Thursday, April 28, 2011

Back to Planet Normal

Going back to work after a lovely, relaxing break is always a downer, and all I can say about that is that I'm grateful for a short week.

I am happy to be back in my normal groove though. Getting up at 5:45am was a wee bit unpleasant, but the quick spin workout I got in before breakfast this morning felt wonderful after the sloth of my Easter break.

Over the long weekend we spent a couple of days enjoying the perfect weather, pretty scenery and local wines around Bright.

I think these guys are completely nuts, but I welcome the photo opportunities they present. The first group was snapped on Saturday, floating around over the hills at the back of the in-laws' place.

One of these days I'm going to camp out at their landing point and get some photos that I'm actually happy with.

Back to normal blogging shortly...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Holidays, but not much rest

I thought having this week off would give me some time to relax, do some shopping, maybe see a movie and just you know...chill. But of course, I've had next to no spare time at all. That's what happens when you have to cram in dentist, hairdresser and other appointments, wait around for tradesmen, write programs for new clients (and fit in a couple of one-on-one sessions) and catch up on long-neglected housework, all in only four days. And somewhere in there, attempt to spend some time with your (elusive) teenagers.

In spite of feeling a bit rushed, I'm having a great week. Some of the highlights have included:

A couple of nana naps. Yes, I've been busy, but there's always time for a snooze.

Taking the boys out for lunch today after our six-monthly dentist appointment and enjoying sitting and just listening to their nonsense.

Picking up our new car. We've been in desperate need of an update for a few years now, and have talked about it, then put it off over and over again. Finally, we bit the bullet and I'm loving driving around in a modern car with bluetooth, ipod connectivity and all the lovely extras.

Getting dirty out in the garden weeding, pruning, applying my favourite molasses and Seasol solution and then sitting back and admiring my efforts.

Taking advantage of being stuck at home on Monday whilst waiting for a tradesman, and unleashing my inner domestic goddess. Parts of the house are practically sparkling. ;) Yes, parts. One doesn't want to go crazy....

I'm grateful for plenty of things this week, but I'm especially grateful that my two younger children, at 18 and 15, don't mind hanging out in public with thir daggy old Mum.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I was very happy to receive my Sana Direct goodies last week. This lot here, spread all over my dining table, is vanilla whey protein, fish oil capsules, L-glutamine, Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), cacao beans, maca powder, and some other stuff that I've probably forgotten...

This sticker was a big relief to all concerned. There had been numerous emails back and forth between Sara and I about how to deal with any tricky questions from AQIS. But thanks to all of Sara's research and attention to detail with labelling and so on, they don't appear to have even bothered to open the package. Every other time I've ordered plain old whey, it arrives with a colourful "Opened for inspection" sticker on it. Go figure...

Today I finally got around to making myself a super-shake. I know Sara blogged her recipe somewhere, but do you think I could find it? Nuh-uh. So I just made it up, based on what I had available. I give you my blueberry-vanilla super shake:

Based on some expert advice, I threw a handful of cacao beans into the food processor and smooshed them to smithereens. The smell was delish - slightly "dark choc", but with a natural, earthy aroma. Then I threw that into the blender with a teaspoon of maca powder (no idea how much I should have used), a scoop of vanilla whey, a few blobs of natural yoghurt, a pile of frozen blueberries, a teaspoon of xylitol and a glug of skim milk. I would have added a banana, but those are a bit scarce in our house at the moment, due to the extremely ridiculous price they're selling for.

It turned out great. Thick and fruity, with some chunky bits in the bottom (must blend for longer next time) that I ate with a spoon.

Now I'm waiting for my super powers to kick in. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Equipment essentials

People face any number of obstacles when it comes to getting fit. Financial constraints is a big one - I can't afford a gym membership/expensive home equipment/personal training sessions, etc, etc. Even dumbbells and barbells are expensive, I know.

I don't have room for a home gym is another common one. Not everyone has a nice big spare room where they can install a cardio machine, squat rack and all the lovely accessories that go with it. And many people want to exercise at home, because they have childcare issues, the gym opening hours don't suit, or for some other reason.

Here's my all-time favourite solution to both of those roadblocks:

Resistance tubes. These babies are cheap, take up no space at all and they're even lightweight and portable for travel or for outdoor workouts. With a pair of runners and a couple of bands in different strengths, you're all set.

You can get fancy ones with handles, but I prefer just the tubes. You can increase or decrease the resistance, simply by holding them at a different point. You can take them to the park and loop one around a post, railing or swing set, then do lat pulldowns, rows, "cable" crossovers, high biceps curls, triceps extensions, assisted pullups.... the list is almost endless.

For those of us who do have a gym membership and/or a well-equipped home gym, a couple of bands add an extra dimension to your training. Plus they're great for rehab exercises. I wouldn't be without them.

No money, no room? No excuses!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I arrived home last night to find a massive parcel of goodies from Sana Direct on my dining table. I'm very grateful to Sara, who spent a lot of time and effort wrangling with the Australian quarantine laws to make sure my stuff got here safely.

I'm also grateful that AQIS didn't confiscate, irradiate or otherwise mistreat the contents. I am grateful for our strict quarantine laws, which keep a lot of nasties out of the country, but boy, they can be very paranoid at times.

Now I'm all stocked up on whey protein, fish oil, L-glutamine, maca powder, cacao beans, and ascorbic acid. I'm especially grateful that the Aussie dollar is going gangbusters at the moment, because all this stuff really was super-cheap.


Cacao beans are interesting - I think I'm going to love them. Very crunchy and earthy, with a hint of dark chocolate flavour, although of course, not at all sweet. Surprisingly, they're not as bitter as I thought they'd be. The Baby tried one and wasn't impressed... I think I'm safe in keeping them all for myself. Can't wait for the weekend to mix myself up a super-shake.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Just before I fly out the door, here's today's "grateful" list:

The fabulously deep and unbroken sleep I'm enjoying every night. After months of sleep deprivation, I'm loving waking up before the alarm, feeling rested.

Heated towel rails. :) I've just switched them back on to help deal with the chilly mornings we're beginning to have. There's nothing like grabbing a warm towel when you step out of the shower.

The lack of torrential rain this morning to accompany my drive to work.

Later, folks!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm honoured

I've been a very slack blogger. I have no excuse, other than my full time job, personal training business, socialising with interstate bloggers, planning holiday travel adventures and spending time with my family. Other than that, I've been doing nothing at all.

So, I was honoured to receive a prestigous award. This one, in fact, from Sara H (or as I like to call her, Texas Sara. I don't like to get my Saras all muddled up...):

As part of the deal, I have to reveal seven random facts about myself. This is going to be TOUGH, you know. After all, I do have a tendency to over-share. *ahem* You'll have to excuse me if you already know some of this stuff. I'm getting on, and my memory ain't what it used to be.

1. I dislike sport in general. That may seem weird for a personal trainer and self-confessed fitness fanatic, but I'm bored to tears by most spectator sports. That pretty much makes me an outcast in my home town, where everyone is football mad. Meh. I don't get it, and never will.

2. I love me a live show. Musical, modern play or one of the classics, opera, concert, comedy, whatever. I don't see enough of them, but the Australian Ballet, Melbourne Theatre Company, symphony or chamber orchestras, rock bands, anything during the Melbourne Comedy Festival (Saw Spike Milligan once, bloody awesome!), all rock my world. I have a date to see the sold-out MTC performance of The Importance of Being Earnest with Geoffrey Rush later this year and can't wait.

3. I'm incredibly shy and a bit socially awkward. People sometimes mistake me for a stuck-up bitch, but nope, I'm just S.H.Y.

4. I'd quite happily eat breakfast for every meal. I usually have at least two breakfasts each day. Toast, muesli, eggs, pancakes, French toast, bacon... *sigh* Some of the best foods on Earth.

5. I'm getting a new car and I'm insanely excited about it. :D

6. We live in a decidedly non-trendy suburb, and yet we still feel entitled to look down upon residents of certain parts of Melbourne. Yes, we have a zero-tolerance policy towards bogans. And if you insist on spelling your kids' names uniquely, you're fair game. I'm just saying...

7. I LOVE school holidays, even if I'm not having any time off work. No grumpy kids to haul out of bed, no school drop-offs, no notes to sign, homework to nag about, no nightmare traffic to negotiate on my way to work. And the ability to build up some Flex time is always good. This week is going to be a good one. :)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

As good as it gets

My week is flying past, and I'm as busy as a one-armed wallpaper hanger. So I just haven't have time or energy to write a proper blog post. Instead, here are a few things I'm grateful for:

- The magnificent weather Melbourne has turned on this week. 26 degrees and brilliant blue skies - what more could you ask for in autumn?

- The wonderful music of the Grigoryan and Tawadros brothers that Bike Boy and I got to hear at the (very impressive) Melbourne Recital Centre last night. *sigh* It was like angels singing....

- The skills of my osteopath, Melissa. A few weeks of treatment has yielded enormous improvements and a lot less pain.

- My beautiful garden, which is growing like Triffids on steroids at the moment. :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Playing catch-up

I've taken a day off work today, but there's no rest for the wicked. This morning I'm off to do my annual CPR update so I can keep my fitness professional registration and insurance up to date. Then I have a couple of appointments that will fill in the entire afternoon. I need to call at the supermarket on my way home, which will probably be around 5:00pm, before organising dinner and getting stuck into the ironing.

Bike Boy headed off to Canberra at 6:00am, and The Baby is sick in bed with a nasty cold - thank goodness he's old enough to leave at home alone; I'm way too busy to be hanging around here playing nurse.

It's going to be a very pleasant autumn day in Melbourne, but right now it's about 10C outside. So today, I'm grateful for five-star insulation and ducted gas heating, which I'm giving its first run of the season. Cosy. :)

Monday, April 04, 2011


I've been inspired by Liz to be "grateful in April", so I'm planning to write a few posts on that theme this month. Note that I am not committing to daily posts... life has gotten a little busy lately, since I re-launched my business, but all in a good way.

On that note, here are just a few things I'm grateful for:

- My family. Yes, I know: Duh! But I really do feel lucky to have three wonderful sons, who are all different, but all good people; my Mum and my sisters, who are always there when you need them - and sometimes when you don't (LOL); and Bike Boy, who loves me and supports me and knows exactly what I need....even when I don't.

- My personal training clients. I love having the opportunity to be a part of changing people's lives for the better. Whether they achieve an amazing weight loss, improve their health or fitness in some way, or just get a handle on how to beat down those negative inner voices, I always get a kick out of building a relationship with a new client and seeing the positives that come out of our interactions.

- My good luck in being born into a country where pretty much everyone has enough to eat, clean water to drink, a roof over their head and access to basic education and health care.

- Friends who stick up for me. You know who you are. xx

Life is good. :)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

DIY suspension trainer

I came across this great post from Health Habits showing how to make your own suspension training system and thought I'd share it with you.

It may not be as pretty as the TRX, but spending $35 instead of $200 sounds fairly attractive to me. :)