How my body has changed in 12 weeks

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IMG_7301.JPGI can’t get over how much my body has changed in 12 weeks. The picture on the left is the  biggest i’ve ever been in my life i think, well at the least the most boated. I look at that picture and all i see is obesity, sadness and inflammation. The picture on the right, reminds me off hope and happiness and a bright healthy future. I’ll be honest the weight loss is awesome, but its actually the way i feel that outweighs the weight loss. Having energy again, and rebuilding my confidence is amazing. Its going to be a long fucking road, but hey i’m gonna embrace every moment, and enjoy new adventures like swimming by myself in the ocean (did that for the first time today). Its so weird, but Josh and i have been swimming in the ocean 2-3 times a week even in winter. The water is lip tremoring cold in winter, but the scariest thing about doing it, was being overweight and walking into the water feeling exposed in just bathers, and now i can walk with my head a bit higher. With the healthy changes, i find that my posture has changed, not sure if thats from inflammation  disappearing or confidence surging out of me. Either way I’m fucking loving it. Im trying not to think of my body being broken, but more so on a super duper new adventure of healthy fats and telling sugar to shove off. Who knows what my body will transform into over the next 6 months, but i can’t wait to see how shiny i become.

My paleo chocolate

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My paleo chocolate

I’ve been making this chocolate for about 6 mths now, it just hangs in the freezer when hubby and i have a sweet tooth craving. There is no added sugar in it, all natural. And i love it! So it’s time i share the super easy recipe.

With todays batch i used Edna (thermomix)

INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1
Grate 250 grams of cacao butter 5-10 seconds on speed 8. Then Melt 3 mins at 50 degrees celcius. Then add about 1/4 cup of cacao powder

STEP 2
Whilst the cacao butter is melting, chop a handful of cranberries, handful almonds, handful dried apricots, small handful of pistachios and a small chilli.

STEP 3
Combine the melted “chocolate” and the nuts/fruit. Then pour onto a baking tray covered in baking paper. The chocolate won’t be as thick as other chocolate, so its thin with delicious chunky bits! I now leave the tray in the freezer and just break bits off when I’m having sugar craving. But its sugar free!

Meet the new addition to the family

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Meet the new addition to the family

So we bit the bullet and decided to purchase a Thermomix to make out paleo lives easier. We’ve had “Edna” (i’ve named her after my beloved Nana who’s baking was amazing) for 24hrs. We’ve already made, “almond hummus”, vegetable stock concentrate, beetroot salad and vege soup (all with the help of our lovely thermomix consultant Stevie-Lee) and today i’ve made paleo chocolate. I can already sense, we’ll be using Edna nearly everyday. To make my paleo chocolate, it took me 5 mins from start to finish rather than the usual 20 mins. I’m in love!

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.