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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Clean Eating is a way of life.

I realized I haven't done a health related post in a while - this is mainly because over the Christmas and New Year period, I wasn't looking after my health and I wasn't exercising a hell of a lot! As soon as I got back from Abel Tasman, I stepped on the scale and my face just fell. I'd 'gained' 4kg since Christmas. Seriously world?! 

But then I thought about it - why had I gained 4kg? Probably because I was eating bread, drinking lots of booze (mmm, strawberry daiquiri) and eating heaps of nibbles. Especially during my Abel Tasman holiday, because this is basically a holiday of eating (nibbles in huge quantities followed by dinner you can hardly fit in followed by dessert followed by more drinking). 

Yeah, I over-stuffed myself and I need to work on not eating nibbles like they're the last thing I'm ever going to eat. I get it, it's a very ingrained part of me that I desperately need to work on, which is why I thrive much more when I can track my eating. When I'm busy, I don't think of food as much either. 

I've been making the transition into 'primal' clean eating. As you know, clean eating consists of not eating anything that has been processed or has extra chemicals on the label. I'm eating meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, butter (margarine = awful for you hydrogenated fats) greek yoghurt, sugar (yes, real sugar - only 1 tsp in my morning coffee), oats occasionally, clean protein powder, eggs (I had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning, yum). It's actually amazing how much you can cook with the pure basics. I've also cut most grains (not oats, I love my morning oats). 

Today for lunch I am having courgette pasta (courgettes cut into strips by a julienne peeler), with pure pork sausage casserole thing (tomatoes, onions, mushrooms). Super yummy and very clean! 

I'm no longer petrified of fat. Fat is good. Fat helps you feel fuller, for longer. Fats help transport essential nutrients to where they need to go. They make your hair, skin, and nails healthy and bright. We've been fed over the last couple of decades that fat is bad, fat makes you have high cholesterol, you should eat this stuff we made called margarine and have low-fat foods that have been pumped full of chemicals to lower said cholesterol. Read this article to explain why fat is actually good for you. 

I've also started to lift heavier weights at the gym. I'm proud to say I can squat my body weight for 6-8 reps. I can leg press over 100kg. It's pretty rewarding when you can up your weights! After my 'refeed period' over the aforementioned time, I did start doing interval sprints and the stair master - mostly, because half of this 4kg was glycogen, and water weight. For every gram of stored glycogen (read: carbs) in your body, it can carry with it 2.7g water. This is why you can lose a significant amount of weight overnight by just eating low carb, and drinking a lot of water. I lost 1.4kg the first night. No kidding. 

I have to say, eating this way, I have had far more energy, been able to pump it out at the gym harder and stronger than before, and am much happier. I think I do need to look into how I am going to go about eating in France and Italy though! I think a lot of cured meats, cheese, wine, and fresh fruit and vegetables, but being able to have a few meals that are pasta and croissants, and crusty bread won't kill me. I will be walking everywhere and will burn off those carbs easily! 

I feel like this blog post is all over the place - but to be honest, there is a lot I still don't know about this lifestyle. I'm still researching, and other people should also do their research. Don't dive headfirst into a "diet" without researching what that would do for your body. Listen to your body. 


Friday, January 25, 2013

Travel Series: Greek Islands

Unforgettable White and Blue of Greek Island, Fira, Santorini, Greece

Breathtaking View of Fira, Santorini, Greek Island, Greece

Classical Blue and White, Street Scene, Fira, Santorini, Cyclades, Greek Island, Greece

Cute Donkeys, Santorini, Cyclades, Greek Island, Greece

Stunning View of Oia, Santorini, Greek Island, Greece

I absolutely cannot wait until my Greek Island trip! I feel like I'm going to fall in love with the place and never want to leave (or just leave to come back next year!). The whitewashed buildings with blue roofs and shutters make my heart swoon! 

So according to my Busabout Greek Island Hopper, we head first to Mykonos - Paradise beach, shopping, water, sunbathing, cocktails, and a trip out to Delos (the birthplace of Apollo). We head directly there bright and early in the morning (6:30am!) and get in to Mykonos around 1:30pm (according to

After two nights on Mykonos I'm heading to Paros (not to be confused with Poros). Both are Greek Islands, and I'm sure both are lovely, but I'm heading to Paros. The Busabout itinerary cites horseback riding or a nice massage - I'm not sure which I would choose to be honest! I have a feeling at this point in my trip I will be needing the massage! The next day we have a full day in Paros, on a boat cruise, snorkeling, swimming, and eating lots of yummy Greek food and ouzo! 

From Paros we travel onto the most famous Greek Island of all, Santorini! Throughout my childhood I heard wonderful things of my parents time in Santorini - how my mum brought a bright blue dress there, how the got a scooter and drove around the island... I can't wait to explore this island and perhaps should have stayed on longer! 

Ios is our last stop on the trip - or as I've read, the party town! Relax by the pool/on the beach during the day, and party it up until 7am at night! I am also very much wanting to rent a 4-wheeler and go up to see Homer's tomb! More swims and more sun is also on the cards! 

And after that, I head back to Athens for more exploration of the city! I can't wait to share my personal photos with you all! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Abel Tasman & Te Waikoropupū Springs

Last week I spent a few days in our regular family vacation spot - Totaranui in Abel Tasman National Park. The weather wasn't great for most of it - we had about two sunny days, a few cloudy days, and one very wet day. I still managed to get a tan though! Photo's two and five are of Totaranui bay, while the others were taken on the track to Goat Bay. The track has just been re-done due to a huge slip that washed the other one out. It's taken the walk from 20 minutes to just over half an hour. 

On one of the cloudy days, Mum, Dad and I took a trip out to Takaka, the small township closest to Totaranui. It's filled with hippy stores, boutiques and organic cafes. It's fun to wander around! What is also just out of Takaka is Te WaikoropupÅ« Springs, or Pupu Springs. These springs are the clearest water source in the world, comparable only in visual clarity to sub-glacial water in the Antarctic. There is beautiful rainforest around the springs, which is nice to walk through. It's such a beautiful, tranquil place! 

This past weekend I also had the honor of attending one of my good friend's marriage. It was such a beautiful ceremony with a beautiful bride and it was great fun catching up with everyone! I'm now back home in Wellington - have tidied the house, and gone to the gym (need to get back on track! Gained a few kilos over the festive season! Yikes!), and have a day to relax today due to it being Wellington Anniversary! 

I hope everyone is having a good week! xx

Friday, January 18, 2013

Travel Series: Athens

The Amazing Parthenon - Acropolis of Athens, Athens, Greece

Erechtheion - Acropolis of Athens, Athens, Greece

It's official! I have now paid for all travel (bus, tours, and flights), and most of the deposits for my accommodation! Now it is 6 months of full-on saving and google-mapping places, and street-view wandering until I finally touch down in Paris! I left off on the Travel Series last year in Rome and the Italian Adventure. From Rome I fly on Easy Jet (Yes, that airline) to Athens. I'm staying at AthenStyle hostel, right next to Monastiraki Square (last photo) for 3 nights before departing on my Greek Island Hopper (Mykonos, Paros, Santorini and Ios). 

I know I have to brush up on my Ancient Greek Classics (I'm going to re-read Homer's Odyssey and Iliad before I go). I love that my hostel sits just under the Acropolis Hill so I can hike up to the Parthenon whenever I like! 

I love Greek food so I am super prepared to be drowning in salad (they don't call it Greek Salad over there, it's just Salad!), Spanakopita, Tzatziki and of course Souvlaki! Yum! 

I'm planning on purchasing my iPad Mini next week to start downloading apps. I think it will be easiest for me to do blogs this way - I will upload photos to my Google Drive or DropBox to lessen the amount of space used on the iPad. I can edit photo's before uploading them! I'll then just keep as many as I can on an SD card then buy a new one when I need. I have an 8GB SD card at the moment so I should be fine! 

Does anyone know of the essential photography iPad apps? xx

Friday, January 4, 2013

Summertime Laziness


1-3. A quick bush walk with dad through some of our Native Forest nearby at Mt Peel. Everything is so green!  4-6. Camping up the Gorge; our swimming spot. 7-10. A morning flight with Mum and Dad around Timaru, up and down the coast. 
All photos by me

I know I know, I'm sorry! It's been a month! But in that month I have been incredibly busy! Here is a rundown:
  • I had a pretty busy start of the month with work, trying to get everything out of the way before Christmas! I'm the one who packs and ships the presents! 
  • I finished work on the 21st and flew down to Christchurch in the evening after work. I then drove my sister-in-law's car down home and got home just before 10pm. 
  • The 22nd was the day of my dad's surprise 60th party that my mum and I have been cooking up for months! My brother took my dad fishing for the day and he had no clue what was happening. As soon as they left we were up and at 'em, cooking, putting up the marquee, groceries, etc. 
  • Christmas day was a quiet affair which is how I like it. Mum and I did the regular Potato salad, baked ham, and green salad. It was a roasting hot day of 30 degrees, so after lunch most of us napped and got ready for round two. My brother's in-laws came for dinner. 
  • Boxing day I went into Timaru with mum and we had a bit of a shop. I got a few things from Kathmandu for my upcoming Europe Trip (packing bags are so useful!). Later on in my trip home we went back and bought a pack that doubles as a regular wheel bag. Very useful! It's blue! 
  • I think on the 29th I went camping with a couple of friends for a night down the gorge. There are three gorges you can go to in my town - we went to our regular hole! Other friends met us later that night and bought us hot chocolates! We all slept curled around the rocks on the floor of our tent. 
  • On the 31st it was a beautiful day so Dad took mum and I for a fly. We don't own the plane, just rent it at the Aeroclub! My Mum started flying first in 2001, she had shares in a Yak52 Russian Fighter for a while - which she flew and did aerobatics in. Then Dad decided to copy and my brother started as soon as he was old enough. I've never been into it as it's so technical, but I do enjoy going up and taking photos! 
  • New Years was spent at my friends house with a BBQ and lots of mates from high school times. It was great to see the crew back together! It probably won't happen again for a while (minus this good friend's wedding in two weeks!). We got out the spirits and started making cocktails which was fun! Also on the cards was water-volleyball with the guys (not as much of a success as you would think), fireworks that went array, and massive marshmallows roasting over an horrendously hot brazier. It was such a fun night! Lesson: never plan for New Years and you'll have an awesome one! 
  • The holiday ended with drama as we drove up to Christchurch on the 2nd, when my flight was actually booked for the 3rd. Thankfully, I managed to get a standby fare! Although, that flight was the scariest flight I have ever had coming into Wellington! 140km/h winds! In a small ATR plane! Not so much fun! 
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years break! I've been back at work for one day, the gym for two, and now it's the weekend. Next week I'm only working 4 days and then heading onto Nelson for our annual holiday in Abel Tasman National Park! xx