Wednesday, December 28, 2011

10 easy tips to stay healthy over the holidays!

1. Get off on the right foot each day. Just 10 minutes of exercise will get you eating and feeling good for the rest of the day. We recommend yoga, stretching, walking (on the beach if you're lucky enough, and it's not raining!), swimming, or even a run for the braver among you.

2. Stock your pantry with healthy snack foods: raw nuts, healthy dips, carrot and celery sticks, brown rice cakes, avocado, olives and fresh fruit.

3. Put a healthy spin on your festive eating: root veggie chips instead of ordinary ones, gluten-free Christmas cake, coconut oil instead of butter, homemade dips instead of store bought ones (often laden with unnecessary extras), dark chocolate (sweetened with stevia if possible) instead of milk chocolate.

4. Choose your drinks carefully. Opt for clean mixers such as soda water and fresh lime. Go organic (or biodynamic) for your wine if you can.

5. Skip meals. Yep, for once this actually is OK! If you have overindulged at Christmas lunch, you don't HAVE to eat dinner. Have a light snack instead.

6. Have a 'clean day' between eating sessions: lots of fresh fruit, veg, salads, steamed fish, green juice!

7. Take time out from family. Go for a walk. Have some YOU time.

8. Get out of the 'cram as much naughtiness into the end of the year before the next one begins' mentality. Start your resolutions before 1st Jan.

9. Jot down just 3 resolutions for 2012, not 20. You're more likely to stick to them.

10. Set a mantra for 2012. It will give your resolutions meaning.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The wonders of dry skin brushing

This week is a special edition on dry skin brushing, courtesy of Lee Holmes, the author of newly published recipe book Supercharged Food (90 delicious and wholesome recipes that are all gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free), a regular columnist for WellBeing Mag, and the brains behind

Feeding The Skin:

The skin is the largest most important eliminative organ in the body and is responsible for one quarter of the body’s detoxification each day. Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, liver and adrenal glands, and assists these organs in decongesting and dumping out their toxins as well as giving the body a gentle internal massage. It also increases the ability of the liver and adrenal glands to handle toxins, strengthens the immune system and stimulates circulation. The practice of Dry Skin Brushing has been used for thousands of years around the world as a natural way of detoxing the body. Dry brushing is also used as a preventative for dry skin. The exfoliating affect stimulates skin renewal and removes dead skin layers. It is fantastic for removing cellulite and tightens the skin to prevent premature aging and the best thing is it’s easy, inexpensive and very good for you.

Foods that feed the skin include foods that are rich in lecithin, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants such as eggs, organ meats, a balance of Omega-3-6-9 oils fresh dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and berries of all kinds.

How to Do Dry Skin Brushing:

Buy a bath brush which contains natural bristles and not synthetic ones as synthetic bristles scratch the surface of the skin and can be harsh and irritating. The brush should be kept dry and not used for bathing. A longer handled brush works well for finding out of reach places. It’s a good idea to wash the brush with soap and water every couple of weeks. When dry skin brushing make sure that your skin is completely dry, and the brush should pass once over every part of the body except the face. The best time to do skin brushing is before showering or bathing at least once a day. You don’t need to use a back and forth motion, circular motion, scrubbing, or massaging - one clean sweep does it. Use long gentle, but firm, strokes. Begin with your feet and continue brushing upwards, be gentle on the chest area. You will feel amazing and revitalized after a body brush.

Don’t forget to eat right this party season too. Remember that whatever you put into your body affects your skin, hair and nails, you can use the most expensive conditioners and shampoos and products in the world but it won’t change anything if you don’t eat well. Why pour synthetic products and chemicals onto your body and increase your toxic load when all you need to do is work from the inside out!

Visit Lee's blog for some in-depth gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free recipes too.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What are you really hungry for?

Staying healthy and happy isn’t as simple as counting carbs and calories. The reason we love cleansing so much at Urban Remedy is that it allows you to take some time out from the rat race, to re-centre and examine the areas of your life that are falling short. Are you working too hard? Have you had a few too many beers or champagnes lately? Are you not spending enough time with friends? Have you fallen off the exercise wagon?

According to the lovely folk at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, what we eat is secondary food. The other stuff – career, relationships, spirituality, exercise – is primary food. We believe this is where cleansing plays such a crucial role: by taking the dilemma of secondary food out of the equation, it gives you time to think about the primary food in your life and address the areas you may be lacking in.

Take a look IIN’s nifty little (primary and secondary) food pyramid here.
Now, trace a point in each segment of the ‘circle of life’ below to note how happy you feel about each area in your life. Next, join the dots. The dips in your circle are areas that need some tender loving care. Get onto it.

Here's to a well rounded life!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Urban Remedy 'Easy Guide to Summer'

With summer fast approaching, we’ve narrowed down our 10 top tips to get you feeling and looking great.

1. Drink a glass of warm boiled water first thing in the morning to flush out your lymphatic system – this is an amazing (free) home remedy for combatting cellulite, fluid retention, bloating and enhancing digestion and detoxification. We say boiled as the body can then use it immediately rather than processing (digesting) the mineral content.

2. Hydrate throughout the day: don’t guzzle your 1.5-2L in one sitting. Sip on water throughout the day to stay continuously hydrated. And avoid drinking with meals as this dilutes your digestive juices!

3. Do some gentle weights or toning exercises every morning. You don’t need a gym or even gym gear to do this! Tricep dips on the bath are a sneaky whole-body toning exercise (they get your legs and tum toned too if done correctly). Simply do 2 sets of 25, et voilĂ !

4. Moisturise and protect. If you want to stay youthful and avoid the dreaded leather-face look, moisturising and applying SPF is the ONLY way. Think 15+ not factor 4 coconut oil, unless you’re trying to re-enact a scene from Hot Shots.

5. Fake it to make it. Yep, we’re talking about fake tan. Not the orange kind but a nice subtle hint of summer in a bottle… You can get some pretty good ones now (even organic), either applied in salon or at home. For you Sydney peeps, we like Fleur De Lys MediSpa in Woollahra – $25 tans every Friday, all summer. Yes please.

6. Get 15 minutes of SPF-free sunshine every day to boost your vitamin D levels.

7. Keep it clean throughout the silly season. Make sure your liver is getting the TLC it needs by supplementing with milk thistle and detoxing regularly to avoid toxic overload. We often recommend cleansers with busy social calendars try weekly mini-cleanses throughout December, working their way towards a longer ‘new year cleanse’ in January.

8. Give your summer drinks a makeover. Claire from the Saha Space shared some of her lovely ice tea recipes with us last week. Check them out here. We also recommend choosing your alcoholic mixers carefully – soda water and fresh lime is always a good option. Avoid pre-mixed drinks, soft drinks (even diet), fruit juice (you can bet the stuff at the bar isn’t good for you) and milky cocktails.

9. Avoid yeast and sugar to beat the bloat. We often think wheat/gluten is the culprit (and it is for some people) when in fact it is more likely to be yeast. If you’re OK with pasta but not with bread and pizza, yeast is not your friend. Try sourdough bread if this is the case.

10. Tune in to summer cravings (good ones that is). Fresh fruit, fresh veg, grilled fish, seafood, barbecues… We naturally eat differently according to the season so it’s time to break out of your winter food rut and embrace summer.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Do your summer drinks need a detox?

This week, we bring you some super tasty recipes from the very lovely Claire Obeid, a Sydney-based yoga teacher, holistic health coach and blogger at the equally lovely Saha Space.

All you need is a big old ice tea jug (Claire recommends one from T2), some basic ingredients and a willing guinea pig to test them on.

1) Ginger, lemon, mint and raw honey

Grate a thumb sized amount of ginger into a 2ltr pot
Boil up water for 15 minutes
Add in 1 tbsp of raw honey (you can use rice syrup or any other healthy/natural sweetener)
Once cooled pour into jug
Serve with a slice of lemon, mint sprigs and ice cubes

2) Rose, cinnamon and apple

Boil up a 2ltr pot of water with cinnamon bark sticks (not the quills for cooking but actual bark)
In jug add in slices of fresh apple and rose bud tea (T2!)
Pour in boiled cinnamon tea
Serve chilled with a dash of cinnamon powder

3) Green tea, mint and lemon

Boil water
In jug add green tea, lemon slices and fresh mint
Pour water in, cool and chill

4) Pomegranate and fresh lime 

Pomegranate concentrate from the health food shop is the best option
Add to 2ltrs of hot water + add fresh juice from 2 limes
Pour into jug and chill
Add in fresh lime slices (and pomegranate seeds if you can find them) to serve on ice

For Claire’s full blog entry (and other posts), check out the Saha Space.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The mind-body cleanse connection: letting go

Have you ever wondered why you suddenly decide it’s time to cleanse? Time to leave behind the old and make a change? Time to purge and renew?

It’s often hard to tell if it’s your body crying out for some much needed TLC, or if you’ve reached a crossroads where it’s time to make a mental or emotional shift. From our lengthy cleansing experience, we would humbly profess that it’s a little bit of both. Our body is nothing short of a miracle, a fine-tuned machine that picks up on subtle changes in its complex internal environment and sends messages to the different organs accordingly, the brain included.

There is no doubt that how we feel physically is linked to how we feel mentally and emotionally. If you hold on to things emotionally, there is a strong likelihood that you hold onto things, well, physically (not to get too graphic). Allergies can often be connected to emotional sensitivity or repression of some description, resulting in skin eruptions, rashes and inflammatory reactions. Nervous dispositions are prone to digestive upsets, bloating and ‘knots’ in the stomach. Fiery and passionate types suffer from heartburn, sweating and excess ‘heat’ in the body.

And what about toxins? They are the prime example of a mind-body connection. We hold onto physical toxins but also emotional ones. Something might happen in your life that you are unable to ‘digest’ or process in a healthy way, resulting in toxic emotions literally backing up in your body. It’s not uncommon for people to cry when they get a colon cleanse – there’s even a word for it, it’s called a ‘release’. Similarly, when you do a juice cleanse, you are sending physical and emotional toxins on their way, clearing your mind and making room for good health.

So if you feel an urge to cleanse, your body and your mind are sending you a signal. It’s time to let go of something, to inspire change, to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. Or, if you’re not feeling that deep and meaningful, it could just be time to fit into those skinny jeans again. Amen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Do you trust your gut?

There’s a reason people say ‘trust your gut’. It doesn’t just digest your food; it’s also a pretty good indication of how you feel in general – mentally, emotionally and physically.

We all know the digestive tract is packed full of yummy enzymes and juices that work on our food to break it down and keep our body going. And we’ve heard enough about the veritable fauna of bacteria in our gut that keep our immune system ticking along when in the right proportions.

What you may not know is that your gut plays host to a vital immune-boosting part of your lymphatic system – the GALT or ‘gut associated lymphatic tissue’, or that almost 90% of the serotonin in your body is located in your digestive tract.

So how you feel, think and act could be more closely related to your gut than you realise! It may be time to tune in and trust what your body is telling you.

Check in next week for our post on the mind-body cleanse connection…

Friday, October 21, 2011

Are you ready to sizzle at the races?


Depending on how much preparation you want to put in, do the following for 3-7 days prior:

1. Eat dinner before 7pm
2. Get to bed before 10pm: more sleep = less fat
3. Cut out sugar and refined carbs (if you haven’t already) – wholegrains OK
4. Avoid yeast in food to beat the dreaded bloat
5. Do a mini-detox (and a tan) for glowing skin!

On the day

Make sure you’re on a winning streak (not just a streak) with these handy tips:

6. Support your liver with a milk thistle supplement in the morning (we like Flordis Legalon)
7. Eat a hearty breakfast: think poached eggs on sourdough or bircher muesli
8. Eat a light meal before you head out – include wholegrains, healthy protein and good fats
9. Drink a glass of water for every glass of bubbly
10. Place your bets sensibly!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Brighten up with our 'Tropical Sunshine Smoothie'

The weather outside is not very spring-like so we're sending a touch of sunshine your way with this gorgeous tropical smoothie. Enjoy for breakkie, as an after-dinner delight, or just because. 

75ml low-fat coconut milk
75ml filtered water
1 medium-sized banana
¼ pineapple or papaya
½ lime, squeezed
30ml noni juice
1 tsp chia seeds

1. Roughly chop fruit
2. Pop all ingredients in a blender
3. Blend for 2-3 minutes
4. Serve in a tall glass
5. Garnish (if you’re feeling fancy)
6. Bottoms up!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How to add some kick to your food, the healthy way.

If you're a flavour-seeker and worry healthy food equals no taste, we have some new ingredients that will spice up your food life.

If you like it hot and spicy:

Cayenne – boosts your metabolism
Garlic – fights off bacteria and infection
Ginger – helps soothe upset tummies
Home-made chilli sauce* (just because)
Freshly chopped chillies – nothing beats the real thing!

If you like it sharp and tangy:

Umeboshi vinegar – helps beat the bloat
• Apple cider vinegar – stimulates digestion
Pickled veg

If you like it salty:

• Gomasio – Eden Foods do a great one
Himalayan pink rock salt – your adrenals' best friend
Tamari sauce – like soy sauce but good for you
Liquid amino acids – try Bragg's if you can get your hands on it

If you like it rich and oily:

Extra virgin olive oil – no surprises here
Coconut oil or coconut butter – an oil that helps you lose weight and balances the bacteria levels in your gut! You can even substitute it for butter. Need we say more?
Home-made guacamole

If you like it sweet or creamy:

Manuka honey – more expensive than regular honey but well worth it as it doesn't feed the bad bacteria in your gut!
• Stevia – a bit of a taste divider: some like it, some don't
Nut butters – we like Loving Earth's Raw Organic Coconut Chocolate Butter and Melrose Foods' ABC spread (almonds, brazil nuts and cashews)
Coconut milk

*Super quick recipe for home made chilli sauce: healthy oil + a dash of tomato paste + finely chopped fresh mixed chillies + crushed garlic + rock salt and ground pepper to taste. Yum.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Super smoothie delight!

This week, we're dishing up a yummy recipe for a 'Super Smoothie' to keep you feeling... well 'super' all morning. Enjoy!


200 ml milk alternative or organic milk
50 ml water (filtered if poss)
1/2 banana or 1 small banana
Handful of mixed berries (frozen)
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp raw maca powder
1 tbsp LSA mix or chia seeds


1. Throw ingredients in blender (throwing is more fun, we promise!)
2. Blend
3. Serve
4. Drink
5. Yum


Milk alternatives: try almond, brown rice, millet, oat or soy milk
Berries: we opt for frozen as they make your smoothie nice and chilled. No need to add ice!
Maca powder: an energising superfood from the Incas; also a well known aphrodisiac! ;)
LSA: Linseed, Sunflower and Almond mix (omega heaven)
Chia: a super seed, packed full of vits, mins and omegas!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are you toxic?

Take this super easy quiz to find out.

First, answer A, B or C to the following questions:
A = Often
B = Sometimes
C = Never

1. Do you feel tired or sluggish?
2. Do you feel exhausted upon waking?
3. Do you wake between 1am and 3am?
4. Do you suffer from night sweats?
5. Do you suffer from insomnia or poor sleep?
6. Do your energy levels vary dramatically?
7. Do you have trouble staying focused?
8. Do you feel spacey or distant?
9. Do you experience headaches?
10. Do you have bad breath or body odour?
11. Do you get skin breakouts or irritations?
12. Do you suffer from allergies?
13. Do you get colds and flus easily?
14. Do you suffer from gas or bloating?
15. Are you irregular or constipated?
16. Do you experience food intolerances?
17. Do you eat a lot of sugar and/or yeast?
18. Do you eat a lot of meat and/or dairy?
19. Do you eat a lot of processed foods?
20. Do you drink > 2-3 units of alcohol daily?

Then, add up your total score:
A = 2 points
B = 1 points
C = 0 points

And now for the verdict:
0-5: Your body really is a temple – continue to look after it as you are and detox occasionally to maintain your health.

6-29: You’re on the right track but you could feel better. You need a little something to kickstart your body’s own detoxification mechanisms.

30-40: Your body needs a mini-overhaul. You’re finding it hard to feel your best and need to press the re-set button.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A ridiculously yummy (and super healthy) treat!

This week, we have a fabulous recipe for Dairy-Free Ice Cream from the lovely Lee Holmes at Supercharged Food. Enjoy!


2 cups cold almond milk
2 teaspoons gelatin
2 egg yolks
1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
1 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/3 teaspoon liquid stevia
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Pour the almond milk into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface.
2. Leave for a few minutes while the gelatin softens.
3. Put the saucepan over a low heat and stir the mixture until the milk has heated and the gelatin dissolved.
4. Remove from the heat and place the saucepan in a sink of iced water so that the milk can cool to room temperature.
5. Put the egg yolks in a blender and process until light and frothy.
6. Add the coconut milk, coconut flakes, stevia, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt and process until well combined.
7. Add the gelatin milk and blend for a few more seconds.
8. Pour mixture into an ice cream container and put in the freezer.
9. After an hour mix it up with a stick blender or fork and then return it to the freezer for another hour. Do this one more time, as it breaks up the ice crystals which cause the ice cream to be more icy than creamy.
10. The ice cream will be quite hard when it comes out of the freezer so place it onto the counter for 10 minutes before serving.


Not only is this recipe dairy-free (heaven for a dairy intolerant like me), it’s also sweetened with stevia – a natural sweetener that has a positive impact on blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. On top of this, no sugar means no feeding the nasty bacteria in your gut (which in turn means no bloating)! Yes please.

For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free recipes visit

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to eat well and fit into your skinny jeans!

On the menu this week: we answer our final two top questions. Enjoy!

1. What should I be eating?

This is an interesting one. There is no ‘one diet fits all’ solution. In fact, one man (or woman)’s food is often another man (or woman)’s poison! The concept I am referring to is that of ‘bio-individuality’. We are all unique individuals with our own individual dietary requirements and our own responses to particular foods.

What we should eat also varies according to location and season. There’s a reason everyone is talking about eating locally-sourced, seasonal produce. It’s good for the environment but it’s also better for us. Put simply, it’s more natural to be eating what is readily available to us in our surroundings.

Finally, the word ‘should’ when combined with ‘eating’ rings alarm bells to me. Eat what you want to eat, when you want to eat it (within reason) and you will often find you eat far more healthily (and far less) than if you impose restrictions on your diet (and end up reaching for the nearest pack of Tim Tams).

2. How do I lose those last five kilos?

Most of us have a normal weight and a ‘skinny jeans’ weight. I think the issue of losing the ‘last five kilos’ is really about something entirely different: letting go. Obviously I don’t mean renouncing all willpower and reaching for the nearest pack of chips. What I mean is letting go of our OCD calorie counting, treadmill pounding and habitual self-loathing. We are officially a nation of ‘orthorexics’ – people unhealthily obsessed with being healthy. Sounds ironic, doesn’t it?!

Now, I’m not saying that you can get fat by just worrying about it or look at a slice of cake and turn into one. But you can definitely shed the kilos if you stop agonising over your weight and just let go! If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. When you are relaxed and happy, you sleep better and make the right food choices. You get outside more and laugh more. You lower your stress hormones and boost your mood!

So next time you catch yourself obsessing over what to eat for dinner, take a step back, breathe and remember to live a little. You might even make a more sensible decision...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to lose the bloat and end the war against carbs!

This week we're dishing up answers to two of our top four questions.

1. Are carbs bad for you? 

This is something we get asked a lot. The simple answer: no. The slightly more complicated truth: all carbs are not created equal.

White, starchy, refined carbs (think flour, sandwich bread, pastry, cakes and other naughty things) are not going to win you a healthy eating award – they often come with added nasties (sweeteners, preservatives, additives and the like). The carbs in whole grains, fruit and vegetables on the other hand should form a large part of a healthy diet.

Some people – such as diabetics and candida sufferers – should monitor their carb intake closely. As for the rest of us, we should ease up on the war against carbs and focus instead on choosing whole, natural foods.

2. How do I lose the bloat?

Possibly our favourite question. As someone who suffered from bloating in the past, I know just how hard it is to get rid of!

If you have been to see your GP and gone through all the routine tests (such as celiac disease), then you may need to look at it more naturopathically. The most common causes of bloating are dysbiosis (overgrowth of bad bacteria such as candida in the gut) and food intolerances. Milk and wheat are the common culprits when it comes to intolerance-related bloating but yeast and sugar can also trigger the dreaded bloat for candida sufferers.

All fellow bloatees should make sure they get on top of the bacteria levels in their gut. Sometimes a probiotic is not enough and a more potent anti-bacterial/fungal supplement may be required to kill off the bad bacteria: garlic, pau d’arco, black walnut, oregano oil, thyme oil and caprylic acid to name a few. Probiotics and prebiotics would be the next step in the equation.

Naturopathically, this is known as the ‘weed, seed and feed’ approach:
weed: wage war on bad bacteria
seed: plant lovely good bacteria in your tummy
feed: nourish the good bacteria with their favourite food – prebiotics

Stay tuned for two more top questions next week!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Goodbye wobbly bits, hello PowerPlate!

This week, we put PowerPlate to the test. Buckle up, we’re in for a ride!

The experiment:
5 x 40-minute PowerPlate sessions over two weeks

So what is PowerPlate?

It’s the latest celebrity craze of vibration training that blasts your jiggly bits and gets you fit and toned in 2-3 short sessions per week. It was in fact used (long before celebrities) by Russian cosmonauts to fight the effects of zero gravity, improving muscle strength and bone density.

Classes are in groups of 2-4. I went with my (extremely brave) partner.

You stand on a vibrating platform in regular gym gear (no space suit, alas) and do a series of exercises including squats, lunges, push ups, the plank (could we be any more 2011?) and tricep dips. The vibrations stimulate the muscle-pump effect and increase blood flow (is it me or does that sound a bit rude?), which in turn improves the body’s ability to transport oxygen, assimilate nutrients and disperse toxins.

Studies have shown that adding a PowerPlate to your workout increases its effectiveness by 57%. Yes please.

The guinea pig: 
Me, exercise-phobe extraordinaire

I’m super healthy and I walk a lot but let’s get one thing straight – I’m no gym bunny. I used to dance ten hours a week when I was younger (and run and play tennis), and… like all good things in large doses… I got sick of it. The mere thought of exercising makes me want to whip out a box set of Gossip Girl and climb under the doona.

The verdict:

I have to say, after the initial excitement of free exercise, I started to wonder if my not-so-gymtastic body would be up for the challenge. I struggled in the first two sessions but found myself improving so quickly and so noticeably that I stayed motivated and didn’t feel disheartened by my lack of fitness.  My partner and I both felt like we had improved leaps and bounds by session 3, and were tricep-dipping and push-upping like pros in the last session ;)... you should see my plank now!!

I loved the fact that you could feel every muscle working, and that you could target particular muscles with such precision. The instructors at the studio in Bondi Junction were amazing. They definitely knew their stuff and checked in on us regularly, asking if there were areas we wanted to target (aka jiggly bits) and making sure we were activating each muscle correctly (read: working hard enough).

After the workout, you also get to look forward to a mini cellulite-banishing massage. A way to kiss goodbye to wobbly bits and cellulite in 40 minutes? Definitely a man (or woman)'s best friend.

Given my hate-hate relationship with exercise, I didn’t expect to fall in love with PowerPlate but (it’s official) I most certainly have. And so have my new found abs. Now all I have to do is convince them to stay there.

Less Gossip Girl, more PowerPlate? Who am I kidding, a girl can multi-task.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A super yummy recipe for ‘curry in a hurry’

This easy peasy recipe is bound to get your tastebuds sizzling. I’m addicted and make it almost every week in winter (it’s my get-back-on-track ‘curry in a hurry’ – perfect if you have been overindulging in chocolate and pinot gris… not that you would ever do that, of course!).

1 can of light coconut milk
2 heaped tsp of green curry paste
A splash of umeboshi plum vinegar (for flat tummies)
1 can of organic mixed beans
A large handful of green beans
¼ of a winter squash
A small handful of raw cashews
Instant brown rice

Preparation: 5 mins
Peel and roughly chop winter squash into fat chunks
Top and tail green (runner) beans and chop in half
Open cans and drain mixed beans
Prepare instant brown rice

Cooking: 15 mins
Place a wok or large pan on medium heat
Mix the curry paste with a dash of coconut milk in the wok
Add in the veggies, cashews and beans
Throw in the rest of the coconut milk
Add a splash of umeboshi vinegar (for that touch of MasterChef)
Add rock salt and pepper to taste
Simmer for 15 minutes, maybe 20
Check that the squash and beans are cooked
Serve on a bed of brown rice
Add a sprinkle of gomasio if you’re feeling fancy
Et voilĂ !

4 people OR
2 people twice (almost tastes better the next day!) OR
2 hungry people

Notes to the chef:
You can use red or yellow curry paste if you prefer
If you’re lazy like me, just use whichever veggies are left in your fridge. Sweet potato, baby corn and capsicum taste great in curries too.
 If you’re not feeling the ‘veggie’ part, you can add organic chicken, organic beef, salmon fillets, or prawns.
For those of you who like it hot (read: mouth on fire, eyes watering and sexy sweat beads trickling down your face) you can use up to four heaped teaspoons of green curry paste. I actually used five the other day! This is not for the faint hearted though. I grew up in Asia and I like a kick to my curry.

And there you go. A 20-minute, mouth-watering, tastebud-tingling thai veggie curry. If it’s Friday and you’re feeling naughty, it tastes beautiful with a glass of chilled pinot gris (and followed by a square of dark chocolate). Yum.

Enjoy xx

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Are you full of beans?

Last week, we looked at the health (and environmental) benefits of cutting out meat and dairy for just one day per week. The facts are pretty astonishing. 

But if you do decide to give them up and have a Meatless Monday or a meatless any-other-day, where should you get your protein from instead?

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Free-range, organic eggs: 
Eggs are a complete protein, meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids.

Milk alternatives:
- Nut milks
- Soy milk

High protein grains: 
- Amaranth
- Buckwheat
- Kamut
- Quinoa
- Seitan
- Soba noodles
- Spelt
- Whole oats
- Wild rice

Legumes and beans: 
- Adzuki beans
- Black beans
- Broad beans
- Butter beans
- Chickpeas
- Green beans
- Kidney beans
- Lentils
Click here for a full list of beans.

Tofu and tempeh

Nuts and seeds

Nut butters:
Our favourite is ABC spread.
Almonds + Brazil nuts + Cashews = complete protein

Seed butters:
- Sunflower seed spread
- Tahini

Green veggies:
- Asparagus
- Broccoli
- Brussels sprouts
- Kale
- Spinach
- Watercress

Next week, we’ve got some super healthy, meat-free, high protein and carbon-friendly recipes for you. Stay tuned…

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oh yes, the juices are still coming!

As you all know, our lovely Emma has snuck off to have a baby. Rest assured, it's business as usual at Urban Remedy... the juices will keep on coming!

Here's a quick dose of nutrition for you:

Fact. If everyone in the US went just one day each week without meat or cheese, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road. That’s a whole lot of cars. Lamb, beef and pork are the worst offenders, and cheese is no better. Lentils on the other hand are a lot more climate-friendly.

Meat and dairy – delicious enjoyed in moderation – have been linked, when consumed too frequently and in super-size portions, to health concerns such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

A few months ago, Emma told me about a movement in the States called Meatless Monday. It’s pretty catchy isn’t it? They’re a non-profit org helping to combat the environmental and health effects of our excess meat consumption.

The concept is simple: all you have to do is go without meat on Mondays. You can find meat-free, carbon-friendly and healthy protein in beans, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds instead.

But what about the other days?

Tips for Tuesday – Sunday:

• Keep your meat intake moderate
• Opt for organic, hormone-free, locally-sourced meat and dairy options
• Up your fruit and veggie intake, considerably
• Moderate your consumption of caffeine and alcohol
• Replace sugar with natural alternatives: agave, stevia, manuka honey

Anyone for a veggie juice?

Environmental Working Group (EWG):
Meatless Monday:
Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Friday, July 22, 2011

Emma's last words of wisdom - thoughts on balance

balanceI’ve always been big on the notion of balance, in that we don’t need to be extreme in our behaviour, especially when it comes to health. 

It was only when I fell pregnant that I realised that my idea of balance wasn’t particularly balanced. I was running a demanding business, teaching yoga eight hours a week, practicing yoga 10 hours a week, studying, reading books on wellbeing and nutrition in my spare time, and walking to and from work! And what’s worse, I was feeling guilty for not meditating for 30 mins twice a day and having a pretty serious passion for sugary treats (I feel like the priest confessing to his congregation). What terrible transgressions on my part.

Pregnancy has made me slow down and realise that I can’t do everything. Nor do I need to. It’s ok to sleep in. It’s ok to do nothing. It’s ok to watch reality TV (ok, so I still actually don’t agree with this one, but I’m working on it – apparently there is this fantastic show on foxtel called “My Big Fat Gipsy Wedding” – a must see I’m told). It’s ok to eat pizza (truthfully, I’ve always been fine with this).

So my advice and key learning from the last 8½ months (yes, that makes me massive) - cut yourself some slack and let go a little. Be kind to yourself. Find your own balance.

On that note, I’m about to head off on a very new and important journey and today is my last day. I have no idea how I’m going to fill the next two or so weeks before the baby comes, but they tell me it’s a good idea to slow down and enjoy the solitude while it lasts. That and daily yoga, walks, meditation, preparing the baby’s room, catching up with friends, cleaning the house, stock-piling frozen meals, doing my tax…

I wish you very well on your healthy (or not so healthy journey).

Friday, July 15, 2011

10 simple ways to be healthier without much effort

1. Eat slowly. Chew your food well and eat slowly. A handy trick is to put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and not to pick it up again until you’ve completely finished your mouthful. You’ll enjoy your food more and almost certainly eat a little less.

2. Exercise portion control. Serve yourself a reasonable portion. Eat it (slowly of course). If you still find you’re hungry 20 minutes later, have a little more.

3. Eat everything you like, but do it in moderation. Denying yourself completely is a one way street to Bingeville.

5. Drink warm or hot water with lemon first thing in the morning (at least 30 mins before breakfast). We bang on about this a bit, but it’s a great way to kick start your metabolism and the body’s natural rejuvenation mechanisms.

4. Do at least one ‘swap’ a day. Swap your 2nd coffee for a herbal tea, swap the lift for the stairs, swap a sweet treat for a piece of fruit.

6. Go Meatless on Mondays
 (or any day of the week). Go vego one day a week. It’s good for you and you’ll no doubt surprise yourself by how much you enjoy it and how flavoursome vegetarian meals can be.  

7. Drink more water throughout the day. Try sipping hot water (I love this during winter) or add chlorophyll (aka liquid sunshine) to room temperature water.

8. Up your fruit and veg content with a fresh juice, smoothie or soup each day. If you don’t have a blender or a juicer, invest in one and try your hand at creating smoothie and juice recipes. You’ll be amazed at how many veggies you can pack in with a little bit of fruit.

9. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat if you’re not. Brilliant.

10. Listen to what your body really wants. Often you’ll find that while you automatically think you want a biscuit or cake with your 3pm coffee, your body would actually love a piece of fruit.

All pretty simple stuff really. Share your "be healthy tips without trying" tips on our facebook page or community.