Hygge

A little while ago I purchased a book from the little book store around the corner from uni. I was on lunch break and trying to do anything but sit in front of a computer. I had been at it since 8am and I felt as though my eyes were going to fall out. Staring at a computer for extended periods can do loads of damage, trust me I’d know.

Anyway, I bought the book and then went to eat my lunch in front of a church on a bench, and as I ate my packed lunch of canned tuna and roasted vegetables I started to flick through the delicate pages of my new book, ‘Hygge’.

Charlotte Abrahams, the author, talks about how the Danes are so good at making the most out of the simple pleasures in life. And it got me thinking, I’m pretty good at it too.

But to be honest, slowing down and making the most of the small day to day things in life didn’t come naturally to me. I used to find it so difficult to sit still reading for more than 10 minutes. I would start to fidget and feel guilty as there were ‘so many other things’ that I could have been doing. I found it hard to give myself the night off study to watch a movie in bed because the whole time I would be thinking about the assignment that was due in a week, or I would use the time to plan the yoga classes I would be going to in the next few days.

My mind was constantly going at super duper speed, and my sleep was affected as I couldn’t switch off. I was always trying to do everything perfectly, doing well at uni to please my tutors and going to 5 yoga classes a week to please my teachers. I would cook highly healthy meals to make sure I was getting my vegetables in as If I didn’t get my 7-8 veg in that day, I’d feel ‘unhealthy’ (of course it’s important to eat your greens but being obsessive is just exhausting). It was all very overwhelming and I wasn’t enjoying life at all, I was living in the future and dwelling on the past.

I can now say that I take care of myself, very well actually. I got over being ‘perfect’ and simply started to tune into what I truly wanted. I slowly started to take time, even full days, dedicated to doing the things that made me happy. When I had more funds, I was treating myself to weekly massages, solo lunches at my favourite cafes and buying a new pair of shoes. Lately however due to not having much money as my only form of income is teaching casual yoga, I’ve had to be careful with where I spend my cash.

With this being said my self-care and ‘Hygge living’ is still present every day.

Instead of getting up at 5am to make a 6am yoga class, I get up naturally without an alarm usually around 6-7am (Rather than leaving my phone in my room, I let it charge in the lounge room so I don’t reach for it first thing in the morning). I then tongue scrap, drink a glass of warm water, meditate, make my coffee and bring it back to bed so I can read a book for around 30 minutes. It feels very indulgent and ‘naughty’, and I love it. It allows me to welcome the day in a relaxing and effortless way without any stress on my body. And I honestly feel more awake after my morning reading rather then going to a yoga class where I’d still be half asleep, resting in child’s pose so I could have a 10 second nap. After my reading I waddle to the kitchen to cook a fatty breakfast to fuel me until lunch. Lately it’s been boiled or scrambled eggs with avocado, homemade nut and seed loaf or sourdough with butter. But let’s be honest my all time favourite breakfast is organic sourdough fruit toast topped with butter and avocado, seriously good.

I now choose to go to yoga either mid-morning or late afternoon. I find that my body is more awake when practicing at this time of the day, and I leave the class feeling energised and in a state of bliss instead of exhausted and sleepy. I’ll go to around 3 classes a week, that’s enough for me. I’ll also go on a walk every day to help clear me head and we’ve started aqua gym classes with mum (so cute) once per week. I’d also like to start swimming.

Having home days are also a way to make me slow down and feel grateful for the life I have. Being home all day allows me to take my time in the things that need to get done. Instead of rushing through assignments with cortisol running through my system, I now enjoy getting my work done as I’m relaxed which allows me to appreciate the journey my assignments take me on. It also gives me space to have several breaks where I can go on walks, chat to mum and read blogs.

Drinking a glass of red wine whilst chatting to Sarah, reading or watching an episode from a tv series are also simple pleasures of mine. I usually enjoy this before cooking dinner at my favourite time of the day, 5pm. There’s something about 5pm that makes me feel giddy. I probably drink one glass of wine per week on average. Probably due to my Italian background, red wine is one of my favourite things. The times I have spent in Milan drinking wine with my loved ones before a home cooked meal of local produce drowned in olive oil, fresh sourdough and incredible cheese (just yum) are my happiest memories that I’ll cherish forever. Italians are great at making the most of the simple things in life – family, food & love seem to be their priorities and it’s so wonderful to experience it and be involved in their love bubble.

Spending afternoons sitting in bed, planning my week, reading or planning a yoga class have also been wonderful, especially when it’s raining or chilly outside.

Strolling through IKEA with mum whilst sipping on a coffee and mentally designing my future house, along with mum giving me advice on the best nappy changing tables for my future children are also pure pleasures of mine. They always has been. Anything involving a house, babies, furniture, mugs, coffee and the comfort of my mum make me squirm. And all of those things happening together just blows my mind. I sometimes leave with some new coffee mugs, bed sheets, pillows, random boxes or nothing at all except post IKEA happiness.

Eating homemade cake, or high quality cake & pastries from a beautiful bakery or café are also incredibly healing and totally delicious. For example, last week mum made this hazelnut apple cake and we got to enjoy it with coffees after lunch. And the other day I was strolling through the city and picked up an almond croissant from Dukes and ate it whilst shopping for new jeans (still haven’t found a pair.. jeans are so hard to find!).

All these moments are precious and are what life is all about. Give your best friend a call whilst drinking a coffee, eat homemade cake, read in bed and give yourself a coconut oil body massage. And don’t forget to give daily cuddles to the people you love and make the most of the simple pleasures life has to offer.

If you’re interested in the book, click here.

Much love, Mel.

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Stress City

I wrote this post a while ago but with all that has been going on in my life recently AKA ‘Stress!’, I never got round to posting it. Better late than never. Also thought a stress post would be extremely relevant to this time – exam time for many – me included! Enjoy, Sx 

Ps – photo below is of Mel during a lovely stress free period in Berlin. Ah, the magic of European summers.

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Stress. It’s a word that gets thrown around a fair bit isn’t it. Stress for some is manageable; it’s even somewhat motivating. Gets you pumped for whatever it is that you’re doing. An adrenaline high. Who needs caffeine when you have your own natural sources? Stress can be good then, right?

For some though, stress is far from good. Caffeine like highs turn into suffocating panic attacks, and a sense of motivation to ‘get up and go’, turns to a sense of total overwhelm, overdrive and exhaustion. This is when the stress that can be good, turns into a chronic state of anxiety.

I was one of those people. Where the suffocating and overwhelming feelings of stress took a hold of me nearly everyday. It was like I was trapped in my very own self-induced version of hell. Overthinking everything and calculating every single possible outcome of a given situation – all of this in my head, before the event had even happened! Mental energy just wasted. Hours of my life wasted.

Anxiety has been a part of my life for years now. It was something that I just accepted as being apart of me. Like an aspect of my personality that I couldn’t change. Over the past few months though, things have changed. Although I am still prone to overthinking everything I’ve come to the point where I am able to step back and not let the thoughts take over me (as much). It is hard work and a daily practice but I am feeling so much better for it. I am hoping that from reading this post maybe something will resonate with you leading to small changes you could implement in your own life.

Stress and anxiety are so prevalent in todays’ society. So many social pressures and expectations it’s almost impossible to avoid the occasional stress that comes with it. But I believe there is a way to move past it, a way to create a sense of space between yourself and the irrational thoughts. Now I am not claiming to be ‘anxiety free, I am far from it. Believe me. But what I do have now are some tools that have helped me along the way. They’ve helped me in reconnecting with myself, respecting and accepting myself for who I am. I can also resort back to these tools when I feel I’ve been pumping out too much cortisol and taking too little time for myself. Honestly, this happens all the time. Update – AKA – currently in this state as I sit my exams! I’m always reminding myself to follow my own rules.

My number one tool would have to be meditation. Mel and I completed a course in Vedic meditation with an amazing teacher, Laura Poole, last September. This twice a day meditation has by far been my most valuable tool in combating anxiety. Although I occasionally will miss my afternoon meditation (I am working on it!), and sometimes I miss a day all together, I definitely do feel much better and lighter when I am consistently practicing. Its one of those things that you don’t even realize is doing you a whole lot of good until you are put in situations that would normally stress you out but instead you move through them with total ease. It really is amazing. It’s the commitment part of it that’s hard to implement. It takes time and I’m still learning this myself but its completely worth it.

Next up would be setting up a morning routine. This is a something that I have been doing for years. Mornings have always been my favourite time of the day. I have written a post about the power of the early hours, you can read it here. Morning routines are extremely grounding and comforting. My morning routine always includes meditation, some sort of movement, a shower and moisturizing with coconut oil, delicious organic coffee and a nourishing breakfast that always includes eggs, avocado, butter/ghee/olive oil. Or a bowl of warming oats with added ghee, coconut yoghurt, nuts and seeds. All the fatty good stuff nourishing your brain, hormones and skin whilst also providing you with long lasting energy. Delicious. My movement of choice ranges really from yoga to a quick workout, or just a simple stretch on my yoga mat, but one of my favourites during the summer time is a long beach walk as the sun is rising. When done consistently, these ritualistic practices are a potent form of self love and enable you to welcome the day with total bliss. You’re able to plan out your dairy, tune into how you’re feeling, maybe write some goals and nourish your body. The trick is choosing practices that really make you feel good. Don’t get up at 5 am and go running if you hate running. Do some yoga stretches or a strength workout instead. Don’t make yourself a green smoothie if a warm cooked breakfast is really what makes you glow. And don’t attempt to meditate for half an hour each morning, trying to cultivate a sense of yogic ‘zen’ if you’ve never meditated before, you’ll only frustrate yourself. Start with five minutes of deep breathing before your coffee instead. Do you see what I mean? Find what YOU love, not what you think you SHOULD love. Everyone is different. What will work for one person won’t necessarily work for another. Stay true and be honest with yourself. That’s where the magic lies.

Hypnotherapy is tool number 3. Now I know this is something that not everyone will be open to, nor will everyone have access to but I thought I’d just give it to you guys anyway. I myself am still totally new to it so I’ll report in more depth when I’ve had a little more experience with it. What I can say however is that it is something that totally blew my mind. After my first consult I was blown away as to how you are able to fall into a hypnotic state so quickly. This is a big deal for someone who has a mind that never stops running! That’s all I’ll say on this topic, as I really just don’t know all that much about it. All I know is that it’s incredible.

Self-care is another one. The concept of ‘loving yourself’ can sound so unfamiliar. It did to for me. When you are in a constant state of self-criticism, rejection and irrational thinking, the idea of actually comfortably saying ‘I love myself’ literally made me feel all squirmy and awkward. I am still working on it but it gets easier. Mel has become quite the self-care queen. She takes herself out for coffee, out for lunch, to yoga alone, gets regular massages, Ayurvedic appointments etc. I’m a little further behind in my self-care practices, largely because I just didn’t know where to begin. But I am getting there. Slowly, but surely. As I write this I am sitting in one of my favourite coffees, listening to lovely music and sipping my favourite drink. I’m also about to get my hair cut at my favourite salon. An indulgence that I put aside for so long because of internal dialogue that went a little like this – ‘I can’t afford it and my hair is so thin it doesn’t deserve to get cut by someone professional anyway’. I love getting my haircut so here I am, about to do something I love. There, proof I am trotting along my self-care path. For more self love inspiration visit here.

Last but not least is as simple as not putting so much on your plate. Stop trying to jam-pack your days filled with to do’s. Your mental health is far more important than ticking all those things off your list. Although some may thrive off having numerous things in the day to complete, others, like me, cannot handle it. I no longer view this aspect of myself as a sense of weakness or an inability to deal with deadlines. I’ve now adopted the view that for me to thrive and function at my best, I need to allow as much free space in my day as I can. Just a different way of functioning, that’s all. Having two ‘big’ things on in one day works well for me. For example, I can handle a morning shift at work followed by an afternoon at uni but add a dinner party straight from class and that would just throw a spanner in the works. Do you see what I mean? If I can set aside either the morning, afternoon or the evening in my day where I can just have to myself then I know I won’t feel too overwhelmed. It’s a tight balancing act. Maybe it also has something to do with being an introvert – alone time and drawing inwards.

So these are my five tools to deal with stress and anxiety. I hope they are as useful to you as they are to me. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot about myself in the process and as I mentioned earlier, it’s a daily practice. It’s actually taken me years. And sometimes I forget about my own tips, and get caught up in the whole overwhelm of life but hey that’s okay too. We’re human, not perfect.

I don’t think we can be totally ‘stress free’. We need stress – it’s just the type of stress and the reasons behind its initiation that’s important to understand. We need a sense of ‘get up and go’ and sometimes we unquestionably do need to feel a sense of urgency. Like in emergencies and studying for exams and all of those urgent types of scenarios. What we do not need however is anxiety and the irrational and unnecessary activation of our flight or fight system that comes with it. Unnecessary stress is slowly weakening our society, pushing it towards ill health and chronic disease. It’s about time we all do something about it. Don’t you think?

Love to you all,

Sarah x

Bye Bye Periods.

So um, where did our periods go?

I thought this would be a nice moment to let you guys in on a little secret of ours. Hopefully this post resonates with one of you and inspires you to take a positive step towards wellness.

 

So basically, we lost our periods. Yep, gone.

After years of over-doing and under-nourishing, Mel and I were left with depleted adrenals and basically inexistent sex hormones. We were working hard at our jobs, studying hard at uni, going to a yoga class everyday plus walking everywhere to save money on our myki cards. Despite the fact that we were eating a vast amount of fresh, organic nourishing food, it just wasn’t enough to sustain our energy needs. Our bodies went on strike against us and we were left feeling lethargic, depleted, infertile and depressed for a good few (well many) years.

 

We knew that gaining weight was inevitable if we wanted to regain our cycles. This was obvious and various practitioners and family members consistently reminded us – we had no way of escaping it. But you see, we did actually manage to escape it for quite some time. We literally spent years in denial that a lifestyle change was all that was needed to regain our health. And why did we avoid this? I’m not going to speak for Mel but I know for myself, coming to terms with having to gain weight and let go of the ‘little build’ I had identified myself with for so long was incredibly hard. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to increase in size, it was almost like going through an identify crisis. ‘If I’m not little and thin Sarah then who am I?’.

M: Oh hell yeah Sarah I agree with this.. I too didn’t like the idea of letting go of my ‘Mini Mel’ physique.

 

Luckily now we know that we are so much more than that.

The biggest problem with today’s society is that we are consistently reminded that we have to look a certain way to be called beautiful. Facing the fact that you have to gain weight is extremely difficult when you are bombarded with images of thin and fit models on instagram.

 

We honestly believe that one of the most important lessons that needs to be reinforced to the younger generation is that true beauty isn’t something as superficial as the way someone looks. Yes, by all means somebody can be genetically gifted but if they don’t have the personality to match it then I’m sure their pretty face doesn’t take them all that far in life. True beauty lies within someone’s positivity, their self-confidence and display of self-love, their generosity towards others, their laugh and their contagious smile and how they inspire you to be the best version of yourself. Now that to us is a beautiful human being.

 

So what did we do and where are we now?

When we finally bit the bullet and consciously tried to gain weight, we started to mindfully watch our calorie intake and calorie expenditure. We made smoothies loaded with energy dense wholefoods, we added an extra scoop of sweet potato at dinner and an extra drizzle of olive oil on our salads. We moved around less and slept more. It definitely worked but what I noticed is that the moment I let go a bit of what and how I was eating and gave in to eating more intuitively, that’s when the weight came back more easily. Some days I eat more, some days I eat less. I eat according to my needs and trust my body to give me signs. I think I can speak for Mel here and say that letting go a bit is really where it’s at. M: Yeah definitely for me when I didn’t think too much about what I was putting in my mouth I noticed the weight slowly pack on. It’s a daily struggle getting to terms with the change, but I’m secretly loving it.

 

We’re about 5-6 kilograms heavier than we were 6 months ago, happier and healthier than we’ve been for quite some time. Our hormones haven’t quite regulated completely but we’re giving it some time and accepting that these changes may take a while. We practice self-love, we nourish our beautiful bodies with an abundance of wholefoods, and we move our bodies in a loving and gentle way and when we’re feeling down, we’ll remind each other that everything is going to be okay and that boobs are a good thing. Literally.

We’ll also have a little chat about how we don’t fit in certain clothes but then we’ll move on and go up to the shops to buy some of our favourite chocolate (M: I’m personally loving dark chocolate macadamia nuts and rooibos tea..) and eat it whilst watching Netflix.

 

Learning to love yourself, love others and love life are the most important things you can do for your health. If you achieve those three things in life then that’s where true beauty lies.

 

Hugs from the twins x

 

M: Just a side note, the thing that really kicked my but into action to make some changes was meeting my partner, so thankyou darling.  Also, Sarah and I both have a huge journey ahead of us. I’m in the process of seeing specialists and I also see an Ayurvedic practioner monthly who I love for lifestyle advice and general chats.

 

 

Raw Words

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(Photo taken from a few years back)

We are both guilty of doing too much. Filling our day with task after task after task, trying to gain a sense of productivity so that we can end the day feeling satisfied with our efforts. This is all well and dandy until you get to the point of burn out. We’ve been there and trust me its not somewhere you want to go. I think that there is a fine line between living an ambitious life and living an obsessive life. Obsessing about ‘doing’ rather than just ‘being’. Time and time again I have found myself starting to enter the ambitious path but somehow find myself confused and taking the obsessive path instead. It’s a type A personality thing. Having to get everything done that you had planned. Having to get it done right and correctly. Never failing. Never relaxing. Never letting go. This viscous cycle can go on until something forces you to stop and reflect.

Let me tell you about what happened to us. It’s something that I don’t readily expose to many as I feel as though I am still learning, still recovering. But that is what life is about, isn’t it? Constantly learning. Constantly redefining yourself so that you are able to grow and mature into the person that you are meant to be in this life.

It all started in year twelve with a very typical story of the common stress associated with the final year of schooling. I’m sure many people have been there. It’s definitely a hard year. Especially for those type A individuals that must ‘get everything right’ and never fail. To be a little more specific actually, our struggles started when we moved schools. We moved from public schools to a prestigious private school. Now I want to state quickly that I am not against private schools, they can be extremely beneficial for many individuals. The teachers are amazing and the results of the students at the end of the year reflect the success of the school immensely. For the purpose of this post however, I have to include all of the triggers that influenced our lives. Moving schools was one of those triggers.

After about one year into our new school, we gained a sense of having to ‘achieve’ in all aspects of our lives. We thought we had to be fit and beautiful to be accepted. We thought we had to have a certain social status to be invited to the parties. We thought that we had to have this incredible intelligence to ‘make it’ as a year twelve student. We were convinced that getting that high ATAR score would solve all of our problems as getting into Melbourne University was all that mattered. They only reason I wanted to study at one of the countries best universities was because of its status and prestige. I didn’t actually have much interest in the course I was applying for. Looking back to my life growing up, I remember in year nine I wanted to study a health related course. I collected brochures on health science degrees and even started secretly looking online at natural therapy courses at Endeavour College. I knew deep down that health was the path I wanted to take but I was too hesitant to verbalise it to my parents and peers. For some reason or another I thought that I would be judged. Crazy, huh?! Of course now I know that there wouldn’t have been any judgment. My parents would have accepted my decision no matter what but at the time, I was so vulnerable to social pressures and had such little confidence in myself. If I had known then what I know now, my life would have taken a very different path.

To cut a long story short, once school ended, Mel and I fell into a massive bout of chronic fatigue. For about five weeks over the summer, we travelled to Europe and basically slept all day for the most part. We literally would get up, have some breakfast and then go back to bed before we’d have to get up for lunch. Once back home in Melbourne, we struggled with varying degrees of depression and anxiety. We’d be fine for a few months and then something would happen and everything would come spiraling down again. A significant low in our lives was a couple of years ago. We were working so hard at uni (thankfully doing courses we actually liked) whilst also practicing yoga to be ready for our teacher training at the end of the year, plus trying to exercise everyday, work part time and also trying to work on our blog. Oh and fit in socializing when we could. Of course this wasn’t sustainable and surprise surprise we burnt out. Everything caught up with us. We did what we have been known to do quite well in the past. We quit our degrees, we cancelled our yoga training and we reduced our work hours. Our bodies and minds literally went on strike against us. We rested for a few months and booked a trip overseas to try and escape our reality. This was a deep and scary place in my life. I never really opened up all that much to my friends as I couldn’t fathom feeling the darkness that I had within. It was too raw and too potent for me.

Fast forward six months or so and things started to improve. We were on the path to happiness. Well I thought I was. The problem was that I was still filling my days with ‘things’ trying to avoid just ‘being’. As being with myself still caused me too much pain and unease. I moved out of home, I worked part time to pay my rent whilst also studying at university. I managed to suppress my feelings for a good 6 months until an event triggered me and I went spiraling down again into my anxiety and depression. This is what happens you see. If you never actually deal with what is bothering you deep within, you will continue to fall back into old habits. You will make the same mistakes over and over again. The pattern I was starting to see was that as soon as I thought I was well and healthy, I’d fill my life with ‘to-do’s’ and not actually realize that my anxiety was still there within me ready to leap out.

Fast forward again and I think I’ve finally learnt my lesson. Meditation, hypnosis, self-care practices and moving back in with my parents for constant support has helped me immensely. I finally feel like myself again. I have learnt to let go and be okay with myself. I’ve accepted that I still have a lot of self-work to do and it’s okay to feel down sometimes. Every day I tell myself how amazing I am. I commit to daily meditation and nourishing my body with organic food. I don’t over exercise and now move my body consciously. Moving out of love rather than fear of not being fit or strong enough. It’s a daily practice and I honestly think that in my case it’s a life long commitment. A commitment to nourishing my body and soul. Knowing my limits and making sure I don’t cross them. I am walking peacefully down the ambitious path and slowly forgetting that the obsessive path. Fear, obsessiveness and perfectionism are slowly disappearing. Health, happiness and love are the only options for Mel and I from now on.

 

Raw and honest words from my heart to yours.

 

Sarah x

Precious Morning Moments

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We’ve blogged about our love affair with mornings a couple of times. We’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how much we just adore our morning cup of Joe and how ridiculously early we get up. Even on Sundays.

 It is also quite obvious how much we love breakfast. We take it so seriously. I mean honestly, who wants to rush out of the house with a stale piece of toast when you can take the time to enjoy warm buttery organic sourdough with avocado and parsley. I mean, really.

But since being out of home, moving house twice and adapting to city living, we’ve started to develop an even deeper love for the early hours. So many feelings about this topic. I’d like to share these feelings with you all so that you may feel inspired to create your own morning routine. A morning routine that sets you up for the day ahead.

 I’ve actually researched the power of morning routines. It’s quite a fascinating topic. Some people become extremely ritualistic with their early hours. Having a set schedule that you abide to each morning can become somewhat therapeutic, almost like a moving meditation. I know for me personally, if my morning activities are altered in any way I feel ‘off’. I am very pedantic about this time of the day. These hours are precious to both Mel and I.

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 So what do we like to do in these precious moments? Well, depending on whether it’s a work-day or a day off, we always wake up between 5:30-6:30 am. Upon waking, I’ve found it’s so important to rehydrate my body from a night of sleeping. We’ll drink around 750 mL of warm water. Usually out of a washed leftover sauerkraut mason jar. We are yet to own cups. Sometimes we take our water back to bed and do some reading. Sometimes we meditate. Well, attempt to meditate. I’ve found that reading or even just relaxing in bed is good enough for me. Mel likes to read magazines. Magazines are also nice. She says they give her a bit of inspiration for the day.

 Next up it’s coffee time. The best time. If it’s a work day, we’ll be out of the house around 7:30, even earlier, so our morning coffee will be of the stovetop sort and showering usually takes place beforehand. We buy our ground coffee from various places but recently it’s been from Wide Open Road roasters and we only buy organic unhomogenised full cream milk. Shulz, Demeter and La Latteria are great dairy farms that we love supporting.

 For us, stovetop coffee isn’t just regular coffee. It’s so much more. There is something so utterly special about having to wait for the coffee to rise. If I’m getting ready in my room, I just love coming down the stairs to the sound of the bubbling hot coffee. The sound and the smell both bring me back to the flat that our Nonna and Nonno use to live in in Switzerland. They made stovetop coffee daily. Mel and I were basically raised with the smell so each time we make it; it brings us back to the months we spent in Europe. Literally our most favourite smell.

 If it’s a day off however, we’ll usually skip on the stovetop and instead, we’ll walk down to a local café for a takeway. Extra hot flat white. Totally delicious. At the moment our go to local is Industry Beans in Fitzroy. Great coffee. They don’t use organic milk though. We feel a little funny about this. We are yet to find a local café that serves coffee with unhomogenised organic milk. The hunt continues. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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 Anyway. After coffee time is done, ‘The best time’, it’s breakfast time. Also the best time. Being creatures of habit, we tend to stick to the same sort of breaky theme. We eat a diet high in protein and fat. It’s satiating, nourishing and delicious. (It shouldn’t be news to anybody that the low fat diet trend is flawed, full fat is the way to go – will blog about this in the future). Eggs of some sort, either boiled or scrambled with turmeric and wakame, generous servings of avocado, organic butter, himalayan salt and home made buckwheat loaf (recipe by one of our biggest inspirations Jacqueline Alwill), sprouted bread or an organic sourdough loaf are staples for us. We also occasionally dabble in Ayurvedic porridge made savoury with plenty of ghee, carrot and spices. We’d also like to start making macrobiotic breakfasts with basmati rice, buttery fried eggs, sea vegetables and sesame – when we can be bothered cooking the rice that is. We never eat sweet breakfasts. Instead, we load up on healthy fats like butter, eggs, avocado, almond butter, olive oil, cheese and ghee. Obviously not all of these at the same time, we just pick and choose what we feel like on the day. Today for example, it was butter, almond butter and Himalayan salt on sourdough rye with half an avocado drizzled with olive oil eaten by the spoon.

 Whilst eating breakfast and drinking coffee, we’ve found that playing a soothing track on the CD player and burning a candle also sets a peaceful tone for the day. We’ve recently bought a candle that we’re completely obsessed. Like obsessed. Scribbling in our diaries and updating ourselves with the happenings of social media also usually take place at the breakfast table.

 We then clean up, possibly prepare lunch if we haven’t already got it organised the night before and then head out for our day. We both have to walk around 35 to 45 minutes to get to work so this is how we fit in our morning movement. It’s a lovely walk as well, through the Carlton Gardens. Long gone are the days of 5 am runs and yoga sessions. Now that a great yoga studio is literally down the road from us, we opt for the afternoon or late morning sessions. They’re normally ‘stronger’ classes where we can feed off other yogi’s energies. If you are into yoga then you would understand this.

 These precious morning moments are how we turn inwards and reflect.

 Honest feelings from me to you.

 I hope now you feel inspired to create your own precious moments in the early hours.

 Sarah

Back to Basic’s

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Dean Rapheal Photography

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Sorry in advance about my vent. I just really need to write about this. 

So here it goes.

Mel and I have recently spent some time brainstorming ideas for Thymes Two and what has really got us thinking is what our Why is. What do we want to achieve, where do we want to go with it all, who do we want to connect with and who do we want to inspire. These are heavy questions that we’ve started to break down over early morning coffee and late afternoon vino. Typical us.

 Despite the fact that we’re still struggling with our why factor, we have managed to pinpoint the core of our values and actually how we’d like to live. We want to live a back to basic life. Live like our Nonna did. Consume less. Create more. Inspire more. Cook more. Cuddle more.

We also want to grow our own food. Support local designers. Collaborate with like minded people. Travel to beautiful places. Raise a beautiful family and live a beautiful life.

 Unsure of where our drive to live a basic lifestyle has stemmed from, Mel and I have slowly discovered that the older we become, the more obsessed we become with this idea.

 The idea of Basic Living.

 We are constantly striving towards a basic, local and organic approach to life. I can admit that this may sound really ‘wanky’ but we honestly mean it and we legitimately live by these principles as much as we can.

 I am now aware that this is all a direct reflection of our mum and the way she raised us along with dad of course.

 Mum has such a no fuss, minimalistic approach to living. She is the least materialistic person I know. She likes to spend her whole afternoons delving into books rather than going out shopping. She rarely buys herself new clothes and due to her sensitive stomach, she usually cooks for herself and dad rather than offer to eat out. She does however love Japanese food and the fantastic Melbourne cafes that this glorious city has to offer – like we all do! She has also recently started to make beautiful linen dresses, skirts and pants for Mel and I. I haven’t actually bought a dress or a skirt in god knows how long. When we do go out shopping, we either shop at opp shops or we spend a little more money seeking out local and honest labels.

 Mum’s lifestyle had quite an influence on our early years in life. Cooking rather than dining out, walking everyday to the park rather than driving there, spending afterschool playing for hours in our rooms, at the playground with our friends or in our garden rather than watching television and yearly visits to mum’s side of the family in Switzerland are the memories I’ve kept. Others that I keep close to my heart are those of our Nonna and Nonno spending hours in the kitchen making sauces, soups, slow cooked meats and pastas from scratch. They introduced us to the world of honest food, strong coffee and delicious wine. They were Italians after all. They cooked with ‘amore’ and that is one of the things I miss most about them. That and their endless encouragement and support. I don’t think anyone has encouraged or praised us more than our Nonnie. She was adorable.

 Anyway (wipe away tear). as the years went on, our form of friday night takeaway was home delivered sushi. I don’t think we ever asked our mum to take us to McDonalds or KFC (that came later, you know in those early teen drinking years…). Now for every family occasion we usually opt for a delicious feast at a fine dining Japanese restaurant. We all love the cuisine and it’s the kind of food that we wouldn’t normally cook at home so in my opinion the money spent is somewhat justified. As a family, and also nowadays living in Carlton with Mel, we rarely eat out, rather opting for home cooked meals prepared with local and organic ingredients.

 In terms of food, it’s quite obvious through our instagram, that we share a deep love for it, along with coffee and wine of course! With a lot of time and research, we’ve found, local, ethical and organic sellers to buy our produce from. We buy our meat, our fish and our vegetables from all separate sources and yes it takes a chunk out of our week but it is most definitely worth it. Knowing where your food comes from is the foundation of good nutrition. There is also something so special about it. When you’ve walked an hour to get to a sustainable fish monger, or carried 2 kilos of veggies in your backpack or spent your morning trekking all the way to a market to only by ‘off cuts’ of meat or bones, then you actually start to develop some what of an intimate relationship with your food. Cooking then becomes fun rather than a chore. It really is quite nice. Some say it’s a love affair.

Our basic approach to living also touches other aspects of our day-to-day including modern technology. Our (well ‘my’ – Mel is much more gifted in this area) inability to use technology is probably due to the fact that growing up we always had afterschool sport of some sort so we literally just didn’t have the time for hours and hours of television and video games. To this day, Mel and I still rent videos from the video store or borrow them from the library as 1. We don’t know how to download movies… 2. Isn’t downloading movies illegal anyway!? and 3. Borrowing movies from the library is so much more fun. Ditto with CDs! We play our DVDs on our laptops as we do not own a TV and instead of streaming music through spotify or ITunes, we have a little CD player. We’ve named it ‘The Egg’ – if that is of interest to anybody. Oh but don’t worry, we are able to use phones and love social media. Like many more like most people living in this modern society, we are slightly attached to our iPhones.

 Trying to live like our grandmothers did, we also don’t really ‘work out’. We adore yoga and have found an amazing studio literally down the road from our home so we enjoy between 3 – 5 sessions of yoga per week. This plus walking everywhere is how we currently choose to move our body. Although we grew up with sport, it was mostly gymnastics, dancing and swimming so it’s these sorts of movements we love. We no not love CrossFit, boxing, hectic gym sessions or marathon running. We do, however, certainly take our hats off to anyone who does enjoy these types exercise. Maybe in our next life we’ll have the motivation, endurance and mental strength for it. For now though, yoga and walking suits us just fine. It’s what our Nonna did too. She walked everywhere and also did weekly yoga. Again, she was adorable.

So that’s that. Basic and conscious living. Honestly just becoming aware of how we spend our time and our money and ensuring they’re in tune with our values.

 Well done. You made it to the end of my vent.

 Ciao,

 Sarah x

 

 

 

 

Vegetarian Experience

Howdy!

I thought Id quickly write about my experience with being a vegetarian in terms of why I chose to cut out meat, how I emotionally felt about it, how it physically affected me after the three month mark, and why I decided to start eating meat again. Yes I went on a bit of a rollercoaster with my diet however I feel as though I needed to go through it in order to understand what works for me and my limits with meat consumption.

So here it is,

Back in the day, well around 6 months ago when I was travelling Europe solo I found myself in an Argentinian restaurant ordering a 300 gram beef tenderloin in Milan with my beautiful cousin. As it arrived on my plate, all I could think about was the fact that I was eating an animal. I had never felt this before and it was the first time I understood why some people become vegetarian and never look back. Ever since that evening my want for meat fizzled away and I made the conscious decision when I arrived back to Melbourne that I did not want to eat animal protein again. I cut out red meat, poultry and fish for a good three months. I started to add beans and pulses to my meals and was having quite a good time soaking the beans and watching them sprout and then cooking them in a pot. The whole experience of cooking beans entertained me for quite some time. I did not feel the need for meat at all, and I found myself even starting to feel repulsed from eggs (but I never gave them the flick).

Everything was going fine and dandy until I started to feel fatigued on a regular basis, hungry every two hours, my digestion slowed down and I felt bloated almost every day. These symptoms started to happen around 3 months after I gave up meat, which is usually when you begin to feel the affects on your body after making the change. On top of that, my acupuncture practitionor told me that my thyroid glands were not working properly (they became under active), which explained all of my symptoms. Around this time I started to crave the feeling of biting into flesh. I know that may sound a little strange but that is the best way of explaining the way I was feeling. It was as if the inner mammal in me was crying out for prey. I decided to listen to my bodies needs and started to introduce fish back into my diet, and not long after that I re introduced chicken and now I am back eating red meat once again. I still do not feel 100% okay with the consumption of another animal, however I have put my health first in order to support my under active thyroid and adrenal fatigue.

Sarah and I are back at drinking bone broths together, slow cooked meals, crispy skinned king fish and pan fried curry chicken. We source grass fed, organic meat and shop at local farmers markets and healthful stores. The fact that we only buy the best meat you can find and we only eat meat in moderation makes me feel slightly better inside.

So why have I just explained my feelings about eating animals to you guys? Because as we post about organic food and living a conscious lifestyle, I wanted to keep you all in the loop with my vegetarian adventures and to give you an insight into why I personally chose to make a rather big change to my life.

Anyway thats all from me now,

Its time for a drink, ciao!

Melanie