Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Weekend (page 1 of 2)

Camp

Take me back to last weekend, the long weekend, the first weekend in a very long while our little family got to escape the city and go bush! As we were packing on autopilot and as we relaxed into a simpler rhythm of camping I reflected how things have changed for the better…

  • Camp meal planning no longer involves packet rice and packet pasta but a whole heap more vegetables and knowing your butcher
  • The night before camp now includes meal prep like this amazing roasted spicy capscium dip

Happy hour around the camp fire

  • Husband did the last minute camp shopping and was horrified when he reached for the some of the foods we used to pack only to turn it over to read the gazillion numbers and non-food ingredients. Safe to say they went back on the shelf.
  • Husband was so proud when he got home from shopping with the water pack being fluoride and additive free. Next time we will double the water as we all drink it in greater quantities than last camp trip.

Fresh water

  • Making quick green smoothies for breakfast on the go rather than drive through Maccas (I use banana instead of mango)
  • Pit stops for a toilet break at Maccas confuses Master 4 ‘Isn’t this yucky food?’
  • Snacks for the road trip are no longer bags of lollies but a box of bliss balls and some mixed nuts & seeds.
  • Energy for the long road trip is fuelled by the car diffuser wafting Energy and Vitality
  • I had massively over-catered as we no longer eat many snacks and our meal sizes are smaller as they are so much more nutrient-dense
  • Setting up the campsite Master 4 remarked ‘Where is the TV?’. We were only one of two groups camping on the unpowered sites, everyone else was connected to power either camping or in caravans.
  • I discovered not 1 but 4 packs of pain-killer tablets in our camping gear, I used to have a pack or two everywhere I went. Now I rarely need them and if I do get a headache or tummy ache I reach for my peppermint oil.
  • Everyone is happy with bacon and eggs for breakfast everyday
  • I found a jar of Vegemite and a pack of gravox in our camp cooler bag and husband and I both laughed as we no longer eat these! In the bin they went!!
  • Sharing amenities with other people is an assault on the senses with the toxic personal care products people use. Waiting for shower with a row of teenage girls washing I felt myself holding my breath.
  • Preparing much of our food at home cut down on the waste we threw away, with only a shopping bag of rubbish over the long weekend and a few plastic items to recycle (any cardboard got incinerated on the campfire!)
  • Master 4 got some nasty insect bites on his hand that turned into welts and I was able to soothe the sting with lavender oil. One night I tucked him into his sleeping bag and zipped up the tent to then hear a wail of ‘Mum, I NEED my lavender!’
  • How convenient we have set our lives to be and how little we move our bodies. Walking to the amenities or the camp kitchen or the kids activities multiple times a day you certainly feel exhausted at the end of the day. Go-karting takes the exhaustion to a whole new level!
  • Being outside all day and all night exposed to the sunlight and moonlight as well as the fluctuations in temperature is a great way to reset your circadian rhythms and recharge your mitochondria. I made a conscious effort not to wear my sunglasses all weekend!
  • Total disconnect from social media and reconnecting with family was the ultimate recharge I needed
  • The realisation how light saturated we have become when you go bush and gaze up into the clear night sky to see a spectacular sight of stars.

Starry, starry night!

Already planning the next camping trip…Do you have any tips for camping while keeping in tune with a healthy lifestyle?

 

MINDD 2016

The MINDD Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children and families by promoting a holistic approach to healthcare and living. After last years MINDD Forum changing the direction of my healing and recovery there was no way I was missing the MINDD Forum this year, especially with the key note speaker being Kelly Brogan.

Dr Nancy O’Hara was back again this year speaking about ‘It wasn’t me it was my germs’; love this concept! We are depleting our microbiome of the nutrients we need by the way we lead our lives. The majority of our immune system resides in our guts. Gut dysfunction is associated with germs including parasites and yeast. It was interesting to learn that a clostridia infection, a bacteria in our gut, has been found to associated with psychosis. The way to treat gut dysfunction is with nutrition as fresh, organic, unprocessed foods that are varied and rotated; probiotics to control inflammation and encourage gut movement; remove stressors;  and the best way to detox is a minimum of 1 stool per day.

There is no such things as junk food; it is either junk or food

– Nancy O’Hara

Great talk on effects of food on anxiety by Trudy Scott, eating real, whole, good quality foods is the foundation to maintaining optimal mental health. A lower risk of depression and anxiety was found with traditional diet of vegetables, fruit, fish, grass-fed meat, and whole grains when compared to western and modern diets in an Australian study by Jacka 2010.

Diet intervention

Trudy Scott

Food is Medicine but there is no “one size fits all” diet. Great talk on Using Bioindividual Nutrition to Personalize Therapeutic Diets. Julie Matthews spoke about how dietary intervention is at the foundation of healing. Individuals have specific dietary needs and diet needs to be bioindividually applied. Keep an open mind as you may need to use a particular diet in the short term or further restrict a diet or prioritize one diet over another or apply more than one dietary principle to improve function with the goal of the least restrictive, most varied diet possible.

no one size fits all

Julie Matthews

What an awesome way to spend a Friday with these inspiring wellness rock stars at the MINDD Forum Food is Medicine day. I loved the cooking demos learning from the best of the best Alexx Stuart, Jo and Isaac Whitton from Quirky Cooking, and Helen Padrin and Charlotte Carr. From digestive calm soup to lemon cheesecake panna cotta to best butter chicken ever to pantry essentials in an non-negotiable hour of power. Nourishing your family with quality, real food is simple, basic to basics home cooking. Change the way we do our shopping and change how we approach new ways of eating. Teach our kids real food, take time to spend with our kids, talk with our kids makes a difference when going through change.

Food is Medicine

Top: Alexx Middle: Isaac and Jo Bottom: Helen and Char

I had the honour of meeting Kelly Brogan MD. Kelly is such an inspiration to me and I am extremely grateful to Kelly for her focus on maternal mental health including postpartum psychosis and showing us that we do have ‪‎capacity to heal‬. Thank you MINDD Foundation for bringing Kelly to Sydney.

Kelly

Kelly Brogan and me!

Listening to Kelly Brogan speak about the root cause of depression and anxiety and the power of our food was awe inspiring. We need to stop looking at the symptoms and start asking WHY? The whys are sugar imbalance, gluten sensitivity, nutrient deficiencies, and thyroid autoimmunity. Depression is an inflammatory response, a symptom not a disease.

Medication is not better than doing nothing. We don’t know what medications are doing to our microbiome. We are passing the damaged microbiome onto the next generation. The principle mental health intervention needs to be dietary recommendations.

We have knowledge inside us how to interact with food in a healing way but it is hijacked early with processed foods. We have to get back to food as information for gene expression and our microbiome. We need to speak to our nervous system in a different way.

Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.

“Through the alchemy of my darkest nights I heal and thrive. Today I rise!”

A beautiful and moving video shared by Kelly Brogan at the end of her talk which had most of the room in tears. We as women will transform this world!

Today I rise

Kira Sutherland spoke about the basic principles of healthy living for optimal wellness are natures 7 healers, of which most of us manage to achieve 2-3. However, if we achieve exercise this cascades into other areas and we are almost always then able to achieve all 7 healers. Exercise helps us to be better adapted to stresss, strengthens our immune system, improves our gut flora, helps our organs to detox, has been shown to be just as good as anti-depressant medications but with positive side effects. 

Exercise

Kira Sutherland

Other speakers included Erica Peirson on hypothyroidism in children on how brain development and every cell is dependent on the thyroid horone, pregnancy is a stress test on the thyroid and how the microbiome should be nurtured as much as the newborn itself; Elizabeth Mumper spoke about the Management of Prenatal and Postnatal Risk Factors of Autism and that so many things have changed so quickly for our kids and the basic recommendations for pregnancy include a well-balanced, organics, non-GMO diet, green your home, reduce stress, get enough sleep, regular exercise and avoid toxins; and Annalies Corse on Maternal Health and the nutritional considerations for conception, pregnancy, birth recovery  and the 4th trimester, and that it can take greater than 6 weeks for recovery after birth as this transition can be very stressful both emotionally and physiologicaly which can then further deplete us of nutrients and energy, with a labour + c-section birth the hardest delivery from an emotional point of view.

The postpartum period is a time when women tend to be amenable to health counselling; this provides a tremendous opportunity for promoting lifelong healthy habits.

– Annalies Corse

Help the brain heal the gut. A major aha moment for me listening to Dr Carlo Rinaudo talk about the role of the vagus nerve. If the brain is not working properly you have reduced brain-gut activation affecting gut and immune health. The vagus nerve is our largest cranial nerve connected to many different organs in our body.

Low vagal nerve activation results in

  • reduced gut motility
  • reduced release of digestive enzymes
  • reduced blood flow which reduces repair and nutrient transport
  • leaky gut leading to inflammation and autoimmunity

The typical response for low vagal tone is a sympathetic dominant state: adrenal stress, anxiety, poor sleep, hormone imbalances and poor posture. The vagus nerve stimulation has used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, stress, anxiety and depression.

I had vasovagal syncope‬ (fainting) after the birth of my son in the weeks before developing postpartum psychosis. The pieces of my health puzzle are starting to come together.

Vagus Nerve

Dr Carlo Rinaudo

Right time, right place meeting Holly Bridges with a lovely long chat with Holly about the polyvagal theory and the 3 responses to stress: flight, fight and freeze. Our body goes into survival mode, into a state of safety, into a shut down response thanks to a weak control of the vagus nerve. With the help of neuroplasticity it is possible to reconnect the mind-body connection and re-engage the brain.

Holly has a fantastic, easy to read, easy to understand book explaining the polyvagal theory and how this impacts people with Autism. A huge piece of my health puzzle has been ‘reframed’. Thank you Holly!

Reframe Book

Holly Bridges

My books from the MINDD Forum 2016.  So grateful to get my copy A Mind of Your Own signed by Kelly Brogan MD. Finally got my hands on Bubba Yum Yum’s The Paleo Way and get it signed by Char and Helen.

books

Books from MINDD 2016

Save the date for the third weekend in May 2017 for next years MINDD Forum!

 

Functional Nutrition Course

 

Enough

Enough!

I have not done enough for this blog.

I do not have enough time for a blog.

I am not enough to be writing a blog.

In a time when it is all too much, when I have had enough, I reflect on the words of my beautiful girlfriend Christin:

You do enough.

You are enough.

You have enough.

And breath deeply.

Repeat 3 times.

– Wandress Life

I have spent the past 2 weekends away pursuing what I love in self-care and nutrition. Being surrounded in the loving and supportive company of like-minded people gave me an opportunity to reflect.

At the recent Twenty8 HLE Graduation weekend I was asked to recall my experience of being a HLE student only 6 months before hand and share with the current students where I am up to as graduate and what I want to do from here. I had some big personalities in my HLE intake group, even celebrities in my eyes, and in my mind I did not feel I was enough compared to them. I could not do what they are doing in getting the message out there. What I have come to realise is that I don’t have to be like them, I don’t have to do it all in a short amount of time. I have to be me, believe in me, and be me in my own time. This is my journey, no one elses; you cannot compare someone’s chapter 1 with another persons chapter 20. I am beginning to see in myself what others see in me, and this is a big aha moment for me!

My girlfriend Hen recently posted:

No one else has the same beliefs, knowledge or experience. No one knows exactly what’s going on in your universe. No one can possibly have your perspective.

– My Innate Vitality

At the recent Changing Habits Graduation weekend people I was meeting new people who did not know that was going on for me and the darkness that I have pulled myself out of; I came to realise that not everyone needs to know. All people need to know is that I do have a different perspective, no one else has the same experiences as me, no one else has the same learnings as me, and if I share this perspective with others it may resonate with them for them to what to find out more and create the ripple effect of change just from me being the example.

I am enough!

I have been doing a lot the past months raising a family, working, and completing 3 courses in 2015.

This blog is just over 12 months old; good things take time to grow.

My story needs to be shared with the world.

“You never get over it, but you do get on with it”

– Carren Smith

So let’s get on with it!

 

Digital Sabbatical

Yesterday, a Monday, I went to work to attend a work retreat day. Mondays are not my usual work day so I was out of my rhythm, particularly as I am still trying to find my groove again after being on holidays for 2 weeks. By the time I got on the train to work I reached into my bag to send hubby a text only to realise, shock horror, my phone was left at home.

However, I was not in a tizz about not having my phone connected to me for a day. I coped the whole day without worrying about if anyone had tried to call me (mum was the only missed call, nothing urgent), not having the urge to fill a spare moment by checking social media or even taking a photo to remember the moment (the view of the city from the work retreat was spectacular!). The my family coped without knowing the exact moment I was on my way home and didn’t even noticed that I had not sent a text to say I was ok.

I was not always this calm without being connected into technology. The difference was that I had just returned from my holiday which I had made into a 2 week digital sabbatical. I recently had listened to The Slow Home podcast with William Powers and not long before that had seen Brooke from Slow Your Home take a digital sabbatical in July for her family holiday. This had inspired me to disconnect and fully immerse myself to take time out for me and my family.

Do you feel the urge to constantly check your phone? Are you constantly glued to a screen? Do you feel anxious when you are not connected to technology? Just before my holiday I listened to a great conversation on One Minute Mindfulness Show about Digital Twitch. As a family we have the no technology at the dinner table with phones away and TV off, no phones to be gazed at whilst speaking with each other, no phone checking in the bedroom, and overall have slowed down our use of technology that is distracting us from living life. We are modelling to our son a better way to be mindful with technology.

We have had moments where we as parents have not been the best example, particularly when I was working heaps on the computer back in July and August on a couple of education courses. I got the reality check I needed when I was at the Twenty8 HLE graduation in Mooloolaba, watching my son wizz around Underwater World Aquarium pretending to use each of the display signs as a computer, typing away. When asked to stop and look at the fish around him my son remarked ‘I’m busy’. From this I made a conscious effort to be more mindful of how I was using technology around my son.

2015-08-02 039 fish

Underwater World, Mooloolaba

In preparation for my digital sabbatical I turned off all Facebook notifications on my phone and removed the short cuts to social media from my home screen. I have heard some people even go the length of deleting the app entirely off their phone; I didn’t go this far. The first day of my holiday I picked up my phone out of habit, remembered my promise to myself and consequently put the phone back in my hand bag. The phone suddenly had no purpose in my present moment. I spent the next 2 weeks hardly touching my phone. There were a couple of moments when I was on the in presence of a group on my retreat where the conversation turned to everyone checking their phones. While everyone’s heads were down I was enjoying sitting on the pool deck soaking in the morning sunshine on my back.

Being on holidays and being fully disconnected was bliss. I was enjoying the company of others with much laughter and conversation with new friends at the retreat. I was taking photos for me, not with a view to share them with the world on social media. Even husband found himself checking social media hardly ever. Our second week we stayed high up in the Byron hinterland which was an enforced disconnection as there was extremely limited mobile coverage, no WI-FI and patchy TV reception. I thoroughly enjoyed the simple pleasures of spending time with my family, reading a book and many a time gazing out over the valley enjoying the ever changing vista that surrounded us.

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Vista from Toolond Plantation

Since our holiday I have chosen not to turn the notifications back on Facebook or to return social media back to my home screen. I have dramatically reduced my FOMO (fear of missing out) on social media. I have added a message on my lock screen “Be mindful”, which catches me when I find myself picking up my phone in a spare moment.

Have you thought about how connected you are to technology? Would you give a digital sabbatical a go?

 

 

Missing in Action

Wow, the past few months have flown past and things have been pretty quiet here on the blog, but I can assure you it has been far from quiet for me. So much has been happening. Here is a snippet of the whirlwind:

May – The MINDD Forum and Day with Cyndi were action packed. As a family we enjoyed the Vivid Light Festival in town.

2015-05-26 027 Vivid

Vivid at Customs House, Sydney

June – From the MINDD forum I was in a spin with some new found direction on healing my body, finding a new piece of the puzzle to work on. I found a couple of Integrative doctors and started working on improving my health in a new way. My mind was racing with the new knowledge and how it has impacted on my life, even since high school. What kept me grounded was my focus on Twenty8 HLE and my fortnightly webinars with my Sparklers.

DSC_1023 Rainbow

Double rainbow in June

July – End of July was a very eventful time with the graduation of Twenty8 HLE Program in Mooloolaba Queensland, I commenced the July Intake of Changing Habits Online Education Course plus I also commenced a TAFE course. I have a love of learning, a passion to expand myself and a tendency to keep myself busy. 

2015-08-01 005 HLE

With Kim Morrison at the Twenty8 HLE Graduation Dinner

August – I began to realise that I had a bit too much on my plate and the stress, anxiety and sleepless nights began to creep back into my life. Not good timing considering it was also the time of my son’s birthday and the time of year where I reflect on the journey I have been on with postpartum psychosis and bringing up a lot of emotions for me.

2015-09-05 001 Cake

My son’s birthday cake (sans lollies)

In the craziness of August I won tickets to the Wellness Summit in Melbourne! Wow, this was definitely an experience not to pass on, so my husband and I had a quick weekend away in Melbourne. It was amazing to be surrounded by almost 700 people who are wanting to be the change in their wellbeing.

2015-08-16 001 Summit

A multitude of speakers at the Wellness Summit, Melbourne

To top off August I did my first market stall at my local gym!

2015-08-29 001 Stall

My display of Twenty8 essential oils and skincare at Fitness First Sylvania

September – A hard slog of long nights and strung out days completing the TAFE course; I am so grateful it was only a 9 week course. TAFE consumed all my spare time meaning little time to share my story with you.

Well September is almost at an end and it is time for me to slow down a bit. My mind has been racing a lot trying to work out my health issues, wanting to do so much as a new graduate of Twenty8 HLE, as well as juggling the family, the household and work. My head hurts just looking at what I have been up to lately. So you may be wondering, how did I cope? How did I manage to take on all these bits and pieces?

To be honest I have struggled a lot in the past few months trying to keep it all together. I overstretched and overwhelmed myself attempting to do too many things all at once.  When I overstretch some things suffer; when I am overwhelmed I suffer. Unfortunately these tend to be things that are most important to me like my wellbeing and my relationships with those close to me. Thankfully the universe is looking out for me and has sent in supports to give me strength and keep me moving forward, with friends contacting me just when I need it most (Thanks Christin, Henry, Maria and Stuart!).

There have been two crucial things that have kept me from falling apart recently; self-care and simplicity.

Self-care – my daily rituals of self-care have been my anchor on days when things seem tough. My rituals have been my way of checking in with myself and showing myself some compassion, that I am doing enough, I am enough and I have enough. Twenty8 Peace and Meditation has been my go to a lot lately in my daily rituals as way to calm the chatter in my mind and ground me to the present moment.

2015-04-26 007 Peace

Peace and Meditation

Simplicity – I have simplified and slowed down my life in the past 3 years, resulting a simple rhythm I follow day to day. I have de-cluttered over time, reducing the amount of possessions I have to care for and clean. Each day I have one chore to achieve like Monday is the day I wash the towels, and if that is all I get done for the day, that’s ok. I have slowed down our schedule, not over committing ourselves on the weekends, which allows us opportunities to go with the flow like go on a bush walk to ground ourselves again and disconnect from the world. 

2015-08-22 025 Karloo Pools

Recent bushwalk to Karloo Pools

Have you had a lot on lately too? What way some of the ways you cope when you are overstretched and overwhelmed?

 

Changing Habits

Day with Cyndi

I volunteered at Changing Habits Day with Cyndi, Sydney on May 23 2015. I assisted throughout the day answering questions, supporting people and selling Changing Habits products, as well as listening to the beautiful Cyndi share her knowledge with a crowd of 160 people. I definitely saw the impact the MINDD forum had on Cyndi as she passionately spoke about how we need to feed our families to heal the nation.

Wilful Blindness – Information that you could and should know but you somehow manage not to know.

Day with CYndi Chang Habs Blind

Culture and tradition is so important, knowing the seasons, the way we prepare our food and the type of foods. We have to honour the way we eat our foods. Our culture tells us what we should be doing. For example every culture has a ferment.

Day with CYndi Chang Habs culture

90% of you is actually your microbiome. Your microbiome is everywhere, not just in your gut. Improve your microbiome and you will start to eat better, as your microbiome send out signals to seek out these foods.

Day with CYndi Chang Habs Mircobiome

There are many problems with today’s modern wheat, so I will stick with ancient grains of wheat like Emmer Wheat or Spelt or none at all.

Day with CYndi Chang Habs Cascade Wheat

Day with CYndi Chang Habs Wheat

Autoimmunity is caused by genetics, environment and leaky gut. We need to clean up our environment and heal our gut.

Day with CYndi Chang Habs heal gut

Day with CYndi Chang Habs environment

For me attending a Day with Cyndi this year was a time of reflection of the past 14 months and how much I have changed since I attended last year’s event. I am now loving real food, making food from scratch, discovering fermented foods, released 30kgs, educating myself to heal myself, regaining my vitality and finding my tribe.

2015-05-23 002 Cyndi

Cyndi and I at Day with Cyndi, Sydney

I was able to share my story with people, how I changed one small thing at a time as there are no quick fixes. People were asking which product is the best for to start off with or people would reach straight for the Changing Habits Fat Elimination Protocol and I would gently guide them towards the Changing Habits, Changing Lives book as a way to start this journey. That is how I started and I am living proof that no matter how different it may appear compared to what you are currently doing and eating, that change is achievable.  It was beautiful to meet new people and have a chat with Wendy, Nat and Malcolm.

Change starts with you

(via Changing Habits Facebook)

This image resonated with me after the Day with Cyndi. It is up to us to take the first step towards change, no one else is going to do it for you. The food industry is not going to change, the farming practices are not going to change, the pharmaceutical industry is not going to change, the damage being done to the environment is not going to change, unless we first change ourselves. Change what we are eating, change our lifestyle, change our health care and be more loving towards our environment. The change starts with YOU!

 

Changing Habits Emmer Wheat Flour

Sarah’s Lemon Cake

I baked a scrumptious lemon cake to share for afternoon tea with my Great Uncle. Can you guess the secret ingredient? Twenty8 Lemon Essential Oil.

Essential oils in cooking are a great way to add flavour. It was part of my weekly rituals on the Twenty8 Health and Lifestyle Educator Program to create a food recipe unique to you using an essential oil. I am going to share my recipe with you.

Ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 160C fan-forced. Grease deep 19cm square cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper
  2. Beat butter, lemon essential oil and rapadura sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time. If you add to quickly you end up with a sloppy, eggy cake.
  4. Stir in milk and flour, don’t over-mix. Pour into cake pan
  5. Bake cake for about 1 hour
  6. Stand cake in pan for 5 minutes; Serve warm

Enjoy!

What’s on our plate? March 2015

Where did March disappear to? And we already flying through April. Here is a snap shot of what was on our plates during March.

Husband came home from work with this stash from the local Health Food shop. Kombucha and ACV to help us recover from being sick. Plus a sneaky treat of coconut water and vodka, yum!

2015-03-06 001 Buchi

Health Food shopping!

Cooking up another batch of Changing Habits Chicken Broth, this time with the addition of Keys to Fine Food broth spice mix. The aromas wafting from the pot were divine!

Chicken Broth Spice

Chicken Broth

Date night to see That Sugar Film at Dendy Newtown. Salmon Choo Chee curry for dinner at one of the many Thai restaurants. Some snacks for the movie from the newly open Naked Foods, what an eye opener this was, so many things to look at.  Absolutely loved the documentary That Sugar Film, a must see for everyone!

Sugar Film Netown

Night out at Newtown

Grilling up some pork chops that my son chose from Wootton Valley Meats at the farmers markets. It was so funny to see my son gnaw on the bone getting every last morsel, he loved them!

2015-03-10 001 Pork Chops

Pork Chops

Husband threw together a quick quinoa salad after I remembered to soak the beans the night before.

Quinoa salad

Quinoa Salad

Lunches for us during the week tend to be a quick and easy frittata which whatever we have on hand or in this case frozen vegetables and left over ham. Whisk 5-6 eggs with a dash of cream or milk, tumeric, salt and herbs, pour over vegetables/fillings, and bake for 25 minutes in 180 degrees oven.

2015-03-10 002 Frittata

Frittata

It was the first time I roasted peanuts, so thought this would be hard. How wrong was I! Drizzle with a bit of coconut oil, cook for 15 minutes in the oven at 160 degrees and they are done. Don’t cook any longer as they continue to cook whilst they are cooling on the bench. Then blitz them up with a dash of Changing Habits Seaweed Salt, and you have peanut butter. Nothing beats fresh home made peanut butter.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

While I was on a roll soaking beans over night I soaked some chickpeas to make hummus.

Hummus

Hummus

Creative meal planning turned the leftover quinoa salad into a different meal. Add some mince and spice and you are done. Easy as!

2015-03-20 004 Quinoa Mince

Quinoa Mince

It had been a while since I had made a batch of bliss balls. Found Natural New Age Mum’s list of amaze balls recipes and loved the look of the Strawberry Ripe Balls from Jane at Marinya Cottage Kitchen. So easy to make and a nice change from bliss balls made with dates. Warning these are highly addictive particularly if you are a fan of Cherry Ripe bars.

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Strawberry Ripe Bliss Balls

Sunday afternoon baking muffins and bread with my son getting ready for the week.

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Afternoon Baking

My first attempt at Changing Habits Bone Broth.

Bone Broth 1

Preparing bone broth

Adding some vegetables to simmer in the broth.

Bone Broth 2

Adding vegetables to bone broth

A successful broth should form jelly and a good layer of fat. My first bone broth did both so much so it was solid.

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Bone broth jelly!

A very nutritious dinner of broth and vegetables. Yum!

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Bone broth for dinner

Lunch out at Circular Quay with my son and mum after we enjoyed the Babies Prom at the Sydney Opera House. Great value salads whilst enjoying the harbour views.

Circular Quay

Lunch at Circular Quay

Some of my haul from the local farmers markets. Hard to beat 6 avocados for $5!

Markets

Fresh from the markets

Using the scrumptious bone broth into a mushroom risotto.

Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

Picked up some great chuck steak from Wootton Valley Meats at the markets and turned it into a amazing beef and beer pie. I was doing a massive cook up this weekend and even cooked a pumpkin and bean curry on the same night, this made the week night meals a lot easier.

Pie and curry

Beef pie and a curry

What have you been up to in the kitchen? Did you see That Sugar Film? Any creative meal planning?

Changing Habits Seaweed Salt

Race

Ready, set, race!

I’m distracted, left behind in my own world as my legs start to turn over.

Pick up the pace, turn up a gear!

Focus, who am I kidding, my head is not in the room, its off planning what I will do after class, thinking what my son is up to… my thoughts are racing.

“You make me feel good,
You make me feel safe,
You know I wouldn’t have it any other way”

As I am thinking of husband working 6 days a week and missing him heaps the beat of Laserlight by Jessie J brings me back into the moment. I am alive, my legs are spinning, beads of perspiration are trickling down my face. Reality check. This is my time, my moment.

I’ve got that feeling returning, I remember this feeling. I start to feel good as Flo Rida Good Feeling pumps away my thoughts.

Start to climb!

I start to drift off, reminiscing about times in high school as Bomfunk MC Freestyler and Fragma Toca’s Miracle pound out of the speakers, my thoughts seem a million miles away but my legs keep spinning to the bass.

Increase the resistance!

Bring it back, focus, feel the burn. Forget about the thoughts as my body works hard. Get lost in the music not my thoughts. Slow down the race in my head, there is no winner.

Race!

No one gets left behind in the spin room, there are no losers, we are all in it together.

As the instructor wearing a Spider Man suit brings the class to a close I reflect on my spin class today. My head wasn’t in a good space, I need to slow down again. I have lost my rhythm, my routine at the gym and I miss the good feeling.

The gym is my outlet for release and time out. While I am  not a gym junkie, it is a place where I can forget about the world and focus on myself. Feel my body working hard, building strength and letting go of the stress. A place where I can stop my thoughts racing away. Even while I was pregnant we planned enough money in our budget for me to continue with the gym despite people saying we should give up our gym membership with a new bub and a single income. Going to the gym is my time for self-care.

The gym has been a wonderful place for me especially on my journey of healing and recovery. I get to know familiar faces, friendly smiles are exchanged and conversations are struck up with the regulars. On days I am feeling flat and I drag myself to the gym, I get a buzz once I am there and interacting with other people and working my body. The regulars greet me with a smile and a laugh along with words of encouragement as they notice the changes in me, the weight I have lost. Even a personal trainer that I saw 18 months ago at my heaviest did a double take at me recently and came up to me with words of amazement and encouragement.

Though my routine has been shaky of late and my head feels like it’s picking up speed, I know that the gym is where I am grounded, I get that good feeling!

What’s on our plate? February 2015

Another month gone full of cooking and dining out.

A flash of flambé as husband cooks up another bosicola, yum!

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Flambé

Gorgeous fruit from the farmers markets. We have never seen a Galaxy Gala apple before and it was named for the white specks on the skin, very tasty!

PicMonkey Collage fruit

Fruit from the markets

A quick throw together lunch of a rustic tuna nicoise salad topped with kimchi.

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Tuna nicoise salad

We enjoyed a night out on the town at King Street Wharf. There so many options to pick from we ended doing a progressive dinner, hopping from one restaurant to another. Loved trying out a marrow bone as entrée.

PicMonkey Collage King St Wharf

Night out at King St Wharf

A easy meal of risotto loving mixed by my kitchen helper son. He loved stirring the pot and was so proud to tell daddy that he made dins.

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Risotto

Long gone are the days making potato bake with a packet mix. Cook up a white sauce mix and pour over then bake. This potato bake has ricotta and bacon for added flavour. An all time favourite especially as we used Royal Blue potatoes, don’t let the purple skin turn you away from enjoying these golden potatoes.

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Potato bake

We love cooking up yellow curry by Keys to Fine Food. Keys spice mixes are so simple and a little goes a long way, we normally get 3-4 nights meals worth. We used chicken marylands for the first time (they were on reduced clearance at bargain price of $2.50 for 700g, we bought 2 as the receipe needs at least 1kg of chicken). Also whipped up a quick batch of cauli rice in the Vitamix.

PicMonkey Collage cauli rice

Yellow curry and cauli rice

With fresh salmon from the farmers markets we cooked up Baked salmon with corn and spices. This one is always a winner especially with sweet summer corn.

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Baked salmon with corn and spices

Another first for us roast pork belly. We needed to be a more organised as it took some time to slow roast however well worth it as was so delicious. Pork belly is a cheaper cut of meat so you get more bang for your buck. We sat at the dining table thinking why had we never tried this before, we had been missing out big time.

PicMonkey Collage pork belly

Slow roast pork belly

After some creative meal planning to use up the remainder of the cauliflower we cooked up Pork and cauliflower pie. However we used beef mince as we had forgotten to label which was which in the freezer. The apples in the mix added a lovely taste and the cauliflower was a great change from the usual potato topping. We will have to make this pie again.

PicMonkey Collage mince pie

Mince and Cauliflower pie

Since investing in our Vitamix we no longer buy passata from the shops. It a matter of seconds we whizz together home-made passata. The added bonus is it already has onion, garlic and seasoning mixed in making a quick meal option during the week for things like pasta or cottage pie. Simply pour, heat through and serve. It works about about $10 for 3 jars of organic passata. Store passata jars in freezer until your next cook up.

PicMonkey Collage pasta sauce

Passata Sauce

What has been cooking in your kitchen this month?

Changing Habits Dulse Flakes

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