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Mexican Rice Bowl

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One of my favourite cuisines is Mexican food. This is such a simple recipe to make and it is also inexpensive. It is a great warming meal that tastes so fresh with tangy lime & lemon juice and coriander.

SunRice Rice & Quinoa is a source of protein, fibre, magnesium and niacin and not only is it easy to cook, but rice is also versatile and gluten free. So no matter if you prefer to use it in a fresh rice salad, or alongside a crispy skin salmon, there’s something for everyone.

There’s a bit of a misconception that rice – and brown rice in particular – is hard to cook, but it’s really not; it just requires a little more water and time than white rice.

From go to whoa this dish can be made in 30 minutes, and that’s mainly just prep. Double the recipe and use for lunches during the week. Jx

Mexican Rice Bowl
 
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Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups SunRice Rice +& Quinoa mix (cooked, as per packet instructions)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped roughly
  • Salt and pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Rinse Rice & Quinoa with water. Place rice into a saucepan. Add water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stand covered for 5 minutes.
  2. In a pan over medium heat add oil, spices and red onion. Brown for a few minutes and add the cooked Rice & Quinoa. Brown for a further 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped tomatoes.
  3. Combine mashed avocado and lemon juice. Divide rice mixture into serving bowls and top with a big spoonful of avocado. Pour over lime juice, season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh coriander. Enjoy!

 

Should parents post photos of their kids online?

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As I approach the end of my pregnancy, something I’ve been asked a lot is whether I will include my baby in my social media posts.

Often, when a baby arrives, we post pictures for the whole world to see. In fact, this generation of kids are the first in history to have their lives shared on social media before they’re old enough to even have a say.

Would love to hear your opinion on why or why not you chose to share photos of your kids online.

Read the full article here.

L x

 

 

NZfulvic – The Best You

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Trialing health products are what I could describe as being a hobby. Studying Nutrition and Naturopathy has opened me up to a world of information that I feel privileged to know, and also a responsibility to educate others on – I am lucky to do so through Julia & Libby. Libby and I get the chance to try lots of products and when NZfulvic turned up on my doorstep and I read it could help with the gut, I knew I had to try. Having battled with leaky gut a few times it is always in the back of my mind to consume nutrients that help with gut health.

So what is fulvic?  

Fulvic is extracted from nutrient rich soil in the South Island of New Zealand. Our soils used to be rich in fulvic acid but over time it has been stripped due to over farming and pollution. As a result, we are not getting the nutrients we need from the plants we eat. Scary huh?  When fulvic acid is present in soil, the plants absorb nutrients and minerals optimally. Fulvic acid is full of nutrients including trace minerals, electrolytes, silica and pre and pro biotic.

It is also a nutrient booster that helps to improve gut health, energy levels, nutrient absorption, detoxification, and lower free radical damage and inflammation. When we take this as a supplement, it helps to boost the good bacteria in the gut, which has many health benefits.

The health of our gut is directly linked to the health of the whole body. The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. There are bugs in your gut that form a diverse and interdependent ecosystem, like a rainforest. In fact, there are 500 species and 3 pounds of bacteria in your gut which form a chemical factory that help you digest your food, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, and produce vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your gut and your body healthy.

This ecosystem of friendly bacteria must be in balance for you to be healthy.  Too many of the wrong bacteria, like parasites and yeasts, or not enough of the good ones, can seriously damage your health. So keeping a healthy balance of bugs in your intestines is one factor to good gut health, which is why a product that contains both pre and probiotics is so important for our health.

When fulvic acid is taken regularly some are able to notice an improvement in their health, mental well-being and performance in as little as 3 weeks due to the improvement it makes on the gut. Other benefits people notice are healthier hair, skin and nails, increased energy and metabolism leading to weight loss and an improvement in memory and focus.

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What are my thoughts on fulvic?

I liken the taste to diluted apple cider vinegar.  Easy to take on it’s own, it’s quite tart and after a few daily doses I was used to the taste. I found it easy to incorporate into my daily routine as when I drank my lemon water in the morning or made a smoothie I would take fulvic at the same time. Many athletes take fulvic acid to increase energy levels and shorten recovery time.

My partner is an athlete so I started him on fulvic when I started.  As he doesn’t take many supplements to help with the gut he noticed a difference in a short space of time. Little to no bloating after meals and clearer skin.

When it comes to gut health it cannot hurt trying products to see if they work for you. Remember we are all so different and what works for someone may not work for you and vice versa.  I would recommend fulvic to everyone, especially those who do have gut issues.

Dig deeper at NZfulvic.com to find out more!

Jx

This post was sponsored by NZfulvic. All thoughts and opinions are our own

Berry Crepes

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If you are in charge of breakfast on Christmas morning (or any morning for that matter) this is a delicious festive recipe for the troops! Utilising berries that are in season and packed full of antioxidants you can have these berry crepes ready in 20 minutes.  Use raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries, whatever you can get your hands on. Don’t miss out of the lemon marinade, that’s our favorite part.  For more berry recipes, like this Christmas Berry Fruit Salad, visit www.5aday.co.nz. Jx

Berry Crepes
 
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Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (or plain flour)
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1 cup nut milk (or milk)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut nectar (or sugar)
  • Dollop of coconut yoghurt for each crepe
Instructions
  1. The size of your pan will determine how many crepes you make with this mixture. We used a large pan and made 6 crepes
  2. In a bowl combine blueberries, strawberries and lemon juice. Place to the side and let them marinate
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs. Gradually add in the milk, water and coconut nectar, stirring to combine
  4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Spoon in some of the mixture and tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the mixture coats the surface evenly. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side
  5. When ready to serve add in a serving of the fresh berries and fold crepe. Top with coconut yoghurt. Enjoy warm!

 

Salted Caramel Milkshake

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A little bit sweet, a little bit salty. Anything caramel flavoured I am drawn to. In my early 20’s I would go through the McDonald’s drive thru and ask for a cup of caramel sauce and devour the whole thing in a sitting. Long gone are those days, it’s not worth the sugar hangover! If you are a caramel lover, try this homemade milkshake. The combination of dates and cashews make it ultra creamy! Enjoy! Jx

Salted Caramel Milkshake
 
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Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or rice malt syrup)
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass. Enjoy!

 

Travelling on a budget

For the last three months I have been using Westpac’s new app CashNav to help me keep an eye on my spending habits. CashNav is linked to your Westpac bank account and every time you make a purchase, it automatically categorises your spending into things like health, eating out, groceries and shopping so you can really see what you’re spending your money on!

During these three months, I’ve had all my purchases broken down for me, which has given an insight into what my money is being spent on and what I perhaps should not be spending so much money on.  It turns out that my money is mainly being spent on food, fitness and travel, so I know that I need to make more of an effort to save in these areas. Summer is just around the corner, and that means a lot more people are going to be travelling during this time. Travelling can get expensive when it really doesn’t have to (unless you want to go down that route), so I have put together some helpful tips on ways to save money on travel.

Research accommodation deals:
One of the biggest expenses for a traveler is accommodation, so it’s important to research the best deals. Sharing a room in a hostel divides the cost but if you’re travelling alone, or don’t want to share a room, you can book a private room at a hostel which will also save you money. Hostels usually offer the cheapest accommodation, but in some countries you will find that hotels are cheaper and nicer.
Booking.com is a website that guarantees the best discounts and prices on hotel rooms around the world. It also includes bed and breakfast accommodation, apartments and luxury suites. You don’t get charged any extra fees when booking through this site opposed to booking directly on hotel sites.
Airbnb is a website that allows you to rent accommodation all around the world. Through their website or app you can view available spaces according to your budget, location and amenities. Most apartments or houses advertised on Airbnb are slightly cheaper to rent when compared to making a reservation in a hotel.
I’ve had a really good experience using both of these sites and have always found something within my price range.
Expedia is a fantastic website to find deals on hotels, flights, bundle deals, cruises, things to do, vacation rentals and places to eat.

Pack wisely:
When travelling, it is so easy to over pack but this can mean paying extra in baggage fees. Many airlines cut ticket prices by charging for checked baggage by weight. If you don’t pre pay for your luggage, or if you exceed the limit you paid for, it could end up being costly. When packing, it is important to bring everything you need so you don’t have to shop while you’re away. Some of the basic essentials can be expensive in some countries. Another great tip is to pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage. If your suitcase goes missing, you’ll be able to survive for a few days!

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Plan flights in advance:
Booking flights in advance is going to save you money compared with booking flights last minute when the prices have usually increased. The cheapest time to fly is during the week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with Friday and Sunday being the most expensive days. Be mindful of booking flights during holiday season as the prices will always be increased and, if you are flying during this time, remember to book well in advance. Skyscanner is a great website to find deals on flights.

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Don’t eat away your money:
Food can get expensive when travelling and the last thing you want to be doing is spending all your money on food. Pack your own snacks when flying as food at airports is overpriced and usually not that healthy. It is much cheaper to do a shop at a supermarket when travelling as opposed to buying food from hotels, cafes and restaurants. Packing a reusable water bottle can save you money on drinks too (just be careful where you fill it up from!). Certain tourist areas inflate food prices, it could pay to ask locals where the best place is to grab an affordable bite.

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Book travel insurance:
Always remember to book travel insurance, it’s not worth risking it. If you end up in hospital overseas, you can end up paying thousands of dollars on medical fees which could easily be covered by travel insurance. If your luggage is lost, you have anything stolen or end up with a cancelled flight, your travel insurance will cover all of this.

So there are my tips, I’d love to hear any other tips you have to save money on travel! L x

If you’re already a Westpac customer, you can download the CashNav app now. If not, click here to find out more about Westpac and CashNav and how it can help you. It only takes a few minutes to sign up online for an account to start tracking your spending with CashNav.

Quinoa and Vegetable Stir Fry

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Stir Fry’s are a fantastic way to get several servings of vegetables in a meal, use up vegetables in the fridge before they go off and also include your favourite picks.  Asparagus is back in season but it doesn’t hang around for long so make the most of this vitamin packed anti inflammatory vege! Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamin K and Folate. 1 cup of cooked asparagus contains 1/3 of your daily copper needs and is also a source of Vitamin B1 and selenium.  Store asparagus in the refrigerator with the cut ends covered in moist paper towels.

This recipe is fibre rich and full of flavour.  It tastes better the next day and can be made in large batches to enjoy over the week for lunch or dinner when you are pressed for time.

Visit 5ADay for more asparAgus recipes and nutritional info. Jx

Quinoa and Vegetable Stir Fry
 
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Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 brown onion or bunch of spring onion, diced
  • ½ medium chilli, de seeded and finely chopped
  • 2cm x 2cm cube fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 5cm sticks.
  • ½ broccoli, slice stem and cut head into small florets
  • 1 carrot, spiralised or cut into thin slices
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • ½ cup cashews (optional)
Instructions
  1. Rinse quinoa well under running water and place into a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring quinoa and liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a wok, add onion, chili, ginger and stir for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, asparagus and carrot, stir for another 2-3 minutes continuously so that even heat is being distributed.
  3. Add the cooked quinoa into the wok. Stir in the sesame oil and tamari, coating everything in the wok. Season with salt and pepper and if you are using cashews, add these in now. After a minute your meal is ready. Serve hot!

 

Nut Free Bliss Balls

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Bliss Balls are one of the easiest and nutritious snacks to make. These bliss balls are nut-free, making them perfect for people with nut allergies. Most schools are a no no for nuts which means you can send these snacks along to school as a healthy lunch box treat.
As well as being nut free, these bliss balls are also gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. I have used dates, cacao, orange rind and vanilla to sweeten them.

Nut Free Bliss Balls
 
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Recipe type: snacks
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 1 ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • Rind of 2 oranges
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place dates, 1 cup desiccated coconut, cacao powder, cacao nibs, coconut oil, orange juice, orange rind and vanilla into a blender or food processor and process until the ingredients are well combined.
  2. If the mixture is too dry add water to ensure all the ingredients blend well.
  3. Roll into balls and sprinkle with the remaining desiccated coconut. Freeze for an hour before serving.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Enjoy, J&L x

Why Im not finding out the gender of my baby

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Surprise! Why I decided to not find out the gender of my baby.

These days with social media, smart phones and the internet, surprises in life are rare and most of the time we know a surprise before it happens. Not finding out your baby’s gender is one of the rare moments in life where you get to be surprised.

Would love to hear whether you found out or waited for the surprise, and why. Lx

Link to the full article> http://bit.ly/2gs5xMC

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Coconut Macaroons

105 After months of buying similar macaroons online that were quite expensive, I decided I wanted to made my own and this recipe is affordable and simple. These homemade coconut macaroons are sweet, moist and chewy on the inside and are made using no flour, no dairy and no grains. These macaroons can also be dipped in dark chocolate. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Coconut Macaroons
 
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Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 4 free range egg whites
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with non stick paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the egg whites, coconut sugar, vanilla or almond extract and salt until well combined.
  3. Pour the shredded coconut into the bowl and mix well.
  4. Using a teaspoon, spoon out mixture and place onto the non stick paper. Space them about 3 cm apart.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.
  6. Macaroons can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy, L x

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