Through Facebook and Instagram I have had the pleasure of "meeting" Brenda Janschek a mother of two children and health coach from Sydney. What I love about following Brenda is the pics that she puts up. Fresh, tasty and REAL food that is good for her family.
Brenda gets to follow her dream of helping people while also enjoying great health and time spent with her family. As mums we are ALL busy with what it takes to keep our family household in check and Brenda is no different. It is great to be able to bring a little of Brenda's daily life to your computer screen. My intention in doing interviews with other mums in business is to help everyone see we are no different to anyone else, we are no better, we are just the same....full of love for what we do, creating a safe and healthy home for our families while finding balance in our everyday lives.
So enjoy this mini interview with the beautiful Brenda Janschek. For more information on Brenda and the services she provides please head over to her website www.brendajanschek.com
Can you give Additive Free Pantry followers a little insight to your day? What do you get up to on an average day of work, rest and play?
My mornings consist of packing the kids healthy school meals for recess and lunch, and making them a hearty breakfast to see them off for the day. After a hug and a kiss I’m off on my beloved walk around the beaches near my home. This is my indulgence, meditation, peace, exercise and my delight all jam packed into 45 mins!
In the warmer seasons I kick off the sneakers and get my tootsies into the shore and after 8 laps of the beach I reward myself with a magical swim in the ocean which provides me with the benefits of magnesium, earthing and pure joy!
The rest of the day pretty much consists of work. Appointments, creating recipes, and generally working in the form of making over pantries & fridges, doing healthy food tours, my workshops, health coaching, blogging and so on.
Until the kids come home and I stop what I am doing and feed them, and hang out until they’re off to their afternoon activity. Then it’s back to work!
What is success to you?
My crowning glory is being a mother to two beautiful children and having them realise that my love for them is unconditional and that they can trust me with anything.
This bond with my kids is my biggest success and brings me deep peace and satisfaction.
Five favourite things to do, eat or enjoy?
Morning walks - which give me the peace I need to begin my day
Cuddling my kids - trying to get in as many of these as I can before they decide they are too big for them.
Baking - I love making healthy treats for the whole family and take pleasure in watching them enjoy the newest creation & eating them myself!
Dancing – I love music and I adore dancing. It feels like an expression of my soul.
Going out to dinner - after cooking and creating endless meals for 4 mouths all week, I love a nice dinner out at a local restaurant with the family.
Something you wish to do/achieve from your bucket list ?
I dream about taking the kids to Europe.
My husband has a blood condition which makes flying long distances quite risky. But one day we hope to go on a European family holiday by slowly hopping over to Europe.
I think travel can offer kids the best education has to offer and my two are becoming more inquisitive about other cultures.
One word to sum up Brenda Janschek…
A huge Thank You to Brenda for taking the time to answer these questions. I can certainly relate to Brenda's love of dancing. I too enjoy a good dance off in my kitchen with the kids while I cook. It makes the process so much more enjoyable.....and here is a hot tip....it is usually Micheal Buble that gets me moving :)
Have a great week,
While cooking dinner last night I felt like something sweet for dessert, though I was limited on time, as usual. So i decided to throw these together and I am pleased to say they were a hit. Perfect treat for Additive Free Friday....or any day of the week for that matter :)
What you need!
4 1/2 cups brown puffed rice - found in healthfood section of most supermarkets
1 x 100g block milk chocolate, melted - Just Organics
1 x 100g block dark chocolate, melted - Just Organics
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup organic coconut
2 tablespoons Berry Choc Chunk - Superfoods for Kids
What to do!
- Melt the chocolate, add coconut oil and Berry Choc Chunk (if using) and mix well.
- Place puffed rice in large bowl.
- Prepare muffin tin with paper cases.
- Pour melted chocolate over puffed rice and add all other ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Spoon into cases and top with extra coconut or Hoppers sprinkles.
- Place in fridge to set.
- Makes 12
This is super easy, full of goodness and tasty....
What you need!
1 cup black rice
garlic clove, diced
dash of oil
corn of one fresh cob
handful of baby spinach
herbamare (found in health food section of most supermarkets)
tablespoon of stock made in TM (optional)
What to do!
- Rinse rice under cold water.
- Place one cup of rice to 1& 3/4 cup or water.
- Allow to boil then turn rice off.Leave on element to continue cooking with lid on. This will absorb the extra water.
- Add onion, garlic and capsicuim to oiled frying pan.
- Preheat oven to about 180c.
- Line a square baking dish with baking paper.
- Cook onion mix until tender.
- Whisk eggs, basil, herbamare and TM stock together in large bowl.
- Place onion mix in lined dish.
- Add corn and spinach.
- Place egg mixture over the top.
- Place in oven and cook until egg mixture is set, about 30 mins.
- Serve frittata on a bed of cooked black rice.
Just days to go until Easter and my family has had another fun activity for "My Work"....more taste testing. Everyone was happy to get involved, even my husband (he is a lover of dark chocolate).
Firstly we tried "Dairy Free" options...
I purchased these chocolates from my local Singleton Organics and Goodness Me Organics in Adamstown. Both of these establishments are run by people who truly care about what products they offer their customers. :)
By boys were happy with these options. My husband not so much. My favourite was the Hazelnut and Cranberry. A great alternative for people that want dairy free while also being organic. Please note that these chocolates use a natural flavour, while remaining dairy free, lactose free, gluten free, wheat free, egg free, casein free, vegan and vegetarian....winner!
This little fella is carob.... much creamer than I ever remember carob being. If carob is your chocolate of choice.....give Banjo ago.... This one was available at Singleton Organics.
Now these were my favourite.... along with the mint which was eaten before I got a picture. These chocolates are available in good health food shops or online. Although they may not be in egg form...they are yum!. All of the family enjoyed these. This brand of chocolate is certified organic and fair trade which means the company supports a better life for farming families through fair prices, direct trade, community development and environmental stewardship. Ticks all boxes.
Although my husband and daughter did enjoy these chocolates they still say that Aldi "Just Organics" are there favourite. This makes me happy as they are also the cheapest to purchase.
Best of luck with making your Easter purchases. Enjoy your chocolates, sleepins, cuddles in bed and time with family this long Easter weekend....
Today marks the start of my "Mums Making the Change" series. This wonderful mother has been through so much with her son and his behaviour. What I LOVE so much about this story is that while in Cairns this week, I got to meet Crystal and talk to her eldest boy while presenting at Freshwater Christian College. I am sure many mums can relate to this story. I hope those of you who can share it and help another mum who may be feeling a little lost. Together, us mums can make such important changes that make a difference to many.
Crystal refers to Jade in her story below. This wonderful woman, Jade is the reason I got to travel to Cairns. What a generous, organised and super passionate woman. Blessed I am to now call her my friend. Jade was, and still is supportive of Crystal. She was beautiful enough to share my Additive Free Shopping Guide, Lunchbox Ideas and Bill Statham's Chemical Maze with Crystal. Remember to take a look at the pictures too....what a beautiful boy Beau is.....
Beau has always been a very active child. When he was 4 ½ I took him to a Pediatrician. He was screened for ADHD and ticked many of the boxes but was not diagnosed, as he was too young. We were advised to make some adjustments to his diet (cut out sugar and salicylates), which is what we did. We noticed some slight changes but nothing dramatic.
The following year Beau started Prep. He had 2 speeds - asleep and full on. By the time he was 5 he had had his head stitched and glued back together several times because he was so active with no fear – the sight of blood and skull no longer affect me
He would often have fits of anger, which were often hard to calm him down from. Many of these fits would end with me being hurt and bruised. Ive had a couple of black eyes and split lips as a result of the outburst. Because of him being so active and these outburst it was hard for him to settle in Prep.
After Beau had a fit of rage that resulted in the entire classroom being evacuated and his teacher left with bruises the Pediatrician diagnosed him ADHD with violent outburst and said that he needed to be medicated with Dexamphetamine. He was only 5 ½ at this stage but he was so out of control and I didn't know what else to do. I never wanted my child to have medication but I was at the end of my tether and fear for everyone else’s safety.
Medications didn't help much at all, in fact it was as if he was just continuing to spiral out of control. He was still having these fits of anger, running away, climbing on the roof of the house, chasing his sister and myself around the house with knives, his sleep was restless (tossing and turning, kicking the wall), soiling his pants, wetting his pants, hurting other kids at school, hurting his siblings, our pets, rocking back and forth on chairs banging his head on the lounge or in the car. And these were just some of the unpleasant we had to deal with.
We resorted in banning any form of toy weapon in our house to not encourage any form of violence, locking our fridge and pantry to stop him from taking foods we were trying to avoid giving him, padlocking our gates and locking all the doors with key to stop him from running away, locking our knives away to keep everyone safe. We all were living in a prison. We rarely did anything because Beau was just to out of control.
By year 1 he hadn't improved at all. When he was 6 his medication was changed to Ritalin. The entire time we were still cutting out sugar and salicylates (the enemies) even though it made no difference at all. By term 2 Beau had spent nearly everyday in detention or out of his class, as he was to disruptive and violent. I gave up full time employment and got a part time job so I was available to help. I began sitting in Beaus classroom in the afternoons to make sure he was focused and not disruptive.
Dealing with this was so hard. The pressure it put on our family was nearly unbearable. I was so depressed and just want to know what was “wrong” with my child. The worst of it all is we knew he didn't want to be like this. He is such a caring and loving boy, he loves his friends but his friends didn't really like him. He wasn't invited to play dates or catch ups and very rarely invited to birthday parties. Often during a good moment, he would say “do you remember when I did (such and such) I didn't like that. I didn't mean to say or do that” He was sorry for it and didn't want to do it. He just couldn't stop. Thankfully, people who knew him could see he was a lovable boy he just needed the right help and encouraged us to continue to try anything we could.
Towards the end of term 2 Max Natoli (head of Primary at Freshwater Christian College) had advised me to talk with Jade, he believed she could help me. He knew we were willing to try anything. After speaking with her briefly on the phone I was also convinced she could help me so we met for coffee to talk more. Little did I know that meeting would change all our lives!! Jade was a fountain of information, and was more then happy to help as much as she could.
Jade was so helpful, not only did she recommend and show me a stack of books, she was happy to come over and have a look though our cupboards and show us exactly what we were feeding Beau and our family. I was so shocked!! I couldn't believe all this food we believed was good for us was likely the cause of this out of control child we were trying to raise.
I was quick to go and buy the books Jade recommended and the next time I went shopping she offered to come with me. Having Jade come with me shopping was so helpful. It wasn't just a matter of her telling me what to avoid, she went above and beyond to show me what to avoid and showed me alternatives instead. My partner Collin was very skeptical a change of diet would work, after all, we were feeding the kids “healthy” food and no sugar but he was very supportive and was happy to give it ago.
With in 4 days there were noticeable differences in Beau. This gave us so much encouragement. While we were avoiding “rubbish food” Beaus lunch box was very plan and boring. Often he would come home with much of the food he went to school with. After changing his diet with Jades help we found alternatives that he could have. So now he was happy to show his friends his lunch box. He can have biscuits and cakes, and all the yummy stuff his friends have. We just use additive free alternatives. Later in the year for his sisters’ birthday we managed to cater the entire party additive free. The kids loved the food and had no idea it was “different”.
Beaus’ behaviour settled right down, and I stopped going into his class to sit with him. Initially it was just to see how he went but then I was no longer needed.. He was a different child, more often the lovable little boy we knew was there but rarely got to see prior. During the 3rd-4th Term Holidays his Pediatrician was so impressed with his improvements they gave him a break from Medication
During term 4 his medications was changed. It was still Ritalin but was now Ritalin LA. His behavior quickly changed for the worst, we were able to work out what was the cause of this sudden change and swapped him back to his old medication.
At the end of the year Beau was presented with the “Principals Encouragement Award” to encourage him to continue with the positive change. He was so proud of himself.
Since removing additives from Beaus diet his concentration has improved, his temper has settled, he has stopped soiling his pants, he sleeps better, he very rarely bangs his head or rocks back and forth, he now recognizes when he is going to have a melt down and removes himself from the situation. He can be calmed down when he is having an outburst. He very rarely had detention or is removed from his class and has friends who want to play with him. He can sit and watch an entire movie.
While researching ADHD I have discovered it is Food Intolerance. I was often told by older relatives “There was no ADHD when we were kids, its just an excuse for bad behaved kids”, I now respond with “no there wasn't ADHD around when you were kids, but think about it, there wasn't the chemicals and preservatives in the foods back then either!”
We still have a lot to learn as additive free isn't the easiest life change to make, but it is worth it. Not just for yourself but for your children. Beau still has his moments, and isn't perfect, his is only 7 after all. He will occasionally ‘sneak’ food he knows he shouldn't have and unfortunately we still haven’t discovered everything he reacts to so unfortunately on some occasions we will give him something he cant have and will have a bad run for a few days, sometimes weeks depending on the additive he has been exposed to, but we never let that beat us. We learn from it and continue on. It is a slow journey, with many trial and errors, but it is a journey well worth the travel.
I have Jade to thank for changing not only our lives, but my little boys! He is so much happier now and it is a real pleasure now to take him on outings and to do the things we avoided before.
Thank you Jade!
Oh, our biggest critic Collin is now a believer; diet really does make a difference!!!
This is Beau with his Headmaster after receiving his special award.....what a moment!
Congratulations Beau, Crystal and Jade!
That is the outcome I so love to see.... Oh an a big Happy 7th Birthday Beau for Wednesday! (Mum told me so on Tuesday night.)
Taste Testing number two...again the boys thought this was a great idea. These chocolate Easter Eggs are all supermarket bought. Please note they are well known companies and two of them do use artificial flavouring. This blog is to give you the information so you can make the choice best suited to your family and their needs....No right or wrong...just right for you.
First egg of the rank Woolworth's Select Solid Eggs...
This little milk chocolate eggs are only $2 a bag.
Fletcher rated these 10/10 "yum"
Kade rated them 9/10 "melt in my mouth"
Hard to read, though no nasties
Tate tested number two...Red Tulip
This milk chocolate hollow egg was $1.48 each
Fletcher gave it 9/10 "relaxing" (like being a kid is such hard work)
Kade rated it 8/10 "tastes like Easter"
Below is the ingredient listing.
Taste test number three is Cadbury ...a well known brand.
We paid $3 at Big W
Fletcher 10/10 "spot on"
Kade also rated it 10/10 saying "yum"
wow you really do need to super to read this..my bad (it looked good on my phone)
*Cadbury and Red Tulip do use flavour....
There really are more choices on the market than when I first started looking 5 years ago. Take note of colours as they are popular in the well known brands. Also note that the flavour Vanillin, is artificial and is a suspected liver and neurotoxicity. This is very common among Easter Eggs that I looked at in the supermarket.
My next blog will look at chocolates that are either organic, fair trade, milk, dairy free and dark...I'm looking forward to testing those ones out :)
Here are a couple more chockies that I seen with no additive, though we did not purchase them for a taste test...
Happy taste testing..
Yesterday my boys had the fun job of taste testing a number of Easter Eggs.....just for you guys :) Let's be honest here..Fletcher does not need an excuse to eat anything sweet. So I decided to do this as a fun way to get a child's perspective on supermarket bought Easter eggs this year. In coming blogs I will look at Easter eggs that are "specialty" such as dairy free and soy free etc. This blog is all about what is found in my local Big W...which means they will be easily found across Australia this Easter.
Please Note: FLAVOUR is in some of these taste testing supermarket options as it was so hard to find them without. I am giving you this information so you can make the best suited choice for your family.
My boys taste tested 3 chocolate bunnies and 3 chocolate eggs each. Today we will look at the three bunnies.
Taste Testing Number One
First up is Bunny with Beans..(this is what the docket printed out)
This little fella only costs $2. Bargain! The ingredients listing is :
(You may need glasses to read this, my bad)
Fletcher ( My 8 year old) rated this as 8/10 and he said "It bought back the feeling of Easter".
Kade (My 11 year old) gave it a 7/10 saying "Alright".
Taste Testing Number Two
The good old Peter Rabbit Bunny was next on the chopping block....
This too was only $2 each. The ingredients are:
(my bad again)
Fletcher rated this 9/10 saying "soft & sweet".
Kade rated this one 8/10 also saying "bit sweet".
Taste Testing Number Three
Known as Sitting Bunny on the good old Big W docket.
This one is a little larger than the rest and is sold for $3 each. The ingredients listing is as follows:
Fletcher gave this a 10/10 "love it".
Kade said 9/10 "best of all the bunnies".
These bunnies were additive free too, though we never did get to taste them. Only 88 cents each from memory.
So there you have it on Bunnies that are not your standard known Easter brands. The Easter eggs used for the taste testing in my next blog do cover the more well known brands such as Red Tulip and Cadbury's.... stay tuned for that one :)
Baking this the other day, made my house smell divine. Again this is a simple and fast recipe to whip up and throw in the oven when you need something for school lunches or a morning tea option the next day.
What you need!
- 1 3/4 cup wholemeal flour
- 1/4 rice flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar (brown, raw, rapadura)
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup frozen raspberries or blueberries
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- organic coconut to sprinkle on top
This is a super easy recipe that is a huge favourite in our home.... It will not last long!
What you need!
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (use butter if you like)
- 1 cup organic coconut
- 1/2 cup sugar (raw, rapadura, coconut palm)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder (health food stores)
- 1/4 rice flour
- 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 or 2 tablespoons milk (any)
- extra organic coconut to sprinkle on top
Prepare square tin with baking paper
Today we are blessed to have a mother, business owner and healthy food crusader to give us a little look inside her world. Kate from Miss Peppercorn has taken the time out other busy schedule to answer some question. We hope this inspires many more mums to help canteens serve some real, healthy foods to our little people everyday.....because our children are worth it. (and bless those canteens that already do xx)Tell us a bit about yourself and why you started Miss Peppercorn?I am a mum with three active kids (2 boys and a girl) and the normal busy life that goes with parenting. I have always enjoyed cooking and been passionate about creating freshly cooked high quality food for my family. A few years ago I heard that my children’s primary school was tendering for a school lunch provider and decided that would be the perfect way to provide healthy, less processed and delicious food to children. I always wanted to run my own business so this opened the perfect opportunity for me. Whilst unsuccessful with my tender I wasn't prepared to give up – especially once I had done much of the work. Decided to approach other schools, who thankfully, were very happy to give Miss Peppercorn a go. The doors seemed to open from there and we have just recently set up our first on-site Tuckshop. It's great because the teachers and parents enjoy our food as much as the students! Now we have schools approach us.It wasn't until I had been in business for over a year that I truly realised what a market and need there is for tuckshops and lunch order services that provide food that is unprocessed, real and wholesome. It was at that time I changed all my recipes and most of my suppliers for the best food available.Both individuals and corporate clients are enjoying our food on a regular basis too and we have recently launched a range of homemade products.How many schools do you supply lunches for?We supply lunches to 13 primary schools and run a Tuckshop for a junior and senior campus in Balwyn.What kind of things do you serve?
We use lots of colorful fruit and vegetable - we make the majority of the food ourselves. It’s homemade food without all the hidden nasties. Food is very visual and needs to smell great to sell. We serve delicious salads (Nicoise, chicken mango, quinoa, pasta, fresh salmon and asparagus), we roast vegetables for wraps and salads, we make to order sandwiches, wraps and rolls, our own pasta sauce for our penne pasta, our own falafels, choc dipping sauce (loaded with fruit and vegetables – but don’t tell the kids!), sausage rolls, pizzas, meatballs, curries, roast vegetable tarts, bruschetta, chicken schnitzels, fresh fruit cups, yoghurt (preservative and sugar free, its sweetened with a little honey), fruit slushies, protein shakes and lots more!!We restrict high sugar options and where we can we load with vegetables so we can omit lots of the sugar from the original recipe - the kids don’t care what's in it, if it looks and tastes great they just eat it!How many people do you employ?We currently have 15 staff. We work as a team, with a shared vision and passion. Their pride in what we do makesMiss Peppercorn what it is today.What benefits have to noticed when children eat real food?The 'real food' options on our daily menu sell first - that is a big change from pre Miss Peppercorn Tuckshop where everything came prepared and in a box or bag and much of it fried or grilled!! Yuck.The kids are definitely happier and more energized. They have become more passionate about the food and are full of ideas. We find that the children are the best advertisers of our menu on a day-to-day basis. We have been told that the children are more engaged at school.What is your most popular dish?Definitely vegetarian dishes. At our tuckshop it would be our cous cous and roasted vegetable salad, we would make 3 big bowls in one lunch time! In our primary schools it would have to be our penne pasta w/ napoli sauce. Homemade lasagne is also a big hit.What would be your best advice at helping any parents that wanted to see food in their school canteens, just like Miss Peppercorn provides.?Approach the principal, your school council and the canteen manager, if you have one. It is much easier to provide fresh, healthy real food from onsite premises than it is to pack it into boxes and deliver it.Be patient, it takes a little while for parents and children to understand that the food they are buying is a little more expensive (because it is homemade and from the best ingredients) but it's so much better.Demand fresh healthy options. That is not an unreasonable requirement.The canteen must be part of the school community. It must be a vibrant hub of activity – just like the kitchen is in your house. If it isn’t, something is wrong! It may be better to have a canteen with better food choices running one day a week than everyday initially - build it up.Naturally I would be really happy to talk to anyone wanting to change their food in their canteens – especially if they wanted Miss Peppercorn’s involvement!The children take a real interest in the food we provide, how it was cooked and what's in it. We cook in front of them. Some teaches conduct their classes in the canteen because it has such a vibrant feel. Children get a real homely sense and feel about everything we cook - the kids honestly love it and they openly say it's their favorite!Get the children involved in the kitchen and delegate to them. Teaching them the basics like mashing potato, making a salad, cooking a bbq or frying an egg and showing them what ingredients go with one another. How proud are children of food that they produce – it is a great experience for them. Also teach them how to measure ingredients, how to monitor the cooking and even how to clean up when they have finished. They love it if you give them the freedom to cook and then help them to clean up. It makes them feel big and important.What are your 5 favourite foods?I love food that is versatile and can be used as a core for many different recipes. My favs are:Eggs - full of protein and so fillingFresh salmon - great in salads, poached for dinner, flake over fresh pastaAvocado - adds those essential healthy oils to anything and everythingBerries - a great start to the day or added to muffins or desserts or even try blueberries in your saladsSweet potato - yummier than pumpkin, more nutrients than potato and you can make great chips.For more information or to book Miss Peppercorn for your school canteen just visit the link below.Much love,Tw x
Here is an image of what is now a regular occurrence at a local school canteen. This menu is what is served most days in the Additive Free section of the school canteen menu. Take a look and see that the food is colourful, fresh and also served with a truck load of love...
Mel is the canteen co-ordinator of Tuggerah Primary School and has utilised the expertise of Collette from Cut out the Crap. Together (along with Additive Free Shopping Guide;) ...) they have created this awesomely healthy additive free menu. Now what is so great is that Mel has just started to introduce these foods this year and it is a smash hit.
The kids were lined up and loving the food option earlier this week. Collette stopped by and the evidence is below. Real, wholesome fresh foods that a school canteen made by choice....because our children are worth it.
It only takes one person to have a vision and look at what can occur.
Much love goes to Mel, her canteen team of volunteers and Collette for making a choice that benefits the kids and also teachers. I would like to hear the results a few weeks from now. How has the food that is now being served made a difference to the general overall behaviour of the students after meal breaks?
My hopes are to chat to Mel very soon about how and why, though also what she may have had to overcome to get to this end result. This way, we may just be able to inspire, guide and encourage many, many more wonderful canteen managers and the like to follow in some really awesome foot steps.
Small changes can make all the difference.
Well done to everyone involved. It makes me proud to report such an awesome step in the direction of REAL healthy canteens.
It is something I am so passionate about, and you all know why....because our children are worth it!!