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.

American Heart Health month

This month is Heart Health month. Over 70% of people have heart disease or some other diseases. This month is all about making good food and lifestyle choices and talk about which ones are the bad ones.

It is an American initiative because about 1 in 4 deaths is due to heart disease. Heart disease affects both men and women but people who are obese have a higher risk of getting heart disease.

We went vegetarian for most of the month as meat has too much saturated fat and that’s not good for the heart.

The use of tobacco is one way to prevent heart disease. In Australia we use quite a bit of tobacco. But according to this report there has been an increase in the amount of people choosing not to smoke.

Also the amount of people choosing not to drink and opting for alcohol free drinks has gone up. This month we sampled Carlton zero which is a non alcoholic beer. This is good as it lowers stress on the heart. But its a pity that not many cafes and restaurants have these options for customers. As such we saw a rise in attacks and assaults in Melbourne and Australia.

We did a lot of exercise that month as a chance to improve our cardiovascular health. We did more than 150 mins of vigorous exercise and we enjoyed that.

So where to from here?

  • From here we should encourage more cafes and restaurants to serve sugar free drinks to consumers if they would like
  • There should be more alcohol free beers and wines in pubs, clubs and nightclubs all over Australia. TGI friday’s is a great start.
  • We should encourage people to move more and sit less. Moving more and sitting less makes people happier and healthier.
  • Junk food should be more expensive and fresh food should be cheaper for everyone. Those in low income families would benefit from cheaper fruits and vegetables.


2012 is a sci fi movie starring John Cusack. Its about the earth ending and climate change. Here they talk about the unsteady globe and the temperatures that are rising. People are forced to evacuate. There is a lot of panic.

There’s tsunamis and earthquakes and buildings falling. Its a movie about survival of the fittest and I thought it would be befitting to talk about it here since climate change is on the agenda. The movie goes for two hours and thirty minutes.

It starts off in California where Jackson (John Curtis) is a non fiction writer. He just got his first book published and people are buying it. He is divorced and Kate (Amanda Peet) is living with this surgeon Gordon who is Kate’s new boyfriend. He seems a bit self centred always talking about Jackson and putting him down. There are lots of references to dying.

The earth’s core moves a lot, but in the end most of the people survived as they were evacuated on these huge giant ships and aircraft.

So what can we learn from this movie?

  • Don’t use energy unneccessarily
  • Don’t buy single plastic things
  • We should worry about the factories that use up a lot of the earth’s resources to produce things- a lot of the fumes from the factories destroy the ozone layer
  • We should cycle, walk or use public transport more often instead of our cars- diesel fumes from the cars destroy the ozone layer

Rent it now on Youtube or you can watch it on Amazon Prime for free

The importance of nutrition and hydration in the workplace and uni

We got the idea from Creative impact co who suggests eating three meals a day and breakfast. They say that so many of us eat on the run rather than taking the time to eat your food.

What does your day look like?

For many people they get up around 6:30am and then they start work at 8am-8:30am. For some of the lucky ones they start a bit later. Most people are too rushed to get a sit down breakfast going. A sit down breakfast is a great idea as it relaxes you and gets your system off to a good start.

And then they have lunch at 12:30pm-1pmish. And then at 3pmish they would snack on whatever. Most people don’t get home until late and then they’ll just want takeaway.

Why does it matter

What you eat affects your mood and performance in uni and work! Good food equals good mood. If you eat lots of fruits, nuts and vegetables you’ll be fuller for longer and then you won’t reach for the cookie jar at 3pm.

If you eat good food you’ll concentrate much better in work and at school. Eat a nourishing lunch full of protein, fats and carbs and then you will feel full.

Good nutrition matters as there will be lesser sick days and more productivity. You can cope with stress much better and sleep much better.

SO what could a better day for you look like?

Everyone is different. But I would have breakfast in the morning which contains a glass of milk and maybe chia seeds.

For lunch I’d have something vegetarian and for dinner my meals vary as I don’t plan ahead. I just use whatever is in the fridge. My flatmates cook for me sometimes.

For snacks I enjoy my protein shakes and fruit and various other things.


Hydration is key and we should have a 1L-2L water bottle at our desk or in our bag. Instead of your afternoon coffee why not do a herbal tea instead as that hydrates and relaxes you. In the morning at breakfast time, why not start off with a green tea and drink one liter of that as it hydrates you.

Do whatever works for you!

The difference between sugary drinks and non sugary ones

This article was written for Febfast- a month in which we ditch added sugar.

Ditching added sugar is a great idea and soft drink companies should make sugarless soft drinks to combat the ever growing rate of obesity as cited in Medical News today.

By that we mean soft drinks and juices. There are quite a few non sugary drinks on the market. The latest one is the pepsi one where we were tested on taste at Flinders st station.

The taste is the same so we could not tell. And then I tried the Solo and loved it. This time there was no sugar and it gave me that hit. And I also tried the Lipton Iced tea no sugar and enjoyed that! Here they used stevia in their drinks.

I tried the sugarless Gatorade and its all good. I felt virtuous after all.

I also tried the low sugar slurpee and it was ok. The mango one at 7/11 is really nice.

But should cafes and places other than the supermarkets sell them?

Yes! Then they would get more health conscious customers to their stores. When we went to some of these cafes there were not many soft drink alternatives provided except for sugarless coke and some people don’t want to drink this due to the fact that it has too much caffeine in it.

We should suggest that the cafes and restaurants make a change for the better and provide more sugar free alternatives for customers that want to better their health.

If the cafes sold more sugar free drinks and they gave them out to customers as samples, it could help curb the ever growing obesity issue!

We are up for the sugar free drink movement and hope it stays for a long while.

Four simple ways to reduce anxiety

We all have anxiety sometimes. We all need time to unwind and we should reduce anxiety. If we have too much anxiety we gain weight and we don’t sleep well. Too much anxiety can affect our way of life including our relationships with people.

Photo by Binoid CBD on

Reconnect yourself

If you reconnect yourself you can feel when you are hurting and comfort yourself. Comforting yourself might be journalling or cooking, whatever you like to do. Or it can be talking to a friend.

Have some downtime each day where you do nothing.

For me I love to watch Youtube or go outside for a walk. I love to watch those WWYD videos as they give people hope and give me some hope too. It inspires me to help other people.

Having downtime is important for relaxing the mind and the body. Without it we do not function well and we run like a well oiled machine but with a part or two missing.

Start a gratitude journal

Journaling your thoughts is a great idea and can help you express your feelings. You can know yourself a bit better. You can do it electronically or in a physical book. A physical book though is a lot more fun and there are some nice books that you can buy at Typo.

Learn mindfulness and befriend the mind

Mindfulness is about being in the present and not dwelling on the past. The mind can do wonderful things for us. The mind can think of wonderful things rather than negative thoughts. Here we can meditate and just relax. Just focus on your breathing.

We feel much happier if we don’t dwell on the past.

An open letter to councils

Here is a letter to the council should you wish to start up your own pantry for the homeless. Homelessness is growing more and more each day and its about time that we put an open food pantry in most councils and cities. So here is a sample of a letter that you can use to help you get started

Photo by Kokil Sharma on

Dear Council (insert the name here),

My name is (insert name here) and I work with homeless people. I have an idea about having an open food pantry where people can put their unwanted food stuffs in there. Homeless people can just help themselves to the pantry.

The benefits for you would be reducing the cost of homelessness and mental health issues that happen in your area. The pantry is not that expensive to set up as you can buy most of the stuff from your local hardware store and there are volunteers that can help you. Once it is run you can donate food and toiletries

All the pantry needs is just your approval on your land and in your council,

Hope to hear from you soon,

We hope that this letter helps you to open your own pantry which is not that hard to do. You just need a small space, some volunteers, a permit and some materials from the hardware store.

Our January Events

Here’s a roundup of our January events. And boy it was busy this month.

The opening of Summertime Social

Summertime Social is a new pop up place in Russell st rooftop where the carpark is and where the Big Umbrella is. Here they had $6 cocktails, beer and wine all weekend. Patrons enjoyed free games and doughnuts. I didn’t have the doughnuts because it was too hot for them and the icing had melted.

But what I did enjoy was the strawberry gin ice cream and the chips. Oh and they are a cashless system.

They are around until the end of March.

South Melbourne Night Market Opening night

South Melbourne Market has a summertime night market which is always crowded from 5pm-8pm. The market is outside the 96 tram stop which makes it super easy to get to from the city.

There were so many food trucks and almost all the shops were open. Food was priced between $10-$20 for mains. Dessert was $7-$8. You can buy drinks at the discount shop as they stayed open at this time.

The only downside is that some of the Asian shops close way early and the kitchen at Yo Sushi was closed. If the kitchen at Yo Sushi was to close so early they should consider closing up shop at 4pm.

Bubble tea festival

This festival was held on the weekend of Chinese New year in Melbourne Central. This was a really popular festival with really long queues at the bubble tea shops in Melbourne Central. You had to purchase one bubble tea and you’ll get one token. You can exchange that one token at the Bubble mart until their items have run out for the day.

The Queensbridge Chinese New year festival

This was not as great as last year. I went there on opening night and there were no free samples of sauce to take home. The only food samples was the Malaysian meat pieces. There was no dragon dancing and very limited food stalls.

Australian Open at Federation Square

This was free to attend and many tennis fans enjoy coming here. A ticket at the tennis itself cost $50 and they don’t give away many freebies. Here we got some hair gel and an eye mask to take home. People brought their own lunches and drinks in.

We enjoyed watching the tennis on the big screen and cheering on our favourite players. It was a sunny day and sunscreen was provided. There was free coffee at the Lavazza stand.

Crazy clothes Fridays

Photo by Wilson da Vitorino on

Office workplace culture can be stressful at times. So I have this awesome idea of offices having these crazy clothes Fridays. People dress up in a costume of a particular theme or pjs and they work for that day. This is meant to be a stress free idea to get people laughing and talking.

But businesses don’t have to do this if they don’t want to (ie a law firm or a bank).

I thought about this idea after seeing Mind Body Miko’s crazy idea for different coloured socks and thought that could work.

For example workers could dress up as witches and ghouls one week and fairytale characters the next week or superheroes or villains. Workers could use their local op shops to scour outfits. They could raise some money for charity this way. People donate the money (whatever amount they’d like to give) into a small box which a charity gets decided later on as everyone might have a different charity that they’d like to volunteer with. There could be a vote and whoever’s costume is the best gets the most money for their charity. The bushfire relief is one charity where they could donate that money.

Try this idea and see how you go. Happier employees equates to much more productive ones. Happier employees equates to healthier employees and less sick days which is what a company wants.

Health bloggers and where do we sit

We are health coaches. We are not your doctor!

We the health bloggers sit somewhere in the middle. We advocate on behalf of the public and advise the public on what to do. We attend seminars regularly and include the low income earners in the information we give.

The healthcare world is very complex and its tough on everyone

In the healthcare world there is so many occupations and patients have to see their GP. Sometimes its bulk billed other times its not. Who pays for the service? Is it you or them? The private insurers don’t give much back to the doctor and the hospital so the patient is left wondering whether they should go private or not.

With health blogs most of the information is free, but the services that some of them offer is not.

Usually patients have more than one problem and they might end up seeing multiple people. In the healthcare spectrum on the top sits the Government. The Government funds some of the doctors and hospitals. Then we have the doctors, pharmacists themselves and the hospitals. The dieticians and nutritionists communicates with the doctors and patients regarding their needs. After that its the health blogger who understands the jargon and can clearly communicate that better to the public. And then down the bottom is the gym who has no idea of what a healthy diet looks like.

We’re always learning and reading new books about things and the way we communicate with people. We try to be on people’s level and not in our own world or bossing people around. We don’t say do this or that. Rather it’s up to people. We learn about people’s mindset this way.

We also learn about sustainability and emotions and how they can impact our eating patterns as that is important for our patients to know. We learn about sustainable practices and the ways that it best suits our clients.

We don’t do diet drinks and shakes and quick fixes. Rather we do things in a sustainable manner.

Do feel free to comment here as well as contacting us about your health problems that you may have.

Brittany runs a Marathon

The story is a motivational one and one about why you should take up running even though you are fat or have a disability. It just goes to show that anyone can run. This movie is on Amazon Prime and for new customers they get 30 days free.

This movie is based around a woman’s life- Brittany. And it’s a true story about this sad 27 year old who is fat, drinks a lot and is lazy. She has an apartment and a job that doesn’t pay so well at the theatre. She sleeps a lot during the day. At the beginning she was always late for work because she missed her train. But then when she started training for the New York City marathon, she manages to get the train.

The first time she went to the doctor he recommended that she lose weight and become healthy. And that’s what she did. It takes a lot of courage to become healthier and run a marathon.

At the beginning of the movie Brittany weighed 193 pounds and then she started running a mile, then two miles. Over time she ran faster and faster. Her New York city time was 3:49 hours. That year that she trained, she befriends Catherine who lives in the same apartment block as her and is always perfect. She also baby sits a dog and befriends Jern. Eventually they move in together and they become intimate. At this time she loses her other drinking friends especially Gretchen. Gretchen, although a teacher seemed a bit self centred and not learning to respect Brittany’s space and no.

Later on she gets kicked out and moves back home. She also gets a stress fracture. But a year later she runs the marathon.

Do see the movie if you like to be motivated to lose weight.

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