Sunday, January 25, 2015

12 Week Get Healthy Challenge Week 4- Consolidation Week

Hi Everyone! Hungry Male and I are currently enjoying Auckland Anniversary weekend, so technically our weekend will still continue tomorrow, but for everyone not in Auckland tomorrow marks the start of a new working week, and therefore, the start of a new week of the 12 Week Get Healthy Challenge.

I don't know about you, but I have found that writing this has been great motivation for keeping the healthy habits that I set each week. With this heat drinking my 2.4L of water per day definitely hasn't been hard and I am very much a stone-fruit person, so you will find apricots and peaches in most of my breakfasts.

This week I am not going to give you any new challenges. Instead this week is about consolidation. This challenge is all about developing and maintaining healthy habits, so instead of making life difficult by continually throwing things at you, every 4 weeks there will be a consolidation week, to just focus on developing the healthy habits from the last few weeks.

So let's Recap:



Up Your Water Intake: I am still using my Plant Nanny app and still really love using it. Some days you definitely do get a bit sick of plain water, so I like adding different fruits like berries to keep it interesting. I don't expect everyone to drink 2.4L like I am trying to do, but I definitely recommend setting yourself a goal and trying to reach it.



Add Produce Into Breakfast: Reaching 5+ fruit and veg can be difficult, so I like kickstarting my day with some form of produce. If you are still having trouble with that one set a goal for a certain number of days per week i.e. 4 days per week you will add a fruit of vegetable to your breakfast. Think banana or peach with cereal, or spinach or tomato with eggs.



Get Moving by Adding A Walk: Exercise is so important for health, especially if like me you spend a lot of your working day in front of a computer.  I believe that walking is something that almost everyone can do, no matter how unfit. The goal is to walk at least once a week. Hungry Male and I actually got out for 2 walks along with a run this week, and I find it a really great way to unwind after work. If you have time on the weekend, places like the zoo are a great place to walk around and have fun, or choose and area of your city or town and have a walk around.

If you want to see more about each challenge, click the link in the titles.

Good Luck!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

12-Week Get Healthy Challenge Week 3- Get Moving

Hi Everyone! How did you go adding in produce to your breakfasts for week 2 of the challenge? I didn't find it too hard as having fruit with breakfast is just something that I tend to do anyway. If you feel like you have the water tracking and having produce with your breakfast pretty on track, then it it time to add another step into your path to healthy living.

Get moving.

It seems so obvious, but making time to get out and be active can be really hard. I know that coming home from work, especially with the heat at the moment, finding the motivation to do something active can be a bit of a struggle.

This 12-week challenge is all about making small, achievable changes, so I'm not going to tell you that this week you have to get out for a run 5 times. Instead I'm asking you to add a walk to your weekly routine.



Yes, just a walk.

If you are already doing something active 4-5 times per week then congratulations, just keep doing what you're doing. For everyone else (myself included) add in a walk to whatever else it is that you do in your week.

Why a walk? Well if you are pretty unfit and the thought of getting fit seems pretty daunting, walking is a great way to ease you into it. Heading out for a 15-20 minute walk is also something that everyone can fit into their week, no excuses!

So here are some tips to help you fit that walk in this week:
1. Schedule time in. Making time for exercise is all about making time for yourself. When you are planning out what you have to do for the week, plan in a 20 minute slot to fit a walk in.
2. Use your lunch time wisely. If you have a reasonable block for lunch (say an hour), use half of it for exercise and the other half for eating.
3. Get yourself an exercise buddy. Planning to go out with someone makes it a lot harder to back out last minute, and I find walking really enjoyable when I have someone to chat with.
4. Download an audio book. I haven't tried this myself, but I have heard that this is a great way to motivate you to walk further as you can get lost in your book.

So get out there and get moving! I will keep you posted on when I get out and let me know how you go!

This will be the view that I will enjoy when I head out for my walk.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Pots


Hi everyone, hope your weekend is going well. Hungry Male and I have just come back from seeing the Mockingjay movie. Don't know if I liked it as much as the last movie, but it definitely felt like it was building up to something good for the last one.

Suppose that I will have to wait another 12 months to find out.

The weather up here in Auckland has been beautiful the last 2 weeks! It's pretty consistently been in the high 20s every day, but it I am still adjusting to the humidity. Today we went for a swim at Mairangi Bay, a beautiful, pretty calm beach up here. It's so nice swimming at the beaches up here because you can quite comfortably swim in just your togs, no wetsuit needed like down in Dunedin.

So at this stage we are settling into Auckland life quite well.

Today's recipe may not be quite so healthy as the recipes that I usually put up, but oh is it delicious!! I made this last week for Hungry Male's birthday and decided that I really needed to share it with you! Ideally I would have made it in those cute little preserving jars that you can buy, but since I haven't had the chance to go out and get some, I made do with some drinking glasses that I already had.

I will note that these really do need to be made with Reeses cups, which in New Zealand can be a little bit of a mission to find, but they are well worth the hunt! If they aren't stocked in your local supermarket, you can often find them at the Warehouse, Video stores or in specialty lolly shops.

Enjoy x

(Serves 4)

Ingredients
100g plain biscuits (I used wine biscuits)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
250g cream cheese
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
3 Tbsp Peanut Butter
4 Tbsp Rice Malt Syrup (Could also use honey, agave or other liquid sweetener)
4 Reeces Cups, roughly chopped + 2 for decorating

You will need 4 small drinking glasses, ramekins or small mason jars.

Place the biscuits in a bag and roughly bash with a rolling pin or other heavy object. Mix with the melted butter, distribute evenly among your glasses or jars and press down.

In a food processor, add the cream cheese, coconut oil, peanut butter, rice malt syrup and 4 of the Reeces cups. Process until well combined (you still want a few chunks of the peanut butter cups).

Spoon the mixture evenly between the jars and then place in the fridge for around an hour to set.




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Girl Behind the Blog- Personal update

I know that my blog is followed by a few of my family and friends, so I quite like to include some updates in my personal life.

Even if you don't know me personally, I still think it is quite nice to know the person behind the blog, so I will give you an update on what is going on at the moment.


I moved to Auckland
Yes, Hungry Male and I have made the long journey away from our hometown of Dunedin, up to the big smoke of Auckland. This move was made for a great job that I got up here (see below), and although it was sad leaving our family and friends back home, I really love that we have a little house all to our own and there are lots of adventures to be had up in Auckland.

I started my professional career
My 5 years at uni paid off and I got a great job, which marks the start of my professional marketing career. I am now a Key Account Executive for Reckitt Benckiser (which from now on will be known as RB on the blog). I am into my second week and my first week without the former Key Account Executive as a tutor. So far I am really enjoying this and learning heaps!!


I got engaged!!
Yes, he popped the question. Up on top of the Tasman Glacier of all places. Pretty freakin' romantic!

Lots of adventures to come....
So that's is pretty much all that I have to update at the moment but watch this space...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Get Healthy Challenge Week 2- Add produce in the morning

Hey Everyone. How did your first week of the challenge go. I found that tracking my water consumption was a great way to reach my target for the day. I tracked my water using Plant Nanny which also makes it quite fun.

As well as continuing with the good work this week with drinking water, we will also focus on increasing our fruit and vegetable intake. To do this, the aim is to add produce into breakfast. This can either be fruits or vegetables.





The benefits of eating lots of plant-based foods (fruits and vegetables) seems pretty evident. Fruits and vegetables provide us with lots of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the recommended daily intake for fruits and vegetables is 5 per day, I generally aim for more than this, but some days it can definitely be difficult to get them in.

Like with water, starting your day of well puts you in good stead, therefore, why I have made it the goal this week to try and add some produce in the morning.

So how can you go about doing this?

If you are like me and tend to gravitate towards the sweeter side of breakfast then try to add some fruit in.

  • Slice banana to have with peanut butter on toast.
  • If you usually eat cereal, slice up some berries or try stone fruits such as apricots or peaches
  • One of my favourite breakfasts is a chopped up apple with plain yoghurt and muesli
  • Most fruits taste great mixed in with your oats. Try apples, apricots or berries.

If you tend to prefer a savoury breakfast then try adding in vegetables like avocado or tomatoes (technically they may not be vegetables, but let's just call them that for now).
  • Mash an avocado with a drizzle of lemon juice to put on toast or an English muffin.
  • If you usually eat eggs try adding some spinach or cherry tomatoes to your plate


And if you are feeling particularly brave, add some greens such as spinach or kale to your morning smoothie. Adding a handful of baby spinach ups the nutrients in your smoothie (I promise it doesn't affect the taste).

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Get Healthy Challenge Week 1: Get Hydrated

Welcome to Week 1 of my 12-week challenge. Quite often when we set a goal, we charge in head-first in the first week or two and generally we stick to that goal. But often after this life will get in the way, or we will slip back into bad habits.

I don't want this to happen and remember that I am doing this challenge alongside you, so I am instead just easing into the healthy habits starting out with one that seems pretty simple and straightforward, but most of us probably don't do very well, including myself at the moment.

Water.



The human body is predominantly made up of water, therefore, drinking plenty of H2O is essential for good health. You can read more about this in my post here. However, with so many drinks available to us, juice, coffee, soft drinks etc. how much water are you actually drinking in a day? Yes all of those other drinks still provide you with hydration, but often they also provide lots of unwanted sugar and other additives.

So this weeks challenge is about increasing water intake in 3 simple steps.

1. Today start by tracking your water intake. This could be about mentally recording how many 500ml bottles you have drunk, writing it down in a notebook, or I really love using a water tracking app such as Waterlogged or Plant Nanny (drinking water helps keep your plant alive). Please don't cheat with this, only record water with no refined sugars or artificial sweeteners in it!

2. Eat day, try to add one more small glass to your amount. For example, if you consumed 500ml of water on Monday, you may try for 700ml on Tuesday, 900ml on Wednesday etc.

3. On Sunday, post in the comments below or on my Facebook page how much water you have got to.


Here are some tips to help

  • If you don't like the taste of plain water, try adding some fruit and herbs to it, such as lemon slices, apple slices, berries, cucumber and mint. Play around and see which combination tastes best.
  • If you really must buy flavoured water, look for one with stevia in it rather than using cane sugar or artificial sweeteners. 
  • If you have a desk job, try taking a 10-second sip every hour. It is just what it sounds like, count to 10 while sipping from a glass or bottle.

Keep following me on my Instagram and Facebook pages and I will keep you posted with how I am going with my water consumption and I will give you some more tips to help you out.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Announcing a 12-week Challenge


Tomorrow is New Years Eve so I suppose that it is time to start making some New Years resolutions. The problem is that very few people that I know actually manage to maintain these resolutions past January. One very common resolution to make is to lose weight or get healthy. The problem with these sorts of goals is that because they are so broad, it is hard to notice any difference, so you become disheartened and give up.

Instead of one broad, I propose a 12-week plan that we can all work towards together. This plan is not about losing weight or fitting into a bikini (although that may happen). Instead, my aim is to help you work towards healthy patterns one little step at a time and at the end of 12 weeks you will hopefully notice the benefits.

So keep an eye out on Monday (January 5th) for the first step in the 12 week plan and then every following Monday for the other steps. You can also keep updating on what is going on on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

If you do take part in the plan, I would love it if you can keep me updated with how it is going on my Facebook page and feel free to ask me any questions if you need some help with any of the stages.


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