Heartbreak and drama queens.

You know what I hate? I hate it when you see something (usually in a magazine) and you love it. Instantly. Love at first sight. So you make the mental commitment right then and there, you will buy it. You will cherish it. You will take it out to countless restaurants, parties and lavish events (the ones that you are always going to, you are definitely not just sitting on the couch in your cat pajamas on a Friday night).

Then you find out your one true love is no longer available.

It’s like a break up, but worse. (Me? A drama queen? Never!) Without ever having experienced any of the bad shit in the ‘only in your head’ relationship to make you go “you sucked at taking out the trash, I hate you for that” or “man, your breath really sucked in the morning”, you have no grasps of negativity to cling too. All you have is the potential. All those occasions you could have gone to. You would have looked amazing. People would’ve cheered as you walked passed dressed in that one truly perfect garment.

Well, today that happened to me. I fell in love with a dress by Miss Crabb. I thought it was effortlessly chic. Loose, long, feminine, delicate and floaty made of a gorgeous nude fabric juxtaposed with the bright neon flower print. It was perfect.

MissCrabb Image from Viva and nzherald.co.nz

It was also sold out.

Heartbreak.

Alas, the relationship for Miss Crabb and I cannot be, and I have to move on from this unrequited love.

I’m not quite sure how to get over a break up in the throws of a sugar detox. Can a heart even heal without chocolate ice cream?

Advertisements

No Ryan Gosling? No worries.

Bocal

I mentioned earlier that on my birthday one of the places I visited was Petit Bocal. And it was perhaps the best start to my day ever (ok, maybe having happy birthday sung to me by Ryan Gosling would’ve been better, but Bocal was damn good regardless). For those who haven’t visited this new(ish) Auckland hang out, it is a sweet, fresh, airy and oh so French. Filled with mason jars (hence the name that translates to “little jar”), the smell of coffee and piles of just baked pastries.

I ordered the baked eggs, which came in a Puy lentil and capsicum sauce with a side of sourdough. It was the perfect hearty breakfast, but in my haste I totally burnt my tongue, severing large numbers of my taste buds. The remaining ones, however, very much enjoyed it (imagine how good it would have been with all my taste buds in proper working order).

The boy grabbed himself the much acclaimed croque madame and (as always) I stole a few bites. Man was it good. Recently metro did an Auckland wide hunt for the best croque monsieur (which is a croque madame minus the egg on top), it was no surprise to me that Petit Bocal came out on top! It was rich, creamy and basically just the best ham and cheese toasty ever. Plus an egg. What could be better?

I complimented my meal with a super tasty coffee and the boy grabbed a tea from their extensive menu. We were both very happy campers.

This is not the first time I’ve popped in to this Sandringham local, a month or two ago I visited for an after dinner cheese platter with a friend. Needless to say it was this tiny taster that got me wanting to come back for more.

Now I am hooked. I need a Bocal hit. Next time I am planning on giving one of the amazing sounding salads a go, perhaps with one of the newly introduced cronuts on the side? Except I gave up sugar.

Damn me.

Bocal2

Going cold turkey baby.

SUGARFREE

A month or two ago I posted on a book I was reading about quitting sugar (by Sarah Wilson). At the time I thought she was a bit mental (and by a bit, I mean a lot), because three weeks into her suggested detox, all sugar was cut out. Like all sugar. No fruits or honey or sugar replacements – zip. It all went.

Although I thought she was cray-cray, I was intrigued. So I set about looking into a lot of the things Sarah brought up in her book, like the idea that the root of obesity issues in modern society comes from our excess consumption of sugar (more specifically, fructose).

SUGARFREE2

If you read this blog (hey!) you will already know I’m pretty sold on the ideas of clean eating and keeping away from things that can be tough on us (like dairy or gluten). I usually follow a paleo diet (or try to). And if you look at how cavemen really eat, the truth is they didn’t get an awful lot of sugar (maybe a few berries here and there). How can someone really believe in eating like out predecessors without questioning the amount of sugar going into our gobs?

At the forefront of my investigation (I went all CSI on sugar) was a book by David Gillespie, Sweet Poison. It was a hefty read, with loads of side roads into biochemistry and the history of sugar (right back to when it was first produced). I would highly recommend reading it. But don’t expect it to give you warm fuzzies by the fire on a lazy Sunday afternoon – this is no Harry Potter. This is big and scary with a side of the dramatics and a large sprinkle of science. Having read it I do feel a little freaked out, but I’m trying to take everything in Gillespie’s book with a pinch of salt (to balance out all the sugar). There is no real way to sum it up, because its dense and best read in full for a great picture on how our body handles sugar. (It’s also best read when you don’t have a dessert party to go to. You know in cartoons when someone is hungry and everything turns into walking tasty morsels? Well the dessert party was like that, except every scrumptious dessert turned into the grim reaper.)

SUGARFREE3

Also along my travels I came across Damon Gameau. This Australian actor is currently treating himself like a lab rat and eating a high sugar (40 teaspoons a day) diet to see what the effects are on him and filming it (think a twist on the ‘Supersize Me’ documentary). You can follow his progress and daily updates here. Check out the movie preview too – it looks very interesting (especially for a recently adopted sugar nerd).

SUGARFREE4

After a month or so of reading about the sweet stuff to within an inch of my life and drastically cutting down my sugar intake, Sarah’s idea of removing all fructose for a while seems less bonkers. Very challenging, but not completely ridiculous. Also, not completely uncalled for.

So, as of September 1st I’m attempting to follow Sarah’s detox and let go of the last clutches I have on sugar. I’m going to try being sweet enough on my own.

Wish me luck, or make like my amazing friend Alexandra and join me. If cutting out your desserts sounds too much for you, don’t worry, I will over share every step of the way – so upon the conclusion of my 6 week detox you will feel like you have lived every up and down with me (without needing to cut out donuts).

I bet you’re so excited to hear (well, read) my ever word on coming down off a sugar high. Yeah, yeah you are!

SUGARFREE5

All images from Pintrest

Mondayitis

I have been keeping my eye on a certain New Zealand fashion label for a while. It has been increasingly demanding my attention through its intricate prints and effortlessly slouchy perfection.

Ketz-kes spring collection has really got me excited.

MondayMorning

I’m loving the pastel tones with delicate bolts of colour that Jenny, the designer, is playing with this season. My pick from all of the pieces (available online already – woop woop) has to be the white peek-a-boo style trackies. Oh and the cool illustrated tees. Oh, oh and the printed trousers. Ok, pretty much everything here.

MondayMorning2

Also, where can I get me some mint lace ups? Can’t you just picture yourself strolling down the street in the height of summer in those babies? Well I can, and it’s beating my Monday morning blues.

MondayMorning3

It’s official, I’m old. Like really old.

On Tuesday the 20th of August I turned 25 (and my quarter life crisis went into over drive). Despite the overwhelming urge to give into my dying youth, slap on the slippers and head out to grab a thimble of fresh placenta (to banish my crows feet – duh), it has turned out to be an amazing week filled with food, love and wine (by wine I mean vodka). I feel so incredibly special.

Birthday

My actual birthday with kicked off with a French feast at Petite Bocal (review coming soon), followed by a hike up Rangitoto and dinner at Sunday Painters (yes, yes, review coming on that one too). Shaun even made me a paleo friendly, sugar free carrot cake (seriously yum) and I convinced my entire family to play a game of celebrity guess who whilst polishing off a celebratory bottle (or two) of wine.

Birthday2

After the day of treats Shaun whisked me away for a short escape to Rotorua (a few hours from Auckland and known for its super smelly geothermal-ness). We spent two days relaxing; hitting up the local spa, eating (a rather large amount), horse riding and even zorbing! Upon arriving back in Auckland, my girlfriends whisked me out for a sneaky birthday drink and I came home to a full-blown surprise party (complete with excess party poppers and every one I love).

Birthday3

I can’t say enough about how wonderful the boy was (is). Between creating a perfect day on the 20th, to taking me away, to planning a brilliant surprise party. He made me feel so loved and I simply couldn’t have asked for more.

And here is the kicker. I feel like I learnt something this week (exactly what you don’t want to be doing when you are off – learning shit).

I learnt that I really like the way I am living my life right now. I really, really like it. Some people may think that the sugar free/grain free/dairy free/processed free way I eat is extreme, but it makes me (and my body) feel great. The battle each morning to get up at the crack of dawn to fit in a workout is a tough slog, but once it is done and dusted, it’s amazing (and the endorphins are flowing all day). This week off (I haven’t run, gym-ed or even looked at what I have been shoving into my gob for 6 days straight) has been fun, but it has also been and eye opener (and seriously hard on my stomach). I’m excited to hit the ground running (literally), get back to a paleo palette and feeling incredible come tomorrow.

The “what’s in my bag” smelly edit.

I love looking at the posts of fabulous fashionistas who take incredible photos of what’s inside their handbag. They usually have sophisticated purses with a perfect pile of the latest apple products, a single Dior lipstick and a COMME des GARCON coin purse in brilliant red. As much as I would love to do a look into my handbag (not that it would look a thing like that), I thought it might be more useful or perhaps more interesting to look into my gym bag(s). Lucky for you they are yet to invent smellavision.

I have three main types of workouts I do each week (sprinkled with a few random ones to keep the manically ‘spur of the moment’ boy happy), running, bikram and the gym. Here are my top picks to make sure you have all you need packed and ready for any of these.

Edit

The most important tool in running (apart from your legs) are your shoes, make sure you are wearing the right ones for your feet. For me, those are Skechers GOruns. I love them. If I could I would buy them flowers and take them out to dinner. The boy might get jealous though.

If I want to date my shoes, then my Garmin Forerunner is probably my secret mistress. My running changed the second I got a GPS watch, and I have since not stopped tracking my distance/time/splits etc etc. I still don’t know if obsessively watching my stats helps my running or not, but it’s great for the competitive streak in me. Every run I try to time beat my last.

Edit2

I seriously love that my Country Road gym bag is big enough for a change of clothes, my hot yoga stuff, two towels, all my post yoga essentials and the mat! It makes it so easy. So I would recommend, spending a bit of time to find something that you can literally shove EVERYTHING you need in.

The only other note I would give about bikram is go for as teeny tiny an outfit you feel comfortable with. Believe me there will be someone there in less and when you are head down, bum up in the middle of the triangle pose in a room heated at 45 degrees, you won’t want any extra clothes. That and drink water. As much as you can pre and post.

Edit3

Runners and gym shoes should be different. If you will be doing any sort of weight training, lifting, squatting or lunging (which covers large amounts of gym activities) you need shoes that ground you at the heel. Other than that, wear what you want (I would strongly recommend against denim).

So, no designer lipsticks here, just the streamlined packing of a seasoned fitness freak.

I can hear all my past travel companions lol-ing (yes literally lol-ing) at the idea that anything packing I have every done could be “streamlined”. But this is (pretty much) exactly what you will find in my gym bags (give or take a few extra kilos of unidentified bits of paper, extra towels and the endless supply of extra undies*).

*I have a serious phobia of finding myself without undies (seriously). I don’t know how I convince myself that in the process of my day I will manage to loose the pair I am wearing, BUT IF I DO, I am always very prepared. You don’t even want to know how many I pack when I go on an actual holiday.

The story of an unfriendly drink.

Little Bird is a little (haha) “unbakery” in Kingsland. It boasts raw and healthy treats which are pretty much all gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Perfect for a health conscious paleo like me (and maybe you). The boy and I have often dropped in, and always loved it.

LittleBird

The only set back? Every time we pop in, it’s so bustling and full, but with only a handful of seats it can be a rather long wait. It is however, worth it (if you can be bothered).

The other day we dropped in for breakfast. I ordered their take on bircher muesli with a green smoothie and the boy tucked into their raw sprouted buckwheat toast with smashed avocado and a green tea. First things first, as much as my dish was tasty, I had some serious food envy. The toast and avocado looked and tasted (yes I stole more than a bite) amazing. I would highly recommend it and it has since become my go to. It still baffles me how they manage to give the faux-bread the texture of toast, but they do. The seriously fresh avo, slathered in salt, pepper and lemon is zingy, creamy and topped with a crisp salad. My bircher was good too (but somehow managed to pale in comparison with the dish opposite it), it had plenty of nuts, seeds and large chunks of apple (in both grated and dried form). The berry compote style sauce was a great accompaniment.

This trip wasn’t all tasty delights though, unfortunately me and my smoothie were not friends. I admit however, it was me (and my ego’s) fault. On the smoothie menu (there are plenty to choose from) it warned that this particular green drink was however the most “green” you could ask for. Aka it was super duper healthy and not for the faint hearted. I saw this warning and thought to myself “you, my dear, are a glowing example of health, no matter what is in it you will find it super tasty because you are a health food guru”. Well I was wrong. To me, that smoothie just tasted bitter with a side of spinach. It took a lot for me to get through it. I am sure it cured me of every aliment known to man, but it was a step too far on the health scale for me! Maybe you however are braver?

All up, I love coming back to this place. They have a menu that chops and changes and a cabinet full of wholesome treats (the berry cheesecake is the bomb). When you want a great (but perhaps crowded) brunch with a side of feeling amazingly smug about the health factor of your food, head here.

Mondayitis

Bikini

I am seriously starting to lust after summer at the moment. I am completely over the winter chill in the air and I want to get out and stop hiding behind a heater. To help, or maybe just to torture myself, I’ve been looking at gorgeous beach holidays (that I can’t afford), and picking out the perfect pieces to add to my packing list.

Bikini2

During my many (way too many) hours spent lost in the Internet, finding my way through swimwear, sandals and over sized sunnies I came across N.L.P.

Bikini3

N.L.P is an Australian brand of swimwear that looks like a bikini and a wetsuit had a baby. A beautiful baby that I want to own. A set of these and a tan (oh and a trip to the Maldives) is just what the doctor ordered to cure my mondayitis.

 

Get your boobs out (or in).

bra

Did you know that up to 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra? Well if you didn’t, you probably should, because that statistic has been doing the rounds for years. I’ve known it for a while, which is why last year, when I got fitted, I wasn’t that surprised to find out that I was too. The slightly overbearing lady in the Smith & Caugheys lingerie section gruffly told me that I was a 10D. Having worn a B or C my entire life (by ‘entire life’ I obviously mean post puberty, I was not a 3 year old in a bra, unless my parents have something to own up to) I was very surprised. I diligently followed the advice given to me and stocked up on D cups and toddled off home.

Yesterday however I hand an entirely different bra experience. Yes, a bra experience, you didn’t know they existed did you? Well they do. For those of you who live in Auckland, they are very close to home (for those of you who don’t, theres a website – but I will get to that).

I will set the scene for you…

Down a back street full of dingy looking eateries and back doors, sits a gem. The window has over sized neon ice creams suspended in mid air and the decor is fresh, light and looks the way you want your knicker draw to look. I am talking about Rose & Thornes ‘fit studio’.

bra2

bra3

Once inside, and a little in awe, Sue (the owner and creator) told me the story of her little brand from the moment it was just a twinkle in the eye to right now. I could tell you all the details, but to be honest, they are superfluous. Because at the end of the day, does it matter what the story behind something we wear is? A conscious buyer would like to know that whomever stitched was paid a decent wage and that no animals were hurt to give us what we are buying. After that, its just down to how we feel in it, or how it feels on us. Right?

Well, I’ll tell you, it feels bloody good. Sue, unlike her slightly grumpy predecessor, was great at fitting me. She delicately told me that D was a little on the large side for me (read: I was scammed into to buying heaps of bras) and got me into something that felt great, looked even better and came in at a mere $25. Seriously. On the walk to work I was trying to do the calculations in my head of how much it would cost me to chuck out all my other bras and buy up large at Rose & Thorne – AND IT WASN’T EVEN THAT MUCH.

So, I could go into insane detail about the brands great system of finding a cut that suits you (I am a ‘Curvylicious’), to allow for easy and speedy purchasing. Or I could just tell you to go to their website, or The Warehouse (where they are stocked) or (even better) to their fit studio.

Which I will. Go to them. They are great. I feel like I have found “my” bra.

Oh and when you pop in, say hi to Sue for me (there is nothing like getting your boobs out to make you feel connected to someone)!

bra4

Primal cheesecake feat. the boy.

I feel like a proud mum (actually, that’s kinda creepy, a proud other thing that isn’t a mum). Below is a post from the often mentioned ‘the boy’. He is a marvelous cook, filling the house with gorgeous smells every night. And although he spends endless hours at the supermarket deciding exactly which coriander bunch/brand of spice/pack of steak/stick of ginger (etc etc) is the best, I will forgive him because whatever he does in the kitchen pretty much always turns to gold (and it means I get to read every magazine front to back). So I am so happy that he has not only relented to my non stop nagging to share his favourite foods, but he has also agreed to bring them to you himself! So no more me for the rest of this post (and the following recipe posts feat. the boy). I am off to find me some magazines. Enjoy (it’s a good’un).

cheesecake

Sometimes it can be hard to satisfy that craving for a decadent dessert while ticking all the paleo boxes. This nut based cheesecake is rich and delicious with a nice citrus kick. I would advise sticking with small portions as it is super filling.

I like the tartness that the raspberries bring to this, but it would work equally well with a range of other flavours; blueberries, passionfruit etc.

The smoother you can get the filling the better, but don’t worry if you can’t get every last granule out. I pass what I can of the mixture through a sieve and return what is left for another blitz in the food processor. This might not be necessary if you have a better food processor.

I’ve left everything raw here, but toasting the nuts and coconut in the base could serve to give this a little bit of extra texture.

Makes 6-8 cheesecakes

cheesecake2

  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • ½ cup of walnuts
  • ¼ cup of coconut flakes
  • approx 1 teaspoon of orange zest
  • 3 medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Remove the pits and roughly chop the dates. Soak the pieces in a little water for 5-10minutes.

Place the almonds, walnuts, coconut flakes and orange zest in a food processor and pulse until you have a rough crumb.

Drain the water from the dates and add them along with the orange juice and vanilla to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together.

Press the mixture into the base of whatever you are serving the cheesecakes in. I used ramekins, but in hindsight, short tumblers would have presented better, allowing you to see the layers.

Put the bases in the fridge to set while you prepare the filling.

cheesecake3

  • 2 ½ cups of raw cashew nuts
  • ¾ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ cup of orange juice
  • zest of half a lemon
  • approx 1 teaspoon of orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • ¾ cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup of raspberries plus extra for garnish

Put all of the ingredients except the raspberries into a food processes and blitz until smooth.

Pass what you can of the mixture through a sieve and return the rest to the food processor. Blend to get this as smooth as possible. Add this back to what was passed through the sieve and mix to incorporate.

Reserve a cup of the mixture for the raspberry layer and distribute the rest amongst the ramekins. Bang the ramekins on the bench to level, then place them in the freezer for 15 minutes to partially set.

Return the mixture that was reserved to the food processor along with the raspberries and blitz until fully combined. Distribute the topping between the ramekins and again bang them on the bench to level. Place the ramekins in the fridge for a few hours to set.

To serve, spread raspberries on top.

cheesecake4

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.