Proceed with purpose ..

Oh my it has been a very long while since I have found the time to blog.  To say I have missed it is an understatement. However I had to relearn how to learn; a journey that already has given me a great deal of satisfaction.  I’ve discovered the beauty of history, healing and the wonders of our beautiful bodies. Don’t ask me about the math .. but the science behind nutrition is almost as exciting as that perfectly nourishing recipe ! Almost.

If I am honest, with my starting on campus in a weeks time there may be a few quite weeks from me again… yet I wish to share an exciting new project of mine and one I intend to incorporate on this beautiful, free speaking space that is missy bluebird ! Life is a journey in finding that level of happiness where we no longer question our hurdles, moments of joy or grief .. but embrace them as a moment to grow.

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Every year the company I work for runs a 12 week challenge. I confess, Not being overweight and often lacking energy I have always felt I have never had the ‘right’ to take part in this. Granted I eat pretty well and have over the last few months begun to install a holistic exercise program that has me excited … and (gasp) helps me with my gut health; but I could cut back on the vino (gasp again)… and really understand the vitalistic as well as mechanistic benefits of a lifestyle dedicated wholly to wellbeing. Thus I excitedly signed up and began the challenge on the 25th January.

One week ago I fractured my ribs. Not awesome and I have literally spent the last week hurting bad, struggling to breathe and hating on my body, my life and the cosmic universe for knocking me down so early in a challenge that has literally taken me 9 years to be in a place to take part in. I ALMOST gave up on the whole idea. However a moment of clarity hit me just yesterday as I began to pull myself out of a depressive, poor me, funk. With this injury I get to learn even more about my bodies ability and grow, explore and set goals that I can gauge by listening to the strengthening of my own body. Of course this means nourishment of mind and body, after all you cannot do one without the other.

Now … during this moment of clarity one thing really called wrung true to me. Despite my ‘best efforts’ I was not happy … at all. Anxiety plagues me, self doubt is my best friend … and I too often live in the past or future .. quite forgetting the grateful moments of the present. Further more .. I am still not healthy. Me and my gut still battle on a regular basis with one another. Perhaps the two are linked ?? I think so .. and if you want to get chemical about it  ( and we will ) so does some of the worlds leading physicians.

Old Way, New Way

Thus my big project is to take this 12 week challenge … to set me up for a full 12 months dedicate to finding the balance. For the next 10 weeks I shall share a mantra designed to inspire you, me and anyone else that might happen upon this space. From there we will expand and ultimately live the best year of our lives. Its never too late to star .. we do not have to wake for a Monday morning, new year or new month. The moment is now.

Thus this week  mantra is “Proceeding with purpose … “. For now I wish to leave it at that … as I wish you to think about what that means to you. I know what it means to me. Journal it, write it on your bathroom mirror, meditate on it … do what works for you … and I will be back midweek to discuss what it means to me… and share an amazing aussie inspired recipe. Remember to check out in the my instagram feed … and proceed through each second, each minute of each day in this week with PURPOSE.

Live, love, wonderMissy Bluebird

 

 

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A ‘new’ direction.

Warning ! This may be a slightly drawn out post, but I hope my sharing it with you gives you some inspiration to live a stronger, happier life and be true to yourself and dreams. Lofty goals !

It has been almost 2 months since my last post … and oh boy, realising that really causes me to truly appreciate all that can happen in two months. Time is precious and whilst we hear it so frequently in various formats … we really must strive to make each day, week and month count.

Be kind, interact, love and nourish your whole self. Such simple concepts, but things we so often forget when caught up in trying to make life work. The irony is, if we do these things we find that balance !

2015 thus far has been a year of growth for me. Its been both rewarding … and down right difficult. I confess the last 2 months have been perhaps the most challenging this year. Both financial strains and very poor health have taken a forefront, leaving us no choice but to have to cancel our two week trip to Bali in October and revaluate many other plans. What is it that they say …? “when it rains, it pours ..”. In the last 2 months I forgot myself and down right gave up.

Now this may seem superficial to some and I confess I felt embarrassed by quite how depressed and hopeless I felt, after all I have endured far worse. Then I stopped and allowed myself to admit how much hope and perseverance the idea of this holiday alone had given me, throughout the pain, worries and exhaustion of 2015. When dealing with chronic or any illness, hope and plans for more enjoyable times are even more significant. These past months I have learn’t the importance in forgiving yourself for the way you feel and allowing yourself to feel this way, so that you can come back stronger and wiser.

My beautiful Gran (very catholic) often said god did not give us challenges to hurt us, but because he knew we could handle them. This from a women who went through a lot in her far too short life. Now I am not sure which higher being I believe in, or even if I do at all, but the message is still the same. The mind is an extraordinary thing and can pull us through even the hardest of times.

I am grateful for the last two months. I have learn’t more about strength, weakness and the importance for asking for help. Ultimately it has given me the push to really evaluate and consider how I wish to live my life. Stressed, sick and despondent is certainly not it. I started this blog in a decision to not struggle through illness anymore and share that journey, whilst I have achieved this in some ways I have not really been able to commit for fear of failing. This latest bout of struggles has given me the courage to really head in the direction truly desire with this blog, my life and goals.

Thus, exciting news ! I have begun to study a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) at Endeavour College. Already I am loving studying my first subject online and cannot wait to really get in to it, on the Adelaide Campus next Semester. I am thrilled to finally take big steps on a journey I have been crawling along for so long. I know that juggling my health, work, home and study will present it’s own challenges, but with focus and planning I will succeed ! I am so passionate about nutrition and healing the body as a whole so that we can live with vitality. and enjoy all life has to offer Now that I have made the decision and begun it seems so silly I thought about it for so long !

So, with that – I am heading in a direction, perhaps not a entirely new one but with more determination than ever. I wish to commit to missybluebird.com being my platform for that journey once again. I cannot wait to share what I learn .. and of course offer up some delicious recipes too. Illness will never again be my focus, wellness will be.

Live, love, wonder .. Cheryl

Spring Envy and Seafood Cravings.

Autumn has truly arrived in Adelaide … and despite my normally loving this time of year, I am not ready for it ! The clocks went back one week ago and I am not in to the dark nights; the weather has been broody … and half of Adelaide with it ! A late Easter isn’t helping me in get in to the cooler weather either; despite having spent many of my years now in the Southern Hemisphere I long to see buds on trees, lambs in the fields and hoards of roadside daffodils at this time of year. Besides that, Sam and I have spent the last two Easters in the Northern Hemisphere .. so it just all feels a little odd ! I have a serious case of Spring envy … thanks Pinterest ! Just a few more sunny alfresco Sundays Adelaide and then I promise to dust of the knitting needles, pop on the slow cooker and settle down with a nice cup of Chai !

So it is the 12th April today .. and not only does that mean we are finally getting our Irish on in the way of seeing Mrs Brown’s Boys tonight ( it has only been an 11 month wait ! ), it also means we are more than half way through our vegetarian challenge. Thus far I have not slipped … though I cannot stop thinking about my pan roasted Salmon, or tuna salad … or stir fried prawns (you get the idea! Sam has had one set back in the way of lamb skewers at a friends b’day bash last week  … but he managed to say no to his Mum’s roast lamb and gobble up the quinoa salad instead .. so I’m pretty proud ! I am all over the fritter bandwagon and will shortly do a post on just that .. but we have some exciting soups, like GK Stories Roast Tomato and chickpea ( add some chilli flakes and fennel to the mix – you will thank me ), baked mushrooms with spicy fries, quinoa salads … and seriously a large jar of Broccoli pesto made a solid 5 days of meals that more special. This week is going to be all about the veg curries .. and boy am I looking forward to it ! Recipes to come !

Two stand out things I have learnt … vegetarians need to be super organised if they want to not consist on a diet of cheese and eggs … and surprisingly Adelaide does not have an abundance of vegetarian restaurants ! Sure we have a few vego friendly … but if you want to find something more inspiring than the filo filled pastry or pasta dish you have to look hard .. I highly suspect it could get rather boring. It being date night last night Sam and I thus happened on our old-time fave GoodLife on Hutt St.. where their kale, porcini and taleggio special made my eyes light up .. as did their roast veg. Despite it being a bit of a wheat and dairy overload for me the all organic produce seems to even the playing field. YUM 🙂  Seriously though if Adelaide’s full-time vegetarians want a bit of excitement and not survive on pizza and pasta it seems they need to head for the central markets in the way of Bliss Cafe or Let them Eat … or Sam’s lunchtime saviour Veggie Velo.  A lot more clean eating friendly just not very romantic however …

Thus next few days will be gardening .. gotta get that garlic in. Scouring my new Darling Lemon Thyme book and venturing to the Farmer’s Market to get some veg for the coming week. Hope to get a few more photos and recipes up here in the coming week also. Till then …

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D Larson 

 

 

 

 

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.

A Russian Rendezvous

So Friday was not the best day for myself nor Sam. We both had to call in the office sick – him because he has caught a particularly bad ‘man flu’ on his Mexican adventures ( despite me feeding us some seriously spicy immune fighting stews of late ); myself because somewhere along the line last week I have eaten something that very much does not agree with my delicate colon. Truth be told, I highly suspect the beautiful box of  handmade chocolates that my clients gifted me with – and I suddenly pretended ( too myself ) I could eat without consequence . I am still very much learning a moment of pleasure is not worth hours/days of subsequent pain.

Often when things become so painful and uncomfortable, food feels like the enemy and I don’t want to put much effort in to creating kitchen masterpieces …

Last Friday evening however I decided that I was not  going to fall back on my “lets have some homemade soup from the freezer” mode and created what I think ( and hope you do too !) is a delicious and nutritious version of a creamy Russian stroganoff. Given the baltic weather we are experiencing in Adelaide it seemed more than appropriate ! The recipe I used is an adaption of several recipes I have eaten over the years but Teresa Cutter’s Lean Beef Stroganoff provided much inspiration – that women is a genius!

Subsequently I felt much happier accomplishing something. Sometimes doing the opposite of how you feel is the key to feeling at least mentally better ! And when one feels mentally better those physical hurdles seem far less impossible to overcome.

So without further adieu I give you the blog’s first recipe …

HEALTHY CHICKEN STROGANOFF

I promise you if you give the heroes ( mushrooms, garlic, thyme and onions)  time to really ‘meld’ ( for lack of a better term ! )  in this dish you will think it is incredibly decadent – and most importantly – SERIOUS comfort food !! I do not claim it is authentically Russian (at all  ) .. but I do claim that body, mind and soul will adore this on a blustery day … as will the masculine counter part ! I served it with steamed brown rice – but think it would be lovely with a sweet potato or cauliflower mash – YUM.

INGREDIENTS – Serves 2-3

1 large halved and thinly sliced brown onion
3 cloves crushed garlic + 1/2 glove finely chopped
1 large handful of fresh thyme – chopped
Pinch each  dried oregano/rosemary
280 gms of earthy mushrooms (Portobello, Swiss or you  favourite )
1 Large Zucchini thinly sliced
370gms ( approx ) Organic chicken breast cut in thin strips and seasoned with pepper and squeeze of lemon juice.
1 cup of chicken stock ( homemade or best you can afford )
3 tbsp of non fat natural yogurt ( I love Tamar Valley )
1/2 – 1 tsp of arrowroot
1/2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
Two large handfuls of baby spinach
Zest of 1 Lemon plus tbsp of juice
1/2 cup tightly packed parsley – chopped

TO MAKE

Combine chopped parley, lemon rind, chopped garlic and lemon juice. Season and lay ‘gremolata’ aside for serving.

Heat 1bsp of olive oil in a large covered pan/shallow pot.

Add onion, crushed garlic and thyme, allow to sizzle, reduce heat and cook until softened and caramel colour.

Add zucchini, mushroom and a pinch ( each )  of dried oregano and rosemary ( you may need to add a little more olive oil ).

Once all vegetables are beautifully cooked remove and cover .

Deglaze pan with 1sp of aged balsamic (or red wine).

Brown seasoned chicken and add stock.

Allow to simmer for a minute or two, then add back onion and vegetable mixture.

Add arrowroot to thicken sauce 1/2 tsp at a time.

Once all well combined and chicken cooked  add spinach ( allow to wilt ), then yoghurt – turn heat down to low to avoid curdling

Season with lots of pepper – and salt if necessary ( some stocks are salty enough! )

Serve with gremolata and steamed brown rice…  Приятного аппетита  !!

Incidentally I have dreamed of travelling the Trans-Mongolian to Russia for years ( I blame Kate Furnivall’s stunning novels )…. 

A Space to Create

I discovered this fantastic blog and subsequent post this morning whilst tactfully avoiding the breakfast dishes. It’s content rings so true to how I’m feeling about our own wee home at the moment and so I’m off to de-clutter and reorganise for the next few hours with the goal to re-energise my space (and in turn me too ! ).