Cooking, Renovations and Fun Stuff

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reduce the overall GI of your diet

7 tips for reducing the GI of your diet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and those snacks in between.

from GI News

  1. Replace those high GI crunchy breakfast flakes that spike your blood glucose and insulin levels with smart carbs like natural muesli or traditional (not instant) porridge oats or one of the lower GI processed breakfast cereals that will trickle fuel into your engine.
  2. Swap your bread. Choose a really grainy bread where you can actually see the grains, granary bread, stone-ground wholemeal bread, real sourdough bread, soy and linseed bread, pumpernickel, fruit loaf or bread made from chickpea or other legume based flours.
  3. Make your starchy staples the low (or lower) GI ones. Look for the lower GI rices like Basmati, Doongara Clever Rice or Moolgiri medium grain rice, serve your pasta al dente, choose less processed foods and intact grains such as barley, buckwheat, bulgur, quinoa, whole kernel rye, or whole wheat kernels and opt for lower GI starchy vegetables like lower GI potatoes (Nicola or Almera), parsnip, orange fleshed sweet potato, or butternut pumpkin.
  4. Learn to love legumes – home-cooked or canned. Add chickpeas to stir fries, red kidney beans to chilli, a 4-bean salad to that barbecue menu, and beans or lentils to a casserole or soup.
  5. Develop the art of combining. Combine high GI carbs with low GI tricklers to achieve a moderate overall GI. Lentils with rice, rice with beans and chilli, tabbouli tucked into pita bread, baked beans on toast or piled on a jacket-baked potato for classic comfort food.
  6. Tickle those tastebuds and slow stomach emptying – try vinaigrette (using vinegar or lemon juice) with salads, yoghurt with cereal, lemon juice on vegetables like asparagus, sourdough bread.
  7. Go low GI when snacking. Grab fresh fruit, dried fruit and nut mix, low fat milk and yoghurt (or soy alternatives), fruit bread etc.

Beautiful Blogger Awards

I'm honoured that the inspiring Steph nominated me to carry this post on.

Part 1 of the deal is I get to divulge 7 random facts about me:
1. I had an audition for Masterchef but didn't make it onto TV.
2. I drank so much coffee while we were on holiday that the thought of it makes me feel sick. I haven't had any since the 9th of December.
3. I'm not into shoes. I only own five pairs: 1 pair heels, 1 pair flats, 1 pair boots, 1 pair runners, 1 pair jandals. Oh, and my slippers and comp heels.
4. My favourite vegetable is asparagus
5. My favourite fruit is cherries
6. My favourite form of cardio is walking
7. My husband and I got married on our 10th anniversary. We've been together 15.5 years now.

Part 2 - I will nominate 7 more beautiful bloggers:
I nominate:
Becca
Kek
Lia
Magda
Tara
Nicole
Rae

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Deloading - I'm a fan

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be incorporating a deload week in the week before my period, to see if it would help my fatigue around that time. I'm happy to report that my deload week last week worked a treat. I dropped my sets back and lowered the weight. This made workouts manageable around this time (no missed workouts), I didn't need the extra sleep I usually do, and my overall energy levels were better. The program I've just started incorporates a deload week in the fourth week, which should coincide well with my cycle again.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Walkathon

Lots of (unplanned) walking today. This morning's walk with TJ took twice as long as expected (an hour instead of 30 mins) as he met one of his 'friends' and we walked with her for a bit, then after we separated, he went racing back to find her. Then this afternoon, after a great upper body workout at the gym, I went to the supermarket to grab a couple of things for dinner. Filled up my basket, got to the checkout and realized I'd left my wallet at home. So had to walk home and get my wallet (15 mins), walk back to the supermarket (15 mins), then walk home again (15 mins). My postworkout meal barely touched the sides. Tomorrow is a day off the gym, but I will be doing a recovery activity - am booked in for a myotherapy treatment with Rob at 4pm.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Where there's a will there's a way

I was all excited about starting my new program today, but arrived at the gym about 6pm to find it shut (I forgot about the Christmas timetable). After trying two other gyms in the area with no luck, I decided to use Rob's sandbag.

Ended up doing
- squats with 80lb sandbag draped over my neck and shoulders
- good mornings, holding onto a 20lb filler bag out of the sandbag
- single leg hip bridge
- Bulgarian split squats, using the 4kg DBs I have at home
- crunches

Looking forward to doing upper body at the gym tomorrow!

Happy New Year!

Apart from our holiday to New Zealand, both Rob and I had a pretty crappy 2009. So I've decided to start my 'new year' early.

Today I'm starting a new weights program, based on The Stair Step Approach to Muscle. So I will be weight training four days per week, plus I will be doing my walking meditation five mornings per week.

Foodwise, I'm going to eat around 2000 cals on weight training days, and about 1750 on non-training days. I won't be counting calories daily; instead I've set myself up a rough meal plan and will use that as a guide (with the exception of one 'treat meal' per week).

Rob's taking my measurements today, and hopefully weekly from now on, so I'll be able to see how my body reacts to this style of training and amount of food. I'm hoping for fat loss and muscle gain.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

I've just finished posting all my Christmas Day food pics here. It was a very relaxing day, spent with friends (had a Christmas lunch with family in New Zealand earlier in the month). I did all the food preparation and cooking for Christmas Day. Tomorrow (Boxing Day) is the boys' turn. Rob is making French toast for breakfast. Craig will be doing pickled pork at some stage during the day (a favourite from Christmas last year) and the rest of the day will probably be leftovers (with turkey featuring heavily). There will be cricket on the telly in the background, reading outside in the sun, and maybe a game of Risk.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here are today's food pics

10.30am
breakfast stack (corn and sweet potato fritter, red onion, zucchini, red capsicum, mushrooms, tomato, bacon, spinach, egg, pesto)


12pm to 1pm
-cable rows
-incline DB bench press
-isometric chin-up holds
-close-grip bench press
-tall kneeling lift (core work)

2pm
rolled turkey breast fillet with brown rice and cranberry stuffing, pumpkin, steamed beans and asparagus


5.30pm
whole barbecued snapper (before)


after, on Asian coleslaw


6-6.45pm
walk TJ with Rob

8pm
garlic prawns on salad (mixed greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pawpaw, spring onions), dressed with lime juice, sesame oil, fish sauce, red chilli and xylitol, and garnished with coriander sprigs and chopped peanuts


1.15am
Choc cherry trifle


(alcoholic) drinks today
1 vodka, lime and soda
3 sauvignon blancs
2 baileys on ice

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chemical cocktail anyone?

Last night I used my new book to learn a bit more about the potential effects of additives found in products around our house. Here's what's in caffeine-free diet coke (Rob has it with his rum):

150d Best avoided. Potential effects: gastrointestinal problems; asthma
338 Caution advised. Regarded as safe in food use at low levels; excess may lead to tooth erosion and calcium loss in bones
330 Safe for most people. Regarded as safe in food use; stomach cramp, diarrhoea, skin rash and bloating occur rarely.
951 Potentially hazardous to health. Potential effects: headache; asthma; seizures; insomnia; memory loss; causes malignant brain tumours, cancer and leukemia in rats
950 Best avoided. Apparently produced tumours, leukemia and chronic respiratory disease in animal studies; not adequately tested.
211 Best avoided (petroleum derived). Potential effects: skin irritation; headache; stomach upset; asthma; hyperactivity; avoid if aspirin sensitive

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Useful Reference


Today I picked up a copy of The Chemical Maze. It lists the potential health effects of food additives and ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products, so you can choose safer products.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas menu

Here's what I've got planned so far:

M1: Breakfast stack (sweet potato and corn fritter topped with lean free-range bacon, chargrilled veges, a free-range poached egg and a drizzle of pesto)

train (our gym is open until 1pm on Christmas Day)

M2: Organic turkey breast fillet roll with cranberry and brown rice stuffing, served with steamed asparagus and green beans

M3: Whole barbecued snapper with Asian coleslaw

M4: Garlic prawn salad

M5: Choc-cherry trifle (made with ricotta)

Will fit in a walk at some stage as well.

Last year I posted pics throughout Christmas Day of what I ate. I am planning to do the same this year. You're welcome to join me!

Friday, December 11, 2009

What they don't tell you about Christmas pudding and friends

Some interesting facts and figures from an email newsletter I received recently...

2 Lindor balls contain 156 calories including 9g saturated fat. You would get the same amount of calories out of 3 whole punnets of fresh strawberries or the same amount of saturated fat out of about 1kg baked turkey breast. It would take about 35 minutes of very fast (7.6km/hr) walking to burn off 2 Lindor balls.

1 small serve Christmas pudding contains 297 calories and 2.5 tablespoons sugar. It would take about 65 minutes of very fast walking to burn it off. Instead of the pudding you could have a large serve of fresh king prawns or roast turkey breast, for the same or less calories, with zero sugar.

1 medium glass white wine or 1 can Coke will give you about 110 calories and will take about 25 min very fast walking to burn off. The wine contains about 15g alcohol or the Coke contains about 1.7 tablespoons sugar. For the same amount of calories you could have 54 cans of Diet Coke.

1 medium Darrell Lea chocolate Santa is equivalent in calories to about 2.5 hours very fast walking. It contains about 3.5 tablespoons pure sugar and 3 tablespoons pure fat.

A fairly restrained Christmas dinner (no second helpings) of: 1 serve plain roast turkey breast, 1 medium roast potato with garden salad. 1 small serve Christmas pudding with brandy custard. 2 chocolates and 2 glasses wine = 1,163 calories including 60g sugar and 30g alcohol. If you powerwalked at 7.6km/hr (as fast as you could possibly go) it would take you 4.9 hours to burn this off if you are a 60kg woman, or 3.5 hours if you are an 85kg man.

If you had fresh fruit salad instead of the pudding and custard, left out the chocolate and drank diet soft drink instead of wine you would cut the calories by more than half (down to 542), slash the sugar by two thirds and completely eliminate the alcohol. You could burn this off in just over two hours walking if you are a 60kg woman or 1.5 hours if you are an 85kg man.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Saturday 28 November to Wednesday 2 December

Saturday

Didn't get very far today.

This morning we left Queenstown and headed over the Crown Range Road. We stopped at the Cardrona Hotel for a Devonshire tea. This place has a great garden bar and a very friendly cat!



Then we drove into Wanaka, the next main town over from Queenstown.



The weather was lovely and after looking round town we sat on a park bench by the lake enjoying the view. It was so relaxing we decided to find some accommodation with a view and get a bottle of wine to share.

Sunday

We drove to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain.



We walked up to look at Tasman Glacier and the icebergs in Tasman Lake.



After that we had a bit of driving to do as we wanted to get as close to Christchurch as we could. We ended up pulling into a camp gound in Geraldine (about an hour out of Christchurch) just as the camp office was closing at 9.30pm. We got a cute little cabin to stay in for the night.

Monday and Tuesday

We stayed in Christchurch at a family friend's house. This was the highlight of our stay in Christchurch.



Wednesday
This morning we left Christchurch and headed north to Kaikoura. We are lucky to have a friend's holiday home to stay at here. It's wet today so will probably be in front of the fire with a DVD tonight. Tomorrow we might go whale-watching.

Stay tuned!