February 19, 2011 § 12 Comments
This morning I slothed out of bed at 6am, ready to make good on my promise of running before work as the sun rose. Once the initial indignation of waking at 6 on a Saturday in the dark subsided, I set out to enjoy a nice 4o minute jog amongst all the other (smug) perky fitness enthusiasts.
I love early mornings, but lately I’ve been sticking to 7am quite happily and losing an hour seemed like a rude insult. I’m aiming for 5am next week, so i’ll have a solid 2 hours of tea-sipping before I have to even think about leaving the house. Worth it? Yes.
Anyway, when I was out jogging a group of older runners came up alongside me and we started chatting. Turns out, they had already done 20kms and were training for an ultra marathon! Respect grand-daddies, respect.
Love the people you meet by chance who inadvertently inspire you.
Now, more about health, less about my pre-breakfasting habits!
As you know I went to see David Wolfe on Thursday night here in Sydney. As I entered the event, I was immediately struck by his charisma and warmth, roaming around chatting animatedly to the attendees. He visibly glows with health and vitality – and that mop! I had ringlet envy.
Nicknamed David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe
I’ll share with you some of the main points I scrawled down in a frenzy of enlightenment:
- “Being healthy has nothing to do with suffering” – I wish more people knew this!!
- We should all live by the concept of ‘adding on’ and upgrading our diets, rather than cutting things out in some puritanical, rigid way. This allows you to access the ‘psychology of success’ which rewards your efforts, & focuses on adding as opposed to subtracting.
- “Success is a refined study of the obvious” – How often do we know WHAT to do, but cannot effectively implement it?
- Do what you will do rather than what you know you’ll never do – do not set yourself up to fail by creating unrealistic goals/rules.
- Wearing shoes = oppression! Hahah I love this.
- Alkalinity/alkaline diet basically grants you a more negative charge (like the earth). The atmosphere is positive and all the vital elements we need will flow more freely into our bodies if we are like magnets attracting the positive charge. Fill yourself up with substances of the earth (pigments/antioxidants/noble substances) and facilitate this transfer!
- “Get in the way of all good things” – place yourself in the path of opportunity & success!
- There is too much food fanaticism – drop the judgement. Judgement and denial create riffs & tears in the fabric of reality and deliver us back to the very thing we originally judged and denied.
- Nutrients inspire noble thoughts.
- I liked the way David said “My message is the way I live & not more than that” (explaining why he doesn’t engage in things like animal rights activism etc).
Super food goodness:
- David places a strong emphasis on consuming foods with a dense nutritional profile that deliver potent antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other amazing constituents. He believes we are noble creatures and therefore should eat superlative foods.
Punchy crunchy pomegranate
- Betaine (found in beets) is incredibly powerful for detoxifying as it acts as a methyl-donor and can subsequently convert homocysteine to methionine (high levels of homocysteine in the blood has been implicated in increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart disease & stroke). Ca-ca-ca-crazzzzy!
- Purple corn has a pigment that acts as an antidepressant & potent antioxidant.
- Reishi mushroom is a phenomenal immune enhancer and restores balance to the body.
- Stinging nettle is great for improving bone density & has antihistamine & anti-inflammatory actions.
- Button mushrooms help lower ‘bad estrogen’.
- Olive oil – top 5 foods for longevity, as well as:
- And of course, Cacao! (According to 109-year old raw-foodist Bernando LaPallo)
- Foods look like their nutritional function ie. An avocado is a uterus!
- Asparagus root has shown amazing anti-cancer potential (credited to the immune boosting polysaccharides).
- A constituent of Astragalus (Chinese herb for immunity) called TA65, has shown remarkable promise for helping to reverse telomere shortening (it is theorised that the cleaving of base pairs from telomeres in our DNA results in ageing & death). INCREDIBLE RIGHT?!
- Purslane may have similar properties that are being investigated.
- Cacao is fantastic for asthma!
Raw chocolate treats
- We have our very own superfood here in Australia – the Kakadu Plum! Thought to be the richest food source of vitamin C!
- Cat’s Claw & Pau D’arco kill Candida.
- Sea plasma is thought to reverse genetic defects.
That’s my slap-dash recount of some interesting key points. Now go forth and research my pretties!
February 10, 2011 § 2 Comments
It’s that time of year again when people go cuckoo for week-long syrup fasts, fat-igniting magic pills and foul-tasting meal replacements that all serve primarily to reinforce the distinction between happiness and health.
Happiness is where they’ve been; partying, indulging, living. Health is that odious, obligatory task of taking out the trash.
People of all ages and genders have been wandering into my work wearing expressions that immediately betray their grim purpose; ‘Fix me with your herbal hocus-pocus!’
I begin to explain that a gentle cleanse does not have to equate to suffering and sacrifice…
…but they are already plucking the ready-made detox kit from the shelf, cringing as they turn over the neatly packaged box of potions that will ‘melt fat from their frame’ before you can say gimmick.
To them this temporary plan, albeit painful, is the only way they can truly repent for the sins of the festive season. Unfortunately, it is an established misconception that holding your nose in the name of health is a necessary evil, and however loudly I may protest, many people refuse to believe that good health and good fun can ever be reconciled.
Say no to Lemon Detox!
This worrying trend that I’ve observed in store is far from being an isolated phenomenon. It saddens me to think that this is the way many people visualise health, and as a result, they are missing out on the truly wonderful, miraculous and delicious truth. To perform a detox and attain permanent & lasting health, YOU DON’T NEED TO PULL THAT FACE! It’s not so bad my tortured friends!
I’ve decided to write a series of articles that provide you with various options for detoxing and losing weight in a manner that is taste-bud friendly, and free from rigid rules and yawn-fest calorie-crunching.
PART ONE: The Emotional Detox
Correct. This particular approach targets the noggin’; the control centre of our being that deserves a lot more love, and acts as the foundation for our continued efforts at attaining better health.
Like emptying your handbag of months of compounded crap, cleaning out your mental space can help you locate that inspiration you misplaced, the missing keys to your happiness, and the motivation that was rotting right at the very bottom, in a forgotten Tupperware container (don’t pretend you haven’t found decomposing matter in a hidden corner of your purse!).
Not only can taking the time to re-focus and re-group support a greater level of organisation, but having a healthy mental state also prevents the physical effects of stress from impacting negatively on your body.
Did you know that highly stressed individuals have permanently elevated levels of cortisol? This is a hormone secreted in the event of a fight-or-flight-type situation and would be useful if you were legging it away from a bear or a yeti. Being continuously depressed, anxious or strung-out however means your body produces cortisol consistently, in turn increasing your insulin levels and appetite, and hence stubborn belly fat is born.
Many natural health gurus also believe that holding on to negative emotions and failing to address underlying issues can be reflected in the physical – i.e. being ‘chubby’ because it serves an emotional purpose. Are you hiding behind your weight? Could it be that you are deeply afraid of the consequences of actually attaining your goals and having to live with the attention you might receive being thin? Sounds far-fetched, but the power of your mind and your prevailing beliefs is such that thoughts can and do manifest in the physical. Think about it, yo.
My suggestions for becoming a happier, more mentally mellow dude (in the gender non-specific sense) are as follows:
• Ask big-picture questions. Go on, I dare you. One night I actually took the time to ask myself how I was doin’ and if I was happy with my studies/life/future plans. How shocked was I when the answer I came out with was a resounding, NO. If you find that you also aren’t jiving with your current job, living arrangement or overarching direction, why not hypothesise as to your alternative options? It’s your life; please build, tweak and sculpt it to your liking! Go forth and write, research, plan, enquire, chant and astrally project until you have a solution.
• Take the time to offload all those pesky logistics/budget concerns and grocery lists onto paper. Ok, so needing to write a shopping list has never impacted negatively on my happiness, but I’ve certainly felt overwhelmed with thoughts about money and other tedious aspects of capitalist living that, once laid out on paper, did not seem so horrid. Be brave, allocate funds in order of priority (tip: SPLURGE ON CONSUMABLES!) and take the time to make a detailed to-do list that you can cathartically tick off with vigour! CONFESSION: Sometimes I include a bunch of things that I’ve already achieved, like ‘wake up’, ‘shower’ and ‘breathe’ to make me feel super productive
• Address interpersonal tensions. If there’s someone you’ve been avoiding or a friend you have unresolved issues with, make a concerted effort to heal that wound. Whether it means acknowledging that they are gone from your life, or trying make amends, decide on your preferred outcome and take warrior action (yes, you can be a friendship warrior as well as a Vibram warrior!).
• Do the hard stuff. There are always things on my list that inspire a certain fear and weakness in the spongy parts of my spine (emailing someone with bad news, asking for a favour, paying a ridiculous, outrageous, outlandishly expensive parking fine…). When you want to put it off, you have to flex your confidence muscle and just it do (yoda, for nike). You’ll feel an empowered sense of accomplishment once you’ve volleyed all life’s tennis balls back into the opposite court (sometimes my analogies aren’t so catchy– let’s roll with it).
• Clean up your shit. I’m not saying you live amid filth and squalor but if you did, hypothetically speaking, it would be wise to shovel out the poo. For everyone else, organising and cleaning out your room, house and car can have a profoundly cleansing effect on the mind. Feng shooooeeeey is not without it’s merits.
• If all else fails, jump into the ocean. Or at least touch it with your toe. Or go somewhere in nature that you’ve never been before; a place that restores calm to your muddled interior would be ideal. Take the time to do some whimsical, meditative frolicking (of which you know I’m a fan) – any time spent tuning your nature chord is time well spent.
What are your tricks for cleaning out your emotional inbox?
November 19, 2010 § 9 Comments
Here we are at day 9 raw. Who’d a thunk it? I’m continuing to love this experiment, and am convinced my diet can never incorporate the amount of cooked food as I ate pre-trial. That being said, I suspect I will need to wiiiiiiiise up on all things diverse and creative in the recipe department to ensure I can keep eating high raw and not feel uninspired or bored by my food choices. I also have yet to come up against any painfully awkward social outings or family gatherings (where I know they will suspect I have officially crossed over to the land of tree fondlers and rampant nudists)…explaining my kooky dietary ways may get messy!
The only thing I am having trouble adhering to is the low-fat rule of the 80/10/10 school – in which no more than 10% calories from fat is regarded as optimal. Many raw foodists look to pounds of nuts and avocado to fulfill their daily calorie needs, however an excess of fat is considered by the low-fat-raw-vegans as detrimental to health. I wanted to try to abide by this as best I could because the nutritional defects of overt fat consumption are compelling, but i’m finding it VERY difficult to consume enough fruit & veg to satisfy my monstrous needs… and also my wallet is on strike.
What to do? Should I incorporate sprouted psuedo-grains? Throw caution to the wind and just embrace a few more nuts? Or keep embarrassing myself at the store by returning for abnormal amounts of bananas every second day? Tis a dilemma, to be sure.
Yesterday, I experimented with raw pesto-pasta to satisfy a bit of a salt craving.
I blended sunflower seeds, fresh basil, olive-oil, savoury yeast & raw garlic to produce a fairly respectable vegan pesto replica. Served over spiralized zucchini, spinach and fresh tomato, it was quite a nice departure from the simplicity of a salad, or mono-meal of oranges.
I didn’t feel very well after eating it though; my stomach was quite heavy and I felt it was overly rich. I immediately wanted fruit.
Later, I satisfied my desire for fresh, lighter flavours with a berry & avocado pudding, with a small amount of raw honey and loaded with spinach. Hit the spot.
I found myself wishing later in the evening that I could bake a batch of cookies, or eat a big bowl of brown rice & beans which suggests to me I still need to eat more…and have been reading too many food blogs. But I will definitely be incorporating these things back into the 10% cooked of my planned 90% raw diet post-experiment.
Other things of interest include:
- Skin is still clear & soft
- Nails are really white & strong
- Mental clarity is pretty good (for a certified scatterbrain); I find i’m pondering more than usual & become extremely excited about the future for no apparent reason (apart from the fact that it’s going to ROCK!)
- I actually weighed myself at a friends house yesterday (a rarity) and have lost about 1 kilo. I didn’t really have any goals in that department, but was feeling a lot lighter & less jiggly so was interested to see the results. No complaints.
Today for lunch I had a decadent three course-meal consisting of the following:
Banana, carob and spinach green smoothie…
Giganto salad with kale, carrot, zucchini, beetroot, coriander and orange.
I am exceptionally talented at squeezing obscene amounts of food into one small fist-sized stomach sac.
That’s it for another riveting recap! Hope you all have good things in store for the weekend! Me? I’m working to fund my habit
October 15, 2010 § 8 Comments
Salut, Ola & Good Day to you all!
I have been a reclusive bloggie hermit crab this past week, due to unforseen technical er…difficulties.
I did the unspeakable last weekend in my haze of homeward-bound misery, and LEFT MY MOBILE IN A DIFFERENT STATE. Am I, or am I not part of gen Y? Apparently not. My youthful, tech-dependent cohorts would never abandon their most vital iOrgan without some serious health repercussions. I myself lapsed into a kind of foggy coma whereby my colourful world of facebook, twitter & instantaneous email became a dark a scary place.
Hook it to my veins!!!
Is this an inappropriate image on my wholesome healthy living blog? Welcome to the real world.
Luckily, I was reunited with my precious tumour-promotin’ mobile baby a couple of days ago, so all was (temporarily) well in the world!
The day I picked it up however, was also the day that our internet contract ran out. Simultaneous technology fail.
I knew our contract was waning (we were ‘babysitting’ someone else’s net until it lapsed) however I ignored the problem, hoping that someway, somehow, the glorious interweb would continue to greet me each morning without any financial/contractual input. I obviously had elevated expectations for our USB internet stick.
This is also why I am supplying you with hand-made (with love, mind) images. Unable to upload drool-worthy photos of food! What a travesty. I have thus unleashed the majesty of paint to communicate my most recent adventures.
I’ve been concocting some DELICIOUS smoothie creations this past week.
*witch-like cackle* This is me, stirring my big, freaky, vegan cauldron.
What did the smoothie look like you ask?
Well! Let me provide you with a highly accurate representation.
I even went all macro on yo’ ass, as per usual.
If you couldn’t tell, it’s an Avocado, Banana & Almond Butter flurry. It is my latest obsession.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup rice milk
- 1 tbspn of flaxseed oil (optional)
- 3/4 tspn raw honey for extra sweetness (optional)
Holy bonanza, this smoothie trumps all other foodstuffs, period. If you’re unsure about the avocado…don’t be. It MAKES the recipe.
I’ve also eaten many a
since my return. Glorious.
Well, the title promised wisdom as to hidden toxic factors that may be lurking in their evil, harmful way behind the most innocent of facades. (Now if that isn’t a sensationalist scare-tactic, I don’t know what is!).
It is true however that we do live in a highly toxic environment, and there are undesirable substances present in the most mundane of household & personal items. This does not mean we must strive to eliminate ALL negative external influence; however being aware of their presence and measures to reduce their impact, certainly comes in handy.
Did you know for instance that Amalgym fillings, ie. those gnarly silvery/black deposits your dentist may have bestowed upon you, actually contain mercury? There have been concerns as to the safety of this cavity-filling-brew for a long time, however I was horrified to learn that I actually have one just chilling in one of my molars, KILLING ME SLOWLY. (Sorry, I let my inner hysteria loose again). Mine was put there by a shady, school-based dental scheme; a pox on them.
(disclaimer: not my gaping mouth)
It has been shown that the mercury can leach from the fillings and do all kinds of good things inside your body. I’m not saying that you should share my hysterical mania, but perhaps think of having yours removed & replaced with porcelain, a much safer (and more aesthetically pleasing) alternative.
Incorporating superfoods such as Spirulina & Chlorella, as well as such humble ingredients as garlic, onion and seaweeds (in particular Bladderwack) can actively detoxify your body of these aforementioned nasties – how amazing is that?!
In fact, increasing the amount of antioxidants in your diet goes a long way towards preventing free-radical damage from a host of uncontrollable factors; you may choose not to believe me, but I have noticed since improving my diet and inhaling about 50 superfoods a day, I rarely get sunburnt anymore. In fact, I consider it much more effective (and delicious!) to EAT my sunscreen. (Not that i’m condoning lying in the sun and slowly making a handbag of yourself – employ some sense, please!).
- Check out this article on foods that help protect your skin.
- This is also a really excellent one by Meghann Telpner.
Other contact I am trying to minimise is with chemicals found in shampoos, conditioners, face creams, deodorants…all of the above. You’d be surprised at what you can unearth when you research those funky-sounding ingredients on the label.
You may have seen incomprehensible names such as Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate thrown around, and various parabens; both of which consistently find their way into most ‘mainstream’ beauty products. I was even horrified (albeit not surprised) that one of my flatmates’ all natural coconut oil shower scrub contained SLS amongst other lengthy, fear-inducing ingredients, with perhaps 5% of the total derived from actual coconut oil. Highly deceptive marketing makes it hard to decipher what is safe to put on your body – after all, our skin is our largest organ, and extremely permeable.
So why should we be concerned about chemicals in our personal/beauty products?
As I mentioned, nearly everything that we put onto our skin can be absorbed – thus, most chemicals will absorbed too. Anything that isn’t a natural, recognisable substance is extremely hard for our system to break-down, and can interfere with other functions.
SLS is an irritant, with many people fiercely allergic to it. Not only that, but once it enters the bloodstream, it is directed to the liver where it becomes a challenge to process and break-down. In some cases, this can lead to liver toxicity.
Parabens are added to products to perform antimicrobial functions & keep them fresh, however their safety is an ongoing area of concern and is worrying filed under the list of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ substances – ie. parabens have been demonstrated to be present in a large number of cancer patients , however the defense is that presence does not prove causality. I’d rather err on the side of caution, wouldn’t you? They can also have estrogenic effects that mimic the body’s natural hormones, and subsequently lead to imbalance. No thanks, para-lames.
How do you replace these seemingly necessary items, all of which, infuriatingly contain unwanted chemicals?
I look to fluoride-free toothpastes from the health-food-store, aluminium-free deodorants (Miessence works well), natural (not fake-natural) shampoos & conditioners (read read read those labels!) and beautiful organic skin care.
A company I am suuuuper impressed with (who is obviously not in any way affiliated with this site) is Hemp Hemp Hooray!, an Australian-based brand who make delicious skin-care products that I have found great on my combination, never-happy, totally high-maintenance skin.
The ingredient list is so amazingly fabulous – I recognise ALL the constituents & it’s recommended you keep it in the fridge to prevent spoilage (y’know, like a safe, natural product would be prone to doing). It’s the only cream cleanser i’ve ever used that doesn’t clog my pores & the moisturiser is so lovely & nourishing. I really can’t get enough!
Well my friends, I really have to wrap up this post because it’s starting to animate a la Frankenstein’s monster and come alive, ALIIIIVE!
Have a great weekend! I’ll be intermittently trying to mooch off other people’s net until I can find it within myself to pay for my own
September 25, 2010 § 4 Comments
Salut mes belles,
The amaranth experiment was a success! I came up with a tasty dinner option to road-test the comically tiny little seed, and was pleasantly engorged, tumiscient, satisfied as a result.
Still had some leftover red quinoa in the pantry to use; it kept the amaranth in line.
Triple-decker spinach, amaranth & sweet potato stack
1/2 c amaranth
1.5 c water
1 small sweet potato, cut into 1cm cubes
1 can whole/diced tomatoes
1/2-1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 red onion, diced
2 brown mushrooms
1/2 can chickpeas
1 heaped tsp garam masala
1 tbsp tomato paste
extra-virgin coconut oil
english spinach leaves
celtic sea salt & pepper
- Rinse & drain amaranth & cook in 1.5 c water for around 20 mins, season with salt & pepper (or herbamare).
- In a pan, sautee garlic & onion until translucent, adding sweet potato & garam masala after a few minutes. Let the flavours sizzzzzzzle & become well-acquainted (Posh Nosh flashbacks anyone?).
- Add canned tomatoes (I usually swill a couple of cm of water in the bottom of the can & pour in as well, just to add a touch more juice) tomato paste, chopped mushroom, salt & pepper and simmer on low with a lid on until potato is steamed through (probably around 20 mins).
- Add in chickpeas & coriander & allow to warm for a few minutes.
- Serve amaranth over bed of spinach leaves, with sweet potato & chickpea mix layered on top, with more coriander for the herb-mad amongst us.
Yes, Garam masala is becoming a definite staple in my daily eats, and much like cinnamon, may find itself in/on/around a multitude of unusual foodstuffs. It is ridiculously delicious, what can I say?
Mah-hoooooving on, I wanted to offer some advice & encouragement to those who are in transitional stages of their diet and lifestyle. Whether it be a conscious and deliberate act of ruthlessly excommunicating meat & dairy, or a more subtle evolution from quite inactive to a-little-more-active-than-inactive, there are numerous hurdles that can serve to dissuade you from your goals.
It is a common misconception that positive lifestyle changes can and should be mirrored instantaneously in the body with increased energy, vibrancy and general superhero status. Sure, some lucky individuals may make the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet with little to no ‘detox’ symptoms, while others may feel the effects acutely.
Let us consider some facts:
- If you have suddenly made the switch from processed foods to wholegrains, fruits & veggies, beans, legumes and nuts, HECK YES your digestive system will be in shock. It will not know what to do with this abundance of fiber raining down on it from the gaping esophageal heavens above. You may be bloaty. You may be gassy. You may have to endure your belly raging at you for some time. Of course, you can minimise these effects by adopting a less-abrupt approach; adding fibrous foods slowly but surely into your daily plan and the like. However there will probably come a time when you decide that this bean/lentil/nut does not agree with you, and that’s that. Of course, if you are allergic, by all means desist with the eatin’, but from experience I can say that the cleaner your diet becomes and the more you persevere with foods you may have previously considered ‘off-limits’ and irritating, your digestive system will adapt and change. It may take a few weeks, or a few months, but hang in there. It is for the greater intestinal good!
- Similarly, you may go nuts upon discovering the vast array of super-charged super-foods and include them, guns blazing, into every meal. Yes, there are fantastic, incredible plants/roots/powders that can give your new diet ‘the edge’, but you should also exercise caution as they can be potent and potentially irritating. Take Spirulina. I share an intimate bond with this algae, and have an unhealthy love for its deep emerald hue and fishy, dishy scent *swoon*, however when I first began taking it, it really upset my stomach; I almost broke up with it as a superfood lover. I needed to cut back on my dosage (as little as 1/2 tsp in my smoothie) and work my way up to avoid the bloat-fest larger amounts could induce. Maca also needs to be incorporated slowly, and should be researched thoroughly prior to consumption. I may include it once or twice a week in a smoothie, but it is again, incredibly potent and may not resonate with me – we shall see. It is also worthwhile trialling these things one at a time in order to assess their effects on your body (& sometimes mind), sans interference.
- Also, think of the cumulative effects of X years eating junk food, processed food, sugars and trans-fats. Should we expect out body to pull through, detox and ascend to a higher functional plane after just one week? After one month? Even after one year? Funnily enough, no. This has been hard to grasp for me, as I feel like I’ve been doing relatively well in the diet/lifestyle department for long enough to earn me a glowing complexion, level 70 immunity & a bangin’ 0% body-fat figure. I don’t consider these demands unreasonable, I merely wish to inhabit my radiant vegan goddess self, as promised! But truth be told, though the improvements in my health, well-being, weight and happiness have been profound, I am still undeniably detoxing and have a long way to go. Courses of antibiotics as children, a lifetime of exposure to pollutants & chemicals, a metabolism confused and mistreated for decades – the body is unable to recover from these factors & instantaneously assume optimal balance, rather bodily processes are gradually, astoundingly drawn into harmony over time. I still suffer bouts of acne that I curse to high heavens, but acknowledge as part of a larger, ongoing process. Patience is needed when adopting a new lifestyle or eating approach; please don’t be discouraged by setbacks, changes in energy levels or unpleasant physical symptoms. Once you push through this initial stage and get your body into da groooooove, you will be amazed by the ongoing improvements in your health & vitality!
These are but a few tips & considerations for anyone seeking to improve their diet, or those embarking on a profoundly different nutritional plan-of-attack.
Good luck, don’t give up, and steel yourself for more sickly motivational pep-talks regarding the world of nutrition in the future!
August 16, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Why hello there!
How was everyone’s weekend? Excellent.
Me, you ask? I have not stopped…Until now, when I decided to take the day off college because I am officially not over the snot-face episode that has been plaguing me since Friday. I may have called it a little too soon on Saturday when I declared myself fit & ready for action (after inundating the unsuspecting pathogens with ginger, herbal tea and leafy greens) and took it upon myself to do my normal gung-ho Saturday run (without the gung, and with a little extra ‘ho’). Clearly I needed to be resting instead, because that combined with an average of 5 hours sleep a night set me back again yesterday. I completed my senior first aid with a head full of goo and a plastic mannequin that now, as well as being in a permanent state of unconsciousness, also has the virus I passed on whilst performing mouth-to-mouth. Yummeh!
As a side note, I am drinking out of this mug that I bought on a whim. It made me smile.
So now I have bored you with the details of my disgusting illness, let’s get to the good stuff!
My follow-up consultation with the naturopath post detox program was also on Saturday & was interesting, as expected.
She said I looked healthier than ever (despite my gummy face) so that was nice to hear! (Flattery sure gets my continued custom!) She took a blood sample again to do a live blood analysis and i was FREAKED OUT to actually SEE the viral bodies lurking amongst the red blood cells (you watch on a screen). Eeeeeeeek! Matters were made no better when Robyn exclaimed….wait on! (peering through microscope & revealing ominous-looking white cluster) what’s THAT?!….AHHHH! For a moment the hypo in me returned and I had visions of the discovery of some terminal illness, right then and there. Never fear, it was just the virus we were seeing. How fascinatingly disturbing.
Anyhoo! My cells looked distinctly rounder, clearer and more separated than last time I went, 6 weeks ago. She said I still need to up the magnesium & iron somewhat, but that i’m in ‘great shape’ and am basically her favourite client. Ok, maybe not the last part.
My own observations after the program:
- complete abatement of allergies – these improved significantly when I cut out dairy, but the detox seemed to obliterate that pesky hayfever for good.
- improved fitness & stamina – this is probably a combo of me doing physically more, as well as feeling more spritely (medical term y’all) and being supercharged on essential vitamins & minerals.
- I feel like my stomach has finally found peace and decided to stop molesting me with it’s grumby, grouchy, hypersensitive ways – again, this improved after going vegan, but due to the program I feel like my insides have been healed like never before!
I would recommend doing something like this to anyone – but keep in mind it was by no means a ‘hard’ thing for me to do because I didn’t really change anything about my diet, I just added a bunch of supplements to help things along. So no detox symptoms were felt. This could be different if you’re doing a more intense program or if you’re just starting out and your body has more to purge.
Finally, we come to the food.
Happy lunch snack fest.
Tempeh in coconut oil, apple, date, carrot, almonds, avocado, tomato & herbs, lemon, dried tomato…bliss.
Avo with lemon & cracked pepper. Gimme!
Tempeh with organic tomato sauce. Cos sometimes a gal just wants a big dollop of fire-engine red to adorn her plate!
Made these stuffed peppers for me & my flattie the other night, taken from Choosing raw. I ignored advice to buy yellow or red peppers, cos i’m cheap like that, and that may have brought the dish down slightly. I also made a few substitutions to the rice/bean mix that probably weren’t too inspired, but HEY! I stuffed a pepper!
Typical BS lunch – sweet tater with black beans & Tomato Tahini Dressing. Yes it was amazing, if you were wondering. Huge salad lurks outside the frame.
Yikes, better see to some study/illness rehabilitation.
August 14, 2010 § 3 Comments
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
August 6, 2010 § 4 Comments
Hi there fellarinos,
Here we are at yet another Friday, with no prospect of weekend rest for the wicked. But, who’s complaining? I love stretching myself between 1001 different domestic/educational/occupational committments like a thin scraping of almond butter on a dry piece of Ezekiel bread…ok, so maybe I am complaining a tad. But don’t get me wrong, life (in-between times) is grand!
Outside of being a manic stress-head, i’ve been enjoying the following:
- You know I love extra-virgin coconut oil - it is a magical food of the gods, & I use it + olive oil exclusively in my diet. However i’ve been testing it more and more as a beauty product, with awesome, sweet-smelling results!
- The skin is our largest organ, is permeable, and therefore sucks up most of what we put on it. I never used to think about the chemicals I was slathering on my skin, only what I was physically consuming – but i’ve switched over to natural products now I have the knowledge, and the powaaahhh!
- SO, getting to the point (on point-number-three)…Coconut oil is FANTASMO as a moisturiser. If you’re like me you may have tried it, thought it was too oily/sticky/shiny and given up. But, never fear – just use it in the shower! After washing (with this awesome palm-oil free vegan soap my dear mother hooked me up with) I just scoop out some coconut oil and proceed to wax on! Once you get out & towel off, your skin is still silky smooth but with less oily residue & whatnot. You don’t even need to moisturise if you do this every day. So go get shiny!
- Coconut oil is also grand for the hair. Antiseptic fatty acids help to protect against fungal & bacterial infections, which is why it’s good for dandruff & scalp conditions. I’ve also heard it can help thicken hair & will obviously nourish it, making it shiny and smooth. I tried it for the first time the other night on dry hair, massaging into the scalp & leaving it on overnight. In the morning I shampoo’d and conditioned as per usual, and my hair was really soft…i’d even go so far as to say caressable. hah. I read it was better to apply it to damp hair though, so will be experimenting further.
- What deserves MAJOR kudos is the High on Health skin care pack that I received last week. It contained:
I don’t want to pre-emptively proclaim a miracle, but this is possibly the BEST skin care range i’ve ever tried, despite having bad experiences with ‘natural’ products in the past. I’m still getting some breakouts, but I think they’re hormonal and will take some serious detective action to pin down – regardless, the rest of my skin looks & feels so. much. better. It’s cleared the mystery congestion I had on my forehead in under a week, and evened out my skin tone instantly.
I want to give it some more time, obviously, before I unleash the potential of a full-on rave review, however this is feeling like a turning point *sniff, tear* and I owe it to the ever helpful, natural goddess Fran Kerr!
- Have run out of Kale/greens. Worst. Could not have my Spirulina spinach shake this AM!
- Brain has reached maximum capacity of learning. Am suddenly horrific at spelling, and experiencing many-a blonde moment (and i don’t even believe in them!). It is evident that old knowledge is making way for new.
- Attempted to create a new miso/soba noodle soup recipe. It was hideous. Won’t even begin to share the details for fear that terrorists could get hold of the recipe and use it as a culinary WMD.
Unfortunately, concocting dubious dishes comes with the territory. I’d rather experiment and have to hold my nose than never discover anything new!
Well that is a fairly incoherent blog post for you all – I think i’m gradually losing the ability to construct sentences…what’s next? Possibly the ability to cook, judging by my most recent offerings!
Hope you’re all having a great weekend!
July 26, 2010 § 4 Comments
I’ve missed blogging the past few days; but believe me, I am going to have SO much new insider naturopath info to share with you guys in the future, haha! Yeah but, no but, seriously-like, my brain must have a knowledge baby right now cos that thing is FULL! After 4 days of the course, I feel like i’ve learned more than during the past 2.5 years of uni. May or may not be attributed to my complete disregard for attendance, note-taking and all things studious in former degree, but let’s blame the institution for now.
First things first.
I’ve obviously needed to unleash my inner organisational goddess and plan lots of meals in advance to cater for the long hectic days running between college and work. This meal of red quinoa and greens was something really flavourful, quick and packable to whip up. (Pssssst red quinoa is the bomb! Only just tried it the other day, and for some reason it cooks really nicely and has an awesome texture that I think trumps the white).
Into the mix went (serves 1 regular person, or 2 frugal students):
1/2 cup red quinoa, cooked in 1 cup vegetable stock
1 tspn extra virgin coconut oil
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tbspn diced red onion
small broccoli florets
fresh green beans
juice of 1/2 lemon
celtic sea salt
cracked black pepper
So easy y’all. Cook up your quinoa; sautée garlic & onion in coconut oil until translucent; add greens (omitting spinach) and fry for a minute; add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan and cover for 3 mins to steam; add cooked quinoa; add spinach leaves; squeeze in lemon juice with a pinch of sea salt & lashings of pepper, and enjoy!
I’m learning that simple flavours are so vibrant and fresh, and ultimately supremely satisfying.
All packed up with one place to go; belly town.
My goodness I am so tired right now. My flatmates just got home and handed me my keys…that i’d left in the lock of the front door. Total vague-out moment. But i’m soldiering on!
Looking forward to waking up to this in the morning:
Rice milk, spirulina, spinach, banana, berry, chia seed, cacao smoothie. These things hold you over big time!
Other things brightening my days; sweet potato butterflies!
Anyhoo, I noticed something interesting the other day in regards to stress, and how sensitive we can become to it after living such a leisurely life of, well, leisure. After an unfairly long bout of holidays, and not too much to tax my mind other than choosing between traditional as opposed to tuscan kale, getting back into time-management left me a little shaky and anxious the other night. Scheduling enough sleep, planning meals in advance, organising textbooks & notes, babysitting, working, driving, living, breathing became all a bit much for this frettish gal. I could literally feel the adrenalin coursing through me as I tried to comprehend how I was going to physically be in all the necessary places over the next 3 days… Next morning I woke with a headache (highly unusual), and felt like I was walking around in a fog. Today has been the same, with sore sketchy eyes, sudden onset dyslexia, and decidedly lower capacity for wit and intelligence…
My point is, I realised a) how toxic stress hormones can be & their profound effect on your energy levels/concentration/well-being and b) i have poor stress management!
What do you all do to de-stress? A lot of my new friends at college are heavily into yoga and I think it may finally be my time to take the plunge. Why am I so scared of the stretchy calmness?!?!
Seriously, there is so much I want to talk about, but my head is flopping from side to side in a fairly flaccid manner so I think this is my cue to crawl under the covers.
I’ll leave you with a parting picture I took of a radish, hehe.
July 17, 2010 § 6 Comments
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…
A different approach to taking the detox powder was in water as recommended…
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?
Savoury oats! (originally here) I added sliced tempeh, avocado, cherry toms, chia, tomato chutney, hummus & cracked pepper on top! Down the hatch
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