The Pantry Challenge

Food wastage costs us about $30 billion each and so as a part of the Sustainable Living festival we did the Pantry Challenge in January.

We had so much leftover food from last year at Christmas time and November when we catered for a wedding. During this challenge we managed to use up most of the food. Some of it though we gave it away to those that were less fortunate via the Ascot Vale Little Pantry. We ate the croutons and other things and donated that Maggi two minute noodles that we don’t eat.

We used up some of that Couscous and it was yum.

During the last few days of the challenge we used the nuts and seeds that we had leftover to make nut bars. Normally nut bars costs about $3- $6, but if we make them at home its about $0.50 per bar. The linseed that we used from last years Fitness Expo was free, but the other nuts and things cost us about $15 altogether.

One day I had the leftover honey as a bit of added sugar. All the manuka honey that was in the pantry was also used up. We ate up all the Goji berries and noodles in the pantry. Also all the cans of beans was eaten then. At the RPM initial training I ate the last of the protein drinks.

Do the Pantry challenge if you can. You might just find something useful out of it and you might just save yourself a bit of money in the process


Healthy weight week

Healthy week weight falls in the third week of January.

“Just what is a healthy weight?”

For me a healthy weight is 51kgs. That would mean that I have a BMI around 19. For most people this is healthy. Now weight can fluctuate sometimes particularly for females. So I would suggest weighing yourself once a week and don’t beat yourself up if you have a crappy day. Its ok to have a crappy day

Its also about Smart eating and this we have learned to embrace. Its hard to do at first but then after a while, you get used to this. Here we learned to give up ice cream and drink water instead.

Giving up on Friday drinks is hard and is unsustainable for most people as we love the wind-down. Friday was one warm day so I didn’t beat myself up about doing a lot of exercises not even a run.

And then on Sunday, I had a sausage in a bun for Australia day. I wasn’t going to give up Australia day celebrations. But I went for a 26 run beforehand.


Homemade hummus

fresh hummus and pita bread
Photo by Naim Benjelloun on Pexels.com

This is so easy to do using a Nutribullet and with canned chickpeas. We love Edgell’s chickpeas as they have no oil and no fuss. You can add yogurt to it if you like or you can leave it without. If we were to use yogurt it would be a low-fat Greek one. You only need a small clove of garlic that needs to be chopped up. Add some water and then blend away.

And there you have it.

This is so much better than the outside ones which are calorie laden and do not have a lot of flavour in them.

If you are losing weight I suggest for you to leave the yoghurt.


How to help the community fight Coronavirus

We want to eradicate Coronavirus altogether from our communities but we need everyone’s help to do this.

Educate yourself on Coronavirus

Coronavirus is a deadly disease which is infectious and contagious. It is a wild and very rapidly spreading disease. Anybody can get it and people do die from it. The WHO has a lovely website about the virus.

When you go shopping

Make sure you wear a face mask. In Victoria you have to wear one. Don’t be like those anti maskers who refuse to mask up and then boast about it on Instagram. Always sanitise your hands as much as you can. Some stores will ask that you wear rubber latex gloves and they will have some there for you.

And whilst wearing the mask don’t touch your face.

Most stores operate online, so if you can please shop online at home before going in. Also many stores are card only now, so please don’t forget your card

Shopping for others

If you want to shop for others, fine. Do check the government’s regulations on this. Some may only want you to do this within 5km of your home. Many elderly and vulnerable live alone. Do let them know as ask them to write you a list to leave on their door. When you pay for the goods ask for the receipt and then put it in one of the bags when you drop it off. Do ask that they transfer the money to your bank account (most bank accounts you can send money to that person’s mobile phone if they have the banking app).

After you finished shopping and before you drop it off, do clean the products and the bag. Many people would have touched the products in store.

Don’t believe in the hype online about there being no virus

There is a lot of hype online about there being no virus and a lot of anti maskers. They believe in all these weird religious things about Coronavirus being evil. If you do so, you will get caught by the police.

Just do the right thing and we’ll all get through this together. The community will thank you for it.


Week 6 of frugal living

This week is looking a little bit bleak as Stage four of the lockdowns are introduced. More and more businesses will shut and it will be harder to get things. The abattoirs will have only two thirds of their workforce working there with the rest possibly stood down and they have to wear PPE.

Many people have lost their jobs and the future of job keeper is extended until sometime next year. But the rate in which people earn in a fortnight will be cut somehow after September. The Government predicts that they will spend $15 billion on it. But not everyone’s accepted into Jobkeeper as businesses have to have been established for 12 months. So I wonder about the newer businesses and their future during this pandemic. This week I have been showing some love to my favorite stores by buying things or online. By buying things I mean staying within my limits and the restrictions

The share market has crashed this week as Victoria’s future looks uncertain.

What we can do under Stage 4

  1. We have a curfew of 8pm each day unless we are going to work at night or caregiving
  2. We can only exercise for an hour
  3. Only one person of the household is allowed to shop for food once a day
  4. We can’t travel outside of 5km from our home (both exercise and errands)
  5. We must wear a face mask outside the house unless you have a valid reason
  6. We can go out of the house for medical care and emergencies
  7. All non essential shops must close (online retail is ok).

Total for this week: $20 at Chemist Warehouse,$20 on a book from Amazon.com and $5 on Optus credit. Most of the food I ate at home. Hence its only $45.


Coronavirus and suicide

The rate of suicide has gone up due to the Coronavirus. All over the world the rate is really high. In America its really high. People are locked in their homes and are isolated from their friends.

woman wearing eyeglasses in grayscale photography
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Staying at home is mentally challenging. Teens are challenged by staying home and getting on top of this. In the UK a teen called Emily died in March. In Victoria, there has been a 33% increase on the number of young people that present to hospitals from this time last year.

Also job losses are another reason for suicide.

How you can help

  • Check in on the person online. It can be on Facebook, What’s app, Instagram etc
  • Send them a few gifts to show that you care
  • Encourage them to talk about mental health issues. During this time they would be cooped up inside and they would want to talk.
  • If you can, buy from small businesses. During this time they are feeling the pinch and will have some mental health problems of their own. Buying that thing and writing good things about them will show that you support them. It could even make someone’s day.
  • Complimenting someone on their outfit and their dog would make their day
  • Checking in on your neighbors once in a while can really boost someone’s mood.

It has just been announced that the State Government in Melbourne will be spending more on mental health due to this pandemic.

Just remember we are all in this together and we will come out on the other side a lot stronger.


Obesity and COVID deaths

The COVID situation is a rapidly evolving one and obesity plays a big part in it. In Britain, alone many people have died due to COVID and most of these people are obese. About 17 million of those COVID deaths are due to obesity. Newsweek says that even mild obesity can put people at risk of catching COVID.

classic hamburger and french fries on wooden board
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SO what classifies as obese?

Obese people have a BMI of 30> and have a lot of fat around their stomach.

So how does this correlate to COVID 19?

COVID19 is a respiratory disease that affects the lungs, heart, and everything else that has to do with body functions. Being overweight means that your essential organs are already suppressed. TCMD says that this is a third possibility. People that are obese already face extra challenges such as the risk of diabetes and heart disease. They also face diminished lung functions and difficulty with the diaphragm. The Sun-Sentinel said that more people with COVID and obesity are presenting in hospitals.

There is still some research being done.

How not to be obese?

  • Nutrition counts. We should be aiming for 2-3 serves of fruits a day and five of vegetables. Many people don’t get enough vegetables in their day. Vegetables and fruit are important for gut health
  • Hydration counts. We should be having 2-4L of water a day.
  • Exercise and movement each day counts. Now that we are working from home exercise is super important. We should aim for 150-300 minutes of vigorous movement per week

Together lets stop the spread of COVID19 and all lead healthier lifestlyes.


The Bloody Long Walk 2020

The Bloody Long Walk is an annual event to raise funds for Mito. The funds will be used in researching a cure for this disease. In previous years it used to start at Fairfield at the Boathouse and then finish in St Kilda. Walkers would go past the city and Southbank before going into St Kilda.

What is Mito?

“Mitochondria are the power houses of the cell providing the body with over 90% of the energy it needs to sustain life. Mitochondria take in sugars and proteins from the food we eat and produce energy called ATP that our bodies use to function properly. Mitochondrial disease (mito) is a debilitating and potentially fatal disease that reduces the ability of the mitochondria to produce this energy. When the mitochondria are not working properly, cells begin to die until eventually whole organ systems fail and the patient’s life itself is compromised.” (definition from the Mito site)

Due to Coronavirus restrictions, The Bloody Long Walk has gone virtual! This year its taking place on August 1-10th. It is a 35 km walk and is a lot of fun to do. In past years people ran that 35km. You can do it anywhere and record your walk with a Garmin or a Fitbit. I have a Garmin.

Over that week I ran 35km but over a few days due to the Government’s Stage 4 restrictions for Metropolitan Melbourne saying that we can’t go out for more than one hour per day.

If it is run again next year they should organise it just like they did in previous years but with a charity sausage sizzle at the end for people that did not partake in the walk so that they can raise even more funds for Mito.

From now until the next time they run the event they could organise some bake sales and cooking competitions to help spread the word and for them to raise more money towards finding a cure for Mito.


Tips to improve consistency

Here are some tips on how to improve consistency. We need to improve consistency to be motivated to stay with your goals. So here are some tips

man in black shirt and black pants climbing a wall
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Stick to the same routine if you can

Sometimes life throws us a curve. But then if you stick to the same routine its easier to stay consistent and on top of your goals.

Change your running route a little bit so that you won’t get bored

You might find that you might like a new route and would love to stick to it.

Get back up on the horse if you get down

It’s ok to make mistakes and go down sometimes as everyone does that from time to time. But you have to get back up and keep going.

When I get my period I find that I can be demotivated to do some work as I’m always having a heavy period with some pain. So I am trying to work on a strategy where I can work whilst having my period.

Plan your day in the morning when you get up

This is so that you won’t get off track with your goals. For example I plan to donate food to the homeless or I plan to write 12 blog posts. Or I plan to do some research

Reflect on your day

At the end of the day if you can reflect on your day. Work out what went well and what didn’t go so well. You could write in your journal about the things that went well and the things that did not go so well.


Learning patience

I am one of the most impatient people that you’ll come across. Patience is a skill that health coaches need when dealing with people. I can never exercise patience at the moment.

fluffy sunset clouds above waves
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We live in times where people are always impatient such as big bosses for the big offices that want everything done now. Impatience raises our stress levels and that’s not good.

During the Coronavirus times, people have had to learn about being patient and not rushing things.

So I started a patience journal online. I got on top of my impatience by not being angry at things that I cannot control such as the Coronavirus. I had to learn about impatience first. Impatience is the desire to act without thinking. 

Learning patience takes a while.  You have to move at different paces. We need to learn patience by practicing pausing into awareness.  

In other words you need to slow down and be mindful and present. 

Situations for which patience is a must (from essential life skills site):


✔ Reaching most goals
✔ Losing weight
✔ Having a baby
✔ Bodybuilding
✔ Becoming a professional career person such as
    doctor, lawyer, engineer
✔ Becoming a top athlete
✔ Becoming a virtuoso in any musical field
✔ The healing of any wounds or illnesses
✔ Getting over loss or tragedy

The benefits of being patient are:

Less stress

More time to think and control yourself in difficult situations

Better understanding of empathy and emotions

Learn and appreciate the process of growth and growth mindset


Aged care and the Coronavirus: is the Government in Victoria to blame for this mess?

Right now the aged care sector in Victoria is in a mess. We have about 450 aged care homes in Victoria and over 900 people in those facilities have Coronavirus, some of which are staff. Staff have to go home to isolate but what about looking after the residents?

The government is partly to blame because they did not provide enough PPE or the staff early on in the pandemic. The Government could have also let the elderly go home and live with their children. The adult children are very concerned for their parents.

The government has provided some ADF support but it is too little too late. The staffing levels at some of these nursing homes were terrible.

I also think that the management of this sector is to blame for not providing enough food for people. A few of the residents that were isolating were neglected. At St Basil’s there has also been some miscommunication between the staff and the resident’s family. They would say that someone is fine but in actual fact, they are not. The management at some of these aged care facilities should have learned from Syndey’s Newmarch house.

Lets hope that the aged care sector gets better within time. It is devastating when people die. People should have been fed properly and looked after as well as being assisted within a timely manner.


5 reasons why I don’t have a car

And I’m happy not to.

We all like to have a car for convenience or getting around but there are some people just like myself that live close to everything and so I don’t really need a car. I live close to the city and close to shops and public transport.

photo of audi parked near trees
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Cars are expensive to drive

You have to buy the car and then you have to pay for things like petrol, registration, maintainance etc. I just don’t have the money to do all that.

In the current COVID environment we need money for other things

Driving a car pollutes the environment

All the smoke from the cars exhaust will pollute the environment and it is toxic for people to breathe in.

Having a car means that you can go places (and break the rules).

Without a car I cannot go everywhere. I wouldn’t be able to visit regional Victoria without a car as there are not many train services to regional Victoria

Having a car means that there is less opportunity for exercise

If I had a car I would not be able to walk everywhere and I want to walk everywhere. I love the exercise and fresh air. When I go to the shops I like to use my arms and carry everything home myself.

As a runner I am used to travelling long distances.

Not having a car means that I can be more accountable

Having a car means that it is private and people can’t see you. This would mean that we cannot see the potential rule-breakers. In the past week, alone over 100 fines have been issued in Victoria for breaches of COVID rules