Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 Project 52 - Week 4

22nd– 28th January

Mark and I spent the weekend at my parents doing some thingsto help make it safer for them at home. Mark built this handrail for them andthen finished it off on Sunday. While he was finishing it off I waswater-blasting their brick path in the rain; I got covered from head to toe inmud and grit. I think next time I water-blast I will wear goggles!! There aremore things to do, but this was an amazing start.

A friend just posted a status update on Facebook to say thatthey are having a 'gardening working bee' at their house on the weekend. Ithink that this is a fabulous idea. A group of us did this for some friends afew years ago and it was both productive and fun. Also, at a time when most peopleare so busy it is nice to be able to band together to help friends, family and evenneighbours out. I am seriously considering doing something like this for myparents.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shopping with a List, Breakfast, Lunch, Coffee and Snacks

At the end of 2011 Mark and I decided that we would take our lunches to work to save money. It is also about making healthier choices for meals and snacks.

I promised Mark that I would endeavour to shop with a list. I have a notepad on the fridge and I add to this when we run out of things or when I remember something that we need. In the past I rarely shopped with a list and I would walk down every aisle to jog my memory for the things we needed. Also, because of the industry I work in I enjoy walking down every aisle and looking at changes to categories and new products. Now I do the same thing; just with a list. If I forget things then I just add them to the following week’s list.

Not eating breakfast within an hour of getting up was a big problem; it led to mood swings and general grumpiness in the car on the way to work. So now we try and have something before we leave the house even if it is toast. Sometimes I have cereal and fruit in the car; I am the passenger.

We are nearing the end of our second week back at work and I am pleased to say that I have made our lunch every day (except Friday’s when we are allowed to buy lunch) since being back. It is hard for me as I am not really a fan of sandwiches as I find them a bit boring. So to mix it up a little we have had:

Chicken and Green Vegetable Risotto
Chicken and Salad Burrito Wrap
Sandwiches with a mixture of fresh fillings
Crackers with cheese, tomato and hummus
Chicken and vegetable pasta

The latest Healthy Food Guide (February 2012) has some awesome ideas for kids (and adults) lunches so I am excited about trying some new things.

26 days into the year and Mark and I have not had fast food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. That is an enormous accomplishment for us. Actually, last night I had a dream that I had fries from McDonalds. I woke up feeling gutted that I had broken the 25 day fast food “free” period. Thank goodness it was only a dream!

Mark and I have also started making our own coffees; we have these in “keep cups” in the car on the way to work. This makes me happy for a variety of reasons. Firstly, we are saving money, secondly we are not adding more coffee cups to the landfill which is kind of part of my goal for 2012 and thirdly we both need coffee in the morning to transform us into happy, productive people.

Snacks are another thing…trying to find a balance of healthy and exciting is quite hard. I have also realised that we need to have snacks in the car or in my handbag for when we have long periods between meals; if I do not then we make bad food choices. We have settled with things like:

Dried Cranberries
Fresh Fruit (blueberries, strawberries, stone fruit, bananas)
Crackers or Vegetable sticks/cherry tomatoes with hummus
Crackers and cheese
Nuts and seeds
Acai Berries
Mini Wheats
Popcorn (apparently you can freeze popped corn)
Muesli Bars
Ginger Crunch (homemade)

What do you love for your lunches and snacks?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Late night musing

Every so often late at night or in the hours just before dawn I find myself wanting to write a letter to the person who hurt someone I love.

Then I stop myself as I realize it will have no impact on them.

Perhaps I should have written in 2011, burned it and left the anger and hurt there and not brought it into 2012. 


Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 Project 52 - Week 3

15th - 21st January

I made a commitment to save money by making lunches for work. This week was our first week back from a 4 week holiday and I'm pleased to say I made my lunch on the days that I was not training.

I made Mark's lunch all week bar Friday when he has lunch with the girls.

I tried to make sure we had a range of yummy and healthy items. My favourite snack was prunes and fresh blueberries.

This coming week I'm going to try adding more vegetables and savoury snacks. I'm excited that the February Healthy Food Guide has some fabulous lunch box ideas.

What do you take for lunch?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Project 52 – Week 1 & 2

 Week 1 
1st – 7th January 
First BBQ with friends for the year and we made ToffeeStrawberries. YUM.

Week 2 
8th – 14thJanuary

Inspired by another blogger I harvested theexcess herbs from our garden to begin the drying process. Exciting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do One Thing to Make a Difference

Okay, I started writing this blog before Christmas but it was reading Kat’s blog early this morning that spurred me to finish it off. Seriously, if you do not read Kat's blog then you should as I have so many of hers saved as favourites. 

I had a really good chat with Mel the day after I finished work for 2011. During our talk I realised that we are pretty much on the same page with our feelings about the earth.

Sometimes when I am alone with my thoughts my heart just breaks for our world. It is not just the people, but animals, plants, resources etc. it is that I hate the fact that we (me included) are really mucking it up through all sorts of things like overconsumption, littering, deforestation etc. We need to remember that this is the only world that we have; there is no alternative unless you think that living on another planet is plausible.

Personally, I think that the time for action is NOW. It is no good waiting until things are so drastic that we cannot turn back the clock; imagine not having access to clean, fresh water?

So my challenge to myself (and you) is to consistently do one thing in 2012 to help this world.

Whether is pledging not to use plastic grocery/shopping bags and always taking cloth bags on shopping trips or using a “keep cup” (CafĂ© Chick’s blog about this is fantastic) for your daily hot drinks? I don’t care what you do, but do something and recognise that unless we all start doing things to stop the decimation of earth we are not going to have a planet to live on.

Other ideas:
Buy New Zealand made where possible.
Support smaller stores like Trade Aid
Gift plants/seeds etc. to your children to teach them to grow their own fruit, vegetables etc.
Stop wastage; buy only what you can use
Get involved in cleaning up your local park, waterway and/or planting trees
Start using public transport or car-pooling
Pick up rubbish if you see it (keep gloves and a bag with you at all times)
Think before you print

I have had a book for a few years and only read a tiny part of it; but I am going to finish it as it makes perfect sense to me and probably has some more fantastic ideas. It is ‘FightingGlobesity: A Practical Guide to Personal Health and Global Sustainability’ by Phillip and Jackie Mills; yes Mills as in Les Mills.

I am sure there are so many other ideas…what are yours?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Book Review: No-Fuss Fitness by Lee-Anne Wann

Title: No-Fuss Fitness: Your Guide to Working Out in the Real World
Author: Lee-Anne Wann
Publisher: Penguin NZ
RRP: $35.00
Copy Origin: Review copy provided by Penguin NZ

I am ashamed to admit that I have had this book to review since late September and I actually read most of it the day that I received it.

I loved Downsize Me (shown on TV3) and was excited to read the book that Lee-Anne had written.

I was gripped from the first page of the introduction; an introduction that shows that sometimes the face that we present to the outside world is different to what is going on inside us. I was blown away by Wann’s frank and openness about her breakdown and subsequent “healing”. It certainly made me realise that at the end of the day we are all just human beings and that there is a certain level of fragility in terms of our emotional/mental state.

Over the years I have read so many books about health, fitness and nutrition. I can honestly say that ‘no-fuss fitness’ is one of the best. It is so clear and easy to understand. As you can see from the photo above I have used post-it’s to mark parts of the book that I go back to time and time again.

The beginning of the book details the basics i.e. getting your ‘foundation’ right and posture, figuring out your body type, how much activity should you do and food. It even made me realise that my posture/stance is not great.

Wann has made it easy to figure out which workout choices are the best based on your body type. So for me (body type: overweight) I can do the ‘Beach Burn’ or ‘Fast & Furious’ among others; exciting right? Here is a book that finally makes exercise fun and achievable whilst still being challenging.

Then in the second half of the book are all the different workouts that you can do from home to work to the beach. During a time when people are busier (and some have mainly sedentary jobs) than ever; these workouts are fabulous and designed to fit in and around your life; even if you only have 15-30 minutes to exercise each day.

I can also appreciate that gym memberships and personal trainers might be the first things to do away with when people/families etc. are trying to save money. The beauty of this book is that you do not need a gym to do these exercises. You can use things from around your house or office i.e. a chair, water bottles, your front steps etc.

So whether you are ready to start or re-start your health and fitness journey then this a fantastic book to read and get you going and what better time to start than a brand new year! 

A side note: Lee-Anne actually came and spoke at Mark’s work just before Christmas. He explained to me that the whole time he was listening to her he kept thinking “I have seen her book somewhere…..” and then he realised that it was on my bedside table. On our way home that day he could not stop talking about her and what she had said and how it all made perfect sense to him. For Mark a light went on.  To be honest he was a little peeved that I had her book and already knew a lot of what she had talked about; competitive much.