This morning I attended a breakfast hosted by KORA Organics and Women in Focus, where I got to hear from Therese Kerr, mum to Miranda Kerr, and personal chef to the stars, Chef Kate on all things healthy and organic.
Delicious fruit and yoghurt served up for breakfast
If you regularly read my blog you will already know that I am a strong advocate for living naturally and eating healthy but it was quite inspiring to hear Therese and Kate talk about the importance of embodying health from the inside and the outside.
Most women put around 200 chemicals on their face each day and as Miranda’s mantra goes “what you put on your skin, soaks in”. Eating certified organic foods and using certified organic products means that the body doesn’t have to waste time processing toxins, meaning your body functions can get back to performing at their peak. This basically results in glowing skin, bright clear eyes, better digestion and a stronger immune system. Pretty much how I felt after I came off my detox last week :-)
KORA Organics Daily Hand Cream which smells delightfully citrus-y (it contains mandarin and grapefruit oil)
Branded Organic vs. Certified Organic
A lot of products will self-declare that they are organic. There is currently no government regulation over the use of the word organic in Australia so products and brands can declare they are organic even if they are not, so you may think you are buying organic but the product or food still contains a lot of the nasties you are trying to avoid. This is why certification is important, in order to be certified organic a product/brand has to jump through a lot of hoops and the certification process is quite stringent. In Australia the two biggest certifying bodies are Australian Certified Organic and NASAA Certified Organic, check out their website for more information.
Chef Kate also had a few tips and tricks, including which foods you should absolutely avoid unless they are certified organic, which was chicken, eggs, dairy and berries. She also said that Lamb is usually a good choice if you are out and unable to eat organically as it is generally lower in toxicity. The one thing Chef Kate said that really resonated with me was to have joy in what you are eating and I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve just come off a ten day detox and I have to say, I feel amazing. It’s easier to get up in the morning, I feel less bloated and my mind feels a lot clearer. However over the last week I’ve been getting this reaction from quite a few people “Oh, you’re not doing one of those lemon detox things are you?”
Let me just clarify one thing, in my opinion the lemon detox diet is a fast not a detox. It came to fame after Beyonce apparently used it to drop a bucket load of weight for her role in dream girls, but let me reiterate, it is a fast, there is no food and your only nutrients come from squeezed lemons and maple syrup. Hardly a balanced or nutritious diet, me thinks. Warm water with lemon juice is a great way to start the morning, it cleanses the liver and is alkalising however sustaining your entire body on just water, lemons and sugar is definitely not something I would undertake.
I’m a big advocate for detoxing but to me this means eating super-healthy with loads of fresh fruit and veg, which essentially gives your body a whole bunch of extra nutrients to work with. The main things that I cut out of my diet are:
- No caffeine (this includes no chocolate)
- No alcohol
- No gluten
- No red meat (this one is pretty easy being a vegetarian)
- No sugar (a small amount of natural sweetners ie honey is OK)
- No dairy (yoghurt with acidophilus bifidus is also OK, just don’t over do it)
Giving up my morning coffee has been the hardest for me this time, I’ve given up coffee before but I was definitely feeling it this time around. Apart from that a detox just requires a little bit more ogranisation, you can’t fall back on takeaway when you are doing a detox but the pay off is well worth it. Tip: Rice paper rolls are perfect detox food if you forget your lunch ;)
Lastly, it’s important to drink a tonne of water, this will help your body flush out all the toxins. If you want more information you should check out The Detox Cookbook, it’s sub-title is ‘Cleansing for Food Lovers’ so you know you won’t starve ;)
Are you yay or nay on the humble detox?
Nuts and seeds are packed full of yummy goodness, containing protein, unsaturated fats, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, fibre, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, selenium and the list goes on. If you don’t know what any of these do, then trust me when I say they are good for you :) However because they are quite high in unsaturated fats (don’t worry these fats are heart-healthy) eat in moderation, a small handful of nuts is all you should be eating in a day.
Nuts and seeds contain natural inhibitors such as phytic acid, tannins and enzymes that prevent them from sprouting until conditions are right. In nature when the temperature is right and there has been enough water ie rain the nut or seed will germinate to produce a plant. So soaking nuts or seeds is basically mimicking nature and breaking down all of their natural defenses making it easier for our bodies to digest. Soaking also increases the availability of nutrients and vitamins, which is always a good thing.
How do I soak my nuts, you ask…
I like to soak my nuts in a jar ;)
Place the nuts and seeds in a bowl or glass filled with room temperature water and soak for 12 hours, I usually leave mine overnight.
When the time is up simply drain and rinse well – it is not unusual for the water to smell a little bit funky after the 12 hours but this will wash away when you rinse the nuts.
Eat and enjoy :)
I’ve mentioned this a couple of times but if you haven’t heard I’m a little bit addicted to Pinterest. I know I’m not alone, most people I talk to have a similar experience… It’s just so damn lovely with all its pretty and shiny images popping up on my pinboard. What I really love about Pinterest is that there is a steady and constant stream of inspiring images, quotes and messages to remind me what life is really all about.
Here are a few of my favourites:
Yes you can, thank you Fleetwood Mac!
Manifesto from Tiny Devotions
Find the time...
If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet, then you should check it out, however I take no responsibility for how much time you waste on there :)
Also if you have a thing for shoes, you should take a peek at my finely curated collection of shoe porn here.
Vietnam is an absolutely stunning country, from the busy heaving cities to the laid back coastal towns and islands. Here are a couple of my favourite photos from our trip there.
Cyclo drivers in Hoi An
Ben Thanh Market in Saigon
A Phu Quoc island sunset fit for a marriage proposal :)
Ending the trip in style on Phu Quoc Island
Check out the rest of the photos over here.
Luang Prabang, located in the North of Laos on the Mekong River, was a nice change of pace after the craziness of Cambodia. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site so there are no big trucks or buses and very few cars, just a whole lot of motorbike traffic.
The place is definitely geared towards tourism, and it felt a bit like the number of tourists outweighed the locals, not to mention it was one of the more expensive places we visited by South East Asian standards. Despite that, I have to say I definitely fell in love with Luang Prabang, it’s charm and pace were incredibly endearing and compared to the rest of South East Asia it’s very laid-back and a lot slower, making it the perfect place to spend a week or two.
Wat Xieng Thong
Fermenting rice wine
Buddha statues in the Pak Ou Caves
Buddhist Monks lined up for the early morning Alms Giving Ceremony
Kuang Si Falls
You can see the rest of my Luang Prabang photos over on my Flickr account.