Cooking, Renovations and Fun Stuff

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Killed my Scales!

I've had these nice stainless-steel digital scales for the last 18 months. They usually sit near the kettle. The other day I was making a hot drink and managed to knock it over, getting the scales wet in the process. Now they don't work :-( I looked in the instruction book - it said do not immerse in water. Doh! I've been managing OK without them for the last couple of days but knew I had to weigh out some meat today so grabbed a cheap set of scales while I was at the supermarket. OMG, they are so inaccurate. Looks like I will be venturing out to buy a new set of digital scales tomorrow.

On the training front, everything is going well. Have been doing some heavy lower-body work for the last couple of weeks (sets of three). Last time I did reps that low was 1994 (!), and was a bit freaked out with the thought of doing them again, but I was pleased with how it all went.

Our local Safeway has finally got cartons of frozen egg whites in, so am looking foward to trying them out tomorrow, once they've defrosted.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Eggs

Have been trying out lots of different egg recipes lately - all whites or with a yolk or two, with cheese or without cheese, with added oil or without. Finally worked out a recipe that I'm really happy with and I think I'll be sticking with it for a while.

Frittata
(makes 4 serves)

Ingredients
spray oil
1 onion, diced
12 egg whites
4 whole eggs
1 zucchini, grated
60g sundried tomatoes, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced (chargrilled is great if you have time)
50g extra sharp grated parmesan cheese

Method
1. Preheat oven to hot (I have a slow gas oven and have it around 225 C)
Spray 8" x 8" glass casserole dish with oil, throw in diced onion and place in oven to soften while you are preparing remaining ingredients.
2. Place remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.
3. Remove casserole dish from oven and pour mixture over onions.
4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked in the center.
5. Allow to cool slightly then cut into four squares.

Each square is approx 231 cals, 8.5g fat, 24.5g protein, 13.5g carb

Get Ready Seminar

Thanks to everyone who left comments about TJ and James. TJ is on the mend but we are taking him walking on a different route until we are all a bit more comfortable going back to 'Where the Wild Things Are'. James's hand is slowly getting better. He is new to Melbourne so at least he has a good talking point when meeting new people!

Finally have some time and energy so thought I would say a few words about the Get Ready seminar I attended on Sunday. It was a long day, but think we all got a lot out of it, not least sore muscles from all the posing practice!

We started off by introducing ourselves - about half of us had competed before, and half are planning to compete for the first time in the near future. Several will be novices at the the All Female show, so it was great that they will have others there that they already know.

Jo then ran through the different federations and what 'looks' they tend to favour, and talked about the different categories (physique, figure, sportsmodel etc). She also gave a brief overview of posing and requirements, talking about creating a 'Y' shape for a figure competitor (wide shoulders and back, narrow base) and an "x' shape for a physique competitor (wide shoulders and back, tapering in to waist then out again).

Jo also talked about how competing affects your family, and how it can affect you physically, mentally and financially. Something that I took away from this was that you should make competing an extra part of your life, rather than the center of your life. I thought it was important, as it's easy to become self-absorbed doing this sport - something I was particularly guilty of when preparing for my first competition, and that I've been trying to reduce since.

Before lunch we went through the quarter turns. Unfortunately Donna wasn't able to make it due to work commitments, so Jo had her work cut out for her, correcting the posting of 12 eager students. But she gave us all some individual attention, which was great. It was amazing to watch how a few small changes could make such a difference to a person's posing.

After lunch we went through music choice and editing, costumes and shoes, and routines



Then it was time for more posing practice, this time the compulsory poses. Going through these poses made me realise how little I know, and how much more I need to learn. I think Jo made a big difference to my side chest pose in particular - I actually looked like I had chest muscles, LOL.

Near the end of the day Gabriela Cioban arrived to pick up her suits from Jo. Gabriella is competing at the Arnold Amateur IFBB International Championships in Ohio at the end of the month - there are 22 competitors in her class! (See Gabriela in the latest issue of Harcore Aussie Muscle.) She sat in and added her opinion while Jo discussed tanning and grooming (hair, make-up etc). I got to be the guinea pig while Jo applied a base coat of Contest Colour to my stomach, then a bit of Dream Tan to one side of my belly button, and a bit of Body Shimmer to the other side, so we could see how to apply all the products, and what they looked like on.

I'm sure I've missed lots out, but that gives you a general idea of what was covered. It was a great day - not only does Jo give out lots of useful info, but it also gives you a chance to meet other people who are interested in the same sport as you. So it's definitely worth going - just be prepared to wake up a bit stiff and sore the next day!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Week that Was...

Warning, long post ahead...

Last week started off well. Rob's cousin was staying with us and we all decided to go for a walk with the dog on Wednesday afternoon. Got down to the waterhole and as we approached we could see another dog and its owner coming from the opposite direction. Our dog is a lab, just over two. The other dog was a staffy/Australian bulldog cross, also about two. Both dogs were about the same size. They had a great time playing around while we were all talking. Then the play started to get a bit rough. The other dog knocked TJ into the waterhole a couple of times. TJ likes to go wading in the waterhole, but doesn't like to get his whole body in, so by the time he came out of the waterhole the second time, he wasn't very happy. He growled at the other dog, which then decided to attack. He latched on around TJ's ear and wouldn't let go. TJ started squealing so Rob jumped in to protect his dog. Rob tried to grab TJ by the collar, but it came off, so he called out to his cousin to give him a hand. James tried to help but the other dog bit him. The other owner was telling us to leave the dogs alone, that they would sort it out between them, and in the end the boys did have to stop as they couldn't get them apart. The dogs stopped fighting pretty quickly, but by that time James had gone white and was shaking, so I put the collar back on TJ and we got out of there as quickly as we could. We had to walk back to the far end of the park to get to the main road, with James holding his hand to his chest the whole time.

The doctor at the nearby surgery cleaned up James' wounds (two bites to the right hand and one to the left) and bound his right hand, but he wasn't interested in making any small talk with James, and James felt like he was just going through the motions. Rob and I had plans to go to the moonlight cinema in the botanical gardens for an early Valentine's day celebration but were reluctant to leave James on his own. In the end he persuaded us to go, but I made him up a couple of meals to microwave while we were out, so he wouldn't have to do too much for himself.

On Thursday James went back to the doctor to have his dressing changed. He saw a different doctor, who immediately wrote out a referral letter and sent him off to the hospital. While there he had his right hand completely cleaned out, bandaged up and had his arm put in a sling.

On Friday I rang to make an appointment for TJ to go to the vet on Saturday. His wound was just below his ear canal but it was hard to see as it was covered with fur. We'd been spraying Betadine on the area to start with, but he was now growling at us if we tried to get anywhere near it. James went back to the hospital again to have his dressing changed. They suspected he might have some broken bones in his hand, but it was too swollen to tell. He came out with his hand splinted and in an even bigger bandage. When we came home on Friday night TJ came running up to greet us as he usually does, but everytime his ear made contact with one of us he squealed, so we were relieved we already had an appointment at the vets in the morning.

TJ had to be sedated at the vet's before she could get anywhere near his ear. She had to cut away all the fur around the wound. You could actually see the teeth marks from the other dog. He had a mild to moderate infection so she cleaned it all up, gave him some anti-inflamatory and antibiotic shots and sent us home with some antibiotics. It wasn't until after we finished at the vet that I realised how stressed I'd been feeling for most of the week. Felt so relieved that TJ was on the mend. Got to the gym on Saturday afternoon and had a great deadlift workout, then went out for dinner at Cafe Italia in Lygon St with Jo Rogers, Kerry from Adelaide, and Eddie and Diana from Next Generation supplements. It was nice to relax and talk bodybuilding for the evening, then it was up early the next morning to head off to the Get Ready seminar...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lean and Mean



Enjoyed watching the new Terminator series on TV last night, but think the original Sarah Connor is much more inspiring. In Cat's blog recently she said 'My way of rejoicing in being alive is to make my body lean and mean'. This the image that sprang into my mind when she said that - although Cat may having been thinking of something entirely different!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Inspiration



Shana Martin, 5 ft, 4.5 inches, 125lb (56.8kg)
pic by Carl Thygesen

Friday, February 8, 2008

Why I Like to Lift Early

Today I was amped to do my deadlift workout. My husband wanted me to wait so we could train together when he finished work. I agreed but had a feeling it wouldn't work out. Sure enough, when he got home he'd forgotten what we'd arranged and he just wanted to take the dog for a walk. So we are going tomorrow morning instead. We were planning to train together in the evenings next week as well, but I've decided I will just go by myself in the mornings as usual. At least that way I get in and get it done, no excuses. Hubby is not an early bird and refuses to even contemplate a morning workout on weekdays. I'm dropping down to 3-6 reps for some of my exercises next week, so hopefully there will be someone around to give me a spot.

Earlier in the week I let things slide a bit. Magda suggested taking a good look at my before and after photos for motivation. I decided to do this, but with a view to how I'm making this my lifestyle. I remember a figure competitor saying that the weight and bodyfat she first competed at is now the weight she maintains at. At the time, I thought, 'yeah, right'. But I can see that it's almost true for me now too. The before pic below is from 24 June 2006, the second pic is from today. In the first pic I am 52.9kg and 'carbed up'. In the second pic I am 53.7kg and this is how I look on a day-to-day basis. I'm really happy with how my legs are looking, and most of that change has come in the last few months via the programs I've had from Liz.



So did looking at these photos do the trick? I think so. It's made me want to keep being consistent with my workouts, and to strive to improve with each workout, so I can gain more muscle (God knows, I need all the help I can get!), and to keep up my cardio, to help me stay lean. It's also reminded me to question myself 'Will eating this help me reach my goals?'. Will it help me get bigger, leaner, healthier?

Have a great weekend everyone.

Today is Deadlift Day!



Currently my favourite training day of the week. Woot!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Power of Positive Thinking

Today was a better day at the gym. Trained upper body and did some Tabata intervals on the bike. Thought of some affirmations when I got out of bed this morning and when I was struggling with some of my reps I repeated the affirmations to myself and that seemed to help. Convinced myself to finish my whole workout today. Missing a few exercises at the start of the week didn't seem to do me too much harm though as I was up on everything today. Am feeling a bit hungry this evening, and a little tired (took me a while to get to sleep last night after playing around on the computer), so will be off to bed early tonight.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Changing my Attitude

Today I was trying to work out why I haven't been feeling very motivated lately. This happened to me last year too, although it was a couple of months later in the year. I think once the competition hype has worn off, and I get into a routine, it's hard for me to stay motivated when my next show seems so far away. Then I reminded myself, 'I shouldn't have to have a date to motivate me'. My aim is to make this my lifestyle. I'm trying to be the best I can be every day, not just for one day.

I like Craig Harper's thoughts on this:
"Plan for life beyond the emotion. Once the euphoria, the excitement and hype die down... which they always do (to some extent), you need to cope with the (occasional) lack of motivation and drive. Motivation (as we experience it) is temporary so we need to 'do' even when we don't 'feel' like it. Forever change ain't about motivation; it's about attitude, commitment, discipline, self-control and strength of character over time."

I need to do some thinking over the next few days about how I can change my attitude to help keep my momentum going. I'm thinking some affirmations will help.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Listening to my Body

After cutting my workout short yesterday I decided to have a few less carbs than usual, figuring I wouldn't need them since my body hadn't worked as hard as usual. However, lying in bed last night trying to get to sleep I could feel myself getting more and more irritable - how romantic, LOL. I know that when I get irritable it's usually a sign my body's craving carbs. While I want to stay lean in the off-season, I'm not willing to put up with being irritable to do so - I'll keep that for when I'm dieting for a show, LOL. So up I got, and found some sprouted grain fruit bread leftover from Christmas in the freezer. Toasted two pieces of that, topped them with a thin smear of fruit spread and a couple of dollops of cottage cheese. First bite put a smile on my face. Interesting to note that my weights were up in the gym this morning too. This happened a couple of weeks ago as well, when I had a treat on Sunday night then hit the gym strong on Monday morning. Since I usually only have a protein shake with fruit and some nuts before training, perhaps I'm not getting enough carbs to fuel my workouts? Maybe I need to eat more the night before or have a bigger breakfast. Will have to play around with this.

Slept pretty well last night, apart from having to get up to let the cat out, then back in again (no cat flap, and no mozzie screens on the windows, so not keen to leave them open all night). Didn't feel too tired this morning though. Motivation to get to the gym was fairly low, but I made it. Once there I did pretty well to begin with, upping the weights on my squats, but my enthusiasm rapidly waned again. Cardio today was another long walk after weights.

Need something to boost my motivation a bit. Hopefully attending the Get Ready seminar in a couple of weeks will help with this.

Inspiration

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hot!

I usually train in the mornings while it's relatively cool. Today I decided to wait until later in the day so I could train with my husband. We enjoy training together and I like having him around to give me a spot and provide that extra bit of motivation. It was a hot and sticky day today and although I was keen to train, and tried my best once I got in there, I didn't feel like I was making any improvements on the week before. After getting through chest and back, the thought of doing shoulders, arms and then cardio on the crosstrainer did not appeal at all. We decided to cut our workout short and take our dog for a walk around the lake near our house instead.

On a brigher note, I'm getting more regular long sleeps and I'm not feeling tired anymore. I've figured out my body clock is working (I wake up naturally after about 8.5 hours sleep), it's just set itself to some weird hours at the moment, so my aim is to gradually start going to bed earlier so I can start getting up earlier again.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Better Day Today

After having an evening nap yesterday I was awake until the wee hours, but made myself get up at a decent hour to try and get back into a routine again.

Hit the gym this morning and did legs followed by bike intervals. Am enjoying my deadlifts at the moment. Need to find my straps though as the weight is starting to slip out of my hands by the fourth or fifth rep, even with a mixed grip.

Today was mostly about nutrition for me. I went into the Australian College of Natural Medicine to check out a Nutritional Medicine course I'm interested in doing, then spent some time in their bookshop. I picked up a book on juices, and am looking forward to trying some of the recipes in it. I also went to Evelyn Faye Nutrition and picked up a few things, mostly gluten-free food and supplements for my husband. Stopped at the David Jones food hall for a late lunch, as I know they always have a great selection of high-quality food there (the meal I had brought with me was still frozen). Got myself a chicken, mango and snowpea salad and enjoyed sitting out in the sunshine to eat it. After that it was off to the Queen Vic markets to get some food for the weekend. Unfortunately most of the stalls were closing by the time I got there, but I managed to get some limes, avocadoes and kiwifruit for a smoothie I want to try tomorrow.

Have been bit hungry this evening - training legs in the morning does that to me.