Whole Foods to boost your mood and make you happy

Food can be a comfort, a reward, a guilty pleasure, a bit of nostalgia. Antidepressants are as common today as pain relievers and nighttime sleep aids, but does this mean they’re the best option for our health? Of course not! We weren’t intended to need or rely on drugs 


Quinoa is a great natural anti-depressant. This mighty little seed is high in magnesium, iron, B vitamins, and all essential amino acids. Quinoa is a wonderful gluten-free replacement to couscous and also more nutritious.  Quinoa’s high mineral content directly plays a part in the release of serotonin, GABA, and even melatonin which helps you sleep easier. Its natural carbohydrates are also slow-releasing which is optimal for blood sugar and a longer lasting happy mood.  Quinoa comes in white, red and black.  for a burst of texture combine all 3.  Cook it in water, stock and even coconut milk.  Add it to soups, salads and stir fries.  Great for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Because it’s so high in nutrients, it also helps fight fatigue and anxiety. Hence, the hype is real — quinoa really is a superfood.

Chia Seeds

Healthy chia Seeds

 Chia seeds are packed with amino acids, iron, and contain B vitamins that are must-haves for a healthy brain. Because they’re a complete protein they also assist with optimal neurotransmitter function and the production of serotonin in the body. Finally, they’re a great source of omega-3’s and fiber.

Chia seed is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways.They change their texture after being soaked and become softer, silky and velvety. You can blend them with your smoothies, shakes or cold coffee. You can also sprinkle some over your breakfast cereal.

Dark chocolate

Healthy eating at HideAway Haven

Dark chocolate boosts mood because it raises endorphin levels.  Choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. and no milk products.   Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as magnesium and copper. These minerals aid in regulating normal blood pressure and subsequently maintaining proper heartbeat levels.  Eating a delicious piece of chocolate can possibly reduce stress levels; it works by stimulating the production of endorphins that may give rise to a happy feeling. The serotonin level in dark chocolate may act as an effective anti-depressant. It contains serotonin, which has nearly identical qualities of anti-depressants. In addition, the dark variety of chocolate contains stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine, which are major stimulants.

Keep this in mind: The recommended dose is 28 grams per day.

Sweet Potato

Healthy Food Alternatives for depression

Sweet potato is one of the best natural sources of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates promote the production of serotonin, our number one feel-good brain chemical. They contain L-tryptophan, an amino acid directly related to helping prevent depression and anxiety. They are easily available, a great alternative to standard potatoes for its richness in fibre and helping in keeping the blood sugar steady. It’s also super rich in Vitamin B6. Low levels of vitamin B6 have been associated with symptoms of depression. weet potatoes are also high in magnesium and potassium which reduces cortisol and high blood pressure that increases with stress.

Flax Seeds

Antidepressant food

Flax is  one of the best sources of omega-3s, even higher in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) than chia.  Flax is also packed with fiber to reduce blood sugar levels and contributes to better blood pressure too. Sprinkle a little flax on your foods however you can; it has a great nutty taste, and it can be added to everything from veggies to healthy desserts!  Flax Seeds have omega-3, alpha linoleic acid, lignans, and fiber. It’s also conveniently accessible as oil, grounded, flour, or powder. We now have a dehydrator and are making our own flaxseed crackers.  I have read some warnings about the overuse of flaxseed in your diet. As with everything, please do your own research.

Source:  One Green Planet,  Natural Alternative Remedy, 

Enjoying Your Gluten-free Lifestyle

Enjoying Your Gluten-free Lifestyle

Whether you have a wheat allergy, celiac disease or some other form of gluten intolerance or sensitivity, trying to structure your life around a new health condition can be daunting. Most people on gluten-free diets quickly adapt; making a few changes to a recipe here, choosing an alternative product there, learning which items to avoid and which can safely be consumed.

Eating Out

It can be challenging when you first start eating out, but again, most people find local cafes and restaurants that can accommodate their needs. If you're based in a larger metropolitan area, you may be lucky enough to find a gluten-free speciality restaurant near you. If not, don't despair. A growing number of people are aware of the problems faced by gluten-sensitive individuals, and if you ask the staff they may be able to offer you gluten-free options. Many dishes are already naturally free of gluten, or can be made gluten-free with a few small changes -- leaving the croutons off your salad, for example.

On the go

While it's easy enough to eat wheat and gluten-free at home or in your favourite eaterie, things can get a little more complicated when you're out and about. At work or running errands, it can be more difficult to find things that are safe for you to eat and drink. Deciding to go gluten-free may mean passing up your usual fast food or takeaway options. Instead, look for prepackaged foods in supermarkets and grocers, or find quick and simple recipes that you can prepare at home and bring with you.

Further afield

The real challenges often begin when you leave your usual locale and travel somewhere unfamiliar. It can be tricky to find safe places to enjoy a meal or a drink. Going self-catering is one option. If you prepare your own meals, you can be sure you're not accidentally eating anything you shouldn't -- but the extra effort can make a holiday feel less relaxing for some. Fortunately, there are some hotels and holiday resorts that make a special effort to provide delicious gluten-free dining as part of their overall experience. It may take a little research, but you can find wonderful holiday options that don't involve the worry and extra effort of trying to find gluten-free foods. Support organisations for gluten and wheat sensitive individuals can often help.

At HideAway Haven we cater for a range of dietary requests, requirements and lifestyles.  We make our own gluten free bread and have a range of milks for those who have a dairy intolerance or who are vegan. Our raw afternoon treats are all gluten free and vegan.

Going gluten-free doesn't mean giving up the things you enjoy. With a few creative changes, you can live life to the full.


Article written by Sally Perkins - Freelance Writer and mother of a gluten intolerant daughter.

14 Ways to Live an Awesome Earth Friendly Lifestyle!

This simple guide is written to help you lead a life that is good for you, your community, and the earth. Most of these tips will cost you nothing to implement and many of them will save you money. They will help you to increase your health and happiness and that of the people, animals, and environment that you interact with.

But Beware!  People will think you are awesome.  You will be flooded with compliments, love, and appreciation.  People will want to talk to you and be around you.  Your life will have purpose and you will be passionate to be alive.

1.  Grow your own food and eat a whole food plant based diet which means more veggies, fruits, grains, and nuts and less animal products. Try to buy organic and unpackaged food as well.

Photo by Healthy Lunch Ideas via flickr

Photo by Healthy Lunch Ideas via flickr

2.  Start riding a bike, walking and using public transportation and minimize your time in cars.

3.  Go local. Eat local, shop local, play local.

4.  Reduce- Reuse- Recycle and in that order.  Recycling comes last and is a very energy intensive process.  Much of the trash we create takes 100’s of years to biodegrade so try to cut back on the amount you make.  Compost your food waste, repair items, and find new uses for old stuff.

5.  Share! Share your stuff and share others stuff.  Be a part of the sharing economy.

6.  Buy less stuff and purchase used items when you can.  When thinking of purchasing something ask yourself if you really need it.  This will leave you money to buy the things that you really need and want.

7.  Conserve water and electricity.  Just be conscious of your usage.  There are 100’s of ways to cut back and you will start to see them if you pay attention.

8.  Use products that are reusable and avoid using disposable items such as bags, take out containers, bottled water, straws, dishes, and paper towels. There is an earth friendly alternative to almost any disposable item.

9.  Practice Positive consumerism. Buy from businesses who practice corporate social responsibly. Businesses have a responsibility to people and the planet as well as profit. Support responsible companies and boycott companies who only care about profit.

10.  Simplify. The less you need the easier it is to be friendly to our earth. And the less money you need the more time you will have to do what you love doing.

11.  Be conscious. When you make decisions take into account where things come from and how they were produced.  Take responsibility for your own decisions.   Find out where the things you use come from and if you don’t like what you find then seek out an alternative.

12. Live beyond yourself.  How do your actions affect other humans, animals, and the earth?  Make your decisions based on the wellbeing of everyone and everything, not just you.

13. Be good to others. Good creates good. Smiles create smiles. If you want to be happy just make others happy.

14. Set your priorities. Is eating healthy more important than getting drinks at a bar or eating out?  If so spend your money on the former rather than the latter.

Start small. Choose what will be easiest for you and do that first. Your confidence will build over time and each step will become easier as you progress in living a life that is good for everyone involved. Over time you’ll find yourself happier and healthier and you will likely feel liberated from the things that were holding you back.  Your positivity and health will likely rub off on others and you’ll find yourself creating a more vibrant world around you.

Live Happy.  Live Healthy.  Live Free.  Live beyond yourself.

This article (14 Ways to Live an Awesome Earth Friendly Lifestyle!) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

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8 Nations Going Vegetarian, Proving To The World Less Is More

These countries have decreased their consumption of animal products dramatically!

Blueberries at HideAway Haven

Did you know? In 2010, the United Nations released a report urging the world to adopt a predominantly plant-based diet, for its environmental and health implications. Since the turn of the century, interest in vegan and vegetarian diets has dramatically increased!

In fact, a number of nations are making headlines with their sustainable commitments, some of the most notable ones listed below.

According to an article in the New Zealand Herald, the increase is fueled by a motivation to help prevent disease, environmental degradation, and animal suffering on factory farms.

Explains the author:

“A decade ago, the vegan diet was considered whacky, if not plain risky. Vegans were seen as un-fun characters who lived on dandelion tea and brown rice. Now, eating vegan is seriously cool.” 

Following are eight other countries ditching meat and lessening their carbon footprint by embracing a delicious, plant-based lifestyle:

1) Spain

As shared by this article published last year in The Guardian, there is a growing population of vegetarians and vegans in the country of Spain:

“Spanish people have a reputation as diehard meat eaters. But in recent years, as the number of vegan or vegetarian restaurants in Spain has doubled, there are signs of change.” The author continues, “The idea that we should, at the very least, eat less meat is increasingly common in Spain, as in many other parts of Europe.” 

2) The United Kingdom

The UK is quickly following in the footsteps of the United States health-wise, which is why news of one in eight British adults now following a vegetarian or vegan diet is positive news.

Interestingly, 12% of the population now identifies as ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’, but that percentage jumps to 20% for people between the ages of 16 and 24. That’s not all: millions more in the UK are “flexitarians,” meaning they have cut back on their meat consumption dramatically, but still consume it now and again.

3) Sweden

Not only has the nation run out of garbage and is importing trash from neighboring countries to burn for fuel, its government is contemplating a “meat tax.” You can learn more about that here.

That said, it should as no surprise, then, that nearly 10% of the country now identifies as vegetarian or vegan – and the millennial generation is leading the way.

Animal Rights Sweden conducted a poll and learned that in the past five years, the number of vegetarians in the country has increased by 4%!

4) Israel

An article published by JSpaceNews last year showcases the growing vegan population in Israel. It is estimated that at the time of publication, there were nearly 300,000 vegans in the tiny country – making up 4% of its total population.

According to the author: “That makes Israel the vegan capital of the world, with more people per capita eschewing all animal products in their diet than any other nation.”

5) India

This largely vegetarian country became even more veg-friendly last year! As the Mercy for Animals blog relays, last year, the Indian city Palitana became the first all-vegetarian city in the world.

Monks in this country spurred this revolutionary change by going on a hunger strike to pressure the state of Gujarat to outlaw animal slaughter in their city. Their efforts proved to be successful, and shortly after, the government imposed a ban on animal slaughter and outlawed the sale of meat and eggs.



6) Germany

It may seem shocking that the nation renowned for Bratwurst is now home to over 7 million vegetarians, but the demand for plant-based products is only increasing.

Even the nation’s 200-year-old Oktoberfest, a meat-laden annual German beer festival, has started serving delicious vegan versions of traditional favorites to satiate attendees’ appetites.

In addition, the owner of Veganz, an all-vegan supermarket chain based in Germany, has ambitious plans of opening 60 more stores by the year 2020, due to popular demand!

7) Canada

According to results from a survey of Canadian food consumption for 2013, citizens in this nation have decreased their meat consumption by almost 10%(!) since the year 2011. A general decrease was noted across all meat categories, but the most noteworthy decline was seen in pork consumption, with a decrease of 4.5%.

Not only that, last year The Huffington Post Canada highlighted Canada’s growing trend away from the consumption of milk. It seems consumption of dairy products has dropped 25% as more nutritious, humane and dairy-free alternatives (like soy and almond milk) have become available.

8) The United States

The country is doing something right in its quest to curb skyrocketing diseases of affluence (like Diabetes, Cancer, and heart disease) by reducing its consumption of animal products. Google even recently tried to buy-out a Vegan ‘cheeseburger’ company in the States.

Other private investors are putting millions into vegan food start-ups, like Bill Gates who is an die hard fan of Beyond Meat, and Hampton Creek Foods, which garnered the attention of Asia’s richest businessman, Li Ka-Shing, along with a $23 million investment.

That’s not all: global market research company Mintel recently discovered that 36% of Americans purchase meat alternatives every once in a while. (Perhaps for Meatless Mondays?)


Consuming more plant-based foods is one of the best things you can do for the environment and your health. And guess what? It doesn’t have to be disgusting, boring, or hard. TrueActivist has already shared some healthy inspiration, such as “5 Best Ways To Eat More Bananas,” and the “Top 7 Vegan Sources of Protein.”

It’s easier than ever to get started today and start living a vibrant, eco-friendly lifestyle. Share this article and comment your thoughts below.

This article (8 Nations Going Vegetarian, Proving To The World Less Is More ) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

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Trying to eat healthy while travelling can be a big challenge

Travelling and eating new foods is incredibly exciting and enjoyable. Experiencing new foods is all part of the fun, and helps you get to know the new place you’re in. But, you need to maintain balance, and reduce exposure to foods that may not make you feel that great.

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream and roasted sweet potatoes. Healthy, Vegan and Delicious Breakfast Bowl

Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream and roasted sweet potatoes. Healthy, Vegan and Delicious Breakfast Bowl

At HideAway Haven, we make it easy for you to eat healthy and feel great while you are travelling, with many healthy options offered during your stay.  Our healthy options include Chia Breakfast Pudding with local fresh berries, maple syrup and toasted almond flakes.  We make our own toasted muesli packed with dried fruits, nuts and healthy grains.  We serve home-made bread including Sour Dough, Wholemeal, Dinkle Seed, Khorasan and Gluten Free. Or try one of our many varieties of smoothies made from 100% local fresh fruit.  For those who enjoy a hot breakfast, poached eggs from our local bio dynamic farmer, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.  We now offer healthy spiralised veggie breakfast bowls.

Whether you enjoy vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, paleo we have lots of varied options for you.  No matter how long your stay is with us, there are new options to choose from every morning.

We have been challenged while we have been travelling through the USA.  We made it a priority to stay at hotels that offered a mini-fridge in our room. This enabled us to stock healthy foods in our room for easy access and saved us big dollars by being able to purchase our own breakfast and snack foods.

At our hotel free breakfast buffet, the least healthy things are served such as bacon, watery scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, sausages, waffles, cranberry muffins and fruit flavoured yoghurts to name a few.

A choice of cereals such as Cheerios, Wheaties, Raisin Bran, Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops, often stale, and sometimes with lukewarm milk to boot and nothing but sugary, dessert-like breakfast items such as Danish Pastries.

There is no variety and this is particularly pronounced as we stayed several days in our hotels. How many days in a row can you eat runny eggs, shrivelled up fatty sausages and bacon or very lame, yet highly fattening waffles with fake maple syrup?

As health conscious hostesses, we have taken the guesswork out of deciding how to manage a healthier style of travel, with countless options for healthy choices.  For those that still want bacon and creamy scrambled eggs, be assured they are still available at HideAway Haven and are freshly cooked to order. 


HideAway Haven - destination for food experiences

Research shows that Australia’s strongest associations with food and wine suggests fresh produce, fresh seafood, high grade meat and unique outdoor dining most heartily tempt the tastebuds of international travellers.  The research also showed that for people who have never visited Australia, only 26 per cent associate the destination with a good food and wine offering. However, for those who have visited, Australia is ranked second across the 15 major markets for its food and wine experiences (60 per cent) behind France and ahead of Italy (third). More importantly though, for visitors from China, USA, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the UK and South Korea, Australia is ranked as the number one destination for food and wine.  (Source Tourism Australia)

The enjoyment of food and wine is integral to the experience offered by HideAway Haven. Quality ingredients and fresh organic produce,  are a common theme enjoyed by all our guests.

Albany holds one of the richest, most undiscovered wine and food regions in Australia.  Why not enjoy the ultimate in food and escape to HideAway Haven,  and enjoy an incredible undiscovered food, wine and landscape experience.  

Gourmet Platter from Oranje Tractor wine

Hands on private cooking classes can be arranged with appropriate notice at an additional cost.  These include


Stretching our Culinary Ingenuity

Anyone who has food allergies such as gluten or lactose or follows a special diet (such as kosher or vegan) knows that sticking to your food routine can be frustrating, depressing and sometimes a little tricky -- especially when you're travelling.  Dietary restrictions don’t have to take the spontaneity out of your adventures; it just takes a little planning.

Welcoming guests into our HideAway Haven home is an invitation to be cared for and treated like family and preparing breakfast or dinner for you is an extension of that care. From vegans and vegetarians to guests who are gluten free, soy free or paleo-dieting,

Some dietary requests and restrictions have stretched our culinary ingenuity but over the years we've come up with a few knock-out breakfasts.

Coconut and Banana French Toast (vegan) made with Gluten Free Home Made Bread

Orange Chia Breakfast Pudding - RAW Vegan and Gluten Free

Pan Seared Oatmeal served with local fresh blueberries and drizzled with honey - Vegan, lactose and Gluten Free)

Beyond Organic - Shipleys Farm Eggs

Shipleys have the same passion for what they do as we do and they love, respect and appreciate their animals the way we do. That is why we are now using their eggs exclusively for our guests.  Have you ever seen a lemon cake this yellow?

Lemon cake.jpg

Their eggs are TRUE Free Range  Shipleys laying hens mimic the natural behaviour of birds in the wild. They are safely housed at night in eggmobiles and during the day they are free to roam and have fun in the open fresh pasture and forage for the insects that are stirred up by the cows who passed through recently.  This gives them a collection of nutrients as they happily scratch and peck their way through a real free range environment. 

Now our guests can enjoy their poached or scrambled eggs knowing the hens who supplied their eggs for breakfast are happy hens. 

UPDATE:  Our lemon cake has been a huge hit with our guests, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.  It is from the Everyday Cookbook from Thermomix with a little of my own tweaking.  You could make this using a good food processor.

250 gm Raw Sugar

Whole organic lemon - cut into 1/4s and seeds removed

170 gm soft butter

4 Shipleys Free Range Eggs

40 grams Yard 86 milk

250g SR Flour (or plain flour with 1 tbsp baking powder)

Pre heat oven to 170 degrees C

Place sugar and lemon into bowl and mill for 15 seconds on speed 9

Add butter and eggs, mix for 20 seconds on speed 5

Add the milk and flour and mix for 40 secs on speed 6

Add baking powder if using and mix through 5 secs on speed 6

Pour cake mix into a greased 20cm round cake tin

Bake for about 45 - 50 mins.  When cool sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with Freshpict Strawberries.

Variation - Use a whole Orange instead of the lemon for an Orange Cake.

If you make this cake, please leave me a comment below, would love to know if you love it as much as our guests to.