Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Low Carb Noodles

I saw these noodles advertised in the Sunday paper. Until now the only way to buy this kind of  noodles (made from konjac, a Japanese root) was from overseas (Miracle Noodles) or in an Asian food store (shirataki noodles). They are now available in the health food section of Woolworths, as Slim Pasta (Angel Hair).



Last night I decided to have a go at cooking with them. First you have to drain and rinse them, then soak them in hot water for one minute.




They swell up a bit after soaking in the hot water. Drain, then toss into your dish.


Bon appetite!


I found the noodles to be quite flavourless on their own, so you’d definitely want to eat them in something, rather than underneath or on the side of  a dish as you would with rice.

They are low carb, but because of the properties of the konjac, they swell slightly in your stomach, so I felt quite satisfied after the meal, even though there was no rice.

We’ve tried a few different gluten-free noodles and these ones are pretty good. Rob said he’d happily have them again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Program 1.1, Day 2

Starting day 2 of my new (old) program on Wednesday morning. Here are the exercises I'll be doing.

Front Squats

Push Ups

Hip Dominant Back Extensions

Standing Split Stance Cable Row

Face Pulls

Tall Kneeling Pallof Press ISO

followed by KB swings

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Program 1.1, Day 1

Have pulled out another of my old Mike Robertson programs to start on Monday morning. Here are the exercises I'll be doing.

Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

Chest Supported Row

Offset Split Squat (weight in one hand only: if right foot is in front, hold weight in left hand)

Standing Split Stance Cable Press

Shoulder I, T, Y (on floor)

Ball Rollouts

External Rotation at 90 Degrees

followed by bike intervals and medicine ball slams

Friday, February 24, 2012


I weighed myself when I got up yesterday. For some reason I'm OK with not weighing myself at the start of the week, but sometimes as it gets closer to the end of the week I feel like I want to get on the scales to see if what I am doing with my food and exercise is 'working'. Scale weight doesn't tell the whole story, but when I get on the scales and my weight is going the opposite way to what it's supposed to, I have a moment (OK, a whole day) of self-doubt. Is how I'm eating helping me or hindering me with weight loss? Am I doing enough exercise? And on and on.

I woke up this morning, didn't get on the scales, looked in my favourite mirror (the one with the most flattering lighting) and felt much better. I thought about how good I've been feeling the way I've been eating lately, how soft my skin is and how much more energy I have. I thought about how I've been enjoying my exercise. And I pushed those feelings of self-doubt aside.

How do you deal with feelings of self-doubt?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dragon Fruit

Yesterday in our fruit and veg box we received a dragon fruit!

Feb 21 01

Feb 21 02

I’ve never eaten one before so today I Googled to see if ours was ripe to eat. Apparently it was, so I decided to dig in!

Feb 22 01  

Feb 22 02

Look, it’s like a fruit version of beetroot!

Feb 22 03

It had a strong sweet perfume, a melon-like texture and seeds like a kiwifruit. Different!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Confident, much?

This morning when I started my workout I was alternating between pull throughs and DB rows. There was a guy working out near me but I wasn't paying too much attention to him. He came over after I finished my last set of the group and asked me what the pull throughs were for. I said glutes. He said he'd never seen them done before and that he thought I was 'posing for him'. I just laughed. Jerk.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Raw Vegan Brownies


raw vegan brownie 2

This is one of my favourite homemade sweet treats.  The original recipe is here (along with nutritional info) but I thought I’d repost it on my blog along with some pics.

Raw Vegan Brownie


    1 c walnuts
    1 c dates
    1/4 c cocoa powder
    2 avocados
    1/2 c agave nectar [or maple syrup] 
    1/4 c cocoa powder
    2 T coconut oil
    1 T vanilla extract
    dash salt
    dash cinnamon


        Process the brownie ingredients until blended and dry chunky. Press into a small pan.
        Put all icing ingredients into blender, and blend on high till smooth. [I put ingredients in large bowl and blended with stab mixer]
        Spread icing over brownie and pop in freezer to set for 1 hour.

        raw vegan brownie 1

        Cut, serve and enjoy!

        raw vegan brownie 2



        Sunday, February 19, 2012

        Lemon-scented polenta porridge

        recipe from fit food by teresa cutter

        Lemon-scented polenta porridge
        serves 4

        3½ cups water
        150g (5 oz) polenta
        1 teaspoon salt
        2 teaspoons vanilla extract
        1 teaspoon coconut essence
        Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
        Juice from 1 lemon
        1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
        1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk or malt-free soy milk
        4 bananas, sliced
        1 punnet blueberries
        2 tablespoons flaked toasted almonds

        Bring water to the boil and pour in polenta. Turn down to a gentle simmer.
        Add the salt, vanilla, coconut, lemon zest, juce, maple syrup and coconut milk.
        Cook over a gentle heat stirring frequently for about 20-25 minutes until nice and thick.

        Divide between serving bowls. Top with sliced banana, blueberries and toasted almonds.

        Saturday, February 18, 2012

        9 Weeks

        …until my birthday

        Progress so far

        12 weeks 64.5kg

        11 weeks 63.2kg

        10 weeks 63.1kg (period)

        9 weeks 63.3kg (sore neck - 2 workouts missed)

        Friday, February 17, 2012

        I See Red

        My neck still isn’t completely better (and it’s making me feel quite worn out), so I didn’t do a workout today.

        I (unintentionally) had a lot of red food today.

        Breakfast was quinoa and yoghurt topped with a diced peach and a diced plum

        Feb 17 01

        Lunch was roast beef with relish, cherry tomatoes and cucumber

        Feb 17 02

        plus sandwich thins with avocado and tomato

        Feb 15 03

        Dinner was gluten-free spaghetti with garlic, capers, olives, chilli, black pepper, tomatoes, spinach and olive oil

        Feb 17 04 

        plus some canned salmon

        Feb 17 05

        Have a good weekend!

        Thursday, February 16, 2012

        My Day in Dot Points

        • 40 minute jog with Rob and TJ
        • banana blueberry smoothie

        Feb 2 01

        • eggs with onion, mushrooms, silverbeet and goat cheese, on gluten-free toast

        Feb 16 02

        • pork stir-fry with garlic, ginger, chilli, onion, carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, silverbeet and oyster sauce, served on basmati rice and topped with slivered almonds

        Feb 16 03

        • watch My Kitchen Rules

        See you tomorrow!

        Wednesday, February 15, 2012

        Sandwich Thins

        I didn’t sleep well last night but managed to get up at 6.45 this morning and go for a walk with Rob and TJ. When we got home I did some foam rolling. I was feeling quite tired afterwards, so stretched out on the floor in the sun and fell asleep!

        After I woke up I did a bit of tidying up around the house then went to the gym to do a 7km treadmill run. It was quite hard work today.

        When I got home I had a banana blueberry smoothie

        Feb 2 01

        Lunch was some roast pork, pumpkin, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes

        Feb 15 02

        plus some Helga’s sandwich thins, split, toasted and topped with avocado and tomato

        Feb 15 03

        I was quite excited when I saw these sandwich thins advertised last week. Amused by small things, aren’t I?

        Feb 15 04

        They’re like a thin English muffin and I think they’d probably make a good low-carb burger bun alternative. One sandwich thin (top and bottom) is 43g and has 21.8g of carbohydrate.

        Two things I’m not so keen on: they’re quite sweet (sugar is listed as one of the ingredients), and they’re made in the USA! Can't Helga's make these in Australia?

        Dinner was also bread-based: a gluten-free wrap with lamb and salad (dressed with olive oil and lemon juice).

        Feb 15 05

        Looking forward to Rob coming home from work so we can watch My Kitchen Rules together (I’m recording it). See you tomorrow!

        Tuesday, February 14, 2012

        Fruit & Veg Delivery

        My neck was still a bit stiff this morning, but not as bad as yesterday. I decided to take the day off the gym though, just to be on the safe side. It was a lovely morning, so I went for a walk with Rob and TJ. When I got home I tried to do a little bit of weeding, but that aggravated my neck, so I settled for trimming our front hedge. That took a while and it was fairly light work so it was quite late by the time I had breakfast. I always find gardening thirsty work, so I had a banana and peach smoothie, with a couple of crushed Oat Brits sprinkled in at the end (not pictured)

        Feb 11 02

        Because I had breakfast so late, and hadn’t done much in the way of exercise, I didn’t really feel like having any lunch. I had a snack mid-afternoon and that kept me going until dinner.

        Late in the afternoon our fruit and veg delivery arrived

        Feb 14 02

        Looking forward to trying that pineapple!

        Rob sent me a text when he arrived at the train station so TJ and I walked down to meet him. We sat in the sun for a bit when we got home, then I made a stir-fry using leftover roast chicken from Sunday night

        Feb 14 03

        The sugar snap peas from today’s delivery were delicious!

        Off to spend the rest of the evening with my Valentine. See you tomorrow!

        Monday, February 13, 2012

        Stiff Neck

        I woke up with a stiff neck this morning so I’m glad I’ve got a few days off before I start my next block of work and didn’t have to sit at my desk today. I managed a 40-minute jog on the treadmill this morning but the rest of my day has been pretty quiet.

        Breakfast was a banana & peach smoothie, which I had with a piece of gluten-free fruit toast (not pictured)

        Feb 11 02

        Lunch was grated zucchini, carrot and spring onion mixed with Thai marinade, plus a bread roll with chicken (not pictured)

        Feb 13 02

        Dinner was salmon, chickpea and lemon frittata

        Feb 10 05

        plus some pumpkin soup, with a slice of gluten-free toast (not pictured)

        Feb 13 03

        Rob said he’ll treat my neck when he gets home tonight so hopefully I’ll be feeling better in the morning. See you tomorrow!

        Sunday, February 12, 2012

        Banana & Peach Smoothie

        No cafe breakfast this morning. I went to sleep with a headache and woke up with a headache (probably not enough water yesterday) so downed a couple of glasses of water then took TJ for a walk to the shops to get the Sunday paper and some yoghurt for a smoothie.

        Banana & Peach Smoothie

        Feb 11 02


        - 1 cup skim milk (I used lactose-free)

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

        - 1 banana (approx 100g)

        - half yellow peach (approx 50g)

        - handful baby spinach


        - Blend together and enjoy!


        Lunch was tuna and beans

        Feb 12 02 

        with mixed greens, tomato and red onion

        Feb 12 03

        Dinner was roast chicken with roast pumpkin, onion and zucchini (it tasted better than it looks)

        Feb 12 04

        Off to watch Friends With Benefits. See you tomorrow!

        Saturday, February 11, 2012

        10 Weeks

        …until my birthday

        Progress so far

        12 weeks 64.5kg

        11 weeks 63.2kg

        10 weeks 63.1kg

        Due to the time of the month I’ve been eating a bit more than usual the last couple of days, so that’s why there isn’t much change in my weight since last week. It’s still moving downwards though, which is good.


        This morning we had a very lazy start to the day. We had a sleep in, then Rob made us coffee, then I made us some little gluten-free pancakes (these are pictured on a small plate)

        Feb 11 01

        After brekky we took TJ for a short walk (it was wet and windy outside) and on the way home I stopped in at the library to get some books and magazines. When I got home I got changed and headed off to the gym to do a jog on the treadmill. I did my longest run yet, 10km.

        When I got home Rob was eating a peach, but he said it was a bit dry. I said not to bother eating the rest of it, I’d put it in my smoothie. So I had a banana and peach smoothie, with a handful of spinach in it, to make up for the complete lack of nutritional goodness in my breakfast

        Feb 11 02

        I spent the rest of the afternoon looking through the magazines I got from the library before making a start on dinner, spaghetti bolognese (I like to grate carrot and zucchini into the sauce)

        Feb 11 03

        That’s all from me for now. See you tomorrow!

        Friday, February 10, 2012

        Workout Alternative

        This morning I felt quite tired so instead of doing a workout at the gym I decided to go for a walk with Rob and TJ then do a spot of ‘landscaping’. When I did the garden beds a few months ago, I pulled out lots of rocks. They’ve been sitting in a big pile by the garage, getting in everyone’s way

        Feb 10 02

        This morning I moved them all out to the driveway side of the house so we can eventually get rid of them all. It took me about half an hour to move them all

        Feb 10 03

        No more rocks to trip over!

        I find gardening or landscaping is a great alternative to a traditional gym workout.

        After my efforts I sat outside and enjoyed a banana blueberry smoothie

        Feb 2 01

        Lunch was a salad with mixed greens, celery, spring onions, tomato and canned chicken, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, plus a bread roll

        Feb 10 04

        Dinner was a salmon, chickpea and lemon frittata with salad, plus a slice of toast with sterol spread (not pictured)

        Feb 10 05

        Finished a big job for work today (proofreading a 480-page book) so am looking forward to having a relaxing weekend.

        See you tomorrow!

        Thursday, February 9, 2012

        Show Me Your Salad Dressing

        Do you have a favourite homemade salad dressing? Care to share?


        This morning I felt like running on a softish surface so I went to the nearby footy oval and did laps around that for about 40 minutes. Made it a bit easier on my legs, but it was a bit boring!

        Breakfast was a banana blueberry smoothie

        Feb 2 01

        For lunch I made a salad and topped it with a Thai Marinade

        Feb 9 02

        Feb 9 03

        I also had a bread roll with roast pork (not pictured).

        Dinner was very simple: steak, baby potatoes and corn

        Feb 9 04

        Don’t forget the butter!

        Feb 9 05

        OK it’s actually Flora Proactive Buttery, but you get the idea!