STATE OF COMMITMENT

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Ferocious Honesty. Wholehearted Truth. Plucky Candour. This is where my values belong and have for some time, sometimes getting suffocated by my own need to be a pillar of kindness, selflessness, and ever pleasing for the benefit of others. It does me no good you know, this habit of being everything for everyone, nor does it do anyone else any good. Despite being in a profession that is built on the premise of kindness, selflessness, and the best outcomes for others, that premise is nothing but an old whisper of the past – one in which nurses lived in, walked the halls til their feet bled, and were married to their vocation of selfless caring. Certain things had their place in that time, not so in this age where nurses are both men and women, mothers and fathers, and clinical specialists in their own fields with mountainous responsibilities to match. I guess that old whisper has always had a place in my mind – until now.

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For years I have been committed to everything and everyone but myself, myself has always been an afterthought and deep down I knew I would not be able to sustain it forever. At some point I was going to have to be self-caring, selfish, and put my needs first. I knew this because I say these same words to friends and colleagues who are in the same position, only not being courageous to take in on myself and stand firm in my own needs. That time is over, or will be soon as I take step by step in moulding my own life, my own career. This year I have embarked on so many things that threaten to take me out if I don’t heed my own words: research, a 2 year honours diploma, my certificate 4 in fitness, a new business centred around our long-term plan to move and work abroad, and for this my health has suffered with the lacking sleep and lacking time for my own physical fitness.

This year I have taken some steps to move away from things happening to me and into a place where things happen for me. Big difference. This move requires simple but somehow difficult steps. I’m still doing it no matter how hard the steps are. I was bold enough to ask my boss for one set day off each week so I could be mother to my two girls and be there one weekday day per week to do all those mummy chores – and I love those mummy things I really do, they will no longer be there for me to do much longer as my girls grow. I was worried that this was too big a request and that I would be denied, how wrong I was. I was granted this request with the complete understanding that I needed. I added to this my desire to work no more than 64 hours a fortnight unless I expressed the desire to on the odd occasion, or if it was dire to my workplace that I work up. That too has been put in place. I have a wonderful boss and whilst I trust and know that she looks out for her staffs’ best interests, I have a history of not feeling worthy enough – something I am really working on. It isn’t just my work life I have been working on – my physical health I have been too.

When I moved to the Sunshine Coast I had cancer, thyroid issues, chronic and severe allergy, serious and debilitating anxiety, complications from the cyst in my brain, and that was just the start of it. I was recommended by my GP a supplement I had shipped in from New Zealand that really made a big difference and I was able to stop all my prescribed medications, I gave up smoking, and lost a stack of weight. I was doing so well…until a fall at work and a slip on rocks at the beach left me with 2 fractures in my lower spine, nerve damage, and pain that is present even today. That really halted my training schedule and the weight began piling back on. Add to that a few trips to Europe and no desire to abstain from the local delicacies, a ton of self loathing about this, and I am far from where I was before. I am over the self loathing now, knowing that life happens to all of us and knowing that each day I have been doing my best just to stay afloat and keep moving forward. That said, I have also put in place changes to keep moving forward and climb the steep hill back to the fitness and wellbeing level I was at before – looming early menopause or not.

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When beginning back with my fitness journey (ughhhh – hate that word now but cant think of another), I had to be realistic in the fact that I am typical Obliger personality – no matter how much I practise not being that. So in order to get into the habit of self commitment, I have to work with it instead of against it. So I have done the following:

· Enlisted hubby to prepare healthy vegetarian meals using our fabbo cookbook

· Encouraged the kids to start thinking of all the vegetarian foods they can eat for good health and energy – and pack/choose themselves

· Earlier to bed for a good sleep – still working on this

· Monday morning walks at 530am followed by an ocean swim (ok paddle), with a friend who is also an obliger personality – and sticking to this routine no matter how I feel (I can always walk a little slower and not as far if I feel shite), and I have successfully kept this routine even if my friend doesn’t come

· Catching myself in moments of stress and taking a few deep breaths

· Actively trying to let go of the hurts others have inflicted on both me and my loved ones – still working on this

· Beginning a fitness challenge lasting 12 weeks with my beautiful inlaws from across the ditch in NZ…to make it a bit fun

I know I have a way to go before I am back where I was and in a forward motion again, but I am feeling confident in my state of commitment to myself.

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COMING OUT

I’m coming out. I want the world to know. I’m gonna let it show. I’m coming out. ….la la lala la la….

Okay so it’s not the coming out you might think it is after my Miranda Hart style song intro, but it is a significant coming out of sorts. You see we have gone through some significant change to our lifestyle choices since just after Christmas that has elicited the strongly held opinions of others to be shoved mercilessly down our throats. Fortunately however, I take this to indicate that if they must pull apart our choices as ferociously as their slow cooked pork they must at some level sense some truth and feel challenged by these concepts.

So what is this choice I hint at I guess you wonder? Well it is that we have become vegetarian.
*GASP* I know it’s terribly radical isn’t it! I guess about as radical as choosing to stop eating McDonalds completely which we did about two years ago…but I digress. If you are wondering about what on earth drew us into this radical cult called vegetarianism (said totally tongue in cheek), it was a few things, and very much a well thought out, well researched decision.

Firstly, I have detested handling raw meat for many years now to the point of feeling a gag rush up my throat requiring me to work hard to refrain from allowing it to totally surface. My hate of raw meat and the smell of cooking meat was so bad that I would sometimes have to leave parties that had strong smelling meats being cooked like kangaroo or pig on a spit – I couldn’t even eat it if it were too overpowering.

Secondly, we have had such wars with our you gets about eating anything over the past years that getting her to eat meat was like world war three. She absolutely hated any meat she had to chew. Totally turned her nose up at it and I’m sad to confess that I put my foot down and made her eat it much to the decimation of any harmony at the dinner table.

Thirdly (and this was the deal breaker for us), we decided to watch the movie Food Inc. through watching this movie and doing our own research afterwards we decided that in fact it was not aligned with our values to contribute to what was going on in the whole food chain process.

So we decided to stop eating meat to begin with, and to work towards taking out eggs and dairy too. My eldest is already dairy free by choice after a visit to a dairy farm and a bit of research on her part…and we will follow her lead. Of course it is always a choice, if my children asked me tomorrow for a steak then I would oblige with an option that is the most humane I could find – because ultimately I want this to be a choice they make for themselves when armed with knowledge, but so far they are more than happy to have no meat in their diets.

Are we sick? No. Are my kids poorly? No. Are we going to suffer? No. In fact we feel great for having done it!

We do get the odd comment that it will affect our children’s health negatively, but from everything I have seen so far my children have a much more nutritionally dense intake than many other children. I don’t consider those fast food chains, so called ‘breakfast’ bars or packets of sugar laden and chemical laden rubbish to be nutrition and neither do my children. My children eat spinach and avocado for breakfast, curries choc full of vegetables, and drink juices that would make your cells explode with delight, because they know now how to listen to what their body needs at any given time and are usually right.

So there we have it – I’m out!!! Proud to speak our truth. So if you visit and want to eat meat we won’t hang you or put you on trial for it….we just wont have any in our house. I dare you to try at least one meat free day a week and see how you feel – but it is your choice.

Hope you have had wonderful holidays, Passover, Easter. 🙂

CREAMY BASIL AND CASHEW PASTA

Welcome to my children’s new favourite recipe. In fact my seven year old calls it her favourite more than daddy’s – and let me say that is a feat! Of course you can change this around to be nut free too by taking out the cashews, adding more flour, and substituting rice milk for coconut cream. Feel free to share this but share the love and let people know where you found this yummy stuff.

Pasta for four people – approx 400g of penne pasta – can be gluten free, or even zucchini ‘pasta’ spirals.

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INGREDIENTS

1 brown onion finely diced
2 garlic gloves smashed and chopped
2 cups of basil ripped
2 tspn plain flour (can be gluten free)
500mls organic rice milk (or dairy free alternative)
1 cup of cashews (preferrably soaked in water for 2 hours)

Coconut oil for cooking.

METHOD

1. Brown onion and garlic with coconut oil.
2. Add basil leaves and cook til moderately wilted.
3. Set aside in bowl.
4. Heat 1 tbs of coconut oil in pan, mixing in flour to make a smooth paste.
5. Slowly add rice milk on a low heat, mixing well to ensure no lumps.
6. Blend basil, garlic, onion, and cashews until smooth.
7. Add to creamy mixture and heat through.
8. Stir through cooked pasta

*Please note – this mixture can be frozen and reheated. If it dries out add some more rice milk and stir through*s

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VEGETARIAN YELLOW CURRY

There is nothing like a tried and tested recipe to make your taste buds sing, especially when it is nutritious and wholesome, and approved by some very picky children. This used to be our chicken curry favourite but now that we have become vegetarian we now just use pumpkin instead of chicken and my girls just love that. Although this appears to have a lot of preparation in it, I assure you it doesn’t actually take too long and if you double the quantities like we do, it makes enough for dinners for my shift work or even another nights dinner that can be frozen.

My children constantly ask me to make this for them and I have made it for a few other people now , with it going down a treat! This weekend however I got the big thumbs up from my nieces four little ones as they sat around the table to this yummy dish – meat free too! Not one of them complained, and they all had smiles on their faces at the end. So here is the recipe – please enjoy and share – and credit to where you found the recipe is always appreciated.

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INGREDIENTS

1 onion sliced
2 shallots diced
1 leek sliced
1 capsicum sliced
1 celery stalk diced
2 zucchini – finger length wedges
2 cups green beans
2 carrots – finger length sticks
4 cups broccoli florets
4 cups pumpkin cubed – partially steamed or cut in smaller cubes

Coconut oil – for wok
2 tbs Valcom Yellow Curry Paste (more if you require more heat)
1 400ml tin Ayam Organic Light Coconut Cream (more to alter consistency)

*Serve with Basmati rice or cauliflower ‘rice’ *

METHOD

1. In a wok (or alternative) brown onion, shallots, and leek in coconut oil.
2. Add capsicum and celery until partly cooked through.
3. Add zucchini, beans, carrots and broccoli – placing lid on until partly cooked through.
4. Stir through curry paste thoroughly.
5. Add in pumpkin.
5. Pour in coconut cream and stir through.
6. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes or til cooked, on low heat.
7. Serve with ‘rice’ of choice.

SERVES 4

*Please note – we are vegetarian however if you are a meat eater you can choose to add free range chicken breast by sealing in wok prior to first step*

WAIT A MINUTE! I’M NOT READY?

Ok so my post today is in a different format than usual, but I was in a kind of holiday funk and I had to get myself out of it. Read through to the end paying close attention to the content and possible meanings, then read the endnote down the bottom.

I stand there feeling frustrated and annoyed because she is procrastinating – again. I’m ready of course. Ready to go, do and be. I have everything sorted, planned and in place.

“Just a minute”, she calls as though she really means a sixty second minute. Pffft.

I just don’t understand why she needs a minute. She has been working towards this day her whole life. She knew it was coming even despite the little voice in the back of her head that kept telling her she wasn’t good enough. Even despite the fact that the little voice in her head is still saying these terrible things to her, causing her breath to hitch and her heart to race. Even still she knew this day was coming.

She screams out again, a little more panic in her voice that she is trying to hide with a softened and upbeat tone. “I’m just making myself look presentable, won’t be long now”. Again, another promise to be ready that we know has much deeper meaning than just appearances. Doesn’t she know how perfect she is? Doesn’t she know that she already shines like the sun and radiates her authentic essence? I guess not since I am still here waiting.

I hear a thud and crashing noise just beyond where I am, close to where she is ‘preparing’. “I’m alright. I just stumbled on some things. I’ll just put it all back into place and I’ll be ready”. There’s been stuff falling around her for a while now, yet she still seems to think this is a new occurrence? I guess she’s finding it hard to get out of there when there is things in her way. I will be patient although I find it terribly frustrating. I know that the preparation is essential but I had thought she would be more ready for this considering how excited she was just yesterday. Oh well, Murphy has been busy huh?

As I sit there double checking that I’ve held up my end of the deal, I hear the loudest bang I’ve every heard coupled with a pained scream. No she couldn’t have. As I look in towards her the realisation dawns on me that she has rushed straight into the wall. Not just that, she has also knocked herself out cold. I try to bring her round but there is just no response, it’s as if she has nothing left in her and she is in a place far from here. Ok, don’t panic, we can still be ready. I just have to find a way to bring her back, in a way that has her fired up to go………..

So what do you think this story is about? What does it reflect for the characters, and what does it make you question within yourself?

Comment on the actual blog post in the below section so we can share our thoughts and feedback. What do you think should happen next?

Catch you on the awesome side 😉

Sunny x

TARTS IN THE RAW!

I have been promising lots of people this recipe for a while now and here it is!!!

RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE TARTS. BLISS. YUM. NOM NOM.

I have been so busy of late with those ‘Top Secret’ exciting things that are almost ready to be revealed, that my uploading of recipes have been lost down the rabbit hole for a while. Never fear however because last weekend I met the lovely Bridget from New Leaf Nutrition and she spurred me on to getting this all happening. I have been working through a few texture issues with this recipe and my children have been gladly volunteering as guinea pigs and I really feel I have a good mix now.

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TART BASE

* 2 cups organic almond meal
* 1 cup organic cacao
* 4 Tbspn organic raw honey
* 4 Tbspn organic cold pressed coconut oil

1. Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly to ensure an even flavour.
2. Mix in the moist ingredients thoroughly to ensure base has correct consistency.
3. Press mixture into non stick mini muffin tin (24 mini muffins).
4. Place in freezer until filling is ready.

FILLING

* 1 large organic banana
* 1 large organic avocado
* 2 Tbspn organic raw honey
* 1/4 Tspn pink Himalayan salt
* 1/4 cup organic cacao

1. Blend the banana and avocado until silky smooth.
2. Mix in the honey.
3. Mix in the salt, ensuring that it has been finely ground prior to adding.
4. Blend in the cacao, again ensuring that it is thoroughly mixed in.

{ For delicious variations to this filling you can flavour it with either minimal drops of edible oils such as doTerra and get mint, orange etc, or mix in some organic blended strawberries, add some blended dates, add some chopped nuts, or as the picture shows add some edible lavender. If the chocolate taste is too strong you can also either cut down the cacao and replace with equal amount of coconut, or add 2Tbspn of almond/rice milk to the filling mix }

ASSEMBLY

1. Spoon the filling into the bases.
2. Refrigerate.
3. Loosen from muffin pan with a fine knife or skewer and lever out as they are reasonably delicate.
4. Keep refrigerated or freeze.

I no longer concern myself with calories because I find it counterproductive, I am more interested in eating foods that are nourishing for the body (and since this is chocolate I think it is nourishing for the soul too!). However I understand that for some of you it is important, so each little tart is approximately 145 calories.

I do hope you enjoy these little naked tarts (naughty) and all the nourishing goodness they each bring. Please feel free to share with me your flavour variations.

Everybody Be AWESOME!!!

Daily Prompt: Take Care

 

Daily Prompt: Take Care.

When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help?

Hmmm…good question. I’m blessed that my days of being sick, catching colds or sniffling my way through winter are far and very few between. One school of thought say that it is because I am a nurse and have developed the immune system of an ox (not that I am an expert on the functioning of an Ox’s immune system – really!). Another school of thought is that its a direct reflection of where I live – on the coast near the beach – Australias beaches are just devine! Yet another school of thought is that it is due to me eating more spinach than the average Popeye-the-Sailor-Man. But really I think it is a mixture of all of the above. But there I do – leading you all down the garden path that is my mind!

On the rare occassion that I am sick, I do let people look after me. But I am selective in that. For instance I will let my husband do anything for me (ok except fold the washing because lets face it – I am the ONLY one that can do it right – so if I am sick the washing is in the basket kids…HA!) I will let my girls do little jobs around the house, but thats the status quo anyway with the recent enforcement of chores – WINNING! And of course I will let them hug me, kiss me and pray for me until the cows come home. My mamma bear gets the obvious pleasure too of looking after me if she is nearby (now a 2hr drive away BOO!). But no one else. I have real trouble letting other people help or look after me or accepting offered help. But I will readily go help another sick person. Yes I know the whole accepting a gift speak but I feel a burden – probably comes from the many years I spent really sick.

Mostly though I soldier on. The house doesnt clean itself. My responsibilities dont go on holiday. My children dont go on auto pilot. So sometimes all there is to do is to take a spoonful of concrete and harden the * up. Yeah I said it. Sometimes you have to get out of your own way and end the pity party in boo-hoo-me street. Most of the time you feel better for having done the big girl pants dance anyway.

What would it take for me to ask for help? Well that would be if me being sick impacted on other people that relied on me for something – period – thats it. Now lets hope talking about all this illness doesnt summon the wrath of the bug fairies. A little affirmation to close maybe?

I AM WELL. I AM INFINITELY HEALTHY. I HAVE AN AMAZING IMMUNE SYSTEM. MURPHYS LAWS ARE NOT REAL.

Everybody Be Well and AWEOSME!!!

TAM 🙂