Sprouts n Squats

Friday Favourites

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Happy happy Friday! Today I can’t help but be a bit extra excited since we have another public holiday here in Australia today for Anzac Day, our national day of remembrance. Every year they hold a dawn service, I’ve never made it before but one year I definitely want to go.

Today my bestie Amanda and I are going out for brunch, if the weather holds up I’m planning on doing my first run outside in ages to meet her there. Not sure how I’ll go running back with a stomach full of brunch but I can only try. Later today Nick and I have a BBQ at one of his friend’s houses who is making us slow cooked ribs, yum.

Tomorrow I’m going to a Christening for a friend who is the godmother of the child. Then later that night we’ve organised some combined belated birthday drinks with friends for Nick and I. Needless to say it is going to be a jam packed weekend. Phew.

Here’s my Friday Favourites this week…

Friday Favourites

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My favourite slow cooker idea of the week is this Slow Cooker Rice Pudding. I’ve finally got a slow cooker and I’m just started to figure out what I can do with it, so if you’ve got some good recipes, let me know!

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My frivolous want to buy of the week is this Clean All The Things t-shirt. I would wear it when I do a big clean which I definitely tend to do. Yes it is completely impractical being white and would probably get dirty, details, details ;)

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My favourite funny of the week. Yep I know it is a bit wrong. SorryNotSorry ;)

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My favourite healthy food idea / food photography of the week are these Beet and Kale chips. I’m not a huge beetroot fan and I’ve never eaten Kale chips (must change that) but these look and sound amazing.

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My favourite necklace of the week. Any jewellery when it is turquoise I am always immediately drawn to it, which is funny because I don’t actually own much of it.

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My favourite food porn of the week is these Kit Kat Cheesecake Bars. OMG yum! Kit Kat’s are my favourite, cheesecake is Nick’s favourite, def one I need to make one time.

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One more funny… ;)

What are your weekend plans?

Favourite chocolate bar? As I said mine is definitely Kitkats all the way.

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What I’ve been eating with my Vitamix

Happy Wednesday!! How is your week going?

We are very lucky to only have a 3 day working week here in Australia this week as we had Monday off for Easter and then we get Friday off for Anzac day so I really can’t complain about it being Wednesday at all this week.

Over the weekend I cooked up a storm with my Vitamix to start seeing the potential for what I can cook with it on a regular basis.

Since I’ve already started eating a lot of the food and it has been a whilst since I’ve done a WIAW post I am linking up with Jenn today.

Here are some of the things I’ve made and ate so far with my Vitamix:

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Green hummus

I made this by blending together:

1 x 400g can Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans for my US friends)
1 Zucchini
A good handful of coriander
Pinch of paprika
1 tsp tahini
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste.
 

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Baked Falafels from Amy at The Little Honey Bee.

These are so good and so easy to make! Side note Nick thought I’d made cookies at first. Second side note I’m trying to reintroduce more beans into my diet, my digestion doesn’t love it when I eat too many but testing the limit of what is ok and so far so good.

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Green soup!

I promise it is much better than the first picture makes it look. I made it using all the veggies we had leftover in our fridge. So I steamed some broccoli and cauliflower and blitzed it in the Vitamix with some vegetable stock. Then in a fry pan I cooked some onion, leeks, mushroom and fresh corn with garlic and spices then added in the mixture. At the end I grated in some parmesan cheese for some extra flavour and it was so good and even Nick approved.


VitamixJuiceVitamixJuiceGreen juice

Every morning I’ve been trying to make a green juice to have before breakfast. So far my favourite combination has been Cucumber, Celery, Spinach and Zucchini with fresh lemon and ginger. I find the lemon and ginger mask the flavour of the vegetables.

I am also thinking in May of challenging myself to making and drinking a green juice or green smoothie a day just to get in extra veggies and be a bit healthier coming into winter here in Australia.

So that has been what I’ve been eating lately.

What has been your favourite thing you ate this week? For me it was the delicious Hot Cross Bun I had on Easter Sunday – it was not wheat free and I paid for it later but it was worth it at the time!

Do you own a juicer / blender?

Would you be up for a green drink challenge in May?

 

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The Armstrong Lie Review + more

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Happy Monday to you all! I hope you have been having a nice Easter weekend. I didn’t realize that not everywhere in the world gets as long off for Easter as what we do here in Australia – we get the Friday and Monday off work – so I’m considering myself extra lucky this weekend. (Sorry to those who don’t get as long off). I’ve been doing lots of cooking, cleaning and eating over this weekend basically ;)

This morning I hit the gym to go for another run, (this is 4 kms not 4 miles):

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It is still a struggle but I’m pushing through.

I had a green juice afterwards at home (thanks to my Vitamix) and then went for a nice brunch with a couple of good friends:


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brunch

Many weeks ago Nick and I went to see The Armstrong Lie. A documentary interviewing not only Lance Armstrong but a lot of his former teammates and competitors all around doping and the Tour de France (for those not familiar it is an endurance bike ride that happens every year and goes for about 21 days).

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Originally the documentary was supposed to be about Lance Armstrong’s comeback in the 2009 Tour de France race after having been in retirement for 4 years but because of the charges that came out against him the documentary was canned. The guy who filmed the documentary felt Lance Armstrong owed him after having blatantly lied to him for so long during the original filming so after he did his Oprah interview he agreed to be interviewed for this documentary and ‘set the record straight’ about what really happened and why.

The Armstrong Lie review

I found it really interesting to look back on some of the history of the Tour de France and see some of the past races (Nick’s a huge tour fan so we watch it every year). Lance’s explanations on why he did what he did to me aren’t justified as his reason for doping was that ‘everyone else was doing it’ and that he still was the best because it was a so called level playing field since everyone else did it too.

There were parts where I thought you could tell Lance was still lying about some things but it really is hard to know for sure. All in all it was an interesting documentary to watch especially since  so many people within the sport helped him and others cover up their doping so that it really did become the ‘norm’ for some of the most elite.

I know there are plenty of sports where they’ve been plagued by claims of performance enhancing drugs and to me I don’t agree with them but then it could be argued that there are plenty of legal aids that can give athletes an edge too e.g. those streamlined swimsuits they introduced for a little whilst in swimming, to me though there is a clear difference.

I would say this film is worth watching even if you haven’t seen the Tour de France as it is just an interesting topic in sport.

How has your Easter been?

What’s your take on drugs in sport?

 

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Happy Easter

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Happy Easter and Happy Friday to you all! I’m super excited for the long weekend I can’t tell you.

So far today I’ve gone for a run:

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It was tough going let me tell you. Since getting my cast off I’ve been starting to build back up my running fitness but its not easy.

After my run I had a green smoothie:

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Made with frozen banana, almond milk, protein powder, a good handful of spinach and a tsp almond butter. So good.

Later today Nick and I are going to see some DJs he got us tickets to see. Tomorrow I plan on catching up on blog stuff and cleaning!

Sunday we’ve got Easter lunch with Nicks family then Monday I’ve got brunch with some friends.

Here’s this weeks Easter themed favourites…

Friday Favourites

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My favourite Easter DIY are these paper napkin eggs. I don’t really do Easter craft but these are so pretty to me.

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My favourite Easter recipe are these Gluten Free Burnt Orange and Fig Hot Cross Buns. Yum! Hot cross buns are one of my favourite things to eat but since I now avoid wheat as much as possible I don’t usually have them. I really want to try this recipe though.

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My favourite Easter outfit idea. This was one of my favs out of a list of no less than 12 Easter Outfit Ideas.

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My favourite Easter funnies. I couldn’t pick just one ;)

How are you spending your Easter weekend?
However you are spending it I hope you have a wonderful Easter!

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Supercharging my fitness

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Happy Thursday all!

Sorry for being a bit MIA this week, with my birthday on Tuesday and it being a short week for Easter, I’ve been a bit busier.

To say I was spoiled on my birthday was an understatement. Nick helped me buy that Michael Kors bag I had my eye on:

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Then my friends had flowers sent to my work:

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As well it is almost like Fitness First knew that this month was my birthday month. As part of my partnership with them they gave me $250 to help me supercharge my fitness in celebration of Australian Fitness week.

I took a bit of time to decide what I wanted to do with the money. At first I thought I’d use it to enter another half marathon and some other runs to help me kick start my running journey again (especially since I set it as a goal earlier in the year to run more races). I also thought about using it to try out Barre or start doing Yoga.

Then I realized that for me a lot of what comes down to me staying healthy is centered more around food than exercise. For the most part I don’t struggle to motivate myself to exercise consistently. However when it comes to food when I’m not organised and on top of things that is where things slip.

So with that in mind I put the money towards getting a Vitamix!!!!!!!

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????I had been wanting to get one for a while but had never taken the plunge. I spoke to 2 good friends about it and they said they both use theirs all the time.

So far these are some of the things I’ve made with it:

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Fresh whole vegetable and fruit juices, it is taking some practice to get the quantities right, the first juice I made I could have heated up and made soup it was so thick but it is so nice to have fresh juice.

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I used it to help me prepare vegetables to make vegetarian tacos for Nick and I on Saturday night. It was so good and so quick to throw together.

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I used it to make raspberry & yoghurt semi frozen dessert. I used a cup of frozen raspberries and some yoghurt, blitzed it up and voila.

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More juice (less like soup) ;)

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A mockamole recipe I will share with you soon to go on top of my corn fritter recipe.

image_6And more juice (this was the best yet). I made it with lots of celery, spinach and a kiwi fruit for some vitamin c.

I’m yet to use it to make soup (intentionally) and I want to try my hand at making my own nut butter and veggie burgers (which is what one of my good friend uses it for A LOT).

I’m hoping it will help me get more veggies in, help me with food and dinner prep and allow me to make a whole lot of new recipes I’d not been able to make before because I didn’t have a good blender / food processor.

How have you supercharged your fitness in the past? Or how would you do it now?

Food or exercise which do you struggle with more in terms of motivation?

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Disclaimer: This post is written in partnership with Fitness First but all opinions are my own.

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A bunch of food prep

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?

On Friday night I went to see a comedy / magic show that was really good. It is called Gentleman of Deceit, if it ever comes to your city it is well worth going to.

For the rest I did some food prep and watched True Detective. It was nice to have a weekend at home to just potter and do whatever.

Here’s what I prepped:

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Chopped and washed strawberries

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Made a batch of my Simple Granola

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Slow roasted some cherry tomatoes

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And made these awesome chia seed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and pine nut crackers from Oh She Glows

These are so good! They take 3 minutes to make the mixture and then less than an hour to bake. Make then when you get the chance.

I meant to do even more food prep but I got very distracted by a brand new purchase I made that I will tell you about later in the week! ;)

Tomorrows my birthday so I won’t be posting but I should be back Wednesday.

How was your weekend?

Do you usually do much food prep?

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Friday Favourites

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Happy Friday to you all!! It has been raining and kind of miserable here in Melbourne all week but the fact that its almost the weekend is making me happy.

Tonight I’m seeing a good friend and we are going to the comedy festival and to dinner. The rest of the weekend I want to get back into the kitchen and get organised with some serious food prep as I’ve been seriously slacking with my injured arm and work travel but now both are behind me it’s time to get back to it.

Next Tuesday is my birthday and I’m not as excited about it this year probably because I’m turning 31 and its not really a ‘big’ birthday. I’ll probably get excited on the day though. Maybe.

Anyway here are this week’s favourites.

Friday Favourites

Inspiring

My favourite photo of the week. I just think it is so pretty. It makes me want to go for a hike as well as go and take some more photos with the expensive camera I got on my last birthday that I’ve still not learnt to use off automatic. Opps.

Gorgeous shoes

My favourite shoes of the week. I just think they are so pretty and elegant. My toes are WAY too ugly to go open toe but I can admire these anyway.

FridayFunny

My favourite funny of the week. So simple, so funny. hehe

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My favourite food porn of the week is this Carrot Cake Poke Cake. Maybe it’s an American thing but I have no idea what poke cake is but carrot cake is by far my favourite kind of cake but this seems to be another level of deliciousness!

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My favourite bedding of the week is this from Kate Spade. I love yellow and this is just so bright. I could never get away with buying it both because of the price and I think Nick may protest with just how bright it is but a girl can still build her perfect imaginary house.

GoatsCheese

My favourite healthier recipe idea this week is this Goat’s Cheese Summer Squash Sushi. It looks so fresh and delicious.

That’s a wrap for this week’s favourites.

Do you get excited about your birthday?

What birthday cake would you pick for yourself? Mine’s obviously carrot cake all the way!

What are your plans this weekend?

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5:2 Your questions answered

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Hi all! I hope you are having a good week.

I must say it is really nice to not have to travel for work this week.

Almost a month ago I started the 5:2 diet and I told you about what fast days are like. On that post a few of you had questions on the diet and I had not yet replied but since others may find the answers interesting I thought I’d reply in a blog post instead. (For those not familiar the 5:2 is where for 2 non consecutive days a week for females you eat 500 calories for the day and for males it is 600 on the other days you can eat whatever you like.)

Is the point for weight loss along or some other reason? (asked by Melissa)

For me weight loss is definitely a current motivator, I don’t weigh myself but my clothes in the last 6 months have felt tighter and my aim is to have them feel comfortable again. I don’t have that much to lose but I’d like to feel good in my clothes again.

There are other benefits too though of reduced blood pressure and cholesterol but these for me aren’t my motivation as those for me are both good.

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Are you not allowed certain foods? (asked by Shashi)

All foods are allowed on the plan it just depends how you want to split up 500 calories on fast days. I’ve found having more vegetables and protein for meals e.g. salads to be the best calorie friendly option. I have also had random meals though like one time I had popcorn and a muesli bar for dinner because I wanted something crunchy and then a ‘dessert’ afterwards. On non fast days no foods are off limits, I’m still testing the boundaries of what I can eat on these days I still want to be healthy but lately with work travel I’ve not been the greatest on these days.

How long do you plan to keep it up for? (asked by Tina)

I plan to keep it up for as long as it fits into my life and if I get the results I am looking for from it.

Exercise-Bacon-PillowDo you just avoid exercising that day? (asked by Kim)

I have done exercise before on fast days and not found it to be an issue in terms of making me more hungry but as yet I’ve not done a really hard session on a fast day and I don’t know if I ever will. I have heard that exercising on a fast day is meant to be more beneficial in terms of burning more fat but don’t know how substantiated that claim actually is.

Bonus questions I’d thought you’d want to know:

So what are my results so far?

As I’ve not been weighing myself and I haven’t been measuring myself I don’t have a definitive thing to tell you in terms of results apart from my jeans do feel a little looser than what they did before. I think it will be a slow process so I’m just going to see how it goes, I do plan on taking measurements soon to at least have something more concrete to compare it to in say a month’s time.

Are the fasting days getting easier?

Surprisingly yes, some days are easier than others. Being busy definitely helps but I have found some days I will be hungrier than others on fast days for sure.

I know this style of eating is not for everyone and not everyone agrees with fasting but I will keep seeing how it goes and see if longer term it works for me.

What’s going on with you and food?

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20 Things that are easier to do without an arm cast on

Hi all and Happy Tuesday!

Since getting my arm cast off last Friday I’ve been very much enjoying doing all the things that were either much harder or impossible when I had it on.

Here’s my list so far of what is easier to do without an arm cast..

Let’s get the usual suspects out of the way first:

1. Cooking

2. Cleaning – OMG I am so excited that I was finally able to clean. Our apartment was an absolute pig sty so I was very happy to do a mega cleaning session and finally give relief to the Type A inside of me.

3. Driving – I possibly could have driven but it would have been both dangerous and not the easiest thing to do.

4. Sleeping

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Beauty

5. Washing your hair

6. Shaving your legs

7. Putting your hair in a ponytail

8. Putting on ALL makeup

9. Painting your nails

Fashion

10. Putting on bras

11. Putting on any clothing with zips e.g. pants, dresses, skirts

12. Putting on any clothing you have to put on over your head (so all tops and dresses without zips)

13. Buying new clothes – because of 10 & 11 it is pretty hard to shop and try things on, I once had to call my friend into the change room to get me out of a dress once I’d got it on as I couldn’t take it off with my cast on

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Food / Eating

14. Opening up jars and bottles

15. Chopping up meals when out to eat

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Technology

16. Typing on a computer

17. Pinning things on Pinterest – although judging by my Pinterest feed you wouldn’t know it!

18. Playing iPhone games like Papa Pear (hello old addiction)

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Fitness

19. Running – I could have done this apparently but I chose not to. Looking forward to getting out for my first painful run soon.

20. Lifting weights – I did so some leg machine weights but that was about it. I’ve got to be careful with starting free weights again but I’m also looking forward to getting back to this.

Is there any I missed?

If you ever been injured, what was your injury and what did you find harder to do when you had it?

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Currently in April

Happy happy Monday! I hope your weekend was as fun as mine. Nick and I went to Country Victoria to attend a friends wedding and it was a lot of fun. It was also very emotional seeing such close friends so in love get married, the groom could not stop crying when his bride walked down the aisle and it was an amazing sight to see.

I’m hopefully home all week and not having to do any work travel this week to me = bliss.

I’m trying to get more frequent with my currently posts, my last one was in February so I thought 2 months apart instead of my usual 6 months apart is getting better.

Current book

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I’m now halfway through book 2 of the Divergent series and I am loving it. I want to see the movie when it comes out here in Australia – I am behind it may even be out here already!

Current TV Shows

The-Following

I’ve been watching A LOT of The Following, I am now almost 100% up to date with series 2, it is way too easy to get addicted. I’ve also been watching The Good Wife – for those who watch OMG I can’t believe what happened!!?!?!? With Nick I’ve been watching The Crazy Ones, it is a comedy with Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar (side note: anything with Buffy in it I’ve got to watch).

Current Music

pandora-radio

I am still basically using Pandora all the time for my music needs, my station is a mix of Lorde / Daft Punk / Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Britney Spears and then it picks similar songs / artists. Since I’ve not been running I haven’t updated my gym playlist for a whilst but I really need to.

Current Need

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To book a holiday! NOW!!!!

Same need as last time and even same photo as I love it!

Current food

image_5My current food has been more liquid – Red Wine. Lately it has been my extra stress release, not every night but a glass every few nights has been just bliss.

Current wish list

michaelkorsselmaI still need a new handbag and I’ve talked Nick into helping me pay for a Michael Kors one for my birthday in less than 2 weeks time. I’m thinking of getting the above ‘Selma’ bag but in Red.

Current annoyance

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All the work travel I have been doing and may still need to do. I just find it has left me so time poor that I feel like my to-do list is growing longer and longer the more travel I have to do.

Current excitement

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In a couple of weeks Nick and I are going to a Lorde Concert right here in Melbourne and I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to it!

How about you….
Current: book?
Current: TV shows?
Current: music?
Current: need?
Current: food?
Current: wish list?
Current: annoyance?
Current: excitement?

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
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