Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Would you give up chocolate, booze and coffee for your health?

“She turned to the sunlight    And shook

Okay, so I’m back on a restricted diet. Not by choice but by extreme necessity.

My sinuses and I assume, my nasal polyps have been quite bad for months now; 18 or so actually. I was  getting on with life but the past couple months, my health has declined to a point where I am having sinus headaches, my ears are blocking up and aching and I’m not sleeping well. And I need sleep.

So, as of July 23 I stopped eating sugar, wheat, dairy, most fruits, booze, coffee and most processed foods (when you give up sugar, wheat and dairy that cancels out processed foods anyway). Now, I will admit to having a couple beer and 2 cookies since but those were my only slips.

Although a miracle hasn’t happened (yet), I do feel better. I actually slept through the night once since *fist pump*

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Recipe of the week: Buckwheat pancakes with blueberry sauce

Growing up in Canada meant pancakes every Sunday morning. It’s a tradition I’ve brought to Australia. Although I’m not living gluten-free anymore, I still like to try alternatives. Plus, I have 2 sisters who are Coeliac so I like to try out recipes to pass on.

I can’t imagine going without pancakes for the rest of my life and luckily I don’t have to – and neither do my sisters or anyone who has a health reason for not eating gluten. I’ve tried gluten-free pancakes in the past but the recipe I’m about to share is by far the best one ever!! I’ve adapted it from a recipe I saw in the February 2015 edition of Women’s Fitness magazine. Enjoy!!

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Recipe of the week: Banana Bread Free-style

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I collect recipes. I have for years. This one came to me via Facebook. I do not have the recipient’s name or link but this “free-style” banana bread is too good to not share. Photo and design by me.

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For PDF click Banana Bread Recipe


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Review: Greenhouse Perth

I’ve been wanting to go to Greenhouse in the Perth CBD ever since the trendy eatery was featured on last year’s Masterchef Australia.

It’s rare that I find myself sans family in downtown Perth and on a Saturday no less. I was afraid Greenhouse would be too busy to seat a trio of friends but we were in luck (and Perth is dead in July).

As soon as I walked inside, I knew I would love the place. It’s warm and the kitchen is open, leaving no room for sloppy cooks or dodgy practices. I scanned the place for head chef Matt Stone but I couldn’t see him. Damn.

Nevermind.

We three sat down at the end of a long slew of tables right in front of the bar. Right away, I was entranced by the creative way they displayed the bottles of booze.

 

BLOG GH bottles

Our waitress was young, friendly and approved of my photo taking. I liked her until she broke the news: NO decaf.

Though I’ve been primarily off coffee since early May, I have started to partake occasionally and I really felt like a decaf soy flat-white. I do not fancy ingesting caffeine so I declined a regular. Instead, I ordered a fresh juice: grapefruit and orange. It was delicious; I downed it in about 2 minutes. That was a fast $5.50 spent.

I reviewed the brunch menu over and over searching for something that appealed and that was of course, gluten and dairy free too.

There were a few options but in the end I (and both of my meal companions) chose the tea-cured ocean trout. I also asked for a side dish of sauteed wild mushrooms.

BLOG GH meal

I kept myself busy taking photos while I waited for my meal to arrive. When it finally arrived, I was very pleased with the visuals.

The portion looked sufficient, but I could have eaten more at the end of it all. My friends ordered bread with theirs, which may have helped a little. Mr Male had 2 pieces of toast and 2 extra eggs and said he was still hungry. Probably why he grabbed dessert on the way out.

But the meal was divine, really.

The trout was soft and moreish and although I cannot comment on the taste per say, my friend noted the lack of tea flavour.

Because I have no sense of taste or smell, it makes it hard for me to comment on food but I use texture a lot and I do still have the ability to detect the basics: sweet, salty, bitter, spicy and sour. I can often “sense” a flavour.

My favourite element by far was the wild mushrooms. They were cooked to perfection and gave a real earthy distinction. I’ve been hooked on a variety of mushrooms ever since: portobello, oyster, shitak, enoki…..

The meal came with a 62 degree egg. If you don’t know, these eggs are prepared in the shell. They are cooked to, you guessed it, 62 degrees and when cracked open into a dish, they look like a poached egg.

I’ve never been one for very runny eggs. It’s only the past few years that I can stand to eat a slightly runny yolk. Therefore, I asked for a longer cooked egg – “this will come well done,” said the waitress.

“Okay then”

Well, it certainly did come well done. It was no longer a poached egg, it was hard-boiled. So, they do not cater to your egg preference. It’s either 62 degrees or hard-boiled. I still ate it.

My friend ate hers too (same as mine) but did ask about it. She was offered another one at no extra charge but because the meal was not super fast to arrive, she declined the offer. Okay, so our eggs were too hard but the salad was yummy.

It was fennel, herbs and dill;  crunchy and refreshing. It was a nice contrast to all the soft food on the plate.

 

BLOG GH popcorn machine

The retro popcorn maker filled with desserts mocked me the entire time but as I had only just come off my elimination diet, I did not want to return to sweets so quickly. Nothing was really tempting me anyway. I was impressed that they had gluten-free choices though.

All up my meal coast approximately $26, which I thought was quite reasonable for a meal out with friends.

I loved the trendy, cosy feel of the place; the food was yum and the service was pretty decent considering Western Australia has a ripe reputation for lacking in this area.

Greenhouse score: 8/10

Will I return? YES

BLOG GH tables

Have you been to Greenhouse Perth? What did you think?


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When the end is just the beginning

Today is the last day of my 6-week elimination diet. I did it!! (again)

Instead of celebrating with a chocolate cake with extra whipped cream, I’m doing nothing.

Sure, tomorrow I will relax my strictness, mostly about sugar (choosing natural only) but I am not running back to my old habits.

I have new habits now and I love the way that I feel.

I have NO physical reactions to foods I consume and any body image issues I had, are gone.

My muffin top tummy is gone and I don’t feel I need to exercise like a demon daily to keep myself looking good.

I am getting together with friends on Friday night and wine will be involved.

But as far as food is concerned, I’m quite happy to stick to my fruit, veggies, proteins and grains.

There are plenty of food choices out there that were not formed in a test tube or come from a factory. Just think outside the box. Pun intended!!!!

Breakfast was hard but I’ve found a couple hot winter breakies that I LOVE.

hot breakfast

Sauteed veggies with almonds and poached freerange eggs

quinoa

Quinoa flakes with banana, fresh date and chopped nuts

I do realise that quinoa flakes are processed but going 100% fresh produce only is near impossible in the Western world. I also drink almond & rice milk from a box..tsk tsk tsk.

I’m still addicted to organic peanut butter but have cut down on my consumption. But just typing that out has made my mouth water.

Off to get a celery stick with PB now.

Here’s to great food and good health!

 


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5 delicious healthy snacks

So, I’m 15 days into my health kick and I’m doing well and feeling pretty good. Sure, I ate pumpkin pie 2 days in a row and some chocolate but that’s just the way I roll.

Mostly though, I am enjoying eating better and saying no to alcohol. Here are my favourite top 5 healthy snacks.

honeycomb

Fresh honeycomb…yum

5. Honeycomb – loaded with enzymes and antioxidants, eating honey still in the wax is a great immune booster! Just chew the wax up and toss it when the honey is gone. Of course, I get this from my local beekeeper. One small piece daily is plenty.

choc PB

No added fats, oils, salt or sugar!! Gotta love that!

4.  Mayver’s All Natural Peanut & Cocao Spread – This is absolutely delish and now that chocolate is considered healthy, I eat usually only eat the dark, pure stuff! Just a teaspoon of this all natural spread satisfies a chocolate craving. It’s also great spread on banana slices if you’re looking for something sweet.

PB and apple

Lovin’ organic peanut butter at the moment

3. Organic peanut butter on celery or sliced apple. Nuts are a great source of protein, rich in energy and antioxidants!

hummus

Ok, so the hummus is not with crackers or veggie sticks but this is also a great snack or meal!

2. Hummus with rice crackers or veggie sticks. Comprised of chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil and spices, hummus is full of protein, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids!

Smoothie 2

Daily smoothie ritual

1. Smoothie – I’ve always loved a good smoothie after my workout. They are filling and yummy. The benefits of my smoothies are protein, probiotics, antioxidants, potassium, fibre, oleic acid, vitamin C, B vitamins, amino acids and they are quick and easy to make!

What are your favourite healthy snacks?

 

Btw, it’s Kai Chronicles’s 2nd birthday today! WordPress sent me this in honour.

anniversary-1x


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Easy lunch idea: Spicy lentil soup

I love soup.

It’s heating up in Australia so my soup season is coming to an end but this is so delicious, I may keep it as a year-round favourite. It’s super easy and it contains many pantry staples so no special shopping is required.

I’ve adapted this recipe from the original that was published in  The Australian Women’s Weekly 21-day diet planner. They call it spiced red lentil soup. I’ve never had their version but my version is simply delicious. Enjoy!

blog oct 4 spicy lentil soup

Spicy Lentil Soup

Spicy Lentil Soup

Dairy free, Gluten free, Vegetarian*

1 large onion, diced

fresh red chilli, sliced (amount depends on how spicy you like it)

1 heaping tablespoon of mild curry paste (I use korma)

2 cups of chicken stock (*use veggie stock for vegetarian)

2 cups of water

400g canned tomatoes (or chopped fresh romas if you have them)

100g (1/2 cup) red lentils

Large handful of washed baby spinach leaves

1/4 cup of fresh coriander (I use 1/2 tsp of ground if I don’t have fresh)

METHOD:

Saute onions and chilli over medium heat until soft (in a little oil of your choice if preferred). Add curry paste and ground coriander (if using). Stir for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Add stock, water, undrained tomatoes and washed lentils. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in spinach.

Season with salt and pepper. Top with fresh coriander. Serve hot.

This soup makes great leftovers so keep for tomorrow’s lunch too!

 

Stay tuned for my next post about my favourite new health foods! Being healthy has never been so delicious!!