Interview: Brenda Janscheck on Kid’s Health and Wellebing

Today, I am so excited to introduce Brenda Janscheck, owner and founder of Brenda Janscheck Health & Lifestyle. To me, Brenda is the epitome of a superstar mom. She runs her own business, has a family and still finds time to take incredible care of herself. What I am in awe of most, is how she takes care of her two kids. She is an expert in kids’ health and I am so excited for you to read the interview below. Whether you have kids now, want them one day or know anyone who does; this interview will shed some light on how to best care for them. Nutrition is of utmost importance in a kid’s life even from the time they are born. And I’ll give you a hint; mainstream media has most likely thrown you way off and is steering you in the opposite direction you want to go. Keep reading to find out more!

Hi Brenda. Thank you so much for being here today! Let’s get right into it.

1. What do you think is the biggest problem when it comes to kids’ nutrition today? 

The biggest problem to my mind is that so much of the food our children eat is actually completely deficient in nutrition. Parents are so busy that they are reaching for convenience foods, which are highly processed, contain bad fats, are full of additives, colours, preservatives, refined sugars/ flours and rancid oils. These foods are contributing to a dramatic increase in serious illness and disease such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, attention disorders and more.

I consider every bite of food an opportunity to properly nourish our bodies, mind and soul, and so many children are missing out on these opportunities each day.

“Let food be they medicine and let medicine be thy food” as Hippocrates said.

2. How do you do such an amazing job adequately nourishing your kids so that their mood & blood sugar levels are stable and their energy stays constant throughout the day?

I know how to create well-balanced meals (protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates) which cover the main food groups. Providing this balance allows my children to stay focused and energised through the day and eating this way will bode well for their future health. I make sure their meals are nutrient dense and I pack them very healthy homemade lunches. It takes me a bit more time, but my children’s health is a priority.

3. Why is it, do you think, that many parents don’t think the same nutritional rules apply to kids the same way they do to adults?  

Parents (and children) are bombarded on a daily basis with advertising for “healthy” kid’s food, like breakfast cereals and muesli bars, when in actual fact these products are mostly very high in sugar and highly processed. A little education in this area can go a long way in improving our children’s health.
For some, particularly those that are busy (which is every parent I know!), there is so much misinformation clouding the real value of our food that they just give up and accept advertisements and mainstream information as fact.
4. How do you deal with your kids being exposed to toxic, processed foods when they’re at friends’ houses and school?

I find this quite frustrating, and obviously I wish that this wasn’t the case, but I have chosen not to create stress around this for my family, as stress itself is detrimental to our health.
My children have a very healthy, 80% healthy wholefoods organic diet, so I know their bodies can handle “sometimes” food on those occasions. Lots of mums in my community have attended my healthy kids’ workshops, so bit by bit I am noticing the pleasing ripple-effect of change. I also hope to do more work in schools to educate children, parents and teachers about the importance of healthy eating.

5. What are your main suggestions for people with newborns and toddlers?

Obviously, breastfeeding is optimal for a minimum of 6 months, but so many mums have issues with this, I advise them not to be too hard on themselves if it doesn’t work out.
And when introducing first solid foods (approx 4-6mths), be wary that mainstream experts suggest rice cereal or grains as the baby’s first foods, but these are in fact not ideal ,and can compromise your child’s gut health, leading to future issues. Stick to fruit, veges and protein. Here is a great guide for babies and early toddlers
And just a note on pre-conception, the health of the parents ova and sperm play a very important role in determining the healthy of the fetus and future health of the child.

6. Approximately how much sugar do your kids consume daily? How do you think this differs from most kids?
My kids consume natural sugar each day, mainly in the form fruit, and a healthy treat in their lunchboxes. The sugar they have is unrefined (eg raw honey, Canadian maple syrup, dates or coconut sugar). These types of sugars still have many of their vitamins, mineral and enzymes intact.
If they are having sugar, I try to accompany it with a healthy fat and protein which helps to slow the absorption of the sugar, and therefore helps to avoid the nasty blood sugar spikes it would otherwise cause. Refined sugar is an addictive poison deplete of any nutritional value and which, in fact, strips their bodies of existing nutrition.

7. What are some small things that can be done about kids nutrition?

I always recommend implementing small changes slowly. Some good places to start would be for parents and children to learn how to read ingredients lists on packaged foods.
Meal planning is a great method of ensuring time is allocated to cooking home-made meals and avoiding last minute take-out or packaged meals. Also, eliminate all nutrient depleted/deficient foods from the pantry, and replace with fresh wholefoods.
I always recommend that my clients focus on the foods that their children love to eat, and I guide them on how to create the most delicious nutrient dense version possible!
Encouraging kids to help in the kitchen is a great idea too. Studies show that they are more likely to eat what they create.

8. Favorite healthy treat to prepare for your kids:
I love healthifying recipes, which is exactly what I did with this very popular version of my “Notella”
‘Notella’

We all know and love the scrumptious spread Nutella. But when you consider there are 5 teaspoons of sugar in each two-tablespoon serve, you wonder if there’s a better way.
Well, there are a few healthy versions of the Nutella recipe floating around, and I’ve played around with them and tweaked the living daylights out of these recipes to finally create my family’s favourite version.
We all think it’s much tastier than the commercial Nutella, and it’s much healthier too, using healthy oils and no artificial flavours. What’s more, sugar is not the main ingredient in this version.

We love our Notella:
spread on sourdough toast for breakfast or a snack
spread over apples or bananas
mixed with natural yoghurt
spread on spelt and buckwheat pancakes
mixed with warm milk for a hot chocolate
eaten straight out of the jar with spoon
With regard to the hazelnuts in Notella, I always recommend activating them the night before by soaking in a water and acid medium (like Apple Cider Vinegar) and rinsing well in the morning. This makes the nuts much more digestible.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup or raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 tablespoons macadamia oil

Preparation:

  • Place nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add cacao powder, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or raw honey (or a combination), vanilla and coconut oil.
  • Whizz up all ingredients. It will be a little thick so add in macadamia oil as required and whizz until smooth.
  • Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

Brenda Janschek is a qualified health coach, supporting busy mums to raise happy, healthy families through preventative health She is a speaker, wellness blogger, and a busy mother of two.

She is an avid spokesperson for children’s health, nutrition and family wellbeing, passionately bringing scrumptious goodness & positive well being into the homes of families throughout Australia.

She is the creator of Brenda Janschek Health & Lifestyle and you can connect with her via her Facebook Community,Twitter and Instagram @brendajanschek.

Introducing: Lauren from With Raw Intentions

Today, I am so pleased to introduce you to Lauren from With Raw Intentions!

I first discovered With Raw Intentions on Instagram and was so overhwlemed by the stunning display of her recipes. It makes me miss summer- that is for sure!

Read below to discover what makes this treasure tick and how she maintains such a beautiful, healthy lifestyle.

1.     Hello Lauren! Thanks for being here! Please, tell us about yourself. Name, age, where you’re from…we want to know it all.

Hi Danielle and thanks for having me! My name is Lauren Golin and I’m a 22-year-old       recent college graduate currently living and working in New York City.

2.     How did With Raw Intentions come to be?

With Raw Intentions started as an account on Instagram that I created when I made the decision to eat a 100% low-fat, raw vegan diet in early January 2013. Initially it was just a way for me to keep a log of what I was eating and to record my recipes. Within a week I had over 1000 followers and realized that this wasn’t just for me anymore, but a platform to inspire others to eat healthier as well. In early February I built my blog as a way to reach a wider audience and to share more recipes with more detailed photos and directions. The Facebook fan page, twitter feed, and Pinterest account were all created at that time too.

3.     Have you always lived a healthy lifestyle?

I would like to say so. I was a competitive swimmer from age 9 to 18 so while I typically ate a balanced diet, I never had to worry about calories or weight since I was in the pool everyday. Throughout college I experimented with the Paleo diet for quite some time, which is heavy on meat, fish, and eggs. Though I again never needed to worry about weight and was keeping up with daily exercise, I often experienced a lack of energy from my low intake of carbohydrates.

4.     How has your life changed since you started With Raw Intentions?

The better question is how has it stayed the same?! It’s really changed my whole perspective on the world and everyday this lifestyle continues to transform my body in fantastic ways. Eating a diet composed of an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables with little nuts and seeds has, contrary to popular belief, provided me with more energy than I thought possible. I wake up in the morning feeling awake and refreshed and when it comes time to workout, whether running, yoga, swimming, or weight training, my body gets excited to move. I’m always in a happy mood and, after suffering from acne for years and years, my skin is finally starting to clear up and feel so much softer. It’s also been really fun to educate others about this lifestyle. A few find it bizarre, which is very understandable given how mainstream culture teaches us to eat, but most are very intrigued and want to pick my brain and learn more about raw foods, which is so awesome!

5.     Where does your inspiration come from?

I LOVE bright colors! Fruits and veggies are the brightest, most beautiful foods I really draw most of my inspiration from what nature has to offer. Of course, I also enjoy what everyone else posts on social media, like Instagram and blogs, so healthy inspiration is really coming at me from so many things all throughout the day.

6.     What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I really would love to start up a YouTube channel soon! The blog is fun but I think that people could get to know me a little better through videos and also I think recipes would be easier to follow if I were to demo them in action. I’m okay in the photography department but when it comes to filming, editing, and all that jazz I’m still learning.

7.     What does healthy living mean to you?

I think healthy living mainly means listening to your body. It is designed for nutritious food, daily exercise, sleep, sun, water, and social interaction. I think incorporating these natural things into your lifestyle and forgetting about the scale, fad diets, supplements, and so on will set you on the path to peace, health, and happiness.

8.     What is your favorite part of the life you lead today?

Hands down it’s that I get to inspire people from all around the world to eat better and get excited about taking care of themselves! When you have your health, you can do all of the other jobs and activities that mean the most to you. So I get excited everyday to share fun and easy ways that not only better my own life and body, but also help those who want to maintain or regain a healthy lifestyle.

9.     What are your daily non-negotiables that you just can’t live without?

Definitely enough sleep. Sleep is so important and I think our hectic lives get in the way and make us “forget” that we need to give the body time to rest and repair itself. I never feel quite right when I don’t get enough quality sleep and so I make the conscious effort every night for at least 8 to 10 hours.

10.  What do you like to do for fun, for you?

Aside from just being with my family and friends, I spend my free time prepping raw food recipes, blogging, and just learning as much as I can about this lifestyle. It’s certainly a passion that I’m so happy to have discovered. Comparatively speaking though, I’m still a newbie to the raw food lifestyle so as much as I like to inspire others, I too am still absorbing tons of new info everyday.

Favorites:

Place?

Florence, Italy

Book?

For food and health? The 80/10/10 Diet by Dr. Douglas Graham and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell Non-food?To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Season?

Summer

Guilty Pleasure?

Reality TV

Recipe?

Love Potion Parfait:

Love Potion Parfait

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1 parfait

o   Ingredients:

o   4 Peeled bananas

o   10 Whole strawberries

o   1.5 cups blackberries

o   1.5 cup blueberries

o   1 cup frozen cherries

o   Handful of raspberries (optional)

Directions:

1. Bottom layer: Using a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, blend 2 bananas, 1 cup blackberries, and blueberries until completely smooth. Pour into a large glass or jar.

2. Middle layer:  Pour 1/2 cup blackberries, 1/2 cup blueberries, and 2 sliced strawberries into the jar over the top of the first smoothie layer.

2. For the top layer, blend the remaining 8 whole strawberries, cherries, and other 2 bananas on high until smooth. Fill the remainder of the glass with this mixture. Sprinkle raspberries and some extra chopped banana on top to finish.

You can connect with Lauren here:

BlogWith Raw Intentions

Instagram@RawIntentions

FacebookFacebook.com/WithRawIntentions

If you feel that you need personalized assistance regarding your health and wellbeing, please don’t hesitate to contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation

Introducing: Alexa from Yogic

Today, I am SO pleased to introduce Alexa from Yogic. Not only is this inspirational, beautiful soul a certified health coach, but she is also a certified yoga teacher with a serious passion for life and all it has to offer. I feel such a kinship with this woman; her love of nature, adventure and living life to the fullest are all part of my true self too. Honestly, I can’t express my admiration for this lady enough- and you’ll soon see why! Her life is the most admirable portrayal of authenticity, health, wellness and real happiness. I can’t wait for you to meet her! This interview will take a deeper look into how healthy eating is not a destination, but a lifestyle and how yoga is one of the finest ways to incorporate this into your life each and every day.
Hello Alexa! Welcome. Please, tell us about yourself.

Ok, I will give you the short version! I am in love! Absolutely in love with life.

It hasn’t always been that way, not even a bit easy and it still isn’t, but I have made mental and physical shifts, that have helped me to overcome self absorption and unrevealed my life’s mission to share my freedom with others.

What does yoga mean to you?

Community.

Like yoga the yoga community is a way of expressing the way of living in a tribe. It is the most wonderful thing to be surrounded by students and teachers. We inspire each other. We sweat together, laugh together. We teach each other. We share the same intention –love, spaciousness and authenticity.

A living practice.

I believe that everybody is a yogi. Even if you don’t call it yoga or you officially don’t practice yoga. If you are reading this website, you are someone who is seeking, and working on becoming a better version of herself. You are seeking happiness, expansion and freedom in life.

Life helps those, who are willing to help themselves. And that’s you, and me. It doesn’t matter what you call yourself. If you are a yogi or not. We all have the same goal and that is living in alignment with love and peace.

Yoga is for me a tool to find my freedom.

How does your yoga practice contribute to your health and how does your health contribute to your yoga practice?

If I am physically, mentally, spiritually challenged; restless or clueless, the practice of yoga takes me back home. The inner space where I experience an ocean like stillness and freedom.

What is the best thing about being a yoga teacher? What is the hardest?

I followed an intuitive calling that came from a very deep place. It happened that just finished a silent meditation retreat where I meditated over 100 hours within 10 days. In a moment, while sitting on my surfboard at an extremely remote place in Western Australia, it just struck me: This is it. I am a yoga teacher. I have to go to India and learn how to teach. It is my destiny. Weird, I was never into any whoowhoo stuff. So it is an organic part of my life story, influenced by: me, no media, internet, no wanna be this or that to be the cool yogini. It was pure intuition.

Teaching yoga gives me the best opportunity to share my idea of happiness and freedom in life and my own work. It is the necessary contribution that I have to provide during my lifetime. It is my journey of self-growth and my daily practice of compassion. It keeps me awake and connected. It is the mission of my life to help people expanding in order to fly.

The hardest? Seeing people turning away from the practice before they have even tried it. Mostly because they think it is a sport for flexible, happy and good looking ballerinas. It is exactly the opposite. Yoga is something very organic. Like a cat stretches, rests and meditates looking out the window. We are able to regain energy in order to be switched on when we need to, and sometimes just to dance around the house like crazy for no reason.

When did you first become interested in yoga and how did you know you wanted to make it part of your every day life?

I was in university and studied Physical Education and Biology (which was another journey for itself, because I haven’t been very active or healthy at all until then. It was my late bloomed passion for surfing that brought me to study sports. Until then I was a head banging, pub crawling, chain smoking little punk with the ambitions to study international management.

The physical challenges and the daily uni stress set me on the search for a practice that was still physically and mentally engaging, but didn’t have anything to do with uni. I ended up sitting in a Kundalni Yoga class with my best friend. The first hour we couldn’t hold ourselves giggling, while feeling like being in a birth preparation course. We weren’t used to chanting Sanskrit ‘songs’ or sitting with closed eyes in a circle with strangers. But then, at the end of the class during Savasana (the deep relaxation), I had tears running down my face. For no reason, I wasn’t sad or happy. It was just a relief. I arrived home.

Which came first; your passion for health + nutrition or yoga?

Yoga came first. Mind you, I was always secretly reading my mum’s health magazines, even though it was uncool as a teenager. Smoking cigarettes and drinking beer was much more my way of life.

And then as a beginning yoga teacher I still thought – yeah, the practice is good for me, so I can have a diet coke. That’s healthy. Healthier than a coke. A diet coke! UUUUUHHHH ! I can’t believe I drank this stuff. But I just didn’t know better. Until I reached a point where I realized that my nutrition hinders my evolution as a yoga student and teacher. I wanted to feel grounded, wholesome and clean.

This is when I turned away from artificialities and ended up studying holistic nutrition. The time of my studies with IIN was nutritionally the most insightful and life changing of my last years.

How has your health developed since you became passionate about yoga?

It is and was a rollercoaster ride. Yes, I have become healthier, but even as a yoga teacher you can forget about resting. (Note: many yoga teachers have a type A personality). See a pattern? We live and teach our journey to health and wellbeing! 😉

What are some of your non-negotiables in your every day life?

Nature.

I have to be outside and get myself into contact with the real world. I have to feel cold, wet and warm, I have to get sand, earth and grass on my feet. I have to have the blue sky over me.

Adventures.

They make me feel alive. It can be on the surfboard, on an unbeaten path or on my yoga mat. Doing something different everyday – getting out of my comfort zone gives me prana!

MCE time

Meditation, Contemplation & Exercise = which is what my yoga practice gives me a good framework for.

What’s your favorite…

Yoga pose?

The pose in between the poses. Space & Truth.

Brand of yoga gear?

None. (One day it will be my own!)

Meal?

Everything natural, colorful and organic! Everything!

Season?

Autumn & Spring. I love the freshness of these seasons.

Book?

Ohh, that is a hard question. My husband and I towed a trailer full of books around Australia. I am an absolute book nerd. But I can recommend some for yogis and non-yogis here:

Vanda SCARAVELLI IS CALLED: Awakening the Spine
The Art of non- violent communication by Marshall Rosenberg
Living your Yoga – Finding your Spiritual in Everyday Life by Judith Hanson-Lasater

Place?

Anywhere without a roof over my head.

Guilty pleasure?

Big cars with big tires. I love 4wds. My last car was a Nissan Patrol and I named it Butch after I lifted the shocks. I am a mechanics daughter, I cant help it.

Ultimate health & wellness tip:

Don’t listen to what ‘they say’. Don’t listen to what ‘they think is good for you. Practice self awareness, your intention of life and from here you can trust your intuition.

Favorite Break-Through moment:

When I was in deep grief after my father unexpectedly died. I was 21 and couldn’t get over it, but then I realized that his death was a gift in my life, showing me how incredibly amazing it is.

After this realization I walked around on an absolute high for days! Deeply calm, present and happy. I stopped feeling sorry for myself, blaming others for my experiences and began to work my freedom, happiness and compassion muscle.

I began to take full responsibility for my life, my thoughts my actions. Since then I have traveled the world: volunteering, living on remote islands in Panama for months, surfing the best spots on earth, sleeping in hammocks in Mexico and Central America for a year, traveling on my own all over the world, just with my little back pack, a credit card, a passport, my bikini and a surfboard. I lived in my van for years while being a University student and met the most amazing people who are reminding me daily: We only live once, why not do it properly?

So now I ask you, do you feel free and happy? Remember that you can, at any given time. You have to be willing to do it and then: ‘shift’ happens!

All my love to you and your lucky readers, Danielle! The world needs awake people like you!

Alexa

You can find Alexa…

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram: @yogic_alexa

Introducing: Mary Mattern from Nom Yourself

by, Danielle Stein

Today, I am so excited to introduce you to Ms. Mary Mattern from Nom Yourself. I first discovered Mary on her Instagram account and am I glad that I did! Her passion of vegan food, spectacular detail and intense creativity never fails to amaze me. Mary’s passion for vegan cooking and animals is so refreshingly authentic and pure.

With a BOOK coming out July 31st, 21, 000 followers on Instagram and almost 2,000 on her Facebook page Nom Yourself is on its way to some seriously exciting stuff!! In fact, it’s pretty darn exciting already!

It’s beautiful to meet someone who loves their life as much as Mary. She is truly following her authentic path and loving every minute of it.

Hi Mary. Thanks so much for being here.

How did Nom Yourself come about?

MM: It started as a simple food Instagram account for my passion of cooking. Very quickly I gained a following, and decided to make a website that I could talk about vegan life and share recipes on. Eventually I got asked for more and more recipes, so I created a cookbook that releases July 31st. Which I’m incredibly proud of and cannot wait to share it.

What was your inspiration?

MM: I really wanted to change what I was putting in my body. I was never a huge fan of meat, but I never thought a vegan lifestyle was for me either. I never made the connection between what was on my plate and the pictures of adorable cows I saw. Then one day it clicked. My friends had a huge part in that. Many of them are vegan, and well educated vegans at that. So I was fortunate to have such supportive and informational people around me while I made this decision.

What does a normal day look like over at Nom Yourself?

MM: Weekends are the only days where I get to spend my whole day in the kitchen, and thats exactly what I do. I wake up, make coffee, turn music on, and check out what’s in my cupboards. Then once I’m done cleaning up from breakfast, I repeat the process for lunch and dinner. After dinner I’ll work on my website, social networks and if I’m lucky I’ll get to spend time with friends and family. Nom Yourself has quite literally become my life and it’s amazing.

Have you always been a vegan? What triggered your decision to eat this way?

MM: I haven’t. I’ve only been vegan for almost 9 months now. I started reading articles about GMO foods and it made me realize that I choose what I put in my body. I stopped eating meat and dairy at first because of the horrible health risks you take by doing so. Then shortly after like I said before, I made that connection between a dog thats your pet, and a cow on a farm. So I chose to become a vegan. I took my passion for cooking and applied it to my lifestyle choice. I wanted to make that choice more appealing and easier for other people to see as well.

Your meals are positively mouthwatering. They are so creative and always beautifully displayed. Where does your inspiration come from?

MM: Thank you so much! I feel the same way about all the other foodies on Instagram. It’s such a great social network. I get to see all the amazing dishes made under the hashtag “vegan” and it makes me so happy to see so many people share the same love for food and compassion as I do. My inspiration comes from my followers pictures, food magazines, the farmers market, the weather, daily events, the season. There’s a ton of elements that go into all of my dishes. You can see what days I’m lazy and tired, it’s usually a sandwich or pasta. Then there’s the days where I can’t seem to stop cooking and that’s when the crazy things come out, Thai Burgers and Rainbow Pancakes.




What does health and wellness mean to you?

MM: It means everything to me. You can’t be your best unless you feel your best. Eating healthy and consciously, gives me a great peace of mind as well as a great deal of energy. All of my meals, as I’m sure you can see, aren’t always the healthiest. There’s days where I just crave certain things, but as long as I find balance in my meals I find it brings balance in my life as well.

What is your favorite part of the life you lead today?

MM: To pick a favorite wouldn’t be fair or true. I’ve got such a great family, a soon to be career doing what I love to do, some of the greatest friends, great health, a roof over my head, and food on the table always. I’m truly blessed and I don’t take that for granted for a second.

What are your daily non-negotiables?

MM: Great question! My daily non-negotiables would have to be taking a walk around the lake by my house with my headphones in. Music plays such a huge part in my days now, so having head phones on me always is a must. Other than that, I’m very go with the flow.

What do you do for fun/for you?

MM: Cooking is my fun thing to do! Haha, it’s seriously the greatest feeling to be able to say that. When I’m in the kitchen, there is no right or wrong, no judgement, no stress. Just you, an empty canvas (your plate), and tons of possibilities. It’s where I go to disconnect myself from the world. I’ve recently been getting into yoga and exercising. I’m the definition of a homebody, so getting PJs on and putting in a good movie with a glass of wine is the greatest evening to me.

Favorites:

Place? New York. It’s where my family is. I’m really looking forward to moving back and spending some time with them before I leave for my book tour in June.

Book? My Life In France by Julia Child and The Four Agreements by Don Ruiz

Season? Fall. The produce, the colors, THE APPLE PIE, Halloween, pumpkin lattes, hoodies, boots, what’s not to love!

Guilty pleasure? Starbucks Soy Carmel Lattes.

Recipe:

Pineapple Mango Avocado Chili Purée:

Ingredients:

1 Avocado, chopped

1/2 Mango, chopped

1/2 cup Pineapple chunks

1 tsp. Chili Powder

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with immersion blender until smooth. You can mix with a regular food processor as well, I just found an immersion blender to be faster and less clean up. Serve on top of Tofu Dogs, Veggie Burgers, Sandwiches, Sautéed Veggies or simply put out as a dip for guests at your Memorial Day party!

Connect with Mary:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

And look out for the sale of her new BOOK, coming out soon!

Introducing: Summah from A Natural Connection

summah 4

I am so excited to introduce you all to my dear friend, Summah! I met Summah through studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I felt an instant bond with her and feel so grateful to have her in my life. She is such an inspiration and the epitome of health. Below, learn all about Summah, her journey from party girl to inspirational health advocate & meditation teacher,  A Natural Connection, her faves and her recipe for Brazil Cacao Cake.

Please tell us about yourself:

Hi I am summah and I am the founder of A Natural Connection. I am a holistic health coach, meditation teacher and nutritionist in training. I live and work on the south coast of NSW with my fiancé, 4 horses, 2( soon to be 3!) dogs, 2 cats and 3 chooks.

 

How did A Natural Connection come about? What was your inspiration?

After going through a lot of personal change and really seeking online support, I saw a niche and decided to go for it! It is a blast, and my inspirations are the people I connect with every day on the blog and Facebook page.

 What goes on over at A Natural Connection?

The Facebook page is where we have the conversations. Someone will PM me a personal question that they require guidance with and I post it to the community. The replies are so beautiful, and we have created a support system of women. The website is for my blog posts and sharing information. Both are very dear to me.

 What does health and wellness mean to you?

Health and wellness means my body keeping up with my mind so that I can live the life that I desire. There is no point in being slim and toned if you are mentally sluggish and unhappy,

 What did your life look like before you started your journey to health and wellness?

I was a drunk, overweight, acne and piles of baggage all around me. My life was a maze of boozing, binge eating, lashing out at those around me and playing the victim. What a change!

 What is your favorite part of the life you lead today?

The promise of a new adventure Every.Single.Day ! And sharing it with the love of my life 🙂

 What are some of the daily rituals you practice?

Connections with my fiancé and animals. Meditation every morning and plenty of time outside.

 What are your non-negotiables?

organic food. Anyone who eats organic will tell you that there is a WORLD of difference. The feeling being mindful of what you place into your body/temple is addictive.

 What do you do for fun/for you?

Kayaking, anything on or near the water, reading non study books on womens wellness and personal development, TV series like The Walking Dead and playing with my animals. I also really enjoy lifting weights and challenging myself.

 A lot of people have a hard time staying healthy when they aren’t in the comfort of their own home. How do you keep your balance while traveling or eating out?

Prepare ladies prepare. It can be a pain, I know, but it is SO worth it. For e.g., as I type I have a granola in the oven, quinoa soaking, and pumpkin in my convection oven so that tomorrow when I am on the road I can enjoy a quinoa warm salad and granola as a snack with fresh fruit. My water bottles are made up, Im having a huge smoothie for brekky and dinner will be a fresh salad. It is possible, just create the time and make it a priority.

What is your #1 tip for living a truly balanced, healthful life full of vitality?

Put yourself first, and everyone will win!

Favorites:

Place? With my horses or my family

Book? You can heal your life by Louise Hay or Womens Bodies, Womens Wisdom Chris Northdrup

Magazine? Wellbeing or Nature & Health!

Music? Nahko, Il Divo, No use for a name… eclectic I know but I’m a punk rocker from way back

Meal? Right now I cannot get enough of my chilli pasta! ( this will be posted this week! )

Season? All of them

Guilty pleasure? Lingerie!!! I am addicted!

Beauty Tip: Scrub your insides as well,  Water and greens baby!

Recipe: Cacao Brazil Cake

  • 1 cup of cacao
  • 1 cup of GF flour/ Nut meal ( if using nut meal, you may need a little more coconut cream)
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 cup of coconut cream ( full fat )
  • 1/2 a cup of water
  • 2 tbspn coconut oil
  • 1/4 tspn of celtic salt
  • 1 tspn Cinnamon
  • Dessicated Coconut
  • Brazil Nuts, crushed into large pieces
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Mix ingredients ( except the dessicated coconut )until they are well combined and you have a lovely batter to drool over.
  • Place into pan, muffin tray whatever you are using! Sprinkle the coconut on top, and bake for 30mins.
  • The texture should still be moist in the middle, and leave your knife dirty when inserted. There are no raw eggs in this recipe, we want that gooeyness!
  • Remove from oven and place in the refridgerator to cool.
  • Trust me, the flavour will be SO much better and texture more mudcakey once its cold!
  • Serve cold with vegan whipped cream and a sprinkly of berries/crushed nuts

Note. You can play around with this recipe SO much. To date, I have made peppermint mudcake muffins, decadent brownies with roasted coconut flakes, added berries to the mix for a richer version and added chia seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds and topped it with quinoa flakes for a strange choccy crumble. YUM!

You can connect with Summah here:

A Natural Connection

Facebook page 

Instagram: @summahprovost

 

Introducing: Felicia from A Simply Raw Life + Vanilla Milkshake Recipe

Today, I am sharing an exclusive interview with Felicia from A Simply Raw Life! This woman is so inspiring and her recipes are so delicious and creative. I first stumbled upon A Simply Raw Life when I discovered her Banana Cream Vanilla Smoothie. It is one of the most delicious, simple and healthy smoothies you will ever make. Not to mention, it tastes positively sinful. Once I tried this smoothie I knew I just had to connect with the person who was genius enough to create it. Read below to get a better idea of who Felicia is, what makes her tick and what A Simply Raw Life is all about-you won’t want to miss it. The Banana Cream Vanilla Smoothie is included as well.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Felicia and I am designer whose real passion is cooking.  My life is surrounded by wonderful friends and family, many who have the same passions, loves and desires as I do. One of them being to feed our families with healthy foods and treats. Over the past year this passion has evolved into really trying to make over our meals, creating our old favorites into healthier natural versions. Thus,  A Simply Raw Life was born. This blog is about sharing healthy recipes, fun things revolving around food and the kitchen and maybe some other fabulous things we come across living in Los Angeles. But mostly, this blog was created help people like me and many of my friends, to transition into incorporating a more plant based diet into their lives, to eat more raw foods in their natural state and see the benefits from doing so.  I hope you come and join this journey with us.

When did you start your journey to a healthier lifestyle?

I started 7 years ago thinking a vegetarian lifestyle was the healthiest change I could make.  I didn’t know anything about raw food and I didn’t think I could be a vegan and give up cheese.  Only 10 months ago did I learn about raw foods and made the changes and adjustments to be raw most of the time and vegan the rest. I haven’t looked back.

What led you there?

What led me there was were two things, one of them being the realization that as I grew older my body did not digest proteins well at all.  The change to vegetarian was to cut out all animal meat protein thinking it would help and solve the problem.  I realized that even with that, my body was not functioning correctly. Very painful at times.  I did my usual yearly cleanse last June and finally made the transition to raw foods.  The other was the cancer diagnosis a close friend received last year.  She had a very aggressive form of cancer and she needed to act fast and fight it.  She consulted a nutritionist and immediately when raw.  The doctors were amazed the results of her blood work only after a week.  She was able to help suppress her cancer with the raw diet and ended up only needing radiation and not chemotherapy.  I joined the raw food journey to support her and it changed my life.  She is an inspiration.

What are some of the daily rituals you practice (besides making all of your amazing recipes!)?

I try to have one fresh green juice or green smoothie every day.  I drink lots of water.  I pack our families lunches every day and when we get home from work we have family time and try to get outdoors as much as we can. This year we are working on a fruit and vegetable garden.  I hope we can do it.  The best times are spent with my husband and son.

A lot of people have a hard time staying healthy when they aren’t in the comfort of their own home. How do you keep your balance when traveling or eating out?

I try to find eateries that offer heathly foods I can eat.  Part of it is doing research before you go out.  Check out the options in the area and checking out the menus. If I am traveling for work, I try to also find a juice bar in the area and drink at least one or two fresh juices.  Also, I try to remind myself of how good I feel when I do eat healthy and how I usually regret it afterwards.  However, I do allow for splurges every now and then.  It’s only natural.  But I try to make sure it doesn’t become a prolonged splurge. 🙂

What did your life used to look like before your journey began (in a nut shell) and what’s the difference now?

I’ve always been a foodie, I love food, but before I didn’t meal plan as carefully, and I really let my guard down in regards to food and was carefree about what I put into my body.  I can say I paid the price for doing that.  I was tired a lot and bloated.  I enjoyed my family as always, but now I feel good about being able to give my family even healthier options.  Now, I have way more energy, I’ve lost weight without really trying, my skin is clear, I have mental clarity and no more bloating… I could keep going…

What is your number one tip for clean eating and healthy living?

Meal plan and prepare.  Make over your pantry and refrigerator. If you have the ingredients on hand you are more likely to eat clean because the ingredients are there at your fingertips.  Give your body a chance to reap the benefits of clean eating… your body will end up craving it once it use to it.

Recipe:

BANANA CREAM VANILLA SMOOTHIE

1 cup almond or coconut milk

1 to 1-1/2 banana, frozen chunks

2 dates

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yes, that’s it!   Blend all the ingredients together in a high speed blender. Note: I like my smoothies to be thick and creamy, especially this one. Start off with 1 frozen banana and then if it looks too thin, slowly add more frozen banana, piece by piece, until you get the desired thickness. Top your smoothie with chia seeds and raw cacao powder, or whatever your heart desires! Yum!

Enjoy!

For more amazing recipes and inspiration A Simply Raw Life can be found here:

xoxo, Danielle

Remember: Sharing is Caring! If you enjoyed this post, pass it along to your friends and sign up for Your Break-Through’s email list.