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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

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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.

Top 10 emergency foods to have on hand

This article was written for the Coronavirus where many countries are struggling and their people might be in a lockdown. The lockdowns last about 6-8 weeks. In Australia we are really lucky that our lockdowns involve trips to the supermarket

But here is our list. You can mix and match the foods that you have to your liking. Our list is full of the foods that you’ll need to survive and stay nourished without putting on much weight.

  1. Frozen fruit and veg- it’s a good idea to stock up on the fruits and veg at the market or green grocer and then keep some of it in the freezer. They last up to a month or two. You can make smoothies and meals out of them. Even better if you have a veggie patch where you can pick your veg each day.
  2. Canned veg and tomatoes- this is good for soups and sauces such as bolognaise. You should have enough to get you through the lockdown
  3. Rice- you need some sort of carbs to get through the day. About 2 bags of 10kgs of rice will be enough for the lockdown
  4. Canned meat and tuna- we need to have our proteins each day. Get a variety of different meats and things.
  5. Soup stock- this will be good for making all sorts of soups when you need it
  6. Cooking oil- you should have about 5L which is enough to get you through the lockdown and safely on the other side of the pandemic
  7. Flour- you should have about 5-10kgs of flour for making bread and cakes and things like pasta
  8. Long life milk- this will come in handy if you want to make a whole range of things like pancakes and sauces for meals. Plus it is good for the bones. Get about 12 cartons of 1L milks to last you. These can keep for about 6 months.
  9. Frozen meat and fish- you should have enough to last you about 3-6 weeks. Frozen proteins can keep for a while in the freezer. You just have to defrost what you’ll need each day
  10. Herbs and spices- you should already have a whole thing of them and if you are lucky you might just grow them in your garden

Why processed foods are bad for you

We talk about why processed foods are bad for you

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Pexels.com

In the US and UK obesity is at all time high. Earlier this week I watched a new report about people in Melbourne’s low income suburbs buying all these junk food as the supermarkets price them pretty cheap. It is the same in 7/11. All the processed food are at the front of the store with all the fresh stuff at the back. The supermarkets want people to buy these foods now that we are in lockdown.

Processed foods are high in sugar, salt and fats. They are also high in calories and if you want to lose weight, you don’t need those empty calories. According to Mind Body Green they are bad for gut health. Every day we are bombarded at the supermarket with all these foods. The supermarkets place them at the front of the store so that people will buy them. These junk foods attract the people on low income because that’s all they can afford.

Yes we can’t change the environment. But we can change our attitude and buying habits. Like for example my flatmate buys all these crappy snacks but I just don’t eat them and instead buy my own. Avoid the junk food at the supermarket. Know what you want before you get there. Write a list if you have to.

We should try and eat more natural foods. We are deficient in fruits, vegetables and fish and seafood and whole grains. Its ok to have a little bit of processed food from time to time just as a treat but nothing more.

Three ways to spread kindness online

This is an ad supported by the Red Shield Appeal

I was inspired by Creative Impact Co to write about spreading kindness online. During the Covid season millions of people have lost their jobs and charities are stretched to the brink with needy people.

So here are three ways to spread kindness

  1. Compliment someone. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way. It could just make their day.
  2. Spread awareness about your favourite small business and show your support. I have been doing this on Instagram. There is a sticker called Support Small Small business and there you put the name of small business in your story.
  3. Support your favourite charity if you can whether that would be sharing their posts or supporting them financially. For me that would be the Red Shield Appeal and you can donate to the Salvos. Another favourite one is the Ascot Vale Little Pantry. They are doing it tough at the moment. Many charities also have some form of cooking competition where you can enter and people donate money to the charity.

Procrastination

This article is mainly for the people that work at home. Many office workers are working from home and have no idea how to manage their time and tasks wisely.

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

Everyone goes through that stage. And for me during the Covid phase it was easier for me to keep playing games rather than study. It’s because I’m in the comfort of my own home and there is no one to push me around.

Before the Covid hit hard I was doing too much and mentally it did exhaust me. I couldn’t sleep so well at night and went to the toilet too many times.

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is defined as putting off tasks that you hate but have to do until you can no longer put them off.

There are four types

  1. The perfectionist one- these people want the best and they want to achieve the best
  2. The anxious type- this type of person is usually bad at managing their time and is just anxious about starting that task.
  3. The fun type- this person would do anything rather than the dreaded task
  4. The plenty of time type who thinks that they have plenty of time to do something when they don’t

How to overcome procrastination

Prioritize your work at the start of the day. Find out what needs to be done first and which things are important. Most work has a due date so make sure that when you work from home you schedule in that time and you stick to those time blocks. Make sure that there are no distractions during that time. Don’t forget to schedule in breaks in the day and time for exercise.

During those time blocks don’t go on Facebook or Instagram (or Youtube) unless the job requires it. Leave those fun activities for later. Do the work first and then put in fun activities at the end if you have time.

Break a big task into smaller ones and that way you won’t be so overwhelmed.

Fruitcake using the items in the Woolworths basic box

The Woolworths Basics box is $80 and it includes all the basic needs for a weekly shop. You can buy in online for people that are vulnerable such as the elderly and people on low incomes. The delivery fee is included.

Image courtesy of EWESPECIAL

Here when I saw that mixed fruits and sugar and flour were included I thought of a fruitcake. The only thing you need is brandy. The Salvos do this for the needy with custard.

I got this recipe from Allrecipes.

Servings: 10

Yield:1 – 8 inch cake

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

  • 12 ounces candied mixed fruit
  • 5 ounces glace cherries, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces candied mixed citrus peel
  • 2 ounces chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • 12 ounces sifted self-rising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Line one 8 inch deep sided cake tin with parchment paper.
  • Step 2 Place the fruit cherries, peel, walnuts, sugar, butter or margarine, mixed spice, baking soda and milk in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let mixture cool to body temperature.
  • Step 3 Stir in the flour and the eggs. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Wrap outside of pan with brown paper or newspaper.
  • Step 4 Bake at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 40 minutes then reduce temperature to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and continue to baking cake for 1-1/2 hours. Remove cake from oven and allow it to cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn it out onto a cooling rack, remove greaseproof paper and leave until cool. Cake can be stored for up to 6 months wrapped in foil and in an air tight tin.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan

Why having a balanced lifestyle is important

I got the idea from KIHT Collective who says that we should not be counting calories but macros. In this day and age we should not be obsessed over weight. And we should not be obsessed about going to the gym all the time. Its ok to miss a few sessions and work at your own pace

Macros are just equally as important and its what your body needs. Like you need to have enough fiber and proteins and carbs as well as fats for your body to function well. Everybody is different, no two people are the same.

When it comes to exercise do something that you like, not because you have to. Don’t feel like you have to go to gym all the time just to lose weight. You should want to go there because it is your happy place. But if you don’t like the gym you could just take a walk along the beach or do a leisurely ride. Or you could do an outdoor bootcamp if you enjoy being around people and outdoors.

People that sell those diet products online with no science qualification, I just want punch them in the face sometimes.

How to create balance with food

  • 80% of your food should be nutritious and the 20% of it should be a treat. And then that way it would make mealtimes more enjoyable.
  • We like simple whole foods. Simple whole foods makes us happy.
  • IN our cupboard we have beans, rice, canned tomatoes, tuna and the like and no processed foods. Occasionally my flatmate will buy some.
  • Just enjoy food- eating shouldn’t be a chore. Do what makes you happy. You don’t have to go on a superfood trend just because everyone is online.

Mental Health Awareness week

Last week was Mental Health Awareness week. During the Coronavirus people had become really anxious. This came at such a good time as people are worried about their finances and losing their jobs. So here’s how my week went

Monday:

Did lots and lots of weeding which was good for the mind. Afterwards whilst I was sore I was happy that the garden was nice and tidy. It was a nice day for the gardening and walking

Tuesday

I read about this online fundraiser that is happening in London and wondered if similar things would happen here. If that did it would be really good for those that can’t afford to get to their mental health or other health professionals and can’t afford the basics. The Government pledges a $48 billion fund towards mental health. But I wonder how much will be used by the services.

Wednesday

Today I listened to this webinar on mental health from a mental health service in Victoria and they say that 99% of the issues are about money. Now I’m glad that I spent a little bit of my own money to support the economy through these rough times. And it is predicted that it would even get rougher by the minute.

This weekend was the launch of the Red Shield Appeal. Now I know that it couldn’t come at a better time so I encourage you to donate whenever you can. These charities are struggling due to the rise in unemployment.

Thursday

Today I participated in a few lectures about health and fintess industry. It has never been more important that we stick together as an industry and do the right thing by our clients. That means no more sweets and cookies.

I also read an empowering book called Nudge

Friday

Today I ran slow but I was ok about doing a bad run. I heard lots more devastating stuff such as the coronavirus toll reach 5,160,000 people in the world. Many people had still not recovered yet, yet the countries are starting to open up. Brazil has had its worst day.

Saturday and Sunday

I did nothing much. On Saturday it was raining so I couldn’t go out for a run. But on Sunday it was much better and I went for my run which was good. This time I smashed my 150 mins of vigorous activity goal which was great. At first I thought I could not run and then I ran and I enjoyed myself. Also that day it was said that the gyms will open on June 22nd which gives me hope and something to look forward to.

But for many others it might not have been the answer that they had hoped for.

Its Ok to not be ok during the Covid times

We are not alone. This article was produced for Mental Health Month in recognition of Coronavirus.

A Current Affair has posted a video about mental health and the support that you can get from it. As lockdown restrictions ease people are fearful of going out because the risk of Coronavirus is high for people that have chronic conditions. After lockdown Beyond Blue says that there will be more calls because people have lost their jobs.

Also the rate of domestic violence is up and Victoria Police recognises this.

In fact the Federal Government has put aside $48 billion for mental health. What they could have done right from the beginning is to close down all the fast food chains like they did in the UK and leave the gyms where they were pre covid 19.

It is ok to not be ok. A search done on Bing revealed 103,000,000 results as more and more people die from these disease. People are being isolated right now and many will be worried about getting the Coronavirus when they do decide to go out. The Independent says that the world will likely face a mental health crisis when this is all over.

If you want to go out, just go out at your own pace and don’t go to crowded places. It will take a while for society to get back to normal and it will take you time to find your feet again.

National Burger day: a homemade recipe

Next Thursday the 28th is National Burger day. Whilst we wouldn’t be allowed out due to Coronavirus restrictions, you can still have a burger at home.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

A homemade burger with a fried egg is about 300-450 calories depending on what’s in there. You could do a vegetarian Lentil burger or you could do the standard meat one. The standard meat one normally has bacon in it. What you will need is burger buns, meat patties (you can make them yourself) or lentil patties, tomato sauce, avocado, onions, lettuce, gherkin, beetroot, cheese and a fried egg.

We used Tip top’s burger buns which was bought at Coles and the patties were homemade. We caramelised the onions and toasted the bread in a sandwich maker.

But here’s a video from How to Basic on Youtube

Do enjoy your burger with a beer if you like or just on its own.

A day in the life of lockdown

Now that we are home more often, here is our Work at Home schedule.

On weekends it is family and housework time hence this schedule doesn’t work then. This is my weekday schedule

830am- I wake up, have breakfast and check my phone. I usually have tea with breakfast

10am- usually doing Crosstitch or reading a book. Or gardening. Right now I’m reading Nudge. Its a book about society and decision making.

11am- usually checking my emails and blog. By then I’m having a coffee. If I have time I’m also listening to some podcasts about things and fitness. Once a week we have a meeting to talk about this blog and other things.

12:30pm- lunch. For me lunch is usually leftovers from the night before or a salad

1:30pm- I usually go for a walk or a run in the park. By then there are not too many people and its much easier to practice social distancing. I’m not really good at social distancing in crowds so its better to do it when there are less people

3:30pm. I’m usually home and I would want my water as I’m thirsty. By then I would start work on my blog. This is when Asia and almost everyone is up.

4:30pm- snack time. It’s usually milk but it can be some other things too.

5pm- Body Combat practising time and lectures. When the gym reopens I’d like to try and learn Body Combat instructing. I know RPM but cannot afford the bike and the gym does not lend bikes

I also enjoy a green tea then

7pm- dinner time. For dinner we just have whatever we feel like. There are no set rules in this house.

7:30pm- more work on my blog time. This is the time where I’m less distracted and I know that the US and the UK has just woken up so I publish articles then. Or do some research

10pm- its relaxing time before bed

11pm- bedtime

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