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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Filtering by Category: My Thoughts

Byron Bay / Gold Coast Talks & Workshops: 13 & 14 April - tickets on sale now!

Becca Crawford

 
 

I’m thrilled to be presenting 2 talks on the Gold Coast (my old home town!) and 2 in the Byron Bay area on the weekend of 13/14th April as part of my Australian Food as Medicine Tour. With both Sydney events already sold out, please make sure to book in ahead of time to avoid disappointment!

My mission is to inspire others to lead less toxic, more nourishing lives. Why? So that you can be the best possible version of yourself and live the full and vibrant life that you so truly deserve. It’s a simple message but there’s much work to be done. Last year I started my Australian tour with pre-eminent holistic dietician Marieke Rodenstein to spread this important message to make a greater impact on people’s lives. We had packed rooms and brilliant responses from Melbourne and Sydney last year:

Thank you Soulla for sharing so much wisdom with us at your ‘Food As medicine’ talk in Melbourne. I have enjoyed several of your online workshops, so I was thrilled you could come to Melb to present this one in person. Your wealth of knowledge on this topic was really impressive and I loved that you included not only nutrition, but also lifestyle choices and low toxic living in the discussion as well. I’ve already implemented some of your handy hints and health hacks at home. My kids are particularly loving the healthy home made chocolates! The worksheets you gave us are fantastic and a bible I know I’ll refer to often. I particularly love the Healthy Swap table and the recommended holistic practitioners in Melbourne. It was fantastic to have Marieke there as well and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to her afterwards for further nutrition advice. Thank you Soulla for spreading the ‘truth’ about nutrition and what our bodies are naturally designed to eat
— Anna
A huge thank you to you and Marieke for a most informative and effectively delivered presentation on how to keep us healthy holistically...I always enjoy your talks...the knowledge you empower us with and your effervescent approach to share what you know is so well received and appreciated
— Maria
Hi Soulla, Just wanted to thank you for today -hands down the best 3 1/2 hours I’ve invested in the area of nutrition. Today’s material tied it all together for me and is exactly the information I need to be able to fine-tune my diet and take it to the next (optimal) level. Thanks also again for allowing me to bring my teenage niece along -we spoke about our learnings all the way home. How lucky is she to have exposure to such powerful information as what was presented today at such a young age!!
— Nancy
Dear Soulla and Marieke, I attended your’Food as Medicine’ and ‘Essential Oils’ workshops in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago. It was honestly the best experience I have had in a long time. I felt as though I was busting with joy, being handed the blueprint for a life that has long appealed to me, but which I have struggled to implement. I feel awakened and informed, ready to wholeheartedly pursue a better life, nourishing my whole self as nature intended. I can’t thank you both enough for your amazing work, thank you for sharing your knowledge and empowering people to reclaim their health. I look forward to attending any future workshops you are running!
— Lida

The 4 hour Food as Medicine talk and the 3.5 hour Healthy Homes/Healthy Swaps/ Essential Oils talk will both take place on the same day in Tuckombil (30 minutes from Byron Bay area) on Saturday 13th April and again the 2 talks will be repeated on Gold Coast on Sunday 14th April. I hope you can make it to BOTH Food as Medicine and Healthy Homes talks! 

1. FOOD AS MEDICINE TALK - BOOK HERE

> 9AM Sat 13th April Tuckombil (30 minutes from Byron Bay) or
> 2PM Sun 14th April Gold Coast


In this comprehensive 1/2 day presentation, I will dive deep on the Fundamentals of Robust Nutrition, while Marieke Rodenstein will hone in on the fundamentals of robust gut health. 

Our collective forte is to combine the wisdom of ancestral diets with the latest developments in nutritional medicine and robust science, to provide you with all the tools and resources you need on how to nourish your body and optimise your health. 

Health issues, pharmaceutical band-aids, and confusion and stress over what, when and how to eat might be considered “normal” in today’s society, but this is not a natural state of being and you don’t have to settle to live that way.  

By the end of our presentation, our mission is to make you feel empowered that you have all the information, tools and resources you need to reclaim and maintain your and your family’s health and wellbeing so that you can be the best possible version of yourself and live the full and vibrant life that you so truly deserve.

>>> To book or to learn more about our presentation click here!

2. HEALTHY HOMES / HEALTHY SWAPS / ESSENTIAL OILS - book here

> 2:30PM Sat 13th April, Tuckombil (30 minutes from Byron Bay) or
> 9AM Sun 14th April, Gold Coast

While the focus of the Food as Medicine talk is helping you to recognise and eliminate DIETARY toxins (and nourishing our bodies with the nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory whole unprocessed foods that we as a species are biologically designed to eat), the focus of my HEALTHY HOMES talk is to help you become aware of and eliminate ENVIRONMENTAL toxins lurking in conventional personal care products, household cleaning products, make up and perfumes  (and to healthy swap to all-natural, yet super-powerful, cost-effective versions). For what we put on our skin and breathe into our lungs is just as, if not more, important than the food we eat as our skin and lungs have no digestive filters!

This gathering is free to all Food As Medicine attendees as my mission is to help you kick toxins in ALL areas of your life! So if you are booked into the Food As Medicine talk please do come along to the Healthy Homes talk as well and make a whole day transforming your health in ALL areas of your life.

>>> To book or to learn more about our presentation click here!

I can’t wait to see you either on the Gold Coast or in Byron Bay at both the Food As Medicine and the Healthy Homes talks and helping you start or deepen your journey in leading a less toxic, more nourishing life! 

 

MY 2019 TOP 5 SCHOOL LUNCH BOX HACKS

Becca Crawford

 
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The party is over. The summer holidays have whizzed by and a new school year is upon us. For this beach bum mum who loves her lazy sleep ins and long, loose, languid, unstructured days frolicking in the ocean with her kiddies, I can assure you that early morning rises, gun-to-the-head time pressures and ferrying kids around like a taxi driver, ain’t a welcome change. 

I can’t guarantee that the emotional and physical transition back to school  will be an easy one for you either, but I can assure you that with some basic fridge, freezer and pantry staples, and my top 5 school lunch box hacks,  you'll be quizzing around the kitchen like a wholefoods ninja, whipping up nutrient-dense lunchboxes that provide your little chimps with all the energy and building blocks they need to learn, play and concentrate all day without energy dips:

HACK 1: Get organised with containers

  1. Rectangular and square leak-proof stainless steel lunch boxes with removable dividers. Sold at Broth Bar & Larder. I love the quadrangle ones because I can ensure that ¾ of what goes into my kids’ lunch boxes is vegetables and ¼ is protein. I simply remove the divider when packing a salad. 

  2. Nesting trio of 3 round leak-proof stainless steel lunch box containers. Super handy for morning tea. Sold at Broth Bar & Larder

  3. Insulated food jars to keep food cold (e.g. yogurt) or hot (soups, broth, bolognaise, minced meat, stews). Sold at Broth Bar & LarderHot tip to keep food hot for longer: fill with boiling water to warm the container up, discard the water and add in the hot food. 

  4. Stainless steel (not plastic!) water bottles: buy online from Klean Kanteen or selected homeware stores like Kings of Knives and organic stores. Kings of Knives also sell the spouts separately if you loose one and I also recommend replacing all of the spouts periodically as bacteria can harbour in the spouts. Glass water bottles are another option but there’s the breakage factor (Miss M learnt that one the hard way!) and also the issue with extra weight to lug around. 


Hack 2: have a selection of quality protein on hand

  1. Activated nuts and seedsif permitted at schools, organic activated nuts are not only delicious but high in protein and ranked as the 3rd most-nutrient dense food on the planet according to the Mat Lalonde nutrient-density scale. The older grades are becoming more and more relaxed about nuts so these are making their way into my kids’ school lunch boxes in more recent years. Even if nuts are not permitted, seeds like pepitas and sunflower seeds are permitted  (the ex lawyer in me loves a loop hole!).  Our organic activated black pepitas come in nifty little 30g snack packs perfect for kids’ school lunches. Sold at Broth Bar & Larder or via our online store.

  2. Gruyere or Reggio raw milk cheeses: still made with 100% raw milk world-wide. Perfect to team with fruit for morning tea or can be the protein part of lunch. We sell these at Broth Bar & Larder by weight so you can buy as little or as much as you need.

  3. All other organic full fat cheese: I always keep a stash of other organic full fat cheeses in my fridge to have on hand. They will each contain different probiotics so ideally rotate between them. Eg gouda (high in vitamin K2), haloumi (pan fry), cheddar, brie, camembert etc. Purchase from organic stores. 

  4. Preservative-free cured meats from Bundarra Berkshires: we sell 2 varieties at at Broth Bar & Larder:  Little French Hamv and sliced hamdr.

  5. The Canadian Way wild smoked salmon: delicious to throw into a salad to make wild smoked salad or to throw into lunch boxes as is dressed with lemon juice. Sold at Broth Bar & Larder. Beware that pretty much all (if not all) other smoked salmon in Australia is farmed. Read more here. Sold at Broth Bar & Larder. I keep a stash in my freezer to pull out from the night before. 

  6. Anchovies: buy from supermarkets or organic stores ensuring that they are marinated in olive oil and not vegetable oil or canola oil. Easy to throw into a salad.

  7. Other tinned fish: buy wild tinned fish from supermarkets or organic stores ensuring that they are either in brine or marinated in olive oil and not vegetable oil or canola oil.  BPA-free tinned wild fish sold online from Vital Choice. Easy to throw into a salad or can be eaten straight from the tin.

  8. Preservative-free beef jerky from Kooee made from 100% grass fed meat and spices. 3 varieties sold at Broth Bar & Larder.

  9. Cleavers paleo sausages and meat balls: I keep a stash of frozen ones in my freezer to pull out when needed and fry up the night before as part of dinner with extra for school lunches. 

  10. Full fat unsweetened yogurt made by Bondi Yogurt sold at Broth Bar & Larder. I also like the Meredith sheeps milk yogurt sold at organic /health food stores. For our dairy-free friends, an unsweetened probiotic-rich coconut yogurt made by Bondi Yogurt is also sold at Broth Bar & Larder.


Hack 3: Have a selection of fresh vegetables & fruit on hand

  1. Fresh vegetables: buy from your local farmers market or organic stores. At a minimum I try to have in my crisper drawer at all times some cucumbers, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery and some salad greens. Left over veggies (make more steamed/roasted veg from the night before), thinly sliced radishes, raw fennel and cooked and cooled potatoes are nice too for variety. Mix things up as the human body LOVES variety!

  2. Olives:  black olives in brine are sold at Broth Bar & Larder. If you buy marinated olives please read the label or ask if they are marinated in vegetable oils like canola oil – and if so avoid like the plague!

  3. Pickles: sugar-free pickles from Handsome Devils are sold at Broth Bar & Larder

  4. Raw fermented vegetables 3 varieties sold at Broth Bar & Larder. Easy to throw into a salad.

  5. Nori seaweed: let’s not forget sea vegetables and their richness in nutrients like iodine not found as abundantly in land vegetables. Remember that diversity is key and the human body wants a diversity of (real, whole) foods. My kids LOOOOVE nori. I buy from organic nori from organic/health stores and be sure that it contains only one ingredient – nori- because most brands now coat the nori in vegetable oils. 

  6. Fresh fruit: I always have a few pieces of seasonal fresh fruit on hand for morning teas that I team with yogurt, cheese, cream or some other quality protein/fat source (this teaming is important because fruit and veggies contain fat soluable vitamins and minerals meaning that they need to be teamed with quality fats or proteins for those vitamins and minerals to be assimilated /absorbed in the body. Secondly a quality fat/protein source will help slow down the release of blood sugars from the fruit to avoid insulin spikes and crashes).  I also have some fruit berries in my freezer (when I’ve no fresh fruit) to serve on top of yogurt. 


Hack 4: Have some crap-free nutrient-dense sweets on hand for the occasional treat

  1. Bliss Balls: sweetened only with dates and no concentrated sweeteners and loaded with healthy brain-boosting and energy-giving saturated fats, these come in 3 different flavours: raw cacao, choc orange (my kids’ fav!!), and activated nut. The first 2 flavours are completely nut free! Sold at Broth Bar & Larder or via our online store.

  2. Gummies: these come in 2 flavours and are made with 100% grass-fed gut-loving beef gelatin made by Gelatin Australia, organic raspberries or mangos and pure Canadian maple syrup. Sold at Broth Bar & Larder.

  3. Carob bears: available in the original 2 ingredient flavour or in mint flavour (infused with Young Living food-grade peppermint essential oil) , these are completely free of sweeteners and dates = guilt free! Yay! Sold at Broth Bar & Larder.


Hack 5: if you can prep it from the night before do it!

  1. Fill water bottles (don’t forget to add that pinch of salt) and pop straight into school bags.

  2. Chop veggies or add leftover dinner into lunch boxes.

  3. Fill insulated containers with yogurt etc etc


And one last tip…

To become a lunchbox pro, check out my SCHOOL LUNCHBOX INSPIRATION ebook where I will share with you robust nutritional theory, my secret tips and tricks, school lunch and morning tea “formulas” for success, teamed with pictures of nutrient-dense, grain-free, processed food free lunch boxes.


But wait…where’s the grains?

Despite grains being ubiquitous in society and especially prevalent in kids’ lunchboxes (from sandwiches, bagels, muffins, crackers, and much like sugar sneaks into just about everything in between) the truth of the matter is that no we don’t need grains to survive and in fact thrived for 2.6 million years on this planet as hunter gatherers without the advent of grains. Hence why the above 5 tips don’t include them as a daily staple in my kids’ lunchboxes. That’s not to say that my kids don’t ever eat grains as I do offer them the occasional piece of organic sourdough bread or soaked rice porridge or other grains properly prepared. However this is the exception to the rule and I prefer to fill them up with more nutrient-dense foods rather than empty fillers. Learn all about safe grains (especially gluten), why grains need to be  properly prepared,  who can consume them and in what circumstances, in my upcoming Food as Medicine talk or one on one health coaching session

And don't forget to check out my social media posts to see what my monkeys are taking with them to school each day. See social media platforms below.

inspiring parents to raise vibrantly healthy kids one nutrient-dense mouthful at a time!

 

...but do you know HOW to “JERF?”

Becca Crawford

 
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I love this quote and it does summarise how we should be eating as a species BUT what causes confusion for many people is the finer (and no less important) detail of the SOURCE, the PROCESSING, the PROPER PREPARATION and the MACRONUTRIENT RATIOS of that real food. 

For example, raw honey is a real food but how much concentrated sweeteners should we be having a day? Spinach is a real food but do you know it shouldn’t be eaten raw? Meat is a real food but how many people consider that its nutritional value is entirely dependent on what the cows ate? Nuts are real food, but conventional nuts are one of the most heavily sprayed food items and moreover nuts need to be prepared in a certain way to make them digestible and absorbed. Fish oil and olive oil are real foods but their processing spans the spectrum to such a degree that they could be either rancid or powerfully medicinal. Ditto chocolate. Getting the balance (macronutrient ratios) of real food can also have a profound effect on your metabolism and health. If don’t get that balance right (e.g. eat too many real-food carbohydrates), optimal health and weight will be out of reach. 

If you’ve switched to a real foods diet but aren’t getting the results you want (looking and feeling your vibrant best!) it’s these finer details that can make a huge impact. 

So “just eating real food” is really only one part of dietary puzzle. I see so many people really struggling with the “HOW do I just eat real food?” This is where I come in and provide you with comprehensive yet concise fact sheets, information and education in my one on one health coaching sessions with exactly the same information being relayed (at a fraction of the price) in my FOOD AS MEDICINE TALKS

Next cities in the Australian Food As Medicine tour: 

Adelaide 16 Feb
Sydney 2 & 3 Mar
Byron Bay 13 Apr
Gold Coast 14 Apr


Make 2019 the year to really demystify any confusion you might have around what is real food and how to eat it to really optimise your health and well-being. After all, sourcing, preparing, and eating real food should be an enjoyable, easy and nourishing experience for our species on every level.