Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recipe: Apricot Chicken

I happened to walk into the supermarket at the right time yesterday. They had reduced a lot of their fruits and vegetables for quick sale. Among the things I bought was a big bag of apricots, so I decided to make Apricot Chicken for dinner. Yum!

Apricot Chicken
8 Apricots
1 cup water
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 packet French Onion Soup
Cracked Pepper
800g Chicken Thigh or Breast Fillets

1. Slice apricots, remove stone and chop into pieces
2. Place chopped apricots in saucepan with water, raw sugar, cracked pepper (to taste) and soup mix and simmer until soft.
3. Place chicken thigh fillets in a casserole dish and pour apricot mixture over chicken. Stir a little to distribute the mixture.
4. Bake for approximately 1 hour at 200 degrees Celsius (45 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered.
5. Serve as is for a low carb dish or with rice if desired. Makes 4 servings or 2-3 if you're greedy like me.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Do You Know How to Maintain?

I read all the time about people wanting to get leaner or wanting to get bigger or stronger. Less muscle, more muscle, less fat, bigger biceps, smaller butt... you name it. People seem to have all different ideas and seem to flit from goal to goal. For the past few years I have been this person. In 2006 I wanted to get stronger, in 2007 I wanted to get even stronger and now leaner. I competed in 2007. Last year, I wanted to bench 91kg and compete again so this meant getting stronger and even leaner!

Doesn't anyone just want to be? I hardly ever read about someone wanting to maintain their shape and it made me wonder: do people actually know how to maintain intentionally?

I guess I could say I am in this basket. I'm pretty happy with my current level of leanness and muscle size. To be honest, I would like to be a tad leaner so I can see my abs better but I'm not too worried about it and I definitely don't have to get there by a certain date.

As you may have read, I've currently worked out my schedule so I keep my diet pretty strict during the week (and at a deficit) and I relax during the weekend. This means I don't count calories, don't restrict portions and definitely don't cut out alcohol or fatty and sweet food. I don't however stuff my face; I just take what I want, a normal sized portion or meal and I'm happy with that.

However, last night (Thursday) I got home from work early, planning on going to the gym to get in a cardio session in an hour. Matt says the magic words "I feel like a beer". I immediately thought to myself, no... I won't go to the bar, I am going to be good and go do my cardio and make sure I stick to my diet and wait till the weekend for beer. Then I got to thinking: why do I need to go do cardio? I know I want to be leaner but I don't have a date I need to be lean by. Why can't I just relax and go out and have a beer and talk? I decided then that I would skip my cardio and go out for a drink. This is the beauty of maintenance. You can! Maintenance is give and take; one day you might have a rich dessert and the next you miss out on the dessert and have either nothing or a small piece of fruit. As long as you don't have more of one than the other you will maintain that balance. How thrilling and exciting it was for me to have this realization that I didn't have a schedule, I can make decisions to change my plans and make myself more flexible and I WILL BE OKAY. I have just been in this rut of goals for so long that I forgot the simple art of balance and give and take. Unfortunately, I see a lot of that in the forums I visit and people I talk to.

Even for you people that want to get leaner, this method still works. Add a little flexibility into your life and you'll still lose weight. Make sure you have more days at a deficit than at maintenance or surplus. You can still enjoy life, accept spur of the moment dinner or drink invitations and still look great. It might take you a little longer to get to your goal, but I can guarantee you will be happier for it!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hump Day

Work has been quite slow this week, I'm actually grateful because I'm normally super busy and running around like crazy. I wouldn't like it to be like this all the time, but it's nice to have a rest.

I went to the gym today for cardio. I did interval training on the rower: 6 cycles of tempo training, totalling 5000m for 24:24 minutes. I also did 10 minutes moderate effort on the recumbent bike.

I got told from a gym friend that hadn't seen me for a month that I was looking really good and my arms were looking huge! *front double bi* Looks like all that work on my triceps has been paying off. She also thought my body seems to have changed quite a bit... I don't see that though. I have leaned out a little but other than that no major change. Anyway, it was nice to receive a compliment :-)

Diet was spot on today, although I was quite hungry. Just hanging out for the weekend!!

M1 - Protein Shake
M2 - Nectarine
M3 - Protein Crisps
M4 - large Chicken Salad
M5 - Mongolian Lamb

I have about 200 calories left so I'm going to eat some cottage cheese and yoghurt.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cardio turned Rest Day

Today I had planned to go for a long walk after work but I ended up feeling really tired and a bit achy during work today. I'm not sure if it was the poor sleep I had last night or something else, but I decided to rest instead. Plus it ended up raining heavily and I didn't feel like getting my feet wet.

Diet today was good. Today I was pretty hungry actually. I just ate my dinner and I'm still hungry! Gah!

M1 - Banana Protein Shake
M2 - Chicken 'n Corn Soup
M3 - Big Egg Salad
M4 - Snack of Blue Cheese and Mini Easter Egg
M5 - Roast Chicken + Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Red Pepper

I am currently browsing Karina's Kitchen for recipe ideas. It's making me even more hungry! I think I'm going to make her Coconut Carrot Cake this weekend! I love both coconut and carrots, so it's a great combination for me. Carrots are a rich source of Vitamins A, C, and K, folic acid and beta-carotene and coconut contains MCT's which are easily and quickly oxidized for energy and similar to carbohydrate metabolism. Sounds healthy to me! Well, that's my excuse :-P

Monday, February 23, 2009


Friday was a rest day. I decided to give my cardio session a miss and we went out for dinner instead. I had grilled Barramundi with a salad and some fries and a couple beers.

On Saturday I went to work. I had Subway for lunch... nom nom, then I bought some gummy lollies and shared those with my workmate. They made me feel a little ill actually, kinda like a bad sugar rush. It's probably why I don't eat them that often anymore. After work I went to the gym for a lower body workout.


Squats (with Safety Squat Bar)
warmup: bar x 8, + 20kg x 5, + 30kg x 4, + 40kg x 3
sets: + 50kg x 5, + 52kg x 5, + 52kg x 5

These are feeling really good.

Glute Ham Raises 4 x 10 x 7.5kg behind head

Split Squats 2 x 10 x 48kg

Cardio: 15 minute incline walk on treadmill

Saturday night, we went out for beers. Had a great time!

SUNDAY - Rest Day. I was feeling slightly hungover in the morning from the beers the night before then by the time I remembered I was supposed to go to the gym for intervals I didn't really feel like it. In the morning I made those Cheesy Walnut Scones and then some Almond Biscuits. I spent the day just lazying around then we went out for a couple of beers again then went to see Underworld 3.

I didn't really have a great sleep last night, luckily I don't work Mondays.


Inverted Rows - 4 x 8

KB Snatch - 1 x 6 x 8kg, 1 x 6 x 12kg

DB Snatch - 3 x 6 x 20kg

Neutral Grip DB Press - 3 x 8 x 55's

DB Row - 3 x 8 x 32.5kgs

Overhead Tricep Extensions - 3 x 10

Cardio: 30 minutes on Step Mill, 4.29km

Diet today was good. It actually sux a little to go back to dieting when the weekend is pretty lax, but it must be done I guess.

M1 - Chocolate Banana Protein Shake
M2 - Tropical Prawn Salad
M3 - Cottage Cheese and Vanilla Yoghurt
M4 - Baked Chicken in Corn & Avocado Soup

I ordered some Candy Corn on Friday and got an email today that it's been posted! I hope it gets here in time for the weekend so I can eat them then. I ordered the Pumpkin Mellowcremes, Autumn mix and Fall Festival Mix. They were out of the regular Candy Corn. I can't wait!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Workout

I made it to the gym today. The workout was pretty average, I felt a little drained to be honest. I took my intervals down a notch and still felt pretty winded. Hmmmm. Hope this isn't a trend!


Bench Press
warmup 20kg x 8, 40kg x 5, 50kg x 4, 60kg x 3, 70kg x 1
sets: 70kg x 5, 3 sets

The last rep of the last set was pretty damn hard. I really ground that one out. I felt pretty weak benching today... not only that but really tired out from it.

Pendlay Rows
60kg x 5, 3 sets

BW x 10, 2 sets

DB Curls
12kg x 12, 2 sets
12kg x 10

I might try and get in another upper body workout on Monday.

Cardio: Interval training, 6 sets, total 25 minutes.

Diet was good today. Just the usual:

M1 - Protein Shake
M2 - Large Plum + Low Fat Latte
M3 - Red Curry Tuna + Mixed Bean Sprouts
M4 - Garlic & Herb Naan Bread, 2 Mini Easter eggs
M5 - 2 boiled Eggs
M6 - Pan Fried Fish + Grilled Veggies.

Lots of little snacky meals today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meet Teddy

This is Teddy. He arrived on my 30th Birthday and he's been partying ever since. I come home from work and he's already been drinking. He can't even sit upright he's so drunk all the time *shakes head*


No training or cardio today. I had planned on going to the gym to do some cardio, but it was raining so hard after work I decided just to stay at home instead. I would have been soaked walking to the gym. I ended up not even eating enough food anyway.... I did the classic fall asleep through dinner job that I seem to do all the time, so my calories ended up being pretty low. Nevermind!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Weekend

Well, my weekend is finally over and it was a pretty good weekend. Saturday was a really good day at work: busy but we had really nice people in. Saturday night we went out for a few beers and then shared a pizza. We split it half n half and I got vegetarian.... yum! Sunday, I made a new dish with quinoa, coconut milk and apples that I found on another blog. In the afternoon we went out to meet a friend for Happy Hour. I was a bit annoyed cos I fell asleep Sunday night before I got a chance to eat my dinner. This happens way too often to me *shakes head* I should start setting my alarm or something. My relaxed eating plan was pretty good this weekend. I ate pretty healthy, the only things of note was the beer, pizza and chocolate muffin.

And I got in some training too:


Squats (with Safety Squat Bar)
warmup: bar x 8, +20kg x 5, + 30kg x 4, + 40kg x 3
sets: + 45kg x 5, +50kg x 5, + 50kg x 5

I like these. Using the SSB teaches you to keep upright as it tends to tip you forward. I also felt myself go a lot lower than I have before... probably something to do with the fact I had to position myself so upright. I think I will continue to do squats with this bar for a while.

Glute Ham Raises
4 x 10 x 5kg behind head

Split Squats
1 x 10 x 40kg (2 x 20kg kettlebells)
1 x 10 x 48kg


Reverse One Arm Cable Pulldown 3 x 10

Face Pulls 3 x 10

Cardio: Tempo Training, 6 cycles. I started off on the treadmill then finished the last 2 cycles on the rower.

Today, I was back to my diet.

M1 - 3 boiled eggs
M2 - Baked Pears
M3 - Sirloin Steak
M4 - Small can of Tuna
M5 - Red Curry Tofu with Spinach

My macros were a little off today but not too bad. Here's the recipe for the Baked Pears... it's a really nice, simple and relatively healthy dish.

Baked Pears
4 whole pears
1 heaped tablespoon of brown sugar
1/4 cup white flour
20g unsalted butter
30g almonds, chopped

Slice pears length ways and scoop out a little of the centre to remove core. Combine the sugar, flour and butter together. Rub the mixture together until it forms a crumb-like texture. Add chopped almonds and mix together. Fill the hollows with the mixture evenly between the pears. Bake at about 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.


I was just thinking today about how relieved I feel not to be competing. It feels really good. For once I don't have to worry about looking a certain way by a certain time. It's nice just to go to the gym and do what I feel like; not having to get in x amount of workouts and y amount of cardio done per week. I am slowly getting leaner too - my back is looking pretty lean and I'm starting to get abs again (slowly). I feel really good too - very positive, happy and excited! Yay!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Funny Video

Someone linked this at a board I visit and I had to post it. It made me laugh so hard. Poor kid, he looked so forlorn when he said "Is this gonna be forever??!"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why can't people spell??!

Gah.... I just have to rant about my name for a bit. I went to Gloria Jeans today to get my low fat latte. The cashier asks for my name and I give it to her. It flashes up on the screen and it spells "Di Anna" WTF lady? I have NEVER seen Diana spelled like that. Nor have I seen it spelled Dianna or Diane or Dianne. I have met several Dianas in my life and we all have a 5 minute bitch session when we meet on how (1.) Everyone calls us Diane (2.) No one can spell the name. Seriously, one of the most famous women in the world was called Diana and how was her name spelled? You guessed it.... "Diana" *tears hair out*

Oh yeah, while I'm on the topic of spelling: I saw in a magazine today someone spelling the word "ourselves" as "ourselfs". What a douche. No wonder bodybuilders get a rep as big dumb idiots *LOL* With spell check these days, no one has an excuse.


45 minutes on the Stairmill today. Now that the Stairmill is in air conditioning it is sooo much easier to do cardio on it. Try doing cardio on that thing in 35+ degrees Celsius heat and 98% humidity :-S

I did good on my diet today! I've actually been superb all week, as planned. Go me, again!

M1 - Protein Shake with Choc Powder & Frozen Berries
M2 - Salmon & Guacamole
M3 - Marinara Mix fried with olive oil & garlic
M4 - Veggie Dip & cut carrot, celery, cucumber
M5 - Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Woohoo! Tomorrow is the weekend. I have to work tomorrow, but true to my plan I am going to eat a little more lax on on the weekend. I've already cut the melon for my fruit salad for breakfast and I'm going to top that with vanilla yoghurt and raw almonds. Lunch is going to be chicken and guacamole, I might add some rice though. Dinner is unplanned as of yet - might go out actually. I'm finding this method is working well for me psychologically - I'm feeling really good.

I'm planning a lower body workout tomorrow. Hopefully the Crossfag crew won't be in there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

On a Roll, Bro!

Woot! Great day today. I woke up looking pretty sweet, I didn't feel too sleepy on the bus and didn't feel sick/panicked at work this morning so all is well.

I went to the gym today and did an upper body workout! Behold:


Flat Bench
warmup - 20kg x 8, 40kg x 5, 60kg x 5
70kg x 5, 3 sets

Pendlay Rows
60kg x 5, 3 sets

BW x 10 x 2 - for some reason these really hurt my hands today. I used a different bar, I wonder if that caused it?

Bicep Curls
2 x 12 x 12kgs
1 x 7 x 12kgs - my little pipis conked out!

I also did some conditioning work: 30 kettle bell swings, 30 seconds rest, repeated 10 times. It took me almost 15 minutes and by the end of it I was pooped! My heart rate was about 170bpm! Noice.

I've figured out a sweet spot for the gym. I figured out if I go home after work and rest a bit and then walk there to get there about 7pm, it's pretty deserted. Only a handful of people there! Excellent *rubs hands together* Only problem is, the gym STILL closes at 8pm so I can't really do a workout and do 30-45mins of cardio in one go. I'll manage :-)

My diet today was spot on. I had some tomato-ey cheesy lamb thing for lunch and rib eye and broccoli soup for dinner. I managed to sneak in a little bit of Mars bar too - yum yum.

Oh yes, here is my protein shake recipe:

Choco-Monkey Protein Shake
250 mL water or low fat milk
1 scoop Chocolate Flavour Protein Powder
20g Natural Peanut Butter
80g Banana, chopped
1 tsp cocoa powder
6-8 ice cubes

It also tastes pretty good with a shot of espresso in it. I did that today!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I did it again :-D

Busy day at work again! Will it ever end? I think not. I dropped a big metal box on my left foot today :-/ so I have a lump and a blemish and it hurts to tie my shoelaces up.

Anyway, I was awesome today and went to the gym and did 30 minutes of interval training on the rower, including warmup & cooldown. Also did 6 sets of abs.

Man! It's pretty hard on the rower. I kinda like the rower actually, it's not as popular as the treadmill so you're always guaranteed one's going to be free when you get to the gym. I feel a little more motivated these days and I might go train upper body tomorrow!

Eats were good again today:

M1 - Chocolate Banana Protein Shake
M2 - Large Greek Salad & Shredded Chicken Breast
M3 - 1 large Peach
M4 - Mongolian Lamb Kebabs & Leek + Onion

Just 3 square meals, almost the same as yesterday. A little over in calories but no big deal :-)

Feeling good, but chubby.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Go Me!

Pretty long busy day at work today. I got home, rested for just under an hour then put on my shoes and gym gear and went out for a 45 minute run! It was so hot outside, I looked like a beetroot when I got home.

Eats today:

M1 - Chocolate Banana Protein Shake
M2 - Big Greek Salad & Shredded Chicken Breast
M3 - Mongolian Lamb Kebabs
M4 - Cottage Cheese & Yoghurt

About 1500 calories, high protein, moderate fat, low carbs - just like I planned! :-D I loved the greek salad... I'd totally forgotten about greek salad until I saw a recipe for one in a magazine yesterday. I'm having the same for lunch tomorrow!

I'm feeling good.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oaty Walnut and Cheese Scones

This weekend was quite a lazy one for me. I didn't end up going to work out on Sunday after all... I ended up sleeping in instead. We ended up going to the bar and having quite a few rounds of beer and great conversation, so I didn't feel like going lifting today either. I fully intended to do some cardio in the evening but then it started pouring with rain. Tomorrow is another day!

I have been having some good eats though! Despite my training being rather dismal, my diet has been quite good (minus yesterday's beer of course). I've been counting my calories faithfully and making sure I get enough protein. For the past two days we've been having Oaty Walnut and Cheese Scones for breakfast, taken from Gordon Ramsay's book, Healthy Appetite. I never even thought of this combination but it is GOOD! Yesterday I served it with scrambled eggs and today I served it with a light fruit salad topped with creamy vanilla yoghurt and raw almonds *drool*

Here's the recipe.

Oaty Walnut and Cheese Scones

Heat oven to 180 degrees C. Put 350g self raising flour into a large bowl and stir in 2tsp baking powder, 1 tsp fine sea salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Dice 60g butter and rub into the flour mix using your fingertips until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in 150g rolled oats, 100g grated mature cheddar and 100g chopped walnuts. make a well in the center and add 2 beaten large eggs and 9 tsp buttermilk. Mix until the dough comes together, adding a little more buttermilk if needed.
Gently roll our on a lightly floured surface to a 2.5cm thickness and stamp our rounds with a 6cm cutter. Place, slightly apart, on a baking sheet, then brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with 1tsp rolled oats. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with soft cheese and chutney. Makes 10-12.

Tonight for dinner I made roasted chicken with roasted veggies. It was so good and the chicken was sooo tender and tasty! I seasoned it with olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper, five spice and dried herbs. The veggies were basted with the chicken juices and I sprinkled paprika on the brussel sprouts. Nom nom....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Workout!

So I finally made it to the gym today


warmup: 40kg x 8, 60kg x 5, 70kg x 4, 80kg x 2
85kg x 5, 3 sets

Glute Ham Raises - 4 x 10 x 5kg behind head

Lunges - 2 x 10 x 40kg (2 x 20kg kettlebells)

Finished up with 20 minutes on the rower - 10 of those were intervals.

Good workout, felt strong! I might go do upper body tomorrow. Only complaint is our gym has gone from being awesome to almost dismal. It's smaller, everything is squashed together and they've limited use of some of the equipment. I can't wait to leave here now and get our own home gym! It's going to cost a shitload, but it'll be worth it.

I even ate healthy today! Look at me:

M1 - Chocolate Choco-Monkey Protein Shake
M2 - Chicken Breast with Home Made Guacamole
M3 - Vanilla Caramel Yoghurt
M4 - Vegetable Ratatouille with Sticky Lemon Chicken
M5 - Rhubarb and Low Fat Yoghurt

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Recipe: Tropical Prawn Cocktail

500g packet of cooked & peeled prawns
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 firm ripe avocado
1 cucumber, halved lengthways and sliced
1 tablespoon of lime juice

1/4 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of finely grated lime rind
1 small chilli, finely diced
1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint or coriander leaves, for garnish

1. In a medium bowl, combine prawns, pineapple, avocado, cucumber and lime juice
2. Place dressing ingredients into a screw top jar or jug and shake or whisk to combine.
3. Spoon prawn salad into serving blows, drizzle with dressing and garnish with mint or coriander and serve.

I used rockmelon/cantaloupe instead of pineapple and chili powder instead of fresh chili and it was nice!

I'm Still Alive People!

Well, it's been almost a week since I last updated. I've been super slack with my workouts and cardio and even diet :o The gym is finally back open, so I've decided I am going to go straight after work no matter what. I'm probably going to do a full body workout and if I have time a little cardio. I saw the location the gym moved to and so far I'm not really impressed... I want the old gym back :(

I haven't even done any exercise at all. The last thing I did was go for a long walk on Monday (about 60 minutes) but that's been it really. Diet has been "okay" but I've been eating my normal meals during the day and having either nothing or some chocolate or lollies for dinner :oBad. It doesn't seem to have done too much to my previous progress - I just haven't really progressed any further.

In other news, we'll be moving in a few months so I'll finally be able to get a bunny!!! Ahhhhh!! I'm so excited!! So you know what this means right? I'm probably going to fill this blog with sickeningly cute bunny pictures. We might even get a home gym too - we're thinking of buying a power cage, GHR, some kettlebells, dumbells (probably those adjustable ones) as well as various plates. This means we get to be anti social and work out at home. I do like the gym atmosphere though, so I'll probably still have a gym membership. I'm actually thinking of joining the huge gym at home that has all these aerobic classes. I really like aerobic classes! I'm also going to look into playing with a women's soccer team again - I had a really good time doing that before. Hopefully my old team will take me back... haha!

Because we're moving this also means I'm not going to be competing in that Bodybuilding competition in May as we won't be here for it. I'm actually going to look into doing one in October instead, if I still feel like it.

So that's me for the past week. Stay tuned for more news!