BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Life & Love magazine. Volume 1, issue 1

Independent Media Inspiring Minds
We aim to inform, entertain, teach, encourage, educate and support
the community at large by facilitating communication between
all Australians. By providing the opportunity for all opinions to be
shared on a single website.
Welcome Note .................................................................................... 5
About the Editor ................................................................................ 6
To Sixteen with Love ........................................................................ 7
The F**k It List .................................................................................. 10
So Many Frogs, So Few Princes ................................................. 11
Single and Ready to Mingle ........................................................ 14
Is Baking the New S&M? ............................................................... 17
A Sweet, Sweet Life ....................................................................... 20
Caloric Boredom ........................................................................... 23
Remember Rosemary .................................................................... 24
Katie Woolway
Joanne Whittaker
Amy Conley
Shenel Erkan
Lexie Pryor
Connie Lambeth
Tania Rann
Suzanne Apps
Cover Image
Hannah Lambeth
Amy Dorrington
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Welcome Note
hello lovers!
Welcome to the rst issue of TATs LIFE & LOVE mag!
After several gruelling months of meetings, a few
bouts of writers block and a truck load of coee
(okay, and wine!), I am thrilled to launch our fancy-
fresh, newfangled online magazine that will cover all
things life and love.
To start, a brief history… Kelly (our lovely Chief of
Sta) decided after reading one of my blogs that
I was failing at life and love so brilliantly that I was
the perfect candidate to kick o a mag about those
very topics. And the rest is history, really. We are now
very much alive and kicking and I can’t wait for you
to discover the many magical bits and pieces inside
our rst edition from our bunch of incredibly talent-
ed folk. So what is the mag all about? Reections on
life, love and everything in between. Real life experi-
ences: rants, advice, epiphanies. Mistakes made, les-
sons learnt. This issue, you’ll nd an ode to a humble
herb and a yummo recipe. Confessions of an online-
dating victim. A caloric rant from a soy latte-drink-
ing vegetarian. One womans account of her journey
to becoming sugar-free. A brutally honest lesson in
guring out the importance of what you don’t want.
Plus much more.
Thank you to our outstanding team of writers and
crafty creative types for your contributions in this rst
Want in? We are always looking for new contributors,
and would love to hear your feedback. If youd like
more info or just want to say hello, please ick me an
email at: amy.dorrington@theaustraliatimes.com.au
Peace & Love,
- Amy xx
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1421655
Photographer: Max Wachendörfer
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Independent Media Inspiring Minds
the editor:
Amy Dorrington is an ex-Queenslander, currently residing in sunny
Melbourne and making a living working for a technology company.
When shes not blatantly attempting to dazzle people with her charm,
wit and incredible modesty, Amy enjoys interpretive dancing, eating
to the point of food-baby and pretending to care about AFL (because
her grandad told her if she doesnt like AFL she doesn’t have a soul).
Amy has a degree in Media & Sociology, a tendency to overuse the
word magical’ and has just started a blog called Winning at Failing.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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to SixteeN
with Love
by Katie Woolway
Dear 16-
So we meet again.
I am sure you remember me because I am you.
It is because of this familiarity and sameness that I
feel obligated to share with you what I wish I could
have enlightened you with a decade ago.
I have a great view from up here on my mid-twenties
high horse and it is my right to rub it in.
Over the last 10 years since we went our separate
ways, I have acquired wisdom that far exceeds your
angsty, perturbed facade of knowing-it-all and I’m
here to candidly assure you that the world is not end-
ing; being a target for gossip will only make you a
better person and yes, your boobs will come in and
the “surfboard” references will cease.
Now for 500 of the most helpful words you will ever
Firstly, being self-pitiful is a waste of time and furrow-
ing will give you wrinkles (just ask the soft crease in
my forehead). Learning to laugh at yourself is by far
the most cathartic experience one can; do it often
and always invite others to join you in your humor-
ous reverie. Cracking up loves company.
Do not ever categorise heartbreak as a waste of time
because it teaches you humility in the most profound
sense of the word. Until you have experienced the in-
describable pang of a broken heart, love is remark-
ably trivial and disposable. After suering from the
sickening stomach ache caused by comfort eating a
tub of Ben & Jerrys combined with the sodium over-
dose from the tears pooling in the corners of your
mouth between bites, you will learn to handle the
emotions of others with much more gentility.
Be sure to forgive quickly, love deeply, speak hon-
estly and be slow to judge. If you look hard enough,
you will more than likely nd redeemable qualities in
pretty much everyone. Sometimes the most beauti-
ful relationships are the ones you have to be the most
patient with and, in the end, they will be the ones
that last the longest.
Never invest your sense of self in what other peoples
pettiness, shallowness or penchant for salacious
gossip says. Being slandered by empty hearsay and
words tainted with jealousy should only reassure you
that you are above them.
Listen to your mother; she is right 99 percent of the
time. However, if you decide not to listen to her, don’t
forget that she will always be there to pick up the
pieces if life shatters into chaos. Let her help x it. It
will make you whole again a lot quicker. This still ap-
plies even when you are 26 and a grown woman. You
never need to go through the darkest nights alone.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown cripple your ability
to take risks. You will be presented with a myriad of
choices; some that will inevitably dene you in the
deepest of ways. The right decisions might not be
found along the smoothest of roads but follow those
paths anyways; they will make you stronger in the
You need to be aware that there will be people who
do not like or understand the choices you make.
These people do not matter. Seek your own counsel
and surround yourself with those who support your
craziest dreams; who won’t say “I told you so if they
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/680169
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turn into nightmares.
If you have not realised it already, your impulsive-
ness and ability to embrace love and life with reck-
less abandon will be what spares you from becom-
ing bitter and cynical, no matter how much you want
to. However, you need to accept that not everything
lasts, but that any love you let into your heart will
change you. Every heartfelt experience gives you
greater insight into what you want AND, perhaps
more importantly, what you will never want in a part-
ner. Be grateful for that.
Promise me that you will never forget who you are.
Stay true to yourself and do not ever concede your
beliefs, integrity or opinions for the sake of being ac-
cepted. There will always be people who disagree
with you but it is possible to learn how to compro-
mise in the face of dierence without sacricing your
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. You are going
to make plenty of mistakes but embrace the lessons
that come from them; they will be essential as you
continue to grow. Do not wallow in your shortcom-
ings; use that energy to nd ways to accentuate all
your strengths and talents. You will discover that you
have much more to oer than you ever thought pos-
Finally, I am here to tell you that it will all be ok. Ev-
erything will always be ok. Find comfort in the knowl-
edge that you will eventually come out the other side
in one piece. The only constant is change and if you
are not continually changing, you are not living.
So here is to the next chapter and the journeys ahead
of you. Be well, smile often and know that your life is
good; so good.
I’ll be seeing you, 16…
With love,
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
The F**k It List
by Joanne Whittaker
Well here I am, a now published blogger!
Me, I am a 40 something mother,
business owner and casual student. I
have recently moved to Melbourne and
am really loving life here.
The decision to pack up and move myself
and my then -16year-old daughter was
not one that was taken lightly, but I
think it was the beginning of the ‘F@#* It
List. I often hear people talking about a
‘Bucket List’ then recently I came across
– on Facebook of course – a mention
of a ‘F@#* It List (although it didn’t use
symbols!). I loved it. We seem to be
a society hell-bent on planning and
saving everything for retirement. Well,
my life has shown me that you don’t
always get there. Yes, you need to plan
ahead but not at the cost of living in the
People are so full of excuses about why
they can’t do this and they cant do that.
But they are living a life that they are
always wishing was dierent, constantly
saying to themselves and anyone who
will listen, “if only I didn’t have to do this
or “if only I could do that” or the worst
one: you are so lucky you get to To
them, I say: if you want to do it, nd a
way to do it, otherwise shut up and
accept that you are not going to do it!
Stop complaining about your current
situation and get on with things the way
they are.
Number 1 on the list for my daughter and
I was to travel to New York. Christmas
is a dicult holiday for us as it is a big
reminder about who is not with us so
we tend to try to get away. Last year was
New York City, a dream come true. The
year before was Singapore and this year,
well who knows? Perhaps its time to
add something new to the ‘F@#* it List.
Til next time….
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1345452
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
So Many
So Few
by Amy Conley
Over the coming editions of this magazine, I will be
sharing with you some of my misadventures in the
world of relationships. I recently voyaged out of a
deeply dysfunctional relationship and into enforced
single-status before meeting someone special. The
story doesn’t end there, mind you. My ability to turn
everyday relationship events into hugely awkward
(and sometimes funny) moments is astounding, and
I’d like to share details of some of my ner moments
with you.
I guess in order to do that; I have to give you a his-
tory lesson. Trust me; it will help you understand my
crazy levels moving forward. By history, I mean my
most recent ex. I’m not sure my high school romanc-
es that lasted for three or so days left any denitive
psychological scarring so I am happy to gloss right
over them and move on to the big nasty.
I met him working at my local discount retail chain
when I was in my late teens; it was the stu 1980s
teen movies are made of. I was going through my re-
bellious phase and he was artistic. Needless to say, I
went after him with headstrong determination and
he didn’t stand a chance. Let me say this, though; the
things you nd attractive at fteen - when you are
disillusioned by your teenage angst - get old pretty
We stayed together for over ve years but really
shouldn’t have. His refusal stick with a job at 21
seemed less like sexy anti-authoritarianism and more
like laziness. His utter dependency on me to organise
his life and nances at this later age, lead me to feel
like I had prematurely become mother and caregiver
to an overgrown, belligerent ve year old. This boy
could not take responsibility for his own life and own
decisions; it was always someone else’s fault. In es-
sence, I grew up and wanted to get stu done and
he wanted it all done for him. Because we were so
young when we met, we knew no dierent. So we
stayed together and tortured each other through un-
happiness and mediocrity. He lied, we drifted apart
and it got to the point where we eventually became
so separate and dysfunctional that we nally felt safe
to end it.
That, my friends, was the journey that lead me to dis-
covering single life for the rst time as an adult. I can-
not stress how much I did not know what I was doing.
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1429257
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Most of the time, I felt like one of those little girls run-
ning around in her mother’s shoes trying not to fall
over. How did I feel the rest of the time? Well I mostly
spent that time getting drunk and convincing myself
that I was doing great. I learnt a lot, though. I learnt
how to be alone, and actually like it. I looked after
myself and never really regretted making the split.
But dating. Oh my god. Why did nobody tell me it
was so horrible? I don’t know if it was just because I
was clearly a little emotionally unhinged at the time
or if the crazy to normal ratio was slightly unbalanced
in my city, but I met lots of really awful guys. There
was the guy that licked my face in a bar. The guy that
would insist, despite my continual rejection of him
that hed get me in the end. The guy that, one day
after my breakup, decided to message me with so...
youre single now xoxo (yuck). Oh... and the guy who
would irt outrageously with me and take me to ex-
travagant dinners - until I found out about his girl-
Needless to say, by the time my best friend’s birth-
day celebrations rolled around months and months
later, I was ready to start breeding cats and take up
knitting. I was just tired. It had been such an emo-
tionally draining year that I was legitimately at the
point where I was happy to focus on something -
anything - other than relationships. And, of course,
that’s when I met someone. Sitting at a table, in a bar
while my friend had a ball celebrating her 23rd birth-
day, I played with my phone, until I looked up at the
table opposite me. I saw a tall, thin gure, awkwardly
propped on a stool, glancing around the room; he
looked out of place but not nervous or uncomfort-
able. He was somehow anachronistic in the swarm
of guys in deep v t-shirts and gelled hair. He glanced
around the room, swirling the ice in his glass. He
looked as though he was expecting to see someone
he knew. I remember thinking how calm and singular
he seemed sitting there. He was looking my way and
I laughed to myself that I had been busted checking
him out...but then he got up and started walking to-
wards me.
“Hi. Is it ok if I sit down and have a chat?” he said stand-
ing beside me. No face-licking. No attempts to grope
me, or dance with me without my consent. Yeah, of
course, I responded, assuming an air of casual con-
tentment, to mask the genuine surprise I was feeling.
“I thought it would be, he smiled as he replied, not
with arrogance, but with an air of self-assuredness
that was foreign to me.
The man I met that night is now a year later, my part-
ner, and a very rare specimen. I had to go through
quite a lot of dating and relationship drama to get
to this point. But, the moral of the story? You really
have to know what you don’t want in a relationship,
to discover what you do.
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little wine bar close to home, conversation owed
easily, he was attractive and there was denitely
chemistry between us. Sounds pretty perfect right?
Hmmm, wait for it.
We had our second date the following week. I’d had a
massive day at work and didn’t nish up until about
7.30pm, so John oered to cook me dinner and that
way I could just relax and unwind. What a nice guy.
So considerate! When I arrived at his place, I was still
a bit on edge. I started to notice that John had certain
mannerisms that were quite irritating. In fact, some
of them reminded me of my ex-boyfriend and let’s
face it, that’s never a good thing. Also, I started to be-
come aware of the fact that he was a bit of a wanker.
Constantly taking about all the great wine he buys
for his wine collection… that he keeps under his sink;
and what about the fact that he only eats organic?
But after a couple of glasses of red, I could look past
these minor aws. After all, this guy did seem like a
bit of a catch. And he was a doctor. Sure, maybe he
by Shenel Erkan (online dating victim)
I have been single now for just over a year, had my
fair share of ups and downs in that time but things
are going pretty well overall. I think I can safely say
that I’ve now settled into singledom in a fairly com-
fortable way.
Over the course of the year, I have spent quite a bit
of time on my own and there have been a few occa-
sions when I have shared the company of the oppo-
site sex. Some of these said occasions have been fun
and some have been downright disastrous. Let me
tell you about one such disastrous dating experience.
So I have dabbled in the world of online dating. I’m
not a heavy user, but I have chatted to a few guys and
been on a few dates. One particular guy I met online,
lets call him John, had been chatting to me for a few
weeks and was keen to go out. I wasn’t that fussed,
but I was enjoying the attention. After a few weeks of
texting each other and getting to know one another
a little better, we made plans to meet. He seemed like
a nice guy; smart, funny, successful; a doctor in psy-
chiatry (… alarm bells???). Our rst date was pretty
good. We had a couple of glasses of wine at this great
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
wasn’t the sort of guy I’d usually go for, but where
had that gotten me so far?
We shared a lovely meal together and talked about
anything and everything. I will admit, it started feel-
ing a bit coupley’, which I didn’t entirely hate. The
evening progressed and things got more ‘intimate.
Let’s just say he made some advances and I didnt
rebu them. I know, I know, it was only the second
date! Thats not the sort of behaviour becoming of a
lady! I didn’t necessarily think that this was heading in
the direction of relationshipville, but that being said,
I wasn’t ruling it out. Maybe this guy, someone that I
wouldnt ordinarily see myself with, was just what I
needed in my life.
The next week we went on our third date. Unfortu-
nately, Id had another challenging day at work and I
wasn’t in a great frame of mind. I had also started to
have some doubts about whether I should even be-
ing going on another date with this guy. There were
those irritating mannerisms, the fact he reminded me
of my ex and hed also been sending me a number of
unsavoury text messages throughout the week. I be-
lieve the kids on the street refer to it as sexting. But I
wanted to go on a date. I didn’t really care who it was
with. I like dates and I love good food and wine. So I
went. And the food and wine were very good. But the
company was not. This guy managed to crank up the
wanker status another few notches. I even think the
wait sta noticed it, but fortunately for them, they
didn’t have to sit there and live through it like I did;
lucky bastards.
We nished our meal and headed back to the car. I
had driven as I didn’t want to have a big night and I
also wanted an exit strategy. As we were making a bit
of small talk, I made a point of mentioning that I was
tired and I just wanted to get an early night. In dat-
ing code, that usually means “youre not getting any
tonight” (God, I hope my Mum isn’t reading this…).
He seemed a little disappointed, but didn’t push it.
On the way home we stopped at a red light and he
lent in for a cheeky pash. But when he ventured in for
the full boob-grope, I shut him down. He wasn’t very
happy about this and tried the whole, “but theres no
one around” line. Nice one buddy. Hands o the cans!
I pulled up outside his place and the obligatory
goodnight kiss ensued. It was a little longer and more
drawn out than I could really be bothered with, but I
just kept thinking, when its over I can nally go home
to bed. Yup, I know exactly what you’re thinking. This
lucky lady cannot wait for the fourth date! But when
the kiss was over, instead of getting to go home, I had
to deal with something I hadn’t quite bargained for.
This guy started questioning me as to why I wouldn’t
sleep with him! For some reason, when I told him
no, he just couldn’t accept that I wouldn’t sleep with
him. Can you believe the utter cheek of it? He actu-
ally said to me he couldnt understand it! All I could
do at this point was sit back and stare at him. It was
at this moment that I began to think that he must
not be a very good psychiatrist. I was leaning as far
away from him as possible, eyebrows raised, with an
expression somewhere between shock, disdain and
disgust plastered all over my face. A few exasperated
sighs smattered throughout his ridiculous monolog.
But this guy just kept going on and on and on. And
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1424613
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on. Without boring you to death with all the details,
the general gist was that he felt hard done by that he
had to take me out on dates and still he wasn’t get-
ting anything.
So I was sitting there, just staring at him and not say-
ing a word. I just let him ramble on and on, digging
himself into a deeper hole of ‘you’re-so-never-get-
funny-anymore as he went. The silence from me was
golden. It was like he felt compelled to ll it with his
stupid reasoning about why I should have sex with
him and his exasperation over why I wouldn’t. Like
a spoilt brat that doesnt want anyone else to touch
his toys. So after a few solid minutes of him spewing
forth his word vomit (sorry, I know thats a very vivid
description, but I feel it’s necessary to really convey
what I was dealing with here. I need to share the pain
with you and I thank you for that), I called this wanker
on his BS. I’d heard enough. I was still in a bit of shock
that he seemed to think he could get me to give in to
him if he threw a tantrum, like he could argue his way
into sex (because that’s so appealing to a woman!).
But nally I’d found my voice again. And I had some-
thing to say.
John, I dont want to have sex with you tonight (nor
any other night, I was thinking, but I kept this to my
internal monologue) and therefore I will not be hav-
ing sex with you tonight. And on top of that, I feel
like youre making a judgement on me and how I
choose to live my life. To be completely frank with
you, even if you are judging me, I couldn’t care less. I
don’t know you. I don’t care what you think of me, it
doesn’t bother me in the slightest. What does bother
me is that youre actually sitting here trying to argue
your way into this. Like if you throw your little adult
tantrum, (I think I might have actually done the quo-
tation marks gesture at him too) I might give in and
have sex with you. But it’s completely up to me who
I choose to sleep with and I’m cool with saying no.
There was a certain amount of indignation in his
voice as he defended himself and I think he went on
a bit more, but I was done trying to get him to see
how ridiculous he was being. So I let him keep going
until he ran out of steam. That took approximately 20
minutes. A period of time I will never get back. But,
in hindsight, I did get a rather entertaining disaster-
dating tale… and for that, I can be very grateful.
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At the age of 27, I have started baking. I have never
once before taken the slightest interest in anything
that has come out of the oven in a warm, buttery,
sugary state. I was the kind of girl to order another
glass of pinot rather than endure a dessert after
dinner. I was the kind of girl who would always choose
rst over third course at the express lunch. When
people went for chocolate, I went for cheese. When
friends drowned their sorrows in a tub of ice cream, I
went for the burger. Girlfriends marvelled at the fact
that I could keep a pack of Tim-Tams in my kitchen
cupboard for months, occasionally choosing to dunk
one in my tea every few weeks. I was the girl who
would always volunteer to bring drinks or nibbles to
the party. And when I say nibbles, I’m talking things
you can remove from packets and arrange prettily on
a plate. When it came to dinner, I didn’t bother with
recipes, I threw things together – salads, bolognaise,
curries – splashes, pinches, handfuls, bowlfuls. I didnt
own measuring cups. I made dinners with some
degree of success, I wasnt bad in the kitchen, but I
liked to improvise, experiment, do what I could with
whatever was in the fridge. My job was done once
the main meal was on the table.
I had nada interest in neither consuming nor creating
the sweet stu. Until now.
It happened maybe a few months ago. I am writing
about it now because I have only just accepted that
this is not just a passing phase, some odd craving –
and no, I’m not pregnant. Yes, I’ve checked. So with
those possibilities eliminated, I had to face the fact
that I had grown a sweet tooth. And not just that, but
this almost primal desire to bake. I suddenly felt this
great urge to join the ranks of those women (because,
well, they usually are) who gleefully attend the work
bake sale with plastic containers, lined with baking
paper, lled with tiers of sweet home-made goods.
So I went out single-mindedly, a woman on a mission,
and purchased cake tins, mun tins, baking paper,
our, sugar, scales, and a sifter! I trawled the internet
for recipes, eagerly reading blogs and newspaper
articles about baking. I now even owned a rolling pin.
WTF. What was happening to me?
It was a slow start but I was quickly baking more
than once a week. Husband-to-be (HTB) was thrilled
with this revelation (or revolution, I’m not sure?) in
the kitchen. He has been an avid consumer of baked
goods for years but until now has had to nd his hit
elsewhere. I lled the apartment with a heady aroma
of banana, cinnamon and melting butter, clouds of
icing sugar and sometimes burning. Well I was still
learning! I radiated when a neighbour popped over
and commented on the sweet smell emanating from
the kitchen.
“Oh, just baked a batch of muns, take some home
with you... I said, like it was nothing, like I do this all the
iS baking
the NeW
by Lexie Pryor
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/984375
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Independent Media Inspiring Minds
time. Inside, my heart was pounding. I had become
one of those women. The women who casually bring
along a platter of delights to a lunch that they’ve ‘just
whipped up. I smiled to myself and hoped to god,
they were edible as I handed over a cling-wrapped
plate, overowing with carrot and ginger muns.
I enjoyed doing the groceries now, pondering in the
baking aisle, picking up bits and pieces – each trip
would see a small addition to my growing collection,
a packet of almond meal here, a bag of pecans there.
A cake spatula. A friand tray. Each time I ventured
anywhere near a supermarket, I would nd myself in
the baking section. My pantry was literally groaning
under the weight of my baking wares. I was obsessed.
I would get home and peruse my growing collection
of bookmarked recipes, marking out the ingredients
required and the steps I had to perform in order to
deliver that sweet result. Even after a long day at
work, when I would have usually slid onto the couch
after dinner, glass of red in hand, eyes glazed over, I
was baking. It was like I had special reserves of energy
just for baking. I even baked my way through the
season nale of Ospring! HTB didn’t seem to mind
that there may have been half a cup of salty tears in
his banana blueberry loaf.
It was like I was in another world completely when I
was baking. Just following the steps, doing what the
recipe said, nothing else. Sometimes, hours would
disappear and I would emerge from the kitchen
feeling oaty, relaxed, like I had been a tight coil of
wire that had unwound. In order to get that result,
I had to submit to the recipe. Utter and complete
And that was it. I nally understood. Baking provided
me with a place that I could go and just submit.
No making decisions. Just following steps. I nally
understood that need to just be dominated - whether
it be by a dominatrix in black leather complete with
whip or a recipe for a raspberry friand. I recalled
an episode of Secret Diary of a Call Girl where a
successful businessman only relaxed when he was
being dominated and it all fell into place.
We are faced with so many choices each day.
Beginning when we wake up, hell even before then –
what time do I set my alarm – will I really make it to the
gym at 6.30am or should I just catch up on sleep and
get up at 8am? What to wear? Roll’d or Earl Canteen
for lunch? And they’re the trivial ones... The big
decisions to be made are oating around in the back
of my mind constantly – Am I in the right job? Should
I be looking around to see what’s out there? Do I see
my family enough? Where and when and how to get
married – I get asked this almost every day and I still
don’t have an answer. There are so many questions
going through my head each and every day.
When I bake, all the decisions have been made for
me. Baking is my S&M.
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Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
by Connie Lambeth
Sugar…that powerfully addictive little white sub-
stance we see certain celebrity chefs smooching over
with uncontrollable fridge lust, in the night shadows
of their much-envied kitchens. With the knowledge
that sugar raises serotonin levels and makes us hap-
pier for a brief time, we often seek a quick sugar hit
in times of stress and work overload, or simply enjoy
the pure pleasure of a sweet treat either on our own
or in the company of others. Studies have shown that
sugar aects natural chemicals in the brain and has
the potential to become addictive, however perhaps
like alcohol, once out of your system it is possible
to live without. Nevertheless, it may be virtually im-
possible to function happily in the absence of some
form of sweet indulgence, as demonstrated by mans
cravings for sweetness over the centuries. Even as far
back as the 14th century, the Aztecs were creating
chocolate drinks from cacao.
For the past six years a major health issue motivated
me to pursue a sugar free diet, a journey which often
had me salivating as I watched holiday makers slurp-
ing divine Italian gelatos in the summery bliss of our
sub-tropical coastal village. Home Sweet Home was
also far from the sugar free haven required for this
uphill challenge, with family and guests alike sneak-
ing around with delectable pieces of silky smooth
Swiss chocolate at various times of the day or night.
There was certainly no reprieve when out to dinner
either, as I forlornly observed diners scong down
exquisite looking desserts daintily presented on ex-
otic plates screaming delightfully of sugary bliss.
While out with family and friends, this feeling of loss
was magnied and I soon discovered a further reason
to mourn. Apart from the cravings which went on for
weeks, I felt socially bereft as I sat alongside drooling
lips conferring over the dessert menu, promptly fol-
lowed by smug mouths in devouring mode. I shrunk
into miserable oblivion each time a Francois swept in
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Credit: Connie Lambeth
with his raspberry studded chocolate torte swooning
in swirls of crème anglaise, or upon a Giorgios sleek
entry with velvety portions of sensational tiramisu
left to swirl around the mouths of grateful diners.
All this while twiddling my thumbs and trying not to
look desperate and sugarless!
When I nally got over myself, I pondered on the pos-
sibility of healthy sweet alternatives. It was relatively
easy to play around with recipes and replace sugar
with other sweet options such as honey, blackstrap
molasses, barley malt, stevia, agave syrup, malitol and
xylitol (though I wouldn’t suggest making a sponge
using molasses!). These days, living in this magni-
cent city of the south, I have noticed the number
and variety of sugar free treats slowly evolving and
growing according to customer demand. As aware-
ness of the link between the foods we eat and certain
diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart problems
grows, so does the number of health related books
and articles on this topic. Recipe books published
in recent years include a few completely devoid of
sugar, such as I Quit Sugar: 108 Sugar-Free Recipes
Book by Sarah Wilson. Her latest book specialises in
With dessert alternatives sorted, I was still left to pon-
der the dilemma of missing out on the heavenly de-
lights of chocolate…how delectable is it to consume
a couple of innocent squares of this sweet treat with
a hot beverage…unmatched some would say. Some
years ago, there were very few sugar free chocolate
alternatives available to the consumer. Nevertheless,
I vowed to carry on my search, as was resolute in my
quest to collect a supply of tantalising treats of the
healthy variety. After all, we are talking about some-
one who rmly believed that:
Coee makes it possible to get out of bed. Choco-
late makes it worthwhile
(Author Unknown)
I still needed a sweet x just as much as the next per-
It all turned out not to be the ‘mission impossible I
had expected. One year later, I have stockpiled an ad-
mirable cache of healthy chocolate type treats and
guard them like a punter clutching a winning lotto
ticket! In my regular treks around city and suburbs in
every direction, I am pleased to report that there are
now quite a few retailers stocking sugar free treats,
including chocolate, cacao and carob. It appears their
popularity is increasing, with people seeking health-
ier alternatives. On a parallel, perhaps unsurprisingly,
I have also observed that the quality of chocolate
containing sugar is far superior to the sugar laden,
throat gulping commercial brand chocolate many of
us grew up on. Fortunately too, the variety and num-
ber of both local and imported products are now far
more extensive and gaining momentum. Thank you
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Independent Media Inspiring Minds
ne food suppliers and supermarketeers
across the nation for responding to the
changing demands of the consumer!
I’d give up chocolate, but I’m no quitter!
(Author Unknown)
Better go and check on my secret stash
that everyone seems to know about…
ahhh…life is sweet…
-----Raw Cacao/also known as Raw Choco-
late is produced from the seeds of the ca-
cao tree. After fermentation and roasting
process, the shell is removed to produce
cacao nibs, which are then ground to co-
coa mass, the pure form of chocolate. The
Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobrama
cacao, means “food of the gods and was
popular with the ancient civilisations of
the Americas. The Smithsonian maga-
zine informs us that, “by the 17th cen-
tury, chocolate was a fashionable drink
throughout Europe, believed to have nu-
tritious, medicinal and even aphrodisiac
properties. Its rumoured that Casanova
was especially fond of the stu.
Chocolate in the form most of us know is
the processed, sweetened and avoured
product of raw chocolate.
Carob is produced from the Carob tree
where the seedpod is crushed and used
as a substitute for chocolate. The Austra-
lian National University states “Evidence
of the use of carob products by humans
date back to ancient Greece and Egypt
where the plant was used as a source of
Suppliers of Sugar Free Chocolates and
• Haighs Chocolates
Belgian chocolate with stevia as sweet-
• Ganache Chocolate
Ganache chocolate with malitol as the
• IGA Supermarkets
Francois Pralus Le 100% chocolate with
no sweetener… absolutely wonderful!!
Great Earth Super Discount Health
Delicious blocks of plain and nut variety
carob bars are available at the Elizabeth
St. Melbourne store
Thomas Dux
Did have a ‘kick butt’ 100% pure Columbi-
an cacao with absolutely no sweetener
bliss if you have true grit…must be ac-
companied with a hot beverage to get it
down your throat! Havent seen it around
for a while…hope they read this…love it!
Health Shops in CBD and suburbs usually
have at least one sugar free chocolate. I
checked out shops in in the city and sev-
eral suburbs and most sold Pana Organic
Chocolate sweetened with agave nectar.
***Many more sugar free chocolates can
be found online, including www.pana-
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by Tania Rann
Be who you need to be, but honey, don’t bore us with
the details!
If you choose to go out for dinner with me and we
agree on a venue in advance, I expect you to check
out the menu. Your food choices, allergies or mor-
alistic values are your business, not mine, so for
goodness sake, dont bore me with the details! Just
because you nd it so fascinating and interesting to
constantly talk about food – what you like, what you
don’t, what you can eat, what you cant, what youre
allowed’ to eat and what youre not, what you should
eat and what you shouldn’t, what you already con-
sumed today, so why you shouldn’t tonight – I mean
seriously, do you really think anyone is interested in
your messed up relationship with food? Like um, NO!
Honey, we all have our very own love/hate relation-
ship with food, so heres another wake up call, youre
NOT special! I don’t care about your food hang ups,
cos I have them too. I don’t care about your weight,
cos I’ve got my own to worry about, and I don’t care
why you have them, cos it’s your life, so you can
choose to eat or not to eat, but please don’t bore me
with the details! Oh and for the record, Im a soy latte
vegetarian, but you only know that about me if you
buy me a coee or cook me dinner! Unless of course
you’ve just read my rst blog
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1097199
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Independent Media Inspiring Minds
by Suzanne Apps
Herbal Medicine has an unbroken pedigree dating
as far back as 1500 BC in ancient Egypt, Greece and
The basket of vegetables and herbs carried home
from the ancient markets by the cook of the house-
hold would be for medicinal and culinary use, with
little or no division between the two.
Understanding the link between food and medicine
is something I reect on as I embark on my nal year
of study in Western Herbal Medicine.
Culinary herbs can play an important role in contrib-
uting to your general wellbeing. Just add knowledge,
condence and experience.
Let me lead you down the herbal garden path with a
simple experiment. Pick a generous handful of Rose-
mary, crush it and inhale. What do you notice? I nd
the aromatic experience sends energy upwards, to
my head I feel refreshed, clearer and a bit happier for
the experience. Information from the Grete Herball
of 1526 tell us that Rosemary is “for weyknesse of ye
brayne. Yep, that just about says it all.
A little Rosemary oil gently rubbed onto your tem-
ples will reduce a headache due to overstrain. After
a long day in front of the computer and a thumping
head, dont reach for the paracetamol, reach for the
Rosemary oil.
Future brides might revive a lost tradition by decorat-
ing Rosemary branches with silk ribbon and present-
ing them to wedding guests as a symbol of love and
loyalty. The branches may also help to revive those
guests who have drunk one toast too many!
Incorporating Rosemary into your wellbeing diet is
as easy as making a delicious pasta sauce.
Remembrance Pasta Sauce
4 tablespoons of good olive oil
1 medium sized red onion, nely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
A generous stalk or two of rosemary
(remove leaves from the branches and chop very
1 stalk of nely chopped celery
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
Grated carrot and zucchini to taste
Gently heat olive oil in a pan, add onion and garlic
and fry until translucent. Add nely chopped Rose-
mary and continue to cook over low heat. Add cel-
ery, carrot, zucchini, tomatoes and tomato paste.
Pour half a cup of water or so into the pan, add salt
and pepper to taste and allow the mixture to simmer
to a thick sauce (about 20 minutes). Add more water
if mixture becomes too dry. Serve on top of wheat or
gluten free pasta.
Have fun incorporating Rosemary into your life. If
you dont grow it, knock on a neighbours door and
ask if you can cut a few sprigs from their bush. An-
cient rumour has it that Rosemary grows well in the
garden of households where women rule.
Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1141069
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