Sayonara – Signing Off

This post has been in the works for a week or two.

I kept putting it off because I thought maybe I was just having a bad day, maybe I was just tired. But I realise that right now, at the moment, I don’t feel like continuing with blogging. It’s not an unhappy decision, I actually feel a little relief that I can let it go and be okay with it.

At this moment in time, I feel like I just need to stop and get my head together. There have been one or two posts lately where I mention having a bad day or a bad week, and honestly a blog where I rattle off what’s bothering me isn’t something I want to write. It doesn’t interest me nor, I’m sure, does it interest many of you.

A few reasons behind why I’m stopping is that I’ve realised a couple things:

  • The comparison trap, which has been spoken about by Arman is a really slippery slope. A few years ago, I ditched Facebook and Twitter because I was constantly comparing myself to people who seemed to be getting promoted, or traveling the world, or starting families. It made me anxious, and since FB/Twitter seemed like just another vortex on the internet where all time went out the window, I decided to give them up. It was a great decision that I rarely regret. When I began blogging, I didn’t really think it was the same thing, but it soon began to develop similarities. I started comparing myself to other bloggers, I was spending all my time on the computer and I was more concerned about my ‘virtual image’ rather than real self.

  • I am a better blog reader than writerand that is perfectly okay. This is somewhat covered in the previous point. In the beginning my posts were spontaneous and relaxed. Then when I started getting comments, I enjoyed it, but began writing with a ‘reader base’ in mind. To get more comments, I read that you needed to start posting consistently, frequently, enthusiastically – that is when I feel as though things began to change. I would stress if I hadn’t posted in x number of days. I would start thinking ‘what can I write about next’. I would worry that my last past was so many days ago.

  • Food obsession. My history with food/fitness is varied, just last week I thought I had finally figured it all out, how to finally make peace with my body. This week has seen me slide back into familiar anxieties and stress. While my favourite blogs to read are those that share awesome food ideas that I would never have dreamed of, I’ve often felt as though I was fostering an unhealthy obsession with food. I eat meals and think about the next while I’m still eating the current one. I plan and over think a meal so much it turns out to be a disappointment. This has nothing to do with other bloggers – I choose the sites in my feedly, I choose to post about the meal I’ve cooked. But maybe taking a step back from this for a little while might be good.

What I Grateful For Having Learnt:

  • Discovering a new form of fitness. My old exercise habits were impossible to keep up. Blogging taught me about strength training and that exercise is not synonymous with running until your feet bleed. It’s about getting up and moving, doing something that you enjoy.

  • Meeting new people. I was extremely lucky to have the chance to meet Jan and Arman a few months ago, which was something that I would have shied away from in the past. It was a ‘take the plunge’ moment, where I thought, I could make up some lie about my cat being sick or great-aunt’s-nephew dying, or I could actually just do it. I did it, and it was a lot of fun. It taught me that life isn’t about feeling comfortable all the time (within reason).

  • I surprised myself for managing to blog this long. I tried blogging once before, and last two posts. Yes. Two. Writing helped me to be creative, to try new things, that although I may have done ‘simply to write a post about’, I was ultimately glad I did in the end because it was an experience.

  • Intuitive eating. My first foray with IE came in the unexpected source of ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’ – which, when you get right down to it, is the very basic premise of the book. It made me think for the very first time the food is not the only problem. It spurred me to look for more resources, to investigate this further. Reading the books of Geneen Roth was a revelation. Through reading these books and reading about other bloggers experiences with IE is one of the most valuable resources I have picked up through this medium.

I don’t plan on giving up reading my favourite blogs, they still continue to make me laugh and inspire me.

And so, to anyone who read this blog, commented, contributed, smirked, giggled, raised an eyebrow, or just looked at the pictures of food – thank you. On we go :)


Friday – Finding The Fabulous

Just because the sky looks grey, doesn’t mean it isn’t blue behind the clouds. The sky is always blue, but we just choose to see it as a grey day. It’s merely our perception that has changed.

 This week was a bit rough, so I’ve decided to look for the brighter side of things, and I hope you do too :)

  • My salads this week have taken on epic proportions. Today’s lunch needed a container resembling a small treasure chest, fortunately I didn’t need to dig around a deserted island to find one.

Did you know you can steam chicken? Mind blown.

Did you know you can steam chicken? Mind blown.

  • Last week my progress with eating intuitively was enormous. This week, it did something of a 180. I’m learning from this that sometimes things are going to be ‘one step forward, one step back’, but each step back teaches me how far I’ve come.

Coffee catch-ups on the cards

Coffee catch-ups on the cards

  • I’m taking next week off work, and am determined to relax and enjoy it. The last time I took time off it wasn’t so great. I was in the middle of a lot of food issues, and being home all day only made it worse. This time I will savour and enjoy it.

  • It’s also my birthday next Friday, which is followed by the weekend, followed by a public holiday on the Monday. It’s almost like they scheduled it just for me ;)

  • Dinner with family tonight, coffee with a friend tomorrow. This is also one of the ways I plan to spend next week. When I sat down and thought about what I enjoy doing, what I could say I loved more than anything without hesitation, was spending an hour or so in one of my favourite haunts with a coffee and a book.

 - Rebel Without A Cause  

- Pink Flamingos

… just to name a few.

  • Slowly, I’m finding that talking things out can be better than bottling them up

  • Listen to this to get up and get your feet moving.

  • Making rhubarb & pear crumble can soothe the soul, and your taste buds. So can smothering it in some faux-ice-cream.

SAM_2748

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How was your week? What are your plans? How do you staypositive?


What I Ate Wednesday: Day-Ahead-Dishes

People respond to heat differently.

Some sit in the shade, drinking from a cool glass of lemonade while fanning themselves. Others sit in dark air-conditioned rooms. I happen to walk around reciting Elizabeth Taylor’s dialogue from ‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’.

But isn’t that what everybody does in the south? ;)

Another way to cope with the heat is by food prepping. As Arman has scientifically verified, leftovers taste best cold. So when the forecast indicated it would hit over 40 degrees (104F) for the second day in a row, I decided to have a day of cooked-cold dishes. The last thing you want is to be in front of a hot oven on a hot day, amIright?

So here I present ‘What I Ate Wednesday – Day-Ahead-Dishes’

Other Alternate titles:

WIAW: Ice, Ice Baby

WIAW: The Cold Cuts Compilation

WIAW: The Summer Survival Edition

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Breakfast – Overnight Oats, consisting of bananaroasted almondsblueberries, plain Greek yogurt and vanilla whey.

My milk-to-oat ratio was a little off.

My milk-to-oat ratio was a little off.

Laced with (which resembles a mini-shopping list): cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, clove, fresh ginger, blackstrap molasses

Lunch – Amy’s Baked Falafel, with baby spinach and steamed carrot & swede. Trust me on swede – it’s somewhere in between pumpkin and potato. On the side, a creamy garlic dressing I made using herbs and (more) Greek yogurt.

Would you like some falafel with that salad?

Would you like some falafel with that salad?

Feta not pictured. It barely made it on to the plate.

Feta not pictured. It barely made it on to the plate.

Dinner – My least photogenic meal: one of my Chicken-Herby-Lemon Whatevers. Served with oven baked veggies (just heavenly, when cold) and eggplant. I’ve been tried to cook eggplant before by either grilling it or baking it, and it was always just okay. The last few times I’ve sliced it thinly, then pan-fried it with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Fantastic! Definitely my favourite method to prepare it now :D Topped with a bit of  feta (because, have you seen the price of goat’s cheese?) Salivation.

Dessert – To escape the heat, my bestie and I went to Cold Rock Ice Creamery. There are too many options, really. I could choose a different flavour base and different mix-ins and never repeat myself. I opted for Baileys with a Ferraro Roche mixed in. There are no words.

...

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Here’s to another fabulous Wednesday of eats and treats :)


Home Brew (The Best You’ll Ever Have)

A rough demographic of the readers of this blog places most of them in the Northern Hemisphere.

"I said, 'Brrrr' it's cold in here ..."

“I said, ‘Brrrr’ it’s cold in here …”

While I remain sympathetic that you are experiencing what can only be described as ‘hell freezing over‘ – seriously, it looks atrocious – it is the first time that summer here has started to look like it. Despite Australia recording it’s hottest year ever, things have been pretty mild in Melbourne/Victoria the last two months.

The sudden jolt of summer gave me the opportunity to make what I have spent much of winter waiting for: a hot day and an iced coffee.

What I didn’t count upon was making the best iced coffee of my life. Added bonus.

Cold-brewing coffee has been trendy for a while, and I’ve used this method in the past to make a concentrate that I could then transport, add boiling water and make a decent long black in a pinch … (the lengths some people will go to to avoid crap instant coffee).

Taking freshly ground beans and adding a tiny dash of cinnamon and nutmeg,  I covered the grounds with water and let it sit overnight.

The next day, plunge, pour and taste.

Mid-drink

Mid-drink

The concentrate itself was awesome. Because the beans aren’t exposed to boiling water, there is no bitterness in the extraction.

I added a little milk (chilled in the freezer) and things just went from awesome to amazing. It was so good, I had to take a picture. (How many of you suffer from this disease also?)

When the tennis starts next week, you had better believe I will be watching it with one of these bad boys next to me.

Are you in the throws of summer or winter?

What’s your favourite way to cool down (or warm up, for that matter)?


Kicking Ass With Breakfast

Are you a sweet or savoury kind of breakfast eater?

I have always been a sweet-breakfast kind of person, believing breakfast is almost incomplete without honey accompanying it ;) This should be apparent now by my documented obsession with oats in the form of porridge or muesli/granola.

I’ve never understood the allure behind eggs for breakfast. Yes, they’re awesome in their own right, but they just never say ‘breakfast’ to me. Yet, I still wanted to give them one last chance to prove themselves. I had a vision of starting my day with eggs & black coffee.

SAM_2754

I had the coffee sorted. The five minutes I spend alone contemplating and drinking my coffee in the morning I consider a sacred moment.

So, about the eggs. I decided to served them shakshouka style, on top of a microwave English muffin using chickpea flour (not so grain-free anymore). I could write a whole post about the muffins themselves.

Diced tomatoes (fresh), onion, paprika, tumeric, parsley, a sprinkle of chickpeas and fried egg in the centre (which always reminds me of an inverted Japanese flag when I fry it on the skillet).

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

I served on top of my ‘English muffin‘ completely slathered it in Vegemite. This was the key ingredient.

I took a bite and fell into a food coma.

Variety is the spice of life, so I’m so glad I’ve found a new breakfast favourite to add to my mix :D

What’s your current breakfast fixation? What makes you go ‘nom nom nom’?


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