Monday, January 31, 2011


Hello :) So, I've decided to copy an idea from the beauty website Primped. For the month of January (or as they said "JanYOUary") the team at Primped dedicated the month to health, wellbeing, positivity, advice and made it all about YOU. I thought this was a fun idea, and everyone likes feeling a little bit spesh, don't they? Well now that January is almost over (oh my!), I decided it would be fun to do something  similar for the month of FebYOUary.

What I mean by this is making this month count in terms of health, beauty, wellbeing and so forth. Having small health goals, spending a bit of effort making yourself feel great, and taking time to relax and totally unwind. I'm not trying promoting vanity by any means, but simple goals which you can put into practice to make yourself feel fabulous.

 Here's some of my goals I've come up with for the month of FebYOUary:
1. Stretch every day. This is going to be really hard for me. In my 2011 health resolutions, I made it a goal to stretch a few times a week, but the truth is, I haven't really at all during January. But realising the principle of reversibility does actually happen after stopping dance classes a few months ago I'm determined to improve my flexibility.
2. Swim 2km. Lately I've been swimming laps in the afternoons a few times a week. I've been improving and can now do 1-1.5km, taking a small break every few laps. I want to continue to improve and maybe even get to 2km (40 laps).
3. Start exfoliating twice a week. Although I don't see the point in spending money on exfoliators when you can easily make your own. For my face I use a mixture of almond meal, oats, honey, milk and sometimes even yoghurt! For my body I use a basic mixture of sugar and olive oil. I usually do it every few weeks but lately I've noticed my skin gets really dry after coming back from the beach/pool so I will try this twice a week.
4. Do a facemask once a week! Especially as the temperatures soar, it's always fun popping on a facemask and chilling for a bit. I have one by Bloom that I use occasionally but sometimes make my own too. I might post some recipes another time.
5. Focus on eating foods that make my skin glow. Instead of thinking 'oh this is bad for me' I'd rather focus on food that's going to fill my body with nutrients and is good for my skin. In the latest Body and Soul liftout it was discussed that eating fresh fruit and vegetables leads to glowing skin as well as being more attractive to the opposite sex (ha ha), so now there's no excuse! I want to cut out as much processed food too. Not because I want to 'lose weight' but because I will have more energy, better digestion and improved skin.

Take time to focus on YOU and make this coming month count. What do you think? Will you join me? Have any goals for the month of FebYOUary? It's time to stop and smell the roses ;)

I will be posting more on this soon! 

Hannah x

P.S. This is also my 50th post!! So thanks for following my blog thus far, I can't believe how fast time has gone by!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Summer heat

Hello :) First of all, Happy Australia Day! How have you been celebrating?? I've been for an early morning swim and I'm currently listening to the JJJ countown. It's not that patriotic, but it's far too hot for my liking to be in the city amongst festivities.

In this post I don't have a recipe to share or anything interesting as such but some photos of what I've been eating/drinking for the past few days in this summer heat...

 Dark chocolate, almond and shredded coconut biscuits my sister made the other day. Delicious combintation!
Fresh blueberries, eaten straight out of the packet!
Easy mountain bread pizza. It's a healthy lunch in about 5 minutes!
Raw fudge balls. These look a little different from when I made them previously as I didn't roll them in desicated coconut. Great to keep in the fridge for some healthy snacking.
Muesli topped with almonds and blueberries. I could eat this any time of the day...
Tea :) I do love my tea, but sometimes when it gets too hot I have to sip it in front of my fan! Actually speaking of tea, I've been thinking of making a jug of iced tea to have in the fridge. Does anyone make iced tea? If so, what tea do you use? I always try them out in T2 and they're always yummy with pieces of orange and berries in the jug too!
I also had to share some photos of my roses. They're blooming like crazy at the moment, so it was fitting that we cut some off to display on the mantle piece
And finally I decided to be 'arty' and take a photo of our curtains (which have roses on them!) as I quite like the lighting here.

Well I need to get back to my tennis watching! C'mon Murray!

Hannah x

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ways to boost your vegetable intake

Hello :) ...You'd think with my blog website called 'eat your freaking vegetables', I would have done a post dedicated to vegetables earlier!! Well to continue on from this post, here are some simple ways I came up with to up your vegetable consumption:

1. Eat more salads. Make salads more interesting by using a wider variety of vegetables, adding chickpeas/cannellini beans/tofu/tempeh/avocado/nuts for protein, or topping with fruit for something different. For simple dressings I usually add some olive oil and lemon juice or a splash of balsamic vinegar. Here are some healthy salad ideas:
- Greek: feta, tomatoes, olives, red onion, spinach leaves, cucumber
- Green: baby spinach, rocket, avocado, asparagus and pepitas
- Gourmet: roasted pumpkin, toasted walnuts, feta, spinach/rocket leaves
- Tofu: pan-fried tofu (marinated in soy sauce), julienne carrots and snowpeas, avocado
- Cafe style (I actually had this salad at a cafe recently): endive, pecans, grated apple and dates with a mustard dressing

2. Make vegetable based dips to keep in your fridge. Make dips such as sweet potato hummus, roasted beetroot, baba ghanoush or guacamole to store in your fridge, as a healthy snack anytime of the day.
3. Make vegetables the focus at dinner time. Make meals such as vegetable soups to really boost your vegetable intake. Use ingredients such as sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin or celery and make it more filling by adding lentils, chickpeas, cannellini beans etc. Other vegetable based meals include stir-fries, homemade pizza, baked mushrooms or ratatouille. For a simple dinner or accompaniment roast vegetables such as pumpkin, red onion or sweet potato with rosemary and sea salt and top with crumbled feta. Delicious!
4. Add vegetables to sauces. Making pesto? Why not add in a handful of rocket into the blender. Making tomato pasta sauce? Why not grate in zucchini and carrots too. It's really that simple. 
5. Whizz up vegetable juices. If you have a juicer, this is a great way of increasing your intake of vegetables. Usually I'll make a juice with carrots, celery, beetroot and ginger. You could add in an orange or apple for a sweeter taste. 
6. Cut up vegetable sticks to store in the fridge or take with you as snacks. Sometimes I don't eat that many vegetables during the day, because I have the mindset that they're hard to prepare, but storing carrot/cucumber/celery sticks in the fridge is such an easy go-to snack. Going to a picnic or celebration? Take vegetables with a homemade dip for a healthy contribution. 
7. Grow your own! You can start out small. Maybe start growing some lettuce and tomatoes or other  vegetables you'd eat on a daily basis. 

Hope that was useful! Do you find it hard to boost your vegetable intake? Any other tips? 

Hannah x

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Things that make me happy (part 1)

Hello :) I thought I'd start a small series of posts (not one after the other though), of things that make me happy! Because sometimes it's the simple things in life that make us truly happy.

1. Cleaning/organising/arranging my room: If I'm home for the day, I'll spend the majority of time in my bedroom. It's my little sanctuary and therefore love to make everything look neat and tidy and fill it with things I love. I like to organise shelves, make my bed, put up pretty postcards/posters and even colour code some of my clothing...
2. Roses. In our front yard we have a few rose bushes. There's nothing like cutting fresh roses from your garden and putting them in a pretty vase to brighten up a room. There's one in particular which produces divine smelling roses (I think they smell like the Evelyn Rose range at Crabtree&Evelyn!)
3. Burning incense and candles. I find incense incredibly calming and lovely to burn, and candles help add ambience to the room as well as smelling nice! 
4. Summer reading. I've been trying to read more fiction books, for the past little while. When it's too hot to be outside and you're stuck at home, reading is a great way to spend afternoons. Here's a pile of magazines/books I hope to read soon (I've just started "Quentins" by Maeve Binchy)

Have a fabulous weekend!!

What are some of the simple things in life, that make you happy?

Hannah x

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Hello :) So the other day the delightful Princess Frivolous nominated me for a Stylish blogger award. Thanks!! :) Pretty cool, huh? Basically I have to reveal 7 things about myself and nominate 15 blogs, I've recently discovered. I thought this would also be a fun opportunity to share some things about myself that are completely unrelated to food!

1. I play the oboe and violin. Well, I should really say "used to" as I haven't played both for the past 6 months however I really want to start playing again! I actually decided to take out my oboe the other night, but could hardly play for 5 minutes without getting out of breath, so something to work on! I used to play in the school band too, and was once Drum Major when we marched on ANZAC Day, because as they say "you can't march with an oboe"....(the reed might have choked me, somehow).
2. My star sign is Virgo. And I pretty much act like one. I absolutely love cleaning/arranging my bedroom, writing lists (to make me feel organised) and I can be a perfectionist too. 
3. I find old ladies incredibly stylish. I love seeing old ladies dressed in blouses, pleated skirts, white gloves, chic bags and trendy loafers. I sometimes wonder what my generation will look like in 50 to 60 years time. Will we dress as classic and elegantly? (I hope so!)
4. I used to collect stamps. When I was younger, I used to have a subscription to "Scientrific" magazine (a super cool science magazine for kids). Well one day, I entered a crossword competition and won this cool stamp pack and folder. From then on, I used to collect the stamps from our letters. I think I still have them all lying around somewhere...
5. I adore French films. There's something so delightful and charming about French films. My favourites include: Hunting and gathering, the diving bell and the butterfly, amelie, a very long engagement, russian dolls and priceless. Recently I've seen the heartbreaker and LOL, which I'd definitely recommend!
6. I also adore period drama films. The costumes, the history...I just can't get enough. My favourites include: Bright star, atonement, Marie Antoinette, the edge of love, the duchess, coco avant chanel, pride and prejudice (both versions!) and tess of the d'ubervilles.
7. At the moment I'm really into folk/gypsy/jazz music. I love discovering small Australian bands at bars, folk festivals etc. I like all kinds of 'folk' too, especially the kind you can go crazy and dance too (so maybe more folk/rock). Some recent discoveries include: rapskallion, D.O.C jones and the lechery orchestra, tinpan orange, lolo lovina and the crooked fiddle band. Here's some examples:

Brown rice tart with tomato and feta

Hello :) I will post about "ways to boost your vegetable intake" soon, but first I wanted to share this recipe I made for dinner last night. As the title suggests (quite subtly I think), I made a brown rice tart with tomato and feta. The recipe was given to me by a good friend (hello T!) so I decided to give it a whirl.

Recipe: Brown rice tart with tomato and feta
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 roma tomatoes, halved (I quartered mine)
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 lemon thyme sprigs
1/3 cup crumbled feta
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk

1. Boil the rice for 35-40 minutes, or unil tender; drain and leave to cool. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Put the rice, cheese and egg in a bowl and mix together well. Spread the mixture over the base and sides of a lightly greased 25cm flan ton or quiche dish and bake for 15 minutes.
3. To make the filling, place the tomatoes on a non-stick baking tray, cut sides up, along with the garlic. Brush with olive oil and grind some black pepper on top. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and let it cool slightly.
4. Reduce the oven temp to 180. Arrange the tomato halves, garlic, lemon thyme sprigs and feta over the rice crust.
5. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk, then pour over the tomatoes. Bake for 1 hour, or until the filling has set. Serve hot or cold.
** When the rice has about 15 minutes left, put the tomatoes in the oven, so you can put the rice base in  when the tomatoes have about 15 minutes left, and take them both out at the same time **

As you can see, I didn't have any lemon thyme sprigs but I couldn't really tell because it was super delicious regardless! The brown rice base was crusty and yummy, a very healthy alternative to a pastry base. The tomatoes were juicy, the garlic sweet and the feta soft and creamy. It's really filling too, and makes enough for leftovers. Definitely adding this recipe to my repertoire!

Also, this morning my friend (hello T, again!) came over for morning tea. We made scones and served them with White Peach Jam, that we made together the other day! It took a while to make, but turned out very well (although perhaps a little too sweet). It made two jars, so she gave me one to keep. We'd like to try making berry jam too, but want a recipe using hardly any sugar or alternatives such as grapefruit juice. And she also gave me a small jar of homemade mango and ginger chutney too. How lovely!

Hannah x

P.S. I can't believe Justine Henin is out of the Australian Open!!! She was one of my favourites...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ways to boost your fruit intake

Hello :) Happy Monday! So, whilst I was browsing through health blogs (as I do for 'fun') I came across this article on "how to make healthy eating incredibly simple this year". The main point of the article which resonated with me and seemed completely true was "put your efforts into eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. The rest will take care of itself". I won't re-write the entire post as you can see for yourself but it got me thinking of some easy ways to include more fruits  into your eating plan:

1. Try to incorporate fruit into your breakfast each day. Top cereal/muesli/porridge with sliced banana, peaches, nectarines, mango, strawberries or frozen berries (basically whatever is in season). And if you're having something a little more indulgent such as pancakes, try making a fruit platter to accompany.
2. Make fruit smoothies as a filling breakfast, afternoon snack or whenever! Lately I've been making smoothies when I come back from running and feel like something refreshing and filling. Mine usually have oat milk, frozen berries (so much cheaper than fresh berries!), peach, bananas and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
3. Eat fruit for dessert. Craving something sweet and sugary after dinner? Why not make these cinnamon roast peaches, grill bananas with maple syrup and cinnamon, or create a simple fruit salad/platter. According to Chinese medicine the best time to eat fruit is in the evening. 
4. Bake with fruit. Make baking that little bit healthier by trying things like banana bread or berry muffins 
5. Grow your own. There's nothing more satisfying than picking your own strawberries or other fruits! They're super sweet and (in my opinion) way more delicious than store bought fruit.

Hope that was helpful :) It's easier that you think, right? Do you have any other tips of ways to boost your fruit intake? Would love to hear some!

My next post will be on ways to boost your vegetable intake! 

Hannah x