Lime & Strawberry Cheesecake

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


With Christmas around the corner and Strawberries in Season (in New Zealand) this makes the perfect dairy free dessert and I just LOVE cheesecake!!!

Makes about 8 ramekins

1 1/2 cups Walnuts
1/3 cup Desiccated Coconut
1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates
¼ tsp celtic sea salt

3 cups raw cashews that have been soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight if you have the time.
3/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
3/4 cup honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla powder or the seeds of a whole vanilla bean
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup Fresh Strawberries

1/3 cup Medjool Dates
3/4 cup Strawberries


1. Line your ramekin dishes with cling film so once they are frozen they will be easy to remove from the ramekin!

2. Place nuts, dates, coconut and salt in a food processor and pulse until mixure resembles a crumb like texture. Scoop out crust mixture into your ramekin dishes and press nice and firm.

3. In your high speed blender (I use the Optimum 9400), place soaked cashews, lime juice, honey, coconut oil and vanilla and blend on high for a couple of minutes, it should be nice and smooth. 

4. Pour about 1/2 of the mixture onto of the base into the ramekins, just less than half full.

5. Add the Fresh Strawberries to the rest of the filling and blend on high. Fill up the ramekins to almost full.

6. For the topping, blend 3/4 cup Fresh Strawberries and 1/4 cup of Medjool Dates and blend on high until silky smooth. Pour a thin layer over the strawberry filling to finish the cheesecake!

6. Place in freezer until solid.

7. Remove from the freezer about 15-30 minutes before serving or if you are like me you might prefer to eat it when it's still frozen!

*Optional: Add Lime Zest for a little more zing to the lime filling!

Optimum 9400 Review!

Monday, November 17, 2014

I have found my new love!!!!!! Welcome to the Family Optimum 9400 :D

I've officially entered into the world of the High Speed Blender....known as The Optimum 9400 a.k.a Froothie! I was so excited for this little gem to arrive that I might have gotten a little too excited when the courier dropped it off! Carefully unpacking my new blender in anticipation, I was just in awe of how beautiful this blender is and it was love at first sight!

Isn't she just the prettiest, the shiny black finish is like a classic car and the hand dials and switches reminds me of a vintage radio, this my lovelies is my new favourite kitchen appliance and I am happy to display her in my kitchen for all to see! 

I have definitely had my fair share of blenders in my life, I had a cheap and nasty one that didn't last long and then I shelled out a couple of hundred for what seemed like a more sturdy one that was a great blender when I first bought it several years ago but has since lost it's seals so it leaks like a sieve.  It's not high powered enough to even break down a banana unless you let it blend for 3 or 4 minutes and by that time it's leaked so much that half of my smoothie was on the bench :(

Since my discovery of green smoothies and more plant based food I thought it was time for an upgrade. I looked into the Nutri-bullet and through searching reviews on that I found Froothie! The reviews on this blender absolutely blew me away and I knew immediately I wanted one and would love to be part of the Froothie revolution.  So I have become a Froothie Ambassador and I will be doing a series of recipes with this amazing machine that you can look forward in the months to come.

There are certainly your fair share of blenders out there and I think if you are using a generic blender or a Bullet for your smoothies and it's working then it's helping you on the path to a healthier you and that is the the most important thing. However, for those interested in something that can do so much more than just a standard blender or a bullet will ever do then listen up as to why the Optimum 9400 will probably change your life!

The blades are commercial grade, they can even blend paving stones into dust in just seconds!!! Now I don't imagine your or I will ever be grinding up rocks but it just goes to show how powerful this motor is at 2238 watts, 3 horsepower and 44,000 rpm, that's some serious power right there.

This blender while extremely powerful is a lot quieter than any other blender device I've ever used, it feels so smooth and seamless yet it blends ice and frozen fruit with ease in seconds, no little bits left floating around your smoothie!

I really love the pulse function as it ensures you won't "over process" your foods especially for making nut flours. One of my favourite design features is the rubber cushion pad, it's easy to line up, no little arrows or locking techniques that can be very annoying!

So I've had my Froothie for a couple of weeks now and I am rather impressed, I've made soups, nut butters, dressings, almond milk and plenty of smoothies! I noticed that I am using it daily, if not a couple times a day! Clean up is a breeze, you just squirt some detergent with some warm water then blend and boom it's clean!!!

In terms of price I think it is really affordable, while many of the commercial blenders like the Vitamix will set you back at least $1,000 which I'm sure is worth it, I don't imagine most people will spend that much on a blender. The Opimum range starts at $325, this one I'm reviewing is $499.

Powerful Industrial High Speed 2,238 watt Motor!
5 Year Domestic Warranty!
Precision High, Med, Low & Pulse Functions
Heat-Resistant Polycarbonate Jug (BPA Free) - Wet & Dry Applications
Approved by FDA, UL and the European Commission for Food Safety
30 Day Money Back Guarantee!
State of the art Two in One Stainless Steel 6-blade cutting assembly - Crushes ice, nuts and fruits in seconds

This Froothie Machine is so incredibly versatile!!! 
You can make:
Raw Desserts, Ice Cream and Frozen Fruit - Use the tamper to make homemade ice-cream with frozen berries, banana, mango etc..
Green Smoothies, Fruit Smoothies, Fresh fruit juice and Cocktails - it will easily blend unpeeled and uncut whole fruits and vegetables so you don't loose all the fiber.
Nut Butters, Nut Flour, Nut Milk
Hot Soups - the blender will heat your soup through friction heat (5-7 minutes)
Spreads and dips, chunky or silky smooth!

Just a wee recipe for this green smoothie that I love! It's so refreshing :D

1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup coconut water
1 whole green apple, core and all
Handful of spinach
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 avocado
1 lime, peeled
Handful of Ice!

Please note I was provided with a Froothie Optimum 9400 as part of my role as brand ambassador and this post contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase through Primal Journey then I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!  If you’d like to know more about Froothie or this machine in particular, please visit the Froothie website for more details.

Beer Crate Gardens

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I swear I've turned into a domestic goddess since we bought our first house, I have discovered a love of growing my own herbs and vegetables and I have even started growing my first Rose!!!

Hubby built me a couple of really large garden beds which have been wonderful for growing Broccoli, Swiss Chard, perpetual spinach and tuscan Kale through the winter and my herb planter boxes have been growing coriander, italian parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic chives and pineapple sage.

Now that it's spring I have planted some cos lettuce, butter crunch lettuce, celery, bok choy, more swiss chard, yellow courgette (zucchini) capsicum and chillies.  I ran out of room in my garden beds so I decided to use beer crates after seeing them on Instagram, I planted snow peas, strawberries and a whole lot of herbs, lemongrass, sage, basil, spicy basil, coriander and parsley.

So to make the beer crate gardens I used a good quality polythene (Mitre10) and used a staple gun to line them, don't forget to cut plenty of holes in the bottom for drainage!
The bottle store sells these for $6.90 each and they usually make you take the empty bottles with you, suffice to say we probably looked like alcoholics with the 6 bags full of pints I left out for the recycling today ;) 

These are my Red Dublin Bay roses which I am very proud of! I have never grown a rose in my life and thankfully these are very hardy! They will climb much bigger than this so I will need to sort out some trellis for them to climb up :D

Any gardening tips are very much appreciated for this newbie ;) Do you garden and what sort of things do you plant?

Site Redesign

Friday, October 31, 2014

Welcome to my new blog! The amazingly talented Tillie from Hello Tillie and The Poppy Creative has completely overhauled my site so that it is easier to navigate as well as being much more aesthetically pleasing. My blog has been running for 5 years with the basic blogger template so it was well overdue for an upgrade, I am absolutely thrilled with the work that Tillie has done. Tillie has been an absolute gem and wonderful to work with, especially when I changed my mind several times it was never a problem for her. Tillie has such brilliant design ideas, I feel lucky to have had the pleasure of working with her.

I have a new focus for my blog which is timely with the change of my site design. I love blogging and while it certainly has it's ups and downs it has been a therapeutic outlet for me for over five years now and I have met some really amazing people that I feel lucky to call friends. I chose to stay with the same name, I had thoughts of changing it months ago but after going back and forth between ideas I have decided that Primal Journey is here to stay.

My focus these days is less about weight loss and more about nourishment. When I began my journey all I wanted was to be healthy and when the weight dropped off my goal changed and all I cared about was that number on the scale. I'm happy to say that I've maintained my weight loss within a 5-10kg range and I think that's pretty amazing considering I initially lost 42kgs over five years ago, with the statistics stacked against me I technically should've gained all my weight back with interest!

So the future of my blogging is about maintaining a healthy body, mind and spirit and living my best life. To me that means nourishment not punishment, movement like walking, yoga and weights, work life balance, prioritising sleep and wind down time before bed with no technology, I've become a keen gardener, growing vegetables and roses, I never thought I would say that!

I am learning not to define myself by my body, a number on the scale or the size of my clothes, it's HARD!!! I've been that girl who lost 42kgs and I let that define me for a really long time. Underneath all of that is so much more, and my future is not going to be dictated by how I look.

So on a lighter and fresher note you can look forward to more nourishing recipes, they may not always be considered "primal" but they will always be made with real food! Positive body image, my love of fashion and interior design!

I thank you all for sticking around for so long and I hope I can continue to inspire and encourage you all to live your best life x

Change of focus!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have started working with Kate Callaghan from The Holistic Nutritionist, Kate is a real sweetheart full of knowledge and has opened me up to a few home truths about many choices I have made in the past which has lead me down the path to poor sleep, energy fluctuations, migraines and digestive issues just to name a few.  I have been very low carb for many years and this has unfortunately taken it’s toll on my body.  My cortisol is all over the place, I wake up dragging my feet and crawling through the day only to find myself ready to clean the entire house at 6pm when I should be winding down for the night.  

This has really thrown me for a loop both physically and mentally.  Kate is focusing on increasing the nutrients in my diet and increasing the plant based carbohydrates both vegetables and starchy vegetables that have been missing for many years in order to help my hormones and heal my gut health.  While I have only begun working with her and I don’t have any “shout it from the rooftops” moments I feel like I am on the right track.  

Because of my history with strict ketogenic dieting and Intermittent Fasting I have done a lot of damage as I used it for too long because I lost sight of long term health for short term weight loss.  I tell you this not to scare you but because I hope it might help you to do your own research.  I thought I was doing the best thing for my body at the time but it turns out it’s just given me even more health issues.

My blog will be taking more of a direction away from weight loss and more of a focus on health, nutrient dense foods, recipes that I will be creating and a focus on healthy body image and fashion!  I understand as a result of this I may lose some followers that are purely following me for weight loss advice and that is ok.  My direction these days has evolved into focusing on health and I hope most of you will stick along for my continuing journey as it evolves.  

Many people in this world of weight loss blogging are experiencing a ‘honeymoon’ period and for the first couple of years everything is wonderful, very rarely do you see weight loss bloggers in it for the long haul that are authentic.  From the beginning I have been candid about this entire process for over five years and the future of my blog is no exception.

My blog is also undergoing a bit of a makeover so it will be much easier to navigate! Thank you all for continuing to follow me and I hope you will enjoy what is still to come.

Sweet Treats!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Quinoa Fruit and Nut Bars

Makes 12

1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup almonds, whole
¼ cup desiccated coconut
1 slightly heaped cup of dried apple
1 slightly heaped cup dried cranberries
1 slightly heaped cup dried apricots
½ cup fruit juice
¼ cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds (plus a little extra to garnish)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking tray place the quinoa, almonds, and coconut. Mix together using your hands and spread evenly over the tray. Bake for from 6 to 7 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool.

In a processor add the toasted quinoa mix, the dried fruits and seeds—and blitz until finely chopped. While the motor is still running, pour in the juice and keep it running until it starts to come together.

Line an 8-by-10-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Tumble in the mixture and press down evenly and firmly. Sprinkle on top some extra sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and press those down as well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before slicing. Simple.

What I do is slice up the completed slab of mixture after it has refrigerated overnight, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. That way the bars are ready to take to work for snacks or to put in the kids' lunch boxes.

Adapted from He Needs Food

Raw lemon and coconut truffles

1 1/2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
plus 1/2 cup for coating
1 cup ground almonds
4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
4 tbsp honey
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt

In a food processor, add all of the ingredients. Blend for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture starts to mix together like a dough.

Use your hands to form small balls.

In a separate bowl, add the extra coconut. Roll the balls in the coconut until well coated then transfer to a plate. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to set.

The truffles can be kept at room temperature, but I find they are best kept in the fridge.

Makes around 25 truffles. Will keep for 3-4 days.
recipe from petite kitchen



1 cup brazil nuts*
1 cup dried figs
½ cup cocoa or cacao powder
Zest of two oranges
Juice of half an orange

*Most types of nuts would work well.


Add the brazil nuts in to a food processor, and then process until ground in to a dense flour. Add the remaining ingredients, and continue to process until the mixtures starts to come together like a dough.

Use your hands to form small balls.

In a separate bowl, add the extra cocoa powder. Roll the balls in the cocoa until just coated, then transfer to a plate. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to set.

The truffles can be kept at room temperature, but I find they are best kept in the fridge.

Makes around 15 truffles. They are best kept in the fridge. Will keep for 3-4 days.

**I rolled in coconut and omitted the figs and tend to use medjool dates with a little prunes mixed nuts and even some almond meal.

No magic pill!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My life felt like it only began after I'd lost my weight, beforehand I was so consumed with being fat and feeling down on myself that I couldn't see past it, in reality I was just pained by emotional conflict, I never felt good enough or smart enough, I was just the pretty one who didn't finish school and I felt so judged.  It wasn't really the weight at all, the weight was just a symptom of my inner turmoil.  I had to hit rock bottom before I could muster the courage to change anything.  I started my own business because I had been made redundant and with the support of my loving husband who believed in me when I didn't believe in myself I was able to change focus, to find something I was truly passionate about and that I was good at, something that made me feel enough.  I believe that it opened the door to me starting to take care of myself, I discovered primal and the weight started coming off.  I lost the weight in a year, I was committed and focused and I felt like nothing could stand in my way.

The biggest hurdle I didn't see coming was learning to live my life after weight loss because even though I was no longer obese, I still thought I could do with losing more weight.  Over the last few years I have battled with myself over still not feeling "enough", when the truth of the matter is I am enough, right now at this size or any size.  My own ego was getting in the way of seeing myself the way that my closest family and friends see me, they don't love me for my size, they love me for me, because of my spirit, because of who I am and how I make them feel.  Only now am I learning to truly love the person that I am and I am slowly realising that it has nothing to do with how I look or what I weigh.  This weight loss journey has taught me so much about myself, both the good and the bad.  If back then someone offered me a pill to take to make it easy I would've wanted it without a doubt, only now do I realise this far down the track is that no pill can ever do for you what self care and stepping outside of your comfort zone will do for you.

Body at peace!

Friday, July 11, 2014

A couple of years back a friend of mine offered to do a little photo shoot, I had just had my braces taken off and was grinning from ear to ear, I'd waited all my life to smile and not feel self conscious about my crooked teeth. When he asked me I kept delaying it because I was hoping to lose a couple more kilos but eventually hubby convinced me to do it.

So I did it and I loved it, it was a lot of fun! When I first saw the photos I initially zoomed in on my large legs, they've always been my most disliked body part, I never really appreciated how strong those puppies are and that I can do a hill climb on my bike faster than my husband who is over 6 foot!

Once I started accepting that I'm never going to have super lean legs and that my legs are built for power and strength I started to feel empowered. I can look back on these photos now and really admire them, this is what I look like at my natural weight.

Throughout my weight loss journey I have had many moments of doubt, of still not feeling slim enough and only until recently am I truly feeling some level of peace with my body. I have finally discovered I don't need anyone else to like my body but me.

I have had to consciously work with myself on this everyday. I've been every different size throughout my life and even when I saw ribs poking through I still zeroed in on my legs because it was never about the size I was anyway, it was about having love for myself. I had to change my internal dialogue to compassion and love.

We are our own worst critics and once we can accept our body and it's natural shape and truly love it even if it may not be our picture perfect ideal that is when we can find peace.

Finding moderation after a life of extremes...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'm the first to admit that I have sworn that I would never be able to do moderation, after all I have this all or nothing personality and I can't just eat one cookie...or can I?

Before I go delving into my personal journey I really want to make one thing clear, I'm not here to tell you that there is a wrong or right way to do things and my hope is to be a voice of reason in what seems a chaotic dogmatic approach to health and fitness that surrounds us.  You can take it or leave it, I won't be offended, I'm not everyones personal taste and some will simply not like what I have to say, however I know that there will be plenty of people out there that are walking this health journey feeling conflicted and just down right confused.

Most of you know the history with my journey, for a brief overview for anyone that doesn't I will start back at October 2008 when I decided to turn my health around, I wanted to lose the weight that I felt was holding me back from living my life.  I started a low carb diet and then found Primal and it was the answer to all my prayers, I lost 42kgs in a year and I felt A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! I had found the key to my health and I was living breathing proof that you can change so much about your body and live an amazing life if you really put your mind to it.  I was so passionate that I blogged my entire journey, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, fat is oh soo good, grains will kill you, sugar is evil, you know the drill.  I was an avid Primal follower for life!  Until my version of it became a very long winding roller coaster of a health journey.  

I thought I had found balance, I would eat a strict low carb version of primal during the week and come the weekend I would go balls to the wall on all the food I really wanted to eat, you name it I ate it, I convinced myself I was like a drug addict but with sugar and carbs.  Either I could abstain entirely from the carbs and sugar or I was a crazy lunatic filling my body with all kinds of junk.  Looking back on it now I know that I hadn't found balance at all, I was just in denial.  

You know "they" say that maintaining weight loss is the hardest part of weight loss and I wholeheartedly agree, I used to think it was a breeze but I was wrong, it's hard, the struggle is real and I am here to tell you that it's not always smooth sailing.

I had declared back in my Moderation post that I was the extreme all or nothing personality that could never ever do moderation, I mean I remember vividly not that long ago that I would eat something like hot chips and vow to only eat a few and before I knew it I had eaten the bowl and was searching for my next fix while most other people around me were satisfied with just a few, I was always so frustrated that I couldn't just eat in moderation like everyone else, I thought it was just my "broken metabolism", I never thought it was just my shitty relationship with food that was just a cycle or restriction and binging.  

Where did things go wrong?
Well after my initial weight loss of 42kgs I had hit 65kgs and over the next couple of years I bounced around 67-75 never quite hitting that 65kgs again, I had that number so ingrained in my mind and it was this never ending challenge that I could never quite get back down to that magical number I had so desperately wanted to achieve again.  I felt like a failure, I had thousands of people following me inspired to be able to find their health and lose weight like I had and here I was struggling myself.  In an effort to get back down to that weight I started fasting, I did lots of intermittent fasting, I tried eating windows of 8 hours and 16 hour fasts daily, I did 24 hour fasts a couple of times a week, I did 48 hour fasts once a week, I did Ketogenic dieting where I went super low in carbs and dropped my protein, I did fat fasts, I did Whole30, I dropped my calories to a mere 1200 calories, I had done it all in the space of a year and all this had done was warped my relationship with food even more, I just couldn't quite grasp why I was miserably failing. 

Until I let go...
I stopped it all, I stopped driving myself crazy.  I don't know what exactly did it but I really delved deep, I stopped hating on my body and giving it grace, after all I have put it through over the years I knew that in order to find peace I had to.  I gave myself permission to love the body I have now even if that means I don't have the scale number I so badly wanted again, what if I could just stop the insanity, find some balance and learn to truly love the body i'm in and heal my warped relationship with food? What if I could just feel normal about it all and not punish myself with the next crazy diet.  What if I could find moderation....

And I have!
Well I almost have, I have found balance, I have found moderation and I have learnt to love myself in it's entirety.  How you ask? by not following any extreme diets or any labeled programs including primal, paleo, low carb, clean eating or whatever you want to call it.  I started to eat a much more balanced diet and yes that includes some grains, carbs and sugar, call me crazy!!! I have heard people talking about eating everything in moderation for years, and I mean pretty much all my life, I thought well wouldn't that be nice, I wouldn't have become so overweight if I could just eat in moderation.  I was convinced it was a personality trait that I couldn't follow moderation.  What I have discovered is that I actually can do moderation when I'm not restricting myself so much. 

I have taught myself to eat and exercise in moderation and it was not easy, I still have times that I struggle with it but I have found such a place of balance that I can't believe I have gone through years of torturing myself with such extremes.  

It all started with eating more carbs, not going so crazy on the fat and just eating 3 times a day and a snack if I felt like it.  I started walking, because all of a sudden I actually had energy to exercise again.  I started doing Body Balance (Yoga/Pilates/Tai Chi) and I started lifting weights again.  All of these things had fallen away because I was so all consumed with trying to eat less that I had zapped myself of energy because I wasn't fuelling myself with enough food.  

At first I thought if I allow myself to eat whatever I want I am going to become obese again, like I didn't trust my body, it had failed me for years so why all of a sudden am I going to be able to eat in moderation.  There were definitely days were I went a little crazy and just ate way too much and felt physically uncomfortable that I had to get horizontal, and then there were days that I didn't and I felt great!  I wanted so badly to heal and to be able to eat what I consider to be a relatively balanced diet that I was willing to gain a little weight back if that's what I needed to do.

For the last 6 months I have been working on this and it hasn't been easy but oh boy it has been worth it.  At first I gained a little weight, my jeans were soo tight, it was disheartening but I stuck with it because I was determined to eat more that a mere 1200-1500 calories a day for the rest of my life, I really like food and I wanted to feel normal and get my energy back.  After a few months my weight stabilised and the water weight and bloating I had gained dissipated.  I can now eat about 2100-2300 calories a day, I wear a fitbit to see how many calories I really am burning and my weight is stable because my skinny jeans fit me perfectly again, I don't use the scale anymore as I just can't hop on it without wanting to go on some extreme weight loss plan.  I am still recovering, I think I really did a number on my adrenals after all the fasting and dieting over the last couple of years but I am finally feeling my health return and it feels awesome.

The last month that I have been off social media was such healing time for me, I have done plenty of soul searching, doing body balance and walking has been so amazing for me reconnecting with my body.   So after all of that does this mean I'm not longer Primal? well not exactly, I just hate the label that it brings, I still concentrate on eating real food most of the time, I love my meat, eggs and dairy, fruit and vegetables and starches like potato and rice so those make up the bulk of what I eat on a daily basis but if I feel like some oatmeal for breakfast or some toast with my eggs or a bowl of ice-cream made with real sugar then I'm going to eat it. I don't seem to have any issues with gluten and dairy.  I used to have huge gut issues after being super low carb and I couldn't tolerate any gluten, after 6 months of eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and foods with resistant starch (cooked and cooled rice and potatoes) I have restored my gut flora and can now eat gluten with no problem which is awesome.

Do I still think that low carb is the way to go?
Well I think that it depends and it is definitely a case by case basis.  It was effortless for me to get my weight off with low carb but I think that a long term low carb diet isn't always so black and white and you need to be honest with yourself and how it's affecting your health.  If you are doing great on it then awesome, keep doing what you are doing.  I'm just here to offer my experience so that others out there that may be experiencing some negative effects won't feel so alone.  Most of us know that this journey is not an easy one.  I may lose some of my low carb followers and thats ok, I'm not here for popularity or to make money and I have always vowed to be authentic.  The weight loss industry is full of all sorts of people trying to make a quick buck and it can leave many people feeling really vulnerable and desperate.  I hope some of you found this helpful to help you find your balance :)

Maintaining and finding balance!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hello lovely peeps! I have been really enjoying my digital detox, life without Facebook and IG has been very liberating :) I have had far more time to workout, I've been doing a bit of LesMills BodyBalance and weight training and have continued my walking apart from when it's really crappy weather! I am still eating approx 100gms carbs a day and loving it, I still make most of my meals healthy and balanced and I'm doing really well with moderation, eating an icecream or takeaway meal without going balls to the wall so feeling quite balanced at the moment! I can't even tell you how awesome it feels to not be so obsessed with trying to fall under a 'diet umbrella' and to have finally fallen into a nice healthy rhythm! Do I still have my fat days where I doubt myself and think I'm bigger than I am or I'm extra bloated and think I'm back to where I started and still 107kgs? Of course I do! but this is a huge journey that never ends and comes with all kinds of insecurities! I don't even know what I weigh, haven't weighed for a couple of months but my jeans feel comfortable and that is what makes me feel happy. I'm detached from the scale number these days and I am mentally in a far better place than I have ever been. It's only taken me 5 and a half years but there's no quick fix and maintenance is HARD! I'll post the odd photo when it's photo worthy but it won't be a daily thing, finding balance in all areas of my life is no easy feat! Hope you are all doing well on your journey :D

Old photo and latest happenings :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Found my old passport photo from 2008 when I was at my biggest and couldn't resist to share it here even though I'm on a social media sabbatical ;)
Loving my break from social media right now, it's been a month and instead of logging into my online stuff I've been taking time for me and doing some mindfulness yoga and loving it! 

I've also have more time to move more, I have joined my local gym and started lifting again a couple times a week, I do LesMills BodyBalance about 3 times a week, I also have a new FitBit and Polar Heart Rate Monitor so that I can track my steps to get a real picture of the amount of movement I really do in a day since I have such a sedentary job and the Polar is for my heart rate targets of my gym sessions.  

I'm really loving the FitBit, it also monitors your sleep which is very eye opening.  So for now I'm just taking more me time which I felt I needed.  I hope you are all well :)
You haven't seen the last of me yet! Until next time x


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hey guys, I've wanted to do this for a while but kept putting it off because unplugging feels truly weird! I've been blogging for 5 years and doing the social media thing for 2-3 years so it feels unusual to feel in a place that I feel ready to unplug. To be honest there's a part of me that will miss the attention. When you post your photo and hundreds of people tell you you’re so amazing, it's one hell of an ego boost. It’s truly quite addictive. I need to get back to my simple self and find my inner peace and let go of my ego and find some balance. Also I've given all I have to give for now, that's not to say I won't pick it back up in the future but right now I'm not feeling it and I need a serious break. This isn't me having a break from eating well and staying healthy, I've changed my lifestyle permanently and can never envision this changing. This is me just having a break from the health and fitness world, low carb, primal, paleo, clean eating etc etc and a break from hearing my own opinions and thoughts. I am removing all apps from my phone and taking up other interests that I used to do before I became all consumed with Blogging and Facebook. When I feel the need to update my blog I will but for now I'm taking a Sabbatical! My blog and all social media outlets will stay up but won't be active on them while I'm taking a break. I thank each and every one of you for helping to make my experience with blogging and social media a positive one, I have learnt far more from all of you than I ever thought I would and I am truly thankful. See you in the next episode!

This is not the end!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hey guys, I know I don't post as much these days but I am still here and to be honest there's been quite a bit happening for me behind the scenes. If you follow my Facebook or Instagram then you'll probably know I've bought my first house so things over the last couple of months were very hectic, I took many a break from technology and I loved it, making me reassess the excess of time I spend on technology and trying to keep up to date with all the social media outlets I have.

Most of you will recall my wee confession back in March about the fact I do eat potatoes and white rice on occasion and I'm sleeping better and feeling much better for it! Call the Paleo Police if you want ;)

Essentially the way I'm feeling right now is I wish I could de "label" myself sometimes! People know me as Primal Journey and look up to me as an example of Paleo/Primal living.  I am far from perfect and I have always considered myself a 80/20 follower of Primal, people forget that and then question why I'm drinking milk and eating some potatoes.  Ever since putting myself in the public eye it can be a lot of pressure to try and stay perfectly consistent all the time. I'm in Mark Sissons book, I was on the Good Morning TV show 4 years ago and I have an avid following because of it, I appreciate all of it, truly so thank you for all of the support I receive, it doesn't go unnoticed.

Ok guys I'm gonna get real here.

So I had my experiment with nutritional ketosis and it still remains one of my hottest topics on this blog, it's everywhere at the moment, just do a quick google search and everyone is talking about it and how it's the cure all. When I originally lost all of my weight back in 2008/09 I knew that ketosis was what happens when you drop your carbs low enough but I didn't actively seek it and I would dear say that over that year I would have dipped in and out of it, never staying in deep ketosis 24/7. Last year when I started my actual experiment of testing my ketones and ramping up my fat, dropping my protein and carbs a LOT lower is when I started running into problems. For us women our hormonal levels are mighty complicated and for some of us we require more carbohydrates. I thought over the years that this was hogwash but it turns out that now that I've experienced a few issues I have found myself back peddling and trying to find my sweet spot once again.

When I started this blog, I was all about Low Carb Primal and I was determined to lose weight, I did that and have successfully kept off the majority of my weight. I struggle with keeping it real here and also trying to help people at the same time, I get emails daily asking for help, to look over food diaries, to help with food issues and all sorts. The truth of the matter is I am no diet guru, I don't have any nutrition degrees, psychology degrees, I haven't written books and I haven't got the magic pill that so many are wanting.

I've blogged over the years about the evils of grains, legumes, too many nuts, the miracle of saturated fat, I've demonised starches and sugars, warned against too many paleo treats and the likes of anything that I've had an opinion about, I've lost sight of what I wanted for myself, my quest for better health.

Over the years my eating was sometimes insanely over restrictive to find the best way in which I could lose weight and get a baggin bod. You know deep down I still want that but I don't want it the way I want good health, without your health you have nothing, this I have learnt the hard way. Some would argue that in order to have a baggin bod you have to be healthy and I personally do not agree, I think health comes in all shapes and sizes. Many of you know I have been every different size imaginable and yet I have forgotten somewhere along the way that when I was morbidy obese and struggling to tie my own shoes laces all I ever wanted was to be healthy again. The goal post moves the closer you get to it.

Looking back at all the posts over the past 5 years and the person I was when I started my weight loss journey, I was a person who lost a LOT of weight following a low carb primal diet and I did it relatively effortlessly. The real struggle has been in maintenance and my underlying desire to want to get even slimmer. Over the years I have had periods of being completely off the rails for a couple of weeks only to spend months making up for it by measuring every morsel of food that went into my body. I've counted the carbohydrates in cucumbers while justifying the copious amounts of butter in coffee and I have fasted when in fact I was really frikken hungry! Typing that out makes me think, holy shit that's some messed up relationship you have with food. I tried the Whole30 and only lasted 14 days because I had too much food chatter going on in my head and realised I really don't need to add any more restriction.

In my quest to find more balance with my relationship with food I have just gone back to the way I used to eat before I started experimenting with nutritional ketosis, whole30 etc. etc. Now I believe these programs wholeheartedly have their place and for many people they are life savers. For me I don't think I had a positive outcome.

When I restrict too much I start weighing myself everyday and sometimes more than once and my day is then determined by it, if myfitnesspal pie chart looks like perfect macros then I'd be happy . I would obsess over the stupidest food choices like whether or not I should eat a damn sweet potato, because those carbs might tip me over the edge and knock me right outta ketosis. On the crazy train!

However when I loosely follow the "guidelines" of Primal, and for me that means eating mostly plants and animals with some dairy and starch and I allow myself a little 20% indulgence foods I feel completely normal and like I do not have any type of issues with food. Beyond that I cascade into a complete crazy lady on the hunt for my next sugar hit!

See Paleo/Primal is an awesome way of eating that I truly enjoy and I feel so damn good when I follow it, I managed to make it a misery by going on a "strict 100% compliant" version of it. I tend to take everything to extremes, I've never been much of a fan of moderation because I have thought I couldn't do it. I still struggle with it and I'm trying to work on it, I kind of like the challenge now of just trying to eat one cookie and then stop, yeah I'm still not there but I'm trying.

I see this whole thing as a bit of a break through for me, here I am 5 years down the track of losing my weight and I have been terrified of gaining it all back. For anyone who has lost a substantial amount of weight I'm sure you can relate to some degree.

Now in reality my life is pretty damn great, I look good, I can pretty much shop at any shop I want, when you have been obese this doesn't ever get old! I have an awesome marriage to the most amazing man who has always been there being my biggest cheerleader and loved me no matter what size I have been.  I remind myself if he can love me so much with all my imperfections then how come it's so much harder to love myself?!

I don't think the lesson of self love is something you learn and all of a sudden decide to love yourself, I think it's a long winded journey of self discovery, I hope that once I reach my mid life then I can stop caring SO much about how I look and truly love the skin I'm in 100%!

So that's where I am at! I am trying to eat intuitively without "rules", I am nourishing my body with micronutrients so plenty of vegetables. I am eating in a way that feels right for me at this stage in my journey. I feel like my diet is more balanced now, I'm not trying to actively lose weight like I used to, I feel like I am a healthy weight and my clothes fit me and most of all I feel normal! 

"Eat sufficient protein, fill in the rest with carbohydrates and fat, don't snack much, don't starve yourself, and develop a healthy relationship with food and with yourself". Amen Stefani Ruper!
I refuse to weigh myself anymore, I am not counting calories or macros (carbs, fat, protein). I am enjoying myself and my life without food restrictions. My mindset has changed quite drastically and I know that this isn't the end.

I feel relieved, nervous and determined all at the same time! I am relieved that I have given myself permission to not care so much whether I eat something "non-primal", I'm nervous because of course I don't want to gain my weight back and then I'm determined because I know that I can and will gain a sense of peace with this all eventually.

I had to give you all an update to let you know where I'm at, I had big ideas to do all sorts of things like writing a recipe book and doing YouTube videos but I think where I am at right now I need to work on reforming my relationship with food and my body and I am doing so by by reading good books like "Sexy By Nature" by Stefani Ruper 
"Health at Every Size" by Linda Bacon

“Celebrating the unique beauty within you does not mean that you cannot set goals. It does not mean that you give up on weight loss, fitness, clear skin, or any of the other external markers of health and sex appeal…. It means only that you embrace your body as it has been designed." - Stefani Ruper

These books are both life changing!

Happiness comes from within

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happiness comes from within. It doesn't come from a number on the scale or the size of your clothes or having a flat stomach, a thigh gap or a "perfect" derrière.

I have been every scale number between 54kgs-107kgs and every size from a NZ6-NZ22 over the span of 10 years. Today I sit at 69-70kgs and a size NZ10-12 and I have been here for almost 5 years. I feel my body has reached its happy place, while it's a higher "number" or "size" than what my so called ideal is (or was) I can truly say I love my body in its entirety with all my physical imperfections, because I am beautiful the way I am today.

I've never had the desire to achieve a flawless body because I know that I couldn't achieve that without going to a place of crazy (for me anyway). But I am letting go of wishing for my perfect body...why?

Because I got tired of waking up everyday and deciding how happy I was based on the scale number. I got tired of my life revolving around making a perfect food choice. Most of all I got tired of attaching my self worth to what I looked like. We live in a world that is so obsessed with how we should look.

Health to me now is finding balance. It's moving my body everyday and doing something I love, not exercising in a punishing way or trying to "burn calories". It's eating food that nourishes me and that I enjoy, not just focusing on macros. Food that makes me feel good!

The more you love and respect your body and find happiness with where your body is right now the more you will want to take care of it.

Be thankful for your whole body and appreciate what your body can do. You are not flawed so give yourself permission to be happy with yourself no matter where you are on your journey. If you think that waiting until you reach a perfect "weight" or "size" until you can be happy you will be sadly disappointed because your goals will always shift and it will never end if you can't accept and love your body right now.

What I will say is that I have to work on this mindset daily, happiness and self-worth isn't something you can buy. Everyday I visualise a healthy body/mind relationship and over time it is happening. I didn't just wake up one day and everything changed, no, this has been in the making for a long time now.

Think about all the amazing qualities you have, think of your character. You don't love your best friend or your mum because of they way they look. Give yourself the same love that you have for others.

Losing weight isn’t going to make your life better if your only goal is to lose weight. Instead focus of the feeling of being healthy and nourishing your body and mind with the things that you love, the things that bring joy to your life. Surround yourself with positive people.
Don't only work hard to change your body but work hard at loving yourself, the two can co-exist. It takes time, practice little steps towards loving yourself a little more everyday.

I'm challenging the ideals us women have about always wanting to "look different", when does it stop?

Challenge yourself! Imagine living in a body that each day you wake up and truly love yourself, how would that feel?

Maybe I was wrong!

Monday, March 31, 2014

I know by writing this that I may very well lose some of my avid keto followers or some hard core paleo followers and I'm ok with that.  The whole purpose of my blog was always just a platform for me to go through the motions of this weight loss journey without driving my family crazy with information they found boring, it was also to share my ups and downs as many of you relate.  It's never been about popularity and although my facebook page and this blog has become relatively popular in recent years it's never been my driving force, I am always grateful for the followers I do have and I hope that my authenticity and open mindedness is what keeps you reading.

Most of you know of my history with Primal, I've been primal for over 5 years and I've always classed myself as an 80/20 follower because I have a love affair with dairy and chocolate and lets face it I've never really been 100% compliant because I just don't want to live like that and I haven't felt the need to, I take my hat off to those that do Primal/Paleo 100%, I'm not one of them.  I have had my fair share of macro-nutrient adjustments over the years, plenty of trial and error and I've learnt a great deal about myself and my relationship with food in the process, it's something that cannot be taught, it comes from experience in living it day in day out.

lost 40 kgs back in 2008/2009 following a very low carbohydrate diet of around 30-50grams a day which I did for a year, then for the past 5 years I've mostly stayed around about 50-70gms most days with a few higher carb days thrown in for good measure and a few intermittent fast days also.  Last year I played around with nutritional ketosis here and here, I dropped my carbohydrates and my protein levels a lot lower and ramped up the fat, it was fantastic for dropping weight fast but I am becoming convinced that it's not a healthy state to be in 24/7.  At the time I felt amazing and had so much energy it almost felt unnatural. Fast forward to the last couple of months and I felt my body screaming at me to change something, I couldn't go on eating such a high fat, low carb diet, not because I didn't enjoy it but because I feel like it was taxing my hormones.  The one important thing I have learnt from my journey with weight loss and trying to obtain perfect health is that hormones and gut health are at the core of it all.

I was noticing that my sleep was becoming very erratic, my energy was lagging big time (even while in ketosis) when previously I was bouncing off walls, my gut health started to become very bad to the point I was struggling to digest vegetables, and my menstrual cycle was becoming very out of whack and extremely painful. I made sure I had bone broths, I kept the salt, potassium and magnesium high but none of it made a difference.  I thought it would all iron out but it didn't.  Once I started doing the research in places like Paleo for Women, Paul Jaminet, Chris Kesser, PaNu, Free the Animal and listening to all sorts of podcasts from Balanced bites, Robb Wolf and Dave Aspery etc..I have started putting a few things together in order to untangle the web I had spun myself.  I read forums, blog posts and comments, more books and taking all the information in, I found myself feeling conflicted and confused and a little bit angry, had all this keto dieting I had done recently been doing the damage, after all the studies I read on it had me convinced that Keto was amazing for long term health, the success stories alone are enough to make anyone make the change.  I thought it wasn't that far of a stretch to what I normally do.  I was wrong.

So in my long journey of regaining my health and maintaining my weight I gave the Perfect Health Diet another whirl, the last time I had done it I found I would binge on carbs all the time, what was different this time? I believe it was not going crazy on the fat while I was eating potatoes and rice, if you add tons of butter to starchy carbohydrates it makes it really hard to stop eating them, if you have them with only a little bit of fat and keep the meal much simpler it's much easier to only eat the amount you need.  From the data I've read on the subject it has a lot to do with food reward and our ability to listen to our real hunger cues.  Most of us find it hard to stop eating overly processed foods like pizza, cakes etc because it's the combination of sugar, fat and salt that keeps us gagging for more.  I have always struggled with moderation and felt like I have an addiction to these kinds of foods, especially when on a very low carb diet.  The most unusual and awesome side effect I have noticed since I have upped the starch in my diet is that I do not crave these foods like I used to and I can have a small amount and stop, that was unheard of for me and the reason I could never do moderation.

I still haven't formed a strong opinion about whether I think that strict nutritional ketogenic dieting is something that I agree with, I've had a pretty good stint with it and I have since changed my stance on it - hence why I'm writing this.  However I cannot deny that I had wonderful results in the weight loss department, in terms of health I found myself becoming unwell. Dropping carbs below 50gms per day undoubtedly works for weight loss, it was how I got off my 40kgs relatively effortlessly so I cannot deny that.  Would I recommend others do the same? I think it really depends on what kind of health you have, many people are much more resilient and can possibly handle the stress that low carb puts on our hormones, others might not be so lucky. 

So what does my daily diet look like now? Well I still consider myself very much Primal, the way I always have been, I'm still 80/20 because of dairy and chocolate and while the area or "safe starches" is still very controversial I am happy to include them in my diet.  I still stay away from wheat and excess sugar.

My day usually starts off with a decaf coffee with cream, at about 10am I generally have brunch which is almost always eggs 2-3 of them, I love them poached, scrambled, fried, an omelet and I'll add some cooked and cooled potato or sweet potato fried in ghee (clarified butter) and some sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), some avocado, maybe bacon if I feel like it.  That meal generally keeps me going most of the day until about 4-5pm and then I'll have a small snack of fruit, say a banana or apple with some nut butter.  Dinner is normally some meat, green vegetables and either some potatoes, kumara (sweet potato), rice, rice noodles and some days I just stick to zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or mash because I like to change it up, everyday isn't the same otherwise I get bored.  I find myself cooking from cookbooks lately for new ideas.  My macros are probably about 100gms of carbohydrate a day, give or take, sometimes it's 150gms and other days it's 70gms, my protein is normally always around 70gms and my fat intake is roughly 70-80gms.  In terms of Percentages each day I'd sit around 45% Fat / 30% Carbs / 25% Protein, all very rough estimates.  My weight is fairly stable at 69-70kgs, (5'7") and I feel happy here, I could probably do with losing a few kgs but really have you ever met anyone that doesn't say that?! Mostly I'm just thankful that I have managed to maintain my weight loss while enjoying delicious food.

I personally think the following are really great websites to help get you on a good path to health and weight loss, I have no affiliation with any of these recommendations.

New Zealand Pages:

Please remember I'm not a doctor or dietitian and everything I have stated above is all from my experience, before diagnosing yourself please speak with a medical professional you trust.

Rebecca's Transformation!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meet Rebecca, she has been following me since May last year and she asked if I would share her story.  I feel incredibly honoured that she wanted me to be the one to share it, Enjoy!

The photo to the left I was 82kgs and the photo to the right I am now 60kgs,  I was a size 14NZ and sometimes a 16NZ in tops, I hated them clingy and now I'm a comfortable size 10NZ.

I was a bridesmaid at my sisters wedding 30th October 2010, I was so unhappy with how I looked.  I had no hobbies, no interests and ate meals the same size as my partner who has a physical job. I felt extremely down and was so miserable and moody.

I joined the gym for 6 months and only lost 2kgs. I ate more than usual as I thought I could because I was working out. I left the gym and downloaded my fitness pal. I was given 1200 calories a day and they weight started disappearing! It took me about 2years to lose 15kgs but then it stopped, I got stuck at 67kgs and soon enough bumped back up to 72-73kgs. I felt happier I retrained my stomach to be full of smaller meals (normal size) and got back into horse riding which has always been my number one hobby.

I got annoyed and frustrated and wanted the extra kilos gone. I stumbled across Paleo, did a lot of research and started eating that way in May last year. I found Michelle Martangi from Primal Journey and followed her journey. I loved checking in daily seeing her food, it gave me motivation daily. Seeing other people food pics gave me ideas and made me want to push harder. By October 2014 I had hit 59kgs! I now sit about 60-62kgs and I am comfortable.

My goal now is to increase my exercise and tone up. I am more than happy with my weight but I just want to get rid of the last of the “jiggly bits”. I have a kettle bell arriving Thursday and I cannot wait to get started.

You can find Rebecca on Instagram "beccisully"

Health rollercoaster!

Monday, March 17, 2014

For the past 5+ years I've been Primal, keeping my carbohydrate at around 50-100 a day, I've had moments of 20-50 (only when in weight loss mode).  More often than not I wouldn't have been in strict ketosis the majority of the time, probably on the cusp of ketosis, certainly dipping in and out.  For the past few months I have generally been strict keto (20-50) to see if it would improve my health after a nasty inner ear virus I got last year. Unfortunately I've come to the conclusion that my delicate hormones weren't happy with the extreme low carb.   

I was noticing my monthly cycle was a LOT worse than normal and I was having pain for 3 weeks out of the month which felt very abnormal, I have terrible menstrual pain due to my PCOS but never had I experienced the random pain in the same place when I wasn't menstruating, it was concerning me.  My dizziness (due to Menieres) wasn't improving and I was feeling really tired most of the time.  My energy was just really lacking and exercise was the last thing on my mind, I was struggling to get through the day without a nap and everything in life was just feeling so much harder, it felt like a mystery and that maybe I was having a stint of depression.  

I decided to change what I was eating to see if it was in fact the strict level of carbs I was eating that was causing my issues.  I know for a fact that food affects our bodies and brains so much, it's the most powerful form of medicine.  So I started eating a lot more carbs, the addition of kumara (sweet potato), potato, white rice and bananas and lowering the fat a little to compensate so my overall calories don't go too high. While I miss the high fat keto levels interestingly enough I have felt incredibly satiated on the lower fat levels and higher carbohydrates than what I thought I would.

The best part is the pain I was having in my lower abdomen has gone, my period pain is much more manageable.  My energy has been so much higher and I no longer need to nap during the day, most importantly the dizziness has mostly vanished which has made life feel so much easier. As a bonus I've actually been very surprised that I've lost cms, the scale has stayed the same but I'm fitting things I haven't fitted in a while.  

Before anyone gives me advice that I didn't do keto right, believe me I know a lot about it and I love all the science behind it.  I made sure I had bone broths, I kept the salt, potassium and magnesium high, fat was 70-80% and I have in the past felt amazing on keto so I was miffed that I felt my health declining.  I'm all for doing what works, but if it stops working I'm the kind of person that will keep digging until it feels right.  

I'm yet to find my perfect macro nutrient amounts but for now I'm just feeling so much healthier.  I wholeheartedly think keto has it's place for so many people, including myself for a moment in time, it was crucial in getting that 40kgs off effortlessly, however my long term health is most important to me right now.

While I still wouldn't consider the macronutrient ratios of my current style of eating "high carb" compared to the conventional carbohydrate wisdom it is a lot higher than I thought I would ever go, I'm averaging at least 100gms a day at the moment.  

I've been at this weight loss, weight maintenance, health journey for a long time now and i've been every different weight imaginable, what is my priority these days is my health, waking up and feeling amazing and happy.  Its not always about a number on the scale or the size of your clothes but how you feel in your skin, my focus these days is to be healthy and confident.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Five and a half years ago I worked as a PA for a mortgage broker.  In late 2008 the international financial collapse economy took a massive hit, and the housing market slowed right down. My position was made redundant.  I found myself jobless and I will always remember that feeling of losing my job.  That feeling of dread and hopelessness to lose your job in a recession, and knowing that the available jobs around were going to be few and far between is not a very nice place to be.

I came home after hearing the news and sobbed, it felt at the time like my world was going to fall apart.  Not only had I lost my job but my marriage was going through a very trying time as I was suffering from depression and anxiety, and I was at an all time high with my weight.  I had gained 40kgs in a year and I didn't recognise the person starting back at me.  I felt hopeless, jobless, anxious, depressed and so uncomfortably fat that I was having trouble tying my shoe laces.  At the time I couldn't see my way out.  My husband (bless him) suggested that I should start my own business.  

Although we were going through a very tough time he was the one who believed in me more than I believed in myself.  He suggested I make clothes for people, he had seen me over years making dresses for myself for various weddings and how many people would always comment where they could get one too.  At first I thought I couldn't do it but I knew I had nothing to lose.  I had my mum's sewing machine and overlocker and I knew how to sew.  I was so anxious that I wouldn't be good enough.  With all that in mind I took the risk of not finding another job with a stable income, hoping that I could make my own income in time and in the meantime we would have to live on one wage with very little leftover.

We got a sandwich board printed by a friend and put that out on the street, in my lunchtimes I would walk the streets flyer dropping with black and white flyers that I designed myself and printed out.  Little by little I would get new clients.  It felt so demanding sewing clothing for women that were never really that happy about the clothes I made, not because of the quality, but because the risk you take when you get something custom made is huge.   Have you ever seen an outfit on a mannequin in the window of a clothing shop that you just love, only to try it on and realise it looks god damn awful on you.  Well it was much like that and although I knew many times that the garment would look like that, you can not tell women that you think that especially when you are just starting out.  

So after feeling deflated and like I didn't want to do that anymore I considered pulling out of the sewing world.  I thankfully had a businessman to my doorstep who bought fabric samples for me to look at, he asked me about what I was wanting to achieve.  He suggested that I do alterations and repairs because there's not as much risk and if you are good at it you can make good money.  I knew in my mind I was pretty good at alterations, I had lost count how many items of clothing I had pulled apart and transformed over the years.  So I headed up to Auckland and spent a week at my cousins Alteration Business in Epsom to see how this kind of business worked.  After spending many hours with the ladies and doing some alterations with them, learning how to tailor suits and dresses I realised that I could do it.  In fact I preferred it, there's a real satisfaction in fixing something and making it better.  It wasn't as "glamorous" as being a fashion designer like I had first hoped but it just made more sense.

I went home and changed the direction of my business, I phased out the custom clothing as I knew I would really start to hate sewing if I carried on with that.  I phased in the alterations and repairs and really started to enjoy it.  I did more flyer drops and waited for the phone to ring.  Gradually I started getting more people and started to make enough money to buy my first industrial sewing machine.  As the word of mouth started to work and I had more people over the next year I found myself quite a busy little bee, I was working hard and loving it.  I had to be motivated which can be tough when you are naturally a lazy person like I am.  I just kept my eye on the prize, worked hard and stayed focused.

Over the years as I made more money I bought more industrial machines to do all the different things I needed to do.  I bought a blind hemmer machine which has a curved needle to pick up a very small amount of fabric and this would save me so much time as I was doing that by hand! A cover seamer machine that could sew stretch hems, previously I had to send these hems away to Auckland to be done.  A heavy duty machine for denim so I didn't ruin my plain sewer that I used for silks and I made do with my domestic overlocker.  My database of clients grew each month and I worked longer hours and made more money.  I started to get feedback from clients saying I was the best alteration person they had ever been to and they were so happy I started my business, I was feeling the boost I needed to carry on and work hard.  I finally started to believe in myself and realised that I really was capable of so much more than I ever thought. 

Years later and countless hours spent, sometimes working nights and weekends to work with deadlines, I finally felt like I had a successful business.  When I got to tailor a suit for All Black Peri Wepu I knew that I must be doing something right!  

Currently I have 5 industrial machines and 3 domestic machines, I have a database with 1000 clients. I've upgraded from supermarket shopping bags to glossy red bags, stationery invoices to my own custom invoices, eftpos instead of only cash, It's turned into quite a successful thriving business and I love what I do! There has been many many moments throughout the last few years where I've wanted to quit, there's been tears, tiredness and doubt through it all.  I've counted dollars and cents to make ends meet and all of it has been through pure determination to make it work. None of it has been easy, but it's all been worth it.   I absolutely love my business, it's not perfect, but it's mine.  It's more than I ever thought it would be.

Counting the only money we had in my first two years of business!

When people say I'm so lucky to have such a great business I just agree with them because explaining this long story would take to much time.  Luck had nothing to do with it, all of what I've created is simply from hard work, long hours and determination to make it work.

Change is not always fun. In fact, depending on what brings you to the change, it can be down right humbling. Unfortunate events sometimes put us in very vulnerable positions where the future seems bleak. Facing the truth of the situation and reality that we are in is key, the great thing is we get to choose the path we want.  Step up to the challenge to move forward or you can sit and reminisce wishing things were different and watching the time go by…either way, the time will pass anyway.

Whether it's your job, weight, marriage, family etc..step up to the challenge of making things right. Choose to love yourself enough to make the changes.  You just need to start and believe in yourself. Your journey will not be perfect and it won't be the way it used to be, but it can be better.  You will be stronger, confident and more amazing than the old version of you ever was.  Change can happen little by little when you put in the work, stay consistent, focused and determined.  Don't get hung up on how things used to be, you might be stoping a transformation from emerging.  Years later you will look back at the time that has passed and well up with tears knowing that you have changed your life.

Transforming my health both physically and mentally, all while starting a new business! Anything is possible if you believe it can happen!
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