Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eating A Farmer's Backyard

Alongside becoming a flexi-veggie, I've recently begun Sadie Nardini's 14-day detox program. I'll write a review on the program once I've completed it... in the mean time, here's what I had for lunch today.

You're looking at 3 carrots, 1/2 a cucumber, 1 cup spinach, 2 celery stalks with leaves, and 1/2 an apple. I even added some lemon juice, and then popped it into my liquidiser to make my smoothie. 

Unfortunately, my liquidiser doesn't blend as well as a blender does, so it ended up still quite clumpy and I had to eat it with a spoon. Not the best feeling in the world, eating vegetable mush out of a glass! Tastewise, it wasn't so bad, the apple taste was quite pleasant, and made everything a little sweeter. It's meant to be a power alkali green juice, but I thought it tasted suspiciously acidic.

The amount of vegies the recipe required yielded not one, but THREE low ball glasses worth of smoothie (or vegie pulp... whatever you prefer to call it). I only managed to get through one and a quarter... and that was through sheer determination.

On another note, my new reformed diet has really yielded a change in my skin. It's a lot clearer and today, I braved putting on loads of makeup, and am only going to work with tinted moisturiser and mascara, something which I haven't done in a long, long time.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Would you put a price on happiness?

I attended a Transcendental Meditation (TM) introductory session today. Believe me when I say, I went with an open heart and an open mind. A friend and colleague had recommended this to me, and I really hoped this would do for me what it had done for her.

The place was hard to get to, so it may have put me in a bit of a mood. 1 hour driving one way, in heavy traffic. When I arrived, I just didn't know where to go, the centre was a primary school. I was slightly disorientated from the journey, and I was late, so I was worried I'd have missed my opportunity.

20 minutes later and two phone calls, I'm comfortably seated in a meeting room, and watching two DVDs introducing TM. Neither talked much about the meditation technique itself, only how it was better than other meditation techniques and medications. In fact, the first video was nothing but bar graphs and charts, but with no references attached (which immediately triggered my skeptic's brain). After the second one, we spoke about the cost and the time requirement.

It costs $1500 to learn how to meditate.
Now, I am all for paying for courses. I readily paid about the same amount for my yoga annual pass after going for about a year. Apparently, this $1500 is a lifelong once only fee. So, technically it's not so bad. 

But, coupled with the non-referenced bar graphs and pie charts and putting down other meditation techniques, something's not feeling quite right here. The other nagging feeling is how secretive they are about what exactly TM is. It would make sense in an intro session to actually get a taster... apparently, everyone gets their own unique mantra after the first paid session, of which they are not to tell another person. But I don't see why not? Why not make the intro session a personal interview, followed by giving them the mantra, and then maybe 10 minutes of how to use it... if they like it, they will come back. And perhaps, be willing to part with $1500. 

The truth is, when I left, I was ready to part with $1500. I just wanted a way of fixing my life, and the promises they made... it sounded too good to be true (red flag!). Luckily, the drive back through traffic took a whole hour, and I could contemplate. 

Believe me when I say I'm all about complementary therapies. This whole blog is dedicated to complementary and alternative therapies. However, I'm also a skeptic. I know how yoga helps me to deal with stress, just like I am aware of how different herbal supplements are meant to change your body chemistry. But placing my eggs in a basket, a basket I'm not sure anything of... that I'm not willing to do. A short Google search made me feel more at ease about my decision. I'm sure I'll find something similar, and definitely cheaper, that works. 

Would you pay $1500 for a promise of a better you? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Vego Teething Problems

I know.

I said I'd do an update about my new flexi-vegetarian (it's a real word!! I found it on this awesome vegie site) diet a month after starting and it's only been 11 days. But, I thought I'd highlight some of the highs and lows of this experience (Yes, 11 days in and already I can feel a difference).

Some positive changes I've noticed
  • I have lost or at the very least, maintained weight despite the odds... more on why I was really surprised at the end of this post. 
  • My skin has improved! I don't get as many breakouts, it's kind of dewy... I'm quite pleased! 
  • I know I'm getting enough fibre, and a lot more vitamins and minerals 
Now, onto the teething problems! Any future vegetarians out there, this is what you can probably expect! 

Image from

Sorry, someone had to put this out there to warn unprepared veggies who think it's all taking the high road and being a green hippy. Yes... a green smelly hippy. It's slightly embarrassing, and I really hope my body adapts soon.

Anyway, apparently having a sudden increase in fibre intake can cause this, especially when coupled with sugar. Which brings me to problem number two.

PROBLEM #2 I can't stop craving sugar 

Sweets, sweets, more sweets. Biccies, chocies, cakes! I crave them all day, at any time of the day. I have cake before lunch, cake after dinner, cake for tea. And biccies all day in between. I just can't help myself. Frankly, I'm amazed I'm not 100kg by now. Tonight, I'm going to bake myself a carrot cake. Just because I've been craving it all week.
Oh Brunettis, you are my Candy Mountain

Apparently, it's because I lack protein in this new vegetarian diet. But how can I, when I've been eating the beans/lentils/chickpeas/etc that have been giving me !@$#)!& Problem #1 in the first place?!

So, all you vegetarian n00bs, if you've been experiencing any of these, you are not alone. I just really hope I don't get stuck in a lift one day with a whole bunch of starting vegetarians. :P

Any tips on surviving this diet change?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Microwave-free living

I'm not one of those people who grew up in a household which didn't know the conveniences of the microwave. Au contraire, mum used to heat things up in the microwave all the time. When I moved to Australia, the microwave was what kept me fed through my uni years (as I'm sure it's keeping many a uni student alive today).

However, when I moved into my current apartment 4 years ago, I had to shop for all my electricals. One of the last few items to purchase on my list was a microwave. When mum came over to visit, she told me that she hadn't been using a microwave for years, because she believed it's harmful to the human body (it's very possible, you are cooking in plastic), and it destroys nutrients in your food anyway. If you're interested in having a read, just do a general google search of the dangers of the microwave, or click here.

4 years on, I still haven't purchased a microwave. I'm rather surprised I've lasted this long, but I'm quite fine existing without a microwave. In fact, here are some of the positives!

You become a much better cook 
Having to make everything from scratch taught me how to use food savers (you know... those little containers for you to keep leftovers), and made me more domesticated than I would ever be.

You take more interest in the ingredients of your food 
If you're a convenience meal addict as I was, have you ever wondered what goes into the can/carton? Well, I never did. Now, I know exactly what goes into my food, when it was made, how... I don't put any preservatives, and I don't use much salt nor sugar. Definitely the healthier option.

You plan meals ahead 
And thereby become a picture of organization. You'll also probably save some moolah, especially if you make food in large quantities and then freeze.

You preserve the nutrients and taste of food, keep clear of harmful waves, carcinogens etc etc 
You know, everything else listed on all those warning sites as being bad for you.

Admittedly, not everything is peachy though. Some things are more time-consuming to do... eg. melting butter/chocolate, preparing wax for waxing... plus heating up food without a microwave creates much more crockery/dishes to wash compared to if you just put a plate in the microwave. However, tiny tiny little issues, not much of a big deal.

Would you ever go without a microwave? Try challenging yourself to a month free from the microwave, it's really not that hard!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Herbi-Omnivore

I had a really bad tummy episode last week. Non-stop heartburn for over 24 hours, excruciating stomach pains... So, I decided to give up meat. Only during the week, I'll still have meat on the weekends or the poor bf won't cope I think, haha. I figured it'll be healthier, ethically more correct, and hopefully might help me lose some kilos. And not to mention, improve my skin!

It was a tough decision. I've eaten meat my whole life, and I love meat. All meats, to be honest. Luckily enough, I also love my vegies. I hope to at least be able to start working through this diet for a month. Little goals promise better success :)

Today, I made this very yummy Asian Ratatouille. I wasn't sure if I'd be full on it, but it's surprisingly quite filling, and oh sooooo tasty.

I'll make a post in a month's time to discuss how this new diet is going. I'm feeling positive, that's always a good start!