Poynton’s by Akira

Poynton’s is a nursery which has a café inside of it. Here they have the largest range of plants and seedlings as well as some indoor furnishings. I have always loved going to their café which serves some of the best afternoon treats for a post run/walk snack. They are opposite the park hence the lovely view from the cafe

They don’t do the best coffees but I do like relaxing in their café and enjoying their snacks.

They do the best apple crumble which is soft, warm and lovely for a winters day. It is $4.95. It was not too sweet either.


The café sells wine by the bottle for people to take home.

I have had breakfasts here before but they are not as good as their cakes.I have had their scrambled eggs which were creamy but not great. Sometimes they were a bit dry. The toasted bread is usually tough.

Do come by for a  cake if you are walking around the river

Week five of Melbourne Marathon training by Akira

The training is going good so far. Got 9kms done in over an hour which is great. Now my bones hurt a slight bit but this is all good.  That means that I am doing great. The hydration is going well. It took me a while to realise I needed more water. Now I am going to the toilet lots and lots.


Tried gels this time but they kept me up all night. Eventually it took me a while to get used to them in my system and now I can sleep easy. I chose the non caffeinated ones by the way so that is easier for me to manage.

Burnt 568 caloires in one of the trainings. Went 8km and didn’t sleep so well afterwards. I didn’t have enough food for dinner that day to help my muscles recover. Of course no energy for a deep slumber until 3am.


Bastille Day at the State library

Bastille day is a national French day and every year this is celebrated in Melbourne with restaurant events and things like these which is an expo and free film day showing all things French.

This year’s free Bastille day event was at the State library. This event was a free event for all. Here  it was spread out all over the library. Most of the stalls were inside with performances outside.

I got a fig and walnut crepe with spinach and feta inside it for $10 from the pop up crepe stall.This was lovely and the cheese and walnuts provided the much needed good fats for me According to myfitnesspal this was 287 calories and I burnt about 318  calories on my recovery run at the beach. I was starving afterwards though. I did want the crossaint but after the crepe I was full. Oh and there was the cheese and caramel samples to be had.

The wine was a tad bit expensive and after last night’s beer at a launch event I did not want this again. It was $8-$10 a pop.  was happy with just water and no Origana soft drink which is unwanted calories.

There was a raffle draw  but  it was $10 to enter  and I never win anything so it was not worth it. But the prizes of travel, haircare boxes, tea packages looked good though. There were kids activities too.

Last year I remembered I went to the free movie and really enjoyed myself.This year they have it but  it was all full.

I remembered the free drink and macaron. I wondered if they have it this year . Even then Iwould not want this as it is really sweet

Running for Run Melbourne by Akira

Run Melbourne is a community event which gets people together. It is $70 to join and here I have some tough questions to ask of KatherineInstagramCapture_26426f98-8517-478f-90fb-f10aafa12a1e

So you have never been a runner before? What’s it like running in this event?

It was quite ok. I was scared of the gun but I was relieved when they have the horn instead of the gun. I was overwhelmed by the amount of people though. It was thousands and many of them run faster than me.

I was nervous before the big day.

What are some key nutrient tips for new runners?

Drink plenty of water as I know you’ll need lots and lots come race day. Eat lots and lots of good fats such as salmon, oils, nuts etc. Also do learn to love protein powders as they can really do lots for your muscles. We have some great ones from Herbalife but I also love Amazonia.

Don’t skimp out on protein as your muscles need it during the night when you sleep to recover for the next day. You’ll end up losing muscle and sleep that way.


One woman I know skipped her period when she started training for this race, was it a problem for you?

Not really. I did worry about it from time to time as my period came late sometimes, but its always there. One hint though is to monitor your fat levels. Record what you eat in myfitness pal helps. I also had fish oil and that helped a lot. You can also do your free body scans at your local Herbalife nutrition centres all across the globe. They are based in 94 countries including Australia and you can find them online.

In Melbourne though there is an amazing one called Shape up on Lt Collins st. Here they can help you with everything.

Bone density and stress fractures is another issue for runners. How did you avoid them?

Look I made sure that I had enough calcium of 2 glasses of milk a day and some yoghurt. Look I definitely need to make sure of this by the time the Melbourne Marathon comes along. I also drank my Herbalife protein shakes which had enough calcium in there.

What about the water? Some people hate water


I mix it in things. I have Herbalife’s instant tea and that helps. Some people might not be able to have this due to tummy troubles but I love my Herbalife aloe as it balances out all the digestive issues and it comes in three flavours. I have also mixed in some electrolyte supplements and waaay before training for this race I have gotten used to carrying my drink bottle and drinking. Its not new for me.

Those dreaded runner’s trots- how did you manage to get rid of them?

At the start I had some because I was not drinking enough water and my body was trying to get used to it all. Once it has then it was all good. One tip though I have for new runners is don’t eat fried food before your training. Also don’t drink wine before you train as you’ll throw up or have gastro.

Training for the 10km was that hard?

Yes and no. There were some times during the course of the four month period where I had wanted to give up but in the end I pushed and pushed. I loved seeing nature- that’s what kept me motivated.

A tip though is to do 1km at a time if you are just starting out.

Any good sites to research?

I have used runners world and runners connect. I also  follow Siim Land and the Hungry runner girl to help me with starting off.

I also love and post to Instagram.


Help us raise money for the Salvos

Hi there we are raising some much needed funds for the Salvos (in long: the Salvation Army) here in Melbourne and we would love your support. We are both doing the Melbourne Marathon and I am tackling the 21km course. If I win the money then $12000 of the prize money will be donated to the Salvos.

Why might you ask that we are helping the Salvos?


Homelessness is a big issue and it has increased dramatically over the past year. Many International students as well as locals are becoming homeless or in danger of it and the government is not doing a lot to get people off the streets.

“There was an election earlier and not one party promised to help the homeless.” Brendan Nottle

In fact Flinders st and Collins st are filled with homeless people and it is hurting business and tourism in Melbourne.

Due to housing rates going up and up many International students are unable to afford the high rent. Some of us come from third world countries such as India and parts of Malaysia. There are many International students and locals that come to Hamodava café just for a meal. In fact Hamodava café is always busy which means that not many people can afford good healthy food.

Right now the Salvos are in much dire need of support and funds to help get people of the streets and help them with their treatment.

What ae you waiting for?? Do sign up for the race! And also support us here.

Week four of Melbourne Marathon training by Akira

This week I have had a bit of a cold. So far have been coughing up lots. It wasn’t so bad that I had to stay home and not run, it was just a sniffly nose and a cough. I took some medicine for it of course.


This week was one of the coldest weeks in Melbourne  but I still ran on. It was one of the toughest.  In the end I got up to 8km in just over an hour. There weren’t very many sunny days this week but I got by.

This week I did more strength exercises such as push ups and lunges to help me keep my muscles whilst running

Nutrition wise I have been okay. Same as with sleeping.

GNC Livewell


Loyalty points by chiukatherine on Instagram



GNC Livewell is a chain store and they have every thing healthy from Protein powders and hydration things. They specialise in sports supplements.

They have a loyalty points scheme in which you earn 1 point for every dollar spent and if you earn enough points you can earn some rewards such as free protein bars and vouchers which you can redeem in store or online

They sometimes have taste testers for people to try as there are aways new products on the market. But most of the time people know what they need. The store is organised into different sections with general health and wellbeing or hardcore athletics. If you need any help you can always ask the friendly shop assistants. Most of them know their products.

Very often they have sales such as 20%-40% off the marked prices of some products and the clearance tables are at the front of the store.

Do come on by for your health products.

Homesickness and how to deal with this by Akira

Students you might be homesick by now so here are some tips to get homesickness out of the way especially if you are new to the country.

  • Don’t stay in your room a lot
  • Instead go out and socialise. Join a club. There are lots of clubs at uni and there is one that is bound to interest you. The more you are isolated the worse the homesick feeling gets.Talk to your family and friends back home
  • Do keep in contact with them because if you don’t you might end up losing them. You can Skype, write,  mail or WhatsApp.



Going to Brighton beach on sunny day can be quite fun. Image courtesy of chiukatherine on Instagram



  • Exercise- You don’t need to go to the gym for this if you don’t have the money. However you could sign up for a marathon if you are a lazy person who needs a reason to exercise. Then this way you could join a focus group to get some hints into running your first marathon.
  • Running a marathon is fun but you need to be healthy and focussed on finishing the race.
  • Be realistic  about your studies – seek help when you need to. Everyone will have their down periods. Go to the Study and learning center in your uni or see your university’s free counselling service which is there for all students.
  • Explore new areas- for example the countryside and spend a day out there.
  • Do visit the countryside on a weekend or during your break. You could even go running in the country. Or there is that market or foodie event going on there.
  • Be positive-smile.

People love to see someone who is always happy. What are some of your best ways to deal with homesickness?

Coles wholemeal wraps and easy avocado dip

I was need of a snack and some healthy food. So I went to Coles and was going to buy the Mission ones but I wanted to try Coles own one and see if this one is just as good.


The dip tasted garlicky and mayonaise like. It was only $3 at Coles and I thought it can be used for many things such as dressings and fish dishes or a BBQ.

The wholemeal wrap was great and not too oily.It was only $3 a pack. This was a coles branded one and it tastes better and much healthier than the Mission ones which I normally get.

Do buy homebrand as it is much cheaper and tastes the same

Amazonia’s raw protein powder

Amazonia was first featured at the Health and Fitness expo and I sampled some. I really liked it so I bought some at GNC Livewell for $40.


It is nutty and like the natures own brown rice powder. Here this is perfect with milk or on its own. I was full after eating it. It has a little bit of cinnamon in it as well as the sweetness from the cacao. It has no added sugar and no dairy which is good if you are trying to lose weight or are intolerant.

As such there is no whey in it. Rather the protein is from chickpeas which is a great source. Someone talked about how bad whey can be for some people, this is much better for those that can’t tolerate whey too much.

Also this is an organic powder hence this is $10 more expensive than the normal whey powders.

But I have liked the chocolatey flavour and with the water added it is great. It is better to not add any milk to this as you will likely gain weight.

Do buy the powder from major health  food stores.