Paleo coconut granola

paleo-coconut-granola

This granola is for lovers of coconut. There’s no dried fruit, just any combination of nuts and seeds you want to try or have available in the cupboard. I used a combination of pecans, walnuts and pepitas.

Paleo coconut granola

3 cups coconut flakes
2 cups of nuts and/or seeds, roughly chopped
2 Tbsps chia seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g coconut oil or butter, melted
3 Tbsps honey

  1. Preheat oven to 120 degrees C and line a baking try with baking paper.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and then spread out evenly on baking tray.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven. Turn mixture half-way through.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  5. Serve with almond milk or coconut milk.

Makes 5 cups.

Paleo chocolate banana milkshake

choc-banana-milkshake
I love milkshakes, but dairy ones give me a bloated stomach, so this one is made on coconut milk. Chocolate and banana are a great combination and with few extra ingredients it’s a winner.

Paleo chocolate banana milkshake
1 cup coconut milk
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 tsp cocoa or cocao powder
4 dates or 1 tsp honey
a pinch of cinnamon

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and wiz to mix.

Serves 1.

Paleo Greek salad

greek-salad

This delicious salad is packed full of flavour. You could add 75g goat’s feta cheese to make it a primal recipe and more classically Greek, but this is a nice variation without. I don’t need to tell you to use the freshest ingredients.

Paleo Greek salad
1/4 medium red onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
12 Kalamata olives, whole
8 cherry tomatoes
1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced

  1. Soak the sliced red onion in water for several minutes to take out the bite (optional).
  2. Combine in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add the following dressing.

Dressing
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano

  1. In a screwtop jar or bottle combine the olive oil, vinegar, oregano and season with a little salt and pepper. Shake well.

Serves 2.

Restaurant Review: The Paleo Café Brisbane

paleo-cafe

The Paleo Café is located on the corner of Market and Mary St, and has both indoor and outdoor seating. I have also been to the Paddington café where there is only indoor seating and no bookings allowed. They are both popular places so you’ll need to arrive early to get a seat.

The paleo diet encourages followers to eat like cavemen – consuming lots of meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and berries, while eliminating sugar, grains, legumes and dairy. So one great thing about this chain of cafes is that it is the perfect place to eat for people with celiac disease or food intolerances.

The first time we visited for breakfast, where I had eggs and avocado on toast. I was keen to try the grain free bread, which turned out to be the perfect addition. I also tried the bulletproof coffee, but it wasn’t for me. I like their regular cappuccino which you can have on coconut or almond milk.

For my birthday we went again to the Paleo Café and just about all of us ordered the lamb burger, which is a tender lamb patty on linseed focaccia with mint aioli, rocket, tomato, onion, avocado and gherkin topped with beetroot relish and served with sweet potato chips and more aioli. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the chips were the highlight.

For work lunches I have regularly been having the Mediterranean Vegetable Salad, which is a generous mix of roasted eggplant, olives, onion and greens, topped with a moreish salad dressing. You have the option of adding some protein, with chicken, prawns, salmon or kangaroo, but I like to have it plain. Sometimes I treat myself to dessert, but these are really rich, so it’s best to share with a friend.

Highly recommended for a lunch date with friends or family.

Paleo Café
The Paleo Café chain has five cafes in Cairns, Paddington in Brisbane, Brisbane CBD, Bondi Junction in Sydney and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Paleo orange ice blocks

orange-ice-block

Citrus and coconut water are a refreshing combination on a hot day. You could add a pinch of sea salt and have these as a replacement for those hydrating ice blocks you get at the chemist, as coconut water replaces electrolytes in the body.

Ice block moulds can be found in $2 shops or kitchen shops, otherwise use plastic cups and paddle pop sticks. You may need to double the recipe if your moulds are bigger.

1 cup of coconut water
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

  1. Combine coconut water and freshly squeezed orange juice in a jug. Pour mixture into ice block moulds.
  2. Place lid on moulds and place them in the freezer for a minimum of six hours.

Makes 4 ice blocks.

Review: Natural Instinct facial products

 natural-instinct2

I have been using a couple of the Natural Instinct products for my face. They are an Australian made natural skin and hair care brand, which are formulated with botanically-derived ingredients, certified organic extracts and pure essential oils. There are no nasties in their products, so they are grey-water safe, and products are not tested on animals.

Daily mosituriser – sinks in nicely, and is not greasy like some. It smells of jojoba and rosehips, and contain B5.

Facial scrub – the right texture and is not too grainy. My face felt clean afterwards and it contains jojoba and walnut.

Foaming and cream cleanser – Both satisfying products. The foaming cleanser lathers to a light foam and is scented with lavender and rosehip. The cream cleanser is scented with jojoba and witch hazel.

Clarifying toner – left my face toned and finished. It smells citrusy and refreshing of rosewater, witch hazel and orange flower.

What I like about these products all the products are free of sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens, PEGs and mineral oils. There are also no artificial colours or fragrances.

Thank you Natural Instinct for allowing me to trial these products. 

Paleo carrot soup

Here’s a simple carrot soup for winter. It’s packed with beta-carotene, which is great for healthy skin and eyes. It’s best to make your stock from scratch so it’s packed with healing nutrients.

coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
4-6 carrots, chopped
4 cups of chicken stock + hot water
½ tsp of parsley or basil

  1. Brown the onion in some coconut oil in a pot.
  2. Boil the kettle for your stock. Add meat stock to the pot.
  3. Add the carrots, garlic and herbs. Add more hot water, if needed, to cover all the ingredients.
  4. Gently simmer until the carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and blitz well with a hand blender or food processor. Add more stock until you have the consistency you want.
  6. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Serves 2-3.

What is third wave coffee?

coffee-cup-red

So what does third wave coffee mean? Let’s back it up and explain what first wave and second wave coffee are first.

The first wave of coffee occurred with the freeze-drying techniques after the Second World War Coffee became a popular beverage, although the quality was not the best.

The second wave of coffee was the global domination of Starbucks and other chains of coffee shops, and included the trend in home espresso machines. It is characterised by a shift from Robusta to Arabica coffee beans. Coffee quality improved, although there was a rise in adding sweeteners, syrups and other ingredients to coffee to change the taste.

The third wave of coffee is treating coffee like an artesian product, similar to the way we treat a fine chocolate or wine or cheese. It is characterised by single origin coffee and being able to trace a coffee back to an individual coffee plantation. It celebrates coffee for its unique attributes and taste. Consumers are happy to pay a higher price for a better product and one which is produced sustainably and with fair trade methods.

Consumers are in an enviable position in being able to taste some of the best third wave coffee from around the world at their local and independent espresso bar.

If you are in Brisbane, you may like to attend a Bean Brewding Coffee Tour to find out more about the third wave of coffee.

Book Review: Serve to Win by Novak Djokovic

serve-to-win

Novak Djokovic reveals the gluten-free diet and fitness plan that transformed his health and pushed him to the pinnacle.

In 2011, Novak Djokovic had what sportswriters called the greatest single season ever by a professional tennis player: He won ten titles, three Grand Slams, and forty-three consecutive matches. Remarkably, less than two years earlier, this champion could barely complete a tournament. How did a player once plagued by aches, breathing difficulties, and injuries on the court suddenly become the #1 ranked tennis player in the world? The answer is astonishing: He changed what he ate.

In Serve to Win, Djokovic recounts how he survived the bombing of Belgrade, Serbia, rising from a war-torn childhood to the top tier of his sport. While Djokovic loved and craved bread and pasta, and especially the pizza at his family’s restaurant, his body simply couldn’t process wheat. Eliminating gluten—the protein found in wheat—made him feel instantly better, lighter, clearer, and quicker. As he continued to research and refine his diet, his health issues disappeared, extra pounds dropped away, and his improved physical health and mental focus allowed him to achieve his two childhood dreams: to win Wimbledon, and to become the #1 ranked tennis player in the world.

Now Djokovic has created a blueprint for remaking your body and your life in just fourteen days. With weekly menus, mindful eating tips for optimal digestion, and delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes, you’ll be well on your way to shedding extra weight and finding your way to a better you. Djokovic also offers tips for eliminating stress and simple exercises to get you revved up and moving, the very same ones he does before each match.

You don’t need to be a superstar athlete to start living and feeling better. With Serve to Win, a trimmer, stronger, healthier you is just two weeks away.

The book is mostly about nutrition and the effect of going gluten free had on his life. However Novak tells stories about how he started playing tennis, his family background, describing support he got from his family that helped him to overcome problems and become the best tennis player in the world. I was fascinated by the the background stories Novak gave about growing up in Serbia during the war and I’ll pay him more respect now for his circumstances.

There is seven day meal plan of his diet and recipes developed by Chef Candice Kumai included in the book. Novak encourages you to try the diet for just 2 weeks to see if you feel any better.

Overall it is an easy read and good introduction to the gluten-free lifestyle. It’s a must-have for fans of Novak Djokovic.

Serve to Win by Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is a Serbian tennis player who is ranked World #1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time.