Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Aspirations, intentions, wishes, dreams, goals for 2013

So, here it is, my last post for 2012. And based on today alone, I cannot wait for this year to end. And so I look forward to 2013 but not too much as I want to focus on the NOW. But there is always a time and place for planning and that time is NOW.

My goals are not outlandish, far-fetching, crazy, unachievable day dreams; they are within my reach.

Career

 book and pen

  • Sell at least one article to Good Health magazine in JANUARY
  • Go to Sydney for ‘How to write a chick-lit novel’ 2-day course – Feb 2nd
  • Sell one piece per month to a glossy magazine (health, wellbeing, travel, parenting)
  • Sell one piece per month to an online magazine/website
  • Continue to freelance for West Australian Newspapers (regional) with an average monthly income of $700
  • Boost yearly income to 5 digits
  • Finish novel – 1997
  • Have novel edited by a professional editor
  • Submit novel to publisher
  • Sharpen photography skills
  • Start candid photography biz
  • Afford new camera equipment

Health

 IMG_3962

  • Eat a low carb diet
  • Find a balance between “good” and “bad” foods
  • Limit alcohol
  • Limit sugar
  • Retain sense of smell and taste

Wellbeing

Ommmmm

Ommmmm

  • Meditate daily
  • Complete Tracy Anderson’s 30-day method challenge (Jan 3- Feb 1 inclusive)
  • Yoga weekly
  • Fitness class twice weekly
  • Focus on the NOW
  • Stay positive
  • Do not speak if I do not have anything good to say (sacred silence rights the Universe~Marianne Williamson)

Travel

 airplane

  • Sydney
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Bali
  • Winter Christmas (Japan?)

Now, it’s time to bring this year to a close with a refreshing pina colada because I’m absolutely melting here (it’s 40 degrees Celsius and for all of you in the cold, THIS IS NOT FUN. And yes, I am a bit lot irritable!!!).

But please have a Happy New Year and come back here in 2013!!

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Post holiday depression

tropical paradise

tropical paradise

I recently returned from far north Queensland where I spent 8 glorious days and nights soaking up the sun, breathing the sea air and catching up with friends and family. It was great but I found myself in a funk after it was over.

So much so, I wonder if there is yet a name for this affliction. Maybe,  PHDS (post holiday depression syndrome).

All day Sunday I felt like doing nothing. I would have been very happy to drink coffee and watch Sex and the City all day long. This would not have been very fair to Master T so I read the book instead of watching the series. And then, later in the afternoon, I decided to kill my blues the old fashioned way: booze and food.

It was a scorcher day so 2 beer on the beach was heavenly. Then  2 more at home was well, getting sloppy. I really cannot mix eating and drinking so I stopped once my leftover pasta was ready to serve. Maybe it was giving up the holiday eating that got me down.

leftover angel hair pasta with turkey bolognese....

leftover angel hair pasta with turkey bolognese….

Today marks the start of yet another restriction period. I must stop calling it as such because it’s now my daily routine and not just a “diet” phase. Back to no dairy, no wheat, no yeast, no alcohol. And just to test myself even more I’m trying to limit carbs!! For me, this means no pasta, bread or cereals. It’s nearly dinner time and I haven’t lost the plot yet so all is well. Once Dec 24 comes, it’ll be anything goes for a few days. I refuse to be restricted at Christmas!!

And even though the blues got me yesterday, they’re well and truly gone today. I’m back to routine and back to working….and blogging!! I’m embarrassed about missing 2 weeks of posts. I have no excuse but that I was living it up in the tropics.

As I ease back into my daily life, I will keep this post short and sweet. Keep watch for WWW in 2 days and I promise a holiday run-down by the end of the week!!

 

 

 


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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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The Skydiver Diet

falling…..in love with life ©Morton

UPDATE:

My skydiving photos have been taken from this site many times over without my permission. Please note all images on Kai Chronicles are copyrighted and cannot be used without written permission. If you have used the image without my permission, please remove it from your site ASAP. 

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How to start a “restricted” diet.

When you start on a restricted diet of any scale it’s easy to think, ‘What am I going to eat now?’

I used to get asked, ‘So what DO you eat?’ all the time. Many people, especially the ones who do not cook for themselves or rely on boxed or pre-made meals, think there simply is nothing left to eat when you cut out gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, sugar, malt or whatever the impairing ingredient. But there are many choices available and once you wrap your head around it, it’s easy and you will get to a point where you want the “free”, healthy stuff.

But the truth is this: If you want to succeed, you will have to start cooking for yourself. I’m sure in the big cities, there are plenty of specialty cafes and restaurants who do or will cater for special diets. If you have a high deposable income, then that may work for you. But for everyone else, here are some easy cook-at-home meal ideas that will keep you on track without feeling deprived.

 Firstly, you need to shop. Even the smallest of supermarkets have a health food section these days. This is where you will find the gluten-free, yeast-free, wheat-free whatever you are restricting; you will find it in this section of the shop. Yes, the products are more expensive so just get over it now. And start reading ALL labels. Be careful because so much “processed” foods including flavoured potatoes chips have yeast extract, milk powder or wheat starch in mix. I eat plain, salted chips or natural corn chips only.

Image

Here’s a list of musts for the pantry:

  1. Gluten-free pasta
  2. Organic gluten-free falafel mix
  3. Korma paste
  4. Gluten-free pappadums
  5. Coconut milk or cream
  6. Tamari sauce (wheat-free soya sauce)
  7. Tomato puree
  8. Tinned tomatoes
  9. Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pine nuts…..
  10. Seeds: Pumpkin, sesame, chia, sunflower…..
  11. Gluten-free crackers
  12. Corn chips
  13. Lentils
  14. Chickpeas
  15. Tahini paste
  16. Quinoa
  17. Rice: Brown and basmati
  18. Organic, sulphur-free dried fruits
  19. Oils: Olive, vegetable, sesame
  20. Spices: cumin, Italian herbs, cinnamon…whatever your fancy

And a stocked fridge of:

  1. Fresh vegetables
  2. Fresh fruits
  3. Fresh spices: chilli, ginger, garlic
  4. sheep’s feta
  5.  olive oil spread (must say dairy free)
  6. Gluten-free bread (if yeast is allowed)
  7. Free-range eggs

Now, with all that at your finger tips, here is a list of possible meals.

  1. Vegetable or chicken (free-range of course) korma (with coconut cream instead dairy) with rice and pappadums
  2. Pasta with a simply tomato and garlic sauce and salad
  3. Falafel balls and salad served with homemade hummus
  4. Dahl with rice and pappadums
  5. Quinoa salad with toasted seeds, nuts, dried fruits, salad greens/herbs and roast pumpkin
  6. Egg fried rice with vegetables and tamari (add meat if you wish)
  7. Pumpkin soup with coconut milk instead of dairy. Serve with gluten-free crackers.
  8. Potato and leek soup
  9. Pasta (spaghetti is best here) with oil, garlic and chilli
  10. Brown rice salad with cucumber, tomato, red onion, lemon, oregano, seeds, nuts and sheep’s feta

BONUS SNACK IDEA: Corn chips with homemade guacomole and/or hummus

So, there you have it. Ten easy meals that you can adapt as your own and add what you like. Experiment with flavours, textures and enjoy the process of creating a healthy lifestyle that may just change your life and certainly your health.

I will post some recipes in my recipe folder over the next few weeks. I do have some good ones but I mostly cook by experimentation. I do suggest getting at least one good cook book for more ideas.

Here are the main ones I use and recommend:

Cooking Without by Barbara Cousins

Cooking Without Made Easy by Barbara Cousins

Any questions? Feel free to ask me.

 

 


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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!

 


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Starting All Over Again…..

These sweets don’t tempt me…

Do you struggle to stick to a diet or restricted eating plan?

I’ve been up and down on different regimes over the past 8 years or so and have failed to make a permanent lifestyle change. Mind you, I am fairly healthy and my eating habits are very healthy….most of the time.

Yet here I am once again flapping on about food and my struggles but that fact is: I like to eat and drink!! I love FOOD!! But I am destined to live a life of deprivation and limitation.

It’s August 1 and for the next 31 days I am challenging myself to restrict the foods and drink that I know for sure interfere with my health (and waistline):

Wheat

Yeast

Dairy

Caffeine

Red Meat (I don’t eat it anyway)

ALCOHOL

Sugar needs to be on the list too and I will not add sugar to anything but I am not going so far as to totally ban it….life’s too short for that nonsense.

Right now, I’d say my biggest battle will be with the withdrawal of alcohol. I’m not an alcoholic by any stretch of the imagination but I do like a beer or two come 5pm most nights.

The thing about booze, especially beer is that it makes me fat. There is no doubt in my mind that a few beer everyday has contributed to the BBB (bloated belly blues) I have and the additional 3kgs I’ve been carrying around since mid-June. Like food, my alcohol intake has been inconsistent over the years.

I was 14 when I got drunk for the first time. My friends and I were on our way to a school dance (hey, it was 1986!) and I downed 3 bottles of beer not knowing the effect it would have. Well, I have no idea how I made it through the doors of the school because I couldn’t even walk!! Booty shaking was definitely out!

Over the next 18 years, I used the drink as a way to party and socialize. I was a classic binge drinker and usually only drank to get drunk.  It was never a loved pastime so when I began to reflect on my health and change some consumption habits, booze was easily off the intake list!! During the years of 2003-2009, I rarely drank but then something changed.

While living in tropical Australia, I realised how good it could be to enjoy a cold beer after a long, hot day at work. This easily became a habit and before long I was drinking 5 out of 7 days a week. For the first time in my life I was drinking to wind down and cool down, not for the purpose of getting wasted!!  But I knew it was going to catch up with me.

After my 2nd nasal surgery in 2008 and several allergy tests that all proved to be inconclusive and unsuccessful, I had to accept the fact that it was food and drink products that were playing havoc with my sinuses.

I’m trying to avoid this look ( I have no idea why this photo refused to stay upright)

August 15, 2012 will mark the 1 year anniversary of my 3rd nasal surgery to remove nasal polyps and the last 12 months have been my most consistent year of restriction so far, though my eating/drinking habits are constant peaks and valleys.  I know this is how I must live my life in order to stay out of the hospital and to just breathe easier.  I recently had the all clear from my Ear, Nose and Throat doctor so I’m doing something right.

That is why today marks the beginning of yet another stint of going without. This newest deadline is set at 1 month but I know I will have to keep it going well beyond September 1.

Along with the forgoing of alcohol and the danger foods, I am committing to:

  • 6:30am wake-up
  • Daily meditation
  • Daily yoga practice at home
  • Weekly Iyengar yoga class
  • Weekly Pilates at home
  • Daily practice of The 5 Healing Tibetans
  • Twice weekly kickboxing

My end goal is to just be healthy…..bahaha…………. and look damn good in my bikini by November 1!!!