A darn sight better?

I have just begun an experiment. Nothing nefarious, and of course nothing on an unsuspecting being. Who’s the guinea pig you may ask? Well, it’s me.

A couple of days ago, I was watching a recent episode of my lovely virtual friend Michelle’s podcast, and she mentioned in passing that her husband is exercising his long vision when they go on their walks. Now, I’m assuming here but I think the idea came from a Katy Bowman book that Michelle is reading (Move Your DNA – correct me if I’m wrong Michelle!), and it was about how we are having an epidemic of sorts of short sightedness. We are constantly looking at screens close to our faces and spend so little time outside looking at far things that our eyes are adjusting.

Now, if you know me, I’ve probably worn glasses (and claimed to be blind – can’t see my husband clearly sitting next to me on the couch blind!)  for the entire time we’ve known each other (unless you’re my friend Jo who’s known me since I was 14 – I started wearing glasses for my long sightedness and headaches at 16). And if I wasn’t wearing glasses, I was for sure wearing contacts. Now that contacts are a luxury I can no longer afford (and if I can’t afford contacts I can’t afford Lasik – I can dream), I am stuck wearing a giant pair of plastic frames on my face day in day out. Don’t get me wrong, I love my glasses and feel super cute in them most of the time but sometimes it would really be nice to eschew them and go free-faced.

So circling back around, I am performing an experiment. I am taking off my glasses when I get home. I, of course, know my house enough to be able to get around and I can definitely tell the difference between Granger and Marion. 😉 I am attempting to go without them unless I’m driving or having to manoeuvre in public. Things are blurry but I know what they are. The worst obstacle I have is trying to read text on the the TV when we’re watching YouTube videos. I am writing this blog post sans  glasses. I think I feel an improvement already, but that could just be wishful thinking amidst the blur.

But on the plus side, my usually less than perfectly clean house looks a whole lot better in Vaseline lens.


On ageing…

Just last weekend I posted to Instagram about the dry skin issues I’ve been having in the Aussie winter weather:

Among other suggestions, a good friend of mine suggested it could be an ageing thing. Say what?!!

Since her comment I’ve been thinking about all the things I’ve done my whole life, chasing eternal youth. I’ve used sunscreen meticulously since I was a teenager, drunk lots of water, used the same regime of various toners, exfoliators, serums and moisturisers for at least a decade and my skin was still dry and beginning to crinkle. Did she have a point?

This lead me on to a book I recently read, ‘Dynamic Aging’ by Katy Bowman (Amazon AU link here). This book is less about superficial youth (superficial as in the surface, not in the other more derogatory sense), but physical youth by strengthening and simply USING your body. And it highlighted to me how my 35 years of paying attention to the superficial had left my body far older than my 35 years.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a decrepit 35 year old. I am overweight, yes, but I am fit and strong. I walk a minimum of 5 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. And my job as a yarn dyer is actually quite physical involving a lot of lifting, stretching and moving. Since reading Katy’s book I’m actually upping my walks to multiple a day and also on weekends (when my foot injury isn’t flaring up that is. But that’s another story). And despite my efforts chasing young skin, it turns out the thing that ages me most is my body. Especially my weight.

So I don’t know whether it’s the chronological age and the gradual knowledge that comes with the advancing years that has expanded my idea of youth, or my vanity and long-held desire to be thin and fit. But either way I am taking steps to improve the physical. More on that in another post. 😉

How has your idea of youth and ageing changed over the years? Do you still strive to be young or are you comfortable as you are? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Juice Cleanse: Final Thoughts

So it seems I lost track of time. 😉 I’m only a week and a half late but here are my final thoughts on my Juice Challenge with Reboot with Joe.

This challenge was really well done on the part of the Reboot team. Each email was clear, with links and extra information. If you’re interested in trying a juice cleanse, I would definitely recommend them as the place to keep an eye on for their next one or signing up for their personalised Guided Reboots if you’ve got the funds and you’re interested.

As for my physical feelings, and changes I’m not so sold.

As I detailed in my last post here, I had a very hard time for the first three days even though I had been very conscientious in my preparation before the cleanse. The bloating was intense and extremely uncomfortable and I was tired. That was really the only symptoms I had however, no headaches or hunger. By Thursday night, the day I wrote that post, the bloating had returned and I was in tears by the time bed-time came around. I said to Si that I just wanted to quit, that I’d done four days and that was fantastic and I was proud of what I’d achieved. He gently pushed that it was only one extra day. And I decided he was right.

Friday was great. I felt light, no bloating, my skin was clear and I was alert. This was the feeling I was seeking the whole week. But damn did I want to eat something!!! I broke my ‘fast’ on Friday night with a celebratory square of Lindt dark chocolate. Not the best thing to break a juice cleanse with but I was happy, and there are certainly worse things I could have had.

I weighed myself on Saturday morning and I had lost a further 1.4kg (3.1lbs) for a total of 3.8kg (8.4lbs) lost on the cleanse. Not too shabby.

And Saturday is where things just went wrong. It started with a hot cross bun for breakfast, CC’s for lunch then restaurant pasta for dinner. Two out of three were what I’d been craving through the cleanse. I couldn’t face another juice. Or to cut up more produce. I think partially the carb overload is from the carb deprivation from the previous 5 days. I am a carb craver by nature so that’s what I went for. 😦 I didn’t eat all the pasta so I’m grateful for small mercies.

As I said, I’m a week and a half out from the end of my juice cleanse. My consumption of a plant-based diet has been minimal. Other than the odd juice, regular banana & avocado smoothies, and vegetarian dinners, the rest of my diet has been fairly abysmal. Cheese toasties, home-baked bread and butter. You know, crap. As such, my weight had gone up again by 1.8kg (4lbs) in last week’s weigh in, which has held steady this week thankfully. I am still 3.3kg (7.3lbs) down from the start of the year so I’m still happy with progress.

So now that the long weekend is over, I walked the dog this morning, made a green juice for breakfast, and have planned a healthy lunch and a vegetarian dinner. So fingers crossed this week is the return to healthy living. Wish me luck!

Juice Cleanse

So if you follow me on Instagram, (and if you don’t, why not?!! 😉 My handle is anneofjulie! Lots of yarny/doggy/foodie goodness to be had!) you’ll be aware that I’ve been on a juice cleanse since Monday.

If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that about this time last year I was talking about a plant-based diet and wanting to get rid of my excess weight. Well, obviously I did nothing about it most of the year last year. In December I really decided I’d had enough, I couldn’t fit in my size 20 jeans. Something had to be done so my new year’s resolution was set: Become healthy, fit, actually have that plant-based diet and lose weight!

It just so happened that in December I received an email from Reboot with Joe about a 5-day juice cleanse happening in January 2016. I signed up immediately. You might know Joe (ha I rhyme!) from his documentary ‘Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’ and its sequel that you can catch on Netflix. It is about his journey to cure himself of auto-immune disease and lose his excess weight. He spent two months in the US drinking nothing but juice. Yep, you read right, two months of only juice. And now on my fourth day of my cleanse, I really have NO IDEA how he went for so long without chewing!!!

I meant to do a write up of each day as I went along but obviously that didn’t happen!  😉 So I thought I’d do a quick rundown now.

Sunday my hubby, Si and I went out and we purchased everything I’d need for my 5-day juice cleanse. Surprisingly it wasn’t as expensive as I expected. I’d say all together it was just over $100 to get everything I needed. We laid it all out and I took a selfie with all my produce. As you do.

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And here’s what it looked like without my mug in front of it:

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Hubs did a fabulous job of rearranging and packing the fridge for me. Grouping everything together in easy to find places. What a gem! I had spent the previous week and a half beginning the detox by avoiding processed food, gluten containing foods, meat and dairy. It was advised that this could help to reduce detox symptoms once the cleanse began.

Monday I’d made plans to go to my mother-in-law’s house to start work on some bunting that I’m sewing for her birthday party. So my morning was making up three lots of juice to take with me as we were staying for dinner. Well, hubs was having dinner, I was having juice. By the afternoon, my stomach began to get bloaty and I was feeling a bit uncomfortable. I was a little tired and because of that, grumpy. Thankfully I wasn’t very hungry. I was devastated that I missed out on a home cooked, Chinese meal by one of the MIL’s Chinese boarding students but I had made a commitment so I stuck to it. The other student said she felt sorry for me that all I had to drink was juice when her friend had made such excellent food. At that point she was dead to me. Lol, not really but YA DIDN’T NEED TO KICK ME WHEN I WAS ALREADY DOWN!!! STOP RUBBING IT IN THAT YOU’RE HAVING A FABULOUS DINNER! 😉

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Monday’s breakfast

Tuesday was a very hot day so I mostly just sat around the house, monitoring the dog to ensure he wasn’t too hot. The bloating hadn’t stopped and I was getting increasingly uncomfortable. Thank goodness I didn’t have any headaches or I would have been not nice to be around. I didn’t particularly like my lunch juice, it had capsicum in it and although it didn’t taste too bad, the smell of the capsicum was really off putting.

Wednesday was my worst day. If you do follow on Instagram, you would have seen my selfie for the day was a very demotivated, very sad little panda. I was SO uncomfortable with multiple IBS symptoms though I do not have IBS. I was tired, teary and just over it. I wanted to CHEW something; the craving for a cold, crunchy salad was overwhelming. Si got me to pick him up some hot cross buns and CC’s (corn chips) while I was out running errands and they practically taunted me from the kitchen. You have no idea the amount of self control it took to not rip open and devour a packet of CC’s. To have the cheesy, crunchy chips masticating in my mouth (alliteration anyone?). And the smell of the hot cross buns was almost too much. But I didn’t break. Si suggested chewing some celery and spitting it out just to chew but I couldn’t. I looked towards Saturday when I can eat again, Si put on an Indiana Jones film and I just tuned out how crappy I was feeling. The very small amount of consolation I had was that both the breakfast and lunch juices for the day were lovely.

So, now we reach today. The IBS symptoms are gone! Hoorah! And I’m feeling bright and positively cheerful! My lovely friend S told me that the third day is the “resolution” day and it seems that has been accurate for me. My breakfast juice today was revolting so I drank most of one serve and threw the rest away. It was a large part silverbeet (chard) with just cucumber and carrot and it just tasted like eating straight silverbeet. Yuck. The remainder was supposed to be for afternoon tea but I feared I might vomit if I tried to drink it.  So I’ll just have some coconut water instead.

I’m very glad tomorrow is the last day. There’s no way I could last two months doing this. That being said, I think the results speak for themselves. After only two days of juice-only, I’d lost 2.4kg (5.3lbs) which takes my weight loss this year to 5.1kg (11.2lb). My skin is bright and clear and I feel very alert today. And guess what, I tried on my jeans today AND THEY FIT!!! YAY!!! I’ll try and post again on Saturday with my final weight results from the cleanse and final thoughts.

Would you do a juice cleanse? Have you done one and would you do it again? How did it go?



Motivation. It’s a slippery little sucker. One minute it’s there and you’re bouncing through the world on a mission, the next it’s gone and you’re slumped on the couch stuffing your face with dark chocolate, unable to even pick up your knitting needles.

This is pretty much i.e. an accurate description of, what my life has been like lately. I have barely the energy to get myself out of bed, let alone jump into all those goals I set myself at the start of the year.

My eating has gone down the tubes despite my taking the plunge and signing up for a 6-month contract with Weight Watchers. I now weigh more now than my weigh-in at my first meeting.

My knit from stash and not purchase new yarn goal has gone by the wayside also, although not to the same extent as my poor eating habits.

I have not done any gardening since my last post on it. I have not planted any food even though I have some seeds waiting and some potting mix that has not even been put into the planter boxes.

My house is a pig-sty. With probably more stuff in it than when I wrote the post on a simplified household.

Cross stitch? Sewing? What even are these?

I have decided though, that despite all the above negatives I will be positive. Instead of focusing on what I have not done, I am looking towards what I want to achieve and how I can get there. Here’s to future posts about my accomplishments rather than my failures.

How do you keep motivation flowing?

Goal Progress


I thought I’d take today to have a bit of a think about how things are going with the goals I set for myself at the start of the year.

Knitting Goals

So far so good. For some of it. 😉

I have failed in my “do not buy yarn unless I am ready to cast on straight away” goal. On my most recent podcast (here), I discussed another little exception to my knit from stash goals. And this was that if I can get it, I’m allowed to purchase the limited edition Madelinetosh colourways from Eat.Sleep.Knit (ESK). These colourways are available for the first week of the month only and are inspired by places around Georgia, which is where ESK is located. They disappear pretty quickly as there is only 10-20 skeins of the colourway on about six yarn bases.

I have also failed on my “only two WIPs” at a time goal. I have had a bit of cast-on-itis lately and have started a couple of Memory Blankets. These are mitred square blankets where each square is knit onto the last. However, this does help with the stash down as it is getting rid of little odds and ends of yarn that have been hanging around for a while. I’ve started one in sock yarn (4 ply) and another in worsted/aran (10 ply) yarn. I have been putting in a lot of work to finish my WIPs so I’m still moving forward in respect to this goal. I have knit 1356 yards for my Clean Slate Challenge so I nearly have an entry into the prize draw (at 1500 yards)! 🙂

Sewing Goals

I have yet to sew anything but I have it on my agenda for this week. I have joined a beta test of a new productivity website for craft businesses and I am using it to organise my time so that I can work on the MyMuddlings brand and also schedule some personal sewing in. If you’re interested to see the new products I am working on, head over to my Facebook page.

I have yet to set up my husband’s old desk for my cutting table, we’ll need to get rid of some stuff to make room first. I have begun working on the Wardrobe Architect exercises and I’m intending to write about my progress later in the week.

Cross Stitch

Again, no progress here as yet.

Healthy Lifestyle Goals.

Hmmm… this has been a bit so-so. I still have the good intention but I have been lacking the motivation and energy as I have been struggling with a set back to my mental health progress. Sometimes it’s all just too hard to make a juice or a salad or carrot and celery sticks when you’re feeling down. It’s easier to reach for the processed carbs to give yourself a sugar boost. It’s a pity because I know I will feel better if I eat the veggies. Most days I’ve at least had my green juice so that’s positive.

I haven’t been exercising and that includes the yoga. Although, now I have scheduled dog walking into my agenda with the productivity website I mentioned above. I also need to carve out a time and create a ritual to begin my meditation… Some more research is required here.

Simplified Home Goals

At this point, we have no progress to report other than my knitting down scraps from my stash. Again, with the way my mental state has been of late, it’s just all too hard. 😦

So that’s where I am one month into the new year. How are your 2015 goals working out?

Healthy Lifestyle Goals

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 1.37.14 pmThis is where most of my ‘change’ energy will be spent in 2015.

  1. SWITCH TO A PRIMARILY PLANT-BASED DIET – As it has been proven time and time again, human beings were made to be vegetarians. Our bodies can immediately recognise and use whole, plant-based foods. It dramatically reduces your chance of heart disease and cancer to eat a plant-based diet. And this is what I’m going to do.
  2. EXERCISE FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES, 5 DAYS A WEEK – And preferably longer sessions. As a mostly sedentary person, I figure 20 minutes is a good start and I’d like to build up to 30-45 minute sessions. I’m trying to make it a habit so I think 5 days a week is a manageable goal to aim for.
  3. LOSE AT LEAST 20KG (44lbs) IN WEIGHT – The above two goals should get me there. I technically have more like 35kg (77lbs) to be even close to my healthy weight range but I’m being realistic here. If I lose more than my initial 20kg, then I’ll be thrilled but I’m not going to beat myself up if I cannot lose 35kg.
  4. SPEND TIME MEDITATING – I have a natural tendency to depression and anxiety and just a few minutes of meditation a day does wonders to centre yourself and bring your focus back to the current moment.
  5. DO MORE YOGA – A lovely, stretched out, well oxygenated body makes you feel great, not to mention letting your body release built up toxins and your mind to focus on the moment. I’m aiming for at least one workout a week to start.

Do you have any health goals for 2015?