Thursday, October 31, 2013

quiet day off

I had a much-needed day off today, which I spent in a quiet and low-key manner. I ventured out and purchased a little meditation stool and a pair of short denim overalls (apparently summer is only a month away!), drank a delicious green smoothie that I made and refrigerated yesterday, ate some edamame beans, caught up on some blogs, and had a nap. I feel a little bit unwell, hence the not-very-thrilling schedule.

The green smoothie was ingested before I remembered to photograph it, but I think I have finally stumbled onto a winning formula: 1 pear, 3 big kale leaves, 1 cucumber, 4 strawberries, barley grass powder, spirulina, stevia, water and a tiny splash of coconut milk. It was thick and mildly sweet and very hydrating.

In other news, I have fallen into the comforting but slightly abusive clutches of Too Much Sugar again. As previously mentioned last blog post I made these amazing prune cacao protein balls, and have since been eating about five a day. I just can't keep my mitts off them. On top of that I am still eating regular fruit and eating dates. Whoops. I feel bloated and crappy, which I know is my body's reaction to too much sweet stuff. Naughty naughty.

My new nightly seating arrangement

Okay, so the plan this week:
  • Meditate for minimum of ten minutes a day, preferably before bed
  • Do yoga at least twice in the week
  • Stock up on fresh produce on the market and spend time planning what to do with it
  • Have an Epsom salt bath (perhaps Sunday night)
  • STOP EATING SO MUCH SUGAR, and seriously up the vegetable ante to assist
  • Start studying properly for my exams
  • Have one day in the week where I consume only liquids (probably smoothies, as I don't own a juicer)
I feel a little better now that I have written out some goals for the week. I think that it is important to have ideas for yourself, things that you want to achieve, and as I have been feeling lost and unfit and down on myself lately and I really want to get out of the funk.

Ready for a new week to begin

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

working week

I am pooped this week! Luckily I have this giant 1.5kg bag of edamame beans to tide me over.

Something tells me these are about to become a large part of my diet

I have tomorrow off, and am so glad because (a) I need some extra rest, and (b) I want to use my vegetable spiralizer for the first time. I have got plenty of inspiration for raw noodle dishes from This Rawsome Vegan Life, a blog which kicks most other blogs so far up the ass that they can taste the leather. Or pleather, in a vegan's case! Sorry for that visual, but this blog seriously rocks. This girl is so amazing I just want to be her best friend and go over to her house and make some fun art and watch some movies and eat her vegan treats. Yes, I am creepy. Deal with it.

Food has been a little uninspiring the past few days as I have been busy earning a crust, but I have made some delicious vegetable chilli (one of my handy standby meals when I am short on time), some delicious kale salads with nutritional yeast, and some delicious prune protein balls. So I am enjoying these treats very much, and not in moderation either.

I have also been getting back into the gym, which I am super excited about because I had to take a very long break when I got sick. My life is so much better since I got more energy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

pizza night

Tonight we went to the gym for a good workout, and now we are staying in, having homemade pizza (I have made a vegan version with Vegusto No-Moo cheese!) and watching "The Internship." I think Owen Wilson is hilarious, and Vince Vaughn is...okay I guess.

Also, my veggie spiralizer arrived! I came home from work today to find a big cardboard box on the doorstep, and it was a very nice (early) surprise. I had also purchased "Crazy Sexy Diet" by Kris Carr which was also delightfully tucked inside the box, and happily spent the rest of the afternoon in bed with the book and a giant bowl of watermelon.

Good times. Also, Kris Carr is awesome and a true fighter. Very pleased to have ordered that book.

Meet Mr Spiralizer

Saturday, October 26, 2013

brown rice, kale, and vegan love

I love being vegan so much. As an omnivore/pescetarian/vegetarian (I kind of did this in phases by accident), I wasn't terribly experimental with food. Yoghurt, so easy. Salmon steak, super quick for dinner. Cheese, hit me up. Bread, pass it on over...okay, I'm still into bread, but you get my point. My choices weren't terribly new or thrilling.

As a vegan however, I have launched myself into a whole new world of food that I didn't really know about before: vegan cashew cheese, nutritional yeast, walnut "meat," tempeh, maca powder, spirulina, cacao, coconut yoghurt, kale chips, kombucha, is so amazing how much cool food is out there, just waiting to be eaten. And it's all made from either plants or fruit, without a single sentient being imprisoned or tortured just to sate my appetite.

The other thing I have discovered is that I feel better about myself because I am finally living in sync with my ethical beliefs. I adore animals and always have; I was the kind of kid who would drag stray dogs home, rescue baby birds, and avoid treading on snails. I still do these things as a twenty-three year-old.

It felt good to be able to look this cow in the eye

I remember back when I worked in a cinema when I was seventeen and my co-workers called me over to the break room, where they were huddled around holding a mysterious box. They told me to look inside, clearly waiting for a reaction when I did. Inside the box was a tiny brown reaction must have been so disappointing. They clearly wanted to give me a girly fright, but instead I squealed in delight, took the box, and released the little guy gently into some bushes near the building. I love mice!

I felt so, so hypocritical declaring myself an animal lover and wanting to heal and nurture animals (I even completed a diploma to become a veterinary nurse), yet I was still going out to a fancy restaurant and tucking into a big steak. I was uncomfortably aware of the connection between steak and cow, but not brave enough to make the decision to cull all animal products from my life.

Now that I have, I feel proud and I get to enjoy a delicious array of food that I may never have otherwise discovered. Lesson learned, guys; be brave, and don't be afraid to go against the grain if you really want to do something.

Speaking of grains, here is my delicious (albeit simple) dinner. I was feeling quite lazy tonight.

Kale, brown rice and nutritional yeast

Thanks for reading this entry everyone, I really appreciate your love and support! For some reason I just feel particularly impassioned today. Maybe I ate too much watermelon after dinner. I did go kind of overboard.

Friday, October 25, 2013

weird couple of days

I have been a total psychopath for the last few days.

Well, I did warn you

I don't know what is going on, but my moods and behaviour have been very unpredictable this past week. Happy one minute, in a soggy mess the next. How embarrassing. Maybe I just have a lot of feelings...? I have also been eating a lot of salad. Perhaps I need to incorporate some more warm, cooked vegetables into my day to calm down my crazy tendencies? The ancient Indian natural way of Ayurveda would recommend it for my dosha type I reckon.  But that's another story entirely.

So what else has been going on? 

Well, I had that amazing massage I mentioned in an earlier post: the hydrotherapy was fun because it was a new experience, but also a bit frightening because I overheated in the pod thing (why no vent to let the steam out?) and I was too shy to say anything so I just kind of boiled like a lobster. A large, pale, frightened lobster in a wet paper g-string. I suppose all the sweating was good because I was in detox week, but I thought I was going to perish in there.

The massage was absolutely lovely, and Luke, beautiful person that he is, had requested ahead of time that they only use natural products on me. The girl used melted coconut oil, yay! I appreciated the lack of artificial fragrances or animal-derived ingredients, not to mention I smelled amazing afterwards too - not to toot my own horn, but I really did. Next door to the massage place is the wonderful Mountain Creek Wholefoods store, where I purchased an Addiction Food brownie and bar (OMFG so good), a vegan pie, some lemon-flavoured kombucha, and some Vegusto "No-Moo" cheese. 

I have also been working a lot and am exhausted as a result, which is why I haven't updated the blog in a few days. I did take some pictures though...enjoy, friends.

I am quite sure this brownie actually has magic powers
Today's lunch
Our creepy dog that looks like a nun

Also, last thing (I promise!). Just a shout out to my girl Melon, who lives in Brisbane and whom I miss dearly since we parted ways. See you around Christmas-time! You're going to look so beautiful at my wedding, too- can't wait!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

hot day plus detox OVER

The second week of detox is over, and SHOCK HORROR- I broke it a day early! My detox pals will be surprised as I am known for my iron will when it comes to food, but I chose to break it early. I am the captain of my ship, and the captain said it was time to eat a bagel. I was pleased with my decision.

"What? She broke the detox early!? SHUT. UP."

The detox was admittedly a difficult time for me physically and mentally, and I am not sure if it was the food or just a bad couple of weeks; even though I consider myself fully recovered from glandular fever (and refuse to even acknowledge a patchy doctor's diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome!), I still seem to get little relapses of fatigue every now and then. It usually has me mostly bedridden for three days or so and feeling groggy for about a week, so I suspect that one of these episodes may have just been strangely timed with the detox. That is my theory and I'm sticking to it!

I think next time I do it I want to properly challenge myself with either a juice fast or a brown rice fast, just to see what I'm made of. I didn't end up meditating for ten minutes a day, either- that is something I still want to build into my day gradually, even though I didn't make it happen this last couple of weeks. And I want to increase my exercise, too. Lessons learned, ideas garnered.

It is freakishly hot outside today. No cooking today because I don't really fancy turning the oven on, so it was leftovers for lunch (and probably a leftover green smoothie for dinner, yum!). It looks like we're in for a pretty hot summer in Australia, but I am totes ready for it; sweaty yoga classes, cold green smoothies, salads with fruit, balmy evening walks with Totes (my Chihuahua) and cut-off denim shorts.

The summer months will also bring: a visit to Little Oak Sanctuary with Luke, a weekend modelling course (watch out Miranda Kerr, I'm coming to claim those Angel wings!), the Wellness Warrior tour with Mum, Christmas (in Luke's words "it will be a slim Christmas" as we are in wedding-saving mode- it made me laugh), my 24th birthday (oh noes!), Luke's birthday, and of course our wedding and honeymoon in March. A big, beautiful few months are ahead and I am beyond excited and blessed for my life.

The next few months will also hold a lot more experimenting in the kitchen with vegan and raw cuisine- I LOVE being vegan, and I feel like everything has started to feel better since I started this journey three months ago. I can actually feel myself growing lighter every day and I feel great. Highly recommended, although my main reason for being a strict vegan is still the welfare of those gorgeous little pigs, chickens, cows etc. I love animals.

Lunch was amazing, obviously

Friday, October 18, 2013

detox day five plus day four & five food diaries

I checked in with the other girls as to how their detoxes are going: Grace is experiencing neither negative side effects or benefits and Tiffanie is experiencing a great burst of energy and wellbeing. It is close to my heart that she feels good from this as she has been struggling a bit with illness- to see her bright and energetic was wonderful. It appears that I am the only one feeling a bit shitty. Oh well.

Tomorrow I am having a massage and spa treatment! Luke booked me in for a surprise (my love). He described the spa treatment component as me "going into a cocoon and being blasted with water jets." The way boys describe girl things is very cute. This could not have come at a better time either because, as you guys know, I have been feeling totally flat for the past few weeks. Thanks Luke, it means a lot to me that you've got my back (literally, because it's a massage). You are the love of my life and I can't wait to marry you. I am going to marry the shit out of you.

In other news, Skye bought a Vitamix and texted me a picture of it...and I am so jealous I want to go to her house and break it into a thousand tiny little pieces (SORRY SKYE! I WOULD NEVER ACTUALLY DO THAT BTW). I know, that is an extremely childish reaction, but I want one SO BAD. Maybe I could sell a kidney, they should be in pretty good condition I hope? A lung? I'M WILLING.

To comfort myself until I can afford one for myself, I purchased a vegetable spiralizer from Amazon so I can make raw veggie noodles. I am so keen for more raw foods and living enzymes in my diet! I have seen recipes using raw sweet potato. Totally cray, and therefore totally up my alley. Yay!

Pumpkin oats with a side of tasty
Prune cacao energy hit right before bedtime

detox day four


Oats with pumpkin, coconut oil, LSA, coconut milk, brown rice syrup and allspice
1 glass chlorophyll
1 cup dandy coffee with coconut milk and stevia

1 green smoothie (kale, baby spinach, apple, mint leaves, spirulina, barley grass powder, stevia, water and coconut milk)

Vegetable chilli with polenta

2 dates with almond butter
1 carrot (steamed with Bragg's All Purpose Seasoning)
Handful raw peanuts & brazil nuts
3 prunes and a handful of walnuts
2 banana and oat "cookies"

detox day five


Oats with pumpkin, coconut oil, LSA, coconut milk, brown rice syrup and allspice
1 glass chlorophyll
1 dandy coffee with coconut milk and stevia

2 big English spinach leaves stuffed with walnut "taco meat" (ground walnuts with spices and tamari), tomato salsa and avocado

Big bowl of buckwheat porridge with dried apricots and pepitas

1 banana
3 dates with almond butter
1 handful sultanas
2 prune cacao bliss balls

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

detox day three plus day two & three food diaries (phew!)

Well, I did not feel very good at all today.

I didn't sleep very well last night so I think that that may have had something to do with it. I went to work but ended up leaving at 11am and crashing straight into bed. After the sleep I felt a little better, but still pretty lousy. I have also been really irritable and have had headaches for the last few days, which is unfortunately normal for me at the beginning of detox. Pity party! Bring out the world's tiniest violin!

Grumpy as dick

However- I don't think that it is a result of my diet (although I know others are thinking it!).

The way I see it: there were three or four days in between the first detox and this one, and during that time I ate pretty much whatever I wanted- bagels and bread, packaged nut bars, and a hell of a lot of amazing food at the Living Green Festival (vegan cupcake, a vegan sausage sizzle, superfood balls, and a massive chocolate fudge brownie. OMG incredible I wanted to marry it).

I felt okay for these few days, and really happy that I could eat all the delicious vegan food at the festival, but noticed that my stomach was bloated and I felt overly full most of the time.

When I am "detoxing" (which for me is really just eating whole, unprocessed foods and seriously upping the vegetable, water and salad intake), I feel lean and have perfect digestion. Maybe it's the bread that is my undoing. Or perhaps the milk thistle tablets that I supplement with during the detox period are working wonders for my digestion and liver function. Who knows?

I am just going to work through it, take it easy and see how I go. I am pretty stubborn and don't think I will break the detox before the week just because of a little fatigue. Plus, I am loving the food and it is encouraging me to be creative in the kitchen. I am having fun.

Here are the food diaries for day two and three. Enjoy.

detox day two


Raw veggie "cereal" (raw broccoli, carrot, apple, almonds, a date, coconut flakes) topped with almond milk! The recipe is from super-cute Gabby at The Veggie Nook, she is very creative and adorable
1 glass chlorophyll
1 cup detox tea

2 Nori burritos (brown rice, apple, cucumber, avocado, sprouts, nori seaweed)

Big bowl of vegetable chilli (zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, yellow capsicum) with polenta

2 dates with almond butter
1 banana
Handful pepitas, 2 dried apricots, 3 brazil nuts

Veggie cereal in the making...
Raw vegetables in the morning, alright

detox day three


Oats with almonds, berries, LSA, coconut oil and coconut milk
1 glass chlorophyll
1 cup dandelion tea with coconut milk and stevia (holy DELICIOUS)

Leftover bowl of vegetable chilli

TBA...might have some kale salad with nutritional yeast and reheat some cauliflower soup

1 banana
3 prunes and a handful of walnuts
2 dates with almond butter
Handful of sultanas
Vegan protein shake with coconut milk
3 banana oat "cookies"

Homemade "cookies," detox-friendly!

Monday, October 14, 2013

detox, again, plus day one food diary

Well, I am on day two of detox part two. I am doing well, but am not sure how the other girls are going; we have weird shifts at work, so only work at the same time occasionally. I guess I will have to use the magical medium of text message to check in with them.

Milk thistle, helpful for your liver

I had headaches yesterday and was very irritable, which seems to be a pattern for me on the first day- thanks for putting up with me and giving me a massage Luke! I love the shit out of you. 

I feel pretty good today. I slept like a log last night and had an excellent breakfast (I incorporated raw carrot and broccoli! WHAT?! You will find out how tomorrow), and am about to take my little dog for a walk in the sun. 

I have also decided that I will add some new "rules" in for the detox, since this is my second time around and I'm obviously an old pro now. So the last time around I didn't really have an exercise schedule or anything, and exercise was pretty low on my list of priorities. Exercise helps get the blood and lymph moving around your body, and also encourages sweating which is pretty vital for eliminating toxins. Now that I have the hang of the food part, I am adding:

  • 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise per day, except for Wednesday (rest day). Exercise will either be yoga, a fitness DVD in my loungeroom, a walk with the dog, or a gym session with the boys
  • Epsom salt bath on Tuesday and Friday to help release toxins
  • 10 minutes of meditation each evening
  • 1 cup alkaline water each day

I am excited but nervous to incorporate the new stuff. Cooking beautiful clean food from scratch takes time, and I work into the evening most nights, and what if I am feeling lazy one night? Will this week have to be organised with military precision to fit it all in? I think so.

Also, here is yesterday for anyone who wants food ideas...

detox day one

Oats with almonds, berries, LSA, coconut oil, brown rice syrup and almond milk
1 glass chlorophyll

Nori burrito (brown rice, avocado, apple slices, cucumber wrapped in a sheet of nori seaweed)
1 big green smoothie (kale, chia seeds, pear, fennel)

1 small cup cauliflower soup
Half a small sweet potato (roasted with sea salt)

1 Pink Lady apple
Handful pepitas
2 dates with almond butter
Half a banana
3 prunes and a handful of walnuts
Handful sultanas

Saturday, October 12, 2013

great day out

I have had the best day today!

I woke up early and went to the market with my Mum for the first time in months, and it was so good to be back. The fresh produce looked amazing (I love spring) and my favourite ancient poodle was there. I always give him a scratch behind the ears when I see him, although he can't see me- he's blind as a bat.

Then Skye picked me up and we went to the Living Green festival. It was a celebration of all things vegan, eco-friendly, yoga and animal welfare. I even ran into my yoga instructor who was teaching a class out in the open air. I ate a lot...and loved every bite.

Tonight I will be cooking to try and make a dent in the mountain of fresh produce in our fridge, and relaxing in front of the television with my fiance and brother-in-law. For dinner I have made cauliflower soup and a raw kale salad with nutritional yeast. Then tomorrow marks the beginning of another week of detox.

I didn't get any pictures of the festival because I was too busy staring at everything (I tripped on the footpath a few times), but I do have pictures of the nori burritos I ate for dinner last night. The recipe is from The Kind Diet (a.k.a, my bible).

Fresh and light


Friday, October 11, 2013

girl's night!!!

We are going to catch up on some television, eat a yummy healthy dinner and do some yoga.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

detox over

So, after eight days I broke the detox (on purpose) in spectacular fashion with a big pumpkin soup and the most delicious sourdough bread roll ever to exist. Even the thin spread of Nuttelex on top tasted like food from the heavens.

Maybe it was that amazing because I have not eaten a single crumb of bread or flour in over a week, but MY GOD it was good. I didn't even realise my love for bread until I did this detox- it's strange what you miss. I was at a barbeque at Skye's on Sunday and I nearly broke in the face of a giant loaf of sourdough. I was sweating. With Luke and Skye's encouragement I stayed strong, but I advise that if you ever becomes even slightly bored or uninspired with food, do a strict detox. It'll get you inspired again. Trust me.

Me & my detox diary

I got too busy to fill out the rest of the food diary days on here, which I apologise for! Just for reference, I might start putting them on here in case anyone else is interested in doing a similar detox. I have been busy doing assessments for my Naturopathy course, and am still devouring the information like nobody's business.

So now I have a few days of eating my normal clean vegan diet, then I am crazily getting back on the detox train (all aboard!) on Monday to keep a few friends company while they do it. So that will be another week. I got headaches on the first couple of days, which I suspect was caffeine withdrawal, and after that I got flu-like symptoms (stuffy nose, sore throat, fatigue) but now I feel awesome. And a sense of achievement for completing it.

High five, everybody!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

detox day two

Detox notes
I have eaten a lot of vegetables even in the past two days alone, so that is probably the best part of this so far. I slept last night, but had night sweats so that was a bit disruptive. Breakfast was amazing this morning. I drank a lot of herbal (non-caffeinated) tea today, also noticed that I had a slight headache for most of the day. I was pretty hungry, but the herbal tea helped.

Time hasn't really been on my side this week so I have been super unprepared food-wise; when I got home from work (past 8pm) and discovered that I didn't have the vegetables that I needed for dinner, I absolutely lost my shit. Luke and I went to the store immediately. Maybe I am detoxing my negative feelings!

Poor Luke. He is so supportive, even of my detox week! A couple of the girls at work are interested in doing this next month, so perhaps I will repeat and do it with them the next time around too. It's nice that people are interested and want to get on board!

Super delicious breakfast

Bob's Red Mill Hot Cereal (wholegrain) with 1/2 punnet fresh blueberries and coconut milk
1 glass chlorophyll

Large baby spinach salad with pumpkin, raw walnuts, pepitas and dressing (apple cider vinegar, flaxseed oil, orange juice, salt and pepper)
1 cup herbal tea

Vegetable chilli (zucchini, capsicum, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, cayenne pepper) with polenta

1/2 punnet blueberries

2 dates with almond butter
2 prunes and a handful of walnuts
1 banana
Coconut flakes, sultanas and 4 brazil nuts

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

first day of detox food diary

Today was day one of eating to my rules for the week.

Detox notes
I felt like it went pretty well overall. I worked a split shift, so was able to get a couple of hours of good-quality sleep in the middle of the day- I have been very fatigued lately, so I felt like I needed it. I have been waking up in the morning so grumpy and have been struggling to get out of bed, so sleep is important. I was quite hungry today, especially in the afternoon, but pleased that I ate so many vegetables. Even on a vegan diet it is easy to get unbalanced and become too dependent on carbohydrates and packaged snacks like dried fruit bars or nut bars.

She is the best sleeping buddy ever

Oats with mixed berries, LSA, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup.
1 glass chlorophyll

1 cup green tea
1 large banana

1 cup miso soup with wakame
2 dates with almond butter
1 pink lady apple
4 brazil nuts

3 prunes
1 small handful walnuts
1 steamed carrot with Bragg's All Purpose seasoning
1 cup herbal tea

Massive bowl of stir-fried mixed vegetables (purple cabbage, snow peas, onion, carrot, broccoli) with organic tofu, tahini and raw peanuts

1 date with almond butter

detox plan

As I explained in my last post, I have been feeling totally weird and out of sorts lately, and needed to re-balance. So...I started a detox today! I am intending to do it for the whole week, starting today and therefore finishing next Tuesday. It will be difficult, especially since I will be cutting out (vegan!) chocolate and bread, but hopefully it will let my body feel better and centre my mind.

No to:
  • No processed food at all, including bread, wraps, natural corn chips, and chocolate
  • No coffee
  • No flour or flour products
Yes to:
  • Fresh and dried fruit
  • Spinach leaves instead of wraps
  • 3 litres of water per day, and herbal tea (including green and chai)
  • Heaps of vegetables, cooked and raw
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Wholegrains (e.g. brown rice, buckwheat, oats)
  • Milk thistle tablets 3 per day (with breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • B12 tablet 3 per week (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
  • Iron tablet once in the week
  • Zinc tablet once in the week
  • Magnesium tablet if I get leg cramps at night time
  • Daily probiotic