We try to do an epic family trip every 2 years.
It’s been almost 4 years. So we were due to explore someplace cool. And our friends were living in Sydney, Australia for 2 months and invited us to stay with them. We decided to stay NEAR them and also swing by New Zealand for a few days too. Hint – you need more than 7 days to explore New Zealand and Australia, but we did what we could considering we could only be gone during Spring Break. Our son’t new school is challenging and we want to teach him the importance of school…and prioritizing what you want to do when you travel. What is the most important thing to see/do/explore? Do that!
Day 1-3 (thanks to the international date line):
30 Something hours of travel (door-to-door), 2 delayed flights, 3 flights total (just to get here). We rented the prettiest home through Airbnb and made a day full of memories playing on the beach, exploring our cute little beach town, and dreaming of more adventures traveling (with and without the kids)…..all that travel is totally worth it. New Zealand is enchanting!
(And it’s hard to see in this sunset photo, but the water is aqua there!!!)
“Home” after a full day exploring (and eating) our way around Able Tasman National Park, New Zealand. (Google it because it’s beautiful but we don’t have any photos because our phones died and our camera started acting wonky). Best farm-fresh & organic food here!
Day 5: Flew to the North Island and saw the glowworm caves.
Sydney, Australia with my little family.
Of all of the cities we have visited, Sydney is the most likely to be our daughter’s future home town. It’s all things she loves the most:
– Big City (financial district + art galleries + sky scrapers + chi-chi hotels + amazing restaurants…) PLUS
– Beach Town (fitness/surf culture + open air cafes + scenic walking paths + family friendly)
…sprinkled with a bit of history, scandal, and old country rivalries. Bonus is everyone speaks english and it’s a super friendly culture.
The only downside is everyone drives (and walks) on the wrong side of the road. 😉
Sydney is kind of like London, San Francisco, & Miami had a baby. Lol! Such a cool vibe! Can’t wait to go back and see our friends (hopefully) next year too.
Coogee Beach, Sydney, Australia
Spent our last morning of this short (but epic) adventure in Australia watching the sun rise and the biggest waves I think I’ve ever seen. Thank you GOD for this beautiful planet we live on. I will do what I can to help protect it because sharing moments like this with family (and the world) is priceless!
There was too much cabbage and carrots to cook last night so instead of a shake for lunch I made an Asian chopped salad with the batch of leftover (uncooked) carrots and cabbage I shredded last night.
Apples (carb serving)
Chicken (protein serving)
Almond butter (fat)
A little bit of toasted sesame oil (fat)
½ lime (or lemon if that’s all you have)
White rice wine vinegar
Chili flakes (or Sriracha) **optional**
Yes! Lost 5 pounds in the past week and a half. As much as I LOVE sugar, I have to stay away from it because I have a serious sweet tooth!
I also took hubby’s advice and now add resistant carbs to meals (and eat fewer carbs in the morning and most carbs at night – so I can reset my cortisol rhythm). And I’ve only been eating “unlimited” foods for snacks.
My favorite unlimited foods are spaghetti squash with tomato, sweet onion, fresh basil, & garlic sauce that I simmer for an hour. Mmmmmm…….
*HINT: Make several batches at once because this is THE MOST filling snack ever! So good!
Preheat oven to 360
Cut ends off. Then cut the OPPOSITE of lengthwise. You want to end up with 5-6 “circles” about 1-1 1/2″ thick.
Remove the seeds from the center.
Place on parchment paper (or lightly oiled aluminum foil) and LIGHTLY spray with oil (avocado oil has a neutral flavor and can take high heat).
Bake for 1 hour. You can turn once at the 40 minute mark.
*You may want to double this if you like more sauce*
On medium-high heat, saute’ onions until they are transparent….about 3 minutes (stir frequently)
Add 3 cloves of garlic
Add 1/2 of a portion of finely chopped basil now – and add the other half at the end. (I probably had 3/4 cup un-chopped basil leaves)
Add 1 package of cherry/grape tomatoes (slice in quarters first).
Reduce to a simmer – and stir occasionally for 1 hour. This takes the acid out of the tomatoes and makes it naturally sweet so you don’t have to add sugar.
You can also throw some spinach in the last 3 minutes of cooking for additional veggies.
This is the fastest, and delicious way to make chicken when you don’t have much time and you need to cook it in the crockpot.
Chicken – whole
Onion – large
Salt & pepper to taste
- Cut the onion into slices and place them on the bottom of the crock pot
- In a HOT pan on high heat, brown your chicken on both sides.
- Put the chicken into the crockpot ON TOP of the onions. Add salt and pepper.
- Cook for 4-6 hours.
That’s it. No need to add liquid because it will make it’s own liquid as it cooks. Serve with veggies and carbs (1/2 cup for lunch or 3/4 cup for dinner) so you can keep your hormones and adrenals balanced naturally.