In no particular order...
1. wayan's Coconut & juice bar
I go to sleep weeping tears of gratitude for this woman. Mother of five, Wayan works from dawn til dusk, tirelessly making green juices for a bunch of tourists and expats. I hope they are all as grateful as I. Every morning, I get a 1.5L organic green juice with aloe vera and lime - for $9. We all have wheatgrass shots - little Orly can't get enough of them! Sometimes I go back for a dinner juice as well. I'm a gonna miss her! Get ye there if you find yourself in Ubud. She's on Jl. Penestanan, about 100m before Alchemy.
2. the people
People maketh place, right? So true. In the two short months that we've been here, we've met some really wonderful people. Balinese and expats alike.
3. the raw cafes
Clear Cafe. Soma. Alchemy. Anna's delicious raw chocolate cake at Yellow Flower Cafe. I am grateful for them all, except for one, and I'm gonna name and shame here: Kafe.
Kafe is a funky looking place associated with the hugely popular Yoga Barn, or the 'Yoga Deathstar' as Dames like to call it, owing to its mammoth size and apparent need to dominate the town. I've had not one, but two, of the worst meals of my life there - the last being the first meal I've ever sent back to the kitchen, a 'Ginger Miso stir not-fry'. Sounded good. Problem was it came out with stinking big black olives (which have no place being in a stir fry!), and completely devoid of anything tasting like ginger or miso, but seriously tasting like cleaning fluid. Like, I really thought someone had accidentally knocked a bottle of Windex into it. Plus, the staff were beyond rude, and they still made us pay for it. Crossed off the cafe tour
list right then and there.
4. the scooters
Seriously, what a fun way to get around! We were offered an incredibly cool car (from an incredibly cool woman - thanks Pamela) as a loaner for our stay here - and we never took it up. For short trips at least, cars are freakin impractical here in Bali! The roads are just not built for them in addition to the thousands of scooters on the roads, plus people here have learnt to drive from the movies. Too much unnecessary wriggling of the steering wheel.
It's chaotic here, but it seems to work. There's potholes. There's no speed limits. You have to be aware and responsible. Many westerners argue about the safety, but to be honest, I personally, feel a heck of a lot safer here scuttling about on a scooter (as a passenger - I can't even ride a pushbike!), than I do in Brisbane traffic - HINT: the red lights mean STOP DRIVING.
5. the Penestanan organic market
All of this (and more) for under $15? Enough said.
6. Coconut deliveries
Every morning, Nyoman delivers us 2-3 fresh coconuts, with the tops shaved off already to make it easier to hack into. They cost 10000Rp each - about $1. Why don't we have such a service in Australia? There's a business idea for someone!
NB: Bali coconuts are NOT hard to open! We'll teach you if you come on retreat
with us :)
7. the culture
This morning at breakfast, Willow said to me, 'This country is part of me'. And I nearly wept. I feel it, too. It's rare for a place to have such a massive tourism industry, and its culture remain intact. Offerings are part of everyday life. The Balinese brand of spirituality is present everywhere. Waitresses in cafes will put on their sarong and sash, and take a bunch of offerings to the cafe's shrine, and gracefully offer their blessings. I love hearing the music playing in nearby temples until really late at night. Festivals and ceremonies take place ALL the time. I've lost count of how many public holidays we've had since we got here!
I've been visiting Bali since 1999. That's fourteen years! Over those fourteen years, I've grown to feel more at home and closer to the culture than what I am in Australia. Even the police are nice here! And yes, of course they're corrupt, but at least it's common knowledge that they are! *Huge rant about Aussie police deleted*
8. Our outdoor bathroom
Just because it's nice to shower under the stars, and look at the pretty flowers growing out of the walls.
9. The Frequent massages
I'm such a sucker for a good massage. I could happily receive two a day, every day of my life, and never get bored.
Many of the spas here are cheap enough to do that. Hence, I never want to leave.
And, yes, those are my huge clompers. It's very brave of me to put that photo up, as I'm very sensitive about my size 10 hoofs - but you had to see how rad those big flower baths are!
NB: Not taking any of you retreaters
to our favourite cheapies (unless you ask nicely after retreat has ended). You guys are getting spoilt to the max.
10. Our Pembantus
I am going to miss these ladies the MOST! We have two beautiful women that look after our precious children - Kadek for a few hours in the morning, and Made for a few hours in the afternoon. They are brilliant. We don't have much support in Australia in regards to childminding, and as any parent knows, having some time off is the key to sanity. It indeed, takes a village to raise a child. Willow and Orly love them, and so do we.
1 1/2C cashews, soaked 2-4 hours
1 1/2C water
1T nutritional yeast*
1 1/2t sea salt
1t turmeric powder
1 clove garlic
1. If you haven't soaked your cashews already, do that now.
2. In a high speed blender or food processor, process all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. It should look kind of like a thick, yellow milkshake!
3. Pour this mixture onto a lined dehydrator tray, and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. About half a centimetre is ideal.
4. Dehydrate at 40-45 for 3-4 hours, or until the surface is dry to touch.
5. Slice while still on the tray. If they are dry enough to peel off without breaking, turn them over. I find that they dry quicker and are easier to peel off if you use conventional baking paper, rather than the sheets that come with the dehydrator - for the Excalibur, anyway.
6. Return to dehydrator until dry on both sides.
*If you are gluten sensitive, double check the packet to make sure it's ok for you. The one I had states that it 'may contain traces of gluten'.
It just occurred to me that I haven't put this on our website, and that maybe that might be a good idea!
We're holding our first raw food retreat this March! In my lovely-second-home, Ubud, Bali.
We'll be joined by the lovely Lili Light
of High on Health and will be staying at the gorgeous Villa Atas Awan, just outside of Ubud, Bali - from March 16-21.
If you've been wanting to kickstart your raw food journey, go deeper, or just learn more, this is the perfect time and place to immerse yourself in raw! There'll be twelve hours in total of raw food training with yours truly, so you'll be given the perfect foundation to begin creating your own amazing raw food dishes. Plus you get to pick my brain all week. In the pool!
Sacred Cacao Ceremony
Combine this amazing food with massage, loads of yoga, luxury accommodation in serene surrounds, a natural skincare workshop with Lili Light, plus lots of other awesome activities - including a sacred cacao ceremony - and you've pretty much got yourself the most perfect week ever! This is a great time to visit Bali - our retreat also lines up perfectly with the beginning of the Bali Spirit Festival
! If you want to know more, check out our website: BaliRawRetreat.com
- the 'retreats' page at the top of this page links to this. I know we haven't given you much notice for this one, so we've decided to extend the earlybird discount for another two weeks - until Feb 14 - noice Valentines gift, perhaps? ;)
1 cob of corn
I announced on Facebook this week that I'm going to be closing the cafe. Here's why...
This year has been a full on year for most people, yes? Me included. I've moved towns, had a baby, and amongst other things, opened a cafe... Which seemed like a good idea at the time... I guess I was forgetting how much work is involved in such a venture, and then team that up with breastfeeding and running a little family... health disaster waiting to happen?! I found out recently after an amazing live blood analysis with My Life Blood
* that I've got some remaining health issues from my typhoid a few years back, plus adrenal fatigue etc etc... So I've been trying to slow down and catch up with myself, but damn it, I've just been too busy!
As I was closing up the cafe last Sunday, the decision came out of the blue, without any more thought than, I'm over this, I need to close the cafe!
Tuesday night confirmed it. I had what's known as a TIA - transient ischaemic attack
, or mini stroke - sounds cute, but it wasn't! As someone that has grown up with the worst kind of hypochondriac mother, I tend to be much more of a 'suck it up and get on with it' kinda person, rather than the 'Oh my god, I have a mosquito bite, I'm dying' type. Now, I'm not really sure how serious what happened on Tuesday is, but I'm not willing to experiment with my health any longer to find out!
Some serious time off is needed for this raw food genius! Which will be good for you lot in the long run, too. I'll still be doing Northey Street markets (4evaaaaaaa, I heart them so!) and I'll soon go back to doing some classes here and there, and who knows what else? I'm open to suggestions as to what to do with our cafe space now! We have some ideas, but welcome any new ones, and if people have ideas and need a space?? (Not willing to share my kitchen though. Everrrr).
So, thanks for coming peeps, it's been lovely to host you! I'll miss you, but won't miss working 5 days a week. That part sucks.
*Please go see Maria Waldock if you want a clear picture of what's going on on your body! It's so cool, like that 80s movie Inner Space
Hey Northey Streeters!
You know this pretty lady that feeds you on Sunday mornings?
Maddie is off into the wilderness of Borneo as part of Greenpeace’s Borneo Jungle Challenge 2012. Help support her by purchasing an Environmental Toothbrush! We'll have them at both the Northey St and Noosa stalls, and at our cafe which is OPENING IN ONE WEEK!!! All funds go to Greenpeace, which will provide solutions to protecting forests around the world.
Invented by a Brisbane dentist, the Environmental Toothbrush is made completely from bamboo, making them completely biodegradable and environmentally sustainable! The amazing growth and self-renewing ability of bamboo means that deforestation is not necessary! Even the packaging is bio-degradable.
Single brush: $3.50
Box of 12: $36
PS, I didn't really mean that about your breath x
You may or may not have heard by now - we're opening a cafe! I think some of you must have been wishing pretty hard, as this was not at all part of our plan. Indeed, it just fell out of the sky straight into our laps, and being the go-with-the-flow kinda people that we are - well, we're opening a cafe!
Which is why you lot on the email haven't received any recipes from me for some time. I would apologise, but I'm not really sorry, I've been damn busy! The cafe is in Maleny, and we'll be opening in 3-4 weeks - will let y'all know when we've got a definite date. And, of course, it will be all organic, raw, vegan, and gluten-free. Woohoo!
Dearest Northey Streeters,
I'm feeling so sad about this, because we love you so... this Sunday may well be the last time Damion and I run our wee stall. We'll still be making your food up here in the hills, but the gorgeous, amazing Maddie shall be stepping into our stall shoes! Please show her as much love as we've felt from y'all over the last 18 months (as if you couldn't, she's so great!)
Thank you all so so much for the yummy Sunday mornings. Not once has it been a chore to get out of bed at ridiculous hours to come to 'work', and feed you. Thank you all for loving my food and allowing me to continue doing what I love most. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We love you, and will miss you muchly. Please come visit us in Maleny soon! And please come give us a cuddle on Sunday!
Love love love,
I get asked about blenders A LOT. So to save myself writing a million emails, and/or sounding like a broken record (to myself), here is a brief summary of my experience with blenders.
I started my raw food journey with a little Sunbeam blender. Nothing fancy at all, just a 600w motor with a glass jug, which cost $80 or $90, from memory. This little thing served me well for my first two years of rawness. It wasn't amazing, but it did the job - smoothies were relatively smooth, etc.
From there, I upgraded slightly to the Sunbeam Cafe Series blender. I think it was 1000w, and cost around $200-$250. This, compared to the other guy, was awesome. By this time however, I had just started at the Northey St markets, and it just wasn't quite making the grade for how smooth I wanted my cheeses and cakes to be.
So, I borrowed a friend's Vitamix while they were overseas, to see if that was what I wanted, and if they were really worth shelling out a grand for. And I fell in love. Quickly. Unfortunately, it wasn't too long until I found out that it wasn't the dream blender that it had seemed.