Sunday, 30 November 2014

Day 30

Let's see...30 days has September, April, June and NOVEMBER.  Here I am at the end of my first month of Living Well, and it's fantastic, after a slightly dodgy 2014, to finally be on my way to better health.  It has zoomed along, as time does at this time of year, so indulge me in a brief James Brown impersonation, 'I feeeeeeeel good.'

I come from a long line of insomniacs, it's been handed down in my particular little parcel of DNA.  My mum loved nothing more than a spot of ironing in the wee hours, which meant she was always on top of the ironing, and she always knew exactly what time I got home.  I don't iron in my awake time, or do anything remotely domestic, let's be absolutely clear about that. But for many years, when I was completely outnumbered by adorable babies, it was my only uninterrupted time.  So I would tiptoe to the computer in the middle of the night and write.  It was quiet, productive time and I quickly became addicted to my semi-nocturnal life.  My best creative hours were between 1am and 3:30am and I wasn't going to waste them sleeping.  Deep down I really did believe that baby singlet motto, 'Sleep is for the weak.'

Goodness knows what this kind of weird, staggered sleep does long term, but the research seems to link it to everything from weight gain to shorter life expectancy.  It certainly made some days seem endlessly long, and the nightly arsenic hour of bathing and feeding kids routinely coincided with a dose of bone-crushing exhaustion.

Anyway, I am now sleeping through the night.  Soundly and deeply. Like a baby as they say, although it must be noted, completely unlike any of my own perpetually-starving babies. Sleeping through is a complete revelation to me. After years of eating sugar to cope with exhaustion then sleeping badly as a result, then repeating it all the next day/night, I feel I have been set free.  And that is celebration enough for the end of my first month.

Sleep well,
Indigo Kate x

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Day 29

And so it happened on Day 29. It involved some lettuce, capsicum, avocado, spinach leaves, cucumber and smoked salmon. You see, I made a salad for lunch without thinking. Just like that. I squeezed some lemon juice on the top and ate it and washed my bowl up and got on with my afternoon as though nothing extraordinary had happened.  But it had. For the first time there was no little voice wishing it involved bread or cheese or fancy-pants (sugar laden) dressing.  And it was great.

There are all kinds of magic formulas as to how long it takes to break a habit, or form a new one.  I'm not convinced it's a one size fits all thing. We are all pretty individual little critters, afterall.  I just know that for me, life in Week 4 feels easier and more automatic.  The whiney voice who wishes everything was easier or tastier has gone quiet and I don't miss it one little bit.


Indigo Kate x

Friday, 28 November 2014

Day 28

When I say I have eliminated/am eliminating sugar, I should clarify that to say, I have eliminated/am eliminating processed sugar.  I am still eating a couple of pieces of fruit a day and snacking on dried fruit.  According to the IQS (I Quit Sugar, a book/program by Sarah Wilson),  dried fruit is a catastrophic sugar hit.  She is also not even all that keen on fruit until the final weeks of her 8 week program.

I suspect dried fruit has played a role in helping me kick the processed stuff.  A few dried apricots here, a couple of dried peaches there, some dates, a supply of fruit balls in the fridge.  But I remind myself that this is a year long project, and I am still in my first month, so I'm not going to beat myself up over it. But my December goal will be around limiting the dried fruit, perhaps to every second or third day.

I'm not going to eliminate fruit, just going to keep to my two serves a day, both of which end up in my green smoothie.  I know, I know, they are more filling if you eat them whole, but for me, for now, blitzing them with some coconut water and spinach leaves works best.

Apologies for rather boring post.  But I figure like any year, some days are slightly dull. Sugar or no sugar.


Indigo Kate x

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Day 27 (summary of the last 4 weeks)

Here's an update.

1.  I remain happily free of processed sugar.

2.  I remain happily free of dairy.

3.  I am having grains only every few days.

4.  I am impressed with 1. 2. 3. because it is the most nutso time of the year. Golly-gee-whillakers, between the three different Christmas concerts and the massive fundraiser, I don't know whether I'm Arthur or Martha.

5.  Green smoothies are now a quick and essential start to my day.

6.  Bolonganise sauce (with lots of veggies) wrapped in a lettuce leaf is a great dinner, a paleo-style taco, if you will.

7. Hayfever makes everything about 200 times harder.

8. It is possible to both undercook and overcook a hard boiled egg. I have run the gauntlet between soggy and rubbery. Tomorrow is another day.

9. Sending the shaggy dog to re-education camp will hopefully do wonderful things for my stress levels, even though I miss her terribly.

10.  I'd like to think I'm getting better at the NOW.  Just taking each choice mindfully.

Thank you for reading.

Indigo Kate x

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Day 26

I know what you're thinking, after 25 days of clean living it all came together today and I ran gazelle-like through green fields all day long.  Well, in the pursuit of truth, let me tell you how it really was on Day 26.

As I arrived at school to cheer on my little fellows in their school triathalon, every species of pollen known to womankind frantically hurtled up my nose. I sneezed in record-breaking sequences.  The contents of my nose streamed down my face. My skin burned and itched.  I tried not to scratch my puffy eyes out.  Did I mention I was in a paddock without a tissue? And that I was expected to maintain polite conversation with parents and staff?

Hayfever and I have an on-again, off-again relationship.  sometimes we go about our respective lives without so much as a sidewides glance.  But yesterday, hayfever took centre stage and I was completely at its mercy. I rushed home, blew my nose in a beach towel,  and hid from what everyone kept telling me was a beautiful day. Then I took drugs.  But all that sneezing and itching left me exhausted.

I've already cut out sugar, dairy, alcohol and caffeine and (almost all) gluten. Pollen is next.  And I don't want to hear any sob stories about the flowers and the bees needing it.  This stuff is bad, and it has to go.  Or else I have to find a handbag big enough for a beach towel.


Indigo Kate x

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Day 25

It's one of those weeks.  One of those weeks where life is so jam-packed I start to feel dizzy. School disco! School triathalon! School excursion! School sleepover! Pupil free day! Bike ed! End of year function! There is a growing sense that my life's work is just to get everyone where they need to go, with the right equipment,  on the right day, for um, the rest of my life. It's easy to feel a little Oh, you can't be serious? about it all.

And then I remember to ask myself; What is the alternative?

And I remember that...

I am not childless. 

I am not sitting bedside in a paediatric ward wiping someone's feverish brow through a dreadful illness.

I am not coaxing my little friends through crippling anxiety about participating.

I am not wondering if a life-threatening peanut will come their way.

I am not walking 10 km a day to give them clean water to drink.

I have four garden-variety, bull-at-a-gate children who love to live life. Yes, some days are busy and noisy.  Some days, someone in the mix is overtired and cranky. Some days, that someone is me. Some days, I wish extra-curricula was just a weird Latin phrase I didn't understand.

But when I remember the alternative, I run around like a loony-bin to find their bike helmets and permission slips and I wipe the toast crumbs from their cheeks and I kiss their soft faces and say, Have a great day. I love you. And they run out the door to live life, and I give silent thanks I am not living any of the alternatives. 

Indigo Kate x

Monday, 24 November 2014

Day 24

I realised yesterday I haven't had a migraine since starting this health thing. Not only haven't I had one, I haven't felt one lurking. Sometimes, they skulk around the periphery of my brain like a mangy dog, while I wield a big stick and hope for the best.

Let's be clear, I would be the least qualified person on the planet to offer a health theory.  However, I do suspect my particular form of migraine loves sugar.  Or wheat? Or dairy? Or a combination? In the grip of a migraine, with my head in an ever-tightning vice and my body heaving, I have promised the health gods I was willing to do anything - ANYTHING - to avoid a repeat performance. And yet, after the storm, I have resumed my normal eating patterns, until the next one.  Call me stupid.  Or addicted.

I realise three weeks in my control group of one is not going to make the cover of any scientific research journals.  And I know that mangy dog might come back one day, vicious as ever.  But one thing I know for sure is that I don't miss those brutal episodes one little bit. And life is easier without waving a big stick around.


Indigo Kate x

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Day 23

I arrived home to hot, hot, hot weather and an excited clan.   There was also a bunch of extended clan for an early Christmas celebration.  There was a roast dinner, bon-bons and gifts. It was quite the re-entry.

It gave me pause to think about where I will be at by next Christmas, and what life will look like after my year of focussing on my health.  It's tempting to want guarantees, to know if I do A, B, C for a whole year then X, Y, Z will happen.  Then I realised perhaps that has been the issue all along - too much emphasis on the end result, and not enough enjoyment of the process.  So I'm shifting gears, away from The End and back to The Moment.  Reminding myself that my year is simply made up of choices. And I want to appreciate each and every choice, however humble. Albus Dumbledore was right when he said, 'It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.'


Indigo Kate x

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Day 22

Breakfast at a cafe is something that never happens in my usual life.  Breakfast at a cafe in groovy Paddington in Brisbane with my superpal & co. felt like the furthest point my life could get from normality without actually being on an intergalactic space mission.  Avocado, smoked salmon, eggs, and a slice of sourdough. Heavenly.

And just like when you buy a red car, all you see is red cars, my new healthy approach seems to be everywhere. There are conversations about people eliminating sugar and gluten, articles about the perils of calorie counting and low-fat products, and whispers about good fats being the champs.  The idea that deprivation doesn't work (tell me about it) and instead focussing on the abundance of plant-based foods available, can open up a whole new life-changing approach to eating well. It seems I'm not the only one who is suddenly seeing my health with my eyes wide open, and for a daggy country girl, it's kind of fun hanging with the cool kids. Especially over breaky.

Talk soon,

Indigo Kate x

Friday, 21 November 2014

Day 21 (summary of week 3)

3 weeks down already! Here's what I've learned this week.

1. That a meal shared with special friends really is the best thing in the world.

2. This is even more so when one of the special friends used to be a tiny girl that has grown into a funny, charming, humble young adult. As her Godmother you can take full credit for this.

3. Avoid getting to the I'm-so-hungry-I-could-eat-my-own-arm-off stage because then the careful, considered side of myself can be less easy to access.

4. Drink more water. Repeat.

5. Green smoothies can be as simple as spinach, banana, another piece of fruit, water and protein powder. I'm not over thinking it so much anymore.

6. Sometimes a little break from normal day to life is like a saline drip to the dehydrated. Life-saving.

7. Getting up early to prepare a salad with boiled eggs and smoked salmon is a great idea for your day as kindy helper. Just don't forget about it and leave it the car in direct sunlight on a 37 degree day.

8. If 7. happens to you, despite ravenous hunger,  be smart enough to put in in the bin. Then keep smiling through an afternoon of filling paint pots and pasting art work and just do your best not to eat one of the children. 

9. Prolonged exposure to social situations/noise/stimulation is hard work for this introvert and retreating to a cave-like room is necessary. Cognitive fatigue is real and may result in non-hungry eating. It may also result in wanting to install a flashing neon sign above the cave entrance that says PLEASE GO AWAY.
10. Some weeks you only learn 9 things and that's okay. 


Indigo Kate x

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Day 20

It was great to be able to eat clean while in transit yesterday. A place called Sumo Salad had a fabbo variety of fresh options, a shining beacon of hope amid a sea of fried food. I even got to eat my healthy choice browsing in a book shop. Alone. Does it get any better?

Solo plane travel has a lot going for it. The lack of bulky nappy bags, for one thing. The lack of writhing toddlers screaming with sore ears on the descent is another. Losing children in airports, entertaining them in departure lounges, avoiding the hairy eyeball from fellow travellers when they sqwark, arriving with that been-through-the-ringer-never-again exhaustion... Nope, funnily enough I didn't miss any of that. My toughest part of the trip was deciding whether to have the chicken/avocado or the Asian green salad for lunch. So I was grateful I could give this tricky conundrum my undivided attention.


Indigo Kate x

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Day 19

Sugar is definitely loosening its grip on me.  I'm slowing sliding out between its giant squid-like tendrils.  And I'm making a run for it.  North.  Tomorrow.  To see my superpal.  This involves two plane rides.  To say I am delirious with excitement would not be overstating it.  A lot has happened since we saw each other last April and there is much to catch up on. We are both at the weary end of a busy year and will cram as much talking as we can into daylight hours and not stay up all night by a campfire laughing our heads off, as we may have done 20 years ago.  Whatever time we share will be (preservative free, no added salt, no dairy, no sugar, no MSG) chicken soup for the soul.


Indigo Kate x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Day 18

I am an introvert.  A happy, contented introvert.  I'd say I was a loud and proud introvert but that would a contradiction in terms.  In the last few years I have read a little bit about introverts and everything I read felt like coming home.  Growing up I thought introverts were a lesser species, and defined best by what we were not.  Not loud, not social, not the life of the party, not voicing their opinion.  Now I love what we are; reflective, considered and creative.

Today I was required to be social from 9am-3pm.  Highly unusual, and completely unsustainable.  I am absolutely snookered now, and my brain is buzzing with overstimulation.  I will need serious down time to recover.  Yes, I am completely serious.  What I did notice though was I ate more when I was finally in a quiet place.  It was like a way of coping with the demands of the day.  Rewarding myself for getting through it?  Trying to pacifying my stretched mental state with something familiar?   Trying to boost energy reserves to cope with the remainder of the day? Whatever it was it was non-hungry eating, and it was related to not having any/enough quiet moments during the day.  The good news is it wasn't anything processed, there was no sugar involved.

So, I am off to bed early tonight, with my book.  I am a little wiser about my needs and putting things in place so that I can have enough space each day to cope with the demands of the upcoming silly season.

Good night.

Indigo Kate x

Monday, 17 November 2014

Day 17

There was some fabulous cauliflower soup today with shredded chicken through it.  There was also exercise.  There was perhaps one too many of the tasty dried fruit balls.  There was some writing work.  There was time at the pretend vet where I am a wild cat with a prickle in my paw and Miss 5 removes it, bandages it up and cares for me by putting 37 ponytails in my hair.  There was a growing sense that I am not missing dairy.  And another, that I am missing sugar less and less.  There was time at the creek watching my shaggy dog and my little girl play together.

That was my day.  How was yours?


Indigo Kate x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Day 16

There was a challenge today, a brunch with friends.  Now, I don't want to be one of those folks who is constantly telling you what they can and can't eat, like it's A Big Deal.  It's not (unless it involves anaphylaxis), it's dead boring and in a world where millions of people are starving, it's a more than little off. And besides, I have blog to bore people about what foods I can/can't/try not to eat.  Anyhoo, I approached brunch hoping I could just blend in with the crowd and (a) eat only what I was happy to eat and (b) not have to discuss it with anyone.  Success on both fronts.

Mindfulness is a whole blog post in itself.  But I'm pleased to report I'm slowly getting the hang of it. I'm convinced it is my way out of my weird relationship with food, which (I'm also pleased to report) is getting less weird and more garden-variety every day.  I took a mindful approach to the food on offer today.  This is new, as I can be like the Cookie Monster at these self-serve type events.  'Me Eat Everything, Cookie Or Not!' But there was a calm, considered approach to the plate today that I'm happy to own.  Not too little, not too much, but just right.  Yay me, I thought to myself as I drove home.  Yay me.


Indigo Kate x

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Day 15

Keep calm and eat salmon (with vegetables).

That is all. 


Indigo Kate x

Friday, 14 November 2014

Day 14 (summary of Week 2)

Ok, so here's the wrap up of my last week in My Year of Living Well.  

1.  It gets easier each day.
2.  I wish I had of started 12 months ago (but am comforted that in 12 months time I won't have to say that)
3. Having a super-gadget that whizzes things into different forms is making this new life both easier and fun.  Even if blitzing my green smoothie wakes everybody in the house, if not the street.
4.  Coming from a perspective of 'health' has changed my thinking for the better. There is no sense of deprivation, which is helpful as I have a highly-tuned deprivation radar and it always results in massive over compensation.
5. Pitted dates are my new favourite friend. So understated and humble.  Love those guys.
6. Boiled eggs really are nature's fast food, those marketing people at the Egg board were right.
7.  Kale might be a superfood but it is not a patch on baby spinach in the green smoothie arena.
8.  Cauliflower rice is right up there with the wheel in terms of life changing inventions.
9. Exercise can be illusive. A bit like a thylacine.
10.  Asparagus is the hipster of the veggie isle.  So fabulous.

Thanks for reading.  Would love you to say hi or wave if you're visiting.


Indigo Kate x

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Day 13

Less meh today. No sign of the moving more/being more active/exercise thing either though, sadly. Getting 6 people (including myself) fed, dressed and out the door with a packed lunch each day is a full morning workout, by anyone's standards. But it doesn't come with endorphins. So to add an actual workout to the existing domestic morning workout requires an extra level of planning, and an extra dollop of energy. As they say in the classics, tomorrow is another day.

I have discovered that a frozen banana and baby spinach leaves are a marriage made in heaven on the green smoothie front.  Other things welcome too but with those two as foundation ingredients, it's all good news.

I made some fruit balls today. I whizzed up some dates, dried apricots, dried apples, coconut and (even though not required as per the recipe), a couple of dried peaches.  I pressed the mixture into round balls and rolled them in coconut.  Thinking they might just do the trick the next time hunger strikes between meals.  Will let you know how they go.

Heading to bed now wondering how to organise two children to have crazy hair and another child to get their bike to school tomorrow morning all by 8am.  Then to get myself to a 9am meeting with a film maker I hope to work with, hopefully without the crazy hair.

Indigo Kate x

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Day 12

Things were slightly meh here today. Not blerky, just meh. I still did what has become my new normal.  Perhaps the zeal of the new beginning is starting to wane.  I do tend to take things on with all the unwavering enthusiasm of a religious fundamentalist, which can be hard to sustain.  So, it is to be expected I guess, that not every day will see me skipping and twirling my skirt and bursting into song, The Hills Are Alive-style.

I realised what may be missing from my life (apart from a family block of chocolate) - endorphins.  Particularly those exercise ones.  I have been so busy blitzing cauliflower into rice and blending spinach into smoothies that I haven't kicked any exercise goals of late.  So tomorrow calls for some movement. One book I read said that exercise has such negative connotations for some folks they are better off saying to themselves they are 'looking to be more active' or 'trying to move more' as it doesn't sound so bootcamp-esque.

I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. When I do it consistently I love it to bits and can't live without it. Then suddenly, I'm not doing it regularly and I hate the restarting up process.  But here I am. Again. At the restarting up start line, looking at my toes and wondering how I got back here.

But in the interest of stopping meh turning into blerkdom, I'll be lacing up my runners in the morning in an effort to get me some of those yippy endorphins.  Because I know that no matter how much green stuff I put in my smoothie, life just isn't the same without them.

Indigo Kate x

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Day 11

I know they say it takes 21 days to make a new habit, but 11 days in I'm feeling like some of these new habits are cementing themselves quite nicely.  The warm water with lemon, the green smoothie, the dandelion root tea, the absence of sugar, are all becoming more automatic.  They require less thought and self-persuasion each time.

My big news is the discovery of cauliflower rice.  It's cauliflower transformed into rice size grains and steamed.  When served with vegies it really does, for all intent and purposes, taste like rice. I'm loving the chance to get another vegie in.

I also know that sleep is essential to health, and it is well past my bedtime as I type this.  I've been out at a school meeting and in the interests of my health, I'm off to bed.

Here's to new good habits and cauliflower rice.

More soon,

Indigo Kate x

Monday, 10 November 2014

Day 10

When I was pregnant with my first picaninny, I had this THING for dried peaches. It was not a craving, I told myself, just a preference. A preference that often saw me making a 60km round trip just to get hold of them. It also saw me uncontrollably eating them in the queue before I had paid for them.  They were unbelievably fantastic - just like a dried apricot's rather enormous, tastier cousin. I devoured so many of them I wondered briefly if my baby might look slightly wrinkled and dark orange when it arrived.

Today at the health food shop I spied them. Or rather they called out to me. 'Remember us?' they bleated from the shelves.  I certainly do!  There they were, 11 years later, looking just as fabulous as I remembered.  I breathed in that peachy smell and bought a dozen.  As I nibbled on one all the hopes and unknowns of that special time, came back to me. There I was again anxiously waiting, waiting, waiting, for this baby, our baby, to join us.

I won't be consuming them in the same quantities as previously. There will be no special trips to town for them, no middle of the night snacks.  But it was like running into an old friend. Look at you! What have you been up to? How did that whole baby thing work out?

I left some on the table for afternoon tea, and that little baby, now a strapping 11 year old with a kind smile and an easy laugh bit into one. And I swear a look of recognition washed across his beautiful face.

Indigo Kate x

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Day 9

I had some good advice to put the contents of my green smoothie on a plate before whizzing it into liquid form. This prevents mindlessly adding endless amounts of content.  I have done this for the last 4 mornings and it works well. It means I can think about the fruit/veg combination and adjust it accordingly.  Frozen fruit is definitely best, otherwise the smoothie tends to taste slightly warmed. Green and sludgy is one thing, but green, sludgy and warm is just plain weird.

As soon as I can work out how to insert a photo here, without pulling my hair out in clumps, I'll post my green smoothies on a plate for your visual pleasure.

And no, I did not eat any of the birthday pavlova in circulation for husband's birthday. And yes, I did feel mildly self-righteous about it. Indigo Kate 1. Sugar 0.

Talk soon,

Indigo Kate x

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Day 8

There's a classic scene in an episode of the Simpsons where Homer's charming mate Barney is at the pub when he suddenly declares 'Hey! There's still some beer in this ashtray!' then proceeds to slurp it up. I thought of it this morning. I had made choc chip muffins for my husband's extremely humble (read: non-event) birthday celebrations. There were a few spare choc chips left lurking on the tray. I thought about it, then swiftly wiped them off into the sink of dish water, out of temptations way.  I then had a brief moment of regret and saw myself crying out desperately, 'Hey! There's still some chocolate in this washup water!' and plunging my face into those tepid bubbles.

But, I'm proud to report that didn't happen.   Scout's Honour.

Indigo Kate x

Friday, 7 November 2014

Day 7 (summary of week 1)

Well, here I am already at the end of my first week in My Year of Living Well (MYOLW - could there be a more unpronounceable acronym?)

Anyhoo, here's what I've learnt so far.

1. The I've-given-up-sugar-after-an-extended-period-of-total-dependancy headache doesn't last forever. (But it does last quite long enough, thanks very much.)
2. Green smoothies completely rock. Once you get the hang of them. 
3. There is such a thing as a vegetable called Wombuk.  When you are wandering around the fruit and vege shop in the grips of post-sugar withdrawal you may find this fact hands-down the funniest thing you've ever heard in your entire life. 
4.  The cashier at the fruit and vege shop may not find the idea of Wombuk even remotely amusing and this could prove awkward.
5.  Salad is my friend.
6.  It is quite possible to serve your family homemade pizza while you eat a bok choy, asparagus, spinach and chicken stir fry. No one will even notice and bizarely the pizza will not look even vaguely attractive. 
7. Food and mental health are linked in so many ways that a mathematical dyslexic like myself could have trouble putting an exact number on it. So I'll go for a ball park figure then, you know, like a billion. 
8. Some journeys feel like the right thing even from the very first steps. This is one of those. 
9. A handful of seeds and nuts at the right time of day can make life feel possible again. And help you channel your inner rosella. 
10. Dandelion root tea does taste a little like you've poured boiling water over a dirty gardening trowel. But my liver likes it so I'm taking that one for the team. 

Thanks for reading. 

Indigo Kate x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Day 6

I tidied the pantry today. I threw things out, I rearranged, I wiped benches and shelves, and I combined half-empty packets into neat, labelled containers.  The end result is marvellous and it will help with healthy choices. I had a writing project to do today, the deadline is looming and I am behind with it. So tidying the pantry was the logical thing to do in the strange dance that happens sometimes in getting to the desk. I created clarity on the shelves in the absence of any on the page. It's a start.

Each day feels easier. Mentally, I feel great, energetic even.  Hopeful and generally up.

Broccoli salad for dinner.  Look at me go!

Must go and tackle this writing project. Just let me clean this window on my way to the desk...

Indigo Kate x

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Day 5

Two good things happened today.

The first was a session with a health professional, talking all things health. Sleep, diet, hormones, consistency, protein and green smoothies were all on the table. It was unhurried and helpful and pitched exactly where I'm at now, not where I should be at or where I used to be at. There was a gentle acceptance that health plans are sometimes derailed by that freight train called life and how best to get it back on the tracks.  I came away feeling informed and inspired and realistic about my Year of Living Well plans. I have another appointment for just before Christmas so we can see how it is all unfolding.  It's nice to have a companion on the journey, especially one that's a million times smarter about all this stuff than me.

The second thing I did was eat the most sensational salad for lunch. Salad and I usually keep a polite distance, just the occasional nod before moving on to talk to someone more interesting on the menu. Someone with a bit of substance.  But today, I walked into a little salad bar in town open to possibilities. I chose a base of baby spinach, then got to add seven (seven!) other bits and pieces. Hello avocado, grilled eggplant, roast pumpkin, chick peas, seeds, cucumber and something else fabulous.  Throw some smoked salmon on top and Salad and I were suddenly on first name terms and exchanging numbers.

My first 5 days are done and I'm curiously optimistic about the remaining 360. With some professional support and my new mate Salad, I reckon there's good things ahead.

Indigo Kate x

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Day 4

Even after 4 days I feel calmer. Maybe the sugar is working its way out of my system. Or maybe all the green leafy vegies are working their magic. But I feel more considered and in control. I'm getting the hang of making each choice a healthy choice. Early days, I know. 

The warm water with a squeeze of (home grown) lemon is a great way to move into the day. It slows me down and reminds me about my health. I never drink enough water, and golly, some of my most memorable headaches have been dehydration ones. So to get two big glasses in before I've done anything else makes me feel like a total hydration rock star.  

An excellent green smoothie (baby spinach, celery, apple, pear, strawberry) and a cup of dandelion root tea and I was ready for the final day of my solo parenting gig. Dandelion root is apparently excellent for liver care. My liver and I need to be better friends so I'm giving it a whirl.  My liver has a big job to do as it no longer has a gall bladder to help it out. Long, sad story. The gallbladder is Robin to the livers Batman, if you will. From what I can work out our liver is the biggest organ in the body and has a mighty job to do in terms of filtering. It would seem the cleaner I eat, the less work it has to do.  Who knows, with a new work-life balance my liver might like to write a novel or learn a language. The possibilities are endless. 

There was some processed sugar circulating today in the name of Melbourne Cup festivities. My liver and I abstained. Dandelion root tea, anyone? 

Indigo Kate x

Monday, 3 November 2014

Day 3

There was an awkward moment this morning. In my enthusiasm I had thrown a few too many random healthy green things together for my smoothie. Rocket! Parsley! Celery! Banana! The result was deep sea green and slimy. It smelt like freshly mowed lawn. Four little people looked at it dubiously and said, 'Are you really going to drink that, Mum?'

It would have been awfully easy at that point to tip it down the sink. To throw some raisin toast in the toaster and be done with it. I mean two days of healthy living is a red hot go, right?

'I think it needs some ginger,' I said to my bemused little friends. I threw in a thumb-size chunk of ginger and whizzed it around. Then I poured it into my glass and drank it before I had time to rethink it. It was great, in a mowed-lawn kinda way.  My children were most impressed. And as I downed my second glass, so was I.

Note to self: random items do not a fabulous green smoothie make. Compatablitlity of ingredients is key. Oh, and go easy on the rocket.

Indigo Kate x

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Day 2

Yes, I realise with a title like that I'm not winning any creativity awards. But it was a good Day 2 none the less.

My first objective in my quest for health is to kick processed sugar.  It's over between us.  Some people can have it every now and then without issue. I am just not one of those people. I crave it, I eat too much of it, then I crave it even more. It gives me a headache, it makes me jittery, it does diabolical things to my body shape.  My love/hate sugar relationship is endlessly exhausting.  So I have pulled up my big girl undies and begun my cold turkey withdrawal. It's the only way forward.

So far so good. A dull headache but I am coping admirably. My husband is away on an annual mountain bike trip so I am combining sugar withdrawal with solo parenting four small people. Why not try two tricky things at once, I say.  But we are having long slow Lego days. There is time to rest and breathe and catch our breath in this crazy-busy term. It's been heartening to see them so happy in each other's company.

My green smoothie this morning was an absolute cracker. Spinach, celery, apple, pear and coconut water. So for this first month or so my plan is to kick sugar and take up green smoothies. They say the best way to kick a habit is to replace it with another (preferably better) habit. So it's out with the chocolate and hello drinkable spinach.  Lookout Popeye, here I come.

Indigo Kate x

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Coo-eee (Day 1)

And I'm back.  Hello there.

Today, November 1st, 2014, marks a new beginning for me. I have started a personal 365 day project called My Year Of Living Well. A whole year where I mindfully focus on my mental and physical health.

Sadly this will not be beamed to you from a fancy-pants Health Retreat where I schedule my massage by the waterfall somewhere between my meditation class and my yoga instruction.  No, this is happening at a scary place called Real Life. Home. With my four children, my shaggy dog, my overflowing laundry and my sticky kitchen bench. I think there is also a husband in there somewhere. And some writing stuff known romantically as work.

I want to see  happens when I shift my focus to my health. Not for a week or a month but for a whole year. I'm sick of skidding into bed after another day at break-neck pace during which I somehow forgot to eat well and exercise, despite ensuring the five other members of my family all did.  I don't want my health to be a tiny foot note to my life. I want it to be a bold heading in large font with a capital H.

Like most adventures, I'm hoping this one will become clearer as I leave the shore. My day began with a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon. Then another. I took a deep breath and realised I had begun. I turned away from the shore and looked out towards the horizon, with all its unknowns and drank my first ever green smoothie (baby spinach, apple, carrot, pineapple). It was, despite the slightly weird colour and grainy texture, fabulous.  Cheers, I said to myself. Here's to My Year Of Living Well.

I'd love to share it with you.


Indigo Kate x