This is me (Well…. PART of me. The part I am sharing today…)

Well……..

 

This site has been operating for a couple of years now. I post sporadically and I share the recipes that I think are worthwhile – all the while trying to reject my natural tendencies to avoid the illusion of perfection.

 

I thought some of you might be interested in hearing a little more of why I do what I do, and why I love ‘real food’.

 

Here we go! All in the name of authenticity and being open, real and honest……

 

Angela.

(Mother, teacher, writer. Pursuer of ‘real’. Creator of ‘Lovely Little Coconuts’ and ‘The Muddled Perfectionist’.)

It has been a rough road, trying to figure out how to balance life, disease, children, work, health, relationships and nourishing my family. I fail as often as I succeed.

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I still remember holding my first born for the very first time. Skin to skin. Utterly exhausted after an incredibly long labour, in complete shock and awe and recognising that a ‘mama lioness’ had been released from her cage.

 

While being a mother took a long time to navigate with any kind of sense or clarity, for me one thing has always been very straightforward. I want my children to be the healthiest, most energetic and dynamic version of themselves that they can be.

 

From the moment my daughter was born, she had health issues. Her birth was 4 weeks early and labour was long and difficult. Half of her little tiny body was black at birth due to lack of circulation. She had a tiny red mark across her throat that developed into a large, swollen strawberry birthmark that needed removal at 6 months because it began ulcerating and causing her to sit with her head tipped to the side. She had moderate to severe eczema over the majority of her body. She had what we now suspect was reflux. She spent the first 6 months of her life unsettled, crying and very difficult to figure out.

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Sleeping like an angel – 3 days old

Later on, she developed asthma and then tests showed that she was potentially anaphylactic to tree nuts and reactive to a host of other allergens. Until she was around 5 years old, she suffered through marathon meltdowns that we couldn’t understand. We couldn’t see what was triggering her to react in such a dramatic, angry and violent way to the world around her.

The first thing we tried was eliminating preservatives and additives in foods. We gradually removed almost all packaged and factory processed foods from our diet. While we noticed some improvement, we could see we still had a long way to go.

When she was 12 months old, I found out I was pregnant with my son. Apart from being very tired and quite nauseous throughout, it was quite an uneventful pregnancy. I did suffer from some unusual bleeding during both pregnancies, but nothing that warranted further investigation.

The birth of my son could not have been more opposite. Relatively fast and straightforward, he came into the world like a burst of sunshine. No allergies, no lasting complications, calm and even tempered…. I was totally amazed that this little person was made from the same DNA as my daughter.

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Meeting for the first time

As my son grew, I found myself becoming more and more exhausted. Caught in a vicious cycle of breastfeeding, exhausted from helping my daughter deal with her meltdowns and medical issues, having very little time away from the house or being a mum – I put it all down to motherhood and waited for the day to come when I would feel semi-human again.

It turns out, that day was further away than I could have imagined.

When my son was around 3 months old, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (Crohns’ ugly cousin) and began my own confusing health journey. Travelling from hospital, to emergency room, back to hospital, various specialists and a lot of trial and error with medications and diet followed.

For now I seem to have found a happy balance between mainstream health-care, alternative therapy to build my strength, immunity and health and creating nourishing foods to ensure I am gaining maximum nutrition to build and maintain my energy and strength.

Thus, Lovely Little Coconuts was started – mainly as a kind of ‘food-life diary’ to keep track of what I was eating /trialling and to hopefully build my network of whole food enthusiasts.

What a blessing LLC has been! As I sit back and look at all of the wonderful people I have met since the inception of this little page, and the doors it has opened, I am amazed and quite overwhelmed. After it took off like a ‘viral’ rocket (thanks Jo Whitton!) things seem to have settled into a new normality.

It has allowed me to bring together a little group of enthusiastic students at my school who love to hear about how healthy food can be delicious.

My family’s health continues to improve. We have a long way to go, but I know without a shadow of a doubt we are on the right path.

I have been warmly welcomed into the most amazing tribe of women who empower each other and who believe 100% in the same things I do.

If I have any advice for mums who are beginning their journey into the world of real food it is that it can seem overwhelming and darned confusing, especially at first when you don’t quite trust your inner compass. Take baby steps. Listen to your body. It will absolutely not happen overnight – these changes are continuous. We have been on this path for close to 5 years now, and we are still altering our approach. Tweaking what we do. Discovering something new.

And that’s ok. Because that is the beauty and mess known as ‘Life’s Journey’.

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Health is a gift we don’t take for granted. Enjoy every minute!

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Easy, family friendly Chicken Curry

This is a very simple curry base that I have used for chicken or fish. Any delicate meat will work well. Even tofu would be a winner (if you swing that way!)

 

I generally don’t measure when I cook, and this curry is no different. Always taste as you go to alter or balance the flavours to suit your family’s taste.

 

Gluten free, dairy free (if you don’t use butter), nut free and very tasty!

 

Chicken curry 2

Ingredients:

1 onion

1-2 cloves of garlic

Fresh ginger (approx 2cm piece,peeled)

Large handful of fresh herbs (I use curry leaf, thai basil, garlic chives, 2 bay leaves)

1-2 T curry powder of choice (I wouldn’t recommend ‘Keens’ as I find the flavour a little harsh, but if you like it, use it!)

3 large, ripe tomatoes

1 T fish sauce (or to taste)

1 tsp sesame oil (or to taste)

1-2 T white balsamic vinegar (or acid of choice – lime juice is nice)

1T rapadura / coconut palm sugar / raw sugar

Salt and pepper

500g chicken (thighs work best because they retain their moisture, but I used breast last night and it worked just fine), sliced

3/4 cup thick coconut cream

Cooked millet to serve

 

Method:

1. Finely chop onion and garlic and fry in oil (or ghee or butter) until soft. Add grated ginger and allow to soften a little.

2. Stir through finely chopped herbs and curry powder. Fry off until fragrant.

3. Finely chop tomatoes and stir through. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.

(Steps 1-3 can be easily covered in TMix – after chopping and sauteeing onion mixture, add herbs and turbo for a few seconds, scrape down and add tomatoes. Turbo for a few seconds until smooth. You could continue cooking the curry in TM, but I like to pour into my pan and continue cooking in there so I can cook my millet to serve with the curry in the Thermie)

4. Add the fish sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar,salt and pepper. Stir through and continue to lightly simmer until the sauce has reduced by around 1/4 of it’s volume. Taste and adjust seasonings if required.

5. Add chicken and allow to continue to simmer for around 15-20 minutes. While the meat is cooking through, cook your millet in the Thermie (or on the stovetop) in salted water or stock. (Using the Thermie bowl is fantastic here if you used it to chop your herbs, onion etc as the flavour goes through the water and the millet)

Chicken curry

6. When the chicken is just cooked through, add coconut cream and stir through. Allow the sauce to warm through again before serving.

7. Serve with millet and steamed greens (if you have them).

 

Enjoy!

Crunchy Noodle Frittata

Using up leftovers is one of my favourite things to do. Not only is it budget friendly, it gives me such a sense of satisfaction to make something delicious from next to nothing.

 

This little gem was created today, using leftover adzuki bean noodles, eggs and a few fresh salad ingredients. Sub the butter for alternative fat of choice and leave out the cheese to make it dairy free.

 

Noodle frittata

 

Gluten free, cheap as chips, packed with nutrition and protein and so simple.

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of leftover noodles (firmer noodles work best)

2 eggs

Cheese

Butter

Fresh salad of choice (I used tomato, cucumber, avocado and baby spinach with fresh lime juice. Bean shoots would be a great addition – whatever you love to eat really)

Salt and pepper

 

Method:

Melt butter in small frypan on low to medium heat.

When it just starts to bubble, pop your cold leftover noodles in the pan and allow to cook until it begins to crisp slightly on the bottom.

Whisk eggs, add salt and pepper and pour into pan. Allow to cook approx 3/4 of the way through. Flip.

Allow to brown on other side while you add the cheese to the top.

When cooked, remove from pan and top with salad of choice.

 

 

Prepare to feel satisfied for the rest of the afternoon 🙂