Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How do you look naked?

How time flies - I feel like you are a friend I haven't seen for some time, someone I kept meaning to call, that niggling feeling in the back of my mind heard early in the day then again when I'm just getting into bed and its too late to pick up the phone. Well finally here I am. I'd like to apologise for my gap in communication, its not intentional, life just zooms by at times until you grab it by the horns and force it to slow its pace.

Marley is 4 months old now and growing everyday, he amazes and delights. Watching him develop and learn new skills, even the tiniest of things are a great achievement. He learned to reach for a toy while holding up his head on his front the other day - mummy was very impressed!

As for me, I am 16 days away from my goal date - I have decided counting in days from now on is the way to go. How do I feel? I was really happy with the outcome of my last Body Composition and I am continuing to do the same as before as it has proven returns. Some days I want to do more, I want things to move faster and I want it yesterday - I want to go out and buy a bikini for my holidays and feel I look fantastic. I don't want to be self conscious about my body and I don't want to hide behind the fact that I have had a child. You know the feeling when you walk down the street with your baby and you can think "its OK if I'm not quite where I want to be, they can see I have a young child". Most people probably don't bat an eyelid its more a self reassurance, a self reasoning, but still its a wall to hide behind. I have pictures of before my pregnancy and back then I wasn't happy with how I looked, now I look back and wonder why the hell I didn't wear some of the things I decided I 'couldn't' wear. When I reach my goal this time I will have a whole new respect for my body - no, I already have a whole new respect for my body. I know what it can do and I know what I can achieve both in producing and nurturing a beautiful little boy but also being something I am proud of, something I can stand naked in front of the mirror look at and feel satisfied that all my hard work has paid of and know I look great.

How do you look naked?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Come and join the fun

I am back and feeling better, an early night and a new day can make all the difference. I must confess I visited the Chocolate shop in Bondi Junction yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed a few of their delectable treats - I didn't feel guilty, well maybe just a little but it felt good for a few moments anyway. Was it worth it? maybe not but hey its my crutch.

We had a great Body Beyond Baby group training session in the park this morning, a little bit of drizzle didn't deter us. We moved spots to somewhere with a little undercover place for the littlies and worked up a sweat to start the day. We have had a few new people join us over the last couple of weeks and its fantastic to see so many mum's take some time out and do something good for themselves. Only today was one of my mum's saying that she has felt so much better over the last few weeks since committing to her two sessions a week. A lot more calm and patient, as well as feeling great about herself. Another was asking if we can do a third session - this will come, all in good time. So if you need that extra bit of motivation without the stress of finding a babysitter, come and join our group. Contact me on 0402 728047 or, fire any questions at me you like and come and join us on our quest to be fit, healthy, happy mums and introduce your baby to the benefits of exercise from an early age. If they see mum doing it it becomes part of their lives and they will grow up to see exercise as a normal part of everyday life - definitely an outlook I'd like for my son.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I hit the wall

I've hit the wall. Up until today Ive been cruising through Ben being away but I am well and truly ready for him to come home now, 5 more sleeps! Not even getting to the gym this morning shifted this feeling, though I'm glad I got there, I know if I hadn't I would be feeling worse right now. I am ready for some adult conversation in the evening and someone to pass the baby to at times. Its 8.30pm and I think I'm off to bed very soon.

I did bake my cookies again today which should keep me going for snacks for a little while, only this time I added a couple of table spoons of unsweetened apple puree which tastes great.

Its short and sweet from me this evening - tomorrow is another day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Try a healthy version

I'm loving experimenting with recipes at the moment. Don't get me wrong I am not spending hours in the kitchen - apart from the fact that there are not enough hours in the day I am not the most imaginative chef in the world. I am happy to eat simple healthy meals for the most part but when it comes to spreads or dips (hummus) and snacks I like to change things around a little to make super healthy yummy food. Having young children means we can fall into the trap of forgetting our own nutritional needs, having healthy snacks on hand can really help you get through the day, and you know exactly what you are putting in your mouth. Try the ones below, if I can make them they have to be easy!!!

Protein Power Banana Cookies (this one I got from a client of mine and I added a few bits and pieces to make it even better!!!)

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2-1tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup walnut oil
2tbsp 100% Almond spread
1 scoop unflavored Protein powder (you could use vanilla)
1 cup sultanas
2 1/4 cups very ripe bananas
1 tbsp ground flax seed or linseed

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees
Combine oats, salt, cinnamon, protein powder, flax seed in a bowl, add oil and toss to coat.
Mash bananas and add to dry mixture
Add almond spread, sultanas and mix well
Cover two baking trays with grease proof paper
using a 1/4 measuring cup scoop 6 mounds of dough each onto the two baking trays
Flatten using a fork or spatula
Bake at the top of the oven for 10 mins
Remove from oven and flatten further then bake for another 8-10 mins


Smoothies are another of my favorites;

Berry buzz
I find this makes enough for two smoothies so you can share with a friend or pop in the fridge for tomorrow

1/2 cup skim milk (can use soy/rice etc...)
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup berries of your choice (I used frozen mixed ones)
1 tbsp ground flax seed or linseed
1/2 cup unsweetened apple puree (available in health food shops - not the supermarket variety!!! check the contents to ensure no sugar or other additives have been included)
1/2 cup low fat low sugar yogurt (read the label)
2 scoops whey protein powder (vanilla or plain is best)
dash flax seed oil (optional)
handful ice cubes

blend all ingredients - drink!

You can almost always put a healthy spin on a recipe - if you have any suggestions feel free to contribute or if you are unsure of healthy substitutions for your regular concoctions drop me a line and I'll see how I can help you.

I'm off to the kitchen

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More hummus

Hey I made that pumpkin hummus - it went a little like this;

You will need to whole roast a butternut pumpkin beforehand, in the oven at about 180 for around two hours - check with a skewer to see when its done.

half a butternut pumpkin (pre roasted as above)
Can of chickpeas
Dash of flax seed oil
Tsp garlic
tbsp lemon juice
Cumin to taste
1 tbsp tahini

Blend and enjoy this healthy and tasty dip or spread.

I'm really enjoying experimenting with different hummus' having a tub in the fridge is a fantastic addition to any wrap or sandwich and is a great substitute for your usual butter, margarine or less healthy spread. With the Christmas season fast approaching it is very easy to tuck into the dips and cheeses provided at many a BBQ or dinner - why not take along your home made hummus, it fits in very well next to the store bought versions (most of which contain sugar) but tastes twice as good and you have the reassurance that you know exactly what is in there and that it won't be heading straight to your hips!!!

Another good option for replacing butter (or regular peanut butter) would be to choose a natural nut spread such as almond butter. Obviously as with anything don't go mad but this can provide you with a great source of good fats which are essential to a healthy diet.

I think I'll try red capsicum next........happy hummus making - Yum

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On track

I payed a visit to Jarrod at Body Composition this afternoon and I have to say I left feeling a lot more satisfied than I did last time. I have just under 5 weeks left until I leave for Perth and I feel I am on track to reach my goal.

My results look like this;

Current as at 11th November 2008

Total Body Weight: 57.2kg
Body Fat: 23.5%
Fat Mass: 13.4kg
Lean Body Mass: 41.4kg

8th October 2008

Total Body Weight: 57.7kg
Body Fat: 26.4%
Fat Mass: 15.2kg
Lean Body Mass: 40.1kg

17th September 2008

Total Body Weight: 58.6kg
Body Fat: 27.2%
Fat Mass: 15.9kg
Lean Body Mass: 40.4kg

This is exciting, I am putting on lean muscle and losing body fat. Since my last scan I have pretty much exchanged a kilo and a half of fat for a kilo and a half of lean body mass, this increasing my metabolism and my body's ability to burn fat for fuel.

You can see by the relatively small change in my total body weight that if I had just been using the scales to track my progress I would have no idea what was really going on and hence probably be quiet frustrated by my seeming lack of progress (I did get on the scales over the last few weeks and even for me who knows it is not a true test of progress felt a little disheartened that they didn't show I was losing 'weight'). Now I'm feeling enthusiastic at the direction I'm going and that my hard work is paying off, its a satisfying feeling and one that has me wanting to reach for that chocolate bar even less.

Five more weeks to go - stay with me!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

There is a light at the end of the tunnel

I'm finally off to Body Composition tomorrow, wow it has taken me a long time to get myself there. You know how life seems to keep going and there's a million and one things you 'intended' to do 'yesterday' and now its today or even tomorrow and yesterdays thing still hasn't been done. I often feel that way, there are no where near enough hours in the day especially when there is now a little person in my life who loves my undivided attention. We do seem to have mastered the afternoon sleep these days so I know I have at least a couple of hours to put my head down and get stuff done - but which stuff I ask? today's? yesterdays? phew!

You know the other thing that can seem like its taking forever even though you have all the best intentions? Diet and exercise. There, I said it. Its hard work to begin with and its on your mind constantly and you know what you should be doing but for some reason, some strange reason when your whole mind is telling you to do one thing you actually do another. And when you are doing what you should be doing your mind thinks of nothing else but the yummy handmade chocolates at the chocolate counter (or whatever your chosen poison is). For me the exercise is the easy bit, I can get myself there and can make arrangements and make it happen because I have the drive to make it happen. I will go out of my way to exercise and to plan it into my day, I enjoy it and I feel great. I also enjoy chocolate. My diet in general is good but my sweet tooth and the craving for chocolate does my head in. I've thought about getting hypnotised so that I don't like it anymore but I like it so much that I don't want to not like it even though I know my life would be so much easier at times!

I can honestly tell you that it is only this week that my mind has halted its constant talk of chocolate and when I should have it and when I shouldn't have it and what chocolate I feel like and how MUCH I feel like and one more piece won't hurt and..............believe me it goes on.........and on...................and on................... or it did. I now feel like I am coming out the other side. Like you do that time and then finally the constant battle becomes a little niggle which becomes a little whisper that you can pretty much ignore and it is no longer all consuming and oh such a relief. I don't feel like I am hanging out for Friday night (those of you who have been reading regularly will know that Friday night is chocolate night). Now maybe I can take it or leave it or at least take it then forget about it for the next 6 days, that feels good. I'm not surprised really, I spent almost the whole 9 months of my pregnancy totally easing up on myself and allowing myself those extra little treats - all THAT hard work takes some hard work of its own to undo.

And so I urge you to do the same, wait it out, you will get there. Whether its food, exercise or some other challenge. Some days it will be painful and you will crack but that's OK, just pick up where you left off tomorrow and keep headed in the direction you want to go in. There is a light at the end of the tunnel - come and join me in it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Breakfast and snacks

I was out of my usual breakfast mixture this morning so I attempted to make an oatmeal concoction that didn't quiet work out, I'll try again and let you know a good recipe when I discover it. I was compelled to use oats for breakfast as they are a fantastic breakfast choice they are loaded with soluble fiber which is helpful in controlling blood sugar and reducing cholesterol levels. A bowl of oats contains half the recommended fiber intake per day, which is handy when you consider that most people aren't consuming enough fiber in their diets, its a quick easy solution. And eating it for breakfast is really cool, you will feel full and satisfied, your blood sugar levels will stay steady therefore insulin levels stay steady and you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Add a good source of protein and you're all done - the perfect start to the day.

Whether you go for oats or not be sure to ditch the sugar loaded cereal that graces many a breakfast table. Most of these colourful packets fool us with their low fat or high protein labels making them sound like a fantastic breakfast choice. However, when you look at the nutritional contents table you find they are loaded with sugar which is why they taste good and why we, and our children love them. Eating sugar like this for breakfast will not keep you fuller for longer and it will not give you the best possible start to your day. You will soon be hungry and reaching for a snack.

Speaking of snacks. Make sure you have great healthy snacks on hand. If you are at home this is easy so long as you haven't stacked you cupboards with chips and chocolate. I don't buy it as I know if its there I will eat it. It doesn't matter where it is hidden if I know its there it is gone, especially now I am spending more time about the house. Do yourself a favor and remove the temptation, it makes life so much easier. I know I instantly feel great when I remove high sugar products from my diet. I will often wake in the night with a "hangover" feeling after my Friday night chocolate night as it is such an overload on my system. Maybe that's telling me something that I should be listening to! Could I really give up chocolate night???

I have taken to carrying a small cooler bag when I'm out and about containing snacks and mini meals. This way I don't get stranded with no choice of healthy foods to eat. I am used to taking excess baggage for Marley now, another item doesn't worry me, besides its good practice for when he starts on solids and I need to carry his food around. As parents we wouldn't dream of feeding our children rubbish because we hadn't thought about it before we left the house. We want what is best for them so why should it be any different for our own nutritional maintenance?

The contents of my cooler can consist of;

Hard boiled eggs
left over smoothie
Hummus and corn thins
Protein bar
Cottage cheese
Low Fat, low sugar yogurt

I don't eat meat and am very picky with fish (I like fish that doesn't taste fishy - and tea that doesn't taste like tea?!?! go figure) but for anyone who does (and I often wish I did for convenience of a healthy snack) but tins of tuna (in spring water) chicken, turkey and lean ham make great snacks.

Happy snacking!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yummy hummus

I thought I'd share my food diary with you today and also the recipe for my very yummy and very popular beetroot hummus. I made a batch this morning and it goes a little like this;

Jen's Beetroot Hummus

1 can Chickpeas
1 can Beetroot (I use sliced as its easier to blend)
1 tbsp Tahini
splash of Olive oil (though flax seed oil could be used here as it is a great form of good fats)
tsp Garlic
tbsp Lemon juice
(I prefer it sweeter so I put more lemon juice than garlic but if you prefer a more garlicky taste just swap the quantities around)

throw all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. I sometimes then add a can of whole chickpeas for a more chunky texture.

Chop veggies, dip in hummus and enjoy a healthy yummy snack.

I'm going to try out other hummus flavors so ill update you with any new variations on this recipe.

So, onto my food diary;

0700 Breakfast mixture
100g forest berries,
125g Cottage Cheese (low fat),
40g Freedom Foods Hi-lite cereal,
100g Atikki low fat yogurt.

0930 Berry smoothie
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup low fat yogurt (check the sugar content too)
1/2 cup of unsweetened apple puree (from health food store, the stuff in
the supermarket has lots of sugar in it)
tsp flax seed oil
1 scoop whey vanilla protein powder

1130 Snack attack protein bar

1300 Chai Tea with skim milk and honey

1330 Out for lunch
Grilled Barramundi and salad
Chocolate mousse (has to be my cheat for the week - at least I wasn't downing
champagne in honor of the Melbourne Cup - last year seems so long ago!!!!)

1630 Snack
hard boiled egg white

1900 Dinner - mix plate
salad left over from last night (orange, grapefruit, sugar snap peas, wall nuts, rocket
lettuce & cucumber)
3 slices low fat cheese
beetroot hummus
tofu pieces
Veggie skewer left over from last night (capsicum, pineapple, red onion, mushroom)

All in all not a bad day - the chocolate mousse could have been avoided but I was out to lunch with my in-laws and I made my choice - no Friday night chocolate night for me this week!!!

How does your food diary look? When was the last time you took a good look at what goes into your mouth? Try it sometime.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Planning planning

How's your weekend? My world has been turned a little upside down by my husband disappearing off to Queensland to work for a few weeks. This may be a normal situation for some but I always find it particularly challenging, its the first time he has gone since Marley's birth so its a little new and I have some organising to do in order to keep my life going while he is away.

Top of my list is figuring out how to keep my food and exercise on track. I took a trip into Randwick to by groceries today, we walked there as although cloudy it wasn't raining. I managed to do just over half of my shopping, when having visited the green grocers first I discovered I was rapidly running out of space on Marley's pram to carry everything home. A quick and very select whip around the supermarket saw a very weighed down Mountain Buggy making its way back home. Three trips up and down the stairs with a crying baby unhappily but safely in his cot and four hours later saw me finally move the bags from the lounge room to the kitchen pack away their contents - phew! I have since decided I am going to leap into the world of home shopping, first on my list is to find a fruit and vegetable box to be delivered to my door and then I will do the dry goods and loo roll (which, by the way, I forgot!!!) from a supermarket chain all from the comfort of my own home - I'll let you know how I go.

Next - I have started to plan my meals for the week. As I didn't quite manage to complete my shopping so I have a few ingredients missing but the eggs have been hard boiled ready to grab at my convenience, the celery has been chopped and stored in water in the fridge to keep it fresh and other veggies have been chopped and put in little containers to ensure their easy access. I have bought a pumpkin which I am going to 'whole roast' in the oven and then make a roast pumpkin dip out of (I will share the recipe with you once I have perfected it). My biggest challenge is going to be my evening meal, you see I have a wonderful husband who generally takes care of ensuring I have a healthy and yummy meal waiting for me by the time I have put Marley to bed. Now I am challenged with providing myself with the same and at a reasonable hour - again I'll let you know how I go.

Training - I will manage to squeeze in a run tomorrow following my Mum's and bubs group session in the park as Marley's grand parents are in town and love to hang out with him. Tuesday my lovely friend will take Marley for a walk while I hit the gym. I'm thinking Wednesday will be another run around the park but this time with Marley in his pram along for the ride. Thursday I am doing a baby swap with another friend (I am looking after hers on Tuesday arvo so she can head out for a run) . Friday I may have to introduce Marley to the creche at my local gym. Saturday and Sunday are yet to be figured out, one will be a rest day and the other??? I have the week to figure it out!