It’s hard for parents to find time to exercise when balancing work and family time. When you finally think you’ve got time for a workout, the kids are pestering you to play. So what’s the solution? Have a KID WORKOUT! In this video, I show you 11 exercise ideas that will give you quality time with your kid AND a tough workout. These exercises are suited to my physical ability, and what my daughter is comfortable with, so adjust the workout to suit your needs and abilities. Make sure you consider your body’s limitations and your child’s age and physicality, then adjust the exercises accordingly. The main idea is just to get moving together so everyone is happy and healthy. Have fun!
In the debate on organic food, many people consider price and nutritional benefits. If you have decided that organic food is too expensive, consider how much you are willing to spend on a glass of wine, a trip to the cinema, a pair of jeans, a nice car…yet the very thing that gives you life – your food – has to be cheap or on special for you to buy it. Additionally, if you have decided that, based on a feature in a morning talk show or magazine article, organic food does not carry higher nutritional values than conventionally farmed food, you will definitely want to look at the two huge independent studies and multitude of smaller studies providing evidence of the much higher vitamin, mineral and enzyme content of organic food. However, today I would like you to consider a third factor in your decision to buy and eat organic foods. A factor that should be the most discussed in this debate, as we all want to live healthy lives free from cancers, syndromes, illnesses and infertility. I want you to consider and ask: What’s On My Food?
We’ve all heard about pesticides, but how much do we actually know about them?
How much of them are used on our crops?
How much is a safe amount?
Can we actually wash or peel them off our food?
How do they affect our health?
To start finding these answers, take a visit to www.whatsonmyfood.org, a U.S. based website where you can search the foods you commonly eat to see how many pesticide residues the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found on each food. Keep in mind, before testing the foods for pesticide residue, the USDA tries to prepare the food the same way you would, so most all the foods are washed and/or peeled!
Pesticide residue totals from some common foods:
Apples – 42
Broccoli – 33
Carrots – 26
Milk – 12
Strawberries – 54
Chicken Breast – 7
Potatoes – 37
Rice – 13
Almonds – 9
Blueberries – 52
Tomatoes – 35
Wheat Flour – 16
Though the whatsonmyfood.org website stats are from America, the laws concerning pesticides are not much stricter in Australia. While the European Union prioritizes protecting human health when there is significant doubt about the safety of a product, in America and Australia huge corporations fight hard for their chemical pesticides to be used in agriculture and it often takes decades to prove a chemical is too harmful for human consumption. By then, billions more people have suffered from the effects.
So just how dangerous are pesticides?
To give an idea, whatsonmyfood.org puts the pesticides into four categories of toxicity:
1/ Carcinogens: Cancer-causing substances
2/ Neurotoxins: A toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells
3/ Developmental or Reproductive Toxicants: Toxins affecting ability to reproduce; Toxins affecting fetal, infant and child development.
4/ Hormone Disruptors: Toxins which interfere with natural hormones in the body (which are responsible for the maintenance of normal cell metabolism, reproduction, development, and/or behavior)
Do you want your children accumulating these substances in their developing bodies from eating the very fruits and vegetables you give them for good health? Do you want to be another cancer or infertility statistic and feel like you have no control over what happens to your health? Choosing organically grown, spray-free food is surely no guarantee of lifelong immunity from illness and disease. However, it IS a guarantee that your food will be grown the way nature intended – without chemical pesticide sprays that we know to be cancerous, neurotoxic and disruptive to human cells, reproduction and development. Make the important step in taking control of your health by finding out what’s on your food.
COMMENT: What is stopping you from buying spray-free produce?
One of my favourite tips for eating well when time poor is cooking a lot of food at once, and making the most of the leftover food for several more meals. However, most of us don’t want to eat the same meal three times in a row, as it just gets boring! The family starts complaining “Are we having leftovers…again?”, and the pressure is on to cook something new. There are several ways of getting around this though. My favourite tips for creating new meals with leftover food in just minutes are featured in this series ‘Loving Leftovers’, starting with The Basics of Lovin’ Leftovers. This is one I like to call Same Food, New Dish.
Start with Transforming Leftover Vegetables to New Dishes
Last night you made baked potatoes or sweet potatoes in the oven, but you are not a big fan of eating cold baked potato in your packed lunch.
So you take Same Food: baked potato or sweet potato, and make a New Dish: potato salad
– Simply chop up the leftover baked potato and put into a big bowl.
– Then do the same with things like red onions, green onions, fresh herbs, dried herbs, and even any raw or leftover cooked veggies you may have on hand like chopped capsicum (bell pepper), green beans, or peas. Avocado is delicious here too!
– If you have leftover bacon, chicken, ham, or hard-boiled eggs, simply chop and add to the bowl to make a complete meal of your potato salad.
– Lastly, simply toss with a homemade dressing of olive oil, choice of vinegar, and mustard if you like, plus sea salt, pepper and fresh herbs if you have some on hand.
Like most leftover creations, this dish comes out different every time you make it, depending on what leftovers you have to throw in and how much time you have to add more ingredients. Thus you keep your taste buds and your family happy with variety, without the time-consuming venture of a new recipe and new ingredients.
Other leftover vegetable ideas:
Same Food: baked sweet potato/potato/pumpkin. New Dish: mashed potato or pumpkin
– Chop up leftover sweet potato, potato or pumpkin and put into a pot on the stove.
– Over warm to medium heat, add in things like butter, raw milk or cream, homemade stock, green onions, smashed garlic, spices, herbs. Mash up and stir together.
Again, you can make this different every time. One night you can add heaps of ingredients and gourmet it up, and another night if you’re shorter on time, just mash with butter and salt.
Same Food: roasted or steamed cauliflower. New Dish: cauliflower mash or cauliflower rice.
– Same as mash potato but mash cauliflower is especially good with butter, ground cumin and caraway seeds plus a sprinkle of fresh parsley or coriander.
– The only difference between cauliflower mash and cauliflower rice is how smooth the texture is. Use a hand masher or food processor for desired consistency.
Leftover Meats are Quickly Changed to a Different Dish
Just like with vegetables, the easiest way to transform your leftover meats is to add something to it and maybe chop it differently.
Same Food: leftover chicken fillets
New Dish: chicken parmigiana
– Put leftover chicken breasts or thighs on oven tray.
– Top with a layer of tomato paste or homemade pasta sauce, then herbs and spices, then grated Raw Parmesan cheese.
– Heat in a toaster oven or under oven grill until the meat is warm and the cheese is melted.
Leftover meats simply need a new paste or sauce.
*Yesterday’s grilled pork cutlets are transformed by topping with a simple apple and red onion chutney made by sauteeing the two ingredients in a fry-pan with water and cinnamon for about 10 minutes until apples and onion are soft.
*Yesterday’s grilled rump steak is made anew when topped with a herb and vinaigrette (oil and vinegar) sauce bashed up in your mortar and pestle in 4 minutes.
*Other easy sauces to throw in a pan with leftover meat are tomato based sauces and curry or asian sauces.
– If you’re pressed for time, simply dice the leftover meat and toss in a fry pan with a spoonful of tomato paste, some tomato puree, plus garlic, onion, herbs and spices as you like.
– For an Asian flavour, simply saute diced meat with a good quality curry paste (or asian spices and fresh grated ginger) and maybe some coconut cream.
– If you have time and are feeling creative, Google an easy sauce recipe.
– Roll Your Own Sushi…with Leftovers
Transforming Leftover One-Pot Meals
Same Food: one-pot bolognaise or meat chilli.
New Dish: bolognaise or meat chilli stuffed capsicum (bell peppers) or tomatoes
– Cut tops off capsicum (bell peppers) or tomatoes and clean out seeds and membranes, fill with bolognaise and heat in oven.
– When almost done, melt grated raw parmesan cheese on top (optional).
Capsicum works best if lightly grilled or blanched in boiling water before filling. This New Dish works for most types of one-pot meal like curries and stews, and it looks impressive.
By using my Loving Leftovers trick of Same Food, New Dish, you will spend less time cooking but still have the same amount of high-quality meals. With just a bit of fore-thought, you can plan your bigger cooking days around your personal schedule, so that on quieter days you are cooking and on busy days, you are eating leftovers. Just ensure that you always cook large quantities the first day, so you have leftovers to manipulate into your new dish creations tomorrow. When anticipating a very hectic day, you can whip up your new dishes the night before so you have a nutritious and delicious breakfast, packed lunch and easy dinner on hand. The rest of the family will think you were cooking all day instead of serving leftover food!
What is one of your favourite same food, new dish creations to serve in your home?
I know it’s inspirational for many people, and may motivate some overweight, unhealthy viewers to start exercising and eating nutritious food, but I still don’t like The Biggest Loser. Watching obese people being yelled at, humiliated and slave-driven through intense workouts is not my cup of tea. Yet, on one of maybe four occasions when I have seen some of the show, I heard something that has stuck with me ever since. One of the female contestants was pouring her heart out to her militant trainer. She told him and the whole world watching that when she was a kid, her father was a severe heroin addict for a few years, and they hardly had any money for food. Every single day, her father would give her a couple dollars and send her to the fish and chips shop to buy chips – all they could afford. I was astonished. This young girl had eaten nothing but French fries (chips) for three whole years, and she was still alive! Yes, she was morbidly obese and emotionally scarred, but she was a living, walking, talking, 26-year-old woman.
Why did this affect me so much? Because I had a 2 year old daughter, who I was learning to take care of and feed well. I fed her only real whole animal and plant foods with no additives, preservatives, pesticides, chemicals, trans fats or refined sugars. I fed her three meals a day and two snacks a day. I sat with her at mealtimes for 30 minutes to an hour, patiently waiting for her to eat as much as she needed for her nutritional and hunger needs so her immune system could be strong and all her bodily functions would run smoothly. It’s amazing the satisfaction a mother gets from feeding her kids. And the dissatisfaction a mother feels when her kids aren’t well-fed. Sometimes she would want only one particular food and nothing else. Sometimes, she wouldn’t want to eat much or anything at all. As with any mother, this worried and frustrated me immensely. She needs to eat. She needs her nutrition. She’s going to get cranky, tired, sick, underweight, malnourished, diseased!
Yet, here was this lovely – yes, obese and distraught and probably riddled with disease – but lovely young woman who had lived on salted potatoes fried in trans fats for three whole years. Not a single piece of meat or vegetables. Not much nutrition AT ALL. And she was fine. She was alive.
This example of the human body’s resilience made me realise that we parents need to relax a bit about feeding our kids. All we need to do is offer them plenty of nutritious food, then let them decide if and how much they want to eat. If they don’t want to eat their dinner this time, that’s okay. They will survive! Our kids won’t starve to death!
Kids Can Survive on Chips, But it Doesn’t Mean They Should
Too often, when our kids won’t eat what we’ve given them, our desperation to feed them makes us run back to the fridge or pantry for something else. Anything else, just eat, eat, eat! I know this is why parents feed their children frozen chicken nuggets, boxed macaroni and cheese, processed snacks and other ‘kid food’. I know this is why I see families out to lunch with the parents tucking into a beautiful salmon salad and the kids eating fries and a chocolate shake. The irony is that our parental instincts are to nourish the kids so their little minds and bodies thrive, but we end up feeding them nutritionally void ‘kid food’ that actually harms their minds and bodies. If we really thought hard about the damage junk food does to kids, we’d realise it’s better for them not to eat at all, than to eat crap. After all, though this woman on The Biggest Loser had shown me an example of someone who survived on chips, she also was an example of how that upbringing led to poor dietary habits which greatly damaged her physical and emotional health.
Our bodies are resilient; they can store energy and nutrients for times of famine. Your child’s survival instincts are strong and she won’t let herself starve. So continue to serve up wholesome meals and snacks, provide a good example of healthy eating, and don’t resort to junk food just to stuff your kids stomach with something. You are doing an amazing job nourishing your kids, especially compared to a drug addict who cannot scrape together the money or effort to provide food for their family. And that drug addict’s daughter is doing fine. And soon, thanks to reality TV, she might even become better than fine.
Walking down the aisle of the supermarket (yes, I go in occasionally for toilet paper and raw cheese), it’s easy to see why everyone is confused about what to eat. In every aisle, for almost every type of product, there are dozens of choices and each one claims to be healthier than the next. Hmmm, this one is low-fat and all-natural, but this one is sugar-free with added bran. Should I get the one with that’s fortified with vitamins or the one that’s low GI? So many marketing buzz words are plastered all over every package in the place, designed to make us feel good about whichever box we finally choose to put in our basket. At the health food store, the scene is much the same. The place is smaller, the choices aren’t as vast, but the buzz words still swarm. You can have the natural, organic, certified organic or biodynamic option. You can go gluten-free, high-protein, dairy-free, vegan or raw. You even have the luxury of your choice of superfoods! Da da da…superfood!
In the end, you get home with boxes and bags of products. Not a lot of real, whole food, but a lot of cleverly-marketed products. You have an initial pride in knowing that you got the healthier option, that you’ve gone gluten-free or dairy-free. However, when you still feel hungry all the time, low on energy and frustrated that you can’t lose that extra body fat, you get confused. You get on the internet to read more forums and health articles to see if you did make the right choice at the supermarket. Well if you’re reading this, you’ve finally found the article that will stop your confusion forever, because I’m going to give it to you straight and simple. Ignore the health fad labels and buy real whole animal and plant food.
There are No Labels on a Carrot
Although there is no label proclaiming its benefits, a carrot is dairy-free, gluten-free, low-sugar, all-natural, and full of vitamins (no fortifying needed). So is an apple, a chicken thigh, an eggplant, a steak, a tomato, an egg, a bunch of spinach. When you buy animal and plant food in its natural state, you don’t need a label. You can trust that nature put the right amount of everything in that food to nourish your body and make you feel great. You don’t have to stress about lean pork loin versus fatty pork belly or skinless chicken breast versus chicken leg. Nature will give you the right balance of protein and fat in a healthy animal, all you have to do is enjoy the variety of meats that are available to you. You don’t have to stress which fruits and vegetables are higher GI or starchier. Simply enjoy a variety of plant foods and listen to your body to see which ones make your body function best. That’s it. No packages with persuasive and confusing labels, just real food. The easiest way to satisfy your hunger, energy and nutritional needs, which will then discourage weight-gain and illness, is to eat unpackaged animals, vegetables and fruits.
I realise that there are some other real foods that you may want to eat and are still confused about. What about grains? What about dairy products? What about nuts, seeds and legumes? So let’s clear all that up right now too. Grains work for some bodies and not others. Grains should only be eaten in their whole, unprocessed state. Grains are also difficult for humans to digest if they are not soaked first. And gluten, a protein in certain grains, causes havoc in many people’s bodies. See why grains are complicated? Dairy can be a superfood, but only if it’s raw, unpasteurised, unhomogenised from healthy grass-fed animals. If you can find good dairy like that, by all means, eat it! Nuts, seeds and legumes are also foods that should be soaked before human consumption, and work better for some people’s bodies than others. If you really want to eat these foods, learn more and follow the rules.
What About Organic and Biodynamic?
And speaking of rules, what about those labels saying organic, certified organic, and biodynamic? The easiest way around any confusion is to buy your meat and veg from the farmers themselves at your local farmers market. Ask the farmers questions until you find animal foods from free-ranging, grass-fed only animals, and plant foods free from artificial fertilisers, chemical pesticides, herbicides and any topical waxes. These foods may not be certified or labelled organic, but you will know that they are. Otherwise, the word organic on a package does not mean much at all. A certified organic label, however, is only put on food packages that adhere to certain standards, so for those foods that always come in a package, such as oils, look for the certified organic label. Biodynamic is a type of organic farming, so can be a great choice, as long as the food itself is also a good choice. Don’t ever let the health industry buzz words be the only factor in your decision to buy food.
We’ve only become consumed with these buzz words in the last century. Our ancestors never felt overwhelmed with low-fat and gluten-free labels, as they simply ate the plant and animal foods that were available to them. Even vegetarianism was not a choice, but simply a matter of having less animal foods available. Today, we have more food available to us than we really need. We are filling ourselves to the brim with nutrient deficient, over-processed, “health-foods”, so there’s no room left for the real foods. Changing this is as simple as eating that carrot, apple, chicken thigh, eggplant, steak, tomato, egg, and bunch of spinach. No labels, no buzz words, no health fads.
COMMENT : Which health fad labels have you been sucked in by?
“A Change is as Good as a Holiday”. My husband loves to say this, whether he’s about to change the bedding or change careers. I always thrived on change so I couldn’t agree more, and change was easy to come by when I was backpacking around the world, swapping roommates often or taking new college classes each term. But now that I am ‘settled down’ and ‘married with children’ (well, child), there are times when I find myself getting restless, bored or apathetic. These emotions often lead to junk food cravings, retail therapy, and couch potato-itis; all of which take it’s toll on my mental and physical health. At these times, I find myself and other bored friends complaining that we really need a holiday. But then I remember the saying and realise I just need some change in my day, my week, my home, my activity, or my mindset to freshen life up again. Here’s a list of 10 simple, and mostly free, changes that you, too, can make to add a spring to your daily step.
1. Drive or walk a different way to work, school, or the shops.
We are often so concerned with getting from A to B that we don’t even consider the journey, which is also an important part of our day. Change your route and notice things on the way: the home designs, types of trees, interesting shops, and little parks. This may also lead to a change in the cafe you frequent, the shopkeeper you buy a book from or the view of the sunset on the way home.
2. Eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast.
We are so used to eating the same types of foods at certain times of the day, that simply having eggs and bacon for dinner can seem like a fun event. Steak and sweet potatoes for breakfast may be a great change to liven up your weekend morning.
3. Move around some furniture in your home.
You’d be amazed at how refreshing it is to suddenly have your bed or desk on the opposite side of the room. You’ll feel good from the exercise of moving the furniture, and the next day you come home and it’s like a new place. When you change the layout of kids’ rooms, it renews their interest in different activities and toys. It may do the same for you too.
4. Eat your lunch in a different place.
If you eat lunch out, try a different cafe. If you eat homemade lunch, find a new park bench, patch of grass, sitting wall, or area of your office or school building. If at home, find a spot somewhere outside your front or back door, or eat lunch in bed! Don’t stop at lunch – have breakfast in bed and a romantic or family picnic dinner on your living room floor. The kids will love it and it costs nothing more! Never underestimate the power of a change of scenery.
5. Try a new type of exercise.
Both our bodies and our minds can get bored with the same type of movement every week, so mix it up once in awhile. Try a class at the gym you have never done; go for a swim instead of your usual run; try out pilates or yoga at home with a YouTube video or DVD from the library; do a free trial dance class; go climb on a playground. When you change your body movement, you not only fire off different muscles, but different brain receptors connected with new emotions.
6. Do a random act of kindness.
Whether for your loved ones, an acquaintance or a stranger, the simple act of doing something nice for someone else adds a magical spark to your day. Put a nice note in your child’s lunch or partner’s bag. Bring your colleague an unexpected snack or drink. Call your mother just to see how her day was. Let someone who’s frazzled or elderly go in front of you in the line at the shop. Compliment someone. See how many new random acts you can think of to do.
7. Be a tourist in your own city.
Even the weekends can get stale when we do the same things every week, or when we lose motivation to do anything. Going to new areas not far from home can feel just like being on holiday, so walk around an unexplored suburb, go to a different park, beach or shopping area, try a new restaurant, visit a tourist attraction.
8. Vary your everyday entertainment.
Check out a book, movie or music album in a genre different to your norm. Join a weekly community group or class in something you are curious about. Play a board game or do a puzzle instead of watching TV. For children, introduce a new activity like ‘painting’ concrete with water and sponges, or collecting different types of leaves to use with art activities. Google your interests to get ideas.
9. Add a new ritual to your daily or weekly routine.
You could light candles and play relaxing music at dinnertime, listen to educational or comedy CDs in the car, try a new fruit or vegetable every week when you buy the groceries, or make every Thursday ‘homemade burger night’. Even just one new ritual is enough change to give you something new to look forward to and delight in.
10. Make a change from within.
Start with the simple decision to consciously make a specific change to your attitude or mindset. Depending on your personality, this change could be something like: Ban pointless negativity or sarcasm; don’t be afraid to speak up at work about your ideas and opinions; stop complaining about your partner, children or boss to other people; think about how the world looks to your child so you can better understand their needs; be forgiving about other people’s mistakes. The change won’t happen immediately, but over time, when you change your mind, you change your life.
Use these 10 simple changes to spice up your day instead of letting monotony encourage unhealthy habits in your life, such as drinking your daily sugar and milk filled coffee, grabbing a candy bar every time you stop for petrol, or smoking cigarettes just for something to do. There may always be times in our lives when we feel stuck in a rut, apathetic about everything and slightly depressed. And that’s ok, but only if we soon realise it and respond to our instinctive craving for change. When boredom goes on for too long, it can often lead to total demotivation and depression, or seeking excitement from junk food, fast driving, alcohol and drugs, overspending, and other destructive behaviours. Go back to even just one change from this article as a base to start from, and soon you will be coming up with your own ways to break the monotony and enjoy every day of your life.
COMMENT : Tell us which of these changes sounds fun to you OR tell us your own simple change that breaks the monotony.
When I talk about what we’re eating, and show pictures and descriptions of our meals, everyone exclaims, “You must spend all day in the kitchen!” Well, I do prioritise time in the kitchen as essential for my family’s health, but I still go to work, to the beach, play with my daughter, and have a life out of the kitchen. The trick is that when I do cook or prepare a meal or dish, I make a lot of food. That is, at least 2-4 more servings than we are going to eat right away. Then, I make the absolute most of the leftovers! Sometimes we eat the same exact meal again, especially when it’s an amazingly tasty dish, but often I get creative with the leftover food and make new dishes out of already cooked food. Leftovers is no longer a word to moan at; it’s the key to eating well without cooking all day every day! To get you started, here are the basics of Lovin’ Leftovers.
– PAN-FRY: Toss in a pan over medium heat. Works best for saucy, wet leftover foods like slow-cooked casseroles, stews and curries.
– TOASTER OVEN: About 5 minutes under medium to high heat works best for bulky leftover food like large vegetable chunks, chicken legs, lamb shanks, fish fillets. If the meat or veg is very thick, cut in half or slice thinner so leftover pieces will heat more evenly.
– GRILL: Same as toaster oven, but there is more room so you can re-heat larger quantities for more people.
NOTE: Leftover chicken should only be re-heated once before consuming. Fortunately, there are many delicious options for eating leftover chicken cold!
One-Pan Leftover Meals
One of the simplest ways to make an array of leftover food look like an entirely new dish is to chop and mix together in a pan or pot. The English have a famous One-Pan Leftover Meal called Bubble & Squeak. But you can do it with any leftover food!
1/ Chop or cut (with kitchen scissors) any leftover meat and veg into a pan on the stove.
2/ Add new herbs, spices, mince garlic and/or ginger, tomato paste, tomatoes, spinach leaves, or whatever you desire.
3/ Pan-fry until warm and you have a whole new meal!
– Chopped leftover chicken thigh and pumpkin, plus some cherry tomatoes, a small spoon of minced garlic, and some fresh coriander or parsley. Beautiful!
– Chopped leftover roast lamb, sweet potato and zucchini, plus a large spoon of tomato paste, bit of minced garlic, dried rosemary and thyme and a handful of diced tomatoes. Mix in pan until warm, then stir through some baby spinach leaves. Easy gourmet!
Salads with Leftovers
1/ Tear some leafy greens directly onto your plates/bowls or into a large bowl. Vary your meals by using different greens each time:
mixed lettuce, baby spinach, rocket, etc.
2/ Chop or cut (with kitchen scissors) any leftover meat and veg onto the greens.
3/ Add optional extras like: avocado, raw veg, nuts, red onion, tomato, etc.
4/ Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over your salad, add cracked pepper and toss.
NO-GREENS SALADS aka SCRAP SALADS: These are great for packed/picnic lunches!
Example: Mix chopped leftover chicken, beef or sausages with beetroot, pumpkin, avocado, red onion, nuts, fresh herbs and a quick dressing. Delicious and nutritious!
DRESSINGS: Oil and vinegar (and even a squeeze of lemon or lime) is the quickest option, but in just a couple more minutes, you can mix up a unique dressing.
– Put desired dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously. Or put ingredients in a small bowl and stir vigorously with a fork.
– Measurement ratio suggestion: 1-2 parts vinegar to 3 parts oil.
DRESSING INGREDIENTS IDEAS: Olive oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, minced or grated garlic/ginger, lemon juice, vinegar (balsamic, red wine, apple cider vinegar), chopped fresh herbs, dried oregano, Dijon-type mustard, shallots/green onions, soy sauce, and yoghurt.
MORE ON LOVIN’ LEFTOVERS: ‘Same Food, New Dish: Recipes Using Leftovers’
Coconut Meatballs Ingredients
600g Grass-Fed Beef Mince/Ground Beef
1 Free-Range Organic Egg – beaten
1/2 Onion – minced or grated
2 inches Fresh Ginger – grated
1-2 inches Lemongrass, finely chopped
1-2 Tbsp Tamari (or other soy sauce)
4 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Pasture-Fed Butter
Approx 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
Though meatballs are traditionally thought of as eaten with spaghetti, the best meatballs usually have enough flavour to be eaten on their own with no pasta or sauce! We find meatballs to be the perfect size for any type of meal. We pair them with roast veggies and salad at home, with raw veggie sticks and cherry tomatoes for a picnic or school lunch, or just carry them with us in a bowl for a mid-afternoon snack. Meatballs are great hot OR cold!
These coconut meatballs were created as we looked for new ways to use a few of our new favourite ingredients: fresh ginger, lemongrass and shredded coconut. The result was so good that these meatballs have become a favourite not only in our home, but with friends who have tried them at picnics and parties. They are fantastic party fare!
Mince beef / ground beef is inexpensive, versatile and fun to cook with. Just make sure your meat comes from a good source – pasture-fed, humanely treated animals – and the meatballs will be nutritious and delicious.
As with most of my recipes, the amounts given are quite approximate and can be played around with depending on your personal tastes. In this meatball recipe, it’s more important to have the key ingredients than to be exact with measurements. You can also make bigger or smaller meatballs each time, just vary your oven cooking time for different sized meatballs (as noted below). Bigger meatballs are quicker to make and good for main meals at home, while smaller meatballs take a bit more time to roll and brown, but are a great size for your picnics, parties, school lunches and on-the-go snacks.
Notes– You can do Step 1 & 2 in advance and chill meatballs in sealed container in fridge until ready to cook.
Coconut Meatballs Recipe
Step 1: Mix together all ingredients except oil/butter and coconut. I like to use my hands to do this! Put shredded coconut on a plate.
Step 2: Roll mixture into smallish meatballs, then roll each ball in the shredded coconut.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Fry meatballs in coconut oil and/or butter until well browned on all sides. Brown in batches so that meatballs are not crowded close together in the pan.
Step 4: Put browned meatballs on a baking tray (can use baking paper or grease the tray) and finish cooking them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This timing is for small meatballs; the bigger your meatballs, the longer they will need in the oven to cook through.
Words from Brad:
Andy came to me with a goal of losing the spare tyre. When assessing his body, he only had one previous injury to his ankle and was pain free. His posture was pretty good other than his forward head posture affecting his ability to breath. However, my ‘Holistic Health Questionnaire’ revealed that Andy’s digestive system was screaming out for help, so I knew that was the first thing we had to address.
Stomach bloating was a long time issue of concern
But the bloating and spare tyre couldn’t be fixed from the outside in, only from the inside out. There was no point stressing his digestive system more with intense exercise, and no amount of core workouts will give you a flat stomach in this situation, so instead we spent a lot of time cleaning up his nutrition and lifestyle choices. Andy’s diet gradually became more and more primal, he drank plenty of filtered water, got to bed earlier most nights, laid on a foam roller regularly to improve his posture and breathing, and became aware of how his thoughts could also affect his digestion and health.
One supplement I got him to take was a Certified Organic Probiotic called In-Liven. This made a big difference and worked considerably better than the over the counter pill version from the chemist (from his observations). This plus all the other diet and lifestyle changes healed his digestive system and then his body changed dramatically. He is a great example of how poor digestive health can greatly affect our body shape and overall health.
His last 3 months with me were completing a Holistic Functional version of ‘Body for Life’ that I have created . Incorporating the inspiration, regularity and goal setting from Body for Life using C.H.E.K. principles. He was certainly determined and results paid off. Not only did his bloating go away completely, but his body shape changed dramatically!
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