Monday, August 16, 2010

amour. oui! oui!

Well I've been a massive lazy bum lately - haven't updated at all!

I had a massive weekend, so thing kind of flew by. Friday night was a Scavenger Hunt which a bunch of us had planned for a few weeks. We had a list of crazy tasks and about 30 people
competing to win. Things got embarrassing and I'm sure we scared off a lot of strangers with our
bad pick up lines and weird comments....but at least we could blame the list for our excessive shots and jagerbombs. Moderation, moderation. :)

Sunday I took the dive and went and got my first tattoo. I barely slept Saturday night because I kept changing my mind about what I wanted. I mean this was permanent. I kept thinking, holy going to have this thing when im giving birth, when im at my kid's wedding, when im sixty and playing bingo....yeah, way to freak myself out.
So Sunday morning came and I was a mess. My mate's Nick, Sarah and her bf John came to laugh at my pain....i mean...offer their support.

Surprisingly it didn't hurt too much! When the guy started, I actually laughed because I had envisioned it to be a lot worse. Parts were more painful than others, but I was just happy there was no bawling my eyes out or screaming like I had seen in 'My first tattoo' videos on YouTube. Yeah...if you want a tattoo, don't watch that shit.

So here it is :

Still a bit red and sore!!

amour = french for love or love affair. Ooh la la!

I love it. It has multiple meanings for me - reminds me of my trip to Europe and specifically Paris last year, my love of french (even though I failed majorly at learning it - one day, I swear!!) and also to remind me to love myself and my life. :)

Now for my next challenge....maybe ski-diving or something else completely crazy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

let the training begin...

Another day off work - I love my Tuesdays and Wednesdays so much! Feeling a lot less stressed today as well, as I knocked off another assignment last night. So today I can be a bit more laid back with study :)

Got up pretty early and whipped up some oatmeal made with water and topped with banana, cinnamon and a little bit of honey.

After breakfast it was time to get into training. Last night I made a split decision and signed up for a fun run...well three fun runs to be exact. I've always wanted to do one, but never considered myself a runner or fit enough to do one. It was actually one of my new years resolutions and since we just went into August, I figured I better get my butt into gear.

Spring Into Shape (Melbourne Series) is a three part fun run, with race days in September, October and November. I liked the look of this series as because there are runs in each month, it gives me time to continue training and attempt to beat my time each race.

So with determination, I set out this morning for my first training run.

What a Fail.

I forgot that I hadn't ran properly in ages, and tried to attempt a 5K hill run. When I was in training for Nepal, I used to do this run easily, but that was nearly a year ago and in recent months I've been doing more aerobic workouts such as gym classes and workout dvds.

Running is a whole different sort of workout and places a lot of impact on leg muscles, knees and ankles. So no wonder after no running for a while, my body was complaining. Ah dear.

I was able to keep it up for about 20 mins but then started to get shin pain, so decided to powerwalk and run in intervals. I have 31 days until the first race, so hopefully I can get my body used to running again quickly!

Home time, quick shower, vanilla protein shake and online lecture time.

Lunch was a falafel salad with sweet chilli sauce (salads included mixed lettuce, red onion, carrot, cucumber and avocado).

I really like this falafel brand. It comes dry - but you mix it with water and then cook them on the stove with a little olive oil spray. And look at the ingredient list - nothing weird or with a massive unpronounceable name featuring = win. It's always a good sign when an ingredient list is as basic and natural as possible.

Mandarin for a snack while I cleaned the house and continued the study.

Hopefully I have a netball game tonight! Weather's looking good for once. The last three weeks we have had a washout, so we haven't even played one game this season. I can't wait to get back into it again - and hopefully this time we might win some games! :P

food creations

Ahh chill out and blog updating time! Today has been pretty productive - which is awesome. I find it so easy to fall into a trap of wasting my days off sometimes.

Mid-morning after spending a while finishing off an assignment, I decided to have a iced chai tea - with my stevia samples which arrived in the post.

I'm a bit wary of artificial sweetners - but this product claims to be natural, so I requested a free sample so I could see for myself. I mixed up a sachet, with some chai tea mix, ice and soy milk. Was pretty yummy - but not too sweet, like some sweetners can be. I'm undecided!

Lunch was a fresh, healthy salad of mixed lettuce leaves, cucumber, red capsicum topped with salmon, mushroom and eggplant in a balsamic vinegar glaze. (Can you tell I'm an eggplant addict yet? Can't get enough :) )

After this, I had to walk up to the tram stop and catch a tram into uni so I could submit an assignment. Usually I enjoy the walk up - but it was pouring down rain and I couldn't locate an umbrella anywhere in my house.

Cue - awkward running in rain on major roads. Luckily I had my hood up to hide my face!

Got to uni looking like a drowned rat and then luckily located a free computer and got the
assignment in with heaps of time to spare! It feels so good to hand assignments in and say goodbye to more and more as the semester goes on.

Depressingly the count at the moment looks something like 1 down, 6 to go.

After more awkward and slippery running in the rain home, I was starving.

Grabbed a wholemeal pita with some nut butter and some sesame seed snaps. I know the snaps are complete sugar, but I needed a little sweetness!

Dinner was creation time - I'd picked up this sauce at the shops and was thinking it was time for a veggie packed pasta dish!


Monday, August 9, 2010

TGIT - Thank God It's Tuesday!

Being a uni student, I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off work to attend my lectures and tut's - but lucky for me, this semester I have hardly any contact hours, so my days off are used to relax, do some study and get myself organised. I love them :)

Breakfast this morning I was craving eggs and avocado.


Poached egg, on wholemeal bread with avocado slices. And a little mandarin.

I'm also trying to fix my cripling coffee addiction - so I got stuck into the herbal tea this morning.

Yum. It seriously smells like a pie baking. Don't think it can really substitute though :P

And my other bad habit.....tomato sauce on eggs. Seriously need to break this one - but it's been a normal thing in our family since we we're kids! One of my friends from Germany used to think this was so weird - until I forced them to try it! Converted.

Okay I'm off to study and maybe do some exercise. Working on the longest and most boring topic ever, I'll be glad when this week is over :)

What's New?

The first of my daily segments! With "What's New?" I aim to blog about the newest things in the world of health, nutrition and exercise. I want to try new products, new fitness crazes and basically immerse myself and get some discussion going about the latest innovations!
Today's topic is not exactly new - but something that is definitely gaining popularity again - EXERCISE DVD's.

I have a shady past with fitness dvd's. When I was younger, my mum owned this eighties aerobic walking workout VHS tape. It was the tackiest workout tape known to man. The host was donned out in legwarmers, fluro lycra and I swear her hair took up the whole frame. The music was synthesized, the moves were named things like 'booga-loo". Basically it was a whole lot of tragic. And I'm humilated to admit that I used to dust this tape off when I was younger and prace around the living room.
oh yes. i'm serious.

So you can imagine my reluctance to try workout DVD's again, after pushing those cringe-worthy memories way way back into my mind.

But recently I decided to try Beach Body's Insanity after hearing a lot of info about it on the net and seeing it road tested on some other fitness blogs.
Oh. My. God.

What a workout. Five minutes in I was begging the instructor, Shaun T to please, please show me some mercy.

Gone are the days where workout DVD's are dismissed as a 'fake' workout. This dvd is one of the best workouts I have had in a long time, the sessions are a good length (35 - 40 mins) and Shaun T is motivating (and good looking, to boot! ;P )

The workouts are based on interval training - so you workout hard for around 3 mins and then have a 30 second water break. It is tough. The moves range from jogging on the spot to the heart warmingly named 'Suicide Drills'.

And let's face it, being winter here in Melbourne - I would rather face some smirks from my family members as I sweat it out in the living room than losing limbs from frostbite by running outside.

So workout tapes - get on it!

Here are some that I've tried or heard about through the web...

- Jeanette Jenkins Series "The Hollywood Trainer" (great dvd's - especially the abs one. I hurt for a good way!)
- Insanity
- TurboFire (a new Beachbody one which I must try!!)


What a crazy day. I'm so happy to be home and able to chill out! It all started at 6am with a bowl of cinnamon and honey oats with some sliced banana while I surfed the blogs.

Work was so hectic today - my workmate was away so I had to do her daily work as well as my own. Was a stresshead for the whole day. Eats included a skinny soy latte, a mandarin and a salmon and salad wholemeal pita.

The stress subsided when I came home to a yummy and healthy dinner of Barbeque Soy Chicken, Eggplant and Mushroom Stirfry on a bed of Mashed Sweet Potato. :)

Now it time for a chill out and then maybe a date with my workout dvd. Oh and a ton of study - so many assignments creeping up!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

attitudes towards health.

I was just trawling through the blogs and read this post over at Fit Sugar

"Dear Fit,
I've been best friends with someone for over a decade, and within this past year, she's gotten on a major health kick. We're talking meeting with a personal trainer, exercising at least five times a week, buying only organic foods, and not eating a drop of junk. She won't even drink alcohol, not even a glass of wine. I'm really proud of her for being so healthy, but honestly, it's driving me crazy. I feel really insecure around her, not only because she looks so amazingly toned and thin, but because I like to indulge a little every once in a while. I feel like I can't order greasy French fries or enjoy a decadent dessert if we go out to dinner. She won't stay out past 9 pm because she needs to get up early and work out. It sounds stupid, but I feel like her healthy lifestyle is putting distance between us. It's just not fun to hang out with someone who is so darn strict. I don't want to lose her completely as a friend, so what can I do to make me feel less annoyed and less self-conscious?"

This is interesting to me. A few years back I began a healthy lifestyle and pledged to eat better and work out more - a decision that lead me onto studying nutrition at university and considering a career in the health field. I found it interesting how different family and friends reacted to my new choices. Nights out where I used to eat greasy takeaway at 2am were no longer an option and when my friends wanted takeaway, I would refuse and be told that I was 'so good' for not giving in. I would arrange catch up with friends around workouts and often organize my own food for family get-together's so I knew I would be eating a healthy and nutritious meal.

I never considered the other side of things. Though I'm not as strict as the friend mentioned in Fit Sugar's post (by far!), I do know that I've had a few rolled eyes and light jokes made by family about my attitudes towards nutrition and healthy living. But it definitely sounds like the woman above is being very strict and towards the more extreme end of the healthy lifestyle scale. We all should know by now that moderation is definitely key to a long lasting healthy lifestyle ;)

Life without chocolate every now and then? Hell, no.

Though I think that having a healthy friend or family member can be a positive thing and often have an overwhelming impact on your own life. My dad is also extremely healthy and for years has competed in triathlons and marathons. I know that over the last few years my family has gone from smoking, drinking and take-away junkies - to the point where we all now eat extremely healthily and exercise regularly. It's become second nature and it makes me so happy that we are all on the right path and happier for it.

So that's just some food for thought...I just find it interesting how positively or negatively people can react when healthy lifestyles become a topic of conversation.