Update time

I’ve really picked up my game in been super healthy since my last post, but most especially in the last 7 days. This last week i’ve eaten strict paleo, with my only vice being a small (and i mean tiny) piece of dark chocolate every second night. I’ve replaced my breakie with a green smoothie, i make about a litre of the vege overload and sip it throughout the morn… Gone are the cafe lattes and they’ve been replaced with long blacks. The smoothies have given my metabolism a huge shake up, since monday i’ve lost 2 inches off my waist (so all up 3 inches in nearly a month). I’ve got to be honest the smoothies aren’t the most delightful things, but they’re not offensive. I’ve been having

2 handfuls of spinach

cup of blueberries

stalk of celery

whole lemon (peel off)

knob of ginger

2 glasses of water

chuck it all in the thermomix, on speed 10 for 1-2mins and voila! This literally keeps me full for 4-5hours, and I’m not in a sedentary job, as a barista I’m on my feet for 9 hours a day. The results are fucking unreal!! And because change has happened so fast I’m more determined than i ever have been. My energy levels have doubled and i just feel happier. And the added bonus of weight loss is the cherry on the top (of coconut ice-cream but of course)

Usually by my weekend i’m rooted, so emotionally depleted and physically exhausted from working in hospo (don’t get me wrong, i love my job, its just demanding) but today being the start of my weekend , i’ve been buzzing around cooking, prepping and cleaning, usually i’d plant my arse on the couch and smash out a tv series! The joy of falling off the wagon and getting back on it, is the initial high from fuelling your body with the best possible food. Its contagious! Fuck feeling like shit ever again… This is defiantly a new me!

Soooooo go paleo if you know whats good for ya!

Yip, i am still alive

Well this year is just flying by, i can’t believe we’re in October already. Totally scary. So all in all its been a rollercoaster ride to keep paleo this year. There’s been good weeks, followed by bad months. I can’t put my finger on why its been so difficult to healthy. I mean shit, i KNOW i’ve had a better diet than previous years, but the sugar demon has been rampant this year. But as the days get longer, its seems easier to eat healthy, as that burst of VIT D is a real inspiration for health (or just a sharp realisation that hotter temps means less clothes, and less clothes means dimply fatty bits are out and about on show) If you’re a follower of my rambles you’ll know that im not about being skinny, im all for glowing healthy skin and mental clarity, and slimming down is just a bonus. But heck that summer feel defiantly makes you want to up the anti!

2013 has also been a struggle to find an exercise regime that inspires me. So after fighting a huge inner demon, i sucked up my fear and went along to Roller Derby freshmeat tryout. After a 3 year hiatus, it was a pleasant suprise to still be able to skate and enjoy every second! It was such a huge mental hurdle to step/skate back on the track. The last time i was doing “derby” it ended bad, and “smylin Assassin” was retired. I still have a mini freak out about being back, and i’ve only been a handful of times in 6 weeks, but im liking it and feeling brave, and also feel like a huge chapter of my that was haunting me has been closed yet re-opened in a nice way, i feel like ive matured. Which that in itself is scary!

So as i type this, my mantra thats going through my head is “fuck j, no more sugar, sugar is evil, sugar tastes like shit”, so back to the beginning i go, telling myself this time will be different, and you know what? I reckon it will be! So i’ll be back here rambling on about my life and my cockups. And general life crap! And wish me luck, but i think this time i’ll be more successful than ever before!

Burlesque? Yip i’d say thats exercise.

I’ve been a bit lazy on thee ole exercise front for the last few months, right, lets be honest its been longer than i care to admit! I’ve still been active, walking to work 4 days a week, and retail and hospitality are a work out. Making coffees for years has given mostly defined arms. But its been yonks since i’ve felt like my body has worked its muscles. So with that came the realisation i need to get my arse into gear. So wifey (one of my besties) and i are on operation “get our guns back”. It always seems better to have a partner in crime, someone that relies on you, so theres no backing out at the last minute, because someone is waiting for you at the gym.

So our plan started yesterday, with a conscious effort to get moving 3 days a week. And to make it more interesting so we don’t get bored. So our Monday night workout was burlesque! Wifey has been going for awhile, so i was the new girl on the block. I was dried mouth, nervous and had no idea what to expect. I thought it would be a lot of gyrating on chairs with come hither eyes (there was that!!) but my gosh what a workout! Im feeling muscles i forgot existed, that hour class didn’t leave me puffed, but i worked up a sweat, did some hand/chest stands on chairs and made sure i had pointed sexy toes! I was out of my comfort zone, i’m a pretty shit dancer unless i’ve had a few rums then I’m amazing (just ask me!) but it was nice just to try and let go and feel the movements, and for confidence, it was just what the doctor ordered. I have some mystery bruises today across my stomach and a huge one on my inner thigh. Every muscle from my ears down feel tight, god i love that feeling!

So now its rest for a couple of days, and onto Cage Fitness. Which i’ve always loved, combined Mixed Martial Arts and heavy lifting, and chuck in a bit of sprinting. Half hour work out of pure sweat and punching. Can’t wait! And we’ll be finishing off the week with spin. At our local gym in Bendigo (fit republic) they have night spin which i like to call rave spin. Its in a dark room, with black lights and loud music, you really get into the zone, and forget there’s 20 other people in the room, and i literally feel the fat slide off my body. Im excited about getting my fit on, and hopefully in a month i’ll be brave enough to go back to cross fit. So i’ll be sharing all my achy stories and hopefully my plateau weight will come down a few kilos. And if all else fails, at least i’ll have a happy hubby who’s wife is a sexy amateur burlesque entertainer!

WHAT A WEEK!!

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So the week started off magically, we were lucky enough to hear Joel And Daniel Salatin give a talk on sustainable living and life at polyface farms. Right here in lovely Bendigo, finally a true celebrity in our midst! If you haven’t seen Food Inc, you must run and watch it NOW! Like NOW! Thats when i first became familiar with the Salatins.

For me, my dream is to be as sustainable as possible, have our own animals for the slaughter and really explore and embrace the culinary arts (or kicking it old school one might say). So preserving, pickling, jams etc etc. Of course living as organic as possible. A few acres, lush gardens, chickens, goats, cows, rabbits, horses, well actually the whole hog! And ideally we’d love to have some accommodation for people to come and hang and have, i guess, a bit of a health retreat, eating from the land, cooking lessons and relaxation out of the big smoke. One of my many pipe dreams (which i reckon this one will come true!). So the 2 hours of listening to the Salatins speak was unreal, i actually screamed out amen at one stage (what a geek). My beloved hubby was lucky enough to get a one on one interview with him, i’ll chuck that up on the blog later in the week. It sometimes seems as if there’s not many people one can resonate with, and those hours i felt so connected to a room full of strangers, hanging off the words of a lovely farmer from Virginia America! Oh it was a lovely way to start the week. But that has been the only highlight, the rest of the week has been an absolute fail when it comes to being paleo…

I usually don’t allow the cravings to win, but this week, they did ūüė¶ I had a sandwich, holy crap it doesn’t sound bad, but far out, the pain that followed, and then i had a ice-cream, i was like a crack addict shooting up in a dirty alley, there was just no stopping me! Usually when i am naughty, i try to keep it gluten free, so i don’t feel like total rubbish, and i had cake (that was gluten free) Its been a stressful week. I had recently quit my job, after working my butt off, i was wrung out and tired. I had been managing a busy cafe in our hometown, when i left, my “wifey” took over. And its taken its toll on her, so i’ve gone back a couple of days a week to act as i a consultant i guess you could say. And with that i’ve had to be a c%$t, and get staff back on track. I can feel my shoulders up near my ears, and that hole that can only be filled by binge eating!! It’s embarrassing typing this and sharing how i failed myself, no body really talks about the lows and the guilt that follows. And each night i’d go to bed in pain, telling myself tomorrow ¬†is a new day. And that it is! So i’ve been shit for a few days, i may even be shit tomorrow, but i know, that this is not a lifestyle i’ll fall back into again. Its too painful! But hell, sometimes that NO DON’T EAT IT is just a quiet whisper in the back of my head, i need to turn the volume up on that guy. But the best thing about messing up is, i know i messed up! And i can turn it around and feel fabulous again. So heres to a week of fixing my leaky gut, a week of listening to that voice screaming to keep clean, and heres to not allowing stress to take over! So i’ve learnt ¬†valuable lesson i reckon!

Saturday = BAKING DAY!

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So i’ve got my bake on today. We’ve got a friend staying from the big smoke, and his girlfriend is lactose intolerant, so I’m baking some paleo treats for him to take home to her. I’ve whipped up a paleo bread, my carrot and cranberry cake, and lastly for the hubby and myself some macadamia, raw chocolate and cranberry cookies. The cookies are in the oven now, and its a bit of mmm wonder if this and this will work, so i followed no recipe and basically chucked stuff in the thermomix. I started off turning some macadamias into a flour, but turned my back for a split second then we had macadamia butter! So i then added some shredded coconut, coconut flour, some organic grass fed butter, a block of loving earth raw chocolate, egg and egg yolk, baking soda and cranberries. They’re currently in the oven, so we’ll see if that random chuck this in chuck that in, works! The mixture tastes amazing, but eek i don’t know if there will be success. We’ll soon see. I have a feeling they’ll be more like little cake bites, rather than cookies. I’ll keep ya posted!

Green Smoothies… And what i think

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So i’m pretty much an all or nothing girl, when it comes to Paleo eating i become addicted to certain meals/snacks for a few days, sometimes a few weeks and then blergh I’m off them. I’ve gone thru the green smoothie stage probably about 3 times over the last year and half. But we had a shitty old blender, so my smoothies was more like a chunky. There’s nothing worse than gagging on big bits of spinach at 6am. The flavour was never offensive just not a smooth ride down the gullet, which is a bit of a turn off for me. I tried to persevere for health reasons, because i’d feel amazing for the whole day, it was like shooting up pure collard greens, i was all zingy and wide eyed! And i’d last a few days in a row of my “chunkys” before giving up.

But now we have our Edna (thermomix) and she can blitz the crap outta anything! So my smoothies are smooth again! So the last few days i’ve been mixing up what ever is in our vege basket in the fridge. Now I’m not going to rave about “oh my god, they taste sooooooo AMAZING, because they don’t. They’re not gross either, but just enjoyable, and the feeling of well being that follows beats any high EVER! And they’re so filling as well. No two days are the same recipe. I think todays was my favourite.

1 carrot

1/2 cucumber

1/2 orange

1 lemon

2 huge handfuls of rocket

400mls Water

handful of ice cubes.

I blitz all the veges and fruit on speed 8 for 30 secs, then add ice cubes and water on speed 4 for 2 mins. It comes out so creamy and the rocket gives it a peppery taste. I think it would have been perfect with some fresh mint. But otherwise it was A.OK!

My skin and stomach are screaming THANKS LADY!! YOU’RE MAKING ME FEEL DELIGHTFUL!

Paleo Pumpkin Gnocchi

Over the last 2 days i’ve been creating a recipe for paleo gnocchi. This is not a recipe to attempt after a busy day at work! Its a 2 day process. I always loved gnocchi, and just tried to forget about it whilst i’ve been paleo, there were a few recipes out there, but none appealed, so i thought it was time to create my own. I’ve been trying to cut back on my almond intake, every now and again it causes bloating (i.e. my leaky gut flares up) i made a carrot cake yesterday and felt heavy for the rest of the day. Im assuming my guts are still recovering from my abuse in America!

So here we go!

INGREDIENTS

*500gm diced pumpkin

*tablespoon of coconut oil

*pinch of sea salt

*pinch of nutmeg

*2 x egg yolk

*3 tablespoons raw milk (dairy is fine with us as long as its raw and organic, substitute coconut milk if lactose intolerant)

*70grams coconut flour

STEP 1

Roast 500 grams of pumpkin in a shallow tray, tossed in sea salt and coconut oil. In a preheated oven at 170 degrees celsius on fan force roast for 25 mins or until smooshy and browned. Let cool

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STEP 2

Add cooled cooked pumpkin, pinch of sea salt, pinch of nutmeg, 2 egg yolks, coconut flour and raw milk to the thermomix, on the closed lid setting and knead for 45 seconds (you could use a food processor, the thermy is just faster and I’m addicted to it!!). It looks more like breadcrumbs than a dough. Take out the mixture and on a board dusted in coconut flour work into a ball. Its a bit crumbly, so work it lightly. Once you have a ball, wrap in glad wrap and leave in the fridge over night.

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STEP 3

The next day ( i left for 24hrs) leave the mixture on the bench for about 5 or so mins, so its not so cold. Now this is where its a bit different than usual gnocchi. Get balls of the dough (only big enough to get 2 pieces from it) and work each piece individually. This is a freaking long process, but it has to be worked throughly. It took me about 15 mins to roll and shape the paleo gnocchi, hard because there’s no gluten holding it together!! But it does hold together.

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STEP 4

we attempted to cook it the boiling method, i tried a few pieces and it disintegrated and tasted foul! Im guessing because there was no gluten, hence the reason of disintegrating! I may try tapioca flour next.  So we decided to bake it instead. With a garlic, bacon, sage and cream sauce. We made the sage etc sauce on the stove top. Heated the  oven at 170degrees celsius for about 15 mins.

STEP 5

We decided to go with a bacon with burnt butter and sage sauce. Our bacon is from a local free range butcher.

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So we’ve just finished dinner, and while it wasn’t the best food I’ve ever eaten, it wasn’t offensive either! I’ll try and tweak this again in a couple of weeks. But it was good, and we did finish our bowls! I am a bit bummed it wasn’t AMAZEMENT! But hell it was pretty good!

Paleo Carrot and Cranberry Cake

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I found a delish carrot cake recipe on Thermomix Recipe page. Its sound delightful, but i can never follow a recipe without making a few tweaks! The carrots i used were from the Bendigo Farmers Market, they were so so sweet, maybe the best carrots i’ve ever had. The original recipe is here. And this is my rendition. She may not look pretty but she tastes superb. If you don’t have a thermomix, you’ll be able to make this in a food processor, just use almond meal instead of raw almonds, and grate the carrots first.

300 grams raw almonds

4 large carrots cut in inch blocks

4 eggs

an inch of vanilla bean

2 tsp cinnamon ground

1/2 tsp nutmeg

60 grams avocado oil

60 grams maple syrup

2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

90 grams cranberries

Preparation

1.

Preheat oven to 160C.

2. ¬†Place¬†almonds in mixing bowl and mill 10 sec/speed 9¬†or until milled ‚Äď if you are in tune with your Thermomix you can hear when most milling, chopping, grating is done).

3. ¬†Add carrots and grate 5 sec/speed 6 ‚Äď it will mix with the almond meal.¬† Scrape down the sides.

4.  Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, oil and maple syrup and mix 15 sec/speed 5.

5.  Add baking powder and combine 5 sec/speed 5.

6.  Add cranberries and mix on Reverse 5 sec/speed 4.

7.  Pour into a prepared 20 centimetre baking tin and bake for one hour  or until cooked through.

8.   Remove from oven and cool completely in the tin, then turn out.

9. No need to ice! i just ate with a spread of butter.

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!