January – Not a little month

I did lots. I landed a new job. Decided to move into the boyfie’s house (yet to happen but it’s in the pipeline). Was accepted to continue my course at uni. Decluttered more ‘stuff’. Started my Barefoot Investor journey. Began building the blocks for an eventual business.

So yeah. I’m tired! But for the first time in a long time, I’m motivated, I’m happy, I’m keen for what’s coming up! This is only a short one today because I can.

2018 is going to be a big year, and I’m ok with that. I’m not worried, I’m not scared. I’m nervous, but excited.

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It’s a good day.

Today I did two things:
1. I watched my first ‘automated’ Barefoot Investor pay come and go.
2. I submitted my quarterly report for my Pyjama Angel child.

Let’s start with Barefoot.

I did a post about it (you can read it HERE). It was terrifying. It was a reality check. But it was achievable. I went on to bury myself in my usual spreadsheet planning phase WITHIN the barefoot principles. Thought ‘wow, I could have my debt paid off within a couple of years!’ then realised as my debt goes down, I can eliminate those from the plan. And if the boyfriend officially moves in, he’s gonna pay half the rent. And so on, and so on.

Snowball thinking (and a full day) later… I have a well oiled spreadsheet complete with a LEGENDARY compounding interest calculator, that if I deviate slightly from the barefoot recommendation (which is little debts to big debts) and do my highest interest to lowest interest, I actually have everything paid off almost a year earlier, and with approximately $2500 LESS interest to pay!  Incredible, right?  I thought so..

So that was my happy Tuesday planning, and happy Wednesday watching it all fall into place!

Pyjama Angel

I can hear you saying ‘what the heck IS a Pyjama Angel?’ all the way over here.

Simple answer – Pyjama Foundation was started to help increase the literacy and numeracy of kids in foster care. They got so big that Pyjama Angels were born and now we are providing over 62,100 hours of reading, writing and (boo) homework help every single year. How good is that?

So… Check this site out. Those in Australia, think about doing it. I love it! And if you can’t do it (or if you live in another country and would like to help), consider donating some books! Check out the website for the postal address, you could post directly via sites like Book Depository (psst – FREE delivery worldwide), or contact me directly and I can arrange collection of secondhand books you’d like to donate on the north side of Brisbane (Queensland, Australia – for my non-Aussie mates playing at home).

Now back to today and the quarterly report. I’m a weirdo. I love these reports. It lets me reflect on the amazing work Pyjama Angels do, as well as the foundation, and it lets me reflect on my time with my little one, B. Although she’s 13 now, she’s still about 4′ and I love taking the mickey out of her but that’s another story.

So B. She’s a feisty little 13 year old. Whole lot of attitude when she wants but my gosh does she have a whole lot of love to give. And my heart breaks for her when I hear what she has been going through. Yet she still has a smile when I’m there, we still have fun, and she is still a good kid! Sure, she gets grounded regularly, but show me a teenager who doesn’t test the boundaries!

I have been with B for over a year now and I can see me staying with her until it’s ‘uncool’ to have a pyjama angel. I really hope that never happens, because I can see this kid achieving so much. When I think of when we started and how far she has come I am amazed. This little soul has helped me learn things as much as the other way around and I want to be there when she finally does a student exchange to Japan. When she applies to uni, or TAFE, or an apprenticeship. Even if she goes stuff it all I just want to get a good job.  Or travel (we are planning to learn Spanish or French together this year – this will get interesting)! When she turns 18 and decides she doesn’t need me as a mentor anymore and I’m just a friend (probably an old and grey one but still…).

But anyway… That’s my Wednesday! It’s 2018. It’s another year. Another roller coaster. But we always come out on top! Smile – you never know who’s day you will brighten!

 

Image result for a smile is a curve that sets everything straight

High Finance

Yep. I dived in. I read it. I loved it. I could see myself doing it.

Most importantly? I could actually see my DEBT FREE future and the possibility of owning a home again.

I am in the not so unique position that I support myself, I’m in what feels like a mountain of debt, but I earn a great income. So what the hell happened?

Such a long story… but it involves opportunistic banks, stupid decisions made by me, and the killer interest I let get away from me.

So to keep it short, I’ve been pay to pay, getting extensions, paying something off only to have something else hit. Never ending cycle!

Or so I thought…

Enter… The Barefoot Investor!

Friends have told me about this book and, like most others, I was dubious. It sounded like another fly by night fad. But my bestie was adamant. And she’s pretty convincing when she wants to be so I forked out the $20 for the book.

If you’re going to make any investment. SPEND THE $20! From the start of January, my financial life is an automated, well oiled machine that I don’t need to touch! The best part is I still have a little money that I can play with every fortnight so I don’t feel completely deprived and locked into a budget!

As long as all goes well, I will be up to date with bills and everything clockwork and paying down debts in no time at all! I’m definitely a planner but no system has made me feel as in control as this one. Which is ironic, because once the automations are set up, I have NO control!

So onwards and downwards with the debt! Will check in periodically!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

3rd session down

And I'm still surviving!

I didn’t die!

Funny… last night was my first F45 session. I burned, I swore, I muttered, I laughed… and then I went back for seconds tonight!

I burned a little more, didn't mutter as much, and had a great time. I even managed a couple of things I didn't think I'd be able to do straight up!

Last night's session hit me today. Tonight's session hit me 10 minutes after I left. My foam roller took a beating.

But here's the thing… once you've been an athlete of some sort? You never really lose that drive. You just have to find new channels.

I'm gonna hurt for a while yet. But damn the endorphins are worth every old lady groan when I get up!

Here we go again

Except this time it's not just food… it's fitness. I'm doing a 2 week trial of F45.

Something for me. I've been feeling a little second place lately and I realised I definitely need to love me more!

I'll keep this short and sweet. If I'm not blogging in two weeks, I probably can't move my limbs. But this is all WORTH IT! Right…?

See you on the other side!

Rach

Whole30 Week 4

I made it!  It’s day 30 and I don’t feel like I survived, I genuinely thrived!  I had a few shit days, anyone who read Week 3 is aware, but overall I have loved this program!

A few bonuses:

  • Clearer skin – I hardly use any foundation, and the last few days have been BB cream and that’s it!  One blemish.  ALL MONTH.  Melasma has reduced significantly and is only noticeable in a couple of spots and it’s light.
  • Better appetite – I’m hungry when  I should be, and I fuel my body the right way.  Now that I’m exercising I may need to add more meals rather than snacks to help get me through but it will be a work in progress.
  • Clarity and acuity – my brain is working like it hasn’t worked in years!  Even when I don’t get quite enough sleep one night, my brain isn’t fuzzy.  I know I need more sleep but it doesn’t physically throw me for a loop (I’m sure multiple nights will affect me like anyone else though).
  • The thought of some foods is just not appealing anymore.  Yeah I could probably go ‘Wow that brie would hit the spot right now’, but then immediately my brain kicks into ‘but do you want the bloating, and the digestive woes that will come with it?  WHO EVEN AM I???
  • I actually WANT to get up at 4am and exercise.  I repeat WHO EVEN AM I?
  • Black tea is awesome.  AWESOME.  For someone who was very much a get up and put the coffee machine on person, this is pretty huge!
  • TIGER BLOOD IS NOT A MYTH!  It took a little time to kick in (must have been hibernating) but when it kicked in holy giant wheel of cheese did it kick in!  I woke up Monday morning just over a week ago and it was like someone had set a fire under me.  I was awake and out of bed with no real ‘drowsy’ in between, I got ready for work AND cooked some of my brekkies for the week AND got to work on time!  AND IT HASN’T STOPPED!

Who would really want to go back to the old ways when the alternative feels so good?

So… On that note… DRUMROLL PLEASE…

animal-7

Weight:  was 102.6kg, now 100.6kg, difference -2kg

Chest:  was 115.5cm, now 110.5cm, difference -5cm

Waist:  was 104cm, now 104.5cm, difference +0.5

Hips:  was 124cm, now 115.5cm, difference -8.5cm

Butt:  was 128.5cm, now 124.5cm, difference -4cm

TOTAL CM LOST – 17cm

Bring on more whole30 goodness!

Whole30 Week 3

Maybe not the best day to blog.  I don’t think I could feel any flatter for no reason at all!

So Week 3.  It’s supposed to be tiger blood! I’m just not feeling it! In fact, Beck and I were discussing just this morning how Fridays are meant to be awesome but they’ve been our flattest day.  Someone please enlighten us!

It hasn’t been a bad week at all.  This is what is strange.  At the risk of TMI, maybe it’s because I’m due?  Maybe it’s my pill.  Maybe I’m just OVER IT and I want to see tangible, number-based results.  I’m going with a combination of the first and third.  I’m very much a must see what’s happening person.  I don’t care if the scales are up and down, I understand the fluctuations, but I like to celebrate every little win when it goes down.  The NSVs still stand, I’m a little bloated but I can attribute that to the time of the month.  Mostly I feel better.  My skin is certainly better.

One thing I’ve noticed, and I don’t know if it qualifies as NSV or not but I have been thoroughly  enjoying my tea black!  In fact, I’ve enjoyed the tea so much that now I feel like I can taste the tea bag and should switch to leaf tea.  I do have an adorable teapot and single serve tea mugs (with a strainer) that I don’t use enough…

But anyway…  Week at a glance!

Day 15 – yay for encouragement!

day-15-stay-on-the-path

Day 16-now.  Not feeling it.  Tiger Blood doesn’t happen for everyone but I thought I’d feel a lot better.  Hopefully the weekend will help change that!

day-16-20-tiger-blood

Looking ahead – more like right now…  Maybe I peaked early in week 2?  I get a whole week of over this instead?  Or maybe my body is sluggishly getting rid of the last of the evils?

Or maybe it’s just sad because it’s only had coffee 4 times in nearly a month…

day-21-over-it

Anyway!  19 down, 11 to go!  Sunday we can count down in single digits!

I shouldn’t reward myself with food but the Popcorn Man tortures me every Wednesday and all I want is a giant bag of sweet and salty goodness!

So yeah… ELEVEN DAYS UNTIL MEASUREMENTS!

Catch you in week 4!

Whole30 Week 2

You would think the fires of Mordor (better known as sugar detox) would have rolled me but I feel surprisingly amazing!

I definitely felt Day 6-7…

day-6-7-nap

…and Day 8-9 my pants definitely got tighter…

day-8-9-pants-tighter

…and then there was these two gremlins…

day-10-11-hardest

…but now I get Day 12-14. The fun. The evil thoughts (and evil friends who show you photos of their glorious junk food).  When I think about my awesome cob loaf, or that if I bake cupcakes I can’t test the first hot one in the batch, or just to have lazy Friday night pizza and a beer… But I will get through this!

day-12-14-junk-food

I am currently on Day 12 and it’s only 3 days from halfway!  Honestly the thought of demolishing most junk food makes me feel sick but I have a rubber arm when it comes to soft cheeses and I’m about to go through Australia Day with NO BEER!  I’m going to have to create a compliant ‘junk food’ platter that will be equally delicious, and wash it down with lime and sparkling water.  LET THE CREATIVITY BEGIN!

Honestly though, this weeks menu has been just as great! Might be another roast pork this weekend though I reckon!

  • Roast Lamb
  • Sweet potato, spinach and poached eggs
  • Steak and vegetables
  • Leftover steak and veg with a fried egg for brekkie
  • Thai Green Chicken Curry with Green Beans, Bok Choy, and Broccoli
  • Harissa Spiced Drumsticks

Gotta be happy with all that!

I have also started to notice some NSV (non-scale victories).

  1. Clearer skin
  2. Looser clothes
  3. Less puffy face
  4. Sleeping better
  5. More energy
  6. More organised
  7. Haven’t had the ‘dairy cough’ since starting

Bring on the next two weeks (yes, I have been good and have not used tape measure or scales yet) and seeing what the results are!

Countdown to the 31 January!

Whole30 Week 1

Why beat around the bush?  It’s what I’m doing, and I’m doing it with amazing friends.  All of us need a push to get our health back on track and I REALLY missed cooking!

I write this as I finish my lunch of pesto chicken with cinnamon baked pumpkin, parsnip, leek, and garlic.  FREAKING DELICIOUS I TELL YOU!

Now just to clarify – THIS IS NOT A DIET.  It’s a lifestyle plan to eat less shit.  I said it. SHIT.  Even if you’re ‘eating healthy’ check out your labels, incidental sugars, dairy.  I’m just as guilty as the next person.  I thought I was doing well with pre-made, nice and easy, delivered to your door meals.  They might be low carb, low fat, low sugar balanced meals but almost every single one had a sugar and dairy of some sort.

Now don’t go thinking ‘Oh she’s so brainwashed by this Hartwig pair’ because as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t know a lot about it so I researched (I use the term researched loosely – I love blogs and Insta feeds for real time opinions).  I didn’t just read the testimonials on their website.  From what I gathered, more than a few people fall off the wagon because there is a lot of NO on the list and it’s things we consume every day thinking it’s ok for us – BUT – it’s not that hard!  If you stop and think about it, 4 simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry make up taco or fajita seasoning, yet the packet of powder is full of sugar and sodium.  What really grabbed me was the good fats, and how (apart from being omnivorous) it was so similar to what I did with a nutritionist years ago to see why my body was being an asshole.

I went down the Google rabbithole of recipes.  I started to drool.  I started to crave the rush I get when I cook and create something amazing.  And I was stunned over and over again at the variety of recipes and how different people have made this program work for them!

I said yes to my friends and got on the Whole30 bandwagon.  Which you don’t actually have to pay for unless you want a meal plan – if you’re not sure, DO THE PLAN!  I didn’t, because I’m creative and love cooking and trying new foods.  I’m comfortable with throwing ‘allowed’ ingredients together and making magic happen for my taste buds.

I would have to say my favourite part of this program so far is there is no counting calories, no weighing portion sizes, no eat this many times a day, no drill sergeant, no meal plans.  It’s just wholesome good food that YOU like to eat!  Protein, veggies, fat. Simple, right?

Here’s what came of my first week of shopping, you tell me if it’s a ‘diet’:

  • Banana chia pudding
  • Coconut and cacao bliss balls
  • Roast pork (with the crackle, and I cooked all my veggies in DRIPPING)
  • Pesto chicken
  • Cinnamon roasted veg
  • Sweet potato and zucchini latkes with poached eggs and baby spinach
  • Spicy Thai Pumpkin soup
  • Sweet potato crisps

And with a few extra ingredients I will also be making halved and roasted sweet potato to add chilli beef, or salsa, avocado and poached egg.  I’m also going to braise the leftover pork roast so it’s super melty soft, and wrap that deliciousness up in lettuce with fajita spiced onion and capsicum.

WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?  I made my own veggie stock for the first time EVER and it was damn delicious (see pics below).

I’m on Day 4, and although the prep is intensive, it’s one afternoon, and an easy week ahead!  I call that a win for those of us with crazy lives!

This is the day 4 & 5 expectation.  Surprisingly, I am not feeling it!

day-4-5

If you want to follow my daily journey, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and I will update this page periodically through the month!

For now, I leave you with some foodie pics!

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