Thursday, December 31, 2009

Idea For Next Christmas

I should have posted this before Christmas but I was so busy getting ready for Christmas that I didn't have time.

I thought I'd share something I made myself as a gift for my sister: An Evening Clutch, proudly hand made by moi!

Voila:





The gift was well received and she couldn't believe I actually made it.  I was happy.  Now, I consider myself a beginner so if I can make it, anyone with a bit of patience and careful sewing can make this.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my first attempt at this was a disaster.  I read the instructions and was like WTF this doesn't make sense!! so I decided to follow my own idea and it didn't work.

The best thing of all is that you can get this pattern free online!  Here's the link to it:
http://www.bhg.com/crafts/sewing/accessories/clutch-purse-with-antique-pin-closure/;jsessionid=1OCJDMGU3IQ1ACQCEAQSBHQ?page=1

I didn't follow the instructions exactly - I decided to leave the tab off and just use the flap as the closure instead.  I also bought a magnetic closure snap but I could not figure out how to sew it in (found out later once it was too late) so I just followed the pattern and used hook and loop tape.

I hope if you make this it turns out pretty!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I redecorated!

Yep, it's that time of year again.  One thing I do love is Christmas.  For those of you that HATE Christmas, don't worry I will change my blog template back to something "normal" once the Christmas season is over.  In the meantime you will just have to put up with it... (sorry!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Short One

When I get time I will post up a report of the meet I did on the weekend.  I made my weight class and I did good!  Just one new PR for me, but a whole lotta experience :-)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lemon Lavender Cupcakes

As promised, here's the recipe for the cupcakes.  It's from Shape magazine, August 2009 issue.  I find Shape usually has great recipes; none of this clean eating bullshit but good, healthy and tasty recipes.  Click on the image to enlarge it and read the recipe.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spiced Baked Pears


2 Large Pears, quartered
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon crushed ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup caster sugar 
30g unsalted butter, melted
30g raw almonds, chopped

Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well.  Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and place pear mixture in dish. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes  The spice mixture should be caramelised and have toffee like bits - delicious!  Serve with a little whipped cream if desired.

Sorry, no photo for this one, but believe me it is appetizing.  It's the first time I've made it and I plan to make it again next Sunday or Monday for my refeed!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fashion Advice

I found this website while searching for pages about fashion.  It gave me a good laugh, mostly cos I agree with the majority of it.

http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=fashion

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sweet Baked Buttercup


I love pumpkin, squash and buttercup, especially in dessert.  It's going out of season down under as spring is here but I still love using it in recipes, savory or sweet.


1 small Buttercup, halved
5 tablespoons of Splenda (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon All Spice
30g Almonds, chopped
30g Butter, finely cubed

Scoop out seeds from buttercup and set in baking dish with water covering the bottom.  Mix Splenda/Sugar, Cinnamon, All Spice and Almonds in a seperate bowl then gently stir in butter.  Distribute mixture between the two halves and place in oven at 350 degrees Farhenheit for about 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let cool a little before serving.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Workouts for October - Week One

Monday 28th September - Rest Day

Tuesday 29th September - Rest Day

Wednesday 30th September
Bench Press
60kg x 5
60kg x 5
70kg x 5
70kg x 5
70kg x 5

Pull Ups
BW x 5 (gorilla grips)
BW x 5
BW x 5

Deadlift
60kg x 5
60kg x 5
60kg x 5  (snatch grip)

Dips
BW x 8, 2 sets


Cardio: 20 minutes tempo training on stationary bike

Thursday 1st October - Rest Day

Friday 2nd October 
Power Cleans
20kg x 5
40kg x 3
50kg x 3, 3 sets
60kg x 1, 3 sets (clean and jerk)

Front Squats
60kg x 3
70kg x 3, 3 sets

Back Squat
90kg x 5
90kg x 3

Good Mornings
40kg x 8, 2 sets
50kg x 8, 2 sets

Cardio: 20 minutes tempo training on stationary bike


Saturday 3rd October - Rest Day

Sunday 4th October - Training for Powerlifting Meet starts!!
2 Board
60kg x 6
75kg x 5, 6 sets


3 Board
82.5kg x 5, 2 sets


Chin Ups (with gorilla grips)
BW x 5
BW x 5

T Bar Row
20kg x 10, 3 sets

Bicep Curls
10kgs x 10, 2 sets

Saturday, October 3, 2009

RIP

Sad day today.  I went to my friend's father's funeral.  I'm a baby at funerals... even if I don't know the person very well I still cry.  I did know my friend's father fairly well, he was a very nice man.  He loved to talk and we had some interesting conversations about the most obscure topics.

Some of you may have also heard of the earthquake and tsunami in the South Pacific which affected Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.  Well, my Aunt, Uncle and my cousin's two babies were killed by the tsunami.  They apparently had about 5 minutes to try and save themselves but did not make it.  Along with them, my mother's family home perished.  So much destruction.

Anytime people I know die, I always lie awake at night thinking about them and life in general.  So, this week I've had quite a few late nights lying in bed thinking.  Anyway, I don't really have much else to say about it so I'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Nemesis

This is my nemesis, Freddie.  

She's an asshole.  Every morning is journey to the center of the earth in her litter box - she just doesn't stop bloody digging until someone yells at her.  She's whiny.  She acts like her shit don't smell but it stinks and she never covers it properly.  Her breath smells like something from the depths of hell.  She looks like she's either plotting to kill me or rip my face off.  Case in point:
She stalks me.  She traps me into being nice to her but then turns arounds and bites me or scratches me.  Cats are bastards.  This little cartoon sums it up nicely.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Afternoon Tea

An Afternoon Tea party is the perfect excuse for me to try new recipes.  Today I invited a couple of family members to join us for Afternoon Tea. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have an abundance of oranges at the moment from my Mother's tree.  They tend to go bad faster than I can eat them so I decided to find a recipe where I could use the oranges.  I found one for Orange Almond cake and adapted it to suit my taste buds.  This cake is fantastic - great for those who are gluten intolerant, moist, filling and simple to make. It's only downfall is the preparation time; the oranges must be simmered for almost 90 minutes.
I also pulled out of my freezer some zucchini I had grated up earlier in the week before they also went bad. I had already decided to use it for a recipe I had found for Zucchini Loaf.  Since I have a sweet tooth, I thought lemon frosting would finish it off perfectly.
No afternoon tea is complete without some kind of sandwich so I threw together a simple open faced sandwich on ciabatta bread.  Herbed cream cheese and salmon team together well to make a delicious snack.

Zucchini Loaf with Lemon Frosting Spread

2 cups of grated zucchini
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup of oil (I used Macadamia Nut Oil)
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of baking powder
2 Tbsp of cinnamon
1 Tbsp of Vanilla bean paste (or pure extract)
 

Lemon Frosting Spread
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
4 Tbsp warm milk
1 Tbsp soft butter
2 tsp lemon extract or lemon juice

Sift sugar into a bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients.  Beat until smooth.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a loaf tin.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside.  In a large bowl beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla bean paste until smooth.  Stir in the zucchini until well mixed.  Stir in dry mixture with metal spoon until well mixed and then pour into the greased loaf tin.  Place in oven and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let loaf cool before frosting.



Orange Cake
2 large oranges
300g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
juice of 1/2 lemon

Wash oranges well and place whole into a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring water to boil then lower heat to a simmer.  Simmer whole oranges for 1-1 1/2 hours.  Let oranges cool and then drain water and place oranges into a food processor.  Blend till smooth.  Add in eggs, vanilla bean paste and lemon juice and blend.  In another bowl mix caster sugar, ground almonds and baking power.  Add orange mixture to dry mixture and fold with a metal spoon until well mixed.  Pour cake mixture into greased cake tin.  Place in oven and bake @ 350 Fahrenheit for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.



Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches
1 fresh load of bread
1/2 pot of cream cheese
generous squeeze of lemon juice
sea salt
cracked pepper
fresh or dried dill
100g smoked salmon

Slice loaf of bread and set aside.  Mix cream cheese, salt, peper, lemon juice and dill until smooth.  Spread cream cheese over bread slices and top each slice with smoked salmon.  Serve immediately.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Yesterday I made my first from-scratch pizza.  I've made pizza at home before, but using a ready made base from the store. Not only does it save money, but I got great satisfaction from making something from scratch!  I'm not actually a big fan of pizza from big chains like Dominos or Pizza Hut.  I find their pizzas too fatty and salty.  The best pizzas I've ever tasted have come from a traditional Italian pizzeria.Their toppings are very basic and focus on simple, fresh ingredients and herbs.  Now that is my ideal pizza!

The following recipe is for two thin crust pizza bases.

4 cups flour
1 package/7g dry active yeast in 1 of warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Add dry yeast to warm water and set aside for 5 minutes.  In a large bowl add flour, sugar, olive oil and salt and combine with a wooden spoon.  Add yeast and water mixture and stir till it forms a dough.  Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for about until smooth and elastic (about 6-8 minutes).  Good arm workout and a good time for thinking! Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and turn once to coat top surface of dough with grease.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk (about 1.5 - 2 hours).  When dough has doubled in size, punch down, and let rise 20 minutes more.

Preheat pizza stone in oven for at least half and hour at 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit. Place dough on kitchen bench and roll out with a rolling pin to make base. I found it easier to knead and roll the dough into a ball before I attempted to roll it out. Take the pizza stone out of the oven and spread a little cornmeal on the stone.  Flop the base on top so it's centered and then form a crust with your fingers by gathering up the dough that's overflowed the edge of the stone and pinching it.  Be careful with this as the stone is rather hot! Top the base with whatever you wish.  Yesterday I had tomato paste, Bocconcini  mozzarella, Parmesan and torn basil leaves.  In an ideal world you would do all the preparation of the base and toppings on a pizza paddle and then slide it onto the stone while it's in the oven, but I don't yet have one so I have to take the stone out of the oven and just make sure I don't burn myself.

Notes:

  • I've discovered the dough was nicer if I made the dough the night before and left to rise a little further in the fridge once you've done the initial rise in a warm place.  
  • If you don't need two pizzas, put half the dough in a container, lightly covered in oil and then freeze. From reading around, fresh dough only lasts about 3-5 days depending on whose opinion you ask for.  Frozen dough is still awesome and I think it's almost better than fresh dough sometimes!
  • The consistency of this dough is crispy thin base with a chewy crust.


Some of my favourite toppings:

  • Low fat ricotta cheese mixed with 2Tbsp tomato paste spread on base, chopped red onion, sliced cherry tomatoes + mushrooms + eggplant tossed in a little olive oil, torn basil leaves, grated Parmesan, chopped feta.
  • Home made basil pesto (big bunch of leaves + 1/3 cup cashews + 1 tsp crushed garlic + olive oil) spread on base, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped red onions, sliced bocconcini mozzarella, grated Parmesan, sliced black olives

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baking Club - Episode One

My kitchen this morning was filled with a wonderful aroma. A couple of workmates and I decided last weekend we would start up a baking club where each of us would take turns to make a recipe to share on Saturdays. I woke up early this morning at 6am to specially make my chosen recipe. Butter, cocoa, sugar, caramel, freshly chopped pecans all combined together to create a chocolatey, warm brownie.

The brownies were well received; they had a firm chewy texture on the outside but were warm and soft on the inside. The flavour was perfect: not too sweet and the caramel flavour was quite subtle.

I think I'm going to look forward to work on Saturdays!


Caramel Choc Pecan Brownies

150 g butter
1/2 cup NESTLÉ Baking Cocoa, lightly beaten
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts
3/4 cup NESTLÉ Top'n'Fill Caramel

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line an 18cm x 28cm lamington tin with baking paper.

2. Beat butter and NESTLE Baking Cocoa until combined. Beat in eggs, sugar and vanilla then stir in flour and nuts.

3. Pour mixture into prepared tin.

4. Spoon NESTLE Top ‘n’ Fill Caramel onto brownie mixture and swirl through.

5. Bake 35 minutes until cooked. Cool then cut into squares to serve.




This recipe was taken from the Nestle Australia website and features their wonderful, yummy product Top 'n Fill Caramel. This is the first time I have used the product and I will definitely be using it in the future!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Love Apples: Part 2

Apples are probably the most commonly consumed fruit in the world. It was one of the first fruits to be cultivated and became more prized once grafted to make new, sweeter varieties.

I found
this recipe the other day browsing different blogs; this one is from Oh She Glows. The muffin is sweet with a wonderful texture and crunchy sweet topping. I used macadamia nut oil and added the walnuts. If you can't find pumpkin pie spice in the store, you can make it by mixing 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice & 1/8 tsp nutmeg.

Apple Walnut Streusel Muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples
1 cup of walnuts, chopped

Topping
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Method
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Combine eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. For topping, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle 1 teaspoon over each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Love Apples

I discovered Daisy loves apples the day she hopped in my lap and started nibbling on the apple I was eating. It was funny to see her cute little face an inch from mine sharing my apple.


A few weeks later I bought a bag of apples and left them on the kitchen floor. I leave Daisy in the kitchen for 5 minutes by herself and I come back to find that she's ripped the bag open and has started nibbling on one of the apples.

Here she is today enjoying the rest of that apple:




Stay tuned tomorrow for an apple recipe!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Peanut Butter Fruit

I recently bought a new book: Edible, The Illustrated Guide To the World's Food Plants (see the side bar on the right). As I was browsing through, I noticed the name "Peanut Butter Fruit". Amazing... I had no idea there was such a thing! It's a tropical fruit that is native to South America. When it is just ripening into an orange colour, it gives the most crunchiest peanut butter flavour. It is typically used in preserves or blended into milkshakes or added to cakes.




How about that? You learn something every day.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Almond Apricot Oatmeal

I don't normally like oatmeal, I find it quite bland. However it is good for you; high in fibre, low in fat and complex carbohydrates. I love almonds and fruit, so this recipe was a perfect winter breakfast!

Almond Apricot Oatmeal

5og rolled oats
50g natural almonds or ground almonds
200ml low fat milk
1/4 cup Splenda or Sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g apricots, chopped + one apricot half
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Shredded coconut to garnish


Place almonds in food processor and process until it forms a fine crumb texture. Place oats in a pot with milk and simmer until oats are softened. Add almonds, splenda, vanilla essence, nutmeg, cinnamon and apricots. Cook until oatmeal reaches desired texture.

Remove from heat and pour into bowl. Garnish with an apricot half and shredded coconut. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Calories = 639
Fat = 29.1g
Carbohydrates = 70.3g
Fibre = 13.2g
Protein = 30.7g

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Breakfast Berry Mousse with Almond Crumble

I stood in my kitchen this morning wondering what to have for breakfast. I didn't really feel like eggs, I'd had oatmeal quite a few times this week, but I did need to finish up the canned apricots I had opened the other day. I decided I wanted something fruity and as I started to get things out of my cupboard and fridge, this new recipe was created:

Berry Breakfast Mousse with Almond Crumble









200g mixed berries
100g chopped apricots
2 egg whites
200g low fat cottage cheese
1-2 Tbsp low fat milk
1/2 cup of Splenda or Caster Sugar (fine sugar)
50g rolled oats
40g raw almonds
20g butter (chopped)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Mix berries and chopped apricots in a bowl and set aside. Place egg whites in a bowl and beat until they form stiff peaks. Beat in Splenda/sugar in batches until all mixed. Blend cottage cheese with low fat milk until smooth and then fold into egg white mixture. Fold in fruit and pour into an oven dish.

Place oats, almonds, chopped butter, cinnamon and nutmeg into a food processor and process until it forms a crumb-like consistency. Spread evenly over the fruit, egg white & cottage cheese mixture. Place dish in oven and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.

Nutritional Information (Total Recipe)
Calories = 901
Fat = 39
Carbohydrates = 87.7g (Fibre = 21g)
Protein = 54.7g


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chocolate Brownie Cake

This is a good one. I found it on a fitness forum almost a year ago and have only just made it now! I modified it slightly to suit what I had in the pantry.

No flour, a good amount of fiber and a rich chocolate taste. Using coffee accentuates the chocolate taste, so even if you dislike coffee do not omit it! Using Splenda cuts down on calories and carbohydrates but if you're wary of using artificial sugars you can substitute with regular sugar.

1 can of black beans
1.5 cups of Splenda (or sugar if you wish)
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 Tbsp Baking Cocoa
3 Tbsp espresso or strong coffee
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 Tbsp nut butter
1 handful of chopped nuts

Rinse the black beans well in water and set aside.

Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a food processor. Add baking powder, coffee, cocoa, vanilla bean paste and nut butter (your choice - I used cashew butter as that's what I had in the pantry). Blend until smooth. Add the black beans and blend again until smooth. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a clean bowl.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

With a clean metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.

Pour cake batter in a greased cake tin and cover with chopped nuts (your choice - I used macadamia nuts, but walnuts would also be good). Place in an oven @ 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Wait until slightly cooled before cutting and serving.

Voila!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Almond Cherry Choc Cookies



These cookies are delicious. They are flour less so great for people that may be intolerant to gluten and also a little lower carb than regular cookies. They aren't low calorie though! The below recipe makes about 12 cookies and each cookie works out to be around 240 calories, 7g protein, 20g carbs and 15g fat. They are best savoured one a time!

2 cups of almonds
150g glace cherries
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 egg
100g organic dark chocolate
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup Caster Sugar or Brown Sugar

Roast almonds in oven and remove to let cool. Place roasted almonds and vanilla paste in a food processor and process until mixture has formed a butter like consistency. Remove almond butter from food processor and in a bowl add sugar, splenda and the egg. Stir mixture well with a spoon. Roughly chop the chocolate and glace cherries and stir into the doughy mixture.

Divide the dough into ping pong ball size balls and slightly flatten on a baking sheet. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Workouts for July - Week 1

Monday 29th July
Bench
warmup then
70kg x 3 - 6 sets

Inverted Rows
3x8

Neutral Grip Pullups
1 set of 6 reps (bodyweight)

I cut it at that. I had a splitting headache and it wasn't improving any

Tuesday 30th June
Rack Pulls
warmup, then
130kg x 3 - 4 sets

Deficit Pulls
120kg x 1 - 6 sets

Split Squats
3 x 10 x 55kg

Standing Leg Curl
3 x 10 x 20kg

Cardio: 30 mins walking on treadmill - 10% incline @ 6.0km/hr

Wednesday 1st July
50 minute aerobics class
15 mins incline walking on treadmill - 7% @ 6.5km/hr
3 x 10 x 10kg rolling tricep extensions

Thursday 2nd July - Rest Day

Friday 3rd July
Flat Bench
65 x 5
67.5 x 5
70 x 5
72.5 x 5
75 x 5

Bench Rows
50 x 8
55 x 8 x 3

Seated Dumbell Cleans
3 x 10 x 7kgs

Lat Pulldowns
5 x 6

Cardio - 25 mins treadmill, 4.16km total

Saturday 4th July - Rest Day

Sunday 5th July
Box Squats
warmup, then
100kg x 2 - 6 sets

first few sets I had my feet a bit wider and it felt much harder. On the last two I kept my stance a little closer and I felt much much stronger on the exercise. The power cage and bar I was using SUCKED. I had 100kg on the bar and I could see the bar slightly bending even from that. The power cage was just all wrong. *sigh*

Standing Leg Curls
4 x 8

Lying Leg Curls
2 x 8

Cardio - 50 minute Step Class

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bye Bye June!

I had a good workout at the gym today. I did a couple of pulling exercises then some little stuff for quads and hamstrings.

My forearms are KILLING me. They're throbbing so bad right now. I think I might go to physio if it doesn't improve by the end of the week. I've found a way to self massage them - oil them up and massage the muscle over my knee. Matt keeps telling me to stop being a baby and that injuries are normal, but I'm not used to having injuries!!!

I had my first day in a long time of decent food. For breakfast I had low fat cottage cheese with muscle milk mixed in. Lunch was tuna salad and a non fat latte. Dinner was baked lamb leg steaks with roasted pumpkin and red onion. I had some almond nut butter and baked corn chips as snacks.

I went to the pet shop today to get some stuff for Daisy and saw some bunnies there. Man, they were huge compared to Daisy and they were supposed to be young-uns. Makes me realise how little she is. She won't grow much bigger than she is now.

That's all I have to say for now!! :-D

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Monday...

Yay! We joined up at the new gym today; it feels good to finally have a regular gym to go to. I did an upper body workout which got cut short by an excruciating headache. I'm sure I looked like a weirdo; it was so bad my eyes started tearing. I must have looked like I was crying haha... in the end Nurofen and a short nap saved the day.

I received my protein powder order from bodybuilding.com today. I got 2 pots of Muscle Milk - Orange Creme and White Chocolate Mousse and Syntrax Nectar Strawberry Kiwi and Fuzzy Navel. Daisy had a great time with the box; she was digging, biting and scratching at it. She loves tearing shit up.




I finally got to use my new food processor which I bought last week. I made Vanilla Almond butter... nom nom. It does a much better job than the blender. Sooo much cheaper to make your own nut butter than to buy it and you can make different combinations and flavours. I might try making a nutella type nut butter next!

So I think I'm finally ready to get some structure in my training and diet. It comes at a funny time because I decided over the past week that I am not going to be competing in bodybuilding this year. Probably not ever again actually, but I never say never because I never know what will happen. It's a huge relief to finally make a decision, and I'm comfortable with it. Now I can just concentrate on eating for health (like I have been) and just enjoying life and training. Bodybuilding is fun in it's own way, but in the end it is basically torture... LOL. Anyway, my plan is to figure out a regular training routine, get stronger, figure out a "diet" so I can shed a few kilos and feel more comfortable in my clothing.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekly Workouts - Week 5

* Monday June 22nd

No Weight Training

Cardio: 55 min Step Class
Practiced some L holds on some elevated bars. My forearms feel like they've got shin splints or something!

* Tuesday June 23rd - Off Day

* Wednesday June 24th

1 hour aerobics class
20 minutes easy cardio on stationary bike

* Thursday June 25th - Off Day

* Friday 26th June

Mini depletion workout
Abs
Jump Rope 10 mins
Kicked the shit out of a bag for 25 minutes

My forearms are still really sore :-/

* Saturday 27th June - Off Day

* Sunday 28th June

55 minute Step Class.

So it's been over a week any my forearms are STILL really sore. I tried to lift something heavy at work a few days ago and they hurt like hell. I hope they heal soon cos it makes it hard to do any pressing movements. It's the reason why I haven't done any decent weights this week.

Our trial at the gym ended today. We are going to join up to tomorrow so we will finally have a regular gym to go to. I still miss my old gym in Australia.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Too Tired To Go To Bed

I find this ridiculous, but the past couple of weeks I've literally been too tired to go to bed some nights. I get home, get ready and go to the gym, make and eat dinner, let Daisy run about and then sit down to my computer (about 11:30pm). Half an hour later I am falling asleep on the couch and just feel way too tired to get up and get ready to go to bed. So I end up getting a poor nights sleep and get even more tired. It's a vicious circle *sigh*

Back to work tomorrow. I had a really good weekend with the Strong Woman competition and just getting stuff done. I actually got an email from someone at the local paper who wants to do a story on me winning the Strong Woman competition.... how about that LOL.

For dinner tonight we had Basil Pesto Chicken. I cut up some vegetables: sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, red onion, yellow sweet pepper and seasoned it all with olive oil, rock salt and cracked pepper. I lay the vegetables in a roasting pan. I then coated 2 chicken breasts with a couple of tablespoons of basil pesto and then placed them on top of the veggies and roasted the lot in the oven @ 400 degrees F for 45 minutes. VERY nice.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Workouts - Week 4

I think I'm going to start logging my workouts weekly. It's actually easier to follow this way I think.

* Tuesday 16th June

Squats

warmup, then

87.5kg x 5, 4 sets

These felt so easy I actually had to double check the weights to make sure I had put on that much. Awesome.

Split Squats
3 x 10 x 60kg

Seated Leg Curls
4 x 10

Single Legged Press
3 x 10 x 30kg aside

Cardio: 20 minutes incline walking on treadmill 6.5km/hr @ 6% incline.

* Wednesday 17th June

Bench Press
70kg x 5, 3 sets

DB Press (Neutral Grip)
27.5kg x 8, 3 sets

DB Row
35kg x 10, 3 sets

Bench Row
40kg x 8, 2 sets
45kg x 8, 2 sets

Tricep Pushdowns (V Bar) 3 x 10
Bicep Curls (Machine) 2 x 10

* Thursday 18th June

Off Day

* Friday 19th June

Rower - Intervals for 20 minutes
Treadmill - Incline walking 20 minutes, 6.0-6.2km/hr @ 10%

* Saturday 20th June

Strong Woman Competition

* Sunday 21st June

No weight training

Cardio: 50 minute Body Combat class + 20 minutes SS cardio on recumbent bike @ 100 watts.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Workouts for the week

Tuesday 9th
Squats
85kg x 5, 4 sets

Split Squats
50kg x 10, 3 sets

Seated Leg Curls
4 x 12

Reverse Crunches
4 x 15


Wednesday 10th
DB Press (Neutral Grip)
29kg x 8, 3 sets

DB Row
34kg x 8, 3 sets

Pullups
BW x 5, 2 sets

Lat Pulldown
4 x 6

Concentration Curls
3 x 10 x 9kg

BB Curl
3 x 10 x 20kg

Lateral Raises
2 x 10 x 7kgs
1 x 10 x 9kgs


Friday 12th
2 Board
warmup then
80kg x 5, 3 sets
These felt HARD. Considering I was going to go for a top set of 87.5kg x 5 today, this was a shit workout.

Scap Shrugs with T Bar
3 x 10 x 20kg

Face Pulls
3 x 10

Cardio this week was dismal. I did a total of about 15 minutes walking on the treadmill.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Day in the Life of Daisy Bunny

Here are a collection of clips I took of Daisy. She loves to race up and down the hallway like a racehorse - especially if I'm in the other room; she'll race down the hallway then back into the kitchen to see me. Rabbits are awesome.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Training News!

I had a great training session today. Short 'n Sweet.

2 board
warmup benching then
80kg x 5
82.5kg x 5
85kg x 5
60kg x 10 (regular flat bench)

I'm pleased with my 2 board, it's feeling pretty damn good right now. Maybe I will get my 100kg bench by the end of the year :-D

Romanian Deadlifts
4 x 6 x 90kg

YTWL drills

Concentration Curls 3 x 10 x 10.5kgs

As usual no cardio!

So! I have some news. I have entered myself into a Strongwoman competition which is in 2 weeks time. I've emailed the guy that's organizing it asking if they have any training days so I can practice some of the events. I've only done a couple of the events before when I visited Shannon's Strongman crew in Sydney. Anyway, I'm excited about it - it should be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I am back! Finally!

My god.

Finally got internet after 3 weeks! Bloody hell, I didn't expect it to take that long, I was thinking like 3 days :-/

It's been a hassle trying to find a gym here. There's the university gym which I initially planned on joining but there is just no parking. They've redone all the roads since I was last here and got rid of a shitload of the street parking so if there is no where to park, there is no gym. At the mo we're going to a gym which is pretty good near my Mum's place - but it's like 20km away, so it's a bit of a drive and with gas so expensive it won't be worth it in the long run. We just joined for a month, so when that's up we're going to try another gym closer to us for a week to see how that goes. Gosh I hope we find one soon.... I haven't had much luck with gyms this year :-/

Daisy is great. She is fully toilet trained now!! Unless she gets on the couch - for some reason she thinks it's her second toilet so we don't let her on it now. When we let her out in the kitchen and lounge - no problems. She follows me around, comes when I call her and she jumps on my lap and eats salad out of my hand - she is an adorable pet. I just love her!

We also got a cat, which I'm not very fond of. It's Matt's pet. Her name is Freddie (we got her from the SPCA, an animal shelter here and they had already named her). I've never had a cat in my life and I've always been in the situation where I've hung around them for a little and liked them but could always give them back (kinda like kids.... LOL). Living with one is hard though, it would be better if we could let her outside but we live on a main street with busy traffic. Nevermind!

I've just gotten into training in the last week. I basically had a 3 week break after we moved. I've been feeling strong though. Here are my workouts for the last week and today:

Workout Tuesday 26 May
Squats 70x5, 80x5x3
Lunges 3x10x40kg - R leg a little funny near coccyx
Leg Curls (seated) 4x10


Workout Wednesday 27 May
Bench 60x8, 70x5x2
Pendlay Row 60x5x3
DB Row 3x8x32.5kg
Rolling Tricep Extensions 3x8x12kgs
Bicep Curls 4x10

Cardio: rower, 3km 15 mins


Workout Friday 29th
2 board 75kgx8, 77.5kgx8, 80kgx8: I think this is the most reps I've done at this weight!
RDLs 80kgx8, 100kgx8, 100kgx6x2, 80kgx10
YTWL Drills 3x10
Bulgarian Squats 3x10x14.5kgs
2 sets of machine rows with a light weight concentrating on contracting scapulae.

No cardio.


Workout Tues 2nd June
Squats 82.5kg x 5 x 4 sets
Split Squats 50kg x 10 x 3 sets
Seated Leg Curls 4 x 10
One Legged Leg Press 3P x 10 x 3
Rolling Tricep Extensions 4 x 10 x 9kg
Dips (heels elevated) 3 x 15


Workout Wed 3rd June
Neutral Grip DB Press 23kg x 8, 29kg x 8, 6, 5, 25kg x 8
DB Row 32.5kg x 8, 3 sets
Lat Pulldown 3 x 10
Machine Row 3 x 10
Concentration Curls 3 x 10 x 10.5kg

That's all my training for now. Apart from the 15 minutes on the rower, I've done basically NO cardio since I got here. I'm thinking of getting up early tomorrow and going for a run... don't know if that will happen... I want to though!

Work is going pretty good - a lot more relaxed than my old job which is great!

I think that's all for now! Good to be back :-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Over & Out (for now)

Just a quick post to let you guys know I'm moving to a new place tomorrow and won't have internet access for a while so I won't be posting on here for a bit! The last few days have been hell with problems. I've not been able to think because there is just so much to think about. I have to work tomorrow and I wish I didn't have to as I have so much shit to do. Anyway...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bunny Training & Eatin'


I is teh strong!



Om nom nom nom....





I wonder how much protein Dandelion has? Dandelion FTW!!

Mummy's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mother's out there.

No training for me today. I got Mum a comedy DVD as a gift and made oaty cheese & walnut scones and chicken & mushroom quiche for lunch today. My brother came over with his family and we had a good time. His kids loved Daisy.... I don't think Daisy liked them much though LOL. She kept looking at me desperately and jumping into my lap. They did help to forage for her dinner though (long grass & a little cabbage) so she was happy with that. I've discovered she loves face cloths and she'll bite and dig at them and Mum found her an old one in her rag bag. She also now comes running to me when I call her! Clever bunny :-)

I got a really cute picture of her tonight! I will post it up later.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Weekend Workout

2 Board
75kg x 5
80kg x 5 - 2 sets
85kg x 5 - 2 sets

Felt awesome. The 80kg in particular felt pretty easy, I could have done at least 2-3 more reps. Funny how a particular exercise can feel really good. My squats on the other hand.....

Squats
60kg x 8
70kg x 3
80kg x 3
85kg x 3
90kg x 3 - 4 sets

YTWL drills

Tricep Pulldown 4 x 12

DB Row 2 x 8 with a light weight so I could concentrate on keeping my scapulae contracted and depressed.

In bunny news, Daisy is well on her way to being litter trained! Yay! She misses now and again but I have only been letting her out on the tiled floor so it doesn't matter so much if she makes a mistake here and there. I will post an updated picture of her soon. She has grown noticeably in the last 2 weeks we've had her.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Workout Update

Had a good workout yesterday. My back is a little stiff today, I think it's from the pullups. Military Press 2x5x42.5kg, 1x4x42.5kg, 1x5x40kg; RDL 4x8x95kg, Seated Leg Curls 4x10, some Y Drills, Pullups 3x5xBW

No workout today. We were supposed to go but ended up getting quite busy. I didn't sleep well last night anyway and had a headache most of the day and felt quite groggy. I will go tomorrow instead.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

O Happy Day!

It's been a few days since I last updated. I trained on Saturday - had a pretty good workout. I did RDLs 5x5x100kg then 1x8x80kg. I did some other stuff but I can't remember now... doh. I think I did some seated hamstring curls too.

Today I did Squats 5x5x80kg then 1x10x60kg; Flat Bench 4x5x70kg then 1x8x60kg; DB Rows 3x10x32.5kg; Y Drills 4x10; DB Curls 3x10x12kgs. Benching is feeling awesome these days. I always think back to the days when I could only bench 40kg for 2 and now I can bench over double that!

Went to a BBQ today for a "farewell" which ended up being a wedding celebration. One of my best friends ended up getting married in secret today and conned us all into coming to a BBQ for a farewell. Very happy news indeed. Her husband is American and is going back to the States and she will eventually follow.

In bunny news, Daisy put a hole in my Mum's slippers. I think I might have to buy her some new ones for Mother's Day now... LOL. For some reason she loves my Mum's slippers and whenever we let her out she tugs at them even while my Mum is still wearing them. It's pretty funny. As I type she is now tugging on my Cookie Monster slippers LOL!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bunny Love

Here's bunny in her food bowl. She's small enough to fit right in it now:



Bunny chilling with Dio:



Hello!

We've had her 3 days and she's really settled in and become a lot calmer and tamer. She comes running when I put my hand out to her and she's very calm when I pick her up. She almost fell asleep on Matt's lap today as I petted her head. She'll only become more friendly as she gets older.

Back Online

Hey guys... I am alive and well! The move from Australia was successful although very busy. We had a nice fight with the rental agency due to their incompetence from the get go and we're starting up a case with the tenancy tribunal. It's a huge hassle long distance but it's worth it to try get the security deposit back. I am very angry with how we were treated and actually quite flabbergasted that a couple of people would be so apathetic about the situation when we have done the right thing by them from the start.

It has been nice living in Australia for the past 4 years; I had a really good time there and made some awesome friends. Having said that it is nice to be home too; apart from the traffic here. We bought a car on Monday: a 1998 Nissan Lucino, very tidy and it runs very very well. That's one thing to cross off the list of things to do. Next major thing is finding a place to live.

So far things are going great here. We are sooo lucky we came last week rather than this week because we both had mild colds from the germy germs on the flights and now with this Swine Flu fiasco going around we would have been kept in isolation :-/ That would have made me real happy when we have many things to do to get settled.

I've actually lost weight since being home.... just doing the regular 3 meals a day and no major snacking. It's pretty good actually. A few of my pants are looser than they have been in a while even with me dieting! Probably not getting enough protein in but I don't really care.

I've actually worked out twice since I've been home. On Monday I did a full body workout: Benching 3x10x60kg, DB Rows 3x8x29kg aside, Squats 3x10x70kg, Scapular Retractions on T Bar Row, Seated Leg Curls and some exercises for my biceps and triceps. It felt really good but bloody hell I've been sore; that's what you get when you don't work out for almost a month! Today I went and did some Deadlifts 2x10x100kg, Good Mornings 4x6x40kg, One Armed DB Rows 3x10x29kg, Incline situps 3x10, Pushups (legs raised) 3x10. I tried to start out with some squats today instead of the deadlifts but 60kg did not feel good. My aches ached even more and felt kinda weird (bad weird) so I thought I'd better stop the exercise and do something else. Shit those workouts were quite hard. I don't know why in hell I decided to do high reps for the big exercises :-/

I was supposed to go to soccer practice tonight but ended up having a long nap in the late afternoon and missed it. Some things never change...LOL. I'll try get to the practice next week or go watch the game on Sunday.

I also have some good news!! I have a new baby: a little bunny rabbit. I didn't expect to get one so soon but we went looking in some pet shops and this little critter came running up to us for pats then started doing cute little bunny jumps (bunny owners will know what I mean, it's so funny and cute). I'm not actually sure if it's a boy or a girl but I had a peek and I'm about 80% certain it's a girl, she's pretty young so it's difficult to tell. I haven't named her yet. Matt wants to call her Spot cos that's what he started calling her in the pet shop. I'm thinking of Charlie, Bon Bon, or Hoppy. Any suggestions please put in the comments. I will put up a pic of her later!

Monday, April 13, 2009

BBQ Day

I had a great day with friends today.... a nice Easter BBQ and a farewell for us as we leave Australia.

We have a big week this week with packing, cleaning, moving.

My last day of training was actually last Saturday - I just haven't been feeling like it this week. This is the first time in years my motivation has been down the toilet with training for such an extended period. Nevermind... I'm sure it'll be back soon when we get settled. I hope :-/

I probably won't be updating this blog for a couple of weeks because internet access will be limited as we make the move. There won't be any training anyway... Ha!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Great Workout!

I had a pretty intense workout at the gym today. I did kind of like a full body tension workout as I felt like doing something different today; it kicked my ass! As I was trying to get everything done in just over an hour, I had really short rest periods (between 45-60 seconds) and supersetted some of the exercises. This is what I did:

Leg Press 3 x 12 x 160kg
Leg Curls 1 x 12 x 39kg, 2 x 12 x 46kg
Leg Extensions 2 x 12 x 140lbs
Glute Ham Raises 2 x 12
Bench Press 2 x 12 x 50kg
KB Rows 2 x 12 x 24kg each side
Incline DB Press 1 x 8 x 22.5kg, 1 x 10 x 20kg
Lat Pulldown 2 x 12
Lateral Raises 2 x 12 x 25lbs
Hammer Curls 2 x 12 x 25lbs
Tricep Pulldowns 2 x 12

I finished off with 25 minutes cardio on the recumbent bike: 5 mins warmup, 15 mins of intervals 60:60 seconds ratio and 5 mins cooldown. I'm starting to really like the recumbent bike. I always thought it was lazy cardio because you're almost lying down, but if you crank up the tension and pedal hard you get just as good a workout as you would on any other piece of cardio equipment.

My heart was pumping hard for a whole hour!

Diet today was great. I have been having lamb every night for dinner for the last 3 days as I'm really enjoying it. Getting a little bit sick of chicken at the mo :-P

I just put some chickpeas in water in a saucepan to soak overnight and they're really noisy! I'm going to make some kinda corn and chickpea fritter tomorrow.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Superwoman!

I must be superwoman or something. I got a whole 1 hour sleep last night after I wrote that blog post. I was pretty tired for work in the morning, but perked up in the afternoon and even managed to get a gym workout in!! How about that?

WEDNESDAY'S WORKOUT

Front Squats
70kg x 3, 5 sets.... felt pretty good!!

Pendlay Rows
70kg x 3, 5 sets

Inverted Rows 3 x 6

Bench Press
70kg x 3, 3 sets
72.5kg x 3, 2 sets

Pushups (legs elevated) 2 x 10

Incline Leg Raises 2 x 10

Eats were pretty good today. I had an awesome dinner - grilled lamb (to perfection!) with mashed savoury pumpkin. Nom nom!

I hope I get a good nights sleep tonight. I'm starting to get those stupid leg aches again, but hopefully I'll be tired enough to sleep through it. I need to make my lunch for tomorrow then I can sleep!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can't Sleep! :-(

I'm feeling very frustrated right now. I've been lying in bed for 4+ hours and I just can't sleep because my legs are aching so bad. This happened to me on Sunday as well (actually fell asleep at around 6:30am) but I didn't care so much because I didn't have to work the next day. Tomorrow (or Today) is going to be a bastard at work on an hour or so sleep (that is if I even get to sleep). I've taken painkillers, magnesium and potassium but nothing is helping :-(

Fuck.

Okay I may as well update my training anyway.

Saturday I had a good training day. I actually got up before work like I said I would to go for a run. That took about 50 minutes. In the evening after work I went to the gym for a lower body workout.

SATURDAY'S TRAINING

Front Squats
warmup, then
65kg x 5, 4 sets

Romanian Deadlifts
90kg x 8, 3 sets

Split Squats with Kettlebells
48kg total x 10, 2 sets

Glute Ham Raises
5kg x 10, 3 sets

Sunday was an off day. We went to the bar as usual and saw a few friends there. Funnily enough we were introduced to one of the powerlifting legends of Australia. It was quite motivating talking to him.

Monday I went to the gym again! I didn't really have a plan so I just followed what Matt was doing

MONDAY'S WORKOUT

Overhead Press
warmup, then
40kg x 5
42.5kg x 5
45kg x 5

Pendlay Rows
60kg x 5
65kg x 5
70kg x 6

I think that might be a PR on the Pendlays actually. I've done 70kg before but never for 6 reps. I'll have to look it up to be sure.

Incline Leg Raises 3 x 10

Cardio: Interval Training on Recumbent Bike; 5 minutes warmup, 20 minutes of 1 min on 1 min off intervals, 5 minutes cooldown.

That brings me to Tuesday. I didn't work out Tuesday but I did go for a 30 minute brisk walk after work.

I've been reading a few blogs on meal planning and such. Basically taking some time out of your week to plan your meals for the whole week. It saves on costs because a lot of the time you're eating what's in season (and therefore cheaper) for produce and also, because you have planned your meals you only buy food to make what you have planned. This may sound like something that a lot of you do anyway if you're following a set diet plan from a trainer but for those of us that don't like to eat the same damned thing every day, it's a good way to be organised yet save money at the same time. As soon as I get settled after the move I am going to try doing this. I think I have mentioned before that I sometimes waste food because I don't eat it in time after I buy it (especially here where food perishes very quickly). I need to get out of that - it's wasteful and costs too much.

Anyway, it's 5:08am and I have to get up at 6:45am. I hope I at least get some sleep.

Bye Bye March!

Wow, I can't believe the first quarter of the year has gone by so quickly! Only two weeks of work for me left before the big move! I have been training, just not updating. This is just a quick one before I go to sleep so you guys know I'm alive :-P

Saturday, March 28, 2009

*Yawn*

I'm still here. Not much gymming this week. I did lift on Wednesday and I was going to lift tonight but didn't feel like it. I went for a 45 minute jog outside instead. I actually really like cardio - once I get outside and start I really enjoy it. I'm really going to try get up early before work tomorrow and go for a walk or run as I feel much better doing cardio in the morning: more alert and happy at work. Bonus! The only battle is getting up out of bed. I've been averaging 8-10 hours sleep this week including my naps after work as I've been so tired. Tomorrow is not so bad because I can catch the later bus as I start half an hour later. I'll take my workout clothes to work too so I can go lift after work tomorrow and do the workout I was supposed to do today.

I'm excited about moving back home because the temperature is much better for outside cardio and there are a lot of hills to run up and down. I think there are like 3 hills here :-/ It will be nice not to look like a tomato head while running too. I get so red in the face when I do cardio here!

WEDNESDAY'S WORKOUT

Incline Bench Press
warmup, then 60kg x 3 x 8

I haven't done this exercise in like, forever. I was going to flat bench press, but thought I'd do something different.

Inverted Rows 4 x 8

KB Rows 3 x 8 x 30kg

Seated Dumbell Cleans 3 x 8 x 6kgs

I found my tennis ball in my bag, so in between sets of the inverted rows I was rolling my triceps and triceps tendon - yowww. It's still very tight and sore. I didn't actually realise it was that bad until the massage therapist had a go at it on Monday - it felt really hard and tense.

Diet this week has been pretty sporadic. Not nearly enough protein and I've been swapping my dinner for naps instead. I'll try to be better in the coming days - I'm actually making my lunch for tomorrow right now!

New Scientist Essay Extract


Contestants in the Fitness America competition pose for a photograph, Redondo Beach, California. The body has become a primary expression of individual identity for women and girls in contemporary American culture, and many girls put an enormous amount of energy and attention into their appearance (Image: Lauren Greenfield / VII)


"UNTIL very recently, we took our bodies for granted. We hoped we would be blessed with good health and, especially if we are female, good looks. Those who saw their body as their temple, or became magnificent athletes or iconic beauties, were the exception: we didn't expect to be like them. Like gifted scientists, historians, writers, directors, explorers or cooks, their talents extended and enhanced the world we lived in, but we didn't expect this beauty, prowess or brain power of ourselves.

Over the past 25 years, however, the notion of the empowered consumer, along with the workings of the diet, pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic surgery and style industries, and the affordability and availability of their products have made us view our bodies as something we can and should perfect. Looking good for ourselves will make us feel good, we believe.

These days, inboxes are full of invitations to enlarge penises or breasts, to purchase the pleasure and potency booster Viagra, to try the latest herbal or pharmaceutical preparation to lose weight. The exhortations have fooled spam filters and popular science pages, which, too, sing of implants and pills to augment body or brain and new methods of reproduction which bypass old biology.

Mothers can buy bra sets for their babies or rubber stilettos, little girls can go on the Miss Bimbo website to create a virtual doll, keep it "waif" thin with diet pills and buy it breast implants and facelifts. They are primed to be teenagers who will dream of new thighs, noses or breasts. Simultaneously, governments warn of an epidemic of obesity. Your body, these phenomena shout, is your canvas to be fixed, remade and enhanced. Join in. Enjoy. Be part of it. Be wary of it. But, above all, fix it.

So why is bodily contentment so hard to find? Why are body transformations, from sex change, to the drive to amputate good limbs, to cosmetic surgery, if not ubiquitous, then a growing part of public consciousness? Why is sex a must-have, wrapped up with performance and saturated with fantasy in a way that would have Freud reeling? What is the deep appeal of extreme makeover TV shows? What is wrong with our bodies as they are?"

The notion that biology need no longer be destiny, and the belief in both the perfectible body and the idea we should relish or at least accede to improving our own all contribute to the idea of a progressively unstable sense of our body, a body which to an alarming degree is becoming a site of serious suffering.

In an updating and democratising of the habit of the leisured classes of decorating themselves for amusement and as a marker of social standing, we are invited to take up this activity too. Something new is happening: our bodies are and have become a form of work. The body is turning from being the means of production to the production itself.


Interesting thoughts by Susie Orbach who's essay was published in New Scientist recently. It's an extract from her new book called "Bodies"


Discuss.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Workout

Okay I finally made it to the gym today! Yay! I had a pretty good workout, it took me almost an hour.

MONDAY'S TRAINING

Front Squats
warmup, then 65kg x 3, 6 sets

I haven't done these in ages but they felt really good! I think using the safety squat bar has helped a lot.

Romanian Deadlifts
warmup, then 90kg x 5, 5 sets

I had to bust out the straps for the last set. I nearly dropped the last rep of the 4th set!

Split Squats
3 x 10 x 55kg

Glute Ham Raises
3 x 8 x 5kg

Cardio today was walking - about 1 hours worth. Luckily it was overcast today so it wasn't so bad out. When the sun is out in full force it's awful walking outside in the afternoon.

I had a massage today and my upper back was soooo tight! The therapist really went hard and it hurt in places. I think a lot of it comes from work as I use my left hand/arm a lot holding it up so it stresses the back a little. I also have a bit of tendinitis of the tricep tendon and when she massaged that it hurt a lot. I'm probably going to have to tennis ball it regularly.

I had some yummy foods today. Seafood salad packed with prawns, pear pie with a walnut base instead of sweet pastry, chicken and spinach quiche without the crust (and some whole eggs substituted for eggwhites) and raw fish salad!!

Okay, I know you guys are probably sick of bunnies right now but I just have to add these pictures. I've been looking at bunny pictures all day *blush*. I think I'm pretty much settled on getting a Flemish Giant now... at least I'm strong enough to pick it up easy. They can grow up to 10kg! Matt likes the fawn coloured but I really like the blue.

Fawn





Blue


I am so damn excited it's not funny. I've wanted another rabbit for years but never got one because I knew I wasn't settled down anywhere and was going to move/travel. Finally the time has come!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Howard Rules!!

Ahhh, getting a little bunny obsessed these days in anticipation of getting a rabbit! Here's a cutie I found on Utoobs:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

On The Buses

Argh! I missed the gym yesterday because the bus after work didn't come! *pulls hair out* Apparently the bus driver didn't even turn up for work that day, so I guess a lot of people missed their bus rides. I was so annoyed because this whole week I've either been too tired to go or really lacking in motivation and today I took all my stuff for the gym and got changed at work and no bus. Gah! I even had a new workout planned in my head and everything *pout* I was so pissed off when I got home. I guess I will go on Sunday *sigh*

I have a new recipe for you guys. It's nothing new, just a quiche :-P I've made it twice now - one last night and one tonight. Last night I just had vegetables in it - spinach, onion, broccoli, red pepper and tomato. Tonight it was mushroom and chicken and it was soooo good!

Vegetable Quiche

7 whole eggs
250g low fat cottage cheese
1/2 onion chopped
enough puff pastry to line your pan (I used 1 sheet of the ready made stuff)
sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
whatever vegetables you want to use
if you want chicken - I used about 250g raw weight and boiled & shredded the chicken
your choice of herbs if wanted

Whisk eggs together and then add cottage cheese, salt and pepper and blend together with a stick blender. Stir in onion, your choice of vegetables and chicken if desired. Line your baking dish with puff pastry (I used a 9" pie dish) and pour egg mixture into dish. Bake at 220 degrees celsius for about 50 minutes then lower the heat to 150 degrees celsius for 10 minutes. Bear in mind my oven is a load of crap so your cooking times will vary. Basically, keep an eye on it! The quiche is excellent for lunches and even a quick breakfast!

If you want to make it even lower calorie, omit the pastry to make it crustless and reduce some of the the whole eggs used and replace with egg whites!

I also made Chilled Avocado Soup last night to have with the quiche and it was sooo good! I served it slightly lukewarm though because I didn't really feel like having stone cold soup. Definitely try it. That blog has some good recipes actually!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I feel...

...like a bit of a loser today. I didn't make it to the gym cos I got home and fell asleep for almost 2.5 hours. I know you're probably sick of hearing it but these days I'm struggling. I feel sooo tired in the morning, sooo tired from work and too tired for the gym. I feel like I have the flu a lot of the time. I need a break/holiday now, but I guess I don't have long to go, just gotta suck it up I guess :-/ I even ate my training day food too, but didn't end up needing it *sigh*

I just spend the last half hour cooing over bunny pictures. I'm probably going to go to the animal shelter first, but if I can't find bunny there, I'm thinking of getting either a Flemish Giant (bottom photo) or something more medium sized like the Dutch breed (top photo).





















The Flemish Giants grow to about the size of a medium sized cat (or a little larger) and they're a little stockier than cats. Apparently they're one of the most friendliest breeds. My old bunny was just a mongrel, but she was great!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My New Bag.

Ok, I did something really girly today. I bought a new bag. I have like, 3 handbags... two of which I rarely use. My main bag is a small black travel bag that has lasted me like, ages. I love it and use it all the time. I saw this bag walking past the shop and I was like whoa... nice. I had a think about it over the weekend and today I went in and bought it:









































It's pretty big actually! I better brush up on my handbag weapon skills!

Funny thing is, I've noticed big bags are "in" these days; they remind me of my Mum actually. When I was around 10, 11, 12 etc. Mum used to carry around this huge bag. It was like one of those leather weekend bags that you put your clothes and toiletries in for a quick getaway, except Mum used to use it as her handbag. I thought it was soooooo embarrassing because she was carrying around this huge handbag and everyone else's Mum was sporting a small cute handbag. We always nagged at her to get rid of it but she said she loved it because it carried everything she needed. Mum would totally be fashionable now if she had that damned bag... LOL.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today

I made it to the gym today. This week I'm going to work out Monday, Wednesday and Friday and do cardio Tues, Thurs and Saturday. That's the plan anyway.

MONDAY'S TRAINING

Overhead Press
warmup: band pullaparts x10 behind, x10 front. 20kg x 8, 30kg x 5, 35kg x 4, 40kg x 2
sets: 45kg x 4 x 4

I haven't overhead pressed regularly for at least a year! I remember doing one workout with it after my last comp, but nada since then.

Pullups
BW x5 x 5

Inverted Rows 5 x 6

EZ Bar Curls
Bar + 20kg x 10, 3 sets

Tricep Pulldowns 3 x 10

Cardio: 30 minutes on recumbent bike, 9.75km, 261 cals

I felt a little ill while doing cardio - I think I ate way too close to working out.

Chicken, Pear & Walnut Salad



Ingredients: Shredded broiled chicken, 2 ripe pears, handful of walnuts, salad greens. Dressing = 3/4 cup greek yoghurt, juice of half lime, chopped parsley.

Yum.

We went to see Watchmen tonight - was a decent movie.

Ooooh, it's St. Patrick's Day tomorrow. I urge you to make Steak and Guinness Pie to celebrate!

Monday, March 16, 2009

100th Post!

This marks my 100th post and to celebrate, I made a pie!


Well, actually, I made the pie just because I bought a load of pears the other day because they were on special at the supermarket and I needed to use them up.

The pie was really very delicious. There's only like a 1/4 of it left now... haha!

Pear Pie
6 pears, cubed
2/3 cup splenda or your choice or sweetener or even regular sugar
2 Tbsp plain flour
2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp crushed ginger
1 unbaked 9" pie shell or your own pastry lining a 9" pie pan

Mix pears, sugar, flour, citrus juice and ginger in a bowl. Pour into pie shell and back at 190 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes.

Most fruit pie recipes have crumble type topping but I decided to make a meringue type topping instead. I used 2 eggs and whipped until they formed still peaks, then added about 1/2 cup of castor sugar and beat it into the egg mixture. About 10 minutes before the pie was done I took it out of the oven and smothered on the meringue mixture and baked for a further 10 minutes.

This weekend has been pretty relaxing. I still have another day to go before my weekend is officially over. I only worked half a day this Saturday and Saturday night we went out for dinner. I had Barramundi (fish) baked with lemon butter sauce, chips and salad. The lemon butter sauce did not fare well in my tummy. An hour later after sitting in pain I absolutely had to go to the toilet. It happens a lot actually, any time I eat something very creamy or buttery or fatty that I don't usually eat, I get the runs really bad (TMI, sorry). I hate my stomach sometimes - it's either bloated or complaining about something I ate.

Anyway, after dinner we went to the bar for beers, conversation and people watching. Met up with a few friends and stumbled home about 1am. Today, I woke up about 8am and really didn't do anything all day. Just read blogs and napped and watched a bit of TV. I found some nice recipes that I want to try out too.

No training at all this weekend. I was meant to go to the gym yesterday to get in an upper body workout and cardio - that never happened. Today I thought I'd go for cardio and that never happened either - just wasn't in the mood for it. Not to worry, I did need a rest as I have been feeling very tired lately.

I still have some pears here that I will use tomorrow. I'm thinking of making chicken, pear and walnut salad for lunch. Also, I found a few soup recipes I want to try. One is an avocado soup the other is a mushroom and walnut soup. Yum! I also just acquired a Ginger Pear Pumpkin Soup recipe... I do have some pumpkin in the fridge too. Oh, the possibilities!