Veggie Chilli

Every year in Adelaide we all sit around, look at one another and exclaim in surprise to how cold it is. To be fair .. we get the extremes here .. its hard to go from 45 degrees to 1 degrees (and below !) … especially when central heating simply doesn’t exist here. A true ‘Adelaidian” will complain through the worst of winter and the very hottest of summer. Secretly we could not live without our seasons, I am thinking of our beloved wine grapes here …

Personally, apart from those terribly cold mornings I don’t mind it. I see it as touch of the UK and enjoy pilling on my collection of woolly hats and scarfs. Of course the excuse to cook up some bold and spicy dinners isn’t half bad either. This amazing veggie chiili is definitely one of them. With a great kick of spices, fennel and herbs it is great for digestive health. A decent dose of veggies and a great protein kick from the beans leaves you feeling both nourished and warmed … not to mention it is both budget friendly and easy to take along to any pot luck dinner. It freezes like a dream too !

Veggie Chilli Recipe

SAMSUNG CSC

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion
1 Small Fennel
3 garlic cloves
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red chilli
1 tsp cayenne pepper/chilli powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dried chipotle chilli ( optional )
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 bunch of coriander
1 tbsp of fresh oregano (heaped)
1 tbsp ACV
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 lcarrot
1 small sweet potato
2 zucchini
800 gms beans ( Black/Kidney – mixed is good )
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can whole tomatoes
1 lime

Natural Yoghurt, Avocado and Cos Lettuce leaves to serve

Method:

  1. Peel and roughly chop the onion, along with the fennel.
  2. Peel and slice garlic.
  3. Halve, deseed and roughly chop the peppers and finely chop deseeded chilli.
  4. Chop Coriander root (reserve leaves) and oregano.
  5. Heat coconut oil in large pot. Add onion, garlic, fennel and peppers. Cook for 8 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  6. Add the mixed spices, herbs, chilli and chipotle chilli. Cook for 10 minutes. Add a little water if needed.
  7. Add chopped vegetables ( bite size cubes ) and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add tinned tomatoes, beans (drained and rinsed) and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, give a good stir and bring to the boil.
  9. Allow to simmer for 40 mins, add filtered water if needed. Stir every 10 mins.
  10. Once cooked and cooled slightly add cocoa, Half the lime juice and half the coriander. Give a good stir

SAMSUNG CSC

Serve in a big bowl with sides and lime wedges and nourish  !

Ps. Don’t be alarmed by the cocoa ( you can make it cocao if you wish ) it creates a richness in the dish.

Advertisements

The epiphanies of turning 30 …

So yes … my last blog post was August last year. It is now June 2015 …. that is nearing the year mark.

First of all, love of my life number two, Oscar the Pugalier …. has been the most wonderful learning curve. That pup will forever believe he is human and dictate which walking route we take each evening. He just celebrated his first birthday !

The other half ( love of my life number one ) got his first big promotion after a lot of hard work. He loves his knew role and I can see his passion each day when he shares his thoughts with me. I am excited for him and know how good he is in his new role.  I cannot wait to see where this takes him. So inspirational.

Myself .. ? I got sick .. really sick. Weeks after my last blog my health declined, weight dropped .. and I could barely wait each day until it was time to go back to bed. It was hard to care beyond what I had to do. Then I ended up in hospital with stupid low potassium levels ( that stuff is painful to replace .. think acid in your veins ) and weird spiking/dropping sugar levels that caused pretty scary seizures. Yup .. 2014 didn’t quite deliver the healthy self I aimed for.

Then came our Bali and Lombok ‘escape Christmas’ holiday … which I went on despite dubious doctors thoughts .. and goodness did that trip heal me. No longer was I sickly Cheryl.  Suddenly we were taking leisurely breakfasts, walking the beaches, taking yoga and mediation classes and sampling the best Indonesian fare .. whilst truly staying in some amazing hotels and boutique resorts. We reconnected with each other .. and ourselves. Here came epiphany number one .. Doctors are not always right. My interest for natural healing and holistic nutrition doubled.

On a side note … I will post about some properties I have stayed at in Bali and Lombok over the last year … I urge you to try these properties, they are so different and unique each way I feel that at least one will resonate with your holiday self … if not all, like me ! Bali is so much more than a cheap getaway for Australians. Indonesia is a very special place to visit – I encourage you to embrace all it has to offer !

Sadly my return home saw my health decline again .. and truly it got me terribly depressed .. and grumpy !!  That centred being with glowing skin ( It really was .. ) that walked off the plane from Bali disappeared almost completely in a matter of a month. What can you do when you can’t even keep your social plans ? I was back to doing the bare minimum … work, eat, sleep. It felt like the walls were closing in again … Doctor after doctor just sent me to the hospital. Miserable … with a capital ‘M’.

It didn’t help that this year I was turning 30 and felt my life was slowly sliding backwards instead of piloting forwards. Where was my high flying career ? Where was my success .. my pulitzer prize, my New York Times review … ?! Ok, I got carried away. Truly though, I once had dreams … and I was back to hoping I could just make it to work for the day .. and through that day for that matter. I didn’t see the point in setting goals or having dreams .. what was the point if you could never reach/achieve them ? I once was a high achiever .. and yet my ‘gumption’ had gone.

Then one day early May I woke up .. and epiphany number two hit . Now this could very well be that our new mattress and pillows finally meant a proper nights sleep or.. that my regular physio sessions were magically helping with my joint and neck pain management .. but I think my mind just shifted. I have become comfortable in my own skin – and isn’t that the magic of growing older ? I am not just my illness. I achieve things every day. I have travelled the world .. experienced many wonderful cultures and will do so till my dying days. I am ok with who I am .. because I have grown and continue to seek ways to do so each day. I strive to be good to others and myself.

With that in mind I felt like I could begin to Blog again. I want this blog to be what I set out it to be. A place of mindfulness, exploration, growth and love of life … now I feel it can.

Sooo here it is .. my new commitment to what is Missy Bluebird. It is not about finding happiness over the rainbow .. its is about enjoying life and marvelling at the beauty, rather than focusing on the battles. I think with this we can all live over that mythical rainbow ! Now … They say things come in threes … so I look forward to epiphany number 3 because its sure to be a cracker !

image

Love, travels and the road ahead …

Sam (the fiance) and I have begun sorting through our photo library of late with the idea that I can start posting my travel shots on here and also to endeavour to get a few more on our walls at home! It has been so amazing to reflect on the journeys we have been on together and remember that even though I have often traveled with health issues in tow we have experienced, concurred and eaten our way through many a continent. It is a re-energising and inspiring experience to de-clutter our travel pics and have only the best shots and moments left to remember.

Of course before Sam and I met one another we had done a great deal of travel (and living) overseas already. Work often offers us (namely Sam .. ) opportunities to travel without one another too. Yet somehow it is those adventures we have experienced together that resonate the most. I guess when you find that special person seeing the Empire State building for the first time or defying death zip-lining through Thai jungles without them alongside, simply isn’t the same. It’s kind of a odd feeling when you realise this. Before meeting Sam I was one independent lass, destined to never settle down and to lead the gypsy life! I suppose that means I have met my travel soul mate …

Our love for adventure and need to document it complement each other. Sam is the map reader, I am (being the foody and art fiend) the avid lonely planet reader. My incessant need to ride a bike with a basket (and bell !) has seen us almost hit by a Parisian bus, frozen  soaked to the bone in Vancouver and following complete strangers aimlessly through Amsterdam’s canals. Our jobs have us cram in the must dos, but we so often will have a whole day of wanderlust in each new place. We walk everywhere we can. From hostels, to castles, to six star plunge pool bungalows we’ve stayed there. I always need a market, Sam a roller-coaster.

Course there has been some disasters too …broken toes, mystery rashes, infected wounds, wrong airports(another post maybe), cars without headlights and that’s just naming a few .. but now most of these are just funny stories to share.

Yesterday was Sam’s 35th birthday and after an afternoon seizure (in the work toilets non-the less) I simply was not up for our planned evening out together. Yes I spoiled him with gifts and kisses and a night in with some good Thai takeout was fun … but I felt I’d let him and US down. Now as I write this I see this is just another phase of our journey together; another adventure.

I have actively made the decision to not book another overseas holiday for a while – namely because we need to save for a wedding (or in my mind an epic round the world wedding/honeymoon).Yet also because I want to be in that much healthier and happier place when we next set out on an overseas adventure. There is so much of the world to experience together and I cannot wait, but for now my energy is all on living actively, enjoying each moment and getting well. It’s nice to have my travel soul mate along for the journey  … xo

PS. We are exploring Sydney together in September … can’t leave it too long between plane rides.

Hurdles

Healthy, Happy and Energetic – these are the three words I would like to be able to use to describe my last week – and indeed myself in general.  They are three words which I feel lead to a life worth celebrating each day.

The last week however has proved an epic challenge and in many ways I have failed to aim and concentrate on the important goals I have set myself ! In conjunction with my return to work my digestion has not exactly played fair. Poor planning, a lack of focus and lack of exercise most definitely have played a part. Failure, like success, is a collection of smaller things that you do ( or don’t do ) daily which in turn cause an outcome. It’s also so much about mindset.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha

My return to work stirred all sorts of emotions. I am so lucky to be working with a great bunch of lassies and creating a lot of wonderful memorable adventures for people, however the negative aspects of my job ( and all jobs have them ! ) stood out non the less; as did the blatant fact that my poor health is stopping me from achieving success in my line of work – or ever challenging myself to achieve loftier things. It is interesting I chose to take this outlook rather than celebrate the fact I was able to return to work at all. Sam flew out to Mexico to celebrate with all the high achievers in our industry this past week and I am certain that a quieter household and the fact I was unable to join him in celebrating success is why I chose to reflect in such a downtrodden manner. I found myself with less time to focus and inspire myself and so I subsequently I didn’t concentrate on my goals when I did have the time.

I almost decided not to put up this post, given that it is meant to be a positive space and the fact I wish to encourage and inspire others, but as downs are as much a part of any journey than ups, it seemed wrong not to share. It’s not easy for a perfectionist to admit all is not …   perfect ( for lack of a better word ) , but I truly believe without failure there is never success. I do not know who originally said it, but google positive affirmations and you will be greeted with a plethora of quotes that take a similar line.

It is not enough to accept a hurdle or kink in the road, but one must truly overcome them to move forward. Thus inspired by one of the books I am currently reading,  The Happiness Project,  I have decided to dedicate the next four weeks to improving my energy. Gretchen Rubin’s no-nonsense approach to achieving happiness by setting clear, measurable goals appeals to my nature and with more energy surely I can remain more focused on my goals and health. It ties in so nicely with my return to work and more hectic days .. I cannot believe I did not think of it sooner. Such is the purpose of hurdles !

So for now I am off to regroup, set some clear measurable goals based around improving my energy levels … and yes .. drop 70 squats ( ! ).