Your ultimate guide to eating out and dodging the bullets

[vc_row][vc_column width=”5/12″][vc_column_text]At a party:
Cocktails. Don’t go there. Reach for wine, clear spirits, a glass of champagne (just 1 or 2) or even better, WATER!
Go for the cheese board without the crackers instead of the desert

Out for dinner:
Choose a protein and veggies as your side with NO SAUCES. Just ask for plain olive oil and a wedge of lemon.

Thai food: Full of sugar and vegetable oil. Avoid stir fries with chilli jams, oyster or satay sauce, or any sauce for that matter. Ask for curries with coconut milk/cream and for no sugar to be added (unless of course it is pre-made). TBH Thai is just sugar in a room and so if you can, choose another cuisine.

Indian food: Curries are the best choice here. Avoid lassi’s chutney and anything with banana accompanying it. Instead go for meat and veggie based curries and tandoori meat

Vietnamese: This can be a good option if you are careful about how you choose your food. Avoid the sauces and dressings and go for pho with meat and vegetables and salads without dressing[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”7/12″][vc_single_image image=”260″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”7/12″][vc_single_image image=”261″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”5/12″][vc_column_text]

Italian: Remember that tomatoes when put into a sauce become very concentrated and a small serving can become a large amount of sugar. Therefore avoid tomato based anything as well as salad dressings and balsamic reductions. Reach for the antipasto, grilled anything, pesto, or cream based pastas. I will usually go for a steak and veggies. 

Mexican: Not only is it my favourite cuisine, but they use very little sugar! Stay away from salsas, sauces and mayo and go for grilled meats, salads, guac and corn tortillas 

Japanese: Careful with this one. Sushi rice has sugar in it, and lots of it so you should avoid rice along with any sauces besides soy sauce (ask for tamari if GF or BYO). Instead choose miso soup, sashimi, edamame or plain grilled fish/chicken/beef 

Greek: This is an epic choice because their diet is generally very low in sugar. Just avoid sundried tomatoes and honey. Hoe into the grilled anything or greek salad, stews, souvlaki, antipasto platters, hummus, tzatziki

On the road? 

I would obviously suggest packing as much of your own food as possible, but when in doubt reach for unsalted nuts, full fat cheese, plain full fat yoghurt, can of tuna or salmon and AVOID just about anything else (soft drinks, lollies, chocolates, cakes, granola bars, you name it ) 

Want to know what I pack to travel with? One of the next posts is an in-depth look into my suitcase and carry on bags (including my cooler bag). Make sure you subscribe to see it first. 

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5 reasons why I have given up caffeine

  1. Your blood sugar increases. Caffeine sends a message to the pituitary gland in your brain that you are in danger. Therefore a message is sent to your adrenal glands to make a stress hormone, adrenalin and/or cortisol. When adrenalin is released, your blood sugar increases to provide your body with more energy to escape from the danger that you body perceives is occurring. Your blood sugar and pulse will continue to rise to provide maximum oxygen to your muscles, reading to fight or run.
  2. The reproductive system is compromised. The reproductive system will have less energy sent to them are they are deemed not essential for survival and the world isn’t a safe place to have a baby anyway cause there is danger.
  3. You can’t concentrate. The production of adrenalin is the result of real or perceived stress or simply by caffeine. Caffeine via the stress hormones and then combined with the signal to activate your fight-or-flight (PNS) response, fires you up. Once you are all FIRED UP, there is little or no hope of you being calm, entered and able to focus on any tasks or instructions that are being given to you for example by your partner or at school/uni.
  4. Forget nice hair, skin and nails! Let alone making babies. Additionally, this biochemical state puts all of your body resources into saving your life rather than the non-vital processes of nourishing your hair, skin and nails. Oh, and your baby makers!Isn’t it interesting that with all this increased stress and caffeine consumption, there has been a fall in fertility and just about every second person struggles to have a baby?? I mean, since going off the pill I haven’t gotten my period in nearly 9 months and my diet is perfect, par the stress and coffee (another reason why I chose to quit).
  5. Your sugar cravings will only get worse. Your sugar cravings also won’t subside if you are consuming caffeine. This is because the fuel that drives the fight-or-flight response is glucose (“sugar”), so you will crave sugar to constantly refill your fuel tank and  you won’t being using your fat stores as often as you could. More so, you will release insulin (a fat storage hormone) and it will convert any leftover glucose into body fat

Here are some low caffeine options that I now choose over coffee. One that isn’t listed that I’m now always reaching for at home is my bone broth

Picture from Dr Libby’s book ‘Women’s Wellness Wisdom’

Information My Byron Bay real food guide + more

[vc_row][vc_column width=”5/12″][vc_column_text]Naked treaties – I had the green bowl with the tahini dressing on the side. So delicious, however the vegetables were a bit hard to chop in the bowl! Nevertheless, I devoured it. I had it with the tahini dressing on the side so I could add my own amount which I prefer to do always, as I prefer less dressing than more (just personal preference). My sister got the raw nachos which looked amazing and was however she said there was a lot of avocado and not much else which was unfortunate. Some more of the walnut mince and housemate ‘chips’ would have been epic. Will be back there again that’s for sure!

Rae’s on Wategoes – Where to begin?! Firstly, the setting of this incredible, intimate and chic restaurant is picture perfect and when accompanied with such nourishing, real food you just cannot go wrong. The service was fantastic and I asked for my dish to be dairy and gluten free which they did without a single fuss! (It was already the sugar free option). This was tick number 1! My brother is anaphylactic to pistachios and they were very accommodating to also making all 5 of our dishes nut free. Tick number 2!

My complimentary hors d’oeuvre was made gluten and dairy free (the others had the little dollop of cream) which I was so grateful for! I had some mixed olives for starters which were so full of flavour followed by their catch of the day (which was snapper), upland cress, caponata, silicon olive,[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”7/12″][vc_single_image image=”155″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”7/12″][vc_single_image image=”156″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”5/12″][vc_column_text]lemon, pistachio crumble (none of this though because of my brothers nut allergy). It was the most perfect ‘me’ meal ever. All I ever want when I go out for a beautiful meal is a fresh piece of fish, some vegetables and olive oil and holy guacamole they hit the spot!! I devoured the whole dish, plus some sides of greens which was shared with the table (cause you know me…I can never have too many veggies!).

It’s always a good sign when I leave a place with a happy tummy (because my constantly clean diet means I have a very sensitive stomach) and this was another 11/10 feed from the amazing Byron Bay…I seriously think I’ll be getting married here. I am so in my zone; meditation, yoga, beautiful food, beautiful people, sun, wavy hair and early nights. What more do you need in life?

Folk – Wow this humble little place is the perfect sanctuary for breakfast. Located walking distance just outside of Byron Bay, you can find this small, perfect breakfast spot that screams good vibes, happy people and fresh, local produce. With such down to earth staff and amazing interiors, it’s hard not to enjoy your visit.

I ordered the organic poached eggs on sourdough (without the sourdough) served with miso sweet potato, a silver beet and mint pesto and garden greens. Absolutely amazing flavours – the sweet potato was delicious and I quite literally could have licked the plate. You could honestly taste the[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”5/12″][vc_column_text]llove in the food and the freshness in the beautiful little poachies. My dad got the sourdough with his meal and it looked fricken epic I have to say – such a huge chunky piece of fresh looking bread – so if you’re able to eat bread…then I seriously would not skip this opportunity.

Coffee was actually from Dukes roasters in Melbourne so it was a familiar coffee – so it was smooth and beautiful. Their almond and cashew milk is made in house (in fact I saw a staff member making it with her very hands) so you can just imagine how good everything is for your insides.

Side point: One of the chef’s came over to our table to inform us that their kitchen does contain traces of nuts in everything (for my brothers allergy) which was so considerate of her to do. Their kitchen is open for every customer to see the quality and care that they put into every meal. You cannot miss this spot and the perfect walking distance to and from Byron’s main shops.

The Brokenhead coconut milk – This is a must buy and try item when you come to Byron. It is stocked in most health food stores – I got mine from Santo’s (across from Woolies), alternatively Green Garage have it. It is one of the only kinds of coconut milk that I have come across that has no added sugar. Obviously coconut milk has naturally occurring sugar from the sweetness of the coconut but the amount of fat that coconuts have stop you from OD-ing on sugar because[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”7/12″][vc_single_image image=”159″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”160″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”7/12″][vc_single_image image=”162″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”5/12″][vc_column_text]they are so filling. I made a raw Cacao and Turmeric iced coconut milk and it was amazinggggggg. I also splashed some into a Bayleaf coffee that I got takeaway, and again – amazing. It is SO CREAMY and REAL tasting.

Byron Bay farmers markets (Thursday 8-11am) – Wow oh wow! This was such an epic display of the amazing produce from local famers. You can literally see the love radiating off the produce as families and friends grow such amazing things! From yellow zucchinis (I have actually never seen one with my own eyes before) to green squash to fully organic, grass fed, grass finished, no crap, so much love beef! Yep this beef was so pure and fresh ever I was like OMG I have to get some (and I’m not the biggest red meat fan). The taste of the vegetables that I bought and the realness in flavour make me somewhat concerned of the stuff I normally eat….

I bought this huge fat cucumber and the taste was unreal. Plus the freshest and most alive fresh rocket and spinach which I literally had to cut the roots off which I loved! I seriously wish that there were more little farmers markets around Melbourne and other cities because I feel like people might actually start to appreciate their food and waste less of it if they saw the families that put their heart and soul into growing it and when they can taste the love in every bite.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Halcyon House – We stopped at this Hampton inspired boutique hotel on our way to Brisbane airport for a coffee and to have a good old sticky beak at the amazing fit out. The menu for their restaurant, Paper Daisy sounds fresh and JERF worthy! Think grilled fish and ‘plants’ or some poached chicken with artichokes, mushrooms and sunflower seeds. They even have cheese platters for your sugar-free alternative to desert! This is definitely a must-try for my next trip.

 

Places that I didn’t have a good experience at…

The Mez Club – A new restaurant and bar that has opened up just near Bayleaf cafe with a cool fit out and laid back vibes ended up being a bit disappointing. Although they had only been open for a week, service wasn’t up to scratch as our waiter was not very accommodating and didn’t know what some of the menu items meant. Plus, after informing our waiter and the manager of the nut allergy on our table, food came out with nuts on top. When I asked for plain steamed green beans, it came out with feta, red onion and other bits and pieces on top and they ended up costing $14 for quite literally 5 beans! Not to mention our dips that we ordered first, took over an hour to come out and came out after the mains that we had ordered! Portion sizes were tiny (especially the pizzas) and we never ended up getting our sweet potato chips. Additionally, the lack of lights meant that we were using our phones to try and see what we were eating. Maybe we were just unlucky, but the bill was a fortune and after giving our feedback, they at least cut out bill in half. Nevertheless, there are definitely better food spots in Byron to eat a good, real big feed from and with fantastic service. For example…Rae’s on Wategoes. It may be slightly pricer – but trust me the extra few bucks is SO worth it when you receive ridiculous food, incredible service and an amazing atmosphere. (Just make sure you book because it is busy for a reason!)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Loosing the reins with clean eating

After eating 2 batches of my grain free carrot cakes this week because it was quite literally the only thing I could keep down (so random I know),

I’ve realised that having a treat a couple of times a week will actually keep you more grounded and

committed to eating a natural human diet.

Thus, I will also start introducing you to some of my paleo loaves of bread (that are NOT crumbly and dry) and even some PB&J. YEP.

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that when I say to myself ‘I can’t have this’…then I only want it more and then when I wait until the weekend or the date I said I had to wait until , I end up eating so much oI it i feel sick. Raise your hand if you agree 🙋

So while I have integrated more mindful eating into my daily practices, not being on the phone when i eat, watching TV or even reading, but rather REALLY focus on what I eat, I am also going to start just having some ‘f**k it’ meals that I am allowed to have and including some goodies in here or there to avoid those dreaded pig outs of the almonds or coconut chips where I just end up dreading myself. (Also, my ‘fuck it’ snack are still full of nutrients, not processed crap)

FYI this post is not about giving you permission to eat a snickers bar or anything of the like, I am still #JERFing (Just Eat Real Food) and have a sugar free life, but I’m rather saying that i will stop shaming some of the foods that are 100% fine to include like paleo bread, cakes/treats made with fructose free sweetener, coconut flour, berries. I actually find that if I include things that I usually pig out on (nuts, coconut chips) into meals regularly, then I won’t over eat them as much as when I just eat them straight.

Any self hate you have for your body isn’t going to help

you create the body of your dreams either. I mean that’s the real irony of it all. The stress from thinking your ‘fat’ causes your cortisol to rise and this signals to your body that your life is in danger….the result? Cortisol tells every cell of your body that food is scarce, another of its roles is to slow down your metabolic rate. A slower metabolism leads you to burn body fat for energy more slowly than you have in the past, as cortisol is designed to make sure that you survive this perceived period of famine. So even if you are eating less and thinking that will work….it’s actually not going to. It will think that you are in a famine, and hold onto extra weight for protection. So KEEP EATING!!

And like Jessica Sepel says ‘give up diets for a healthy life’ …. you won’t be glowing with health if you are depriving yourself!

And like Jason Walchob says in his book, sometimes what people think is ‘bad luck’ is actually the best luck out of something that could have been a million times worse. AND there is a lesson in everything. The lesson for me while I was shitting my guts out with a fever and the shakes? Create more ‘fun’ food, and include more ‘fuck it’ meals.

Rant over + ‘fuck it’ recipes to come!!

Digestion 101

 

WHY IS DIGESTION SO IMPORTANT? 

Your digestion is connected to how you feel and function every single day from the energy you have to the fat your burn and the texture and appearance of your hair, skin and nails to whether you feel bloated or not. Sadly 70% of women in the Western world suffer from IBS so they aren’t getting those luscious locks, glowing skin and they are feeling as bloated as f**k after eating. Food isn’t meant to bloat us, ladies!! 

The gut is the second brain in your body. 80% of the body’s total serotonin is in the gut. Serotonin is our primary happy, calm and content hormone so gut dysfunction can enormously affect your mood

STEPS TO IMPROVE DIGESTION 

The first step is to CHEW. Many of us are always in a hurry that we forget to chew our food! Your stomach then has no time to prepare itself for the influx of food with the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. And given that all of your hormones and the messages being communicated by your nervous system are telling your body that your life is in danger (because you are stressed about quickly eating ur food), you have no enzymes available to digest food.

So slow down and chew your food. If you are a food inhaler, try this: put food in your mouth and chew it really well, and then swallow before you put the next mouthful in.

Even before you take a bite the aroma of food can stimulate the production of stomach acid, an exceptionally important substance when it comes to great digestion. The role of the stomach is to break down food.

Your body is governed by pH ranges. The pH range is from 1 to 14 and 7 is neutral. The optimal pH level of your stomach is 1.9 which is so acidic it would burn you if it touched your skin.

For many people though the pH levels of their stomach acid is not acidic enough and this isn’t ideal for digestion.

Lemon juice and ACV (Apple cider vinegar) helps the stomach acid and taking the time to prepare our meals so that we can smell the aroma also helps. Chewing is also telling the brain to send a signal to the stomach to let it know that food is coming.

It is best to drink water between meals. Water has a pH of 7 or above depending on the mineral content and when you add a liquid with a pH of 7 or more to one with the pH of 2, you dilute the stomach acid. Drink water between meals not with meals.

Stress is a major contribution factor to IBS  and bloating – so try and take a few deep breaths each day and don’t eat when you are stressed 

The chronic production of stress hormones can compromise the integrity of the gut cells and signal to them that they need to move further apart so that more nutrition can get through to the blood, as nutrient requirements increasing during times of stress. Trouble is, we get stuck in the stress response.

If food travels through a gut in which the cells have come part, it may go straight ahead or it may move out of the gut and into the blood. Fragments of food are not intended to enter the blood. Nutritional fragments of food enter the bloodstream, the immune system, which is what protect you from infection, but the gut now thinks that the food fragment is a germ and it mounts an immune response against it. This is one-way adults develop food sensitivities. Poor gut integrity is also described as ‘leaky gut’

Take home message? Digestion is important. Chew your food. Be mindful when eating. Stress less. Don’t drink with meals.

image via Pinterest