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Making waves

Picture of three people on the beach after surfing

Cookbook and wellness author Eleanor Ozich’s latest print project, new book Lady Waves, is a love letter to her rediscovered passion for surfing. Here she shares just a few of her most-loved surfing-adjacent recipes.

Surfing is incredibly humbling. One moment you’re experiencing the ride of your life, and the next, you’re wholly being tossed around by a powerful wave. The ocean reminds you of who is in charge.

But even in the most exhilarating of moments, there’s this beautiful sense of time standing still. It’s a moment to escape your body and mind and feel immensely connected to nature. To work out your true place in the world.

You can spend hours in the water, connecting with yourself and the ocean, yet the actual time spent riding the waves could be condensed into minutes. What a strange yet beautiful feeling.

But let’s go back to the beginning, shall we? Where my love for surfing first started. As a pre-teen, I remember being utterly obsessed with surfing. I collected girls surfing magazines, carefully cut out pictures, and taped them to my walls. In fact, was my very first email. There was something about the lifestyle that, even as a child, I felt such a strong connection to.

For some reason, I stopped surfing during my teen years and twenty or so years past. I got married, had three beautiful children. Juggled various businesses and got caught up in the general busyness of life. Then in my early thirties, we spontaneously purchased a home in the wild seaside town of Piha Beach. Little did I know that the joy of surfing would come tumbling back into my life so energetically.

One cold and blustery winter’s day, a new friend invited me to come out for a surf on a borrowed longboard. That morning I picked up a wetsuit from the op shop for five dollars and tentatively followed her into the waves.

As soon as I stood up, my feet gripping onto the sticky wax of the board, my love of surfing came rushing back. This was the beginning of a new era. A new way of living that would transform my life!

Fast forward to now, and I’m dancing with the waves almost every single day. It’s become a beautiful addiction that has changed the way I feel about everything. I don’t know how I lived without surfing until now!

post surf hot chocolate recipe from Eleanor Ozich

Post-surf hot chocolate

Serves 1

Sometimes, I don’t feel like eating straight after a surf. However, the next best thing is a glorious hot chocolate that nourishes my tired yet happy soul. This simple version is plant-based and naturally sweetened yet somehow still manages to be creamy, chocolatey, and delicious.

You might also notice coconut oil in the ingredients. Before you dismiss it for seeming strange, this is the secret ingredient that makes the hot chocolate luxuriously velvety! Oh, and don’t forget the teeny bit of salt. It makes all the tremendous flavours sing!


  • 1½ cups oat or almond milk
  • 1 heaped tablespoon good-quality cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • A tiny pinch of sea salt


  1. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat until steaming.
  2. Carefully transfer to a heat-proof blender, and blend for ten seconds or so until creamy.
  3. Pour into a mug and enjoy.
really good rice salad recipe Eleanor Ozich

Da bomb! Rice salad

Serves 4

What’s lovely about this recipe is that it’s easily customisable. Use whatever grains you have on hand instead of wild rice, a can of chickpeas or lentils will even do! Throw in a handful of fresh herbs, switch out the sun-dried tomatoes or artichokes for olives. Even a handful of toasted seeds or nuts can make an excellent addition. It can be fully assembled in advance and transported with you to the beach, if you like.


  • 1 cup preserved artichokes, drained
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely sliced
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice or grain of your choice
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ cup flaked almonds
  • 70g feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour over the salad. Mix until well combined.
citrus scented coffee body scrub from Eleanor Ozich

Orange-scented coffee body scrub

Makes 1 medium jar

Feel revived with this incredibly invigorating and sweet-smelling coffee scrub. It’s perfect for looking after summer skin, and thanks to the lovely oils, it’ll leave your skin feeling silky and soft. Plus, it smells darn good, too!


  • ½ cup ground coffee
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup almond oil or fractionated coconut oil
  • 10 drops orange essential oil


  1. To make, simply add all the ingredients to a bowl, and stir until well combined. Store in an airtight glass jar.
  2. This scrub is best used on your body. Gently exfoliate the skin with 1–2 tablespoons of the scrub and rinse with warm water.
restorative hair and body oil from Eleanor Ozich

Restorative hair and body oil

The idea of female surfers might conjure up sun-bleached hair and beautiful tans; however, the reality is often straw-like hair and dry, weathered skin. This incredibly luxurious and silky oil blend can be used in your hair and on the body – it’s my essential for when I’m constantly being beaten up by the sun and salt.

What you’ll need:

  • 100ml glass dropper bottle
  • 90ml jojoba oil or almond oil
  • 10 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops frankincense or cedarwood essential oil


  1. Add all ingredients to the glass dropper bottle, and turn upside down a few times to disperse the oils.
  2. Store out of direct sunlight.

Excerpt and photos from Lady Waves by Eleanor Ozich, $45

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