May 19: Feeling flat … and new nutrition guidelines

It’s amazing how the weather affects my moods. It’s raining, grey and the sky feels like it’s only a few feet off the ground. Do you feel weird when the weather’s less than appealing? Especially when it comes hot on the heels of a lovely day?

Of course, it could also have something to do with the book I’m currently reading, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’m halfway through the story of Theo and it’s quite depressing – a life going, or possibly already gone, off the rails. Maybe I should listen to more of Cary Elwes’ audio book As You Wish, which is his behind the scenes account of the movie, The Princess Bride. I love that film – maybe I should watch it to lift my spirits!

I feel like I’m here, but not here. Know what I mean? I’ll snap out of it when the sun shines again, I’m sure.

My friend Sandra sent me this very funny article yesterday about living in a foreign country and trying to speak the language. Sandra has German, Swiss German, English and Spanish under her belt, so she’s on fire. I’m making limited progress with German and have really no idea what’s being talked about 40% of the time when I hear Swiss German, so I can totally relate to the problems in this story. I had a good laugh … and then gave a hefty sigh, because unfortunately it’s so damn true!

We finished season one of Luther last night, the BBC series starring Idris Elba. I’ve been told seasons two and three are better, thank goodness! That whole storyline with Alice was laughable.

Do you remember growing up seeing posters of the food pyramid (that put fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and grains etc into a graphic) about how much we should eat? If not, have a search on the internet because there are a hundred versions. Actually, no don’t bother with the old one because the new one is more important. Here is Nutrition Australia’s new healthy eating food pyramid. What do you think about the new weightings for foods? Less grains (used to be the bottom layer) and more veggies seems smart, and there’s no section for treats anymore – is that achievable? Maybe only for the dedicated! It’s printed out and stuck on the fridge, as a friendly reminder.

The more research I do, the more I keep seeing/reading that diet is more important than exercise and maybe, just maybe, it’s slowly sinking in. There was definite success on the 5:2 Diet, about 2kgs in four weeks, but I hate counting calories. What a drag! I have to stop eating chips or chocolate biscuits as an after-dinner snack … and don’t get me started on the Berliners! I had just one on the Swiss Camino, on the horrid third day, walking on busy roads. (I suppose one benefit/problem of walking on a busy road is the shops!)

So tonight we’re having couscous with vegetables for dinner and I’ll make a vanilla chia seed pudding for breakfast. The fitfor15in15 exercise today will be 15 minutes of bedtime yoga – my butt injury isn’t fixed, so I’m taking it easy after yesterday’s 4km run.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 30: The knock-on effect

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Yesterday, I horsed around …

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And today I felt quite sheepish 🙂 (Yes, those black dots are sheep!)

I slept the sleep of the slightly sloshed last night and woke up feeling like I’d been on a 10km run. Sheesh, fun has a price, huh?!

Yesterday, before I ran for the bus and had a merry old time, I was having a productive morning in regards to my clothes. In the words of the lovely Ariana from Paris-to-Go, this isn’t a fashion blog, but I like reading about her wardrobe so maybe you might like reading about mine too. Change can be interesting.

I was spurred on by this article on the Becoming Minimalist blog, about people being happier with fewer choices in their closets. A sentence from Drew Barrymore’s blurb really stood out to me.

She mentioned clothes from her 20s were no longer appropriate and I had a sudden flash of a dress I like but don’t wear often because it has several frills on the bottom hem. My mum likes this dress and says the colours suit me, but I’ve only worn it about three times because the frills have always made me feel, well, a bit mutton-dressed-as-lamb-ish. It was no longer age appropriate.

Within seconds of reading Barrymore’s words, I knew what I had to do … I raced down the ladder and grabbed the blunt kitchen scissors and hacked off all the frills. I’ll wear it as a top and love it! Why hadn’t I ever thought of doing that before?! It’s light and cool, and will be a perfect, colourful, cheap, summer addition. I just need to hem it. (Sometimes inspiration strikes when you least expect it, but there’s no chance of me having any inspiration today!) 🙂

Here’s a photo of it without the frill. In my excitement I forgot to take a before photo, because I didn’t think I would even write about it. But I’m really pleased with the result so thought I’d show it off a bit ahahahaha.

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The hacked dress which is now a top

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That’s all the frill I cut off, hanging around the neck. Purple lace – eek!

So there you go.

I met Claudia in town today and we had falafel kebabs for lunch. Poor Claudia, I’m not sure it was what she was hoping to eat, but I had a hankering for something nasty. Drinking has many knock-on effects. I was craving a burger but went for something a little less greasy. That’s being nutritionally fit, don’t you think?!

It’s still afternoon, but I know I’ll be doing bedtime yoga as my fitfor15in15 workout today. I’ve done it a couple of times before and it really is a soothing way to wind down before tripping the light of the tired and not tipsy.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 12: Lorena’s special day and bedtime yoga

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Lorena with her godparents

Today was Leo’s niece and goddaughter’s first communion (her name is Lorena), so we were near Zurich with his family. First up we had the service, then 23 of her nearest and dearest drove to Germany (doesn’t that sound hilarious?! We drove 40 minutes to Germany – still freaks me out) for lunch at an Italian restaurant in Erzingen.

Lorena’s extended family from her father’s side come from Sicily and all the relatives there today were Italian (and still are, surprise surprise!). Hence the choice of this restaurant because they know it has amazing food and brilliant red wine. I’d drive there regularly, too, if we lived so close.

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Lorena in her first communion dress. She looked like a princess

After four hours of eating, we drove home and made a beeline for the couch to watch four more episodes of “The Killing”. It’s now 10.22pm (22.22 for those who like numbers) and I am totally stuffed. Literally and figuratively.

It’s been a great week – I’ve consumed like a queen and been to France and Germany twice – but the time has come to say goodbye to eating whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it, in an attempt to shift a few pesky kilos and try a self experiment to see if food holds more sway than exercise.

Tomorrow I’ll do my first ‘Fast Day’ of the 5:2 Diet, which means I’ll eat 500 calories. Heaven knows what 500 calories looks like (I need to do more research on that) but I think a bowl of homemade natural muesli with seeds, nuts and natural yoghurt for breakfast will be a good start, and whatever lettuce leaves I can scrounge together might make a main meal. 🙂

Would it be superfluous to say I really, really … REALLY … don’t feel like exercising tonight? My body’s a lump of lead. So I’m going to do 15 minutes of bedtime yogaagain! – then send my weary lump to La La Land.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

March 24: No internet = a productive day

We’ve had no internet, home phone or television for the entire day. I’m using the 3G connection on my iPhone as a hot spot so I can write this post! What a bugger of a day it’s been … but wait … no … it hasn’t been annoying at all … because not having the internet … means … it’s been PRODUCTIVE!!!

Things I achieved today without the need for the internet:

  1. Read an entire book in three hours (review to come soon)
  2. Darned holes in two cardigans and one t-shirt (me! Darning!)
  3. Washed all my woolen jumpers
  4. Did a load of normal washing
  5. Searched for the hole where that damned cat keeps going into our roof
  6. Brought the chicken wire from the garage for Leo to put over the hole. Finito!
  7. Swept all the leaves out of the shed and cellar stairs
  8. Collected all the pine cones imbedded in the lawn and threw them into the forest
  9. Kicked and threw balls with my neighbour’s children for 30 minutes
  10. Put bird food in the feeder
  11. Watered all the outdoor plants
  12. Vacuumed the house (including some of the ceilings!)
  13. Cooked dinner

So there you have it. I think there’s more but you get the general gist of things. It was a totally non-stop productive day, and that’s a good feeling. Maybe our communications system should blow up/not work/crap out/stop working more often?

After all that running around in the garden with the kids and picking up all those pine cones (two buckets worth) and leaves (leaves! leaves! It seems like I’m obsessed with leaves!) my fitfor15in15 workout today is going to be bedtime yoga. I’m exhausted and can’t wait to get into bed and listen to a new audio book called As You Wish by Cary Elwes, about the making of one of my favourite movies, The Princess Bride. But for now, some light moves to get me in the listening mood. Bedtime yoga, here I come!

(I wonder how long the box which supplies these three services to our house is going to be broken … this could be a veeeerrrrrryyyyyy interesting week!)

Wishing you a wonderful day.