This is me (Well…. PART of me. The part I am sharing today…)

Well……..

 

This site has been operating for a couple of years now. I post sporadically and I share the recipes that I think are worthwhile – all the while trying to reject my natural tendencies to avoid the illusion of perfection.

 

I thought some of you might be interested in hearing a little more of why I do what I do, and why I love ‘real food’.

 

Here we go! All in the name of authenticity and being open, real and honest……

 

Angela.

(Mother, teacher, writer. Pursuer of ‘real’. Creator of ‘Lovely Little Coconuts’ and ‘The Muddled Perfectionist’.)

It has been a rough road, trying to figure out how to balance life, disease, children, work, health, relationships and nourishing my family. I fail as often as I succeed.

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I still remember holding my first born for the very first time. Skin to skin. Utterly exhausted after an incredibly long labour, in complete shock and awe and recognising that a ‘mama lioness’ had been released from her cage.

 

While being a mother took a long time to navigate with any kind of sense or clarity, for me one thing has always been very straightforward. I want my children to be the healthiest, most energetic and dynamic version of themselves that they can be.

 

From the moment my daughter was born, she had health issues. Her birth was 4 weeks early and labour was long and difficult. Half of her little tiny body was black at birth due to lack of circulation. She had a tiny red mark across her throat that developed into a large, swollen strawberry birthmark that needed removal at 6 months because it began ulcerating and causing her to sit with her head tipped to the side. She had moderate to severe eczema over the majority of her body. She had what we now suspect was reflux. She spent the first 6 months of her life unsettled, crying and very difficult to figure out.

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Sleeping like an angel – 3 days old

Later on, she developed asthma and then tests showed that she was potentially anaphylactic to tree nuts and reactive to a host of other allergens. Until she was around 5 years old, she suffered through marathon meltdowns that we couldn’t understand. We couldn’t see what was triggering her to react in such a dramatic, angry and violent way to the world around her.

The first thing we tried was eliminating preservatives and additives in foods. We gradually removed almost all packaged and factory processed foods from our diet. While we noticed some improvement, we could see we still had a long way to go.

When she was 12 months old, I found out I was pregnant with my son. Apart from being very tired and quite nauseous throughout, it was quite an uneventful pregnancy. I did suffer from some unusual bleeding during both pregnancies, but nothing that warranted further investigation.

The birth of my son could not have been more opposite. Relatively fast and straightforward, he came into the world like a burst of sunshine. No allergies, no lasting complications, calm and even tempered…. I was totally amazed that this little person was made from the same DNA as my daughter.

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Meeting for the first time

As my son grew, I found myself becoming more and more exhausted. Caught in a vicious cycle of breastfeeding, exhausted from helping my daughter deal with her meltdowns and medical issues, having very little time away from the house or being a mum – I put it all down to motherhood and waited for the day to come when I would feel semi-human again.

It turns out, that day was further away than I could have imagined.

When my son was around 3 months old, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (Crohns’ ugly cousin) and began my own confusing health journey. Travelling from hospital, to emergency room, back to hospital, various specialists and a lot of trial and error with medications and diet followed.

For now I seem to have found a happy balance between mainstream health-care, alternative therapy to build my strength, immunity and health and creating nourishing foods to ensure I am gaining maximum nutrition to build and maintain my energy and strength.

Thus, Lovely Little Coconuts was started – mainly as a kind of ‘food-life diary’ to keep track of what I was eating /trialling and to hopefully build my network of whole food enthusiasts.

What a blessing LLC has been! As I sit back and look at all of the wonderful people I have met since the inception of this little page, and the doors it has opened, I am amazed and quite overwhelmed. After it took off like a ‘viral’ rocket (thanks Jo Whitton!) things seem to have settled into a new normality.

It has allowed me to bring together a little group of enthusiastic students at my school who love to hear about how healthy food can be delicious.

My family’s health continues to improve. We have a long way to go, but I know without a shadow of a doubt we are on the right path.

I have been warmly welcomed into the most amazing tribe of women who empower each other and who believe 100% in the same things I do.

If I have any advice for mums who are beginning their journey into the world of real food it is that it can seem overwhelming and darned confusing, especially at first when you don’t quite trust your inner compass. Take baby steps. Listen to your body. It will absolutely not happen overnight – these changes are continuous. We have been on this path for close to 5 years now, and we are still altering our approach. Tweaking what we do. Discovering something new.

And that’s ok. Because that is the beauty and mess known as ‘Life’s Journey’.

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Health is a gift we don’t take for granted. Enjoy every minute!

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Chicken and Nectarine Salad – and stuff

I’m back!! It’s been so long between posts that I had to retrieve my password! True story!

What a year! Blog and Facebook page started on a whim, my eldest ‘baby’ finished her Kindy year, we found out the company my husband worked for was closing it’s doors, we made plans to leave Mackay – then stay – then leave again – then finally STAY put for at least another year, I was fortunate enough to be granted a term of Long Service Leave so I could be a stay at home mum for 10 weeks and I found a wider circle of beautiful, like minded people who share my passion for honesty, simplicity, real food and living an authentic life.

These wonderful, shiny-bright souls are the little jewels that stud the fabric of my life. Some of them I see regularly, some of them not regularly enough! And some of them live in my ‘on-line’ world. I am grateful for every one of you.

If we were all coming together and bringing a plate, I think I would combust from the sheer decadence of having all of your company in the one room. (And can you imagine how fantastic the menu would be???? OMG!!)

This is what I would bring to share with you all 🙂

CHICKEN SALAD WITH NECTARINES

Chicken and nectarine salad

Ingredients:

Salad (place all ingredients in bowl and toss gently):

Salad mix of choice (I used baby spinach, rocket and baby kale)

Cucumber (diced)

Tomatoes (diced)

Capsicum (sliced)

Nectarines (stone removed, sliced)

Blueberries

Bocconcini cheese (pulled into small pieces)

Chicken:

Chicken breasts (1 breast for every 2 people)

Salt / pepper

2 tsp White balsamic vinegar

Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream)

large handful of fresh thyme

large handful of fresh oregano

small handful of fresh mint

3 spring onions

zest of one lime (or lemon

juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)

salt and pepper

2 tsp pure maple syrup

Method:

Season chicken and fry in hot pan until just cooked through. Remove and set aside to rest for a few minutes, drizzle vinegar over the top while resting.

Combine zest, herbs, spring onions in blender (or TMix) and whiz until fine. Add mayo, creme fraiche and lime juice and combine. Add salt, pepper and maple syrup according to taste and combine well.

Assemble the salad by placing warm sliced chicken over the salad ingredients and drizzle dressing over the top.

A perfect light meal on a hot Queensland tropical evening. (Oh, and if you have some kombucha or cider on hand to serve alongside this, it goes down a treat!)

What are your favourite summer recipes?

How did I get here?

How indeed! Just over a week ago I was home with a sick little boy, failing to find an extended amount of time to constructively work on my class reports when my thoughts wandered back to that ‘idea’ that has been bumping around in my head.

“Why not?” I said to myself. “Why not just start a little page? If nothing else, it will serve as a type of journal. A way to record recipes and links that inspire me…….”

That’s when I hit “Create Page” on Facebook. I shared my funny little page with some friends and acquaintances. Some of them have Thermomixes. Some of them eat clean. Some love Paleo. Some ask me questions about different kinds of flour and cacao. One of them owns a highly successful alternative eating blog that I follow like a groupie……………

Hmmmmmmm………..

Off to bed I went, checking my page at 84 likes. (Wahoo!! How exciting! I would have to think of something fun and yummy to share with them over the weekend.)

The next morning the alarm went off at it’s usual time. Bleary eyed, I rolled over to see if I had cracked the hundred mark (if I could be so bold to assume…….)

A message from my friend, Lauren. It simply read,”What have I done?”

Lauren talked to Jo. Jo talked to 33 000 others. 4 000 of those decided *giggling madly behind their laptops and phones* to pop over and visit my little page.

I don’t think my heart left my mouth for a full 24 hours. I watched my liker list grow. And grow. And GROW to a phenomenal number, almost tipping the scales at 9 000.

My first instinct was to run to the corner and rock quietly with my fingers in my ears. My second instinct was to place a blanket over my rocking self. My third instinct was to take chocolate under the blanket with me for ‘company’.

My lasting instinct is to ride this roller-coaster. To continue my ‘little’ page in the same way it was intended. To just be honest, open and curious (and intensely grateful). To show my little group of interested followers what I do, how I eat and what I strive for. If you are all enjoying yourselves you will stay. If not, that’s ok too.

I am not an expert on anything but my own self. I will never pretend to be something I am not or give you nutritional guidance or professional advice. There are some amazing practitioners out there who will do that for you.

All I promise to do is post some recipes now and then, in my own imperfect way. I can tell you how I have changed my way of eating and living. And I can promise to love every little bit of this journey.

I am LOVING this roller coaster ride so far. Thank you for riding with me.

I still cannot believe I was part of something so weirdly awesome.