Waste not want not with Freshbox

If you’re sitting at the desk and wondering what’s in the fridge for dinner, this handy app could be the solution. Freshbox shows you what you need to use up in your fridge by the use-by date. It would help with the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ scenario of items down the back of the fridge that you forgot about. It’s also useful for those lovely meals you froze for busy nights but forgot about. And if you’re in doubt there’s a recommended shelf-life view so you can decide if something needs to be tossed.

Found it on the iTunes App store for $1.99 – it’s from Chinge Design Co.

I’ve only just downloaded it, so I’ll keep you posted with my user-friendliness score. Please share if you have it already – would love your views.

Freshbox

Confidence Boosting

This week I have been reflecting on the topic of confidence as it came up in a session with a beautiful, talented client. She pinpointed that a lack of self-confidence is holding her back from achieving her ideal life and she’s sick to death of it.

It stirred me up and got me thinking. How can someone so talented, beautiful and blessed with so many gifts lack confidence? If my client has it all on the outside, why has her ‘inside’ suffering every step of the way?

It comes down to a belief about being ‘good enough’. If you’re carrying around the opinions of others inside your head when you’re trying to make decisions, move through your day and achieve all that life demands of you, then it’s 10 against 1. You’re literally carrying the weight of the world around with you.

Why not make your own choices and decisions and then let others argue later if they have the time. When was the last time you questioned a confident person? We tend not to. It’s interesting how the only people we tend to challenge are those who are self-doubters. It’s easy, we know they’ll re-consider, pause, hesitate. It’s sport.

While I know that we all need a good dose of confidence to perform well on a daily basis, I also know that vulnerability is a very important and often underestimated character trait. So what we’re talking about here is definitely not assuming a false air of self-importance. Or of being over-bearing or boastful or arrogant. Vulnerability is a strength and can be the source of great confidence.

So let’s consider some different types of confidence.

Confidence can mean certainty – for example, in a clinical trial, you need statistical evidence to show that you’re confident that a certain result will occur. I also need to be confident that the brain surgeon operating on me has done his training – proof of that will give me confidence to go under the knife.

In the public speaking arena, confidence is critical. You need to assume a persona or air of confidence in order to get up in front of many people and talk. We all need to feel a certain amount of confidence about everyday occurrences – like the sun is going to rise in the morning and ‘everything’s going to be o.k.’

So to lack confidence, means we’re going against the natural order of things.

If for instance, we’re carrying around a load of self-doubt and thoughts like ‘he or she might not like what I’ve decided here’. The question is: who are you going to value more – them or you? Who are you going to back? And if you abandon the driver’s seat of your own life, who’s going to step in? And are they going to do a better job than you? Probably not.

Time to take control of the wheel and drive the bus where you want to go. Passengers can always disembark at the next stop if they don’t like your destination. And they can always get back on board when they realise that you’re committed to the journey you’re on.

What does confidence mean to you? Who do you know who’s confident? What is it about the way they think that makes them so? What would happen if you stopped worrying about what others think?

Rise and Shine – How to get out the Door with 3 kids, ready for work and full of energy!

There is always a noticeable reduction in the amount of yelling I have to do to heard everyone out the door on time in the mornings whenever I use this very simple tool.

It’s such an incredible feeling getting out the door with:

  • My hair done & dressed for work
  • My morning’s workout done
  • A nutritious breakfast served
  • The kitchen tidy
  • Forms filled out
  • Homework completed
  • School bags all packed with lunches, etc
  • Happy, calm kids sunscreened, teeth brushed, neat uniforms, hair done
  • Files and notes for my day’s appointments packed in my bag  
  • Time to chat calmly with each of my kids

You feel like anything is possible. You have a head start on the day.  You laugh with your kids and have time to play before school.  There’s time spare for any mishaps or minor events.

It’s such a good feeling that if ‘Getting Out The Door Calmly’ was a bottled product, it would be bought by millions of mums all around the world and I would retire as a legend.  But you can just get it here for free, cause we’re just so nice like that! 

Mornings are stressful if they’re not planned the night before.   To turn yours around, please make use of this free template – getting out the door on time.  

Getting Out the Door on Time

You’ll find that when you use it, all your mornings will smooth themselves out like a freshly ironed shirt.

Think of it as your tonight self giving your ‘morning self’ a big head start.

It’s as Easy as a Cup of Tea

Welcome to week two of our 2014 Milking it blog. As we said last week, February is the new January (who wants to change the world when they’re on holiday?) so now the kids are back at school, we’re getting down into the business of making this the greatest year of your life, business and home. This week is about your goals: seeing it, feeling it, connecting to it.

Getting the foundations right will ensure that the rest of the year flows. This week, it’s important to carve out some time to look at your 2014 goals (see the last blog) and create a compelling vision for each goal.

Why a vision? A picture tells a thousand words. It’s more efficient to have a picture of what you want than a long essay detailing the kind of house you want. Your mind naturally brings up an image when you think of any outcome you want. So by choosing those images you’re influencing that process. We all need a picture of the end result we’re striving for. When you’re cooking a meal, you start with the end result – an image of the dessert or the special meal we’re creating. You’re in the process now of planning out your life, your business, and your home in detail so you get what you want. You are a whole-brained person. You’re not just a left-brained person. You have emotion, colour, shapes, etc in your mind so you need to engage that thinking. We’re using images to engage our subconscious. The subconscious mind is the driver or the horse that gets us places. How many of us are on auto pilot?

We suddenly arrive at a destination and we don’t remember how we got there? We just get there. That’s our subconscious just driving us. We tie our shoelaces without thinking. The subconscious mind is like our internal GPS system. By feeding it the images we want, ideas will show up, people will show up. It’s all part of the neural conditioning in the brain. So by having a vision of what your heart desires this year, you’ll start to create new neural pathways which will lead to deeper insights and a journey that is aligned with your desires.

Having a vision board engages your reticular activating system – that part of your mind that obediently recalls what you want it to recall at any point in time. For example, you might be looking to buy a new pair of runners, and you decide the brand you want. Suddenly you see those runners everywhere. Yesterday you didn’t notice them, but today you start seeing them everywhere. That’s the reticular activating system at work. Like a periscope popping out from the submarine, it scans the environment and notices the things that are important to us. It’s a survival technique.

So this week, if you can find time to sit and have a coffee, then that’s your moment to create your vision board. Stick figures will do. Magazine clippings, photos, anything that reflects closely the outcome of your goals. Just make sure they are symbols. We’re not looking for perfection here, just progress.

This step in the Milking it journey will get you out of the dangerous world of negatives which is so common in our every day vernacular. We so commonly use negatives to describe what we want: ‘stress-free’, ‘debt-free’, ‘lose weight’, ‘injury-free’, ‘pain-less’ etc, etc. Remember that our brain doesn’t process the negative part of those phrases, only the key words. So those phrases would simply translate as ‘stress, debt, weight, injury, pain’. I think we’re all happy to move out of that world!

Your vision board is putting things out there that are right for you and everyone else.

There’s just one rule this week – it’s got to feel good. You’ve got to feel AHHH yeah! This is possible for me! I really want this! Yeah! You don’t want to feel like ‘this’ll never happen’, or ‘this is way too hard’. We want to look at the board and FEEL great.

When you’ve finished your board, just run it through what I call ‘The Believability Test’ – if you don’t think it’s possible for you, don’t put it up there. Just put the stuff there that you believe is possible for you. Then as those things happen, you can add to it and improve on it.

It’s so refreshing to embrace a genuinely new start to the year. We have a ton of resources in our membership area to help you with this exercise:

  • A workbook, five videos from me explaining the process
  • An hour long MP3 interview with world leading vision board expert Barbara Pellegrino (that was so much fun)
  • A forum full of Milking it members who are all getting into it and having a great time.

If you haven’t signed up yet, we look forward to having you on board. What are you waiting for?

Brigitte, Angie & the DYRTM Team

Today is the Day

It’s 2014. Can you believe it?? I feel like we were celebrating the millennium just a few years ago. The older I get, the more time flies.

I’m sure you all feel the same.

So speaking of time passing by, I’ve got an amazing talent of multitasking. HAHA! Who am I kidding? It’s really procrastination and avoidance. Life is moving so fast that it’s easy to push those complex tasks to the side. Take today for instance; I got up with purpose and a plan. By the time I finished my coffee I found myself trying for 3 hours to get an online streaming of the New Year’s Eve Ball dropping in Times Square. And, guess what, nothing worked anyway! The internet is such a time waster.

Anyway, wouldn’t it be nice to tackle those plans and THEN reward yourself with an online extravaganza? FORBES has some interesting insight on creative reasons why TODAY just isn’t the right time. Too busy, too broke, too stressed, too risky, too uncertain, too inexperienced, too old, too young, too disruptive. Wow that’s a lot of “TOO’s”. Sometimes those reasons are valid. But at the core of those excuses is one emotion – Fear. A friend of mine posted this photo on Instagram which I think sums of how I’d like to embrace 2014.

Philosopher William James was not understating the impact of procrastination when he said, “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an unfulfilled goal.”

So, What are you afraid of? There’s no time like the present!

Here are 7 Strategies to get your started.

  1. Write down your goal and give yourself a deadline.
  2. Break your goal into smaller pieces.
  3. Visualize the future you want.
  4. Harness fear.
  5. Build Accountability.
  6. Reward Progress.
  7. Act bravely daily. STARTING TODAY!

Get your Energy Flowing

Being a mother with ambition leads you on a journey of incredible personal transformation on every level. Your way of being, living and working takes on a whole new dimension constantly bringing to the forefront your core needs and values (especially when these are NOT being met); your relationship, who you are as a person, what you want out of life and of course it is also a journey of legacy, of ‘being the mum you want to see in the world’, living by example and through our parenting and lifestyle choices truly influencing a future world where adults are balanced, capable, innovative and kind.

For the woman who wants to be all and do all, it is possible, on one condition.

Fuel up YOUR tank first.

Take care of your most precious asset so that it can take you where you want to go.

If you feel dull, heavy, lethargic, stressed, uncomfortable in our own skin, you’re not going to be performing as your work demands, you’re not going to feel sexy and affectionate with your partner, you’re certainly not going to be the vibrant, patient, engaged mother you want to be.

As intelligent, conscious women you know what to do, but somehow it can be so hard to fit in. It is so easy to judge, blame, feel guilt and go down the negative self talk spiral and yet when we let go of perfection it makes it all so very possible.

It’s what you do most of the time that counts, not what you do some of the time. My clients (and I) love the 80/20 concept. You do what you can when you can and the times when you can’t, it’s ok, let it go, in the grand scheme of things you’re doing a great job.

Balance doesn’t happen over one meal, one missed gym session, one day but rather over a week or a month even.

When it comes to ensuring you have that energy flow on a daily basis there’s really no way around it, you need to ensure that you’re getting those basics in, the basics that every human being needs to survive but that you only just manage to squeeze in when you have spare time:

  1. Drink at least 2 liters of water
  2. Get to bed by 11pm latest
  3. Keep your fitness up every single day even if it’s a 5 minute stretch at home
  4. Take some deep long breaths of fresh air
  5. Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand to prevent you reaching out for something that will only make you feel guilty (yes, 70%+ organic dark chocolate is a perfect choice).

Start here and the monumental shifts you’ll experience just from doing this will motivate you to take it one step further.

Guest blogger:

This post was by guest blogger Caroline Cain. Thanks for your inspiration Caroline! Caroline is a Nutritionist and Lifestyle Mentor passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs in creating an incredible life through health, mindset, living a wellness lifestyle and bringing it all back to our most important asset: ourselves. www.carolinecain.com

What really IS a healthy relationship anyway?

This month, our members were given a masterclass about relationships. In between work, children’s activities, housework and social events, relationships need nurturing. We all want a healthy marriage, but:

What really IS a healthy relationship anyway?

Sabina ReadTo help us navigate through the challenges and questions of relationships, we welcomed Melbourne psychologist and social commentator Sabina Read to share her insights from her experience working with couples and families. (Members have access to the full webinar recording in your , along with all the other webinars, workbooks and member tools).

Sabina set us straight up front: Healthy relationships are not typified by the absence of conflict and both couples being perfectly ”happy”. A healthy relationship exists when the couple are good friends and can repair quickly after conflict. Each individual in the marriage has their own ‘love language’ and one person’s way of expressing love might be different to the others which can cause pain and confusion. There is no universal notion of happiness, so just focus on what’s ‘healthy and happy’ to you and your partner. And the only way to know that is to check in with the other person regularly. Create ongoing dialog around what each other’s needs are and how you’re travelling and what’s working and not working.

  • What do most couples fight about? During the webinar we launched a poll to find out what you fight about most often. Here’s what you said:
    • Contribution to the couple or family unit (chores, roles, responsibilities) = 67%
    • Parenting = 33%
    • Finances = 17%
    • In-laws = 0%

These results were consistent with Sabina’s research. But here’s the clincher: it’s not the TOPIC that we fight about that’s indicative of the state of the relationship, it’s the way we REPAIR from the fight. It’s not about the ‘content’, that’s important it’s about the ‘process’. The process is how we RELATE to each other, the space between one another. Her advice: don’t expect to always reach a resolution: in fact, 69% of issues that couples argue over can NEVER be resolved. We just need to understand each other’s perspectives. We feel like we’re banging our heads against a brick wall because we’re having the same arguments over and over. What’s really going on is that we don’t feel understood and don’t feel validated by our partner. Give yourself permission to say ‘we may not get a resolution on this’. The goal, therefore, should be about understanding one another. That’s what we human beings desire most: ‘understand MY perspective, look through MY glasses, walk a while in MY shoes’.

  • What lies behind criticism and complaints? “You’re never home on time! You just don’t get it – I carry the load on my own every day – I’m here dealing with the kids, the dinner, the homework and you’re never here!” (Sound vaguely familiar?) Behind every criticism and complaint is an unmet need. What you could ask yourself is “What need might I have that’s not being met?” Then you can reframe the complaint to expressing a need. Give yourself permission to express your needs so that it’s valid and important and someone can hear it. Often, if we can see that our need is being heard, our pain is less acute. The need might be that I need your support at home during this end of the day. The solution? Reframe the moan!
  • Some advice for dealing with arguments:
    • Agree to take a break – in the heat of an argument, our pre-frontal cortex cannot deal with what’s going on, we get totally flooded and lose clarity and perspective. When we’re overwhelmed emotionally we need to take a break. It’s very important that we need to make a commitment to each other to return to the discussion when we have calmed down. Agree how you will handle arguments. When things are calm, have the conversation that we WILL disagree and have arguments, but let’s agree, for example, that we’ll come back to it before we go to sleep that night.
    • Share responsibility – (for the argument). Sabina often hears from clients: “If he or she was more like me, then we wouldn’t argue”. Don’t expect the other person to be like you. And don’t start arguments with YOU ALWAYS or YOU NEVER.
    • Avoid personalising in the issue – don’t name call, don’t use hostile humour and sarcasm and insult, that’s playing the man and not the ball. Stay on the issue.
    • Listen and repeat back what you heard – Often we hear our partner say something and literally in seconds before we’ve processed what they’ve said, we are ready to retaliate and our defences are up. Try this: repeat back in a journalistic style – (not sarcastically) what you heard. Check that you heard the message in the way that it was meant to be delivered.
    • Validating instead of agreeing – this means to show you understand. “I can understand that you would feel that way.” Or “that makes sense that you would like to be home earlier”. This can be confusing to people because they think that if they validate they’re agreeing and they don’t want to agree so they don’t validate. Validating doesn’t mean that we’re agreeing to come home earlier, it just means that we’re understanding what’s being shared. Validating lets your partner know that his or her perspective is important. The need to be understood is a key driver for us as humans.
  • In summary, here are some tips for keeping relationships strong :
    • Arguments are a part of a healthy relationship – focus on the process of Repair as your goal.
    • Treat each other like friends. Show genuine interest in one another
    • Self-edit criticisms by remembering that behind most criticisms is an unmet need
    • Seek help before it’s too late
    • Have high standards for your relationship
    • Bring up issues gently
    • Focus on what’s working rather than what’s not working
    • Continue courting

Thank you to Sabina for your guidance, support and for inspiring us to all to nurture and prioritise our relationships. Thank you also for sharing your valuable experience with us and igniting the passion for our most important relationships.

Not a member? Join today and gain instant access to our Milking It program which provides you with coaching, tools and resources for your success in your life, business and home.

Follow Sabina on twitter: @ReadSabina

Website: www.sabinareadpsychology.com.au

Further reading: visit The Gottman Institute: World renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction, John Gottman has conducted 40 years of breakthrough research with thousands of couples.

I would love to hear your comments on this post. What do you most identify with?

For more information, guidance and to follow Sabina, visit her website:

Your plan for ultimate health!

9 Tips to convert a fat tummy into a flat tummy
(and regain boundless energy in the process) flat tummy

Are you sick of all the beating around the bush about diet and exercise? Do you just want a program that works, because you’re too busy with the rest of your life to be agonising over your health?

This week in our Momentum Platinum group we have been getting down into the nitty gritty of health and fitness. We call this part of the program ‘Energy Flow’. Each member is setting up their own ‘System for Success’ to get optimal energy and to maintain their bodies in peak condition. Nothing helps you save time, energy and money like having your mind and body in the high performance zone.

To help clarify some of our questions, I interviewed leading personal trainer Paul Steele who leads a team of 17 trainers at the fabulous Go Health clubs, super club in Nundah – my local health club.

Warning – this is a very ‘real’ conversation, with no big claims or quick fixes. The Milking It and Momentum Platinum programs focus on Systems for Success that you can maintain and build on for the rest of your life. We’re not interested in fads that fizzle out.

The great thing about our chat, was that Paul knows all of the science about optimal health, but he just focuses on ‘what works’. I’m inspired by his advice – especially the part about de-stressing and sleep!

The questions came from our group discussion.

Is it possible to lose the excess flabby skin that you are left with after having children through diet and exercise?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to regain skin elasticity through diet and exercise. It is definitely possible to get a flat chiselled stomach post natal; however the actual skin elasticity is a different kettle of fish. There are skin care treatments and other methods of improving the skin in this area. By losing weight gradually, you can avoid much of the excess skin that results from rapid weight loss.

What fitness routine would you need to follow to lose ten kilos (from 65 to 55) and tone up your core?

I recommend getting 2-3 sessions of resistance training (i.e. weights or body weight resistance exercises) per week, with 1 – 2 High intensity interval training sessions. Any amount of cardio will be bonus on top of these, however 30 minutes of short bouts of high intensity efforts will stimulate your metabolism and really maximise your calorie consumption; both during the session, and for the hours proceeding. Additionally, look after yourself! Sleep and stress management are huge factors when it comes to fat loss! Studies have shown that increased amounts of stress, drives your cortisol levels up which in turn increases belly fat.

What exercises are most effective in gaining a flat tummy?

A flat tummy won’t come from doing a thousand sit ups… Put simply, a flat tummy will come from decreasing stress and increasing your calorie output to calorie input. More specifically, you will achieve fantastic results and drop huge amounts of stomach fat by increasing your insulin sensitivity. See article on insulin here, for a deeper understanding of the role of insulin.

How important is routine and consistency?

Consistency is paramount!

No. 1 tip – Do not make any changes to your diet that you cannot maintain for the rest of your life! I have seen it time and time again; people taking on diets that cause dramatic weight loss initially, however eventually your lifestyle will return to ‘normal’ and you will regain the weight, plus more. Starving yourself to lose weight is both dangerous and not effective as it makes your metabolic rate sluggish! Additionally, your energy, concentration and overall performance will drop.

Rather, take it step by step. Start by improving your choice for breakfast. Once you have established a comfortable routine with breakfast move on to lunch etc.

For a lot of people, especially busy mums, improving your breakfast nutrition begins with making sure you have breakfast!

Also start by swapping sugary cereals or white toast, with some high quality oats and berries. Alternatively, there is a lot of contemporary research advocating for a high protein and fat breakfast, e.g. omelette with chicken and a handful of almonds. The basis behind this breakfast is improved blood sugar regulation, i.e. improves insulin sensitivity.

What is the most effective way to watch what you eat?

Plan your meals! Take the tough choice away by preparing your meals and having them ready to go. “Fail to plan, you plan to fail”… If you haven’t planned or packed your meals, you will often finding yourself choosing between eating crap or starving yourself…. This is a lose/lose situation so take the time to prepare and you will achieve great success.

What do you think of crash diets?

As above…. They’re s*%t 🙂

How many times per day should you eat?

A lot of exercises professionals advocate for 6 meals/day… I find that 4-5 planned meals/day achieves great success and doesn’t cause too much stress and thus – cortisol production.

Are you allowed to have chocolate every day?

Haha, well everything in moderation!

But seriously, if you establish a sound routine of exercise and nutrition, there is no reason why you can’t introduce cheat snacks/meals more frequently. I tend to encourage my clients one cheat meal a week when they begin with me, and then we increase the frequency of these if their progress and results justify it. This is possible because as you increase muscle mass, decrease fat and increase your metabolic rate, you can process junk food more efficiently.

What about alcohol? What does wine do to your progress?

Similar to chocolate in that in moderation can be okay. However the alcohol content itself does have other impact aside from the pure calories involved. It is also affects your hormone levels and can therefore be quite devastating on your energy and performance etc. Not to mention the resolves you have with making healthy food choices once you’ve had a few wines..;)

Some simple but effective nutrition tips are:

  • Stick to as many ‘whole foods’ as you can.
  • The more meals you can have of high quality meat and fresh vegetables, the better off you will be.
  • Don’t be caught up with ‘fat free’ items, as these are often foods that have had good fats taken out and replaced with simple carbohydrates… often with chemical aid.
  • As often as you can, group protein sources with carbohydrate sources or protein with quality fat sources. Try to avoid fat sources with carbohydrate sources, as the body will use the carbohydrate for energy, and the elevated insulin will punch the fat sources into your cells.

If you’re interested in joining a program that helps you get organised and save time, energy and money in your life, business and home, and you want to have FUN in the process, then come and join us today! http://www.didyourememberthemilk.com.au/milkingit/milkingit_join.htm

More about Paul:

Paul has played rugby union semi-professionally and is a sometime champion boxing coach and was sportsman of the year for his senior year at school. Paul is qualified in Atlas functional training and rehabilitation, Crossfit level 1, Biosignature, Joseph coyne optimal fat loss, trigger point performance therapy and is a Grit strength instructor….I’m exhausted just thinking about all this!

Cut and paste your ultimate life.

Just Imagine – Cut and paste your ultimate life. Cut and paste your ultimate life

Note: We have hundreds of tips and articles like this in our Your Tools section, for members only. Come and hang out with real lifestyle experts and join a community of people making it happen.

The start of every journey is a clear vision. As Dr Seuss says “sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple”.

Many people decide to get organised because they feel like their chaos is holding them back. “Holding you back from what?” is what I’m always curious to know. This question gets to the heart of what’s important. But you’d be surprised how many people struggle to answer it straight up.

When we head on a holiday, we pick the destination, plan the trip, buy the tickets and pack our bags. When we go to a meeting, we agree on the venue, get the address, and figure out how to get there. But why is it that when it comes to life, many people leave that ‘destination’ bit out? They just jump on the train without knowing exactly where it’s heading? I call it the ‘pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey’ method of getting what you want. It’s slow, dark, painful and you may hit the wall before you hit your destination.

The biggest tip I can give anyone embarking on a project like getting organised is to get clear on what you want before you start. This saves you an enormous amount of time and energy.

A clear vision is best expressed visually. I’m not trying to be funny here J. It’s just that so many people say to me things like “but I’m not really a visual person”. If you’re organising a room, it pays to have an image of what you want the room to look like, feel like and how you want it to function. The same applies to your ideal job, your ideal holiday, house, car, partner, bank balance, you name it. Sometimes achieving our biggest dreams in life can be as simple as child’s play. We learned the lovely art of cutting and pasting before we started school. It’s time to reconnect!

Here are 7 ways to create a vision of what you want:

  1. Get cutting and pasting. Kill two birds with the one pair of scissors 😉 and get rid of those piles of magazines while clipping out the images that relate to your goals. Stick them tastefully on a poster board with some words and include images of yourself (for context) and you’re off and running.
  2. Use Google images to find images of what you want. Try key words like ‘relaxation’, ‘beautiful home’, etc and see what comes up. Then save the images in a file called ‘vision board’ on your PC.
  3. Create a collage. Use Picasa (a free program from Google) to create a collage of your images.
  4. Print out several copies of your collage and laminate them and pin them up around your house
  5. Join Pinterest www.pinterest.com, an online community for people to share images and see what others are inspired by. You will find plenty of ideas there.
  6. Try the Oprah vision board tool. www.oprah.com this is great if you need a little hand holding
  7. Join the community in Milking It who are all creating vision boards together as part of the first step to creating their ideal lives. http://www.didyourememberthemilk.com.au/milking-it-registration

WFD series: To Thermomix or not to Thermomix?

In case you missed our webinar on the 7th March, (you can listen to it here on our home page: www.shesorganised.com), one of the most debated topics was the Thermomix. I thought that I would share with you my personal view on the subject – I’d love to know what you think!

Lots of people ask me whether a Thermomix is a good investment. ‘Does it really save you time’ and ‘How does it fit with your other gadgets’, are two of the common questions I get asked. I’m passionate about helping working mothers save time, energy and money and I want to share what works, so here’s my ten cents’ worth. Style: "Neutral"

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the Thermomix is a smart German kitchen appliance that hit Australia’s shores back in 2000. Dubbed the ‘world’s smallest, smartest kitchen’, it can chop, beat, mix, emulsify, whip, grind (mill), knead, mince, grate, juice, blend, heat, stir, steam and even weigh food. There’s a running joke in our household about this which is rude and I won’t share it here. Anyone who watches Masterchef Professional will have seen one in action.

The initial investment is steep: we’re talking about $2000. This is what puts a LOT of people off, me included for a few years. Not only that, it’s only available via a ‘consultant’ who does home demonstrations, so if you haven’t been invited to a demo (and enjoyed the five course meal), or you don’t have a friend who has one, the chances are it may never have hit your radar.

This isn’t such a bad distribution strategy since if you were to look at one in a department store and see the steep price tag, you’d just keep on walking. A quick disclaimer: I am not associated with Thermomix in any way and am not sponsored by them or paid to talk about it (ahem, happy for you guys to call me though!). I do get asked a lot about saving space, time, energy and money in the kitchen, so I need to share.

The Thermomix saved me a lot of time after a while, but initially, it consumed me. Acquiring one became a whole project in itself.

You’ll be busy learning how it works, trialling recipes, surfing the internet researching recipes, converting some of your old favourite recipes and visiting Thermo-mad blog sites and facebook pages (there are plenty out there). You’ll be so busy getting the hang of it all that your hours spent in the kitchen will possibly initially increase as you watch it and marvel at it. But once you get used to it a few months down the track, it will become part of your daily routine and you’ll think nothing of whipping together a chocolate cake, a dip, a gourmet salad and a soup in one setting. You will be producing beautiful dishes in lightening speed. Watch out – I pureed my Coleslaw in 15 seconds – yes, pureed. I only meant to grate it all, but evidently 5 seconds is ample!

Once you have mastered it, you will find yourself outside entertaining guests with some nibbles and a drink while your new best friend is inside stirring the risotto or the sauce to go with your BBQ meat. These are the experiences I love to be part of and would much rather be spending time with friends and family than stirring a pot!

I donated my blender, juicing machine and a few other kitchen accessories after I bought it, saving a lot of space in my kitchen cupboards. It feels like I have a friend in the kitchen and it gets me out of some very tight spots, especially when I haven’t thought of what’s for dinner.

My children are all gluten, dairy and wheat-free which means I’m always preparing and thinking about each meal anyway. It can be time consuming. The Thermomix rescues me as it will grind anything to flour, mill rice, whip up cakes, do all the chopping and there’s no more crying over an onion. Healthy, nutritious food is much less effort.

But if it’s not in your budget, don’t worry. Just to put things in perspective, I’ve only had mine for a year and I’ve been cooking for 20 years. Some of my most memorable meals have been cobbled together with a bowl, a spoon and a knife around a campfire.

My verdict: Do yourself a favour. You’ll be hearing more from me about the adventures of me and my Thermie and you can see my pics on Instagram. You can find out more here: www.thermomix.com, They also have a great recipe website: www.recipecommunity.com.au

And here’s a great recipe site: www.tenina.com If anyone wants me to recommend a consultant, just write to me and I’ll send you the details.

Whatever you decide – enjoy whatever time you spend in the kitchen – after all we all have to eat, we may as well have fun in the process! Please share your comments and feedback. I’d love to hear what you think of your Thermomix if you have one, or any questions you may have.