Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Difference between Paleo and Whole30 ....

... And where I stuffed up!  OK so those following along will know I have been supporting my dear friend Caryn on her Whole30 challenge.  It was a quick entry into this new way of eating and I did a small amount of research before we started two days later.  I was really lucky as Caryn sent me info from the book and some awesome websites to get the low down ... but alas I missed the big intro to Whole30 that discusses that while it is a Paleo styled nutrition program it also has some fundamental differences to what Paleo is all about.  I am thinking the fine print I missed was probably quite important, as Whole30 is not about making changes to your diet so that you can still eat the way you normally do but it's about completely changing the way you see food and getting rid of all the vices you didn't know you had!

YUMMY Bliss Balls ... totally Paleo, but totally NOT Whole30!
For Caryn, I think the vice was dairy!  For me since giving up gluten and dairy six months ago, my new vices are potatoes and sugar.  I thought this food challenge was about finding alternatives to these vices but no I was completely wrong!  The deal is you just give these things up and eat three wholesome gluten, legume, dairy, sugar free meals and that's it ... no making pancakes or blitzing dates up to form yummy bliss balls it's about losing these things for thirty days and not finding a substitute for them even if all the ingredients you make them with are on the acceptable list!  I have just over a week left on Whole30, which we now know I have got completely wrong so I plan to do it again!  

I will finish this Whole30 off and plan to eat Paleo 95% of the time when I'm not doing a Whole30.  For me it's been a BIG learning curve, letting things go and not seeking alternatives is something I haven't done this round.  I'm guessing that I will need to do Whole30 a couple of times a year but for the rest of the time I will enjoy finding healthy alternatives for my taste buds to enjoy ... surely life is about enjoying the food you eat just as it is about making healthy choices!  Just as well I enjoy learning so much as getting this right might take a while :0)

In running news, I'm still running ... even in pouring rain!  I can't deny its hard work, it's really testing me but that's a good thing and I'm sure it will pay off with my first running event on the first of December.

I was literally soaked from my run today!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week Four ... Better late than NEVER!

I had some company while out walking the other day ... slightly different
experience from exercising in Singapore!
Week four of the running app and its ok, I managed to run it today and not spend the next hour recovering ... whoohoo!  Actually I was talking on the phone for the whole session and it passed by relatively painlessly.  Maybe that's the answer, occupy yourself chatting to someone else and the pain doesn't stand a chance ... Tracy we may need to chat again on Sunday!  While the running progress is slow at least its still going and on the days I am not running I am still walking for ~40 mins.

The change in diet has definitely altered my energy levels the last two weeks and its only now I am starting to feel like they are making a comeback to something comparable to normal.  There is no doubt that the Paleo change is taking a lot of learning and some things I still haven't got quite right.  It might be that i need to redo it or keep it going for longer than the suggested 30 days.  For example, I was sent some free Frooze Balls with my organic groceries this week and oh my gosh they were divine.  It wasn't until I had eaten all five I realised they contained carob and that's on the banned Paleo list ... ooops, if you haven't tried these babies DO!  There are several rookie mistakes I have made like this over the last ten days and it has definitely made me realise how very limiting ... and extremely expensive ... eating this way is.

Having said that eating whole foods is very satisfying and I am really enjoying the flavours of the meals I have made and adapted over the last almost two weeks.  The fact I have spent almost $1000 on food for four since I began isn't a fabulous statistic and something I definitely can't continue to do.  I read a web conversation recently about how its cheaper to eat whole foods than it is to eat takeaways so what's the problem with us all .... yes, probably true but it's not cheaper than eating processed foods and that's where I think we as a nation struggle when trying to make the right health choices.  I spent $8 on organic honey as the sweetener for our salad dressings yesterday ... I could have purchased 3kgs of completely processed, bleached sugar for the same amount :o)  And when feeding two peeps and the adorable husband and there are no grains or starches to fill the stomach, that makes for a lot more protein each and every meal and that extra expense has really added up ... not to mention the bacon bill!

At some stage on this journey I am going to have to find the middle road as this is currently not sustainable.  It does make me wonder though, how do middle New Zealand afford to feed themselves a wholesome, beneficial diet without reverting to spaghetti on toast or two minute noodles that are so cheap and easy to serve to an entire family?  For now I will grow more veggies than I currently do, especially lettuces and tomatoes and hope that helps us through the summer!  

I've entered another race ... this one I will be walking :o)  Not running but
still lapping all those on the couch!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Finally! It was a GREAT run day

happy face, happy dance followed ;o)
Some days are pure gold and today was one of those running days.  Maybe it was the day off yesterday with no exercise that made me run with such enthusiasm and without the concrete legs.  It was so exciting and I knew before I had even finished my first run cycle it was going to go well ... probably because I was still breathing slowly and my brain was functioning without the usual oxygen depletion it works on while I'm out running!  More than likely, however, it was a result of the addition fitness work I have been doing and now its finally paying off, not that I'm impatient or anything ;0)

This week I will tackle Week Four and even if its a grind, get it done and run as best I can.  At the end of the week I'll reevaluate and work out whether I can can carry on or whether another redo will be in order.  No point in looking ahead though as one thing I have learnt over the last month is that every running day is completely different to the next!

In other news the Paleo Whole30 is going pretty well ... I miss the sugar in my now decaf coffee but hopefully by the end of the month I won't miss it as much as I do now!  I am over the first weeks lack lustre energy with the change in eating habits and am feeling much better today.  I was starting to get quite demoralised by the end of last week but things are looking far rosier the last couple of days and I have been branching out and trying lots of recipes from Pinterest ... I just forget to take photos as often its so good I forget to stop eating it :0D.  Below are a couple of the recipes the household have tried and enjoyed with links to their sources.

almond meal pancakes from its time to burn
this is the curried beef recipe from nom nom paleo, clearly mine didn't make
it into a frittata just into lettuce wraps :)
and on Thursday night we had these delicious Paleo Hawaiian Hamburgers,
idea from against all grain but i didn't use the recipe as we didn't have the
right ingredients, however the concept was awesome and so was the version
the peeps and i made!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Feeling Down

It's not me to feel down, I don't do down well but the last couple of days I have been ... well ... deflated. There is really no other way to describe it.  I was more disappointed than I gave myself permission to be about having to redo week three before moving on to week four of the running program.  In that same period of time I have written two blog posts and then got sidetracked and lost both of them as neither saved ... apparently I am also a slow learner this week as well ;0)  As such, I got grumpy with my devices and haven't been able to bring myself to write the posts again until this evening!  I got some great encouragement from my dear friends today and it has spurred me into action and I feel much better about my progress and the adjustments I have made to my running program and eating.
Love the track, so do the peeps!
The peeps and I have been out running and walking using various routes around our local district.  Today we headed back to the Hawkes Bay Sports Park to use the track, probably my favourite place to run as it reminds me of the cool atmosphere at the cca in Bukit Timah.  It was a good session, I ground out my run as opposed to springing along today but done is better than perfect :0) Tomorrow is another day and I am determined to get my smile and enthusiasm back as I'm doing just fine.  Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was my ability to run 5K!

Tonights Paleo Dinner ... Hawaiian Hamburgers!
Last nights dessert, 3/4c of berries, 1/4c of coconut milk, 1 tbsp coconut,
add to a pot and heat ....
Thank you for this recipe Caryn, its divine at the end of the day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to Week Three

The Support Crew!
The running was really hard for me beginning of Week Four.  I managed to get through it but only just and I felt shattered afterwards and like it was a step too far.  So for today's run I went back to Week 3 Day 3 and think I will do this run for the remainder of this week.  I don't want the running to be so hard that it makes me not want to go out and do it.  I would rather get to the destination later and enjoy the journey getting there!  Thankfully I have enough time up my sleeve to afford this luxury before the 1 December race date.  Took the peeps out with me today.  They have until March 2014 before their first race.  It's probably just as well as Ben spends the majority of his session dancing his way up and down the street enjoying his tunes not running!  Polly needs new orthotics so her running has been downgraded to walking until we get her fitted for new ones.  Running will happen for all of us eventually :0)

To help ease the running not only have I taken the Paleo Whole30 challenge, I have also added walking into my life to increase my fitness levels ... I'm going with the no stone unturned theory :0) The walking is really enjoyable as I spend the whole time on my phone chatting to my dear friend in Auckland who goes out walking at the same time. We are slightly nuts but we have always encouraged each other with regards to fitness and it gets us both out there and enjoying it!

Short and sweet for today, tomorrow I'll be testing out some Paleo recipes I have found on Pinterest ... let you know how it goes!
Todays Paleo lunch ... not bad, not bad at all!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Its a Paleo kinda day or 30 DAYS!

I have been taking lots of advice about food, and as I've said before I've been in a quandary about what the next step to take should be.  Apparently if you wait, the answer will come hunt you out and tell you where you are next heading without needing to do anything!  My dear friend and running mentor Caryn spent time chatting with her Nutritionist Mikki Williden last week and has been convinced to do a Paleo Diet for 30 days, more commonly referred to as Whole30.  I emailed her back to see if she wanted some company on this journey and as we both like doing things with others, she of course said yes!  So today I organised myself into a Paleo lifestyle!

Paleo is all about whole foods and no gluten, sugar, dairy, potatoes, legumes, grains, and cereals. This is a way of eating that loves unprocessed foods which are mainly protein rich with plenty of nourishment from vegetables as long as they aren't starchy.  There is also no allowance for caffeine or alcohol!  For me Paleo seems like the next logical step in refining my eating habits so they are healthy and wholesome 95% of the time.  Since being gluten and dairy free I have had a reliance on sugar ... especially where my coffees are concerned!  Going from milk laden lattes to long blacks was a step too far without adding in a sugar ... the sugar was the saving grace for my long blacks and now I'm addicted to the sugar in my coffee :o)

Many of you know there are few things I do in life without consulting Pinterest, so to get over the initial fear at what I had signed up to for the next 30 days I began my Pinterest research!  I gathered so much information and so many recipe ideas my new Paleo board started filling up quickly!  There was so much information, the recipes all looked awesome, and I moved from fear to excitement ... thank you Pinterest.

I have a goal to lose 10kgs by Christmas, ambitious yes, doable certainly!  So I have weighed myself and put it into a tracker.  Caryn then informed me once I had weighed myself I wasn't allowed to weigh myself again until the 30 days were up ... ok, a little fear again but I am game and it is only for 30 days.   I will be letting you know how I am going with this and you will see some recipes sourced from Pinterest appearing on this blog over the next month that are all Paleo certified!

I am REALLY hopping this change in diet helps with the running because it was insanely hard today ... I got through the session, but only just.  I think week four will have to be redone before I will head to week fives sessions.

At least the sun was out!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fitness Apps

As promised I have been busy organising some apps for toning over the last day and have found some good ones.  I have been spurred on to put some toning into the daily fitness regime by a friend of mine but it actually started at a get together at our house last weekend.  I was busy trying to recruit runners for the 5K on the first of December.  Some bright spark (Alana Mill you are trouble!) decided we needed to do some exercise right then  ... there is nothing like peer pressure so five females took to the floor to tone our abs and butts while waiting for Otane takeaways to make it home!!  

As is the way nowadays, two minutes after the idea was mooted an app had been downloaded and we were into our first five minute butt toning exercise session.  Two days later the pain set in and it became apparent some toning should be continued ;0)   I am all in favour of doing things with others so when one of my dear friends thought we should Skype each other six evenings to continue on, I was all for it!  I figured it was pointless having a gorgeous J Lo butt in the future if other parts of me weren't also toned, especially as I need a well toned core for my running endeavours.  After some app research I have downloaded ab and arms workouts to go with the butt one.  All of them have varying degrees of difficulty and last between five and ten minutes so they are perfect for slotting into the day without impacting on your time too much ... And BONUS they were all free too!!

So this week the anti has been upped and toning will hopefully be taking place all over the body!  Tomorrow I will be posting on a new diet I am undertaking for the next 30 days starting tomorrow ... yikes, the body won't know what's hit it!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Three Weeks of Running Done and Dusted!

It was COLD ... Spring has temporarily disappeared!
BUT today it was forced ... really forced!  It was freezing outside and inside the fire was going and I have a thousand jobs I want to get done, as you do when you move into a new home.  The morning passed by and I did not feel the need to venture outside, I was having way too much fun helping my girl peep sort out play with her Lego.

I eventually got out the door and started my last session for week three when it started to rain :0(  It was a big change from the 30+ temperatures I have been used to in Singapore.  I must have looked hilarious, I had BRIGHT pink shorts on and I had completely red legs from the single digit temperature mixed with pouring rain and wind chill :0D ... mmmm, probably not my best look of the week!  I got home and felt pretty proud I had continued and done the run even in those conditions.

Three weeks done and I am starting to think about additional ways of increasing my fitness so the running becomes easier.  The legs don't want to give out on the runs but the breathing could be a whole lot better.  For me that means incorporating some walking into the off days, along with some toning exercises and a strengthening of my non-existent core.  When I started Caryn advised me that running requires a strong core as it makes it easier and more comfortable.  I know as a result of back surgery last year I don't have a particularly strong core.  If I had bothered to use my core muscles over the last thirty years I probably wouldn't have had any lower back issues ;o)  I have made progress in this area, I now know where it is and can turn it off and on ... and that's pretty much where my core excitement stops!  My goal over the next couple of days is to find a beginners guide to developing core strength and incorporate that in as a daily habit.  

Tomorrow I'll let you know what the toning and core activities are going to entail and we may also have a change in the diet coming up .... xx

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Still Running, The Posting Just Went Wayward

Beautiful Spring day for running
Ok, I have now changed countries and while I have made sure the running hasn't stopped, the posting did for the last several days as I am shattered.  I have been away from home in Otane for seven weeks and during that time I don't think I stopped ... too much fun and way to many things to do and enjoy.  I even came home to a small party to thank our builder, plasterer, kitchen maestro, and the lovely Vanessa from Mitre 10. Today I sat down and stopped and in doing so I became really really tired!

Before I sat down and stopped I took the peeps up to Hawkes Bay Sports Park for a run.  What a beautiful place, nobody was there when we arrived and it made me think back to the atmosphere at the cca in Bukit Timah and miss it greatly.  However, the scenery was beautiful, the track was premo, and the sky was brilliant blue.  Halfway through our session we were joined by a cross fit group and some runners who looked like they needed a break from their day jobs!!

I have now completed W3D2 and its fair to say the running is becoming more prevalent in each session and I have also realised I don't work well with two days rest so I am going to run every second day.  It will make my weeks six day weeks but two days rest isn't currently working in my favour as the legs seem to cease up.  If it works out to be too much this way, I may look at going back to a seven day week and adding in a walk to the week instead but I'll try the six day week first.

My next post will be a little more enthusiast but for now that's about all I can muster!  Singapore I MISS you, New Zealand it is NICE to be home :0)

This is why I need more muscles, too much shopping!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 11: Running ... in the morning again!

Yes indeedy folks, I went to bed so early last night I woke up really early and didn't know what to do with myself.  In the end I decided there was only one thing to do and that was to get the peeps out of bed and go for todays run ... fair to say I had to bribe the kids, lucky Tiong Bahru Bakery for breakfast is a family favourite!

Given the peeps were running their own 5K apps (see this post if you want to check out the apps they are using) with me today I decided doing a circuit around the local park was the best idea.  We all run at different speeds and crossing multiple roads probably wasn't the best idea if I wanted to be able to run without worrying about their safety.  The local park is a block on its own so its long enough not to be boring while we are still running short distances. 

Ready for her run!
I was so busy listening to music today that Ned told me I was halfway before I even realised how far I had gone.  It made me realise how much music and running go hand-in-hand for me and I am so pleased I am over my mental block about using headphones while running!  I am sure most people have their favourite songs that make you feel happy, alive, or have great memories attached to them that make you wanna get up and get jiggy ... I know I do and lots of them are on my running playlist!  For me music plays a crucial role in making me feel good while I'm out exercising and I think its the distraction of upbeat music that makes the cycles go so fast.

Until I reach a level of fitness where running becomes enjoyable on its own merit, music is going to be my savior from being tormented by Ned when I really can't be bothered "... picking up the pace to a run ..."  So I thought I would embarrass myself a little further and give you some of my favourite running tracks ;o) 

Bob Sinclair - Love Generation
Creed - Higher, With Arms Wide Open, One Last Breath
Kelly Clarkson - People Like Us
Bon Jovi - Its My Life, Because We Can, Livin on a Prayer
John Parr - St Elmo's Fire
P!ink - Just Give Me a Reason, Try
Black Eyed Peas - Where is the Love, I Gotta Feeling
Rhianna - Where Have you Been, Diamonds
Mumford and Sons - I Will Wait
F.U.N - We Are Young
Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire
Jennifer Lopez (feat Pitbull) - Dance Again

Yeah ... that's probably enough embarrassment for one day ... :o)  See you all tomorrow for another run!



Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 9 and 10: I think Ned will be HAPPY

This is my niece Isla and I, we both enjoy the relaxing rides at theme parks!
Well for the last two days no running has been on the agenda but I think Ned will still be happy with me.  I spend the ninth day walking around Universal Studios, drinking plenty of water, and only eating gluten free, dairy free food.  Not bad for a day off and I am sure I walked off most of the calories I consumed and then sweated out the rest thanks to the soaring humidity and nervous energy from the mildly nauseating rides I went on late in the day thanks to the egging on of two eight year olds and my sister!

It was a great day, and extremely hot!
Today I spent much of my day relaxing knowing Ned and I have a date tomorrow and it involves a significant amount of running.  Not sure I will have earned any brownie points from Ned from my activities today but I did say no to the waiter when he asked about ice creams, but yes to the lime juice that was way too tempting in 32 degrees ... and it was TOTALLY worth it :o)

To be fair it was the perfect spot to relax ;o)
See you all tomorrow, when Ned and I will determine whether a day relaxing by the pool is really a good idea prior to a run day or whether today was just a day of pure luxury and laziness!



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 8: The Start of Week Two

My 5K running app started its second week today and, as such, so did I.  Best not to get on the wrong side of Ned just yet!  The running intervals got LONGER ... yikes.  I did head off early by my standards but probably not for anyone else, it was just after 9am when my shoes felt the pavements of Tiong Bahru.  It was fairly hot by then (~30 degrees) and there was plenty of traffic on the roads as I hit the concrete jungle today.

Hello Great World City ... no shopping today sadly, just
passing by!
 My late start made for some interesting (precarious) road crossings as I tried to negotiate my way towards Great World City without stopping at the many, many traffic lights.  I am pretty certain this is the downside of not having any clue where you are going and no road plan handy.  It also made my run times longer as I had to run almost every road I crossed (these are not narrow roads people, far from it ... imagine 4 lanes each lane side) and they occurred mostly through my walking cycles as no luck would have it!  I did manage to run every cycle and probably had only one more run in me when I was asked to warm down by Ned ... perfect timing as I think the next cycle would have had a lot of clock watching in it otherwise ;o)

Best part of my running session today was rounding the corner for home having cooled down and seeing these two handsome chaps about to cross the road ... low and behold, they had my coffee, hot drinks for everyone else AND morning tea for the tribe from Tiong Bahru Bakery!  Outstanding timing boys, I owe you one.

Such a good sight to see!
So good so far but I am sure there will be hard weeks ahead where I have to revisit the week before moving on ... but as far as I'm concerned any progress is good progress and I am currently lapping those still on the couch!

first day I have had sounds in both ears ...
momentous occasion for me, first time in
eight years I have run with music ... yay, me!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 6 and 7: Week One Run and Dusted

Day 6 saw me complete an early morning run around Tiong Bahru.  I am still surprised I got up early and went for a run but the feeling was awesome and it signaled the completion week one of running .... YAY!  The running was really easy today and I didn't clock watch at all ... hope it wasn't getting up and running first thing in the morning that had that effect.  Yikes, that would be a habit I wouldn't like to keep going!  

After the run, we headed to Malaysia for a couple of days to visit LEGOLAND ... where brick dreams are made and mine were.  It was awesome!  The details are amazing, the lego sculptures all over the park had me gob smacked, and the peeps LOVED the rides.  When the Lego water park is completed later this year, it will be unbelievable.

Day 7 was a rest day before we start week two in my 5K training program app.  We have another busy day tomorrow back here in Singapore so it will have to be an early morning run again ... trust me its not going to be a habit ;o) 

Short and sweet post for today, see you tomorrow for a ramping up of the running régime ... bit scary but one day at a time should work!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 5: Cross Training, or a Day Trip

It's really hard to know what I did today ...  Mo took all our peeps and I to Pulau Ubin today for a bike ride.  It is such a beautiful place and only a short boat ride from mainland Singapore but you feel like you are miles away from anywhere.  There is no modernisation, the taxi drivers snooze in a shade hut while waiting for customers, the main street is about 50m long and consists of only bike shops and eateries.  Its like walking back in time, its quiet and very laid back.

Main Street
We hired some bikes and took off on a bike ride around the island.  There are very few vehicles so completely safe for bike riding with kids and they loved that they could own the roads!  The scenery is stunning and untouched, which is great when you are meandering up gentle inclines and you forget that the pedaling is taking a little more effort.  There is a parking lot for bicycles up the top part of the island where you can dismount and take a walk down to the water and along some great boardwalks.  Two hours later, ~10Ks biked and walked, and a few small but daunting hill climbs later (a lot of which were done pushing bikes up rather than cycling up!) we arrived back at the pier hot, sweaty, and exhausted!

Bike Hire ... VERY expensive at $2 for the day!
It was an awesome day trip that combined some fun exercise for all of us and deserved a good soak in the pool once we arrived back at the condo.  The legs are a little sore tonight so tomorrows run should be interesting!  That and the fact I have to get up really early in the morning to do it before we venture across the border to LEGOLAND Malaysia.  I can't wait, bricks and I have a long history and its like a dream come true to take my peeps their with my sister and her two ... so a big day that starts with the last run for the first week in my quest to run 5K!

It was so safe for the kids so it's perfect for a family
The boardwalk ... a really cool loop circuit that takes you
down to the waters edge
While my bike was parked up it got ransacked by the
local monkeys looking for food!
Did I mention that I am not a morning person ... like, not at all ... I generally like coffee to drink before I talk .... and about an hour before I have to function .... even longer if you want me to use my brain ... yeah, not a morning person not even close!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 4: Getting the Family Moving

I am so lucky I have a very supportive immediate and extended family, not to mention my dear friends who are like family.  Heaps of them have offered support, coaching, medical assistance, and to run with me too ... even my peeps!  I love that the peeps want to support me and to encourage them increase their own fitness I have also entered them in the kids series Run Auckland, with a little bribe for each race they run in ...  like I said, I want them to participate and support my fitness and, more importantly, theirs over the longer term and bribery has always worked for me as a mother!

 My biggest peep, Ben, saw my 10K Runner app and told me he had seen a similar running app he wanted to try out.  Its called Zombies, Run!  Its an adventure that gets you to run further and faster the more missions you do.  There is a 5K Beginners Zombie, Run! app that Ben is going to do after trialing the full version which he has absolutely loved.  Its perfect for boys and adventurous girls that want to get fit and get some adventure gaming in too!

Zombies, Run!
We tried a mission out with Pollyanna, my youngest peep but she was not at all fussed on the zombies chasing after her, which I can completely understand.  It took a bit of searching but I finally found a "girls" couch to 5K app called Run!Alice.  So far so good, Polly loves the journey bringing Alice back to the castle ... not totally loving the Witch that runs after her because, lets be honest, Singapore is a pretty hot, humid place to start a fitness program!

Speaking of not loving things, it pays to have some appropriate running gear we have discovered. If money is an issue check out the fitness outlet stores for some of last seasons running clothing and accessories.  I made the fatal mistake of sending the kids out in loose cotton tees and shorts only for them to get rubbing rashes from the thick material.  Not the best idea when you want them to keep up the training and come out with you again AND enjoy it!

The peeps new running gear ... no more rashie booboos!
We went to Queensway Shopping Center (an outlet mall for fitness fanatics) today and kitted out the kids in some Dryfit running gear and some socks that are designed for runners and don't slip in their shoes.  Blisters are a really bad idea in heat and normal sports socks just haven't cut the mustard this week.  Lessons learned and I am slowly rectifying them as we go along on this running journey!

In other news, Mo (my sister) took us to Haw Par Villa today and it has got to be the weirdest place I have ever been to!  Its hilarious, the sculptures and art are amazing and incredibly macabre all at the same time.  The kids were amazed, disturbed, delighted, and confused all at once and totally enjoyed the adventure.  

Haw Par Villa ... Constructed by the Tiger Balm Creators
Sculptures Galore
Multiple King Kongs anyone!
It was a nice gentle walk for my day off from Ned.  Mo tells me Ned will be even more delighted with me tomorrow as we are off to Pulau Ubin for a cycling adventure!

Until then, take care xx

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 3: Running and some Race Registrations!

The courts and track at Bukit Timah are full of so many people doing something
its almost like a festival of fitness every . single . day ... awesome place
Today we get further from the couch and closer to 5ks with W1D2 and a 30 minute workout.  The legs felt a bit stiff yesterday morning but apart from that no issues after the first run.  I actually looked forward to running today, must be those happy endorphins playing with me ... yeah, there is no way I have exercised that strenuously or continuously yet to reach such giddy heights but a positive attitude always help before you go out on a very humid day!  

This was the temp two hours after I started

Change of scenery today, I really wanted to join all the other hopefuls on the track at Bukit Timah in Singapore.  I have spent lots of time at the track this week watching my nephew training to get fit for the football season.  It was very motivating watching everyone from Singapore's track team, to highly motivated runners, to retirees, to football kids, to the plodders (like me) work their way round the track to reach their individual goals.  It was time for me to join in today and sweat with them :o)

I really needed that positive attitude today, I found my legs didn't want to move as fast as I wanted them to!  By the time we got to the track it had been baked in sun for the day and I felt hot just walking out there let alone running.  Lucky the vibe out at CCA is so awesome you just want to do it regardless of how your legs feel and I did do it and managed all the running segments which made me feel so proud.  Ned and I weren't the best of mates today, I clock watched a bit during the running phases and, once again, didn't drink enough water earlier in the day.  Came away with a headache thanks to a lack of water, but was really pleased with how quickly I recovered from the run afterwards ... Bonus!

Ok, I have made some progress with finding some races in New Zealand I can work towards completing.  The first one is a 5k race I promised Caryn I would do on the first of December.  I found one in Auckland, the ADRA Charity Run that goes around the Auckland waterfront and has no hills ... a good idea me thinks for the beginner 5k race runner!  Registrations open shortly and I am excited there are some friends and family that have said they will run it too ... nothing like having others to support and inspire you.

The other event I have registered for is the Run Auckland 2014 series.  The series takes in 6 races at different locations around Auckland and takes place between March and July.  Competitors get the choice of participating in the 5k or 10k at each event and the sixth race also includes the Run Auckland Half Marathon ... perfect timing as its about a year away, SWEET!  

Well that's about it for today, run and dusted ... Two day break before there is any further movement away from the couch towards 5k which is a little sad.  However, it gives me a chance to explore the food side of things more and let you know what my family are doing to support me and also join in :0)


Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 2: No Running so lets talk Food

Todays lunch: potato salad with dairy free mayo

I find it hard to talk about food and diet in general as its not a subject that I love!  It seems every generation there is a new something that must be taken out of everyone's diet to solve the growing issues with weight ... we took out fat, we've taken out carbs, low gi was the way to go, sugar is a drug that should not be tolerated, gluten is poisonous, dairy has terrible side effects, and don't use artificial anythings if you expect to live!  Even fruit has had it's protesters, and don't even get me started about liquid diets and food replacement program's ... where does it stop?  To be honest I think there will always be a next big idea that will aim to solve everyone's weight loss.

I often hear about someone who knew someone who new someone else who lost a lot of weight doing some new amazing diet and it worked wonderfully.  Next minute half the village are doing it and wondering why their results aren't the same or not working at all.  For me the easy, maybe not right, answer is that we are all different in the way we function internally and each diet will do something different for each person.  So for me the answer lies in trying various ideas and seeing what you body likes in terms of not only weight loss but also in terms of inner well being.  We all have our favourites, you know the diet that worked really well but needed lots of will power ... I think most of us know which foods we have to stop eating if we want to make a difference to our weight.  For my sister its sugar, she stops eating it and the weight falls off her.  For Caryn, she has found the Dukan Diet was brilliant, it shifted weight for the half iron man and kept it off using this method.  Caryn is talking about diet on her blog this week as she has some dilemmas with the Dukan Diet and is experimenting with her choices as well!
For me?  Well I haven't got the full answer and lots of the next year will be about finding the answer.  Two food groups I know my body doesn't love are gluten and dairy.  I LOVE dairy foods ... cheese is my chocolate as I don't have a natural sweet tooth.  Several months ago I gave up both after doing some research to see if it would help me mentally, physically, and internally.  I am one of those people that believe if you do enough research you can find the evidence to support both sides of the argument :0)  As such, I wasn't overly optimistic about any major changes dropping these two food groups would bring but thought I would give them the three week stand down and reintroduce them one at a time after that.  For me, the feeling of wellness was so, well ... exhilarating I have stuck with no gluten and no dairy 95% of the time and still feel awesome!  It's not going to be the same for everyone, but if you have an inkling about what food group you think you body might have an intolerance for, drop it for three weeks and see if you have any positive results.  Three weeks is a small amount of time to do some personal testing and if you don't see any results there's been no harm and you can continue to enjoy that food group!!

The down side of reducing these two food groups has been the increase in my sugar consumption.  While I have adapted from drinking lattes to long blacks, the coffee now has a sugar in it :0(  As I said above, I don't naturally have a sweet tooth but have developed one since quitting gluten and dairy.  I am keen to get rid of the majority of sugar as well but need to better understand how to put in place a well rounded, flavourful diet that's not boring either!!

So this year the food journey will be a trial and error one hopefully ending up with an answer that is right for me but providing people with lots of ideas along the way they can try for themselves.  I love to try new ideas and new recipes and I will be doing both over the coming 12 months, especially with the help of Pinterest ... my go to website for seeking fresh, fun ideas for anything! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 1: Done and Dusted

Day one has been and gone and I succeeded in doing the W1D1 workout on the 10k Runner app I downloaded to get me started on this road to health and fitness.  Now don't be confused, the app also has a 5k program and that's what I am using.  It worked brilliantly I didn't need to keep watch checking as a lovely man, lets give him a name and go with Ned, told me when I needed to slow to a walk and speed up to a run and even let me know when I was halfway through todays workout. Ned and I got along famously.  Of course it could have been because todays workout was only 25 minutes long and not too taxing AND to top it off Ned gave me a merit badge for finishing :o)

Actually the only hard part of todays effort was the heat and the humidity.  I went this morning and by Singapore standards it wasn't too hot, a mere 29 degrees (Celsius).  But alas for the beginner runner it was blisteringly hot and the humidity didn't help.  The cold shower after the run helped and the long black that was waiting for me at Forty Hands shortly thereafter helped even more!

A couple of picks below of where I ran, it was mostly around the park, down to the Tiong Bahru market and, so I didn't get lost, around a lamppost and back home in the same direction taking in one side street that was tree lined and looked too pretty not to run down. 

Quick thanks for all the lovely support, it is so nice and completely MOTIVATING so thank you very much!

Monday, August 12, 2013

It Started with a Pair of Sneakers ...

... and a trip to Singapore to see my lovely sister.  Some things just seem to happen at the right time and for me all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed and I was given a challenge I couldn't refuse.

I have been lucky enough to spend some quality time with Caryn, one of my sisters dear friends while I have been in Singapore.  She is amazing, she is 50, regularly runs, has done marathons, triathlons, and last year did her first ever half iron man! I kid you not, if you wanted to be inspired she is perfect and has decided to run the Singapore Marathon on the first of December.  You can follow her latest sporting adventure on her new blog A Year in Tiong Bahru, Singapore - Marathon Season.  Our relationship went slightly downhill when she challenged me to find a 5km race to do on the same day ... hmmm.  It IS the right time for me to start thinking about myself and, in particular, my health and fitness so I said yes!!

I like setting goals.  Most of my goals have involved others, especially my children.  One I did complete for myself was to blog a year of pinterest creations ... the first person to achieve it and I loved doing it, so did Pinterest which was lucky :o)  This time round the goal is more personal.  I have often given myself private health and fitness goals but have never completed them, always some of the way but never to the end of the goal!  My solution to this is to make my goals public and blog about them for the next year ... Making myself completely accountable to me, Caryn, and anyone else watching this amusing adventure!

 So the Goals for the coming 365 days:

On the first of December I am going to participate in a 5km race (this race is in Auckland, New Zealand), then at the six month mark compete in a 10 km race, ending this years goals will be a half marathon (she says hopefully!).  I am not a natural runner and am not really fit ... I love playing sports but haven't joined any teams since moving to the Hawkes Bay earlier this year and my sweet walking partner now lives 6 hours away so not that convenient!  I can happily run up four flights of stairs but I would pass out if you made it ten!    Hopefully that gives you some idea of my fitness levels or lack of fitness more appropriately.  I am going to get Caryn to help me with what I should be doing and seek her advice OFTEN so I don't mess this up.  Caryn's first piece of advice was to use a couch to 5Kms program to get off to a good start. I went to the app store and found plenty of apps that have a couch to 5kms program, there are also plenty freely available online.  I went with the 10K Runner: 0 to 5K to 10K run training app as it had great reviews.

The second part of this journey is to also drop a substantial amount of weight.  There is no goal attached to this part except that it HAS to be double digit kilos :o)  I am going to mess around with my diet and also blog about it as a way of tracking the experimentation and, once again, keeping myself accountable.  I don't believe in there being one diet that will work for everybody as we all function differently internally.  Hopefully by blogging about it, I might encourage others to give something new a go or hopefully there is lots of feedback and I can get plenty of new ideas from you guys as well.  Failing any feedback, there is always my go-to bible of knowledge Pinterest for plenty of inspiring ideas to try!

Caryn and I are both hoping we will inspire more people to come join our journey, get involved, even find a running race that suits your fitness ability, blog about it, and we can create a supportive group of like minded people ... if we can all inspire one another I am certain the journey to health and fitness will be far more prosperous and definitely a lot more FUN! 

Anyone interested leave a comment so I can follow you and add a link at the side of this blog so others can follow along too!