Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWWCommitment – that’s the word of the day today.

I am a person of routine and commitment. This seems to strengthen with age. I remember being young and trying new things and them not working out so I’d just freely and easily bail on the idea and plan that I had. These days, it seems to be my mission in life to make commitments and stick with them.

Being Wednesday, I have much on the go:

Baking Day

Yoga

Novel writing (3000 words today!)

Blog post (this one!)

Tap dancing

Yes, that’s right. Last week, I went to my very first tap dancing class. I felt (and looked) like a fool but I’m going back this week for more embarrassment and humiliation.

tap dancerI don’t have tap shoes yet but I am determined to get a pair within the next few weeks. For now, I’m in bare feet which is not really tapping at all but I’m still yet to perfect the moves.

This new adventure of mine stems from a childhood dream to be a dancer. I never ever told anyone that but it’s true. I used to dream about doing the entire Thriller dance session in the gymnasium of my high school. I loved Madonna’s Lucky Star video and Toni Basil’s Mickey.

This past weekend, I watched the documentary RIZE again. It’s about dance and how it can change your life. I love the music and I think Tommy the Clown is a hero. I also love reality shows like So you think you can dance but not Dancing with the stars. 

Now, I know I’m not going to be a famous dancer but I’m enjoying it and I thank Tracy Anderson for making me get up and feel the music.

I started to do her dance cardio workout as part of my January fitness push and I cannot stop now. I actually like getting up at 6am and dancing for 45-60 minutes! It’s inspired me and given me some body confidence.

dance

Dance, it’s what’s working for me this Wednesday!!! Now, I’m off to trip over my own feet!

Are you hiding away a dormant dream? Any chance of awakening it?

 


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What’s going in my mouth!

It’s been a week of good food, good coffee and good chocolate. Yes, even though I am on a very committed and strict fitness regime, I am eating chocolate. It’s the whole reason I’m getting up at 5:30am and working out for 1.5 hours each and every day.

Today was day 18 of the 30 day challenge (Tracy Anderson Method) and I really struggled. I’m dealing with the mental side of it now and my mind is saying, ‘stay in bed this morning, it’s Sunday.’ But there’s no way I’m going to let the negative side of me win this time.

Today was  day 8 in the second series of moves. I feel I’ve been a bit slack because I’m only up to 40 reps in the leg movements but 60 in the ab work and my standard of 1 minute for the arm work. I am proud of the fact that I’m doing 40 minutes of dance cardio EVERY day now though. This, I won’t bother upping to the max time of 60 minutes…..who has time for that in their day!!

I’m still experiencing belly bloat after most meals, which really upsets me. To have a flat stomach is a major reason I’m doing this (vanity? sure). My legs and ass are looking FAB and during my workout, my abs look pretty damn fine (minus the tiny muffin top).  Maybe my meal portions are too large or I’m eating too much chocolate….? Oh well, I’d rather eat the chocolate and live with a tiny tummy roll then not have the chocolate.

Here’s the other, less chocolatey things I’ve been putting in my mouth this week.

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Fresh watermelon….delicious.

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Decaf espresso…I refuse to give up my daily (twice..) coffee. I mix it will steamed malt-free soy milk.

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Fresh fruit in watermelon and mint puree

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BBQ salmon with steamed green beans and carrots.

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Prawn salad on lettuce with cherry tomatoes.

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Garden salad with tuna slices and fresh apple.

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Fresh juice made from carrot, apple, lemon, celery, beetroot and spinach

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Green and Black’s organic 70% chocolate…..yum

How’s your fitness or eating regime going? Have any good, wheat-free, low carb recipes to share?

 


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What I know about…resolutions

Ahh yes, it is that time again. The lovely Sarah Wayland at thatspaceinbetween is hosting another ‘What I know about’ series. The topic on discussion is what’s on the minds of many people who want to make a change in their life…resolutions.

Resolutions. That word that floats around in the air like hot, heavy humidity from December 31 until about the end of January, when it is then forgotten about until the next New Year’s Eve.

ny res

What do I know about resolutions? 

Resolutions are usually set to solve a problem. In my opinion (and experience), unless the problem is so severe that you absolutely cannot live with it any longer, you will not succeed in keeping your promise to yourself. Come on, breaking New Year’s resolutions are even more (in)famous then setting the damn things! But I do have a success story that I’d love to share….even if it is a cliche.

It was the eve of 2001. I was in Banff, Canada spending a beautiful white Christmas and New Year with my friend, Yui.

banff winter

 

Yui and I had met there in 1993 when we both were living at the YHA and had become close friends. I had left Banff in1997 and moved to British Columbia but longed for another mountainous white Christmas. And let me say this, I have never been anywhere more gorgeous than Banff at Christmas. It’s a true winter wonderland. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it was my last Christmas in Canada and I hold the greatest memories of it in my head and heart for many reasons.

By the end of 2000, I had been smoking for over 16 years. I had tried to quit many times before but would often cave after 2 or 3 months. I had severe sinus issues and asthma but the cigarettes always ranked higher than my health. I didn’t even enjoy smoking anymore but the habit and addiction held me prisoner.

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Even though Yui smoked as well, she really rallied behind me to quit. So I decided that I would have my last cigarette just before midnight on December 31, 2000. I remember Yui and I smoking on her balcony. It was freezing cold and my lungs burned and cooled with every inhale and exhale. The mix of the cold and hot made me cough and wheeze. It was time to look after myself. I made the commitment to myself and my health right then and there and have not had a cigarette since.

Now, 12 years later I find it hard to believe that I ever smoked cigarettes. I’m happy to say that Yui has also since quit and is now a non-smoker. We are both health-conscious people and I’m a lot happier and healthier for it.

So resolutions can work but you have to ask yourself……….how badly to I want it?

I didn’t really set resolutions this year. I chose to set goals for 2013 instead with my most challenging one on day 5 today. I am rising at 5:30am every day for 30 days to do 10 minutes of meditation before I gear up for  1.5 hours+ of  Tracy Anderson style fitness. It’s gruelling and today I felt completely shagged afterwards but hey, it’s 10:15am and I don’t have to think about exercise until 6am tomorrow and I’m loving that aspect!

The thing is…..I want the result of a toned body so badly that there is no way I will let myself renege on this deal. I’m even starting to crave it; I want to push myself.

So whatever your resolutions or goals are this January and beyond, remember to be true to yourself. I may not know much about resolutions, but I do know that much!

Be joyful.


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2013: and so it begins

On my last post I stated that a goal for 2013 was to not speak unless I had something good to say. So, in that case, I cannot mention a thing about Dec 31 or Jan 1.

For me, 2013 started on January 2, which was also Master T’s 7th birthday.

bday balloonsThe day was quite low-key but he had fun and I got out of my mood, thanks to chocolate and some bubbly…to celebrate the occasion, of course. January 2 also marked the last day of my binge eating. I did not go all out though. It was a fairly tame “last day”, even for me. I didn’t even have a bowl of the Crunchy Nut corn flakes that I’d been wanting for breakfast. I did have biscuits, chocolates, cheese and crackers; chocolate mint birthday cake, coffee with cream (my fav) and bubbly with OJ and a beer throughout the day. And now I sit here eating watermelon.

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And it is delicious but I’m rather hungry. Today, January 3rd is the first of 30 that I will rise at 5:30am so I can complete my daily meditation and Tracy Anderson’s rigorous exercise routine as stipulated in her 30-day Method before breakfast.

I struggled through the 16 sequences (after the 5 warm-up stretches) and then 20 minutes of “dance” cardio. My dancing consists of side stepping and toe tapping with a few jumping jacks and swinging arms thrown in for good measure. I’m confident that I will be more coordinated and be able to keep up with Tracy by the end of the first 10 days.

I finished the session at 7:32am and within a half hour, I felt exhausted and even like I had the flu. She mentions this in the book but I was surprised to actually feel it so quickly. It may be because I am getting over a cold as well…I’m sure it’s a combo of the two. It’s now 12:30 and I feel ok but quite hungry. The watermelon did nothing to fill me up.

In Tracy’s book, there is a meal plan and she is very forward about saying that you must follow it to a T. Many of the items are not readily available where I live and I do not need to lose weight so I will not be following it exactly. I will use it as a guideline only but I am committed to a low-carb, no alcohol and low-sugar diet for the duration of the 30 days. I see many salads with BBQ chicken or fish in my future.

I am mostly doing this for the challenge. As an Aries, I always need to be chasing something. I do want a toned and fabulous body afterward too!! But right now, I really need some food and a nap!!

Tracy Anderson

Tracy Anderson

How’s your new year going?


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Aspirations, intentions, wishes, dreams, goals for 2013

So, here it is, my last post for 2012. And based on today alone, I cannot wait for this year to end. And so I look forward to 2013 but not too much as I want to focus on the NOW. But there is always a time and place for planning and that time is NOW.

My goals are not outlandish, far-fetching, crazy, unachievable day dreams; they are within my reach.

Career

 book and pen

  • Sell at least one article to Good Health magazine in JANUARY
  • Go to Sydney for ‘How to write a chick-lit novel’ 2-day course – Feb 2nd
  • Sell one piece per month to a glossy magazine (health, wellbeing, travel, parenting)
  • Sell one piece per month to an online magazine/website
  • Continue to freelance for West Australian Newspapers (regional) with an average monthly income of $700
  • Boost yearly income to 5 digits
  • Finish novel – 1997
  • Have novel edited by a professional editor
  • Submit novel to publisher
  • Sharpen photography skills
  • Start candid photography biz
  • Afford new camera equipment

Health

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  • Eat a low carb diet
  • Find a balance between “good” and “bad” foods
  • Limit alcohol
  • Limit sugar
  • Retain sense of smell and taste

Wellbeing

Ommmmm

Ommmmm

  • Meditate daily
  • Complete Tracy Anderson’s 30-day method challenge (Jan 3- Feb 1 inclusive)
  • Yoga weekly
  • Fitness class twice weekly
  • Focus on the NOW
  • Stay positive
  • Do not speak if I do not have anything good to say (sacred silence rights the Universe~Marianne Williamson)

Travel

 airplane

  • Sydney
  • Malaysia
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Bali
  • Winter Christmas (Japan?)

Now, it’s time to bring this year to a close with a refreshing pina colada because I’m absolutely melting here (it’s 40 degrees Celsius and for all of you in the cold, THIS IS NOT FUN. And yes, I am a bit lot irritable!!!).

But please have a Happy New Year and come back here in 2013!!


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Highlights of 2012

2012 calender

2012 is nearly over and what a year it has been!! This will be my second to last post for the year so I thought it be fitting to feature my personal highlights of 2012. I hope you’ve all had an amazing year!!

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  • Lived in New Zealand
  • Watched Master T do his first tandem skydive
  • Started an 8-week mentorship with Alan Close
  • Got published in The Hokitika Guardian

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  • Ryan and new wife-to-be, Andrea visited from the USA
  • jennifer@jennifermortonwriter.com was born
  • Got into the writing groove
  • Saw a real live kiwi in its native home

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  • Celebrated 8th wedding anniversary
  • Attended the Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika
  • Submitted my 2nd story to Australian Family Magazine
  • Read and reviewed Portia de Rossi’s Unbearable Lightness for Hardie Grant
  • 3090818-april-2012-calendarReturned to Australia after 7 months in New Zealand
  • Slowly took myself off a very restricted diet that started on January 1st
  • Spent 2 nights in Sydney
  • Got my first copywriting job ($80 invoiced!!!)
  • 1081298-Clipart-May-2012-Calendar-Over-Pink-With-Vines-Royalty-Free-Vector-IllustrationMeet some fabulous writers in Sydney
  • Flew to Canada for a 2-month stay…sans husband and child. Fell in love with Vancouver all over again.
  • I attended the I CAN DO IT conference in Vancouver….OMG!
  • Spent some time in the Canadian Rockies
  • Shared good times with my Canadian friends and family
  • juneHooked up with bestie, Gillian Mckenzie and finally got to eat at her restaurant, The Seaside Shanty
  • Enjoyed time in Halifax – my original hometown
  • Flew to Ontario and got to know my niece and nephew again
  • The winter edition of Australian Family Magazine was released with my feature in it
  • julyI spent Canada Day in Ottawa with my niece and her hubby. It was a dream come true for me.
  • I returned to Australia and my boys. xxxx
  • We all moved to Western Australia
  • I finally started to write again

aug

sept

  • I submitted several pitches to several glossy magazines
  • I got serious about fitness
  • My schedule got very busy
  • I really feel like a writer now
  • octI made pumpkin pie to honour  Canadian thanksgiving
  • Good Health bought an article that I submitted on spec! Watch for my byline in the April 2013 edition……The best thing to happen in my writing career to date!
  • Kai Chronicles celebrated its one year anniversary
  • I did 2 solo skydives after a 7.5 year hiatus.
  • novI had 2 articles published in the Ocean Drive Magazine in WA
  • I started the first draft of my chick-lit novel
  • Good Health commissioned me to write an article for the May 2013 edition
  • I WON Nanowriomo for the 2nd year in a row
  • I went back to far north Queensland for a holiday with the family
  • decI attended my brother-in-law’s wedding on Mission Beach….xxx
  • My hubby bought us a flash car
  • I spent a day at a mini yoga retreat
  • I met some of the team and saw the news room at the Geraldton Guardian 
  • I had a very bikini Christmas with family in Perth
  • I was featured in the summer edition of BIDE magazine.

2012 has been a fantastic year for me. I hope you have all enjoyed good health, success, happiness and love. My last post of 2012 will feature my wishes and goals for 2013. It’s going to be a BIG year, I just know it. 


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WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday

Ahhh, Wednesday again. Things are settling down a bit for me, maybe too much, but I’m very busy with Nanawrimo! I’ve written over 10,000 words so far and I’m on target. It’s great but I feel I’ve really slowed down on the paid work side of things. I did send a pitch off today, my first in 10 days or so. Even though my writing is working for me, I am going to tell you all about something else that is working for me, that always works for me every Wednesday: YOGA.

I’ve been doing yoga for many years but I cannot say that I’m an accomplished yogi. I remember well my very first ever yoga class.

It was 1997 and I was new to living in Vancouver. I joined a women’s only gym in the trendy neighbourhood of Kitsalano and I would go and fumble through “work-outs”. When I saw the class roster included yoga, I was keen to try it. So I did. Once. All classes were held in the middle of the gym so all the girls on the equipment could watch. I often found these general classes not suited to me as I always felt silly if I didn’t know how to do something. And this was a city gym so there was easily 25 people in each class.  And the instructor didn’t help. Well, she did try to help but not in a loving way. She “adjusted” me several times throughout the class and now I can appreciate that she was trying to help me but it was obvious that I frustrated her at the time.  I mean, I couldn’t even stand in tadasana properly!!! I never took the class again.

Moving ahead to 2005, I resumed yoga during my pregnancy with Master T and a love was born. Six weeks after his arrival, I was back to it. From there I have been practicing regularly though not daily. I sometimes go months without, especially if we’ve shifted towns, states or countries!!! Now, in a new town I have found Iyengar yoga. Some will say this is the only yoga.

I knew all the poses that Lara Favelle was teaching but I had no idea that I was not working through them as I could have been. Maybe that’s why I am still very inflexible after 7 years of yoga! Iyengar yoga is based on the ancient teachings: the roots of the asanas (poses) if you like. The poses are performed with the aid of props such as bolsters, blocks, blankets, chairs, belts and pads.

Since committing to Lara’s Wednesday class and really working my body in each pose, I have noticed a difference. It’s not huge, but it’s there. She often reminds us that it may take years to achieve a certain pose in its entirety and that the learning never stops. She’s tough too but in a good way; she has a sense of humour at least!!! I’m so glad that I’ve matured enough that I can take her saying, ‘Jennifer, are you working that thigh?’ or ‘Jennifer, I’ve seen your legs straighter than that before’. I usually  snap a hasty reply, which she says she doesn’t mind. She keeps me focused that’s for sure.

Today was a good yoga day as well because Mr M was home and we played yoga photo shoot at the beach.

downward facing dog

eagle pose

tree pose

So there it is. Yoga was definitely working for me today….and how about the blue sky? Beautiful.

What’s working for you this Wednesday?


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I’m a cheater and I’m ok with that

As I write this I have a lollypop in my mouth. They were not on my list of what to eat when I set my latest (but not greatest) food challenge.

Yes, I’ve been cheating. Not great amounts, just small samples here and there. The thing is – I rarely do this. I am usually very diligent and reliable, especially when it comes to my health.

I set the 4-week challenge as a way to cut back on my over-indulgence and that has worked. My daily beer habit is gone but I did have about 6 beer over the past 3 weeks, which is nothing compared to the daily 3 I had become accustomed to.

I have had very little wheat, none to even speak of but I have had some gluten-free fruit toast over the past 3 days. And the only dairy I have is the probiotic yoghurt, which is a must for my gut. Oh…actually that’s a lie. Last week we had dinner at Dough Pizza in Perth (I had the chicken salad) and I sampled some chocolate gelato and tiramasu. YUM, they were both fantastic. And believe me, I needed the sweets badly. That was the day my Mac crashed. I was not in a good mood. And you know what? Eating that chocolate really boosted me up.

Halloween was the other night and Master T went trick or treating. I actually bought more treats to hand out at our door then he came home with but he had fun anyway. Yesterday I had a moment of weakness and consumed some potato chips. I didn’t even care. Sometimes I feel I’m too serious about this (and a lot of other things) so I just said, stuff it I’m going to have these and enjoy them! And I did until….

I then did my Thursday workout. I barely made it to the 20 minute mark. Gosh, it nearly killed me. I realised that I hadn’t eaten properly nor had I drank enough water during the day and then to eat potato chips just before hand??? Clearly, I wasn’t thinking!

So, the “cheating” consists of beer, lollies, dessert and 2 single serve bags of potato chips. It’s all good though. I’m not bothered by it because in general, I am sticking to healthy diet and (almost) daily exercise program. I’m coming close to balancing.

Plus, it’s November which means it’s NaNoWriMo month and I’m not sure restricting anything is advisable during this. So far I’m on target but it’s only day 2. I may have to call on chocolate again for mood enhancing later this month or tomorrow.

I have one more week left on this 4-week challenge then I can relax a bit and fall back into old habits….lol, no hopefully not. My in-laws are visiting next weekend.That was the reason for Nov 10th to be the cut-off. Really I’m still just trying to lay the foundation for permanent change and every stint helps me along.

On January 3, I will start Tracy Anderson’s 30-day method. I need the next 2 months to gear myself up for it. It won’t be easy – that I know. She’s full-on!! And there’ll be no cheating on Tracy!!!!

Have you ever cheated on anything?

 

 

 


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The Skydiver Diet

falling…..in love with life ©Morton

UPDATE:

My skydiving photos have been taken from this site many times over without my permission. Please note all images on Kai Chronicles are copyrighted and cannot be used without written permission. If you have used the image without my permission, please remove it from your site ASAP. 

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