My Life Planner

I LOVE stationary. I always have. I remember looking forward to the start of the school year when I was younger because that meant brand new books, pens, pencil cases and new duraseal designs. If I had been a good girl over the Christmas holidays I would get to choose coloured gel pens or highlighters and I would treasure these throughout the year. I am still protective of my pens like a muma cat to her cubs!

Jane and I share a mutual love of pretty stationary. One of my first memories of Jane was only a day or two after we had started working together. She corrected one of our workmates who had asked if her pens were from Smiggle. Of course they were from Kikki K. I knew we would be good friends from that point on.

Even though I love my iPhone and always have it pretty close by I have always preferred to keep a physical diary for appointments, notes and tracking of spending/food/goals, etc. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered Erin Condren and her life planner.

These planners are part diary/ address book/ notebook/ sticker book/ motivational material while meeting my every need!! The planner itself is fully personalised, from the front cover to the month your planner starts (you can choose a 12 or 18 month planner) to the colour and content of your stickers. While it takes me a good few weeks to finalise the design I want because there are sooooo many beauties to choose from, I swear this is a book you will come to appreciate more and more everyday throughout the year. I cant tell you how many people have commented on my planner and I am so proud of it because I picked every aspect of it! I cant wait till June till I can make my next one.

Here are a couple of picks of my personal Life Planner. I chose a colourful cover made up of phases, quotes and the names of important people and things in my life. My name is in big block letters down the side and underneath I chose a wee quote I like to follow as much as possible “train like an athlete, eat like a nutritionist, sleep like a baby and perform like a champ”. The back cover is the same as the front cover but instead of my name and the wee quote, there is a photo of me at ‘goal’.

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Here is a pic of the inside. I use my planner to track my food, exercise and spending. I LOVE the colourful stickers – Erin seems to have thought of everything (even mani/pedi and Girls Nights). These help me organise key events during the week and there are heaps of blank stickers to use however you like (like the two I used on Tuesday). 
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Here are a few pics courtesy of the Erin Condren website, highlighting some of the other aaamizing features of this gorgeous planner. If you can, wait until June to order your planner as she brings out a new release every year with enhancements and improvements on the last version! You can also get matching note pads and coloured felt tip pens which match your planner – I KNOW. I bet you didn’t know how much you wanted a notepad with your name on it in a gorgeous font and delicious colours!!

Erin Condren, if your reading I would love a ‘Page a day’ version of this planner. I know that would make it quite a bit thicker but I think I would get a lot more out of it if i had more room to be creative and jot down workouts/recipes, etc. The column a day format can be quite restrictive but other than that, im counting down to June to design my new planner and see what enhancements she has in the pipeline.

 

 

 

The road to NYC Marathon starts now!

What a difference 12 months can make

What a difference 12 months can make

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All throughout my young adult life I was the big loud girl in my group of friends. Even though I had always played netball, tennis, dragon boating, swimming or some sort of sport since I could walk it was always pretty social and I was always a bit big and a bit unhappy. Over the years my weight yo-yoed all over the place as I started and stopped rowing and other various health kicks but for the most part I kept my role as the big loud girl till I was 23.

In January 2010 I decided to get healthy. For the first time in my life I wasnt focused on the number on the scales or on the tags of my clothing. I cleaned up my eating and started writing everything I ate in a diary. This was probably the most important thing I did at the beginning of my weightloss journey as it highlighted just how much I snacked at night. I was eating huuuge amounts of extra calories without even registering them as snacks/meals. I would eat a few squares of chocolate or pick at leftovers/treats in the cupboard constantly before and after dinner. But whether you eat the bar in 3 sittings or in 1…you still eat a bar of chocolate but I would think ‘na, I don’t really eat chocolate. If you asked me what i ate yesterday, I wouldnt have been able to list all the ‘little bits of this’ and ‘tiny pieces of that’ and was only kidding myself when i said I ate a balanced diet. Writing this all down forced me to realise my ‘little’ snacks added up and I quickly got that under control.

I also started wearing a pedometer every.single.day. No excuses. This also highlighted how inactive I was and as part of a 10,000 steps a day challenge at work I started to walk/run over 10,000 steps a day. Walking to and from work wasnt enough, I had to do something extra each day to get my 10,000. And as it was published on the 10,000 steps challenge intranet site, I was NOT going to let my team down! I started running veeeery slowly on the treadmill for 30 minutes which quickly increased to 45mins along with the speed I was running. By this point I had probably lost about 10kg, was feeling amazing and was running 3 times consistently a week. In April a friend then entered me into a half marathon without asking me which forced me to make a choice – waste his money or start believing in me like he did.

I ran my first half marathon in June 2010 in 1hr 58mins and it was the best thing I have ever done. I never thought i could run 10km let alone a half marathon!! Through increasing my speed and adding another long run in a week, I lost another 6kg. The more weight I lost, the better my results were at the gym which motivated me to keep my diet clean and sensible and keep running/rowing/group fitness classing which lead to more weight loss. It was like my body had found what it needed to find its equilibrium.

In total I lost 26kg in 12 months through healthy eating and regular exercise. I was the healthiest, fittest and happiest I have ever been.

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However, fast forward 3 years to today and after putting my progressional goals ahead of all else and forgetting what is truly important to me, I face another challenge of losing weight, getting fit and running the NYC marathon in November as the athlete I know I can be (girl on the right in the top photo).

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This is me today. In those 3 years I got a new job, I stopped tracking what I was eating. I stopped wearing a pedometer. I started driving to and from work. I stopped running because I need time to myself and it became just another thing I needed to try squeeze in my day. I started living to work instead of working to live. I stopped being me.

Today I have another new job, new flatmate (who is actually one of the most motivating woman you will ever met) and a big, exciting date in my diary to run the NY marathon in November. I am ready to revamp and overhaul the current version of me. I am committed to making life long changes this year and will be documenting my whole journey on this blog.

Support me or better yet join me and let’s cross the finish line on 1st November strong and proud. Laura x

What is the Crossfit Open?

If you know anyone who does Crossfit, you may have noticed a change in behaviour over the past few weeks. They may have suddenly become more unproductive than usual on a Friday afternoon. There may be photos popping up on their facebook of them doing workouts with ‘fabulous’ facial expressions (even more than normal).

For those of you that haven’t heard me rambling on about the Crossfit open yet (meaning you probably haven’t hung out with me in the last month or so), I thought it would be good to do a post about what the open is and what these “14.1” “14.2” etc numbers refer to.

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Rewind about 1 year.  I will introduce you to my first experience of the Crossfit open.

I had just started at Crossfit Central Wellington. I somehow managed to jump past the newbie class and into the big kids class (something to do with coming to a few sessions years ago… I must’ve really talked myself up, I had no idea what I was doing) and there was this thing called the “open” coming up. The coaches were encouraging everyone to get involved, that it was a heap of fun and everyone would be able to to the workouts.  I love fun and if everyone was doing it, why would I not sign up?

After talking to my good friend Steph who was also relatively new to Crossfit at the time – I signed up.  Still not really sure what it all meant, but I went along with it anyway.

As I was still very new to Crossfit and didn’t have many friends there yet I hadn’t really talked to anyone much about it.  All I knew was to turn up on Saturday and do a workout. So, pretty much a usual Saturday. On Friday I got a text from my friend Steph telling me what the workout was. I wasn’t sure how she knew what it was, but that was nice that she told me. It was a little bit exciting knowing that all around the world people would be doing this workout.

The workout was:

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
40 Burpees
45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
30 Burpees
75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
20 Burpees
100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
10 burpees
120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

So, that’s what I was going to turn up and do on Saturday. I hadn’t really ever done a ‘snatch’ before but it looked ok from the demo video – lift the bar straight up above my head? Sure, I can do that. I knew the coaches would be there to help us with it, so I wasn’t too worried.

Come Saturday morning, the box was a hive of activity (I think we may have had over 100 people signed up?!). There were heat sheets and judges, it was all very professional (and exciting!).  Like a mini competition in your own gym. And you know me, I love competition! Some people were strategising their workout; working out how long it would take them to do each part of it and where they wanted to get up to.  It was all quite intriguing!

When it was my heat I went and did my workout. I had Courtney as a judge, who is my sisters friend so it was nice to have a friendly face. Can I just say, holy that was a lot of burpees. Damnnnnnnnnn!

There were photographers and people cheering (people I didn’t even know!) – it was a VERY cool atmosphere.

I almost finished the 2nd round of snatches, which turned out was an ok score for a newbie.

And that was it – I had done my first ‘Crossfit Open” workout!  1 down – there was 4 to go.

Over the next 4 weeks I would be tested with all kinds of new challenges. An example of this was in week 5 when ‘Chest-to-bar’ pullups were prescribed. These are like a regular pull-up, but you must pull yourself up higher and get your chest to touch the bar for the ‘rep’ to count.  I had never even done a pull-up, let alone a freak’n chest-to-bar!

But – wait for it – I managed 7 of the suckers!!  Needless to say I was pretty happy after that!!

One of my first chest-to-bar pullups in 13.5 last year... You have to start somewhere!

One of my first chest-to-bar pullups in 13.5 last year… You have to start somewhere!

 

Not trying to “yay me” all over the place here, but that really represents what the open is about. It’s about people pushing themselves to their limits – not anyone elses.

Blah blah blah – I’m bored of typing now, and there’s far too many words on this page already… so just quickly..

The Crossfit Open – what is it?

  • The open is a 5 week Crossfit competition performed anywhere, all over the world (you must meet the movement standards and be judged). The workouts are simply named after the year and what workout they are (eg: 14.1 is the first open workout of 2014, 14.2 is the second etc..)
  • The workouts are released each week here at 1pm on Friday (hence why Crossfit people may struggle at work after this point).
  • You have until Tuesday morning to complete the workout and can do it as many times as you want during that period.
  • You submit your score online and are ranked against your region (Australia for us) and worldwide.
  • The top 48 male and females and top 30 teams in each region are offered a place in Regionals.
  • If you are SUPER awesome (aka, super human crazy being) and make top 3 at Regionals, you can then go and compete at the Crossfit Games, in Carson California.  For us mere mortals – we get to watch all this awesome action online (check it out here ).
And when it's over you lie down :)

And when it’s over you lie down 🙂

That was a quick insight into my first Crossfit Open experience and what the open is – a heap of fun and a good way to learn what you need to work on! One year on and knowing a lot more about it, my experience of the open is much different. More to come on this when I can be bothered typing it 🙂

In the mean time, 14.5 is released tomorrow and I really hope it’s not burpees and thrusters like everyone is predicting! (Yuck!!).

 

Jane xx

 

O so good crispy skinned ginger soy salmon

When I was growing up the list of what I wouldn’t eat was longer than what I did. I was fussy and used to either sit at the table picking the ingredients I “didn’t like” out of the sandwich/salad/whatever my parents had lovingly prepared for me or just refused to eat it. It did my mums head it asking me to please “just try it, you might surprise yourself”. Little did she know she had a mini “foodie” on her hands and in a few short years my taste pallet would explode!
Up until only a couple of years ago I would’ve eat tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, avocado, blue cheese, hummus or salmon. I now enjoy these foods on a very regular basis (aka probably at least 2 of these everyday!). How sad my life would be if I still said no to all these glorious ingredients.

So to make up for 20 or so years of missing out, I’m on a mission to catch up on all the salmon I missed out on. Here is one of my fav ways to enjoy salamon and is super easy to make and can be mixed up with whatever veggies you have on hand.
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Crispy skinned ginger soy salmon
Serves 2

Ingredients
250gm salmon fillet
1tbs puree ginger
2Tbs soy sauce (or coconut aminos if soy free)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp stevia

Method
Mix all ingredients except salmon together in a bowl.
Add salmon to bowl and coat in marinade. Leave salmon to marinate for as long as you can (this usually depends on how hungry you are)
Heat a fry pan until hot (tip: add drop of water on the pan. If it sizzles, it’s hot enough)
Add salmon to pan, skin side down (it should crackle and pop)
Add remaining marinade from bowl to flesh side of marinade while skin coats. Leave salmon on skin side for about 7-8 minutes or until middle has started to turn lighter pink. Skin should be niiiiiice and crispy. (Tip: trick to keeping this salmon super tasty is only turning it once)
Turn salmon over and cook for further 2-3 mins or until flesh has turned lighter pink.
Serve with homemade salsa, spinach or veggies of you choice. Wilted bok choy with sweet soy sauce (kekap manis) is magic with this salmon.

Enjoy.
Laura xx

Clean chia delicious dessert

Looking for a thick and creamy dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth without all the sugar and calories of traditional desserts? Well do I have a treat for you!
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This is super quick, tasty and so easy to make – you only need 4 ingredients! Here we go…

Clean Chia Dessert
Serves 3

Ingredients
1.5c coconut milk (or use the leftover coconut cream from our Nice and Not Naughty chocolate moose, will be yummy and thick)
3 TBS chia seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp stevia (or equal)

Method
Mix everything together in a bowl and split into 3 glasses/containers. Chill in fridge for 1hr or when ready to serve.
Keeps well in fridge for up to 5 days.

Enjoy.
Laura xx

Weekly mini goals

I like to set mini goals for myself at the start of every week- helps that my awesome Erin Condren diary prompts me to.

Here are mine for the week- pretty simple. Like to keep them achievable.

1. Mobility stuff
2. Core – at least 3 times this week
3. Min 8 hours sleep every night this week (this will be the hardest!!)
4. No sugar (been eating a wee bit too much naughty stuff lately). Do you have any goals for the week?

Jane x

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Nice and not naughty chocolate mousse

Here’s something super quick and easy to try if you are craving chocolate or sugary.. (and is a lot better for you!!).

Coconut choc mousse with berries

Coconut choc mousse with berries

Coconut chocolate mousse

  • 1 can of coconut cream refrigerated
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa (or cacao if you have it)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)

Open can of coconut cream and scoop the thick cream off the top. You don’t need the liquid that is under it, but you can keep it to use in other recipes/smoothie etc.

Mix coconut cream, vanilla and cocoa together well. It will be very thick! Refrigerate for 5-10 mins and serve with berries as pictured (or eat straight away if you can’t wait = me!! ).

Jane x

Taste of Asia salad = aaaamazing!!

This salad will truly tickle your taste buds. It’s full of tasty, fresh, clean and nutritious ingredients and best of all it’s free of sugar and other nasties. So many textures and tastes in each mouthful – it’s a bit like a treasure hunt for your taste buds.

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Taste of Asian salad
Serves 1

Ingredients
1 carrot – grated
1 Lebanese cucumber (the small ones)
Handful of coriander – chopped
Small handful of sprouted sunflower seeds
1/2 avocado
2 x boiled eggs (or 100gm of chicken/fish)
1 seaweed nori sheet – chopped into bite sized pieces
1tsp toasted sesame seeds
Dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 TBS seaeme oil
1 TBS tamari sauce

Method
Add all dressing ingredients to a container with a lid and shake, shake, shake!!
Throw first 7 salad ingredients together in a bowl and dress with dressing. Grinch with sesame seeds and enjoy!

Laura xx