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During a recent travelling stint I was sitting on the plane listening to the chatter around me. People organising their movies, and hostesses cruising the aisles, offering drinks, blankets and other items to enhance our travel experience. I was handed a menu with a very kind “Would you like to upgrade your experience with a treat from our snack bar?” After a quick glance at the menu, I smiled, held my breath and wondered: would it be possible to upgrade my menu? Why is it that we travel with so many other luxuries on hand, without a giving a second thought to what we eat?

Vibrational foods (foods rich in natural energy to balance what the a flight takes out of us) are key to upgrading your travel experience. No, it’s not a crazy new food group. It’s simply fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, your favourite superfoods (think cacao, hemp, goji, coconut oil, maca and spices), water and minerals from salts and plants of the sea. These foods are the perfect travel companion: easy to pack and swift through security checks. In a domestic run, make it quick and simple with cut up vegetables (fennel, carrot, capsicum), a raw bar or ball and coconut water. For a long haul flight, the key here is hydration and nourishment. Take a few of your favourite herbal tea pouches, a pinch of celtic salt in your water, nori rolls rich in quality proteins, spices and vegetables, fruit, and a couple of nourishing oat and pepita bars. I guarantee, you’ll step off the plane feeling just as good as you did when you got on.

Raw Oat and Pepita Protein Bars
Makes 12 bars

½ cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked in ¼ cup water for 10min
½ cup almond butter
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup hemp seeds
½ cup pepitas
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp linseeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
Pinch of vanilla powder or ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch celtic sea salt

Optional extras for topping:
Cacao nibs

Allow your dates to soak in water for a minimum of 10 minutes before transferring to food processor, adding almond butter and processing a few minutes so all is combined into a paste. Whilst these are processing combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add date almond paste and stir again well (I find getting your lovely clean hands in there works best to combine all these ingredients). Line a loaf tin or square baking tin with greaseproof paper and place mixture in tin (add optional extras if desired) pressing down with a spatula or spoon so the top is level. Pop in fridge for four hours minimum or preferably overnight to set. Cut into bars and store in fridge up to one week – if they last that long.

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline is an Accredited Nutritional Medicine Practitioner specialising in family and early childhood nutrition and gut health. She writes for several media publications, hosts a regular nutrition segment on Channel 7 and in 2016 published her first book, "Seasons to Share" (Murdoch Books). Jacqueline is passionate about working with corporations and brands to support and educate their community and audience and is currently a media spokesperson and ambassador for Remedy Drinks, Eimele Australia, Woolworths, Kitchenaid and Nutrition Director at Bondi Bubs Wholefoods. She is mum to Jet and outside her working hours you'll find her with her family in the surf, on the beach, or out and about in nature.

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