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Being Present is the BEST present

August 13, 2013

How quickly do the days seem to pass when you have a small child? Add a new business into the equation and my hours are flying by at warp speed.

This past Monday we celebrated the first birthday of our little Pickle. MAN what a year it has been. We opened our CrossFit box in the garage of our house 2 months before she was born. One or two clients came semi-regularly and it was a nice little income boost. I still remember when Mia was a few days old and an early riser, Tim getting up every morning just before 6am to open the doors JUST in case we got a client for the 6am classes. More often than not he would be back upstairs to make me a cup of tea by 6:08! But, by the time her 3 week birthday had rolled around, we were consistently getting one or two people into the early WOD, and the afternoon and evening numbers were swelling so much that I needed to start Coaching again!
By November we were spilling out of the garage and had taken over the laundry, as well as having entered teams in two local competitions. We had become a legit box (or as I have always called us “The Little Box That Could”).

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Coming back to Coaching with a little person was not without its challenges. As a rule, she was SO quiet and well behaved, often sleeping in my arms mid session, but it was frustrating when I’d have to disappear upstairs and hand over to Tim mid-session if Pickle decided she wanted to exercise her lungs for no particular reason.
Even more frustrating was having our clientele not take me seriously as a Coach. They would ask me to “ask Tim what I can do to help my pull ups”, or worse, when Tim had to go away on business trip to Hong Kong for a week, I had a client tell me at the end “WOW, you were a much better Coach than I thought you’d be. To be honest I was just not going to come for the week Tim was gone, but thought I’d give you a chance”.
GIVE ME A CHANCE?!!! TIM WAS MY GODDAMN INTERN UNTIL I GOT UP THE DUFF!!!
As annoying as that, was the constant comments (albeit supportive ones) “But you’ve JUST had a baby” or “But you’re a MUMMY now, that’s more important” if I expressed frustration at not being taken seriously as a Coach. As much as I adore being a Mum, and I think it has truly defined who I am, I don’t think being a Mummy is ALL there is to me. And it has been a serious adjustment to me to realize that once people see me with a babe in arms, they automatically think LESS of me.
Well, no, that’s an exaggeration. But the EXPECT less of me.
I’m not expected to be Coaching.
I’m not expected to be training.
Hell, I’m not even expected to get out of my pyjamas in the morning.
And of course, there have been many an occasion when I have taken FULL advantage of that.
But don’t think over those 9 months I carried a child that I forgot how to get the most out of your squat, how to fix the 2nd pull in your clean, or how to kick your ass in 10 minutes.
I am still ALL that and a bag of chips 😉 And those track pants I’m wearing? Yeah. I’ve been wearing them for nigh on 28 hours now.
Mummy AND Coach. I am slowly finding the balance, and now that Pickle is growing, people are beginning to see me more as a real, live, FUNCTIONING HUMAN instead of “JUST” a new Mum.
It’s going to sound awfully spoiled, but I didn’t want people to make excuses for me.

But it is what it is. And it has been what it has been.
Pickle is now a certified gym rat. She crawls around the floors like she owns the place, many of the clients will take baby carrying duty whilst we demo, and life is rolling along just fine. When she starts walking, let’s talk again 😉

My child, as I type this, has climbed up on to the couch, and is swinging between laughing maniacally at me whilst trying to type on the keyboard, to kissing my leg and arm and giving me smoochy cuddles.

And so brings us to the point of this post.

So much of my life revolves around my computer, or my phone. Everything I see, everything my child does, I photograph and IMMEDIATELY document to Facebook. I’m not one of those “I just went to the toilet and then I cooked dinner” kind of posters, but for sure I love to share. So much so that I have noticed at times it has become obsessive. If I have been caught at moments with the baby where she has done something amazing and memorable and I’ve (god forbid) missed it on camera, I’ve felt horrible guilt.
What also gets to me is the MINDLESSNESS when I have always encouraged MINDFULNESS. If the baby is happily playing on her own on the floor, I might flick my phone on to Facebook.
Before I know it 45 minutes have passed. We still go on walks, and read books, and draw and play, but I know I could be doing more. Not just for her, but perhaps for my relationship, my business, and for sure there’s ALWAYS laundry to be folded.
Of course the child is fine and happy and safe and more than entertained (she’s fabulous like that) but I don’t want her to SEE me doing that all the time.
I’m not saying I’m going to turn into a helicopter parent and constantly hover over her and entertain her, but DAMMIT I have a beautiful, bubbly, intelligent child, who at this point is becoming more and more interactive and aware every goddamn second.
Why would I waste one second of that giving a FLYING FUCK about what Johnny had for dinner, or what Sally thinks of Beyonce’s new haircut.

It’s a BAD habit. And I am determined to break it. It’s going to suck.  F.O.M.O. (which I have suffered from since the dawn of time) has been one of the biggest reasons I have stayed so connected, and also, in some of my darker, lonely moments at home with a baby, it has made me feel less alone.
But it’s time to break the chains, and I’m going to do it with a month FACEBOOK FREE (and although I barely use it, Twitter and Instagram free as well!)

Pickle got books, dresses, an easel, paints, CD’s, clay, chalk, crayons…a MILLION things. I decided the best present she can get from me personally, is the gift of my undivided attention, and also my attention towards things that will benefit our family as a whole. From midnight tonight (13th of August) I will be off the grid, so to speak, aside from tending to our business page (a necessity these days!) for 30 days. It might not seem like a big deal to you, but I have a feeling this will be life changing for me.  It’s a little scary…

Perhaps I may find more time to blog?! Watch this space.

* Note to future baby: Thank you Mia Gloria Holdsworth for the most beautiful, challenging, soul searching and enlightening year of my life so far. I am looking forward to getting to know your fabulous little personality even more. Happy Birthday xx

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Dealing with 2013

January 6, 2013

It is amazing how much lighter my chest feels after my last post about my depression, and my past.

I had only dreamed it would feel this good; my biggest fear was that I’d still be bothered by negative thoughts about the past after putting myself out there in such a massive way. The HUGE outpouring of support and understanding has been simply wonderful, and I can’t thank you all enough.

During my Christmas break in New Zealand I had quite a bit of “quiet” time. Something I don’t often get, and don’t ever WELCOME as sometimes my thoughts are just too loud. But for the first time in forever, I welcomed that peace, and I took the opportunity to JUST BREATHE.

Instead of negative talk, my mind kept drifting to all of the beautiful things I have to be thankful for.

BUT, the strangest moment of peace I had was during a 1 hour screaming fit from my teething 5 month old. She was overtired, in obvious discomfort, and in an unfamiliar place.
We rocked, we danced, we fed, we sang, we swaddled, we cuddled, we stripped off pyjamas.
NOTHING offered a moments respite from her despondent wails.

Finally I lay her on her stomach, cuddled up next to her and started singing my magic song. Now, this song is nothing special, but it’s the ONLY song, when used at the point of exhaustion, that has a calming effect on little miss.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
And it has to be sung on repeat 😉

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But she continued to thrash and scream.
So I pulled her closer, put my lips close to her perfect little ear and whispered the song quietly.
The crying slowed to choked sobs.
Then she sighed, and was silent.
After about 12 times through the song, she was snoring peacefully under me.
It was one of the most strangely perfect moments of my life.

My moment of peace came not then, once all was quiet, but during the screaming. During the peak of the cries, as I held my little human in my arms
I was overwhelmed with the most unbelievable sense of love, of calm, and of quiet. I was reminded that this tiny person relies on me for EVERYTHING.
I was reminded that she is a BLESSING, and that one day, very soon, these moments will be gone.
I won’t always be able to hold her close, to protect her, to whisper sweet songs in her ear.

As she slumbered next to me I wrote a goal in my head.
Although I will use it for motivation this year, it is not a goal for 2013, but one for LIFE.

I will strive to be calm of mind. I will work to be a good parent. I will work towards building a bright, well adjusted human who likes her parents.
That’s all I want.
I know there will be hard times.
I get teary just thinking of the day when she says “I HATE YOU, MUM!” (because it will happen)
But at the end of the day I would hope that there is no doubt in my little girls mind that her mother loves her more than anything in the WORLD and that she can always turn to me for anything.

Every time I look at her, I’m reminded that now I have the best reason possible to get through, to push on, and to make shit happen.

2013 is our year. I can’t wait to give it my all.

Letting sleeping (black) dogs lie….

December 18, 2012

Hi.

It’s been a while. We are SO busy over here at CrossFit Barrier Reef that I really have had to focus every last bit of my energy on making stuff work, and keeping the wheels turning.

I’ve also been out of touch as I’ve lost focus.

Sometimes, my mind gets a little bit dark, I feel overwhelmed, and even the thought of trying to put a sentence together that makes any sense brings a giant lump to my throat, and tears sting my eyes.

There’s no reason for it. I have a beautiful life. I have THE BEST job in the world, great friends, wonderful family, and my OWN little family; a loving, generous, and supportive partner, and (in my eyes) the most PERFECT child I could have asked for. What more could I want? What could POSSIBLY make me sad.

DEPRESSION.

Yep. I said it. The big bad “D” word.

I was first diagnosed about 17 years ago, and have fought on and off since then.
It still amazes me how afraid people are to talk about it. It didn’t strike me until today how loathe I am to discuss it. Or admit that I have it. Because to admit to others means reminding myself. And that terrifies the FUCK out of me.

I could feel it creeping up when we had to have my family dog put to sleep a month ago. It snuck into my bed 2 weeks ago and gave me horrific night terrors 3 nights running. It burrows into my head and takes away my sleep. It puts paranoid thoughts into my head as I cross the street….

* Jojo’s brain, as she crosses the street holding the baby
“Man, that car is moving pretty fast. What if its tyre blew up, and it careened out of control, and crossed the median strip, and hit you, and the baby flew out of your arms, and she DIED. What if that happened. I know, it’s irrational, right? But bad shit happens every day. What if it happened to YOU. That would be horrible. Don’t be so happy, it could all change in a heartbeat….”

How goddamn CRAZY does that sound.
Except, see, I know it’s not crazy. I know the paranoia and anxiety are manifestations of my depression. HA. Even as I type it I hate using the word. I want to call it something silly like “my sad”. It’s not something silly, though, it’s something that wraps its hands around my head and SQUEEZES until I can’t think. Until I can’t breathe.

Today, depression has given me a giant beating around the head with a golf club.
I received news that a documentary about depression is going to air in New Zealand.
A documentary that I am a (small) part of. A documentary that would never have existed if I hadn’t left my ex-husband.

DISCLAIMER:

My life, my boobs, my family, my kitchen, I share ALL of it. 
I’m honest, I’m out there, I’m an open book.
It’s part of me, it’s a flaw, it’s a curse, it’s endearing.
However you look at it, it’s a massive part of who I am.

A big part of my OLD life is a very public figure.
A big chunk of HIS life is a very public story.
Part of his story, is MY story.
And most of it is untold.

This isn’t about bitterness, or anger. This is CATHARSIS. This is important for me to be able to dust myself off and well and truly move along.

The last time his life was a hot topic, I was abused by strangers, emailed by media, and lost MANY ‘friends’.

I had kept quiet, and just let sleeping dogs lie. 
But, after careful consideration and consultation, I decided to share a SMALL part of my part in this epic tale.
I decided that after the documentary was released, that I would make this blog post. HOWEVER, since it has all gone crazy/viral WAY earlier than expected, and I am getting emails, calls, and texts, I decided that today is the day.
I apologize if it’s confronting, and I also apologize if I (the grammar/spelling nazi) have made any glaring errors. I’ve just got to get it out.

HERE. WE. GO.

For those of you who are new friends, you may not be aware that I was once married.
I was. He was a very eccentric, very intelligent, and very fucked up young man.

We got together when I was about 24, and I was in the throes of a VERY dark, depressive episode. I was overweight, unhealthy, and sad. I was drinking, drugging, and partying my way into a hole.  Then along came a guy who didn’t do ANY of those things.
He offered me a plane ticket out of my life, and into a new one in New Zealand.
I took it.

He was the first relationship I’d ever had with anyone SMART. With anyone CONFIDENT. And with anyone who made me feel kinda special.
He was arrogant, self assured, and had people fall at his feet wherever we went. I felt lucky that someone like him would want to be with someone like me.
He didn’t want to change me, which as a result, brought me into a positive space.
Someone who liked me for ME.

Looking back I realize that I was settling for the IDEA of what I thought a happy relationship should be like. He had a stable, loving family, just as I did. We had the same beliefs and plans.
He treated me well, when he was in a good mood.
But he wasn’t very ….. nice.

In fact, as he would proudly tell people, he was a c*nt.
If you didn’t like that, well, too bad for you.
As one of his friends aptly put it “if you are in the sunshine of his love, it’s a beautiful place, but if you’re not, it’s dark and miserable. There is no GREY area” (this was a man who would often state that he could be a “messiah”. If he built a cult, he was convinced people would follow. He wanted his own TV show, his own radio show. Anything where his voice would be heard. I couldn’t tell a story about something that had happened to ME without him interrupting, telling me I was shit at telling stories, and retelling it for me….but shit, he was FUN and QUIRKY and I felt alive around him)
He hated MOST people. He hated MOST things. But he loved ME.
I started to stick up for myself, I started to believe in myself, and I felt like I could take on the world.
It sounds nuts, but having a guy who hated EVERYTHING but loved ME made me feel pretty special and superior.

He wasn’t depressed. There was no rightful chip on his shoulder. He was just a very clever, very spoiled young man who was used to getting things his own way.
He didn’t HAVE to be nice, so he WASN’T. The fact that I was nice annoyed the SHIT out of him.

Then this Mr Awesome got DEPRESSED.
I knew he was.
But as many men suffering with depression will tell you, if you TELL them they do, if you SUGGEST they do, they will NEVER admit it.

For 2 years before we separated, I battled with him over it. I booked him in with Doctors, I sent him links to Depression.org.nz and Beyond Blue. I told his friends he was depressed (many of them replied with “He’s just looking for attention” or manly responses along the lines of “hardening up”)

My own black dog was lying at my feet every day. For a year he had been running in circles around me. I’d entertain him most weekends by throwing him a stick, by going out all night and partying until I couldn’t see straight.
I took on a cleaning job, and would stay an hour after I was done, and drink a bottle of wine or a few beers I’d brought with me just to avoid walking back into the warzone that was my home. Then he made me quit THAT so I’d have to spend more time at home.
He convinced me that I was a doormat, and that people were taking advantage of me. But somehow at the same time he reminded me that I was so far above everyone that I didn’t NEED to help them; it was their responsibility to help themselves.
I quit doing extra work  at the job I loved, that I would ordinarily VOLUNTEER for, because he thought it was monopolizing our time. At his request I stopped visiting friends or helping out where people were used to having me, so people stopped calling.
I had never felt more alone or isolated in my life. And I couldn’t tell anyone how it REALLY was or I’d look like a complete and utter fool.
After I finished work, if I knew Mr Awesome was in a bad mood, I’d take black dog for a walk to the Japanese restaurant under my apartment building where I would sit RIGHT in the back where I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. I’d drink myself into a place where I knew that I could wander back upstairs in a cloud, crawl into bed, and anything he said or did wouldn’t pierce through.

In a job where I was supposed to be happy, active, healthy, and onto it, the cracks started to show.
I would spend all night in tears after being blamed for things that were out of my control.
Then I’d be expected to show up to work at 5am and INSPIRE people.

Once, after spending a night sobbing on the bathroom floor after being told I was worthless, I showed up to work, with my happy face painted on.
I had a fellow Coach take me into the office and tell me that it sucked that I was so happy all the time, because when I was little bit sad, everyone could see it. I was asked to stop being SUPER happy, so that maybe the bad days wouldn’t be so obvious to people.
Little did they know I was at the very end of my rope.
I left work that morning at 11am. I stopped at the bottle shop and got a six pack of something colourful and fruity with vodka in it. I sat in my car at the beach and drank it. I tried to call friends and family back home, but for whatever reason that day, NOBODY answered. Then I drove home.
As I drove I considered driving the car into a pole.
But I decided to get more wine. At noon I bought 3 bottles. I sat at home and drank them, then called in sick for work that afternoon.

That should have been the end of it all. It sure as shit FELT like it.

The following day I BEGGED my husband to seek help. Trying to be everything for him, whilst trying to hold myself together had plunged me into the darkest depression I had ever known.
I was taking prescription painkillers, over the counter meds, and any other drug I could get my hands on just to make it through the day.
I told him if he couldn’t do this for our marriage, then it wasn’t worth saving.
I went to seek help myself the next day.

He booked in with a doctor too.
Things were great for a little while. Until he decided that he WASN’T actually depressed, and the doctor was an idiot.
At the same time, a very close friend committed suicide, and as I cried three days later, he told me to get over it, and that the guy was a selfish coward. He just could not comprehend how I was feeling, or how ANYBODY could want to give up; how funny that he didn’t know that at least once a week I toyed with those thoughts myself.

The games then got worse than ever.
Every day was spent waiting for the next violent outburst.

I started drinking again. Even though I had given him an ultimatum, I was terrified about what would happen if I left him.
After a visit home to Oz, my family told me they didn’t recognize me anymore. My friends told me I was a shadow of my former self. I was shy. I was nervous. I was DRUNK.
I got home to NZ and started to look more closely at my life.
When he wasn’t abusing me, slamming doors, or breaking crockery, he was slumped in the shower crying for hours, or curled up in bed with tears streaming down his face.
I loved him.
I loathed him.
I pitied him.

We found another doctor.
He told him he wasn’t clinically depressed, and that the good news was, some simple tools would help him. He spoke in a language that Mr Awesome understood. And little by little, he started trying.
But I realize now, the damage had already been done.
One night I had just walked in the door, and he was waiting, in a mood, and began to hurl abuse. That night something switched in my head; I realized that even though he was depressed, I didn’t deserve to be treated that way.
I stood at the door and BEGGED him to stop. I told him that if he said one more hurtful word, that if he didn’t take it all back, I would leave. Then I sat at his feet and cried.

His words are stuck in my mind forever

“This is all your fault. My life was perfect before you came into it. I want a divorce. You’ll be hearing from *insert lawyers name here* in the morning. Get the fuck out, and don’t come back”

NOW- this was nothing new. He had told me this on more than 5 occasions. I usually grabbed an overnight bag and went to his parents house, or a friends house, or down to the pub for a few hours. But this time felt different.

I stopped loving him RIGHT at that moment.
It went and it never came back. I don’t know HOW. I didn’t even know it could happen like that. It was like a light bulb blowing.

There was no turning back.

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I packed a bag. I walked out the door. As I walked 10 minutes to my best friends house I knew it was over.
My life was over.
That weekend I wrote myself off. I wanted to die. I wanted the world to swallow me up. I hurt people. I hurt myself. I was ashamed. I was getting a divorce.
Mrs “Perfect Marriage, you should all be like me” was SHAM.
I had the party to end all parties, trying to convince myself I was FREE all the while knowing that I had nowhere to go, and feeling like scum.

I came home on the Sunday to pack my stuff to be met with a red eyed, remorseful, broken man who said (for the last time) “I’m sorry. I really want to fix this”.

I called the Doctor for him in the morning. I booked a follow up appointment.
I stayed another two weeks, but I was dead inside.
He knew.

He held my hands the day I left for good and said he felt better and more positive than he had in his life.
He wanted to change and make it all better.
He was going to be fine.

I took a breath. I looked into his eyes and SAW something had changed. I wanted more than ANYTHING in the world to rewind back to that day he kicked me out, and make it all untrue.
Then I looked over my shoulder and saw TWO YEARS of emotional abuse and mental hell. Two years of denial. Two years where we BOTH deserved something more.
So I walked out the door.

And here I am.

Staring at my Facebook newsfeed where SEVENTEEN of my friends have shared this video. This snippet of a documentary about the man that destroyed two years of my life lauding him as a HERO.

Parts of my life that I had managed to forget are all rushing back….
We have blocked each other on Facebook. I don’t see what he posts. He can’t see what I post.
Any friend who re-posted anything of his, I sadly had to block from my newsfeed so I wasn’t reminded of his existence.
Until today, where his video and quotes have been cut, pasted,  re-quoted, and spread all over my computer screen.

This afternoon my little one was with Mum, so I took the afternoon off Coaching and have sat here crying and trying to put together how I feel.
I was reminded of a message I got from a friend and member the other day when I admitted that I was “SAD”
“you are a smart lady with a gorgeous baby and a loving partner. You are on the crest of a wave of a successful business. Don’t be in too much of a rush. Life is extremely good.”

She’s right. I’m part of something beautiful, not just in the little family I have grown, but in the much larger CrossFit family that is growing more wonderful every day 🙂
Now, of course, that doesn’t make my depression any better, but it reminds me to put things into perspective, to put my strategies into place to deal with my issues, to talk to the people who help, and to keep on keeping on.

It also reminded me that, somewhere over the ocean is a dude that, although he was no angel (in spite of what pretty pictures people paint), and in my eyes certainly not a “hero”, still went through some horrific shit last year.
I would not wish depression on ANYBODY.

This is worst case scenario shit in cases of depression, but man, it HAPPENS.

I guess what I’m getting at is, while he pursued something frivolous and self indulgent in the BEGINNING, it became something that mattered to other people in the end. Once he was truly alone, he was reminded of why it’s important to be nice, to pay it forward and to LOVE.
He FINALLY woke up and realized that there was a SHIT ton more out there worthy of his attention and care than he had ever imagined possible, and he started to believe in something charitable and useful instead of self gratification.
WELL. This is what I am IMAGINING.

Jimi Hunt has done a wonderful thing by raising awareness of depression, and helping spread the message that it’s OK to ask for help.
His doco might not make prime time, but in today’s era where social media and “virality” rules, I don’t think many people are going to miss what he has to say.
I hope he’s happy, and I hope he has found some true light to share.
He’s made an impact on tens of thousands of lives through Lilo the Waikato, and I hope that the effects continue to flow on.

Watch the video. Follow the cause. Ask for help.

If you need anything, y’all know where to find me.

Today, as always and forever, BIG, MAD LOVE.
Share it

xxx

Ice Cream Heaven

October 31, 2012
tags:

Quick post.
It’s 3am and I’m lying here thinking about ICE CREAM.

See, this time last year I was in Auckland, working at CrossFit New Zealand, taking part in our yearly nutrition challenge, and living in Mission Bay…. A beautiful beachside suburb of the ’09.
We lived close enough to smell the waffle cones at Movenpick.
AND I was living with a self-confessed ice cream fiend 😉

So one day, in desperate need of a creamy fix, we toddled off to Bunnings and purchased ourselves a funky little ice cream maker. It had been YEARS since Id made ice cream, but I was sure with a little ingenuity (and a lot of coconut cream) I could give us something edible.

As per usual, I cooked from memory, and only made some vague notes as I went (I gotta stop that!!!)
I tell you what though, I’m not really an ice cream fan, but this stuff was the BUSINESS!!! And going by the Nom noises and food dances happening in my living room by my beautiful roomie, I knew it was ice cream success 🙂

Not long after I moved back to Oz, and forgot all about that special day where we made the best paleo ice cream
EVER.
It could have all been a dream.

That is until I got this text

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At this point all the beautiful cool, creamy memories came flooding back. I HAD to find that recipe. I hadn’t seen it since March, and had moved TWICE since then.
Four hours and a few tantrums later, I had dug out one of my old notepads and there was my ingredients list!
YUSSSSSS!!!!

The method I remember, but the egg quantities weren’t exact, and I remember that perfect day in Mission Bay that I had somehow gotten the amount JUST right to produce a smooth, creamy result.

Here’s what I came up with:

(Be careful not to add the milk while it’s still to hot or you’ll get scrambled eggs. Ideally, you should be able to comfortably hold your finger in the milk for 10 seconds.)

Basic Custard

3 cups coconut cream (or use 2 cups plus 1 cup heavy cream if you wanna make a primal one)
Coconut sugar to sweeten, or alternatively a little maple syrup (I used maple syrup when I made the one at Patteson, and have used coconut sugar since. Usually only about 2 tbsp?)
8-10 egg yolks
pinch of salt
Vanilla pod

Have a strainer in a bowl ready over an ice bath.

Scrape vanilla into cream (you can even drop the whole pod in there until later after you scrape) Bring cream to simmer over med/high heat. Make sure it doesn’t boil (this is really important if you put the ACTUAL cream in there), and remove as soon as bubbles start to appear. Let it cool to room temp

Beat your eggs, sweetener, and pinch of salt until thick.

Whisk in 1 cup of the cream mixture in a slow stream into the yolk mixture to temper.
Add another cup of the cream mixture whilst still whisking.
Transfer the egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan with remaining cream, Cook over med/high heat, stirring constantly.
Do this until it coats a spoon.
THIS part is important, as if you rush it and don’t wait until the custard is thick enough, you can end up with icey ice-cream.

Remove from heat and mix in the remaining cream to stop the mixture from overcooking.
Gotta be super careful not to scramble the custard,
Pour custard through sieve or strainer into preferably a stainless steel bowl set in the ice bath. Let cool completely, stirring until fully cooled and mixed. Stir in any other ingredients you want to add now (unless you want a swirly effect. Add whilst ice-cream is mixing if you do)

Bung in ice cream maker.
GO!

NOW. I only have notes on ingredients written down- recipe SHOULD be right. I kinda just do it by heart now.
Pretty sure that’s how many yolks I use. It should be a nice buttery yellow. You’ll notice some recipes don’t call for near that many yolks, but the yolks are what makes it taste more creamy and buttery 🙂

LOVES!!!!!!!!
(this was my actual FB message)

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I waited and waited for a reply. A few hours later

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Woohoo!!!!

Final notes from Kris were that she used NINE eggs. She then puréed some blueberries (boobalerries, she calls them) and added to the machine when the mix was soft serve consistency. I’d follow her lead if you give this a go.

Looking forward to making this again once our Whole 30 Challenge is over AND looking forward to seeing my beautiful Kristy and my Kiwi mates when we fly back to NZ for Christmas.
Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!

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Children of the Corn….

October 30, 2012

Ok. So what I’m gonna write about isn’t horror movie scary. But to me it’s pretty close.

You all know that little Pickle got off the Booby Train and onto the Formula Bus the other week. Aside from having to switch from regular formula to a lactose free version, she is thriving.
Here’s where it gets scary though.
If you’re my client, how often do I tell you to read your labels? There is hidden (and not so hidden) sugar in SO many places you wouldn’t expect to find it.
And the King of Crap is HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)

I won’t rave on here about how bad it is, do your own research. The shit is POISON and is a major contributor to the “obesity epidemic”.

I’m a big time label reader, but I DIDN’T read my baby formula before I fed it to her. I just assumed since I’m feeding it to baby, and it was a highly recommended formulation, it was SAFE. Why would anyone put poison in my babies food, right? Here’s where my jaw fell to the floor and my heart almost stopped.

Check out the first ingredient…

Jeebus cripes on a bike! The one ingredient I bang on about avoiding is the FIRST INGREDIENT in my wee one’s Breakfast, Lunch AND Dinner. I pulled out the lactose containing formula. Surely not. But there it was. The SECOND ingredient. So off to the chemist I toddled. SURELY there’d be a formula without HFCS.
NO DICE. Even the Organic “all natural” formulas had rice syrup or other shitty sugars in there. 98% of the tubs contained HFCS as the first or 2nd ingredient.
I didn’t give up hope; off to Dr Google I went.
“Natural baby formula”
“HFCS free baby formula”
I was distraught by the end of it. Not only can’t I breastfeed, but the only option for nourishing my little one is with JUNK FOOD.
NB: Someone on facey suggested a wet nurse. Not my cup of tea 😉

Until I tried searching for “Home made baby formula”.
All roads pointed here

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYK54SAC?p=1 width=”550″ height=”443″]

The Weston A. Price Foundation gave me a ray of hope. My options were a raw milk or goats milk base, or, GAG, MEAT JUICE. Well, not meat juice, but a liver based formula. I decided that the raw milk would be the way to go, but knowing that Aussie law prevents the sale of raw milk, I went to trusty Facebook and put out the call.

I got the sources, apparently it’s sold as “bath milk” to get around the law (if it’s a “beauty product” it doesn’t come under the same classification). I dug further and found out that people drink the “bath milk” and don’t die.

BUT

(and this is a BIG BUT)

I’m all for doing things naturally, but to feed my baby something that can (potentially) be detrimental or DEADLY to her health? The regulations are there for a reason.
It’s one thing to make your baby homemade mashed veggies and meat. You burn your pumpkin, it’s no biggie. You leave a few little lumps in the sweet potato, it’s unlikely to do lil munchkin any harm.
But if I mess shit up with raw milk, and its  risks of Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, NOW we’re talking vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially death. It’s ok for you and me, fit and healthy grown-ups to drink it, but children, teenagers, old folks, and anyone with compromised immunity are more likely to suffer ill effects from raw milk.

On occasion I’ve been known to be clumsy, and perhaps a little careless when I cook…the outcome is usually AWESOME and delicious, but after seriously weighing up the risks and researching all of my options, I decided that starting a little formula lab in the CrossFit Barrier Reef kitchen was a recipe for disaster.

2-3 months of corn syrup-y sweet gunkiness, as much as I disagree with it, is NOT going to kill Mia.
Screwing around with raw milk just might.

As soon as she is ready for solids we will look at other options for drinking- whether or not she will be a Primal or Paleo baby will be dictated by what her little body wants, but there will be no more HFCS, that’s for sure.

If you’re not paleo or primal, or even if you are and occasionally let yourself eat some “normal” food, check out your labels…you’d be surprised where this little devil sneaks in!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FOR TOMORROW!

Getting it done.

October 10, 2012

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It’s frickin hot outside. Steamy, bitumen melting, HOT!
And I just finished this WOD
2RM clean in 12 mins followed by

21 dumbbell cleans
Run 400m
15 dumbbell cleans
Run 400m
9 dumbbell cleans
Run 400m

I got 45 for the clean (fairly easily) and 14:05 for the metcon (gut busting, shit my pants STRUGGLE with 10kg Dumbbells)

And this is how I feel/look


Soaking wet and ANGRY.

Everything sucks.
My knees hurt because my clean form has gone to shit- I’m struggling to stay tight at the bottom of the squat so I’m pitching forward onto my knees and toes- all 65kgs of me is thrown onto my poor little knees.

Let’s not even start on running. My legs feel like I’m wearing cement shoes instead of my lairy blue Inov-8’s.
The steam off the road was stifling.
And WODing alone SUCKS ARSE.
But because we are getting so busy, it’s getting harder to train with the classes because I have to Coach- so I’ve just got to train when Bub naps and Tim is free.
No excuses, I’ve just got to get it done!!
It’s lonely though 😦
* not that I’m complaining that we’re busy 😉

I’m feeling disheartened and weak and just wanting my old body back.
Not the way my old body LOOKED, I’ve come to terms with my new shape.
But what my old body could DO.
I’m moving badly, inefficiently, and it just feels wrong. You know when you feel like crying and falling down dead after your 200m warm up run that something is wrong. So wrong.

(yes, I’m irritating when I get my whine on. Apologies. Sob. Sniffle. Sigh)

Ok. Now I’ve had my sulk, I’m going to chalk today up to “one of those days”.
It doesn’t help either that I’ve had a week off training with tonsillitis and a chest infection, so I’m not as far ahead as I had hoped 😦

Here’s where I’m at as of Friday

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And in spite of my shitty day today, I’m gonna get up tomorrow, dust myself off and do it all again…. This is my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

(s’cuse the bedroom selfie! My photog has the man flu and I couldn’t rouse him)

Boobs

October 4, 2012

Now that I have your attention, let’s get serious and call them by their grown up name.
Breasts.

Now boys, if you think this is going to be a saucy story, it’s not, so stop reading now.

NOTE: If you don’t want to become intimately acquainted with my mammaries and what they’ve been up to over the past 2 months, you too should stop reading now.

Breasts are awesome. I’m definitely a fan. I have all their albums 😉
Ask any newborn baby, and I’m sure they’d tell you the same. When Mia was a few weeks old, I’d watch her dreaming; she’d smile and make like she was feeding (most babies do this). I SWEAR if I could be in her head it would have been walls of boobies. That’s a babies happy place.

Moobies

As a Primal/Paleo warrior, and as a mother who wants to do the best for her child, I chose to breastfeed. Knowing that this was the one thing I had ZERO experience in, I enlisted the help of a lactation consultant prior to birth, watched every video and read every book like the little nerd I am. Everything, everywhere from every angle reminded me about how breastfeeding is the most natural thing you can do for your baby.
Natural- yes.
Easy- hells no. Not for me.

It seemed from the get-go like every obstacle possible was thrown in between my boobies and my baby. Here’s the list

1. Considerable blood loss during c-section delayed my milk “coming in” (your body finds it more important to recover from blood loss than produce milk)
2. Pickle had an immature sucking reflex and a tongue tie

3. Apparently my nipples aren’t ideal for breastfeeding?! WTF???!! They don’t stick out enough. Who knew that there were better nipples than others?! I’ve never had any complaints before. I think they look…like nipples! But that only ADDED to my troubles.

My final day in hospital rolled around and after 72 hours of breastfeeding coaching and assistance, I felt like I was ready for the big game. Ready to fly solo.

* any breast shyness I MAY have had before going into hospital swiftly evaporated over those 72 hours. As each new midwife came on shift, they would show me a different way to hold the baby, shape the breast, help the flow… I have never had more people handle my lady bits than in my time in hospital. My nipples were not my own. Nurse one would hand express (crazy shit), Nurse Two would pull the baby off and tell me my latch was wrong, and try all sorts of ways to get her on right. Nurse 378 attached me to a pump that resembled something you’d find on a farm. In the end there, the cleaning lady could have walked in and I would have asked “HEY! Do you want to cop a feel? “. EVERYBODY had had a crack

I was nursing standing up, eating an apple with one hand. I felt like I had this shit in the bag.
UNTIL the big head honcho of midwives came back after her 3 days off. The only experience I had with her was 2 hours after my section, when the airconditioning wasn’t working in my room, and nor was my nurses buzzer.
Apparently that was my fault, and giving me the room next door (with everything in working order) was an inconvenience! As soon as she left, a much nicer nurse sorted us out 🙂

ANYHOW

So Nurse Subtle as a Meat Axe barges in and says “who told you to feed like that?” (remembering this is after 3 days of EVERY MOTHERFUCKER IN THE HOSPITAL telling me how to feed)
I said “I took a bit from here and a bit from there, and this is what works beat for us”
At which point she told me a) I was doing it all wrong b) there was only one way and it was HER way and let’s not forget c) if i didn’t do it her way, my way would eventually fail, the baby would starve and I would be a bad mother
I’m not even kidding.
She then yanked my little one around by her shoulders and squeezed my parts and pieces into HER way of feeding, and it JUST DIDNT WORK
She frowned, tutted and lectured another hour and then left.

Prior to her visit, I was beyond excited to go home, felt like I was sorted and confident and ready to breastfeed the heck out of my baby.
After that I was TERRIFIED.

We went home. We slept. When Mia woke up for her late night feed, and I awoke in pain to feed her, all I could think about was the conversation with Nurse Expert. I tried every which way to get her to feed – after half an hour and tears from both of us, we succeeded.
This dance of dread was repeated every night, 6 or 7 times a night for a week.

Daddy and Pickle in the Chair of Doom

We got her tongue tie resolved, which improved things a bit.
By Mia’s 3rd week, she was feeding for 45minutes every hour. You do the math. my eyes were falling out of my head, my nipples were so painful every feeding was like attaching a car battery to the bloody things, and each time my little darling fell asleep I would quietly cry with her in my arms in the feeding chair. The Chair of Doom.

I felt like I’d be stuck there with my stupid boobs and my hungry baby FOREVER.

In the cold hours of the early morning, after another horrific feed, I crawled into bed, woke Tim, and broke down.
“I can’t do this any more! I’m quitting. I’m a failure”.
I had the car keys in my hand and was ready to drive to the nearest 24 hour supermarket, buy a bottle and formula, and be done with it.
That, or hurt myself. It was such a raw, painful, horrible emotion, and I had no idea how to handle it.
My calm, collected man hugged me and told me to sleep on it. He assured me I was a wonderful mama and knew what I was doing.

The next morning I pushed nurse butt face out of my mind and fed Baby MY way. And it worked!!!
Suddenly I was able to be the earth mother I wanted to be.
I wrapped my little munchkin in a sling and wore her everywhere. FED her everywhere.
Hidden in the privacy of the sling she fed ;
While I coached
As we watched the Cairns Festival parade
Whilst I walked through town
When I ate at a restaurant

I felt empowered and happy- but still exhausted. This baby was CONSTANTLY attached to my bosom.
She would fall asleep, wake, feed, repeat, every hour, on the hour.

Our child nurse showed up week 4 to weigh her and we discovered that she was almost 2lbs below her birth weight.
For all the feeding I was doing, my precious was STARVING.

He ordered me to pump when I wasn’t feeding, and top up every feed with an expressed bottle or baby would be in trouble.

So I did.
Weighing day came around again.
She had gained about a wet nappies worth.
So I was told to supplement every feed with formula.

I was DEVASTATED. My tits were as useless as… Well… Tits on a bull

Useless

I cried the rest of that day
The ONE thing I was supposed to do for my child I had failed at.

I begrudgingly bought the formula. I did as I was told.
And WHAT THE HELL
My baby slept for TWO HOURS that night. Then another 2.5
The next day she had her eyes open more than she had ever.
She was alert. She was happy. She was content.
She slept longer, and she gained weight like a champ.

We kept up the breastfeeding, my nipples felt like new, and a BIG positive to come from the negatives, it meant Tim could now take one feed- I could sleep from 8pm till 1am if I wanted 🙂
I was rested, baby had a bellyful, and we were happy.

During this time I tried everything I could to increase my supply

HERE’S THE LIST:
Prescription drugs
Hospital Grade pumps
Fenugreek pills (I swallowed so many I started to smell like maple syrup…not a bad side effect, I guess!)
Mothers milk tea
Lactation cookies
GALLONS of water
Beer (this was a last resort, and meant I couldn’t feed for another 2 hours after, so wasn’t ideal)

Nothing really worked. Things might improve for a day, then back to the slow trickle.
Every time another mother told me about her leaking breasts, or how her supply was so copious the baby nearly DROWNED in her boob juice, I swear to jeebus I wanted to PUNCH HER RIGHT IN THE FACE.
I was SO envious.
And every breastfeeding nazi (and yes, I have encountered many) that asked me “are you SURE you’ve tried everything” or “you DO know breast is best, RIGHT?”  I wanted to PUNCH HER/HIM RIGHT IN THE FACE.

And then I wanted to cry.
I’ve done a lot of crying of the milk that HASN’T spilt over the past 2 months.
Let’s roll forward to 2 weeks ago. I started training again. I was warned by my obgyn that this could be the final straw, as high intensity exercise can adversely effect milk supply. For my own sanity I chose to risk it. 
Then I got sick with tonsilitis and a chest infection.
For one whole day I stayed in bed sick. I didn’t breastfeed or pump.

The next day I got up to give Mia a feed and there was NOTHING.
I dragged out the pump and could not even produce a drop.

That was a week ago. It was a sad day, but I’ve come to terms with it, I guess.
It still hurts every time someone asks if I’m breastfeeding…I wanted to more than anything, but it just didn’t work out.
I try and explain to some women, but if you didn’t struggle to feed, you’ll find it hard to understand.
As the nurse said in the hospital recently “you tried your little bum off for her for 8 weeks. 8 weeks of breast is better than none. Stop beating yourself up”

I wouldn’t yet call myself a PROUD formula feeder, but I am happy.
Mia is not only thriving, but at our last check up the lovely doc said she is advanced for her age 😉 Woohoo we cooked up a clever kid 😉

PLEASE don’t judge Mummies when you see them bottle feeding their little one. There are a MILLION reasons why they may have chosen to do this. I say this because I was a bottle feeding judger. Only silently, but I made assumptions all the same.
For that I’m sorry.

However you choose to feed your wee ones; booby, expressed milk, formula, wet nurse WHATEVER. As long as they (and also important, YOU) are happy, you’re doing a great job.
HOORAY FOR BOOBIES, and HOORAY FOR MUMMIES.

Content after a successful feed in the Chair of Doom

Have an awesome weekend, kids

xx