Happi Health photoshoot: vitamin boost...

 Vitamin B6: Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers

Vitamin B6: Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers

Here are some of photographs I produced for Happinez, for a story on how to boost your vitamin intake with certain foods, in the special edition called Happi Health that was published in The Netherlands a couple of months ago. It’s been years since I worked with food - I used to work regularly as a food stylist for magazines, catalogues and books around the world, sometimes styling the food myself, other times working with wonderful cooks & stylists like my dear friend Yvette van Boven, as well as Michele Cranston and Emma Knowles, and photographers Petrina Tinslay and Jeroen van der Spek were among my favourites.

I had forgotten how much I love working with food until this shoot. As I got creating, I was thinking, why haven’t I done this for so long? To be honest, I think it was because of the over-abundance of cookbooks, food magazines, food shows… it felt to me like there was enough already, and that it feeds that consumer energy, that need to fill up ‘the void’ in us with so. much. Also, there is so much incredible talent out there already, I felt like it was well and truly covered.

But I have a genuine love of eating well, sharing my love of nourishment with my daughter and her friends, and enjoying a beautiful meal with my friends and partner (we are often talking about food, as the French do!) I’m not an entertainer - I am not that friend who always has a fridge full of everything and can whip up something amazing any time of day or night. I’m not always in the kitchen. It’s more that it’s one of the mediums of creative expression for me - like painting is for some.

So having said all that, I do absolutely love shooting delicious food! Focusing on taste, texture, colour and nourishment. It’s why I am so looking forward to co-hosting the kids tasting workshop in a couple of weeks!

This shoot reignited that passion within me. With this story, it was the first time I’d photographed, cooked, and styled at the same time - I’ll just say this, it was bloody challenging to do all roles. A little bit nuts really, in hindsight. But the challenging aspects did not take away the joy! My studio was in full swing- every part of it was in use, the kitchen was abuzz - the oven on, the blender going, chopping boards and utensils in action. The walls were lined with canvas backdrops and wooden tabletops. There was music. There was mess. It was beautiful chaotic order - just the way I love to work.

I thought you might like to see the shots in their entirety, and to share with you some of the recipes I created to be able to get the full benefits of each vitamin I was asked to represent…

 Vitamin K: roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans

Vitamin K: roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans

 Folic Acid: roasted dark leafy greens & sprouts with sesame oil & micro herbs

Folic Acid: roasted dark leafy greens & sprouts with sesame oil & micro herbs

 Vitamin E: avocodo topped with seeds, wheatgerm oil and edible flowers. Vitamin B12: homemade nori chips

Vitamin E: avocodo topped with seeds, wheatgerm oil and edible flowers. Vitamin B12: homemade nori chips

 Vitamin A: roast carrot, pumpkin & sweet potato soup topped with micro herbs

Vitamin A: roast carrot, pumpkin & sweet potato soup topped with micro herbs

 Vitamin D: delicious sun beams - soak them in! Vitamin C: grapefruit slices.

Vitamin D: delicious sun beams - soak them in! Vitamin C: grapefruit slices.

Here are the recipes for the roasted sweet potato dish and the red quinoa. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory (if not let me know and I’ll happily answer questions in comments)…

Roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans…

Cut a purple-skinned sweet potato in half lengthways and roast in the oven with an oil of your choosing (olive, coconut, whatever you like!), with a little salt. Top with warmed baby spinach leaves and natto beans which you can get in asian grocery stores. The texture is a little unusual - its very sticky, but don’t be put off, as with the combination of the sweet potato and the spinach, it’s delicious and so very good for you! Garnish with micro herbs (which are also full of nutrients).

Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers…

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rinsed red quinoa

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1 cup filtered water

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • maple syrup (depending on your sweetness needs, but for me it was about 2 tablespoons)

  • pistachios, pecans, whatever nuts you have on hand, activated and if desired, slightly roasted or warmed.

  • edible flowers if you have them

  • shredded coconut for garnish

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, bring quinoa, milk, water, salt, and cinnamon to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for around 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed,

  2. Turn off heat and let stand covered 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  3. Transfer to serving bowls. Top with the nuts, petals and shredded or toasted coconut.

With love,

Pia xx

Sweet Nourishment: a tasting workshop for kids...

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A few months ago, I was having a chat with my daughter Laly about the amount of sugar in snack foods, and what she calls “treats”. She loves to snack, and I’m fine with that as long as the snacks are nourishing. We got talking about why there is so much sugar in these packaged snack foods, and what the difference is between a nourishing treat and one that is, well, the complete opposite.

It’s a hard concept to explain to a 6 year old! That’s when I got an idea: Children (and us too!) learn so much through experience, so I suggested we make time on a weekend to create a nourishing treat tasting platter and she was so excited, she began brainstorming about all the foods we could put together! It went from being a ‘boring’ conversation to planning a visual feast!

Soon after, I attended one of my friend Emma’s events, which was in collaboration with a beautiful new local waterside café called The Galley. Emma is a renown naturopath with a passion for food. The Galley team was celebrating their arrival into the neighbourhood and wanted to share some of the wonderful dishes they offer on the menu, their focus being on fresh, seasonal ingredients. It was a beautiful sampling experience, with Emma sharing her incredible knowledge and passion for nutritious, delicious food, introducing us through our senses to the 5 best foods for cleansing during the spring season.

That’s when the next idea struck me: in collaboration with Emma, we could share the nourishing treat tasting with other children, creating a fun, interactive workshop! She loved the idea, and within an hour discussion we had nutted (perfect pun!) out the details. So here there are!

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If you have a child between 6-10 years old and live in the Inner West of Sydney or beyond, and want to empower your child to make healthy eating choices, we would love you to join us!

It will be on Saturday November 24, from 3-4:30pm at Emma’s beautiful clinic, Studio You, in Balmain. 

In between Halloween and Christmas, this is a great time to teach them what it means to nourish their mind & body through food, and to learn the difference between healthy sweets and damaging ones. They will be sampling all sorts of delicious treats, and you will both come away with your senses filled, empowered and ready to enjoy the approaching festive season in a nourishing way!

 You’ll find all the details here, please click to find out more and place your booking.

Here’s a little more info about Emma & I:

Emma Sutherland - Founder and director of Studio You, an integrated clinic supporting kids to thrive and grow into healthy adults. With over 15 years clinical experience working with families, Emma is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Emma is mum to 6 year old Sophia.

Pia Jane Bijkerk - As well as being a published author and photographer, Pia has worked as a food stylist for publications around the world, focusing on taste, colour, texture and nourishment. Her passion is to connect people to their creativity and intuition through her work. She loves working with children, creating interactive workshops that ignite creativity through play. Pia is mum to 6 year old Laly. 

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I LOVE creating interactive, intuitive workshops for kids, and I can’t wait to host this one with Emma. Hope to see you there! Let us know if you have any questions.

With Love,

Pia xx

It's All Up From Here! podcast is now live...

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I’m so thrilled to let you know about this collaboration, it’s something that I’ve been working on in the background for the past 6 months and here it is…

Welcome to Season One of the It’s All Up From Here! parent podcast, hosted by radio producer/presenter + ex-youth worker Shona Smith, alongside me, Pia Jane Bijkerk. This is a refreshing, unscripted & honest podcast opening up discussion on issues and topics of today, with the focus to bring back the fun to our parenting.

What I love about this is that both Shona & I have very different parenting styles, backgrounds & personalities - while Shona is effervescent and knowledgeable, I am, well, the heart wanderer: travelling along my parenting path led by my intuition & creativity. We are very good friends, and this collaboration came about after many wonderful discussions. I found I walked away from our conversations feeling uplifted and empowered to be on this wild parenting journey. There was so much great information shared. And after hosting some parenting workshops together in Sydney in 2017, we soon realised a podcast was in the making…

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Shona’s passion is to bring the joy back into parenting, for so many of us who feel overwhelmed and pressured to ‘get it right’. And my passion is to live wholeheartedly, guided by intuition. In this podcast we come together with honesty, openness and reality, without the bells & whistles or smoke & mirrors of social media. In fact, that is the topic of one of our upcoming episodes.

 This is Shona Smith! I love this photograph - it captures the humour, joy and warmth she brings everywhere she goes.

This is Shona Smith! I love this photograph - it captures the humour, joy and warmth she brings everywhere she goes.

Each time Shona uploads an episode, I’ll post it here on this page, but you can also subscribe via Apple Podcasts and Whooshkaa. Without further ado, a very big welcome to It’s All Up From Here! Bringing the joy & heart back to parenting.

With love,

Pia xx

UPCOMING EVENT: The Alchemy of Creative Intuition

This Saturday, October 27 from 4:30-6pm I’ll be on the talks stage at Turn Out, a fete for grown ups! I’ll be interviewed by my dear friend, presenter and podcaster Shona Smith, about the alchemy of intuition - what it is, why we need to prioritise tapping into it now, how we can benefit from it both creatively and in our lives, and what it has to do with developing a ‘bullshit-free zone’.

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Shona will be asking some great questions! She’s a lot of fun and such a great presenter, so I can’t wait to answer her questions and meet the audience. I’ll be doing a Q&A at the end, and there will be time to chat and sign books as well. I’ll have all copies of my books, including (hopefully! It’s still at the printers!) my new Festive Season, Reimagined - of which there are only a handful left to purchase, thanks to everyone who has been pre-ordering up a storm! All books will have a special fete price, and can be individually signed.

 Here is a peek at the book sample I received earlier this week. I’m so happy with the colours and paper stock - it’s beautiful matte paper, not too thin and not too thick, 100% recycled, printed locally.

Here is a peek at the book sample I received earlier this week. I’m so happy with the colours and paper stock - it’s beautiful matte paper, not too thin and not too thick, 100% recycled, printed locally.

I don’t do many events through the year as you know, much preferring to be hunkered down in my artist’s retreat, allowing my ideas to run rampant! So it’s a rare & special occasion to be out under the spotlight for a moment or two, I hope you can join me.

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Shona & I have also been working on something fun (“and very useful!” says Shona) together which we will be announcing on social media as early as this afternoon! And we will be talking about it at Turn Out too. The above pic is a little clue!

Happy full moon to each of you.

With Love,

Pia xx



A Deck for Wonder-Walking by Amy T. Won

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My friend across the pacific and fellow artist + heart wanderer Amy Won has just launched her long-awaited kickstarter campaign offering her 2nd edition deck of 32 wonder-walking cards, and I had to share this with you because I know so many of you will love this as much as I do…

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"This is an invitation to the human experience: A call to open our eyes and see more, feel more deeply, and observe closer.”

I absolutely love the way Amy sees the world around her. I have been enamoured with her enchanting watercolours and creative outpourings for years, and I’m so excited for her to be creating this collection and sharing it far & wide. Amy has featured my piano composition titled “All this, yes” from my Spirit & Flight album as her background music to her launch video which is so beautiful, I am honoured. Check out her video here.

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Amy has poured her heart and soul into this project, she has an incredible eye for detail and an understanding of what we seek to experience in our everyday…

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Only days into her campaign Amy has reached more than halfway to her goal, and it’s easy to see why when you peruse her page, there is so much to enjoy. I’d love to see her reach beyond her goal to enable her to offer her stretch goals, one of which is a printed version of her beautiful Journal of Wonder-Walking, currently available as an ebook.

I’ve learnt over the years that most people have no concept of how much of our individual time and energy goes into projects like these. I once had someone comment on my first foray into crowdfunding when I self-published Little Treasures: Made by Hand that they were disappointed that once I had reached my crowdfunding goal I was still promoting it and encouraging sales. Rarely having received comments like that in the past, I was dumbstruck and felt guilty for a long time, as if I’d done something terribly wrong by believing in my work and wanting to share and expand it. I began a journey to understanding that most people don’t know how much work, skill and personal funds go into these creations, and that most artists who take the brave steps towards something like crowdfunding or self-publishing, will never receive enough money to pay for their own time because of the current value system of the world, but are incredibly grateful for whatever they receive to pay for the hard costs like printing, framing, and any services they need to outsource. Because I’ve lived this all my life, I couldn’t comprehend that others who have not lived this, did not know this. So hook, line and sinker, this commenter got me! I finally snapped out of it, but learnt a valuable lesson: I gained a knowing from my core that I will always give my all in what I do, and I am allowed to receive money for it too! And so it’s with absolutely pleasure that I encourage and share the work of other artists and creators whose work I adore and know how beneficial it is to our everyday expansion. I know that by investing in work like Amy’s, we are building the world we want to live in…

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“In a world of vicarious living, we can choose instead to discover life for ourselves… I believe that a reconnection begins with a walk and a wonder.”

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A big congratulations to Amy for bringing this beautiful work into the world, and I wish with all my heart that you reach your goal so that people around the world can experience their surroundings in a new way. Click on the button below to learn more…

And to visit Amy’s wonder-filled instagram, please click here.

I’m also delighted to let you know that Amy & I are in the midst of collaborating on something amazing together! Which, once we both get through our current projects, we will announce. I’m incredibly thrilled to be working with her and can’t wait to share our news. xx

Festive Season Reimagined by Pia Jane Bijkerk

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I’m delighted to let you know that my new publication, Festive Season Reimagined is at the printers and will be ready for shipping from October 29!

For those who don’t already know the journey of this book, I wrote the beginnings of it in 2016 and released it as an ebook which was titled The Everyday Alchemy Festive Guide. It was in response to my deep yearning to move through this time of year in a very different way. I was tired of feeling drained by the frenzy of the season, with all the rushing around, consuming, and the general expending of so much valuable energy. This year I decided to embark on creating my own printed version as I had a lot more content to add to it since I'd learnt from another 2 years of experiencing the festive season in this new way. Would you like to see some of the inside pages? Here is a sneak peek…

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Here is some insight into the contents…

“In this beautiful 80 page handbook, author + artist Pia Jane Bijkerk has created a visually inspiring & intuitively formed anthology of ideas for those among us looking to connect deeper as the year completes its cycle, no matter where we live in the world.”

I created this book for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and essentially, for the child within. It will open up a path of discovery in finding  fresh ways  of experiencing the festive season with great joy  and a sense of renewal, without stimulating  over-consumption and stress. Nature has always been the foundation of all that I create, and you will notice this among the pages. This is one of my favourite new images for the book…

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As with all books I create, this one is highly illustrated, combining my photography, stories and sharing ideas of my own as well as those from creative souls around me. I’m releasing a small eco-conscious print run which I am printing locally.

It will retail for $30 AUD, but I am making the first 50 available now for pre-order at a special price of $25. The book will have a soft launch at my next speaking event at the Turn Out fete at the Locomotive Workshop in Everleigh, Sydney on October 27, where I’ll be speaking about the power and importance of intuition in our lives. I’ll be signing books at the event, so for those who have pre-ordered, you can let me know you’ll be at the event and I’ll have your copy available. For those who are not able to come along to the event, you can still pre-order with shipping, and I’ll send it off to you on November 1. It is also available for independent retailers, just send me an email if you’d like to purchase them at wholesale.

And for Patreon members, all receive a 10% discount code they can use across my website for the duration of their patronage. For those not yet a member, you can find out more here.

Thank you to all who have supported me in this project over the last couple of years, through purchasing my original ebook, sharing my work with your own social media networks, and becoming part of my patreon collective to enable me to keep creating freely and wholeheartedly.

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I’ll spread the news on social media over the next 2 weeks - lifting my hiatus while I release this into the world. I’d love your help in letting people know about it, so if you would share it on your social media and friends, I’d be so grateful. This is a book I have produced independently, which means I rely completely on us as individuals to share it, purchase it, and support it any way we can. I would love to be able to continue making these types of work and in the future I’d love to grow the collection to include work by others.

Okay that’s it from me for now. Let me know if you have any questions!

With Love,

Pia xx



Social media hiatus: RECOMMENDED...

Three weeks ago I decided to delete my instagram and facebook apps off my phone, to see how I would feel and if it would help to create space and clarity and focus. The affect was IMMEDIATE. And I knew in that moment more than ever how addictive these platforms have become and how much energy I’ve given them. Within hours I felt the shift, and in these three weeks I’ve been able to focus on all my projects, including a new podcast as well as writing new content for my first mini book, Festive Season Reimagined, which will be ready to print next week! It will be available for signing & purchase at Turn Out - a fete for growns up in Sydney which I’ll be speaking at on Saturday October 27, 2018. If you’d like to come along and hear me talk (passionately!!) about the power & importance of intuition in our everyday lives, you can register here, it’s free and I’ll have the Festive Season Reimagined hot off the press. This book will be a limited edition - it will only be available through me - either in person at Turn Out, or to purchase online through my website after the event.

During these past weeks, I’ve gained so much clarity about how I want to move forward with connecting with you, and I’ve come full circle back to this point - writing in my journal & emailing it to you. It may take some practice to get back into writing longer posts, and perhaps it will take time for you to get used to me writing in length again as I know thanks to social media we have all developed a much shorter attention span, so you may just tend to skip through to find bits that interest you (I do it too).

I’ll make a little diagram to show you how I’ll be communicating from now on. In short, the Patreon collective will hear from me first, receiving a 10% discount off everything I release, including this new book. Through my Everyday Alchemy Journal which I’ll be sending as emails here to you, I have so many incredible things ready to share - places, books, collaborations and projects I’m working on - I’ve been limiting myself to instagram, trying to fit it all in to those tiny squares that most of us scroll by most of the time (I was doing that too).

This is just a brief post to let you know where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, but I’ll send more info about the events and projects coming up as they come to light - for now please put October 27, 4:30-6pm at Australian Technology Park Locomotive Workshop 
Henderson Road, Eveleigh in your diary to meet up for a heart to heart (don’t forget you need to register to be able to come along), and buy your copy of the book (pre-order here so you know you’ll be able to pick up your copy at the event).

 Laly took this photo for me today, not sure if she meant to cut of my head?!

Laly took this photo for me today, not sure if she meant to cut of my head?!

Oh, and my bullshit free zone t-shirt arrived and I love it! Did you get yours? Let me know, I hope you like it as much as I do. Apparently it’s still for sale if you want to order one but only for the next 16 hours - I’m confused as I thought the campaign only lasted 12 days - perhaps someone can explain this to me? I wore mine food shopping today, I felt like a rebel, it was totally empowering. Laly thinks it’s the coolest thing ever (I had to explain what it meant, she totally understood and now wants to make her own version “Bull Dust Free Zone” so we can be matching!)

Not sure if you can sense my energy resurgence through this email, but if so I put it down to all of the above, triggered by deleting the apps. I am not keen to re-install them, but I will need to as I want to keep them as places people can find me and know that I’ve posted in my journal and on Patreon, but will I be able to not look at them throughout the day?! I’ll only know if I give it a try. And if I can’t, then I’ll have to consider a permanent removal.

Sending love through the ether,

Pia xx