Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Are all chocolates good?

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Credit: CcCreatr

Forrest Gump’s Mamma said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

I haven’t been sharing much on here lately because my chocolate box has been a bit rotten. The past 6 months have been brown and gooey, not in the yummy chocolate kind of way but in the shitty kind.

I know everyone’s life gets messy from time to time and I’m not trying to do the poor me thing here. It’s not like that.

I’ve realised that even the crappiest days can offer insight, growth and reflection.

My favourite quote of all time, which I’m sure I’ve shared before, is:

Every crisis represents not only danger but opportunity ~ Eckhart Tolle

Although I am still prone to anxiety and pessimism, I am opening up to uncovering the chocolate-lining in every dark cloud that passes over me. I mean, can there really ever be a bad chocolate?

I think all chocolates can offer something delicious and satisfying.  You just have to allow your taste buds to mull it over instead of gulping it down then screaming YUCK. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

I have big changes happening in my life and although I relish change, it can also be terrifying. I have a real fear of the unknown and if I cannot plan and control a situation, I feel lost and uncertain. This is when more chocolate is needed.

Yup, I’m eating a lot of chocolate in search of my sweet spot. I know I’ll find it soon. Probably in a box of Favourites.

How’s your box of chocolates been lately? 

 

 

 

 


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The Best Dairy-free Chocolate Pudding

I’ve been on my 6-week elimination diet for over 4 weeks now and although it gets easier, I still feel a bit down when I see my boys eating chocolate.

So much so that last week I started to have hot cocao drinks made with raw organic cocao powder and almond milk. Sometimes, I add 1 tsp of raw honey (which is against the rules but as they say, rules are made to be broken).

Those drinks have been a blessing and very satisfying but when I came across a dairy-free chocolate pudding recipe in my collection, I had to try it. And it is delicious, despite the odd ingredients.

For all you people cutting out gluten, dairy, sugar but still want a treat, try it. It’s now my favourite dessert.

chocolate pudding

 


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What’s going in my mouth

I’ve been on a bit of a binge (meaning I’ve been eating more than my usual) this past week. I blame  PMS. It’s shocking how the prelude to that time of the month can affect eating habits!! I’m all good now….until next month that is!

Aside from that, I am doing well on the 80/20 regime. That is 80% of my intake is very healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, alcohol-free and yeast-free and the other 20% is carefree and guilt-free!! This does not mean I eat donuts, cakes, fast food or drink beer, not every day….anyway! Even my guilt-free 20% is fairly healthy stuff. I do eat a little chocolate everyday.

So, here was some (just some) of what’s been going in my mouth.

Feb 24 muesli and yogurt raspberry

A breakfast favourite: Yogurt and my homemade muesli…love..

Feb 24 popcorn

Who doesn’t love popcorn?

Feb 24 GF pizza

Veggie pizza on a polenta base (yes, gluten free!). I did use a little cheese. It was nice to be able to share Friday night pizza with the boys.

Feb 24 Banana coconut bread

This gluten and dairy free banana and coconut loaf is delicious…stay tuned for the recipe in another post.

Feb 24 tuna on quinoa

Tuna salad on GF quinoa crackers…quite yummy

Feb 24 tuna on rye

Hummus, tuna, baby spinach and tomato on rye (not the best for my tummy so I need to give these up and go GF)


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What’s going in my mouth!

It’s been a week of good food, good coffee and good chocolate. Yes, even though I am on a very committed and strict fitness regime, I am eating chocolate. It’s the whole reason I’m getting up at 5:30am and working out for 1.5 hours each and every day.

Today was day 18 of the 30 day challenge (Tracy Anderson Method) and I really struggled. I’m dealing with the mental side of it now and my mind is saying, ‘stay in bed this morning, it’s Sunday.’ But there’s no way I’m going to let the negative side of me win this time.

Today was  day 8 in the second series of moves. I feel I’ve been a bit slack because I’m only up to 40 reps in the leg movements but 60 in the ab work and my standard of 1 minute for the arm work. I am proud of the fact that I’m doing 40 minutes of dance cardio EVERY day now though. This, I won’t bother upping to the max time of 60 minutes…..who has time for that in their day!!

I’m still experiencing belly bloat after most meals, which really upsets me. To have a flat stomach is a major reason I’m doing this (vanity? sure). My legs and ass are looking FAB and during my workout, my abs look pretty damn fine (minus the tiny muffin top).  Maybe my meal portions are too large or I’m eating too much chocolate….? Oh well, I’d rather eat the chocolate and live with a tiny tummy roll then not have the chocolate.

Here’s the other, less chocolatey things I’ve been putting in my mouth this week.

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Fresh watermelon….delicious.

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Decaf espresso…I refuse to give up my daily (twice..) coffee. I mix it will steamed malt-free soy milk.

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Fresh fruit in watermelon and mint puree

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BBQ salmon with steamed green beans and carrots.

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Prawn salad on lettuce with cherry tomatoes.

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Garden salad with tuna slices and fresh apple.

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Fresh juice made from carrot, apple, lemon, celery, beetroot and spinach

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Green and Black’s organic 70% chocolate…..yum

How’s your fitness or eating regime going? Have any good, wheat-free, low carb recipes to share?

 


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All I want for Christmas

It's all about the gifts to some

It’s all about the gifts to some

That’s our tiny tree hiding behind the ridiculous pile of gorgeously   half-assed wrapped gifts. Most of them are not for me. Actually, the only gifts I am getting are the ones I bought for myself, wrapped myself and stickered To: Wife From: Husband.

It started off with a few things I was buying online and because it was so close to the big day, I figured they may as well act as Xmas gifts. When I told Mr M, he seemed to relish the idea. The more I did it, the more he gave up on having to buy me things just to cover in colourful paper and play a game of give/receive just because everyone else is doing it.

So, I know ALL of my gifts and quite frankly, I like it that way. I couldn’t care less if I got nothing. I live a kind of life that I don’t need to wait until December 25th to get something I really want. If I want something, I buy it. Spoilt? Maybe. Privileged? You’re damn right.

But, I do get excited about Christmas because I love the food and drink and I do have a (very nearly) 7 year-old boy who is beside himself with the mystery of it all. I remember being his age and peeking at gifts under the tree (influenced by older siblings of course) but although he is fairly touchy and feely with his presents I don’t think he’s peeked into any. So, Christmas morning will be filled with the sounds of paper rips, squeals, oooohhh, aahhhhs and laughter (one hopes). Aside from the other obvious stuff, my Christmas plans are as follows:

  • To spend Christmas with family in Perth.
  • To eat, drink and be merry – poolside.
  • To not pass-out from heat exhaustion (it’s forecasted to be 41+ degrees!).
  • To look great in my favourite bikini.
  • To control my alcohol intake.
  • To find balance between healthy & rubbish eating.
  • To eat chocolate.
  • To re-connect with Master T on the playmat (something I haven’t done in a long time).
  • To leave the “writer” in me in my home office.
  • To laugh.
  • To be joyful……cause that shit spreads (words by that great Canadian musician, Matthew Good).

Happy Holidays to you all!!! What are your plans for December 25th?

 

 


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WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWW

I missed the last 2 weeks of WWW. I had too much working for me those past weeks because I was on holiday in far north Queensland!!! This Wednesday though, I am back to reality and back to writing. Believe me, I was surprised to not have written at all during my holiday. That was not my intent at all.

I’m on day 3 now of my healthy eating and all is well. My diet consists of dairy-free smoothies, vegetables, some fruit, probiotic yoghurt and protein(nuts, free-range chicken, salmon and eggs)..and decaf coffee..lots of coffee. I have been wanting something sweet so today I made a flourless chocolate cake. It’s more like a brownie and very yummy. It’s definitely what’s working for me this Wednesday!!!

I found the recipe in the pages of a past House & Garden magazine. There was a 3-page spread by Teresa Cutter on chocolate treats that are good for you. She says

Chocolate comes from the antioxidant-packed cocoa or cacao bean, which is also a source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, chromium and iron.

Great news, Teresa!!!

So far, I’ve tried 2 of the 8 chocolate recipes that she provided and both have been easy, healthy  and delicious. The cake has very few ingredients and I whipped it up in less than 10 minutes. Even Master T liked it. I just wish I could have had a glass of cold milk with my piece like he did!! If you want to try it, here’s the recipe.

you'll need this

you’ll need this

and this

and this

 

280g quality dark chocolate ( I used 70%)

2/3 cup organic coconut oil

4 free-range eggs

2/3 cups almond meal

2 Tbsp cornflour or arrowroot flour (I used potato flour)

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and paper a 20cm springform pan.

melt chocolate and oil

melt chocolate and oil

Place chocolate and oil in bowl and set over a pan of simmering water.Stir to melt the chocolate.

add eggs

add eggs

Remove from heat and whisk in eggs.

Stir in dry ingredients and combine well.

ready for the oven

ready for the oven

Pour into pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs. Cool slightly in tin then refrigerate for 3 hours (I did 1 hour and it was fine). I sprinkled the cooled cake with pure cocoa powder before serving.

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Keep in mind that this cake is very, very moist and quite oily. It does taste of coconut and has a mealy texture due to the almond meal. To me though, any dessert that contains chocolate and no gluten, yeast or dairy is a winner!!! Maybe I really can have my cake and eat it too….

 

 


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I’m a cheater and I’m ok with that

As I write this I have a lollypop in my mouth. They were not on my list of what to eat when I set my latest (but not greatest) food challenge.

Yes, I’ve been cheating. Not great amounts, just small samples here and there. The thing is – I rarely do this. I am usually very diligent and reliable, especially when it comes to my health.

I set the 4-week challenge as a way to cut back on my over-indulgence and that has worked. My daily beer habit is gone but I did have about 6 beer over the past 3 weeks, which is nothing compared to the daily 3 I had become accustomed to.

I have had very little wheat, none to even speak of but I have had some gluten-free fruit toast over the past 3 days. And the only dairy I have is the probiotic yoghurt, which is a must for my gut. Oh…actually that’s a lie. Last week we had dinner at Dough Pizza in Perth (I had the chicken salad) and I sampled some chocolate gelato and tiramasu. YUM, they were both fantastic. And believe me, I needed the sweets badly. That was the day my Mac crashed. I was not in a good mood. And you know what? Eating that chocolate really boosted me up.

Halloween was the other night and Master T went trick or treating. I actually bought more treats to hand out at our door then he came home with but he had fun anyway. Yesterday I had a moment of weakness and consumed some potato chips. I didn’t even care. Sometimes I feel I’m too serious about this (and a lot of other things) so I just said, stuff it I’m going to have these and enjoy them! And I did until….

I then did my Thursday workout. I barely made it to the 20 minute mark. Gosh, it nearly killed me. I realised that I hadn’t eaten properly nor had I drank enough water during the day and then to eat potato chips just before hand??? Clearly, I wasn’t thinking!

So, the “cheating” consists of beer, lollies, dessert and 2 single serve bags of potato chips. It’s all good though. I’m not bothered by it because in general, I am sticking to healthy diet and (almost) daily exercise program. I’m coming close to balancing.

Plus, it’s November which means it’s NaNoWriMo month and I’m not sure restricting anything is advisable during this. So far I’m on target but it’s only day 2. I may have to call on chocolate again for mood enhancing later this month or tomorrow.

I have one more week left on this 4-week challenge then I can relax a bit and fall back into old habits….lol, no hopefully not. My in-laws are visiting next weekend.That was the reason for Nov 10th to be the cut-off. Really I’m still just trying to lay the foundation for permanent change and every stint helps me along.

On January 3, I will start Tracy Anderson’s 30-day method. I need the next 2 months to gear myself up for it. It won’t be easy – that I know. She’s full-on!! And there’ll be no cheating on Tracy!!!!

Have you ever cheated on anything?

 

 

 


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If I were a fitness freak…..

Are you one of those people who exercises every day and loves it?

I have gone through many phases of committing to fitness over the years but really, it’s not my favorite thing to do.

Even yoga, although I’m committed to it, I have to force myself to do it.

Starting in July, I have been training with Mr M. It’s something I never fancied because he has heaps of experience with martial arts and kickboxing and he can be quite intimidating. I feel embarrassed to be punching a bag when I don’t really have the proper technique and to watch him do it is scary because he has so much physical power. I do have some experience because when I lived in Sydney in 2001, I went to a boxing gym twice a week but did not keep up my work.  But, now that I’m over 40, I notice my body changing.

3 2-minute rounds of skipping

I’m tired of my bloated and fat stomach; I figure exercise is the best way to combat it. Now, I have taken to it and even when Mr M is not training, I am doing it on my own (once I get passed my mind resisting it).

 

Ab work is a must

I am now doing some form of fitness up to 6 days a week, even if only 20 minutes each day. When Mr M is training with me, we do 60 minutes of mixed training (cardio, strength and boxing) twice a week.  I also attend an Iyengar yoga class each Wednesday and do Pilates and the ‘5 Healing Tibetans’ at home.  It’s never enough.

 

I wish the results were instant. My body seems to want to resist this help and I don’t see much change happening.  Maybe my diet has something to do with it? Ha!! I know it does.

Now I’m angry

 

I need to kick my muffin habit

 

 

I seem to be stuck in a rut with food now.  I can be so healthy & diligent at times and destructive at other times. When Mr M is away, I don’t like to cook for myself. I often give Master T something easy; something he will actually eat and I’ll eat whatever is quick, like homemade chocolate chip biscuits.

I need to stop baking. I gave away 4 chocolate banana muffins yesterday because I didn’t want them in the house anymore.

If I were I fitness freak I wouldn’t have to be bothered with food issues. It’s my belief that fitness gurus never consume anything that is not healthy. Fact or fantasy?  It doesn’t really matter.  However, it made me happy to read that celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson works-out like a maniac so she can eat chocolate.

I do respect my body and believe that if I treat it well, it will treat me well. It’s soon lunchtime and I think tuna salad is on the menu today.

 Do you exercise so you can indulge in your favorite foods?


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I’m a control freak when it comes to food.

So, I’m not on my restricted regime anymore. The demise started last weekend when I was feeling like absolute crap.

 

I was taking Panodol just to stay upright but still felt the effects of a mysterious internal infection. The day before, I made chocolate chip biscuits for Master 6 and the kids I was looking after for the weekend. Well, I decided that I wanted to try one…just one to perk myself up a bit. One wasn’t enough. However, I did stop at two. They were delicious.

 

The next morning, I made bacon and cheese tea biscuits (similar to scones) for the boys’ breakfast and lunch boxes. I had one. I could not resist it. Today, I made chocolate banana muffins. I thought about resisting but I choose not to and had 2 mini muffins ( baby size).

 

The chocolate banana muffin (regular size not the mini version).

It was the third time in 10 days that the word resist came to my present moment. When asked by my yoga teacher why I did not go to the doctor I said, “I resist western medicine.” As soon as I said it aloud, I knew I had to reflect upon it.

 

Then when I thought in my mind ‘I can’t resist that tea biscuit’, I knew it had to end; the controlling relationship I have with food. I remember what Eckhart Tolle said, “What you resist persists.”

 

It doesn’t mean I went on a binge and devoured all restricted items. I did not. But I’m over with being such a tight-ass. I don’t do this strictly because of my health condition, although that has always been the premise. I think I do it out of the need to control a situation that only I can. I know this sounds vaguely like the mind of someone with an eating disorder. I am now on a mission to change my thoughts about food. I know I have conditioned myself enough to moderate food now…in the name of my health.

 

That is why I made an amazing dinner tonight including one thing I normally would not eat and haven’t eaten in 8 months: Wheat Pasta. I normally insist on eating only gluten-free pasta.

 

The dish I wanted to create is nicer with a fresh egg fettuccine. The Garlic Lovers Pasta Sauce is a recipe handed down to me from my very good friend, Gillian McKenzie. She used to make this when we were flatmates in Vancouver, Canada. Now, it is a regular menu item at her restaurant,The Seaside Shanty in Chester, Nova Scotia. It is easy, fast and yummy!  Here’s how to make 2 servings (or 3 small).

 

 

  1. Mince 5 cloves of garlic. Add it to 2 TBSP of oil in a saucepan; sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Do not burn.

Step 1

2. Add 1tsp of dried basil or mixed Italian herbs (that’s what I use)

Step 2

3. Add 1/5 tsp of chilli flakes or cayenne pepper. ( I use a little less)

4. Add 1tsp each of salt and pepper.

5.Add 2 cans of chopped or crushed tomatoes. (I use chopped)

6. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take lid off pot half way through.

7. BBQ 2 free-range chicken breasts. I season with salt, pepper, and olive oil only before cooking. Cut into slices when cooked.

Step 7

8. Cook a package of fresh fettuccine pasta according to the package instructions. Or make your own if you’re real keen. Sometimes, I am that keen.
9. Twist pasta onto a large plate.
10. Top with 2 large spoonfuls of sauce.
11. Grate fresh parmesan cheese over the sauce.
12 Top with sliced chicken.

13. Serve.

Step 13….don’t serve with recipe card!!

14. Eat.
15. Enjoy.
16. Love

 

One item I am not ready to resume is alcohol. I love a cold beer on a hot summer day so I can wait until those days arrive. My goal is November. I will try the moderation thing with alcohol again. I used to do it so there is no reason I can’t again.

 

I know I have said all these things before and then I go and stick myself back on a restricted regime that I don’t really enjoy.

 

I love to cook. I love to bake. I love to eat the foods I make out of love and joy. How can that be wrong?

I do have a respiratory condition that I need to monitor but I am so grateful that I am not celiac or diabetic or have a condition that calls for me to never have the foods I love again. I think it’s time I let go of my control freak ways and just enjoy life. Isn’t that what we are all here for?

 

By the way, I finally gave in and saw a doctor on Friday, August 24th. I am now on 2 medications: prednisolone (which is great, I’ve been on it several times over the past 17 years) and clarithomycin tablets, which I believe is an anti-biotic*. The doctor said 17 days with a cold or flu is not the norm and he even took some swabs of my throat and nose for testing. Two days on and I am feeling much better although I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep. I’ve been awake since before 4am this morning and it’s now 9pm. My early morning coughing fit has not subsided yet. Maybe tonight’s the night.

 

If you are maintaining a new eating regime or trying out a restricted diet for weight or health reasons, I urge you to stick with it for a minimum of 3 weeks. Often new habits are formed around this time and you just may not even want the “bad for you” foods as much or again. If you fall off, get back up there the next day. I have been up and off that wagon so many times now that more often than not, I will choose gluten-free, dairy free, yeast free and alcohol free items first anyway. It’s about your conditioning and priorities. If your health is in question, then it’s a no-brainer. Yes, it’s damn hard especially when you’ve lived your entire life eating the foods that are making you ill.

 

The question is: Are you living to eat or eating to live?

 

 

*always take a probiotic supplement or have some live culture yoghurt daily while taking as away to maintain good bacteria in your tummy.

 

Inner Health for ummm inner health

 

I love this yoghurt.It may be dairy but it’s good for the tummy!