New things happening round here….
In terms of health-experiments, although I have decided to go the conventional route for emotional well-being, this hasn’t affected my natural-living-attitude. Natural therapies, eating a nutritious diet, exercise and the likes can be very powerful supplements in the quest for health. I don’t think I will ever stop experimenting.
Fermenting. This isn’t a “new” thing, as such – kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut are household staples around here (not to mention Viper’s bread) – I’ve just started experimenting with new ingredients. Sour oats or “Oat-ghurt” is my new favourite. It’s pretty simple to do, you just need to be patient for a few days.
A basic run down of the method goes a little something like this:
- Take 1C whole oat groats, and cover with 1 & 1/4C water – soak overnight.
- In a food processor, blend up oats with an additional 1/4C water.
- Place in a ceramic/glass bowl, wrap in a tea towel and place in a warm, dark place. I actually use a yoghurt maker as my incubator – I can keep the oats at a constant 30 degrees C, which makes the process a lot more fool-proof. A hot water-cupboard or somewhere consistently warm would do the trick though.
- Incubate for around 48 hours – keep tasting the oats…. they will become increasingly sour as time goes on. If they seem to be getting too dry, you can add more water, but only in small 1/8C increments.
- Serve as you would ordinary oatmeal/porridge….add a pinch of salt, and whatever toppings you like. I’ve been enjoying these oats with coconut cream, cinnamon and raisins. Store extras in the fridge.
I really love these oats – they taste like a bowl of oats, mixed with a tangy yoghurt – hence the “Oat-ghurt,” tag. Supposedly chock-full of beneficial bacteria for the gut too – but I just like the taste, the nutrition bit is a bonus.
I love coffee. Not going to lie. I have managed to cut down my consumption from up to 3 cups a day back to just the lonely morning cuppa. Green tea, although it contains caffeine, doesn’t effect my anxiety/nerves – and I don’t get the melt-down-caffeine-crash that feels like my brain is a dry sponge. Everything in moderation, right?
Magic Drops. I’ve started using bush flower essences, made by the lovely Alisha of Naughty Naturopath Mum & Essence Practioner. She made me up a personal blend for a whole host of issues, plus I am taking a general Emergency Essence for those times I tend to get overwhelmed/anxious. As with natural therapies, it’s kind of hard to tell if what you are taking is “working,” per se, but I can tell you that I feel a lot more balanced, calm & focused which has got to be a good thing. Alisha ‘makes-to-order,’ specific blends for whatever ails you – whether it be physical, emotional or in between – check out her blog, she always has the most informative posts (on the subject of fermented foods above – this post of hers is excellent).
Seed Cycling. Sounds a kooky, yes, but I’m willing to give it a go. Basically the intention is to balance hormones, and regulate my menstrual cycle (including symptoms of PMS). All you do is consume 1T ground flaxseed and 1T ground pumpkin seeds on days 1-14 of your cycle, followed by 1T ground sunflower seeds and 1T ground sesame seeds on days 15-menses. Simple as that. I shall keep you posted.
Yin yoga – Hip Openers. I tend to practise what I call “intuitive yoga” – I don’t stick to a particular style or “school,” of yoga for any long period of time, I just go with what my body and mind needs on that particular occasion. Some days this may mean a dynamic vinyasa flow, while a different occasion may call for simple pranayama (breathing) exercises and gentle stretching. Recently I have been focusing on Yin yoga, which hones in on seated asana (postures) held for long periods of time (at least 3-5 minutes). This gives the connective tissue in muscles/ligaments time to release and help give us the true benefits of the posture. The slowing down of asana gives our mind the time to “let go,” as well. Hip openers have been playing a huge role for me at the moment – which is pretty accurate considering the emotional roller coaster I have been riding. Emotions, particularly negative or “bottled-up” feelings tend to be stored in our hips – our metaphysical “saddle-bags,” if you will. Hip openers like Eka Pada Rajakapotasana(pigeon) help us to release pent up and stale emotion – even if that means getting a bit teary during a yoga class (been there) – better out than in.
What’s something NEW you have discovered lately?
I’ve been a bit lazy this week, not much enthusiasm for blogging/being on the internet in general. Lack of mojo, I guess. Sometimes the internet/Face Book/blogging really annoys me (read: I get angry at the amount of mindless crap out there – in saying that perhaps I am contributing to said mindless crap right now). I hate advertising at the best of times, but some days it just feels as if social media/internet platforms are just huge webs of soul-less crap-mongering, feasting on the naivety of the confused and direction-less.
Talking with other creative souls, I realised a few things:
- The internet is a place where it is very easy to start comparing yourself to others.
- Comparing yourself to others is a FABULOUS way to lose motivation, creative flow and confidence.
- Not much is truly original these days.
- Don’t let your mission/creative process become confused with the influence of what others are doing.
- Sometimes tunnel-vision can be a really great thing.
Anyway, one of my favourite ways to lift mood/motivation is music. I have been thinking long and hard this week over what album to introduce you all to, and nothing really jumped out at me (that I wanted to write about). It wasn’t until yesterday afternoon, when I was embarking on the momentous kitchen scrub-down at my place of work (much motivational energy required) that I remembered an artist/album that I felt like listening to. The mark of good music for me, is a physical reaction. If I get an all-over-body-tingle from any kind of music, I know it’s a good thing – and this lady (the gorgeous creature pictured above)delivers.
It seems like the majority of my readers are women (if you are a man reading, I apologize, next week I’ll write about ZZ Top or Kyuss) and so this musical-interlude is definitely for the female soul. Maybe it’s because I’m excited about heading home next week as well - Bic Runga hails from my home town of Christchurch, and is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated female singer/song writers. I am just highlighting Bic as an artist, as ALL of her albums are stellar – she encompasses a variety of genres from folk-pop-country to soul/blues and then some.
One of her oldest tunes, from way back in ’97 is my all time favourite - Bursting Through.
Then again, classics likeDrive, Sway and Good Morning Baby never fail to go down a treat. I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting this (tiny) talented lady as a star-struck young teen – she was so down to earth and genuinely lovely which is refreshing in a small world crammed with large egos.
Makes me so proud – so much good music from my tiny little country of birth – makes for many more posts spot-lighting talented Kiwis, I’m sure of it. Definitely looking forward to getting back over there (however cold) in a few days.
Listening to a female singer-songwriter is sort of like a guilty indulgence for me (Viper snorts and mutters under his breath as I monopolise the stereo with featured music – men just don’t seem to ‘get it’) – it’s like a chocolate & red wine session when you are pre menstrual – a sensory experience that helps you “let go,” and in turn regain a little balance/motivation back into your life. Red wine, chocolate and good tunes – sounds like just the ticket to me.
Viper eats the same thing every.day. for breakfast. His home made cereal mix and milk. Maybe he refills his bowl a few times, but it’s always that – no real variation in his first meal of the day. So boring.
Actually, I admit I used to be the same. It would always be a morning bowl of porridge in Winter, and maybe yoghurt & muesli in the warmer months. Yes, I used to be a boring-breakfaster. I think my morning-creativity has come about mainly because I have more TIME in the mornings – I’m not usually rushing off anywhere, just hanging with Misty. I appreciate the fact that the morning is a hectic time for most, so the ideas I’m going to share with you today are actually super quick to whip up (if you do a little planning & preparation). When I get a spare minute in the kitchen, I always try and cook extra to stash away in the fridge for quick meals during the week – preparing a pot of quinoa, soaking buckwheat, roasting sweet potatoes and so on. It really makes life easier.
If you follow me on Face Book – you would have seen me posting my breakfasts for the past few days. I’m really into breakfast “bowls” at the moment – a sort of cereal-esque style meal, but with way more exciting ingredients, and a few interesting not-of-the-norm breakfast foods.
I have left these recipes pretty “loose” if you get what I mean – customise to your own likes/what ingredients you have on hand – makes for creative breakfasts, that’s for sure. Read through for a variety of options.
Sprouted Buckwheat Porridge (raw)
(Vegan: gluten/wheat/nut/refined sugar free)
- 1C soaked, sprouted buckwheat groats*
- 1/2C coconut milk kefir (or any other milk of choice – almond, soy, plain coconut etc)
- 2t rice syrup (or any liquid sweetener – 1/8 to 1/4t liquid stevia if you are that way inclined)
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/2t vanilla extract
- Whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor until (relatively) smooth – the buckwheat will retain a slight texture, which is all part of the charm.
- Top with some of the following Slow Cooker Apple-Nana Butter, or with dried fruit, chopped fresh fruit, nut butter – whatever you like.
Slow Cooker Apple-Nana Butter
(Vegan: gluten/wheat/soy/seed/nut/refined sugar/grain free)
- 6 medium apples – cored and roughly chopped (you can peel if you like, but I am lazy and like fibre)
- 6 small bananas – roughly chopped into chunks
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/8t sea salt
- 1t vanilla bean paste (optional)
- 2t ground cinnamon (optional)
- 4C water
- Throw everything in your slow cooker/crock pot and cook on low for about 24 hours, or until the mix has reduced by half, and it super thick, syrupy and sweet.
- You could puree the whole lot now, if you prefer a smoother texture to your butter – but I like a little texture (and again, I’m lazy).
*Chuck a couple of cups of raw buckwheat groats in a bowl – cover with water and leave overnight to soak. Rinse in the morning (the liquid tends to go a little gooey. Leave drained buckwheat groats to sprout for about another 12 hours or so (depending on the temperature) making sure you rinse the groats a few times during this sprouting process.
Sweet Potato Custard
Vegan: gluten/wheat/grain/refined sugar/corn/soy/nut free (depending on milk choices)
Makes 3-4 serves
- 1C cooked sweet potato (Roasting your sweet potato whole will give you the best – sweetest – flavour. Plus the skins make for great snacking).
- Full fat coconut milk - the amount will depend on the consistency of custard you like, whether you want it very fine & runny, or so thick you can stand a spoon in it. Add little by little. starting with 1C until you reach your desired custard -this can use over 2 cups of milk easily. Almond milk, soy, or cow milk are all good substitutes – just remember that the higher fat milks will give a creamier texture. I also love to use coconut milk kefir here.
- 3T maple syrup (or any other liquid sweetener to taste)
- 1/8t sea salt
- 1t vanilla extract (optional)
- 1t ground cinnamon (optional)
- Whizz everything together in a food processor until super smooth – add milk gradually until you reach your desired “custard” consistency.
This custard is delicious on top of porridge, in a bowl with chopped banana, walnuts and raisins, added to a smoothie, poured over banana “soft serve” – or as pictured - 2/3C cooked quinoa, 1C sweet potato “Custard” and 2T cacao nibs.
I really love beans. It’s sad, because they don’t really feel the same way about me. I have figured out that I had our romance all back-to-front. It is NOT a good idea to eat a whole can of beans at 9pm, and then wonder why I could not sleep for crippling stomach cramps. Beans for breakfast though, suit me (and my stomach) just fine. I find if I eat beans at the start of the day, they keep me full for ages – without the tummy troubles. You may find it hard to get your head around the idea of (sweet) beans for breakfast, but I really encourage you to give this a go – the following “recipe” is my method for making a delicious bean bowl – pick and choose the ingredients you prefer/have in your pantry:
Basic Bean Bowl
See the options listed below, so you can cater to your own tastes/what you have on hand. Vegan.
- 1 & 1/2C cooked beans (equivalent to 1 can of beans)
- 3T nut/seed butter
- 2T liquid sweetener (OR 1/4-1/2t stevia liquid for a low sugar option)
- 1/4-1/2C non dairy milk
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2T cacao/carob powder
- 1/2t vanilla extract (optional)
- Toppings: (optional) Chopped nuts, cacao nibs, dried fruit, fresh fruit slices, fruit-only jam, additional nut/seed butter.
Beans…. Kidney, cannelini, butter, chick peas, black turtle.
Nut/Seed Butter…. tahini, coconut butter, almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, walnut butter.
Sweeteners…. maple syrup, agave, rice syrup, raw honey, barley malt, coconut nectar. You can even use things like date paste/mashed banana in place of liquid sweeteners, but I would use MORE of these – for example 4T date paste, or 2 large very ripe bananas.
Milk…. almond, soy, rice, coconut, oat, kefir.
The bean bowl pictured above is made with kidney beans, cacao, tahini, coconut butter, rice syrup and almond milk – delicious!
It’s probably quite obvious that I don’t eat “normal” food – whatever that means. Sweet beans sound weird, but they taste good – I promise…. the photo above is one of my favourite desserts using beans (and tofu AND popcorn, but that’s just me). I like to be a little adventurous and try different flavour combinations and ingredient pairings…. sometimes they work, and sometimes things get spit into the sink. If you don’t try, you don’t know, right?
Do you stick to your tried and true meals? Or are you a little adventurous when it comes to trying out new taste-ideas?
The sparkling lights, the gambling, the shows, the parties. I admit it, if you asked me where I would go in the world RIGHT NOW (expense being no worry) I would have to go with Las Vegas. Viper and I are obsessed with all-things-American, and even if I should be saying Europe (for the culture!) or India (for the spiritual enlightenment!) I would be off drinking cocktails and putting it ALL on 26 red before an Elvisn impersonator could pronounce myself and Viper, “hound dog and Lisa Marie.” Seriously, although my wedding last year was lovely – there is still a teeny tiny part of me that wished we had gone with our original “Vegas Elvis Elopement” plan. One day.
At the moment though, I have to live vicariously through the tales of other bloggers. Hannah recapped her Vegas adventure here and here, and the very brave Bethaney did it with her toddler in tow (not sure I’m game enough for that!) We all know, however, that I am slightly obsessed with vegan food – so while on my insomnia-spurred-Vegas-trawl I began researching into the foodie options available. Paul Graham from Eating Vegan in Vegas really covers all the bases when it comes to compassionate cuisine.
While Viper would be (oh so predictably) tempted by the promise of celebrity chefs cooking up all sorts of meaty-glory…. Vegas is actually turning into a bit of a hub for vegan dining, which gives the place even more appeal. During the witching hours of insomnia (oh the joy) I have been perusing different restaurants/menus for inspiration…. although I love reading food blogs, I never really try out recipes – just reading the title of a dish can really get the creative cogs in my brain turning – I find recipes way too restrictive. I saw the Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Almonds on the menu at Mesa Grill, and then that little inspirational tidbit turned into my “Ode to Vegas.” I know America has a real fondness for mayonnaise, and while I can’t stand the traditional stuff in any way, shape or form, this vegan/root veggie version is quite the delicious variation. I couldn’t have possibly dedicated a recipe to Las Vegas and NOT include some sort of Elvis-ingredient either – hence the “Bacon” almonds, which are given a sweet/salty/smoky marinade which is a pretty stellar addition to this salad.
The whole orange/spinach combination reminds me of my Mum, who always made me make sure I was eating a little vitamin C (orange) whenever I ate an iron-rich vegetable (spinach) – thanks Mum – and it just so happens they go great with sweet potato and fake bacon – who would have thought?
Spinach & Orange Salad with Sweet Potato Mayo and Smoky Baked Almonds (aka “Bacon” bits)
(Vegan: Gluten/wheat/refined sugar/grain/soy/corn free)
Makes 4 large serves
“Bacon” Bits (Sweet Smoky Almonds)
- 1C almonds
- 4t tamari
- 3T maple syrup
- 2t smoked paprika
- Combine all ingredients except almonds in a small mixing bowl and whisk well.
- Throw almonds in and toss to coat.
- Roast at 180 degrees C for 8-10 minutes…. careful they will catch and burn quickly.
- When dry (they will almost be like a cluster of toffee) roughly chop.
Sweet Potato “Mayonnaise”
- 2C cooked sweet potato (roasting will get the best flavour)
- 3T nutritional yeast
- 3T tahini
- 3T olive oil
- 2t wholegrain mustard
- 2t apple cider vinegar
- 1C water (up to 1 & 1/2C to achieve desired consistency)
- 2t lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor, adding water bit by bit until you reach your preferred “mayo” consistency.
- Season (S&P) to taste.
(Ingredients for each person – you are making 4 serves)
- 1 navel orange, cut into segments, free of pith.
- 1 good handful (2C) baby spinach leaves
- 1/4C “Bacon” almonds
- 1/4C Sweet Potato Mayonnaise
- Place spinach leaves on plate, arrange orange segments.
- Sprinkle over chopped almonds, and drizzle with the mayo – putting the mix in a squirty bottle is the best idea (an old ketchup/mustard bottle is perfect for this).
So now I shall eat this salad and pine for the parties, lights and loose times that Las Vegas seems to promise. One day I will get there. How about you? Where in the world would you LOVE to visit? Your dream escape? Your ultimate adventure?
A “healing crisis” is the belief that an individual in the process of getting well will undergo some sort of healing reaction – it could be mild or it could be more extreme – putting it really simply it’s the idea of “you have to get worse before you get better.” Having experienced quite a few odd symptoms over the last few weeks while withdrawing from conventional anti depressants, I decided to look into the idea of a “healing crisis” in more detail.
At first I thought I was losing my mind – as well as general physical symptoms of fatigue, congestion, digestive sluggishness and skin irritation, I began experiencing some emotional reactions to the changes I had instigated. Huge mood swings, general irritability and anxiety, plus I even felt like I was reverting to old behaviours. This culminated in me being told I was ‘acting like a 2 year old,’ when everything finally made sense. YES I may have been behaving like a child, but it was as if my body and mind had reverted back to stage before I had started being “treated” by conventional medicine…. sound crazy? Perhaps, but it makes sense in my head, so I’m going to go with it! Anyway, although these symptoms were rather brief and fleeting, they really gave me insight of the deeper healing that was going on inside my body (and mind).
“When improvement occurs, vitality is restored to the body, and its self-healing mechanisms are awakened. As healing begins, symptoms reappear as part of the body’s process of eliminating diseased cells and toxins from its tissues. Hence the assessment that the healing “crisis” is actually good news because it is a sign and signal of deep healing and restoration. It should be added that, not surprisingly, the patient always feels better after the healing crisis has run its course.
The healing crisis is recognized today by many natural health practitioners. Homeopaths call these incidents “aggravations” and chiropracters refer to the phenomenon as “retracing.” What is important for us to understand is that a healing crisis, or any healing that will sustain us over the long haul, must occur at some point in the therapeutic program. ” (Source)
I have been lucky enough to come into contact with a group of ladies from all different walks of life – Mother’s, natural health practitioners, energy healers, to name but a few. I wanted to gain insight into what these women thought about the notion of a healing crisis – so I have put together their thoughts, articles and experiences
I have been a long time reader of the inspiring and beautiful blog by Lucie D’Alessandro, Delve Spot – so I was thrilled when I came across her blog post describing her very own experience of an (on going) healing crisis as she used the intensive natural healing modality, Gerson Therapy to treat her breast cancer. She left the most encouraging comment on my initial post about my own experiences, which really hit the nail on the head in my mind: ”I love hearing that people understand healing reactions, Lou – go you for embracing yours and sharing. They can make you, your world, feel so wobbly and seem so counter intuitive to healing, no? Yet they’re so necessary and powerful. They panicked me at first, even now I still get a liiitle bit weary, but having a deeper understanding of what healing reactions are all about took me down multiple notches. Talking about what we experience is so important – demystifying the weirdness!”
Lucie also put me onto this fabulous site which includes a post that really defines a healing crisis in such a positive way.
You all know I’m a big fan of sharing – I find it such a powerful form of therapy, and sharing knowledge/experiences may just help others who are in a dark place, or are trying to regain their health, do you agree? The thing is, not enough people KNOW what a healing crisis is – and may take it as a sign that their therapy is NOT working – when it may just be the beginning of something amazing. The following quotes and snippets are from some very inspiring women – check out the links to get to know them better.
“Well, I’ve dealt with many healing crises before! Both my own and my clients. I love that they occur. For me, healing crisis symptoms are headaches, increased thirst, skin rashes, large cyst like blind pimples generally around the lymphatic glands (throat, groin, arm pits) digestive upsets coupled with extremefeelings of overwhelm and anxiety. Sleeplessness, crying, bad breath and stronger odour of urine. This might sound strange but I would get excited for my clients as it meant changes and shifting which is what they and I were hoping for. It means the body is adjusting, clearing and cleansing. Every time this arises I would be sure to transition them (and myself) more gently through this process with the purifying essence blend. This really serves to support the physical and emotional clearing without it becoming an added burden.” Naturopath and Essence Practioner, Alisha Lynch (Naughty Naturopath Mum)
“With every step I take in my healing process, I get the healing crisis. I just didn’t know it had an actual name. It can put people off -’ I changed my diet and I got sick!’…. there needs to be more info about it so they persevere!” Blogger (and holistic health hero) at Natural New Age Mum Sonia Donaldson
“My experience with healing crisis is that it is MUCH less with the use of homoeopathics, as the medicines are gentle and given in specific potency most often a helping crisis does not occur. I have received many patients in my practice in a healing crisis from other practitioners. My approach is to assist with this with remedies. However I believe that ‘good’ patient management and prescriptions when given by the practitioner can AVOID a helping crisis all together and this is my approach. Not every ailment has to get worse before it gets better. Sure sometimes there is a a slight response when first starting a remedy however good practitioners create wellness without this happening most of the time. Slow and gradual improvements in health last and become permanent. Hard and fast detox, prescriptions etc can lead to healing crisis and I don’t think this is the best way. (Not judging anyone btw just sharing my clinical experience I hope it comes across as such and not criticism)
Illness/wellness is layered. When you manage the layers gently you don’t get a healing crisis. When you go for the centre of the orange and just cut of course you will get ‘splatter’ …. I don’t cut – I manage the layers and then they dissolve and reveal the next one.” Nicole Cunningham, Homoeopath and creator of Puraforce Remedies.
As you are probably aware, I have chosen Classical Homoeopathy as my main source of healing-assistance as I attempt to withdraw from conventional anti depressants – I think this little quote from Puraforce Remedies sums up the modality nicely: “Homoeopathy is a form of medicine that assists the body in healing itself. It does not reject the great discoveries of modern medical science, only their commercial abuse. Homoeopathy has stood the test of time, helping people achieve health not only in the last 150 years, but since its discovery 2000 years ago.”
I also need to state here (being a responsible blogger, I suppose) that my journey is exactly that – MINE. I am in no way suggesting or providing tips for withdrawing from conventional medicine. Any decision regarding this needs to be an educated one – with appropriate advice and support from reputable sources/practitioners. I tend to use this blog as a type of diary – but I am aware of the implications of this, as the internet is a massive entity and there are impressionable folk out there. Take care, and do not do anything rash!
Finally, a little video-link to Kelly Burch (Dog Rose Healing). Kelly is an energy healer and specialises in Energy EFT – if you are feeling even just a teeny bit stressed or overwhelmed - watch (and TRY) this video. I had never experienced Energy EFT before, and let me tell you, after this 10 minute exercise, I felt like a bucket load of tension had just melted away. I have been using this technique every few days, and it’s wonderful. A new little trinket for my healing “tool-box” if you will.
So I know I’ve gotten a bit video-happy at the moment, but I have good reason. I’m really busy – my camera is dying a slow, unable to focus properly style of death – and I actually find making these little videos quite fun.
The following vlog is not your ultra-polished, professional-type job – it’s me, slinging things into a food processor, rambling off on tangents, and Viper interrupting not one, but twice. Argh. It IS in fact, real life Lou – who’d have thought!?
I think it’s kinda good to keep things real. It’s easy to hide behind written words (spell checked, edited and the likes). Painfully styled photos, agonised over for hours, days, weeks (?) – fine, if that’s your job to do so – but I don’t get paid for this, and I would rather a realistic portrayal of the person I am, and the life I have than some fabricated idea of “perfection,” whatever that means.
I don’t know, the world we live in these days is obsessed with perfection – how you look, what you do for a living, where you live – blah blah blah – reality isn’t such a terrible place is it? Thoughts?
(Click photo to go straight to vlog)
Yesterday something crazy happened. After lunch I was sitting at the table, chatting and relaxing…. but I just couldn’t relax. I had SO much energy. I needed to DO something. I actually said, “I need to go for a run.” What?
I don’t run. I have tried – can’t do it, don’t like it. I think the last time I “ran” was on a treadmill 6 months ago for about 3 minutes. So why was I volunteering to go for a run for the fun of it? Why? I just felt like I had to. I put on my runners and headed out, thinking even if I just ran for 1 minute and then walked, that was fine. 25 minutes later, I was still running, and felt like I could keep going, only I stopped as it was about 35 degrees C out, and I think I was getting a bit scorched. What?
Could it be this new high carb way of eating? Who knows – except I kind of want to do it again. What?
Are you a runner? I’m not – but after yesterday I am a little more inspired to give it a go…. I can’t believe I’m typing this.
Anyway, just a quick recipe for you today – it’s been a scorching hot few days, and we’ve been doing the rounds of the beach, the paddling pool and cowering under the air conditioner. Frozen rock melon is my new favourite snack.
Sometimes the meals I make from leftovers end up being better than the original meal that provided said leftovers. A small lonely fillet of white fish seemed like an annoying thing to have lurking around my fridge – but with the addition of some grated veg and cheese, made a nice little snack even a toddler could get enthusiastic about (I always feel good if I get some fish into Misty for some reason).
Simple Veggie Fish Cakes
(Gluten/wheat/soy/nut/seed/egg/refined sugar free)
- 1/2C cooked white fish, flaked (or equivalent measure in tinned fish salmon/tuna etc)
- 1/2C grated zuccinni – squeeze out excess liquid (or grated carrot/pumpkin etc)
- 1/4C grated cheddar cheese
- 2T chickpea flour
- 1T water
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Optional: a few tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
- Coconut oil/butter for cooking.
- Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl – the chickpea flour will act as the binder and the mix will stick together.
- Press into small cakes, using the palm of your hand to squeeze and shape.
- Heat a fry pan with a little coconut oil or butter over a medium heat, and cook cakes for around 3 minutes either side, or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Serve with a little sour cream mixed with horseradish OR plain Greek yoghurt with a dollop of sweet chilli sauce.
This is another recipe that utilises chickpea flour in place of the usual egg (for it’s “binding” qualities) – it’s always worth having some on hand in the pantry if you ask me.
I’m always playing around with the way I eat and WHAT I eat. It interests me – that’s not a crime is it? Viper thinks I’m completely nuts – ‘Lou, you’re going off on another one of your weird eating tangents.’ I suppose coming from the man that gets sick less than once in a blue moon, has no food sensitivities, and can pretty much eat burgers and chocolate constantly without putting on weight – maybe what I test out on myself could seem slightly towards the extreme?
I’m definitely more concerned about health and well being than Viper – and perhaps my over active mind is to blame for my tests and experiments on myself…. it’s all in the search for vibrant good health though.
Anyway, like I mentioned in my last post I’ve been experimenting with a new way of eating – mainly carbohydrates (from fruit and veggies), a smaller amount of protein (from leafy greens) and a small amount of healthy fat (tahini, nuts, avocado). In “trendy” terms, this would be classed as High Carb, Raw Vegan (or Low Fat Raw Vegan) Now this may seem like a huge contradiction to my Anti-Candida Crusade where I banned ALL fruit. After doing a lot of reading, there is an argument to contest the idea that sugar is the culprit for causing candida – and FAT is the true nasty. Who knows for sure, but I am willing to test this out (mainly because it involves eating ridiculous amounts of fruit – heaven). Raechel has just done a little recap on her own experiment into this way of eating.
I’m 10 days in to this new fruity regime, and honestly I feel really good. The caffeine-withdrawal headache has gone, and I feel like my energy is better during the day (no huge slumps). If I start to feel tired, or unmotivated, I eat some fruit = instant energy. Viper (again) thought I was nuts when I came home with a box of bananas, bags of mango, bunches and bunches of silver beet and trays of dates. You have to eat a LOT of produce to get enough calories each day – and actually, I think I am eating more calories than I ever had before – and it’s delicious. My digestion has improved considerably, and my skin seems softer for some reason.
You might think that it’s some crack-pot new fad diet, but it’s actually quite the opposite. My motivation is not to lose weight – I actually think I’ve put on a few kilos since starting this, but I feel really good – and that’s the idea right? Feeling healthy and full of energy is always the clincher for me – and I really believe that the way we eat dictates this. I think the reason that I am really liking this way of eating is that it is simple. No crazy ingredients, no dropping heaps of cash on fancy super foods, very minimal preparation – maybe I’m just lazy but I’m really enjoying not cooking (although I am still cooking for Viper & Misty, but at least my meals are easy). Plus, it’s working out a lot cheaper to eat this way – less than $10 a day for all the fruit and veggies I can handle.
Anyway, I’m not sure how long I will maintain this, but for now, I am loving it (plus it’s way too hot here to be eating cooked food) – I will keep you updated (I plan to get some blood work done to track my progress - of course I am still supplementing with B12 and iron). For now, though – here’s my answer to coffee at the moment: (inspired by Raechel’s idea for a warm cocoa)
Creamy Date Dandelion “Latte”
(Vegan, High Raw, gluten/wheat/soy/nut/refined sugar free)
- 1C brewed dandelion “coffee” (roast dandelion root) – not strictly “raw” but it’s delicious and great for the liver.
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 2 medjool dates
- 1/8t cinnamon
- Blend all ingredients together until very smooth.
- Serve warm, or chuck in a few ice cubes for an iced refresher.
Are you willing to try any form of craziness for your health?
I can’t handle it when people make comments. You know, those unnecessary, annoying little jabs for no reason. I’m talking in “real world” terms here – not as in blog comments. I was pushing Misty (and a huge shopping trolley full of fruit & veg) back to the car. As we were in the middle of crossing the road, Misty decided to pick up the receipt and throw it out of the trolley (and the wind grabbed it). Knowing I needed to secure Misty (and the trolley) on the foot path before chasing the stupid receipt, I continued to finish crossing the (busy-ish) road. A lady passing me looked down her nose at Misty and snarkily said, “That’s littering, you know.”
Seriously? Can’t you see I’m struggling to control large trolley, energetic toddler and am trying to cross the road?
I’ll have you know, that once Misty was safely on the other side of the road, I retrieved the runaway receipt, and all was well. I didn’t need a complete stranger telling my son what is what in the world. I don’t know, maybe I’m overly sensitive, but I can’t stand it when people put in their “two cents,” unwarranted. If you were a friend, or family member? OK, sure that’s fine – you know me, and I don’t mind hearing your opinion. Strangers? Yeah not so much.
I suppose I’ve been pretty lucky in the whole “blogging-world” that my ramblings have attracted a lovely, supportive audience. I have only had one negative-ish comment which implied I was “annoying.” Yeah, I’ll take that – I probably do sound annoying to a lot of people – Viper tells me I am all the time. What I’m getting at are those old sayings, treat others how you would like to be treated yourself – AND – if you can’t say something nice (or constructively critical) then don’t say it.
You can count on me thinking a lot of comments/comebacks/remarks – but I never say them…. maybe because I am a wuss and hate confrontation – or maybe because I know they do not really need to surface – they won’t bring any positivity to the situation at hand.
Anyway, Misty is still loving his smoothies – actually Misty always loves anything in liquid form from a bottle. I try and sneak in as many nutritional goodies as I can…. and you may think I’m a little crazy (feel free to comment, on my mental state – I won’t be offended) but I have been adding beans to his day time liquid-snacks. Chickpeas go down a treat, believe or not.
Misty’s Sneaky Bean & Banana Smoothie
(Gluten/wheat/soy/corn/refined sugar free.) Vegan if you use an alternative to honey. Nut free if you use coconut/rice/soy milk.
Makes 2-3 large serves
- 1 large (ripe) banana
- 1/3C chickpeas (cooked, rinsed, drained)
- 2-3 cups almond milk, depending on how thick you want it (any other milk is fine to use)
- 1T tahini
- 2T raw honey
- Small pinch sea salt
- 1t pure vanilla extract
- Blend all ingredients together until very smooth. Start with 2C milk…. adding more for a thinner consistency.
Optional ….. a few teaspoons of carob powder is delicious as well.
Misty decided that his smoothie needed a “hat.”
I can’t wait until somebody tries to give me parenting advice while Misty is chucking a tantrum at the local shopping mall – oh yes, that will be a grand day indeed (insert intense sarcasm here).
Thoughts? Are you one to speak your mind whatever that may mean? Or are you a “naughty thinker” like me? Ever had a really annoying comment from a complete stranger?
Like I said, when I need motivating, I get stuck into some cleaning. It seems like both Viper and I needed some sort of project to keep us sane over the weekend, so while he started painted Misty’s room, I attacked our bench tops.
We have these nice looking but functionally ridiculous wooden benches. Yes, they please the eye, but they are not really suited to one (me) who is constantly cooking, making a mess and spreading liquid around. Let’s just say that these benches get ugly quickly. I am realising mid-type that I am actually writing a post about cleaning and maintaining my kitchen bench tops. Seriously? Who am I? I think I just woke up this morning and am 63 years old. Seriously.
Anyway, I’ve started writing this “Nana-Post”so I will finish. There is even a pretty useful DIY recipe included. I decided to play around with a home made wood-polish that could also act as a barrier (somewhat) for the constant liquid spills that happen in a kitchen. Enter beeswax.
If you don’t have the need for this polish (read: you have functional kitchen bench-tops) then this works a treat on wooden chopping boards, children’s wooden toys – I even tried it on leather boots and it really made them look spiffy.
It really is the most simple thing…..
- 1 part grated beeswax
- 4 parts oil – I use olive
Melt your beeswax (I have an old saucepan that I use specifically for non-food cooking like this) add oil, pour into a jar, and leave it to solidify.
Easy as that.
All you do is rub it onto your wooden surface, and work it in with a cotton rag or similar. If it gets on your skin, then rub it in there too, as it is a lovely (albeit greasy) moisturiser to boot. Perhaps a lovely home made Christmas present for the wooden-product-enthusiast in your family? Ha.
I don’t care if it makes me a fuddy-duddy before my time; I find making my own “Green Home” products quite therapeutic…. plus you KNOW they are safe and are much cheaper in the long run. Particularly for things like children’s wooden toys, you want something that is natural – because we all know EVERYTHING goes in the mouth, right?
I don’t know – maybe it’s just a sign of “growing up,” or “maturing,” (notice the inverted commas here) but I seem to get a lot of satisfaction from things I used to deem BORING a few years ago. Gardening, craft, cooking, reading a thick novel – even cleaning and home maintenance for Pete’s sake. All-night partying and mischief doesn’t have quite the allure any more.
What do you think? Are there things you have so much more appreciation for now than say a few years back?