Jul 10

New boundaries, new foods.

If you read my last post you already know that my allergies have been horrible ever since I sat foot in New Zealand. This place seriously dislikes me. Maybe because of the whole knocking up a kiwi girl thing, but who knows? I don’t.

Thanks to the comment I received from my friend Sammy last Sunday I went and saw the person who cured her allergies. A lovely woman by the name of Shirley who practices traditional chinese medicine or 中医 to those of you who speak the language.

After my visit she put me on a course of disgusting tea that looks (and smells) like sewer water and the most restricted diet I have ever been on. I’m off wheat, gluten, dairy, sugar, most oils, some vegetables and all fruit except peeled pears.

As horrible as this may sound I’ve come to terms with it. My allergies have been slowly improving, the tea is getting easier to drink and the food, well, it’s actually kinda nice to learn more about the stuff I eat and shit… there’s sugar in fucking everything.

This diet has so far been a great eye opener to what food is all about and how much shit we eat without even realizing. And so here are a few things that I have learnt lately:

  • Most packaged foods have sugar and use it as a preservative.
  • Mayonnaise has sugar in it.
  • Chia seeds do incredible things in water. (Can be used instead of eggs in baking)
  • Sugar is the devil (Watch this video if you don’t believe me)
  • Sunflower oil (which is on my no-no list) keeps appearing in the most ridiculous places like almond, oat and rice milk, why does milk need oil? Beats me.
  • To my surprise, goat’s milk is creamier, sweeter and overall more delicious than cow’s milk.
  • Buffalos can be milked.
  • Buckwheat isn’t really a wheat and it’s great on buffalo yogurt. Or on peeled pairs.
  • Goji berries taste great in yogurt.
  • It’s normal for babies to not poop for up to 10 days. (Whaaaaat? Off topic, but seriously, what?)

The designer in me can’t help but mention how good limitations are. Just as a good project can really excel when limitations are present, forcing the designers to think creatively – having a restricted diet forces me to experiment, learn about and explore food in more depth. I never thought I could have enjoyed breakfast without tortillas, cheese, avocado, beans or bacon. But now you can give me goat’s milk and sprouted buckwheat any day. Or these amazing pancakes that we made this morning. (Talk to me again in 4 weeks.)

Jul 03

On Allergies

When I was living in Vancouver I used to love how my nose cleared up as soon as I got into the heated room of the Bikram Yoga studio. I always thought it had something to do with the temperature of the air but maybe it’s the fact that the room is in theory dust-mite free. I say ‘in theory’ because after doing some reading I found out that dust-mites cannot survive temperatures over 40º .

I’ve been reading lots about allergies given that mine worsened as soon as we landed in NZ. I’ve taken every antihistamine on the market, started a dairy free diet (currently on day 21) and also been involved in a treatment called  EPD (a shot in my arm) which unfortunately bans me from using antihistamines for 4 weeks after I get the shot. So the last 4 weeks have been pretty much hell given that the treatment can take up to 3 shots to work and they have to be 8 weeks apart.

Well, last weekend I decided to give Bikram Yoga another go after reading numerous testimonials on people’s allergies getting better after practicing often. I gotta say I felt better, at least temporarily. It gives me moments (at least 90 minutes) of complete bliss that could help keep me sane if my allergies don’t get better soon.

I need to come to terms with the fact that my allergies are here and probably not going anywhere at least for a few months until the EPD kicks in. (I have high hopes on the EPD working eventually, based on numerous studies I’ve read). The main reason why I need to come to terms with it is the fact that allergies can make your life plain miserable and also affect the people around you. I mean, who wants to be around a person who’s always edgy, grumpy or complaining about life.. I don’t and I definitely don’t want Pamela and Mika to be around a me that does that. I think I’m pretty good at keeping it under control but I have my bad days.

I guess the one thing I have to say about anyone with allergies is that they (WE) need to live life at our fullest, try to come to terms with them, forget about them and realize that in the grand scheme of things they’re nothing and they shouldn’t obliterate our existence.

On that note, how could I not enjoy life with a little one as adorable as our little Mika. Seriously someone tell me..

May 30

On working from home

This is a late “Papa’s Sunday” post.. I’ve been swamped with work lately and couldn’t fit in any time yesterday to write. As a matter of fact I was supposed to work on the weekend but I find it extremely difficult to work while at home – there’s just too many distractions.

The biggest one being Mika: she’s either awake and happy so I can’t help but play with her and try to get her to not blank me.. (She’s getting better she kept full eye contact whilst I fed her last night) or she’s asleep and making the loudest/strangest noises!

I came to realize that working from home is harder than I thought. I remember that when Pamela was pregnant I was really keen to work from home and be there with her. But while it may sound good in theory, it’s way harder than I thought.

Though I don’t have to work from home at the moment, when Pamela and I finally move to Argentina next year I will be, so I want to start experimenting to become more productive while working from home with a child (and a girlfriend).

Here’s some of the things that come to mind and that I will start practicing as soon as I can/find the need to work from home.

Gotta define my work space.

I think that’s a big one. This weekend I actually ended up moving Mika out of the room I was using as an office because I couldn’t work at all. Even when she was sleeping she was making all sorts of cute/annoying/kinda funny noises that made me lose concentration.

Close the door.

I read this on a blog once, apparently it has a subliminal effect on you. If you live the door open it’s too easy to decide you don’t HAVE to work and to your family it means that whatever they need Papa’s there just hanging out so why not go ask him?

Shower and have breakfast.

I think that working from home should have no effect on a morning routine, waking up at the same time, showering and having breakfast must continue!

Get a good chair

I made the mistake to use one of our wooden dining table chairs because the office chair was too creaky… Big mistake – my lower back was killing me after merely an hour. Did you know they class chairs by how long you can sit in them for without having to get up? A 12 hour chair would be better than say, a 1 hour chair. I’m gonna find me a 24 hour chair…

Schedule, schedule, schedule.

Given that I want to start and finish a whole 5 minute 3D film in six months, I have been reading on how to organize this film to actually happen. But no matter what you’re tackling if it’s on the list it’s easier to do than having to figure out what’s coming next every time you finish something.

Well, that’s it for now.

Good night!

May 15

Time is a funny thing.

I remember a while back I learned about the project triangle technique when starting projects. One corner is how fast it needs to be done, the second one is how much it will cost and the third one is how good does it need to be.

The whole idea behind it is that out of the three characteristics of your project you can only have two. So it can be fast and cheap but it wont be good, fast and good but it won’t be cheap or cheap and good but it’ll take a while to develop. I think that this principle also applies to the life of a new parent in my opinion. if we change the variables to family time, work time and personal time then again you can only choose two.

I feel that I’ve been selfish lately and have been spending most of my personal time trying to improve my design skills. This sucks though, because by the wisdom of the chart it means I can’t have spent much time with my girls.  So I’ve decided that from this moment on (after writing this post) there’s going to be ‘no-computer time’ which means exactly what the name says.

Where in the chart do you find yourself?