Tobacco use and why its no good for you

In Australia a few people smoke and don’t want to give up the smokes. We are trying to convince people to give up smoking but that’s hard at times. Especially during now, giving up smoking would save lives and money

The cost of cigarettes ranges from $20-$50 at the supermarket. Smoke a pack a week and it would set you back by a $1000 a year. Now that money could be used to pay your rent.

Why do you smoke?

There’s a few reasons

  • To run away from troubles
  • Because I like it- addictions
  • Its a part of life for me

What are the consequences of smoking for a while?

  • The death rate for people that use tobacco (aka smoke) is higher than those that do not smoke. According to Dummies, more than 450000 Americans die each year as a result of smoke. These smokers die at a young age.
  • It can cause lung disease
  • It can cause obesity
  • Your gums and teeth with suffer
  • Your hair and skin will become brittle
  • Your nails will have a mustard stain which cannot be hidden or removed
  • Smoking is a major cause of heart disease

SO what are you waiting for? Now is a good time to quit smoking for good. There is plenty of help out there including the Quitline and there are lots of nicotine patches that you can buy.

You can do it. I know you can and you’ll reap the benefits afterwards such as healthier skin and nails, saving money and a longer life.

Our 100 days of less sugar part 3

In this part we spent most of our time at home due to the Coronavirus outbreak. And when we did we kept up with the less sugar program.

If you are cooped up at home this program would be really good to take. You start from Part 1 and you work your way. The Baking Nutritionist has been doing it for a while now.

Day 20- 17/3/2020

Today I had a Quest protein bar which tastes like chocolate but they don’t put sugar in there. Taking a break from the Coronavirus and just enjoying things

Day 21-18/3/2020

Today I have been taking it easy on the sugar except for the Pepsi Max which was free. But I did not drink all of it. I did however have one Chinese meal and it was really good. The place was deserted as was most of the city

Day 22-19/3/2020

Was going to have that ice cream but didn’t. In the end though we did not have any in the freezer. But had healthy foods at home which made all the difference.

Day 23- 20/3/2020

Was at home today so I didn’t have a lot of sweets.

Day 24- 21/3/2020

I did have one sweet coconut cake from Breadtop but it was ok. The rest of the time I just enjoyed fruit

Day 25- 22/3/2020

I had one mini sized Snickers bar and that was all the sweets that I had. I did not like the sweet Cascade mineral water as it was way too much for me.

Day 2623/3/2020

Today I had no sugar but I really wanted the frozen froyo which had a lot of sugar in there. Instead I had the kids fish and chips pack, knowing that the adult size would be too big for me to handle.

Day 27- 24/3/2020

Today I had the Shelby’s green matcha almonds and it was awesome. That and a small square of chocolate to get through my day after finding that there are over 2000 coronavirus cases in Australia. People are not taking this Corona thing seriously.

Day 28

Today I felt like a museli slice and something sweet so I went for that. I had a banana which was sweet. I was at home due to the Coronavirus.

Day 29

Today I felt like an ice cream so I went for one of those protein ones as they are healthier and they have less sugar than normal ones. Stayed clear of the biscuits that my housemate bought.

People are still not taking this Coronavirus thing seriously.

Amino Acids

We talk about amino acids and the importance of them in your body. Everybody needs amino acids to survive and thrive

What is amino acid?

Amino acid is an essential block for building muscle and protein in the body. Our cells, muscles and tissue are made up of Amino acid. They play an essential role of transporting nutrients to the cells as well metabolising food so that we have some energy.

Your body needs about 20 different varieties of them. That is for us to grow and function properly. Your body makes its own amino acid. But some people need more amino acid because they train long hours.

Nine amino acids we need.

“These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.

  1. Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine is a precursor for the neurotransmitters tyrosinedopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It plays an integral role in the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and the production of other amino acids (4).
  2. Valine: Valine is one of three branched-chain amino acids, meaning it has a chain branching off to one side of its molecular structure. Valine helps stimulate muscle growth and regeneration and is involved in energy production (5).
  3. Threonine: Threonine is a principal part of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, which are important components of the skin and connective tissue. It also plays a role in fat metabolism and immune function (6).
  4. Tryptophan: Though often associated with causing drowsiness, tryptophan has many other functions. It’s needed to maintain proper nitrogen balance and is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your appetite, sleep and mood (7).
  5. Methionine: Methionine plays an important role in metabolism and detoxification. It’s also necessary for tissue growth and the absorption of zinc and selenium, minerals that are vital to your health (8).
  6. Leucine: Like valine, leucine is a branched-chain amino acid that is critical for protein synthesis and muscle repair. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, stimulates wound healing and produces growth hormones (9).
  7. Isoleucine: The last of the three branched-chain amino acids, isoleucine is involved in muscle metabolism and is heavily concentrated in muscle tissue. It’s also important for immune function, hemoglobin production and energy regulation (10).
  8. Lysine: Lysine plays major roles in protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production and the absorption of calcium. It’s also important for energy production, immune function and the production of collagen and elastin (11).
  9. Histidine: Histidine is used to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter that is vital to immune response, digestion, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles. It’s critical for maintaining the myelin sheath, a protective barrier that surrounds your nerve cells (12).”(Healthline)

The gym sells these amino acid drinks, but I don’t really see the need for that unless you are training really hard, ie a body builder. You can usually get them from food and protein drinks

What foods have amino acids in them?

When you eat protein it is broken down into amino acids which is used for growing and maintaining muscle and these foods will help you get there.

  • fish
  • soybeans
  • salmon
  • Protein powders
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • Lots of seeds
  • Oats
  • Mung beans
  • Wheatgerm
  • Bananas
  • Chickpeas

What happens if we have too little amino acids (proteins)?

  • You lose muscle
  • Too little amino acids causes hormonal imbalance
  • Slow growth in children
  • Too little energy

Week 10 of the Priceline Health tracker


This week my fat is down by 0.5% which is great. And I gained 0.3 kg. What does this say? This says that everyone needs to be patient when it comes to weight loss. And I’m in the top 9% of people who are healthy. A few weeks ago I was in the top 14% of people who are healthy. Maybe some of these people decided to give up once and for all seeing as they are not seeing any results.

I have low blood cholesterol which is 4%.

This week sleep was talked about.  Not enough sleep can increase your weight. In 2014 I did not have enough sleep and it increased my weight by 19kgs. Back then I was only 38kgs.

Now my weight is stable. Here I sleep about 6-7 hours or more a night. But I sometimes get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I think its my PMS or a change in the weather.

Ilya Frozen Yoghurt


Ilya is a health food yoghurt place in South Melbourne. They also have a store in Elsternwick. Here they really care about the obesity issue by providing many low fat and sugar free options.

It is a self serve place. You go in and choose your yoghurt and the toppings and then pay according to weight. I choose all the fruit toppings and the chia of course. You can sample some of their yoghurt and I did just that. I loved their natural no sugar yoghurt. As for their slightly sweet yoghurt they use something called stevia.

When you want to be served and there is no one there, just ring the bell and someone will come. And that someone is a very friendly Canadian lady most likely a student. They really do focus on health and relaxation. They have many teas and they advertise the city’s meditation workshops which is great.

They also make great raw food protein balls and I had the peanut butter one and it was yum.

Do come by this place on Clarendon st in South Melbourne. It is near City Road and Route 12 trams service this place.

Discover Good Nutrition plan

This plan was made by Dr Susan Bowerman who is a registered dietitian from the US. Here she works for Herbalife a nutrition company and I was determined to follow her simple plan. Her simple plan allows for a little bit of junk food but in moderation.


About 70% of Aussies are obese or have diabetes due to poor eating and moving habits. And if people don’t change their eating habits for the better this rate will increase. Dr Susan’s plan talks about loving natural food and exercise. She stresses on the 80% nutrition, 20% exercise and 100% mindset. It is hard to have a great mindset when all the junk food is around so I kept them out of the house and had some nuts and dried fruit as well as popcorn.

It is about loving soy, kale and other natural things. I have learned to love soy in my latte instead of normal milk. It is expensive but well worth it because in the end I have saved 20 calories. Kale was one of those things that was not natural to me and now it is.

I also have learned to love beans again. In my early uni days I used to not like beans and have a lot of junk food.


Some recommendations

  • At Uni there should be a health food cafeteria rather than the usual junk offerings. If YMCA can have such a health food place so can a university and YMCA has lots of visitors daily
  • Universities student unions should be more proactive in having teams at Melbourne Marathon and various other events.
  • There should be more education on healthy eating and exercise for students. In the coming months we plan to do this
  • Pancake parlour should have more healthy options for people that have just finished their workout

Want to lose weight the healthy way? Then do learn to love real food and come to Shape up to learn how! As for me I will be using the things that I have learnt throughout the entire program.

Urban Wellness Project

Urban Wellness Project is on Union road in Ascot vale and they have been open for a few months. I think they replaced Bravo coffee which was not doing so well. I saw it one day whilst on the tram and was intrigued by it.


I have been here twice both for snacks. This place is really good for those that want to give up sugar or are on a Febfast program. They don’t have a lot of those commercial cakes and sweets. Rather they have dates and raw protein bars. They don’t believe in whey. They have the Raw range of goods.

They also have kombucha and other natural supplements. They have a naturopath on site sometimes and they do have self serve nuts and other things

The service is very down to earth and friendly and the guys know what they are doing. The staff smiles and acknowledge customers which is a good sign.


The things I ate in the last nine days

I am a really healthy eater and during the week it was Chinese new year. Most days I did about a 20-25 km walk/run per day. Some days I did cross training. I tried not to have too much of those whey shakes but whenever I did I always had it with some fruits and veg to up the nutrients.



For the two breakfasts (one at 7am and then other at 10:20am), I had Carmen’s museli, milk, bread with butter and Rokby farm’s whole protein. Which in fact I discovered that it has no whey in it. Altogether I had about 45 g of protein.

And then at 1pmish I had a salad  and then walked over to Shuji Sushi for mediocre sushi and seaweed salad. There was miso soup in there and you can read all about it in the other blog. Then at 5pmish just before my 5km run I had three beans, canned corn and tea.

After that there was the lunar new year festival. I treated myself to prawn dumplings and fried rice cakes


60min walk

At 9am I got up and had oatmeal. At 12:30pm my housemate cooked fried rice for lunch with lots of meats. For snacks today I had kale, nuts, ice cream and pepitas. And then dinnertime was a new year feast with chicken, prawns, white rice etc. And then the fruit salad.


Pride March, 60 min walk, 9.06km run.



9am: got up and had granola for Breakfast from Carmen’s. I also had milk to keep my bone structure. Then at 10:30am got hungry again and had a Be Natural bar.

12pm- added more irons in the form of a salmon with cream cheese bagel. Also had scrambled eggs with orange juice from Lane Bar. During the Pride March I had banana, carrot and Pepsi.

For dinner that night I had pumpkin and tortellini salad with a dinner roll and protein shake.


60 min walk and some weights

Had Granola again for breakfast and for lunch had a bean salad with kale. For dinner it was a stirfry with white rice.


90 min walk and a 11 km run


Had a naked tofu burger for breakfast. Didn’t sleep so well last night, kept wanting food. And then today had my kale and banilla shake which was just awesome. Then had miso soup and carrots for snacks. After my run had a tuna salad and then one lamb cutlet with rice and green papaya salad. Yum.


90 min walk and a 7km run


Went almost vegetarian today except for the Chicken and Leek pie. I bet you guys want to know whether it is possible to run if you are vegetarian. I did accidentally have a Buono bar even though I am not supposed to due to Febfast. I forgot like an idiot that it was on.

For breakfast I enjoyed my housemates homemade museli. For dinner I enjoyed a small cannelini bean salad with a vegetarian pho. I did of course have my usual kale shake.


60 min walk and 20 mins of HIIT

Today tried Pancake Parlours short stack without the ice cream and I got to say that this is better and much healthier.

Was vegetarian again almost. Had two salads (one with tofu and beans for lunch). For snack I had the Quests bar and there is a review for that.

Friday again (3/2/2017)

I had museli again. Had an appointment at Shape up to see my running coach and see how my weight and fat was going. Fat was 18% Yippee and Weight was 52.2kg. Therefore another shake.


Had turkey pasta bake for lunch and bean salad with spicy rice and chips from Nandos for dinner. Its hard to be a vegetarian and a runner without the shakes.

Saturday – 4/2/2017

60 min walk early in the morning

Had two seafood meals- one for lunch and one for dinner. For dinner I had tuna pasta and for lunch I had okomiyaki with octopus pieces as well as kale and green papaya salad. It is really easy to fall in love with kale and there is kale outside in the garden.

For morning tea I had miso soup. Miso soup has a lot of iron so it is good for the female runners who need more than the males.

Sunday- 5/2/2017

12km run and 60 min walk


Had Granola again. Then had prawn and chive dumplings after my run. Drank too much alcohol in the wine and food pairing event.

Got really drunk after the run.

There you have it, these are my days of trying to be healthu




Week 15 of the Marathon training by Akira

This week found it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep. This week was not too hot which is great as I hate running in the heat. I am not made for that.  In fact I get the runner’s rash on my arms when a race is done in the heat. So what I do is moisturise my arms with the Body Shop’s mango cream before I go out for the day. Friend A thought that it was allergy to protein but they were wrong.


I also avoid running in the sunlight. Instead I run in the twilight sessions as that is a lot cooler for me.

I also did a search on google about protein and it said that I should be having about 1.4 g per kilo of bodyweight. Therefore that means that I should be having 112 g each day and Katherine should have 80 g (give or take each day).


Katherine got PMS really badly and she couldn’t sleep for a while due to low iron and then got more cramping in the legs. They say that the more iron she have the better the PMS.

#transformyourrun #mizuno

Aussie Bodies newest protein drink by Akira

And it have 30 g of protein. This is a milk which is kept in the fridge and I bought it at the train station for $5. Silly old me should have known that it was at Woolworths and Coles for sports people to buy.


Friend A has this misconception of it being for bodybuilders but I strongly disagree. It is for everyone who is running a full 42.2km at the end of the year. Even at 21.1km I struggled a little bit with nutrition. I was looking at Runners World and they told me I needed 80g of protein per day. No wonder I was struggling a bit.

But it still tasted the same, just in a bottle and with a very milky taste. At least it worked well with the banana.

I prefer the old way and cheaper way of it being in a box.