Everyday Small Things


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Everyday Small Things: Window shopping Wishlists & Reading

Weekly wishlist links_1

Here are some links for some interesting reading this weekend or window shopping:

If you are new to blogging, this article can be really helpful by Michael Hyatt.

Feel like trying out a new recipe?  Try the Moroccan Chicken Tagine from The Paleo Network.  Every recipe I have tried from this website has been super quick and super duper tasty!

What to learn more about Vitamin A?  The Paleo Network had another interesting article on this topic – click here.

For another quick and easy Paleo recipe (that I’m actually going to go an cook up right now), Swiss chard with raisons, pine nuts and porkito go to this page on Nom Nom Paleo.

I’m getting into wearing natural waves in my hair more often, so this post came at just the right time from How-to-Hair Girl.

Daily Fitness Inspiration what you need?  I love Mark Raynsford’s Daily PT.

Interested in learning how to keep your body the well oiled machine it evolved to be?  Go to Mobility WOD (workout of the day) and learn how to look after each joint in your body.  Kelly posts a new 10 minute video each day so there is a huge library of information to look through if you are looking for specific treatments.

Here are the links to my Window Shopping pictures above:

1.http://www.puloma.com/en/style/classics/evening/turquoise-flat-clutch.html – have had my eye on this bag for a while now.  The website supports local French designers!!
2.http://www.toms.co.uk/kitty-tortoise/e – I really agree with Tom’s philosophy.  When it comes to glasses, for every pair you buy they do an eyesight saving operation.  A brilliant excuse for a new summer pair of sunnies!
3.http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-heritage-sewing-machine-limited-edition/p231671150 – really missing my sewing machine in Australia at the moment.  Thinking of getting a simple cheapy to satisfy my creative urge.
4.http://www.fitnessfoodie.com.au/?page_id=20 – I’m just salivating looking at this recipe!
Have a great day! xx
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Foodelicous: Chicken & Mango Salad

Paleo Mango Salad 3Paleo mango salad 1Paleo cashew nut Paleo mango salad 2

This is a variation of a salad I found in the recipe book from this Paleo blog.  It’s delicious, so thought I’d share it with you.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast – poach in water for 20 mins.  Let it rest before pulling apart.
  • Handful of salad leaves (I love rocket, watercress & spinach)
  • Fresh herbs x lots.  I’ve used flat leaf parsely and coriander
  • Cashew nuts – small handful.  Toast in a frying pan if you like until they just go golden brown.
  • Mangetout (snowpeas)
  • Avocado x half
  • Mango x half

Dressing – Play around with this but I used:

  • 1 tbspn olive oil
  • 1 tspn Walnut oil
  • 1 tspn Sesame oil
  • Good squeeze of lemon or lime or better both
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Chop it all up.  Eat it all up!  Yum yum yummy!!!!  Let me know what you think! xo

P.S. Do you love my awesome retro brown kitchen bench!  Oh yeah hot dig!


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Happy, Healthy, Strong: Pretty Paleo – review 1st (Paleo) week

I’ve just finished my first week of being (Pretty) Paleo.  Or should I say I’m one week in to my new Paleo journey?!  Either way I decided to follow the e-book “A week of Paleo Recipes” by Suz Crawt which is free to download from the Paleo Network (click here).

I honestly give this book 5/5 stars!  The recipes were quick and easy to prepare and produced some of the tastiest food we’ve had in ages!  Some of the recipes do not state how many people they serve, but we had a pretty good idea anyway so didn’t find this a problem.  I fully recommend you have a look if you are thinking of giving Paleo a go.  If you subscribe you can download the book free!  And we all love things that are free!

As I have previously said I am thinking of doing an elimination diet and want to cut out dairy, nuts and the nightshades (which I’d never heard of but have been linked to migraines and joint problems – hmmm does that remind me of anyone?!) on top of basically being Paleo.  So I viewed the week as a ‘soft’ trial to see how my body might react.  Sometimes resources say to go cold turkey.  But I know my body.  Huge and sudden changes don’t necessarily suit it.  I went on the Atkins diet at university.  Made sure I ate all the food groups.  But by the end of the second week I had one of the worst cases of flu I’ve ever had.  I just think the sudden change shocked my body too much.

So the big dietary changes for me this week really were:  1)  swapping dairy milk for almond milk, 2) no beans/lentils as I used to eat this a lot as part of my low GI diet and 3)  no grains at all including my staple bulgur wheat.

I was working from home this week which usually means I snack constantly and cannot stop thinking about food!  Mentally I was a bit all over the shop too as there is a lot going on here at home.. often another precursor to eating/craving lots.

How did I feel?  Well I cannot believe I’m saying this, but:

  • I didn’t crave.  At all.  Not even chocolate.  This has never happened to me.  Ever.
  • No brain fog
  • No tiring easily whilst concentrating – being able to focus quite clearly (a rare thing for me with my constant headaches)
  • Headache ‘volume’ decreased
  • My gut felt nothing or clean or light.  Either way I didn’t’ really notice it at all, which I’m taking as a good thing.  Not full, not stodgy, not empty or grumbling.

I must admit, I was a little sceptical because I’ve tried so many different diets and approaches that why should this have been any different?!  Well it was!!  So I am going to continue with it.  I must admit this week I am a lot busier and being able to be ‘Paleo’ when I am out and about is looking harder.  But one of the key ideas with Paleo is that it is a lifestyle choice – not a hard and rigid set of dietary rules.  So just making the best choices possible at the moment is enough (therefore less stress therefore happier and healthier me).  I’ll slowly collect more resources and incorporate these meal ideas into my daily life.  I think the hardest trial will be on a tired or hungover day when I naturally reach for my traditional comfort foods.  But as Mark from Mark’s Daily Apple suggests… make new comfort foods.  So I’m hoping that through the repetition of making good food choices I will too create new comfort foods.

I’m currently creating a “Giving Paleo a Go Top Tips” post.  So if you are interested stay tuned.

I love how we are all different.  My friends love oats.  My body doesn’t!  What foods in your diet make you feel amazing?  Healthy?  Strong?


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Happy, Healthy, Strong: Going Paleo

I’m going to give Paleo a go.  Why I hear you say?  What’s that I hear you say?

Well very quickly in a nutshell Paleo is more of a lifestyle choice than just a diet.  It is a framework used to create the best person/mind/body you can be by focusing on Nutrition, Fitness and Lifestyle.   Traditionally Paleo is sold as the Primal/Caveman lifestyle.  And with particular regard to diet, Paleo suggests that our dietary choices should be focused on the diet our ancestors ate.  Why?  Well most arguments are based around the fact that the human digestive system has not evolved to be able to cope with the types of foods that Western cultures primarily eat these days.  But I come from an evolutionary biology background and know that there is lots of evidence to suggest that certain aspects of human biology has evolved over the last 10 000 years.  So I don’t really buy into that!  But maybe many of the foods we eat these days just are not good for us full stop. ?!  This is just a super, quick glance at Paleo and a bit ramshackle sorry– for a good and quick explanation click here.

What was my diet before? 

In a nutshell – low GI.  A few years ago I really overhauled my diet because my world fell apart as I was suffering from constant migraines and headaches.  And yeah I really noticed an improvement in energy, in my gut’s happiness and was able to start losing weight. Yay!

Before that I felt like I had tried everything.  At college I even went completely gluten free for nine months after many health professionals suggested it to help combat the migraines.  And I had found the same results.

Despite big improvements I still feel sluggish.  Still have migraines/headaches daily.  Still have a low-grade auto-immune condition.  Still have joints that flare up too much during exercise and take too long to calm down.  Still always feel hungry (even though the ups and downs have stabilised a lot!).

Which brings me to Why go Paleo?

The first day I arrived in Australia I went for a massage (after the long-haul flight).  My massues just so happened to be a massive advocate of Paleo and we got chatting about the migraines/auto-immune condition.  She had had a similar experience.  It’s funny how you meet people at certain moments in your life.  Going back home was for me… a chance to listen to my heart and body again.  So it was interesting that in my first few hours back I had this conversation.

I realised I had just dismissed Paleo earlier because of the evolutionary argument.  But she gave me some good resources to read (see below for some links if you’re interested):  in particular the link between foods that irritate the gut, cause the body ‘stress’ which may induce migraines.  Now not a lot of this is backed up by hard science.  But hard science has failed me.  This is hard to admit.  I’m a scientist for goodness sake.  Anyway long story short.. I have nothing to lose by further investigating the link between my diet, my health and therefore my happiness.  I will probably do an elimination diet soon.. am just researching the best way to go about this now.

In my reading I found this recipe book – a week of Paleo recipes.  And they were so yummy, quick to prepare.  My next post is my review of this week.

Are you interested in Paleo?  What bought you to it?  Have you done an elimination diet?  Can you make any good suggestions?

Want to know more about Paleo?  These are some good links I’ve found:


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Happy, Healthy, Strong – Foodelicious

Cafe culture – great tasting grub!

Melbourne CoffeeMelbourne Coffee really is superb folks – it has bought my Coffee Diva back out.

Melbourne is known for being full of coffee (and sometimes food) snobs.  But geez the food really is good!  Don’t get me wrong, in the UK you can get great food, but it can be harder to come by.  And just because it has the word ‘organic’ on it doesn’t seem to ensure the food is actually of a quality as it does in Melbourne.  I actually saw on the news here a report about Aussies who’ve set up a cafe in Paris, making Australian-style coffee which is really taking off.  I’m off to Paris in a few weeks for the French Open (gee I know life is tough), so I might go check it out.  I’m generally a caffeine-free-zone (again related to headaches/migraines), but couldn’t help myself recently.  My first Melbourne coffee stopped me in my tracks walking across the busy Flinders Street in Central Melbourne.  Aargh the Coffee Diva was back!

There is a few new cafes here in Brunswick that I’ve visited.  One is called Milkwood and one is Eastern Elevation.

One of my key goals in terms of getting Happy, Healthy & Strong is improving my relationship with food.  It has become my Foodemy (that did seem to work better in my head when I combined food and enemy.. maybe that’s just me?!)  I’m in a food rut.  Sick of cooking it.  Sick of buying it.  Sick of sharing it.  Why is that I wonder?  [Possibly something to do with the window that won’t shut and the long winter we’ve had?…).

Eggs & smash

Poached Eggs on Broadbean and Mint Smash at new cafe Milkwood – so good I went back today for lunch!

Anyway, it has been really nice to share some meals out that feel really nutritious and nurturing rather than heavy and greasy!

I’ve also been thinking about having a crack at Paleo when I get home.  I already know that I’m really not a carbs girl (well I love bread.. but I need a 30 minute nap after eating it).  So when I’ve been out for a meal here I’ve been a little nervous because sometimes all there is on offer is a meal based around carbs that I know will send me to sleep – not what I want to be happening at the end of my meal when I want to catch up with my friend who I haven’t seen in years.  So I’ve been really greatful that many meals offered have been based more around pulses, protein & freshness which suits me much better.

What’s the nicest thing about food where you live?