Paleo living and travelling

Im typing this bleary eyed sitting/lying on grubby carpet at LAX. We left Melbourne early Sunday morn, had a fleeting visit to Santa Monica and now upon route to Jamaica. And in only 1 and 1/2 days in America, i feel sick. My stomach is bloated and heavy, and i feel like shit! Hard to believe that it can all go pear shaped in such short time! I blame the food on the plane ( we got gluten free and tried so hard to avoid all nasties and before y’all go why didn’t you pack some food??!) To be honest it didn’t even cross my mind! Im an anxious flyer so i was too busy thinking how the fuck am i going to survive a 16 hour flight. And boy oh boy did i learn from that lesson!! We’ve eaten what we thought was 80% paleo but my guts say another story. Thank god for wholefoods store and kombucha! Otherwise i’d be more of a mess.

But really i shouldn’t complain, I’m half way around the world, upon route to Jamaica (tropical bloody island!!) to see two of our very dear friends tie the knot, and got to bike around Santa Monica, have many a laugh with my beloved hubby,took some hilarious photos at muscle beach, score some amazing vintage wears, and be served by some of the friendliest people i’ve ever met, and yet again realised Josh and I are the best travelling duo! But America you hurty my guts (last mention). Bring on Jerk food and sunshine! Im hoping by the time we get to NYC my guts will be restored, and we can cook food in our apartment. Look out trader joes, you’re going to get some serious loving by this kiwi and her aussie hubby.

 

Well its nearly time to board our flight. Paleo love from the land up over (reverse of land down under. If you don’t laugh i understand, I’m very tired!!)

 

xx

Play time

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Play time

One of the most important things in life, is to have fun! Don’t take life so serious, have a play in the backyard with your kids or animals, climb a rope, chase your partner, or just laugh until you cry or wet your pants (I’m not here to judge) Just take time out.

Stress seems to be a major part in peoples day to day life now, i understand with some jobs, its just a given. But reducing cortisol levels is really important, even if you just make small changes. Like making sure you’re getting enough omega-3s compared to your omega-6 intake (this is where making a change to grass fed meat can make a huge difference). Getting 8 hours sleep a night, turning off electronics after a certain hour to get your brain rested for sleep (this is something a struggle with, me and the internet are like drug depended lovers. I do try tho). With this in mind, i made the plunge and quit my job, working over 50hrs a week as a cafe manager dealing with 15 staff and never being able to leave my job at work. My phone would always be beeping or ringing on my days off, and i was constantly worried about if the place was ok while i was on holidays.

The final straw was when we were in New Zealand in September last year (my motherland) and it got to day 6, and i was fretting about work and orders and staff issues, that i was forgetting to live and take in the beautiful surroundings. We were at an isolated beach at the top of the north island, we could hear the waves crashing from our bedroom and basically had a whole bay to ourselves. And yet i was thinking shit have i ordered enough coffee beans? Hope they don’t run out of takeaway coffee cups, are the guys cleaning properly. Now if this was MY business, all those feelings are valid, but i cared far too much. Born out of that, was a whole new attitude towards life. No more crazy working hours, no more lack lustre people in my life, no more drainers. And never again will i wake up to get ready for work if the birds haven’t even stirred! Years of getting up at 5am and getting home at 6pm had taken there toll. So now i’ve had nearly the whole month of January and will have half of February to reset, to start work in a toy shop. Taking play to a whole new level. I’ve lost weight just from living a less stress life, my paleo diet hasn’t changed, but my body has.

Sometimes those scary decisions are the best. I will miss the extra money ( the local shops will defiantly struggle!) but it isn’t everything in life. I’d rather have a smile on my face, than 50 dresses hanging in my wardrobe. Life is a beautiful thing, get out and live it!

Delicious snacks

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Delicious snacks

I love snacks, little tasty morsels to get you through the arvo/morning or when ever a snack attack hits. At our local Aldi supermarket you can get mini cucumbers, which i cut in half and hollow out the seeds (then feed those to our chickens, its a win win situation!) and fill with pate. So you’re getting protein hit with some offal. I go through stages of loving offal and just being able to stomach it, it really is mind over matter, i think my sometimes fear of it, comes from my father chasing me around the house (i was about 7) with lambs fry in his mouth pretending to be hannibal lector. :scary: They’re so tasty these little treats!

Paleo Banana Pancakes.

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Paleo Banana Pancakes.

Oh my gawd, these are to die for! We usually indulge and have these once a month, on a sunday. I’ve always had a soft spot for pancakes. I got this recipe from a lovely lady who i happened to stumble across on the great wide web. I’ve tried a few paleo recipes for pancakes and these are hands down THE BEST! Its a total party in your mouth, tastebud explosion. Holy crap, I’m drooling all over my keyboard as i type!

What our fridge looks like.

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What our fridge looks like.

To succeed at the Paleo lifestyle, you need to be organised, especially when you first start. Otherwise its pretty easy to fall off the wagon. We cleared our pantries out got rid of all the grains, legumes, processed foods and sugar. We decided to take them to a food bank (now i actually feel pretty awful about that, passing on sub-par food to the needy)

We shop once a week, and go to a few places. We get our meat from the local butcher or Aldi (both grassfed). Fruit and veges from Bendigo whole foods, aldi and the local greengrocer, we try to buy organic, but sometimes thats hard in a small town. And also try to buy in season.

Bendigo whole foods is a godsend for my baking requirements, supplying loving earth and are always super helpful and go out of their way to help us.

Organising the fridge takes an hour each week, rotating veges, putting berries into containers so they last longer, cutting asparagus and celery into pieces etc etc. I LOVE doing this, i get all excited over the colours and feel proud to be eating clean. Its inspiring, and you know what i always get a rush of pride when i look at other peoples trollies. SHOP THE PERIMETER of the stores people! The middle is full of shit. Looking at the photo makes me so excited!! nomnomnom

Brussel sprouts the king of the garden

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Brussel sprouts the king of the garden

To me, brussel sprouts are one of my favourite foods to snack on.
Josh always whips up delightful paleo treats.

This is in my top ten of eats and so simple to make
Handful of brussels sprouts washed and cut in half, a few rashers of bacon, a couple of gloves of garlic and coconut oil.

Heat a cast iron pan up, chuck in the oil and garlic, then add the bacon (chopped roughly) sautéed for a few mins then add brussel sprouts. We usually only cook them for a few minutes, we like our veges still crunchy. Brussel sprouts are the unsung heroes of the garden I wish they’d marry kale and have awesome babies.

Paleo desert delights

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Paleo desert delights

So i was an absolute chocolate fiend. There would be tantrums and tears, it was really quite pathetic. So when we went gung ho on paleo, i knew the chocolate had to go. I will indulge every now and again as long as its at least 80%cocoa. But now i’ve started making my own paleo chocolate! With the help of loving earth products.

Perky Na Nas

1/2 cup cacao butter
1/4 cup cacao powder

Melt the butter in a double boiler (pot of boiling water on the stove, with a metal bowl on top, make sure the water doesn’t touch the top bowl) once melted add the cacao powder, mix well.

Stick some skewers up the bananas bums, and dip in the chocolate mix.

On a tray place down some baking paper and then put the chocolate covered paleo bananas on that. Whack them in the freezer and ta da frozen sweet treat. The riper the banana the sweeter they are.

They’re pretty delightful!

home grown eggs

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home grown eggs

I have to say, the best thing about country life, is owning a home with a backyard big enough to have chickens! We have 5 girls (mostly ex battery hens that have been rescued) We’re lucky enough to get on average 4 eggs a day, which is the perfect amount for Josh and myself. The yolks are so creamy and the best colour. And the eggs couldn’t be fresher! Usually less than 24hrs old. We’ve decided that the year 2013 will be chicken free for us. Having the girls in the backyard and their cousins in our fridge just feels wrong. And chickens get fed so much crap, thats there’s really not too much nutritional value. The omega 6 factor is way too high for our liking. The girls have so much personality and are joy to hang out with. Its always fun being in the garden hearing them coo and fossick around.

How my life has changed…

Two years ago, i was miserable, living in pain from grains. After seeing nautropaths and GPs they couldn’t figure out what was wrong we me, i had celiac testing come back negative, gave up nightshades, still no difference, told to eat more grains for fibre, which caused chronic diarrhoea. My anxiety levels were beyond comprehendible, depression had set it, my eczema was so bad on my feet and hands that my skin was literally tearing every day. Some days i could barely walk without pain. I looked like i was pregnant (at least 6mths!) so i’d diet and exercise 5-6 times a week, with my calorie counting watch, not leaving the gym until i had burned 1200 calories, and wondering why i was exhausted! I was malnourished and in that chronic cardio addiction stage. I had put my mental health depletion  down to moving from Melbourne to Bendigo. Never in my wildest dreams did i realise it was the porridge i was having for breakfast, that “healthy” chicken and salad sandwich, finishing the day off with my Father In Laws delicious pasta with crusty bread on the side, going to gym nearly everyday doing a warmup ,at least one class if not two, and cycling to work.  I mean this is all pretty healthy right? WRONG!

I soon got bored doing regular gym classes and talked to a trainer at my gym that suggested cross fit. I remember my first WOD feeling dead afterwards, but a sense of HELL YEAH! Im exhausted in the best possible way. So like a lot of people that do cross fit, the word paleo was thrown my way. I raced home and started “googling” paleo. And thinking shit, this is going to be hard. I kept it to myself for awhile, just pondering this “paleo lifestyle” thinking mmm bacon for breakfast you say hey… Well that sounds delightful! My husband is an Osteopath, so we did some investigation into paleo, not just reading peoples success stories, but actual research done on paleo, reading paper after paper, buying books galore. We started out slowly, with Josh (my hubby) getting more and more involved with this paleo life, before we knew it we were 90% paleo and feeling fantastic! My anxiety had more or less disappeared after a few weeks, eczema was GONE, no longer looking like i was pregnant and people started commenting on how fantastic i looked, the most common thing said was “wow you look so young, and your skin is glowing!” This 33 year lady loves hearing things like that!

Now it wasn’t easy, and still comes hard sometimes. Im an emotional eater, so every now and again i fall of the wagon, and feel atrocious, and slowly but surely, my skin starts to look awful, the mental clarity isn’t there, and i look bloated and look and feel so tired. But i always get back up there and feel fantastic, the goal for 2013 is to feel the best i’ve ever felt. By being at least 90% paleo, and only surrounding myself with people and attitudes that equate to a happy healthy life. And so far we’re winning.

I remember after being paleo for a couple of months, Josh turned to me said “i always thought i was really healthy, but now i realise i was so use to being blogged down with grains  that it felt normal, i was a sick man” that is something that has stuck in my head. Josh is so dedicated to this lifestyle, he’s now incorporating it into is Osteopathy, helping many a patient with diet. We’re such foodies, so we’ve embraced this lifestyle by having fun in the kitchen and inventing delightful meals that aren’t just meat and 3 veg. I’ve always enjoyed baking, so its been fun playing with old favourite recipes, and trolling the internet for like minded people.

So this blog, is i guess, my personal diary, my creations and failures in the kitchen, and my happiness from eating clean.