25 Questions with… Holistic Health Honey

Cindra | Holistic Health Honey | lizniland.com

You might remember this beautiful soul from the Love Yourself Well workshop I went to a couple of months back. Cindra, aka Holistic Health Honey, is a big-hearted holistic health coach and yoga teacher with a passion for leading people to the life they desire.

Hit her website to grab her free 7 Days To Self Love program & find her on Facebook and Instagram.

If you’re in the Newcastle area, Cindra’s running a 3-part yoga series (Sleep, Stress & Fatigue) over 3 weeks starting this Monday July 13th. Get in quick to nab a ticket!

1. What should we call you?

I think my name is pretty hard to shorten (Cindra) but I’m otherwise know as Holistic Health Honey!

2. Who do you share your abode with?

My gorgeous wife, Melanie.

3. What do you do to pay the bills?

Living my soul purpose of teaching yoga and teaching people how to love themselves and nourish their bodies with food (holistic health coach)!

4. What do you wish you did to pay the bills?

Doing it!

5. Could you ever be (or are you) vegan?

I am… Although I like to say “plant based”…Less judgement!

Cindra follows a plant-based diet | lizniland.com

6. Favourite TV show at the moment:

‘Face Off,’ a special effects makeup reality series

7. Facebook, Twitter or Instagram:

Instagram for inspiration, Facebook for business

8. Your superpower of choice?

Reading people’s minds would be super handy for my job!

9. Coolest thing you own:

My health.

10. Your favourite meal to cook:

I am not the world’s best… Although I am okay at smoothie bowls and ice cream (all goes in the blender, haha)

11. Your favourite meal to eat:

Plant-based Mexican food from our favourite restaurant in Vancouver, Canada

12. Least favourite food:

Anything processed.

13. Cheese plate or epic dessert:

Raw dessert! Cheese is obviously out.

14. Your beverage order:

Flat white on coconut milk, Imbibe water kefir or organic white wine!

Cindra's drink order | lizniland.com

15. Person you’d most like to have said beverage with right now:

My soul sister who lives too far away, Bubblegummy.

16. Last book you read:

The Desire Map – Danielle LaPorte (– I love Danielle too! Liz x)

17. Last movie you saw:

Spy. It was so funny I literally slapped my knee in laughter!

18. Who would play you in a movie:

Elizabeth Banks.

19. Your most favourite trip:

Honeymoon travelling for 3.5 months through the US, Europe, UK and Mexico.

20. Silver or gold:

White gold

21. Your favourite item of clothing:

Leopard print fake fur coat

22. Exercise of choice:

Always yoga!

Silly question | Holistic Health Honey | lizniland.com

23. Can you touch your toes?:


24. Something you’re grateful for today:

Grateful for you Liz! For being such a wonderful supporter for all I do. You’re truly special! (– Aww shucks! Liz x)

25. Best song to dance to:

At the moment, anything from Major Lazer’s new album

Thanks Cindra! Raw desserts are the best, aren’t they 🙂

x Liz

The evolution of words

Typewriter | Evolution of words | lizniland.com

I love words. And language. But while I’m paid to be a grammar nazi when necessary, on my own time I’m perfectly happy to end a sentence with a preposition (gasp!), start a sentence with a conjunction (the horror!) and make up a word or phrase if it’s what will suit my needs at the time.

The truth is, the evolution of words and language excites me. (#wordnerd, I know!)

The fact that I had to Google an acronym our niece put in a text message both excited and disappointed me: things are changing but at the ripe old age of 29-this-Saturday, I’m apparently out of the loop with what the kids are saying these days!

When I was getting towards the end of my school years, there was widespread panic that millennials would only be able to speak about their skateboarding significant other as a ‘sk8r boi’ and would forget that the personal pronoun in the second person is not spelt with the single ‘u’. Fear not, fear mongers; it simply didn’t happen. Just like trends come and go with fashion, so they do with words and language. For some reason, denim jeans have stood the test of time but one-shoulder boob-tubes are only ever one-off wonders.

While we’re freaking out over the boob-tubes of whether kids will try and write their school assignments in Textese, we seem to be overlooking whether they’re grasping the simple stuff. It’s not about how to write an essay or an extended narrative necessarily; it’s how to write a solid sentence. How a paragraph differs from a sentence. Why some words get a capital letter and others don’t. That ‘youse’ is not a word many people class as acceptable. Regardless of whether a child is going to be a builder, a maths professor, an engineer or an artist, they will always need the basics of language.

If social media has shown us one thing, it’s that plenty of people are still yet to discover that there is more than one way to spell ‘your’. And ‘there’.

Not everyone needs the ability to play with language or get excited about new trends in phrasing, but being able to put together a cover letter for a job application, write a considered email to a landlord when you know you’re getting a raw deal or simply to post something on Facebook that doesn’t get attacked by the grammar police are all important skills (some more than others, I know).

I came across this great video by Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty. If you fancy wordnerdin’ it up, she digs in to some examples of language’s denim jeans through the ages.

Bet you didn’t know eggs weren’t always called ‘eggs’!

x Liz

Thankful Thursday: June 11th

Ocean and rocks | lizniland.com

Long weekends

We had a long weekend in most parts of Australia this past weekend and it was fantastic! On a normal weekend, I often get the Sunday evening blues – I don’t dislike my day-job so I think it’s more to do with getting back into the grind of a hectic week. This weekend, I actually felt like I had a solid break. Time went a little slower, I didn’t feel like I was letting myself down by not doing groceries & finishing the laundry on Sunday.

While I can’t escape Mondays every week, I think I need to take a little pressure off the weekends & what can be accomplished. If I can get out into nature a bit, eat some delicious food and see some family & friends, I know I’ll feel far more rested than if I try to get through all the things on my to-do list.


My gym unexpectedly shutdown this week. Given I’ve been a member since the very beginning, I was quite saddened by the way it all ended. I do firmly believe though that all things happen for a reason and I think this will be a great opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone and find a new challenge. No, I’m not taking up horse riding or pole dancing (ha!) but I’m looking forward to taking more responsibility for planning my own workouts & finding a bit more balance in my routine.

Best friends

On Sunday night we had a delicious feast at New Shanghai in Charlestown with Nina, my best friend since day one of kindergarten. 23 years on, it’s pretty special to know I have someone in my life who is – and has always been – ready to drop everything & come eat dumplings, supervise wedding dress fittings & celebrate special events. I can’t wait to have her lined up next to me come my wedding day.

Where are you sending your rays of gratitude this week?

x Liz

Dumplings | lizniland.com

25 questions with… The Bountiful Hunter

Donna, The Bountiful Hunter | 25 questions | lizniland.com

A former colleague of mine and now a foodie friend, Donna shares her favourite recipes and adventures in deliciousness at The Bountiful Hunter. She’s also a Twitter fiend, especially during Masterchef. You can follow her musings via @DonnaClucas.

1. What should we call you?

Donna, Warrior Foodie and Princess of Bedsocks

2. Who do you share your abode with?

My hubby of 25 years who is affectionately known by all as Tonester the Food Techy; the 18 year old carbohydrate and protein eating son Liam; two Jack Russell puppies named Jackie and Holly (it should be noted that Holly suffers with memory loss so won’t remember where you threw the tennis ball); and Jim, my old mum’s cockatiel, who we inherited when she went into care. Jim is approximately 36 years old and refuses to literally drop off the perch!

3. What do you do to pay the bills?

I’m a nurse working in Aboriginal Chronic Disease and loving it!

4. What do you wish you did to pay the bills?

I always wanted to be a sought after back up singer because I’m absolutely sensational and have a vocal range to match Renee Geyer (at least that’s what I think I sound like in both the car and shower). I have a rather curvaceous figure and would look good in a little tight-fitting black dress with heels belting out a bluesy number! Failing a singing career, I would love to be a dairy farmer producing boutique milk and cream products and suppling expensive cheeses to super chefs like Josh Niland 😉

Singing dairy farmer | 25 questions | lizniland.com

5. Could you ever be (or are you) vegan?

Nah! I love food and cutting out half of the food supply would be like cutting off my right arm. Bacon! Who doesn’t love bacon! In saying that though, I try to buy ethically raised animal products and visit local farmers’ markets.

6. Favourite TV show at the moment:

Game of Thrones, Masterchef for the tweets and anything foodie related. Though Heston doesn’t rock my boat; he’s just a bit too over exposed at the moment!

7. Facebook, Twitter or Instagram:

I’m loving Twitter at the moment, leaning more and more towards Insta, and leaning away from Facebook.

8. Your superpower of choice?

I’d love to know what people are REALLY thinking. I could really mess with people then!

9. Coolest thing you own:

My lidded enamel roasting pans from Peters of Kensington – they bake the most amazing sourdough loaves – and my Christmas holly glasses. I bought them in London circa 1988 and they come out every Christmas for the staff office party.

Donna's Sourdough | 25 questions | lizniland.com

10. Your favourite meal to cook:

The simple meals that family and friends like to eat. Apparently my roast chook and crunchy potatoes are worth sacrificing your first born for.

11. Your favourite meal to eat:

Such a difficult question. I love most foods, particularly the Asian cultures with their fresh herbs and spices. But really, if I get offered a sausage on a bread roll that has been made with love, I’ll be very happy indeed (sorry, too much Masterchef watching). Desserts are a different story: creme caramel, pannacotta and lemon tart, in that order of preference.

12. Least favourite food:

Anything that has had an animal body fluid pass through it! Offal, yuk schmuck! And okra… I just don’t get that at all.

13. Cheese plate or epic dessert:

See above, but I would like the cheese plate as well to dwell on!

14. Your beverage order:

Apple and pear ciders. I was drinking them before they were trendy. Love a good glass of bubbles too, and I don’t mind a sticky at the end of the meal with the desserts and cheese above.

Cool ciders | 25 questions | lizniland.com

15. Person you’d most like to have said beverage with right now:

It’s a toss up between Tonester and Colin Firth. I think Colin would buy me a decent glass of bubbles where as Tone would get the cider on tap.

16. Last book you read:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Lovely

17. Last movie you saw:

I can’t remember but Boyhood left a lasting impression on me.

18. Who would play you in a movie:

Susan Sarandon – it’s the curves, you know…

19. Your most favourite trip:

Love the trip up to the North Coast on our way to Scotts Head. As soon as we come up over the bridge at Taree and see the Manning River and those fabulous mountains, I know I’ve come home and feel immediately at ease. Also love any trip around New Zealand. Give me a big river and big mountains and I’m happy.

20. Silver or gold:

Depends what I’m wearing. I have jewellery in both.

21. Your favourite item of clothing:

Bedsocks and trackies in winter; sarong in summer. They all reek of comfort and relaxation.

Bush walk & bike ride| 25 questions | lizniland.com

23. Can you touch your toes?:

Yes I can, as a matter of fact!

24. Something you’re grateful for today:

My health. As I get older, I understand how we need our health to get to the best parts of our lives.

25. Best song to dance to:

Groove Armada’s ‘I see you baby’

Great party tune Donna & I don’t think many would turn down a glass of champers with Mr Darcy!

Thanks for answering my 25 questions 🙂

x Liz

Review: The Performance Paleo Cookbook by Steph Gaudreau

The Performance Paleo Cookbook | lizniland.com

When I started to really focus on a less-processed way of eating and stumbled across the paleo movement, Stupid Easy Paleo was one of the websites I scraped for recipe ideas and learnt so much from. I’ve followed its creator, Steph Gaudreau, around the interwebs ever since and was so pumped when I heard she was releasing a real hold-in-your-hand cookbook chock-full of her signature speedy, simple & delicious recipes.

So full disclosure: here I am just hangin’ out with Steph in Thailand last year on a Culinary Adventure. While I don’t know her well, what I have got to know about her is that she’s incredibly passionate about helping people live healthier, more balanced and effective lives. And because she’s a life-long athlete herself, Steph has a special interest in forging paleo-fueled sports superstars.

Just hanging out | When in Chiang Mai: Elephants & Ziplining | lizniland.com

The Performance Paleo Cookbook is written “for anyone who is passionate about performance” but alongside the recipes for pre-workout protein hits, shakes and post-workout carbs, you’ll also find recipes like Apple Fennel Slow Cooker Chicken and Blackened Fish Soft Tacos with Mango Slaw. And they are hardly worth hiding from the more casual athletes amongst us!

My most favourite recipe in the book would have to be the Hasselback Sweet Potatoes. My dad would occasionally roast us up a batch of white potato hasselbacks and while they were delicious, I think the sweet potatoes are a much more impressive vehicle for hasselbackin’. They take a while in the oven but I reckon it’s totally worth the effort.

Hasselback sweet potatoes | Performance Paleo | lizniland.com

One thing I love about Steph’s recipes is that she rarely uses where-the-hell-am-I-supposed-to-buy-that ingredients. Relying on the beauty of natural flavour combinations and herbs & spices, Steph still churns out deceptively simple, dinner party-worthy feasts like Mocha-Rubbed Slow Cooker Pot Roast and Honey Garlic Lemon Chicken Wings. And if you don’t have a particular ingredient in the house, or you want to switch your proteins or veggies around, it’s all pretty foolproof in most cases. Which is pretty much what I did with the below custards.

Using the recipe for the Lemon Vanilla Custard with Blueberry Sauce, I hacked my way to a Jaffa Custard – oranges instead of lemons, a scoop of cacao and a cacao & coconut oil topping instead of the blueberry sauce. Gotta love a successful experiment!

Jaffa custard | lizniland.com

Athletes – and that’s anyone from weekend warriors to full-on sports wonders – will get the most out of The Performance Paleo Cookbook, regardless of whether you’d normally identify as “paleo”. While the book is targeted at active types, don’t think you’ll have to feed your visiting grandmother from a different tome. My granny would be happily all up on the majority of the dinner options!

If you’re a fan of Steph’s recipes from the Stupid Easy Paleo website, or you have her e-book, The Paleo Athlete, this cookbook is well worth the investment.

x Liz

Peptalk: Monday June 1st – This is it.

Monday June 1 | lizniland.com

Happy Monday/June/Winter, friends.

(And happy Monday/June to my Northern Hemisphere friends)

Let’s make the most of it.

x Liz

Best of the web: May 31st

Potted succulents | lizniland.com

Hey Sunday! You always creep up just a little too fast for my liking. Our house has been struck down with snotty noses and heavy chests this weekend. Quite a sad state of affairs, really! Hopefully this isn’t the way of it in your part of the world.

I’ve mixed my links a little different today – hope you enjoy.

My favourite savoury eat: Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo fame has recorded a video of one of my fave NNP recipes – it’s her sister’s Green Chicken. Get. On. It. (and save leftovers to totally pimp your lunchbox salad)

My favourite sweet eat has got to be these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Healthy Chef. I haven’t made them yet but I think their number will come up this afternoon 🙂

My favourite must-do experiment is this homemade whey & cream cheese. I don’t do much dairy at all (it makes me all sneezy and congested if I overdo it) but trying it fermented could be the ticket. And excitingly, I’ll have leftover whey to make a deluxe sauerkraut #foodnerd

My favourite feel good read comes via Rock n Roll Bride. As a soon-to-be bride, the question of “but what size do you think you’ll be on your wedding day” has definitely come up from the dressmaker. It might feel like you need to go on a diet of air and water to have the perfect wedding but… I think I’m with Kat on this one.

My favourite thing to listen to this week has been Steph from Stupid Easy Paleo‘s new Harder To Kill Radio podcasts. She chats with Mel Joulwan of The Clothes Make The Girl. You may also know Mel from her freaking awesome cookbooks Well Fed 1 & 2. Spoiler alert: she reveals to Steph that she’s working on new stuff #fangirl

My favourite inspirational is this episode of Marie TV. I know I bang on a lot about my love for Marie but seriously, she always has a message I need to hear. My big takeaway from this was: Don’t talk your idea to death – you’ll fool yourself into thinking you’re making progress. #mindblown

My favourite words about words come via a friend of Ellen Fondiler:

“Anything you’re obsessed with or preoccupied by is worth writing about. No one will pay the same sort of devoted attention to it that you will; no one will bring it to life the way you can, because of that devotion; no one will see it the way you do, or live it or love it or feel it as you do. If it occupies that much space in your heart, it’s best to get it out, tell its story. It will resonate with others and have a life of its own.”

My favourite mini-investment of late has been contributing to the Death to Stock Roadtrip fund. Love their work. The title photo on this post is from their Minneapolis stop off.

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend.

x Liz

2015: The year menstruation made the big time

Girl walking | lizniland.com

I know it’s not even June but I’m calling it. And it’s about time.
They’ve been all over the news this year and whether you see them as a necessary evil or a deep connection to the divine feminine, periods are something around 50% of the population will directly experience. Hopefully through their experiences with the various ladies in their lives (from mothers to lovers), the majority of the other 50% could hardly claim ignorance to them either.

The way periods and menstruation are dealt with in politics, advertising and general discourse however, could easily make you think Brick Tamland is the main source of some peoples’ sex-ed.

The blue liquid loved by advertisers, whispers of “that time of the month” and pretty floral packaging make it seem like it all has nothing to do with the “blood coursing from our uteri like a crimson landslide“. The kerfuffle these realistic images caused is proof of that: just as many men & women seemed to shout it down as offensive and unnecessary as those who praised it.

So why are we so euphemistic about a perfectly natural and essential bodily function?
Is it because men have traditionally run the show when it comes to media and advertising? No, I don’t think it’s the fault of blokes alone that we ladies feel like we have to smuggle tampons into the work bathroom and that lube & nicotine patches are considered more essential to public health than sanitary products. I’m not going to dive too deep into the wave of “tamponomics” sweeping Aussie politics right now, but if you haven’t signed the petition to have the GST removed from sanitary products, please go do it here.

It seems to be relatively unheard of to talk about periods with other women (other than in a whisper when you need to deal with a surprise guest) let alone with men or on a larger stage. We ladies are most definitely part of the problem. For a current example that struck me as interesting: of the assortment of premiers, chief ministers and treasurers Triple J’s Hack program spoke to about lifting the tampon tax; MPs Dave, Tim, Andrew and Tom were quite happy to scrap it. Gladys, Liberal Treasurer for NSW, wasn’t keen to give a position yet and wants to discuss it further. Thanks fellas but Gladys, come on sister!

The last taboo
I loved the story that came out earlier in the year of female tennis player Heather Watson blaming her poor Australian Open performance on her period. Journos said she broke “the last taboo in sport” by speaking of it. I really don’t think we can blame the lads for letting it get to that point. Why is it such a rarity for women, especially those in sport, to talk about how their period affects them? Because surely it does. Surely Cathy Freeman was watching the calendar in the lead up to Sydney 2000. Performance aside, most girls wouldn’t be putting their hand up to wear that skintight onesie on day 29 of her cycle.

I think women fear being seen to have any weaknesses that relate to their gender. We aim to look tough, seamlessly put together and in control. I know I, and a handful of my friends, loathe the idea that we’ll fall into any kind of stereotypical emotional-chocolate-feasting mess and endure headaches, cramps and other general crappiness. Even if it becomes reality, it has got to get pretty bad for us to consider calling in sick to work or skipping the gym. It might mean we have to pop a painkiller to get through an afternoon meeting or drop a few reps but we’ll do what we can to soldier on, without letting anyone in on the details (at least until a Friday night wine with a close mate).

The tide seems to be turning steadily.
Pioneering underwear makers Dear Kate recently put together a video series of women talking about their “first time” and Hello Flo’s The Period Fairy is another fun one to check out. These are social media-friendly, won’t make awkward Brick Tamland-types run for the hills and will hopefully contribute to more conversation, better understanding and continued cross-gender education in our community.

Thankful Thursday: May 14th

Train track at sunset | lizniland.com

Here’s what’s making my week:

  • Taking a break from training. After a weak effort last weekend, my trainer recommended I take a rest week. The only time I’ve ever taken that long off was at Christmas in 2013. So… fair call. I won’t know until next week if it’s had any effect on my lifting but I certainly feel calmer and well rested.
  • Netflix. We finally pulled the trigger on letting the juggernaut into our minimal TV household. It could be dangerous but lately, there’s really not much worth watching on free-to-air anyway. So far, I’m loving Chef’s Table, OITNB and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • Yoga. We had a lovely practice at Gritshed tonight with a few new faces which was fabulous. We also did “Storytime Yin” last Friday at Ashtanga Yoga Newcastle and learnt about Hindu goddess Kali while we worked our fascia.
  • Having a delightful feast with friends. Check out my post about our lovely lunch at Reef Restaurant.
  • Getting into some flow at work. The Csikszentmihalyi kind. It’s been hectic but I’ve liked my involvement.
  • Getting to spend time with my bestie. We’ve been going strong since Day One of kindergarten and I can’t wait to have her next to me when I get married later this year.
  • Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

    x Liz

    Photo note: Image taken on my iPhone (from my car window while stopped at the lights) #nofilter.

Reef Restaurant, Terrigal

Reef Restaurant, Terrigal | lizniland.com

This last Sunday, we joined our friends Pete & Lee for a beautiful feast at Terrigal’s Reef Restaurant.

With sparkling seaside views, it won’t be a surprise to hear that the Reef specialises in seafood. We had a set Mother’s Day menu to select from on the day but this gave us enough variety to see what the Reef had to offer.

Mother's Day | Reef Restaurant | lizniland.com

For my entree, I went for the King prawn crab tian and coddled quail egg with poppy twist (bottom left in the first image) while Michael and Pete opted for the below Apple wood cold smoked salmon terrine with seared scallop and gazpacho. Lee went for the Risotto with duck, truffle, asparagus, portobello mushroom and shaved pecorino.

By all accounts, these were all perfectly cooked and highly delicious. The plating of the dishes was also striking – I think some restaurants underestimate how much of a difference a delightfully served meal makes. It will never cover up for something poorly cooked but it most definitely adds to the experience.

We matched our entrees with a glass of something french and sparkling, darling.

Salmon terrine | Reef Restaurant | lizniland.com

For our mains, the Smoked lamb rack with eggplant caviar, toasted almonds and broccolini, as pictured on the top right of the first image, was hard to beat. I thought it best to maintain my ladylike composure and stick to using my cutlery, even though I would’ve loved to have nibbled the rest of the lamb from the bones.

I’m always a sucker for a glass of pinot noir and happily matched my lamb with a 2012 NZ option.

Chocolate tart | Reef Restaurant | lizniland.com

While everyone else at the table fell victim to the allure of the above Swiss chocolate tart with almond cream and raspberry jells, I thought I’d strike out on my own and try the below Pear and apple custard apple fool served with lychee granita. I was not disappointed!

Apple pear fool | Reef Restaurant | lizniland.com

The Reef Restaurant is certainly not a cheap experience but it’s a case of getting what you pay for: quality service, good wine, faultless food and a stunning setting make for a location worthy of special occasion celebrations.

x Liz

Photo note: All photos taken on my iPhone.

Peptalk: Set your vision – Paul Arden

Without having a goal | Paul Arden | lizniland.com

I’ve just last week started reading the ol’ (literally old; it was written in the 1930s!) “How to win friends and influence people” after my new manager gifted me a copy. Even though the capital of China is still Peking in this book, it’s still incredibly relevant. Our means of communication have changed but our motivators are essentially still the same.

Paul Arden’s book “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be” – the source of the above quote – jumped out at me quite a few years ago but I thought it was going to be a motivational self help book. It wasn’t, so I left it on my shelf. (I think I needed an Eat Pray Love scenario. *insert eye roll* )

With “How to win friends” on my mind, I picked this book back up recently realising it’s far more interesting to me now. Regardless of whether you’re focusing on nailing one big goal or are honing in on your core desired feelings, aiming for something gives you a test for success, a soundboard for big decisions and basically, a reason to keep on keeping on.

x Liz

Photo note: Taken on my iPhone.

Best of the web: May 11th

Flower stall | lizniland.com

This last week felt like it zoomed by way too fast! (So fast in fact, it’s Monday again already – whatttt) Lucky I’ve got Pocket on my side to save my web-based faves on the run! Here’s what’s been added to my links list this week:

I hope you’re primed & ready for the week ahead!

x Liz


Photo note: Mother’s Day posies by Little Wren Flowers; my wedding florist. Photo taken on my iPhone.