12 minute core workout

12 minute core workout

 Hey fitness family, time for a new workout here on the website and I decided that this week should be a core workout, mostly because I’m pooped. We went to Disneyland Sunday and had a hella late night which left us both absolutely exhausted. Then I had to work yesterday which I did ok with till midway through my bodypump class at Golds last night when I felt like I’d got NOTHING left, no gas left in the tank. I managed to gather it up from somewhere though and finished the class ;) Even though I did whine through the middle part a little. This week I’m rocking my new workout tank I bought from ebay seller theglobalteecompany. On the front it says “classy, sassy & a bit smart Assy”. I absolutely LOVE it!  

8 minute yogalates 20141022 fitness tank

New fitness tank from ebay seller: theglobalteecompany

As I said this weeks workout is all about the core. So abs, obliques, and back. I struggled a bit during this workout as I tweaked my back, not sure if from Disneyland , bodypump or swimming, or more likely the combination of all three! So I modified when I felt my form suffering. Set your timer for 45s work, 15s rest for 12 rounds of work, Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel!  The full video is below

Workout Breakdown:

This weeks workout has a few static moves and we start with an isometric HIGH PLANK. Hands under the shoulders, feet shoulder width apart, basically in the top of a push up position. Squeeze the glutes and engage the core. Hold for 60 seconds. That means ignoring the bell at 45s and continuing to hold for another 15s.

12 minute core workout high plank

At the one minute mark you move into a HI-LO WALKING PLANK. From the top position, lower the left elbow, and right elbow until in a low plank, then push through the left hand and right hand back up to high plank. The key is to put the elbow/hand directly under the shoulder and keep the hips as stable as possible. 45s moving interval here.

12 minute core workout high to low walking plank

On the 45s bell, come down into a LOW PLANK and stay there for 1 minute! This means you don’t get a rest after the walking plank, and you push through the whole 60 seconds. Elbows under the shoulders, feet apart, abs in. Modify with knees on the floor if you need to take a break.


12 minute core workout 20141028 low plank

At the end of the minute there is a 15s break to come into the SIDE PLANK. Elbow under the shoulder, hand in front. Stagger the legs, with the top leg in front of the bottom leg and lift the hips and arm up to work the core, specifically the obliques. Ensure the body is in a nice long line shoulders, hips and heels and the shoulders and elbows are all in a line. Think about elongating the body. Hold for 45s.

12 minute core workout side plank

Transition into a MERMAID. Keep the elbow on the floor, lower the butt and roll onto the ‘padded’ portion of your butt with the top arm behind you. Elongate the torso, lift the chest and push through the forearm pushing the ear away from the shoulder. Lift the legs, bend and extend the legs to work the core. For 45s imagine you are a mermaid sitting on a rock shaking your tail ;) 

12 minute core workout mermaid

 Roll onto the back and set up the SCISSORS. Lift the legs up, lengthen, separate 12″ and criss cross through the legs. Every 10th one lower the legs 6″ towards the floor. or you could just extend the legs 45° to work harder. Keep pulling the lower back down towards the floor, engaging the core. 45s to scissor those legs into submission.

12 minute core workout scissors


Come up take the 15s break and repeat from the top leading with the right side for the walking plank, side plank and mermaid.


Meatless Monday: Daiya cheese pizza review

Daiya cheese pizza packaging

I’m thinking of changing these posts to food porn Monday or something, lol! I’ve already reviewed the Daiya mushroom garlic pizza and told the tale of how I cooked it to death. Well how did the cheese lovers pizza fare? Better! Straight out the box it looked pretty similar to the mushroom one which just shows that the mushroom one was distinctly lacking in mushrooms!!! The cheese one was basically a blank canvas for us, which I prefered. 


We added lightlife Vegan pepperoni which is delicious by the way, mushrooms and pineapple. I have to say that I don’t spare the toppings, every inch gets covered in something. There was a a lot of vegan cheese on this pizza and as I’m not overly fond of cheesy stuff anymore (honest! This is what happens when you go vegan, it’s a hard switch initially but now I hate ‘rich’ foods) I knew I had to add something sweet like pineapple to distract me from the cheesy-ness.


This time I cooked the pizza and the right temperature and for the correct length of time and it was great! Again this pizza is loaded with sodium, like all processed foods, and I will be the first to say that I liked it, but I wouldn’t buy it for ME again. Now Bob on the other hand liked it, but prefered the Tofurkey pizza. 


For me I liked the salad more than the pizza, it was super cheesy and I’m not into that anymore. Honestly we ate this months ago, because now I just buy a base and leave my half cheese-less. I prefer pizza with no cheese! Wow! Just my own personal preference but if I have a choice of where to eat my calories I’d rather eat the WHOLE pizza without cheese and topped with tons of veggies over a half a pizza with fake cheese. You know I’m all about the carbs ;)


As a rare occasional treat pizza can be fine, it’s a lot of sodium (moreso if you add meats like pepperoni, even the vegan kind) , it’s a lot of fat (cheese, and any meats) and it’s a lot of calories. The Daiya pizza was nice, Bob was more impressed than I was, but he’s vegetarian not vegan. For me, my tastes have changed in the 18 months I’ve been vegan. I no longer crave cheesy foods.



The take home from this review is that if you are transitioning to a meatfree lifestyle these pizzas and other  processed products do make life a little easier, but once you switch your taste buds wake up and you crave REAL foods! These are great for making the vegan switch and as a rare holiday treat, but for me I’d prefer a meatfree, cheeseless pizza now. Hmmm might put that on the menu this week!


Grocery Shopping

It’s wind down week this week as we prep for vacation. I’m not planning on shopping mush at all after Friday so I’ll be buying just fresh food this week to last through to next week when we fly out to visit family. This means making a MENU this week to stay on track and get the food used up! I’m really interested in eating from the house this week and using up food, so I can start fresh when I get back and head in THANKSGIVING and then the Winter holiday madness. I’m ready to find my inner chef!

Weekly Shopping

We bought way too much this week, but hey I’ve had a couple of good weeks so time to go off the rails a little right? I THINK I might have enough food to last through at least Friday, and when I get back I have my $10 coupon to use at the farm for fresh food for Thanksgiving which should help the budget a little :)

 Oct – – Indian Hawelli = $10.96

  • Dosa Batter
  • beans
  • mushy peas x2

Oct 14th – Trader Joes = $73.75

  • Sweet potato chips
  • BBQ pop chips
  • Almond milk
  • OJ
  • sweet potato fries
  • frozen peas
  • chick’n tenders
  • orange chick’n
  • soy cheddar
  • tofurkey slices
  • vegan mozzarella
  • rolled oats x2
  • russet potatoes
  • clif builder bars x 5
  • peanuts x2
  • baby spinach
  • spring mix
  • olive oil warps
  • gems lettuce
  • mushrooms
  • acorn squash
  • bananas x13
  • apples x4

Oct 22nd – Target = $21.04

  • Pie
  • Canned peas x6
  • pizza base
  • meatless tenders x2
  • burgers

Uh oh $105.75 is way over target this week. BUT I think we were stock piling for this week getting ready to leave. Time to get creative, plan some meals and then get cooking! I have TWO blocks of tofu to use before we go, or cook and freeze! Thinking the latter option, even I can’t eat that much tofu in a week! Even with this weeks crazy overspend I am still under budget for the month, barely. Which is good news for the month as this week SHOULD be light on the pocketbook!

Weekly Totals – Goal $90 week

October (4 weeks) = $   (Goal $90 week)

week 4 = 

week 3 = 105.75

week 2 = $73.11

week 1 = $76.38

September (5 weeks) = $504.61 (Goal $90 week)

August (4 weeks)  = $476.77 (Goal $90 week)

July (5 weeks) = $439.10 (Goal $89.80 week)

June (4 weeks) = $349.83 (Goal $90.10 week)

May (5 weeks) = $412.96 (Goal $89.20 week)

April  (4 weeks) = $389.98 (Goal $89 week)

March  (4 weeks) = $330.97 (Goal $88.70 week)

February  (4 weeks) = $347.49  (Goal $88.70 week)

January  (4 weeks) = $395.87 (goal $88.50 week)


Are you meat free on Mondays?

Project life 2014 week 42 - moving forward

projectlife2014-week 42

Phew, project life! Some people might think it odd to take photo’s of the everyday stuff but its the little things that project life it about not just the big events. That’s the deal behind project life. Remembering that Pixel killed a toy this week and fluff was all over the floor again, so much that I had to totally trash the toy, Nemo is totally dead now. Or having proper English baked beans for the first time in ages. Little things like this make a difference to a week!

projectlife2014-week 42A

I already documented my nephrology visit detailing my blood and urine work up and good news that I don’t have to go back for 12 months! Big news for me. I started working out more this week, which meant weights for me, something I don’t get to do often but I’m trying to make more of an effort. Got some weights in Thursday before cycle class. Really trying to even out my physique and see what I can do to help my yoga. I also decided I’m going to experiment more with food.

projectlife2014-week 42B

Had a bad hair day, shoved on a hat! Always works ;) Sky is doing well on her meds, really seems to have up/down days still but plodding along.


Blog posts this week:

I’m trying to plan the next few weeks blog posts while I’m on vacation. Some throwback thursday photo’s coming, some informative posts, and specific exercises posts. I’m making an effort to make the blog posts more useful. Strange as it might sound I’m looking to 2015 already!

Meatless Monday – spaghetti squash

8 minute yogalates workout 

manitoba harvest hemp hearts review

Spinning playlist halloween 2014



URGH didn’t get a post done this week. I have 11 days to prep posts for when I’m away. I’m going to spend some time prepping for the weeks that we come back too. Get ahead Di, get ahead!


One Little Word 2014 – Thrive

I mentioned a while ago that I wanted to include the OLW posts into project life and never got around to it, I wanted to keep it here so it was in my mind and I could reflect on my word each week and how I’d thrived.

  • Yoga – I went to a class at Yoga Nook and have a meeting with owner next week.
  • Eating well – had a few blah days this week but still eating well.
  • Mindful practice – making decisions
  • feeling my words for 2015 forming
  • embracing digital

Blog Stats

I thought it would be interesting to share some search terms that people found my blog from, so here are some interesting search stats for the last 7 days:

  • halloween spin – tried to get 2014 playlist posted earlier but hey, I had two past playlists to look at too!
  • lift heavy shit – I’ve been trying to again!
  • thriving meaning – for me being the best me I can possibly be
  • 20 minute spinning playlist – take any of mine and choose your own warm up, tempo, interval, sprint, climb. Easy!
  • rotator pec deck body pump – got to admit it’s one of my pet peeves for bodypump. I hate it. pointless.
  • pkd and working out – yep I have pkd, yep I workout. Some days are better than others, listen to your body!
  • bodypump 91 are plates optional for chest? – my opinion: if you’re doing push ups on the toes opt for plates and A-press. If 99% of your class is on their knees then go for a bar with usual chest weight. People can totally cheat on this by doing push ups on knees, and then using light weight for A-press. Don’t let them!

And that’s the wrap up for this week! Look for more posts coming soon!

Spinning playlist Halloween 2014

halloween spinning playlist 2014

Ok it’s a spooky seven days till Halloween so it’s time for some halloween themed songs for a spinning playlist. I love using holidays as a jumping point for themed playlists. I already have two halloween playlists on my blog from 2012 and 2013 so here is another one! Who knew there could be so much variety right? I already played my previous years playlist this week so I have something fresh for my class Friday morning! The full playlist is available on iTunes or individual songs as below. ****Be careful of the songs as a couple have *explicit* lyrics, so go for the clean version for your classes if they don’t like the occasional F bomb ;) Tough for me to link those on iTunes as it doesn’t show which is the clean/explicit version for the links sorry. Use caution****

Monster – Professor Green  [iTunes / Amazon] *explicit*

Warm up, easy resistance and easy speed. Fun song, and honestly the first Professor Green song I’ve listened to all the way through. Be careful which version you get, this has an S-bomb in it midway.

Calling all the Monsters – China Anne McClain  [iTunes / Amazon]

This one is just FUN song! Add a little resistance, say 30%, then alternate from saddle to 2nd and 3rd, repeating and adding resistance every time. Make it fun but starting a challenge. This ride has some HILLS coming. Knock out the fun now ;)

Bad Things – Jace Everett  [iTunes / Amazon]

True Blood theme tune so some of your class will know it. Add resistance for a climb. I am opting to stay up at the end of the last song, adding resistance and coming into third. When the song goes quiet midway I come down in the saddle for a push through, then back up to third to finish it out.

Superbeast – Rob Zombie  [iTunes / Amazon]

Come down into the saddle, and turn down the resistance a little, but only a little! Stay down, in the chorus add resistance and push through the hills.

Thriller (B&W remix edit) – RagDollz (Nick Skitz Remix)  [iTunes / Amazon]

This remix starts similar to the original but then the beat comes in and you  ease off the resistance and sprint! Then you’ll do sprints intervals for the whole song. Choose your timing to suit the level of your class.

Monster (A.R. Remix) – D’Mixmasters  [iTunes / Amazon]

Add some resistance again, maybe a total of 50-60% and then bring the class to the tempo. Alternate between saddle and 2nd doing about 1 minute in each position, or do what I do and just use the music rhythm to move ya. This version has no F-bomb ;)

The Devil in I- Slipknot  [iTunes / Amazon]

Add resistance, a lot of it. Heavy climb in third. Get the class turning up the dial and pushing through the almost 6 minute climb!

Devil in Disguise (spin sista Radio Edit) – K-POFF  [iTunes / Amazon]

Fun beat, devilish lyrics. From rock metal to techno… yeah why not? Lighten up the resistance to around 40% and pop it up between positions, moving through each position to tempo of the music.

Killer (Crush Remix) – Skism Feat. DC Breaks & Dee Freer  [iTunes / Amazon]

Adding resistance to around 60% then use all three positions again. Listen to the song you’ll hear it! Pop up at the poppy beat, then techno dubstep is 3rd, slow tempo is saddle.

Bleed it out (radio edit) – Linkin Park  [iTunes / Amazon] *explicit*

Saddle, lighten up the resistance, but not too much, then SPRINTS in the chorus. Get the clean no F-bomb version  ;)

Perfect Nightmare – Shontelle  [iTunes / Amazon]

Climb! Add resistance. This starts slow, use the time to grab a drink, add resistance, keep spinning.  I like to stay down in the saddle for the climb, see how your class goes.

Devil In Disguise (Rob Mayth Radio Edit) – Aycan  [iTunes / Amazon]

Tempo! Resistance down a little for this one. This song is all over the place. Starts slow, then goes pop-tastic. When the pop begins you have a choice to come to second, then when the verse starts again come back down in the saddle. And repeat ;)

Monster – The automatic automatic  [iTunes / Amazon]

Climb! Start down to find your resistance, then come up and stay up. Give your class a break and alternate between 2nd and 3rd. It’s medium paced so get the correct resistance before coming up!

Black Cat (the factory remix) – Claudia [iTunes / Amazon]

Remix time! Come down, take the resistance down, but not all the way! Maybe around 20-30% total, and spin easy. OR depending on your class go for easy sprints to finish!

True Blood – Justin Timberlake [iTunes / Amazon] *explicit*

Stretch. The end really!


Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Review

matiboa hemp hearts oct 2014 A

Hemp has so many uses, it’s such a versatile plant, for example Bob has a wallet made from hemp. I however I prefer to eat my hemp, which is why I was super stoked to try these raw shelled hemp seeds from Manitoba HarvestDisclosure:  This post reviewing with Manitoba Harvest was done through their partnership with Fit Approach. I received Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts free of charge in order to write a post, however all opinions are my own.   Scroll to the bottom for a discount code and competition to win a 5lb bag!

matiboa hemp hearts oct 2014 B

Each 30g or 3 Tablespoon serving  of the hemp heart s has 10g of protein and 10g of omega 3&6. They were easy to use, nutritious and  tasted great. Previously I was using ground flaxseed with my breakfast but as they stated on their website Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts has more protein, more omegas and less carbs than the same serving of chia or flax seed. So I switched to hemp, and honestly I’m not going back. I know flax seed have other benefits, so I do still use those in cooking but the hemp hearts add a delicious slightly nutty flavor to the oats rather than drying them out like the flax used to.

matiboa hemp hearts oct 2014 C

I’m going to admit that for breakfast  I’m hooked on hemp! These little suckers are delicious with breakfast. This is pretty much the standard breakfast I eat every morning so I’m definitely getting my protein, omegas and flavor from the hemp. This recipe is for my usual oat breakfast. Protein powder is optional.

1/2 Cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon Garden of Life vanilla raw protein powder

1 Cup almond milk


1 tablespoon hemp hearts

Mix the oats and protein powder into a bowl and add the milk. Microwave on high for two minutes. Let stand for a while, we walk the dogs for 30 minutes, then microwave for a further minute. Add a chopped banana and top with hemp hearts. Enjoy!

matiboa hemp hearts oct 2014 D


This is a simple way of ensuring you get your Omega 3s and 6s into your daily diet. These are essential fatty acids which means the body cannot produce them, so we have to get them from our diet. Omega fats have shown them to be protective against type 2 diabetes, and alzheimers. I don’t know about you, but as someone who has grandmother with Alzheimer’s I’ll make sure I do whatever I can to help prevent alzheimer’s. One other way I’m getting them in is with a variation on my protein amazeballs.

  • 20 dates
  • 1/4 cup Coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 tbspn cocoa powder
  • 2 tbspn water
  • 1 scoop protein powder (if you don’t have a scoop – it’s around 1/4 cup)

The directions are simple: throw everything into a blender and mix well. When it starts clumping into a big ball you’re ready to form into your small balls. Honestly I added fewer nuts to this batch as these are generally my pre-workout snack prior to hitting the gym for spinning or bodypump class. I knew I’d be adding the hemp hearts and I’d get my essential fats from them. Roll into small balls and place on baking tray, I add the greaseproof paper so they don’t stick.

hemp heart balls 1

The bigger the balls the fewer servings you have. Ideally you want around 1 1/2 – 2 dates per serving so this should yield around 15 balls. Empty your hemp hearts into a shallow tray (I used a shallow tupperware container), and roll your balls in the hemp hearts. Keeping the hemp hearts in the container means nothing gets wasted, just pop the lid on and save till next time!

hemp heart balls 2

I could have added the hemp hearts to the mixture but I think these look cool with the hemp on the edges. Plus these would make a great alternative to candy if you were going to a party, say at Halloween!

hemp heart balls 3


Continuing until you’ve rolled all your balls. Then pop the tray in the fridge and cool for an hour or three. I keep mine in the fridge and just pop one for a snack when I feel peckish :)


hemp heart balls 4

If you haven’t tried Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts then check them out online, and use the code HHSweatPink14 to get 20% off your order! Plus if you already love Hemp Hearts and want to win a 5lb bag then enter their contest to get creative in the kitchen and tag  @manitobaharvest, #hemphearts, and #sweatpink in your Instagram and/or Twitter post and you’ll be automatically entered. Deadline for contest and discount code is 30th November.


quick 8 minutes yogalates workout

8 minute yogalates 20141022 thumbnail

People who go to my spinning and bodypump classes are always shocked when I do yoga. I have an ability to turn off my manic “go, push, harder” persona and slip into my inner yogi. Yoga is something I’ve done since I was around 13. I remember going to classes at the local church hall, and while I may not practice consistently it’s always something I’ve come back to over the last 30 years (geez I feel old now!). I love blending yoga and pilates together, along with other forms of exercise into a yogalates or piyo flow.This weeks workout is a quick 8 minute yogalates flow that will provide a nice stretch, whilst strengthening the arms, legs and core. Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel!  The full video is below

Workout Breakdown:

It’s difficult to fully breakdown a yogalates routine, but if you can’t watch the video then here are some guidelines. First starting in mountain pose, inhale up, look up and then exhale swan dive into a forward fold. Inhale halfway up and look up, then fold back down before coming all the way up in reverse swan dive. From here you can repeat the sequence to really warm up the back of the body and stretch out the hamstrings. The sequence should be performed at your own pace, using the breath.

8 minute yogalates 20141022 foward bend

After the forward fold, either step or jump both feet back into a plank. Hands under the shoulders, with a nice long line through the body. Keeping the elbows in lower the chest down into a tricep push up (chaturanga). For an added arm workout you can come back up into plank for a real tricep push up, or simply hold the push up one inch above the floor. Allow the body to lower down, then lift up the shoulders and chest for upward dog, taking the back bend to your level of comfort. Keep the elbows in and shoulders back. Release down, then engage the core and lift back up to plank.


8 minute yogalates 20141022 chaturanga

Push the hips up and come into downward dog, creating the upturned “V” with the body. You can then jump or step back in and repeat from the beginning as an option. To move on extend one leg up to a three point down dog, ensuring you push evenly through both hands. 

8 minute yogalates 20141022 downdog


Come down to the three limbed plank, then bring the knee to the elbow. You can bring the knee to the opposite elbow or the same side. Opposite side is going to be more of a challenge. Then sweep back up to three limb down dog. Do this five times ensuring you control the movement. 

8 minute yogalates 20141022 obliques

Finish in three limbed down dog and repeat the process from the beginning on the other side. When you’re ready to move on sweep the foot between the hands, lower the back knee on the floor and raise the arms up into a modified crescent pose. You have the option to stay here or using the legs and core drive through the front heel into standing crescent pose balance. Option again to hold, or you can move through the knee up and down position in a lunge five times. On the fifth time release the arms down and step back to plank. Either go through chaturanga or downdog and repeat on the other side.


8 minute yogalates 20141022 lunges


 From down dog come into chaturanga, up dog, and then rest on the floor. Put the elbows under the shoulders and push up into a hover or low plank. Slowly turn to one side, into a side hover, holding for a few breaths, then unwind to repeat on the other side, holding for a few breaths. Lower to the ground and push into a high plank, down dog, step or jump in, then come to standing.

8 minute yogalates 20141022 hover


Again feel free to hold in positions, omit or modify where necessary. My practice is not your practice.

Feel free to comment below!

Meatless Monday: Spaghetti Squash

spaghetti squash 3

I’m loving all things squash related and spaghetti squash is one of my favorites! I’d never even seen this till a few years ago and now I can’t imagine not having it on my monthly menu. In case you’ve been living under a rock, spaghetti squash is the big yellow melon looking vegetable above. Honestly it does look like a small canary melon right? Well inside this squash is delicious stringy alternative to spaghetti, hence the name!

To cook:

Preheat oven to 400°

Cut squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds

Optional: brush with oil and season.

Place the halves cut side down on a pan

Cook for 40 minutes until you can pierce squash skin with fork

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and with fork scrape the strands out from the skin and use as you would spaghetti.

spaghetti squash 1

Spaghetti Squash and meatless meatballs with marinara and vegan mozzarella

You can also cook the squash in a microwave:

Cut squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds

Place cut sides down in a shallow pan with 1/2 inch of water

Cooking time will vary according to microwave and size of squash – I find it takes at least 8 minutes in my microwave

Cook until you can pierce skin with fork

Allow to cool and scrape strands out using fork

spaghetti squash 2

Spaghetti Squash with vegan homemade chili, and vegan cheese

What’s the benefit of using spaghetti squash over regular spaghetti? It’s gluten free, low sodium, wheat free, has no cholesterol and it’s an extra vegetable on your plate! You can never have enough veggies. One cup of spaghetti squash is just 31 calories,  making it a great option for those on diets. It’s also a good source of niacin, B6, potassium, vitamin C and fiber. One cup contains almost 10% of your daily fiber.

spaghetti squash di

Yep it looks and acts like spaghetti!

While the squash looks the part and even has a similar texture, it doesn’t taste quite the same. With the marinara or chili it does act out the spaghetti portion of  the meal but it isn’t pasta. So bear that in mind, it’s a good alternative but not quite the same. I like it though. And eat it regularly to fill me up without adding too much calories, it’s unprocessed and tasty. Give it a try!


Grocery Shopping

I’ve started tracking my food in “my fitness pal” nutrition tracking app for the iPhone. I’ve noticed that some days I’m not eating nearly enough calories, or staying on my macros for carbs, protein and fats. It’s always good to get back to basics and start tracking foods to see where you  can make better choices. For me that means I’m starting to eat more beans and rice, along with healthy fats like guacamole rather than oils.

Weekly Shopping

Great week this week! I used pretty much all the fresh foods though and need to have a good look through the cabinets for dinner tonight. I also need to figure out some things for Bobs breakfast tomorrow,maybe waffles, and this week I’d like to clean out the freezer and reorganize it. So I can stock it when we get back, but full of homemade foods, not processed!


Oct 14th – Underwood Family Farms = $15.97

  • spaghetti squash
  • strawberries
  • pepper
  • spring onions
  • spinach
  • red lettuce
  • iceberg lettuce
  • zucchini

Oct 14th – Trader Joes = $57.14

  • Sweet potato fries x2
  • Breakfast tea
  • Olive Oil wrap
  • OJ
  • plain bagels
  • tofu
  • choc bar
  • sliced tofurkey
  • tofurkey sausage
  • lentils
  • soy cheddar slices
  • vegan mozzarella
  • almond milk
  • choc soy milk
  • apples x5
  • bananas x24
  • potatoes 4lb x2

That makes $73.11 the total for the week which is under budget again! The good news is that over the next couple of weeks I’ll be using up items in the cupboards as we prepare for vacation mode. That means fresh foods will be priority for the next few weeks, and using those fresh foods! 

Weekly Totals – Goal $90 week

October (4 weeks) = $   (Goal $90 week)

week 2 = $73.11

week 1 = $76.38

September (5 weeks) = $504.61 (Goal $90 week)

August (4 weeks)  = $476.77 (Goal $90 week)

July (5 weeks) = $439.10 (Goal $89.80 week)

June (4 weeks) = $349.83 (Goal $90.10 week)

May (5 weeks) = $412.96 (Goal $89.20 week)

April  (4 weeks) = $389.98 (Goal $89 week)

March  (4 weeks) = $330.97 (Goal $88.70 week)

February  (4 weeks) = $347.49  (Goal $88.70 week)

January  (4 weeks) = $395.87 (goal $88.50 week)


Are you meat free on Mondays?

Project life 2014 week 41 - pumpkin spice edition!

projectlife2014-week 41

Sorry couldn’t resist, everything seems to be pumpkin flavored lately. Not that I’m immune to pumpkin as I bought some pumpkin spice, and added it to my smoothies etc, and I also bought pumpkin spice tea (Delicious btw). This week was another week lacking in photo’s but not ‘stuff’. This week documents thoughts rather than things. Random stuff that happens in a random life. One thing at the forefront of that is the stress of leaving the dogs to go to England for our vacation. I’m hesitant to use the word vacation as it’s pretty stressful figuring things out and trying to figure out workout time (and places  to workout) while there. For me though it’s just the thought of leaving them. Poor babies. So thankful for our dog sitter, my girlfriend Tricia :)

projectlife2014-week 41A

We launched BodyPump 91 at Golds Gym this week and it was fun. I actually think this release is growing on me, but as always a few tracks that won’t be used again… ever, lol! Loving the chest and back track though. Those suckers are staying. Golds also has a “Press for the chest” campaign right now to raise awareness and moolah for Breast Cancer. The t-shirts are $8 which frankly is a BARGAIN, and they FINALLY got small sizes in :)

projectlife2014-week 41B


I’m tracking food again and getting back on track with healthy eating. So much so that the last two times we’ve been to Red Robin I haven’t had extra fries for my ‘bottomless fries’. Go me! Willpower is my middle name (it’s not). Seriously though I need to make a commitment to health and nutrition. I got the all clear from the Nephrologist for a full year so I need to take control of my health. This means RELAXATION. I love yoga for the body but it’s not stilling my mind. As Yitka, my Wednesday yoga instructor, says: The only concern you have on the yoga mat, is yoga. Nothing else matters. I find that tough. It’s hard for me to focus solely on the task at hand. I’m thinking I need meditation or something.


Blog posts this week:

I’m not going to say I’m back on track but things are definitely moving and progressing nicely towards the direction I want to move towards in 2015. September was a good month for blog hits and also for me figuring out my schedule. I’ve been thinking about my schedule and how to progress forward, as always I’m left with the feeling that I have so much to do and not enough time. 3 weeks till our England trip and still lots to do.

Meatless Monday – black bean lettuce wrapped tacos

Happy barkday Sky

Cardio workout chipper for time

 PKD update, good news & avoiding stress



I made an effort to get on my examiner post early in the week, and I think that was a good move. Something I really want to try and do in the future. This week I posted about the walk for PKD happening in Los Angeles in October. I’m going to get more into posting on examiner in future months, once I get back from vacation especially and moving into 2015.

Los Angeles Walks for PKD


One Little Word 2014 – Thrive

I mentioned a while ago that I wanted to include the OLW posts into project life and never got around to it, I wanted to keep it here so it was in my mind and I could reflect on my word each week and how I’d thrived.

  • Yoga – I managed to get to yoga on Saturday morning, I did some yoga Monday and again on Wednesday. Honestly I’m loving it! 
  • Tracking my food – changed aps and definitely loving the new ap. Nutrition will be key in the future.
  • Drinking more water. Occasionally falling off track, but for the most part hydrating well.
  • figuring out when I am falling into food traps. Preparation is key because I like my cooking quick and easy.
  • Realizing I need meditation or something to chill my brain out. I need to relax and unwind more.

Blog Stats

I thought it would be interesting to share some search terms that people found my blog from, so here are some interesting search stats for the last 7 days:

  • my left arm feels uncomfortable – Bob has been dealing with issues in his shoulder this week. Thinking it’s a trapped nerve or something.
  • burger restaurant menu – all are usually online, google the name of the restaurant and menu.
  • chair workout – I need to do another one of these soon! And yogalates.

And that’s the wrap up for this week! Look for more posts coming soon!

PKD update - good news, and avoiding stress

At the nephrology office, for my PKD visit

Excuse the messy look, I had the first appointment at 8.30am and got stuck in Valley rush hour traffic :(

In the continuing saga of PKD I had a follow up appointment with my nephrologist yesterday and GOOD NEWS, he’s happy with my lab results (below) and my ultrasound. Last visit he mentioned pushing our appointments to 9 months rather than 6 months, and now…. I get to go back to YEARLY check ups. Yay! Unless anything happens, in which case go see him, obviously. I’ve taken a lot of my advice from my last post about PKD and am listening to my body. I try and get vitamin D from the sun, but if I can’t I supplement Vitamin D. In winter I may also top up weekly with a tanning bed session at Golds Gym.

Listening to my body and seeing how I feel daily has been HUGE. I recently posted that I stopped teaching cxworx. I can still do most of the movements, but it varies day to day, and honestly some just aren’t comfortable. As I mentioned for me it’s lying prone spinal extensions. Sometimes that can be quite borderline painful depending on how “lumpy” is feeling on that day. Plus the tempos they want to teach to. I had to make a decision: either give the class up, or teach it half assed with the lightest resistance and not demonstrate some of the movements. If you know me, you know I don’t do half-assed, so I asked Joel if I could switch to a freestyle abs class and he thankfully said yes. I love abs classes, and now I get to do movements from cxworx, pilates, core training, and more. Honestly I feel stronger for it.

One other thing I plan on doing in the future is some relaxation exercises. I’ve been doing more yoga since February, and now I am practicing two sometimes three times a week, but I’m feeling the need for something more. I need my brain to relax, not just my body. I get frustrated, annoyed, stressed and pissed off WAY too easily. Which in turn affects my blood pressure. So, I need to develop a coping mechanism for stress. I’ll be looking into more yoga, or some meditation skills for the future, especially moving into 2015. Suggestions welcome!

  Standard range  Oct 2014 Feb 2014 Sept 2013
BLOOD PRESSURE 120/80  128.85  108/70 124/86
PULSE    68  59  74
 Protein, Urine, QN  <=11    <6  16
 Creatinine, Urine   17.2   32.3  125.5
 MICROALBUMIN/CREATININE  <=29.9  33.1  39  20.0
 Protein/Creatine URINE <=0.19    <=0.19 <=0.19
MICROALBUMIN, UR, QN, DETECTION LIMIT  <=120  5.7  12.6  25.1
 Glucose Neg  neg Neg Neg
 Ketones Neg  neg <10 Neg <10 Neg
 Specific Gravity 1.005 -1.030 1.000  <=1.005 <=1.010
PH 5-8  6.5 7  7
Protein <30  <10 <10  <10
Nitrite Neg  Neg  Neg  Neg
UROBILINOGEN  Neg  Neg  Neg  Neg
BILIRUBIN  Neg  Neg  <0.5 Neg  <0.5 Neg
ALBUMIN 3.3-4.8  3.9 4.5  
Creatinine  <=1.10  1.0  0.9  0.97
BUN <=18  16  19  13
GFR    61  69  63
Vit D3    43  24  
Vit D2    <4  <4  
25-HYDROXYVITAMIN D  30-100  43  24  
 Sodium  135-145  138  140  137
 Potassium  3.5-5.0  4.2  4.6 4.8
 Chloride 101-111  104 106 101
 CO2 21-31  27 30 28
 PHOSPHORUS 2.7-4.5  3.4 3.8  
 CALCIUM 8.5-10.7 9.8  9.5  9.8  
 Cholesterol <=199    156  178
 Trigyceride <=149    50 45
 HDL  >=40    66 76
 LDL  <=99    80 93
 Chol/HDLP  <=4.2    2.4 2.3
 Cholesterol, non-hdl      90 102
 ALT <=54     18
 Bilirubin  <=1.0     1.4


Quick cardio workout for time

quick cardio workout for time 20141015 thumbnail

After last weeks foam rolling workout I went for something short and sweet, with a quick cardio workout for time. I like the short workouts because I get nice and sweaty in a short time and I can do multiple workouts a day. Plus these are great for busy days. The idea for this workout is to go for your best time, obviously trying to keep good technique throughout. For this workout you’ll need a jump rope, kettlebell, medicine ball, and mat. Plus a watch or timer on your phone.  Because I know I’ll get asked the shorts and hat are Champion C9 at Target, the top is Tek gear from Kohls (last year) and the shoes are Brooks pure flow.Remember if you want to get the videos straight away subscribe to my youtube channel!  The full video is below

Workout Breakdown:

We start with 100 JUMP ROPES. Nice and soft on the feet, I’m trying to jump higher so that I can work on my double unders. I’m working on some jump rope workouts too, once I get used to this new jump rope. 

quick cardio workout for time 20141015 jumprope


After the jump rope is 25 KETTLEBELL SWINGS. I am using a 20lb kettlebell for this many reps, if it were fewer reps I might use my 30lb KB. Push through the glutes to drive the kettlebell up. I’m focusing on doing CrossFit style swings ending with the kettlebell all the way overhead at the end. Easier option: Bodyweight squat.

quick cardio workout for time 20141015 kettlebell

Head down to the floor with your medicine ball for 10 WEIGHTED SIT-UPS. Lie back, with arms extended and touch the floor with ball, sit up and touch the toes with the ball. A mat is definitely recommended, unless you’re on carpet. Easier options: No weight, or crunches.

quick cardio workout for time 20141015 sit up

The cardio kicker is 25 BURPEES. Argh! Why did I write down 25? Start with a jump up, bend the knees and bring the hands down to the floor, jump the legs back. Here’s where we do things differently, come all the way down ,chest to the floor, then push up, jump the legs in and jump up. I like clapping the hands overhead… just me ;) Easier options: Step the feet back rather than jump, take out all the jumps up, and/or omit the chest to floor.

quick cardio workout for time 20141015 burpees

 Once the burpees are done come back to 10 WEIGHTED SIT-UPS. This is where we work back up through the exercises to the jump rope.

quick cardio workout for time 20141015 sit up



quick cardio workout for time 20141015 kettlebell


Finishing as we started with 100 JUMP ROPES.quick cardio workout for time 20141015 jumprope

My total time was 7:01 so I plan on doing this workout in two months time to see how I am progressing.

Note your time in the comments, along with weights or modifications.