Monthly Archives: July 2012

Finding Serenity in My Sundays

There are many ways to feel inspired. My biggest source of inspiration is dogs.
Whenever I’m in a funky mood or feel stressed, I go to the park and watch all the dogs.

Although it may seem strange that dogs inspire me more than anything else, I have learnt a lot from watching them, and here’s how:

Self Satisfaction
Dogs never worry about their appearance or compare themselves to other dogs.
They are grateful and satisfied with their looks. They believe that every part of them is beautiful.
They will spread their legs, poo and wee in front of others, get grey hair, put on weight and the way they see themselves never changes.
Now I’m not suggesting that you use the side walk as a toilet (that would be illegal) but we shouldn’t feel embarrassed or insecure about how we were made.

 

 Equality
No matter what size, sexuality, colour, height, social status, religion or how much money you have, dogs will treat everyone equally. Everyone has their own unique body, preferences, opinions, style and lifestyle choices. Being different doesn’t make someone better or worse than others because they don’t follow a certain expectation or trend.

Love & forgiveness
Dogs are known for their unconditional love. It’s truly inspiring and heart warming. Not only are they experts for providing love, they have also mastered forgiveness. When I go anywhere without my dog, he gets extremely grumpy and annoyed with me. As soon as I come in the door, all is forgotten and I am smothered with love and kisses.

Healthy Living
Dogs are very in tune with their bodies needs.
When dogs are sick, they don’t rely on antibiotics to feel better, they use natural resources. Dogs will feed on grass, drink plenty of water and have plenty of rest.

Play
As we get older , playing become non-existent. We forget to set aside time to let loose, have fun and play. Having fun and is extremely important for our health. Dogs play right up to a very old age. This is something we should all be doing, regardless of how old or busy we are. We need to make time.

My dog (cosmo) came into my life when I was very sick. My parents said it would teach me that you have to eat in order to grow strong and healthy, just like a puppy. He has taught me so much more.

Do you have a dog? If so what have they taught you?

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Filed under Body Image, Serenity

Update: Wellness Journey

It’s been a couple of months now since I have moved out of the city and into a small town close to many beautiful beaches and land to start my journey of health and happiness.

Since then my anxiety has reduced dramatically, I’ve become more in tune with myself and my body has become stronger and healthier.

The goal is to find my serenity and live my best authentic life.

The first step was to look after my health, as I have caused quite a lot of damage through my eating disorder.

Although my journey is to find peace within all areas of my life, I decided to start with just the main priority instead of doing everything at once and getting overwhelmed.

Coming to accept the fact that I need to put on weight, and keep it on without stressing and relapsing is one of the hardest things I have had to do.

The other day I was having a “moment” and let myself have a big cry. I started to ask myself questions to get to the bottom of why I am so stressed about putting on weight.

I’m obsessed with health yet I have an illness that causes me to fixate on something so unhealthy and dangerous; it doesn’t make sense.

I realised that I love curves on women. Its makes them women and not girls anymore, but eating disorders are like a drug; they take control of your thoughts.

Just like a drug, I have had to come off this unhealthy lifestyle and the symptoms from the withdrawal are what I’d imagine to be quite similar to those coming off a certain drug.

The urge to return to the habit heightens to a point where your body starts to ache and you feel like you can’t possibly go on without it, but the urge eventually passes and you have won the battle.

The urges continue to come back but the longer you abstain from the habit the easier the urges pass.

Just like any addict the temptation of returning to the “drug” may always be there but with dedication to fight for your freedom, you can say goodbye to the past because the future is clean.

Within the two months of starting my wellness journey I have abstained from the urges to befriend my eating disorder and have managed to put on weight which has increased my health.

As the weight is going on, Negative Nelly is having a bloody field day in my head but I don’t plan on giving in.

Although I have been winning my battles, the anxiety and stress is causing me to feel anxious and unmotivated, which is why I feel that it’s time to incorporate the next part of my wellness journey.

I am excited to tell you about this next step and the details will be up this time next week!

Finding Serenity in My Sundays post will be on my best source of inspiration. Till then be kind to yourself.

Lisa x

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Pumpshrooms

When I first decided to go vegan, Pumpshrooms was the first recipe I created. Since then this dish has been served to many guests and become a regular meal of mine.

I created Pumpshrooms (pumpkin stuffed mushrooms) on a night when a few friends were coming over. I wanted to show them how easy, inexpensive and how seriously tasty vegan meals can be.

I cook this dish at least once a week and I love serving them to friends and guests as they always compliment me on how delicious they are.

I love pumpkin the way others love chocolate; I can’t seem to get enough! If we had to get technical, I’d say Kent Pumpkin is my favourite because it’s sweeter than other types and stays moist when roasted.

What really makes these Pumpshrooms stand out is the velvet texture of the pumpkin puree.

To create this texture you will need to use a high speed blender or hand stick blender. I have tried this recipe with all different types of pumpkin, but Kent pumpkin created the perfect texture.

Ingredients

2 Portobello mushrooms

300g-400g Pumpkin (Kent if available)

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1Tb raw walnuts

Directions

  1. Turn oven on to 180 degree C
  2. Slice pumpkin 2cm thick and place on a tray and transfer into the oven
  3. Peel mushrooms and remove the stem
  4. Once pumpkin is cooked through, blend pumpkin with a hand blender or high speed blender
  5. Spread pumpkin evenly into the mushrooms
  6. Sprinkle walnuts and cinnamon on top
  7. Place mushrooms back into the hot oven and cook for roughly 10 mins

I absolutely love this dish and I’m sure you will too. It’s everything I look for in a recipe; simple, inexpensive, quick and most importantly delicious!

I’d love to know what your first meal you created was in the comments below!

Lisa x

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Filed under Entree & Sides, Recipes

Finding Serenity in My Sundays

When I first started this blog, I promised myself that I would be 100% honest throughout my recovery and my journey of finding my own authentic life. I would include everything; the good, the bad and the embarrassing.

You may not be aware that I am a compulsive stress-head and have suffered from anxiety my whole life.

Panic attacks are nothing new to me. Sometimes there doesn’t have to be a reason for me to be filled with anxiety and fear. Often when I have full blown panic attacks, my mind and past events are usually the cause.

My panic attacks often result in my hyperventilating on the floor with all of my muscles cramping up. This is unbelievably painful and the pain from the attack can linger for days. This also makes a constant reminder of why I panicked in the first place.

So that girl on the floor, looking like a fish out of water, that probably was me.

I am proud to tell you that I have now gone two and a half months without a full blown panic attack (high five to that!)

Some days are worse than others but this is my journey of finding my serenity and learning from the challenges that come my way.

Finding my serenity when my anxiety is going through the roof is one of the hardest things I have had to work on.

When I saw a therapist for advice, some of the exercises that were given to me sounded great in theory, but when I was the middle of an attack, they didn’t often help. The exercises that were given to me were better for an everyday practice.

Halfway through last year, I was at the gym when a panic attack started to occur. I tried everything I could to stop it before it resulted in me being on the floor.

So there I was starting to hyperventilate whilst talking to myself out loud saying “I am calm, I am safe”. While I was trying to convince myself that I was calm and safe, the person next to me was wishing they had chosen another machine on the other side of the room.

I can’t exactly tell you how I ended up on the gym’s shower floor hugging my knees with cold water pouring down onto me, but it happened. When I finally realised I was freezing, was when I realised where I was and that I wasn’t in pain. My anxiety didn’t escalate into an attack.

Though I have never told anyone this story before (feel honoured peeps!) it’s something that often comes to mind when I’m having a stressful day.

I may have ended up on the shower floor and had to go home looking like a drowned rat, but the moral to the story is that, the impossible became possible. I won against my attack (I was able to stop it) and this gave me hope that I can once and for all overcome my life-long challenge.

I was willing to fight my battles and that day I chose the outcome.

I have worked on my serenity every single day since the episode at the gym. I have worked hard to not only stop anxiety in its tracks, but to also prevent it and allow myself to be free. Everyone deserves to be free, and that includes me.

Since working on my serenity, my anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue anymore. I can’t tell you how much of a difference this has made in my life.

Sundays are the one day per week on which I try not to have any plan. The day is filled with inspiration and motivation for the coming week. It is something that I have had to prioritise over other social events because a day of getting back to reality and focusing on my wellbeing is extremely beneficial.

Because I have been doing this for a long time now and feel it is something I will always do, I want to be able to share my Sundays with you.

Each Sunday I will write a post under the title of: Finding Serenity in My Sundays.

It will be filled with inspiration, motivation and tips to help you find serenity for the week ahead.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this in the comments below.

Lisa x

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5 Things I Love

For today’s post, I thought I would share with you the 5 things that I love and can’t get enough of.

1.       Dressing Gown Cuddles

My bundle of joy (Cosmo) jumps up and has a morning cuddle with me, while we are both in our dressing gowns. He falls asleep and snores within seconds. How is that possible!?

2.       Green Smoothies

Green Smoothies are like a replacement of coffee for me. I can’t go a day without one.

I love how fresh and energizing they are, with the bonus of adding more greens into my day in the easiest, tastiest way possible.
My favorite blend at the moment is: 1 frozen Banana, ½ cup frozen Blueberries, huge handful of Spinach, 1 tsb Spirulina, 5 drops of Stevia liquid and 1.5 cups of water.

3.       Surrounding Beaches


Even though it’s winter in Australia at the moment, we have been lucky enough to have had some sun during day.
I have been making the most of the sunshine by going to the beaches around my local area.
From previously living in the city to where I am now, I am amazed by how naturally beautiful these beaches are.
No sky rises, trees are still surrounding the beaches like they always have, and the breath taking views.

4.       Lets Pretend This Never Happened By Jenny Lawson

I have recently finished this book and I can honestly say that I have never laughed so much in my life.

You may be familiar with Jenny’s blog: The Bloggess
She has a way with words and makes the most horrifying and inappropriate things hilarious. I cant wait till her second book to be released!

5.       The Wellness Warrior – Interview with Dr Sherrill Sellman

As soon as I watched this interview, I sent it to all of my girlfriends straight away.

Because of my journey, I have had problems with my menstrual cycle. This is something I had been stressed about for a long time now.
This interview confirmed some answers for me and educated me on a few things that I wasn’t aware of. Every woman should watch this interview.

I’d love to know in the comments below what you are loving at the moment?
If you are a green smoothie junkie, how long ago was your first one?

Lisa x

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Filed under Recipes, Serenity

All The Little Things

Last week I came across two blogs that I haven’t read before. The two posts I read from these bloggers got me thinking about how little we acknowledge our achievements and our greatness.

We have been brought up in a society where we don’t like to talk about and be proud of our achievements that we make in our everyday lives, in fear of seeming full-of-ourselves.

Because we don’t acknowledge and celebrate our achievements, it has created a society in which people feel that they can never be good enough and can never achieve.

Cait from Cait Plus Ate created a post suggesting that we write down all the amazing things about ourselves.
I did this exercise and while it felt strange listing the reasons why I’m amazing, when I read over my list I felt pretty damn proud.

Some points on my list were the small things I do, such as reading books and some points were life changing such as eating a vegan diet and living a toxic free lifestyle.

Even though not all of my points were life changing and dramatic, it doesn’t make them any less important compared to the others.

Meg from A Dash of Meg supports this wonderfully in her HFF (High Five Friday).

As I was reading through the High Fives that went out, I was thinking that there are some achievements on the list that I have accomplished, yet I have never acknowledged those achievements or patted myself on the back.

It was heart warming to see High Fives going out for everyday achievements and it is something that I will now incorporate into my everyday life.

When we allow ourselves to appreciate our greatness, our outlook on our day changes dramatically for the better.

Today I went to the gym and increased my dumb-bell weight by 1kg. As I left the gym I realised my achievement and allowed myself to feel proud.  It may be only 1kg heavier but its 1kg more than what I could have lifted last week and that needs celebrating!

My day instantly became brighter and more satisfying once I allowed myself to recognise and feel proud of myself.

We don’t need to break a record or compare our achievements to others, to allow ourselves to feel proud of what we have achieved. We are living our own authentic lives and every new experience and challenge we come up against, makes us a stronger and wiser person.

At the end of each day, sit down and think about what you have achieved that day. Perhaps you finished your work on time or got up early and went to the gym instead of sleeping in. Allow yourself to feel proud of what you have accomplished.

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Filed under Serenity, Social Pressure

Why Vegan Parents Aren’t Selfish

I was recently asked whether I would force my kids to be vegan.

First of all I don’t have any kids nor do I even have a partner,so it baffled me when I was asked this question. Yes, I understand that I was being asked “when” or “if” I have kids in the future but to me it seems a little inappropriate to begin with as I could see them ready to pounce if I were to say yes.

So I thought the best way to answer this question was by saying that I will feed them exactly what the government has recommend because after all don’t they have our health and wellbeing as their number one priority?

Mucus from infected cows utters on their cereal for breakfast. Highly refined sugar coated muesli bars mid morning to help them fall asleep in class. 
Toxic deli meat sandwiches on processed wonder white bread for lunch and mixture of hormones and antibiotics to go with their serve of vegies for dinner.

was then given a frustrated look after saying this, which reminded me that I completely forgot dessert, so I explained that of course I would feed them more hormones and mucus to go with their ice cream!

This led to an eye roll and a heavy sigh (which was totally unexpected since I said exactly what they wanted to hear. You’re welcome!).

The truth is that although I have visions of a handsome vegan raw food chef on a healthy groomed stallion knocking on my doorthe chances are that he will come by with a muddy truck and a steak in the back ready to turn charcoal on the BBQ.

Regardless of what diet choices “the father” eats my intentions will be the same: tnourish, educate and to support them through their own authentic life.

I won’t be seen cooking a steak for dinner purely because I don’t eat it and I gag at the thought of touching it. If my children choose to try or eat meat I certainly won’t disapprove of them eating certified organic meat if their father cooks it for them.

I believe everyone deserves to make their own life decisionson their dietary choices when given all of the information(except the certified organic, free ranged part as added toxins and hormones is something I truly wouldn’t want my children to consume).

I was told that if I only cook my children vegan foods because that’s what I wanted to eat, that would be selfish. Though, if Iwere a meat eater and cooked them steak when they preferred walnut taco mince instead, that would be fine and clearly the kids are just fussy.

I have never liked meat. Not only because of the taste but I couldn’t seem to chew it so most of it would be spat into a serviette when no one was looking. I had to try to eat it because that’s what my parents liked and wanted to eat for dinner. So although I preferred stir fried veggies for dinner but was given a t-bone steak instead, why weren’t my parents criticized and called selfish?

My parents weren’t called selfish because they believed I needed steak for iron and protein and weren’t aware of various other foods that could supply these nutrients. Eating meat was considered “normal” in our society and also because no one expects parents to make a different dish for dinner depending on each child’s preferred preferences.

So why are parents called selfish if they cook a nutritionally balanced meal without any animal products because they don’t like or believe it is benefitting their children’s health to leave out these foods? Why is it different from a meat eating family forcing their kids to eat meat because of their beliefs?

Even though there have been several studies to support feeding children on a balanced plant based diet , reporting it is extremely healthy and safe compared to a diet rich in animal based foods, there is still a stigma for the word vegan.

Recently I have seen more articles and news programs talking about the benefits of a plant based vegan diet and lifestyle. Many articles are about previous cancer suffers who have cured themselves by changing their dietary habits to vegan. More studies have also revealed hidden toxins from hormones in animal based products.

This brings hope that people will become aware of what a vegan diet actually consists of. The false claims of eating nothing but “rabbit food” and tofu will be replaced with a huge selection of foods that look and taste no different fromany other foods, but have the added health benefits of a vegan whole food diet.

Unfortunately the stigma and the false claims towards a vegan lifestyle won’t be changing any time soon.  It is slowly being recognised with more and more people taking on this beneficial lifestyle approach.

So by the time my raw food chef sweeps me off my feet hopefully there will be more awareness of how beneficial a whole food vegan diet is for children and adults that I won’t have to defend my choices of what food  I serve to my family.

 I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Lisa x

 

 

 

 

 

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