Cooking, Renovations and Fun Stuff

Thursday, January 31, 2008

My Body Clock is Shot

Since my last show in October I've been busy with work. I've been working long hours and not getting enough sleep. Now that things are a bit quieter, I'm trying to get back into a regular sleep schedule. I'd love to be able to get back to waking at the same time every day without an alarm clock. Although I had a relaxing day on Wednesday, I didn't do myself any favours by having 10.5 hours sleep. It meant that I didn't go to bed until late last night. This morning my furry alarm clock (my cat, Oscar) woke me at 6am as usual and even though I was really tired after being up late, I couldn't get back to sleep. My stomach started grumbling and I had to get up and eat.



I had some smoked salmon that I needed to use up, so decided to adapt a recipe for Salmon and Rocket Wraps I found yesterday. I didn't have any rocket, so decided to use spinach, but I think the rocket would have made a nice sharp contrast with the rich salmon and eggs. For my brekky I just used two eggs, 50g smoked salmon and a handful of spinach leaves.

Instructions:
Beat the eggs with freshly ground pepper. Spray oil in a nonstick frying pan. Pour the eggs into the pan and cook like an omelette. Remove, place on plate, place rocket/spinach leaves on top, then the salmon, and roll up. Slice into four pieces, like California rolls.

The recipe suggested to serve with horseradish mayonnaise but I didn't have any horseradish or mayo, LOL. If I make this again, I would probably just use one whole egg and a few whites, to make the omelete a bit bigger and lower the fat content. I would also add some more veges to up the carb count a bit. Asparagus would be nice, either on the side or inside. As made today, it had 166 cals, 12.6g fat, 26.2g protein and 0.5g carbs.

I normally train upper body on Thursday morning but I could feel my rear delts from yoga yesterday so decided to train a bit later as I knew they would be getting a bit of work in today's session.

Was feeling a bit tired by mid-afternoon and my motivation to train wasn't that high. I was tempted to have a coffee to give me a boost before training, but I was worried about getting the shakes during my workout - I've been a bit sensitive to caffeine lately if it's not within an hour or so of eating. Got to the gym without a coffee but got the shakes anyhow (see below).

Upper body training went as well as can be expected given I'd only had 4.5 hours sleep. The weights felt very heavy for the first exercise, but by the time I got to the third exercise I was into the swing of things. I do find it a little frustrating training in a 'big boys' gym sometimes as the graduation in weights can be a bit much for me at times. I go up in weight but only manage to get out 2 reps instead of 8, LOL. But it's a great atmosphere to train in. Unfortunately I left it a little long before eating a solid carb meal when I got home. I started to get hungry, then got engrossed in something else. By the time I started eating my meal, my blood sugar had already gotten pretty low. I got the shakes (which sometimes happens when I really badly need to eat) but then I also got cold sweats. Not good. Finished off my meal then lay on the couch. Could feel my eyes closing so went off to bed for a nap, at 7pm. Woke at 9pm and now I'm probably not going to get to sleep until some ridiculous wee hour.

Hope to get this sleep thing resolved soon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Relaxing Day

Had a lovely sleep-in this morning after training legs last night. Today is a rest day from the gym, so we got up and had our protein shakes then headed off to the park for a walk with our dog, TJ. I used to walk him all the time when he was a puppy, but he weighs about the same as me now and it's a real workout to control him sometimes, so now my husband walks him and I trail along behind them, trying to keep up, LOL. TJ found another dog to play with at the watering hole, so that tuckered him out a bit. He kept wanting to stop for a rest on the way home, which was fine by me!

After we got back from the park I did my 30-minute core yoga DVD. I haven't done it for a while and found it hard but enjoyable. Then it was time for breakfast. I haven't had cereal for ages so this morning it was Bran Flakes, yoghurt and vanilla protein powder all mixed together, with berries on top - yum.

I usually try and wait about an hour after eating to have a coffee, so I don't hinder the absorbtion of iron in my meal, so I sat with hubby while he ate his meal, then we washed and dried the dishes, and put the coffee on to perk. We took our coffee outside and had a good chat while enjoying the sunshine. TJ sat with us chewing on an old bit of bone, which I think was the remnants of the one in this pic.


So the first part of my day was all about having some quality time with my family, and it was a very relaxing way to start the day.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Craving Broccoli

I thought I would get sick of chicken after eating this week's Mexican meals, but I haven't had the variety of vegetables that I usually do, and I'm craving broccoli, of all the weird things. So this week's menu is aimed at putting a range of veges back into my diet. Thought I would just list ingredients this time round...
Meal 1: pear, spinach, almonds, green tea, yoghurt, protein powder
Meal 2: protein and carb drinks at gym
Meal 3: beef, onion, garlic, basil, olives, tomatoes, eggplant, wholemeal pasta
Meal 4: chicken, leek, carrot, red pepper, pumpkin, broccoli
Meal 5: beef, onion, garlic, basil, olives, tomatoes, eggplant, nuts, apple
Meal 6: as for meal 4
Meal 7: egg whites, whole egg, garlic, chilli, ginger, mushrooms, snow peas, red pepper, spring onions, coriander

The first meal is a variation on the energy booster, from the Food Coach website. I don't use the parsley in that recipe, and instead of almond milk I just chuck some whole almonds and cold green tea into the blender. I also add half a cup of yoghurt and 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder. It's yum!

Work is quiet for me at the moment, so I'm making the most of the opportunity to catch up on my sleep and put all my energy into my training. Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekends. Now that I've planned out my menu I'm off to buy what I need and do a big cook-up for the week. Cheers!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Get Ready 2008



I'm going! Looking forward to catching up with those of you attending the Melbourne seminar on the 17th of Feb.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's Mexican Week!

My husband is trying to lose some bodyfat at the moment, and he loves Mexican food. I know how important it is to enjoy your food while you are dieting, so this week we are having a Mexican theme, albeit slighly modified, since he is gluten and lactose intolerant.
Meal 1: protein shake and nuts
Meal 2: protein and carb drinks at gym
Meal 3: chilli and potato, piece of fruit
Meal 4: fajita-style chicken (chicken strips stir-fried with onion, red peppers and green peppers and served with guacamole)
Meal 5: chilli and nuts, piece of fruit
Meal 6: fajita-style chicken
Meal 7: chicken 'enchilada' (chicken, onion, garlic, red pepper, tomato inside a egg-white 'tortilla' and topped with salsa)

I cooked the chilli and chicken in advance, so during the week the only meal that really needs to be prepared each day is the last one. I suspect we'll be sick of chicken by the end of this week though. Am thinking of having something with fish next week.

I'm enjoying doing lower reps again, and my husband has joined my gym too, so it's been great having someone there to help me get the weights up, or give me a spot if I need one. Well, for upper body anyway - I haven't convinced him to do a leg workout with me yet, LOL.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Cheers to Life

I love the sentiments in this post and just had to share

I think far too many people don’t celebrate life.
I used to be like that. I used to be the person who never used their good dishes unless it was some super duper special occasion. Never broke open the good bottle of wine I bought. Never wanted my picture taken because I’m too fat. Always thought I would be happier if I had more money, was skinner, had a home, better car, etc….
And then I switched. I still don’t use my good dishes every day but far more than the average person. I mean they are just too pretty to not!
If I buy wine, I drink that wine. I don’t let it sit around for forever….because I might not be around for forever.
I stand and smile in whatever picture I am in. For that is me, and where I am at this point in life. Sure I may be a chunkster but my body is healthy enough for me to play hockey, go to the gym a few times a week and can do what I like to make it do.
More money is always good, though I tend to find the more you make the more you spend, so really it is all relative.
I don’t think any person is truly happy at whatever size you are. You always seem to be in quest for those last 10 pounds. Well, no one is perfect, not even you. And perfection is never going to happen.
I got a home, and on this one I must say that I am happier not to have to listen to my upstairs neighbors and what have you. But saying that there comes much more responsibility and worries.
Gone are my days of drooling over BMW’s and Mercedes. I drive a Ford Focus…that is paid for. It gets me to and from where I need to go. It gets great gas mileage. If something breaks on it(which so far never has…knock on wood) it is fairly inexpensive compared to when I owned a “nice” car. Sure no one is starring at me and saying, gee I wish I had that car. But then again I don’t have a $500 a month car payment and have to give my right arm up if something breaks down on it.
I’m always fascinated by interviews of a lot famous people who are older. Many of them grew up in poverty. In their interviews I find it interesting that they all say how happy their childhood was because they didn’t know they were poor. They didn’t know any different. I often wonder how much happier the world would be today if there was no media to be pushing to see all the “things” they are missing out on.
Now before you think I am some non-materialistic hippie(not that there is anything wrong with that), I am not. I am pretty darn materialistic, I own Louis Vuitton purses for goodness sake! But I strive each day to truly appreciate all that I have and try not to worry about all that I don’t have.
link

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Omega Fats

From the Food Coach

The Omega Connection
The body needs fat, plain and simple. Fats are our energy reserves, they also insulate the body and protect and cushion vital organs. Every cell in the body needs fatty acids to produce and build new cells, as they are critical in the transmission of nerve impulses and proper brain development, as well as being present in the cell membrane.

There are three main fatty acids: saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated and monounsaturated fats are the types of fat the body will burn first, whereas some polyunsaturated fats are used for energy but most have other vital functions in the body. There are two fatty acids from the polyunsaturated category that the body cannot make; therefore they are called essential fats, or EFAs. The Nutrition Almanac notes that "EFAs are invaluable for the production and movement of energy throughout the body. They regulate the transport of oxygen and are vital in maintaining the integrity of cell structure. They are crucial for blood clotting, for support of the immune system, and for synthesising hormones such as prostaglandins which regulate numerous biological processes including the healing mechanism."

While the two essential fats, Omega 3 and Omega 6 are both necessary for good health, it is the ratio of the two that is critical for maintaining optimum health. The ideal ratio of Omega 3: Omega 6 fats is 1:1, a diet our ancestors existed on for millions of years. This proportion of fats in the ancient diet allowed for optimum brain development and evolution into the modern man. They ate a mixture of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, with little or no grains.

Today, however, our diets contain a ratio thought to be around 1:15 omega-3 to omega-6 fats. The increase in the latter can be attributed to the escalating amount of vegetable oils and soybeans being used in processed foods, both of which are rich in Omega-6 fats, and farmers are choosing to feed livestock grains over grass simply because it's cheaper.

Although both fats are needed for good health, too much omega-6 can trigger inflammatory responses in the body. Both EFAs compete for the same enzymes in performing their conversions to other fats, so an excess of omega-6 will block beneficial omega-3 fats from being absorbed and utilised by the body.

Omega-3 fats are important in the diet for many reasons. Their strong anti-inflammatory action has the potential to prevent or improve many common diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis and obesity as well as other widespread afflictions such as acne, eczema, allergies and menstrual problems. Omega 3 fats also play an important role in the treatment and prevention of nervous disorders, as science is now learning that depression may be an inflammatory condition of the brain. Common omega-3 fatty acids used by the body are alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), eicosapentaeonic acid (EPA) and docosahexaeonic acid (DHA).

The effects of essential fatty acids on certain diseases have been the focus of many scientific studies, with research into heart disease, depression and asthma bringing positive results. The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) notes that in a large randomised, placebo-controlled trial that tested supplemental fish oil fatty acids, cardiovascular mortality was significantly reduced. In addition, arterial function improved, inflammatory processes in the arteries were reduced, triglycerides were lowered, HDL (good) cholesterol raised, and blood pressure was lowered. Other studies have shown that omega-3 acids have benefited childhood and adult depression, as well as arthritic states.

When deciding to supplement with essential fatty acids, it's important to do so for the right reasons. Are you vegan or vegetarian who doesn't eat fish? Is your diet of poor quality and do you rely heavily on grains and processed foods? If your lifestyle isn't healthy, supplementing with EFAs isn't going to fix it - good nutrition starts with a well-rounded diet. Focus on including more omega-3-rich foods in daily meals, and after a few months, if there has been no change in health then consider supplementation.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, canola oil, walnuts, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, anchovies, sardines, herring and tuna, and is also found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and watercress as well as some types of algae. Meat from organically-raised, grass-fed animals contain some omega-3 fats, as do organic fortified eggs. Including several of these foods every day will boost your omega-3 intake and contribute to improved mood and energy, great skin and hair and a healthy cardiovascular system. A sample daily diet may look like this:

Breakfast Natural muesli with plain yoghurt, fresh fruit and 1 tbsp flaxseed oil
Morning snack Handful of raw almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts
Lunch Frittata made with omega-3 organic eggs and roast vegies; green leafy salad with flax oil and lemon juice dressing
Afternoon snack 2 oatcakes topped with goat's cheese and sliced tomato
Dinner Grilled salmon marinated in ginger, garlic and tamari, served with stir-fried Asian greens and brown rice
Evening snack Fresh strawberries and herbal tea


In addition to an omega-3-rich diet, decreasing your intake of omega-6 fats will help redress the imbalance. Choose fresh over processed foods and read labels of products you do purchase, stop using corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower or cottonseed oils and reduce consumption of soy-based products and grain-fed meats and eggs. Although olive oil is considered higher in omega-6 than omega-3, it contains smaller amounts so is great to keep using in cooking. Otherwise coconut oil is a fantastic oil to use in cooking over high temperatures as it doesn't denature and turn rancid.

Supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids isn't as easy as a trip to the local chemist either. The retail brand fish oils that sit on their shelves generally have low amounts of EPA and DHA, the oils may be sourced from unsafe or poor quality fish and the product may have been sitting in the shop for a while, in which case the oils have probably turned rancid and offer no nutritional support anymore.

Do your body a favour and visit a natural health practitioner or qualified chemist to ask their opinion on a specialised supplement that suits your needs. A professional brand of fish oil will most likely have a higher concentration of EPA and DHA, thereby reducing the need to swallow mountains of pills and increasing effectiveness. The bottle or jar should be dark in colour to prevent oxidisation and once opened, make sure to store your fish oils in the fridge for freshness.

Getting it - where to find your Omega 3

It's fine to say you need Omega 3 fatty acids, but where do you find them, and how good are those sources in comparison to one another? The following table lists some common foods high in Omega 3 and how many grams in a serving size. Keep in mind that a serve of fish is most likely larger than 100 grams, so the level of fatty acids may be higher in a regular meal. Currently, the recommended daily intake of Omega 3 fatty acids is 650 mg per day, but many believe it should be closer to 1000 mg for maximum health benefits.

Source Omega-3 content (mg) Serving size
Salmon (fresh) > 2000 100 grams
Salmon (canned) 1440 100 grams
Mackerel 1500 100 grams
Barramundi 100 100 grams
Blue eye cod 310 100 grams
Sydney rock oysters 300 100 grams
Snapper 220 100 grams
Tuna (fresh) 300 100 grams
Tuna (canned) 161 1 small can
Sardines 1800 100 grams
Fish oil supplements 1000 1 capsule
Flaxseeds (ground) 3500 2 tbsp
Flaxseed oil 8500 1 tbsp
Walnuts (halved) 2300 1/4 cup

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Preparing for the Week Ahead

I spent a lot of time at the office last week and was up early each morning preparing salads for my husband and I (four each, two with chicken and two with beef). I wanted to cut down on my daily preparation time this week, so I had a busy day today, food shopping and cooking most of the week's meals in advance (I like to make enough for dinner as well in case I end up being at work late). I marinated chicken to go on our salads (we will still be having two chicken salads a day) and did massive batches of stir-fry, so our fridge and freezer are chock-full of Gladware containers at the moment. Our meals will look something like this:
Meal 1 protein shake and nuts
Meal 2 protein and carb drinks at gym
Meal 3 beef, broccoli and carrot stir-fry, brown rice, piece of fruit
Meal 4 chicken salad, flax oil
Meal 5 beef, broccoli and carrot stir-fry, nuts, piece of fruit
Meal 6 chicken salad, olive oil
Meal 7 egg-white, cheese & vege omelette, fruit

We are going through 18 eggs a day at the moment (6 for me, 12 for Rob), and it was quite funny seeing the check-out chick's reaction when we put all the cartons in front of her. Had an email the other day saying that Safeway in Victoria will be reinstating Cutting Edge Egg White 950mL due to customer demand from the beginning of Feb, so am looking forward to that - will make life a little easier and hopefully give us a bit more room in the fridge!

Next weekend I will probably do a chilli or curry instead of a stir-fry. I think they will be a little easier to make in big batches as they only need to be simmered.

OK, need to get to bed now - lots to do tomorrow. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Off-season 'look'



This is me today. Excuse the bed hair, LOL. After bouncing around a bit over the Christmas period, I am in my 'happy place' again as far as my body fat goes, and am aiming to keep at this level while trying to put on some more muscle. I'm looking forward to getting back into some heavier training again from Monday.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Portion control



Control Your Portions - Above is a great picture that shows you how to estimate portion sizes. If there is one thing that you need to remember it is that any time you order food in a restaurant in America they are going to give you more food than you should eat. (from Naked Nutrition)

Here's what I could decipher of the text:
75g cooked chicken or meat = deck of cards
1 cup cooked rice, pasta or ice cream = tennis ball
30g cheese = 4 dice or 1 domino
medium piece of fruit = baseball
1 tsp butter or margarine = 1 dice
1 small baked potato = computer mouse
average woman's fist = 1 cup
2 Tbsp peanut butter = golf ball
30g chocolate = packet dental floss

Monday, January 7, 2008

More on Sleep

I think Craig Harper must be reading my mind. I received this post via email while I was pulling an all-nighter tryng to get some work finished before Monday morning...

Sleep Ugly

Good morning (afternoon, evening) class.

When we fitness and health 'experts' (and I use that term very loosely) talk to the masses about improving overall health, you'll usually hear plenty of chat about our horrible dietary habits (could we hear any more - even I'm sick of it), our inability to exercise consistently, our nasty habits (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes), our need to develop an effective stress management strategy, our propensity to have our asses surgically attached to a chair or couch, our rapidly decreasing levels of incidental and occupational activity (we simply move less than we used to and therefore expend about 800 less calories per day - while ingesting the same amount) and of course, the head stuff; gotta get yer mind in the right place to get yer body in the right place. And I agree, all of the above variables are important considerations in the 'creating your best body' process.

However...

There's one crucial variable which impacts on how we look, feel and function almost more than any other ingredient in the 'optimal health recipe', yet it rarely gets the attention it deserves; sleep. If you wanna look, feel and function like crap, simply under-sleep for a few nights in a row and bingo. Better still, miss a couple of nights sleep completely, and you'll look and feel five years older by next Tuesday. And you'll move like a ninety year-old, chain-smoking emphysema patient, with a busted hip.

The only two things we can't live without for any length of time are water and sleep. Okay, maybe oxygen, but I don't think getting adequate O2 will be a problem for you or me any time soon. Can we survive without food for a few weeks? Yep (and some of us should). What if we smoke and drink daily for a month, will that kill us? Nup (not suggesting we do though). What if we don't exercise for a year, will that kill us? Nup, probably not (not suggesting that either). Waddabout not sleeping for a week or two? Yep, that'll kill yer.

The often-ignored truth is that sleep plays a very significant role in overall health, but most of us don't really think about it too much. We have no plan or strategy when it comes to 'sleeping for health'. Our sleep habits are random; hit and miss. Far too often we ignore the signals our body sends us because "we've got stuff to get done". However, as is often the case, our body is smarter than our mind. If we don't pay attention, it will make us listen, one way or the other. If only we would all pay attention to the numerous signals our body gives us (and then respond accordingly), we would be a much healthier population. The human body is an awesome organism that is constantly monitoring, adapting, healing and responding to a vast array of stimuli. It's also constantly sending out signals which we've trained ourselves to ignore.

Hey Mr (Mrs) high-achiever, you know that hypertension, the shortness of breath, the increased resting heart rate, the anxiety and the loss of appetite you're experiencing? Well call me crazy, but maybe you're body is trying to tell you something!

Listen to your body; it knows what you need - even when you're too stupid to recognise it!

Regular lack of sleep is one of the quickest and most effective ways to destroy your health. And many of us do it; about fifty percent of us are regularly under-slept. Many of us, constantly.

There's lots of really cool research behind all this stuff and I could talk to you about REM (rapid eye movement) sleep (where most dreaming occurs) and the four stages of non-REM sleep (ranging from light dozing to very deep slumber) and baffle you with all the sciencey stuff, but all you really need to know for this little lesson is that sleep is something which needs to be consciously and intelligently factored into your overall health plan.

So, what happens if you don't get enough sleep regularly?
Well, the short answer is, plenty, but perhaps I should expand on that.

1. You'll become the proud owner of a suppressed immune system. You'll get sick.

2. You'll experience changes to your endocrine system (the hormone stuff). Metabolic changes, weight gain, diabetes, increased blood pressure and heart disease are just some of the possible consequences. Bummer.

3. You will be more susceptible to emotional stress and anxiety.

4. Small problems with seem like big ones. You won't cope with everyday challenges as effectively as you normally do.

5. Your ability to learn, remember and focus will be significantly impaired.

6. You will look older. Double bummer.

7. Performance at school, work and in sport will suffer. Your ability to perform a wide range of physical and mental skills will be affected.

8. You will probably be a grumpy pain in the ass. Even more than normal.

9. Your decision-making skills will suffer. So too will your judgement.

10. If you're a kid, you will inhibit your physical development - growth hormones are released during sleep.

11. Your co-ordination and reaction time will be impaired.

12. You will be more predisposed to sadness and depression.

13. If you work out, or you are an athlete, you won't recover optimally.

Some interesting facts about sleep....
* While we all have different sleep requirements, the average adult needs somewhere around six to eight hours per day. Some do great on five, while others will need ten. You will need to listen to your body and discover your individual requirement.

* One third of all drivers will fall asleep while driving at least once in their lifetime.

* When you miss necessary sleep, your body goes into 'sleep debt'. Let's say that one night you have three hours sleep instead of your normal eight, your body will be in sleep debt until you 'repay' those five hours. A simple solution is to sleep one extra hour for five days. To address a long-term sleep debt it is often necessary to take a holiday where there are no alarm clocks. Most people can get back to 'normal' within a week or two.

* Babies need around sixteen hours of sleep per day, while teenagers operate most effectively on about nine hours (of course this varies from individual to individual).

* During REM sleep your brain is as active as when you are awake, but because you muscles don't move during REM sleep, you will not act out your dreams. Sleepwalking occurs during non REM sleep.

Where to from here? A sleep strategy for you.
The following are my suggestions only, keeping in mind that I'm not a doctor or a sleep specialist. I am simply sharing what I have found to be effective for myself and for my clients over the years.

1. Have one day per week (at least) where you don't get up to an alarm.

2. Keep a sleep diary for 28 days. Record time to sleep, time awake, total sleep time (for the day, week, month), moods, energy levels and overall feeling of well-being. Identify patterns and individual needs. Learn to listen to, and act on, the signals your body gives you.

3. Don't eat within four hours of bed. If you have to eat, make it a small meal.

4. No caffeine within four hours of bed.

5. Create some non-negotiable sleep rules and actually adhere to them. "I will be in bed before eleven o'clock at least five nights out of seven".

Well, there you have it class; a little light shed on an often neglected subject. For many years I was a chronic under-sleeper (a word), but because I am a stupid alpha-male, I always 'toughed it out'. The day I started to sleep more systematically and intelligently, and to give my body what it was screaming for, was the day my overall level of health started to improve dramatically. Literally in one week, I felt like a different person. Hopefully this information will help you transform yourself from a Sleeping Ugly into a Sleeping Beauty.

Sleep well boys and girls.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Almost Back to Normal

Although I ate pretty clean from Boxing Day onwards during Christmas week, I did end up eating more carbs than usual that week, so this week I've been eating less carbs to compensate. My food inspiration came from this T-nation article. I'm not doing the diet, but as soon as I saw the 'burning phase' section I thought 'yum' about almost every meal (I love cheese, cherries, salmon and asparagus), so tried to incorporate them into this week's eating.

Today I can start to see my abs again - yay! Although I've been a little hungry in the evenings it was worth it as I'm feeling much better about myself now. But it's definitely made me more commited to staying lean (and not getting too greedy) while trying to build muscle.

On a different note, I would like to say 'welcome' to Emma, who is moving to Australia at the end of this month and has just started a figure competition blog.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Alcohol and Me

I've realised that if I drink in a situation where you can help yourself to food, I'll keep going back for more and my choices will often be less than ideal. After feeling blah about myself following my Christmas drinking and eating I decided not to drink on New Year's Eve, as we were going to be going to a barbecue. I knew I would be fine with my food choices if I didn't drink, and I didn't want to wake up on New Year's Day feeling worse about myself, so I had an alcohol-free night. I was the only person at the BBQ not drinking, apart from the kids and a pregnant woman. I took along some salmon and asparagus to put on the grill, and stuck to that. No chips, cheese or chocolate fountain for me. Though I was sorely tempted to try dipping a marshmallow in the chocolate fountain! But I knew that once I started, one wouldn't be enough. It was great to wake up this morning and feel good about myself. Hope everyone else is having a good start to their new year!