All posts by Katie Ward

This is the story of a Kiwi girl who is trying to eat and live as healthy as possible despite various obstacles.

Healthy Body = Healthy Mind

The past few months have been filled with overwhelming emotion. Most of it has been exhilarating, but there have been periods of days or weeks when I’ve been constantly on the brink of tears. I don’t know how to manage it. There are extreme highs and lows where before I’ve been pretty even-keeled.

This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve felt like this, but certainly the first time in years. I’m out of my depth.

I’ve done a bit of research online (probably a bad idea) and I think I may have mild anxiety brought on by stress. There’s the tears, the nausea, panic attacks, worrying, over-analysing, hair loss, self loathing, and sleeplessness.

It all sounds very serious, and in a way writing it down is kinda scary. But it’s also therapeutic.

Thinking back to what was different over the past couple of years since I’ve felt like this, the huge change in my life was moving to Korea. It was such a great adventure and an opportunity to recreate myself. It is certainly strange to be back at home and I can see old patterns resurface the longer I’m here.

But although that may be part of it, I don’t think it’s the whole picture.

While in Korea I discovered the Whole 30 and it changed my life. Eating healthily made me feel healthier in both body and mind. I was transformed. My thought patterns were clearer, my energy was up, I fell asleep straight away, my whole being benefited.

Exercising was no longer a form of torture in which I would push myself to the brink of collapse just to make myself pay for the chocolate I had eaten that day. Weight-loss no longer equated to starving myself. I no longer felt skinny and worthwhile only when I was hungry.

These are the sad realities of my life pre-Whole 30 and unfortunately I can feel myself slipping back into them as my diet has progressively grown worse over the past few months.

To me, the correlation between my state of mind and the food I ingest is a no-brainer.

Simply put, I need to get back on track.

So I guess this is my commitment to myself to eat better. No more chocolate biscuits from the tin at work instead of lunch. No more skipping a meal so I can imagine my stomach shrinking.

I’m not doing the Whole 30 because for me at this stage its not sustainable or social enough, but I will tighten up on the amount of junk I’m putting into my  body.

After all a healthy body = a healthy mind, and that starts with food.

 

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The Best Whole30 Recipes

When my friends texted me to say they were about to embark on a Whole30 and had been looking for ideas on my blog, I panicked. I haven’t given it a thought since I’ve been home in NZ, even though I’ve put another Whole30 under my belt and done copious amounts of cooking for my family.

Instead of posting another recipe, I have decided to compile a list of my go-to recipes which are all either entirely Whole30-friendly or easily adapted. These are, in my opinion the best Whole30 recipes out there. I’ve tried and tested them many times and they are now staples in my diet, on or off the Whole30.

Condiments:

Paleo Mayonnaise – this is a staple for me. I add a clove of garlic to make it into aoli.

Paleo Hollandaise Sauce – perfect for when those eggs get a bit boring. I add a bit of paprika to mine.

Eggs:

Frittata by Nomnom Paleo – so easy and delicious with so many variations.

Eggs in Purgatory – More for the idea than the recipe (no parmesan or bread). I just use canned tomatoes, chopped veggies, loads of herbs and a little cayenne.

Blueberry Clafouti – Minus the vanilla and you’ve got a winner.

Chicken:

Turmeric & Spice – perfect for chicken, but beware of the yellow stains!

Sticky Chicken – I heat dried dates with a little water in the pan and mash to make them paste-like. This is my favourite recent discovery.

Roast Chicken – forego the gravy and substitute the thyme with rosemary and it’s still beautiful.

Petite Kitchen Chicken – so easy for a Winter’s evening.

Basil and Strawberry Chicken – it sounds weird, but it’s actually really tasty.

Beef:

Italian Meatloaf – I use tomato paste instead of sauce and add a little dijon too.

Korean-style Short Ribs – an indulgent but delicious meal.

Meatza – great recipe for the base and then go crazy with toppings. I add tomato paste and dijon to my meat base sometimes.

Moroccan Tagine – if you only make one dinner from this list, it should be this.

Lamb:

Amazing Lamb Marinade – very simple and tasty on any cut.

Pork:

Blueberry Breakfast Sausage – for when I get sick of eggs.

Rib Rub – good for any type of meat.

Fish and Seafood:

Dijon, Garlic and Lemon Salmon – the only way to have salmon.

Shrimp Cakes – well worth the effort.

Veggies:

Sweet Potato Hash – my favourite breakfast. I like to make it with cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg on those difficult mornings. Also, I just use a grater.

Jamie Oliver’s Pumpkin Soup – SO GOOD! Sometimes I add coconut milk (check the ingredients).

Sweet Potato & Zucchini Latkes – I’ve made this once and they kinda fell apart but they are so good.

Sweet Potato Fries – I don’t usually bother with the microwave step anymore. I like them a bit juicy anyway.

Garam Masala Chicken

This Garam Masala Chicken came about as a random craving had me throwing ingredients at the frypan. It all worked out so well that I decided to share it with the world.

I haven’t felt very inspired to cook this year with my tiny little single-element kitchen which is also an entranceway. This dish is just so easy and all the ingredients so accessible, it has helped me become a little more enthusiastic.

I understand that Garam Masala isn’t a staple spice blend in many households and apartments. It certainly wasn’t even on my radar before last year when I started noticing it in a few Nom Nom Paleo recipes. I bravely ordered some online and it has been fantastic, particularly with shrimp in salad.

Be brave and buy some of your own. Go on!

Continue reading Garam Masala Chicken

This Thing Called ‘Balance’

I have three Whole30’s under my belt and I still struggle with making the right food choices. I’m definitely much better than where I started, but that’s mainly because my mind was a rabbit hole of body complexes and borderline eating disorders. I think many people, particularly women can understand where I’m coming from.

My first Whole30 taught me how to see food as fuel and how much it affects, not only my body shape and functions, but also the way I see myself and the effect that has on the way I see the world around me. I remember eating a cookie after 35 days of following the programme strictly and my head absolutely started spinning. Then it ached. The only way to make it better was to consume one after another of the terrible things. Thus began the post-Whole30 binge. It lasted two weeks.

My second post-Whole30 binge lasted a month before I jumped on the programme again to regain some self control. It seems I am an all-or-nothing kind of a person. But that’s no way to live my life.

I want to have the freedom to make good choices outside of ‘rules’. I want to be able to go out with my friends and not go crazy with all the cakes and creamy desserts and then regret it for days after. It seems like there’s a switch in my brain that after it gets flipped, I think there’s no going back. I’ve eaten something less healthy today so I may as well indulge for the rest of the day and reset the switch for tomorrow.

I know it doesn’t have to work like that.

This is honestly where I’m at right now though. Eating clean is a journey and mine is less than perfect. I believe I will achieve some sort of balance one day, and for now another Whole30 probably isn’t going to help.

 

I’m grateful for everything the programme has taught me:
– I can love myself
– Cooking can be a creative outlet for me
– Working out doesn’t have to be dreaded
– My body is capable of so much more than I ever thought

 For now I hope that posting delicious things on Instagram and finding all the support and amazing recipes I can will help me work this thing called ‘balance’ out.

Whole30, Take Three

I’m currently on Day 21 of my third Whole30 and I can say that this one has by far been the most difficult.

Perhaps it was my lack of goal-setting to begin with, or the fact that I’m trying not to isolate myself completely and lock myself away from the world, but I’m struggling.

I expected to be sleeping like a baby by now, but it’s still taking far too long to fall asleep. I’m still getting up in the night, and the tiger blood stage hasn’t set in yet.

I can say that it’s much easier to get out of bed in the morning, to go between meals without snacks, and I have much better focus in the afternoons. No more wanting to take a little nap at my desk!

I think the problem lies with my lack of exercise. I haven’t done a single workout in a very long time. I know that I should just get off my chuff and roll out my mat, but it’s far easier said than done.

For now I dream of dark chocolate, banana and almond ice-cream, and delicious cocktails in ten days. At least my comfort foods are no longer the most terrible choices!

Day 30

General Feeling: It has finally arrived! My last day. I didn’t do anything special to commemorate, mostly because I’ve still got some reintroduction to do. But I’m feeling pretty good about it all still.

Workout Confidence: No working out today either.

Food Edibility: I possibly should have been more adventurous today but I’m trying to make my meat go as far as it can.

Financial State: It’s always a concern, but I haven’t gone over budget on food this month which is great.

Meals:

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Breakfast: The banana omelette is back!

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Lunch: Spinach, celery, tomato scrambled eggs with mustard mayo.

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Dinner: Tuna salad (I also made more sweet potato fries – those things are addictive!)

Day 29

 

General Feeling: I thought I’d wake up today feeling better but unfortunately my nose is like a faucet. I can’t switch it off. I’ll get lots of rest and it’ll be fine soon though I’m hoping.

Workout Confidence: I decided to take a rest today. I wasn’t feeling all that hot.

Food Edibility: Not a bad day at all despite not feeling like eating much.

Financial State: The tooth cost me 350,000 won. Eeeek!

Meals:

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Breakfast: Savoury omelette with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and spinach.

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Lunch: Shrimp salad

Dinner (not pictured): I cooked up some carrots and zucchini in the juices from my rosemary and lemon chicken. It was super tasty!