Author Archive

A Sweet Something for Valentine’s Day

{Images courtesy of Loren Ioppolo –  thanks Loren!)

Coeurs a la Crème with Strawberry, Rhubarb & Elderflower Compote

So, it’s been some time since i’ve posted here… but before I explain myself and outline our hopes and dreams for Équilibre in 2014,  I felt the need to share a recipe just to get things rolling again. After all, everyone needs more Sophie Zalokar recipes in their life, whether it be Valentine’s Day or not! Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Farmers Market: Week 2

Last Saturday’s burst of Spring sunshine and warmth brought the Subi Farmers Market shoppers out of their Saturday morning hibernation in droves! Pascal had a great morning handing out samples and recipes for our Fig & Rose Muesli Bars and chatting to shoppers about Fitness for Foodies. You still have until the end of this coming Saturday’s market (31st Aug) to enter the draw to win one of 2 spots in the program!

By the time I arrived late morning with kids in tow, many of the stallholders had sold out of much of their produce – a sure sign that it had been a busy and successful day.

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Inspired by Spring Farmers Market

Spiced Roast Lamb Rump with Mint Salsa Verde and Tahini Yoghurt, Lemon Potatoes & Baby Carrots.

Fresh Strawberries with Brown Sugar Crème Fraiche.

Spring Fitness for Foodies is fast approaching, and we’re excited to be partnering with Subi Farmers Market to give away 2 complimentary passes to join us for the 8-Week Program, which commences September 2nd. What better way to start your weekend than with an energising exercise session with us, followed by a visit to the markets to get inspired and stock up on provisions for the week ahead? Be sure to stop by and say hello next weekend (24th August) when we’ll have our own stand just in front of the Info stall on the upper level!

In celebration, my plan is to create some market-inspired recipes each week for the next month, showcasing our favourite stalls and products. However, my excitement, was nearly stopped in its tracks this past weekend as i’ve been suffering from the most atrocious of winter colds and there was no way that I was going to be able to make it in to Subi.

Luckily Pascal came to my rescue and without any prompting, decided to make a few purchases while he was there bright and early to drop off the competition stand. He picked up a lovely rump roast from Macabee Dorper Lamb (and had a nice chat to Anthea about her Avon Valley Farm and sustainable farming methods) as well as some gorgeous fresh produce like baby carrots, kale, avocados and new season strawberries. It was enough to inspire me to shake my sniffles and put together a little ‘end of winter’ Sunday family dinner, full of lots of fresh flavours and a VERY simple, but sweet ending! When Sophie saw me taking photos she commented that it must be a ‘pretty good dinner, then’! Here’s the result…

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{Real} Life in Balance: The Designer

One of the lovely things about reaching out and attempting to create a network of other like-minded local businesses is the surprising connections you make along the way, especially when you discover they only live around the corner from you! Such as it was with Amy Palmer-Millin from Kookery, who i’m pleased to introduce you to for our Real Life in Balance interview today.

What do we love about Amy? Well, for a start, she’s an extremely hard working, savvy designer and business person with Kookery, her unique, quirky and growing range of tea towels and kitchen prints. She also has a keen eye for a good café (and i’ve been known to try and work out her whereabouts from the type of coffee cups in her instagram and facebook feeds!) Having lived there for a time, she also loves the Melbourne coffee culture (healthy respect there from Pascal) and has also been known to show up at a Fitness for Foodies session or two (we’ll keep working on that one, Amy!)

I really appreciate Amy’s simple approach to healthy eating based on colour, which effectively means that she’s getting heaps of variety. Ditching the diet, taking the negativity out of food and putting the ‘rejoice’ back in, is such a freeing mentality to adopt and I really applaud her for taking that stand. As with most of us who juggle kids, work, businesses and a healthy lifestyle – seeking the balance between it all continues to be a work in progress, and probably always will be!

Thanks for taking the time to fill us in on what keeps you inspired Amy…

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{Real} Life in Balance: The Real Food Caterer

Those who know me well would be aware that I have often had day-dreams about creating my own little catering business (especially during the years I was ‘pretending’ to work at a corporate job!) So it was with a slight pang of envy that I first heard about Wendy Marinich and her gorgeous little business Me & Mabel – a picnic basket and gift box catering company, utilising food lovingly made from scratch with wholesome ingredients, and served with a vintage garden party feel (captured beautifully by our mutual photographer friend, Jessica Shaver.)

I’m also quite enamoured by Wendy’s ‘New Parent Meal Boxes’ where vouchers can be purchased for fresh, nutritious meals and baked goods to be delivered to the door within the first few weeks of returning home with a new baby. What an amazingly thoughtful gift that would make – and another of those, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments!

I’m inspired by Wendy and her approach to food and life. It resonates very much with what we do at Équilibre. So much so, that we have asked Wendy to collaborate with us on an extra special project that we have been working on for some time, and will be revealing very soon. If you’re at all interested in bringing the joy back to eating and exercise, you’ll want to watch out for more details!

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Wendy. I really appreciate your honesty and insight. You are a true Équilibrian!… Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance: The Foodologist

I’m so delighted to bring you our next Real Life in Balance interview with Hannah van Didden, founder of mindful eating business A Foodly Affair and self proclaimed ‘foodologist’! I first read about Hannah in the last edition of Spice Magazine, where she shared her recipe for Kale Salad which I LOVE (and apparently was a hit with her now husband, too!)

Hannah has always had a keen interest in food and cooking (reaching the top 50 of Masterchef as well as a stint in the kitchen with Rochelle Adonis cakes & confections) but a serious illness 4 years ago saw her change her lifestyle to embrace raw and whole foods almost exclusively. ‘Let food be thy medicine’ is something that Hannah has experienced first hand and now helps others to heal their relationship with food and discover their own personal food philosophy.

Although we’re not about to take up a raw regime anytime soon, i’m a huge fan of Hannah’s approach. Essentially, she believes that it’s important to understand where your food comes from, how it’s sourced/processed/prepared and the impact it has on your body, mind and environment. I love that she takes in to consideration factors other than just the nutrition of a particular food, but also the way in which it is prepared and eaten as being essential for good health and vitality – I guess you could call it the ‘mindful’ aspect of food.

I took part in one of Hannah’s regular workshops this past weekend and it was a real delight! I’m now armed with lots of lovely recipes and inspiration for including a little more ‘raw’ (and delicious) into our eating regime.

Thanks so much for giving us an insight into your world Hannah – I think your fridge contents alone make it a good read! Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance: The Journalist

I hope you’ve been enjoying this little series of interviews with real life women about their unique approaches to food, cooking, exercise, body image and lifestyle in general. You can read my own responses to the questions here and all about my Swedish friend My, here. I have more amazing women who have agreed to contribute their thoughts and am excited to share their interviews and images over the coming weeks…

I’m also keen to ensure that I present some diverse points of view from women in different circumstances and phases of life. Which is why this week, i’m delighted to present Laura Tomlinson – a young newspaper reporter who is busy making the most of her 20’s by enjoying life and building a career – but at the same time, having to learn to juggle her lifestyle while her husband works away for much of the time.

Laura first came to my attention via Facebook when I noticed that she was hanging out in many of the same ‘foodie’ oriented businesses and places that I was attracted to. Her excellent taste was only confirmed when she decided to bring her lovely Mum along to our Équilibre Retreat at Foragers last month as a Mother’s Day surprise! It was such a pleasure to meet Laura and experience her passion for good food (and wine!) firsthand. It’s quite refreshing to see someone so young take such an interest in what she eats and how it’s prepared, and no doubt she’ll go on to have a great influence on her peers (and readers). I also like her nicely ‘balanced’ attitude, perhaps it’s because she doesn’t stress out about getting the balance perfect and instead focuses on what makes her happy!

She reminds me a little of me in my mid to late twenties (long before kids) particularly her cooking style and ability to spend the day coming up with just the thing to satisfy a craving for dinner that evening. And yes, i’ve been known to read a cookbook or two in bed and oh, the food pilgrimages! I will say that there was a definite pang of envy on my part, after reading some of Laura’s responses (or shall we just call it nostalgia?)

I love, love, love the quote in the image further down below about food not being meant to be stressful, just good for the soul. No, I could never be a chef either, Laura!

Thanks so very much for sharing with us…. Read the rest of this entry »

Beautiful Girl

{Image from Équilibre}

We recently celebrated our daughter’s 4th birthday. It was a reminder to us of how quickly she is growing and of the important task we have ahead, to lay the positive foundations that will help her to become a happy, whole and vibrantly healthy grown woman. Seems like a difficult ask in today’s world, but we’re determined to give it our best shot!

I’ve been reminded over and over again recently that a woman’s body image is inextricably linked to her health and wellbeing in ways that we are only beginning to understand.

All health begins with how we perceive ourselves and our bodies.

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{Real} Life in Balance: Swedish Simplicity

I’d like to introduce you to the first of my guests on our Real Life in Balance series. Her name is My Tistrand and she’s one half of the lovely Swedish couple who brought the Dinner Twist concept to Perth.

You can read more about My and Chris’ exciting business and how much I love it here.

This is a lady who has not only created a brand new life for herself on the other side of the world, but has also taken on the chance to build a unique and meaningful family business (that just happens to feed her passion for cooking) at the same time as raising her young daughter (no easy task, believe me!) I have so much admiration for the way Chris and My have evolved their business, as well as the way they have warmly embraced the Perth lifestyle and quickly established themselves as a very welcome part of our community.

On meeting My, you sense her unmistakably pared back, Swedish style – there’s a certain simplicity in her approach to food, health and life in general that many of us can learn from. I was keen for her to answer my questions and share some gorgeous images of her life and loves… something she has kindly agreed to do!

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Autumn in the country – images from our retreat

What a treat it was to once again escape to Foragers in Pemberton for our Autumn 2013 weekend retreat (especially as my parents were kind enough to look after our kids!)

Here’s a little taste of what was on offer…

Sophie and Chris Zalokar welcomed us with the wood-fired oven lit for our arrival late on Friday afternoon. To accompany our wine tasting, we were treated to spelt crust flat-bread style pizzas with delicious vege toppings like Maris Piper potato, broccoli and kale, plus an assortment of tasty condiments. Read the rest of this entry »