Category Archives: Photos

If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again.

(I promise I won’t keep posting about smoothies every day!)

This morning was attempt #3 at a Green Monster.  I took pictures of the entire process – mainly because I’d like to start adding more photos to my blog but I’m always forgetting to actually take any – and what do you know? This smoothie is the best one yet. Not that I’m attributing it all to the photos, but I have a sneaking suspicion that helped in some way.

Laying everything else - ready to start

I started by getting everything out and onto the countertop. I was toying with the idea of adding frozen peas. I’m not sure why. They aren’t “leafy greens” – but they are veggies. And they’re cold. I nixed them for frozen berries, though.

Spinach & bok choy

Taking Cammy‘s advice, I tossed the spinach (and baby bok choy – fancy!) into my food processor with a splash or water and started blending away, occasionally scraping down the sides. I left this running as I ran around the apartment getting ready for the day.

Mmmm - healthy!

After a few minutes – and a little foam – I was content that there were no more little spinach bits left. Blending all the greens with a little water before adding anything else is definitely the key. It was silky smooth and completely green-bit-free. Yes!

The last step.

When I was happy with the consistency of the greens, I tossed in the rest of my smoothie ingredients: frozen banana, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and some ice cubes. I added a little more water to thin it out a bit, as well. And since the greens were already set, I only had to blend this enough to break up the fruits – minimizing any potential extra foam.

Ta da! All done.

(You can still see a little bit of the leftover greens on the side).

I can say this is definitely far and away the best of the 3 smoothies. No little green bits. Minimal foam. And very, very yummy. I think the ice cubes are important, too. They keep the smoothie colder for longer AND if there were any little bits of greens or fruits, they blended in with the bits of ice and I wasn’t bothered by them.

So, there you have it. My “best yet” smoothie – with photos!

And while those of you back up in the northern hemisphere are chatting about the cooler weather, shortening days and coming of fall, here in the southern hemisphere we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of summer. The clocks spring forward this weekend and even with the crazy storm, you can tell summer is on its way. And I can’t wait!

For those of you who have just been through summer – do you have any advice? Is there something that you wish you would’ve done this summer? Or something you wish you would’ve known when summer first started? In-season fruits and veggies you should’ve taken advantage of? Workouts that take advantage of the nice weather? Recipes that helped you make it through the hottest months without consuming tubs and tubs of ice cream?

If you could do summer again – what would you do?

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Filed under Diet, Photos, Recipes

Full-on weekend

Yesterday was pretty full on at work, so I didn’t manage to squeeze a little me time in and blog the way I usually do. I mean, I don’t blog on company time. Ever.

*cough*

So this weekend was quite the little adventure! I’ll start with the races.
It was… different. I don’t know what I was expecting, but we walked in and it was like walking into a nightclub but in the middle of the day. There was a DJ spinning club anthems and a dance floor. Most of the girls were in fitted, short dresses and massive heels and the guys were in nice suits and, often, aviator sunglasses.

How could you say no to a friand!?

The food was okay. It was buffet-style with chaffing dishes. I had some not-so-great, cold sushi. (Nothing like the deliciousness I order for girls’ nights!) I also had a small salad and handful of salt & pepper squid (yum!). I managed to avoid the chocolate fountain – which was no easy task! – but ate 4 raspberry friands. 4! It’s not really my fault. They were really, really yummy. And gluten-free. And ridiculously yummy. Of course, I ended up with that “I’m too full!” feeling for most of the afternoon/evening.

We bet on 2 races and lost the entire $20 we bet. Not surprising since Andrew wanted maximum return if we won and would only bet on horses to win, not place. Clearly, we’re not gamblers and didn’t have beginner’s luck on our side, either. Maybe it’s because we bet purely based on the horses names and not their stats. (Andrew was quite sure “Saved By The Bell” would come through for him!)

Me with my pretty fascinator

In the end, we decided it would have been much more fun with a group of people and that we should bet to place and not just to win. It was nice to have an excuse to really get dressed up, though. I wore a dress that had been sitting in my closet since I bought it a few years ago and my friend Natalie Chan lent me a gorgeous flower fascinator to wear – since everyone at the races has some extravagant thing on their head! Of course, I was also happy when we got home and I could take off the heels and slip into some yoga pants and a warm hoodie.

Of course, the races were only just a small part of the weekend. In case you hadn’t heard, there was a massive 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch at 3:30am Saturday morning. While that is on the South Island and I live up in the North, it was still a big deal. Amazingly, there wasn’t a single death and there were only 2 serious injuries reported! Since Andrew works for a national TV broadcaster, he ended up on the phone for most of the day, making sure they were getting the coverage they needed and sorting out how to deal with schedule shows that got bumped, etc.

Some of the damage done by the quake.

Sunday morning we headed out to the gym and did some cardio, chest and back. I would never have really done any chest or back training, just because I don’t really know how. Andrew does, though, and it was like he was my personal trainer. He was really great and made sure I had good form and really encouraged me to do my best. Am still feeling it today!

Also, I hit 2 months on Sept 5th – but it’s that time so I’m holding off on my weight/measurement update until next week. Which gives me an extra few days to work off those friands!

What did you get up to this weekend?

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Food combinations

The more I learn about diet and nutrition, the more I realize how absolutely little I know about the whole thing. Never mind simply trying to eat mainly healthy, nutritious foods – apparently there’s a whole science behind what type of foods should and shouldn’t be eaten with each other, what order to eat foods in and a whole lotta talk about digestive times and why you shouldn’t eat melon after a meal. Just as I thought I was getting the hang of this!

Similar to the reason why I semi attempt to track foods and calories/nutritional value, I started reading about food combinations and ideal order of eating foods because I thought it was all quite fascinating. And while I know I’m not going to overhaul my eating – again – I might learn a thing or two that may stick.

Some things I’ve learned:

  • Fruits and vegetables digest the quickest, so should be eaten first. If you eat a steak and then a fruit salad for dessert, the fruit will get digested in your stomach, but have to wait until the steak’s completely digested before it can move on. That can cause fermentation, gas, etc.
  • Carbs and acids don’t play well together since carbs need an alkaline environment to properly digest. If you usually have a grapefruit or orange with your cereal in the morning, try having the fruit first and then carbs about 20-30 minutes later, when the fruit has digested. Your stomach should be much happier.
  • Acids aren’t great with proteins, either.
  • Non-starchy vegetables mix well with proteins, sweets and starches.
  • Milk get digested in the duodenum, not the stomach, so should be taken completely by itself if you want it to digest properly.

Basically, most foods don’t play well with each other, unless you’re talking about non-starchy vegetables, which seem to do well with everything. Also, you should eat your plate in order, finishing one food before moving on to the next, in order from quickest/easiest digested to hardest.

General digestion times: fruits (20-30 min), raw veggies (30-40 min), fish (30 min), cooked veggies (40 min), starches (60 min), grains (90 min), skim milk (90 min), legumes & beans (90-120 min), chicken (2 hr) seeds & nuts (2.5-3 hr), beef/lamb/pork (3-5 hr) and, finally, hard cheese (4-5 hr).

…you can see why I’m not suddenly jumping into this program headfirst! Can you imagine trying to remember all the little details of what combines well with what and how long everything takes to digest?!
That said, though, I think I actually managed to stick with the general rules with my lunch today:

Om nom nom!

Raw carrots, cucumber, yellow pepper and cherry tomatoes, which were all mostly eaten before the chicken. The grapes are still there, for now. I’m pretty satisfied with the veggies and chicken and am saving them for a little sugary pick-me-up in an hour or so.

Do you eat foods in a particular order? Would you be able to follow such an intricate structure of what, when and how to eat?

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Filed under Diet, Photos

Dear chin…

Please stop doing this when I smile…

You’re cute and all, but I’m really more than happy with just one chin. Two is overkill.

Though, I suppose some people might be distracted enough by the apparently massive size of my breasts to even notice the chin action going on. I swear, they really aren’t as ridiculously big as they appear. My arm could certainly use some toning, as well. (Never mind what good a little bit of sun could do me!) Thank you shoulder, though, for half-hiding my second chin.

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