Monday, 6 January 2014

Superfoods and Super-Remedies. Don't Miss Out!

Happy New Year everybody!! I hope this finds you all well and looking forward to 2014.

I've just come back from Australia with some interesting products. Some of these items are limited quantities, so it's first in first served. We are planning to import some large orders over the next few months (dried fruits, nuts etc), but this lot is a "trial run" to see if these products appeal to others (besides myself!)

Pure Australian Honey - Squeezable Bottle (374g) $9

Barley Leaf Powder (50g) $10
A rich source of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and enzymes. One of the highest known sources of chlorophyll. Take 1 - 2 tsp in glass of water or juice. Best Before: 10/2014

Cayenne Pepper (25g) $5
High in vitamins and antioxidants. Excellent for heart and circulatory system. Around 60,000 Scoville Heat Units. Cayenne Pepper is one of the best-loved items in my medicine chest. We use it on any cuts or wounds that are bleeding heavily. Apply it direct to wound (it stings), but the blood begins to clot immediately - and has the added benefit of speeding up healing and preventing infection. We also mix a pinch with coconut oil and use as a massage oil for cold feet or limbs with poor circulation. Best Before: 03/2015

Blood Cleansing Tea - Looseleaf (25g) $7
Ingredients: Licorice Root (strengthens adrenal glands, detoxifies liver), Burdock ( reduces inflammation), Chaparral (antioxidant, aids digestion, kidneys, adrenals, liver, immune system), Red Clover (cleanses the blood), Cascara Sagrada (tonic effect on liver and digestive system), Dandelion (liver tonic), Cat's Claw (anti-viral, anti-fungal, aids immune and intestinal health), Buckthorn (cleanses toxins from the tissues, also used for intestinal parasites). Best Before: 04/2016

Stainless Steel Tea Infuser $10
Organic Maca Powder (50g) $10
Superfood grown high in the Andes mountains. Known to increase fertility and balance hormones in both men and women. Rich in iodine, plus many essential minerals and trace elements, such as calcium, zinc, iron, B-vitamins (including B12!!), silica, manganese, magnesium. Take a small amount daily (starting with 1/4 tsp and working up to one full teaspoon). Best Before: 10/2016

Activated Charcoal (20g) $7
Adsorbs up to 100x it's weight in toxins, heavy metals, bacteria. Used internally to detox, and externally to draw out bacteria and toxins from wounds and bites. Also effective against upset tummy, traveller's diarrhoea and food poisoning. I even use a smudge of activated charcoal as eye-shadow sometimes (the only make-up I wear!), as it also helps prevent eye infections (conjunctivitis etc) Best before: 10/2015

Fennel Seeds (25g) $4
An aromatic Asian spice, used in mild curries and chutneys. Can also be used to make tea, which decreases appetite if taken half hour before meals. Can also be chewed throughout day to freshen breath.

Celery Seeds (20g) $4
A potent aromatic spice used to flavour pickles, soups, dips etc. May be used as a remedy for gout.

Poppy Seeds (35g) $4
Crunchy with a pleasant nutty flavour, can be used sprinkled on breads or baked goods.

Calcium Bentonite Clay (100g) $12
Used externally (mixed with water, as a face mask etc) to draw toxins and impurities from skin. Used internally to remove heavy metals and radiation from body. Can also be added to bath water.

We also have plenty of products available via the products and prices page. 

I have some exciting ideas for our business this year, but currently lack the capital to make them reality. The first part of this year will be focusing on raising the capital required to turn this into the thriving, sustainable business that I can see in my visions :-)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Recipe: Crunchy Mexican Bean Salad

With the heat and humidity in full-swing here in Tonga, it's the perfect time to try out some new salads.

I must confess that I love salads...but only when somebody else makes them!! For some reason, my own salads just don't seem to taste that good to me :-(  and my attempts at making my own salad dressings have been, well....interesting, shall we say?!

When I tried making this Bean Salad recently, it was the first time I actually enjoyed eating my own salad and the dressing tasted like....salad dressing. Hurrah! Success at last!

This recipe makes a large salad with plenty of leftovers.

So, without further ado:

Crunchy Mexican Bean Salad

1 can of mixed beans OR 1 cup of dry beans, soaked overnight, then rinsed and boiled in water for 1 hour or until almost soft (not TOO soft, otherwise they turn into mush!) I used our "Mixed Salad Beans"
1 can corn kernels (Not easy to find in Tonga. The creamed variety may work, but I haven't tried it.)
1 carrot, finely diced
1 capsicum, finely diced
2 cups cooked rice
1 small bunch of spring onions
1/3 cup olive oil
5 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp cayenne pepper (Or adjust to taste, I added more...)
½ garlic clove, finely grated/minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all the salad ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients and whisk together with a fork. Or you can place them all into an empty glass jar, put the lid on and shake until well mixed. Drizzle over the top of salad and stir through.
This tastes even better if you leave in the fridge for an hour before serving, which allows the flavor to deepen.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

New Stocks Have Arrived!!

Last week was like Christmas for me!!

We had a carton of supplies arrive by boat, so we had a hectic - but exciting - few days packaging all our stuff. Then we took it to the WISE (Women in Sustainable Enterprise) market night, which went off great. We sold LOTS of stuff, and when I looked around the crowd and spotted people snacking on dried apricots and cashews, etc, it made me soooooo happy!!

We've now got dates, sultanas, brazil nuts, apple cider vinegar, dried apricots, and Corn Thins back in stock. We've got cashews too, but this time we're trialling roasted (unsalted) cashews.

Also a few newbies, are Date & Hazelnut Bircher Muesli, Mixed Salad Beans (I'm not a bean expert, but it looks like it could be a mix of small kidney beans, cannelini beans, black beans, and pinto beans.), bulghur wheat (also known as burghul wheat).

I've updated the products and prices page, so click on the link above for the full list.

Also, as I write this, I have my first batch of home-made yoghurt fermenting, and also this morning, made my first ever batch of cashew nut butter. Once I have them perfected, I hope to offer yoghurts and nut butters for sale too, so watch this space....!!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

A Change of Direction for our Business

As you might know, our shop in Lalita Building closed down last week. But please don't think our business has closed down!! We are still offering our products, but we're doing it differently for a while....We remain as committed as ever to helping spark a health movement in Tonga!

So here's how it works. If you want to order (for a full list of products and prices, just click on the "Products and Prices" link up above), simply send us an email ( or phone us (8773084), and tell us what you want, and we'll organise to deliver it to you. Orders over $30 are free to Nuku'alofa area, since we regularly come into town anyway. We'll try to work out a time and place that's convenient for both you and us. 

Shipping to Vava'u and outer islands is continuing as per usual.

I'm loving being at home with the little people in my life. I'm continuing to experiment in the kitchen, and hope that in the not-too-distant future, we might be able to offer home-made yoghurts, dips and nut butters for sale (Tongatapu only, since they require refridgeration). I'm also starting on some other projects, including a recipe book aimed at getting people eating more vegetables in Tonga. 

For those of you who enjoyed Larry's Tongan-made products, he will soon be opening his own store - possibly within the next month or so, selling his full range of products. It will be located directly across the road from where our store was, right next to Sam's Video. So keep your eyes peeled, and help support Tongan made products.

We're expecting a new supply of products within the next week - dates, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, flaxseed, sultanas, mixed salad beans, and more...We'll update the blog here when it arrives.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Some Good News and Some Not-So-Good News...

Ok, the good news first:

The new supplies are in!! How nice to see my shelves full again. We've had a really busy couple of days as we repackage approx 140kgs of bulk food supplies...The products and prices link up the top has been updated, so be sure to check it out after this...

Now for the not-so-good news...

We have raised the prices on many of our products. I've really put off doing this, because I want healthy food choices to be affordable to as many people as possible, BUT...the harsh reality is that unless we start charging a decent price for our products we are soon going to find ourselves out of business.

Now that we've been in business for several months, and (hopefully!) starting to get the hang of importing, we are better placed to know the true cost of our products, and feel that the new prices more accurately reflects that.

In other news: My creative genius friend, Larry, recently turned his hand to making BBQ sauce. His first trial was pretty good, but he did some fine-tuning, and his latest batch is seriously the best sauce I have ever tasted!! My kids were licking it off their fingers!

It has NO MSG, NO preservatives, NO colours...made entirely from scratch. Even the liquid smoke is made from scratch, using some long complicated process with hickory sticks, that Larry tried to explain to me, but it went right over my head...Anyway!!

After that culinary triumph, Larry is turning his attention to making pasta sauces, seeing there is such a bounty of ripe, local tomatoes at the moment. The sauces will come in a variety of flavours, and should be ready early next week. I cannot wait!! Also hopefully we'll very soon have some locally made tahini on the shelves. 

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

5 Really Good Reasons to GET MOVING!!

Many people think exercise is good for losing weight. That is true. Exercise IS good for losing weight, but did you know that losing weight is only about 20% exercise and 80% eating healthier?

Does that mean that we shouldn’t bother with exercise?

Absolutely not!! The benefits of exercise go far beyond it’s role in weight loss.

Here’s some of the other reasons you should exercise on a regular basis.            

1.       1. Scientifically proven to make you feel good!

Exercise causes our brain to release “feel-good” hormones (called endorphins) into our body. These endorphins not only make us feel happier, but they calm anxiety and help us sleep better too.

This is why you feel positive and upbeat after doing a good work-out, and also why regular exercise can be used to help combat mild depression or anxiety.

2.       2. You get sick less

Did you know that when you exercise regularly, you are less likely to get colds and flu? This is probably because movement of the muscles also stimulates the lymphatic system (otherwise known as the immune system). This means the body is able to deal with viruses and toxins quicker and more efficiently, which equals less sickness for you.

3.       3. Helps prevent disease

The combined effects of regular exercise – such as better circulation, increased lung capacity, releasing toxins through sweat, more positive attitude – mean that exercise can help prevent many different diseases. This includes some types of cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease and arthritis.

More strength and better balance also means less falls or accidents, especially in the elderly.

Exercise helps to strengthen the heart. Your heart is also a muscle, and like all muscles, it needs regular exercise to stay in good condition.

4.       4. You have more energy.

 This is a big one, because many people use lack of energy as an excuse NOT to exercise. 

When you are fit, your body can do everyday tasks more efficiently, making you less tired. Exercise increases the flow of blood through the body, and oxygen to the cells. This means a boost in energy levels. Many people notice an obvious increase in energy after just the first week of an exercise program.

5.       5. Your skin looks better

As if you needed any more reasons....the increased flow of blood from regular exercise gives your skin a healthy glow, too!

The important thing is to start gradually and then slowly build up the intensity and length of your exercise. Getting started is the hardest part! Once you begin to notice the positive changes, you will be more motivated to continue.

So get out there and GET MOVING!!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Cleaning Your Home Without Harsh Chemicals (It's Not As Hard As You Think)

You don’t need harsh chemicals or bottles of bleach to keep your house clean!!

Let me share a little secret. Back in Australia, before my second son was born, I ran my own house-cleaning business. I used only two products, and neither of them came from the cleaning aisle of the shop! They were:

1.        - White vinegar, and
2.        - Bicarbonate of soda (bicarb soda).

Yes, these two can take on pretty much any cleaning job imaginable...

To clean windows, shower screens and glass

Put some white vinegar into a spray bottle, (you may dilute with water 50/50, but I just use it straight), spray onto window/glass and leave for a couple of minutes. Crumple up a piece of newspaper (AFTER you’ve finished reading it, of course!) and wipe over the glass until it is dry. It will dry clear and squeaky-clean, I promise!!

To clear blocked drains

Sprinkle the bi-carb soda on top of the drain. Now pour white vinegar over it. It will fizz all the way down. You may need to repeat twice if the drain is not fully cleared the first time.

To wash your clothes

Vinegar and bi-carb soda can be used for both hand-washing, or machine-washing.

For hand-washing, sprinkle a small handful of bi-carb soda over dry clothes. Add a small amount of vinegar, maybe half a cupful. It may fizz. Now fill with water. You may wish to begin washing straightaway, but you won’t need to scrub as much, if you leave it to soak for a couple of hours.

For machine-washing, put clothes in washing machine, sprinkle a small handful of bicarb soda over clothes. Add half a cup of vinegar to detergent tray, or pour straight over the top of clothes. Run the washing machine as normal.

An extra benefit of using these in a washing-machine is that they will also keep the pipes clean. None of that gunky stuff building up in the drains!

Bi-carb soda and vinegar is a great alternative for those who have sensitive skin that reacts to the regular washing powders.

To clean and disinfect kitchens and bathrooms

Use the vinegar in a spray bottle, to spray over and wipe down kitchen benches, tables, chopping boards, microwaves, ovens and stovetops etc. Vinegar is not only great for cleaning dirt and grease, it’s also a disinfectant and germ-killer.

To disinfect wooden chopping blocks, spray with vinegar and wipe over. Next, sprinkle with salt and leave for a few hours to dry. Then wash as normal. Do this every few weeks to keep them clean and avoid harmful bacteria in your food.

To clean bathroom tiles, get a bucket of hot water, add half a cup of vinegar, and get scrubbing!! If you clean the bathroom/shower tiles every other week, you may only need to spray some vinegar and wipe over with a cloth. Regular use of vinegar will prevent mould and slime growing.

Remember, do little and often, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and a sore back!!

To clean floors

Add half a cup of white vinegar to a bucket of hot water, and use to clean the floors.

To brush your teeth!

Ok, so it’s got nothing to do with cleaning the house, but I just couldn’t not share this helpful little hint.

Run out of toothpaste? No worries, put a small amount of bi-carb soda on your toothbrush, and brush as normal. It doesn’t taste real nice, but your teeth will definitely be sparkling clean and white!

To freshen the air and eliminate bad odours

To absorb bad odours, put a small bowl of bicarb soda nearby, it will soon soak up the smell. Sprinkle a small amount in the bottom of the rubbish bin to help with smells. A small bowl placed inside the fridge, or on top of the toilet will help to keep the air fresh and clean. Replace every few weeks.

(By the way, bi-carb soda will also absorb body odour, if sprinkled/rubbed under the armpit.)

To clean the toilet

Sprinkle some bi-carb soda into the bowl of the toilet, and around the edges. Pour some vinegar into the bowl and around the sides. It will fizz. Now get the toilet brush and scrub as normal. Flush when finished. Doing this regularly will also help to keep the drain clear.