how to keep organised and tackle the daily grind

Work life balance. Mum life balance. Life balance… everyone is busy, everyone  seems to be looking for that magic tip to help make life seem a little less chaotic. I’m on the eternal search for advice on how to stretch my day that little bit further so I can have more time to relax and just enjoy life!

So I thought I’d share a few things that help make MY life easier since going back to work and balancing life as a mummy, working girl, wife, sister, friend, daughter, aunty, and any of the other names I go by.

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My ‘sort it out’ basket

I have a basket that I keep in our main living area and anything that doesn’t belong in that room goes into the basket. My shoes from work, H’s jumper from daycare, toiletries I just bought at the shops to go to the upstairs bathroom, bills we’ve just paid that need to be filed.

At the end of the night, I empty my basket, making sure to put everything away properly (as in, not just moving it from one dumping ground to another!) Then I leave my empty basket at the top of the stairs and take it back down the next day. So simple but it’s such a great idea to keep the house from getting too messy. B has even started putting his stuff in it too (doesn’t empty it, but hey, it’s a start!) The novelty of checking what’s in the basket and emptying it out still hasn’t worn off for H so I do need to keep it on the dining table until he goes to bed!

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Honestly one of the best tips I’ve picked up – my ‘sort it out’ basket gets emptied every night
@lifelovetravelfood

Dinner cheats

I love cooking but after a long day at work, picking up H and doing the dinner, bath, book, play, milk, bed routine and THEN having to think about cooking dinner does sometimes wear a bit thin. I have embraced my slow-cooker – great for hearty winter meals like chilli con carne, pulled pork, curries and stews but there’s only so many of those I can handle so I keep those meals to about once a week.

Another idea is to pre-marinate your chicken (or pork). Not BUYING pre-marinated chicken (which are often full of sugar and other random stuff you don’t need in your life) I mean buying chicken in bulk and making your own marinades. Simple ones like honey, soy and garlic. Or smoked paprika, lemon, mixed herbs and oil. Pop your chicken in a freezer bag, add your marinade, mix it around then freeze. Then when you want chicken for dinner, take it out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge and while it’s defrosting, it’s also marinating. Perfect!

Also, amending your grown-up dinners to be kid friendly makes life a WHOLE lot easier. Not always possible but I will often cook a meal, take some out for H before adding salt, chilli or any other things I’m not keen on him having. For my spinach and ricotta triangles, I will pop the mixture in a wholemeal wrap and bake H’s in that while we have ours in pastry. I add chilli to my curries after I’ve taken out a serve for him. Taking those extra few minutes to make the effort means I don’t have to cook a separate meal for H. Plus it makes our meals healthier as I try to give H wholesome, healthy foods which in turn means we’re eating that too. Win!

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Same fritters, H’s are just mini versions and no chillis or chorizo for him! @lifelovetravelfood
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No salt and a little less cheese but otherwise, same meal for us all – healthy potato mince pie
@lifelovetravelfood

My best friend the freezer

Embrace your freezer! Buy meat and fish in bulk when it’s reduced to clear or on special and freeze (saves you so much $$ too). Make extra dinner: taco mince, curry, lasagna, spinach and feta pie, san choy bau, burger patties. I TOTALLY understand not loving leftovers but making your meals in bulk and then having one night a week where dinner is pretty much done, I’ve come to appreciate them a lot more.

A little bit each night

Often we save up all the chores for the weekend which means our time off isn’t as much fun and can mean starting a new working week without really having had any down time. By breaking up chores into little chunks and tackling over the whole week, it means I can enjoy my weekend’s a whole lot more.

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Cause this is what weekend’s should be for
@lifelovetravelfood

I might bake some muffins or cookies on Monday night. Do some washing on Tuesday. Clean the bathrooms on Wednesday. Make two dinners on Thursday and Friday I prep H’s meals for the whole weekend (and then it’s all about wine, tv and relaxing!)

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‘Helping’ with the washing
@lifelovetravelfood

I also take that extra half an hour each night to prep for the next day. Making H’s breakfast – I take something from my freezer stash, pop it in a container and let it defrost overnight. I make all his breakfasts in bulk and freeze – sultana pancakes, blueberry porridge balls, mango oatmeal slice, banana muffins, cheesy vege pikelets, healthy breakfast cake – just to name a few… I told you I love my freezer!

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One of H’s breakfast options that freezes perfectly – mango banana oatmeal slice
@lifelovetravelfood

I make our lunches, prep breakfast (usually overnight oats or a smoothie – all the ingredients into the blender and then we blitz it in the morning) make up snacks and take out some meat for tomorrow’s dinner. This just means we’re all prepped and ready to go in the morning so we’re not rushing around madly trying to get organised when I’d prefer to use that time to sleep! Half an hour prepping at night = half an hour extra in bed the next morning. Yes please!

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What H eats in a weekend! Prepped Friday night so it’s all done for the whole weekend
@lifelovetravelfood

Lay out my outfits for the week

This one sounds weird and is something I’ve only just started doing but I love it! On a Sunday, I will pull out some outfits for my working week and set them aside. Then, each night I will choose one, grab some underwear, jewellery and shoes and lay it out in my bedroom, ready for the next day. It saves me standing in my closet wondering what to wear while B is honking the horn, cursing me for running late. It takes the guesswork out of my morning which can only be a good thing! Seriously, it’s been such a life/time/argument saver!

Keep a list

I love a good list. My phone is full of them! I also hate incomplete lists so by adding something to a list, I want to make sure it gets ticked off! Every time I think of something I need from the shops, an appointment I need to make, a friend I need to message back, I add it to my list. It saves me from having to keep everything in my head and I’ll often write myself a list of tasks for the week so I don’t get too lazy and conveniently ‘forget’ to clean the bathroom or water the plants. Even things like washing my hair go on the list with a scheduled day cause otherwise I put it off and then everything has to be done at once and I feel stressed out for being too busy to wash my hair and shave my legs! Lists make life happen!

I also write down meal ideas – when I flick through a magazine, watch a cooking show, scroll through instagram or just when an idea comes into my head. Sounds simple, but when it comes to meal planning for the week ahead, having some ideas already written down makes it a LOT easier!

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So that’s it! Small but (hopefully) helpful little tips to help get you organised and find a bit of balance in your life. They certainly help me so I I hope you find them useful! Let me know if you use any!

Love Dan x

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Six ways I’ve changed since becoming a mum

I was recently tagged in an instagram post by one of my insta-besties, @aliceinhealthyland to share how I’ve changed since becoming a Mumma. I actually thought long and hard about this and I’m pretty darn proud of this list so I decided to share it on my blog.

That plus it’s Friday night and my darling husband has claimed our one and only tv to watch the footy so I thought it was high time I updated my neglected lil blog.

I do not judge. Ok, sometimes I judge but I follow it by putting myself in their shoes and nine times outta ten, I retract my judgement. I don’t know what that mum is going through. I don’t know their child. I don’t know their family life. I don’t know how they’re feeling and above all… I am not them. This has also helped me be less judgemental in all aspects of my life, not just with other mums and I feel I am a better person for being less judgemental. But I’ll be honest, it took becoming a mum and being on the receiving end of unnecessary judgement to make me realise this.

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I never say never. Oooh this is a biggie! I cringe at the thought of things I’ve previously said to mums about what I will or won’t do when I have a baby. Oh shut up in-the-past-me! You have NO idea! I gave my baby a dummy. I sent him to daycare with a runny nose. I baby spam the shizz out of my instagramI went back to work full time. All things I didn’t think I’d do. Never. Say. Never!

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I am (learning to be) more patient. This is a big learning curve for me and something I’m continually working on. I find I make much more rational decisions, am happier with myself and in my relationship when I’m more patient. It’s not always easy but I’m trying. Remind me to keep trying as we edge closer to terrible-two territory…

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My life is fuller. I was worried I’d miss my pre-baby life that was more relaxed, carefree, let me exercise when I wanted to, travel often, sleep in and just be selfish. I was terrified I’d regret having a child. Never in a million years did I think I would love parenthood so much. I love everything (well almost everything) about it. This is exactly where I’m meant to be in my life. I honestly don’t miss my former carefree life. Except maybe the sleep ins…

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Mummy-guilt is real. Do I exercise or spend that time with H? Do I catch up with my friends at night when I’ve been at work all day and won’t get home to see H? Will H remember always being at daycare and develop slower because I’m not there to teach him myself? I battle with these questions every day and I worry I’m not doing the right thing by my child. To live the life we want, I need to work. I envy stay at home mums yet enjoy having a career and a pay check. Are we doing the right thing by sending H to daycare five days a week? OMG can someone please tell me how to ease the mummy-guilts cause they’re killin’ me lately!

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I love my body more. I’m not in the best shape of my life. Heck, I barely remember to brush my hair let alone fit in a gym class. But I have never loved my body more since having H. Not only did my amazing bod house and birth a whole human being (and one with a head circumference in the 97th percentile I might add) but I actually feel better in myself since giving birth. Sure, there are squishy sections and bits that ain’t what they used to be but I’m damn proud of how I look and what my body has been through #mumbodandproud

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Until next blog – sorry for being MIA (AGAIN) but we’re mid-move so things are kinda hectic (surely I will stop having excuses as to why I’m not blogging soon!) Thanks for reading xx

That week I tried solo parenting…

Solo parents, I take my hat off to you. You are incredible. You deserve government rebates, discounted childcare and shorter working hours. You deserve all the help you can get cause oh my GOODNESS my one week of parenting on my own was hands down one of the hardest weeks if not THE hardest week of my Mumma life. And yes, I realise that I’m complaining about just one week, I realise there are many parents in way worse situations than me and I realise as I start to write this, that it all seems a little bit OTT and dramatic. But you know what? For me, it was REALLY hard!

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Damn this parenting gig is hard!
@lifelovetravelfood

B left on Monday morning and I started my week by doing drop off at daycare, a full day at work, daycare pick up, did the dinner and evening routine on my own, got organised for the next day, ate dinner (even I was impressed at this one!) cleaned up and eventually sat down for a bit of down time. And then H woke up. He’s usually an excellent sleeper so this was a bit odd for him. It took ages for me to settle him and he woke again during the night which was tough when I then had to adult at work the next day!

Tuesday evening we were at my parents house where I put him down to bed so I could enjoy some adult time with Mum and Dad. H woke up. Frequently. To the point that we had to leave early and I put him down at home – where he woke during the night. Wednesday we were meant to have dinner at my sister’s place but again, H was really unsettled and cranky so I skipped dinner, brought him home and had another rough night.

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My poppet hasn’t been himself in so long and it breaks my heart
@lifelovetravelfood

Each night was the same – lots of grumpy baby in the evenings, unsettled sleeps, late-night waking and to be honest, I’m not actually sure how I still managed to function. When B walked in the door late Friday night, I just burst into tears – the poor guy! I was just so relieved he was home and I didn’t have to deal with everything on my own.

Looking back at what I’ve written above, it doesn’t even sound that bad but for me, it was so, so hard. Having a sick baby is hard. Having to work full time is hard. Keeping a functioning house going is hard. Spending my precious weekends searching for a house is hard (oh my gosh, how ‘first world problem’ is that?! Poor me!) And I’m still not getting any real ‘me’ time, ‘us’ time or family and friends time in – I feel like I’m being a rubbish friend cause I’m never available to catch up! Plus I don’t feel like I’m giving as much as I should at work either!

Part of me didn’t want to post this blog. It sounds like a great big whinge (which it totally is) that would cause a whole lot of eye rolls and ‘it’s really not that bad’ comments. And I know all this and totally recognise that in the big scheme of things, I really have NOTHING to complain about. I am well aware of how many people would love to be in my position and I should really just count my blessings and suck it up. But that’s not my style. I’m not one to bottle it up or pretend everything is amazing when it’s not. That’s what my blog is for – a place to rant, a place to get it out cause that’s how I deal with my emotions and move on.

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It’s impossible to stay grumpy at this face. But a full night’s sleep would be awesome!
@lifelovetravelfood

The week B got back was better – H was feeling a lot better but still has a snotty nose – has done for months on end, seriously, does it ever end?! He’s also teething and has nappy rash AND conjunctivitis – gaaaahhh!! Seeing him unwell and sad is heartbreaking. I know it’s daycare germs and everyone goes through it but it seriously, SERIOUSLY sucks. February has not been my favourite month so far, and we’re only 12 days in! B goes away two more times in the coming weeks so I’m bracing myself for solo parenting again. Can’t say I’m really looking forward to it so if anyone has any advice on how to not lose my sanity, I’m all ears!

Thanks for reading and understanding that everyone needs a rant every now and then. Hopefully my next blog post will be a bit more positive, happy and sunshiny!!

Dan xx

 

Oh hey there 2017!

Hello 2017 and hello to my first blog for the new year! I’m excited for what this year will bring but I’m also sad to see 2016 go. I noticed a lot of people saying they were glad to see the back of last year and they were happy it was all over but for me, last year was wonderful. I spent much of the year watching my baby grow, travelled (sort of), moved back home, spent time with family, caught up with friends, and started a new job.

So what’s in store for 2017? Firstly, I’m one of those annoying people who sets new years resolutions and I LOVE them. I have done it for as long as I can remember and find them quite therapeutic. I’ve become a lot more realistic over the years and set broader goals and things I know are achievable… that’s not to say I pass with flying colours cause ‘stop biting my nails’ continues to grace the list each and every year.

I write down my goals because once they’re on paper I feel I’m more accountable for them. I also tell people (like you guys) so they’re out there and I can talk about my progress throughout the year. I love reading other people’s resolutions or goals as I find it quite inspirational, so here are mine for the blogging world to read!

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Perhaps a goal should be to take better photos! Don’t worry if you can’t read them here, they’re listed below! @lifelovetravelfood
  1. Continue to eat clean – less sugar, less processed/packaged food

This one, while daunting at first, has become surprisingly easy to stick to. It’s taken me years to get to this point though! Stocking up on fresh fruit and veges, trying to avoid the middle aisles of the supermarket (except for things like tinned tomatoes, coconut oil and nappies!) and planning meals around what’s in season and what’s in the fridge have been some of my best tips to sticking to healthy eating.

I want H to grow up eating as healthy as possible and I think it’s important for us as his parents to set a good example.

And of course, not denying myself treats like wine (cause I think we all know I’m NOT giving that up!) ice-cream on holidays, visiting bakeries on the weekend – because life is for living and if I eat well MOST of the time, the treats taste so much better!

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I hope our good eating habits will rub off on this kale-eating guy
@lifelovetravelfood

2. Make exercise a priority and schedule time in my calendar

Apart from 2015 when I was on a fitness role, exercise has never been that easy for me to stick to. Throw in a baby and full-time work and it’s slipped further and further down the priority list. This year I’d like to exercise but I also want to be realistic. I won’t exercise every day, I won’t get up an hour earlier than I have to and I probably won’t run home from work so I’m not going to promise myself that I will.

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This top needs more use in 2017
@lifelovetravelfood

I think what I might try to do is try to get up half an hour earlier two or three mornings a week and try to move when H is having his morning sleep on the weekends. I want to exercise because I feel great when I do, but I don’t want it to be a chore. Go for walks on the weekends with my boys and maybe even try to get out at lunchtime once or twice a week. This one will be the hardest to stick to so I will also try to schedule my workouts into my calendar to be more accountable (I’m a lists girl and HATE having things un-ticked!) so I’ll keep you posted!

3. Listen more – less about ‘me’ and ‘my’ stories

This one really annoys me when it happens to me – when I’m telling a story and the person I’m chatting to turns it around to be a story about them. And then I realised I do it too so if I find it annoying, other people probably do too! So this year I plan on listening more – it’s a wonderful way to learn more and be a better friend.

4. Me time! Read/yoga/get my nails done – a happier me is better for my family

You can’t pour from an empty cup. I see this quote everywhere and always agree with it but never actually do it! Sometimes I put so much time and effort into making sure others are happy that I find myself feeling drained, unhappy and sometimes resentful which doesn’t help anyone.

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2017 I’m going to prioritise ME!
@lifelovetravelfood

Here’s how I’m going to make sure I get some me time in this year – I want to make sure I do a really good job at work, but also leave on time to spend quality time with H and B. I need to remember how good yoga feels and DO it! Sometimes the hardest part is just rolling out my mat which seems ridiculous, but so true! Read a book – oh when was the last time I did that?! Blog – I want to take time out like I’m doing right now, while H sleeps and B watches the cricket. It’s the perfect time and I really enjoy doing it, yet last year I seemed to just waste this time doing… I’m not really sure what!

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My beautiful yoga mat was neglected last year
@lifelovetravelfood

I recently got a remedial massage and holy moly did it make me feel like a million bucks or what?! Sure, not something I plan on doing every day but I’d love to take time out to get a mani, massage or treat myself (I wonder what B will think of this one!) because I work damn hard at work and at home and I deserve it!

5. Be organised – do a little each day to spread the load

When I know I have to clean the kitchen, the bathroom, tidy H’s toy room, do six loads of washing, change the sheets, vacuum and mop, go grocery shopping, do weekly meal prep, make more food for H… it all seems too much and quite overwhelming. Plus now I’m working full-time, the idea of spending my weekends cleaning and doing house stuff just seems like a waste. So this was something I actually started a few weeks ago – I made a list of all the things that need to be done each week, and broke them up over seven days and all of a sudden it seemed much more manageable.

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I can’t clean when this guy is awake – this is what happens!
@lifelovetravelfood

For example, on Mondays I clean the toilet, basin and mirror. On Tuesdays I clean the bath and shower. Wednesdays I do one load of washing and clean the kitchen sink, bench and stovetop… breaking up these chores and doing them in the evening when H has gone to bed has so far been working out well and means I have much less boring stuff to do on my precious weekends.

6. Stop. Biting. Nails – reward for sticking to it (see #4)

Oh my gosh, I am embarrassed this has yet again made it onto my new years resolution list. I do really well for a good few months then fall off the wagon and I don’t know why! It’s a horrible habit and I hate it! So, I will get a regular manicures (again, let’s see what B says about this one!) to encourage myself to STOP this habit once and for all. Surely this will work?!

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So that’s my list! I will try to revisit them partway through the year to see where I’m at and to make myself more accountable. I will also post regularly on instagram cause that addiction is still going strong!

Thanks for reading and I hope your 2017 is off to a beautiful start!

Dan x

Whoopsie! Sorry! Here’s an actual blog post this time!

BLOG FAIL! Sorry for the earlier mess up with my blank blog post. I’m trying to  make some changes to my blog and I clearly haven’t figured out how to do it yet! BUT! If you’re after my latest recipe – banana and blueberry oatmeal slice (a little people friendly recipe!) then you can find it right here.

Thanks for reading and sticking with me while I try to get my blogging back on track. Typical that I decide to do that when I’m about to start a new full time job! But more on that in my next blog post (which will hopefully be really soon!)

Love Dan xx

Banana and blueberry oatmeal slice recipe

I don’t like Easter eggs

Wow. I’ve changed. I used to be cool. I actually just ate an Easter egg, and I honestly didn’t enjoy it. This blog post is all about how my tastes have changed and how my healthy journey began. Don’t roll your eyes. I know there are some people who still believe I’m being a typical Aquarian – someone who jumps from obsession to obsession – and that this healthy phase will pass. Oh, I know I’m a typical Aquarian – Hanson (don’t judge me, I was 13!) gardening (this one didn’t last long!) having a perfectly kept house (I reeeeally hate cleaning), cooking Chinese food, Pintrest, the colour pink (I’m still well and truly on this bandwagon) owls (not by choice!!)  But you know what? I’m totally loving my healthy living lifestyle and I’m keen to share with you how it all happened. It started with a post on instagram about a book. It was that simple. From here, I read the book and if I’m perfectly honest, I put most of what was said in my ‘too hard’ basket. But I was still intrigued so I started small. I started cooking clean meals maybe once a week. Testing them out on my poor guinea pig of a husband and he put up with a LOT of fails. Oh the things I made! I remember him saying to me, “Why can’t you make normal stuff? The food you used to make was GOOD!”

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The the book that started it all… via @lifelovetravelfood

From here I read more, followed more people on instagram and experimented with recipes. Slowly the ‘hippy shelf’ in our pantry grew to a hippy cupboard until any ‘normal’ food (ie. highly processed, goodness knows what’s in it, quick and easy commercial foods) were quite hard to find in our home.

Healthy foods via @lifelovetravelfood
Hippy foods taking over! via @lifelovetravelfood

Contrary to popular belief, it didn’t happen overnight. This process took over a year – starting with trialling almond milk and swapping white sugar with coconut sugar or rice malt syrup and adapting everyday recipes and swapping out processed ingredients with healthier, more natural alternatives. I can now proudly make a ‘cheesecake’ (ie. no cheese in site) that tastes awesome and gets the tick of approval from others. My chicken nuggets are a hit, peanut butter (also known as Uncle B’s pirate butter by my nephew) is homemade, muesli is in constant demand and I’ve not enjoyed regular milk chocolate for about six months now. I LOVE being able to make naughty foods good and knowing exactly what’s in my food, how it was made and that there are no additives, preservatives or things in there I can’t pronounce makes me very, very happy.

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Fresh mint and watermelon juice plus some healthy reading – @lifelovetravelfood

No longer do I count calories. Gone are the days of swapping homemade juice or smoothies for a zero calorie Diet Coke. Yep, LOTS of calories in the first two but have you ever read the ingredients in Coke? Can you tell what they are or even how to pronounce them? No? THIS is why I don’t have it. Except for the occasional rum and coke – hey, I’m a Queenslander!

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Smoothies instead of soft drinks for me please! Via @lifelovetravelfood

To begin with, I started with the theory that for packaged food, if it’s got more than four ingredients in it or I couldn’t pronounce an ingredient (except for foods with weird names like quinoa – pronounced keen-waa by the way, not quin-oh-ah like I first thought!) I probably shouldn’t be eating it. Sounds pretty simple right?

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Just peanuts in peanut butter. Why does there need to be anything else?! @lifelovetravelfood

So one night I was in my local supermarket with B, and he left me looking at dried dates. Ten minutes later, he called my phone to ask where I was. I was still in the exact same spot, still reading date labels. I find food labels fascinating. Tinned tomatoes, corn, tuna, corn thins, microwave brown rice packets, coconut milk. These are just a few of the things that I have become SO fussy over, because I don’t believe there’s a need for added sugar, salt, preservatives, acidity regulators and goodness knows what else. I now spend most of my time and budget in the fresh fruit and vege section. Buying local, Australian grown (WA preferred for me) healthy foods that fill me up and nourish my body. I flavour my food with herbs and spices and in 90% of cases, I know every single ingredient that’s in my food. It’s quite a good feeling, both inside and out. And yes, I am a food geek.

Homemade sauerkraut! Via @lifelovetravelfood
This food geek makes her own sauerkraut now – ja, sehr gute! @lifelovetravelfoood

My next goal was to remove a few things from my ‘too hard’ basket. Things like swapping ‘real’ chocolate with paleo chocolate; making a clean birthday cake and not eating like a pig on special occasions. I used to scoff at clean eaters who would claim a bliss ball was a treat. I’m now that person. Treats for me are now clean and healthy ones, not overly processed foods and this is what I prefer. Don’t get me wrong, it takes time and temptations are out there but over time, my tastebuds have changed and I just don’t seem to crave the unhealthy stuff.

Clean chocolate mousse via @lifelovetravelfood
Clean (and awesome) chocolate mousse. Mmm! @lifelovetravelfood

Some of my proudest clean foodie moments have been when:

  • B enjoys and compliments a healthy, clean meal.
  • B makes a clean recipe himself (although there is still some form of reluctance on his part, he just doesn’t have the ‘normal’ ingredients he wants cause I refuse to have regular sugar/syrups/flour in the house!)
  • on my suggestion, Dad now has almond milk on his morning cereal – I still can’t believe this one!
  • my sister makes special ‘Dan friendly’ meals when I come over for dinner (this one is SO sweet, I am always so grateful when she does this).
  • my Mumzie asks for my healthy recipes she sees on my instagram.
  • friends ask for my recipes or advice on how to get started with healthy eating – this one is my favourite!

I never thought I’d get to this point in my life and it’s not always been easy. There are a few haters out there and many people who tell me I’m boring, criticise my eating or try to tempt me with unhealthy foods but 90% of the time, I’m not swayed. I’ve always been a big foodie. I LOVE trying new foods, trying different countries cuisines and sampling new restaurants so the change from eating pretty much everything to how I eat now has come as a bit of a shock to some people (most of all me!) Sure, if wine or cheese is on offer, or a real Italian pizza I might have some but I definitely don’t feel guilty cause I know that most of the time I eat really, really well.

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Guilty pleasures right here @lifelovetravelfood

I’m no expert and definitely no saint. I’m also not qualified in any way, shape or form to give anyone health advice – this is simply a blog post about me and how I live my healthy life. If you DO want tips or advice, drop me a line, I’m ALWAYS up for a chat about food/exercise/superfoods/yoga. Until next blog post, stay sparkly! Dan xx

The hangover of all hangovers…

I have never noticed the affects that food has on my body until now. Let me tell you about the hangover…

Oh. Dear. Gosh.

I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus after a MASSIVE night out on cheap cider. I am SO tired (even though I went to bed early last night), I’m really grumpy (I’ve already apologised to my work mates), I’ve got the shakes and have a headache!

I know what you’re all thinking. No, I didn’t have a huge Sunday session. I didn’t down a bottle of wine to myself (it’s been known to happen). It’s sugar’s fault.

SUGAR!!

Sugar! lifelovetravelfood
The main culprit. Temptation at its prettiest.
@lifelovetravelfood

I’ve been progressively cutting out more and more processed foods from my diet for about a year now and since the start of 2015, have been eating better than ever before. I have lost weight for the first time ever, I’m full of energy, I enjoy exercising (I know, WHAT?!!) and feel great.

B has given up complaining about the ‘hippy’ foods I make and now eats them and even compliments my cooking again! His diet is so much better and he has lost even MORE weight (so unfair, he wasn’t even trying to lose it!) and looks amazing.

And then it all fell apart when we went to my niblings combined birthday party yesterday. The table was a sugary paradise – what kids parties SHOULD be! There were chocolates, biscuits, lollies, sweet little teacups made from marshmallows, jelly cups, honey joys and three types of cake. My sister knows how to throw a good kids party, it was brilliant! So I had a bit of everything. Why not? It was a treat day! But after all that snacking and taste testing everything, I was craving savoury food so badly that B and I had vegemite and cheese on corn thins for dinner!

After my sugar-fueled bender, I went to bed feeling a little worse for wear… and woke up feeling like death warmed up. Even though I’d had plenty of sleep, I felt like I’d had just a couple of hours. I struggled to get myself to the gym (I did though – go me!) and during my workout, felt sluggish and rundown. Even after eating breakfast, I still had the shakes and an absolutely CRANKING heading. My eyes were droopy and I was (and still am) in a really grumpy mood. I cannot believe that all this has come from too much processed sugar.

I’m not writing this blog post to tell everyone that processed sugar is the devil. I’m writing this because I am absolutely fascinated at how my body has adapted to eating natural foods and limiting refined sugars from my diet. I know that certain foods don’t agree with me so that’s why I avoid them. I started cutting down on the amount of sugar due to the types of recipes I was cooking and the fact that other types of sugar and natural sweeteners do the trick for me so I figured, what’s the point in having the processed stuff if the natural stuff is giving me the sweet kick I need?

Raw salted caramel cake via @lifelovetravelfood
Raw salted caramel paleo cake – THIS is my kinda dessert!
@lifelovetravelfood

So I’m taking this dreadful feeling as a blessing in disguise (an evil, EVIL disguise) to file away in my memory as a warning to my future self that this is how I feel when I eat too much sugar. I know there are people who will read this and say, “Well if you’d never cut out sugar in the first place…” But I know how good I feel without sugar and that’s why I choose to take this horrible feeling as a lesson well learnt.

Although I won’t ever cut out sugar completely because I must admit, the icing from the cupcakes I made, and the endless amount of smarties from the piece of bright pink birthday cake I had DID taste awesome. I probably just shouldn’t have had that AND all the other stuff too!