paddling out

Last year, life threw us the hardest, fastest, most painful curve ball you could imagine. It was quite possibly the longest and coldest winter I’ll ever experience. I’d had a pretty lovely life up until then, I’d never experienced tragedy first hand and I was blissfully unaware of how cruel life could actually be.

After what seemed like months of rain, I longed to feel the sun soaking into my skin again. To be enveloped in warmth. I needed the sun, the sand and the ocean.

My beloved and I decided to leave our little home for a while and take our broken hearts to a sunnier side of the world.

We landed in Oahu, Hawaii. A place I never had any serious urge to visit before. If it weren’t for dear friends of ours living there at the time, I doubt I never would have made the effort. I’m so glad they were there and I’ll be forever grateful that they encouraged us to come.

The trip was amazing despite a couple of medical hiccups on my part, we snorkeled, we hiked, we swam, we ate, drank and lazed. But there is one thing we did that has left a lasting impression on me. Something that I hope I will continue to do until I’m old and grey.

Our friends introduced us to a charming fellow by the name of Uncle George who blesses people with free stand up paddle board lessons in a place he likes to call the Bay of Dreams. He shares stand up paddling because he feels it’s a gift that changed his life and so he wants to to share this with others in the hope it will change their lives too.

image courtesy pinterest

Uncle George was a wonderful teacher. He told us his story about how his lifestyle and weight was sending him to an early grave so he decided to give paddling a go. Getting out on the water every day has seen Uncle George lose about 15kg and improve his health drastically.

We were matched up with a board, given the basics on land and sent out into the water. I was so surprised by how incredible I felt out there. I was overcome by emotions but felt that out on the water, I had all the time in the world to process them. The beautiful rhythmic motion of running the paddle through the water was serene and healing and in an instant I was hooked.

Paddling out of the bay, we were greeted by a pod of dolphins. They came within about a metre of us, splashing and playing around almost oblivious to our presence. I’d never experienced anything so beautiful.

Back on dry land, my husband and I looked at each other with a knowing smile. We knew that as soon as we got home we would begin the hunt for our very own boards.*

Stand up paddling has given  me an outlet, a way to silence my mind and reconnect with the world. I know it’s a full body work out, but to me it doesn’t feel like exercise. It’s been beneficial for my mind, body and definitely my soul.

If you ever find yourself on the the west coast of Oahu, you don’t want to miss out on spending some time with Uncle George and letting him share this simple but lovely experience.

And to Uncle George, if you ever read this, from the depths of my heart thank you. You have passed on a gift that has really moved me – in more ways than one. Now we are passing on the love by sharing SUP with our family and friends.

*our boards were purchased with help from Kieran at SUP Gear Australia
This is not a sponsored post.

jar food

I’ve made a conscious effort over the last couple of years to steer clear of prepackaged food. But now there seems to be a lot of places and people insisting on giving me my food and drink in a jar. And I like it!

At any rate, I’m incredibly late to the party on this one.

I recently purchased a carton of Ball Mason Jars to recreate the magic of “jar food” at home!

First, I started with the most important (and my most favourite) meal of the day, breakfast.

I love nothing more than fruit, yogurt and muesli for breakfast on summer mornings, however it’s difficult for me to transport the stuff to work in a container because occasionally the lid gets bumped off and BAM yogurt bag!

This is where this genius little jar comes in. The only way the contents are coming out of this little fella is if I throw my bag on the ground and smash it.

I digress…

There is something just a little bit fun about eating breakfast out of a jar. And I’ve discovered that I can make a weeks worth of breakfast on a Sunday night so that in the mornings I can just grab and go.

Is there anything this miracle little jar can’t do?

This batch I jazzed my muesli up a little bit by roasting it in some coconut oil. Just a smidge, because I’m trying not to be a fatty.

Then I plonked some yogurt, passionfruit and banana into the jar, layering it like some sort of delicious breakfast trifle.

Topped it off with a couple of spoonfuls of delicious coconutty muesli and….

Voila! Breakfast a la jar!

I promise you, I refuse to eat food in any other form from this moment on. So many possibilities!

I’ve heard salad in a jar is also pretty tasty. I’m going to try that next.