Thursday, April 4, 2013

Nutrition and Beauty: I'm pretty sure they're related.

A few reasons...

Firstly, whenever I eat a lot of sugary foods, I get pimples. Usually I have fairly clear skin, but when I OD on junk processed chocolates (ie, around Easter Time) I break out. All over. Chest, shoulders, face. It's not acne standard, we're talking 3-4 at a time, but it's still very very annoying. Especially when you went and got fake nails the other week and can't pop the damn pimples because crazy thick nails are next to useless for all the things you need them to do.

Secondly, when I eat processed crapola like too much bread, or (non eggplant crust) pizza, I start to get fat in a really odd spot. Well you know, as well as in the usual spots that fat loves to hang out. It's my neck. I get a fat neck. Like my chin would like to be much better friends with my chest, or multiply, or something. But this is a particular "I'm only doing this for processed carbs" spot. It doesn't matter how thin I am on the rest of my body, if I'm eating wrong my neck stays flabby. And if I put on weight eating too much GOOD stuff, I just get a curvy butt but my neck stays slender. Bizarre. It runs in the family too, but my other siblings are pizza/pasta addicts and refuse to experiment with giving them up.

Lastly, alcohol. Alcohol is shit. It dries me out so badly, no matter how much water I drink to balance it out. And it makes me gain fat in a specific spot too. Which is my midsection. If I'm super healthy in all other ways, but drink too much, I start looking like an egg on legs. Wine waist is not a good look for me. Even more so when it comes with flaky skin and frizzy hair. Humpty Dumpty as a mad scientist, that's me.

So anyway, my point is, the things you put into your body don't just affect you in a linear, calories-in-calories-out, way. They have particular unique effects, that are different not only between types of food (or other ingestible substance), but also different between people. Maybe the sugar and the alcohol effects might be similar for most, but I bet processed-carb-turkey-neck isn't a mainstream affliction.

Good nutrition changes your body in more ways than one.

Watch what you eat, yo.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How I get through (boring) cardio

Long story short, I read.
Long story long, it's all about flow.

See the book I've been reading the last few elliptical sessions (did 45min today, Woop) is all about human emotions. How they work, what they're for, how to use them, all that good stuff. Very very insightful and interesting book, well worth a look for just about everyone.
So, as I'm striding along on the elliptical today, book in hands, I was reading about a chapter on empathy, related to which is something called 'flow'. Flow, as far as I understand, is when you get so into an activity that you lose yourself. It's like a transcendental state of hyper concentration, yet simultaneous oblivion.
We've all had at least one experience of being so wrapped up in what we're doing that it feels like we're not even giving orders anymore, our body is just performing on autopilot, and nothing outside of that even registers.
The author says sex, *good sex*, is an example of this. (Good sex sans wandering, interruptive, toddlers me thinks)

And I realised, I get this feeling of flow sometimes when I'm reading. Which is why I can go on the elliptical for an extended period of time without even realising how hard I'm working.
I'm no good at running, I feel every little pain and discomfort, and I get bored, even with music on. The time just drags. Lion King can. He talks (and writes) about getting this flow while running.
We're very different.
But reading, on the elliptical, the time passes without me even noticing. It's fantastic!
It's like I just settle in to read this interesting book, and suddenly this machine is beeping at me saying I've burned all these calories and I'm dripping in sweat and my legs feel like jelly.

So if, like me, cardio doesn't really engage your interest, find something else to do (while you exercise) that does!
Apparently just by concentrating and focusing you can get flow, and this exercise without remembering you're exercising.

...But, there's a catch. The task has to be the right level of difficult. If it's too easy, you'll be too bored to reach flow, but if its too hard you'll be too frustrated.
So don't go for calculus, but possibly not a picture book either.
Books about emotional intelligence work perfectly.

Or, you know, if you hate reading as much as you hate cardio, just find something else :)
What else is good to do while exercising? Music? Audio books? Podcasts? Watching TV? Knitting?
Lets share ideas :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 15

So I'm continuing longer than I thought.
I'm actually finding doing this really helpful.
I can't fool myself into forgetting all the small ways I undermine myself, and how regularly I do it.

Definitely time for a Whole 30.
And with Easter coming this weekend. Maybe that's bad timing. ...OR maybe it's great timing.
I can do it. I just need to prepare and plan.


Well anyway today was:

Woke up. Coffee
Uni for a few hours
Gym - elliptical
Home, had sausage, and cucumber salad
Dinner was crumbed fish, roast potato and pumpkin, green peas, and salt-n-pepper tomato slices.

But after dinner, had chocolate and cider. Tsk tsk.

So... Whole 30 start tomorrow?

Days 13 & 14

Were quite terrible really.
Junk foods all weekend. No exercise.

Except Saturday, I took WildChild to the Territory Wildlife Park, and we walked around there for over 3 hours. So that was exercise. And actually we took healthy snacks (apples and almonds) so it was a pretty healthy day after all.
And in the evening I went to dinner with friends and had an amazing Mayasian fried fish dish, so that wasn't too bad either.
Just the drinking that ruined it all.

Sunday was no good though. Did nothing all day, and then finished it off with McDonalds and more drinks.

Bleargh. So I drank Wednesday through to Sunday. Not too great on the cutting down front.

Okay strictly no alcohol this week at all.

I think I need a better action plan than just saying "I'll do better"...


Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 12. Time to get serious.

I promised myself first thing this morning I would have a day of complete and utter health today.
Real food, big effort at the gym, and NO drinking.

Here's how I went:

Two black coffees
Handful of almonds

Elliptical - 413cal, 5.83km
2 sets of:
30 sit-ups (including twisted sit-ups) with medicine ball
40 Russian twists with medicine ball
10 push-ups (on knees)
30sec plank
20 hip extensions each leg
20 side lying leg lifts

Then I had a "high protein" iced coffee. Which isn't real food at all. And even though I could only get through three quarters of it, it made me feel really sick. So never buying that again.

Then uni work for a few hours... So interesting though. Need to write about some of the stuff sometime.

Then got WildChild and we went to the shops for a chicken salad, and she had an ice-cream too.
Then we got home and had a little left over cake.... Haha bad! But it's grain dairy and refined sugar free, so it's only half bad lol. No, I just forgot I was supposed to be being good.

Ooh well.
Now I'm so full. I don't think I'll eat anymore tonight so I'm signing off :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 11 little brother's birthday

Bad scene last night. Had 5 ciders.
They were low sugar/carb so I'm comforting myself a small amount with that info. But still bad.

But gym this morning.
Elliptical, but did shorter intervals and went 5min longer. So burnt 410cal and did 5.6km. Which is super dooper :)

THEN went to the city to get LittleBrother his present (ticket to see the Wayans Brothers stand up comedy show in May), and had a simply lip-smacking Cajun chicken salad from a little Thai place (I know, Cajun, Thai, what the?), I think called Hum Cafe. Amazeballs! Highly recommend.

Ended the day with KFC, chocolate birthday cake and more ciders.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Late night thoughts on the nature of self

Are we what we are just because we are that way, or do we choose it in certain ways?
If we just are what we are, then why does pretending to be something start to make us feel like we're becoming it? (At least me, it's a bit presumptuous to say 'we' probably)

Since I've started caring more about the way I dress and the way I do my makeup and how my body looks, I've started to feel like I'm losing my depth of character and thought. Like I'm losing myself. Becoming superficial and narcissistic and stupid... And more feminine. But what the fuck?
Getting gel nails makes me feel girly. But that can SURELY not be physiological. It has got to be cultural. So therefore I only feel girly with fake nails because some particular culture that I feel part of dictates that girls/women have pretty nails. Women and girls are decorative. Of course. So then I should KNOW that that doesn't MAKE me anyone, it's purely a construct.
Why do I feel that I'm changing?

I know why. It's because I feel that I APPEAR different. And how we, (sorry I) see ourselves (myself) is very often through the eyes of others. I think they'll look at my nails and makeup and clothes and think "vapid, self-obsessed, unintelligent", so that's how I'm seeing myself.

Interesting ideas to think about... especially in relation to child rearing. I've heard it said before that the words we speak to our children become their inner voice. After thinking about it, I'd have to say I believe it whole-heartedly.

We are EXACTLY what we believe ourselves to be. What we do is who we are.

What are you?

Day 10

I really wanted a glass of wine last night, but didn't have one. I'm kind of proud of myself. Small things lol
I'm sore from my workout yesterday too.
I did have a slice of pizza (damn brothers!) which was the only blemish on my otherwise very healthy day.
I'm seeing patterns of lots of little hiccups everyday. And huge hiccups (spews even) on the weekend, especially if I drink.
Drinking is a double edged sword. Not only is it unhealthy in and of itself, but it also makes you crave unhealthy foods, and not want to workout. And it makes you do dumb things too, ha. Triple edged?
Shame that it's such a good time really.

I think my waist is definitely slimming with the reduced alcohol intake. That's good :)
Also my legs are starting to tone up and even slim down a little because of my elliptical obsession, which is excellent.
Hooray for the gym! And not drinking! Haha

Now if only I could stop myself spending the money I'm saving from not drinking on nails and sales...
I kind of really like my nails now though, I feel so feminine.
I also feel superficial, vapid, and vain... But hey. There's some kind of equation to balance "beauty" and "being a whole and interesting person" I'm sure. Got to work that out. Maybe I'm just prejudiced.

I'm thinking about doing a Whole 30... ( ).
It's basically a month of perfect eating.

Though I might need to start with a whole fortnight first. A whole week even would be good. Baby steps.

Anyways here's my day.

Black coffee
Iced coffee
Grilled chicken salad (excellent! Will buy again, maybe change the mushrooms to something else though) and water

Rest day from the gym. Well it was going to be, just cuz. Then I went anyway because I knew I really wanted to. Deeper down.

And now I'm heating up Chinese mincemeat my dad made last night for dinner.
And I really really want a glass of wine. Don't do it Jayne! Don't do it!

Will I? Won't I? Find out this and more tomorrow on the epic adventure - "Day 11".

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 9, in which I talk about rape culture.

Woke up, had a coffee or two and made a smoothie to have later.

Gym at 10, elliptical. Apparently burnt 345cal today, better than usual.
Then did 3 sets of:
20 sit-ups with medicine ball
40 Russian twists with medicine ball
10 push-ups (managed to struggle through the first set strict, but on my knees after that)
20 hip extensions on each leg

Found a nice cool quiet spot, and finished Dodger.

Then I went to my favourite food spot Sumo Salad, and had a small Morrocan Lamb salad, which was frankly disappointing. 

And then... some stuff made me really really very fucking angry.

I've been reading all over social media about a rape trial in America, in Steubenville.
I've been disgusted to read that many news outlets are outpouring empathy and compassion for the rapists, and not mentioning the victim at all, except to say that she was drunk. That is absolutely sickening.

Victim blaming is not okay. It is not her fault. Being drunk, and near males, does not mean that a girl has given consent to sex acts. It does not mean that any person has the right to have sex with her.
Yes, getting black-out drunk was a little silly, and was not the safest course of action. But she is sixteen. And thought she was among friends. She maybe didn't think that she lived in a world where if there is any alcohol around, every male nearby should be thought of as a threat and potential rapist. And if that is naive, yes of course it is, she's sixteen! 
The only cause of rape, is rapists.

This girl is being treated as if the whole thing was her fault. She is being ignored by certain mainstream media, while they sympathise with her attackers. She is being bullied and threatened by more supposed friends. And, if my own experience is anything to go off, she's probably got other friends and family acting like it never happened at all, instead of providing support and comfort, and possibly even friends calling her things like "damaged goods" behind her back.

Rape and sexual assault are not rare. They happen to people you know. Your friends and your family.
And it isn't just committed by strangers in the street, it is committed by people you know. In Australia, 73% of sexual assaults are by family or people known to the victim. The reported rate for sexual assault against women is around 1 in 10 (1 in 500 for men). BUT only 15% of women actually report to police when they have been sexually assaulted or raped. So where does that put the numbers?
(Here's some stats for the U.S.)
How would you feel if this happened to your daughter/sister/partner? How would you feel if she was treated this way?

And what kind of message does it send to the public, when women or men who do report are treated the way Jane Doe has been treated in the Steubenville case?

It sends the message that rape-victims don't matter. That women don't matter. Women are things, play-things, not real human beings at all. That rape is the victim's fault, for being too drunk, too attractive, too flirty, too [insert excuse for rape here]. There is no fault attached to the perpetrator  It sends the message that men are not in control of themselves, that they can't help it. That they cannot be trusted to respect the autonomy of another human being, and that they don't think of other people as anything more than an orifice.
That is not okay. Women are worth more than that, and men are better than that.

I think it is somehow easier for people to think that the victim caused it. Some women want to believe that they are safe from rape if they only dress or behave a certain way. Seems logical, but then rape would be a lot rarer than it is. I can only guess at why others would think it. Perhaps they don't want to believe that some men are capable of sexual assault and violence? Perhaps they believe that any woman (or man) who dresses or behaves in a certain way deserves to have violence brought against themself? That she(/he) is worthless, and it's just so unfair that a good honest football-playing, A-grade-achieving young person attacker should have their life ruined just because of a drunk/flirty/doesn't-meet-my-standards-for-worthy person victim?

I have a daughter, and I will make sure she learns how to defend herself. No matter how hard we fight, this culture will take a very long time to change. But also, if and when I have sons I will make sure they know that sex is only to happen with consenting partners, and that being drunk, passed out, wearing a certain outfit, or flirting DOES NOT EQUAL CONSENT.
And should any of them, son or daughter, witness or hear about anything happening to, or by, their friends, they are to stand up and fight it. Confront it, or talk to the police, or talk to an adult. But do not ever, ever allow it to go unchallenged.
Culture can change, but it only happens through education, and action.

Anyone who wants to act here's a list, from Pigtail Pals Ballcap Buddies on facebook.
"1. Sign this petition, now 74,000 signatures strong, asking CNN to apologize to the Steubenville coverage:
2. Sign this petition, now 49,000 signatures strong, asking the National Federation of High School Associations to incorporation a sexual violence prevention for their coaches:
3. Look up the address for your local Rape Crisis Hotline and write them a thank you note for the service they provide your community. (Most have PO Boxes easily found with a Google search)
4. Find the website for your local Rape Crisis Center and make a monetary donation, write a thank you note and deliver fresh flowers to their office, or review their Wish List and see what items they could use (bus tickets, postage stamps, office supplies are common requests).
5. Write a letter to the Steubenville victim and say what is in your heart. Publish it as your facebook status or as a blog post. She may not ever see it, but since 1 in 5 women are survivors of sexual assault, either you or someone close to you is a survivor. Show them the silence around this is breaking, and that you are not being quiet.
6. If age appropriate, talk with your children about what this case means for all involved. Talk about what the victim is likely feeling and experiencing, and how they would support her if she were her sister or best friend. Talk about the perpetrators, both the two on trial and those who stood by during the prolonged assault, and what attitudes led them to believe this was a funny act or something that was not a big deal. Talk about the attitudes and language used by the media. Talk about responsible use of social media, and what your family expects of them should they ever be exposed to tweets or Instagrams depicting a crime against someone. Talk about respect for their body and for the bodies of others."

My Sir Terry Pratchett infatuation

I adore the man.
The things he says, the way he writes...
He is so very well read, it makes me wish I was a student of history and literature. His knowledge of the past astounds me, and his visions of the potential of people always terrify me, or give me hope.
He knows that females, while distinct and unique, are just as capable, and just as three-dimensional in their character and their lives, as any male. It is such a loss to the world that more male writers (and in fact males in general) don't share this knowledge.
He seems to never stop pursuing knowledge, and is constantly revising his beliefs and understandings. Even Alzheimer's won't stop him writing and thinking. He just works out how to adapt and keeps going.
His imagination, creativity, and ability to make links is phenomenal.
And who else can make people think deeply and seriously about human horrors while simultaneously making them laugh?

But anyway. Enough of my gushing. I'm on a high because I just finished his latest (and non-Discworld) novel called Dodger, which is a slightly-historical fantasy set in Victorian era London.
I quite missed the magic and absurdity of the Discworld in this, but it was still a riveting adventure, full of the usual intrigue, trickery and cleverness that is any of Sir Terry's books.
I very much enjoyed the brief history lesson at the end too, where the actual historical figures who feature in the story are explained in a little more detail.
But my favourite part of all is the collection of quotes at the *very* end, from a character called Solomon Cohen.

Here they are for you to read and consider.
And if you find nothing at all in these words to stew and ponder over, I feel very sad for you indeed...

(Hope they're readable lol)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 8, one week down

Breakfast was a black coffee and an apple pie smoothie. I had the smoothie because I knew I had no money for lunch once I got to uni and it would be too long to not eat until I got back home.
Did 100 calf raises and 60 knee lifts on each leg

Gym at 2:30
Just the usual elliptical "run" for half an hour.
Also did 3 sets of five reps with a 30lb weight on the peck deck lol. I wanted to do some more weights work, but some guys came in and I didn't want to make a fool of myself.
After picking up WildChild I got home and had an iced coffee and the small amount of smoothie that was left from this morning.

Then I made (basil, lime and balsamic) tuna patties and had a few for dinner :) delicious!

Also had two glasses of wine, whoops! :-S

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 6 & 7 weekend :-D

Day 6:
Had a Hungry Jacks chicken burger (minus one half the bun) coming home from a night out.
Then had chocolate for breakfast
Then had Hungry Jacks again for lunch :-S

No exercise to speak of, except for playing in the pool with WildChild.

And snacked on soya crisps D-:
And then drank all night.

Terrible day for health really lol

Sunday wasn't really any better
Had pizzas and coke for lunch
Sausages for dinner and wine after dinner while I read a new book (Dodger by Terry Pratchett)

Only exercise was playing in the pool. I actually really missed the gym, but I couldn't go because they don't have child minding sadly. Probably should have gone for a long walk...

Anyhoo, will be healthier this week :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 5

Breakfast was a coffee with coconut cream in, and a few spoonfuls of breakfast pudding that I made for WildChild.

Gym at 1:30
320cals on the elliptical (4.64km) which is a bit disappointing really, because I went hard out today. Oh well. Whatevs.
Then did:
3 sets of [10 sit ups, 20 Russian twists with medicine ball]
30sec plank
40 hip extensions on each leg
10 side leg lifts each leg (this was *really* difficult for my injured left side
30sec plank

Thought about doing some more stuff in the shower, but then I didn't.

Got my nails done... I feel so posh and girly haha this is bizarre.

Small smoked salmon salad (from my fav, Sumo Salad).

Now, am drinking vodka cranberries in anticipation of going to a comedy evening :)
Will add any further fooxernal details for tonight, tomorrow.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Day 4

Got up at 7:30
Had two black coffees

Went to class
Lunch was a chicken, bacon and salad roll, but I didn't eat the roll. The chicken was breaded though. Thank gods I'm not coeliac, because I think my uni doesn't even acknowledge their existence, even the salads are full of what products!
Also had an iced coffee.

Gym then. Elliptical machine for 4.49km and 311 calories. Wasn't feeling so crash hot, I think it was because I'd just eating, and I usually do it the other way around.
Also I bought a month membership for the gym. Now I'm committed. $20 a week is a pretty good deal I think, and the manager said she'd let me even sneak into yoga classes for FREE (you are supposed to pay for the gym and the classes separately), win!

Watched an episode of True Blood (OMG everyone has gone so EVIL, I'm horrified!), got WildChild, then got some groceries.
Ate one small spoonful of chocolate ice-cream, and three grapes lol.
Had a few sips of an iced coffee but decided I didn't want it.

Dinner is bratwurst, mashed potato, roasted broccoli and sweet potato (in coconut oil with garlic and cayenne)

No wine tonight!

I just want to say, to end this, that I am in love with the elliptical machine. It makes me feel like I'm running, but it doesn't hurt my knee at all! Also my boobs don't feel so much like they're pendulum swinging from my chin to my belly button!
Three cheers for the elliptical! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!

The end :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 3

Yesterday didn't end so well. I ended up eating some Doritos and chocolate after dinner, watching a Doctor Who marathon with my brothers :-/

Oh well, new day :)

Got up at 8:30 (bed late...)
Two black coffees and an apple/macadamia/coconut mix that I made for WildChild. She rejected it and had coconut and honey instead.

Epic shopping spree (I LOVE that there's a Bardot store right near my house that always has amazing things on the sales racks)
Lunch is a small Sumo salad, mix of beef & roast pumpkin and chicken avocado. And a bottle of water.

Gym at 12
Did my usual elliptical "run", apparently burnt 316calories. Does anyone know, is that even possible? I thought half an hour of cardio was waay less effective than that. Hmm.
Also did 50 sit ups with 4kg medicine ball, and 100 Russian twists with the medicine ball too.
Annnd in the shower I did 20 half squats and 20 rear leg lifts each side too.
All in all I'm feeling pretty worked out.
Iced coffee for recovery.

Another iced coffee at 3, meeting up with a group member for uni.

Afternoon I played in the pool with WildChild for about half an hour too.

Dinner was a stir fry (I really should post the recipe too, it was delicious)

And I'm being bad, and because I had two glasses of wine too....

Damn. I'm really not getting the hang of this at all... Lol

Well... Here's a picture of what I wore today. I thought I looked a bit cute :)
Too bad I was already in my swimmers and about to jump in the pool when I thought of taking a picture :-P

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 1 and 2

Day 1:

Got up at 6:30, had two black unsweetened coffees
While drinking them did :-
40 lifts each leg, front and back
40 knee lifts (this is really hard on my left side)
30 half depth squats

Gym at 9:30
Did 28min on the elliptical, it told me I burned 256 calories (based on weight and age)

Small pesto chicken salad from Sumo Salad and water at 10:30

Iced coffee at 12pm

Frozen pizza at 3:30pm, I know that's terrible. WildChild was desperate for food and the fridge was not very well stocked because I've been away. I could have just not shared it with her, but I did. Oh well.

Dinner was meatballs and salad. The salad was delicious :)

NO Wine!! :-D

Day 2:

Got up at 8:30 (Lazy!)
breakfast was a black unsweetened coffee

Lunch was chicken and avocado sushi and an iced coffee

Gym at 2:30
28min on the elliptical, it told me I burned 311 calories and walked (strode?) 4.49km. Pretty damn good I say for a girl who's got an injured knee!
Iced coffee for afternoon tea, after I picked up WildChild from daycare.

Dinner was spaghetti (lol joke! it's julianne peeled carrots) bolognese, with a little side salad left over from last night.


My food and exercise Journal...or Fooxernal!

So I'm going to journal what I eat and do with my body for the next week. Maybe two. We'll so how fun/interesting/crap it is first.

I injured my knee at the start of the year, and it's still not better. This has caused me to lose all semblance of muscle tone in my left leg, and about half of it in my right. I don't like it!
But the thing is, that it's really difficult to exercise with a knee injury. Can't squat, can't run, sports are definitely out, and I can't even swim properly! UUGGHH there goes everything I ever did for fitness!

I also drink way too much wine. It's my way of relaxing of an evening. And when it's the weekend. And when I'm celebrating. Or commiserating. And when I'm bored... But I think it's giving me wine-waist and that is just not acceptable. I'm going more for the hourglass shape than the wine glass shape.

So anyway this Fooxernal is just to help me reflect on and be more aware of what I'm putting in my body, and what I'm doing with my body.

It's kind of an experiment too. I want to see how easy or hard it is to change parts of myself, and whether I feel like the changes warrant the effort involved. I'm not calorie counting, or measuring food or anything crazy. I have tried that in the past and it is waaayyy more annoying than helpful. I know what is healthy and what is not, I don't need to know every kilojoule to work that out.
Mainly I'm just going to limit my alcohol intake, increase my cardio output, and see whether it helps. And how much.

Here's a picture of me. I'll take another one next week :)

aand, clothes ON this time. Think I got my facial expressions mixed up.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Paleo breakfast, er, pudding?

So I made something for breakfast this morning but I really don't know how to classify it. I was going for a porridge type thing, but it has eggs in, is that allowed?

Anyways it's got a porridge-ish consistency and it is very very filling and satisfying and just a little bit sweet (I know, I know, it's bad to break the fast with sweets, but it's only a little bit... That's fine sometimes right?)

- 2 large eggs
- 2-3 tablespoons of coconut cream
- vanilla essence
- heaped tbsp of nut butter of your choice
- about 1/2 cup of shredded and/or dedicated coconut (I used a combo)

- whisk the eggs, cream and vanilla together in a small non-stick saucepan
- turn the heat to low/medium, stir in the nut butter and coconut and continue stirring while it cooks
- when it has thickened to a consistency that you like (like maybe when it looks like the eggs are cooked) take it off and put it in a bowl and gobble it

Tip: Drizzling a tiny bit of honey and coconut cream over the top made it super delicious

Oh also, I could barely fit a quarter of this in my belly, it is so filling. But I don't usually eat breakfast at all, so there's that. I'm just saying, it could possibly feed 2-3 people depending on appetites :)

Another also: WildChild loved it! She had some fruit alongside but still ate more than me.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gravlax Quiche

This quiche is so so good, I could not keep it to myself, I would just feel too selfish.

If you are a fan of salmon, quiche or both, try this!

I apologise in advance for the fights that will happen over the last piece ;)

- packet of smoked salmon (mine was 315g, which is a bizarre amount if you ask me, but it is what it is)
- dill (I used about 2 tbsp I think, and it was dried not fresh)
- salt and pepper (don't be shy with them either)
- 8 large eggs, whisked
- spring onions (use your own judgement for the amount)
- feta and pine nuts just to sprinkle on the top and make it look pretty (but the feta really does add to the flavour in a delicious way)
- a little sugar (honestly, I don't measure, I just put a little tiny amount...maybe it's not even necessary?)
- pastry for the base (if you're really shit at Paleo eating, or you don't know what Paleo means...)

Mix it all up and chuck it in a greased-with-olive-oil baking dish, bake at about 180 degrees Celsius for about half an hour-ish

Eat it up!

(Also, would probably be heavenly with lemon juice squeezed on it. I have stuffed myself too full already to try it, but I'm pretty certain it would be great. Let me know if you do)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dripstone Cliffs

WildChild and I did a little exploring this morning and found some (I think) pretty cool stuff...

The best thing was Dripstone Point, in between two cliff outcrops we found a little alcove area that had tree roots cascading down the sides and water trickling down from who-knows-where, out to the ocean. Shame the magic of it was ruined by some litter, otherwise it felt like being somewhere that fairies might meet. The jogger with a smelly dog didn't help either.

On the outside of our fairy den, there was some beautifully coloured cliffs and rocks. Apparently the Larrakia Nation People use/d for painting themselves for rituals and ceremonies.
...Which I was quite interested to learn because in the sand there were footprints, lots of them all going the same anti-clockwise direction, that formed a rather large oval shape. There was a bit of a nucleus inside the oval where the sand was also disturbed, but the footprints there were all over, and not clear. I'm thinking dancing?
I wish I could find out more. The prints can't have been there very long because the tide comes right up to the cliffs everyday and covers the entire beach.

The last notable thing was big concrete slabs imbedded in the cliffs, I only found two but I wonder if there's more around the other side. They are full of rusting steel and are very clearly man made. I'd guess they were something from WWII, but I couldn't even begin to guess at their function.

I feel that I need to get my Nancy Drew on and get investigating...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kids Who Clean

WildChild is awesomely helpful. Much more so than I ever would have expected from a not-even-three year old child.

Is it Nature, or is it Nurture? Who knows. But here's some strategies that I've used to (hopefully) instil a belief in the value of work (why is 'housework' different to other work? Because it is thankless?).

I have mostly done housework when WildChild is around. It's a lot easier and faster to get done if she's sleeping or at daycare, but if I do it with her nearby then she SEES it being done, and it is normalised. I can't ask her to do chores in the future if she thinks magical fairies do it while we're out. What children see (and see repeatedly), they internalise.
I'm not so keen that she sees that I'm the only one who ever does the work, while all the males in the house (my father and two brothers) sit on their lazy butts, but hey.

I also try to seem happy whenever I'm working. Put on some music, sing and dance, even just smiling at her while I'm working helps. I saw a study once that said children eat more vegetables when they see their parents smile while eating them, so I figure it will work in this context too. I am genuine though, nobody is jumping for joy about getting to mop the floors, but whistling a tune or smiling isn't hard to do.

I bought her her own mini-size equipment. When she would try to imitate me with adult sized brooms etc she would fall over it, knock things off benches and pretty much make everything much more difficult. With her own she seems much more confident and capable, and actually can be pretty handy with a mop. Also she can go and get them whenever she likes and just practise through pretend-play, which is an extremely important learning experience for young children.

Lastly, I keep it age appropriate. I don't demand that she helps, I ask politely if she'd like to and I don't get angry if she says no. She's not even three yet, I'm not going to start expecting real help with anything for a while. If it matters to you though, she mostly does jump up to help as soon as she sees me with a broom. Also, I don't expect her to be good at it. Sometimes I'll explain a better way to do things, but I'm very relaxed about it, and fully expect that where she helps might need a slight touch up from me if I want it perfect.

And that's about it I think. As I said WildChild is usually super keen to help out, whether it's with cleaning windows, doing the laundry, or fixing a bike. I have no idea whether its because I intentionally use these strategies, or whether its just in her nature to be helpful. But if any of these ideas are of any use to anyone then I'll be glad :)

If you have any strategies or ideas you use with your kids, please feel free to share them!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Coconut rough

So I made some chocolate fudgey mini coconut roughs today with WildChild, based off a fudge recipe on Pinterest which was based off a recipe from the book Practical Paleo.
So it is quite possibly nothing at all like the original, but they are still amazingly delicious!

3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup nut butter (I used a combination, containing macadamia, almond, brazil and cashew)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

(Everything should be virgin and organic and blessed by the Dalai Lama obviously, but I'm super poor so I paid half the price and didn't get the good stuff unfortunately, sorry if that disappoints you)

1. Mix all the stuff together. Oh melt the oil first if you don't live in the tropics like me.
2. Put in mini cupcake coloured-paper-holdy-shape-thingies
3. Refrigerate

4. Nom them up!

These are what we in the notblessedwithamazingmetabolisms world call "treats", or "sometimes foods".
I really really want to keep eating them and eating them, but I also don't want to completely screw my blood sugar, and insulin, and other hormone stuffs (ya know?) so I stopped at two. But I'm warning you, make these for when there are plenty of other people around!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


What is trust?

Is it beautiful passionate faith or sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling "I can't hear you la la la la la"....?

If someone has deceived you, or broken a promise in the past, should you trust them again? Can you ever truly forgive/forget and really trust, or is there always that niggling fear that nothing has changed?

I try my best to be an open book. I share my passions and thoughts and enthusiasms and joys, and I share my pains and seek comfort from others. I don't have secrets.
(I have a secret folder on my phone with naughty pictures of a special someone. But that is a secret to protect their privacy, not because it would actually hurt anyone to see.)
There is nothing in my life, or even my head, that isn't known by at least one other person (and of course if some rogue thought pops in when no-one is around, there's always social media right?).

But not everyone is the same. Not everyone sees openness as positive. Not everyone can, or even wants to, share their whole life with others.

I struggle with people like that. I don't get it.

I understand that people are different and that some need more personal space, or aren't naturally connect-y with other humans. I know that when they do things like never actually answering a particular direct question, or not replying your messages of emotional turmoil because they're busy watching madmen, it doesn't NECESSARILY mean they don't care. They could just be completely and blissfully oblivious to the effects that certain actions have on other human beings.
I understand this intellectually, but I guess the whole system in their brain is so alien for me that it prevents me from really feeling that I can trust them.

Trust is so important to me. I believe it's one of the foundations of any relationship.
A child trusts their parents to care for them. Parents trust teachers to not throttle their children, and also maybe sneak a fact or two into their brains. Employees and employers trust each other to do their jobs properly. Partners trust each other to keep their pants on when they're apart (or maybe not, I think there's a variety of agreed upon behaviours between couples. That's their business).
The point is: without trust, relationships are just superficial. They don't mean anything and they won't last long. It's important.

But whose responsibility is it to maintain it?

I'm in a position with a particular relationship, where the trust has been broken before. We both want to get trust back in the relationship but I am really struggling to. The other person seems to think that it is my responsibility. To move on from the past and to begin again as before without discussion, and without making any changes. They don't want to reflect on what went wrong, and they don't seem to feel the need to PROVE that they deserve trust.
But my mind works differently. I want to analyse the past and try to make improvements. I need to talk about things. I need this person to show me that they are actually motivated to make this work. I want to get trust back, but I don't want to be the only one trying.
And I don't want to feel like I'm just sticking my fingers in ears and making noise, so I can't hear my fears.

I wonder if I am being unreasonable.
If I am just expecting others to change to fit me.
I wonder who should be the one to change.

I know people can change, but can *anyone* change, or only certain types? People don't change if they don't want to, that's for sure.

Can someone who has broken your trust in the past become trustworthy again? Or does the fear remain even if they do change?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rise of the Guardians v. Wreck-It Ralph

So I've taken WildChild to three different movies since we moved to Darwin. This is a reflection of my lack of real human friends to hang out with.

Two of the movies are mentioned just above up there and the third was Life of Pi, which was awe-inspiring and thought-provoking and I loved it, but it wasn't a children's movie so I'm not going to write about it today.

So anyway Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph. Let's compare. Just in case one time aliens abduct you and say you can watch one movie before they eat your brain and these two are the only choices. Or something.

There are some things that really make me love or hate movies: characters.
(Example: I don't really like Toy Story, even though I love the music and the concept and the visuals. Why? Because Woody is an inconsiderate jerk, Buzz is an egotistical idiot, and the only female toy Bo Peep is a terrible role model for girls. Really. Re-watch it, you'll see)

Rise of the Guardians

I liked:
The quirky twists on the traditional characters. Santa is a giant Eastern European with tattoos and a certain intimidating aspect, the Easter Bunny is an awesomely fierce fighter and also Australian (why? No idea, the bunny thing originally started in Nordic countries. Rabbits are actually a foreign pest in Aus that destroy habitats of native animals) and Jack Frost is a playful young man instead of a crotchety old one.

I didn't like:
The female representations. The tooth fairy starts gushing over Jack the second they meet, and is pretty useless overall in fighting the boogeyman. And the human girl child characters are basically ignored, except for one, whose name I think was Muffin, and is a giant scary bully child.
I also *really* didn't like the way the movie completely ignores anything other than typical western cultural beliefs. Every child in the ENTIRE WORLD believes in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, the Easter Bunny and Jack Frost? Um, no. This one aspect of the movie pissed me off so much that I found it difficult to enjoy even the parts I liked. The reasons why it annoyed me so will have to be left for another post.

And now for...

Wreck-It Ralph

I liked:
Basically everything. I love the basic premise, of the "bad guy" in the game wishing he could be a hero for a change. I thought the idea of arcade video game characters meeting, interacting and travelling through power cords was really original and fun.
All of the characters are appealing and relatable and so human in their faults. The main female characters are awesome! One is kick-arse, a save-the-day hero and the other is completely unique, confident and bubbly, and both are extremely determined to achieve their goals.
I loved Ralph, and really sympathised with his quest and challenges. Even Fix-It Felix Jnr is a goody-two-shoes in such a way that he stays likeable and entertaining.
And the actors who did the voices are some of my favourites! I just can't be bothered to look up names, but you'll recognise them by voice I promise.

I didn't like:
The only minor bone I could pick with this movie is the body shape of the Sergeant. She's just a little over the top in that regard, although at least she's still in full body armour....even if it is perfectly, anatomically, form fitting.
And maybe the minimal racial diversity, although I suspect that is reflective of video games in general (anyone know?)

So overall...
If the aliens get you and you have to choose, choose Wreck-It Ralph. It is much more inclusive, much more original and imaginative, and much more fun.
WildChild (emphatically) liked it better, and so did I.

The end.