Scallops and Chorizo

I typically choose recipes based on taste and ease. I am not a talented cook, so it needs to be easy! I also have a kitchen the size of a shoe box.

As I was scrolling through Instagram, I saw an AMAZINGLY delicious picture of a Nigella Lawson dish – scallops and chorizo. YUM!

Versatility is also really important to me, and this dish is perfect for a quick mid-week meal, albeit a bit extravagant, or a diner party.

As it’s refined carbohydrate and dairy free, I too have been able to enjoy it despite my current dietary requirements.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Recipe found: Nigella.com

 

  • 110 grams of chorizo
  • 400 grams small scallops (halve them to make 2 thinner discs if they are very fat)
  • juice of ½ lemon 
  • tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

 

  1. Slice the chorizo into rounds no thicker than 3mm / 1/8 inch.
  2. Heat a heavy-based pan on the hob and, when hot, dry-fry the chorizo round until crisped on either side (the chorizo will give out plenty of its own oil); this should take no more than 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the chorizo to a bowl and fry the scallops in the chorizo-oil for about 1 minute a side.
  4. Return the chorizo to the pan with the scallops, add the lemon juice and let bubble for a few seconds before arranging on a serving plate and sprinkling with lots of parsley.

Additional information – for gluten free most chorizo is gluten free but please check packaging.

Hair care obsession: Coconut oil

I have a new obsession – coconut oil.

As usual, I am late on the beauty band wagon but if you’re not lathering your hair with coconut oil, you’re crazy; particularly if our Australian summer has fried your locks as much as it has to mine.

But, as I stared back at myself in the bathroom mirror last week, I noticed just how  supremely out of control hair was. So, I decided to was going to tame my wild locks.

I’d heard a lot about Moroccon oil products and how they managed even the most unmanageable hair (remember, I have very thick, long hair). But, I wanted to try something natural, and not so expensive (OUCH!), first. While I was at my friends place, there was some coconut oil on the bench, and wondered if it would be suitable as a deeply nourishing hair mask.

So, I tested it out. I wanted to keep it simple, no lavender oil, or ground aloe vera, I just wanted the basic nourishing goods. I can experiment with the add ons later.

I will say, the longer you can leave the oil in your hair the better – I would recommend at least 2 hours. I left it in for 5 hours.

You will need:

  1. 3-5 tablespoons of coconut oil (depends on how long your hair is)
  2. 2 bowls (one large and one small)
  3. Spoon
  4. Shower cap
  5. Comb
  6. A bottle of wine, several movies, and a block of (dark) chocolate

 

Here is what I did:

  • Wash, or dampen your hair, and air dry;
  • Scoop the coconut oil into smaller bowl;
  • Fill the larger bowl with hot water and place the smaller bowl into it. Do not let the smaller bowl float, or fill with water;
  • When the coconut oil melts, use the spoon to pour over your hair. Massage the oil into the dry parts of your hair and avoid your scalp if it’s naturally oily. Comb your hair so the oil is evenly spread throughout.
  • Wrap your hair in a shower cap, small towel or glad wrap (which can make for a very awkward conversation with your partner…) for at least an hour.
  • Drink wine, eat chocolate and watch a movie while you wait for your hair to absorb all the goodness!
  • Shampoo your hair to remove the oil. You may need to do this multiple times.

 

I hope your hair benefits as much as mine has! I plan on doing this at least once a week to ensure my hair is well nourished.

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Perfectionists

The Power of Perfectionists

I recently saw an article on Goop titled The Power of Perfectionists. As the title suggestions it’s about perfectionism. Interestingly, and surprisingly to many, I have been called a perfectionist. It comes in many different forms and impacts people in varies different ways – sometimes positively, other times no so much. For some people, it’s about having the ‘perfect’ body, partner, lifestyle. For me,  it’s about having very high standards of my work and how I envisage my life.

At times, this can be really positive because it helps drive me to be a better person. Other times, I become really disappointed things are not as I had envisaged.

Maybe you will get something out of it too….


Q

The idea of “being perfect” is something that plagues many of us in our society, causing a lot of stress and feelings of inadequacy. Where does this idea that we need to be perfect come from? How can we come to terms with (and find the beauty in) imperfection?

A

The word Enneagram means design of nine and it’s a system that can be used as a map to journey into our own personality. According to this system, there are nine personality types, each with unique gifts, talents, motivations, sensitivities, and weaknesses. A complex system showing us our habits of mind, false assumptions, assets and liabilities, the Enneagram also delves into how we feel and behave when secure and when stressed. The perfectionist is the “Personality Type One” of the nine personality types.

The perfectionist embodies the gifts of being wise, principled, and conscientious; but, also runs the risk of being too idealistic and judgmental to the point of becoming critical, intolerant, self-righteous and, perhaps, punitive. Perfectionists have a gift for detail but also have an inner critic that finds flaws automatically. (Ask a perfectionist to proofread your work, they are naturals!) So the gift of great discrimination, authenticity, and appreciation of fine points holds the risk of becoming picky, fault finding, and difficult to please. No one is harder on the perfectionist than the perfectionist him/herself who lives with a constant inner critic.

“The downside of perfectionism is the risk of becoming chronically irritated, frustrated, discontent and, therefore, angry because things are not as they should be.”

The downside of perfectionism is the risk of becoming chronically irritated, frustrated, discontent and, therefore, angry because things are not as they should be. They can be truly intolerant of their own “warts and freckles,” let alone those of others. They may focus on fixing themselves, others, and the world around them, trying to right the wrongs of the world. What others may see as the perfectionist’s disapproval or anger may be experienced internally as the energy, determination, and enthusiasm for their cause and the focus on getting the job done right.

As children, they may have relied too much on themselves for guidance, structure, and wisdom before they were developmentally able to do so. Without the ability to deal with ambiguity, uncertainty, and mature discernment, the young perfectionist is too cut and dried and at risk of being way too harsh toward self and others.

“As children, they may have relied too much on themselves for guidance, structure, and wisdom before they were developmentally able to do so.”

So, what to do? Perfectionists can find their way back to their more genuine “true” selves by practicing acceptance and serenity. Serenity is well described by the Serenity Prayer—accepting the things we cannot change, changing the things we can, and having the wisdom to know the difference. In essence, it’s about striving for completeness rather than faultlessness. Listening to that inner critic with compassion can be painful but extremely rewarding and fruitful. It is also helpful to this personality to stretch into just trying on the other person’s shoes. While some other personality types may actually have a knack for this, perfectionists can find it extremely uncomfortable, as if it is bad or wrong. It takes an open mind and heart and lots of kindhearted practice and patience.

“It’s about striving for completeness rather than faultlessness.”

When perfectionists automatically judge or condemn, it is helpful to reflect on when they think they first came up with their opinions and, with lots of loving practice, they may stop and reflect with simple phrases such as: That was then, this is now. Would you rather be right than happy? Does it really matter? This is a process that takes time, dedication and patience. It goes against the grain for the perfectionist who is so convinced that their imperfections need to be fixed, preferably, eradicated; but, the wisdom and enlightenment that blossom from Enneagram work can be truly divine.

“Would you rather be right than happy?”

—Dr. Susan McNary, Ph.D is a psychologist with a home practice in Palos Verdes, California evaluating kids and young adults who are experiencing difficulties at school or at home. She is also an Enneagram scholar, having studied extensively with Riso/Hudson, Palmer/Daniels and Richard Rohr. She currently teaches Enneagram at the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Enneagram, you can take the short free personality test here and, at goop, we’ve gotten into Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson’s book, The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

How To Build Confidence

People often make comments about how confident I am. I find this quite amusing, and often surprising. Like everyone I have certain sensitivities but I make a conscious effort to not let my own potentially destructive thoughts get in the way of how I live my life. Am I a master at this? Hells no. But, the thought of living a half life is so sad, that the only thing to do, is live.

So, here are my top tips to be more confident with my body:

Make the choice

Every decision we have in life is a choice. Naturally I’m very curious, and my personality is one which needs to be constantly tested and tested – for this I am extremely grateful. When I have the option to do something I am not comfortable with, there are always two options – do it, or run away. I do believe in knowing when to walk away, but how can confidence ever be built up, if we never test ourselves? I also know that when I don’t do something, I regret it later – and I really dislike that feeling of regret and guilt which sits in the pit of my stomach. I’ve also noticed, that it’s typically after our biggest challenges that I feel the most pride and sense of achievement – which naturally builds confidence.

 

Get a massage

When I turned 18, my sister took me to the Gold Coast for my birthday. At this stage in life, I was not as comfortable with my body as I am now – and I was probably half my current size. We opted for a massage and even today I remember the feeling of shame I had towards myself. How was I going to let someone touch my body – especially my stomach! But, I distinctly remember thinking, ‘But I want the massage…so I have two choices; get on the bed or leave’. I got on the bed.

Did I enjoy it? I did, but I would have enjoyed it more, if I wasn’t so self confident. I remember lying there stiff as a board – particularly when her hands were close to the areas I was least comfortable.

I faced my fears, and realised it wasn’t as bad as I had accepted. These days I love massages and have them often. I strip off with not problems, lie on the bed and wait to be pampered. It just feels so good and makes me happy.

 

Go on a date

I do not believe in looking to outside parties for validation (especially men!) – in the long term it doesn’t work. However, there is something to be said about going on a date with someone who finds you attractive. And there is always someone who finds you attractive! The flirting, dressing up, maybe a vino or two, and the possibility of a kiss at the end of the evening is usually incredibly sexy and very alluring.

 

Look at yourself in the mirror – naked

I am a big believer in jumping in the deep end. Face your fears. Be kind to yourself, remind yourself of your worth, be grateful for what you have and practice. Over time, how you view yourself will change. This can be confronting to some, and I can imagine some of you cringing as you read this; I certainly have friends who would never do this. So if jumping in the deep end doesn’t work, dip your toe in. Who knows….you might realise it’s not as bad as you’ve built up in your head.

 

Focus on your ‘good’ parts

Everyone has a body part they like. For me, I have thick, long hair (despite the fact I cannot control it), tall, long back ( I know, so random, but I seem to always check out my back haha!), fairly good skin and a booty to rival all bootys (it really is my calling card!). When I dress myself, I accentuate the areas I like, and chose clothing that best suits my least favourite parts (STOMACH!).

Also focus on my other good parts. For me, I remind myself of my )reasonable) intelligence, loyal as all buggery, kind, caring, occasionally funny and interesting. It’s important to keep in perspective that the sum of a person is not just their looks. And as a whole, the package looks pretty damn good.

 

Have sex

Having sex is generally good for the soul. Have more of it. And it does make people more confident – including myself. If you’re in the sack with someone, and it’s getting steamy, the person you’re with is pretty happy to be there – otherwise they wouldn’t be there! Personally, I’m not confident at all times, and in all positions; there are (for me) varying factors including who I am with. But, the more confidence you have, the better and more often the sex will be – your partner will love you even more for it!

 

Push your own boundaries

The only way to grow confidence is to continually test yourself and move past your comfort zone. It’s such a cliche, but there is so much truth to it. If there is something you have always wanted to do, swallow your fear and do it. You might be surprised by how you feel afterwards!

 

Building confidence is a decision we all make and like a muscle, can be built up. The more confidence you have, the more authentic and fulfilling your life will be. I remind myself of this on a daily basis.

doTERRA oils

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doTERRA oils, have you heard of them?

Until recently, it’s not a brand I was familiar with. I must admit, I see essential oils is a bit ….naff.

Do they work, don’t they work? Aren’t they used by hippies and naturopaths? Typically not my scene.

However, at this stage in my life I am open to a lot of things, experiences and people I may have typically been closed off to.

So, the first question I asked was ‘What is an essential oil”? According to the doTERRA website, they are ‘naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds…found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants.’

I’ve been using oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, yang yang and jasmine in my oil burner for years – but only to make the space smell delicious; I didn’t realise they can also be used for food preparation, beauty treatments, and in for healthcare purposes too. Am I the last person in the world to know this?

Multiple people (super reliable source, I know!) have mentioned this brand are the purest oils we can buy. Maybe it’s true, and maybe it’s not, but as a result, I bought various types of these super essential oils. Over the coming months, I will test each one and let you know what I think.

If you have some brilliant ideas on how to use my oils, please let me know! I would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

Chick Pea Salad

I love chickpeas – they are filled with fibre and goodness.

This recipe is so fast and easy that is has become a favourite of mine. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, or entertaining as it accompanies any meat really well !

Enjoy!

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Recipe found: Gourmet Traveller 

500 gm dried Kabuli chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water (see note)
golden shallots, finely chopped 
250 ml (1 cup)extra-virgin olive oil 
125 ml (½ cup)lemon juice 
garlic clove, finely chopped 
1 cup eachcoarsely chopped mint, coriander and flat-leaf parsley
To serve: crusty bread (optional)
Drain chickpeas and cook in a saucepan of boiling water until tender (20-30 minutes). Drain, then transfer to a bowl, add shallot, oil, lemon juice and garlic, season generously to taste, then toss to combine.
Just before serving, add herbs, toss to combine and transfer to plates. Serve with crusty bread.

Note: Kabuli chickpeas are small and tender; we’ve used them in this recipe because they cook in less time than ordinary chickpeas. Theyíre available from select delicatessens. If they’re unavailable, substitute canned chickpeas; just drain, rinse and then cook them in boiling water for 2-4 minutes to warm them through first.

 

Health and fitness coming to you!

As you know, I am hitting the pavement, and the exercise mats, in an attempt to improve my fitness, get stronger and possibly even shed some kgs.

I asked my Vision trainer, Nick, to give me some tips and tricks so I can share the goodness with all of you!

So, why don’t you come on the journey with me?

Each Friday for the next 12 weeks, I will post some information about certain conditions such as Polycystic Ovarium Syndrome (PCOS) and pregnancy, and other weeks I will provide exercise for specific parts of your body; arms, legs etc.

To start this week, here is a 5 minute a day programme.I find it easier to do it in the morning because once it’s done, it’s done! Also, these exercises don’t need to be done in the gym.

With everyone at different levels, the reps for each exercise are:

Beginner: 10

Intermediate: 20

Advanced: As many as you can do in 5 minutes (1 minute per exercise)

I hope you enjoy it! And if you want to post your exercise pics on Instagram, you can always use the hashtags #aquaintrellelife!

Squats

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Lunges

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Supported push ups

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Crunches

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Jumping squats

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