Tag Archives: comfort food

Sunny Sunday

25 Aug

I can almost smell spring time…it’s on it’s way!!! The blossoms are just starting to open and soon there’ll be an explosion of colour and wonderful scents once spring kicks into high gear. Spring in the capital also means variable weather – one day gorgeous, the next day abysmal. And the wind – cold, gusty, straight off the alps. But when the sky is blue, the wind is calm, it’s a lovely time to be outdoors.
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Sunday walk
I decided a change of scenery was in order so I decided to walk one of my old running routes which takes my up the back of Hawker, a suburb in Belconnen. It’s a bush walk and there were a few hills which I managed to hobble up. The view over to the ranges is spectacular and I never tire of it. There were quite a few mountain bike cyclists out on the trails, one that flew by me without warning. There were also mobs of kangaroos out, always alert for the slightest hint of danger.

Sunday breakfast
We went out to Braddon, an inner city suburb, for breakfast this morning. This was payment for doing Mr CJs tax return (I had already been taken out for breakfast by sons #1 and #2 respectively in previous weeks). We decided to have breakfast at Delissio’s mainly because it was the quietest and we were guaranteed of getting a table. Elk & Pea, our first choice, was packed and meant waiting around for a table. I had hash browns with avocado, bacon and roasted tomato with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce. Unfortunately the hash browns were the pre-packaged, McDonald’s type of hash browns whereas I had been hoping for the handmade sort. The rest of the dish was delicious and the coffee was great.

Sunday cooking
This afternoon was spent food prepping for the week: roasting sweet potatoes, pumpkin and beetroot. Par steaming broccoli. The roasted sweet potato and pumpkin were then puréed, portioned into glad bags and frozen. Beetroot was quartered and also frozen. Same with the broccoli.

Made an awesome 45sec chocolate and salted caramel pudding tonight for dessert using this recipe from the Drizzle & Dip blog. However the caramel disappeared into the pudding as it cooked. So next time (and there will be a next time!) I’ll add more caramels.

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(Photograph – Samantha Linsell, samanthalinsell.com)

Cutting some slack

1 Aug

I wagged gym today. OooohwH! That takes me back to when We were kids – that’s how we’d respond if one of us had done something naughty!

But, do I feel bad? No.

We..e…ell okay briefly, I did beat myself up with the guilts. Then sensible, no-nonsense CJ took over, berated the over anxious, perfectionist, pain in the arse CJ for being so rigid and inflexible and then went back to bed.

Actually there was a reason. I’ve been battling something for about a month now and just haven’t been functioning at 100%. Some days are better than others. The last couple of days the-whatever-it-is has resurfaced and I feel like crap…again. So, even though I had my gym gear ready the night before and had my program organised, when I got up this morning the last thing I felt like doing was going anywhere, let alone to a gym. My head hurt, my body ached, and I was tired. For once though I actually listened to my body, decided to skip the gym session and go back to bed for another hour. Sometimes I just have to go with the flow and not stress about doing everything.

So yes, I cut myself some slack today.

It was the RSPCA cupcake morning tea today. Omg, the quantity and quality of the cupcakes was amazing. It was so good to see so many people baking for this worthy fundraiser and there was definitely no shortage of people wanting to buy them. I had made gluten free lemon surprise cupcakes – a vanilla cupcake with a lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting. From all accounts these were delicious – I haven’t had one yet. Instead I had a gluten free carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting, which was really, really, really delicious. Maybe it’s because it’s been a while since having a cupcake! (Since I wrote this post, I have had one of the ones I baked – one word.amazing!)

On the plus side, and it’s a huge plus, I am wearing a pair of work pants today that I haven’t worn for a couple of years and they fit comfortably. The best thing is they were a favourite pair of mine so I’m really happy about this. We are reunited! Lately I’ve had people comment on my weight loss so it must be noticeable now. I don’t really notice it – it’s only when I go to put on something I haven’t worn for a while and it actually fits and there’s no straining at the seams.

Finally, it’s no longer my clothes that are shrinking, it’s me!

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My nemesis

21 Jul

Now I know why I don’t keep chocolate in the house. Never.Not.at.all.Prohibited.Forbidden.

Why?

Because I don’t have an off switch when it comes to chocolate. If its there I have to eat it. I try to distract myself and not think about that block of chocolate hidden in the pantry but always my mind drifts back to that block of chocolate.

The reason for chocolate being in the house was because we had sons #1 and #2 around for dinner last night for their birthday. There is a tradition in our family of cooking favourite meals for birthdays which is why we had roast pork belly (delicious) and then chocolate self saucing pudding (awesome) for dessert. There was left over dark chocolate and premium vanilla ice cream. So tonight we had some more ice cream and then I also finished off the chocolate. Not because I was hungry but because it was there. Because I had been thinking about it all day.

So not the best day food wise. Ice cream. Chocolate. Too much snacking. Feeling very blegh.

Oh well back on track tomorrow. With one change. I’m moving to the maintenance program. I’m finding I’m getting hungry on the weight loss program which is resulting in extra snacking. I’m not too far off goal weight and I think the increase in calories will help. Lets see if it makes a difference.

Week 11 starts tomorrow!

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The fog

16 Jul

And I’m not talking about the fog outdoors but the fog inside my head.

This morning at the gym I struggled through my workout, finding the weights I had been using previously very heavy today. My time on the xtrainer wasn’t much better – it was a hard slog. I had an inkling of this when I first started on the xtrainer as a warm up before the weights session but I initially put it down to just warming up and getting started.

Then I moved to the weights component of my session. First up was a super set comprising assisted pull ups and the incline chest press machine. Something was not quite right. The weights that I usually could lift I was really struggling with this morning. I even had to check to make sure I had selected the right weight. Moving on to the lat pull downs and I felt like I was going to be travelling up with the bar with each rep, and be swinging from the top of the machine.

The final xtrainer session involved intervals and these must the slowest and hardest intervals on record – swimming through mud would be easier.

And somehow I managed to complete 4 sets, 15 reps of push ups without face planting.

The rest of the day was spent in the fog, with a sledgehammer joining in this afternoon. Not looking good.

Hopefully the Vietnamese beef noodle soup I made for tea will work its wonders tonight and I wake revitalised tomorrow. It’s up there with chicken noodle soup as a curative isn’t it? It’s chock full of good stuff like star anise, cinnamon and ginger, and topped with fresh basil, coriander and mint.

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Eat like a man?

5 Jul

I saw the heading of this article about weight loss by Susie Burrell, a nutritionist and thought, you beauty, does this mean I can eat big portions, burgers and fries, meat pies and kick back with a beer or two? Ok, I am basing this behaviour on some males I know, not all of them, before you start getting all hot and sweaty under the collar!

Anyway I thought this article warranted further reading to find out what Susie really means by eat like a man when it comes to weight loss and weight control. But really, what can men teach us that we don’t already know?!

It would seem that when it comes to eating, for most women it’s a minefield of emotions, psychological and cultural programming, and rampaging hormones. Maybe it is for men too, but they seem less affected by these things. How many of us know of men who decide they are going to lose weight (and it’s usually for health reasons and not because they think they look fat) and they do – they stick to whatever program they are following, are not affected by what everyone else is saying and doing, are not coming up with justifications of why they can’t go to the gym or run or whatever, and then say they want a chocolate, muffin, ice-cream, etc because they deserve it. Or they don’t raid the pantry because they’re feeling sad, or bored, or angry. Or have one biscuit and then decide they’ve ruined their diet and may as well go for broke the rest of the day because of this, and will start again tomorrow.

And how many of us are guilty of doing this? Well, I for one will raise my hand.

Susie provides the following tips for eating more like a man:

1. Don’t think, just do – no excuses, justifications or rationalisations. It’s all about ignoring that little voice that slowly but surely chips away at your reserve of willpower until you do give in and not do what you had planned. This is where preparation comes in handy and, for me, early morning workouts. Its planning and preparing meals and snacks so you’re never caught short without healthy, nutritious foods. Its checking the menu before going out for a meal so you know what to order. It’s getting your workout gear ready the night before, and packing the gym bag so all you have to do in the morning is get up, get dressed and get going.

2. Concentrate only on yourself – by this she is talking about not being influenced by the opinions of other people. Everyone, and I mean everyone, suddenly becomes an expert on your diet and exercise choices but really, unless they’re being supportive, whose business is it anyway?! Don’t be swayed by others unless it’s in a positive sense.

3. Don’t blame your emotions – now this is a biggie for a lot of women! We cart around so much emotional baggage when it comes to eating and weight loss and body image issues. Gosh, even the number on the scales can be a minefield and dictate how you are going to feel the rest of the day – like a winner or the biggest, saddest loser going. Then toss in the hormones – that time of the month or menopause, and we’re ready to sacrifice everything for a bar or three of chocolate, a tub of ice cream, whatever, as long as it’s chockfull of fat and carbs, and liberally sprinkled with sugar! Do men do this? They may drown their sorrows in beer or alcohol of choice but in response to a less than impressive number on the scales? Does a man succumb to one piece of cake and then think, damn, I’ve totally blown my diet, I may as well pig out and start again tomorrow, next week, next month?! Susie suggests finding healthy ways of dealing with emotions rather than eating them, such as going for a walk, going to the gym, running, talking to someone etc. Eating our emotions never solves anything.

4. Make a plan and stick to it – this really relates to number 1 above, don’t think just do, which is so much easier if you have a plan. And it probably doesn’t matter what plan you follow, whether it’s the latest and greatest weight loss program, Weight Watchers, or 12WBT, for example. You need to commit to it and not try it for a couple of weeks and then get distracted by another weight loss claim or plan. There’s plenty of programs out there, some totally wacky, others that are not so bad. But commit and stick to it!

5. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full – don’t eat just for the sake of eating. Is it head hunger or tummy hunger? Unless you are in an environment where food is scarce, food is always going to be available. Don’t eat as if that will be your last meal…ever. Also, don’t use food as a reward – exercise for the sake of being fit and healthy, not for the lure of a choc chip muffin at the end! I think this probably harks back to when we are children and food was used as a bribe, a treat, or reward (as parents, we’re all guilty of doing this at some stage).

6. Drop the food focus – Susie is saying that everything we do these days is tied up with food. Women, particularly, tend to make food a central part of social gatherings, a focus which can lead to over eating. Work morning teas, brunches with friends on the weekends, parties, special events, catching up with a friend for coffee and cake at the café, TV programs such as Masterchef, and magazines (I mean have you flicked through a Donna Hay magazine lately?!!!). Studies have shown that viewing food porn ie glamourised spectacular presentations of cooking or eating that we view in ads, cooking shows, and other visual media (think instagram, pinterest, facebook and recipe blogs), is contributing to the obesity problem. Pictures and discussions of food can tempt us to eat, and even to overeat – even in the absence of true physiological hunger.

So I think what Susie is saying, don’t complicate our weight loss/control. It doesn’t have to be hard or onerous. Do like the men do, and keep it simple…and straightforward (you thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you!).

And what have I done today?

Well, I went for an 11 minute jog this morning, purely as a warm up to my core strength exercises. you know, those exercises where I do like an aeroplane or superman! The cat finds this behaviour extremely strange, and she watches safely from a distance. I skipped using the swiss ball today for the exercises because mine is like a big comfy cushion so defeats the purpose of using it to improve my balance! Back to my short run, omg what about the wind?! It was blowing a gale so in parts I was pushed along but heading back home it was akin to running into a brick wall. So much resistance!

Breakfast was the apple and ricotta toast though I did have to vary it due to lack of a core ingredient! To supplement the very small amount of ricotta I had, I used some extra light cream cheese. Then I had some raspberries left over in the fridge, and in order not to waste them, I wacked them on top with the grated apple. Yummo!

Lunch today was a new recipe for me – the herbed ricotta and roasted pumpkin open sandwich. I was really surprised because I seriously thought this wouldn’t be filling but it was and it was also delicious. The recipe calls for sourdough but being gluten free that is off limits so I used half a Livwell gluten free baguette. The GF baguette went well with this topping.

Dinner tonight is at the mall as it’s our grocery shopping night. I think I’ll be having something from Sumo Salads.

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4×4

22 Jun

I’m not talking about 4wd vehicles or off-road capabilities, but rather the gym workout I did this morning. :)

The gym session was a 4×4 session involving 4 mini circuits. Each circuit consisted of 3 exercises (4 sets x 12 reps of each exercise) plus a 400m run. I can’t really do this at the moment so instead of the 4 x 400m runs, I did a 5min session of either the bike, xtrainer or treadmill at the end of each circuit.

Warm up
– xtrainer 5min
Mini circuit 1 was legs, i.e. step ups, lunges and squat presses followed by 5min on the bike.
Mini circuit 2 was upper body, i.e. push ups, bent over row and tricep dips followed by 5min on the treadmill (this included some slow jogging)
Mini circuit 3 was lower body, i.e. one leg bridges, calf raises and hamstring curls followed by 5min on the bike
Mini circuit 4 was abs, i.e. side plank raise, sit ups and planks followed by 5min on the treadmill (some more slow jogging)
And finally…
5min on the xtrainer.

I still can’t increase the intensity of my cardio workouts but at least I can do more than even a couple of weeks ago, so I can’t really complain. The danger now according to my physio is that I’ll start doing too much too soon because I feel so good. So it’s slowly, slowly baby steps.

This afternoon it was time for my monthly treat: mmmmassage! Mind you, she was also working on the hammie to prevent scar tissue forming but even that wasn’t so bad. The rest was bliss.

And tonight we had the Beef & Red Wine Pie with Potato Topping, with a few modifications. The recipe was for a Beef & Guiness Pie but that’s not gluten free so hence the red wine. I also reduced the amount of stock from 2 cups to 1 cup, added only half the zucchini and also added mushrooms. For flavour, I added rosemary, bay leaf, garlic and some balsamic vinegar. My pie had mashed sweet potato as a topping (not really keen on mashed potato as a result of being brought up on Deb mashed potato as a child, yuk!) whereas Mr CJ’s pie was topped in buttery mashed potato and grated cheese. I have to admit his looked delicious! However both were delicious and worth the cooking time to make them.

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Muscles!

12 Jun

I know this might sound obvious but I have muscles! Now this is not a recent revelation – I do know that the human body is comprised of approximately 650 or more muscles (depending what source you reference!) that do all manner of things to enable us to function. However, the reason I know I have muscles is that they are sore! Yes, I have delayed onset muscle soreness. Finally! As of this week I have been able to incorporate leg exercises into my weights regime, and even though I am using itty bitty weights, my muscles are feeling the effects. And I have also increased the weight for my upper body exercises.

Today it’s been an interesting exercise getting up and down from a seated position!

However, DOMS did not stop me from going for my early morning 6km walk today. And having gone to bed early last night (lights out at 10pm), I was…almost…bright as a button this morning at 5.30am! Amazing what 7 hours of sleep can do. This morning it wasn’t as cold as it has been on previous mornings, though I was still dressed for sub zero temperatures. The entire walk was done under the cover of darkness, I walk under the street lights so I can see where I’m going and I’m less likely to fall down a pot hole. There was not another soul out walking this morning. Then once I was home I did a mini circuit of squats, lunges, one-leg bridges, 2-leg bridges on a chair, and push ups, which was interesting given my DOMS.

And how could I forget – today is weigh in day. My loss this week was a grand total of…wait for it…drum roll…ahem…100g! Well at least its 100g in the right direction…down!

Enjoyed a coffee at lunchtime with Mr B. Well I had the coffee, he had a GF chocolate cookie which looked really delicious and oh so tempting. I was debating whether just to have a teensy piece but then I thought if I gave in this time it will make it easier to give in again…and again…and again. So no chocolate cookie for me. :)

Dinner tonight was meant to be Asian Chicken Patties with Warm Noodle Salad but it morphed into Asian chicken stirfry! I buy chicken breasts and mince them myself rather than buy chicken mince which can be quite fatty. Tonight, though, I really couldn’t be bothered mincing the breast and making patties. So instead I used diced chicken breast and all other ingredients in the recipe for the stirfry. Pretty simple but delicious.

Anyway I must take these sore muscles off to bed. Hopefully they will feel better tomorrow because, guess what?! I return to the gym to do it all again! :)

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