Yoghurt – the question everyone asks

YOGHURT – the most asked question on my supermarket tours. When I take my clients around the supermarket they always want to know what yoghurt is best and which yoghurt has the least amount of sugar!!! My personal recommendation is to go for a Natural Greek Style yoghurt > full fat > with no added sugar,  instead add your own+  active & live cultures, you should be able to see list of cultures on the container!
If you and your family don’t like the tartness of the yoghurt here are my top 5 suggestions on making your yoghurt taste amazing with all natural ingredients!
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1. Add a 1 to 2 drops of your favourite essential oil > the 4 that I use the most are grapefruit, wild orange, lemon or lime – natural flavour and no added sugar > just make sure that the oils you use are food grade 🙂  Interested in learning more about cooking with essential oils click here
2. Add lots of fresh fruit like kiwi fruit, berries, banana >my kids love it when i whip up a bag of frozen berries in the food processor then mix it through a pot of natural yoghurt + a tsp of vanilla bean > you can actually freeze them in little pots and make frozen yoghurt out of it or put back in the tub and then you have your own fresh batch of berry flavoured yoghurt
3. Add a tsp of St Dalfour strawberry jam – read the back of the ingredients panel there is no added sugar to this jam all natural fruit – this is great for babies instead of buying the sugary yoghurt and you can see exactly how much you are adding – 1/2 tsp should be plenty
4. Make it fun and add nuts, fruit, chia seeds, peanut butter what ever tickles your fancy get creative and make your own natural yoghurt kinda acai bowl – like in the pic above but instead you can blend berries and banana together and then decorate the top  with cocoa powder, coconut flakes, granola
5. Add your own natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup (need to be pure not the artificial stuff)
Would love to hear some of your favourite recipes please comment below on how you like your yoghurt!
Veex

Find your MUMMA tribe!

💕 Let’s get raw and let me introduce you to this amazing mumma tribe that I am apart of and who have supported and believed in me especially over this weekend..So grateful for all the new connections and stories that we have shared…
So now I am back from 2017 doTERRA convention, and I am on mission to make sure that I share what I learnt this weekend (not on how to use essential oils) but to make sure you find your MUMMA tribe! And why I am so passionate about sharing this with other mums, especially expat mums out there and the importance of being in a supportive and encouraging group of women.
If you have met me in person you will often hear me talk about my life in Dubai and how much I miss it and my friends.. Well this weekend was a real turning point for me, I felt connected and really part of a bunch of mums who are full of life, passionate, living their dreams and dedicated to not only supporting their group of friends but open to meeting new friends along their journey and this is why I loved the expat life.. I realised that what I was missing in my life in Australia was continually meeting and connecting with new people and sharing our stories.. nothing interests me more than hearing about where people have travelled and what they have accomplished in their lives.
During this weekend I was really emotional — well I think a lot of us were as we listened to the journeys of others heartbreak but so inspiring to see where they are now — but for me it was because I finally have found my WHY in life. As a mum and most of you can relate to this once you have kids life gets really busy and sometimes you feel lost in life and you really are not sure what to do as we all want some kind of life/work balance and of course to be around our kids..but for me my no. 1 was having a loving and supportive husband, kids and friends and family  and I very grateful for this and all my beautiful friends that I have in my life.. most of them since I was in primary school and some of them who I have met through my travels around the world – life wouldn’t be the same without all these beautiful people  – my no.2 was  I wanted to be successful in whatever I did, I wanted to do something that I was passionate about and willing to work my butt off for to get to where I want in life. I was continually searching high and low for this, questioned myself but what I didn’t realise was I was living my WHY and I didn’t even realise!
MY WHY is being a health & wellness coach to busy mums who need support and encouragement as they search for their why and want to live the high vibe/healthy lifestyle… my why is continually to educate others on essential oil and how they can be part of your daily lives. Through this WHY  I get to meet and continually be around amazing people all the time as I support and encourage them to kick-start their goals or health & wellness plans… It is not all about the food, exercise, sleeping right it’s about being part of a TRIBE of other woman who you can connect with, share stories but mostly be their for each other and having some #mummymetime ❤ ❤ ❤
I have never been so determined to helps others to find their why and I want to share my knowledge and love to attitude, especially other mums that feel the same. I want to make sure that expat mums have the same support network like they do in their own country and feel like they are part of a tribe.
So my mission this year is not only to support and encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle and put yourself first and to give yourself the time for personal growth and time for you ❤ ❤ ❤ but mostly to find your tribe.. If you have an amazing tribe now continue to love and support them but to remember to keep eyes and heart open as there are plenty of us out there looking for a tribe to be part of…
Shouting out to all the mums near and far, I want to extend the offer to you. If you would like to be part of our fun, passionate, international and high vibe tribe make sure to connect with me and let’s get you living your dreams 💕  Feel free to connect with me on facebook, join our Wholesome Mums Tribe or email me at wholesomevee@gmail.com I would love to hear from you and see how we can support each other!
Vanessa xx

Back to School – Be Organised and Plan Ahead

Being organised in the kitchen is so important when our kids head back to school! I find if my kitchen, meal plans and supplies are not stocked for the week ahead than there is way to fail when getting meal on the table and lunch boxes out the door.

To help you get started with back to school lunch boxes here are my top tips:

    • Meal planning – every Sunday make a meal plan for the week that way you can add in your nights out, kids activities – if you want to be super organised try making a separate one for the kids lunchboxes if that helps – Click here for my meal plan I use
    • Smart cooking – when planning your meals try and make something that you could re-use in another meal – I also try and make 4 meals a week that I can either use to make another meal or simply have leftovers!
    • Shopping list – YOU NEED A shopping list – that way you know what you need to buy and avoid the snacks that you think you need (plus save money) – if you have a really busy schedule you can also try ordering online from your favourite local grocer or supermarket. I am a list kind of girl so I don’t like using my phone but if your phone is your daily checklist there are so many great app’s that you can download – Woolworths and Coles both have one as well.
    • Cook in bulk – this will save you time during the week, especially if you have a lot of activities on after school or working full time. Sunday is usually my food prep day where I bake a healthy cake/slice – cook some meatballs or bake a chicken for their sandwiches!
    • Food Prep – On Sundays you can cut up vegetable sticks for the first 3 days of the week and make a yummy fruit salad! Try and get as much done as possible. A friend of mine has all her lunches sorted for the week and stores them in her fridge so this might work for you as well.

Let’s get organised and make our life easier – Mums we are on a mission #mummymetime to have more time for mum so if this is something that you struggle with or need help improving on, I hope these tips are helpful. If you have helpful tips that you would like to share please comment below as I would love to hear how organised your kitchen and prep is.

 

Back to School – Healthy Bedtime for Kids!

We are only a couple of weeks away from school starting back in Australia, so I thought I would share with you some of the information that I have been researching about a getting my 3 little vikings back into a good sleep routine. As well as what I am currently doing to ensure that they are well rested to start the new school year! If you are like me during the school holidays I am a little bit more relaxed around their bedtime as we love sitting outside at night eating our dinner, the kids are having fun jumping on the trampoline while the parents sit back and enjoy catching up with a glass of wine!  Now that we are reaching the end of the school holidays I am slowly getting my kids back into a good routine so that they are ready to take on the new school year! Here is what I am implementing in my household this week:

> The National Sleep Foundation state that around 2 weeks before school starts, we should slowly start working with our children to implement a school/age appropriate sleep schedule… Having 3 kids at different ages I had to refresh my memory on how much sleep each child needs so I have found this sleep guide helpful.  This is what I will be aiming for 2 yr > 7pm to 6am >>>>>>>>> 4yr> 7.30pm to 6am >>>>>>>>>8yr> 8pm to 6.30am … I am hoping that this routine will give both my husband and I some time to spend with each child on reading them a book and give them some 1:1 time with each child.

>  Sticking to the schedule – Once my kids are in this routine I try and stick to this from Sunday to Thursday as Friday and Saturday nights we are usually out or having a family movie night! Plus when my kids are in a routine I find our house runs a lot smoother.

> Sleep time routine – Having a great bedtime routine is a great way for the kids to get them ready for bedtime so I actually start the sleep time routine from their dinner time. We usually have dinner between 5.30pm and 6pm depending on sport/work commitments. Once dinner is finished say at around 6.30pm – the kids will have their bath, brush their teeth, get their pj’s on and they are allowed to either play or watch some tv whilst I clean up the kitchen. From 7pm we start the bedtime routine and depending on who is taking the kids to bed the other parent will sit with the other 2. I think having a good routine leading up to bedtime it allow the kids to know exactly what to expect and their won’t be any surprises.

> Natural Sleep Support – If you have followed me for any length of time you know that I am an essential oil believer and user. I have used them consistently for about one year now, and sleep time is no exception. Here is how I use essential oils to support a healthy night sleep for my kids:

FOR THE GIRLS – Serenity blend – Serenity is a beautiful blend for girls that is both calming and relaxing. Depending on what kind of day my daughter has had I either add a cup of epsom salt and a few drop of serenity to the bath or I put a few drops on her pillow before bed and her cuddly toy – sometimes she won’t go to sleep without it.12983200_1712962302323137_7182133036545565583_o

FOR THE BOYS – Lavender + Balance blend (creates a sense of calm and grounding) – I have made up a roller bottle topped with coconut and the a few drops of each oil. I then rub it on the soles of their feet and and on their pillow before they bedtime. They have also become a little obsessed with the oil.. but i definitely think it helps with grounding my boys.. I did try having a diffuser in their room but they always seem to find it and tip the water all over the floor so maybe in a few years. Sometimes if I have had a full on day I add a few drops of Balance to the bath or diffuse it while they eat their dinner #2boys20monthsapart

> Nutrition – Well like you going to bed on a full stomach is uncomfortable and makes it hard to go to sleep, so it is definitely the same for kids. I try and allow at least 1.5hrs before bedtime for their food to digest. And it is best to avoid any sugary drinks at dinner time or before bed as they don’t need the extra energy trust me. Water is what  you will see on my families dinner table 🙂

Not sure about you but sometimes my kids complain that they are “still hungry” before bed so they can choose between some yoghurt, a glass of milk, a piece of bread with avocado or peanut butter or a banana.

I would love to hear about what you do to encourage a good night sleep in your household.

If you have any questions or would like to get your hands on the bedtime essential oils feel free to reach out as I am more than happy to help!

 

5 Ways to Use tomatoes when they have gone soft!

Sunday afternoons usually consist of the kids playing in the backyard with their Far (dad) and their mum busy prepping for the week to come! I actually call this “mummy needs to be organised” it gives me the chance to plan the week ahead, prep for school lunches, get creative in the kitchen and clean out my neglected fridge.

Tomatoes are best stored out on the bench until ripen and used, however I find when the tomatoes are over ripe I put them in the fridge as they keep better until I use them in one of my meals.

This week I had a few punnets of over ripe tomatoes that needed to be used and I thought I would share a few easy ways that you can use your over ripe tomatoes before you toss them in the bin or add them to your compost:

  1. Bolognese Sauce
    Chop up the tomatoes into quarters then add directly to the pot after you cook up the meat! It is important that you let the sauce simmer for at least an hour on low heat so that it gives the tomato skins a chance to soften.
  2. Red Pasta Sauce
    Add some water to a sauce pan and when the water boils add your tomatoes. Cook until the tomato skin starts to split then remove from water and drain. Now you will be able to remove the tomato skins to add/ blitz to your favourite homemade sauce.
  3. Tomatoes for breakfast
    Perfect for those Sunday morning breakfasts! Halve the tomatoes and then add to the a roasting pan and bake for about for a few minutes and then season & oregano and then add to your eggs on toast. YUM
  4. Mediterranean or slow cooking 
    When I am putting together a yummy stew or my delicious Moroccan lamb, I often use over ripe tomatoes as I love the flavour that ripeness gives! With my morrocan lamb, I usually cut the tomatoes in quarters and use the tomatoes as my base of  tagine.
  5. Blitz away & freeze
    When my kids were babies I use to blitz the tomatoes up and store them in ice-cube trays. This was a great idea and made life handy when you are trying to add a little extra flavour to their steamed vegies or chicken dish! Raw blitz tomatoes can store from 4 to 6 months in the freezer.

Did you know? You are better off using the whole tomato as opposed to boiling and removing the skin,  as there are plenty more nutrients in the skin that you want to nourish your body with such as lycopene and beta-carotene.