What you focus on is what you get! 

Tony Robbins: Change your world view

Watch this moving & hilarious Tony Robbins clip featuring “Big Balls Bob”!

In just 7 minutes he shows us how to move from a ‘depressed’ mindset to a sense of achievement & hope.

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Life is all about how you handle plan B!

Plan-B
Image Source: Google

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans…and I had some great plans for this year! My year so far was ‘supposed’ to be full of studying, fitness, adventure, and friends & family. Life definitely had other ideas!

I started feeling unwell last October with a Crohn’s flare up. I knew it was coming, I couldn’t eat without being in pain. I was bloated, lethargic and so sore. I went to the emergency room one Friday when I just couldn’t take the pain any more. I stayed over the weekend on IV steroids. I left on Sunday night with a prescription for Prednisone (oral steroids) and felt great! Unfortunately steroids work a little too well and masked symptoms of a bigger problem.

I would not usually so openly share the details of my illness with the world, I have always had a head-down and deal with it attitude. I really want to share this experience though because there is so little known about Crohn’s disease. I suffered a very rare side effect with a high mortality rate. I am sharing not only for awareness, but if there is someone out there in the same boat, searching for answers, looking for hope, I would like to provide them some.

Two days after Christmas my right hip started hurting. I thought I had moved it funny the day before, but it just kept getting worse. I could barely walk and I couldn’t lift my foot off the ground, the pain was excruciating. We were heading off on holiday for ten days so I put it aside, took Panadol for the pain and it did seem to ease up a little bit. By the time we got home the pain was worse, so I went to my GP the next day. Once he saw that I couldn’t even lift my foot he ordered an emergency CT Scan, fearing my hip joint may have begun to perish (a rare side effect of long-term steroid use). The CT results were sent to an Orthopaedic Surgeon. A week later I was sitting patiently in the fracture clinic at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) for four hours, for the surgeon to tell me there was nothing wrong with my hip joint and to assure me this was great news. All the while I am in agony and this does not seem like good news at all! To be sent away with no diagnoses was horribly depressing. I went back to my GP who ordered an MRI and another CT Scan from which nothing was observed.

By this point I was pretty furious. It was late January, I was still in constant agonising pain, I was miserable and hitting brick walls everywhere. So I sat down with trusty Google and started researching hip pain and Crohn’s disease. Straight away I found many articles describing exactly what I was going through, I knew I had found the answer – a Psoas Abscess, secondary to Crohn’s disease. The Psoas muscle is a large, anti-gravity muscle that runs from the spine to both the right and left hip joints, it’s what allows us to lift our legs, walk, run, bend – it’s pretty damn important. I took an article to my GP (who is the most respectful and kind doctor I’ve ever met) and he agreed with my self-diagnosis. He sent me for one last CT scan. The scan showed very active Crohn’s disease in my small intestine. A fistula (like a worm hole) had formed and was directly feeding my gut bacteria to my Psoas muscle causing an abscess. The next day I was in RDH on IV antibiotics treatment for a 2cm Psoas abscess.

Psoas Muscle
Psoas Muscle Image Source: Google

I wish I could say it ended there! The hospital was incredibly busy. I spent the first night in a chair in a hallway, the next three nights in the Children’s Ward. I had no scans or test before I left, it was simply observed that I was feeling better (I was, I could walk!) and I was discharged with oral antibiotics. After two days at home the pain came back, just as bad as before. My wonderful partner Danny stepped in and phoned my gastroenterology nurse and insisted on different / more treatment. That day I had another MRI and again was admitted to hospital the following day. In the week since the previous scan the abscess had grown to 9cm! I was getting worse fast.

Another four days in hospital and I was sent home on a two week “Hospital in the Home” plan. I had a PICC line inserted, which is a semi-permanent IV line that runs from a vein my arm right up to my Superior Vena Cava – a vein that sits at the entrance to my heart. The PICC line allowed for a nurse to come to our house every day to administer IV antibiotics. After the initial two weeks, a repeat MRI showed no change in the abscess. After consultations with Gastroenterologists, surgeons and my wonderful doctor at Hospital in the Home, no one really knew what to do. I was to continue on the IV antibiotics at home for another two weeks with a “wait and see” plan. I was not happy about this. I just wanted to get back to work! Being at home with no direction, nothing to do except rest – it was hard, I’m used to being active, being productive and being contributing to the world around me!

Five weeks at home on IV antibiotics and still no change, all the consulting doctors started to agree that surgery was the best option. Danny and I met with the head of surgery at RDH who agreed that yes, I needed surgery to remove the Psoas abscess, but also to repair the damaged section of my intestines causing all the grief. He scheduled a small intestine resection for the following week, where he would remove about 15cms of my ileum.

Illu_small_intestine
What’s an Ileum? Where the small & large intestines meet! Image Source: Google

On the 9th of March I headed in for surgery! I met with the surgeon who was to operate on me, he put my mind at ease with his kind and compassionate manner. Then I met with a stoma nurse “just in case” – that took away my ease! I always knew have an ileostomy bag was a possibility, but to have a nurse draw possible incision marks on my stomach just before surgery was very frightening. Laying in a hospital bed, about to be wheeled into surgery I was so excited to finally have some action towards recovery, but at the same time I was terrified of the painful recovery process to come.

It was painful, more than I could have imagined. No amount of drugs could take the pain away. Laying in recovery after surgery I asked the nurses “Do I have an ileostomy bag?” and the answer was no! I was so happy about that I laughed. Then I cried because the laughter hurt so much! But the surgery went very well and the surgeon was very happy with his work. I saw many doctors that night who all wanted to look at my stomach, I wouldn’t look, I was afraid of what I would see. One of the nurses told me “it looks really good” so I looked down. It didn’t look good from my angle! Thirty staples from my ribs to my pelvis. It looked sore, big, mean and ugly.

The first three days were incredibly painful. I was weak and stuck in bed, but I was recovering quickly – I was determined to get home! On the third day I walked around the ward and on day four I was on a clear liquid diet. I never ever want to eat jelly again! On the fifth day the self-administering drugs were taken away and I could get out of bed whenever I wanted! Day six I was giving food. Soft mushy hospital food never looked so good! On day seven I stopped taking all painkillers. I was still in quite a lot of pain, but the painkillers slow down digestion which would lead to a longer recovery time. I chose to suck it up to get better and get home quicker. It worked! On day eight I was home, sweet home! My quick recovery shocked me. Total misery, excruciating pain and persistent nausea on Wednesday gave way to hope, controllable pain, smiling, food and my own pyjamas on Thursday! Our bodies are that bloody amazing!

I have been very lucky throughout all of this. I have never been comfortable asking for help – and my beautiful friends and family know this and never waited for me to ask. Everyone has given so freely, without question, to make sure my family and I are cared for. My wonderful partner stepped in to take care of everything for me, both at work and home. He stood up for me when I was feeling defeated by the hospital system – without him I may still be waiting for answers! I had two beautiful friends selflessly coming by each day while I was at home. Them being there was the only thing that allowed me to receive treatment at home, I would have been in hospital the entire time if it weren’t for their generosity. Care packages from my family, meals cooked by friends, messages of concern – the support I received was amazing. I really understand now the quality of the relationships in my life and I am so grateful and blessed for all my people!

Thankyou

So now I am home, back at work and well on my way to recovery! I have more energy than I have had for about a year and apart from a little pain in my abdominal muscles I feel pretty damn good! My staples are gone and I have a cool zip-like scar down the centre of my torso, and it does look good, it is healing very well. I start a new treatment next week called Infliximab, which is also known as ‘magic juice’ because when it works, it eliminates all symptoms of Crohn’s disease. So I have a chance at a healthy gut life for the first time since I was a child! The future is looking amazingly bright, beautiful and full of hope!

“healthy diet” experiment leads to mental instability! Check it out!

I love this article! Education is key to health. Unfortunately so many foods labelled as “healthy” are anything but, and these foods are usually marketed to children!

Damon ate a “healthy” low-fat diet with a high sugar content for 60 days resulting in early signs of fatty liver disease, lethargy & and unstable mental functioning!! The most worrying part is, the foods he ate are found in lunch boxes all over the country.

Take a look at the article & the “healthy meal” he ate that contributed to his ill health & metal instability!

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/damon-gameau-goes-super-size-on-the-sweet-stuff-in-shocking-sugar-experiment/story-fneuzkvr-1227127957935

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happiness – what are you waiting for?

What do you do when you want something? Do you get up & find it, or do you wait patiently for it to come to you? What if the thing you want is happiness?

There is a stigma behind happiness, that it is a selfish pursuit. I certainly believed that to be true. When I was younger I thought I should be happy with what I have & focus my time & energy making other people happy. I never allowed myself to seek happiness, I was under the impression that I was just supposed to be happy – there were no roads, no strategies – just be happy; & if I wasn’t, well there was something wrong with me! I am so very grateful I now know differently!

Everything changed a few of years ago, I was tired of the rut I was in. I had a great life, but I wasn’t doing anything with it. I was self-conscious, bored & boring. There was no happiness in my mediocre life, I had no direction, no goals. Nothing was happening in my life & that whole lot of nothing was so crushing, so consuming I felt like screaming! But instead of screaming I bought a book – The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy. This book taught me that I could be whatever I dreamed, have whatever I desired & the only tool I need was my mind! It liberated me & sparked my ongoing, ever-changing, pursuit of mindful happiness.

JC_Larissa-23

happiness – what I know now!

Happiness is a selfless pursuit –  contrary to what I once believed, I now know that being happy is a wonderfully selfless act. My happiness creates ripples – when I am light & cheerful, it allows those around me to be light & cheerful. There have been many studies on the benefits of happiness (or in science talk – positive affect) that have shown people with high levels of happiness are more generous, more considerate, have a greater ability for maintaining close relationships & are more empathetic. There is also a beautiful circle – people who perform altruistic acts are more likely to be happy, & happy people are more likely to be altruistic! Finding your happiness is one of the greatest gifts for those you love.

“The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life.

I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy;

I mean that if you are happy you will be good.”

—Bertrand Russel

Happiness is unmeasurable –  happiness is a feeling, like love. How do you know love? Because you feel it. No one can measure it for you, you know that you are happy because you are. I know I am happy when my mind is clear, my heart is light & I can end the day with a smile. There is a line from one of my favourite songs (Feeling Good, Nina Simone) “Sleep in peace when day is done, that’s what I mean” – that’s my best measure of happiness.

Happiness is moveable –  it is different from person to person, it is different from day to day. What makes me happy will not necessarily make you happy. What brings me happiness today might not tomorrow. However the strategies I use in pursuing happiness remain certain, so when something is no longer serving me I implement my happiness strategies to move onto something that will.

Happiness requires honesty –  to know what makes me happy, I have to be really honest with myself. I use a strategy I learnt from Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. I write three lists – what makes me feel good, what makes me feel bad & my atmospheres of growth. Writing these lists can be very enlightening. How often do we take the time to really think & feel about our daily actions, let alone write them down? From this strategy I know that feeling busy makes me feel bad & being outdoors helps me feel good. Growth is such an important influence on happiness. Happy people experience positive affect when progressing towards goals, no matter how lofty or grand the goals – it is the progress, the growth that causes the positive affect. Identifying my atmosphere’s of growth helps me set goals, I know what I want to achieve & what is most important to me.

Action changes things!

Happiness requires action –  my happiness relies on my action. It is not enough to identify my good, bad & growth if I do nothing with them! I use these lists to light the way for setting goals & resolutions – my action. Some of my resolutions are simple – I spend 15 minutes cleaning each morning before the kids wake up (mess makes me feel bad), I meditate at least three times a week (meditation makes me feel good) and some are bigger, like studying food & wellness (learning is an atmosphere of growth). Identifying the sources of my happiness shows me what action to take, & taking action everyday makes me happy.

What you do everyday matters more

than what you do once in a while.”

Gretchen Rubin

Happiness can be learnt –  happiness is a skill & like any other skill you have, or want to have, practice makes perfect. Take action every day, with the intent of happiness. Be aware, be mindful, & make decisions that support you feeling good & your atmospheres of growth. Think of your happiness like a muscle – use it every day & it will grow bigger & stronger!

So… what are you waiting for?

(Scroll down to the end of the post (past the amazing recipe!) & read the great The Science of Happiness infographic designed by www.happify.com. It delves much deeper into the science behind happiness & what you can do to find yours!)

 

Spiced Carrot Cake - divine!
Spiced Carrot Cake – divine!
Spiced Carrot Cake

One of my areas of growth, my passion, is food. I love learning about how food affects our bodies & minds, & elemental for me, how to heal with food. I was very generously gifted a juicer from a beautiful lady to support my new juicing habits! I am obsessed with ice-cold Carrot, Apple & Ginger juice at the moment – it just makes me feel so good! What doesn’t make me feel good is the waste – what do you do with your juice pulp?? It feels so wasteful to throw away all that great fibre! So I created this instead, & it is delicious!

  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup packed coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup natural yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1 3/4 cups carrot, apple & ginger pulp (or grated carrot, ginger to taste)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • a handful of pepitas

Preheat the oven to 165 degrees (150 degrees fan forced).  Lightly grease a 20cm x 20cm tin. In a large bowl combine the oil, sugar, vanilla, yoghurt and eggs together and whisk well. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually add the flour to the wet mixture and mix well after each addition. Stir in the chia seeds & carrot/ginger pulp.  (Add sultanas now if using). Pour into prepared tin & top with pepitas.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack.

** I would recommend adding the sultanas if you are not using apple – it will make up for the sweetness found in the apple

Visit www.happify.com for more inspiration!
Visit http://www.happify.com for more inspiration!

a few of my favourite things…

Well, it has been a bit of a hiatus since I last shared with you! Sometimes even the best intentions are challenged by day-to-day life. The great news is – I’m back!

I feel the last couple of months have been wildly busy, as the Dry Season always is. We’ve celebrated a sweet 16th in Darwin & a warm 21st in chilly Adelaide; we’ve embraced the Motor Sport season, supporting friends & family racing in Darwin; & we were honoured to become finalists in the Telstra Business Awards – & I was thrilled for a chance to get dressed up in Darwin! I have embarked on my new life as a part-time Uni student; so far I am enjoying the learnings & the changes to my weekly schedule. I definitely feel I am giving my time to something worthwhile. I am excited about what the next three months of Life of Cells will teach me.

After feeling unwell & having some needed rest, I am ready & able to live my passionate life again. Thankfully, by listening to my body (& my doctor!) & taking time out to restore my energy, my mind is beginning to feel fresh & open once again. The effect that physical illness can have on our mindset is incredible; I have certainly missed my mind functioning clearly & peacefully!

It has taken me many years to learn that when my plans go awry, it may just be for the best! I am very grateful to be challenged by life. OK, maybe not at the time, but definitely after! Any time life goes off the course I had carefully selected, I am compelled to learn. I either learn how to get back on track, or how to adapt to my new path & make it work for me. I make every effort to do this graciously & gracefully. Although when I am unwell I may fall short on grace!

The most loving & heart-warming lesson I am continually learning is this – the little things are the big things! Always.

It’s the caring hug, the loving message from a friend, a companion to walk with; it’s having a helping hand for the heavy jobs, like shoveling soil & carting furniture; it’s curling up on the couch to watch some trashy TV after finding Roses chocolates on special; it’s a happy fluffy dog; its zucchini flowers & home-grown herbs; it’s walking a freezing track & chasing sheep with my family!

Garden Flower

Though at the time these little moments in my life could seem so mainstream or minor; on looking back, these are the things that fill my heart with love, the moments that I will fondly remember. And these are ultimately the moments that can pull me out of any slump & remind me what life is all about. The little moments of love that prove – life is beautiful.

So, let me share the love with you, with a few of my favourite, happy, foodie things!

Chia Seed Jam

This is a delicious & much healthier alternative to store bought jam. Homemade jam makes a great gift as well! If you are yet to try Chia Seeds, this is a really good way to get to know its amazing & fun gelatinous properties.

  • 2 Cups of Berries (this one is Blueberry & Raspberry)
  • Coconut Sugar to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds

Add Chia Seeds to water and set aside. Heat berries & sugar in a pan over medium heat until soft. Add lemon juice & mash berries with a fork. Once the berries are cool, add Chia Seed mix & stir well. Jar & pop it the fridge!

Green Ginger Smoothie

Perfect with a lazy weekend breakfast!

I love a good smoothie. This Green Ginger Smoothie has become a fast favourite at my house. It is packed with Vitamins A, B & C; the anti-inflammatory properties of fresh ginger, & refreshing rehydrating cucumber & coconut water. With one and a half serves of vegetables & half a serve of fruit per glass, this is a wonderful way to serve your greens!

Serves 2

  • 1 Apple
  • 1/4 Continental Cucumber
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 2cm of Ginger, grated
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Water, or Water

Pop everything in the blender, with the spinach on top. Add ice or more water if desired. Blend for 3 minutes or until smooth. Enjoy!

Our New Veggie Patch

I have so much love for this little garden! For a long time I have dreamed of having a veggie patch, but living in urban areas it has never been practical. Until now! Finding an easy & affordable little kit garden at Bunnings was all the encouragement I needed!

The NT Government have some great information on what & when to plant in the Top End. Vegetable Sowing Calendar for Darwin & Katherine Regions – I never realised what a range of veggies we could grow! I found all the plants I was looking for at Bunnings. They were really healthy looking plants & continue to grow well. I have beautiful zucchini & cucumber flowers, a full & flourishing herb pot & some cute little lettuce & spinach seedlings (my zucchini flowers are currently all male though, so I’m not expecting fruit anytime soon!).

I am so looking forward to the day I can make a big salad for my family, picked straight out of our back yard ,and grown with love!

I’m so glad to be back blogging & back on my grand adventure! I look forward to sharing much more with you very soon! xo

5 family friendly ways to boost your nutrition!

I am so passionate about eating for health & I am always looking for new ways to bring more vitamins, more nutrition & more flavour to our family meals.

Families can be so eventful, sometimes resulting in little time to prepare well-balanced meals. No matter how good our intentions are, they can slip away just as our days slip away. The less time I have for healthy eating, the less energy I have, which means less effort I put into healthy eating… & the cycle continues! I work a full-time job, I love spending time with my family, I love looking after our house & garden, & I enthusiastically make time to keep fit. I also indulge several hours of “me time” each week… so having some practical ideas on hand helps me immensely!

A few years ago, I doubted I would ever be able to fit all of that into my days. By making a number of changes, & knowing a few tricks, I’m confident we have made valuable changes in our household to encourage mindful eating & healthier bodies!

Image Eat a rainbow!

With our fruit & vegetables, generally every colour represents a different group of vitamins & minerals. By eating a variety of colourful fruits & veg every day, you can increase your nutritional balance.

White – Antiviral & Antibacterial Properties – Onion, Leek, Cauliflower, Banana, Potatoes

Red – Contain lycopene which keeps our hearts healthy – Tomato, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Red Apple and Watermelon

Orange/Yellow – Fruits are high in Vitamin C for immune support, Vegies are high in carotenoids for healthy eyes – Oranges, Sweet Potato, Apricots, Carrots, Pineapple

Green – iron for energy & strength, high in folate for healthy cells – Broccoli, Spinach, Avocado, Peas, Green Apple and Cucumber

Purple/Blue – Anthocyanin for cell protect & cancer prevention – Beetroot, Blueberries, Eggplant and Plums

ImageSpice up your life!

I love spices & I love spicy food! Using spices doesn’t have to mean a burning mouth though!

Herbs & spices hold as many unique & powerful health properties as your fruits & veg, and can add wonderful flavours to your favourite recipes!

My favourite herbs & spices are:

Turmeric – Turmeric has fantastic anti-inflammatory properties, & amongst an amazing list of virtues, it has been known to support conditions such as asthma, auto immune disease & arthritis. It will fight off a virus almost 8 times faster than Vitamin C! With a very earthy, slightly peppery taste, Turmeric is a perfect addition to soups, stews & seasonings.

Ginger – Ginger has amazing antibacterial properties, some studies have actually suggested that the right dose of ginger can rival antibiotics when treating blood infections. It is also effective in reducing stomach complaints like nausea and other gastric distress, and it is a powerful decongestant for treating colds! Great in stir-fries, soups & biscuits!

Coriander – Rich in Vitamins C & K for healthy cells, Coriander is a delicious addition to salads, soups & curries. Coriander also, quite amazingly, can remove mercury & other heavy metals from our bodies! Coriander has a unique taste, to me it is amazingly fresh. (Oddly, a dislike for coriander is likely to be inherited!)

Rosemary – The most wonderful quality of Rosemary is that it smells like my Nans house! High in vitamins A & C, it supports healthy vision & skin and is a powerful immune support. Studies also show that Rosemary may assist short-term memory. Great on fresh baby potatoes & roast meats.

 

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Change is as good as a holiday!

By trying one new recipe a week, or a month, you are bringing new foods, & new food combinations to your family’s diets.

There are so many ways to incorporate more vitamins & minerals in your family’s favourite meals. I change up spaghetti bolognese by adding more vegetables & less meat every time. By grating extra carrot, zucchini & any other veg I have handy, I can bulk up the sauce easily & keep it tasty (no one’s noticed yet!). You can easily replace the meat entirely with lentils or beans. This works for most stews & casseroles as well.

I also switch between Coconut Oil & good quality Olive Oil for all of my cooking, as they both have good qualities I want in my diet.

I love to bake; it makes up a decent chunk of my down time! I choose to bake with different flours almost every time. I try gluten-free Almond Flour or Coconut Flour, Rye Flour, or Quinoa flour, and sometimes just Wholemeal Wheat flour. By switching it up, the nutritional value changes slightly to include something different. I also change the fruit & sugars in recipes, as most of them are interchangeable.

However if you love cooking as much as I do, I encourage you to pick a new recipe every month to try – it will improve your kitchen skills as well as you nutrition!

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Smoothie Revolution!

It seems like smoothies are taking over the world at the moment, & for good reason! Perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea, homemade smoothies are a quick & easy way of hiding extra vitamins, minerals & proteins; & they taste delicious! A protein packed smoothie is also great for post workout recovery.

Add chia seeds, dates, ground flaxseed or psyllium husks to increase your daily fibre intake.  Acai powder, green tea, spinach & kale will boost your antioxidant consumption. For a high protein smoothie try soy milk, Greek yoghurt or even an avocado!

Here are a few quick smoothie combinations to try:

Banana, frozen strawberries, Greek yoghurt, a handful of baby spinach leafs, honey to taste,

Banana, raspberries, blueberries, half an orange, coconut water, baby spinach & acai powder,

Pear, baby spinach, kiwi fruit, coconut water, chia seeds & a squeeze of lemon juice,

Rolled Oats, blueberries, pear, Greek yoghurt/Milk of your choice, flaxseed & honey to taste;

There really are endless opportunities when it comes to sneaking in nutrition in your daily smoothies. Kids love them because they taste like a desert, I love them because they have the nutritional value of a salad!

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Be a great role model!

This is my number one tip for encouraging healthier diets! A great role model educates by example; even though I have the knowledge to eat a more nutritious diet, it is the act of doing so that not only improves my life, I can actively make a difference to the lives around me.

In other words, if I’m going to talk the talk, I’m going to walk the walk!

Cooking at home can be fun, & asking the kids to help with creating delicious smoothies or picking out a new recipe to try, will keep them involved & they will keep learning.

 

The best thing about boosting nutrition is the reward of a healthier, more energised family to spend your time with!

 

What are your  favourite ways to boost nutrition in your house?

 

 

 

 

 

welcome to Larissa’s kitchen…

a happy foodie! photo credit to Jessica Christie Photography
a happy foodie!
photo credit to Jessica Christie Photography

I am excited to be finally sharing my journey with you, this has been a long time coming! Welcome to my happy blog! I will be sharing many, many thoughts with you on how I find balance in my wonderfully eventful life! My long term dream is to empower you to feel energised, healthy & comfortable, in order to chase your dreams & happiness – by being your Guinea Pig!

I will also be sharing some great original recipes of mine, some nice & some very naughty, & all well received by my eager test team of family & friends!

I have been sitting on this idea for about a year now! I am definitely a believer in doing instead of waiting, however I knew that this project deserved more time, thought, research & love before I was ready to send it out into the World Wide Web. I had a whole page of potential blog names written down, many were great, none were perfect. I attempted to share my ideas with my wonderfully creative step-son, Ash, knowing he’d have some great insight. He stopped me straight away & said “happy foodie, call it happy foodie”. Seriously, this kid is a genius!

foodie

I have always been a passionate foodie. Growing up, my three sisters & I were all – always – very selfish with our food. Well, with the good food! My Mum was a fantastic cook, she could make just about anything, but her specialty was authentic Malaysian Curries! My Dad is a great cook too, I remember his Friday arvo Rock Cakes vividly! Friday nights were always BBQ night, & much of my happiest childhood memories are of BBQ nights! Even now, preparing a BBQ for friends on a Friday night fills me with so much love & excitement, & such a feeling of familiar contentment.

My sisters & I were encouraged to cook for our family from a young age. We definitely fought over this chore – we all wanted to cook! As adults we have all kept this passion, swapping recipes & ideas, & indulging in some of the most amazing foods together. Even now as I sit here writing I received a text message from my eldest sister with a photo of her dinner (thanks Bec!). Cooking is such a therapeutic hobby for me, & cooking a meal just feels like home.

people-who-love-to-eat-are-always-the-best-people

Because I love food so much, I have always been mindful of what I choose to eat & how I nourish my body. Though 10 years ago, I thought healthy foods were measured by calories, & I never took much interest in the ingredients list. Today I am aware that “healthy” foods are measured by a variety of whole ingredients, & the absence of chemicals & numbers. I rarely purchase any packaged food without first reading the ingredients, & yes it does sometimes take a lot of picking up & putting back before settling on the best choice for me!

At 19 I was diagnosed with an Autoimmune Disease that is directly affected by what I eat. It took many years of trial & error to figure out what was now on my ‘probably should miss’ or ‘get that the hell away from me’ lists! Even now, I am still discovering new foods to add to these lists (goodbye Goat!). This diagnosis, & my reluctance to become reliant on heavy pharmaceuticals, guided me to research healthy, healing foods.

The more I researched, the more I felt I had found my true calling. Everything started making sense; I could read & talk about nutrition for years!! I started to think about how illnesses were treated & prevented many thousands of years ago – with foods, with plants, with rest & recovery time, with “home-remedies”. Today we are so reliant on over the counter products that mimic all these natural solutions!

Jamie Oliver - an amazing role model, educating students on proper nutrition
Jamie Oliver – an amazing role model, educating students on proper nutrition

So that leads me to now… I have enrolled in a Uni course, which is very exciting for me! I will be completing a Bachelor of Science over the next six years, majoring in Health & Nutrition. I figure since I am already doing the research, I might as well do something with it! I have two big goals once I have earned my degree. After eagerly gaining real-world experience, I will open my own Nutrition Practice to offer real advice to people who desire to change their life, by changing their nutrition. My other goal is to work with local Middle & High Schools to supply students with valuable nutritional information. I believe students have the potential to perform at such higher levels, if only they had the energy they needed to tackle their big assignments, if only they could concentrate for more than 30 minutes to complete a project. How amazing would it be to provide them the know-how to reach their full potential & perform at peak for that three hour maths exam? That will be such a rewarding movement!

 

So that is me, in a nutshell! I’m so looking forward to sharing so much more with you, this is just the beginning of this grand adventure! Remember to sign up to receive future posts & great recipes!