Lucia de Mello

 

Oh wow! Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog! I have created a couple quick and delicious recipes to share with you all! Vegan, Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free.

 

Living in the South East suburbs of Brisbane with my husband Thiago and our Burmese fur kid Oura (O-R-A), we have made a pretty sweet little life for ourselves. Thiago was born in Brazil and I was born in Slovakia (raised in Australia), once worlds apart, now we call Australia home. I have always been a dreamer and believe our imagination has no limit. I absolutely LOVE quotes, let me share a few of my favourites at the moment. This is actually difficult because I have so many favourites!

 

 

Fur-baby, Oura

 

“It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you” – Leon Brown

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu

“Be Happy …. Not because everything is good, but because you can see the good in everything” - Dale Partridge

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle” - Christian D Larson

 

Memorizing that last quote helped me through some of the hardest and challenging days of my life. Days when I needed to find strength when I thought I didn’t have any fight left. Definitely print these out and pin them up!

 

@the_thriving_elephant - food porn

 

So! I am a part time primary school teacher currently teaching the cutest prep class you ever would meet! They really are a beautiful bunch of 5 year olds! Teaching has always been something I have loved, there is nothing like watching little people evolve through the year. It is truly rewarding. Although I love teaching, and I am passionate about educating children, I have been pulled closer and closer towards my love affair I have with food and photography which I simply can’t ignore.

 

I haven’t always been overly interested in food, or cooking for that matter! It all developed after a medical emergency left me hospitalised for 5 weeks towards the end of 2011. My diet wasn’t a contributing factor, but naturally, it made me look at my lifestyle in an entirely different way. I started with my diet and made small changes. I became interested in how foods were either negatively or positively contributing to my overall health. I started paying more attention to how I felt after eating certain foods and also monitoring blood tests to see if certain foods were contributing to my extremely high inflammation markers ( Anti Nuclear Antibodies). I also have a commonly known condition called Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland. It basically means my thyroid doesn’t function as it should, it functions much slower and my body identifies my thyroid as a “foreign object” so it tries to protect my body, by attacking my thyroid.

 

 

 

Growing up, my diet was very balanced and we always had a home cooked traditional Slovakian dinner. Loads of veggies, legumes, carbohydrates, dairy and animal proteins. I was never a big meat eater, but I did regularly eat chicken and fish. In my late teens meat was limited for me, I didn’t really enjoy the taste or texture, and to an extent it was partly also the ethical factor. I still don’t call myself vegan or vegetarian even though my diet is 99% vegan. For me, it’s simple. I eat what makes me feel good. I can’t tell you what will make me feel good in 2, 5 or 10 years down the track, but I know what makes me feel good now. I don’t like labels and feeling constricted.

 

So, in 2012 I eliminated all processed and refined sugars from my diet for 8 weeks as an experiment and it felt amazing! Soon after I continued to eat healthy, but didn’t live completely sugar free. One day in April 2014, after months of reading articles about the link between Hashimoto’s and Celiac’s disease (Gluten Allergy) I started to wonder whether gluten was the cause of my extremely high ANA markers. Refined and processed sugars also cause inflammation triggers! So again, as an experiment, I decided to stop eating foods that consisted of gluten, dairy and refined sugars and that’s where this new chapter of my health journey started. In July 2014, I decided I was ready to share my story with the world and document my lifestyle changes on social media to try and inspire AND be inspired. In June 2015, I had a name change! Something that was more meaningful and close to my heart … and that’s how @the_thriving_elephant was born!

 

 

So I think it’s time to share a couple recipes now! What do you think? Haha

 

This first recipe would make a fantastic light dinner option. I use Dulse Flakes to season my soups and more importantly because they are jam packed with iodine which is essential for hormonal development and in my case so vital for the production of the two hormones of the thyroid, (the master gland of metabolism!). Iodine is also excellent during pregnancy! And if I haven’t convinced you enough, Dulse seaweed is also a natural treasure chest of goodness, with Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and E, and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chromium, iodine and zinc and trace elements. Basically, it's amazing!

 

Vegetable Soup with Dulse Flakes

Serves 1-2

 

Ingredients

 

You can use any vegetables or noodles, the following are what I used!

4 Cups Water
1 Tbs Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Power Super Foods Dulse Flake
½ Carrot (cut into circles)
1 Cup Broccoli
¼ Corn Cob
5 Snow Peas (cut in half)
5 Green beans (cut in half)
6 Silken Tofu squares (I cut these small from a larger piece)
1 Tbs Shallots (I varied it by using both white and green ends)
1 Vermicelli Noodles ( 1 serving)

 

Method

1. In a pot put the water, soy sauce, dulse flakes, carrot and corn to boil.
2. When the pot is boiling add the broccoli, snow peas and green beans. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. In another pot boil the vermicelli noodles. Then drain.
4. In your serving bowl, put your noodles then your soup, then place tofu pieces in the bowl, sprinkle with shallots and more dulse flakes.

Enjoy xx

 

 

This next recipe is sooo delicious and buzzing with super powers you will want to eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND dessert! I normally eat it for breakfast. Now let me tell you about why these three superfoods are healing for my body!

 

Why do I Chia? Chia seeds are the highest known plant source of Omega-3 which is vital for optimal long term health and brain function BUT it is so important for my body because it has such strong anti-inflammatory properties. Plus they have so many other benefits it’s not even funny!

 

Why do I cacao!? Well ummm….who doesn’t like chocolate (haha). Seriously though, Cacao has one of the best food sources of muscle relaxing and stress relieving magnesium as well as reducing inflammation! How does it reduce inflammation!? Well, Cacao is super high in antioxidants (compounds that neutralise chemicals called free radicals). Free radicals are responsible for causing many conditions in our bodies and one being inflammation in our joints (which I have). By eating foods high in antioxidants it reduces the level of oxidation in your body which is caused by free radicals. Stay with me everyone! This is amazingly powerful information!

 

Ok and now, who’s heard of Maqui!? A brilliant rich purple berry with even more super antioxidant powers! Plus who doesn’t love purple food right? It’s good for you, tastes delicious and its sooo pretty! So now you know why I love it so much, let’s get to a super delicious super food recipe!

 

 

Chocolate Chia Pudding with Creamy Maqui

Serves 1

 

Ingredients

 

(Chocolate Chia Pudding)

¼ Cup Power Super Foods Chia Seeds
1 Cup Macadamia Mylk (choose your favourite mylk flavour)
2 Tbs Rice Malt Syrup (Alternatives: Maple Syrup, Honey)
1 Tbs Power Super Foods Cacao Powder
½ Tspn Vanilla Powder (or 1 TSP Vanilla Essence)

 

(Creamy Maqui)

1 Banana
1 Cup Coconut Cream ( high quality)
1 Tbs Power Super Foods Maqui Powder (Chocolate Drizzle)
½ Tbs Coconut Oil (melted)
1 Tbs Rice Malt Syrup (Alternatives: Maple Syrup, Honey)
1 Tbs Power Super Foods Cacao Powder

 

Method

1. Combine all chia pudding ingredients in a bowl and whisk very well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or until the chia pudding is thick and the chia seeds have soaked up the mylk).
2. Combine all cream maqui ingredients into a blender and blend until combined.
3. Take the chia pudding out of the fridge and mix well.
4. Put the chia pudding into a glass.
5. Pour the creamy maqui over the chocolate chia pudding.
6. In a bowl or over a low heat, combine all chocolate drizzle and mix until glossy.
7. Drizzle chocolate onto your smoothie.

 

Enjoy xx

 

Connect with Lucia -
Blog- www.luciademello.com.au
Instagram @the_thriving_elephant