Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Vegetable Soup That Will Rock Your Taste Buds

Recipe By Sarah Hawthorne, My Balance & Wellness © 2014

This soup is naturally sweet and super delicious using only nutrient dense vegetables packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is perfect for people with food sensitivities such as gluten, dairy, soy and eggs.  There are no animal products in this clean recipe and all ingredients are certified organic! It is wonderfully creamy and will keep you feeling full.  Serve this vibrant soup as a light meal or appetizer.  You can either serve it chilled on a warm spring afternoon or warm on cooler days. 

This recipe is quick and easy to make and all your senses will be delighted as you nourish your body with pure food love.  You can get creative with different vegetable combinations by using sweet potato or butternut squash in place of the carrots and beet.  I always advise my nutrition clients to use what they already have lying around in their kitchen so no produce ever goes to waste.  If you don’t eat it all immediately, refrigerate leftovers in an airtight glass container short term or freeze to maintain freshness for later use. 

**Serves 2  

2 cups carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 beet (approx. 2 cups), trim off any earthy skin and chop remaining beet into small pieces 
1 1/2 cups water 
1/2 cup of pure coconut milk 
½ brown or red onion (approximately 1 cup), thinly sliced 
1 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil (melted)
Another ½ teaspoon of oil of choice for caramelizing onion
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
Optionally add half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg or ground turmeric for extra flavor 

*Preheat oven at 400F
*Wash and chop carrots and beet into small pieces (taking off any earthly skin of the beet)
*Spread out the carrots and beet evenly on a large baking tray lined with baking paper
*Lightly coat the veggies with a tablespoon of oil (if using coconut oil, you can melt it quickly first and then coat the veggies). Sea salt and pepper to taste
*Bake veggies for 30 minutes (toss halfway) 
*Sauté thinly sliced onion until caramelized for approximately 5 minutes on medium-high heat in fry pan on stovetop, then remove from heat
*Add the cooked beet, carrot and onion to the blender
*Boil the water
*Add hot water, coconut milk and turmeric or nutmeg to the blender
*Blend until smooth and serve in bowls  


Check out my website for more information about my Nutrition Services and email me for a FREE Healthy Lifestyle Assessment to get your health back on track! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ever Wondered What A Health Coach Eats???

I don't believe in labeling food as "good" or "bad", all I care about is what is healthy for my body and what makes me feel good. I also don't categorize myself as eating a particular kind of way like "Paleo", "Vegan", or "Vegetarian". I feel this can seem limiting and restrictive to most people. It's good to be flexible and eat a wide variety of nutrient dense whole goods with an abundance of leafy greens and vegetables the color of the rainbow. I do believe that leaving out a particular food or food group for therapeutic reasons is necessary for some individuals temporarily depending on their health condition. And I totally get that we have a huge food sensitivity problem in our modern world filled with processed and genetically altered "food". I'm sure all the environmental toxins, chemicals, herbicides and pesticides that big agricultural farmers spray doesn't help the situation.

Over the years I have brought myself into a much healthier lifestyle and way of eating than when I was growing up. My diet as a kid all the way into my late teenage years was filled with sugary cereal, milk, white bread, cheese, chocolate, baked goods, ice cream, fast food and soda. Basically a sugar and refined carb feast! I realized this wasn't sustainable or making me feel good and I knew I had to change my ways... one step at a time. I increased my vegetable intake from zero and started to cut out the junk. I embraced physical activity and make this part of my daily routine. I started to notice a big difference in my body, energy, skin and how I felt about myself.  I have now developed a long lasting, healthy relationship with food that I enjoy and is totally flexible depending on my environment. I know how to make smart food choices at home, when traveling or out with friends. And I also know when I want to enjoy a little indulgence: a good glass of wine, some dark chocolate or a gluten free cookie! I do this guilt free because it's a mindful decision that I have made and I savor every bite, engaging all of my senses. I also know how to get straight back on the healthy track to vibrant living.    

So I want to share with you some examples of the different foods I eat during my week... no calorie counting or fancy concoctions, just simple whole foods the way nature intended (all organic):


*Gluten Free whole grain (millet and quinoa) toast with nut butter (usually brazil nut butter and walnut butter). I then add sliced banana, a drizzle of honey and a dusting of cinnamon.
Try it for yourself... YUM! It's all about getting the best quality bread you can find without all the nasty additives.

*Porridge (oats) with homemade almond or hazelnut milk, cinnamon and honey.
Toppings include goji berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, raisons, banana, apple, blueberries, strawberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and / or walnuts.

*Berry and banana smoothie with coconut water, maca powder, raw cacao powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds and nut butter (pre-workout)

*Always a tall glass of warm water with the juice of half a Meyer lemon (upon waking)


*Fresh fruit: apple (sometimes with cashew or almond butter), fresh berries, pink grapefruit or mandarin (anything that is fresh and seasonal)

*Homemade kale chips with nutritional yeast

*Homemade green juice

*Chai tea with homemade nut milk and a little raw local honey

*Cup of pastured and organic bone broth


*Runny fried duck egg on a salad or with leftovers from dinner

*I usually add avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice to everything I eat

*Baked sweet potato dusted with turmeric in a salad or with sautéed kale and a creamy tahini dressing

*Sautéed spinach with a veggie / whole grain patty  

*Quinoa or green lentil salad with veggies and left over dinner meat or an egg


*Some gluten free wholegrain crackers or half a health food bar

*Apple slices sometimes with nut butter

*Green juice


*Grass fed and organic lean animal protein with baked, sautéed or stir fried veggies

*Sometimes I make a really good gluten free brown rice pasta with lamb and veggie bolognese sauce

*I love making Vietnamese spring rolls with lots of raw veggies in them (they are so delicious, easy to make and light on the stomach) - I use almond butter as a dipping sauce instead of a peanut dipping sauce

*When my man cooks for me on the weekend he loves to sauté gourmet mushrooms and grill meat. He adds butter, olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and herbs (dried or fresh) to everything and it tastes amazing!!!

SWEET TREATS - on occasion and in moderation

*Chai tea with homemade nut milk and a little honey

*A piece of dried fruit: usually a dried fig

*1 - 2 pieces of dark chocolate (organic, fair trade and min. 70% raw cacao)

*Coco Bliss coconut ice cream (vanilla) with fresh fruit, cinnamon and a little honey

*A high quality gluten free cookie from a local baker

*Fresh seasonal fruit


I am not saying this is what you should eat, this is just a list of the foods I love and make me feel good. They work well for my unique body type. I suggest you keep a food journal documenting what you eat and how that food makes you feel. It truly is the best way to discover what foods add to your health and vitality, and what foods deplete your energy and cause discomfort (both in the body and the mind).

For one-on-one coaching with me to get your nutrition back on track... email me for a free consultation and we will find a way to make the food you eat delicious, nutritious and enjoyable. 

Sarah XX

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Low Sugar Berry-Licious Creamy Coconut Smoothie!

This smoothie is so satisfying with healthy fats, protein, fiber and all round nutritional density. Got food sensitivities such as gluten, soy, dairy, peanuts or excess sugar??? No problem... this recipe has been designed by me personally to be sensitivity friendly (if you have an uncommon food sensitivity to a food that is in this recipe, simply get creative and replace it with something else or leave it out all together... it's that easy!). You health will benefit from he antioxidants in the berries that help to get rid of excess free radicals that cause damage in the body (plus antioxidants have the added bonus of anti-aging properties for gorgeous skin, yippee!).

Serves 1 small but filling smoothie (double the ingredients to make a larger smoothie or for sharing)

Here's what you will need:
Measuring spoons and cup
A blender
And a mason jar or glass for serving

1/3 cup pure coconut milk (I like “Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk Classic" from Whole Foods in the Asian cooking isle)
2/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon nut / seed butter of choice (Note: the only ingredient should be raw or dry roasted nuts or seeds)
1 tablespoon hemp seeds or 1 tablespoon chia seeds or 1 tablespoon freshly ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon cacao powder (for chocolate kick) and / or 1 teaspoon maca powder (for energy)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup of organic berries of choice (fresh or frozen)
Approx. 3 ice cubes for a refreshing chill factor

Simply add all ingredients to your blender and mix until smooth (lump free). ENJOY!

Join me now! Get your health back to where you want it to be. 
Lose the excess weight, feel energized and learn fun and easy ways to look after yourself.
I'll even share delicious and nutritious recipes with you. Discover how to plan, shop, prepare and cook for vitality. I'm here to support you all the way with your wellness needs. 
Try out my FREE Healthy Lifestyle Assessment Jumpstart Session and see how you like it. 
Simply email me to set up a time that suits you! For more information about my personalized nutrition services, check out my website. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Mouth Watering Banana Bread (With A Chocolate Kick)

*Recipe by Sarah Hawthorne (Copyright 2014) 
This is one of my favorite recipes for banana bread modified by my wonderful husband (who insists on dark chocolate chips bless his heart) and myself (a gluten-free gal).  We make this banana bread with the best quality and health conscious ingredients. Of course, find organic products where available and ENJOY.  Good health is all about everything in moderation... this "healthier sweet treat" is perfect for when you want a little guilt free indulgence. 

2 cups gluten-free brown rice flour*
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking soda*
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil**
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
2 pastured and organic eggs, beaten
4-6 mashed overripe organic bananas
1 cup of high quality dark chocolate chips (60%-75% cocao)

* I like Bob’s Red Mill for the gluten-free brown rice flour and baking soda
** Love California Olive Ranch olive oil

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together olive oil and coconut sugar. Stir in eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Add in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

      Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted onto center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Serve on a nice plate still warm from the oven with a small scoop of vanilla coconut ice-cream or a light spread of coconut butter. YUM! For more delicious food tips and support keeping your nutrition and lifestyle balanced, contact me for a free Jumpstart Session to improve your sense of wellness and allow you to THRIVE!  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SPECIAL EVENT: "I Count Whole Foods, Not Calories"

Be sure to join me for my special talk at Cafe of Life Chiropractic Center in Mill Valley, Tuesday April 1st at 6pm. Find out why "I Count Whole Foods, Not Calories"!

You will learn how to eat clean for enhanced wellbeing, enjoy a light snack and refreshments, as well as the company of good people. Walk away with valuable knowledge and simple tools you can incorporate into your life for sustainable health and happiness. Nutrition should be interesting and fun, not rigid and complicated! If you agree this talk is definitely for you! See you there. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Balance & Wellness... Get BALANCED Nutrition Support!

Sarah Hawthorne, Nutrition & Lifestyle Advisor for My Balance & Wellness, lives in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area after moving from Australia 2 years ago. Her passion for nutrition and living life to the fullest came about after she was burnt out from eating junk and feeling stressed. 

After traveling the world and gradually discovering her own unique balance, she studied nutrition to become a Certified Health Coach with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Now she helps her clients through personalized coaching sessions to eat clean, slim down, enjoy a healthy relationship with food and achieve overall balance in their daily lives. 

Her services include:

*Healthy Lifestyle Assessment
*Emptying out emotions, obstacles and un-supporting beliefs 
*Provide nutritious and delicious recipes that are quick and easy to prepare
*Healthy food shopping tours
*Kitchen detox and food storage
*Food preparation and cooking demonstrations 
*One-on-one nutrition and lifestyle coaching sessions
*Email support in-between sessions
*Goal setting and simple tools to achieve results
*Meal planning
*Dealing with food sensitivities

Contact Sarah (sarah@mybalanceandwellness.com) for a FREE Healthy Lifestyle Assessment to jumpstart your journey to Balance & Wellness so that you feel and look amazing every day. 

Visit www.mybalanceandwellness.com for more information about Sarah's services and to sign up for her monthly newsletter

Enjoy even more healthy fun on Facebook and Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Super Snack - Kale Chips

Not sure you love kale yet?

Kale is packed with nutrition and health enhancing properties: high in protein, calcium, fiber (for a healthy digestive system), chlorophyll (to purify the blood), iron, vitamins A, C and K, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory).

I advise my clients to introduce new foods gradually. If they are not big into their leafy greens, especially kale, then I tell them to try it in soups, juices or as a nutrient dense super snack like kale chips.

Even your kids will love these delicious kale chips. Here's how to make them for yourself at home...

- 1 bunch kale (organic, washed and dried) - kale is so cheap... buy for around $2 a bunch!
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste (just a pinch or so)

- Wash kale thoroughly
- Dry kale thoroughly
- Remove the tough stems
- Tear the leaves into "finger" sized pieces
- Lay on a baking paper lined tray (you may need to speed them out evenly over 2 trays)
- Lightly massage with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt
- Add any extra flavor enhances such as nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, paprika for a smokey flavor, cumin for a little Indian flare or cayenne for a spice kick. Be adventurous and play around.
- Bake in oven at 300F for approx. 15-20 minutes until they are nice and crunchy. (Be careful not to overcook.)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely
- Store in an airtight container (preferably glass)

ENJOY! For more recipes, food inspiration or help with eating clean for weight loss and enhanced wellbeing, contact me for a free Jumpstart Session to get your health and nutrition back on track.