September Favourites

The month of September has flown by. I mean, honestly it all does when your days start to look the same! I started off with a really good eating plan and started doing really well – success! Then, out of left field a sinus infection hit me and a week of eating noodles and processed packet food really screwed with me and now I’m back at square one. If there is anything having a sinus infection for the umpteenth time is that I need to deal with stress better (and quit smoking obviously) Being sick always reminds me of what is truly important in life rather than fretting over work.

Beauty

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I tried a new oil cleanser after being obsessed with a Japanese one JP’s mum gave me and all I can say is WOW. The Tailor Oil Cleanse is my new go-to cleanser. This is truly luxurious with epic make up removing and pimple deflating power. I was lucky enough to purchase it on the cheap during a OnceIt sale (bonus that one of my co-workers had bought something on there and I had a $20 voucher!) I’ve been using it since mid August and I haven’t even reached half way yet (I use 5-6 pumps to remove my make up and 2-3 when I’m not wearing make up). If you are using a face oil, it’s always good to use a face cloth coz it does leave some residue as well as a good toner up around your hair line. The times I have used a toner, I haven’t removed much extra. I am also LOVING the Essano Fig and Jasmine body wash. It has this beautiful grown up scent that reminds me of the Health Basics body wash and moisturiser sets that we would get my mum for Christmas. For the past 4 months I have been using Mario Badescu lip balm (it is ONLY $6 at Mecca Maxima!!!!) and again, this is something that I will always keep in my handbag. It softens your lips and dries up the gross left over parts (which I am terrible at pulling off) I also received a free beauty blender when I bought my Rimmel foundation and this has also been a massive game changer. I definitely have used more of the bottle than I usually would  but it has made SUCH a difference to my foundation application. How did I survive without these products? I will never know. Can you tell that I’m not really big on trends? Haha!

Events

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As soon as I knew My Favorite Murder was coming to New Zealand I was IN! It was also the perfect opportunity for me to use up my passes with JP (yknow when they drag you to places you don’t want to go….) We both really enjoyed it and it was such a fun evening. It was so much more than I would have expected and they are just SO NICE and hilarious. We went to Toktok for dinner beforehand and it all BLEW MY MIND. Not only coz it was super spicy but it was one of the most delicious meal out I’d had in ages. They had really cool touches  around the restaurant and was one of my favourite parts of the trip. It was just a fleeting visit though since I’m not a massive fan of Auckland City. I’m not going to lie, Takapuna was the pretty nice and we were literally a 2-3 minute walk from the Bruce Mason Centre where it was held. I took the rest of the week off and it was so good to just have a bit of time to myself and be able to relax at home. We have also been on so many walks recently and I managed to go up Te Ahumairangi Hill  a few Sundays ago. It wasn’t a very nice day but I was overwhelmed at the amount of land that I was unaware of. The initial hill is a real ass kicker but the rest isn’t too awful. Also – dogs. I saw at least 9 and it was awesome (of course!)

Eating

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This recipe is such a game changer!!!! I haven’t eaten anything this delicious in a long time and it is a firm advocate that eating in can be both easy and delicious. We went out for dinner twice last week (I know – too spoiled) and both times was horrendous. There is nothing worse than paying $60 odd dollars on dinner for two and have it taste TERRIBLE. Fortunately we are indeed surrounded by a lot of stellar restaurants in Wellington. I’m not a massive food snob, but when I do go out to eat I expect to get something better than what I could cook myself. Isn’t that the point anyway? I am also looking forward to eating this on Saturday which is quite possibly the most DELICIOUS pasta ever! We always double the sauce and I think everyone needs this dish in their life. Also – above is the Kaffir Lime Chicken that blew our minds. I can’t rate this place highly enough!

Exercise

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You know, my work outs have been pretty non-existant so I made the choice to cancel my gym membership. I have reconsidered going to another gym but right now, nothing makes me more deflated that going to the gym. I’ve been getting myself back into gear in this last wee while with our on and off walks around the bay and a few at home work outs. I figure if I’m doing something I feel uncomfortable doing there’s no point in doing it (well, no shit Anna) It’s probably something I’ll reconsider when I get back into it but hey, who knows. I’ve been doing pretty well in the weight loss department. I will write more later on in the week about the changes I have been making. I’m 3kgs down and I am stoked! People have even noticed which is so thrilling.

Photos: face oil 

 

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Adventures in Weightloss

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Guys I got to the gym! I used to work at a fast fashion store with a lovely girl called Iria. We worked at different stores and even now that we’ve parted we still always say hey and do the awkward ‘we should catch up!’ Back and forth but never do. After bitching and moaning about my weight she kindly put me on to her boyfriend who was a PT at the time. I had endeavoured to start PT sessions in the New Year but he found a different career pathway  to explore. Iria so kindly took me through the best work out I have done in so long. It wasn’t easy looking at us work out in the mirror especially since getting big and once being so small. I arrived at the gym at 5:20 and we left at 8 so I was bloody excited to get home and eat.I am feeling sore today but it is the day to smash out another work out.

Iria is super inspiring to me because she started at the same weight I am and has literally has one of the best bodies ever. She has a no nonsense approach to the gym and girl goes there to WORK! We mixed up a lot of different exercises and focused on doing small sets with 3-4 reps and doing the exercise right rather than struggle through a set of 15 x 3-4, which I usually do, and do the reps with gusto rather than half assing it.

I’ve been getting back into my salads again and making us more vegetarian meals which is a nice change. Dr Libby’s book has really drummed the importance of overall well being into my brain. I’m drinking less coffee and more tea, I’ve started buying more natural skin care, and I’ve become a lot more aware of my breathing! I have even cut down on smoking (I am quitting but doing so slowly) going from 3/4 of a packet a day to one in the morning and maybe 4-6 in the evening.

Adventures in Weightloss

img_6344Let me start off by saying that I’ve gone backwards. Oops! I knew that I had and for the past nearly two weeks my gym work outs have been regular and I am in love with the gym again. As you may or may not have seen on the news, we’ve had a pretty insane time here in Wellington. The massive quake that hit us on Monday morning (7.5 on the Richter scale and went for a minute!!) has meant I can’t work so I’ve been working out and doing a big spring clean of our place. I can’t tell you the last time I had this much time off work without being unemployed. I’m fairly certain I have adult ADD coz I’m not very good at sitting still for long periods of time. Reading is different but yknow?

I want to talk about some of the changes I’ve been making. I was talking to Mickey yesterday (who wears many hats and is a qualified PT and was once a Zumba instructor lol) and I was talking about how I’ve been so good and I’m gutted the results haven’t shown. She was like ‘GURL I FEEL YOUUUU! You just want to see the weight come off of your hips!’ A-freaking-men, sister. So I stay patient and try and relax on the junk food and be as good as I can. What have I been saying to myself again? It’s a PROCESS and takes TIME!

On Sunday, I walked to the markets and came back then cooked for 3-4 hours. Do you know how easy it is to order take out when you literally just made it home without dying from exhaustion?! I do and I’ll take every chance I can to smash half a scoop of hot chips, a chicken curry, half a rice and some roti from Zhou’s Kitchen! I’m working on my meal prepping coz I am a) mindful of the waste I’ve been creating and b) like to eat something pretty vege heavy coz I know it makes me feel so much better. I made a Thai green curry (definitely did not omit the coconut cream), vege black bean burritos with home made salsa, meatballs and fresh tomato sauce, nacho Mince and beans and a vegetable quiche to get us through the week! I mean, there are some parts of it that definitely aren’t 100% clean however, it is all home cooked and fucking delicious (if I may say so myself!) I’d love to create a delicious meal plan for the blog so it’s in process, I promise.

Another big thing for me is that I’ve slowed the fuck down on my drinking! For the past 2-3 weeks I’ve been having 1-4 beers a week aside from last night (but I broke it up with coffee and a coke!) Which is super amazing for me. It’s strange coz despite being adamant that I’m having my fucking beers still I’ve slowly gone off of going out and getting shit faced. Time is of the essence and I have planned some cute outfits for our holiday with stuff I can’t (yet) fit.

 

Adventures in Weightloss

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I’ve been getting better. I ate pretty well last week. I still slip up and I still don’t hate myself for it. I was reminded this morning that things like catching up with friends and having takeaways sometimes is a okay. Eating and friendships are important. Maybe not eating take out but you get the jist. I have, however, realised the repercussions of beer. I really love beer. However, in terms of getting back in shape it’s probably time I just relax on the beers. It is 10 weeks until we go on holiday and I really, really want to be able to go shopping and fit some of my dresses. Last summer I was a bit lighter and I was miserable because all my dresses and shorts fit so uncomfortably and the new ones I bought were awful. I tried on an old dress on the other day and my best friend (bless her soul) tried to tell me it didn’t look too bad. Lets be honest here – white is v e r y unforgiving and two of my favourite dresses are WHITE (see photo above)

Exercise
I’m very proud of myself. I weighed myself last week and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted but it was not a gain (I think it was just under a kilo) The gym progress hasn’t been going so well. A friend of mine lost A LOT of weight over the past year and is looking toned and amazing. When I told her about my weight loss woes she gave me her boyfriends number (who is a personal trainer) who will hopefully help me develop a good routine and give me some different exercises to help me get back into business. JP also discovered a short cut to walk to work which is so much nicer than my usual walk. It’s half the time which is fine but I would much rather walk a shorter distance than miss out on an opportunity to get some exercise. As I have said before, it is so much easier to take the easier option.

Food
I’ve been working on meal prep a lot more. Cooking for a couple of hours on a Sunday when I am relaxed etc is ten times easier than cooking every night and worrying about what time I’m going to get to bed and whether or not I am going to get enough sleep. Also – making an effort to buy less processed food. This is a hard one. It can look fine on your calories but honestly – there are better things I can eat AMIRITE?

How I feel about about it everything
Writing about this has really changed my perspective and made me so much more mindful. It’s been interesting to read other peoples weight loss journeys and to see how far other bloggers have come which is really inspirational. Everyone can do it, it’s all a matter of actually doing it, yknow? I feel guilty if I haven’t put any effort in so I am really, really trying here. I love that there is a community of people in the exact same boat as me.

Challenge
I am proposing a challenge for myself. I said it ages ago when it was 14 odd weeks out from my holiday but this week I want to start losing a kilo a week. Now, I am aware that weight fluctuates etc and that is all well and good so I’ll do weekly measurements – this time I am SERIOUS. I will not do another chubby summer. I swear!

Adventures in Weightloss

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10-15 kilos ago when I had discipline

Aie aie aie! It hasn’t been a good time lately. Did you know that there is never a good time to lose weight? Yup. It has taken me this long to realise this. I guess patterns need a little time to reach the brain….well my brain at least! I’ve got back on the bandwagon and aside from exercising everything is going semi okay.

Whats important here is that I am finally getting through to myself. If you stop you will never go anywhere and you’ll just end up feeling gutted that you fucked out and didn’t keep on. That’s been me for the past 3-4 years. I feel like writing about this is like a prequel to the actual event. I call it ‘The Hobbit: From Bilbo Baggins to Gandalf in 10 easy steps, 4 epiphanies and 7 failures’ ha.

I forget that Weightloss is as much of a physical transformation as a mental one. Do you love you right body? Yes. Are you doing this to improve your health? Yes. Are you doing this to improve your body so that in the future you’re a healthy and healthy human? Yes. There’s no point in doing something that you’re not mentally ready for giving up an old routine. I used to eat a lot when I worked out lots because I could (calories in, calories out etc)

 

Make Monday – My go-to breakfast smoothie

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When I do my groceries online I’m more inclined to buy in bulk and freeze. By the second week I’m so bloody poor that going out and buying fresh fruit and veges is not really a go-er. Countdown usually have two big bunches of bananas for $6 so when my order arrives they’re one of the many items to be frozen. Most things I like and create in the kitchen are things I keep on hand pretty much all the time . There is nothing worse than wanting to make something then having to go out and buy extra ingredients and spend half an hour dilly dallying because you’ve bumped into Roxanne who you worked with three years ago and she won’t let you go. This is my go to smoothie. I don’t believe in spending $8.00 out and about for one. On my wages it’s just a ludicrous (accidentally spelled that like the rapper first time) expense! Plus, this one is just as good. Feel free to add extra milk if you are so inclined or if you’re adding an extra weet-bix. I have added spinach to this before but it was the worst idea ever. If you want to make this into a more dessert-y shake then use almond milk for a richer result but if you’re having it for breakfast and you find
Weet-bix and milk don’t really fill you up then feel free to boil a couple of eggs to go with.

Ingredients
1 cup frozen or fresh bananas
1 tablespoon peanut butter (I use Pic’s)
2 Weet-Bix crumbled
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of your desired milk

Blend all ingredients until smooth. If you’re using frozen bananas you’ll need to give it a real good go around the blender. Once done, fill your blender up with a bit of water and a bit of dish washing liquid for the quickest clean of your life.

Make Monday

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Love makes you fat. The dating, the alcohol, the snacks. The past (nearly) two years has resulted in 12kgs (!!!) of weight gain. Food has definitely become a hobby of ours and we are so not happy about the repercussions! Why didn’t anyone warn me about this?! This is how it sort of happened: If you’ve ever been around someone and they mention something like wanting pizza and then all you think about is pizza then you buy pizza and you both enjoy the shit out of that pizza until it starts to effect your waist line. When I’m single I eat incredibly healthy as in Mc Donalds makes me feel miserable afterwards.

I live right by all the food places so after years of being by them they all sort to get a bit….boring. Minus Burger Fuel, of course. I love to cook a lot which makes my life so much easier. Cooking is therapeutic and nothing is better to me than sitting down and thinking ‘fuck yeah!’ to myself as I devour whatever I have made. This recipe is one of them. I’ve seen a lot of recipes like it so excuse the minor plagiarism I just wanted to have one of my own.

Ingredients
1 large chicken breast
1 can tinned chopped tomatoes
1 onion
1 medium sized kumara
1 grated carrot
2 cup kidney beans
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp paprika
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper

Heat your oven to 160 degrees on fan bake. Peel your kumara then chop into one centimeter pieces. Be very careful not to cut them too thick otherwise they will take forever to cook. Keep an eye on these during the cooking duration (usually about 20-30 mins) and make sure you flip them when they are cooked so both sides get colour but are tender.

Melt your desired fat in your pan (I used butter) and add finely chopped onion. While onion is becoming translucent, cut your chicken into very small bite sized pieces and season well with salt and pepper. Add your carrot in with the onions till the carrot gets some good colour going through it then put the beans in. Add your chicken let it brown slightly then chuck in the can of tomatoes. Let it simmer and get nice and bubbly then add the vegetable stock cube, turmeric and paprika then pour in water. Let the sauce reduce and add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture over the kumara then top with cheese, sour cream and avocado.