Life happens. Live it!

Allow me to stew in my ignorance at the time span since my last post and ramble along as though we’ve just chatted yesterday. It does seem that way honestly; life is just so full and bursting at the seams with the act of living <- (a sensation relatively new to this ex-robot)…why not have a glimpse through the lens via the lovely Linda’s fun hangout.

LIP linkup

Yesterday in pictures (with as few words as alienly possible)…

Prayers <3

Prayers <3

 

Beanies coffee

 

 

coffee and fresh air; two of my favourite things

 

building up my office to-do list

building up my office to-do list

 

chocolate granola bars

whipped up my 2nd batch of these spellbounding granola bars in a week!

I love a recipe that’s basically impossible to flop. These are that…it helps that I find them absolutely utterly mesmerizing. They have a delicate sweet/saltiness to it – probably due to my choice of nut butter (peanut) – and that along with the most divine texture, deems their addictive quality. I actually am incapable of snacking on anything else when I’ve got a stash of these bars. In a mind-boggling state of circumstances I can never get 10 bars, either 8 or 9…I cannot for the life of me tell you why that is though. I can however disclose that the warm dough is irresistable ;) .

OOTD

Oh summer, where are you? :sigh:

 

reading

 

dry brushing

 

Please note that just because I didn’t bother to capture meals does not mean I wasn’t eating! After the first mouthful at supper though, the flavours just hit.the.spot so incredibly it had to be given honourable mention. You know the plate that gets thrown together in 5 minutes flat only to blow you away?!

supper

A tortilla filled with pumpkin, spicy chilli and cream cheese. The apple on the side gave the star of the show a magical “zing”!

Nice to end on a satisfied belly don’t you think?

 

For the the first time in a long time I’m really living…I’ve re-discovered myself and found the person I am. It makes my days unexplainably content and complete – so yes I’m not sure if this blog will have any direction. As much as I’m brimming with thoughts and chitter-chatter, I have grown tremendously in a short period of time; it’s not all that appealing to work on posts when I am deriving so much pleasure from conversing with those around me. The moment I’m in the mood to share – you bet I’ll be here!

Let’s experience and enjoy every single second guys :) .

 

 

 

WIAW: “Perfectly” Intuitive

“Eating more intuitively has proved greatly liberating for my mind, body and soul. With a memory of continuous planning and precision with meals and food; the taste of freedom fills me with excitement on a regular basis. This rush of sorts, putting me in a sense of elation.  Well what happens when you crash?

I have to commemorate the reason of why I assumed an intuitive approach in the first place. Was it not to further loosen the grip of the eating disorder? To relieve my perfectionist mind of it’s continuous struggle in consuming perfect [in my mind] meals? Surely I cannot expect to hit the nail on the head every single time in consuming the right thing at the right time. There will be slip-ups… I will not always be ” in tune” in the best manner, but this is what intuitive eating is all about. By feeding the anxiety in becoming frustrated and fearful of consuming a food that might not make me feel perfectly comfortable, I am destroying the purpose of learning to eat intuitively. I do not want to move from restriction, only to launch into another form of reigning control over what passes my lips at certain times in the day. I can honestly say I consider barely a food as something to be feared which I regard as an accomplishment… yet the very fact that I dwell on the effect an unfortunate evening of sugar leaves on me – only to entertain the hesitance at ingesting sweets for the days following – is a nudge in the gut to wake up and see the direction I am journeying on to completely break free of all negative -mental- associations with food.   The trials and error all part of the journey in better understanding the way my body works.”

The above rant was the beginning and the end of a draft left hanging about 2 months back. Reading it right now I am pleasantly surprised at the progress I’ve made in eating intuitively since then; all the while losing the image of “perfect”. I thought it would be cool to share and celebrate the good habit I’ve fallen into by listening to my intuition (and my 3rd period!!!) in the past Sunday’s noshings a la Jenn’s famous What I Ate Wednesday party.

wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button
I love starting the day off with a warm hug [in a mug]…

my hug in a mug, piping hot with a splash of full cream milk

double chocolate coffee, piping hot with a splash of full cream milk.

I am head over heals for the hot new coffee to reach our shores: Beanies. Fighting the overwhelming desire to possess ALL THE FLAVOURS, I grudgingly settled on the Double chocolate (but of course) and Amaretto Almond but once home I soon regretted the latter over the French vanilla which I had debated 5 times over.

Over constant trial and error I finally feel like I’ve reached a sugary sweet spot with eating and meal times; to the point where I have an understanding of my “hungry times” and the foods that work for me for the most part. I know that I’m on an oatmeal groove for now – until I crave something different of which I will unhesitatingly venture into.

breakfast

banana oatmeal topped with cinnamon, applesauce, honey and peanut butter.

If you’ve never prepared your oatmeal by frying the banana first - give it a shot some time. I.am.hooked. Other than playing around with toppings and add-ins depending on my mood that morning… oatmeal makes me happy. Why change it?

I enjoy a strong sense of flexibility in my diet; impromptu dessert runs and coffee shop visits nourishes my soul.

snack- chocolate brownie tart

Shopping fuel: chocolate pecan brownie tart with vanilla soft serve.

Heavenly!

After switching snack and meal times around in a frenzy to accommodate a ridiculously wayward appetite.. I am actually content to be experiencing more of a routine in hunger signals. I know that I need a snack or well…dessert between breakfast and lunch.

A lunch [a late one on that particular day] comprising of a fair amount of veggies leaves me most satisfied and energised..

lunch- tuna salad

tuna salad…thyme & olive oil roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.

I make a mean tuna salad if you ever want to pitch up for lunch and I’m -as is the norm- too lazy to legitimately cook.                                                 Half a mashed avocado, a few tablespoons of Lime & Black Pepper sachet tuna, 1 chopped up dill pickle, 1 small finely grated carrot and a few diced plum tomatoes. You may want to commit that to memory…and please dunk some roast potatoes in there.

The over-analysing of meals, the extra precautions to ascertain if I am truly hungry, the anxiety of “did I consume enough?” to return my health and periods…it can all stop. I am capable of trusting my body and -most importantly- honouring my hunger and cravings.

snack- apple/dates and PB

Evening snack: dates  chopped apple and peanut butter.

New favourite snack! Bonus points for a crispy, slightly tangy apple…the flavours mingle together like magic. Can you perceive how much of a rebel I am in challenging my braces by the level of pulverising the apple received? Uhm yeah, not.

I can eat what I want, when I want to. And I truly believe that without breaking all ties with restrictive eating by completely going a little loco over more processed food, I would not adore more wholesome foods as much as I do today.

supper- chickpea mushroom curry

Supper: avocado quesadilla, chickpea mushroom curry thingy, steamed spinach. Orange juice.

I’m turning into a right old decent chef if I do say so myself. My downfall is the laziness when it comes to kitchen labours…regardless, this chickpea curry (is it an offense to throw the term “curry” with reckless abandon?!) was delicious. I mean, I had it again the evening after. And I have a feeling I coincidently had something closely resembling on the last WIAW I partook in. The detailed procedure as follows: I sautéed sliced onions and some fresh crushed garlic in coconut oil for abit before tossing in about 3 sliced white mushrooms. Seasoned the mushrooms with some sea salt and black pepper and once cooked, tossed in the drained chickpeas. About an 1/8 of a teaspoon of turmeric stirred through and cooked on low for another minute or so.

Ironically enough, I had to release myself of the notion of attaining the instinct of in intuitive eater in order to develop a good sense of intuition myself. It is rather pointless and a waste of energy to berate ourselves over the effects of enjoying an extra serving of dessert or the likes. Our body will deal with it sufficiently, provided we continue to treat it well. Move, rest, eat as we receive the signals when we’ve reached a place of balance.  That’s all folks!

 

What is your view on eating intuitively?

Current favourite dessert?

Cooked or raw veg -predominantly- ?

Thinking Out Loud #31

A headache hasn’t visited my head for ages, so much so – I’d forgotten what a pain it is. I’m taking the recent plaguing of one as a cue to release some of the mental baggage by joining in on the stream of randomness brought to you by Amanda. Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Thank goodness for a mid-week holiday is all I can say! Not that I excused myself from the office – having a good amount of catching up to play – but just the relief of a day without any calls and queries coming my way is a much-needed chance to restore my sanity after an absolutely shaky start to the week. When Tuesday dawned I was just about ready for the week to wrap up and felt in NEED of a 14 day weekend.what a week!image source

  2. I am traumatized people. When it came to work-related issues I’ve always had a sensible 90 year old brain on me…a few minutes of my naïve 19 year self surfacing was sufficient to destroy me. How else do I explain how in the world I’ve been *almost* completely scammed over the phone by some Windows technician fake? I don’t understand; me who trusts very few, sceptical of most, too occupied and “wise” to stumble into a trap. Or maybe that was the old me? Argh I just want to keel over and die when I think about it. What, you think that’s a touch too dramatic? Well, the bloody rouge managed to possess my precious laptop for a good while, because I was too gullible and impulsive. The worst part of it is the impact it had on me: mentally assaulted is not underplaying the way I feel.

Sylvester- don't mess with meimage source

 3. That is the distressing element though; I cannot get back at him who cruelly took advantage of my susceptibility. I am frustrated for letting up my guard after approaching the call with wary rudeness, knowing full well the danger of scams in business and I intended to deter the varmin hastily. But after coaxed by a few key words that impacted me as the “real deal”…argh moving on…

daffy duckimage source

    4. Oatmeal cooking methods are getting fancier around these parts. While Dad has been applauding the simplicity of instant oats, I am utterly adoring a key factor in this recipe at Oh She Glows. The procedure of cooking the banana for a bit in coconut oil before tossing in the liquid and oats is sensational. Fancier still, I went with a caramel-ly take on things the morning after by adding 5 small chopped dates along with the banana and allowing it to get a little melty prior to pouring in 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup rolled oats and a generous pinch of salt,, then leaving it to cook on low.

topped with cinnamon, chunky applesauce and peanut butter.

topped with cinnamon, chunky applesauce and peanut butter.

There is a little mindless game I amuse myself in when cooking up my oatmeal. I’ll fill the 1 cup at the sink -to the brim- and proceed to slither to the stove with exceptional steadiness in order not to spill a drop. I’ve developed into quite a veteran at the sport :D .

5. I just cannot take to cooking oatmeal in milk. I’ve tried again recently, curiosity compelling me to since I failed to clearly recall the last time I’d rolled with milk…  and while I’m all for the creaminess – the milk seems to mask the true earthy flavour of the oats. Not a fan. What I am a fan of is repairing my relationship with dried fruit (well, fruit in general) as per the bag of dates in my possession. Since it seems likely I won’t be getting up an entire post dedicated to it [which was the original plan]…you’re probably assuming that it was an ED fear to hesitate over dried fruit. Expected, but that is not the case. Having instilled in myself an outlandish phobia of fats, and consuming only veggies and fruits while harbouring a dominant sweet tooth meant that more often than not my entire supper consisted of a controlled portion of dried fruit or a huge bowl of sliced watermelon. Not surprising then that for the most part I am not in inclined to fruits; not because I don’t enjoy it, but there is a distinctive negative stigma surrounding it in my mind. Fruit = safe food.

6. Now that I’ve been for a good long while averted from fruit simply due to not craving it, I aim to start including more variety of dried/fresh fruit in my snacks…to try it out and see if I in fact enjoy it. I need to allow myself to experiment with eating all fruits once again without shunning them as part of the “ED history” and always choosing a more dessert-ish option over fruit without even giving myself a chance.

dates and a cappuccino

dates and a cappuccino (as inspired by our host!)

Jee willikers, do these dates not appear like cockroaches in this photo *shudder* !? I’ve been called out countless times -by photographically wise comrades- the error that is leaving the spoon in the shot. And yet, I keep forgetting – I cannot drink my coffee or hot chocolate without a spoon in!

7. This mental heaviness that has clutched onto me doesn’t seem to be have any plans in deserting, which means some action is required. It’s like… brain fog. No not brain fudge, brain fog. Very different, best not to confuse the two. Bright colours and soft materials prove to have a gently positive effect so that’s happening… picture083The polkadots instantly bring someone dear to mind :) . Oh and fresh air! All the fresh air please…which I’m off to inhale right now before settling down to a big bowl of chocolate peanut butter oatmeal.     Any tips in getting through mental trauma? Perhaps I am behaving dramatically, but then I truly feel slightly destroyed. Share some thought with me! That would serve to delight me…

Carrot-muffin oatmeal bars

Another mystery solved: I know why I like to talk about food as much as I do. After being consumed in such a negative relationship with food for quite awhile, manipulating it and thus myself in order to deal with unhappiness swirling inside me like a raging monster… the elation in appreciating and delighting the senses upon nourishing myself [body and mind] with tasty food has me feeling ridiculously blessed every.single.day.

I’ll admit that I cannot “create” a recipe for the life of me and I have little to no interest in editing photos or possessing the understanding of snapping a good shot of eats. But I need to let you in on something stupefyingly cool: my taste buds are pure genius. And when I allow them to lead the way, I’m led to pretty delicious places. Approximately a week back I made these cashew and coconut oatmeal bars. The words that won me over? “reminded me of muffin tops”. Say what *eyes lit* !?

cashew coconut oatmeal barsOf course with a recipe as simple as that I failed to concoct any excuses either. These bars just won me over upon first bite… light, airy cereal bars were never my thing; I’m a fan of dense and chewy. As I munched on the second-last one in the batch -2 days ago, I was already investigating into an idea lodged up there for the next batch. Clean out of coconut and battling the constant prompt for carrot cake.. I thought why not? So I winged it.

carrot muffin bars

Replaced the coconut flakes with 1 large finely grated carrot.

Instead of cashews I went with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Milk of choice was 1 cup of coconut milk.

When it came to tossing an egg into the wet mixture, a sear of doubt cut into me as I stared at what appeared the size of a pigeon’s egg. Bummer. Following intuition I almost threw another one in entirely… at the last deadly moments I bailed out at the looming possibly of ending up with a carrot omelette and went with just an extra white. I’m a smart human.

carrot-muffin oatmeal bar

The combination of flavours makes these bars incredibly satisfying and addicting all at once. So all credit of a winning recipe to the lady Khushboo, and I will strongly nudge into including a carrot-muffin twist among the combinations you experiment with, because let’s be real here…it is the kind of recipe that will be made on the regular.

Waiting is not my strong point

Along with harbouring a hot and cold persona, a love of soft fluffy things, an obsession with brightly patterned socks and a penchant for flinging nicknames at anyone and everyone (my insincere apologies if you were or are privy to it), I am a halfway commitment phobic. Ohboy will you look at that? I am getting to truly know myself a little more every day. Halfway because, as much as I am hesitant to dedicate myself – once I do there’s no going back. The very moment I grasp onto an idea, every atom of my soul grows incredibly intent and focused on the scheme circulating in my blood. Yeh, I know… that sounds like a load of…

It’s happened countless times though, situations closely akin to this morning: after breakfast I was struck with a random objective to dunk Lindt Chilli into that chocolate peanut butter dip. And then the thrill of the idea overtook my nervous system and I had to have it right then, right now. Yesterday evening I mentally committed to giving the office a spring clean today after lightly toying with the notion for awhile . First thing this morning I was flinging out the furniture and getting stuck into it. Oh and I should let you in on it; the Lindt chilli was magical swirled through the dessert hummus.

So when I felt a certain something twitching in me upon reading Amanda’s recipe just posted up today for apple pie pancakes; I knew I was in trouble.

Tangled Rapunzelimage source

My gut was waiting for my brain to give that “OK” signal… eager to erupt into excitement and hold me to my word. And why not? Sounds simple… the ingredients on hand… and the biggest factor of course: bloody delicious. And that’s judging from the photo’s alone. I promised my tummy and taste buds(?) – breakfast tomorrow. You know, breakfast just seemed like 5.5 billion years away. Who cares if the veggie drawer happens to be stocked up with fresh spinach, mushrooms, carrots etc. The grilled lemon and parsley hake fillets lost their appeal. Damn it, I wanted apple pie pancakes. I took 50 deep breaths… and got to work on dinner…

apple pie pancakes

topped with orange blossom honey, along with a side of peanut butter.

I’m gifted okay. Tell me your pancakes result in such creative shapes!?.. hectagons, pentagons and what not.

apple pie pancakes

I am almost too exhausted to delve into describing how delectable these fluffy guys were… they rocked my [neon pink and turquoise, striped] socks off.

apple pie pancakes

Tell you one thing; my belly is exceptionally happy. And exceptionally demanding… or is that my head ;) .

Thinking Out Loud #30

Guys, I am turning into a chatterbox. Help me! Never mind having been an incessant squeaking cricket the past few days in addition to other forms of technical talking…I am left with a molehill of mumble jumble up in there; ready to pounce on my next innocent victim. Which would be you by the way. Gotta love the lover of randomness Amanda and her invitation to Think Out Loud.

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

1. Do you know those cravings that manage to simply possess you? I get that way too often admittedly, and it happens to be SO pin pointedly specific…it.kills.me. In a good way. Okay, once I have it satisfied. Since last week I’ve been craving a freshly baked scone with strawberry jam and  a foamy cappuccino. There’s just been too much going on to schedule in a coffee date among all the cheesecake…

cheesecake

and chocolate :D . But if it doesn’t happen this week….I stand a strong chance of losing my mind.

 

2. Fringes are happening people!

fringed top-Traffic

Alright they’re practically old news BUT here’s the deal: unless I am bitten and snared myself, a fashion item announced to be hot and happening through the media is not going to work it’s way into my wardrobe. It’s all down to the chemistry of attractions I believe, which runs much further than the spark between two souls.

 

3. On the topic of chemistry; the excitement in the reunion with Nutella is waning…my taste buds have grown dull to it and restless – ever demanding a thrill found in a foreign taste and texture. I was remarkably conscious of a nagging need of extra nourishment as off -3 days ago.. perhaps the absence of sufficient wholefoods and a gravitation toward “empty” desserts and sugars – amidst all the PMSing and mood swings – left me low in important vitamins and minerals. What I am -to my pleasant surprise- all gaga for right now, is beans. That’s right, to go along with a brain full of beans figuratively speaking, I am now legit craving them. Garbanzo beans to be precise.

 

4. I had all but entirely forgotten the honourable bag of chickpea flour collecting dust on the counter… my mind fresh into the chickpea “obsession” zoned in on Aunty Arman’s commendation of this recipe in his breakfast round-up. Pizza for breakfast? No thank you. But it would be simply glorious for lunch…

chickpea crust pizza

topped with Garlic Sweet Chilli sauce, zucchini scrambled eggs in butter and chunky avo slices.

And I learned all over again that I am an absolute nutcase at making anything pancake-ish. I must have prodded and poked at the poor thing 5.5 billion times while it tried to cook. Despite my abuse man-handling it turned out scrumptious!

 

5. I should confess a little matter weighing slightly heavily on my chest: You call it zucchini… we (meaning the humans labelling the packages in this part of the world) call it.. get this.. Marrows *jaw hanging*. Of all the stupefying!? … mar-rows. Why does that sound so icky, hah?! Oh and leave that appalling fact; I was adamant zucchini failed to exist at all over here, casting an uninterested eye over the marrows. It was only upon Syd informing me – from her time in SA – that I awoke to this mystifying vegetable. I think I’m in love.

 

6. Testimonial to the continual chickpea crazy stint (that, along with being captivated by the hummusapien’s recipes) is the dessert I whipped up yesterday. After legit pining for it for 30 hours… I kid you not.

I wanted a nourishing dessert and this was it. I hereby pledge to never undermine it’s rich gloriousness by “wasting” this hummus on unworthy forms of dippage. For now: spoon and finger is my standard vehicles. I choose to overlook the “error” on the recipe – stating it serves 6, because I refuse to accept I am capable of packing away 3-4 servings in one day.  It’s a sheer miracle that my tummy is content with it!

 

7. Humans who are obsessed with feet do exist right? I mean, I’ve read a number of amusing instances in different novels yet haven’t come across it in real life. Or rather, haven’t had it made known to me…not to be mistaken, I am grateful to be ignorant if it is common because I reckon I’d be majorly weirded out. I was completely taken aback that a feet frenzy is not exclusive to humans; made clear when I was lounging on the stoep on a chilly morning the other day…

foot-loving ram

Oh my socks were squeaky clean so you don’t have to feel sorry for the blighter developing some disease.

 

8. This edition of Thinking Out Loud has been -as is the norm- chipped away at from around Tuesday, which makes an update on the dessert hummus situation compulsory. When I experienced the first lick straight from the blender my first thought was: frosting. This needs a slice of chocolate cake to be hernia-inducingly spell-bounding. Or is that spell binding?! Regardless – this one minute chocolate cake slathered with chocolate PB dessert hummus is magnificent.

With that I’m off…

That's all folks!image source

Share some of your thoughts with me!

Greater victories

A day in terms of hecticified busy-ness can be allocated in one of two standard categories: 1) nonstop bustling, hopping from one task to another. 2) occupied with slow-moving chores that primarily consist of waiting. <-my personal pet hate depending on the specific surroundings. Yesterday was basically that – waiting, oh.my.goose so much waiting. On returning home in the evening I felt slightly overwhelmed; the day was drawing to a close, yet I had barely begun. In a ravenous state with a million and one things looming like a rock over my head, about to crash and splatter my brains (and some major PMS cravings)… I needed coffee. And [leftover] cheesecake. For a very late lunch. As I settled down, allowing the mix of decadent creaminess and sugar to help in regaining a sense of calm and focus, I realized something epic. Food -of any kind or form- is no longer a challenge. Coming home after an extensive period of sitting on my behind without any “activity” and collapsing with dessert because I want it, is not a feat in my eyes anymore. It’s my normal. I’ll crave my veggies soon enough don’t you worry. That’s not to say I am fooling myself in trying to believe that skipping lunch and ODing on dessert is sensible or healthy… it is enjoyable now and again I’ll give it that much. And I am not writing off the fact that for any human overcoming fear foods there isn’t reason to rejoice and jive with delight!

It’s just weirdly fantabulous to know that I don’t have a single fear food. Wait, what!? Yeah really. discovering quoteimage source

Whereas not too long ago there were occasions allocated to greasy, fried foods…and of course it had to be documented and announced because I “challenged” the fear of oils and unknown calories and blah, blah. Now I would only feel inclined to make special mention of a meal or dessert in order to sing it’s praises, or give my critical review – respectively. Like the prawn wrap and chips about a week back…

prawn wraps/chips

Bugger that was glorious.

Food in itself is not an achievement for me any longer… it’s just food. A magnificent part of life, but not one to be battling with and “winning” by cutting out this and will-powering on that.

Oh and the waiting? That concluded to a mini victory toward something huge -hopefully- in the not too far away future :) .