I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved over the past year. I’m the strongest version of my self & I love that! Despite being in kidney failure & on dialysis I’ve managed to improve my fitness, my strength & my emotion wellbeing. 🙏🏻💪🏼⁣

But over the last few weeks I’ve felt like I’ve reached a bit of a plateau with my weight loss journey. I’m not seeing much movement on the scales or with the tape measure. I’ve found the motivation to “track” food has decreased as it was a bit all too consuming. So instead I’ve been focusing on consuming nourishing foods with protein, leafy greens & healthy fats. I’ve also enjoyed foods which are less nourishing but incredibly satisfying! It’s all about balance. ⁣

In saying all of that I still have five additional kilos I would like to lose… And I know it’s not all about the kilos; but still I would like to lose them!! I also know that apparently the last five kilos is the hardest to lose. ⁣

So I’ve been thinking a lot about losing the last five kilos” & I think one of the reasons it’s the hardest is because of self sabotage! Because so often we don’t let ourselves be happy… But the thing is I am happy at the weight I am now. Heck I was happy at the weight I was when I was ten kilos heavier… Ultimately it’s not about the weight on the scales it’s about moving & feeling fabulous. I do however want to get to a certain weight so I can officially be a healthy BMI (even though I know BMI is bullshit)! So many contradictions 🙈🙈🙈 ⁣

Anyway I guess my point of this ramble is that I’m going to continue on my path the wellness. Taking the great privilege of life day by day! Being gentle with myself & allowing kindness to always be a the forefront of everything I do. Kindness to others & kindness to self! I used to exercise as a form of punishment to get skinny. Now exercise brings me happy-dancing-levels-of-joy & I do it to get strong! ⁣

What’s your relationship with exercise like? Emmy Xx P.S photo from my shoot with @zarc_clothing Thank you to Jac @jlsmakeup for the makeup & Rach @rachcreates for the photo! Xx #emmyisgettingfit

Potato, Leek, Cauliflower & Spinach Soup

I am a massive soup lover. Soup is like winter’s version of a smoothie. It’s warming, mostly healthy and is basically like a giant hug from your Granny. Can you tell? I really LOVE soup.

Over the years, I’ve shared a few soup recipes, Simple Soup (aka Potato & Leek), Healing Chicken Soup, & A Simple Split Pea Soup; all which I still cook today.  Back in 2013 when I shared my first soup recipe, I described myself has having ‘a laissez-faire approach to my soup making’. Not much as changed in five years.  To be perfectly honestly my style of cooking hasn’t changed one bit over the years.. my food photography however… well would I like to think that has improved 😉

I absolutely adore Potato & Leek soup, but I have been experimenting with ways to reduce the amount of potatoes in this soup and instead adding some cauliflower/spinach. There is nothing wrong with the humble potato; but increasing the variety of vegetables within the soup just gives me the extra nutrients I need. Also a little side note, potatoes are very high in potassium, something I need to limit as I approach dialysis, so I am attempting to make the potato switch out, before dialysis starts to eliminate my carb withdrawals.

Now I have made this soup many a times in the thermomix; which does the chopping for me; but if I am being honest (shhhh don’t tell my hubby); I do still love to spend time chopping vegetables. It is kind of like my happy place. Chopping leeks always takes me back to my days living in Paris where I spent a lot of my time cooking.  Alors… here I present to you my take on Potato, Cauliflower & Leek Soup with some added baby spinach cause we can all add some more greens to our day.

What you need

2 Leeks, 1/2 Small or a 1/4 Giant Cauliflower, 4 small potatoes (you could easily use 2 large ones, I only had smallish potatoes), Butter, 1-1.5L Chicken Stock, Salt, Pepper, Herb of choice (I used coriander) and Baby Spinach.

What to do

Chop all the veggies and make sure you give the leeks a good wash; they often have bits of dirt hiding in them. Add leeks and a good knob of butter (or whatever cooking oil you like to use) to your pot and gentle cook until they are soft and translucent. Next add in your potatoes, cauliflower, herbs and chicken stock (you can also use veggie stock); and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 45mins – 1 hour. Remembering to give the soup a little stir every now and then. Add in baby spinach before serving.

Leave chunky for a hearty style or blitz in the blender/thermomix/bar mix for a silky smooth soup. I prefer a smoother soup; the blended cauliflower and potato makes it extra creamy and delicious. You can whiz the baby spinach up with all the soup or mix in extra just before serving. I topped my soup with pepper & kimchi to give a little chilli kick and drizzled over a  bit of olive oil. You could also add some goat cheese or parmesan on top or a squeeze of a fresh lemon.

If you are a visual learner… here is the visual version. #YoureWelcome

Made with love. Enjoy Xx

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Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

I asked & 98% of you all said you wanted to see more food posts… So here is yesterday’s cheats chicken noodle soup. ⁣⁣

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It’s super simple & really you can use any ingredients you have in your fridge. (If vegetarian you could add in some chickpeas or lentils instead & use vegetable stock).⁣⁣

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You will need one large pot. ⁣⁣⁣

500grams of organic chicken ⁣⁣

Garlic ⁣⁣

Ginger ⁣⁣

Turmeric ⁣⁣

Water or Stock ⁣⁣

Bone broth powder or stock powder ⁣⁣

Vegetables ⁣⁣

Pasta ⁣

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Start by adding in some fresh chopped garlic & ginger (the more the better) to the pot & sauté with some olive oil. Next Sprinkle in a generous dash of turmeric powder & cool spice for a minute or so. ⁣⁣⁣

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Now it’s time to add in the vegetables. I only had carrots; but zucchini, onion, celery, broccoli & cabbage al work well. Sauté until there is a bit of colour on the veggies & then add in 500g chicken. (You can use breast or thigh whatever you have; I prefer thigh as it is more tender but yesterday I only had breast). ⁣⁣⁣

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Brown the meat on all sides & then fill the pot with water, a dash of apple cider vinegar & a squeeze of fresh lemon. Add in your chicken bone broth powder (or stock concentrate or homemade stock). I often make my own stock, however I love having this @nutra bone broth on hand for an easy meal. Add in any fresh herbs, I used parsley for this batch; but if your a coriander lover it works great too! ⁣⁣⁣

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Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (longer if using chicken thigh). Add in the pasta ( I love using risoni) & frozen peas & bring back to the boil for about ten minute until the pasta is cooked. ⁣You can also add in some canned chickpeas at this stage too for some extra protein. ⁣⁣

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Then you have it… One very easy, nourishing & healing soup for cold winter days & sick husbands. ✨ Emmy Xx

ABOUT

Thanks for stopping by. I’m Emmy; storyteller, photographer, food maker, veggie grower and digital content creator. I’m passionate about capturing the BEAUTY amongst the CHAOS. REAL, IMPERFECT, RAW & HONEST photographs which can be passed down for generations to come. I adore EMPOWERING women to EXIST in authentic photographs which capture their unique & beautiful selves.

I’m a thirty-something-mother-of-two, slowing down & searching for simplicity. I feel my most creative & happy self when I am behind the camera. Recently I had a kidney transplant & I’m getting stronger everyday. When I’m not photographing, I love working out at F45, training for triathlons, cooking veggies from my garden & drinking coffee. After countless selfies with my own children, I realised when I looked through all our family photos that what was missing was photos of me with my children. Not posed smiling photos, not selfies, but the real moments, the little interactions between.  These sessions have been created so you can cherish all those little in-between moments with your family. Real moments, real families, real memories. In additional to family photography for the past six years I’ve created digital content & copy which has been featured on  Mamamia, Mums of Brisbane, Brisbane Threads, Work.Life.Mama & Black Sheep Coffee. I’ve specialised in social media content on my Instagram @the.oneills for various Australian & International brands including: Rebel Sport, Heinz, OfficeWorks, Woolworths, Mainland Cheese, Moose Toys, BIG W, Twinings, Flybuys, Rescue Remedy, Comvita, TOM Organic, Praise, Rescue Remedy, Cove Cleaning, Sapling Child, Twinings Australia, Une Piece, Weleda, Olay, Tip Top, Disney Junior, Sheridan, Bayer Health, La Clinica, Activia Australia, Ugly Christmas Rashie, Spencil, CrockPot & Finish Dishwashing. I’m passionate about creating authentic content which is specific to your brand. Looking forward to working with you soon! Emmy Xx

𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯’𝘵 𝘣𝘪𝘨 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩⁣.⁣


Raby Bay Enticer Triathlon complete. ⁣🏊‍♀️🚲 🏃‍♀️ So proud that I actually did it.⁣ 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼#DialysisAthelete⁣⁣
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200 swim / 5km bike / 2km run. ⁣Took me 33:55 to complete it… Which was nearly ten minutes faster than my goal time of 40 – 46 minutes! Not bad given it took me many attempts to actually get on my bike 🤣🤣🤣 (Hubby caught it all on camera so you too can laugh at me)! ⁣🙈🤪😅⁣
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Thank you for all the love & support; especially to my hubby & children who woke up at 5am on a Sunday to cheer me on.⁣⁣
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Kidney failure & dialysis do not define me. I refuse to sit around & be “sick”. And I refuse to wait around for the hospital to call with a kidney transplant. I only have one life & I am determined to live my best life every single day! ⁣⁣
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So what is next? Caloundra Triathlon in 8 weeks. Will I be brave & do the sprint distance? Might have to see how my training goes over the next couple of months. All of this working towards my main goals for 2020; the Bryon Bay Sprint Triathlon & the Gold Coast Half Marathon! Emmy Xx

Popped my Triathlon cherry today! ⁣

Completing a triathlon has been a bucket list item for me… So proud that I actually did it.⁣ 💪🏼 🏊‍♀️ 🚲 🏃‍♀️ ⁣300m swim / 8km bike / 3km run. ⁣Took me 1:00:51 to complete it… Not bad with my 5% kidney function 💪🏼 (Offical time). ⁣⁣

Thank you to everyone for all the love & support; especially to my hubby & children who cheered me on the entire race! I’m not letting kidney failure define me. I’m not letting dialysis define me. And I’m not letting waiting for a kidney transplant get in the way of me achieving my goals. ⁣⁣
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Next enticer tri is on in two weeks at Raby Bay (It’s a slightly shorter distance than today but I think it’s an open water swim 🙈). It’s fair to say I’ve caught the tri bug… (Is that a thing?) ⁣⁣
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Bring it on! 🏊‍♀️ 🚲 🏃‍♀️ ⁣⁣
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Emmy Xx

Bridge to Brisbane

What an epic Sunday! Not only did I finish the @bridge2brisbane(running the entire way); I smashed it with a new PB!! ⁣

10km in 66mins 17 secs. 🤘🏻💪🏼

Honestly if you had told me I would be running 10km in 2019 I would never had believed you. Given last July I couldn’t even walk up my front stairs without stopping halfway to rest! Having kidney failure & starting dialysis last year has taught me so much about privilege, about gratitude & about strength. ⁣Moving my body is a privilege & something I am thankful for everyday. ⁣
I would say I’ve always been a “fighter” right from the moment I entered this world way back in 1985… But somewhere along the way I lost track of my inner warrior spirit & I sort of just floated through life. But I’m back! And I couldn’t be happier. ⁣

Set a goal today. Anything. Big. Small. But don’t wait for tomorrow to start it. Go for a walk. Run for one minute. It’s doesn’t matter what your goal is; just do it! ⁣

Special mention to my my amazing hubby for his constant support. And my two children; my inspiration for running today! And to my darling friend Nay Nay who ran the whole way with me just to show support. What a legend! ⁣

If I can run 10km with only 5% kidney function (whilst receiving dialysis treatments) imagine what you can do?

Completing the 10km run was incredibly symbolic for me. A reminder to myself that I am more than kidney failure, I am more than dialysis & I am more than a mum. I am strong. I am capable. It serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come, how strong I’ve gotten & how I can overcome challenging circumstances. ⁣

I’ve stopped “waiting” for life & I’ve stopped “waiting” for a kidney transplant. Each day is an opportunity to grow, show myself kindness & self love. Don’t forget to show yourself kindness. It’s such a game changer 🙏🏻 Emmy Xx ⁣

One Year

Officially one year as a dialysis patient. #ToughAF⁣⁣

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I certainly didn’t look this glam in my hospital blues a year ago when I stepped off the machine after that very first session… But I also couldn’t walk up the front stairs without stopping halfway & nearly collapsing with exhaustion… So life is certainly on the improve! ⁣🙏🏻⁣

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I’m so incredibly grateful for this past year & dialysis. Obviously I would prefer not to have to rely on a machine to keep my blood clean & toxin free; but it sure beats the alternative. I guess I’m grateful because being in kidney failure has taught me more about myself than I could have imagined. It has taught me that I am strong & determined & that I can achieve anything. ⁣⁣

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Today to celebrate being a kick ass kidney failure warrior, I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone & did a photo shoot (as a model💁🏼‍♀️) for @zarc_clothing’s new active wear range. I even did a HANDSTAND!! I don’t think I’ve done one of those since 2007… But I believed I could do it & I did it. ⁣It was so incredible to be with so many empowering & inspiring creative women. ⁣⁣I’ve talked the talk of being brave & positive for the past year… And so today I walked the the walk. ⁣

I know in the scheme of things one year waiting for a kidney isn’t long; the reality is many people wait much longer but I am really ready now. Mentally, physically & emotionally. I’m ready!! And while I wait for that call; I’m going to enjoy not needing to take immunosuppressive drugs multiple times a day. I’m going to eat all the foods which I won’t be able to eat post transplant & I’m going to enjoy getting stronger & working out everyday! There is always a positive. Sometimes you just have to shift your perspective. I’m going to have a big glass of kombucha tonight to celebrate one year as a #dialysiswarrior. I’m ready to embrace everything, scars & all. ✨ Emmy