Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Kai time

I love food. Love to eat it and love to cook it.

Kai means food and I know I have not written much about it lately. And well, I’m still not going to write much about it because I think looking at food is much better than reading about food.

So, feast your eyes upon this. (©Jennifer Morton)

pancakes

Pancakes: A classic Canadian breaky

Harira

Moroccan Harira…I love this sooooo much.

choc muffins

Chocolate muffins: my guilty pleasure

Feb 24 popcorn

Popcorn: A healthy snack

salmon dinner

Salmon with rice and sautéed veggies: A clean and delicious dinner

strawberry tart

Strawberry tart: bright and beautiful

lemon tart

Lemon tart: pucker up

sticky date pudding

Sticky date pudding: a favourite classic

It’s pretty clear that desserts are favoured in my household. I do love to bake and cook and my family and I are well fed.

What’s your favourite meal or dessert?

 

 

 

 


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Listen to your body

 

I’ve just stuffed down a piece of homemade (by me) pumpkin pie topped with fresh whipped cream. I had to force it down because I am so full from dinner: 3/4 of a veggie pizza and 3 beer.

Yes, I’m on a binge.

No, I’m not happy with myself.

I’ve had a shithouse day full of disappointment and self-induced stress but nevermind that, the binge was premeditated.

See, tomorrow is the start of another health kick or health booster as I’m calling this latest stint.

I’ve fallen back into the habit of  drinking alcohol everyday, whether I really feel like it or not and my eating habits are getting slack as well.

I’ve been baking too.

Raspberry white chocolate muffins

Banana cake, chocolate chip cookies, muffins…and of course, I eat it! The muffins…yummy!

I’ve also had a hamburger and I don’t even eat RED MEAT!!! Damn, it was delicious!

 

Hamburger with homemade pesto and salad

 

I said it before. I love food. I like to have a beer or two on a hot day. I love homemade baked goods and I’m pretty good at making yummy things. But it’s now time to listen to my body.

I’ve had a few headaches lately and my respiratory system is becoming clogged up again. Thankfully, I still have my sense of smell and taste, which is great but also makes it hard for me to resist good food. And  when I hear the word resist, I think of Eckhart Tolle when he says:

“What you resist, persists”

 

I truly feel ill at the moment. I’ve eaten so much tonight that I feel sick but I am still thinking, ‘only 3 hours left of today, then it’s back on the wagon, what else can I eat?’

But I cannot eat or drink another thing tonight so for the next 4 weeks (minus Oct 27th when I have dinner plans in Perth), I will be on my health booster which will include the following guidelines:

 
On the menu

 

Protein: Chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds

 

Carbs/Starch: Brown rice, oats, gluten-free pasta

 

Oils: olive, sesame

 

Dairy: Greek yogurt, sheep’s feta

 

Veg: All except carrot, corn, potatoes

 

Fruit: ONLY berries, green apple, pear, lemon, lime

 

Drinks: Decaf tea/coffee, soy/rice milk, water – NO ALCOHOL or SUGAR Drinks

 

Limit sugar, fat, processed foods

 
Fitness (mind and body)

 

 

 

10 minutes meditation                                                  Daily

 

5 Healing Tibetans/yoga (15min)                             Daily

 

20 minutes (min) of cardio                                          4 times per week (M*, T, Th*, Sat)

 

1.5 hour yoga class                                                          Wednesday

 

* Training with Mr M

 

I do not need to lose weight, just tone and get rid of the beer bloat. I know for sure that I feel and look better when I cut out all the junk that my body doesn’t need. Gosh, I know I sound like a broken record and I truly hope that someday I will get to where I want to be. For now, I will get back up after I have fallen…again and again and again.

The thing is, I secretly look forward to these “restricted” periods. For some reason, I cannot go without unless I give myself a date and some rules. Control issues? Probably, but whatever works at the time.

October and November is a great time to get healthy before the Christmas season kicks off. Nobody in their right mind tries a health plan or restricted diet during that time!!

If you’re trying a new eating regime, remember this: it’s hard work and you really need to want it bad enough to be successful at it. (Yes, I’m talking to myself here…lol.)

 

 

 

 


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Setting priorities as a way of self-care

According to my wee Oxford English dictionary, here is the definition of priority.

Priority n. Thing considered more important than others; right to do something before other people.

I have a problem with knowing what my priorities are. As a wife and mother, it’s easy to lose myself in that role. And being a housewife, mother and paid writer it is easy to  get overwhelmed by the commitments involved in each one. They clash, bump and overlap each other in a trying and confusing way.

I think there is often a very fine line between what I want to do as an individual  and what I  feel I am committed to do as one-third of a family unit.

Last week, I didn’t write any blog posts. I had a slow freefall to despair and by the time Friday hit I couldn’t wait to just forget about writing, deadlines, pitches and computers!

I took the entire weekend OFF. I didn’t even turn on the computer. Instead, I went to the beach with Master T and we got heaps of vitamin D. We even jumped off the jetty into the cold, clear, salty Indian Ocean. Not usually my cup of tea, but it was great to get out of my uncomfortable comfort zone.

 

My local beach…yes I live in paradise

 I’m considering making the beach #1 on my list of priorities. I got totally sunburned and even that was great. I finished a book that I’ve been slowly reading for months and I made sure Mr M got lunch delivered to him at work. These things would not have happened if my ass was glued to a chair in front of my Mac.

Master T at play

And spending time with my 6-year-old son was much-needed. I must admit, I feel bad for working and being on the computer most of the day. It’s school holidays here in Western Australia so he is home with me 24/7. His dad works outside the home so that’s not an option. Right now, he’s playing quietly in his room while watching Toy Story 3. Bless him.

Back to priorities…of course #1 would be the health and welfare of my child but I feel like that statement is like a Miss Universe candidate saying the only things she wants is world peace.

Is it not a cliché? I mean, of course I want my child to be safe, be confident, be happy, be fed, be joyful, be loved…but does that mean my wants, needs and desires must come to a stop until he is an adult?

When he was a baby I certainly did put my life on hold and cared for him like there was nothing else. Now, he’s almost 7 and able to read, write, ride a bike, play Lego, dress himself, wash himself and think for himself. If I could only get him to make his own meals…..

Aside from the obvious that is above, I have made a list based on what I feel is most important to ME on a daily basis. This may change daily or even hourly…lol.

 

#1.  Meditate and cultivate calm within myself

#2.  Exercise at least 15 minutes (not including walking or bike riding that I do most days)

#3.  Write Write Write (sell sell sell…lol)

#4.  Make dinner for my family. Eat together..always

#5.  Rest…if I do not get to rest during the day, go to bed early

#6.  Read, whether it be a few pages of a magazine or a novel

 

Basically, this is the routine of my day, not that it always happens that way. If all of these things happen, then I’m happy.  Just writing that list makes me feel calm and grateful for my life. Imagine the stress reduction in society if we all just had personal priorities and lived by them. It’s not easy to figure out what your own priorities are but jotting down some ideal ones may help you see more clearly.
Do you have your priorities in order?


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Eat to live or live to eat?

Welcome to kai chronicles!!

Kai is a common word and its meaning varies depending on your culture. I have connections to New Zealand and Japan and that is why I have chosen to call this blog kai chronicles.

According to Wikipedia:

In Māori, Kai means “food” (this one is absolutely true and used by many kiwis).

In Japanese, Kai may mean “change” or “the action to correct” or “concerning oneself with” (I will check this with Japanese mates). Notice how Wikipedia uses the word “may”.

So now I ask the age old question: Do you live to eat or eat to live?

I seem to be living to eat lately but I go through stages.

I have been attempting to be dairy, gluten, red meat, alcohol, fruit, sugar, yeast, caffeine,  fermented food FREE off and on for nearly 18 months now. Actually since 2005, I have experimented with many forms of food restrictions due to health issues.

It’s extremely hard to do but I have been successful, for short periods of time.

AND, the thing is this: When on the ‘restricted’ diet, I feel better!!! But after 4-6 weeks, I crack and cannot cope unless I eat a whole cake and once I do that, it’s all off until I have the will power to start all over again.

This I  know for sure: I’m an emotional eater.

My latest attempt, which was successful for 2 weeks then I introduced apples, potatoes and some other ‘sweet’ vegetables and all was well for anther 2 weeks before I started to cave, was smack in the middle of some emotional turbulance so it was probably not the best time to give it a go.

I am now enjoying most of the restrictions except: alcohol, dairy(except pro-biotic yogurt which is good for tummy health), caffeine and mostly staying away from yeast. If I crave a peanut butter sandwich, I’ll eat it.

I’ve been practicing ‘presence’ for nearly four years now. I rationalise my food intake with the NOW.

If this moment is all we have, I say, “EAT CAKE AND LOVE IT”.