Wednesday 30 November 2016

What it's like on a 7 day juice fast. Alternative title: I didn't kill anyone.

We’ve been married almost 20 years and have been through many, many trials, but I can easily and honestly say that the past week has been one of the hardest to endure.

Why? Two words: Juice fast.

It was my idea. I’d been reading Rich Roll’s inspiring book Finding Ultra and listening to his super-cool, super-smooth podcasts, so when Shane mentioned he’d like to go on a bit of a health kick before the festive season and shift a few kilos, I was excited.

I enthusiastically related how Rich Roll felt amazing after a seven day juice fast following years of neglecting his health, alcoholism and a self-described cheeseburger addiction. In fact he had so much energy he ran up a mountain after years of not exercising. Doesn’t that sound compelling? Don’t juice fasts sound great? Shall we do one? Wanna? Wanna? Hey? Hey?

Well. I don’t know what kind of veggies they’re growing in America, but I couldn’t even lift my head to LOOK at a mountain, let alone ascend it. Running? Not. A. Chance.

It started well enough. A trip to the fruit and veg store loading a box of pineapple, bunches of kale and 90, yes 90, apples into my trolley of goodness was fun in a virtuous kind of way. I was happy. I was enthused. I was eager to begin.

Time to be honest here. I expected it to be a walk in the park for me. A lifelong vegetarian and two-year vegan I envisioned glowing with health, energy and good vibes. I thought it would be harder for Shane, a tradie who has sausage rolls and Coke for breakfast.

Not so much.

The first three days were a write-off. Do not plan anything for those days. I didn’t have the headaches other people describe as fortunately I’d given caffeine the flick a few months previously, but I walked around in a haze of dizziness, hunger and misery. The juices were delicious but my body was not happy. I just kept telling myself that by day four I would, apparently, feel better. That’s what the online groups say - by day four my body would have detoxed and I would be bursting with good health and ready to run up a mountain.

Um, no.

Day four I was cranky, day five I was a bitch and day six I was weak and emotional. Did I mention I went out for lunch with friends that day? They had curry (dahl – my favourite) and I had a particularly grassy juice. Bite me watercress.

To add additional pain, I only lost 1.9 kilos. That sounded pretty good until I stood next to Shane on the scale. He lost six kilos in six days. I’m not kidding. I started calling him The Biggest Loser and I kind of meant it in a mean way, such was my mood. Oh, did I mention that he was bristling with the rude good health I had envisioned? Yes, not only did he joyfully prep most of the juices as by 5pm I was wiped out for the day, he whistled while he did it. He actually whistled. He bounced out of bed. He played basketball! He had one bad day, but other than that, he was the Rich Roll. Where’s his mountain?

So what have I learned?

It’s not for me. A friend told me she doesn’t think juice fasts are for everyone and I think she’s right.
I’m writing this on day seven today and sods law I’m going to a cocktail party tonight. Everyone sipping lovely drinks while I have water and herbal juice…

BUT TOMORROW! Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow. I’m craving a baked potato, guacamole, Zambreros, butter beans, tofu and noodles. I can see that 1.9 kilos coming straight back at me. But y’know what? I don’t care.
All I care about is carbs right now. Lovely, delicious, energy-giving carbs.

I’d take a photo of my juice (coz it’s social media and I realise photos are important) but I don’t have the energy. 

Wednesday 24 July 2013

PoLiTiCs! Alternate title: an explanation to my family and friends

I am stuck between two worlds.

My conservative friends don’t want me – I like Julia Gillard, am violently, vehemently, very, very opposed to live export, and worst of all, I am a vegetarian.

But the left-wingers don’t want me either. I go to church, pretty much every week (give or take the odd ill-timed hangover), I think conservative-thinking is not all bad and I once queued for an hour to shake John Howard’s hand.

A quick Google of left-wing Christians proves that contrary to my personal experience, I am NOT alone.

But where are you all?

I am if not, an outright pariah (they are far too polite for that) among my religious friends, I am clearly and obviously a product of my university education.

As my family roundly mocked my fondness for Julia Gillard recently, my Dad declared

“Your brother came out of uni like you too.”

I replied “like what? Clever?”

Laughter diffused the situation, but you see, I was raised conservative. From the moment I was taken home from the hospital to our little slice of suburbia in scruffy Forrestfield, I was taught that Winston Churchill was king. Margaret Thatcher was queen. Left-wing types are to be mocked – their undoubtedly Godless morals questioned. And really, they should all get a job. And have a good shower.

That was all very well, until I began to notice things… like why, after a move to Pinjarra, were the indigenous kids in my class treated worse than me? Why was every damn thing at school sponsored by Alcoa (I thought they were a charity at first)? And why were all the grown-ups I know so unhappy?

I still don’t know the answer to that last question, but as I got older I began to learn. Listen. Made friends with those left-wing types, and yes, just like I was taught, actually a few DID have a relaxed attitude to sex. But at least they were open about it – unlike our pastor who ran off with the pianist, leaving behind his wife and children.

Honesty. That’s what I began seeking. And I’m still searching.

Intelligence. Intelligence to me, means people, and politicians, who are willing to (and not afraid to) listen and consider ALL the political views and not just the ones they happen to agree with.

Bravery. I love people with the courage to speak their mind. Politicians who are not just echoing the party-speak. Toeing the party line is a blight on the current political stage.

So to my Christian friends who are inwardly shaking their heads at me, wondering where I went wrong and vowing to pray for my soul, can I ask you this? If Jesus came back tomorrow, who do you think he would hang out with?

Would it be the rich mining magnates? The business people? The royal family? Who do you reckon he might stick up for? Who would he help out? Who would be the Peter of the day? Yes, he loves everyone, but he also called a few a brood of snakes.

And I’m scared of snakes.




Friday 22 February 2013

The illusion of prestige. Valuing fun.

I learn far more from my kids than they learn from me, I tell you.

My youngest and I have almost an hour each day alone together at the moment as we do the school-run between two different schools - dropping off her two older siblings earlier and collecting them later.

I am really enjoying our time together to chat. Just the two of us. She's a quiet one. And her older sister isn't. So oftentimes I don't get to hear an awful lot from her.

She has been catching the school bus to swimming lessons and she was telling me about her dream to one day stand in the aisle while the bus is in motion.

And then the conversation moved to the school bus drivers who have been driving her to school swimming lessons.

"There's this one guy with a beard - he's really nice, but the other guy always drives up the kerbs," she said.
"Always?" I questioned, laughing, wondering if she'd noticed my kerb-hitting ways.
"Yep. When we go around corners we all wait to see if we are going to hit it. It's kind of fun in a way. Anyway, I was talking to Daniel and I was telling him about how my Poppy was a bus driver," she said proudly.

"Did you?' I asked wanting her to say more. And she did.

"Yeah and I told him about how Poppy worked as a security guard on Garden Island."

"You sound as if you think that's really cool?" I questioned further.

"It is," she said matter-of-factly.

Conversation over.

And I realised - it is cool.

Why do we grown-ups attach prestige to jobs? Why? Is it salary?
Is it because we think corporate types are smarter? Because I know that is not true at all. Total bollocks in fact.

I can tell you this. Currently, I have a prestigious job. Probably the most prestigious job I have ever had.
And I tell you this. I had much more self-respect, better work-life balance and definitely more fun working at Hungry Jacks, Woolworths and all my other 'low prestige' jobs.

Maybe we should be more like my 10-year-old and base job prestige not on education, not on salary and not on power wielded.

But on fun.


What a concept.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Bye bye Instagram

It's late. I'm tired. But I did something momentous today.
Well, momentous for me.

I deleted my Instagram account.

Here's a tough question: do you spend more time on social networks, than you do with your children?
Eek! Sorry.


It all started with a car service you see. The mechanic unplugged my battery and for some reason, this unplugged my car stereo (??) and to get your car stereo back again a pin number must be entered.

Well of course I forgot my pin number - tried a few, and was then 'locked out' of my car stereo.

That was a long boring story to tell you... I have been enjoying the solitude.

Solitude - what a great word.

Driving with my thoughts and prayers.

And kind of restful.

And then when the kids are with me, listening to them. Instead of the song. And the complaints on talkback radio.

So in the midst of all this solitude, I noticed that whenever I had to wait for my kids (often) I would check my Facebook, check my Instagram, check my emails.

And at the same time, I noticed that whenever something fabulous happened - like spotting a ladybug, or another of life's simple but beautiful moments, instead of ENJOYING it, I was reaching for my phone to take a photo.

To share with others...
Instead of enjoying it myself!

Now when I am waiting for my kids, I can enjoy the surroundings.
It's not boring!
It's taking a moment.
Taking a breath.
Taking a break.


All the good stuff.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

On bullying

I met Alex when we were seated next to each other at a lunch.

I was late. And flustered. And stressed - my daughter was (and sadly, still is) being bullied by another girl at school and on that day I could think of little else.

It isn't physical bullying.
It's the more insidious type...

 the sneering, self-confidence-destroying, whispering campaign that some girls are so good at

staring, laughing, looking-up-and-down
the type where the bully gets the weaker kids on side, and makes them promise not to talk to the victim - such fun

 and conversation stops when they walk past

false accusations

harsh words


I gave a brief rundown to Alex and she patted my knee and said,
"It's horrible isn't it? I've been there, and you have my absolute and total sympathy."

It was so what I needed to hear.

I knew we'd be friends.

Because she was absolutely right. It IS horrible. It's most horrible for the child, but also horrible for the parent.

When my child is bullied it hurts.
     My heart hurts for her.
          I constantly try to think of solutions.
               And dream of my own vigilante solution.
                    And time goes so agonisingly slow, while the wheels of school justice turn.

And while it is becoming increasingly recognised that counselling in an abusive relationship does more harm than good {link}, many schools still insist on having one-on-one talks between bully and victim.

I have yet to see this work.
And can't really understand how it can, as the abuser can say all the right words at the time but then use the information divulged in the session against the victim.

I support the anti-bullying campaigns that say there are no innocent bystanders.
I am no expert, but it seems to me the best form of defence against bullying is to raise confident children who will stand against injustice.

And how do we do that?
By being confident adults who take a stand against injustice.

Not being afraid to be unpopular

or say "this is wrong".

Speaking up.

Comforting those who need it.

Being a friend to the underdog.

Not turning away.

Using our voice.

And standing with those who are being bullied.
And their frazzled, desperate parents.

If you are the parent of a child that is being bullied, please know you have my absolute and total sympathy.

Keep going.

Sunday 29 July 2012

On faith


If I asked you the very awkward question "Which religion's followers are the least intelligent?" I reckon you would um and ah and refuse to answer.

And rightly so.

But SECRETLY I reckon you'd be thinking: Christians.

Evidence here.

And I get it, I really do.

I realise it all sounds a bit wacky.

I realise that sometimes our music is embarrassingly bad.

And our leaders sometimes talk about money a bit too much.

I do. I really, really get it.

And when I was younger, I rebelled and tried desperately to shake my faith. But I COULDN'T.

Here's why:

Thursday 26 July 2012

Why I love bogans

I have seen people disagree with their pastors about many things... the length of the sermon, the layout of chairs in the church, the songs played and even what temperature the heater should be set.

Who'd be a pastor huh?

I have no such issues (love you Pastor!)

But I do disagree with my pastor on one particular issue:


I freaking love 'em.