Buckwheat love.

August 1, 2010 § 4 Comments

Surrrrp?

How glorious was the weather today? I could not get enough. Sadly, this one day of freedom was allocated to crying over the insanity of 7 subjects.

It waaaas allocated…

…until I gazed outside at the dazzling sunlight and promptly sprung into action to complete all the other things I haven’t been able to do during the week, living at warp speed. First things first, I took myself to the organic shop that I now call home, getting there before they were even properly open to snatch all the best (dirtiest) and most beautiful (misshapen) produce for my own evil purposes.

It was a bounty of brown paper bags filled with glorious, earthy, seasonal items. I’m serious, I can’t go back to the supermarket anymore without cringing…I’ve made the break.

Post grocery massacre, and despite a twinge in my back from the unco stair-fall effort last week, I smashed out a run that felt amazing and effortless and pretty damn badass by my pathetic standards. I credit this to drinking Spirulina every morning now, and also the few days ‘rest’ i’ve had due to mangled appendages; sometimes a few days off can really refresh your body.

Stage 3 of Naturopath’s detox plan came into delicious effect today as well, with a new vanilla powder that obviously serves to compensate for the foul green poison of stage 2.

Looks rather pretty, no? My flatmates were even eyeing it greedily, as opposed to fleeing in terror from my usual concoctions. The powder was mixed with berries & rice milk, and tasted fab. I also have to take more herbal supplements on the side.

Lunch was exceptional, albeit rather predictable. Fresh, local produce however, makes all the difference (oh, and charred capsicum hummus goes a long way too!).

Sweet potato of course, stuffed with quinoa, tomato paste & capsicum hummus.

Big, raw salad with sprouts (getting back into them because they’re so incredibly great for you), broccoli, carrots, capsicum, kale, spinach leaves, tomato, green beans, and some semi-dried Roma tomatoes for speeeeecial. Seriously, they were special. I haven’t had them in so long – what was I thinking?!

I don’t care if sundried tomatoes are a relic from the 90s…they’re freaking delicious!

Sketchy nighttime photography ensues…

Dinner was inspired by this blog I stumbled upon tonight. I think it was destiny that I found her great site because on a whim I bought a motherload of buckwheat last week, then promptly realised I hadn’t a clue how to make it into something edible. Enter; Improvised Buckwheat Risotto.

Don’t have a definite recipe yet, as I just kept adding things until it tasted ok, but it was roughly:

1 c buckwheat groats (hulled)

2 c veggie stock

1.5 cloves garlic

1/2 small red onion

1 tsp coconut or olive oil

1 tbsp chopped semi-dried tomatoes

1-2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp sambal oelek

1/2 can whole peeled tomatoes (+ juice)

finely chopped kale

handful diced cherry tomatoes

celtic sea salt & pepper to taste

You basically bring the stock + buckwheat + 1 clove crushed garlic to the boil and let simmer for about 15 mins until all the liquid is absorbed. In a pan, I sauteed the onion & remainder of garlic with coconut oil until clear, then added cherry tomatoes & kale and wilted. Throw in the buckwheat once cooked, and add everything else, preferably in a random, haphazard style that calls for multiple taste tests, over-zealous arm-flinging as you flick pinches of salt & pepper dramatically into the mix, and sporadic curses as you realise it’s burning on the bottom.

It cooks up like risotto! Why don’t people use buckwheat as a rice alternative? Mind-boggling. I’ll be working on this recipe some more, seeing as I have a few kilos of the main ingredient to mess around with.

So. Buckwheat. Heard of it?

Looks like this when dry.

This little triangular beauty is actually a fruit seed, and is gluten-free, rich in protein, minerals (iron, zinc, selenium) and is easily digestible. It is also very hardy and fast-growing which means it’s fairly inexpensive, but more importantly a very sustainable, practical crop to be supporting. The flavour is unusual, but in this dish it’s masked by the copious amounts of garlic/chilli (sorry scent-conscious readers!) so it just stood in for rice in my opinion.

Wellllllll seeing as i’ve been procrastinating all day, I really should open a book and appear enthused.

Love xx


Detox stage two; yoga class; beliefs.

July 17, 2010 § 6 Comments

Yelllllloooo!

The weather here is amazing today. Glorious. Brings a tear to the eye! Despite being out for yoga + two walks already, it feels downright obscene to be sitting inside typing away. But! A girl needs to shower + eat + connect with the interwebs, so here I am!

These past two weeks have been off the hook/latch/chain, and every day I feel incredibly lucky to live in this beautiful place, have fabulous friends and be able to pursue the things I love.

But first, to the food!

Stage 2 detox powder containing good things like; turmeric (whaddya know!), coriander, aloe vera, spirulina, kelp, and mystery herbs that i’m sure are phenomenal, but taste bloody awful (despite my appreciation for all things green and funky).

Perhaps whipping into a GSB (green smoothie bowl) will rectify? Verdict: can still taste the licorice…yeeeuugh!

This mountain of veg turned into…

…this vegan pizza!

A different approach to taking the detox powder was in water as recommended…

Tastebud fail.

My friend and I also hit up a local sea-side yoga class this morning for my very first flexi-attempt. Up until now i’ve avoided it, even in the knowledge that it would probably revolutionise my life (and ability to bend any appendage more than 90 degrees…). But god i’m inflexible! There were moments where i wondered if writhing around on the floor was the only pose we’d be learning today? I realised it was, for me! But seriously it was lovely, and I absolutely want to conquer my fear of bending and stretching at some (later) stage.

Snacked on the JUICIEST organic pear…

And for lunch?

Easy…

Cheezy…

Savoury oats! (originally here) I added sliced tempeh, avocado, cherry toms, chia, tomato chutney, hummus & cracked pepper on top! Down the hatch :D

In other news…

I really feel like I’m getting my shit together to put it so eloquently, and anticipation about the start of my naturopathy diploma is palpable…albeit tinged with the niggling fear of doing something so utterly different for me. The arts/communications/film/language student with a talent for last minute essay scrambles and cataclysmic disorganisation is shakin’! First class on Monday – Anatomy & Physiology. Bring it!

So anywhoooo, all of these life-changing antics have sparked the emergence of ‘pensive Katey’, and today I wanted to share with you some thoughts about everything from lemons to lederhosen (not really, but you’re welcome to let your thoughts wander to German, stocking-clad men bobbing up and down playing bassoon).

Angela did a great post no too long ago about things she believes in, and similarly I often think about all the little beliefs I myself hold on to – most of which have evolved and strengthened in recent, vego times.

1. Eschewing meat/animal products is not only healthy, but also sets in motion a broader propensity for compassion, thoughtfulness and goodwill.
2. Not every calorie is created equal, and certain foods affect people in different ways. Find what works for you, and don’t be disheartened if it takes longer than you expect. Not only do you have to find your zone, but it can also take a while for your body to adjust.
3. Cutting out meat, dairy and a large proportion of processed sugar & gluten, for me, is where it’s at. Fewer allergies, more stable weight and increased physical fitness. Alllll-riiiight!
4. Everything happens for a reason. Trying to look at what life is teaching us in certain situations and finding a positive spin, goes a long way towards creating your own happiness and contentment. It’s all about the attitude baby!
5. Ginger tea & probiotics (can’t be sure which, or combo of both) have sedated my once mental stomach cavity. Give it a go if you have a sensitive belly!
6. I believe in greens!!! There is some potent mystical genius at work within the humble Kale, Broccoli, Romaine…all things vert. A number of ‘burn-the-bodyfat’ newletters and other such ridiculousness I subscribe to, often quote cruciferous veggies as having properties that actively stimulate weight-loss and metabolism. They are just so incredibly rich in nutrients that you can’t go wrong attacking a huge bunch of them everyday.
7. Lemons are the perfect complement to every meal.
8. Early morning is my favourite time of the day; it’s fresh, cool and calm, I am loads more productive, the beach looks fantastic and you get first dibs on the bathroom!
9. Reading the Saturday papers with a huge cup of tea is one of life’s pleasures.
10. I need sunlight to function, leave the blinds open please!
11. You don’t need to be a gung-ho excerise junkie to be healthy – just moving your body in any capacity is hugely beneficial, and it should never be a chore.
12. Cooking without a recipe is more exciting! (Read: more risky)
13. Taking advice is exceptionally hard, even when it’s your own. I’m still working on this one.
14. The more effort I put into things (even if I don’t want to at the time), the more I get out of life. It breeds self-respect, and in turn, motivation. So just do it!
15.  If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it.
16. Life’s too short to be a tight-ass. (This belief mainly comes into play whilst shopping).
17. There is so much we don’t know about the world, and the interconnectedness of things. Realising that we’re each a community of cells and organisms is simultaneously humbling and enlightening.
18. Posts longer than 500 words are more likely to be skimmed over by your readers. Hey! Hanging in there?!
19. No ‘health organisation’, advertising agency or government knows what’s right for you. It’s up to us to take responsibility for our own health & well-being – go green, go local, go organic!

Is that enough for one post? Perhaps! More than enough motivational goo methinks! Any other beliefs/ideas out there?

Enjoy the weekend! xx

Breakfast of Champions.

July 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

I knew I was going to be needing a solid, powerhouse of a breakfast this morning so I could bust out on my run/walk/crawl with good friend Nat.

Enter; choco-berry-quinoa madness.


Stripey! It contained:

1/2 (and a bit – feeling greedy) cup quinoa flakes

1 cup water

handful frozen mixed berries

1/2 sliced frozen banana

generous tbsp cacao powder

around 8 drops stevia

topped with coconut, coconut sugar & 1.5 tsp PB

I ended up doing about 11km, obviously not running a majority of the time. But it feels good to go on a longer trek, especially with a pal – you don’t even notice the distance, and much inane gossiping was to be had.

Remember how I said I went bonkers on the stationary yesterday? Well, I also pimped-my-room in general – I am constantly changing things around and what better excuse than starting a new course to re-vamp the boudoir!

Delicious lanterney goodness – atop conspiracy docos.

By Day – awaiting the arrival of my new IKEA bookshelf. Oh man, the allure of ‘homemaking’ has finally caught on and all I want to do is match curtains with carpets and place unnecessary ornaments here and there! When the boy and I walked in to this veritable wonderland of nesting, I somehow lost all ability to think rationally and was running around holding up patterned cushions and squealing with delight. I have a theory that they intermittently spray crack into the air at IKEA. MAKE ME LOCO!

New lost in translation poster – love love love Sofia Coppola.

Organisational bliss.

New stage 2 detox supplements. I am vitamin queen!

More coconut water finds – finally Australia is catching on!

Hope you enjoy your day! I’m off to sit on babies…! x

How much exercise do we really need?

May 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

I was worried about coming off a bit gung-ho in my last post, what with all that talk of kicking ass and being a steely, ripped fitness junkie! So I wanted to set things straight about my stance on fitness, and also examine the exercise/food/weight relationship.

Something i’ve learned over the past couple of years, and what I truly believe, is that exercise should be about relaxation, and done to a level that you can maintain and enjoy.

I used to make myself run every. day. I wasn’t even very fit, but I forced myself go with aching calves, thighs and shins, and blind determination that this would make me lose a miraculous amount of weight. Not so! In fact, I gained weight in this time, & soon learned that working against my body was not the way I was going to become the female Rambo.

Gradually I stopped all of that craziness and focused more on my diet, by eating healthy vibrant foods in sensible portions (because another trap I was falling into, was justifying eating junk because i’d gone for a run that day – sound familiar?). I started walking in the early mornings, and took the time to be truly ‘in the moment’. Now I regularly have a break from a walk or a run, and sit like a buddha on the sand and ponder, ohmmmmmmmmmm.

But you go to the gym and run!? you say. Well, after realising how beneficial walking and concentrating more on what I was putting into my body was, I slowly took up running again because I’ve always sucked a hellluva lot at it, and love a good challenge! The difference is, I give myself rest days, make sure I’m feeding my body the right fuel, and see it as a chance to de-stress and relax, as opposed to the means to an end (ie. the way to become thin).

Gorgeous! I could sit there all day.

What I mean to say, is that you have to be gentle with yourself. If attending booty camp at 5am every morning is leaving you cold, try simply focusing on getting outside and going for a lap of the beaches, or park, or peaceful suburban streets. Concentrate on your diet being nourishing and strive to be healthy – the rest will follow.

Have a great day mes amis!

Kick ass meals to re-fuel yo’ ass after kicking ass at the gym.

May 7, 2010 § 3 Comments

Can you tell I went and saw Kickass last night…?! Had heard such a lot of hype about how great it was, but unfortunately the bf and I were decidedly underwhelmed…I hate when overly high expectations effectively ruin a movie!

Anyway, onto the topic of the day – the importance of eating enough when being iron, gender-non-specific, humans. The past few weeks, my flatmate and I have been hitting up the gym every week, just for something different. I’m normally an outdoor-exercise kinda gal, and also a dirty cheapskate who has always insisted that you can accomplish everything you would at the gym, at the beach or park for free! And if I really want to stare at my guns in the mirror whilst PUMPING IRON, I can do so in the privacy of my own room!

But it has been really refreshing to take a break from my solitary runs/walks and have a bit of a sweat-filled social outing each week – and i’m amazed at the effectiveness of being able to measure your performance on the treadmills, and even in Pump class by being able to lift more weight. It’s really upped the stakes in my fitness regime (not that it’s particularly serious) and it’s exciting to see results!

This week is the second time i’ve run on the treadmill, and I just tried to better my time for 4km from last week. To my surprise, this week I ran 5km in the same time as the 4km from last Wednesday! I was stoked! I normally go running a few times a week just around the beaches and sometimes to babysitting etc but never over a measurable distance, and definitely not with any real goal or committment. But this has turned the tide and I fear i’m well on the way to being running mad.

So the 5km run in about half an hour (not too great, but working on it!) is my warm up for Pump class, which is an hour of different weight-training exercises timed to hideous, repetitive pop music! Sounds amazing, no? But i’m so so happy i’ve got the chance to actually do some proper resistance training again, because we all know that muscle burns fat and in turn boosts metabolism! And NO, you will not turn into a chiselled man-beast by doing weights – women generally don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up that noticeably. Instead, weights will leave you toned, more resistant to injury and with a steely badass aura.

Damn, I was hungry after that effort. So I came home and promptly created a delicious no-cheese-please vegan pizza delight!

This time I topped it with:

tomato paste, basil & pepper

mushrooms

baby spinach

asparagus

fresh baby eggplant

artichokes (simply in brine)

zucchini

cherry tomatoes

hummus, savoury yeast & tumeric ‘cheese’

tahini

hot-to-trot chilli sauce

I kinda felt like I was coming down with something on the day of the epic gym sesh, so I went with the philosophy of ‘run it out’. Hmmm, not sure if this is sound medical reasoning, as now I have actually gone downhill…but nothing more chilli, garlic, and super-foods can’t mend!

The next day I was like a BLACK HOLE. I needed energy to replace all the fuel I’d lost being a crazy woman at the gym. I decided the best way to fill this aching void, was with some delicious pancakes of the Oh She Glows variety. Spelt, banana & cinnamon pancakes to be exact. You won’t regret making these.

Holy mother of yum, they were SO GOOD. Just what I needed :)

I feel weird eating more since i’ve been doing extra exercise, and I think this is a definite trap people can fall into when upping their activity levels. I can see myself trying to maintain my three-meals-a-day-not-many-snacks theory, because this has worked so well for me in the past. However, it’s dangerous to try and deprive your body of nourishment when you’re burning more calories, and it can either lead to you becoming under-weight, or over-eating to compensate. In this way, i’m trying to simply listen to my body’s signals for when I need food, rather than trying to be too controlling and obsessive.

For example, the day after my gym sesh, I ate spelt pancakes for brekkie; mid morning I felt hungry AGAIN and tried to ignore it, but ended up with a stomach ache which is unusual these days – so fed myself some toast & papaya. Lunch was then a big steamed sweet potato with veggies, hummus & a spinach & cacao smoothie (v. full by this stage). Dinner consisted of vegan burger patties with tomato salsa and more veggies, and I think I may have even had a hot drink of cacao for dessert. More than usual, but we have to fuel our rampaging gym bodies! Eat up my active friends!

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