I’m Off To Find Some Inspiration. Destination: Bali

Despite a little time out over Christmas, it occurred to me that I hadn’t really had a holiday since my great worldly adventure of 2011. Clearly, that needed you change. You see, Happies, most of my inspiration comes from the freedom of travelling abroad. There’s something about new smells, sights, foods and locations that makes me tingle inside. It’s a blessing that I am built to embrace.

Luckily for me, it also happens to coincide with my best friend’s wedding. She’s off to get hitched in Bali with me and a small group of friends standing by her side. Hooray!

Considering I have a small human on the way, Alex and I thought it’s the perfect time to have one last rest before the nest, and so, we’re staying O/S for three sweet weeks. Bali for two weeks, where we’ll be cruising around Uluwatu, before heading up into the mountains of Ubud for some yoga and cycling, and back down to Jimbaran Bay for some fresh seafood and poolside lounging.

We’re then skipping over to Singapore for the weekend, followed by a week in Langkawi, Malaysia, whereby I will be talking about beauty from the inside out at my first international conference. Holy moly, this is a momentous occasion for me, and considering it slipped in so flawlessly with our travel plans already, I’m thinking it’s all meant to be.

So with that I bring you some good news. I’ll be bringing you posts throughout the next few weeks and upon my return on things to do while travelling in B-town. From places to eat, stay and practice yoga, I am on a mission to Zen out and push escape for a little while. I need it. I’m exhausted.

See you soon,

Yaz xx

Bali

Easter Is Coming; Let’s Eat Chocolate

The lovely Alison from Relauncher touched base with me last week offering up one of the most scrumptious Rich, Raw Chocolate Tart recipes I’ve ever come across. Considering Easter is only a few days away, I thought it would be the perfect time to take her up on the offer and share this slice of magic with all of you, Happies.

I ‘met’ Alison via social media and have fallen in love with her healthy philosophy on life and super-cool website. It’s this amazing hub for buying all your health and wellness needs and, let me warn you, can be quite addictive. She’s got everything on there – from food to beauty to sporty accessories like yoga mat spray. LOVE!

Anyway, here’s Alison’s sugar, gluten and dairy-free tart…

RawChocTart

And here’s what you need…

Crust

2cups activated (soaked) mixed nuts
3 TBS organic coconut oil
1 1/4c desiccated coconut
2 TBS organic cacao powder
8 dates

Filling

Handful of berries
1 1/2c coconut milk
2TBS organic cacao powder
1 TBS vanilla
2 TBS organic coconut oil
4 dates
1/2tsp stevia

NOTE: if you want a creamier filling, you can omit the coconut milk and stevia and replace with coconut cream!

And here’s how you make it…

Crust

1. Whizz up all the ingredients in a powerful blender. If you don’t have a powerful blender, just whizz the ingredients in small batches

2. Pack the mixture into a lined cake dish

3. Place in the freezer whilst making the filling

Filling

1. Blend the dates, then remove from the blender and set aside

2. Whizz the coconut milk and stevia in the blender for 7 minutes (this helps slightly thicken the milk)

3. If you have opted to use coconut cream instead, whizz the coconut cream in the blender for about 5 minutes

4. Add dates and the remaining ingredients (except the berries) to the blender and give it a quick blend to mix the ingredients thoroughly

5. Place the berries on the crust, then add the filling on top

6. Return to the freezer for approximately 4 hours

Alison’s Serving Suggestions:

You can choose to serve the tart before the inside sets. This will take around 3 hours. The outer edge will be set, but when you cut inside, the creamy mixture runs out. This tastes great this way against the crunchy crust!

You can also serve the tart with the inside set. You will need to leave the tart in the freezer for longer to allow for the setting time (an additional 1 – 1 1/2 hours).

Well, it’s safe to say this tart is going on the menu this weekend. Doesn’t it look amazing?

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

Pop It Like It’s Hot: Three Fun Popcorn Recipes

The other day I made popcorn. This is only remotely interesting because I was literally jumping around the kitchen like a small child overjoyed with the outcome (and process) of making this fun little treat. It’s so easy, you literally throw the popcorn kernels in a super hot pot with a little coconut oil, put the lid on, and wait for them all to pop. But of course you all know that, it’s hardly like I’m describing how to cook a Macaroon tower. But since this was such a joyful occasion, I thought I’d share three super tasty popcorn recipes for you to try.

Did you know? Researchers believe popcorn to have a higher antioxidant value than fruit and vegetables. Seriously! They also contain loads of fibre to keep things moving, so it’s a guilt-free snack after all. Hooray!

1. Coconut Oil, Himalayan Salt and Raw Honey

popcorn

This is the ingredient trio I had the other day and I can assure you it’s as delightful as it sounds. Simple, salty, sweet…it’s a taste sensation.

2. Coconut Oil, Raw Cacao, Chilli Powder and a dash of Lime

chocolate_chilli

Image via Pinterest

Sounds odd but pleasantly surprising. Think a taste of South America that’s hot, sour and slightly bitter. Ole!

3. Ghee, Himalayan Salt, Fresh Coriander and Curry Powder

currypowderpopcorn

A slightly more savoury take on the old popcorn, this option fuses the tastes of India with trusty old corn. Go on, pop it!

Tell me Happies…

What do you think of these popcorn recipes?

Keen to try them?

Stay Happy,

Yaz x

Feeling Tired This Week? Blame The Man in the Moon

Phew, I’m pooped! Not just a little tired, but toothpicks holding up my eyelids tired. Slow. Almost, dare I say it… lazy. This has nothing to do with pregnancy mind you, I’ve been asking my girlfriends the same question this week and we’re all in sync; for some strange reason, our energy levels are suddenly at an all time low.

So, after a little digging and the wisdom of my yoga teacher, I’ve found an answer. Turns out it’s a NEW MOON, and this, Happies, has much to do with our lethargy.

NewMoon

As our biology teachers made us recite, humans are made up mostly of water. Around 70%, I think. Because of our watery nature, we are linked to the phases of the moon far more than we realise. I mean, if the tides are affected, why wouldn’t we be? The new moon occurs when the sun and moon are working in conjunction with one another, unlike a full moon where the two are opposing. While full moons are more commonly associated with a little madness (it’s actually a more energetic, uplifting energy that rattles our groundedness), the new moon is the exact opposite – a grounded, heavy energy that can make us more tired and lethargic than normal. Makes sense, right?

While the new moon is slowly transitioning as of tonight, if you’re also feeling exhausted, it’s time to nurture your body and listen to Mother Nature. Here are some ways to honour yourself…

1. Don’t do anything! This is often one of the hardest things for people to do. Simply sit and be OK with not having anything to do. Or, having lots of things to do but realising that, perhaps, they’re not that urgent and can wait a day or two. I have about 10 things on my to-do list today, but they’re not urgent, so guess what? They can wait. I’m not going to bust my boobies ticking everything off my list. My body doesn’t want to, and neither do I.

2. Breathe! Pranayama exercises are an amazing way to bring balance into your body. Depending on what you’re doing, they help cultivate energy, develop grounding and even detoxify the system. While I can’t currently practice pranayama (not recommended for pregnant ladies), I think it’s a great way for you to take some time for yourself. If you don’t know what pranayama is, or aren’t really interested in learning, just do what I’m currently doing and focus on creating a long, even inhale and exhale. It feels amazingly relaxing.

3. Hit the bush track! Now that the weekend is upon us it might be a wonderful time to go for a gentle stroll in nature. Nothing too exhausting, just a calming walk on a bush or beach-front track to reconnect with nature and harness some much needed energy. A gentle bike ride could also be a winner. In fact, I think I might pack a picnic and do just that tomorrow. It’s just what I need.

So tell me…

Are you feeling tired too?
What do you do to honour yourself?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx

Easy Oven Delight: Baked Harissa Chicken with Eggplant & Other Treats

Don’t you just love roughly chopping a few vege, tossing them into a baking tray and voila! dinner’s done? It’s one of life’s simple pleasures. No fine dicing, sautéing or washing a million pots necessary, just one (OK maybe 2) trays and pots and, you guessed it, you’re free to relax.

This harissa chicken recipe is a little creation of mine that utilises the contents of my fridge this week. There’s a few eggplants (perfect this time of year), onions, tomatoes, small red capsicum and garlic, as well as some delightful organic chicken and a little tub of harissa that needs to be used. What better to make than a Moroccan-inspired baked delight?

Here’s the dish in question…

Baked Harissa Chicken_1 Baked Harissa Chicken

And here’s what you need…

500 grams x organic skinless chicken (breast or thigh or tenderloin. If it’s breast, chop it into tenderloin-sized pieces, leave the thigh as is)
1 x eggplant, roughly chopped
2 x small red capsicums, roughly chopped
1 x brown onion, roughly chopped
3 x fresh tomatoes (or 1 x can of canned tomatoes)
3 x garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 x lime
1 x dash of balsamic vinegar
2 – 3 x tablespoons of harissa (I used the Yulla one, but you could make it yourself)
1 x sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 x bunch of coriander
2 x teaspoons of sweet paprika

And here’s what you need to do…

Step 1: Marinade the chicken in the harissa and leave in the fridge for as many hours as possible. Maybe do this in the morning and pull it out when you get home from work.

Step 2: Throw your chopped onion, capsicum, eggplant, garlic, balsamic vinegar and tomatoes into a baking tray and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze half the lime into the mix as well. Cover with damp baking paper or tin foil and place into a pre-heated oven (at around 160 degrees) for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Pull your veggies out and place chicken in the pan. Toss to combine with all the ingredients so that the chicken can absorb all those yummy flavours and juices. Place back in oven for another 35-40 minutes, ensuring the chicken remains nice and juicy and not overdone.

Step 4: While your chicken is in the oven, plop your sweet potato in a pot with boiling water and steam until nice and soft. Drain liquid, add coriander shoots and stalks, remaining lime half, paprika and salt and pepper. Whiz with your whizzer to make a lovely puree. You can also add some tahini into the mix as well, and some sunflower seeds, pine nuts or blanched almonds just for fun.

Step 5: Once the chicken is done, serve with the sweet potato puree and a side salad. My pick is shredded cabbage, avocado and finely sliced rainbow chard with very light drizzle of honey turmeric dressing. Enjoy!

Tell me Happies…

What do you think of this dish?
Want to give it a go?

Stay Happy,

Yaz xx