Tag Archives: nutrition

A fugly workout

25 Sep

I cannot lie. It was a hard slog on the xtrainer this morning. Wading through mud would have been easier. I can’t believe how tired I felt and my legs just did not want to cooperate. But as per usual, I ignored the plaintive cries, sucked it up and struggled on. To distract myself and to pass the time I read the sub-titles on the television screen at the gym – it helped…marginally.

I made me think of a column Michelle Bridges wrote a couple of weeks ago, and got slammed for by some segments of the media and fitness industry, about how she said that working out is not all fun and smiles. That to hit your target heart rate, or anaerobic threshold, does involve some blood, sweat and tears. And it’s true. Exercise can be fun but it can also be bloody hard work at times. And it’s at those times that I’m not smiling or having a good old chuckle. Instead my heart rate is up, my muscles are screaming to stop and the sweat is pouring off me. But not every workout is like this (thank goodness) nor is the entire workout like this. But when I hit my anaerobic threshold heart rate it ain’t pretty but for fitness gains it’s necessary to do this from time to time.  There are people who I see regularly at the gym, sitting on bikes slowly pedalling and reading at the same time. There is a time and a place for everything but personally if I can read while pedalling then obviously I am not working hard enough and really…what’s the point of being there? There’s far more comfortable places to read.

Rant over. Back to the gym this morning and it was a hard workout, mentally as well as physically. A fugly workout.

This morning’s session was followed by a green smoothie for breakfast again (the recipe I used yesterday served 2). This time I added chia seeds which gave it some more bulk and it did fill me up. But I remain to be convinced that drinking my meal is the way to go.

Injury update

I saw the sports doc this afternoon. We went through the scans and report, he did some more diagnostic tests and it was agreed that a MRI was required, to determine whether it’s an adductor injury causing me grief, or a labral tear injury. The original injury, the hammy tear, is still there but not causing me any problems currently as I’m not running. So, I have to make an appointment for an MRI with contrast dye and local anaesthetic to be injected into my hip joint.

Stay tuned…



It’s not easy being green

24 Sep

20130924-200752.jpgSo sang Kermit many years ago.

I was thinking of this song as I made my green…very green…breakfast smoothie this morning.

If you hadn’t noticed, green smoothies are the new black, so to speak. Everyone is drinking green smoothies these days – these smoothies are apparently brimming with anti-oxidants, good fats, lots of vitamins and minerals and guaranteed to have you glowing with great health.

So I wanted in on this new craze, just to see what it was like and whether it was worth the effort. I have to admit that I’m not usually a smoothie person, particularly when it comes to meals. I like some substance, crunch, snap, crackle and pop for my brekkie, not a beverage. To me, drinking my meal rather than eating it doesn’t feel as satisfying.

So there I was after my gym session (weights day today) tossing in to my blender the following ingredients – coconut water, avocado, mint leaves, baby spinach leaves, lime juice, SuperGreens powder, eye of newt, dash of mandrake…ok I did make up the last 2 ingredients!

My smoothie was looking very, very green.

As I switched off the blender and took off the lid the mixture was still bubbling, similar to what I imagine a swamp affected by blue-green algae would look like. Hardly conducive to drinking you might think.

And thank goodness Mr CJ wasn’t around to see it – I can just imagine the sort of comments I would’ve got from him. Put it this way, they wouldn’t have been very complimentary.

But actually my green smoothie was tasty and filling…for a while. Well until around 10ish in the morning when the hunger pangs started and I had to have something to eat.

So I’ve tried the latest craze. I will have it again, or variations on a theme. But the green smoothie won’t replace my usual brekkie food. I still prefer to eat my meals, rather than drink them.

Injury update
This evening I received a phone call from my physio. Seems he’s been talking to my sports doctor today about my ultrasound scan and problems with my hip and he (sports doc) wants to see me tomorrow afternoon. So fingers crossed… 🙂


15 Aug

“Fitness, Education, Energy, Diet”

FEEDinc is the name of a nutrition service provide by Accredited Practising Dieticians Lisa Donaldson and Jenelle Croatto in Kingston. They describe their business as follows:

“These 4 key elements drive our wellness and give us sustained vitality. At FEEDinc. we will help you regain your vitality through thorough assessment and guidance towards a more nourished and energised you.

It is our mission to help all our clients achieve total wellness. We have expertise in all areas of nutrition – diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal upsets, weightloss, pregnancy, enteral feeding, sports nutrition, IBS, Low FODMAP, Coeliac Disease, high cholesterol, allergies, intolerance, eating disorders, healthy eating for children and everything in between. You will not be alone in your journey to better health.

We believe in eating minimally processed foods and will encourage you to become an active participant in life. This doesn’t mean becoming a Master Chef or an elite athlete, it simply means becoming a healthier and happier YOU.”

Jenelle goes on to say “I believe we should reconnect with food on a level that is not just about the calorie, carbohydrate and fat content that seems to be ever entrenched in the mind of today’s dieter. For millennia food has been used for more than sustenance. We use food in times of celebration, comfort and joy. With a balanced, non-restrictive attitude towards eating, food can be used in a way that is both nutritious and pleasurable.” Hear, hear.

Last night I attended a two hour interactive nutrition workshop Get Lean, Stay Lean in Kingston. I love their thinking regarding diet, in that, they don’t believe in diet plans as such. Rather the focus should be on good nutrition, quick and easy meals, enjoyment of food and to be more aware of and attuned to hunger signals and feelings of satiety when eating.

There were 10 of us who attended the interactive workshop where they had pre-prepared tasty food but also cooked up a couple of dishes for us on the night. So it was not only an informative couple of hours but it was also delicious!

We started with banana smoothie shots, followed by pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot soup, then frittata, a quick risotto that was prepared in a rice cooker, turkey meatloaf, a quinoa salad, san choy bow, stuffed capsicums (these weren’t gluten free so none for me), date and coconut balls rolled in cocoa, and we finished with chocolate mousse topped with natural yoghurt and strawberries.

Lisa is also coeliac so it was great to get some ideas regarding gluten free products (so many gluten free products are highly processed and high GI so it’s hard sometimes picking the products that are better for you) and meals. Lisa was originally a school teacher but when she was diagnosed with coeliac disease, she decided to go back to university, study nutrition and become a dietician.

This morning I managed a 7km walk before heading off to a work breakfast at Remi’s where I had a bowl of delicious gluten free muesli with natural yoghurt and banana. 🙂


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!


Toughen up Tuesday

23 Jul

Actually I think in the 12WBT program it’s known as Tighten up Tuesday but I prefer the term ‘toughen up’. The aim of the day is to tighten up the diet and exercise – no excuses, no cheating, and no slacking off. Hmmm….

So here goes….

An early morning weights session at the gym, focusing on back and chest since I can’t do any of the leg exercises…yet again. So there were the usual lat pull downs, low cable rows, lots of push ups and dumbbell chest presses. And some time on the xtrainer, just to mix things up. And there was no slacking off or opting for easier weights but I still don’t feel like I’m getting a proper workout because I can’t do any leg-based weights. Do I sound frustrated? Yes!

For breakfast I had apple muesli, dolloped with natural yoghurt. I use the Kuranda gluten free, fruit free muesli with quinoa and cacao nibs. It’s delicious. Topped with grated apple and milk, and then dolloped with chobani natural yoghurt it becomes very, very delicious!

Morning tea was some more natural yoghurt with oven roasted strawberries. If you’ve never tasted oven roasted strawberries, you are really missing out on a taste sensation. This method is particularly good for strawberries that aren’t fully ripe and tasty – oven roasting brings out the sweetness and intensifies it. All you need to do is hull them, halve them, and place them on a baking tray (cut side up so they don’t stick to the baking paper) and roast in a 150*c oven for around 30 minutes.

I went for a brisk 5km walk at lunchtime along the cycle path that takes me through Turner. Brisk because there was a rather chilly wind blowing. Normally I walk early in the morning and don’t see anyone but walking at lunchtime I was passed by lots of runners. Sigh. I do miss running. I was very envious of even the slowest plodder today because they can do something I can’t do at the moment – run. We always want what we can’t have.

Today for lunch I had left over potato, spinach and feta tortilla. Sometimes food always tastes better the day after it’s been made and today was no exception. To follow I had a small mandarin from our tree. It might be small in size but it packs a flavour punch that many shop bought mandarins lack.

To deal with the mid-afternoon munchies I snacked on soy, linseed and chia corn thins with cottage cheese. It may sound gross to some but this is actually one of my favourite snacks. To each their own, I always say. Having said that, every so often this afternoon my thoughts would stray to a packet of salt and vinegar chips. Don’t ask me why – this is not normally something I eat nor even usually crave. Maybe I’m lacking salt? Instead I had a licorice tea which actually is better in combating sweet cravings but it does seem to have helped marginally.

Tea tonight was lamb with beetroot puree and herbed peas with ricotta. I love ricotta in any dish. The beetroot puree was different. Gee its messy though – I had beetroot juice everywhere, especially when it came to peeling it once it had roasted, and then pureeing it. Fortunately I remembered to don some gloves for the peeling stage otherwise I’d have red hands now!

In summary I think it was a toughen up day. I came so close to succumbing to the salt & vinegar chips this afternoon. I added a walk at lunchtime, in addition to the weights session I did this morning.

And I’m thinking an early night might be on the cards. Though I do have to pull my finger out and finish off some baby clothes I’m knitting for a baby that has now arrived. And no, I’m not referring to the royal birth!


Back on the straight and narrow

22 Jul

After a weekend of indulgences it is time to get back on the straight and narrow again. In some ways this is a relief because indulging doesn’t always leave me feeling great. It’s nice to be able to indulge once in a while, as for special occasions, but it shouldn’t become an everyday, or even every couple of days, occurrence. And I must admit I could’ve done without the additional chocolate and ice cream dessert yesterday but what is done is done, and there’s no use getting my knickers in a twist over it.

As I commented yesterday, I have changed to the maintenance program which means the number of calories I can consume per day has increased. I thought this would happen with my snacks but the recipes actually alter to include extra amounts. I noticed it with breakfast this morning. Today I had the breakfast crumble with cinnamon yoghurt. I used homemade stewed apple rather than the processed apple and strawberry puree called for in the recipe, so it was so much nicer and much better for me. I also had extra yoghurt and granola and the addition of walnuts. Yummo. So this ended up being quite a filling breakfast. And for dinner tonight I had extra feta and some tomato paste on my pizza. It’s the little things 🙂

Exercise-wise, I was up and out early for my 6km walk. It was very frosty this morning but I was wearing my cycling gear – thermal leggings and cycling top and jacket, as well as gloves. It kept me warm and toasty and I didn’t really notice the cold…well not much, except for my face! It was my fastest walk to date, with an average pace of just a whisker over 9 minute km/min. There’s hope for me yet!


My nemesis

21 Jul

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


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!


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.


Swings and roundabouts

12 Jul

I so didn’t want to get up this morning. I had woken at 3am and hadn’t been able to get back to sleep until…of course…about 30 minutes before the alarm went off. Obviously I wasn’t bounding out of bed full of vim and vigour, or even anything remotely approaching enthusiasm, to go for my walk around the block before doing my core strength exercises. But I had had yesterday off from exercising so I just had to suck it up and do it. Gosh I hate that sometimes! And it was so foggy outside – I definitely felt like I was venturing out into the gloom.

And confession time, though admittedly it’s not a huge indiscretion, but I ended up snacking more than I should’ve last night rather than just going to bed and reading a book. So what was I snacking on? Don’t laugh…some barbecued chicken and then some natural yoghurt. I know, it sounds hilarious – no chocolate, no cake, no chips. It all sounds too healthy. So I guess that’s saying something about the program – when I do snack off-plan it is at least healthy stuff. And I think the problem last night was that the pumpkin and goat’s cheese risotto that I had for tea, delicious as it was, just didn’t fill me up. I could’ve very easily eaten both serves!

Now a progress report – I lost 300g this week so I’m only 600g away from my goal weight. And as for my goal weight jeans, which I haven’t been able to fit into for 2 years, I can now wear them. In fact, I have worn them to work today. Okay so they are still a little snug around the waistband but not uncomfortably so. I just wish I could provide the same glowing updates on my running but oh well, I can’t have everything. Tomorrow I will incorporate the first week’s Couch to 5km session (8 x 1min jog/90sec walk) into my 8km walk.

So it’s been swings and roundabouts this week – some wins on the weight loss front but not going great guns on the running front.


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!


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! 🙂