Category Archives: Michelley

Four week challenge

And a new obsession.

I love feeling obsessed about something, whatever that is. I feel alive when I have something new to research or obsess over. I tend to find out everything I can about said topic and research until I’ve exhausted the subject.

A colleague said she thinks I’m searching for something in life and am going through a crisis. Little does she know me. I’ve always been this way, even as a child. I would play piano for 8 hours straight some days. I would pour over fiction and non-fiction books and stay up until 2am even at 7 years old. It’s my personality – not a crisis. When a crisis hits, I’ll know it – and no doubt will read up on how to deal with it!

Current obsession:

I turned 36 on Sunday. I was staying with friends and upon waking I thought “I feel lethargic. I need to feel tired for a different reason. I’m going to start really working out”. So I decided to book in with a personal trainer and went yesterday! My trainer has given me a 4-week challenge. No sugar/grains/beans. No calorie counting! I am embracing it.

The excitement is real my friends. I love this feeling. There is nothing like jumping on a bandwagon and feeling inspired!

Check out my instagram pics below to view my latest cooking concoctions.

Bone Broth

We’ve been dealing with some sickness in our camp. I’ve had to turn to antibiotics, which I detest. However, when dealing with a chest and sinus infection I don’t want to mess with it.

What I can do is look after myself, along with my husband who is the recipient and now carrier of my germs. Let’s just say I’m not so popular with my husband at the moment. My current nickname: “the infector”. Nice.

In addition to eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, I decided to make bone broth last night. Bone broth is a source of goodness and a well known gut healer.

The method?

First up I roasted a chicken and vegetables for dinner and we had a good old fashioned roast dinner. Very good! Homemade gravy and all. My grandmother would make Sunday roasts and I would watch her as a child. I just did what I remembered and it worked! So easy I don’t know why I haven’t done this before!

Secondly I simmered the chicken carcass in 5.5 litres of water in my dutch oven, along with celery, onion, garlic and carrots. I added 2x TBS of apple cider vinegar to draw out the nutrients from the carcass. Towards the end I added fresh rosemary and thyme. I didn’t salt the stock, this can be done when I use it for cooking.

Bone broth simmering away

4 hours later and I had a great stock. Ideally I would cook this for 8 hours, or up to 24 hours in my slow cooker. Alas, I did it on the stovetop and had to go to bed!

The chicken was $10. Including another couple of chicken breasts, organic vegetables and herbs, for $25 I got 5 liters of bone broth, a batch of soup (6-8 servings) and three nights worth of roast dinner for two people. Not bad at all!

Verdict: I would do this again, although it was a lot of work. I did enjoy it and found the process to be quite therapeutic. Plus now I have homemade bone broth on hand!

My favourite soup

  

 
 

Bone broth ready to go!

 

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Paleo Morning Glory Muffins

Lets have a moment for my favourite muffins. Paleo Morning Glory Muffins care of The Roasted Root.

I make these muffins every few weeks and always have a stash in the freezer! I make these muffins using rice malt syrup instead of maple syrup (not as sweet!).

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I find that between the raisins, sweet potato, carrot and apple these muffins are sweet enough. I  also use one apple instead of half.

These paleo muffins always turn out well and are perfect to have on hand for a morning snack!

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Lets get personal…

Lately I have been a not-so-lean, rarely-mean cooking machine. I love to cook. Where did this passion come from? I hated cooking in my 20s. As I got older, got married and realised what it meant to look after my husband, myself (and my stomach), I started venturing more into the world of cooking. Its a time in my day where I get in the zone and enjoy the simple wonders of such things as grating a carrot and measuring a cup of flour.

My day to day life is hectic. I work in the corporate world, commute amongst stressed out people, day in – day out.

I’m in and out of meetings, I often fly interstate and have a very… corporate job. There are parts of my job I enjoy, but it is not who I am. I don’t identify with the corporate world. However it pays well and I have an amazing boss who provides flexibility and trusts me. A good salary and a good boss are motivation for me to stay in that world. Plus there is a part of me that loves reconciling accounts!

I dream of working as a nutritionist, a florist or as a librarian. However right now I need to focus in on paying off some debt. It means setting aside some career goals.

In the meantime, my hobbies keep me sane. There is a part of me that is a creative dreamer. However I tend more towards the analytical thinking type and have the ability to work with very detailed information. Being 50/50 in terms of creativity/analytical thinking does two things: a) its confusing in terms of what I want to do career wise b) it opens up a lot of opportunity. I need to hone in on “B”.

I’d say most of my friends veer towards being extremely creative. I admire my friends who love to craft, sew, are amazing photographers and draw beautifully. I’m not this person. There are times I feel frustrated in that I fall somewhere in the middle. I love art and fashion, playing piano, gardening and cooking. However I also enjoy spreadsheets, bookkeeping and am very interested in programming and online marketing. I’m one of the most organised people I know and truly enjoy systems and processes.

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It has been very confusing to me over the years in terms of study and a career, but finally I have made a decision as to where I’m going. I was looking at a Bachelor of Nutritional Science major, however this is not what I’ve chosen. I’m starting a programming course next month and am planning on studying an online web marketing course later this year. I believe this will be fulfilling, and I can choose to work in an area I’m interested in. eg. Working as a marketing consultant for an online retailer whose brand I am passionate about.

I am truly excited about this and had to share it with the world wide web. So thank you for reading this far.

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Baking soda is the bomb

For a few years now my husband has been telling me we should clean with baking soda and vinegar. He has always hated the commercial sprays and thinks I am heavy handed with them. Fair call, I am – at least, I was. Since we were newly married (9 years ago!) I remember him saying he didn’t think it was a good idea spraying all of those chemicals in the air.

Wise man! If only I listened. There was me happily spraying “Spray and Wipe” everywhere like I was in an American commercial.

Fast forward to 2016.

I am feeling pretty happy with my DIY spray I made the other day using Dr Bronner’s, water & lavender oil.

The bathroom:
Yesterday I made a bathroom spray which is made up of 50/50 water and vinegar with a few drops of tea tree oil. I cleaned the bathroom with this yesterday and it worked well. The toilet needed a clean so I shook some baking soda into it, sprayed the water/vinegar solution into the toilet which reacted with the baking soda, then scrubbed with the toilet brush. I sprayed the rest of the toilet with the water/vinegar solution and wiped it off. I was left with a nice clean toilet.

I must add, my husband got home and asked “why does the bathroom smell of vinegar?” Alas, better vinegar than bleach, right?

The kitchen:
I have a shelf in the kitchen where I keep various bottles of oil and vinegar. This shelf is forever getting leftover oil residue on it from the bottom of the bottles. I have sprayed that shelf using commercial sprays, used ajax to try and lift the grease – nothing works easily.

Lo and behold the dirty cupboard:

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Gross! Yesterday I mixed a paste of baking soda and water, wiped it on/off and look what instantly happened:

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I just posted the world’s most boring picture! However I’m beyond impressed with how well that mixture worked. The nerd in me is beyond excited about how well baking soda works as a cleaner!

Next up:
Making a good DIY floor cleaner. I used this mixture the other day:

1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup washing soda
1 TBS dish soap
8 Litres Hot Water

It cleaned my floors well and took off a lot of dirt. However left my floors with a white powdery residue. I might need to use a vinegar solution next time!

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