Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Sugar Free Christmas and Ten Top Tips for Healthy Holidays

An eBook from my own fair hand. "A Sugar Free Christmas; Raw Recipes and Tips" for Guiding your Family Through a Sugar-Free Christmas Season

* What to replace refined sugar with
* Recipes you can use for any Christmas function and that go easily with cooked and traditional festive food
* Where to find sweetening alternatives
* Dealing with children’s needs and wants
* Dealing with other adults
* Suggestions for when visiting

You can get it from our shop, iTunes and Kindle.

Here are my ten top tips for holidaying away from home and trying to maintain healthy eating.

# 1 Choose your battles wisely. This is not the right time to convince your host of a better way of eating.
# 2 Practice grace.
# 3 Be the (silent) walking advertisement.
# 4 Take a probiotic such as InLiven. If you’re travelling overseas this is important. Having a gut ready for the inevitable exposure to less-than-optimum food and preparation practices is preventative action. This advice is not only for developing countries, either!
# 5 When travelling I also take Body Balance, a liquid supplement that will easily plug any nutritional gaps when I can’t be in control of my food. For overseas travel it is available as a powder.
# 6 Do an internet search for Juice Bars, health food shops and cafes. Do this before you leave home.
# 7 Take prunes, in case you are not served the fibre your body is accustomed to. You might be practising grace but you can’t send an email to your gut to advice it of impending change.
# 8 Take your own snacks and surreptitious nibbles. You can choose smaller portions at a meal table and know you won’t be hungry. Raw bars, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit and vegetable snacks.
# 9 Drink water! This sounds like a Captain Obvious statement but with a change of routine it is easy to forget to drink as much as you usually do.
# 10 If the food you eat (or don’t eat) is going to cause a rift, then seriously consider staying in a motel/hotel and spend the day with your friends and family.

I wish you all a very happy, restful and memorable Christmas.

See you all next year!



The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001

Monday, November 24, 2014

I’m dreaming of a sugar-free Christmas

“I’m dreaming of a sugar-free Christmas….not like the ones we used to know... (la,la, la la,laaaaa)”. Apologies to fans of the original classic Christmas song.

Are you wondering how to plan for eating this Christmas?  What to do about your traditional sugar filled recipes? How to have fun, enjoy the season AND the food?

If you’d replace the word ‘wondering’ with ‘despairing’ or even ‘slightly panicked’ then you’ll want to take a good look at my “I’m Dreaming of a Sugar-Free Christmas”. I’m putting the finishing touches to it this week. Details coming soon.

With five weeks to go until Christmas I thought I’d put together a list of ideas that you might find helpful as gifts to your family and friends, or even as a gift to yourself!

I will have a product on special each week between now and Christmas.

This week’s special is Little Bird’s Unbakery book – free courier anywhere in NZ until 29 November. That’s a saving of $8 per book.

Here are some other gift ideas. Don’t forget to show the list to those who give you gifts and might need a wee bit of help. People aren’t very good at reading minds, and some folk are oblivious to hints, too, so tell them what you’d like.

Christmas Scented Massage oil
Personal Blender
Voucher for consultation
General voucher (you nominate the amount)
Travel-sized Body Care – shampoo, conditioner, body cream, toothpaste, body wash
Trade Aid Gift Boxes
Summer Essentials: organic sun block, insect repellent, body cream, lip balm
The Unbakery by Megan May
Hair and Body Essentials Gift Pack
Baby Care Gift Pack

If you have any questions with items on this list, please get in touch. All are in my webshop. If you’re local and want to pick up (save courier), email me.



The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Catering With Raw and Cooked - A Bridal Shower

Last weekend I had the loveliest privilege of catering for our daughter's bridal shower.

The food was a mix of cooked and uncooked and, since I always promote the 'do-ability' of the mix 'n match approach, I thought I'd tell you what I did.

The savoury choices were club sandwiches (very traditional), Devils on Horseback which are dates wrapped in bacon (free range, of course), skewered and baked until crispy and smell amazing. They are popular and take guests by surprise at how well the flavours mix. My raw contribution was small squares cut from red capsicums and dotted with smoked cashew cheese; perfect for those who love cheese but can't eat it (like me).

The baked sweets were cupcakes decorated with pink hearts (brought by my dear friend - thank you, Karen), and scrabble-type biscuit platter spelling the couple's names and wedding appropriate words.

The raw sweets were not obvious with the exception of the strawberries, which were on a beautiful vintage mirror in the company of my raw chocolates. Mini cheesecakes were created in crystal wine glasses (although I used dairy cream not nut cream). Of course, there was no refined sugar in the raw sweets (I used agave syrup) to the delight of some of the guests who were not eating sugar.

I was delighted at the way both cooked and uncooked worked so well together and was confident that my raw dishes held their own for a very important occasion.

So please be assured when I say that including beautiful fresh, uncooked and raw foods can make perfect dishes to serve guests.

In case you're wondering, I served tea, coffee, a range of herbals and shop-bought concentrated juice with soda water.

I hope you enjoy the photos.



The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Raw Milk in New Zealand

Sugar bows out of the headlines this week and raw milk shuffles on in for its turn in the spotlight.

As many of you Dear Readers know, we have had raw milk weekly for a number of years.

So for those of you who aren’t too sure, here is my list of helpful advice.

You must source your milk from a farmer who is scrupulously clean and farms organically/spray free.
The farmer needs to love what he does, treat his cows like princesses and understand the ‘why’ of raw milk.
A farmer who is seeing the dollar signs as his main motive is to be avoided.
If he won’t let you on the farm to see if his standards pass muster, turn around and run away.
Get your milk into the fridge as soon as possible. The back of the fridge is colder than the door so if you’re not sure if your fridge is cold enough, keep it at the back.
Use glass bottles with a wide neck that can be easily cleaned with a bottle brush.
Keep your bottles, lids and jars sterilised. Wash with brush and detergent, rinse and then sterilise with boiling water. Regularly sterilise the bottle brush, too.
Glass is better than plastic. It is difficult to sterilise plastic effectively.
If, by the end of the week, your milk is starting to turn, use it for white sauce or baking. Cream ‘turns’ before the milk so enjoy the cream in your coffee or cereal.
You can freeze it but it the fat and water separates on thawing.

If you’re old enough to remember the ‘top milk’ in your glass milk bottles that the milkman delivered to your letterbox seven days a week (man, I’m old!) then you’ll love the cream that rises to the top of your raw milk.

Each week I make a fresh batch of kefir and yoghurt. I have had my starters for two years and they’re still going strong. I keep back a small amount of the yoghurt and the kefir grains each week and these become the mother for the next week.

The Caspian Sea Yoghurt I make uses unheated milk and has a very mild sour taste and runnier texture than other yoghurts.

Both the milk kefir and the Caspian Sea Yoghurt give us a slightly different range of healthy bacteria (probiotics) for our gut. For your own starter contact Rebecca here.

For wonderful and practical information on raw milk and fermented foods such as these, get Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions from your local library or order your own copy here. I could write a long article on raw milk but Sally has done a much better job than me.

If you want to source raw milk you can check on the Weston A. Price Foundation website and search your area or ask someone whom you know gets raw milk to point you in the right direction.


The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001

Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Make a Cooked Pasta Sauce That Has No Refined Sugar

This week I share with you my usual recipe for making a simple pasta sauce. It can be vegan, vegetarian or include meat, the choice is yours. My version is vegetarian although I often add a rasher of free range bacon.

Reminder: One week until my
Delectable Desserts and Sweet Treats class. The class is nearly full, so be quick if you want to come. 

Christine’s Pasta Sauce
1 tin plain chopped tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
½ t salt
2 – 3 ‘grinds’ of black pepper
½ t coconut sugar or ¼ t honey
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot, grated
1 T butter (or oil)
½ c water, or more depending on how thick or thin you like your sauce
½ t basil (dried) or 2 -3 sprigs fresh
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 T wine (optional)
Optional Extras: mushrooms, cheese, other herbs, other cooked veggies

Melt butter and gently cook onion and carrot (and garlic, if using). If using bacon, add and cook with these.
Add tomatoes, paste, basil, seasonings and water and wine if using.
Cook for about five minutes until piping hot and a little reduced to your liking.
Serve over pasta, raw vegetable ‘pasta’, rice or potatoes.

T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon

Hint: double it and freeze half.

Very easy, low in sugar, no additives and budget-friendly. What more could you want?



The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sugar Free Muesli

This week I share with you a sugar free muesli recipe that you can make very easily. No soaking or dehydrating, just open packets, measure (or not), stir and store.

Before I do that I want to remind those of you who want to come to my Delectable Deserts and Sweet Treats class on 4 October that the Early Bird rate of $95 finishes next Wednesday 24 September. On Thursday 25 September it will be the normal price of $120.

Since I last blogged I have had more conversations about sugar with many folk. People are genuinely concerned and want to know what to do.

One of these chats included the surprise of how much sugar is in ‘natural’ mueslis.  Packets announce proudly in bold and colourful print that their product contains whole grains, natural ingredients, real fruit, etc. It sounds so very healthy. Some are and some aren’t. Marketing is a wonderful thing and a mystery to most shoppers. Much research and money has been spent to make you, Dear Reader, choose their product. You can be sure that the latest health concerns will be included in the marketing to reassure you.

Read the ingredient and nutritional panel. Where it says sugar, divide by four and that gives you the teaspoon amounts in your serving. It is likely to include both sucrose (refined sugar) and fructose (fruit) but also could have corn syrup. I have seen some labelling that listed them separately. Grouping them together makes it harder to figure how much refined sugar is in there.  It’s also possible it has artificial sweeteners in the mix.

In the end, it’s you who has to become the ingredient detective and take control of you and your family’s health. The government can’t do too much really, and the food companies sure won’t.

So if you want to reduce your sugar intake and keep more money in your purse, here is my standard ‘Smith House Muesli’.

Fill a large mixing bowl with rolled oats, (large or quick-cook, it doesn’t matter). Add raisins – an amount that would give you 8 – 10 in your cereal bowl. Add nuts and/or seeds; same kind of ratio as for raisins. Add cinnamon to the approximate amount of ¼ teaspoon per cereal bowl. Stir well and store in airtight container. That’s it. Top with your choice of milk or yoghurt, add fresh fruit if you like it. No sugar or honey is required, oats are naturally sweet, so are the raisins and the fresh fruit.

Rolled oats require heat to roll them so even though it’s uncooked muesli it’s not raw. Just in case you were wondering.

Artificial sweeteners got some bad publicity this week. See here.

Whilst in Perth we stopped at a café and chose to sit outside. We watched one of their parrot-type birds hovering around. It wasn’t our food he was after but sugar. That canny bird could tell the difference between the real sugar sachets and the artificial ones. They won’t take the false sugar. Smart birds.



The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nigel Latta and Sugar

Nigel Latta sure stirred things up with his show last week on sugar. It really got the attention of the nation. As a topic it was possibly neck-to-neck with election conversation. I reckon if a Party came up with the policy of tackling the sugar problem in NZ they’d be a shoo-in but I’m not sure if there was a murmur from the politicians. Opportunity missed, perhaps.

With my raw food class Delectable Desserts and Sweet Treats coming up, it could look like it was planned to coincide with Nigel’s show. Providential is perhaps the appropriate word as I am not privy to TVNZ’s programming.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect. If you already have healthy alternatives to refined sugar sorted then please forward the details of this class to someone you know looking for a change of ingredients for themselves and their families.

"I don’t want to be 40 and have diabetes!” was the concerned comment to me this week. She received a flyer for my class as the answer for her action plan. Click here for the 4 October class details.

Those of you in Auckland may well have experienced the raw culinary delights of Little Bird. Their anticipated (un)cook book has been released and I am pleased to stock it. Click here for your copy. Books will be ready for delivery early October. I am very much looking forward to mine.

The Unbakery



The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001