Fitness At Home


My main fitness goal for 2018 is muscle toning and core strength. I’m great at cardio, I can run a full 5km without stopping thanks to the couch to 5k program. I did a pilates and yoga class last year and it nearly killed me. For two weeks afterwards anytime I moved a new muscle screamed at me, one that I never knew existed before.

I decided it was time to invest in some new fitness equipment. In December 2017, I bought the Pilates Body Toner from TVSN. I have been using that at least 5 days a week and can feel a big difference. I’ve cobbled together my own workout which I follow, it is based on this 11 minute express workout, but I have added in some other exercises and removed some of the ones I consider to be quite silly, like the Statue of Liberty.


I combine that with yoga at least twice a week. I follow this youtube video “Yoga for Dummies” which is quite long time wise, it runs about 52 minutes and a lot of that could easily be edited out to make it shorter. What I most like about this workout is, she fully explains how to get into these positions properly. I’m already better at these positions, I can do positions I never could before eg Tree, and I tried her second shorter video, too.


I have always loved step aerobics. I used to go to the gym super early in the morning and do a step aerobics class, it was fantastic. Youtube has made it a lot easier to find step aerobics classes I can do without having to go anywhere. All you need is a step and a way to watch the video.

I grabbed about 10 different step classes and added them into a folder, and I have been working through them. My favourite instructor so far is Jenny Ford. She has quite a lot of classes available on her youtube channel.


If you’ve never done step but would like to give it a try, you could start with her beginner class – it runs for 25 minutes and it has 4-5 very easy to follow steps. I love the simplicity of this workout and it *really* is a workout. The music that kicks in when it hits 62% is my favourite and I love the side to side steps around that time.

I do find her shoes quite distracting and I don’t love that she waits until right before changing the move to tell you what the next move will be, but once you have followed the class once you can pretty much remember what the next move is. If you want to have a longer workout, you can just skip back to the start. I wait until I get to 83% and then I skip back, adding in an extra 20 minutes.

Another great channel which is a hard core workout and not recommended at all for beginners is Yvette Bachman. These are recordings of real classes, which is fun. This was the first step workout I tried and I made it about 25 minutes in. This is a very tough workout, and I am working my way up to being able to finish a whole class.


Happy cat is helpful. She likes to join me for any workout, and will quite often sit on my yoga chair and swipe at me while I am trying to do tree position.


The Day Of The Lizard


Many days now if we are not planning to go somewhere, we put the cat door in the doorway first thing in the morning so the cats can experience the Delicate Nirvana anytime they feel like. The cat door usually stays in right until bedtime. One day there was a large lizard which was discovered by Happy. She chased it around the BBQ. Luckily I was sitting out there and was able to intervene fairly quickly.

That lizard was smart enough to find a new home. But Happy kept looking for it, for days and days. Not unlike Dudo and Moose over in Spain, who have an obsession with balcony birds.


A couple of days later I ventured out into the Nirvana to discover Happy was obsessed with one corner of the Nirvana. I soon worked out why – a new lizard friend had arrived. I placed a shoe there hoping the lizard would crawl into it.. and that almost worked. But in the end any time I would approach the lizard would run back into the hole under the drain pipe.


So then I thought, maybe if I fill the hole with paper towel, it will look for another exit – this hole has an exit on the other side of the nirvana as well, though it had a couple of leaves kinda sorta blocking it. This failed on every level – it failed to prevent Happy from being obsessed, and it failed to prevent the lizard from pushing the paper towel out. So after a while I gave up on that and just put the shoe back.


This nearly worked again, because Happy had lost interest and moved to sleep on a chair. I went inside to empty and fill the dishwasher and I heard a scuffle so rushed back out to find this..


The lizard is up on top of the drain pipe. Happy is waiting patiently and watching. Lucky for me, The Other Half arrived home soon after this, and talked the lizard into leaving.


But Happy spent a few days watching the hole near the drainpipe, just in case. :)

Delicate Nirvana, kitties

Snoskred & Social Media


I don’t use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook like normal people do. Yes, you might ask what does Snoskred do like normal people do, and that is a fair question too!

What concerns me the most about these forms of social media is – I am not in control of what I am seeing in my “newsfeed”. Some computer algorithm built by some random person who does not know me or what I want to see is in charge. And that is not cool with me.


If I want to follow someone, I want to get everything they are putting out there. I do not want the occasional post. I want it ALL. AND I want it in the order that it was posted. I mean seriously, Twitter, you want to give me something from 2 days ago, then something from 35 minutes ago, then something from 11 hours ago? That is not how this is supposed to work.


Unfortunately what I want is getting more and more difficult to get these days. :( Truly it seems like the only way to get the content I want is to bookmark all the pages and visit them regularly.


So what I’ve done for Twitter and Instagram is to bookmark the people I want to follow and open them in new tabs. This also allows me to sort them into groups, so I can have a folder for the TV shows I love filled with the people I enjoy who have a twitter account.


This takes you to their actual profile page, and that is how I like to read things. Because if I follow someone on Twitter, I want to see what they have to say when they say it.

I would not even bother with social media at all, if it did not allow you the occasional opportunity to connect – even just for a moment -with people you are a fan of. I use my rewatch breaking bad twitter account for most stuff these days because it is the one I remember the password for.


I do not tweet very often, when I do tweet I tend to tweet directly to the person I am wanting to speak to and somehow those tweets just vanish into the ether, I never see them again. Perhaps I do not know how to Twitter. But occasionally, something a bit special happens, like someone I am a great fan of replies to me or likes my tweet. That kinda makes it worth it.


I don’t Instagram at all, I do not even have an account, but you can find me on Facebook here. Not that you should, because my profile is not public and really I just share my blog posts on there, with an occasional post when I can’t quite keep my mouth shut about something. But I save most of that for the blog, anyway!

I do not have any social media on my phone at all. I used to have Facebook on there several years ago but when they added Messenger into the mix I used to get freaked out by the little profile photos of my friends being all over the place. I uninstalled it and have been very happy ever since. I do have a few games I can play if I am waiting for an appointment but these days I just sit and be for the most part. It is pretty nice sometimes to just sit and be in the world.


Good News Protein


I do not “preach” about many things in life. Sure, I can suggest solutions on a myriad of subjects based on my personal experiences, and I do that here on my blog.. Travel. Eating out. How to avoid scammers. The importance of booking directly with a company rather than a via third party website. How to go from not running at all to running 5kms at a time without stopping – these are either already written posts or they are posts for another day.

I have struggled with my weight all my life. Guess what? It is no longer a struggle for me, and a big reason for it is my lunch time protein shake.

When I talk about protein shakes, I sometimes feel like I am trying to spread the good news and often folks just aren’t buying it. I want to be very clear about this.

Protein shakes changed my life forever

When I mention protein shakes to folks who ask me how I lost my 25kg (55 pounds), I will hear the same things over and over. They sound like this –

“I had a protein shake and it tasted terrible”

Yes, it probably did. I’m guessing you had a pre-flavoured protein shake. Those shakes contain artificial sweeteners and they all taste bad as a result. I do not know why flavoring must = sweetener, but apparently everyone involved in protein thinks it must be super sweet to make people drink it.

MY FIX – I buy raw protein without flavouring. I add my own flavour. I could serve my shake in a milkshake glass with whipped cream on top and you would have no idea that you were drinking a protein shake. You would think you are getting a frappe from Starbucks or Gloria Jean’s.

But unlike the frappe from Starbucks or Gloria Jeans which on average contains 30g of sugar, my shake has just 2 grams of sugar, which comes from the frozen banana. I do not add any sweetener to my shake because I feel the banana gives me all the sweetness I need, but if I did need to add some I would go with a touch of maple syrup.

Their shake might have between 6-10g of protein – mine will have 37g of protein. Their shake will have around whopping 30-40g of carbs, mine has just 13g. Their shake will be 300+ calories. Mine is 220.

“I can’t just have a shake for lunch”

Actually you can. I do it all the time. I tell you, if I drink the shake and wait 20 minutes, I will no longer be hungry and I will remain not hungry for at least 2-4 hours after I drink the shake, maybe even longer.

And you don’t have to just have a shake if you don’t want to. You can add healthy snacks on the side. My go-to snacks are usually olives, hommus with carrot sticks, or nuts of some kind. However all the nutrition you need is more than likely right there in that shake, and adding snacks adds extra calories.

“How can I do a shake at work?”

Preparation is key. If you are like me and you don’t mind taking a bag or box in with you, then you can take your Nutri-Ninja with you to work. I measure out my protein ahead of time and have that in small containers and I take a small freezer pack with my 1/2 frozen banana and frozen coffee ice cube. I drink my shake right out of the cup, rinse it in the sink when I am done, take everything home with me when I go, then wash the cup and blender attachment at home that night.

You could buy two Nutri-Ninjas and keep one at home and one at work, or you could invest in some kind of cheap second blender to keep at work.

“Shakes are so boring”

Shakes certainly do not have to be boring. I can drink a different flavoured shake every day of the week if I want to and I can get a little creative about it. Because my shake is so low in calories I do not mind adding something decadent to it once in a while.

I might throw in some dark chocolate to give an extra dimension. I like to add peanut butter powder for a bit of extra savory flavour and if I don’t have any PB2 on hand I might add in a scoop of peanut butter. I sometimes treat myself on weekends by adding a few teaspoons of whipped cream. Salted caramel sauce is a good way to add extra taste.

The bottom line is, I love how my shake tastes and I don’t see any need to change it. I am a big coffee lover, I love chocolate, I love cinnamon, put these things into my shake and I am happy.


I wrote back in 2016 about my adventures with protein. My current shake recipe looks like this –

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)

food, health

Things I Did Not Buy – January


It is a strange feeling to be out in the world and not want to buy anything. On the second day of the Year Of Buying Nothing, my parents took me to run some long put off errands. They both needed new mobile phones and haircuts. Apparently everyone else in the world also needed new mobile phones and my parents are not at all patient people.

After a couple of drop ins to the store in which the queue was too long, we finally got to speak to someone who sat us down and said they would send a consultant over. 11 minutes later – and I know because they counted every single minute and there was a robust discussion about whose watch was correct while we waited – we left the store with no mobile phones. While out I saw many things in many shops but all of them stayed there. Nothing especially tempted me.


Every morning I like to tune in and see what Today’s Special Offer is on TVSN. On the 5th of January it was a beautiful Katherine Kelly Lang kaftan at a great price. Even though it was cold shoulder it wasn’t much of a cold shoulder and the embellishment was gorgeous. But I did not buy it, because YOBN.


One thing that is DEFINITELY not tempting at all is the range at Rockmans this summer. I have never seen so much ugly clothing in one place. The prints that are semi-nice are cold shoulder in a big way, so heck no.


In our ensuite bathroom we have a plastic container full of water for the kitties. It is a large rectangular shallow container which they love to drink from. The sister container to it is our pizza leftovers container but sometimes it gets used for other things and is not available for pizza night, so I would like to reclaim the second container. I thought maybe this would be the first thing to break our no-buy deal.. but then I remembered we have a second spare Christmas Lights container and they love that one so much out in the Nirvana.


I could see about a million uses for these long “bath runner” mats in my house. We already make use of bath mats on the floor in the kitchen and in various places about the house. These are 1.4 metres long but a bit pricey at $19.99. Though that is a pretty decent price for a standard size bathmat when I think about it, let alone these which are massive. However, #YOBN, no deal.


I love mercury glass and this would be perfect for the nirvana, but no sale.


You know I love mixed media and Boo Radley. I saw this dress when it was first released and it is stunning. But, kthxno, #yobn! ;) You might want to take a look at the clearance rack though, because last I checked there were some great bargains. I usually click on lowest to highest price to see the best deals.


Freezing Mushrooms


As part of the No Spend Days I have added into my Year Of Buying Nothing challenge for this year, I wanted to give freezing mushrooms a try. I have never frozen mushrooms before, but I have become a lot more creative in the freezing things department since our deep freeze arrived.

I freeze a lot of fruit which gets used in protein shakes plus espresso coffee shots, most of our meat is purchased in bulk and frozen, sometimes for up to 6 months if the deal is a good one. I even freeze watermelon rinds for the chooks to enjoy on a hot day.

Sometimes these challenges can actually create super awesomeness. If I could manage to freeze the mushrooms, I could do a big bulk cook up every so often, whack them in the freezer, and every Thursday take out a packet for use on Friday. If I can do it in one hit, on a day that is not Friday, while listening to music or a podcast, and then have mushrooms for 2 months.. Wow that would be so great! Even greater would be if I can stock up when they are on special.

I have been pre-cooking my mushrooms for our weekly pizza for some years now, after one of my home made pizzas became very soggy and waterlogged due to mushroom moisture. There is a LOT of moisture in mushrooms.


How much moisture? I had two punnets of 375g bbq flat mushrooms from Aldi. I prepared them and cooked them in the oven. I then weighed them to find I now had 375g total of mushrooms – I had lost an entire 375g in the cooking process!

Mushroom preparation has been the annoying part of my Fridays for a long time now, and sometimes an annoying part of Thursday or Wednesday or whatever day I remembered that I needed to get fresh mushrooms for Friday and would head off to the supermarket *just* to get mushrooms. And while I was there, I would tend to buy other things – maybe things we did need like milk or vegetables, and sometimes things we did not need.

The part I least like is having to rinse them before chopping, but they do grow in soil and manure, so that is always going to be something I do, to satisfy my germophobic brain.

So I knew the moisture factor could be a problem when it came to freezing them. I did some reading and found that pre-cooking was recommended before freezing, so I just followed my normal steps –


rinse mushrooms, chop & lay them out on baking paper on a tray, cook for 12 minutes @ 200C (395F)


then blot with paper towel to remove excess moisture, and lay out on paper towel to drain.


Normally this is where the mushroom meets the pizza base. But not today. Today we have some new steps. Foodsave the mushrooms, then place them in the freezer. There is still quite a bit of moisture in these mushrooms even after cooking and draining, and that is the brown liquid you see in the next photo – which was taken after the mushrooms have been frozen.


The foodsaver is the best thing we ever bought, it saves us enormous amounts of money because I can buy food when it is on extreme special and when I freeze it I never have to worry about freezer burn.

Then on Thursday night, I take the mushrooms out of the freezer and place them in the fridge to defrost. On Friday when it is time to build the pizza, I open the packet and place them on some paper towel to drain – as there will still be some mushroom moisture trapped inside the packet.


This process is 100% a keeper for me. I tried two different types of mushroom – Aldi calls them “whole” and “bbq flat”. The next time mushrooms are on special, I will buy up and freeze. And now I am thinking of other things I can bulk prepare and freeze – capsicum is next on our list, just last night I froze some leeks.


Every week I make pizza and it is the best pizza I have ever made, since last week. This time was no exception to the rule. I use the Aldi pizza bases, topped with pizza sauce, pizza cheese, mushrooms, olives, pineapple, capsicum, feta cheese, ham, bacon, pepperoni, more cheese, then an egg is poured over the top.


It was just far easier, having done the mushroom preparation a couple of weeks beforehand.

2018yobn, food

Meal Planning Presently

At the end of 2016 The Other Half had a health scare which led to us completely re-vamping how we eat. Most everything is made from scratch in our house now and this is due to the large amount of sodium found in processed foods, whether it is tinned, frozen, jar sauces of most kinds or even things like bread can be incredibly salty.

Rather than draw up a meal plan each week, for the last year or so we have been sticking to a fairly regular 7 day rotation. It goes like this –


Monday – Cottage Pie

I make a very large tray of this – it is essentially my savory beef mince recipe doubled with low-sodium gravy instead of soy sauce and then topped with sweet potato mash and cheese. The 4 remaining serves become lunches for The Other Half for the remaining 4 days of the week.


Tuesday – Rotating Random Day

This will usually be some form of chicken with vegetables. It might be garlic parmesan chicken (pictured above) or sweet and sour chicken. It could be pepper steaks – chicken for me, beef for The Other Half – with vegetables. It could be chicken kievs with cheesy potatoes. It could be chicken and bacon pasta – though that is fairly rare for us these days.


Wednesday – Fish and Chips

We buy fish fillets already crumbed and frozen. We like the Sealord Hoki fillets but if something else is on special and looks interesting we will try those. I do make the chips from scratch – sweet potato for me, normal potato for The Other Half – and I have created my own spice mix to go on them now. I often have a big bowl of baby peas with parmesan sprinkled over the top with mine, and the other half has carrots, corn and peas.


Thursday – Muffin Tin Meatballs

This is one of our most favourite meals of the week and it is incredibly simple to make. You just put carrots, a leek, baby spinach or brussel sprouts into a food processor, add in your meat, a couple of eggs, put it into a muffin tray, sprinkle some cheese on top and cook.


Friday – Homemade Pizza Night

My pizza is awesome. I usually pre-cook my mushrooms in the oven for 12 minutes to take some of the moisture out otherwise you end up with a soggy pizza. Some of you may know I have been on a quest to try freezing mushrooms and I will tell you all about that on Wednesday.

My pizza has mushrooms, capsicum, ham, bacon, olives, feta cheese, pineapple, pepperoni, and right before it goes in the oven I pour an egg onto it smack bang in the middle of the pizza. If you have never had egg on a pizza, you need to try this the next time you make one. It slowly oozes through all the other toppings while the pizza cooks in the oven in a deliciously eggy way, fluffing up and holding everything together beautifully. In pizza houses they call this the “Australian” pizza but it usually just has ham, cheese, tomato sauce and egg.

Saturday – Leftover Homemade Pizza Or Out

Our pizza makes 6 slices so we usually eat 3 the first night and 3 the second.

Sunday – Roast Or Random Things.

It might be a roast of some kind if we found one we like on special. It might be Hayden’s pies from the freezer heated up. It might be Vili’s pasties. If we went out on Saturday night, we might eat our leftover pizza.

Breakfast & Lunch

For breakfast The Other Half likes crumpets with cheese and vegemite. I usually have a small bowl of cereal or a mini quiche. Lunches for me are always my protein shake these days – it is gorgeously cool in summer – but in winter last year I did experiment with adding protein to our vegetable soups and I loved that just as much as the shakes, so I will be doing that again this year. The Other Half has cottage pie, tuna pasta bake, fake lasagne or healthy chicken strips.

The Plan For 2018

This year I will be trying to add in even more vegetables to our meals. The big problem I have is – the other half has an allergy to cellulose. Certain vegetables and almost all fruits he cannot eat, and this is a great shame as he loves apples and watermelon but cannot have them. He can have pineapple cooked on a pizza or in sweet and sour chicken but usually not raw.

Some vegetables he can eat as long as they are cooked – these include carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, capsicum, tomatoes, swedes, turnips, parsnips, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, leeks and onion. We do pretty well when winter vegetables are in season and he gets a big serving of at least two usually three or four vegetables in his cottage pie lunches. In autumn, winter and spring I often make a big pot of vegetable soup each fortnight from whatever is left in the fridge.

I also want to try and mix in some new recipes on our random Tuesdays, and I also want to focus in on making the meals I bulk prepare for lunches of The Other Half the best they can be. I will be looking for some new recipes to try out here, too.

One of our biggest problems has been finding oven baking trays which are reliable long term. Sure, they all start out nice, but before you know it the non-stick coating is peeling off and then the tray underneath begins to rust. Ceramic ones have never been that great for us, they eventually crack and break and they are not always easily available in Holy Sheeyit! Are You Really Cooking This Much At Once size. :)

I’m going to look into this some more, in particular the kinds of pans used in commercial cookery because that is essentially what this is, just on a slightly smaller scale, but if anyone has ideas I would love to hear them.