Day 71 – Another book for my side table

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I got my confirmation email today for the Mindfulness course. I am to buy a book for writing in specifically for the course and the directive was to find something I love because it will be used to hold my inner thoughts blah blah. Ok – I LOVE buying stationary! As a young girl my pocket-money was spent in an even split on stationary and aniseed wheels. These days I’d say shoes win out mostly but I do love an excuse to go buy a beautiful blank book, positively vibrating with potential.

Of course that thing will probably happen where I open the first page ready to be profound and super articulate and my mind will go blank.

Also, I bought a book online called ‘The life-changing magic of Cleaning Up. The Japanese art of decluttering and Organising.’ by Marie Kondo. I keep buying books that I then don’t have time to read. I have quite a large pile next to the bed now. I am reminded of my students who when I ask if they have done their homework they’ll say ‘I’ve got the book!’ all indignantly but then admit that no, they haven’t actually read it. It’s like buying the book and keeping it by the bed shows willing, and actually that’s all I have the energy for right now.

But doesn’t that sound nice? ‘The life-changing magic of Cleaning up’. I wonder if I can get the children to read it.

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Day 41 – Decluttering and prioritising time.

Two things that stress me out;

  1. Stuff where there shouldn’t be stuff. I know those of you who have graced our humble little abode with your glorious presence will find this hard to believe (spoiler alert – we have a lot of stuff) BUT I hate it when the stuff isn’t in its place. For example the only things that should be on top of the shiny cabinet are the ornaments. ONLY the ornaments. Not bills, or pieces of Lego or fucking any bloody thing you can’t be bothered putting away. No, the mantlepiece is not a good place to keep the bicycle repair kit – it doesn’t quite fit the ‘look’ we are going for babe. Don’t get me started on Master 4’s idea of ‘putting something away’.
  2. And having too much stuff – again, I know we have a lot of stuff – but we have the perfect amount of stuff. It’s just right. Being the collectors of beautiful and wonderful things that me AND the grumpy Dutchman are (yes babe you have how many records? and boring non-fiction books about old stuff?) we do need to do a really good cull every 3-6 months. Usually different stuff each time, (always clothes though; the boys just keep growing no matter how hard we try to stunt their growth with junk food and TV) and always other stuff.

Tonight we did two things to help reduce the stress around these things; We got a cleaner in to do a quote for us AND a friend of mine who has a cool cause called ‘A Book in the hand‘ came and collected some baby stuff to give to people who don’t have a lot of stuff for whatever reason.

I am not telling you this to be all oooooh they so fancy they getting a cleaner! Nope, although we can’t yet afford to buy our own house I’ll tell you why we consider this a good use of a small part of our weekly budget. We are paying for Time. Time to spend with our lads. Time to spend with each-other. Time to read a book if that’s what we want to do. Valuable, rare time. Like most folks we both work full-time, our lads are in care until one of us collects them and we keep working day hours – 8am – 5pm – most days. Like everybody else we get two days on the weekend. And we sure as shit don’t enjoy spending one whole day cleaning the house from top to bottom while the lads follow us round being bored and miserable. (One whole day you say? you’re doing it wrong! Well, we haven’t yet figured out how to clean and entertain the children adequately so they pretty much do all they can to sabotage our efforts to get attention – it’s not an efficient process). We have had a cleaner before and it really frees us up so much. She used to come on a friday and we’d get home and walk in to a beautifully clean house and it was… just…. bliss. The best. (also the morning she came we would run around throwing things in their rightful places so she could better clean the surfaces left behind – voila less stress because everything is in its place! Perfect!).

So we’ve gone back. It means less beer for the GD and less cruising Trademe for me but it’s totes worth it.

The other thing we do, or at least try to do is re-home stuff we can’t/don’t use anymore. Trying not to  landfill can be hard – it’s amazing how many places you can ring to donate to and they don’t want your stuff (a lot of people must try to get rid of dodgy stuff I reckon) and I can’t be bothered with Trademe most of the time. But I would rather give our stroller to a family who can’t afford one than sell it for $20 on trademe and then have to figure out how to get it to Tauranga – you know what I mean? My favourite people to give (good quality clean and safe) stuff to are; the Women’s Refuge, the SPCA, the local school if it’s potential art materials etc, and if I can’t find anywhere I ask around. A book in the Hand is a great concept – Sarah collects books for school children who don’t have them – check out her page, tonight we didn’t have many books to give her but she is involved with another group called ‘Share the Love’ who operate out west and collected a heap of kids/baby stuff to take to them.

It feels good because our loved things go to be loved by someone else, I hate waste and I like to think that the boys toys get to be played with by new kids and don’t grow all lonely and sad in a cupboard somewhere wishing for the good old days… Toy Story really did a number on me huh.

Anyway, in other news I only did HALF my daily goal of steps today. wtf lazy ass.

Day 25 and 26 – The golden days of summer

I have had a wonderful couple of days, the last few days of freedom before school kicks in and I hit the ground running – so expect my posts to slow down too after this…

Is there anything better than catching up with friends in the sun having a BBQ? I think not. In the ’round’ of BBQ’s that we are doing with our friends, it was our turn yesterday. It was so nice to fill our back courtyard up with folks and just hang out and laugh and chat. And because we are grownups now our BBQ’s don’t just consist of DRINKING with some burned sausages as an afterthought. And remember how awkward and non-drinking I felt at the last one? None of that this time – it has been enough time now that I didn’t feel like I was missing out. And I went to the fancy health shop in the morning and threw some ‘Kombucha’ in the trolley on my travels – to try it out – I don’t know if it breaks the no sugar rule – I couldn’t see sugar in the ingredients and I know it’s meant to be good for the gut, so I had that in a wine glass with ice – YUM.

We made our usuals, but the highlight for me was dessert! I made rainbow fruit skewers with raspberries for everyone else and Melissa made delicious, Gf, Df AND sugar free cheesecakes! YUM. especially for my special needs, and she messaged and checked ingredients and tried really hard to get coeliac safe nuts and everything. I was really touched, so thoughtful, and the best part was that they were DELICIOUS.

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I officially started the iQS today. I did the food shop saturday, combined with our normal hopping and it was wee bit more than usual, but it that was because there were a few things for baking etc to last me the eight weeks. So next time should be cheaper! The way it works is that you get the shopping list and recipes on the thursday, and you do a bake and prep for the week on the sunday, and then follow the recipe plan for the week! Easy peasy. And in typical me style I got it all sorted, did the baking and make the chia pudding and cooked the quinoa etc Only to discover this morning that I don’t like the chia pudding (although that may be a lack of yoghurt more than anything so I’m going to get coconut yoghurt – Sf and DF – to see if that helps). And I thought I would try to be positive, so I tried the Buckwheat loaf – and that was gross too. Sad face. The plan is to message the iQS folks tomorrow to ask if there is any GF bread on the market that has the required lack of sugar….

My Chia puddig in the nifty travel pot I bought yesterday - that the grumy Dutchman broke doing the dishes this morning - figures!
My Chia puddig in the nifty travel pot I bought yesterday – that the grumy Dutchman broke doing the dishes this morning – figures!

The rest of the recipes look really good though – I am optimistic – and most of them look like meals the rest of the family will like too. I do like that the thought has been taken out for me, nothing to have to think about while school is starting up again and taking up all of my brain!

And I went to Laneways today, sober, and without really knowing any of the bands except for Courtney Barnett who I wanted to see. I was determined to not get hungry (although I think I have mentioned I don’t so much these days?) So I packed a yummy lunch, check it out below. I had to tell the guy at the gate that I had Coeliacs to be let I with my food but he was super fine about it so that was good!

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Chicken poppers, Baby spinach, Boiled eggs, Hummus, Falafels, Cherry tomatoes and (naughty raw) Carrots

It was so good hanging with my grrl Yas and her man Matt. It def helps to know people who know people – we didn’t have to line up for the loos – we just borrowed their friends backstage pass and ducked through to clean portaloos, I actually stood a metre away from Courtney Barnett – but was too chicken to tell her it was a great show – what a dick ha ha. It was a chilled day of people watching, sitting in spots and watching the world go by, soaking up the sun and sounds and bumping into randoms from my present and my past. Such a nice way to end the holidays! But of course now I’m home and trying to work out getting to school by eight am to do everything I need to and I need to go to bed (yawn). Catch you soon, have a good week at work y’all!

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Day 24 – emergency lunchbox success!

Today we went to Waiheke Island to walk the Headlands Sculpture trail and I panicked about food. The boys were easy – sandwiches and muesli bars and fruit – but we needed to food shop and weren’t planning on doing so until after we got back from the Island – so none of my usuals were in the fridge – I couldn’t cook myself something quickly.  Or could I?

Quite proud of this one – GF,SF, DF (and everything else free) Falafels!

photo 1 (12) photo 3 (7) photo 2 (12)Success! All I had to do was add water, fry in avocado oil and bing bang falafels! Throw in some cherry tomatoes (because I refuse to give them up), a boiled egg and hummus for dipping and we were away. And it was perfect – They kept me full all day; something to remember for packed lunches. I always buy a box thinking we can have a ‘meat free’ night but I know the lads aren’t keen so they sit there – this is a much better way to eat them.

Trying not to think about what was actually in them instead of all the stuff they took out – but in the absence of being able to eat raw veges and fruit I am ok with them for now.

And in updates of how I am feeling/doing with the whole ‘eating to heal’ thing. Well – I am not craving junk anymore – which is great – and my willpower feels really strong in terms of not actually feeling any desire to eat sugary treats or cheesey things when they are offered. I definitely don’t feel all ‘poor me I am missing out’ like I was, and today I even said to the grumpy Dutchman that I hadn’t predicted there’d be a day when him buying me a bottle of sparkling water (for the fizz) while they all had ice-creams still felt like a treat and it the spot! funny!

I tend to still wander to the fridge randomly but I open it now and think ‘am I bored or hungry?’ and mostly I’m bored – I am amazed at how long I can go now between meals without being hungry. I feel like I’m re-setting back to my ‘natural’ eating state; instead of being driven by a low or high from sugar.

The funny thing is that I have to figure out other ways to celebrate small victories or even silly things like getting to go to the stupidmarket by myself – quiet time for mummy – normally I would get me a little treat and eat it in the car on the way home but there is nothing I can have. After a day like today, with a particularly hard session of boot camp in the morning, then stomping up and down hills in the hot sun all day I would normally ‘reward’ myself for my hard work with a glass of wine (or 3) and I have been trying to think of other ways – and all I feel like doing is crawling in to bed because my legs ache! ha ha. Is this what getting old feels like?

All the books say to replace food treats/rewards with ‘time’. Whether it be reading a book, going for a walk, a yoga session, the point is to nourish your spirit instead of your stomach to replace the emotional crutch. Or some shit. But if you are already ‘time poor’ in terms of alone time (what parent of kids that still live at home ever get ‘alone time’?!) What can you do?

I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

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.

New Years Day – Day One has dawned bright, rose tinted glasses on!

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(not my image/shoulders – it is the first one that comes up when you google image search ‘hot yoga’ – you should have seen some of the others!)


So the day dawned bright and beautiful and me and the littlest lad rolled over to greet the sun; despite the fact that master 4 had been awake until well after midnight last night (beating master 7 and I hands down).

Hot Yoga this morning – my first yoga session of 2015 (and first session in over 9 months) what to eat so that I didn’t throw up in the heat later on? I settled on my fave – a chocolate smoothie – and in fact I only had half because it is so filling – and saved the rest to have chilled after Yoga. Here is the recipe – it’s really easy – just whack them all in the blender and whizz it up. 1/2 an avocado, 1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana chopped, 2 tblsp raw cacao powder, 1 tblsp peanut-butter and 3 dates. SO GOOD.

Yoga was fucking hard. I am NOT flexible and NOT great in the heat – I have a red face in a warm room in winter ffs but it felt good to be doing something and I like the instructor Bruce; he wanders around telling absent minded little stories that keep your mind off the hard core ness of the temperature and the disgusting grunting sounds the man next to you is making. Seriously – the women don’t make those noises – are they really necessary dude? Anyways – it’s a nice change of pace between boot camps and the studio I go to has introduced different types of (not hot) Yoga in my absence so am looking forward to trying them all out.

Back home and I am thinking about what to do to prep for the year ahead, I have thought about it a lot, and have been planning but not really anything tangible as yet. Mostly I am obsessed with all things food so it will be a matter of making sure I am always prepared like a good girl guide – and never caught on the hop starving – because that’s when I weaken and make bad food choices for my tummy (and pay for it later). I have talked to friends on similar missions or people who eat a certain way for health and have gotten lots of good links to sites and recipes, and a book recommendation from Jonni that I am waiting to come in at my local library.

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Here are my starter guidelines, mostly gathered from appts with various specialists including Dr Jenny who I see now, reading the book ‘The Calorie Fallacy’ by Libby Weaver, and general hunches firmed up by conversations with Cath (my friend with PHD’s who is amazeballs). Some of this stuff I was meant to be already doing but got seriously slack over the Xmas break so am getting ‘back on the wagon’ as it were 🙂

These are the rules for ‘my year of health’ all based around the plan of healing my gut and in turn (hopefully) fixing my skin and everything else;

  • No Gluten duh
  • No Dairy
  • No refined Sugar, and certain natural sugars (honey and high fructose fruit like apples and grapes)
  • No Alcohol or Coffee
  • Try to cut out or limit dramatically processed-to-death food
  • No raw food to start with, this might improve with time but for now the fiber is too much and it gives me instant tummy aches
  • No ‘crunchy’ or ‘scratchy’ food – toast, crackers, corn chips, etc – anything that might scratch or damage my gut lining
  • that goes the same for raw whole nuts – I can have nuts but in paste or totally ground up
  • MORE yoga
  • Regular WOF’s to check gluten, iron, magnesium etc levels
  • MORE ‘good for my gut’ food i.e. bone broths, smoothies, avocados, salmon, casseroles etc
  • MORE walks around the neighbourhood with the fam and the dog
  • LESS beating myself up for not fitting my clothes at the moment.
  • MORE mindfulness – appreciating the moment. The glorious here and now and the wonderful peeps in my life.

So not that much eh? HA HA. well, this is day one after all – Got to start positive!