Tomato & Cocunut Caprese Recipe


(per person)

  • 1 large tomato per person
  • flesh from 1/2 young coconut
  • 4 - 8 asparagus spears
  • 6 baby spinach leaves
  • hulled hemp seeds for garnish
  • balsamic vinegar
  • coconut oil


Slice tomato into thick rounds. Remove the flesh from a coconut keeping it as intact as possible. 

Start to layer the tomato, 2 spinach leaves, coconut flesh, asparagus spears, and repeat again with the tomato, spinach leaves, coconut flesh, asparagus spears until you are left with 1 tomato slice. Place this tomato slice on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and coconut oil and add hemp seeds to garnish if desired.

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath


Berry Superfood Compote Recipe


½ cup Coconut water made from Organic Coconut water powder
2 Tbsp Berry Ultimate Antioxidant Blend
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp Yacon Syrup
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice


Mix together the chia seeds with the coconut water in a small bowl or glass. Allow to sit for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring once. After the chia has gelatinized, mix in the Berry Ultimate Antioxidant Blend powder, yacon syrup, and lemon juice. For best results, allow mixture to set for 30 minutes before serving. Will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Makes: 2/3 cup

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath


Ultimate Alkalising Super Salad Recipe



  • ¼ green cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 pear sliced finely
  • 3 cos lettuce leaves shredded
  • 1 large handful mustard greens
  • 4 dandelion leaves shredded
  • 1 lebanese cucumber finely sliced
  • 8 snow peas chopped
  • ¼ red capsicum finely diced
  • 1 large handful sunflower sprouts
  • 1 large peach diced
  • 1 large avocado diced


  • 2 tablespoons cold pressed organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 large orange juiced (include pulp)
  • 1 tspn bee pollen
  • ½ tspn chlorella
  • ½ tspn Ultimate Green Blend
  • pinch Pink Himilayan salt to taste

Combine salad ingredients, ensuring well mixed. Combine all dressing ingredients except for bee pollen. Add dressing to the salad and mix to combine. Sprinkle the bee pollen over the top for garnish

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath


Probiotics for Better Health

Your gut literally serves as your second brain. It even produces more of the neurotransmitter serotonin— which is known to have a beneficial influence on your mood—than your brain does! 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to maintain optimal health.

Your gut is quite literally your second brain - it originates from the same type of tissue as your brain! During foetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system, while the other develops into your enteric nervous system. These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen. Hence your gut and your brain work in tandem, each influencing the other. This explains why the health of your intestines can have such a profound effect on your mental health.*

Some of the important bacteria are:

  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Some food sources of good quality probiotics I often recommend clients to incorporate into their diet are:

  • Lassi (an Indian yogurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner)
  • fermentations of cabbage sauerkraut,, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash, and carrots.
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Fermented raw milk such as kefir or yogurt – using milk that has been homogenised and pasteurised will eventually kill the kefir
  • Natto (fermented soy) This has an unusual texture that does take some getting used to


Probiotic Smoothie

  • 1 large red papaya
  • 1 white flesh peach deseeded
  • ½ tspn papaya seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp lucuma powder
  • 1 heaped tspn NuFerm Organic Woman Probiotic or 2012 Probiotics
  • Water and flesh from 1 young green drinking coconut

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately! 

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath


Getting Started on Raw & 3 Recipes

One of the most common questions I get asked in my clinic is how do I start a raw food diet? My response it depends on why you are starting on the raw food journey. Are you bringing in raw because of health issues or do you wish to feel generally healthier, lighter, more energetic? If you are used to a lifestyle of caffeine, alcohol, fast foods or smoking, going raw quickly can create the most uncomfortable detoxification results whereas if you start with a few changes, you give your body time to adapt, detoxify slowly and more easily.  

The easiest way to slide into a raw lifestyle is to start with juices or smoothies. These have the most gentle way of detoxing the body while loading you with vital nutrients and enzymes. I am personally fond of green juices or green smoothies and alternating them with red juices. They are simple, tasty and easy.

Green smoothies are extremely alkaline which is where we want our bodies to be. An acidic body is a body inviting disease in. Foods such as meat, all dairy though cheese especially, alcohol and sugars are highly acidic. Some nuts can be quite acidic also e.g. walnuts. 

When our bodies are alkaline, we absorb nutrients better, our cells function more effectively and we detoxify quicker and easier. 

A highly nutritious green smoothie base is lebanese cucumber (for its gentle diuretic effect in helping to remove toxins), cos lettuce (also known as Romaine lettuce – the most nutritious lettuce available), celery (gentle diuretic and alkaline) and parsley (unless you are breastfeeding). Parsley is a great blood cleanser and booster of red blood cells. You can substitute in herbs such as Lambs Quarters or Borage instead. Add in a banana or two – I prefer mine frozen as it makes the smoothie thicker. 

A basic recipe would look like this:

  • 1 lebanese cucumber peeled
  • 6 cos lettuce leaves
  • 3-4 stalks celery
  • 2-3 stalks parsley
  • 1-2 frozen bananas
  • 250 – 500mls water

Add all to the Vitacrush or Vitamix blender with alkalised & ionised water (if possible) and blend briefly.

The red juice recipe:

  • 1-2 carrots
  • ¼ kent or Jap pumpkin
  • 1 small sliver of ginger
  • 1 small sliver of tumeric
  • 2-3 leaves red cabbage
  • 2-3 apples
  • ¼ beetroot

Add all to the blender and blend briefly.

Red juices are fanastic for repairing and tonifying the liver. Go easy on the beetroot as it can stimulate liver function. That is why I only recommend ¼ of a beetroot. At this dose, it repairs and tonifies beautifully.

Experiment with these recipes for a few weeks and see the improvement in your life. Once you have been drinking raw foods for a while, you will start to want to try other forms of raw food too. A dehydrator is an excellent purchase as you can create divine treats and meals so easily while keeping all the nutrients in your food!


Pecan-Wild Rice Loaf 


  • 3 cups  pecans, soaked 1 hour

  • 2 cups carrots

  • 1 red bell (red capsicum) pepper

  • 1/2 cup shallot or onion

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 cup sprouted mung beans or sunflower sprouts

  • 1 cup sprouted  wild  rice
2 1/2 lemons, juiced

  • 2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne (optional)

  • Nama Shoyu and/or Celtic sea salt, to taste

  1. Put  pecans  and carrots through the Champion, Samson or Lexcon juicer with the blank 
in place. It comes out like a paté. Set aside in a large bowl.

  2. Put the red bell pepper (red capsicum), shallots or onion, basil and parsley into a food
processor & blend well using the "S" blade. Add this mixture into the paté.

  3. Then, add in the sprouted mung beans and  wild  rice, lemon juice and spices. Mix very
 well by hand. Taste and adjust flavors. Shape into a loaf and transfer to a serving platter.
 Garnish with pecan halves and red bell pepper (red capsicum) rings.

Serves 6. Keeps 2-3 days in refrigerator.

Orange-Cranberry Sauce 



  • 2 cups cranberries
1 orange, juiced

  • 1 orange, cut into pieces
peel from 1/4 of an orange, finely grated. (Make sure the rind is not artificially coloured)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked overnight (or for at least 1 hour)

  • 3-4 tbsp. raw honey


Put all ingredients into a food processor and process to a sauce consistency.

Makes approx. 1 pint or 600mls. Keeps for up to two weeks, if you lock the refrigerator
 otherwise it has the nasty habit of disappearing (especially when my son discovers it's 
location)! Goes well with the Pecan-Wild Rice Loaf.

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath


Green Hit Noodles Recipe


Serves 1-2 people. Keeps for a day when refrigerated in a sealed container. I
like to change my sprouts around a bit so I'll often change the alfalfa
sprouts to Sunflower sprouts. Have fun with your sprouts


  • 100g alfalfa and broccoli sprouts
  • 50g kelp noodles
  • 2 heaped teaspoons raw tahini
  • 20g chia seeds
  • 20 shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina
  • 2 teaspoons raw virgin cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Put the oil, tahini, spirulina, apple cider vinegar in the bowl you'll be eating out of and mash together. Add the seeds and mash again. Add the sprouts and mix. Rinse the kelp noodles and add those, mixing for a final time.

Eat with love and appreciation for all things green, knowing you are feeding your body some pretty amazing nutrients. For an alternative, you may wish to substitute all marinate ingredients with Namu shoyu & tamari.

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath


What is Cacao Butter + Chili Chocolate Nut Bar Recipe

Cacao butter, (also known as cocoa butter) is the natural cream coloured vegetable fat extracted from cacao beans during the process of separating the powder and liquor from the bean. 70% of the world's production of cacao butter is produced in the West African nations Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. Cacao butter has a soft, sweet cacao aroma, and is one of the most stable fats known.

The Ultimate Moisturiser: Eczema and Dermatitis Symptoms eradicated with Cacao Butter?

Cacao butter has been called the ultimate moisturizer, and has been used to keep skin soft and supple for centuries. It is one of the most stable, highly concentrated natural fats known, and melts at body temperature so that it is readily absorbed into the skin.

Cacao butter is often recommended for treatment of skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. When applied topically, it creates a barrier between sensitive skin and the environment and also helps retain moisture.

In addition, cacao butter contains cacao mass polyphenol (CMP), a substance that inhibits the production of the immunoglobulin IgE. IgE is known to aggravate symptoms of both dermatitis and asthma.

Can using cacao Butter help the fight against cancer?

Recent research indicates that massaging the skin with cacao butter may help relieve stress, boost the immune system, and even prevent cancer. This is because cacao butter, like chocolate, contains a lot of CMP.

Researchers in Japan reported that CMP inhibits the growth of cancerous cells and tumours by reducing active oxygen levels in the body, and concluded that CMP inhibits the oxidation of LDL (good) cholesterol and the production of inflammatory cells; there is some evidence that the CMP in cacao butter may also help prevent heart disease and ease arthritic symptoms.

Preliminary research indicates that CMP actually helps suppress excessive T-cell activity in the immune system, which could help treat conditions associated with overactive immune systems, such as psoriasis, fibromylagia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Some Uses for Cacao Butter

  • Add a spoonful to your bath water for a luxurious experience.
  • Great for dry, itchy skin, or sore muscles.
  • Try adding Lavender or Chamomile essential oil as well, or an herbal infusion made from soothing herbs.
  • Use in massage for overexerted muscles
  • Add to soaps for a conditioning effect that adds a good lather.
  • Add it to your handmade soap recipes.
  • Use during pregnancy to keep the skin supple, & to prevent stretch marks.
  • It may also be used after giving birth to reduce stretch marks.  

by Michelle Ovens, Naturopath


Chili Chocolate Nut Bar


  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ⅓ cup goji berries
  • 1 teaspoon minced chili or ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil - melted
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ⅓ cup agave
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries


  1. Process almonds until finely ground and place in a bowl
  2. Coarsely process pecans, cranberries and goji berries and add to bowl
  3. Leave hazelnuts whole and add to bowl
  4. Add minced chili or powder
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well by hand
  6. Taste test to get the desired level of chili bite
  7. Press into a cling wrap lined 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in) container
  8. Refrigerate overnight
  9. Cut into squares and enjoy

Store in fridge in an airtight container

by Pamela Vinten  Check out her books at www.amazingguiltfreechocolate.com


Everything You Should Know About Low GI Foods

Even those people who do not normally pay a lot of attention to whether they are eating healthy know that some kinds of carbohydrates are good for the body while others are not. ‘Simple’ carbs, such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup etc are not considered healthy for us. ‘Complex’ carbs such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and grain like seeds such as buckwheat and quinoa, etc are deemed highly beneficial to our bodies. However, if you are avoiding all these ‘simple’ carbs and loading up on the ‘complex’ ones, you may be actually making a big mistake!!
Think High or Low GI Carbs Instead of Simple or Complex Carbs  

The fact is that to figure out which carbs are good for your body it is just not enough to know whether they fall in the ‘simple’ category or the ‘complex’ one. What really makes a difference is the way in which the carbohydrate impacts your body’s blood sugar levels. The degree to which a carbohydrate impacts this level is represented by its GI or Glycemic Index. Carbs (or foods) with a high GI cause your blood sugar level to go up more than those with a low GI. Before we get any further, do you know why the GI value is so important?  

What is Glycemic Index (GI) and Why is it Important?  

GI is a scale that shows how quickly and by how much any food can raise the body’s blood glucose or blood sugar levels. Being aware of the GI values of various foods you take allows you to keep a tight rein over your blood sugar levels, which is great news for those who have problems with fluctuating sugar levels. Plus, by ingesting foods that have the right GI for your body, you can also avoid heart disease, keep insulin resistance at arm’s length, lower the risk of some types of cancer and derive several other benefits.    What you should also know is that there is an impressive amount of research to show that low GI foods are the way to go if you want to stay fit and be disease free. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (study by Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Feldman HA, et al) has revealed that a low GI diet is perfect for weight watchers too. Remember that high GI foods spark off a vicious cycle within our body that ends with excess glucose floating around in the blood which is very likely turned into fat stores. In the raw food arena pioneers Dr Gabriel Cousen’s and Hippocrates Brian Clement both offer low GI raw food programs that have helped thousands of people completely reverse serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.  

Putting Together a Low GI Diet  

Knowing how beneficial low GI food is for your body and actually sticking to a low GI diet are two very different things. The main issue here is that a low GI food is not automatically healthy just as a high GI one is not always bad for your body. For example, organic sugar has a relatively low GI (46) whereas watermelons have high GI (80). Does that mean that you can replace your watermelon shakes with sugar in the name of better health? Definitely not!    The point to note here is that you need to take the GI value into consideration along with several other factors, including a good look at what other nutrients the food has to offer. In this case, candies have a whole lot of empty calories that will do you no good whereas watermelons contain vitamins, fibre, minerals and other good stuff.   

Looking at the Big Picture  

Experts recommend that to make up the perfect low GI diet you need to look at the big picture. No food item should be a part of your diet simply because of its low GI value. Only if it is low in calories and it also has some nutrients to offer does it make a good inclusion in your diet.

If you still eat processed and packaged foods, you should also go through the food’s ingredients list which usually gives you a great deal of information about the kind of carbs it has.   

Now, how do you put together a meal that is low GI without sacrificing taste or nutrition? According to Joanna McMillan-Price, the Sydney nutrition scientist who also co-authored ‘The Low GI Diet book’, low GI food should be the focus of two meals a day. However, she reassures that it is not necessary to keep a close watch on the GI of every single fruit and vegetable that you use. These have so many other nutrients to offer that irrespective of GI values, these make an excellent addition to most diets.  

However if you still eat processed grains, keeping a close eye on the GI values of the carbs portion of your daily diet- mainly breakfast cereals, bread varieties, rice and similar products and sticking to low GI ones here is sure to pay off handsomely. The portions of various foods that you take are also to be taken into consideration. On a cooked diet a small portion of high GI food like basmati rice will not do you any harm if you pair it with a low GI lentil soup. Similarly, on a raw diet when you mix leafy greens with fruit in a green smoothie the low GI greens balance the higher GI fruit so you don’t get a blood sugar spike.  

As McMillan-Price explains, the GI values should not be the sole determinant of what goes on your plate and what doesn’t. However, looking at GI values helps you pick and choose the most beneficial carbohydrates from the many choices you have.


Raw Banoffie Pie Recipe

The coveted dessert that my Mum would make on an occasion was Banoffie Pie - biscuit crumb base, ooey gooey caramel, bananas, cream and grated chocolate.  I think these days I would be buzzing off the sugar in one of these bad boys, simply by sniffing it.

My taste buds have definitely matured and evolved since my childhood sugar loving days.  Refined sugar and me aren't really the best of friends at this stage in my life - I've turned to more natural sources when I indulge in a sweet treat.  

It's amazing how, over time, you can "programme" your taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness that is abundant in things like dates - the earth's caramel.  Processed white sugar and high fructose corn syrup filled caramels?  No way - here's my raw and refined sugar free version of my childhood favourite:

Raw Banoffie Pie
(Vegan, gluten, wheat, soy, seed, corn and refined sugar free - RAW)


  • 1T raw cacao powder
  • 4 large medjool dates. pits removed
  • 1/8t sea salt
  • 1/2C raw almond meal
Banana Caramel "Cream"
  • 1C raw cashews soaked for at least 2 hours, then drained
  • 12 large medjool dates, pits removed
  • 2T raw lucuma powder
  • 1/2t sea salt
  • 3t lemon juice
  • 1/3C coconut oil (liquid)
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped of it's seeds, or 1tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4T agave syrup
Cacao nibs/grated raw chocolate/cacao powder for garnish - whatever you like.

  1. Pulse the base ingredients together in a food processor until a soft crumb is formed.  Push into a non stick spring form cheesecake pan... compacting down firmly.  Place in the fridge.
  2. In a food processor or high speed blender like a Vita Mix, whizz together the "Cream" scraping down the sides as necessary.  Mix until super smooth.
  3. Pour on top of base, and place in the freezer for about 4 hours.
  4. Transfer to the fridge to soften slightly before serving.
  5. Garnish with raw cacao nibs/greated raw chocolate or sliced banana and a sprinkling of raw cacao powder.
Enjoy without the subsequent sugar crash!
by Louise Dwan


Five food groups to avoid if you value your health

To maintain good health throughout our lives we need to eat food that is biologically suited to our bodies. For millions of years we have eaten predominantly fresh, whole foods and it is only in the past 100 years that we have switched to a highly processed diet.  Essentially the more a food is processed the more harmful it becomes to our health. This is natural law when we ignore it there is a price to pay.

The following five food groups are major contributors to disease and suffering in our modern society because they have replaced natural whole foods as our staples. Just by leaving these foods out of your diet or even dramatically reducing them you will almost certainly experience a vast improvement in your health.

1.Refined Sugars
2.Refined carbohydrates
3.Highly Processed and heated oils
4.Excessive animal Protein – especially factory farmed
5.Excessively heated foods

Many crackers, biscuits and chips contain all five of the above!

These foods are acid forming and provide nutritionally dead calories. In short they are biologically inappropriate for our bodies health and longevity.  They all contribute to a toxic inner environment and leave us susceptible to chronic and degenerative diseases. The first step towards creating radiant health is to begin to replace processed and harmful foods with delicious biologically suitable alternatives.

By replacing these five food groups with fresh whole foods most people will experience a significant improvement in their health, whether they are eating high percentage of raw foods or not.

Here are some disturbing facts from the The World Health Organisation

  • Over 90% of calories consumed by Australians and many other “developed nations” come from refined foods and animal products.
  • More than 40 percent of the calories in our diet are derived from sugar or refined grains both of which are nutrient-depleted.
  • Refined sugars and carbs are linked to high cancer, diabetes and heart attack rates we are seeing  
  • Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of them obese

Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer.

The key causes are increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity.

Obesity rates that have risen three-fold or more since 1980 in some areas of North America, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and China. The obesity epidemic is not restricted to industrialised societies; this increase is often faster in developing countries than in the developed world.

So what can we do to turn around our health and the health of our loved ones?

Start replacing energy-dense processed foods with nutrient-dense whole Foods

Nutrient density is a measure of the amount of nutrients a food contains in comparison to the number of calories.

In comparison energy-dense foods have more calories for the volume of food and generally fewer nutrients.

What are some nutrient-dense foods?

Fresh whole, raw plant foods contain the highest overall levels of nutrition.

Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables (especially dark leafy greens) as well as superfoods are big winners in nutrient density.  Remember less heat = more nutrients. If you are cooking steaming and boiling for a short period of time is vastly healthier than baking, grilling and frying at high temperatures.

Also by varying your diet and “eating a rainbow” of natural whole plant foods you will be getting a broad spectrum of phytonutrients, which are nature’s medicine.

What are some energy-dense foods?

Energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods include things that are high in sugar and fat such as refined white breads, pasta, pastries, processed lunch meats and cheeses, ice cream, candy, soda, potato chips and corn chips. In other words, junk food.

Even though nearly everyone knows these foods are harmful to our health, they have been very successfully marketed by the food giants to replace real food in our homes and restaurants. To kick the processed food habit takes a concerted and conscious effort as they are highly addictive as well as ubiquitous. We are literally surrounded by them and everyone is eating them.

By Anand Wells