Top Ten Gluten Free Treats For Your Sweet This Valentine’s Day

Florists are hurriedly filling their shelves, rose petals dripping to the floor; chocolatiers present rows of gleaming handmade creations for lovers to gift to each other; and restaurant staff starch tablecloths, polish cutlery until it gleams, and cook plates of perfect aphrodisiacs. These are all beautiful ways to show your love on Valentine’s Day, but I’ve always been more of the homemade type. Something made with hand and heart for the one you love. The time is the gift, and love is a verb.

Here are my Top Ten Gluten Free Treats for Your Sweet this Valentine’s Day from Thoroughly Nourished Life:

Two forks and a plate with a massive slice of my Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting would be a sweet end to Valentine’s Day.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOr how about two spoons and a tub of my Irish Coffee Ice Cream? Chris and I bonded over our love of whisky, so this would be a perfect Valentine’s Day treat.

Irish Coffee Ice Cream | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNeed a vegan salty sweet treat for your beloved? Tahini and Peanut Butter Cookies would be welcomed by anyone – bonus points if you wrap them up in a cute little box with tissue paper!

Peanut Butter and Tahini Cookies | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNeed a little spice in your life this Valentine’s Day? (Don’t worry, this isn’t about to turn into that kind of blog!) Try my Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Chai Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeChocolate and Peanut Butter, not since Romeo and Juliet have there been two more meant for each other. Here in my Peanut Butter Doughnuts with Chocolate Peanut Glaze, rather more successfully than those teenage lovers, chocolate and peanut butter are united in heavenly doughnut form.

Peanut Butter Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOh so you aren’t going away to a tropical island with your lover for Valentine’s Day? Neither am I, but I’m tempted to bring the tropical home with a batch of Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream. These gluten free cupcakes are also perfect for a Gal-entine’s Day celebration too! Perfect for that Sex and the City / Friends marathon!

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeHow about some pure, lustful, lush chocolate indulgence? My Frosted Peppermint Brownies are an aphrodisiac for sure….(leave out the mint and candy canes for pure chocolate sin…)

Frosted Peppermint Brownies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIs your sweetheart a cookie monster? I’m lucky that I have found a fellow cookie monster to love, and my Even Better Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of our favourite indulgences. Best when paired with binge watching Parks and Recreation.

Even Better Chocolate Chip Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comBreakfast in bed, or maybe brunch in bed in your plans for this weekend? My Zucchini, Carrot and Walnut Pancakes (with plenty of maple syrup) are a sweet and wholesome start to the day.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAnd now, for the pull-out all stops, don’t bother going out for dinner, just grab a fork and your stretchy pants and let’s eat in bed, piece de resistance – Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Layer Cake. It’s over the top, it’s more than over the top. It’s magnums of champagne, 25 carat diamond, a thousand red roses strewn on white silk sheets over the top, but sometimes, that’s exactly what love needs to be.

Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Layer Cake 3

And a few more love-ly links from around our internet world:

  • Just in time for our Lady and the Tramp Valentine’s Day re-enactments, Not Quite Nigella gives us perfect Bean and Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs. The call it bella notte….
  • Red Velvet is Chris’s current love language, and doughnuts, well of course, doughnuts are the ultimate symbol of love – they look like a hug after all. Lynn from Fresh April Flours combines the two in her delightful Baked Red Velvet Doughnuts.
  • If a jar of Nutella is one of your ultimate couple foods (just add two spoons for happiness) – this Hazelnut Chocolate Cheesecake from Urban Bakes is the perfect up-your-game treat for Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! And even if Valentine’s Day isn’t your thing, I hope you have an extra sweet weekend too!

Thoroughly Nourished Finds – Inspiration and Escapism

Things in the world are getting really real at the moment, and because I don’t listen to the radio, or watch the news I find out about them on the internet, or through friends (and then end up trawling the internet for more information). Bad people, bad things, big decisions about the future of countries and people, all of these things are flooding the pages of this big wide web world. In these times we can only reach out to each other, give a kind word, a kind touch, try to spread a message of hope. Without the intention of belittling the problems of the world, perhaps we can all share in some good things on the internet, some support for our fellow humans. This month my Thoroughly Nourished Finds are about inspiration and escapism and just a little hope that the end of 2014 will find the world walking a more peaceful track.


After reading this article in The Atlantic about Afghan girls who live as boys for a few years I cannot wait to read the forthcoming book.

Somedays I feel like I am too old (I know, I’m only 27 Mum) to start something new and creative like writing that book I’ve always wanted too, but this Manifesto for the Late-Blooming Writer is consolation and inspiration.

I want to gather my friends together in the summer light for feasts where I can  wrap myself in the protection of their laughter and light. I would serve them Baked Almond Pancake, or perhaps Grilled Eggplant Rolls with Cream Cheese and Herbed Millet, or Veggie Chilli with a big pitcher of Fresh Honeydew Margaritas. Nourish them while nourishing my soul.

Thank you Ben and Jerry’s. Love does come in all flavours.


Burning Man 2014 Artworks. I love ‘The Embrace’ although I don’t know where I’d put it in my tiny backyard, and the ‘Hayam Sun Temple’ is strikingly designed and perfect as a reflective space.

Wonder if they’d set up one of these mobile pools in my office car park this summer if I asked really nicely? I’ll bring the sangria.

The kick-butt princesses that Disney will probably never touch, but oh wouldn’t it be awesome to see some of these strong women on screen someday! (more here)

I dare you not to cry at this story and beautiful photo shoot for a single Mum with cancer.


Martin Luther King Jr once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I wish to see light and love change this world, so I will practice light and love in my life. Perhaps it’s naive of me, but if we all practiced being the light and the love, each little corner of the world would have light up with a spark, and slowly that would become a fire of light and love, tolerance, peace, justice, hope, creativity, that would consume all of humanity. That is my hope.

Fear Of Missing Out

I am sure by now that you have all heard about the (possibly) social media fuelled phenomenon that is FOMO, that is, Fear Of Missing Out. In these days of constant connection and instant uploads the lives of others are accessible to us and only one click away. The downside of being able to see photos of Greek beaches, the New York City skyline, or rugged backstreets of Turkey is that we call into question our own lives. Suddenly the lustre of happiness and satisfaction with our little two bedroom house with undercover parking and excellent commuting possibilities dulls. Don’t even get me started on Facebook…

It’s the comparison game my dears, and humans are well versed in it. My theory is this: human brains are excellent at recognising patterns and when we see deviation from the pattern we are attracted to more intense study of the aberration. We start to compare the gap between the deviation and our own rhythm and conclude that our pattern is lacking, lacklustre.

Fear Of Missing Out has launched a flotilla of articles (this one and this one are very informative) and called us to question the ways we use technology to communicate with our ‘friends’ and update them on how our lives are going at the moment: the ethics of this new landscape and virtual community centre are currently written in chalk, there is no grand tradition or best practice to be relied upon here.

For example, are we always honest in our posts on various social media sites? Are we showing people the 9-5 of our lives, or just the highlights reel? I’ll be honest, I don’t show the majority of my life on any social media site. My days are spent in a grey cubicle, in an office, an hour’s commute from my home. Not something Pin-worthy or Instagram-able. I still do laundry, clean the bathroom, and spend a ridiculous amount of time comparing products at the supermarket before emerging empty handed. Again, not something I am going to write on my ‘Wall’. I want to share with you the delicious, the comical, the inspiring, and the special. We all know what every day looks like. We all have our own versions of it. Even those people who fill up our ‘feeds’ with palm trees and white sand and impossibly tiny bikinis aren’t always on vacation. If they are good on them. Perhaps they have FOMO on laundry…then again, maybe not.

The next time you feel FOMO falling down around you like a glittery jealousy blanket take a deep breath, put down your phone. Go outside and look at the sky, your own patch of sky. Play with your dog, run your fingers through its fur, and see the goofy tongue grin on her face. No matter how high definition your camera is you can’t capture that kind of love. Somewhere out there is someone who would love to live your 9-5 existence, or in your not-always-spotless home, or have your loving partner.

The only thing we should fear missing out on is our own lives. Sure, they might not always be glamorous, or fun, or interesting, but they belong to you and no-one else.

Don’t fear missing out on the beautiful things, they are right there at your fingertips if only you are wise enough to recognise them.

That is why I started my Gratitude List. Because the thing I fear missing out on the most is the gifts I have already been given.


Come back tomorrow for the Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Twenty-Nine. Until then, do you have FOMO? How do you resist the urge to compare?

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Twenty-Three

Chris and I are kicking back today and tomorrow and enjoying the Queen’s birthday long weekend. There is something nourishing about having an extra weekend day: extra time to spend with your family, extra time to just wander through the hours, time to put your feet up with a book, or snuggle in bed with a movie and your loved one. I hope all my Aussie readers are enjoying the long weekend, and enjoy this week’s Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Twenty-Three:

Monday: Tonight Chris and I took a step away from the world and treated each other to a night in. He lit candles, I made dinner, and then we snuggled in bed watching Game of Thrones. I am grateful for this oasis we have away from the busyness of the outside world.

Tuesday: Today I woke up feeling blech. Flu-like and achy and after a trip to the doctor I took a quiet walk along the bay. Sometimes you just need to nourish your soul and today was one of those days. I am grateful that Chris told me to just stay in bed today and take care of myself. I am grateful that I was able to take this day off and rest my body.

waterfront run

Wednesday: Today was Mum’s birthday and tonight we gathered at Jess and Trent’s place for a small family dinner. I am so grateful for my Mum and grateful to be able to see her and celebrate with the family on her actual birthday. Jess made delicious tacos and I supplied a family favourite for dessert.

Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice 4

Thursday: This morning I woke up after the best night’s sleep in a long time. I was super grateful when I walked out the door and Mum handed me a travel mug of green tea. Thanks Mum for getting the morning off to a great start. Tonight I caught up with an old friend and got my hair done for the first time in six months. I was grateful to pamper myself a little and to have some deep and meaningful talk with a dear friend.

Friday: A few weeks ago one of the big bosses told me I could have  few hours off before the long weekend. Which means super long weekend! I was grateful for the chance to leave early and have a great run at the gym. I am also grateful for my sweet Christopher who had flowers delivered to me today at work! I’m grateful for these romantic moments and that he took the time out to make my day.

flowers from chris

Saturday: First day of the long weekend! This morning I met Jess at the markets to have breakfast and shop for Mum’s birthday party tonight. I was grateful to catch up with Jess and for her help getting ready for tonight’s party. After that we went home, made Mum’s cupcakes, went for a walk and got ready for our family and friends to show up. We had a wonderful time gathering together: we drank wine, ate home made burgers and coleslaw, sang happy birthday and munched on cupcakes. At the end of the night Chris and I, Mum and Dad sat down and had a final glass of wine together. I was grateful for that time with just the four of us; a chance to share some laughs and some love.

mums cupcakes

Sunday: Today I woke up early for a walk with Jess and then shared a slow morning of breakfast and car washing with Mum and Dad. Then Chris and I retreated home to lay around and read books and watch some truly terrible television. I am grateful to Dad for helping me wash my car and to Mum for making us a delicious morning tea. Thanks for a great weekend.

Apricot Coconut Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I am now off to watch a movie with Chris and eat something simple and delicious for dinner (antipasto may be involved). Enjoy the weekend wherever you are readers!

Also this week:

Happy Birthday Jess!

Every year when your birthday comes around I still feel the same excitement deep within my heart that I did the first time I got to meet you – you! Alive and out in this world and all mine to love. We have grown now and our paths have taken different twists and turns, but when I look beside me I can still see you through the trees; you flash a smile and I am reassured by your grace and tenacity.

On the Sundays when I am home we set out in the crisp morning air, a panting dog stalking at our feet, and nothing but bright blue skies overhead. For the next hour or so there is no-one but us. We talk, chattering like two birds filling the wakening day with our worries, our celebrations, our stories. We advise, commiserate, and laugh, oh so much laughter. These walks, this time with you, is restorative and fills up my heart.


You are a lioness little one. You are a bright young thing. You are a beautiful, smart, brave, kind, fierce, loyal and a hundred other sparkly shiny things wrapped in a determined and gorgeous young woman. You are the only person I can watch Katy Perry’s movie with, the only one who understands just what Martha Stewart really means, the one who knows why singing along to ‘Can’t Fight the Moonlight’ is essential, that dancing like a psychopathic lemur when the mood strikes is deeply nourishing to the soul, that hugging and humming to a bowl of food is an expression of joy itself, and why it is okay to be preoccupied with the perfect pie crust while you are staring at an endless spreadsheet.

Jess and I

I wish I knew how to repay you for all the love, support, guidance, and happiness you have given me over your life so far. If I could I would shower you in all the peanut m&ms ever made; wrap you in a thousand peach coloured scarves (it is your colour); buy you a different pair of boots for every day of the year; and make sure you never, ever ran out of tinned corn. I can’t do these things, but I can promise you this: I will always be here for you, I will always work to make you happy, and I will always love you. I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.

Happy birthday Jess.

Jess and m&ms

Nourished Life: Small Great Things

All of my life I have wanted to do great things. I have felt that somehow my life was only worth measuring by impressive feats and grand achievements. I felt that I needed to ‘make something’ of myself in order to prove that I was worth being here, worth the love and support that my family and friends have always given me. I had to do great things: be famous, be out there, be a leader, be an overachiever. In high school I was ‘the smart girl’. I achieved academically and I was lucky because I love to learn. As my sister says “studying is what we know how to do.” I was doing great things in my little arena, my little community of students, teachers, and parents.

When I went to university that community grew exponentially. I struggled. I was now average in a group of people who excelled. I went through some difficult adjustments during those university years. I was lost when I wasn’t the one who was being held up for doing great things. Who was I if I wasn’t doing great things to the applause of the people I looked up to? Was I ever going to achieve great things again? Those were difficult years and it was only through the love and support and intervention of my friends and family that I survived.

When I left university I found work that I loved. I was helping people, making a difference in their lives, and that made a difference in mine. I was confident again. I was doing something great for the world.

I had adventures overseas. I had stories that were worth telling. I felt like I was doing great things.

Last year I lost the job that I loved. I was adrift. I am still adrift. Who am I if I am not doing great things for people? Who am I if I am not making a difference to the world? Who am I now that I sit in a cubicle from 8 til 5?

I am not doing great things if you measure my life against the great people of the world. I am living a small, simple, and mostly happy life. I struggle with my new reality sometimes. I want to stand up and say things and be counted, but who am I to make a fuss, I am not doing great things.

When I saw this inspiration on Clementine Daily it was like a message from the universe. A message to relax, to see my life as valuable and worthy even without the ‘great things’ that I feel I should be doing instead of what my life is now; a message to understand that doing small things with great love, great commitment, great passion, is just as important.

I feel this is the key to a settled heart. To live my life doing small things in a great way. I may not be winning an Oscar, but I can win a smile from my sister with a well-timed joke; I may not have my own cooking show, but I can bake something to warm the hearts of my workmates; I may not be on the New York Times Bestseller list (yet, I’m still holding out for that one) but I can write here, share my passion for words and storytelling with the world on my little space here on the web.

I will do small things in a great way. Because these are the things that touch the hearts of the people you love the most. And that is a great thing.

(I promise I will be back with some cookies tomorrow)

Happy Birthday Chris!

Today I am stopping to wish a happy birthday to one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for my Thoroughly Nourished Life – my darling Christopher!

Saturday (2)

Sweetheart, you are the reason my sun rises every day and sets in the evening. I couldn’t live a day without hearing that infectious, body-shaking laugh or seeing your smile. When the corners of your mouth lift and your green eyes crinkle delicately at the corners my face can’t help but respond in kind. You are the one I want to run through the cold night with and watch the stars fall down into the ocean at the end of time. I love your quick, curious mind and the way you know a little bit about everything and are hungry to learn more whenever you can.

You make friends easily, put people at ease with your charm and open manner, and I love the way the room lights up when you walk in. I am grateful for your talents with an iron, and that you will try anything I make, even the hippie-dippy-vegetarian-lentil-and-kale stuff. I am grateful that you show me affection whenever you are near and that you whisper into my ear just what I need to hear. I am happy that I get to build this life with you and I’m looking forward to all the adventures we are going to have on this long, winding road of life.

Happy Birthday my love. Here is to many more.

Chris and Amy b and w

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Eighteen

Yesterday I teased you with a pancake recipe, and oh I will deliver (Wednesday, I promise), but today I wanted to share my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Eighteen.

This week I felt really settled. Chris and I are finally living together full time now and not living like a nomad is contributing to me feeling like my life is moving forward in a beautiful direction. Here is my gratitude list for this fulfilling week.

Monday: After a long drive home from Roma on Sunday Chris and I had an extra day of vacation. We spent the day at home together. I went for a run, baked some cookies and read my book a little. I was grateful for the indulgence of a day off while the rest of the world was at work: just the thing to fill my heart with peace.


Tuesday: I blitzed my run after work and then came home to watch Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’ while I slurped soup. I am grateful that Chris and I are falling into our own rhythm and we are dancing in time to our own music.

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegan | Gluten Free Wednesday: This morning I watched the sun rise over the bay in a violent show of pink and orange. Tonight I drove home through the twilight and then Chris and I tried something new together: yoga! Although it was a new way of moving for him Chris made it all the way through and we had a great time giggling at each other’s attempts to move through the yoga sequence. I am grateful that we can have fun together while trying something new.



Thursday: Tonight after work I came home and mixed up some delicious muffins. Chris and I comforted ourselves against the cold weather with bowls of mashed potato for dinner. There really is nothing like a bowl of mash to warm the soul on a cold winter night. I am grateful for our little cottage by the bay and the love and peace inside.

Choc Chip Orange Muffins 1


Friday: Today I had lunch with my friend Jess for the first time in a while. I love our lunchtime catch-ups. This afternoon I got a wonderful surprise when a bunch of flowers turned up at the office for me. My boss had sent them to wish me ‘happy administrative professional’s day’. Very unexpectedly sweet. Then I went home to see my Mum and Dad! And Molly too of course! We had a great family dinner and watched Miss Marple together. I was grateful for the love and care that surrounded me today, and grateful to see my parents and Molly again.

flowers Saturday: This morning I went to the markets with Mum and Jess for our fortnightly ladies’ breakfast and to stock up on winter fruit and veggies: crisp Sundowner apples, sweet mandarins, and sweet potatoes for days! I went for a 6.5 mile run, which was a little challenging after eating a few too many peanut m&ms, but it felt good to run that distance. Tonight Chris and I caught up with friends for drinks. It was a long but good night. I was grateful for all the little adventures of today – and for Chris’s jacket because it was chilly!

Sunday: This morning we relaxed in the late autumn sunshine and Chris recovered slowly from a big night. I pottered around the kitchen and played with my new camera before going for a walk. Tonight we had a mixed dinner (including a few more peanut m&ms) and binge-watched ‘Bar Rescue’. Highly recommended for a trashy reality food TV show fix.  I was grateful for a relaxing Sunday at home learning our everyday ebb and flow.

bay walk

Also this week:

The coming week is filled with celebrations (Chris’s birthday and Mother’s Day of course), running , and assignment writing.

Tell me, dear readers, what are you grateful for this week? What are your favourite ways to warm up in the earliest days of winter?  

Chris’s Fried Rice

Sixteen months ago something wonderful, someone wonderful, happened to me. You see him quite regularly around here: the tall, ginger man with a talent for technology, making bacon disappear, z-snapping like no one else, and making me laugh. That would be Chris. If he thought he’d caught me with our first date (fancy restaurant, ice cream, sipping whisky in one of my favourite places in Brisbane) then he knew he had me on our second date. He picked me up and drove me to his grandmother’s house and we all had fried rice together, talked about tennis, and after dinner Chris took me for a long walk along the harbour. I can’t imagine how intimidating, annoying, and puzzling it must have been for him to have to make dinner for a vegetarian gluten free date. Did I mention that I didn’t tell him about any of my food issues until we sat down at the restaurant for our first date and there was nothing Amy friendly on the menu? No? Well, you can just add that to the list of reasons I admire Chris. He handled it without a blink, and hey I did get a second date didn’t I!

Chris's Fried Rice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegetarian | Gluten Free

Fast forward to today. We have gone from dating to living together and we even bought a house (and are patiently waiting for it to be built!) together. I may dominate our kitchen by the bay, but when given the chance Chris is a great cook. He makes the best scrambled eggs; fragrant spaghetti bolognaise (trying to convince him to make me a veggie version soon); and inventive hot dogs. One of the things we love the most about each other (and I have this confirmed by Chris) is that we both love to eat. Last night, the first day back at work after a long weekend, Chris stepped into the kitchen to recreate our second date meal. Simple, nourishing, soul-warming, like all the best love stories. I was happy to sit and talk to him, play sous chef when needed, and just reflect on how content and happy my life has become since this man pulled up the bar stool next to mine.

This fried rice comes together easily after a long day at work and yields plenty of leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. Chris filled it with plenty of fresh vegetables and we seasoned it simply with soy sauce and sweet chilli. The egg omelette added some protein and Chris served his with some chicken drumsticks while I sprinkled some chickpeas over mine. This meal is perfect for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. It can even be vegan if you leave out the omelette – perhaps some firm tofu is more your style. Gluten free people, just make sure your condiments are gluten free, and then go ahead and serve yourself a large bowl of this goodness.

Pro tip if making this for your potential significant other: take him/her for a romantic walk after dinner and whisper sweet nothings in his/her ear. Another date will surely follow.

Chris's Fried Rice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegetarian | Gluten Free

Chris’s Fried Rice

Serves 4-5, even more as a side dish.

Gluten free. Vegetarian.


  • 1 ½ cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • ½ medium capsicum, diced
  • ½ medium head of broccoli chopped into florets
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped into chunks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
  • Extra soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to serve


  1. Preheat your oven to 160C.
  2. Place rice and water in a large, microwave safe bowl. Cook for ten minutes on high. Stop at five minutes and stir.
  3. Once the rice has finished cooking spread across a large baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven to dry out for 10 minutes. Remove until needed.
  4. While rice is cooking prepare vegetables.
  5. Heat a small non-stick frying pan and spray with cooking oil. Whisky together eggs and add to heated pan. Allow to cook into a large sheet of omelette.
  6. Remove from pan and thinly slice into squares. Set aside until required.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add spring onions and capsicum and sauté until softened, about two minutes.
  8. Add rice and soy sauce and stir well.
  9. Add remaining vegetables and chopped omelette to the pan and stir through the rice. Cook until broccoli is slightly softened and rice is heated through, about five minutes.
  10. Serve with extra soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce.
  11. This will keep well in the fridge for two to three days.

Chris's Fried Rice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegetarian | Gluten Free

Tell me, dear reader, what was the first meal your significant other made for you? Or, what dish would someone have to make to steal your heart?

Midweek Mantra: Do it Every Day

When you have a dream, a vision, or a soul-shaking idea of what you want your life to be you are awakened to the gap between your current location and your planned destination. We are bombarded with success stories of people who have changed their lives, moved to faraway places, landed their dream jobs, or made radical lifestyle changes. We see the headlines, the big leaps that they have taken, the most daring acts of their journey. We don’t see the everyday slogging away that makes dreams into reality.

We see the ‘end of season reveal’, not the hour after hour spent on the treadmill or the meal by meal fight to eat well. We see the ‘New York Times Bestseller’ interview, not the days of staring at a blank white page and then the hours spent filling it with words, editing, manipulating, and creating.

It’s so easy to think that in our immediate gratification, instant data, and cheap fame society that creating something, changing your life, is just as easy. When we sit down to confront the real work of it, to take the giant leap, we realise that it isn’t going to be easy. It isn’t going to be immediate and there actually aren’t any huge leaps, just small steps and consistency of action day after day.

I struggle with this myself. Chris had it right when he reflected to me the other day that it seems that I want to do all the things. I want to write books, I want to blog, I want to teach people about a healthy lifestyle, I want to cook, I want to pursue further education. My problem is that there are so many things that I want to do with my life that I get exhausted by the thought and then end up doing nothing. All of these goals appear to need big leaps. I keep forgetting that it is the everyday action that will get me there in the end. Write a little bit every day and by the end of the year you will have many thousands of words to mould. I need to change the routine that leaves little time or head space for writing. I need to cut out the non-essentials and bear down on the creative moments that give me the most pleasure.

The same is true of any goal: if you want to run a marathon you need to train every day, if you want to lose weight then you have to work on that every day, if you want to build something you need to work on that every day.

Whatever dream or goal you have in mind you need to make it part of your life every day in a small but substantial way. One step at a time towards your destination.

Tell me, dear reader, how do you work towards your goal every day, whatever that goal might be?