Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just Do What You Want, As Long As It's Real.

Hello everybody!
Today's title is taken from a Lily Allen song 'Take What You Take'. I thought it was appropriate, because this is a post confessing
I'm not vegan anymore!

Am I happy about this? Not necessarily.
Have I gone out and stuffed myself full of cheese and milkshakes since? Nope. Although I have had some of both.

I figure, like the oh-so-wise Lily, just do what you want, as long as it's real. As long as it's what I want to do and I'm not eating something just because I feel pressured into it. I can still eat vegan if I want to, but I can eat non-vegan as well. I don't really want to eat meat, so I won't. But if the mood takes me, I might have some free range Tasmanian meats. We'll see where the mood takes me.

What I DO care about is my poor little I-think-I-can, I-think-I-can thyroid, who needs some help. I ate too many foods bad for the thyroid during my veganism (mainly soy and veggies from the brassica family) and it's taken it's toll.

I've been thinking about starting a food diary again. I find it really interesting/inspiring to write down everything I eat, and I like to look over it semi-objectively and see what looks healthy and what doesn't. I haven't done it for a while, in fact the last entry I seem to be able to find is from 29th of May 2011. Wanna see the entry?

Breakfast: Organic weetbix with chia seeds and rapadura sugar and a little bit of fat free organic milk. Milo
Lunch: A small serve of lasagne with a lot of green salad and a bowl of trifle
Dinner: Potato, spinach and pea curry.
Snacks: Some home made 'healthy' chocolate, 2 cups of tea (one black), 2 bird biscuits
Copy and pasted straight up. I'd rate that a B minus. Lasagne AND trifle? What a pig. Bonus points for dinner though. I'll just classify now that 'bird biscuits' are what I call bikkies like Arnotts Milk or Arrowroot, because they get fed to the birds as well!

If you haven't ever kept a food diary before, give it a try for a couple of weeks! You might be surprised what you see when it's all laid bare.

Take care amigos.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sports and Spontaneity

Is it bad I just had to check how to spell spontaneity? I had no idea. Moving on...

At 7.30, I decided to go for an easy walk/jog, around 3-4km. Josh surprised me by wanting to go with me, which was totally unexpected. We got up to the Signal Station, then found a bush track and decided to see where it came out. About 30 minutes of solid jogging later, we came out at the top of Sandy Bay. And unfortunately, what goes down must come up. That's how it goes, right? But we couldn't go back the way we came, because it was already pretty dark, and with no torch it'd be not so wise to go via the bush. So we had to go up THE stairs. The 256 gruelling, horrible stairs, in the pouring, dark rain. It was pretty special. Actually it was really refreshing, and such good exercise. If I do those stairs at least twice a week from now until the wedding I'm gonna end up with a butt like Pippa Middleton.

We got back a while ago and I took some sodium phosphate so I'm not so sore tomorrow, it helps remove the lactic acid. It's fantastic, I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to exercise seriously.

Moral: Go with the flow. It can lead to some pretty special moments.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Not a Good Long Weekend

Because we had a public holiday on Thursday, I did what probably 60% of Australians did this week, and took the Friday off (that's a really rough guesstimate, by the way). The weather's been beautiful, I had several things planned, but I didn't plan to be stricken down with gastro on the Friday evening, which has left me incapacitated for the rest of the weekend. To make matters worse, the fiance got it within a few hours of me getting it! So our household hasn't been a fun one.

Not that I wrote this post for sympathy, rather, I thought I'd turn it around and write a bit about how I would treat gastro, because mainly, we all just ride it out, not wanting to risk a car ride to a doctor when we know it won't last too long anyway.
Had I have had these in my cupboard, this is probably what I would have used on myself:

Slippery Elm Bark Powder - I've used this to pretty good effect at settling down a tummy bug, but the disadvantage is it doesn't taste fantastic, so it can be hard to get down.

Saccharomyces Boulardii - Available in capsule form, these contain a strain of yeast which is beneficial to restoring the 'good bacteria' in the gut, and helps effectively in treating stomach upsets.

There's loads of other treatments but those two would probably be what I'd pick.

As it was, I didn't really have anything in my cupboard that I thought I could use, and on the Saturday morning my mother-in-law gave us some Hydralyte, to replenish our fluids, but they tasted too sweet and fake that I couldn't finish mine. So I've just been drinking mass amounts of water and lying on the couch watching movies.

I'll be right as rain just in time to go back to work. Fantastic.

Take care (and don't get this bug that's going around!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm Alive, Honestly.

I'm back. Really I am. I'm sorry for not writing anything for over 4 months now... I don't really have an excuse. Life got in the way? Anyway, forgive me, and I aim to not disappoint any time soon.
So what's news? Here's some ideas I've picked up since we last talked:

1. EVERYONE in southern Tassie reads the Body and Soul section of the Mercury, or at least that's what it seems like when I get people coming in for anything and everything that is written in it (even when it's wrong, like 2 weeks ago they advertised a product that wasn't in production anymore). Although I do agree with most of it.

2. As above, a big fat I told you so re all the things I blogged about last year, like kefir - now everybody wants a piece of the tasty probiotic drink - and quinoa, selling like hot cakes, for real. The next big thing will be kombucha, I'd say.

3. Still loving the smoothies, but I'm making them with water now rather than any type of milk - less calories (and less tasty, but no biggie).

4. Ironically, America seems to be leading the 'health food craze' and Australia is seeming to follow their lead. More people are after hemp seed products which are widely used in America for it's fatty acids and protein, whilst Australian legislation still prohibits it to be sold as anything to be ingested by humans. Aussies are just tending to eat the hemp meal anyway, even if the packaging says 'not intended for human consumption in Australia'. I should point out here that there is no cannabis-related effects from hemp seed products either.

5. Outdoor exercising!! It's summer, it's perfect, it is time to go for a run, join a bootcamp, go on a hike, just get yourself outside instead of cramming into a window-less gym, you can save that for winter!

Just a shout out to get you geared up for the Natural Health and Wellbeing Expo on at the City Hall on February 19th - be there! I will be giving a seminar, it's a work in progress but hopefully I'll be able to entertain people for 30 minutes... I'm slightly scared but looking forward to it!

I'll talk soon, I promise.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gym Class Reviews

"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical exercise save it and preserve it." Plato.

Whether you're a gym junkie or not even a member of a gym, you can still enjoy a fitness class from time to time.
I understand that not everyone is into exercising with other people around, but really, no one is looking at you analysing every bead of sweat that may start falling down your nose.
I like classes because you normally end up doing exercises you normally wouldn't attempt, thus broadening your exercise horizons and moving outside the square a bit. I also think you push yourself harder in a class than just working out in the cardio and weights areas of a gym.

Body Pump
Effort rating: 9/10
Entails using bars with weights that you have chosen and doing repetition after repetition of mainly arm and leg work (lunges, squats, bicep curls etc). Free weights are also used. Pros: full body strength workout, muscle building, can choose weights. Cons: other participants can see how little you have on your bar, muscle soreness occurs the next day (usually).

Effort rating 7/10
Spin, to me, is the ol' faithful gym class. Not really varying, you're always on a bike, pedalling, just with varying degrees of resistance. Pros: You know what you're getting into, it's relatively easy with no tricky moves, people can't see how much resistance you actually have on your bike. Cons: Kind of boring.

Effort rating: 7/10
I have only done zumba a few times, so I'm no expert. It involves a vague interpretation of dancing and lots of hip movements. Pros: it's a bit of fun, good for all age groups, you're not likely to be sore the next day. Cons: I didn't feel like it was a great workout and there are some tricky moves.

Effort rating: 8.5/10
Circuit classes consist of doing a certain exercise (eg starjumps, sit ups, push ups) or using a certain piece of equipment (cross trainer, bike etc) for a set amount of time, usually not for very long, and then everyone moves onto the next station. Pros: you usually get a good full body workout from the really varying stations, you get a bit of a break between stations (although not a very big break). Cons: It's likely that a push up or 10 will be required of you...

Body Step
Effort rating: 6.5 / 10
I'm probably being a bit harsh on step with the effort rating, but I really didn't find it that challenging (although I climb the stairs a lot). It involves having a step board in front of you (which you can adjust the height of) and stepping up and down, mainly. There are a few other movements thrown in for good measure. Pros: works the butt muscles and the routines can be quite fun. Cons: Not too challenging.

Body Balance
I can't actually comment on this because I've been too scared to go to a body balance class, as I'm lacking in the balance department, but I will challenge myself to go one day!

Many more coming up though; CX30, pilates, boot camp, Bikram yoga... I've actually done more than I thought now that I'm writing it all down.


Monday, August 29, 2011

In The Spotlight : Chia Seeds

Why hello there!
I thought I'd try something different for this post and perhaps start a little something, a string of posts where I talk about products I love.
One of the things that I love is chia!! I pronounce it chee-ah, but I have heard them referred to as chai-ah. I think my pronunciation is right, but then again I always think I'm right.

So. Chia seeds are tiny little black or white seeds, only slightly larger than poppy seeds, which have become very popular in the last 6 months due to media coverage. Whilst we think of them as the new black, they were actually widely used by the Aztecs (who always seemed to be onto a good thing). A 500g packet will normally set you back a bit over $10.

Only in 2009 the European Union approved chia seeds as a 'novel food', which means a food that doesn't have a significant history of being consumed, or uses a production method previously unused.

Why I like chia seeds:
- They are so easy to use! Just sprinkle a good tablespoon or 2 onto your cereal or porridge and you get a great dose of the 'healthy' fats, protein, calcium, antioxidants and fibre.
- You can use them as an egg replacement in cooking - just mix one teaspoon of chia into 1/4 cup hot water and let sit for a few minutes, then stir into mixture.
- Putting chia seeds in your bircher muesli (or vegan overnight oats) gives it a really good texture in the morning.
- They are easy to disguise - and therefore hide in foods that kids will eat.

The only downside I can think of for chia seeds is that they get stuck in your teeth pretty easily, but I'm willing to risk it!

In other news, I got engaged!!!!!!!! So stay tuned as to how I plan on reaching my goal weight for the engagement party (just under 2 months away).


Monday, August 22, 2011

The All Elusive Wagon

Good Morning!
Today I thought I'd do another post on motivation, or getting back 'on the wagon'. It's just coming into spring (almost), and while maybe some people have been exercising and eating well all through winter (not me, unfortunately), others are dusting the cobwebs off their sneakers.

Time for me to confess. I went through about a 4 week slump and ate heaps and didn't go to the gym for 3 weeks. Enter a small amount of retail therapy (new workout top), and slightly higher number on the scales, and me going RIGHT, and getting my act together. I'm not saying we should be perfect, but there's a big difference when feeling good about yourself because you know you're going well, or feeling that little niggling guilt when you know you haven't done as much as you could.

Sometimes I like looking at pictures to get me motivated.

Other times it pays to have a motivation buddy - 'meet you at the gym!'. Turn exercise into something social as well.
Become knowledgeable and know why you should be giving up junk food. Not just because 'it makes me fat'. Next time you buy something processed, Google the numbers in the ingredient list, just to see what comes up. You probably won't like what you see.
I used to like McDonalds too. I'd eat it, know it was 'bad' and eat it anyway. Now it doesn't attract me at all. It makes me feel greasy.

I've just read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, which I really recommend if you want an eye opener as to where your food comes from. I loved it.

Enjoy your food. For breakfast I just had rolled oats with chia seeds, coconut, rapadura sugar and calcium powder - healthy and yum!

You can do it!