Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Recipe - Healthy Meatballs on Courgette 'Fettuccine'

So I have been juicing for a couple of months now and every morning and evening I either feed the guinea pigs or waste disposal a whole lot of pulp. This feels like a waste...and it is! So my aim is to trial using the left over pulp in new ways each week.

Tonight I trialled mixing them into my lean meatball recipe...and it was delicious!

Here is the recipe.

Healthy Meatballs on Courgette 'Fettuccine'

This would serve 5-6

For the meatballs, mix 500g lean mince, dash of wostershire sauce, one egg, left over vegetable juice pulp (mine was a mix of carrot, celery, kale, spinach, beetroot and ginger) and salt and pepper to taste. Combine thoroughly and make into meatballs. Fry in a small amount of olive oil.

For the courgette 'fettuccine' slice 5-6 courgettes length wise (you could create finer ribbons with a julienne slicer or mandolin). Toss in a small amount of coconut flour, salt and pepper. Quick fry in a small amount of coconut oil.

For the sauce I made a cacciatore style tomato sauce by combining a large tin of whole peeled tomatoes, one can of tomato purée, beef stock and a handful of black olives. Season with oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste. The longer this bubbles away, the taster it gets!

Serve up and enjoy. Tasty, healthy goodness!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Clean Eating - what it is and how I am approaching it

Clean Eating is a fairly straightforward concept - eating food that is as close as possible to it's natural state - avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on wholefoods. This means fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, free-range unprocessed meat, poultry and fish. It means avoiding bread, pasta, white rice and the like. It tends to be sugar-free and if you follow some of the stricter definitions - fun-free!

The way I have approached the whole Clean Eating thing is to be as clean as possible about 90% of the time. It was Christina at Reveal Yourself that got me on to this, and it was her that suggested the 90% idea. It is this slightly more lenient approach that actually makes it fairly doable. To be honest, I don't follow the rules completely. I do buy fresh fruit and vegetable, but have to admit I find the price of organic food fairly prohibitive, particularly when I am buying a shopping trolley full of fruit and vegetables every week! I do buy local meat, poultry and fish, although they aren't necessarily free-range. As a family we actually now eat very few meat dishes, with only 2-3 meat dishes featuring a week. I do buy some processed goods - unsweetened almond milk, lean protein powder, organic tofu, organic Bircher Muesli, GF vogel, GF falafal mix, full-fat Greek yoghurt (way less sugar than low fat) and low-fat feta as well as the odd can of tuna for lunch salads. The rest of the food I eat is pure vegetable and fruit. I juice twice a day, I eat protein fluffies and bircher muesli for brekkie, I sneak in a trim flat white on the way to work, I eat (a few) nuts, fruit, vege sticks, edamame beans or bliss balls for snacks. I eat salads for lunch and often dinner as well. Actually our dinners have been awesome - we seem to be trialling different combos than we ever have.  I occasionally sneak in a cheeky red wine if socialising and have been known to end the evening with chamomile tea and a little bit o' dark (85% cocoa) chocolate. The food and juices are delicious! Honest.

So what has been the impact of my 'somewhat-clean-90%-off-the-time' regime?? Well, I feel bloody good! My belly has shrunk by 10cm and my digestion is (naturally) restored in the first time I can remember. I suspect the fact that my diet is now pretty much gluten-free (not to mention beer and doughnut free) might have a lot to do with the whole belly shrinking, in fact, now with the benefit of hindsight I do wonder if I was suffering from something akin to mild IBS or gluten intolerance?? I sleep better. I have lost 4kg and it seems to be continuing to come off in a sustainable 200-500g a week.

I have to say, I am a convert. I love this Clean(ish) Food malarkey and I do feel like I can keep this approach going.

Next stop - nailing my 'four-times-a-week- whilst-wearing-my-halo' gym routine!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Green post-breakfast juice!

Trying to up my ratio of green juices, however I often find them fairly bitter. Here is a combo that seemed a create a good balance - spinach, apple, pear, lemon, mint and parsley. Lots of green goodness and just enough fruit to please my sweet tooth. 

Did you know that spinach is not only high in iron, it's also high on omega-3 fatty acids?? Interesting. If you are interested in finding out the benefits of specific vegetables, check this out:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The pros and cons of juicing

Over the last couple of months I have developed a bit of a love affair with juicing, but very much as one part of a whole lot changes I have made to the way I eat. I now try to avoid processed food, gluten and go for as much fresh vegetables, fruit and lean protein as I can. It has to be said, it has made a huge difference to how I feel, how my clothes fit, how I sleep and how I (ahem) digest.

However when a good friend of mine asked why juicing was good and queried if the loss of fibre caused by juicing was a concern, I realised I needed to do some research. So research I have!

Those of you that know me know that I have recently begun my Masters studies. It struck me that I actually have a university library at my finger tips! I have done my best to look at a range of sources, both from the library database and a range of general online sources as well. The result is a brief summary of what I gleaned about the pros and the cons of juicing!


Digestion - It would seem that over 50% of our adult population has issues with digestion. If you have poor digestion, juiced fruit and veges are easier to digest. This is a bonus.

Nutrients - Several sources highlight that juicing and drinking the juice before it oxidizes helps you to absorb and benefit from the nutrients in the fruit and vege far more quickly, and you can therefore benefit from the nutrients in as little as 20 minutes.

Raw goodness - Cooking and processing fruit and vegetables destroys micronutrients by altering their shape and compositions. Simply juicing does not, so if you get a greater ratio of your 5+ a day raw and/or juiced, all the better.

More fruit and vege - The chances are, if you are juicing to complement a healthy diet, you are getting more fruit and vege than if you didn't juice. More is better (particularly the vege part!)

Water intake - A large part of juice is water. The more juice you drink, the more water you consume. More water is good.


It is important that juicing is seen as a compliment to healthy eating and not replacement for healthy eating. There are also things to be mindful of, particularly if you go heavy on the fruit side!

Loss of fibre - Juicing definitely removes fibre in removing all that pulp. You could consider smoothies if this is a concern or look at how you could use the pulp in baking and cooking.

Expense - Juicers and fresh fruit and vegetables can be expensive! Heading to your local fruit and vege store (rather than supermarket) can certainly help. I also find that we waste far less than we did in the past, because if it is going gets juiced! We have also found our fairly reasonable juicer (bought in a sale at Briscoes) more than adequate, you don't need to stretch to the Hurom straight away. Also, juicing provides more nutrients (and phytonutrients) than even the most expensive supplements. It also way cheaper than buying a watery (albeit tasty) Tank juice treat.

Concentrated calories - If your juice is sweet, it is probably full of calories. Limes and lemons can cancel out the bitterness of pure vege juices without the calories. Fruit juices are highly concentrated in calories, and because the fibre is removed can do little to quell hunger. So remember, green veges good! If you want to satisfy hunger, consider doing a smoothie instead, or juice and then throw the juice in a blender with some spinach or  even better, avocado to provide some healthy fat to kill h'angry monster.


My suggestion would be to consider juicing as a kick ass supplement to a healthy eating plan. If you are concerned about fibre, blend it don't juice it or eat the fruit and vege whole. If you are aiming to lose weight, choose green vegetable juices over calorie dense fruit juice.

Juicing definitely has a whole lot of benefits, it is not however a nutritional silver bullet or the single answer to weight loss. It is however a tasty, healthy addiction to develop!

Clement, B. (2013, 02). Juicing. Natural Solutions, , 34. Retrieved from

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Morning juice and my juice machine

Not planning to share every juice I make, but I thought I would share thus morning's one do you could see a typical morning routine. 

The machine I use is a Breville juicer, we managed to get this one for about $150 at a Briscoes sale (imagine, Briscoes having a sale... shocking). 

The mix of celery, carrots, apples, pear, orange and parsley made two big glasses exactly. 

Tangy and tasty!

Super Clean Sunday

Trying to keep Sundays super clean!

Started the day (as I do every day) with hot water, apple cider vinegar and lemon. Breakfast was a chocolate protein fluffy (banana, protein powder, cocoa and almond milk) with organic muesli. Morning juice was carrot, celery and lemon. Lunch was a berry smoothie (banana, berries, spinach and almond milk) and afternoon juice was a super green one (green apple, celery and mint). All rounded off with a lovely dinner of stir-fried squid and green salad.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Welcome to The Juice Diaries

Welcome to The Juice Diaries!

Today marks the first day of a new personal project - sharing my new found love for "clean eating" and juicing. I have been blogging for years, but mostly focusing on education. I continue to blog about all things education at

Over the years I have discovered the value of blogging - as a form of catharsis, a way of sharing, reflecting and also a means for keeping myself on track!

So what made me want to start The Juice Diaries? It all began with doing a thing called  Reveal Yourself. Firstly, credit where credit is due! My first thanks has to go to Michelle Zaloum who shared her experience with a woman called Christina who had set up a service called Reveal Yourself. Looking up the company on Facebook I was soon convinced I wanted to meet the lovely Christina Leon - the woman behind company. The first thing that hooked me was her story - one which many women can relate to - having gained weight after having her daughter, Christina discovered clean eating and went on to lose 15kgs and gain a huge amount of knowledge about eating clean and living well. The second thing that really appealed about Christina was her unerring positivity,  I mean, I have always been a glass half full girl myself, but honestly, this girl is a full glass - at all times!

On signing up with Christina I was treated to three weeks (actually it was more like five weeks, and I sense I will be in touch with Chrissie for years!) of her undivided attention. We had an initial meeting where goals were established, body measurements were taken and a food diary was handed over. During the meeting Christina took me through the guidelines, gave me a tonne of tips and a great folder of advice, recipes and the tools for planning healthy clean eating. The key to making the first couple of weeks was preparation! The initial shop, and planning each week well in advance, made keeping on track easy. The thing I loved was how limitless the choices were and the fact that no calorie counting took place. It was simply about choices - if you choose good, clean, lean food you could happily fill a plate and feel absolutely satisfied.

Juicing is also a big part of the Reveal Yourself plan - and I admit it, I am now a juicing junkie! Starting every morning with a fruit and vegetable juice and ending every afternoon with a super green juice. Without scaring you with the details, I have suffered from digestive issues as long as I can remember. For the first time EVER this has disappeared, completely. I now also drink at least two litres of water a day and limit myself to a morning coffee. Other than that its green/herbal/fruit tea all the way. Red wine still makes an occasional appearance, although now one glass (on occasion) rather than one or two a night.

The real key for making this whole thing work (for me anyway) was Christina. Weekly online meetings to check in, share eating plans and monitor progress kept me on track. Daily texts and photos continued to provide inspiration. Christina was only ever a text away, coaching me through more than one moment of frustration when results seemed to slow or stop along the way. Christina's encouragement was gold and her advice was always on the money - thanks to Christina I am now getting much better at NOT seeing the scales as a measure of success and accepting that the fit of my pants and how I actually feel is the sign that things are working.

So what was the outcome for me? Well, it has been nearly two months since I first met up with Christina. I have lost 4kgs (with another 5-6 to go). I have lost nearly 10cm around my waist, 8cm around my bum and gained a whole lot of health. I sleep better, I (um) 'digest' better, I have more energy and I think even my skin has improved.

I began the journey telling Christina that I needed to 'reset' after months of eating, drinking and sitting on my bum way too much. I was fed up of feeling like a slug. I can genuinely say that that mission is completed. But what is really nice is that I feel like I have only just begun. As I said to Christina this morning - today marks the beginning of Phase Two! Turning this thing into a life long habit, and sharing my journey along the way.

Thank you Christina, I definitely would not be feeling this good without you!