Monday, December 6, 2010

Packing Day this Saturday!

I will be one of over 560 registered volunteers helping Sydney Basket Brigade to decorate, pack and deliver hampers just before Christmas Day.

Sydney Basket Brigade source donations of products and money throughout the year, to fill hampers full of food and a present for individuals and families in need over the festive season.

The Sydney Basket Brigade team is a 100% volunteer organisation. No-one gets paid for their help and everything we achieve is made possible by donations, good will and people’s time.

I am really forward to the day and happy to assist! Check out their website:

Wishing you all the best for the season! Michelle x

Monday, November 29, 2010




XYZnetworks’ LifeStyle YOU today announced that it has commissioned Southern Star Entertainment to produce an Australian series of the Cineflix International format, EAT YOURSELF SEXY. Inspiring and uplifting, EAT YOURSELF SEXY encourages women to take control of their lives and get back on the road to loving themselves.

“LifeStyle YOU prides itself on knowing Australian women. Our viewers contact us all the time with requests for makeovers, diet and exercise plans and relationship advice. When we found this show we knew it was perfect for LifeStyle YOU as it covers the gamut and the goal of what Australian women want to be – healthy, happy and sexy,” said Nicole Sheffield, General Manager, LifeStyle Channels. “Eat Yourself Sexy crosses genres with diet and fitness advice along with makeover tips and is about the realistic makeover to get Australian women feeling sexy again.”

EAT YOURSELF SEXY follows the stories of eight women, one per episode, as they transform their bodies and find the power to reignite their relationships with the help of a team of experts. From the salad dodging housewife whose libido has gone missing to the frantic mum-of-three who never has time for herself, this series will help Australian women lose weight, regain health and reclaim their long-lost mojo once and for all.

Hosting the Australian series and guiding these women along their life changing journey is LifeStyle YOU presenter Sarah Wilson. Sarah knows it’s possible to eat yourself sexy and she is going to prove it. Along with expert nutritionist Emma Sutherland and trainer Blake Worrall-Thompson, they are on a quest to transform these women from saggy and stressed-out, to sexy and stunning in just eight short weeks.

"The premise of Eat Yourself Sexy is so refreshing. The series is about changing your eating patterns to not just lose weight, but feel better about yourself and regain confidence, energy and sexual spark. I think Australians will learn a lot from this show... it goes into the kitchens and bedrooms of everyday women and holds a mirror up to our habits,” said Sarah Wilson.
EAT YOURSELF SEXY follows the Cineflix International format of the series, which sees international nutrition sensation Gillian McKeith use her no nonsense, tough love approach to get women back into shape.

Southern Star Entertainment will produce the eight-part one hour series for LifeStyle YOU which is currently in production. EAT YOURSELF SEXY is set to premiere mid 2011.
“Eight Australian women with very relatable food issues fess up about wanting to get their health on track and find a new sense of body confidence. What they learn and how they change is deeply inspiring,” said Courtney Gibson, Director of Programmes at Southern Star Entertainment.

LifeStyle YOU is available on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Update

Sorry we haven't blogged for awhile; Emma has been busy with her clinic work and i have been busy with my full-time job (Breville's Test Kitchen Manager and Cooking Specialist). So, I wanted to give you a update on the book. Emma has completed all her research notes and i have been madly recipe writing and testing. We sent out all the recipes recently to keen recipe testers and this was such a positive experience for us; we received constructive feedback and some twigging and retesting was required and now we are in the second round of recipe testing. So our aim is by end of December to have all recipes tested so that we can start approaching publishers early next year - Wish us luck! Cheers, Michelle

Sunday, October 31, 2010

My New Best Friend is also Product of the Month!

Ssshhhhh - I have a secret to share with you. It's my new kettle and it is amazing! You may be wondering what all the fuss is about but this is not just a kettle. It is the Breville Automatic tea maker and kettle and it makes me the perfect cup of tea every single morning. It has 5 different temperatures and 3 different tea strengths. All I do is press "Herbal" and "Strong" and put my tea in the large tea basket and voila - perfectly brewed tea and it even keeps it warm for an hour! Perfect as I love to top up my tea throughout the morning.

As far as smart designs go, this little baby is hard to beat. A clear glass jug so I can see my tea brewing, a clear beeping to alert me to my cuppa and it really does look rather special in my kitchen. So bravo Breville on making my morning tea ritual just that one bit more special and enjoyable!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Zucchini Fritters

We'll ladies who would have thought zucchini and mozzarella to be friends! Last night i made Bill Grangers Zucchini Fritters from October Issue Delicious Magazine and they were absolutely fabulous. Attached my photo for proof! Happy Healthy Cooking. Cheers, Michelle.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mint Lassi

I have mint growing wildly in my courtyard at the moment and I've been using the mint leaves in tea, or finely shred and/or tear leaves to mix in salads or add to other herbs to garnish curries and if your planning on cooking a spicy curry, I have the most soothing drink to refresh and cool down your mouth, here is my Mint Lassi.

Mint Lassi
2 Tablespoons biodynamic organic wholemilk yoghurt
125ml fullcream organic milk
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
8 ice cubes
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Sprig mint

In a cocktail shaker, add all ingredients except mint and shake well.
Pour chilled yoghurt drink into a glass and top with a sprigs of mint.


Happy Healthy Eating!

Michelle xx

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pomegranate Martini

Pomegranates are a good source of Vitamin C, B5, Potassium, Polypheriols such as Tannins and Flavonoids. Besides from being good for you the humble pomegranate is delicious in taste and looks spectacular!

Last night after a busy day the office, i made a refreshing pomegranate martini and sat in my courtyard, sipping generously and reflecting at the day events. I used Rosehip tea in my recipe for extra wellbeing and if your on a alcohol free diet this drink is still very good, just remove the vodka and add extra tea.

Pomegranate Martini

Makes 4

1/2 pomegranate (seeds removed)

100ml rosehip tea, cooled

100ml 100% pure pomegranate juice

60ml vodka

16 small ice cubes

1. Place all ingredients except pomegranate seeds into a cocktail shaker. Shake and fine strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Drink in moderation!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking.

Mich x

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Get the Scoop on Natural Sunscreens

After the last few days of beautiful weather I started thinking about how to protect my skin yet still enjoy the sunshine. I love summer and feel so alive after a day at the beach, sand in my toes and sun on my face! So to find out what a natural sunscreen is and how to avoid the nasty chemical sunscreens this summer keep on reading.
How do sunscreens work?
Sunscreens protect the skin from burning by either absorbing the harmful rays or reflecting them from the skin. No sunscreen can provide total protection from all of the sun's rays and that’s why it is always important to cover up using appropriate clothing and eye wear especially during the hottest part of the day. Sunscreens are filters of UV energy. They are used to filter a proportion only of UV rays.

What active ingredient does natural sunscreen use?
They use Zinc Oxide (250mg/g) which reflects UV-A and UV-B rays rather than chemical actives which absorb these rays.

Does natural sunscreen contain Nanoparticles?
Nanoparticles are man made, extremely small particles that can easily enter the body and can be found in cosmetics, moisturizers, mineral make up and sunscreens. They are used in sunscreens to prevent the white film once applied. Natural sunscreens should not contain Nanoparticles. Friends of the Earth's Safe Sunscreen Guide states "Studies have shown that Nanoparticles can produce free radicals and DNA damage, especially when exposed to UV light. These studies suggest that rather than offering us sun protection, if nano-sunscreens are absorbed into our skin, they could result in serious damage."

What does Broad Spectrum mean and is it important?
A sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection protects against UV-B rays as well as UV-A. All sunscreens protect against UV-A rays which cause loss of elasticity, premature aging and skin cancer however not all protect again UV-B which causes sun burn.

Recent studies have shown that UV-B radiation plays a large role in causing gene mutations that can lead to skin cancer. Therefore it is vital that when using a sunscreen you check that it offers broad spectrum protection.

Check List for Your Sunscreen

Free from:
Chemical UV filters/absorbers
Titanium dioxide
Artificial fragrances

Monday, September 27, 2010


I just love tomatoes, they are rich in Vitamins C and A and provide the body with lycopene, a valuable source of nutrition which prevents damage to the cells causing cancers. They come in all different varieties which vary in colour, size and flavour.

Over the weekend i made Baked Chicken in Tomato and here is my quick and easy recipe.

Baked Chicken in Tomato

Serves 2

1 eggplant, trimmed and sliced in 1cm rounds

1 x 250g punnet cherry tomatoes (mixed varieties)

1 x 400g bottle organic tomato pasta sauce

4 organic chicken drumsticks

In a large baking dish, layer eggplants and tomatoes. Pour tomato sauce over and add chicken drumsticks, turn to coat in the sauce.

Bake in a hot oven (180C) for 1 hour until chicken flesh meat is falling off the bone and vegetables are tender.

Spoon a large ladle of vegetables into a shallow bowl and top with two chicken drumsticks. Add more sauce and serve hot.

(Optional) Top with shredded basil and grated Parmesan.

Happy Cooking and Eating !

Cheers, Michelle xo

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Morello Cherry and Almond Little Cakes

Spring; this morning i jumped out of bed and made these yummy little cakes for breakfast. The taste and smell of the sweetness of maple and cherries mixed with roasted nuts is just amazing!

1 cup almond meal (or process mixed nuts)
1/2 cup 100% pure organic maple syrup
3 x 60g organic eggs
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 cup stoneless cherries, drained (morello)
10g butter, melted for greasing

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease 6 cup muffin tin with melted butter.
2. In a medium bowl add almond meal, syrup, eggs and vanilla and mix with a wooden spoon or soft spatula until well combined. Add cherries and gently stir in (be careful not to break cherries).
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until cakes have risen and are golden brown in colour.
4. Cool in tin for approximately 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges of each muffin to release from the tin.
5. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving with a creamy yoghurt. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking and Have a good day :-) Cheers, Michelle xx

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mushrooms – the New Superfood!

Those innocuous mushrooms in your shopping basket could be the answer to your vitamin D deficiency! Expected revisions to the recommended daily intake of vitamin D, which are expected this summer, may do wonders for mushroom sales. "There's a better understanding of importance of vitamin D in human health," said Tara McHugh, a research leader at the USDA.

At least 40% of Australians don't get enough vitamin D, but others estimate it may be twice that number. In addition to aiding calcium absorption by the body, vitamin D may help numerous health conditions including osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and even a reduction in overall mortality.

Vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin found in few foods, occurs naturally in fish oils and has been added as a supplement to milk since the 1930s to help combat rickets, a major health problem at the time. Humans also create it naturally when ultraviolet rays from the sun strike the skin. It’s our “sunshine” vitamin!

While it has been known for years that mushrooms also can generate the vitamin, it wasn't until a few years ago that people started thinking about its commercial viability. It was found that exposing mushrooms to a short burst ultra violet light produces a daily allotment of vitamin D in 120 grams of mushrooms without a negative impact on other nutritional benefits, appearance, taste or shelf life. In comparison, one cup of fortified milk provides about 30% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D.

So, add mushrooms into your diet for an added boost of vitamin D, an essential nutrient for optimal vitality! Read about my immune boosting soup that features the powerful Enoki mushrooms.


Have you checked you vitamin D levels after our cold winter?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

All Things Hunter Valley

I have just spent the last 3 days guest presenting at the Golden Door Health Retreat in the beautiful Hunter Valley. I love to go there as it is a place where people transform and achieve huge goals. My role this week was to take the guests through a series of seminars and a cooking class. The focus was weight loss and how to achieve a healthy state of being. I just love this kind of work and my mission is always to inspire people to achieve an incredible level of health and wellbeing and I was in the perfect place for this!

I regularly guest present at this gorgeous retreat and every time I have this experience I love it. The surroundings are rolling hills covered in vineyards. As I look out my window in the morning I can see hot air balloons slowly rising. I was blessed with a Leo full moon and I spent a good hour at the top of meditation hill soaking up the moon rays. It felt exquisite and I was so full of energy that I spent the next 5 hours writing!

So if you can take a week away from your life and want to transform your current situation make a trip to the Golden Door. The crew they have are highly trained and they have hand picked the best from every occupation and therapy. There are links below to my various activities from the last few days. If you want more information about what to expect simply email me through my website.

I am in the process of organising a 5 day Female Health retreat for January 2011 so let me know what you would be interested in learning. This is an amazing opportunity for me and I would love to see you there. Cooking classes, seminars and one on one consultations are just the beginning!

While I was there, I picked up a copy of Michael Hallock’s amazing CD called “Aaah Inspiring Meditation”. We talked about this 2 years ago and I am so proud of him reaching his goal. I love his cd - incredibly soothing and the perfect tool for anyone who is stressed and feeling frazzled. You can buy a copy here.

I visited Michael recently on my trip to Bali. He is helping set up the most amazing retreat I have ever laid eyes on. It is in Ubud and I really cant express how incredible it is. it has just opened and you can read more about it here.

I am sure that I will be back to Five Elements and look forward to a regular visit to such a special place.

I am off to Thailand tomorrow to conduct some research that I will tell you about soon. In the meantime keep warm and infection free by reading my tips. In case you are wondering about my photo, Tamburlaine winery is an organic winery that I always visit when in the Hunter. To my delight, they have just released an organic Blanc de Blanc - now that makes me happy!

View from Meditation Hill

Check out the view from cooking class!

Executive chef Mark and I with my Detoxification Salad

Executive chef Mark in action

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Herb of the Week - Nettle

Miso and Nettle Soup

I adore fresh nettle and have been lucky enough to get my hands on some organic varieties. Just remember to wear gloves as it can give you a mild rash or hives temporarily. Nettle is an incredibly powerful herb and I use it for pregnancy as it is so rich in nutrients. It's also used for hay fever, dermatitis, arthritis and blood noses.

I made some lovely nettle and goats cheese frittatas as my snack at work last week and this week I have made a quick soup.


1 litre water
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, cut in 1 cm rings
2 Tbs quinoa
2 Tbs miso, dissolved in a bit of water
4 Tbs nettle leaves finely chopped
Servings: 6

The nettle tops should be harvested early in spring when they are still very small (about 5 cm). Only use the small unfolded top leaves.

Put carrots, onion, leek and quinoa in water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 min until tapioca is clear and soup is slightly thickened. Stir from time to time to prevent the tapioca from burning. Add the miso and mix to dissolve. Add the chopped nettle leaves and only bring to boiling point. Don't boil to preserve the vitamins. Serve the miso soup immediately

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Winter Flu Fighter Juice

I had a really bad cold a couple of weeks ago. Emma e-mailed me her juice recipe which is an absolute winter winner and recommends having it 3-4 times a week throughout winter. Emma say's all you do is grab 1 small beetroot, 4 carrots, 1 inch of fresh ginger, 1 clove of garlic and 1 whole lemon. Get yourself a mighty fine juicer and juice in the following order: First carrot, garlic, ginger, beetroot, 3 carrots then lemon and it really is best if you can use organic ingredients as they are far more nutritionally dense. Add to a big glass with a few ice cubes and you will be feeling amazing and germ free!

Happy Juicing and get well this Winter everyone!
emma and michelle xx

Words emma and michelle copyright 2010. picture by

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In our 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and all Fun and Fabulous

OK some food for thought; maybe a little cliche especially after blogging about a way to man's heart cook book but a question for all the single ladies, where do you look these days for love ? Do you hit the bars, go on-line social networking sites, grocery store, friend network, social clubs or activities; maybe a cooking class ?? What are today's savvy woman doing to attract themselves a date ?? If we have careers, friends and good family support, what are we doing about getting out and about and start dating! What are you doing to ensure that you have a work/life balance? Enjoy your life!

Mich xx

Words and Picture by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

The way to a man's heart

OK i will admit that i have a fetish for second hand cook books and recently i was at a Antique Fair which is another passion of mine collecting "Shelley" art. Anyway, on my travels around the fair floor i discovered a seller with his mothers cook books and i couldn't resist but take one called "The way to a mans heart, The Settlement Cook Book" complied by Mrs. Simon Kander, printed in USA, 1940 and copyright The Settlement Cook book Co. Tested recipes from the Settlement Cooking Classes, The Milwaukee Public School Kitchens, The School of Trades for Girls and Experienced Housewives. In my opinion this book is completely practical with loads of helpful preparation tips and cooking techniques. I've enjoyed the past few weeks simply flicking through the pages and reading about how things were once done. In this particular book the seller's mother has circled her favourite recipes and made notes alongside a few which has given me insight into what this family was eating and what recipes worked. It has been used thoroughly and loved as i am noticing lots of food markings on the pages. As i left the seller's stand he said to me "i hope you enjoy this book and get many years out of it" and i said to him "Thank you and i'll let you know that you have given this book to a good home".

Happy Cooking! Mich

Words and Picture by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lemon Slice

If you've got the girls coming round for morning tea and you have a spare hour the day before, try whipping up a batch of my simply scrumptious Lemon Slice using organic ingredients where ever possible to gain more flavour and taste.

Lemon Slice

Makes 16 slices


1 cup plain flour

1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

75g butter, chopped

pinch salt


2 x 60g eggs

1 cup caster sugar

2 Tablespoons plain flour

Zest and juice 1 lemon

1 teaspoon baking powder


300g sour cream

1 cup icing sugar mixture, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Make Base - Combine flour, sugar, butter and salt into a food processor. Process until mixture forms a ball. Press pastry into a lined 22cm square slice tin with baking paper. Bake at 175ºC for 15 minutes until lightly browned.

2. Make Filling - In a mixing bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice and baking powder until well combined. Pour over hot pastry crust and bake for 15 minutes or until set and slightly browned.

3. Make Topping - In a mixing bowl whisk together sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread evenly over hot filling and bake for 10 minutes or until topping is set. Cool on a wire rack for approximately 30 minutes and refrigerate overnight before cutting into equal squares.

Enjoy !

Recipe, words and picture by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cauliflower Fritters

OK - Winter has definitely hit town and i am sitting at my desk blogging with the heater and oven on to keep the room warm. ....Cold weather inspires me to cook healthy comforting foods and on Sunday night i whipped up these yummy fritters which really satisfied me. Try them next time your looking for that something special!

Cauliflower Fritters
Serves 2
2 cups cooked cauliflower, mashed and cooled
1/2 cup plain flour
20g goats cheese
1 x 60g egg
2 Tablespoons chopped herbs (optional)
1 garlic clove, peeled and infused in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon baby capers
Handful baby salad greens
3 Tablespoons oil (olive or rice bran), for frying

1. In a bowl mix together cauliflower, flour, cheese, egg and herbs until well combined.
2. Heat oil in frypan over medium heat and drop spoonfuls of mixture into hot oil and cook for
1-2 minute each side until well browned and heated through centre. Remove and drain on paper towels.
3. Serve fritters warm drizzled with garlic oil and capers and a side of fresh greens.



Words, recipe and photo by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Importance of Organic Food for Children - Study released

I have always passionately believed in the importance of eating organic food. Children have smaller and less mature livers than us and so chemicals have a greater impact on them. I have long been advising parents to remove pesticides from their children's diets but having solid research to emphasise this is great. Please be aware that the link between pesticides and behavioural disorders is now compelling!

A Harvard based study recently published in Pediatrics demonstrates a link between Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and organophosphate pesticides. The researchers found a strong correlation between the level of pesticides detected in the urine of children and the condition known as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Those children with more pesticide exposure were more likely to have ADHD. The researchers concluded: "These findings support the hypothesis that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. Prospective studies are needed to establish whether this association is causal."

For the most commonly detected pesticide chemical, dimethylthiophosphate, children with levels higher than the median of detectable concentrations had double the odds of ADHD compared with those with non-detectable levels."

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) "... is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity)," says the National Institute of Mental Health. The Center for Disease Control said 3% to 7% of school-aged children in the United States had ADHD in 2003, with 2.5 million children medicated for the condition.

Exposure, says the Center for Disease Control, does not have to be direct. Eating foods that have organophosphates sprayed on them can contribute to effects on an individuals' health.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Winter Colds and Flus

Well, I can't believe it but I have a revolting cold! A head filled with congestion, razor blade throat, a nasty cough and I feel miserable. I do find that more clients succumb to infections at the change of season than in winter itself. So I have made a huge batch of my immune boosting soup and wanted to share my recipe with you. Of course this soup is best when totally organic as the nutrient value will be much higher.

Ok so first let me explain why these ingredients are so wonderful for you:

Chicken - perfect protein to support your production of disease fighting immune molecules
Onion - helps to break down mucous
Garlic - a natural antibiotic
Ginger - stimulates circulation enabling more efficient clearing of toxins
Chilli - high in vitamin C
Enoki mushrooms - has properties that are anti cancer so can help fight any nasty bugs
Risoni - a great carbohydrate source for energy
Lemon - uplifts mood
Parsley - high in iron which stimulates immunity
Goji berries - traditionally used in China in convalescence, specifically in broths

Ingredients (use your inutition on quantities)
Chicken thighs
Chicken stock ( I always have some pre made in the freezer)
Garlic - lots
Ginger - lots
Chilli - lots
Enoki mushrooms
Lemon zest and juice
Goji berries

Saute onions, garlic, chilli, ginger until soft. Add chicken thighs and brown them. Pour in your stock and simmer. Once chicken is cooked take it out and shred with a fork. Add chicken back in with risoni, Goji berries and enoki mushrooms. To serve, place lemon zest on the bottom of your bowl. Add soup and top off with lemon juice and parsley.

I have eaten nothing but this soup for the last 36 hours and have woken up this morning feeling so much better. I can actually breathe through my nose and my headache has gone. So, the next time you feel a nasty cold coming on remember this easy recipe and start cooking!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pesticides Linked to Hyperactivity in Children

Children exposed to higher levels of pesticide found on commercially grown fruit and vegetables in the United States were more likely to have attention deficit/hyper-activity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published on Monday. Researchers in the United States and Canada studied data from 1139 children aged between 8 - 15 and found children with higher residue levels of pesticides known as organophosphates were roughly twice as likely to have ADHD, the study in the journal Pediatrics found.

"The present study adds to the accumulating evidence linking higher levels of pesticide exposure to adverse developmental outcomes," the study concluded. Roughly 40 organophosphate pesticides are registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency for use in the United States, and about 33.11 million kilograms of the pesticides were used in agricultural and residential settings in 2001, figures cited in the study said.

Although residential pesticide use is common, the National Academy of Sciences found that the major source of exposure for infants and children comes through the diet, the study added. According to a 2008 report cited by the study, detectable levels of pesticides were found in a range of vegetables. A sample of produce tested found 28% of frozen blueberries, 20% of celery and 25% of strawberries contained traces of one organophospate, known as malathion.

Other types of pesticides were found in 27% of green beans, 17% of peaches and 8 per cent of broccoli. According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 4.5 million children aged between 5 - 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD up to 2006. Between 3 and 7% of school-aged children in the United States suffer from the condition, figures show.

So, the importance of organic food for children is no longer just a health fad. There is compelling evidence to show the advantages of avoiding pesticides.

As always, organic is simply the best for many reasons!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pear and Goats Feta Salad

What a special weekend we have had, i am in complete admiration for Jessica Watson who sailed around the world solo at age 16 - what an inspiration to us all !

This afternoon, i made another favourite staple of mine pear and goats feta salad. Here is my recipe, enjoy! Michelle

Pear and Goats Feta Salad
Serves 1
3 baby cos lettuce leaves, washed and shredded
1 corella pear, cored and thinly sliced
40g goats feta, crumbled
8 nuts (peanuts, walnuts, brazil), chopped
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1. In a large bowl toss all ingredients together and serve generously into one bowl and eat immediately while lettuce is crisp.

Recipe, photo, words by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cheesemaking Workshop

This week i had the most amazing experience of learning how to make soft cheese in a home style kitchen environment. It was a full day of cheese making jammed packed with loads of interesting facts and tips for making cheeses. In soft cheese class we learnt how to make Camembert, Fetta, Ricotta, Quarg (Cream Cheese), Mascarpone and Yoghurt. To top it all off at the end of the day we were given a goodie bag which included a sample of each product to take home. Visit: Happy Cooking! Cheers, Michelle

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chia - My New Favorite Ingredient for You!

Chia seeds were first used as food as early as 3500 BC and were one of the main dietary components of the Aztecs and the Mayans. Chia seeds were eaten as a grain, drunk as a beverage when mixed with water, ground into flour, included in medicines, pressed for oil and used as a base for face and body paints.

Chia is one of nature's complete superfoods and contains the highest plant based source of Omega 3, dietary fibre and protein. It is a great tasting seed that is easy to include in the daily diet for improved health.

Omega 3’s – chia contains 20% omega 3 which means that chia is anti-inflammatory, great for your skin and essential for healthy hormone balance

Dietary fibre – chia contains 36% fibre so this will help to keep your cholesterol low and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Antioxidants – chia is bursting with antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals and promote health and vitality.

Here is a fantastic recipe courtesy of The Chia Co, who grow chia in the pristine Kimberley region of South Australia at a latitude that maximizes omega 3 content.

Crunchy apricot & Chia Granola


300g rolled oats 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/3 cup honey, warmed 2 tablespoons light olive oil 100g sultanas 100g dried apricots, diced120g hazelnuts, roughly chopped 100g shredded coconut 60g sunflower seeds 30g black chia seeds


Pre-heat oven to 160oC. Combine oats, hazelnuts, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, honey and olive oil in a large bowl. Make sure the honey coats the grains and nuts evenly. Spoon mixture into a large baking tray lined with non-stick paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the granola becomes golden and crunchy. Stir frequently while cooking.3. Add sultanas and apricots and stir through granola. Store in an airtight container and serve topped with a dollop of your favorite yoghurt.
PS My favorite breaky at the moment is Dovedale's Chia bread with sauteed spinach and a poached organic egg. This keeps me feeling energetic for hours and hours!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

EWG's Shoppers Guide to Pesticides Sneak Preview

I am an ardent fan of the EWG (Environmental Working Group), an amazing resource that you just have to bookmark. I have learnt so much over the years by reading their research, supporting their campaigns and following their advice. One of the best book I have ever read on chemicals was written by two of their scientist. FYI, it's called "Slow Death By A Rubber Duck" and it made a profound impact on my life. I suggest that you get a copy and read it, it's one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

As I am on their favorite list, they send me info before it's released to the general public. I have been waiting with bated breath for the release of their annual "Shoppers Guide to Pesticides" that lists the "dirty dozen" the top 12 ingredients that are most loaded with pesticides. SO, ensure that you only buy these foods organically:

1. celery
2. peaches
3. strawberries
4. apples
5. blueberries
6. nectarines
7. capsicum
8. spinach
9. kale
10. cherries
11. potatoes
12. grapes

So, go ahead and explore all of those links I have given you and let me know your feedback!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Get Involved with Earth Day on April 22!

Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.

Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is galvanizing millions who make personal commitments to sustainability. Earth Day 2010 is a pivotal opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together and create a global green economy. Join the more than one billion people in 190 countries that are taking action for Earth Day by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Favorite Product of the Week

My absolute favorite product at the moment is my “I Love My Hair” black coconut and Tahitian vanilla conditioner. I have found myself washing my hair on an increasingly frequent basis just so that I can be enveloped in the incredible aroma! It reminds me of my beautiful spiritual mentor, lazy afternoons in Thailand and that warm cosy feeling after a day at the beach.

Apart from the smell, the philosophy of this company (owned by singer, Toni Childs) is just perfectly aligned to my own vision. They use organic ingredients, embrace the concept of ‘love thy self’ and donate 5% of net profit to women’s charities!

“It’s time to stop using products in an effort to be loved, and instead begin to use them to love ourselves...” How perfect is that statement.

Honouring ourselves as women is a tradition that has been lost to the busy, multi tasking, perfecionistic expectations that we place on ourselves. It’s time to get back to these rituals and each time I wash my hair I now take the time to stop and think about me. On my shower door is taped a piece of paper with the following written:

“If you are going to dream, dream BIG, it’s FREE!!”

Let me know your favorite ritual in which you honour yourself as a woman – let’s share them!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HypnoBirthing Makes the Media!

I have just had the most wonderful experience - a newspaper wants to feature me and HypnoBirthing! I have already been interviewed and this was one of the quotes:

What are the benefits of Hypno-birthing?

“From the statistics collected by the HypnoBirthing Institute, we know that caesarian rates are halved! 65% of HypnoBirthing women do not use any pain medication and the epidural rate is decreased by two thirds. I would say that these are very impressive statistics as in Australia we have one of the highest Caesarean rates in the world – 30.8%. That’s double the World Health Organisations recommendation of no more than 15%. In my experience HypnoBirthing promotes a rapid postnatal recovery, facilitates a beautiful bonding experience and returns birth to the natural process it is meant to be.”

HypnoBirthing is an incredible tool that I teach people and I recommend that you read more about it here if you are pregnant. Or forward this on to any pregnant friends.

I did a photo shoot this morning with the gorgeous Noah Raeburn who was such a star! He slept peacefully throughout the whole shoot and only stirred briefly with the sounds of the shutter. I want to thank Noah’s parents, Ash and Brian, for letting me come to their home and take these photos. I will let you all know when the article comes out!

Rocket Pizza

Last night after a busy day at the office i came home and cooked another favourite recipe of mine which is my rocket pizza!
This pizza is light but very tasty and has minimal toppings which is the way i like it. It is cooked in a matter of minutes. It is so delicious that it makes a healthy meal to have anytime but I especially like it in front of the TV.

Rocket Pizza
Serves 1

1 x 20cm round wholewheat flat bread
3 Tablespoons organic tomato sauce
1/2 buffalo mozzarella cheese, pulled in pieces (shredded)
1/4 bunch rocket, washed and shredded
1 Tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 210ºC.
2. Place flat bread on baking tray and spread with tomato sauce, top with cheese and bake in oven for 5-7 minutes until cheese has just melted and base is crispy.
3. Remove pizza from oven and immediately slide pizza to a serving plate, cut into quarters then top with rocket and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Happy Cooking and Eat Well !

Michelle :-)

Food Styling, Photo, Recipe and Words by Michelle Thrift 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

I hope everyone had a great weekend ? I was at Sydney Royal Easter Show on Saturday and looked at Industry Districts Fruit and Vegetable displays, Cookery Competition Winner displays and Oh course, can not go to the show without having the famous Country Woman's Scones as a Devonshire tea ! What a delight ! After a excellent day at the show and eating to much, the following day i indulged into something a little lighter; my Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad for lunch. If you are stretched for time but want something healthy and tasty give my salad a go!

Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Serves 1

1 baby cos, washed and shredded
1/2 buffalo mozzarella cheese, pulled in pieces (shredded)
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon lemon infused extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ACV) - Organic Mother Apple
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

1. In a large bowl toss all ingredients together, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve in a bowl and eat immediately.


Happy Cooking and Eating Well !

Michelle :-)

Food styling, photo and words by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Bunny Delivers More Than Just Eggs!

The Easter Bunny may be delivering more than just a sweet treat over Easter with research finding that consuming just six grams of chocolate per day may lower blood pressure and the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction. German researchers examined the association between chocolate consumption and vascular disease based on food frequency questionnaires and blood pressure measurements in nearly 20,000 people aged 35 – 64 years who were free of stroke and myocardial infarction.

After eight years of follow up, those with the highest chocolate consumption (an average of six grams daily) had a 39% lower relative risk of myocardial infarction and stroke compared to those who consumed less than two grams per day.

The inverse relation of chocolate consumption appeared stronger for stroke than myocardial functions. Baseline blood pressure measurements accounted for 12% of the lower risk of cardiovascular events, the researchers said. “Flavonols appear to be the substances in cocoa that are responsible for improving the bioavailability of nitric oxide from the cells that line the inner wall of blood vessels” the researchers stated.

Participants were asked how frequently they consumed a 50gram chocolate bar from “never” to “five times a day or more”. In a subset of 1568 participants asked to recall their chocolate consumption over a 24 hours period, 57% reported eating milk chocolate, 24% ate dark chocolate and 2% ate white chocolate.

So, this research proves that a little bit of everything is ok and eating a small square of dark chocolate every day can be extremely beneficial to your health! Oh I am so happy to read this research ; 0


European Heart Journal, online 31 March 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sustainable Seafood

As it is the Easter Weekend you may be planning on having seafood, something to consider if you haven't already is purchasing seafood from either fished or farmed sources that maintain or increase production in seafoods future without jeopardizing the ecosystems from which it was acquired. The sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum as more people become aware about both overfishing and environmentally-destructive fishing methods.

Australia's fishing fleet and aquaculture farms are moving towards low impact, responsible fishing to improve ocean health and provide for a sustainable seafood future. This weekend and in the future when purchasing seafood ask questions to your seller such as; is the fish caught locally?, is it fresh and in season?. Be an aware consumer buy Australian local seafood and avoid deepwater or long-lived species that are over-fished, such as orange roughy, sea perch, shark, tuna, redfish, scallops, warehou, gemish, swordfish. Try leather jacket, sand whiting, mullet, calamari, squid and ocean trout.

To find out more visit:

Happy Seafood Cooking and Happy Easter!

Mich xx

Words Information sourced from Wikipedia and Taronga Foundation.

Hot Cross Bun

Tradition says that these sweet spiced buns were once made from leftover leavened dough used to make the christian communion wafer to which they added dried fruit and marked with a cross as a symbol of the crucifixion and only eaten on Good Friday.

Now days Hot Cross Buns are a sweet, glazed bread like bun made in many different flavours such spice, spice and fruit or chocolate and sold in most supermarkets, cafes, bakeries all over the world leading up to Easter and over the Easter Weekend. They are a delicious treat served warmed and spread with butter and are best eaten with your loved ones and a cuppa tea!

I must admit that i have been sampling Hot Cross Buns allover Sydney these past few weeks and even today i had a bun for my morning tea which i thoroughly enjoyed. However to me the most pleasurable way to enjoy a Hot Cross Bun is to make a batch of buns from scratch to share with family and friends as they visit for Easter. Find a recipe your like then create it your own maybe by adding in a little extra spice or a little more chocolate and then once you have mastered the recipe have this as your family favourite tradition to make each Easter Holidays to share with everyone.

Happy Cooking and Happy Easter!

Mich xx

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Week

What does Easter mean to you ?

Are you celebrating for religious reasons or enjoying the abundance and overload of chocolate eggs in food stores and the buzz of the community around the holidays this week or all of the above ?

For me as a Catholic follower Easter is about the celebration of the Christian feast of the Three Sacred Days (holy days) culminating in the celebration of our Lord's rising from the dead and the holidays and oh course the food!

What are your plans this Easter ? Are you heading away, attending a mass, having a dinner party?.

I would love to hear your stories, send us a e-mail or post a comment. Mich xx


Shaken or Stirred ?

How do you like to make your Martini's?

To me there can be nothing more pleasing then filling a cocktail shaker half full of crushed ice, topped with 60ml gin, 10ml dry vermouth and shaken. Pour into a martini glass with out the ice and top with a toothpick of lemon rind and green Sicilian olive and then start sipping generously while cooking or winding down after a busy week !

Mich xx

Julie and Julia

Five years ago i purchased Julie Powell's book "Julie & Julia - 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen" and it was a great read. The book has more detail of Julie's and Julia's life then the recent movie "Julie & Julia" which was based on the book and both true stories of Julia Child and Julie Powell. My mum took me to see the movie when it came out in 2009 and i love it and could relate to many scenes. My sister gave me Julie & Julia DVD for my birthday so on Friday night after a busy week it set the scene for the weekend ahead and i watched this great inspiring food focused feel-good movie. I got up early Saturday morning and did my usual housework and then made a weekly menu and shopping list and then it was to the shops and back home to cook most of the bases towards my weekly meals which i then keep in fridge and it only takes minutes of a evening to put together good quality, nutritious, flavoursome dinners, all of this accompanied by a martini.
Mich xx

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Agave - No More Sugar!

I have been using agave nectar for a few years now and just love it's versatility. First of all, agave is actually a syrup derived from the cactus plant. A similar cactus plant produces tequila! Agave is traditionally used in Mexico where they have been harvesting it for thousand of years - you must know by now how much I love traditional foods.

Agave has a low glycemic index so it perfect for those of you that are either diabetic or have insulin resistance. The rates of insulin resisitance are soaring and I see this in clinic on a daily basis. Check out the Glycemic index of sugar (95),honey (77),maple syrup (54) & agave (26-40) for a comparison.

When you purchase agave nectar ensure that it is organic as it is a crop that is frequently sprayed with pesticides. Buy it in glass bottles, not plastic and store in a cool dark place. I personally love the dark agave syrup as it has a stronger flavour and contains a higher mineral profile than the light variety. If you are using agave for baking then the light is more suitable. As a replacement for sugar, use 25% less agave syrup than you would normally use of sugar.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Michelle's Birthday

Thank you to everyone for all the beautiful birthday wishes. I have had a great birthday this year! A dinner party Saturday night then followed by relaxation treatment at the day spa on Sunday and yesterday i went to the Zoo and was glad to see the 12 day old elephant "Mr Shuffles" (picture left).
Enjoy Life!
Mich xx

Friday, March 19, 2010

Michelle's Tandoori Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Hello everyone, sorry i haven't written for a while, been busy with work and planning my birthday celebrations for this weekend but i have a recipe for you which is just amazing ! I made it last night and it was delicious so i needed to tell you all about it is... Mich x

Michelle's Tandoori Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Serves 2

2 chicken breast fillets, skin and fat removed

2 Tablespoons tandoori paste

2 Tablespoons yoghurt

Juice of 1 lemon

8 large lettuce leaves, washed

8 Tablespoons taziki dip

Fresh mint and Coriander leaves, torn

1. Cut chicken into 8 thin slices. In a bowl mix together and marinade chicken, tandoori paste, yoghurt and lemon. Allow chicken to develop in flavours overnight or up to 3 days.

2. Place marinated fillets onto a baking tray and roast in a hot oven 210ºC for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

3. Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter, top each leaf with yoghurt, then a slice of chicken and top with mint and coriander.

4. Eat immediately by wrapping lettuce leaf around filling.

Enjoy this weekend !

Words and text by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thai Style Chicken Larb

Larb is a spicy minced-meat salad found on menus in most Thai restaurants. Recipe varies in each region of Thailand and generally contains a lot of sugar and oil. My recipe is light in fat and has no sugar added but still has big bold fresh flavours of Thailand cuisines.

Thai Style Chicken Larb
Serves 2
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 x 5cm piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 red chilli, finely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
500g lean chicken mince (*Note: turkey mince can be used and has less fat)
1 lime, juiced
1 baby cos lettuce, leaves broken apart
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup coriander leaves
50g peanuts, chopped
50g cashews, chopped

1. Heat oil in a large frypan and saute onions, garlic, ginger, chilli, kaffir leaves and chicken over a medium to high heat, stirring, until mince changes colour and starts to brown approx 5-7 minutes. Add lime juice and cook for another minute. Spoon cooked mince into a bowl.
2. Pile lettuce onto a large serving platter and arrange mint, coriander and nuts into small bowls.
3. At table, spoon mince into lettuce leafs, top with herbs and nuts.

Happy Cooking !


Picture and words by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quinoa - My Fav Ingredient

First of all, this is pronounced keen - wah, not kwinoa. Really important that we avoid shop assistants hiding their guffaws at our mispronounced requests!
Although actually a seed, quinoa is most commonly considered a grain and is a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard( think cancer fighting here!). It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas." I consider it one of my key Super Foods and eat it at least 3 times a week.

Quinoa is high in protein (12-18%), 50% higher than wheat. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s needs than wheat protein. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.

It is a good source of dietary fibre and phosphorus; is high in magnesium and iron; is a good source of vitamins A, E and B; and contains more calcium and fat than other grains. Quinoa is also gluten-free and extremely easy to digest. Usually a Fair Trade product this means that the people growing the crop are paid a fair price for their hard work - much more ethically responsible!

My cooking method is to treat quinoa much like rice. Soaking helps quinoa to cook evenly and loosens up the outer coating of saponin, which can give a bitter taste if not removed. I find that if you are buying boxed quinoa, as opposed to loose, it is generally already rinsed. Dry pan fry it for a few minutes to enhance the nuttiness. Bring two cups of water to boil with one cup of quinoa, cover at a low simmer and cook for 7 - 10 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. Ensure that you fluff the quinoa with a fork before serving. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl and should have a slight bite to it (like al dente pasta).
I particularly love the red variety and as it is higher in iron it is a better choice for me. I love it done with some zested lemon rind, fresh parsley from my garden, some of my mum's extra virgin olive oil and lastly some Himalayan salt. Add to this a beautifully grilled snapper fillet and you have one of my favorite dinners! Or I make a quinoa flake porridge with raspberries in winter. Let me know how you like to use quinoa and share your favorite recipe!
Love Emm

Friday, March 5, 2010

'The Cook and The Chef'

My mum and dad gave me as a present the boxed set DVD's of 'The Cook and the Chef -Four Seasons'. These DVD's centre around produce from each season and feature Australian cook Maggie Beer and Executive Chef Simon Bryant. These two are very inspiring, making healthy fresh recipes from mainly using Australian organic local produce. I am currently finishing to watch Summer and now will start on Autumn for recipe ideas. Mich xx Words by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 28 of Detox - I did it!

It's been a few days since I blogged - I was birth support for my friend and we now have one more gorgeous soul in this world. It was an incredible experience for us all and bub is so beautiful!

I only just realised that today is officially my last day of detox – 4 weeks gone! I actually feel so good I may continue until the weekend, which is another 5 days. I have a dinner engagement on Saturday and I know I will have a couple of glasses of wine so detox has to end by then.

“Retoxing” must be done carefully and it is a perfect opportunity to test what foods agree with your body. So, post detox, reintroduce a new food e.g. wheat, and watch your body for 4 days. Do not introduce any other new food in this 4 day period. Look for signs such as bloating, indigestion, change in bowel habits, headaches, itchy skin or perhaps the return of symptoms that you had pre-detox and haven’t felt after week 1. Any foods that give you reactions indicated that your body does not digest them well, you may have an intolerance or simply it does not agree with you at this point in time.

If you are aiming for optimal health, not average health, then you will need to avoid these foods until after your next detox. By then, try a small portion of it and you should be fine. It really helps to keep a journal during a detox and write a summary at the end. All my patients email me food diaries on a weekly basis as well so that I can support them through any food difficulties.

The Reiki course today was fantastic – it was very practical and involved meditation style exercises which I loved. I won’t go too much into it but I have a lot of support from other realms and sometimes that is easy to tap into and other times it feels blocked. Well, today was an easy day and I could actually feel and hear the energies at play. My third eye opened and I felt an incredible vortex of energy – I do believe that humans have only just touched the surface of their energetic abilities.

I do need to remember to meditate more – I learnt transcendental meditation as a child and did this for years so I can quite easily access that serene internal space. I have been working on my spiritual path for many years and it is something that I find integral to development.

Now that detox has officially finished, let me think about how I feel. Physically, my goal was to improve my fitness and I have definitely achieved that. The regular gym sessions have me toned and feeling really strong and grounded. I actually had a BioImpedance Analysis done and compared it to my last one 14 months ago. I have lost 5cm around my waist, dropped 3kg pure fat and increased my muscle mass by 2kg! I am ecstatic about that result! I didn’t want to lose weight but I am happy to see my stats shifting to a healthier long term profile.

Mentally I feel incredible and this is what makes detox so addictive for me! I can stay up late, get up early, feel fantastic and my neurons are firing beautifully all day long without a lapse. I do believe that we don’t utilise our potential mental abilities nearly as much as we should – they say that Einstein only used 12% of his brain capacity!

Spiritually I feel very grounded and in tune with myself – my intuition is much clearer. It is like looking through a clean window as opposed to a dirty one. Always watch your dreams while detoxing as your subconscious will talk to you quite clearly through them. The more you listen to this little inner voice of wisdom the more your intuition will become clear to you.

So, I want to say thank you for walking this journey with me and keeping me company. I have loved sharing this with you and I hope that it inspires you to begin your path towards optimal health. I have given you an insight into how life looks whilst on my detox program and how I manage with food, exercise and life’s busy demands. So, now you know the easy way why don’t you go to my website, join in the fun and begin your way to better energy, brighter skin and a more youthful you!
Love Emma

'Sex and the City'

OK - who can confess that they were hooked and watched TV series 'Sex and the City' and we can't forget the movie? Over the past couple of weekends i have pulled out my entire collection of S1-S6 and watched every episode of the four thirty something girls experiences of a city full of relationships in the 90's. To me i especially enjoyed following the four girls life journey's as i can relate to many subjects but i also had pleasure in watching the amount of cosmopolitans and martini's that were consumed during the series. Including but not limited too the amount of scenes that centre around food, whether it was eating at a fine dining restaurant or cooking a meal at home or baking muffins, or eating take-out around the TV, or having a picnic in the park, having a piece wedding cake, or a cupcake for afternoon tea, there sure was a lot of food filmed and it was so nice to see that food played such a role within the girls everyday lives. I sure would have loved to be one of the food stylist's for this gig !!
Mich xx

Words by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Michelle's Lettuce Tacos

I am preparing for dinner tonight a very special recipe which is "Lettuce Tacos". Mum use to make variations of this recipe for us growing up and I recently discovered a similar recipe in print from Jane Kennedy's Fabulous Food, Minus the Boombah Cook book which inspired me to share my version which i think is fabulous! You still get all the wonderful spicey flavour from the mince but mix it with crisp lettuce, a little grated cheese and finely chopped tomatoes and you'll feel like your in Mexico except without the fat and calories of corn-based shells.

Michelle's Lettuce Tacos
Serves 2
1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (seeds optional)
350g lean mince (Your choice of either beef, chicken, turkey, veal or pork)
1 x 375g bottle home-made or premium pasta sauce
1 baby cos lettuce, washed, leaves broken apart
60g cheddar cheese, grated
1 x large tomato, chopped
1. Heat oil in a large frypan, saute onion and chilli until soft. Add mince and brown until cooked, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in pasta sauce and 500ml water and cook for 10 minutes until sauce is thick.
3. Arrange lettuce leaves on large serving plate, spoon mince into a bowl and place cheese and tomatoes into serving dishes. Then at the table spoon tablespoons of mince into cos lettuce leaves and top with cheese and tomatoes.
TIP: use other lettuce's of your choice make sure leaves are large enough to hold a couple of tablespoons of mince and toppings.
Enjoy - you won't look back!
Happy Cooking - Mich x
Words and picture by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Season of Autumn

What a special past 16 days we have had with Vancouver Winter Olympics. My brother's family live in Vancouver and have been lucky enough to attend some events - they even won tickets and touched a gold medal!..I spent most of my Sunday with an eye on ice figure skating - how graceful they glide along, i had such joy watching TV yesterday. Well, today is 1 March and for me this is one of my most favourite months of the year as it is both my sisters and mine birthday month. My sister turns 40 on 19 March and I am turning 33 on 22 March just 2 days apart, our preparations are underway for a month of celebrations...This morning i woke up early and went for a walk at drawn and realised that with the start of a new season; March- Autumn - we will be looking for figs, nashi, beans, celery, chestnuts, grapes, leeks, parsnips, pears, plums, sugar snap peas, pumpkins and fennel all at peak taste and quality and just waiting to be cooked with and eaten. Enjoy cooking good food tonight! Words by Michelle Thrift copyright 2010.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Michelle's Marmalade

Large nectarines, oranges and lemons were in my fridge they smelt amazingly fragrant and with cravings for something sweet i decided to make marmalade. My recipe is so quick and easy. It can be doubled or tripled depending on how much you want to make.

Michelle's Marmalade
Makes 2 x 400g jars
1 nectarine or peach
1 orange
2 lemons
2 cups sugar
1. Wash fruit and cut in half or quarters, remove seeds and discard, then thinly slice citrus and roughly chop nectarine flesh (discard stone).
2. Place all fruit into a large saucepan with 1 litre water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes until fruit is soft. Add sugar and stir well. Brush sides of saucepan with a wet pastry brush to remove any excess sugar or fruit. Place a small heat proof plate in freezer. Bring fruit and sugar mixture to boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until it turns a dark amber colour and mixture should be thick and sticky taking about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove plate from freezer and spoon a tablespoonful marmalade onto cold plate, wait a minute then using spoon push marmalade on plate and it should be set, if runny continue to cook until ready, checking if set regularly.
4. Once ready remove from heat and spoon hot marmalade in two clean jars and top with lids. Turn jam jars upside down once then back again just to heat lid. Allow to cool.

Now, immediately after i had made this marmalade i toasted a slice organic rye sourdough and spread with butter and topped with spoonfuls of marmalade - it was a instant fix to my sweet cravings and it tasted absolutely delicious.

The next day i had a naturopath session with Emma and took her a jar of my marmalade. We mentioned that she only had a couple of days to go on her detox and what a yummy treat to give herself would be to spoon a few tablespoons marmalade in 1 cup softened vanilla ice cream mixing well and refreeze. Spoon into chilled glasses and eat immediately - it's amazing!

Eat Marmalade within 5-7 days. Store in Fridge.

Words and Picture By Michelle Thrift Copyright 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 26 of Detox

My little gorgeous niece has learnt how to crawl! I am planning on popping in for a demonstration on the way to clinic so will add a photo of her in action. My brother has been frantically coordinating the expansion of his physiotherapy business. He has relocated to huge premises and is opening on Monday. I will be practising there and also running my HypnoBirthing classes weekly. I am very excited about this as I know he will create an awesome space with a lot of great energy.

I stayed up till 1am working, as did my cat Simba (see picture), so I slept until my book keeper phoned at 9am! I haven’t slept in that late for ages but I must have needed a catch up.

Apparently it is going to be filthy hot this weekend and I have a Reiki course all day tomorrow so I won’t be able to go to Bondi early morning for my swim. As I missed the gym this morning, I will go for a swim at Golden Door when I arrive tomorrow night.

Breakfast was cereal, fruit and yoghurt – for some reason on this detox I haven’t been eating many eggs. I could make frittata for lunch or dinner quite easily as it is a great protein source but eggs don’t appeal at the moment. Lunch was left over salad from dinner which I snacked on between seeing patients.

I had a social outing this evening which is probably the first big one for 3 weeks. I felt good about it before I went – I am not tempted by alcohol or bad food. The only thing I was concerned about were the options available for dinner! I have generally found that most restaurants and pubs can serve a piece of grilled fish with salad or vegetables. I always ask for dressing on the side and no sauce on the fish, just a lemon wedge. As far as drinks go I have mineral water with fresh lemon or lime - that is easy to access.

Did I tell you that my tomato plants have shrivelled up? I am trying to revive them but it is looking grim. I rang my grandma to ask for some emergency tips but she didn’t have any new ones for me.

Tomorrow I have my Reiki course so that should be great. I am curious as to how I will find it – I am not into fluffy stuff and while I am a big believer in energetic systems (think chakras, chi, prana etc) I need the scientific side as well. Will let you know how I go!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 25 of Detox

I woke early to go to the gym and felt rather tired for the first time in weeks. I did my cardio which all seemed very difficult and my time on the rower was 10minutes, 48 seconds, which as you know, was not great. Then I realised that I had my period – oh, it all clicks into place now!

Day 23 was a shocker for me – unorganised, cranky, I think I cried 3 times in that day and I was so irritated. You know what makes me chuckle quietly? It’s the fact that every time I get my period I have an “ahaa!” moment, like it is so unexpected! I can hear the mental process now “so that explains why I felt so emotional, tired, irrational etc”. It occurs every month but each month it still comes as a surprise. So anyway, I left the gym and came home to do a 20 minute express Pilates DVD (love these when I am feeling lazy) and have a nice breakfast of gluten free cereal, white peach and apple juice.

I made a smoothie to take to clinic – a banana, 2 passion fruits, frozen berries, oat milk, flaxseed oil and probiotic. I then had my last watercress soup from the freezer and I had forgotten how nutritious it is. It is packed with antioxidants, minerals and especially iron which I really need right now. I can feel the goodness seeping into my cells! Todays photo is my soup.

Dinner was stunning red snapper fillets, which are perfect on the BBQ. Ensure you have a really hot surface, a little olive oil, put the fish skin side up and sear the surface, turn it over just briefly then turn it back again, put the lid down on the BBQ and let it cook for approximately 3 minutes. Then I always like to let the fish rest for a few minutes while I dress the salads so that it becomes really tender.

Today I bought a quick slice mandolin!!! This is a kitchen implement that very thinly slices vegetables. I love this so much it is geeky! So I made one salad with red cabbage and a dressing of red wine vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper. I aimed to just let the red cabbage shine as it was a perfect specimen. The other salad contained mixed lettuce, carrot, cucumber, avocado, snow peas and sugar snap peas.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 24 of Detox

I had a crazy day in clinic today – even my 15 minutes breaks ended up being used for acute phone consults! So it is late and I have just finished writing reports to GPs and psychologists – not my favourite part of being a naturopath but a necessary one.

I used about 6 lychees with my cereal this morning along with a kiwi and it was a taste bud sensation. I took left over salad of rocket, sugar snaps, cucumber and avocado for my mid morning snack. All my friends laugh at me as they know that I often eat left over salad before I go to the gym in the morning. It started when I was younger – I have always enjoyed making salads but I always made so much that we never ate it all at dinner.

So I would stand with the fridge door open in the morning pondering what to eat for breakfast and the salad would just scream out to me “EAT ME!!!” So I did. I then began researching what traditional cultures ate in the morning and I discovered that the cereal and toast phenomenon was a relatively recent invention. In China they eat congee, in Japan it’s miso, in Greece it’s fetta, olives with coffee etc. So our Western version of toast and jam or cereal with milk is what we feel we are supposed to eat, but is it really the best start to the day? Why can’t breakfast be savoury and more substantial? Have you ever heard of the expression “eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner”? So, if you are getting bored with your breakfasts, think outside the square and choose a savoury dish instead.

Lunch today was a Pitango lentil soup – I am in love with this company as they are certified organic, family run and have lots of different meals to choose from. I often have their take home meals in the freezer for emergencies. Dinner was red quinoa with lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil with broccoli, zucchini and tuna.

Today's photo is of Kale - my absolute favorite detox food. I have just met the farmer who grows the most amazing varieties of kale - 15 in fact! I will blog about it soon but in the meantime, buy some and know that as you eat it your liver is kicking up it's heels and dancing for joy!