Celebrating 100 posts of varying irrelevance!

August 14, 2010 § 3 Comments

Greetings!

This is totally my posting century! Who ever would have foreseen my committment extending to doing 100 of anything. Generally i’m a fickle gal who likes to dabble in a host of pursuits until they ultimately lose their shiny appeal… But apparently Bonne Santé transcends this troublesome trait, and i’m pleased to still be here!

In honour of sentimentality, I want to share with you just how much can change in the space of 8 months (the spritely age of BS), because even looking back through my old posts (and cringing!), it is startling the transformations that can occur.

Actually, as I type I’m also trawling back through my iPhoto gallery and cowering, because my gosh, I looked different a year ago too! I am tossing up putting in some pics for you to see…will I….won’t I….oh sheesh, I’ve always really hated those before/after ‘seeeeee-how-i’ve-transformed-i’m-a-beeeeautiful-butterfly’ shots, however it can be quite fascinating to observe the changes that can arise from an overhaul of diet/exercise regime, HAPPINESS, natural living…I just feel so much more content now, in myself and with the ways of the world.

Ok, here goes.

Let me draw your attention to three things:

1. These were NOT easy for me to publish (aforementioned reasons of being uncomfortable with too many photos of myself in general, and the cliché of the before/after model shoot. But here we find ourselves!)

2. I realise I was by no means huge or obese. I was approximately 6-7 kilos heavier than I am now (not in all the photos, obviously) but on my small frame with potential for decidedly bodacious bust/behind, I felt a little…rotund.

3. Apart from being physically heavier, what strikes me looking at these pictures is the recollection of how I felt about myself at the time. I was deeply uncomfortable – there’s a difference between making peace with your natural body weight (whatever the size/shape) as opposed to knowing that what you have is a result of something more – in my case, not living a lifestyle that facilitated maximum health and happiness.

I hated leaving the house everyday. I hated photos. I hated feeling frustrated that I had ‘tried everything’ and still remained awkward and embarrassed in my own skin.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter what numerical weight you are, what matters is that you are size healthy for you.

And today, I finally feel healthy.

And unkempt. With a big exercise-induced vein in my forehead. Please excuse.

In discussing weight and transformations, it’s important to note the problematic nature of body image, as it is so readily linked to that all-consuming quest for perfection that can become an eating disorder. The aspiration, ‘a perfect booh-tay will bring thine happiness’ is certainly NOT what i’m about, hailing from a family of amazingly insightful feminist role-models who taught me to worship the female form in all it’s guises.

I absolutely reject the notion that our worth as human beings is in any way dependant on our physical appearance. Screw that! We are fabulous, unique, intelligent and charming, ladies, and deserve to strut around accordingly.

But here’s the thing. I am so much happier now than 1 year ago. NOT because I have shed a few kilos, or feel somehow more worthwhile upon whittling away my middle, but as a consequence of the positive changes that have accompanied the overall journey. There, I said it, journey. I will understand if you feel the need to promptly remove me from your bookmarks bar!

Really truly seriously, I am now free of anxiety. I feel good about myself. I am doing things I love, and meeting people I respect. I am nurturing my body and it is responding with glowing approbation. I am eating consciously, and attempting to find ways to support the earth rather than destroy it. I am putting a shitload in and getting a mother-load back.

But hey, it ain’t all rosy!

This has diverged completely from all original intentions, so apologies for the all-about-me nature of this post. But, I hope to continue to spam you with random, largely unfounded musings on life and health for many more 100th’s to come! Thank you so much for reading :)

Homemade almond mylk; running buddy essentials.

August 10, 2010 § 3 Comments

Happy Tuesday everyone! (Who says the armpit of the week can’t be enjoyed?)

Hope you all got up to some exciting, life-affirming, joymongering business today! Or at the very least, treated yourself to some wholesome cuisine (always the mark of a worthwhile day).

I certainly ticked that box, in whipping up some homemade almond mylk - gratifying both my enthusiasm for new recipes, and also that old budget bore (booo! skimping on food is not my forte). But seriously, why pay $7 a litre for store-bought nutmilk when you can make a gallon at home, using one cup of almonds, for significantly less!? And you know exactly what’s in it.

Wanna peek?

You take the bloaty, soaked almonds…

Introduce them to your high-speed blending beast…

And marvel at your own ingenuity.

Line em up!

Cinnamon & honey almond mylk:

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight (enough water to cover them)

4 cups water (If you have filtered, fantastmo. If not…you’re so dead! Kidding you guys, kidding)

1 tsp cinnamon

honey to taste (I’m guessing I probably used around 1-2 tbspn)

How to:

  • Soak almonds, ideally overnight.
  • Drain, add to blender with water.
  • Add cinnamon & honey.
  • Pulverise.
  • OPTIONAL: Use a strainer/sleeve to remove almond pulp from drink. I left mine in, cos I like it RUGGED! I also didn’t have any stockings handy.
  • Store in glass jars in the fridge & use in smoothies, on cereal or as a delicious drink (with carob, dooo it!).

Was inspired by Gena’s recipes over at Choosing Raw, and perhaps a certain college chum who I mine for ideas on a daily basis (Hi Jack!).

In other news, I have unlocked the secret to improved fitness: Go running with a person you FEAR.

Let’s take my flatmate, Chelsea. Lovely girl, gorgeous, BBFL. Once we’ve hit the pavement though, BAM, take no prisoners, (wo)man up, you snooze… you get shanked! It’s a great tactic if you’re like me and shamefully averse to pain.

We conquered this hill that I always walk up, because I just don’t do gradients. Not tonight my friends. We conquered the slope and beyond, all the while gossiping about boyfriends and the like, and of course trying not to drop the pace.

Worked like a charm.

For dinner, I had the never-fail quinoa + fresh greens combo.

With a vinaigrette I made using EVOO, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard & a dash of agave.

So fresh and delicious, with cracked black pepper and a whole lotta love!

Time to bluff my way through an online first-aid course. What? I mean, absorb the principles of a potentially lifesaving skill.

Hope your Tuesday was happy! What was the best thing you ate today?

xxxxxxx

Feeling good about your fitness.

August 8, 2010 § 3 Comments

Howdy!

How are your collective weekends? Mine has been great and busy, and busy and full. Got to a lot of niggling little errands yesterday, like getting the car checked for rego, taming some study notes and grocery shopping – although let’s not pretend that I classify this as a chore; it is a weekly highlight!

Aside from working, I also went for a big fat run yesterday that proved to me that I can go further than I thought, with a little coaxing. It’s just a matter of yelling PAIN IS TEMPORARY, QUITTING IS FOREVER! in a scary commando voice in my head until I whimper and pick my sorry ass up. (Snagged this motivational mantra from Healthy Tipping Point by the way :))

When I got home I was DEAD!

But happy!

This brings me to an important point though, and that is my discomfort with detailing the length, speed & splits of my runs. Other bloggers do it, and do it well. It’s inspiring to observe their continued quest for strength and performance. BUT, how many times have you found yourself feeling as if your own exercise regime is in some way inadequate in the face of so much athleticism? I often cringe when I realise I am getting excited over a run that, to a lot of bloggers who post their stats, is simply a warm up to their weekly half-marathon. Again, this is not to discredit their achievements, but I believe we should broadcast with caution.

You know what else? I am NOT a hardcore runner. Nope, nada, pas du tout. My philosophy is more get out there, enjoy some sunshine, and if you get fit in the process, sweet as! Lately though, I am trying to push myself. Not because I want to sculpt my body, or become some sort of female ROCK, but because I’ve learned that the most fulfilling things in life are the ones you work at, and work hard.

So you know what? Feel good about whatever it is you do, because moving your body in any capacity is the most important thing. Walking is wonderful, swimming is swell and crawling is… sometimes compulsory.

For lunch, I inhaled this:

Tempeh & chickpea salad.

My emerging love of huge salads seems a little incongruous in winter, but adorning them with warm, cooked things takes out the chillllll!

I just made a regular salad with chopped kale, spinach, carrot, zucchini, tomato & sprouts, cooked up some tempeh in a pan with coconut oil & salt & pepper, threw in some chickpeas at the end to warm through, and served with capsicum hummus, lemon juice and some arame seaweed for good measure.  Yurrrrrm!

Yes, twas delicious.

And just to continue with the theme of Katey-is-by-no-means-a-perfect-health-monk (if you somehow had that idea..!), when I went to babysitting despite taking my lovingly prepared buckwheat & vegetable risotto & fruit, I still managed to eat about 10 cups of muesli/granola, and even a bunch of biscuits (bad, slap!) while watching trashy tv and intermittently checking the children. But i’m not feeling guilty, and neither should you if you sometimes find yourself unconsciously eating for the hell of it. It happens. Acknowledge, learn, and move on.

On that note, I need to get cracking with the rest of my day, so bon week-end to you!

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!

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