Tag Archives: cooking

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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Weigh in Wednesday

24 Jul

200g to go, 200g to go! I’m almost at my goal weight though to be honest my weight is really not an issue anymore. As I’ve said previously, I am fitting into my clothes, some which I haven’t been able to fit into for a couple of years, and I feel so much better (chocolate over-indulgences aside). It’s amazing though how losing a couple of kilos can make such a huge difference. It’s taken me 11 weeks to lose 2.8kg so it’s certainly not been a speedy process. But the fact that the food on the program is still holding my interest says a lot as I’m easily bored and need variety. And when I get bored is when I start snacking and more often. This program offers variety in bucket loads, not only in meal choices (vegetarian, regular, and weight loss or weight maintenance) but also with exercise choices. The weights program changes every fortnight, as does the cardio component. I can choose from gym machines, gym classes, outdoors or at home options. In fact it really becomes a lifestyle rather than a diet per se and that’s what I like about it. I can see myself continuing to follow the program and eat the meals because they are so damn tasty and easy to prepare. I have all the recipes in 2 Kikki K recipe folders and these would have to be the 2 recipe books that get the most use in my house. I have used many of the recipes at some point (over 300 recipes), so that’s not bad! And now that I’m on the maintenance program I get to eat so much more food with each meal.

It was very frosty this morning when I went for my early morning 6km walk and despite all my layers and gloves I still felt the cold today. I did a fartlek walk in that I sped up for a certain number of lamp posts and then walked at a steady pace between others. It helps pass the time.

So far this week I have clocked up 17km of walking, probably the most I’ve ever walked!

I met up for lunch with friends at the Blue Olive café today. I haven’t been to this café in years and even then it was ever only for breakfast. I’d never been there for lunch before. Wow, what a revelation. They cater very well for people who have to eat gluten free. I had the pumpkin soup with a side of gluten free toast but I could have chosen from a large range of sandwiches or rolls. They also have salads plus some mains. I didn’t even look at the cake/slice display! Best not to put temptation in my way! So Ruth and Liz, I think we might have to try out this café for breakfast sometime soon!

This afternoon I had my regular physio appointment. Since the last appointment I have only managed one running session and that was a dismal failure. Since then my hammy has been sore and I have not been tempted to even try running because I really don’t need another setback. So what was today’s verdict? Take another week off from attempting to run (this will make it 3 weeks) and then try again. In the meantime I can continue with lower body weights at the gym and the walking. Also it seems that I have Femoroacetabular impingement, a congenital condition exacerbated by particular activities. It presents as restricted range of hip motion ie hip flexion and internal rotation. And also explains my tendency to get hip and hammy injuries – because you name it, I’ve had it!

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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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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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Super Saturday

15 Jun

It’s been a super Saturday in more ways than one today. Yes, the SSS happened this morning, with more intensity than usual because I was having my good friend Ruth around for lunch and I needed to burn a few more calories than normal. Mind you, there was also a lot of running around cleaning, dusting etc once I got home from the gym to make the place more presentable!

Now don’t be alarmed! I haven’t fallen off the wagon. No siree, lucky Ruth was being treated to a 12WBT-themed lunch to prove that you can entertain while on the program.

The menu:
Entree: Salmon and grilled vegetable terrine with ricotta

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Main: minestrone with lentils & zucchini with toasted seeded wholegrain roll

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Dessert: mini chocolate fudge cakes with icecream

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To drink: water flavoured with lemon juice and at the end of the meal, a cappuccino (courtesy of my Nespresso machine)

It was a lovely afternoon :)

And a quick shout out for this morning’s breakfast, French toast with banana, berries & maple syrup. It was soooo good and especially appreciated after my SSS this morning.

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Finally, there was a stunning sky this evening.

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Truly a super Saturday :)

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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Scrumdiddlyumptious

10 Jun

What a miserable start to Monday! It was cold, grey, foggy and just plain miserable this morning. And it extended into the afternoon. I knew I had to walk today but I just kept putting it off, putting it off, until I couldn’t put it off any longer. And lo and behold, I walked outside into sunshine and blue skies later this afternoon. See, sometimes good things do come to those who wait. It wasn’t warm but hey, I can’t have everything!

I ended up walking 6km in 55.15min. Once home I did 20 x squats and lunges with a 5kg medicine ball. Followed by 4 x 15 reps of push ups. And to finish off, 4 different ab exercises: 2 sets of 12 reps.

Dinner tonight we had an amazing, awesome, scrumdiddlyumptious beef, pumpkin and prune tagine. Really, it was that great! If this is dieting, I am all for it. This meal was so, so delicious and perfect for this cold weather. It came with a small serve of rice. Yummo!

And something that would normally be scrumdiddlyumptious would be rocky road chocolate that Mr CJ is about to tuck into. He has advised that I look the other way so as not to be tempted. Generous soul that he is ;) Instead I will savour my hot chocolate. I know, it’s not quite the same thing….

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Beef, pumpkin & prune tagine (this photo doesn’t do it justice)

What a jerk!

9 Jun

Dinner tonight: Jerk fish. Verdict: delicious.

According to Wikipedia (what else!) Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: allspice (called “pimento” in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers (similar in heat to the habanero pepper).

The 12WBT recipe has dried thyme, allspice, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, chilli, oil & onion in the marinade. Once marinaded, the fish was char grilled and was served with steamed chat potatoes and a green salad. It was a really tasty meal.

Now for the week in review. This is a milestone week so there was fitness test to do as well.

Monday – I braved the early morning for another walk but with so many layers on I probably looked like the Michelin Man. Be prepared was today’s motto as I prepped Mondays meals as well as Tuesdays as I was going to the movies after work.

Tuesday – from jelly arms at the gym to getting good/not so good news from the physio to seeing The Great Gatsby, today had it all. No popcorn, pop tops or wine at the movies. Diet Coke and yoghurt & berries I had prepared the day before kept me going.

Wednesday – a 900g loss! A very filling egg white omelette for lunch at a Canberra institution: Gus’s to celebrate (belatedly) Ruth’s birthday.

Thursday – another meal out. This time breakfast with work colleagues at a nearby cafe. Another omelette. No grumbling gremlins today! The highlight? Getting next weeks menu plan in my inbox. Love it!

Friday – challenging my core and my balance on a Swiss ball. These things are best done in the privacy of my own home.

Saturday – another awesome SSS including a 1km swim. Also repeated the pushups and plank tests that I last did 4 weeks ago. Have improved immensely In push ups department! Finally faced my fear: Brussels sprouts. Traumatised as a child but decided to give them a chance. Discovered that oven roasted Brussels sprouts are delicious. Who would’ve thought!

Sunday – sleep in yay! And because I enjoyed the Brussels sprouts I had yesterday, decided to have them again today. This time I char grilled them. Yummo! Definitely worth a second chance if the last time you had them was as a child. I also re-did my measurements today and have lost a total of 3.2cm, mainly legs and hips. Biceps are increasing :)

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Tonight’s meal: Jerk Fish

Monday Meals

3 Jun

This morning I dressed warmly for my early morning walk given that it was sub zero temperatures outside (truly I must be mad!). I froze last week when I attempted an early morning walk and I wasn’t about to endure another sufferfest. So it was on with fleecy run tights (2XU make the best), woolly socks, tracky pants, singlet, fleecy long sleeved top, big, thick fleecy jacket that zips all the way up, headband, cap and heavy duty winter cycling gloves. Take that jack frost! And then it was out to brave the elements for a 45 min walk which ended up being just a shade under 5km. So next week my goal will be to walk 5km in that time.

Once home, and after removing a few clothing items so I could move freely, I went through a mini circuit of push ups, single leg bridges and triceps dips – 5 sets of 10 reps each. Then I backed up with full sit ups, crunch pulses and plank, two sets of each. What a great way to start Monday morning. :)

This morning’s breakfast was banana quinoa porridge. Apart from the portion size (I used a small bowl so it wouldn’t look so tiny!) it was delicious but then again I do love quinoa. Some people love lentils (me, not so keen) but I love quinoa. For anyone who has to eat gluten free this is a great addition to the diet – quinoa can be used in place of couscous, makes a change from rice or pasta, and the flakes can also make a porridge, or added to a muesli mix. I’ve never tried the quinoa flour – maybe I should add that to the list of new foods to try this week. The banana was halved lengthways, drizzled with maple syrup and cinnamon and popped under the griller for 5 minutes. This then topped the quinoa porridge.

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When everyone else had take away coffee for morning tea I had balsamic and basil strawberries with ricotta. As part of this week’s food challenge ie try something new, I am trying to incorporate some variety into my snacks. While I abhor same old, same old when it comes to my meals, I very rarely change what I have for snacks. Normally I would have fruit, or nuts, or yoghurt, maybe some corn thins with cottage cheese. Time to shake things up!

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For lunch I had satay egg, carrot & cucumber corn thins which were surprisingly filling. Go figure! And tasty.

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Afternoon tea came and went. I ate an apple and some almonds while busy with work.

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Dinner time! Finally! It was a case of arriving home and getting stuck into cooking as soon as I walked inside. No rest for the wicked! However the result was delicious grilled lamb with pumpkin, green beans, feta and pine nuts. Genius!

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And finally…a hot chocolate before heading off to bed. But not before packing my gym bag for tomorrow morning, and also my swimming bag for Wednesday morning, as I am going to see The Great Gatsby after work tomorrow. I also cooked tomorrow’s dinner tonight so I can just heat it up once I get home from the movies.

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The secret to the 12WBT program is to do like the scouts: be prepared! :)

“From this moment right now sitting there in your chair (take note of the time on your computer), you can choose to be different. Now. Not later, now. Not next week, today. Not when you’ve thought about it some more, now. Not when it’s convenient, now. And not because you’ve somehow arrived at the mystical ‘right time’ or you’ve had some kind of spiritual revelation or emotional breakdown but just because you’re sick of giving in to fear and wasting your time and talent. It’s that complicated and that simple. You have power, potential and possibilities on tap.” – Craig Harper, Motivational Speaker

The week that was: review of week 3

2 Jun

I can’t believe that it’s been almost 3 weeks since I started this round of 12WBT. It used to be said that to form a habit takes 21 days. However there seems to be a shift in thinking lately that it takes anywhere between 26 – 66 days depending on the habit you’re either trying to make or break.

However I have noticed that I’m not picking at food between meals, I’m trying to differentiate between head and stomach hunger (ie kicking the emotional eating habit) and most of the time I’m satisfied with less on my plate. It does help that the weekly menus offer up tasty options and for someone who loves variety, this program offers plenty of variety.

Not that I’m anywhere near perfect, no way, not by a long shot. Ask me again in 66 days! ;)

This was how week 3 panned out for me:

Monday – froze on my early morning walk. Note to self: wear more warm clothes! Dealt with a social event with amazing restraint. Diet coke anyone?!

Tuesday – apparently I’m an elite athlete according to a health check I had today! On the serious front, my cholesterol ratio is improving. This has been a long time coming. Had my weekly physio appointment and there has been some teensy improvement – I have been given the go ahead to use a recumbent bike at the gym!

Wednesday – lost 300g! Discovered that lentils and I have an uncomfortable relationship. Underwhelmed with dhal.

Thursday – weights session and 5 mins on the recumbent bike! Amazing how little things like this can make my day! Busy planning next weeks menu and exercise program.

Friday – a hungry day. The grumbling gremlins made their presence felt in the afternoon. Drove me crazy. But I didn’t attack the charity chocolate box (just thought about!)

Saturday – my version of a SSS – swim, pool walking, bike, treadmill and weights. The grumbling gremlins hung around again today. Deployed my secret weapon. I also made and ate an awesome chicken, roasted eggplant and capsicum roll with ricotta & baby spinach for lunch. Did the final 50 push-ups for a total of 300 for the week (two weeks now).

Sunday – rest day. Loved the smoked salmon cases with salad for lunch. Very fancy schmancy!

Week 4 – bring it on!

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Those fancy schmancy smoked salmon & tomato cases with salad

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