Happy new year!

Holistic-HQ-139.jpg

Happy new year Holistic HQ loves! There’s always an exciting, buzzy feeling as the new year begins!

As we reflect on the year that was and look towards the year ahead, you might be ready to pen down the goals that you’re aiming for, or positive changes you wish to make in your life. With this in mind, if you are in the mindset of planning new goals for 2017, here are some helpful tips to support the changes you want to see.

Consistency: Making a start is something that I have a hard time with, and which we all tend to struggle with when beginning new habits. Believing you have the power over your actions is a great behaviour change motivator and one that will get you on the track and keep you there.  Taking that initial step and committing to your goal consistently will help with making it a habit and enhancing your feelings of achieving your goal.  Making incremental changes but keeping them consistent so that you have the change regularly in your life will give you the power to see how well you are doing and how far you have come.

Positivity: Giving yourself the recognition that you can do anything is a really powerful thing! Whatever it is you are achieving, saying something to yourself like “yes I can” or “I’m already making this change and I’m feeling and seeing the benefit” will work wonders on making a goal a reality and one you will achieve.

Motivating yourself can be difficult but introducing positive mantras to yourself throughout the day can help with keeping you on the path to successful change.

Support: Having supportive friends, family  and colleagues are always a bonus to have around when setting a goal and making a change. The beauty of having that support is that you will be encouraged (and reminded!) to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. By letting  your family and friends know what it is you want to set out and conquer, asking for their support to help these changes come about will strengthen your commitment to your goal.

Self love/care: At this time of the year it’s so easy to get caught in the merry-go-round of guilt and self hate.  Over-indulging at Christmas and the holidays can make you feel like you need to restrict or punish yourself. Unfortunately, this sets you up for a new year where you’ll probably make impossible goals.

Have you noticed a lot of new year goals are centred around diet and exercise? These especially make you feel like you need to deprive yourself or ramp up the exercise to twice the amount. This kind of thinking will hurt the relationship you have with yourself. Take the time to give credit to yourself and reward yourself with the changes by perhaps buying a gorgeous candle and taking a luxe bath. Or get a massage, buy some flowers or anything else that you enjoy to encourage the love you have for yourself and the positive changes you are making.

One of my goals for this year is to meditate, so I made a plan to meditate for 5 minutes  each day and then make steady but consistent increments of 2 minutes each week. I said to myself that “I am meditating every day and I feel calmer”. I’ve let my boyfriend know and given myself a mini celebration to work towards of buying a bunch of flowers for my study desk at the end of week 1.

What positive changes do you hope to make in 2017…?

 

Love, Abs xx

Nutrition myths busted! (some of them)

 

holistic-hq-81

Is organic food better than conventional food to eat?

Basically no. There have been copious studies showing eating organic does not increase the nutrition content of the food. With organic food there is a much lesser amount of pesticide residue on the fruit and veges which is great but if you’re like me and cannot justify spending three to five times the amount of your food shop then just focus on packing your basket full of fruits and vegetables first.

Are frozen vegetables good for you?

Of course they are! In fact very shortly after veges (or fruits) are picked they are snap frozen to minus 20 degrees. This retains more nutrients in some fruit and veg compared to ones that has been picked fresh and then transported for thousands of kilometres. Frozen vegetables also reduce food wastage (everyone has that limp spring onion lurking in the fridge). Using frozen fruit and vegetable is better for your purse and the environment due to the less wastage. Don’t be scared to use them in meals as they are great options – frozen peas, frozen mixed veges can quickly go into a frittata and you’ve got your serve of veg sorted.

Aren’t eating eggs bad for cholesterol?

Lots of people are worried about eating eggs as they think they are high in cholesterol. The fact is, dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in the body.  It’s saturated fat which has a much greater impact on your cholesterol.  Having an egg or two a day is totally fine and the Heart foundation recommends eating 6 eggs a week for heart health.  Eggs are high in omega 3 and 11 essential vitamins and minerals so keep enjoying those googy eggs with soldiers.

White sugar is bad…but coconut/rice malt/agave/honey/maple syrup is good!

Sugar is sugar is sugar. There are many so called health gurus out there that will say to swap white sugar for rice malt syrup/maple syrup or coconut sugar.  The fact is theses are all sugars and your body identifies all of the above mentioned sugars as the same.  Some claim that choosing a sugar such as maple syrup is better because it contains minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc, however you would need to consume more than a cup worth of said sugar to get an adequate intake of these minerals.

Coconut oil is the only oil I should be eating and putting on everything

While coconut oil has a place in a balanced diet, don’t forget that is it high in saturated fat. It’s totally fine to consume in small quantities but don’t cover everything you eat in the stuff. Coconut oil cannot perform miracles and it is best to use it as an oil to cook something at a high temperature (since coconut oil has a high smoke point) or a bit of it if you make a raw dessert every once in a while.

Eating carbohydrates will make me fat 

The reality is any excess kilojoules (energy) you consume vs expend will lead to excess weight – not just carbohydrates. Your brain and muscles need carbohydrates to function properly but the key is to eat carbohydrates loaded with fibre. Why is this important? Eating carbohydrates especially of the wholefood type (think oats, barley, quinoa, wholemeal bread, beans etc) contain plenty of fibre which keeps your blood sugar levels consistent, make you feel fuller for longer and as a result you’ll eat less and weigh less, not put on weight. The fibre draws water to it and acts as a broom in your large bowel to make sure your colon is healthy and keeping cancer causing cells at bay. So carbs don’t make you fat, you need them for your body to function properly.

 

HQ Muse – Andie Meredith

HQ MUSE // ANDIE MEREDITH, ANDIE MEREDITH DESIGNS

Our HQ Muses are people in the Holistic HQ community who are brave, creative, big-hearted and inspiring. They are ambassadors for what we strive to achieve – a thriving and joyful wellness collective, built around our shared passions for good health, a balanced lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing. Read on below for an interview with our HQ Muse, Andie Meredith!

IMG_4147

1. How was your business born? What led you to follow a life in design?

My design label came about during my final year of study – Bachelor of Design (Fashion), where i developed several design briefs based around my chosen target market. From there i graduated (with a business plan), and an opportunity to attend an emerging designer trade show. As a debut designer, I began wholesaling my seasonal women’s wear collections in short runs.

Over a period of about 6 years I continued to design and produce women’s wear collections, including signature print fabrics. Throughout that time people would often comment on how my designs could be quite suited to pieces outside of women’s apparel. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to explore the idea of developing those designs (that I would have once used as part of garments and accessories) to be used on all kinds of surfaces – including homewares, paper products, light installations, industrial design, shoes, ceramics – you name it. I envisage the designs to be used across many mediums. So with a little bit of planning and lots of enthusiasm, I’ve now steered the direction of my design label toward several niche markets, focusing on surface design.

 

2. Signature fabric prints are a major feature of your designs, what inspires you to come up with the prints?

My fabric design process also developed during my final year of study. It’s one that I thoroughly enjoyed and have continued to draw on over the years. The process itself stemmed from my love of the art nouveau period and in particular the artist, designer, and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh – who design and built the Glasgow School of Art.

I’m also innately quite drawn to nature, organic shapes, raw and ephemeral objects, so that certainly informs my design aesthetic.

While completing my final year collection I was thoroughly immersed in Mackintoshs’ works and quite liked the idea of looking at the materials he worked with – mostly malleable and experimented with ways in which i could reinterpret his processes and works. My process came to be: experimental mark making on paper, using ink, wire and string. From there i chose sections of my artwork (experimental mark making) and created repeat patterns using photoshop. I’d spend hours on end with colour palette (usually constrained and subdued) specifications, and before I knew it I’d have several designs ready for printing.

The actual printing onto fabric process has been an enormous learning curve for me over the years. After spending a substantial amount of time testing several suppliers, both onshore and offshore, and both digital and screen printing by hand, I’d like to think I have found a fellow artist who will continue to support my whacky ideas, share their wealth of knowledge and most of all contribute the highest quality fabric printing.

At present I have just received a bundle of freshly plant dyed, linen and hemp that has been screen printed with a couple of AM classics. The plant dye is unique in colour and offers a lovely depth of character in contrast to the ‘expected’ digital print method. The hemp and linen fibres prove longevity in design and function. I’m looking forward to coming up with some new products and over the next couple of days I’ll be using the fabrics to make up some goodies for the HQ Workshop and Rose Street Artist Market.

IMG_4144

 

3. Who are your role models or muses for your designs?

I’ve always been in touch with the Andie Meredith audience – consistent market research was a large part of my design process – knowing the ‘Andie Meredith audience’ was imperative in designing and making. I like to listen to people and I’m quite observant and perceptive. So with this in mind my audience is quite vast in age and background. The woman who wears and admires Andie Meredith designs is confident in herself, she wants to know the story behind each design, she believes in sustainable living, purchases with a conscience and values ethical production.

 

4. You have now branched out to accessories and gorgeous homewares, are there any new products on the horizon?

Yes, indeed! I’ve got lots of ideas and planning ticking over in the background, which I hope to be announcing soon.

IMG_4146

5. What does your ideal day look like?

I’m somewhat spontaneous, although I also like to have a little bit of a routine in my day-to-day life. I like to explore and try new things, and being in a new city, I have an endless list of things to do! There are some things I like to think are a must… laughing and sunshine are a must.

 

6. Do you have a life motto?

I find myself reflecting quite a bit. I guess you could say the notion of living and learning really.

 

7. Where can we source your beautiful products from?

Since recently moving to Melbourne I have started a space at the Rose Street Market, but my instagram feed is my most reliable source for product updates.

 

8. You create bespoke designs by request, how was the experience of creating a specific design for a wedding?

Yes, the wedding fabrics were the very first bespoke prints and I must say the entire process was a great success. For this particular wedding the fabric designs were the basis of the entire colouring and styling, quite like an ‘anchor point’ for the couple to plan the whole ceremony around. Because of my background in working with fabrics, designing collections and runway events I was able to draw on my knowledge and experiences to gain an understanding of the couple’s vision and also advise on how to implement the designs once they were printed onto the fabric.

It was really quite rewarding to see the entire day come together. I was also fortunate enough to make the dresses and accessories as well as wear one of the (bridesmaid) dresses.

IMG_4142

9. What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self in chasing your dreams?

Take risks, be confident, trust what you know and know what you trust.

 

F: www.facebook.com/andiemeredithdesignlabel

I: www.instagram.com/andiemeredith

W: shop.andiemeredith.com

Recipe // Jalapeno Hummus

This hummus is a zing-y version of the traditional recipe and goes great with the falafels and tabbouleh. It keeps for a week in the fridge.

Ingredients:

3 Jalapenos de-seeded and roughly chopped

can chickpeas, drained

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons tahini

1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 small clove of garlic, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Method:

Please all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend away until combined. Sprinkle with extra cumin and olive oil.

 

 

Recipe // Spinach Falafels with Quinoa Tabbouleh

IMG_0072.jpg

Make it tonight!! So easy. So simple. So quick! They are high in protein and fibre, plus they are so fresh and flavourful you’ll be going back for seconds!

Ingredients:

Makes 10- 12

1 cup flat leaf parsley

1 cup baby spinach

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 spring onion

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry

1 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoons brown rice flour (or other gluten-free flour, I used almond flour because I had it in the fridge)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of ground pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method:

Turn oven on to 180 degrees or 170 degrees fan forced. Place the parsley, spinach, garlic and onion in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Put mix in a medium bowl. Put the chickpeas in processor and pulse until chopped, i.e. the mixture starts to turn creamy. Pour chickpea mix into parsley mix and combine by hand. Add tahini, flour and seasoning and mix until incorporated. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out 1/8 cup portions of the falafel mixture and shape into balls. Place on top of the parchment paper and drizzle the olive oil, ensuring all falafels are covered. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Make the tabbouleh recipe below while the falafels are cooking. Takes no time at all – You’re (fal)laughing!

 

IMG_0075.jpg

Q U I N O A  T A B B O U L E H

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into 1/4″ pieces and de-seeded with a spoon

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved and seeds taken out

2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Method:

Bring quinoa, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 mins. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 mins. Fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing. Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and spring onions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over the tabbouleh.

 

Side dishes – Corn on the cob

Image 2-03-2016 at 3.50 PM (1)

 

  • 4 cobs of corn with husks on
  • 30 g of butter
  • half a handful of feta (we used Dodoni feta)
  • half a bunch of coriander
  • 4 pinches of paprika
  • salt and pepper

Microwave or steam the cobs for 10 minutes

If you have a BBQ then fire it up and once the corn is soft, grill the corn for a few minutes to give the corn a nice BBQ flavour.

Smear a little butter on each cob and sprinkle with paprika, crumbled feta and top with coriander, salt and pepper.

These are a great side dish to add to chicken or steak. Ill be posting a Jerk chicken recipe this week which would go well with this corn dish – keep an eye out for it!

Abby x

 

Skin Benefit Smoothie

IMG_9871

I was going through my fridge this morning and had some pineapple left over, so I figured to make a skin supporting (and immunity) breakfast.  It’s super filling from the fibre, and there is an abundance of vitamins and minerals to support cell function – especially for your skin, assisting with collagen formation for beautiful glowing skin. This smoothie contains vitamin A, B group, C, iron and is a great source of fibre.

It’s also an immune booster, which is perfect as today is the start of Autumn, fending off sniffles and keeping your immune system strong.

Ingredients:

  • A couple of handfuls of spinach leaves (I used 4 big silverbeet leaves from the garden)
  • 1/4 medium pineapple
  • Handful of mint
  • Thumb size piece of ginger
  • half a lemon with skin removed
  • half an apple

Blend in a high power blender and sip away!

 

Holistic Bliss balls

9L2A9859

Having a nutrient dense snack on the go is something everyone needs.  I know if I don’t have something on hand I’ll get desperate and reach for something undesirable! The trick is to always have these little balls in your bag which will give you an energy boost and a healthy dose of fibre from the oats and flaxseeds, omega 3’s from flaxseed and chia plus monounsaturated fat from chia, flax, macadamia oil and nuts. Pretty great nutrient ball!!  I’ve made these bliss balls for the ideal snack on the run:

 

HOLISTIC BLISS BALLS

Ingredients:

1 cup of oats

1/2 cup of LSA or flaxseed meal

1/4 cup of chia seeds

1/4 cup of raw nuts (pecans,almonds, macadamias or whatever you have handy)

1/2 cup of sultanas/cranberries or goji’s (there is a mix you can buy from Coles which has a mixed of all three)

2-3 fresh pitted dates

1/2 cup almond butter (or 1/4 almond butter & 1/4 cup tahini)

2 tbsp of macadamia oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp honey

1/2 cup of water

 

Method:

  1. In a high powered blender or food processor combine all ingredients except the water and blend together until it forms a crumbly consistency.
  2. Slowly add the water bit by bit – you may not need a 1/2 cup but just pour until the mixture forms a ball or paste consistency in the blender/processor.
  3. Roll balls into 10 cent sized pieces and place in the fridge for a week or placed in the freezer for later.

Introducing The Aromatic Salt Co salts

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 8.15.58 pm

As part of our growing collaborations with like minded brands, we are super excited to introduce The Aromatic Salt Co!  They are a decadent, affordable and ethical company when it comes to baths salts and magnesium products.

Scented with essential oils and coloured with French Argiletz clay, these ingredients act synergistically  with the different salts of  dead sea salts and epsom to assist sore, aching muscles or emotionally recharge after a stressful day.

The salts are a perfect indulgence to add to a DIY manicure or pedicure soak or simply just to soak your whole body in for a little self love!

There are ten delicately crafted scented baths salts and one unscented for those wanting a blank canvas to choose from.  Also available are natural bath salts made from magnesium chloride, Himalayan or  dead sea salt and a magnesium chloride oil to use over acute areas of inflammation or cramps.

Having an Australian company which creates such gorgeous products is a huge bonus and also affordable!

Try some today by making the body scrub recipe below for a little self-love and restoration.

Spa Setting

Epsom Salt Body Scrub

You’ll need:
  • small, sterilised container or jar
  • 200g epsom salts (if using scented epsom salts omit the essential oils)
  • 50g coconut sugar
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 30 drops of essential oils

Directions

1. Weigh salts and sugar, or eyeball a ratio of 3:1 into a bowl and crush any lumps gently with the back of a spoon.

2. To select your ideal essential oil mix, think of selecting a top note (ie. citrus), middle note (ie. lavender) and base note (ie. cedarwood) to create a well-rounded scent. We highly recommend a mix of 10 drops lemon oil, 10 drops peppermint oil and 10 drops geranium oil for a refreshing and soothing fragrance.

3. Add melted coconut oil and essential oils and mix well. To use, keep the container close by to your shower (but not in with you! the salts will melt once in contact with water). Spoon a small amount into your hand, massage into wet or dry skin, and rinse well.

The epsom salts will invigorate your skin, the lemon and geranium salts are great for addressing cellulite, and the coconut oil will lock in moisture, leaving you with the softest skin you’ve ever experienced! xx

http://www.aromaticsaltcompany.com