Do it for You

A letter to myself… thumb_DSC_0553_1024

Dear Rachael

You are allowed and deserve to be completely happy.

Everything is going well for you except the fact that you are really are self-sabotaging your happiness. You put a lot of pressure on yourself based on how you look. You want to look slimmer, toned, tanned, sexier. This is OK.  You want to FEEL healthier, slimmer and more beautiful… You want to wear outfits – pretty dresses and shorts. This is OK too. You want to feel at peace with yourself and not constantly like you’re on a roller-coaster with your emotions due to hormones, too much sugar and lack of sleep. You can do this! You KNOW what to do. It can be easy. Healthy eating and exercising. Start saying no to foods that make you FEEL like crap. You don’t need the ice-cream or the chocolate. They make you feel bloated, tired, miserable, fat, they inflame your IBS, IBD & psoriasis. Just don’t!

Stay on track.

You’ve got this. You have amazing support from Kurt and you’re in the perfect industry to do this NOW!

It’s up to you though… Dot it for the gut health, stable moods, glowing, healthy skin, your emotions, your loved ones.

Do it for you.

Sophie Guideline is an amazing woman,wife and mum, You respect that, She respects herself. Respect yourself. You want to be a happy, healthy woman, wife, (future) mum…. You will be IF you act now, Change habits. Create your way of life. Create your own rules.

Food is fuel. Eat to move. Don’t move to eat. Move because you enjoy it. Have fun. Never give up. Be consistent. Be determined. Be grateful. Be happy. Be healthy. Love healthy. Love healthy food. Be the person you want to be. Be the woman you want to see. Be the better you.

Be the stronger you.

Don’t let the unhealthy, self-sabbotaging girl who is dealing with her own issues stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. Own your goals and dreams. Own this. Own her. Own yourself. Own your choices. Own your actions. Believe in yourself. Believe in your vision.

Believe in the life you’re creating.

Love, You. xo

This is a letter I wrote to myself in June 2016. This is a stream of MY thoughts in a vulnerable moment. They are no-one else’s and therefore naturally, yours would be different to mine and please, remember, everybody’s ‘body’ is different. I am not saying that everyone or people of a certain shape or size should want to be slimmer etc. That is far from my intention! It is about FEELING healthier from the inside-out. Of course there are things on the outside I’d like to change for myself but that’s based on what I know I can look like when I FEEL I am in my healthiest state, not suffering from IBS and IBD symptoms. I mention Sophie Guidolin because obviously, I respect her. I follow her on social media and she promotes feeling healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. She is such an inspirational woman, to me.

I love reading and researching all things health and wellness but I have struggled with my own journey of yo-yo dieting. I believe in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I feel I am now starting this life-long journey. I want to create a healthy lifestyle for myself and family before we have children so healthy habits are created. By all means, this does not mean I will be cutting out chocolate (haha- this would never happen) but I want more of a healthier balance; to create my own treats, and limit my treats because previously, they have outweighed the nutritious, clean energy fuelling foods. It really is a decision. To help my process, I wrote this letter for me to refer to every day as a reminder.

If you feel you’re in a similar situation, write a letter to yourself. Don’t analyse what you are saying while writing, just say it and then look deep and take action.

There are so many amazing recipe books and guides to follow when trying to get on track with living your best healthy life. Your goal may be to lose a few kilos, clear your skin, decrease symptoms of IBS and so on. Whatever it is, I feel it is essential to come up with our own goals and rules instead of just following someone else’s. Read them, read many but create your own rules and a small number so that you can stick to them.

When I wrote this letter I also wrote some rules for myself:

1). Write a weekly plan

2). Stick to it

3). Include protein, especially breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

4). Make healthy nutritious food tasty e.g., increase intake of salads with ingredients such as haloumi and home-made dressings (lemon, argan oil)

5). Include carbs but decrease them

6). Eat what you cook, don’t stray

I could write so much more in relation to IBS, IBD, psoriasis and nutrition but that can wait for some other time… 😉

Time to get my Sunday Meal Prep on… xo

 

Greece in a Week

There is nothing quite like wading in the ocean, looking back at the landscape of a foreign place and absorbing the scenery it has to offer.

thumb_IMG_1047_1024There are so many exotic and unique looking islands and areas when googling, “where to travel in Greece”. I am so grateful we went travelling with friends and together, we narrowed down three locations where we wanted to relax and explore.  After also searching, “top 10 islands to visit in Greece”, we chose Santorini (how could we not!), Naxos and Athens. We then decided to stay in Santorini for 3 nights, Naxos for 2 and Athens for 2. Great choice!

Helpful Hints

Language: Greek. Kurt had the helpful idea of screen-shotting the basics. E.g

Yassou/YAH-sue: hello

Kalimera/kah-lee MEHR-rah: Good morning

Efkharisto/eff-kah-rees-TOH: thank you

Currency: Euro

Weather in July: 20s to 30s (degrees celsius)

seajetTravel: We flew into Santorini, caught ferries to Naxos and Athens and flew back to London from Athens. At each location we mostly explored by walking or caught a bus (tour and hop on/off). Whilst in Santorini, we enjoyed a sunset cruise, which went for over 7 hours and it really was a special way to see more of what the island had to offer and of course devour the sun setting over the ocean.

Accommodation: It certainly wasn’t a 5 Star trip but nevertheless, each place we stayed served its purpose well, was prime location, clean and had very welcoming and friendly staff. In Santorini the four of us stayed in an Airbnb apartment. In Naxos we stayed at Hotel Camara in which each couple had our own room, we were a convenient 10 minute walk from the ocean, bars and cafes and the hotel manager, Stavros made us feel so welcome; as if we were great friends. There was also a pool across the road which Hotel Camara guests can use with a poolside bar serving refreshing ouzo on ice (a favourite on the trip). In Athens we stayed at Hotel Adonis which was value for money; not the most modern room or facilities but the view of the Acropolis from their rooftop bar was breathtaking and again, it was prime location- a decent walking distance to the Acropolis and around the corner we could stroll past restaurants and shops.

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Food: I really wanted to immerse myself in tasting their traditional foods. Souvlaki, gyros, mousaka, baklava were top on my list and I LOVED them all! I also went out of my comfort zone in Naxos and tried octopus which was rather tasty and on our last night I ate the most tender veal and risoni meal cooked in a clay pot – I am not sure if that was a traditional meal but mmmm it was good (sorry vegetarians).


Other:
The Greek people are so friendly, especially on the islands. To be honest, I was wondering if there may be some resentment or strain because of tourism in their local beaches and local areas. I would have understood if this was the case too BUT it was far from the reality of what we experienced. A local man was educating us on the value and importance of tourism for their economic situation… Made sense given the last few years. Welcoming, friendly and generous are the three words I can best think of to describe these beautiful people right now. They went out of their way to ensure we were enjoying their beautiful islands, their food, the experiences.

Highlights/Experiences/Must Dos:

Santorini: Watch the sun set in Oia and if you can, observe it from the village and one of my favourite experiences was the Oia Sunset Sailing cruise. There is just something about being on the water and sharing the experience with other people on a boat. There would have been near fifty people on the catamaran and for ten minutes prior and during the sun going down, everyone silenced and watched in amazement at what our universe has to offer; the energy, the movement of the sun disappearing over the water with gentle waves and ripples, spectacular colours; red, orange, pink, purple and blue, the stillness of the people as the brightness fades and the moon became more apparent, and finally, the clapping and cheering to celebrate the beauty of it all.

Naxos: Naxos was rather different to Santorini. Santorini had the narrow, jagged cliffs with amazing views of the villages and ocean whereas Naxos was quite flat. The beach near our hotel was a typical tourist type beach with big beach umbrellas and waiters/waitresses walking to and from restaurants over the sand with trays of drinks and food. I loved it. I loved being able to walk down to the beach – sunbake and swim in the ocean whenever I pleased. The evenings would roll in and then we would find ourselves at one of the restaurants along the beach road sipping on a mojito or pina colada… Bliss!

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A must-see sight in Naxos… a popular location to watch the sun set.

Athens: We only had one full day in Athens and we spent the day immersing ourselves in the history of Greece. First, we went to the Acropolis which includes the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Parthenon, followed by the Acropolis Museum and the Panathenaic Stadium. History has never been my strong point which is why I really try to make the effort to visit historical buildings and places. Being there can be really moving and naturally, so much more meaningful than simply reading about it. I found the Parthenon, in particular, very interesting as I love the stories about the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Actually, the museum is hands down the best museum I have ever visited – the layout, the design… brilliant!

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The Parthenon in Athens

Thank you for reading! Below are a few more pictures of our time in Greece. Efkharisto!!!

 

*All images have been taken by Kurt or myself…. The better ones are Kurt’s 😉

 

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Having some fun on our sunset sailing cruise

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A ‘couple selfie’ post cocktails in Naxos xo

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Stumbled upon these pretties while strolling through the streets in Naxos

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Delicious gelato in Athens, around the corner from our hotel.

 

 

What makes you feel ALIVE?

I find it so interesting when you see something in particular and then whatever it is, pops up all around you! This literally just happened… I posted a dancing video on Instagram and noted that it makes me feel alive. NEXT THING I see one of my favourite bloggers, Lottie Murphy using the word ‘alive’ in a brand new blog and the Lorna Jane Active Instagram posted about feeling ‘alive’ just minutes after my post?!?! I think it is pretty amazing. I’m about to get ‘airy-fairy’ (for some) BUT I really believe when you send messages out to the Universe, the Universe returns those thoughts and feelings, multiplied.

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Dancing has been one of those things, probably the number ONE activity and time when I feel COMPLETELY ALIVE. I let loose. I lose control of my feet. My legs are going. My hands are going (think spirit fingers). My hips don’t lie and, well, baby got back! My husband thinks I’m hard to dance with BUT I just can’t help it… When an upbeat song comes on, I have to get my wiggle on. I’m suddenly full of confidence and don’t have a care in the world. I’m probably hopeless but I don’t care because I’m having fun and swinging my hips to the rhythm of the night. I actually love pulling out the old school dance moves too… Filling up the shopping trolley, the sprinkler… You know the ones?

My most treasured childhood memories have included dancing… Dancing in the lounge room with my mum as a child, dancing with grandparents at New Year celebrations, dancing to Britney Spears with my primary school friends, learning the finale song from Dirty Dancing with a bestie, teaching my dance moves to my younger sisters and dancing around the kitchen with my husband.

I often wished I went to some type of dancing class as a child… I actually did a couple of times. I think I went to a ballet class OR I just had a new, yellow tutu… I have evidence of this tutu but unfortunately I fell into a pond one day and ruined it. We moved to Groote Eylandt not long after that when I was 7. The only dance class offered there was line dancing… Which I did. Of course. In high school I remember having to learn the Tango and we were assessed too. I was a fairly quiet girl yet you wouldn’t have known it when it was time for our assessment. We were paired up and filmed… I vividly recall our normally conservative English/ Drama teacher positively remarking on how ‘raunchy’ it was. I could tell she liked it. I think she was quite bemused. As I said, dancing just makes every part of me feel alive! I would say generally I’m quite reserved yet it’s like I’m a completely different person when dancing. I realise it IS very much me… Without inhibitions; without fear of judgement or failure. I don’t care if I make mistakes because it is SO much fun!!

You can feel alive in different ways though. Walking amongst nature also makes me feel alive as does swimming in the ocean and yoga (which I need to practice more often). These activities don’t have me openly and energetically sharing my love of a rhythm and a beat but they certainly make me feel present.

So, what makes YOU feel alive?

Hubby and I during our First Dance. Image by Figtree Pictures, Queensland