Have my cake and eat it too

So during my current detox, I am very aware of not ever depriving myself or I will go mad and eat anything and everything delicious and dangerous until I satisfy my cravings (defeating the whole point of my detox in the first place).

So being it very ill planned to have a celebration in the middle of my detoxing, I needed very urgently an amazing feast of ‘naughty’ feeling goodness to prevent falling (skydiving) off the band wagon.
Voula! I vegan cheesecake! (I know, initially I thought it would be lame and obviously healthy not at all cake like tasting too). I found the inspiration off this website.

And then it morphed into this

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups pecans
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 25g cacao nibs (1/3 cup)
  • 80g date paste
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp liquid vanilla (vanilla essence)
  • 1 1/2 cups soaked cashews
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 1/8 cup liquid vanilla (1 tsp vanilla essence)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of cacao powder
  • 500g mixed berries

 

Base:

3/4 cups pecans
1/3 cup cacao powder *(1 oz. = ⅓ cup)
25g cacao nibs (1/3 cup)
80g date paste
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp liquid vanilla *(do not add w/dry ingredients) – I just used vanilla essence

Blend all ingredients except vanilla in food processor until the crust starts to rise on the sides of the processor bowl.

Blend until all nuts are broken down (then add vanilla), beware of over blending as the pecans can turn into a ‘nut butter’ easily. Process until mixture is consistent and the mixture can hold itself together and can be broken apart with a clean break.

Distribute base crust evenly on the bottom of a greased (with coconut oil)/lined pan or cake dish and lightly compact.  I scattered mixed berries prior to pressing in the base.

Set aside

 

FILLING:
1 1/2 cups soaked cashews
1 cup almond milk
1/3-1/2 cup agave syrup
1/8 cup liquid vanilla (1 tsp vanilla essence)
¼ teaspoon salt

1/4-1/3 cup of coconut oil (melted can make this part easier)

1/4 cup of cacao powder

500g mixed berries (save these in part for swirling/attempt at ‘foodstyling’ later)

Blend all ingredients (except for berries) together until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated

Pour into pan reserving two cups for swirling and blend in the berries!

Again at this point, I chose to add in more loose mixed berries to add to colour and chunk.

 

Once you have achieved your desired effect with swirling the cheesecake is ready to set.
Put it in the freezer to set for 1 – 2 hours or until middle of cheesecake is firm to touch.

(Then take a photo and show me yours!)

 

This cake should be fine refrigerated for 4-6 days, if it lasts that long before being eaten!

 

 

Cleanse and Reboot

Detox….

Why have one at all? What reasons are there to be bothered having a detox or cleanse?

Well, you could have just come home from a holiday laden with plum daiquiri’s at all hours of the night and day, greasy burgers for breakfast and sugary puddings at every available break, and having come home and wanting to have a bloody mary with your morning tea might not be appropriate in your work place.
Or, you might be feeling tired, lethargic, bloated and your skin is doing funny things and you have not been quite right for some time, but cant actually attribute it to anything in particular.
Or you may have finally realised that your turbulent relationship with sugar has to stop so that you can both move on with your life.

A detox or cleanse is a great way to kick start a new healthy regime in your life, and address reasons or realise addictions that you didn’t realise were so controlling.

There are a few things to do before starting a detox; first of all consult some professional advise as to which detox or cleanse – if appropriate at all, is best for you. Also depending how ‘hard core’ you are prepared to go. Having professional support is vital to make sure that when you get stuck or lose motivation there is someone to talk to who has been through it. Also it is extremely important to make sure that you are receiving and absorbing the correct amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, so depending on your detox your nutrient needs and requirements are different. No two bodies are identical.

The main rule of any detox is to remember to hydrate lots and breathe more (if possible)! Water and oxygen are vital to all processes within the body. Preservatives, additives and acidic sugars starve our bodies of oxygen and prevent the optimal absorption of water, so all the linings and organs of our bodies resemble shriveled up dry prunes.
H2 and O are the building blocks of renewing cells which is what a cleanse and detox are designed to do in copious extra amounts!

Also before you start have a chat with your local cafe or eatery and make friends, its good to go out still while you are cleansing and to ensure that you still have variety and sanity in your life to stay enthusiastic and less tempted to deter from track. It is great to have a creative chef willing and happy to help you out with your new detox needs! I have found most places to be extremely accommodating once I have explained why I am doing what I am doing and the foods that can be incorporated, sometimes a chef’s perspective can be of great inspiration when you get back to your own kitchen!

Most cleanses involve cutting out additives, preservatives, refined sugars, coffee, alcohol and adding lots of leafy greens, fruits and raw natural foods. So get to know your local organic grocer (or your vege patch) a bit better as you will be becoming quite intimate over this process.

Basically if you cant pronounce it, or you can count it or it has been created in a lab don’t consume it during your cleanse/detox.

Most detox’s I prescribe in clinic focus on hydration and colon health. The large intestine does a huge job in reabsorbing fluid within the body and eliminating wastes. The liver is hugely involved in creating the all important bile and breaking down (and safely storing in fats) of unknown toxins (e.g. Additives in foods) which can become free radicals and bounce around the body harming other cells, so it is also important to look after and promote the health of your liver during this process as it will be working in tandem with the large intestine to eliminate ‘un-necessaries’.

So stay tuned for updates and tid-bit tips to help you get though and get creative to super-charge your next re-boot, or just incorporate some extra healthiness!

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Cheeky Detox Magic Bean Pudding

Being a sweet fiend (hence the regular cleanse and detox’s) I will find any excuse to incorporate a sweet treat into any diet programme that I am going through!

Check out this Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Sugar Free pudding that I modified from The Thermomix Forum

Ingredients

420 g kidney beans, canned drained
1 tablespoon water or coffee
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
70 g unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao nibs if you have them)
1 teaspoon GF baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
125 g coconut oil
5 eggs
30g honey

Puree/pulverize the beans, water/coffee, 1 egg and vanilla until smooth

Separately beat coconut oil and sugar replacement

Add the rest of the eggs to this and beat/mix like crazy (either with a food processor or thermomix)

Add the bean mixture to this and mix in

Add cocoa/cacao nibs, baking powder, baking soda and salt and blend to smooth

;

Two options;

*Pour batter into a greased cake ring and bake for 30 mins on 180’C (or until knife comes out clean)

*Pour batter into silicone cupcake holders/ramekins and steam for 22 mins (I choose this option as to control portion sizes and guarantee prevention of burning these beauties!)

Served best with strawberries as this is divine

Modified Magic Bean Chocolate Steamed Puddings

!

Pomegranate benefits

Organic pomegranates are packed full of antioxidants. (Antioxidants are vitamins and enzymes known for keeping low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or the “bad” cholesterol from oxidizing and causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Antioxidants also fight cell damage – lots of benefits in that! (just think younger looking skin for a start!)
Organic pomegranate seeds act similar to asprin, by keeping blood platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots, so they can help reduce heart disease.

Early studies show that pomegranate reduces cardiovascular disease and has benefits for prostate cancers according to Harvard Journals. AND preliminary studies from British Journal of Nutrition show that use of pomegranate reduces weight gain and risk of Type II diabetes!

No wonder I just want to gorge on them!!

Homemade Cleaning Products – recipes that you can make at home

The benefits of making your own cleaning products are endless! I never understand using harsh and weird chemicals to sterilize our homes and dishes. Our homes are meant to be our sanctuaries, a safe house from the perils of the outside world, if you will.  We seem to be studious with what we put into our bodies, but what are we surrounding ourselves with?

When we take a shower in a bathroom which has been cleaned with abrasive chemicals, our bodies absorb these chemicals through our hands and the soles of our feet; in fact, these parts of our bodies are so permeable and sensitive to their environments that we may as well lick the tiles!

How many of these ingredients do you recognize, let alone realize their side effects?

Tetrasodium EDTA
Isobutane
Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether
Trisodium nitrilotriacetate
Alkyl (C12-C18) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride
Alkyl(C12-18)dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride

Did you know that bicarbonate soda (baking soda) and natural acid such as vinegar or lemon juice is just as effective in removing grime and grease, and still kills germs – and the truth is, it isn’t nearly as tiring as one might think to use these natural alternatives.

I don’t mean to labour the point, but where is the logic in cleaning dishes with ingredients that you wouldn’t put anywhere NEAR a mouth, yet, after they are dry that is exactly where cutlery and food goes!  The residue from the agents is still lingering on that plate, that fork no matter how great the rinse cycle is on the dishwasher or tea towel.

Being clean and healthy in the home is of course important.  Sterilising from infectious agents is equally important, but having everything in the house sterile is actually a breeding ground for a poor immune system as we have seen large increases in asthma, allergies and anaphylactic cases due to over diligent cleaning!

Exposing children and ourselves to naturally occurring environments and building up a resilience to germs is actually vital to building immunity.

Here are my top 7 Recipes for Homemade Cleaning Products:

Dishwasher Powder
1 Cup Washing Soda*
1 Cup Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Salt
1/4 Cup Citric Acid

Mix together (powderise in a food processor).

Use 1 tablespoon per load. (or press into ice cube trays and freeze, store in air tight container/jar)

Tip – try using white vinegar in the rinse aid dispenser.

*washing soda is not easy to find, but you can make your own by heating baking soda / bicarbonate of soda.click here for instructions.

 

Laundry Powder
125g bar of Laundry Soap/Castile soap
1Kg Washing Soda
5 drops essential oils, lemon, bergamot, lavender, eucalyptus (depending on your fragrance tastes)

Powderise soap in food processor (grate/chop up small with knife first). Add washing soda and mix together in food processor.

Use only 15g per load (1 tablespoon).

Tip – Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to the final rinse to whiten, soften and deodorise.

 

Dishwashing Liquid 
60g Washing Soap (or any leftover soap ends)
1 litre Hot Water
2 Tbsps Glycerine
Essential Oil (optional)
15ml Cocobetaine (Coconut derived mild foaming surfactant)

Powderise soap in a food processor. Add other ingredients and mix together in a recycled plastic bottle. Leave overnight to set. If it is too thick water down with hot water.

Note: Does not froth up as much as a commercial product, but it’s not the froth that cleans the dishes

 

Deck Cleaner or Mould Remover
2 Cups Washing Soda
2 Cups White Vinegar
Squirt of Dishwashing Liquid

Put washing soda, white vinegar and a good squirt of dishwashing liquid in a 20 litre bucket and fill with warm water. Spray on walls, decks etc and water blast or hose off and/or scrub.

 

Microwave Jiffy (for those who are still using one….. more on that later!)
½ Lemon (skin on)

Microwave on high for 30 seconds

 

Stove Top and Abrasives
½ Cup of Bicarbonate Soda
500mls Apple Cider Vinegar/White Vinegar

Sprinkle/sieve bicarbonate soda to the surface, spray vinegar on top, allow froth to settle, then wipe clean.

Can be made into a bicarbonate and vinegar paste and applied for longer, just spray again with vinegar to lift the grime and wipe clean.

 

Bath Salts
1 Cup Epsom Salts
1 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Salt
Fragrance – 2-3 drops Essential Oils, try combinations (lavender, chamomile, geranium, ylang ylang)

Mix all ingredients in the food processor until colour is even. Use two tablespoons per bath, so relaxing!

 

Have fun with these, and please share with us any others you know of!

~ Abbie

NOTE: Most of the ingredients for making these cleaning products are now included in our range. Click on the links above to see what’s available – we’ve included bulk options wherever possible to make it really affordable!

*photo courtesy of ntwowe