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.

Inspiration

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.

Escapism

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.

Hope

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.

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Nineteen

As I write I am sitting in a patch of afternoon sun with the bay breeze blowing through the window. I should be working on my uni dissertation, and this it the plan for the rest of the evening, but first I need to reflect a little on the full and amazing week that I have had. Let’s not procrastinate, here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Nineteen:

Monday: Today winter made its first bite felt here in Brisbane. I warmed up with a great 5 mile run this evening and when I got home Chris had made sure to turn the heating on so that the house was toasty warm. I am grateful that he is so thoughtful. After dinner I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream for Chris to take to work for his birthday. Also, after that run, I licked the bowl…

Tuesday: Today was Chris’s birthday! I am so grateful for this man and for living my life with someone who is funny, smart, and takes such great care of me. Happy birthday my darling. We celebrated with an easy dinner (Chris had KFC for his birthday treat) and watched ‘The Monuments Men’ – highly recommended. Thank you to everyone for the sweet birthday wishes, he was very touched.

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Wednesday: Today I took a walk at lunch time and called my Mormor. I am grateful that I still have my grandmother here to talk to about everything. Sometimes people write off their elders as not understanding what they are going through forgetting that they have already lived that part of their life and might have some wisdom to offer. I am grateful to talk to my grandmother about life, men, relationships, food (we are the gluten intolerant ones in the family) and fashion (she was a seamstress and dressmaker in her youth).

Thursday: This afternoon I had a major headache and just felt blech. I know that’s not a word, but I think we all understand the feeling. I was grateful to come home, crawl into bed with Chris who took care of dinner and entertainment for us this evening. Also, I made cookies, and cookies make me feel better every time.

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Friday: Today I wrote about some hard things. Like Ernest Hemingway said ‘write hard and clear about what hurts’. I’m grateful that I have this place to write about things that are on my mind. I am grateful to all of you who responded. I try to mainly talk about food and gratitude here, but if someone could read those words and know that the comparison game, the constant striving to measure up to all those huge expectations of yourself, is not always the kindest thing you can do for yourself. I’m not saying that we should give up and accept our lot, rather, I am saying that if you focus on making your little corner of the world better, then you are creating something great for the people around you and inspiring others to do the same.

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Saturday: Today we celebrated Chris’s birthday! I went for a huge walk in the morning because I knew there was an awesome ice cream cake coming (even if I do say so myself…). Chris and I cleaned and rearranged the house and in the evening we were joined by some great friends to celebrate through the night. I am grateful that people came to celebrate with Chris and we had a great time. P.S. Our friends James and Nick made the most awesome Nutella ice cream…I’m going to copycat that as soon as possible!

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Sunday: This morning we celebrated Mother’s Day! Mum, Dad, Mormor, Aunty Lone, Uncle Paul, Grace and Grandad Gil and I gathered for breakfast on the water. It was a wonderful morning. I am so grateful for my Mum. I have gone through some big changes in the past few years, some devastating moments, and so many wonderful things and I know that without Mum I wouldn’t have survived the bad and thrived and celebrated the good. My Mum is a woman who was born to be a mother. She is strong, sweet, kind, firm, funny, and adventurous. She has read more books than I think I will ever manage in my life. She has the best taste in action movies. She is my couch companion for Miss Marple, Poirot, and Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett please) binges. If I am half the woman, half the mother, that she is when I finally ‘grow up’ then I will be happy indeed. Love you Mum and thank you for everything you have done for Jess and I throughout the years.

Mama and Me

Also this week:

  • I made Chris this chicken from Iowa Girl Eats and he loved it. This will definitely reappear on our dinner menu
  • We celebrated Chris’s birthday!
  • I made pancakes, you should make them too
  • I made cookies, you should make them as well, and share them with the ones you love

Tell me, dear readers, what are you grateful for this week? How did you celebrate with your Mum?

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)

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?

Twenty-Seven Thoughts for Twenty-Seven Years

Fair warning: this post is long. Read it in chunks. Read only a little. Read the whole lot. Let me know what you think.

Yesterday I turned twenty-seven. That’s only three years away from thirty, and a whole decade since I graduated high school. Scary, huh?

Last night I finished the last page of the journal I have been writing in for the past two years. A lot has happened since I turned twenty-five; those pages are weighed heavy by the highs and lows of a woman-in-progress. And though some of the events left scars on my heart, others have turned me into a firework sparking through the night sky. I would like to believe that none of those moment, those highs and lows, have been in vain. I would like to believe that I have learned from each of them and used that experience to inform my choices as I moved through my life.

Twenty Seven Thoughts

My birthday always gives me a lot of pause for thought and today to mark the beginning of my life as a twenty-seven year old I am sharing with you my twenty-seven thoughts about life.

1. Take care of your family. Let them know that you love them. ‘Blood is thicker than water’ does not mean you can ignore or mistreat the people closest to you on the DNA tree and then expect them to support you when you come running home. Be careful with their hearts and show them how much they mean to you every day.

2. Keep your heart open – love is waiting in unexpected places. Someday that person might just pull up a barstool next to you and sweep you off your feet with their sense of humour, quick wit, and sparkling green-eyed smile. You need to be open to that. Take a chance on love because you never know where it might lead.

3. Read. Lots of things. All the things. Never stop. Words and knowledge are power. The right words will cripple you, tear you down, and build you back up again. Be greedy in your consumption of words and nourish your soul and your mind.

4. Eat well. Eat all the things. Eat cookies and kale. Eat in celebration and in moderation. Eat the healthy and the not-so-healthy. Eat the way that feels right to you. Eat kindly to yourself and the planet.

5. Adopt a dog (or a cat or a goldfish or heck, even a salamander). Give life to someone who has been rejected and they will return the love ten-fold. You have never known unconditional love until you come through the door to someone who is happy because you just showed up.

6. Run or walk or swim or cycle. Let your heart pump blood through this body you have been gifted.

Twenty Seven thoughts 27. Be thankful. For the big things and the small. Say it out loud – people don’t hear it enough anymore.

8. Be grateful. Find something each day, even the smallest thing on the worst day, and be grateful for it. Write it down and read over the list on the days when gratitude is the hardest.

9. Be humble. Don’t live your life simply in the pursuit of praise. Live your life in pursuit of making someone’s day easier without them even knowing.

10. Be boastful. Shout your loved one’s and your friend’s achievement from the rooftops. Tell the world of their amazingness.

11. Hold on tight. We are nothing without each other. We are everything together. The world will try to tear you down enough with its ebbs and flows. Hold on tight to those around you and we can weather any storm.

12. Know when to let go. Anger, humiliation, grief, and pain all have their place in life, but don’t let them become your whole life or you will wither from the poison they send forth.

13.Make friends. Fall in love with your friends. You will know amazing, awesome, creative, caring, intelligent people when you come across them. Make them your friend and never let them go (see number 11).

14.Create something. Write a book, paint a picture, plant a garden, rebuild an engine, make a person – leave the planet a little richer than you found it.

15. Save your money. Extravagance is not always the right thing. Sometimes you just need a kitchen table, a pot of pasta, and the best people you know in order to have the best night of your life.

16. Spend your money. Give to charity. Be independent of your parents. Pay your bills. Buy a little something for someone to brighten their day, sometimes that someone is yourself.

17.Find something to believe in. Is that God? Is that science? Is that other people? Find a belief in something outside yourself that will keep you here when everything else fails.

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18. Get outta here! Travel. Place yourself firmly outside your comfort zone and watch yourself thrive. Learn how others live. Listen to their stories. Take the lessons back to your own life.

19. Love where you are. Home is where the heart is, but sometimes loving the place takes time. Invest in where you are. Seek the hidden treasures and the path less travelled in your own hometown. I am still working on this one.

20. Be the change you wish to see in the world. You don’t have to end all the wars, but you can spread peace in your own life, your own community. Imagine if we all made our own little corner a little better. Now that’s crowdsourcing.

21. Learn the rules. Learn which ones to break and which ones to make a fundamental practice in your life. Colouring inside the lines? Overrated. Saying thank you to a waiter? Essential.

22. Respect the humanity of everyone you come across. The person cleaning your office deserves just as much respect and dignity as the person who signs your pay cheque, and in some cases, so much more. Would you walk a mile in their shoes? Show some respect for the road they are on.

23. Laugh. At yourself, with other people, at the funny, the not so funny, and sometimes the sad. Just never lose your ability to laugh. Life really is funny if you let it tickle your funny bone.

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24. Cry. Sometimes there is nothing to do but let the tears wash away the blues. Let yourself feel the feeling and let it flow.

25. Take big walks. This is slightly different to number 6. Big walks aren’t just for exercising the body: they are for exercising the heart and soul. Big walks are where you tackle the big questions you are afraid to ask yourself in the confines of a room. Big walks are where you stride alongside your sister and pour your heart out and listen to her wisdom. Big walks are where you hold hands with the one you love and stare at the sky in awed silence that in this vast universe you found your heart’s match. Big walks are where you plot and plan what you want your life to be and where you want to wander.

26. Work hard for your dream. Find something you want to do with your life and do it with all your might. Stay up late, get up early and keep hustling in pursuit of your dream.

27. Make time for rest. Put your feet up, lay your head on someone’s lap and look around at your life. Be mindful of the moment when you stop and just let yourself float into the atmosphere chasing the nothingness of a lazy afternoon. Let yourself have a Sunday.

These are things I have learned, that I am learning, that from my twenty-seven year old perspective seem important for living an authentic life: a thoroughly nourished life.

Midweek Mantra: Gathering the Minutes

My diary is a tumultuous place. Full of weeks of blank pages that suddenly become months of flurried activity and then settle again into blankness. My relationship with this dichotomy of diary states changes quickly. Some days I cannot wait until the activity starts. I am hungry to be out in the world, seeing people, talking, gathering ideas and stories and moments of gold in my head. Then just as quickly the pendulum swings the other way and I crave the silence, the pages with nothing but a date at the top and washed out blue lines below.

Sometimes this relationship descends into stress, anxiety, and restlessness. I am stressed because I want to enjoy every minute of those adventures, but I can’t seem to get my head into the minutes that I am living in, rather they are racing ahead to whatever is next.

How can I make the next moment more memorable? What do I need to do to make the next moment perfect? How can I be wittier, smarter, nicer, when I meet people? How will I see this moment when I am back at home reliving it in my mind?

The quiet days raise just as many questions. Why am I at home? Am I becoming boring? Am I wasting these moments by just staying right here where I am and not seeking adventure and exploration? Will I ever get out to see the world again?

Enjoy the ride

Why can’t I just stop, right here, and take in the minutes. Gather them closely and live every one. Live the busy times, live the quiet ones. Take in the glitter of my friend’s conversation and the brilliant minds that surround me; remember the stories that I am standing in the middle of, and fall joyfully into the crevices of the time that is flowing around me. Gather the minutes of laughter, and shared joy and pain. Gather the minutes of good food, good wine, and even better company.

Settle back into the warm-cushioned comfort of those weekends where there are no demands. Stop worrying about wasted hours and bask like a cat in the sun. Celebrate the time that I have to just be in the world, as I am, and let myself get lost in the spaces between sunbeams. Gather the minutes that nourish my soul from the inside out, replenishing, renewing and fortifying me for the busier minutes ahead.

Gather the minutes

The next couple of months herald exciting events at every turn, as Chris puts it: our dance card for this year is full. We have so many things to look forward to, and some studying to challenge ourselves with as well.

I can’t focus on the weeks, months, year ahead too much without feeling anxiety or impatience. I don’t want to live my life with one foot in the minute, and one foot racing ahead already casting shadows on what is to come. Instead, my focus is to gather each minute as it comes without premature judgement or false anticipation. I am going to gather the minutes close and just exist in the wonder each day brings. I am going to open my heart, mind, and arms wide to the minutes of every day and gather them close with gratitude. 

Post Two Hundred and Top Ten Posts of All Time

Welcome to my two hundredth post! I can’t believe I have reached this point, and I still feel like Thoroughly Nourished Life has a long way to go. Really, these first two hundred posts have been about exploring what I want the blog to be, it has taken me a while to find my voice and the things I want to express and discuss here.

The most important part of my blog though, is YOU! Thank you to everyone who reads my posts, leaves a comment, or subscribes via email. I feel incredibly thankful that I have this little sunshine-filled corner of the internet to share my thoughts, my recipes, and my life with others. Here are the top ten recipe posts on the blog so far – seems we all have a thing for salad and cake – it’s all about balance right?!

10. Almond Tea Cake with Rosewater Glaze

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9. Tomato, Butter Bean, and Brown Rice Salad

8. Roast Pumpkin, Mushroom, and Brown Rice Salad with Soy-Sesame Dressing

7. Quinoa, Chickpea, and Capsicum Salad with Lime-Honey Dressing

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6. Chunky Dunkers (gluten free)

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5. Blood Orange Poppy Seed Cake (gluten free)

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4. Coconut Banana Bread (gluten free)

3. Soothing Spiced Lentil Stew

2. Vanilla Bundt Cake with Coffee Cream Glaze

1. Almond and Spelt Biscuits

My dear readers, a big thank you to reading Thoroughly Nourished Life. Here’s to more conversation, more sugar and kale, and more running and reading. Tell me, is there anything you would like to see featured here more often? More cupcakes? More salad? More book reviews?

Happy Sunday everyone, here’s to the next two hundred!

Nourished Life Gratitude List Week Thirty-One

Earlier mornings and longer nights make me want to stretch out in the sun like a cat and just feel the sun on my belly. It isn’t time for holidays yet but already, in that great Australian way, things seem to be slowing down as we approach the holiday season. I want to sit out on a breezy verandah and sip cool lemonade with a good book in my hands and the sun on my knees after a morning run. I am ready for nights filled with the smoky scent of barbecue heat, good friends gathered around the table, and walks down by the harbour with Chris under the cover of stardust. I am so grateful for this time of year when everything seems defrosted, and we start to prepare for time with family and friends under an endless summer sky.

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Monday:  tonight I was grateful for an easy evening, discussions about more travels (and soon) and the Gouda, oh the Gouda. See – Monday nights don’t have to be hard. Also lying in bed with Chris after dinner and watching a movie together. I am grateful that we can talk about anything, and also spend quiet time just enjoying each other’s company.

Tuesday: I am grateful that we got a report out the door on time and with minimal fuss so that I could go home, run, and then spend the evening with my darling and my parents while I made donuts for Chris to share with his work friends.

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Wednesday: a local café asked me to make some Halloween cupcakes for them so I started by baking some black velvet cupcakes! And they worked – I am grateful that the great baking gods of chemistry and Martha Stewart came together for a successful outcome.

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Thursday: I have the best bakery assistant in the world – my Mama. As long as I pay her in cupcakes and hugs she will happily construct and fill cake boxes and hold the icing bag while I fill it with frosting. I may bake some sweet things in the kitchen, but nothing compares to my Mum.

Friday: I am grateful that being a grown-up means that I can decide what to make for dinner. Simple: Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes.

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Saturday: Today brimmed with things to be grateful for. I had my long run (Week 2 of Cadbury Half Marathon Training), then went to the markets with Mama and a neighbour-friend, and then met up with Casey, Cassie and Melissa for some Italian hot chocolate at a gorgeous little shop. The evening brought round some time with a hard-studying Chris (ugh, devil maths) and a great vegetarian risotto at a new favourite restaurant (so much gluten-free stuff and flexible for vegetarians too!). Thank you to The Roman Empire Restaurant for a great meal and wonderfully knowledgeable staff members. As Chris and I pulled into the driveway a fireworks show started down by the harbour and we stood together in awe as the sky burst into colourful flowers of flame. A perfect end to a majestic day.

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Sunday: Mum, Dad, Molly and I went for a walk around the wetlands – just what I needed to recover from yesterday’s run. Then it was home for banana bread and fruit salad for breakfast, baking for a Pink Ribbon Morning Tea tomorrow, and then a Sunday afternoon nap on the couch.

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Now, I can feel my tummy rumbling and I have a fridge full of delicious farmer’s market produce to satisfy my desires. I am also reading a captivating book that I can’t wait to share with you later this week.

Tell me, what are you grateful for this week? Any baking exploits? (I feel like I have spent the week covered in flour, butter, and sugar) Any plans for Halloween?

A Simple Bowl of Millet and Spiced Vegetables, and Thoughts

Welcome friends, can I speak a little about something that has been bothering me? Thank you.

Lately, I feel like I haven’t been doing justice to this little space I love so much. I haven’t been tending the seedling that is my Thoroughly Nourished Life address with as much care and discretion as I possibly could. When I first began writing here I promised wholefood vegetarian recipes, sweet treats (with a focus on gluten-free), active living, and fuel for the mind. I feel that I have wandered a little off course, and I want to right the ship a little. I have piles of cookbooks that I have bought and never cooked from, cooking and bake ware that still have the price tags attached, and notebooks full of ideas, but something keeps holding me back. No longer. This is my renewed commitment to Thoroughly Nourished Life. To whole foods, fitness adventures, books, articles, and ice cream (I bought an ice cream maker recently – and it is pink!) – here is to sharing it all with you.

I want this space to grow from this tender beginning into something more. I want to reach out to others in the vast void in which our digital lives take place and make a real connection. I want Thoroughly Nourished Life to mean something to people, and give something back to all who grace me with their presence here. I want the words I write and recipes I share to contribute to the bounty available to us all here on the world wide web. In the realm of food blogs I stand in the shadow of giants, and they in the shadows of titans. Rather than being intimidated by their power and influence I am inspired to find my own little niche. I want to contribute my unique Australian-vegetarian-gluten-free-baker-runner-over-thinking voice to the chorus of glorious blogging voices that sing through the windy online halls.

I want to bring joy to your tables; highlight the extraordinary in the everyday; start a conversation about how we nourish ourselves mind, body, and soul in this crazy modern world; share adventures and yummy sweets; and above all be authentic.

So, today, I renew my promise, I refocus my aims for this little corner of the online world, and commit to living a Thoroughly Nourished Life online and off.

Last night while all of these thoughts circled in my head I needed something grounding in my belly. I bought a bag of millet on the weekend and, once cooked with care in some vegetable broth, this gluten free grain was a creamy and comforting accompaniment to vegetables sautéed in some of my favourite spices.

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A Simple Bowl of Millet and Spiced Vegetables

Serves 2.

When I was cooking my millet I found these instructions from The Kitchn very helpful to read before I started. I enjoyed this meal by itself, but I can’t wait to try it with a poached egg balanced on top and sprinkled with a little extra sumac.

 Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked millet
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 medium purple onion
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ½ medium red capsicum (bell pepper)
  • 5 sundried tomatoes (oil-packed)
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sumac
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

 Method

  1. Combine uncooked millet and vegetable stock in a small saucepan. Place over a medium heat with the lid on the pot, and simmer until millet is tender (about 25 minutes).
  2. While the millet is cooking dice purple onion and sundried tomatoes, and thinly slice zucchini and red capsicum.
  3. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and spray with olive oil.
  4. Add chopped vegetables, spices, salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and translucent.
  5. Sprinkle over sesame seeds and stir gently. Cook for another minute or two.
  6. Once the millet is cooked (all the liquid should be absorbed by this stage) add to sautéed vegetables and stir to combine.
  7. Spoon into two bowls and enjoy.

Thank you my friends for letting me get this off my chest. There may be some changes here as I figure out how to live up to my goals for Thoroughly Nourished Life, and please let me know if there is anything you would like to see more of.

x Amy.

R U OK Day?

Do you mind if we have some real talk today? Some ‘what’s going in your head today?’ talk.

Today, September 12, is R U OK? Day. The R U OK? Foundation was established to help encourage real conversations between family and friends about mental health. Countless times per day we answer the question ‘How are you?’, but does anyone really give an authentic answer, and similarly, do any of us asking the question really listen after we have asked the question?

Today I have a question for all of my wonderful readers, but first let me tell you a little story.

I have spoken before about my own struggles with mild depression and anxiety, and how much of this battle of the mind played out in the theatre of my body. I have mistreated myself and eventually found my way back to true nourishment and a healthy relationship between body and mind. I’m not perfect but I’m learning and moving forward every day.

If, today someone asked me R U OK? I would genuinely have to answer ‘Yes’. ‘Yes…but’. Yes, but for some reason I am so happy in my life that I am unhappy. I am happy that after a tumultuous start to the year with so many worries about my job and future my working life seems to be back on track and I am making long term plans for my career and where I want to be in ten years time. I am happy that I have great relationships with my family members and even though I was afraid that I would lose the special connection I have with my sister we seem to have worked out a new more adult relationship and lost none of the closeness.

I am so happy that I am surrounded by passionate amazing men and women that I am fortunate enough to call my friends, and even though sometimes I am not the best person to stay in contact with, when we do spend time together it is diamond-grade quality.

And every single day I am so happy because I get to see the face of the man I love. I am so happy that I have found the one who is twin and mirror of myself. Someone who shares my love of science and satire and mostly melted chocolate ice cream spooned out of the container for a Wednesday midnight snack. Someone who sweetly puts on my favourite shows and tucks me up into bed on the days when I am not feeling quite right. Chris makes me so happy.

post race snuggles

And I am so unhappy because I am afraid of the time when I am no longer happy. I am afraid that somehow I am going to upset this beautiful life and the house of cards is going to tumble down, shattering and burning and breaking on the way. I am afraid that I will do something wrong, upset someone, neglect someone, damage someone, and take away their happiness and my own. I just want to create a better corner of the world, make everyday count for the ones I love, and show gratitude for the blessings I have been given.

Have you ever been that happy that you question the infinite nature of our capacity for joy? Can a human heart be this happy forever? Do I deserve to be this happy and let go of the moorings of worry and panic and just float out into the big blue warm sea of happiness and gratitude and a life nourished in so many ways?

On this R U OK? Day I am making a vow to myself, and to all the blessings in my life that give me happiness. I don’t want to be worried about being so happy. I don’t want to be emotionally draining on those around me because I live on a teetering scale of truly happy to worried-about-being-so-happy. So, my vow today is to cast off the lines of worry, and just live in this moment of happiness. My vow is to recapture the joie de vivre of being present in this moment, in this time. I can’t help what may happen tomorrow – good or bad. But I can choose to make this moment, this day, the happiest that I can. I am okay. I am more than okay. I am happy and blessed and ready for this moment and the next.

My question to you readers is R U OK? Really? Have you asked those around you today? Have you truly listened?