Why do a kitchen detox?

The kitchen is the place where we prepare food for ourselves and our loved ones. When you enter the kitchen how does the kitchen make you feel. Organised, inspired, creative or messy, cluttered and overwhelmed.

Like most people around this time of year, Spring, I have decided to look at the way I eat and tweak it. We have come out of Winter, which is usually a time of heavy food, and with more light and heat in the days, we naturally start to want to eat lighter and possible even cleaner. For me I want to get back into my green smoothies, start introducing more fermented foods and have a shot of wheat grass each morning. This means growing my own wheat grass and juicing it.

So what does detoxing the kitchen have to do with how we decide to eat and nourish ourselves. The feelings that the kitchen invokes is going to have a direct impact on how and what you prepare for yourself. The kitchen will either support you on your journey towards better health and vitality or distract you from it.

Say you wish to start having a fresh juice or smoothie each morning. Is the juicer or blender on the counter or hidden in the back of the pantry? Do you have fresh fruit and vegetables on display on the counter or in easy reach in the fridge? Or do you see bottles of soft drink in the fridge each time you open the door? Think about it this way – each time you enter the kitchen it is marketing to you. Just like the TV, what you see in the kitchen is giving you messages. These messages will influence you on how and what you eat.

As with the change in season, there is a change in energy. Spring brings longer daylight hours and warmer days. It is a time of new beginnings, promise and growth. We start to be more active and head outdoors. Cleaning and detoxing the kitchen can support bringing this new energy into the kitchen and into the way you wish to nourish yourself.

Have you decided how you would like to eat and nourish yourself this Spring? Are you looking at:

  • eating less processed foods
  • increasing the amount of raw foods in each meal
  • consuming more green smoothies

Whatever you have decided to do, look at detoxing your kitchen to support you.

Would you like guidance on how to detox your kitchen? Are you unsure of the next steps you need to take to increase your health? Overwhelmed by all that you think you should be doing?

As a Health Coach, I specialising in helping people make their own healthy changes. Ready to get started? Schedule an initial complementary consultation with me today – or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

Raw Spicy Carrot Squares with Lemon Frosting

I love chocolate and so I love getting in the kitchen and experimenting and creating new chocolate desserts. However, sometimes a girl can have too much chocolate. Really? Really! I was mulling over in my head what other desserts I like that do not have a chocolate anything and carrot cake flashed in. Why not? A moist cake with a lemon frosting would go beautifully. Off to the kitchen I went. The first time I made this, I took it to a friends place who lives on a huge property with a number of horses. Her and her partner loved the spices mixed with the carrot pieces and the tartness of the lemon frosting that combined with them. They even said that the horses would love it. I know they have made the recipe nut I’m not sure if the horses have been given any.

For me, this recipe is about nourishing the soul. Taking time out from the never ending ‘to do’ list and having some time to breath. The space between what has been completed and what is about to start. These spaces are so important, as they help slow us down and give the day pauses, which means we don’t feel like we are running from one thing to the next and speeding up the treadmill. Do you give yourself time to breath? To actually focus on being present for even a minute per day? How do you create spaces between the business of your day? Or do you even acknowledge that you need to create spaces? I invite you to create space today. Make yourself a cup of something to drink and then sit and slow drink it. How do you feel afterwards?

I hope you enjoy my spicy carrot squares with lemon frosting, they go lovely with a cup of tea and a few moments to breath……….

Ingredients:

Base

  • 2/3 cup pecans
  • 2/3 cup macadamias
  • 1/4 cup activated buckwheat*
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 10 pitted medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil (liquid)

Cake

  • 3 cups chopped carrot (about 4 med carrots)
  • 1/2 cup activated buckwheat* – ground
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice 
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 2/3 cup currants
  • 4 Tbs coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup, if required

Frosting

  • 1 cup coconut meat
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup
  • pinch of celtic sea salt
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 – 2 Tbs coconut water, if required

Prior Preparation:

  1. Nil

Directions:

Base

  1. In food processor add all base ingredients except dates and coconut oil and process until breadcrumb consistency
  2. Add chopped dates and blend until mixture sticks together.
  3. Add coconut oil and process again.  If you can squeeze together forming a ball and it holds it’s shape then the mixture is ready. If not add a few more dates.
  4. Line 20cm square tin with baking paper then pour base into tin and press down to form the base.
  5. Place in fridge while making the carrot cake filling

Cake

  1. Finely chop carrots in a food processor.  Alternatively use the pulp from juiced carrots
  2. Add buckwheat flour, currants, ginger powder, mixed spice, all spice, cinnamon, celtic sea salt and process again. Taste test to see if sweetener is require. Flavour of cake mixture will develop over time.
  3. Add coconut oil and maple syrup (if required).  Pulse to mix consistency.
  4. Press onto base and put back into fridge while making the frosting.

Frosting

  1. Open coconut and remove the coconut meat. Watch how to open a coconut.
  2. Rinse coconut meat to remove any hard bits before putting in the blender.
  3. Blend add all ingredients except coconut oil and coconut water.  Start of low setting and increase spend and blend until smooth. 
  4. Add coconut oil and blend. If mixture is too thick add 1 – 2 Tbs coconut water and blend again.
  5. Pour onto top of carrot cake and set in freezer for 3 hours.
  6. Once set remove carrot cake from tin and cut into squares.

I would love to receive your comments on this dish.

In vibrant health, Vicki

What are cravings?

What are cravings? Hmmmm… for me cravings are when you have a desire for something. Most people will think of cravings as being food or liquid based, like chocolate or alcohol, however cravings can be for anything. Sunshine, a hug, interaction with a special someone, cigarettes. You see everything that we consume, yes the food and liquids, but this also extends to the stuff we read, the things we listen, the aroma’s we smell, all have an affect on us and change us physiologically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. Even the people we hang out with and the thoughts we think has an affect on us.

The body is always looking at regaining homeostasis or balance, and what the craved item is, is a message from the body that balance has been lost and there is something about the craved item that will help bring us back into balance. Lets look at a few:

Sweets and Chocolate – can indicate there is a lack of joy or sweetness in some area of your life or that there is a never ending ‘to do’ list which creates a sense of no time for yourself. You can also crave sweets or chocolate when you are feeling exhausted or they can be used to cover up sadness and grief. They can also be craved when there is a loss of intimacy or romance.

Salt – relates to the need to let go, relax and go with the flow. It also relates to emotions and letting the emotions flow, as salt attracts water and the Kidney Meridian (in Chinese Meridian Theory) governs water. Are you letting your emotions flow?

 

Spicy – Do you crave spicy foods when life is boring and vanilla? Spicy foods also help unlock the imagination. If you are feeling stuck or stale, then spicy foods can give you the ‘intensity’ to get moving.

 

Crunch – Craving something crunching can relate to your inability to say what you would like to say, you need to bit down on something. It could also relate to feeling angry and not wishing to snap.

 

These are just a few reasons behind cravings, however, it goes further than this. It is looking at the whole story around the craved item and digging deeper to what is really underneath. Let me give you an example:

Years ago my craved item was Ferrero Rocher chocolates. These are balls of wafers, filled with nutella and a hazelnut which is then coated in chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. At that time, I was very stressed and dealing with a lot of grief. When I am stressed I feel very contracted, chocolate helps me feel expansive. It also helps numb the grief. So craving these chocolates, I was looking at changing how I was feeling. The hazelnuts also played a part, in that they provide a crunch to the chocolate. At that time I was also angry with the situation and could not express myself the way that what I wished to. Looking further into the ‘story’ of the cravings, Ferrero Rocher chocolates are wrapped in gold and come in a gift box. They are usually given at times of celebrations, gifts of love and appreciation. I felt unappreciated during this time, so buying the box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates was a gift to myself.

As you can see there is more to just the item that is craved, it is also looking at the story that is around the item, what is the context in which the item is usually consumed. This will then give you more information about what is going on for you. Another example is craving Nonna’s spaghetti bolognese. Is it the pasta, the cheese, the whole dish? Or is it when you visited Nonna, she would sit and listen to you, allow you the time to down load what was going on for you with no judgement. Are you really craving the space to download without judgement?

By digging deeper into the cravings you will find out what is the real cause is for the craving/s. With this knowledge of the real underlying cause you will then be at choice of how you bring yourself back into balance.

Would you like to dig deeper into your cravings? What to change your relationship with your food?  Let’s chat. Schedule in initial complementary consultation with me today. Email me vicki@inspiredchange.com.au

In vibrant health, Vicki

Why Soak Nuts and Seeds?

Nuts and seeds are full of nutrients and are a great way of adding substance to a vegetarian or vegan meal. They can be sprinkled on a salad, used to make sauces or cheeses and have an important role in raw desserts. With so much versatility and goodness, nuts and seeds also contain substances that interfere with the body’s ability to digest them and absorption of nutrients.

Think about it. The nuts and seeds are the potential offspring of the mother plant and in order for the plants to continue to reproduce, these nuts and seeds need to be protected. We are not the only creatures that consume nuts and seeds. So Mother Nature has ‘coated’ the nuts and seeds in phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. What are these substance? Well the phytic acid helps protect the nuts and seeds until there are proper growing conditions present which allows germinating to occur. To ensure the nuts and seeds do not sprout before the conditions are suitable, the enzyme inhibitors prevent this from happening. However the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid can cause problems in the digestive tract by either causing irritation or binding with minerals to prevent their absorption.

Soaking nuts and seeds, with a little salt, my preference is celtic sea salt, helps reduce these substance. If you then want crunchy nuts and seeds to snack on or use, then drying at a low temperature will achieve this. I dehydrate my nuts and seeds over night for about 12 – 16 hours at 46degrees in my dehydrator. This also means the nuts and seeds are still classed as raw as they have not been heated over 46 degrees.

The time for soaking, varies depending on the nut or seed. Cashews are 4-6 hours, while almonds are 12 hours. I tend to soak everything over night for the sake of simplicity.

Soaking nuts and seeds

  • 1 cup of required nut or seed
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 1 tsp of celtic sea salt

Directions:

  • Place nuts or seeds in a glass jar and cover with the water. Add the salt and ensure the slat dissolves.
  • Ensure the nuts or seeds are completely covered. They will swell during the soaking time
  • Leave covered on the kitchen bench for at least 6 hours. I leave mine overnight.
  • Drain and rinse the nuts or seeds under fresh running water.
  • If dehydrating place on a mesh tray and dehydrate for 12 – 16 hours at 46 degrees. To confirm they are dry taste one and check for crunch. If using an oven, set the oven on the lowest temperature and dry for up to 24 hours. Continue to monitor the nuts and seeds
  • Let cool and then store i an air tight container.

What is your favourite nut or seed?

The Wheel of Life

There is warmth in the air today. Yesterday I was very excited to see the first buds on one of our trees. Mother Earth is starting to awaken from her winter slumber. In the last few days I have started thinking about cleansing. Cleaning up the ‘diet’ and also cleansing the house. With the lengthening of the days, warmth returning to the air and Spring just round the corner this is the perfect time to embrace this energy.

A while ago I was introduced to the Wheel of Life, a way of observing, connecting and living within the cyclic nature of Mother Earth and the seasons. There are four seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn)  and celebrations that relate to the position of the sun:

  • Winter Solstice, 20 – 23rd June (Southern Hemisphere) and 20 – 23rd Dec (Northern Hemisphere) marks the beginning of Winter with the longest night and the shortest day. A time of reflection, gathering in and stillness.

  • Spring Equinox, 20 – 23rd Sept (Southern Hemisphere) and 23 – 23rd Mar (Northern Hemisphere) marks the beginning of Spring, where the day and night are of equal length. New beginnings, gestation and possibilities.
  • Summer Solstice 20 – 23rd Dec (Southern Hemisphere) and 20 – 23rd June (Northern Hemisphere) marks the beginning of Summer with the longest day and the shortest night. A time of great activity, movement and being outside.
  • Autumn Equinox, 20 – 23rd Mar (Southern Hemisphere) and 23 – 23rd Sept (Northern Hemisphere) marks the beginning of Autumn, where once again the day and night are of equal length. Gratitude for all that we have, bringing the family together and acknowledging the seasons that has been are all part of this time of year.
There are also four cross quarter days which are celebrated as part of the agricultural calendar.
  • Imbolc, end of July/beginning of Aug (Southern Hemisphere) and end of Jan/beginning of Feb (Northern Hemisphere), half way point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and marks the first signs of Spring. The long Winter is finally coming to an end, hope is in the air.
  • Beltane, end of Oct/beginning of Nov (Southern Hemisphere) and end of April/beginning of May (Northern Hemisphere), half way between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice and is a festival celebrating fertility of the land, nature and animals, including humans…….
  • Lamas, end of Jan/beginning of Feb (Southern Hemisphere) and end of July/beginning of Aug (Northern Hemisphere), half way point between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox and celebrates the first fruits of the harvest. What we have sewn/planted we now start to reap.
  • Samhain, end of April/beginning of May (Southern Hemisphere) and end of Oct/beginning of Nov (Northern Hemisphere), half way point between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice and is the final harvest festival. It is also the end of the harvest year and the beginning of the new year. Once again the cycle of life continues.
Together there 8 celebrations mark the Wheel of Life. I share this with you as a way of starting to connect more deeply with the cyclic nature of our seasons, Mother Earth and the cyclic nature of our own bodies. If we are able to see the cycles in our own life and realise that with every ending there is a new beginning, and from the beginning there are points along the way that can be celebrated, I think we will find more meaning in our life and find meaning in the challenging times.

There is a wonderful quote from Joseph Campbell “The function of ritual….is to give form to the human life, not in the way of mere surface arrangement, but in depth.” I believe that by recognising the changing of the seasons and celebrating this change, in what ever way feels right for you, we start to bring ritual into our lives.

So for us in the Southern Hemisphere, we are heading towards Imbolc, the first signs of Spring. Which I have seen on the trees. So with this energy of emergence and new beginnings, I am going to be starting an internal cleanse – more green smoothies, cleaner eating and more water. I am also going to start detoxing the house, looking at each room, how do I want that room to feel, to represent and then clearing out anything that does not fit in with this new feel. I’ll be starting with the kitchen as this is the heart of our heart, literally and figuratively. Time to shake of the winter robes and embrace a lightness in Spirit.

Can you feel the stirrings of new beginnings? Are you feeling drawn to cleanse either the house, a room or your body? How will you mark the changing of energies?