Cooking, Renovations and Fun Stuff

Saturday, July 31, 2010

End of Week 2

My days this week have consisted of travelling an hour to work, working, travelling an hour home, going to the gym (or doing more work), eating dinner, preparing meals for the next day, then going to bed. I think the fact that I eat a meal before leaving work means I'm not starving when I get home, so I'm able to get changed and go out again to the gym without too much trouble. [Rob has just added 'and you don't bite your husband's head off when you get home'. LOL]

I got up the same time as usual on Saturday but went to the hairdresser instead of work. It was so nice to sit and do nothing apart from read magazines for a couple of hours. For the first time in ages I've had lowlights put in, so now I'm more brunette than blonde. It's closer to my natural hair colour, so less regrowth to deal with, and my hair looks a lot healthier.

Finally got to have a sleep-in this morning but have spent the rest of the day giving the house a bit of a tidy and sorting through a few things before we move. I've also been playing nurse to Rob, who is having problems with his eye again.

My body has been up to its usual weight-loss tricks this week. No change for ages, then a big drop:
Mon: 61.8
Tues: 62
Wed: 62.1
Thu: 62.3
Fri: 62.1
Sat: 62
Sun: 60.9
average 61.9, down 0.9 on week 1.

Read 'Of Whooshes and Squishy Fat' to find out more about this phenomenon.

This week my aim is to continue being consistent with my training, walking and eating. AND to drink a litre of water between getting up and my first meal (that's not as extreme as it may sound since I don't break my fast until noon or 1pm).

Monday, July 26, 2010

End of Week 1

My knuckling down saw my weight return back to what it was before I overindulged - 62kg.

Mon: 64
Tues: 63
Wed: 62.4
Thu: 62.8
Fri: 62.7
Sat: 62.6
Sun: 62
average: 62.8kg

I am particularly happy with how things went over the weekend, as we stayed over at a friend's house on Saturday and didn't get home until late on Sunday. We were planning to go out for dinner with them on Saturday night and I thought I'd get something like a chicken and avocado salad. Normally I stress a bit if plans get changed on me, but I coped fine with having a lamb roast at their house instead. I passed on the roast potatoes, and enjoyed the tender lamb (in place of chicken and avocado) and asparagus, broccoli and beans (in place of the salad).

This week my aim is to continue being consistent with my training, walking and eating.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

By: Horticulture Australia, via The Food Coach

A new CSIRO report has revealed the growing body of scientific evidence to support the adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away!"

Released this month, The 2010 Apple Report shows that a regular apple habit may reduce the risk of diabetes and lower cholesterol - a key risk factor for heart disease. Emerging research in the Report also reveals the potential of apples to reduce the risk of asthma, manage allergies and help lose dangerous belly fat.

The CSIRO report is based on a review of 10 years of research. It was commissioned by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and reviewed by Associate Professor Manny Noakes, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences and author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. Assoc. Prof. Manny Noakes said science supporting the health benefits of apple components called polyphenols continued to grow with exciting new research beginning to reveal the true potential of apples.

Cutting cholesterol
"There is good evidence that eating apple polyphenols (equivalent to three apples a day) may lower cholesterol. Apples may also have a possible role in reducing the risk of type II diabetes, with studies showing women who eat an apple a day having a 28% reduced risk of this condition," Assoc. Prof. Noakes said. "This could be a directly related to the apple's low GI and effects on reducing appetite which could help keeping weight in check. It could also be that eating apples is a marker of a generally healthier diet too. What's particularly exciting is emerging research that apple polyphenols may have the potential to help to reduce belly fat and affect hormones involved in regulating metabolism. This is particularly important given the high incidence of obesity and the additional health risks for people ironically dubbed 'apple shaped', with high belly fat linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type II diabetes and hypertension."

Asthma
Whilst still very preliminary, emerging science in The 2010 Apple Report suggests potential for a reduced risk of asthma in children whose mothers ate apples during the pregnancy, and consuming apple polyphenols - in portions equivalent to eating an apple a day - may alleviate some symptoms of respiratory allergies, such as nasal discharge and sneezing.

Antioxidant
While there's increasing science to support the adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", for 100 year-old Edna Spurway - great granddaughter of apple legend "Granny Smith"-living by this proverb has been the secret to her longevity. "What's my secret? Well, it must be good genes and lots of apples, of course," Edna said. Accredited practising dietitian and spokesperson for Aussie Apples, Karen Kingham says "We always knew apples were good for us and Edna was potentially living proof. In reviewing the latest scientific research, we have continued to discover just what a great food the apple is -although I think Edna's always known this," says Karen.

In addition to important vitamins and minerals, Karen explains there is something unique to the power of apple polyphenols, that may explain their apparent health benefits. "When it comes to apples, it's actually the apple peel that contains the highest level of polyphenols and antioxidant activity, so to get the greatest health benefit people need to make sure they eat the whole apple."

Interestingly, studies have also shown keeping apples in the fridge, not the fruit bowl, is the best way to maintain the high antioxidant levels in the fruit.

Apple Facts

•Eating whole apples can help control hunger by helping you feel fuller for longer. Eating an apple just before a meal may reduce appetite and cut overall kilojoules intake at that meal by 15 per cent - the equivalent to reducing your portion size by almost one sixth. Eating apples as a snack also has valuable satiety benefits that may help with weight reduction

•A study of more than 38,000 women, for nine years, showed those who ate an apple a day had a significant reduction (28%) in the risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who ate no apples.

•Studies have shown apple polyphenols may help alleviate some of the symptoms of respiratory allergies, such as sneezing. Patients suffering persistent allergic rhinitis have shown significant improvements in sneezing attacks and nasal discharge after consuming apple polyphenols - the equivalent to eating an apple a day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Easy Peasy (or should that be Easy Beany?)

Last night's dinner after training: tofu curry

I used a McCormick's mild chicken curry slow cooker sachet and replaced the chicken with tofu and the coconut milk with water. I served it with green beans:


It wasn't quite spicy enough so I sprinkled some chilli powder on top:


Then mixed it all together:


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Rob's friend Luke came over on Saturday and brought his dog Harvey over. Here are a couple of pics of Harvey (left) and TJ (right) resting after running around non-stop for most of the day:


We are going to be living around the corner from Luke and Harvey when we move.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Knuckling Down

I had a less-than-stellar (OK, crap) week on the food front last week. Too much in the way of bread and spreads, and then there was the chocolate self-saucing pudding and ice cream on Saturday night (fine as a treat but not really necessary given everything else I'd eaten during the week).

It's time to start knuckling down. Am aiming to consume mostly unprocessed foods, and to start bumping up my walking again.

Training deadlifts tonight - looking forward to it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another Reason to Eat Your Veges

From a nutrition article by Shane Bilsborough in today's Herald Sun:

In a recent exercise, people were fed meat and pasta, but beforehand were fed vegetables at three different amounts: 180g, 270g and 360g. When researchers gave people 360g of vegetables (and, let's face it, every one of us needs to eat more vegetables), people ate 14 per cent fewer calories.

A 300g salad eaten before lunch resulted in 12 per cent fewer calories consumed at lunch, while an entree soup (even canned) cut lunch portions by 30-50 per cent.

...It seems the human body detects a certain amount of food (or volume). Once this amount has been reached, a signal is sent to the brain to stop eating or to say, "I'm full".

Vegetables (and vegetable soup) and salads eaten before a main meal contain fibre, which is filling, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and are about 80 per cent water. Hence they add considerable weight, and promote the feeling of fullness without the calories.


'What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of?' is an article along similar lines noting that most humans eat around 3-5 pounds of food per day. 'Indeed, as we approach 4 pounds of food intake for the day, most of us are feeling pretty satisfied. Now, this can be 4 pounds of celery. Or it can be 4 pounds of candy bars. It’s not the food or calorie content that matters. It’s the volume/poundage that counts.' Click here to read more.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chocolate-Banana Tofu Pudding




Ingredients
-1 ripe banana, broken into chunks
-300g pack silken tofu (I used Blue Lotus brand)
-scant 2 tsp stevia powder
-5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
-3 Tbsp milk or milk substitute (I used lactose-free milk)
-1 pinch ground cinnamon

Directions
Use a stab mixer or blender to puree all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into serving dishes and refrigerate for one hour. Garnish with whatever you fancy - I used a few frozen raspberries.

Adapted from this recipe, which makes four servings. I just scraped as much as I could into my parfait glass and put it into the fridge to set, then ate the rest out of the mixing bowl!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Simple but Tasty, and A Tight Squeeze


Bolognese Baked Potato
layer the following:
-baked potato with a cross cut in the top and squeezed open
-little bit of tasty cheese
-kangaroo mince browned in a little pasta sauce
-more tasty cheese

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Couldn't resist this one of me and TJ on the lazyboy earlier in the week:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Favourite Meal on Monday



Low-fat cottage cheese mixed with stevia and topped with lite Greek yoghurt, sliced banana and mixed berries.

Fruity and creamy - nom, nom, nom.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday

Despite getting to bed just after 1am, I woke up fairly easily around 9am this morning. Started the day with coffee


Then sat outside and read Saturday's paper in the sunshine before making some food (two poached eggs on grilled portobello mushrooms, kangaroo sausage, baked beans and grilled tomato)


Later we took TJ for a walk to the park. We met a really cute 11-week-old whippet. It still hadn't learnt when to slow down when running, and kept crashing into my legs!

Once we got home I had another coffee


Then some cottage cheese with cocoa, stevia and almond butter


and a mandarin


while reading the Sunday paper.

Dinner was a stir-fry with garlic, chilli, curry powder, tofu, onion, red capsicum, zucchini, cabbage, tamari and peanut butter


I finished the day off with a hot chocolate made with cocoa, stevia and lactose-free milk


Quite a lot of milk today - think I was a bit dehydrated but didn't feel like having water.

I'm also still working on carb intake on 'off' days. I'm OK with legumes, veges and fruit as my main source of carbs for one day in a row (eg on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday), but doing it two days in a row (Saturday and Sunday) means I start to struggle by Sunday night. I get tired tired/grumpy/start craving sweets.

All Female Classic

Had a great day on Saturday. Slept in then had coffee


and lunch (tomato soup with chilli, kidney beans, kangaroo mince, goat cheese and avocado)


Kek picked me up shortly afterwards and we went into town. I stocked up with a few things from Evelyn Faye and got some new mascara, had another coffee, then met up with Shannon and Selina before heading off to the All Female Classic.

There was a really wide range of 'conditioning' on show. The class I most enjoyed watching was Physique Open. Fern was so happy and full of energy on stage - she rocked it!

With Fern Punturiero, winner of the Physique Open class - nice to finally meet you in person Fern!


I also enjoyed watching Rae's graceful routine.

It was great to catch up with Lia and Katie, and meet Tiarna.

I much preferred the 'one show' format of this year's comp, and liked the fact that routines were optional.

While at the show I ate the food I prepared earlier:
kangaroo patty, kidney beans, spicy bean salsa and cauliflower


and

cottage cheese, cocoa, stevia and almond butter, and a mandarin


After the comp we headed back into town and scored a table at Movida Next Door, a little tapas bar on Flinders St. I enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine


and a good chat with the girls


Then it was home to bed.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Good Luck!

First of all I would like to say good luck to my sister Tash, who is running her first half-marathon this weekend. Hope it all goes well - wish I could be there to cheer you on!

I'd also like to say good luck to those who are competing in the All Female show this weekend. Enjoy your time on stage after all the hard work you've put in.

Friday's food and exercise

Got up early this morning to walk TJ with Rob. It was freezing! It turned out a beautiful day though and I ended up having a little nap on the couch in the sunshine this afternoon.

1pm toast topped with avocado, Thai tofu, tomato, sprouts and cucumber; cauliflower


and an apple


4pm coffee


4.30pm-5.30pm deadlifts, front squats, pull throughs, lunges, side planks

6.15pm kangaroo patty with tomato sauce and gherkin


followed by oven chips


and chocolate self-saucing pudding (steaming hot!)

(2 bowls)

That's it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Evening Snack

My hamstrings are still sore from my workout on Monday - haven't done RDLs or ball leg curls for a while and my legs are telling me about it!

I'm proofreading a games encyclopedia at the moment, which makes for interesting work!

Thursday's food

2pm tomato soup with chilli, kidney beans, kangaroo mince, goat cheese and avocado


5pm an apple


7pm glass of chardonnay while making dinner


8pm lamb steak, warm salad with roasted pumpkin, red capsicum and chickpeas


10pm cottage cheese, cocoa, stevia and almond butter


Kylie wanted to know the 'recipe' for my evening snack so she could have a go at making it. It's very easy:
Mix together
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 Tbsp cocoa
- about 1/8 tsp stevia powder*
Then drizzle with 1 Tbsp of your favourite nut butter.
Enjoy!

*This is the stevia powder I use. It comes with a teeny tiny spoon inside. I use three spoonfuls, which is just under 1/8 tsp.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weird Sleep

Didn't sleep well last night (woke up early this morning and took a couple of hours to get back to sleep) so had a bit more coffee than usual today.

Wednesday's food and exercise

2pm coffee with milk


2.30pm toast topped with avocado, Thai tofu, tomato, sprouts and cucumber; cauliflower


4.30pm another coffee


5.15pm-6.15pm cable rows, incline bench press, face pulls, DB shoulder press, ball rollouts

6.30pm kangaroo patties, baked potato, paprika relish


plus a mix of choc rice protein, yoghurt, berries and Sultana Bran


10pm cooked cauliflower topped with cottage cheese and grilled


plus pineapple

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dog Day

TJ has been shivering a lot in the evenings lately. He often ends up on the couch with one of us, wrapped in a blanket. Yesterday I noticed a pet warehouse had opened up near our house, so today we took him there to try on a coat. He was very excited about it! I put it on him this evening when it started to get cold and he has been much happier - no more shivering.



Tuesday's food

noon: skinny flat white after taking TJ shopping

2pm tomato soup with refried beans, kangaroo mince, goat cheese, avocado and coriander


6.30pm steak, salad with chickpeas, tomato, capsicum, lime juice and coriander


8.30pm cottage cheese, cocoa, stevia and almond butter


and half a grapefruit


Still tweaking my carb/fat ratios on my non-training days. Had a bit more legumes and a bit less cheese today. Mood is good!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Phew!

We still have six months left to go on the lease of the place we are renting, but the landlords are happy for us to break the lease (to move into the house we have bought), as they are planning to sell after we move out. Phew!

Monday's food and exercise

2pm toast topped with avocado, Thai tofu, tomato, sprouts and cucumber; cauliflower


5pm-6pm: squats, RDLs, ball leg curls, Bulgarian split squats, planks

6.45pm kangaroo patty, paprika relish, crumpets with butter and golden syrup


7.15pm same again, with a bit more relish


9.15pm cooked cauliflower topped with cottage cheese and grilled


and pineapple


10pm more pineapple


"you should enjoy your approach, whichever one you choose. Torturing yourself fit defeats the purpose." Skwigg