, eat more veggies, reduce your intake of sugar and dairy (because it’s forms mucus) although research by the University of California at Davis, US, shows eating yoghurt triggers your body to produce up to four times as much of a key immune receptor. “Yoghurt with live cultures improves the health of your digestive tract, making your immune system more effective” researchers stated.

Basically winter I don’t do anything extreme to prevent myself from getting sick – no flu injections or anything. I eat clean most of the time so in winter I tend to rug up, eat lots of vegetables, drink ‘real’ hot chocolate and if i feel a sore throat coming along I drink copious amounts of hot water, ginger, lemon and manuka honey. So soothing!

What are your tips to prevent getting sick in winter or some home made remedies??

Here are my eats from today. Enjoy and I hope all is well.


My usual – homemade muesli soaked with water and kefir with berries


Fresh juice whilst shopping at the market – beetroot, carrot, celery and ginger


Favourite meal of the day – seaweed salad 6 fresh oysters that I topped with either tamari and ginger or hot sauce. All fresh from the vic market!


Grilled flathead tails with sweet potato with cinnamon, steamed kale with olive oil and garlic and some sauerkraut


Natural yoghurt with cinnamon and honey warmed up & some coconut water

Eat well & be well.

Sp x

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Chicken pho – Monday motivation

So Monday’s is the day that people seem to dread – The weekends over, they have to go to work and probably they have to start their healthy eating or exercise plan that realistically they probably won’t stick to! Well I’m here to motivate you with a healthy recipe that is gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, pale friendly (if your into that) and just all round good for you.

Since the thermostat here in Melbourne has been going down, down, down to funky town of recent weeks this has led to the firing up the crockpots, slow cookers and stoves for some hearty comfort food to get us Melbournians through the cooler months.

One of my favourite comfort foods/cheaps eats any time of year is Vietnamese pho. Big hearty bowls of soup filled with your choice of chicken, beef, tofu, rice noodles and topped off with DIY coriander, bean sprouts, chilli and whatever might tickle your fancy!

The other week you might of seen my WIAW #5 post where I braved the cold and all the asian grocery stores of Box Hill to make my first ever chicken pho. I did make mine a touch healthier by throwing in extra greens (that’s just how I roll – I love my greens) but it turned out very nice indeed!

Chicken pho


STOCK 4-6 serves

12 cups water

5 missal chicken stock cubes

2 tablespoons fish stock

3 cloves of garlic halved

1drop of liquid stevia

3-4 cm chunk of ginger cut into 2-3 chunks

1/2 a red onion

2 star anise

10 whole cloves

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 large chicken breast


Place water and stock cubes in the pot.

Add fish stock, garlic, ginger and stevia (if you’re using it – you can also substitute 1 teaspoon of sugar).

In a tea infuser place the star anise, cloves and coriander seeds (easier to remove when cooked)

Finally add chicken breast.


Let the stock cook for 20-30 minutes until chicken is cooked.

Remove chicken and cut into chunks.

Remove all other ingredients from the stock and throw away.

Stock bubbling away

For the soup. serves 1

5-6 Broccoli florets

1 Buc choy

handful bean shoots

fresh coriander (as much as you like)

holy basil (as much as you like)

1/4 lemon wedge

chopped chilli (depends how hot you want the soup)


For my soup I quickly blanched the florets and buc choy in the stock.

added this to my bowl along with as much shredded chicken I felt like and topped up the bowl with the delicious stock.

On top of the soup I then placed bean shoots, herbs, chilli and a fresh squeeze of lemon. Voila!

Finished product – chicken pho (noodle-less)


This was very yummy and doesn’t leave your mouth with the taste of MSG! Traditional pho does have rice noodles in it but I didn’t have any handy.

I had a heap of left over chicken and stock so I just froze these in separate containers for rainy, cold nights that I can’t be bothered cooking and I’ll just make sure I throw some greens in there!

Eat well & be well.

sp x

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WIAW #6 I need your help :)

Peas and Crayons


Hey amigo’s so a little background information about me before I get into my WIAW which is actually just pictures of yummy recent eats I have been having lately as today has been a fairly chaotic day and I haven’t had the luxurious time to sit down to take pictures and admire how good looking all my meals have been just like their creator!

I have completed a degree in Exercise Science so I have done all the physiology, motor mechanics, biomechanics, nutrition, anatomy etc etc a person learns during that degree. The degree was great – loved going to uni because I got to see my friends every day and we had great parties. I have worked for a professional AFL team and I thought that was my dream job as every sporting enthusiast aspires to do this. I quit that gig, lived in Italy for 4 months, travelled, come home and tried to discover what I want to do with my life and what my passions are. Throughout this “self-discovery” I had many up’s and down’s, controlled what I ate, when I ate because to be honest I didn’t know where I was going in life and my food was the only thing I could control –  but I discovered that I’m passionate about food, health and education. So a dream job would be a miss-mash-ball of helping people with their diets, exercise and educating them about diet and lifestyle.

THUS I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

My goals with this course is to establish a success holistic nutrition and exercise science company where I can educate people on how different aspects of their lives affect their health. Educate children on nutrition and the importance of eating well. Then eventually publish my own books and be a massive TV star!! hello world!

But seriously I DO NEED YOUR HELP!! As a part of our course we have to complete health history consultations where we’ll (YOU + I) look at all the different areas of your life and how it’s affecting your life. Such as how your food, diet and lifestyle have a tremendous impact on your overall health, happiness and well-being. Everything will be strictly confidential. I want to practice, get better, help people and build an health empire 😉 (even if it’s only helping one person – that’s all that seriously matters to me)

So if you’re interested in helping out a lovely Australian girl with doing a health consultation with me just drop me a comment or email and I’ll get back to you. All the consultations will have to be done via Skype however as most of you are in America – If this doesn’t entice you to see the mastermind behind this young (hopefully growing) blog I don’t know what will!!

To my delish recent eats. ENJOY – I hope they make you salivate because they’re making me hungry right about now!

First one up is a homemade roast chicken and veggie salad with a pesto dressing topped with roasted pumpkin seeds! 😛

young & green (Brunswick st Fitzroy) is an amazing raw food/healthy restaurant. This is there lentil curry topped with delish hummus and spring onions.

Homemade no rice sushi aka paleo sushi with tuna, avocado, spinach, grated carrot and zucchini with some roasted pumpkin seeds in there for some crunch and a ginger tamari sauce

Homemade roast sweet potato and chickpea salad with kale, roasted almonds, goats cheese and a honey mustard dressing – Yerr boy!

Hope you’ve been well & happy.

Until next time 🙂

sp x

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WIAW # 5


Happy Wednesday everyone!

Hope all is well. People generally have the perception of Australia as being warm, sunny, everyones down the beach surfing let me tell you this ain’t true!! Well at least for 3-4 months Melbourne generally gets a shocking winter. Cold, rainy and miserable our average winter temperature is around 10 degrees – That is cold for us!!! Today’s temp was a delish 15 degrees so my Wednesday eats are full of comfort food, sitting around the fire, studying and catching up with the family. Big hi to my Ma who is having her appendix out today up in Queensland, recover well. Be a good patient!

I love waking up to this view each morning as I leave my house for my morning run – Could/would never get sick of looking at this!

One of my favourite views 🙂


Breakfast this morning was the breakfast of champions, my daily breakky, so fingers crossed soon I will be a superstar!

Oat porridge with cinnamon topped with blueberries and raspberries and a white tea with lemon.

Porridge with berries & white tea with lemon

[Snack] today was a vitamin C packed kiwi fruit.


Thank god for grandparents. My Nan is a pretty good cook, I love her comfort foods and I know I’ll never be able to recreate any of her recipes – she definitely must have secrets hidden in her apron somewhere! My two fav ‘Nan’ foods are her corned beef and lamb shank soup.

Today’s lunch was Nan’s lambshank soup but still hungry I had some shaved ham from the fridge and some roasted nuts along with a cuppa for an afternoon pick me up!

Nan's famous lamb shank soup


Tonights dinner was my attempt at chicken pho. I went to Box Hill centro aka ‘Vietnamese anything asian town’ and picked up all my spices for the pho. I was in heaven and can’t wait to go back and discover what other exotic foods I can find there – I was in a rush because I parked illegally and I have a terrible habit for accumulating parking fines at the moment!

Homemade chicken pho

This pho was amazing taste exactly like I have at my local Vietnamese restaurant. RECIPE COMING SOON!

Would love to know what are your favourite comfort foods that your grandparents cook for you?

Before my Nonna passed away we would go there every weekend and she would cook each of us kids (4) whatever dish we would like. My favourites were gnocchi pomodoro, lasagne, meatballs, ‘shell soup’ which was just chicken broth with shell pasta and Nonna’s famous crostoli.

Hope all is well my amigos. Eat well & be well. *** Also I made my first ever homemade nutella yesterday – amazing, addictive. Recipe coming soon. Get excited!

sp x

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ANZAC day. Lest we forget. In Australia today we celebrate all of those who have fought for our country and those who are fighting today. Melbourne you’ve definitely not turned the weather on for us.. 15 degrees, you’ve got to be kidding me. All I have planned for this weather is to stay inside by the fire and watch the football.

If you’re not from Australia or New Zealand you probably don’t know about ANZAC biscuits. I haven’t cooked up any for this ANZAC day but I do cook them throughout the year as they are the favourite biscuits of my household. Big, chewy, coconut, golden syrupy goodness – I’m not a fan of the crunchy type. But google them, cook them, you won’t regret it. They are nice by themselves, dunked in a cup of tea (nothing is more Australian than this), in an ice-cream sandwich or one of my favourites heated in a microwave until they are caramely and them crumbled on ice-cream. YUUUM.

Back to my Wednesday!


The usual when winter approaches – a porridge of some sort and a cup of tea. Warms you up very well!.

Porridge with blueberries & raspberries and a cup of white tea


Been feeling a little under the weather a bit lately so I have been trying to pump my body full of vitamin C. Yesterday it was an orange but todays fruit of choice was a delicious kiwi fruit. Whilst babysitting my little niece I cooked up some no sugar chocolate nut balls. In these I put in almond meal, LSA, coconut, crushed brazil, cashew, hazel and walnuts, cocoa, maca powder, butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract, roasted almond butter (THE best nut butter!!) and water. Froze, and these will be my nightly nibbles for next few days. During the changing of nappies, cooking, cleaning up I also munched on a very sweet and crunchy carrot.

Cocoa nutballs


I love sushi. Probably have it a few times a week. 99% of the time I get brown rice sushi. My favourite is a little sushi place at Doncaster shopping centre.

1 salmon and 1 vegetarian brown rice sushi with ginger


Yesterday I made up a soup experiment as I knew the weather was turning cold. This soup is a major winner. It was leek, garlic, chickpeas, roasted pumpkin, chicken stock blitzed up then i added some more chickpeas and broccoli florets to add a bit of texture. I will cook this one again!

Broccoli, roast pumpkin and chickpea soup with roasted pumpkin seeds

A question I’m putting out to you folks this week is – what is your favourite nut butter and your favourite way to use it?!

Hope everyone has been well and happy. Eat well & be well.

sp x

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Kefir… what the ?!? When I posted what I have with my daily muesli kefir and berries a lot of people were like what the ?!? is kefir?


My favourite kefir

Kefir is a cultured milk (can be any milk) of several lactic species and originated in South Eastern Europe. It contains more than 30 beneficial bacteria. Including kefir in your diet will help promote a healthy balance of intestinal flora, which will improve digestion, boost immune health and help to produce vitamins B12 and K.

Kefir also provides plenty of calcium and magnesium, to look after your nervous system, and vitamin A and D, to support immune function. Kefir is a great source of protein and is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is known for its calming effect and sleep support.,16237).

Whilst searching another site ( suggested kefir could also help bowel movements, which is also a bonus, constipation, reduce food cravings. They say it can help the body absorb nutrients, improve blood pressure and the health benefit that my Mum would probably be most interested in is that it’s loaded with anti-ageing properties (alpha hydroxyl acid: AHA).

There are endless list of the health benefits associated with kefir on the internet. But basically I think it’s a nice tart, refreshing drink, it a good alternative to yoghurt. I know in Melbourne you can buy babushka’s kefir at several health food stores but I buy my favourite at Piedmonte’s supermarket in Fitzroy North or if you have the time and patience you can purchase many starter kits online. Add it to your muesli, smoothie or use it anywhere you would sour cream.. I’m thinking of using it in my beef stroganoff or else fetteh aka chickpea bake (If you ever get the chance to go to Moroccan soup bar in Fitzroy North this dish is the highlight of the banquet!


chickpea bake at Moroccan Soup Bar - so yum!

Until next time my friends. Be well, eat well & give kefir a go.

sp x

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Peas and Crayons

 Wednesday aka hump day.

This morning as I looked out my window the fog covering the mountains I had a battle with myself that went a little like this – “Stay in bed it’s so cold outside” “This is the best time for a run, just get up and do it!!” The later voice won and thank god. Running this morning was so refreshing and I couldn’t wait to get home and make a big bowl of porridge to warm myself up!

So my friends I present you with my ‘what i ate Wednesday.’ Hope you’ve all had a great week.


Porridge with cinnamon and blueberries with white tea and lemon

Porridge with cinnamon and blueberries with white tea and lemon




Often I go to my favourite little cafe in Collingwood ‘The Cambridge’ and get one of my favourite salads. I seriously would probably get this at least twice a week it’s that good plus the lady there is lovely and already knows my order as soon as I walk in.

sweet potato and fetta salad & a spinach and chickpea salad mixed

sweet potato and fetta salad & a spinach and chickpea salad mixed


I love cooking. I find it quite therapeutic and relaxing. I try to cook dinner at least 4-5 times a week and try to change it up a bit see what works and what doesn’t. Not everything is always successful though but it’s edible!

Tonights dinner was salmon and stir-fryed veggies in a delicious sauce I made up consisting of fresh mint, fresh coriander, lemon juice, tamari and chilli flakes.

Baked salmon and stir-fryed veggies

Baked salmon and stir-fryed veggies

I would love to know what you’re cooking successors and disasters have been.

Until then my amigos I hope you’ve had a great week so far.

Eat well & be well x

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WIAW #2 .. I’m back!

Long time between my last WIAW! Sorry folks.

I have been thinking lately though what is my relationship with food as the number of eating disorders is on the rise in Australia. Do I let food control my thoughts and things I do? After sitting back and thinking the answer is no. I love food, get real pleasure in eating clean foods that I know are nourishing me. Food doesn’t control my thoughts but I know it does for some people. When does our relationship with food start to deteriorate? When we’re kids we stop eating when we’re full and we don’t look at food as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Is it created by the media, friends, family? Most likely they all contribute but only because we allow them to. Then we let that voice in our head take control. The only thing however though we can do is choose how we react to these this voice and other people. Most of the time it’s not food that people have an issue with but there is a deep unmet need that they are suppressing and then using food as a method of control and suppression. I hope people can sit and reflect on their own relationship with food and it’s a positive one. if not, is there something you’re lacking in life? love, relationships or is life just a little uninspiring at the moment? Or how have you been able to improve your own relationship with food and lifestyle?

My eats!

Breakfast today was a bowl of porridge with banana and cinnamon mixed in with some chia seeds, coconut oil and flakes on top. Warmed me up on this cold Melbourne morning!


Lunch was a bowl of ‘la zuppa’ pumpkin soup with Kombucha


Snack – My favourite trail mix. I get this from my lovely Lebanese man who has an amazing shop of nuts, spices etc


Dinner – sweet potato topped with left over chicken casserole and some avocado. As the weather starts to cool down I really feel like ‘comfy’ foods. This went down a treat.


Hope you’ve all had a fantastic day.

Eat well and be well.


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What I ate Wednesday (WIAW) #1

Welcome to my first ever WIAW!

Prior to starting this blog I would often look over fellow bloggers WIAW’s for food inspiration on new meals that I can cook. Todays post will be quite brief as it has been a long day. I do hope however you do enjoy browsing over my newly established blog!


After my morning run I was in quite a rush to get my breakfast and lunch ready before heading off to work.


Breakky was the usual homemade muesli with cinnamon soaked in water and kefir then topped with half a punnet of strawberries washed down with white tea and lemon juice.



Homemade salad of crunchy cos lettuce, steamed beans, corn, tuna, avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds.


After finishing work today i quickly went to our local market and picked up some mussels. I have never cooked mussels in my life but if they’re on a menu I am sure to order them! 


To cook the mussels I first rinsed and de-bearded them. 

To a fry pan I added:            1/2 red onion

                                           1 clove of garlic

                                           chopped parsley

                                           1/2 jar of tomato passata

                                           Pinch of dried chilli, dried basil, salt and pepper to taste

                                           1 cup of water

I let this reduce slightly before gently puttting the mussels in the pot with the lid on for about 5 minutes to let them steam and open up. Plate up and top with fresh parsley – Voila!

What a success! These mussels were delicious and I can’t wait to cook them for friends and family!



Sitting down in front of the TV relaxing for the night I finish my day off with left over barambah natural yoghurt – so very creamy and oh so so good toped with coconut and washed down with a peppermint tea.

(For some reason I am unable to upload the picture – If I can figure it out I’ll definitely upload it!)


There we have to folks my first ever WIAW! Hope you enjoyed it.

Until next time, be well.




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Ahhh breakfast how I love thee. I am a terrible creature of habit especially when it comes to breakfast. Of late, which would be last couple of months, I’ve been nourishing myself with my home made muesli mix (oats, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, goji berries) soaked with some water and cinnamon and mixed with either my favourite yoghurt (Barambah natural) or kefir. Summer is not only the time for cricket, tennis and Sunday sessions but also for berries! Mounting my beautiful muesli each morning depends on whether I’ve been to the strawberry farm around the corner from my house or fortunately for me my family owns a wholesale fruit and vegetable business so I often ask my Dad or brothers to bring me trays of blueberries or raspberries home.

Summer it’s this muesli mix, winter it’s usually porridge but I’m open to suggestions to what other breakfasts may be able to float my boat.

– sp