Archive | June, 2013

Number 5 is alive!

29 Jun

This morning’s workout at the gym involved the number 5 – 5 rounds of a metabolic conditioning circuit. And for some strange reason, it brought back memories of the 1986 movie Short Circuit that our boys loved to watch – I’ve lost count how many times we saw it!

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Number 5

Each circuit included 20 reps of the following:

  • step ups
  • push ups
  • lunges
  • burpees (because of my injury I did one-leg bridges instead)
  • bent over row with barbell
  • tricep dips
  • barbell shoulder press
  • bicep curls with dumbbells

I started and ended the session with 10 minutes on the xtrainer.

I’m not sure if I could say that I felt  alive by the end of the session or totally knackered – probably a mixture of both! But the 5th round I was finding those barbell shoulder presses particularly challenging but I pushed through mentally by focusing on pushing the barbell up with each rep. And the final 10 minutes on the xtrainer, at a higher resistance, was just plain hard slog. Tired – knackered, stuffed, exhausted, worn out, fatigued.

But hey, that’s what the Saturday Super Session is all about – challenging myself and pushing through barriers. It just pain hurts sometimes but it feels so good once I’ve finished!

Hungry – famished, ravenous, starving, peckish. I need input! Food was looking pretty damn good by now so I was looking forward to the garlic and mushroom haloumi for breakfast. I must admit, this is not what I would normally have for breakfast  but I was willing to give it a go as I love haloumi!  Trust me, this was delicious – tasty, scrumptious, heavenly. 🙂

And to continue with the food theme – I had another tuna and coleslaw pita pocket for lunch and this time it held together. I also added wholegrain mustard to the yoghurt to give it some flavour oomph. And tonight for dinner we had the most amazing Moroccan lamb shanks. Omg, this was so delicious. The meat just fell of the bones and the sauce was delicious too. Even Mr CJ was mightily impressed with this dish. For dessert I had the rice pudding with raspberry jam whereas Mr CJ had apple strudel with cream. Hmm, guess which one was 12WBT-approved! 🙂

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Only 39.2km to go!

28 Jun

This morning I managed a 3km jog without stopping or walking. Yay! So, in marathon terms I only have another 39.2km to run!

I dressed more appropriately for a run today – tights plus singlet and long sleeved lightweight running top. I looked more like a runner than the Michelin woman.

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Fortunately it wasn’t a frosty morning and it was quite pleasant to be out, even though it was still under the cover of darkness. At one point, early in my run, two dogs came rushing out from a yard, growling as they went. Ok, so they were only cocker spaniels but even so, they were growling. Do I stop, run faster or what? I can’t really afford to run any faster because I don’t want to aggravate the injury. Fortunately the owner came rushing out behind them, calling them back and apologising to me all in the same breath. Crisis averted!

The rest of the run was uneventful, thank goodness; I can’t handle too much excitement at 6am! Back home and it was on with a core strengthening session that mostly involved the swiss ball. But first the wall sit – I haven’t been able to do this since my injury. However today I managed 3 sets of 45 secs. Then there was a series of back extensions, superman, twisting crunches, squats, hamstring curls and hip raises – all with the swiss ball. And finishing with push ups and crunches with a medicine ball. A good workout all in all.

I’m having a hungry day. I’m not sure why – maybe the 3km jog?!!!!! If that’s the case, what will I be like once my distances increase?!!!

For breakfast this morning I had the banana quinoa porridge, topping it off with some raspberries. Lunch was a tuna and coleslaw pita pocket. Well this was a huge fail in the pocket department – it totally disintegrated in my hands today while I was trying to eat it. It was not a pretty sight! I had coleslaw and tune and pita pocket going in all directions, and not in the general direction of my mouth!

I went over to the Canberra Centre at lunchtime to buy some more Nespresso pods (and also to get a free cup of coffee). 🙂 Today I tried one of the flavoured pods – the ciocattino. I’m not usually one for flavoured coffee but oh my, this tasted divine. Maybe it’s the chocolate deprivation I’ve been feeling since I started the 12 week program! Whatever, I bought 2 sleeves of the chocolate pods! It’s not sweet but instead tastes like a square of dark chocolate has been added to the coffee. Mmm mmm! I must try the caramel and vanilla ones at some stage.

And while shopping at Coles tonight I discovered their own brand of quinoa cups and quinoa and brown rice cups. Both are gluten free and will be so handy for adding to salads etc.

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It’s what you do next…

27 Jun

It’s the usual story – I wake up and my first thought is, oh crap I really don’t feel like [select option] going to the gym/swimming/going for a jog/walk/doing weights, etc. (confession time: sometimes it resembles the opening scene from Four Weddings & a Funeral movie!)

It would be so easy just to turn over, pull the blanket up over my head to muffle the mumblings and grumblings and grab some more sleep.

After all, who would know? Who would care?

Morning tea comes and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a work colleague’s birthday so there’s food involved. I’d like to say there’s fresh fruit, natural yoghurt, and other healthy items but it’s a ‘special’ occasion so there has to be cakes, cookies, etc.

And of course there are gluten free options because everyone is so conscious of me not missing out on [select option] cake/slice/cookies/chips/dips, etc.

Go on, have one, it won’t hurt. You do so much exercise. You eat well most of the time. Go on!

Then I do start thinking, well, one wouldn’t hurt, or maybe two, or one of each? After all, who’d really care? Just this once? And they do look so delicious sitting there on the plates. Everyone else is having some so why can’t I?

I hit the mid-afternoon slump and have this overwhelming need for something to boost my energy levels.

There’s the charity chocolate box in the work kitchen. I seem to be making lots of trips to the kitchen presumably to get a drink, but that chocolate box has my name all over it. Not only could I have some chocolate that would give me energy but I’d also be donating to charity, surely that must negate the calories?!

Or how about a diet coke from the drinks dispenser downstairs? I really need something to give me a boost to get me through to dinner. Just this once? The walk down and up the stairs (74 steps in total!) would be good for me.

After dinner and all the chores are done. I’m about to sit down and watch TV. Hmm, I need a snack – I might just go and have a look in the pantry.

What was that? Have something healthy? Really?

Come on, it’s night time, I’ve had a long day, I’m tired, I deserve a treat! (cue whiny voice). This diet thing is way too hard – I feel like I’m missing out on all the fun. Why don’t I start again tomorrow? Or even better, I’ll start again next Monday. I’ve had [select option] chocolate/cake/cookies/chips, etc today, so I’ve blown my diet today, it would be better to start afresh next week, etc.

Sound familiar?
These are daily dilemmas and it’s what you do next that determines how you feel, how you look, how you function.

Yes, I can eat crap, I can decide not to exercise, I can justify until the cows come home why I’m not doing these things, I can listen to my ‘inner teenager’ or cave in to my ‘inner labrador’ BUT…and it’s a huge BUT, I also have to accept responsibility for the consequences ie weight gain, feeling like crap (eat crap = feel and look like crap), increase my risk of developing diseases as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, suffer from joint pain due to increased weight and lack of exercise, and so forth.

So while I might grizzle, grumble and bitch sometimes about how hard it all is, I really believe the payoff is well worth it in increased wellbeing, fitness and good health.

But it’s not something that comes naturally to me; I have to work at this each and every day. I’m not superhuman, I’m not blessed with super strength willpower. To be quite honest, I’m a sloth by nature! 🙂 And there are times when I not only fall off the wagon, the entire wagon collapses beneath me!

But back to today. This morning I had a weights session that focused on shoulders, back, triceps, hamstrings and calves. I’ve come to realise that I love back, arms and shoulder training because I see results so much sooner than I do with legs training.

It was very quiet at the gym today, maybe it had something to do with some footy game that was on last night? You know, something about state of origin or some such thing?! Anyway I appreciated the quietness because it meant that I had access to free weights and machines without having to wait for someone else to finish.

Breakfast today was berry bruschetta and for lunch I had corn chowder plus a home grown mandarin. For tea tonight we had kangaroo with mashed pumpkin and ginger and mango glaze. I’ve also received next week’s menu plan and I’m looking forward to banana bruschetta, herbed ricotta with roast pumpkin open sandwich, and lamb biryani, among others.

And remember, when faced with choices – it’s what you do next that matters.

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The road to the New York Marathon

26 Jun

A marathon begins with a single step…

This morning I walked/jogged 6km and I think I probably jogged more than I walked. So I’m taking this as the start of my journey to the New York marathon – from this to running 42.2km in just over 18 weeks. A big ask? I hope not but only time will tell. Anyway back to this morning – I decided that instead of going to the gym for a cardio session I would do my 6km circuit around home. It wasn’t frosty, there was no rain, and it wasn’t too windy. I had a bit of a dilemma re clothing. What do I wear for a jog/walk session? I get cold while walking but I certainly warm up while running. But would my excruciatingly slow jogging be enough to keep me warm? In the end I opted for the gear I wear when I go for an early morning walk. This involves 4 layers of clothes – running singlet, long sleeved fleecy top, long sleeved running top, big polar fleece jacket, fleecy running tights, tracky pants, gloves, headband and cap! I decided against the scarf today!

But of course I hadn’t contemplated running for as long as I did! So guess who got quite hot?! I did briefly contemplate calling by the house partway through my session to remove several layers but then decided I could tough (or sweat) it out. I need to re-think my clothing for these early morning sessions, unless it is sub zero temperatures! By the time I headed back into a heated house, I felt like I’d been in a sauna. I was most definitely warmed up for the next stage of my exercise session – 50 pushups and dips.

The jog/walk went really well. There was no pain, no twinges, and no aches. It was just a gentle plod along to Guns’n’Roses Welcome to the Jungle, among others. As I said it was a pleasant morning after the particularly chilly windy and wet weather we’ve had recently. I’m hoping to jog a very slow 3km on Friday morning before my core strengthening session. It’s all progress.

It was weigh in day today but this morning the scales were not my friend – a 600g gain. Boo! However I’m not too fussed about this because I feel good, my clothes fit much better, and there are some items that I have started wearing again that I haven’t been able to fit into for quite some time.

For breakfast I had the scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado. It was delicious and filling but I have this annoying thing about thinking I need toast to go with my eggs. I even calculated reducing the amount of avocado and having a slice of toast instead but then reminded myself that as part of doing this program I was going to follow the menu plan and recipes to the letter (well apart from adding herbs and spices to add a bit of flavour oomph). So I went without the toast and you know what, I didn’t need it. A similar thing happened over the weekend when I had an omelette on Sunday.it was without toast but I was trying to justify why I needed a slice of toast with it. In the end I went without the toast and again, I hadn’t needed it. It’s just habit to include toast but its proving a stubborn habit to break. It’s only a minor thing but it just goes to show how sometimes I eat food just because its habit and not really because I need it.

For lunch I had the antipasto pita pocket again. I think it was meant to be the tuna and coleslaw pita pocket for lunch today but we didn’t have any cabbage at home and the last couple of days its been too cold to go out to the shops at lunchtime to buy some. However I did venture out at lunchtime today, bought both the red and green cabbages and will have that particular recipe on Friday.

I also ventured into Kikki K and walked out with a recipe folder and inserts, as you do. The grand plan is to organise my recipes.

Back to the antipasto pocket – you can’t go wrong with roasted capsicum, feta, artichokes, grated carrot, lettuce and eggplant dip. It’s a delicious combination. Tonight for tea, and for lunch tomorrow, I’m having corn chowder.

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Fabulous Fitness Survey

25 Jun

Just for a change, and because i was reading some blogs for inspiration, I thought I would complete the Fabulous Fitness Survey that was on SproutsnSquats blog.

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
This morning I had berry bruschetta – gluten free toast topped with reduced fat ricotta cheese and fresh blueberries and raspberries. Yum!

2. How much water do you drink a day?
Around 2 litres of water a day. I actually prefer water to any other cold drink so it’s not a problem for me.

3. What is your current favourite workout?
Normally I would say going for a run but currently it would have to be a cardio session involving a mixture of treadmill, xtrainer and bike. I love variety.

4. How many calories do you eat a day?
Because I’m doing the 12WBT program, my calorie intake is around 1200 calories per day.

5. What are your favourite healthy snacks?
Apples (I love green apples), Chobani natural fat free yoghurt with berries, or corn thins topped with avocado and tomato.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?
It varies depending on what the menu plan is for the week. Today I had chicken, zucchini and ricotta pockets. Tomorrow it will be the antipasto pita pocket, which I also had on Monday.

7. What is your favourite body part to strength train?
I usually prefer to train legs especially doing leg press, step ups or lunges. I’m not so keen on doing squats.

8. What is your least favourite body part to strength train?
I guess it would have to be abs, especially sit ups.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?
I try not to differentiate between good and bad foods, rather there are foods I eat regularly and those I eat only on occasion. As the author of Sweet Poison, David Gillespie, says, party food is for parties. It’s not every day food. However, I love chocolate – desserts, chocolate bars, cakes, even fantales!

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
Glucosamine and fish oil capsules.

11. How often do you eat out?
Last week I ate out three times (1 breakfast and 2 lunches) but this week I’m not eating out at all, so it depends. Though Mr CJ and I eat out at the mall on Friday nights before tackling the weekly grocery shopping because as they say, you shouldn’t shop on an empty stomach!

12. Do you eat fast food?
If you call Sumo Salad, Guzman y Gomez, or Mad Mex fast food, then yes, I eat fast food once a week. However I don’t eat Maccas, Hungry Jacks, KFC, Red Rooster, etc.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?
Family and friends. I’m fortunate in that respect.

14. Do you have a gym membership?
Always! And I have just renewed my annual membership. I’m one person who actually uses their gym membership!

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Lately I’ve been getting around 7 hours a night. Before the weekly challenge to get to bed early, I was probably averaging around 5 hours per night. The extra couple of hours has made a huge difference.

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?
Not really. I may have a 12WBT dessert recipe on Saturday night but otherwise no.

17. Do you drink alcohol?
I love a good white wine and champagne. I can’t go past an espresso martini either! But I would be lucky to have an alcoholic drink once per month!

18. Do you have a workout buddy?
Not for the gym. I’m very much a lone ranger when doing my gym sessions. However when I was running, and especially when training for this year’s marathon, Ruth and I would do our long runs together. As well I had started back at the speedy geese run sessions.

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?
The events that I’ve trained for and competed in, which I would never have contemplated previously, like the Ironman triathlon, half ironman events and marathons. And all the friendships I have made along the way.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?
The weights session at the gym this morning.

Ok, how about you? How would you answer these questions? Let me know! 🙂

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There’s no such thing as bad weather…

24 Jun

…just inappropriate clothing. Or in my case, there’s always the opportunity to do a gym workout! No excuses! 🙂

This morning I headed out in the rain, got in my car and went to the gym for my cardio session. In previous weeks I have gone for a brisk 5km walk on a Monday morning but this morning it was raining. Now while I will run in the rain, walking is just not as much fun. The gym, at least is dry, and does give me variety in the types of cardio I can do. I love variety.

So I started with a 5 minute warm up on the xtrainer, before heading to the treadmill for a 20 minute session. Normally this elicits moans and groans from me (I have been known to call this machine the dreadmill) but not this morning. Just quietly I was feeling a little excited. Why? Because I was going to do 2 x 5 minute jogs at a slightly faster pace than last week, ie 9kph instead of 6.5kph. Excitement plus! This is what a torn hammie and not.being.allowed.to.run.at.all for 5 weeks can do! I was going to be alternating between a 5 minute brisk walk and 5 minute slow jog for 20 minutes. Amazingly the time went really quickly. Go figure.

I try not to stress about the fact that I have to go from slowly jogging 5 minute intervals to running 42.2km in about 4 months. Just breathe and believe it will happen 🙂

Then I head back to the xtrainer for some intensity – 7 minutes of 30 secs at level 8 followed by 30 secs at level 3.5. Again there has been no intensity in my cardio sessions up until now so this is progress. Woot!

Finally, 10 minutes on the bike to round out my Monday morning cardio.

After abs exercises and push ups and tricep dips it was time to go home for a filling breakfast of banana quinoa porridge. Just quietly, I love the banana that is drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon and put under the grill for 5 minutes or so. Delish! Lunch today was an antipasto pita pocket and for dinner I had baked crumbed whiting with smoked paprika wedges, using snapper that had been caught and filleted by Mr CJ on his most recent sojourn to the coast.

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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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How’s the serenity?

21 Jun

Oh boy, what a super chilly start this morning. It was certainly a very brisk walk around the block before doing my core strengthening exercises. There’s nothing like -2.5 degrees celsius, which felt like -4.9 according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and which I can attest to, to get the legs going and the arms pumping!

I also decided to leave my iPod home and go naked, i.e. without music, for my walk. And I enjoyed the quiet and stillness of the early morning. Of course anyone with any sense was at home, in their beds, snuggled under blankets and doonas! But the peace and quiet was appreciated and the time went really quickly. Before I knew it, I was back home again, inside the warmth of my house.

Sometimes it’s nice to go without music and other technology but just appreciate being outdoors, in the fresh air, participating in healthy activities. Even at 5.45am! 🙂

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What I dream about when it’s sub zero temperatures!

Attitude is contagious…is yours worth catching?

20 Jun

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Have you noticed that if you are around someone who is pessimistic, negative and has a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude, that after a while you begin feeling tired, drained and negative yourself? Negative people drag you down. Conversely hang around someone who has a positive outlook, is optimistic (without being a Pollyanna) and up for a challenge, and you feel so inspired and want to do more.

A positive attitude to life, healthy eating and exercise can make a world of difference. I know that when I feel positive and inspired that everything seems so much easier – whether that’s following a healthy eating program, going to the gym or just not eating crap. And doing all of these things helps to maintain a positive attitude so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I try to associate with people who are going to pull me up, not drag me down. I’m very fortunate that I have so many positive, healthy and wonderful friends who continually to inspire and amaze me, and make me want to become a better version of me.

This morning I had my second weight session for the week, focusing on my hamstrings, shoulders and back. There was no running today – my next running session won’t happen until Saturday. You can’t rush these things. But there have been no adverse effects from yesterday’s attempts so that’s gotta be good.

And yes, I do have to admit that when I first wake up in the morning and peer at the clock, my initial thoughts are along the lines that I don’t want to get out of bed or go the gym, especially now its so chilly. I am human, after all. 🙂

But because I have prepped all my gear the night before, ie my gym bag is packed, I have my program so I know what I’ll be doing when I get to the gym, my clothes are out ready for me to get dressed…I really have no excuse to get up and go. And I do know that once I get to the gym, or go for an early morning brisk walk, or go to the pool (well ok this takes a bit more convincing in Winter) I will feel so much better and then once I have completed the session, I am glad that I made the effort to go. Sometimes you really do have to fake it until you make it. And exercising first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day…once I make that decision to get out of bed!

There were no more breakfasts or lunches out today, thank goodness! It was lovely to catch up with friends over a meal but eating out can be such a minefield. Now, though, I can stick to my program and know what I am eating, calorie and ingredient-wise. Today I had baked beans and avocado toast for breakfast, left over chicken tikka curry with cauliflower mash for lunch and beef moussaka for dinner. Perfect meals for the cold weather.

But right now I have to make time to listen to Michelle’s latest videos…for a positive attitude top-up!

A day in the life of a 12WBTer

19 Jun

5.30am: weigh in day so I was out of bed and getting on the scales before having my regulation black coffee to kick start my day. Woo hoo! Lost 500g. That makes a total of 2kg lost since I started the program. Performed a little happy dance 🙂

6am-7am: workout time! This morning I had a cardio session and I was going to introduce some running. Omg this was going to be a big thing for me after 5 weeks of no running. Deep breaths!

I began with a 5min warm up walk on the treadmill before moving to the xtrainer for 10mins. On to the bike now for 10mins and then…this was it…10mins on the treadmill. Now I had to start trying some run intervals. On the treadmill screen I had the running track graphic and so I decided to alternate between 100m walks and 100m slow jogs. I had been instructed to run at the same pace as my brisk walking pace ie 6.5kph, so I certainly wasn’t setting a blistering pace! There were no problems with the running. Then it was on to my final 10mins on the xtrainer before finishing with 50 push-ups and 4 x 60sec planks.

And that was all I had time for before hitting the showers before the inevitable change room rush and scrum.

7.30am: finally…breakfast! Today I had oven roasted tomatoes on ricotta topped toast. It was also meant to have basil on it as well but my basil has withered and died in this cold weather and I only had coriander in the fridge. Oh well, it tasted fine anyway.

8.30am: work.

10.30am: tummy grumbles were telling me that it must be morning tea time. Ignored the half empty packet of Tim Tams on the table in the middle of our bay, and instead had corn thins topped with extra light cream cheese, chopped almonds and honey. Water! I must remember to drink more water. In this weather it’s so easy to forget even though I do have a bright blue water jug on my desk. I can hardly miss it!

12.30pm: meeting Mr B for lunch at Gus’s. Only problem is that I hadn’t anticipated it being so busy. The only tables available were outside and the heating wasn’t great. But I had no choice. I was hoping that the pumpkin soup I ordered would warm me up, along with long black. The soup might’ve done the trick if it had been a lot warmer than what it was – it was a bit of a disappointment. Thank goodness for good company!

4.30pm: feeling a bit peckish so I had an apple. This would keep me going until dinner…hopefully.

5.30pm: a brisk 10min walk to the car. It’s so cold even though I’ve got on a warm coat, scarf and gloves, as well as tights and boots.

6.15pm: start cooking dinner. Tonight we have Chicken Tikka curry with cauliflower mash. The chicken thighs had been marinating in a mixture of tikka curry paste and natural yoghurt since last night so it was just a matter of browning these in the frypan before adding chicken stock and coconut cream. I had doubled the recipe but now I realise I needn’t have doubled the stock and cream – too much liquid. Oh well, I’ll know for next time! There was enough left over for lunch tomorrow so that’s lunch sorted.

7pm: finally sit down to dinner. The curry was very mild but tasty nonetheless. And I’m not sure whether Mr CJ actually noticed that the mash was cauliflower and not potato. He didn’t comment anyway, and ate the lot!

7.30pm: pack the gym bag for tomorrow morning’s weight session. Put on a load of washing.

Now: doing my blog entry. Then I’ll have my nightly treat – a Jarrah hot chocolate. Maybe some knitting. Then off to bed. 🙂

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