Friday, November 9, 2012


Turns out that my back had other ideas when I thought that I had finally got on top of it.  It has been a pesky bugger all week, requiring 2 more visits to the osteopath and physio.  Normally, I would just get on with life and accept this on-going maintenance.  Normally, I would breeze through and do whatever has to be done.  Normally, I would look at the positives and know that I am getting stronger day by day.  Normally, I would know that it is through hardship that we grow.  Normally, I would smile and tell people that  I am doing well.  Normally, I would try to make myself believe that we are what we think.  Normally, I would accept that everything happens for a reason.

But you know what, this week I am DONE with all the things I would normally do.

After what has been nearly a year, I am done with picking myself up over and over.  I am done with pulling myself together and being positive.  I am done with thinking that my back is allowing me to grow stronger as a person.  I am done with trying everything under the sun in the hopes it will help.  I am done with my back consuming my thinking all day, every day.  I am done with being in pain.  I am done with not being able to do what I want to do.  I am done with getting home and being in so much pain I have no choice but to be relegated to bed.  I am done with not being able to go for walks or bike rides.  I am done with not being able to have baths.  I am done with having to put on a brave face.

And so, I have cried.  And cried.  And cried.

Has all this crying helped?  No.  I still feel crappy.  But I do feel relief that for once, I am not having to pretend that I am coping with all of this. 

It's been a long year.  I am tired.  And sad. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

This week

I think I have finally sorted out my on-going back issue.  I decided that it was time for a visit to my favourite osteopath to get her opinion on the situation.  She told me that my right pelvis was rotating, hence causing the pain.  She worked on me for 30 minutes and got everything back in place.   She said that this has nothing to do with my surgery or the 'old' injury.  It is just something that can happen from time to time. Sweet, glory, I am now pain free. Too exciting!!!!

I had a pretty quiet week on the exercise front due to my back, but am now hoping that I will be able to get back into things a bit more.  This week, I will just stick with swimming again, but might try a walk or bike ride on the weekend.

Food wise, things have been going great.  Here are some of my faves from this week:

Black Bean Burgers from Forks Over Knives - so simple and so tasty!!

1can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 crushed garlic clove.
1/3 cup instant oats

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and
set aside. In a mixing bowl, mash black beans with a fork until mostly pureed
but still some half beans and bean parts are left. Stir in condiments and spices
until well combined. Then mix in oats. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape
into thin patties with your hands. Bake for 7 minutes, care- fully flip over and
bake for another 7 minutes, or until crusty on the outside.

I wrapped mine in a large cos lettuce leaf and served with beetroot, sauteed onions and mushrooms and a mango salsa.  SO good!!

Another goody from this week is this Chickpea, Tomato and Spinach curry from Good Food Magazine:

A serious taste sensation.  Heavenly, vegan goodness :)

So, here's to another week of healthy living.  As they say: "Eat better, feel better"!

Monday, October 29, 2012

What I Ate Monday

In the interests of keeping myself accountable, here's a little summary of today's meals.  How do I feel?  Great that I kept on track!  But also a little sad that I haven't had a vino!  Hey, I'm just being honest  ;)


Usually I have a green smoothie, but after going out for coffee after my early morning swim, I was ravenous by the time I got home.  A bowl of this blue museli with banana and soy milk it was.  Oh baby!


This soup from Forks Over Knives is one of my faves.  Simple, wholesome and SO yummy!  I also threw in 3 celery sticks and 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach.  And the best news is, there's plenty left for this week's lunches.

Split Pea Soup from “Forks over Knives”

Serves 4

1 onion chopped
1 ½ cups split peas
2 large carrots, shredded
10 cups water
2 table spoons vegetable powder
Salt and black pepper optional
Fresh parsley, optional

Sauté the onion in a large pot with a little water until yellow.
Add the split peas, carrots and water and bring to a boil.
Add the vegetable powder and reduce heat.
Simmer for about 1 hour. 
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm, garnished with a little chopped parsley.


A smoothie with 500 mls water, baby spinach, a banana and a handful of blueberries - all combined with my new favourite 'treat' ingredient -unsweetened cocoa powder.  YUM!



This Burrito Bowl.  It is, quite simply, happiness in a bowl!  I made it without rice or corn and it was still amazing!


All washed down with this baby:


It was a good food day :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Currently I am doing the cha-cha.  Aka two steps forward and one step back.  After being VERY good friends for the previous 7 weeks, my back decided it would turn into a pesky annoyance and remind me of all we have been through together.  That is code for SORE.

Nevertheless, after a day off school, lots of rest and being 'sensible' we seem to be back on track.   I wanna continue getting better so I can go "fast, long and strong". (By the by, this is the motto a fellow teacher uses to discuss reading with his 3rd grade class.  Seems to have quite a but of inneundo, no?  Or maybe that's just me?). 

So, I'm thinking that it's "onward and upward from here on in".  According to my husband, I have reached the maximum amount of acceptable times I can use that phrase.  Apparently, I overuse it.  Who knew, hey?


6 weeks or bust :)

Alcohol - nada

Chocolate - zip

Chippies - zilch

Dairy - zero

But it's not all nadazipzilchzero.

Instead it will be:

Fruit n veg - Maximum amounts of

Whole, unprocessed food - unlimited

Grains and pulses - come at me baby!

Wholegrain foods - 1 serve per day

6 weeks till I'm 37!  Bring it on :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012


A glorious 1km swim to start the day

A glorious green smoothie filled with baby spinach, banana, blueberries and pineapple

Glorious October sunshine on our balcony

Glorious flowers in bloom on my balcony plants

Glorious tunes blasting

A glorious load of clean washing

And, a glorious 20 minute walk yesterday ... my first one in about 8 weeks. 

The glorious feeling of strength continuing to return to my body.

Life is good :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Onwards ...

Have I mentioned how THRILLED I am that I have just ticked over 4 weeks with little/no back pain? Cos I am!  I had a rocky patch from May-September, but it seems my body may have now turned a corner and we are on the path titled 'Onwards and Upwards'.  It feels so liberating to make it through the day and be able to partake in normal activities.  I just love being able to be active and being able to live the life I want! 

The past week was a good one in terms of my health.  Words to describe it:  Green.  Fresh.  Wholesome.  Healthy.  Vegan.  Nutritious.  And oh, yes, RAFFLES HOTEL!  The last part included a rather significant deviation from 'the plan' ... Chocolate.  Beer.  Cake.  Mmmmmm, it was good. 

We are now back to regularly scheduled programming.  Today's food intake included:

Breakfast:  Green Smoothie
Snack:  Celery, carrot and cucumber sticks
Lunch:  'Forks Over Knives' Black Bean Soup
Snack:  Fruit salad
Dinner:  Baked portabello mushroom, roast potatoes and carrot, steamed green beans

That's a pretty standard day, really.  Just clean, healthy, plant-based eating.

It's a good way to live! 


Friday, October 5, 2012


After eating and drinking my way around America for 6 weeks, it was time to get serious.  Rather than chips and beer for lunch, it was back to the slog of salad, salad and more salad.

And oh boy, did my body love it!  I literally inhaled my first green smoothie after the trip; every pore of my body soaking up the goodness.  The gusto that was previously afforded to the inhaling of any junk food under the sun was now transferred to all things healthy.

That was now 9 weeks ago and I've done a pretty good job of keeping on track.  In fact, I have done a damn good job of keeping on track (if I may say so myself).  I discovered lots of new healthy recipes for soups, salads and stews that are easy to prepare.  The amount of joy I have gained out of discovering a new recipe has been out of control!

I also implemented a new cooking routine:  make a big meal on Saturday night that would also do for Sunday's dinner; make a big soup or stew on the weekend to take for lunches; and horror of horrors, I declared I would not be cooking during the week for we were going to have salad every night :)   I LOVE it.  In fact, it may just be the best idea I've EVER had.  No more pit in the stomach about the lack of energy at the end of a school day and the prospect of having to cook.  Afterall, it only takes a couple of minutes to throw a salad together  (Added bonus:  Less dishes!).  Are we sick of salads yet?  Not in the least!  For there are so many variations and combos, plus by the time we eat out / get take out once or twice a week, it really only ends up being 3 or so mights that we have salad. 

Anyway, after this long healthy stint, I am now at the point where I am making the foolish error of thinking I am 'free'.  You know, the ole ' but I've been doing so well, I've earned this chocolate.chips.2 litres of wine. whatever.

So it's now time to refocus and set some new goals for October.  Can you believe I will be in QLD in 11 weeks?  I KNOW!

Disclaimer: I haven't pre-determined these goals prior to now, so anything could happen below!  And then I'll be stuck with these spur-of-the-moment goals cos they'll be on my blog for the world to see!  Gasp.

1.  Focus on being plant-strong.  I really have gone off dairy; obviously haven't eaten meat for oh, about 6 years  and also haven't had much of an appetite for fish.  So, my goal is to continue eating in this vain, bar the odd latte from Jones the Grocer cos those are just too good to resist.

2.  Limit alcohol to the weekend.  After we returned from the States, I went for a month with no alcohol.  And I didn't miss it one bit.  Seriously.  So, I am enjoying 'just' drinking on the weekend now - I feel a whole lot better for it, that's for sure.

3.  Ignore all things chocolate.  Pretend they don't exist.  Ditto for anything that falls into the 'chips' category.

4.  Keep building up my strength at the gym.  I am LOVING my before school swims and am back to pre-surgery distance.  My new goals are to build up my cycling and walking.  SO good being able to be active again!

5.  Get back to blogging.  I am an avid reader of blogs, but have not been much of a writer of late.  I do enjoy it as it's a great outlet, so will try and get back into to the swing a little.

6.  Stop saying 'no' to social invitations.  I am such a wuss and hate going out at night as I am always so tired.  So I would probably run out of fingers if I were to count the number of times I have declined invitations for dinners / parties etc in the last month.  You know, I'm going to work with the phrase 'you got to be in it to win it'! 

7.  Be realistic about number 6.  I know that I don't like late nights  - they throw me off for days as I struggle to recover.  So that being said, I might need to be a bit selective about what I say yes to!

8.  Keep on keeping on :)