Self Care for Women

Wellness Program

Do you want to feel better, live longer, look younger, and be the best version of yourself but feel like you just don’t have the time to sit down and trawl the internet for ways on how you can do this? You’ve come to the right place.

My self care for corporates course involves a plethora of factual, educational, practical and relevant information all about the ins and outs of wellness and optimising your life to get the most out of it – all in one spot with a focus on nourishing through food and giving you the skills and knowledge to do so.

Without further ado, let’s dive in! 

Lets begin!

My course progress

Let’s begin. In this section, you will find some information about me, a breakdown of the course and some wellness sheets that you should complete in this beginning phase. 

Hello! I’m Cassandra Austin, you can find a bit more about me here.

Food for Wellness is my passion. I have immense culinary knowledge and very practical techniques to help you make your change to Wellness though food and lifestyle. It’s exciting, achievable & fun, my outcomes are to help you be the best you can be.

Why should you learn about Wellness? 

  • Live Longer
  • Feel Better
  • Look Younger
  • Share Knowledge
  • Be the best you can be
  • Its about stayin’ alive!

Researchers say that up to 80% of illness is diet and lifestyle related. However, there are many other factors of well-being for a healthy and happy life:

What does Wellness look like?

  • Good diet is the first most basic need in self care
  • Good mental health is an important element for wellness 
  • A sense of security 
  • Good social relations 
  • Freedom and choice   
  • Community involvement 
  • Physical exercise is essential 

The life of every human being has some pain and suffering and this is completely normal! Experiences such as occasional bereavement and anxiety do not necessarily signify poor human well-being. However, many people with poor well-being have lives in which suffering is manifested throughout and  hope, opportunity, and freedom are limited on a re-occurring basis. 

There is research that has proven for every negative thought, you need 4 to 5 positive thought to counteract that.

Its called negative bias.

A really simple way to keep your own personal relationships healthy is to remember what you like about your partner, friend, family member and make a conscious effort to tell them, from your heart. 

An important fact of mental health and well-being is happiness. ‘Laughter produces endorphins which relax the body…a lot’. 

People who are angry, unhappy, negative, selfish or jealous can gain a pessimistic attitude which can eventually lead to health issues. 

Good food, mental and emotional well-being are important elements!

As we begin the content section of this course, I’d like you to complete the following worksheets . These sheets will help you to reflect on where you currently stand and assist to identify areas of improvement.

There are many other factors to wellness, so, to help you be the best you can be I have included 101 coaching information, strategies, worksheets and workbooks for you to go at your own pace. You will see that by the end of this course you will have the skills not only to design your culinary life to nourish yourself and share your new skills with friends, family, colleagues, you will also have  learned how to live and be well with a wholistic self paced approach. 

Activity Assessment Form


Life Balance Wellness Questionnaire


To complete this next health questionnaire will definitely require a trip to the doctor. Its purpose is to help you identify any areas of concern that your doctor may want to investigate further, please consider sharing any family history health concerns that may help them.

Paying attention to your health can greatly affect your well-being, detecting any warning signs that may avoid future health concerns with medical intervention, diet and lifestyle changes.  

Please complete this form as best you can and make an appointment with your doctor for further tests to be carried out if required, giving you a clear picture of your health not to mention the peace of mind that comes with knowing and what you can do to improve here if needed.


Waning energy levels can be a sign of the body struggling with lack of sleep, water, nutrient rich diet, adrenal burnout or other issues. This questionnaire is designed to help you identify any areas of concern that you can create a plan to rectify.


Weight Management Wellness Questionnaire


Sleep and Stress Management Wellness Questionnaire


At the bottom of all the questionnaire forms above, you will notice we ask if we need to improve our readiness, feelings of importance and confidence in our desire to make changes. If you have scored below a 6 out of 10,  there is room for improvement,  applying the content in your e-learning you can create positive impacts on those values to reach a level 6 to 10 score for more successful outcome’s in creating lasting results. I recommend you look at ways that would work for you to improve these values.

“You have everything you need to achieve your goals inside you”

Focus on your strengths, experience and dig deep, look at the positives you can achieve with change and reflect on how you can proceed at your own pace, acknowledge your thoughts and focus on the benefits.

This course is now yours, so feel free to take breaks in between sections, come back at a later stage and review your results over time to measure the effect of your selfcare actions and progress you have made! 

Here is a useful tool you can use to calculate your Body Mass Index. It is to be used as a guide taking your lifestyle and physical make up into account. 

Body Mass Index Calculator

Let’s make your life more comfortable in every way.

With plenty of questions about what’s coming up, here is some info.

If you come across anything that doesn’t quiet gel for you please shout out on the Facebook support page link below:

 Corporate challenges

There are 3 fun group events for you in this course, they are;

  • Week 3, Design your own dish- this will be judged by your colleagues on the 4th week of your course.
  • Week 4, The grow your own challenge- share something you have grown on your own and how you intend to use it. This edible plant will be judged by myself and your colleagues on the last week of your course. 
  •  Week 8, The mystery box challenge- you will be given a mystery box of ingredients to use recipe as a guide and create your own dish. Cass will judge this dish in week 10.

Please share your challenge posts with a description of your idea and why you chose it with some pics of your final piece and the creation phase.

Virtual prizes will be awarded!

What is in the course?

You will learn:

  • How much and what to eat.
  • Basic cooking skills for healthy meals.
  • The equipment required.
  • The cookery methods required.
  • The correct ingredients.
  • Organisational tips to make home cooking achievable with your busy schedule.
  • Tips on growing your own food.
  • Budget saving tips.
  • Knife skills.
  • Misenplas.
  • Time saving tips.
  • How to cook using recipes as a guide.
  • The different factors of wellness and information on each.
  • How to coach yourself to better health and lifestyle.
  • Take your new coaching skills and self care toolbox and transfer them to your corporate life.

How long is the course?

This course is designed to be used for 12 weeks, at your own pace to achieve as much or as little you like each week.

How long do I have access to the course content?

You will have access to the course for 12 weeks, however  much of the content is downloadable for you to complete and keep.

What if I have technical difficulties, what can I do?

After assessing your own equipment i.e. internet connection, turn your computer on and off. Please go to and send a message through the chat box that pops up on the right hand side of the computer screen. We can assess  the issue,  get it sorted and you back online asap.

How much support can I get from Cass?

10 private messages.

Cass is available separately for some 1:1 training if you feel you need additional support. 

How can the course help me?

As much or as little as you like, you will find a fairly comprehensive breakdown of coaching resources to help you create strategies that suit you. It is self paced so you bite off what you can handle at any given time.

Food for beauty

My course progress

Learn what the cosmetic companies wish you didn’t know.

Its based on scientific evidence & good for the environment.

Why spend your money on products that sell the dream rather than help you?

“To help you be as beautiful as you can be from the inside 0ut”.

Research found 32% of wrinkle variance between people’s skin comes down to diet.

Naturally beautiful face

Free radical damage occurs when electrons (they come in pairs) if one is damaged  (when it comes in contact with another substance mostly oxygen) it tries to find another partner electron which changes the chemical structure, if they go unchecked they can lead to change in DNA mutating & damaged cells that’s when we see breakdown & damage in premature ageing & diseases “not pretty”.

Antioxidants take up the space of the missing electrons which in turn destroys the free radicals & stops them mutating and causing damage. Antioxidants come in the form of  Vitamin A, C, E phytochemicals & a few others.


Vitamin A works by increasing cell production in the skins top layer, boosting collagen production and reducing the appearance of sun damage. It helps to balance oil production in the skin, fight inflammation & acne.

Eating Vitamin A from real food is the best way to get the nutrient. Foods high in Vitamin A include carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, red peppers, kale, turnip greens, collards & watercress.


An important group of vitamins including B1(thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin) B12 (cobalamin) and B15 (choline), this team has a vital role to play in promoting healthy skin. If you have ever had little painful cracks in the corner of your mouth or eyes, it indicates a lack of vitamin b, widely known as a stress inhibitor. When you are under stress the vitamins deplete much quicker than usual, hence the need for more at these times.

Essential for good circulation and healing. They are found in brewer’s yeast “vegemite”, liver, meat, fish eggs, poultry, milk, fruits & vegetables (dark bitter leaves are good) nuts, rice, seeds and wholegrain foods.

Not kidding more facts…

VITAMIN E tocopherols and tocotrienols

This vitamin protects cells from free radicals and is essential to increase cell life it works closely with A , C and selenium to create a powerful antioxidant team, promote healing, prevent scarring & slow the ageing process. It helps to form and protect red blood cells, nerves & muscles. It protects other vitamins & inhibits blood clots. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, avocados, walnuts, almonds, whole grains, rye, barley, oats, wheat, leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds, mustard greens, swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, tomatoes, turnip greens, mango & pine nuts.

Another reason to get beauty benefits from food:

Vitamin C/l Ascorbic acid antioxidant preventative

It’s a vital nutrient & strong antioxidant playing a key role in preventing oxidative stress. The bodies vitamin C reserves are depleted by up too 2/3rds due to ultra violet light exposure.

We don’t make our own vitamin C in our bodies we get it from food & its water soluble. It actively only lasts about 6 hours in the body we need to replace it often. Having a diet high in fruits and vegetables is critical.

Beware of products that claim to deliver a high dose of Vitamin C into the skin topically, most of the creams that claim this are Ho Hum.

Foods rich in Vitamin C are Kakadu plums, camu camu, rosehip, guava, red peppers, parsley, sea buckthorn, black currants & broccoli.

But wait there’s more…


Is a major mineral antioxidant and is required for many processes in the body. Selenium helps slow the ageing process by preventing cross linking in the skin which leads to wrinkles. It also supports good skin texture and smoothness. It is important to every cell function in the body Selenium can be found in shellfish, meat & whole grains e.g. Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, button mushrooms, mustard seeds, barley, oats.

You didn’t think that was it did you?


Is a trace mineral found in the connective tissues and cartilage in the skin, it is our skin hair & nails. Silica retains moisture, making fibres in the skin plump, smooth, strong & taut. Good food sources for this mineral are unrefined whole grains, oatmeal and rice bran, alfalfa sprouts, nuts, seeds, leeks, cucumber skin, chickpeas, green beans & strawberries.

The facts just keep coming! 


A powerful antioxidant works with vitamin E. Its an energy booster in your body, directly affects the cells energy production. Helps good fuel for our cells to run efficiently. While our bodies can produce some, the rest must comes from our food.

The best sources are fresh sardines and mackerel, beef, lamb, pork, eggs & some from vegetables such as spinach, broccoli. peanuts, wheat germ & whole grains (the produce must be fresh to be present).

I bet you’re beginning to believe me! 


Supports a healthy immune system. It is necessary for healing wounds, making scars & stretch marks fade to support the formation of collagen in the skin. It keeps skin supple & is critical in times of body development.

It’s found meats, oysters, clams, poultry, eggs, miso beans, nuts, wheat germ, cocoa powder, maple syrup, button mushrooms, spinach, summer squash, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds and whole grains.

More facts!


This is another amazing little mineral involved in supporting collagen and elastin levels . The production of glycosaminoglycan’s or GAGs. These little molecules hold moisture in the skin.

 Foods include seafood, almonds, sunflower seeds, beans and whole grains, chick peas, mustard greens, sesame seeds, cashews, asparagus, walnuts, olives, miso, quinoa, Swiss chard, turnips greens, spinach & button mushrooms.

It’s not over yet, Carotenoids rock! 

Strong antioxidants, here are some ALL STARS

BETA CAROTENE the most popular in vitamin A “mostly yellow to red” eat enough they actually change the colour of your skin “studies found this lighter yellow toned skin the most desirable skin colour”.

LYCOPENE builds firming collagen & is a natural sunscreen “peaches, tomatoes, watermelon”. (cooked foods release much more lycopene).

LUTIEN is great for bright shiny eyes “greens like chlorella, spinach & kale’.

Polyphenolic Antioxidants 

ANTHOCYANINS slow down mental & physical ageing “raspberries, blackcurrants, cherries”.

RESVERATOL anti inflammatory, anti ageing, anti cancer ‘red wine, peanuts, blueberries”.

POLYPHENOLS they’re like the bionic woman of antioxidants “red grapes, black currants, green tea”.


The body is made up of 60 to 70 % water your skin craves water daily.

Water is used in the bodies processes such as digestion & absorption.

It helps dissolve nutrients that pass into the bloodstream & helps regulate your bodies temperature through perspiration. Water also carries waste products around and from your body.


They ensure all the nutrients are delivered to the cells in your body which promote clear healthy skin.

Foods to add to your diet Include sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, kefir & yoghurt.


After water, protein is the most plentiful substance in our bodies.

Nails & hair are made up of around 90% protein our bodies rely on it for cell repair, for creating important enzymes, antioxidants & balancing our blood sugars. Our bodies do not store protein so its important to get adequate amounts every day. A deficiency in protein will show in premature ageing, weak hair and nails, you may notice you may crave more carbohydrates and sweets if you are not getting enough.

The best sources of protein are lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, soy, lentils & beans.

…it ain’t over yet!


EFA,s are key nutrients great for skin, called essential because our bodies don’t produce them therefore we rely on foods that contain them. EFAS have a vital role in the heath of our hormones  & lubricate all of our tissues including the fatty layer just under the skin.

Known as omega 3,6 & 9. While most of us get and abundance of 6 from vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, soybean and corn oils,  we Lack omega 9 found in avocado & olive oils.

We are also lack in omega 3 which is found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines,  algae, sacha inchi seeds, chai seeds as well as flaxseed oils & walnuts, omega 3 oils have an anti inflammatory effect in the body and are awesome at helping most skin conditions. Sun exposure increases the need for EFAS as UV diminishes EFAS already in the skin.

Okay, so you must believe me now! 


Our bodies break carbohydrates down into glucose, which provides fuel for our cells. This is very important for our brain,  nervous system and every cell in the body needs a constant supply in order to function healthily. Eat fruits and vegetables, quality whole grains & legumes to make up our mix,  they provide a slow release of energy to the cells & a fresh supply of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.


Fruits nuts and seeds are good for skinAssorted vegetables are good for the skin

Fish and Seafood are good for skin

Apples –  A, C, E, biotin, folic acid & quercetin an antioxidant for the body.

Avocado’s – Rich in mono unsaturated fat and omega 9 oleic acid rich in folate, magnesium and vitamin E.

Garlic – Keeps skin looking clear & healthy its immune fighting & sulphur rich.

Kiwi fruit –High vitamin C, fantastic for collagen, they contain vitamin E & chromium.

Beetroot – This ruby star keeps skin clear as it’s a liver cleanser.

Broccoli – Carotenoids, calcium, phosphorous, Vitamins B & C from this cruciferous collagen building veggie.

Blueberries  – Phyto nutrients & antioxidants so high they slow the ageing process. 

Blueberries are great food for beauty

Olives – Oleic acid, Vitamin A, helps skin maintain the proper neutral PH,  essential for maintaining a healthy, radiant skin.

Oats – Selenium, Vitamin E, fibre & more, a big toothbrush for the insides for strong healthy skin.

Oily fish & caviar – Tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel & caviar keeps your skin glowing & young,  rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

Spinach – Protects muscles, cells & skin from degenerating a super food for the skin.

Goji berries – They have a high concentration of carotenoids.

Camu, camu berries – Vitamin C, antioxidants & flavonoids from rainforests in peru.

Cupuacu – From Brazil has polyphenols and is realted to the cacao tree, more antioxidants than acai berries & related to cacao.

Nuts – Almonds, walnuts and macadamia’s pack a punch due to high Vitamin E content, helps strengthen and heal,they have omega 3 fatty acids which are like little gnomes that work away building new healthy skin.

Pomegranates- Rich in Vitamins B5, C, potassium, and polyphenols.  A cracker source of ellagic acid and antioxidants those free radical warriors. the seed oil for skin contains punicic acid, an omega 5 fatty acid, which is effective in cell regeneration.

Pomegranates are great for the skin

Tomato’s – Contain lycopene, when tomato’s are cooked lycopene increases by 10 times the amount, great for skin.

Tomatoes are good for the skin

Yogurt – Helps skin conditions acne, allergies like eczema and itching with good bacteria such as Candida albicans. The goodie is bacterium which helps the immune system and healthy skin.

Flowers for beauty

Roses, calendula, lavender, chamomile, dandelion, marigolds and violets.

Marigolds are good for the skin

Herbs for beauty

Bergamot, brahmi, buckwheat, burdock, cat time, chickweed, Chinese rhubarb, elecampane, globe artichokes, heartsease, herb Robert, horehound, horsetail, houseleek, ladies smock, lemon verbena, licorice, mallows, mullein, purslane, Rau om, red clover, sage, sorrel, shepherds purse, southernwood, sweet basil, tansy, turmeric, vervain, witch hazel, yarrow and yellow dock.

Sweet Labna (Yoghurt Cheese) with peaches, flower petals, trail mix & Manuka honey

Serves 4  


  • 400 gram Greek style natural yoghurt (probiotics help acne and eczema)
  • 6 tsp Coconut Oil (EFAs glow, hydrates and nourishes)
  • 2 tsp Manuka honey (Antibiotic, Cleansing & moisturising
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (anti skin cancer properties)
  • 2 tbsp oats (cleansing, soluble fibre & complex carbohydrates)
  • 2 tbsp Trail mix finely chopped (EFA,s with pumpkin, sunflower seeds,  macadamia nuts, cashews, walnuts Some Calendula petals (antioxidant & healing properties).

Serve with tinned peaches in natural juice (lycopene protects skin from sun damage)


Mix all the labna ingredients. Hang in muslin cloth in a sieve place in your refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours depending on your preference for consistency.

Put a basin underneath to catch the liquid, this makes a fantastic dressing.

This recipe can be adapted many other flavours traditional savoury great for skin too with olive oil, yogurt, lemon and savoury herbs Traditionally the mixture is then rolled into balls and suspended in oil, refrigerate until required.

Come up with a dish that’s good for your food for beauty.

We will share the ideas and workshop them.

Post your idea here on the Casstronomy facebook page

  • Make it Sexy for you (Your Vision)
  • Plot & Plan
  • Strategise & Support
  • Assess make sure your sticking to your plan & if not why, make a new plan
  • Maintain, keep topping up the Ingredients that you are using, new ideas.
  • Find Rewards to keep you on track
  • Do it all again…

If you chose to buy creams, here is an example of what a good ingredient list could look like!

‘can you pick anything wrong here?’ If you can post it on the facebook page here


Aqua, macadamia nut oil, cetearyl alcohol, virgin cold pressed coconut oil.

Red raspberry seed oil, camellia oil, Vitamin E, tocopherols, Vitamin B,D panthenol.

Liquid germal plus, xanthium gum, rose geranium, naturally antioxidant and anti inflammatory.


Replace those expensive creams with oils! Apply straight after a shower while the skin is warm. 

Cold pressed coconut oil- Firms, strengthens & moisturises.

Extra virgin olive oil- Moisturises, UV protection, anti fungal & bacterial.

Jojoba oil- Great for breakout skin as its similar to skins natural oil.

Almond oil- Evens skin tone, protects from UV damage, smooths & softens.

Rosehip oil- Vitamin C.

Sea buckthorn oil- Moisturiser & acne fighter.

Liqourice oil- Treats rosacea, lightens dark spots, antiviral, antibacterial, anti inflammatory.

Macadamia oil- Moisturisers delivers zinc, selenium & healthy fatty acids.

A minefield of misleading and harmful chemical concoctions have flooded the so called natural skin care product market, if you can’t put it in your body you shouldn’t put it on your body.

The beauty industry is pretty much unregulated and tested until products have hit the market in the USA but in Australia there is no real monitoring or regulatory body.

Accumulation of theses toxic substances can end up making you sick inside out.

Here are just some of the offending ingredients that you need to read the labels of all your current cosmetic products to investigate.

Where you can, avoid these products:

  • Sodium lauryl sulphate – (or Laureth) made from coconut but using chemical processes which can dry & irritate skin.
  •  Imadazolidiny L urea – May cause skin irritation & dermatitis.
  • Phenoxyeth – An antibacterial made from items classes as poison.
  • Diethanolamin e (DEA) & tiethanolamin e (TEA)
  • tea – a dispersing agent &  detergent skin irritant.
  • Aluminium – Its linked to Alzheimer’s & breast cancer.
  • Amines – Mostly found in hair dyes tests have found they are carcinogenic.
  • PEGs(Polyethen E glycol) These are synthetic binders, there are many safe natural alternatives.
  • Petrlatum products (mineral oils i.e  petrleum jelly )
  •  Soaps – Skin irritants.
  • Isoprpoyl alcohol  – A solvent also used in antifreeze its safety is questionable.
  • Paraben Preservatives – A hormone disruptor.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol – Unfit for oral ingestion made from fatty alcohols & emulsified wax.
  • Artificial colours and fragrances – These don’t have to be mentioned but will show up as named dye or pigment, look for natural colours & smells.

Now that your minds are flowing and full of ideas, scenarios and visuals of how your gorgeous food for beauty meals are going to look, fire away and create some dishes that work for you with the foods i like list attached below. 

Consolidate your repertoire of dishes so you sizzle in the Kitchen.

Hormone balancing for Menopause

My course progress
  • To be the best you can be.

  • To be healthy, happy, confident, fulfilled & have a more gorgeous life.

  • Reduce the night sweats and the hot flashes.

  • Reduce the pins & needles, eliminate the fatigue.

  • Help Balance the mood swings, depression, anxiety, insomnia.

  • Help your skin’s dryness, wrinkles  and premature ageing.

  • There are up to 34 symptoms of menopause that you can learn how to reduce.

Womans resting comfortable on the couch

Here is an overview of what you will learn in this section of the program:

  • How phyto estrogens found naturally occurring in food can help you feel better.
  • How herbs can also alleviate your symptoms.
  • What foods may aggravate your symptoms.
  • Learn the other things you need in your life to help stop you feeling mental!
  • How to ward off the middle age spread.
  • How to keep your bones strong.
  • The truth about Bio-dentical hormone therapy and HRT.

After menopause, the ovaries reduce their oestrogen production. The adrenal glands & liver help you producing oestrone, the primary form of oestrogen women have after menopause. Therefore its important for the liver & adrenal glands to be healthy & functioning well so the transition of oestrogen production is seamless.

The adrenal glands are mostly weakened by long term stress, lack of sleep & lack of regular exercise. The liver may be sluggish if you experience constipation, high cholesterol, have gained weight recently or drink a lot of coffee or alcohol.

Why not try and assess with an adrenal fatigue test and improvement exercise here:,vid:Dse9-ZLuNPs

There are 3 types of oestrogen that occur naturally in the human body.

E1 Oestrone

Produced in significant amounts of body fat, which is one of the reasons why under weight or anorexic woman cease menstruating and suffer premature osteoporosis they simply don’t have enough body fat to sustain normal hormone function.

E2 Estradiol

E2 (Estradiol) is the most active estrogen produced by the ovaries before menopause.

E2 is instrumental in over 400 functions in the female body. The depletion of E2 in the middle years helps to explain why the body goes through such dramatic changes. E2 replacement may be very effective for the symptomatic relief of hot flashes, genitourinary symptoms, osteoporosis prophylaxis, psychological well-being and reduction of coronary artery disease.

E3 Estriol

E3 (Estriol) is the weakest of the three major estrogens. In fact, it is 1,000 times weaker in its effect on tissue than other estrogens.

However, it can still have some effects on a limited number of estrogen receptors. It is formed in the liver and is 8% as potent as E2 (Estradiol) and 14% as potent as E1 (Estrone). Once E3 (Estriol) is bound to an estrogen receptor, it blocks the stronger E2 (Estradiol) from acting there.

Therefore, it is considered to have both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic actions. There is also some evidence that because it is so weak and blocks the stronger forms, E3 (Estriol) can be considered to have effects comparable to E2 (Estradiol) in regard to occupying as many receptors as a “need share level” of E2 (Estradiol).

One of the metabolic products of elevated E3 (Estriol) is associated with an increased risk of developing breast and cervical cancer.

After menopause, E1 (Estrone) becomes the predominantly produced estrogen in women’s bodies from secondary hormone productive sites, even though the ovaries continue to produce small amounts of E2 (Estradiol). The adrenal glands continue to produce androstenedione which can be converted to E1 (Estrone) and E2 (Estradiol) by body fat, the muscles, and skin cells. The ovaries may continue making small amounts of T2 (Testosterone) which can also be converted to E2 (Estradiol).

Oestrogen acts as a growth hormone for breast, ovarian & uterine tissue. HRT is linked to a decrease of heart disease. It helps to prevent osteoporosis. It also reduces hot flushes, prevents vaginal thinning and dryness and enhances the collagen layer of the skin, which improves elasticity and helps prevent wrinkles.

The most commonly used oestrogens are oestradiol & oestrone. These are available in trans dermal patches & oral preparations. However with those who have an increased concern of breast cancer its not recommended.

There continues to be scientific break throughs  and there are many more options now to a hysterectomy for woman suffering  Natural bio identical hormone replacement, NHRT,” on going blood tests are required to check your hormone balances”  biochemically matches the Human hormonal molecule and most importantly does not deposit a foreign substance into the human body, different therapies work for different woman.

Among the key hormones produced by the adrenals is adrenaline which fuels the bodies fight or flight response; cortisol, a relative of the drugs predisone and cortisone; DHEA.

The ongoing balance between cortisol and DHEA is especially important for creating health daily.

Cortisol in the right amounts enhances your body’s natural resistance and endurance. It stimulates the liver to convert amino acids into glucose, a primary fuel for energy production.

Balanced cortisol counters allergies and inflammation, helps regulate mood and maintain emotional stability. It also stimulates increased production of glycogen in the liver for storage of glucose.

The side effects can include:

  • Excess hair growth on the face.
  • Loss of skin tone.
  • Increased oiliness or dryness.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Decreased sebum production.
  • Increase in wrinkles and fine lines.

Plant based foods that contain flavones “mostly from soy” & lignans “foods like flaxseeds”,  mimic estrogen in the body & bind to the bodies estrogen receptor sites to increase estrogen levels, they need to be used with caution as the balance of all hormones including testosterone &  progesterone is very delicate. Imbalances between different hormones can exacerbate symptoms. They can provide relief to hot flashes, night sweats & all those other yucky symptoms even lower heart disease risk.

Here is a list of the things I recommend you incorporate to help your body cope with these changes:

  • Antioxidants.
  • Essential Vitamin’s B, C, D & E.
  • Minerals.
  • Calcium and magnesium.
  • Fibre. 
  • Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Exercise. 
  • Eat your veggies, especially dark leafy greens & cruciferous.
  • Cool down the hot foods such as chilli, cayenne pepper etc;
  • Get into sexy time.
  • Relaxation techniques (meditation & aromatherapy).
  • Back off on the booze, cigarettes and caffeine, just bloody well stop!


Herbs and supplements 

Herbs and supplements are also a great way to nurture your body during this time. 

The Chinese have been using herbs or generations with much success.

Others here in Australia included some that are proven & some are not, however if they give you relief then that’s good enough for me.

Black Cohosh may help “though blood tests to check liver function are required”.

Others herbals that may offer relief are chamomile, chaste tree, dongca, feverfew, ginseng, gota kola, kava, ladies mantle, motherwort, nettle, oats, passionflower, peppermint, red clover, sage, sweet woodruff, valerian, wild yam, yarrow, valerian.

Supplements such as Vitamin B, E, calcium, diindolylmenthe and fish oil.

Another herbal hormone regulating supplement called “Macafen” may assist you.

Foods to boost low levels

  • Edamame 
  • Almonds
  • Tofu
  • Savi seeds (made from sacha inchi seeds)
  • Kale
  • Apples
  • Alfalfa 
  • Cherries 
  • Maca 
  • Potatoes 
  • Chai
  • Seeds
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Fennel
  • Black beans 
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Oats 
  • Quinoa 

Try to stay clear of these during menopause: 

  • Caffeine. 
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Alcohol.
  • Chillies and spicy foods.
  • Stress.
  • Dehydration.

Here is a good recipe for low estrogen, there is a video of a similar dish in the Cook with me section further along in this course!

Miso Soup with ocean trout, tofu and seaweed 


  • 2 individual sachets of miso paste
  • 100gm ocean trout cut into cubes
  • 100gm firm tofu cut into cubes
  • 2 sheets of nori
  • 250 ml boiling water


Boil the water.

Place the miso paste in a bowl.

Top with boiling water & stir until dissolved, tear the Nori and add, add the cubed ocean trout, add the cubed tofu.

Cover with glad wrap and allow to sit for up to 2 to 3 minutes until the Ocean trout is Cook to your liking.

Choose 5 of the things you have learned above to add to your routine.

For example:

  • Buy a Food from the list you like list in the next tab below.
  • Try a new relaxation technique “Tai chai or meditation”.
  • Increase water intake “if insufficient”.
  • Try some of the herbs to help, buy or  grow your own to make your own herbal tea with helpful ingredients.
  • Try a new recipe that will help your symptoms.

Metabolism boosting for Women

My course progress

Work smarter not harder, speed up the energy out from the energy in.

Burn body fat whilst you sleep.

Understand some things that can affect the metabolism and foods to choose or avoid.

It could be your thyroid gland may not be producing enough hormones.
There are foods that can help or hinder this production.

(If you think this is you. It is essential to get your hormones & thyroid tested by your doctor).

Iodine really helps support healthy Thyroid Function about ½ all Aussies are mildly to moderately deficient
Iodine is a mineral essential and deficiency can lead to an enlarged Thyroid. Did you know the Australian government has added it to our salt? When you buy iodised salt that is what it is.

Adding iodised salt may help but too much salt can cause other health complications. 

Iodine rich foods include:

  • Kelp.
  • Oysters.
  • Fish including tinned Salmon.
  • Shellfish.
  • Sea vegetables.
  • Sea salt.
  • Sushi rolls.
  • Eggs.
  • Milk.

Foods to avoid if your thyroid is the issue: 

Goitrogens-avoid them raw if you have a sluggish thyroid. They are naturally occurring in our food & we need some of these foods for our health, they are more prominent in raw foods so its recommended to limit them raw;

  • All soy products
  • All cruciferous vegetables i.e broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnips & rutabaga. 
  • Peanuts, radishes, spinach, strawberries, peaches & millet.

But Remember it is important to get your hormones checked by a doctor and your thyroid function before self diagnosing.

There are many other foods that can help speed up your metabolism which we will lead into now, not only foods but some beverages and other methods.

There are many foods and various methods that can be implemented to speed  up your metabolism.

1. Eat smaller meals more regularly to help saiety (feeling full) or, if you prefer, eat less more often;

  • Eat breakfast early.
  • Eat a salad for lunch. 
  • Have 6 small meals a day. 
  • Eat the right foods.


2. Add chilli, fish, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, blueberries and other fruits to your diet.

3. Add whole grains to your diet.

4. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

5. Cut down on the refined carbohydrates and fatty foods, alcohol, cigarettes (just bloody well stop), caffeine and cut out sugary foods and drinks.

6. Exercise – it’s the fastest way to increase the metabolic rate and build muscle.

7. Increase muscle mass with resistance or weight training, even resting muscle burns more calories while you sleep. 

8.Get enough sleep

When you don’t sleep well your body produces less leptin & more ghrelin”these are hormones which mean you don’t feel satisfied when you eat.

When you’re stressed your body produces cortisol which increases fat stores in the body.

Your appetite is stimulated and you crave more food. Big meals can make it hard for the body to digest food & you feel sluggish.

Sleep deprivation leads to difficulty in regulating healthy blood sugar levels.

So you ask, how can I change this you ask? Here are some tips below;

  • Start with 10 to 20 minutes a day doing activities that help you destress and sleep (something that works for you i.e reading before bed.). 
  • If you have not been exercising, aim to move your body 3 times a week and slowly increase it. 
  • Add resistance training to increase muscle mass.

Foods that boost the burn are:

  • Cayenne pepper.
  • Black pepper.
  • Garlic.
  • Celery.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Pistachios.
  • Brazil nuts.
  • Chai seeds.
  • Apples.
  • Pears.
  • Citrus fruits.
  • Wholegrain cereals,
  • Artichokes,
  • Asparagus.
  • Brussel sprouts.
  • Fennel.
  • Broccoli.
  • Cabbage.
  • Rock melon.
  • Carrots.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Cranberries.
  • Grapes.
  • Kale.
  • Leeks.
  • Lean meat (grass fed).
  • Oysters.
  • Salmon.
  • Beans.
  • Lentils.
  • Avocado.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Quinoa.
  • Brown rice.
  • Oats.
  • Canola oil.
  • Kefir.

Virgin salmon shots with chai seeds, pistachio & kefir

Serves 6 mini portions or these also make good metabolism boosting canapes for a dinner party or a virgin mary.


  • 125 ml cooked passatta. Cooking tomato (increases lycopene by up to 10 times and lycopene in tomatos protects your mitochondria which helps the energy we take from food into energy that our cells can use).
  • rice malt syrup (metabolic boosting) .
  • A dash of balsamic vinegar (in place of worcester removes the added colour caramel).
  • Fresh chopped chilli to taste (instead of tabasco for metabolic boosting capsaicin).
  • 2 tsp or lime juice to taste (which is metabolic boosting with natural chemicals that lower insulin in the body).
  • A Stick of celery to finish (cut into strips, it takes more energy to digest it than calories ingested).
  • Salt & cracked black pepper to taste (black pepper has the metabolic boosting alkaloid piperine).
  • 1 cup crushed ice (cold makes the body work harder).
  • For protein 6 x 50gm pieces of salmon. why?  (It takes a lot of energy to digest therefore making the calories intake and calories burned close. A 200gm piece of salmon good omega 3s helps the fat controlling hormone leptin and  is 5 times stronger when consuming efa’s and omegas 3s.)
  • Substitute tofu for vegetarian, lean free range chicken breast or grass fed beef if you wish  (protein and zinc are great for raising metabolic rate).
  • To finish 6 tsp kefir (A turkish fermented food and probiotic, its great for metabolism boosting, aiding digestion, research shows that if people consume enough calcium when trying to loose weight lost double the amount of weight).
  • 1 tsp of chai seeds (grains, nuts and seeds  contain essential fatty acids to assist weight loss and boost metabolism).
  • 12 pistachios (as above).



  • Mix all Virgin Mary ingredients to taste with crushed ice with the exception of the celery sticks, shake well with ice
  • Place into glasses for 6 Add the celery stick Top with a spoon on the Keffir mixed with chai seeds and pistachio nuts
  • Then top with the protein of your choice, other choices are salmon, tofu for vegetarian or other lean proteins takes the body energy to burn protein an helps saiety. 

These beverages help too they are:

  • Green Tea
  • Coffee
  • Green Coffee beans.


Include Yerba Mate “a South American herb, it can be ground and consumed like coffee.

Heartsease is another often called “Johnny-jump-ups” the flowers are an edible garnish on salads or sweets.

  • Make it sexy for you (your vision).
  • Plot & plan.
  • Strategies & support.
  • Assess, make sure your sticking to your plan & if not why? re strategize and make a new plan.
  • Maintain, keep topping up the ingredients that you are using, ditch th e ones you are not and come up with new ideas and dishes to keep you motivated.
  • Find Rewards to keep you on track.
  • Do it all again.

Now your minds are flowing & full of ideas, scenarios and visuals of how your metabolism boosting meals are going to look.

Consolidate your repertoire of dishes so you sizzle in the kitchen.

With your metabolism boosting foods list,  come up with a dish that would work for you and help boost your metabolism.

Don’t forget to get creative with the ingredients, you can add herbs & green tea can be used in cooking.

Choose 5 things to work on your metabolism, for example:

1.Get your thyroid & hormone levels checked.

2.Make a batch of spicy tomato sauce like we did today and freeze in batches so its and easy sauce, soup or base for a meal.

3.Buy & freeze some chillies for later use.

4. Start drinking green tea each day.

5. Shop, cook & reduce portion sizes & more often.

Mood Food Nutrition and Wellness

My course progress

It is a scientific fact that 90% of serotonin is made in the gut. Knowing the right foods to eat can improve our gut health and  help enhance our mood.

The right mindset is critical for good mental health and will help you stick to you goals. 

You can achieve an even sexier healthier body and  mind.

Mood enhancing hormones and what we can eat to help keep our levels healthy.


“Gamma-aminobutyric acid” is an amino acid and is thought to play a mojor role in controlling anxiety, stress and fear.

Adrenal fatigue can lead to low levels of Gaba, ensuring you cocumne 20 to 30 gms of protein, 3 times a day can improve levels.


“Dopamine, norepinephrine & adrenaline”  is found in an amino acid tyrosine. It assists mood regulation and helps with our ability to concentrate.

The best sources are found in chicken, eggs and grass fed beef.


Known as “the happy hormones”.

Genetics, stress or severe pain may effect your levels , add fruit & veggies, healthy fats & oils.


Is the “feel good hormone “

Eat  free range turkey, beef, pork, dairy, chicken & eggs they have higher levels of tryptophan.


Antidepressants don’t manufacture serotonin, they maintain what’s there from the foods we eat. By changing what we eat we can increase our serotonin levels. Many unpleasant side effects occur from these.


Depression or poor mood is largely associated with serotonin deficiency.

Tryptophan is produced from food with the help of B6,C and zinc and a chemical 5HTP  moves from the blood brain barrier & converts to serotonin.

I recommend for anyone who is on anti depressants please consult your doctor before coming of them and gradually increase the serotonin producing foods in your diet transitioning to life without them.

Exercise, water, sun, socialising, music, nature, laughter, relaxation and  play all help boost your mood.

All serotonin is produced in the brain. 80% of serotonin is found in the gut. 20% of serotonin sits in the central nervous system. This is where your phsicological health is also an essential part. They work in unsion together.

Avoid sugars, highly processed foods, alcohol, caffeine overload, refined carbohydrates as they are low in vitamin B.

Allergies, food intolerances and nutritional deficiencies  can alter hormones, brain chemicals & schizophrenia “which is a major factor in depression” eating naturally and getting tested for them is the key.

 With a change in diet. Lots of protein, omega 3’s, fruit and vegetables, healthy oils and fats, complex carbohydrates are needed to level our blood sugar. A change in your mood should be evident within 7 to 10 days.


They are known to stimulate neurogenesis which helps the brain avoid depression.

Brown rice

High in vitamin B, gluten can cause big highs followed by big lows if you are gluten sensitive.


If vitamin c in the body is high research has found the body calms down faster.


High in antioxidants, research shows 10% reduction in depression.

Dark green vegetables

Have high levels of carotenoids and can assist in distressing the body.

Grassfed meat

Grass fed meat if consumed regularly can assist the risk of depression by 50 percent.


A wheat free grain that has been shown to assist gluten free withdrawals.

Salmon, sardines and spanish mackarel

Research has shown woman who suffer from depression suffer greater levels if they have a lack vitamin D.


Research shows people with high levels of protein are at a higher risk  depression, the high folate content of spinach is known to help lower the inflammatory chemical in the body known as C reactive protein.

Olives and olive oil

Omega 3s and the Mediterranean diet has a 30 % decrease in depression which olives & oils are a major feature.

Orange and yellow fruit and vegetables

High levels of carotenoids, a recent study found that people who consume high levels are more optimistic about the future.

Some more evidence:

Baby spinach , broccoli (b6 is required by the body to produce serotonin including folate 100gm is 1/3 of the recommended daily requirements and is strongly linked to ward of depression)

Lean meat, seafood, B12 foods are excellent sources to improve mood

Probiotics and fermenetd foods

Critical to help your gut be healthy & help with good bacteria to do the Job. Foods & drinks like yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchee & miso.

The importance of niacin or b3

As vitamin therapy can help 3000 gms a day upward until results are seen.

Studies find that “2 handfuls of cashews are equivalent to a dose of prozac”‘

Herbs, spices and flowers have been used to treat mood for centuries.Here are some you might like to try.


Passionflower and lavender.


Alehoof, alalfa, brahmi, chaste tree, chervil, lemon balm, skullcap, St Johns wort, valerian.



The weekend warrior

Savy Saturday

Ditch it, dump it……..

Pantry purge:

Have a processed white out. detox your body and your kitchen otherwise you have no chance.

Any questions you may have please fee free to shoot me a private message on the cassstronomy facebook page here

Now your minds are flowing and full of ideas, scenarios and visuals of how your food mood meals are going to look.

Fire away and create some dishes that will work for you.

Consolidate your repertoire of dishes so you sing, smile and love life in the kitchen with the foods I like list below.

Weight loss for Women

My course progress
  • To be the best you.
  • To be healthy, happy, confident, fulfilled & more gorgeous.
  • 2/3rds of Australians are overweight.
  • Researchers say 80 % of disease is diet or lifestyle related.
  • Coronary Disease is the leading cause of death in Australia over the age of 55 and diet and this can be reversed with diet & lifestyle.
  • Fad DIETS don’t work, you can learn how to create long lasting change, stick with it rather than go on another fad diet.
  • You may be eating the wrong foods without realising.

It could be your thyroid gland may not be producing enough hormones
There are foods that can help or hinder this production.

There is a simple Adrenal Fatigue “Flash Light Test” you can do online
(If you think this is you. It is essential to get your hormones & thyroid tested by your doctor).

Then there are many foods that can naturally help you.

When you don’t sleep well your body produces less leptin & more ghrelin”these are hormones which mean you don’t feel satisfied when you eat.

When you’re stressed your body produces cortisol which increases fat stores in the body.

Your appetite is stimulated and you crave more food. Big meals can make it hard for the body to digest food & you feel sluggish.

Sleep deprivation leads to difficulty in regulating healthy blood sugar levels.

So you ask, how can I change this you ask? Here are some tips below;

  • Start with 10 to 20 minutes a day doing activities that help you destress and sleep (something that works for you i.e reading before bed.). 
  • If you have not been exercising, aim to move your body 3 times a week and slowly increase it. 
  • Add resistance training to increase muscle mass.

Identify the triggers “in the moment”.

Is it stress, trying to fill an emotional void?, childhood habits, social influences? Learn to catch yourself & change the pattern

Learn to:

  1. Be Aware
  2. Replace
  3. Practice

“You may need to get some pshychological support to help you with tools for your mental toolbox”.

So, what went wrong in our diet?

Refined and modified foods
Portion Sizes
Food Service Companies Marketing Tactics

How can we get back to where we need to be?
Plot, Plan, Scheme, Create.

With the “Foods I Like List” assemble a meal using the following method

  • A protein
  • A Salad & or vegetable base
  • A low GI Carbohydrate or wholegrain
  • A sauce or dressing

You have created your own weight loss dish that’s sexy for you.

Write down 5 steps towards your long term change, then action them

“Start your Journey to be the best you can be”

  • Get your Hormones & Thyroid Checked “see your doctor”
  • Increase Sleep & Reduce Stress” 1 activity a day to help”
  • Pantry Purge
  • Foods I like & shop till you drop
  • Keep your mind in Check

How much should we eat?

My course progress

In an ever changing society, where it feels like new food trends and health advice are introduced every day, it can be really confusing to understand the right portions of food you need to consume. As an experienced chef and wellness coach, in this section of the course, I’ve curated a one-stop guide for you to understand roughly how much you should be eating of different food groups. A balanced diet is a colourful one, so take some notes in this section and have a go at hitting these portions in your meals! 


A healthy diet is critical to wellness. Did you know that 2 out of 3 Queenslanders were overweight or obese in 2019?  66% needing to lose an average of 29kgs.

This tells us that we are eating too much of the wrongs foods and not exercising enough. In essence, our bodies are not getting what they need, so what do we do about it?

The Australian Healthy Eating guide is an excellent resource to help us understand how much food we need to consume. 

Whatever diet you chose, make sure it is a healthy, balanced one and that it is right for you, best of all design your own to suit you.

I use the fingers and toes method I adapted from the Australian Healthy Eating guide as an easy way to remember how much we need of each food group (please look at the amounts on the infographic below for specific portion recommendations):

  • Protein the top of your foot without toes x 3 times a day (please note the image circle is the same size as the palm of your hand)
  • Veggies the size of your fist x 5 times a day
  • Cheese the size of your thumb x 3 times a day
  • Fruit a medium size x 2 times a day
  • Carbs (low GI & High Fibre) the size of your fist x 2 serves a day
  • Oils & butter as per your big toe per day
  • High fibre cereals, seeds, grains x 1 fist size per day
Fingers and toes Guide

Complete the nutrition wellness worksheet below to assess your own eating habits:

It is important to note that Globally 1 in 5 deaths is linked to poor diet.

Nutrition Wellness Questionnaire


2 varieties and serves per day  (300gms per day) is equal to:

  • 1 medium-sized piece (eg. apple)
  • 2 smaller pieces (eg apricots)
  • 1 cup canned or chopped fruit
  • ½ cup (125mL) 100% fruit juice
  • 1½ tablespoon dried fruit (eg. Sultanas or 4 dried apricot halves)

Choose fresh fruit instead of fruit juice or dried fruit. Juices have lower fibre content than fresh fruit dried fruit, if eaten in large quantities, they can contribute to tooth decay because it contains a concentrated form of sugar that sticks to your teeth.


Serve sizes vary based on products, the following is a guide to what is a serve:

  • 250ml low fat milk
  • 200gms low fat or diet yoghurt
  • 200gms low fat custard or dairy dessert
  • 25gms of cheddar or other cheese
  • 50gms reduced fat cheese, less than 10 percent fat
  • A cup of milk, half a cup of evaporated milk,
  • 40 grams of cheese or 200 grams of yoghurt

In the case that you are dairy intolerant, the following items can be substituted:

  • a cup of calcium (and vitamin B12)–fortified soy beverage containing 100 milligrams of calcium per 100 milliliters—non-fortified soy beverages do not provide sufficient calcium
  • a cup of almonds
  • five sardines or half a cup of pink salmon—with bones
  • a cup of calcium-fortified breakfast cereal.


One serve per day is equal to:

  • 40gms of oats
  • Breakfast salad with pearl barley
  • Quinoa porridge
  • Puffed brown rice or corn
  • ½ cup all bran
  • 1 weetbix


One serve of vegetables is 75 grams (a total of 375 grams per day), which can be consumed by the following:

  • ½ cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 cup salad vegetables
  • ½ cup cooked legumes (dried beans, peas or lentils)


How much do you need?

  • 2 serves for Dinner
  • 1 serve for Lunch
  • 75 gm’s for woman & 84 gm’s for men total per day

Proteins include lean fish, eggs, seafood, beef, lamb, veal, pork and chicken, this could look like:

  • At least 3 fish meals are recommended per week (preferably oily fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon, anchovies)
  • 3 serves of red meat
  • 2 serves of chicken or pork


2 Serves per day of grains is ideal.  

1 serve is equal to a 35gm slice of wholegrain bread.

With many of us choosing to limit gluten there are plenty of new options. Remember grains such as black, brown and red rice, sorghum and teff.

However this can be substituted with:

  • 1 medium potato
  • 1/3 cup cooked beans, cooked lentils,
  • 1/3 cup cooked rice or noodles (preferably wholegrain)
  • ½ cup cooked pasta (preferably whole grain)
  • 2 wholegrain crispbreads


1 serve of fats and oils is equal to:

  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml’s of liquid oil these include vegetable oil, olive oil, sunflower oil (go for cold pressed extra virgin if your budget allows)
  •  3tsp trans fat free margarine
  • 6tsp light margarine (again trans fat free)
  • 60gm avocado
  • 20gm nuts and seeds
personally I prefer the most natural sources so please read the labels!


Nourish me basics

My course progress
WHO Pocket guide to a healthy diet

Here are some interesting key facts most of which is from the World Health Organisation on Diet:

  • A healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  • Unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are leading global risks to health.
  • Healthy dietary practices start early in life – breastfeeding fosters healthy growth and improves cognitive development, and may have longer term health benefits such as reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life.
  • Energy intake (calories) should be in balance with energy expenditure. To avoid unhealthy weight gain, total fat should not exceed 30% of total energy intake . Intake of saturated fats should be less than 10% of total energy intake, and intake of trans-fats less than 1% of total energy intake, with a shift in fat consumption away from saturated fats and trans-fats to unsaturated fats, and towards the goal of eliminating industrially-produced trans-fats.
  • Limiting intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake is part of a healthy diet. A further reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake is suggested for additional health benefits .
  • Keeping salt intake to less than 5 g per day (equivalent to sodium intake of less than 2 g per day) helps to prevent hypertension, and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke in the adult population.
  • WHO Member States have agreed to reduce the global population’s intake of salt by 30% by 2025; they have also agreed to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity in adults and adolescents as well as in childhood overweight by 2025

Consuming a healthy diet throughout the life-course helps to prevent malnutrition in all its forms as well as a range of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and conditions. However, increased production of processed foods, rapid urbanisation and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns. People are now consuming more foods high in energy, fats, free sugars and salt/sodium, and many people do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and other dietary fibre such as whole grains.

The exact make-up of a diversified, balanced and healthy diet will vary depending on individual characteristics (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle and degree of physical activity), cultural context, locally available foods and dietary customs. However, the basic principles of what constitutes a healthy diet remain the same.

For adults

A healthy diet includes the following:

  • Fruit, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils and beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice).
  • At least 400 g (i.e. five portions) of fruit and vegetables per day (2), excluding potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots.
  • Less than 10% of total energy intake from free sugars  which is equivalent to 50 g (or about 12 level teaspoons) for a person of healthy body weight consuming about 2000 calories per day, but ideally is less than 5% of total energy intake for additional health benefits . Free sugars are all sugars added to foods or drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.
  • Less than 30% of total energy intake from fats. Unsaturated fats (found in fish, avocado and nuts, and in sunflower, soybean, canola and olive oils) are preferable to saturated fats (found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard) and trans-fats of all kinds, including both industrially-produced trans-fats (found in baked and fried foods, and pre-packaged snacks and foods, such as frozen pizza, pies, cookies, biscuits, wafers, and cooking oils and spreads) and ruminant trans-fats (found in meat and dairy foods from ruminant animals, such as cows, sheep, goats and camels). It is suggested that the intake of saturated fats be reduced to less than 10% of total energy intake and trans-fats to less than 1% of total energy intake . In particular, industrially-produced trans-fats are not part of a healthy diet and should be avoided.
  • Less than 5  g of salt (equivalent to about one teaspoon) per day Salt should be iodised.

In the first 2 years of a child’s life, optimal nutrition fosters healthy growth and improves cognitive development. It also reduces the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life.

Practical advice on maintaining a healthy diet:

Fruit and vegetables

Eating at least 400 g, or five portions, of fruit and vegetables per day reduces the risk of NCDs (2) and helps to ensure an adequate daily intake of dietary fibre.

Fruit and vegetable intake can be improved by:

  • always including vegetables in meals;
  • eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables as snacks;
  • eating fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season; and
  • eating a variety of fruit and vegetables.


Reducing the amount of total fat intake to less than 30% of total energy intake helps to prevent unhealthy weight gain in the adult population . Also, the risk of developing NCDs is lowered by:

  • reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of total energy intake;
  • reducing trans-fats to less than 1% of total energy intake; and
  • replacing both saturated fats and trans-fats with unsaturated fats – in particular, with polyunsaturated fats.

Fat intake, especially saturated fat and industrially-produced trans-fat intake, can be reduced by:

  • steaming or boiling instead of frying when cooking;
  • replacing butter, lard and ghee with oils rich in polyunsaturated fats, such as soybean, canola (rapeseed), corn, safflower and sunflower oils;
  • eating reduced-fat dairy foods and lean meats, or trimming visible fat from meat; and
  • limiting the consumption of baked and fried foods, and pre-packaged snacks and foods (e.g. doughnuts, cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits and wafers) that contain industrially-produced trans-fats

Salt, sodium and potassium

Most people consume too much sodium through salt (corresponding to consuming an average of 9–12 g of salt per day) and not enough potassium (less than 3.5 g). High sodium intake and insufficient potassium intake contribute to high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Reducing salt intake to the recommended level of less than 5 g per day could prevent 1.7 million deaths each year .

People are often unaware of the amount of salt they consume. In many countries, most salt  comes from processed foods (e.g. ready meals; processed meats such as bacon, ham and salami; cheese; and salty snacks) or from foods consumed frequently in large amounts (e.g. bread). Salt is also added to foods during cooking (e.g. bouillon, stock cubes, soy sauce and fish sauce) or at the point of consumption (e.g. table salt).

Salt intake can be reduced by:

  • limiting the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (e.g. soy sauce, fish sauce and bouillon) when cooking and preparing foods;
  • not having salt or high-sodium sauces on the table;
  • limiting the consumption of salty snacks; and
  • choosing products with lower sodium content.

Some food manufacturers are reformulating recipes to reduce the sodium content of their products, and people should be encouraged to check nutrition labels to see how much sodium is in a product before purchasing or consuming it.

Potassium can mitigate the negative effects of elevated sodium consumption on blood pressure. Intake of potassium can be increased by consuming fresh fruit and vegetables.


In both adults and children, the intake of free sugars should be reduced to less than 10% of total energy intake.  A reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake would provide additional health benefits.

Consuming free sugars increases the risk of dental caries (tooth decay). Excess calories from foods and drinks high in free sugars also contribute to unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to overweight and obesity. Recent evidence also shows that free sugars influence blood pressure and serum lipids, and suggests that a reduction in free sugars intake reduces risk factors for cardiovascular diseases .

Sugars intake can be reduced by:

  • limiting the consumption of foods and drinks containing high amounts of sugars, such as sugary snacks, candies and sugar-sweetened beverages (i.e. all types of beverages containing free sugars – these include carbonated or non‐carbonated soft drinks, fruit or vegetable juices and drinks, liquid and powder concentrates, flavoured water, energy and sports drinks, ready‐to‐drink tea, ready‐to‐drink coffee and flavoured milk drinks); and
  • eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables as snacks instead of sugary snacks.

How to promote healthy diets

Diet evolves over time, being influenced by many social and economic factors that interact in a complex manner to shape individual dietary patterns. These factors include income, food prices (which will affect the availability and affordability of healthy foods), individual preferences and beliefs, cultural traditions, and geographical and environmental aspects (including climate change). Therefore, promoting a healthy food environment – including food systems that promote a diversified, balanced and healthy diet – requires the involvement of multiple sectors and stakeholders, including government, and the public and private sectors.

Governments have a central role in creating a healthy food environment that enables people to adopt and maintain healthy dietary practices. Effective actions by policy-makers to create a healthy food environment.

Did you know Biological ageing is only loosely associated with a person age in years?

Some 80 year-olds have physical and mental capacities similar to many 20 year-olds. Other people experience declines in physical and mental capacities at much younger ages.

It’s been well established that incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet is beneficial for your overall health (and the health of the planet too!).

New research further suggests that the time of day at which you replace meat portions with plants makes a substantial difference; specifically, a new study’s found that sticking to a plant-based diet at dinner can reduce your risk of heart disease by 10 percent.

The research, which was recently published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, examined data from 27,911 U.S. adults, and discovered that those who ate plant-based meals at dinner had a significantly lower risk of heart disease when compared to those who ate refined carbs and meat in the evenings. This was true even if those who abstained from meat and refined carbs at night ate them at other times of day.

Australian health facts

A study found the top five risk factors associated with highest number of deaths in Australia in 2019 were:

  1. High blood pressure (25,500 deaths)
  2. Dietary risks (21,600 deaths)
  3. Tobacco use (20,100 deaths)
  4. High body-mass index (18,700 deaths)
  5.  High fasting plasma glucose, which indicates diabetes (17,700 deaths).

The same risk factors were associated with reduced healthy years of life.

The 30-year study included data to 2019, so the impacts of Covid-19 were not seen. But it warns that the impact of global pandemics will be exacerbated by poor underlying population health in many countries, where a rise in disease has seen life expectancy gains slowing.

A senior author of the study and an epidemiologist from the University of Melbourne, Prof Alan Lopez, said while Australia had been “remarkably successful” in controlling Covid-19 cases and especially deaths despite Victoria’s second wave, it had been much less successful in curbing obesity and risks associated with poor diet. As a result, Australia’s long-term decline in cardiovascular disease had stalled, he said.

“Australian life expectancy has not increased in the past five years,” Lopez said.

“While the immediate global public health priority is understandably the rapid control of the Covid-19 pandemic, these findings about the state of the world’s health are a wake-up call that large, avoidable causes of health loss such as smoking, alcohol, obesity and poor blood pressure and cholesterol control continue to claim millions of lives prematurely each year.”

“Of even greater concern is that the impact of this risk factor ‘cocktail’ of smoking, poor diet and inadequate control of blood pressure and other metabolic factors is increasing in many countries, including Australia, as evidenced by the stagnation in life expectancy over the past five years.”

Ischaemic heart disease was the leading cause of years spent living with disability in Australia in 2019.

The next level of health issues in order were;

  • Lower back pain
  • Falls
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Depressive disorders

Leading causes of death for Australians in 2018 for males and females of all ages combined were;

1.Coronary heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia

2. Dementia including Alzheimer disease.

3.Cerebrovascular disease (which includes stroke)

4.Lung cancer

5.Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

A great and still very relevant video, enjoy!

A short quiz for you to refresh some info we have covered.

See how many of these interesting facts you can recall!

A. What is the best time of day to eat red meat to reduce my risk of cardiovascular disease?

  1. Breakfast
  2. Lunch 
  3. Dinner 

B. What is the extra information provided by the World Health Organization compared to the Australian Dietary recommendations on vegetable consumption?

  1.  375 gm of vegetables from 5 food groups per day
  2. Some cooked and some raw vegetables 
  3. 400 gm compared to 375 gm of vegetables from 5 food groups per day not including carbohydrate rich vegetable such as cassava and sweet potato 
  4. Some cooked and some raw vegetables 

C. What food group has the most amino acids in the protein?

  1. Red Meat
  2. Sea Vegetables- chlorella and spirulina
  3. Eggs
  4. All of the above 

D. What is the leading cause of death in the world that is affected directly by diet and lifestyle?

  1. COVID 19
  2. Cardiovascular Disease 
  3. Lung Cancer
  4. Dementia 

Scroll down for the answers!






Points for reflection:

Evaluate what you ate yesterday and where you could improve.

What could you do better to meet the daily exercise and diet requirements?

Here is a downloadable and editable meal assessment guide so we can not only keep you off the Australian statistics list but thriving, living your best life the way you want it.

It is a really helpful in identifying areas that you can improve later in the course. Simply place a tick or cross next to each meal and whether you consumed the various food group or not.

I find this a great way to keep track of my own eating habits, so give it a go! 

Meal Assessment Form


It’s fair to say that nutritional information has and will continue to be updated through the years as it has in the past with new research, here is an insightful video showing some changes through time.

It is important to take your own personal needs into consideration and keep this in mind, moderation is the key!

With our modern lifestyle being so busy and stressful, we are likely to eat too much fast food and not eat enough healthy fresh green vegetables. 

consuming unhealthy food such as white bread, sugar, take-aways, soft drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee is the main reason that we become over-acidic.

Why is this important?

The acid-alkaline balance of the body is crucial to our overall health. Our bodies are constantly working hard to maintain an ideal pH level to balance our systems. You test your cholesterol and blood pressure, so now its time to see what’s happening on the INSIDE. pH is the most important measure of your overall health.


pH simply means the ‘potential of hydrogen’. It is the acid to alkaline ratio in gram equivalents per litre and is therefore a measure of your acid-alkaline balance. pH testing offers you a quick, inexpensive and easy way of measuring your overall acid-alkaline balance.


Using the EASYpH test kit you can easily check your urine or saliva pH to test your body’s acid-alkaline balance on a daily basis. Once you know where you are within the range, you can adapt your diet and take steps to correct your pH imbalance.

How can I test my Acid-Alkaline Balance?

The EASYpH Test Kit

The EASYpH test kit includes litmus paper, easy to understand instructions on how to test your pH, an accurate 5.5 to 8.0 pH chart in .2 increments and an information-packed booklet containing all you need to get started.


In a natural, healthy state, our bodies are slightly alkaline. This alkaline state is necessary for survival, and the body has developed complex mechanisms to ensure that this balance is maintained. Children are naturally alkaline, and are often able to cope well with eating an imbalanced diet. As we progress into our mature years, stressful lifestyles and poor eating habits mean that we become acidic and our bodies struggle to buffer the acid, leading to chronic acidity.

An imbalanced body pH can be at the root of many common symptoms such as constipation, poor digestion, aches and pains, heartburn, headaches, frequent colds, fatigue, and sleeplessness, to mention just a few.

When you purchase the EASYpH test kit, you receive a booklet which includes valuable information on acid-alkaline balance, weight-loss tips, an alkaline food chart, and much more.


Benefits of balanced pH

A balanced pH can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Promotes healthy body weight
  • May aid in prevention and treatment of diabetes
  • Promotes proper electrolyte activity and efficient heart function
  • May reduce risk of hypertension
  • Protects against premature ageing
  • Promotes energy, physical vitality and stamina
  • Promotes bone health, digestive health and healthy immunity
  • Promotes enhanced mental clarity and acuity
  • Promotes faster recovery from illness, injury and exertion
  • May reduce the risk of gout
  • May also reduce the risk of cancer

Alot of white foods that are processed have been refined and many nutrients destroyed. If it must be white here are some tips to make the best choices possible.

The better white noodles are ramen noodles.

The better white rice is basmati & sushi rice (by adding rice wine vinegar this makes it low GI).

The better white bread is organic sourdough bread.

Healthy, however high GI, The better potato’s are organic russet, red skinned and new, cooling them lowers GI & adding vinegar.

The better white flour is unbleached organic flour.

The better potato crisps are non crinkle cut organic oven baked not fried potato crisps.

The better white crackers over Jatz crackers are Nabisco original premium saltines. 

Cooking basics

My course progress

After all we don’t want to end up like this guy.

Safety in the kitchen

The kitchen is fun but dangerous place. Not only are you working with hot surfaces, boiling liquid, you’re handling sharp knives and utensils that can easily cause injury and harm others. So please follow these requirements  to stay safe in the kitchen.

  1.Wear shoes and safe clothing

Make sure you are wearing safe clothes. Sleeves should not be long and flowy. Do not wear loose clothing or anything flammable, and avoid synthetic clothing, which can melt onto your skin if it catches on fire. Please use an apron, a full bib apron to cover your good clothes and fully enclosed non slip shoes, long pants and sleeves that do not expose your skin if your learning new skills. Please keep hair if long tied up and clean nails.

  2.Personal hygiene

Personal hygiene is another aspect of safety. Our bodies carry bacteria therefore its important to stick to the following:

  • Don’t chew gum in a food preparation area
  • Don’t smoke or pick your nose
  • Clean your work area as you go
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing over food
  • Don’t bite nails or lick your fingers
  • Taste only with clean utensils, then discard or wash at correct temperature
  • Do not touch any part of your or another persons body
  • Wash your hands before starting new tasks
  • Cover cut lesions with food safe band aids
  • Don’t use fingers to taste food, use dedicated sterilized cutlery
  • Regularly launder clothes worn during food preparation

3. Avoid rushing

Rushing around the kitchen will almost guarantee accidents. Even amongst professionals. Cut food slowly, do not run in any circumstance, take your time when moving hot pots and pans, make sure you check behind you to see if there are any obstructions or people before moving.

Give the kitchen a miss if you are under the influence of alcohol on medications, or are tired.

4.Always use folded tea towels

Keep a good selection of dry tea towels (A wet cloth will easily transfer heat to your hand).

Fold in half lengthwise and then into 2 folds widthwise. Always use them for any bowl, pot, or pan that has been in or on an appliance. It’s especially important to use these items when moving hot pots from the stove or oven, or bowls you are pulling out of the microwave oven. A wet pad or cloth will easily transmit heat.

5.Keep dangers away from your body

Peel, cut, stir, pour, sweep, mop, mix, cream, many actions should be done  away from your body to avoid injury.

When removing lids from hot pots ensure you lift them towards you allowing hot steam to escape away from you.

6.Learn how to use knives safely

I show you how to use a knife later in the course. Knives should always be sharp. A dull knife can slip and cut. Learn how to chop and slice as chefs do, holding the food with your non-dominant hand, fingers curled under. Go slow until you are confident, and always pay attention. Watch the videos for visual demonstrations.

7.Know Your Equipment

Read up on your kitchen equipment and understand how to use it. Never use any appliance that has a frayed cord, if you find something like this please do not use it, have it repaired or replaced. Keep small appliances dry and away from water. Never use your fingers or a knife to release something caught in food  processor , toaster, mixer or any other appliance.

Use the right piece of equipment for the right job. Do not attempt to clean any equipment while they are hot especially fryers , anything with hot water, elements or oil.

8.Clean Spills

Cleaning up straight away   this will help prevent accidents. water, food, and grease on the floor will almost guarantee a fall. Wipe or mop it up whichever is faster. Apply salt to the floor if it is a fat substance to stop slipping from occurring if you cant get to it quickly, test it carefully, warn others until you can get a mop and soapy water to clean it up.

9.Take Care when Lifting

Lifting anything large and heavy is a hazard, stock pots and hot pots of boiling pasta are one of the most dangerous of kitchen tasks. Ask for help and be aware of other people around you. Lift using your knees and back.

10.Food Safety

There is some basic food safety factors included here. Please follow these guidelines you can kill more people with contaminated food in one sitting than in a plane crash if you are cooking for  your loved ones at home with careless or un-hygienic food standards.

Keep up to date with food safety info here so we can remain having fun.

Fast easy cooking equipment to help nourish you

Get a great start with these basics and add to the list as your confidence grows.

Expand where your interest takes you to cook with friends and family.

These are the mere basics I recommend to start with;

There are a whole plethora of kitchen gidgets and gadgets out there to swallow up your spare dollars, if there is something extra your interested in, shoot me a message and I can help to guide you on what I think is best for your needs right here:

My recommended cookery methods to nourish with nutrition and master easily with a little practice.

Any questions do not for a moment hesitate to contact me on the Facebook support page.

SO, now to add heat!

Basically we pop cookery methods into 2 categories

1.Moist and wet cookery methods


Fully immersed in stock and liquid between 60 to 75c, a great fast cookery methods for lean, low fat foods.

e.g. eggs. fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken breast and beef fillet.


Brown food first in your heavy based saucepan, add liquid of your choice, cover and slowly simmer. a great method for tenderising tougher cuts of meat.

e.g. Ox tail, beef cheeks, lamb shanks.


Is cooking food in liquid higher than 80 c just under boiling point, can be a gentle simmer or more rapid depending on the desired outcome you want.

e.g. Stocks and soups are often simmered.


Cooking foods over boiling liquids using the steam, there are various methods.

e.g. steamed vegetables.


Cooking food in liquid over 80c but not boiled in an uncovered pot where the flavours can blend.

e.g. Goulash, Moroccan vegetable stew.


Cooking immersed in liquid around 100c (varies at different altitudes).

e.g. boiled eggs, sweet potato for mashing.

Wilting, Blanching

Is to pour or immerse boiled water over food to cook to desired level.

e.g. wilted spinach, blanched vegetables, par cooked foods to al dente (still with a little crunch or texture).

2.Dry Cookery Methods


Usually cooking with dry heat without the use of fat, there are varying methods.

e.g. bread, potatoes.

En Paupillote

Ingredients are placed in parchment paper (greaseproof baking paper) folded to seal before placing in  the oven and cooked in their own or healthy added liquids to steam.

e.g. Salmon fillets cooked in mirin, ginger and chilli with Japanese vegetables.


 Is to cook without colour it is usually with a relatively low amount of fat or oil in a heavy based  shallow pan.

e.g.- Sautee mushrooms and garlic.


Usually cooking over a rack under a high heat source allowing excess fat and oil to drain away.

e.g. Warm Grilled vegetables with pomegranate molasses and olive oil.


Is a special type of grill that food is placed on, often used for marinated meats and a great way to get flavour into vegetables.

e.g. Barbequed asparagus spears, pumpkin, red capsicum.

Cooking on a Griddle

is a flat grill with a broad flat surface, often metal heated by gas. It is a great way to cook foods with limited oil and fat. You can mimic this simply in a heavy based frypan.

e.g. Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes).


Ingredients are fried in a small amount of hot oil , small pieces moved quickly originating in China using a wok but can be replicated in a heavy based shallow frypan.


Heats and cooks food by electromagnetic radiation, great for reheating pre prepared meals or fast, easy dishes.

e.g. 2 minute coddled eggs in the microwave.

As your confidence increases you can then invest in some more equipment and tackle this awesome cookery method, that tenderizes and seals in the nutrition and flavour of foods.

Once you have mastered the above methods. An easy and popular method in Commercial kitchens as you can prepare in advance, tenderise tougher cuts of meat and all sealed in an airtight bag. Sealing in nutrition, moisture and flavour. You will also need a food saver with bags to and the cooking apparatus below to perform this method.

Sous vide- A long slow cooking method where food is cooked in a temperature controlled environment in a plastic pouch or glass jar (usually from 1 to 7 hours up to 72 hours).

e.g. Sous vide lamb shoulder in yoghurt sauce.

Souse vide cooking

By tweaking the PH level in food, you hit the sensory receptors in the brain which makes food taste good to hit that sweet spot taking you on a tour of your palate!


Acid is a fast flavour enhancer for your dish, you will increase taste and nutrition quickly.

Most dishes you add acid to at the end of your dish for quick flavour as it can change the structure of certian foods if added to early.

  • Keep a stash of healthy acid in your pantry, fridge and freezer to add flavour and nutrition.
  • Finish bland dishes with a little citrus juice or favorite vinegar etc. 
  • Dressings simple home made ones can be pre made and kept in the fridge until needed use some healthy fats. 
  • Many fermented foods produce health acids such as lactic and acetic acid, adding extra flavour and probiotics for a healthy gut, for e.g. yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso paste.


We all know that traditional salt and pepper enhance the flavour of food but most of us need to reduce our salt intake.

By adding these items and investing in good quality blends saving time and your health. Making your own is more beneficial if you have time, when adding salt use nutritious salt that has not been refined such as Himalayan, river or sea salt flakes, they contain important nutrients such as magnesium which the body needs among others and add them to the following blends to make the salt go further on your palette.

  • Pesto’s using different herbs to add flavour, I am giving you my E book for more tips and base recipes to get you started you can find it here
  • Dukkha spice mix to coat meats.
  • Zaatar (middle eastern spice mix).
  • Other great ingredients include, nutritional yeast, garlic, smoked paprika, roasted cumin powder, powdered ginger, powdered cinnamon.
  • Herbs-fresh and home grown if you can.

     3. Sweet

A little sugar in our diet is helpful to wet the appetite but we need to add sugars that are unrefined and nutrient dense, some suggestions are below;

  • Rice malt syrup
  • Honey
  • Coconut sugar
  • Rapardsa sugar
  • Maple syrup 
  • Stevia


4. Bitter

Bitter can enhance your dish but use these in careful quantities examples are;

  • Coffee
  • Citrus zest
  • Grapefruit
  • Bitter greens
  • Radicchio lettuce
  • Brussel sprouts

  5. Umami

Known as the 5th taste, these are the powerhouse of taste and can enhance flavour and the presence of salt with awesome nutrients through fermented foods and fungi such as;

  • Truffle
  • Mushrooms
  • Dried tomato’s
  • Aged cheeses
  • Seaweeds
  • Bonito flakes
  • Fermented foods such as 
  • Kimchi

Others include oyster sauce, vegemite, fish sauce, soy sauce, miso, green peas, corn, lotus root, potato’s, green peas and beverages  Soju and green tea.

Not only does taste help us identify toxins, it also hits the pleasure centres in the brain when we get it right. Many convenience products have mastered this with nutrient poor and energy rich sugar, salt and fat creating clever marketing  and addictive products (sugar is touted to be more addictive than cocaine through activating the cravings from pleasure centres of the brain).
Our challenge  here is to re program the brain to food that nourishes you and your loved ones with real nutrients, flavour, colour, texture and cookery methods.

There are many ways to add extra nutrition into your meals, with a little thought you can really jazz up the flavour.

  • Use seaweed or buckwheat pasta in your mac and cheese. add cauliflower and extra vegetables.
  • Slip oats into your meatloaf and finely chopped onion, garlic, grate extra vegetables like carrot, zucchini and herbs.
  • Add soaked drained lentils to homemade pie mixes.
  • Slip beans lentils and legumes into your soups (I presoak, cook and freeze them so they are ready to add).
  • Blend vegetables and mix into your bolognaise, meatballs, braises, sauces, shepherds pies, cottage pies, tomato sauce base, curries etc.;
  • Add cooked white beans into your potato mash or instead of potato for extra low GI fibre and nutrients.
  • Spread pesto’s, tapenade on crackers, wraps and sandwiches for extra nutrients.
  • Click here to access my  E book with lots of pesto blend ideas and uses. They really are endless!

There are a Gizillion alternatives to high GI Carbohydrates, these suggestions can be inexpensive, healthy, filling and loaded with nutrition.

Cook and freeze some of these suggested dishes on a day off and have them ready for slow sustainable release to stop those sugar highs and lows, high GI foods that are not used up turn into sugar in the body and lead to the sugar highs and lows, if not burned these turn into fat. So easy to stop with some planning.

Swap the usual carbohydrate fillers and comfort foods like white pasta, bread, noodles and rice with these delicious slow release alternatives:

  • Pearl barley risottos.
  • Bean smashes.
  • Braised bean dishes.
  • Split pea fritters.
  • Buckwheat grouts.
  • Slow cooked polenta in bone broth.
  • Quinoa porridge.
  • Cooked Black, red or brown rice.
  • Steel cut oats.
  • Sweet potato and coconut gratin.
  • Bulgar in tabouli. 

These are some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. I would love to hear of your low GI culinary comfort food designs.

Here is my favorite Low GI pizza base recipe for you.

Chickpea and chai seed pizza base-recipe



Good bones with marrow are a real no brainer way to add nourishment and nutrition to your diet. Replacing many things like collagen supplements that could contain pesky powders here are some reasons why you should bother and with some base recipes and cooking times. 

The main benefits are:

Gut health

Easy to digest and gelatin binds with water in the gut making it easy to move through and glutamine helps maintain the health of the gut intestinal wall.

Healthy hormones

Helpful in detoxifying the body of excess hormones that can cause and  infertility due to amino acids, easy for the body to absorb which can help nourish unborn babies.


With essential minerals this is a way healthier way to hydrate than sugar laden sports drinks.

Immune health

Containing very important vitamins and minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, trace elements. Marrow has Vitamin A. K, Minerals zinc, iron, boron, manganese and selenium along with omega 3 fatty acids. Fish bones also contain iodine.

Mood food

Glycine that is found in bone broth has been shown through improved gut health can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. 

Muscle health

Glutathione in bone broths helps the body repair tissue speeding up recovery time.

Skin health

The collagen in bone broth which creates gelatin when extracted has shown to improve the skins barrier function and hydration reducing the visible signs of aging.

Sleep stress

Glycine helps relax the central nervous system which  can improve sleep.

Teeth and bone health

The calcium and minerals extracted in broth making are also good for our bones and teeth.

Weight management

With low calories and low carbohydrates, this is a great way to get your nutrition.


Always rinse the bones and start with cold water for the maximum extraction benefits.

Different bones require different cooking times. You can add herbs and vegetables to your broths but personally I recommend leaving them plain and freezing them that way so they can lend themselves to any dish you wish to make giving you the possibility of sprucing up the flavour profile however you see fit.

You may used cooked bones (save the left over bones from that roast chicken dinner, rinse and use them) any bacteria will be killed by simmering the broth.

Fish bones

  • Rinse well in cold water.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain well through a fine strainer with clean muslin or chux cloth for clarity.
  • Date, label and freeze until required.

Crustacean shells

  • Rinse well in cold water.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer for 2 to 3 hours, add a good dollop of tomato paste for some added lycopene.
  • Strain well through a fine strainer with clean muslin or chux cloth for clarity.
  • Date, label and freeze until required.

Chicken and game bird bones

  • Rinse well in cold water.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer for 2 to 3 hours for chicken and 4 to 6 for game birds.
  • Strain well through a fine strainer with clean muslin or chux cloth for clarity.
  • Date, label and freeze until required.

Pork and Ham bones

  • Rinse well in cold water.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Strain well through a fine strainer with clean muslin or chux cloth for clarity.
  • Date, label and freeze until required

Beef and Veal bones

  • Rinse well in cold water.
  • Bring to a gentle simmer for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Strain well through a fine strainer with clean muslin or chux cloth for clarity.
  • Date, label and freeze until required.

I love the saying white man food, with our obsession of refining food in the 50’s and new found technologies, its time to make some changes adding the unrefined bits back moving forward. This is a tastier, more nutritious and exciting way to create your own favorites how you want them to be. It can be challenging for some, so I have some ideas for you here that may help the transition.

Swap white rice for quinoa.

Sour cream for Greek style yoghurt.

Tahini or Greek yoghurt mayonnaise for standard mayonnaise.

Ham off the bone for bacon and processed meats.

Colcannon instead of standard mashed potato.

Sweet potato or cassava mash in place of standard potato mash.

Buckwheat, seaweed or brown rice vermicelli noodles instead of white rice vermicelli noodles.

Wholegrain couscous in place of white couscous.

Add oats with grains, seeds and cooked beans (some commercial blends are available) or all bran for processed boxed cereal.

Use alternate flours to bleached white flour like buckwheat, tapioca, cassava, coconut, lentil and many more.

Cauliflower, chickpea flour or bean pizza bases topped with pesto and tomato sauce over white flour dough and processed meats.

Wholegrain pasta for white pasta.

Wholegrain bread for white bread.


Oats, spices, nuts and seeds to crumbles.

Make a healthier pastry over white flour and butter, I have included a base recipe for you later in this course.

For crumbing use coconut or buckwheat flour, eggs, add sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, desiccated coconut or steel cut oats.

Use lemon zest. lime and orange zest for added flavour along with herbs and spices to reduce salt.

Add a little natural  sweetness with nutrition such as honey to a Char sui.

Read the blog here for the nutritional benefits of honey over the empty calories of refined sugar with virtually no vitamins, minerals, protein, fats and fibre.

So you have followed the recipe but for some reason it has not worked out. Is this a pain point for you that stops you wanting to cook?

I want you to send me a message on one of your cooking dilemmas so I can support you to move forward and stop your culinary pain.

For example, you cooked roasted some roast vegetables and instead of being crispy they are soggy.

This could be because of the following reasons;

There was not enough space between them, they could be spaced out a bit more.

The oven was not hot enough.

Your oven is not fan forced or there is no where for the  steam to escape.

There is too much moisture in the type of potato selected for roasting.


How do I get crispy skin on my fish, I have followed a recipe but it did not work?

I am available to help you trouble shoot and find a solution.

Send me a message so I can support you.

Cook with Me

My course progress

Now that we’ve had a look at the important food groups and some kitchen basics, I want you to jump into your kitchen and explore!

In this section, I have provided you with my super simple go-to recipes for different times of the day. These are staple meals in my everyday life because they are so easy to make and always go off with a hit in my household. Give them a go and see if they become your new favourites too! 

I would love to see your delicious creations so I encourage you to snap a photo and upload it to my Casstronomy Facebook page and have a chat with me with any questions you have.

Start your morning off the right way with this easy, delicious and nutritious Bircher Muesli Recipe. 

Click below to download your copy of the recipe:


Get your sizzle on with this delicious Chicken and black bean smash! This quick and easy lunch option is perfect for work but can also be enjoyed over a family meal shared together. 

Get your free copy of this fabulous recipe below:


Not only will the recipe satisfy your taste buds but it will also nourish your mood on the inside. Its so quick and easy for lunch or dinner and is an absolute winner with the kids. 

Give it a go yourself using the recipe below and substitute with quinoa if you prefer it:


my blogs on the health benefits of turkey and avocado for more reading and cooking suggestions if you are keen to know more; 

Ladies, Collagen building Avocado’s. Read on for more no nonsense facts and cooking tips. Have a happy & healthy Easter!!!

Turkey, mood enhancer, immune booster, clean, lean, read on for some great cooking tips…….

This ultra-flavoursome, warm and delicious meal is full of nutrients required for optimal wellness. Try incorporating this meal into your dinner time meal for some good soul food. 

Try it out using my recipe below:

FYI if you cannot source rainbow trout you can substitute for salmon or barramundi fillets which are both high in omega’s.


This is a creation  I made using a zucchini slice recipe as a base. Super easy and I made use of some interesting ingredients, you may not want to use cricket powder in place of flour (I have for environmental well being) and of course I love experimenting,  the point of the video is to get you thinking on different flours or ingredients you might like to use that suit you!

The crackers are made using the left over vegetable pulp from juicing. You can google for recipes to use as a base.

Grow your own

My course progress

Tips on growing your own produce is right here. Not only is this a sustainable and healthy way of living but it is also extremely rewarding and fulfilling. 

  • Work smarter not harder and save your money.
  • Be good to our planet – reduce, reuse, recycle, repair and repeat.
  • We are a nation that is overfed and under nourished with many convenience foods being nutrient poor and energy rich.
  • Reduce your consumption of man made chemicals and additives.
  • Have nutritious fast food when you have not had time to shop during your busy week.
  • Get creative and make it sexy for you. watch this great little video for some inspiration.


Most herbs can be frozen and some of them actually benefit from it such as Kaffir lime leaves.

I like to freeze some when the growing season is in full swing for all year round superfood splashes and extra nutrition in my dishes.

  • Wash and gently pat dry first.
  • Freeze them in ice cube trays with a bit of extra virgin oil.


  • Chopped or pureed in ice cube trays without oil.

Herbs can last up to 3 months and only take a few hours to freeze.

Add them to your dishes soon after removing from the freezer and remember to keep in mind the oil content in your dish before cooking.

Freeze these herbs

  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • Bay leaves
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage

Storing fresh herbs in the fridge

Wash, pat dry and damp paper towel, wrap the herbs in paper towel and cling-wrap. You can get up to 7 days out of your fresh herbs this way.

Mints and other delicate herbs do not  freeze well this tip to store fresh herbs will extend their life dramatically.

Research states that the average house hold in Australia wastes around 312 kg of food per person which is equivalent to around 1 in 5 bags of groceries or $2,000 to $5,000 per house hold per year. You can find more information here.

There are a bunch of foods that you can grow from a sogger (I call it the sogger as little seems to stay crisp in there), including:

  • Planting and growing carrot tops. 
  • Garlic cloves to grow into a bulb.
  • Ginger will grow well in a pot on its own once planted.
  • Galangal will again grow well in a pot once you plant it.
  • Turmeric grows fabulously in a pot.
  • Sweet potato and potato can be grown in big pots, best to put them in a dedicated garden bed as they are runners, or as your first crop before adding other foods.
  • Onions (by replanting the top).
  • Celery can be grown by replanting the base.
  • Shallots cut the green off to use and plant the base with the roots.
  • Fennel bulbs can be grown by replanting the bottom.
  • Pineapples will grow by replanting the top.
  • Save and dry seeds from your fruit and vegetables to grow.

Start your own compost bin so the rest of your compostable house hold food waste can be turned into natural fertiliser for your garden.

Compost all non-animal vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, fish scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags and leaves, healthy garden leaves , small garden trimming, grass clippings, cereals, breads and 5 % fireplace ashes help too, these can be saved to fertilise your garden.

Help a farmer in return for some organic cow or horse manure for your garden.

Get a worm farm and feed them your veggie scraps.

As a general rule soft herbs are best added to a dish at the last minute and hard herbs are better suited to long slow cooking.

Get creative with the following and beyond my suggestions here once you gain your confidence, this is a bit of a cheat sheet to get you started.

Soft herbs

Basil, coriander, parsley, mint, tarragon.

Hard herbs

Sage, thyme, oregano, bay leaves.

What goes with what?

Vegan/ Vegetarian

Basil. oregano, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, thyme, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, chili.

Herbamere mix sea salt, dry herbs and a dry vegetable blend.


Basil, parsley, shallots, curry, chives, dill, ginger.

Fish/ Seafood

Dill, fennel, parsley, garlic chives, chives, nasturtium leaves, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle.

Poultry & Game

Thyme, bay leaf, coriander, garlic, paprika, cumin, tarragon, five spice, star anise, oregano, sage, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle.


Curry, 5 spice, turmeric, coriander, garlic, ginger, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle.


Star anise, fennel, paprika, sage, ginger, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, chili.


Curry powder, cayenne. smoked paprika, onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, chili.


Rosemary, garlic, thyme, fennel, cumin, curry powder, oregano, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, chili.

It is important to spend a bit of time researching the type of garden that will work for you.

Firstly you can refresh your existing garden bed. Here is how I do it.

I love no dig gardens if you have some good ground space, if you have a large space with chickens, permaculture is the way to go.

You can grow in pots; this is particularly effective for limited space. Things like sweet potato and potato’s grow easily.

Soil temperature and pot size are important. A little research in what grows well in your climate and what pot sizes suit what you intend to grow in them.

Here are a few fast and effective garden methods and products that can be helpful.

If you are in a high-density area in a city, you are better of growing your garden indoors to avoid contamination due to pollutants in the environment.

SMART GARDEN. Indoor Garden

There are air gardens you can grow

Consider self-watering and watering systems. There is a plethora of options available along with apps that can help you with information.

Aqua culture is a great option, you can have your own fish and foods that grow from their waste.

Whatever you choose, think through how you are going to manage the process.


Saving seeds can be a great cost saver. That delicious tomato you ate, why not replicate it in your own garden by extracting, rinsing and drying the seeds?

How to

Make sure it’s a dry day so the dampness does not make them mould.

Rinse well in a fine sieve.

Wash, pat dry, spread on some clean paper towel in a cool dry area. This could take up to 3 weeks.

Store in an envelope and label.

I recommend popping a silica gel pack from an empty vitamin bottle to keep them dry until you want to grow them.

What to

Save seeds from your

  • Tomato’s
  • Capsicum’s
  • Corn
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Melons
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumber
  • Beans

Growing from seed’s

If you are happy to buy seeds do so and make sure you nurture them for around 4 to 6 weeks in your potting mix, before adding them to soil with manure (p.s never use manure for natives) as it  will kill them.

Purchase good quality seeds. I like these ones and consider you climate and time of year before planting, you can usually find this information on line or on the packet if you are in store.

Buy a good quality potting mix, add soil to some egg cartons or small individual plastic containers and keep spraying them with a spray bottle of water and a little seaweed solution such as sea sol or alternate brand until they sprout.

Allow them to grow to a good size in a protected area before transplanting them into your garden. 

Keep an eye on them to make sure they are getting enough sun, not to much, enough water, not to much.

You can find a whole lot of greater detail in the book on seeds and many other topics below.

Self Sufficiency

How can I be prepared with self-sufficiency and survival foods by Isabell Shipard along with the self-sufficient me Facebook page, you tube channel and website. 

There are a few methods you can use for pest control.

Companion planting flowers that attract the right bugs to have in your garden is very helpful, you can also choose edible varieties and add them to your salad leaf mixes.

You can buy beneficial insect seeds and scatter them through your garden or place in pots around depending on your garden type.

Here is my favourite all round pest control recipe that I make on a regular basis.

Garlic & Chill Pesticide Spray

My favourite go to book for the rest is the CSIRO book “create your eco-friendly garden”. There are 28 natural recipes in this book to keep your garden healthy.

Another method is buy making sure you have the right bugs in your garden. You can purchase these from websites:

Create your own dish

My course progress

This section allows you to get creative in the kitchen and design your own meals! I encourage you to share your wonderful creations on here Casstronomy Facebook group

Firstly some information about your secret weapons to create your own culinary style.

SO,  it’s your turn to design your culinary meal to suit you, your taste and your lifestyle.

The next steps are ready for you, any questions shoot me a message on the Facebook support page here so I can help you.

You might want to download the free ebook here for some more ideas!

Step 1.

Firstly download the foods I like for wellness list in the next tab below and tick foods I like from different food groups.

Step 2.

Keep in mind the Australian healthy eating guidelines in the following tab below the wellness foods I like list for you and plan your dish on the blank meal page above, you may find it easier to download and print this to design your culinary meal.

Step 3.

Review the correct portions for your age group and sex which is shown on the infographic below.

Step 4.

Select your cookery method and make sure you have the equipment needed.

Choose the meal you want to create i.e. breakfast , lunch or dinner.

Step 5.

Review the amount of each ingredient required on the amount on your plate guide, add your favorite ingredients from the wellness foods I like flick and tick list, the cooking method and the meal period you have selected and design your culinary meal.

Get creative make a breakfast salad or lunch in a jar,  whatever takes your fancy!

Step 6.

Create and share your Culinary creation for review!

Design your Culinary Meal

Please download this list below and select ingredients from each food group that you like to design you dish.

Wellness foods I like for you

Reserve this list and print for later use to take home and share with your family to select ingredients with nutrition to shop for and stock in your pantry.

Feel free to download and print this one if it makes it easier for you!

Personalised Portions for You

Well done, you have covered a lot of ground so far.

It is time for you to reward yourself!

I’m sharing some nice little relaxation tips with you to visit for some mental time out!

Here are some good to go relaxation techniques.


1.Deep muscle relaxation- 10 to 20 seconds – Imagine each area of the body, focus on it, tighten and then relax all areas, here’s an audio.

2.Imagery Relaxation- Warm ocean running or other all over the body. Here’s a little video.

3.Meditation-Focus your attention on something other than the outside world, focus on feeling comfortable, centred, breath & mantra.

Budget saving tips

My course progress

Tips to save more on your budget can only lead to more $$ to do the things you want to do, that can only be a good thing right!

Cooking may feel more expensive than buying takeaway, however, in the long run when you save your health and wellbeing, there is really no compromise. 

You are savvy as you are reading this section, and with some planning cooking nutrient rich food, well, can actually cost less:

  • Organise and clean up your pantry. Stop buying one of products that you use once. Create a pantry of ingredients and learn to cook creatively with them for diversity and selfcare.
  • Shop in advance online so you can compare prices per kilo and stick to your needs list. 
  • Shop weekly for fresh produce and in bulk for dry goods to save in the amounts that you know you will use.
  • Buy in season, make use of gluts, preserve, dehydrate, cook and freeze.
  • Buy old preserving books from Op shops. 
  • Buy seconds like fresh foods that are not perfect to look at for things that you are going to blend or puree and always. check the price per kilo
  • Buy in bulk and share with colleagues for more expensive items like meat, seafood etc; if you can get a discount.
  • If your personality allows it, head to a market and  barter but only for nutritious quality products.
  • Shop around online, places like ‘Grocery Run’ and ‘Kogan’ have specials. Go to processing factories, ethnic grocers and buy damaged tinned foods (non-bloated or holes in them).
  • Go to the farmers market towards the end of a trading day and buy in bulk if there is produce left, most will not want to travel home with it if you make a fair and reasonable offer.
  • Find a local deli and see if they have any ends or items you can buy cheap such as parmesan rind, ham bones, meat ends that they will part with for free or a lesser price.
  • Last but not least, follow the section above and find the best way for you to grow your own.

  • Buy in bulk, items that will keep and you will use otherwise it is a false economy.
  • Invest in a sprouter (to make your own micro herbs and bean sprouts, you can use your ordinary pantry lentils to sprout, a jar, a clean chux cloth and rubber band, google different sprouts you can create.)
  • Invest in a yoghurt maker.
  • Buy at wholesale businesses in out of the way locations, the rent they pay is less so you a more likely to find good buys.
  • Buy broken frozen foods such as prawns, fish etc; 
  • Buy whole lettuce not the washed individually packed bags. 
  • Check the price per kilogram always, however factor in if the weight includes extra water or other ingredients e.g are the frozen prawns individual or frozen in a block of water? 
  • Buy canned and frozen products on special
  • Swap Atlantic Salmon for Mackerel, Barramundi, or squid to get your omega 3 hit.
  • Have 3 nights a week meat free.
  • Learn to cook interesting ethnic dishes that do not require expensive ingredients like Japanese okonomiyaki, ful medames, gulai kepala ikan (fish head curry).
  • Add beans, lentils and brown rice to casseroles and soup to bulk the amount.  
  • Never use pine nuts in pesto again! Pesto actually means ‘to pound to crush’ so take advantage of seasonal herbs and discounted nut prices. 
  • Freeze Chilies, hard herbs, lemon juice, stocks and hard cheeses
  • Never waste leftovers – turn them into another meal or freeze for later.
  • Make crackers out of your vegetable juicing pulp or add to your cooking.

Did you know that more than 80% of serotonin is made within the gut? Yep! That’s exactly why gut health is critical to happiness, fermented foods help create a healthy gut. 

Eat cleaner and meaner on a budget by incorporating some of these items into your meals:

  • Kimchee
  • Sauerkraut 
  • Rejuvalec
  • Beet Kvas 
  • Lacto fermented tomato’s
  • Sourdoughs
  • Coconut Kefir
  • Kefir water
  • Kombucha’s
  • Koji
  • Peaso
  • Maizo
  • Miso
  • Shoyu
  • Garum 
  • Black fruits and vegetables.

These are just a few of the many available.

Be sure to stick to to good hygiene and read the cautions well as working with bacteria and strains can be wonderful nut dangerous if managed incorrectly.

I recommend investing in some good equipment and good current information.

The basics include

  • Food saver and food saver bags.
  • Stainless steel equipment.
  • Ph test strips.
  • Muslin and cheesecloth.
  • Twine.
  • Glass jars with lid.
  • The Noma guide book to fermentation is an excellent resource.

As a general rule soft herbs are best added to a dish at the last minute and hard herbs are better suited to long slow cooking.

You can get creative with the following, beyond my suggestions there is a whole world of other options, once you gain your confidence, this is a simple cheat sheet to get you started.

Soft herbs

Basil, coriander, parsley, mint, tarragon.

Hard herbs

Sage, thyme, oregano, bay leaves.

What goes with what?

Vegan/ Vegetarian

Basil. oregano, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, thyme, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, chili.

Herbamere mix which is sea salt, dry herbs and a dry vegetable blend.


Basil, parsley, shallots, curry, chives, dill, ginger.

Fish/ Seafood

Dill, fennel, parsley, garlic chives, chives, nasturtium leaves, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle.

Poultry & Game

Thyme, bay leaf, coriander, garlic, paprika, cumin, tarragon, five spice, star anise, oregano, sage, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle.


Curry, 5 spice, turmeric, coriander, garlic, ginger, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle.


Star anise, fennel, paprika, sage, ginger, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, chili.


Curry powder, cayenne. smoked paprika, onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, chili.


Rosemary, garlic, thyme, fennel, cumin, curry powder, oregano, Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle, chili.

Check out this blog on why you should add more herbs and spices into your life!

Herbs & Spices, hailed as Super foods by Modern day Scientists.

Reduce the meat, poultry or seafood budget by slipping and slopping some of these babies in to your dishes and slashing your budget;

I recommend you Pre-soak, cook and freeze lentils and beans (buy in bulk from a wholesale store) so they are ready to go.

  • Slip oats and brown lentils into your meatloaf.
  • Add brown lentils to homemade beef and lamb pies.
  • Slip beans and lentils into your soups.
  • Add blended vegetables and lentils into sausage rolls.
  • Add white beans in your potato mash.
  • Add cabbage to potato mash for colcannon (a healthier Irish version).
  • Take the rind of all your citrus fruits and save them in the fridge in oil, add them to dishes for extra flavour.

I love this little saying that is in the bible of Christianity, meaning the feeding of the multitude in 2 separate miracles of Jesús. In commercial kitchens we say this jokingly when we have a busy service unexpectedly. 

There is so much food waste that goes in the bin that can be turned into another meal so freeze all your little left overs for later use that can be turned into the following dishes;

Pizza’s, pasta’s, risottos, san choy boy, Japanese okonomiyaki, goyza, dumplings, meatballs with a twist,  soups, hot pots, curries, tortillas, tacos, pies, tostadas, jaffles, waffles, pancakes, pikelets, muffins, bubble and squeak to name a few.

Now that you’re loaded up with heaps of budget blasting tips, it’s time to create lasting results. When in doubt, follow these steps:

  • Make your meals sexy for you– you’re significantly less likely to stick to meals you don’t look forward to having. 
  • Plot and plan your meals in advance. This will not only help when you’re feeling lazy or tired, but will also reduce your food wastage. 
  • Strategies and Support – strategize your meals to get the most out of your groceries trip and ensure you are nourishing your body. 
  • Assess – ask yourself, are these meals cost effective and nutritious? If not, you might need to go back and make some small tweaks with ingredients that you can substitute with. 
  • Maintain – if the answer to the above question was yes, you’re on the right track! Note what you’ve done and keep maintaining it. 
  • Reward yourself, buy a little treat with what you have saved on your monthly shop, it could be a massage, a meal out, a luxury food ingredient you would like to try. It is important to know what you used to spend and stick to your budget for real results! 
  • Do it all again (and again, and again), this way you keep improving your budget outcomes and nutritional health.

Knife skills

My course progress

Good knife skills are vital in the kitchen, I am here to help you master the basics of culinary cooking!

Basic knife skills are vital in the kitchen. Not only do they make life easier when it comes to preparation, but small knife details can look very sexy when plating up a dish.

Feel free to download the following kitchen management tips for good knife selection tips below.

Kitchen Management Tips

Now, I completely understand how confusing it can be to select the right knifes. Check out this video where I talk all about the knife set you need. 



Now, lets explore knife sharpening. 



Before you begin practicing your knife skills, its so important to properly secure your chopping board. How can you do this? Let me show you! 



  • Correct knife handling, when walking with a knife in your hand always have the fine point pointing to the ground by your side and let anyone near you know that you are passing with a knife in hand.
  • Clean & sanitise knifes and chopping board well, make sure you wash your knifes in hot soapy water at over 75c.
  • Wash, sanitize and dry your knifes immediately, do not leave them in a sink.
  • When holding a knife use your dominant hand to cut items and never wave your hands around with a knife in them.
    Storage of knives is important you can use a wall mounted magnetic strip, a counter top block or  draws with inserts to slot them  into.
  • Avoid cross contamination by always washing with hot soapy water and sanitizing in water over 75c after any change in ingredient’s with your knives and chopping board.
  • Practicing knife cuts is helpful for your success, after all prior preparation prevents poor performance and keeps it fun as it should be.

I’ve prepared some easy to follow tips and techniques for handling a knife when cutting produce. Depending on your level of expertise, have a go trying these techniques next time your cooking. However, it’s important to remember, learning any new skill takes time so take it slow and enjoy the process! 

Create an edge on your knives with a sharpening stone

A. Place the stone on a damp cloth and a flat surface to stop the stone from sliding during sharpening.

B. Start on the coarse side of the stone facing upwards, as this is the quickest way to enhance the edge .

C. Moisten the stone with a little detergent and water, place about 1 tsp of liquid detergent and 1 tbsp of water in a line down the centre of the stove. Gently spread the mixture around the stone.

D. Sharpen knifes at a 20-degree angle, hold the knife with the blade down, at a 90-degree angle. Move the knife to a 45-degree angle, halving the distance between the 90-degree angle and the table, now you have a good estimate of the appropriate sharpening angle, with your knife at the correct angle, slowly move the knife down and across the stone in a smooth motion, starting at the heel and finishing at the tip. Repeat this, but instead push the knife from tip to the opposite base of the the knife called the heel. Knives are used to cut in both backward and forward motions, so it’s important to sharpen them in both directions and both sides. Gently wipe the blade with a damp cloth (make sure the blade is facing away from you. Turn the stone over to the smoother side and repeat the motion. Clean the knife and carefully dry the blade, check the even sharpness.

E. When completed with your stone, Use a damp towel to wipe down the sharpening stone. Allow it to dry Store it in a dry place in the box it came in.

F. If you are super busy and time poor, I recommend outsourcing this task to a professional.

Important note; do not put the bread knife on the stone, it is only to be sharpened with the steel on the ground serrated side.

After using your sharpening stone, then you can tweak the edge with your sharpening steel as shown in the video above. This should only be done when you feel yourself needing to put added downward pressure when chopping

Using your  Sharpening steel

Sharpen knives with a steel will keep them in peak condition 

A. Run the knife’s blade down the shaft at a 20-degree angle.

B. Start your knife near the tip of the steel and, while you move the blade down the steel, run the blade from near handle to tip.

Repeat this process on the other side of the blade.

D. Alternate until you’ve honed each side of the blade ten times each.

Important note

Its a bit different to sharpening your serrated knife 

 Using your steel lightly follow the serrated edge through each notch will feel the gentle bumps pushing to the non-angle side of the blade. A couple of touches on the flat side that its it!


share your sharpening on the Facebook page so I can give you some feedback and help you “be the best you can be “

The how to hold a knife chop and slice with the correct method for safety

Always make sure the knife it sharpened, blunt knifes are very dangerous as you need to apply more force and you risk slipping and cutting yourself.

A. Hold the knife by the handle. If you are left handed use your left hand, if you are right handed use your right hand.

B. Use your thumb to grip the knife around the top of the blade and wrap your hand around the bolster of the knife (this is the part where the top of the knife meets the handle .

C. Steady the food with the other hand tucking your fingers under in front of your thumb, like clawing the food which should be secured by the fingers. Use the top of your knuckles as a guide to the blade down to the food to prevent cutting yourself.

D. Keep the thumb tucked in and move your clawed hand in a backwards motion to keep fingers intact in the desired position for the next cut. Repeat the process slowly. With time you will gain speed but in the beginning take your time, remember it’s not a race.

“Remember to hold the food you are cutting with your dominant hand, please see in the video below how this is done”

How to use a Cooks knife (universal chefs knife)

If your having trouble please share with me what is not working for you so I can help you trouble shoot!

How to use a “Serrated (bread knife)”

A. Apply gentle downward pressure on the knife, and then pull the blade back. Place the blade at a slight angle facing down, begin sawing through the bread. Press down slightly, and then pull the blade back towards yourself.

Important note; do not put the bread knife on the stone, it is only to be sharpened with the steel on the ground serrated side.

B. Continue to use a sawing motion until you have reached the base and a clean slice has been cut.

C. Repeat the process as required.

Important note

Its a bit different to sharpening using your steel also for your serrated knife 

 Using your steel lightly follow the serrated edge through each notch will feel the gentle bumps pushing to the non-angle side of the blade. A couple of touches on the flat side that its it! 

 How to use a “Vegetable knife”

Your vegetable knife is used the same way as your cooks knife, but can also be used for simple tasks such as removing the core of a tomato and cutting smaller fruit and vegetables. 

So remember these steps

A. Hold knife with dominant hand

B. Correct hand grip

C. Secure food

D. Cut food

Here are some videos of some basic knife cuts that you will use a lot to practice.

First up, I’m going to show you the Brunoise technique (finely dice)using the ‘Claw grip’ method. As you’ll see, the method behind this technique is to curl the fingers holding the produce together in a claw shape. This technique ensures that your fingers are out of the way of your knife as you slowly cut through the food. 

Take a look at the way I slice this Cabbage using the Chiffonade technique (finely shred). This technique can be transferred to many other food products such as lettuce or Bok Choy. 

And finally, this snippet to show you that even the simplest of foods, such as a gorgeous Ruby Grapefruit, can look impressive when plated  using some basic knife skills and techniques, this technique is called segmenting . 

Hooray to you for making it to this quiz. A little memory jog on some important factors. BTW the answers are on the page so you can scroll down to see them and download these important facts for further reference.

Click here to take the quiz!

One of the things we forget to do in our busy lives as we are constantly on the go, is too look after ourselves on the inside. This includes everything we consume to our state of minds.

Taking a break can be so helpful to managing stress, improving your responses in situations and over all increase your well being.

Often we find ourselves reaching for things that give us short term relief and make us feel good in the moment such as ;

  • A Beer or Glass or wine 
  • A Cigarette
  • Recreational drugs 
  • A piece of Cake, chocolate bar etc.;

Far too accessible but in the long run end up making us feel worse!

Reward yourself with alternate suggestions of activities and find a better way to chillax.

We are all different as are our lives and it is important to find alternative solutions that you fit your groove.

So settle in and try some of the following techniques.

Well done! 

You have covered quiet a bit of ground already!

Time to pat yourself on the back, reflect and take some time out!


Grab a cup of non caffeinated herbal tea to give those adrenals a break.

Here are 6 more techniques, be kind to yourself!

1.Choose to look at things differently.

Look at your own beliefs, here’s a video link to explain more.

2. Listen to your self- talk- what do you say to yourself, are you kind?

If not change those words, listen to what the negative self-talk in your head says, learn to catch it often.

The book “feel the fear and do it anyway” by Susan Jeffers talks about moving from pain to power i.e.
Instead of thinking
I cant……………………….I wont.
Instead of thinking  Life is a struggle…………….Life is an adventure
Instead of thinking What will I do……………..I know I can handle it and so on.

3. Learn to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Understand their point of view to alleviate your own frustration/anger. Check this out: 

4. Learn to deal with criticism.

Change your feelings and reactions about criticism. 

5. Learn to need less approval from others.

6.Nature bathing “my personal favorite”.
Benefits include:
  • Improved regulating of unvoluntary body functions.
  • Blood pressure reduction.
  • Improved mental health.
  • Alleviate depression.

Try bushwalking

“In the Australian talks survey results statistics show that 76 percent of Australians think they would be happier if they spent more time in nature.

Japanese studies have found that breathing in “wood essential oils” such as phytoncides from the Japanese pine, Eucalyptus also exude can give your immune system a boost although the Australian version has not been researched.

Varied Microbial activity by leaves and soil are floating around in the “Bush”. Lots of research is happening to prove that varied microbial activity is good for the human body.

A study published by the National Academy of sciences that a 90-minute walk through a Natural environment reduces ( continuously thinking about the same thoughts, often be sad or dark), can significantly lower the risk of mental illness compared with walking in an urban environment. 

Try birdwatching & listening

  • In a recent study from 251 locations in 68 national parks. conducted by the Colorado State Michigan university USA National Park service of the impact of sound on health, it was discovered that bird song reduces stress the most.

    A Queensland University study, Exeter and British trust for ornithology found that people living in leafy areas with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer anxiety and stress.

    Try being in Blue spaces

    There is a good reason that staring at those Big blue spaces feels good, yes!

    35 studies can’t be wrong, the evidence is now proven that there are positive impacts on general health, obesity and cardiovascular health is better on participants in Blue Spaces along with greater relaxation.

    Try listening to water sounds

    Yes, this is also true, listening to those waves and water sounds in the same study as birds. Water sounds with improved positive emotions and health outcomes for most people.

    Try breathing in quality air

     In recent studies by the Environmental committee “the forum of international respiratory societies”, proved that reduced pollution levels had almost immediate and substantial benefits on health outcomes due to air pollution reduced exposure , a 13 percent drop in mortality.

    Mounting research, data and evidence supports new innovation in Nature and Mindsets some include;

    • Cognitive Benefits
    • Improved memory and cognitive ability
    • Experiments have found that being exposed to natural environments improves working memory, cognitive flexibility and memory control, while exposure to urban environments is linked to attention deficit according to current directions in psychological science.

    If you are hungry for more information on Nature’s impact on the wellbeing, go to the American Psychological Association.


My course progress

A French word meaning everything in its place, this is a Chefs secret weapon of seamless and organized cooking!

In short make sure your kitchen is clean and organized before you start i.e. the dishwasher is unpacked, pantry is stocked etc.

Understand the principles of what you are going to cook, visualize yourself making your dish to make sure you have thought through each step. for example if the oven needs to be hot before cooking you will need to preheat the oven.

Get the right equipment, ingredients, bowls, cooking utensils, measuring tools.

Chunk down your tasks like wash, clean and trim everything before starting your recipe.

Have everything ready,  think through in what order you need to perform tasks and have what is needed planned out for a smooth, enjoyable session in your kitchen. 

Misenplas is in fact one of the most powerful transferable skills to long lasting change and gaining control of your self care and life.

There is a difference between misenplas in a commercial environment and a home one, however the principles are the same. So we work like a team and do it your way! 

Basic organizational skills are vital in the kitchen. Not only does it make life easier when it comes to preparation, but it keeps your head in the right spot too.

Now, lets get a plan together what works for you to keep you savvy in the kitchen.

  • Think ahead and have a plan of what and how you are going to cook.
  • Make sure you have a base recipe and workshop the ingredients you have, what you can use? Shop if necessary, Its easier if you do not have to keep heading out to fetch bits and bobs.
  • Prepare the equipment ingredients appropriately for the cookery method i.e. measure. peel, cut, portion.
  • Let the fun begin and cook, wash and clean as you go to minimize the clean up  when your done.
  • Clean down and put everything in its place after your meal so its easy for your next meal.

10 tips to get on track with  self care in the kitchen to keep you on track.

1. Weekend warrior  

Savvy Saturday, Ditch it Dump it, Pantry Purge. 

We work like a team but do your  way! 

  • Shop till you drop– Bulk buy-Garlic, Ginger, Chili Lemons, Limes, Oranges,   Tomatoes, anchovies, olives, feta, miso paste.

Savvy Saturday morning- purge any nasties from your pantry

 Take some ideas from the time saving fast, easy prep foods in the time saving tips in the section below.

  • Afternoon– Grow your own-place herbs in pots or somewhere somehow you fancy in or near the kitchen.

2. Sunday session

Prior preparation prevents poor performance, know what you have got that is good and where to find it, use good clear storage containers and write on them so you can see everything and have it easily accessible.

3. Plot, plan, create

Pesto’s, pastes, soups, lentil braises, hot pots, casseroles, homemade tomato sauce, pearl barley, dried pre-soaked cooked frozen beans  and risottos, vegetable puree’s, dips, bean smashes, stock., Wash, peel & store fresh veggies, lemon zest in oil from your lemons, mandarins and limes, garlic peeled in olive oil, ginger peeled in flavourless oil, frozen lemon juice in cubes.

4. Kiss

The secret is  keep it out of the too hard basket  (keep it simple stupid).

5. Workshop it-Use a range of healthy convenience products to help you through i.e. preserved lemons, tapenades etc.

6. Buy healthy pre-prepared foods

Remember to check the labels and packaging for nasties pre-cut vegetables. salad mixes etc.;.

7. GET organised

Have a think tank with yourself and others in your home on what you want to eat and how you can meet everyone’s needs simply.

8. Have a cook off

A well stocked freezer for the too busy here and now.

9. Find like minded friends  you can swap and share pesto’s , pastes, dukkas, curry powders, ferments, preserves, crackers you have made to get more variety.

10. Join a community garden or online buying group

Preserve and ferment with produce when there are seasonal gluts and swap with other members.

Time saving tips

My course progress

Understanding some good foundational skills are vital in the kitchen, the basics of mastering culinary cooking!

After all you cant build a solid house without a good foundation and with these fast tracking basics, you will soon be able to “design your culinary life”.

Solve your culinary pain by saving time, money, energy and nourish your friends, family and colleagues with culinary art! 

It’s important to identify the foods you like and how to incorporate them into your meals. If you are planning for others as well as yourself, friends, housemates, partner, family involve and excite them about the process, choose the foods you all like.

Good Convenience products are king!

Here is a comprehensive list of my favorites staples that I use throughout the weeks,  just remember to check the labels for nasties:

  •  Tinned (choose BPA free)- coconut milk and cream, fruit in natural juice, tomato’s, artichokes, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies.
  • Jars Mustard, wasabi, vanilla paste, horseradish, real truffle.
  • Frozen berries, peeled diced fruits, lotus root,  chopped spinach edamame, broad beans peas and corn kernels.
  • Dried Beans, soak in bulk, cook, freeze in usable lots,  natural stock powders,  dehydrated mushrooms including powder, beetroot powder, spirulina, chlorella, matcha, fruits, seaweed snacks, bonito flakes, dashi stock, rice paper sheets, course polenta.
  • Flours Whole grain flour, coconut flour, lentil flour, buckwheat flour, un wheaten corn flour, rice flour, chickpea flour, tapioca flour.
  • Spices Cinnamon, ginger, five spice, nutmeg.
  • Deli  Smoked fish, seafood and cooked and smoked unprocessed meats, red capsicum.
  • Preserves– Lemons, tomato passata, artichokes vegetables, pickled fish etc.
  • Vinegars Balsamic, red wine, cider, rice wine.
  • Oils Cold pressed extra virgin olive, grapeseed, vegetable, pumpkin, avocado, macadamia nut oil.
  • Smoked  Fish, seafood,  chicken, turkey, lean meats,  oysters.
  • Cured  Jamon (Iberian ham) good quality turkey and chicken (many meat based deli products have nasty additives.
  • Pastes  Miso, tomato, tom yum paste, curry pastes, black bean paste,  natural stock pastes, tahini.
  • Ferments Kimchee, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, fish sauce.
  • Dairy  Greek style yoghurt, labna, kefir. cheeses-cottage, ricotta, yoghurt cheese, mozzarella, goats cheese, haloumi, feta, blue, parmesan.  
  • Fruit and Veggies – Pre- prepared salads, vegetables.
  • Herbs-Buy fresh and freeze so they are there ready when you need them.
  • Vegetable proteins  Wholegrains  black, red or brown rice, barley, buckwheat grouts. Legumes  Kidney, garbanzo/chickpeas, white, black, pinto, various coloured lentils. Edamame  (are just a few of various beans available, again they lack some amino acids so they need to be eaten with whole grains as above).
  • Nuts– shelled whatever takes your fancy and nut butters (great as a quick easy thickener to dishes) or when dishes call for soaked nuts then blend, substitute for these.
  • Sweeteners (in limited amounts and nutritious sweeteners only) stevia, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, rapardsa, coconut  sugar.
  • Sauces  Fish sauce, tamari sauce, soy sauce .
  • Drinks– Tomato juice, mineral water, check the sugar contents of  kombucha and ginger beer.

Why these picks?

These are all convenience products that help add fast, healthy flavour for fast, easy, sexy meals in 10 minutes.

Download the time saving foods I like list below.

Foods I like for your fast, easy , sexy, healthy meals

Have a go completing the meal planner below using these ingredients! 

Weekly Meal Planner


Shop till you drop! The key to good meal preparation is buying the things you need ahead of time, after all, prior preparation removes poor performance. 

Savvy Saturday Arvo: 

Online grocery shopping tips;

  1. Check your pantry for what you need and shop monthly to save time
  2. Check the price pr kilo on comparable products
  3. Don’t be lured by specials check the branded compared to unbranded products

Bulk buy the following ingredients at your local wholesale grocer:

  • Garlic 
  • Ginger 
  • Chili
  • Lemons 
  • Limes 
  • Oranges 
  • Mandarins 
  • Tomatoes 

If you can, try and grow your own herbs in pots at home! Better yet, pop the pots in or nearby your kitchen so that you can use them right away. 

How long can you store pre-prepped food? I’ve created a guide for you below:

Cooking and Freezing

Below is a super super quick and easy recipe for you to try out with your new and improved preparation skills. You can make this dish with a jug and a microwave! 

1.Weekend Warrior, Savvy Saturday, Ditch it Dump it, Pantry Purge:

      We work like a team but do your way!

  • Shop till you drop– Bulk buy-Garlic, Ginger, Chilli Lemons, Limes, Oranges,   Tomatoes, anchovies, olives, feta, miso paste
  • Savvy Saturday Morning- purge any nasties from your pantry  then take some ideas from the time saving fast, easy prep foods and 
  • Shop till you drop– with a friend and make use of  some ideas bulk buys including growing herbs-garlic, ginger, chilli, lemons, limes, oranges, tomatoes.
  • Afternoon– Grow your own-place herbs in pots in or near the kitchen.

2.Sunday Session-Prior preparation removes poor performance, know what you have got that is good and where to find it, use good clear storage containers and write on them so you can see everything and have it easily accessible.

3.Plot, Plan, Create-Pesto’s, Curry Bases, Soups, lentil braises, Hot Pots & Casseroles, Homemade tomato sauce, Pearl barley risottos, Parsnip puree, Dips, Bean smashes, Stocks, Wash, Peel & Store fresh veggies, Lemon zest in oil from your lemons, Mandarin zest from your mandarins, Preserved lemons,  Garlic peeled in olive oil, Ginger peeled in canola oil, Frozen lemon juice in cubes.

 4.Kiss -The secret is Kiss, keep it out of the too hard basket  (Keep it simple stupid)

5.Workshop it-Use a range of unprocessed convenience products to help you through.

6.Buy healthy pre-prepared foods– remember to check the labels and packaging for nasties.

7.Get Organised-Plan in advance, prior planning prevents poor performance.

8.Have a cook off– A Well Stocked Freezer for the too busy here and now.

9.Find like minded friends – Who you can swap and share pesto’s , pastes, dukkas, curry powders and crackers you have made to get more variety.

10. Join a community garden – Ferment with produce when there are seasonal gluts and swap with other members.

Here is a base recipe for you to add your left over vegetable to make microwave coddled eggs at home;

Microwave coddled eggs

Here is a base recipe for you to make your own.

Peach, custard and granola crumble dessert pizza

How to cook with recipes as a guide

My course progress

Understanding some good foundational skills are vital in the kitchen. Bravo to you for mastering those, now to help you in this section take your culinary cooking to the next level!

After all you cant build a solid house without a good foundation and these fast tracking tips, will have you “designing your culinary life” like a pro.

Solve your culinary pain by saving time, money, energy and nourish your friends, family and colleagues with culinary art! 

1.Use your senses.

Sight, taste, touch, sound and smell.

2.Harmonise 5 tastes.

Think back to the cooking basics palate tastes and imagine how your creation will taste with harmonizing flavours or contrasting ones.

3.Be prepared with ingredients.

With the top 10 tips above with nourishing self care, look at what you have and think about what you would like to cook, then brainstorm thinking the process through how you might like to go about it “this is seriously the fun part” .

4.Have the necessary equipment.

For the cookery methods you want to use and understand how to use them, sometimes with a bit of creative thought, you may use that equipment differently to create a different result e.g. using a bamboo skewer to create patterns in your sauce on the plate.

5.Cookery methods.

Types of heat you need- get familiar with them and choose your favorites to master.

 6.Grow your own.

Start small with some easy care items (buy self watering pots to keep it simple) and understand herbs, spices, acid, fat and heat, growing some interesting ingredients to have on hand will help you create interesting dishes.

7.Plan and get doing.

Blend, ferment, puree, marinate, blitz, reduce, thicken, emulsify, smoke.

8.Investigate google.

Peruse transferable recipes to use as a base that suit you and your loved ones lifestyle then add your spin on it (i.e. buckwheat muffin base recipe).


 Imagine how your dish will look when it is plated up and make changes if necessary. Remember how much of each food type and portion size to pop on the plate in mind.

Here is some inspiration

10.Get familiar with the elements of a successful dish.

Mouthfeel,  vary colour, flavour, texture and height.

The benefits of learning this skill allows you to get creative, save money by using what is in season, available in bulk or inexpensive.

Cooking by using recipes as a guide is suitable for most dishes. Here are some base recipes suggestions you can create your foundation favorites with to get you started. 

With more technical dishes like pastry or ferments, this method is not so suitable as the food science needs to be more accurate. As your cooking skills, knowledge and confidence grow in time you can move forward to more technical dishes. I encourage you to  “feel the fear and do it anyway”, however leave these 2 topics alone for now, never mess with bacteria and fermentation.

Remember there are no failures in the kitchen, you only fail if you do not try. Keep in mind different factors of ingredients and how they may alter the dish.

Every step forward is a step in the right direction!

Create your own favorite universal recipe file, I suggest the following to get started;

Muffin recipe

Find different flours, grains and alternatives to eggs and sugars  as a base, add any ingredients you like to make sweet or savoury with readily available ingredients, just think about varying moisture contents.

Frittata recipe

 Find a base recipe that you can add lots of different versions to, a great healthy way to use up leftovers.

Slice recipe

Find a base slice recipe you like and modify how you want to, for example a zucchini slice recipe can be transformed by adding different vegetables, chickpeas, chai seeds, pesto for added variety and nutrition. Just think about the differing amounts of moisture content and make allowances.

Pancake recipe

Try coconut flour, buckwheat as a base in place of plain flour and top with your favorite sweet or savoury mixture.

Crepe recipe

Add beetroot puree for a beetroot crepe, sweet potato or pumpkin. Use buckwheat flour instead of plain four for example.

Crumble recipe

 Add oats, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, herbs and spices and top your favorite sweet or savoury stew  for a fresh approach.

Pizza base recipe

Use cauliflower, chickpeas, black beans or other alternatives as a base in place of traditional bases.

Curry recipe

Make your own unique style base curry paste (use herbs and spices you have grown in your garden) and freeze it, then when you want to make a curry you can add different herbs, spices, finish with tomato passata, coconut milk, home made stocks or purees to change the base for variety then add your favorite protein and vegetables to them.

Tomato puree

have a simple home cooked tomato puree that can be frozen, made into a soup or sauce at late notice.


To pound or crush is the meaning in Italian, download my E book for some alternatives, this is a great way to make use of excess herbs in your garden, great blends to freeze for added nutrients.


Use the concept of hummus with many other beans, freeze in small portions, use it to thicken soups, casseroles and wet dishes, add herbs, pesto’s and purees as a spread instead of margarine or butter, top your pizza’s with, an endless array of uses.

Dried fruit, nut, seed and spice blends

This can simply be added to fresh fruit and yoghurt, muffins, slices etc for baking.

Base salad dressing recipe

Choose one that’s right for you,  jazz it up differently at the drop of a hat with some herbs, spices and other ingredients.

Sweet and Savoury puree blends recipe’s

Can be turned into soups, sauces, dressings and added to beverages, bakes and dips.

You can have many other recipes to have on file to make using up what is available to you with ease and create your own unique style!

These are some of my base recipes for you to look at and see how you would like to use them.

Most of us already know how to burn a chop on the Barbie right!

Tweak them and add them to your repertoire to make your own.

Yes, they are a little unconventional and that is the point to get your creative juices flowing and help you develop your own style.

One of my favorite books is Edward De bono’s “Think Before its too Late” which helps to teach the “Art of creative thinking” for great innovative solutions.

Here are a few tips on how it can help you.

1. Create a creative “hit list” of the focuses in your meals that you would like to spice up nutrition and health wise, there should be about 10 items on your list.

2. Extract concepts ideas on ways you can achieve this with each focus.

3. Wishful think “wouldn’t it be nice if” create the danger of possibility and you have the very basic tools to come up with some new ideas. 

Here are some concepts to help you on your way, you can think up your new designs.

1. I would like to spice up my breakfast on my creative hit list.

2. You could look at the recipe list below and pick one item you would like to add to your breakfast.

3. Then think wouldn’t it be nice if I could have the breakfast item with the recipe you picked in a format that you could have it ready in advance and eat it on the run, which leads you to create your own culinary design of;

“Buckwheat fritters with your favorite fruit stewed rhubarb with five spice in them and trail mix ready made in the fridge to grab on the go” A great alternative to grabbing a high fat, sugar and carbohydrate processed breakfast bar laden in calories and sugar.

Happy designing and I look forward to seeing and hearing about your inventions!! 

Enjoy these base recipes below (click to download). 

Basic Buckwheat fritter mix

Black rice crackers

Brown rice cake

Cashew honey nut Butter

Chermoula spice blend

Dried green olives


Microwave popcorn recipe

Okonomyaki batter basic

Olive oil pastry

Sweet or savoury impossible pie coconut

Tomato & kidney bean sauce

Vietnamese beef

Virgin Mary dressing

Watercress & macadamia pesto

White bean puree

Whole hot pot chicken with field mushrooms and pearl barley dumplings

Yoghurt hollondaise

Now to get those creative juices flowing, a bit on know how on what ingredients makes food stick can be really helpful.

Eggs are a great binding agent and very popular, however they really need to be cooked.

I have attached an infographic here on egg substitutes that you can use with some great alternatives for vegan and vegetarian substitutes among others.

Egg substitute

So there are a few things that help  your cooking be light and fluffy.

When baking there are a few items that can be used as raising agents. 

Some of these are:

  • Yeast
  • Self raising flour
  • Baking power or Bi carb of soda
  • Steam
  • Whipped egg whites
  • Aqua faba
  • Cream of tartar

If you think your creation is too dense you may want to consider these.

Time to nourish you with self care

My course progress

Understanding that there are many things we can do to improve our lives is key to a happy, healthy life. Nourishing through food is the first step in this journey. So this section is a little starter to get you on track for designing your nourished life!

I have popped in a sample of a positive affirmations list below, now its your turn to create your very own and store it somewhere that you can access it whenever you need, in your phone, diary and repeat over and over until it comes naturally any time, anywhere;

Casstronomy’s Boost your Self Worth with a positive affirmations list

Find out how you rate in your happiness compared with other Australian’s in this survey.

Check out this World happiness report from 2019.

Coaching for you

My course progress

Now that you have reached this section of the course, I want you to go back and select another area of your life that you wish to improve, use your previous worksheets to help you. 

The secret fact is those who find a reason why they want to change to improve their life are more likely to achieve long lasting success i.e; I want to be able to play cricket with my son or I want to be able to surf with my daughter is the secret to long lasting change. So its time to find your why!

Ask yourself, what can I do next to improve next week?

 There are some links and helpful facts below followed by dedicated worksheets help you create your vision.

1.Diet self care

Eat for health the Australian website states that many of our foods that are affordable and readily available are often laden with sugar, saturated fats and alcohol including the environment in which we live promotes over consumption. You should make positive choices based not only on your weight but nutrition. Its time to tale control!

Here is a helpful link with more information:

2. Physical exercise self care 

A bodily activity that enhances you or maintains physical
and overall health and well-being. Benefits vary including:

· Strengthening muscles

· Cardiovascular system

· Honing athletic skills.

· Weight loss or maintenance and for enjoyment.

Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune
system, and helps prevent the diseases bought on by modern affluence” such
as heart disease, cardiovascular disease and obesity It also improves mental
health, helps prevent depression, promote and maintain positive self-esteem, it
can even assist an individual’s sex appeal or body image, which again is also
linked with higher levels of self-esteem. Child hood obesity is a growing
global concern and physical exercise can help decrease the effects of childhood
obesity in developed countries.

Here is a helpful link with more information;

3.Mental health self care

A state of complete wellbeing in which you are is able to
realise your abilities, and function effectively in everyday life.  Poor mental health, loss of wellbeing, and
illness have economic and social consequences for everyone. Thankfully mental
health services are now readily available and there is no longer a social stigma
attached to it.

It is important to seek professional help if your symptoms
persist. Here is a helpful link with more information;

4.Social health self care

Social Health Self Care is important to us as human beings
we need socialisation, to feel connected to others. With busy lives and lots of
other pressures it can sometimes be hard to find time to spend time with
friends, family, love ones.

5. Spiritual health self care

Spiritual Health Self Care is anything you participate in
that helps you connect with yourself to nurture the mind and soul connection.
Create a deep connection with a greater meaning of life for you.

Here is a helpful link from the Australian government:

6. Financial health self care

Money helps but once a material minimum is attained
happiness is generally not increased. It is different for most people.

A recent Australian study has been released here are the

It means managing your money for short term needs whilst
putting away for mid- and long-term goals.

There are a number of good resources that the Australian
government has that I have attached here!

7. Relationship health self care

A really simple way to keep your own personal relationships
healthy – be thoughtful, have fun!

Another tip is to remember what you LIKE about your partner,
friend, colleague and  family member and take the trouble to TELL him or her, often from
your heart.

An important fact of mental health and well-being “Laugher
produces endorphins and happy people laugh a lot”.

Here is a helpful link for more information:

8. Sense of security health self care

Sense of Security Self Care helps us to feel safe, warm and
comfortable. This all helps us feel balanced, relaxed and well.

Here is a helpful link to offer some support.

9. Freedom of choice health self care

It’s important that you have, know and maintain your own
personal identity throughout life. You may be a partner, parent, busy
professional and it can be easy to get lost in these roles.

The basic meaning here is to be able to have your
independence, be respected and respectful, identify your needs, communicate
well, be honoured stress-free self-care routines.

There are some helpful links here:

10. Sense of community self care

Sense of community Self Care and feeling connected is important for your human health. Studies have proven that people who volunteer actually makes you happier by providing a sense of purpose, combats depression, improves social awareness and more. For resources head to the link below:

Maintaining a consistent healthy lifestyle is the key to success.  

Please download this Chefs hat below and complete it, this can help you simplify and break down your areas of need on a larger scale! With a reminder that it’s important to reflect on what you are grateful for each day that exists in your life.

Chefs Hat

Download Chef’s hat worksheet

Now, it’s your time to chose what you will no longer tolerate in your life, take responsibility and act on what you aspire to become!

Select the topics below that you would like to improve in your life and complete the worksheet to help you hone ready for your plan.

Take your time, it is important to go at your own pace and remember, Rome was not built in a day. 

I recommend to pick one topic at a time and limit the changes that you come up with to suit your needs and comfort level.

Your financial health self care vision worksheet

Please note;

We are not giving financial advice all information is factual and from the Australian governments money smart website. You should consider consulting a financial advisor or accountant for personalised information.

Here are 3 more of my reward relaxation techniques!

1.Food Mood-Investigators state a heathy diet overrides supplements when related to mood.

Boost your mood & energy with the scientifically proven components;

  •  Tyrosine an amino acid helps neurotransmitters in the brain, producing happy hormones dopamine and others, nore pin ephrine and ep in ephrine
  •  Tryptophan-  a precursor for serotonin, a mood stabiliser (5HT).
  • Iron from animals, plant based foods, dairy and eggs.
  • Vitamins B1 helps ease symptoms faster whilst stabilising your mood.
  • Vitamin B 6 is necessary for creating neurotransmitters that regulate emotions including serotonin, dopamine, gabba (produces a calming effect).
  • Vitamin B12 needed for production of serotonin
  • Mineral Magnesium- relaxes muscles and helps relieve anxiety.
  • Probiotics & Pre biotics as they work in unison to improve gut health, scientifically linked to improved mood.
  • Omega 3 Fatty acid’s- easily travel through the brain cell membranes enhancing activity with the mood related molecules inside the brain. They are promising, although some more research is needed here.

It Is important to mention;


  • Water, Water, Water relying on thirst is not always the key, when we do not drink enough water a number of things happen in the body.

Constipation is a factor of dehydration, all those toxins running around in your body can fast track your feelings of depression to great heights .I can vouch for that.

The blood thickens a little making it harder to circulate around the body, the carrying of oxygen to the brain suffers also causing fatigue.

2 litres of water pr day on average- more or less depending on your certain lifestyle factors like heat, exercise etc;

  • Vegetable juices and a big dollop of grass-fed yoghurt to get both pre and probiotics at once to enhance the function.
  • Herbal teas to really boost your mood, a nice warm cuppa can also offer psychological comfort in times of despair!
  • Coffee is high in antioxidants and research shows can have a 10 percent decrease in depression (a little but not too much, too many stimulants inhibit serotonin production)·
  • Green tea also contains caffeine so a little is good but not too much, it also has L-Theanine increasing activity in neurotransmitters in the brain and reduces anxiety and lithium which is used to treat certain mood disorders.


  • Sugars particularly processed as they are nutrient poor and energy dense.
  •  Highly processed foods.
  • Refined carbohydrates they are low in vitamin B and other nutrients.

 A change in mood should be evident within 7 to 10 days after improved diet.

 Mood boosting  foods are:


  • Quinoa Is a wheat free grain, high in protein so is a good choice of carb!
  •  Buckwheat is a vegetable root so a good alternative.
  • Brown Rice High in vitamin B.
     Oats Dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, excellent slow-release carbohydrates keeping your sugar levels balanced.

 Fruit & Vegetables

An Apple a day hey! psychology experts found a diet high in F&V improved mood. 

  • Bananas b6 and prebiotic fibre.
  • Blue berries are known to stimulate neurogenesis the growth and development of nervous tissue which helps the brain avoid depression.
  •  Coconut is full of energy boosting fats and electrolytes.
  •  Dried prunes and raisins have good plant-based iron content.

Orange and yellow fruit and vegetables have high levels of carotenoids (this just means a class of 750 naturally occurring pigments in plants), a study found that people who consumed high levels are more optimistic about the future.

  • Capsicum More vitamin C than an orange, If Vitamin C in the body is high, research has found the body calms down faster.
  • Mushrooms contain Vitamin D so if you’re not getting enough of this help is here, you pop the mushy in the sun and they can capture vitamin D amazing little fungi!
  • Sea Algae’s rock, they are a group of plant like micro-organisms that live and thrive in the Spirulina, Chlorella- rich in nutrients, white blood cell activity may help stabilise mood there is still research going on here, alternately they are mega packed with other magnificent benefits.
  • Sea Vegetables are next in line, the most nutritious plants in the vegetable kingdom Kelp, Dulse, Nori, Wakame, Hijiki, sea grapes, sea lettuce packed with omega 3’s too, most do not realise that in seafood the omega 3’s come from the plants that the sea animals eat. The most digestible protein.

Dark green vegetables

  • Baby spinach is high in magnesium.
  • Broccoli (B6 is required by the body produce serotonin including folate 100gm 1/3 of daily requirements strongly linked to ward of depression.
  •  Kale high in protein and vitamin B.
  • Avocado’s Contain the depression smashing tryptophan which changes into serotonin, the happy hormone, then into omega 3 fatty acids, they create a protein that is linked to lessening depression due to releasing dopamine which is found in many antidepressants.
  • Micro greens Specifically sunflower sprouts they are loaded with magnesium.

     Beans and legumes

  • Peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, borlotti, cannellini beans, soy beans & lentils. Great vegetable-based proteins with fibre to help regulate healthy blood sugar levels that can improve mood.


  From Animals

  • Grass fed Lean beef, seafood, grass fed yoghurt, B12 foods.
  • Salmon, sardines, mackerel, clams and anchovies are rich in vitamin D, research has shown woman who suffer from depression, suffer greater levels if they have a lack vitamin D and omega 3’s.
  • Choose free range turkey, pork, dairy, chicken or eggs for serotonin as farmed meats have slowly dropped in levels of tryptophan over the past century.

If tryptophan, is consumed regularly, studies show it can assist lessening the risk of depression by 50 percent.

 Olives and olive oil

  • High in omega 3’s and the Mediterranean diet and way of life has a 30 percent decrease in depression which olives and oils are a major feature.

Nuts and seeds

  • Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds for magnesium, and chai seeds.
  •  Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kefir water, rejuvalac fermented grain water.
  • Home made wild strains are more beneficial than commercial varieties so get wild in the kitchen folks.

Breakfast suggestions

  • Banana, blueberry, oat, ground nuts, seeds, coconut yogurt smoothie. 
  • Quinoa and coconut porridge with banana, dried prunes and raisins, nuts and seeds, a dollop of grass-fed yoghurt.

Lunch suggestions

  •  Grass fed beef and oat burger with the veggie lot, kimchee, avocado mayonnaise.
  • Turkey and asparagus Spanish style omelette to mix it up and get creative with lots of veggies that we discussed.
  • Make a kale pesto with, chai, sunflower seeds mix it up to your liking.

Dinner suggestions

  •  Mold together a gourmet salmon and quinoa loaf with some roasted Mediterranean veggies, wrapped in kombu serve a bean smash reduced in stock, broccoli add some olive oil.
  •   A Yumzola salmon, leek & almond pot pie bubbling in a healthy, earthy crust made of lentil flour, butter & crispy cooked brown rice.
  •  Japanese okonomiyaki with edamame, soy beans, seafood, bonito flakes and seaweed kewpie mayonnaise.

Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

2.Learn to appreciate the now, look around you and appreciate what you can be grateful of now, not tomorrow or in the future.

3. Day Dream-Dreams Are Free 

Now it's your turn!

My course progress

Congrats! You made it, Its time for you to take action to be the best version of yourself! 


Please download this workbook and collate your top goals from the topics above and make your plan, click the text below.


Congratulations – You made it to the end of your self care for Corporate wellness course! I am so proud of you for taking this step in your wellness journey and truly hope this course has helped you to transform and led you towards a happier and healthier lifestyle! 

Now that you’re reached at the end of this course, I want you to go back and select another area of your life that you wish to improve your previous worksheets to help you. 

Ask yourself, what can I do next to improve next week?

Our worst enemy can be our own minds.

Until a behavior is automatic we have to consciously choose it and while we are choosing, certain thoughts & patterns can affect our confidence levels and prevent us from making the best choice.

As you progress on your journey, you will be more self aware and better equipped to identify negative thinking. It is an important tool.

The first time something happens to make feel anxious and unsure, go through the following line of questions;

  • What is the situation/ event that is bothering me? 
  • How am I feeling about this? 
  • What am I telling myself about this? (i.e. negative thought(s)­­­­­­­­­­­­. 
  • What old belief does tie in with that? 
  • Is that a realistic belief? If not, how is it inaccurate?
  • What is the worst thing that can happen?
  • How can I change my self talk to something more helpful?     

It takes practice to hold onto these positive thoughts but they will become your best friends.

“Look at your own progress and evaluate what you can do differently or improve without beating yourself up. Celebrate good progress and outcomes you have achieved.”

Identify where you are at and how you are progressing, remember, be kind to yourself.


Have I been doing the action for some time? “I still am”.


Have I stopped the new behavior and slipped back into old patterns? “I will”.

It can be helpful to Understand the stages of Change and where you are at;


A case scenario could be being moved emotionally e.g. you see an add on the effects of smoking or a friend or relative has a heart attack. You become aware of what is happening around you, rather than blocking it out.
Consciousness Raising with the scenario above the action could be you book in for a medical check up.,
Self-re-evaluation you ask yourself what are your values? Is the way that you are living in line with your values?
 Substitution you ask yourself how can you replace unhealthy choices with healthy ones?


Contemplate or make a list of pros and cons e.g. work out the positives of changing and the negatives of not changing.
Research and obtain information e.g. you learn as much as you can about the benefits of the new behaviours, how to go about making a change and what the choices available to you.
Preparation with the information you have you prepare to make a plan of how you will move forward.


Put your new commitment out there you write it, type it, tell someone.
Remove the triggers for the unhealthy behaviour e.g don’t buy high fat snacks and choose to go out with a different group of people.
 Observe and Look around and see what is now acceptable in society i.e. smoking is no longer accepted socially as a behaviour
Ask for support from the people in your life they can help us decide to make a change e.g. a partner, a child, a doctor, a personal trainer. Talk to them.
Listen to your emotions when they are trying to tell you something. being moved emotionally, a situation out of our control will help us realise the risks we face in living a certain way that is no longer serving us.


Start doing remind yourself of what you plan to do e.g. buy new running shoes, clean out the pantry of unhealthy foods.
Substitute old habits for new better choices.
Encourage myself for my taking action, so to are my support network.


Maybe now is a time you need to review your plan.

  • Is it sustainable?
  • Did I Include me time?
  • Did I Include time out?
  • Do I need to change my support?
  • Am I rewarding myself?
  • Do I need some Relaxation techniques or alternative therapies in my life?
  • What isn’t working for me in my lifestyle,  Am I being true to me?

Bravo to you, now living the way you desire with optimal personal self-care. One big change can spark off many other Ah Ha moments and further self advancements. What do you notice about yourself now that you may not have noticed before?

(Please note; if you require medical intervention pls consult a doctor before making changes to your medical diagnosis and regime)

Is there anything else you would like to aim for in your life that has now become a possibility? What is it?

You can follow the steps that you have now worked through for any vision and you have these new tools to use for any change you wish to make in your life “to be the best you can be”.

Not only have you learned some awesome cooking skills, you now have the ability to coach yourself in other areas of life by transferring these skills to those areas of  life  you may wish to improve.

You can ask your self the following questions and follow the steps to guide yourself to self evaluate,  chunk down new habits and actions to lead you toward a new set of 3 monthly goals.

Some questions you could ask yourself are.

1.What do you want to improve in your career?

This is where you create your vision clear vision. You can rework one of the templates above to help you.

2. How much time am I willing to spend to achieve these goals? (Does my lifestyle and commitments allow or suit these goals?)

3. What actions do I need to take to gain the skills required to further develop?

4. What resources will I require and how can I obtain them?

5.Where can I get support or advice to help me?

6. Do I have the right personal attributes to achieve these goals? (does my personality type suit the goal I wish to achieve?)

7. How will I know when I am ready to move forward in my career? 

Are my skills there?

Do I have the experience?

Are the opportunities available?

Thank you and congratulations on making it to the end of my mini e-course!

You have the resources and skills to improve your self care, implement it into your everyday life. 

If you would like to upload pictures or share comments with likeminded individuals, head over to my Instagram and Facebook pages. 



If you’d like personalised training, have any questions or would just like to have a chat, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. 

Feel free to visit my website for a plethora of wellness blogs and the view all of the services my team and I offer! 

Thankyou for completing this course.

Much love, Cass x 

References links page for online E course.


Self Sufficiency

How can I be prepared with self-sufficiency and survival foods by Isabell Shipard along with the self-sufficient me facebook page, you tube channel and website. 


CSIRO book “create your eco-friendly garden”

1.Nutrtition for self care

2.Physical exercise self care

3.Mental health self care

4.Social health self care

5.Spiritual health self care

6.Financial health self care

Money helps but once a material minimum is attained
happiness is generally not increased. It is different for most people.

7.Relationship health self care

8.Sense of security health self care

10.Sense of community self care



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