Tuesday, 31 January 2012

This is what I'm reading

Like most people, I like to read.  I'm not really into the big, deep, literary masterpieces, I'm more into vampire fiction (yes, that includes Twilight) and funny chick lit.

So every now and again I will update you on what book is frequenting my bedside table.

On the various gossip websites that I frequent daily I have noticed that they have been talking about a new movie based on the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy.  It's actually garnering a lot of hype, so I thought I had better read the book before the movie comes out.

I really liked the first book.  For the first time since the Twilight Saga and the Vampire Academy series, I actually read during the day (reading is usually saved for bedtime).

I am very much looking forward to the movie, and if the trailer is anything to go by, I think it might be pretty good.

I am currently halfway through the second book, 'Catching Fire', and am very curious as to how things will turn out.  I'm not enjoying it as much as the first book though.  It kinda feels like the author is reaching and is recycling some of the adventure and excitement from the first book.  Hopefully it improves and the third book captures me as much as the first.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Mexican Bean Tortillas

Tonight I made Mexican Bean Tortillas.

They were delish!  I think they would be suited better as a lunch meal than a dinner meal though as one just didn't seem like enough for dinner (I had one and a half!).  Maybe a salad would have filled the hole...

The recipe link reckons that there are around 226 calories in one wrap plus the salad in the recipe, however my fitness app worked it out to be about 336 calories for ONE wrap (without the salad).  So with the one and half I ate, it worked out to be over 500 calories.  Too much (I'm trying to eat no more than 400 calories for dinner).

In other news, today was the first day back at work after six weeks holidays.  Getting out of bed was HARD this morning, lol.  Thankfully, the little cherubs don't start back until tomorrow.  I'm a little bit nervous about a few of my students with known difficult behaviours, but am trying to stay positive   :)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Favourite Things

Throughout this blog, I hope to share with you some of my favourite things.

I think it's only fitting that my very first favourite 'thing' is my gorgeous cavoodle, Bella.

Bella is, for lack of a better word, AWESOME.

I never considered myself a dog person until I got her.  I was all about cats.  Thing was, I was living in a town where cats are not allowed.  I was desperate for a pet and finally plucked up the courage to ask my parents (yep, I was 24 and living with my parents, but that is a totally different story!) if I could get a dog.  They said YES!  I researched for a few weeks and decided to get a cavoodle - a cavalier king charles spaniel crossed with a toy poodle.

Now, living in the NT, cavoodles are not easy to come by.  So I took my internet shopping to a whole new level and bought her online.  Yep, online.  I found a puppy classifieds website and found her there.  I can already see all of your disapproving faces as you assume that she must have come from a puppy farm.  I cannot prove that she didn't, but I was in regular contact with the breeder (she sent photo updates and emails) and while I can't prove it, I'm fairly certain she came from a backyard breeder NOT a puppy farm.

Anyway, Bella is awesome regardless.  She arrived toilet trained and didn't chew through hoses, shoes or clothes (just the occasional peg...).  She also didn't bark until she was 9 months old and still very rarely barks.

She is two years old now and is a wonderful companion.  She gives the best cuddles and is almost as lazy as I am, lol.

Food, Glorious Food!

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to help keep me honest on my quest for better health.

I.  Love.  To.  Eat.

This love has inevitably resulted in some pretty decent weight gain.

In a perfect world I would weigh 25kg lighter (my weight when I was 18...).  However, I like to be realistic and set my self realistic goals.  I am no longer 18 and have spent the last 9 years since I was 18 being pretty inactive and watching my weight yo-yo.  So my realistic goal is to lose 12-15kg this year.  My goal is to not deprive myself of delicious food, but to find healthier alternatives.  I also hope to be more active - for both myself and my gorgeous dog.

I started this new healthier lifestyle (I don't really want to say 'diet') on the 3rd of January - why not the 1st of January I hear you ask?  Pay day was the 3rd, so that is when I did my grocery shopping.  I have already lost approximately 3kg in 3 weeks and hope to continue a 1kg/week weight loss.  This weight loss has mostly been attributed to healthier eating with some light walking thrown in there for good measure.  I am now sitting at a weight which I have 'sat' on in the past for quite some time.  My sister would call this my 'balance weight'.  So I'm sure I will have to work that little bit harder to get past it and stay past it.

To help me on my weight loss journey I have been using a calorie counting app called My Fitness Pal.  After inputting my weight, height, age, activity level and weight loss aspirations it has suggested I eat 1200 calories a day.  This app (it's also available for FREE online) has a daily food diary with over 3 million foods already in its database and it also has a cool scanning feature so you can scan barcodes and be told the calorie content as well as other nutritional information.  This app has been great in keeping me honest and to tell you the truth, after browsing through the calorie content of some of the foods I used to eat regularly, I must have been eating over 5000 calories a day sometimes!

I will be using this blog to share and review some low calorie recipes that I have found - don't worry, this isn't just another weight loss blog, I will also be sharing the usual musings you would find in a blog (favourite things, daily events, interesting finds, etc).

Here are a couple of recipes I tried out over the last few days.  (Click the recipe name for a link to the recipe)

Pumpkin Sesame Wontons

This was my first attempt at using a bamboo steamer (a steal at $5.99 from Woolies!)  They were YUMMY and only 144 calories for three.  I personally think I may have used too much ginger though and will use less next time I make them.

Chicken Noodle Lettuce Cups

These were SUPER easy to make and only 170 calories for two!  Today I had them for lunch without the lettuce cups and it was a very satisfying cold noodle salad.

Tonight I'm having leftover pumpkin soup for dinner (I made it a week ago and froze some).  I LOVE this pumpkin soup and have been eating it for years.  I was convinced it would be too calorie rich to continue eating, but after inputting the recipe in my app it tells me that it is only 121 calories a serve!  Yay!!