Archive for February, 2012
Sugar, What is It Good For?
Guess what I’ve been reading lately? My latest bedside reading is this bold book – Sweet Poison, by Australian David Gillespie. It’s been out since 2008, but I heard about it on my recent summer holidays, through some friends who live in Queensland.
It’s been a riveting read. The author lost 40 kilos simply by cutting sugar (well, the fructose type of sugar) out of his diet.
In the world of ‘law of attraction’, it’s often said that if you believe something will or won’t harm you, then your belief will play itself out. So, if you don’t believe that sugar will make you fat, then you won’t get fat.
However, I beg to differ with this view. I believe that certain chemical reactions take place in the human body when we imbibe or ingest certain drinks or foods. Individual reactions will vary based upon a person’s biochemistry, but there are prevailing trends. We’re all human, after all, and are bound to react in similar ways to an oversupply of a certain toxin.
And so, with sugar, we now know that an oversupply of sugar does harm to the human body. You know it, and I know it!
This book, written by a layperson (ie, someone not in the medical or nutrition fields), explains WHY sugar is so bad for us, looking at trends in health over the past few hundred years (and with detail about the last 100 years).
David explains concepts in a clear and humorous way, although it may still take a bit of brainpower to get your head around some of the terminology.
If you know of someone who is carrying extra body weight, then tell them about this book. I’ve loved reading it because it reinforces much of what I believe about health, but I’ve also learned a few things! While my diet is pretty good, I know there are still a few areas for improvement.
Life can be all the sweeter when we look after ourselves!
PS Yep, fruit contains fructose, but its high fibre content prevents most people from overindulging in it. Soft drinks, however…
Gratitude Friday – 24 February 2012
An awesome week for me – how about you? I’ve been hugely productive (yay!) and even managed to win out over my night-owl tendencies by getting up earlier and going to bed earlier (in order to fit in with the school routine!). Although it goes against my natural grain to be an early riser, I’m incredibly proud that I’ve been disciplined and actually DONE it.
So, what am I grateful for this week? Here are five of my favourites:
- My gran being able to collect a new winter jacket from a Pumpkin Patch store near her, because they didn’t have the right size for one of my girls at my local store. Thank you so much, Grannie! (Oh, and we received 25% discount…)
- My hubby Darren replacing the registration sticker on my car. It’s so nice to have a ‘man about the house’.
- Being given a tour of our local botanical gardens (I talk more about this in my upcoming ezine, which comes out later this week).
- Having a phone chat with a great friend who lives many miles away…
- Having special chats with my girls when I lie down with them for a few minutes before they go to sleep. Moments to cherish.
I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for this week. Just leave me a comment below. See you soon!
Marie’s Money Tips
Well, hello there! It’s been a bumper week, and I’ve been meaning to post this video to you ALL week!
It’s actually a great video by a long-distance business mentor of mine called Marie Forleo. Although Marie is a business coach, in this video she shares super money wisdom that applies to all women.
Marie creates Q&A Tuesday videos answering questions that are sent to her – if you’d like to subscribe to Marie’s list to find out when each week’s video is ready to watch, just head here: www.marieforleo.com
If you haven’t come across Marie before, I think you’re going to like her. She has spunk and ‘tude, and definitely knows how to have fun. (Now there’s a high-vibration gal for ya!)
Enjoy the clip, and then APPLY Marie’s wisdom!
Gratitude Friday – 17 February 2012
It’s Valentine’s week (well, why not have it be a whole week?) and all is well.
I’ve had a fab week – how about you? Even though I’ve had a few moments of feeling tired or grumpy, I’ve usually remembered to spark myself up and bring love and positivity to my outlook. It makes all the difference!
Here are a few things for which I’m very grateful this week:
- Having my workflow run very smoothly (I’m glad I planned my week realistically).
- Bella now being able to just touch her shoulder with her fingers, which means the callous on the inside of her once-broken elbow is starting to go down.
- Getting to see my gran and aunt for lunch when my girls and I went to Melbourne for dental appointments. So great to give them big hugs.
- Having a very thorough dental hygienest look after our teeth – we’re now dazzling everyone with our pearly whites.
- Having a fun playdate with friends, over a relaxing cuppa.
Oh, and I really appreciated Valentine’s Day!
I’d love for you to share your ‘gratefuls’ from this week. Just pop a few in the comments below, and show the universe how much you appreciate!
A Beautiful Tribute to a Beautiful Person
I just wanted to share this moving tribute with you – given such short notice, Jennifer Hudson did an amazing job with this song.
When someone moves into the next realm it’s always sad for those of us left behind, but when someone leaves as amazing a legacy as did Whitney Houston – affecting millions with the power of her beautiful voice – the sadness around the world is palpable.
Thank you for using and sharing your gifts, Whitney. And thank you, Jennifer, for yours. Both of you remind us to do the same with our own gifts, to make this world an even better place.
A Love Note!
This Valentine’s wish may be a little late for my Aussie readers, but I hope it will catch those of you still experiencing 14 February!
I just wanted to share a beautiful quote with you, by Mother Teresa. I revealed it in my mid-month ezine, but I really want to share it again here:
Love is a fruit in season at all times,
and within reach of every hand.
Isn’t that beautiful? I love that we have a day that celebrates love, but (as with Christmas), we need to take the spirit of love with us throughout the year. And to share it with everyone, whenever we can.
Can you share love with someone today? And every day?
Sending you heaps of love and a big hug…
Gratitude Friday – 10 February 2011
Hellooo! Yep, another week at RRR Central. It’s been a whirlwind of a week, and I have a few ‘gratitudes’ I’d love to share with you. Be sure to share yours, too, in the comments below.
- My girls settling well into their new classes in this bright, shiny new school year.
- Having a fabulous chat with a dear friend over the phone.
- Having a lovely friend over to my house for a special lunch.
- Spending a couple of hours at a coffee shop, chatting animatedly with yet another friend who had returned from a few months overseas (SO MUCH to talk about).
- Receiving the first in a yearly subscription to Mindfood magazine, a Christmas gift from another friend!
Certainly a very sociable week, with lovely connections with dear friends. I really feel so fortunate.
Have a wonderful week, and be sure to share the ‘things’ that you’re grateful for, in the comments below.
PS I’m also grateful for the intoxicatingly fragrant David Austin roses that adorn my desk this week (see the photo), from my children’s first-birthday rose bushes.
From Earth & Water
In case you don’t know me by now, I love eating (and drinking) raw food. Doing so is a SUPERB way to feel great and keep your vibration high. Oh, and it tastes fantastic.
So any time I find an opportunity to visit a raw-food restaurant – meaning that I don’t have to prepare the food! – I take it.
While on vacation on Queensland’s Gold Coast recently, I visited a fantastic raw-food restaurant called From Earth & Water.
It was recommended to me by my super tech dude, Jimmy Gilker. Last year, Jimmy had been living in northern New South Wales and had driven up to this Queensland restaurant a few times. He raved about it. He was right to rave.
I headed there one hot, sunshiney day with my dear friend Tracey. That’s Tracey in the pic above, enjoying the refreshing green juice that featured pineapple juice and a dash of spirulina. SO good. We also ordered a mango, banana and coconut-water smoothie… so thick and creamy, and full of smooth flavour.
We then shared this gorgeous main meal – it’s a Summer Vegetable stack with ‘almond herb crisps layered between sundried tomato cheese, caramelised shallots, broad beans and zucchini wedges served with salsa puttanesca, basil aioli and organic leaves’. My goodness. My mouth is watering just looking at this photo, remembering the intense, rich flavours and satisfying textures.
I have a heap of almond meal in the freezer (left over from batches of nut milk), so I plan on having a go at making dehydrated ‘almond herb crisps’ myself! If they work out, I’ll feature them in an upcoming edition of my ezine (if you’re not already a subscriber, just leave your deets in the box on the top right of this page).
And, my friends, for the magnificent ending to our meal – a generous slice of Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake. I mean, look at it! Chocolatey, silky, rich… heavenly. And without all the dairy, wheat and refined sugar that features in traditional cooked cheesecakes.
I think people sometimes don’t realise that raw food can be just as rich and flavoursome as cooked foods – and it’s usually a LOT healthier. I wouldn’t go crazy overindulging in raw cheesecakes, but trying nut-based cheeses and sumptuous juice combinations is something we can all add to our everyday menus. Along with plenty of green leaves, of course!
If you’re ever on Queensland’s Gold Coast, I would HIGHLY recommend taking yourself to From Earth & Water. Its opening hours are limited, so check out the website for details.
PS I was also very impressed with how the chef worked in the very limited space he had available. Everything was so neat and clean and orderly – it inspired me to get my raw kitchen working more smoothly!
An Abundant Garden
My parents-in-law are pretty amazing gardeners. Everything they grow seems to flourish.
On our recent stay with them in my old hometown in Queensland, I got to see how ‘my lime tree’ was doing – when my husband and I moved down to Victoria about 15 years ago, I left my potted lime tree with my parents-in-law to look after. They planted it in the ground, and it now produces so many limes that they end up giving away bags full to friends.
Although lime season was nearly over, they’d left one ripe lime on the tree for me to pick. That’s it in the photo above. Isn’t it a beauty? I enjoyed the juice from that in my morning glasses of water.
I also admire how resourceful and thrifty my in-laws are in the garden. My father-in-law created the below lettuce planter out of an old upturned refrigerator, painting it green and adding bits of flexible plastic across the top to serve as holders for protective mesh (for when those snails and birds come a-hunting!). Clever, huh?
Behind the lettuce planter are tomato, beetroot and butter bean plants. As usual, they end up with huge gluts of vegies, and give many of those away, too! And of course, they use home-made compost as fertiliser.
One of their neighbours recently found an unopened packet of Yates tomato seeds in his old garden shed, and the date on the packet was from 1940! He decided to try planting the seeds, and they germinated, creating masses of tomatoes with a slightly different flavour to those you buy in the stores these days.
While we were there, my father-in-law planted eight seeds from one of those heirloom tomatoes, and they all germinated. They’ve since given us some seeds, so we’re going to try them in our garden next summer. I can’t wait.
I just love how abundant nature is – and how we can have bucketloads of fresh, organic fruits and vegies for only a few dollars when we take the time to grow them ourselves.
If I’ve inspired you to get growing in your garden, you might like my fantastic (if I do say so) organic gardening-recipe book called I’m Hungry, Let’s Grow It!. It’s a kid’s book, but, really, it’s great how-to guide for beginner adults, too. With two recipes for each of the 14 featured fruits, vegetables and herbs.
I’m now putting thought into what winter vegies we’ll grow this year – more kale and spinach, no doubt, for all those vitamin- and mineral-packed green smoothies!
I wonder what my father-in-law is planning on growing…
Hitting the Highway for our Summer Break
I’ve taken an awfully long break from connecting with you on the blog, so I thought you might like to see what I got up to during my time away.
Well, just after Christmas, we packed up and headed north to Queensland. We wanted a really good, long summer holiday, spent with family and friends. After a very busy 2011, we couldn’t wait to unwind completely.
We drove up the Newell Highway (of course), and I just loved the changing roadside scenes, including dramatic cloud/storm formations, grasses blowing in the wind, and avenues of beautiful bushy trees. I’m telling you, if you haven’t been to Australia yet, you MUST come see this breathtaking country!
We used to drive this road once or twice a year when I was a child, but I don’t remember it being this beautiful. Or perhaps I just didn’t truly appreciate it, back then.
Not long after we arrived at my mum and dad’s, I planted myself on their back patio and gazed out at their dam. I don’t know if it’s something in the air there, but it was SO easy to relax. We indulged in a few goodies, nattered, watched movies, hugged each other, and laughed and laughed and laughed.
The girls enjoyed an outing to our hometown’s local museum, which hosted a ‘Creative Capers’ craft session for little ‘uns. It must have been 35 degrees in the shade, but they loved it anyway!
After our time with family, we cruised on down to the beautiful Gold Coast to stay with close friends. The beach at Surfers Paradise was, as usual, stunning. Just look at those white-capped waves. This really is the lucky country.
Not long after a beach outing, we headed to Build-a-Bear – our friends had given Evie and Bella vouchers for Christmas, so they came with us to be part of the creation experience. Honestly, the girls adore their new bears.
On our drive back home to Victoria, we encountered Cunningham’s Gap, which I’ve never before driven through – spectacular! And just look at those cloud formations. I loved soaking up such gorgeous vistas.
One of our final stops on the way home was at the Parkes’ Observatory in, of all places, the town of Parkes. Does that satellite dish look familiar? It featured in the movie The Dish. Fascinating history (one we didn’t get to stop and appreciate on all my childhood trips – my Dad was always keen to keep going and get to Melbourne in record time. He did allow the odd toilet break, which was nice…).
And now, we’re home. After what I believe to be our ‘best summer ever’ (as a family), we’re ready to launch back into life, all refreshed and reinvigorated. If you subscribe to Rich Radiant Real in the box on the upper right, and I’ll keep you posted on all the goodies I’ll be bringing you this year!
Here’s to a fabulous year of prosperity, health and happiness. Mwuh!