Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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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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To The People of Vancouver: I Salute You

How many strangers did you speak to today? How many of them did you actually have a conversation with?

I have met some lovely people during my 9 days in Vancouver and with this post, I’d like to tell you about them.

The person who had the biggest affect on me was Richard Reynolds. He is a pilates instructor at YYoga on Burrard Street. I attended 2 of his classes and wish I had of stumbled into his class earlier. I have never had so much fun doing exercise in all my life. Imagine laughing out loud while in plank or after doing the 100.

“I love this stuff. I can do the 100 all day long.”

“I am strong.”

These are the kinds of statements he would ask us to repeat, loudly, during class! And at the end of class, “I am beautiful. I am very beautiful. The Universe loves me very much.”

He’s a true gem and I implore you to take his class if you are ever in Vancouver.

Rich Reynolds, I salute you.

The day I went to Grounds for Coffee for an indulgence of their ooey, gooey goodness of a soft, sugar and spice sweet bread swirl called a cinnamon bun,

Yummo

I met Jason, a young Brit in Vancouver on a working holiday.

I sat beside him in the comfy chair section and had no intention of striking up a conversation with him but after he jumped up to assist an elderly couple in the door, I verbally applauded him. From there, we got to know each over a hot cuppa and sweet bread. Jason impressed me with his manners and the fact that he is making the most with his life. He’s doing stuff that makes him happy and it shows.

Jason, I salute you.

Earlier that same day, I hulled my ass up to the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  I’ve always steered cleared of this place because of my fear of bridges…..walking over bridges specifically.

But, there is a new attraction there called the Cliff Walk, which is a walk-way projected out from the cliff side. I thought, “Sure, no problem.” Well, I found it hard to let go of the railings on my shuffling toward the middle, where an older lady was just standing, enjoying the view.

I thought to myself, ‘She’ll be the perfect person to take a photo of me.’ And she did. That’s it below.

Photo by Nice Lady

But she did more than that. She engaged in a conversation about skydiving and life in general and it was nice; friendly and warm. And our chatting continued up the stairs and down the planked path to the glass shelf look-out. I was hesitant about stepping on it but she took my hand and pulled me on. Sometimes, that’s all we need; gentle, loving guidance and for someone to say it’ll be ok. And that’s what she did for me. She spoke of wanting to do a tandem skydive someday and I egged her on. I hope she does it and I wish I could be there to hold her hand but I won’t be. Some things you just have to push yourself to do on your own.

And it was on my own that I crossed that damn suspension bridge!! The first go was terrifying and I held both sides of the railing while shadowing an equally terrified woman the entire way. On the way back though, I did it mostly hands-free while chanting to myself, “I AM FEARLESS.” I even stopped and asked another stranger to take a photo of me. I was inspired by the kindness of the nice lady on the cliff walk – I wish I had of asked her name.

Although I did the walk hands-free, I held on for the photo!!! Poo.

Nice Lady in North Vancouver, I salute you!!

When I spent an afternoon at Granville Island, I stopped to take a sneaky photo of a working wizard, or magician if you like and had no intention of being the subject of a magic trick but suddenly, I found myself at his side.

Dave Moon is his name and I was blown away by his abilities. I don’t know how he did it, but he actually read my mind. Scary, I know. It wasn’t just a close enough guess, it was spot on. He also did a card trick that he told me was slight of hand, but damn, he was very slick. In his deck of cards, there are many signatures: one per card. These signatures belong to the up and coming actors who work in the movies being filmed in Vancouver, or anyone who may be famous someday. I told him that I will be famous one day so he let me pick any free card to sign. My card is the 8 of hearts. Thanks Dave!!!

With Dave Moon

Dave Moon, I salute you.

At my request, I met Independent Travel Writer, John Lee. He’s a successful freelance writer and he was very generous with his time, information and advice about the industry. I respect him and I’m so grateful to him for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with me. I definitely owe him a beer – thanks for paying because I did not have cash on me (and believe it or not, The Railway Club does not take EFTPOS).  Thanks, John.

John Lee, I salute you.

Over the past week, I’ve learned to not be afraid of people. Something that sticks with me from the I CAN DO IT conference is the message of cooperation that we could have with each other instead of wars and fighting. Imagine that? If we all cooperated, would there be any such thing as WAR?

Talk to each other. We are all human. We all want to be loved and needed. You could be the difference to someone’s day just by saying hello with a smile. That smile and kind word may lead to a conversation that may lead to a friendship that may lead to a relationship that may lead to abundance in each other’s lives.

Marianne Williamson gave us all a great gift when she asked us to project love to strangers (without their knowledge) by thinking the words, “The love in me salutes the love in you”. I actually do this several times a day now and I believe it is impossible to be grumpy, angry or depressed during this practice. Try it and see.

I salute you all!!!


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A Girly Day in Vancouver

Now I really know what it is like to be a lady of leisure!

My day started with a big sleep-in. That was not planned. I woke up at 10:47am and had to sprint into action because I had an appointment at 11:15am. So much for eating breakfast. I did manage to throw some clothes on and brush my teeth before walking 2 blocks to Burrard Street in search of a taxi. From then my day went like this:

11:10am – A Fleeting Moment in a Taxi to West Broadway

Total Cost: $12

11:15am – Pleasure and Pain at Optaderm Skin Care Clinic, 1244 W. Broadway

Total Cost: $200 (including take-home products)

When I lived in Vancouver, I used to have facials here. It is an actual skin care clinic, not a beauty salon. You will not see any lotus flower paintings, Buddha statues, crystals or Aphrodite pouring waterfalls here. There are no fancy store front signs to entice you off the street or flashing neon signs to get your attention. I’m sure most of their customers come to them via word-of-mouth, like I did in 2000.

When I opened the door, my eyes blinked rapidly. I felt like I’d just walked into a laboratory; even the staff are in white scientist type jackets.

After some small talk about Australia, one such male staff member showed me to the lab room and told me to undress from the waist up and put on the terry cloth towel/dress. He even gave me a little envelope to put my jewellery in.

Polish born Elizabeth was my skin specialist. She turned the overhead lamp on mock 10 and got to it.  My head bounced back and forth like a ping-pong ball as she examined my pores. I layed there; quietly ashamed.

After some chitchat about my skin care regime (I don’t have one, ok??), she began. First she cleaned my face with cleanser then the mega face  began. She lathered oil across my already oily face and broken-out neck. Over and over she wiped her hands, walked her fingers and slapped my skin as part of the gentle and relaxing facial massage. With every sigh and exhale from her I wondered if it was because she was disgusted or bored.

Next came the pore excavation. With tissues in each hand she pressed my pores together a with gentle force. From my pores came dirt and puss, from her mouth, tut tuts. She acknowledged the volume of the job and said she wouldn’t do too much as it would be too painful for me. Thankfully, next came the mask and 20 minute rest….alone.

Don’t get me wrong, Elizabeth knows her stuff. I was happy with my new face and her regime recommendations. The is the best place on earth to get a facial and when in Vancouver, I always will return there! Plus, they give out cute  little travel/trial size bottles when you leave.

Post Facial

12:45pm – Yes, Very Pretty at Exquis Nails, 1932 W. Broadway

Total Cost: $24

On my way to the bus stop, I passed one of those Asian nail salons. I’d never been and they were not busy so I went in. My hands were in desperate need anyway. It was semi planned; I was carrying my own Brisbane Bronze OPI nail polish in my purse.

Vietnamese Kim, was friendly and precise. She got right to work on my nails and didn’t over-talk (though her English was perfect). At the end, my nails sat under a dryer for 10 minutes, leaving them dryer than a nun’s……nevermind. Basically, this small closure to the manicure was worth every penny of the $24. Because of this, I did not screw up the paint job the minute the manicure was done.  I’m still looking at my nails with glee!!

Kim in action

Perfect nails

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2:30pm –  A ‘I’m Totally Starving’ Lunch at Nuba Cafe – 1206 Seymour Street

Total Cost: $13.44

Obviously, I did not have time for food yet. I did grab a banana on my way to the taxi but by the time 2pm rolled around, I was very hungry. I had dinner at Nuba on my first night in Vancouver; the falafel plate and I loved it so much I vowed to return. Being as famished as I was, I couldn’t think of a better place to indulge.

I chose the Chicken Tawook plate. 2 skewers of spiced chicken were served with roast potatoes, a huge fresh salad, black olives, pita and hummus. OMG!! I was in heaven….again. I have always loved Middle Eastern food but it’s hard to find really great stuff. This Lebanese cafe has proved to be a winner with me and there’s no doubt that I will go back. When in Vancouver, it’s a MUST.

Tawook Chicken Plate

Falafel Plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3:30pm – I need a fix!! Coffee & Shopping on Robson Street

Tim’s: Considering I had not had a coffee yet, my first stop was actually Tim Horton’s on Alberni (one street down from Robson). Tim Horton’s is a very famous donut and coffee shop that has been around since the 70’s. The coffee has not changed but the sizes have!! What used to be a medium is now called a small. So my order was a small decaf with double cream. Yes, this is my re-introduction to dairy. So far, no worries. And, I was not tempted by the donuts…not yet anyway.

Canada’s Best Coffee

Total cost: $1.50

La Senza: I have a thing for girly knickers. I love La Senza and have even gone as far as paying $50 AUD postage to have their products posted to me in Australia. When in Canada, I must feed my fetish.

I’m 41 years old and have not been properly fitted for a bra since I was 19!! Yes, it’s true, I’ve been wearing ill-fitted bras for over half my life. No bloody wonder, I hate the things. But finally, I’ve been fitted. The young Aussie girl from the Gold Coast was excellent in making me feel comfortable about this kinda embarrassing task. She made sure I had the right sizes and styles without being pushy or too forward. It’s no wonder I bought 2 new bras and 5 pairs of knickers.

Total Cost: $56.28

Robson Street

Shops on Robson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I spent a few hours just browsing Robson Street casually. I popped into Chapters, which is supposed to be a book store but there is much more than books in there. Of course, there’s Starbucks – they’re everywhere!! But Chapters also has kitchen wear (to go along with the cookbooks, don’t you know), yoga and fitness props (you guessed it, to buy along side a fitness book or DVD), housewares, chocolates, biscuits, LOADS of Apple product trinkets (for Ipods and Iphones etc), lotions, potions and all the things you would expect: books, cards, journals, writing stationary and the like. Wow, I could have spent all day in there. Luckily, I escaped with only one $7 item: a gift for my son…….yes, I was sucked in and got an Ipod accessory. He’ll love it.

So, I enjoyed my big city experience. All the pampering, lunch out, shopping and the taxi ride made me feel like Carrie Bradshaw, except I did everything alone, which is not like Carrie at all….does she ever do anything on her own??

Tired and exhausted, I returned to my accommodation at 6:30pm. The evening was spent writing and doing laundry. Too tired to go back out to eat and not all that hungry anyway, I ate an entire block of Green & Black’s Organic Cherry Chocolate for dinner……And damn it was good!