Sunday, 30 November 2014

Probably the Last Quiet Weekend Until Christmas

Happy Sunday!

We have had absolutely perfect weather here all weekend.  It's been about 30C (86F), and I've just wanted to be out in the sun.  Until I think I'm getting sunburnt anyway :P I'm pretty happy that summer weather is on it's way!

I have had a pretty quiet weekend.  Not as successful in the Christmas shopping department as I would liked, but I'll get there.

Friday ...

Friday night we had some Wagyu beef burgers I picked up at the supermarket, and had them in wholegrain rolls with tomato, lettuce, onion and mayo.  It was a great, easy dinner for a Friday night.  the burgers were a little fatty but we used the George Foreman grill and most of it dripped out.  It looked gross, but better in the tray than in me!

(Source)

Saturday ...

After a pretty early night, I got up at about 7am to hit the gym for a run.  I almost convinced myself to run outside, but I'm a little hesitant at the moment with my knee.  I'm kind of worried that my knee might start hurting and I don't want to be too far from home.  But anyway I did a pretty comfortable 12km run, so I'll be happy to go further next week.  Woohoo!

After getting home, breakfast (just some cereal with almond milk - I wanted to be quick) and a shower, it was time to vote!  We had a Victorian state election this weekend, and in Australia it's compulsory to vote.  I'd like to assume that I would vote even if we didn't have to - I think it's important to at least have that contribution into the society we live.    The local primary school was a voting centre, and it was actually pretty quick to get in and out.


Then I was on my way to a local shopping centre to try to get going on my Christmas shopping!  I did a lot of looking and wandering, and even more umming and ahhing.  I couldn't decide!  But I'm choosing to think of it as a day of reconnaissance.  I got some good ideas, so next weekend with be the one for action!

While I was out I had a large coffee while I walked, and then some sushi and a juice  for lunch.  It's all about the vegies people!

Old picture, same concept
When I got home, Gareth arrived about 10 minutes later after going to my sister's fiance's buck's day down the coast.  They had some good boy fun apparently, but Gareth didn't fare too well - he was feeling pretty ill most of the afternoon and night.  We're not sure if it was food poisoning or dehydration, but he wasn't well!  He's pretty tired today and is sleeping it off.  Angus was also sick during the night.  Hopefully both my boys feel better soon!

Anyway, I spent the evening catching up on washing, and then went to pick up pizza and a movie for our at home date night.  We got our pizza from Crust, which I personally think is a place that gives you a healthier pizza than lots of other pizza restaurants out there.  You can choose wholemeal or gluten free bases, and they have calories listed on their website for all of their dishes.  They even have some healthy choice pizzas.

I went a bit classic with a capricciosa, but switched out the mushrooms (yuck!) for pineapple and avocado (please add avocado to every pizza you have from now on - you can thank me later), on a wholemeal base.  Gareth tried a sriracha beef, and we shared a herb and garlic pizza.  We have heaps of leftovers, but it was all good, and exactly what I felt like.

Leftovers!
The evening involved a few glasses of wine and a movie - 3 Days to Kill with Kevin Costner.  I really enjoyed it, but it was surprisingly funny - not what I was expecting at all.  But Kevin has had my heart since The Bodyguard, so I had no complaints - he can still rock an action scene.


Sunday ...

Sunday was slow to start after the unexpected turn of events with my boys, but at about 8:30am I took Angus for a walk in another perfect morning.  It was fabulous!

Afterwards I was already pretty warm, so I made a quick overnight oats that were actually 30min oats, quinoa, amaranth, linseed, chia seeds, cinnamon, trail mix and goji berries with a Jalna yoghurt.  While I let it sit in the fridge, I hung out some washing and cut up some watermelon and coffee to have with it.  It was pretty great on a hot morning.


Then after a little more cleaning and washing, I headed out to do a few jobs around town.  After forgetting to take the dvd with me to return, and so a trip back and forth from home again, I had some more sushi for lunch - it was just that kind of weekend.  And a big coffee.

My first Christmas coffee
My afternoon was all about blogging!  I was going to do some cooking, but seeing as Gareth isn't up for anything exciting, I might have to park that idea for another time.  Dinner is probably going to be pretty basic and low key.

So I realise that was a very descriptive weekend of not very much!  Thanks for staying around to read all about it :P  I'm going to have another pretty crazy week at work ... I can't wait for the Christmas break to arrive!


Was your weekend more exciting than mine?  What did you get up to?  What is your week going to include?



Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday Favourites - Weekend Planning

Happy Friday!

Well I've had another big week, so I am ready for the weekend to start.  Let's get into what's going on around the traps this weekend!

Christmas Festival Launch



Can you believe we are only days away from December??  This year has flown by!  Melbourne is starting to kick off the Christmas festivities this weekend, starting with the launch of the Christmas Festival at Federation Square on Friday night.  Round up the kids and from 7:30pm, enjoy a family Christmas concert, the exciting arrival of Santa, and the spectacular lighting of the Christmas tree.

Christmas Festival Launch and Myer Windows



If you are in the CBD over the next month or so, you should check out the Myer animated Christmas Windows in the Bourke Street Mall.  Every year they have a different Christmas theme, with this year's story being Santa Claus and the Three Bears.  It's amazing - adults and kids alike enjoy it.  In Melbourne, it's just part of the Christmas tradition.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gautier


(Source)

If you're interested in fashion something a little different is the exhibition of the Fashion World of Jean Paul Gautier, being held at the National Gallery of Victoria from now until the middle of February.  Although I haven't seen it yet myself, I've heard from a few people that it's pretty spectacular. The exhibition features more than 140 garments in addition to photographs, sketches, stage costumes, excerpts from runway shows, film, television, concerts and dance performances.


Federation Square Book Market



When I'm in the city on a Saturday morning I always like to check out the Fed Square Book Market.   Each week you can browse over 5000 new and pre-loved titles, including literature, history, gardening, travel, art and kids stories in the outdoor market. The Book Market regularly features around fifteen of Melbourne’s most experienced book dealers as well as authors and illustrators.  It is supposed to be a beautiful day in the city to wander, so my advice is to wander through here!


Good Food Month - Last Weekend!



This is the last weekend of the Melbourne Good Food Month, and I'm a little sad I haven't been to more things!  But if you have some time in your calendar over the weekend, here are a few things you could check out:

  • Get your reggae on at the Bridge Carribean Laneway Festival in Richmond, Sunday afternoon
  • For some sweet treats you might try the Tour de France High Tea either Saturday or Sunday afternoon in Brunswick
  • The Corte Latin Fiesta sounds like fun!  Port Melbourne on Sunday afternoon
  • Head to Crown Casino and take your pick!  Lots of the restaurants there are having some special event on this weekend.

Variety Santa Fun Run


(Source)

If you need a reason to get out into the amazing weather we are in for this weekend, the Variety Santa Fun Run at Albert Park Lake on Sunday morning.  You can do a 2 or 5km walk, or a 5km or 10km run, and what is super cool is that EVERYONE wears a santa suit!  It's supposed to be warm, so I suggest going in whichever race starts earliest!  All funds raised go to Variety, the Children's Charity, assisting sick, disadvantaged and special needs kids.  




Are you doing a run this weekend (or this week)? Where?  What else are you planning to do this weekend?



Thursday, 27 November 2014

Where Does Your Run Take You?

We all know how amazing a great run can feel.  The sense of breaking a new personal barrier, or just getting a runner’s high kick, keeps us coming back for more.


But you will also know that running is fairly solitary and just involves a lot of time.  You may run for a huge range of reasons, but what you can be sure of is, if running gets into your blood and becomes part of your being, you will spend a lot of time doing it.   And often on your own – running buddies are great, but it’s not always possible to coordinate schedules and lives.

I was reminded in the last couple of days of how running can take us to places that our feet never can.  It made me think about what we do with our minds when we run.  You can be focused in the moment, or be mentally transported somewhere else.  You can be running in silence other than the sounds of your feet, or you can have sound being pumped.  You can be contemplating the past or the future.

I figure for all of us, given that we spend so much time on our own when we run, running has to take us to a head space that we need, or else we wouldn’t keep coming back for more.   There are so many different things that running can bring you mentally, and in so many different ways.  Some of the headspaces that I find when I run that are most meaningful for me include:

1. Solve a Problem

Running on a treadmill is one of the best places that I take my problems and figure them out.  Sometimes these are tangible problems (how do I calculate the right figure for a work report), and sometimes they are philosophical problems (am I making the right life choices for myself and my family).  Often I will postpone making a decision until after I know I can get in a run, because I am almost guaranteed to have an answer (or at least an idea of how to tackle it) by the time I turn the key in my front door.

2. Blank Out


Sometimes I choose to run to clear my mind.  Whether I’ve had a stressful day at work, or I’ve spent a bunch of time hours with people (being an introvert, that can get a bit much for me), sometimes I just want to find a little space for myself not to think.  It’s kind of like another version of veging out in front of the tv where before you know it an hour has past.  But when I veg out on a run, that is a blissful hour of my day – both my body and my brain thank me.

3. Fill My Head With Music


Other times, I want to drown out the internal noise in my head, so I’ll put on some music and just try to lose myself into it.  It’s kind of the same outcome as the one above – focusing on the music stops me thinking and worrying about other things.  And usually if I choose some of my favourite songs to listen to, I also finish feeling a lot happier and light-hearted than when I started.  I love how music can do that!


4. Seek Refuge in a Good Book

You know I love to read, and I’ve started listening to audio books when I run now and then.  At the moment I’m listening to The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.  Although I don’t always want to listen to a book when I run, it’s perfect for a long treadmill session, because you need to focus on the story to keep up, and time just passes by.  I like audio books when I’m trying to find a calm, low intensity groove – the speed of the speaker keeps my brain nice and mellow.

5. Catch Up on TV Shows!

The gym I’m currently a member of is the first one I’ve joined that has personal live TV in the treadmills (I know, we can be a bit behind).  My morning run on the treadmill is one of the few times I catch up on the news by watching the morning shows.  If I’m up early enough, I can even catch some of the US versions.  I also love watching a cooking show when I run!  I’ve found that on weekend mornings at about 7:30am there is an Australian cooking show called Good Chef, Bad Chef that has two chefs who share both healthy and decadent recipes.  I will keep running just to keep watching!  I’ll also stick around for a bit of Jamie Oliver.

6. Enjoy the Feeling of Running



Sometimes when I need to be reminded of why I run, I take an opportunity to run consciously.  I listen to my feet falling and my breathing, and the feeling of my arms and legs moving in sync.  I feel my muscles extending and contracting – when I turn a corner and feel my core activating, or I jump up a step I enjoy the extra strength in my quads.  Our bodies are pretty amazing creations, and some days it is just about acknowledging and marvelling a little in what we can do.

7. Take Notice of the Things Around Me

Conversely to a few of the above examples, on a beautiful morning when it is early and the air is crisp, and the sun is just starting to warm up, it is such a humbling and rewarding experience just to notice the things around you.  After spending my week in an office in the CBD, I most enjoy observing nature – listening to a bird chirp, see a dog run across a park, or hear the wind rustling through trees.  I always finish this kind of run feeling refreshed and calm.


At different times in my life (even just from day to day!) a run can bring me to a place I need to be to face the world – and enjoy my part in it.  That’s why I keep running.

PS. I had so much fun looking at all the running pics online!  These are just some of the ones that struck a chord and provided me with a little inspiration.


What kind of headspace does running put you in?  What tools do you use to take you there?  Why do you keep coming back to run again and again?


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

NROLFW - Stage 2 Workouts Completed

Hello All!

Last week I finished off Stage Two of the New Rules of Lifting for Women program.  I've given you a bit of a run down of the overall program before, so I'll really just focus on this stage.


Stage 2 Overview

Stage 2 of the program starts to get more specific and focussed.  As with Stage 1, there are two workouts for this stage - A and B.  There are about seven or eight exercises in each workout, that have a spread of compound exercises (where you work both upper and lower body muscles in the one move), leg, chest, back, arm and core exercises.  For each exercise, you complete 2 set of 10 reps of each.  Some exercises in the workouts are alternating sets ie. you do step ups, rest, then do dumbbell rows, rest, then repeat.

The Exercises

I really liked the variety of exercises in this stage.  I felt like we were still using big muscle groups, and doing a few compound exercises, but we definitely did some things I haven't tried before - like the dumbbell one point row (challenging!).

I particularly enjoyed the core work, where we worked on upper and lower abs, as well as side obliques.  I think cable horizontal woodchops have become my new favourite ab exercise!  And the prone cobra is tough but really important if you want to keep your back strong.

On the other hand, I was getting pretty tired of step ups by the end (! also did them in Stage 1), and the dumbbell prone cuban snatch was a killer - it made me feel totally weak.

Workout B also included some cardio intervals for the first time. You could do them on any of the cardio equipment - treadmill, bike or elliptical - and you did one minute hard work, with two minutes recovery, and repeated five times.  I enjoyed doing this, but it also made Workout B really long - about 75 minutes.

Results

Workout A 3/11/2014 17/11/2014
Front squat push press 17.5kg 20kg
step ups 2 x 8kg db 2 x 8kg kb
Dumbbell 1 point row 2 x 8kg db 2 x 8kg db
Static lunge, rear foot elevated 2 x 12kg kb 2 x 12kg kb
Push up T-bar T-bar
Plank BW BW
Cable horizontal woodchop 8.75kg 11.25kg
Workout B 5/11/2014 19/11/2014
Wide Grip Deadlift from box 40kg 40kg
Bulgarian split squat 2 x 14kg db 2 x 14kg db
Underhand lat pulldown 33lb 42.5lb
Reverse lunge from box with forward reach 5kg plate 9kg db
Dumbbell prone cuban snatch 2 x 5kg db 2 x 6kg db
Swiss ball crunch 5kg plate 10kg plate
Reverse crunch BW BW
Lateral flexion BW BW
Prone cobra BW BW
Intervals - 1min work, 2 min recovery x 5 - -

Note: db = dumbbell    kb = kettlebell


Thoughts

I enjoyed the exercises, but I found it really quite difficult to increase the weights.  It was because of a combination between the increments in the weights I had access to at the gym (for example, I really liked using the kettlebells, but they only increase in 4kg increments), and that I felt that 10 reps was actually quite a lot in a set to get through at a higher weight.  I made some progress in some areas, but not as much as I'd like.

I am also still struggling with lifting heavy weights for my legs.  My wrists and arms just can't handle big weights for deadlifts.  I'm thinking about investing in some straps.  I'd be happy to hear your suggestions!

As much as I liked doing the intervals at the end of Workout B, I had a couple of problems with it.  Firstly, my knee is still getting stronger, and so the first time I did the intervals it actually was hurting a little, so I stopped.  Secondly, it just made the workout really long to do an extra 15 minutes.  I know that doesn't sound like much, but my mornings are pretty closely scheduled and it made me feel like I was running late.  So I actually did the intervals the day after as part of my running session instead.  That's what worked better for me.

 In the end, I'm feeling stronger and more toned.  I enjoyed Stage 2, and I'm eager to move on to Stage 3!  I feel like I'm really getting into this strength training thing, and I want to see how far I can go.  It's becoming almost as important as my running.  Almost, but not quite :)


What is your favourite strength training exercise?  And your least favourite?   Will straps help me lift heavier?  I'd love to hear your suggestions!




Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Change It Up Tuesdays - 9 Food Switches

To continue the theme of finding ways to make your life healthy and fun, I thought we could talk about some ways you can do some substitutes in the foods you eat to get a little more oomph from what you put in your mouth.

My theory is that what you eat should do the most it can for you.  Fresh, whole foods have so many amazing benefits, so by making some easy choices, we can get a well-rounded diet full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that makes our bodies as well as our taste buds happy.

You don't have to make the switch every time - sometimes you really want ice cream or that sweet dessert.  We're not about restricting what you eat!  But sometimes the alternative can satisfy you, and even be healthier for you at the same time.  Win win!

Rice for pasta

Rice and pasta are actually pretty similar nutritionally, but I like how rice can just be much more natural.  When you look at the ingredients lists on foods, my goal is always to go with simple.  And rice is one of the most simple out there.  Pasta (especially high protein or whole wheat pasta) has it's benefits, but it's a processed food, and for me, brown and wild rice will always win when it comes to real food.


Quinoa for cereals

Quinoa has become one of my favourite foods, especially because of its versatility.  You can have it with every meal.  I've started making my own porridge mix, and quinoa flakes are key to the recipe.  I love that quinoa has more protein in it than other grains.  When combined with oats, you get a great source of fibre and protein.  My tip - don't buy cereals any more - they are generally high in sugar.  Make your own quinoa blends, and use them in porridge, toasted muesli or even bircher muesli.

(Source)

Sweet potato for white potato

Don't get me wrong.  I think healthy carbs are an important source of energy in our diets.  And potatoes in general are natural starchy friends who always win over processed foods.   The differences start to show when you look at the vitamins and minerals.  Sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. As for the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are lower on the scale.  So which to choose?  I choose variety, so I'll eat some of both, but probably more sweet potato on a day to day basis.


Green juice for fruit juice

Sometime we want to be refreshed, as well as treat our bodies with love.  That is where a vegie juice comes out to play for me.  I love that a juice with kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, as well as some apple juice, lemon and mint, gives me a few servings of vegetables for my day, and tastes great (even if it doesn't look like it does!).  I'm all about the vegetables - I think we get enough sugars in our diets, so why add more with a fruit juice.  Even better, eat vegies for snacks!  But just get 'em into you :)


Mineral water for soft drink

This is kind of a no brainer for me, and I can't believe it took me so long to make the switch.  I used to drink diet drinks, thinking at least I wasn't getting the extra calories from the high sugar versions.  But I was still drinking artificial products that can mess with your body (here's some info if you are interested).  So for me, a bubbly water with a splash of lemon juice will win the real food race.  No more diet soft drinks for this girl.


Fruit for lollies

My justification for choosing fruit over artificial lollies comes back to letting your food do the heavy lifting in providing you with the variety of nutritional elements, including potassium, fibre, vitamin C and folate (folic acid).  And it helps that fruit is yummy!  Try freezing grapes, or just having a bowl full of strawberries.  At the moment I'm also really enjoying just a chilled orange.  Simple, yet tasty - and great for you!



Cacao for chocolate

Cacao is my new favourite food.  I add cacao powder and nibs to all kinds of things to sweeten them - biscuits, cakes, porridge, protein balls - just to name a few.  I am even loving a Cacao and Peanut Butter that I spread on toast.  My current FAVOURITE treat recipe is a Cacao fudge - it is to die for.  Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate you can eat, and is supposed to have the highest source of antioxidants and magnesium of all foods.  That's a big call!  Cacao will give you a chocolate hit without the extra additives (especially sugars) you find in chocolate - even dark.

(Source)


Honey for sugar

Honey is probably what we consider a natural sweetener - especially when compared with the other sugars we see on the supermarket shelves.  Honey has a glycemic index lower than sugar because it also contains water and traces of fibre, fat and protein.  Honey is definitely a form of sugar, but you get a few other bonus benefits, including it being a great treatment for hayfever (if it is locally sourced honey), and can also be used as a medicine due to its anti-bacterial properties.  



Frozen fruits for ice cream

One of my recent loves is frozen fruit.  Or more specifically, when you process frozen fruit to make it like a soft serve icecream - but without the fat and other additives.  Yonanas is a good example of this kind of processor.  Mango and banana are great for this, because of their lower water content.  But don't be limited - give everything a try, and mix and match flavours.  It is also a great way to use fruit before it goes off (which happens quickly in hot summer months).

(Source)

You can probably see that my aim is always to eat whatever version is most true to the source.  Then you get the most nutrients, vitamins and minerals out of the food, as well as knowing exactly what is in it.  Keep it simple, and your body will thank you.


What foods do you substitute to be healthier?  Share more suggestions with us!


I'm not a nutritionist nor have I had any medical training.  I am just sharing my own personal views.  Please feel free to let me know if I have provided incorrect information.  

Monday, 24 November 2014

A Week of Fun Food

As you know, I've decided that my approach to food has needed a bit of an overhaul.  I decided that I'm going to focus on listening to my body about what it wants and when, and see where that takes me.  I've been keeping a food journal, and noting not just what I eat, but also when, how I feel, and a few notes about why.  It's been a really interesting exercise!

But first, here is a bit of a summary of the food I ate this week.  Sorry it's a bit wordy.  I'm still being a bad blogger and not remembering to take pictures of what I eat all the time.  I'm trying!

I won't give you a blow by blow of every single thing I've eaten, just the highlights, and some of my thoughts on each day.

The Food

Monday

  • Breakfast: my homemade mixed grain porridge with milk and peanut and coconut butter
  • Snack: fruit and coffee
  • Lunch: chicken with peas and puree, and dessert of chocolate tart and raspberry sorbet
  • Dinner: grilled chicken with salsa and roasted veggies

Monday and Tuesday I was on a training course, and they provided a light breakfast, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. I had been a bit concerned that I wouldn't feel like what I was provided was healthy, but I was very pleasantly surprised and I loved every bite of lunch especially.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: same as Monday
  • Snack: same as Monday
  • Lunch: barramundi, and dessert of peach pecan mousse
  • Dinner: Thai chicken curry with bok choy instead of rice

Again I was on a course, and had similar food to Monday - it was all super yum!  But I had a bad headache in the morning, so I didn't each much in the first half of the day, and instead had a bigger snack of yoghurt and trail mix before dinner to get me through.  I was happy with that.


Wednesday

  • Breakfast: tomato, cheese and ham omlette, half a bagel with vegemite, large coffee
  • Lunch: 3 rice paper rolls from Roll'd.  Dessert of self serve frozen yoghurt with almonds, pomegranate, toasted muesli and a few dark choc chips
  • Snack: Veggie juice
  • Dinner: Salmon fillet with pan fried bok choy, brussel sprouts and onion.  Corn on the cob.

I had an exam in the morning, and wanted to study beforehand, so I dropped into a cafe I know for breakfast.  This was a pretty big breakfast, and I was partly eating because I was stressed, but I tried to make healthy choices.

After the exam I decided to treat myself for lunch - again because I was a bit tired and wanted a reward. It hit the spot.  And I followed it with a veggie juice as my afternoon snack, which was a bit lighter.


Thursday

  • Breakfast: Two slices of multigrain toast with butter and vegemite, and a large coffee
  • Snack: Large coffee
  • Lunch: Leftover half sandwiches from a client meeting - chicken panini, ham wrap, and salami sandwich
  • Snack: Apple and coconut chobani yoghurt
  • Dinner: Leftover beef and black bean chili on a baked potato with sour cream and cheese
  • Snack: piece of cacao fudge

I went to Kinfolk to blog over breakfast :)  Best excuse ever.  I was really tired, so you can see the double (it might have even been triple) caffeine hit.  It got me through the morning.

I literally had to bolt down lunch between meetings, and I was hugely grateful that I saw these leftover sandwiches from a client meeting.  Saved the day!  And yoghurt is one of my favourite snacks.  It fills you up, and gives you a protein boost.

Friday

  • Breakfast: Two slices of multigrain toast with butter and honey, and a large coffee
  • Snack: large coffee
  • Lunch: Lite'n'Easy lunch - Chinese chicken fried rice
  • Snack: Homemade bircher muesli
  • Dinner: Glass of wine, lamb salad with feta, beetroot and carrots

Blogging over breakfast was such a great idea yesterday that I decided to do it again.  Another double coffee day.  

After a light-ish lunch, I knew I was going to have dinner late, so I had some bircher muesli I had made the day before and left at work.  My porridge mix, but with yoghurt as the bircher base, and then added some full cream milk to loosen it all up.  It was lovely and filling.

Dinner was out with Mum!  Again, just what I felt like.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Small bowl of cereal and coffee
  • Brunch: nibbles including corn fritters, green juice, fruit
  • Afternoon snack: nibbles including cherry tomatoes, celery, carrot, dry biscuits, and a couple of drinks
  • Dinner: Quinoa with veggies, and grilled chicken.  Glass of wine
  • Snack: home made popcorn when watching a movie

This was a totally random food day, being out and about for my sister's Not-Hen's Day.  I didn't hold back, but I just ate what looked appealing.  My sister believes in fresh, real food too, so there were great choices all day.

Dinner was quick and easy!  Loved it.

Sunday

  • Breakfast: porridge made from muesli with peanut butter and milk
  • Snack: coffee
  • Lunch: two egg omelette with tomato, chives and a slice of toast
  • Dinner: lentil burger with pan fried bok choy, asparagus and brussel sprouts in olive oil, garlic and spring onion.

Sunday I started eating late because I went for a long-ish run in the morning.  I wasn't too hungry most of the day, so my goal was just to keep my energy levels up.  It was a big weekend for this non-party girl, so I was tired by Sunday night.

Summary

I really enjoyed my food this week, much more than I have recently.  But I also didn't think too much about it.  And I think that really made a difference.

I made a conscious choice to be mostly concerned with making sure I was listening to what my body was telling me.  I tried to eat when I was hungry (not before, but not too leave it too long either).  I was also trying to stop eating early, and then decide if I wanted more food.  If I did, then I had it!

I also let myself choice what I wanted to eat, rather than what I thought I should eat.  Surprisingly to me, but not surprisingly to most of you, my body wanted the good stuff.  This was one of the healthiest weeks of food I've had in a while.  And I enjoyed it all.  I also didn't have cravings for any sweet, sugary or fatty foods.  I really wasn't interested.

Go me!

Learnings

I learned that I CAN trust my body to guide me to eat the right food.  It was actually a pretty stressful week with an exam, and work was crazy when I got back into the office, and I still let my body to choose what I wanted to eat.  That meant I didn't have cravings, even when the stress and craziness hit.

This is a pretty huge thing for me to realise!  By trusting my body, I will be in a better position to make rational food choices, rather than emotionally driven decisions.


Do you trust your body to tell you what food you need and when?  Has this been a conscious learning experience for you?  What is your favourite dinner at the moment?







Sunday, 23 November 2014

A Ballarat Weekend With Family

Hope you all had a lovely weekend - mine was great!  I kicked it off by catching the train back to my home town of Ballarat for the weekend.  The train was about an hour and a half, and I just kicked back and read Gone Girl.  Nice and relaxing!  Mum met me, and we went out for dinner at a local place called Seymours.  I had a nice glass of pinot noir, and a lamb salad.  They were both delish!  I really liked that the salad wasn't dripping in dressing -  it was nice and light :)



Saturday ...

After going to bed early, I was up early-ish on Saturday morning to get ready to go to my sister's Not-Hen's Day.  First, we headed to a local cafe in Learmonth (about 20min outside Ballarat) called Cafe 321 Learmonth - my sister used to own the business and is still close to Tori, the owner. We love the place! Go check it out if you get the chance.

There was quite the spread!  Lots of share plates including fruit, corn fritters, gingerbread, cheese, bruschetta, and butterfly cakes (my sister's favourite!).  We also had coffee, and there was a juice van in the back, so I got my veggie quota for the day with a spinach, kale, apple, lemon, celery and mint juice - great way to kick off the day.



Here I am with my two favourite women - my Mum and my sister (don't you love my sister's headpiece!!) :)



Then a few of the girls headed to the Ballarat Cup!  The weather had been a bit cold and overcast, but as we arrived, the sun came out (I got a little bit sunburnt!), and although it was still pretty windy all day, it was just lovely to sit on the grass, have a couple of beverages, and nibble some food while checking out the fashions on the field and occasionally watching some horses run.

My sis got this hen for her Hen's Day - hehehe

By 5pm I was pretty happy to head home, and leave my sis and her friends to hit the town.  I hear they had a great night!  I had my own version of a great night at home with my parents.  We had an easy dinner of chicken and quinoa with veggies, a glass of wine, and watched The Hunger Games.


Sunday ...

Sunday morning I was up decently early and went for a run around Lake Wendouree.  It was a PERFECT morning for a run!  It was sunny but not yet hot, and the sky was blue.  I couldn't help taking a few photos as I ran.  There were lots of ducks and swans with their babies, some of the local schools were having a rowing competition, and it was great to see lots of people running, walking or just enjoying the morning at the lake.






In the end I did a leisurely 12km in about 75 minutes.  Slow but awesome.  It's my first 12km run in a long time, and I'm so happy to be slowly building up my distance again.

After I got home and changed, my sister and her fiance came around, so we all caught up and played with the dogs - we are a family of dog lovers!  And we watched the second Hunger Games movie - Catching Fire.

Maya - Mum and Dad's cavoodle

Willow (getting relaxed) - my sister and her fiance's Groodle

The other big news is that my husband bought a car!  We needed a second car now that Gareth has gone back to work, and he found one he liked for a good price!  It's a 2002 Subaru Imprezza. We get to pick it up on Tuesday, and I'm pretty excited to meet him.  Yes, my cars have genders and names.  I'm working on the name :)


I headed back to Melbourne on the train later in the afternoon, and then got to catch up with my boys.  It was a great weekend, but I always like to be at home with my little family :)


What was your favourite thing you did on the weekend?  



Friday, 21 November 2014

What's on This Weekend - Regional Victoria Edition

I've had a really crazy week, and I feel like I've got out of touch with my blogging world.  I hope you've all had a great week, and I'll be sure to catch up on all your news over the next few days :)

This weekend, the highlight for me is going to my sister's 'Not Hen's Day'.  The wedding is only a couple of weeks off, so instead of traditional bachelorette activities, my sister is spending the day tomorrow with her close female friends and family.  I'm excited to be hanging out with all these wonderful women!

Given I'm heading out of town for the weekend, I thought I'd share what's going on in regional Victoria, instead of focusing on Melbourne.  The weather is supposed to be pretty awesome, so if you feel like a drive, or last minute weekend getaway, check out some of these events.

Ballarat Cup

(Source)
This is where I'm headed!  Ballarat (about an hour west of Melbourne) is where I grew up and what I consider my home town, so I love heading back for the weekend to spend time with family.  I hate to admit that I've never actually been to the Ballarat Cup before!  From what I hear it's a little bit more casual than Melbourne, but you can still frock up, so us girls are making ourselves pretty and heading to the track for the day.   The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, so I'm gearing up for a fabulous day!

Run Geelong


If you're wanting a more active weekend, you can head to Run Geelong on Sunday.  Geelong is probably the second largest town in Victoria (just my guess), and is about an hour down the west coast from Melbourne, and has a beautiful coastal atmosphere.  This is the fifth year of Run Geelong, and registration and donations support redevelopment of the Special Care Nursery at Geelong Hospital, to provide better facilities for the treatment of special care babies and their families.  You can join in a 12km or 6km run, or a 6km walk, with events starting from 7:40am.  There is also a special 1km kids run!

Annual Strawberries and Cherries Weekend



The name of this event just made me lick my lips!  Every year, Bacchus Marsh (about 40 minutes west of Melbourne) hosts a strawberries and cherries weekend to welcome in the picking season, and this weekend is it!  Throughout the weekend you can hit the strawberry and cherry trail, do LOTS of strawberry picking, compete in the cherry pip spitting contents, and sample lots of strawberry and cherry inspired menus.  There's even fireworks in town on Saturday night.  It kind of sounds like foodie heaven!

Good Food Month events


(Source)

There are a bunch of Good Food month events going on around Victoria this weekend!  Here are a few that definitely caught my interest:



What is your favourite kind of foodie event? Have you been to the horse races / spring racing carnival this year?  Ever?