Friday, September 30, 2011

Beef Rissoles

I had some mince in the freezer and a fiancĂ©e who felt like rissoles. The only problem was that I'd only ever made sausage meat rissoles and wasn't sure what to mix in with the mince other than onion, egg and breadcrumbs. So I jumped on Taste and decided on this recipe - Burger With The Works

I now have fresh parsley in my garden so I headed out to snip a few sprigs and whipped up enough rissoles to do us for dinner with enough left over for H's lunch tomorrow and to stock up the freezer for another time.

Steamed greens with toasted almonds

2 Tbs flaked almonds
12 spears asparagus
250g broccoli, broken into florets
2 zucchini, chopped into 4cm lengths
150g baby beans
100g sugar snap peas
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat . Add almonds and toss for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside.
Place asparagus in a steamer and steam for 3 minutes. Add broccoli, zucchini, beans and peas and steam for a further 5 minutes, oruntil all vegetables are tender. Transfer to a bowl and toss gently with oil and balsamic vinegar.
Scatter with almonds and serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Source: The CSIRO wellbeing diet

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Couch to 5km - Week 2 Day 1

Today is Week 2 Day 1 of my couch to 5km program. I was feeling a bit stiff and sore and my run today was not fun. I had to go and pick my car up from the train station so I figured I would use that as an excuse to test out a new route. Unfortunately it is only 2.5km to the station so for the last km I was basically just going in circles to get to the end of my program. Needless to say my stats suffered and I won't do that again...

Week 2 Day 1
Brisk 5 minute warm-up walk, then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 21 minutes. Finish with a 5 minute cool down.
Duration 30:00, Pace 8:19 per km, Distance 3.72km
225 cal, Cal from fat 25%
Avg HR 138 BPM, Max HR 180 BPM
Zone 1: 7:32
Zone 2: 12:49
Zone 3: 10:28

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Couch to 5km - Week 1 Day 3

Week 1 complete!

Last night I headed out to complete Week 1 Day 3 and had a nice surprise when I saw that my pace had dropped from 9:13 per km to 7:35 per km. That also gave me an increase in my distance from 3.25km to 3.95km.

With week 1 now complete I'll move on to week 2 which consists of a brisk 5 minute warm-up walk, then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 21 minutes and a 5 minute cool down.

Week 1 Day 3
Brisk 5 minute warm-up walk, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Finish with a 5 minute cool down.
Duration 30:00, Pace 7:35 per km, Distance 3.95km
251 cal, Cal from fat 17%
Avg HR 153 BPM, Max HR 200 BPM
Zone 1: 3:46
Zone 2: 4:27
Zone 3: 21:25

The secret to great scones

When a scone recipe calls for milk, use half milk and half water. The water makes the scones extra light with the added bonus that it drastically cuts down on your milk usage.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

School lunch ideas

Are your children heading back to school soon? Give their lunch box a healthy make-over, select a combination of foods containing carbohydrates, calcium, vegetables, fruit and proteins.

Here are four healthy lunches to get you started:

Tuna rolls: Split wholemeal rolls and spread with mayonnaise, then fill with canned tuna, corn kernels and semi-dried tomatoes. Pack with popcorn, dried apricots and a carton of yoghurt.

Pita sandwiches: Halve pita pockets, spread with pesto and fill with slices of roasted or barbecued chicken, brocconcini, watercress or lettuce and grilled zucchini. Add a small container of fruits in natural juices, grape tomatoes and almonds or walnuts.

Roll ups: Place lavash bread on a sheet of baking paper. Spread with hummus, then top with grated carrot, sliced cheese and avocado. Roll up tightly, using paper as a guide. Cut into thirds. Pack with a small mandarin, a bunch of grapes and a few miniature cheese wedges.

Frittata: Make a frittata, starting with 6 whisked eggs. Add cooked sliced potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cheese and herbs, or canned salmon or tuna. (Frittatas are a great way to use up leftover vegies.) Add mixture to a hot frying pan and cook over medium heat until 3/4 cooked, then transfer to a hot grill and cook for
a further 5 minutes or until browned. Cool. Serve, cut into slices, with sticks of cucumber and carrot, along with a bottle of water, a muesli bar and an apple.

Couch to 5km - Week 1 Day 2

I finished Week 1 Day 2 of my Couch to 5km yesterday. I decided to leave the dogs at home this time because they almost tripped me up a few times in my first session and kept trying to go in opposite directions. I started just before lunch so it was a bit hotter so I didn't go too crazy but I tried to go a bit faster to improve my time and distance.

Week 1 Day 2
Brisk 5 minute warm-up walk, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Finish with a 5 minute cool down.
Duration 30:00, Pace 9:13 per km, Distance 3.25km
245 cal, Cal from fat 20%
Avg HR 151 BPM, Max HR 191 BPM
Zone 1: 1:03
Zone 2: 13:47
Zone 3: 10:49

Friday, September 23, 2011

Couch to 5km - Week 1 Day 1

I've been moaning for ages about wanting to get fit and lose weight. I start at 100 miles an hour with grand plans like exercising for an hour every single day in September and naturally I cant keep up the pace and fail... I know I do this and so I vowed to just dial it back and try to exercise more often than not. I've been doing pretty good, a bit sporadic maybe but I've still managed 12 sessions in 22 days (granted three days had two sessions because I was super motivated those days..)

So when H emailed me yesterday to say his company was entering a team in the PwC Cool Night Classic Corporate Run/Walk in November and he was going to do the 5km run, and did I want to enter the 3km walk something crazy must have come over me as I said I'd do the 5km run as much for taking it slow and not putting pressure on myself!

So I've got 7 weeks to get myself in shape so I don't conk out halfway and embarrass myself...bring on the couch to 5k programs, I need to do this right. I downloaded an 8wk program from intraining which looked pretty good but I'd have to keep an eye on a stopwatch for all of the intervals. So I headed to iTunes and found a great Couch-to-5K iPhone app from which has a 9 week program with audio cues for warm-ups, cool downs, when to run and when to walk so all I have to do it set up my playlist and go. I usually use RunKeeper to track my exercise but at least this app has GPS and tracks distance & pace so it will be a good substitute for now.

Because I've only got 7 weeks, not 9 I will have to blast through the first two weeks to make sure I'm on track for the race but last night I thought I'd stick to the Week 1 Day 1 session to see when I was in for:

Week 1 Day 1
Brisk 5 minute warm-up walk, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Finish with a 5 minute cool down.
Duration 30:00, Pace 9:54 per km, Distance 3.03km
203 cal, Cal from fat 30%
Avg HR 133 BPM, Max HR 155 BPM
Zone 1: 13:39
Zone 2: 13:04
Zone 3: 3:53

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Can you grow a green thumb?

After having to leave what was left of my herb & veggie garden behind when we moved to Brisbane I've been itching to get started again. Not that I know all that much about gardening or growing herbs & veggies, I just plant what I like to eat and hope for the best.

We are only renting at the moment so I've had to stick with pots but at least I've got plenty of space along the side of the house in amongst an already established (but sad looking) garden bed.

My half wine barrels survived the trip up from Melbourne but dried out quite a bit from being empty sitting in the QLD sun. In here I have carrots, eggplant, onions, pumpkins, spring onions, lettuce and cucumbers.

I got an upside-down tomato/chilli planter a while ago so I'm giving it a go with some Sweetbite Tomatoes

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thank goodness for Radox

This morning I woke up feeling particularly stiff & sore. I knew it was coming so I'd enjoyed a long hot Radox bath last night while watching Numb3rs on my iPad. But the pain wasn't all bad. At least I knew I'd worked hard and earned every stiff muscle and that it meant I was on my way

I wasn't up early enough to make it to a class so I donned my dressing gown and settled in for a lazy morning working on my laptop - bad idea.. I was straight back into my old bad habits where boredom = eating and bum on couch = no exercise. Even though I know I'll feel better getting out into the fresh air and doing something, anything, I didn't..

Lesson #1 : Motivation is fleeting so don't rely on it to get you going.

Starting Weight: 85.8kg
Current Weight: 85.3kg

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Twice in one day?

I felt so great after my RPM class this morning and the fact that I'd spent the day out and about (after way too many days stuck inside not achieving much) that I decided to take the puppies out for a walk before dinner.

I have been trying to add some intervals into my walks to boost my heart rate and build my fitness. The puppies have been loving it and it gives me a greater sense of achievement that just a brisk walk.

Tonight I started off as per usual and at the 1km mark Runkeeper told me that my pace was only 10:37 min/km - not good! I always try to stay under 10:00 min/km (or 6km/hr). So I started adding in some slow jogging, then tried to pick up the pace and lengthen each interval. It felt good! Especially when the Runkeeper chic gave me my final average pace of 8:32 min/km.

It's good when you feel like vomiting right??

This morning I attended my very first RPM (spin) class. Oh boy, was I in for a treat. 50mins of climbing hills and speeding along imaginary roads, all while feeling like I was going to puke.. But I got through it. I may not have turned the resistance dial up as much as the regulars or pedaled quite as fast but I got through it.

It starts now!

I often find myself obsessing so much over all the details of how to lose weight that I don't achieve what I ultimately want - to get fitter, healthier and slimmer.

I spend far too long researching my ideal weight, BMI, BMR, eating plans, exercise strategies etc etc etc that I never have time to implement any of it. Or it all just seems to hard and I am paralysed by information overload.

But now I say no more..
No more getting bogged down in the details.
No more excuses about not having enough time to exercise or eat right.
No more relying on others for motivation.

Because I already know plenty about losing weight but I still haven't managed to put it into action.
So now I'm just going to start. Could it be that easy?

Starting Weight: 85.8kg

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our first visitors

Before we even moved up from Melbourne my sister was planning a trip to come and visit :-)
The Brisbane Festival was on so we headed to Southbank on Saturday for a look around then went up to the lookout at Mt Coot-tha.

Brisbane Festival - Southbank - Liquid Interactive Light Scope

 The Wheel of Brisbane - Southbank

Water feature at Southbank

Brisbane Festival - Southbank - Golden Casket Light Sphere

Southbank Lifestyle Market - street performer

On Sunday we went for a drive through Gallipoli Barracks and then back to Mt Coot-tha to check out J.C Slaughter Falls. After wandering the paths for quite some time we finally found the "falls"...hmmm, I'm sure it's seen better days..

Mt Coot-tha - J.C. Slaughter Falls - Smallest waterfall ever

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Meeting the in-laws

After many many months we finally managed to get up to Townsville so that I could meet my future in-laws. We had a fantastic weekend and came home with plans to add a new puppy to our household..

On Saturday we went down to The Strand and discovered some very odd public art. On Sunday we walked down to the markets then along the river and back home for an early BBQ dinner before heading back to the airport.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yatala at home

It was finally time to test out my mushy pea making abilities and cook up our family size Yatala Pie..
As any home cook does these days I trawled the internet looking for a good recipe and finally decided on  a quick and easy Jamie Oliver recipe:

Jamie's Minty Mushy Peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked
1 pound (500 grams) frozen peas
2 large knobs butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onions, mint, and peas. Cover and leave for a few minutes to steam. Mash with a potato masher. You can do this with a food processor as well, just pulse it until smooth. Whether mashing or pulsing, when it's done add the butter and season very carefully, to taste.

I think next time I wish mash up the peas a bit more but it was still delicious. Here is the final product:

Yatala Steak and Mushroom pie with home made mash, mushy peas & gravy