meet a mama – tanya from additive free pantry

Here is a mama who is helping to change the world day by day by guiding the rest of us to make informed choices about what we feed our kids.  I recently purchased Tanya’s terribly handy “additive free lunch box ideas” and can highly recommend it.  Be sure to check out her site and facebook page after you read the interview.  They are well worth a visit.

Here is Tanya.

Tell us about you, fabulous you!
I am a mum to 3 children, Kelsea, Kade and Fletcher. I have been married to my husband, Jason for 12 years on Easter Sunday this year.

tanya & family b and w

Currently we live in Singleton in The Hunter Valley, NSW. My household is additive free therefore whomever eats within gets real food at every meal 🙂

I work from home to inspire mums and dads to make informed choices about what food we feed our children. My business, Additive Free Pantry was created to help parents understand what harmful food additive can do to our children. I love what I do and I love it more when I get emails from people who have made changes and seen the improvements within their children, whether that be health related or behaviour related.

tanya family

Who inspires you?
My mum, she is such a real, down to earth woman who tells it like it is, though she supports me 100%. Blessed I am! I also LOVE Louise Hay, my world is so much better, all because she has shared her knowledge and gratitude.

What can’t you live without?
Firstly, my contacts…a good cup of organic chai tea, Ellen (love her generosity, it makes my heart sing) and my family of course. My husband may say my phone…and he would probably be right!

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I like Wellness Warrior by Jess Ainscough and my good friend Collette’s blog Cut out the Crap. I must admit my time for blog reading is a little limited.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Love a good movie. I can do action, thriller, rom com and drama, though I’m not good on horror. I enjoy eating out at the very few Organic cafes in my area. Oh and shopping…

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Most Sundays I bake in large quantities on the weekend for the school week ahead. I freeze and pre pack ready for the week. I choose easy, fast and additive free. Also I have stopped trying to be able to do everything. We women need to stop feeling guilty about doing it all and having it all and that means to also stop judging other mums. Be you…you do it the best!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
On Oprah…I like to dream big 🙂

What is your favourite quote?
I love quotes. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  by Mahatma Gandhi would be my favourite. My mum gave that to me as a fridge magnet when I first started Additive Free Pantry.

be the change


Where can we find you?

tanya logo




meet a mama – alexx – real food. low tox living.

You may have noticed me talking more and more about ‘clean eating’ and trying to help give my kids the best, healthiest (and yummiest) start in life.  One of the great influences behind this shift in my thinking is this lovely lady … I seem to have her voice in my head whenever shop or cook these days!

Alexx has a great way of educating us about food and the choices we make, without judging us about past choices.  The last thing we all need is more mother guilt but I, for one, can always use more information and enlightenment!

I hope you enjoy meeting, and learning from, Alexx as much as I have.

alexx portrait

Tell us a bit about you, fabulous you!
I’m Alexx. I have a neat lil family of 3. We adore our little Mr 3 year old and live in Sydney’s east. My mum and dad moved us over from Europe / USA stints as Dad was an expat when I was little.

I was born in London to a French / Mauritian Mum and a British Dad.  7 generations ago, my ancestor Alexander Macleay was a British born Aussie too, a well known explorer and owner of most of Elizabeth Bay / Potts Point – Hard to imagine! Wish they’d kept a bit – even just Elizabeth Bay House. hehe.

I do lots of stuff – trying to narrow that down to finding that beautiful balance where passion and earning money might collide. I have an events business, a hospitality coaching business, social media comms consulting and my beloved personal blog where I write recipes, articles and share inspiration for living a low tox life filled with delicious real food.


Who inspires you?
So many people. Inspiration is everywhere if you’re looking. My son inspires me, my facebook community inspires me, my parents inspire me for picking it all up and trying a new country way back when. In terms of well known people, I find Jamie Oliver super inspiring, as someone trying to reach a wide target of people to inspire to create positive, delicious change. The way to attract new people to healthy eating isn’t by counting calories and scaring people with niche extreme changes. I truly believe it’s by getting people cooking in the kitchen with real food and admire the people who make the journey empowering and fun. It’s certainly what I try to do, as best I can. Michael Pollan is awesome too, Ita Buttrose goes without saying, Seth Godin the master shaker upperer, and of course lots of friends with their own businesses building beautiful little empires out of their passion and dreams.

What can’t you live without?
Enjoying really good food with good people. Laughs from little people. Creativity. Dreams. Good conversation. Ere Perez mascara. Chanson Chlorine shower filter from Nourished Life. Those last two changed my life. Itchy eyes ever since I can remember – must have been the coal tar. Funny that. Re shower, always had blotchy red patches after showers. Popped the shower filter on et voila – no more! Amazing.

Do you have a favourite blog/s?
I don’t have a favourite. I love to just read around depending on the subject I’m looking up. Favourite sites are Huff Post Living / Green, Food Matters, Healthy Child Healthy World, Food Revolution.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
I am a research geek. I read up to the minute medical books, nutrition stuff, papers, studies. I also love swimming in the ocean. The ocean wipes stress from the minute your head plunges under the water. There’s nothing that makes me feel as serene as that. Shame I find the winter too cold for swimming!

Best time saving or sanity saving idea/tip for mamas?
Plan and batch – Never make only what you need for one meal. Always at least double one of the veg, the meat, the whole dish to use / rework the next day. If you make twice as much for dinner as you need, half the week, then you’ve cut your kitchen time overall by 25%. That’s mind blowing when you stop to think of that as an overall impact for a busy family.

Have a Sunday Chop fest so you can ‘pop it all in’ like the cooking shows when you actually need. I actually did a little post on it on my blog.

alexx chicken soup

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
As a writer and educator in the wellness space, continuing to use my sales skills to help ethical brands create better engagement and teams find a more captivating way to tell their story.

I want to let the woman buying Shapes and Yogo ‘treats’ for her kids, know that we were lied to. They’re not treats at all. I want to help her, and many others realise that by redefining deliciousness, broadening the vocab of what we know and cooking with our families, we can have more fun, better health and more empowerment than one could ever imagine from shopping the middle of a supermarket. It’s exciting. One at a time and whatever each person’s pace for change, I want to help. Can’t think about much else these days!

alexx sunshine salad

What is your favourite quote?
One favourite quote? My lordy that’s a toughy. I do love Henry Ford’s Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way you’re right’ – So very true. Why don’t you let it be you!? I also love Oprah’s theory on choosing people to surround yourself with that will lift you up. If you’re doing all the lifting all the time, you eventually get dragged down too.

Where can we find you?
twitter / instagram @Alexx_Stuart
community facebook page

fab christmas idea #1


We made these little Strawberry Santas last year and they were SUCH a hit we thought we’d share them again this year.  Simply cut the top of the strawberry, cut a lid (the hat!) off the bottom, fill with whipped cream (or cream cheese, or crème fraiche) and add blueberries (or choc chips) for eyes.

Easy peasy food the kids can help you make and are sure to help you eat!

santa strawberries

image courtesy of


i’m no chef …

BUT, I do make a mean curry. For reasons unbeknown to me, the mere mention of my 7 hour Massaman curry has my friends drooling and begging me for the recipe.

So here it is. A permanent record in history.  The recipe.  And when I say recipe, I mean the brief summary of my somewhat random thrown together jumble that somehow becomes the one and only thing I cook that tastes really, reeeally yummy …

Brown 1 onion & 500 grams of diced beef (I use cheapie cuts like chuck steak or gravy beef as they cook for soooo long).

Add 3 TBSP of massaman paste – I use Ayam brand available from Woollies – nothing fancy at all!

Stir through for a minute or so then add a can of coconut cream or milk (there are lite versions if you are worried about the bazillion calories this little gem contains).

Pop in the oven on 150C or cook on stove top on very low simmer for 5-7 hours – the longer the better.

Today’s has been cooking for about 10 hours so should be extra special.  I usually add a splash (um, can!) more coconut milk about half way through cooking to ensure it doesn’t dry out.  About an hour before serving add 4 chopped potatoes.

Serve with steamed rice and fresh coriander.

And thus ends the cooking ‘section’ on this blog.  That’s it people.  That’s ALL I got!