Sunday, November 28, 2010

Doing weights is not my favourite or my best....

I swim twice a week. It's OK, it does me good. I play sport twice a week. It's fun. Sometimes I run or walk, for extra fitness.

And I do weights twice a week. Fortunately, Rob does them with me. Otherwise it would be even harder to make myself do them Sometimes, we don't start until 10pm at night, but we still do it. We have barbells, dumbells, steps, mats, and about 6 different "Pump"-style dvds that go for an hour. It is good for us, and we are slowly getting stronger. But it is not my favourite or my best.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Like wasabi cheese.

So I've read a few blogs/heard a few people raving about Lindt dark chocolate with seasalt. Of course, it's important to try new products, but I have to say...underwhelmed. I mean yeah it's chocolate, yeah it's salt, but why? It was OK, but naa. It's kinda like the way everyone raved about wasabi cheese 4 years ago. Like it was an amazing new discovery. Same thing. OK, but naa.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes, leftovers just come together. Last night after my swim I had a wrap (or three) with Moroccan cous cous and chickpea salad, fresh coriander, grilled haloumi (I LOVE HALOUMI), lettuce, and some sweet chilli sauce. Yuuuuummm!

The Moroccan salad had cous cous, chickpeas, grilled red capsicum, Masterfoods Moroccan Seasoning, spinach, and coriander (from a squeezy thing). I made it for a salad on Friday, but it's much better in a wrap with cheese and lettuce.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Today Jamie is recovering after a fever last night, thus I am home "caring" for him (go Thomas the Tank Engine!).

I've made and frozen a tandoori-lentil-eggplant curry, and a pumpkin-lentil-balti one. Both tasty and easy to make courtesy of Patak's curry paste. We could eat some tonight, but after I've been surrounded by rich, garlicky curry smells all morning I think I would appreciate it more another time. They freeze well. We'll eat it with brown rice and Mission yoghurt and mint naam bread which is a new favourite. Yuuum.

Days like today are great for me to kind of stop and breathe. This 3 kid full-time work thing is go-go-go - weekdays are packed with work and exercise and driving people and clearing up, weekends are packed with kid's activities such as parties, judo grading, swimming lessons, bqqs, and other social events. I've noticed it's really been taking it's toll lately - I've been both a bit frenzied and fatigued.
Simple things like supermarket shopping, having time to garden, manage the family budget and do laundry are squeezed in. Of course here I have to make the obligatory disclaimer that this is the life I chose and the one that's making me happy, but it is all exhausting. I'm so glad we organised a weekly cleaner recently, even though it doesn't take long it's one less thing hanging over my head every weekend.

The upshot of being busy and trying to fit everything in, is of course, less sleep. Less sleep isn't really working for me either. In the last 7 or so months I've gained 4kg, yeah may not sound like much but it upsets me, particulary when it means needing bigger clothes sizes that i don't have or have any inclination to buy. this in turn has meant short-term attempts at restrictive diets, followed by inevitable pig-outs. Yo-yo, anyone? My mojo of the last year or so has kind of got waylaid.

It all seems to be sorting itself out in my head now - today - that I finally have some spaaaace for an hour or two to do this - to cook, to blog, to contemplate the world. Still tired of course (up with sick toddler) last night, but that's family life.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


i'm starting to think that this blog is getting a bit too radical for most of my friends and i should open it up to a worldwide audience - where there will be people who understand why i would choose to drink my typical breakfast smoothie of:

soy milk
low fat plain yoghurt
chia seeds (excellent source of omega 3)
LSA (linseed, soy, almond)
frozen raspberries
protein powder
and, wait for it
raw spinach (it's taken me a long time to try this, but you really can't taste it).

and why i have decided to avoid sugar (it's pretty much impossible to escape it) for about 360 days of the year - meaning no cakes, biscuits, slices, lollies, chocolate, icecream, desserts etc - because sugar was kind of starting to rule my life. i've spent the past few days doing google research and i'm happy with my choice. already i feel better, too.

and even why i'm vegetarian.
to me, none of it is extreme, it's just healthy and smart.
i'm sure you (my 2-3 loyal readers) would beg to differ.

Monday, October 11, 2010

So if I've decided to swim after work you'd think it would make more sense for me to stay in town and go up to the pool then catch the bus home afterwards, rather than ride home in the car and then turn straight back around and drive myself back to the pool.

Not so.

10 reasons why this idea sucked:
1. Having to lug my swimming gear to work from the parked car in Battery Point, across town to the pool, and then back across town to the bus.
2. Getting to the pool before 6.30 thus being squashed into the one lane available for all the after work swimmers doing anything faster than breaststroke. Thanks, swimming clubs. If I drive back I arrive at 6.30 when the lanes are free.
3. Not having 10 minutes for a shower at the pool because had to race off to get the bus, which only goes every half hour.
4. Spending 30 minutes on the bus winding through Taroona to Kingston, and feeling nauseous because of it.
5. The nearest the bus gets me is central Kingston, so I either have to spend another 20 minutes walking home (with my handbag, swimming bag and work bag) or inconvenience the family by making them all hop in the car to get me.
6. The whole operation taking longer than if I had just come home and then driven back.
7. Not being able to quickly pop into the supermarket on the way home because am on the bus, though it is close to where the bus ends up.
8. Looking weird on the bus because I have goggle marks around my eyes, wet hair etc.
9. Ending up too tired and pissed off to come up with the last 2 reasons I won't be doing again.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

but what about the food?

as you know i'm a vego and i try to eat healthily. it doesn't always happen (the eat healthily, not the vego bit), but hopefully it's more often than not. like everyone, my eating habits have their ups and downs and are related to what is going on in the rest of my life ie fatigue etc. it's not all good, but it is, mostly.

the exercise continues regardless of what is happening on the eating front, because it's not an all or nothing scenario. and exercise gets pretty miserable and disheartening when you are doing it for the sole person of burning calories. i exercise to be strong and fit and reduce stress. to motivate me to maintain healthy eating habits. so that i don't lose the fitness gains i already have. not because i've eaten 3 mini-cupcakes today, or mushrooms cooked with butter for breakfast. i've found when diet and exercise get linked up in a causal relationship in my head things go wrong. i might force myself to do too much (run 10k on sore knees for that pizza and icecream last night), give up altogether because i've had a bad eating day, or dash out a quick 5k so i can gollop down a cherry ripe. none of them are very useful causes to exercise for. it takes the fun out of exercise, too.

in the coming weeks i'm going to publish some of my tips explaining what works best for me - how i control my natural urge to eat my own bodyweight in junkfood every day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Yesterday I made Stephanie Alexander's Eggplant and Coconut Curry. (scroll down the page). It was delicious! Since I bought India's Vegetarian Cooking, I have built up my spice (etc) supply so that I have the ingredients to tackle more diverse recipes. YUMM! We ate it with yoghurt and mint naam bread (available from your local supermarket...)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Some recent meals...

Grilled pumpkin, red capsicum, zucchini and chilli tofu with feta...
roast red capsicum stuffed with mushroom couscous, grilled zucchini, ricotta, and italian flat leaft parsley...
grilled vegetable, spinach and fetta sandwich...
grapefruit and raspberry smoothie (grapefruit, frozen raspberries, yoghurt and (soy) milk with a teaspoon of sugar...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

OK so, no one has actually asked me a question via this page, but these are questions I have been asked in last year or so...

How much exercise do you do? What sort?
Currently I do (a minimum of, per week):
upper body weights sessions x 2
40 min runs x 2
30 min swims (freestyle) x 2
basketball game x 1
squash session x 1
and generally a couple of 30-40 min walks.
Ideally some physio for my knees, and some stretching, but I am slack about this. In fact, stupid about this.

Isn't that too much?

No. If you don't believe me, check out the physical activity guidelines for adults.

Especially Step 3 and Step 4:
Step 3 – Put together at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.

Step 4 – If you can, also enjoy some regular, vigorous activity for extra health and fitness

This step does not replace Steps 1-3. Rather it adds an extra level for those who are able, and wish, to achieve greater health and fitness benefits.

How do you find the time? You work full-time and have 3 children.
It's bloody difficult.
Fortunately Rob and I support each other in our exercise endeavours. Often, during the week I exercise really early in the morning or in the evening. There are sacrifices. I rarely get to watch TV, for example. Sometimes I miss out on time with the kids in the evening.

Where do you get your motivation?

I don't. So I just do it anyway. I could wait my whole life for motivation. To be honest, sometimes, a lot of times, it's difficult to make myself get out there and do something. Like my 5.30am run this morning. As if anyone wants to get out of bed for that. But I always feel good afterwards.

Why are you vegetarian?
So I can sleep at night. I don't like meat anyway, which makes it easy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

in other news i actually prefer listening to stories and discussion than music while i'm running. i get bored with music easily, and don't spend enough time managing my ipod playlists. podcasts would be the answer, but discovering the ones i like and managing them seems to be a pain in the arse too. so i joined for a free trial - it's a monthly subscription thing. the first book i downloaded goes for 8 hours. which was fine until i discovered the functionality of my phone didn't allow me to scroll through the chapters, and unless i ran for 8 hours continuously i wouldn't be able to hear the story (just the first one and a half chapters). it's a lame book but it still holds my interest, and distracts me from my huffing and puffing.

i chose to run with my phone so i can call someone in an emergency ("there's a bear chasing me/my shoe fell apart/i'm huuungry") and so i can listen to the fm radio, which my ipod does not have. and i don't want an iphone (they are wanky, and the htc is better). or any other i-anything. well, maybe an ipad, so i can get a newspaper subscription for $4.95 a month...

so anyway i put the story on my ipod, and run with both my ipod and my phone.

of course, my free trail subscription to finished, and my credit card has been charged since at US$15 a month. and because i hadn't used the book credits i didn't cancel the subscription in case they took the credits away. yesterday i finally used my credits to buy some biographies which i will enjoy listening to. one is by michael j fox. in fact, i've decided to keep my audible membership, cos $18/month is ok if it pays for my motivation to run twice a week - or more.

we can chalk it up to the costs of staying fit, which are a necessary expense in this household.

we have swimming memberships and a squash/gym membership. we buy expensive running shoes every 6 months. we pay game fees such as basketball and soccer. sometimes, we pay for physio. the $600 exercise bike was a good investment as we still use it when it rains or we haven't had a chance to do anything else. hopefully the dumbbells will work out the same way. there's also the apparel - right up to and including expensive sports bras.

but it it keeps us active and fit, it's worth it! better than a stupid sky subscription.
i missed vacuum me. the updates won't be so regular (probably a good thing) but hopefully i'll manage a meal and an exercise session a day.
i have changed my status from "i don't do weights" to "i maybe do weights" and have bought some more dumb-bells. in fact "i think i will do weights, soon."

yesterday and today i ran the nature trail at the peter murrell reserve, at huntingfield. it's a great run for winter. just the right amount of hills and flat bits, just the right length (about 40 minutes of my leisurely jogging). in summer, i find it a bit too hot to run there, but right now it's great. doesn't seem to get very muddy, either, and haven't got a leech (yet!). would be a perfect run to do every day - but of course i work full-time now, so it would be too dark.

looking forward to spring - more light, and more exotic fruit. YAY.

in food news i cooked an amazing chickpea curry dish last night from my vegetarian indian cookbook. cathy has the same book and complained that half the spices etc were not cupboard staples (eg amchoor, which is mango powder), but once you take a few trips to spiceworld, that problem is solved. and it's because they aren't your run of the mill ingredients that the dishes taste so good!

in other news i just drank a smoothie made from plain yoghurt, soy milk, chocolate protein powder, chia, and lsa (linseed soy almond) mix. with frozen raspberries. it was actually nice. and INCREDIBLY NUTRITIOUS.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


...things are about to get REALLY BUSY for me so i think this blog might have to cool off for a while. i'll still post occasionally, however, and keep up with the workouts...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

not much has been happening on the food front. this blog has is demonstrating to me i need to try some new stuff! in other news i have a cold and thus have had a day or two off exercise. but on wednesday i played squash for the first time in ages and really enjoyed it. the parents play while the kids to judo at uni. i got beaten both times but i think i'll improve, it was my strategy that was letting me down. and last night i played 2 games of basketball so that was fun. i have a busy weekend of being a bridesmaid (ok, a matron) so i don't think i'll get much achieved on the health front, though i will try.

i'm planning on joining zap fitness because they have gyms both near here and near my new work. and i was worried about how i was going to fit some exercise in, particularly in the cold, wet, rainy depths of winter whilst working full-time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

sunday pm tea. i fried up some zucchini with a little oil spray, and combined with some flavoured cous cous. i baked in a red capsicum, with shards of parmesan cheese.

monday lunch. home-baked red capsicum and sweet chilli cheese scroll (only one of the two i ate is pictured) and a green salad with a little blue cheese dressing.
followed by a soy ice-coffee (chocolate soy milk, coffee, low-fat yoghurt, chocolate powder, low-fat icecream and choc topping). because i'm on school holiday duty.

in other news i have had some apple oatmeal, 2 pieces of vegemite toast and 4 jaffas. and i'm going for a swim. on the weekend i did a 30 minute run in the huon forest (beautiful, but slippery and wet) and 60 minutes on the boring exercise bike.
consumption (eating/drinking) was off the scale on account of a hen's overnighter...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

tuesday/wed highlights

yummm low fat yoghurt, frozen raspberry and chocolate soy milk smoothie. jamie drinks the dairy milk version with chocolate powder.

this is a leftover lentil dish that was really tasty with garlic poppadoms.

this kind of looks like cat vomit but it tasted better than that. it's packet pasta with spinach, kale and rocket, as well as some low-fat ricotta cheese. it tasted ok, but packet pasta is ALWAYS regretful.

dinner was delicious - gnocchi with garlic, onion, fetta, and pasta sauce. if only cheese was tasty without being high in fat.

exercise for tuesday was mowing the lawn. it took me an hour. in other news i had a jaffa pigout last night, but only 3 today. it is taking extreme willpower. but if i don't stop shovelling junkfood down my throat i will have to take some sort of extreme action (eg diet) and i really don't want to do that. it's enough to scare me into moderation.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


i don't do weights. i want to want to, but i just don't want to. i know i should, i know i need to, i have all the equipment to do weights at home (barbells, dumbells, and dvds), plus my own knowledge, but i just don't do weights.

i must stretch and do my physio exercises too, and sometimes i manage these, but i just don't do weights. i wish i did. i'd like to be strong and muscly.

so anyway. i do the next best thing. swimming workouts, running, cycling, sport, cross training things that will hopefully give me a little bit of all over strength, because i don't do weights.
so i hop on the scales everyone once in a while (1-2 weeks) just to see that nothing's getting drastically out of control. it's amazing that my weight seems to always be within a 1.5kg range.

i had some scales that rounded to the nearest half kg, which was great cos no freaking out over small fluctuations. then they broke. so i bought some super-dooper weigh to the nearest 100gm scales with a body fat measurement function, and i have to say i've been disappointed. esp as they can't make up their minds about my weight from one minute to the next. and anyway i don't want to know my weight to the nearest 100gm, i would rather they just said "hey, you're in your happy weight range, good work, as you were", rather than documenting minor changes. same with the body fat measurement. and useful if you are gaining muscle mass, but that's unlikely with me as i don't do weights. useful to know, but i've read these scales are usually out between 2 and 5% in favour of the weigh-ee.

anyway, rob fixed the old scales which is great. cos tonight the new ones were all over the place. over the course of a few minutes they offered me variations of up to 4kg, and refused to check my bodyfat at all. probably, they've just been dropped or got water in them or something, but i'm glad i still have the trusty old version working.


i really can't report a stellar day today. as well as:

i had m&ms, icecream, and dark chocolate. and some of these...(bread and butter)

plus apple'n'oats for breakfast, and my usual smoothie:

a salad sandwich for lunch, and stir fry for tea. with brown rice, better than noodles or white rice.

at least i started and finished the day with exercise. my 5k walk in the morning (see previous post) and 40 mins on the (stupid) bike in the evening.

i added the bike in cos it really wasn't too bad and i don't think i'll get a chance to exercise tomorrow (unless it's stupid bike again) - as i have an early morning dentist appointment, then child minding all day, then rob is out in the evening.

the bike is fine but there are a few annoying things about it - even at it's easiest level it's not easy. it's ok now, but when i wasn't doing much i struggled to do 30 mins at level 1. and i wasn't unfit. i believe it's calibrated heavy.

yesterday i did 40 mins at level 2-3, and it offered me a measly 128 calories. tonight i worked harder (lots of level 3-4) and it rewarded me with an extra 4 calories.

ok, so i put no stock in calorie burning calculators anyway - whether they be on fitness equipment or the net. you MAY get a chance to enter variables - age, sex, weight, but there's so many more - your metabolism, your fitness, the external temperature etc. i wouldn't be fool enough to go dancing off and eat the equivalent of what i'd just burned - but with our exercise bike calculations i doubt i'd be at risk of eating too much.

Monday, May 31, 2010


school holidays and preparation of/for job applications/interviews often conspire to give me no daylight hours in which to exercise. or exercise successfully (i can get the children to the park, but it doesn't really count). now i know that you working people often have the same trouble, especially you working family people. in rob's case, not so much of an issue. he cycles to work, he often cycles back. he swims or runs or plays frisbee in his lunch break. in fact working affords him many opportunities to exercise. and he plays squash on wednesday nights while miley does judo.

my best chance for decent exercise is often on the weekend, although i do get thursday night basketball. sometimes,i go to the aquatic centre in then evening, although often the 50m pool isn't available and swimming in the 25 is like swimming in minestrone soup, too warm and with suspicious floating blobs of things.

i can only run on tracks and trails on account of my knees, so dark-time running isn't a possibility either, unless i'm brave AND i wear a headlamp.

so sometimes, it's just the (stupid) exercise bike in the evening. it's not the end of the world, i can have the fan on and i can watch tv, but i just find it boring and unrewarding. last night i did 40 minutes. the other alternative is walking around the neighbourhood in the dark, also boring and unrewarding. and cold. here are some pictures from last night and my walk this morning. i don't get much fitness benefit out of these sessions, it's more just the doing something and discipline.

anyway. at least i do it.

breakfast - see previous post.
morning tea - popcorn with the kids. with oil spray and salt, for flavour. butter is nice, but i wouldn't do it to myself.

then, because i was looking after 5 children, i knew my lunch would be last. i had some of these to keep me going...

until finally, after 2pm, i got my own lunch - morrocan (nb this means it has chickpeas in it) brown rice salad. you've seen it before.

next, as i cooked tea for everyone else - more nuts.

tea was a spicy red lentil and tomato dish from my indian cookbook.

my sister always sabotages my best healthy eating efforts by delivering stuff like this: chocolate pie!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


on saturday i had the worst oatmeal and apple ever. it had all the key ingredients: apples, oatmeal, cinnamon and maple syrup, with nuts on top, but i put far too much water in and it was a tasteless, soggy mess. will not repeat.
today was much better. 1 large apple, a quarter of a cup of water, half a cup of oatmeal, a tablespoon of flaked almonds and a teaspoon of maple syrup. this works perfectly and i should never stray from the formula (unless it's with coconut or cranberries or sultanas or brown sugar). first i cook the apple with cinnamon and water in the microwave for 2 minutes, then i add the oatmeal and cook for another minute. then stir in the nuts and maple syrup/brown sugar. if you are adding sultanas, put them in at the start and they will firm up nicely.

and more

on friday i went for an evening swim (i swim about 1400m usually), on saturday i did my 10km run on the pipeline track. it took me about 47 minutes, which i'm happy with. i like to do sub 5 minute kilometres, even if they are on a relatively flat track. i'm ok on hills so i hope that wouldn't change my time much.
i went for a recreational swim with the kids yesterday, and i was surprised to feel a bit stiff. i don't run so much on account of my knees, although all the fish oil and glucosamine does seem to be helping.
frozen raspberries, a tablespoon of coconut, and chocolate soy milk with plain low fat yoghurt - fantastic! look at that the straw stands up by itself:

a tofu vegie stirfry with lots of asparagus and some choy sum.

nuts: really fill you up when it isn't a meal-time...

chocolate brownie with icecream and hot raspberry sauce!
once again we've had some computer issues, so here's some highlights from the last few days:
firstly, a spinach, kale and rocket sandwich with a red olive pesto spread, avocado, mozzarella and blue cheese dressing:
popcorn (with oil spray and salt):

vegemite toast!

jelly beans - high gi whatever...

this is my favourite bread. helgas pumpkin 5 seed. it's the only thing i buy now. you can usually stock up on it when it's on special (eg 2 loaves for $6). it's worth it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

still no pics

and not much to report. played basketball this evening, swam yesterday, tomorrow is another swim. have been failing abysmally on the stretching & physio front. didn't eat any junk food today unless you count 1 square of chilli chocolate (nutritional!). so, move along. nothing to see here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

as part of ongoing computer problems i regret i cannot bring you any pictures from tuesday. suffice to say you've seen it all before, apple oatmeal, raspberry smoothie, salad roll from live-eat for lunch (yumm, it had pumpkin!) and home-made pumpkin soup for tea. for truth in reporting i must confess to eating 100gm of chocolate covered raspberries (after lunch) and two plain mini cupcakes (after tea). and they were yummy!

today i made a new smoothie - low fat chocolate soy milk, and low-fat plain yoghurt, and cherries, and a tablespoon of coconut! a cherry-ripe kind of thing. was good. probably it could have been improved if the cherries were frozen. even though it's cold enough externally at the moment.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

cutting back on the junk...all i had was fruit tingles,
jellybeans, and a square of dark chilli chocolate (not pictured). really can't do better than that.

i made sushi for tea (avocado, and spinach and philly)

and had leftover vegie madras pie for lunch, along with more moroccan brown rice salad (see yesterday).

aside from that, the usual breakfast of apple oatmeal and a frozen raspberry smoothie. no exercise today, as it is day 6 - rest day. though i should stretch and do my physio exercises.

Monday, May 24, 2010

ok, so computer is back...

it's my goal to exercise in some capacity 5 out of every 6 days. and walking (unless it's uphill) should only constitute one of those sessions. other things i do on a regular basis are play basketball, swim, and run. i also walk up trugannini track, or skyline track (bicentennial reserve) in winter when "trugs" (as i call it) is too leechy and muddy. trugs goes from taroona to the signal station on mt nelson, and the skyline track goes from churchill ave near hutchins school to the same place.
here's some pics from my skyline walk yesterday (i run the flat and downhill bits).

on saturday, i impressed myself by going for a 10km run on the pipeline track. it wasn't the distance that impressed me, it was the time - 7.30am, and the temperature which was 2.7C (heard it on the radio on the way back). I ran half the distance wearing gloves, and nearly the entire way wearing a polar fleece beanie. i have never run in a beanie before. i had a singlet top and a long sleeve top on, normally 2 layers is too much for me too. here's a pic from my 10 min drive up to the track. there is snow on the top of the mountain.

i've decided that you (my imaginary readers) don't need to see EVERYTHING i eat, esp if it's the same thing i ate yesterday. such as my oatmeal and apple, (with sultanas, nuts, and maple syrup) that i eat most days:

or my frozen raspberry, soy milk, low fat yoghurt and choc powder smoothies (which we all like here):

but here's a yummy lunch i made yesterday - simple and tasty. morrocon brown rice salad with chickpeas and sweet potato. even better, it's a weight watchers recipe. probably not allowed to put it up, but it's basically brown rice, chickpeas, lemon juice, coriander leaves, roast sweet potato and grilled zucchini. the rice is flavoured with some vegetable stock powder, some lemon juice and some masterfoods morrocan 5 spice powder.

here's my favourite weekend breakfast - when i'm sick of my apple and oatmeal and i want to break out with something wild:
fruity bites. they kind of have jam in them (the cereal company would say it was fruit). my family can eat a box in one morning...

anyway. as i was saying, i will endeavour to show you the best and worst of each day...

About Me

My photo
Hi. I'm Denny, a 47 year old mother of 3 from Tassie. I run, swim, play basketball and bushwalk. I love woodfired pizza, icecream and chocolate, and I've been a vegetarian for more than 5 years and can't imagine ever "going back".