My Aussie 26th


Brunch with Mim at Urban Projuice

Best pancakes I’ve ever had

We had up Unlimited to ourselves!

Legless ladder climbs

With my birthday twin Mich

A poke bowl to finish the day off

Hello my dears! Long time no speak. I’ve had some serious difficulties finding time and the motivation to sit down and write anything. I’m trying to figure out whether blogging is something that still excites me. Maybe this is just a rough patch I’m going through and the inspiration will come back soon. I don’t want blogging to feel like a burden because it’s meant to be for fun. It was something I wholeheartedly loved and poured my soul into and I feel at the moment the posts are falling flat. I feel like I’m not putting as much thought into them as I used to. Fingers crossed I will wake up one day with more motivation and inspiration to write.

Either way, during the time I’ve had my little break I managed to fall flat on my face practising handstands and handstand walking! It was after class and I have been doing loads of practising against the wall, then PC helped me the other day and I got two steps on my hands with him ready to catch me in case I fell. So the other night I thought here goes nothing and tried it on my own. Ads came over and tried to coach me and a couple of people were standing there trying to support and encourage. The first couple felt alright but I couldn’t quite get the right balance. Ads said I had to push my legs over my head a bit more in the handstand to find better balance. I did and then all of a sudden, I think I was concentrating so much on my legs I forgot about my arms. My arms came out of the locked out position and all of a sudden my entire body was caught by my face on the ground. It all happened so quickly but I remember thinking in those seconds before, why am I not falling to the side? Why am I falling straight down on my face?

I think I was in slight shock at what had happened and I heard everyone around me watching saying ouch. I couldn’t feel any pain at first but after the initial shock settled I could feel the throbbing underneath my eye and I thought, shit this isn’t good… Apparently there was blood and I couldn’t see anything considering the injury was just underneath my eye. At first they were panicking that I’d scratched my eye but luckily, as you hope you would do when you fall against your face, I must’ve closed my eyes. I got an ice pack to help with the throbbing pain and laid on the floor for like an hour laughing one second and crying the next. My incredible friends just sat there next to me giving me hugs whilst I was having my meltdown. I was so annoyed with myself for my fall and that I had a massive cut on my face. On the other hand me even attempting to do a freestanding handstand was unimaginable up until only a week ago and now I’m actually trying to walk on my hands. Never in my life did I think I’d be able to maybe achieve something like that. So it was a win in a way. There’s always a silver lining. So yes, I’ve been getting some weird looks from people the past couple of days!

My bashed up face was a great look for when I turned 26 the other day haha! It feels like that came out of nowhere. Since when am I 26? I feel no different from the day I felt 20 and now I’m closer to 30 than 20. Being far away from home on your birthday, especially your first one in a new place could easily feel a bit lonely I think. No family there and your friends you’ve known for years are way away. I did feel a little bit homesick when I got messages from everyone and wishing they were here with me but I still had an amazing day.

In the morning I headed to the gym to do some of the extra programming. I got quite a few questions about my face situation and a lot of birthday wishes. So sweet! I did the gymnastic extra programming and then one of the extra cardio pieces. Once I got back home Mim and I got ready to head for brunch at Urban Projuice in Albert Park. I was there a couple of weeks ago with my friend Georgia and we couldn’t believe how good their pancakes were. It’s a lovely place with a healthy and nourishing menu. I think the pancakes are more on the indulgent side of the healthy spectrum but what are birthdays for?! Mim loved the pancakes just as much as I did and it was hysterical listening to her commentary about how good they were as she was eating them. The big breakfast is tasty too, not quite up to some other ones I’ve had but still really good.

After lunch Mim thought we should go to a place called Up Unlimited for a birthday activity. It’s a climbing centre where you not only climb on your standard walls but there are random objects and weird things to climb too. It’s kind of difficult to explain but I think the pictures gives you a good idea. Each place you climb has different levels you can do to challenge you. We had the entire place to ourselves which was pretty nice. Heights make my feel a bit dizzy, it’s come with age. When I was younger I had no problems with it at all but what better way to spend your birthday than to face your fears? You clip on and off to each wall yourself and it’s all automatic. At first it’s a bit scary just throwing yourself off the wall relying on a machine to slowly take you down to safety but after a few rounds you eventually didn’t even think twice before jumping.

An hour in there is a serious workout. We got so warm and our arms were shaking towards the end. The biggest struggle was that our hands got sweaty so it was difficult to hold onto the grips! Haha the struggle was real. Chalk wouldn’t have been a bad idea. We had a blast in there and our hour flew by. Mim and I were saying it would be such a good time to have everyone from the gym come down and do it together. I think there would be some serious competitions between everyone trying to beat one another.

By the time we had finished it was almost time for the gym again. This time around it was time to do the class. I was really looking forward to it as it was deadlifts! Three rounds of five reps increasing weights. I finished on 235lbs which is 106.5kg! Considering my last recorded one rep max was 108 I think, that’s really not bad at all. We then had a cardio piece which was double unders, toes to bar and rowing if I remember correctly. Juicy! We then hung around and did a bit more training afterwards before heading home. I needed to get some work done so I ordered a poke bowl on Ubereats, it was really good and had that as a little cherry on top of a really fun and eventful birthday.

Thank you again everyone who sent me so much love and birthday wishes. You made me feel so special and appreciate you taking the time to write to me!

The Vegan Shack

Hi lovelies! Happy sunny Sunday! After yesterday’s absolute downpour of rain this is amazing. Haven’t seen anything it like it in ages. I made the big mistake of not looking out properly before leaving the flat in the morning and got caught in torrential rain the minute I stepped out the door downstairs. To be fair it was dark outside but I have no idea how I didn’t hear it! I got picked up at 7am before work to go to South Melbourne Market. I’ve never seen the place so quiet before. It was a lovely way to start the day. Then finished it off with going to the cinema to watch The Incredibles 2 in Southland with a bite to eat afterwards. It was a really good film. Very funny in parts and for being the sequal I think they did a great job with it. A pretty decent Saturday!

I’m so excited to be writing this post because I’m dying to tell you about Mich’s and my visit to The Vegan Shack a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been getting around to doing it but time is not on my side these days and by the time I get a spare moment to sit down I need to go to bed. Sleep is something I’m struggling with a lot at the moment so I need to prioritise it. Sorry I feel like I bring it up all the time but the struggle is real1

Anyway, on to more exciting things. We need to talk about Vegan Shack. Once again, I found this place through the land of Instagram. I follow so many Vegan Melbourne accounts on there and one day Vegan Shack popped up on my feed and tt looked amazing! It was added to my never ending list of places in Melbourne to visit and I had been wanting to go ever since.

Eventually the day came and Mich and I decided to venture out of the Bayside bubble to Richmond to try it out. I was excited but also wondering whether it would ever taste as good as it looked on their Instagram feed. Sounds silly maybe but food can look insane in photos but when you actually try it, it just doesn’t live up to the expectations you’d built up. We got there and the place is quite small and intimate. I absolutely loved their beach shack look and the staff were the friendliest people.

Mich and I had no idea what to order because everything looked so good. It’s amazing to go to vegan places because you have so much choice but it also makes life a lot harder for someone who is as indecisive as me. To get the most out of our experience we decided to share food and went for the Bali sandwich (it had satay tofu in it and anything that’s got peanut butter in it is a win for me pretty much) and one of the specials which was a Buddha Bowl.

The food eventually came out and wow. I’m never seen more beautiful food in my life. Not just the colour and vibrancy of it but how it was plated up to perfection. These guys sure know you eat with your eyes too. We tucked in and we were in heaven. You could just tell that the food had been cooked with such care by someone who loves vegan food and knows how good it can be. I loved how they take on a more wholesome approach to vegan cooking rather than going down to fake meat and eggs. It’s more my style of vegan food. Making it into its own rather than mimicking meat dishes.

I think we both agreed on the Bali sandwich just beating the Buddha Bowl but both dishes were out of this world. They left you feeling nourished and fuelled with all the good stuff. We didn’t stop there. I got a mushroom latte (my latest obsession, it may sound weird but it is so good) and then we shared a raw dessert. Unfortunately it was nowhere near as delicious as their savoury meals but oh well it was not the end of the world.

I can hands down say the Vegan Shack serves some of the best food I’ve ever tried and is my favourite food place in the wold. If I lived closer to it I would be broke because I would spend all my money in there. Add it to your Melbourne list because oh my god you’re in for a treat.

Before we left we got into a discussion with the staff there about good tempeh brands. Tempeh is a bit of a hit or miss. Some taste absolutely horrendous and others don’t taste of anything (which is good so you can add your own flavours to it). The owner Jansen was telling us about the tempeh they used in Vegan Shack, produced by a lady who sells it at local markets around Melbourne. Mich and I both got intrigued and wanted to get our hands on it. Jansen so kindly said we could buy it off them. So we did. It’s frozen and I haven’t had a chance to try it yet but I can’t wait to give it a go soon. I’ll let you know how it is! When tempeh tastes good I really love it. I think I might even prefer it to tofu. Supposedly it’s meant to be better for you as it is fermented and less processed than tofu.

 

More food

Hello my dears! I swear I should just stop writing what my plans are for the day because they always change. Unfortunately my friend I was seeing at Vegan Shack couldn’t make it last minute. Instead I ended up going for food with Em and PC after we finished the track. Always have a great time with them. Track felt good today. I think my rest day yesterday did a lot of good and whilst it was tough I still felt like I could keep a good pace. Em of course didn’t run after here incredible effort earlier that morning with her half marathon. She got an incredible time and then came along to the track to cheer us on. Such a cutie.

So yes once the session was over the three of us headed down to Holy Bowly for some food. Em and I shared the Protein Bowl and the Abundance Bowl. Both incredibly tasty. I don’t think Holy Bowly’s acai bowls quite measure up to the likes of Soul Press and Acai Bros but they’re still decent. I’m more a fan of their savoury food and their Abundance Bowl was yuuum. I love how they cook their tempeh.

After our little food sesh I waved goodbye to them and headed to Source Bulk Foods to stock up on some stuff I needed for the week. They don’t use any plastic and you can buy anything from nuts, dried fruits, flour, granola and legumes to washing up liquid and soaps. It’s like a pick and mix but healthier and natural. Although there are some unhealthier options too amongst the chocolates and such.

Just as I was about to head home Jade messaged our gym group to say she was opening the gym for a bit in the afternoon. Since my plans were cancelled I figured I would go in and do the class I missed the day before. It’s crazy how much faster it is to get places with my bike. You can take it on the train which saves a bit of time and then cycle from the stations to places. So I hopped on the train to swing by the flat to get my shoes and have a quick change before heading for the gym.

I got there and warmed up for the session. It was quite a fun mix of back squats, double unders, waiters carries with a plate and chin ups. I finished it in an alright time I guess and then was contemplating what to do next when Jade asked if I wanted to do a workout with her. I just can’t say to offers like that. Although I knew it would be a struggle trying to keep up with Jade! She came up with the workout of 20,18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 of 10m shuttle runs, wall balls, box jumps and pistol squats. Very leg heavy considering I’d already ran and then had done the back squats. Stubborn as I am I told her I’d do it with her and when everyone had left we started the workout.

At one point I couldn’t feel my legs but I managed to stay not too far behind Jade throughout the workout. I was thrilled with this as I was knackered after all the other training I’d done. At one point I fell off the box and fell out of a pistol. It was a soon as I wasn’t focusing properly. Luckily no harm done and eventually we made it through. It took us just under half an hour of constant work. I was really happy Jade got me to do it with her. We then cooled down on the assault bike before heading home.

The cycle back to the train station was very interesting but I think it did my legs some good. It was just a chilled ride back and a good way to stretch my legs.

The rest of the evening I did my chores and cooked some food. I made peanut protein balls (I spend way too much money buying these snacks all the time). They turned out well, the food processor isn’t quite strong enough to blend it all properly but they still turned out alright.

Speak soon, M xxx

Eating vegan in Melbourne

Before moving to Melbourne I really thought it was easy eating vegan in Glasgow. It’s supposedly the vegan capital of the UK. The haven for all British vegans where they’ve got plenty of options and places to eat in. Having lived in Melbourne for over two months now I can tell you I’m mindblown at how much there is to choose from and how easy it is to eat vegan here.

First of all, there are so many vegan eateries I feel like I’ll be able to go to a new place every time and  never run out of new places to try. They’re everywhere and I feel like there are specialised vegan place for every cuisine you could think of Italian, Thai, Lebanese, Mexican, Japanese… You name it I’m pretty sure there’d be a place for it somewhere here in Melbourne. There are even vegan delis, bakeries and ice cream shops. Then there are all the healthy eateries and brunch places too. The Maddie places hehe. Not only are there loads of them but their menus are like no other I’ve ever seen before. They’re interesting, fun and different. I love when you can go out and have something you perhaps wouldn’t make at home because it requires a bit more effort than you would like to make.

Secondly, even the “normal” restaurants and cafes nearly always have vegan options. Last week I went for dinner with everyone at my work so I could meet them before I started. We went for Italian and I knew most likely there would be something there I can eat. I looked at the menu and the only thing at first glance on the menu, which was vegan was a quinoa salad. A bit boring and something I have very often. I thought, even though I’m not a massive pizza fan, that would be a bit more exciting than a salad so I was going to order one without cheese. I spoke to the waiter when it was my turn to order and asked what my options were. He replied saying they even had vegan cheese for the pizza so just choose what I’d like on it and that would be easily sorted. How good is that? Just your little Italian joint on the corner has vegan pizza options at the ready. I was pretty amazed by that.

I now no longer have to face the dilemma or ordering something boring just because it happens to be meat and dairy free. I no longer have to feel like I’m missing out and I don’t have to feel like I’m inconveniencing the restaurant. Again, if I really wanted to have a dish with dairy or a dish with some fish or seafood I’d have it but I don’t feel the craving at all for it and feel very at peace with how I’m eating now. About 98/99% vegan most of the time and I will probably never call myself vegan. I don’t want to be defined by a label. The same way I don’t really call myself a Crossfitter, I train Crossfit but it doesn’t define me.

Anyway, I’m slowly working my way through the eateries around the area and during the weekend Mich and I took all over dogs to Kin Corner Store in Cheltenham. A relatively new vegan café Mich came across on Facebook and we’ve been talking about going for a while.

The menu was quite small but with a couple of tasty sounding options. We both went for the falafel and asked for bread on the side because we were starving. I also had a turmeric latte (loving that there is always an exciting option for us non-coffee drinkers everywhere). Then our food came out and it looked lovely. The first thing both Mich and I noticed was that it was a bit on the small side. Definitely not something that would fill a super hungry Maddie haha. We devoured our food. It was delicious the dish. I actually ended up asking for another slice of bread which we shared. I could’ve had about double or triple the size of that dish but it was tasty!

Yesterday Mim finally arrived back from her travels in Canada and I can’t tell you how good it was to see her face! I was squealing when I got in the car to hug her. We went for a class at Red Bluff and then had Thai food afterwards. There was so much to talk about that we were chatting non-stop until she had to head home to get ready for a festival she’s going to today. So now she’s away again for a couple of days. Her and I are now officially looking for a flat together, which is super exciting! It would be amazing if we could live together. I can’t wait to finally have a more permanent living situation. Moving around all the time gets tiring! I don’t think I’m quite made for the nomadic life but whilst it’s still happening I’m going to just make the most of it.

Today is my last day in the house before Perry’s family is back! Time to get packing and I also want to give the place a little tidy up before they arrive back. Three weeks have gone by so quickly and a lot has happened in that time.

Time to get going! Speak soon, M xxx