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» star anise organic wholefoods

traditional wholefoods for a modern world

We are now selling in Potts Point and Peakhurst

soullachamberlain

We are now selling to the following 2 new stores: Foodies Organic Supplies in Peakhurst

Foodies sells fresh organic and biodynamic produce and also provide an online service. They will initially stock my activated macadamia nuts, beef stock, chicken stock, sokolata (raw dark chocolate) and chicken liver pates.

 They are located at Shop 1, 802 Forest Road Peakhurst NSW 2210. T: 02 9533 4747

Adora Healthy Living at Potts Point

This gorgeous little store run by the lovely Dorota will initially stock my chicken, beef and pork bone broth, chicken liver pates, power bars, activated nut coconut balls and beet kvass. To celebrate the launch, they are holding at in-store tasting of my products this Saturday 28th March 11:30am-1:30pm at: Shop G05, 46a Macleay St, Potts Point NSW 2011. Entry from Greenknowe Ave. I will be there handing out loads of yummies to sample. Come down and say hi if you're in the 'hood!

T: 02 9380 8820 Hours: M-F 10AM-7PM, Sat-Sun 10AM-6PM www.facebook.com/adorahealthyliving www.instagram.com/adorahealthyliving

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For a complete list of my stockist click here. In addition, you can also purchase directly from my workshop in Waverley by emailing or texting me your order.IMG_7437IMG_7430IMG_7435IMG_7428IMG_7434IMG_7433 IMG_7424

Why I almost cringe when I hear the term "Paleo"

soullachamberlain

IMG_7197 I almost cringe when I hear the word "Paleo" being used to describe a food, business, product or a dietary philosophy.

It means so many different things to different people. While it's original intention was to set the benchmark of what humans are biologically designed and not designed to eat there remains of course disagreement and controversy around the edges. Are we designed to consume dairy? What about grains? And should meat be lean? The paleo diet has certainly evolved and changed since its founder Loren Cordain's first book The Paleo Diet was published, although strict adherents still exclude dairy and grains on the basis that these foods didn't exist pre agricultural revolution. But to exclude an entire food group for that reason alone doesn't make sense to me if the food in question is nutrient-dense, unprocessed, non-toxic, digestible for the individual and delicious. For me, certain dairy items readily tick those boxes so my kids and I enjoy and thrive on those foods. Ditto with small amounts of properly sourced and prepared gluten-free grains.

I am loathe to subscribe to any dietary labels. Instead I advocate an omnivorous diet rich in nutrient-dense whole unprocessed foods properly sourced and prepared. Some wholefood heavyweights like Chris Kresser in the USA call this "Paleo" for short as the aforementioned description is certainly a mouthful (excuse the pun). Fair enough!  But I still prefer to be descriptive and factual for the avoidance of doubt and apologies to those who find my verbosity offensive 😉

I'm not at all disparaging those who use the "Paleo" label to describe their dietary philosophy, products, TV shows or business. I always seek to ascertain what a person or business really stands for, regardless of their chosen description. This is why I'm not hung up on labels or organic certification for that matter.

Even if 2 people are in total agreement over what we are and aren't genetically programmed to eat, each person is still going to tweak their diet to suit their digestive issues, taste preferences, goals, energy expenditure, the climate they live in and stage of their life. So it's not surprising that there is no one exact size diet that fits all.  I think it's more important that we don't loose sight of the bigger picture- that if an individual can meet all their nutritional needs from cleanly sourced and properly prepared wholefoods- whatever they may be- then happy days for them!  It's just much harder to achieve this when whole food groups like dairy are excluded but it's certainly not impossible.

As I've mentioned in a recent blog post, we can never hope for a complete reenactment of the diet and lifestyle of our Paleolithic ancestors. The best we can do is try to bridge the gap between our genes (our biology) and our environment (via our lifestyle factors) to inch a little closer to fulfilling our true potential. We can maximise nutrient- dense foods and minimise dietary and environmental toxins. We can move more like our ancestors because that's how we are designed to function. We can sleep and rise more in line with the sun. We can punctuate our day with more rest and fun. We can train ourselves to breathe through our nose deep into our stomach. We can learn to manage chronic stress. And we can spend an appropriate amount of time in sunshine. Can we ever meet the vibrant health, strength, speed, height and beauty enjoyed by our Paleolithic ancestors? As a society, no, not until we close the gap between our genes and our environment. At a societal level, this is a lofty goal given how far we have fallen down the rabbit hole of physical and mental degeneration, but at an individual level it's something each and everyone of us can strive for by making small and meaningful lifestyle changes each day. And the more you narrow the gap, the closer you move to vibrant health and happiness for yourself and your children and their children.

Check out what myself, Anthia Koullouros from Ovvio Organics and Leila Lutz from Momentum For Life had to say about the Paleo Diet in this article written by A Wholefood Lover's Guide to Sydney.

Organic raw cacao Easter bunnies and mini Easter eggs - on sale now!

soullachamberlain

For the first time this year we are making and selling chocolate Easter bunnies and mini decorated Easter eggs made with the finest quality chocolate....because life is too short for bunnies - young and old - to eat poor quality chocolate! We are selling these 2 hand-made varieties:

organic yummy bunny

Perfect for all the yummy mummies, delicious daddies and little bunnies out there. This 175g block of solid raw dark chocolate bunny is retailing for $16.  It's the real chocolate deal made with raw cacao powder, raw cacao butter, pure Canadian maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt (81% raw cacao content). This should keep the whole family going for quite some time!

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mini sokolata delights

These delightful little half eggs are the perfect bite-sized treat or for those treasured Easter egg hunts, popped into some hard plastic egg-shaped containers you can purchase from $2 shops. They are retailing for $10/ per 100g bag (approx 34 half eggs/bag). They are all hand-made with raw cacao powder, raw cacao butter, pure Canadian maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt and the majority are decorated with:

  • chilli flakes and dehydrated orange peel (the "hot sailor")
  • goji berries (the "gorgeous goji")
  • activated almonds (the "awesome almond")
  • peppermint oil and mint leaves (the "minty express")
  • activated cinnamon buckwheat  (the "crunchy cruiser")

My assistant Tom has produced a fleet-full of these mini sokolata delights. He must be a frustrated navy officer. I'm a frustrated rock star. Together, it makes for interesting times in my kitchen.

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To read about the nutritional benefits of raw cacao powder and what's in commercially-produced chocolate that you might want to steer clear of, read one of my earlier newsletters here.

If these Easter chocolates don’t take your fancy, there’s always my sokolata (raw dark chocolate slabs…choose from 10 different flavours retailing for $8.70/100g) or my raw cacao coconut balls (sweetened with whole medjool dates retailing for $16.50/bag of 6). In previous years I have used my choc balls for Easter egg hunts and encased them in hard plastic egg-shaped containers I bought from $2 shops (see photo below).

To place your orders and purchase any of my products, simply text me 0407 871 884 and collect from my workshop at 23 Kent Street, Waverley at a mutually convenient time. My assistants or I are home from 8am until 10pm most days.

WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY CHOCOLATE-FILLED EASTER!! IMG_7098

This is not a paleo re-enactment

soullachamberlain

"We’re not going for paleo reenactment here. We look at things from an ancestral perspective to generate questions and hypotheses and give us some ideas about what may or may not make sense..."

- Chris Kresser

Nature-Masterpieces-leopard-gregory-colbert-saved-by-Chic-n-Cheap-LivingI read this quote recently and it really resonated with me. We can't go back to live a replica of a paleolithic lifestyle and nor would we want to. We rely on our modern conveniences far too much - who would want to wash clothes by hand and give up every electronic device, to list just a few examples? So many anti-ancestral advocates use this line to argue that because we can't go back it's pointless to even try to push against the tide of convenience foods and other realities of our modern lifestyle.

The point is, it is useful to look at things from an ancestral perspective to better understand and appreciate what makes us tick, function and thrive, and what makes us fall apart. It is really hard to be happy when we are not functioning properly. And conversely life seems to flow more effortlessly when we are firing on all 6 cylinders.

When we understand our anatomy and physiology and can align to the best of our ability our modern lifestyle choices with our biology, we have greater potential to perform and function properly and reach our true potential. I say "to the best of our ability" because the foods we eat today together with the quality of our soils is a far cry from those enjoyed by our palaeolithic ancestors from which we evolved and from which our genes were set, the quality of the water we now drink and the air we breathe is inferior, our stress is now chronic, our lifestyle is far more sedentary and relegated to the indoors with artificial lights, and our length of sleep and its cycle is severely compromised. No matter hard how we try. But we still have the choice to align our modern lifestyle as best we can to more closely match what we are built for. We can maximise nutrient-density. We can minimise toxins. We can move and sleep more, sit less, spend more time outdoors in nature in sunshine and make attempts to manage our stress. We shouldn't throw the baby out with our chlorinated bathwater in the name of our modern lifestyle.

Our children's health is partly a reflection of our health at the time of their birth and partly a reflection of their diet and other lifestyle factors that impact them as they grow. So we need to invest in ourselves and our children for our collective well-being and that of future generations.  And that's why I care. This is not a reenactment. It's being consciously aware of whether our deliberations further our potential, our health, our happiness and that of future generations and the well-being of the planet or detract from it.

The catch phrase for my business "traditional wholefoods for a modern world" summarises where I stand on this issue- to strive to marry the best of both worlds- the wisdom of our ancestors with the conveniences of our modern, digital age. To unite them to create a new kind of homeostasis for the modern human.

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Chocolate workshop: Sunday 8th March 2015: 9am-1pm

soullachamberlain

2015-01-23 10.04.53 Easter looming around the corner is the perfect excuse to run a chocolate workshop! Wouldn't it be wonderful if parents (and their kids!) could make their own nutritious and delicious chocolates without having to resort to  additive-laden poor-quality commercial varieties?

In this workshop we will be covering how to make:

(a) chocolate block/slab (b) chocolate slice (c) chocolate hazelnut spread (the real “nutella”) (d) chocolate ice-cream (e) hot chocolate pudding (f) raw chocolate mousse (g) Mexican hot chocolate with chilli, orange and coconut milk

The above just about covers the entire range of my favourite ways to consume chocolate!! Chocolate cake will be covered in my gluten-free cakes and muffins workshop coming up soon! Chocolate smoothies will be covered in my bone broth workshop (yes really!) and breakfast workshops- both coming up later this year.

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We will be cooking with unprocessed fermented raw cacao powder. We will not be using any refined sweeteners – only natural unprocessed sweeteners or whole fruit. All recipes are grain-free but 3 contain dairy.

Cost is $140 per person and includes:

  • information handout with step by step guides and recipes
  • nutritional theory discussion on raw cacao powder, raw cacao butter, carob, chocolate and sweeteners
  • practical demonstration
  • hands-on experience
  • food tasting and lots of it!!!!

img_0185This workshop is ideal for:

  • those who are grain-free or gluten-free
  • chocolate lovers who want to learn how to make their own nutrient-dense healthy chocolate sweets and desserts using only unprocessed nutritious ingredients
  • people who want to transition off processed chocolate and want a healthy substitute for themselves or their family members
  • people who want to try new things and eat lots of chocolate! YES PLEASE!!!

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When: 9am – 1pm  Sunday 8 March 2015 Where: 23 Kent Street, Waverley, 2024

Spaces limited. If there is an oversubscription of interest,  I will run another class on Sunday 22 March. Or let me know which of these 2 dates you prefer!

RSVP:  To secure your spot you will need to:
1. text me on 0407 871 884 to confirm that there are spaces available. Spots can only be reserved for 24 hours; and 2. transfer $140 (referencing your FIRST AND SURNAME and ‘CHOC’) into my bank account:
Account name: star anise organic wholefoods (aust) pty ltd
BSB: 062 000 Account no: 15110110
Places will book up quickly!
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2015-01-23 11.12.35Please feel free to forward to any friends or family members.

Cancellation policy: once funds are deposited into my bank account they are non-refundable but can be transferred to another cooking class/workshop upon 48 hours notice.

second foam rolling workshop: Thursday 19th March 7:30pm

soullachamberlain

The first foam rolling workshop is now fully booked so we are holding a second workshop the following Thursday 19th March. All of the details and information on how to book can be found in this post advertising the first foam rolling workshop except the date of the second workshop is 19th March. All other details remain the same. There are 5 spots left as I type this so get in fast if you are interested in attending. Given the popularity we may hold these regularly throughout the year. IMG_1531

Foam rolling workshop: Thursday 12 March 7:30pm

soullachamberlain

IMG_1531When I come across something that immeasurably improves the quality of my life I can't help but share it. Foam rolling to release fascia is one such example. Since I started  foam rolling a year ago my injuries have dramatically reduced, my osteo-skeletal issues have minimised, my flexibility has improved out of sight despite doing less stretching, and my recovery after intense interval training has improved.... and most importantly when I foam-roll consistently I am pain-free. For someone who spent most of their teens, 20s and 30s in chronic osteo-skeletal pain, I can't begin to tell you the sheer ecstasy of being pain-free. Moving to a nutrient-dense wholefoods diet, less sitting, and switching to interval training as opposed to long slow steady-state cardio, all made dramatic improvements in my ailing health, but foam rolling has taken it to the next level. I have had a lot of interest and enquiries from clients, customers and friends about foam rolling- why do you do it ? what is it? how do you do it? So I have teamed up with my PT and human movement specialist, Chris Ogle,  to run a fascia release workshop using foam rollers and rubber balls to show you the what, why and hows.

IMG_2367The cost of the class is $35 per person and will be run by Chris. I will be participating (and possibly throwing in my 2 cents worth).

What you will get:

  • an explanation of what fascia is, its role in the human body, what causes it to tighten, the consequences of tight fascia, and how to loosen it
  • an explanation of why stretching alone is not enough
  • practical demonstrations
  • 1 hour of releasing fascia via foam rolling and rubber balls
  • opportunity to ask questions, and place an order to purchase a foam roller and a rubber ball for you to release fascia at home at your convenience!
  • opportunity to check to a new gym and be given a free 2 week trial.
IMG_6269This workshop is primarily targeted at those who:
  • want to take their flexibility and /or athletic performance to the next level
  • have tight spots, niggling pains, or  inflexibility in certain parts of their body
  • enjoy the feeling of being massaged or would love to have regular massage but might not have the time and/or funds for it
  • are not getting enough benefit from stretching alone
  • want to learn how to effectively release fascia and iron out tight spots in their own home
  • curious to try something new and have some fun!
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Where: Centennial Health Studio at EQ, Moore Park (near Pumpkin Patch), yoga room, level 1 up the escalators.
When: Thursday 12th March 7:30pm - 9pm ish
Spaces limited to 14.  If this class books out we will run additional classes in the following weeks.
Wear: tight fitting gym/yoga clothes (loose clothing and loose hair gets caught up under the roller- I learnt that one the hard way!)
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RSVP:  To secure your spot  you will need to:
1. text me your interest on 0407 871 884 and I will confirm whether there are spaces available; and 2. once I confirm that there is a spot available please transfer $35 (referencing your name and ‘foamroller’) within 24 hours to secure your spot into this bank account:
Account name: staraniseorganicwholefoods (aust) pty ltd

BSB: 062 000 Account no: 15110110
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Mini-fermentation workshop Tuesday 3rd March 7:30pm

soullachamberlain

354A6424-Edit  

I will be running a mini-fermentation workshop on Tuesday 3rd March 7:30pm where I will be showcasing how to make the following:

  • water kefir
  • cultured cream (contains dairy)
  • beet kvass
  • kombucha

Cost is $70 per person and includes:

  • summary theory discussion on gut health, the role of friendly bacteria and probiotic-rich foods, and the factors that affect our gut microbiome
  • detailed handout including theory and step by step guides
  • practical demonstrations
  • hands-on experience
  • food tasting
  • 1 x  kombucha scoby
  • 1x tablespoon water kefir bacteria/’grains’
  • opportunity to ask questions
This workshop is primarily targeted at those who have attended one of my fermentation workshops in previous years (hence know how to make cultured veggies, cream cheese and milk kefir) and just want to learn how to make these 4 new fermented drinks/foods. If spaces are available I will open it up to new participants as well.  
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Where: 23 Kent Street, Waverley, 2024.
 When: Tuesday 3th March 7:30pm- 10pm ish
Spaces limited to 10. Spots typically book out within 24 hours so get in quick! If this class books out I will run additional classes in the following weeks.
 
RSVP:  To secure your spot  you will need to:
1. text me your interest on 0407 871 884 and I will confirm whether there are spaces available; and 2. once I confirm that there is a spot available please transfer $70 (referencing your name and ‘mini LF class’) within 24 hours to secure your spot into this bank account:
Account name: star anise organicwholefoods (aust)ptyltd

BSB: 062 000 Account no: 15110110
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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetCancellation policy: once funds are deposited into my bank account they are non-refundable but can be transferred to another cooking class/workshop upon 48 hours notice.

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Modern Greek Salad

soullachamberlain

IMG_6150 I love traditional wholefoods made with a modern twist.  This way we can still reap all of the nutritional benefits of foods that we are designed to eat and make us thrive, but frocked up for this contemporary world. A bit like a hopeless romantic with a dirty mind (it is Valentines Day after all).

I recently shared a recipe for Fig Brie and Rocket salad now that figs are in season. Figs are still afoot (I picked some up yesterday in Just Organics) and I happened upon some pomegranate in my gathering expedition which sadly is not organic... I bought it from the supermarket (gasp!)  but i figure that its thick outer skin acts as a pretty good protectant from any chemicals that may have been sprayed on it.... and for me pomegranate  is a one-a-year purchase, so I'm not so phased. So with figs and pomegranate - 2 quintessential wog staples- my mind went to work on reinventing the Greek salad.

Ingredients

4 handfuls of rocket 8 fresh small ripe figs (or 6 large figs), cut into quarters (I prefer to leave skin on) 70 grams feta, cut into cubes 4 radishes, thinly sliced (optional) ½ pomegranate ½ cucumber, thinly shaved on the diagonal with a vegetable peeler ½ small red onion, thinly sliced in rounds handful of green olives 2 tablespoon extra virgin cold pressed olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice unrefined salt cracked pepper

Directions

Blend the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice with a stick blender or whisk until well mixed to make a dressing.

Arrange rocket on a round serving plate. Arrange the figs, feta, radishes, pomegranate, cucumber, red onion slices and green olives all around the plate.

Dress with oil/vinegar/lemon dressing, and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Serve as an entrée or a side to a main meal.

Serves 4.

Tonight this was prepared and served within 15 minutes post-beach as a special Valentines dinner with my 2 greatest loves - Will and Michaela- with seared pastured steak drizzled with Worcestershire sauce, my cultured veggies and a cup of gelatinous chook broth. Frangipanis, assorted shells and candle on the table care of Michaela "because this is a special day mummy".

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Opa! ..... and Kali Orexi!

raw love

soullachamberlain

IMG_5967When I was younger I heard a story about this remote grotto that was renowned for its high concentration of air bubbles that naturally rose from the sea bed so when you dived into the water it was akin to being enveloped in 1000 kisses. Sounds blissful right? Talking all things orgasmic, we are making these limited edition double love heart chocolates to celebrate the International Day of Love. They are hand-made with certified organic raw cacao powder, raw cacao butter, a pinch of sea salt and sweetened with pure Canadian maple syrup. With 81% raw cacao content you can rest assured that they are real raw deal. Retailing for $10 for a bag of 5 double hearts (just over 100g). 

Did you know that raw cacao is ranked as the fourth most nutrient-dense food on the planet (Dr Matt Lalonde nutrient-density scale)? All the more  reason to not feel guilty if the chocolate you are eating is  made from quality ingredients and is at least 75% raw cacao content.

IMG_5968Raw cacao powder has a myriad of health benefits:

  • High in polyphenols (anti-oxidants) particularly flavanols (higher than green tea, red wine, goji berries, acai berries). Anti-oxidants prevent the effects of aging, DNA damage, heart disease and cancer.
  • high in mineralsesp. magnesium (healthy heart and brain function; muscle relaxant; bones density; mitigates feelings of stress), chromium (assists pancreatic health and regulates blood sugar) and iron (promotes oxygen transport in the blood).
  • positive effects on the brain, circulatory and cardiovascular system. Eg lowers Alzheimer's risk, lowers blood pressure, improves blood lipid profile (lowers oxidised LDL), improves insulin sensitivity, improves exercise endurance, protects against pre-eclampsia in pregnancy.
  • anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-thrombotic (anti-blood clotting)
  • anti-depressant/ feel-good chemicals (eg dopamine, serotonine, tryptophan)
  • protects the liver against alcohol (wine and chocolate = winning pair!)
  • protects against UV damage
  • it's theobromine content (bitter compound) has a stimulating effect producing higher levels of physical energy and mental alertness. It has 1/4 of the stimulating power of caffeine.

So what’s in commercial chocolate that is so nasty? Most popular brands of chocolate contain:

  • refined sugar (which is highly processed), glucose syrup (made from wheat starch) or agave syrup (which is over 90% fructose which causes metabolic issues, digestive distress and weight gain);
  • soy lecithins and/or other emulsifiers (soy comes from a highly processed, industrially grown legume, often of GM origins)
  • cocoa (which is the processed version of cacao – note the difference in spelling!)
  • milk powders (which are heavy processed and devoid of nutrients)
  • barley malt extract (which is heavily processed and contains gluten and phytates)
  • vegetable oils or hydrogenated fats (in a word, toxic)
  • preservatives (usually 220 which affect asthma sufferers), flavours and colours (eg 122).

And don’t kid yourself in thinking that world famous brands of chocolate  or even many that are certified organic are immune from this litany of ingredients. The first (and hence dominant) ingredient in one certified organic brand I picked up the other day is rapadura sugar and the fourth ingredient was soy lecithin. And while rapadura is much less processed than white refined sugar,  if that is the main ingredient in what is going into the chocolate then I’m going to think twice about it.

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If these love heart chocolates don't take your fancy, there's always my sokolata (raw dark chocolate slabs...choose from 10 different flavours retailing for $8.70/100g) or my raw cacao coconut balls (sweetened with whole medjool dates retailing for $16.50/bag of 6). Or I can fill a glass jar of your choosing with raw cacao coconut balls upon request.

To purchase any of my products, simply text me 0407 871 884 and collect from my workshop in Waverley at a mutually convenient time.

WISHING YOU ALL A LOVE-FILLED VALENTINES DAY AND HOPE YOU ARE SHOWERED WITH 1000 KISSES AND ORGASMIC CHOCOLATE!!IMG_8769!img_7706 P1010757

Additional spots now available in my 2 upcoming fermentation workshops

soullachamberlain

I managed to get 10 extra vegetable presses from my supplier so I can now take on 5 extra people at this Sunday's 8th Feb workshop and 5 at the Sunday 22nd February workshop. For details on the workshops and how to book please click here. Apologies to all those people who I previously told that the classes were fully booked- now is your chance to book in!  

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Star Anise is now hiring!

soullachamberlain

354A1690I am looking to hire someone to start sooner rather than later for approx 10 hours a week to assist Thomas, Tehgan and I in making and packaging my full range of products (including activated nuts, pâté, stock, sauerkraut, date coconut balls, power bars, chocolate, kombucha, beet kvass etc). Attributes:

1. must enjoy my eclectic taste in music (top 40 anyone?!)

2. able to deal with my frequent passionate outbursts (I am Greek after all...)

3. able to laugh at the numerous behind-the-scene F$#K ups that don't seem to be abating any time soon

4. totally cool with handling chook feet, beef bones, as well as copious amounts of beef tallow.... Hard to believe I was once a hard-core vegetarian, huh?!

5. happy to taste-test numerous iterations of my wholefoods creations (even if you don't feel like rosepetal water kefir jelly for the 10th time that day or some fish stock at 8am)

6. any IT skills (esp in excel spreadsheets) would be freakin' awesome.

....and oh, being reliable, responsible, creative, takes initiative, organised, clean-living, works in a super clean and tidy manner and has a keen interest in nutrition and wholefoods are a given.

To apply or to make enquiries please email me at soulla.chamberlain@me.com

Fig, Brie and Rocket salad

soullachamberlain

IMG_5528Figs remind me so much of my dad and his precious fig trees. In true Cypriot style, he has built his own enclosure for them to keep those pesky birds away, fully netted and complete with fake rubber snakes. Gotta love it. One of the numerous reasons why I LOVE summer is because figs are in season, although their time on the produce store is always fleeting- so try to get your hands on them quick before they disappear! I bought some of these deliciously sweet and delicate fruit of the Gods other day in my gathering expedition, and threw this salad together which was a big hit with the kids.  Ingredients

4 handfuls of rocket 6-8 fresh ripe figs, cut into quarters (I prefer to leave skin on) 1 small round of brie (or camembert) cheese, cut into thin wedges ½ cucumber (I prefer the Lebanese variety), thinly shaved on the diagonal with a vegetable peeler ½ small red onion, thinly sliced in rounds balsamic vinegar extra virgin cold pressed olive oil unrefined salt cracked pepper

 Directions

Arrange rocket on a round serving plate. Arrange the figs, brie, cucumber and red onion slices all around the plate. Dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Serve as an entrée or a side to a main meal.

Serves 4.

When figs are out of season you could substitute rehydrated dry figs but nothing beats the fresh variety for its unique taste, texture, nutrition and appearance.

Lacto-fermentation workshops: Sunday 8th Feb & 22nd Feb 2015 9am-1pm

soullachamberlain

The warmer weather readily lends itself to the art of fermentation- where time and temperature work magic to populate food and drinks with live enzymes and probiotics (friendly bacteria) essential for robust and vibrant health. I will be running 2 identical half-day workshops limited to 10 people each on Sunday 8th Feb and Sunday 22 Feb.IMG_5443

At each of these workshops I will be showcasing how to make the following:

  • sauerkraut (cultured/fermented cabbage)
  • pickles (cultured/fermented cucumbers)
  • kefir (dairy)
  • kefir (coconut water)
  • kefir (water)
  • cultured cream
  • cream cheese
  • beet kvass
  • kombucha

Cost is $140 per person and includes:

  • detailed theory discussion on gut health, the role of friendly bacteria and probiotic-rich foods, and the factors that affect our gut microbiome and loads more!
  • detailed handout including theory, step by step guides & recipes
  • practical demonstrations
  • hands-on experience
  • food tasting
  • 1 x vegetable press (holding approx 1.5kg vegetable matter)
  • 1 x  kombucha scoby
  • 1 x packet of Natures Goodness Turkish yogurt probioticsIMG_4600
  • water kefir bacteria/'grains'
  • opportunity to ask questions

This workshop is ideal for:

  • those who are interested in making or perfecting their own home-made fermented foods and drinks
  • those who suffer, or have family members who suffer, from low immunity (eg frequent colds, infections) or gut/digestive issues (including skin conditions)
  • those who want to take their health and well-being to the next level with the introduction of fermented foods
  • those who want to try new things!
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Where: 23 Kent Street, Waverley, 2024.
 When: Sunday 8th Feb 9am- 1pm ish OR Sunday  22 Feb 9am- 1pm ish
Spaces limited to 10 in each class. Spots typically book out within 24 hours so get in quick! If both these classes book out I will run additional classes in March.
 
RSVP:  To secure your spot  you will need to:
1. text me on 0407 871 884 to confirm WHICH of the 2 classes you prefer to book into and I will confirm whether there are spaces available in that class. Spots can only be reserved for 24 hours; and 2. once I confirm that there is a spot available please transfer $140 (referencing your name and ‘LF workshop’) within 24 hours to secure your spot into this bank account:
Account name: star anise organic wholefoods (aust) pty ltd Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
BSB: 062 000 Account no: 15110110
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Please feel free to forward to any friends or family members.

Cancellation policy: once funds are deposited into my bank account they are non-refundable but can be transferred to another cooking class/workshop upon 48 hours notice.

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Running a second school and work lunches workshop on Thursday 12th Feb 7:30pm

soullachamberlain

As the first workshop is fully booked with a waiting list I will, as promised, run a second workshop the following week. All of the information on how to book and details on what is covered is set out in my blog post advertising the first workshop here other than the date for the second workshop which is Thursday 12th Feb. Please text me 0407 871 884 to book in and I will confirm if there are spaces available. If anyone in the first workshop prefers to switch to the second workshop date just let me know. IMG_5166

Introducing Dr Aushi Patel- holistic dentist

soullachamberlain

IMG_5214Dr Patel may need no introduction for those of you who have been following my FaceBook or Twitter posts or who I have seen as clients during my health coaching sessions. But for many people I am frequently asked "Soulla, what dentist do you use??" Dr Patel is the owner of Biocompatible Dentistry in Pitt Street, Sydney, a practice which was first introduced to me by my friend and natropath Anthia Koullouros almost 10 years ago. Aushi has extensive knowledge of the work of Dr Weston A Price who himself was a dentist and who did some ground breaking work in early 1900’s regarding oral bacteria and general health. Aushi believes that a healthy mouth requires good nutrition. Needless to say, we are on exactly the same nutritional and lifestyle page.

Aushi is passionate about biological dentistry and works closely with some of the country’s leading holistic practitioners (such as holistic doctors, naturopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors and osteopaths) to provide an integrative approach and awareness of the intimate relationship between oral and general health. Her guiding philosophy is to look "beyond the mouth" for the underlying causes of issues in the mouth. Prevention, minimal intervention and patient education are the foundations of her practice.

IMG_9443Her practice is completely fluoride-free, chemical-free (other than those mandated by her profession), only uses filtered water, and the books that adorn the coffee table (pictured) are a familiar sight to many followers of my blog.  A carefully chosen selection of natural toothpastes, mouthwashes and oral care products are available at the practice.

Aushi trained at the Kings College School of Medicine and Dentistry in London. She worked in mainstream dentistry for the first 9 years of her career but always had interest in natural medicine and prevention. She is now the first dentist in Australia to be an accredited member of International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology which in practical terms mean that she is officially an "holistic dentist" and proficient in the basics of biological dentistry, including safe removal of amalgam fillings.

I cant' recommend her highly enough as my dentist of choice.

Here are her clinic's details:

Phone: (02) 9264 5195 Email: info@bcd.com.au Website:  http://www.bcd.com.au/ Address: Suite 102 - Piccadilly Court 222 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW, 2000 Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

If you would like to follow me on Facebook click here, for Twitter click here and for Instagram it's soullahamberlain or click here.

School and work lunches workshop: Thursday 5 Feb 7:30pm

soullachamberlain

IMG_5166With school about to start next week (yikes!!) I thought it would be timely to kick off the new year with a school /work lunches workshop. As parents, we all want to raise happy, healthy, vibrant kids and the best place to start is with nutritious home-made meals made simple and easy.

I will be covering the following:

  • why childhood chronic illnesses and degenerative diseases are becoming an epidemicIMG_3165
  • why such illnesses didn't exist in traditional (pre-industrialised) societies
  • what are some nutrient-dense wholefoods that will give your children the building blocks and energy they need to play, learn, concentrate, grow and function properly, and perform their very best
  • why the source and processing of our food is paramount
  • why nutrient-density and removal of toxins are key
  • myth busting around saturated fats
  • what's wrong with what children (and adults) are typically eating for lunch and snacks: the dangers of sugar, gluten and industrial seed oils
  • a 3 step action plan!
  • equipment to have on hand
  • how to deal with uneaten food and fussy eaters

Cost is $70 per person and includes:

  • theory discussion on the above
  • detailed handout including theory, lunch box suggestions & recipesIMG_2917
  • practical demonstrations
  • hands-on experience
  • food tasting
  • opportunity to ask questions

This workshop is ideal for:

  • parents who are confused about what to pack for their children for lunch or morning tea, or want further ideas or inspiration
  • students and adults who are confused about what to pack for lunch or morning tea, or want further ideas or inspiration
  • people who have transitioned off processed foods but are not 100% clear on how to incorporate or combine wholefoods into their lunches
  • people whoare constantly hungry throughout the day despite their lunch
  • parents whose children are constantly hungry throughout the day despite their lunch
  • people who want to replace or reduce the amount of store-bought /canteen lunches in favour of home-made nutritious lunches
  • parents whose children frequently succumb to colds and infectionsIMG_3653
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Where: 23 Kent Street, Waverley, 2024.
 When: Thursday 5th Feb 7:30pm- 10pm ish
Spaces limited to 15. Spots typically book out within 24 hours so get in quick! If the class is fully booked, I will run another class the week later. If you can't make it on a weeknight let me know and I will organise a weekend class if I get a sufficient quorum requesting that.
 
RSVP:  To secure your spot  you will need to:
1. text me on 0407 871 884 to confirm that there are spaces available. Spots can only be reserved for 24 hours; and 2. once I confirm that there is a spot available please transfer $70 (referencing your name and ‘lunches workshop’) within 24 hours to secure your spot into this bank account:
Account name: star anise organic wholefoods (aust) pty ltd
BSB: 062 000 Account no: 15110110
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Please feel free to forward to any friends or family members.

Cancellation policy: once funds are deposited into my bank account they are non-refundable but can be transferred to another cooking class/workshop upon 48 hours notice.IMG_3016IMG_2983

 

How to make almond butter

soullachamberlain

IMG_4675I am often asked about nut butters. To be honest I am not a huge fan of them. And here's why: It takes a lot of nuts to yield a very small amount of nut butter. eg 1.5 cups of almonds yields only a bit more than 1/2 cup of almond butter.  So you end up consuming a heck of a lot of nuts in each spoonful of nut butter, much much more than you should typically eat if you were eating whole nuts. And what's wrong with nuts? In small amounts, for those who don't have digestive issues or mineral deficiencies, nut are awesome and in fact ranked as the 3rd most nutrient-dense food on the planet behind organ meats and herbs and spices (according Harvard University Chemist Dr Mat Lalonde. Check out pages 70-71 of Chris Kresser's book "Your Personal Paleo Code" 2014 for a list of the most nutrient-dense foods). However nuts do contain more omega 6 than omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (which has an inflammatory effect on the body). Secondly, unactivated nuts (ie nuts that have not been properly prepared through soaking and dehydrating) contain phytic acid which leaches minerals from the body and leads to digestive issues. Without doing a full due diligence I bet all store-bought nut butter are made from nuts that have not been properly prepared or "activated" (happy to be proved wrong here). Thirdly, nut butters are typically consumed on bread and I have spend the past decade trying to reduce the amount of gluten (and grains generally for that matter) from my and my kids' diet. The reasons for this go beyond the scope of this post but contact me should you wish to discuss the relevance and effect of grains on the human body.  The occasional consumption of smallish amounts of gluten-free properly prepared grains is fine for those without digestive issues (eg rice, buckwheat). So eating huge amounts of nut butters, especially when the nuts are not activated, involves taking a massive omega 6 and phytic acid hit. It's is a bit like the orange juice analogy where you end up consuming the fructose equivalent of 5 oranges in 1 glass of orange juice even though you couldn't possibly eat 5 oranges in one sitting.

So if you are going to consume nut butters here's what i suggest:

1. it's best to make them yourself at home from activated nuts; and

2. consume only small amounts eg a couple mouthfuls at a time especially for youngsters.

Here's how to make almond butter.  It's dead easy:

Ingredients:

2 cups of salted activated almonds 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Directions:

Process ingredients in a food processor for 15 minutes (yes that long!) stopping the food processor every few minutes to scrap down the sides and to prevent the machine from overheating. If making larger amounts, add the nuts in batches in the food processor.

Some recipes don't require the addition of coconut oil. I found that without the coconut oil this makes the almond butter really hard to swallow and gets stuck on the back of your throat (hardly pleasant). Because my activated nuts are salted I don't need to add additional salt. If yours are not salted you might like to add 1/4 tsp salt to the food processor.

Serve:

Eat straight off the spoon as is for a decadent dessert or snack, or with vegetable sticks, or smeared on slices of apple or pineapple, or drizzled onto pancakes or on a slice of traditionally prepared bread (stay tuned for my future posts on various buckwheat loaves - they are still a work in progress). Some add nut butters to their smoothies.  You can add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup onto your nut butter (which I did as you can see in the above photo).

Storage:

Nut butters keep for many weeks in a sealed container or jar in the fridge. The downside is that they will go quite hard though in the fridge. They will keep a few days out of the fridge.

Variations:

You can substitute any other type of nut. Macadamias don't require as long in the food processor presumably due to their higher oil content. You just need to keep processing until the nuts reach the consistency of a smooth, creamy, butter. This will depend on the type of nut and how powerful your food processor is. You can flavour or sweeten your nut butter by adding the following while processing such as:

  • raw cacao powder, cinnamon powder, and/or vanilla bean powder
  • raw honey or maple syrup
  • turmeric, cumin, ginger, garlic powder and/or chilli flakes (I've made turmeric and brazil nut butter before)

In this way you can make your own spreads and butters without resorting to expensive store bought varieties. Have you made nut butter before?  What ingredients did you use?

The photos below show you the transition from whole almonds to almond butter at 4 minute intervals over 15 minutes of processing.

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If you would like to be added to my pâté email distribution list...

soullachamberlain

IMG_5068 I hope you have all had an awesome start to 2015. Did you know that pastured livers are the most nutrient-dense food on the planet bar none? They are high in vitamins A, D, E and B group vitamins (crucial for reproductive health) and minerals such as highly absorbable iron, copper, zinc, magnesium and choline. Livers are the richest source of folate of any food (expectant mothers take note!). Livers are also a great source of protein and healthy saturated fats.

Given how vitamin and mineral depleted most of us are in this busy Western world, I believe pâté (or other organ meats for that matter) is something we should be eating least once or twice a week if not more frequently. They are an especially important source of fuel and nourishment for athletes, children, those who are iron-deficient, those wishing to fall pregnant, as well as pregnant and lactating women. To read how one mother overcame dangerously low iron levels during her pregnancy with daily consumption of livers (as opposed to iron tablets that her doctor was pushing), read one of my earlier posts here.

Concerned about the taste? Chicken liver pâté is a very palatable way of consuming organ meats. I suggest eating with vegetable sticks or on traditionally prepared bread (sourdough, sprouted etc).

I make chicken liver pâté on a weekly (or fortnightly) basis with livers from Burrawong pastured hens  (and other ingredients that are either certified organic or if not certified then in substance organic).

I run regular cooking classes on how to cook organ meats but if you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to make pâté on a regular basis (or if the idea of handling livers freaks you out) then consider being added to my pâté email distribution list. All you need to do is let me know (via text 0407871884 or email soulla.chamberlain@me.com) your email address and I'll add you to the list so that you will be notified whenever I make pâté and which flavour I'm making. I make 4 varieties: (a) sage and thyme, (b) rosemary, (c) date, and (d)  fig (the latter 2 are a sweeter introduction to the world of pâté). Then you simply let me know if you want any and when you can collect from my workshop in Waverley. I retail it for $19.80/240g tub and it can befrozen- handy for a summer picnic or a rainy day emergency. Pâté keeps 5 days in the fridge once the butter encasing is broken.  

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3 tips for staying healthy around Christmas time, and the not so healthy "health" foods

soullachamberlain

To read about my 3 tips for staying healthy around Christmas time and my list of the not so healthy "health" food that abounds, check out my interview here with Vie Active - luxury, high-performance activewear brand based down the road in Bondi. Happy holidays and get some sun, sea and surf!

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