What message is your food telling you?

Have you considered that the food you are craving or desiring can tell you something about what is going on for you? That your food has messages for you, when looked at, in context with what is happening in one/or all areas of your life?

For a long time, I didn’t think much about the food I was eating. Initially it was ‘just’ food, to fill a hole, so I could continue with more important things. Then it became ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food, depending on what my weight goal was and how well I was achieving this goal. My definition of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ changed over the years when I stopped looking at weight loss as the goal and started looking at health and vitality as my goal. This has now evolved to “What is my body trying to tell me?” when I look at what it is that I am craving or desiring.

First lets look at craving and desiring. If I asked you to tell me the foods that you crave, most likely you would tell me a list of all the ‘bad’ foods like sugar filled, fat filled, junk food or drink. However if you dug a bit deeper and started observing what you are reaching for, you might find that there are ‘good’ foods that you also crave (or desire). Not only are the messages coming from the ‘bad’ foods, they are also coming from the ‘good’ foods. I did a post on cravings which you can read here.

Let me give you a couple of examples of cravings/desired foods that I have been reaching for in the last few weeks.

Mango, Baby Spinach and Kombucha Green Smoothie. This has been my go to smoothie for the last 3 – 4 weeks. I absolutely LOVE the taste, and as mangoes are in season, it’s no surprise that I have been using fresh mangoes. But having the same smoothie every day? For me, this means there is something about the energy of this smoothie that my body wants. Energy? The vibration of the ingredients combined. A quick snap shot:

  • Baby spinach – is green and green relates to the heart chakra. So there could be something about opening and purifying the heart energy. In Chinese Medicine, green relates to the Wood element. Metaphorically the Wood element relates to having ‘roots’ to sustain growth and/or enough fuel to sustain your passion. It is also about whether you have enough structure to achieve the growth.
  • Mango is orange, and orange relates to the 2nd chakra – creativity. So there could be something about my ability to be creative. Mango is sweet, which relates to the Earth element in Chinese medicine. The Earth element is about ‘having your feet on the ground’ or being grounded and centred. Again there is an element in having enough roots to nourish growth and stability to give form to my dreams. The two meridians associated with the Earth element are Stomach and Spleen. These two meridians (and the physical organs) are about digestion, so the message could relate to my ability to digest events happening in my life.
  • Kombucha is a fermented drink and full of good bacteria. Again something to do with digestion.

When I look at all of the above and also what has been happening in my life the last 4 weeks or so, the message I take away from all this is my need to support my digestion (metaphorically) as I have been studying and learning a lot of new information. This new information has needed to be ‘digested’ so that I can assimilate it and then work with it. I will be using this new information to create (the creativity) new workshops and products for my business. For all this to be successful I need to be ‘grounded’ in the work. This means to really understand the information, not just from a head perspective but from a deep understanding/knowing perspective.

How interesting that I have been supporting my learning through a green smoothie that I have been desiring and consuming the last 4 weeks. It is only in the last few days that I actually have taken notice of the messages this drink has been giving me. I will be journalling some more, to find out if there is more information or messages to be received from this beverage.

The other food that I have been desiring is Rocket (arugula) for the last week. I have been eating this lunch and dinner each day. Very unusual for me to have the same green each meal and especially rocket due to the bitter taste. What is the message of rocket:

  • Rocket is bitter and bitter tastes belong to the Fire element of Chinese medicine. Metaphorically bitterness relates to being on the edge, over-stimulated or living on adrenaline, ready to fight or flee at any moment. It also relates to a need to stimulate the creative juices. The Fire element is about the ‘fire in the belly’, “Is there enough?”  The Heart meridian, which belongs to the Fire element, relates to your ability to communicate within your Soul. “Are you able to receive these messages and are your able to communicate your message?” It could also relate to conflict between your logical thinking, intuition, wisdom or emotional feelings. 
  • I spoke to my mentor and coach, Karen Knowler about this and she felt that the rocket was supporting me/fortifying me for a new level in my life. The bitterness is strengthening me in a way I need to, preparing me for opportunities in the future. What these opportunities are I do not know.

So looking at all of the above and what I have been feeling I need to do or bring into my life the last week, the message I am seeing is the need to ‘pause’ more each day and to connect with my Soul. ‘Being’ rather than always doing. I have had this belief that stillness/pause doesn’t achieve ‘stuff’, it is only in the doing that achievement happens. I saw stillness as a reward and not essential. It is nourishment like the food that we consume and the air that we breathe – it is essential. As I mentioned for the Green Smoothie, I have been studying/learning a lot and so there will be new opportunities that open up and new ways that I will be ‘doing’ things, so I can see how the fortifying and strengthening really fits into it.

Incredible that on a level that I am not even consciously aware of, the food I am consuming is supporting me towards me dreams and goals. All I have to do is stop, observe and then be prepared to dig a little deeper. Once I receive the messages, then act of what it is I am being told.

What are you craving or desiring? Would you like to dig a little deeper? If you would, send me an email by completing the attached form. I would love to support you on finding out what messages your food is telling you.

In vibrant health, Vicki

‘Grab-and-Go’ Green Smoothie

Morning times can sometimes be a crazy time, so one of my favourite things to grab is a Green Smoothie. What are Green Smoothies? Read an earlier post here. This is one of my favourite as I LOVE mangoes and when it’s summer I indulge as often as I can. I have pictures of me as a young child sitting in the bat tub with my sister, each of us with a whole mango in our hands. What a greta way to keep the mess in one place and then be able to wash us off afterwards.

‘Grab-and-Go’ Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 cup filtered water or your favourite nut milk
  • 1 cup baby spinach

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender, I use a Vitamix, and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a your favourite glass and enjoy.

Note: If you are running out the door, pour this into a bottle to take with you or make it the night before and leave in the fridge, so it really does become a ‘grab-and-go’ breakfast.

I would love to hear what your favourite green smoothie is. What is your ‘grab-and-go’ breakfast? Please leave a comment below.

In vibrant health, Vicki

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

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?

Marbled Raw Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake

I love the patterning that occurs when a cake is marbled. It means that no two pieces look the same and if the ingredients are different for each colour then each piece of cake will taste unique. 

IMG_6425

To add colour to cheesecakes, I have used turmeric for yellow, beetroot for a red and baby spinach for green. When people find out what the ‘secret’ ingredient is there is often surprise. So I decided to see if I could use sweet potato. As it is orange in colour I thought orange juice would go lovely with it. What goes with orange? Chocolate of course, so this was the beginning of the idea.

I’ve used doTERRA Wild Orange in this recipe to intensify the orange flavour. I use doTERRA essential oils because they are exceptionally high quality and they also food grade, that is the ones that can be ingested. If you do not have doTERRA essential oils you can either purchase them here, or add 2 Tbs of orange zest.

Coconut butter can either be purchased or made. Considering how easy it is to make and what to cost is of the purchased variety, I prefer to make my own. 4 cups of desiccated coconut into my Vitamix (high powdered blender). Start on the low setting and then turn up to the high setting. Using the tamper I push the coconut down. The coconut will start to form a liquid. Keep using the tamper until the coconut has turned into a smooth liquid. You now have coconut butter. It is that easy! There are only one tip and that is to ensure the blender jug is completely dry. Any moisture will stop the coconut butter from forming. If you do not have a high speed blender the coconut butter can be made in a food processor. It may not be a smooth though. Pour coconut butter into a storage container. I store mine in the cupboard. It does go solid (like coconut oil in cooler weather). I put container into a saucepan and then pour boiling water into the sauce pan to melt the coconut butter. Remember the storage container needs to be able to withstand the heat of the boiling water. If not it will crack. Yup I learnt that the hard way. :(

So lets begin.

IMG_6423

Ingredients:

Base

  • 1 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • pinch celtic sea salt
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 Tbs filtered water


Cheesecake

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potato
  • 4 drops of doTERRA Wild Orange Essential Oil
  • 4 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter, liquid
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

Prior Preparation:

  1. Soak cashews in 2 cups of filtered water over night with a pinch of celtic sea salt.
  2. Line 5 x 15 x 4 cake tin with baking paper.

Directions:

Base

  1. Place pecans, ginger powder and celtic sea salt into a food processor and process until breadcrumb consistency
  2. Add chopped dates and water and pulse until mixture sticks together. 
  3. Press mixture into tin to form the base.
  4. Place in freezer to set while making the filling.

Filling

  1. Drain and rinse cashews.
  2. Place cashews, orange juice, sweet potato, maple syrup and vanilla extract into a high speed blender and process until smooth.
  3. Add doTERRA Wild Orange Essential Oil and coconut butter and blend again.
  4. Pour half of the mixture into a bowl.
  5. Add cacao powder to blender and blend until mixed through.
  6. Remove base from freezer.
  7. Alternate spoon orange filling and chocolate filling onto the base to form a checkerboard pattern.
  8. To smooth the top, gently bang the base of the tin into the kitchen bench.
  9. Place in the fridge or freezer to set.
  10. Slice the cheesecake into pieces and then store in the freezer for a sweet treat later on.

So what do you think of this marbled cheesecake?

In vibrant health, Vicki