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.

photo

 

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.

716_47029591094_5609_n

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.

59562_467714106094_2281465_n

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’.

1526930_10152166033431095_922469157_n

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

Advertisements

Beginners Cheesecake

Cheesecake

So.

If you don’t eat dairy, look away now!

I have been searching high and low for a looooong time for a dairy-free, cashew-free cheesecake with no success. I did find a few ideas based on silken tofu, but I limit the amount of soy in my diet as well as dairy, so that wasn’t going to work either.

I finally decided I was being WAY too precious. I don’t need to eliminate dairy. Just reduce my intake.

So I took the plunge and grabbed the cream cheese and threw caution to the wind.

Basic, rich and satisfying, this cheesecake ticks all the boxes. As well as gluten-free with no nasties, organic berries and sweetened with unrefined sweetener. What’s not to love?

Cheesecake

Base:

2 cups activated almonds (or regular, raw almonds will work fine), ground as fine as you desire.

3 tbsp melted butter

3 tbsp rapadura or coconut sugar (or dry sweetener of choice)

Mix all ingredients together well.

Press firmly into base of springform tin lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until firm.

Filling:

750g cream cheese (NOT low fat or spreadable) – room temperature

1/4 to 1/2 cup rapadura, coconut sugar or dry sweetener of choice, to taste

vanilla (I use my home made vanilla which is split vanilla beans steeped in vodka)

250g sour cream (again NOT low fat)

Whip cream cheese, sweetener and vanilla until light and fluffy (this took about 4 minutes on Sp 4 in thermomix, butterfly in). Gently mix in sour cream, a spoon at a time, until incorporated. Mixture will ‘fall’ a little when you do this, but that’s ok.

Pour / scoop / spoon mixture over almond base. Smooth the top, refrigerate for several hours – overnight is even better – and proceed to lick the bowl before the children find you!

Topping:

1-2 cups frozen, mixed berries (organic)

Vanilla

1/4 cup maple syrup (or to taste)

Gently heat the vanilla and maple in small saucepan. Add berries and allow to soften for a few minutes. Remove berries and allow the liquid to reduce slightly. Place berries and liquid back into the fridge together to chill.

To serve:

Warm a knife under hot tap water and run gently around the outside of the tin to loosen the edges. Gently remove the outer section of the tin. Spoon berries and sauce over the top of the cheesecake just prior to serving.

Cheesecake

** Note: This is a very rich cheesecake, however it is not overly sweet. Feel free to add extra sweetener, taste as you go.

Enjoy!! 🙂