Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year. Now What?

I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve been reviewing the year that was, and thinking a little about the year to come.

This time last year, I was in a very difficult place. Two days earlier I had been to hospital to have my tiny baby “removed”(for want of a better word) from my body, because his little heart had stopped, and he had died.

Despite the intense sadness I was feeling at the time, I did write this about the new year:

But 2011 is a new year, full of promise. I've made no resolutions, no plans. I just want to take it day by day and really appreciate and enjoy what I have in my life.”

So, now I can look back and take stock of 2011.

I didn’t make any plans, but had hoped, that somehow I could soften the blow of the miscarriage by having a successful pregnancy. Imagine my delight when I became pregnant again in April! I was thrilled, though very, very anxious, after the previous miscarriage. However, I felt that it couldn’t happen a second time. How naive (or just plain hopeful) I was. I lost our little boy at the same stage as the previous miscarriage at the end of June. It was pretty well 6 months to the day after my first miscarriage.

To say it, “rocked my world”, would be something of an understatement. Despite having experienced it before, I still had to get through the grief all over again, whilst I was still mourning the loss of Alfie. It was a really hard time. And it still isn’t easy.

Of course, whilst I dealt with that, life went on. My children grew. They were busy. I went back to work. My husband and I had our 21st wedding anniversary. Our eldest son returned home. Our second child left home. Time marched on, and life really did go on.

As per usual, my interest in health continued and spurred on by Sarah Wilson in her fabulous blog, I tried to give up sugar, and was mostly successful, though I am not 100% clean right now. I’ve also learnt much about grains and seeds and how they affect the body, and why a Paleo/Primal style diet is the best for the human body, and for my body. I’ve pretty well stuck to that, and will continue to do so. I have learnt so much, and enjoyed reading Nora Gedgaudas (Primal Body, Primal Mind ) and Louise Hay ( You Can Heal Your Life).

Physically, I fell well, but in my heart and mind, there’s so much more work to be done. And with that in mind, here are some of my New Year’s resolutions:

·      When I was pondering resolutions last night, the word “yield” popped into to my head. I think I will try to “yield” more this year. To be more flexible, to let things just happen, to give over control, and to trust.
·      I would like very much to integrate the Paleo lifestyle into my life, wholeheartedly,and, to get the whole family eating in a more Paleo friendly way.
·      Every year (almost), I say I will practice Yoga more often. I say this because I know it makes me feel better. It calms me, it turns on the happiness juices, and I always walk away from a class feeling taller and lighter. It’s been so difficult to make it a part of my daily routine, but, dammit, the time for excuses is over. Why would I make an excuse to NOT do something I love?
·      I’m going to ride my new bike often. I want to ride around Rottnest Island (in October)without puffing too much and feeling the burn in my muscles. It is time I became bike fit!
·      I’m going back to work for three days a week. I’m excited about going back. Mostly my job is fun. But I worry about how it will affect us as a family. So I resolve to do whatever it takes to make the transition easy, and to make sure that my workload doesn’t double.
·      But, mostly, mostly…I just want to accept. I want to accept that I can’t make all the decisions about what happens to me. That I can’t control some of the things that happen, and that I cannot always get what I want, which goes quite nicely with my first resolution.
·      And, lastly, I won’t beat myself up if I get to December 31st, 2012, and haven’t been able to uphold all my resolutions. I recall, many, many years ago, resolving to give up smoking. I don’t think I did it that year, but I did eventually, so these things have a way of sorting themselves out…See – already I’m yielding, and, accepting

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Making

Although I’ve decide to take a low key approach to Christmas this year, I can’t help but get my hands busy and the girls have joined in too.

They love to make rocky road every year, and fudge, which we then gift to family and friends. The Fudge is amazing and so easy to make, once you’ve made it, you’ll be sorry you did, because you will just want to eat it all…

I will have to post the recipe later because I can’t find it right now!

I’ve been making “yo-yos”, also known as “Suffolk puffs”. They make a wonderful garland (the idea came from Soule Mama), and I also made little ones to make cute little gift tags.

For the gift tags, I cut a circle template with a diameter of about 7 cm. The final yo yo has a diameter of about 3 cm.
Freya and I used a bread and butter plate for the garland template. It is 18cm in diameter. The finished yoyos have a diameter of about  9 cm, depending on the fabric.

To make the yoyos:

Cut your fabric circle.

Pull the thread to gather the edge into the middle.

Fasten with a few over-sown stitches.

Then sew a pretty button in the middle

To make the gift tags, I sewed a row of red stitching around the edge of the card. It has a nice effect, and glued the yoyo onto the card. They are very cute and affective. Next year I may progress to making Christmas cards, but I really left my run too late this year.

To make the garland, I used wide cotton tape and sewed the yoyos onto it. It makes a wonderful Christmas Garland.

You could also make them into tree decorations.

I do feel inspired by how quick and effective the yoyos are, and I’m wondering what I might make next. I remember yoyo dolls were around when I was a kid, but haven’t seen them for years, so might have to look into making one of those.

It’s a busy time of the year. We’ve been doing a lot of socialising and my great Paleo diet has suffered a bit. But I’m not beating myself up about it, I’ll get back to it after the crazy festive season has settled.

We are looking forward to a quiet day at home with all our lovely children. We are hoping for a warm day so we can play at the beach, and plan to have a delicious lunch of roast pork and salad. We might even throw a few prawns on the barbeque!

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Paleo Breakfasts

I can safely say that I'm really happy with the paleo/primal lifestyle and way of eating, however, I do find making breakfast a bit of a challenge.

Being used to popping on a couple of pieces of gluten-free toast, or perhaps some gluten free muesli and milk, leaving all grains from my diet has made making breakfast a bit more complicated. So, here's what I do:

  • Always start the day with a cup of tea. Sometimes it is regular tea (though I'm trying to drink less of it), some days I prefer a squeeze of lemon in hot water. Lately I've been having it with honey as I have a horrible cough.
  • I usually follow that with a piece of the paleo snack slice I mentioned in an earlier post. It puts my hunger at bay while I try to work out what to eat for breakfast.
  • It is difficult to get away with not cooking, so I'll look at what selection is in the fridege and I usually have a combination of these things: bacon, haloumi cheese, feta cheese, mushrooms, smoked salmon,spinach,asparagus, avocado,tomatoes,pineapple, cooked potatoes and eggs (for mike, not me). This makes a really lovely breakfast.
  • If I'm in a hurry, or feel like something lighter I'll have some greek yoghurt, usually with berries (most often strawberries), and some toasted coconut and nuts. I love slivered almonds, pine nuts or chopped macadamias, lightly toasted in a small frypan. This takes seconds, and is so worthwhile. If there are leftovers I'll nibble on them during the day.
 I'm always on the lookout for different recipes for breakfast, and I've tried a few. A recent one was paleo pancakes, made with almond meal and nut butter. To say it was a "flop" was an understatement. No one in the family liked them. Even smothered in maple syrup! I could hardly flip them - they kept breaking, and burning. So that was a dud...

There are many things that can be done with eggs. I sometimes make a beautiful omelet for Mike, or scrambled eggs, baked eggs etc, but I don't eat eggs, so it limits things for me.

Overall, the little inconvenience of having to prepare breakfast is worthwhile. I feel good on this way of eating, despite being sick with a bad cold and cough lately. I'm hoping it'll settle soon. The cough is very annoying.