Do you ever find yourself at a point in life, where everything is on track and you feel totally complete, then, without warning, everything seems to crumble around you? This is where I have found myself this week, within a matter of seconds all my plans and ideas about the future have been thrown into the air like dust and blown away.
When everything you are looking forward to seems to disappear, it’s important to get the essentials out the way. Of course, a 500ml tub of Ben & Jerry’s for one is a must, and then a couple of good chick flicks and duvet days – but then, slowly but surely you pick yourself back up, take control and get your priorities in order.
So, lucky for me, I have options – the one thing that can salvage a situation like this. The big question is – What now for Miss Barlow?
If you are anything like me you will write lists. A list of what to do ‘today’, ‘this week’, ‘this year’ and in the next ’10 years’ – I end up writing a list of what lists I need to write! So here’s a little how it goes…
- Get my Crohn’s Disease under control
- Get a one way plane ticket
- Get fit & eat well
- Write a book
- Look into that boob job (don’t judge me, lots of us are thinking it)
- Save more money
- Create some more uber-healthy recipes
- Take a yoga retreat somewhere hot and sunny
- Go and watch The Ashes test match
- Make Jam
- Take a Krav Maga lesson
Needless to say the list didn’t solve many of my problems, but getting a few things down on paper can start to make you see things a little clearer. I next found myself watching Julia Roberts jump ship to Italy to stuff her face with bolognese in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ – always a good place to start for anyone needing a bit of inspiration when they arrive at a crossroads in life. The book, too, has a real sense of leaving everything behind, and not being held back by anyone or anything. The power of books and movies can, in some ways, be a little lifesaving. For me, it seems like the world really is my oyster, and, like Julia’s character, Liz, I have the opportunity to do anything I want, go anywhere I wish to go and find true health, love and happiness.
So what’s the next step…………..AUSTRALIA!!!! Although sometimes a little overdone I have been looking at Australia as my next adventure. I intend to spend one year in search of the ‘Dream Life’. It’s not about back-packing, or even luxury, it’s about finding a perfectly balanced life.
A life of true health, love and happiness. I want to know whether it even exists? I believe it does and I intend to find it. I’m going to find the best food, the healthy lifestyle, the perfect weather, the rewarding job, the happiest people, the stunning surroundings and idealistic landscape.
Why Australia? Australia, to me, radiates a positive state of mind, if you aren’t dreaming or going, you regularly holiday there every year, or even emigrate. I wouldn’t even say it’s my favourite place for travel, and it’s certainly not without problems like every other country. Yet it has so much to offer, so much to see, it’s vast in more ways than one and it also still feels untouched in places.
At the same time I’ll be constantly looking at ways to make travel easier with Crohn’s and IBD, aiming to keep everything under control and look at treatment options for those on the road. First stop – Insurance! Uughh!!
The easiest way so far to find decent travel insurance for Crohn’s and other pre-existing conditions is to go through here. That link will direct you to a document created by the Crohn’s & Colitis UK website, they have kept a log of insurers that have in the past covered such conditions for different types of trips. The only real way to go is to personally call through the list and get various quotes – unfortunately I have tried almost every comparison site and they really are rubbish when it comes down to the specifics!
The hard part is when you have a pre-existing condition and want to travel for longer than a two week vacation. 16 telephone calls down the list and I have five insurance companies that ‘might’ cover me. Some can’t even provide a quote straight away. I would suggest going straight to Stay Sure, Direct Line and Insure & Go. They were the most helpful overall, and are more likely to cover the ‘traveller’ as well as the holiday maker. Happy hunting!
Inspiration of the week: Madeleine Shaw “Food is the most powerful drug; it informs not just how we look but how we feel and think too. My philosophy stems from my desire to educate people about this – and to show how healthy food can be delicious, nutritious, affordable and simple to make.”
I found out about Madeleine through her friend and Yoga pal Natalie Bojanic at a Pop-Up Yoga evening in London back in April (check out the blog here). Ever since, Madeleine has been a total inspiration when it comes to my diet and living a healthy lifestyle. Her book ‘Get The Glow’ is a must-buy and you can purchase it here. My recipe of the week below is inspired by her Chocolate Chia Mousse. Natalie also has an incredible collection of fitness wear at NBZ Choice so you can feel good whilst you’re working out.
Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Mousse
- 6 fresh dates
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 banana
- 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
- 3 tsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbs of chia seeds
- Agave nectar or Honey (optional)
All ingredients can go straight into a blender and processed until you’re left with a smooth silky mixture. The agave nectar is optional and should be added if you prefer something a little sweeter. Contrary to popular belief Agave nectar is only a little healthier than honey so don’t go crazy with it! Then place in the fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes.
This made me 4 small ramekins of perfect chocolate mousse. It can be eaten as it is, or sprinkled with a little granola if you like a bit of crunch.
Thanks to all the followers who consistently come back to read what I have to say. I hope you can take something away from my trials, tribulations and travel adventures! I’m always keen to hear your stories and experiences so feel free to message me or comment below…..Happy Summer Everyone!