Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life

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Why quit sugar?


Say good-bye to these

Jaimie’s never quit sugar.

September 1 will mark the first of a 30-day challenge to give up refined sugar.

Jaimie signed up for the event via Live it. Do It’s Facebook page

As my readers know, I basically live my entire life on these kind of restrictions and detoxes. Although I have not signed up for Sugar-free September, I too am reviewing my eating habits on September 1 and undertaking a 3-day cleanse in Bali starting September 2 as a kick-start.

But, enough about me (I’m always ragging on about MY issues…lol). I want to use this post to learn more about 22-year-old Jaimie and why she wants to give up sugar for a month. It’s not an easy thing to do so I was curious to find out what her reasons and expectations are. Let’s find out…

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Confessions of a food addict

It’s been 7 weeks since the end of my elimination diet (the umpteenth one!!). I ended that one with a bang when I got drunk on wine and shots with a couple friends. Boy, that hurt the next day!!


It’s always a good idea at the time

But my diet remained fairly stable and healthy. Sadly, I can no longer say that.

It all went pear-shaped when I hit the wheat: sweets, bread & pasta.

Once I had a taste of it, I was hooked again. It started off slowly with a piece of toast then went to peanut butter on an English Muffin then a week later I graduated to a tuna sandwich then pasta for dinner with the boys……you get the drift.

And I must say, physically, I don’t feel too bad. But I know if I don’t stop soon, I’ll crash.

I am already noticing the fatigue and the cravings though. I’m eating bread daily – Oh give me my daily bread NOW or someone might get hurt.

Yes, a wee bit mad.

I truly do think wheat is addictive and let’s not forget the sugar I’ve been consuming (it’s in everything). I knew I was crossing a line when I went to the local bakery (Hell on earth) and ordered a lamington (see exhibit B). I pretty much inhaled that the minute I got home (which is only 2 blocks away). It was all downhill from there.


Welcome to the dark side

Now, I’m consuming wheat daily and I’m back to that attitude of ,’what’s one more day going to hurt?’

But I know I cannot stay here in food heaven – or is it hell? There seems to be no borders lately.

I read this article about how new research is linking depression to inflammation. And what is a main source of chronic inflammation? Diet.

The article states:


There are several problems with the modern diet. It is high in foods that provoke inflammation, such as refined flour, excess sugar, oxidized (rancid) fats, trans fats, and a wide range of chemicals and preservatives. And it is low in foods that reduce inflammation, like long-chain omega-3 fats, fermented foods, and fermentable fiber. Numerous studies have associated the Western diet with major depressive disorder. 

And I don’t want to be depressed. Nor do I want to be fat, unfit, sluggish, lazy, anxious, constipated, addicted, wheezy, snotty or sick all the time. All of the things that come to me when I eat a diet full of wheat, sugar and dairy.

So, once again, I am setting myself up for a restriction. It will start on Sept 1 when I go to Bali on a mini wellness holiday. That gives me just over a week to fill my face. Now, pass the caramel popcorn and M&Ms please.



How does my garden grow? The pros and cons of growing your own food.

herb basket

fresh coriander and broccoli ©Jennifer Morton 2014

Growing your own vegetables is not an easy thing to do. Well, not for me anyway.

I love the idea of growing my own food. I love to just pop out to the herb patch and steal fresh snips of coriander, basil and parsley any time I’m in need.

Right now, my celery is flourishing  – it obviously loves the Australia winter. The stalks are finer and thinner than the ones from the supermarket and a bit more chewy but it’s nice to know that there are no sprays or nasty stuff on it – maybe a few ants.


Gorgeously green celery. ©Jennifer Morton

I do struggle to keep the broccoli going. It seems to go to flower before the vegetable has time to grow much bigger than my thumb. It’s still edible and great for stir-frys.


The snails and caterpillars love my broccoli leaves. ©Jennifer Morton

I’m quite keen to pull my biggest leek and make a leek and potato soup before it gets too warm here in Western Australia. It’s beautiful with fresh or dried Thyme. Yum.


Soon to be soup. My biggest leek is almost ready. ©Jennifer Morton

I want the goods but I don’t want the work involved.

This is a bone of contention between Mr M and I. He moans because I don’t spend any time in the garden (he does most weeding and maintaining).

I just don’t have a green thumb, which is shocking considering my mother and step-father were both professionals gardeners!!

I remember being a teenager and sulking because I had to help weed and pick vegetables. If I had only paid attention and soaked up that education (that I saw as punishment at the time)!! Regret is a bitch.

So, I don’t like weeding, pruning, watering, sun protecting, planting or getting my hands dirty.

But I LOVE picking, preparing and eating freshly grown, chemical-free herbs and vegetables (and it feels like it’s FREE cause you forget how much the boxes, seedlings, soil and gardening tools cost).


My first carrot. How cute it that? ©Jennifer Morton

I think I’m getting better at it. I get out there, if only for 5 minutes, every few days to maintain my scattered gardens. And I reap the rewards at dinner time!

If I can do it, surely anyone can!!

Do you grow your own food? Why?



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What I love about Bowen Therapy

bowen image


When I was deep in the throes of my physical misery (severe acid reflux) I felt desperate for a fix. So desperate that I took prescription meds and we all know how that turned out. If you don’t have a peek here. 

So, I told you that after stopping the horrible meds and one session of Bowen, I began to feel better.

Six days after my first appointment, I went back for a follow-up, which by then I was 98% clear of any acid reflux. My sinuses also were clearing greatly.

Now, you may be asking, ‘what is Bowen anyway?’.

Well, I don’t fully understand it but I do fully believe in it.

What I do understand is that it focuses on the muscular structure and fixes any misalignments.

What happens in a typical session?

Bowen is not like getting a massage.

You do lay down on a massage table but you are fully clothed.

The practitioner feels around your spine and muscles then leaves the room.

These slight touches are called moves.

A 2 minute break between moves allows the adjustment to take place, so to speak.

This continues throughout your body for close to an hour (yes, he/she leaves the room every few minutes so don’t be alarmed when this happens).

Because I went to aid my stomach and sinus issues, my practitioner also honed in on these areas.

The session ends with a few standing exercises and adjustments in needed.

When done, I left feeling relaxed and content.

For 48 hours after each appointment, it is advised to not have any other treatments or apply excess heat to your body (heated blanket, hot water bottle, hot tubs etc).

After my second session, I was advised to wait 2-3 weeks before returning. I was told that after 10 days, I may feel my symptoms return and even get worse but that did not happen. I just continued to get better and now, I have zero reflux and aside from am occasional  runny nose and mild congestion (which is the norm for me) my sinuses are clear most of the day and night.

My third session is booked for tomorrow and then I plan to return once a month.

Bowen Therapy (aka Bowen Technique) originated in Geelong, Australia over 50 years ago. Founder, Tom Bowen believed that “that the underlying cause or source of many musculoskeletal, neurological, neuromuscular and other health or pain problems could be found in the soft tissue or fascia.”

For more information about this holistic therapeutic therapy, click here.



Let’s talk about…living.

reflect life


Take a moment and think about your life.

Is it all you ever dreamed of?

Do you wake up each morning excited to get out of bed because you have something really awesome to do?

Are you living your dreams and passions?

Now, let’s talk about death.

Death is a scary word. It’s a scary topic. It’s something many people don’t want to acknowledge will ever happen to them or someone they love.

The truth is, we are all going to die. Yes, even you.

In the wake of another friend’s death, the topic, for me, is hard to escape. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dwell on it.

It’s a reality. It’s the opposite of birth.

If you’re born, you will die. It’s a harsh but simple fact.

But what happens in between in the important part.

Even though I have my moments of “insanity”, I know I am lucky to be where I am today.

Thirteen years (exactly April 1st), I met someone who changed my entire existence and introduced me to a new world.

Through him, I have met some truly amazing people –  lovers of life.

People who don’t live dull, 9-5 rat race types of lives.

People who are brave, optimistic, generous, caring and full of excitement for life.

People who travel the world seeking beauty, opportunity and FUN.

People who face their fears head on.

People who are keen to look within and strive to be the best they can be.

It’s a relatively small, close-knit community of (mostly)  like-minded souls.

Some people outside of the community label them as death seekers and say stuff like, ” they must have a death wish”.

But it’s the complete opposite.

It’s more of a life wish.

Dan Vicary was living a large, excitement-filled life when he was tragically killed in a wing-suit accident on March 29th.

Ludo Woerth, an experienced wing-suit flyer was killed in the same accident and Brian Drake remains in critical condition.

All of these men were highly esteemed leaders in the  skydiving/BASEjumping communities.

And of course, everyone is in deep mourning.

Dan Vicary hand copy

Dan Vicary , one cool kiwi

But let’s not dwell on death. There’s some important things to be learned here.

I thought of Dan as a bit of a rock star. But, there was more to him than just good looks and cool vibes.

He had drive, passion, optimism, tenacity and a love for life. Qualities that many skydivers and BASEjumpers share.

It’s stuff I wish I had. It’s what I keep searching for.

When I was skydiving, I never felt a strong pull to keep doing it but over the past year, I have been contemplating jumping again. It’s something I can’t say “never again” to.

I’m coming to realise that writing is not enough. It’s not bringing the thrills, butterflies or fervour that I’m seeking.

I want a thrilling, fun time; a life that means something to me.

Isn’t that what we all want? An existence that is satisfying, purposeful and makes us happy?

Why is it so hard for so many people (including myself) to figure this out?

I’ll always remember Dan for his grooviness and achievements in BASEjumping. Man, he had some big dreams and he lived them. And that is very inspiring to me.

Next time you read about the death of an extreme sportsman, don’t shake your head and think, “what a waste”. Think about the crazy fun and bravado that person had for going for it and making the most of their time on this earth.

awesome skydive


Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that you need to jump from an aeroplane or cliff to get the most out of life. I just encourage everyone (including myself) to figure out what your passions are and then go after them. 







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Today, I feel “normal”

So, today I feel good. Maybe even great.

To be honest, I’ve been quite down lately.

I’ve even been having some scary panic attacks.

I think it’s the changes I’ve made. As much as I want to accept it, I’m struggling with the decision.

I’m such an all or nothing kind of person that I fell into a void and adopted the attitude of, “I can’t be assed to do anything”.


And little have I done. Or at least, in my mind, I have done little this month.

My reporting paycheque is going to possibly be the lowest I’ve had since I started with the paper back in August 2012. And that scares the hell out of me.

I know I have issues with money and I need to change that. I need to forget about the money side of EVERYTHING!

It’s hard to do.

But today, I stuck to my proposed schedule and I actually accomplished some stuff.

I’m working on a new website, which is really exiting.

I feel like I’m motivated again.

And if I can stick to my weekly roster (at reduced hours in the “office”) I may just beat my anxiety and depression.

And the upside to my melancholy is that I’m back to reading!! Before, my mind was too busy to sit down with a novel but now,  I’ve devoured 2 romance novels in less than 2 weeks! That has also inspired me to get back to working on my own novel.


bad times


Marriage hurting? Try the Bali Band-Aid.

Six days in Bali proved to be a marriage saver. Or at least a Band-Aid.


Happy 10th Anniversary

When Mr M suggested we go to Bali for our 10th wedding anniversary, I knew it was not only to celebrate the milestone but an attempt to fix what was becoming severely broken.

So, focussing on the solution, we travelled on our anniversary.

It’s such a short flight from Perth and low season in Bali, we were at the Dynasty Resort in Kuta by 3pm.

Drinking fizz

Drinking fizz

We chose the Dynasty because of its kids club but Master T only spent 2 evenings there for the dinner/movie nights. He loved it and we loved the kid-free time.

bali 2

just the 2 of us

The first night, we had  quiet cocktails at the rooftop lounge, H2O before heading out on the streets of Kuta in search of a cheap massage.

And boy oh boy, there are plenty to choose from!! With every step you are inundated with brochures.

“Massage, you want massage?”

“Come. You get massage”

“I give you massage. Cheap.”

Personally, I don’t like their selling techniques.

Being dragged down an alley to be shown their less than pristine salon is a bit much. Mr M nearly had to take down a woman when she refused to let go of his wrist. He was alone when that happened. On our trip out that evening we didn’t have any problems.

Thankfully, he had already chosen a place so we passed all the beggars and went straight to M&M day spa.

It wasn’t flash but what can you expect for a 1-hour Balinese massage for $5?  Seriously, $5! We had side-by-side beds too so there was no happy ending for Mr M!! Though, I’m not sure this is practised in Bali anyway.

On the way back to the hotel, we grabbed some Indian take-away and ate it in the room.

I slept through the night that night – the first time in weeks!!

On our second date night, I treated us both to a flash massage at the resort spa, Ashoka.


A spa more to my liking

Ashoka is more my speed. I’m not a snob but I like a clean, quiet, softly lit place to be pampered.

We each had our own rooms because we had different treatments. I chose the Ayurveda Shirodara.

The 90-minute back and head massage was blissful. Sounds of soft music and a babbling brook (that was actually a water feature)  lulled me to a semi-conscious state as the masseuse carefully worked her magic hands around my back.

The big reason I booked this treatment was for the hot oil part. It’s big in Ayurveda and though I have had many Ayurveda massages in the past, I had never experienced hot oil poured over my third eye.

I’m not sure if I liked it or not, to  be honest. Sometimes the oil was too hot and I had to tell her. Of course, the oil drizzles down your forehead and into your hair so a thorough head massage and conditioner treatment followed.

It was all very lovely and worth the extra $35 or so (still a bargain!!). Especially since I took advantage of the 6-9pm 20% discount!!

Afterwards, Mr M and I met in the reception area for a delicious ginger and lime drink, a great way to prime the tummy for dinner.

We ate dinner in the resort restaurant where we had had our family dinners. Really, it was better than the food we had outside the resort and better prices too!!!

Date night ended at 9pm when Master T was picked up from his movie night.

Even though we only had 2 evenings “alone” the time we spent together as a couple was great and much needed. But our family time was also great and even when we weren’t actively doing “stuff” we were still all having a good time.

While Master T made friends around the pool, we lazed on the lounge chairs or sat on the underwater stools at the swim-up bar while indulging in the twice daily happy hour. I just love having a cocktail at noon! And why not?

We didn’t need to be anywhere, do anything or argue about anything on that trip. There was no stress. Period.

Clouds over sunset

Clouds over Kuta

With my primary position of stay-at-home mother/wife reinstated (and accepted), I’m hoping the stress-free feelings stay.

If not, we may need another Bali Band-Aid.


I’ve decided to say good-bye

sunset good bye


Good-bye doesn’t have to be forever.

But today, I’m saying good-bye to my expectations.

Expectations are creating drama and disharmony in my life.

Expectations that are set way too high and are a bit unrealistic.

Many people may argue that your goals, dreams and expectations have to be set high in order for you to strive to achieve them. I disagree.

The past few weeks have been challenging and I’ve realised that I can’t have it all.

I can’t be an attentive mother and wife AND a hard-working writer/photographer.

I can’t sit  in front of my computer 24/7 chasing the next publication and pay cheque AND be happy about doing laundry and making dinner for my family.

Maybe some people can get the balance right but after 3 years of ups and downs, I decided I can’t do it.

Therefore, I have to say good-bye to either my family or trying to skyrocket my career.

I have had a few moments lately where that decision was hard to make.

I thought my boys would be better off without me. I considered myself too selfish to give up some of my dreams (for now).

I thought I didn’t want to give up a career that had taken me until age 38 to say yes to.

I didn’t want to have regrets or resentment toward them for giving up my writing dreams. But, I already had resentments so what would be the difference?

And it’s a horrible place to be: regret and resentment.

But the choice was clear pretty fast.

I made a list of want I actually wanted and what I needed to do to achieve that. And that was hard. It was so much easier to figure out what I didn’t want.

I don’t want to be in front of a monitor 24/7.

I don’t want to chase editors constantly.

I don’t want to keep comparing myself to other writers.

I don’t want feel envy every time I saw the same byline several times a week .

What I do want is to be happy in my primary job, which is a stay-at -home mum. Believe me, I had forgotten that altogether.

So, yes I chose my family. I chose an easy, less stressed lifestyle.

And no, this doesn’t mean that I will stop writing.

It just means I will step back A LOT.

I will set realistic and achievable goals.

I will stop comparing myself and my abilities to other writers and photographers.

I will run my own race.

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Down with the (mental) sickness


When my computer crashed in 2012, I ended up in a dark place.

Here in Australia and I’m sure New Zealand, it’s hard to escape the talk about depression since media personality Charlotte Dawson committed suicide on February 22.

Charlotte was well-known for her battles with depression and had tried to kill herself after a bout with Twitter trolls in 2012. I remember some of that media coverage but I wasn’t involved or a follower of the madness.

But now that’s she’s dead, there is a big drive to shove “awareness” in everyone’s faces, like nobody ever heard of depression or suicide before.

I don’t want to be disrespectful but what pisses me off is there is only national grief and consciousness when a celebrity dies from their own doing.

And her death came less than a week after Channel 7 aired the last chapter of the made for TV movie, INXS Never Tear Us Apart.

Of course, we all know the ending of that saga.

With these 2 celebrity suicides all over the airwaves, we are reminded and encouraged to care about depressed people and better yet, be kind to ALL.

And this attention won’t last. But there will be more suicides. There have probably been 18 other suicides since Charlotte’s considering the statistics of 6 per day.

I’ve  written before about how I’ve thought of suicide myself. Several times. And when I get in a dark place, I continue to think about it. I think most of us have, even though so many would never admit to it.

I’ve been in a very low place for weeks now and I’m struggling with the physical manifestation of that: fatigue, cravings and body pains. Emotionally, I am numb.

And I know it’s easy for me to sit here and say that I’d never actually kill myself but I do know what it feels like to be that desperate to get rid of the pain.

But there’s no ridding the pain. Your pain is only passed on to the next person: your parents, your partner, child, siblings, friends, co-workers, etc.

This I know. This I have experienced and have yet to fully understand or accept the suicide death of a close friend in 2007. Yes, nearly 7 years on, I’m still shattered.

I can’t imagine when the life taker is your mother, father, sister, partner or child like it was for some people I know.

I don’t like to talk about my own depression or suicidal thoughts because of the stigma attached to it. I don’t want people thinking that every time I’m in a bad mood or hiding away that I’m depressed because chances are that has nothing to do with it. I don’t want people feeling sorry for me or worse yet, avoiding me because they think I want them to FIX everything. That just makes everything worse. Ignoring something or someone does not make it/them go away!

So what’s the solution?

Certainly not more pharmaceuticals.

I don’t know. More awareness? More talking? More sensitivity? More caring? More love for yourself and others.

Please remember that depression can affect anyone and everyone. You don’t need to have a labeled “illness” to experience it from time to time. Sometimes it just takes one small kick to send you down a deep hole. Just remember to climb out.

If you are depressed or thinking of suicide, please reach out to someone. I know it’s incredibly tough to do but do it. If you can’t talk to family or a mate, call a help line.

Australia Lifeline 13 11 14

New Zealand Lifeline 0800 543 354

Canada Suicide Prevention  1 800 784 2433

UK Samaritans 08457 90 90 90







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Black Moon: A time for change

Black moon 2014

I know the new moon is a great time for manifesting wishes and dreams and I often set aside time during this time to write down, or at least think about what it is I want from myself and my life.

A black moon is quite rare. It’s the second new moon in a month. They say, it brings change. As always, I see this as a good time to manifest. I want certain things to happen, so I welcome the change.

It’s 30 days into the new year and I have only just though about what I want from this year. I’ve tried to be clear but I must say, my thoughts and wishes have been a bit all over the place. I don’t want to leave out areas of my life so I try to include each in my goal setting but the results often end up being muddled throughout. But I am willing to change to see my dreams come true.

In no particular order, here is a sample of my goals for 2014.


  • to give more of my time and attention to my son
  • to accept the things I cannot change about my husband
  • to love and accept myself more


  • to write something that is helpful, useful and/or entertaining
  • to write for health publications on a regular basis
  • to break into travel writing and photography
  • be published in The West Australian 4 times
  • to establish myself as a photographer
  • to achieve my financial goals
  • to get my novel to submission status
  • to submit it a publisher
  • to receive my diploma of photography
  • to do a creative writing course
  • to do in-house photography workshops in Perth
  • to exceed my income goals
  • to start another novel


  • Margaret River – family
  • Road trip from Jurien Bay to Exmouth and back – family
  • Bali  – solo wellness/yoga holiday


  • drive to and within Perth city
  • obtain flat abs
  • inspire better eating habits in my son
  • meditate daily
  • weekly yoga class (minimum)
  • daily fitness (6 days)
  • maintain good health
  • never be in debt
  • to stop wasting precious minutes

Material (much to do with work)

  • new laptop
  • 100mm macro lens
  • kneeling desk chair
  • new iPhone
  • book shelf for office
  • new runners
  • mountain bike
  • mini trampoline

For this to happen, I must change some of my habits. I have faith that this black moon will bring positive change to me – if I do the ground work.

What change would you welcome this year?