Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Alive!

Drum roll please....I finally have a vegetable garden! It's only taken three weekends; one to clear the huge mess, one to work out what the hell to do with the giant pile of weeds I'd created, and one to purchase and plant.

There's regular mint, Vietnamese mint, Moroccan mint (just to cover all bases!), parsley, sage, chives, oregano, coriander, dill, basil, chillies, tomato, spinach, silverbeet, cucumber, capsicum, eggplant, zucchini and squash. You know, thought I'd start small...

And they're growing! Which is the complete opposite of anything I've ever had a plant do before. I am, as Sherry Strong would say, 'horticulturally retarded'.

Look at my zucchini!

Ta-da! A new leaf! Whose a good little planty!

It's also given me an excuse to play with my camera, so expect to see more of the progress of my new little babies.

As for this weekend, I plan on spending the rest of today doing some yoga
(if anyone's interested Yoga Download are having a 40% off sale this weekend, the code is 'HALLOWEEN2010'), cleaning the house, and working on reading the giant pile of books next to my bed. And tomorrow I'm heading down to World Vegan Day for some inspiration and tasty food.

In other super exciting news, my brand new toy arrived last week.

It was love at first blend. Banana icecream never tasted so good. Especially after having to lug the box home in the heat. Note to self: cheap trolley + awkwardly weighted box + awkward individual + cobblestones is a recipe for disaster. I haven't quite recovered from the experience yet. And I haven't had a chance to spend some quality time experimenting with him yet, but that's what rainy days are for, right? Next stop homemade hommus.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Sad Goodbye

I've got some sad news, last week my blender died. We had some good times blendy and I, with once or twice (and occasionally thrice) daily blending since last November. She changed my life and introduced me to all kinds of tasty treats. RIP little friend, life won't be the same without you.

I have often find myself wondering, "what did I eat before I had a blender?" and over the last week I've had to find out. I haven't had smoothies for breakfast for months, but of course as soon as I can't have one it's all I want. And mashing second breakfast with a fork just isn't quite the same.

However the loss of something old leaves room for the purchase of something new. Something new and exciting. Something new and exciting and with a 2HP blending capability. Something new and exciting with a 2HP blending capability that can make hot soup in minutes and that I can't wait to welcome into my kitchen!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Good Garden!

I alluded here that I would clean up the backyard over the weekend but I didn't actually think I would do it.

Yes, that is a mega pile of weeds. No, that wasn't all of it. Yes, I am ashamed.

I was creating that monster all day yesterday and holy carp I'm paying for it today. Everything hurts! The upside is that I'm not too embarrassed to go out into the yard anymore and there's now room to plant new things. Herbs! Greens! Vegetables! Exclamation!

My aching muscles didn't stop me getting into test kitchen to make some little treats to take to work this week.

These lemon ginger balls are a mix of cashew butter, Sun Warrior protein powder, mesquite, honey, lemon zest, ground ginger, coconut oil and coconut flakes. They taste exactly like my Nanna's lemon slice. Except, well, better.

Friday, October 8, 2010

An Allergic Reaction.

I've started this post so many times. Both in my head and on paper. But I'm never quite sure what I'm trying to say. I guess in the end it doesn't matter, it's the act of writing it down that helps.

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling great. And it had been so long since I'd felt so good that it was really quite strange.

And then I crashed.

A month or so ago I did an allergy test and the results came in last week. Turns out I'm highly reactive to lots of my favourite things. And it also turns out I was highly reactive to this news. Over the last twelve months I've taken huge steps in trying to eat as cleanly as I can. And this was the second time that I've been thoroughly knocked off my high horse and told that my healthy diet could very well be making me sick.

The kinesiology sessions and introspective work I've been doing have started to make me think about things in a different way and I came to the conclusion that the strong reaction and resistance I had to the idea of allergies and the feeling of vulnerability that came with it is most likely because, mentally, it's linked to something big. My kinesiologist wholeheartedly agreed and the next steps are to clear whatever it is that's holding me back. This, of course, scares the crap out of me. But more and more it's also becoming a hopeful, positive and exciting prospect.

So as I'm coming to terms with the immediate future without some of my favourite things (almonds! pineapple! kidney beans! oats! chickpeas!) it has also led to more experimentation in the kitchen. Which I'm always more than happy to do. Even with very simple flavours.

This was an allergy friendly lunch of grilled eggplant and asparagus, kale salad and Choosing Raw's amazing sunflower dill spread.

So now that I've got it back together plans for the weekend include a morning run tomorrow, some very much needed cleaning up of the garden and some long overdue lounging and picnicking in the park. (Questionable segue:) Something I certainly didn't plan was running into a lovely couple and their pet snakes on the way home from work tonight. I can now officially say that I have patted a python. Fact.

Have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Small Discoveries

Over the past few weeks I’ve been making a series of small discoveries that have helped make life seem that little bit better.

I’ve discovered that my body actually likes being active. I went for my first run in a long long time the other morning. And was rewarded with the sight of hot air balloons floating over the city. It’s such a beautiful peaceful sight, I plan on making the effort to see it more often. Unfortunately I was also rewarded with an aching body for the next two days!

I discovered that starting a relationship with a new hairdresser isn’t necessarily a bad thing and can be just the shake up I need.

I discovered that mixing powdered mineral makeup with coconut oil makes a brilliant foundation. I’m sure I’m not the first person to do this, but I’m still pretty happy with myself.

I spent a day last week discovering vegan Sydney. And stumbled across a place stocking six different flavours of Conscious Choice raw cheesecakes. For the record I had the chocolate strawberry cream pie and it was absolutely incredible.

I discovered that pumpkin used in sweet dishes is pretty freaking amazing. I made a modified version of this smoothie for breakfast this morning and love loved it. It ended up as more of a pudding really, which was fortunate as all the glasses had mysteriously disappeared and I ended up having to eat it out of a bowl.

And just now sitting in the sun in my backyard I’ve discovered how hilarious it is to watch a worm walk.

And lastly, I re-discovered how much fun it is hanging out with my housemate, retreating into our own little world and just being silly. Perhaps the best discovery of all.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Holy Carrot Cake!

Just a quick little update to say that an innocent glass of carrot juice yesterday turned into a monster. A tasty, tasty monster...

Mini raw carrot cakes! These little guys are freaking delicious!

No recipe (sorry!) because I never measure anything. But it was inspired by a combination of this and this and a recipe from here.

Ground walnuts, lots of flax seeds, coconut, raisins, dates, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, lucuma and about a cup and a half of carrot pulp. The dry ingredients were ground first then the wet ingredients were mixed in until the texture was right. Moist, but able to stick together quite happily. Then refrigerated until firm-ish and topped with a tart cashew lemon icing. Wow.

Luckily I've found plenty of people to give these away to or I would have had to sit down and eat all twelve before they went bad. All for the greater good, of course.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Happy Hibernation

I don't think I realised quite how fragile I'd been feeling. So I've been spending some down time reading novels and pampering myself.

During my latest kinesiology session my body asked for filtered water and while I was in the homewares department (swoon!) I couldn't say no to these little guys.

Tee hee. I'm seeing heart shaped raw chocolate brownies in my near future.

I had a splurge on a fabulous late 50's (very Mad Men!) dress from Clara Fox Vintage. (Have a sneak peek into the store here) I whiled away an afternoon in there trying on hats and accessories and generally just playing dress up.

I finally bought my second bar of Wild Mane shampoo.

I've been using it since March. Literally the same bar since March. It smells good enough to eat, being mostly made from food, and lasts forever. My hair is particularly fussy about what it likes, and it likes this.

I also got some calendula and oat soap which I am yet to try out, but I expect that it would be just as good.

Kristen threw in a sample of a basil-lime-coconut soap which smells incredible, seriously my whole house smells like this stuff. Thanks Kristen!

Somewhere in mail between here and the UK is a little care package to myself from Raw Gaia. I've used their clay masks before (and they're amazing) but this time I branched out and indulged in an MSM moisturising cream and a floral toner which I'm anticipating will be lovely and refreshing during the upcoming summer.

And finally I picked up some favourites from Raw Pleasure.

I wasn't a huge fan of kelp noodles after my first experience, but I've discovered the magical marriage of kelp noodles + zucchini noodles + olives + cashew cheese sauce. Love. Which is funny, because I hate traditional creamy sauces. A contradiction maybe, but that's me. And I'm learning to be ok with that.

And now it's to bed with peppermint tea and a borrowed Murakami. A very happy hibernation.