Friday, May 27, 2011

Food, glorious food...

Over the past year, I've had a real change in relationship to food, kicked off by my introduction to Ayurveda, where their belief is that food is medicine.

Before that, I'd sort of stumbled along, going with what I'd always eaten, or what seemed to work for me or other people, or just following general principles of moderation.

Essentially my theory was, go with what you want to eat, but at the same time use your brain! Feel free to eat cake if it's someone's birthday at work (and don't feel guilty about it), but it's probably not great to eat it breakfast, lunch and tea. Maybe have a salad for lunch!

But I never considered specifically what was good for me or not, the effect it was having on my mind-state and overall health, the source and preparation of food, the impact on the globe etc etc.

Ayurveda really opened my eyes to how the preparation and types of food you eat can have a big impact on your life.

And it also made me actually pay attention to how my body felt after specific foods, creating many a revelation of 'ooohhh, it's that food that makes me feel bloated / gassy / tired / lethargic / on edge' and so on.

As my best friend Lucy has said to me before - most people don't realise that they're not supposed to feel like that after food. (Lucy is one of those people born being in tune with her body and nutrition in general, and has always set her own rules on what food is good for her!)

I was definitely one of those. I just assumed everyone felt like going to sleep after eating a bowl of pasta...or that your tummy mightn't be all that great after ice-cream.

You mean that indicates that perhaps it's not best for keeping my body running at optimum performance levels...what?!

At the moment I'm studying Life Nutrition, which looks at nutrition and food using a holistic certainly goes beyond the food pyramid - much beyond that!

And I'm loving learning more and more about it, because nutrition isn't something that has come naturally to me - not an innate knowing or interest.

So back to the original topic - is it a case of food, glorious food for you? Or is it just fuel to keep your body running?

Is it just something you stuff into your mouth to silence the hunger pains and give you enough energy until the next snack?

Do you eat on the run or do you like to sit down and enjoy your food? Do you eat alone or with others?

Can you actually remember what your last meal tasted like?!

Does food have real cultural significance for you? (I was at lunch with 2 Italians yesterday who were so saddened that some people just see food as fuel!)

Do you link food with your overall health, both in the short-term or long-term? Do you think it can cause illness or other issues?

Have you ever taken a step back after you've eaten to assess how it affects your mind and body?

Do you consider the source of your food when you buy in do you like buying locally or organic? Maybe you have your own vege patch in the backyard?

Is freshness important, or do you like cooking up a big meal and freezing it for later?

Do you have any ethical ideas about food...are you vego or vegan...or do you only buy fair trade?

No criticism for whatever you think, I'm just finding the whole topic more and more fascinating because I personally had never considered that what I eat and why I eat it can have so many dimensions!

And I'd never really considered any of the questions above.

Unfortunately I think I've been a great example of how a lot of people think about food now - in short they don't!

I think the vast majority of people are disconnected from their own nutrition.

And it's not really hard to see why.

Food confusion is rife, because there's so many mixed messages that come at you every single day from magazines, TV, food packaging, recipe books and people you speak to.

Not to mention the incredible array of diets, all claiming to be the best, or the right one for you. (Don't get me started on shakes!)

All of it disempowers you, leaving you to believe that only someone else - be it a celebrity, doctor or a friend - can tell you what's right for you.

Really? Are they living in your body with you?!

I think I've definitely always been one of these people, and it's only in recent times I've realised the true benefit of looking within to see what works for me. And I'm still learning!

In general, we live in such a fast-paced society, that convenience and quick fixes are the norm.

Then there's the ever-increasing stress and pressure that plagues our country - so the fact that many people choose foods that make them 'feel good' in the short-term, but cause health problems in the long-term isn't surprising either.

I find it really funny at work when I'm heating up my lunch and someone walks into the kitchen and asks me what I'm having.

Invariably it's a curry, dahl or soup I've made that morning and they say...

'Ooooh that looks healthy' or 'Oh that's right, you eat really healthy now don't you'

And I suppose the answer is yes to both questions, but what makes me laugh is that eating something involving vegetables or 'being healthy' is so weird!!

Then if I go on to explain that I don't eat wheat, dairy or red meat - some people's heads almost explode with the shock of that statement!!!

Oh and don't get me started on trying to rid the world of the statement 'it's expensive to eat healthy'...that could go on for hours!

At any rate, if you haven't given food any thought before, I hope this has got your brain ticking over a little bit.

And lastly - I hope you enjoy whatever meal is on your plate next! 

I know I will - here's my home-made hommous with carrot...and I've got homemade hot chips coming in the oven...using organic veges of course as that's now the norm for me...yum!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stop thinking so much about your life...

...and start living it!

This was a great quote my husband Nathan relayed to me from a TV show last night and boy oh boy does it sum up my last couple of weeks!!

I've been a victim of my monkey mind of late...getting too caught up in every which way my thoughts bounce around! 

I love getting to the bottom of things, loving knowing why, love the fact that everything happens for a reason...but lately I think I've just got too wrapped up in trying to figure it all out and have ended up with a bit of overload happening.

All in all, it really is a bit tricky to keep up this charade when the world keeps turning, and there's a zillion things happening every all I've wanted to do is yell STOP...LET ME CATCH UP!!!

But life doesn't stop does it - and without realising it, I've gotten a bit, well overwhelmed really.

Although not openly!

Nope, I didn't actually realise how much was flinging around in my head until the last few days when I've remembered how to talk/vent and cry of course!

It's just been simmering away under the surface, and even the tennis matches have been quite subtle. I just really hadn't stopped for long enough to say hang on, what's all this about!

Then there's been the good old fear vs faith know the one. I know everything's working out for my highest good, but seriously can't I just know how, when and why?!

And my personal favourite - not wanting to think or say anything negative or be focused on what I don't want, because I don't want to bring that into my life. Just quietly, not an easy task!

Yikes! All in all I've had many a moment of wanting it all to just go away. But then, that wouldn't be learning now would it!

Reading back over this, I get this funny feeling of deja vu...oh that's right, I've been here before! 

Yep, this does seem to be a bit of a cycle of mine. I swing between being upbeat, living in the now and just letting life wanting to know why it's all happening and in general deciding that everything I'm doing isn't enough.

Oh well, I guess the upside is that I can see all of it from an objective perspective. And it reminds me that I'm still very much a student of life.

So, here are some of my lessons from this that I still need to learn!

  • Don't forget to let it out!! Writing is a great way for me to get perspective, and I feel so much better once I do it!
  • Lighten up & stop taking life so seriously
  • It doesn't matter if I miss one turnoff, there's always another one
  • I don't need to figure it all out, just be glad it's all working...and that I don't have to run the Universe!
  • Look at the forest...not just the trees
  • Don't forget to talk to others...and ask for help!
  • Every decision I make is perfect
  • I'm always exactly where I need to be
  • Be grateful for all of the great things I have in my life
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify
  • Give myself a break!!

And another great one - I love writing blogs, so I don't want to have another 2 week hiatus!! I've had many an idea floating in my head...but supposedly not the time to do it.

Ugh, time management...yep that's another blog entirely!

Anyway, when I take the time to step back, I realise that my life is still great, and these are all just blips.

I thought I'd leave you with a pic of me a couple of weeks ago when we cleaned up our area at work and found a bunch of wrapping paper and other goodies and couldn't resist mucking around with it.

I thought it was apt seeing as it's what I need to do...

Live in the present!!!!!! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 things I love about...

Firstly - Happy Mother's Day for Sunday to all of the wonderful women I know who are loving, caring and amazing mums!! I hope you were all been spoiled by your biggest fans.

Back to the topic...this year I suggested to my two brothers that we put together a list of 10 things we love about our Mum to put in her card.

Boy did it quickly blow out past 10!!

And while we could have kept going, we ended up capping it at 25. Here's a selection of why we think our Mum is the best Mum around, and why all 3 of us admire and adore her...
  • #1   Fanatacism for all Aussie Sport...Collingwood, Australia cricket, netball et al (and hearing about it from 10 miles away)
  • #3   Your sense of adventure and that you're always up for a bit of fun
  • #10 Selfless devotion to immediate family
  • #13 Letting us make our own decisions...and mistakes!
  • #15 Bringing out the best in others and making whoever is in your presence feel special and important
  • #17 3 words. Machine. Gun. Kisses.
And many more.

#25 kind of sums them all up - Being such an amazing example to all 3 of us in how we should approach our lives and treat others.

It's no wonder I love my Mum so very much!

The "10 things I love about you" theme has been on the agenda for a while now.

Nathan & I have been playing the game quite a few mornings, listing off one or two things we love about each other.

It has been as simple as 'I love that you do the dishes'(!!) to 'I love how when you say you're going to do something, you do it'.

It's been a fun and really nice thing to do!

So I laughed the other day when as part of an email from Kylie, she gave us girls some homework...that we had to write a list of 10 things we love about ourselves.

Clearly, I'd had a head start on this topic!

She went on to say about a sentiment she'd heard on Hayhouse Radio was that with women in particular, we can often find a squillion things we want to change about ourselves or our bodies, but don't often step back and say 'you know what, I love...about me'.

So your mission, should you choose to accept, is to write down 10 things you love about yourself...and then your mum, partner, friends and whoever else you like!

But start with yourself first, because it's likely to be more of a challenge if you've never given it any thought.

It can be as simple as your ability to make a mean cheese toasted sandwich...or your generousity towards others...or that you've got really long, luscious eyelashes!

And boys, you're welcome to join in the fun too.

Feel free to share your list here...what's that? Oh, you want me to go first...chickens!

10 things I love about me...
  • I have the guts to keep spilling my inner world via an international blog!
  • I'm always happy to help others
  • I'm willing to change anything about myself that doesn't work for me anymore
  • The colour of my beautiful olive skin
  • My blue eyes that sparkle when I smile
  • My laugh - it's loud and infectious!
  • The way I dress - it's definitely unique to me and eclectic
  • My sense of adventure
  • I'm open and honest
  • I'm always quick to support and encourage others
  • I can cook yummy, healthy food
Oops, that's 11. See it's really not that hard!

Here's my Mum & I on my wedding day a few years back before we jumped in the car to go (I love that we haven't got shoes on!) 

I've got such great memories of hanging out with Mum the whole day before I said I do, so I thought it was a great photo to use.