Tag Archives: recipes I like

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!

Those fancy schmancy smoked salmon & tomato cases with salad


Is it time yet?! Is it?! Is it?!

30 May

This is what I’m like as I’m waiting for 10am to tick over. Why? Because that’s when I can get access to next weeks exercise and meal plans. I always look forward to these so I can see what meals and exercise are in store for me next week. Actually the exercise not so much as that only changes every fortnight.

So next week I can look forward to meals such as banana quinoa porridge for breakfast, satay egg, cucumber & carrot corn thins for lunch and wholemeal creamy pasta bake for tea, among others. I’m sure Mr CJ will appreciate the nights when beef fillet with roast pumpkin and herb & parmesan veal schnitzel are on the menu.

The weekly challenge for next week is about trying new foods – this is a little easier than 300 push-ups I’d say!!! Each day we should try something different or new ie cook with a new ingredient or try a recipe that I normally wouldn’t go for. Actually that has been my commitment for this round – stick to the program and follow the nutrition to the letter. That has meant no embellishing of recipes 🙂 and it has also meant that I have cooked recipes I would normally skip over. And I must admit I have been pleasantly surprised in the process.

I had another weights session at the gym this morning. And the exciting thing was that…drum roll…I could use a recumbent bike! Ok it was only for 5 minutes but at least it was something different. I barely glanced at the arm crank contraption today. That’s one machine I’m not going to miss. There is boring and there is mind numbingly boring, and the arm crank falls in the latter category. My upper body weights session included super sets of assisted pull ups and incline chest press, bicep curls and dips, lateral raises and push ups, and one arm rows.


Bonus rest day

1 Oct

Scrambled eggsGotta love long weekends. The chance to get an extra sleep in. And a bonus rest day to boot. Well, I was kinda directed to have one and I’m doing as I’m told. 🙂

It is a drag, though, waking up just as tired, or even more tired, than when I went to bed but that’s been the theme of the past week. I’m hoping its just some virus going around that I’ve caught but to be sure I am making an appointment to see my GP and get some blood tests done.

Breakfast was scrambled egg with avocado toast, oven roasted cherry tomatoes and wilted baby spinach. Love my breakfast meals!

Then I met Ruth for coffee later in the morning at Kingston & Co – great coffee and I had a chilli choc macaron.

The afternoon was spent preparing meals for the week. Cooked up pumpkin & green bean red curry, Mexican style shepherd’s pie, honey banana muffins, and a granola to top my yoghurt and stewed fruit tomorrow for breakfast.

And I my training program arrived in my inbox – woohoo! The last 4 weeks. No surprises which is great but just building on what I’ve already been doing. Slow and steady is the way to go.

Tomorrow: the plan is to run before breakfast and do a bike intervals session after work.

“Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride
Nobody’s gonna slow me down
Oh no, I’ve got to keep on moving
Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground
Oh no, I’ve got to keep on moving.” – Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride lyrics, sung by Matthew Wilder, 1983

Honey banana muffins



Because I can

29 Sep

Strawberry crumbleYou know what they say about the best laid plans? Yup, changed them. I was meant to do a 10km run today but I didn’t feel like it. So I didn’t. Another rest day. Oh well.

I had a crappy night’s sleep. Also I failed to mention yesterday that I was suffering DOMS from my weights session on Thursday – more than I usually experience. This week my muscles are really slow to respond to any demands put on them. Anyway I was still feeling pretty sore this morning. And I’m lacking in energy big time.

The weather wasn’t helping things either. Ranging between bursts of sunshine, gusty winds, bitterly cold, drizzle – it just wasn’t particularly inviting to get out and run today. So I didn’t. Because I didn’t want to. Because I can.

Instead we watched the AFL grand final on TV. It was a great game – close the whole way. In the end the Sydney Swans won. Wouldn’t it be funny if Melbourne Storm win tomorrow – it would mean a Sydney team won the AFL grand final and a Melbourne team won the NRL grand final!

And for dessert tonight, and because strawberries are in season and are dirt cheap to buy at the moment, I made strawberry crumble. I adapted it from a recipe (Tapioca and Blueberry crumble) from a new cook book I bought yesterday – the Gluten Free Dessert Bible. It has lots of delicious recipes and some great photos to drool over. The plan is to try a recipe each weekend – no complaints from Mr N! Oh, and the crumble was delicious. Mr N had cream with his but I had a dollop of Chobani natural yoghurt with mine. It would also be great with icecream.   🙂

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ― Dr. Seuss

Strawberry crumble with a dollop of yoghurt

A clean bill of health

26 Sep

LunchThis morning I went for an easy 6km run before work. It’s amazing how light it is at 5.45am – I could actually run along the cycle path rather than the roads, which is what I usually have to do at that hour of the day. Also, it wasn’t cold so it was a very pleasant run. Mind you, no-one else seemed to be up as I didn’t see a soul the entire time I was out. There was no pain while running or afterwards and dutifully I did my stretches before having a shower.

I had a physio appointment later in the morning to review the past week. I mentioned that I had run this morning. He looked at my card and read out something about no running for a week until the next appointment when we would review things. Minor detail. My reasoning was that if I ran this morning then if there were any problems he could fix them! Besides it’s not like I went gangbusters this morning – it was a very steady, measured jog. So, after further prodding, manoeuvring, and mobilising, he agreed that I seemed to have recovered well which was due in large part to me playing it cautiously and getting the initial niggly, nagging pain looked at before it got too bad. Points to me! He did do some loosening of tight muscles including applying the elbow into the tightest spots in the glute – oh man, that is so cruel and it hurts. Anyway I have been given a clean bill of health but with the proviso that I don’t go out gangbusters on my training now. Also he suggested I not do the Coppins/Uriarra and William Hovell loop again before the event which is perfectly fine by me. 🙂

The Chicken, Orange and Avocado Salad I had for lunch today came about because I am trying to use up what is left in the fridge before the end of the week and grocery shopping. I used left over chicken from the roast the other night, an orange which was part of a box load that came from a work colleague’s father in Griffith, and some avocado that we had in the fridge. Add to that some cucumber and mixed lettuce leaves, and it made a delicious meal.

Tomorrow: the plan is to do a weights session in the morning (and I can include lower body exercises) and another intervals session on the bike after work.

“The will to win means nothing, if you haven’t the will to prepare.” – Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner

The long & winding road…….

15 Sep

All good things must come to an end and so does my rest day. I was up at 5am for breakfast before my 3.5 hour cycle followed by 20 minute run. There was no wind but it was chilly to start with – about minus three when I left at about 6.20am. The plan today was to head out Barton Highway, down Nanima Rd and then turn left onto Murrumbateman Rd and head towards Barton Highway and Murrumbateman.

Its been at least 8 years since I’ve ridden this route but not a lot has changed. They’ve taken out the wooden bridge on Murrumbatemen Rd which is great because I was always worried about my tyres getting stuck between the slats – I’ve had a couple of close calls.

As I was riding towards the turnoff onto Murrumbateman Rd I could see a runner ahead. I was pretty sure I knew who it was but wanted to get closer to make sure before calling out – didn’t want to make a complete idiot of myself! And yep, it was who I thought it was – Louy who lives out that way. Out doing her training for the big event – San Francisco Nike half marathon! It’s not often that I see someone I know while I’m out doing my long rides so it made a nice change. We stopped and chatted for a bit before heading on our separate ways.

And as soon as I turned on to Murrumbateman Rd I was swooped by a feral magpie who hit my helmet. As I was again further along the road, though this particular magpie tended not to get too close to my helmet but swooped above me.

The return trip was not as pleasant mainly because of a headwind which made hard work of the cycle home. Not that it looked like there was a wind – the leaves and branches on the trees didn’t seem to be moving but trust me, there was a wind and it wasn’t pleasant.

The highlight of the ride – chatting to Louy. The lowlights – swooping magpies and the headwind.

The run was pretty much the standard CJ shuffle for 4km with 7 short ‘fast’ intervals focussing on turnover. My focus really was to make sure I didn’t trip over my own 2 feet!

In total: 83km ride and 4km run.

Then it was a mad dash to shower, make a banana protein smoothie which I drank on the way to my massage appointment, followed by fruit and vegie shopping at the mall.

Tonight I made an Orange & Lemon Delicious pudding from Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion – it really was delicious! 🙂

Tomorrow: the plan is to do a long run. But not before a well deserved sleep in. The alarm is off!

“Ask yourself, ‘Can I give more?’ The answer is usually ‘Yes.'” – Paul Tergat, two-time Olympic 10,000m silver medalist

Monday motivation

3 Sep

It has been a week since I’ve been in the pool, which was always part of my training program as last week was a recovery week. But I felt pretty good this morning as I got ready to leave at 5.50am for my 6am session; even despite the fact that my pull buoy was going to get one hell of a workout this morning *groan*

The number of lanes had been reduced for the swimming public again as the water polo squads were also there, along with the regular swim squads. This meant it was peak hour traffic in all other lanes but I think we all behaved ourselves remarkably well. A little courtesy truly does go a long way 🙂 For the first couple of hundred metres I did have problems breathing – the hangover from my sinus infection last week. Even though I don’t breathe through my nose while swimming I think it’s the pressure that makes it uncomfortable. After my warm up laps it was then time to reacquaint myself with the much beloved pull buoy, not….for the next kilometre. And not only that but to increase the intensity every second lap. Coach, you can be such a meanie sometimes 😉 Following this set there was 500m of swimming pull buoy-less which I really appreciated, before returning to using it to swim hard for 200m. I have to point out that ‘hard’ is all a matter of perspective – it may not have looked hard to those in the “fast” lane, who in my books are turbocharged swimmers. But believe me, by this stage (I had swum 1.7km prior to this set) anything felt hard! 2km later I was done and out of that pool, feeling very satisfied with my start to the week, and feeling pumped that I had actually swum 2km – that’s my longest session to date.

My director brought in a chocolate masterpiece she had made on the weekend for Father’s Day – the Raw Chocolate Ganache tart. Can I say it was all manner of evil deliciousness – a base of blended pecans and dates, topped with a blended mixture of coconut oil, avocados, cacao powder and agave. For a start, if you didn’t know what was in it, you would never pick avocado as one of the main ingredients. It was of an ultra-smooth, rich, dense chocolate mousse texture, similar to that of chocolate truffles. Like I said, pure, unadulterated, evil deliciousness. This was not something you say no to, besides anyway only a small slice was needed. I’m so getting the recipe!

After work I headed to the gym for my 5km intervals session on the treadmill. Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve done this workout and boy, does it show. That session was hard! I really can’t recall it being so hard in the past.

And I’ve just seen my new training program for the next 4-week block and I’m scared. Hooley dooley I have my work cut out for me! I’ll just put it out there now that I’m hanging out for my next recovery week, which will come after 3 gruelling weeks of training. See you on the other side 😉

“What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”― Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday thoughts

23 Aug

Well so much for the Olympics effect – the gym was really quiet this morning! Not that I mind, it means easier access to the weights and machines I require. No having to keep an eye on the popular machines to ensure you can make a beeline for them as soon as the current user has finished. No having to shuffle the planned exercise routine around to accommodate what equipment is available. Let’s hope the same goes for the pool tomorrow.

The wintry weather has returned. During the night, about 3am, I was woken by thunder and lightning. Plus it had been raining since early evening so I had been lucky with my late afternoon run. And I’m glad I hadn’t gone with one of my initial thoughts yesterday of moving my run to this morning, instead of the gym, as I would’ve been running in the rain. At 5.30am that’s not a lot of fun. And today, it has been drab, grey, damp and chilly – definitely umbrella weather. I am hoping that Saturday morning will not be like this (but then again I don’t want a frosty morning either!) for my long cycle/run session.

The work birthday morning tea went well. The Stephanie Alexander lemon tart went down a treat with everyone. And Mr N is happy as I only took half of the tart to work – the other half is sitting in the fridge at home! Also, everyone had either baked or purchased gluten-free items so nothing was off-limits for me…..which is a good…and bad thing! Still I do have a long bike interval session after work today so I will have worked off some of the extra calories. All part of my finely tuned, nutritionally balanced triathlete’s diet!

“Don’t limit your challenges – challenge your limits.” – Author unknown

postscript: 4 minute hard efforts on the bike go for a very,very, very long time. Like f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Just saying…. 😉

This morning’s lung buster

22 Aug

Isn’t it amazing what an early night and 8 hours of sleep can do. 🙂 I woke feeling so much better this morning which was great as I had the first of 2 swim sessions for the week today. Normally I swim Monday mornings and on the weekend so showing up at the pool on Wednesday was a new experience for me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – whether there would be other squads training (apart from the usual swim squad that is there every day – gotta admire the commitment of those kids), whether Wednesday is a busy or quiet morning, who shows up (keeping a watchful eye out for ‘that’ woman). It looked like most of the regulars were there at least. By the end of my session I would have to say that Wednesday is a reasonably busy morning in the pool. There were about 5-6 people in our lane alone but amazingly there were never any hold ups or having to wait for someone to get part way down the pool before taking off on my next lap.

I decided to do the shorter of the 2 swims this morning so it was a 1.2km swim which included 3 x 100m hard efforts at the 300m, 600m and 900m mark. In theory there was meant to be a rest period after the harder sessions equivalent to half the time it took to swim the 100m. But that never eventuated. To go with the flow of the other swimmers I had minimal breaks at the end of each 100m, including the harder 100m efforts, but I swam a recovery lap (active recovery) after those harder efforts so I figured it would equate to the same thing as standing around (passive recovery). The session ended up being a bit of a lung buster this morning which was great because it blew away the cobwebs and it was what I needed. So while I may be dialling down the intensity in my running and cycling at the moment because they rely on my legs, which are still recovering from the weekend’s efforts, I can go gangbusters in swimming. That’s the beauty of cross training!

And I went for a short 6km run after work. It had been a lovely day and this afternoon was still warmish and made for pleasant running. A good way to end the day. 🙂

Tomorrow: the plan is to do a weights session int he morning and the second of my bike intervals session after work. I think I’m going to need it as we’re having a morning tea for a work colleague’s birthday tomorrow! As I type, there is a Stephanie Alexander lemon tart baking in the oven – all part of my…ahem…finely tuned, nutritionally balanced triathlete’s diet 😉

“The water is your friend…..you don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move”. – Alexandr Popov

Weekend hangover

20 Aug

I feel hung-over. Not in an over-indulged-in-alcohol sort of way but rather a very-active-weekend sort of way. Probably the better and healthier hangover to have, though maybe not as much fun…initially, anyway! I’m feeling tired and blah and my legs are just so over carting me around today. In fact, my body is just saying stop, enough already, give me a break, I want to do nothing, nada, zip, zero, zilch. No surprises there really – it was quite a weekend and I haven’t had one of them in a while. In fact, its full credit to my training program that I have come so far. Just a few months ago if you’d mention doing a 60km ride on Saturday and back it up with a 21km run on Sunday, I would’ve said you’re dreaming. Well I did it and I wasn’t dreaming!

Anyway it was a smart decision to have an unscheduled rest day today. Too much of a good thing can sometimes be too much of a good thing, if you get my meaning. Rest and recovery is very important. Mind you, apart from the expected tiredness I’ve pulled up well after the weekend’s exertions. I think there’s something to be said for cross-training.

I enjoyed a delicious, protein packed breakfast this morning – apple quinoa with cinnamon and yoghurt. Quinoa is a high protein gluten-free seed that can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. I tend to use it instead of cous cous or rice, and its great for breakfast.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back into training once again. The plan is to do a weights session in the morning and the first of 2 bike intervals session for the week, after work.

But for now…..I’ll kick back and enjoy the break!

“That’s the monster that’s human nature. We train to look good to other people, to look good to ourselves, to justify the cost of a coach, or as some sort of inoculation against the fear that we won’t have what it takes on race day. But we rarely train for the only reason that matters: to be the best we can be in body and mind, and deliver our finest possible performance on race day, regardless of the result.” – Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack, 2-time Ironman World champion