Cooking, Renovations and Fun Stuff

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fruit and Veg Delivery

Training today was day one of program one, followed by a smoothie with lactose-free milk, lactose-free yoghurt, dates, ground ginger, and rolled oats and barleyJan 31 01

Lunch was a ham saladJan 31 02

plus some leftover gluten-free spaghetti reheated and tossed with herbed goat cheeseJan 31 03

Lately I’ve been quite uninspired by the selection of fruit and veg at our local supermarket, so today I had a mixed box delivered. Here’s what we received:Jan 31 04

I’m quite happy with the selection we got, particularly the veg, as my brain started ticking over with all the salad possibilities…

Before starting on the new veg though, I wanted to use up the last of the veg I bought on Saturday to keep us going until the delivery arrived. A chicken curry did the trick nicely.

Jan 31 07

Looking forward to starting on the new stuff tomorrow!

Monday, January 30, 2012

January Goal summary

At the end of December I had a lot of trouble with my plantar fascia (connective tissue in my feet) after jogging. I decided that my goal for January would be to use the foam roller and tennis ball on my legs and feet every day. I didn’t announce my goal, or blog about it, as it wasn’t terribly exciting, but I’m glad to say that I managed every day except one (a Sunday morning, as we stayed the previous night at a friend’s place).  My legs and feet are feeling so much better for the work with the foam roller and tennis ball, and it’s become a habit now to get up in the morning and start rolling.

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This morning Rob, TJ and I jogged roughly 5km around the park. When we got home I whipped up a smoothie with lactose-free milk, lactose-free yoghurt, frozen berries, and rolled oats and barleyJan 30 01

Lunch was a salad with rocket, tomato, corn, green beans, goat cheese and canned salmon, plus some bread with sterol spread (not pictured)Jan 30 02

Dinner was lamb cutlets with chickpea and squash salad, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegarJan 30 03

Am looking forward to watching My Kitchen Rules this evening. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cafe Sunday

Today we decided to walk up to the cafe by the lake for our brunch.

Jan 29 01

It was late morning by the time we left home (and quite hot), so we went the long way so TJ could have some off-lead time and a dip in the creek on the way there. Unfortunately by the time we arrived they were no longer serving breakfast. I ended up having a salmon roll out of the cabinet

Jan 29 02

It was more bread than anything else, so I put all the filling from one half into the other half, and TJ got the leftover bread.

We walked back the same way we came and TJ had another ‘swim’ in the creek

Jan 29 04

Jan 29 03

By the time we got home I was super hot and sweaty. I whipped up a smoothie with lactose-free milk and yoghurt and some berry smoothie cubes. It was so good I forgot to take a photo!

After showering I realised that walking in the heat had created a blister on my big toe. Hopefully it won’t bother me while jogging tomorrow.

For dinner I tried to make up for the lack of vegetables over the last few days with a minted pumpkin salad and some lamb steak

Jan 29 05

My chocolate cravings have been better this week, so I think my post workout snack of coconut water and dates has been helping, but I really enjoyed the smoothie I had today so might try that as a breakfast next week (and not have the coconut water and dates) and see how that goes. 

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

12 Weeks

Not sure what’s going on with me at the moment. My pants are getting looser but scale weight is going up (weighed myself this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks). I was a bit stiff and sore after yesterday’s workout though, so perhaps DOMs is playing havoc with the scales. Or it could be all the chocolate I ate last weekend

Nevertheless, it’s my birthday in 12 weeks and I’d like to be in better shape by then. I’m really enjoying my jogging at the moment (did 8km on the treadmill this morning) so will continue trying to gradually increase my distance over the next 12 weeks (and beyond, all going well).  I’m also enjoying what I’m doing in the gym at the moment, and still have about 10 weeks’ worth of old programs to play with. After that I may see about getting some new ones done. Foodwise, I like how I’m eating at the moment but I’m aware I’m probably eating more than I should for weight loss. Time will tell though!

I’ll try and post how I’m going each Saturday.

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Not many greens in my meals today. Need to go shopping…

Jan 28 01

 

Jan 28 02

 

Jan 28 03

Am looking forward to going out for breakfast in the morning. See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mind-Body Connection

I started reading Lance Armstrong’s It’s Not About the Bike over Christmas 2010, when I found it on the bookshelf of a relative we were visiting, but I didn’t quite finish it before leaving. I was reminded of it again when Magda mentioned it a comment recently. I ordered it from the library and finally got to finish it, over a year later!

Here is one of the passages I liked in the bit I just finished reading (near the end)

‘the mind and body almost never work cooperatively. Mostly, we are at odds with ourselves, and for a road cyclist, this is especially true: when your body gets tired it’s the job of your mind to override the impulse to stop. Or, when your mind wants more than can rightly be accomplished, it’s the job of the body to tell you it needs food and water before it does anything else. Occasionally, the two work in concert, and what happens then is, you fly up the Hautacam. When they’re in direct opposition, what happens is, you bonk on the way to Morzine.’

For some reason, I seem to really enjoy reading books about athletic struggle. One of my favourites is Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes. I also liked Running Hot by Lisa Tamati, although the writing in that isn’t as accomplished.

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This morning I did day two of program one. I put my weights up a bit and my glutes were shaking afterwards!

Breakfast was a mixture of rolled oats and barley, yoghurt and grated apple. Usually I’d put some cinnamon in too, but we’ve run out, so I used some ground cardamom instead.

Jan 27 01

Lunch was a salad topped with dhal, plus a slice of bread with sterol spread (not pictured) to mop up the bowl

Jan 27 02

By the time dinnertime came around I was feeling a bit dehydrated (tired and headachy) and all I wanted was a liquid dinner. Rob suggested margaritas (LOL) but I managed to find a sachet of protein powder in the back of the pantry and mixed it up in a blender with a litre of water and a couple of smoothie cubes. Once I finished that off I had some rice cakes. Neither were particularly photo-worthy.

Hopefully I’ll be feeling better in the morning. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gluten-free Fish & Chips

Sometimes I want a particular type of food (savoury or sweet) or a particular style of food (Thai or Italian, for example). Tonight for dinner I wanted a particular texture: crunchy. I decided to make polenta-crumbed fish and some oven baked chips. This is a super-easy way to make gluten-free crumbed fish – just coat the fish in some plain yoghurt, then in polenta before cooking (I used a regular frying pan with a little bit of canola oil).  The chips are just baking potatoes, cut into ‘chips’, sprayed with a little oil and baked in a 200 C oven for about 40 minutes.

Jan 26 03

Rewinding back to this morning, I did a 5K run (outside). It was nice weather out this morning, and my legs held up well after doing a longer run yesterday.

Breakfast was quinoa with yoghurt and mango. Jan 26 01

Lunch was egg and salad, plus a gluten-free wrap with sterol spread (not pictured)

Jan 26 02

Off to watch some more tennis. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Patience is a Virtue

“In the area of training, I have learned that more is not always better. That patience is a virtue. That one must listen to their body and not to the goals that their ego has set forth. That it takes your connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia) much longer than muscle to adapt to training increases. I have learned that it takes more discipline to hold myself back from training too much than it does to get out and train.” (Tim van Orden at Running Raw)

I can really identify with this statement. My mind has always issued orders that my body can’t necessarily carry out. I’ve slowly learnt that it’s better to listen to my body and ‘fight another day’ rather than blindly follow a program that drives my body into the ground.

I’m slowly increasing the intensity of my training, but when last week’s jump proved too much, I took a step back and now I’m feeling better for it.

This morning I did a 7km treadmill jog. It felt good, but it’s  frustrating that the treadmills at the gym time out after 20 minutes (even when it’s not busy), so I have to restart and keep going. Might have run outside tomorrow for a change.

Breakfast this morning was quinoa, cherries and yoghurt

jan 25 01

Lunch was a Greek salad with roast beef, plus a gluten-free wrap with sterol spread (not pictured)

Jan 25 02

Dinner was a prawn, cucumber and mango salad

Jan 25 03

It was nice but I have a feeling I’m going to be hungry again pretty quickly.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Be Your Best

I’ve just finished reading Be Your Best by Geoff Huegill, which Magda recommended. It was interesting to read about his swimming abilities at a young age, and his approach to training.

A couple of quotes that appealed to me:

“When I first started exercising again, I kept it really simple. The only goal I set was to make sure that I put in at least 20 minutes a day, whether it be in the pool, doing a spin class at my local gym or simply taking a walk. As long as I put in 20 minutes, I was a happy camper. Gradually over time that 20 minutes increased to 30, 45 and 60 – then I decided I wanted so swim for Australia again!”

“Don’t think you are going to be perfect. Everyone has down days. Just be the best you can on any given day.” 

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This morning I did day one of program one. I felt quite tired when I got up (still adjusting to getting up earlier for work) but my energy levels seemed to pick up once I started exercising.

I’m still enjoying quinoa and yoghurt with berries for breakfast:

Jan 18 01

Lunch was a chicken salad, plus some Ryvita crackers with sterol spread (not pictured). Check out the yellow tomatoes!

Jan 24 02

I wanted to make lamb and tabouli for dinner (with beans instead of cracked wheat) but the supermarket didn’t have any parsley left. (I really should start growing my own herbs.) I ended up using chopped rocket instead.  Still tasted OK.

Jan 24 03

Off to watch more of the Australian Open tennis. See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 23, 2012

No Evidence of Malignancy

I went back to my doctor this afternoon to have my stitches out. He did a great job – you can barely see where they were. He put a new dressing on, which I have to leave on for two more days, but that’s it. The pathology results showed no evidence of malignancy. The ‘mole’ was an inflamed seborrhoeic keratosis, which can apparently resemble a melanoma but is a noncancerous benign skin growth. Yay!

Rewinding back to this morning, I did a 5K treadmill run, keeping my heart rate at 70-80% of maximum. Afterwards I had some coconut water (good for hydration) and a couple of dates, and will try doing something similar for the rest of the week and see if it keeps away the chocolate cravings.

This morning’s breakfast was quinoa and yoghurt topped with pureed apricots and pureed berries.

Jan 23 01

Lunch was coleslaw mix with canned pink salmon, plus some Ryvita crackers with sterol spread (not pictured)

Jan 23 02

Dinner was mixed vegetables and sliced rump steak topped with a tzatziki-style sauce, and some baby potatoes

Jan 23 03

My favourite part of the meal was the sauce. It was simple (1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 200 ml plain yoghurt, 1 Lebanese cucumber that I seeded and grated, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice, all mixed together) but very tasty. A friend of ours had dinner with us and he usually covers everything in tomato sauce, but not tonight.

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chocolate Cravings

Over the weekend I’ve been craving chocolate (pretty unusual for me, since I’m not normally that fussed by chocolate). I’ve had a Bounty bar, a Cherry Ripe, a chocolate milk, and a slice of Mars Bar cake. It’s not that time of the month, so the only thing I can put it down to is the increase in cardio intensity this week, going from about 60-70% of maximum heart rate to 75-85% of maximum heart rate in my sessions.

So next week I’m going to try and find a middle ground with my cardio and keep a closer eye on what I’m having immediately after my workouts in terms of recovery nutrition and fluids.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the healthier things I had to eat over the weekend…

Breakfast Saturday (after a 50-minute jog): overnight muesli (rolled oats and barley, mandarin juice, sultanas and yoghurt)

Jan 21 01

Jan 21 02

Lunch Saturday: salmon salad, plus bread roll (not pictured)

Jan 21 03

Dinner Saturday: Lamb Couscous

Jan 21 04

I had the lamb dish at a restaurant in Richmond for a friend’s birthday. I don’t make couscous at home as it’s not gluten-free, so took the opportunity to have it while out. The description said it came with roast vegetables, but I had to do a ‘treasure hunt’ through the couscous to find a few finely sliced pieces of pumpkin. Disappointing.

We stayed overnight at our friend’s house. In the morning we broke our tram and train trip home with a breakfast stop at a cafe in Degraves St (near Flinders St station). I had muesli, goat yoghurt and fruit

Jan 22 02

Sunday lunch was some Ryvita crackers with chutney, ham and salad

Jan 22 03

Sunday dinner was a pork cutlet with rice salad and coleslaw mix

Jan 22 05

Off to watch Bad Teacher. See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Program One, Day Two

Today I did day two of the program I started on Monday. Here are the strength training exercises I did today:

Plate squats


Push-ups


RDLs


Split stance cable pulldowns


Prone row to external rotation


Side planks

and

Band internal rotation


plus some kettlebell swings

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Breakfast was bircher muesli (rolled oats and barley, lemon juice, grated apple and yoghurt, topped with some sliced banana)

Lunch was a toasted sandwich with ham, cheese and onion, and some cherry tomatoes

Dinner was salmon, rice and salad

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pile of Mulch

This morning Rob, TJ and I did a 50-minute jog. I don’t like to drink much water when jogging as I tend to get the stitch, so when I got home I felt like having a liquid breakfast.

A berry smoothie

Jan 19 01

and some cherries with the last of the quinoa I cooked the other day

Jan 19 02

For lunch I had some roast veges left over from last night, mixed with a little olive oil

Jan 19 03

and a smoked salmon sandwich

Jan 19 04

Dinner was lamb cutlets with a chickpea salad

Jan 19 05

Our mulch was delivered today

Jan 19 2 cubic metres mulch

We got some of it on the garden this evening. Hope to have it all done by the end of the week.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Elevensies

I've been tagged by Liz at Last Chance Training to post some things about myself and answer some questions, so here goes...

11 random facts about me
1. I've been with Rob for nearly 18 years.

2. We don't have a car. If we want to go somewhere we walk or take public transport.

3. TJ (our labrador) sits on the couch with us and sleeps on our bed.

4. We had a cat for 13 years who also used to sleep on our bed.

5. I didn't sleep well wedged between a cat and a dog!

6. I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter depression).

7. I have had my appendix out.

8. I wanted to be an architect when I was growing up.

9. My favourite fruits are cherries and figs.

10. My favourite meal is breakfast.

11. For my 21st birthday I had a champagne breakfast.

Here are Liz's questions (and my answers)
1) Morning or evening person
Afternoon/evening

2) How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?
Depends on what I'm doing and where I'm going (going to gym/walking TJ/working from home/working in an office). Minimum 10 minutes, max one hour (if I have to wash and dry my hair).

3) What’s your weekly grocery bill?
$250 to $300 (two big eaters and a big dog)

4) How much of your grocery bill is whole foods?
Approx 90%. We eat lactose-free and mostly gluten-free so that means mostly whole foods.

5) Your opinion of daylight savings?
I just wish it was the same time all year round. I have a lot of trouble adjusting to the time changes each year.

6) Mac or PC?
I have a PC (laptop) but have used Macs in the past at work and like them.

7) Grab your IPOD and hit “shuffle” – what’s the first song that comes up? Is it a favourite or so so?
I don't have an iPOD.

8) Your favourite blog of the moment?
I like reading a variety of different blogs.

9) Favourite pizza topping?
Usually something vegetarian.

10) Proudest moment lately?
Re-creating our garden. Nearly there!

11) Your favourite physical activity?
Walking.

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This morning's cardio was 30 minutes on the stepper followed by 20 minutes on the treadclimber.

For breakfast I used the same ingredients as yesterday but put everything together in a bowl instead of a glass

Still tasted just as good!

Lunch was a curried egg sandwich

And dinner was pan-fried fish with roasted veges and potato

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quinoa, Yoghurt and Berry Parfait

Quinoa is gluten-free but it has quite an ‘earthy’ taste so I don’t eat it very often. I was inspired by a quinoa recipe I saw recently in the O2 Diet, and decided to give it another go.

Last night I cooked some quinoa and put some frozen berries in the fridge to defrost so I’d be able to quickly put together breakfast after my cardio session this morning (50 minutes on the elliptical).

Quinoa, Yoghurt and Berry Parfait

Jan 17 01

Ingredients

- 1 cup cold cooked quinoa (approx 150g)

- 200g plain yoghurt (I used Black Swan lactose-free yoghurt)

- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 2/3 cup frozen blueberries, defrosted

- 2 Creative Gourmet berry antioxidant smoothie cubes, defrosted

Method

1. Mix the cooked quinoa, yoghurt, vanilla and cinnamon together in a small bowl

Jan 17 05

Jan 17 09

Jan 17 06

Jan 17 07

2. Gently mix the defrosted blueberries and smoothie cubes together.

Jan 17 03

Jan 17 04

Jan 17 08

3. Spoon 1/3 of the quinoa mixture into a glass, then 1/3 of the blueberry mixture. Repeat the layers twice, ending with blueberry mixture on top.

Jan 17 01

I really enjoyed this and so did Rob, who usually prefers eggs for breakfast.

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Lunch was a gluten-free wrap with hummus, sliced roast beef and ‘tabouli’ (made without cracked wheat)

Jan 17 10

Dinner was steak, potatoes and roasted vegetables

Jan 17 11

I had the dressing on my stitches changed today and everything seems fine. I just have to avoid getting the area wet until the stitches come out on Monday so no swimming for me for the next week or so.

See you tomorrow!