The Perfect Post-Early Shift Lunch: A Green Super Smoothie In A Bowl.

I must admit I’m really not a fan of early shifts.

No matter how early I go to bed, I always seem to struggle to get my body out of it when that dreaded alarm clock decides to wake me up from my peaceful slumber.

Plus I don’t know about you, but the snooze button is always my friend on an early shift.

So by the time I get home, I’m often not really in the mood to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen whipping up some kind of exotic creation.

The solution?  Whip yourself up a Green-Super-Smoothie-In-A-Bowl.

This smoothie makes the perfect post-early shift lunch because it’s packed with spinach leaves rich in carotenoids – potent anti-inflammatory molecules designed to help protect our arteries amongst a myriad of other health benefits.  This fantastic recipe is adapted and inspired from Nutritionist Lola Berry’s 20/20 Diet Cookbook.

Benefits of Spinach:

* Loaded with phytonutrients which have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.

* An excellent source of vitamins C, E and A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, zinc and selenium which all help to reduce oxidative stress. It also contains vitamin K which is important for maintaining bone health.

* It’s a very good source of fibre, phosphorus, vitamin B1 (for energy), zinc, protein, and choline. Additionally, spinach is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, pantothenic acid, and selenium.

So how do you make this wonderful concoction of goodness?  It’s easy …

1 frozen banana
1/2 rolled oats
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/4 cup cashews
2 medjool dates
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon raw cacao nibs
1/2 teaspoon bee pollen


Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and combine until you get a thick, smooth consistency and all of the lumpy bits are gone.  Pour into a bowl and top with raw cacao nibs and bee pollen.  Grab a spoon and enjoy!

All in all a super nourishing food for an often under-nourished shift worker!

Chai and Almond Butter Smoothie: A Winter Smoothie To Help Warm You Up!

It’s another wet, chilly day here in Brisbane so after walking out of the airport and into the somewhat “fresh air” after my early shift, I felt like I needed a little something to help warm me up.

This Chai and Almond Butter Smoothie (which I’ve adapted from Nutritionist Lola Berry’s 20/20 Diet Cookbook) is caffeine free, full of antioxidants, super nourishing and contains spices which help to stimulate the circulatory system and warm us up.


1 frozen banana
4 medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons almond butter
1/2 teaspoon chai spice mix
500 ml (2 cups) almond milk
1 teaspoon chopped almonds, to serve


Pop the banana, dates, almond butter, spices and almond milk into a blender and whizz till smooth. Pour into glasses and served topped with a pinch of chai spice and a sprinkle of chopped almonds.

Tip: If you can’t find any chai mix, you can make your own. This is Lola’s recipe …


2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons crushed cardamom seeds
3 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons ground ginger


Combine the spices in a sealable glass jar and store in the pantry to use as required.

Now that I’m all fuelled up, I’m off to a hot yoga class to help warm myself up even more!

Carrot Cake For Breakfast? You Bet!

Stuck for brekky ideas? Well you might like to try this nourishing Carrot Cake “Bircher-In-A-Jar” style breakfast – a recipe which I’ve adapted from well renowned Nutritionist Lola Berry’s 20/20 Diet Cookbook. Lola completed a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine from Endeavour College a few years ago (the same degree and campus) where I’m also studying. Her recipes are also a bit funky which I love :-).

This porridge / bircher style brekky is made up of Quinoa which is high in protein and very nutritious – rich in vitamins and minerals.

What I really like about this breakfast is that it’s very filling so helps to sustain you through even the longest of shifts!

It’s important to note that the outer layers of the Quinoa grain contain a toxic phytochemical called saponin, which can irritate intestines, so it’s important to make sure you rinse the grain before cooking.

1 cup quinoa flakes
2 cups almond milk
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup sultanas
4 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
extra sultanas to serve
extra cinnamon to serve

Place the quinoa flakes and almond milk in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir to combine. Add the carrot, dried fruit, spices and salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thick and porridgey. Keep stirring to avoid sticking to pan.

Serve topped with walnuts, Greek yoghurt and cinnamon.

This is great to have hot but I love taking it into work in a jar with a dollop of Greek yoghurt!