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Visiting PNW..

We have loved California and its coast line since we have been here and the more National Parks we travel the more we fall in love with the USA..

That said it still doesn't top Australia for us as we beaches are not close to the greenery in quite the same way.. UNTIL we went to PNW. Officially not the whole of PNW as that includes Alaska and we only went to Portland, Washington State and Oregon.

Portland was tiny but pretty darn hip 'n' trendy with an amazing market scene, bustling food trucks and some amazing restaurants. Our favourite was Voodoo Doughnuts, they do a ridiculous range of Vegan Doughnuts, so many that we were able to just say choose us a dozen!

When you talk parks in the area there is no going past Mount Hood. Now that place I 100% want to go back and spend more time exploring as we did a day trip and I am pretty sure I could spend a month.

After that came Seattle and I totally fell in love. It was like Sydney on Steroids with so many islands across so much water. Gorgeous beaches and ahmazing house prices, as in 1/3 of the price of Sydney. I was kinda ready to move and then I found out how cold it gets and that it is super rainy a fair portion of the year. I can do cold, especially if there is skiing near but rain?!.. No thanks.

So Seattle you totally have my heart but only in Summer..

Our last pit stop was Idaho and I won't lie, I was a little bit jealous that half the houses had these excessively large garages to house their RV's AND they had docks off the front for the speedboats and jet ski's that pretty much each and every home had. 

It is life on the water, cruising, speeding or fishing. Again I fell in love and again I was reminded how crap it was in Winter so I am glad I cam in Summer as I will just hold the magical memories instead.

Have you done many National Parks in the US? Where were your favourites? 

When age is just a number

That tummy has never been so wrinkly (yes I posted a picture I would never have let you see before) and that skin will never be as tight as it used to be (hello abdominal separation) but it gave me babies and for that I will take the shift and be ok with it.. Putting a Mum body to the test on a purely plant based diet was something I was excited about but very curious to see the results.

And it’s done.. Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, done and dusted.

I loved the power, the pain and all the people. The power of the human body, the pain only mental strength can overcome and the people that fill you with emotion through their words and actions.

I recently completed my first Half Ironman in Hawaii having had a 12 year gap from racing (kids and life kinda got in the way, as well as hubby doing Marathon de Sables).

My previous Half Ironman times were around the 5.30 time. Hawaii is said to be half an hour slower as the course has massive crosswinds and is hideously hot so my finish time of 5.45 comparatively has me finished 15 minutes faster than I did back in the day BK (before kids).

Whilst fitness is not new to me racing has been missing for 12 years, thanks to the joy of raising children, and it was nerve wracking putting the training to the test. I had done the training but not 6 hours straight, all 3 disciplines and with 1500 people in your way whilst pushing as hard as you can.

My swim was bliss and one day if I find goggles that don’t fill with water literally 20 times I will be able to go sub 30 (I did 33).

The ride was stunning, windy and hot. My chain came off mid hill and at dismount had some dude brake hard in front of my which had me over my handlebars as I broke with the only hand I had free rendering my front wheel motionless and the rest of my bike and I catapulted over said front wheel (say goodbye to another 5 minutes Tessa). On a side note my helmet saved my life as I literally hit the tarmac with my noggin from at least 3ft up..

The run was a million little hills over the golf course and an out and back in the lava field.. brutal but everything I wanted to test my mental strength. I had heard that after having kids you race tougher and I think I am going to say hell to the yeah, yes you do.. The brain is the most powerful muscle in our body, it told me to stop a million times but it told me to keeping and that I had this a million and one.

My support crew (Marcus and the kids) were on each leg and totally kept me running on the last lap as I HAD to do them proud. I did and was 7th female on the run.. 13th female in AG (with professionals racing) and 259th out of 1500 odd field. Not too bad for a 12 year gap .. I was desperate to have them see training come to fruition so I can now do it WITH them. 

I am happy with my race and finished with nothing in the tank so that’s what it’s all about.. I did what I set out to do, not embarrass myself and enjoy the day. I would have liked to have raced faster but the training certainly meant I enjoyed my day which I can’t say was the case for everyone out there

I know some people just think ‘oh you are a freak and just super fit’ and yes it takes some focus (and training time) but I can promise you everyone can do it.. my kids even said at the end that they were amazed at all the shapes and sizes racing. I proved a lot to myself yesterday.. mainly that age is NOT a factor. I am proud of what I now know my body can still do.. I can do more and I will

As for being play based.. I was told your recovery is always better as plant based diets reduce inflammation. Well I had found that in training but what about post race? I used to have issues sitting down after racing and yet my only aches after this race is a big fat bruise from my bike stack and a stiff neck from holding my bike so tight in the crosswinds. I went hiking up an mountain the next day!

It’s kinda weird finding the person I was before kids again.. she’s a bit more creaky and sore in general but she’s stronger in the head.. I quite like her. It have so much room for improvement but considering the long break I feel fitter and stronger than even before which is a pretty good buzz.

What amazing thing have you done with your body you never thought you could?

The Pretend Hippy

I think I might be a happy pretend hippy..

I am no hippy thats for sure but I can see their school of thought and why they are the way they are with such devotion and passion. I also think the way I think has become far closer to that stereotype. They way I behave and interact with my children is shifting in that direction at a heightened speed.

Ok so they smoked pot a lot but I see it as kinda like me during my medicated time. It loosened my stresses and allowed me to find a way to be happier, a way to deal with my emotions before they became a negative impact. It gave me clarity in situations I previously would not have had.

Now I am off my meds my emotions are at the surface, I am ok with sharing them because it feels right. I am ok with people seeing how moved I am by other peoples joy. Sure it looks silly but its just honest and its kinda hippy like.

Maybe hippies smoke forever to maintain that openness but I don’t think they need too. I reckon it does just what meds do and dulls reality. Nothing wrong with feeling dulled in a good way for the time we need it, that adjustment period is key to the life after negative times, but not forever. I feel we need to learn and progress

So I am plant based now and of course people think that makes me a hippy but even without animal products in my life when I am lazy and eat processed food like breads, gnocchi, big bowls of cereal, that kind of thing. I feel my body get heavy and my energy levels drop.

When I eat whole foods and take time to prepare hearty meals with intention behind the ingredients, thinking about what it is going to do for my body and my families whilst I am cooking, I feel proud and the pride is there in the tasting.. I am sure of it.

I am 100% sure that no longer taking on the energy of animal products has a huge part to play in not only my physical changes but even more so my mental energy.

Even the kids said the other day that they are so happy they don’t eat animals. They totally got that at their exact moment of going from being on the planet to becoming ready for a plate they would have been nervous, scared and in pain. How can all those chemical reactions that are happening to them not change yours when you ingest the chemicals still sitting in the meat?

Those hippies are all about forks over knives and they gibe on the energetic vibrations of what you eat along with a beautiful approach to your thoughts and actions and I think they are onto something!

I would love to say I AM a hippy but I can't do flares or tie die.. sorry not sorry.

Have you taken anything from another culture of section of society?

A Dairy, Gluten & Sugar Free Caramel Slice

This one is a truly scrumptious desert and so, so easy to make that it requires no skills!!

What is not to love?

Its calorific (um der, it is a friggin caramel slice) but using those nuts instead of butter and flour for a base is a total winner on the health front. The caramel is so totally gooey and sweet yet all from fruits not dairy and a shit tonne of sugar melted together. As for the chocolate, once you have made this and seen how easy it is you will be using it over ice cream (soy for me), mixing it in milkshakes and drizzling it over everything you bake.

Ok lets get to it..


Cashew Base

1 1/2 Cup (225g) Soaked Cashews
1/4 Cup (25g) Quinoa Flakes
1/4 Cup (25g) Desiccated Coconut
10 Medjool Dates
3 Tablespoons Maple or Rice Malt Syrup


1 Cup (150g) Medjool Dates
1/4 Cup (60ml) Melted Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup (120ml) Maple or Rice Malt Syrup
1/2 Cup (120ml) Almond Butter or Tahini or Cashew Butter - I used all 3
1 teaspoon Vanilla Powder
1/4 teaspoon of Salt

Chocolate Topping

1/3 Cup (40g) Cacao Powder
1/2 Cup (120ml) Melted Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup (60ml) Maple Syrup


Line a tin (around 30 x 30 cm) with some baking paper and set it aside.

Once you have blended the cashews in a food processor add all the other base ingredients to form the base and spread it across your lined tin evenly. Put that in the freezer whilst you start on the caramel.

For the Caramel, wash your food processor and simply add all the caramel ingredients and blend them until smooth. Again spread this across your cashew base and put it back in the freezer for a couple of hours...

2 hours later and its the last hurdle. Take your Chocolate Topping ingredients and whisk them together in a bowl. Pour it across your Caramel and Cashew Base and return that to the freezer for another couple of hours or until ready to serve.

Healing in to Happiness

I've had broken bones.
I've survived incidents that left visible scars.
I often wander around with cuts and bruises from day to day.
They heal, its all physical.

Invisible wounds are the hardest to heal, they take time and often involve the understanding of others alongside your own personal patience and acceptance. By expressing our weaknesses or even our wounds, we can work through them, heal them and even inspire others.

Oh hark at me. I say it as if it is a piece of cake. Just talk it through and its gone.. well no that is not quite it but the theory is there.

So many people chatter away about this confidence they have as they grow older, the can do attitude they suddenly possess when we all know it has always been there. I think it just comes into its own because by that stage most people have gone through or witnessed a few of the hardships in life and come out the other side.

The raising of children, the loss of loved ones, buying and selling property, starting businesses, failing businesses, divorces, illness.. all these things take so much from us and those we care for and rarely happen in our 20's.

I feel lucky that I learnt to share a good while back, it wasn't easy, in actual fact it felt quite awkward and pressured at first but the more I did it the easier it got. Thanks to my work I was booked for a fair few public speaking gigs and the more honest I was with the true emotions the more praise I received and unbelievable amount of people coming up to me after and saying how much my speech had moved them. Me? Moved someone simply by telling the truth about some of my low moments amongst my highs?. That felt special and made my realise that just by sharing I could be of service to others and who the hell doesn't want to be that?

The more open I was and on a grander scale (yes I actually started to share on my blog and social media, committing it to the internet forever)  the more I learnt I was not alone and again was actually  helping others as well as myself in managing to just speak my truth.

It's not comfortable to admit your faults out loud, its painful to share your raw emotions on private matters and it is nerve wracking to purposefully shatter the visions people have of you on your little pedestal and let them in on the secret that you too are just an average person who struggles with shit also. That said, once you do, holy crap does it feel amazing.

I recently re visited a moment in my life that had always troubled me. I had no idea if it did the same for the other person involved and after many, many years we tackled it. It was tough and it hurt, tears flowed, questions erupted between us and we both sighed a huge relief as we faced it head on and banished it forever. Of course the memories still exist but the fact that I thought I had hurt someone I loved in the past and always wondered if I actually had was now out in the open and able to be processed and put the the past.

For me it was a life changing moment.
It was affirmation that NOTHING is too hard to tackle.
The healing comes when you shine a light on the pain.
Pain loves the dark crevices and cracks.
Shine a light on it and stare it straight in the face to banish it forever by simply owning it.

How do you heal? Have you tried meeting your issues head on?