Creamy Cauliflower Comfort


There is just something so homely and comforting about a bowl of piping hot, homemade soup! The way it fills up the kitchen with delectable soul-warming smells, it makes winter seem so much more inviting…add in a cozy fire and a pair of fluffy socks, and I am in heaven!

A a few months ago, while out shopping at Huckleberry (my absolute favourite little organic supermarket) I was treated to the most deliciously creamy cauliflower soup! And ever since then, I have been determined to recreate it. I have tried a couple of times before, but I didn’t have much success at first. Each attempt seemed to be missing a little something…I just couldn’t work out exactly what that was!

But this morning I was feeling inspired, and I decided to give it one last go. The problem with the previous attempts was that it seemed to always turn out a little bland…so I wracked my brain for ways to give it a little extra flavour, without compromising the cauloflower base.

Well, the best way to enhance a natural flavour in my opinion, is by caramelising it. So it seemed sensible to toss the cauliflower in olive oil and roast for a good half an hour before adding it to the soup. Simple but very effective.

img_2998.jpgThen it needed a bit of a complimantary zing. Onions can be a little overpowering sometimes, particularly when the main flavour is rather subtle, so I used the next best thing…leek! I’d never cooked much with leek until a few weeks ago when my sister introduced me to a delicious recipe for chicken and leek casserole, but since then it has become one of my favourite winter vegetables! Pan-seared, with just a touch of oil and a hint of salt and pepper, it makes the perfect addition to so many warming winter meals.

And finally the finishing touches. In order to keep the soup dairy-free (as I am trying to reduce my dairy and gluten intake at the moment to help improve my digestion) I decided that a combination of creamy additives would give the best texture and flavour. With a homemade cashew cream to add a nutty hint to the soup, and a good dose of coconut cream to smooth it out, the soup was now ready for a taste test…

But something was still a little off. The cauliflower flavour was there, the creamy texture was there, but it still seemed to fall a little flat. It needed a little something to lift it, and that’s where the coconut sugar comes in. It felt a little weird adding a sweetener to a soup, but with just a dash of the sugar, the flavour seemed to absolutely pop!

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 4.52.53 pm

So there you have it! I hope you enjoy this creamy cauliflower soup as much as I do, I’m pretty sure it won’t last more than a few days in this house.

Charlotte xx

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How to beat the winter blues


Winter is a time of year that brings up many mixed feelings for me…on one hand I love the crisp frosty mornings, with the sky so fresh and blue it practically glows. Or the rainstorms where you can snuggle up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea and a good book. There is nothing quite so cozy as hearing the pitter-patter of rain on the window panes!
However, winter also brings with it the dark and the cold, which make it so difficult to stay upbeat…

One of the biggest struggles I have had over the past couple of months is motivation. As the weather cools down I catch myself making excuses as to why I can’t go to the gym, or why I don’t have time for yoga or meditation. And instead of springing out of bed ready to face the day, I lie there debating whether I can steal another 10 minutes under the covers. Does this sound familiar to you?

Even meal preparation has become a chore, and I’ve reverted to throwing together half-hearted lunches that are never satisfying enough and always leave me craving a mid-afternoon snack. Which is a habit I definitely need to break soon…food is my happy place!!

So this got me thinking…how do I break through and put myself back into the ‘I can conquer anything’ mode? Because even though it feels like there’s no end to the dreary mood and sluggish mindset, in reality all it takes is a little willpower and some strategic preparation to get back on the healthy, happy buzz again! So if you are like me, and you find the negative emotions dragging you down, here are some tips to get you through and out the other side:

1) Prioritise your energyFullSizeRender
Take a minute to sit down and ask yourself what is really important to you. Dig deep, untangle the trivial things from what truly matters, and decide on what it is that you want. Write down your biggest goals and values…you know, the ones that keep you up at night and fill you with a burning drive! These are the things that you need to prioritise. These are the things that will fill you with energy, and each step towards achieving these meaningful goals will strengthen your motivation and have you building momentum in no time.

2) Plan and prepare
Once you have a clear idea of where you are going and what your driving force is, it is important to lay out the path for success before you get going. Things like: packing your gym bag the night before a workout, preparing nutritious ‘building blocks’ on the weekend so you have healthy meal options ready to throw together quickly, or even just adding a couple of tasks to your daily TO DO list that you can check off once completed. Be prepared and make life simple for yourself. It’s much harder to find an excuse not to follow through when you’ve already laid all of the ground work!

3) Partner up 
Find someone with similar goals who is willing to be your accountability partner. Sometimes it is easier to rationalise giving up when it is only yourself that you’re letting down…but when someone else is thrown into the mix, it becomes harder to shirk your responsibility and you are more likely to stick with it. Plus, it’s far more fun having someone to share and celebrate success with!!

4) Treat yourself!
A little daily incentive never hurt anybody…and it’s such a positive way to keep the motivation flowing! So find something that makes you really happy, whether that’s a facial treatment, a delicious treat (for a healthy but scrumptious option, check out this healthy chocolate bark recipe), or even an extra hour watching your favourite TV show, and when you achieve your daily goal make sure you treat yourself! You’ll find that you enjoy the treat so much more when you know you have earned it…it gives you little glow of pride.

5) Listen to your body
Lastly, it’s important not to over do it. This is something that I sometimes am guilty of, and as I have found out for myself, it only ever pushes you further back than where you started. If your body is telling you that it needs a chance to rest, take that time to recuperate and reset. This isn’t a weakness, it’s simply being smart! Try a bit of yoga, or some meditation, as these are tools designed reboot your battery and help you to refocus your energy. A little bit of tender love and care will pay off in the long run…


So if you find yourself lacking in motivation, here’s my advice to you: give yourself a break, re-centre your attention and reconnect with your goals. Fill yourself with a purpose that will lift you out of the dreary mood, and focus your energy on the things that matter most to you! You’ll get there in the end…

Charlotte xx

Health meets happiness: sour cherry chocolate bark

Health, Recipes

Hello friends!

It has been a week of celebrations in our house, with both Mother’s Day and my birthday falling within a few days of each other. Which means there was a large consumption of delicious treats!

Now I have a confession for you…if you hadn’t already worked it out, I have an insatiable sweet tooth and it’s something that I cannot seem to curb no matter how hard I try! Resisting the sweet cravings just makes me irritable and crabby, which is not a pretty sight.

So instead of fighting it, I’ve started looking for healthy ways to satisfy it. And this latest creation absolutely takes the cake for the most taste and the least guilt…it is the perfect combination of dark chocolatey richness and velvety texture, offset by the sour tang of sour cherries. And do you want to know the best part? This recipe actually contains an entire serving of vegetables! So in my mind this means the more of it you eat the better…right?!

IMG_2814I had actually been playing around with the idea of creating a ‘healthy chocolate’ recipe for a while. I absolutely love the raw Pana chocolate bars, but when you go through chocolate as quickly as I do, it isn’t very practical to spend eight dollars on a single bar…

But I kept putting it off, as I thought it would take too long to get it right, and that I would end up spending a ton on ingredients that I never ended up using again. Now I wish I’d got to it sooner!!

This recipe took only one attempt to create, and not only was it quick to make (about 10 minutes preparation time and 20 minutes to set) but it also only uses 7 ingredients, all of which I had previously bought to use for other recipes!

So here it is…the Sour Cherry Chocolate Bark recipe:

I’m so excited for you to try this recipe! I just know you’ll love it as much as I do, it’s such a great nutritious way to treat yourself. Let me know what you think!

Charlotte xx

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Mother’s Day inspiration: a gift from the heart

Special Occasions

For me, Mother’s Day becomes more special with each year that passes.

I used to take it all for granted…the hours my mother spent carting me around to sports practice and piano lessons, the comfort and support she gave me when it felt like no-one else was on my side, the scolding and rule-setting that shaped my values and helped me grow into the person I am today. I used to take and never say thank you, because in my eyes that’s what mothers were for. I used to expect everything and never once thought that maybe she would appreciate something in return.

But as I grew up little by little, I started to see things more clearly. And I realised how damn lucky I had been all these years. I began to see how special my mother truly is, and how she would constantly sacrifice her own time and money to make sure that we had everything we needed. She gave selflessly, simply for the joy of making us happy.

And so each year, as Mother’s Day approaches, I think it’s so important to find a gift that truly shows how much you appreciate you mum. A gift that comes from the heart and speaks of all the thought and effort you’ve put into showing how much you care (although it definitely doesn’t need to break the bank). So today I’ve put together my three most thoughtful Mother’s Day gift ideas, just in case you needed a little inspiration for a gift of your own…

1) Treat her to a spa day

If your mum enjoys a bit of pampering, what better way to show her that you care than to give her a luxurious pampering experience in her own home! All you need is: a foot bath, a soothing body wash or bath soak, an exfoliating body scrub, an aromatic moisturiser or body oil, a cleansing facemask and a couple of towels.


Simply add the body wash or bath soak to the foot bath, which should be half filled with warm water, and have her submerge both feet to begin. Apply a thin layer of the facemask, which will be left on for the duration of the foot spa. Gently massage each foot with a generous amount of exfoliating body scrub, and rinse thoroughly with the water. Remove her feet from the foot bath, towel dry, and massage in the moisturiser or body oil. When you’re finished, rinse off the facemask with fresh water, and voila!

2) Serve her up a delicious breakfast in bed

How often does your mum have any meals cooked for her, let alone have them brought to her in bed? It is such a treat, and will give her the best start to her Sunday. Choose her favourite breakfast, or try surprise her with something completely new…you know what she would like best! And if you are stuck for ideas on what to cook, check out this Hot Cross Bun Pancake recipe on the blog, or try making a stack of corn fritters. They’re both delicious, nutritious, and are great for those mums with dairy or gluten allergies.

3) Pack a picnic hamper filled with her favourite treats

FullSizeRenderIf you are pressed for time, but still want to show your mum you are thinking of her on Mother’s Day, why not send her a picnic basket filled with goodies? Add in a lovely note explaining why you chose each item, and this personalises the gift to really show her you care! For example you could include a slice of the bacon and egg pie your mum always packed for family outings…or the specialty chocolates she always kept hidden to stop you from snaffling them…or even the biscuits she made for your lunchbox as a kid. Make it a basket full of memories, because that’s the part she’ll appreciate the most!

Mother’s Day really shouldn’t be about throwing money at a pile of meaningless gifts. If you take a bit of time to think about what your mum would most enjoy, the day will mean so much more. So I hope that this gives you some ideas if you’re feeling stuck, and most of all I hope that all the mothers out there feel the love and appreciation they deserve!

Charlotte x


Beat the jet lag: THE ESSENTIALS

Health, Travel

Hello friends!

So I have just returned from a fabulous, spontaneous trip to North America (and when I say spontaneous, I mean I literally booked my last connecting flight about two weeks before leaving…which freaked me out a little, but what the heck!) and although I had an amazing time, there was one thing that really dampened my travel buzz…

The jet lag! Now I know this is something that the majority of us suffer from, but when it steals two whole days from a 12 day trip, it’s really quite frustrating!! I almost thought that I had managed to cheat the jet lag this time, but after one good night’s sleep I spent the second night wide awake, only to crash the following day. And of course this led to me being groggy and miserable, with a horrendous outbreak of nasty red splotches all over my face and a dysfunctional digestive system! Not the best way to start a holiday.

So in order to prevent you from going through the same pointless suffering, I have complied a list of my top three travel essentials for staying on top of that jet lag. Whether you are jet-setting to the other side of the world, or simply heading on a family road trip, these items will help to keep you fresh and comfortable so you can really get the most out of your holiday!


1) Sleep SprayIMG_2749.JPG

I think one of the worst things about travelling is how out-of-whack your body clock gets…even when there’s not that much of a time difference! It’s always so hard to sleep in a new bed, with new sounds and a pillow that isn’t quite what you are used to. So make sure you bring along a natural sleep spray, to gently reset your system and to help ease you into a regular, healthy sleep pattern. It truly makes all the difference!

2) Face Masks
For some people this may seem a little frivolous. I know a couple of years ago this definitely wouldn’t have made it inside my suitcase, let alone on my top three ‘essentials’! But hear me out, okay? When you are run down, your body struggles to reset and detoxify. Which is why if you are anything like me, your skin ends up red and blotchy, with dark circles the size of 50 cent pieces under your eyes! Not a pretty sight. So by using a deep-cleansing face mask a couple of times a week while travelling, you are actually helping your body to draw out the impurities in the skin, as well as giving yourself some much deserved relaxation time. Win win, in my opinion!
3) Nutrition BarsIMG_2751.JPG
Now when I say nutrition bars, I don’t mean the ones packed full of sugar or preservatives. What you should look for are bars that contain wholesome, nutritious ingredients, that will provide you with a quick energy boost while also giving you a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The ones I choose are the Arbonne Essentials protein snack bars, as they’re loaded with plant-based protein, high-fibre seeds, and are super scrumptious…without any artificial nasties thrown in there. So have a few of your favourite clean nutrition bars on hand, to keep your systems running at full capacity and to give you the energy to beat off that jet lag!
These three items are the first to go into my bag these days, I absolutely swear by them! They are the tools that make travelling bearable, easing the pain of jet lag and letting you enjoy your holiday from the get-go. So to all my fellow adventurers, I hope this helps on your next trip!
Charlotte xx

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Simply scrumptious: the building blocks of a healthy diet


It is so easy to find excuses for not sticking to a regular, balanced diet…the ingredients are too expensive, it takes too much time to prepare a healthy meal, I don’t know what to cook, healthy food is bland and boring!

I have been there, I have made all the excuses, and I have suffered from the guilt and self-depreciation that comes every time I give up on myself and my health. I have been through the cycles of committing, hitting a wall, and giving up sooo many times…and then I decided enough was enough. Instead of giving in to my doubts and excuses I started looking for solutions…

How can I reduce the cost and the time it takes to prepare my meals, while still creating tasty dishes that I actually want to eat? How can I make it so easy to whip up a delicious healthy meal, that I have absolutely no reason to revert back to bad habits?

It took some time for me to work out the answer to these questions (and I’ll be honest, I still doubt and question myself at times), but I have discovered a solution that is so simple I couldn’t wait to share it with you! The solution, my friends, is this:

Prepare the essentials

When you take an hour or so each week to prepare a few basic ‘building blocks’, you will find that you spend less money on unnecessary food items, less time preparing your meals throughout the week, and find less excuses as to why you can’t choose the healthy option. And instead of simply throwing together a chicken breast with a couple of broccoli stalks, you are actually able to add variety and inspiration into each dinner.

So what do I mean when I talk about ‘building blocks’? Basically they are healthy, nourishing components that you can mix and match, allowing you to create a range of delicious wholesome recipes at the drop of a hat. And now I’m going to share a few of my favourite essentials to help get you started.

1) Roast vege mix IMG_1450
Throw together some pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, red onion,
courgette…whatever tickles your fancy! Toss in a tbsp of olive oil, coat with fresh or dried herbs (my favourite combo is fresh thyme and rosemary, with a little bit of garlic salt) and oven bake for 25 minutes until golden.

Best uses:
– Add baby spinach and a vinaigrette for roast vege salad
– Have it as a side with dinner
– Whip up some eggs and create a delicious frittata

2) Cauliflower rice 
Now this may not seem like the most exciting ingredient, but it sure does form the base of some tasty meals! All you need to do is grate your cauliflower (or blitz it in a food processor) to create a fine ‘rice’ and then steam it lightly for 6-8 minutes with about half a cup of water. Drain the excess water and let it cool before storing in the fridge.
NOTE: this ‘rice’ will only last a few days, so if you aren’t planning to use it immediately I suggest freezing it until you need it.

Best uses:IMG_1449.jpg
– Toss through some mixed vegetables and a homemade soy dressing for a raw cauliflower ‘fried rice’ dish (I LOVE this one!)
– Create a cauliflower flat bread by mixing with an egg, 1/4 cup of almond meal and a handful of fresh herbs…press flat and bake for 15 minutes. Have this as a snack, or top with tomato paste and veges for a low-carb pizza
– Blend into a purée with some fresh thyme and a tsp of butter to use as a low-carb substitute for mashed potato

3) Toasted seed mix
A fresh seed mix is the perfect snack or topper. Combine sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds with a dash of coconut oil, raw maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes, and voila!

Best uses:
– Enjoy as a simple snack!
– Layer with yoghurt and fresh fruit to create a healthy parfait
– Sprinkle on a salad to add sweetness and flavour

4) Vegetable Sticks
Carrot, celery, capsicum, broccoli…whichever vegetables suit your taste, peel and slice them and have them ready and waiting in the fridge!

Best uses:
– Serve fresh with hummus
– Toss into a stir fry to add extra nutritional value
– Add to a salad to give some extra texture and flavour

It only takes a few simple steps to make a healthy lifestyle, and for me these nutritious building blocks have been essential to staying on track. I hope you find this as useful as I have!

Charlotte xx



So I absolutely LOVE breakfast…whether it’s pancakes or smoothies, eggs or an omelette, I could honestly have breakfast for every meal of the day! But as the winter months draw closer and the temperatures begin to drop, there is one thing I crave above anything else…the humble oats!

I actually grew up hating porridge. I can remember sneaking into the kitchen well before anyone else was up, just so that I could down my coco pops before mum had a chance to force feed me the daily dose of goo! How things have changed…

The thing I love most about oats is that they are so versatile! You can use them to make pancakes, or soak them in yoghurt overnight to make a bircher breakfast. Or you can simply cook them up as they are! They are such a nourishing and wholesome breakfast, and nothing warms you up more on a cold winter morning than a bowl of hot oats. So to get in the winter spirit, I am going to share with you three of my all-time favourite oats recipes!

1) Vanilla pear oats

This little bowl of goodness tastes just like a fruit crumble! It is the perfect treat to start your day, and will warm you from the inside out.IMG_2431

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh pear (chopped)
  • 10 almonds
  • 1/3 cup vanilla bean yoghurt

Mix oats, pear and almonds together in a small bowl. Add the water and microwave for 1-2 minutes, until the oats are cooked and the pear has softened. Add the yoghurt and gently mix through.

2) Coconut banana oats

I can’t get enough of this delicious recipe!! With a slight hint of caramel, it almost tastes like a banoffee pie…but much healthier of course!

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 banana (thick slices)
  • 10 almonds
  • 1 tbsp coconut thread
  • 1/3 cup greek coconut yoghurt

Heat a non-stick pan, and lightly brown banana slices on both sides for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix oats, almonds and coconut thread together in a small bowl. Add the water and microwave for 1 minute. Place the banana slices on the surface of the semi-cooked oats and microwave for 1 minute. To serve, add the greek coconut yoghurt.

3) Apple and berry oats

If you are looking for something a little lighter, with a bit more zing to it, this recipe will hit the spot!

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 apple (chopped)
  • 10 almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix oats, berries, almonds and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Add the water and microwave for 1-2 minutes, until the oats are cooked and the berries and apple have softened.

So I hope these little recipes will warm you up as the cold weather sets in!

Charlotte xx

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Three simple ways to get your buzz back!


Life can get so hectic! You spend the days running around, trying to fit everything in…and instead of getting smaller, the TO DO list seems to have multiplied by midday!! It gets to a point where you’re running on empty and you just hit a wall…

I feel your pain! This is a feeling I know all too well, and it can be so frustrating and overwhelming when you just don’t have the energy to finish what needs to be done. You find yourself becoming irritated over the smallest things, and instead of putting your best foot forward, you end up pushing through the rest of your day with a half-hearted ‘I just don’t care’ attitude.

But I have a few tips to share that will help to boost your energy and bring back your inner sparkle. You deserve to get the most out of your day, and these little habits may be just what you need.

1) Make like a camel and carry your water!

So I know we are all encouraged to up our water intake, but it can sometimes be difficult to remember to drink up regularly. Up until a couple of years ago I would’ve had maybe one or two glasses of water a day…not so good! But I started a habit of having water with me wherever I go, and I now drink between 1.5 to 2 litres per day. Starting with a quick glass of water when you wake up, and then sipping from a bottle throughout the morning, increasing the amount of water you drink will make a huge difference to your energy! It may take a while to get used to it (and you may find you need a few more toilet breaks), but this is something I swear by and I notice a dramatic difference if I forget my water!Water infusion

Tips: if you don’t particularly like plain water, try adding a squeeze of lemon juice, or infuse your water with fruit. One of my favourites is adding ½ cup frozen raspberries and ¼ cup chopped apple to 1L of water…let it infuse for 10 minutes and you’re good to go! This is also a great way to add extra vitamins and antioxidants into your day.

2) Get your march on!

Sitting at a desk, or on the couch, or in a car can be a real drain on your energy. You settle into a relaxed state, and your attention starts to switch off. So find excuses to get up off your seat, and out in the fresh air! Whether that means walking down the road to buy your lunch, taking the stairs when you have the option, or walking to and from work. Make a plan, commit to it and then make it happen (even if you reeeally don’t feel like it). I’ve recently started walking home from work a couple of days a week, and it honestly gives me such a boost! There were even a couple of days when I was so exhausted after work I considered giving in and catching the bus. But I stuck to my plan, pushed through the fatigue, and by the time I got home I was feeling refreshed and energised! It also meant that I got a good hour and a half to myself, which is always welcome in a busy life.

3) Increase your B’s to up your Buzz!

Energy fizz stickWhat do I mean by this? Well you may have heard that the B vitamins are an essential part of your diet, and here’s why…each of the eight essential B vitamins plays a very important role in your body’s energy production. Specifically they help to break down the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) in your digestive system, so that your body can access all the energy from the food you’ve eaten. So it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of this good stuff, either in your diet or by adding in a little vitamin B supplementation. I tend to add in one or two Arbonne Essentials energy fizz sticks each day, as well as making sure my daily diet includes several food groups high in vitamin B. The foods to include are:

  • Sunflower seeds and nuts
  • Wholegrains (note: if you are going for wholegrain bread, check the ingredient list to make sure it specifies ‘wholegrain’ not ‘kibbled grains’)
  • Liver (think pâté!)
  • Fish, particularly salmon
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

So on that note, I hope you have a wonderful energy-filled day!!

Charlotte xx

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Easter Goodness: Hot-cross bun pancakes


Easter is almost upon us! This is a time of year that means different things for different people. For me it is a time for family, for giving and sharing, and…for delicious treats!

There is one thing in particular, with its delicious cinnamon-y aroma and soft spongy texture, that I just go crazy for…a freshly baked, hot off the press, hot cross bun!

Growing up, my siblings and I were very spoilt as our mum is an absolute whizz in the kitchen. Every year she would bake a fresh batch of hot-cross bun heaven (raisins for me and my sister, choc-chips for my brother and eldest sister), which would be devoured in seconds…I don’t know about you, but in my opinion there isn’t much that can beat a lightly toasted hot-cross bun, slathered in butter, on a cold autumn day.

However…in the past couple of years my tummy has become extremely sensitive to many foods, and it really affects my health and comfort if I eat too much bread (sigh…). This is something that is becoming more and more common in today’s society, which probably has a lot to with all of the additives being slipped into our regular foods. But that’s an issue we’ll deal with at a later date…

So I decided I was going to find a way to enjoy my hot-cross bun fix, without harming my health…this is when the hot-cross bun pancake was born!

I love to experiment with my cooking (sometimes this doesn’t turn out so well, but it’s all in good fun), and this is something that took a while to perfect. I originally started with a rolled oat and yoghurt base, but found that this created a grainy texture and couldn’t be enjoyed by those with a dairy intolerance.
Pancakes recipe
But with persistence and patience I have come up with a recipe that really ticks all the boxes:
✔ dairy free
✔ gluten free
✔ low sugar
✔ great texture

And now, my friends, I am going to share this recipe with you…


Pancakes recipe doc

They’re really very simple to make, and don’t take a lot of preparation time. And the best part is, you don’t have to feel guilty about eating the whole lot yourself!!

I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!!

Charlotte xx

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