Monthly Archives: October 2012

run for fun – update

For those of you who care – I did the run!!! I got up and I thought twice about it. I slept in longer than I should, I dilly dallied and thought the little bit of rain outside would be a good excuse not to do it. But I grew a pair, hopped into the car, registered and ran!

I even won a spot prize. A sports bag from a bank that is merging with another bank and will no longer exisit. But still, a prize šŸ™‚

My time for the 5km run (which included a couple of up-hill battles) was around 36mins. I walked the hills because I’m not a machine! After the first km I thought “F*@K me, I have four more of these to go?!” groooan… and “oh look, a ruddy great hill!” groooooooan! But by the 3km mark I realised I was over half way and I hadn’t died and I could actually do this! I hit my stride, the sun came out and I ran all the way to the finish line.

I was SO proud of myself for doing it. I’ve run 5kms before, but always on a treadmill. And back when I was much fitter and younger. Yay me! šŸ˜€

the universe told me to do it

In the past week or so the word “paleo” has been popping up. Mostly through searches I’ve doneĀ on-lineĀ for other things, onĀ TVĀ and also in articles I’ve read. I think I generally like the way the word sounds too because I have this weird thing where a word will just stay in my head for a while and it repeats over and over. It’s annoying so eventually I have to find out what it is, or what it means. So, today while I was watching “Food researchers” on my break from work, one of the segments focussed on following a couple for a month while they subjected themselves to the paleolithic diet.

Tests were done at the start to measure blood pressure, cholesterol, fat and muscle mass as well as body measurements. Basically, if you didn’t click the link on paleolithic just before, the diet means you cast yourself back to the stone age – when man was a hunter gatherer. Back when we didn’t know about the magical world of farming; we caught and ate whatever we could to stay alive, as well as eating the fruits, vegetable and nuts that grew around us.

The basis behind why this diet works is genetics. For 150,000 we’ve existed and for 140,000 of those years we ate like hunter-gatherers. Now, after the industrialisation of farming and the harvesting of grains, the production of dairy etc, our genetic build up has not had time to catch up. Hence why gluten intolerance and caeliac disease is more and more prominent in our lives, and also intolerances to dairy. Now, I know it could be argued that people are allergic to nuts so why are theyĀ OKĀ in the diet? I can’t answer this, I’m not a scientist… sorry.

After a month, the couple had each lost about 5kgs by eating bacon and eggs every day for breakfast (Scott’s dream), a (grass fed) meat protein of their choosing with salad or other vegetables and dinner the same. This is essentially a very healthy diet so it’s no wonder they lost weight.

Being that I am on a quest to trim down and get healthier, this spoke to me for a few reasons. I have a gluten intolerance but for some reason I also have an aversion to chick peas, lentils, peas and pumpkin seeds – to name a few. Why? Because they contain lectins. Bloody lectins! What’s a lectin you ask? It’s this:Ā Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are found in most plants, particularly seeds and tubers such as cereal crops, potatoes, and beans (legumes). And why do they cause you discomfort Jenna? Because: click here.

I didn’t know that lectins were something I should avoid. Well, no, I knew the foods that make me feel funny were foods I should avoid. But I was ignoring it because I didn’t know the science behind it…until I read this article (which I thought was genuis!):Ā http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/10/04/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/Ā it’s mostly about the paleolithic diet but mentioned the lectins thing as well which got me thinking…could they be in that pea flour that makes that tasty, tasty bhuja mix I love so much?! Sadly, yes.

He, the fitness nerd, answers all those little doubtful questions you’d have about why you shouldn’t start on this diet. I’m not pushing it and saying it should be for everyone, because we don’t all have aversions to wheat, dairy, lentils etc, I’m just sharing it because it’s something I think makes such sense to me personally. And with the universe putting it subtly in front of me for about 9 days now, I thought I’d follow my nose and see what I found. I won’t claim to be an expert after reading one article, just an advocate in waiting.

I’d already agreed to start a “no sugar” buzz with my friend Melissa. That started today; Halloween of all the days! Haha! But I live on an industrial street and no kids would dare come this far out of suburbia – where all the good candy is anyway. No temptation here.

Paleolithic is no sugar so this works out perfectly. Now to get Scott to follow along… More meat dear?Ā Shouldn’tĀ be too hard… šŸ™‚

Things I will struggle with: adding more meat into my diet. I already eat pretty much pescatarian except that we have meat about three nights a week for dinner, fish once and vegetarian the other nights, otherwise, my breakfast and lunches are vegetarian or pescatarian. It’ll be a bit of an adjustment, but I think I like the fitness nerd’s suggestion to have a cheat day. One day to indulge in lentils, peas, foccacia, brie, blue cheese, pasta…drooool…
I’ll also struggle with the cost as well. BUT, fitness nerd made such a good point: “why not spend a little extra now to avoid costly medical bills in the future?” I’d much rather spend the money for happy, grass fed beef, pork and chicken than be paying through the nose for heart surgery and be on a waiting list for several years while I pop a pill every day to keep me alive. Blerk!

Wait, wait, wait…what did you say? Sorry, speak louder? You in the back there! Oh? Eggs? Cholesterol? Bad to eat every day?! No, no, NO my friend!! You CAN eat eggs every day because we don’t getĀ cholesterolĀ FROM our food (well, a little bit – about a quarter. But…), it’s a product the body produces anyway. Mr Liver is best at it. But when we eat too many refined carbs – things our bodies aren’t quite genetically used to dealing with as efficiently as the paleolithic suggestions – it produces too much of the badĀ cholesterolĀ and that’s when we get sticky arteries and have heart attacks and die.

An egg a day? A OK!

I feel ridiculously positive about this new change I’m about to embark on because as much as I was like “vegetarian is better for the environment and the animals and my colon” I’ve found that eating vegetarian hasn’t really offered me the benefits I assumed it would. It actually makes my colon very unhappy šŸ˜¦ This is due to the fact that protein replacements come in the form of legumes and grains which don’t agree with me. I know, no quinoa! So fun to say and so delicious but hates me! How can this be?! Oh yeah…lectins. For the record, in case you think I’m going to become a meat eating, animal killing, green house gas advocating nazi, I won’t go out and buy battery hens and grain fed cows and pigs to satisfy my paleo needs. I’ll be researching further the vegetarian/paleo diet hybrid if such a thing even exists.

Where I live, there is no organic butchery. There is a farmers market though which I might, nay… I will go and check out thisĀ Saturday.Ā It’ll be a fairly slow adjustment while I source good, hearty, happy animal proteins butĀ I’ll do this paleo thing and see what happens. One can only try!

I hope you learned something today šŸ™‚ if it’s not for you, it could just be a good talking point at your next dinner party when someone comes up with “gluten free – it’s just a fad” and sparks an almost political like discussion.

run for fun (if not for anything else)

There’s a fun run tomorrow that I just heard about. I’m not usually a runner. I can run, I do run, but I’m not like “yeah! running! woo! let’s ALL do it! keeps us fit and young andĀ virileĀ and woo! running!” But this is a funĀ run. If they put the word “fun” in front of anything, I’m likely to want to do it.

There is a 5km, a 10km and a half marathon. It’s part of the front runner series that runs all through winter and wraps up end of November. There’s $30,000 worth of spot prizes and about 450 entrants, on average. Pretty good odds for winning a neat spot prize. Almost worth it to go huff and puff in the sun for a half hour or so.

I haven’t been running for a few weeks now. However, I have been biking regularly, doing yoga and the other day I did some aerobics (80s I know, but I loved it!) I’m not so unfit that I couldn’t attempt a fun run. It also has the option to walk. I think I’ll mix it up, live dangerous like; run AND walk. Ooooh…such a dare devil.

BUT, and there’s always a but…I won’t have access to a car tomorrow as Scott takes it to work. In order to get to the race starting point I might have to hitch. If I rode my bike there,I’d be buggered by the time I arrived and too tired to run. So, it’s my excuse not to do it. It’s the only excuse. Is it a good enough excuse? This was only ever going to be a spontaneous thing – I literally only heard about it 20 minutes ago. It’s not like I’d been planning to do it for weeks and had been all organised and trained and bought new shoes and a new sports bra and was telling everyone I’d do it. Apart from me writing about it now, there’s been no build up.

Do I just dismiss it and not go? Or do I ask Scott if he’ll bike to work tomorrow so I can take the car and do myself a wee fun run? Hopefully he’ll read this today and tell me to take the car before I chicken out of asking. Not because he’s scary and he’d say no, but because the easy option is to not ask as if the fun run never existed along with the idea to do it.

I always think far too much about doing things to the point that I’ve thought about it so much in my head that it’s kind of like I’ve done it already and don’t actually need to do it.Ā I’d feel quite good if I did do it. But would I feel bad enough if I didn’t do it? Probably not…

Hmmm…to run or not to fun?

My ideal future

I’ve decided I want to go to culinary school whence I return to Vancouver. But I don’t want to work in a restaurant. I know, train to be a chef but not work in a restaurant?! She’s gone mad!!

Well, I’ll tell you…I’ve worked in busy commercial kitchens before and I feel like, that mad two to three hour rush after a full day of prep, is often stressful. I do love the rush of it though – especially when you’re slammed and you’re at the helm, you know what you’re doing and everyone is running around like headless chickens, chaos is in the air but it’s all pulled off – probably with a few hitches – and at the end of it you feel like you accomplished something. It’s a great feeling, but man, does one get burnt out after a few years of doing the same thing over and over again. I got too old for it. Or something.

I’ve been thinking what the point of going to culinary school would be if I wasn’t going to be a chef in a restaurant. And I think there are a few options I’d like to pursue, with the professional backing of my training. Sure, I might dabble in some restaurant work for experimental purposes and the extra experience it’ll grant me. But, overall, I don’t want to work opposite shifts to all my friends and family, I don’t want to be a head chef, or even a sous chef and I don’t want to be a slave to some rich restaurantuer, who bathes in his cash thanks to my nifty knife skills and perfect palate.

Anyway, it’s taken me FOREVER to really decide on a professional career and cooking is something I LOVE to do, but don’t know if I love it enough to want to do it on a huge scale in a restaurant setting and work 70 hour weeks because no one else is good enough to step in if I, god forbid, get sick. A smaller business venture is where I’m thinking I’d like to head. And I want to own it. I’m head strong, intelligent and confident enough that I think, with the right training and guidance, I can start up my own business and do my darndest to make it successful.

I don’t consider myself to be the best hostess in a sense that I don’t make polite conversation with strangers so well. I mean, I can if I must, but it’s not something I enjoy doing. I’d rather be part of the party as well as the host of it. If I have a kitchen to hide behind and am inviting interesting and worldly guests into my environment, this will inspire me to talk about more interesting things and share stories I have. I know how to cook fairly well now and I can definitely host the friends I already have, but I don’t always want to be right there, catering to their every whim. I’d rather over plan, prepare in advance and then let the rest of the time unfold on it’s own. I don’t quite know where I’m going with this, just babbling really.

OK reading back over that last paragraph…my whole point was that I can’t always host the people I’d love to have over for dinner every night, so my ideal would be to attract an interesting crowd to cook for that will appreciate good food, good wine, witty/intelligent conversation whom I can also sit down with and join in on the festivities, but leave to take refuge in the kitchen if it gets overwhelming or boring. But this can’t really be done in a restaurant. Well not any restaurant I’d run anyway, I don’t think I’d be comfortable with that. I’m no larger than life Italian mumma who will talk the back legs off a donkey and everyone likes instantly because she’s got a cushy bosom, a hearty laugh and makes everyone feel welcome with her giant smile. I’m personable and likeable, but not like that.

I have toyed with the idea of a food truck and already have a rough menu set out and a name and catch phrases and marketing and advertising ideas. I just don’t know if I can see myself committed to it long term. I’d like to give it a go for a year and see how it went but this would involve a lot of start up money which I just don’t have so it’s inevitable I’ll have to work for someone else or contract my chef skills out privately and have some other menial job on the side to get by. Who knows how this will all work out!

My ideal career gets me thinking about my ideal future. I don’t believe I can “have it all” because then what would I work towards? But, I do think that I am the master of my own destiny (blah blah blah) and I’m very sick and tired of working for other people, in jobs I ultimately hate. They offer me nothing other than a pay cheque and I’m not one to sit around and be happy with that.

All of what I’ve just said is leading to this: Apart from cooking, I enjoy other things too. Ultimately these other things make me feel good and I want to live a balanced life where it’s not all work, work, work or career, career, career as the case may be.

So below is my ideal future (my realistic future – not my “dream” future). If I lived my ideal future I would:

  • Own and operate a small but profitable bed and breakfast, on a coastline somewhere and near a mountain that gets lots of snow in the winter (to keep Scott happy)
  • Have the time to do yoga or any form of exercise I choose without any great time constraints or because I’m exhausted from sitting in front of a computer all day
  • Broadcast a radio show from the local radio station and/or act in plays for the local theatre
  • Have enough disposable income so that I can travel to at least two overseas destinations in a year for at least two weeks at a time

I know we all have our dream futures – the ones we imagine we’d live if we won the lottery. Like, travelling the world on an endless dollar, or getting married and having kids and be a happy mummy/daddy for the next forever amount of years, or buy and renovate houses then sell them and buy another and repeat, or all of the above. Whatever it is, a lot of us won’t live out our dream lives. It’s not a downer on reality that I’m aiming to put across here, it’s just a realisation that those dreams you once had will possibly not come true. Just because that’s how life works. But it’s fun to dream and it’s these dreams that keep us forging ahead.

That’s why I’ve come up with my ideal future as opposed to my dream future. Or are they the same thing? No, I think my dream future would involve no work. It’d all be pleasure! šŸ™‚

What would be your ideal? Are you living your ideal right now? Was it where you imagined you’d be when you were 15? When you were 20? Is ideal even achievable or should we be aiming lower still?

bring back the flare!

shopping for jeans is not fun. unless you are a stick and can fit stove pipes onto your skinny little stick legs. You, whoever you are, without your curves and your extra 10kilos, consider yourself blessed. You’re bra size is probably the first letter of the alphabet so bra shopping is a treat as well. you freak…

No, but really,Ā IĀ know some lovely slim ladies who have curves and great legs and nice boobs and they still hate shopping for both these things.

I personally, unless I am 20kgs lighter, do not suit any other jean than a flare. They went “out of fashion” in the early 2000s because gazelles had stopped wearing them on runways. Forget the runways! Real girls were still wearing flares after those graceful beauties stopped. And they aren’t just for the hippy at heart. They are for the hippy at the hips!

I think, I am not sure – and don’t quote me on it, but the flare miiiight be coming back “into fashion”. If it does, and I think it will: circular fashion etc etc, I will buy ten pairs in three different sizes (due to inevitable weight fluctuation) and never, ever throw any away. To the hour glass lasses worldwide: for you I vow to buy them in different shades, different distresses, different colours and waist heights. I will set up a library type system where you can borrow my jeans for two weeks and return them in the same condition to me, for free. A small membership fee will apply.

OK, so I’ve thought the library system flare borrowing venture through (just now, this minute. Yes my creative thought process is one of a mad genius!) and decided that it’s maybe not the best idea. I don’t want your fanny to be as close to another girls fanny, doing god knows what you people do in your jeans! Even after a hot wash. Which isn’t the best idea, unless you lied about your size and have now stretched out my favourite Lee’s and popped off the button I was sure would NEVER fall off. GET YOUR OWN JEANS.

BRING BACK THE FLARE!!!

Ā Sorry for yelling.