3 things no.2! || boobies, coconuts, birth

Did you like our first 3 things?

Well then let’s not stop now. Here’s edition no.2!

3 things I learnt/realised/randomly thought about this week || no.2

#1 LITTLE KIDS ARE funny HILARIOUS

I spent the weekend on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland) visiting my 3 nieces and nephew and apart from an education in Frozen, I came away with some gold-nugget quotes that are still making me laugh.

This is perhaps my favourite – from my 4 year-old nephew who I guess has had a lesson or two at Kindy on God recently:

“God is in your heart. Your heart is in the middle of your boobies”

 Fair enough.

My nephew. Always smiling (and always happy to entertain a crowd ie. the future Hugh Jackman?)

My nephew. Always smiling (and always happy to entertain a crowd ie. the future Hugh Jackman?)

#2 I WISH I INVESTED IN A COCONUT TREE PLANTATION 10 YEARS AGO

Actually, also a Chia Seed farm, Quinoa farm, Cacao farm… I would be a bazillionaire right now.

AND have wonderful skin.

In addition to a coconut plantation, I would also have my very own personal coconut opener. This guy I met in Fiji collects the nuts from local farms, pays them a fee, then sells them roadside for weary travellers!

In addition to a coconut plantation, I would also have my very own human-coconut opener. This guy I met in Fiji collects the nuts from local farms, pays them a fee, then sells them roadside for weary travellers. Makes a motza he does.

#3 AN AUSSIE BABY IS BORN EVERY 2 MINUTES

That means that in the time taken to eat my lunch, 5 brilliant women have been to hell and back. 

Just holding my sanga to my mouth is often a hard enough physical challenge for me some days. Nice work ladies.

the sorella baby. THE cutest.  Her mother is lucky she didn't get put in my handbag after shooting to bring home with me.

The sorella baby. THE cutest. Her mother is lucky she didn’t get put in my handbag after shooting the catalogue to bring home with me.

And that’s a wrap for another exciting instalment of 3 things!

I would love to hear what you have learnt/realised/randomly though about this week?

~ anna x

I confess. I find it hard to get completely nude.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you walk into the ground floors of major department stores, don’t you think?

Dazzling lights. Floor to ceiling images of photoshopped glamazons with ethereal skin staring with judgement at your dull epidermis. Their faces represent the health I crave.

I want that frigging glow dammit.

So you find yourself pulled into the beauty vortex, the assistant with her hands inappropriately all over your face.  Your phobia of abused personal space is pushed to its limits. She’s talking AT you as if you are some sort of recluse given your lack of knowledge on the importance of niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.

And you leave, feeling slightly inadequate and definitely overwhelmed, but somewhat hopeful armed with a stash of samples containing that scientific-blah-blah-skin amazaballs-technology that the assistant seemed so convinced would leave you with the skin of Cate Blanchette. (Can I get that promise in writing please?)

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Chocolate Chia Seed Cake

After a really random connection with foodie blogging team the The Nutrition Guru & The Chef ….{Tara recognised her hubby – The Chef part of the duo – in our photo of the Wasabi team at the Noosa International Food & Wine festival}…. we have been avid fans of their blog and Tara’s hilarious antics – cruise their facebook page for many hilarious examples!.

Recently on the blog, Tara shared a recipe (and some of her own cute pics) from Tania Hubbard’s gorgeous cookbook “Gluten Free…Grain Free…Food We Love” for a Chocolate Chia Cake – and I knew I just had to try it.

It was, as predicted (and as demonstrated by ‘The Chef’ apparently demolishing the entire cake in one sitting) – delicious.

So I couldn’t help but share it for our sorellas (even though I know many of you have now also signed up for the blog directly after my chicken soup post & have also liked their facebook page – good move!).

I have tweaked a couple of things to make it dairy and sugar-free for those of us with various nasty symptoms these things cause….but you could of course stick with Tania’s original recipe.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chia Seed Cake

by Tania Hubbard via The Nutrition Guru & the Chef

Here is the original recipe by Tania Hubbard, for those who say yes to sugar and dairy, and my sugar & dairy free substitutions are below…. & the method is direct from The Nutrition Guru & The Chef (and do head over to see their original post for the nutritional facts for these ingredients – handy for guilt free cake-eating!)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes.
  • ½ cup raw cocoa
  • 125g softened butter*
  • 5 medium to large eggs
  • 1 cup (175g) almond meal
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar, or your choice of sugar **
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda

* I used ½ cup organic coconut oil – melted. The Nutrition Guru used ½ cup olive oil

**I used 3/4 cup Rice Malt Syrup – The Nutrition Guru used ¾ cup raw sugar. (Please note that Rice Malt Syrup is a grain based product and whilst it is gluten free, it is manufactured in many facilities that also use other gluten based grains in production, so please be careful with this one!)

The Nutrition Guru also added some dried cranberries (clever!). Next time I’ll be adding some dried apricots because I’m a sucker for an apri-choc combo (I also use organic ingredients where possible).

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Line a spring-form cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
  • Soak chia seeds in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. The seeds will absorb all the water and swell to form a gel.
  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Whisk to combine well & break up any lumps (at least 1 minute).
  • Pour into lined cake tin.
  • Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until it bounces back when pressed in middle.
  • Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin.
  • Finish cooling on a wire cooling rack.

    Chia Seeds doing their gooey thang

A whisk will do but I like any excuse to give the old Kitchen Aid a whirl. It makes me feel like a pro. Plus I’m lazy. Just don’t over do it otherwise your cake will be tough!

Quick! Get it in the oven before I eat all the mix!

Get yours while it’s hot (because it won’t last long!)

Love this recipe? Get more from The Nutrition Guru & The Chef on their facebook page and blog. It’s choc full of recipes and great nutrition info.

And here’s the link to the Tanya Hubbard’s website. You can also buy her book here. We thank her for creating such a delicious and original recipe!

P.S Avoid picking a fight with the spring-form pan. It will win.

Is this a cake you’d be keen to try?

~ anna

Guilt and sugar free sweet stuff

There seems to be heaps in the media lately about the benefits of quitting sugar, and while I think we all get why reducing your sugar intake is a good thing, there is a lot of new evidence that suggests we should be quitting all together.

This isn’t a new concept to me.  I’ve been trying to break up with sugar for the past 4 years – but we keep making up – it needs me and I need it. Like a true addict I can’t be without ‘my drug’.  It’s why I have a soft spot for smokers – I ‘get’ how it feels to try and give up something you love that you know is bad for you….(Note to smokers: don’t smoke, it’s really bad for you).

But back to my story – it was recommended I cut all sugar (along with a few other nasties) to help improve my immune system and allergies. I think I spent most of my 20’s severely lacking energy, constantly sick, and during my lowest points I’d head straight to my friend chocolate to get me through an afternoon of work to avoid falling asleep at my desk. It was ridiculous – and it turns out this momentary spark of alertness was doing more damage than good. Poison even. It’s so funny how doing something you think is helping you to survive the day is actually having a far greater negative effect on you in other ways.

So I have tried (and failed over and over again – damn you big supermarkets for stocking Easter eggs from January!) to end my long lustful relationship with sugar. But as my health plummeted again at the end of last year, I realised my only option was to get focused and stay as committed as possible.

Luckily, I was able to feel more confident in my last-ditch attempt given the increase in resources for quitting this past 12 months – there is LOTS more info out there both online and in print that provide great guidance and support with staying off the sweet stuff for good. Plus, there seems to be greater accessibility to many products that provide good sugar alternatives. It was dire trying to find a natural sweetener 4 years ago. Today, I can’t get enough of Rice Malt Syrup and there are plenty of other natural sugar alternatives on the market to allow me to continue to do things like bake – which was one of the things I struggled to give up and was pretty much always the cause of my sugar-free failings. I can’t help that I love making my late Grandmother’s recipes, as laden with sugar that they are! And let’s face it, if you have a sweet tooth, you are probably always going to always be more drawn to the sweeter types of food – so being able to enjoy these sweet treats passed down from generations can still be achieved with a few modifications of ingredients. Probably nothing new to our Gluten or Dairy free folk out there.

So I thought today I would share a ridiculously simple recipe that I have come across in Sarah Wilson’s cookbook I Quit Sugar (which you can purchase online here). Sarah is a big advocate for quitting sugar, and probably has a lot to do with its recent promotion through mainstream media.  I have mentioned how much I love her blog before, and her guidance for quitting sugar is just one additional reason to get on her blog bandwagon. Not only does she have her cookbook – which is full of really easy recipes – she has also put together an 8 week program to give those of us who need a kick up the behind when it comes to committing and quitting.

And a little tip – She talks about increasing fats in our diets as key for staying off sugar, but I will let you check this info out (which there is plenty) on her blog for more on this. All I will say is – hello bacon!

The recipe I am sharing today is a great go-to treat. Not too sweet to get me thinking about a 200g block of Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate, but perfect for helping me at 3pm when I’m getting tired and restless. I reckon this will be a great afternoon tea treat for kidlets too and will be testing it out on Alisha’s 2 little ones when they visit me in Melbourne later this month (but maybe without the salt and nibs). Enjoy!

SARAH WILSON’S ALMOND BUTTER BARK

INGREDIENTS (certified organic where possible!)

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