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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Caramel Slice is Very Nice

caramel slice

After almost 11 months my brother is back from living in South America! Yay!

I thought this called for a celebration.

I’ve been wanting to try out a clean caramel slice for ages- so thought this was a pretty good time to whip out the recipe I’d been eyeing off.

I used the recipe from Wholefood Simply and OMG- delish.

BUT. I broke my food processor…I’m just going to say that it was worth it and it gives me a needed excuse to invest in a much more hardy one (any suggestions?)

You can get the recipe here.

 

 

First for the new year!

Well I’ve been on holidays for the past few weeks, and as such have been a little too slack in the writing department. But on the plus side I’ve been able to spend time in the kitchen experiments and whipping up some awesome creations!

Tonight I made a delicious dumpling noodle soup! Not the healthiest dinner ever- but it’s pretty close and the fresh ingredients and flavors are amazing!

Wonton noodle soup:

3 salt reduced stock cubes (chicken or vege)
photo (12)3 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
1.5 litres of hot water
Small onion sliced thin
1 garlic glove crushed
3 celery stalkeds sliced thin
1 carrot grated
3 spring onions sliced thin
1 bunch of bok choy
1 packet of thin hokkien noodles
2 teaspoons of seasame oil
1 packet of dumplings (I buy some homemade veggie ones from our local Asian supermarket)

Lightly fry the onion, garlic, ginger for a few minutes until fragrant. Add stock, water, soy, carrot, celery amd spring onion.
Bring to the boil.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add dumplings and boy choy, cook for 8 minutes (or until dumplings are done).
Prepare noodles and seperate into bowls.
Top with soup and dumplings.

I like to garnish it with some fresh coriander! YUM!

Soph xx

PS: if you have a good dumpling recipe (preferably vegetarian) I would love to know- still trying to find a winner!

Tuna, rice & all things nice

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

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

Jumping on the CrossFit wagon

Agony.

I think that word sums up just how I feel right about now.

Less than 24 hours ago I finally dragged myself to my friends CrossFit gym. It’s been something that I’ve been wanting to try since he established it- 3 years ago. But life always seemed to get in the way (as it does).

I lift weights, I believe I’m fit but I can’t remember feeling like this after any work out I’ve done before.

I don’t regret it at all- in fact I feel a sense of accomplishment from doing it. I pushed myself in a completely different way yesterday. And it was great.

Although maybe not so great when I struggled to lift my arms up to wash my hair! OUCH!

I should also mention the blisters that immediately appeared on my hands as well as the bruises on my arms and collar bones which prompted a few jokes in the office this morning as they look reminiscent of hickeys. Let me assure you that they are not, unless hickeys are painful.

But my eyes have been opened to the wonderful, challenging and painful world of CrossFit and I can’t wait for my next class!

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 NumРan 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

Summer lists & weekend breaks

My brothers

Last weekend I went away to the beach with my family. Just the five of us, my mum, dad and two brothers.

One of my brothers is headed off to South America for seven months in a few weeks so this was our last chance of getting together as a family given he’ll be away for Christmas and the summer holidays.

Anyway..I¬†love¬†the beach- it’s beautiful, relaxing as well as a wonderful place to exercise.

South Australia has so many beautiful beaches. You can reach the beach within 20 minutes of the CBD. But we travelled about 2 hours away to Port Elliot and it was stunning.

Each day I was able to walk down to the beach and go for a long walk or run- not only was it a work out but it was therapudic. I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world.

Sunset at the beach

Gorgeous sunset on the beach

We’re only a few weeks into Spring at the moment, but I’ve realised I have to make the most of what I have right here on my door step. And this Summer I want to make it to the beach more. I want to make more time for that.

Call me crazy but I love lists, they help me stay organised, focused and give me something to work towards. They just work.

So I’ve written a list of the top five things I want to do, or do more of this Summer.

1. More beach walks
2. Cook something new each week
3. Take more photos and capture the moments
4. Go snorkelling
5. Have picnics

I have no doubt that the list will grow, but this is a starting point- and I can’t wait.

Soph x

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 ūüôā

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