Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How To; Listen to your Body

Mouth ulcers?  More thirsty that usual?  That head cold is lasting longer than everyone else's?  Craving food you never crave?  I think your body is trying to tell you something....

Today I want to encourage everyone to really start paying attention to their body and listen to what it's trying to tell them.  It's not normal to be insatiably thirsty, or to have random stabbing pains in your head or cramps you've never felt before.  You shouldn't be constipated or bloated, it's not 'just how' anyone is, it's your body trying to tell you something's up.

Although you should always check with a doctor when your body is behaving unusually, no, it's probably nothing serious - you might be thirsty because you're diet's high in salt or you're coming down with a cold.  Stabbing pains or cramps can be stress and anxiety, and constipation and bloating can be related to diet or again, anxiety.  It's not the point, these things shouldn't be ignored or dismissed as normal 'for you'.  It might not require a doctor's visit, but surely you desire a feeling of good health and energy and a sense that everything is working and working well all the time, who wouldn't?

Look at your diet, pay attention to your fluid intake, exercise regime, the people around you - everything.  I know it's a cliche, but your body really is a temple and we do actually only get one, it's very well worth taking care of it because it's a lot easier to prevent than it is to cure.  If your lifestyle is hurting your body, change it.  Yes, we all need money, but without our health we have nothing.

If you know nothing about nutrition apart from what a few health bloggers write on their pages, buy a basic nutrition book and learn about what your body needs.  I guarantee, flicking through it, you will read about a vitamin or mineral and what foods contain it and go, 'Oh, I don't really eat any of them'.  Don't run out to buy it in tablet form, go out and get the foods that contain it and start using them in your cooking or as a snack.  Food is always better than tablet.

May I recommend for first timers;

Nutrition; The definitive Australia guide to eating for good health
(Buy at Nutrition Australia or any good book shop)

It goes through what a basic healthy diet is, all your vitamins and minerals one by one etc, without the fad diets or what's currently in fashion.  It's a great little book and was my first - a gift from a great friend when I was still very ill.  Despite a million books since then, I still refer back to it.

Anyway, just stopped to say please listen to your body.  If you're not sure how, learn by experimenting and remember what works and what doesn't.

The solution to ongoing sleepiness is not a daily coffee!

I leave you with this;

"The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered "Man.  Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate health.  And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived."

Stay well,
Nat x

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Week in Food

Time for another edition.

I'm a bit annoyed at myself actually as I know my posts have lacked substance lately, but I've had a ripper virus/flu thing going on (finally feeling 70% human today, hurrah!) and, well, I was instructed by All Who Matter to rest and do absolutely nothing (including my new boss, who I am coming to really super like).

So, on Tuesday, home I came with a medical certificate that excused me from work and uni for the whole week, and on the couch I lay (bored as all hell). I experienced The Doctors and Dr Oz (OK a little, BS-y, but has good intentions and definitely won't hurt the American public), Ready Steady Cook, (most annoying show ever), and Good Chef Bad Chef (3.30pm, channel 10 - Janella Purcell is the 'Good Chef', so super inspiring, for me). I ate ridiculously, seriously, my body has been craving he strangest things ever; a part of the reason I know I feel human again is that I looked at the white choc and macadamia cookies I baked yesterday and I do not want want. Hallelujah! I am back!

So I might be behind on uni and I might have taken the 5th week of my new job off, but at least I am starting to feel human. Now for my week, in food..

Oh yes, I did.

Banana Cake Aftermath.

Parmigiana in the making.
Don't want meat?  Grill up some eggplant and top it with your sauce & cheese, super yummy.
Otherwise crumb & fry it just like you usually do the chick or veal, it will be 100 times lighter and if you do a good red sauce, you won't even notice.

I eat this a lot for lunch when I am sick.

Munro says, "Mummy, this is how you rest when you're sick".

Penne with mushrooms, spinach, ham and caramelised onions.
The Boyfriend got a lot of 'easy to make' meals this week.

Tuna Pizza.
Make your base from scratch, with wholemeal flour (or something even better, if you've got it), spread it super thin.  Make your own tomato sauce (skip the excessive oil and salt, use herbs to flavour it - I also finely chopped some capers as I love them with tuna & chucked them in), add some mushrooms and spinach near the end.  Spread on your pizza base, top with a large can of tuna and a little light tasty or mozarella cheese.. bake!  Healthy pizza craving killer, and with all that tuna and mushrooms piled on top, you'll be getting heaps of protein & not a whole lot of carb.

Avo and Vegemite on Toast with my first coffee in over a week.

Raw Choc-Fudge balls from Lola Berry .
Very yummy, I will be making these for Easter.
Only adjustment I made was adding a little agave nectar as they were a bit dry (tbs at most).
Lola is great, check out her site if you haven't already.

Weekend Brekky is best!
When your mushrooms and tomatoes start drying out in the pan, don't add more oil - splash a little water in.
You will not notice the difference in flavour and you will save yourself a whole lot of fat & calories.
No, olive oil is not bad, please put some in to start them off - moderation is the key.

If my cat can eat wholegrain, why can't you?

Who here knows of the institution that is Eiffel Tower?
I felt a bit more human yesterday so after I struggled through a huge grocery shop ($220 later..), The Boyfriend took me for a trip to Assembly Drive.  Pasta also made its way home.

Fish & Chips.

The start of Macadamia & White Choc Chip cookies.
How was your week?

What do you eat when you're craving pizza or fish & chips but want to eat healthy?

Pump up that vege intake and keep warm - I'm far from the only one I know to have gotten this virus. It's gone Melbourne-wide.

Is there anything I've made that I've photographed on my blog lately that you'd like an actual recipe for?
Let me know!

I am super excited, I registered a domain name & got hosting for my web site this past week.  Soon, you will be visiting a whole other URL - Lemon Living will appear on a blog tab over there.  Give me time, I'm learning Wordpress...

Stay well!
Nat x

PS.  I hope you've liked Lemon Living on Facebook!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If you want to be Popular...

You'll 'Like' Lemon Living on Facebook!

kidding, sort of

I love this (old!) ad, not because I agree that there's anything wrong with skinny girls, or think that a tablet to make you bigger is a positive thing (can I get a 'hell no'?), or that I want to put pounds of 'welcome weight' back on my 'skinny figure', but because it's a great reminder of how what's popular is always changing.

Eat whole, nutritious food in moderate portions, exercise regularly and keep your health in check. If you have these things in line, the number on the scales is irrelevant.

Stay well & be happy!
Nat x

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Week in Food

Another installment of 'The Week in Food'.

This week sucked. M & I are both sick and have been off work stuck indoors for 2 weekends in a row through this gorgeous weather. We had to cancel our express lunch at Embrasse yesterday, and today we were meant to go to Vic Market for the annual Food & Wine Fest stalls they set up so you can try a zillion different amazing foods.

What are we doing instead? Sitting in our separate studies, drinking tea and wasting time on the internet. Oh well! If that's the worst of our problems, we're doing well.

My eating for the past week has been a bit crazy, my body has been craving the strangest things through being ill (strange for me is like, white bread and white pasta, and masses of milk chocolate), but I've just listened to it. When I'm sick, I don't care what I eat (within reason, still no packaged stuff or fast food, but I would never crave that), as I think a few days of eating white pasta or some honey, as my body asks for it, is not going to hurt my otherwise clean diet.

I even had half a glass of diet coke for the first time in about six months. I know! Vice totally gone, and it does not taste good.

Anyway, here is my week in food....

Can you believe this is vegan, free of added sugars and just ridiculously tasty?
Soaked Oats with banana, pecans, cinnamon and pure maple syrup.
Try it and tell me you don't love it. SO good.

Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto (in the making)
Complete with Parmesan rind floating in the middle.

Mum & Dad got me this
Semillon is my favourite white wine.

Brown Rice with Lentils and Vegies, and a can of Salmon.
When I started to get sick, I started shoving in nutrients.

Miso Soup
With tofu, broccoli and mushrooms

Spaghetti Marinara
White - how M likes it.

I hadn't had a toasted cheese sandwhich in years.
Confession; Mum used to make them on white bread with loads of butter and cheese when I was a kid.
I made it on grain bread with no butter and a little low fat cheese.
Not the same. Not good.

I've had the biggest craving for Blue Cheese this week.
This one is Castello.

M made me dinner which made my day!
Ricotta & Spinach Agnolotti with Walnuts, Pumpkin & Herbs

Impromptu Creme Caramel making.
Feeling terrible on the couch on Friday night and someone made it on tele, so then we went and did it.
So easy. SO good.
(Comment if you want the recipe)
If you're going to eat sugar, eat something sweet!

Buckley likes to bathe...

Did you eat anything interesting this week?
Did you get involved in the Food & Wine Festival?
We are considering the Yarra Valley Food & Wine Festival as we missed out on Melbourne thanks to this insane virus.
Does your cat like to bathe? I've never seen a cat do this.... he seriously has a daily bath.

Have you liked Lemon Living's Facebook page? Come on over!

Stay well (and don't get this virus!)
Nat x

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Become a Facebook Fan!

The time came for my darling little blog to mature.

Now that her mother is going to uni to make sure she's fed the highest quality things she can be, and so her opinions will be taken more seriously (self-taught know it all doesn't go far on the resume, these days), it was time to her to get out and spread the word.

10 minute Photoshop knock up banners were made, (oh the shame), and a dodgy photo of me eating breakfast in Port Douglas uploaded, and Lemon Living's Facebook Fan Page was born.

(enter dodgy photo-shopping)


Click and start telling me things you want me to hear, or write about, or asking me questions or tell me I'm annoying and a bit spammy, I don't care.

See you there!

Nat x

Friday, March 16, 2012

Introducing; Peach

Please welcome my friend, Peach.

She told me she is feeling lonely and that even though she is cheaper than many of the other fruits at the moment, she is still left sitting on the shelf well past the broccoli and pears being sold out. Be gentle, she bruises easily.

She's super yummy crunchy straight out of the fridge. Also, rarely, she'll slice herself in half and take a bit of a shower in some sugar or honey, try and sweet talk her into hanging out in your griddle pan or under your griller after that and she will be all yours!

She loves cream and ice cream, but she's been mingling in some traditionally savoury salads lately and has made a few friends.

Please adopt Peach today!

Original peach image from Photography Blogger

PS. I'm a big fan of myself because I am happy, become a big fan of me on Facebook, here, here or if you're especially fussy - here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Reasons We Eat

To celebrate beautiful occasions....

One of my gorgeous best girlfriend's, C, and her equally lovely husband, A, during their first dance as a married couple to what M declared the best ever first dance song, Metallica's Nothing Else Matters.

Ya-huh I cried like a little girl.
It was beautiful.

Caesar salad, vegetable stack & mini pav accompanied my tears.

May they have a million meals together!

Stay well,
Nat x

The Week in Food

Some snap shots of my food for the week, including the clean eating I did today....

The Sunday Afternoon Cook Up
I have to do this now as I am so insanely busy during the week I often don't have the time to cook, but it's good for people who don't have the discipline to prepare healthy lunches and sides during the week, too. This was a big pot of brown rice with some peas, leak and mushrooms to go through it that could be a side or a lunch, (with legumes, tuna or egg) for the week, and a chickpea and vegetable 'tagine' / stew.

A lunch of the chickpea tagine, some lettuce (it's all we had), and some Vitawheats with hummus.

A banana smoothie (1 banana, put in the freezer for 20 minutes, 1 cup milk, cinnamon galore, drizzle of agave nectar, ice), with my afternoon study.

The following was part of today's 'clean eating' to try and get rid of my cold. Basically not many carbs, no sugar, no packaged food and small meals.

Breakfast - oats soaked in water with berries, cinnamon and pecans.

Hard pear (my favourite!) with crunchy natural peanut butter.

Asian inspired salad - coleslaw mix with chickpeas and a dressing of soy sauce, orange juice, sesame oil, chilli, mint and sesame seeds. Oh and fish sauce (just 3-4 drops, so strong!)

Baked flake with garlic, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, with sweet potato mash (mashed up with chilli), and green beans.

There were some walnuts, a 'bliss ball' and about a half a cup extra of oats in there as I was hungry. Never a point in being hungry.

How was your eating this past week?

I am happy as my new desk arrived last week and now I have a laptop desk and a studying desk (in front of my window), a cork bored for inspiration, a new printer, and I am understanding the silly science I never thought I'd remember.

I have a crazy cold, but I am thankful it's forced me to chill in trackies all weekend.

Stay well,
Nat x

Friday, March 9, 2012

World Kidney Day - March 8

A quick video that tells you why it's important to look after your kidneys, and how to look after them as simply as possible. (Wego Health posted this on Facebook. I will be doing a blog post a day challenge for the month of April!)

Note that everything you do to look after your kidneys also benefits the rest of your body. Instead of thinking that an unhealthy diet and lifestyle leads to obesity, I want people to start realising that it's actually harming their body and making their organs sick. This is why those thin people that eat KFC every 4 minutes are not healthy (and usually don't look it).

So after you've appreciated the women in your life for March 8, appreciate the kidneys in your body!

Stay well,
Nat x

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy International Women's Day

So I don't have much time because it's late, I am exhausted with a bit of a cold and I have a night where I haven't worked/studied/gone to uni so I want to get to bed before 11!

But, I super wanted to be a tiny tiny part of international women's day, so I wanted to share with you the following.

What I consider to be a strong woman;

Any woman who follows her dreams
Any woman who never ever ever gives up
Any woman who uses her mind and recognises when it needs to override her heart
Any woman that takes care of herself as well as she takes care of others
Any woman that has conquered a personal challenge
Any woman who works to help and inspire other women
Any woman who takes risks
Most of all, any woman with confidence

Women I admire;

Mum. Everyone knows why.
My Nonna, everyone knows why.
My friends gorgeous gorgeous girlfriends - all so different, but I couldn't be me without them all.
An amazing array of online friends I met due to being on the computer so much pre-illness, from a gorgeous make up loving designer to an amazing cook from Tassie and everyone in between, you mean just as much to me as the friends I see face to face.

Last of all, as we all know, Janella Purcell, for inspiring me to learn, educate and study.

(I Google imaged this, and in the first 2 pages, there were two images of me. Now that's love).

Which women do you admire? Apart from Mum, of course.

This was a quick post that I wish I had more time to put thought into, but, for now, that is my bit.

Happy International Women's Day.

Stay well (and strong, always),
Nat x

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So, How's Uni Going?

Oh how much I get asked that question these days.

Truth be told, my new life is taking a bit of getting used to. I have about 12 contact hours a week of uni, 19 hours a week of working as an EA, and minimum 12 hours a week of working online at home with another company (which, my friend, never let anyone tell you working from home is a breeze). Top that with having a social life, keeping up with 2-3 gym visits per week, preparing all meals, tending to other appointments and commitments and keeping a house, (OK, failing a little there right now), and I am one busy girl. Including studying is a struggle.

I now have 3 diaries - uni, personal and work. It is hectic, my whole life is scheduled (I have put lunch and coffee with friends in my diary which is so not me), but I wouldn't have it any other way. My day today started at work at 8.30am-3.30pm, 4pm-5pm was uni, then work at home from 7pm-11pm. Every day is a similar story. Sleepy!

But not whinging, I wouldn't have it any other way. I will get there.

The actual subjects themselves, well, I am only doing 2 - 1 is insanely easy, one, physiology, is more challenging for my brain. Not ashamed to admit this stuff does not come naturally!

So that's how it's going. Insanely busy, very tiring, taking getting used to, but I made the right decision. 110%.

Anyone else had a massive life change lately? Or some advice from one in the past?

Stay well,
Nat x

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Every time I hear the word 'Groceries', I think of Eat, Pray, Love (of which I loved the book and the movie). If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you a snippet of a grocery shop with me, and a 'why' for each item I bought. Obviously I already have groceries in my house and this isn't absolutely everything that I have in my house, but a good snap shot. I do a big fruit and veg stock up every week and then try to get the other basics that are running low. I love grocery shopping but sadly now don't get a lot of time to do it! The below is from last weekend....

From the Fruit & Veg Shop

Bananas - As filling as a muesli bar, much healthier, easy to carry around, natural antacid for the tummy if feeling a bit off.

Green Apples - Good for digestion, full of fibre, easy to carry around. I prefer the taste of green apples and like that if I don't finish them and they are getting a it old, I can stew them to eat for brekky with my muesli.

Strawberries - I have berries on my breakfast every morning. I do not go a day without eating berries. If you don't get organic strawberries, make sure you wash them as they are some of the most porous fruit and would have soaked up every chemical they may have been sprayed with.

Bunch of Rhubarb - Diced up and stewed in water, tastes amazing with the berries in the morning.

Fresh Spinach - Used as an alternative to lettuce in sandwhiches as it contains more nutrients than an iceberg. I also do everything I can to get more iron in me. If I haven't eaten this fresh after a few days, I put it in curry, risottos, cook it up for breakfast or cook it with a little garlic to snack on after work.

Pomegranate - Another one that's amazing with berries in the morning. Absolutely packed with antioxidants. I've said it before and I'll say it again - eat the real fruit, do not drink the juice!

Snow Peas - Great raw in a salad or cooked up in a stir fry. Best when you keep the crunch and have been shown to have antibacterial properties!

Eggplant - Pretty much whenever I make M a meat dish with sides, I make myself some grilled eggplant with the same. Tastes reat grilled with sauces on it, or in chucnky cubes through a tomato based pasta sauce (and makes you want less pasta!). If you feel like a parmigiana that's a little less heavy, eggplant is also your friend!

Pumpkin - Do I really need to explain? Tastiest stuff ever! Soup, roasted, mashed.. my favourite! Try keeping the skin on when you roast it (make sure you wash it), I eat most of my pumpkin skins. Packed with Vitamin C, A and E and low calorie. You can't go wrong. If you have left over mash, use it as a face mask.

Sweet potatoes - Another no-brainer. I always replace white potatoes with sweet potato (except for gnocchi, though I have done half-half). Really yummy mashed up with chilli through it, or cubed into a curry.

Swedes - Love to peel them and make them into chunky swede chips to roast with some rosemary. Actually have a little calcium in them.

Broccoli - Full of vitamin C, fibre and even a little Selenium, (which many of us don't get enough of). Great in stir fry, but make sure you use the step as well! Just like strawberries, broccoli will soak up everything it's sprayed with, so wash it properly.

Parsnip - Great roasted, or boiled up with some carrots to make a mash.

Mix of button and field Mushrooms - Mushrooms are a wonder food for me. Packed with protein, stupidly versatile, full of nutrients and low in fat. I can't resist them sauteed in garlic!

Bag of Almonds - Vitamin E and protein rich, as well as other excellent stuff. Chopped up in oats or muesli and as a snack. Also great whizzed up into little Bliss Balls (recipe soon!).

Bag of Walnuts - Again with the protein, one of the best nuts you can eat, absolutely packed with antioxidants. I eat them plain as a snack, but remember to always stick to a small handful / 6-10 nuts, or the calorie intake starts getting too high.

Beetroot - Always go for fresh, the canned stuff is just full of sugar. Best roasted or in a risotto, but I also like to julienne it raw into a salad. Yum yum. (soaked in a little lemon juice if the raw is too raw for you).

Big bag of Oranges - Oranges get rid of sweet cravings for me and I eat one after dinner when what I really want is a giant piece of cake. Orange rind is also yummy in muesli or toasted muesli, but best do it just before consuming or it will go off.

Lemons - I don't care if there's not much to back up any benefit, I love a squeeze of lemon in my morning water. It feels refreshing. I also use it to season food, especially fish, and put wedges in my sparkling mineral water.

Fresh Garlic - Everyone jokes I can't cook with garlic. Why should I? Antibacterial and the tastiest stuff on earth.

Onion - See above.

(I always go to Coles)

Loaf Burgen Rye for Digestive Health i A long time ago after reading a lot of labels, I felt this was the best one. To be honest I now forget why. I love it, anyway.

Packet of Rye Mountain Bread - I bought this for the first time after seeing Janella Purcell recommend it on the tele.. it's yummy, healthy, low in calories, and so ridiculous versatile. To be honest, it's not amazing for wraps because it falls apart, but as a side, or toasted with salsa or dips, or even as a case for mini quiches, yummy!

Bags of Rolled Oats - Loaded with fibre, controls blood glucose levels, filled with antioxidants, helps lower cholesterol - the list goes on! Also handy that they're the tastiest things ever (in my opinion), and super cheap. I use them in muesli, as bircher muesli (soak in water or milk for at least 15 minutes, preferably over night), and in lentil patties etc (you could stick them in your meatballs). Love them, eat them for breakfast every single morning.

Box of Weetbix - I buy these to have with my oats as I like to try and get as much iron in as possible and Weet Bix, unlike Vita Brits, are fortified with iron. They also have some sugar which makes me sad, but it's about 3% and I think it's worth it for the iron.

Sanitarium Natural Peanut Butter - If you haven't already, stop eating the regular peanut butter and switch over to natural! Add salt and sugar to the natural if you like, I don't care, just get the hell away from hydrogenated vegetable oil. It is so bad for you.

Sparkling Mineral Water (plain) - There are only a handful of things I drink, (water, non-mixed alcohol, tea and coffee), and this is one of them. With a lemon wedge and some ice, this is what I have when everyone else is having fizzy drink. 13 teaspoons of sugar in a drink? No thank you.

Popping Corn (for the popcorn machine) - Buy a pop corn machine - they're about $20.00, and do as I do, pop your own! Even if you do add salt, you can control the amount and forgo the butter. I like to flavour it with cinnamon or paprika, and I think you can eat 3 cups of it before you get near 100 calories, which is a lot of pop corn.

Dorito's Salsa (hot!) - For a commercial dip, this is OK, and M likes it. Always better to make your own but I'm OK with saying I eat this. I love spicy food.

Vitawheats - I'm addicted to plain Vitawheat biscuits. 4 biscuits is around 100 calories and they're just moreish. I think it's the crunch.

Lindt 70% dark chocolate - We all know the benefits of dark chocolate over milk. Always go as dark as you can get or can handle.

Carnation 'Lite' Coconut flavoured Milk - To use in curries. I can't bring myself to drink real coconut milk, it's just too fatty, so fatty in fact it just makes me sick.

Cans of chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils - This is the vegetarian in me getting her protein. Lentil patties, chickpea and sweet potato curry, minestrone with kidney beans, beans in a tomato sauce, tagines, the list goes on... cheap, low in fat, high in fibre, stabilises blood glucose levels, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and they're cheap! I buy the ready ones in the can as I am often too busy to cook them up from dried, but make sure you rinse them as they usually contain some salt in their water.

Tinned tuna (plain and Serena's 'lite' chilli) - A little tin of protein and versatility. Some studies have even shown they help to reduce stress and improve mood!

Less Salt Soy Sauce - I use soy sauce in a lot of dishes, it's just nice to reduce salt where we can.

Wholemeal Fettucine - I love pasta, like a lot, and there aren't any super health benefits to wholemeal pasta, and it's still high in calories, but it just tastes so good! Just the better option.

Brown Rice - I like rice, and I don't see any reason to eat the white stuff that is stripped of all it's nutrients and bleached. Brown rice is packed with awesome things. Did you know women who eat whole grains have been shown to weigh less?

Arborio Rice - Brown rice can't make risotto and occasionally, I like risotto. Still a lower GI than the white stuff!

Free range Eggs - Protein, some B12 for my vegetarian self and insanely versatile. I go free range as I would never support the caging of any animal.

Milk (I drink Zymil) - I like milk, I find Zymil as I like the taste better and I feel it's lighter. I am not lactose intolerant and don't pretend to be. Plus I personally can't stand soy milk and really believe it's a hyped up product that isn't as amazing as everyone seems to think it is.

Farmers Union Greek Yoghurt - Tastiest yoghurt ever. Always plain, none of this stuff covered in jam. I have this for breakfast every morning. If you don't like how un-sweet it is in the morning, try adding some pure maple syrup, agave syrup or cinnamon.

Smoked Salmon - Oily fish is just plain good for you, and I don't tolerate slabs of salmon very well. Best with some cream cheese and chives on a cracker, or in an omelette. Yummy!

Organic Tofu - As I said, I don't particularly subscribe to the hyped up health benefits of soy, but I do like the taste of tofu in a stir fry. It makes it more filling when I don't want noodles or rice, too.

Fresh Mussells - Just plain yummy, and such a cheap sea food compared to others. Pack B12 as well which is good for my almost-vegetarian, (shall I call it pescetarian?), self.

Frozen Peas - Just handy, some protein and vitamins, and green in any dish that lacks (I always have green!).

Frozen Beans - As a side dish or stirred through a stew or curry.

Frozen Spinach - Easy source of iron and even some calcium, I cook some on top of my side serve of vegetables for dinner, or put through curries. Frozen just so I always have some available as I try to eat some spinach every day.

Tub of Pantalica Low-Fat Ricotta - Protein, calcium, just plain tasty (and I don't like cottage cheese). Yummy on bread with cinnamon or a bit of pepper, or honey if you're feeling indulgent. Great in pasta or with eggs, or alone!

Milell Parmesan Cheese - The best parmesan cheese in the supermarket (please stop buying the dried Kraft stuff, it's not cheese, people). Yes, it's one of the highest fat cheeses, but a small peice is very satisfying due to it's rich flavour, and it's also one of the, if not the highest calcium cheese. I can't stand that people are scared of eating a little cheese each day. Don't be scared of sall amounts of fat, be scared of sugar!

Black Peppercorns - For the grinder, flavours everything. Not just a seasoning, it has been shown to help reduce gas and bloating.


How does that not put anyone off?

Chicken breast (I remove the skin myself) - Stupidly versatile and lean. Stick to a serving the size of your palm.

Scotch Fillet - As you know, I personally would never touch red meat even if I wasn't vegetarian, but M loves a steak.

Lean Mince - Mainly to make M meatballs. I may be healthy and vegetarian and blah blah blah, but I am willing to cook things others like, as long as they are aware of what they're eating!

Fish Shop

It's been a weird transition, but I now officially am a full-blown fish eater. It feels good.

Salmon - This is M's favourite, just seared in the pan with salt and pepper and lemon juice to finish. So many benefits, including that it's great for your heart and prevents damage to your eyes.

Barramundi - My favourite! Like all fish it's high in heaps of great things, including protein. Many people don't realise that white fish that isn't known as 'oily' (like salmon, still packs a lot of omega fatty acids. Yummy.

Raw prawns - I love prawns and prefer to cook them myself. Unless you eat them excessively, (like anything), you are not going to get high cholesterol from them. If you already have a cholesterol problem then yes, keep an eye on how many prawns you eat, (and the rest of your diet).

So that's my groceries for a week!

Things I never buy include soft drink, sweet biscuits, fresh herbs (as I grow them and they charge a fortune for them in shops!), frozen meals.... there'd be much more.

Is my list similar to yours?
Do you put a lot of thought into your groceries?
Is there anything there you never buy?
Is there anything you always buy and consider a very healthy staple and you're wondering why I didn't buy it?

Phew, that was big!

Stay well,
Nat x

All images from Flickr