because life in a nutshell is boring

Month: November, 2012


So I have done some research today into the first leg of our journey.. The Milford Track. I am beginning to think that maybe I should have looked at this earlier, say before I agreed, given what I have found out/been told just recently.

It snowed in Queenstown on the weekend. In November, our last month of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Snow. I also read today to expect at least one day to be wet. Wet. Those are two things I don’t generally work well with, being cold and wet. But I will have to get over that. I will pack my thermals and hire wet weather gear and pray it stays dry!

Food cannot be purchased along the way, but must be packed in advance. This is okay, and understandable. But when trying to think of thins to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that are not needing refridgeration (mind you, with the snow and all anything cold should be fine!), relatively light (since I will have everything in my pack on my back), and for me – nutritious and “clean”.  This was a little challenge, but I came up with the following:

Day 1

Snack: Corn Thins/Ryvitas with PB & Apple

Dinner: Something Precooked

Snack: Dark Chocolate & nuts


Day 2

Breakfast: Boiled Eggs on Rye bread & banana & coffee

Snack: Gerkins? & Cheese

Lunch: Salami & Cheese Sandwhich

Snack: Protein Shake & PB Corn Thin/Ryvita

Dinner: Salmon & Rice & Beans

Snack: Dark Chocolate & nuts


Day 3

Breakfast: Breakfast: Oats with cinnamon/stevia/seeds & banana & coffee

Snack: Protein Shake and Nuts

Lunch: Tuna Sandwich

Snack: Apple & Cheese

Dinner: Couscous with salami & SD toms & beans

Snack: Dark Chocolate & nuts


Day 4

Breakfast: Oats with cinnamon/stevia/seeds & banana & coffee

Snack: Boiled Eggs & Carrot

Lunch: Tuna/cheese sandwich

I am also thinking I will make some protein bars/cookies before we leave. Everything will be packed in portion sizes, in order not to take too much. Nuts will be a go to if I get peckish. I am currently unsure if the rest of the family will do the same plan as me, but I am open to suggestions.

Oh here is a look-see at the map for the trek. The first day we only walk for about an hour. The remaining days we walk for about 6. I am really looking forward to it, despite my little complain about the snow and wet. It is meant to be one of the best walks to do, and has spectacular views.

Milford Track Map

So my questions today are:

– Do you have experience in trekking and have recommendations for necessary items for me?

– How does my food list sound?

1 Week until our adventure begins!


RAW food – Cashew Nut Tart

Just a quick post to share with you the amazing-ness I discovered last night in RAW food.

That’s right, raw, uncooked, unbaked… Food in it’s amazing simply natural state. I am yet to research all the benefits of raw food, but my limited understanding is that when food is in this untampered state it has all its nutrition and enzymes in tact that help our bodys digest it. Cooking food also changes the chemical balance in our food which can limit our body’s ability to defend against acid-forming toxins, free-radicals and posions.

By no means do I have a comprehension of all of the benefits, nor do I follow a raw food diet, but I do genuinely value the importance of feeding our bodies with the best food choices in order to gain and maintain a healthy life.  If you are interested in broadening your understand of the value of raw food eating, check out this site!

Now back to this tart.

I’m not sure that I have share with you about my hulk-like behaviour or emotional instability that comes when I eat sugar? Well – I won’t go into detail, since I feel those two adjectives depict it enough at this point, but I have been purposeful in eliminating as much processed food and refined sugars from my diet as possible. So when asked (or I volunteer as in this case) to bring dessert, this can lead me quite stumped. I love baking and making delicious goodies, but I know am understanding my body more and recognise that those things are not only not fueling my body, but they are also destroying my consistency and stability that I see as so important in my life.

I was exploring the Blog-osphere the other day and stumble upon an amazing raw food blog, This Rawsome Vegan Life. It was eye opening to the possibilities of raw food (cooking?) eating.. And Em has just taken dessert making to a whole nother level! We ate this Cashew Nut Tart, free of guilt or heaviness that can come from eating a sugar-laden cooked dessert and had a satisfaction that I personally had never experienced after eating dessert. Below is the remains, after the four of us had 2 serves of the tart each – I highly recommend you try out the recipe and explore Em’s blog. 

I think we were all being polite by not finishing the tart.. but then again we were all so satisfied by it we could leave it.


This Baker has a new lease of love in this! I am so keen to try out some more of Em’s recipes!

Location Location

I always feel much more motivated when the sun is shining. Yesterday it hid behind clouds for most of it.. reminds me of that waaay old Kate Spence song “Even on a rainy day, the sun still lives above the clouds”… so Sir and I decided to get outdoors regardless of the weather – lucky enough the sun came out just in time for our afternoon workout! 🙂

We headed down to the beautiful King Edward Park with our new speed ropes in search of a ledge .. breathtaking..

Location location: Workout with a view!

Our workout was from the lovely blogger Vanilla Lean Bean, she has heaps of great workout and health tips – you should totally check out her blog! The workout we did consited of 5 Rounds for time of 10 Box Jumps, 1 Minute skipping, 10 Burpees. My challenge, I set myself, was to complete it in under 12 minutes. SUCCESS! i did it in 11.18 🙂

We then went on and did 50m runs and push up pyramid for 10 minutes. I sprinted my last run so Sir would have only beaten me by 12 pushups, but when he saw me go for it he finished his 12 pushups and sprinted as well! So that meant he beat me by 12 pushups and 50m! I love having that little bit of competition, he is generally going to be stronger and faster than me, but I sure make him work for it!

Sir and I were knackered after our 50 minutes, and had burned a nice 415 calories with our walk to/from park and HIIT work. I love me a quick, effective WOD! We are heading back to the park today to do another workout together!

In other exciting news – with no uni, I had time to  make a beautiful Paleo Apple Crisp! The Paleo Mum has tonnes of amazing Paleo recipes, I look forward to trying more! Additionally exciting, we got to share the crisp with our lovely friends and meet their sweet new little Bear. I love special times like those!

I realise I am yet to update you on my bootcamp goals. I did attempt to do them, however that was about an hour after bootcamp on Saturday and I was fried! I did a 2:10 minute plank (about a 40 second improvement), I did 22 pushups (last time was 10, goal was 20), I couldn’t do my squat hold or the hill runs, and I did 18 burpees, so an improvement of 1! I definately feel stronger and fitter, both physically and mentally and looking forward to continuing to work hard while we are overseas!

Does the warmer, sunny weather make you want to get outdoors?

Goals, goals, goals…

I am pretty good at setting myself some pretty challenging and optimistic goals. Something I am yet to master is to break the goal down into managable strategic actions that will assist me in meeting my goals.

I am sure we have all heard and been through the topic of setting SMART goals. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. While this is all great in theory, I generally find it hard in practice. I find in order to make something quite large achievable, I need to break it down and have mini goals.

In the last few weeks alone I have set myself some goals, one lot is simple enough, one that will be a massive feat of physical and mostly mental strength, and one that might just be silly because of just how physically challenging it will be, but all I believe are acheivable.

Here goes.

Simple: The goals I set at the start of Bootcamp. I haven’t specifically been working on improving my 1 min max reps, but I do think that by doing bootcamp 2-3 times per week over the last 5 weeks I will see the significant improvement I wanted to. I am going to test myself out tonight hopefully and let you know my results!

Massive: This one is massive for me. I have registered to do the Sparke Helomre Triathlon. No Olympic distance of anything.. but a challenge for me. It will be a 500m swim, 20km bike ride and 5 km run. my friend from uni, Jenna convinced me to do this bigger one than the one I was going to do that seemed much more managable. But hay, “what’s the worst that can happen?” she said, “you have to walk some of your run” – and she is right, that’s not a big deal. So the Sparke Helmore is on the 17th March, which means I have exactly 8 weeks to train from when I get home from my holiday. I have a training program already which should prepare my sufficiently to finish the tri 🙂 only time will tell.

Silly: So the most recent and probably crazy goal I set myself just last night is to be able to do a handstand pushup. I should probably aim to do a set of 5, but for now, one will be enough. I have been researching different progressions to build up my strength and skill to do them, and I think this one will be the best. Using this one, the mini goals are already set for me, I just need to set myself a time frame for each goal and get to it!

Mini goal 1: 20 strict push-up. I will do these as hand release to ensure that I am getting the depth I need to build my strength. I would be pretty close to being able to do this. I will test myself out tonight (when I see how many I can do in a minute – I will try and do 20 unbroken). If I can’t do them just yet, I won’t be far off, so 1-2 weeks of practice should do the job 🙂

Mini goal 2: Hand stand hold for 60 seconds. I think I will work on this one simultaneously with my push ups, given that I can already get up. So I will aim to be able to do this within 2 weeks.

#Proof I can do a handstand 🙂

There are more mini goals within the progression, but for now, those are the ones I will focus on and should be ready to look at whats next by the time we leave for our holiday!

Baked Oatmeal

Oats are my staple breakfast. I seriously cannot get enough of them or get over them or get bored with them. They are like that perfect dress that can be dressed up with a pair of heels and the right accessories, or dressed down with a pair of flats and topknot. Oats are just that versatile that I could eat them every morning and then some. the otehr day I had them for breakfast and for lunch!

Sometimes I will cook them the night before, and keep them in the fridge to eat cold the next morning. Sometimes I will cook them fresh in the morning and they will be creamy and warm. Sometimes I will mix them with seed and coconut and not cook them at all, but soak them in almond milk overnight. Sometimes they will be chocolate with peanut butter, somtimes they will just be peanut butter. Sometimes they will be cinnamon topped with banana, or with blueberries stirred through. I have even gotten really creative at times and made raspberry cheesecake oats or apple pie oats (this is my latest obsession!). Basically they can be anything you want them to be! And that’s why I love them so.

Last night I felt inspired after I did my groceries and washed and chopped veggies to juice in the morning. I have had a headcold since Friday and I need to kick it to the curb. I always get a massive boost when I have fresh juice in the morning, plus its an awesome way to get some veggies in me when all I feel like (and have been eating) is bread! Another bonus was that lots of veggies that I love to use in my juice were on special last night. This mornings concoction was cucmuber, carrot, celery, kale, ginger, lemon and a splash of apple cider vinegar.. delish!

mmmm. veggies in a juice.

So back to last night’s inspiration. I have seen many versions of baked oatmeal on the many many blogs I follow, but never had I ventured to make it. Last night I just decided to mix it up a little and see just how versatile my oats could be. I didn’t look at a recipe, I just went with my normal kind of ingredients and baked them… as follows:


1 cup rolled oats

1 cup almond milk (unstweetened)

6 egg whites

1 apple chopped

cinnamon (i use HEAPS)

sprinkle of stevia


Pre-heat oven to 180’C. Chop apple and in oven-proof glass dish mix in with cinnamon & stevia. Add oats, egg whites, milk and stir. I added a few blueberries, which next time I will throw the whole punnet in because they were amazing! Then sprinkle some more cinnamon over the top and put in pre-heated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Store in fridge. This amount will probably feed me for 3-4 mornings.

I ate mine this morning, a little heated, with a big dollop of greek yoghurt and a drizzle of rice malt syrup (you could use honey) and it was delicious!

I highly recommend you try this out 🙂

What is your go to breakfast?

Baker Family Holiday

So first of all, I must apologise for my absence over the last couple of weeks. There are two reasons for this – being busy with my last two uni exams, on top of life in general. And secondly, I hit a little dry spot, not really knowing what to talk to you about! Now that uni is out of the way, and I am (alomst) recovered from my headcold, I realised I have the headspace to tell you about the holiday Sir and I will be departing on in just 16 Days!!!

Sir finished uni (specifically, his Masters in Architecture) this time last year.. We had been planning to holiday in Vietnam and surrounds. But firstly, I had been made redundant earlier that year, so financially it just didn’t fit, and secondly Sir’s family organised our annual Baker Family holiday to charter a yacht in the Whitsunday’s. We got our scales out and weighed up the option of paying for our own holiday in Vietnam, or being blessed by the generousity of Mum & Dad Baker and only paying our airfares to QLD. We went with the latter… and it didn’t disappoint…

Abel Point Marina


Whitehaven Beach ❤

Sunset @ Blue Pearl Bay

Sir & I

So the reason the Baker family Holiday is in topic is beacuse that is where we are commencing our 7 week long adventure. This year our setting is trekking the Milford Track on the South Island of New Zealand. We will be in Queenstown from the 1st December until the 9th December, and the trek is about 4 days, somewhere in the middle of that. Dad Baker has done all the bookings, so I don’t really have the details, I just have been told that it could snow. hmm.. I feel I was under-informed as to what to expect, unsure I will be able to give you exact details as we go, but I can update once we return to Auckland, before we head to the USA!

So on the 9th December we fly Auckland to Los Angeles, pick up a car and start our 2 week drive up the west coast.. We only have an inkling to just how great this will be.. We have a few planned stopped along the way, including Big Sur, Hearst Castle, Monteray Bay.. We will spend a few days in San Fransisco before driving inland to stop in at Bethel Church in Redding. Then onto Seattle to spend a few days exploring there.

From Seattle we fly to Calgary, Canada, which we are very excited to spend Christmas with Sir’s Aunty, Uncle and cousins.. I have not met them yet, but have been in touch over Facebook. I am thoroughly looking forward to spending a few days with them, and experiencing my first white Christmas…

This was from a couple of weeks ago – forecast is worse now.. I’m confident there will be snow by December!

From Calgary we head to New York for a week over New Years. Crazy, I know. We have booked a little (by little, I mean TINY) studio apartment in Greenwhich Village. 

From there to Chicago for a few days.. and beyond that we actually haven’t booked anything! Thinking Cancun, Mexico in order to thaw out.. and we will do a few days in LA at the end of our trip too.

So that’s our trip in a nutshell. I am hoping I will do as wonderful a job as our friends Elyse & Drew did in keeping you part of the Journey!

The Art of Monitoring

So yesterday I received my new Polar Heart Rate Monitor in the mail… I had purchased it with my hard earned frequent flyer points…I was super excited to test it out, lucky I had Bootcamp on in the afternoon.
Bootcamp this week was intense. “Sir” and I do both Wednesday and Thursday sessions. On Wednesday we did Tabata of the following (have inserted my score for each too – your score is the least number of reps you get out in any of the 8 sets).
Burpees 7
Lunges 13
Sit-ups 12
Squats 16
Push-ups 9The push-ups were terribly hard by the end of it, given that everything had been given to the exercises before. But Tabata in itself is an awesome way to smash out a quick workout. It is 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest for 8 rounds, so that is 4 minutes all up. So we did 20 minutes of HIIT work, and the best part was I was only competing with myself, to make sure I didn’t drop any reps each round.
Thursday we actually did the same thing, but I could feel my body was sore so I didn’t push as hard. I dropped a set or two off the score from the day before, so I was still happy with that. We did the push-ups first, so I actually did them on my toes and got a similar score to the day before when I had done them on my knees! I need to keep working on those!
So back to my HR monitor. I have been seeing the other “fitness” bloggers post their awesome workouts with their calories burned, all recorded on their HRM’s. I had been thinking I would love to be able to keep record and have a range of intesity to meet etc. I decided to go with Polar since I have heard so many good reports about them. I went with the FT60, which is the model that sets weekly targets etc. So far, I am super happy with it. The strap iscomfy, the watch is easy to navigate and I think the data output was accurate.

Super hot at Bootcamp!

I will keep you updated on how it goes for me 🙂