JOMO in WA’s Southwest

Joy of Missing Out; (JOMO) a rebellion against saying yes to everything, and giving yourself the space to think and experience things without freaking out about what you ‘should’ be doing instead In our busy world, JOMO is an overdue concept. Here’s the … Continue reading

….a very boho beach breakfast

There’s a few things I love in this world…. and when they mesh together, its perfection! This morning’s journey to Scarborough married up some of my great loves: exercise, beach time and a beautiful breakfast.

A 45 minute walk along Scarborough Beach is such an awesome way to start your morning. Walking is amazingly good exercise…. and with the right diet it’s just about all you need to do exercise-wise unless you have a desire to look like Miss (or Mr) Universe.

45 minute beach walk followed by stillness with a view

45 minute beach walk followed by stillness with a view

Beach Kit: lulu shorts, haviana thongs, towel, sunscreen & water..... beachtime mandatories

Beach Kit: lulu shorts, haviana thongs, towel, sunscreen & water….. beachtime mandatories

After my walk, I usually try to find a cafe where I feel completely comfortable in my gym or beach clothes, with sand stuck to my feet and hair a mess. I stopped caring long ago about how I look in a cafe. I’m not completely sure if I ever did care! In any event, Boho Espresso fits the bill.  You will be surrounded by equally shabby and happy diners.

I spoke with the owner Donny Collins who told me he fitted out the restaurant himself, making a lot of the furniture by hand and commissioning other custom made pieces. The result is a stylized beach shack, with quirky bohemian theme.

Boho Espresso is a great place to chill after a morning at the beach.  The Carribbean music had me jiving into my coffee

Boho Espresso is a great place to chill after a morning at the beach. The Carribbean music had me jiving into my coffee

Boho Espresso juices & smoothies are first class.  Try the Scarlet Pimp or the 'Ranga' (an ode to all things orange!)

Boho Espresso juices & smoothies are first class. Try the Scarlet Pimp or the ‘Ranga’ (an ode to all things orange!)

The juices at Boho are definitely worth a try. Try the ‘Scarlet Pimp‘ ($7.80) – apple, celery & beetroot; or the ‘Ranga‘ – orange, carrot & lemon; or maybe the ‘American Psycho‘ will quell your hangover – tomato, lemon, celery & tobasco.

I have not tried the smoothies yet, but with names such as ‘Ooh La La‘, the ‘Fuzzy Nut‘ and ‘The Poet‘, I’ll certainly give them a go next visit.

Sometimes it's the simple things in life!  Poached eggs, greens & toast

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life! Poached eggs, greens & toast

I avoid grain all week.... so  weekends are a special time reserved for dietary cheats

I avoid grain all week…. so weekends are a special time reserved for dietary cheats

Breakfast options are plentiful. Bircher muesli ($15.50) includes poached pears, rhubarb, blueberries, toasted coconut, honey and homemade yoghurt.  Interesting dishes such as the ‘Cha Cha Boom‘, compiled of poached eggs, hummus, smashed avocado, dukka spices, caramelised ham & watercress ($20) tickle my fancy also.

I usually avoid bread all week (as I do not believe grains should be a staple in the diet). However weekends – they were designed for cheating!  I spoilt myself with the ‘Boho Avo‘ – crispy ciabatta toast, avocado, house made labneh, lemon and black salt ($16.50) and my friend kept things simple with poached eggs on toast.

There’s all manner of temptations at Boho, and its always great to see dietary sensitive options such as gluten free on the menu. Knowing as I do that gluten free means very little healthwise for the average person (although very important for the gluten-sensitive or coeliac), I managed to avoid this delectable dessert this time. I’m not sure if I will be so strong the next time.

Just one of the many temptations at Boho Espresso, Scarborough Beach

Just one of the many temptations at Boho Espresso, Scarborough Beach

You can find Boho Espresso at 241 West Coast Hwy, Scarborough Beach in Perth, Western Australia.

Conscious Cafe’s – Swan Valley Fresh

When you have a certain approach to your diet, it can become quite the journey to find a cafe that caters to your dietary demands. I usually find eating at home is the far safer avenue, given that you know exactly what the ingredients are and can make decisions on the foods that are right for you. Having followed a primal diet for some time now, I can find it challenging to ‘eat out’, unless I’m accepting of the fact that I’m on a cheat day and stepping away from my usual guidelines. 

So you can imagine my excitement at finding Swan Valley Cafe, an unassuming and charming little place on Great Northern Highway in the Swan Valley.  I was like a kid in a candy store (yes vegetables are that exciting!) to find that fruit and vegetables are the main event, centre stage, the superstars of the dining experience (at least in this small part of the world). Serving breakfast and lunch, the passion for all things vegan and vegetarian shines through in a similar fashion to Manna Wholefoods in Fremantle.

Blueberries & Yogurt - Breakfast at Swan Valley Cafe

Blueberries & Yogurt – Breakfast at Swan Valley Cafe

For the vegetarians, you are in your mecca here, with vegetarian and vegan dishes lovingly crafted and superbly presented, with diet sensitivities also catered for in the form of gluten free, dairy free and raw food options.

The humble descriptions the cafe uses to describe the menu items really undersell the food you are about to experience… ‘salad platter’, ‘vegetable patty’ and ‘veggie burger’ does nothing to justify the lovingly crafted menu which is as visually exciting as it is full of taste.

Naomi Hill of www.burnandlearn.com.au, ecstatic with the vegetarian options for lunch

Naomi Hill of http://www.burnandlearn.com.au, ecstatic with the vegetarian options for lunch

Having also dined at Swan Valley Cafe with the company of certified cavemen, I can attest to the approachable menu which seems to get through the ‘healthy dining experience’ with a minimum of fuss and grumblings. The best one can hope for in these situations!

Due to my very inconvenient lactose intolerance (something I will never be truly at peace with) I am always very excited to find a cafe that can make almond milk coffee without the milk curdling and separating. This seems to be a near impossible challenge for many cafes – so kudos to Swan Valley Cafe for making my creamy almond milk flat white, that just about passes for the real thing.

Big Vegetarian Breakfast at Swan Valley Cafe

Big Vegetarian Breakfast at Swan Valley Cafe

The store is also stocked with a supply of gluten free breads, veggie patties, soups, dahls, curries and the like for you to take home and put in the freezer, which is an excellent way of keeping the freezer stocked with interesting options (so that being ‘too tired to cook’ does not lead to midweek dietary compromises).

Sitting outside in the café’s beautiful gardens on a weekend is an extra special treat – often with live music.

Swan Valley Cafe's food is lovingly prepared and visually exciting

Swan Valley Cafe’s food is lovingly prepared and visually exciting

I highly recommend a visit sometime, and I look forward to trying out their high tea in the near future, which has a huge array of organic teas on offer, along with gluten free treats and raw food cakes.

You can find Swan Valley Cafe, open 7 days a week, at 990 Great Northern Highway, Millendon, Western Australia.

cafe zucchini, seminyak bali

You know that feeling when you walk in to a cafe and think “LOVE!”.  Just love it, right from the get go.  Like love at first sight.  I had a clue from the name which just screams ‘all things fresh’.

Cafe Zucchini in Seminyak, Bali declare “our food is simple, fresh and homemade with premium ingredients, local artisan breads, jams and cakes, imported cheeses and locally grown organic vegetables and fruits where possible“. Located in the heart of Seminyak’s shopping district on Oberoi, its the perfect place to refresh and recharge before your second round of shopping.

Cafe Zucchini, Seminyak Bali

Cafe Zucchini, Seminyak Bali

I can highly recommend the juices and smoothies.  Sometimes I find that venues in Bali do not quite get the balance right with the flavours.  Too much apple – too sweet.  Too much celery – too bland.  Too much beetroot – well, you can never have too much beetroot.  Safe to say, Zucchini seem to have nailed the flavour combinations.  I had a carrot, apple, beetroot, ginger & lemon juice which was perfect on a warm and humid day.  My companion had a Papaya & Lime Frappe which tasted delicious. Then to lunch.  I’m always super excited to find a wide array of salads to choose from so I was not remotely tempted to navigate the rest of the very appealing menu.

Salad's are changed daily and there are alwasy several choices, at Cafe Zucchini, Seminyak Bali

Salad’s are changed daily and there are alwasy several choices, at Cafe Zucchini, Seminyak Bali

I chose a combination of three salads which came with crostini for 65,000 Rupiah.  The portions were generous and the flavours fresh, light, and exactly what I needed after a heavy meal the night before.  I woofed it down in my usual fashion – like the meal is my last.

Cafe Zucchini's Mixed Salad Selection

Cafe Zucchini’s Mixed Salad Selection

Also a big hit with my companions was the chicken schnitzel (a 35,000 Rupiah upgrade to your salad) and the steak sandwich which was thin yet very tender beef on sourdough with caramelised onions, beetroot, aioli and rocket for 70,000 Rupiah. I’m yet to try the breakfast, dinner or desserts.  Its something I will certainly do on my next visit – with dishes calling my name, such as the ‘Green Brekkie’ of sauteed spinach, zucchini, rocket, parsley & avocado (45,000 Rupiah), fresh vegetarian tacos, rice paper rolls and my all-time favourite (yet not so healthy) – flourless orange almond cake with ice cream for dessert (45,000 Rupiah).

There’s plenty of dishes for vegetarians and meat lovers alike, which is why I find it so approachable when you are on a family holiday and not everyone feels like eating ‘clean’ that day.

My only gripe was eating my salad next to a smoker.  I know Bali allows smoking nearly everywhere – but you would think a health focused establishment could bring in a ‘no smoking’ policy, particularly given the confined setting. However…. c’est la vie!…. particularly since the cafe is happy to home deliver (to your non-smoking villa) for no additional charge (just don’t be shy with your tip!)

Quirky Aztec influenced art adorn the rattan walls at Cafe Zucchini

Quirky Aztec influenced art adorn the rattan walls at Cafe Zucchini

Find Cafe Zucchini on Oberoi in Seminyak, Bali.