The brown stuff

Hello Stranger.

Yes I am still alive and I am pleased to see you are too! Whoever told me 2016 had to get better was a dirty rotten liar – in a general the world is going to hell in a handbasket way and whats with all the dying legends? RIP Bowie, Lemmy, Prince and all of my favourite ‘Uncles’ from my childhood.

But; I am not going to weigh in on the abhorrent Orlando massacre this time, or why I think Trump is the scariest thing since the clown in Stephen Kings IT. You get it. You my peeps.

What actually inspired me to post today was my afternoon with my lads, and is in no way related – or at least it is in a general everything is related way – but not to my particularly gut stuff or why I started the blog. I guess my original ‘stuff’ that I wanted to write about has gone by the wayside as my willpower or any desire to restrict myself to eating nothing but overcooked veges dwindled. Also I move much less. I run rarely and I have been thinking about breaking up with boot camp because I am so unfit but I love Nicole too much to quit (I know lack of fitness is exactly the WRONG reason to stop exercising but I’m a contrary bitch and I like to be GOOD at stuff not red-faced and puffing – who likes that?!) SO you are caught up on that stuff now.

Today I collected my children from school when the bell went at 3pm, a rare and special event (it makes me feel like one of those parents who ‘lunch’ and get to have gorgeous designer clothes while their spouse does something much higher paid and ignores them all*).

We had to go back to Ponsnobby rd to collect my drycleaning (I tried hand washing a silk dress and FUCKED it) and while we waited for the wonderful woman to save my dress I took them to a cafe, because I thought, naively that I had been missing them and it would be nice to have a short mid-week hang, just me and my boys.

Of course the kitchen was shut – I knew it would be because it was mid afternoon – and so I relented and let them choose cake from the counter and a hot chocolate. I won’t tell you how much it cost for three pieces of cake (Mama’s got needs too) and three hot drinks but suffice to say that I’m glad the parking was free!

We were having a lovely time – the boys loving their hot chocs and the selection of toys on offer (this place does kids well) and I even took this pic for Instagram so I could be all like ‘look at me hanging with my kids and being all super cool with my quirky photo angles’;


And three seconds after I posted this pic (#thelittledutchmen) things went to shit.

Literally went to shit. As in Master 5 shit his pants.

I saw his face change. He looked at me with terror in his eyes and whispered ‘I need to poo NOW’ but I could see that he knew it was too late. I whisked him to the bathroom,  I got him undressed as quickly and cleanly as possible. Shoes off. Trousers off. NO DON’T MOVE. Knickers off, one leg at a time, as carefully as if I was cutting the red wire in a bomb defusal situation. Not breathing. Not counting time. Just trying to get the job done and quickly and quietly as possible so I could erase it from my memory as fast.

Meanwhile the child was talking non-stop. If you have met him you know that he does this ALL THE TIME. I like to think of it usually as a sign of high intellect – he needs to process the world around him so he talks to it and you about what is happening and WHY it is happening and what might happen next time and mostly I can just drown it out as white noise. (I like to think if it s a sign of high intellect but I don’t necessarily have the energy to engage with it). But I was VERY conscious that we were a metre away from the kitchen and they could hear us talking about his shit and the fact that it was ‘warm on my legs mummy’ and the rest. His underwear was wrapped in multiple paper towels, secured in a thrice wrapped plastic bag and thrown away. His entire body was scrubbed with the hand soap, hand sanitiser and dried with paper towels. Jeans back on – ‘Mummy I LOVE freeballing’ and then I dealt to the toilet with all of the cleaning supplies I could find; Aside from a lingering odour (I left the windows and door open to create a through-breeze) you would never have know I was there. Goddes forbid I ever kill someone. Not a trace. Noone need ever know.

Home to our new house. We have moved. Whereas before we lived in a student flat with kids and made the best of it because we loved our hippy, coromandel living landlords – they had to sell the house so we have been forced to grow up.

Our new house has a working dishwasher (gasp!), a kitchen full of those oh-so-now subway tiles (ooooh) and polished wooden floors as opposed to the gross dark brown carpet of old. I love our new house – it’s SO purty look;

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Our stuff looks so good in it and it’s almost worth paying twice as much rent as before oh my god. And we culled a LOT of stuff to live here and the boys love having a wonderful dry house (heat pump) and the GD and I do like having people around – we hated having people to our old place – and it all feels very grown up.

But. I have noticed. That despite our best efforts, I bathed with LEGO the other night. Not in the bath mind you – it was on the bathroom vanity – but it was there. A whole building, and the child responsible (I suspect the older one) had thoughtfully built little steps that led down to the edge of the vanity so the LEGO people could climb down. You can’t escape LEGO no matter how much your house looks like it should be in Home and Garden magazine.

And the cats have made my nice new blue couch patchy with white fur. And the dog sleeps on our bed when we are not home and makes the white duvet cover brown. He actually waited for me to leave the bedroom doorway this morning and was preparing to get himself settled in for the day when I shut the door in his face. He was most put out. He has no shame; Witness for me ‘Portrait of dog sitting on aforementioned bed and staring defiantly at his hooman father’ as he shouts for him to get off;


We also had all of our bikes stolen while we were moving in – not to mention all of the GD’s tools and the bloody dog (who we love dearly luckily for him) has slept through at least two property walk overs from randoms.

The house is smaller – it takes less energy to heat but we moved in on the cusp of Winter and we are seeing more of each-other than ever before. I mean, I love the GD but I almost need my own room. We haughtily elected not to install a satellite – we don’t need TV – and send the kids to the library** every ten seconds to watch Netflix because we can’t stand the invasion of personal space for ONE SECOND LONGER.

The boys have a playroom. The dog has grass. Mama has wine.

We can survive the brown stuff.


Disclaimers – I love you all;

*Yes I DO know that a lot of the parents who collect their children at 3 have full time jobs or work from home or are full time parents which I am not woman enough to handle so kudos to you.

**in our house – we aren’t making them LEAVE ha ha (but shame on you for thinking that!)


Day 75 – Bootcamp bitches ain’t nothing to fuck with


Yeah boyeee. I’m old(ish) and using Wutang references. That’s just how I roll. But it’s ok because we all went out in the cyclone this morning and boxed our asses off before the sun came up. We are hard core y’all. Sure, it wasn’t very cyclone-y. More like Damp and Humid with a wee bit of wind. But add boxing to the mix and you’ve got some hot sweaty ladies. We just needed the rocky sound track to top it off ha ha. Have you boxed? It is seriously fun. I highly recommend it – there is something very cathartic about beating something up. I will take boxing over Yoga any day. Sorry Adrenal glands – I like it hard and fast ha ha

AND Guess what?!? The I Quit Sugar program includes Dark Chocolate this week! Oh my goodness. It is meant to be an ingredient in a recipe for ‘sort of cherry ripe bites’ (the sort of is because you use raspberry instead of cherries) but I confess I have cracked the pack already. Nice and easy grrl. There needs to be some left for the actual baking.

Auckland seems to have gotten away with much less damage than predicted from Cyclone Pam thank goodness. There were some homes without power and I have def seen trees down and other minor damage in my travels, but nothing compared to the devastation caused in Vanuatu for the people there. My thoughts are with the folks there who have lost family and friends and I will be looking for a way to send some sort of practical help to them over the next few days.

Peace out yo.

Day 48 – Language matters

The mint Mojito smoothie for breakfast was goodish again – sort of like brushing my teeth with a spinach leaf. Minty and green. And you know what goes well with Mint Mojito smoothie? Bacon. That’s right. I followed my smoothie with a bacon chaser and it was the best breakfast in ages. I am trying to send the lads to school with full tummies and bacon sandwiches are a sure-fire way to get them to eat!

The boys are exhausted at the moment, poor lads. The start of the new term has really knocked Master 7 around – he is in ‘middle school’ now.  He now wants to quit Ukelele because he’s too tired to do it after school and when I took him to watch the hip-hop class this evening to see if he wanted to join, he affected a very careful attitude of indifference. Drinking his smoothie and looking out the side of his face at the dancing kids, he really didn’t want to seem like he was keen. Poor little bugger. He’s not feeling very rock and roll right now.

Master 4 on the other hand seems to be on fire today! I picked him up and while he was looking for his shoes the teacher explained that he hadn’t been wearing underwear today. When questioned he had loudly and happily declared that ‘Mummy doesn’t know I’m freeballing today’. This from the child who refused to be naked AT ALL until halfway through last year. Now he wants to be naked all the time. And yes, freeballing. My boys like more air down there. A new word for the other kids to take home with them. I can just imagine the conversation around the dinner table. ‘Mummy can you please pour me a drink and are you freeballing?’

Add this to his adventure this afternoon; The grumpy Dutchman took him along with him to quote a new job this afternoon. This job is for a woman I do bootcamp with, who I like and want to remain friendly with, so it’d be good if the GD gets the work and we all play nice. They have a daughter the same age as Master 4 and an older ‘tweenage’ girl too. The GD comes out of one room after measuring up, with the man of the house to find their eldest girl bent double laughing in the hallway, listening to our lad and the little girl playing. It turns out that at some point during their impromptu playdate, Master four needed to use the bathroom and the wee lass obliged in showing him where to go. Naturally she stayed to watch as any good hostess would – I always offer to stay and wipe don’t you? Which prompted the question ‘Whats that?’ To which my boy replied ‘My willy, you don’t have one – you have a vagina’. He’s right you know. It took me ages to get him away from calling it a ‘china’ (and asking every woman he met to see if they had one – was a wee bit embarrassing to have to explain little old ladies that he wasn’t, in fact, enquiring after their crockery). So. Small steps.

Anyway, I have resolved to try to get more fruit and veges in to the boys while they are adjusting to being back full-time – I made them smoothies after school today – theirs with full fat milk (as opposed to mine with almond milk) and we will be trying to get them to bed early and let them lie in when they can.

Today was a good food day for me though, my leftover chicken and basil pesto with ‘zoodles’ was good the next day, and I didn’t even notice the lack of snacking until I got home and opened my lunchbox for cleaning – still had my morning and afternoon tea in it! It’s totally weird to suddenly be a grrl who doesn’t eat ALL the time. Before this year I was a snacker, a grazer, a nibbler. Constantly looking for food whether hungry or not – but actually – usually hungry. That’s whats so weird. The hunger has gone – and I am not eating more really.

My specialist explained it and I sort of get it – She thinks that I have an intolerance to Dairy (on top of everything fucking other thing) and that eating Dairy was contributing to my need to eat all the time – that it was turning off my ‘satisfied’ switch in my gut and doing me damage at the same time. I’ve officially not eaten dairy for 48 days so maybe that is it? Also the IQS program reckon that quitting sugar helps with the mindless snacking too – the impulse is gone because you are eating lots of good fat and protein and greens.

Whatever it is, I like not being hungry all the time. I still find myself heading to the fridge out of boredom and grumpy/PMS/low/pissed off with the kids moments – but I’m way better now at recognising that and I am working on what to do instead of eating. ‘Blogging’ is helping ha ha.

Dinner tonight was ‘Baked fish on roasted Caponata’ care of IQS and it was good, behold;

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And like a dick I followed it up by mindlessly ‘finishing off’ the apple in Master 7’s lunchbox while I write this. Cue tummy ache. And….. there it is.

Thanks for reading guys  my ‘stats’ tell me there are whole lot more of you now – so welcome! Talk amongst yourselves (but quietly cos’ I’m off to bed to curl up in pain).

Sweet dreams.

Day 28 – Second proper day of work and the sugar cravings are back

I am tired man. Two full days of work and I’m shattered. I got home and immediately wanted to pick at sugary snacks. I had some Kombucha tea left in the fridge – but I have fallen in to the trap of thinking that because it’s the latest ‘health fix-all’ that it will be good for me – nope. 10mg of sugar. That’s heaps! So that’s out. Luckily – and I say this sincerely – there was nothing in the house that could break my resolve. I did eye the Nutella up. I spent many a good night with a jar of Nutella and a spoon believe me! But it is not Gf so it’s out and to be honest it wasn’t that tempting.

So the plan is to focus on the good things that happened today, feel tired, and go to bed early. Lot’s of good things happened in the last two days;

  • I finally figured out how to add another page to my blog. (Actually Kylee showed me – she’s way more bloggy than me – thanks Kylee!)
  • I have seen a big bunch of my girls today; feeling positive and looking forward to starting the year.
  • I got to cuddle a beautiful two week old baby boy. Nawwww baby snuggles.
  • It is nice to see all of my work colleagues looking so refreshed and relaxed as we start the year. All summer tans and smiles.
  • Boot camp was good this morning – and it was great to watch the sun rise.
  • I got a parcel in the mail. Yay for shoes arriving via post!
  • I finally have a right hand side indicator on my car.
  • The GD suggested watching 22 Jump st again tonight. Oh Channing.

And on that note – I am signing off!

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Day 21 – I got glutened I think. Sad face.

I feel terrible. Lying on the couch because I can’t sleep, all of me aches and when I stand up I feel nauseous. My head hurts and I am craving Pasta bad. Which you would think didn’t work because of the nausea. But somehow it’s all I want.

I didn’t plan to get glutened obvs. The day started really well – great session at boot camp – hard but good. Intervals of various exercises, 30, 20 and 10 reps with a run to progressively further away speed bumps. Was very good and I feel like I’m in the swing of things… Then cooked brekkie because I’m not starting the day with a sweet fix remember?

THEN, I was starving after my first appt for the day so I stopped at Kokako to get a …. smoothie. I know right? but I fucked up and didn’t pack snacks. so. And it was fine – I got a Kale Kickstarter and it was good – I asked for them to sub out the apple and put water in it and it was yum. Then I got caught up in work and left too late to get food on the way to getting my hair did, so I grabbed, dun dun dun…. another fucking smoothie. From the place right next door to the salon, Craft Kitchen, where they are all lovely and everything is either paleo or dairy free or both or just gluten free and they know their stuff.

I drank it while I waited to get my roots done, and felt fine. For about 20 minutes. Then waves of warm nausea started coming over me. I honestly thought I might have to get up and puke. They receded but my stomach was in knots, and I started feeling more and more ‘heavy’. Red face (natch) and nervous that I’m going to throw up on the lovely woman doing my hair (she really was lovely and showed me her extensions so I could see how you couldn’t see them when she tied her hair up).

When I stood up to leave, the nausea hit me again, and so I went back to Craft Kitchen to ask about the coconut cream in my smoothie. It was the only thing I could think of that might have had some added ingredients. The rest was coconut water and fruit so it couldn’t be that? The guy was really cool, he looked up the added preservative and it came back as xantham gum – which he knew was GF, so it seemed fine. SO what the fuck man.

I don’t know what has made me feel like shit. But every time I think about the coconut cream I feel BAD and that’s usually a good sign of what is making me feel gross. So I’m going back to bed. I will be drinking lots of water, and checking out what the coeliac pages I follow have to say about detoxing after being glutened.

Day 19 – settling the butterflies

Boot camp didn’t hurt so bad this morning. It helps that I’m a nosy bitch and a new woman started this morning and I coulda sworn I knew her. But…. She could have also have been off Shortland st or something. I’m always asking people where I know them from only to discover that I’m talking to an All Black or a ‘world famous in NZ’ actor or similar. Embarrassing. So I didn’t say Hi, for fear of being a dick… just watched all covertly and stalkerly and probably she won’t be back because of the creep in the fluro orange top…

It was boxing this morning and I was paired up with Simon which was good because he works hard and although he declined to ‘knock me off my feet’ as requested by the instructor (ha ha Nicole), he doesn’t hold back. And for the first time in four days I don’t hurt sitting down and standing up again – yay! Getting back in to the swing of things again and it feels good.

This post isn’t about food, although Alissa and I went to Kokako – a cafe I had forgotten about but it’s a Gf and DF gem and I totally recommend it – it is more about being good to yourself and balancing work/fun/relaxing to relieve the tension. I have had butterflies in my gut for the last few days and it isn’t helped by some unhappy results for my senior girls. It was getting worse and I know the only thing that can help – work. Sorting out the year ahead and shooing out the butterflies. But I’m gonna ease my way in to it.

So today Master 7 and I went to work for the first three hours of the day. He sat in the meeting room and got completely screen stoned on Minecraft videos (7 year old heaven) while I went though the piles of paper on my desk. All I managed to do today was sort paper but it was a start – and my office mate will be pleased when I finally clear some of the junk. And tomorrow I will go in and delete emails. ALL the emails. I get a ‘your outlook is full’ message EVERY day. I’m not even exaggerating. It takes hours to do even make a dent. Hours.

And then, after a lovely lunch and catch up, me and the boy went to the beach. Just us, no phones or distractions, just me and the dude. We built a sand castle, I sat on the beach and watched him frolic, I sun bathed, and paddled and eventually (once the tide came in) went in the water and had my first swim of the season. I know – but better late than never. It was bliss. The water was so warm and the sun was so hot and there was hardly anyone else there because it was a week day. So we are going to do it every day this week; we might even invite the grumpy Dutchman and the littlest dude, but maybe we won’t because all of us together can start to fuck with my bliss.

It was a reminder that part of my ‘Year of health’ is also the stress relieving, the work life balance, and taking time out. I needed to go to work for my sanity, but I can keep my own hours this week and balance is the key. I need to hang with my little men – preferably one at a time so I don’t lose my mind – and believe it or not this is all good for my gut.

So if you are looking for me any afternoon this week, you’ll find me lying around on the beach getting my tan on, maybe reading my book, but mostly watching master 7 make friends with all the kids on the beach and enjoying this amazing summer.

Take care of you.

Day 17 – Another food experiment and sore legs

Oh my god my legs hurt. And my ass and the rest. No boot camp for two weeks then two days in a row and I am suffering. I can’t even sit on the loo without holding on and using my arms to stand up slooooooooowllyyyyy. Ow Ow Ow! I hobbled around the zoo like an old lady today following the boys….                      And yoga tomorrow. For my sins.

I am getting a little sick of the same green veges and salmon/chicken combos for my meals (and the same smoothie recipe over and over). So have resolved to not only collect recipes and good websites, but to actually try them out – and I want to try to make at least one new thing a week. We tried a new smoothie recipe yesterday and that was good – it did occur to me that I am using fruit in the smoothies and that goes against my fruit ban – soooooooooo. I don’t know – will research ‘low’ fruit recipes – maybe no banana.

Tonight I tried these ‘coconut flour biscuits’ (scones) and they smelled delicious – full of spring onion, parsley, thyme, basil and rosemary – it’s a shame they sucked. So dry. I do not have success with coconut flour. I am thinking that maybe if I subbed out the coconut flour with self raising Gf flour (the edmonds one is quite good) they might be chewy enough to be nice…

photo 1 (10) photo 2 (10) photo 3 (6)The grumpy Dutchman ate them but he is good to me, the rest of us couldn’t bear them, they boys left them on their plates and I may have thrown mine to the birds… Oh well.

Yoga tomorrow! I wonder if I will be able to bend over by then?

Day five, boot camp, check in, and planning

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After very little sleep thanks to my out of whack sleep habits in the hols (late nights where there shouldn’t be any), and a certain four year old who shall remain nameless – I woke up with a big fright when my alarm went off at 5.30. And I will admit to a tiny part of me trying to convince the rest of me to ‘go back to sleep for gods sake, it’s still the holidays – you can get up early when school starts!’. But then the rest of me reminded that tiny part that I LIKE to get up with the sun and I would be happy.

I was right. I often am. Boot camp was HARD. But – I know I’ve told people this before – I have a huge smile on my face the whole time. This morning we did all sorts; sprints, press ups, core work, mountain climbers, wall sits, stairs and everything else that Nicole had spent her two weeks off thinking up. There was a only a few of us, it can vary from 3 people to 15, and we all FELT it. I do love it though. And this is why I have committed to it for 4 mornings a week since early last year. The best thing about it? I don’t have to think – Nicole does that – and there is a roll taken at the start of each session so I know… while I lie cozy and snug in my bed…. that if I don’t get up someone will notice and want to know why.

Today was a check-in day with my specialist and doc and also I got my lashes refilled because they make me feel pretty even on a fat day ha ha

Dr Jenny was very positive – she announced when I came in that she could see a reduction in redness in my face and what was I doing differently? I told her all about my ‘year of Health’ for 2015, and that I was at day 5 and had really fallen off the wagon over xmas and new years. She is optimistic that after a really really strict three months I should be able to start introducing crunchy/scratchy stuff, raw food and trialling some dairy. Although she did say that Dairy might always be a problem for me – as might apples, honey and high fructose stuff. She gave me a list of specific bloods she wanted to see, because I was going to see my doc anyway to get my annual WOF. And best of all she gave me some more ideas for snacks – and reminded me that I can make smoothies and take them out with me for morning tea as long as I had the right vessel. Good plan!

Then to the Doc, who was really funny and got all nose-out-of-joint when I said I had been seeing someone else for my gut problems. Admittedly he wasn’t my usual Doc who I found completely useless which is why I went searching, but he did get all funny and asked where I’d found her and what her quals were etc ha ha. He begrudgingly agreed with what she had said and the treatment she had me on, and wrote me out my usual list of bloods plus Dr Jenny’s requests, and then added Lupus – because ‘it might explain my skin’ and when I was all like ‘what the fuck is Lupus and what the fuck?!?’ he was all, nah you probably don’t have it but let’s check for fun. Great. Thanks for the heart attack man. I don’t need to add anything else to my list thanks! The cortisol testing is a fasting one so I am heading to the lab first thing tomorrow to get my jabs, lucky I don’t have an issue with needles!

After all the health checks I went for my pampering, a whole hour lying on my back getting my lashes filled by the lovely Ashleigh, ahhh bliss. And the best thing,  before you scoff and go ‘whaaaaaat she ain’t no Beyonce, why she spending money on falsies like she a diva?’ (imagine white kiwi girl doing bad american sassy) is that I don’t wear (or spend any money on) ANY make-up when I have these. No liquid eyeliner no nothing.  And they go with any outfit ha ha. Instant awake and ready to go in the morning.

Then, after zooming home for food, and then out again to grab my new drinking vessels;

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Check them out – sexy huh?

The blue one is my special ‘Mummy’s ONLY’ drink bottle, because every other (disposable) one I have tried to use for more than  two sessions has been stolen and destroyed by two small boys…..

And the PINK one (I LOVE it) is a special hot/cold one that should keep my smoothie cool on the run – no more starving when I’m out and about!

Next family time with my Grandies and Mum at the Hospital, Grandads 89th birthday today and they had taken the cake to Nana at the Hosp, of course she was grumpy that he was getting all the attention – she’s just like me my Nana ha ha My favourite old grrl ❤

Anyway, things are good, I am missing sugar like cray cray but keeping myself busy to try to ignore it and drinking heaps of water for the mouth ‘busy’. I will know after I get my bloods what sort of goals I have in order to achieve balance/banish gluten completely /find out what the fuck Lupus is and will be able to work with Dr Jenny to sort it out. (Mum I dont have Lupus don’t worry – he was being a dick)

I am going to do a ‘useful sites’ I look at for recipes/inspiration and info post soon, am just collating all the goodies – most of you know them because you recommended them to me ha ha.

Loving this weather just quietly.