Talk: It’s Important in Your Relationship

Talk: It's important for your relationship
Talk: It’s important in your relationship

Talk is important

My other half and I have been lacking a bit in the sack recently. We were trying to figure out why. He’d been doing some research on the matter because it  became a problem for us. He suggested we talk candidly. Since it was only me that wasn’t getting my fill I thought it originally was his technique. He came up with a few ideas to spice it up one of them being an open relationship, or becoming swingers, the other was getting a third-party in who can show him a thing or two.

Continue reading “Talk: It’s Important in Your Relationship”

12 Week Transformation Challenge Day 7

It’s challenge day 7

It’s challenge day 7, which means results day. As I said in my previous post I’m feeling quietly confident, but before we get into that let’s talk about the day. So water intake 4L, Healthy Meals 2, shakes 0, supplements all except MANA, and my active fibre. Oops.

What did I eat?

Break-Fast… hubby bought me breaky in bed, so I had a croissant with ham and Cheese and a coffee. That was at like 7am in the morning. Morning snack was fruit toast, lunch was my purple slaw in a wrap, and dinner was at mum and dads. Pork belly with roast potatoes, roast pumpkin, roast carrot, and a salad. I don’t know if I kept under my calories today, but as long as I’m in deficit by the end of the week it will all be ok.

Results

So now’s the exciting thing… results

Workouts: 4x this week,

Measurements:

  • -3cm in the hips
  • -0cm in bust
  • -1cm in thighs
  • -0cm in arms
  • -2kg

Looks like it’s paying off. Without counting calories and only doing 30 min workouts every second day.

Let’s tailor it a bit more

I’m going to try and tailor it a bit more, herbalife have a meeting every Thursday in Perth, WA that has an Omron Scale with sensors that go all over the body, it’s quite an accurate scale that runs electric currents through your body while you stand on it barefoot and then reads the impulses to measure body density. Bones, muscles, organs and fat all have different densities, because they are made up of different cells.

The electric impulses read the density of the parts of the body it hits, and then sends the figures to a computer. This results in a rather accurate estimation as to body fat, muscle and bone percentages in your body. The computer program then compares them to the average population, and prints out a results page including diagrams. This will tell me my maintenance calorie level, my basal metabolic rate, my metabolic age in comparison to my actual age, and my body fat percentage in different areas of my body. It can also tell me if my bone density is a bit low etc. I can then read it, and make changes to what I am currently doing, or a Herbie-coach can give me a guide as to what I need to do to change the levels and get them where I want them. Hence tailoring my program just a little bit more to maximise results.

Enough about results let’s wrap it up.

So now I’m going to wrap it up. What were my wins for challenge day 7. I took all my supplements. Win. I ate two healthy meals. Win. I drank all my water. Win. I wrote this blogpost. Win. I have results heading toward my goal. Super Win

Remember it’s the little achievements that make it work.

I believe in you.

x Ali x

12 Week Transformation Challenge Day 6

It’s challenge day 6

Well it’s challenge day 6 and boy do I have a thing or two to confess, hubby came home today so no workout today 🙁 I did do the intermittent fasting thing though, successfully again today. Didn’t eat til 11am, finished eating at 7pm. Although I didn’t get any of my water down either :-(.

Tomorrow is results day. I have to admit I’m quietly confident, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m trying to find the tape measure as I type, and am finding it quite unsuccessful.

Now Let’s talk about Poor Posture

Did you know poor posture can alter your digestion, circulation, and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease? It’s so easy to fix, once you find the issues. For example I have an anterior pelvic tilt (meaning the bottom of my pelvis is tilted backwards, increasing the curvature in my back and giving me a bit of a duck tail) , rounded shoulders and uneven hips. I get shoulder pain, stiff neck, and a sore lower back, when I was pregnant I also had issues with my hips.

I’ve been trying to stretch out my shoulders as my shoulders are rounded and scooped forward, therefore stiffening my neck, because it’s being held forward, tightening my traps, increasing the curvature in my lower back and giving me very very poor posture, which is causing me an unending lists of aches and pains.

If we look at his anatomically, my shoulder pain is due to the fact I am tight in my chest, which is pulling my shoulders forward and stretching my traps , my stiff neck is due to the fact my neck is having to hold my head up and forward, my lower back is sore because it’s overly curved to compensate for the anterior tilt in my pelvis, and my hip flexors are tight due to whatever it was that caused my pelvis to tilt (most likely due to sitting). Because my hip flexors are tight, my hamstrings are being stretched around my pelvis, making them feel tight.

So what do I have to do to fix it?

Well first things first, I need to stretch out the tight muscles, ie: my hip flexors and my chest. So there’s one stretch I’m focusing on for my chest. Basically I have to pull my arms straight out to my sides, keep them shoulder height, shoulders back and down away from the ears, hands palm forward, thumbs up and back. Now pinch the shoulder blades and keep trying to get your thumbs back as far as you can. Ensure to keep your shoulders away from the ears. You should feel it in the underarm and around the upper back.

Next is my hip flexors, I’ve been given a stretch that I find super painful, but I’m sure it’s working. I have to get on my knees, back to a wall. I need to put one of my shins up hard against the wall so the sole of my foot is facing my bottom, then I need to plant my other foot on the floor, and straighten up at the waist, pushing my shin into the wall, squeezing my glutes and pushing my pelvis forward. It works the quads first, which due to the pelvic tilt, are a bit short, and then once they are stretched enough it’ll hit the hip flexors on the leg against the wall. Hold for 20 seconds, then swap. It might be good to have something soft under the knee that’s against the wall.

Simultaneously with stretching the short muscles I need to strengthen the over-extended muscles, or the muscles that work negatively to the short ones. The muscles that work negatively to the hip flexors is the hamstrings and the glutes, the muscles that work negatively to the chest are the traps and the other muscles in the upper back, underarms, and the scapular muscles. So basically after stretching out the shortened muscles, we need to strengthen the muscles that work negatively, so they can pull everything back into place and keep it there, keeping the currently short muscles at the correct length.

Shall we get back to my day?

Ok so after that short anatomy lesson let’s talk about what I ate today.
So for break-fast (at 11am) I had some of my purple slaw in a wrap with 2 boiled eggs. Simple and super nutritious. I’m out of shake, so I couldn’t have that. I took all my supplements except my MANA supplement. I also had a coffee with hilo (aka half and half) milk. For my snack I had some Raisin toast, with butter.

For dinner I had a butter chicken curry that I made with store bought butter chicken simmer sauce, steamed vegetables and diced skinless chicken breast. I served it with one and a half slices of garlic Naan, instead of rice. It was yummo.

What are my wins?

My Wins for challenge day 6 are: Intermittent fasting was successful. I broke my fast at 11am, and finished eating before 7pm. Win. I ate 2 healthy meals. Win. I took all my supplements. Win. And Hubby is home. Win. Remember it’s the little wins that will get you through.

I believe in you

x Ali x

12 Week Transformation Challenge Day 5

Ali’s 12 Week Transformation challenge day 5

It’s Challenge day 5, one of my best days yet. I stuck to my ‘Intermittent Fasting’  time frame I gave myself (11am-7pm), I did manage to get my workout done, I ate 2 healthy meals, and I drank my 4L water for the day. Hooray!

What were my Challenges?

Well I was up at 7am due to my little one, although this was a bit of a sleep in for her. So waiting for 11am to come around took FOREVER. Obviously little miss gets fed way before 11am, otherwise that would be irresponsible of me.

My second challenge day 5? What do I break my fast with? I’m out of Shakes, and I’m waiting on delivery of my new shake. I’m wanting  to break my fast with a nutrient overload of amazing antioxidants, vitalizing vitamins and,… minerals (I didn’t have a word I could alliterate with minerals). So I decided while I wait for 11am, I’m going to go through my fridge and grab all the salad veges I can, and make a ‘slaw. So it’s red cabbage, green cabbage , beetroot, celery, cucumber, and even a little apple, all finely sliced, or grated into my slaw.

Then there’s the dressing… what to use in the dressing? Whole Egg Mayo, a little yoghurt, and I’m thinking some kind of Vinegar… French Bistro Vinaigrette. Put it all together and what do I get? A creamy, purple ‘slaw. It tastes pretty good, but I reckon I need to change the dressing a bit. and it would have been really yummy if I had some carrot, and some radish.

My next challenge day 5? What to have with the slaw? Egg? 2 boiled eggs, ok so I go ahead and boil my eggs, and then smush them up in some mayo like I was making an egg sandwich, and plonk it on top. It’s now just past 11am. YAY, on goes the coffee machine, in goes the coffee with Hilo (aka. half and half) milk but no sugar,  serve it all up, stick it down my gullet and TADA! Fast broken.

How Do I keep the calorie intake at 1700 (aka: 6800 kilojoules)

Well I only have 8 hours to eat, so keeping the calories where I want them is not that hard. I’m trying to fit up to 3 meals in 8 hours. At this stage I’m only eating 2 meals, so that’s two meals of 850 calories each. Not so hard is it, When I get my shakes back it’ll only be one solid meal, the rest of my meals will be liquid. One shake with skim milk is approximately 205 Cal (or for us Aussies and NZ 820 kilojoules), I’m using Hilo, so I’m gonna say 1 shake is approximately 305 Kcal (1220 kilojoules), or if I choose to make my shake with water it’s only like 100 Kcal (400 kilojoules), that’ll still give me plenty of play for my one or so meal of the day.

Dinner was a delicious Maggie Beer Recipe, crispy skinned Salmon with a butterbean and garlic salad. Yummy

My tip to you

If you’re a grazer type, remove all sweets and high energy foods from your fridge and pantry, have things like Hummus, Celery Sticks, salt free nut butters, carrot sticks, capsicum (aka: Bell peppers) and fruit like Bananas and Apples there instead. Don’t have store bought juice in your fridge, if you’re going to drink juice, do it the freshly squeezed way.  Try to avoid bread if you can, or go for the low joule breads like Wraps, Naan, Turkish etc.. instead of your traditional white breads.

What were the wins of the day?

Now time for me to go through my wins. Intermittent fasting. Win, Water intake: 4L. Win, Healthy meals in the day: 2. Win. Workout: A Hardcore no equipment cardio based at home workout, I sweat more than I had for any of the other Workouts this week. Win. Supplements: All except MANA. Win. Blogpost: Yes. Win.

Remember it’s the little wins that get you through. I believe in you

x Ali x

Cheap Healthy Eats

Cheap and Healthy Eats
Cheap Healthy eats

Cheap and healthy don’t often fall in the same sentence.

Many people believe it isn’t possible to achieve cheap healthy eats, but it’s all about shopping smart.

I’m lucky, I live in a semi-rural suburb on the outskirts of the metro area, we have little growers markets popping up everywhere. This is where you get the cheap healthy foods, growers markets and farmers markets, not your local supermarket. The local supermarket wants to make the biggest profit possible. They buy the cheapest product available (and rip the farmers off in the meantime) and then charge you at least one and a half times cost price to take it off their shelves, and we are happy to pay for it. Why? Because it’s convenient. Continue reading “Cheap Healthy Eats”

12 Week Transformation Challenge Day 4

Ali’s 12 Week Transformation Challenge

It’s challenge day 4 and I’m on my last shake. How? I was drinking the shake at least a week before I started the Challenge, and there’s only 20 serves per cannister. That is equal to 10 days of two shakes a week. I made it to 11 days. I have a confession to make,  before I started the challenge I wasn’t as vigilant, hence why I needed to set up a challenge.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest let me tell you about my day. Well I was naughty, I didn’t get my workout in. and I don’t think I got my calories in either. I thought I’d give myself a shot at Intermittent Fasting, because I’ve been doing some research, and all the ladies that have given themselves a name due to their athletic figure, or have competed in bodybuilding contest all do it with amazing results. So I thought I’d give it a try.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t intend to compete…

However I am going to try out a 16 hour fast per day, most of that 16 hours I’m sleeping. Basically when I wake up I don’t break the fast til about midday, and I only give myself 8 hours to eat my calories. I can have a coffee in the morning when I first wake up, without milk or sugar, or, in my case, I can have the Herbalife Green tea and all my supplements before 12 but otherwise nothing but water until midday. If you’re not doing herbalife or coffee, you can do a green tea with a squeeze of lemon, or any tea without milk.

So I tried that, and I didn’t break my fast until midday, in which case I broke it with a Herbalife shake with only water and my MANA supplement, and a piece of banana cake, with butter, my little one didn’t want it so I ate it instead.

A couple hours later I had a snack of 2 boiled eggs and baby spinach, dressed with a little french vinaigrette.

12 Week Transformation Challenge
2 Boiled Eggs, baby spinach and a french vinaigrette

2 hours later I had another Herbalife shake. This time I had with HiLo (or half and half) milk instead of water. The formula measure was a little scant, because it was the last of my shake, so I decided to add the milk. It’ll add a little extra protein, and therefore stave off my hunger a bit.

Heres the reason I didn’t do my workout…

I went to my Mum and Dad’s after lunch but before dinner. When I got there I filled up on celery, hummus, carrot sticks, kalamata olives, aged cheddar cheese and some amazingly delicious sunflower seeds and cranberry wheat biscuits. I ate a huge portion of this little packet of biscuits, probably about 10 or 11 from a 20 pack. Kudos to me cause I still got all my eating done before 8pm, my cutoff for the fast. Double Kudos cause when I think about it maybe I did get all my calories in. We all filled up on this little tapas. None of us had dinner, and I still got home too late to do my workout.

What are the wins?

Challenge day 4 has had a few wins. Intermittent fasting first day went well. I still ate at least 1 healthy meal throughout the day. We can call it two (it’s not like the tapas was all bad either). I drank all 4L of water. I still had my two shakes. And I wrote this Blogpost.

Don’t forget, it’s the little things that make all the difference. I believe in you

xAlix

 

12 Week Transformation Challenge Day 3

It’s challenge day 3

I can’t believe it’s already Ali’s 12 week transformation challenge day 3! Thats gone super quick. I’m finding my biggest issue at the moment is that I’m not eating enough calories… WHAT? you ask, the less calories the better right? WRONG… I need to eat enough calories per day to stop my metabolism from slowing down.

Yep I do, even the Intermittent fasters still eat a minimum amount of calories per day. So how do I do this…you guessed it, small frequent snacking. I need to eat at least a minimum of 1000 Calories per day, that’s half an adults daily intake, and less than half my daily intake.

What do you mean less than half YOUR daily intake?

I’m glad you asked, well everybody has their own BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate, this is basically the minimum amount of calories you burn per day while you are resting. This is calculated by some complex calculations involving your height in feet and inches and your weight in pounds, your gender, and your age. I didn’t do the calculations myself, I used an online calculator, they are everywhere.

So my BMR is approximately 1,782 calories per day, then I add my general activity levels and I get … 2300+ calories as my maintenance level, this means I need to take in less then 2300 calories per day to lose weight, but equal or more than 1782 calories per day to keep my metabolism at its current level. Continue reading “12 Week Transformation Challenge Day 3”

Greed: The Root of all Evil?

Greed
Greed

Greed

I used to think that if there was no such thing as money, all the world’s problems would be fixed. I now look back and think that was a very naive ideal. Greed is the root of all evil, not just money. Let us think way back when there was no such thing as currency. When everyone would trade with one another.

“Winter is coming, and you don’t appear to have anything warm to wear, I’ll give you my hand woven Llama wool blanket, wool jacket and these handmade leather shoes if you give me one of your many young nanny goats. I shall use her milk to feed my family for years to come”.

It seems like a fair trade right? The Clothes trader can always make more clothes for himself with his Llama’s wool, and the goat trader can always breed more goats for himself. The goat trader still has the option to use one of his other nanny goats for milk to feed his own family for years to come. Continue reading “Greed: The Root of all Evil?”

12 Week Transformation Challenge Day 2

It’s Day 2 of ‘Ali’s 12 Week Transformation Challenge’

It’s challenge day 2 and so far I’ve been doing really well. I did my stretching exercise today. An inclusive hour of breathing, stretching and relaxation through Yoga. I have a set routine that I follow every second day. A .pdf will go up on the extra links page of the blog shortly. I drank 3L of water, took all my supplements, and made a healthy snack and a healthy meal.

What did I eat?

Well for breakfast it was all the morning supplements and a (Dutch chocolate) Herbalife shake, made with water. I added my MANA supplement and a shot of coffee. It was delish

My Morning snack was a quick and easy boiled egg on a bed of baby spinach with a yummy vinaigrette dressing, and a Herbalife Green Tea. Although alternatively you can have normal green tea with lemon, it offers similar benefits.

12 Week Transformation Challenge Day 2
Boiled Egg on a bed of Baby Spinach with a French Vinaigrette

Lunch was another Herbalife Shake, made with water, but this time I added fresh mint leaves, giving me a delicious choc-mint shake, mmm yummy.

I had another Herbalife Green Tea between lunch and dinner, and then for dinner I had Roast Chicken Salad with Creamy Mayo dressing. The roast chicken was a store bought quick boneless roast, so no recipe available, just a picture.

12 Week Transformation Challenge day 2
Roast Chicken Salad with Mayo dressing

Last but not least a Herbalife green tea after dinner. Oh yeah and 3L of water throughout the day. I was aiming for 4, but I didn’t quite get there.

Where am I struggling?

Well so far it’s just my water intake, although I do struggle with creativity in regards to my meals. I struggle to think of the next snack option, or the next dinner option. All my workouts tend to have to be done once the little one is in bed, hence why they are so short. That’s not that big an issue, but it might become an issue for working mothers or people with older children.

How do I feel so far?

Well for me, every day down is another accomplishment, and then there’s the part where I write about it, every day I can get that done is another accomplishment.

Little wins are the best way, I’ve completed my workout for the day. Win. I’ve eaten another healthy meal for the day. Win. I’ve drank my 3L minimum water for the day. Win. I’ve had more than one green tea for the day. Win. I’ve taken all my supplements for the day. Win.

When you look at the challenge as a bunch of tiny achievements, it’s much easier to keep your mind on the task. Apart from that little sense of accomplishment you get from making your life healthier, you get to eventually reap the reward of shrinking cm’s, stronger muscles, better posture, and confidence

If you’re doing this with me, keep at it. I believe in you

x Ali x

Be Mindful: It can change your life

What does it mean to be mindful?

Mindfullness is an awareness of where you belong in the world and where you belong in the universe. It’s an awareness of humans and their effect on the world around you, your individual effect on the world around you, and your individual effect on YOUR world.

To be Mindful is to consciously make decisions to change the world for the better. For example buying only organic produce, or choosing to consume free range eggs. Choosing to go vegetarian or vegan, or simply giving thanks before you eat. It could be buying second hand, recycling, donating, boycotting businesses that use slave labour etc. It could be showing compassion, being non-judgmental, or simply being grateful for what you have.

What are Mindful practices?

All of these things are mindful practices, because you are aware of the state of the world and you are consciously making decisions to make it better. You are trying to make you better.

Try to add mindful practices into your life; Invest mindfully, make sure you do the research on the investment opportunity. Try to ensure you invest in things that are adding to the good of the world. Consume mindfully, research the company, choose to buy locally, read the labels, meditate, try not to judge, be aware of the goings on in the wider world. Research the reasons behind the politics. Show your children love, compassion, empathy, gratitude and generosity.

How?

I recently read a post on being mindful, and I found an easy to follow Mindfulness infographic showing how you can increase mindfulness in your everyday life. Check it out below

How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life #infographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan