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Monday, November 28, 2011

gathering at amarant

What a wonderful day I had yesterday. There was a gathering at amaranth, where I once did a catering for a while ago. Amaranth is a retreat place that promotes spirituality growth and good nutrition through raw foods in healsville.
we brought a dish each to share and all our stories to share and inspire each other. The great thing about it was there was no judgements there. We all came from different background and even we are on the similar path at the moment the point we are standing are quite different. But it did not matter and it just created more of the wonderful individuality and inspiration to others.
I met some, who have combated terminal illnesses, some have just started the journey to a good health, beautiful families with children, strong women and men who believe in this way of life and want to share this experience and help others. It was so motivating.

Along my journey one of my most important and also difficult lesson was a self-confidence. Even I believed on something strongly depending on a circumstances or people around I used to sometimes hide my passion or do something that I didn't want to, to please others. By doing that I thought I was showing that I loved them and I cared for them. When I was criticised or thought I was criticised (when I created that story myself) I either quickly retreat and hide behind a mask or became offended and started an argument. I am pleased to say I am better now. I have learned to appreciate ME. I may make mistakes, I may not be perfect, I may be different but there is no need to be an excuse or explanation for who I am. I have learned that I cannot please everyone.

Hopefully I will be doing more with this wonderful institution and keep you updated with what's happening.

Thanks Jules and Hannah for organising this event and all the people who inspired me and for who they are yestersday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

today's raw lunch

spring -summer season is one of my favourite.
many of my favourite food grows this time. At ceres there was corn, peas, still kale and bok choy, strawberries, cabbages, cauliflower and brocolli. all the staples like carrtos, sweet potatos etc etc...

here is what I had for lunch today.

kale juice with coconut bread
cauliflower, corn and asparagus rice with miso and pumpkin seed dressing. topped with slices of avocado served with basil and tomato wrap.

reminder! cooking class and christmas pudding

Cooking Class
I know December is quite a busy time for people but I am running a summer cooking class.
relaxed and fun environment. lots of great tips to improve your diet and lifestyle. the best part is to meet wonderful people and of course to share meals together.

Summer is a season to include more raw and quick/lightly cooked meals.
learn to create dishes with ingredients and cooking styles that will help you with warmest season.
the meals are all vegan using mostly organic produce. the combination of lightly cooked and raw meals.

Summer cooking class will be held at
103 Evans St, Brunswick 3056

10th December 2011 (saturday)

Please book early 0403569019 or
check out our website

christmas is fast approaching! still wants a cake and eat it? still taking orders for vegan, wholesome christmas pudding. raw or traditional. all with organic ingredients of course :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

while gardening... just my thoughts.

Apart from cooking and maybe going thorough recipes I like gardening. Fortunately I have medium size garden that provide me with many fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits.
Nothing is better than going around the garden and just pick what I feel like for a meal and use it straight away.
Only thing though... they are covered with soil and little creatures! takes a while to wash it all off (probably I don't manage to... well I have to say more B12 for me)
I don't know how those veges can be so much cleaner looking at shops.

While washing my thoughts wonder off to many different places. while I was doing my "washing dance"-to keep the mosquitos away from my legs :-) I often think about my mum's friend who also loves gardening. I remember her saying she doesn't like killing mosquitos. "I just let them have a bit of my blood. They don't take much" I am not there yet!

Then I may think about what my daughter and I were talking about the night before. How busy she is at the fairy land, where she visits almost every night because she is the queen there. Her amazing imagination makes me smile.

Then I may think about my own life. How things are going.
If you are close to me you may know it hasn't been easy lately. I can see the end of the tunnel though, Just a little bit more to go.
While on this journey one of the things that I have learnt is that there is a support around me if I ask for help. Asking help is like knowing that I am not perfect and I don't have to be. and it allowed me to be more humble and appreciate the generosity of my friends and family. opening up my protective self wasn't easy but when I did I received so much more that I expected.

So thank you

essene bread

I was talking to someone about how we both love essene bread. It is a loaf that is made from sprouted grain, such as wheat, rye, kamut and spelt. You can buy one from health shops but they are easily made yourself.

Essence bread is a dense and slightly sweet. Here is the requested recipe.


You will need
4-6 cups of sprouted grains

that's it?


grind the sprouted grain using juicer, food processor, a blender, or a big pestle and mortar. place in a greased pan. you can either leave it to sit for up to 24 hours or start baking straight away.

raw version

slow-cook the loaf for 24-36 hours. You can put it in the sun, or use a VERY low oven if your oven can turn down to approx 41 degrees. If you have a gas oven you can leave the loaf with just a pilot light on.

cooked version

bake the loaf at 110-115 for two hours. This makes a sweet, almost caramelised, dense loaf. it is similar to many store bought essence bread.

you can have different variations.
I sometimes make smaller roll bread, that makes the drying/baking process shorter too.
or you can add dry fruits, nuts and seed or other seasoning.

And this is my lunch with my raw essene bread. This time I made it with spelt and just left it outside with a mesh to cover to keep the insects away.
served with sprouted quinoa salad and avocado.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

grain / gluten in your diet

There is so much debate over grain and grain products.
Books such as "dangerous grains", "Going Against grain" have been read by millions of people and grains, especially ones with gluten seem to be something that needed to be avoided by everyone.
Of course if you have celiac disease and gluten intolerance you will want to avoid them but if you don't would it still be a good idea to eliminate it from your diet?

Let's look at different types of grains.

CORN fine source of vitamin B1, B5, C, E, folic acid and magnesium and phosphorus. Phytochemicals and carotenoid are found as well. is gluten free

OATS Very good source of manganese, selenium and phosphorous. Also good source of magnesium and iron. Oats' is high in dietary fibre, which is known to help to lower cholesterol by binding bile acids and removing them from the body. Studies also found that it stabilises blood sugar levels.

RICE high quality amount of Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6 as well as manganese, iron, selenium. magnesium, phosphorus and trace minerals. It can help treat hypercholesterolemia and gamma-oryzanol, which is known not only lowers cholesterol but exerts growth-promoting properties as well. is gluten free

WHEAT healthy level of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and E and folic acids as well as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, protein, magnesium and iron.

AMARANTH this tiny but mighty grain (not true grain, amaranth is seed) is high in easily absorbed protein (lysine and methionine). High in fibre, healthy fats, iron, calcium, magnesium. excellent sores of vitamin B2, B3, B5 and good source of B6 and folic acids. It also contains tocotrienols and squalene, which are known to reduce cholesterol. is low GI and gluten free.

BARLEY good source of fibre, selenium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous and vitamin B3

BUCKWHEAT not true grain but a fruit seed contains flavonoids rutin and quercetin which has significant health promoting actions- Very good source of magnesium, manganese, fibre, phosphorus, pantothenic acid and protein, which contains all eight essential amino acids. is gluten free

MILLET good source of protein, phosphorous and magnesium as well as B vitamins. is alkalising and gluten free.

QUINOA this seed of a plant is a very good source of magnesium, manganese and has a very fine protein source (all essential amino acids and highly absorbable) and healthy levels of vitamin B2, E and fibre. Also good source of iron, phosphorous, copper and zinc. is gluten free.

RYE very good source of dietary fibre, phosphorous, magnesium and vitamin B1

SPELT distant elder cousin of modern wheat is an excellent source of complex special kind of carbohydrates, mucopolysaccharides, which has been found to stimulate immune system as well as help to lower cholesterol levels, and to play a role in blood clotting. also a good source of vitamin B. It has gluten but is more fragile than gluten wheat so it may be easier to digest.

TRITICALE hybrid of wheat and rye. higher protein content compared to wheat and has lysine. similar nutritional values as other grains.

So why some people say NO to grains???

-high in carbohydrates and high in calories, especially when compared to the nutrients they provide
-has anti-nutrients-substances that impair the absorption and utilisation of many nutrients
-low on many vitamins such as vitamin C, A
-most of the grains are acidic
-contributes many diseases such as obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune syndrome, dermatitis etc

I haven't found any reasons to stay away from grains. I do consciously vary the types so that I don't just eat one type of grain and include more gluten free grains because I found that they are easier to digest. and also those gluten free grains or seeds such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat etc are so high in amazing nutrients. I don't avoid gluten especially sprouted and/ or sprouted form. By soaking, sprouting and fermenting you can reduce the amount of anti nutrients substances that can inhibit the absorption of some vital minerals. Some studies found that by these techniques the content of gluten is significantly reduced and more digestible, not to mention increased amount of overall nutrient contents. Even in raw diet you can include these sprouted grains in recipes.
Because I am quite active I feel that I need carbohydrate to sustain my energy and all the nutrients found in grain products are vital to my health. Of course as I said if you are gluten, carbohydrate sensitive you need to be careful with the intake of these grains. and also some can tolerate grain better than the others.
Listening to your body is very important.

amazake recipe

When I did a demonstration at World vegan day in Melbourne I took a few food samples to show how cooking can change the energy of the food.
One example was brown rice.
you can have savoury cooked brown rice and also fermented sweet drink/sweetener amazake which is also made from brown rice.
which one do you think is more yin?
remember yen food tends to be colder, sweeter and has more expanding and relaxing energy.

Even though they are both made from the same ingredient, brown rice, amazake is more yin because it has been fermented, sweet and more liquid.

cooking method changes it as well. pressure cooking, cooking in a pot, in a rice cooker, in the oven... They all create different end product.

Anyway, Here is Amazake recipe that was requested on the day.

Make brown rice porridge
-brown rice soaked over night 1 cup
-water 5 cups

rinse and drain the brown rice
cook with water for about 50 minutes.
turn the heat off and rest for 15 minutes.

alternatively you can cook left over brown rice with extra water till it becomes porridge texture

-brown rice porridge 2 cups
-koji 2 cups
-salt (optional)

Mix in Koji with brown rice porridge
leave in a warm place for about 6 hours (depending on the temperature and humidity)
When it is done boil the amazake to stop the fermentation (optional)
when it is cool put in a blender and blend till smooth

If you use amazake as a drink add enough hot water. It can be served hot or cold. specially good with grated ginger

Saturday, November 12, 2011

my lunch today

Beetroot always make it so beautiful.
Raw sweet potato and beetroot with sprouted beans and broccoli sprout. served with cashew sour cream dipped avocado and kale.

Just like its colour beetroot is a blood purifier.

summer cooking class 2011

Cooking Class
I know December is quite a busy time for people but I am running a summer cooking class.
relaxed and fun environment. lots of great tips to improve your diet and lifestyle. the best part is to meet wonderful people and of course to share meals together.

Summer is a season to include more raw and quick/lightly cooked meals.
learn to create dishes with ingredients and cooking styles that will help you with warmest season.
the meals are all vegan using mostly organic produce. the combination of lightly cooked and raw meals.

Summer cooking class will be held at
103 Evans St, Brunswick 3056

10th December 2011 (saturday)

Please book early 0403569019 or
check out our website

christmas is fast approaching! still wants a cake and eat it? still taking orders for vegan, wholesome christmas pudding. raw or traditional. all with organic ingredients of course :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Even though many of of my knowledge on asian nutrition comes from macrobiotic and chinese point of view Ayurveda is another concept that I keep in mind as well

It is based on the idea that the body has certain rhythms and your body is healthy when they are balanced. And good health can be maintained through diet and lifestyle.

Rather than treating the symptoms of disease directly, Ayurvedic treatment aims to rebalance your doshas according to your individual constitution, resulting in a body and mind that is healthy and sound.
The three main types of dosha are :

Vata – air type which means all movements in the body and mind - for example, breathing, heart beat, elimination, pulsation, blood circulation, and thinking. These are all due to air. Our body weight is due to air and the pressure it creates on our bodies. When the air element is too high all of the things listed above will increase and the person will become sick or mentally imbalanced.
Pitta – the fire/heat type. This is responsible for the metabolism and digestion in the body. Without adequate heat, your food cannot be properly digested and will become toxic in your system. Pitta is also responsible for keeping the body warm.
Kapha – the water type. Our body is made up of 70% water and this is controlled by Kapha dosha. It is also responsible for lubrication in the body and provides stability. Lubrication is needed in the joints, skin and mouth.

everyone is composed of these three doshas. yours can be mono, which means one of them is predominant, bi (two predominant types and tri- (all three types)

So what is your type???

It is just a brief question so if you'd like to obtain an accurate observation please contact your professional ayurvedic consultant.


body frame is light with prominent joints
lose weight easily and find it hard to put it back on
skin complexion is dull and varies in colour
don’t have a lot of hair and it is dry and wavy
circulation is poor and I often have cold hands and feet
prefer warm climates and sweat little
appetite varies and I like warm food
find it hard to fall asleep but have many dreams when I do
tend to have gas and constipation
move quickly and try to do many things at once
tend to be chatty and speak quickly
have a good imagination but become distracted easily
learn new things quickly but forget them easily
tend to be nervy and worry about things
find it hard to concentrate


I have a medium size frame that is moderately developed
weight is stable
skin colour is yellowy, red or pink and warm in relation to other people of my race
hair is thin, fine and light coloured in relation to other people of my race
circulation is good and I generally feel warm
enjoy cool climates and sweat profusely
have a strong appetite and I like cool foods
sleep well but not for long
have regular bowel movements with a tendency to loose stools
move calmly and am very focused
articulate, speaking clearly and precisely
able to focus easily and carry out plans fully
learn quickly and have good mental retaining capacity
become angry easily and can be critical
have an intelligent and stable mind


have a large and solid frame
heavy and gain weight easily
skin is pale, smooth and soft
hair is thick, soft and wavy
circulation is slow and I tend to feel cool
prefer warm climates and sweat moderately
have low appetite and prefer warm food
sleep deeply and enjoy sleeping for long periods but often feel lethargic when waking
have slow bowel movements with solid and well formed stools
move calmly and steadily
speak slowly and methodically
slow to get started but have good mental stamina
take time to learn but have good long term memory capacity
can be possessive
tend to be calm and content

so how did you go?
me? I am mixed of all three.
Apparently that means I am either very unbalanced or perfectly balanced. well, I'd like to think positively.
It is quite fun to do.
After determining your dosha type you can apply that to your diet and your lifestyle to bring it more in balance, choosing certain food to meet your body and mind needs. some foods are good for certain types and some are considered to have negative effects.

If you are interested in what foods are good for your type let me know. Maybe I will list them next time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

world vegan day 2011

Thank you to everyone who came to see me at World vegan day on Sunday.
I have enjoyed connecting with people with such enthusiasm and willingness to learn more about their health and diet.
I had my daughter as an assistant. What more can I ask for!

The festival itself was very busy. The good weather helped as well I suppose. Interesting to see all sort of different characters turning up and also the amount of volunteers who were helping out all day was amazing.

thank you!

In the demo there was a request for amazake recipe. I will be posting it soon.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

emotional detox after changing diet (raw or eliminating certain foods you used to be addicted to)

I always talked about how changing ones diet has a huge effect on their well beings physically and emotionally. When you improve your diet and start eating healthy it may take a while but your body will start responding positively. For some people the transition process is easy but some it is harder as they experience detoxification.
there are lots of information out there when you go through physical detoxification.
All the toxins that you may have accumulated over the years may come out in different ways such as acne, digestive problems, headaches, other bodily aches and pains, bad breath and body odour etc.
Emotional detoxification can occur as well and the same sort of reasons can be applied. Depression like symptoms, extreme emotions, frustrations, anger may come out. And also because you have eliminated foods that were harder for your body to digest and process you may experience the detoxification faster. That is why in many detox programmes they recommend either single ingredient (in macrobiotic its brown rice only) or liquid (juice or water fasting).
Another thing that can contribute to the emotional up and down is society pressure to eat "mainstream". It doesn't matter if you decide to become vegan, macrobiotic, raw or just eat healthy there are people who may comment on your decision negatively. It may isolate you from some occasions and social events.

There are a few things that I would recommend to do when you are going through the tough times

1, know that you will be OKAY in the end of this tunnel and it is beneficial to your health. Maybe it is a good opportunity to really go low and think about why you are going thorough this detox and the negative feelings are coming out. Remember these emotions are something that you have accumulated in the past and didn't get to process. Possibly it is the time to sort it out.

2. slow down the detox process
If you are not prepared to do a drastic change, especially the previous diet was very different from what you are trying to do now, you can transit more slowly. If you have decide to go 100 % raw you may start with 80% then 90% then 100% when you are ready.
Also you can add more food that take more time to be digested. you will lose some energy in that way but it can slow down the detox effects as well.
exercise is good as the body needs to repair and build after the exercise so detoxification process will slow down and endorphins which can help a person to feel more peaceful and happy, are released.

3 take some herbs.
There are many safe herbs you can take such as st Johns wort, valerian, camomile etc.

4 Make sure your nutrition is adequate. Many vitamins and minerals are associated with depression like symptoms. Vitamin D, B, essential fatty acid, DHA, folic acid

5 simplify your surroundings. If you are surrounded by things and people who don't support you and your decision are they really worthy of your time and energy?

6 don't beat yourself up. One mistake does not kill you. In an ideal world it has to be easy to live naturally and healthfully. But you are not in the ideal world... We are doing the best we can and that is the most important thing. One fall then you can get up again, right?

Good luck