I need your help with I Quit Sugar in America!

Posted on March 28th, 2014

I start by apologising: I’m about to ask a favour. I don’t normally do this kind of thing and I’ll try not to make a habit of it. But I would love your help on this occasion.

This is the cover of the US edition of I Quit Sugar. Same-same-but-pleasantly-different.

This is the cover of the US edition of I Quit Sugar. Same-same-but-pleasantly-different.

In two weeks I Quit Sugar comes out in America. In fact, I write this post as I await my flight to Seattle (I then head to Calgary and then New York). But the way things in US Bookland work is this: if a stack of people pre-order the book – buy it before its release on April 8 – then it has fighting chance of becoming a “bestseller” and then (as a result) being stocked across the whole of America. Which is my aim. To get the book to everyone who wants or needs it. No force feeding, of course. Just available as an invitation.

So, to keep it simple (oh, I feel awkward asking – sorry!): I’d truly love it if any of you interested in buying the book could do so via pre-order. Like, today. So…

If you are a US or Canadian reader

* Click here to pre-order the book now.

* You will receive a free mini sugar-free cocktail cookbook. You’ll be able to download it straight after pre-ordering, so you can get playing right away. Click here to learn more.

* Of course you can wait until the book appears in stores April 8. But a pre-order will help me out a stack. You pay the same price for the pre-order, get something for free, plus you’ll get the book ahead of everyone else. No downside.

If you’re Australian…

* I’d love you to share this message with your American mates – alert them to my fumbly favor.

* For your troubles, I’m giving away a few thank you prizes: a Tefal Soup & Co (valued at $299) which blends smoothies and Read more

Seven ways to make your blog better

Posted on March 26th, 2014

I recently posted my 1000th blog. I figure this puts me in a good position to share a few ideas that might help you if you’re starting out or want to extend things a little.

Image via The Berry

Image via The Berry

1.    If you’re just getting started…

here’s how to start a blog.

Just get into the mosh pit. It doesn’t matter where. Just be in there. It’ll be messy. Everyone will forgive you, though. Then piece things together as you go, build, layers, learn from working out the problems. Don’t panic that you’re getting it wrong. Continue. This is the new frontier.

2. If you’ve been blogging for a while, here’s a podcast I did with Srinivas Rao of Blogcast FM on how to develop your blog voice.

I cover off:

  • The foundations of traditional journalism
  • The power of including your personal story in your content
  • Why the message is more important than the medium
  • Keys to studying another writer’s style
  • Developing a message and a voice that’s authoritative

3.    If you want to get more polish….

join Problogger Community.

This is a community for bloggers at any level where you can learn directly from some world-renowned full-time bloggers and meet, get advice from and collaborate with other bloggers around the world.  Read more

My fructose-free Chai Kombucha recipe…yes!

Posted on March 25th, 2014

I’ve become a little obsessed with making kombucha. I’ve had a brew going continuously on my bench since I made my first batch a few weeks back.

Image via Nourished Kitchen

Image via Nourished Kitchen

One of the concerns some of you had was with the use of sugar to feed the yeast and bacteria. As I pointed out, very little sugar is left behind. But if you’re drinking a few nips of the stuff per day, it can add up to several teaspoons. So I gave things a crack using rice malt syrup, which contains no fructose. RMS is a blend of complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose. It’s fructose free, slow releasing and doesn’t dump on the liver like pure glucose.

I’d read that honey doesn’t work when making kombucha – the theory being the antibacterial agents kill the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). So I was a little concerned about RMS – it’s a fermented product and I had a picture of the different bacteria squabbling for attention in the bowl, eventually annihilating each other. Plus, I’d used RMS to make my Fermented Ginger-Ade and found it needed to be a blend of sugar and RMS to work properly. Oh, and having spoken to various experts and Googled the bejesus out of the topic, I found no one had tried it this way.

But, I can report back from the moldy frontline: Rice malt syrup makes a perfect kombucha.

Simply swap the sugar for the same amount of RMS in my Kombucha recipe and you’re away. You might need to leave it to ferment an extra day or two, and I think it does produce a slightly tarter result…which I personally MUCH prefer. If you’ve been off sugar a while, you’ll probably be the same.

I’ve since used this adjusted fructose-free version to make flavoured brews. Today I’m sharing my favourite: a Chai flavour.

Chai Kombucha

  • 3 cups plain kombucha (my original recipe uses a litre of water, but I find I’m left with a little over 3 cups, a little of which Read more