What’s going on in my tummy?

Rewind to six months ago- I started getting excruciating stomach pain one morning, along with a few other unwelcome symptoms. It was out of no where, so I thought that maybe the three glasses of bubbles I had indulged in the the night before had given me a bit of a dodgy and unusual hangover… If only.

The cramping subsided after a few days but returned only three days later- this was a pattern that continued (along with other unwanted symptoms) for the next almost four weeks. You’d think I would have gotten the hint that something was up- but no I thought I had eaten something bad/ gotten a stomach bug/ reacted to something.

A simple test soon showed that I had a parasite, Mr D. Fragilis.

I can’t say that I was happy to have a little friend living, breeding and growing inside me, but on the other hand at least I knew that something was actually wrong!

Fast forward two horrible course of antibiotics (the first didn’t work..) and many nauseous days and I was cleared. Hooray!

So I thought I was cured and life would go back to normal. WRONG.

My naturopath explained to me that my gut was extremely sensitive, so I cut out basically everything delicious.

As someone who already eats really well my friends were confused how I could cut anything else out of my diet!

So over the months I experiments with foods and slowly re-introduced everything but gluten (my stomach is not a happy chappy).

But six months later- it’s almost worst than pre-parasite.

Despite not being able to drink, eat gluten, being annoying and asking every restaurant i eat out at a million questions about ingredients I’ve been pretty good. But now, that for some ridiculous reason it’s gotten worse, and continues to each day, I’m almost at my whits end!

My GP says I now have IBS and I’m in the middle of a flare up, my naturopath says that IBS is just a basket that GPs put you in when you don’t fall under any other category.

So that’s how I found myself paying $500 for a test that will be sent to the US and hopefully make all my dreams come true. You’d hope so for that amount of cashola!

Although on another note- it is supposed to be really good and will tell me everything I want to know (and don’t want to know) about my stomach and what’s going on down there.

So fingers crossed that it pin points something!

Have you had any luck with tummy troubles? Have you recovered after a parasite?

Soph x

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Tuna, rice & all things nice

I’ve been a little slack with writing lately. But not in the kitchen 🙂

Summer is approaching and it is the season for salads! So I’ve been experimenting.

The other day I whipped up this simple tuna and rice salad for my dad and I. It got the tick of approval from him- my number 1 critic so I figured it must be good! 

Ingredients: 

1 can  of tuna
1/2 or 1 cup of Brown rice (cooked)
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumber
Sweetcorn
Olives
Baby spinach
Lemon
Cracked Pepper
Low-fat feta
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Chop up the veges and mix them together. Top with the tuna and squeeze the lemon on top (and olive oil if using).
Crumble the feta (you won’t need much!) and crack the pepper!

And that’s it- simple as! Enjoy.

 

Soph xx

Falling off the bandwagon & reining in the willpower

You know when you have one of those weekends that is super busy, very social and full of late nights? Late nights, combined with alcohol and food that isn’t overly nutritious, and you know that you shouldn’t be eating it but you just can’t stop yourself?

Well that was me last weekend. And three days on I am still feeling the effects.

Friday night was the end of a loooooong busy week at work. Usually we don’t have anything thing on Friday nights are reserved for a movie and comfort food. Only once a month do we indulge in take away- as a treat. On the other nights we’ll make burritos or pita pizzas- something “special” but still healthy.

However after the hectic week we had both had it was simply too easy to order out. First mistake.

The next day I woke up feeling terrible! I’ve been eating so well lately that I think I gave my body a shock- not good. You’d think I’d learn right?

Well Saturday I did my usual gym, Grit Strength and Body Attack- it doesn’t feel like a Saturday without it. I was on track for a good and healthy day until I had to go to work. We had our largest event of the year on and as part of the communications team, I was needed. It was a fantastic evening. Most things went smoothly and we celebrated. With, you guessed it, food and alcohol. The event didn’t finish until midnight, so when we had pack up we went out to celebrate.

Now don’t get me wrong- it was a great night with great people. However, the next day wasn’t so great. Especially seeing as I didn’t get to bed until gone 4am with too much alcohol and bad food in my system.

I guess that would have been ok if I could have lounged around on Sunday, relaxing, maybe doing some cleaning. But no. Of course I had a large family gathering for my brother who is travelling to South America for 8 months (lucky him). Although thank goodness he too had had a late night!

So, after waking up on Sunday and rushing around the house to finalise things before my large family descended (my mum is one of 7!) I was hungry of course. I did make myself a delicious berry smoothie in the morning but my hung over body was unfortunately craving the triple brie and dips that were covering the table. And why not just have a glass of wine to go with it?

So 5pm comes about and everyone is slowly drifting off. You’d think I could relax right? Wrong.

Last year a close friend of mine passed away. And one of my friends had arranged to have a catch up at one of his favourite places. I would never miss it, so we headed there.

It was wonderful to see everyone and support each other and his family during this hard time. But of course I had a drink. And some dip. And given there were hot chips sitting right in front of me…..

 

Each moment was important, minus the lazy Friday, and while I was in it I enjoyed it. But come Monday, and Tuesday- I am still feeling it. I feel like I am playing catch up with my body. Catch up on sleep, catch up on nutrition, catch up on fitness…

I feel yuk. It’s make me realise just how much better I feel, not just in the moment, but for the coming week, when I look after my body.

Today I wasn’t careful about what I consumed. Why? Because I already feel like it wouldn’t matter this week. That’s not good! Two and a half days have gotten me into this mind-set that will take almost a week to get out of!

I’m not going to deprive my self of fun times, going out, drinking- but I’ve realised I need to limit my self.

I want to continue waking up feeling amazing, as I have been prior to this week.

I just need to rein in the will power.

So, do you have any tips for staying on track?

Soph xx

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Veggie “sausage” rolls

I haven’t eaten a sausage roll in years. Aside from being a vegetarian for the past few years, I always prefered other options.

However I’ve come across several decent recipes for vegetarian “sausage” rolls, so I adapted and merged the ones I like best and came up with some clean eating, easy and delicious veggie rolls!

What you’ll need :

-Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees

-2 cans of lentils
-1/2 a cube of vege stock (crumbled)
-1 glove of crushed garlic (you could use pre-minced)
-1 medium red onion, diced
-2 teaspoons paprika
-2 teaspoons curry powder
-1 teaspoon mixed herbs (or fresh parsley!)
-2 grated carrots
-1 beaten egg
-1 cup of corn crumbs (or bread)
-1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
-8 mountain bread wraps

Combine all the ingredients apart from the wraps. Make sure the mixture is really well combined. I like to use a potato masher and squash the lentils a bit.
Cover a baking tray with paper. Lay out two wraps on top of each other. In the middle of the wrap place 1/4 of the mixture and roll it up.
Continue with the remaining wraps.
Lightly cover the tops in olive oil.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes!

See? Super easy AND delicious!

Soph xx

Vegetarian Girl

October is vegetarian month! Many people don’t know but I was a vegetarian for six+ years and it was only last year that I slowly started to introduce it- and even then it’s hardly at all.

My problem always was that I love cooking. I also love eating. I love to appreciate food, and I realised the last time I was in Europe that so much of the food had meat. Luckily my brothers would always order delicious dishes so I was able to still get my vege dish, but taste some of theirs too!

I still haven’t ordered a meat dish in the past six or more years, but if my parents make a curry and the tofu happens to be cooked with the chicken- I’m not going to refuse it. I’d just pick the chicken out now.

I’m always on the hunt to find amazing vegetarian cafes or restaurants. Or places that just cook amazing vege food! One thing that is hard to find though is a delicious vege burger that is sold in supermarkets.

Don’t get me wrong I have found a fair few dining out, but the ones in the supermarket either contain 100+ ingredients or make me bloated and sick.

So I set my mind to finding a recipe.

And after a fair hunt and several kitchen experiments I am in love! 

I’ve make these countless times and they are SUPER delicious. They taste great baked in the oven, fried or best of all BBQ-ed!

The recipe comes from Veggie Num Num– an amazing vegetarian website that i urge you all to have a look at. Click here for the recipe!

One thing I have found though is that to make the recipe a little cleaner is I sometimes use corn crumbs which are 100% maize.

What are you favourite vege burgers? Please hit me with them- I’m always on the look out for something new!

Soph xx

Run run run as fast as you can!

Yesterday I competed in my first running race. Hooray!!

It may have only been a fun run but for me this was a huge goal in 2013.

Lets back track a little….

About seven months ago I wouldn’t and couldn’t run. I was fit enough physically- but my mind just couldn’t do it. I would jog around the block and be mentally exhausted.

I couldn’t be bothered going further than 1km, and because I wasn’t mentally prepared my body didn’t function.

But one sunny day in March 2013 I decided, out of the blue, to run from A to B. About 6kms…

And I ran. 

The feeling was amazing. I had achieved something I didn’t think possible. It was a huge boost of confidence for me.

I don’t know about you but I work best when I have goals to aim for. I have goals for all aspects of my life, fitness, food, work (and the list goes on…)

So I set myself the goal of running The City Bay,the entire 12kms.  I figured if I could run 6km then I could run 12km!

I had just under 6 months to prepare.

By June I was running 8kms comfortably. I knew then I had to step up my training though.

Unfortunately I had to have an operation in mid-June which set me back several weeks of training, but still I continued.

The hardest bit was in the last few weeks- wanting to push myself but not tire my body out! The whole thing was a learning experience.

And I’m proud to say I achieved my goal. I ran the entire 12km 🙂

And my goal for next year? Well I have two. I’m going to up the anti and train for a half marathon! And I’m excited. I can’t wait to push my body and mind and feel that overwhelming sense of achievement at the end of each run.

The other goal? Well to run The City Bay faster of course!!

What goals have you set for yourself?

Soph x