Food & Nutrition

The end of 2017 marked a long overdue victory for the little plant of big controversy.

Australia has been slow to adopt hemp as a food-grade ingredient, banning imports and forcing growers to label their products as pet food or skincare. With the lift in policy our shelves are displaying a more diverse offering of hemp infused foods, from hemp yogurt to artisan breads and beers. The consumer is spoilt for choice as imports compete for shelf space alongside homegrown hemp, and here is where we have a chance to support local growers in an emerging industry.

We asked artisan producers Australian Primary Hemp to give perspective on the potential expansion of hemp products and the difference of locally sourced hemp.

Since the legalisation of Hemp as a food in Australia on the 12th of November last year, we have seen the market inundated with new Hemp food products hitting the shelves. At Australian Primary Hemp our retail line includes a Hemp Oil, Hemp Protein, and Hulled Hemp Seeds. Other interesting food products popping up around Australia include Hemp Beer, Hemp Granola, Hemp Milk, Hemp Butter and even Hemp Ice-cream. The wider Hemp market has also flourished introducing a range of hemp clothing, concrete, paper and plastic products to the market.

The Hemp seeds used to produce different consumables can be sourced locally here in Australia and internationally from places like China and Canada. At Australian Primary Hemp we are passionate about supporting local farmers and watching this emerging agricultural industry grow. This is why we source all our seeds directly from the farmer we work with locally around Australia. By doing this we can ensure the quality of the seed, how it has been produced and that it is 100% Australian.

The risk with buying Hemp food products that use internationally imported seed is that you can’t guarantee the seed is fresh, what conditions it has been grown in and where it has come from.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not add a new food experience to your romantic plans. Our Vegan Hemp Pesto creates a beautiful vibrant green colour, goes perfectly with crackers or bread and is simple and quick to make. Perfect for a picnic under the stars or for recreating your own ‘Lady and the Tramp’ pasta moment!


2 cups of fresh basil
1/2 cup of fresh spinach leaves
1 garlic clove
1 cup Hemp Oil
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 hemp seeds
1 tablespoon of Hemp Protein
Pinch of salt


Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with fresh bread, crackers or with pasta.

Dine Differently with AU Hemp @

Human culture has always reflected a strong observation of ritual, today the definition has broadened from spiritual and community expressions to encompass practices of success and performance. In this behind the scenes series ‘RITUALS” by HANAH, a lifestyle supplement brand, we shadow world-renowned climber, mountaineer, skier, filmmaker and photographer, Jimmy Chin as he goes about his morning ‘ritual’.

HANAH maintains ancient medical traditions and adapts them into products for modern living. The company is committed to locating and harvesting the highest quality natural ingredients and manufacturing them in a way that preserves their maximum health benefits to deliver noticeable results.

Its first product, HANAH ONE, is an Ayurvedic superfood taken daily to help strengthen the immune system as well as improves focus and mental clarity. Based on 5,000 years of Ayurvedic tradition, ONE contains 30 wild-harvested herbs and botanicals in a base of honey, ghee, and sesame oil. HANAH ONE is an artisanal product that is free of gluten, caffeine, lactose, and GMOs, and is handcrafted in India to create and preserve local traditions, jobs, and the community.

Jimmy Chin leads breakthrough explorations around the globe, working with the best adventurers, climbers, snowboarders and skiers on their most challenging expeditions. As a filmmaker, his documentary “Meru” chronicled the first ascent of Shark’s Fin in the Garwhal Himalayas—winning the prestigious Audience Award at Sundance. He has climbed Everest twice and was one of the first Americans, alongside Kit and Rob Deslauriers, to ski from its summit. Whether on the road or at home, Jimmy incorporates HANAH into his daily routine.

Explore HANNA Life @

Christmas is a great time for baking cookies, they make an excellent gift…for most but not all. Food allergies are more common now than in grandma’s day, and despite our best intentions cookies crafted with love and gluten could cause more harm than happiness. You might think the solution is to fashion a cookie from gluten free ingredients, but this is easier said than done—to create a cookie that has great taste and texture is a skill, one which the food crafters master well.

Frustrated with the quality of allergen friendly products on the market, business partners David Amar and France Rechichi decided it was time for gluten intolerant Australians to indulge in the foods they love, without compromising on healthy ingredients. Using their respective backgrounds as a food developer and restaurateur, David and France decided to combine their skill sets and 30 years in the food industry to develop a product that would be nutritionally sound and restaurant ready.

Their first business venture Pizzaiolis was established after they noticed a gap in the hospitality market for gluten free pizza bases. With the business taking off, David and France decided to expand beyond pizza bases and launch The Food Crafters brand. Established in July 2017, the brand has entered the market with a range of gluten free cookies that can satisfy both dietary needs and sweet-tooth cravings.

As a food developer, David had previously developed gluten free cookies for schools and airline contracts, but he was determined to flip the gluten free label and create a completely nutritional product. The cookies needed to be high in fibre and low in sugar. The flour had to be nutritional without preservatives. It must be dairy free and not overly processed.

To meet these standards, the business partners used buckwheat as the base flour. By combining natural fibre with the buckwheat flour, the product could provide a good source of protein, help with digestion and slow down the absorption of sugar in the body. Through the combination of honey, stevia, blackstrap molasses and dry fruits, the company has been able to dramatically reduce sugar content and create a high fibre product. To achieve zero preservatives the founders’ combined dried fruits with a slow roasting process, giving the product a 12-month shelf-life. Dairy was replaced with coconut oil, adding essential fatty acids.

The Food Crafters gluten free cookie range relies on a combination of natural ingredients to not only provide the taste but the traditional cookie texture. Through the inclusion of the staple ingredient buckwheat kibble, The Food Crafters combat the texture issue and simultaneously improve the nutritional content of its product. Buckwheat is a fruit seed that contains amino acids, antioxidants, fibre and magnesium. It is known to lower blood sugar levels and boost the immune system. The cookie remains low in starch and therefore does not spike sugar levels.

The aim of the company is to extend great food to the world of dietary requirements, while still creating a tasty treat everyone can enjoy. The product range is completely natural and homemade. Currently, The Food Crafters cookie range is available in three delectable flavours; Raw Cacao, Double Coconut and Ginger and Date.

Nutritionist for The Food Crafters Caroline Trickey shares two easy, gluten-free Christmas recipes for the festive season.

Chocolate Log Cake with Cacao Cookies

1. Ricotta 1kg
2. Orange juice 100g
3. Orange zest 1 Tsp
4. 12 of The Food Crafter Cacao 50g cookies
5. Maple syrup 1/3 cup

1. Mix ricotta, maple syrup and orange juice for two minutes
2. Between each cookie add 2 Tsp of Ricotta and sandwich the pieces together.
3. Repeat for each cookie
4. Place the log in the freezer for 30 minutes
5. Cover the cookie log with the remaining ricotta
6. Garnish with orange zest.
7. Place in fridge for two hours before serving.

Ice cream sandwich with Cacao cookie

1. Coconut express ice cream
2. Cacao cookie min pack 13g each

1. Use butter knife to spread a small scoop of ice cream on the cookie base
2. Sandwich the second cookie to create finished product
3. Repeat for each to create six bite sized gluten-free Summer treats

For further information visit

The magic of creating a feast rich in aromas and vibrant colours, both satisfying to the mouth and belly is the aim for most who dabble in the culinary arts. But for some, the spice rack remains a herbal curiosity—a mysterious collection of powders and twigs reserved for an alchemist with knowledge of the botanical. Heston Blumenthal for one would know what to do with exotics like: Kala Jeera (a member of the parsley family) or Anardana (the dried seed of wild pomegranate) and the magically named Grains of Paradise (related to both ginger and cardamom).

For a considerable many (myself included) our list of ingredients (those we are familiar and confident in administering) is typically far less extensive—perhaps some garlic, basil, salt and pepper…and when we are feeling adventurous chilli or cumin. This go-to selection of staples will work in a pinch, but hardly reflects the fabulous diversity of herbs and spices that our world has to offer.

Enter our gastronomic guide, not a five star chef but a curious dabbler and DIY cook unafraid to follow her instincts in the kitchen.

Devyn Sisson, a self-taught chef and self-declared foodie extraordinaire, teaches you how to cultivate a mindful approach to eating—getting acquainted with your body’s nutritional needs, your palate’s likes and dislikes, and the emotional elements that shape your cravings and deep satisfactions with meals. Sisson elegantly chronicles her personal journey of healing her body through healthful eating, and how you can build health, confidence, and self-esteem from intuitive cooking that transfers into all other areas of life. Grab a copy of her first book Kitchen Intuition and follow her @KitchenIntuition.

What does it mean to be an intuitive cook?

Being an intuitive cook is learning to use your body, senses, and gut-feeling, to prepare food in the kitchen. Intuitive cooking is getting in touch with your likes and dislikes, being willing to TRY new things, to accept failure as a lesson, and to understand and love your relationship with food. Intuitive cooking is literally asking yourself and your body what to eat and how to prepare it. Intuitive cooking implies creativity, experimentation, and awareness.  

How does this style of cooking fit alongside carefully planned performance nutrition?

Carefully planned performance nutrition can absolutely include intuitive cooking. Using your intuition to try new spices, new combinations of flavors and new ways of preparing food all require your intuition (and willingness to create, experiment and learn). Something as simple as exploring new ways to season your chicken breast and broccoli florets, can benefit greatly from getting in touch with your gut. Science is useful when it comes to food but the body knows best, understanding your relationship with food can help to maximize performance and JOY when it comes to nourishing the body.    

How universal is this approach—will it work for never-cooked-before or can’t-boil-an-egg cooks?

This approach is universal, you only get to experience confidence in the kitchen when you’ve given yourself the opportunity to TRY. How do you know you don’t like cooking (or aren’t good at it) when you haven’t given yourself the freedom and fun to mess up? Ideally, this approach helps to increase the awareness and success in the kitchen for those who already know how to cook and love doing so, but also helps to peak interest and open doors for those who haven’t even boiled an egg.  

Can you share your vision for the Primal Kitchen and Intuitive Cooking movement?

My visions for the Primal Kitchen restaurant and Intuitive Cooking movement are different in some ways but converge in others. I want to continue to grow this community of health-conscious mindful individuals. The Restaurant provides a space where people from all different lifestyles and diets can come to eat good quality, quickly prepared, DELICIOUS, nutrient-dense food. The restaurant will give healthy eaters a place to rest easy eating clean yummy food, while opening the doors for unhealthy/picky eaters to come and experience (and hopefully learn to love) healthy dishes. My vision for my intuitive cooking movement is to do the same….To provide a way for cooks/chefs to loosen up and expand their awareness, while hopefully introducing new techniques and ideas for those pizza-delivery-eaters to prepare BETTER food and have fun doing it. Both go beyond athletes, chefs, foodies and food-lovers, I want children to love spaghetti squash and for their parents to get them sitting on counters tossing a colorful salad.

What has influenced your understanding and passion for food the most?

My passion for food has been influenced by my relationships. As I have learned more about people, social psychology, health, and relationships, I have learned to understand how much I love people and how much I love enjoying food with them. Historically, families/communities have connected each night at the dinner table, romantic relationships often begin on a first dinner date, a baby’s connection to its mother often revolves around feeding time/direct eye contact (nursing), work meetings happen in coffee shops, children are treated with ice-cream, we use food to celebrate life. Not only is the act of eating what keeps us physically alive, but the act of eating socializes humans. I have fallen in love through the act of cooking, met some of my greatest friends, and survived break-up because of food. We use food to celebrate life and noticing that has influenced my love for food.

Top three takeaways from the book?

EXPERIMENT: allow yourself to create, and also to mess up.
TRUST: your body get your hands dirty and listen to your gut.
LAUGH: don’t take life OR cooking so seriously. Find ways to enjoy what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. 

Circling back to the opening topic, here is Devyn’s advice on herb and spice…

A Brief Breakdown: Spices are the aromatic parts of plants used for flavoring and coloring food. They are the seed, fruit, bark, berry, bud, or vegetable parts of plants and include the spices cinnamon, nut- meg, garlic, turmeric, cumin, and onion powder, to name a few. Herbs are the leafy green, often aromatic parts of plants used as medicinals or for seasoning. Examples of herbs include rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, and parsley.

A Short History: We’ve come to identify certain regional food with particular flavors and seasonings. Curry, cumin, and turmeric underlie many Indian recipes. Oregano, basil, and thyme inform many Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Cardamom, five-spice, and certainly cinnamon flavor fond memories of many favorite Asian dishes. But human migration and the spice trade spread the use and cultivation of herbs and spices across cultural boundaries. Many of these ingredients, as we studied in elementary school, originated in China and Asia, and thanks to Marco Polo and other explorers along the spice trade routes, then spread into the Roman Empire and beyond. There were no hard and fast rules about how to use these new, fragrant spices and herbs—people experimented and incorporated them into their own regional dishes. Many touted some ingredients’ medicinal benefits. Ginger originated in China and was used to counter gastrointestinal concerns and motion sickness. Horseradish was used in ancient Greece to treat food poisoning, among other things, and as a cough expectorant in Europe in the middle ages. Many of these natural herbal remedies are still used today.

Devyn’s Herb and Spice Rack

The following list of herbs and spices are ones I use regularly when experimenting in my own kitchen. Learning how different cuisines combine different spices and herbs and which ones work best in their particular dishes gives me a great starting point to jump off and explore.

Rosemary: Mediterranean shrub in mint family; the narrow gray-green leaves are great for grilling or roasting meat and also in soups and casseroles.

Thyme: Eurasian herb or low shrub, also in mint family; leaves used as seasoning (though not much is needed); goes well with lamb, chicken, and pork.

Oregano: Eurasian herb, also in mint family; leaves used as seasoning in tomato sauces, Mediterranean, Italian, and Greek dishes.

Basil: native to Asia and Africa, also in mint family; leaves used as seasoning, but should be added to sauces near the end of cooking to preserve their flavor.

Parsley: Eurasian herb; leaves used as seasoning or garnish; try in soups, sauces, and salads.

Cilantro: the fresh stems and leaves of the coriander plant; a nice balance to the spicy ingredients in Mexican dishes.

Dill: native to Eurasia; leaves and seeds are often used as seasoning in seafood dishes, salads and dips.

Turmeric: strong, bitter flavor, used for color in mustards and curries, but can be added to many dishes.

Nutmeg: nutty, sweet flavor often used to make desserts like pies, puddings, cakes, and cookies.

Cinnamon: described as a sweet-spicy taste, it partners with chocolate and apples and works well in some vegetable and fruit dishes.

Allspice: tastes like a mixture of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg; good in savory dishes and with beef and lamb.

Garlic powder: less strong than fresh garlic, with sweeter undertones.

Onion powder: good substitute for onions in some soups and dips; 1 teaspoon is about the same as a small onion.

Cumin: slightly earthy, nutty flavor; used in curries and in taco seasoning.

Cayenne: the spiciest of chili pepper powders (after paprika and chili powder) Paprika – a milder, sweeter, and often smoky version of the chili pepper powders.

Curry: a mix of spices generally including cumin, coriander, turmeric (for the yellow color), pepper, mustard, ginger, clove, cardamom, bay leaf, and fenugreek; the spiciness of the curry depends on the level of hot pepper used in the powder.

Pine nuts: the seed of the Mediterranean stone pine; used in Spanish and Italian dishes, such as pesto.

Distinctive Flavours of Other Cultures

The spice trade forever opened borders and minds to new cuisines and cultures, yet even today there are distinctive flavors that underlie many regional dishes. These are just a few, but certainly not all the flavors you might recognize in some of your favorite dishes from abroad.

Mexican: chili (many varieties), chipotle, Mexican oregano, cumin, cilantro, coriander, and clove.

Italian: oregano, parsley, garlic, pepper flakes, basil, thyme.

Greek: dill, parsley, saffron, lemon, thyme, rosemary, sage.

Asian: ginger, garlic, cardamom, fenugreek, five-spice, turmeric, cloves.

Indian: cumin, turmeric, coriander, curry, garam masala (usually a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and peppercorns).

Exploring the role of genetics and gut flora in active longevity represents a new frontier in health ‘cellular nutrition’. Scientists are discovering the interdependent relationship of our inner ecosystem with nature to understand the underlying catalysts of disease and age-related decline—placing fresh emphasis on conservation as a component of our health and survival. A clear example of this would be ocean nutrients: minerals, calcium, and essential fats harvested from the sea, all have clear value to our cellular health but contaminated waters polluting harvests with toxins we then consume, can damage our DNA (telomeres) and encourage inflammation—hallmarks of decline and disease. Thus ocean conservation becomes an act of human preservation.

Diving into this topic with a pioneer in plant-based nutrition, our interview with Udo Erasmus (founder of focuses on active longevity and ocean conservation, ‘nature-nutrient correlations’, lessons on human nature from Tony Robbins, and a SEXY new book creating global health for people and the planet.

How has your vision for health and the role of nutrition evolved?

What I’ve done in nutrition began from being poisoned by pesticide in 1980, for which there is no effective medical intervention. This pushed me to try to find and figure out how to get my health back. Since the body is made from light, oxygen, water, and food, that is where your physical cures most likely come from.

I began with oils, the most neglected, confused and difficult area of nutrition. Oils are the most sensitive food molecules. Light, oxygen and heat damage the essential fatty acids, and especially the omega 3, that oils contain. Oils should therefore be treated with more care than any other nutrient, but we treat them with less care than any other nutrients in our industrial processing and food preparation. Fried oils fry health. Fried foods fry health. More health problems come from damaged oils than any other part of nutrition. More health benefits accrue from oils made with health in mind than any other part of nutrition.

Then I moved on to the second most neglected area of physical health, which is digestion. I work to optimize digestion by using probiotics, digestive enzymes, and plant-based whole foods with prebiotic fiber.

Finally on to greens, our most nutritious and most neglected foods, and I have several other natural products still under wraps.

But times have changed. Physical health is not enough. My interest in health has expanded and become broader and more inclusive. Everything affects health. To be truly healthy, we have to give everything its due.

We have many problems that cannot be fixed with food, because we are not just physical in our nature.

Have the sourcing and ingredients changed with increased environmental issues such as pollution, depletion of natural resources and climate change?

Of course, it’s changed. The more we shit in our nest, the more we nest in our shit. All our problems are symptoms. Behind them are common denominators. If we work them all the way back, we discover that WE, human beings, are the only problem here. This is bad news and good news. It’s bad news, because we have to take our selves, individually, to task. It’s good news, because we CAN do that. We always live right here, in our state of being. We can practice becoming more fully present in all of our being and in our world. Our state of being creates our personal reality, and the state of the world is the collective, pooled sum of all 8 billion people’s states of being.

In spite of the fact that our world is deteriorating, we can each, by making deliberate choices, earn or create a better quality of life.

Fresh, organic, whole food, raw as much as possible, mostly plant-based nutrition seems to be the direction to pursue in physical health.

Could ocean exploration offer similar promise as the Amazon in untapped nutrients?

While the oceans are a largely unexplored liquid jungle, they are rapidly becoming the dirtiest places on earth. There’s evidence that fish are now the dirtiest meat on the planet. Everything goes downhill, and all persistent pollutants eventually end up in our oceans. The solution to our self-created dilemmas is not to exploit yet another part of nature. It is to embrace the internal wholeness that’s deeper than our reactive minds and moods. Most reliably, people change through in-sight. We don’t need to do more. We need to do less. Sit still, breathe, and enjoy our presence more. With life, we already have more than everything we need.

There is a greater focus on cellular nutrition of late especially as it relates to ageing and performance. Can you expand on the potential of plants to support optimal cellular health, a few examples or exciting developments into the science?

Everything related to physical health, performance, and aging happens within our cells. More precisely, energy runs them all. It drives interactions between molecules in accordance with genetic possibilities and limitations. These in turn translate into cell, tissue, organ, system, body, group, and ecosystem behavior/functions. Natural molecules interact naturally to bring about the natural state of health. Life did not make a genetic program to manage molecules that never existed in nature. That is why unnatural molecules cause problems. What kinds of problems? They cause inflammation, pain, and symptoms that, prolonged, doctors diagnose as diseases with specific names.

Living aligned with nature is the cure. Research is now clear that fresh, whole, raw when possible, organic, mostly plant-based nutrition is the ticket to best health and longest life.

It makes sense that herbs and spices with 4 billion years of natural development can provide more remedies and fewer side effects than a pharmaceutical industry that’s been around only a few hundred years. Living aligned with nature is the reason why, at 75 (yup, this year I began the fourth quarter of my first century), I have no pains in my body except briefly when I bang into something.

I understand you have a new book coming out, one with a rather catchy if not controversial title. What is the origin behind the title and premise of the book?

The book is called: ‘TOTAL SEXY HEALTH: The 8 Key Parts Designed By Nature’. I began to think about it when I was 6 years old, so it took me 69 years to get it done. It’s about health, nature and human nature, and how we can all live lit up from with in on this drop-dead gorgeous planet, in harmony with others, with everyone’s basic needs met. That possibility is built into our nature. We came into the world loaded with it.

My working title was ‘total global health’. A co-worker suggested calling it ‘total sexy health’, and I protested. “I can’t write a book on total sexy health! I don’t know anything about sexy.” Then I started thinking, and concluded that I know a lot about sexy. We all do. In common use, sexy is anything that touches our heart and/or makes us take notice in a positive way. Sexy is whatever lights us up, energizes us, or makes us show up vibrant, full on, present, sparkling, confident, radiant, and really attractive.

Everybody wants to be sexy. But few know that health is the foundation of sexy. And, health is more than just food and fitness. Total health involves 8 different parts of nature and human nature, each of which carries part of our sexy. Each part needs attention. Aligned with all, we are totally healthy and totally sexy, which is our natural state. When we get out of line with a part, we lose its contribution to health and to sexy. We get that part of our health and our sexy back when we realign that part with its nature.

One more thought: Everybody uses ‘sexy’ to sell us stuff that is not sexy at all. It’s about time that someone uses sexy to sell us on the built-in, natural magnificence we already own! I get to do that. It’s an honor and a privilege.

Watch Udo’s video introduction of the book and the meaning behind its title.

You are also involved with Tony Robbins as a guest speaker at his events. How did this role present itself?

My son Tai, a fitness trainer who designs targeted nutrition programs that A-list actors use to prepare for upcoming roles, as well as high end athletes and other highly motivated individuals, set up the meeting. Tony had heard about my work on the benefits of using oils made with health in mind, and invited me to speak to his Platinum Partners group in 2002. He taped the talk, uses it in his Life Mastery program, and invited me in to update the information a couple of years ago. I also do live Q/A via Skype with his Life Mastery participants after they’ve watched the video. It’s a ton of fun.

What are some of the key points you teach at his events?

I teach on oils and health at these events. Frankly, I’ve learned a lot more from him than he’s learned from me. I took all his courses between 2002 and 2006 and they helped me substantially, especially in the mental area of human nature, to set the stage for my present focus on how to enjoy TOTAL SEXY HEALTH, and also how to get it back when we’ve lost it.

What nutritional values do you share with the master coach?

This is not a conversation I’ve had with Tony. He takes and recommends Udo’s Oil. In fact, Since 2002, Tony has been my most effective promoter of Udo’s Choice. I have heard, but cannot confirm, that he eats mostly plant-based whole foods as do I. The research is clear that this is the way to have the best health and longest life. I eat a lot of my foods raw or soaked, and sometimes sprouted. The older I get, more I like fresh whole raw organic plant-based foods. I take a vitamin B12 supplement. I also use a lot of different herbs and spices.

Tony has incredible energy and unbelievable schedule, has he shared any of his longevity philosophies or practices with you (are Udo’s products part of this routine)?

He has not, but I can share with you, from my own experience, several factors that contribute to high energy level. Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 increase energy levels. Fresh, charged and electrolyzed alkaline water can raise energy. Iodine may help. Eating a diet rich in plant-based whole foods and Magnesium. Detoxing can also help to restore vitality.

Equally important, having a passion for or being inspired by what we do increases energy, because we’re not wasting energy doubting what we’re here for and what we’re doing. Being in touch with the energy that is our life (usually by doing some kind of stillness/awareness practice) raises energy levels. Loving and positive intent also raises energy level. Getting the sleep we need and exercising to improve the efficiency of our cellular energy-freeing mechanisms also increase our energy and the lightness with which we live our lives. I describe some of these in more detail in my book.