Monthly Archives: September 2011

Days 24 and 25 – When the universe listens to your prayers…..

Sorry for lack of post yesterday, but my son’s sleep schedule during the day was all out of whack.

I got this in the mail today:
cheque

I was not expecting it at all. Not one iota. But the $320 is already allocated to things that need paying. I will be able to pay the rest of the mofo of power bills off (yay!!!), pay back a friend, finally join the organic food co-op officially (been using a friend’s account to use it), buy some more shampoo, and the rest will be spent on a bottle of really good Pinot Noir 🙂 Thanks universe for listening to my prayers last week, as my mind is finally at rest with my power bill. I’ve been saying to myself for the past month “I am open and receptive to all good and abundance in the universe” (this is from Louise L. Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life)

I also got a free avocado today at my local fruit and veg shop. One of the perks of being a regular customer 🙂 I try to buy organic as much as financially possible, but I do support the local, as they do source organic and spray-free produce when possible. But I am not opposed to eating some non-organic fruit and veg such as avocados, lemons, kiwifuit and oranges (which are grown in NZ).

So here is the collection of fruit and veg for the next 2 to 3 days:
fruit and veg

Of course I got some more cavolo nero:
cavolo nero

Which will be destined for some luscious salad:
salad

On Tuesday, I enjoyed this orgasmitronic salad:
orgasmitronic salad
It contained organic salad greens, organic carrot, avocado, tomato, capsicum and chis seeds. Dressing made from organic tahini and lemon juice.

I am loving all of the spring veges coming out now and waiting for asparagus season to come into full swing. The local organic shop has organic asparagus in, but the price is too expensive, and haven’t seen big displays of it in the supermarket. I love asparagus lightly steamed, drizzled with flaxseed or hemp seed oil, himalayan salt and cracked pepper.

I am also looking forward to strawberry season. I practically live on strawberries during the summer 😛

Onto non-food stuff, mainly about employment. I’ve been actively looking for a full-time job since December of last year. You don’t want to know how many jobs I apply for on a daily basis (which has been even harder during this challenge). I got a couple of interviews over the past month, but they have not been successful. I believe that there is a good cosmic reason for this, even though the job market isn’t that good at the moment. I have been keeping positive about everything, even with the email I received yesterday saying that I did not get the job. I am now up to the part in <em?You Can Heal Your Life that talks about finding then right job and affirmations that can help. I can honestly say that my outlook on life has changed so much since doing the book in-depth this time. I am thankful for the financial assistance I do receive from the government while I job hunt, and I am also thankful to friends who have been looking out for job opportunities for me. The affirmation from the book I have been saying for the past couple of weeks is: “I am totally open and receptive to a wonderful new position, one that uses all my talents and abilities, and allows me to express creatively in ways that are fulfilling to me. I work for people whom I love, and who love and respect me, in a wonderful location and earning good money“. And I think it is working 🙂

I will be honest, I am looking forward to the end of this challenge, but I have learnt so much from it, and it has encouraged to me to take a hard look at my life and change it.

Because I do it all for this little man:
L

🙂

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Days 21, 22 and 23 – When friends visit :-)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I managed to get my flat cleaned for my flat inspection today, which went well. The property manager was pleased with the condition I had the flat in, and also noted what repairs needed to be done.

So sorry for no post yesterday, but a really good friend from Dunedin came yesterday for the night. We had a great time, eating soup, gluten-free bread and drinking a really good Pinot Noir (along with some fab peppermint dark chocolate). We chatted about a variety of things. It was just fabulous, and I really appreciated the company. She was totally into my power-free challenge, and we enjoyed the food and wine last night by candle light. This morning, she helped with dishes, and we chatted some more. Headed into town and said goodbye to each other. I told her I will be attending her graduation at the end of next year for her midwifery degree (gives me a very valid excuse to go to Dunedin for a couple of days).

I’ve also been in an extremely hyper-mood today, and I feel really happy. The exercises I have been doing in You Can Heal Your Life and The Power Is Within You are really taking effect, and I am noticing the years of emotional garbage is finally leaving my body. My outlook on life is really positive.

I am hoping to hear back from another job application this week, and hope to get an interview. I was recommended for the position, so need to check my emails daily to see if they will interview me. I have been saying affirmations for the past month to get a job that will suit me and my lifestyle. I also want to work for an organisation that has a similar ethos to my own.

Food wise, just been sticking to the same ol’ 🙂 Today is grocery day, so will head to Harvest Wholefoods for some more cavolo nero and organic stuff. Countdown has avocados for $0.59, so I grabbed a couple along with some acid-free tomatoes. I am really craving more raw food now, which is great.

Weight wise, I am now down to 63.5kg. I am 4.5kg from the goal I need to be at to get serious about adding some more lean mass to my body. I’ve also been upping the ante on the cardio front, and will start doing some HIIT, such as Tabata intervals, to really start hitting the fat reserves on my body. I’m sitting at 18.5% body fat at the moment, and I want to get it down to about 15%, so will it comes to the time to start seriously training for my first bodysculpting competition, I won’t be stressing about getting my body fat down quickly.

No Louise L. Hay stuff today, as I am trying to get this blog post done before Lucian wakes up, but will work on a blog outline/draft later on today.

See ya!!! 🙂

Day 19 and 20 – Kale………

Sorry for not putting up a post yesterday, but had some things to do and only managed to get to the library 20 minutes before it closed, so not enough time to do a blog post.

Nearly 3 weeks through this challenge, and I have decided to do add another 2 weeks to it. I want to see if I will finally break with the lack of hot showers, lighting and not being able to use the internet constantly. You might think I am completely and utterly nuts extending it, but there is no harm in doing it, and the weather is finally warming up!!!

The weather yesterday and today has been absolutely beautiful, and I can definitely feel summer coming along soon. I totally forgot that it was the spring equinox on Wednesday, which explained the bad wind we had around that time. I absolutely love summer, lounging around in the sun, jandals, shorts and not having to worry about heating. Because the weather has been so warm in Auckland over the past couple of days, washing has been drying faster than usual.

I have a lot of cleaning to do tomorrow (Sunday) as I have my flat inspection on Tuesday. Initially I was worried what the property manager might think, but I’m not now. All I have to do is explain to her why I am doing it and that there is no need to test electrical stuff, as it would be breaking the rules of the challenge. I have written out a list of what needs to be cleaned tomorrow; luckily, no blog post tomorrow, so I fully concentrate on cleaning.

In terms of what I have been eating, I brought some more cavolo nero (the best type of kale) and organic veges, and have been feasting on salads like this:

kale salad

This salad contains organic cavolo nero (chopped finely), grated organic carrot, grated courgette, grated galangal, orange segments, chia seeds and sesame. The dressing was made from organic tahini, lemon juice and pinch of himalayan salt.

It was divine. I’ve had it 3 times now. I feel so energised after consuming a whole bowl of this. Each serving contained about 3 densly packed cups of cavolo nero, so I was definitely getting a huge whack of iron, calcium, vitamin K and vitamin C. The great thing with all types of kale and broccoli, is that when eaten raw, it contains a lot of vitamin C to help absorb the iron and calcium in it. Plus cavolo nero is packed with magnesium as well.

Now to non-food stuff, working through the exercises in both You Can Heal Your Life and The Power Is Within You is really helping to my reassess where my life is at and what I can do to improve it. It is also improving the relationship with my son, which in turn is reinforcing the attachment parenting methods I use. It is also making me realise and understand why I was parented the way I was. My mother and father weren’t exactly model parents, and I had a pretty turbulent childhood. But I can now fully understand why they made the decisions they did. This is good, as I am now starting to forgive my mother for what she did. She was only doing what she thought was right and what she learnt from her parents. It doesn’t make what she did right, nor does it condone her behaviour, but I want to remove and dissolve this big block in my life, I have to forgive her. I am thinking about seeing her in the next couple of months, as the last time I saw her (which was over 8 years ago), our meeting didn’t go too well. I am not going to blame her, because such negativity will have me go backwards during this process.

My son
(Thought I would sneak in a photo of my son :-D)

This is what Louise says about blaming our family in You Can Heal Your Life – “blame is one of the surest ways to stay in a problem. In blaming another, we give away our power. Understanding enables us to rise above the issue and take control of our future“. I admit, I have placed a lot of blame on my parents and family on how my life turned out. Now is the time to stop that. Louise says further “How much do you know about your parents’ childhoods, especially before the age of ten? If it’s still possible for you to find out, ask them. If you’re able to find out about your parents’ childhoods, you will more easily understand why they did what they did. Understanding will bring you compassion….. You need this knowledge for your own freedom. You can’t free yourself until you free them. You can’t forgive yourself until you forgive them

I agree with Louise’s theory that we choose our parents before incarnate on this earth to learn a particular life/spiritual. There is a reason why I choose the parents that I have, and I am starting to know what that reason is.

So an affirmation from Louise to finish off this post is “In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole and complete. The past has no power over me because I am willing to learn and change. I see the past as necessary to bring me to where I am today. I am willing to begin where I am right now to clean the rooms of my mental house. I know it does not matter where I start, so I now begin with the smallest and easiet rooms, and in that way I will see results quickly. I am thrilled to be in the middle of this adventure, for I know I will never go through this particular experience again. I am willing to set myself free. All is well in my world“.

New blog post on Monday, and enjoy the rest of the weekend 🙂

Day 18 – Pineapple!!!!!

Today has been pretty quiet. Went to stock up on more veges and fruit, went for a walk, took L to the park (he thinks he is part dog) and now in the library to charge up the ol’ laptop, iPod and to write up this blog post.

I got some pretty good news today – a good friend of mine from Dunedin is coming up next week. I envision a couple of bottles of wine being drunk (and I know you are reading this A :-P)

I am officially over my electricity-withdrawal symptoms. Well it seemed like it today. First day I have woken up not craving a hot shower. Instead, I woke up wanting a bowl of Chia Beast Brekky. That is saying a lot.

Doing this challenge has really helped with my addiction to Facebook. Before, I would have to check Facebook when I got up in the morning, before going to the toilet or having breakfast. Before this challenge, I was spending up to 4 to 5 hours a day on Facebook, but now that is down to 1 to 2 hours a day. I hope I can keep that up after the challenge finishes.

I managed to score a golden pineapple at the peak of ripeness today for $1. So I ate that for lunch. It was absolutely luscious. L ate about 1/3 of it, and I had 2/3 of it. After he had his last piece, I suddenly remember that he doesn’t tolerate pineapple very well, but so far no screaming or a nappy full of runny bowel motions. Maybe he has finally got over that intolerance. He use to also be intolerant to golden kiwifruit, but he can happily eat 2 or 3 of them without any side effects.

And more on food, the local organic store had some cavolo nero (known as dinosaur kale to my American readers). The stuff always sells quickly. I always go for cavolo nero, but on Tuesday they only had the standard kale in stock. The reason why I love cavolo nero so much is due a couple of factors: higher chlorophyll, iron, calcium and Vitamin K content than curly leaf kale; sweeter taste; and easier to make into a luscious salad.

I would have also brought some organic avocado and sundried tomatoes to make a salad, but budget didn’t stretch that far, so will be part of the semi-raw stir-fry things that I make.

cavolo nero
(had to include a photo of it. Doesn’t it look so vibrant, luscious, and the appeal of “eat me, eat me!!!” :-D)

I’m already craving what I will have for breakfast tomorrow, and I am feeling a mega beasty bowl of oats
oats
Which will be topped with organic virgin coconut oil, organic tahini, raspberry jam, chia seeds, sesame seeds and shredded coconut (probably a good thing I stocked up on more shredded coconut today).

Now for my daily dose of Louise L. Hay. It’s all about prosperity. I having to change the way that I think about my finances in order to attract more abundance and prosperity into my life. I like how she says in You Can Heal Your Life – “It is essential that we stop worrying about money and stop resenting our bills. Many people treat bills as punishments to be avoided if possible. A bill is an acknowledgement for our ability to pay. The creditor assumes you are affluent enough and gives you service or the product first. I bless with love each and every bill that comes into my home“. So bless those bills with love (which is going to be a huge mind change for me on that subject). She says further If you pay with resentment, money has a hard time coming back to you. If you pay with love and joy, you open the free-flowing channel of abundance. Treat your money as a friend, not something that you wad up and crush in your pocket

So each day, you should out loud “I am open and receptive to all the good and abundance in the universe“. Louise recommends saying this with your arms stretched out and at least once a day.

I now have about 15 affirmations that I am saying to myself on a daily basis and it will be interesting to see what the changes will be like. I’m already becoming more aware of what I am saying and how I am saying it. And I’m the process of forgiving others and myself. I think I will like the new me that comes out at the end of this 🙂

So one last Louise L. Hay affirmation to finish off this post – “Every experience is a success

Day 17 – New addition to the family

Day 17, yikes not long to go now. Although seriously considering adding another 2 weeks, because I’m crazy and all 😛

Not much has happened today. I demolished the rest of the kale, mung beans sprouts and whatever other veges needed to be eaten. Everything was raw, apart from the sauce (the tahini I use isn’t raw). Certainly gave me a zing of energy afterwards, and my stomach didn’t feel weighed down. It is one of my goals to be high-raw, as it is something that Brendan Brazier espouses from Thrive.

I also got news today that one of my cousins had her baby, a boy. He was breech, and she tried everything under the sun to get him to turn. But due to the lack of training that medical professionals have in this country to do a vaginal delivery of a breech presentation, she had a c-section. It is a lost skill amongst obstetricians, and the only people I know of who will deliver a breech baby vaginally are midwives who specialise in home births.

I had a c-section myself with my son, and it is a decision I regret everyday. I was talked into it by an obstetrician, and because it was my first pregnancy and I wanted the ‘best’ for my son, I agreed to it. My c-section was booked in when I was 16 weeks pregnant with my son, and I was given a range of dates to choose from. I was due on New Years Day, but because the doctor would be on holiday, I had him at 38 weeks 5 days gestation (2 days before Christmas). It was pretty clear he wasn’t ready to be born, as he was a little over 6 pounds when he was born, and did not look happy at all when he was pulled out. I wish I had followed my intuition and had a home birth. If I ever have another child, I will be staying away from a hospital, especially after doing a year of clinical placement at a tertiary hospital last year as part of my midwifery studies (which are on indefinite hiatus at the moment).

Having my son is what really got me into living closer to nature and also sticking to a vegan lifestyle. I did so much research on nutrition and breastfeeding when I was pregnant. Even thought I had a c-section, I am happy that I breastfed my son to full-term (2 years 7 months), and allowed him to wean at his own pace. I get a lot of flack from family members over my ‘alternative’ lifestyle (which I think is just normal) and practicing attachment parenting, but it doesn’t bother me. I am doing something that is compassionate, is kind to the environment, and is what humans are biologically suppose to do.

Wowsers, this post has kinda gone off on a tangent, but it relates to Louise L. Hay. Its all about forgiveness. Forgiving people who have done you wrong, and forgiving yourself for wrongs you have done. She has this say about it in page 90 of The Power Is Within You – “No matter what avenue of spirituality you follow you will usually find that forgiveness is an enormous issue at any time….. usually the very person who we think we will never forgive is the one we need to forgive the most. Not forgiving someone else doesn’t harm the person in the slighest, but it plays havoc with us. The issue aren’t theirs; the issues are ours.
That may irrate some people reading this, but if you think about it long enough, it is true. I am in the process of forgiving everyone that has done me wrong, but I am also forgiving myself for the wrongs that I have done. As I mentioned on my previous post, everyone if a reflection of us. Holding grudges against people eats away at you inside.

It has been a pretty cathartic experience for over the past couple of days as I do the exercises, affirmations and meditations in both You Can Heal Your Life and The Power Is Within You. I’ve been beating my pillows and my bed to release years of pent-up frustrations, anger, regrets, sadness and grudges. It has really made me re-examine my life and how I approach people and wha I say and think. Louise rightly says “the grudges and hurts you feel have to do with forgiving yourself, not someone else”

So an affirmation to finish this post off is – “I am willing to free myself from the past. I am willing to forgive all those who may ever have harmed me and I forgive myself for having harmed others

Days 14, 15 and 16 – Spazzola!!!!!!!

I’m so sorry this post is three days late, but I couldn’t get it finished last night, as 2degrees and WordPress were having a spaz at each other over establishing a secure connection. I hope they sort their differences out soon 😀

I thought I would start off the post with some scrummy food porn, I mean food photos :-P:

Fruit for the next 4 or 5 days 😀
fruit!

Veges for the next two days:
veges!

That got converted into a yummy semi-raw stir-fry thing today for lunch:
stir fry!

The semi-raw stir-fry contained: organic kale, organic carrots, organic mung bean sprouts, courgette, beans, garlic and galangal. The sauce was made from organic tahini, orange juice and a splash of Braggs. Topped with some sesame seeds. Ran out of coconut, and I forgot to get some today when I did a big grocery shop.

It was mainly raw. I only cooked the carrots, beans, courgettes, garlic and galangal for a minute. Dumped into a bowl. Added about half a bag of kale (with the stems removed) and half the bag of mung bean sprouts. Quickly cooked the sauce in the pan (for about 30 seconds); I didn’t turn the heat back on, but allow the retained heat on the pan to warm the sauce. Poured sauce over and mixed. All the veges were still crunchy, so was able to maintain most of the vitamins and enzymes in the kale and sprouts. I also added a squeeze of lemon on top to help absorb the iron from the kale. This meal was also rich in calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.

Apart from fruit and veges, I also stocked up on some more organic carob powder (for my chia brekky beasts), organic peanut butter, jam, organic soy milk, more gas canisters and some other stuff.

It has now been 2 weeks (well tomorrow it will be) that I have been gluten-free, and my digestion is working sooo much better. I finally got rid of the last piece of food in my flat that had gluten in it (Weetbix) this morning when my son finally got through the box. He normally has a bowl of 4 weetbix with soy milk each day. Now that he is finally gluten-free, it will be interesting to see the effects on his behaviour. It has certainly helped me.

Onto non-food stuff now, and I am still missing a hot shower, however I am super happy that I am have massively reduced my carbon footprint. I managed to get through this week using only 2 gas canisters instead of 4. Once this challenge is over, I will be investigating the CO2 output of one canister and see what my daily CO2 footprint is during the challenge.

I’ve also been re-reading my Louise L. Hay books, and I really needed to. I’ve had a couple of things come to the surface, emotionally-wise, I needed to get back to what helped me a lot when I separated from my ex-husband. I have no idea why I stop saying the affirmations, but re-reading what she has to stay rang true to me. I especially like this part in The Power Is Within You on page 57 “Everyone is a reflection of us, and what we see in another person, we see in ourselves. Many times we don’t want to accept parts of who we are”. It related to criticism and how we criticise others and ourselves. She also explains we are responsible for everything that happens to us, and our thoughts shape our experiences. So goddam true. It has made re-evaluate how I handle situations now, especially in regards to me family. And I love her main affirmation that you should say to yourself over and over again – I love and approve of myself. I think I might write a bit about Louise L. Hay each day on this blog. It is medicine for the soul 🙂

Well L has woken up, so I will now end this post with one last Louise L. Hay quote – Be willing to take the first step, no matter how small it is. Concentrate on the fact that you are willing to learn. Absolute miracles will happen 🙂

Days 11, 12 and 13 – What happened to me?

(Sorry for the random photos below of fruit and veges, but all of that will be demolished by the end of tomorrow!)
fruit
veges
________________________________________

I’m sorry I haven’t posted for the past two days, but I needed to get things done + sleep issues with my son.

I’m nearly half way through this challenge and I am dreaming everyday of a hot shower. I don’t care about the rest, I just want a hot shower!!!

After the post for day 10, I attended the Vegan 101 workshop held by the Vegan Society of Aotearoa. It was great seeing some new faces in the vegan community and speaking to people who have just become vegan. I didn’t attend to learn, but was there to help where I could. It went well, and went home with a full tummy and some leftovers (one of the perks of being a helper!).

Day 11 was a pretty full on day with me, with lots of cleaning, volunteer work for SAFE, then racing home to meet my father and son (he stayed with my father for the night so I could help at the Vegan 101 workshop). By the time I was ready to come to the library to check emails, Facebook, and do a new blog post, my son wouldn’t go to sleep (I think I will refer to my son as L from now on :-P). I thought he was due for a sleep, but must have had when my father was on his way back to drop him off.

Day 12 also involved more cleaning, but also needed to restock on vegetables and fruit. By the time I got everything done, it was too late to come to the library to charge up my laptop and check emails, etc.

As for today, well more cleaning!!! You maybe wondering why I am cleaning so much. I rent and have a property inspection in about 8 days, so flat needs to be spotless. I still haven’t figured out how I will relay to the property manager why the power isn’t on. A couple of people have said I could make an exception to the rule and just turn on the power for half an hour so I can vacuum. But I’m not going to, and I am seeing this challenge to the end!!!!

It has been a hassle getting washing dry because of the erratic weather. But I somehow doing it. I’m also only bathing every second day, as having one everyday chews through the gas canisters. I really don’t like the fact that I am washing myself every second day, as I love to feel clean. But at least I can still brush my teeth twice a day.

I’ve also been reading a lot as well. I’ve been using a torch to read at night after I put Lucian to bed, and I really enjoy it. It seems to also help me sleep better, but has also provided some inspiration and help to solidfy my knowledge on vegan nutrition. When this challenge is over, I will be doing some book reviews. Books I have read so far are: Thrive by Brendan Brazier; Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr; The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Nixon; all of my cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moscowitz; and some books on spirituality and food by Doreen Virtue.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a huge fan of Brendan Brazier. I absolutely love his book Thrive, and he just released a book new book to complement it called Thrive Foods, which contains recipes that meet all Thrive principles. This review of the new book is fantastic, and once I am more financially abundant, I should be purchasing it. His first book, Thrive, has a really good section on what actual stress is, and is the main cause of it. What to guess what it is? Nutrition. Yep, eat crap, and your ability to deal with intense situations nosedives. I will talking more about this in a future post.

I’ve also re-read Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. She is a huge inspiration, and shows that eating the right foods (vegan wholefoods) and cutting out the crap helped her cancer to stop growing and start reversing. After reading it, it made me realise that I need a juicer. And a blender. And a dehydrator. I wonder if Santa will get me those things for Christmas??? 😛

Food wise, just been sticking to the same old, but have increased my fruit intake a little and also cooking my veges for shorter periods of time so I can access all vitamins that would otherwise be destroyed by heat, plus all of the enzymes present. The local fruit and vege shop had some spray-free locally grown galangal (which is from the same family as ginger, and pretty much looks like it and smells like it). It is used a lot in Thai cooking, and the flavour is a bit sweeter with a slight twist. It has been a welcome addition to my stir-frys.

As the library isn’t open tomorrow, no blog post, but there will be one on Monday 🙂