Lifestyle

The Clever Guts Diet & Me! – Week 1

acs_0115‘Guts’ has to be one of the most off-putting words there is, don’t you think?! Today is a Lifestyle blog (or a microblog really), I wanted to share with you a new eating plan/diet reset approach I am taking for the coming few weeks.

G and I are heading off on our trip of a LIFETIME in a mere 104 days and quite frankly, I have once again failed to utilise the many (and I mean many) months I had to try and get my health & fitness up and even possibly lose a dress size ahead of this trip.

So…here we are, three and a bit months out from the trip and I feel awful. My skin is terrible, my moods were crashing, I was lethargic all of the time, I was constantly craving awful food and I was so bloated I looked and felt a little like this…

brown primate hanging on tree
Photo by Cesar Aguilar on Pexels.com

Now, I am no novice when it comes to eating plans and changing things up. I really struggle with hormones and weight loss so I have tried it all (except for medication because quite frankly, I am not really open to the idea of using what is effectively speed, for weight loss purposes).

My friend had mentioned to me The Clever Guts Diet by BBC’s Dr Michael Mosley. I had every intention of looking at the book and the diet six months ago but then life happens and you become 30% soft cheese and 28% wine and before you know it, you’ve completely lost self-control (and if I am honest, a fair chunk of self-respect!).

So the week before last I cracked the book open and read it cover to cover. This was amazing because I had no idea how much detail and intelligence there was to our guts! This was also awful because I don’t think I ever needed to visualise how much detail and intelligence there was to our guts *shudders*. Dr Mosley was the mastermind behind The Fast Diet and The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet. He explains that your gut is the home of your “second brain” (creepy, right?). Your gut is the home to your microbiome, which Dr Mosley explains as an ‘army of tiny organisms that influence your mood, your immune system, and even your appetite’.

appetizing cook cooked cooking
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On Monday I had: pumpkin porridge, two boiled eggs, baked rainbow ratatouille, home made hummus with carrot sticks and for dinner I had Goan Fish Curry with Seaweed. I did not crave sugar once all day which is phenomenally out of character!

Tuesday was: cashew and banana pot, two boiled eggs, Caribbean Coconut & Vegetable Curry, homemade hummus with carrot sticks and for dinner we ate Kashmiri Chicken Curry. Again, no cravings, no stroppiness and no hunger.

Wednesday was: a kiwi and chia seed smoothie, pumpkin porridge, homemade hummus and carrot sticks and for dinner I ate my chicken goujons and a few discarded strips of mozarella cheese I had cut from the pre-dipped/pre-cooked mozarella sticks for my Hubby. Wednesday was the killer because it was Origin night, we were with friends and there was food galore. Including cake. I love cake. I did stay strong however!

sliced boiled egg on white plate
Photo by Mona Sabha Cabrera on Pexels.com

Thursday was the same as Thursday except for dinner I made a healthy pumpkin soup, ate the rest of my Chicken Goujons and my hubby had glorious looking crusty white bread. Which surprisingly I didn’t go for!

So. Today is Friday. I have unfortunately work as I have caught another cold for the year. I have done my groceries online to avoid temptation and am looking forward to my next week of healthy clever guts eating!

x C x

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post. I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

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x C x

 

 

New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand

There is nothing more beautiful in this world, than making lifelong friends under the most peculiar circumstances. You wouldn’t really think that meeting someone from another country whilst travelling in a group of early twenties misfits, drinking your way across Europe, could result in a nearly decade-long friendship! I am incredibly fortunate to have the friends I have, the travel stories I have collected and the opportunity and ability to head overseas purely for a catch-up!

Jemma and I met in London in 2009 and we have since travelled the world together, in 2011 we were travelling across the states and we met Natalie and now the three of us frequently try to catch up with each other. We take turns between Queensland (me), New South Wales (Nats) and New Zealand (Jemma). When we met we were all early to mid-twenties and single, so we were used to making up our own rules and heading off to wherever, whenever we could. Fast forward and we all have long-term partners and thankfully, they all get along and we as a group of six, pretty unique personalities, also all get along. Honestly, I had heard that things all work out the older you get I wasn’t really convinced. Yet here I am, 32 and with some of the most amazing social groups I could have ever hoped for. 16-year-old me would be cheering to know that the drama does stop one day and you can have an incredibly functional and rewarding friend group!

Last year we had an amazing weekend down in the Hunter Valley and the year before that everyone came to Brisbane for our Wedding, so luckily it was New Zealand’s turn! Nats and I had visited Jemma in NZ a couple of times before, but never with the guys – so this was a lot of fun! Both Nats and Tanner and G and I flew into Christchurch from Sydney and the Gold Coast within a couple of hours of each other. Jem and Alex were both working on Friday so we had time to sleep in and then a few hours to walk around Christchurch – which is such a beautiful city – I just love it there :).

To truly get our ‘tourist-on’ as Nats declared, we decided we would book on the Christchurch Tram tour – which was a really fun little activity. It is as touristy as you would expect and to be fair you could definitely just walk around at no cost, but it’s always fun to get out and about and support the local economy you are in! Our tram driver was really lovely although there was a bit of an awkward moment when the description of the traffic 2011 earthquakes which killed 185 people was described as ‘..a really, really, it was…um, a really low point’. Let’s all just agree that in order to keep tourists comfortable, we shouldn’t downplay the terrible tragedy which Christchurch endured and continues to endure today.

It was time to head back home, pack our bags and get ready to head off on our Purau overnight stay! Christchurch is such an amazing city and more than that, it is a survivor – both she and her people are brave, resilient and friendly beyond comprehension. Even those with little would give you the shirt from their back if you asked. I am sad I was not able to experience Christchurch before the catastrophic damage from the earthquake occurred, but I am very thankful that I have been able to return three times in the past six years and see the gradual improvement and rebuilding. Christchurch has a long way to go and the destruction and loss is raw and evident – don’t let this stop you from visiting this beautiful city, she has a lot to offer.

To learn more about this beautiful city, try the following link.

Christchurch Tram info.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

x C x

 

 

Australia

Morans Falls, Lamington National Park

Morans Falls – Lamington National Park – IMG_0055May 2018

Sometimes, you just need to break out of that concrete jungle and chase the bush, the wind, the silence and nature. We had this moment a couple of weeks ago. We have been working so hard to save for our next big adventure that we found we had become passing ships in the night, once you add work , the gym, the late nights and the on-call which G works every second week.

I have a mini-wish list on my desktop at work, of places nearby I want to explore. Just me, my camera and my husband. This list has been stared at longingly by me daily for many months, so you can imagine my excitement when by some miracle we both had the same weekend free. We decided to check out Morans Falls, which is a beautiful track located in Lamington National Park. The trek itself takes around forty minutes from the top, and the walk is well worth it once you find yourself at the falls. A part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area, Morans Falls plummets an impressive 80 metres to the valley floor.

IMG_0118The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, were formally known as the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves and are the most extensive area of subtropical rainforest in the world. The forests were inscribed to the World Heritage list in 1986 and is a total of approximately 370,000 hectares across NSW and Qld.

The trek itself is 4.4km and you should allow yourself an hour and a half – it depends how quickly you are walking. We took around 30/40minutes down, spent over an hour at the falls and then another 40 minutes to climb back up to the top.

The trek is graded a four out of five for difficulty, but I would put it more at the three out of four, there is no scrambling required, the path is well done and well signed so if you are without any mobility issues then you should be okay. We got there to watch the beginning of sunset and it was worth every second we were there, just beautiful. The photos in this post were taken with my Canon EOS 80D with my 24mm pancake lens. Any photos which make you draw your breath in quickly…belong to my Husband who thought it was appropriate to dangle himself off of the edge of the waterfall *deep breaths*.IMG_0112

From Brisbane it will take you around two hours to drive, the roads up to O’Reilley’s can be quite windy so try not to be in a rush getting there. You can either take the highway or head out through Browns Plains-Jimboomba-Canungra to get there. From the Gold Coast the drive takes around an hour and a half.IMG_0178Have you explored Lamington National Park?IMG_0162

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

 

x C x

Australia

Mt Ngungun, I’ll Summit Up Nicely.

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Magician’s Nephew

14 April 2018

I climbed a mountain! It may seem like that isn’t a huge deal, so is it more impressive if I say I climbed a mountain at 4am? A little better? Okay. I will work on that.

After our amazing insta-meet in Brisbane and spending an incredible day getting to know each other, each other’s photography style and celebrating the end of the day at Eat Street markets, Cat and I made our way back home. Several ciders and three hours later and it was time for our 3am wake-up call. We left Brisbane and drove up to the Glasshouse Mountains, Wild Bean coffee in hand – excited for what the dawn was going to bring us.

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The Glasshouse Mountains were unbelievably popular and that even though it was 4am there would be a bevy of igers and fitness groups tackling the mountain. It is quite early showing up to a carpark at 4am, in the middle of the bush and the carpark being half-way full?! Being the seasoned professional, Cat took off with her amazing backpack and headlamp and I followed with my iPhone light (amateur) and my bag which to be honest, was mostly filled with snacks.

Mount Ngungun (seriously, it is pronounced ‘noo noo’) is incredibly popular, though I am not sure I agree with it being so due to its relative ease (not sure I agree with that statement considering my level of fitness) and its fantastic views.The track itself is very well guided and there are a few steep sections but if you are taking care with your walk, you will be fine.

As we slowly neared the summit, we could see the sunrise slowly kissing the coastline and rising rapidly. It was a bit of a sprint towards the end – not only to make it in time for sunrise, but to secure a decent spot.

Once we were at the top, it was show time. There isn’t too much which I could possibly say or put into writing the beauty of sunrise here, so I will use pictures instead.

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Being able to travel, walk, see, smell and experience such a beautiful sunrise in such an amazing setting is not something which is lost on me. During the climb, I was struggling and I thought I had basic fitness, but when the same people lapped me after running up, down and up again – I realised that I was not fit at all.

Making it to the top was incredible, there were so many people up there and most were enjoying the sunrise. Just experiencing the quiet and dawn of a new day, a new week. Each of us thinking about our days, lives, wants and loves. There was one group of people who were talking and carrying on as though they were out the back of a grotty pub so we did share our sunrise with that but once the shock factor of their language and attitude faded away it became quite funny. It is the classic Instagram v. Reality vibe.

Having the pleasure of experiencing such an amazing sunrise with a new friend was special. I have included the above two photographs which we took of one another. Two people can have totally different perceptions of the same place, same spot and same thing. Two photographs and completely different. Either of us could have moved the camera and had the same shot, yet we both sought something completely different. I think both are incredibly beautiful.

The trail itself is a graded path and it starts from the sign post and information board (I always make time to read the information board as it will set you up with a nice history of where you are walking. There is a path and some light scramble but once you get to the top, it is well worth every second.

My snacks came in handy as well :).

Are you a fan of sunrise or sunset? Where is your favourite hike?

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  • Mt Ngungun has a maximum of 225m elevation and the climb itself will take you up 196m.
  • To get there either from any direction, get yourself to the Gl
  • asshouse Mountains Township and follow the road to the west over the railway lines and turn left into Coonowrin Road at the T junction. Follow this onto Fullertons Road just after the State School and along this road to the car park at the base of the mountain.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

x C x

Australia

Glass House Mountains, Queensland

When saving for a holiday, it can be tricky to think of things to do which don’t break the bank but which also get you to leave the house. Welcome to the humble road-trip! We are fortunate enough to live on the river in Brisbane, so it is relatively easy to head North or South, especially with the Motorway so close to our home.IMG_9731Saturday involved a flip of the coin and the choice to head north. A girlfriend of mine had suggested Mount Mee as a daytrip, so that’s where we took off. My GPS has died, so I decided to use trustee Siri on my phone. ‘Trustee’ Siri absolutly fails to take you the easiest route, despite what you are lead to believe! We couldn’t quite hunt down the attractions of Mount Mee and so we drove straight through to the Glasshouse mountains for a well-needed bushwalk.

After a failed negotiation to only complete the 3km route (me), we headed off on our 6km round-trip (G’s choice). Unfortunately for G we had forgotten to leave our backpack in the car and he carted this thing around the entire walk. Also, there is nothing in this world which will remind you of how unfit you are like a) walking past the fittest most attraative couple you have ever seen at the end of their walk without a likc of sweat on them and b) sweating so profusely you consider taking your shirt off only 5 minutes into your walk.

The walk itself was really nice, muggy but nice. The lookout is really pretty and as we made it to the top it started to rain which was a nice break in the heat. G said it would help from being judged too harshly, because most people would (surely) figure it was rain. I was not convinced, mine looked suspiciosly like sweat and the look of death going along with it was a bit of a give-away!

After our walk, which took about an hour and a half we were excited to go and have our picnic and G has now decided he wants to go back and climb the east face of Mt Tibrogargan like a goat sometime in the future. I think seing an elderly gentleman returning from the hike, kitted out in his climbing anchors and harnesses may have given him false confidence there.

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We travelled further up the road and visited the Glass House Mountains Lookout. I have great memories of visiting this place when I was a kid – my family and I used to head up here a few times a year as we lived in Caloundra.

Th Glass House Mountains, named by Captain Cook during his voyage along the east coast are beautiful, they are the remnants of volcanic activity that occured between 25 -27 million years ago. These beautiful volcanic mountains are the iconic landmarks of the Sunshine Coast.

The Glass House Mountains lookout is along Glass House Woodford Road and are open 24 hours, the Glasshouse Mountains Lookout Cafe is just down the road and if you have your own packed lunch (like we did), then there are bbq facilities and picnic tables at the lookout as well.

From Brisbane, follow the Bruce Highway north, take the Glass House Mountains tourist drive turn-off and follow the signs to the Glass House Mountains.

Have you been to the Glass House Mountains? I would love to hear about it!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

x C x