May 14, 2024

Wellness Edit | Autumn with Freya Lawler

Written by Freya

with its golden sunsets, vibrant foliage and crisp air, autumn sets the stage for a season of transition and consideration.

As we reflect on Mother's Day, a tribute to the nurturing figures in our lives and prepare for the passage to winter, it becomes opportune to explore how preparing for a seasonal shift can be harnessed to protect our wellbeing.

Amid a change of season lies the opportunity for deeper introspection and self-care, and an invitation to cultivate our wellbeing through what we have available to us. In this month’s Wellness Edit, I take you through the importance of the S.L.O.W - seasonal, local, organic, wholefoods - food ethos during cooler days, and some tips on where to source the freshest, most nutrient-dense ingredients to arm you with everything you need during a season that can sometimes challenge our immunity.

At Peninsula Hot Springs, our Food Bowl garden is brimming with herbs, chamomile, vibrant tomatoes and greens. In line with our Nutrition pillar as part of our 7 guiding wellness principles, we aim to use as much Food Bowl produce as we can in our Spa Dreaming Centre dining room. You can enjoy this fresh, seasonal produce as part of our Dine & Bathe package – giving you a paddock-to-plate experience to enhance your bathing practice.

seasonal eating

What better way to care for our bodies than with warming, wholesome foods. A hearty dish I come back to time and time again is the ‘Super Green Lentil Soup’ by Naturopaths and Doulas Jessica Prescott and Vaughne Geary. Featured in their book “Life after birth”. A must-read for expert advice on nourishing and nurturing new mums through motherhood.

Embracing seasonal eating habits has become much easier with an array of farmers' markets spread over Melbourne. There are so many reasons to celebrate the benefits of shopping local and spray free, while filling up your fridge with a seasonal bounty.

Farmers markets provide the best opportunity for consumers to connect directly with the growers - there is nothing better than farmer direct tips and tricks on how to best prepare your local produce.

Take this opportunity to connect with your local community and stock up on seasonal ingredients for a nice big batch of super green lentil soup. Find your closest farmers market here.

super green lentil soup


  • 370 g (13 oz/2 cups) beluga lentils or french green lentils
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced or sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped or sliced
  • 3 large or 5 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) veggie stock
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water
  • 250g greens, or 2 large bunches of kale, chard, collard greens or any other seasonal greens you can find salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve (optional):

  • sauerkraut
  • bread or cooked quinoa


Soak the lentils in a bowl of water overnight, or for at least 6–8 hours. A quick soak also works, if you’re short on time – simply put the lentils in a heatproof bowl, cover them with boiling water and allow to sit for 1 hour until you’re ready to cook.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes until softened but not browned, then add the carrot and celery and cook for another 5–10 minutes until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic, cumin seeds and fenugreek and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant.

Drain the lentils and add them to the pan along with the stock and water. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until the lentils squish easily on the side of the pan when pressed with a wooden spoon.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare your greens. Cut the leaves in half (and half again if using very wide leaves), removing tough stems, then cut the leaves into 2cm- (3/4 in)- wide strips. You basically want to get the greens into pieces that are easy to fit in your mouth once cooked. Pop the greens in a large bowl and cover with water to remove any dirt, drain and set aside.

Once the lentils are cooked, add the greens and cook for another 5–10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

I like to top this with sauerkraut and eat it as is. It’s good with bread (of course, what isn’t?), and also very good served on top of cooked quinoa if you happen to have any in the refrigerator or freezer.

The soup will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and freezes beautifully.

You can find Freya on socials here or her website here.

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