I have had the pleasure of knowing Michelle for a few years now- she is always there for a kind word or suggestion, is full of timely advice and ideas, and I am so pleased to call her a friend.
Michelle is a Lovepreneur and Self-love Mentor
, and I have been using her Alchemical oils for a few months now (I use the Creative oil
when I'm working on new recipes, and I used the Freedom oil
when I was manifesting being self-employed!)
As a special gift to Vegie Heads, Michelle has a special offer- details at the bottom of the blog!
Jia Ni and I connected - I actually don't know if it was Facebook or Instagram to start with- but this little bundle of love and I were so similar in so many ways! With a love of all things positive, this darling girl is helping women realise their potential and guide them to a Happy, Healthy, Abundant life!
When I head to San Francisco next March, one girl I am going to be brunching with is the beautiful Sarah Hawthorne. Sarah is a Melbourne girl- who packed up, moved her World, and started fresh in a new city. I was lucky enough to find out a little bit about her today!
VH: Can you tell us about yourself?
Hello fellow Vegie Head’s! It is an absolute pleasure to be your guest today! This year I moved from wonderful Melbourne to beautiful San Francisco in the name of love. I also came to the realisation that encouraging people to be their best self every day was my absolute passion! Therefore, I proudly created “My Balance & Wellness” to assist others in reconnecting with their inner self by achieving personal balance for a beautiful, feel good life of optimum health!
VH: What was your ‘lightbulb moment’ – that made you realise how important your health is?
Growing up I had a great childhood full of treasured memories, however, I ate a shocking diet full of high sugar, fatty, processed, chemicalised, refined and toxic “foods”. I never really knew the negative impact this was having on my life and that I was completely off balance with my body’s true needs! I finally reached a critical turning point in my late teens and realised the importance of nutrition and fitness! Ever since, I have been on a personal journey to ultimate wellness aligning my mind, body and spirit as one!
VH: What is your dream for ‘My Balance and Wellness’?
My vision for “My Balance & Wellness” is to guide and support each individual in setting and achieving realistic goals, allowing them to live the life they desire. In my own quest for balance and wellness, I always enjoy learning and growing, step-by-step, listening to my heart and having faith in the process. However, this journey is individual and different for everyone, a process “My Balance & Wellness” encourages and supports. Health and wellness is the ultimate goal as it is the greatest asset in life!
VH: What do you do personally to keep healthy?
Maintaining my Health is something I do daily in all areas of my life! I need to make sure I have balance with my relationships, fitness, career and spirituality, as well as nutrition.
Being present and doing things with full awareness makes a huge impact on my health.
I strive to get 8 hours of blissful sleep nightly, embrace nature by trail running first thing in the morning, and practice yoga weekly. I eat 3 nutritious homemade meals each day, carry healthy snacks such as raw nuts and fruit to keep my blood sugar levels steady, drink lots of water, and buy seasonal, local and organic. I surround myself with positive people and try to keep life simple! All of this comes so naturally to me now that it feels effortless! I can help you discover and enjoy the things that keep you healthy too!
VH: If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you and why?
-My husband (I love his company and sharing life experiences with him, plus he can build a mean fire)!!!
-A photo album of my friends, family and experiences as I love to reminisce!
-Journal (to document the days, activities, and thoughts).
VH: Do you have a recipe you wish to share?
I am the salad queen! It is so important to eat raw foods and this quick and easy Mango Salad for lunch is the perfect way to enjoy your day (even if it is super busy) the healthy way!
I recommend whipping it up the night before work and packing in a tightly sealed container for on the go convenience! 5 simple steps that will take you only 5 little minutes:
1) Throw in an abundance of nutrient packed leafy greens (the darker the better). For this salad I used spinach (rich in iron)!
2) Dice some fresh mango…mmm sweet goodness!
3) Love those healthy fats in a creamy avocado (slice half and keep the rest for later use).
4) Sprinkle your favourite raw seeds and nuts for some crunchy protein! (Other additions / substitutes include tempeh or tofu.)
5) Dress with lemon juice (detoxifying and a digestive aid) and / or apple cider vinegar (fermented for healthy gut).
Bonus: Add your favourite super food…for me that’s goji berries!!! (See my blog for more info on the health benefits of these little superstars.)
Enjoy with LOVE!
“My Balance & Wellness” http://mybalanceandwellness.blogspot.com/
“My Balance & Wellness with Sarah Hawthorne” on Facebook
“HawthorneHealth” on Twitter and Instagram
Well, guess what? I FOUND HER! And boy, is she blissful!
I'm talking about Tara Bliss
, my gorgeous blogging friend from Such Different Skies
. Trust me- you want to know this girl.
Can you tell us about yourself?
I'm a soulful 25 year old snowboarding nomad turned ambitious entrepreneur! These days, I'm settling into the sunshine in Queensland and I spend most of my time drinking coconuts, blogging, coaching clients and striking off To-Do's from my ginormous list! I'm a big believer that adopting a spiritual practice is super sexy and I love encouraging people to invite more miracles into their life. I'm irreversibly passionate about self development, deep connections with like-minded people, green juice, my husband and making a difference in the world.
How important is your health to you?
It's paramount, it really is. I think it's so important to prioritise our health, in all it's forms, by eating mass amounts of whole foods, hydrating, surrounding ourselves with loving, supportive people, moving our asses and sitting in silence, often. I'm so excited to be back in the sunshine, and am looking forward to complementing the effort I go to with my diet and spiritual practise with lots of movement. Yoga, running and personal training really turn me on.
What do you do personally to keep healthy?
I drink green juice and coconut water every day, and I always prioritise vegetables. I journal often, light incense, spent a lot of time with my crystal collection, and a lot of time looking at my vision boards and affirmations. I sleep next to the most cuddliest man on the face on the Earth, so no doubt that's good for my soul! I read in the sunshine, sip on herbal tea all day and I'm constantly challenging myself to grow and expand, both emotionally and in business. All this together positively affects my health.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you and why?
My husband Glen- if you met him, you'd know why. He's hilarious and hunky and seriously beautiful.
A journal (or 10!)- I'm sure if I survived, I'd have lot of material to publish in my book!
A volleyball. I'm not even kidding! Glen and I love
If I could hang out with my man, play ball, write in my journal and hopefully build up the strength to climb coconut palms, I'd be more than happy.
I love your blog- you seem to meld all of your favourite modalities together so well! If you had to choose only one, what is your favourite? (eg. crystals, food etc)
Adele! I can't! I'm always expanding and changing direction! Six months ago I was primarily blogging vegan recipes, six months before that it was snowboarding and bungy-jumping adventures. I don't know whether I can narrow it to one modality but I can say that I've definitely become very precise in the way that I frame my posts- I like to dig a little deeper into the darker stuff that others often don't like to go near. I love stripping back the layers of the psyche and gently pushing people to open up and grow.
Do you have a recipe you wish to share?
This is a salad I threw together the other day. It's entirely Spring-y, beautifully Ayurvedic and all out-delicious.
SPICY SPROUT, COCONUT and ENOKI SALAD
- Your choice of greens (I used spinach and mesculin)
- Loads of sprouts (I used bean shoots, alfalfa, mung bean + pea shoots)
- 1/2 the flesh of one freshly cracked coconut
- 1/2 avocado, chopped
- Kalamata olives
- Enoki mushrooms
- Fresh chili, chopped
- Dress with lemon juice and fresh cracked pepper. (For ultimate decadence, add some truffle oil. Delicious!)
Serve alongside a glass of coconut water!Tara is opening her coaching schedule riiiiiiight up within the next week, so if you're interested in working one on one with her, then be sure to bookmark her site.
At the Sustain Organic Festival in Sydney a few months ago, I finally met my 'Insta-friend' Jessica from Live Healthy Simply
! We realised we had so much in common, with very similar goals and dreams. I asked beautiful Jessica to be a Vegie Head and asked her some questions!
1: Can you tell us about yourself?
I’m the founder of Live Healthy Simply
and a soon to be Health & Life Coach. I’ve always had a passion and interest in health and how we can be the best possible version of ourselves but it’s only been recently that I thought I could actually make a career out of doing something I love and decided to go down this path. My career before this was in business development so very different from what I’m doing now.
2: How important is your health to you?
My health is my most valuable asset. Without being healthy in body, mind and spirit I can’t be the best version of myself. If I’m sick or feeling a little off I struggle at work, at home and the pressure of “life” gets to me. Ensuring I look after myself and live a healthy lifestyle means I’m on my A-Game and can do my personal best every day.
3: What do you do personally to keep healthy?
I eat lots of salads, veggies & superfoods and avoid meat, poultry, fish, diary, eggs, wheat & products containing added sugar. I try to work out 4- 5 times per week (especially with the wedding coming up!) and I’ve recently gotten into meditation and positive affirmations, which has done wonders for my piece of mind. I love yoga too and try to practice at least once per week.
4: If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things would you take with you and why?
My soon to be husband – I would get bored without him! My juicer so I could make fresh juice with all the exotic fruit and coconut oil because it has so
many purposes. You can eat it as well as use it for moisturiser and sunscreen – triple bonus!
5: Where do you see yourself in 5 years work-wise?
Running my own business and coaching others to improve their health & lives. I would also love to create some products but who knows where and what I’ll end up doing. I’m excited to see where life takes me.
6: Do you have a recipe you wish to share?
I sure do! Raw Chocolate Brownies
-2 cups whole walnuts
-2½ cups Medjool dates, pitted
-½ cup carob powder
-½ cup raw cocao powder
-1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
-1/8 teaspoon sea salt Steps
-Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until nuts are finely ground
-Add carob, cocao and salt. Pulse to combine
-Add dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor whilst running,
the mixture should appear like cake crumbs. Add more dates if the mixture does not stick together when pressed.
-Add chopped almonds to mixture and run food processor until mixed.
-Press into lined cake tin and place in fridge until ready to serve.
-Cut into squares and store in an airtight container in a fridge.
Thank you so much for reading and letting me apart of the Vegie Head community, I would love to see you at Live Healthy Simply
I was lucky enough to catch up with the gorgeous Melissa Ambrosini from The Path to Wellness when she visited Melbourne a few months back. What a treat! I could have spent all day talking to her; we spoke about food (of course!), blogging, health and life. She is my latest guest Vegie Head, and couldn't be more fitting.
VH: Can you tell us about yourself?
By trade I am a holistic health and life coach, a health and wellness writer, a blogger and an inspirational speaker. I am a truth seeker, super passionate green juice junkie, inspiration lover, and a massive believer that heaven is right here on earth.
I am on a heartstring mission to help empower women! I want to inspire women to live their biggest, best, and fullest life possible. I wake up each morning with the intention to live from my heart and help others do the same.
My six-month Path To Wellness
coaching program helps women end their tortuous relationship with their bodies, lose weight, gain more energy, clear their skin, get a sparkle in their eyes and, most importantly, fall head over heels back in love with the babe staring back at them in the mirror. All this is done without calorie counting, food deprivation, or limitations. It’s about finding your infinite self and realizing your truth.
VH: How important is your health to you?
Without my body and mind health, I cannot function to my true potential. I look after myself because I honor the body I have been given. I nourish my body with the most beautiful organic foods, supportive thoughts, and movement and adequate hydration. It’s extremely important not only for myself but because, one day, I want to give life to another human being. My health will determine the health of that someone else.
VH: What do you do personally to keep healthy?
As mentioned above, I honor my body with beautiful organic food, daily movement, clean water, and a spiritual practice that supports me. A few other particular things I do are: daily dry body brushing, Epsom salt baths, journaling, getting eight hours of sleep every single night, walking in nature and cups of tea with girlfriends. All these things keep me ‘healthy’.
VH: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you and why?
Mmmmm. Tough questions! Because you said things and not food I am presuming I can climb trees to get coconuts, pick berries, and drink the clean water. So the three ‘things’ I would take would be:
- Spirit Junkie by Gavrielle Bernstein (my favorite book which I could read over and over again – and to remind me I am not my circumstances. I am love.)
- A knife for cutting down my food and hunting (because I am presuming I am really good at that).
- And, finally, a yoga mat for a comfy night’s sleep, because, again, I am presuming I have made an awesome shelter out of massive palm tree leaves.
HA, HA! This game is fun!
VH: Do you have a recipe you wish to share?
Hell yeah! I am the recipe queen. My favorite super healthy, delicious dessert recipe I want to share with you is my ‘Sweet Potato Pie with Candied Walnuts’.
Connect with Melissa on her site
, facebook twitter
The best thing about walking Charlie in the park everyday is not only seeing her enjoying herself so much, but the fact that so many dog owners have interesting jobs and ideas. Phivo and I clicked immediately- both dreamers, both 'ideas men' and full of boundless energy and love for our pooches.
Phivo's boxer Augustine is lots of fun. She was the inspiration behind 'Augustine Approved-Human Food For Dogs'
and has a great story to tell!
"Those who know me make jokes about how much I adore Augustine and like all you animal lovers out there I want my best friend to have a long and happy life.
When Augustine arrived the excitement kicked in and I splurged on what I was advised was high quality food. To my dismay, no matter what commercial dog food Augustine ate, she was plagued with stomach problems and didn’t have the vibrancy expected of a young boxer.
Of course I took her to the vet and followed the recommended commercial diets but three months on she still suffered
.I was becoming desperate for a solution and felt like I was left with no choice but to solve the riddle of Augustine’s health myself. But what did I know about making dog food? I can’t even cook for myself!
Being an outsider to the pet industry was a positive. You see the problem is if you approach any expert in the field of dog nutrition and ask them to create the world’s greatest dog food, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will automatically place restrictions on their creativity before they even begin.
They will be concerned about adhering to a budget, storage and transportation. To work within the restrictions they have created in their own minds, they will most certainly come up with a dry (kibble) food, or canned food. I do not believe it is good for dogs to eat biscuits or canned food, especially not for their entire lives. I wouldn’t eat such a diet, would you?
It soon became my personal ambition to create the world’s greatest dog food -‐ without compromise, so that Augustine and all the wonderful canines out there can enjoy a healthy, happy life and be our companions for years to come. Finally after extensive trials, Augustine approved the food.
Over the coming weeks we will be launching our online store as well as making important updates to our website which will demonstrate why Augustine’s Super Food is truly the world’s greatest dog food."
After creating the amazing food, Phivo contacted Veterinarians, Nutritionists and the wider dog loving community to try the product. Charlie was one of the lucky dogs and her health has never been better! Look at that shiny coat!
Phivo has put together some amazing ingredients
to make Augustine Approved; broccoli, beetroot, carrot, zucchini, sweet potato (vegan version), coconut oil, flaxseed, barley grass, arrowroot, ground chia and sesame seeds, turmeric, lecithin, maca, wakame and ginseng! Phew! Now thats a great list!
If you are serious about your dogs health, invest in the best
. We are well aware of how we feel when we eat junk food (and really, dried dog food is junk!) so why would we want our beloved pups to feel that way???
I will see you at the park Augie!
Poochie kisses xxxxx
One of my favourite websites and blogs is run by the beautiful and inspiring Jessica Ainscough from The Wellness Warrior
. At first glance it seemed to be a general blog about health, nutrition and wellbeing. However, after delving into her posts, I saw that it was so much more. Her story is incredible, and the strength that shines through her words just blows me away. Here is her story.
Jess Ainscough is a writer, holistic health coach, and the creator of the health and wellness website, The Wellness Warrior. Via her e-books, daily blog posts, and videos, Jess’ goal is to empower people to take control of their health and show that the quality of our lives is directly linked to how we treat our body and mind.
Almost four years ago Jess was diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare form of cancer called Epithelioid Sarcoma, in her left hand and arm. After having a high dose of chemo pumped through her arm following scans showed she was clear of cancer. Little did she know it would come back, not even a year after going into remission. After being told by the scary men in white coats that her only real chance of long-term survival would be to have her arm amputated at the shoulder she decided to take matters into her own hands. She politely refused their offers of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and began searching for natural, alternative cancer treatments.
The way she saw it she had two choices. She could rely on the slash, poison and burn method offered by the medical profession and become stuck in the ‘cancer patient’ category for who knows how long, or she could take responsibility for her illness and bring her body to optimum health so that it can heal itself. For Jess it was an easy decision. Chemo and radiation do not have great success on the type of cancer she has, and there is no way she was going to let them cut her arm off.
Jess quit her magazine job in Sydney, swapping a lifestyle of back-to-back parties for one of relaxation and meditation. Ditching a diet that consisted mostly of champagne, canapés and late night Lean Cuisine she became a green juice guzzling, lentil-loving vego. She packed up and moved back to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to live with her family and began devoting all her time and energy to restoring her health. Along the way, Jess developed a obsession with passing on all of her newly learnt wellness wisdom to anyone who was parked in front of her for long enough to listen.
Connect with Jess on …
Jess has also been kind enough to share one of her delicious recipes with us Vegie Heads!
Carrot and Capsicum Cabbage Parcels
What you’ll need:
-6-8 full red cabbage leaves
-3 cloves garlic, crushed
-1 lemon, juiced
-1 cup brown rice
What to do:
-Soak cabbage leaves into a big pot of warm to hot water until soft (around 20 mins).
-Cook brown rice on the stove in 2 cups of water via the absorption method.
-Julienne (thinly slice) the carrots, capsicum, and onion.
-Pop vegetables and garlic into a pan on the stove and cook to soften.
-Remove cabbage leaves from hot water to cool slightly.
-Spoon vegetable mixture and coriander into cabbage leaf and fold into a parcel.
-Place parcels into a baking dish and fill baking dish with lemon juice, and drizzle honey over parcels.
-Bake in an oven heated to 180°C for 15 mins.
-Serve cabbage parcels on bed of brown rice, and pour the dressing from the bottom of the baking dish over the top.
My Guest Vegie Head for this blog is the amazing Michelle, from Healthier Steps
. Michelle and I found each others recipes through Facebook, and immediately I knew that I had found someone with tastebuds similar to mine!!! She is full of positive energy, and is passionate about her health. Michelle's recipes are healthy, delicious (Peanut butter and Jelly smoothie? YES PLEASE!!) and full of colour and flavour. Michelle also makes homemade soaps
; think orange/patchouli, lemon/poppy seed and basil/lime! Here is her story...
"If you asked me as a kid what a vegan was, I wouldn’t have known what to say. My family were heavy meat eaters and it is totally amazing that I now love raw food. Miraculous! But I believe that this miracle was what later saved my life.
Growing up in Jamaica, I loved to eat meat--steak, beef--and refined foods with lots of sugar and salt. Fish made me throw up and I hated vegetables. I ate so poorly it’s a wonder that the only condition I suffered was a constant sinus problem and a lipoma on my leg. I decided to study nursing in England and later worked in America monitoring cardiac patients and soon noticed a pattern taking place. Patients would come in, be sent home with more medication, and then show up again a few months later. Everytime they came back, they were progressively worse. I also noticed they were often served meat and had terrible diets in the hospital.
I started taking my health more seriously and often stopped by the health food sections in stores and met people who knew about alternative health. Now married with a daughter, I became vegan and noticed my sinuses cleared up. I wanted to tell my patients how their food could help them get better, but realized doing so would only get me fired. So I resigned from the hospital and our family moved into the country where we could grow our food and teach others how to have better health.I continued my own research, and discovered that going raw would be the most powerfully healing and cleansing step I could take. So I did, and found I had more energy, my mind was clearer, I could work more efficiently, I felt better, and even lost the weight I always wanted to loose. I also started juicing and growing my own wheat grass. My husband and daughter saw the dramatic improvement on my health.
I started researching skincare products and was shocked to see the chemicals that are put on the products on the shelves at any store. I decided to make my own out of wholesome and natural ingredients. This is how the Healthier Steps brand was born. This website is to teach you how to make delicious and healthful food and to take care of your body so you may live a long life.
Today, my health is better than ever. I am not fully raw, but I eat as much as possible. I make time to do health lectures at the local library as well as soap making classes. Sometimes, people invite me to show them how to do these things in their homes. I continue to explore and share healthier ways of living, and working on my line of natural skincare products.
You can check it out at healthiersteps.com
. In the near future I plan to release a cookbook full of more recipes like the ones on my site and further expanding my line.
The gift of life is so precious. Sometimes we don’t realize how precious it is until it is almost taken from us. If you are reading this story, I want you to know that you are also very, very precious and that there is a plan and purpose for your life. Don’t let anything stop you from daily learning, growing, and seeking to fulfill that wonderful purpose!"
Michelle has also been kind enough to submit a recipe to Vegie Head!
This recipe is definitely a winner. They can be made in larger quantities and they freeze well. Black beans may be substituted with kidney beans. Also pecans, almonds and cashew may be used instead of walnuts. This recipe can be modified to use the herbs that you like. Serve with burger buns and garnishes or with your favorite gravy and mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
The Ultimate Vegan Oatmeal Burger
-4 cups water
-4 cups quick cooking oats
-½ cup coconut aminos, bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce
-1 cup cooked crack wheat or bulghar
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-½ cup cooked black bean
-¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
-1 tsp onion powder1tsp garlic powder
-¼ tsp Italian seasoning
-Bring water to boil in a saucepan, remove from heat then add bragg’s liquid aminos, coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
-Stir in oats and the remaining ingredients and mix well.
-Using a large canning jar lid and rim form patties and place in a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins, turn over, then bake for another 15 mins.
-You may also cook in a lightly oiled skillet on both sides.
.....as long as you have the magic hands of Lucas from Libertas Food Gardens
I hang my head in shame at the staate of my poor herb garden, and pray that the garden gods forgive me!
This week I visited Lucas at a garden he was working on. Lucas is a permaculture and landscape design expert. His knowledge and passion blew me away- and the gardens, oh the gardens! Spectacular!
To Lucas, permaculture is a system of design, that allows us to create permanent human settlements, using strategies inspired by nature. This involves edible greens, fruits, water plants, vegetables, and even bee hives (that fertilise the plants) and chickens (who live very happily and eat lots of weeds). They are not just food gardens, chicken yards, or water harvesting systems. They are all interconnected, and it therefore becomes a permaculture property. From the pipes that catch the rainfall and passively water the trees deep underground, to the herbs that are co-planted with vegetables to keep the bugs away, Lucas has thought of everything!
He first became interested in food gardens and permaculture systems 5-6 years ago, while biking through North and South America. He wanted to know more about strategies for a sustainable human society, and started looking at how North American cultures used to live before colonization. That's when he first came in contact with concepts like food forests and quickly started imagining it making its way to the heart of our cities.
The houses I visited were on the cusp of the Melbourne CBD, which surprised me- I initially thought that permaculture gardens had to be wide, sweeping acreages with personal full-time gardeners. Lucas wants to make food gardens accessible and achievable for everyone, whether they be old, young, owners or renters, live in a house or an apartment. He said that for people to best utilise their food gardens, he sees how they live day-to-day, and (this is one of my favourite ideas for when Lucas designs my garden) then he can plant a kitchen garden right outside your window, so all you need to do is open the window and pick what you need!
Lucas is conducting Garden Tours
, as a part of the Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival in Eltham and Brunswick. His focus will be on DIY, passive watering, food gardens and much more! Why not come along, meet Lucas and let some of his passion rub off onto you?! Lucas and I are also hoping to work together in the future, bringing you videos about seasonal fruit and vegies, and what to do with them. Nothing goes to waste, and everything is used- whether it be replanted, used as mulch, or eaten.
For more information about Lucas, and Libertas, visit the website
and read his interesting blog