Beautiful blue skies greeted our walkers today. The few steep sections along this walk got the heart rate going, but there was plenty of interesting geology to keep us occupied, like looking at old seafloor sand that has been hardened and turned on its side. A few stops were required to calm the heart rate as we ascended from the valley floor; however once we reached the plateau the wind was strong enough to blow away any last cobwebs. After some lookouts and distracted navigation, we descended a rocky trail back to the valley floor for a familiar TSA homemade lunch of soups and bread, with a cake to wash it down. Here is short video of the walk.
I just want to share a short story with you that made me feel proud, inspired and makes me want to continue doing the things I love. At the end of June Take Shape Adventures took three inexperienced hikers on their first overnight walk through the beautiful forests of central Victoria. With the steep day one and reports of possible snow they were all a little nervous, however they all hiked up the mountain, set up their own campsite, visited the drop toilets, ate from a campfire, slept in tents, braved the cold morning and walked back down the mountain again. Pretty much once they started, they never looked back, and I’m sure they are all smiling from the memories now. But the actual story I want to tell is that on the way down one person looked at their fitbit and announced very proudly that she had done over 25,000 steps “this is the highest number of steps I’ve ever done”. She was amazed, it wasn’t because a trainer had made her, or because she needed to do ‘a thousand squats’, she had done it because she could and that made all the difference to her sense of accomplishment. We all know being in nature is good for you and makes you feel awesome and happy and all the while getting fit. So as I congratulated her and walked down, I thought a new motto could be getting fit in nature beats 1000 squats any day…. Don’t get me wrong I love the gym, I own one. However we can all benefit from getting fit in nature, and its proven that you are happier, smarter and healthier because of it. So remember to get book in some time to get your activity outdoors this weekend.
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 (200g each) lamb forequarter chops, trimmed
2 large brown onions, cut into thin wedges
2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
2 (720g) swede, peeled & chopped
850g butternut pumpkin, peeled & chopped
1/3 cup gluten-free cornflour
2 gluten-free beef stock cubes
2 tablespoons gluten-free worcestershire sauce
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
- Step 1
Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook chops in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until browned. Transfer to a roasting pan.
- Step 2
Add onion to frying pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add carrot, swede and pumpkin. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in cornflour. Add stock cubes, worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaves and 3 cups cold water. Bring to the boil. Spoon mixture over chops. Cover tightly with foil.
- Step 3
Bake for 3 hours or until chops are tender. Remove from oven. Increase temperature to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Using a fork, mash pumpkin (so it thickens the gravy). Stir in peas. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Discard bay leaves. Serve.