Veggie Fritters

I love summer for many reasons – one being the bountiful produce that flourishes all December, January and February in NZ.

Lucky for us in ‘Middle Earth’, a huge variety of fruit and veg are grown locally and farmers markets highlighting the areas seasonal produce are pretty common throughout the country. Below are some of the fruit and veg overflowing at the supermarkets at the moment and at great prices:

Summer Produce

So with an abundance of capsicum, carrots and courgettes in my fridge, I made up the following recipe – please feel free to tweak with your favourite veggies or whatever produce you have laying around.

Veggie Fritters:

Serves 2 – 3


  • 2 x medium courgettes
  • 1 x medium carrot
  • 1 x capsicum
  • 2 x spring onions
  • 2 x eggs
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Grate courgettes into a sieve and toss well with salt (this causes the courgettes to ‘sweat’ and means your fritters won’t be a soggy mess). Leave to sweat for up to 30 mins
  2. Grate carrot and finely dice your capsicum
  3. When your courgettes have finished sweating, toss all your veggies together in a bowl
  4. Heat pan (with a little oil if not non stick)
  5. Add eggs and mix to combine with veggies. Stir in flour and add salt and pepper
  6. Add dollops of mixture to your heated pan. Leave to cook for 2 – 3 mins then flip each fritter. Cook for another 2 -3 mins until fritters are thoroughly cooked through
  7. Serve hot with rocket and your choice of protein

(I made 9 fritters so 3 fritters per serve)

2015 moments – a different kind of resolution

This is a cool little twist on ‘New Year resolutions’ that I made as a present for my sister this year for Christmas.

This was one of my favourite gifts that I gave this Christmas (and probably the cheapest!) – there’s something to be said about making a really thoughtful gift. I was so excited giving it to her; I am a bit of a geek like that!

When I have the time I can be quite creative, but usually the time is the thing I am lacking – not at the moment, yay for huge holidays!

Anyway, it’s such a simple concept that you might like to do for yourself.

I have known a couple of friends who have done this for the past few years and always thought it was super cute (Kristin, Amanda and Shosh!).

“2015 Moments Jar”

I brought this cute little jar from Typo, it was about $6 and came in a little holder that you can hang anywhere. I then brought these blackboard labels and stuck one on each side of the jar.

Then in white pen I wrote ‘2015’  on one side and lots of bits and pieces on the other (see below).


Fill me with lovely and exciting things that happen this year. Or just anything that gives you a smile that day 🙂


Some of the things that may go inside….

Inside the jar I included a handwritten note explaining what the ‘Moments jar’ is all about and how to use it.


This was inside the jar explaining what to do…


2015 moments

The idea being you write in little bits and pieces over the year that make you smile, they don’t have to be huge life changing things, just the moments that can make a day a bit special or cute.

Then at the end of the year you take some time to sit down and go through the year full of lovely things.  So cute!!!!

I also included a little notepad and pen so it was set up ready to add cute little moments to!

Are you someone that has done this before?  Or is this something you may try this year?  If so let us know how you get on!

The year that was….

So I’ve been umming and ahhing whether to post this pic for a while now. But if it can inspire or motivate someone to take a step towards achieving their health and fitness goals, then that is my goal achieved.

Let’s say this is a bit of a reflection on the year that was.

First off, no filter, sorry not the best lighting. And the difference in weight in these pics is a 2kg weight loss.

1 year difference....

1 year difference….

Few reasons I was hesitant to post this:

🔷 My goals are not aesthetic related (but hey, that’s a nice side effect), if they were I believe I could have a much greater transformation. I have been eating mostly for performance.

🔷 In this time I put on about 5-6kg before it came off and I was leaner. That’s what strength training and lifting heavy does. It’s called adding muscle mass.

🔷 I am far from ‘done’. I have SO much more to achieve that a photo cannot even start to represent.

When I look at these 2 photos, what I see beyond that of looking ‘better’, is:

✅ My strength numbers have gone up, something like this:
⬆️ 22kg back squat (102kg)
⬆️ 17kg front squat (87kg)
⬆️ 20kg overhead squat (70kg)
⬆️ 10kg deadlift (140kg)

✅ My Olympic lifts have gone up:
⬆️ 14.5kg snatch (62kg)
⬆️ 12.5kg clean and jerk (75kg)

✅ My gymnastics has improved:
⬆️ handstand walking & handstands
⬆️ first bar and ring muscle ups. Then linking bar and ring muscle ups.
⬆️ I can do pistols!
⬆️ I am waaaaay better at double unders.

✅ The early mornings, late nights and long weekend days spent working on all these things.

✅ The blood, sweat, frustration and…. tantrums throwing a barbell around. No tears as yet, but definitely been close (no cry board yet!).

✅ The amazing opportunities I have had to train with and compete against the best in this sport.

✅ The inspirational and knowledgeable people I get to train with and learn from every single day that motivate me to push that much harder and challenge myself beyond what I think is possible.

✅ What I have learnt about myself, strength training, nutrition, Olympic lifting, mobility, gymnastics and mental toughness. And you will be surprised how much of that correlates to every part of your life.

✅ All of this while working a very busy and not too flexible ‘day job’. Yea, you need to challenge yourself with your excuses. I always find time to train.

And a few other awesome things that have happened this year:

  • Starting ‘kettlebells and cookies’!!  Laura and I always talk about how amazing this is and the great people we have met from this,
  • Achieving some huge milestones on projects at work that will forever be career defining moments,
  • Getting my Level 1 Crossfit trainer certification,
  • My little sister opening a Crossfit gym,
  • Starting my personal training qualification, and
  • Being offered a new job that I start week after next.

There are many more, but these are the things that have made a significant impact on me in the last year and have started to define some of what I am looking to achieve in this year.

Yea, I see a lot more than some ‘transformation picture’.

So what I want from this is when you are setting your ‘new years resolutions’ or goals, think about exactly what it is you want to achieve. Is it really some number on the scale? If so, great, that’s totally up to you. Or is it more than that, think about how you want to ‘feel’ and what you really need to do to achieve that. If you had asked me a year ago what my goals were a year ago I would’ve told you some measurable, time bound, achievable goals (smart goals) and I agree that everyone needs to have them, but on reflection, I have achieved those and so much more.

And like I said, I am FAR from done yet, I always want more and I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

Don’t limit yourself by static goals that stem from a ‘New Year, New You’ type philosophy.  If the New Year is the thing you need to trigger your journey to a better you, then I am all for that. But let life take you in the way it does, as you may be surprised as to how your goals change as you start to achieve them.

Here’s a quick wee thing to think about when setting and working towards goals:


This will ensure you are always chasing the outcome you truly want at any particular time.

Happy New Year all!!

Have you set any New Year resolutions or goals?  We would love to hear about them below.


My mother was right about everything…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f82/65100436/files/2015/01/img_4821.jpgA couple of weeks before my 27th birthday I’ve finally realised how much my mum was right about everything!
– One day I will be friends with my brother
– You won’t always hate being the tallest girl in your class, and
– My taste buds will change.
14 year old me thought my mum was from another planet at the best of times and these promises were just more crazy talk (along with ‘one day you’ll thank me for not letting you hangout at the mall after its closed’ but that’s for another blog post).

This post focuses on how much my tastebuds/palate has changed in the last 10 years.
10 (or even 7 years ago) I would have avoided salmon, avocado, olives, tomato, mushrooms and more like the plague (but I put tomato sauce on everything…what a weirdo). Today, I eat these foods pretty much daily and cannot get enough of their fresh tastes, unique textures and glorious colours.
/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f82/65100436/files/2015/01/img_4814.jpgI’m not sure when/if my tastebuds changed or I just became a little more open minded about trying new things or giving them another go as I got older. Making new friends, traveling, the explosion of new cuisines and restaurants in New Zealand in the last 10 years and my ever growing passion for cooking have all contributed to my expanding palate. If you took salmon, avo, mushrooms and tomatoes out of my diet today, I would be so sad and stumped about what to have for my next meal!
So dearest mum, Muma, Barb, Babushka, Topp of the household…you were right and I was wrong. I’m also very very very glad you didn’t let me hang out at queensgate after it had closed. And I guess my brother is a bit of an acquaintance now too.

Are there any foods you hated as a child but cannot get enough of now?!

Bridal Bootcamp – here we go

No I’m not getting married! But my brother is and I’m lucky enough to be a bridesmaid and support my best friend and sister-in-law to be on her big day.
I heard about a bridal bootcamp on the radio and didn’t think anything more of it until they mentioned the competition was open to the whole bridal party – bridesmaids, best men, mother of the bride, everyone!!

So…what’s Bridal Bootcamp Me all about? Just as an athlete peaks for a race, Bridal Bootcamp will help Leah and I to physically and mentally peak for Leah and Jason’s special day (and the millions of photos that go with that). The bootcamp combines the Legion Training Program developed by International Stuntman and Celebrity trainer Tyrone Bell with the personal development program of A Mother’s Love to help me create the ultimate ME!
At the end of the 13-week program the top 10 competitors will go head to head to win ZM listener votes and the ultimate Bridal Bootcamp prize.
I thought this is exactly what I need to keep on track while I’m on holiday and get focused on my next goal immediately after the marathon. I started following Bridal Bootcamp Me on Facebook and investigating legion training and loved everything I saw! That night there was a competition for the bride and her bridesmaid to win entry to the bootcamp, a prize worth $500!! I thought what the heck, why not try my lucky and threw my hat in the ring with a small explanation of why I wanted Leah and her bridesmaids to win. And we WON!! I couldn’t believe it and am sooo excited to be involved! The timing couldn’t be better and is just the motivation and support I need to get in my dream bridesmaid dress!

I’ve done my measurements, filled in a very detailed questioner about my current fitness and body image and my goals and am waiting in anticipation for the online portal to be unlocked so I can see what I’m eating tomorrow!

Ill be posting updates, pics and snippets along the way but sing out if you have any questions or better yet, if you are part of the bootcamp too!!

Check out the website for all the details and follow them on Facebook for competitions and prizes throughout the next 13 weeks!

Laura xx

Motivating Monday – Katie Robertson, co-owner of Functional Results Fitness

Next in our series of “Motivation Monday” we have Katie Robertson. Katie is co- owner of Functional Results Fitness in Lyall Bay, Wellington – aka, Crossfit FRF. (check them out here Kettlebells and Cookies wanted to find out what it is like to run your own gym and what she loves most about her job. Take it away Katie..


Tell us a bit about yourself….
Hmmm well where to start? Well I am 23 years old and was born and have lived in Wellington my whole life. I also have a little doggy called Willow. I am the co-owner of Crossfit FRF in Lyall Bay Wellington. Being the owner of a box (gym) means I have to live my life a little different to other 23 year olds. Up at 5am everyday and home at 8pm. Earning little to no income and living with my very supportive mum 🙂 If you know me I am very silly and maybe even a little crazy at times! Since opening my gym my whole life has revolved around CrossFit. To be honest I love it that way! I love the lifestyle and community.

What did you do prior to opening Crossfit FRF?
I studied a diploma of Exercise Prescription at The New Zealand institute of Sport in Wellington. I loved every minute of my study there! From there I got my first job in a small health club inside a Hotel. One if the best parts about this job was the numerous amounts of rugby teams that stayed there!  From there I wanted more of a challenge and to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and I looked for bigger things and this is where I found City Fitness. I applied for a job and started working a s a full time personal trainer 1 week later. While being a personal trainer at City Fitness the company opened up a CrossFit gym and this was when I started doing CrossFit (Feb 2013).

When/what made you decide to open your own gym?
One day on my way to gymnastics training (yes it’s a thing) my friend Gerard who is now my business partner suggested to me that we should open a box together. At the time I thought yeah that would be cool but it will never happen!

5 Months later….We opened our doors! One of the things that motivated me to open my own gym was having the freedom to really change peoples lives and being able to control that. Not having to answer to anyone and use my own style of training.


Have you always been interested in sports and keeping fit?
Throughout my school years I was always interested in sport. I was a competitive swimmer in school and also did other sports including surf lifesaving and water polo. When I was studying sport and exercise took a small step back as I focused on study and of course living the student lifestyle! Once I finished my diploma I got right back into fitness and getting myself living a healthy lifestyle.

What are the most interesting and fun parts of running your own gym?
One of the best parts I would have to say is to see people getting results and being able to assist them in changing their lives! Everyday I see my members working so hard and to be able to see them “getting gains” is amazing! The CrossFit community we have here is awesome, everyone here is so supportive in and out of the gym. The members at my gym aren’t just people in the door who come for a workout! They are my friends and family. I’m so lucky to be able to have a job like this!


And, are there any things you don’t like so much?
If I had to say something…..sometimes the early mornings and late nights aren’t the best. Also cleaning the gym. It’s awesome we have such a big and open space, but it takes a while to get around with the mop.

How did you discover Crossfit?
I was first introduced to crossfit a few years back when I participated in a charity Fight gone bad event. Then while I was working at city fitness as a personal trainer they opened a CrossFit. My friend Gerard and now business partner was the head coach who ran the CrossFit. After participating in the classes for a while I went away to do my level one certification and became a CrossFit coach. After that there was no looking back, I fell in love with CrossFit. Being able to do things I would never imagine and looking and feeling the best I ever have!

How do you explain what Crossfit is to people who have no idea what it is (and may see videos on you tube etc of crazy looking exercises!)?
Think about it like you do a wide range of exercises ranging from body weight movements like pull ups and squats to olympic lifting and cardio! Then think of it like a sport… want to be able to do all the exercises well and be able to do them fast! CrossFit is designed to be done at high intensity and intensity is where you get results!

What would you say to people who are interested in trying out Crossfit, but are scared/think it’s not for them/too hard etc?
Everyone had to start somewhere. Even the fittest woman on earth had to try her first CrossFit class before she knew she wanted to do it. Every CrossFit gym knows what its like for someone new to start and how it can be a little scary. The coaches will ensure you feel comfortable and are exercising safely. How do you know you can’t unless you try?


I could never live without….

I hear a lot of people who are on some sort of health and fitness journey say things like “Oh, I would never be able to do that because I could NEVER live without <insert food/amount of sleep/morning or evening ritual etc here>”.

A typical scenario I have experienced is often food based.  For example, I while back I went a month (or two or three, I can’t actually remember) without sugar. Any sugar, refined, natural – ANY (ie: including fruit).  Why? Just to see if I could. And, see if it made any difference to my energy levels, training, weight etc.  As I have said before, I love to do wee experiments to find out what works for me with my nutrition. We all know that there are hidden sugars in a lot of foods nowadays and even though I was eating a pretty clean diet, it definitely made me be SUPER DUPER prepared with my nutrition in advance.

Anyway, my point I am getting at is –  What I found while I found while I was doing this was that I got SO many comments along the lines of “Wow, I could NEVER do that becuase of xyz (insert lame excuse here)” and, “What on earth do you eat? I could never survive on that” etc (I was also eating Paleo at the time).

I find it interesting because these people have made a snap judgement on themselves before thinking through whether it is even possible. They have let themselves down before considering if this is something they could, or even want to do.  Doing something different is hard.  Change is difficult. It is much easier to stick with what you know and stay within your comfort zone. If it were easy, people would start new scary things everyday. But more often than not, the fear of failure, what others may think, or second guessing themselves stops them.

There are all sorts of pictures and quotes that tell you this…

comfort zone 2

Comfort Zone Quotes - A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but n

Hey, I even had a personalised diary with one of these cool quotes on it (yup, I’m a total stationary geek)..


One of the reasons I personally like to do things I that are a little crazy (not drinking for three months, adventure races, even Crossfit – hey it’s not natural to throw 50-70kgs above your head on a regular basis), is that as well as these things pushing my physical limits, it’s the mental challenge that I believe is the greatest thing to conquer. So many things we do in life, our mind will let us down much before our body will.

– Working late at night and would rather be at home on the couch – you set yourself little goals, ok, get to the end of this section of the document and then you can have a sleep-in in the morning.

– Going for a new Personal Best in an olympic lift – often you know you are going to get it well before you step on the platform to make the lift.

– Going for a new longest distance you have ever run – your mind convinces you that you can do it well before your legs decide to give up.

– Not eating the chocolate/lollies in the cupboard after dinner – whether you do or not is overcoming your mind, not because your stomach is so hungry you need it.

All of these things, if your head isn’t in the game, there is no way you will achieve it.

Mental toughness isn’t something that people are born with. Like anything, it is a skill that is worked on and practiced. The more you continue to push the limits of what you think is possible, the more you believe you can achieve the next goal you set your mind towards. And the cool thing is, the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more belief you have in yourself (also known as confidence!).

Keep this in mind before you make the next assumption on yourself on whether you can achieve something or not.  Surround yourself with motivational quotes and inspiring people.  You might be surprised how much of an impact it can have.

October Challenge – pick your goals

**Bit late on getting this one up on the blog – but good to see many of you are already well underway with working towards your October goals**

Here is the kettlebells and cookies October challenge!

Pick one from each quadrant (or more if you are brave!) and stick to it for the month of October.

photo (1)

Make sure to keep us up to date on how you are going – we love to hear your stories! And of course we will keep you updated on our progress 🙂 If you are on social media remember to hashtag #kettlebellsandcookies so we can easily see how you are going.

Also if you aren’t already, come and join our ‘team kettlebells and cookies’ closed group on Facebook and find some new friends working towards similar goals.

Jane and Laura xx

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

I am my own motivation. This is a photo of me from the end of 2011 when I felt my fittest and healthiest. After a lot of trial and error over the lady few years I finally feel like I am on the path back to optimal health and balance.

Personally my #1 trip up is always not getting where I want to be fast enough (gen y and all that). I would either
A) not see results fast enough, get disheartened and start my unhealthy habits again or
B) see results and think “yay all my hard work it paying off, this little [insert snack] won’t hurt” but actually would start the snowball effect to eventually undo my progress and end me up where I was. Pretty standard yo-yo-er.

Now however I am not in such a rush and I am enjoying the journey towards a healthy balance. I am learning from slip ups instead of being hard on myself and focusing on what I want and what makes me feel good long term instead of what I want right now. Even if I don’t see changes physical changes as fast as I want to, I know I am getting fitter and faster every week and the physical changes will come.

The saying ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’ could not be more relevant 😊.
Happy hump day babes xx

Monday Motivation – Ever wondered about body building? Have a read about Dominique and her journey to stage :)

This is the first post in our new series “Monday Motivation”.  In this series Kettlebells and Cookies will do a bit of an interview with people we find interesting or want to learn more about. 

If you would like to be part of this series, or know someone who would be a great read, we would love to hear from you –  you can get in touch with us here.

To kick off our series, we have an interview with our friend Dominique.  Dom has recently got into body building (and is doing pretty well so far!!) and we thought you might all like having a read of the dedication, hardwork and guts it takes to get up on the stage and ‘flaunt it’ in front of everyone.  And, the fun she has with picking bikini colours and hairstyles (hey, what girl doesn’t like that side of it!).


Take it away Dom…..




What is body building and the different categories etc? Is it all big muscles and brown skin?

“Bodybuilding is the use of progressive resistance exercise to control and develop one’s musculature”

So basically training your muscles to look aesthetically pleasing 🙂  There are multiple classes and federations, so there is pretty much something to suit every body type, from a slim build bikini body to a more muscular physique body for women, and beach body to massive bodybuilders for men.

Who/what/How did you get into body building?
A couple of people suggested it actually – to be honest it’s not the easiest sport to get started in.  There’s not much money in bodybuilding, so their websites are only as good as they can manage on a tight budget, so the information isn’t that easy to find.  I actually emailed Jess Coate (a well know figure competitor) and she was super lovely and answered all the questions that I had.  You can also email the presidents of the federations, (INBA, IFBB, NABBA, NABBA/WFF) and they can generally put you in touch with someone in your area to get you started.
What did you do exercise wise prior to body building?
I’ve given pretty much every sport a go, but most recently rowing and crossfit have been the sports that I’ve put a lot of time and energy into, and they’ve really helped build up my muscle.

How has your diet changed since starting body building?
Pretty drastically, I’ve always eaten pretty healthily, Mum bought us up to eat well, but I have the worst sweet tooth, so I’ve had to try and keep that under control. My coach has me a on a macro based diet – so he’ll tell me each week what amount of carbs and protein I can eat each day (fat always to a minimum) and then I work out what I eat around that.

So, what do you eat on a typical day?
I LOVE food – so I put in a lot of effort for my food prep to make sure I have food that I really enjoy eating.  I set aside half my day on a Sunday to prep my meals for the week.

Brekkie; Oat protein pancakes with berries or  kumara/ham fritters or an omelette.

Lunch: Brown Rice/Wholemeal pasta/Kumara/Wholemeal pita with chicken/lean beef and salad/veges – i just mix up how I prepare everything to keep it interesting

Afternoon tea (pre gym) another meal similar to what I have for lunch

Dinner: generally steak/chicken and a salad – with carbs if I have any left for the day

Supper: a protein bar or plain unsweetened yogurt with berries – again dependent on if I have and macros left.
And, do you ever eat lollies?
Yes!  I have a high carb day every 4 days, so I let myself have a few lollies then, it stops me going on crazy sugar binges (though I am human, this does still sometimes happen)

What would be your 3 favourite snacks for on the go?
I don’t really snack too much since I’m so organised with my meal prep, but Horleys Carbless protein bars are my personal favourite – otherwise a small handful of nuts or a piece of fruit.

How often do you exercise and what do you do?
I train 9 times a week (yes it’s a lot, but I love it)

  • 2 x  8km runs
  • 2 x HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions
  • 5 x body part specific weight sessions

My coach will also add in more cardio if it’s necessary.
Do you have help from anyone? (Eg: A trainer/nutritionist)
Yes definitely.  My coach tells me my macros and how much I should be training.  I send him pictures every week and he alters things based on my progress.

I also see a PT once a week to keep me on track, and to help me with my weaknesses – he helps keep me looking ‘balanced’ and also helps with my posing.
What do you do to get ready for stage? Getting your body ready and the make up/pretty side of things?
This is the super fun part!  you get to pick a bikini fabric, and get a bikini made that best suits your body shape and find stage heels (pretty much clear sparkly ‘stripper’ heels).

On the day you’re best to let professionals help you with your tan and makeup – there’s nothing worse than going through all the effort of training and dieting to go on stage with a streaky tan and a different colour face.  Plus they’ll make you look like a million bucks 🙂  You’ll generally get 2 spray tans plus a top coat – so you look like an oompa loompa offstage, but once you’re onstage the lighting dulls it down and you look good!

What would you say to any ladies (or guys!) out there thinking of giving it a go?
Do plenty of research and find someone who’s done it before to talk to, put in some hard work, and go for it!  It’s honestly the best feeling getting on stage to show off all your hard work.

Biggest thing you have learnt from body building and biggest achievement to date:
That it’s the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s really taught me a lot about how mentally tough I can be.

Also that everyone cheats on their diets, if you have a binge, enjoy and start fresh the next day, feeling guilty about it doesn’t help anything.

I just recently won first place in International figure at the INBA South Pacific Champs, which I was completely blown away by given it was an open class, and only my second competition – but to top it off I’ve been selected to represent NZ at the Natural Olympia in San Diego this November.  If you’d like to help me get there, please visit my give a little page 🙂

Here are a couple of pics from my last show, and also a couple showing the progress I’ve made between my first show last year to this year.  Follow me on instgram – dominiquetennant – if you’d like to keep following my progress on my bodybuilding journey x