How my dog saved my life… Cook this: coconut matcha porridge

Summer might almost be here, but we’re still getting some cooler mornings in Melbourne, which means there are still a few chances left for warm breakfasts. But to get to that, let me first rewind a moment…

This weekend hasn’t been amazing. We were meant to stay in Geelong last night and take part in Run Geelong this morning, a 6km fun run husband and I entered together. It was not to be.

After 48 hours of vomiting, I took my fur baby to the vet on Friday morning. There had been a big fat storm the night before which meant the little guy didn’t sleep, I’d only had 3 hours myself, and was exhausted… I expected (hoped for) a check up and maybe some antibiotics for a tummy bug; he ended up staying overnight. After a physical examination found him to be in a fair bit of tummy pain, the vet said it could be anything from having eaten something he shouldn’t have (being part beagle, this was highly likely) to something more serious.

She couldn’t have been more kind and understanding as she gently explained that he would be sedated for his ultrasound, a drip inserted into his little paw to keep his fluids up, and through-the-night monitoring. I cried. Bless her, she gave me a box of tissues, a pat on the arm and the assurance he’d be ok. I just cried harder as she led him out of the consulting room with his tail between his legs, leaving me there with a hand full of tissues and a face full of snot and tears. I proceeded to bawl my eyes out for the next four hours until I had nothing left.

This may seem like a bit of an overreaction to a sick dog, so let me explain. He’s not just a pet, he’s not just family. Depression entered my life in my late teens; by the time I moved out of home straight out of uni, I was in a pretty shitty state. Having never been allowed a dog growing up because my mum doesn’t like them, the first thing husband and I did when we got our own place was to go puppy shopping. Enter little tiny Marley…

He was the best thing possible for my depression; he dragged me out of my bad states because I had to look after him. I couldn’t just sit in a corner and cry, because this little fur blob needed me to look after him. He was totally dependent on me, and I, in turn, became totally dependent on him. He saved my life. When I’m at home, he’s never more than a few steps away from me. When I’m sitting down, he’s sitting on my lap. When I’m depressed or anxious, he senses it and sits with me silently. When I cry, he nuzzles my neck with his nose to wipe away my tears. When I get home from work, the yelping is deafening. He’s my best friend and my shadow and my constant, loyal companion in every sense of the word.

So having to bring him to the vet and leave him there and imagining him waking up from his anesthetic scared and alone was more than I could handle. So I reacted the same way any rational, fully grown woman after dropping her dog off at the vet for an ultrasound; I cried my eyes out. And texted my dad, who called me immediately, and cried to him even harder. It wasn’t pretty.

Anyway, back on the recipe track, we were told we could collect him yesterday morning. It was cooler than it had been in a while and I wanted comfort food for breakfast, which meant porridge. Checking the fridge to make sure there was enough almond milk left, I noticed the matcha jar I’d brought home from Tokyo and thought I’d give that a try…

To make one bowl of porridge:
– scant half cup of rolled oats
– 1 tbsp chia seeds
– 1-2 tbsp shredded coconut
– 1 scoop protein powder – I use Amazonia’s raw vanilla protein (optional)
– 1 tsp matcha powder (more if you prefer a stronger flavour)
– 1 cup milk – I prefer almond milk for this

1. Put all ingredients except the almond milk into a tub and shake to combine.

2. Pour the tub into a small saucepan over medium heat, along with the milk, and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to a simmer, and stir constantly until it thickens to a consistency you’re happy with (somewhere in the vicinity of 4 – 8 minutes).

4. Serve immediately – enjoy 🙂

After that warm bowl of love, we collected our fur baby (with a bag full of medication) and took him home to rest. As you can see, he got real comfy, real quick… 🙂 here’s to a better week ahead for my poor little bug, and I hope everyone else has a great week, too! And if you need a warm, comforting breakfast at any stage, I hope this recipe helps! xo


Cook this: coconut chia oatmeal with maple blueberries (low FODMAP)

Winter may be officially over in Melbourne this weekend, but it’s still kinda cold right now! And, still recovering from the world’s nastiest throat infection, I’m still craving comforting and warming breakfasts in the mornings, like this one you have have seen on my Instagram feed last week and have been eating almost every morning since!

I absolutely love a good bowl of oats, be it in porridge/oatmeal form, baked, granola or overnight – hearty and filling, healthy and delicious, and wonderfully versatile, can’t really go wrong! Here’s my new favouritr way to do them (and yes, still FODMAP friendly).

To make one serve:
– ½ cup rolled oats
– 1 tsp chia seeds
– 1 tbsp shredded coconut, plus more to top
– 1 cup milk (I use Zymil)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– ¼ cup blueberries (frozen are fine)
– 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1. Combine the oats, chia seeds and coconut in a small bowl or tub, then pour over half a cup of the milk mixed with the vanilla (optionally here, you can mix that half cup of milk with protein powder – I like to use half a scoop of Nu Zest chocolate, best stuff ever!), then cover and rest in the fridge overnight.

2. In another small bowl or tub combine the blueberries and maple, and again cover and refrigerate overnight. Not essential (you can obviously just throw the berries and maple on top when you’re done cooking your porridge in the morning), but if do you remember the night before, the blueberries taste even better!

3. In the morning, put the soaked oats and the other half cup of milk in a small saucepan over low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s thickened up to a consistency you’re happy with. If you don’t have access to a stove/want a quick fuss-free breaky , microwave for about a minute and a half, take it out to stir and then give it another minute.

4. Serve immediately, topped with the maple soaked blueberries and a little more coconut on top.