23 April 2014

Step one towards healthy eating - one little change

Did any of you make a New Year's resolution to eat more healthily this year? How are you doing with that?

A lot of healthy eating advice is in the negative - as in, don't eat this, cut back on that, eliminate the other. It can be hard to follow and make you feel deprived. It's difficult to change eating habits, especially if they are habits you have had all of your life.

I wanted to introduce another idea - instead of less, try more. What?! Yes, I mean it. When you are beginning to shift towards healthy eating, instead of taking things away, try adding things in.

And by "things" I mean "fruit and vegetables".

If you strive to add fruit or vegetables to each meal or snack that you would normally eat, even if you don't change your diet at all, you will begin to add a bit more nutrition and shift towards the positive. Of course, it's not enough to help in a weight loss journey, but it's a start.

What if your diet normally contains sugar, processed food, saturated fat, or lots of carbs? Well, adding fruit and veg will only add positivity. Then later you can begin to make other changes to the rest of your diet.

Creating good habits creates a positive cycle. You do something good (like adding produce), you feel good about yourself and your goals, you feel motivated to make another change, you do something else good (for example making healthy switches, reducing portion size, etc). It can feed on itself.

So, do I mean that you should tuck into mounds of spinach every time you eat something? Not exactly. Try making small additions to your usual food. For example:

Cheese and crackers becomes cheese, crackers and tomato (try adding black pepper):

 photo addingfruitorveges01_zps3fd18e2a.jpg

A pancake with syrup becomes a pancake with syrup and sliced banana (try adding a sprinkling of cinnamon):

 photo addingfruitorveges02_zps5d95b5a2.jpg

Tuna on a roll becomes tuna and lettuce on a roll (try adding cucumber and tomato too):

 photo addingfruitorveges03_zps91ba3a70.jpg

A snack of yoghurt and almonds becomes yoghurt, almonds and a satsuma (try adding a second fruit):

 photo addingfruitorveges04_zps46ae96f8.jpg

Bacon and eggs for breakfast? Add baked beans and a sliced tomato.
Granola bar for a snack? Add a handful of grapes.
Oatmeal for breakfast? Add some berries or banana or applesauce.
Meat and two veg for dinner? Make it meat and three veg, or have a piece of fruit for dessert.
Cereal for breakfast? Add a small fruit smoothie.
Chips and dip? Try chips and carrot sticks and dip.
Hot dog? Try hot dog with pickles and / or sauteed onions.

Sure, adding a couple of leaves of lettuce or a slice or two of tomato isn't going to miraculously make your diet healthy but adding in fruit and veg here and there will bulk out your meals a little. You might then begin to make other changes, such as cutting back on portion size, switching white bread for wholewheat, cutting out some of the less healthy options.

As you reduce portion sizes, fruit and veg can help you feel full - try eating a bowl of salad or vegetable soup before tucking into a meal and you'll find you will be satisfied with a smaller meal.

Don't forget tinned or frozen fruit and vegetables! They are great pantry staples and are sometimes even healthier than fresh - frozen vegetables are generally flash-frozen soon after picking and retain more vitamins and minerals than "fresh" produce from the grocery store.

Buy canned fruit in light juice rather than syrup, and drain and rinse them so that you aren't ingesting extra calories from the canning liquid.

Some canned vegetables can be limp, mushy and overcooked (asparagus and peas, for example), but there are exceptions such as corn and beetroot. Try to buy vegetables canned in water rather than brine to keep salt levels under control.

Have fun adding some colour to your food with healthy fruit and vegetables, and see how one little change can take you in the right direction.

Pin It

21 April 2014

Quick tip

When refilling containers with dry goods like sugar or flour, do so in the sink. Any excess that spills over the edges will be easy to quickly rinse away after removing the container.

 photo refillsinsink_zpse9d16307.jpg

Pin It

18 April 2014

What I wore to run errands

Another denim skirt outfit!

 photo wiwblue_zpse228509b.jpg

Top: thrifted and modifed by me
Skirt: The Warehouse
Belt: eBay
Necklace: thrifted
Pierre Cardin sandals: outlet store

Pin It

16 April 2014

Washing the car

(Yes, my boys tend to wear pyjamas all day if we're not going out!)

 photo washingthecar01_zps89d22670.jpg

 photo washingthecar13_zps19420760.jpg

 photo washingthecar08_zpsac594215.jpg

 photo washingthecar10_zps52239c0f.jpg

 photo washingthecar07_zpsb59ebe54.jpg

 photo washingthecar05_zpsc9750056.jpg

 photo washingthecar06_zps05a28d4d.jpg

 photo washingthecar02_zpsa5bbc65d.jpg

 photo washingthecar04_zps30bcef57.jpg

 photo washingthecar03_zpsf442d5b1.jpg

 photo washingthecar09_zpsc1d3f7ae.jpg

 photo washingthecar11_zpsa214fa28.jpg

 photo washingthecar12_zpsb6d4d2ab.jpg

 photo washingthecar14_zps3ed6c461.jpg

 photo washingthecar15_zps11411948.jpg

 photo washingthecar16_zps8bd5b4d9.jpg

Pin It

14 April 2014

Prepping for healthy eating

Thanks for the kind words and support on my last post (about launching our business)!

Today I wanted to share with you some ways that I prep ahead of time to make healthy eating easy and convenient.

 photo preppingfoodforhealthyeating01_zps8fba38d4.jpg

I boil and peel a few eggs and store them in the fridge in a sealed container. I just bring water to the boil, add the eggs and boil for 9 minutes, then tip out the hot water, shake and bounce the pan to crack the eggs and add cold water. This allows the cold water to get inside the shells, cooling the eggs more quickly and making them easy to peel. To ensure the shell comes off well I add half a teaspoon of baking soda to the water when boiling.

The eggs are great to grab for a snack, add to a lunch salad, slice onto toast for breakfast, or chop and mix with mayo for a sandwich filling.

 photo preppingfoodforhealthyeating02_zpsb06eade9.jpg

I pull grapes off of the stems, put them into a colander and rinse them, then roll them around in a tea towel to dry them somewhat, before storing in a container in the fridge. They're great to add to salads, or grab for a sweet snack.

 photo preppingfoodforhealthyeating03_zps84955724.jpg

Peeling and slicing carrots doesn't take a lot of time and it makes it so easy to add veges to your diet. They can be eaten raw, added to salads, steamed to serve with dinner, or eaten raw with dip for a healthy snack.

 photo preppingfoodforhealthyeating05_zpsae466849.jpg

Here is the dip I make for the carrot sticks. It's low fat cream cheese with a packet of onion soup mix stirred in, loosened with a little milk. It is so yummy and adds a little protein to my snack. It's also tasty on crackers or in a sandwich (just a thin layer as it's can be strongly flavoured).

 photo preppingfoodforhealthyeating04_zps220b165c.jpg

While healthier for you, brown rice does take longer to cook than white. I like to cook up a big batch, drain and rinse it, then freeze in little containers or ziplock bags. It defrosts quickly and is handy to have on hand to be able to quickly whip up fried rice (with veges and meat), serve with sauce-based dishes (like curry), or to make rice salad.

 photo preppingfoodforhealthyeating06_zps48b4ffda.jpg

Grant and I are mad about broccoli like this. I cut two heads of broccoli into small pieces and add it to boiling water, letting it simmer for 4-6 minutes. Then I use a slotted spoon to scoop it out onto a clean tea towel on the counter. This lets the steam evaporate off of the broccoli so it doesn't go soggy. Once it's dry I put it into a container, add a little olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, and shake to toss.

We like it in salads, on its own, warmed to have with dinner, or added to omelets.

 photo preppingfoodforhealthyeating07_zps2def6a7b.jpg

If you or your kids like to take apple slices on the go it helps to soak them in Sprite. The citric acid prevents the slices from browning. I've added a glass jar to the container to keep the apple slices submerged. They don't last for days on end, but a few hours of soaking means you can package the slices for lunch and they'll keep. Also a handy trick if you want to serve apple slices and dip at a party.

 photo preppingfoodforhealthyeating08_zps7ec08eb2.jpg

Noah and I enjoy this apple dip. It's low fat cream cheese, peanut butter, a little cinnamon and / or vanilla, and sweetened with either icing sugar or maple syrup. I don't eat it often as I am avoiding sugar, but it's a low-guilt, high-protein treat if you don't put too much sweetener in.

I hope that gives you a few ideas. I know that eating healthy, fresh foods can be less convenient than packaged snacks, so taking a little time to prep ahead eliminates the inconvenience and makes it easy to improve your diet.

Pin It

10 April 2014

Best View - our new business

Perhaps you have noticed that I haven't been super active here on my blog. There's a reason for that - we've been busy learning new skills and organising and setting up our new business, Best View!

 photo Logo_zps7a0b76c4.jpg

We actually almost bought a similar business back in January. We'd gone as far as seeing a conveyancing solicitor and putting in an offer but it sold from under us. We were disappointed but felt like we'd been led down that path for a reason. The vendor had actually suggested we start our own business doing the same thing in our area (he / the new buyer primarily operate up in the city) and after a little while we decided to do just that.

Our business is real estate photography - interiors, exteriors, and aerial (using a drone with camera), and creating floor plans. We're hoping to deal mainly with estate agents, and already have a few contacts in the pipeline.

It's been quite a learning curve and a lot of work getting everything set up, but now we are legit and ready to trade. You can see our website here.

Here are a few examples of photographs of our own home - I'm showing you how I have photographed the rooms before (old pictures) and how I photograph them now (as I would for a real estate listing). By the way, the window views are not added in later in Photoshop, there is minimal Photoshop work needed - it's all in the lighting:

 photo bestview01_zpsbe778c17.jpg

 photo bestview02_zpsacfd8323.jpg

 photo bestview03_zpsd61eceb6.jpg

 photo bestview04_zpsab9f9109.jpg

 photo bestview05_zps3a9aa8bd.jpg

 photo bestview06_zpsb2359a1c.jpg

 photo bestview07_zpsf85fa9b8.jpg

 photo bestview08_zps48957102.jpg

 photo bestview09_zps63acb481.jpg

 photo bestview10_zpsff3b2a12.jpg

 photo bestview12_zpsc5e08275.jpg

 photo bestview11_zpsd401d2b1.jpg

 photo bestview13_zps66a351ae.jpg

 photo bestview14_zps58c4680a.jpg

The remote controlled aerial camera we use is pretty cool and can go up to 100m (330 feet) high. It can take photographs or video. You can see some of the photos on our website.

Here is the floor plan of our house. You might remember me mentioning (when we first moved in) that it's a very odd layout but that it suits us well. Now you can see the layout for yourself. The stairs lead down to the garage, which is beneath the bedrooms (craft room and spare room) - the rest of the house has walk in storage space underneath it that gradually becomes more and more shallow until you can only crawl in the space.

 photo bestview15_zps9a285b02.jpg

Thought I'd share a pic of me in uniform (polo shirt embroidered with the company logo).

 photo bestview_zpsc1bb2de5.jpg

So that's my news! It's been about 3 months from conception till launch, during which time at one stage I dreamed about babies literally every single night (babies being symbolic of new beginnings) except for the one night when I dreamed about chicks hatching. It was quite weird.

Anyway, wish us luck on this new venture, and if you are in the Auckland area and needing to sell your house, get in touch :)

Pin It

4 April 2014

What I wore to run errands

Oh my word, this outfit is so comfy. These are actually my cropped yoga pants that I work out in - they have such a comfy waistband and are thicker than leggings so remain modest.

 photo wiwtunic_zpsf33f956a.jpg

Tunic: eBay
T-shirt: Pagani (on sale)
Cropped yoga pants: The Warehouse (on sale)
Shoes: The Warehouse
Bracelet: Mother's Day present

Pin It

1 April 2014

2014 Books - March

The Bartered Bride Collection - Lynette Sowell, Cathy Marie Hake, JoAnn A Grote, Pamela Kaye Tracy, Amy Rognlie, Kelly Eileen Hake

A collection of 9 books, I finished reading the collection with this title (I read the rest last month and in January):

Finishing Touches 

I enjoyed them and would recommend.

The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain - James Fallon

This book was fascinating. I think it would have been a bit of a hard slog reading it as a regular book, but I listened to it as an audiobook while I worked out and found it really interesting. Would recommend.

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

This was one of our book club books. I enjoyed it and would recommend.

Hopeful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book One - Shelley Shepard Gray

I listened to this as an audiobook. It was okay, I enjoyed it well enough but probably won't seek out any of the other books in the series.

Into the Wilderness - Sara Donati

First of a trilogy. I enjoyed it, have started the second, and would recommend. The highlight for me was when Outlander characters were mentioned! Loved that :)

Growing Up Amish: A Memoir - Ira Wagler

I listened to this as an audiobook while I exercised. I found it very interesting to have a geniune, first-hand take on Amish life. Not quite as idyllic as Amish fiction makes it out to be. I enjoyed this book and would recommend.

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...