February 22, 2011 § 2 Comments
Howdy health hobbits!
Random lily for your enjoyment
How awkward are Tuesdays? If Wednesday’s are the armpit of the week, then surely Tuesday’s are the groin. Luckily, today was light on crotch and heavy on awesome!
As you know, I shunned the Pill last week and am a few days into the hormonal battlefield. No landmines have as yet exploded in my face, however I do have a bit of a breakout right now (that I can perhaps more logically attribute to the jar of almond butter I ate last weekend. My bad). I feel quite well in myself, but am staving off visions of acne eruptions, weight fluctuations and the growth of a lady-beard. Stranger things have happened.
Apart from a gross over-analysis of my pill-withdrawl, today was also one of those perfect, beautiful, ordinary days in which I was thankful for such fabulous friends and happy surrounds.
My exceptionally dynamic, vivacious, globetrotting college buddy, Jack, has also started his own blog called Light Minded which you can check out here. He inspires me daily with his crazy backpacking anecdotes and eternal optimism, so I think his website will definitely be one to watch for anyone interested in becoming a jedi/yogi master (let’s face it, who isn’t?!).
It always excites me to gain more rockin’ cyber buddies.
Speaking of, I also had the opportunity to meet the gorgeous Kate from Green and Juicy today now that she attends my college. (It’s officially the nerdy nutrition epicenter! I love it). My suspicions that we would be like two cacao beans in a pod were confirmed, and I’m claiming it as my first blogger meet-up! She is just as smart & vibrant in real life as on her blog, so if you haven’t already, please head over to G&J for your holistic wellness fix!
Another beautiful college friend also gave me a belated birthday present that took the day up a notch:
I rarely buy jewelery for myself, and somehow manage to receive the loveliest pieces from friends and family. This angel certainly has a special energy and i’m touched by the kindness with which it was given. Thank you Tshu
The awesome Caitlin from Roost also showed me a preliminary header-design for the blog today too, so that made my day extra groovy. Can’t wait to pimp the old BS; it’s a little down in the jowls.
What else, what else?
You might like this article about finding motivation in the wee-hours of the morning. Getting out of bed with a purpose is the ultimate way to start the day.
And with that completely indulgent recap of my awesome day, I’ll leave you with my din-wah tonight.
Deconstructed vegan millet taco. (That does not really resemble a taco).
- 1/2 millet
- ~1 cup water
- herbamare (or other herbal seasoning)
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can whole tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- a few organic mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2-1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- salt & pepper to taste
- salad essentials (greens/carrot/cherry toms/cucumber/sprouts)
- fresh coriander
Place 1/2 cup millet into a saucepan and toast over medium heat until slightly golden. Carefully add 1 cup of water plus seasoning to taste and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer for approx 30 mins, or until liquid is absorbed (you might want to add more water depending on how dry/fluffy you like it). While millet is cooking, add 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil to a saucepan and bring to medium heat. Add garlic, onion & mushrooms & sautee until soft. Add tomatoes, breaking up with your spoon – then add in your beans. Add cumin, cayenne, salt & pepper and reduce to simmer. Prepare your salad by finely shredding your greens, dicing the carrot & cucumber, halving the cherry toms and roughly chopping the coriander. Plate up millet, bean mix & salad topping with sprouts & more coriander.
This had a nice mexican flavour, but was light, healthy & super tasty! Am I the only one who goes nuts for warm food over fresh salad?
Have you ever had a super-charged Tuesday? What little things are making you happy right now?
February 15, 2011 § 21 Comments
Roses are red, violets are blue,
True love is scoffing a cream pie or two!
Bonne Hallmark day for yesterday, health warriors!
Being the big dreary cynic that I am I usually tend to boycott the whole mushy affair, taking my cut of the chocolate bounty and deflecting any stray sonnets that may be flung my way (ok, so no-ones ever written me a Shakespearean ditty, but if they did I would throweth it back in their face!). But raining on the love parade is a little mean even for me, so I decided to make amends with a big fat raw banana pie! Cos every man likes π.
I actually didn’t expect this baby to turn out so well, so in usual scatterbrain style I have no recipe. YET. But I do have a couple of (terribly lit) pictures to add insult to recipeless injury!
Kinda dramatic with the crazy purple background. We students improvise with whatever we have on hand…
…much like Bear Grylls, who we watched massacre an entire peruvian ecosystem, by candlelight. My sorta romantic valentine viewing!
I have a serious internal conflict raging in regards to Man vs. Wild. On one hand, I admire his resourcefulness, warrior-like wisdom and supreme indifference to personal hygiene/comfort… But the fact remains, my vegan soul cannot reconcile with his barbaric butchering of so many happy woodland creatures, merely for the purpose of demonstrating survival tactics in the unlikely event that you should wind up lost & alone in the middle of the Sahara. Cheers for the useful tips, Bear.
Here is another gratuitous picture of pie, with floral flourish. I’m embarrassed for myself.
Now that I’ve recapped my valentines pie triumph, I’ll be moving right along. What did you all get up to on Hallmark day? Do you celebrate it?
Yesterday, I received an awesome email/question from a friend (who I hope won’t mind me sharing) which I thought warranted a blog post. In a pistachio-nut shell, he is basically feeling a little dissatisfied with his career and educational situation right now, and knew I had gone through the whole quarter-life crisis, changing my life path scenario.
(FYI – for new readers, I was studying Film & French from 2008-2010 in an epic 5 year double degree, but halfway through realised I was not passionate about my studies and definitely had no inspiring plans for my future. I found my passion was health and after some tough soul-scouring, I left my degree to study Naturopathy. Result = happier, more energised, re-invigorated, life-addicted Katey!)
This is a simple outline of the steps I followed to make an educated, and ultimately life-changing decision about my future:
1) Identify your true feelings.
So you feel flat. Dissatisfied. Stuck. Whether it’s your job or your studies, try to identify exactly what part of the situation is giving you the willies.
- Without reference to your boss/your lecturers/your uni/your finances, do you LOVE and feel passionately about your chosen area of interest or profession?
If the answer is yes, it’s clear that your unhappiness is circumstantial rather than intrinsic. With this in mind, you can work towards pinpointing and resolving the factors that are causing distress. If you have irreconcilable differences with your employer, perhaps it’s time to move on. I truly believe that our job should enhance our happiness, not be an obstacle to it. This may sound like a luxurious worldview, but the fact remains we all have a choice. Nobody determines the details of your life but you. If it means working somewhere nasty for cash in the interim, fine, but don’t sell yourself short and be absolutely confident in notion that you are a jedi-master of your own destiny. Wield the force as you see fit.
If the answer is no, then this can be a little scary. Like, holy basil the thing I’ve been working towards is suddenly kinda lame on closer inspection, scary. That’s ok! I’ve come to realise that very few people maintain a steady interest in one single area forever. Most chop and change around 7 times in their lifetime. Get your comforting statistics on!
So if you’ve realised that you’re deeply unhappy with your chosen area of work or study, move on to phase two.
2) Get your head around it.
I distinctly remember the night I was lying in bed thinking about my film degree, and the full weight of ‘I’m not happy’ hit me. It literally felt like a physical force. A jolt. A shock. Dare I say it, an epiphany? It was a fearsome thought that threatened to unhinge the doors of my comfortable little box in which I went to uni, zoned out in lectures and ignored the bigger picture. ‘Dropping out’ seemed like the habit of vague student drifters, not me with my inflated sense of pride and dogged adherence to the status quo.
If you have these thoughts but dismiss them as too implausible, really question yourself. Why am I ignoring my wants/needs?
The truth is, most people up-end their lives at some stage. You’re allowed. It’s ok. Once you’re honest with yourself and can sit comfortably with your new revelation, it’s time to get practical.
There is always a way of doing everything if you truly want to change. Now is the time to consider the boring stuff.
I immediately scoured the net to compile all my possible options for studying natural medicine. Remember to consider other locations and seemingly ‘far out’ prospects because you never know where your new life may take you! Be open. Ha!
Then, talk to all relevant parties. Phone prospective places of study, friends or family with knowledge/connections/experience, centrelink (or other government financial services that can assist you), universities, the higher powers that be…collate and dominate! Being armed with knowledge is going to make the plan seem less daunting, and perhaps a heck of lot easier than you initially expected. My mum said to me a while back when I was struggling with some random issue (not uncommon!) people are there to help you! Just ask. It’s so simple, but it really struck a chord. People are happy to offer assistance in any way they can – they don’t want to stifle or oppress you (unless they are an evil dictator) and can be an invaluable source of moral support.
4) Embrace freedom and liberation!
It’s intensely intimidating to fathom a sudden exit from the mould – but it can absolutely be done. The mind tends to over-inflate problems and new challenges to momentous proportions, ones which are decidedly manageable upon closer inspection. You’d be surprised of the support you’ll receive from others when you tell them your plans to re-direct the course of your life, and most will probably share similar stories of upheaval and change.
I’m happier than ever doing a new course that is actually interesting and invigorating – what a novel idea! Despite fears that you may be ‘too old’ or ‘too under-financed’ or ‘too scared’ to effect a dramatic change, really ask yourself why? Who says you’re too old? (There was a man who was 75 studying nutrition last year at my college!) What’s stopping you from manipulating my finances so I can get from point x to point y? What is life for, if not to unlock your passion and embrace every opportunity?
I think i’ve saturated you with enough motivational goo for one day, so I’m going to leave it there. But i’d be incredibly interested to hear from people who have made drastic life changes or who have advice for my awesome friend on finding career happiness!
Thanks for reading as always, and as much as I shudder to promote the holiday – you’re all my rosy valentines!
February 13, 2011 § 13 Comments
Sitting at my computer listening to another instalment of the Great Health Debate, I became aware of a value that rests at the very center of my (molten) core. This belief has always been present in some form, but it has suddenly begun to solidify like coconut oil in the early days of winter.
It is not that a 100% raw vegan diet is the ultimate nutritional nirvana or that communism will save us from our modern social woes, rather it is the utmost faith in the notion that we should strive to maintain an open mind at all times.
Yes, that naff old saying. ‘Keep an open mind’ (and let your brains fall out).
I was sparked to enter this philosophical reverie while listening to the opposing sides of various dietary arguments, as presented in the excellent health debate series hosted by Kevin Gianni. As Mark Sisson presented the facts on the Primal Diet and spoke with passion about the research and motives behind his take on optimum nutrition, I was struck by how valid such a viewpoint was despite it being far removed from my own. I have many friends who eat in a more primal, low-carb, high-fat, animal-protein-heavy manner and I respect their judgement immensely. Conversely, Frederic Patenaude’s account of the benefits of the 80/20/20, high-carb, low-fat raw diet also left me confident that this was a viable dietary option on which to thrive.
In the past, I’ve scolded myself for showing little commitment to any one school of thought and sitting decidedly on the pointy picket fence in terms of ‘picking’ a diet. However, I’ve come to realise that being open to a variety of options may in itself be a worthwhile frame of mind. Most philosophies (be it dietary or otherwise) have points of value and can contribute to a greater understanding of the subject in question. Excluding the opinions and arguments of others surely places you at a disadvantage, in which long-term happiness may be compromised in favour of loyalty to a particular mindset or belief system.
Is it so incomprehensible that one can happily nibble upon many delicious tid-bits from a plethora of plates? Survey a smorgasboard of ideas? (Take a food/belief-system analogy too far?)
Being open is a helpful mindset on virtually every front.
I am open to the creative genius of others; namely this amazing raw pad thai from Lindsay at The Kitchen Operas.
Besides the benefits of embracing multiple perspectives, you can also be open to challenging your ingrained thought processes. Even the smallest irritations can often be re-framed if you take the time to question your pre-programmed response. Why is it my default setting to become angry when a slow-driver meanders at snails pace ahead? Perhaps they are unfamiliar with the road, looking for an address, or simply being cautious. Haven’t you been in all of these situations, too? Being open to the feelings of others can help defuse the rage because you realise not everything is a personal affront. Creating a negatively charged response only serves to raise your stress levels and little else.
Be open to going with the flow.
I am also trying to be more open to advice and suggestion. For a long time, I would seek the aid of others without really engaging with it. I would know that this certain tactic would improve my athletic performance, or that certain habit could help me make more effective use of my time. But knowing is not always concurrent with doing, and breaking free of established habits to implement something new is a daunting task. Being open to, and acting upon the wisdom of more knowledgable parties has proven to be more effective than ever. Who would have thought that actually taking advice could deliver such profound results?
I’ve recently taken up swimming laps again, even though I have known the benefits for years but was too intimidated to try. D’oh.
Stemming from this is the ability to be open to change. This is perhaps my most cherished pursuit as I strive to live by the notion of ‘try everything’. I don’t want to leave any stone unturned as I move through life, and dismantling routine, intellectual focus and location is an invigorating way to ensure diversity. Even just rearranging my room, or upending my morning ritual carries the symbolic weight of change.
Lastly, being open to the signs as given to you by life is paramount. I don’t mean magical instances where fluffy white clouds arrange themselves in the shape of your future spouse, or a butterfly tickles you on the eyelids to tell you you’re on the right track. I mean more subtle anomalies from which you can draw inspiration and insight.
The only butterfly paraphernalia you will ever witness in my house.
I truly believe that lessons are presented to us to help us learn, become more self-aware and grow, and without attributing it to any specific higher power I feel this is a beautiful thing.
When my finances are low (like now as a student), I find it incredibly hard to deal. It’s tempting to wallow in the kind of thoughts that screech ‘life is unfair!’, ‘all my friends are better off than me!’ or ‘I’ll never get where I want!’. But compounding the misery is futile at best, so instead I try to appreciate that this monetary drought will make me more resilient, thankful for future comforts and empathetic with those who permanently have so little. It’s not always easy, but being open is something worth working on.
What are your thoughts? Do you try to embrace the unexpected and throw a positive slant on things? Are you open to other religions, diets, mentalities and trying new things?
January 19, 2011 § 7 Comments
I miss you all! I miss the blog! I miss having an outlet for all my kooky health-related thoughts, theories, and conspiracies.
As I mentioned in my last post, my slightly senior apple computer needs to be put out to pasture, and a new, shiny, speedy model must somehow be procured. This senility has seriously affected my ability to blog regularly, but i’m determined to maintain some kind of posting schedule because Bonne Santé has really become more than just a hobby for me.
It’s a place where I have collected a year’s worth of posts about health and food (however much I cringe when reading back through!). It’s also becoming a creative outlet – somewhere I can parade my photographic experiments and on special occasions, Paint masterpieces. Perhaps most worthwhile and gratifying, is that blogging has become a haven for connecting with like-minded and exceptionally talented individuals around the world, and I’m honoured to call many my new friends.
Contextually unrelated chia seeds
External to the blog, other exciting happenings have characterised the start of 2011.
I’m in the early days of starting a new job that is altogether more in alignment with my studies in health & nutrition – I believe that our professional lives and personal passions should not exist in separation, rather they can enhance and compliment each other. Where’s the fun in slaving 9-5 in a job that is entirely removed from your personal goals and ambitions?
In short, I feel blessed by a gender and demoninationally non-specific higher power.
I’m also thrilled to have won an amazing competition over at the lush Roost for the design of a new blog header! Y’all know how clueless I am with all things technologically/graphically inclined, so this is an incredibly opportunity for Bonne Santé to be pimped beyond it’s wildest dreams! Once again, some generous female deity is smiling on me.
Other noteworthy happenings, in no particular order:
- Finally got a new haircut. Below $30 at that! I asked for a fringe, and the hairdresser commented that ‘I have a good face for it’. What I heard was, ‘FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE COVER THAT GENEROUS FOREHEAD!’. I live to misconstrue.
- I went to the gym yesterday and became stuck on the step machine in an endless elliptical, forward motion. HOW DO YOU STOP THOSE THINGS?!
- I bought new clothes with my rent money. This was reckless, and hoping I can magically manifest more funds before next week. At least I’ll look presentable in the gutter.
- I finally went to the doctor about my concerning yellow glow – I’ve had it for years, ever since I went nuts on the beta-carotene, but lately I got to thinkin’ maybe my liver was, y’know, dead or something. Rational thoughts indeed. Anyway, 4 blood tests later, I was given a clean bill of health (thriving on a vegan diet wahoooo!) and told that yes, my beta-carotene levels are quite abnormally high. My doctors official recommendation; ‘eat less carrots’. Uh, no, I don’t think so medical man. Doesn’t he know high levels of beta-carotene (precursor for vitamin A) help protect the skin, and is proven to reduce your risk of most cancers as well as anti-oxidant-ising the shitzen out of your entire being? Win.
- Speaking of shitzen, the little girl I babysit yelled, ‘Oh, SHITZEN HAUSEN!’ the other day at something which annoyed her. She is 4. My hero.
Well, I hope you’re all having amazing days wherever you are in the world, and thanks for sticking around despite the erratic posting
January 3, 2011 § 14 Comments
How did everyone pull up after the wild NYE celebrations? I emerged relatively unscathed as I am, what my goon-guzzling friends would call, ‘soft’.
I prefer responsible.
Truth is, I enjoy a good red. An expensive white. And perhaps if i’m feeling crazy, one of each. But I’m not ashamed to say, my days of downing tequila shots and hooking vodka to my veins are well and truly a memory of my 17-year-old self.
I actually have more fun when i’m not trying to avoid barfing all over the D-floor, and feel irritated with the hardcore drinking culture in Australia that seems to dictate anything less than 3 Jaeger Bombs per hour is sacrilege. But I guess if that’s what floats your dingy, then so be it.
Although i’m a little late with the end-of-year, new-beginnings theme, I wanted to share some of my goals for 2011.
I say goals because i’m never really one for New Year’s resolutions. I normally resolve not to keep any, thus leaving me in an endless paradox…
I also think the word ‘resolution’ implies a more rigid, fiercely defended, all-or-nothing approach that I see all too often with friends who go crazy eating, drinking and partying in the lead up to new years’, resolving to quit the excesses cold turkey at midnight on the 1st of January. I’m not judging those people who do, because I’m definitely guilty of adopting a ‘start-afresh-tomorrow’ attitude…but I have to ask myself, is this resolution really sustainable? Or will it end as spectacularly as it began?
This is why I prefer to have goals, with an emphasis on progress, learning and chip-chip-chipping away at something bigger.
So what are they?
In no particular order….
1. Attempt a half-marathon.
Attempt, people, attempt. This one scares me the most. If i’m a soft drinker, then I’m a wibbly puddle of goo when it comes to pain, endurance and mental stamina. But we are all capable of greater things than we know, right? So with that in mind, I’m taking it on. Maybe. Perhaps. We’ll see.
OH GOD IT’S ON THE GOALS BOARD, THAT MEANS ITS GOSPEL!
2. Think long and hard about coming off the pill.
I wrote a post not too long ago about the pro’s and con’s of the BCP, and on the advice of many individuals in the natural health scene, I feel it is something I want to eliminate from my life. This one may be on par in scariness with #1, because I know it’s going to be a crazy rollercoaster that could take years to even out my poor bedraggled hormones.
3. Save for a trip and travel to Japan.
Unfortunately I’ve never been one to prioritize travel; i’d rather save for material things, appliances, or organic leafy greens. This has to change, because while nice objects are pleasant, it’s all about our experiences and adventures. And Japan is somewhere i’ve wanted to go for eons; looks fascinating!
4. Be more spontaneous! Make the most of every opportunity.
In simple terms; stop being such a nanna. I tend to become quite set in my ways and dislike last-minute plans and unexpected changes. This is mainly because I like to know what i’m doing each day in advance, set mini-goals and never just have empty, open ‘free time’. It would certainly pay to be more flexible, and welcome a little spontaneity.
5. Improve at yoga and incorporate it into my daily practice.
I’ve been intimidated by yoga for as long as I can remember. This is because I have the flexibility of a corpse undergoing rigor mortis, and I also find it hard to relax and sit still. I know it’s one of those highly beneficial, life-extending activities, and i’m determined to eventually be able to touch my toes/shins/knees.
6. Include regular strength straining. Channel Arnie.
Building lean muscle will not only boost my metabolism and increase my strength and stamina, but also equip me with a rippling set of guns. I want guns.
7. Make a dentists appointment & remove amalgam fillings.
Holy baloney, you don’t want to know how long it’s been between dental examinations. It’s one of those things I never give any concern to, but probably should for the sake of my 2 remaining front teeth. Also, I don’t want poisonous mercury fillings gumming up my jaw anymore.
8. Start growing plants in the garden.
I already have an awesome little herb garden thanks to a dear friend that I got for my birthday, but I’d like to have a few more pots and start growing some herbs for everyday use. Currently, I’m excelling at cultivating this creepy species of yellow mould in the soil of the few pots I have, so I think I need to turn my yellow thumb green and wise up on horticulture.
9. Volunteer at local retirement village.
I gained so much out of my trip to the old folks home on Christmas day, so I want to check out any local opportunities to regularly connect with, and give some time to ageing residents.
10. Spend less on groceries each week. Implement smarter spending.
Self-explanatory. I splurge on consumables.
11. Experiment with raw and fermented foods in the kitchen.
I’m in such a food rut right now. I need to collect a few awesome recipes and become more familiar with creative raw cuisine, and of course, overcome my fear of ‘living’ foods that grow & ferment. Kefir tops this list.
12. Take a photography class.
I’ve loved photography for a long time, but since the acquisition of my delicious DSLR, I’d love to get some professional help in taking better pictures. Not just blindly adjusting the settings until the photo is no longer black…
Well, there you have my master to-do-list for the year. I can’t wait to tick them off one by one, up the ante next year and be even more of a petrified mess come January 1st 2012.
I know many of you have also shared your own goals on your blogs, so a collective bonne chance to everyone for the year ahead!
December 26, 2010 § 9 Comments
I’m always a big grinch in the lead-up to Christmas, but when the day arrives, a sheepish smile spreads across my gimpy features as I delicately unwrap gifts on xmas morning, and watch my loved ones do the same. Even better, is sitting around a simply laid table in the stillness of a sweltering Australian afternoon surrounded by excellent food and charming, intelligent and slightly intoxicated individuals.
2 tiny bursts of flavour as grown on our balcony, still warm from the sun.
Mum has a Kombi fetish. She evidently carries the dominant hippie gene that has been passed down; although I can’t say I share the same enthusiasm for novelty salt & pepper shakers.
Amongst the happy snaps, I thought I’d share a little health-related happenings of late. After all, this is a health blog if I remember correctly, with a decidedly photographic slant of late.
One of the reasons my healthy-living libido dropped a few weeks ago, and the blog became decidedly undernourished, was that I became sick. Sick with some kind of viral infection that, while not severe enough to lay me low, persisted with irritating, uncomfortable symptoms. In fact, on day 10 of the raw food trial I started coming down with these flu-like symptoms; my nose was gushing like Victoria falls and at the same time, I turned to cooked comfort food to satisfy an errant cookie craving. In hindsight this was probably part of the entire detox process, and I’ve also read that illnesses that you’ve had in the past can resurface before leaving your body for good. I had quite severe glandular fever when I was about 16 (mononucleosis) and I felt perhaps this was again rearing it’s fugly head.
Since then it’s safe to say, I’ve been a cruel mistress to my already immunocompromised insides. Compounding the sickness, i’ve been eating super clean for one week, then downing an array of franken-foods the next (some not even vegan – no meat of course, but ice cream and cheese may have featured). I don’t feel I have to stick to a rigid vegan ideal (however I would never touch cringe-worthy cage eggs or pig-fat soft serve); it’s more that my innards have been subjected to a roller coaster of dietary randomness, with foreign foods not seen for months, interspersed with super-food smoothies and wholesome raw goodies.
In an oversized nutshell, I have felt decidedly unhinged and have called into question both my general health, and the respect that seemed to be altogether absent in my dealings with my own body.
Why was I sick when I continually invest so much into my health?
Am I deficient in something?
Did I go into the raw diet too fast and cause myself greater harm than good?
Why do I find myself constantly placing undue stress on my body (ie. eating way too many sweets in a sitting & effectively sending my body into crazy adrenal overload)?
Why why why why why for the love of all that is sprouted why?
For if there’s one thing i’ve learned, it’s that how we eat is just as important as what we eat. I have a rudimentary understanding of food combining and the importance of proper elimination; I realise that eating some things in combination with others can inhibit the absorption of certain vitamins; I know that if we eat while stressed, we are unable to digest food effectively; I believe that overeating places stress on the body and contributes to ageing and other chronic illness; I feel we need to allow ourselves a little room for fun, frivolity and freedom because happiness is crucial to health, and vice versa.
I could talk about these things until I was blue in the jowls, however putting them into practice has proven more difficult.
So with my recent resolve to avoid orthorexia and be more flexible in my dietary needs (without giving up my predominantly vegan values and committment to health) I also made the decision to:
a) improve my immune function and make sure I am not missing essential factors in my diet.
b) bring more mind into mind/body wellness. A repeat offender for ignoring mental health in favour of the physical, I am taking the lead of individuals I admire and bringing some yoga and meditation into my life. My new mantra is OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM….nom, nom, nom.
c) play nice with my body. Don’t bully, belittle or badger; criticize, castigate or condemn; denounce, degrade or disparage…
d) quit alliterating. It’s doing my head in.
With bizarre illness still kicking on, in a pretty muted, fatigue-ey, throat-ey, gland-ey kinda way, I went and stocked up on Astragalus (for immune function), milk thistle (treat possible liver inflammation from mononucleosis) and Zinc (also for immune function, amongst other things), dosed up on Spirulina, barley grass and seaweeds, have been trying to include adequate protein, and lots of fresh fruit for vitamin C (as always). I’ve also been doing yoga each morning, and sometimes of a night, and generally trying to focus my attention on pacifying my peevish mind (ah, seem to have already reneged on committment d).
Treating your body with kindness may just be the best gift you could give yourself. What do you all think about this approach? Ever had health doubts or moments of questioning your own resolve?
Onto lighter topics, look what Santa brought maj! Isn’t he a hip, rockin’ dude? The speediest, flashiest model of VFF’s no less. I have vibram envy.
Leftovers from christmas eve dinner. I made a fairly scrumptious quinoa salad from a recipe here. And also a strawberry & baby spinach salad from Golubka – please go to this blog now. It may just be heaven in html.
Dissecting the goods.
Typical aussie bouquet of natives.
Hope you all had a beautiful, relaxing holiday x
December 3, 2010 § 9 Comments
To coin an appropriate American acronym, TGIF.
This Girl Is Fried.
- Monday I learned that shit-boring, piss-easy subjects do not always have shit-easy piss-boring exams. False advertising.
- Tuesday I questioned my capacity for cramming. Is learning 5 body systems in one night considered responsible exam preparation?
- Wednesday I unloaded all my anatomical knowledge, my mind a blank canvas for more intellectual abuse to come.
- Thursday I cut crustless sandwiches into elaborate works of art for the kids I babysit. No squares & triangles here – they want the goddamn Archibald prize! Needless to say, I shed a tear when my intricate designs were promptly chewed, regurgitated and smeared in unimaginable places.
- Today I took executive action and fashioned myself a new hairstyle. Kitchen scissors give the ultimate shag-effect. I was desperate.
In other news, I’ve been happier than ever with my new rawcentric diet, having more protein rich cooked meals like buckwheat and beans on the odd occasion I experience legume lust, but generally, most of what I want is FRESH, RAW and VIBRANT.
Was totally inspired by a recipe from The Kitchen Operas a few weeks back for spiralized zucchini pasta with a simple anti-pasto-esque dressing. I threw this together with some extra virgin olive oil, fresh cherry tomatoes, delicious herb-marinated organic olives and a kick of chilli. On the side I munched on a couple of awesome dehydrated flax crackers (can’t remember the brand) that gave the meal some more staying power. Supremely tasty and satisfying.
Also, remember this?
I made this ‘goals’ board quite a few weeks ago now after months and months of ‘should-ing’ and generally neglecting my grand plans for personal development.
Can I just say, these things are magical like Harry Potter. I feel like a muggle who just caught a glimpse of Hagrid’s flying motorcycle. It’s UNCANNY how many of my short-term goals have already come to fruition (in full or in part) and I think just having a tangible, visual reminder of what you are striving for helps it all come in to being in a seriously scary way. Good scary, like Scary Spice.
Anyhoo, I’d recommend you all take some time to write a few short, long, and wildest dream inclusive goals.
I feel like sitting down and conjuring up the maddest, most fanciful dreams I could think of really set something interesting in motion. I realised we are often self-limiting in what we believe we have the capacity to achieve, using phrases such as ‘I could never…’ or ‘That will be the day…’. Yes, that WILL be the day, because I’m confident that successful people simply visualise and aim for what others pass off as too hard, too intimidating, too far removed from the comforts of normalcy.
I would make a fearsome motivational speaker, albeit incoherent. (Did we, or did we not just jump from Scary Spice to life affirming goals?)
What are your craziest, wildest dreams?
November 13, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Firstly, thanks for the v. sweet comments and pro-raw support. Your virtual pep talks get me through!
Truth be told however, this has so far been the most natural feeling ‘diet’ in the world, and I haven’t experienced any hellacious cravings or ‘I wish that was me wrapping my fangs around a juicy burger’ moments at all. Yes it’s only day three (well, day 2 recap for you! Still catching up). Yes i’m going to remain cautiously optimistic that 80/10/10 raw is somehow my life calling, and will revolutionize my being. Day three wisdom rules.
I woke up feeling great, so much so that I took my vibrams off for a beachside stroll pre-breakfast. Early morning workouts are a rarity seeing as my all-encompassing love of food calls for nourishment, pronto, upon awakening. Today was the exception. The walk turned into a wistful stroll at the water’s edge, lamenting that I hadn’t worn my swimmers for a 7am dip. The longing pout turned into a loopy grin as I realised bathers weren’t necessarily a requirement, and launched into the surf irregardless of running attire. The impromptu swim turned into one hell of a chafing on the way home.
Breakfast this day was more substantial, and included a whole young coconut, smoothie with 2 bananas, broccoli greens and carob, chia seeds in young coconut water and apples, of which I could only manage one. Stuffed does not begin to describe.
Like yesterday, I experienced ‘spaceyness’ mid-morning, this time accompanied by a slight headache. I felt pretty lethargic and forced myself out of the house to try and snap out of it. It seemed to dissapate after lunch, with those crazy giddy feelings of random excitement appearing out of nowhere later in the afternoon.
Lunch featured more kale and more mountains of grated veg, with a pretty beetroot jus.
More banana/avocado pudding action.
I think I ate my weight in apples and pears as well, and took another huge salad with tahini for dressing + giant fruit salad with banana to work with me.
This was where I started to feel not too hot, and after a few hours standing around behind the counter my stomach started to swell, feeling bloated and distended, and I couldn’t even finish my salad. Some tum was not happy, and made it’s feelings known. The rest of the night I had an uncomfortable stomach ache, accompanied by some digestive woes, that may be due to incorrect food combining (fats + fruits) or more probably to do with the massive increase in fiber and general volume of my diet.
I came home hungry, but still feeling like a giant gaseous planet, so devoured 1.5 frozen bananas just for good measure.
In other respects though, I feel like this has been really easy for me to dive into, as I feel completely ‘balanced’ in terms of listening to my body’s cues for hunger, and delightfully satisfied by the array of sweet fruits at my disposal. My friends think i’m bonkers, I prefer nutritionally eccentric.
Thanks again for the well-wishes, hope you’re all having a great weekend, and I would LOVE to hear about any crazy lifestyle experiments you yourselves have embarked upon!
November 12, 2010 § 12 Comments
How is everyone? I’ve been off in my own dreamy little world of books, beach romps and study sesh’s. Oh, and i’m officially raw. For now.
Double take. WHAT?!
Let’s start a the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start.
Basically, in a lazily brief summary, all this immersion in books such as Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, countless ebooks and websites concerning the raw food diet and even Born to Run, have contained a common thread that suggests returning to a simpler, more natural way of being that i’ve latched onto with the fire of one thousand red-heads.
In Born to Run, arguments spring forth that we are in fact, running people whose innate ability to pound out 100 mile marathons and scamper over boundless plains in pursuit of an animal target (while practically barefoot) leaves modern notions as to the dangers of jogging and the necessity for shiny new Nike’s with 10 layers of astonishingly expensive air underfoot, lacking. The last vestiges of this superhuman stamina manifest in the Tarahumara Indians, living in isolation in the treacherous Copper Mountains in Mexico. They eat a simple diet in accordance with the natural resources at their disposal (including Chia Seeds, thank you very much) and run, because it’s what they’ve always done.
Many of our modern woes, such as obesity, shin splints and knee reconstructions it is argued, actually stem from a) inactivity and b) crazy, cushiony joggers that cause us to run incorrectly when really, our natural barefoot method conditions us in the correct way. Yet another example that simple & natural is best.
Similarly, Deepak Chopra has unleashed in me a new found appreciation of thoughts, feelings, energies manifesting in the physical. Having positive intentions and visualizing what you want in life seems to align with much of what I already took to be true – going through life with a positive outlook & appreciating the lessons we experience daily, if we care to look, goes a long way towards happiness.
But what in the name of Buddha does this have to do with raw foods?
For one, I’m increasingly aware of the energy of things; it’s no secret that fresh young coconuts bring me so much happiness that I find myself talking, thinking and dreaming about them (incidentally, my desire for coconuts often manifests in bouquets of them arriving at my doorstep care of the man, and other visitors. Ask and ye shall receive my friends!).
I now know that the intense joy of cleaving open a juicy young nut may be due to more than just an unhealthy addiction. There is also an energy at work in these beautiful, fresh, organic foods.
Kirilian photography, as seen above, is a form of (controversial) imaging that claims to capture energy fields as emitted by animate objects. Likewise, photographs of water that has been bestowed with ‘blessings’ show it taking beautiful, crystallized forms, influenced seemingly by the power of positive intention.
Regardless of whether this is altogether too heavy on the chakras and spoon-bending for you, there is no denying that energy is fundamental to all life – it animates us, and the things we eat. When I have the misfortune of going to a chain supermarket, I see mountains of packaged food, unnaturally shiny apples and a pronounced absence of living energy. These foods seem to be ‘dead’, and retain little or none of their former vitality. They have been chopped, waxed and polished into submission.
When I frolic around in my little organic fruit store of choice however, I see dirty, intact, and gloriously nuanced examples of real produce, recently picked and grown in happy, chemical-free surrounds.
Interestingly, that Healing with Wholefoods book that you’re probably dead sick of hearing about, points out the importance of preparing your food with care and with gratitude; if it is for a sick person, try to imbue the meal with positive thoughts and energy because food created and eaten with stress and negativity damages the whole vibe. Maaaaan.
This is one aspect of why I think it’s just grand to eat living foods (but not in a cruel way, I consult the veggies first to gain their consent )
So. Back to raw.
The lovely Kate kindly sent me an ebook on raw foods at the beginning of the week that I promptly devoured in a matter of hours. It is by a veritable guru of living foods named Frederic Patenaude and champions the 80/10/10 way of eating; that is, eating 80% calories from carbohydrates, 10% from protein and 10% from fat. Basically fruit/veg/some seeds and nuts.
Wowzer! You scared?! I’m sure as hell not.
The way this diet plays out is eating pounds of fruit and vegetables each day along with some seeds, whilst trying to limit dietary fat.
I can hear you yelling profanities at me already. My flatmate immediately verbalised multiple levels of distrust in the whole scheme.
Allow me to address them as best I can.
Firstly, please know that I am trialling this – I don’t know for how long. I’m a huge believer in forming an opinion based on experience, because I realise there are compelling justifications for any and every school of nutritional thought. This is why, besides all the astounding accounts i’ve read of the 80/10/10 diet, I’m aiming for practical application in my own life. It could be life-changing, it could be too hard, it could end in tears. Bring it.
On a practical level, let me make a few pro-low-fat-raw arguments.
As long as i’m getting adequate calories each day, I will reach my protein requirements with ease.
The recommended protein intake for an adult is around 10% from total calories, however many people on the SAD (standard American/Australian diet) consistently achieve an excess. Interestingly, the protein content of a mother’s milk is around 6%, 6% at the time of crucial growth and development of a child. Does this tell us something?
All fruits and vegetables contain protein, though a common misconception that resulted largely from the ‘incomplete protein theory’ by Frances Moore Lappe is that they are not optimal for humans. It suggested that because there are no complete sources of the essential amino acids in plants as there are in meat, we would need to combine them in certain ways for proper nutrition. Frances herself later admitted that this theory was incorrect upon discovering that the body stores amino acids in such a way that we do not need to consume them ‘all-in-one-go’.
So frankly protein is the least of my worries.
You may also be worried by the ‘low-fat’ aspect of this approach. In no way have I ever sought to reduce dietary fat intake, and the word ‘skim’ makes me shudder. However after reading Frederic’s compelling explanation as to how detrimental high-fat vegan diets can be, and my own research that points to an overload of fat in the bloodstream making it harder for insulin to carry-out glucose reuptake by the cells (thus resulting in permanently elevated blood sugar levels), I feel quite confident in the 10% fat ideal. It also rings true with what my naturopath mentioned to me months ago about how she thinks my body struggles to metabolize too much fat.
Only when stopping to assess my ‘normal’ diet did I realise how much fat I was actually putting away. I was snacking on loads of Tahini, nuts, seeds…lard. I think this was also the cause of a lot of skin issues.
I’m also making sure to get ample calories. You cannot go successfully raw on 80/10/10 if you assume you can just keep eating your normal portions and replacing them with fruit and salad. I’ve tried this once before when I was a hopeless newbie and experienced the dizzy, fuzzy-headed emotional train-wreck that comes from a malnourished Katey. As supernanny says, it is no’ acceptable.
Would you like to know the magnitude of my eats to meet my energetic needs?
It goes something along the lines of, 300 bananas.
Maybe not that many, but seriously, a monkey-load of bananas. Amongst other delightful fruits, vegetables, seeds and avocado (but not TOO much).
Speaking of monkeys, another argument for the low-fat-raw-diet is the fact that our closest genetic counterparts; primates like chimpanzees and gorillas eat in a similar way, gorging on fruits, some veg and nuts when in season. And look at them! Beasts.
But what about variety you ask? To that I say, there is an abundance! When you begin to eat fruits and vegetables in their natural state, you cultivate an obscene enjoyment of their perfect, simple taste. They are SO DELICIOUS on their own; why meddle with that mother nature chick?
There is probably a ton more raw food propaganda that I could hurl at you, but for now, my tirade ends here.
Oh, here are some irrelevant pictures of my new ‘goals’ board for your viewing pleasure. Mock away! But I will get that camera garnsarnit.
This is also a failed smoothie-in-a-bowl I made the other day. It was so promisingly pretty but so totally puke-worthy. I though you might like to observe the grossness!
There you have it! I can’t believe I just shared this on the internet…so accountable right now. I’m hoping to give 100% raw a decent go, so I too can share that boundless energy and mental clarity which so many converts claim to experience. I want raw nirvana, pronto.
Here are some great links too, if you don’t feel sufficiently drained from the epic length of this post!
November 5, 2010 § 9 Comments
Hey hey hey blogerinos!
What’s this top secret plan that is unfolding in the halls of Bonne Santé? Well, it’s not really that top secret nor planned, but it does involve a day of impromptu raw-dom. You could say i’ve been in the raw for the past 24 hours.
I usually try to eat 2 meals a day uncooked, but have been toying with the idea of experimenting in a more extreme sense, with complete & utter raw behaviour. Just for a day. Just to dabble in the world of boundless energy, heightened awareness and excessive crunching. (I also realise that it would take a longer stint of said eating to reap such grand benefits, but humour me here.)
Day one? I’m wanting it to roll over into day two.
I have a strange feeling that this kind of eating just sits right with my particular constitution (even in Ayurvedic medicine, my dosha is best suited to a vegetarian diet with lots of raw, cooling foods). Read more about doshas here.
Again, I hear you, it will take time.
But why not enjoy the most tasty, delicious smoothie known to wo-man on such a glorious day?
Avocado, Banana, Tahini & Honey thickshake
1 medium frozen banana
1/2 ripe avocado
1 tsp tahini
1 tsp raw honey
1 cup raw nut milk
I know i’ve gone on about delicious avocado creations in the past, but i’m going to hammer it home: avocado makes for a rich, creamy, mousse-like raw drink, beyond your wildest sexy veggie dreams!
This was one of the best tasting things of my life…and I don’t say that lightly! I plan to test it on the
guinea pig boyfriend this weekend, wheee!
So back to raw talk. What the hell have I been eating?
Well, there are many camps in the raw brigade; low-fat, high-fat, intricately prepared dehydrated masterpieces, simple fruit &vegetarians… Confusing for a girl who is notoriously indecisive.
To me, it seems sensible to eat a majority of vegetable & fruit matter, with a few fats for satiety and perhaps some sprouted grains here and there. Contrary to popular belief, you are supplied with ample proteins from vegetables, seeds & nuts – no deficiencies here. Likewise, calcium is also found in green leafy vegetables & sea veggies in abundance. To Osteoporosis I say, begone!
I mainly want to make sure I get enough calories (not that I care about those little buggers in any real sense) because it’s easy to undereat on a diet of so much water & fiber.
Today I ate:
1 young coconut + chia seeds
1 blood orange
sultanas & goji berries
few slices pineapple & rockmelon
above avocado smoothie
giant salad with kale, baby spinach, carrot, zucchini, beetroot, mushrooms, sesame seeds & seaweed
another giant salad with the other half of the avocado, a some soaked almonds, flax-seed oil & lemon juice
I don’t think was quite enough calories, but it just feels like you’re eating HEAPS! This is why it sits so well with me, obviously I love to feel like I can eat a whole basket/bucket/trailer-load of something and be on the right track.
Since I’m spamming you with articles, I’ve been collecting a few that I thought might tickle your fancy-pants:
* The importance of detoxing to combat acidosis & toxemia – Kate from Green and Juicy (fellow aspiring Naturopath!) sent me this link and it’s a very informative read.
* 3 causes of illness – from Crazy Sexy Life – are you hooked up with this amazing resource yet?!
* Raw for 30 days; reversing diabetes – trailer for the documentary
* Alcohol more damaging to health than crack cocaine – Natural News article
* Not strictly health related, but check out these insanely cute, eco-friendly totes, purses & make-up bags from Apple & Bee - my friend sent me the link & i’ve had to restrain myself from buying the whole collection as christmas presents (Mum, look away, you may or may not be receiving one of these…along with the rest of my extended family. Ha!)
What are your thoughts on raw foods? Are you a raw foodist, or think it’s too extreme? Any tips for the Bonne Santé newbie?