Monday, 3 February 2014

Michelle Bridges 12wbt Day 1 Week 1

My day in a nutshell:

  • 6am - alarm goes off. Groan. I've woken up 4 times during the night, which is unusual for me. WHY is it already 6am? Maybe I can sleep in and avoid the morning walk. But Luke is up and he makes me feel guilty about not exercising! Not intentionally, but he will just go for a walk himself even without the dog and I will feel guilty. For letting him go by himself and having the dog miss out on her walk. 
  • 6.30am - okie dokie calm down dog - you are really embarrassing. WHY are u carrying on like a pork chop and WHY do u have to poop so MANY TIMES!!!! 
  • 7.10am - breakfast time! Egg and bacon roll for brekkie, and who knew, commercial bacon is overly salty to the point that it was revolting. Breakfast was hard to swallow, maybe next time I will try a lick of tomato sauce or relish - despite what Michelle says! I will count the calories. Or maybe I will opt out of this breakfast in the future! 
  • Around about 8am, it becomes clear to me that it is inevitably going to be a disaster because we are starting with a treat meal and that means NO snacks on the first day! I predict starvation central.
  • 10 am - I'm peckish. Not hungry, but I'm peckish. I did have breakfast earlier than usual, so I'm not overly surprised. But no snacks today... so what am I going to eat? What the hell, I will have a bite of my chicken salad wrap. And it was DELICIOUS! The question is... why haven't I eaten radishes prior to this?? Dammit, now I want to eat the whole thing. But I have a gym session... or do I?
  • Noon - gym time. I really can't be bothered. If I get changed and just go, I'm adhering to Michelle's "just do it" advice. Robot mode, robot mode. Oh, I suppose I should ask GB if she wants to go with me. After all, we always used to go together. I don't think she will anyway.
  • Oh. She wants to come too! That's cool, I will have a gym buddy to motivate me. But she starts phaffing around and running a few errands before the gym. I'm ready to go NOW!!! So I go and sit in the car before I lose interest and feel lazy.
  • 12.15pm - phew. Made it to the gym. Just have to focus on my workout now... ah treadmill, my old friend. 
  • 12.17pm - oh treadmill, you are a bastard of epic proportions. Why has this run gotten so hard? Is it because I'm carrying a bit more weight than when I last ran? Probably. Why oh why did I eat like there was no tomorrow??? Why didn't I keep up with my running? And whose STUPID idea was this to exercise at lunchtime??? 
  • 12.45pm - survived the 30 minute trot - time for stretches.
  • 1pm - hallelujah! It's lunchtime and I get to eat. Nom nom nom... and it is a delicious lunch too! Too bad I already ate a mouthful. Still, I was pleasantly surprised that the wrap made me full. AND I was impressed that I enjoyed the radishes. Who knew. 
  • The dreaded 3.30pm - I am now starvation central. WHAT CAN I EAT?? Nothing. Clearly. But I'm so hungry!! 
  • Green tea. Surely green tea is acceptable. What the hell, I'm having green tea.
  • 4.45pm. Made it home and requested that we eat dinner earlier. And when I say earlier, I mean 5pm. But realistically, it would take about an hour so about 6pm. 
  • 6pm - ate my treat meal and my word, was that delicious. Honey baked sriracha wings with tater tots. I will post a recipe soon. Totally worth the hunger and lack of snacks during the day. And because I now portion control, I didn't feel ill afterward from eating too many!
  • 7pm - fell asleep on the couch while watching the Superbowl. Yes, that was why we had the treat meal. Wings and tater tots are tradition in the household during the Superbowl - always fun... except this year, it wasn't pleasant to watch the Seahawks annihilate the Broncos, which is probably why I fell asleep.
  • 8pm - took a shower.  Then watched My Kitchen Rules which was a bad idea because it made me hungry all over again... now where is that herbal tea?
  • 10pm - after cleaning the kitchen, settled down with a cup of herbal tea (lemongrass and ginger from T2). The upside about drinking tea is that tea has so many fun accessories. Who knew? Watched the Biggest Loser which motivated me to keep going!
  • 11pm - Oh, is it bedtime already? Does that mean I survived day 1? YES, I BELIEVE I DID. 
Well, until tomorrow, peeps - happy dieting! xoxo

Saturday, 1 February 2014


Does anyone have any dogs that shed 364 days of the year? We got a beautiful golden retriever cross labrador from the Dogs home a few years ago, and while she is the most beautiful natured dog (not around other strange dogs though, but definitely with humans), she sheds like a mo fo. Pardon my French. I even wanted to gather all her fur at one stage and knit a sweater. It is THAT bad.

In my previous unit, she lived in the laundry and was never allowed on the carpet. She sat with us over the night time in her tiled area by the front door, but even though she was never near the carpet, she managed to COVER it with her hair.

Then we moved to this rental (while we build) and it has hardwood floors throughout. And I thought this would be fantgastic as she would have more freedom to roam the house. True. I also thought that because we had hardwood floors, her hair would be easier to clean. Also true. But I foolishly thought that the hair would not be so much of a problem in our new house. NOT SO TRUE. Whilst it is easy to vaccuum her fur, it is not so easy to keep the fur off the hardwood floors. Often times, I would find  when the sun is shining bright (and contrary to popular belief, Tassie has many many sunny days. It's COLD, but sunny) I can see that the hardwood floors are covered in her hair.

What is a girl to do? I couldn't bring myself to restrict her to certain tiny areas AGAIN. She has tasted freedom and she likes it. And besides which, she should be able to roam the house (only on the hardwood floors, not on the carpet which thankfully are only found in the bedrooms). On the other hand, I don't want to be vaccuuming every single day.

Then the answer came to me in a Boxing Day sale message: ROBOT VACCUUM CLEANER. $89 from Godfrey's. As with all my other gadgets, I thought about it long and hard and did my research. I recognise that it will never substitute the actual vaccuum and mind you, we have a great one. But I thought that this would be a wonderful addition to our household. Just something that we can put on daily, to pick up the dog fur which is driving me INSANE and then once a week, we give the house a thorough vaccuum.

Today I trialled my new toy. And I am pleased to say that he (we've of course named him Robbie the Robot Vaccuum Cleaner... and no, I do not have children, it's just a thing I do) does a great job! Half an hour and three rooms were done. He did, scare the dog though and she promptly ran away from him - have I mentioned that she is a fantastic guard dog?

Now, I'd better get organised for the week! I start Michelle Bridge 12wbt tomorrow (and no, I'm not paid to endorse the product) and I intend to be as compliant as possible. Even though I am starting with a treat meal, but the Superbowl is on, and it is tradition dammit! :)

For dinner tomorrow, Honey Sriracha wings and tater tots. Don't tell Michelle.


Lifestyle change

So I stepped on the scales and I figured that I needed to lose 30 kilos. 30 KILOS!!! How did I let myself go so bad that now I have to lose 30 kilos? NO one believes me, I think I'm even finding it hard to believe myself.

So what I decided to take matters into my own hands and join the MIchelle Bridges 12wbt. I have heard great things about the program, so I thought why not?

Tomorrow I commence Week 1 of the Total Body transformation ... which kind of leaves this blog at a bit of a loose end. If I'm not talking about food and the things that I am cooking, then what will I talk about? I will update my progress here.

I recognise that diet and exercise for food lovers is hard, but I'm willing to put in the time and effort to change that. To that end, this blog will now be dedicated to my journey called life. (Wow, did that totally sound corny or what.)

What I mean is that I am committed to a lifestyle change. Living life to the fullest, travel, health, starting a family - it is all going to be here.

My life is going to take a shift - from being completely food-centric and food-focussed, it will now encompass so much more.

I'm prepared to bare my soul, I hope anyone reading will enjoy it.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013


One of the things that I absolutely loved when I visited the States last year (during Fall) were the pumpkins found EVERYWHERE!!! I've always liked pumpkins, but I guess my deep deep love was never truly realised until I was there! I think it was in Salem that I well and truly fell in love with pumpkins. What's not to love? They are bright and cheery, and round and fat like me. I resolved to start a pumpkin patch when I returned to Australia. When in my new house of course. :) I found many kinds that I want to grow (which begs the question, why on EARTH don't people here grow them?)


Cut to the start of October when I decided that in my new house, I'm going to have bright orange pumpkins on my stoop. Yes, I have a stoop! I'm practically Carrie Bradshaw. :) But there were no bright orange pumpkins to be seen. Someone told me a malicious lie that there were some at the farmer's market (and hence farmer's market prices) but, as I said before, it was a malicious lie! And the person who told it to me was promptly told off (turns out I get really grumpy when I have been misled about pumpkins).

Then I saw them at the supermarket, they were Jack-O-Lantern variety ones (and YES, that it the official term in Latin #sarcasm) but they were $3 a kilo!!!! And each one weighs approximately 6-7 kilos. Dude, I'm not spending $20 per pumpkin (and about 8 or 7 pumpkins, which means approximately $140-$160 to decorate my stoop! Sooooo.... I had to find another way.

Went back to the Farmer's market and saw some lovely pumpkins which looked like pumpkins (with the right grooves and not severely deformed as you can get sometimes) and they were even some little ones! The only problem was that they were not bright orange. Anyway,I thought that I was being too pedantic and bought 7, for a whopping total of $9.50.

Put them on my stoop...

Hmmmm... cute, but didn't quite have the impact I wanted. Why aren't pumpkins in Australia bright orange dammit?

Guess what I did next?

PAINTED THEM. Bought some spray paint from the hardware store and went crazy. 

Side note, I just had to answer the telephone for a colleague and the person on the phone from our other office spoke to me like I knew who she was. And it was too rude to ask who it was, so I just hung up and not bothered about it. My rant is, WHY CAN'T YOU IDENTIFY YOURSELF ON THE PHONE?? It's really not that hard.

End rant. 

Where was I? Oh yes, pumpkins. 

I think I got a little too excited and sprayed too much on them. So they kinda look too shiny and almost plasticky. 

Next time, I will know to be less heavy handed on the spray paint and lightly spritz. In two years time, this problem will be moot because I will have my pumpkin patch by then.

But in the mean time, who cares! I have brightly painted orange pumpkins on my doorstep and my stoop! YAY!!! 

I must give the stool an honourable mention. Isn't it adorable? I actually bought it from the tip shop for $5! I have weatherproofed it, so it can sit outside in the elements and house seasonal decorations! It's like a Japanese bath stool! 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Ranch salad dressing

Today’s clean eating exercise was a disaster. The people at work had a farewell morning tea for a colleague so of course I had to have a couple of sausage rolls and party pies – total gun to my head. I figured that it would be rude if I didn’t eat anything. BUT I then decided (in an effort to remain below my calorie count) to skip my lunch (seriously, this is growth) and have a salad for dinner instead.

But what sort of salad?

Can I just say, that I abhor eating a salad for dinner. It goes against every fibre of my being. UNLESS it is a meaty salad and has yummy, creamy dressing smothered all over it. Which then begs the question – why bother eating a salad when you are going to douse it with calories? (the answer is,of course, because it is DELICIOUS!!!)

Usually I would go with a chicken Caesar salad. The Cardini’s Caesar is hands down the BEST Caesar salad dressing you can get from the supermarket. But I do have leftover buttermilk that I used to make this dressing here.

Sooooooo… ranch salad it is! I also should mention that I am not a fan of Australian Ranch dressing. I love this country, but there are seriously a few things that I am not a fan of (I will be uploading a list and before angry Australians (if there is such a thing) descend upon me, I will also write a post on how much I love Australia). But maybe because I haven’t had a good one, so if anyone out there (if anyone is reading this at all) has a recommendation, please send it through my way! So I thought that I would make some. A quick scan of google uncovered THOUSANDS (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating) of DIY Ranch dressing recipes. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! (I might get a little too excited when I don’t waste food).

I’ve picked one. This one. I wonder whether I can add blue cheese and make a blue cheese dressing with this? Methinks we can. I wonder then, whether I should have a chopped salad for dinner instead. I do have all the ingredients. But what is the difference really between a ranch salad and a chopped salad? If I put ranch dressing on a chopped salad, would that make it a ranch salad?

I don’t know, all I know is that it is a whole lotta deliciousness in my mouth!!! :)

Mmmmmmmmm…. I love me some chicken ranch salad!


Monday, 21 October 2013

Roast pork

I know I seem to post a lot of recipes on this blog, and hardly of the other stuff that I said I was going to post, like travel, DIY, etc. I do need to import my travel entries into here, but I don't really have the time with the move, work and study! Oh yes, we are moving! Only to a rental at this stage as we sold our little unit (sob, sob) and need to build our dream house! It is a vacant block in a beautiful suburb in Tasmania, but that is all I will tell you. :)

Of course, I will DEFINITELY be chronicle-ing (is that word) all the trials and tribulations that we will be going through whilst building. Prepare for a whingefest! :)

But onward to today's entry, which is PROBABLY not clean-eating compliant, but it is oh-so-delicious and, when done right, hands-down my favourite roast! Luke and I observe roast night on Sundays quite strictly, and barely a weekend goes by when I do not make a roast at home.


I love it. Crackling is God's single, best creation and it has taken me YEARS to perfect it. I still stuff up and burn the top bits sometimes though, I forget that I need to watch it like a HAWK in the last five minutes (and I will explain why later).

As to the seasoning, I keep it really simple. SALT. That is all I use. Served with beautiful roasted veggies, spuds and apple sauce, this does not need anything else.

So here it is, my roast pork recipe:


Rolled pork shoulder - approx 1.5-2 kilos
Oil (I used canola oil)


Start by unrolling the pork. I try to get the pork to sit as even as possible so that it will roast evenly. Even if it means cutting a bit off the bottom. It's no biggie that that bit gets roasted by itself. A snack midway through the cooking, I say! 

I usually wash my meat. It's my thing, whoever doesn't like it (and there are many out there) can get over it. And I can TELL (prior to cooking) whether the meat has been washed. Just a quick rinse, that's all I'm asking. Then I pat it dry with a paper towel. Make sure that the skin is very VERY dry.

Grab a Stanley knife and make more scores on the rind. There is never enough on there, and a few more extra slashes really make the difference. Just don't get Dexter on it.

Oh, and did I mention to turn on the oven to its fullest temperature? For me, it's 250C. Turn it up up up.

In a baking pan, season the pork. Rub a bit of oil all over the skin and sprinkle more salt. When the oven is piping hot, shove the roast in there for 40 mins (you heard me).

After 40 mins, turn the oven down to 180C and cook for another hour or so. It really depends on how big your roast is. The guide says to cook for 40 mins per kilo, and I usually follow that. But 40 mins on high. I can't stress that enough.

Once the pork is done, I make it extra crackly by turning on the grill. Now, WATCH YOUR PORK!!! It only needs about 5 mins or so, but it goes from zero to BURNT in a matter of seconds! (kinda like popcorn). Once it's where you want it to be, pull out the pork and rest it 10-30 mins. While waiting, I give you permission to pick at the crackling and start nibbling before anyone catches you.



Sausage rolls

I actually wrote this on the weekend, and published it, but the computer at home hates me, so completely stuffed up! Please note that I, in no way, think for once that this is clean eating! :)

We Australians love our sausage rolls (note how I have considered myself as an Australian, even though I bloody hate their stupid marshmallows - take my word for it, it is revolting. Other than that, I love this country). When I first arrived in this country, I didn't understand sausage rolls. Only because I was only exposed to Asian sausage rolls - little frankfurters baked in a soft, sweet, doughy and yummy bun. sefekklwj - oh, sorry, I was wiping my drool off the keyboard.

When I first ate an Australian sausage roll, I'm not going to lie, I thought it was disgusting. Never touched it again. Cut to six years later, when I was working at this telephone company (not mentioning any names), and the job was so awful, I took every opportunity to leave the office. To the cafe next door. Which, as you might have guessed served sausage rolls. I finally succumbed to peer pressure and tried one. And it was heavenly. And the rest, is history! 

Recently, I've taken to making my own sausage rolls. My husband loves homemade sausage rolls, and like the dutiful wife I am, I make it when I can. Store bought puff pastry, and sausage mince, some minced beef and some other yummy surprises, it's not only fun to make, but pretty yummy too! Try it, if you have a moment or two to spare.

This particular one has a hint of curry in it. I might have gotten carried away and bought a kilo's worth of Malaysian curry powder, and I'm trying to use it in as many things as I can! So if you're wondering why on earth did I flavour my sausage rolls with curry, that's why. That doesn't mean that you can't omit this in the recipe.

Sausage rolls

500 gms of beef mince
125gm of sausage mince (one quarter of the sausage mince loaf which I get from Woolies - I then portion them all out and freeze separately)
Half a zucchini, grated (sometimes I use grated carrots too, but didn't have any at hand. And I had four zucchinis... which turns out, you can use for alot of things... but there is a future post on that)
Quarter cup of couscous (yes, you read that right, but if you didn't have any on hand, you could substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 tbs curry powder
Salt to season
Store bought puff pastry
Sesame seeds
1 egg - lightly beaten


If your pastry is in the freezer, time to defrost.
Pre-heat oven to 180C.
Put mince, sausage, zucchini, couscous, curry powder and salt into mixing bowl and roll up your sleeves. 
Time to get messy! Mix all ingredients until well-combined. And I'm talking until it looks like a big mushy mess. Squish it between your fingers, and just have fun with it!
Set aside.
Cut your pastry sheet into two. Make a delicious meat log with the mixture and place in the middle of the cut pastry sheet. 

Fold the pastry over so that you have a meat and pastry log.

Cut into 6.

Apply eggwash to each.

Sprinkle some sesame seeds.

Bake for 20 mins at 180C then turn up to 200C for an additional 10 mins!
Serve with some good ole tomato sauce and enjoy!