Showing posts with label Health and Wellbeing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health and Wellbeing. Show all posts


Health + Yum = Chocolate Slice { ? }

You see lots of recipes that claim to be healthy and yummy. In my experience those two adjectives don't often go together. But...... I have found a slice that actually provides a chocolate fix and yet has only healthy ingredients..... and there is no cooking involved.
You will need:
Half a cup of sesame seeds
Half a cup of almonds ( soaked in water overnight and then drained)
Third of a cup of coconut
Third of a cup of cocoa powder
8 dried figs
Half a cup of chopped dates
Two drops of peppermint essence
Two tablespoons of water.
Throw everything in a food processor and churn/ pulse until the mixture is crumbly. You may need to fiddle with the amount of water or sesame seeds if it is too dry or too wet. Test by pressing some mixture together.
Press the slice into a small pan ( 20cm x 10cm) and refrigerate until firm.
The taste is nutty, yet chocolatey and most importantly it is very satisfying with a cup of tea!
We thought it actually tasted better on the second day in the fridge... not sure about the third day {lol}
Try it and see what you think.....


Bucket List {Tick}

Today I can finally tick something off my bucket list. You know that list you have of things you are going to do before you kick the bucket ?

Years ago I had put 'be a person that goes to the gym and actually enjoys it' on my list. In my mind I may as well have written 'climb Mount Everest' or 'parachute naked' because...... {in my mind} it was never going to happen.

You see, I don't mind exercise, I enjoy it on MY terms. But as I am getting older, the weight is creeping up, the flexibility is dropping away and I don't want to be forty and fat, I want to be forty and fabulous! Although I want to drop about 10 kilos, I don't want to do a 'weight loss programme'. I am after so much more than that. I am after a lifestyle change. I want to take charge of my health and my future.

I don't know what changed in me, maybe it was just my {season}. But I started getting out the front of my house and walking up and down the street. The total length of the street is 500m so it made it very easy to work out distances I was covering. It was also my cheat ticket because If I got too tired I could just come inside, rather than be such a long way from home that I would have the pain of walking all the way back. {hee hee}

Each day, it seemed to get easier. I have read and heard other people say this before but I never really got it. I started trying to jog from one telegraph pole to the next and then the next - with Hubbie's encouraging words and me screaming and cursing! Before too long I could jog the whole 500 m ( as long as I had the right song playing on my son's Ipod! lol)

Then on the 4th of September I did the unthinkable and went and got a fitness assessment at our local swim/gym centre. I had always imagined that the gym is full of people in 80s lyrca G-strings with perfect bodies and wearing lipstick! Well..... it's not. It's full of people like me who want to make changes in their lives. There's the overweight mums who drop their kids in the creche, the businessmen battling the beer gut and the retired couples who want to maintain their health. All of them surprisingly 'normal'.

So I now go to the gym. I have been everyday since then and I actually enjoy it, hence the bucket list tick. I started off really easy and have built things up. In the past I have failed because I have gone in too hard and hated it and declared never again. But the last few sessions I have felt absolutely brilliant and could actually say I enjoy it. I have great songs on the Ipod and have to stop myself from calling out "in the name of love" ( by U2) when I am on the treadmill!!! lol

If you are on a budget, your first thought may be the cost. If this is an issue for you, there are lots of ways around it - just grab your music and dance around the house, run up and down the stairs or get a workout DVD. The same applies if you have young children and can't get out. The choice is yours and there is {always} a way if your desire is strong enough.

I pay about $2 a day and am now more than willing to forgo the occasional signature coffee { vanilla latte on skim} in order to feel this good. My mind is clear, my energy levels are out of this world and I feel great. Because the focus is lifestyle not weight loss, I am really enjoying the process.

Are you ready to get started or to take it to the next level ?


Sustainable Health Choices.

I wrote last month about feeling as though most 'simple living tasks' were going quite well and that I wanted to start focusing on my health as well. We take such good care of our garden, testing our soil, correcting PH, using only organic materials..... why then is there a separate set of rules when it comes to taking care of my own body ? If I am not healthy and fit I won't have the energy or ability to do all the things that make my house function, like cooking and gardening.

I really want to get fit and have increased energy. As a by product I want to lost about 10 kgs.

Today is day sixteen of my continuous 'better choices' and I have lost 2 kilos. Nothing too exciting, but I am aiming for a sustainable lifestyle change, not a quick fix. I am not on a diet, I am just on an awareness campaign.

I found the above book while I was browsing around waiting for some photos to get developed in a department store the other day.

I liked the no nonsense approach and I like the pictures - sound strange, but it's very motivating.

I wouldn't say that I have really learnt anything knew, more of a bit of a 'aha' moment, or that moment when you suddenly 'get it'.

So far I have taken on board that it really is about calories in and calories out. My body ( using calculations from the book) uses about 1560 calories per day to function normally. So whatever I put into my body either creates a deficit and means a weight loss, or creates a credit and means a weight gain. Add a little exercise to that and I use up more calories each day resulting in a larger deficit .

I don't count calories every day, but I did do some homework to find out the calorie count of different foods to gain an understanding of what I was eating. ( i use calorie Once I had that information I made some adjustments to what I was eating. Did you know one fancy drink at a particular fast food cafe has the same calories as almost a whole days worth of food? So if you were to consume this AND your food you would be eating for two adults ? No wonder Australia has such an obesity problem. Who would of thought that a drink could be that calorie dense ??

I now ALWAYS eat breakfast. Before I started I would think that I am not hungry enough to eat breakfast and would go without. By lunch time though I could eat the handles of the kitchen cupboards.

I opt for foods that are filling and make me feel full for a lot longer ( i.e. low GI ) so that I can get more bang for my calorie buck. What I mean here is that for the same calorie intake I could either eat four squares of chocolate or opt for a huge sandwich. I know that if I eat the chocolate I will still be hungry afterwards.

Exercise is the number one feel good drug on the planet. This has taken me a long time to 'get'. I am often too tired to go for a walk or a bike ride, whereas Hubbie would say "I am SO tired I NEED go for a ride or a walk". He understands that energy comes from exertion and the more you do the better you feel. This is in contrast to me 'waiting' for a magical burst of energy, missing the point that the energy comes from the very thing I was avoiding.

Exercise doesn't have to be a 5km run. Exercise can be dancing around your house with the stereo on, playing with the kids, walking while pushing the pram. The thing is that if you make a small start, even walking around the backyard five times, it gets easier each time and you feel the need to naturally build it up.

Never say you don't have time to exercise. I heard Michael Pollan say once that we say we don't have time to cook, yet we have time to watch cooking shows. It's the same with exercise... we don't have time to exercise, but we watch television shows about people exercising and losing the most weight.

Exercise helps you sleep better, breath deeper, stand taller, think clearer and gives your skin a lovely glow. It's up to you whether you want a spoonfull of this free, magic medicine.

So... I will keep posting about how things are going. It's a shame I don't own a video camera. I think you would get a great laugh out of footage of me jogging with Hubbie while he looks fabulous and is encouraging me and I am panting out " i'm gonna die, I'm gonna die" LOL


So Dark Before The Dawn

I am really missing my morning quiet time. I like to have some time before the sun comes up to sit and ..... well just sit, or download all the ideas that raced around in my head throughout the night, or blog, or read or write lists.... and lists..... and then summary lists! lol

But the sun is coming up very late at the moment. It is after 7am which in my books is way too late! I don't have an alarm clock. I sleep with the blinds up so I can see the stars and hear the first bird warn me of the impending daylight. But 7am ? That means by the time the birds start, it is already close to 6.30am and I feel robbed of my quiet time.

I try to start each day with a strong morning routine. If I can get through that then all is well with the world. Households with children can be danger zones in the morning. Having a predictable steady paced routine is much better for everyone's mental health. Believe me, I have tried looking for that pair of shoes at the last minute only to attempt getting out the back door and realising that one child doesn't have a hat which means ' no play' - it is a much saner option to opt for the night before readiness programme and the subsequent peaceful morning.

After the whirlwind has left I can start my 'whip round'. Finish making the beds, swish the loo and perform the meditative daily sweep.

In keeping with my focus of health and fitness I have been taking the time to do some exercise and fuel up with a huge breakfast. Breakfast like a king and dinner like pauper.

Thinking back to my Grandmother's ways - routines were an integral part of life. Can you imagine the family getting up to have no fire going, not hot water, nothing cooked ..... because the wife 'didn't feel like it today' lol How times have changed!

Routines were essential to the running of daily life. Now days, we seem to be able to take it or leave it. If we don't feel like doing the washing, the family has more than enough clothes in wardrobes. If we don't feel like cooking there is always the drive thru! In my grandmothers day if she didn't wash, there were no other clothes. They had work clothes and church clothes. If she didn't cook, they didn't eat because there were no take away restaurants! I remember her telling me that on one occasion she didn't iron the pillow cases and they had unexpected visitors drop in and stay the night and when she had to pull out the un-ironed pillow case she felt humiliated because it was a great shame! lol Yes.... things have surely changed.

But back to my world....... I have to wait until April before daylight savings finishes and I get my extra daylight in the morning. Until then..... I will continue blogging away in the dark feeling cheated because the day is well underway yet the sun is not doing her job!

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