Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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In search of health and happiness: A Manifesto

Well hello there. Yes, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve said good day to you all. You know when life gets messy and you just can’t fit another thing on your plate? That’s what’s been going down in my world.  I hope you’ve been eating well, things are looking a little thin around here.

I’ve had a major life re-vamp during my hiatus but I assure you, all is well – slowly but surely. I’m eating less junk, more healthy foods; drinking less beer, exercising a little (need to up that) and wrestling my health issues to the ground this week with a few appointments. All this around several deadlines. It’s been busy busy busy.

But I am back! All with a little kick up the bum from blogging freak (and I say that with love, affection and jealousy), Jeff Goins. I’m taking part in his 7-day blogging challenge. Day 1 (today) was all above setting the theme of your blog and publicly announcing your intentions and goals.  I wrote my manifesto à la Kelly Exeter style (her’s kicks mine straight to the curb but I’m still a little proud of my efforts) using Canva. I heart Canva.

Tell me what you think. And don’t hold back. My skin is getting thicker by the minute! Sometimes it’s hard to walk, it’s so leathery.

Manifesto for health and happiness

Do you have a manifesto for your life/blog/career/health? Share it in the comments.


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Detox in Bali: In search of my last meal(s)

When I arrive in Ubud, Bali the sun is high. It warms my back as I walk the long alleyway to the Yoga Barn where I will spend the next four nights.

It’s only 10 am and my room is not ready so I leave my bag at reception and head out in search of a few healthy cafes I have listed in my notebook.

Lucky for me, I come across Clear Cafe, a stunning eatery a 15 minute (or so) walk away. ( I posted a review about it here.) Continue reading


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A running start

shoes

always wear proper gear

I’m back baby!

Since returning from my wellness holiday in Bali, I have re-committed to daily fitness.

Each day I get up by 630am and start moving.

I’m back to doing my Tracy Anderson videos – 6 days a week until Sept 30th. I think this will give me a great kick-start to my bikini body. Let’s face it, it’s all about looking good on the beach!!

Of course, that’s not entirely true. I want to feel the best I’ve ever felt too. And so far, I feel amazing.

I’m back running too.

My first day back was hard!

Continue reading


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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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How running helped me achieve my fitness goals

runner

I never thought I’d ever say I was a runner.

I’ve had asthma and chronic respiratory issues for the past 20 years so anything that laboured my breathing was scary for me.

But last May, I added an app to my phone that would track running, walking or biking. I thought this may be a motivational tool for me. It is now, but damn, it took me awhile to get into it.

My first log was a bike ride on May 27: 2.74km – It was most likely the school run.

I burned 44 calories in 10 minutes.

May 31 – another bike ride: same results. Another school run.

It wasn’t until October 6th that I tracked my first run: 3.21km 28.50 minutes 148 calories burned.

Now, I’m sure I did not run the entire way. I am fit but running has always been hard for me and my ill-fated lungs.

In October, I ran a total of 6 days and I started to like it.

In November, which was a crazy mix of holiday and ALL GO mode, I ran 6 days as well.

Now, in December I am up to 7 days and yesterday I hit my goal for the first time!!!

I ran a continual 30 minutes. No stopping. No stitch. No breathing issues.

I would have the app record to prove it but of course, I had hit the pause button just after take-off and didn’t realise it until half way through my run!!!

Never mind. I know what I did. Now, 30 minutes will be my normal run time.

Since I added running to my fitness regime, I have been more committed to daily exercise. If I don’t have time for an hour (plus) workout, I know I can go for a run first thing in the morning and that’s my daily movement done! My aim is to do at least three  30-minute runs each week.

The added cardio has helped melt away my muffin top that was so difficult to tackle with muscle design and dance alone. Now, I have a nice balance between my Tracy Anderson DVDs (muscle design and dance cardio) and running.

Why I love running

  • It gives me some alone time.
  • All I need is my 2 feet and a heartbeat!
  • I can map my progress with the Lorna Jane app.
  • I get to listen to loud music, which I find very motivating!
  • 30 minutes is enough (for now).
  • It’s a nice break from the other stuff.
  • I feel strong and sexy.
  • I am seeing RESULTS!

Finally, after countless years of to-ing and fro-ing about my eating habits, stomach problems and lack of committed to my health, I am in a place where I get up in the morning and get straight to my fitness routine.

I am eating and drinking what I want (within reason – little wheat and dairy most days) and I don’t feel guilty about it or have any reason to worry about the weight or muffin top creeping back on.

At 42 years old, I can honestly say that I am feeling (and looking!) the best of my life.  Taking care of yourself is so important!

My goal for 2014 is to keep it up!! 

IMG_0602 copy

Happy & healthy

What’s your fitness & health goals for 2014?


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What a 32-day commitment looks like

On October 1st I started yet another “shape up” commitment and today the results are in.

My health kick consisted of daily workouts and healthy choice eating.

Here’s what I did:

  • The first 10-days of the Tracy Anderson 30-day Method
  • Running 7 days – 2 – 3kms after body shaping workout
  • Tracy Anderson’s mat routine video most days
  • dance cardio some days
  • boxing cardio a couple of days
  • extra ab work some days

Here’s what I ate and drank (sample of):

  • smoothies – almost daily
  • fresh juice
  • coffee decaf black
  • coffee soy flat white (sometimes)
  • decaf and herbal teas
  • lemon and water daily
  • salmon
  • rice
  • salads
  • fresh veg
  • fresh fruit
  • natural yoghurt
  • rice crackers
  • organic peanut butter
  • hummus
  • BBQ chicken
  • beef stir-fry
  • butter chicken with pappadoms (YES, I did)
  • chocolate (YES, I did)
  • homemade muffins (twice only)
  • pasta (2 small portions during the last week)

This month-long kick wasn’t tough. Sure, I missed a few workouts and I ate some chocolate and a tiny bit of wheat but I still got 95% of the results that I wanted. The best thing is that I want to continue this. I want to do daily fitness and steer away from wheat, dairy and processed foods.

I feel if I stick to my fitness, which I like to start by 6:30am so it’s done by 730am and I can get on with my day, I do not feel guilty about what I eat.

I’m off on holiday tomorrow so I hope all my work doesn’t unfold in 10 days!!!

My mindset in changing and that’s the hardest thing – if you can change the way you think, results will follow and your goals will be reached.

Oct 1 before side

BEFORE – Oct 01, 2013

Oct 1 before

BEFORE – Oct 01,2013

Nov 2 body

AFTER – Nov 2, 2013

Nov 2 body side

AFTER – Nov 2, 2013


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When it comes to food, health and looking fantastic, can one really have it all?

warning

This post contains graphics photos that may disturb some.

 

Now, I realise that “looking fantastic” will vary from person to person. MY version of looking fantastic is wearing a bikini without having to suck in a flabby belly.

I’m back on a “health kick” as I like to call it. From October 1-Nov 2 inclusive, I am forgoing alcohol, watching what I eat (no dairy or wheat) and working out daily. I’m on day 3 and so far so good.

I’m not being ridiculous with my diet. Sure, I’ve given up booze and have committed to stay that way until November 3rd but the dairy and wheat are optional. So far, I have not wanted them and the longer I can go without, the better, but if a pasta night comes my way I may partake. The thing with wheat is: it’s addictive. For me, it truly is.

I know I will not give up total food groups for good. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work. What does work for me is what I am doing. And yes, I am specifically doing it to get my body ready for summer and my holiday to Bali in exactly one month. Is this shallow? Vain? Immature? Options will vary.

Last week, I bought myself a new bikini and a pair of apricot short shorts. They should be called extreme shorts because they are extremely short. I even thought, ‘Am I too old to be wearing these clothes now?’.

I know I do not look 42 and when I tone up my belly, I will be able to get away with wearing extreme shorts and a bikini top as daywear but I remember my own mother being much older wearing similar styles and  I was embarrassed to be seen in public with her. Now, as an adult, I must say my mother didn’t look too bad at 50, especially considering she had had 7 children.

When I was a child and teenager, I wasn’t into food. I was skinny and didn’t like to eat. I never gained an ounce until I was 18 and working at Dairy Queen. Then I made up for all whole life by gaining 20 lbs in two months. My relationship with food and alcohol has bounced frantically over the years and now I want it all. I want to have my cake, eat it, and wash it down with a beer whilst lying on the beach in a skimpy two-piece. I hate the fact that my body is changing. My belly takes all the excess baggage and I am not one who will prance around with a muffin top.

I’m sure once my November holiday is over, I will be back on the kick – until Christmas that is. Then in January I will join the millions of people around the world who think things will change because a new year means a new year. What a bunch of bullshit.

Here are my before photos just to shame myself into completing my daily fitness!!

Oct 1 before side

Oct 1 BEFORE

Oct 1 before

Oct 1 Front BEFORE – Could I look more grumpy?

Do you do anything special to get your body ready for summer or a beach holiday? 

Stay tuned for my next post about: Spicy Lentil Soup


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Tummy Busters: How I’m beating the bloat

no bloat

 

I’ve been on a free-for-all diet for the past 6 weeks or so and I must say, I feel happier emotionally but I won’t lie, physically, I’ve felt better.

I have not worked-out since early June. It’s winter and I just do not have the motivation. I’ve also been back in the swing of work and for now, I’m happy writing and achieving goals there. Mentally though, I am preparing to return to a regular fitness routine on September 1st.

Considering all of this, my tummy issues have mostly disappeared. The severe, daily bloating has stopped and I am convinced Inner Health is the reason.

Inner Health is a pro-biotic capsule that contains 25 billion good bacteria  per supplement. Any largeness to my tummy is now fat. Plain and simple. And a bit disappointing.

I used to take IH years ago and I don’t know why I stopped or had not tried it earlier this year when I was having so many stomach issues. Daily acidophilus yogurt is not enough but delicious so I still love to eat it.

Another thing that has been working for me it stepping away from the wheat. I’m not banning it anymore but when I begin to feel crappy, I reduce my wheat intake considerably.

I have also started to take a herbal laxative. It comes in the form of tea and it is easy to drink. The downside of this of course is the stomach cramps and need to be near a toilet. It doesn’t last long and it generally takes 10-12 hours to kick in so it’s all about getting the timing right.

Here’s what I believe is working for me to reduce bloating:

  1. Daily Inner Health Plus Dairy Free
  2. Starting my day with hot lemon and water (before anything else is consumed)
  3. Reducing wheat
  4. Drinking herbal laxative  tea – once or twice a week

I reckon once I return to my fitness routine, I will feel pretty darn good. And hopefully look like this again.

Jennifer April 2013

Taken April 2013. This is my inspiration. It’s not the best my body has looked but I’d take it over today’s mirror reflection.

 

 


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What’s Working for me Wednesday: Choices

 

WWW


It’s been 3 days since I gave up gluten and dairy again and I can feel the benefits already. There are other things that I avoid, like sulphites, yeast, food colouring and additives; and sugar but I’m not going all anal about never consuming a spec. It’s obviously that being really strict with myself doesn’t work long-term so I’m being a bit easier on myself this time.

With the change of seasons, I find myself not as motivated to stick to my fitness. I mean, I’m not jumping up at the crack of dawn and straight into my runners but I am still doing a daily work-out. Sometimes it’s 60 minutes but other times, it’s only 20. My bed is pretty cosy at 6am.

I’m sure that when my body is rid of all the excess gluten and sugar I ate in March, I will be back at it in full-force. I have a new Tracy Anderson DVD (dance Cardio 2) and 3 more dvds on the way. Plus I have a couple new Lorna Jane fitness/casual outfits so I can’t stop now!!

This is the life I want; the person I want to be. I know I am committed enough and already healthy enough to achieve my goals, which is to maintain my health and my petite figure and to be a health writer. I can’t really be a health writer if I am eating cake and donuts while sitting on my bum all day.

It’s not easy, I know. I’ve been doing this yo-yo thing for 8 years now but I finally “get it”. It dawned on my last week when I wrote How to set yourself up to succeed ‘s #6 tip – “If it makes you feel good, keep doing it. If it makes you feel bad, stop doing it”.

Giving up gluten doesn’t make me feel bad. Eating gluten makes me feel bad.

Giving up alcohol forever makes me feel bad, so I haven’t given up alcohol. I just choose drinks that do not contain the things that make me feel bad. A cocktail makes me feel good and like I’m Carrie Bradshaw.

If I gave up all chocolate, I’d fall into a depression. That’s why I refuse to give up chocolate but again, I choose my chocolate wisely. Dark rules. The higher the cocoa %, the better.

It’s all about choice. We all make choices everyday that make up our entire lives.

Take today for instance. I made the following choices that have me pretty chuffed with myself:

  1. I got up at 6am to meditate.
  2. I did a 60-minute dance cardio class (on DVD)
  3. I went to a yoga class (90 minute class)
  4. I bought some fresh mango and broccoli
  5. I made a delicious mango/banana smoothie (it was to die for)
  6. I made cream of broccoli soup for lunch (no cream needed)
  7.  I sent a 3rd submission follow-up to an editor who has ignored my previous 2. She replied within 10 minutes (she’s yet to read it but has said she’ll get back to me)
  8. After this post is complete, I will make a decaf coffee and read a book for an hour
apr 3 mango

Mango & Banana Smoothie: fresh mango and any juice it produces while cutting, 1 ripe banana, 2 heaping spoonfuls of natural or greek yogurt, 6 ice cubes and cinnamon to taste. Blend all together. Enjoy!

apr 3 broccoli soup

Cream of broccoli soup: saute fresh garlic and chilli in oil (omit chilli if you want). Add clean and dry broccoli (cut up, stems and all), salt & pepper and a bouquet garni bag or bundle. Add enough water to not quite cover the broccoli. Simmer until soft. Cool slightly. Remove the bouquet garni bag before blending to a smooth texture. So simple, so delicious.

It’s these choices that are working for me this Wednesday.

Anyone have any fitness or health regimes working for them today?

 

 

 

 


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How to set yourself up to succeed

As April 1st looms, I am considering my choices. I know I have to restrict my diet again. I know wheat & gluten especially are making me ill and pooing all over my life.

I know that I am being lazy and unmotivated, in my health and writing.

I know I feel soooo much better when I exercise daily and eat very little complex carbs.

I know I love a nice piece of cake or a really great muffin. And chocolate…goodness me, I love chocolate.

I know I don’t want to live without these things.

I know that if I restrict them, I will only want them even more in a month or two.

I know that my past “diets” have been successful for short periods only.

I know I need to make it a lasting lifestyle change. But how?

I don’t want to be a martyr but I do want to look and feel good  great.

The older I get, the wiser I become. I know myself fairly well these days.

Restricting all will only last a short time, this I already know so I’ve come up with some tips for myself (and maybe for you) to ensure my success and good health.

  1. Write down goals, dreams and desires for yourself. Post them where you will view daily.
  2. Make the commitment: Be true to yourself and fight (yourself) for a better life and way of living.
  3. Read and watch: Anything and everything that will motivate & inspire you to stick to your goals. This may need to be done daily!!
  4. Delay gratification: We live in a ‘I WANT IT NOW’ society and maybe that is why we are all so spoilt. Hard work, patience and determination deserves reward,  nothing less.
  5. Celebrate your wins: Preferably not with something you are restricting!! Choose a treat that will enhance your wellbeing: a massage, a day at the beach, a long walk or snuggle down with a book or your favourite TV show.
  6. If it makes you feel good, keep doing it. If it makes you feel bad, stop doing it. Sounds simple, eh?
  7. Set aside time for quiet: meditation, reading, journal writing, a hot bath. Choose a time when you are guaranteed silence to just be.
  8. Be grateful for what you have: Being thankful for everything in your life, the good and the bad will turn every experience into a lesson, not a drama-filled crisis.
  9. Step out of your comfort zone: Do something that you have always been too afraid to do. This is a great way to boost confidence that will spill over to many areas of your life.
  10. Take a day off each week: Have one free day with no rules, restrictions or boundaries. If your one day turns into two, then three….you’ll have to start over from the beginning again.

I’m loving #10. I have decided that Sunday, the traditional day of rest will be my day off. It doesn’t mean that I will eat everything in the house or not exercise even if I feel like it. It means I will have a day to sleep-in, relax, be more casual with myself. I’m confident that these guidelines will be the way to a positive, life-long solution instead of the constant see-saw I have been living on for the past 8+ years.

Life is hard sometimes but often, we make it harder than it has to be. My goal is to have a happy family, stress-free career, care-free lifestyle, healthy and fit body and a creative mind. I’m nearly there…I’m so close to it. Any.Day.Now.

On my next big win (selling an article) I am booking myself in for a massage.

What are your favourite ways to celebrate a victory?