Jan 26, 2011

Happy Australia Day!!

And HAPPY ONE YEAR BLOGGING TO ME! My little baby blog that I love so much! I thought it was one year today, but it turns out it was one year yesterday. But who's counting right?

So AUSTRALIA DAY!! My day began with a big spirulina banana smoothie made with coconut water, and then I was off to the beach. My favourite beach in the whole world (yes I am aware I am yet to see every beach in the whole world to really make an educated and experiential comment, but I don't care).
North Curl Curl. I love it! 8am and it was already chockas with people. I was there to clear my head a bit and enjoyed the run I did up and down the beach before jumping in the ocean to cool off and feel the cleansing effects of the salt water on my skin.

I was off to yoga next, but got the timetable muddled up and couldn't hang around longer that I had initially planned, so drove home and decided to go for a run instead. And in 30 degree heat. I did it yesterday afternoon and felt great so I was off again. 4.5km bush run, dripping with sweat, and came home to drown myself under this -

The good ol' backyard Aussie sprinkler.

Such childhood memories right there. I think every Aussie has fond memories of jumping through sprinklers in their youth.

Maya and Oliver came over for lunch which was so nice as I hadn't seen either of them for a while. We munched on vegies, my zucchini hommous, raw bread, a big salad, and delicious grapes and watermelon that Maya and Oliver brought over to share.

It was all so yummy. For my salad - I sliced up chinese broccoli, threw in alfalfa and mixed sprouts, fresh corn, and then dressed it with olive oil, a dash of sesame oil, some apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Quick. Easy. Green and Gold. Yummy.

All smiles in the kitchen. With my Australian flag temporary tattoo!

I hope you all had an amazing day!

Jan 23, 2011

All that jazz

What a weekend! This whole last week has been beautifully sunny (I could say I've been enjoying it so much I didn't bother to blog, but that would be a little white lie). I'm quickly posting this at work 730am, as my Internet at home dies last night just before I got the chance to put this up. So for all you happy readers, here it is.

It's been more than a week since my last post my god! So a run down on all the fun things that have been happening... let's see...

A raw dinner with friends where we enjoyed nachos, big salads, zucchini pasta with a delicious sauce, and of course dessert -

carob pudding with banana sorbet...

and mini choc-orange mousses with lemon creme, banana cones and sorbet ontop!

Thursday welcomed back Crows Nest Markets after the Summer break which was so nice. The local buzz in the air, sunshine, people out and about. There's always a good vibe so I made sure I got up there on my lunch break, made the most of the warm sun and had a good-ol chin wag with Brock (oli).

Friday night was "Pizza Night" at my mum's (every Friday she makes her own pizza and puts her feet up with a glass of red) so I made myself a raw pizza with greens, vegies, pesto, and a nutritional yeast cheesy yummy sauce, with a green salad on the side. Mmm.

Saturday morning I went to Everleigh markets with Lisa, Dad and Gail. I had never been before but had heard alot of positive things so was keen to check it out myself. Set up at Carriageworks in Redfern, it's also where MasterChef is filmed so that was pretty cool.

We slowly wandered around checking everything out, chatting to farmers and sussing out what we wanted to buy. The organics looked AMAZING. There were biodynamic milks and cheeses, stone fruit, organic meats, coffees, fresh juices... falafels, raw crackers, BIG bunches of beautiful flowers, and almost everyone seemed to have either a dog or a baby in tow. That was kinda weird, but pretty cool.

The organics looking super cool in big baskets. Very RUSTIC I thought.

Super fresh cauli's, broccoli, and cabbages.

That afternoon I was swimming at Greenwich with Brock before we later ventured down to Symphony in The Domain. A favourite past time of mine (even though I've only been twice), I had very fond memories as a child. And it was just as magic. I love sitting on a picnic rug nibbling on food listening to wonderful music. Especially the symphony. Brock and I were exhausted and both fell asleep at one point but then I sat bolt upright when I heard the final announcment - and I was most excited (as no doubt the rest of the crowd was) when I heard - "the final song you've all been waiting for - the 1812 Overture" (YouTube it, you'll know it). Canons went off, fireworks lit up the sky, I was using Brock as my drum, kicking my legs on the grass, playing air-piano with my fingers... the music was in me and I felt so alive.

Oh, what about all those bananas we had??
Well I dehydrated some whole...

That were so ooey gooey chewy yummy and warm straight out of my little oven ;)

I dehydrated some sliced... and they make the perfect snack.

I froze dozens and I blended dozens. And of course, ate dozens. As did Brock. Would you believe me if I told you I'm not sick of them? Today I've had 3 banana smoothies and hanging out for banana ice cream in a minute coz it's so hot right now!!

Other than all that jazz, I'm feeling alot calmer from my homeopathics and seem to be doing a little less and chilling at bit more. I barely got the the gym last week (I'm usually there at least 4 times) but I did do alot more yoga which felt amazing. I think I needed to have the power of now - "living in the present moment" ; right here, right now, not the weekend, not tomorrow, not 6 months away but NOW reaffirmed to me, and my yoga on Tuesday did that for me.

I've had my ups and downs of late but all in all I'm pretty good. I know everything will turn out exactly as it should. And that I, along with everyone involved will be happier, healthier people with a big bunch of new learnings! I've had alot of support from loved ones recently due to personal issues and I cannot thank them all enough. I don't think I'd get through my days without them all. To all of, you know who you are, my sincerest thank you's.

Green love and white light to all :)

Jan 15, 2011

Health through (not just) Nutrition

I got an email from a long-time family friend this week that got me very excited! Excited just to hear from her but also excited about what she was writing to me about - her health.

The very thing I want to do is EDUCATE, HELP and INSPIRE people towards optimum health, nutrition and a life they LOVE.

So when this friend was outlining some struggles she had experienced and wanted to know any suggestions I had or, anything she could try, I was thrilled!

So it got me thinking - when we are not at our best and feel like we've gone astray for some time how can we successfully come back to our true selves to live harmoniously? To walk, talk and BE HEALTH?

Health. One little word that most probably has a different meaning to everyone on the planet. Is health eating fruit and vegies more? Is it riding your bike instead of driving to work? Is it sleeping 8hrs a night? Is it drinking 2L of water a day? What about healthy relationships? Exercise? Spirituality? Mental health? It goes on and on and on...

I think we all have one "thing" we turn to first when we need to get "back on track". For me, nutrition is "my thing" so I usually (correction - I always) look there first. It's the easiest thing for me to tweak/change/improve to start me in the direction I want to be heading in (again).

I bought a book called "Eating Well For Optimum Health" the other day and so far I LOVE IT. Within the first few pages I read:

"Diet has special significance among lifestyle factors in that people have total control over it, at least potentially. You cannot change your genes, control the quality of air you breathe all the time, or avoid stresses of everyday life, but you can decide what to eat, or what not to eat..."

And that resonates so strongly with me.

For myself, the past month has been kinda tough. I've been experiencing some difficulties in my personal life and this filters out into everything else - including what I'm eating. So once I spot this and decide to make changes and eat the way my body feels best doing so, alot of other things seem to start looking better also.

Now that all might sound easy in the scheme of things but I know too well that it's not always the case. So baby steps are key. And taking one day at a time. Dont worry yourself with tomorrow, or the weekend. Just focus on today. Or even better, the next meal and the next meal only.

Start with breakfast. When I'm lying in bed about to doze off for the night I think about what I'm going to make for brekkie the next morning. I'm usually up very early, off to the gym or work so if I decide ahead of time it saves me thinking time and space as well as preparation time.
As I lie in bed I think about what's in the fridge, what I'll be doing all morning to know how much energy I'll need, and then begin to get a sense of how GREAT I'll feel from the healthy choice I have made.

Quick and easy smoothies or chia-gel ceral are the 2 top favourites that I usually alternate between. If I've done a weights session I'll also thrown in a raw protein drink immediatley after and eat my brekkie when I get to work.

My lunch break is between 1130am and midday so I know not to have much at morning tea or I wont look forward to my lunch - and for that reason I make sure my packed lunch is something DELICIOUS, colourful and tempting. That always stops me from munching too much mid-morn.

BIG kale salads with tomatoes and a coconut oil, dulse flakes and nutritional yeast dressing is my latest must-have. Having something you really enjoy, know you'll hang out for and that get's you excited just thinking about (whilst being high in nutritional value of course) is key here.
A handful of nuts works well for me with lunch as it staves off any hunger pangs that might crop up before I finish work mid-arvo. Otherwise I'll delight in a little raw ginger bar at work or a few bits of choccie for something sweet (I'm a big believer in making sure you eat those yummy pleasurable foods as well as loads of fruit and veg or you'll never achieve "balance" - which like the word "health", is very controversial in my opinion)

The rest of the day I'll be munching on fresh fruit, chopped up vegies, herbal teas, lots of pure water, and dinner is a big salad again most nights.

There are also a few things that I try to make sure are in my diet each day (or close enough too).

- chia seeds (for me the greatest thing they do is move through my bowels. I eat these for brekkie like a pudding with added bits n pieces for extra yumminess. They are also very high in omega 3 fatty acids - lubricating joints, maintaing brain health, warding off depression - protein, irona an calcium)
- cold pressed oils (aldo high in essential fatty acids, GOOD FATS, I'll make sure to mix it up between olive oil full of vitamin E, flax oil with omega 3, or to excite a meal I'll use sesame oil or another nut oil)
- pure water (the Source, for more fascinating info on water go here)
- herbal teas (I'm a big fan of green tea for many reasons but due to my adrenals at the moment I'm tstaying off it, and bumping up other teas such as peppermint, passionflower, skin teas, licorice tea)
- dark green leafy's (do you want a seperate post of dark green leafy's to tell you why you should try eating more?)
- nuts and seeds (high in proteins, calcium and other vitamins and minerals depeding on the nuts and seed)
- colourful fruits (different colours = differnt nutrients)
- cheat foods (these are vegie juices where the nutrients are going straight into your blood stream withint 15minutes as there is no digestion required, or coconut water where your body is hydrated twice as mcuh as water, your blood is getting an instant beneficial kick, and being supplied with electrolytes and potassium at the same time)

There are a few other things I have recently added to my diet to get me back on my path sooner rather than later. I mentioned here that my iron levels were low last blood test so I've been cranking up the greens and spirulina each day which feels great. I'm also taking a zinc supplement again to help with my immunity, and only this past week have brought some homeopathics into the mix along with some high strength adrenal herbs (in addition to maca and licorice which I already consume - both great for your adrenals).

But it was confirmed to me during a kinesiology session I had this week that I need to do more about my health. Another bit in the book I'm reading mentioned:

"Just as diet is only one factor influencing health, so dietary change is only one therapeutic approach, never recommended in isolation. Exercise, relaxation training, dietary supplements, botanical remedies, as well as referrals to both conventional and alternative practitioners for further diagnostic evaluations and treatments are all recommended..."

So I'm seeing a kinesiologist who is fantastic, and a facialist who specialises in lymphatic drainage for my acne issues. These two are the main people I see at the moment, but in the past I've regulalry seen colon hydrotherapists, naturopaths, counsellors and coaches, as well as personal trainers.

So in addition to my diet, to regain my optimum health that I know I have experienced before and can again, I need to rest and do some relaxation work. A self-confessed stress head that covers it all so well at times, it scared me but didn't shock me to find out that I'm one small step away from getting chronic fatigue syndrome. Where your adrenals have have enough wear and tear over time that they decide they're taking time off. 6 months, 12 months, 2 yrs. Who knows. Something I definatly do not want to experience ever. And I'm not going too. So that's where my adrenal herbs come in (and in high doses mind you), as does rest, relaxation, saying NO to myself more than to anyone else, and trying (my very best) to not do so much.

So far I'm feeling alot better. Day by day. Eating well. Supplementing where I feel I need too. Exercising where I can whilst being very aware to not do too much. Communicating with my partner (a BIG part of my health). Journalling. Resting. Reading and educating myself more. Looking after me. Baby steps.

I'd love to know what you guys do to keep your health in check?

Jan 8, 2011

I'm Going (to do everything I can with) Bananas

Wow what a week! I'm so totally exhausted!

And getting back on the SPIRULINA to keep me going!

A quick one to let you know what I've been doing (and muching away on)...

I'm back at work and although it was a quiet week due to some people still away on holidays, we were still pretty busy and I was still on my feet unloading orders and what not for 8hrs a day, whilst still going to the gym before work and meeting up with people after work... everything adds up and starts to take it's toll. But I figure it's good to feel this now so I can get back on track with what I know works for me, in order to get everything done, still have time for me, and feel rested. Breathe Christie.

Ok... so I went out for dinner with my cousin Bernie and our girlfriend Carla one evening which was so nice. Girly gossip is always good :)
I went shopping Thursday evening with my beautiful baby sister Lisa, and caught up with Heidi from college Friday arvo for a long catch up over beautiful herbal tea.

And today I spent the whole day with Maya at Taste Organics Raw Cafe. AND SOLD OUT OF EVERYTHING! It was crazy busy. Both Maya and I were admittedly exhausted and not overly enthused as we usually are each month, but then BAM! And it didn't stop. We had people waiting for table ALL DAY LONG! That has never happened!

All Chocolate Lovers Dream's - GONE!
All Coconut Pie's - GONE!
All Roundtable Salads - GONE!
All Moonlight Shadow's - GONE!
All organic fruit and vegies juices - SOLD OUT!
Green smoothies - so good with the warm weather we had today.

And the surprise this month was Strawberry Cheescake - all GONE!

Other than that... Brock ventured up to Queensland last week to do a few things and see a few people and came home with this -

Locally grown lady finger bananas that are delicious! And then for some crazy reason, Thursday morning at the wholesaler, he comes home with this -

Coz we need more!! With a cheeky grin kinda knowing we didn't really need them all, but as they were so cheap, like a kid in a lolly shop, he couldn't resist. But I am excited to be able to freeze, blend, dry, and simply eat these babies for the next few weeks!

STOP PRESS! It's now Saturady afternoon/evening and markets are over for the week so any leftover produce is ours. I'll give you one guess what the man comes home with -

So if my calculations are correct, 9-10 boxes of bananas at roughly 13kgs each... about 129KGS OF BANANAS at our place right now. Well I'll definatley be getting creative this week!!

Last week however, whilst I was staying at mum's for a few days I made RUM AND RAISIN ICE CREAM with left over dried fruits I had, and a nice big SPLOSH of rum, mixed into a quick ice cream recipe I found. OMG! HEAVEN!

Yesterday I whipped up a loaf of buckwheat bread and a few raw bread rolls (by 'whipped up' I mean I made it up, nothing spesh, presuming it couldn't end up too bad) -

Here's my little buckwheat loaf -

And my sweet-cinnamon-banana-cacao-pecan rolls. I wanted to use dried dates but couldn't find where I put them when I brought them home the other day... until of course I finished making them and then found them in my wardrobe, in the bag with all the new clothes I bought!

The verdict - not nice. I think my buckwheat had been out too long coz it's been a little warmer the past couple of days so it tasted a bit funny. My bread was very dry and crumbly also. But I haven't given up. I'm determined to make a better bread - next time using a different grain (or grainS), adding more liquid and different nuts and seeds to spice it up a bit!

I invented (yep it's my claim to fame) a new AMAZING salad topper - the ULTIMATE in flavour combos - coconut oil, nutritional yeast and dulse flakes which totally rocks my world! OMG! Ontop of shredded kale, mung sprouts and juicy red tomatoes. WINNER! I've had at least one plate of this everyday :)

I've been munching away on PURPLE CARROTS at work with hommous and other vegies...

One of the latest and greatest "superfoods" I see in magazines, the humble little purple carrot tastes much like the regular orange variety, only a subtle difference. Much much higher in antioxidants though due to their colour (think blueberries, blackberries and the like), for me they just make an interesting colour variation on my plate!
I'm all about different colours = different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Loading up on wholesome smoothies for all the energy I've needed this week -

this one is my work-brekkie-smoothie and was made from oat milk, frozen nanas, rice protein, hemp protein, acai, maca, cacao, and spirulina (I found out I'm low in IRON so I'm pumping up on the greens and the spirulina so I'll be sure to let you all know how I am on my next blood test in about 5months time... aside from that I'm itching to tell you all the AMAZING things about everything else in my smoothie but I'll save it for another time).

I can appreciate that it looks a little like tar, but take my word, it tastes amazing and is super dooper to get you up and buzzing in the mornings.

And I'm back taking some herbs to cleanse my intestinal tract, and others to help with my hormones (and clear my skin - yay) so they're making me feel good and helping to get gunk out of my system too. Great start to the New Year, even if it has been a little chaotic.

Jan 3, 2011

A New Beginning

And doesn't that picture just scream a FRESH START? *

Happy New Years to you all!!

I hope you all celebrated exactly as you wished whatever that may have been - a quiet one in, early to bed, partying hard out on the town, not getting to bed!
I spent most of the evening at my mums place but later ventured down for the fireworks spectacular on the Harbour Bridge, then walked back home and crashed. Nothing major (to be honest I've been an emotional wreck for weeks) but still nice.

New years Day however - WOW! The hottest day of Summer yet (if you know me, you also know my obsession with the heat and with the sunshine that usually comes with it). So what did I do? Like every other Sydney-sider I headed to the beach. A tradition that must be upheld every year. Sun, sand, surf, salt. I love it. Great company, lots of laughs, and a mild sunburn.

But since then I've spent time looking over what was 2010; what I achieved, what I learnt, what challenges I surmounted. What lessons I can take into the future, what goals I hit, and those I missed. Patting myself on the back. And then writing out new goals, intentions and wishes for 2011. Things I hope to learn, changes I will make for the better, what things I will continue to do, accomplishments I want to achieve, and any other FUN things I simply want to do.

I've also done a vision board for my life in 2011 as I really want it to be FANTASTIC! A NEW BEGINNING of sorts. A FRESH START.

One thing that I am already UBER EXCITED for is beginning more study. New study. Yes, I did just finish my Transpersonal Coaching, but studying feeds me. So I'm going back...
To something I've dabbled in numerous times before but never really committed too... something that I've put off doing for years, for numerous reasons... something that I have such a PASSION for and couldn't imagine living without. Something that (in some form or another) I know I will be doing for eternity...

I enrolled and was accepted into an
Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine.
I cannot tell you guys how excited I am!

are always more successful when fresh food is in place so when the weather was beautifully warm the other day (unfortunatley it has died already and I'm sitting here typing in trakkies and a jumper), I made this -

handful frozen berries
1-2 frozen bananas
fresh mango
big spooon of carob powder
coconut meat
enough water to blend

All in the food processor and WHIZ! Instant berry sorbet out in the backyard.