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Comfort Food

 

Thankfully my mood is much lighter today (I prayed hard last night before going to bed). I got up at 5.30am and went for my 4k block run, this is also the run that I time myself and check how I’m going.

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The plan is to run for 12 minutes and see how far I get, then I keep going until I’ve run my track. Last week I did 2k in 12 minutes so this morning was a little slow (could’ve been the wind I was running into).

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This muddy looking smoothie was so yummy! Cacao, frozen strawberries, coconut water, thriving protein, camu powder and coconut oil.

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Mid-morning I had a mashed banana with cacao nibs (hmmmm I see a chocolate pattern here).

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I was craving a big chicken veggie soup for lunch so I pulled some chicken bone broth out of the freezer along with some shredded chicken and placed them in the saucepan to simmer along with sweet potato, green beans, carrot, kale, and veggie concentrate (a paste made out of salt, zucchini, celery, carrot, broccoli, garlic, capsicum). I topped it with spicy seed mix.

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Mid-afternoon, just before tutoring, I had a Cocobiotic Bar and coconut water (I really wanted coffee).

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These mini meat loaves were cooked a little too long (that’s what happens when you leave boys in charge). They had beef mince, veggie concentrate, nutra organics vital veg powder, tomato purée and an egg packed into them. We had them with a mixed green garden salad.

Is it bad that I’m already dreading my PT session tomorrow?? It hurts :(

Yours in Health and Happiness
Jess xx

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It’s One Of Those Days

Today’s pictures really reflect how I’m feeling. It’s day 4 of my TOM and my mood is so tense…Why does my cycle create such a horrible week??? Blah!
I’ve been reading a book about ‘what your plate says about you’, well today it says a lot!

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Regular breakfast smoothie…same as every day. Quick, easy, no thinking involved.

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Two baby bananas on the run as my pre-workout fuel.

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PT session=a really horrible closed off mood with lots of mind game featuring ‘I can’t’ but I did (my PT isn’t one for I can’t).

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Lunch was a super quick deli tuna salad. Nothing fancy. Shredded lettuce, tuna mixed with paleo mayo, capers, dill pickle and lime juice. Then I had a bucket of student planning to do.

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I had a Cocobiotic Bar on my way to tutoring this afternoon…again…eating on the run :(

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And here is the plate that says, “I’m hungry, the kids ate all the dinner, I’m not really worried about looks I just need FOOD!” A slice of my grain-free, gluten-free bread with 2 eggs thrown on top.
Oh boy I hope I wake up with a lighter mood tomorrow.
Yours in Health and Happiness
Jess xx

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What? Friday already??

 

How can it be Friday already? How can it even be February even?? Where is all this time flying to? Why am I asking so many questions??

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Breakfast was another smoothie…while Will played with his new love….LEGO

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I had an early lunch today, Tuna and Broccoli Fritters with some grated sweet potato.

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I had a banana pre-workout, then another tough PT session this afternoon….

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W had a kids event at church from 6pm so Husband and I took advantage of some rare ‘us’ time and decided on Mexican for dinner.  I had Montezumas Delight, which is basically a big plate of chopped raw veg (broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, radish, apple, green beans, cabbage) topped with tomato salsa, sour cream and cheese.  I off loaded most of the sour cream, and as usual, I couldn’t finish it all.

Early to bed, I have a massive day ahead tomorrow.

Yours in Health and Happiness

Jess xx

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Slower Pace

A nice relaxed, recharging day was definitely in order today.  This week has been unusually busy and no wonder my sleep was non-existent….stress = loss of sleep for me.  Today I decided that I needed to slow it down and only do the things that had to be done, and finally dig in and read my new book.

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I woke up at 5.30am ready to head out for a run.  I laced up my shoes, opened the door and then it began to rain….ok so I am determined to run but I am not feeling that determination in the rain this morning (I always feel slightly precious at certain times of the month).  So I went back inside and made my awesome breakfast smoothie.  Maca, Camu, Macqui berries, blueberries, Thriving Protein, cashew milk.

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After all the running around that had to be done after school drop off I was glad to get home and get stuck into lunch.  Shredded kale, beetroot, cabbage, chicken, dill pickle and paleo mayo…mix it all up and it’s super yummy!

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I made some of my LCM balls (will post the recipe shortly)…and I just had to have a spoonful of the caramel! (Dates, ghee)

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Dinner was a quick ‘coleslaw’ using the shredded kale, cabbage, carrot, beetroot from lunch and I just added sausage…can you tell it wasn’t really me who cooked dinner?

I also had 2 glasses of wine…

Did I run today? No :(

Yours in Health and Happiness

Jess xx

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GO…GO

 

Yesterday can be summed up in one word…GO.  I was on the go the whole day and that’s not what I had planned.  I always try to fit so much in , it’s no wonder I’m so exhausted by the end of the day.

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A few days ago John Mac had posted a picture of sweet potato hash browns that he had cooked in the waffle marker…it was a genius idea! It worked a treat, I had it with an egg and Brussels sprouts.

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Pre-workout I had a baby banana…ps my legs are so sore from PT session yesterday! Ball slams….too many ball slams.

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Thank goodness my trainer took it easy on my legs today, we did lots of heavy upper body lifting and some hill walking.

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When I got home from the gym I realised I had literally 15 minutes to get in the shower and eat lunch before I had to rush back out to the hairdresser…so I decided a smoothie was in order (there goes my ‘no eating in the car’ rule…I really have to work on that).  I used Thriving Protein (pea protein and other superfood goodness from Nutra Organics), Camu, Maca (need some hormone help at the moment), 1/4 cup coconut cream, 1 cup coconut water.

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After getting home from the hairdresser and picking the kids up, I had the last pork patty with some apple slices and Sunshine Sauce (if you haven’t tried that sauce yet you’re  missing out). AND HUSBAND IS HOME!! He is now working a 7 on 7 off roster so we love the 7 off part…having him home for a week is awesome…having him gone for a week is not so awesome.

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After tutoring and for dinner I had paleo sushi…my favourite!! It’s kind of my ‘signature dish’ I think…I use 1 cup of cauliflower rice, 100g tuna (or salmon or chicken), 1/2 small avocado (mashed), splash of coconut aminos and mix it all together in a big bowl. Then I wrap it in the nori sheet with some julienned carrots and cucumber. The best!

After cleaning up it was time to flop sit on the lounge and watch My Kitchen Rules…I love this show!! How good were the Texan father and daughter?!

Yours in Health and Happiness

Jess xx

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Tuesday…That’s All

Why can’t I just have a really good night sleep at the moment? I might need to try meditating or something before I go to bed. I wasn’t having the best start to the day…

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I spilt my smoothie before I even got to take one sip…yep…the whole thing gone…I had to take very deep breaths…at least it spilt on the kitchen sink and not on the floor right?! So I had to make a new one.

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Pre-workout I had 2 baby bananas (they equal one whole banana).

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Frist PT session for the week.  I’ve been working with Kay for 5 weeks (3 times a week) an I’ve got to say, I am so blown away by what I am now achieving.  My fitness is increasing out of sight…I am running faster, and I am pushing harder than I have ever pushed before.  Every session I walk out of there completely drained by feeling on top of the world…I haven’t had that feeling in a LONG time.

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Straight after getting home from the gym I had lettuce leaf tacos…well not really tacos…more like diced tomatoes with last night’s slow cooked beef topped with Paleo Ketchup and smashed avocado with lime juice.  They were yummy!

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I’m trying really hard to not eat in the car, to eat all of my food at the table and be mindful, but some days I’m so under the pump that eating in the afternoon is sometimes done in the car.  Today I had to drop the boys off at home after school and then head straight out for tutoring, I grabbed a chicken pancake (chicken flour and egg, and I hid some of the vital veggie mix in these ones too).  This pancake had Sunshine Sauce on it.

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I got home at 5.45pm so I had time to whip up dinner, using last night’s slow cooked beef (when you are cooking always cook enough to feed an army, then you have leftovers that can be used in so many different ways), and sliced veggies (cabbage, broccoli, squash, brussel sprouts) and I threw in some coconut aminos, garlic, paprika, beef bone broth.  The kids had theirs with rice.

Yours in Health and Happiness

Jess xx

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Monday Madness

 

So Monday, yesterday, was totally busy and I am absolutely in full swing PMS craziness and Sleep Deprived (what is it about that TOM that makes my sleep go totally down the drain).  Anyway, I decided, while in my rocking chair that I would take my blog back to basics and return it to its original design….blogging daily eats and workout and ramblings.  I love reading Tiffany’s blog,  Kristen’s blogEmily’s blog and Erin’s blog too,  even though our eating and living styles are totally different I like to read about what other people are doing.  They inspire me, and I like connecting with others :)

I set my alarm for 5.30am and hit the snooze button when it went off. I made this deal with myself that if I didn’t sleep well the night before then I wouldn’t get up early to work out, sleep is more important.

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I had a smoothie for breakfast, I love smoothies in the morning because they are quick to consume while getting the rest of the household ready for school (and I don’t want to be standing at the hot stove cooking breakfast in Summer all the time).  Smoothie = macqui, pomegranate, goji and camu powder, 1/2 banana, 1 big tablespoon of Brazil nut butter and blend.

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Apple slices and leftover pork patties with walnut butter mid-morning…yum! I had 2 of these.

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And finally a cup of coconut cream coffee…I have been waiting until at least 11am before having my 1-a-day cup…all about hormones and adrenals and all that stuff :)

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Big ol’ bowl of chicken salad for lunch.  I pile it all into a big bowl, take a photo, and them mash it all together….yum! Today I had lettuce, julienne cucumber, capsicum, tomato, 100g chicken breast (done in the slow cooker for 5 hours on Sunday as part of my meal prep), 80g avocado, 10g spicy seed mix and a big squeeze of lime juice….all for a banging 340 calories (I add that because my PT keeps saying, “portion sizes Jess!”)

Then I had a made rush to pick the kids up and get everything organised for the afternoon (I’ve started tutoring ASD children and children with learning difficulties).

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I ate my ‘dinner’ before I headed off for tutoring…Mondays are my long days with me not getting home until 6.30pm. I had put a beef topside roast in the slow cooker with some bone broth and garlic and it was at perfect ‘pull-apart’ texture by 3pm so I had 100g of that on some coleslaw, a paleo coconut wrap and a big glass of super greens.

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I got home at 6.30pm and my awesome kids had put Will in the bath and all I had to do was dish up dinner.  They ate dinner while I had a night-time smoothie (because I really didn’t feel like eating a meal).  I had 2 scoops of the Thriving Protein (pea protein) and 4 scoops of the night-time toddler milk (yes I know I’m not a toddler but it has some great stuff to help me sleep).

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No run tonight, I was worn out!

Yours in Health and Happiness

Jess xx

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Kids' Stuff, Uncategorized

Language Development and Your Child

 

School starts tomorrow, and that means William’s first day of Kindergarten. At the beginning of 2014 William began to show signs of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), his speech and his social skills were the biggest concerns for Paul and I. As a teacher, I knew that I needed to pick up the pace of William’s speech and language development. I drew on my ESL (English as a Second Language) Language Coaching training and started picking up the pace of William’s language development. At first it was slow, but after seven months he was speaking with more words in sentences and I was beginning to understand what he was trying to communicate. Now, twelve months later, I can’t stop him from talking and he speaks with words that completely blow my mind.

As a classroom teacher I have children every year (in grade three) that have limited vocabulary, they are not children on the Autism Spectrum or children with learning difficulties. Language development is not as easy as most of you may think, it’s not something that just comes to you. I thought I’d pen a post about language development and how you can help your child create a solid literacy base.

Learning a language is hard (have you tried to learn a new language?), even if that language is your first language (aka mother language). Most parents get so excited when they hear their baby speak their first words. However, few parents put conscious effort into language development past those first few words. Most parents think that speech and language just happens, it just develops on its own.

For children, especially children with ASD or any learning disorder that impairs speech and language development, it is imperative that they are surrounded by rich, correctly articulated language. That involves some effort on the parents’ part. Yes, we are their best role model for language development. The best times to ‘work’ on developing or extending your child’s language skills are during every day experiences. You don’t need to go and purchase special toys, or apps for the iPad. You just need to spend time talking with your child. No conversation is ever wasted, I have had some fantastic language ‘sessions’ with William about a spider in a web, or a crumb that the ant is carrying back to feed its family. It’s not the topic that matters, it’s the language associated with the conversation. For example:

Child: staring at a spider in a web “Spider”

Parent: “Yes that’s right, there is a spider. The spider is in a web.” point to the web

Child: “Web, spider in a web.”

Parent: “Can you see the sparkles on the spider’s web?”

Child: “See sparkles in the spider web.”

Parent: “The spider will catch its food in the web.”

And so on…the point is that the parent models full sentences with correct articulation and the child will often copy what you say, and as their language skills develop further they will add their own thoughts to the conversation. Would I use words that the child doesn’t know the meaning of? Yes, how else will they learn the meaning of the word and the correct context in which that word is used?

Keep your communication genuine and real, where both you and your child are taking turns in talking. This helps them to understand that having a conversation with someone is about talking, listening, pausing, responding and not just about the words we speak.

IMG_3543.JPGThis image is a perfect example: William and I will play and we will talk about what he is doing.  Our conversations flows freely and goes in any direction he wants it to go in.  Our language gets built upon each time we ‘play’.  

A strong oral language forms the foundation for literacy development and success in schooling. To build this strong foundation in oral language the parents will need to model/use rich language that has been articulated correctly.

Articulating words correctly is so important, I don’t know how many times I have to correct ‘I should of gone to the shop’. You model language to your child, they copy what you say, if you say it correctly then there is less to correct later on. If your child says something incorrectly, gently correct them. If a mistake goes unchecked, your child will think it is correct and then keep making the mistake.

What does rich language mean?? Language with a lot of money? No, obviously, but it is similar. It is language that has a lot going for it. Rich language is dense, it has adjectives and adverbs, it ‘paints a picture’ in the mind of the listener (or reader). It has a lot of description in a small amount of words. Modelling this language includes saying the same idea (the girl ran) in a few ways using language that expands on the idea (the girl in the red dress ran fast), adding new words in order to stretch your child’s vocabulary. Keep this language at and slightly above your child’s level, steadily becoming more complex as your child’s language develops.

And read to your child…every single day…read read read! Picture books that create extended conversation are perfect! Occasionally point to the text as you read it, this helps the child to understand that you are reading words from the page.

 

I hope this helps some of you,

Yours in Health and Happiness

Jess xx

 

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Recipes, Uncategorized

Avocado Icy-Pops

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I had an abundance of avocados a little while back, about 15 avocados all ripe at the same time.  Now I love avocados on and in everything but I was sooooo ready to find a new way of having them.  I’ve made icy pops with avocado before (I just make a big smoothie and freeze them in icy pop trays), so I played around with this a little and came up with this.  Was totally yummy!!

Avocado Icy-Pops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Paleo Sweets
Serves: 6 icy pops
Ingredients
  • 2 small avocados
  • 270ml coconut cream
  • 20 drops (1/4 dropper) of liquid stevia (or you could use honey/maple)
  • 1 Tablespoon cacao (for the chocolate layer)
Instructions
  1. Blend all the ingredients, excluding the cacao, in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into cupcake moulds, filling two-thirds the mould (leaving the rest for the chocolate). Reserve one-third of the mixture in the blender.
  3. Place in the freezer.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of cacao to the remaining avocado mixture and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the chocolate avocado mixture over the semi-frozen 'green' layer, place back in the freezer until set hard.

 Yours in Health and Happiness

Jess xx

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About Me, Uncategorized

The Rocking Chair

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Settling goals, changing paths, I don’t know what I should be doing, I don’t feel like this is right for me anymore, what direction do I want my life to take????? So many questions, how on earth do we start to find out what it is we really want to do in life? All we know is that we’re not really happy with where we are at and we just want change (or we want to know that what we are doing is what we really want to do).

This post is about how I found the direction I want for my life, how I stopped over-analysing (something I’m really good at) and stopped feeling overwhelmed by life.

In November I knew that I wanted to take my life on a different path, I wasn’t really happy with the things that I had been working towards in 2014, my passion and drive had taken a nose-dive and I was struggling to find a way up. I had given so much of myself to so many projects and people that I had completely forgotten what my path was, my health had suffered, my body had suffered and my fitness had been reduced to nothing.

While staring into space one day in mid-November I remembered the days after my Da had passed away (eight years ago) and this got me started on rediscovering my passion and my path. See, in the days after his passing I was so upset, I was trying to console myself with thoughts of how much he had accomplished. He used to ‘potter around’ in his BBQ patio, and after he was diagnosed with liver cancer he used to spend a lot of time outside. I often thought that he was outside reflecting on his life, and boy what a life he had lived and what a truly great man he was.

I remembered his rocking chair, and how he must’ve been sitting in it each afternoon smiling, being so satisfied with the life he lived. Bingo! I had found a way to start finding my passion and living life again, a life that makes me satisfied and brings a smile to my face. I began sitting in my rocking chair each morning, and I pretended that I was 80 years-old and I was looking back on the life I had lived…I smiled as I thought about all of the things I ‘had done’, all of the things I was glad I ‘didn’t do’…and I also thought of all of the things I wished I ‘had have done’. I wrote them down. This was the start of some wonderful revelations.

I’ve started pulling myself back from some projects and decided that I am going to focus on just three things…and do those three things super well (got to give my Senior Pastor credit for this one, he had an awesome message on this one Sunday…actually it seemed that all of the messages in December were completely aligning with the changes my life was taking). I feel free, I feel like I have direction, I feel renewed, and I can’t wait to get back into the classroom and teach kids again! I am excited about living life every single day with passion and purpose!

Yours in Health and Happiness

Jess xx

Tell me, what are you excites you about the New Year ahead?

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