Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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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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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!! 

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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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In search of good health and a flat tummy: Day 1

dinner party

 

Last night Mr M and I  had company over for dinner. I made a whole BBQ chicken, BBQ sausages, chicken gravy, steamed carrots and broccoli; a very dairy potato bake and two desserts: chocolate brownie sundaes with homemade hot fudge sauce AND creme brulee.

I ate everything except sausages (I don’t eat hotdogs or sausages), drank 2 beer and nearly an entire bottle of white wine. See, it was my last night of culinary bliss and over indulgence.

Today, I am on a strict diet as my body gets ready for the “procedures” on Tuesday. Today, I am allowed to eat the following and only the following:

  • Rice Bubbles (Rice Krispies for you North Americans)
  • Corn Flakes
  • Skim milk (on cereal)
  • White bread
  • Plain crackers
  • Rice
  • Boiled chicken
  • Steamed fish
  • Clear soup
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Spaghetti with no sauce
  • Boiled eggs

I also must consume clear drinks every hour for the next 2 days. I am falling behind on this. Right now, I’m drinking a black Americano. I used to like black coffee but now, not so much. Since living “Down Unda” I have become very accustomed to flat whites (like a latte with more milk and less foam).

I am making chicken and rice soup for dinner. I will have 2 glasses of white wine – Hey, I’m allowed.

Tomorrow, I can have NO solids. None. Not a cracker, not a piece of toast…nada. But I must continue with the hourly glasses of clear liquids.

I will be admitted to hospital at 3pm and at 5pm the bowel ridding concoctions are begun. I must say, I am looking forward to the “clean out”. I hope I don’t miss too much of The Voice with all my back and forth to the toilet. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to my bloated tummy. I am not going back to eating gluten.

Starting tomorrow, when I can have no food, I am going gluten-free for the sake of my body and overall health and wellbeing. It’s the only committed restriction I will have, though I will limit dairy as well. I find I cannot keep up with a long list of dietary no-nos and I think it is wheat and gluten that is playing a big part to my issues. I may be wrong. I may have something horribly wrong with me but I am confident that it’ll be nothing more than IBS. It’s not only the internal problems that are my concern. It’s also what I look like on the outside.

I don’t like having a protruding tummy. I like to wear form-fitting clothing. I like to wear bikinis in the summer, sometimes all day long if it’s really hot. I like to feel sexy. I don’t feel or look sexy with a gut the size of a 5-month pregnant mother-to-be. I know it’s vain but it is what it is. So it’ll be me and Tracy Anderson back at it later this coming week. I’m changing my mindset. I need to remember that I eat to live not live to eat. It’s so easy to confuse the two. I do love food though so I’ll never be one to be too fanatic about it. And chocolate is in my diet to stay.

What is the one indulgence you refuse to give up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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.

stop-smoking-tips

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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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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A(nother) new beginning

Day one of my 4-week health booster has been successful. I realise the day is not over but so far, I’m kicking ass…my own ass. Here’s a quick guide to my first day of the new(est) me!

Let’s get physical

I got out of bed at 6:30am, did my daily meditation, the 5 healing Tibetans and 2 rounds of khatu pranam (yoga). Wait, there’s more.

I then did 20 minutes of cardio in my back yard which consisted of a circuit of the following:

3, 2-minutes rounds of skipping

followed by 14 minutes of:

20 push ups

20 squats

80 punches

5 kicks

10 medicine ball lifts

20 medicine ball twists

5 backyard lengths of running with weight

15 stair jumps  (I jump to the second step)

This circuit list is performed as many times in the 14 minutes as you can manage. I did it 3 times. It’s meant to be 12 minutes but I usually cannot do all 3 rounds in that time so I’ve bumped it up to 14!!

I follow this (after a few minutes of  rest) with 3 rounds of a short cool down yoga sequence that I like, similar to a sun salutation.

I felt great after this early morning work-out!! I was so inspired and proud of myself that I went online and ordered myself a skimpy set of shorts and a crop/sports bra. I’m determined to look good in that get-up!!!

 
Just Eat It

Breakfast 9am:

45g of Carmen’s fruit-free muesli

1 TSBP greek yogurt

4 fresh strawberries

1 decaf soy flat-white (like a latte) sprinkled with cinnamon

WATER

Lunch 1pm:

Salad with a spray of balsamic vinegar

1 decaf coffee (as with breakfast)

 

soy coffee with cinnamon

Caffeine free detox tea at 2pm

Afternoon tea/snack 4pm:

Celery with hummus (homemade)

1 fresh date

cucumber slices

Dinner 6pm:

I’m in the process of making dhal. I love dhal and I make it from time to time. Most Indian food is a fantastic option for restricted diets.

I got this recipe from Radio NZ when chef Bill Granger was on speaking to Kim Hill. I modify it depending on what I have in the house so I will include alternatives. I always serve it with rice. Tonight, it will be with brown and wild rice..no white rice for me.

Dhal

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red/brown onion, finely sliced

2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 large green chili/chili flakes (decide how hot you want), finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cumin

250g/1 cup red lentils (I rinse first)

1 tbsp lime/lemon

Method:

Heat oil in pot, add onion, ginger, garlic, chili, salt and cumin and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Add the lentils and the water. Cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.Top with coriander leaves. Serve with rice and/or naan bread.

Dhal in the making. Step 1

 

 

Step 2

 

Last step..let simmer for 20 minutes

 

 

 

Homemade, healthy dhal ready to serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This lentil dish smells so good as all the flavors blend together. I absolutely love the smell of garlic and I’m so grateful to be able to experience it again!! Simply cannot wait to have dinner. I must say, I am famished!!! Water, I need more water!!!

This is the look I’m going for…lol…seriously though…Tracy Anderson is hot. I do own a DVD of hers and have managed to do it twice. It’s not easy and when I get it back (still have things to move from previous home), I intend to give it another go. Everyone needs goals…and for me, this one is within reach.

Tracy Anderson

As Mr M has another beer without me, I feel great here writing and inhaling wafts of garlicky dhal. I am motivated and inspired by skimpy fitness gear and Tracy’s abs to be the best, healthiest, sexiest woman I have ever been. Who’s coming with me?