I’ve Admitted Defeat

 

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Well, at least on the kale front. I’m just going to say it. I don’t like kale, I can’t stand quinoa and I think my green smoothie days are over. However, I’m still loving my fruit smoothies so all is not lost with my Magic Bullet. I also had to admit defeat this week on squashing my creativity into a rigid daily timetable of set amount of words at a set time each day.

At the beginning of the year I set myself quite a few ‘goals’. I’ve realised that my life can’t be that rigid. I do know some people can organise themselves into powerhouses of amazing achievements, but I’m not one of them. Instead, I’m sitting down for an hour each day and just writing for the fun of it. No word count, no deadlines, no pressure. Otherwise, writing becomes like having to drink a kale smoothie every morning vs. eating what you feel like at breakfast. There’s something so depressing about ‘should’. I’m not saying discipline isn’t important (hello weekly yoga class and daily french lessons on Duolingo), but at the end of the day, I’m not sure following some weird idea of what life ‘should be’ is a recipe for success.

So, onwards! With less kale, a few more laughs and less pressure to achieve.

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An alien poo in my tea

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I’ve got a feeling fermented foods are going to be the next craze in our fad-obsessed diet culture. But that’s a good thing, because 70% of our immune system exists in out gut, and fermented foods are excellent for improving gut health.

So, enter kombucha tea; a fermented substance that looks something like an alien poo, floating in a sea of urine (that’s the nurse in me coming out – sorry). It’s a pretty scary looking brew, however you view it.

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I came across it at a health fair, where I spoke to a herbalist who sold me a bottle of the tea. There was a tiny wisp of the alien poo thing (called a scoby), floating in the cold brew. After a bit of internet searching, I decided to try and produce my own tea, by growing the scoby, with the hope that I wasn’t going to poison myself to death in the process. The top picture shows how big the initial scoby was, and the bottom photo is what it looks like at the moment. So far, both myself and my muse are still alive. The finished product tastes much better than it looks, that is if you like things that taste like a cross between vinegar and sweet tea. The floating poo thingie sits in a brew of cold, sugary tea, and turns it into fermented kombucha tea, which you drink morning and night (just a tiny cup full at this stage.)

I’m not even going to attempt to advise on how to cultivate this stuff, as I’m still on a learning curve, but if you are interested, then it’s certainly a journey into quite strange food territory. And it’s something you can use to frighten unwanted guests away!

I’ll let you know how it goes…

The Art of Procrastination

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Ever noticed how hard it is to actually get started on something? Since the new year, I’ve been trying to put better habits in place in my life. Eating less, eating better, drinking less alcohol, cutting down on wheat, sugar and anything else tasty which can survive without going mouldy for months… I’ve been doing meditation, I’ve been keeping up with my French lessons, AND I went to the gym. I was feeling like a phoenix, rising from the ashes of MacDonald’s wrappers.

However, today I jumped on the scales, only to discover I’ve put on weight following a ‘plant based’ diet. Feeling defeated, I went up the road to the local green grocer, who proceeded to tell me how much he loves the hot dogs, which the take away shop next door sells. So much for the fucking green smoothies. The gym was pretty out-there too. Lots of aggressive women doing squats with weights (Body Pump class). Everywhere I looked, people were doing their exercises badly, to the music, and looking quite surly about it. It made me miss my yoga classes, which I’ll be heading back to next week.

So, after a month of new habits and trying new things, here’s what I think. Getting started is hard, but filled with the promise of change and new horizons. Once you get started, this might not be quite how it works out, and you may need to change course more than once to get where you want to go. I guess the main thing is to keep trying, to leave the stuff behind you which you know doesn’t work, and keep going until you get it right. It’s going to take a while, clearly. Ugh.

It’s like starting to write a new book. For the first day or two, my word count is about 35, and all the household chores I’ve been avoiding get done. Then, one day, if you keep at it, you end up with a 70,000 word novel. There isn’t an easy answer. You just have to start, and keep going.