To all my followers. I sincerely apologise for having not posted in a long, long time! I’m sure you’ve all been checking every now and then for a sneaky new something about what I’m up to.
SORRY!! 😦 I’ve had quite a busy first half of 2011. I focused on other things and getting inspired, and found my inspiration would come in waves, so felt it best for me to build up lots of recipes for you, so be prepared this is ONE BIG post. The biggest yet.
In my first half of this year, I was lucky enough to go and be a part of some events of a few Internationally renowned, influential people in the raw food/ nutrition world. These were SO exciting! Whilst going to these events this year, I focused on my modeling career, and have had some amazing opportunities. One of which was being involved in 2011’s Season 3 of Project Runway Australia. At the time of my writing this, my designer is in the Top 3, and we’re awaiting the finale mid-July to find out which Designer, and which MODEL wins! The season will begin to be aired on Arena, at 8.30pm AEST on Monday 4th July. As well as some other great jobs, I was scouted by one of the leading modeling agencies in China, and I’m currently based in Beijing for 2 months, modeling here. It’s a crazy industry over here.
Before I get into the eye-opening array of foods here, I wanted to share with you some tools I picked up that have really helped me in my move to China. The people I had the fantastic opportunity to see speak in the first half of this year, really set me up mentally, and with the right tools, for the challenge of this new adventure as a Raw Vegan, in Beijing.
I had the opportunity of being a part of David Wolfe‘s Longevity Tour in Australia. It was so lovely, my Mum flew down to Melbourne just so we could see him together for the weekend. Made it extra special to have someone to bounce all the new and interesting things we learned from this world renouned nutritionist. Our brains were EXPLODING by the end of the course because there was SO much to absorb. At the event, it was absolutely amazing to be approached by a couple of fellow students who picked me out of the crowd and had been following my blog and journey in Melbourne. For me, this made going THAT much better – networking with like-minds!! He provided SO much useful info, and tips on foods for different conditions, balancing hormones, longevity, and the list goes on! If you ever get the chance to see David Wolfe speak, I thoroughly recommend going along to tap into his absolute wealth of knowledge. http://www.davidwolfe.com/). He’s done a lot of work and research in Chinese Medicine, and I’ve noticed quite a few herbs he mentioned throughout the course while being in China. One in particular he mentioned for being a superherb was Astragalus Root. He said it’s incredible for cellular renewal, anti-ageing, and overall immunity with in the body. I found some in my first week here, in a herbal tablet form, so I bought some! As I don’t believe in just taking pills, I actually open the capsules and have them either in a drink first thing in the morning, or in my salads/ desserts etc. The drink consists of the juice of half 1 Lemon, two capsules of Astragalus Root, and 8-9 drops of Marine Phytoplankton with 1/2 cup water. On an empty stomach, this effectively makes you feel awake, alive, and mentally alert first thing in the morning.
He mentioned Mangosteen, as being a powerful fruit, and every single thing you can think of is in this fruit – anti-viral, anti-inflammitory, anti-fungal, anti-arthritis etc etc. He said it’s the rind of the fruit that is the medicine. Hard to believe froma simple, yet pretty fruit that’s SO yummy. They sell the fresh fruit everywhere here! I’ve been buying it regularly, though havne’t quite worked out how to eat the rind because it’s heavily bitter. You can buy Mangosteen dried in powder form online, and at health food stores if you’re somewhere that you can’t get the fresh stuff.
A useful tool he also provided that I try and use on a daily basis, is everytime you have a treat, a dessert, a sweet, a coffee, a tea etc.. SNEAK some medicine in! Be that of a superherb/ superfood etc. It’s such a useful way of making something indulgent, actually more beneficial.
Something else he touched on were the Top 5 Longevity Foods in the World. These are:
3. Olive Oil
1. Chocolate (Raw Cacao, not the processed crap)
.. and that flossing your teeth gives you the most results of anything you can do all day to add longevity – eliminating breeding bacteria.
Moving on, I love hearing everyone’s journey to greater health. Everyone’s path and reasons are different, and from everything I’ve learned so far, it’s SO important to find what works for you! Aside from David Wolfe, I also got to sit in a room for an evening with David’s Arch-Nemesis, Harley ‘Durian Rider’ Johnstone. This was put on by the amazing Nicci Gefen of Miss Organic (http://www.missorganic.com.au/miss-organic-presents-a-night-with-durianrider.html). Harley is an international athlete from Adelaide, Australia, who founded the movement 30 Bananas A Day (http://www.30bananasaday.com). He mentors a lot of people the world over, and has a lot of experience in healing people back from serious illnesses as he healed himself from a whole host of different illnesses. His lifestyle consists of a high carbohydrate, low fat, low sodium, raw & vegan diet – with the ‘ high carbohydrate’ being mostly fruit. Harley believes in a simple, organic eating lifestyle and that everyone does better on a high carbohydrate, low fat diet. He recommends fruit (sweet & non-sweet) for Breakfast, and Lunch, & heavier carbs for Dinner with some vegies (nuts, seeds, and dried fruit if needed).. and green smoothies are great. Harley also recommends people cut out nuts, and oil, and in particular, salt, for an instant face lift after 2 weeks. The secret to his success he says is getting enough calories, eating enough, to fill the fuel tank. He believes it’s important to count your calories, and be objective, with 10g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight per day for each person. Check out http://www.fruitnut.net/HTML/305_Harley_Johnstone.htm
Personally, I haven’t taken the time to calorie count, but have been using his formula and increased my fruit intake whilst in China. I’ve also cut oil to around 1tbsp in a dressing etc at dinner, and eat my nuts/ seeds/ dried fruits at dinner if I use them, along with minimal salt, again usually only at dinner. In Beijing, there is no Himalayan Salt/ Pink Salt (anything everyone deems as ‘good salt’) etc anywhere to buy, so the salts I’ve been using (if at all) are Miso Paste, or Organic Soy Sauce (there is no Tamari anywhere either). I have to say my skin is looking really, really vibrant, and I’m feeling amazing from the combination of all the things I’ve been trying out.
Lastly, in the week before I left for China, I went to see Tyler Tolman speak as part of his Live Healthy, Be Happy Tour. Tyler is the son of Don Tolman who I’ve talked about before on here, and both have such an immeasurable wealth of knowledge on the history of food, and health. Check out Tyler’s website here: (http://consciouslifestyler.com/). I learned a lot that night particularly about Chemicals and Preservatives that are on/ in our foods, beauty products, and household products. Tyler recommended looking up online, ‘Chemical Safety Data Sheet Online’. This seems like a good site with lots of links (http://ehs.okstate.edu/links/msds.htm) to further your research.
From Tyler I also learned that water is powerful! It can take on different forms and is even affected by how you speak to it. I learned that water becomes stagnant when it sits for a long time, particularly in a bottle. He made the example of sometimes when we drink water, and we feel that it just doesn’t seem to be quenching our thirst. Water doesn’t actually hydrating us when it’s not electrified, and that’s the issue when it doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything. It needs to be electrified again, by creating a transfer of air through the water. This can be done by pouring it into a glass 3 times, or you can take a sip and mix it with the air by carefully sucking in air making a bubbling sound. Either methods REALLY work! I use the latter all the time in China due to only being able to drink bottled water here. I feel it doesn’t hydrate me all the time without doing this. AND… that 1 Litre of freezing cold water, first thing in the morning, will boost your metabolism by 26-30%.
I’m having an absolute ball here in Beijing, even though it’s been a very challenging trip at times where I’ve learned a LOT about myself, and China very quickly. As Demartini always says about the Universal order, no good without the bad, support without challenge. To be able to experiment with the different and often weird, fresh foods available here is something I’m really loving, and have found it really exciting. Being a Raw, but even just, Vegan, in China and the fact that they cook, heavily process everything here, put Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), and SUGAR in/on everything and anything they can, as well as SALT – It’s been a challenging and eventful learning process to say the least. It was terribly daunting in my beginning week here. BUT! The variety of ORGANIC fresh vegies is amazing for a country that seems so behind the times in so many ways. Fresh fruit, however isn’t as easy to find organic here, but I’ve been following the VERY USEFUL tool ‘Dirty Dozen & Clean 15‘ on the most part, and really enjoying the variety of local Summer fruits available here in Beijing. Check out the DD&C15 here: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/; Or there’s a printable PDF here: http://static.ewg.org/reports/2011/foodnews/pdf/2011EWGPesticideGuide.pdf
I’ve just been embracing my time here, as it isn’t for very long. Though I have found some invaluable tips on washing your fresh fruit and veg of chemicals and pesticides which I’ve also shared below, from my friends at Raw Power – Anand & Runi. If you haven’t signed up to their newsletter already.. DO IT, they send lots of valuable info and videos on a regular basis, and have a great online store for lots of health based ingredients that you can’t just buy everywhere. http://www.rawpower.com.au/
Below is an exert straight from one of their newsletters:
” How to neutralise pesticides on conventionally grown produce
Living in Northern NSW we are incredibly blessed to have access to a wide range of organically grown produce, however, I often get asked “what can I do? – I live in an area where it is not possible to buy organic fruits and veggies”
I had a very interesting conversation with Don Tolman on this subject – Don would prefer buy conventionally grown produce fresh from the farmer than organically grown produce which has been cold stored and shipped thousands of kilometres. He also told me a story of how health pioneer, Norman Walker took him to a US university lab to test the level of pesticides in conventionally grown vegetables. First they chopped some vegetables up and put them in a spectrometer – sure enough pesticide residue was detected. Norman then soaked and scrubbed the vegetables in apple cider vinegar. They then chopped them up and put them in the spectrometer – to Don’s amazement there were no pesticides detected.
This is great news! If organic produce is unavailable or unaffordable here is what you can do:
Fill a spray bottle with a vinegar/water mixture. Add one part vinegar to 3 parts water.
Spray an ample amount of the vinegar water mixture on the fruit and vegetables to be cleaned. It’s best to do this over a sink because it could get very messy.
Wash the fruit thoroughly in cold water to remove all of the vinegar and traces of bacteria and pesticides. Using the vinegar water solution alone is an effective way to remove the majority of the harmful pesticides and bacteria. However, it doesn’t stop there.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and approximately a half cup of hydrogen peroxide. Place the newly washed fruit in the bowl and let it sit for a minute or two.
Scrub the fruit with the toothbrush. While the fruit is in the bowl, use the toothbrush to scrub the fruit. Be careful when brushing delicate fruit as you don’t want to bruise it.
Rinse the fruit/vegetables thoroughly with cold water.
Enjoy your meal pesticide free! ” ~ care of Anand Wells of Rawpower.com 2011
Here’s a link to some websites of the kinds of fruits I experience here everyday, along with the beautiful Mangoes, Pineapple, cheap bananas :P, Lychees, Cherries and about 50 different kinds of melons – so much fruit!
The Yangmei, are incredible! They’re like a berry crossed with a plum, with each bump on the outside being a tiny, individual juicy segment to make one big mass. At first I thought they were some kind of variety of Lychee, with a skin, only to touch one and bite into it to find it has no skin.. they’re sooo good! And really beautiful looking.
And then there’s these. you may have seen my Facebook post about this fruit, as I was absolutely shocked and intrigued when I first saw them. Snake Nuts… right. Weird! But very cool at the same time. They have brown scaly skin like a snake. Read about them here:
My new OBSESSION is fresh Durian. Whilst being here, it’s smells SO bad, stinks out the stores when they have it but OMG, it’s so sweet, creamy, and amazing. I just can’t get fresh Durian in Australia because it’s all been frozen. I’ve also absolutely been loving Chinese Red Dates, or ‘Jujubes’.
People are labelling these as the next ‘Superfruits’, up there with Goji Berries, Acai, Blueberries and Mangosteen. They have been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a binding agent with other herbs. It promotes overall wellness, improved liver function, anti-inflammitory etc. Here is an excerpt I found about Chinese Red Dates:
Both a tasty fruit and an herbal remedy, jujube is a Chinese liver tonic. It functions as an astringent, expectorant, sedative and diuretic. According to Plants for a Future, a Chinese clinical trial shows improved liver function after four weeks of jujube, peanuts and brown sugar were given to patients. It is also given for diarrhea, chronic fatigue, bronchitis and irritability. Seeds of jujube are used for night sweats, insomnia and excessive perspiration. Read more here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/120957-traditional-chinese-herbs/#ixzz1QASOs8pn “
Further articles you can do some more reading on:
Living in the model apartment is great. I’m loving FINALLY living in the ‘ALL GIRL’ house I always wanted to, but the kitchen and kitchenware is very BASIC. No blender, though I could buy one, I’m being very tight with money seeing I’m also only here for a very short time. So I’ve had to carefully chew my greens of a morning – which I don’t mind. The Organic greens that are available here, are very soft, and light as opposed to something as dense as Kale, for example. I love Kale, and am having withdrawals while here, but embracing the local produce of Beijing. The price of ANYTHING in China is SO CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s mind blowing how CHEAP!
While I’ve been here for a month now, in that time I was sent a very useful video about getting your green smoothie when you travel. A stick blender is the key. It’s an easy size, shape and weight to pack into your suitcase, and even though it’s not as powerful as the real thing, with some love and patience, still gets you a green smoothie. I ordered a stick blender last week and it arrived TODAY! YAY! Check out the video that inspired me here:
Part 1 ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6SRMRsuT2g&feature=youtu.be
Part 2 ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7RbQJDCRio&feature=related
Up until now though, these are a few of my favourite combinations for my morning ‘SMALAD‘ 🙂 🙂 …
NOTE: All recipes in this post are to feed 1. Feel free to increase the quantities!!
You might notice, Bananas are a staple because I’m lapping up the cheap price over here, while everyone in Australia is still doing it tough! In Beijing I can buy about 6 BIG Bananas for around AUD$1.50-2.00. Great here, but not fair at home if you enjoy Bananas as much as I do.
Good Morning Beijing Smalad
* 1 – 1 & 1/2 Bananas, sliced
* 1/3 cup diced fresh Pineapple
* 1/3 cup diced Red Paw Paw, or alternate with Mango
* Two Handfuls of your choice of greens – for this one I used Spinach, and Asian Cos Lettuce, shredded.
* 1 tbsp fresh Lemon juice/ or Lime Juice
Toss all ingredients well.
Other combos have been:
Beijing Dragon Smalad
consisting of, Banana, Kiwi, Dragonfruit, two kinds of Asian Greens, and Lemon/ Lime Juice.
* another fav… Mango, Banana, Coconut Meat, Yangmei, and Asian Cos Lettuce, with Lemon or Lime Juice.
* and Mango, Banana, lots Cinnamon, Greens, and Lemon Juice.
Often at times over here, we will be out of the apartment all day, and not prepared for it when we’re only told about 1 casting, and others pop-up. So I’ve learned to always bring something to munch on when I get hungry to tie me over. Whether it be a big apple or two, or these Vegie/ Fruit chips I found over here, or something else. I want to try and find these when I get back home, because they’re a great idea, and delicious. I’ve learned that China dehydrate or freeze dry almost everything food-wise to have as teas, and nibbly snacks; everything from meats/ meat products, flowers and fruit, to vegies and mushrooms etc. These chips come on many different types, Durian, Broccoli, Jackfruit, Banana etc., but my favourite it Taro! The Mixed Fruit are good too, as a close second. 98% Fruit, and 2% Rice Bran Oil, NO preservatives or Sugar or anything else, and costing less that AUD$2.00. Good if you’re caught out and need a snack on the go. You can also buy freeze dried fruits in 7-Eleven over here, with no preservatives or sugar, or anything. So interesting. I don’t eat these all the time, only every now and then, as it’s still something processed, not by me, and in a packet on a shelf.
I thought it might be interesting for people that have never been to China to see a little about what Organic Healthfood, and Grocery Stores are like here. So I’ve shared a few pictures. I’ve found it fascinating what’s available here, and thought by sharing these images, you might share my fascination. The two health food stores that saved my life were Lohao’s, and World Health Store, here Beijing. Wouldn’t have been sane without them as they sell ingredients MOST Chinese would have never heard of.
The array of fresh produce is just incredible. Along with finding a whole section of Bee Pollen in my local supermarket, I also discovered they sell fresh Purple Corn and another kind of Speckled Corn!! Both are delicious. Purple Corn is a Superfood. It is higher in antioxidants than Blueberries, and typically grown in South America. Although this one is fresh, it’s packaged in a Kryovac bag, and I’m not sure where it’s grown – but I HAD to buy one. It tastes like Sprouted Rye Bread with a similar moist dryness. Really interesting, but tasty.
Just for your interest, here’s a recipe I made with Purple Corn. I realise it will be difficult for most to recreate due to it not being sold everywhere, though the recipe would be great with regular sweet corn, or no corn too. The dressing is SOO GOOD, you’re going to want to at least try that. I’ve got one of the other models into this dressing and she’s been raving about it to everyone.
Use this recipe for stuffing into a Cabbage, or Cos Lettuce Leaf, OR a Nori Wrap, on it’s own or with some other desired vegies/ non-sweet fruit. OR! Add some leaves and create a salad – see my variation in the note below.
Purple Corn Broccoli Stuffing (all Organic of course)
* 1 Small Head Broccoli, finely chopped (to whatever extent you prefer)
* 1 Cob Purple Corn Kernels
* 4 dates, diced/ handful soaked raisins
* 1 inch piece Red Onion, finely diced [optional]
* Handful fresh Coriander, shredded [optional]
* Lemon zest
Set aside while you make the dressing.
Asian Sesame Miso Dressing/ Sauce
* 1-2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
* 1 tbsp Miso Paste
* 1 tbsp Ginger, freshly grated
* 1 medium Garlic clove, crushed/ or finely grated also
* Chilli flakes [optional]
* 1/2- 1 tbsp EVOO (Optional)
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a cup. I tend to use a fork when I’m limited on utensils, as sometimes a spoon just doesn’t do the job. Pour over the ‘Mash’ and toss together well.
~ VARIATION NOTE: Add 1/2 tbsp Curry Powder and a little bit of Turmeric to the dressing recipe for a Curry Miso Dressing.. BUT as I always say, get creative yourself. This Curry Miso Dressing would be perfect to give any salad some life. I made it with a variation on the broccoli stuffing adding Wombok, soaked green raisins, cucumber, sugar snap peas, cherry toms, and I used quite a bit of chilli – YUM!
I’ve also found that they have such beautiful little Pumpkin Squash here. Stores over here also sell about 1inch thick slices of Butternut Pumpkin, so they have a circle missing in the middle. Both are perfect for stuffing with goodness! Due to my lack of kitchen technology while I’m away, I’ve had to lightly steam my pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, and Lotus Root (Yes! Lotus Root – YUM again!) at times so the below recipe does call for a little cooking, making it mostly raw. The eggplant is so good like this, and it works especially well with cold cucumber too! The sauce is very similar to the dressing above.
Eggplant Stuffed Squash [mostly raw]
* 1/2 Pumkpin Squash, seeds removed to created the hollow, or the already done slice of Butternut Pumpkin
* 1/2 medium Eggplant, diced (about 1/2 cup)
* 1 & 1/2 tbsp Miso Paste
* 2 tbsp Organic Sesame Seeds ( I think mine might have been lightly toasted and I can’t seem to buy raw ones here)
* 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
* 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
* 2 Garlic cloved, medium size, minced/ crushed (or alternate with 1 small instead, finely diced)
* 1-2 tbsp Ginger, finely grated
* 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes, or 1/2 fresh red chilli, minced (Optional)
* 1/2 – 1 tbsp Flaxseed Oil, or EVOO (Optional)
* 2-3 tbsp water, as needed, for dressing only
* 1/4-1/3 cup water for cooking/ steaming in saucepan
In a small saucepan put a little bit of water in the base. Make a small slice off the rounded side of Squash to create a flat base. Place Pumpkin in the saucepan and cover with a lid. Put on a slow-medium heat until it steams for around 5 minutes, or until only just softened a bit. Remove from saucepan and set aside.
To make the Eggplant stuffing: In the base of a small-medium sized bowl add all the ingredients except for the diced Eggplant – so to make the dressing/ binding agent. Whisk together really well, then add Eggplant, and mix to combine really well. Set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes or longer. It should be like a mayonnaisy type consistency with the sauce. Spoon into the hollow of the Pumpkin.
I made a really simple salad to rest it on with Spinach, Celery, Red Cabbage, and Cherry Tomatoes with a little bit of Lemon Juice. EAT IT!
Lastly I have a really, really good condiment recipe using Daikon Radish I want to share. It has a very fresh Radish taste not everyone is a fan of. I know my Mum and boyfriend don’t like it, but I bet they’d eat this. The sweetness with the apple really compliments it, and also takes away some of it’s overpowering taste that some people don’t find appealing. This recipe is worth adding into your meal as a side.
Daikon Apple Chutney
* 10cm Daikon Radish, grated
* 1 Apple (variety of your choice), grated
* 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds (again I think mine may have been toasted)
* 1 tbsp Ginger, freshly grated
* Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Add all ingredients into a bowl, and combine well. Serve as a side, or increase the quantities for a salad on it’s own.
Two statements made by Dr John Demartini have really resonated with me this week and last. I feel they are perfect affirmations for my time in China as it’s SO unpredictable, often chaotic, and at times extremely challenging both mentally and physically, whilst still being very rewarding. So I’ll leave you with them and hope that they help you on your journey as they are mine:
1. “The greatest growth occurs and the border of support and challenge.”
2. “Find the hidden order in the chaos – because it’s always there.”