In September, me and my family had a wonderful holiday to Greece. Greece had been a lifelong dream of mine, and my family had no hesitations sharing in that dream – funny that. We spent incredible days exploring together, we enjoyed fabulous food and enjoyed uninterrupted time with each other. I chipped away at overcoming my fear of swimming in open water and I also finally mastered snorkelling (oh, the joy) with only a few mild panicked moments of hearing things that weren’t really there and imagining things that might have been there…but very likely were not.
When we were away, Ettie announced she would like to be vegetarian but still eat fish from time to time. She now knows the correct term is a pescetarian. She is very determined and hasn’t really skipped a beat, although I do catch her looking longingly at some dishes every now and then (my poached chicken got a second lustful glance on the weekend as she wandered past).
I fee that, as a family, we eat really well. We’re not perfect but nor do we wish to be. We all love good food, and we keep things really well balanced.
Thankfully, Ettie’s change in diet hasn’t been too significant an adjustment. For years we have celebrated meatless meals in our home. On other nights, the meat is not the main focus of our meal. Our vegetarian classes at Relish Mama are in huge demand – evidence that many of us are changing the way we eat and look at food. As long as it is done right, I think it is something to celebrate.
Our girls are back at school, and all are at the same school once again. Grace is in year 11, Ava is in year 9 and Ettie now in year 7. I choked back the tears as we waved them goodbye on their first day back. I wasn’t sad. I was happy for them all. They were ready and being able to be there to see so many other girls come up and cuddle our Ettie was very moving. They were her own sisters (who told her 227 times each how cute she looked in her uniform), her sister’s close friends all threw in an excited cuddle as well as the girls she went to primary school with years before and her cousin – she was in the best of hands. So many sisters looking out for her.
I don’t write in this space as often as I used to about our girls. I am mindful of them growing up in an online world, where they have the opportunity and power to use their own voices. I sometimes think about how exceptional it would be for me to be able to read a blog that my Mother scribed as I was growing up. With so much negativity about our online world, there is also magic. What a privilege it is to be able to be here.
With them going back to school, the pace sure does pick up. I am feeling tired from not taking a proper break in January, and yet here we go, full steam ahead. Heading straight to the thick of it.
I am putting a few more things in place for my self-care this year. Feeling tired is not fun and it is a wake-up (I’ll let you sit on that). If you’ve ever started a business or know someone that has, you probably know that entrepreneurs are an ‘all-in’ kind of people. It’s one of the things people admire: the endless dedication and perseverance, the willingness to commit every last measure of resources and ability toward building a vision. I have heard and read too many sad stories though lately about too many special people that were indeed ‘all-in’ kind of people. Some have since closed their doors, some have suffered hugely from mental health and physical health issues. Some even say they felt they completely lost their identity to their business. They were unable to see who they are. I love what I do with a very full heart and feel we have a really beautiful business and I want to keep that magic alive for a very long time to come.
I know to do so, I need to put some things in place both for me personally and the business. This list will expand as my year unfolds but right now:
- I am exercising a little more with a focus also to ‘work it’ a little harder. It had been quite a few months since I did a workout and raised a sweat, choosing the lovely path of walking dates with girlfriends instead in my downtime (treasured time that won’t be cut out) but I know for good physical health, I need to get that heart rate up too. Health & fitness needs to be a priority.
- I have been keeping a gratitude journal also, as have our girls. How amazing this little practice is for a grateful and positive mindset.
- At work, I have been busy putting structures in place that will help automate some of our processes and allow us to work smarter. I am getting better and delegating (I do suck at it) and I am embracing the help of Michael, whilst he has a little time to offer.
- We continue with a loose but great plan for our family meals each week. In a busy world, it is fundamental to keeping us nourished, eating the food we love and avoiding food waste while we are at it.
- I am booking in more things for me and for us with an aim to create a bit more time for spontaneity. I loooooovvveeeee spontaneity but this old friend has been MIA of late. I realise that I have to create the time (not always easy to do) – it won’t simply open up for me.
I would love to hear what you do for self-care. Do you have improvements you want to make this year, things you care to share?
Back to eating well. This fried rice here is what we will be enjoying tonight.
I posted the photo a few weeks ago and promised to share it to those that asked. That turns out to be well over a month ago. As I said, life is busy. This colourful and tasty little number ticks all the boxes for us. First and foremost, all five of us love it, it is meatless (‘Hello Meatless Monday’ and ‘Hello darling vegetarian daughter’). It is nourishing and allows us also to interchange the vegetables with what we have on hand. An excellent fridge clear-out, which means it’s also lighter on the pocket.
Thank you again for being here with me. 10 years young is Relish Mama this April and another thing I will be adding to my little list is that this milestone does not go unnoticed. From very humble beginnings to where we are today, this is a year I will most definitely be grateful for and celebrating.
Vegetarian fried rice with extra veggies
The main tip for success is to cook the eggs, vegetables and rice separately. These elements will get combined at the end. This way, each part will be cooked just right.
3 eggs, whisked together
1 tsp sesame oil
¾ tsp salt
3 tablespoons canola oil (or rice bran oil or avocado oil)
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
3 spring onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated or finely minced fresh ginger
2 cups additional vegetables of choice, cut into very small pieces for even cooking (eg. broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, capsicum, cabbage, peas and/or corn – fresh or frozen)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1-2 tbsp soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten-free version)
Sriracha, for serving (optional)
Beat the eggs with the sesame oil and ¼ tsp of the salt.
Heat the wok over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add the eggs and swirl the pan to evenly distribute the eggs around the wok. Cook until they are only just set. Remove and set aside on a small board or plate. Either chop or use a spatula to roughly break up your eggs.
Wipe out the pan if needed, using some paper towel and add another tablespoon of oil to the wok. Cook the onion for 2 minutes, stirring always. Add the carrot and stir fry for a further 1-2 minutes. Add half the spring onions, garlic, ginger and the remaining salt and fry until fragrant. Add the additional vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are cooked through and a little golden, which is generally 3-4 minutes.
Remove from the wok and heat the last tablespoon of oil. Cook the rice for 3-4 minutes to heat and pick up the flavours from the wok. Return all other ingredients to the wok and add the soy sauce. Taste for seasoning.
Serve immediately either from the wok or on a large platter for everyone to help themselves. Serve with sriracha on the side (for those who share the same addiction that I have for this great chilli sauce).