WARRIOR WORKOUT.

January 25, 2011 § 4 Comments

You’re approaching the base of a steep, perilous incline and are already a lather from a lengthy bout of cardio. This hill separates you from magnificent view of the ocean, or your front door and a stein of icy-cold lemon water, as may also be the case.

Warrior Fodder

You could trudge up it’s face, like a worn-out mutt, feet dragging, the burn of lactic acid slowly dissipating as you amble upwards at snails pace.

Or, you could take stand. Pick a post that marks your imaginary starting line. Suck some fresh air into your deflated lung-sacs and squint with steely conviction at the summit.

Growl.

Louder!

Head down, take it on. Run, push, whatever it takes to get there. Reaching the top, you shed a pain-induced tear or two.

Congratulations, you have passed stage 1 of Warrior initiation. Feel free to beat chest heroically.

You see, ever since I bought my vibrams last year, I’ve been known to sporadically take a flying leap, veer off the footpath, and blaze my own trail. These babies take you places you’ve never been before. Like the park down my street. Who’d have thought?

It’s a glorious thing to wear these flimsy little rubber socks (because that’s essentially what they are), feel every rock and stick underfoot (watch where you’re running!) and connect more with the ground than if you were gliding along on $300 worth of Nike air.

This podiatry freedom combined with other external influences has led me to rethink the basics of how we ‘work out’. How natural is it to head to the gym, spend 30 minutes going nowhere on a big hunk of plastic, alongside another 10, zoned out with earphones in and timing your distance, pace and calories burned, to a hundredth of a percent? How natural is it to knuckle down and run around your neighborhood at a steady pace for 10kms without any bursts of speed, explosive movement, or variation in route? Are we really meant to allocate 1 hour each day for the sole purpose of completing a set fitness regime without an ounce of exertion for the other 23?

Of course not. Look at children. They run everywhere. They are playful, energetic, restless. Similarly, before the world was so industrialized, people would have had no need for dedicated workout time. Rather, ploughing, walking miles and miles to deliver goods/communications, lifting, chopping, staving-off bears/gypsies/demons would have provided them with ample exercise, and worthwhile exercise at that. They would have been lean, mean, and mighty keen (if only for the sake of the rhyme).

I know these activities are convenient in a modern world, and we all do them (I obviously go to the gym, run monotonous km’s and participate in disengaged exercise on a regular basis) but perhaps we should rethink how we execute our activity so it is more fun/variable/intense? Because, as I always ask myself, WWBGD?

What would Bear Grylls do, indeed.

The new folk I work with are likewise inspiring me to rethink the way I ‘do’ exercise. These guys are fierce. Like, Tyra-Banks-ain’t-seen-nuttin’-fierce. They throw things around, use giant hunks of metal to perform crazy-ass lifts and swings and tackle perilous obstacle courses (incidentally, if you are competing in the Warrior Dash next month, I’d advise you either forfeit, or at least invest in some protective steel/mithril armour. You’re in danger of being unmercifully shanked!).

Yesterday, I channelled the spirit of spontaneous, warrior-like madness on my run. I included random sprint intervals, diversions in route (ie. launching myself over garden beds and over non-pedestrian-advised areas (soz council)) and used pretty park benches to do step-ups and push-ups. In effect, a much more entertaining and exhausting hour than anything I usually do.

Sorry to Beryl, Sheryl & Meryl who kindly donated this bench in nineteen-dickety-two that was the perfect height for step-ups!

Love. It.

Next time you’re out exercising, or even at the gym, why not see if you can include some spontaneity, fearsome feats of strength, or at the very least a throaty growl to let the universe know it should be AFRAID.

Unleash.

Then break out some downward dog to recover.

What are your thoughts? Do you harbour any crazy or unconventional exercise habits?

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Vous me manquez!

January 19, 2011 § 7 Comments

I miss you all! I miss the blog! I miss having an outlet for all my kooky health-related thoughts, theories, and conspiracies.

As I mentioned in my last post, my slightly senior apple computer needs to be put out to pasture, and a new, shiny, speedy model must somehow be procured. This senility has seriously affected my ability to blog regularly, but i’m determined to maintain some kind of posting schedule because Bonne Santé has really become more than just a hobby for me.

It’s a place where I have collected a year’s worth of posts about health and food (however much I cringe when reading back through!). It’s also becoming a creative outlet  – somewhere I can parade my photographic experiments and on special occasions, Paint masterpieces. Perhaps most worthwhile and gratifying, is that blogging has become a haven for connecting with like-minded and exceptionally talented individuals around the world, and I’m honoured to call many my new friends.

Contextually unrelated chia seeds

External to the blog, other exciting happenings have characterised the start of 2011.

I’m in the early days of starting a new job that is altogether more in alignment with my studies in health & nutrition – I believe that our professional lives and personal passions should not exist in separation, rather they can enhance and compliment each other. Where’s the fun in slaving 9-5 in a job that is entirely removed from your personal goals and ambitions?

In short, I feel blessed by a gender and demoninationally non-specific higher power.

Ommmmmmm.

Miso?

I’m also thrilled to have won an amazing competition over at the lush Roost for the design of a new blog header! Y’all know how clueless I am with all things technologically/graphically inclined, so this is an incredibly opportunity for Bonne Santé to be pimped beyond it’s wildest dreams! Once again, some generous female deity is smiling on me.

Photobooth fun with friends

Other noteworthy happenings, in no particular order:

  • Finally got a new haircut. Below $30 at that! I asked for a fringe, and the hairdresser commented that ‘I have a good face for it’. What I heard was, ‘FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE COVER THAT GENEROUS FOREHEAD!’. I live to misconstrue.
  • I went to the gym yesterday and became stuck on the step machine in an endless elliptical, forward motion. HOW DO YOU STOP THOSE THINGS?!
  • I bought new clothes with my rent money. This was reckless, and hoping I can magically manifest more funds before next week. At least I’ll look presentable in the gutter.
  • I finally went to the doctor about my concerning yellow glow – I’ve had it for years, ever since I went nuts on the beta-carotene, but lately I got to thinkin’ maybe my liver was, y’know, dead or something. Rational thoughts indeed. Anyway, 4 blood tests later, I was given a clean bill of health (thriving on a vegan diet wahoooo!) and told that yes, my beta-carotene levels are quite abnormally high. My doctors official recommendation; ‘eat less carrots’. Uh, no, I don’t think so medical man. Doesn’t he know high levels of beta-carotene (precursor for vitamin A) help protect the skin, and is proven to reduce your risk of most cancers as well as anti-oxidant-ising the shitzen out of your entire being? Win.
  • Speaking of shitzen, the little girl I babysit yelled, ‘Oh, SHITZEN HAUSEN!’ the other day at something which annoyed her. She is 4. My hero.

Well, I hope you’re all having amazing days wherever you are in the world, and thanks for sticking around despite the erratic posting 🙂

X

Vegan almond butter crunch ice-cream.

January 12, 2011 § 8 Comments

Hello?

Is anybody ooooooouttttt theeeeeeereee?

I may have short circuited and rage quit the blog for a while, due to unforseen technical difficulties. Technical difficulties being that my new

has a terrible personality clash with my ancient mac.

TOO MANY MEGA-PIXELS. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

It’s like an old, grouchy dog that has been usurped by a younger, bouncier, less-scabies-ridden pet, and does not want to play. I’m constantly being given the apple evil eye…

Thus, pictures from my new camera take about 10 light years to upload, and seeing as I like to spam you all with images, this has created quite the time-sucking vortex that led me to place the ol’ blog on hold until such time as I am gifted/stumble across/straight-up steal a new macbook.

BUT this awesome nomination from the bubbly, vivacious, and all-round amazing Amanda has dragged me out of hibernation!

Thanks so so much to that ass-kickin’, fat-blastin’, Rambo-channelin’ fitness demon over at Me Vs. the Bulge!

I have to pass this on to seven other sassy, stylish bloggers and also give you seven random facts about myself. Fun!

(Lucky I had another post on the back burner, because now I can merge the two into one super post and claim exemption from blogging duties for another month! The pictures that are on here are a result of about a week of uploading one image per day, yelling expletives at the screen and plucking out the grey hairs that keep springing forth from my roots in response to the teeeeeeeeeedium of posting. Have I complained enough yet?)

So, without further adieu, I’m passing on the love to the following sensational bloggers:

Plus about a thousand more.

Want to know seven irrelevant things?

1. My boyfriend gave me a food processor for my birthday, and subsequently, my diet now consists of perfectly pulsed raw veggie concoctions, and this..

…Banana soft serve. A little late to the party, but i’m making up for lost time.

2. In the photo below, some home-grown macadamia nuts are casually scattered around a spoonful of tea leaves, with my new mug just chillin’ in the background like it had been there all along.

But there is nothing casual about it. Macadamia nuts have no relation to green tea, nor do they fall artistically on chopping boards in perfect alignment. I also spilled the tea leaves on purpose, but made it look like an accident…TRICKY, TRICKY! All the pro’s are doing it. My photos are contrived; I’m coming clean!

More nuts and tea!

3. When I was little, I actually feared for my mother’s back when walking over cracks in the footpath. Too this day, her spine is stellar and you’ll never see me lay a toe over broken cement.

4. I sometimes stop liking bands once they go ‘mainstream’. I’m fickle and snobbish like that.

5. Sea and river weed scare the bajeesus out of me. Total irrational phobia, but if there is a swathe of dark, wispy seagrass at the beach, i’ll swim as far away from it as possible. Sharks? Bring it on. Jellyfish? Harmless. Underwater plants? Bone-chilling.

Funny, seeing as I literally eat it for breakfast every day.

6. I decided that if I don’t eat meat, then I also shouldn’t buy leather goods or animal-derived apparel. This has become problematic as I’ve discovered the nicest fashions and accessories are always cow hide, and as a result, I must now wear my vibrams everywhere. More problematic are my weekend party plans. Can we get a stiletto VFF please?

7. I don’t believe in playing games on my phone, but somehow I ended up downloading Angry Birds the other day and have become slowly addicted. Last night I went to bed late, at 12am (eeep!), and decided to ‘just try to make it past level x’ for 5 minutes. I looked at the time a little later and 45 MINUTES HAD PAST! If you want to travel rapidly into the future, invest in a frivolous iPhone app that lets you hurl birds at pigs at increasing levels of difficulty.

And now, a fun little food-processor-friendly recipe!

Vegan almond butter crunch ice cream!

Take one well-endowed frozen banana, chop it into pieces, process with a generous teaspoon of almond butter until it whips into a glorious soft-serve-like mess, place in a ridiculous martini glass, and top with candied almonds!

Heaven.

*******************************

I’ve missed the blog; I hope I can get technology sorted soon. I have so many tasty pictures and irrelevant thoughts to share!

Let’s meet again soon. x

No resolutions, but plenty of goals.

January 3, 2011 § 14 Comments

How did everyone pull up after the wild NYE celebrations? I emerged relatively unscathed as I am, what my goon-guzzling friends would call, ‘soft’.

I prefer responsible.

Truth is, I enjoy a good red. An expensive white. And perhaps if i’m feeling crazy, one of each. But I’m not ashamed to say, my days of downing tequila shots and hooking vodka to my veins are well and truly a memory of my 17-year-old self.

I actually have more fun when i’m not trying to avoid barfing all over the D-floor, and feel irritated with the hardcore drinking culture in Australia that seems to dictate anything less than 3 Jaeger Bombs per hour is sacrilege. But I guess if that’s what floats your dingy, then so be it.

Although i’m a little late with the end-of-year, new-beginnings theme, I wanted to share some of my goals for 2011.

I say goals because i’m never really one for New Year’s resolutions. I normally resolve not to keep any, thus leaving me in an endless paradox…

I also think the word ‘resolution’ implies a more rigid, fiercely defended, all-or-nothing approach that I see all too often with friends who go crazy eating, drinking and partying in the lead up to new years’, resolving to quit the excesses cold turkey at midnight on the 1st of January. I’m not judging those people who do, because I’m definitely guilty of adopting a ‘start-afresh-tomorrow’ attitude…but I have to ask myself, is this resolution really sustainable? Or will it end as spectacularly as it began?

This is why I prefer to have goals, with an emphasis on progress, learning and chip-chip-chipping away at something bigger.

So what are they?

In no particular order….

1. Attempt a half-marathon.

Attempt, people, attempt. This one scares me the most. If i’m a soft drinker, then I’m a wibbly puddle of goo when it comes to pain, endurance and mental stamina. But we are all capable of greater things than we know, right? So with that in mind, I’m taking it on. Maybe. Perhaps. We’ll see.

OH GOD IT’S ON THE GOALS BOARD, THAT MEANS ITS GOSPEL!

2. Think long and hard about coming off the pill.

I wrote a post not too long ago about the pro’s and con’s of the BCP, and on the advice of many individuals in the natural health scene, I feel it is something I want to eliminate from my life. This one may be on par in scariness with #1, because I know it’s going to be a crazy rollercoaster that could take years to even out my poor bedraggled hormones.

3. Save for a trip and travel to Japan.

Unfortunately I’ve never been one to prioritize travel; i’d rather save for material things, appliances, or organic leafy greens. This has to change, because while nice objects are pleasant, it’s all about our experiences and adventures. And Japan is somewhere i’ve wanted to go for eons; looks fascinating!

4. Be more spontaneous! Make the most of every opportunity.

In simple terms; stop being such a nanna. I tend to become quite set in my ways and dislike last-minute plans and unexpected changes. This is mainly because I like to know what i’m doing each day in advance, set mini-goals and never just have empty, open ‘free time’. It would certainly pay to be more flexible, and welcome a little spontaneity.

5. Improve at yoga and incorporate it into my daily practice.

I’ve been intimidated by yoga for as long as I can remember. This is because I have the flexibility of a corpse undergoing rigor mortis, and I also find it hard to relax and sit still. I know it’s one of those highly beneficial, life-extending activities, and i’m determined to eventually be able to touch my toes/shins/knees.

6. Include regular strength straining. Channel Arnie.

Building lean muscle will not only boost my metabolism and increase my strength and stamina, but also equip me with a rippling set of guns. I want guns.

7. Make a dentists appointment & remove amalgam fillings.

Holy baloney, you don’t want to know how long it’s been between dental examinations. It’s one of those things I never give any concern to, but probably should for the sake of my 2 remaining front teeth. Also, I don’t want poisonous mercury fillings gumming up my jaw anymore.

8. Start growing plants in the garden.

I already have an awesome little herb garden thanks to a dear friend that I got for my birthday, but I’d like to have a few more pots and start growing some herbs for everyday use. Currently, I’m excelling at cultivating this creepy species of yellow mould in the soil of the few pots I have, so I think I need to turn my yellow thumb green and wise up on horticulture.

9. Volunteer at local retirement village.

I gained so much out of my trip to the old folks home on Christmas day, so I want to check out any local opportunities to regularly connect with, and give some time to ageing residents.

10. Spend less on groceries each week. Implement smarter spending.

Self-explanatory. I splurge on consumables.

11. Experiment with raw and fermented foods in the kitchen.

I’m in such a food rut right now. I need to collect a few awesome recipes and become more familiar with creative raw cuisine, and of course, overcome my fear of ‘living’ foods that grow & ferment. Kefir tops this list.

12. Take a photography class.

I’ve loved photography for a long time, but since the acquisition of my delicious DSLR, I’d love to get some professional help in taking better pictures. Not just blindly adjusting the settings until the photo is no longer black

Well, there you have my master to-do-list for the year. I can’t wait to tick them off one by one, up the ante next year and be even more of a petrified mess come January 1st 2012.

I know many of you have also shared your own goals on your blogs, so a collective bonne chance to everyone for the year ahead!


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