Monday, 27 January 2014

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding - You're Welcome!

This might be a quicky today - I'm trying to write this on my blogger app while waiting for some blood tests in chilly Christchurch, New Zealand. My thumbs aren't working too well. And before you get all smug and say "told you it was bloody cold over there", it just so happens that it is going to be sunny and hot today. Hot enough to swim. So there! And this tiny little country is absolutely breathtaking! Check out some of these pervy pics from our little tiki-tour: 
The Blue Pools, Haast Pass, New Zealand.
We went for a cheeky skinny dip in this glacier-fed pool.
No filter needed here - this place was freakin' amazing!

King dancer pose over-looking Wanaka
Mount Cook overlooking Lake Pukaki
Jealous, aren't you? You can check out more pics on my Instagram: kate_callaghan

We were off on an adventure around the South Island to decide where we want to set up Callaghan base camp. Still not sure but getting closer. Stay tuned! 

So anyway, there was a fair bit of driving around, and no radio. Which meant I had plenty of time to think. Mostly about food. Because that's what I do. I try and think of tasty and nutritious ideas to share with you, oh loyal readers. And lord knows you are loyal, putting up with my waffle time after time! Thanks for that! Anywho, this time I came up with an incredibly delicious brekkie that I shared on my Insta' yesterday and it cause quite the raucas! Here it is:

Looks yummy doesn't it? Bet you want the recipe hey? Well, you're in luck my friend, because I'm feeling generous. Don't say I never do anything for you! This is great for brekkie but would also work for a dessert. 

Raspberry and coconut chia custard (makes ~3 serves, 'cos that's how many peeps I was cooking for)

1. For the custard base (make the night before, or at least 3 hours prior to eating - the chia need time to do their thing and swell up)
You will need:
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup coconut milk
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
* 1 banana
* 2T chia seeds
* 1/2 cup water (maybe)

- Whizz everything together in an oven safe bowl and bake at 120 degrees for around 40-50 mins. It shouldn't wobble too much when it is done. 
- Allow to cool slight then blend with 1 banana and 2T of chia. Add water if it is looking too thick and gluggy. 
- Divide into 3-4 glasses and place in fridge overnight. Soak 3/4 cup of cashews overnight

2. For the raspberry topping (soak cashews ahead of time)
You will need:
* 2 handfuls of raspberries (I used frozen)
* 3/4 cup cashews
* 1/4-1/3 cup water
* Pinch of stevia

- Whizz everything in a blender until it reaches a smooth consistency. 
- Place a scoop or 2 on top of each custard base
- Add extra toppings if you want, such as coconut flakes

Oh and if you can't be arsed with the raspberry topping, it's pretty good with a few nuts sprinkled on top, especially Sarah Wilson's Coco-Nutty Granola. Look at that, now I have given you two recipes in one.

That's it! I'm off to get the life sucked out of me. And because I hate blood tests so much, I have packed myself a couple of post-test chocolate cookies from Practical Paleo to lift my spirits. I know, I'm a wuss. Whatever. You're just jealous of my cookie (see below). Have a great day friends! Xx

Monday, 13 January 2014

Live, love and play. The secret to longevity - a guest post

Happy new year!

What do a monkey, child and the most creative adults in the world all have in common?

You guessed it - they all PLAY!

Flying a kite on Christmas Day with my 4yr old niece
Latest research has confirmed that play is as important as sleep to our wellbeing, happiness and performance. In fact we are hard-wired for play. It is essential for survival.

Before we start asking the hard questions let take a quick look at what play is.

Play is any voluntary activity that is FUN and really has NO purpose or goal-orientated outcome. It allows the participant to get into a state of flow where very little conscious thought is occurring. It becomes an out-of-self experience….hey, a little bit of time when our brain isn’t thinking a hundred things can’t be all bad, right?

Surprisingly there are very few rules and regulations on what constitutes play. How hard can it be? Scientists actually consider flirting to be a form play in many cases!

Image by Artie Carmie via pinterest
As a side note, with our super-structured schools and competitive sport systems, are we coaching the creative ability out of our kids? Perhaps. But I digress.

Yes, yes I can hear you… 

Peace, love and happiness are great for the kids but what’s in it for me?!

Let’s start strong.

Play could be the best anti-aging treatment for your brain. Boom! FMRI (functional MRI) scanning shows that nothing lights up the brain more than three-dimensional play.
The random nature of play forces the brain to form new neural pathways. Do it for 15-20mins and then your brain releases a neurotransmitter called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) that acts like a fertilizer for the brain. Pretty cool, really. At any age, we have the ability to grow and rewire our brain. Oh, and did I mention it’s FUN.

So we know that play is great for keeping our brain in tip top shape. 
What about the body?

I think we would all agree movement is vital for health and happiness. During play, movement is performed subconsciously. This helps develop rhythm and timing due to our conscious thoughts not getting in the way. Therefore building resilience from injury and efficiency in performance. As they say "motion is lotion for the body", and did I mention it’s FUN?!

So you’re starting to get the picture - play is good for body and brain!

Let’s not forget plays teaches us how to socialize, connect, handle stress, develop empathy and enhances creativity. In fact, studies have shown in adults that as play decreases, social, emotional and cognitive intelligence decrease also.

Now it’s time to ask yourself the hard question:

Do you prioritize time for play?

If the answer is no, hopefully I have convinced you to ask yourself a few questions.

If you’re struggling for ideas, watch and learn from the masters of play - kids. 

Hide (and seek)...
...and laugh without shame. 

Remember one person’s work might be another’s play. As Einstein once said: 

Image source
 Thanks for hanging in! I’m off to play balloon with my four year old niece!

Cheers, Azza (AKA Kate's special friend/husband)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Resolving to change the world

Have you created some New Years resolutions yet? No? Nor have I. I am, however in day 2 of Gabrielle Bernstein's May Cause Miracles 42 day program. So far, pretty amazing. Confronting, but amazing. My hubby is doing it with me. Yes, I know - he is freakin' awesome!

Image by Divine Consciousness via pinterest
Anywho, when it comes to New Year's resolutions, I've never been that effective. In making or keeping them. Who is? My hubby, that's who. Sorry, I'll stop going on about him. Let's move on - I'm not going to share my resolutions with you. 'Cos hey don't exist...yet. I have intentions of writing some this year. I have resolved to create lasting resolutions, if that even makes sense. 

What I do want to share with you are Food Tank's New Year resolutions that they have created for all of us. How's that?! Ready made resolutions! Seriously though, I could not have come up with a better list if I had tried. How many of these are you currently doing? Do you think you could do just one more for your sake, and for the health of the world? I have highlighted which ones I can check off the list and added my thoughts in purple. You can read the full, original post HERE

P.S. Go become a Food Tank Sustainer

1. Meet Your Local Farmer
Meeting your local farmer puts a face to where your food comes from and creates a connection between farmers and consumers.
(Farmer's markets are great for this)
2. Eat Seasonal Produce
By purchasing local foods that are in season, you can help reduce the environmental impact of shipping food. And your money goes straight to the farmer, supporting the local economy.
And the produce will be much more nutrient-dense (AKA more full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) as it hasn't been sitting in some storage place for who-knows-how-long. Win win!
3. End Food Waste
More than 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted each year. Tips to reduce waste include planning meals ahead, buying ‘ugly’’ fruits and vegetables, being more creative with recipes, requesting smaller portions, composting, and donating excess food.
Clearly I haven't single-handedly ended food waste, but I'm pretty passionate about doing my part. The 'ugly' fruits and veg, in my humble opinion, are the ones to go for. When they all look the same, I smell a chemical-laden rat. Don't limit this "Love Food Hate Waste" attitude to just produce. Remember there is more to an animal than just the meat. The most nutritious parts are the organs (liver, kidney, heart, brains etc) and the bones (make up some nourishing, healing bone broth with THIS recipe). 
Check out my friend Soulla's blog for ideas on what to do with organ meats, and check out the Love Food Hate Waste site for ideas on how to….well, love food and hate waste…. 
4. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
Many diseases are preventable, including obesity, yet 1.5 billion people in the world are obese or overweight. Promote a culture of prevention by engaging in physical activity and following guidelines for a healthy diet. Gaps in food governance must also be addressed to encourage healthy lifestyles, including junk food marketing to children.
Don't let the fact that you aren't a health professional stop you from doing this one. Are you a parent? You are probably in the best position to make changes, not just in your own children's lives, but why not try pushing for more healthy foods at your kid's school? Or teach your friends how to make healthy party foods. Check out my friend Tracey-Anne's blog "Good most of the time" for some mouth-watering and child-friendly recipes.  
5. Commit to Resilience in Agriculture
large portion of food production is used for animal feed and biofuels--at least one-third of global food production is used to feed livestock. And land grabs are resulting in food insecurity, the displacement of small farmers, conflict, environmental devastation, and water loss. Strengthening farmers' unions and cooperatives can help farmers be more resilient to food prices shocks, climate change, conflict, and other problems. 
Again, shopping at local farmer's markets and co-ops is the way to go. And they are often cheaper. 
6. Eat (and Cook) Indigenous Crops
Mungbean, cow pea, spider plant...these indigenous crops might sound unfamiliar, but they are grown by small-holder farmers in countries all over the world. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that approximately 75 percent of the Earth’s genetic resources are now extinct, and another third of plant biodiversity is predicted to disappear by the year 2050. We need to promote diversity in our fields and in our diets!
Having just moved to NZ, I'm yet to get amongst this one. I didn't really take advantage of indigenous crops in Australia, however I did occasionally have kangaroo. I even tried crocodile - tastes like chicken! If you're an Aussie, maybe check out the Kakadu Plum - incredibly rich source of vitamin C! 
7. Buy (or Grow) Organic
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that at least one pesticide is in 67 percent of produce samples in the U.S. Studies suggest that pesticides can interfere with brain development in children and can harm wildlife, including bees. Growing and eating organic and environmentally sustainable produce we can help protect our bodies and natural resources.
Ditto to all of that. Check out my post HERE discussing all things toxins in food.  
8. Go Meatless Once a Week
To produce 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of beef can require 6,810 liters (1,799 gallons) of water and 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of pork can require 2,180 liters (576 gallons) of water. Beef, pork, and other meats have large water footprints and are resource intensive. Consider reducing your "hoofprint" by decreasing the amount and types of meat you consume.
I believe these facts are based on feedlot animals, not free-range, grass-fed animals. I have blogged about the difference HERE. Check out these dairy cows we walked past today. Look at all that lush pasture! No filter necessary here!

Facts aside, I have actually started introducing a meat-free day once a week. It is not difficult. You should try it. We really don't need to eat meat every day. Paleo-wo/man definitely would not have been so lucky!
9. Cook
In Michael Pollan’s book “Cooked,” he learns how the four elements-fire, water, air, and earth-transform parts of nature into delicious meals. And he finds that the art of cooking connects both nature and culture. Eaters can take back control of the food system by cooking more and, in the process, strengthen relationships and eat more nutritious--and delicious--foods.
'Nuff said. 

10. Host a Dinner Party
It’s doesn’t have to be fancy, just bring people together! Talk about food, enjoy a meal, and encourage discussion around creating a better food system. Traveling in 2014 and craving a homemade meal? For another option try Meal Sharing and eat with people from around the world.
This is the first I have heard of Meal Sharing! Check it out! Great stuff!
11. Consider the ‘True Cost’ Of Your Food
Based on the price alone, inexpensive junk food often wins over local or organic foods. But, the price tag doesn’t tell the whole story. True cost accounting allows farmers, eaters, businesses, and policy makers to understand the cost of all of the "ingredients" that go into making fast food--including antibiotics, artificial fertilizers, transportation, and a whole range of other factors that don't show up in the price tag of the food we eat.
My hubby just interrupted me to tell me this fun fact he heard on a podcast (yes, we are BOTH massive health nerds): 
In the 1950's, we spent 18% of our budget on food and 5% on medications. Today we spend 9% on "food" (this includes things like Twinkies, if you can call that food) and 19% on medications. 

Now that's just not right (I'm trying to keep the swearing out of this one. Feel free to add in your own profanities). You may have to spend more for fresh, organic produce, but you will be saving money on healthcare costs in the long-run. 

12. Democratize Innovation
Around the world, farmers, scientists, researchers, women, youth, NGOs, and others are currently creating innovative, on-the-ground solutions to various, interconnected global agriculture problems. Their work has the great potential to be significantly scaled up, broadened, and deepened—and we need to create an opportunity for these projects to get the attention, resources, research, and the investment they need.
13. Support Family Farmers
The U.N. FAO has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, honoring the more than 400 million family farms in both industrialized and developing countries, defined as farms who rely primarily on family members for labour and management. Family farmers are key players in job creation and healthy economies, supplying jobs to millions and boosting local markets, while also protecting natural resources.
14. Share Knowledge Across Generations
Older people have challenges--and opportunities--in accessing healthy foods. They're sharing their knowledge with younger generations by teaching them about gardening and farming, food culture, and traditional cuisines. It’s also important to make sure that older people are getting the nutrition they need to stay active and healthy for as long as possible.

What a list! How many could you check off? Don't worry if it is not many - that's what is so good about life! You can always make changes, even small ones, that can have huge and lasting impacts. 
True that! Image at

Til next time, friends! Happy New Year!! x