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Smooth

After receiving a Nutribullet two Christmas’ ago I have grown to appreciate the simplicity and nutritional value of smoothies! I almost never follow a recipe but I do look around for inspiration for flavour combinations or substitutions for ingredients to change things up. My go-to base is bananas so I did include a frozen banana to the smoothie below but it was definitely too ugly to make the snap, especially because I usually use seriously over-ripe ones with the most flavour.

An annoying fact I’ll throw in is that I’m allergic to a lot of fruits, not in a big way and I’m not even sure which ones but I can definitely feel tingling in my mouth and get very itchy red lips when I eat strawberries, mangoes and watermelon. It happens with some vegetables too but again, I’m not sure which ones! The worst reaction I’ve had was after eating a fennel, orange and rocket salad and my lips swelled to be double the size. I still don’t know if it was the fennel or the orange so I tend to stay away from both. Thankfully the reaction is superficial and it hasn’t closed my airways or anything (touch wood) so I am able to pop fruits into my smoothies and find that if I drink it with a straw and decrease the contact with my lips and mouth, it actually causes less of a reaction. I’ve also been actively drinking more water to ensure it’s not dehydration causing the irritation.

Something I know for sure that I am allergic to (warning: this is possibly the saddest thing you’ll read today) is avocados. I know! What horrific crime did I partake in a past life to deserve this allergy?! Especially since being vegetarian this year it’s become more and more apparent how essential avocados are in balancing omega 3 intake and just providing a tasty, mushy ingredient to balance out textures and flavours of SO many vegetarian dishes! It makes me so incredibly sad when I think about it. Again, the reaction is an allergy and not an intolerance, so if I think the dish is worth it I can eat the avocado but I will definitely feel a tingling, itchy sensation in my mouth, on my tongue and around my lips. *tear*

Usually my smoothies are quite boring and I’ll throw the same ingredients in like banana, almond milk, chia seeds (to make up for the lack of avocado and fish) and a seasonal fruit or spinach. Before this year I would use greek yoghurt to up the protein value but I’ve really cut down on milk products so I’m hunting for better protein alternatives. Protein powders seem to be the rage and I don’t mind them for their flavour or nutritional value but since I’m sticking to plant-based proteins they always add a powdery taste which I’m not a big fan of and the price of these products puts me off in a big way! The sachet I used below is from a plant-based sampler pack I purchased from Protein Supplies Australia. A friend recommended this particular shop together with coconut milk as a liquid alternative so I thought I would give them a go. I used the chocolate flavoured pea protein for this smoothie and added raw organic cacao for extra choc-ness and together with chia seeds and frozen banana it was tasty!

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Rotten

Rotten

It’s day 2 of my current bible reading plan (‘Romans’ by ‘She Reads Truth’). Yesterday I read via my laptop so today I tried to access it through the browser on my phone but it was unresponsive so I downloaded the app (which is super pretty) but discovered you need to pay to read the plan! I think it was $US4.49 or you can subscribe monthly for 1.99. I’m seriously thinking about the subscription but I’m also holding on tight to my wallet because I am the girl who is refusing to pay 4.99 a month to upgrade this WordPress plan! I’ll add the subscription to my Wish List and keep you updated.

Romans 1:18-32. Ouch. This passage makes me feel like the sinful, helpless, lost human being that I am. “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator”. Maybe more than feeling sorry for myself, I am moved by the betrayal that God must feel each time I choose something apart from Him. I think of all the times I have doubted Him, forgotten about Him and been ashamed of Him. I think of how much sorrow, loneliness and uncertainty I could have spared myself had I rooted myself more deeply in His love.

Just last night I watched a few episodes of the Netflix series ‘Rotten’ which uncovers some of darkest corners of supply chains of the food industry. The same story seems to play each episode for different foods – corruption and greed justified in the minds of few bringing poverty, slavery and injustice to many. It is truly unbelievable what us humans are capable of tainted with sin. One example explored a case of ‘dumping’ garlic in the US from China which basically involves importing cheap goods through loopholes and avoiding relevant tax, thereby disrupting the local market who are unable to compete. Long story short, an important member of the association monitoring dumping laws was in fact the same company importing the goods! It is unsurprising that a large corporation with it’s eyes set on profit would ‘play’ such a game, but what completely blows my mind is that the US government and relevant authorities would allow the abuse of such a loophole to continue after being brought to attention?

Hearing these stories makes me lose faith in the world but perhaps that is exactly why God asks us to keep our eyes fixed on Him. When the world is ‘filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity…deceit and malice…gossips, slanderers [and] God-haters’ and we are ‘insolent, arrogant and boastful’ and ‘invent ways of doing evil, have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy’, what else could we do but look above?! It’s a miracle the Lord finds love for us in His heart when humanity have turned their back on Him in a BIG way. It’s easy for me to point fingers but less easy to admit I myself am a sinner.

I’ve been feeling quite stuck in this season of my life, unsure of which direction to move but determined to chase a life of purpose and complicating every possible decision along the way! When I actually stop to think what I would consider a life of purpose to entail I come to the conclusion that I would be most satisfied with living an obedient life. If I could honestly tell the Lord (perhaps face to face?!) that I tried my very best to put Him front and centre, to walk with Him in the word, to communicate with Him in prayer and to give wherever He asked me, then surely my purpose on earth was fulfilled.

‘Purpose’ is having a moment in the spotlight along with ‘passion’, ‘hustle’ and ‘organic everything’ and it paints a shiny picture of ‘doing what we were born to do’ that will bring us ultimate fulfilment in life. It’s alluding to that one vocation most people spend their entire lives searching for and rarely find because I don’t think such a thing exists. From a Christian perspective it’s much more clear – we were born to be in relationship with a Heavenly Father and it’s only through Him that true purpose is found. It sounds incredibly cryptic to non-religious persons that we could simply ‘believe’ in a higher being for our lives to make sense but I struggle to explain it any other way! When my mind is set above, I am less burdened by the evil below (and perhaps more importantly that which is in my own heart). When I trust in The Lord I know everything will be a-okay come the end of the day and when I discover more about The Great I Am, I am reminded how great I am not. This is what gets me ‘unstuck’ each time I find myself flailing around in indecision. No job, no relationship, no hobby and no amount of philanthropical work could fill the hole God designed for Himself in my heart and perhaps after realising just how fortunate I am to call myself His, I might gain the courage to share Him with the world in obedience. Yet another 2018 focus I think!

Romans

Romans

A few of my other 2018 focuses are for my spiritual life as a follower of Jesus. Over the past three years I developed a great bible reading habit where I sat myself down with my breakfast and made my way through a reading plan either from a book or from the Bible app but toward the end of last year I really lost my groove. My last ‘conscious’ moments of 2017 were an overseas trip (partly work partly leisure) at the end of October and a few business events including a trip to Sydney and anything after that was a massive blur. I don’t think I got into the word much at all during that time which has probably led to my current habit of not reading at all.

I want to start another plan because I like making my way through with some structure but I’m quite picky and I still haven’t found one to stick with! The last few I have done were chronological so they went through verses in the order that events actually occured which I really enjoyed. They gave a lot of context to the entire biblical story which is important when you consider God has had the universe in his hands since before time and continues to tell the story as He pleases today. I’m also not a fan of plucking out verses willy nilly and ‘studying’ them or applying them without proper context. I find that approach leads to a really superficial and inaccurate view of who God is, one that implies He will give us what we think we need and keep us away from things we think are bad because ‘He will make all things work together for our good’. While he will make all things work together for good, our idea of good is surely different to what the Alpha and Omega knows to be truly good!

I attempted to find a reading plan last week but got the idea into my head that a hard-copy book would make for more effective study and have been making excuses since to try and get to the Christian bookstore (my husband and I share a car). It’s funny how our mind can hijack us into wanting shortcuts and how we’ve been taught that buying stuff will make us feel good! So finally I have reached the point where I simply must begin something. After googling ‘best personal bible study plan’ I found the ‘One Thing Alone’ blog which suggested a few women-focussed studies I didn’t mind the sound of. Most of the search results and suggested plans look US based rather than Australian based and I’m not sure why that deters me a little because the word is the word!

I’ve landed on ‘She Reads Truth’ which I have been following on Instagram for some time so it looks familiar and has a 6 week study on Romans which I have decided is a good book to challenge me personally. It’s also an aesthetic webpage which I’m happy to admit impacts my first impressions and desire to take part! Their linen bible is the one I mentioned on my Wish List too, but I have a perfectly beautiful bible sitting at home so I really don’t need another. Perhaps as a half-yearly reward if I can get myself back into good reading habits?! So here we go, today I begin Romans!

Track

Track

I did a monster post for my business today so this is going to short and sharp! I thought I would just quickly do an update of how my 2018 focus list (most people would call them resolutions but that word has such negative connotations that I don’t want to use it!) is tracking.

First up, my daily yoga practise (I googled it and it’s frustrating me that I still can’t figure out if it’s ‘practise’ or ‘practice’. Help?). I’m doing the ‘True’ 30 day series for free from YouTube channel ‘Yoga with Adriene’. I’ve been doing her free sessions for over a year so I didn’t just pick a random YouTuber to kick off this habit, I have developed quite the soft spot for her and think she’s a great teacher and advocate for yoga. Anyway, I’m enjoying it and more importantly I can already feel some muscular changes. My neck and shoulders are both loosening and strengthening up and I find myself correcting my posture inadvertently (#mindfulness). I’m find it really difficult to know what day I’m up to for some reason, so I think I’ve done day 10 and I’ve missed 3 days so far but did a double session one day so I’m only 2 days behind. I’m finding it too intense to do a run and a yoga session in the same day, so I’ve given myself permission to skip the days I run. I did part of Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge last year and found it a lot easier than this series, so I like that she’s changed things up (or I’m just in worse shape than this time last year?) and I’m feeling challenged. It also kinda just hurts.

I haven’t managed to curb my snoozing habit so I have yet to practise in the morning which I’m feeling a little fail about. I’m thinking I’ll set myself a one week challenge of doing my daily practise first thing when I wake up and seeing if it’s all it’s cracked up to be. I’ll keep you posted because honestly, just the thought of it is already making me upset lol.

Next, my training for a half-marathon. I did a quick 2 km while I was in Sydney after New Years and the 2 x 3 km runs I promised with the aim of increasing my aerobic capacity so that I don’t feel like I’m gasping for air and can have a conversation while moving. I ran today and I still feel a long way off achieving that haha! I felt great today though (I think my hormones are peaking…) and did a long run of 4.6 km. I accidentally ran faster because I felt so good, but I’m supposed to do the long runs slower than short ones to gradually load the body so I’ll have to remember that next time. Also, don’t mistake the fact that I run for running fast. I watched an Insta-story of this fitness chick and she ran over 7 km in 30 minutes. My pb pace for this year is 6 minutes/km so I would do around 5km in 30 minutes (if I’m lucky!).

And lastly my blog! So far, so good – I have posted something every day since Jan 2. I only regret one post so far, the one that was a quote and I can’t remember who it was by. That and maybe my veggie patch post because I feel like it deserved much better text and maybe some images (a time-lapse would have been amazing or at least a before and after!) but I was writing at night and wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. I also woke up with the sorest glutes I have ever experienced. Who knew, gardening is the way to firm peaches. Let me know how your 2018 focuses are tracking!

Wish List

Wish List

Words I never thought would come from my mouth: Firm tofu is one of the greatest things in life.

Remember my first go at making thick-cut tofu chips? I guesstimated they would last two serves but I am just finishing off the last of it as I type and it’s roughly 5 days later! They have joyfully stuck around for longer than expected because I didn’t use them for a proper meal but rather threw them into last minute lunches all week and they are so perfect for it. They beef up (haha, the irony!) salads and taste so good cold which means I can literally throw them in my food jar with whatever I find in my fridge and be good to go for the day!

Most people’s wish lists consist of the latest tech gadget or maybe a grand holiday escape but you’re about to be introduced to my second unconventional wish list item which I ticked off this year (find out what my first wish list item was here) – an insulated food jar! Yeah, I know that’s a weird thing to put on a wish list but wait until you hear what else is on there. I keep my list on my phone under my reminders and currently it lists 3 specific beauty products, a bible, protein powder, a few Muji items and a stay at an AirBnb I’ve been eyeing off for years. Being on a tight budget and wanting to keep my possessions minimal means I avoid impulse buying like the plague and I’ve developed my little ‘wish list strategy’ which has helped save money, be more intentional and stop purchasing things I don’t need (as well as the feelings of regret that always follow). Basically how to develop the traits of a minimalist lifestyle! I thought I would share it in case anyone is hoping to achieve the same things.

It’s important to remember that it takes time to build new habits and develop new patterns of thoughts, so make sure you take it easy if you’re going to try this out. The benchmark I always use to measure how far I’ve come in lifestyle changes is the day I got married which was just over 3 years ago. It was a significant change in my life since it was also my first move out of home and I can often think back to certain behaviours and compare the differences before and after that milestone. For example, I know that before marriage I didn’t know what minimalism was and I wouldn’t have considered myself a minimalist at all. I wasn’t a huge spender, mostly because I was saving up for the wedding, but rewind another 3 years and I would call myself a compulsive shopper. I studied for over 6 years either full or part time and had several casual jobs which were 100% disposable income since I was living at home and my saving habits were non-existent! I would buy things for the sake of it and I made an art form of accumulating stuff.

Being the first time my husband and I had lived out of our family homes, we put most of the homewares and appliances on our wedding gift registry and bought the bigger items with the wishing well funds our guests had generously gifted us. I remember my mother in law passing on a comment from another family member that we didn’t have enough items on our gift registry but we were pretty intentional about only putting things we thought we really needed (for example a kettle and toaster) and staying away from ‘nice to have’ items (for example a food processor or a punch set, unless of course you are a daily punch drinker). It is my in-law’s tradition for the extended family to purchase pieces from the same fine dinner set [think Royal Doulton or Vera Wang fancy-pants stuff] as the wedding gift to the married couple, but I told them I didn’t want a fine dinner set because I didn’t want something I wouldn’t use day to day and would feel obligated to keep forever in a cupboard somewhere collecting dust. In hindsight I could have exercised more tact in my execution but I stand by my reasoning 100%! (Perhaps I was more minimalist at the time than I realised…) Anyway, I think the point of the paragraph was that it takes time to create change and for me it has taken over 5 years to develop this ‘wish list’ approach to purchasing things.

The first thing I do when I go shopping is not go shopping. I’m not trying to be a smart-arse but this is hands-down the best bit of advice I can offer you! 5 years ago my then-boyfriend and I would go to shops when we were bored on the weekend. Today, I would rather be anywhere else! Shopping is the most nonsensical (non)hobby modern society has developed. I mean think about it, buying things from a shop is not a hobby! I spend as little time as possible in a shopping centre and I’m better off for it. On the occasion I do find myself in one, I am always overwhelmed by the number of people casually, aimlessly and unintentionally wasting their precious hours on earth looking at and spending money on items they will likely throw away or regret buying in a week. If you shop online, same deal – stop it! Go outside, read a book or find a real hobby. This first step is probably the most important because the less time you spend shopping the less you feel inclined to ‘keep up the with jones’’ (first with fashion, tech and homewares and later with bigger ‘life’ things – houses, careers and children!) and it frees up the head space to think about what you really want to do with your life.

What do I do when I see something I reallllllllly want to buy? I don’t buy it. Revolutionary right?! Here’s where you can start your wish list! Instead of buying the item straight away, put it on your wish list straight away. Nine times out of ten you’ll forget about it when you get home and you can simply delete it from your list. Other times, you might think about it for awhile. A few days could pass and if you’re still thinking about it, it might be time to sit down and really think about it. How long will I use this item? Do I need it immediately? Where am I going to store it? If it’s clothing, what will I wear it with? Where will I wear it? If I don’t buy this item, could I save up for something better? A good habit is to think of things in terms of your time. How many hours did I have to work to pay for this? How many hours could I not work if I don’t buy this? If you’re big on ethical business like I am, ask the question – who is my money going to if I purchase this product? I hold a mean grudge against negative corporations so this is a big one for me!

I don’t literally sit down and think about all those things for hours. The thoughts simply cross my mind every now and then and before I know it a few weeks have passed, sometimes even months. That alone eliminates the ‘urgency’ card because you clearly didn’t need the item urgently if you’ve managed without it until now! If I am still thinking about how nice it would be to have ‘x’ I start doing some research. If the word ‘research’ turns you off, call it something else. Browse online for similar items and gauge the price point or variety that is available.

A good example is my food jar purchase. I’ve known for around 6 months that I wanted a food jar to bring lunch to work without having to heat it up and without fear of contracting salmonella because there isn’t a fridge available (which I think is illegal for a workplace by the way). I had seen them in shops before but wanted to make sure I got a reputable one that was good-looking and I was pretty sure I could get one on sale (because almost everything goes on sale at some point!). I had a quick look online and saw that Catch of the Day or other online homeware stores offered discounts daily but the postage was a killer. Also that they may not be telling the truth with the RRP (recommended retail price) so for example they could splash a big ’SAVE 30%’ sign on a jar with a RRP59.99 which takes the sale price to 41.99 and then add a postage fee of $10 for a total of 51.99. In actual fact the RRP is only 49.99 and you could have bought it for full price from a shop with more peace of mind and less $ if it was on sale. I’m also slightly jaded by online shopping since the last few things I’ve purchased have left me high and dry, the most recent one being three 32gb Sandisk USB sticks I purchased from an eBay store to use as backups. They came in perfect packaging and I made sure to purchase what I thought was a reputable brand only to find all 3 came up with ‘error’ signs when inserted into my laptop! Coming from an eBay store in China, I honestly didn’t bother trying to get my money back though the more I think it, I really should. Grr.

Back to the food jar quest. By researching online I found out that the different sizes were measured in millilitres and I had no idea what 400ml looked like in jar form so I kept an eye out for them over a few weeks and got to feel the differences between brands and materials. On the road trip home from Byron my husband and I stopped in Albury for lunch and ducked into a locally owned camping store and voila – I found a 470ml (perfect lunch size) Thermos (reputable brand with a good warranty) jar that came with a foldable spoon (extremely handy because I have a knack for not packing cutlery) in a slick textured metal design (good looking) at 30% off (on sale!) from a local small business. I have used it at least every second day since being back and it has helped with the vego journey too by encouraging me to pack leftovers!

Over time, most of the things on my wish list disappear because I have taken the time to think through how much value they would really add to my life and the truth for most materials possessions is that they add very little. The more you are mindful in this way, the easier it gets and the more you realise there are very few things we actually need in life! For the items that stay on the list long enough and are ‘assessed’ as being value-adding, I usually request it as a gift for a special occasion (think birthday or Christmas and yes, I would be completely satisfied receiving something as random as a food jar for my birthday!) which saves me even more money and receiving unwanted items during those times!

This could either sound incredibly ‘poor’ to you or somewhat clever and I like to think it’s a good mix of both! I have a very low disposable income which naturally limits what I can spend on non-essential items (a term open to interpretation in itself) but I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by using my ‘wish list strategy’. If you couldn’t already tell I’m a big fan of The Minimalists (‘living meaningful lives with less’) and I contribute their podcast binge as a big part of my journey toward mindfulness, intentionality and ultimately a fulfilling life.

Homegrown

Homegrown

One of my lifelong dreams came true today – I got a veggie patch!!! Well, I share a veggie patch, but for the past few years it’s literally been at the top of my wish list to be able to grow my own vegetables! I’m currently living in a unit with a small courtyard out back, so while I did manage some herbs and greens in small planter boxes when I first moved in, it’s not ideal for getting enough sunlight or accomodating anything larger such as vegetables.

The patch I share is under my mother-in-law’s name (C) at a local community garden and she offered to share it with me after I seriously expressed my dream over dinner (the same dinner my husband and I broke the news that we were now vegetarian so perhaps it held more weight!) and she had a key cut for me within a few days – bless her soul!

Today my husband and I met her at the garden for a little orientation (introduction to the plot, how to access the communal tools in the shed and the bathrooms and which herbs you could help yourself to) before spending a couple of hours weeding our way through a small area we wanted to crown our own! Our plot is a decent size, 3 x 9m in total, and has C’s vegetables splayed over it, a little disorganised for my liking but I’m not in a position to complain! The neighbouring plot hasn’t a single weed and the vegetables sit in neat rows and climbing structures, so I feel like I have something to work toward.

Next steps, researching which vegetables would be best for this time of year in the Australian climate and planning how to successfully yield some food in the next few months!

Nourish

Nourish

I had in mind to do a run diary in this post but being another day off (it looks like I have quite a few of these, doesn’t it?!) and keen to try out more vegetarian recipes I found myself spending a fair chunk of the day in the kitchen! I had a late start to the morning and did a naughty thing in bed (not the naughty thing you’re thinking of/that I should probably do more often with my husband) checking Instagram before finally getting up around 9. Yes, what a luxury for a weekday! It’s one that I feel super guilty about because I dream about being one of those successful people who start their day on or before 6am and dominate their life ambitions when really I’m one of those people who complains about not having enough time to do a daily yoga practise, read a book a month or dig into the latest business idea I want to execute! In any case, I’ve found that loathing myself for sleeping in only deepens the ditch I’m trying to climb out of so instead I’m trying to appreciate the days I have scheduled off for myself and not feel obliged to achieve anything other than a  calm and relaxed state by the end of the day!

 

With 35 degrees forecast for the day and plans to see a movie in the evening with my sister and mum, I knocked out my second 3 km run after breakfast (an almond piccolo latte with peanut butter on toast). The sun was already harsh and I resembled a beetroot afterward but my pride held on just long enough to clock the distance I promised you! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about check into this post where I researched the framework of training to achieve my goal of running a half marathon. The short term goal is to hold a conversation easily while running and today’s jog felt pretty far from that! I just have to stick to the plan of running every second day to increase my cardiovascular fitness, even if it’s only for a short distance or alternating between running and fast walking. I got into bullet journalling last year so I will definitely start a ‘running stats’ page to track my progress and share it with you when I’ve collected more data.

I made a smoothie post-run made from frozen banana, strawberries, chia seeds, frozen chopped spinach, about a tablespoon of vanilla pea protein, almond milk and water. It was honestly the ugliest smoothie I have ever made! It was a light brown colour and did not look appetising in the least, but it hit the spot nutritionally. I received a NutriBullet from my parents the Christmas of 2015 and since then it’s been a huge influence over choosing to consume more fresh ingredients over nasty snacks so I would highly recommend getting one if you’re hoping to achieve the same thing! I’ve also become good at drinking more water since intentionally leaving one of those Coca Cola glass freebies from McDonalds (memoirs of a past life…) on the bench top and reminding myself to drink water each time I see it.

After fluffing around with my bible and searching for the right bible reading guide for 2018 (any recommendations? I’ve read through the entire bible twice – once from cover to cover while reading ‘How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour and once chronologically with the Bible App’s ‘Reading God’s Story: One-Year Chronological Plan’ and I’m looking to delve deeper into a specific book or theme, I just don’t know which book or theme!) it was nearing lunchtime and I realised I still hadn’t made the hummus I had been soaking chickpeas for since Tuesday. Naturally I wanted to consume the hummus freshly made but didn’t really have any accompanying meal items so I got to work! I roasted (free!) organic zucchini’s from my mother in-law’s veggie patch and two of three of the yellow capsicums (peppers) I purchased for a total of $1 at the market on Wednesday with olive oil, salt and some dried oregano then decided since I had the oven on (did I mention one of ‘Strength Finder’ results was maximising?) I picked some kale leaves to make into chips (I got a big bunch for $2.50 again from the market) and mixed some spices to try the chickpea recipe I found on Minimalist Baker (since I had put some aside separate from the hummus). The chickpeas went a little further than I would have liked in my oven but I was still happy with the result and will share some images when I try the rest of kale salad recipe. The corn chips were leftover in my pantry from literally 3 months ago and the cucumber I chopped up was from my $1 haul on Sunday. (Oh my gosh, I only literally just realised I had planned to put some tofu chips in too and I completely forgot!) I was really pleased with the complete meal and only discovered it was called a ‘nourish bowl’ after I watched ‘Sarah’s Day’ (my latest ‘health-inso’ discovery)’s latest vlog!

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Honestly, I have found myself getting a little hungry either late in the afternoon or before bedtime since only eating home-cooked vegetarian meals but I find this completely normal because a) I am consuming less calories than I would have previously consuming meat and b) I’m so early in my veg journey that I haven’t quite found the right portion size and mix of food groups to create the perfect balance for my body type just yet. I also have a very fast metabolism (my husband has been eating exactly the same meals as myself (perhaps even less) and has not felt hungry at all!) which has been even more active since I’ve started exercising more frequently, so I’m trying to take notice of what’s happening with my body and adjust appropriately. For far I think I need to increase the portion size of my meals overall (more leaves, more vegetables and intentionally loading a full plate and committing to finishing it) and increasing the good carbs I put in each meal. I have a feeling sweet potato is going to be my new best friend!

Just in finishing, I took a few snaps and decided it might be nice to share these and the recipes I use via Pinterest so you can now find me on there as Honest Her Blog. In setting up my profile I needed a logo image so I had a little scribble and thought I would include a progress shot below! I’ll also use it to update my WordPress profile so things are moving along on my little blog and I’m really enjoying the journey. Feel free to get in touch if you try any of the recipes I’ve posted about and if you have any tips for my vegetarian/half-marathon journey!

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Home-cooked

Home-cooked

I wrote a post for my business today so I’m going to keep this short but interesting by introducing my first few blog images! Yesterday was my first go at cooking a vegetarian meal and it was good fun! Because I work at a market I’ve made a sneaky habit of shutting the shop 10 minutes early on a Sunday afternoon because all the fresh food stalls heavily discount produce that isn’t worth keeping until the next market day (Wednesday). It’s not ideal for ‘list shopping’ but is perfect for grabbing herbs, leafy greens and seasonal fruit for less than half the usual price. I would normally use it within the next couple of days too though I did impulsively buy a packet of rocket which I didn’t check properly and didn’t last the car ride home!

I managed to pick up basil, mint, parsley, sorrel, rocket, baby cos, cherry tomatoes, celery stalks, a punnet of strawberries and two mangoes all for $1 each. I learned from my mother to use what was in the fridge even when trying follow a recipe sometimes, because the cost of buying all the ingredients can really add up. I also don’t mind the challenge of figuring out what to cook from limitations. I made my first batch(?) of basil pesto which turned out great despite using sunflower seeds (I think…I’m still not 100% sure what they are since I so eagerly poured them from their packet into a neat little jar for the pantry awhile ago and failed to label it…) in place of pine nuts! I mixed it through with pasta, cherry tomatoes (a few had gone bad but the price still made them worth it), cucumber, herbs and canned corn kernels. As a side salad I chopped baby cos and sorrel (which I had to google because I had never heard of it before) with herbs and an Italian herb salad dressing I found online. Overall, the first home-cooked vego meal was a success! I regret not taking a few snaps of these dishes too because they turned out quite aesthetic!

Today was my day off work so I eagerly tried out a Moroccan lentil recipe I found via the Minimalist Baker on Instagram. She used the lentils to stuff roasted eggplants so I also bought a couple of those on Sunday to try it out but it was nearing lunchtime today so I thought I’d see how they tasted on toast! I conveniently had just enough Moroccan seasoning I had bought awhile back from the Queen Victoria Market so I used that instead of all the individual spices and it turned out great! I only had a couple of big spoonfuls on the one piece of toast so I did get hungry a couple of hours later and snacked on a banana, almonds and a short black which hit the spot, before doing my first of the two 3 km runs that I promised you! I think I said I would get both done by today but honestly I struggled to fit a run in earlier with the daily yoga practices (and still not being able to curb my snoozing habit!) so I might need until the end of the week.

I took out some firm tofu yesterday that was I going to cook up but didn’t end up using so I maximised my downtime today and popped them on the pan! The result is below and they were incredibly easy to achieve. I followed this recipe except that I wanted thick-cut chip shapes rather than slices because I had eaten a very similar dish on Saturday when I was out with friends (for $11.50 if I remember correctly!). This packet of organic firm tofu was around $3 from Aldi and it made enough for 2 servings I think! I also seem to have inherited cooking as a stress-reliever from my mum because I’ve started to really enjoy zoning out in the kitchen.

I used my Canon G7X Mark ii to snap these and don’t have any photography experience – I just enjoy having a play! I keep it on auto most of the time because I haven’t learnt how to use it well yet, and honestly I think it captures images beautifully on it’s own! I quickly edited them on iPhoto and made the resolution truly tiny because I’m on a free WordPress plan that limits my uploads. If it annoys enough people I’ll make the investment but until then! (Turns out keeping things short makes for long blog posts. Perhaps this blog a day thing is already keeping my mind ticking longer!)

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