Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week One

This week starts the third year of my daily gratitude practice, and I cannot underestimate the importance of this daily reflection in my life. It doesn’t take very long, just five minutes at the end of the day to reflect on what has passed the last twenty-four hours, and what has most touched my heart and made me grateful for the life I lead. The big things in life: family, security, friends, love, and health are not to be taken for granted. There are events that pass that make us grateful for the big things, and 2014 gave me some moments to reflect on how grateful I am for my health, and the love and care of my friends and family.

The Gratitude List really focuses on finding something in your everyday, something in the minutiae, that made you truly grateful. Sometimes it’s just not having to do the dishes after dinner, and sometimes it is that you got to spend a whole day doing exactly all the things that you love. Perhaps you met up with a close friend for coffee after work, or you got home and found that your darling made the bed after you left for work and you don’t have to do it. It’s about being really present to the wonders that surround us, and the kindness of others who reach out in the smallest of ways to make our lives really worth living.

Will you join me in my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015? Each week I will post what I have been grateful for everyday of the past week. If you’d like to share what you have been grateful for you can post in the comments, or on the Gratitude List photo on the Thoroughly Nourished Life Facebook page. Let’s start a gratitude revolution this year.

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

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Here goes, my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week One:

Sunday: After bad weather put off our travel plans for a day, we had a slow morning and then headed up the coast road. We had a sunny afternoon and after some lunch and a nap I headed out for a run along one of my favourite paths in the world. I was grateful to just breath and feel the sea air nourishing me from lungs to soul. After my run Chris and I, and our family house mates, sat out looking at the canal and enjoyed some wine, snacking, and catch-up.

Monday: If only every Monday could be like this! I woke up early for a super long walk. I just love the Sunshine Coast – so many people getting active in the morning without the massive crowds that you find on the Gold Coast. Chris and I went to a movie today. I wanted to see a drama, but he really wanted to see ‘Big Hero 6’ – I was grateful that he chose the movie because it ended up being funny and touching. I was also grateful for the walk because we had popcorn and m&ms for lunch (holiday mode!). In the afternoon we headed down to the beach. The sun was hot, the water was cold, and I was grateful for our little spot of paradise. To end the day on a really high note we went out for dinner just the two of us and talked and laughed and rolled our way home with very happy tummies.

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Tuesday: Wow it was hot today! I woke up at 4:45 am and couldn’t sleep because the mercury was already rising. I ran the sun up over the ocean and watched the world wake up. When I got home I made the most of the quiet of the house by ensconcing myself on the couch under the fan with the crossword, a good book, and lots of water. The heat lasted all day and it was a good excuse to visit the beach again, and make a post-dinner trip to the gelato shop. I was grateful to see Chris’s parents and sister who arrived today. We all sat around in the living room before dinner and just talked. I am grateful to be part of his family, and that they include me in these annual family holidays.

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Wednesday: The last day of 2014! Today started with a long walk to say farewell and see you soon to my favourite beaches, and then I treated myself to a solo breakfast (Chris’s treat is always sleeping in on these holidays) at a new-to-me cafe and a wander around with my big camera. I am grateful that we are both independent and value that trait in each other. Sometimes we need to build our own space, and that’s okay. We always come back together stronger for the time apart. Chris and I headed home and then out to my sister and her husband’s house for New Year’s Eve dinner. I was grateful to spend the last few hours of 2014 with the people I love and to reflect on the year that has been. This year’s table question: what was your favourite moment of 2014. Chris’s warmed my heart: ‘when you moved in with me permanently’. Ah. I actually didn’t make it to see midnight. An early morning + wine + full tummy = 9.30pm bed time.

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Thursday: The first day of 2015! Always start the year like you mean to carry on. For me this meant a long 12km walk around our home harbours and curling up with a book in the cool of our air-conditioned cottage. Tonight Chris and I treated ourselves to pizza for dinner and picnicked on the bed while watching the BBC ‘Big Fat Quiz of the Year’. We party hard. I am grateful that we are both made happy with nights in and trivia.

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Friday: I got my heart pumping this morning with an interval and weights workout and then Chris and I did some housecleaning and laundry. So grateful that Chris will pitch in when I ask for help. Tonight we joined a big group of our favourite people for dinner and The Hobbit part three! I was grateful to Jess for planning the whole night, and grateful that we had two surprise guests (Caroline and her Mum) join us for the night of entertainment. Unexpected catch up time. A grateful and nourished heart.

Saturday: Walk to start the day again. I am always grateful for the time I have to myself in the mornings. I cherish those moments of calm while I am listening to podcasts or music and when I am on holidays I am grateful that I have extra time to fit in some longer walks.

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Sunday: Today is Chris’s last day of holidays before he goes back to work, so I am going to spend some time helping him with some writing and making his favourite dinner. I just want him to know how grateful I have been for the last two weeks of time together.

Also this week:

Tell me, friends, what have you been grateful for this week? Anyone joining me for a grateful year? 

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.

Goals and Intentions for 2014

To be honest, I haven’t really thought too much about my resolutions for 2014. I didn’t have a long list of goals prepared for when the clock struck midnight on December 31st, and come January 1st I just wanted to sleep in and read the day away. Last year I made a list of exactly what I wanted to achieve, and I did accomplish most of what I set out to in the dawn of 2013. This year I have only three major goals that I hope to accomplish by the end of 2014.

  1. Run the Cadbury Half Marathon (this weekend!)
  2. Finish my Master’s thesis (get that cap and gown ready)
  3. Move into our own home with Chris (time to find our own little cottage)
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Instead of setting myself other really specific major goals, I have decided to set myself some intentions. I am choosing to live 2014 with intention, and to guide myself towards an intentionally designed life filled with what I find the most important. To me, intentions are more a way of living in the long term, rather than something to work towards and achieve. They are a little less pressure and a little more pleasure. My intentions for 2014 are:

  • To see my friends more often and spend quality time connecting with the people I love
  • To fill my body with whole foods and eat with mindfulness and the sensation of true enjoyment
  • To exercise my body and get faster and stronger this year
  • To see each day as an adventure and make even the most ordinary days count
  • To write and read and dance among the brilliance of words

I want to make 2014 a year of living a thoroughly nourished life despite the busyness of the months ahead. When I come to the end of this year I want to look back with a smile and fond memories. And, of course, a grateful heart.

Tell me, dear reader, what are your goals for this year? Do you set specific things you want or need to achieve in 2014? Do you believe in New Year’s Resolutions?

Gratitude List – The End of 2013

Before I rush forward and explain how I am going to continue my gratitude practice into 2014 I am going to take the opportunity to post the last gratitude list for 2013. The festive season, especially the week that stretches from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day, is one of my favourite weeks of the year, and always serves as a reminder of all the things I am most grateful for in my life: the big things, the little things, and the moments that always rush by quickly every year.

Tuesday: Christmas Eve. A morning run and an afternoon of wrapping presents and baking before my family arrived put me in the festive spirit. My family is Danish so we host our biggest celebration on Christmas Eve. My Mum created a beautiful gold, white, and red tablescape and filled her finest dishes with our traditional fare of roasted pork, pork crackling, potatoes, carrots, red cabbage, and boat loads of gravy. I always pick and choose the vegetarian bits out of this because for me the main event is dessert! I was grateful to be surrounded by my family, to have the chance to share the table with them in the twilight of the year, and to soak in the love that surrounded us on that night.

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Wednesday: This morning I woke up early – of course! Chris and I, Mum and Dad and Jess (Trent had to work) gathered around the Christmas tree and opened our presents from each other. I was grateful to start my day with those I love most, and for my wonderful Christmas present from Chris – and iPad! After a slow day Chris and I headed to the bay to share Christmas dinner with his family. We ate well, caught up with the cousins, aunts and uncles, and were merry and bright of spirit. I was grateful to experience my first ‘real Australian Christmas’ and that Chris’s family welcomed me along to their celebration.

Thursday: Boxing Day started out with a run and weight session at the gym – I had to work off those Christmas brownies somehow! Then Chris and I packed up the car and headed to the coast. Chris’s family have long had the tradition of gathering at Grandma’s house for a week or so after Christmas. This year Chris and his cousin John and I had the house to ourselves. We opened some wine, sat out by the water and talked and laughed until the sun went down and moon rose over the bay. I was grateful for the feeling of calm that always descends over me when we take the turn off to the Sunshine Coast.

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Friday: I always sleep better when we are by the beach so this morning I set my alarm for a later wake up than usual and then set out for a nice long walk along the headlands. I returned sweaty and smiling and grateful for the chance to spend some time in one of the most beautiful places on this planet. Chris and I did some shopping and then wiled away the evening catching up with more family as they arrived steadily throughout the afternoon.

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Saturday: Another run this morning. The rain started coming down in the middle of the night, but that was no deterrent, I love to run in the rain. Today was filled with reading (thanks to my now portable library on my iPad), a little more shopping, lots of naps and then Chris took me out to lunch. I was grateful to have so many cues for relaxation. I nearly melted into bed that night and dreamed of the stars over the waves.

Sunday: After breakfast with the family Chris and I headed back home. I was grateful for the days that Chris and I had spent away and grateful to see my family when I returned. I indulged myself and spent the whole afternoon and evening reading. I have been devouring books this summer, and I can’t wait to share them with you in an upcoming book post.

Monday: I started the week with a 15 kilometre run and then Chris, Mum, and I went to see The Hobbit! I refuelled with some popcorn and a sushi lunch, and then we let ourselves be swept away into Middle Earth on a quest for The Lonely Mountain. I was grateful to see such an amazing film with two of my favourite movie buddies.

Tuesday: The last day of 2013. This morning I spent time with the ladies of my family – Mum, my grandmother, and my sister – watching Frozen (I know, so many movies!). Chris and I spent the last hours of the year in the company of friends playing boardgames (the boys beat the girls at Pictionary) and drinking some champagne while eating delicious nachos and way too much cheese. I was grateful to celebrate the end of 2013 with Caroline, her husband Tim, and new friends Cat and Dave (and their two gorgeous little girls) – ended the year with love, and started it with love too. Long after midnight I fell into bed grateful for the sum of another year on this earth.

goodbye 2013

 

 

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!