Vegan – avoiding gluten, dairy, and attempting to stay on the path of a Low Glycemic diet whilst following an Ayurvedic system of balanced eating. Sounds dreary and awfully hipy-dippy but necessity is the mother of invention and my diet forces me to be creative in ways I never previously thought possible. Lover of dressing up to stay in – cooking becomes fabulous when it’s done in a vintage 1930’s bias cut floor sweeping silk number. Whimsy? Yes please!

I like sharing food recipes that I have found, tweaked or made up, and I enjoy reading what other people are concocting in their kitchens too. My kitchen is my laboratory and my haven. It is where I go to unwind. When I have a pressing problem, I bake. It is surprising how quickly an answer will come to me once I am not trying to think of one. I mix up all kinds of things and my husband and my son are quite happy to be guinea pigs. There is something terrifically back-to-basics that I love in combining seeds and herbs in a Pestle and Mortar, not only for food recipes, but for skincare and home-made herbal capsules too, and it all keeps me grounded as the world around us leapfrogs it’s way in technological advancement. These are some of the things I would like to share here.

I do think it is important to mention that the reason my diet is somewhat disciplined is not for the values of weight loss, although I am certain it could be employed successfully so. But I am not advocating my particular dietary habits for this. I choose to eat the way I do to stay healthy and to nourish my body from hair to tiniest cell with the best nutrition available.

To be honest I have never had an overweight issue – ever. Not even slightly. Not even when I was pregnant – not even a tiny bit here and there. My problem is on the other end of the scale. I lose weight far too easily. Forget to eat anything nourishing for a day and I’m rattling around inside my skinny jeans. When I was pregnant the weight tumbled off me. An already skinny person, I looked anorexic and it was scary. The doc’s gave me all kinds of advice on how to put the weight on (and some were not so safe “eat loads of cream cakes and fast/fried foods”) and no, I did not try that, but everything else I gave a go and nothing helped. Fortunately I managed to give birth to a very healthy robust baby boy. The nurses laughed “it’s like you swallowed a water melon then pooped it out, you don’t look like you just had a baby at all”. Water retention. What water retention? I had none of these issues. This might seem a blessing to most but trust me, keeping an adequate amount of weight on my body (relative to height and ethnicity) is a constant battle. So just letting you know that skinnies have the same issues too, just in reverse. Why don’t more people talk about this? Baffling.

I am vegan because I believe it is better for me in a health and ethical sense. I am gluten free for the same reason, although I suspect celiac. I am sugar free (good sugars only) due to candida. I alkalize because I believe it is the way to go, for me in particular.

I have been infatuated with herb craft from point one. Where I grew up it was the thing to do. If you had a cold, stomach upset, joint pain, then a trip to the garden to cut a few stems of this and that, pluck a leaf or two and maybe boil it into a tea or make a compress and Bob’s your uncle, you were up and running in no time! I’ll raise my hand and admit to the fact that I don’t care to go to conventional doctors. The very thought of pills has me running in the opposite direction. Painkillers? I never take them. I prefer to research and cure myself using natures bounty. Here’s a story – once, I got shingles. Anyone who has ever had it knows how excruciating it can be. Never having it before and not knowing what it could be, I treated it as though it were a rash. Nothing helped. The pain became unbearable and I couldn’t sleep, my poor husband stayed up with me all night making sure I was comfortable as possible. So reluctantly I made an appointment with a doctor. He took one look and declared shingles as my ailment and proceeded to write me a prescription. I asked about the side effects and he rather wearily described to me that the pills were large and blue and have been known to cause quite a few nasty effects, some if I got them would be long lasting. I grabbed my bag, thanked him for his time and scarpered out that room as fast as I could. At my laptop I googled Shingles. Within minutes I found my cure. A bottle of L-Lysine amino acid tablets. I went to the homeopathic shop and bought it for about $12 and after taking it for two days my shingles were gone! Now, why couldn’t that doctor tell me this instead of trying to flog expensive $50 pills with nasty side effects? We all know the answer to that little cherry. Herbs, roots and spices are not just a way to heal the body, I use them in my daily beauty routine too. I make all my own body care. It is a hobby and a way of life in my home.

Yes, I am an activist. I believe in freedom and I believe in fighting the government or whomsoever holds the authority for our rights. I believe we should be privy to all the things they get up to and decide upon on our behalf before it is ever carried out. I am political and my allegiance swings more to the Left, I stand for fairness and equality and the shrinking of disparity between rich and poor. I am an atheist – I don’t need a fictional mythic character as an answer to all of life’s difficult questions. No cathartic religious experiences for me – I am alive because I am. I live because I do. I will die because I must. I didn’t decide on becoming an atheist, as far as I know, I have never been a believer. I have never felt the need to believe in anything “bigger”. I don’t need to feel the “presence” of anything to be comforted. I can hold myself in stillness perfectly well when I choose to. I don’t give thanks and praise to a non corporeal form. When gratitude is due, I thank my own efforts and those people who have helped me to survive and live. I believe in me. I believe in love. I believe in peace. I believe in willpower. I believe it is the duty of all to help change this world into a better place – in this day and age there is no need for hunger and destitution, what keeps it rife is Machiavellian greed. If one must insist upon spirituality then I say acknowledge the Seasons – harvest what you need, share what you don’t, store the rest and find your place in the scheme of things. Look to the Sun and Stars to navigate your way. If you are a woman consider the Moon and her cycles to become more in tune with your own feminine monthly cycle. I have no idea what exists beyond the grave, if anything at all and I don’t care. What I do care about is leaving behind some good when I’m gone. I’ll quote Lennon here:

“Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

What’s that you say? “Imagine” is the Socialists anthem? Why yes, I believe it is. How about that?

Like most women I know, I live for fashion. It is way too much fun to bypass. I love dressing up my husband as though he’s a living Ken doll – I’m always on the look out for rare vintage finds for him, he’s absolutely gorgeous in that tall, skinny, indie, rock and roll way that drives me crazy. Music is a first love to which I stay true. Books – don’t get me started. When I die, bury me in a pile of books and I’ll be content. A cerebral film junkie and an absolute sucker for anything art-house, I’m one of those that can watch Jean-Luc Godard’s full catalogue, follow up with Ingmar Bergman and maybe a John Cassavetes or two and still have the energy to discuss the merits of character vs plot all night long. I don’t love old films, I adore them! Modern Hollywood – baah! Never seen Avatar and I won’t. If I must watch current cinema then I insist upon foreign. Perhaps not finally because it is in everything I do and breathe – art. A graphic designer that subsisted on web design for many a long year. I paint in my spare time – squishing colours together has to be one of the most rewarding and self indulgent pass times available to human kind.

I can hear you. That last paragraph smacks of bourgeoisie. But…But…Am I not allowed a little contradiction? The human personality is complex, that’s what keep it interesting. Lets leave it at that.

A lover of traveling to far flung destinations, I have lived in four countries and still feel as though I have not found my absolute home. I’m still looking and still traveling and learning all the time.

I am more than the sum of my parts. I hope this blog can in some way allow others to share in my interests.

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