Health Insider – Amy Crawford, The Holistic Ingredient

June 8, 2016


This week, I am so excited to have Amy Crawford of The Holistic Ingredient for #healthinsider. I have followed Amys journey for the past few years and find her incredible story of jumping from the corporate world to starting her own health business so inspiring.

Founder of popular online wellness hub The Holistic Ingredient, Amy Crawford is a Reiki Master, Health Coach and Practitioner of NLP, EFT, Hypnosis and the 2 hour life transformational CTC therapy. Her series of recipe eBooks A Nourishing Kitchen is testament to the whole foods diet that played a significant part in her recovery from CFS and consequent life transformation. 

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Steamed Tuna in Banana leaves

June 6, 2016


This recipe is perfect for a quick dinner & fresh dinner. Just pop on a steamer for 2 – 5 minutes and you have delicious & flavoursome rare tuna. For those summer days, you could easily just pop on the BBQ too and get more of a smokey rich flavour. Enjoy!

Steamed Fish in Banana Leaves (Pepesan Be Pasih Pepes Ikan)
Serves 4
  1. ½ kilo of tuna
  2. 3 medium sized tomatoes
  3. 1 cup of lemon/thai basil leaves
  4. 10 shallots
  5. 15 cloves of garlic
  6. 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger
  7. 1 large slice of lemon
  8. 6 toothpicks
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. 6 page-sized pieces of banana leaf, or aluminum foil
  1. Put the garlic, onion and ginger into a blender/food processor to combine into a paste. If you do not have this equipment, just chop finely and combine.
  2. Slice the tuna into 1 centimeter sized cubes.
  3. Dice the tomato.
  4. Roughly mix tuna, tomato, garlic mix, lemon basil, salt and pepper and squeeze the lemon over the mixture.
  5. Place two tablespoons of the mixture onto a banana leaf and roll until the mixture is completely wrapped.
  6. Take a toothpick and fasten it to each end of the package.
  7. Steam the packages for 2-5 minutes.
Adapted from Pain Cooking School, Bali
Adapted from Pain Cooking School, Bali

Ubud, Bali

June 1, 2016

Ubud had been on my list of places to go for a few years now. Everytime you hear about Ubud, you hear of all the yoga, health food cafes and zen like ambience. It sounded right up my alley! I was a little surprised when I got there as the main city is quite similar to the other areas in bali – lots of traffic, noise, dusty streets, street vendors selling all the same clothing and jewellery. I didn’t mind that though, I like the excitement of the busy areas and I love renting a scooter and exploring the place.

However, there are lots of areas around Ubud centre which are really serene and filled with health retreats and spas. Some people go to Ubud, check into one of these resorts and stay in that area for the trip and that way it would be a very mellow experience. So if that the holiday you are looking for, I would recommend staying out near Dragonfly Village in the midst of all the rice fields.

I did a bit of everything and some of the best parts I have reviewed below!


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We stayed in 2 Villa Hotels: Alam Sembuwuk and Junjungan Resort. Both were lovely with pools overlooking the rice paddy fields and serving breakfast in the morning.

My favourite place of all however, came about quite randomly! I was stuck at an ATM that would not let me get cash out. I asked the guy in front if he knew of any banks and got chatting and it turns out he owns villas and hotels in the area. We rested one of these villas and it was insane! We got lucky as the place was quite that night, usually there are 2 villas with a shared pool, but we had the whole place to ourselves. Turns out this was actually cheaper than a room in both hotels too which was crazy! Next time I’m back I will undoubtedly stay here again, so lucky to have discovered this place!

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Ketut, the villa manager, was the nicest guy. He used to be a chef and offered a chef service in the villa for $10 each. So we bought a bottle of wine and sat down for a massive feast! We asked Ketut to join us, as there was so much food and had an amazing insight into the Balinese way of life from him. We had soup, dragonfruit smoothies, mie goreng, tuna satay with peanut sauce, sautéed water spinach, sweet and spicy fried tempeh. I could not recommend this enough. I can’t believe we found such luxury for such a bargain price!



Seeds of Life Café

This is a vegan raw food café made with all fresh and local seasonal ingredients. They do loads of tonics and juices and have an extensive food menu. We had the moussaka which was absolutely amazing. Then tried the pizza, which has a dehydrated seed base crust topped with cashew cream, pesto and avocado. It tasted so good, you forget you are even being healthy!


So happy to have stumbled across this gem! They specialised in Italian food but made from fresh local ingredients and it was divine. We had the Prawns in garlic and chilli oil with crusty bread and some arancini balls to start which were amazing. Then for main course I had some wild mushroom ravioli which was all made in house and so flavoursome.


Again, another one we stumbled across. This one is a bit pricey (for bali). It is French dining but with local influence. It was $70 for a 7 course tasting menu which sounded amazing. We opted for the tapas menu and ordered savoury cornettos to start. Fois gras cornettos and mushroom and parmesan cream cornettos. These were divine, all the ingredients rolled in filo pastry to an ice cream cone shape. Then for the main, we had the ‘1000 vegetables’ tasting platter and trio of seafood tasting platter. Amazing sampling dishes where you get to try a bit of everything which I love!


Garden Café

Garden café is just above yoga barn and has a great nutritious Balinese menu. Most dishes come with black or red rice, they do fresh herbal teas and tonics and have a raw dessert bar. I came here after yoga a few times for a fresh coconut or fresh herbal tea (they don’t use teabags, but instead brew hot water with lemongrass, ginger and turmeric-yum) and raw brownie.


Yoga Barn

This place is a real hub of activity! The yoga barn itself is quite big as they offer yoga retreats and teacher training. The classes are only $13 for 1.5 hours and take place upstairs in a massive barn and it is all open and a really lovely atmosphere. They also do a free evening class most nights, where their yoga teacher students get a chance to practise! After yoga you can go upstairs to the garden café for a bite to eat or a drink and then above this again there is a spa which offers massage treatments along with healers and ayurvedic practitioners.


Yoga House

Yoga House is located by dragonfly village overlooking the rice paddy fields. It takes place upstairs in an open house and the view is spectacular.

Mt Batur Sunrise Hike

We were picked up from our hotel at 2.30am got a bus to Mt. Batur. At the base we got some tea and a fried banana. Then it was a 2 hour hike to the top in the dark using flashlights. It was a steep hike but so worth it when you get up there. The views were incredible and we watched the sun rise from above the clouds. There were also little geezers around the mountain with volcanic steam coming out and that was pretty cool. We were promised eggs steamed from the volcanic mountain, which in reality turned out to be a lunchbox each with a cold hard boiled egg and dried bread! On the way down we stopped by the temple and saw all the monkeys. They are so friendly and would jump right onto your shoulders or head!


Putri Day Spa

This spa has amazing packages. I did the full body scrub, flower bath & Balinese massage. Its so relaxing and they bring you some herbal teas, biscuits and fresh local bananas while your in the bath which was so nice. You feel so refreshed afterwards!

Komang Nilawianti

While staying in Junjungan, I had a massage lying by the infinity pool overlooking the Balinese countryside. They call in freelance therapists and it was one of the best massages I have ever gotten! I took Komangs’ card and she came to the Villa we stayed in a few days later for another massage before leaving and it was heaven. She can come anywhere you are in Ubud and is also slightly cheaper than the spas, so I highly recommend giving her a call next time you are in Ubud!

Komang Nilawianti 081 338696162

Other Useful Tips

Getting around

When you arrive in Denpasar, it can be a bit hectic with all the drivers that surround you trying to get business. The prices are all jacked up and it can be a bit overwhelming. There is a great driver called Ali that a friend recommended to me and he was great! Just email him and let him know what flight you are coming in on and he will be waiting for you with your name sign ready to go. Details:

If you do use a driver/taxi make sure the meter is on or you have agreed on a fixed price before getting in. If you agree on a fixed price, make sure you clarify that’s the total amount for all passengers as sometimes they will try to scam you by saying they meant the agreed amount per passenger once you are already at your destination.


The cash comes out first and then the card! If its usually the other way around for you, this can be confusing and so many people leave their cards in ATMs.

Clear Mushroom & Vegetable Soup (Kuah Wong Sup Jamur)

May 30, 2016

This was one of the first dishes we made at Paon cooking school in Ubud, Bali. It is so fresh and light and so easy to make. Perfect for a snack or with a salad and you can freeze any extra you make for future use. Enjoy x

Clear Mushroom & Vegetable Soup (Kuah Wong Sup Jamur)
Serves 4
  1. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  2. 2 cups mushrooms of any kind
  3. 1 small carrot
  4. 1/2 cup green beans, diced
  5. 5 cloves of garlic
  6. 5 shallots
  7. 1 lime
  8. 5 kaffir lime leaves
  9. 1 spring onion
  10. 1 hot chili (or more to taste)
  11. 1 liter vegetable stock
  12. Salt and pepper to taste
For optional garnish
  1. 1 tablespoon deep fried shallots
  1. Slice mushrooms, garlic, spring onion and shallots. Cube the carrot into centimeter pieces. Slice the chili and remove its seeds.Cut the lime into slices.
  2. Sauté garlic, shallots and spring onion in coconut oil over a medium heat until light brown.
  3. Add mushrooms and chili and continue to sauté.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock and squeeze the lime slices over the stock. Break the kaffir lime leaves and add to the stock.
  5. Bring to the boil then add carrot, green beans and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve in a bowl with deep fried shallots as a garnish.

Health Insider: Artificial Sweeteners – The Sweet Betrayal

May 25, 2016

This week we have Karley Neyenhuys of Complete You joining us once more! Karley has recently started her own blog where she shares delicious recipes and lifestyle advice. She is very kindly sharing one of those articles today. Karley is an Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist, Biologist and Health Educator based in Sydney.

Yes, that Diet Coke can be preventing you from losing weight. So when offered a sugar substitute that provides the same, and in most cases more sweetness, but no kilojoules, it’s pretty hard to say no.  

You can have the cake, minus the kilojoules; it’s a no-brainer. More than likely if you have a high sugar diet, and switched to foods that are labeled “diet”, “low- sugar” or “sugar- free” because they contain artificial sugars, I am confident that you will probably lose weight. But what are the side effects? Strong research shows that, while consuming these products may be a short-term quick fix for weight- loss,  that eventually the body starts gaining even more weight.

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May 23, 2016


I recently visited South Australia for the first time with a trip to Adelaide! Luckily, my friend James (co-founder of Black and White Gourmet) is from Adelaide and also in the travel business. He organised the entire trip for us which I am so grateful for!

We based ourselves in the city and did a couple of wine tours from there. We stayed in Hotel Grand Chancellor which was so central, comfortable rooms with outdoor pool and gym. The food in Adelaide completely blew me away. From their amazing markets, gourmet cheeses in the vineyard areas, to the most amazing restaurants.

Below are some reviews of my favourite things to do in Adelaide!

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Chocolate Mud Cake

May 18, 2016


This is the first recipe that Im sharing from our first pop-up restaurant, Black and White Gourmet! It is so rich decadent and has some really rich flavours that elevates it from your average chocolate cake. With a kick of frangelico and the crunch of the salted caramel coated macadamia, it is sure to please any chocolate lover! Continue Reading…

Bistro Dom

May 16, 2016


When you walk into this restaurant, it is one long narrow hallway with one long bench and tables all the way down to the end, where the kitchen and bar are tucked neatly in the back. The décor is modern, upmarket and the place has a great ambience. A long mirror covers the wall behind the bench and the lighting is dimmed. Perfect setting for a special occasion or romantic meal.


With the menu being obligatory that you choose at least 2 dishes per person, this is a place you come for a sit down meal and to be taken care of. The service was incredible with a great attention to detail. All of the food has been foraged or sourced locally and the menu changes and adapts to what is available.

The night we went in was a very quite night, with only one other table and so we got extra special treatment. Even though it was a quite night, the place did not feel empty as it is a very welcoming space and quite cosy. Continue Reading…

Health Insider – Milk Kefir

May 12, 2016

Since meeting the lovely Karley of Complete You, I noticed she is a massive advocate of milk kefir. I am always so interested in new ways of improving health and nutrition and have tried to incorporate probiotic rich foods into my diet since reading Kimberly Snyders The Beauty Detox Solution. The main ways I do this are with raw apple cider vinegar, raw sauerkraut, kombucha or taking a probiotic tablet.

I had heard of the benefits of kefir but never tried it, so Karley very kindly sent me a batch to give it a go! It took me a day or 2 to adjust to the taste as it is quite thick and has a tangy flavour. But after this initial period, it started to go down really easily and became part of my daily diet. I also tried blending it with some banana and almond butter and it was really good! The other thing that really appealed to me is how easy it is to grow by yourself as the good bacteria multiplies so fast. I have tried making my own sauerkraut and it takes so long and is quite hard to get right so kefir seems like a mug easier option for me. Below Karley explains all of the benefits and she can also help get people started if you happen to live in the Sydney region! Enjoy x

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Restaurant Orana

May 9, 2016


I first heard about Restaurant Orana when I was watching My Kitchen Rules 3 years ago and the head chef Zonfrillo was a guest judge. It showed a clip of Orana and how it was one of the best restaurants in the world. It has been on my bucket list ever since then so when I went to Adelaide recently I knew I would have to call in.

I am so glad I did! Not only was it one of the best meals I have ever had in my entire life, it was such an amazing experience in itself. As soon as you step into the dining room, you are so well taken care of by the amazing wait staff.

We went for the lunch seating and as soon as you arrive they start bringing course after course to the table. It is a tasting menu and it is so innovative and unusual. But not just for the sake of being different, all of the ingredients used go so well together and compliment each other beautifully.

One of the courses had ants as a garnish and usually, I would not eat this. Especially since I don’t eat meat, I’m not even if you cab eat ants being vegetarian, but I trusted the chefs so much by the time it got to that course that I tried it and it was delicious! Continue Reading…