Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

 

WWW

What’s working for me today is the same thing that has been working for me for the past 5 days: The ability to let go and stress less.

Of course, to do this, I needed to STOP my routine and take several steps backwards. I have really stepped away from the merry-go-round that is the life of a freelance writer and damn it feels great! Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but it’s hard to handle sometimes and I dare any freelance writer to say they have never let it get to them. (The IT may only be known to other writers)

But aside from being more carefree and approachable, I have other great news!!!

My brand spanking new Canon EOS 6D DSLR with EF 24-105mm lens (along with other camera add-ons) arrived today!! I have unpacked it and put the battery on charge. I have to wait for it the fully charge before I can have a play. It’s pretty exciting. I am also happy to report that I submitted my first photography assignment and received a respectable 8/10. I was happy with that (though the perfectionist in me wanted more). It’s amazing how things just seem to happen when the pressure is taken off.

I have decided to make this post the last WWW (What’s Working for me Wednesday). I feel it’s run its course and I want to move more towards specific health, wellness, food and travel posts.

Change is good and so necessary in my life. I get stale and crusty if I do the same thing for too long.

Do you always act when you know you need a change? 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday: Choices

 

WWW


It’s been 3 days since I gave up gluten and dairy again and I can feel the benefits already. There are other things that I avoid, like sulphites, yeast, food colouring and additives; and sugar but I’m not going all anal about never consuming a spec. It’s obviously that being really strict with myself doesn’t work long-term so I’m being a bit easier on myself this time.

With the change of seasons, I find myself not as motivated to stick to my fitness. I mean, I’m not jumping up at the crack of dawn and straight into my runners but I am still doing a daily work-out. Sometimes it’s 60 minutes but other times, it’s only 20. My bed is pretty cosy at 6am.

I’m sure that when my body is rid of all the excess gluten and sugar I ate in March, I will be back at it in full-force. I have a new Tracy Anderson DVD (dance Cardio 2) and 3 more dvds on the way. Plus I have a couple new Lorna Jane fitness/casual outfits so I can’t stop now!!

This is the life I want; the person I want to be. I know I am committed enough and already healthy enough to achieve my goals, which is to maintain my health and my petite figure and to be a health writer. I can’t really be a health writer if I am eating cake and donuts while sitting on my bum all day.

It’s not easy, I know. I’ve been doing this yo-yo thing for 8 years now but I finally “get it”. It dawned on my last week when I wrote How to set yourself up to succeed ‘s #6 tip – “If it makes you feel good, keep doing it. If it makes you feel bad, stop doing it”.

Giving up gluten doesn’t make me feel bad. Eating gluten makes me feel bad.

Giving up alcohol forever makes me feel bad, so I haven’t given up alcohol. I just choose drinks that do not contain the things that make me feel bad. A cocktail makes me feel good and like I’m Carrie Bradshaw.

If I gave up all chocolate, I’d fall into a depression. That’s why I refuse to give up chocolate but again, I choose my chocolate wisely. Dark rules. The higher the cocoa %, the better.

It’s all about choice. We all make choices everyday that make up our entire lives.

Take today for instance. I made the following choices that have me pretty chuffed with myself:

  1. I got up at 6am to meditate.
  2. I did a 60-minute dance cardio class (on DVD)
  3. I went to a yoga class (90 minute class)
  4. I bought some fresh mango and broccoli
  5. I made a delicious mango/banana smoothie (it was to die for)
  6. I made cream of broccoli soup for lunch (no cream needed)
  7.  I sent a 3rd submission follow-up to an editor who has ignored my previous 2. She replied within 10 minutes (she’s yet to read it but has said she’ll get back to me)
  8. After this post is complete, I will make a decaf coffee and read a book for an hour
apr 3 mango

Mango & Banana Smoothie: fresh mango and any juice it produces while cutting, 1 ripe banana, 2 heaping spoonfuls of natural or greek yogurt, 6 ice cubes and cinnamon to taste. Blend all together. Enjoy!

apr 3 broccoli soup

Cream of broccoli soup: saute fresh garlic and chilli in oil (omit chilli if you want). Add clean and dry broccoli (cut up, stems and all), salt & pepper and a bouquet garni bag or bundle. Add enough water to not quite cover the broccoli. Simmer until soft. Cool slightly. Remove the bouquet garni bag before blending to a smooth texture. So simple, so delicious.

It’s these choices that are working for me this Wednesday.

Anyone have any fitness or health regimes working for them today?

 

 

 

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

IMG_0709

My aim is to eat more of this….

Ahhhh, Wednesday again. Until a half hour ago, I thought I would have nothing to write about today…nothing that is working for me.

That changed when I received a newsletter from Food Matters with a link to some videos about the foods we eat, what they are doing to our bodies and minds and how to change old habits. I surely needed to see them.

Although it’s been less than 2 months – more like 6 weeks of my return to my addiction to wheat and sugar, it feels like a lifetime. If I’m not actually eating, I’m thinking about my next meal or plotting my next snack. I’ve also been too heavy and lazy to get up in the mornings to exercise…not everyday but it did happen (or not happen!!) yesterday and today.

Last night, I returned to reading Wheat Belly. I need all the information and inspiration I can get my hands on if I am going to go cold turkey on April 1st. Although I didn’t put sugar on my list, I think it needs to be restricted too.

I wish it didn’t have to be like this. I wish food wasn’t being engineered to be harmful to the human race but it is. And I really wish I was more in tune with all of this before I started to give all this crap to my 7-year-old son who is now also addicted. But I am slowly weaning him off of bread products, processed meat, food colourings and excess sugar.

muffins

and less of this…..

Education about the food and health industry is working for me today.

What’s working for you?

 

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWW

 

Happy Wednesday all!

It’s been a successful day for me. I finished the first draft of an article I’ve been putting off for weeks now. I have one more very short interview to do with a case study,  then edit, then SEND. I will be so happy to see it off my TO DO list. But of course, after that will come the waiting game…waiting for a response from the editor. That’s always fun.

To celebrate my victory of completion (near enough), I just watched an episode of Sex and the City: Season 2’s Games People Play.

Carrie has just broken up with Big again and is so annoying to her friends they suggest she seeks therapy. Carrie meets Seth (played by Jon Bon Jovi) in the waiting room and promptly shags him after a game of Twister.

Mar 13 carrie

my treats

I am addicted to SATC. I have lost count on the number of times I have watched the complete series and the movies. Once I start on the series, I feel compelled to watch episode after episode until the very last. I have been known to sit through 6-8 shows in one sitting. Once I hit the series finale, I feel satisfied for a few months before I start the cycle all over again.

It’s an escape but I also use it as “research”. I’m writing a chick-lit novel you see. Which reminds me, I’m behind on my word count. Crap.

Well, Wednesday was going off well….see you next week when I plan to be ahead of my word count and in the middle of season 3. Ahhh, the introduction of Aidan.

mar 13 satc

Sex and the City box set

 

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

 

goethe

My regular WWW pic wouldn’t load today..guess I’m meant to use this one.
© J Morton Photos

I’m beginning to really like Wednesdays. Typically, my Wday goes like this:

  • 10 minutes of meditation and gratefulness
  • an hour+ of baking
  • take Master T to school
  • yoga
  • food shopping
  • an afternoon of work (may include research….magazine reading)
  • blog post
  • tap dancing class
  • an early night

I almost consider Wednesday to be a “day off”. I usually don’t schedule too much and never get bogged down with details. Today, I submitted an article – 2 days before deadline (yes!) and submitted a pitch to a new (for me) national health magazine. And all that is great but what I really loved the most was baking.

Today I made chocolate-banana muffins, muesli bars and gluten-free almond biscotti. Even though I need to eat some gluten daily, I like having gluten-free food. I did try a muffin and a muesli bar – they’re both delish but it’s the GF biscotti that’s working for me this Wednesday!

I’m not even big on biscotti but I love my coffee and the two go hand in hand. This biscotti has been adapted from a recipe I picked up somewhere along my travels. I suited it to what I had so that is what I will present. I like to mix things up and I alter recipes all the time. So, here’s my own version of GF Almond Biscotti. Enjoy with a good espresso or latte.

GF Almond Biscotti

WW GF with coffee

GF Almond Biscotti with coffee

1 tsp baking powder

170g pure icing sugar

100g coconut flour

180g quinoa flour

100g almond meal

20g blanched and toasted almonds

2 eggs + 1 yolk

1/4 tsp almond essence

1 egg white (for brushing)

METHOD

Combine all the dry ingredients together

Slowly add eggs and essence

Mix to combine well – add a little water to bind if needed (1 tsp at a time)

Knead to make a dough

Mould dough into a log shape

WW GF biscotti before baking

going in the oven

Refrigerate for 15 minutes

Brush with egg whites

Bake for 8 minutes at 160

WW GF biscotti half baked

almost ready

Remove from oven and slice to desired size

Return to oven and dry out  – when hard, they are ready.

I left the oven on 160 for 20-30 minutes then turned off and left them in there to dry out. That seemed to work but they were a little soft in the middle so more time could be given.

Hope that recipe works for someone else!!

Happy Baking!

 

 

 

 

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWW

 

It’s Wednesday again. Hard to believe it rolls around so quickly.

Lots has happened since last week. Some great stuff and some not so great stuff. Here’s the good stuff:

  • I spent some time at the beach
  • I baked cookies
  • I sold an article
  • I got a YES to write for an online parenting website
  • I got confirmation to cover a local performance festival that may see a 2-page spread!!
  • I received my tap shoes in the post
  • I received my order of organic, additive free dried fruits

And that is definitely what’s working for me….the organic dried fruits.

I’ve tried for many years now to eliminate additives from my diet (and my family’s) but sometimes I just forget and end up with a package of something in my pantry that has numbers like 220, 202 or 110.

I’m working on a piece about this very subject and have once again been inspired to check every label before buying. My local supermarket does not even carry additive-free dried fruit, that’s why I had to order it online.

After a google search, I found a fantastic website called Organic Road. I love them already and I’ve just received my first order today. It was fast to arrive and I think their prices are great (Mr M disagrees).

 

feb 27organic roads

the loot from Organic Road

I bought:

  1. dried apricots 1kg
  2. dried cranberries 340g
  3. dried mixed fruit (cranberries, blueberries, cherries) 340g
  4. dried sultanas 250g
  5. shredded coconut 200g
  6. black sesame seeds 250g
  7. virgin coconut oil 250g

With postage the total bill was $75.90 AUD.

What really prompted the shopping was that I could not find coconut without a preservative in it at my local shop. I know to stay away from the dried fruits but I was shocked that shredded coconut could not be purchased without a number attached. But, to my delight and surprise, I did find coconut flour in the shop today. To give them credit, they are stocking more and more organic and gluten-free foods.

feb 27 coconut flour

Oh, I have plans for you…

Tomorrow I have an interview set up with Tanya Winfield, founder of Additive-Free Pantry. She is also inspiring me to cut out some of the crap that I feed to Master T. It will be hard because some of his favourite foods are loaded with additives: ham, bacon and salami. I just have to explain to him that these foods are not good for his health. He’s 7 now, so I hope he will understand.

Do you read labels? Are you concerned with the amount of additives in food today?

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWWCommitment – that’s the word of the day today.

I am a person of routine and commitment. This seems to strengthen with age. I remember being young and trying new things and them not working out so I’d just freely and easily bail on the idea and plan that I had. These days, it seems to be my mission in life to make commitments and stick with them.

Being Wednesday, I have much on the go:

Baking Day

Yoga

Novel writing (3000 words today!)

Blog post (this one!)

Tap dancing

Yes, that’s right. Last week, I went to my very first tap dancing class. I felt (and looked) like a fool but I’m going back this week for more embarrassment and humiliation.

tap dancerI don’t have tap shoes yet but I am determined to get a pair within the next few weeks. For now, I’m in bare feet which is not really tapping at all but I’m still yet to perfect the moves.

This new adventure of mine stems from a childhood dream to be a dancer. I never ever told anyone that but it’s true. I used to dream about doing the entire Thriller dance session in the gymnasium of my high school. I loved Madonna’s Lucky Star video and Toni Basil’s Mickey.

This past weekend, I watched the documentary RIZE again. It’s about dance and how it can change your life. I love the music and I think Tommy the Clown is a hero. I also love reality shows like So you think you can dance but not Dancing with the stars. 

Now, I know I’m not going to be a famous dancer but I’m enjoying it and I thank Tracy Anderson for making me get up and feel the music.

I started to do her dance cardio workout as part of my January fitness push and I cannot stop now. I actually like getting up at 6am and dancing for 45-60 minutes! It’s inspired me and given me some body confidence.

dance

Dance, it’s what’s working for me this Wednesday!!! Now, I’m off to trip over my own feet!

Are you hiding away a dormant dream? Any chance of awakening it?

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWWAwareness. That’s what’s working for me this Wednesday. I’m very aware that I’m over-eating and eating stuff that I don’t need to be eating.

Today was the first ‘Baking Day Wednesday’. Every Wednesday, I will get up at 6am (as per my new normal) and because it is my one day off of my Tracy Anderson fitness regime (I go to Yoga instead). I will bake from 6-7:30am instead of dancing my ass off.

date sq

Date square..an old family recipe.

homemade muesli

My muesli -this was at the half way toasted point. It turns out much darker and is soooo much better than commercial stuff. Plus, you can add anything you fancy!

Today, I made muesli, date squares and a rocky-road like square. This baking is meant to be for Master T’s lunchbox (the muesli is for breakfast). I will freeze 3/4s of the date squares. The thing is, I like to eat freshly baked goods. A date square is not gonna kill me. Homemade muesli is yummy will yogurt. The rocky-road???? I do not need this in my life. I had a piece…..for lunch. And guess what?

It was delicious!!!

rocky road

The monster….rocky road squares…graham crumbs, coconut, crushed peanuts, marshmallow and chocolate smothered in condensed milk then baked.

But seriously. I was extremely full and my mood turned foul within 20 minutes. I still feel irritable and grumpy but I’m coming right. And of course, my tummy is swollen and tubby looking. It feels like I just undid all my hard fitness training. This just confirmed, once again that my body and mind does not like too much sugar or wheat. And I have a whole pan of them in the fridge. The reason I made them was a rational one.

I had some left over graham cracker crumbs (North Americans will know these) left over from my last trip back from Canada. I didn’t want them going in the bin (I detest wastage) so I made the recipe from the back of the box. It’s not like I even want Master T eating crap like that but it is homemade so that’s one point for me, at least!!

I am really pleased that I am able to pinpoint the error of my ways soon after they happen. Now, to catch them before they happen…. that’s the real challenge!!

And, this is too early to say it’s working for me but I am off to do something I have never done tonight!! I’m excited and I’ll tell you all about it soon!!

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

And what a lovely Wednesday it is. I’m being sarcastic. Below will be my final 14 entries of my top 100 travel wishes. Before I go there, I must admit that I have a love/hate relationship with travel.

Yesterday, I returned home from a whirlwind trip to Sydney. I spent 4 nights away – one night was on the plane from Perth. What was I thinking? I do not sleep well on planes, trains, cars….ANY transportation so I’m not sure why I thought I could travel overnight from coast to coast and then spend the day at a writing course – without sleep!

I’m pleading optimism.

I was certain  the flight would not be full and I would have the entire left hand side of row 29 to myself. Ha!! Didn’t happen. But I made it through day 1 and then went to see Silver Linings Playbook in the evening (I liked it, btw). My mind was telling me that I was fine, ‘it’s all good, you can do it all’, I said. But my body protested.

The next day, I woke up with a sore throat. It wasn’t too bad and again, I pushed on. I walked from Central Station to Milsons Point in North Sydney, home of the Australian Writers’ Centre for day 2 of the writing course. I stopped off to get throat lozenges and cold relief first. At least I slept well the night before and I actually felt better on day 2 even though I knew a virus was attacking me.

Fast forward to arriving back in Perth at 9am yesterday. I was sore from the waist down. It was painful to walk but I had no choice. I had to get from A to B and carry my own bags. By the time I actually got home (3 hours north of Perth!), unpacked and took a shower I couldn’t stay upright anymore. I was in bed by 5pm and stayed there until this morning. My throat is red and puffy now. I have a doctor’s appointment at 11am today. I detest anti-biotics but I also hate pain, especially when it prevents me from eating!

There is a lesson in this. I just haven’t figured out what it is yet.

It’s kinda a lie to say dreaming of travel is working for me this Wednesday but ultimately it will always be my #1 thing to do…dream and the actual doing!!

  1. Show my sister, Christine Sydney and other parts of Oz!!

  2. See penguins on Penguin Island, WA

  3. Writing course in Paris

  4. Attend the Healthivate health bloggers conference in Sydney (aim for 2014)

  5. Spend a month or more just “being” in Thailand

  6. Spend the night on Halong Bay, Vietnam

  7. Walk the Milford Track (NZ)

  8. Walk along the Bay of Fires beach in Tasmania

  9. Walk the Inca Trail, Peru

  10. Return to Morocco

  11. Teach English in Southeast Asia (someday)

  12. Spend a month alone writing in Bali

  13. See a moose on Cape Breton Island (Canada)

  14. Travel around Australia on a promo tour as a published author!! 

And there it is!!! I’m sure there could be many many more entries.

I will post the entire 100 in another post!

Have you made your top travel wishes or a “bucket” list? Feel free to share!


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWWI cannot believe I’m up to the last 25 of my top 100 travel dreams and wishes. Minutes, hours, days and weeks are flying by so fast I feel I cannot keep up sometimes. And sometimes, I am not keeping up at all. I’m flailing through life at the moment.

It has been brought to my attention that many of my wishes so far are well and truly travel cliches. Fair enough. I agree. They are. But I want to experience those cliches. Am I now considered boring and unoriginal? To some, I guess so. But screw them. This is MY list and MY blog. Maybe a disclaimer is the right this to do.

WARNING: The following list may contain cliched travel dreams and may offend some readers. If you are so opposed to cliches, I suggest you piss off right now. 

Mision Beach walk_JMorton

I took this photo….I love it even though it’s been done on a thousand postcards around the world.

 

  1. Go back to Oman

  2. Arrive to Tofino, British Columbia (Canada) by seaplane

  3. Rent Tigh-na Clayoquot Vacation House in Tofino BC for a week with friends (Gillian, this has your name all over it!!)

  4. Go to the Australian Open (Tennis) in Melbourne

  5. See a quokka on Rottnest Island, WA

  6. Spend the night in an igloo

  7. See gorillas in the wild in Rwanda

  8. Ride an elephant in Thailand

  9. Snowboard in Japan

  10. Be amazed at Cirque de Soleil (anywhere will do)

  11. Take a learn to surf course in Hawaii (just for fun…I don’t want to surf)

  12.  TBA

 

So, I haven’t finished the list….I’m not prolonging this travel segment, I just want to finish the list with real wishes..not just more cliches….lol!!! See you here next Wednesday!!