Bushwalk Day


When the weather started to go cloudy and cooler, we started our bushwalking season. These kangaroos above were in the carpark when we arrived.


The Banksias were out, and they were absolutely gorgeous.


We crossed a river and there was a cute wooden bridge where people could sit and watch the water go by.


I have no idea what these native flowers are called but they are so beautiful. Does anyone know?


We ended up at Bristol Beach – it was super windy so no beach walk, we headed back into the bush instead.


Our bushwalk track on the map. You park at the carpark at Green Patch and follow the signs for Telegraph Creek nature trail. We added the loop to Bristol Beach.

exercise, Jervis Bay

The Stairs Challenge.


I was challenged by The Other Half to include some stairs at the start of our Huskisson walks. These are not your average stairs. They are probably 2-3 floors high, very steep, and in some cases a bit overgrown.


I can now do all 7 sets of steps without having to stop at all. It is a great way to kick off a workout.


The Five Week Challenge – Week 5


The final week of the challenge, finally!

Awesomes over the past 5 weeks –

– smashing my goals – sometimes by double
– seeing the dietitian
– seeing the exercise physiologist
– getting lunches back on track
– eating breakfast every day
– trying protein powder for the first time
– trying peanut butter powder for the first time
– adding in a protein smoothie each day
– getting out and walking a lot
– moving exercise up to between 10-midday VS afternoons
– sleeping way better
– getting a bushwalk in
– getting back on the kayak
– walking 2x 10kms
– many sets of beach stairs run down and back up!
– buying water shoes and taking up aqua jogging
– learning to quiet the voice in my head who says “You can’t”
– kept going when I wanted to stop x many times
– bought proper sweatbands
– eating better fuel

Friday May 6th


I walked 10km, followed by an entire hour in a hot tub. Because I deserved it. :)

Saturday May 7th


A 6.5km walk, not including this little worm trail when we went to a store.

Sunday May 8th


Monday May 9th


Todays run/walk – first 5km running and walking, then a 3km addon of slow walking while I watched the finale of The Good Wife. Which was SHITE, same as the last two seasons have been.

Tuesday May 10th


Some quite nice personal bests for me on todays run/walk. 7.25 for the first km, 39:36 for the 5k. That is the first time below 40 minutes for me. Thanks to the NBN, for pissing me off so much!

Wednesday May 11th


Today’s workout brought to you by Get Lucky by Daft Punk which played twice! It was a bit.. weird. I did a new personal best for the 1k. After that, I struggled somewhat to keep up with the time I set for yesterday. I ended up at 40:22 for the 5k, and then I did a cool down 1.5km walk.

Thursday May 12th


The final workout for the 5 week challenge. 977 calories burned in the pool today.

exercise, Jervis Bay

Kayak Day


Here are some pics from our recent kayaking day. First up, River, these are my Sharkskin socks. They are specially designed for water sports. Chill proof, sun proof, windproof, neoprene outside, fleece inside. They are the best things ever!


The view out into Jervis Bay. Just out of the shot, a tourist packed dolphin boat about to leave the wharf. We parked up and watched it. :)


Looking down Currumbene Creek towards Huskisson.


Looking back towards Myola.


As we were heading back to the wharf, the sun came out. I was kinda glad it waited because with so little wind, it got pretty warm out there.


Reminder to myself – when you do 10km on the kayak and it has been a while since you got on there, the sides of your feet where they rest on the pedal might puff up like you were stung by a bee or bitten by something. Just for fun, maybe one side will puff up first, and the other side might take a couple of hours to puff up, just to freak you out.

Overall it was an awesome day out. Kinda wish we’d headed out into Jervis Bay, but it can go from glass to whitecaps in a fairly quick time out there.. :) The creek is super protected – this is why all the boats are moored in there.

exercise, kayak

The Five Week Challenge – Week 4

Friday April 29th –


Why do 8km when you can do 10km?

Saturday April 30th –


Kayaking day today, rain or shine. We did 10km on the kayak!

Sunday May 1st –


With the weather still being decent but cloudy, we decided on a bushwalk today. 5km.

Monday May 2nd –


Another gorgeous blue skies day forced me out of the house and away from the treadmill. 6km today.

Tuesday May 3rd –


7km today.

Wednesday May 4th –


8km today.

Thursday May 5th –


Aqua today. I set a goal of burning 700 calories however I always like to push past, burned 800 calories in total.

46kms travelled this week, 36 walking, 10 kayaking.


The Five Week Challenge – Week 3


This week was absolutely huge for me. From Monday forwards, this is the first week I have felt like everything is exactly right – nutrition, exercise levels, and motivation levels. The weather was stunning and most days I woke up to perfect blue skies, which made me get out and walk.

Friday April 22nd –


6km today, running and walking. I’m feeling more comfortable running now.

Saturday April 23rd –


Today was a struggle from the start. Over two and a half hours we waited for my parents, with whom we were meant to be taking a drive. By the time we got back, my routine was so far out of whack.. and I was in a mood. I did end up doing my 5km but it was just a slow walk today.

Sunday April 24th –


Today, we did a chore – chook pen clean out. I also took a pitchfork and a hoe, and broke up all the ground. Fitbit recognised this as exercise. Then I got on the treadmill for my 5km. Then I did the food plan for the next 2 weeks, and then the grocery shop, plus cooked an awesome dinner.

Monday April 25th –


7km today. Quite a miracle considering my entire right side is very sore after yesterdays CHOOK HOE event. The plan has been – along with Sephyroth – to ramp up by .5km each week until we get to 10k. Winter is coming, which means bushwalking, so we may not be doing this particular walk as often in coming weeks.

Tuesday April 26th –


As mentioned yesterday, winter is coming and I might not get to do this walk so much in coming weeks. Today the weather was gorgeous so I decided to go back and do it a second time.

One of my favourite things about the TomTom Cardio Spark is that you can set goals and it buzzes you when you get to 50%, 90%, 100%, plus 110% and above. Yesterday I set the distance goal of 7km, and today I figured, why not do that again?

Wednesday April 27th –


Today the weather was gorgeous so I decided to go back and do the walk a third time, starting at the other end.. But, why stop at 7km? Why not just do 8. Plus all the beach stairs I could find.

Thursday April 28th –


Today the weather was still gorgeous so I decided to go back and do the walk a fourth time, Today my goal was 6km. I ended up doing 8. More walking on water, only 2 lots of beach stairs today.

Total = 41km for the week.

Hard work is so pretty! ;)

exercise, Jervis Bay

The Five Week Challenge – Week 2


Another fitness week! This is more for my own records and to put all of this together in one place, so you can feel free to just skip past this post.

Friday April 15th –


Todays workout was in two parts and was different to the normal. I did 1k treadmill, 10 mins elliptical, 1k treadmill, 10 mins elliptical, then 1k treadmill. There were also some floor exercises for abs. YAY. Above is part 1.


This is my personal best for a 1km since getting back into exercising. 8:06 – sorry my treadmill quite uncooperative, with the photography! Above you see todays first km..


And here is part 2. 552 calories burned total.

Saturday April 16th –


Todays 6.5km walk brought to you by the Volkswagen Polo, plus Psycho Killer by Talking Heads which was the last song that played in the car before we got out, and thus, played in my head the entire 77 or so minutes.


Plus, I took a couple of pics, for you. Cloudy day, warm-ish, excellent for walking. YAY CLOUDS!

Sunday April 17th –


Todays workout brought to you by The Village People, specifically U can’t stop the music – Queen, specifically Don’t stop me now – plus my chicken Rosie who decided this music meant she should make a run for it into an offlimits area! This was a super tough workout involving circuits between the elliptical and the treadmill.

Monday April 18th –


Todays “rest day” slow walk brought to you by episodes 18 and 19 of The Good Wife which I am hate watching now, and Skye from Tinykittens, I am watching and waiting for her kittens to arrive. I got on again for another 16 minutes later, just to get some extra steps in and watch the last of episode 19.

Tuesday April 19th –


I don’t know why my iPhone hates me. Every time I think I will walk a little slower, it plays yet another tune of awesomeness that makes me speed up or even run. And today it made me have a personal best ever time! 7.45 for the first 1k, and then this great time for the 5k.

Wednesday April 20th –


Todays workout brought to you by umpteen annoying boy children at the pool, plus 5 annoying girls. I set a goal of burning 800 calories aqua jogging, and I very nearly did a u-turn in the carpark when I saw this busload of boy children being lectured by one of the adults. But then I thought, piffle, ain’t gonna let no noisy kids stand in the way of my exercise! :) YAY WINNING. There is two tracks – the above one for the jogging and one to follow for the cool down —


Thursday April 21st –


Todays workout brought to you by new water shoes! Yay 713 calories burned total. I’m showing you a different screen today.

Another highly active week. Weigh in at the end of this week was 83.2.

Week 1 is here.

2016 Goal, exercise, Fitbit

The Five Week Challenge – Week 1


I’m involved with a fitness group on Facebook – long story best told another time. Recently the gauntlet was thrown down for a five week challenge – a freeform, choose your own challenge type of deal. After consulting my doctor, I picked –

500 calories burned *or* 5km walked

I thought I would do a weekly check in here on the blog, though we’re in week two of the challenge already now. So here are the things I did in week one, along with my comments! :)

Friday April 8th –


Tomorrow is already tomorrow, in Australia! Todays 5km on the treadmill. I will usually take a shot of the treadmill, or a screenshot of the Cardio Spark stuff from the pool, but I had done this before I knew about the challenge. Time was 52:54 – the extra time is water breaks while I pause the treadmill. I can’t drink and walk, lol. Todays walk was an interpretative dance set to episode 11 of Billions.

Saturday April 9th –


Here is my today walk. This is the first time we’ve been out to walk at Husky/Vincentia since February or so, was so nice! I SEEN dolphins, a beach mouse, beach birds, cyclists, children eating cheesecake, and a skateboarder gondolier!

Sunday April 10th –


Today’s “rest day” was brought to you by the season premiere of Deadliest Catch. As I wanted to go a bit slower for the rest day, I did some testing of my treadmill and discovered that the numbers do relate to km/hr. EG 4km/hr = 4.0, 5km/hr=5.0, 6km/hr=6.0

Monday April 11th –


Todays workout brought to you by Wahlburgers, TICDA and Sephyroth sending me a message that said “6k 59:55” plus, too legit to quit.

Tuesday April 12th –


Todays workout brought to you by – ep12 of Billions which is a show you should be watching if you are not already – Nutri Ninja which made a most awesome post workout shake YAY – and you all here, who make me want to push myself and documentation accordingly!

Wednesday April 13th –


Todays workout brought to you by – Deadliest Catch s12ep3 – Neelix over at Tinykittens who birthed some kittens today yay! – and the letter E, for exhausted. I really pushed – possibly slightly too far today. Tomorrow – Aqua Aerobics and I plan to burn 600 calories in the pool to allow for a slightly calorific dinner tomorrow.

Thursday April 14th –


Above you see the Cardio Spark track for Aqua Aerobics.


Above you see the Cardio Spark track for Aqua jogging. What I was doing was, running up and back the pool (50M total length of running) to get my heart rate up to 160 or so, then walking to cool it back down, then running again, etc.


Above you see the Cardio Spark tracks once Fitbit pulls them into itself. There was also a warmup while I waited for Aqua class to start, I burned 50 calories there, YAY.

Todays work out brought to you by swimming through a flabby armed spanking machine AKA Aqua Aerobics, school holidays where the kids have forgotten the pool exists THANK YOU JEEBUS, and Honey and Mustard Chicken which I wanted to make sure I had burned those calories before I even cook it, lol. 812 calories burned!

At the end of the week, we got a Fitbit Aria scale, and it gave me a number I had not seen thus far. 84kg. That is 11.2 lost since 1 January. Happy moments!

See you next week, for week 2! ;)

exercise, Fitbit

Adventures With Protein


Did you know that in Australia, you can visit your GP and ask for a “wellness plan”. This will mean you are given X number of bulk-billed visits to a dietitian, and an exercise physiologist. For non Aussies, bulk billed translates to completely cost free to the patient.

For the first two months of 2016, I was doing pretty well on my own. I lost 10kg. After my diverticulitis adventure, I was struggling a little and I got stuck at 85kg for over a month. Part of that was the enforced “none at all” and then “just a little exercise” directive I was given.

Part of that was struggling to replace some of the foods that I was using to help me lose weight – eg nuts are mostly out other than softer nuts like macadamias and pecans, anything with seeds are mostly out eg tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, cucumber. I ended up replacing these better foods with things that were around the same amount of calories but much less nutritional value, like hot cross buns! I won’t lie, I love a hot cross bun.

Lunches were the most difficult to fix, because I was mostly having the same thing every day and it involved tomatoes. I’m someone who likes to stick to something, when I love it and it works for me.

So my doctor recommended the wellness plan option, and scheduled an appointment with the dietician, and the exercise physiologist – hereafter known as trainer, because that is too long to type, lol.

The weekend before the appointment we happened to be at Shellharbour and I wanted to visit the health food store there and get some advice about protein. I usually steer clear of these places because my experiences with them have been Not Great, Bob. Usually the ones around here are staffed by muscly, burly blokes who are not the brightest bulb on the tree. And this place was no exception to the rule. I’ll now recreate the discussion for you.

Me – “I want to get some protein. Just protein. I don’t want anything else in there. No stevia, no sweeteners, no extras. Just protein.”

Him – “Ok, well generally the reason they put those things in there is because protein tastes pretty bad on its own.”

Me – “It won’t be on its own, I will be flavouring it myself. With something like this.” (holds up powdered peanut butter which I already had found and was intending to purchase) “Or with cocoa powder, maybe a little maple syrup if it needs sweetening.”

Him – “Ok, then you could try this one. But I am warning you now, you will not like how it tastes.”

Me – “Is there maybe a smaller packet I could try, to see if I like it?”

Him – “This is the smallest size.”

Ok then, armed with 1kg of Whey Protein, and the powdered peanut butter, I left victorious. Momentarily. Because I really was not sure what I should do with this stuff. However I had my dietitian appointment coming up and I figured she could clue me in.

Of course the first thing I did when I got home was open the packet and taste this stuff. I can now tell you how protein tastes to me. Like absolutely nothing. It has no flavour at all. You could add it to anything and I would say the only thing you will notice is the occasional grainy, gritty texture. Because it does have a bit of a texture to it.

The second thing I did was make a shake with the peanut butter powder. OMG it tastes incredible. And I discovered you can get it at Coles, too! Which is good because I am going to be buying a lot of this. If you like peanut butter or peanuts, you will LOVE this stuff.

So I took these things along with me, plus my MyFitnessPal records for the past 3.5 months along to see the dietitian. She asked me a lot of questions and then she gave me absolute gold in return. Here are the goldest nuggets –

1. Beetroot would work well with ham and cream cheese on a rice cracker, for lunches. It is EPIC, I’m telling you. But she would like me to try and add tomatoes back in, because I had tolerated them fine for 40+ years, plus the seeds are pretty soft.

2. Protein shakes are best to have around 30 minutes after exercise. If I use 1 cup of milk that is a good place to get one of my daily serves of dairy. To begin with I should start with half a serving (15g = 13g protein) and see how that goes. If I feel like I need more, I can work my way up to 30g. The peanut butter powder has 4g protein for 1 tablespoon. So in one small shake, I get 17g protein.

She gave me some suggestions to try with the shakes, eg add greek yoghurt, freeze some bananas and add them in, strawberries and other berries should be fine if my blender is good enough.

Here is the protein shake recipe I am loving a lot.

40g RAW flavour WPI protein powder
1 tablespoon PB2 – Peanut butter powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
35g-40g frozen banana – I break them into pieces and freeze.
1 cup almond milk.

Updated 1 January 2018 – my current favourite recipe is –

40g RAW flavour WPI protein powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
35g-40g frozen banana – I break them into pieces and freeze.
100mls almond milk.
100mls brewed espresso coffee
1 frozen espresso coffee icecube.
(instant or filtered coffee will also work)

Sometimes I will leave the cocoa powder or the cinnamon out, depends how I am feeling that day. I find the banana sweetens it enough, but I have added a touch of maple sugar once to see what that was like. It wasn’t really needed.

Where Do I Get My Protein From?

I’ve tried all kinds of options for buying protein and by far the cheapest and most reasonable is Bulk Nutrients. They are based in Tasmania. I usually buy in bulk 5kg of protein at one time because I know I am going to use it. Just for an idea of how long that will last me – I use 40g in a shake and there is 1000g in a kilo. I can make 25 shakes from 1kg.

What Kind Of Protein Do I Buy?

I choose Whey Protein Isolate as it is a smaller molecule. I buy it in the raw flavour because all the flavoured versions have artificial sweetener and I don’t love the aftertaste of it. I don’t need to add sweetener and I add my own flavours. ;)

You might want to consider some of the other options available. There is a slightly larger molecule Whey Protein Concentrate available and it is a bit cheaper. I used to buy that and it was perfectly fine. They now have hemp protein in the raw flavour if you are looking for a vegan option – it is dairy and lactose free.

How Do I Blend It?

I was looking for a small cup blender specifically for these shakes because the better you blend them, the less texture of protein you notice. I ended up with the Nutri Ninja and I bought a couple of extra cups for it. The awesomeness I will be whizzing up in this thing is endless! When you go looking for a blender you want to make sure and get one that can handle ice and frozen bananas. Nutribullet is another one I looked at.

When Do I Eat It?

Usually I have my shake between 12pm-1pm and it leaves me feeling very full. I end up needing less dinner as a result, which is also an epic win.

How Am I Now?

Health wise I am back to where I was at the end of February. I am starting to feel more comfortable exercise wise and I’m ok with pushing myself a bit harder now.

The weight loss has started back on a downward trend, I’ve seen the number 84 on the scales now. My goal is 70kg by October however I am not sure how 70kg will work for me. We’ll wait and see.

My nutrition is a LOT better, and I find I do not want things I used to want. The closest I will get to a potato chip now is Vege Chips – and if you have not tried those, you should.

I’m still a shitty blog friend – and a shitty blogger – right now, and I am still deeply apologetic for that. On the other hand, I am a lot more fit and active than I was back when I was a good blog friend and good blogger, and that is something which is very important to me right now, especially with a general anesthetic for the colonoscopy in my near-ish future. I can’t be sorry about that – it is what I need to do for myself right now. :)

exercise, health, recipes

Aqua Zumba


I went to my first Aqua Aerobics class when I was 12 or 13, and right from the start, I really loved it. The trouble was, being a kid, I had to rely on my parents to get me to the pool because it was quite some distance from where we lived. At most I could get to one class a week.

Once I was old enough to drive, I also got a gym membership, surprisingly at a location that was a decent 20 minute drive from home, there was a gym with a pool at Goodwood, I lived nearer to Blackwood. I think they had aqua classes there more often which was why I chose it, plus they had a better selection of on land aerobics and I think, possibly a connection to another gym in Brighton which did a killer step aerobics class.

In the water, I am WAY better co-ordinated than I am on land. I have learned over the years how to make the water help me get those steps right. Aqua Aerobics has always been one of my most favourite workouts so it was one of the very first forms of exercise I turned to this year, with my eat less move more goal.

I started out with Aqua Lite, just to get back into the swing of things. The one thing I know about Aqua Aerobics is – no matter how hard I push myself, I will not be in pain the next day. In the water I can do things that would simply be impossible on land. I am strong.

I did Aqua Lite for a couple of weeks, until I landed in a class with a new instructor who pulled me aside after the class was over and said “Aqua Lite is way too easy for you, you need to come to my High Intensity class on a Wednesday night”. I did not even know such a class existed because it does not appear on the website for the aquatic centre at all, so I was glad she told me. They call it a HIIT class.

Even so, I felt like I was not yet ready for high intensity, and did two more Lite classes instead.. then Wednesday appeared and my inner demons (angel?) said.. Go to HIIT. And go I did. I LOVED IT.

There is something about that instructor, too. She really pushes me to my limits. I know this because after two weeks of Wednesday HIIT, I went to a HIIT class with a different instructor at way-early-o-clock and it was one of the least effective workouts I have ever done.

Depressed after this non-workout on a Monday, I decided to give Aqua Zumba a try on Tuesday. Our local Aqua Zumba instructor is fantastic – she knows everyones faces and so immediately knows when someone is new to the class. She spotted me in the pool and spoke to me, calling over a few other new faces she had seen. She told us a little about the class, checked in to make sure we did not have injuries, and then told us not to worry too much about getting the exact steps right, just to try and follow along and have fun.

I have tried Zumba on land, and I was deeply terrible at it. It seemed to me like I was just as bad at it, in the water. But the instructor found me after the class and checked in with me, and I was honest, I said I did not think it was for me because I was pretty bad at it. She said “Just trust me and try one more class, you’ll be surprised”. She told me that each week for four weeks, the music and the steps in the class are exactly the same, then she teaches the class two new routines, which replace two of the other ones for the next four weeks.

A week later, I was surprised to find myself packing up my pool bag and heading off to Aqua Zumba again.. and I was even more surprised to find that magically in the space of a week, I somehow became very good at it, and the workout I got seemed to be up there with a HIIT class.

The instructor made sure to find me afterwards and ask how it went, and I told her I was glad I had trusted her, because not only did I get a great workout but I had a HUGE amount of fun as well. I said once I knew what the steps were, I was better able to do them.

That week, I went to HIIT plus a second Aqua Zumba class as well. On that occasion I found myself in slightly deeper water than usual, which hampered my steps. So now I know what height the water needs to be at, for me to get the better workout.

I also added a new fitness tracker to my stable of tools – the TomTom Cardio Spark, which is able to go in the pool with me as Fitbit cannot do that.. Here is the track from the deeper water Zumba class, which starts around 20 minutes into this track. This workout burned 474 calories and I had a lot of fun! Click for a larger view. The ble arrow is where the class starts.


Just to compare, here is an Aqua Lite track – the blue arrows show where the class starts and ends. I did some laps afterwards.


Here is a Fitbit track from a walk around the same duration –


It has been 7 weeks since I began this fitness journey. On average I have lost 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) each week. I started out struggling to run for 30 seconds on the treadmill – yesterday out of my 30 minutes on the treadmill, 11 of those were running minutes. I give a lot of credit to the Aqua workouts for this huge improvement in cardio ability.

Many people think Aqua Aerobics are lame, something to mock, a workout only for the elderly. They are, quite simply, dead wrong. It has been my personal experience that Aqua Aerobics is one of the better cardio workouts you can do.

Aqua Aerobics are also LOADS of fun, which is important when you want to exercise. If I am not enjoying myself, I am less likely to keep exercising. :)