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.

Why we would not buy followers on Instagram

We talk about why we do not buy followers on Instagram, as many people are messaging us for it. These messages always end up in the spam.

These days too many people are asking Healthyintstudents to buy followers from their website on Instagram. Many other Instagrammers do that sort of thing. There are a couple of Instagrammers that do this sort of thing.

These companies can charge anywhere between $10- USD 200 for 500-2000 followers.

The number one reason why we don’t buy followers is due to integrity and reputation. Buying followers means that we would undermine the site’s integrity and reputation as a health blogger. It wouldn’t be fair to other people. It would not be fair to the small businesses that had lost everything.

Engagement for us is everything. Comments for us is better than followers. A share of something is way more engaging for us. This means that someone likes something of ours and agrees.

Instagram does have a policy of not buying followers.  Instagram will find you out, and there will be a lawsuit like there was in 2019. 

Venturebeat mentions that Instagram has started cracking down on fake likes and followers. They say that we should post engaging content and things that people like rather than fake rubbish.

We would rather share someone’s post if they posted something that our followers and we would like. Similarly, we don’t mind that a business shares our post on Instagram if we really liked something. Then they would have more customers.

Shortly it is hoped that Instagram will crack down on those spammy accounts. Things to look out for is if they have heaps of followers, but they don’t post much. According to Venturebeat, if they have a lot of followers, they don’t follow many people. That is a sign.


National Nutrition week

It was National Nutrition week from the 12th of October to the 18th of October 2020.

Because of the Coronavirus and people staying at home a lot more, nutrition and gut health is essential. During the last six months of lockdown, it is reported that many people put on weight (myself not included, but other bloggers like Thanh).

This week it is essential to focus on heart-healthy food. For lunch, on the 1st day, I had a salad with Moro Olive oil. I had a homemade steak with mushrooms and Birds eye chips. There is nothing wrong with Pub food, but if you are going to the pub all the time or having takeaway pub food, then it is an issue. Pub food all the time is not healthy for the gut. Pub food is full of bad fats, and it’s usually frozen. The food is generally cooked in cheap vegetable oil.

I have been trying to up my vegetable game, and that is good. I had a salad for a couple of days for lunch, and some multigrain rolls from Coles. It was awesome. I also had watermelon, pear, bananas, and a wide variety of fruits. Even though it is not cold, I enjoyed some oats. Oats are full of fiber and can help lower cholesterol. They are also good for the heart.

I enjoyed tacos from Dingo Ate my Taco. They do the best homemade tacos ever, and I tried the pork one with beans and loved it.

On Friday it was my flatmate’s birthday, so I enjoyed some homemade spaghetti marinara and a small piece of black forest cake from Fergusson plarre.

Overall it was a good week, and I could do this at home while in lockdown.

Halloween 2020

It will look a little bit different this year due to COVID19. You might not be able to go trick or treating, but you could have a small gathering and have fun doing it. It could be on one of your kid’s birthdays at a tiny party in the park (note: In Victoria, we can’t do this until the 19th!). Even then, you still cant visit each other’s houses for Halloween.

Pumpkins on Stairs in Front of A Door

Halloween is on the 31st of October. It is prevalent in the US but not so much in Australia. Due to the virus, many events have been canceled.

You can do themed scavenger hunts and hold a Halloween party provided that it’s only a small gathering. You should all wear masks, and you can make some themed face masks.

You can make your own cupcakes and other treats. If you can’t see friends, why not make it a virtual one. Turn off all the lights and scare each other online. You could make a virtual party with all the trimmings.

Due to the virus, I don’t whether trick or treating would be such a good idea. It involves getting close to people and not within the 1.5-meter distance. Also, no grabbing candy from the bowl this year as it could be a way to spread the virus. You could, however, give out some small and secure lolly bags with gloves on. Or you could hand people their sweets (but wear your gloves and mask)!

Hope this helps in times of COVID!

Some ways to add more fruit into your diet

Eating fruit does not have to be boring. Kaylielacey supports that idea. There are many different varieties of fruit, and we should eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

Eating fruit can help you maintain a healthy weight, and many people do not like to eat many fruits. 

Fruk magazine says that about 50% of people in the UK do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

The USDA guidelines say that many Americans are not eating enough fruit. You need to have about two serves of fruit a day, and here’s how:

You can make a fruit smoothie. In one of your shops, you can buy some frozen fruit to put into the freezer for when you can’t be bothered to go out. You can also make your own fruit juices.

Fruit can be added to a salad. Think chicken and orange with the spinach salad.

If you don’t like to eat fruit whole, why not do a green juice

You can add fruits to your morning cereal or oats. It can be added to oats.

Some people love fruit and yogurt as a snack.

Banana pancakes are a great way to enjoy fruit and pancakes together.

In summer, we love our icy poles. At home, fruit can be used to make homemade icy poles. Not only do these taste good, but they have a lot less sugar, and they are cheaper.


The case against sugar: is natural sweetener better

We talk about sweetener vs. sugar and which is better for you. Most of us in COVID isolation has put on weight, and over 50% of Americans eat way too much sugar, which is bad for you. We add it to our coffee, and it is found in cakes, biscuits, some cereals, and jam.

There are 42 varieties of sugar, some of which are artificial. White sugar is one of them.

White sugar

White sugar is the calorie-laden sugars that are normally added to everything. There are 16 calories in one teaspoon. So 2 teaspoons of that are 32 calories.

What is sweetener?

Sweetener is natural sugars which have saccharin. It has 0.4 calories in each sachet. You can find them in the health food stores, and some cafes might have them. It can be added to baking and everything else that you make at home with sugar. You can also add it to coffee instead of your sugar.

Over the years, we got so many packets of sweetener at health expos that we decided to try the Norbu ones during isolation. These are naturally healthy for you, and I normally add two sachets to oats and one to coffee.

Stevia is a type of sweetener, and there was a study done on this in the States. It has zero calories, and The Journal of Nutrition has said that stevia beverages reduced appetite in healthy people. Thus it meant that they were less hungry before lunch

Next time when you are in the supermarket, do try sweetener instead of sugar. You might find that it tastes better and it’s better for your health. They are not as sweet as white sugar. After a while, you’ll get used to the taste. At first, you might find the taste a bit weird but keep trying, and you’ll get used to it.

Peer support for mental health and why we need it more now

Mental health has always been an issue for many, but we have seen it skyrocket during Coronavirus times, with one Tuesday being Lifeline’s busiest day.

woman wearing eyeglasses in grayscale photography

Photo by Elina Krima on

Peer support groups for mental health can effectively reduce the number of hospitalizations and suicides. Canada has its peer support program and its doing quite well. Victoria has that sort of program, and there is no fee.

But you usually have to be referred to that sort of program, and your GP can do that if you need it. Also, a range of mental health services can make that referral for you.

The peer support groups are run by volunteers who have had the same experience as you, so they know what you are going through.

What does the peer support group do?

They provide hope for someone that is experiencing mental illness on the path to recovery. Peer support looks at health wellness rather than the disability of that person. These people are like your friend. It is a volunteer program that lessens the amount of hospitalization needed and suicide. It can save the Government money in the long run.

Peer support during  COVID

In New South Wales, Australia, $73 million has been provided to these services to meet the extra demand for service. In Victoria, it is estimated that the same amount would be offered due to the high intake of calls. Lifeline receives about 90000 calls a month, according to Mamamia. 

If you have mental health problems, don’t wait until it’s too late. Do go and see your GP. If you are afraid of catching the virus from them, most of them will do telehealth.

If you can do volunteer for a peer support program near you. The benefits of this would be amazing, and you could make someone’s day.

Week 16 of frugal living

This week has been a bit bleak for all of us. It seems that Victoria is getting further and further behind in the economy with all the lockdowns. And it seems that Britain is about to have their lockdowns as they have gone over 500,000 coronavirus cases. They, too, will have their pubs shut and overnight stays banned. People complain about how bad it is here; well, wait until you see what’s over there. Portugal is the same thing too, and the London situation is getting worse, not better.

This week we had steak and chips for dinner. The steak was $14 at Woolies for two small pieces, and then we had to buy another packet just to feed the three of us. Then another day, we had homemade hamburgers with the $1 bag of buns from Coles.

We grow broad beans and the like, so we have had some salads. For one of the dinners, we had a pancake with red cabbage on top. We were still hungry after that, so we had mini party pies from the freezer.

It was Cafe SMART’s homelessness week and some of the cafes supported their campaign. I did buy a coffee to show them some support.

On the cool days, I have had some oats. I also enjoyed some black tea to remember a family member who had passed away. We can’t see them due to Coronavirus.

It looks like online shopping for a little while longer as the shops won’t open for a while yet. This week I bought a pair of Skechers shoes for $50 online.

Buddha’s stir fry

Are you trying to go vegetarian? If so this might be a great dish for you. This would be a great Meatless Monday dish.

This stir fry has the Chinese wood ear mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, Chinese mushrooms, bean sprouts, tofu, ginger, snowpeas, and the like. You can have it with rice. This video is from The Art of Cooking on Youtube.

You can get the Wood Ear mushrooms and the Chinese mushrooms from your local Asian grocery store. They come in the dried form so you might have to soak these for a few hours before using.

You would have this dish with rice or noodles.

Keeping your skin dry with QV skincare

It is almost summer in Victoria, and summer for us means that it will be hot and dry. In Victoria, we have to wear a mask when we are outside of our home. This will be made mandatory for all of the summer until we can find a vaccine.

Many people, including myself, get dehydrated skin underneath the mask. When it is hot, we sweat a lot and become really dehydrated. One way of looking after our skin is to drink lots of water, but most people don’t like this idea of drinking 2-4L of water. In the summer, we should be drinking about 4L of water. 1 L of water can be found in our fresh fruits and vegetables, depending on how you cook them.

But then there is QV skincare. They are for all skin types, including the most sensitive ones. You can find them at Chemist Warehouse and other good pharmacies. I have been using them for a while now. My skin has been moist, and I have no rash. My skin is sensitive.

Most people use disposable masks, which I find dries out their skin really easily. I use the best cotton ones.

Now that you have to wear masks a lot, it’s best not to wear any makeup under the mask. You are beautiful, just as you are.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now is a book about positivity, hope, and changing your way of thinking. Powell ( also read the book and shares his views on it. Most of the time, during COVID, we are very negative people towards each other.

The book must be read in complete silence to really appreciate spirituality and calmness.

During COVID, we need to feel the pain but find a way out of that pain and suffering that we feel. The book uses simple language to entice us to be more spiritual and kind. It is a small book that you can take anywhere.

You need to enjoy being in the present moment and not create problems for yourself. Problems and fears are illusions. True wealth and happiness are inside you. The book talks about being open and being connected to the world around you and yourself. You should learn to love yourself. “If you can’t love yourself, how do you expect to love others?”You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as mentions this. Just learn to enjoy your own company. Go places by yourself.

It talks about being present in the now. People who are not in the now are always negative. For example, the COVID anti maskers. They think that COVID is a scam. But it actually isn’t. People create fear by having what-if moments. People always procrastinate, and fear is the reason. If people were just in the present moment, they would be living.

Waiting is a state of mind. We constantly wait for things to happen rather than be proactive about it.

And then it talks about the female pain which is always felt at that time of the month. We should be more sympathetic towards women at this time. Most women know how to handle their pain, and they do it well. But we should live in the now, which is mostly uncertainty due to COVID19.

We all must learn to live in the present moment and find a way out of our psychological and physical pain. We must also learn to be proactive and take action when we can