Hiking off the Christmas food and drink coma

For me the joy of the silly season really is getting together with friends and family – eating, playing games, eating, toasting with glass of bubbles 🥂 and lets face it – eating some more 🍗, but these holidays can often be so busy and full that they go by in the blink of an eye and by the end you feel as if you need a break from your holiday …. go figure 🤷‍♀️.

After all the “festivities” taking the opportunity to get in a bush walk while all the whanau (family) is together is not only a great way to take stock, be grateful and breathe a little but is also a good way to burn off all those extra calories 🎂

I managed to grab half a day away from the madness (“children”) to get out with a friend that was up from Christchurch; We walked the Karangahake Summit Track in the Karangahake Gorge (SH2). It was a good 2 hour uphill battle and a stunning 360 degree view as reward, not a bad spot to enjoy some left overs for lunch …… and a candy cane for Christmas cheer.

Have you got an adventure planned during your break? We’d love to hear/see/read about it, follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tag us @forestfamilynz to share your story.

Nga mihi, Anita 🥜

Setting New Years Resolutions with special guest, Women’s Leadership Coach: Kate Apanui

Thinking of setting New Years Resolutions? Most people I meet these days can’t be bothered.

But for those of us who get irritated with ourselves, and just can’t wait for that fresh start on January 1st – we set intentions with HIGH hopes.

If you’re like me, we start out with great intentions, big dreams, lots of enthusiasm and energy…..but then it’s hard to keep that energy up, and eventually things kind of fizzle out, we stop caring and life just carries on as normal, and by the time we get to April, we’re saying things to each other like;  “I can’t believe it’s Easter already!  Where’s this year going?  Wow this year is flying by!”

Or is that just me?

This year my husband and I set two New Years Resolutions, which was weird, we usually don’t bother with them – because of what I already told you about how I’m not that good at keeping them!  The past has shown me, it’s just not worth it.

Anyway, our resolutions were simple this year; 1. Quit coffee for a year.  2. Quit alcohol for a year.

Oh, and no decaf either ….. I know.

According to a few comments I got, this year I was going to be “no fun at all”. It’s been a super interesting experiment – on so many levels. People ask me all the time “Why would you do that?” And I guess the main reason is; because we wanted to, we wanted to see what it would be like to not have those 2 things in our life.

On a side note – I often have people tell me “I quit alcohol and / or coffee, I felt amazing, I lost weight, saved money, had so much more energy, I slept better, I exercised more……but then I just started the habit again”,   I’m always fascinated by humans.  Why do we do stuff that makes us feel worse?

The reason we decided to do both coffee and alcohol was because I said alcohol would be hard to quit – but coffee would be easy, and my husband said alcohol would be easy – but coffee would be much harder, so we decided to quit both – it seemed fair.

So this year I’ve gone from a woman who LOVES wine, looks forward to a glass of bubbles with her girlfriends, and can’t wait till Friday’s come / or it’s hot / or I’m cooking / or a friend pops in / or book club – so I can open a bottle and hang out – to a woman who doesn’t drink a drop. I wasn’t a big drinker (2 glasses in a sitting was my max), and I’m not into clubbing.  But, I would never say no to a glass of wine or gin, I felt like it was a special treat.  I looked forward to it the way my kids look forward to ice cream.

When I first stopped drinking – I hated it.  I wished I had a glass in my hand when everyone else did, and I definitely felt like I was missing out. I missed the feeling of being a fancy adult, I missed the taste, I missed the feeling of sharing a treat with my husband or friends, I missed the feeling of being part of the group that wine created, and I missed the relaxing feeling that I thought wine gave me.  But as time went on, I noticed how much better I felt not drinking, emotionally and physically.  The way I thought about not drinking changed, from; “I’m missing out if I don’t have a drink”,  to;  “I prefer not drinking”.

We didn’t mean to set these resolutions for ourselves, one day during the holidays, we just started talking about what it would be like to not have coffee and alcohol in our lives, and got curious about what that experience would mean for us.

We did it on a bit of a whim really.

But I think it stuck for a few reasons……

  1. We were in it together so I felt like I wasn’t alone
  2. I knew my husband would never quit or cheat – so I didn’t want to be a quitter or cheater either
  3. We told all our friends and family – so there was another accountability factor
  4. Also coffee and Alcohol are pretty clear cut things, you either drink it or you don’t – sugar is in so many things that it takes more mental effort,

Should we set more reso’s in the future?

YES.

This year has totally shown us what’s possible, it’s given me a feeling of inner strength and to be honest I feel so much better not drinking, even when everyone else is – something I never would have imagined to be true, it got me wondering, what else might I be opened up to if I dramatically changed something about the way I live.  Who might I become?

Now I know some of you women out there might be thinking oh I stopped both those things for 9 months while I was pregnant – or maybe even longer if you did it throughout your breastfeeding days…..?

And let me say a little something about that.

When I quit coffee and alcohol during pregnancy – I resented it. I longed for those things all the time. I was pissed off when I didn’t get to enjoy a glass of champagne on New Years. I couldn’t wait to be back on my fix. I was on a count down.  I kept telling myself “not long now”

And I think that mindset of “I’m missing out” made me grouchy and frustrated.  I didn’t see myself as a making a choice.  I saw that my husbands life hadn’t changed, and already I was being asked to sacrifice things I loved.  I hated it.

The reason this year worked so well, was because I entered the year with the perspective of  curiosity….. “I wonder what a year without alcohol and coffee would feel like, I wonder how my mental health will be affected, I wonder what our bank balance will look like, I wonder how I’ll act without those things in my life, I wonder how it will affect my menstrual cycle, hormonal health and over all health….”

It was an experiment – not something I was forcing myself to do.

I think when we try to force ourselves into things – even if it’s for our own good – there can be a feeling of resistance, or irritation, which can lead us to want to rebel or act out.  Like a teenager who’s told “you can’t go” and ends up stomping her foot, and climbing out her window!

This experiment has totally changed my perspective of New Years reso’s and the way I’d make them in the future……

Rather than saying something like,

This year I……

  • won’t eat cake
  • will exercise 3 times a week
  • won’t yell at my kids
  • will be more organised

I’d change it to something more like,

I wonder what it would be like …….

  • to say no to cake this year
  • to exercise 3 times a week
  • if I didn’t yell at my kids
  • if I organised my week ahead, on a Sunday night

Honestly,I’d highly recommend doing and experiment like this to other people because if you do nothing new, if you don’t change the way you think, or act, you’re pretty much going to be reliving the years you’ve already lived.

Sure you might get a new car, or go somewhere different on holiday.  You might get a new job, or move house.  But the you, that shows up to those experiences will be the same you you were this year.

There’s nothing wrong with that you.  My guess is you’re pretty awesome as it is, but doing something that’s different in your day to day life, changing your habits, your thoughts, your feelings, your actions and the perception you have of yourself, how you see yourself and interact with the world – that’ll change you, grow you, open you up to new opportunities, ideas, experiences, and relationships.

You’ll be richer for it.

You’ll thank yourself for it.

And if nothing else you’ll have some good stories to tell about the year you ……….

So what would challenge you? What experiment would you like to run in 2019? What would you like to create? What would you really like to change?

This year I’ve decided to facilitate a Facebook page for anyone who wants to run an experiment in their life, committing to doing or not doing something, because it’s so much easier when we have a partner in crime, and feel accountable to something or someone else.

hmmmmmm what will this year be about?

🌺This year Kate will be working with a limited number of clients, if you’d like to meet Kate, and experience her coaching – get in touch with her, as she offers a free session to all women who are interested in, or considering coaching.

To get in touch with Kate- email:  truenatureme@gmail.com or check out her website: www.kateapanui.com

🌺Facebook group – What would it be like if…….?
This is a closed group – though anyone is welcome to join.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2141115832817129/

The joy of one thing at a time

I’m writing this for me, just as much as for you, because I find myself getting caught up in the busyness of life, and at this time of the year, the chaos of Christmas! The seemingly endless “to do list’s”, the shopping, end of year school prize givings, ceremonies, trips and all the social engagements can leave me feeling exhausted. And while we pride ourselves on being able to do multiple things at once, how much fun is it really?

Reading a book, enjoying a cup of tea (without scrolling on your phone) and listening to a friend are purely joyful acts when you allow yourself to enjoy it simply, on it’s own. When we allow ourselves to be present we enjoy what we do and what we see therefore we take in and experience so much more. Research shows that being in nature benefits the mind and the body, add then the physical exercise you get from a walk and it really is a win win for the state of your well being.

Here are some ideas of the sort of things I am going to do, to try to help myself to slow down and enjoy the present moment over the holidays.

  • read my favorite magazines
  • play with my kids
  • walk in nature
  • drink tea
  • draw or sketch
  • set goals
  • do some photography
  • meditate
  • Yoga with Adrienne
  • meet friends
  • play board games with my family
  • swim in the ocean and river (it’s summer here!)
  • ride my bike and most importantly
  • I am going to leave my phone in my bag, more on this topic to come…

I’d love to know what sort of things you enjoy to do one at a time. Leave a comment below ❤

I wish you a truly wonderful Christmas where ever you are in the world, thank you for reading our blog. Meri kirihimete from Aotearoa/ New Zealand.

Tammy

Top 5 must do kid friendly bush walks in Taranaki 🗻

“Taranaki Hardcore” 🗻 – a proud region, and for good reason.

This region is so diverse in it’s geography, it really has something for everyone – from the stunning black sand beaches in the north, to the rugged cliff faces of the south beaches, then of course it’s iconic maunga (mountain) Mt Taranaki/ Mt Egmont, which stands strong and proud at the heart of the regions’ circular plains.

Here are my top 5 kid friendly adventures for Taranaki:

  1. Waingongoro Hut, Mount Taranaki, If you haven’t read it already – click here to check out the blog from my trip with the kids to this hut 🏡
  2. Kaupokonui Beach – South Taranaki. If you are driving along the surf highway SH45, this little gem is well worth the stop, with surfing, camping and swimming in both river and sea all on offer, though if quiet is not for you, further north along SH45 is the small surf town of Opunake. Here you will find a few shops and at the beach, there is a choice little shallow pool for the little ones.
  3. Pukekura Park – New Plymouth. This park is at the heart of the city, and has everything, lakes, playground, bush walks and beautiful gardens – it reminds me of a park you would find in a city in Europe (La Rochelle, France to name one)
  4. Wilkies Pools – Mount Taranaki. These pools are scoured from 20,000 year old lava, if you are made of tough stuff, bring togs and a towel to take a dip in the “refreshing” 🗻 water.
  5. Three sisters – North Taranaki Coast, Near Tongaporutu. Walk out along the river at low tide to view the 25 metre rock formations jutting out from the sand, there is plenty of exposed cliffs and caves to explore also.

 

Other must do’s in the Taranaki region are:

Nga mihi, Anita  🥜

Top 5 adventures with kids- in☀ Gisborne.

Gissy

  1. Mahia Beach- Ok so not technically in Gisborne (it’s actually in the Hawkes Bay region) but just humor me. It’s located between Wairoa and Gisborne, the beach is stunning and is known to be a fantastic beach for swimming, surfing, kayaking, surf casting and diving. It was also made famous when Moko the dolphin (who is now sadly dead) chose to hang out there and play with the people in the waves. I experienced this and it was incredible! Walk up Mokotahi hill with the kids for some exercise. There is also a wonderful hot pool-bush walk at Morere Hot Springs.
  2. Eastwoodhill Arboretum – a magical place to take the kids. There are walks to suit all abilities and a new amazing playground I have yet to check out!
  3. Grey’s Bush Scenic Reserve– if your feeling a like you need some time in the trees head here with the kids. The short loop ~15 minutes is buggy and wheelchair friendly. If your feeling like something a little longer the long loop takes between 40-60 minutes walking at an easy pace.
  4. Rere Falls- Picnic spot! If you have older kids or are feeling brave yourself, check out Rere Falls rock slide.
  5. Wainui Beach- to be honest, a stroll along any of the beaches here, in my opinion, is world class. If you are a surfer you’ll know this!

Other rad things to see or do: Fox St mountain bike trails, Gisborne in general is super bikeable as it is so flat! They also have a cool network of cycle trails. Stand in the water and hand feed the stingrays and kingfish with Dive Tatapouri. Surf, fish, dive!

Happy adventuring! Tammy.

Top 5 kid friendly bush walks near Tauranga ☀️

Sometimes I feel like the hardest part of getting the kids out for a bush walk, is the time it takes to find a walk suitable. When my kids were younger (<5) and I’d find a good track, I’d keep taking the kids there to help build our confidence and to get them walking a little bit further/faster/slower etc. Each time we went, there was a new “discovery”:

  • “haven’t heard that bird before 🐦”
  • “oop’s should have brought more spare clothes 👕”
  • “those shoes weren’t suitable 🥾”
  • “Success everyone happy 😄, hmm … what did I do differently”

My method was, and still is Trial and Error. They don’t always work out the way I’d hoped but I love being out in nature, it feeds my mind, body and soul and that’s something I want my children to feel, enjoy and appreciate, especially as they get older (teens 😬)…..  did I mention it’s also free 👍.

Here are our Top 5 kid friendly adventures near Tauranga that just keep on giving every time you go back:

  • Aongatete short loop (~1 hour). The Aongatete tracks start at the car park at the end of Wright Road off SH2 between Tauranga and Katikati, towards the Aongatete Outdoor Education Centre. There are various other great walks here too, check out the Department of Conservation for more information.

 

  • Papamoa Hills, Papamoa – You can’t go wrong here with well-preserved Historic Pa (fortification) sites and panoramic views over the east coast and Kaimai ranges. There is also a small stream which offers a great spot for a break. For more information click here

 

  • Puketoki Reserve, Whakamarama – Long or short loop. The stream next to the car park is a great place for the kids to mess around in plus there is a picnic table making this an excellent place to hang out after a stroll in the bush.

 

  • Te Puna Quarry Park, Te Puna – An old quarry transformed into an arty garden paradise! The kids will love this place, its full of wonderful sculptures & art, things to climb on and things to bang!

 

  • Mount Maunganui Base Loop or Summit Track, Mount Maunganui – This popular Mountain provides endless adventure opportunities. Take the base track and enjoy a picnic on one of the many shelly beaches or take one of the many tracks to the top and enjoy spectacular views.

 

Nga mihi, Anita 🥜

Forest Family’s Top 5 Xmas 🎅adventures with the kids in ☀ Abel Tasman and Golden Bay✌🏕

When I lived in the south island of New Zealand, I was only a few hours drive from these beautiful places so it’s very hard for me to only choose 5… but here’s where I’d go in a flash for a mixture of beautiful scenery, adventure and cool vibes.

1.Torrent Bay,  Abel Tasman National Park. You can either hike here as part of a multi-day adventure, kayak or catch the water taxi like I did with my then 3 month old and my mum (pictured below 😍). We stayed in a waterfront bach (holiday home), it was so was lush!

2. Feeling adventurous? Check out the Rock climbing at Paynes Ford, Takaka in Golden Bay. Camp at hang dog, a family owned campground for climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.

3. Stroll to Te Waikoropupu Springs and marvel at the gin clear water! Home to the clearest spring water in the world!🌎

pupu

4. Awaroa Bay, Abel Tasman. Famously for sale a few years back, but saved by the New Zealand people’s through a successful crowd-funding campaign to buy it back from a private owner. Hooray! You can access this piece of paradise by walking across the estuary from Totaranui at dead low tide, walking the multi-day Abel Tasman track, by boat from Kaiteriteri or Marahau, you could also kayak, or if your feeling fancy you could arrive by helicopter.

awaroa2

5.After all these thirst inducing adventures, no trip to Golden Bay is complete without a stop at the Mussel Inn❤ a family friendly cafe and restaurant. I highly recommend sampling their tasty beer especially the 🍻#captaincookermanukabeer👍! It has a charming rustic vibe.Click here for more information.

Muss-fire-014-a

Happy exploring, Tammy.

Scroll down and hit the subscribe button for more way cool ideas and stories😍🍓✌😉

Special Guest: Nutritional health coach Roz McIntosh + bonus recipe🍓🥝🥑🍒

I happen to live on quite an entrepreneurial street. Just down the road from me is Anita the other half of Forest Family NZ, there is also an artist, a nutritional health coach & a not-for-profit charity event planner/adventure gal.

Today, I am excited to introduce Roz McIntosh to you, the nutritional health coach. Not only does Roz create delicious and healthy recipes but she gives you permission to s-l-o-w down. I think as a mother you need these reminders every now and then. Roz shares great advice on to how to take a little time for yourself, as well as how to prepare yummy family friendly meals.

We asked Roz for some recipes that might be good to make – to take on a walking or biking adventure, and she has kindly given us a couple. Thanks Roz!

Enjoy her words and recipe below. Also check out her beautiful 😍 website for more inspiration here.

rozAdventures out in nature with my family are, I think, one of the best ways to spend time together.

But keeping my kids full can be a challenge, especially when you are limited with what you can actually carry.

Here is one of my favourite recipes to make ahead of time to take with us.

This will keep everyone satisfied for longer because it contain loads of protein from things like eggs and nuts, as well as a good dose of healthy fats to stave off hunger. 

If you are heading out for the day, always ensure you have a good source of protein and fat. Boiled eggs, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate and biltong are other great ways to ensure a steady blood sugar level and sustained energy.

Banana and Coconut Bread (pictured above)

Ingredients

 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (you could also use olive oil or butter)
 4 eggs
 1 tsp vanilla
 3 ripe bananas mashed
 ½ cup dates, chopped
 1 cup brown rice flour (you could also use almond meal, spelt or buckwheat)
 1 tsp baking soda
 1 tsp cinnamon
 pinch salt
 1 cup desiccated coconut
 1 banana (cut in rounds)

Method
1. Heat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line a loaf tin.
2. In a large bowl whisk together melted and cooled coconut oil, eggs and vanilla.
3. Stir in the mashed banana and chopped dates.
4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then add the coconut and
combine well.
5. Pour into the lined loaf tin.
6. Place the banana which has been split lengthwise on top and sprinkle with pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
7. Bake at 180ºC for 45 mins.

For more healthy recipes check out my blog at www.rozmcintosh.com.

Happy Hiking!

Roz McIntosh

Health + Nutrition

0220972470

FB @rozmcintoshnutrition

IG @rozmcintosh_nutrition

A Christmas Giveaway!

Us antipodean folk get to start December (& therefore Christmas) around 12 hours before the rest of the world😉 so to celebrate that and the jolly season we are having our first ever facebook giveaway! To be magically whisked 🐱‍🏍🦄 off to our Facebook page click here 😊

Forest family nz

My ☀️ summer school holidays adventure wishlist 🏕🗒

In the spirit of 🎅 – “making a list and checking it twice”, I’ve decided this year, to make a wish list of some of the adventures I will to try and explore with the kids over the coming summer holidays. This is my way of having direction but with the spontaneity of not planning out dates – Carpe Diem (as someone mentioned to me yesterday).

Now, I feel that it is important to mention that I am not going to put any pressure on myself or the kids to tick them all off or even complete the whole walk, because the last thing we all need is more pressure in our lives. This is just a top 5 wish list to have visible to inspire me to get out when I can – cause lets face it, sometimes it feels like all the 🌌 stars have to align for a well laid plan to come to fruition, especially with the kiddies.

Adventure wish list

Here is a PDF version of the Adventure wish list with links to more track information.

I’m also heading to the Wairarapa and Taranaki Regions this summer – so if you’re from there or know of any great adventures around these ways, please scroll down and let me know 🙌, I’d love to check them out and share my stories 🤗.

✌️ Nutty 🥜

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