Monday, April 30, 2012

End of April Blog Madness!

Oh gosh, look how many days I've missed!  I have to start this post with a handy hint to the universe; If someone offers you sinusitis, say NO!  Say NO to sinusitis!  They should have a government awareness campaign on this shizzle.  Total wipe out.  Anyway, my energy and extreme enthusiasm for everything is back, which is fabulous - hopefully complete recovery of my painful head and dizzy spells follows soon.  I really want to get back into life!  I know everything is still happening out there!

I seem to be using excessive exclamation marks lately.  I apologise, but I can't help it.

Onto the catch up.
Day 25
Third person post. Write about a memory you have but describe it  using the third person.

I have decided to write about my morning, as has been the routine for the past few weeks at home.

Natalie woke up to the sound of M's alarm.  Nokia think they have mastered a subtle alarm noise, but nothing is subtle at 5.50am.  She can hear the fan start whirring from the ensuite and a thin stream of brighter than usual light is highlighting the cat on the end of her bed.  She can feel how cold it is; the heat lamp must be on.  She turns over and tries for more sleep, thoughts spinning in her head, "Will I be able to get to work today?  Maybe I should start a small graphic art business.  Do I still have the skills?  I wonder what I'll have for breakfast?".  M emerges from the ensuite and she has still not drifted back to sleep.  She hears the fridge door open and the kettle boil from the kitchen, still no sleep.  She sees M walk back into the ensuite to brush his teeth, still no sleep.  He kisses her good bye and the garage door closes, still no sleep.  It's 7.15am.  She stands up and instantly feels dizzy; no work today.  Message to the boss, "Morning R, still no luck, off to the docs again today.  Still hopeful of a return this week!  See you soon'.  She is thankful she has a great boss.
She wonders whether to get up and shower or go back to sleep.  Sleep, she decides, and for another hour fails to nod off.  OK, time to read.  She is loving The New Optimum Nutrition Bible and is already half way through.  She will be sad when she finishes it.
It's 9am, she is hungry and she needs to take her antibiotic 30 minutes before food.  She thinks of how much she hates that she's taking antibiotics again, swallows the tablet and goes back to reading.

9.30am.  Natalie walks into the kitchen, puts the kettle on, puts a Madura green tea bag in a mug, measures half a cup of oats into a bowl, covers them in rice milk and puts them in the fridge.  This is the first time she's had rice milk on oats.
Green tea with email check, facebook glance and twitter scroll.  15 minutes passed and time for breakfast.
Natalie gets out some berries for her oats, spoons a couple of tablespoons of greek yoghurt on top and springs LSA.  "Why did I pay for LSA when I can make it myself?", she thinks.  TV and breakfast.  Nothing is on, surprise surprise.  She promises herself she'll try and get some study done today and wanders over to her laptop.... 'lemon-liv....', and she's blogging.

Day 26
Health tagline. Give yourself, your blog, your condition, or some aspect of your health a tagline. Make sure it’s catchy!

Well, mine would have to be...'Stay well'. 

Failing that, 'Don't just avoid illness, achieve wellness'.

... OK not catchy, but it represents my whole message.

The banner would obviously be a lot lovelier than that.

Day 27
5 Challenges. 5 Small Victories. Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.

OK, I guess this is in relation to my blog, but I will make it about my mission in general which is to make people aware of what they are putting in their body.  The below probably relate less to my readers as, I have found, they generally read as they already have some interest in health, nutrition or whole food.

Good for you?

5 most difficult parts of my health focus;
1.  Helping people understand that just because it's fruit, it does not mean it's healthy.
2.  Helping people realise just how bad sugar is for you and how anything packed with sugar, including 'healthy' things like yoghurt and fruit juice, are not healthy once the white stuff is packed in.
3.  Highlighting to people that I am not about lecturing and living a life of rigid dietary discipline.  I eat how I eat because I enjoy it and yes, I eat chocolate, potato chips, blue cheese, white pasta etc sometimes - but I know exactly what it is doing to my body and what I am eating.  That's what I want for the world!
4.  Finding a balance on the blog and in real life.  I really do find it hard to see those I love making bad diet choices constantly.  Not occassionally, constantly.  Although there are exceptions - even the occasional fast food I see a loved one eat bothers me.  I can't help it!  But I do not judge.

5.  Making people realise weight loss is (physically) not hard!  Mentally challenging, OK, I can understand, but physically it's very simple.
6.  I have to add one more - defending my views.  A lot of people think I am nuts and I get tired of defending myself.

Sally Joseph
Image Cred

5 little victories that keep me going;
1.  Mum has started experimenting with baking excluding sugar and/or butter.  I think it is the highest compliment when your own parents listen to you.
2.  A friend with a chronic condition (not CFS) was helped by my diet advice. 
3.  Several friends have lost significant weight off my (simple!) advice.  
4.  An editor from a segment in The Age (newspaper in Melbourne) saying he liked my blog, massive compliment.
5. Getting in touch with Sally Joseph; Miranda Kerr's nutritionist who also got into the field due to CFS
6. One more - recovering from Chronic Illness!

Day 28

The First Time I… Write a post about the first time you did something. What is it? What was it like? What did you learn from it?

The first time I entered a supermarket after being house bound with CFS for 3 years was AMAZING.  The first thing that struck me was how incredibly awesome it was that all these different fruits and vegetables sourced from farms all over Australia and even all over the world were bought to this one place just so I, little old me, had the option of purchasing them for consumption.  They were so bright in colour, but not as bright as the insane fluoro lights which lined the ceiling.  Have you ever noticed how bright supermarkets are?  Then there's the aisles, oh how many products there are!  I was like a kid in a candy store getting giddy over the different types of pasta you could buy!  I was hyper-aware of all factories, marketing teams, factory workers, sales men etc that was behind everything single product.  All of this just so I could eat!
From that experience, I learnt that we take things for granted.  Pre-illness, I probably would have complained if I went into the supermarket and they didn't have the particular variety of apple I wanted to buy that day, now I think it's amazing that, in Melbourne, I can get pretty much any apple I want - and the ruburb and celeriac are just a few steps away!  I also became very aware of and to an extent, learnt, how much marketing is thrown in our face.  There are no logos or advertisements inside your house, but as soon as you get in your car, there's some on your keys, dashboard, there's a logo on your shirt, you've got a particular brand of shoe, the trolleys are a brand, there's pamphlets, advertising on every product - everything is an ad!  

And that was my first supermarket experience after illness.

I think I will catch up on the rest later, I am getting very tired and writing this!

I am off to the Doctor's again this afternoon.  Wish me luck for a miracle cure!  I literally feel that they could put syringes in my ears & nose & draw something out of my head.  I know they can't and, well, just know, but I can sort of feel it in there and it's a terrible feeling!

See you soon & stay well,

Nat x

PS.  The spacing is a little weird on this post - I can't fix it & have no idea what's going on! x

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rainy Day Catch-Up

Before I say anything at all, I recieved a lot of lovely messages with advice on what to do for sinusitis. You're all absolutely beautiful and I can't thank you enough. I literally have tried every single suggestion (except for a honey & onion suggestion which I keep forgetting to set up) and I super appreciate you taking the time to write them down for me. Sadly, as yet, none of them have provided anything but temporary relief. I did not know a nose could hurt this much and affect the rest of the body so much. I went and had a chat to my manager yesterday morning about what's going on and she was pretty amazingly understanding, so I now feel a lot less stressed about the urgency to get better & am taking it easy. Yes, I am a stress head, I can't help it! I wish I'd had all this time off to do something I enjoy. I certainly haven't had a month, (yes, a month!) off since I was home sick years ago. I wish I was able to enjoy it.

Onto the catch up.. the above is the reason I haven't been posting daily. Yesterday I was writing a uni lab report for 5 hours (it took so long as I felt so horrible) and I had no more will to be on the computer. It's hard because I've lost my appetite as the sinuses are affecting my stomach, so I constantly feel queasy and weak, even if I am forcing meals down.

The first post missed.. day 22;
 "The Things We Forget. Visit and make your own version of a short memo reminder. Where would you post it?"


Ok so, if you can generate a post-it in that blog, I didn't have the patience to find out how. Isn't my mouse-writing adorable? I hate all fonts that attempt to resemble hand writing so this was my only option. As Natalie, queen of stress, who is seriously trying to curb the nasty habit (this blog and my soon to be web site are helping me explore ways of reducing it), I would stick this to my forehead. Wait, no, I can't see my own forehead - perhaps my right hand. I've never been good at relaxing and really do need this constant reminder.

Day 23 asked me to talk about anything I like, so I will share with you some lunches I've been eating while unwell. I've become obsessed with green vegetables and have not been very hungry. Also, apart from the energy being used to recover and fight this off, I've hardly been moving, so I haven't felt like I've needed as much food. Rest assured, some sort of carb in the afternoon followed these to keep my body strong (vitawheats, some toast, oats or rice have been choice. I go for basmati when unwell, I can't stand brown when my tummy is upset for some reason).

Here are the lunches.  Not especially inspiring and all quite similar...


 Day 24 (Gosh, is it the 24th of April already?!) 
 "Health Mascot. Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot"

How silly. Well, this is Mr. Lemon I guess (created from this flickr image). He is a fictional character that represents all things clean, simple, whole, natural and balanced. All he wants is the best for everyone around him. He doesn't need much but gives a lot. He's adaptable. He is strong inside and out, and very thick-skinned. He isn't concerned with how he looks, but more with how he performs. Yes, I am talking about a lemon man I drew in a picture... I feel very silly blogging today.

In other news, I may have sinusitis that has stopped my day to day life for a month and feel terrible, but today I am sipping green tea in my PJs, blogging, while it is freezing and mostly raining outside. Lady Melbourne must have noticed the weather, too, as she posted this lovely print which you can purchase (here) on Etsy;


 I'll leave you with that. Enjoy your Tuesday version of Friday! Stay well, Nat x
PS.  If you are looking for Anzac day cooking inspiration, but, like me, don't much care for the biscuits, check out Heidi's blog for a yummy Anzac day breakfast parfait.  I seriously wish I was not avoiding dairy right now!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Week in Food (& Challenges)

I have been MIA the past couple of days.  Wait, no, that's a lie - to be MIA I'd probably have to be involved in some 'action', and the only action I'm currently involved in is the making of lemon, ginger & honey tea.  Especially annoying is that I was super looking forward to an old friend's engagement party tonight.

Home remedies for sinusitis, anyone?

Sadly, I've discovered a cheese plate cannot cure me.
Maybe because I'm avoiding alcohol while sick.. maybe Champagne can cure me!  Maybe..


Let me start with the day 20 Challenge which was to write about a Miracle Cure.

I found this really challenging.  Of course, my defaulting brain turns to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME, as I suffered from it and know that there is no one size fits all cure, if there is in fact any cures out there at all.  Then that brings me to think of all the other chronic illnesses out there where people are left suffering for years and years with no end - Lyme and Fibromyalgia would be just two of these.  Then, of course, I think of the insane amount of terminal illnesses, or cancer.. the list is endless.  There is no way I could say that any illness is more deserving of a cure than another.  I know the challenge wasn't asking me to do so, but it was the reason I couldn't write an article.


Vaccination News 
A Melbourne University team has made a miraculous discovery whilst working to create an evolving vaccination for the yearly mutating form of influenza.  The students, all doing their PhD in Amazing Fake Sciencec, think they have unlocked the secret to stopping the body's ability to fall ill.  Although still in the early stages, this could be the beginning of the human body remaining in pristine form, only subject to aging.  More to come....

(DISCLAIMER;  This did not actually happen and is completely false!  But in the words of Cadbury; Wouldn't it be nice?)

It's all I've got.

And now for my 
Week in Food

Fish Stew sort of thing I made as a sharing plate for M & I, with olive bread & polenta

Traditional brekky from M's parents for their Easter

Peanut Butter Cookies in the foreground and Spiced Apple Teacake behind - two of last week's baked goods.

Cabbage Rolls from M's family (vegie ones just for me, yummy) and cauliflower puree from me.

This was a creamy pumpkin & asparagus pasta I created last week.  Very healthy - recipe still being tweaked.

Went vegan for a few days - soaked oats (water) with berries, pecans and pure maple syrup.

Had to get a prescription and got this on my way out.  I dunno about sushi..

So, seriously, tips for a sinus infection?  I am going mental!   The antibiotics did not work and I am onto sprays.  Ugh.

I'll squeeze in day 21 between lab report writing tomorrow.  Have you ever written a report with a giant sinus headache?  Not fun!  This blog post took serious lengths of time, too.

Soon, I will conquer the world with my not-sore-sinuses.  I should get an NSS cape.

See?  Gone mad.

Stay well!
Nat x

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Join me for Dinner....

5 Dinner Guests. Who are 5 people you’d love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why? 

1 & 2. My late grandparents 
They both passed before I was born which, even though I am eternally grateful to still know my other grandparents, is still something I always think about - especially as growing up my parents always said my late grandmother would have loved me and that we had a similar sense of humour.

3. The Dalai Lama 

He would have a translator with him, but I really just want to hear him speak. It is a huge regret of mine that I didn't go to hear him speak when he was in Melbourne last year. I would love to have a conversation with him and learn from him. I am not a Buddhist, but I think the way they live is beautiful and he would be the pinnacle of that.

4. Janella Purcell 

How could I not want to have the woman who inspired me to be so interested in health at the table? I'd need her there so I could work hard at becoming her friend and then spend many evenings cooking up a storm with her and listening to her infinite knowledge.

5. Heston Blumenthal 

This man is a genius, and a self taught one at that. He would have to work with Janella to cook for the night, of course. I'd love to be around somebody that passionate about food.  

Five is not enough - what about Jamie Oliver, Coco Chanel... actually I'm not even going to play that game or I will be typing names until midnight. 

I'm a bit sad today as I've been unwell for so long and as a result am quite behind at uni. Wish me luck for the new theory my Doctor has on how to get rid of this!


As a result, I am seriously craving a weekend away... maybe later in the year.

See you tomorrow! 

Stay well, 
Nat x

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Open Book & Breakfasts

Day 18

"'Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 without stopping."

Well, the closest books to me were The Biggest Loser calorie counter hand book and a Vogue magazine from May 2009 (being used as a mouse pad on my totally white desk).  Useless.

So I turned around blindy to my book shelf and grabbed a book.  

This is what I got;

I flicked open and pointed randomly at a spot on the page; It happened to be page 75 and the phrase was; 

 "Even fish have feelings". 

Oh, shit, could this have sounded any more set up? I suppose the whole book could relate to me in some ways and every time I've read it, (which is thrice now), I've gone vegan for a couple of days following. 

 Anyway, OK, talk about that... 

Well, as many of you know, I have only just recently (in the past 6-8 months) started eating fish again after being a strict vegetarian for around 7 years. Why? My body told me to! I started seeing seafood and fish and my body wanted to eat it, I salivated, I craved it and I wanted to learn to cook it properly. I always listen to my body so I just started eating it and the rest is history. However, the past couple of weeks, as this virus I've currently got has maintained it's terrible presence, my body is turning away from fish more and more. Further to that, it's not wanting milk or yogurt either. It will be interesting to see where this goes. I'm not really sure why I have eaten fish and not any other meat, especially as I think a roast smells nice most of the time (world's worst vegetarian winner right here). My not eating meat is because I taste dead animal in meat and nothing else (I smell sauces, herbs and spices; a plain grilling steak smells revolting to me), and it's also from an animal rights perspective which I'm not really interested in arguing with anyone about as we're all entitled to our own opinions. I can't really explain why I don't feel the same things for fish and seafood. I guess I do but I try to ignore it as my body so often wants to eat it. It's strange! 

Anyway, I don't have much else to say on the subject. As for the book, Skinny Bitch, well, it's an acquired taste. I like it's harshness, but it could be considered a bit preachy. It didn't have a long lasting impact on the way I eat, but if I ever want to eat better I tend to give it a read and the effects last a few weeks.

And now to share some..

Breakfasts from the Week

Soft boiled egg with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, with spinach and rye bread soldiers.

Makin' Muesli

I don't like smoothies for breakfast as it feels like I'm not eating anything, but freezing them gives me something to bite.

Things M regularly hears include;

"You can't just have that, you have a cold, you have to look after yourself.  How much fruit have you been eating?  Oh gosh, let me squeeze you some orange juice".

Things I regularly think;

I am the world's best girlfriend for freshly squeezing my boyfriend's orange juice.

See?  He needed the juice!
(World's Yummiest Jam bought to you by M's sister, C - it's apricot & vanilla bean.  So yummy.)

I get really anxious about missing out on a flavour on toast because I eat it so rarely, so I always end up cutting it up so I can have several toppings.  
Am I the only one?

If you're still eating toast for brekky every morning or a cup of coffee and a muesli bar, get creative!   15 minutes making muesli one Sunday will give you weeks of brekky enjoyment, and you can freeze any smoothie (unless it's made of vodka, in which case you are beyond my help anyway).

What's your current favourite breakfast?

Stay well,

Nat x

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Learning & Lentil Bolognese

I come to you from my study where my hair is scruffy and my brain is attempting to implement a migraine.  Please be kind if my words to to mush.

Day 17 of the writer's challenge, (have I ever told you 17 is by far my favourite number?), brings me to sharing with you lessons I have learnt the hard way;

Learned the Hard Way. What’s a lesson you learned the hard way? 

I'd prefer to give you a dot point form of several lessons I've learnt the hard way rather than harp on for 15 minutes about how I learnt how important health is in relation to my battle with chronic illness, something you've all heard about.

Lessons I've learnt include;
Mental health has a huge impact on physical health.
Don't bag out Pinterest; it has a huge fan base.
Eating all your chocolate at once will make you unwell.
"Soldiering on" is one of the worst things you can do for your body when unwell (yeah, Codral, you heard me).
What you eat and how much you exercise has a huge impact on your energy levels.
Studying nutrition is not easy.
Don't blindly trust Doctors; always do a little of your own research or get a second opinion.
Comparing yourself to others is useless.

There would be many more, but due to the lack of fully functioning brain, I can't think of them right now.

What I can do is share with you my...

Lentil Bolognese
How does one spell Bolognese/Bolognaise?

1 carrot, diced
3-5 button mushrooms, sliced (use more if you are going to cook minimal pasta & are trying to lose weight - extra will make it bulkier)
1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of fresh oregano, ripped up
1/2 teaspoon of dry oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup of dry red lentils, washed
1-2 tablespoons of oil (for frying)
200 grams of pasta (I used wholemeal fettucine)


- Fry the onion and carrot in the oil until the onion becomes transparent
- Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry for a further 30 seconds.

- Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste and one tin (use the tomato tin) of water.

  (you need this extra fluid so you can cook the sauce down)

- Add all of the herbs

- Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.

As your sauce reduces, it will start to spit - don't cover it totally or it won't reduce nicely, better of just sitting the lid on propped up on your spoon like the below.


- Rinse your lentils & set them aside.

- After 30-45 minutes of the sauce cooking, add your lentils.

- You can season your sauce at this stage, or wait until the end - up to you.

- You want to continue to simmer your sauce until you can scrape the bottom of the pot and not have it fill back up (like a risotto, if you make risotto).  The longer you simmer, the nicer the sauce will be.  If it gets too thick and you want to keep cooking, keep adding small amounts of water.  I cooked the below sauce for 1 hour and 45 minutes and added perhaps in total an extra 1.5 cans of water.

- When your sauce is at the perfect consistency, add a couple of tablespoons of water, turn it right down, and put your pasta on.


- To serve, drain the pasta and return to the pot, mixing a couple of tablespoons of sauce through.  Place pasta into serving plates and top with remaining sauce and if desired, some parmesan cheese (I desire parmesan cheese constnantly, Millel is my favourite - please don't buy that Kraft stuff!)

Dig in! Yummy!

Lentils are high in protein, fibre, folate, magnesium and even iron (the 1/4 cup you get in a serving of this pasta will give you 15% of your daily iron needs if you're not carrying around a bub)  -  incredibly good for you and super cheap!  More proof that eating healthily does not have to be expensive.

I would love to hear back if you try it, and love even more to see some photos of how yours turned out.  Especially as, if I ever get my ass into gear (credit to dad for putting those three words strung together into my vocabulary), I will include this in my recipe book.


Stay well,
Nat x

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 16; Pinboard

Day 16 of the Health Writer's Challenge 
(yes, two posts in one day as I felt especially terrible yesterday and did not get a post out)
Pinboard. Create a pinterest board for your health focus. Pin 3 things. What did you pin? Share the images in a post and explain why you chose them. 

First, a story. 
I've never used pinterest, and only just learnt to say it as I was Googling it. I went to the web site and looked at it confused, and then 'requested in invite'. I thought that was a fancy way of saying 'sign up'.. but no. I actually have to wait for an invite, apparently. How about pinterest shoves it (like, really) and I'll show you something else that could be considered a pin board instead. I introduce to you.... The header for my web site!


So as I've mentioned, I am working on a web site that will be called The Health Bubble.  I am super excited, however, not a lot has been done over the past month or so with this super bug I have caught (I've wanted to work on it, but apparently getting better involves this terribly boring thing they call 'resting').

Anyway, I will use this as my day 16 pin board.

The images are quite self-explanatory; me, doing what I love to do (the beach, relaxing, eating), and good food.  The Heath Bubble is going to be about health as a whole - achieving balance not just with food and exercise, but in mental health, contentment - everything!  I am super excited to get it all up and running and super frustrated that I haven't been able to work on it as much as I'd like in recent times.

So yes, I will let you know when I finally launch her!

Tomorrow I will discuss some lesson's I learnt the hard way and share with you that lentil bolognaise recipe I cooked up late last week.

Stay well,
Nat x

Writing Style, Banana Cake & Buddhism

I'm a little late, but day 15 of the writer's challenge asked what my writing style is.

I don't really know if I can label my style, I guess I just write like I speak and speak like you are all my friends who I am all concerned about and love dearly.  I don't really plan my posts, but I hope to start doing so after this writer's challenge is done at the end of April so I can continue to write daily.  I guess I write like I cook; look at what I've got and what I feel like, then put something together.  I don't know, sometimes I feel silly writing as I have many friends and admire many bloggers who are excellent writers and often point out grammatical errors (as does M, thank you dear), but I guess I'm not out to become a professional writer, I just like to share.

I'm still toying with the idea of writing my own recipe book and although confident in the savoury department, I am still practising with desserts. The above is a banana cheesecake which I made from scratch with no recipe; I was so proud! Far from healthy, with 3 blocks of cream cheese, 3 eggs, loads of butter, chocolate, sugar etc, but a great success at our family Easter lunch.  I wish I'd written down exactly what I put in, not useful for someone wanting to write a recipe book. . I've decided the key to a good dessert recipe is to master an unhealthy version first, and then tweak it to be more health friendly from there.  I love healthy cooking as I don't really consider it a challenge to make something with butter, cream, sugar, chocolate etc to taste good - you'd have to be pretty bad to make those ingredients taste bad.

Of course, there is room for cream cheese, butter and sugar in our lives, sometimes.


I have been unwell for a few weeks as you all now know. It makes me sad as I just got everything I ever wanted all lined up nicely; a good job that is super accommodating to uni with a great boss, studying nutrition, getting my blog really active & starting my web site etc. I eat well, as you all know, and I am (well, was 5 weeks ago), fit and quite strong, however I keep getting sick. I'm investigating the possibility that it is partly due to my personality; not that my personality caused me to become ill or that I have done something to make myself ill, but that my hyperactive personality, need to be constantly entertained and need to in a way 'test' my body to see wat it's limits are (after being so stuck for so long several years ago) do not help my situation. So again, I am reading about Buddhism, meditation etc. I am reading "How to Practice; The Way to a Meaningful Life" by the Dalai Lama
(you can buy it here). I like going back to this book as it's a relatively simple read - handy when you're not feeling well.

Every time I read this book it causes me to think about my life and my actions, as books on meditation do, I guess. What I mostly notice is that I need to seriously practice mindfulness, as even reading the book I notice that although I am reading the text, I am simultaneously drinking a cup of tea, thinking about dinner tonight, wondering how M is feeling (he has been unwell too), and wondering when I will be able to return to work. Not good, must practice. I also feel that, even though it may be less than others, I focus on material things too much. I have set myself a personal challenge to buy no 'things' until at least the end of May. I am sad because it means I will miss out on the new gorgeous boots I want (Country Road have a Spend & Save until April 22 and I planned on getting them), but that is part of it. Things I do not need. I remember saying when ill with CFS that I didn't care if I walked around in a potato sack, as long as I could walk around. In addition to the above reading I am also avoiding dairy, eating loads of ginger, meditating, practicing gentle yoga, taking Epsom salt baths and dry body brushing to help recover. I am also taking some vitamins - it may surprise some to know I generally avoid vitamins as I like to get all of my nutrients through food and so far, as per blood tests last week, I have kept healthy vitamin ranges doing this, however on advice with my current situation, I have bought and am taking a few specific ones.

Anyway, after much blab, that is my story today.

I am back off to bed to read more.  It's very hard not to start studying or doing something I consider productive, but there is nothing more productive than working on your health.

I hope you are all well; stay that way!
Nat x

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dream Day / Day Dream

Ahhh, how perfect is the weather in Melbourne town at the moment?

Today I am required to write about my dream day..

 My Dream Day. Describe your ideal day. How would you spend your time? Who would you spend it with? Have you had this day? If not – how could you make it happen?|

I have many ideal days, some involve the Yarra Valley, some involve absolutely nothing, and some involve the following.....

My ideal day has weather of about 33 degrees, sunny and no wind.

First thing in the morning I would wake up and go for a swim in the ocean.

Then I would head out to brunch with all my girlfriends somewhere by the beach, even if it was just Williamstown, and I would dine on stewed fruit, muesli and yoghurt - seeing as it's an ideal day, the cafe would not have added 3kgs of sugar to the fruit as they usually do, and the yoghurt would be something organic and natural, but insanely creamy tasting.  Yum.

I'd spend the rest of the morning strolling in the sunshine window shopping.

I'd meet my immediate family for lunch at Villa Romana in Lygon St, Carlton (my favourite), and eat a seafood dish there (if you go, the spaghetti Scoglio (which I'm not sure how to spell) in the seafood section of the menu is amazing).  I would dine on one of the seafood dishes, drink crisp white wine and finish with coffee at Brunetti's.

In the afternoon, I would meet M and we would head to Vic Market and pick up beautiful French cheeses, fresh breads, home made dips, olives and some fresh fish.  On the way home, we'd stop and pick up some French champagne and a good bottle of Cab Sav.  We'd prepare the food into platters and cook the fish and sit on the couch, eating, while watching amazing cooking shows that tour beautiful regions.  Afterwards, we'd head into the kitchen and make a dessert, like creme caramel together, followed by more wine and cheese.

I've never had this day and I guess I could make it happen with very careful orchestration, but it would be hard!

What will my day actually involve?

More rest!  I am bored and desperate to go back to work so I need my glands to stop impersonating golf balls.

Enjoy your weekend & stay well,
Nat x

PS.  Photo's courtesy of my backyard as I got some sunshine this week.  As you can tell, she needs serious work and this will hopefully happen in the coming months!

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Things I Love

For Day 13 of the writer's challenge..

10 Things 

 (that I need or love the most) 

My Health

 That is me, on our private rooftop in Port Douglas, with the timer on the camera while I jumped up and down trying to get a photo. I may or may not have been yelling, "I'm Healthy, SUCK IT!" at the time. Yup..

My Family

 Food & Wine


 M (my partner of 10.5 years, for newbies)

 I'd love to show you a hundred pictures of my favourite man, but he's not a fan of his mug being on the internet.



 I have a close group of friends and then some few extra's I met online who I cherish. They're not all above, but I hope they all know who they are.


 In particular my darling soul mate, Rama, who is my best friend & took care of me while I was sick; he was left at Mum & Dad's house, and M & I's two boys, Buckley & Munro (Bucks & Munters).
 When people say animals are good for you, listen to them.


 From reading the books researching it to feeding people I love. I freakin' love cooking, even more than I love eating. It's relaxing and rewarding and it's everything to me.

 Weekends Away

 A change of scenery always does me a world of good, even when it is only a 2 hour drive down the road for 3 nights, I love the break.


 Only discovered about 2 years ago that it is just as relaxing as cooking, when done right.

 The Beach

 The most relaxing place on earth; I feel like I belong at the beach. I have a massive attachment to water.

Books & Reading

Books on paper, please, none of this screen rubbish. I either read cook books, read for knowledge or go on the complete opposite end of the scale and pick up magazines & chic lit.

Gosh I hope i didn't miss anything/anyone!

Stay well, 
Nat x