Day 43 – The golden handcuffs

It occurred to me that this evening after chatting my Nana about her various ‘hobbies’ (She couldn’t decide if she wanted to be a gardener, an artist or a potter, so she tried them all) that it would be nice to have some time out to ‘figure out what I want to do next’.

You see, I know I don’t want to teach until retirement. But at present I can’t see any way out. Like goldfish, our lives expand to fill whatever space we occupy, so we live to our means with not much ‘wiggle room’. And I earn a decent wage. No teacher is going to tell you we are paid what we are worth – but between us the grumpy Dutchman and I manage to make a nice life for the four of us.

And yet. I have this daydream.

I picture myself, and my fam, in a house on Waiheke Island. I ‘work from home’ making photos, jewellery, sewing, reading, blogging, baking Gf, Df and Sf delicious-ness and making all of our other food from scratch. Including our nut milks. (yes dear hur hur). We have a vege garden and chooks, and a raw milk  and home kill meat contact. The GD has conveniently gotten a job at the local Intermediate so he is happy too teaching. The boys have a backyard to frolic in and we spend our summers living at our local beach. I do yoga and am 10cms taller, and 6 kilos lighter and tan all year round. (Hey it’s my daydream). And here’s the clincher – I don’t get bored ever. Even though I’m not working a 9-5 somehow our expenses have shrunk with our income and I can still visit with friends, buy beautiful NZ designed clothing, collect beautiful shoes, drink wine and take road trips whenever I want.

Nice dream. The reality is that we can’t afford for either of us to not work. Not without moving out of Auckland or radically re-designing our world. And it would be a BIG step. I love my job, and I love my girls, but sometimes I think a couple of years ‘off’ would be quite nice too thanks.

Or maybe I’m just tired after nearly a whole week of talking to 150+ people a day (after speaking to maybe 6 max a day in the holidays). Maybe I just need to go to bed.

40 days and 40 nights

Day 40. I think what I was most anxious about when I embarked on this ‘year of health’ was that I would lose any ‘treats’ in my life, anything that was just for me – whether it be ‘grown up stuff’ (wine and a book) or just general, bloody-hard-day-at-work pick me ups like a morning or afternoon tea cake break.

Turns out it is tricksy to find something that feels like a treat when even fruit is not really good for your tummy. Coyo has been revolutionary of course. If however I eat it all at once then I’m doing myself no good either. But of course, half of this is meant to be the other non-food side of the ‘healing’, the de-stressing etc. And I am struggling.

Getting to Yoga on the 3 days I am not at bootcamp is hard. For some reason Yogi’s don’t teach at convenient times. They don’t do 5/6am – 7am classes. They do 6.30am to 7.30am classes – where most people would be driving to work already before it’s finished. Or 4pm which is before most people leave work. Or of course – my favourite – 7pm, where most people are at home feeding their families (or in my case sitting on my ass waiting for the GD to feed me). And, although I have made it to some evening Yoga classes, they are usually the hour and a half classes, so I don’t get home until nearly 9pm and I miss my fam. It’s not all bad. Fuck I sound like a grinch lately. I love the Yin class on the Sunday – and if I can convince the GD to let me have Tuesday mornings I might be able to go from Yoga straight to work, but it’s a big ask really.

What we have been doing this week is walking. Mostly driven by my competitive side; the fact that I need to get to 84,000 fitbit steps this week, but something that we have been trying to put in a regular spot for ages. It is really nice to slowly wander round our lovely neighbourhood, letting Arty wee on stuff, while the lads babble, holding my grumpy man’s hand. Tonight I am 100 steps off my goal – and our walk consisted of walking up and down the street while Master four ‘rode’ his bike (daddy holding it upright for him while he refused to peddle) but to be honest I will do those steps just making my lunch for tomorrow and getting ready for bed.

So my goals this week;

  • I am going to try to get to Yoga at least twice.
  • I am also going to start one of the books I got in the mail.
  • I am going to go hang with my Nana and Grandad respectively.
  • I am going to survive our first full week back at school with actual teaching involved.
  • I am going to try to get to bed at a decent time.
  • I am going to enjoy hanging WITH my boys.

And maybe try to not to dress like an oversized toddler again – all day today all I wanted to do was come home and get changed.

Day 31 – Last day of the month!

It is the last day of the month! 31 good things for 31 days 🙂

  1. The I Quit Sugar dinner for tonight was great! Coconut cream and Tumeric chicken, Kale and Coriander Quinoa – YUM and the kids ate it!
  2. Bootcamp in the rain today – new location so we were nice and dry – fun times!
  3. More quality time with my Grandies. Nana has been moved to a Nursing home and although she isn’t happy it means she is in the same town as me so I can take her bacon sandwiches and visit Grandad next door in his place.
  4. The sun is rising later – I like to start the day in the dark – it’s nice to watch it rise, sets me up for the day.
  5. School is getting started – looking forward to seeing the girls in my cohort.
  6. Summer fruit.
  7. Hot days.
  8. Summer rain – cools the night down just perfectly.
  9. I know I complain – but school holiday hangs with the lads have been lovely.
  10. A new Niece! I might get to cuddle her soon.
  11. A new dress.
  12. And some new jewellery….
  13. A week in Christchurch without the family to just read books and hang out with my sister – bliss – I could have stayed longer!
  14. Getting my car fixed so it didn’t look quite so derelict.
  15. Alcohol free = clear head in the mornings.
  16. Swollen and sore tummy SO rare that I actually notice it as unusual.
  17. Waiheke Headlands Sculpture trail – Heat, Walking AND Art.
  18. Laneways 2015. People watching heaven.
  19. A friend’s wedding to look forward to ❤
  20. Molly in the bed purring in my side.
  21. Master 7 going to work with the Grumpy Dutchman and earning his keep painting with his dad and Opa, so proud of himself.
  22. First swim of the season.
  23. Friends being so supportive and accommodating of all of my ‘special needs’. I seriously and genuinely appreciate the lengths people have gone to.
  24. The acquisition of a new sculpture from an artist friend.
  25. New shoes. Shoes in general.
  26. Small boy cuddles.
  27. Small boy kisses.
  28. Quality time with my sexy man.
  29. Yoga 3 times a week. I’m getting there slowly…
  30. Breakfast dates with my grrls.
  31. My wonderful friends and family.

Phew! got a little hard in the middle there 🙂 31 turns out to be a lot.

Bring it on February!

Day 29 – Yin

photo (22)

Today I realised that I must be PMSing because when I got home I ate everything. I walked around eating as I did chores; I cooked dinner and ate peanut butter on carrots as I chopped veges and marinated the lamb. It seemed to hit me all of a sudden; I wasn’t so hungry at work but I don’t know whether to blame my swollen and achey belly on the salad I had for lunch (Raw = bad) or the fact that I’m to be reminded of all the glories of womanhood any day now. I also have the skin of a hormonal teenager. Again. oh the joys.

The iQS program is going well so far, not so much that I don’t know, but the change in meals is nice and I like not having to think! Tonight I made Mediterranean Lamb – and it was so Yum. We had to have it Dairy free of course – and the lack of feta really took the greek out – but it was still a win! (The boys didn’t eat the rocket but they ate everything else – still not convinced with ‘leaves’).

     photo 1 (15)  photo 2 (15)

And the really nice thing was that because it wasn’t a full day at work I got home a little after four and we were having dinner by 5:30.

I tried ‘Yin’ yoga tonight. A 7:30 class which went for an hour, and it went a little over so I was driving home in the dusk which was very peaceful. Have your tried Yin? It is intense. It’s not a warm room – in fact she had to have the aircon on to get rid of the heat from the previous Bikram class – but I was sweating.

Basically you get yourself into ‘stretching’ type positions and then you sit there. And sit, and sink into it and just hang out. And she plays restful music. And encourages you to find a comfortable place for you and to make your own adjustments and all of that. And meanwhile, inside your head, you are screaming. Because OH MY GOD. The first few were okay – I mean everyone else had their heads touching the floor and I could barely get my chin on my chest but, you know, I was ‘finding a comfortable place for me’.  And then we did stuff to ‘open our hips’ and oh boy. Each stretch was held for about 5 mins. Try doing anything even a teeny tiny bit uncomfortable for five minutes. I thought I was going to have to get her to untangle me because I was so stiff. At one point I was a wee bit distracted because I could hear my phone, through the door to the studio and down the hall, going off for my eight o’clock alarm. I may have fucked with a few people’s bliss.

Mmmmm Lamb for lunch tomorrow.

Day 18 – I’m breaking out!

Next step of sugar withdrawals…… as the headaches recede and the aches in my legs are more attributable to boot camp than the sugar, my skin is now breaking out. This is the next step if I remember correctly. I am SO pretty right now. Like a 17 year old before a date with her crush I am breaking out all over – mostly my decolletage which is fun for all those pretty summery dresses that are all strappy and loose – they basically scream look at my big pimples! I’m 36 and I’m breaking out like a teenager. Which goes really well with my permanently red face.

Which segueways nicely into Yoga – where I have an even redder face than normal – I tried a new class this morning, ‘more dynamic’ the lady said. Constant movement etc and ‘Strength and loving myself’. Lots of self love promoted. There was a guy in the back who sounded like he was really loving himself before class. He got there a few minutes before the rest of us and was doing a headstand when we all walked in. He then proceeded to have his own little yoga session before class, contorting himself, huffing and puffing and basically fucking with my savasna buzz. Here I am trying to centre myself and not focus on all the tall blonde yogis arriving in their teeny tiny pant and bras and trying to practice self love in not comparing my shorter rounder sweatier self to them and all I can hear is super keen guy in the back panting away and he tries to turn him self inside out. Dude.

This cat from 'Cats for world peace' is much cuter than headstand man
This cat from ‘Cats for world peace’ is much cuter than headstand man

But I liked it. It was a new one – it felt really challenging and after about 45 minutes I was ready for it to end but I could see how it was one that you could get better at. If I didn’t look directly at the instructor she wasn’t too intimidating – sitting really far away worked – and I could get my sweat on and make my tiny little adjustments and movements as we went.

So far so good.

What beautiful weather this weekend! This is proving to be a wonderful summer.

Day three, Yoga, grumpy and accidentally starving myself – not a great day

Started the day off with another Hot Yoga session, I woke up starving so broke my own new rule about fruit and had a banana before I went – unfortunately a sign of the day to come. The class was meant to be ‘Hot Focus’ and be an hour long; I thought I’d try something different to what I knew, but Bruce forgot he was teaching that one and just did a Bikram session anyway! My legs were aching from last time and I was def tired by the end. It doesn’t do much for ones self-esteem when you are surrounded by tall, lithe, ponsnobby types who all look fab in a sports bra and teeny tiny shorts. They bend like young saplings and you’d hardly know they were in the heat at all! I thought I’d join the club this time and went in a pair of running shorts but they were all wrong. Flapped around my legs and caught in horrible places – I was sure I was flashing folks my nether regions when I bent over for the hamstring stretches. It really is remarkable how much shorter and ‘solid’ I am than anyone else in these classes. Not good for a PMS’ing mamabear!

I was STARVING by the time I got home, so went into full brunch mode – I made a favourite savoury combo that I had seen on Nadia Lim’s Facebook page; sparrowgrass, poached eggs, smoked salmon and I added some of my fave avocado/tomato/basil combo. YUM YUM YUM. Recommend this one to all.

The lads were set on going fishing but while they were getting ready I was so tired from yoga that I crawled back into bed! Out like a light until Master 7 came in to show me some minecraft map upload that he wanted me to sort out for him.

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Fishing took longer than I anticipated and I had not planned and brought any food with me. The littlest lad was getting tired and bored so I used him as an excuse and offered to walk back to where we had parked the car thinking I could get some food on the way. Man. That was when I realised I was starving AGAIN and had nothing on me. I couldn’t think about what to get to eat – not dairy so no cheese or milk, no nuts or chips and was running out of ideas. I stopped at the Seamart thinking I might be able to get smoked fish or something but it was too late in the day, and it all looked manky. Next I tried a Dairy and I ended up buying a can of ‘chop chop chicken’ in smoked flavour. For FIVE bucks!

I had second thoughts about the gluten-free-ness and general happiness of the chicken in the can – didn’t sound very nourishing when I thought about it closer…. So basically I starved. And it sucked. We didn’t get home until four thirty and I had eaten last at eleven and I was grumpy and head-achey and tired. I randomly grazed on stuff, including a ‘healthy gf’ biscuit that shouldn’t have been included for its sugar content, and now I am grumpy and tired and disappointed in myself.

Lesson learned. Must prepare myself better when I go out – and I must do some research on snacks I can carry that aren’t nuts, crackers, fruit or dairy. Fuck that’s hard. A grrl can only eat so many boiled eggs 😉

What I did get today – quality time with the family. Watching the GD and Master 7 bond over fishing, hanging with the littlest lad as we walked. Not to mention day sleeping! I LOVE nana naps in the holidays – I never used to be able to sleep during the day but that all changed once I had kids ha ha.

SHould go now and help with dinner tonight – we are BBQ’ing – The GD got a new BBQ and so far we have eaten off it each night and it is the best! Don’t you love summer BBQ’s? Tonight we are having lamb chops, chicken, wedges for the lads and various steamed veg.

Plan for tomorrow – go through all my helpful recipe sites and do some prep for the week. Snacks and emergency supplies for those days when I get caught out – a grrl should never be left Hangry – not safe for those around her!

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


(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.

                          GAPSdiet GAPSBK3 Picture                 110596184

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!