The knights of cram-a-lot.

September 29, 2010 § 12 Comments

Ahoy!

O to the M to the G, thank Gaia i’m on holidays!

Today began with an exceptionally pleasant Anatomy exam, straight off the bat at 8.30am. I have never crammed so hard in my life. I was crammin’ terms and concepts down my throat so hard I think I forgot my name at one point. Trivial details my friends.

The barrage of exams over the past couple of weeks has really killed what little study mojo I previously had – it’s all been last minute, panic-stricken rote-learning scrambles that have not really instilled the facts permanently in my brain. Rather, all exam-relevant info was excreted like the despicable waste it is at approximately 10.31am, 1 minute past the end-time. Ah, what a great naturoapth I will be; my knowledge will be a veritable patchwork of random, disconnected elements informed by how much attention I paid in class. But guys, COME TO ME! I know my shit.

For post brain-liquefying lunch, I had a salad bowl with amaranth, balsamic & lemon. Simple, delicious.

The boy then came round for celebratory din-wah.

I was greeted with, “I did something corny…”.

Did you eat genetically-modified corn? Have you ingested corn-fed beef? Was your dessert sweetened with high fructose corn syrup?

No?

Then whatever you have done is faaaaiiiine by me!

Please note: the kind of corn I condone.

Les fleurs, les fleurs!

We don’t usually do romantic gestures, but this one I accepted with alacrity (and a deep-hued blush).

Please also note that my bf has also been known to bring me ‘bouquets’ of young coconuts. I’m not quite sure where I found him, but I hope he hangs around 🙂

This is going to be a very short post because I have to be in bed, like 1 hour ago to get up at the whip-crackle & pop of dawn tomorrow for a loooooong drive.

To update on mindful eating, I think i’m finally getting somewhere! Huzzah! The whole serene-eating scenario is working absolute wonders. It’s incredible how effective taking 20 minutes to simply sit, undistracted and focused on the meal before you really is. I feel fuller for longer, more content and certainly more connected to the food I am consuming; silent eating is here to stay!

I also wanted to mention an amazing bloggess, Michelle, over at Health Food Lover who was kind enough to feature my amaranth recipes in a recent post. I’m extremely flattered! (And also dubious that some poor souls may be trying to follow my vague, imprecise measurements to conduct their first encounter with the super-seed. Eeek!)

Michelle is currently running a competition to celebrate her 1st blogoversary with some awesome prizes, so I encourage you guys to check it out!

And this gal now needs to crash! Goodnight x

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More ways with Amaranth; Mindful eating challenge update.

September 26, 2010 § 6 Comments

Gloooooorious Sunday to you all!

Another cracking day to distract me from Wednesday’s looming Anatomy & Physiology exam.

Ahhh, hang it, I cram therefore I am!

Seriously, give me too much prep time and I lose that vital adrenalin rush that only comes with leaving chapters of content to the dying moments of the night before. It’s the way I roll yo.

This morning, I was greeted by a delectable sunlit breakfast; fishtank-green algae shake & ginger tea (goes by no other foul-sounding alias).

Who am I kidding? This breakfast did not spontaneously spring into being and materialise on my carpet; there was no doting mother presenting it to me as I stumbled out of bed hungry & demanding (although there may be in ONE WEEK when I visit Bonne Ma in W.A!!!)

God I go on…

Anyway, after I made it myself and arranged it artfully on the floor, I thought it looked rather pretty in the springtime sun.

Droooooooooooool.

Looks like a bubbling cauldron. Did I mention in order to create the swamp shake, one must dance around the blender chanting incantations (*spirulina maca chia, spirulina maca chia!*) and cackling like an old crazy cat lady?

Yes yes, a delicious start to the day.

And now…

UPDATE on the mindful eating challenge:

I could tell you that I’ve been utterly devoted to the cause, mindfully eating like a champ with all good things to report…

…But I would be lying through my crooked, yellowing cat-lady teeth.

I actually feel as if I am going through a really snacky stage right now, possibly due to pushing the exercise a little more, being bored whilst studying, and still experiencing ‘trust’ issues with my body as to whether it is full or or just tricking. (You’re not full *ho ho ho*, you just need some more CEREAL that’s what!!!)

Being completely aware of this tendency whilst simultaneously filling another cup full of museli does not, I fear, equate to mindful eating

Ultimately having the ‘challenge’ in my head has somehow inspired me to think about food moreso than usual, and despite all good intentions, I cannot say I have formed better eating skillz over the last couple of weeks.

I do think I am learning to recognise when I am truly hungry; it’s the habits I have to work on!

This morning however, I did eat my breakfast sitting listening to the radio; no phones, no TV, no newspaper, no computer. It was rather pleasant.

Similarly, lunch had the same peaceful, anti-technological feel.

It was also an homage to the gorgeous, summery weather we’ve been experiencing here in Sydney over the last few days.

Avomatato & Amaranth Springtime Salad

(Avocado, Sweet Potato & Tomato!)

Another amaranth experiment.

It turned out well, however I would dearly love to have used quinoa for this as the amaranth ends up much like polenta; it was very mushy and not-quite suited to the salad theme. I, being a hangry monster, still considered it delightful!

(serves 2-3)

For amaranth

1 c amaranth

2.5 c water

1 c chopped greens (I used english spinach)

seasoning (salt & pepper or herbamare)

For salad

1 tomato, diced

1/2 avocado, diced

1 sweet potato, cut into 1-2cm dice & roasted with olive oil & seasoning (I used cajun, mmmmm!)

big handful of fresh coriander

Dressing

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

juice & zest of 1/2 a lemon

cracked black pepper

  • Cook amaranth in water with seasoning until absorbed, throwing in greens at the end to wilt.
  • Combine roasted sweet potato pieces, tomato, avocado, coriander & dressing in a bowl.
  • Serve salad over amaranth (or quinoa, or cous cous) and garnish with pepper & coriander.
  • I also squeezed extra lemon over mine, because I’m a citrus fiend.

Fresh and tasty!

Well my friends, it’s here I leave you.

If you were working on mindful eating, how did it go? Any tips for a struggling lass?

Goodnight! x

Mindful Eating Challenge

September 11, 2010 § 5 Comments

So yesterday I left you with a gut-wrenching cliffhanger in which I gamely set myself up for an all-out public shaming.

So what is this paramount task?

Nudie ruuuun!

(lewd source)

Ah I wish it were that entertaining, but alas, it is altogether more serious, requiring courage and fortitude and all those noble attributes I may/may not possess.

I challenge myself to eat mindfully for a month. That’s right, I’m layin’ it down. I DARE ME to eat when hungry, listen to my hunger cues, and opt for foods that will satisfy said hunger, from today (11th Sept) to the 11th October.

Sounds easy right? Trivial even, for something that should be such an innate ability. What concerns me is the difficulty with which I view this simple task – I consistently wonder if I haven’t lost the ability entirely to respect my bodily hunger pangs, instead adhering to a finely-tuned ritual of eating in accordance with time, convenience, and unfortunately boredom (not so finely-tuned).

I also suspect that many other people out there, upon reflection, could too testify to these habits. How often do we really, truly trust our bodies to guide us? Let it be known that we all have an intrinsic, highly intelligent mechanism for alerting us to how much to eat, when, and even the kinds of nutrients we require…we just need to dig a little.

I am therefore taking it upon myself to test this novel theory. You are welcome to join me, or alternatively suggest a healthy challenge of your own 🙂 (email me: katey {dot} payne {at} live {dot} com)

A little more about what i’m aiming for:

  • Re-engagement with food for fuel and nourishment.
  • Exploration of the bodies own, natural mechanisms regarding hunger and satiety.
  • Less distraction whilst eating – I will try to chew consciously, eat more deliberately and switch off the thousand-and-one technological devices that usually accompany mealtimes.
  • Listen to what it is my body is asking for. Do I feel like something cooked or raw? Sweet or savoury? Light or heavy?
  • Distinguish between hunger and thirst. (Did you know that a majority of the time that we think we need food, our body is actually calling for hydration?)
  • Give myself permission to eat. (Thank you Kallie!) So what if it’s not yet lunchtime? If i’m really hungry all morning, perhaps I genuinely need more fuel to get me through the day.

What do you think? I feel it’s an important achievement, as this will underscore a lifetime of balanced, harmonious munching.

And if that wasn’t inspiration enough, I also took the liberty of introducing a rewards system in the event of success! And what better, than a Book Depository splurge, right?!

On the wishlist:

  1. Eat, Drink & Be Vegan – Dreena Burton
  2. Perfect Health – Deepak Chopra
  3. Eating for Beauty – David Wolfe
  4. Animal Liberation – Peter Singer
  5. Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen – Ani Phyo
  6. The China Study – T. Colin Campbell
  7. Thrive – Brendan Brazier
  8. Raw Food Real World – Matthew Kenney/Sarma Melngailis
  9. The Brain That Changes Itself – Norman Doidge
  10. My Stroke Of Insight – Jill Bolte Taylor
  11. The Food Revolution – John Robbins

Waaaaa! So many amazing titles! Perhaps not ALL of them will make it inot my online shopping trolley, but I will continue to lust after them all the same…

Well folks, that there is the plan – let it be publicly known so I am duly accountable! Wish me luck.

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