QVM on Sundays

Queen Victoria Market has a different vibe on a Sunday. Here we can enjoy street food and pat lots of dogs. Many of their usual stalls are not open on a Sunday. But however the wine stall was and so were many other gift stalls.

To get there, there are free trams in the city (route 19, 57, 59 all heading to the suburbs). Or you can walk.

There were no lines for the toilets this time which is great. As for the tap there is a funny knee thingy which you push with your knee to turn the tap on. Don’t worry if you don’t get it the first time, a lovely local will help you.

I enjoyed El Rincon’s chorzio eggs. The chorizo was finely chopped. The sauce and the bread not so much. The smell of the BBQ got to me. I didn’t like the sauce nor the store bought bread.

There are kids activities here too.

Do come by to the Sunday markets as they run many events here which are free of charge such as the Malaysian festival.


Week 26 of Marathon training

Am thinking about doing Boston in 2019. To do Boston I would need to do a marathon or a half under 3 hours and 30 mins to qualify and I haven’t got there yet.

Why I want to do Boston might you ask? Its exciting and something different to everyday running.  Boston marathon is the most talked about marathon in the southern hemisphere other than Melbourne Marathon.

Watched the Sisterhood of the Travelling pants and they made me feel powerful. The one thing I learned is don’t judge a book by its cover. No one is perfect and there is happiness. But you just have to find your happy place.

Have started going back to the gym again this time for strength exercises and to learn about how they operate. Am thinking about teaching some of you guys. Do you have any people who are desperate to lose weight? Do you have any exercise that you recommend I do?

After a few strength exercises started performing much better on Friday and with less sore legs and less out of breath.

Went to the Colour Run on Saturday and it was a madhouse in there. You had to line up for a lot of things such as the bathroom. Therefore would need to work out a strategy for Melbourne Marathon as to going to the bathroom. There arent many bathrooms on course and there are long lines.  About 3000 people came to Flemington Racecourse.

Also saw that they let people off in waves which that was cool of them. The vibe at the start line was heaps of fun. Also all the glow lights were just as fun. If Melbourne marathon were to happen at night then it would be heaps more fun.

I have some sort of runner anxiety and this impacted on Sunday’s long run. Sunday’s long run was a slow 19km. This anxiety is about not being able to finish a 42.2km which I know that I promised you guys that I can do.

Also the diet of having all junk food on Saturday (two meals out to be exact) played a huge impact. When we do long runs it tests our nutrition for the week. If it is not good then neither is the run.


My eight weeks of quitting sugar by Akira.

Have you ever thought about the fact that there is too much sugar in your diet sometimes? Well I do examine myfitnesspal and found that I have had about 100-150 g of sugar a day. These aren’t your average sweets rather they are your added sugars in things.

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Sarah Wilson’s I quit sugar has inspired me to start my own I quit sugar. Yes I still have the odd natural sugar here and there, but I am a lot cleaner. My shakes do not have sugar. What prompted me to start this journey was my very bad PMS. I used to get vomiting, diarrhea and lots of nausea. And there was the period pain. My body didn’t know what to do with all this sugar. With all this sugar there was a weight gain.

On her program I had to give up really sweet fruits and mostly giving up on the full cream milk as it has 13g of sugar in there. Oh and molasses has about 11g of sugar in there. On her program I enjoyed a lot of vegetables and cheeses as well as plain yoghurt. I saw that my PMS has gone down and my skin has cleared up. I am not vomiting or feeling nauseated now. Too many people end up in hospital due to an overdose of sugar. Too many people have diabetes and other cancers.

By quitting sugar I learned to love Kombucha. Kombucha is a gut loving drink which has no sugar in there.

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Its very easy to see the yummy desserts on Instagram but it is harder to resist the desserts outside. I found that making your own non sugary desserts is much better. But with practice resisting sugar will be a lot easier as it doesn’t taste as nice. Trust me your taste buds will get used to the sensation.

My tips on quitting sugar

  • Swap the soft drinks and juices for water and herbal teas. We also love our aloe which we have in store or you can go to Shape up for your lunch service
  • Learn to love Kombucha
  • Learn to enjoy cacao instead of chocolate
  • Instead of chocolate cake in the afternoon, why not enjoy a piece of cheese or a can of tuna. I also love to have sushi for afternoon tea as it has all the healthy fats in there.
  • Instead of your usual morning tea cake, why not have eggs your way?

Why you should join this year’s Melbourne Marathon

Melbourne Marathon is an iconic running event where it attracts thousands of people. Each year all the universities participate in this and there are teams. There are prizes for the best team and the best team player. There are also cash prizes for the fastest runner in each category.

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You do have to be committed to training and not give up when the study gets in the way. You will need to organise your training times and sacrifice some of your free time. Most people can expect to spend about 4-5 hours during the weekends for their long runs.

The best part of it is that you get to see Melbourne for free during your training and when you train at night you can see lots of the night life for free. Eg: the Crown casino fire balls which happen nightly.

If you join your uni’s team there might be free food for you as well as massages and other giveaways.

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Joining your university’s team also gives you a chance to contribute to their score and will help them to win a prize. This is a great chance to meet some new people outside of your course. Most of the people you meet might become your running buddies for a long time.

Registering for this year’s Melbourne Marathon is between $50- $200 depending on how far you want to run. You can register here. If you register it is a lot of fun and you’ll get some goodies at the end, plus a free ticket to a couple of events like the Taste of Melbourne which you can enjoy with friends.


Week 25 of Marathon Training

This week my skin looked bad and I ate too many sweet things in order to increase potassium. That is not good and as a result my skin dried out. I found out that the more potassium we as runners have the better our hydration and skin gets. Also I have quite a bit of acne.

I have sensitive skin and so I try not to use anything with alcohol in it.

The nights are getting colder as we get into winter. It is growing dark by 6:30pm. Tried out the new light this week. It was about $16 and I got this when Kathmandu had their New year sale as I knew that I would need a light in the cooler months. The light is just awesome. I clipped it around my middle and it fell off. When I clipped it a second time, it didn’t come off as I clipped it on my Fitbit around my wrist.  I can see really well with it, but it does need charging once in a while.

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Ran on my first day of my period and it was not too bad except for the coughing and wheezing from all the iron being lost. Oh and the going slow parts. But in the end though according to myfitnesspal I got about 117% of my daily recommended iron needs. Most days I have been a bit on the low side. Ate a lot of fish that day which really helps too.

Ran again on the third day and it was not too bad but of course I was a bit slower. Need to work on that iron and potassium which is hard for us females. On that day my period was a lot heavier.

Ran some hills on Friday- barely survived the big hills.

The long run was just ok. I ran about 19km on a sunny Sunday around Port Melbourne and St Kilda. It was warm and I had lost a lot of potassium through my period and sweat. I was puffing. Thank god for the cross training on Wednesday or otherwise I would have lost my sanity.

Cross training this week was not too bad but not great yet.


Week 24 of Marathon Training by Akira

This week I feel like I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. This hole is dark and hollow. My sister hasn’t contacted me much and never replies me. She hardly ever sends messages. I always send her stuff when I can but she never replies me.

Running this week helped me to fill that black hole to a certain extent. But I still miss her.

Am trying to include more potassium in my diet but its hard.

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Did my first strength training session and was just ok. It takes a while of getting used to and it was for Premiers Active April. And then on Thursday I was slow due to the lines at Burnley station where everyone was waiting for the bus. There were hundreds of people all waiting and it was hard to get out. And then there were hills.

It was hard getting back from a strength session and then I was hungry. What is wrong with me?

On Friday night I trained at night and forgot the light. So ran slower to avoid falling over. Next time I’ll have to remember to bring the light as I have one at home. Luckily I ran in well lit places but got lost along the way.

On Sunday it was a long run and it was cold. Here the Run for the kids was on and there were many participants. One thing I learned was that many participants did not wear their ponchos to run. Rather they wore moisture wicking things such as hoodies, caps and beanies. So will have to visit Kathmandu for them as well as other sport stores.

I run slower in the rain as I don’t like slipping a lot. My shoes can be really slippery. When I run in the rain I put the poncho on over my bag. I was a little bit low on iron this week have been coughing a little bit.

But then I had eggs for breakfast at Botanical and whilst it was from Cape Schnack it was a really small serve for $11. This was where all the Run for the Kids congregated afterwards.


Week 23 of marathon training

Its the first week of real cold weather as the mornings become chilly

I love watching Disney movies. They really get me in the right frame of mind as a runner. As a runner I would need to be relaxed, happy and focussed and that’s what Disney movies aim to do. I love the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the beast.

I feel like Amy Purdy when I do hard and sometimes long runs and in the two weeks before my period. The feeling in my legs disappeared. I wonder why that sometimes happens with us runners.

Sometimes the feeling has reappeared and in the long run it was over course of lunch so I was really hungry and had a few walk breaks at the start. And then at the end after my peanut butter sandwich I felt better and ran a little bit faster. I also tried running with a organic lime and mint icy pole which was not too sweet. I felt that I had a lot more energy to continue in the race. Yes I know that I am quitting sugar but this was a homemade brand.

I did this long run when daylight savings ended and it was just ok. Here I got an extra hour of snooze but it means longer nights and shorter days.

I also tried lemonade the other day and felt the energy hit.

I am trying to fit more hydration in, in terms of water but its not that easy. I am trying to drink 8L of fluids a day and have given up on the sweet drinks since they have no benefits for me. I do however like Kombucha.

Tried carbo loading and all was good. Am going have to get used to it. Had no eggs this week and will try to soon.

My goal by the end of April is to get to 30 km in a long run. It is going to be hard though.


The Lord Mayor’s student welcome and why it is my favourite time

By Akira

The Lord Mayors student welcome is on every year and every year there is always fun and games. And food.

But this years one had no free food and was outdoors. I could have done my zumba outside but there was no space. In fact students love comedy and Nathan Hartano. They also loved the quizzes.

This one had a bar and it was $25 for everyone else and free for students and student bloggers such as ourselves who were invited to this event by the City of Melbourne. The Lord Mayors event was a part of ASIA Topa. ASIA Topa is a series of Asian events in Melbourne. They are looked after by the SBS which does an amazing job of covering world affairs.

Here at the Sidney Myer Music bowl the music was amazing. But I have to say that the security was a bit tough about the water. But the drinks there are so expensive at $7-$11 a pop and we wouldn;t bring any alcohol in. So why get us to tip our water out? What a waste.

And where were the bathrooms? They weren’t inside the event- you had to go outside and then come back in. Outside that is to go to the bathrooms. And some people peed on the grass but behind a tree.

The event was amazing but it just needs some tweaking. That is all.


Woolworths late night dinner service

Healthyinternational students site got a Gift card free to the value of $10 to try stuff at Woolies. This piece is not influenced in any way.

Woolworths is open from early in the morning until late at night and they always have a lot of ready meals such as salads, pies, sushi and stuff. I have tried their salads and I love the chickpea salad from the Salad Servers which have a good amount of chickpeas and onion.

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You help yourself to whatever food that you want and then you go and pay. Paying is simple really. The Woolworths that I went to has mostly self service checkouts but there are people behind the counters too if you need any help.

I have had their pies before and they are awesome. They are filling and are quite warm. The pastry is thick but not doughy. They are messy to eat with hands and I have made messes. Their thai chicken pie is good for a winters day. All the pies are $4.50 each.

Their sushi on the other hand is just ok. They are freshly made in house but they are uber expensive at $10-$15 a small plate. A roll will set you back about $3 for not much. I tried their tempura sushi rolls and they were soggy and fell apart. But at least it was cold.

They do have drinks but it is only of the sweet kind or plain water. I have plain water and I can’t have sugar. Drinks are normally $4- $6 depending on what you buy. And no they don’t do coffee or tea at nighttime. By 8pm the cafe is usually closed at Southern Cross and at Flinders. There are a few other branches in Melbourne’s CBD but they are not as big as Southern cross.


The Welcome Dinner project by Akira

Now I love to cook and cook lots I have. Therefore the Welcome Dinner Project is a great idea. It was started a few years ago by Ellis when she wanted to welcome new people into her home and her Australian way of life. Others were looking for the same thing. Hence that is how the Welcome Dinner Project started.

 

And it is successful. So successful that they have organised events in Footscray and Carlton. I went to the one in Carlton and I didn’t know that I had to buy food (as I thought that my partner owed me food and thought that they were coming). Normally I would have cooked a Japanese dish but bread and dip had to make do instead.

It is like this: everyone brings a dish from their home country and then they explain what is in that dish and the story behind it. It starts off with a few get to know you activities, then introductions to the food brought and then eating.

Everyone sits at a large communual table and these events attract 20-30 people, most of which are migrants but there are some that are students.

And sharing. I love Meld community’s nasi lemak. I have always been a fan of this dish since they introduced it a few years back at one of their twirlight market days. And Malaysia house makes it for their Hari Raya sometimes.

And then there is dessert for those that love to bake. But for some people they can’t have too much sugar. The facilitators will bring the drinks and the snacks such as popcorn and pretzels.

I enjoy trying everyone’s dishes and do sign up to the Welcome dinner project here. Its free to join it. But the Welcome dinner project would love a donation to cover the cost of these events.