Wednesday, May 30, 2012

8 Health Benefits of Zucchini

As a child I really didn't like my greens! In fact I did everything I could to avoid them and lived off yoghurt, cheese and ice cream. Any wonder looking back why I struggled frequently with colds, flues, congestion, hay fever, and often getting sick.  I wasn't aware of healthy eating and living like I know.
My sweet kind hearted Mum loved to force our  veges in to us, fresh from my Dads garden but I just hated greens! Why? Because they were over cooked, soggy and mushy. The taste of cooked soggy zucchini  and boiled cabbage just never tempted my palette.

These days...

I have discovered the freshness and great taste from raw living foods. 
I love creating recipes with zucchini especially after my recent trip to Bali where I was fortunate to learn from Master Chef 'Made Ruthna' of the amazing resort Fivelements
One thing I learnt was combining  five spices rule to zucchini to create the most exquisite taste.

There are many great health benefits from eating zucchini. Not only is is low in calorie because of its high water content, there are many reason why incorporating zucchini to your nutrtion will serve your body.

This is what I discovered.

  1. 1 cup of zucchini is 36 calories, if you are into calorie counting. What excites me is it aids digestion, prevents constipation, maintains blood sugar levels, and overeating.
  2. Lowers cholesterol 
  3. Healing food and cancer prevention, because of it high dietary and fibre content, it keeps the bowl regular and healthy. The vitamin A and c, as well as folate act as a powerful antioxidant, that fight oxidative stress that can lead to all types of cancer.
  4. Prostate Health studies show the phytonutrients found in zucchini aid reducing symptoms of benign prostate hypertrophy, a condition in which the prostate glands enlarges and leads to complications with urination and sexual functions in men.
  5. Anti-inflammatory Vitamins C and A not only serve our body as powerful antioxidants, but also as effective anti-inflammatory agents. Research shows along with copper found in zucchini, these vitamins can help  prevent the development of osteoarthritis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
  6. 1 cup of zucchini contains 10% of the RDA of magnesium  and folate. Minerals that have been proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. 
  7. High in Manganese a trace mineral and essential nutrient, with many health benefits such as healthy skin and proper wound healing.
Try my tasty quick and easy Zucchini Soup

  Zucchini Soup

3 Peeled Zucchini
1 freshly squeezed lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspooon sea salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp diced onion
1 tsp agave
1 tsp cumin
1 TBSPchia seeds
1 cup water

mix chia seeds in 1/2 cup of water, allow to form a gel consistency.

Blend all other ingredients  until smooth including 1/2 cup of water. Add chia seeds, blend well.
Garnish with cherry tomato. spring onion and coriander and cracked pepper to taste. 

New YOGA BALI DVD Is HERE, including VEGAN MASTER CLASSES.  You can get your copy today at

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A country life...

Living in small town had many positives...

I spent my childhood living  in the picturesque small town Dundedin NZ. I lived  in a small suburb called Abbotsford  where everyone knows everyone.  I lived there until I left to begin a new life with my husband in Sydney with our first baby girl Lucia in 2003.  Like many teenagers I couldn't wait to leave  high school so I could set out on my own. I promised myself that once I had a choice I would no longer live in any place that required de-icing my windshield in the morning. So far I have made good on that promise.

However, 10 years later. I've grown to love my old hometown and the lifestyle I was fortunate to have as a child.  I love the rolling hills covered in trees, the foggy mornings, the sheep and cows  grazing in the paddocks  and  streets with names like Saddle Hill and Green Island.  I  love the  sun-light  when it would shine, in my parents  old lounge room in the late afternoon. I'm lucky to be able to go back to the house that I grew up in. I know so many people out there that can't do that. My Dad lived their as a child and still does today.

But it's true when they say that you can never truly go back home. Dunedin has changed. Not for the bad, but it has changed. It's still beautiful, and quaint.  Most of my friends are all still there but people are all busy living their own life.  When I was last home we visited our regular vacation place Alexandra. There are so many wonderful childhood memories there. I use to take my pony on holiday with me and stay with my favourite Auntie and Uncle on their farm. I drove through the quiet neighborhoods tucked in between the dry paddocks, mountain views, and now surrounded by lush winery’s,  flashbacks of the old days crept in as I came across a familiar driveway to an old friend's home. It's hard not to feel nostalgic during moments like these. Even if I would never want to do it all over again I can still miss it..... galloping the horses up and down the cherry orchards bareback,  helping to scare the birds form eating the cherries. The walks up the hill with my brother  to catch bunny rabbits and take them home to your own back yard, climbing the beautiful willow trees and  making tree huts. I can still smell the strong aroma of Thyme. I was admittedly a real Tom Girl. But there is something about nature that just naturally grounds us and helps to keep you feel earthy and connected.  You only need to stop for a moment and lye yourself down on the grass to feel this serene feeling. 
Today I live in the fast pass of 'Sydney' I wouldn't trade it for anything... however I do find myself making more of an effort as I age to surround myself with nature and live as simple as possible. Practising meditation and an attitude of gratitude for the nature and beauty that surrounds us keeps me grounded and connected everyday. Having the priviledge to walk my girls to school each day and connect with nature is the highlight of my day.

So here is a tiny glimpse into my old past.... small snapshots of my home town, the beautiful produce from Central Otago.

This is the bridge just before arriving into Alexandra, our weekend and vacation destination. My Dad use to play a game with my brother, sister and  myself , who  would see  the bridge first, every time we trabvelled... It was always a competetion and a big scream! " I see the bridge first!"

The Hoar Frost in Central Otago that we often got to experience there in winter.
This is Saddle Hill in Dunedin... the view from my Mum's lounge window. As a child I grew to take that view for granted, but today I can appreciate it when I return home.
This is Blackhead beach, where I use to ride my pony along most days after school and days off when I should have been at school!

                                                   My old time favourite wine bar 'Baccus'

The Fresh produce from Central Otago

“What a focussed and conscious mind can create, a balanced and energised soul can deliver” Nicky x