Healthy Party Snacks

As the festive season is fast approaching, I wanted to post my super easy party snacks that are a more healthy alternative to chips and various other types of junky food that is normally served.

These are just olives, mini tomatoes and goats feta cheese on the base – handy that it cuts into squares as it helps it stand up and look more impressive!

There is something about the saltiness of the olives & feta with the fresh tomato that makes it a moorish mouthful and just perfect with drinks.

I’ve completed a detox recently with the Schkinny Maninny crew – more about that in an upcoming blog post – however it has made me rethink my dairy intake, so I might go off and experiment and see what else I can use in place of feta in this line up. Maybe another vegetable that has been marinated? Who knows, however all suggestions are welcome!

Here are a few other savoury snack suggestions that I have posted before, as well as Cheesy Crisps and Savoury Crackers if you can be bothered going to the trouble! And if you have some other healthy party snacky food that you love, let me know and I will share it around.

Party time!


Kristy xxx

Clean Food Clear Thinking – by Karina Francois

Clean Food Clear Thinking

I was excited to be given the opportunity to read a new book called Clean Food Clear Thinking by naturopath Karina Francois. From the title alone I knew I was in the right place. As soon as you open the book and are hit with the glowing testimonials, it enhances that feeling even further.

Within the first few pages Karina’s warmth and absolute care for her patients oozes out. When you are out of sorts with your body and feeling poorly, having someone who actually cares about getting you back to your vibrant self, rather than just trying to sell you something, is a rare find. Usually this caring quality comes from a person who themselves have experienced health wars and this is true for Karina too.

In fact, it was the impetus to start her health crusade and studies of naturopathy, iridology, herbs, nutrition, homeopathy, and more.

The book gives an overview of the areas everyone should consider with regard to their health both physical and mindset, and some basic exercises to start you thinking in the right direction. There are also two weeks of a suggested eating plan, parts on food sensitivities and her favourite recipes.

But the one thing that stood out to me most, was her desire for you to learn what she knows and empower you with the knowledge to take care of yourself for life. This is so different to most practitioners who gloss over the detail and just issue a prescription, or the weight loss companies who would just rather you buy their product for life. She is interested in you knowing how to care for yourself and taking responsibility for yourself, which is a breath of fresh air and how it should be. Teaching people to fish as it were.

While overall the book is fairly easy reading and enjoyable, there are some technical parts that made my eyes glaze over and go get a cup of tea! (But that’s just me!) However it is illustrative of the depth of Karina’s knowledge and understanding of the body and mind and it’s functional parts and synergies, so she is a valuable asset to have on your wellness team.

If you have health and/or weight loss issues, this book will certainly start you on the right path of steps to take both physically and mentally to move in a better direction.

And now, one of the recipes in the book that just stood out for me because of its simplicity. I don’t think I even like fennel but if Karina’s kids like it, then surely I will too…

Fennel Salad

1 fennel
1 orange
1 red onion
lemon juice
celtic salt & pepper
olive oil

Wash the fennel and cut the upper stems. Cut to the middle and slice finely.
Peel the orange, remove seeds and cut into small cubes
Peel onion, cut finely and mix everything together.
Dress with lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil to taste
If you were struggling any health issues at all, Karina would be the one to help you find the cause.

The book is available now at

Healthy, happy,


Kristy xxx

Super Rich Coconut Choc Fudge


I love it when I have cooking weeks where everything works! I had a few disasters not that long ago where the result was so bad that even I couldn’t eat it – very rare as I hate to waste food. But this week was truly stellar, so here is one of the recipes today and the rest will follow in the weeks to come.

I love this one because it is super easy, as is my preference but again it was just a tweak on my Chocolate Tweets mix that made it completely different, rich, decadent and just all over Oh My Goodness!

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To grain or not to grain – that is the Paleo question!


One of the biggest arguments against the Paleo diet that I hear most often is the claim that “if you remove a food group like grains out of your diet, you’ll be missing out on nutrients.”

Funnily enough they never seem to elaborate much more than that, so of course it piqued my curiosity. Is it really true or are they just joshing with us?

So in relation to grains in particular…what is it that we are supposed to be missing out on and what ever it is, are you sure you can’t get it in the rest of the foods you eat?

The results were interesting…

Fibre is one where grains were supposed to be king. Is it an actual nutrient? Not sure, but an important part of our diet nonetheless that helps things, you know… move along. The recommended daily intake of fibre is approx 25g for women. So if you have the recommended 5 serves of veges a day and 2 pieces of fruit, this is what your fibre intake may look like from this alone:-

5g – ½ cup pumpkin
5g – ½ cup Peas
5g – 1 cup Broccoli
4g – 1 cup Spinach
2g – ½ cup green beans

5g – Avocado half
5g – Pear with skin

31g total

So more than enough and that’s before you even get to seeds and nuts which have even more fibre.

But you may say ‘how on earth would I eat all those veges?’ Well when I slightly wilt two cups of spinach with my fried eggs in the morning, have about 2 cups of zucchini noodles with sauce and an awesome homemade vege soup or big salad, I’d say it’s pretty easy. And the best thing about getting your fibre this way is that the veges and fruit have built in water and nutrients that are easy to digest and super available to your body and cells.

So from the fibre point of view – totally busted!

It is puzzling to me why then our standard national recommendation for women is anywhere between 6-9 serves of grains as well.

Standard serve sizes are:-

1 slice of bread – 2g fibre
½ cup cooked rice – 0.6g fibre
½ cup cooked wholemeal pasta – 3g fibre
½ cup cooked oats – 4g fibre
½ cup cooked quinoa – 2.5g fibre
½ cup cooked buckwheat – 2.2g fibre

So this minimum amount (ie. 6 serves) would give you only 14.3g of fibre. Not such great sources after all, given that fibre is one of the big selling points of grains. I am even being generous here and including lots of minimally processed whole grain type grains. Where as it’s more likely that people eat more like white bread, white pasta, white bread rolls and sugar cereal which has even less fibre.

grain, paleo, cereal, grainfree

So say you do nudge more towards the whole grain type of grains, even in this minimum serving recommendation the carb level is astronomical – if I took the lowest serving of carbs in this line up which is the bread at about 15g carbs per slice and multiplied it by the 6 servings, you are still looking at 90g carbs a day! Just from the grains; this not even including the carbs in the veges and fruit above which you are supposed to be having as well!

How is a normal person who does some exercise supposed to keep at an ideal weight if the recommended carb level is so out of balance with their lifestyle? The point is they don’t and the stats of more than 60% of the population being overweight or obese prove this.

Ok so fibre and way too many carbs aside, what else are grains supposed to do for us?

Apparently they contain minerals, however if you know anything about phytic acid, you will know this binds to the minerals in grains making them virtually unable to be absorbed by our bodies, so that’s out. Null and void.

The other one is B Vitamins, again grains are supposedly a rich source however when I look at the best sources of B Vitamins here is what I come up with:-

Meat including organ meats
Most seafood
Dark leafy green vegetables

Legumes get a mention but they are by no means the only source. Grains like cereal and bread only get a mention because they are fortified with B Vitamins! As in ‘added to.’ So the processing takes all the goodness out, so they add it back in. Like eating the cardboard box and taking a vitamin pill! Not exactly a wholefood.

So bottom line here are my findings:-

1. The Paleo crew and anyone else leaving out grains out of their diet are missing nothing.

2. Most commercial breads and cereals are complete junk food and should be treated with caution.

3. If you are going to leave grains in your diet then pick the best, most natural sources – unflavoured minimally processed oats, quinoa, barley etc and maybe try only 3 serves a day – a serve is only half a cup of these cooked – this is the recommended amount in Canada and the lower level in the USA. Not sure why our Australian one is so high – perhaps our grain lobby is stronger here?

As for me, I’m still remaining grain free. I feel better physically, can keep the weight off easily and if you only knew the havoc that grains have on many people’s insides and the myriad of diseases they cause, you would tread carefully too.

Be informed and make your own choices!

Here’s to your vibrant health.

Kristy xxx

Lemony Baked Salmon

Let’s take a little diversion from sweet treat recipes this week because yes, while I find them fun to make and let’s face it – eat as well – the other 95% of the time I’m eating protein, veges and healthy oils to keep everything ticking along in vibrant, healthy bliss without the sweet factor.

One of my favourite and easiest things to make for dinner is Lemony Salmon. I’ve yet to find any other flavour with salmon that I like as much – maybe you can let me know how you cook it, so I can expand my repertoire!

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5 reasons why your weight loss program isn’t working…


I have been reading a few books lately mostly specifically about sugar, grains and weight loss and the interesting thing is that they exactly mirror my beliefs on this subject. My beliefs of course stem from my own experience but also of witnessing the plight of others who keep trying to do the ‘diet and exercise’ advice and fail spectacularly for years, some never succeeding and spending most of their lives miserable. (After dishing out hundreds of dollars on programs that can never work.)

So let’s take a look at what is wrong here…

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White Chocolate Spiders


Do you remember the White Chocolate Spiders recipe from years ago that was basically melt white chocolate, add peanut butter, tip in crunchy noodles and that was it? I used to love them and then feel sick afterwards from all the crappy stuff in it.

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