an instant of life captured for eternity

Living out in the country  might be one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Its so peaceful and relaxing here.  Its great to have enough space to garden and have so many projects lined up.  Even my kombucha is loving it here, my scoby is finally big and beautiful, making me delicious apple rooibos kombucha.

With all the activities at the cottage we still made some time to go for a hike at the cradle of humankind.  Its a lovely relaxed hike, not that great if you really want to get a workout, but because we are sillies we didn’t know where to go so we had to walk all the way back to the map, so we did the hike twice.

Photo dump time!

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^^ Hiking fun.

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^^ I was tickling Carl with a long grass thingy.

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^^ hiking smiles.

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^^ hiking gang signs.

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^^ Hiking trail.

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^^ these are just 2 of the 7 dogs that decided to roll in out garden at the same time.  Something is up with the grass here.

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^^ I don’t know this little guys real name, but I’ve named him mint crisp, minty to his friends.

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^^ Raised garden complete.  Filled with compost and seeds planted.

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^^ Carl hard at work

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^^ Pretty man looking at the pretty view.

Hope you guys had a fantastical weekend!

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Vitamin C Boost Smoothie

Vitamin C is one of those vitamins that everyone knows we need, but what does it actually do.  Vitamin C has a bunch of health benefits, but first lets talk about the beauty benefits.

BEAUTY BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C

  1. Gives skin elasticity and strength.
  2. It promotes hair growth as well as strengthening it.
  3. It helps you feel more energized.
  4. Wards off signs of ageing.
  5. Promotes nail growth.

But beauty isn’t everything.  Vitamin C also has great health benefits.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C

  1. Helps with the absorption of Iron.
  2. Helps treat cold symptoms, as well as allergies.
  3. Helps to heal wounds: Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, which helps speed up minor wounds.
  4. Helps with lowering cholesterol.
  5. Helps to reduce breathlessness.

With all those benefits, you should definitely try this smoothie.

VITAMIN C BOOST SMOOTHIEserves 2

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Ingredients

  • 1 small pineapple, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped before frozen
  • 1 cup water

Directions

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a glass and seep up all that vitamin C.

Trail Mix Muffins

Muffins, the ugly cupcakes of the world.  A way to eat cake for breakfast and its completely appropriate.  This muffin is a great breakfast treat packed with healthy seeds, cranberries and chocolate chips.  This is a a moist oat muffin that holds together nicely and just tastes great.

TRAIL MIX MUFFINS12 muffins

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup water

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, oats, cornflour, salt and cinnamon.  Add the baking soda and powder.  Pour the vinegar over the baking soda.  Add the vanilla, oil and water and stir until combined.  Fold in the cranberries, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.

Pour the batter into a greased muffin tin.  3/4 of the way.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

 

Gardening Tips For Beginners

Growing your own vegetable garden is something anyone can do with the right tips and research.  You can grow a vegetable garden with a small space or a large space.  Its something you can grow in containers, gutters, raised beds or straight in the ground.

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Here are some of my tips for beginners:

 

  1. Start with good soil : Raised beds are an effect way to grow vegetables.  I did mine the affordable way by laying out bricks, digging up the soil that was in that area and mixing it with a good compost, you want good drainage for a successful garden.
  2. Affordable support for vegetables: When my tomato plants started growing I went and bought bamboo reeds, they are an affordable way of supporting vegetable plants and they are pleasing to the eye.  You just stick it into the ground close to the tomato plant and gently tie the plant to the stick.  For my runner beans, I planted them close to a wall, nailed four nails into the wall and hung up two strings so they can run up and I can place them where ever I want.
  3. Save your banana peels: an easy way to get nutrients in your soil, is to bury small strips of banana peels next to your vegetables.  This really made my vegetables go from okay to wow!
  4. Save those coffee grounds! coffee grounds make a great fertilizer and also stops those pesky snails from destroying your garden.  Add the grounds directly to your soil.
  5. Super Gro / Miracle Gro: This natural product is great for growth and will do wonders for your container garden. Super Gro is meant to improve the quality and quantity of water as required by these crops and plants for wonderful growth and production by adding the essential nutrients they require for that purpose.
  6. Start a hanging or gutter garden: If you’re lacking space, one of these gardens will work great for you.
  7. Keeping birds out of your garden: If you’re having a problem with birds in your garden, placing string around your vegetables will do wonders.  Also hanging reflectors around will also help.

Those are just a few of my tips.  I hope it will helps some beginners out there.  Happy gardening.

P.S  I’ve got some serious bed head hair going on.  I woke up in the mood to harvest some vegetables.

 

 

Carving my very first pumpkin

I decided to carve my very first pumpkin.  I love Halloween and everything that comes with so, obviously I had to carve a pumpkin.  My experience was…….OMG! It’s so disgusting, the stringy part was a horrible hand feel and it was just never ending, but I finally emptied that sucker out and started carving.  Now this was really fun, I didn’t expect it to be so easy.  I didn’t do a crazy face, I stuck with a good old classic.  Here are some photos of the whole process.

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Belphie was very interested in the whole thing, but he is always interested when it comes to food and yes, I do sit like that.

The end result was this.

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Halloween is coming..

Raw Tacos with Marinated Mushroom Meat and Guacamole

This was one of my favourite lunch or just any time recipe.  The marinated mushrooms makes a great taco meat and doesn’t cost a fortune, it also pairs amazingly with the guacamole.  Its the best explosion of flavour you can have in your mouth and refreshes you and makes your face feel all glowy the whole day.

RAW TACOS WITH MARINATED MUSHROOM MEAT AND GUACAMOLE –  8 tacos

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Ingredients

  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Mushroom meat

  • 1 pack white button mushrooms, about 10 medium sized mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce

Guacamole

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped, or as much as you like
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch cayenne – optional

Directions

Mushroom meat

In a medium sized bowl whisk everything together except the mushrooms.   Add mushrooms and coat well.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Guacamole

In a bowl mash the avocado until smooth.  Stir in everything else.  Taste and adjust.

Assemble

Drain the mushroom mixture.  Divide the mushroom meat among the lettuce and top with the guacamole.  Serve immediately.

 

 

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

Happy Tuesday.

Its been really hot here and really beautiful.  Everything is going well on my side especially my little vegetable garden that keeps expanding, as well as the flower garden that’s starting to bush out like crazy lately.  We’ve also added a pretty hanging garden to the wall, but let me just show you.

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Raw Cos lettuce tacos ( marinated mushrooms, salsa and gauc –  BEST THING EVER) Recipe to come

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The garden is moving to the wall – yes, those are strawberries

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I just love these flowers

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The goat obsession continues

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Peacock bum

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This peacock refuses to let us leave so we had to take photos until he moved along.

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This ducks got attitude

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The tortoise and the hare – I met them! starstruck for days

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Hope everyone is having a great week

 

Raw Vegan Detox Experiences From a Meat Eating Man (Guest Post)

This guest post comes to you from Carl.  I asked him to write a guest post for me about his experiences on a raw detox and this is what he had to say.

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A couple of months ago the concept of a raw detox would have been completely foreign to me. I’ve never really worried about what I eat, which was a mistake on my part, considering the fact that I suffered from indigestion, heart burn and bloatedness constantly. So when Mel suggested a raw detox I was sceptical at first, to say the least, but considering the fact that I want to try to live a healthier lifestyle I was willing to give it a shot. It was a wonderful surprise to find out the difference a healthier diet can make and I’d recommend that everyone do it once a month.

We started our days of with a smoothie, which is great for me because I never have much of an appetite in the morning, so I like the fact that I can get all my nutrients in, with a delicious green smoothie. The smoothie left me feeling energized and refreshed, the fact that it’s a delicious way to start the morning is just an added bonus. I felt more awake instantly and ready to face the day and whenever I felt slightly peckish, I could just snack on some tasty cashews and sunflower seeds, which provided me with the satisfaction of snacking, without all the unhealthy added extras.

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Our lunch for the first two days were a delicious raw wrap/cos salad taco. Now this was one of the most delicious meals I have had in my life, I couldn’t get enough of it. It was crispy and delicious and I instantly felt refreshed and felt a liveliness in my face, like my skin was happy for the healthiness of it, knowing it won’t have to suffer the consequences of my normal unhealthy meals I would use to eat.

Our dinner was a basil pesto pasta the first evening. I love this meal, because it is delicious and very filling, but it does not leave you feeling sluggish. You don’t get that lazy feeling, that one would normally associate with regular pasta.

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To me the lunch and dinner had a longer sustained energy than what I would usually feel after a meal. My body did take a day to adjust to the detox, but by day two I was feeling great. I had no indigestion, no bloatedness and I was significantly less gassy.

On day two we had a raw lasagna for our second evening and this is honestly one of my favourite foods from now on. I could hardly finish it, but I didn’t feel like a fatty afterwards. It bursts with fresh flavours and is really scrumptious.

On the third day for lunch we had a macro bowl, which is a resembles a de-constructed salad, but I loved the option of eating the vegetables one by one or mixing them up for a taste explosion.

My conclusion for a raw detox is that everyone should do it every now and again. It cleanses the body and leaves you feeling refreshed and makes your skin feel amazing. I felt revitalized and more energized than I would in normal days. I won’t be able to do it all day everyday, but for anyone that wants to give their system a healthy holiday I would say do it and reap the rewards of feeling great. When you are done with the detox I would also suggest to maintain a healthy diet moderation is key. I’m sure all the recipes for the amazing meals I had will follow soon.

 

Stellar Organics Wine

With the holiday season approaching I’ve decided to do something different this Monday.  It might be a little odd to just jump into a wine post at the beginning of the week, but hey wine not?!

 

DSC01682 Stellar organics winery is the largest producer of organic wine in South Africa.  They’re also certified fair trade, vegan friendly, gluten free and contains no sulphurs.  The best part however? The wine is fantastic! I’m a big merlot fan and after sipping on this wine I don’t want to go back to any other wine.  Its such a wonderfully smooth wine that’s easy to drink, with notes of blackcurrant and blueberries it would be paired beautifully with a vegan pizza or cottage pie.  After trying the merlot, I had to try two more.

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Cabernet Sauvignon:  This wine has a beautiful dark red hue.  This is a great food wine.  Hints of vanilla and smooth tannins.  Will go great with a mushroom steak and roasted vegetables.

Chardonnay:  This is a lovely wine to drink on a hot day, sitting outside and unwinding.  This was a really refreshing wine with citrus tones, that made me swoon.  Will go great with salads or light lunches.

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So if you’re looking to give a gift for someone,  this will be a great option.

Here is a link to their website: Stellar Organics

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This weekend was not filled with wine however.  I did a little detox with Carl and tomorrow he will be doing a guest post on how he felt as a meat eater going on a raw diet.

Happy Monday

 

 

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

Green smoothies can be a challenge for some people.  It might be the beautiful green colour that some would say look like sludge or the fact that its packed with lots of healthy greens that some people just don’t like.

This smoothie however hides both those things and tastes amazing.

Some health benefits from this smoothie include:

KALE

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  1. Lowers cholesterol.
  2. Great detox food.
  3. Supports healthy immune system.
  4. High in fibre, so helps with digestion.
  5. Low in calories.

MINT

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  1. Relieves Indigestion.
  2. Gives you glowing skin.
  3. Helps relieve coughing.
  4. Helps with nausea.
  5. Boosts immunity.

CACAO POWDER

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  1. Decreases blood sugar and blood pressure.
  2. Its an anti-inflammatory.
  3. Anti-cancer benefits.
  4. Contains healthy fats.
  5. Contains a lot of minerals and vitamins.

 

CHOCOLATE MINT GREEN SMOOTHIE 2 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana, frozen in chunks
  • 1/2 a frozen avocado
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint, or more if you like
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder or normal cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or any syrup you like
  • 1 cup water

Directions

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into glass and enjoy.