September 30, 2015

Quiet Moments

Quiet Moments - Taking some time for me! Anna Johnston -

So y’all might have noticed things have been a bit slow round my neck of the woods lately. Not being one to air the dirty laundry, I decided to lay low and nurse my bad attitude back to health. But crikey has it been tough going!!!  Months and months filled with struggles (how much this showed, I do not know). Often feeling like a one legged duck (going round & round & round & round), emotionally exhausted, struggling with writer’s block and a lack of inspiration, devoid of free time, and wowza… the guilts over not being able to balance blogging with my career. Siiiiiiigh! 

Happiness Quotes - 'Im on the pursuit of happiness' -

After a gruelling conversation with my doctor, I have been advised that nothing but a massively strict diet that excludes gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol & caffeine would be required to give my body the hearty detox it requires. After just a couple of weeks on this healthy eating regime, along with facing a few daunting health challenges, I can happily report some very positive changes are beginning to show up.  The headaches have disappeared, and my mind is clearer, I actually woke up at dawn on the weekend and voluntarily took my dog for a walk.  Those that know and love me are still in shock! #winning 

Happiness Quotes - 'Happiness is a journey not a destination' -

Soooooo…. while I take some quiet moments, work through and implement my new daily healthful habits, I have reached out to a bunch of my blog buddies from all around the world who have very kindly agreed to guest post on shenANNAgans and help a sista out. 

Happiness Quotes - 'Happiness is an inside job' -

Thank you for staying here, for your comments, emails, and for your endless support. You guys are the ones who keep me coming back. Whether you realised it or not, this year I needed to feel your support the most. Thank you, thank you so much. Giant BIG sparkly, squishy hugs headed your way!

I’d love to know, do you have any amazing gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine & booze free recipes? If yes, please do share your thoughts/links in the comments below. 

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Jasline (Foodie Baker) - October 17, 2015 Reply

Hope you are feeling all better Anna! Wow I don’t think I’ll be able to give up gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine & booze all at one go… you are really brave and determined to do this! Take lots of care and rest well!

    Anna - October 19, 2015 Reply

    I am sweet Jasline! 🙂 Much (MUCH) better, really amazing what the diet change has done for my system. It was tough at first, but a week in, I was finding myself really enjoying creating foods that my body enjoyed. It made everything taste better too. Thanks for your support and kind words, I really appreciate it. Wishing you a super week. 🙂

An Insiders Tour of the Hong Kong Wet Markets - October 7, 2015 Reply

[…] at the wet market and am making delicious Paleo Indian Spiced Okra to help keep Anna on her new Clean eating diet. Quick and easy and depending on how fast a chopper you are, you can get this dish from wok to […]

Jem @ Lost in Utensils - October 4, 2015 Reply

I’m glad you are feeling better Anna…remember, ‘nothing is permanent.’ It has been a very challenging year for most and we only get the challenges we need and are strong enough to handle. Easy said of course 🙂

    Anna - October 4, 2015 Reply

    Thanks heaps Jem, many big sighs of relief that I am finally feeling better. 🙂
    YES, I hear you, this situation (or tough situations in general) are not a for ever thing, I can see that now as I am coming out the other end.
    Thanks for stopping in lovely lady. 🙂

Hotly Spiced - October 3, 2015 Reply

Hi Anna, lovely to hear from you again and I did wonder what you were up to. So sorry to hear you’ve been having challenges. The new diet does sound like it cuts out a lot of fun but I know people who have had a lot of benefits from cutting out the things your doctor has suggested. My mother is GF and DF (under advice of her doctor) and so I have quite a few GF and DF recipes on my blog. When she comes for dinner I usually cook Thai cuisine as there’s not a lot of gluten or dairy in that diet. Good luck with it and I look forward to hearing how it goes xx

    Anna - October 4, 2015 Reply

    So great to hear from you, Charlie. Thank you so much for your lovely and thoughtful comment. The diet is pretty restrictive, but the upside is I have really been enjoying being back in the kitchen and creating amazing food. I plan to tackle the sweets at some point this weekend. And I have been inundated with delicious recipes too. 🙂
    I’ll head over to your blog for some stella recipes for sure. Thank you. Oh, and heck yes to Thai food, I love Thai food. Will get on working Thai into the mix too.

Ala - October 3, 2015 Reply

Girl, you are one tough chick and need to know that we’re all cheering you on right here! I loved reading this little checkin post and I’m sending positive vibrations your way right now. Go get ’em with that budding (and awesome) positive attitude, girl! xo

    Anna - October 3, 2015 Reply

    WOW… thank you Ala, that really is just so sweet and lovely of you to say. What’d I’d do to give you a big squishy hug and thank you in person for your kind and positive vibes. 🙂 I’m on it…. I am really on the hunt for that positive mind & body. Love and hugs to you my friend. xox

hassan - October 2, 2015 Reply

Oh my God, I wish I couldn’t see this words, Anna shouldnt be ill. But Im happy lasts words. Be strong Anna and sooooon get healthy, healthy.We need your energy dear Anna.

    Anna - October 3, 2015 Reply

    Oh Hassan, thank you so very much for your very thoughtful and kind comment. I totally agree, I shouldn’t be ill, fingers crossed this diet change and time to get better will do the trick. I’ll be back healthier than ever in no time. Wishing you a lovely weekend, be well my friend. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Eileen - October 2, 2015 Reply

Lots of big squishy coming your way! I have been struggling with work/life balance lately too and could probably do with a detox! I hope you find the joy in each day. Sending you love and strength. Xx

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    Nawwwh… Thanks Eileen, that is so kind and lovely and very thoughtful of you to say. Thank you! I’m so touched. 🙂 The detox is really doing some good things for my mind & body, didnt think it would have the impact it has, sooooo, if you can manage it, I would recommend it. 🙂 If you wanna hang out some time and bake vegan cakes, drink fruit smoothies and catch up, let a sista know.
    Again, I really appreciate the love and strength very much too. xoxo

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - October 1, 2015 Reply

Oh Anna I hope you are ok! I didn’t realise that you were having a tough time. A big HUG from me and I hope you get better soon xxx

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    I’m doing better & better every day, but I very much appreciate your well wishes, and thank you for that big HUG too. Xxx

Sriprae - October 1, 2015 Reply

Hello Girlfriend!

So very glad that you are taking care of yourself and are on the road to health & happiness. As many people have already commented, you are a strong woman and you’ll come out of this like a SUPERSTAR. 🙂 Your well-being is the most important thing, so take your time, chica. Big hugs, lots of love, and plenty of good vibes for you, dear friend!

Cheering you on,


    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    Hey Girl!

    I really am so blessed to have such beautiful folk in my world like you. Thanks for cheering me on from across the pond. I’m really feeling the love, hugs and happy vibes too. I appreciate it, and I appreciate you. Thank you! Xxx

Mabel Kwong - October 1, 2015 Reply

I was really wondering where you have been and so sorry to hear that my big sis has been feeling sookie and unwell 🙁 What a terrible time it must have been to no know exactly what was wrong with you. But so glad to hear that this healthy diet is making you feel much better 🙂 Your food posts on Instagram look very, very good.

It is amazing what we put into our bodies actually has a great impact on how we feel. Over the last few months, I’ve cut down on fast food considerably and eating way more veggies, and along with leaving a job that was making me miserable, I have so much more energy now. I can even wake up at 6am in the morning without an alarm clock.

Looking forward to reading the guests posts. I am sure they will be brilliant reads, full of heart and soul like your posts. Squishy hugs your way 🙂

    Anna - October 4, 2015 Reply

    How lucky am I to have such incredible, wonderful and beautiful people in my life like you. Thank you for caring little one, feeling blessed. Glad you enjoy my food posts, I’ll have to make you a feed one of these days soon. 🙂 Also, your city pics with inspirational quotes are fabulous, they always seem to be just what I need to hear.

    That is so good you are taking care of yourself , eating right seems to be having a HUGE impact on my overall well being. Will look at the job next if everything doesn’t settle down. BUT… I am most pleased everything is settling in your world. Happy big sister. 🙂

    I can’t wait to share my guest posts, I have cake recipes and tours of Asian markets too. Take care, lots of love and hugs coming at you. xoxo

Mandy - October 1, 2015 Reply

My daring Anna, you are such a strong lady, all this too shall pass and you will be a stronger version of your already wonderful self. Things are always sent to try us, not quite sure why but I do know that you will do it all with love and a smile.
Have a happy day hon. Love to you from SA.
🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

    Anna - October 4, 2015 Reply

    Thanks sooooooooo much Miss Mandy, your love and support is very much appreciated. *mwah
    I know all this will pass, and that I will come out of it a better version of me, which is exciting. Just taking it one day at time until then. 🙂 I love that you are in my world. Big loves and hugs across the pond to you. xoxo

Gary Lum (@Yummy_Lummy) - October 1, 2015 Reply

Sorry to hear about your woes Anna, but it’s great you’re on the mend. Take care. Hang in there.

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    So touched you stopped by Gary, really appreciate your kind words and well wishes. 🙂

Maeve - October 1, 2015 Reply

Sorry to hear you’ve not been so great, but glad that you’re on the mend! It’s amazing what taking a little time off/ change in routine can do! I’ve also found that the weather warming up has perked me up a lot too in the past couple of weeks 🙂

Much love,

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    Miss Maeve, wow… thank you, thank you so much for stopping by. So chuffed by your message. 🙂

    It is amazing what taking time and changing a routine does for the mind, body and soul, the small changes really have had a big impact on my day to day, which is fabulous. Know what you mean about the warmer weather and sunshiny days, they totally perk me up too.

    I hope you are well sweet lady, all the love and hugs headed back at you. xox

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - October 1, 2015 Reply

I hope that you can find a happy balance of everything Anna 🙂

    Anna - October 1, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Tandy, I sure am headed in the right direction with that happy work/life balance now. Thanks for your kind comment, hope all is well in your neck of the woods, Im headed over this eve to catch up on all your shenanigans. 🙂

Jess - October 1, 2015 Reply

Fantastic to hear that you are making a come back my gorgeous chickadee. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    Anna - October 1, 2015 Reply

    Thanks chicka, I REALLY – really – REALLY am grateful that you are in my life, thanks for loving me through the good, bad and ohhhhhh so ugly. I appreciate you and your friendship so much. Big squishy hugs. Sushi dinner date soon aight. xoxo

Kris - October 1, 2015 Reply

Good to see you back! And that you are feeling like your old self, or perhaps a new and improved you.
As you know, I like to knock out sugar, gluten and grog where and when I can. There are times that it is nice to enjoy life’s gifts to the taste buds though. 🙂

Recipes.. I love gluten free banana bread, made with Almond meal and coconut flour and sweetened with rice malt syrup.
Day to day I eat organic local produce and you dont need to eat as much as there is more mineral and vitamins in it. Big on the salads, I eat them all year round, always with seasonal ingredients. Haha…. I’ve got heaps of recipes.

Again, hope this new journey you have set for yourself, brings you all the happiness.

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    Thanks home slice, it is good to see signs of the old me again, even better that the mind and body are every day feeling more and more healthy. I am hoping to eventually follow suit, and remain on this diet for always, and only treat myself for very special occasions – Christmas/Birthday/Easter. 🙂

    I am going to try your gluten free banana bread this weekend, I miss the nanni bread I used to get from Farmers Daughter on the weekends, so it’ll be good to replace with a healthier version. We have always eaten organic, and yes to salads all year round. Soooooo good! I’ll be sure to get all those delicious recipes off you over the coming weeks.

    Thanks for the love and support. You are awesome! Love you. xox

Elias - October 1, 2015 Reply

Thanks for sharing your story Anna. I could probably use a similar detox as well. Couldn’t hurt could it? 😉

I may even design a gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine & booze free version of the Multicultural Festival Bingo card for next year 🙂

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for stopping by and for caring, Elias. 🙂
    Yep, a good detox every now and then is good for us, although it probably doesnt need to be as hardcore.

    YES…. that would be wonderful if you created a gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine & booze free version for the Multicultural Festival Bingo, might be pretty difficult to complete, but hawt dang… I will give it a red hot go.

Hannah - October 1, 2015 Reply

What an amazing and strong woman you are!
Kudos for sharing!

get on the Raw Blueberry Cheesecake!

    Anna - October 1, 2015 Reply

    Nawwwwh….. Thanks friend. I LOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE YYOOOOOUUUUUU right back. 🙂

    Thanks for being a constant in my world, for your support and your positive vibes. Im so lucky to have such a great friend, even luckier that I get to spend every day hanging out with you too.

    Gonna try the raw mini chocolate cream cakes & the raw blueberry cheesecake and the nut bars loaded with honey. The office treats will be so darn healthy. 🙂

Ms Frugal Ears - October 1, 2015 Reply

Wow, that is one super healthy diet. Spring is a good time for a detox. I am sure you will be back to your bubbly, healthy self in no time.

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    It has been wonderful, Serina. And I agree, the sunshiny Spring days encourage healthy eating and living, which makes the whole special diet a bunch easier to manage too. Thanks for stopping by, and yes…. I am sure I will be back to good health in no time. 🙂

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - October 1, 2015 Reply

Oh, beautiful lady – so sorry to hear about you struggles. The important thing is to take care of yourself first and we will all still be here when you come back. I was just thinking yesterday that we hadn’t heard from you for awhile and was hoping you were OK – thanks for sharing and letting us know xxx

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    Thank you so much Rachel, not just for your very kind and caring comment, but for the inspiration to cook up some A-MAZING feeds with my newly found limited dietary restrictions. I added some olives and zucchini to your slow-cooked Leek & Fennel dish, holy moly… I could eat that every day of the week. 🙂
    I am so pleased y’all will stick around until I am back to good health, thank you, very touched by all the love and support. Hugs across the pond. xoxo

Alice - October 1, 2015 Reply

Hey lovely one, sometimes we all need time to reasses where we’re at & no one is worth that time more than yourself. Sounds like you’re on track to some important realizations & soon. I’m sending big hugs your way! 🙂

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    So. Darn. True! Thanks Alice, thank you so much! I have appreciated your kind words and emails over these months, it is so fabulous that we connected. I am making my way back to where I am meant to be, phewwww! 🙂 Big hugs & love to you too. xox

Liz (Good Things) - October 1, 2015 Reply

Amazing what a change in diet can do for one’s wellbeing, physical and mental, lovely one. Been there, done that… need to do it again, really. Hang in there. This storm will pass xxx

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    It really is huh?! Once I was through the initial boot in the brain, it has been lovely to feel some form of normalcy return. Thanks for your kind comments and lovely emails, truly blessed to have so many beautiful people in my life. xoxo

Krista - October 1, 2015 Reply

Biggest of hugs to you, dear friend. XOXO I sure understand all of what you wrote about today. It’s so hard and discouraging to go through these times. XOXO I’m thrilled that your new diet is helping so much, and I wish you thorough healing soon.

    Anna - October 2, 2015 Reply

    My sweet friend, thank you. Thank you so much! I appreciate the hugs VERY much! *Mwah *Mwah *Mwah It has been tough going, but the diet change really has had a positive impact on my mind and body, a great indication the healing process is well underway. Again, thank you for being in my world, I can’t wait to sit on your porch and have a cuppa together, lets make that a thing one day soon. Much love and big hugs to you. xoxo

The Hungry Mum - October 1, 2015 Reply

sorry to hear that things have been tough. Good on you for doing something about it and making some big changes – you’re v brave. I personally can’t help with any recipes – my blog is wall to wall sugar, wheat, booze… but I know you’ll be inundated with support. Good luck x

    Anna - October 1, 2015 Reply

    Thank you so much for your kind comment Hungry Mum. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement, I appreciate that very much.
    And you made me LOL re your blog, it’s been a little tough to adjust my diet, because like you…. I was all about the wheat, sugar, booze & caffeine. As I slowly catch up on all my fave blogs, I am seeing there are tonnes of ideas, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to maintain the healthy changes.
    Thanks again for stopping by. You are amazing. xox

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