Down that Little Lane . Powered by Blogger.

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? 

Who said Plant Powered food was for Rabbits?

Sure we eat LOADS more veggies than we used to do but we still eat Pizza, Mac 'n' Cheese, visit Sushi Restaurants and the kids even eat Burgers on our serious junk food days..

I think a lot of people assume to do it well you have to switch to constant salads and there are no longer any go to lazy day meals for Mum to bash out in a hurry. Au contraire.. My 10 minute wonders are Baked Potatoes (with lashings of vegan butter), Veggie Burger & Chips and the likes of Avocado Bagels.

I already have a few recipes shared on here but I have been saving my casual inspirations on Instagram in my Story Highlights (of course you can only see them on the mobile app) and a few people have asked me to share them here so I thought I would collage up the favourite requests so far and see if you requested any from them..

Easy Breakfast Ideas..

Simple Family Friendly Dinners..

Sweet Treats..

What do you think you would miss? Mine was scrambled eggs and bacon yet I haven't craved them once. How weird is that?

Getting good at Gratitude

I have noticed that in life, the more grateful you are the more is given to you to be grateful for both spiritually and literally.  Where my attention goes the energy flows.

Having a gratitude driven mindset is a choice and its not always easy but there is literally always something to be grateful for. Being in touch with gratitude can also totally change everything about your day, your relationships and the life you create for yourself. If I start the day making a point of looking for the things I like about myself instead of focusing on my flaws I give myself the best foot to step forward on for a day of happiness and content.

Look for the good and more than likely you will find it. You will show those around you and your family how sitting amongst positivity sends good vibrations to each and every person you come in contact with.

Remember that success will start small but once you allow it in there will be a continuous flow. Every day is a chance to become closer to the person you've yet to become. Grounding your actions in purpose and passion will ensure you never grow bored of them.

For me our egos can ruin our lives. Social media has so much to answer for with youngsters becoming so sexual in their images which in turn attaches their sex lives to that ego, couples display these amazing marriages because their egos want the likes, people don't talk about life's downsides thanks to their ego of not appearing perfect, we are even ignoring our mental health because of our egos.

A lack or gratitude for what we DO have stems from our desire to compete or fit in or look like we have it all together when most of us just voyaging along and muddling through it.

Be honest, be humble. The ego can't overpower those simple missions and in doing so you make connections with the people you entrust that will permit your heart to grow and your personality to flourish despite that ego.

It really is worth giving your attention to, a little bit of gratitude can make a lifetime of change for you and so many others..

Have you ever tried to spend a whole day in gratitude?

February Lemonadelustloving

Picked from those who have been tagging me on Instagram, we have (from top left clockwise) the beautiful artwork of Anema Designs, Stunning Interior Design by Bell Studio, Pretties from that favourite of mine Le Petit Renard Rouge and more vibrant art from from Leah Nadeau 

.. as always I will choose my winner every other month and feature them at least 4 times on the Insta Feed over the next month AND I will be putting them on my Pinterest Boards too...

This month I was very torn between my top two but have decided to do something a little bit different and go for the service over the products so I am choosing Bell Studio for this month. Look out for my favourite picks on Insta and keep tagging #lemonadelustloving to be featured yourself.

Have you got friends starting a new business? Make sure they get tagging too..

My we turned Plant Based, Yep the whole family..

Its been a year now so I feel I can chat about it with some backstory and an element of authority on the ins and outs of turning plant based as a family..

I am not suddenly some all hailing thou must all turn vegan, I am not biased towards it for any reason other than that I am now vegan because after much research I have learned that, apart from of course being beautifully ethical, a plant based diet is the best diet for my current and future health alongside the health of the environment.

One of the major stereotypes surrounding veganism is that vegans think they are better than others and that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to me..  I’m vegan not because I feel that I’m better than anyone else but rather because I understand that I am no different. Those type of Vegans need to loose their 'Vego', as a friend of mine calls it, as that idiotic attitude just drives wedges between differing thoughts on diets rather than bringing them closer which is what most people who live this narrative want.

We went vegan as Marcus came home one night having been listening to Rich Rolls Podcast and read his book Finding Ultra and simply liked what he had heard. Rich doesn't say go cold turkey (pardon the pun) or nothing at all, he simply promotes that you add as many vegetables to your diet as you can and loose the dairy for a while and see how you feel.

The health of our countries are declining, weight issues are rising, the amount of people being diagnosed with life altering and even deadly illnesses is two a penny and it seems like every other person is on a cocktail of medications for all sorts of varied ailments. 

Marcus and I were on medication for stress/anxiety/depression. My future has a high chance of seeing Breast Cancer rear its ugly head and that of course worries me. 

Marcus was chasing a new diet to treat his gut health which has always been erratic and I had read and heard how people have reversed serious end of life diagnoses from simply adopting a plant based diet. If any of us had any gremlins in our bodies waiting to grow into something bigger and simply changing our diet could stop that then I was all in.

The other side effect for athletes is that it is reported to aid with much faster recovery from training sessions so with what, at the time, was a 50k Trail Run Race coming up and lots of training hours ahead this also appealed to me!

So thats why we did it and we did pretty much do it over night. I only had a few pieces of fish to use up and from that point forwards I simply bought purely plant based.

AND how has it been?...

There are of course things we miss but to be honest there are substitutes from pretty much anything nowadays. They say the more you eat something the more you crave it so now I just crave salad!!

We never told the kids they had to stay plant based, we just said we will be at home and would love you to be when you are out. They sometimes have some sushi with fish in, maybe once a month they will have a cookie, cupcake or ice cream at someones house but all in all they have adapted in and out of home into fully fledged little Veganites!

We all lost weight/body fat to start with and have now plateaued at that lower weight/body fat.
We all sleep better.
Marcus has found his stomach is so much more settled.
That recovery blurb we had heard about 'feels' true.. (I can only compare)
Our skin, hair and eyes look brighter and clearer.
Our food bills have gone down big time.
My cooking skills have improved.
Our knowledge (as a family) of nutrients, whole foods and dietary facts has grown.
We have become a lot more eco friendly as a bi product

We are still learning but the longer we are plant based and come across transformative stories of peoples lives changing for the better having turned or led a plant based life the more I know we won't change back.

The accessibility to plant based food just keeps getting better, the products available to cook with mimicking animal products (I am talking cheese baby) are growing day by day and I just can't find a good reason not to continue just the way we are..

Have you made a big diet change in your life? How did yours go? 

Coaches.. to do or not to do..

I would say to do, again and again and again.. I was in a discussion the other day about whether the art of coaching was lost and whether the true coaches could survive as just a coach being their only income going forwards.

I could not advocate having a coach more if I tried, not forever and not just for a month. For an event, for a safe journey to a big adventure, to achieve a desired goal .. heck just to give you the knowledge you need to keep up a healthy lifestyle and know how to tackle future events you might want to take up or on.

I had a crap coach in the past and that can kill the system. The useless ones just throw out a program, analyze the data and charge less than the real hands on coaches. Unfortunately enough people get a result good enough to keep them happy from that pathetic approach which in turn keeps them in business.. 

Strava (or the likes) is not a coach, if you are endeavouring to do something that will take you out of your comfort zone then watching stats on a digital distractive platform that ranks you against people you have never met or simply have a totally different goal in mind to yours is just a time waster.

How do you find a decent coach? 

Ask around local groups and friends who have used one, get onto a local FB Group supporting the sport you want to do and see what comes up. Word of mouth is my favourite and finding a coach that has skills in the discipline you are chasing is key. If you have a certain event in mind they may even have raced it too which is an absolute bonus. 

I found mine as I was following Rich Roll and his ultra endurance vegan life, he waxed lyrical about his coach and then posted an image of him swimming with that coach at MY local pool. It was kismet, what can I say!

A true coach teaches you how to feel those numbers and all that data whilst doing the training, having self knowledge is what will keep you on track and ensure you cross the finishing line with a smile on your face.

My current coach uses my data numbers and all that stuff you analyze to adapt my next training week, he wants notes after every session regarding how I felt not my numbers.. he re arranges my schedule when life gets in the way, he does regular testing on feel to back up the numbers and builds in mandatory rest alongside big peaks. 

His ability to answer every dumb question with simple logic and no judgement has his athletes asking so many re occurring things he even started recording a podcast to cover the subjects for us.. 

The true art of coaching is not lost it’s just needs more people to discover it and spread the word.

I am writing this post purely as those that have been lucky enough to know or experience good coaches should spread the word so as not to loose those gems to online formatting and lazy glorified PT’s...

If you are in need of help in Australia I recommend talking to Grant.. he is the sort of coach I have currently and I know he is the sort of coach that if he felt he wasn't the best fit for you and your needs he would find you someone that was.. again.. the sign of a good coach. If you need mental strength outside of just the physical coaching he also runs Sports Supports who run workshops and do one on one also

Oh the synchronicity.. as I type his new podcast alert flashes on my phone.. FREAKY 😳😝

Have you ever used a coach for anything? 

Lemonade Lusts : UK Insta Peeps

I have been following a few simply divine UK Photographers/Bloggers of late and they plain and simple fall straight under my Lemonade Lusts banner. When something as simple as an image makes your heart flutter and lights up your day it seems rather mean not to share it.

from top to bottom :
// Hannah Argyle //
// This is Jules //

Do you follow anyone on social media that just fills your bucket? 

Do you want to be a different person?

I am a totally different person.... to the one I was 15 years ago and even if I do say so myself I rather like this version better.

I couldn’t pin point exact change points as it’s all a journey and my road never seems to be forged in stone but what you do along the way shapes you future self. That person I was 15+ years ago had grown up in a world where no one shared (we had no social media and those surrounding me were not all that open). I worked a job, as a model, where people based their actions on physical attributes, rejection was standard practice and success was judged in material possessions and a commitment to narcissistic behaviour alongside unhealthy lifestyles.

Somewhere along the way (21 years ago actually) I met a man who held value in family over everything. I regained my passion for sports, became a mother and suddenly aware that my behaviour would impact who they became. I ran a business that was of service to others more than myself and ended up giving so much to everyone else that medication was the only thing to keep me from running myself into an early grave.

I always say the one thing medication is good for is the fact your first step forces you to admit there is an issue at hand and then the actual taking of it daily gives you the clarity to define your mistakes and see that a future is possible.

For a while I stayed the same path and just let the medication keep me balanced and that’s ok as I needed time to rest. Along my journey I met so many that were the same but suffering in silence, social media became a 'thing' AND my job had me public speaking more often. With that platform of both business and personal alongside the fact I was already helping others navigate the stresses of small business behind closed doors I just felt compelled to be open and honest about my journey. I knew it would be tough to be someone who showed weaknesses but I knew it was the right thing to do and would ultimately make me a better person also.

So these days I am me, I still kinda look like that perfect ‘model’ on the outside (thank you Mum and Dad for the pretty good genetics) but more importantly I like to think I have started to change the genetics on the inside and am looking more model like there too ..

I don’t read tabloid press because decent books or a podcast win over that..
I don’t watch reality TV because Netflix and Amazon Video are my only TV drug of choice..
I don’t even buy labelled clothes unless it’s sports gear and can justify its price tag in its purpose.

As a result my life is better, NOT perfect but so, so, so much better and I take pride in the kids I am shaping and the wife I am being. 

I look for the good in everyday however mundane the diary looks (yes that can be a HUGE effort) because I can make that day brighter. Simple things. Having an honest conversation, making someone smile with a compliment, baking my family healthy food and maybe even sharing that love with deliveries to my friends, even just minimising my own possessions and donating to a local charity but the biggest impact I appear to have is the honesty I express in my social media posts. Maybe it is because it is of service to others and that means the world to me (the old me would have looked for the Instalikes) but the new me buzzes from the personal messages behind the scenes. 

Vulnerability is a strength, we can’t move past issues until we shine a light on them and I guess that is the real truth behind my changes over the years. 

Share your truths, 
be honest with those you love,
acknowledge the power of continual growth from learning,
discover your powers and let them blossom,
create happiness in your days and look after yourself inside and out.

How have you changed over the years? What were your best lessons?