Breaking the boundaries of what’s expected of us is hard for everyone. Many of us realize the world needs us to ‘be the change’, but sometimes it’s damn hard to fully embrace the complexity of it all—unshackled by the conditioning that inhibits us… that also makes change so necessary. For International Women’s Day: here are the top 10 ways women hold themselves back.
Eureka! They said a pure sourdough baguette couldn’t be done, but sometimes that’s the best impetus for me to make something happen.
I’ll be honest with you, it was reading George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) that made me seriously question my grain-free life choices. The way he writes bread (usually with butter, honey or cheese) really illustrates it in a true light: it’s a staple, a tradition. Food is culture & bread is a hub to the western wheel.
“In a heartbeat, a thousand voices took up the chant. King Joffrey and King Robb and King Stannis were forgotten, and King Bread ruled alone. “Bread.” they clamored. “Bread, Bread!”‘
But I wanted to eat bread in some way that was healthy. I’d had troubles digesting wheat and wasn’t a fan of the carbohydrate load behind bread. It seemed somewhat impossible to get easily digestible, low carbohydrate bread that was healthy. But as I mentioned, sometimes impossibility is the best impetus to revelation.
Behold: sourdough! I learned very quickly that this staple wasn’t traditionally bad for us—we are now preparing it in a way that not only robs it of nutrients, but alters its digestibility. The outcome of cutting traditional corners in bread-baking are the negative affects we collectively attribute to bread itself. It’s not bread’s fault, it’s our love of convenience & our disregard for tradition that birthed this folly. Sourdough white bread is heaps better for you than a whole grain yeasted loaf, and it’s equivalent to whole grain quinoa on the glycemic index. The fermentation process unlocks nutrients in the grain, like sprouting can, and makes them bioavailable to you when you digest. Plus, the probiotics in the fermented loaf are excellent for your body, like yoghurt.
The best defence for respecting tradition I’ve ever heard was that we no longer remember why we started doing things a certain way!
Baking sourdough is… a bit more involved than a yeasted loaf. One of the challenges is texture. A fermented loaf changes texture as it breaks down; it becomes more liquid and softer. The easiest way to bake a cultured bread is in a contained vessel, like the crock pot used in my amazing recipe here. Not only does a vessel contain a loaf regardless of texture, a softer more liquid loaf is easier to get a rise out of. The challenges to making a free-form loaf, like the artisanal style loaves and baguettes (both baked on a stone) are: a. Getting the dough at a perfect moment of fermented-but-still-able-to-hold-shape & b. Getting it to rise while being firmer in texture.
Baguette crumb (the inside yums of the loaf) are notoriously full of big air bubbles—they need a looser freedom to rise. And they are baked on a stone—without any walls to hold them in. So they are especially hard to make 100% pure sourdough. I was told to add yeast to them. That’s the silver bullet. Apparently that is how they are made at every sourdough bakery in France—even those committed to sourdough levain use a bit of yeast. I’m stubborn. I’d just found my magic formula for healthy bread and I wasn’t straying course without a fight. I found another silver bullet, and it was the most unsuspecting one I could imagine: gluten.
I’ve literally spent I-don’t-know-how-many years avoiding gluten—now I’m suddenly adding it to my recipes?! Haha. Yes! I am. I add a tiny bit (less than any recipe I’ve seen) because I’m still averse to it (change is hard) and I found a crispy crunchy crust gets a little harder with more gluten. But just a teaspoon or two in a batch of 4 batons is enough to keep a nice firm bind allowing the dough to stretch out without collapsing—letting big air bubbles form—adding springy texture to the crumb while being little enough to still get a super crunchy crust. I’ve also taken to fridge fermentation now. Although it takes a bit longer, you get a better ferment in the cooler temperature. I appreciate a very sour loaf. It’s healthier, not to mention damn tasty. Plus, the dough keeps longer so I can make a week’s worth of bread in one batch and it will keep getting better as it ages in the fridge.
Here is my recipe (makes 4 batons):
200g Organic Wholewheat Flour
500g Organic White Flour
400g Very Warm Water
1/2 – 1Tb Gluten
Sea Salt (a Tb or 2)
- Combine your starter with almost hot H2O.
- Add Flours and loosely mix. Let sit for 30 minutes (this lets the flour absorb the water before the salt comes to lap it up).
- Add salt. Play with it a bit (aka knead). Let sit an hour covered in a bowl (a tea towel works fine).
- Play with it again. Just work the dough in your hands, the bacteria like air. Let sit for another hour.
- Play with it one more time before laying a piece of clingfilm (saran wrap: my teen years in the UK sometimes show) directly over the dough. So, push it down to touch the dough and tuck it in like a wee fermenting baby.
- Let sit for 24hrs. You can use after 12-16 easily, but I like a really sour loaf so I tend toward at least 24hrs.
- Your dough will have doubled. Slice it in half, put half back in the fridge.
- Halve your half again and shape into loaves.
- Place your loaves in a little baby bread basket made from a well floured tea towel. Pic below. (Keep this tea towel for this purpose. I save mine in a glass container with the plastic wrap to reuse as well!) You want them to come up to room temperature before putting in the oven. It could take 1 to 2 hrs.
- Heat up oven to highest temp possible (500+). I use a stone, if you do not have one, flour up a baking tray. Put a pan in the bottom rack of the oven for steaming.
- Slit batons (or don’t, one time I rolled a baby loaf onto its top in the oven so the slits were on the bottom and it came out with the most beautiful explosion down the centre), put in the oven quickly and pour water into the hot pan creating a super steamy environment for your BBs. Close the door and watch the magic through the window… you should be getting an awesome oven spring (that’s the jump of joy the bread makes while baking)!
- They should be done around the 25 minute mark!
- Cool on a rack. In my house, that’s the toaster oven rack thing.
The rest of the recipe will get better with time in the fridge. But I wouldn’t leave them longer than a week! Super easy to have fresh sourdough baguette always. Note: the longer your dough ferments the less oven spring you’ll get (the amount it rises in the oven) so baguettes made later in the week will have to start in larger segments to get them the same size. They will also be a bit softer as they’ve broken down so much, but they’ll taste wonderful. Note: a super active culture is how I got the big bubbles in the pic with the avocado breakfast. A starter that has been fed even a Tb of flour with its equivalent in water around 4 times in 2-4 days before using will produce the most active culture. Otherwise, a culture fed 6hrs before using will be active enough to produce the bubbles in main header pic. It’s totally up to you and the time you have! For a more traditional loaf style, and adding flavour to sourdough loaves, you can check out my article here. I made an amazing turmeric, sage & black pepper loaf.
For more Get-Healthy life hacks, I hope to see you in my FREE workshop starting April 1st. You can enrol here!
This is a very good question. (One I get a lot.) And like all good questions, it’s a hard one to answer. It was a very specific mixture of things—a recipe.
The internet has really levelled the playing field in business. This is the first time in history there is literally limitless opportunities (available to everyone) making money online. (Got wifi?) People can now make a living from their travel journals or writing articles giving advice, lifestyle tips, hobby info, heck, people can make hundreds of thousands of dollars posting pictures on Instagram! We are no longer reliant on selling our skills through middle-people; we have unprecedented access to local, national & international markets. I personally believe this is a phenomenal thing, not just for money and freedom, but because the world needs people’s gifts now more than ever. Most people who are very curious about ‘what’ I’m doing for a living have something special to offer: a skill, a talent, an insight—a gift. I haven’t met a single person who asks me this question without something special to give. I want to tell that person achieving independence is no longer a matter of opportunity; it’s a matter of choice.
It’s been 6 months since my graduation, I was self-employed by the ceremony, have travelled internationally for 3 months, have had the opportunity to make money while I’m sleeping & am currently transitioning from primarily making money from time (hourly wages) to garnering what they call ‘passive income’—money made without me being present—independently. I’ve needed lots of help along the way, and there’s so much more to do, but for the people who always want to know what I’m ‘actually doing’, I’ve compiled a list with some resources to explain how I did it in a way that’s applicable to virtually anything:
If you can believe it, you can achieve it. Walt Disney’s most famous quote is something along those lines. If you can dream it, you can make it a reality; the only gap between a fantasy & real life is Belief. You have to have a grounded vision, but opening your eyes to possibility can blow your perspective into a whole new reality! I met a mentor who showed me the leverage I already had, doing things I love, and how this could free me financially. I needed the conviction I got from seeing what is possible to accept & create opportunities. It was crucial. Whether you believe in manifesting your desires through thoughts—attracting situations to you—or you simply understand that confidence is integral to personal success, Belief in the possibility of being self-employed, of being your own boss, of becoming financially independent doing something you love, is the absolutely necessary first step to making this kind of freedom a reality.
I studied the humanities & social sciences; I didn’t get online marketing & commerce at all. I knew how to write, I had no idea how to monetize an article! People don’t even read academic publications! It’s still a bit of a fog to me, but I’m learning very quickly. I needed to seek out the Wisdom I was missing to figure out how what I loved to do could spell freedom to do whatever I want. Gaining direction from others who understood how this market worked was absolutely integral to making steps towards real change. I would have never known the first thing about creating this kind of independence, but I met a really fantastic mentor. I’m totally indebted to her for sharing her Wisdom with me. It changed my life. There’s literally limitless ways to gain self-employment, but this was the first step for me: I needed to be told this market existed, that I had valuable leverage, and exactly how I could use it to my advantage. This was the beginning.
Taking a step into the unknown is … scary. It’s also exciting. After I was self-employed doing contract work, my mentor explained that exchanging my time for money was literally the entry point to business—I was essentially just following the same paradigm of having a boss who pays me for my hours—the real money, the real freedom, was in passive income. I was wide-eyed at the prospect of making money while I slept or travelled, and with a little more insight, I was able to go to bed one night knowing I was going to be making money while I dreamt & wake up a little richer! The taste of the next level of freedom was so sweet, I had to continue! With Belief I could achieve, & Wisdom to show me how, it was time to take the next step—I had to cultivate Courage to take the next plunge.
Then came investment time. The online market means you have access to a limitless audience. If you have time or money, you have a resource to invest. I was freshly graduated (still am, 6 months and counting), with student loans etcetera, and no one to give me $10,000 to invest in a business. But, I had time. The smarter I could work, the more I could get done; the more I could save, the more I could invest. If I stayed working for an hourly rate, my hour would become somewhat more valuable with time, but it would never come close to how much that hour may make me if I invest it into a building a stream of passive income! Every piece of energy I can dedicate to this momentum is crucial, and Austerity helps me make the most what I’ve got: every dollar I can save, is time I can invest.
Sometimes I’m so fired up & I wake up, like, just ready to tear into my work and pull a 10-12hr day with a smile. And sometimes I’m, like, super unsure that what I’ve got to offer will materialize into anything. Sometimes I can feel like this work is the whole world to me, and then sometimes I sort of question whether this is meaningful. It’s times like these I need some inspiration. I need to be active. I need to reach out and hear an amazing story of someone just like me who’s playing this game, while helping people, and just killing it! I need to hear about people making a difference! I have a friend like that, and I’ll talk about her later, because she’s essentially the key to this whole madness that’s been setting me free! Inspiration is such a crucial part of making consistent progress. Without this element, all the other ones lay sleepy. I get inspo from yoga, hiking, hanging with friends, art (music: wow) and specifically by hearing success stories from people like me doing great things they love—being super fulfilled—and getting awesome fiscal results doing it!
It’s so easy, sometimes, to see all of my potential to achieve this great freedom while helping the world, but sometimes… it seems so easy to slip into self-doubt that makes me feel like my dreams are too far to reach. Or like I have nothing to give. Support is like Inspiration, but more specific to you—it’s someone telling you “you can do this”. It means the most when it’s coming from someone who knows. When someone whose Wisdom you trust says “you can do this”, you listen! It also means a lot when it’s coming from someone who loves you, someone who empathizes. We need both mentors and community to help us when we fall, to believe in us and set us back up at the first step: Belief! Support is the last ingredient to perseverance, and everyone knows how mandatory grit is for success. Steve Jobs said that pure perseverance is HALF of what equates a successful entrepreneur from those who do not succeed. Half!
Ironically, giving Support & Inspiration is the truly valuable result to gaining this kind of freedom—exposure, autonomy & financial freedom can give you the means to make a really big impact. It’s no wonder why my girl Anna is so stoked to help people crack into the art of monetizing blogs: she’s done it and now she wants to help other people do it! She’s been successful in digital marketing, design & commerce for so long that she wants to give back to people, to share her Wisdom, to Inspire & Support people doing what she loves to do.
What you have to give personally is unique, but I found the Belief in myself, Wisdom to know how to monetize my talent, Courage to take the leap of faith, will to Austerity & Inspiration my mentor gave me is universal. The Support we all need to fully see our dreams through to reality is also always available in programs like her Academy. If you’ve been seriously considering taking this type of step in your life, you can check out her free training here. Meeting Anna was how I went from being a student to self-employed in a heartbeat, but the training she provides is how I’m stepping it up to real freedom. I am already so happy I made this investment. If you’ve been thinking about this for awhile, just take the plunge. Making an impact while gathering up freedom is totally worth it.
I wish you all the very best on your journey to share what you’re here to give!
*update June ’17: All share histories were erased by an unfortunate update 🙁
This kale salad should be called “Kale Cleopatra” because, while it is a relation of Caesar’s, it is far more badass.
It’s full of beneficial bacteria, fibre, vital—raw—nutrients, good carbs & tastes AMAZING.
I usually hate salad in the cold season. But not anymore! I don’t know about you, but I tend towards eating seasonally. It’s not something I do consciously, I’m just not usually into the delicate leafy greens all that much in winter. So, salad, as much as I adore the vital nutrients and flavours of raw veg, normally goes out the window in my diet for a good 6 months out of the year. Hearty greens like kale, however, are not only packed with nutrients, fibre & excellent for your digestive system—they’re actually a winter vegetable.
Zut alors! We’ve found a winter salad! I could eat this salad all day long, and would be a good move if I did! Not only does apple cider vinegar have beneficial bacteria that aids your digestive system, it also lowers blood sugar (which is the leading suspect in weight gain & essentially every other negative aspect of consuming carbohydrates), aids weight loss, helps you feel full (this salad is so satisfying), lowers cholesterol & it kills bad bacteria. One of the most challenging, and most dangerous, components of anti-bacterial efforts is the propensity to kill good bacteria as well as bad. This makes apple cider vinegar a somewhat magical weapon. (Level up!)
The homemade croutons are so chewy and crispy from being fried in butter, they make the salad seem really hearty. They’re ends from sourdough bread I make at home (you can find a recipe here). They’re also an excellent carbohydrate because the fermentation process of sourdough makes them low on the glycemic index (at least as low as quinoa—hard to believe, I know, but true). Again, you can find more info on that here.
Then we add the health industry’s darling: kale. It’s anti-inflammatory (this essentially means it prevents everything from muscle soreness to aging–ant-inflammatory is everything) plus it’s full of antioxidants which are as important. This isn’t to mention fibre, a bunch of vitamins, detoxifying properties… Kale is the industry’s darling for a reason. I love kale chips. I eat them … a lot. (I’ll post a recipe soon.) And I can find a million recipes to throw kale into: but all of them are cooked. Getting the raw, vital nutrients from kale (the “most nutrient dense food on the planet”), for me, is rare. There are some really yummy kale salads out there, but this one is woah. The tang from the apple cider, the soft chewy crispy croutons & the bite of the raw kale all come together to make a salad it’s hard to have one bowl of (but with all of the health benefits listed above, who cares, have two—have four)!
Kale Salad Cleopatra:
You can make your own favourite dressing and just sub out apple cider vinegar for the regular acid in the recipe, but always use a good oil. If you have a 3-6-9 or antioxidant blend in your fridge now is the time to use it (same goes for a flax oil, or any other you’ve bought for the benefits). I use olive oil because it’s healthy & it’s what’s on hand. I’m going to leave the amounts to you: I think your body will crave more of an ingredient when it needs it (I’ve been liking a really tart dressing lately and then I’ll opt for a fattier one at other times). I like to make a bunch in advance—you can just store it in a mason jar in the fridge for whenever (the vinegar and oil will both preserve & it keeps a very long time).
Apple Cider Vinegar
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
– For a classic emulsification get your blender ready with everything in it save the pepper & oil. (You can always just do the shake in a jar.)
– Turn on the blender, take the plastic cap from the middle of the lid out and slowly add your oil.
– Grind the pepper directly into your emulsification or reserve it for topping the salad.
I like to use a cast iron pan because it actually infuses the food with iron. Really weird, but true. I also buy cultured butter because… I’m obsessed with culture. This is usually unsalted so the croutons will need salt if that’s the case. You can get fancy and add seasoning, but I find they soak up the dressing anyhow, so there’s plenty of flavour. For fat-reduced diets I would reduce the oil in the dressing to make up for the butter here. (But it’s all good fat anyhow, so use your sLund judgement.)
Sea Salt (if butter is unsalted)
– Sautée in a small pan to taste. They will need quite a bit of butter. Start with high heat & turn down.
– Turning occasionally to often in the pan as they get browner and browner.
Ok, this is going to sound a little weird, but trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I want you to wash the kale leaves, take their spines out and give them a rub down. Yes, I want you to massage your kale. Not only will this make the leaves softer and easier to digest, it will actually improve the flavour! Yes, this will take the bitterness out of the kale and produce a much sweeter, softer salad leaf.
Fresh Ground Black Pepper (optional)
– Wash, de-spine, massage in your fingers. You will see the leaves get brighter & brighter green. Rip into bite size pieces. (Ripping is important if you are storing prepared kale for easy meals—it will last longer than being cut with a knife.)
– Throw your super-relaxed kale, croutons & dressing into a bowl and toss. You can then top with ground black pepper, maybe a lemon wedge and parmesan if you desire!
Bon appetite! If you liked this recipe, sign up here to get more healthy insights from LaLee Lifestyle 🙂
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