Cooking, Renovations and Fun Stuff

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all had/are having a great day.

I managed to go for a jog this morning. It's the first high-impact exercise I've done since injuring my calf just over two weeks ago - woot!

It was great spending the day with my family - I think the last time we all had Christmas day together was in 2006! I especially enjoyed playing games with my nephews and catching up with my sister.

What was the favourite part of your Christmas day?

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Zealand bound

We are flying out to New Zealand late tonight. Have decided that when we get back I'm going to join the gym across the road. I'll continue to do my workouts at home, but just want a wider variety of cardio options.

Preworkout: scoop of rice protein in water

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- push-ups on the minute for 20 minutes
- stair stepping for 15 minutes

Breakfast: oats, almond milk, cinnamon, psyllium, rice protein, cherries

Lunch: tuna in olive oil, kidney beans, cos lettuce, tomato, capsicum, cucumber, red onion

Snack: mixed nuts

Dinner: tempeh stir-fry (in Flora Pro-Active)

Snack: Vega protein powder, cacao powder, stevia

Sunday

- scoop of rice protein in water

walk with Rob and TJ

- oats, almond milk, rice protein, psyllium husks, cinnamon; mandarin

- turkey, cranberry sauce, salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber), mixed bean salad

- kangaroo sausage, cherries

- smoked tofu, Sichuan slaw

- Vega protein powder, cacao powder, stevia, almond meal

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday

Did a bit more work in the garden today, moving some gravel that had been sitting in the middle of the back yard from when we laid drains in August. Am pretty happy with how the back yard is looking now. Still a few things I'd like to do but they can wait until January, when we're back from our holiday.

Exercise: powerwalk hill repeats for 32 minutes

Breakfast: oats, almond milk, cinnamon, rice protein, psyllium husks, cherries (from our tree!)

landscaping (moving gravel)

Lunch: salad with cos lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, chickpeas, leftover cooked salmon and balsamic vinegar

landscaping

Snack: Soyco Thai tofu, carrots

Dinner: corn chips, lean beef and bean chilli, hot sauce, lite pizza cheese, tomatoes, olives, jalapenos

Snack: Vega protein powder, cacao powder, stevia, almond meal

Friday, December 17, 2010

We Haz Cherries!

I was planning to do some cleaning today but it was too nice this morning to be inside so I did more gardening instead. The garden is beginning to resemble the one we looked at in May when we put in an offer on the house, instead an overgrown jungle (all the rain we've had lately has really made things grow!). Wish I'd done a 'before' and 'after' of the garden, but only thought about it when I was nearly finished. Instead, here's a pic of all the stuff I've pulled out of the garden over the last couple of days.


Most of the trees in our back yard have started to fruit, and I'm really pleased that we have a cherry tree - cherries are one of my favourite fruits!


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Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- WOD: chin-up and push-up pyramids
- stair stepping 12 minutes
- stretching

Breakfasts: oats, almond milk, cinnamon, rice protein, walnuts, mixed berries

gardening

Lunch: salad with chickpeas, fresh mixed herbs, garlic, cumin, roasted red pepper and eggplant, red onion, baby spinach leaves, leftover cooked salmon, lemon juice; nectarine

gardening

Dinner: Soyco Thai tofu, Lebanese cucumber

Snack: mix of Vega protein powder, cacao powder, stevia and almond meal

***edited to add the following***
4 slices gluten free bread, 4 slices Kraft Live Active cheese

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Short Cycle

Had almost 12 hours sleep last night and still woke up feeling tired (thanks to TOM*) so decided to take it easy in the exercise department today. Did lots of gardening though so was still reasonably active.

Exercise:
- walking hill repeats for 25 minutes
- walk with Rob and TJ for 45 minutes

Breakfast: oats, almond milk, cinnamon, rice protein, mixed berries, walnuts

gardening

Lunch: Mediterranean Salmon Salad (I had the entire ingredients list from this Biggest Loser sandwich recipe but nixed the bread in favour of a head of baby cos lettuce.

gardening

Dinner: kangaroo patties topped with garlic and herb butter (made with Flora Pro-active), grilled eggplant and red pepper

Snack: Vega protein powder mixed with water, cacao powder, stevia and almond meal

*I have something screwy going on with my monthly cycle at the moment and suspect it's to do with the regular amount of soy I've been eating lately (a similar thing happened when I ate soy regularly about a year ago). Think I'll finish off what I've got in the fridge then take a break from it while we're away.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Almost Grill'd

A tired and hungry day today. Had 7.5 hours sleep last night, but by the time I did my exercise, had breakfast, had a shower and checked my email I felt exhausted, so went back to bed for another three hours.

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- WOD: push-up + abs supersets
- stair stepping for 12 minutes
- stretching

Breakfast: oats, cinnamon, almond milk, rice protein, berries, walnuts; mandarin

nap

Snack: Vega protein shake

walk with Rob and TJ

Lunch: salad with cos lettuce, kidney beans, red pepper, red onion, tomato, avocado and hot sauce

Snack: tofu feta with tomato and cucumber

Snack: decaf skinny flat white

Dinner: burger made with grilled portobello mushroom 'buns', tomato sauce, kangaroo patty, Kraft Live Active cheese, tomato, and grilled red onion, zucchini, red pepper and eggplant

lid off


lid on


snack: mix of rice protein, cacao powder, stevia and almond meal

edited to add:
snack: 2 kangaroo patties with tomato sauce, mustard, Kraft Live Active cheese and gherkins

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday

Can't manage a lot in the way of cardio at the moment, but DB swings certainly got my heart rate up, and my calf was OK with a little bit of stair stepping.

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- cardio: DB swings on the minute (30s on, 30s off) for 20 minutes, stair stepping for 12 minutes
- stretching

Breakfast: see sidebar

Snack: Vega protein shake

Lunch: tofu feta with romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion; grilled eggplant

nap

Dinner: grilled dory with vegetable citrus salad

Snack: mix of rice protein, almond meal, cacao powder and stevia

Pork, eggplant and pea curry



Adapted from Coles Christmas Magazine 2009

Serves 3-4 / Preparation 10 mins / Cooking 10 mins

600g diced heart smart pork
1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
400mL can lite coconut milk
half a medium eggplant, chopped
1 Tbsp palm sugar (or you could use brown sugar)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced thinly
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup coriander leaves
1 medium tomato, diced
steamed rice to serve (optional)

1 Spray a large pan or wok with cooking spray, and lightly brown diced pork on high heat. Remove from pan and set aside.
2 Reduce heat to medium, respray pan and heat curry paste for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add coconut milk. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Add eggplant and simmer, covered, for 5 mins, until tender.
3 Add sugar, fish sauce and lemongrass. Simmer for 1 min. Add cooked pork and peas. Cover and cook for 3 mins, until peas are tender. Stir through coriander, reserving a few leaves to garnish. Spoon curry into serving bowls, top each with diced tomato and coriander leaves.

Serve with steamed rice, if desired.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Calf Update

Rob did some myofascial taping on my calf after I injured it on Thursday, which made a huge difference in reducing the pain and increasing my mobility. I took the tape off this morning and managed a slow walk around the park with Rob and TJ. Next step is to start some gentle stretching.

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- WOD: chin-ups on the minute for 20 minutes
- stretching

Breakfast: see sidebar

Snack: Vega protein shake

Lunch: wheat-free tabbouleh (cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, parsley, mint, garlic) with chickpeas, hemp seeds, olive oil and lemon juice

Snack: tofu feta, cos lettuce, tomato, red onion; almonds

Dinner: pork, eggplant and pea curry


Snack: mix of Vega protein powder, cacao powder, stevia and almond meal

Almond Milk recipe

Makes 4 cups

Soak 1 cup of almonds in 1 cup of boiling water overnight, or for 8-12 hours.


Drain and rinse the almonds. Place in a blender with 4 cups water


Blend well


Strain the almond milk through a nut mylk bag or similar into a 1L container.


The finished product

Sunday, December 12, 2010

DOMs

Glad it's a rest day today. I have DOMs in my hammies from doing DB swings yesterday (for some reason I stretched every part of my legs afterwards except my hammies???). My chest is also still a bit sore from Friday's press-ups.

I tried to do a meal plan and shopping list today for the rest of the week but it just ended up making me feel overwhelmed. I've been happy just grabbing a few things each day from the shops as I need them and/or if they're on sale, so will continue to do that (luckily we're only a few minutes' walk from the shops so it's easy to do that).

Breakfast: small serve of the usual

Snack: Vega protein shake

Lunch: wheat-free tabbouleh (cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, parsley, mint, garlic) with chickpeas, hemp seeds, olive oil and lemon juice

Snack: Lotus Braised Tofu Cutlets, almonds, broccolini

Dinner: Mexi pizza on gluten-free wrap, peach

Snack: cocoa with almond milk

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy

Am in a good place mentally right now. Am enjoying with how I'm training (even with the calf problem), am enjoying how I'm eating, and am enjoying being on holiday!

Exercise
- foam rolling and warm-up
- cardio: DB swings on the minute (30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest) for 20 minutes
- stretching

Breakfast: see sidebar (plus mandarin)

Snack: see sidebar

Lunch: Lotus Braised Tofu Cutlets, Mediterranean vegetable and rocket salad

Snack: almonds, edamame, hummus with red pepper

Dinner: lean beef chilli, small packet corn chips, basmati rice

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'M ON HOLIDAY!

Sorry for shouting, LOL. I've had a really busy year, and am glad to have a break. I've worked on just under 20 books in the last 12 months, including travel guides to Germany, Cancun (Mexico), France, Zion National Park (USA), Scotland, LA & Southern California, and Taiwan, as well as a book of fairytales, a book on drawing fantasy art, a first-aid book, a book on TV-free activities for kids, a book of games, a book of Christmas carols and stories, a cookbook for kids, and a cupcake recipe book. We also bought a house and moved into it mid-year.

I was planning to spend the next 10 days doing stuff around the house, but will have to see how things go with my calf. After that we are going to New Zealand for two weeks to have Christmas and New Year with our families. Can't wait!

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- WOD: push-ups on the minute
- stretching

Breakfast: see sidebar (small serve, plus mandarin)

Snack: see sidebar (half serve)

Lunch: sweet chilli tofu nuggets, dry coleslaw mix, coriander

Snack: mix of chocolate Vega (half serve), tofu and almond meal

Dinner: salmon, asparagus, broccolini, hoisin sauce

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday recap

My first thought on tearing my calf was 'now what am I going to do - I can't exercise and I'm going to put on weight'.

But while I was icing my calf I started to think differently. I can still do upper-body exercises, and some cardio (although I'll have to use my imagination a bit). I've gotten into a good routine over the last month or so and I'm not willing to let it slip away.

We had a function to go to in the evening (I'd already paid for tickets for both of us). Rob taped up my calf (very handy having a myotherapist for a husband!) and it held up pretty well. I ended up drinking more than I planned to, but avoided all of the (unhealthy) finger food. Went out for a nice dinner afterwards instead.

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- was planning to do sprint intervals but decided at the last minute to do switch foot box drills off our back step instead and on the second or third set I tore my calf.

breakfast: small version of 'usual' (see sidebar)

snack: see sidebar

lunch: sweet chilli tofu with dry coleslaw mix and coriander

snack: mix of cottage cheese, tofu, stevia and vanilla

pre-dinner: sparkling wine, chardonnay

dinner: three of us shared jungle duck curry with eggplant and bamboo shoots, grilled baby snapper with lemongrass and ginger in a banana leaf, a chicken and veggie stir-fry, steamed rice and roti bread; sauvignon blanc

Grrrrrr!

Tore my right calf this morning (my own silly fault). Not. Happy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Conquering the Chin-up

I've found this video by Mike Robertson really helpful when doing my chin-ups lately. I find myself saying 'pull through the elbows...chest touches the bar' with each rep. I also like the cue to 'tuck your shoulders into your back pockets'.

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- WOD: dips and chin-ups supersets
- 10 minutes stair stepping
- walk TJ

Breakfast: see sidebar (plus mandarin)

Snack: see sidebar

Lunch: lentil and eggplant soup (olive oil), loquats

Snack:
'cheesecake' (almond meal, stevia and Flora Pro-active 'base', blended tofu, cottage cheese, stevia and vanilla 'topping'), head of baby cos lettuce with fat-free dressing

Dinner: salmon, carrots, broccoli, beans, water chestnuts, hoisin sauce, veggie patties

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Favourite Protein?

What's your favourite protein to eat for dinner? Do you like to eat a particular meal on a particular day (eg fish on Friday, or a Sunday roast)?

Last night was very sticky. I couldn't sleep and was hungry so got up and had a mug of warm (lactose-free) milk. That was about 1am and it still took me a while to get to sleep once I went back to bed. Then I woke up at 6.30am (before my alarm) - not quite sure what's going on with my body clock!

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- WOD: conditioning intervals (skipping 30s on, 30 off for 10 minutes; squat thrusts 30s on, 30 off for 10 minutes)
- 10 minutes stair stepping
- walk TJ

Breakfast: see sidebar (plus mandarin)

Snack: see sidebar

Lunch: lentil and eggplant soup (olive oil), cauliflower, carrot, loquats

Snack: 'tofu feta' with tomato and cucumber; almonds

Dinner: taco meatloaf (I used kangaroo mince and less cheese), green beans, Flora Pro-active

Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting into a Groove

I've been eating the same brekkie and morning snack every day lately (I've really been enjoying breakfast, and I find the Vega shake is re-energising and a good way of keeping hydrated), so I've listed them in my sidebar rather than recording the same thing every day. I'll post here if I make any changes.

Today's exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- WOD: physical fitness test (chin-ups, crunches, press-ups, run for distance)
- 10 minutes stair stepping
- walk TJ

Breakfast: see sidebar (plus mandarin)

Snack: see sidebar

Lunch: eggplant and lentil soup, olive oil

nap

Snack: 'tofu feta' with tomato and cucumber, almonds

Dinner: kangaroo sausages, carrots, cauliflower (Flora pro-active)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

(not a) Rest Day

Was planning to have a rest day today but woke up early full of beans so thought I'd go for a walk up Mt Ridley. I decided to take TJ with me as he'd been up 'partying' for most of the night with the boys so thought he'd be tired and pretty easy to handle, which he was. I was happy to go at TJ pace: walk fast until something smells good then come to a dead stop to have a sniff and pee (TJ, not me). It was overcast this morning so no views from Mt Ridley, but still a nice walk all the same. We came across a man walking the biggest dog I've ever seen - it was only 10 months old and made TJ look like a puppy! At first I thought it was an Irish Wolfhound, but the owner told me it was a Turkish breed.

I felt like having a lazy breakfast with the paper, so when I got home TJ and I had both had a drink then I grabbed my purse and we popped down to the shops to get the paper. By the time we got home we'd been out walking for about two hours! Also did some gardening before and after lunch, so was feeling pretty pooped by the end of the day!

Breakfast: oats, flaxmeal and cinnamon soaked overnight in almond milk, with rice protein, walnuts and berries mixed in before eating

Snack: Vega protein shake

Greek salad with tofu 'feta cheese', loquats

Snack: rice protein shake with pomegranate juice and spinach; almonds, carrots

Dinner: roast lamb, mint sauce, peas, cauliflower (Flora pro-active), glass of cab shiraz

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'll Be Lightning

Currently enjoying listening to this...




Beautiful day here today, but I had so much extra sleep this week just gone due to TOM that I'm behind with my work, so spent some of the day at my desk. I also spent part of the day reorganising our upstairs area as we are having an extra guest to stay for a while.

Today's exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- Squat Thrusts (20 seconds on, 40 seconds off for 20 minutes)
- walk TJ

Breakfast: oats, flaxmeal and cinnamon soaked overnight in almond milk, with rice protein and berries mixed in before eating

Snack: Vega protein shake

Lunch: lentil and roasted eggplant soup (cold), loquats

Snack: Soyco Japanese tofu, carrot, celery, almonds

Dinner: snapper skewers with periperi sauce (Flora pro-active), broccoli

Friday, December 3, 2010

Difficult De-cember

I liked the idea of Liz' De-cember goals, so thought I'd throw one out there of my own. I'm going to be focusing on adding more difficult exercise to my training. I'm pretty happy with my food intake at the moment but need to bump things up on the exercise front. I worked out that I'm only doing about two hours per week of 'difficult' exercise at the moment (I don't count foam rolling, dynamic warm-ups or walking TJ as 'difficult'). I'd like to get that up to about six hours per week. I won't be doing it all at once (as I'm likely to fall apart - plus I find it's easier to be consistent with my exercise if I only add a small blocks at a time) but from Monday onwards I'll start adding a bit more 'difficult' exercise each training day.

Friday's log

Exercise:
- foam rolling and warm-up
- 20-minute jog
- walk TJ

Breakfast: rice protein, oats, almond milk, flaxmeal, walnuts, mixed berries

Snack: vega protein shake

Lunch: black beans, spinach, tomato, cucumber, spring onion, alfalfa sprouts, olive-oil dressing

Snack: Soyco Japansese tofu, hummus, celery, carrots

Dinner: salmon skewers, spinach, tomato, cucumber, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, leftover okra, carrot

Snack: mix of rice protein, cacao powder and almond butter

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday

Exercise:
- foam rolling and dynamic warm-up
- Three Powerful Calisthenics
- 10 minutes stair stepping
- walk TJ

Breakfast: rice protein, oats, almond milk (homemade), flaxmeal, walnuts and mixed berries

Snack: Vega protein shake, mandarin

Lunch: black beans, grilled portobello mushrooms, red pepper, zucchini and red onion, olive-oil dressing

Snack: tofu, hummus, carrot, celery

Dinner: tandoori chicken, okra with Flora Pro-active

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Siesta

Lately when I exercise in the mornings, I need a nap in the afternoon, even if I've been sleeping well. Does this happen to anyone else?

I'm pretty happy with how my November goals turned out. I did foam rolling before almost every exercise session in November. My upper back/shoulder area is feeling better for it, and it's much less painful foam rolling my lower-body muscles now. I'm planning to continue foam rolling, but reduce the time spent on each exercise from 60 seconds to 30 seconds and add back in some dynamic warm-up and activation exercises, particularly for my glutes.

I also made the effort to shower and get dressed almost every day after exercising (so I wasn't working in my exercise gear), and felt much better for it, so will continue with this.

I limited my alcohol consumption to two drinks on every occasion except the wedding I went to last weekend. I'll aim to continue this throughout the December 'silly season' (no promises for Christmas day though!).

My main aim for December is to continue exercising consistently, even while we are away for two weeks (as it will be during the Christmas/New Year period, when I tend to eat and drink more than usual).

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Wednesday's log

- foam rolling and dynamic warm-up
- 20-minute jog
- walk TJ

Breakfast: mix of oats, water, flaxmeal, cinnamon, Sunwarrior rice protein, walnuts, almonds and mixed berries

Snack: Vega protein shake

Lunch: broccoli, black bean soup, avocado

Snack: tofu; tomato, olives, gherkins

nap

Snack: Vega protein shake (half serve) with cacao powder

Dinner: dory with caper 'butter' (Flora pro-active), grilled portobello mushrooms, red pepper, zucchini and red onion