Sunday, October 31, 2010


Wet, wet, wet on our walk this morning and all day today. The plants seem to love it though - this is an iris seen out our dining-room window:

We also have an unidentified fruit tree growing in our front yard. Can anyone tell me what these will be when when they grow up?

Today's food and exercise
6.15: lemon water with Combust

Exercise: 60-minute walk with TJ

7.45: gluten-free toast with Flora pro-active and St Dalfour four-fruit spread; oats with cherries

11.00: fibre drink, mandarin

1.00: minestrone soup, gluten-free toast spread with Flora pro-active

3.00: fibre drink, apple, almond butter

4.30-6.00: nap

6.30: Mediterranean tofu scramble (tofu, semi-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, basil); cauliflower; brown rice

8.30: fibre drink, apple

*My skin has been feeling really good today. Not sure if it's from the avocado last night or from switching over to the gluten-free bread.


I'm going to be joining Liz and a few others in picking a few things I wish to better myself in just for the month of November.

I want to break a bad habit I have of slobbing around in my exercise gear for the rest of the day while working from home (hey, it's a step up from pyjamas, but being in baggy clothes all day doesn't do wonders for my self esteem).

So NO dressing like a bag lady in November

My muscles are all starting to tighten up because I'm not doing enough in the way of stretching, foam rolling etc. If I continue this way I'll start to fall apart.

So NO skipping stretching in November

I've got a few social things on in November but I want to keep an eye on how much I'm drinking.

So NO more than 2 glasses of wine at any one time

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I've been wanting dinner really early the last couple of days then end up eating more before bed. So I increased the size of my breakfast again this morning. I'm working over the weekend so my schedule is going to be pretty much the same as usual.

6.15: lemon water with Combust

Exercise: Max Sets: Pull-ups followed by 25-minute walk

7.30: oats with cherries; gluten-free bread spread with Flora Pro-active and St Dalfour four-fruit spread

10.00: banana smoothie

12.00: eggplant, tomato and chickpea stew on gluten-free toast spread with Flora Pro-active

1.00-4.00: nap (didn't plan to sleep that long!)

4.30: fibre drink, pear, almonds

6.30: barley topped with Mexican tofu scramble (tofu, oregano, garlic, pepper, chilli, cumin, salsa, tomato, red pepper, grated zucchini, spring onions, coriander) and avocado; cauliflower

8.30: fibre drink, apple


I've been feeling a bit nauseous when training on an empty stomach a couple of times this week. I had some Combust in my cupboard so added that to my lemon water this morning and that seemed to help. I've also ordered some BCAAs to have pre and post training as I don't want to lose any of the muscle I've worked so hard to build.

6.15: lemon water with Combust

Exercise: Sprint 8 followed by 25-minute walk with Rob and TJ

7.30: banana smoothie

8.30: oats with cherries; oat-bran toast spread with Flora Pro-active and St Dalfour four-fruit spread; Metamucil

11.00: fibre drink, apple, almonds

12.30: eggplant, tomato and chickpea stew on oat-bran toast spread with Flora Pro-active

3.30: fibre drink, apple, almonds

5.30: tofu curry with pumpkin and broccoli on a bed of barley

8.30-10.30: peach, bit more dinner, fruit spread and Flora Pro-active on oat-bran bread

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I had the day off today so thought I'd share some photos of our house now that we are settled in.

I do my morning exercise in our garage. The purple paint job was done by the previous owners. Rob put down the mats on the floor so he and a couple of mates can grapple, and I put the band around the rafters to assist me with the chin-ups.

My office under the stairs. It looks out over the back yard - that's the mandarin tree outside the window. Note TJ lying under my desk...

Our dining room. The rug under the table was left in the garage by the previous owners.

View of the lounge from the dining room

Today's food and exercise

6.15: lemon water

exercise: Dips & Chin-ups Supersets followed by 25-minute walk with Rob and TJ

7.30: oats with cherries; oat-bran toast spread with Flora Pro-active and St Dalfour four-fruit spread

10.00: fibre drink, apple, almonds

12.00: eggplant, tomato and chickpea stew on oat-bran toast spread with Flora Pro-active

3.30: fibre drink, apple, almonds

4.30: leftover stir-fried tofu with peppers and black bean sauce on a bed of barley

8.30: fibre drink, pear

edited to add
9.30 Bird's eye steamed fish fillet, carrot, 1 gluten-free cookie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I walked on my own this morning so chose to walk around the streets near our house as I haven't done much exploring yet. I enjoyed looking at all the different front gardens as I walked past.

I got hungry quickly between meals yesterday and ended up adding an extra meal at the end of the day, so today I made my first meal a bit bigger. I think that and the mid-afternooon nap helped a bit with my appetite today.

6.15am: lemon water

Exercise: Animal Conditioning (this was tough - reminded me of some of the exercises I did at a Jen Hendershot camp a few years ago), followed by 25-minute walk

7.30am: oats with cherries; oat-bran bread topped with Logicol and St Dalfour four-fruit spread

10.00: fibre drink, apple, almonds

12.00: eggplant, tomato and chickpea stew; oat-bran bread topped with Logicol

need coffeeeee - had a nap instead

3.30: fibre drink, apple, almond butter

6.00: stir-fried tofu with peppers and black bean sauce on a bed of barley

8.30: fibre drink, pear


6.15am: lemon water

Exercise: 5 x 4 minute rounds, followed by 25-minute walk with Rob and TJ

7.30am: oats with cherries; oat-bran bread topped with Logicol and St Dalfour four-fruit spread

10am: fibre drink, mandarin, almonds

12pm: eggplant, tomato and chickpea stew; oat-bran bread topped with Logicol

2pm: fibre drink, apple, almonds

4.15pm: tofu burger, four-seasons coleslaw, broccoli, little bit of sweet potato

I want coffeeeee

7pm: fibre drink, apple

8.30pm: kangaroo bolognese with gluten-free spaghetti and lots of veggies in the sauce

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I'm currently using the foods mentioned in the Portfolio Diet in an effort to get my cholesterol down a bit more before Christmas. I'm also trying to cut out caffeine: I have a negative variation in the MTHFR (cardiovascular health) gene, and consuming caffeine may increase my risk of heart disease (see points 3 and 4 here).

On rising: lemon water

Exercise: run-walk for 20 minutes, followed by 25-minute walk

Breakfast: oats with cherries; oat-bran bread topped with Logicol and St Dalfour four-fruit spread

Snack: fibre drink (berry Metamucil mixed with water and soy milk), apple

Lunch: eggplant, tomato and chickpea stew; oat-bran bread topped with Logicol

Snack: fibre drink, pear, almonds

Dinner: mixed vegetable and tofu stir-fry (adapted from Michelle Bridges' Crunch Time Cookbook) on barley

Snack: fibre drink, apple, almond butter

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Confidence, Flexibility and Nutrition

Thought I'd share this old blog post by Skwigg:


I was looking at my sent e-mails and found some fun ones. It's kind of weird to post answers without questions, but the questions are the same as always - How do I stick to a diet? Why do I binge? What if I slip?


Lacking body confidence, not feeling sexy, and comparing yourself unfavorably to others is a self-esteem issue. It doesn't have anything to do with what you eat or what you weigh or how you actually look. It's a head thing and not a diet or exercise thing.
When you approach your meals and workouts thinking "I'm hot. I deserve this." you get a very different result than when you think. "I suck. My stomach sticks out. They're better than me. I should hide."
It's not any particular plan that makes the difference; it's how you think about yourself. It's possible that following a plan with rules and structure gave you a temporary kick of confidence and control that made you feel better, but it's that feeling that's important, not whether you got there by eating grilled chicken and dragging a cooler around, or by trusting yourself and being flexible.


I never diet, so it's pretty easy not to mess up something I'm not doing. :-) If you want to be lean and fit, you need to eat well every day. Some days I eat really incredibly well and some days I get creative with the Doritos and chocolate, but I'm always aware of what and how much I'm eating. I always do the best I can. I never "go on a diet" or "start tomorrow" or any of that. If you're thinking that way, you've already set yourself up to fail. Success is about your actions right now in the present moment. If you push it off onto what you may or may not do tomorrow, then you never get anywhere because, of course, tomorrow never really comes. It's just an idea that you can delay indefinitely.


When you fall into a pattern of either dieting or bingeing, a lot of times it means that your "diet" is too strict, too bland, too low in calories and completely unrealistic. To be successful, you have to enjoy your meals. You need the flexibility to eat out and to socialize. You need to include your favorite foods. You can't be a treat-deprived, clock-watching, tupperware-toting robot indefinitely. A lot of people can do that for a few days or weeks but when they lose it they really lose it. Think of it as an ongoing experiment. Sometimes you'll do better or worse, be more or less motivated, have more or less success. But you never just chuck it and say, "Well, that didn't work. I'm done." Somebody smart said, "There is no failure, only feedback." So, if you try something and it's a disaster or you don't get the results you want, that doesn't mean you've failed. It means you've identified something that doesn't work and now you can change it.


The important thing isn't how perfect you can be or how rigidly you can cling to your diet. The important thing is how you handle slip-ups. You want to get really good at making mistakes and getting right back on track. If you never learn how to "cheat" then you make one mistake, the guilt kicks, the bingeing starts and the whole cycle keeps repeating. You want to be the person who can have a piece of cake at a birthday party or a small popcorn at the movies, enjoy it, and carry on like nothing happened. You don't want to be the person who smells donuts and has a psychotic episode.

---End quote---

Friday, October 22, 2010


Currently eating no wheat and minimal dairy.
Breakfast: oats cooked with psyllium and brown sugar and topped with cherries and vanilla soy milk
Snack: small gluten-free muffin, soy coffee
Lunch: lentil and vegetable dahl, barley
Snack: apple, almonds, soy yoghurt
Snack 2 (arrived home from work starving): smoked salmon and capers on rye; Logicol and jam on gluten-free fruit toast
Dinner: kangaroo 'shepherds pie' with cauliflower topping

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Um, yeah. So much for getting some exercise done. Most of the week I've left the house at 7.15am, arrived at work at 8.30am, left work at 8.30pm, and arrived home at 10pm. Last night I didn't even make it to bed - I fell asleep in the lazyboy downstairs. A book I'm working on is going to the printer on Friday and it was running a bit behind schedule - hence the long hours. Am all caught up now and it should be fairly cruisey the rest of the week. Then I'm working from home for the next two weeks, so will have plenty of opportunity to exercise (instead of spending an hour or more each way travelling). Might try and blog a bit more too.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ants in My Pants

Cold is gone and I was up at 6am this morning to get a brisk walk in before a busy day at work. Looking forward to doing a bit more exercise tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hi-Fibre Vanilla Porridge with Pear & Papaya

From Healthy Heart Food by Jody Vassallo

2 cups (190g) rolled oats
2 tablespoons psyllium husks
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
3 cups water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup low-fat vanilla soy milk
1 pear, unpeeled, grated
300g red papaya, peeled, grated

1 Put the rolled oats, psyllium husks, vanilla bean, water and brown sugar into a pan. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
2 Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes or until the rolled oats have softened. Remove the vanilla bean.
3 Divide the porridge among 4 bowls and top with the soy milk, pear and papaya. Serves 4

per serve | fat 4.6g | saturated fat 0.8g | protein 7.9g | carbohydrate 51.7g | fibre 8.2g | cholesterol 0 mg | energy 1177kJ (280 Cal) | gi low

Recent News

On Sunday our next-door neighbours from street where we used to live came to visit. They brought their dog Ollie with them. Ollie and TJ used to 'talk' to each other under the fence between our properties. Apparently Ollie has been very clingy since we moved, because he doesn't have his friend to talk to anymore. We sat outside in the back yard for most of the visit, and Ollie and TJ chased each other around. Once the sun went we moved inside for some coffee and biscuits. Our neighbours had brought a selection from Cookie Man in the David Jones food hall, and we also had some ginger kisses and creme-filled gluten-free cookies. TJ and Ollie crashed under the table while we were having afternoon tea:

Over the weekend we also picked up a new (to us) lounge suite we won on eBay. Our old couch with its chaise is too big to fit in our smallish lounge room, so it's gone upstairs to the retreat and we've gotten a couple of two-seaters to go in the lounge. I wanted a leather one because I was sick of vacuuming dog hair off the couch. Yes, the dog is allowed on the couch - and apparently he finds the new one quite comfortable:

After a weekend of sunshine the last couple of days here have been quite wet. The trees in our back yard have been loving it though, and are producing lots of blossoms. Here is a pic of the apple tree from the kitchen window:

I haven't been doing much exercise the last few days. I've got an annoying cold that's like having persistent hayfever - just walking the dog is exhausting. Food has been good though.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Currently reading...

all about the 'Portfolio Diet'.

Studied by Canadian researcher Professor David Jenkins of the University of Toronto, the 'portfolio' is a group of foods which, when eaten together every day, reduced participants' 'bad' LDL cholesterol by 20 per cent after a year - a result comparable to taking a drug that lowers cholesterol.

The study can be found here, and an article about the study in the Times, including a sample day on the diet, can be found here.

In addition to containing the cholesterol-reducing 'portfolio' of foods, the sample day is also high in foods that aid detoxification, such cruciferous vegetables, allium vegetables (garlic and onions) and tumeric. It interested me because I have high cholesterol and my body is not able to detox itself very well.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Childhood Memories

When I was a little girl I went to stay the night at a friend's house. When we got up in the morning her mother made us porridge for breakfast. It would have been made with full-cream milk (in those days we had milk delivered in glass bottles and there were only three kinds to choose from: 'silver top', with a clot of cream at the top of the bottle and the milk underneath, which usually resulted in arguments over who got the cream; 'homogenised', where the milk and cream were mixed together; and, in a much smaller bottle, fresh cream). I also remember the porridge tasting slightly salty, so I think she would have made it in the Scottish style, adding salt to the oats and milk before cooking. When we sat down to breakfast she gave us fresh cream to pour over our bowls of porridge, and brown sugar to sprinkle on top. Heaven!

Over the years I've eaten porridge in many ways: made with water; half milk/half water; with egg whites added while cooking; with banana/raisins added while cooking; with protein powder added after cooking; with nut butter mixed in after cooking; with nuts on top; with fruit on top; with flax oil drizzled over; with sugar-free maple syrup on top... but my favourite way to eat oats has always been the way I had it when I was little - made with salt and milk and eaten with brown sugar (and cream if there's any in the house after a special occasion).

Here's how I had it this morning:
Place 1/2 cup quick cooking oats in a large microwave-proof bowl with 1 cup milk (I used lactose-free) and a sprinkle of salt. Cook on 'high' for approx 5 minutes (stir every couple of minutes), or until the oats are thick and creamy. Top with a little cold milk and 1 tsp brown sugar. Have happy thoughts.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Had the day off work on Friday. It was a beautiful day so I got lots of outside chores done. I also snapped a few pics of my food:

7.00 walk TJ for 25 minutes then sprint intervals (basic)

8.00 raisin and cinnamon bagel with lite cream cheese, mandarin juice, large skim milk coffee

The mandarin juice was made with mandarins off our tree:

Clean outside windows downstairs

10.30 banana, low-fat Greek yoghurt

Clean inside windows downstairs

1.00 gluten-free pasta with chicken and spicy peppers sauce, broccoli


3.30 apple, non-fat Greek yoghurt, walnuts

plus a kangaroo sausage

5.30 sparkling wine

6.00 polenta-crumbed dory, sweet potato wedges with rosemary, salad

followed by some chocolate mousse

and a sesame snap before bed.