About Me

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I love finding new worlds through writing and reading. I am excited by creating new flavours and tastes in the kitchen. I am fascinated by nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. I adore my my dog, family and friends.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Glimpse into Motivation Monday - week 1 2014/15 - design the story that you want

This Wednesday is New Year's Eve, so of course, the "make sure you are the best you that you can be" motivational talks are everywhere. I think that it is as good a time as any to make a fresh start, to take stock of where you are in life, and make new goals and plans, but of course, you do not need to wait til January 1 to do this.
If what you plan for your year is not working out, make adjustments to your strategy. Reflect and assess throughout the year. Be aware, be grateful, aim big, be realistic, learn from mistakes, don't be discouraged, work hard, treat yourself, love your life, do not take any day for granted, fight for what you want and be happy.
Stay safe this New Year's Eve, celebrate within your limits, and enjoy the start of a fresh chapter. Happy New Year and may 2015 be one filled with good health, happiness and new opportunities.

Glimpse into end of year best wishes

Hello there! I truly hope that you have all had a lovely Christmas. I had a beautiful time with my small family, revolving around good food, thoughtful presents, Christmas movies, board games, love and happiness. Thankfully, my body allowed me a couple of fairly good days, and I was able to join in on the quiet celebrations at home. Since Boxing Day, I have felt pretty well wiped out though, however, when you deal with chronic illness, I think that is a fairly good trade. I am also a cricket addict, and I think Boxing Day is the best time of year (leftovers and cricket, thank you!), so I have quite happily rested on the couch in front of the test match since.

I am sorry that I did not complete my planned festive month of blog posts. I did not have a great few weeks health wise, and sometimes even the best laid plans go astray! I will still post them, they just will not be Christmas-style.

I just wanted to pop in and say that I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and that you all enjoy safe and happy New Year celebrations.
I look forward to bringing you more blog posts and recipes in the New Year! Thank you for all your support this year.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Glimpse into Motivation Monday - week 51 - what do you want this Christmas?

This week, in the days leading up to Christmas, take stock of all the amazing things in your life. I know, that sounds cheesey. This time of the year, however, is the best time to be cheesey! No matter what your health, family or financial situation, be aware of the things that make you happy, and if you can not find one thing that makes you happy, take this time to figure out what you are going to do to fight with all your power to get something which does make you happy! Material things do not matter; loving and being loved, doing what you makes you happy, and being a good person is what counts. Get out there and make it happen. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 50 - pancakes

I love pancakes - who doesn't?! The only problem with pancakes, I feel, is cooking pancakes! I can not do it. Even back in the day, when I used "normal" pancake ingredients, like eggs and wheat flour, I was never any good at it. I am a very patient person, but when it comes to delicious treats, waiting for the pan to be the correct temperature, and knowing the exact time to flip, is obviously not my forte!
However, as I do love a good pancake, I try every now and again, and who knew, but persistence was the key! I developed these grain free, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, low FODMAP pancakes, and they are pretty darn scrummy! Learn from my mistake; be patient and wait til your fry pan is hot!

This seemed like a great addition to our Christmas theme, as no matter what season your Christmas falls in, pancakes are an indulgent and delicious (and healthy, in this case) treat for holiday breakfasts!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Glimpse into Wellness Wednesday - week 50 - lunges

Lunges are a simple exercise which can be done in various ways to suit your fitness level. As I have mentioned before, when you are often resting, the hip flexors in particular can become tight. Regular lunges can keep this flexible and minimise other issues caused by tight hip flexors, such as a bad back.

Begin by kneeling, both knees pressed onto the floor, the tops of your feet flat to the ground. Bring your right leg through, so that your foot is in front of you and your knee is bent. Slide your legs apart from each other until your thighs make a straight line which is at a diagonal to the floor (you know what?! Lunges are very hard to describe in writing!). You may need something like a chair next to you so that you can balance yourself. Gently stretch by pushing more deeply into the lunge. Hold for as long as you can; gradually work up to at least a minute each side.

Once you can do that level without wobbling, upgrade your level. You can try extending your arms straight above your head as you lunge, slowly going into a slight backbend. You can also lunge so that your back leg is no longer resting on the ground. Ensure you do not rotate your knee too far around, otherwise you will hurt your knee and hip.

This is a great exercise to throw into your routine. Try to do it when you first get up out of bed, after you have been sitting for some time, or when you feel tight; just as often as you find comfortable really!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Glimpse into Motivation Monday - week 50 - the importance of balance

We hear it again and again; everything in moderation, balance is key. I absolutely believe this. I think a lot of people put the wrong amount of pressure on themselves though.

The "naughty" does not have to be unhealthy, negative choices. When you realise this, it is a major breakthrough in life! Whether it be food treats, in the form of nutritious chocolate slices as opposed to sugar and fat laden chocolate blocks, or lifestyle choices. A treat, a splurge or an indulgent moment can be so good for you, possibly even better than the "nice" choices you make; you just have to learn the best way. There are so many options out there, now that we are all so aware of how important health and wellness are to our lives. A "naughty" treat at a cafe which is actually nutrient dense is easily found now. Bath scrubs are available with healing, relaxing and muscle soothing ingredients. Movie sessions can be highly entertaining and educational at the same time. The list goes on.

I follow a lot of inspirational fitness blogs and I love the motivation they give out. However, as someone who has a body which is not functioning properly, I sometimes have a problem with some of the exercise messages put out. In particular, I find the "there is no excuse/your body is only as weak as your mind" type concepts a little stressful and unfair. I want to work out and be fit with all my heart. I used to love being active. I am not making excuses, nor am I weak. I know that I can not push myself because my body is not capable of it. It took me a long time to accept this. However, now that I have, I am learning how to incorporate it into the concept of balance. To some, spending the day on the couch is perceived as lazy; as a "naughty" indulgence. For me, it is an unavoidable (and highly frustrating) necessity. I can not feel guilty about it. Nor can I feel guilty about having a laugh with friends when I can not work, or about watching a movie when the paperwork chores are building up. 
An important part to balance, is learning what is relevant to you. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Everyone's situations, bodies, goals and abilities are different. Finding what is at your core is mandatory when developing balance.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 49 - Christmas trifle

I hope that you are excited! It is our first Christmas Foodie Friday for 2014! That means the great reveal of this week's big recipe, which has slowly unfolded over the week.

Did you guess what it is?!

What does a combination of strawberry jelly, ice cream, chocolate sauce, and banana bread turn into?!....

Christmas Trifle (1 serve)

Choose your favourite long or large glass, or pretty bowl suitable for a trifle.

  1. Start off with 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate sauce
  2. Place a jiggly layer of 3-4 large tablespoons of strawberry tea jelly
  3. Then scoop on 3-4 large tablespoons of mint ice cream
  4. Break up a few chunks of choc chip banana bread over the ice cream
  5. Top that with 3-4 large tablespoons of strawberry ice cream
  6. Pour on 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate sauce
  7. Sprinkle the top with a combination of shredded coconut, dried strawberries, cacao nibs, cinnamon, and crushed nuts.

I hope that you enjoy this Christmas coloured trifle! Such a decadent treat packed with nutrition! Double score!

Glimpse into choc chip banana bread

When you are grain free and gluten free, bread and cake textures are a distance memory! A recent discovery I made in a local health store was green banana flour. I have been experimenting with it, and it makes quite fluffy, baked treats.
This recipe is also dairy and egg free, so it can be a little dry once it has cooled. I find that it is yummy toasted or microwaved, and topped with mashed banana, strawberries or coconut butter.

Choc chip banana bread

1 cup green banana flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup choc chips
1/4 - 1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup banana, mashed
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 coconut oil
1 gelatin egg (1 tablespoon of gelatin dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons of boiling water)
1 chia egg (1 tablespoon of chia seeds dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line loaf pan with baking paper.
Combine dry ingredients well.
Combine wet ingredients well.
Stir the two mixtures together. Pour into the lined pan.
Cook for 40 minutes, or til inserted skewer comes out clean.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Glimpse into ice magic

Here in Australia, everyone loves ice magic on their ice cream! This is chocolate sauce which hardens when poured on top of the cold ice cream. Here is a healthy, nutritious version, which is just as delicious!

Ice magic (1 serve)

1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of cocao
1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

Adjust these basic quantities to suit your taste buds.

Glimpse into healthy icecream

An important part to our special Christmas recipe, which will be revealed in its entirety this Foodie Friday, is this amazing and delicious recipe...


Banana ice cream

Basically, this recipe is: FROZEN BANANAS! All that needs to be done, is slice up a banana for each serve, and freeze. When ready to serve, simply blend the slices in a powerful food processor.

It is delicious in this simple form, but of course, you can add healthy extras for different flavours. Here are some of my favourite combinations:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Glimpse into Wellness Wednesday - week 49 - Santa squats!

This week's Wellness Wednesday will focus on the squat, and in keeping with this month's festive theme, it will be called the Santa Squat!

The squat is an awesome exercise which involves the upper and lower body, in particular the butt, thighs, lower back and core. It burns calories, and strengthens and tones your muscles.

It is a tough exercise, so take it easy to begin with. I began with two seated squats, and very slowly worked up to being able to do about 5-10 squats. I can not go very low, but I am working on it. Remember that every time you add a little more movement to your day, the stronger you get, so do not worry about not being able to get low. (I have written more about this concept here.)

To commence, place you feet firmly on the floor, about shoulder width apart.
Your feet should not point straight ahead, but slightly outward.
Looking straight ahead, bend at your knees.

Start off by lowering yourself into a chair, like happy Santa, sitting down for his cookies after his

156, 987th chimney descent! When you are stronger, lower down as if you were about to sit in a chair. Do not let your knees go forward past your toes, and keep your heels on the floor.
Turn your ab muscles on (pull them in), and keep your back in a neutral position.

Lower yourself down and back, slowly. Tighten your body so that your movement is controlled. Extend your arms in front of you for balance. You may find it helpful to place your hands on a bar or chair in front of you. Go as low as you can; but not further than when your thighs are nearly parallel with the floor. Remember, start off with the smallest of drops if that is what you can do.

Come slowly back up to a standing position, and say "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Glimpse into strawberry tea jelly

This month will be full of special posts to get us ready for the festive season! Just because you have restricted diets, or because you have chronic health issues, does not mean you have to miss out on the festive cheer! I will bring you ideas on how to be part of this Christmas season.

This week's extra posts will revolve around a surprise recipe which will be revealed in its entirety this Foodie Friday. The large (but easy) recipe will be broken down, and the first part of this recipe will be....

Strawberry tea jelly!

1 1/2 cups of boiling water
2 jasmine green tea bags
1 ginger tea bag
3 teaspoons of gelatin
1/4 cup of orange juice
2 cups of strawberries
1-3 tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)

1. Add the gelatin into the boiling water in a small bowl and stir constantly til it is dissolved.
2. Steep the tea bags in the boiling water and gelatin mix. Set aside til the tea is strong.
3. Blend the strawberries in a food processor.
4. Sieve the fruit puree into a large bowl, so that the strawberry seeds are removed.
5. Stir the orange juice into the strawberry puree.
6. Add the maple syrup if desired.
7. Remove the tea bags from boiling water. Pour the tea into the fruit mixture.
8. Stir until well combined. Cover the bowl with cling wrap.
9. Place the jelly mix into the fridge til set; at least 2 hours.

You can choose different teas, fruit and juice to use for the jelly, depending on your favourite flavours.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Glimpse into Motivation Monday - week 49 - enjoy the merry moments

Happy 1st of December! Welcome to the Summer (or the Winter, wherever you may be), and to the month of Christmas festivities. This month, our Motivation Mondays, Wellness Wednesdays and Foodie Fridays will have a festive theme.
To begin, this week's motivation is a quote from Dag Hammarskjold.
 "Time always seems long to the child who is waiting - for Christmas, for next summer, for becoming a grownup: long also when he surrenders his whole soul to each moment of a happy day."
Do not get so caught up in the excitement of what is ahead that you forget to live the moment which is happening to you in the present. It is good to have something to look forward to, but if you live in the future, you will miss the amazement of today. Make the most of every moment that is given to you.