A Nourishing Space Christmas

The festive season for me is all about celebration! Coming together with family and friends, sharing gifts and enjoying lots of delicious food.

Over the years my sisters and I have always planned our Christmas menu with a great deal of care. Trawling through cookbooks and blogs to find tasty salads, different variations of ham glazes and dessert recipes and this year was no different!

If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that I celebrated Christmas with my family last week and I thought I’d share a similar Christmas menu to what we had.

I know all too well just how busy this time of year can be, so if you’re still trying to decide what you’re going to eat come Christmas day, I hope this Nourishing Space Christmas menu inspires you, eases some of your stress and WOWS your family and friends.

I hope you have a very Merry and safe Christmas, and a wonderful New Year xxREAD MORE

Easy mid-week lunches – salad jars

Salad jars have to be one of my favourite mid-week lunches, because they are so easy to prepare ahead of time and they keep everything crisp and fresh. For those who like to get organised for the week ahead, you can make a batch of 3-5 salads on a Sunday and just grab one on your way out the door each morning – talk about fuss-free! 

When it comes to salad combinations, just about anything goes with salad jars.There are no rules (aside from layering, which we’ll get to) you just need to get creative!

For my salads, I often re-use old cultured veggie jars with a wide mouth (see here) or you can buy mason jars like this which would work well too. I’ve found my salads keep fresh for 5-7 days.

How to make salad jars

Start by planning out what you’re having in your jars for the week ahead. Think about what vegetables you have in the fridge? What protein and carbs you will add? What dressing you’ll make?

I often keep my salad jars pretty simple – and my prep looks something like this….

First I’ll cook up some chicken breast in the oven (usually about 500g for the week), seasoning the chicken with salt, pepper, lemon and chilli flakes and then cooked in coconut oil. Next I’ll roast some vegetables in coconut oil – usually whatever is left in the fridge and about to turn…chopped carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and zucchini. While the chicken and roasted veggies are cooking, I’ll drain and soak some chickpeas or cook up some quinoa or rice and chop the raw ingredients like tomato, cucumber, goats cheese/fetta etc…

With dressing, again keep things simple! I love lemon juice and olive oil  or apple cider vinegar with olive oil but you could always try something like a tahini and lemon juice, or seeded mustard with olive oil, lemon juice and a dash of honey!

Once everything is cooked, lay out all your ingredients across the bench like a production line including your jars, lids, chopped protein, cooked grains/carbohydrates, veggies and dressing.

Next it’s on to the layering…

assembling your salad jar

The trick to keeping your salad jars fresh is all in the layering technique! Stick to this as closely as you can and you’re guaranteed to have delicious, fresh salads!

Layer 1 (base of the jar)– salad dressing 
Layer 2 – Hard vegetables – things like carrot, celery, capsicum, red onion, cucumber
Layer 3 – A slow releasing carbohydrate like quinoa, chickpeas or brown rice
Layer 4 – Soft vegetables – things like avocado, tomato
Layer 5 – Protein layer – cooked chicken, boiled egg or cheese
Layer 6 (final layer) – Leafy greens – rocket, baby spinach or lettuce

Starting at the base with layer 1, fill each  of your jars and then move on to the next layer. Once you’ve filled your jars, seal the lids tightly and pop then into the fridge.

When you’re ready to eat, simply tip the contents of your salad jar into a big bowl! 

As I said earlier, get as creative as you like with your combinations. Don’t like chicken, substitute it for tuna. Hate eggs, leave them out! Paleo, no problems! roast up some sweet potato. My point is, salad jars are the perfect fuss-free mid-week lunch because they are SO versatile.

To get you started….here are three AMAZING salad jar recipes for you to try!

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Shrimp and Feta Cobb Salad via Savoring The Thyme

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Antipasto Mason Jar Salad via Organize Yourself Skinny

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Greek Zucchini Salad in a Mason Jar via The Beachbody

Do you love salad jars too? I’d love to know your fav combos in the comments below!

10 fuss-free ways to practice Self-Care

10 FUSS-FREE WAYS TO PRACTICE SELF CARE

We all know how the story goes, you’re working full-time and overwhelmed with work. Your calendar is packed with meetings, catch ups and overdue tasks. You’ve committed yourself to three after work activities (that probably could have waited until next year) and so to make room for all of this stuff, you eat lunch at your desk (or skip it altogether), your gym bag stays under your desk, and you rush from one meeting or appointment to the next until you finally collapse into bed at 11pm.

I see this cycle with many of my clients, and I know myself, when life gets busy or ‘full’ it is really easy to neglect taking time out. When we’re busy and overwhelmed, even a small reprieve can feel like a luxury. So actually taking time to eat lunch, exercise, and hang out with friends? Well, sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

But what if this mindset was actually making things worse…What if having  fuss-free self care strategies that you fit in and around your busy lives could actually made you feel more calm and in control?
 
The key to making self care stick is to find ways to make it part of your everyday life. Just like brushing your teeth or washing your hair. Without thinking it.just.happens.

 

You see, when I ask my clients about their self care routines often their response is ‘I just don’t have time’. Many of them think that to practice self care, they have to be going to an hour long yoga or pilates class, or having an organic facial or having a lazy long lunch in the sun. When the reality is, self care is all about the EVERYDAY SMALL THINGS.

 

self care is A daily routine that becomes habit.

it’s the little things that fill up your cup.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to create a little more space in your life I suggest you start with just one thing. Do it everyday for a week and see how you feel? Then add another, until these everyday small acts become new habits. Life isn’t going to slow down for us, the key is to bring in the calm through self care activities.

To learn more about my 10 fuss-free ways to practice self care keep on reading.READ MORE

10 BEST Healthy Winter Dessert Recipes

As a Health and Wellness Coach I am constantly amazed at how many people think that dessert is a no-go zone if they are eating healthy! Well I’m here to say that eating healthy means enjoying ALL food which absolutely includes dessert. Seriously life is TOO short not to enjoy a delicious dessert every now and again! 

With the cold Winter nights I am loving cooking up a slow cooked meal for my family, and finishing off with a healthy dessert. There is just something so warm and comforting about a steaming bowl of crumble or a self-saucing pudding. 

To share the love and to inspire you to get back into the kitchen and whip up some healthy desserts this Winter. I’ve curated 10 best healthy winter dessert recipes. I hope you enjoy them xx

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10 minute morning rituals to start your day

For many years my morning routine was non existent. I would go to bed with great intentions of rising with the sun, only to hit the snooze button multiple times and struggle to get out of bed. Then when I’d finally be ready to wake up, I’d lie in bed glued to my phone scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and checking my three email accounts (yes I know..). Then I’d leave myself just enough time to have a quick shower and get myself ready before racing out the door and straight to work. I’d work all day (often not taking a lunch break) finish work in the dark and then make my way home to start the whole cycle again….

I bet this story sounds all too familiar for many of us. It’s often the reality of juggling a busy working life! 

Somewhere in that vicious cycle, I found myself becoming very envious of all the people I was following on Instagram. They were practicing these beautiful ‘morning routines’. Down at the beach, doing yoga, walking in nature, sipping on juices and the general feel was #happiness. 

This was about this time that I had started my own wellness journey, and knew that I needed to start prioritising some of my day for ME. Not just letting myself be dragged into a unhealthy cycle of sleeping in, checking social media, rushing to work, working and then coming home to start it all again. But I knew my routine wasn’t going to look like the ones I saw on Instagram. Heck if I wanted to get to the beach and be in the office by 8:30am I’d be up at 4:30am….NO WAY! 

So I thought about what I could do and how I could make a beautiful morning routine work for me, and my life? I started very SLOWLY, and I tried lots of different things trying to find something that would stick. It changed with the seasons, it looked COMPLETELY different after I has a baby but above everything else, every obstacle that came my way I showed up and committed myself to giving myself that small window of time EVERYDAY.

I speak from experience when I say that carving out a morning routine has had a significant impact on my overall health and wellbeing. Not only do I feel less stressed and anxious about the day ahead, but I have a sense of calm about how I go about my morning. It affects every aspect of my life, from my mood to my relationship to how I go about my day.

Remember that a morning ritual doesn’t have to take up a lot of time (5-10 minutes will work perfectly). The thing is to do it each morning first thing when you wake up. No distractions, no scrolling through Facebook. 10 minutes of uninterrupted YOU time! Here are some of my favourite 10 minute morning rituals for beginning your day with positive energy, clarity and a sense of calm.

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How to make homemade Bone Broth

After a recent bout of sickness in our family, I’ve been really focused on boosting our gut health by incorporating as many gut healing foods into our meals as possible. I’ve talked before on how to improve your gut health through a variety of different ways, but today I wanted to focus on the healing benefits of homemade bone broth.
 
Many people know how to use regular stock in cooking, which is essentially what bone broth is. Although the REAL health benefits of bone broth come from simmering the bones or carcass for anywhere up to 72 hours, which allows the marrow to be cooked down and the minerals and amino acids to be released.
 
Introducing bone broth into my diet and our families meals has been a gradual process. I’m not quite at the stage where I can drink a cup of broth straight up first thing in the morning…..BUT I’m definitely working my way up to that point. For us, we add bone broth into many of our meals whether that be in soups, slow cooks, a small amount into my daughter’s mash and a recent favourite has been cooking meats in the frypan using broth.
 
Knowing that broth has some amazing health benefits beyond gut health has been the biggest draw card for me. I truly believe that we are what we eat and absorb, so the more nutrients I can pack into my meals the better!
 
Bone broth not only supports your immune system, its also brilliant for your skin. hair and connective tissue. An added benefit I’ve seen since introducing broth into my diet is that my digestion is much better, I’ve seen a big decrease in overall bloating and gas and I feel as though I’m digesting food a lot better.
 
As we hit the peak of Winter here in Australia, adding bone broth to your diet is a great support if you’re fighting off a cold or flu. Adding spices to a warm bowl of broth will release watery fluids in your mouth, throat and lungs, which will help release any mucus so that it’s easier to expel. Broth is all high in valuable nutrients in a form that our bodies can easily absorb and use. So instead of reaching for vegemite on toast this winter, reach for a nourishing bowl of homemade bone broth and boost your health from the inside out!
 

How to make homemade bone broth

When choosing bones for making bone broth, you want to use the best quality that you can afford. You want to draw out minerals and amino acids from bones that do not contain any chemicals or pesticides like so many commercially bought bones do. My best piece of advice is to source grass-fed, grass-finished or organic bones.

Good quality butchers will have ‘soup bones’ or off cuts from chicken (like giblets or feet) that you can use. I will often just keep the carcass of an organic chook that we’ve had from dinner.

Ingredients

  • 500g-1kg bones (I use a whole chicken carcass or two or beef bones)
  • 4-5 litres of filtered water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (this helps break down the bones and draw out the minerals and amino acids)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large carrots 
  • 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
  • salt, pepper, and spices to taste

Directions

Place bones in a large stockpot or slow cooker and cover with water. Add the vinegar. 

Roughly chop the vegetables and add to the stockpot.

Bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer (if using the slow cooker, I simply add all ingredients and turn setting on to low).

For beef broth, as a guide simmer for approximately 48 hours.  

Chicken broth takes sightly less time, but I recommend at least 24 hours.

You’ll know when your broth is ready as the liquid will be quite dark, and the bones will start to crumble and break away.

When you’re ready to remove your broth, allow it to cool slightly and strain into glass storing jars. I will often store mine in 1-2 large mason jars as well as smaller portions into ice-cube trays or old baby food containers.

I’d love to hear how you are using bone broth in your diets too, share in the comments below so we can all benefit from the amazing healing properties of broth.

10 Healthy Winter Warming Soup Recipes

One of my favourite ways of nourishing my body during the cooler months is to make up a healthy winter warming soup.

Soups are such a versatile meal that can be made ahead of time, frozen for a later date, or reheated as leftovers or a quick mid-week meal.

Aside from being super simple to make, soups are highly nutrient dense, easily digested and packed full of nutrients, minerals and dietary fibre. Depending on their ingredients, most soups are almost a complete meal balancing essential macronutrients like protein, carbohydrate and fats.

To help get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen, we’ve curated 10 healthy winter warming soup recipes to keep your tummies full and warm.

I am so excited to share these delicious recipes with you, here’s to a healthy and happy Winter!READ MORE

Craving junk food? This could be why.

Each and every day, we are literally bombarded with junk food. It’s quick, convenient and available 24/7. You only need to walk out of your house, into your local cafe, supermarket or 7/11 store and you have an overwhelming choice of processed sugary foods available at your finger tips. And, whilst most of us know the benefits of eating whole, nutrient dense foods, for many of us cravings still exist. But what if I told you there could be something more behind that craving? that perhaps you’re craving junk food for a reason! READ MORE

Sydney Workshop – Let’s get REAL about health!

 

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It is with absolute excitement that I share my upcoming workshop ‘Let’s get REAL about health!’. 

An honest conversation that I’ll be facilitating with fellow health and wellness coach Frances Clark from Lovennourish.

During this workshop we’ll strip back the noise and confusion out there in the media around ‘what is healthy’, and get to the bottom of what this looks and feels like for YOU. READ MORE